Do you know the origin of Bleu d'Auvergne cheese? In Laqueuille, at the gates of the Massif du Sancy, 1/2 hour from Clermont-Ferrand, in the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Natural Park, a museum tour of Blue and Blood, guides you in the footsteps of Antoine Roussel which gave birth to Bleu d'Auvergne
This is at Laqueuille, in the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes, which Antoine Roussel, through experimentation, gave birth to Bleu d'Auvergne in the middle of the 19th century.
At the same time, the highwayman, Victor Mornac, enfant terrible of the village, sowed terror in his path. The De Bleu et de Sang museum tour takes you in the footsteps of these two men who left their mark on the village of Laqueuille.
Of Blue and Blood is a museum tour. It tells the story of the birth of Bleu d'Auvergne and its characters, with two main stops:
- At the presbytery, an exhibition-show where sounds and music, objects and images combine, tells you about the lives of Antoine Roussel and Victor Mornac. You will learn how the famous cheese, the Bleu d’Auvergne. You will shudder at the tale of the turpitudes, provocations and other murders committed by the country's enfant terrible.
- At the Empego cellars, a scenographic installation will allow you to immerse yourself in the heart of an old cheese cellar. When you leave, the making and refining of Laqueuille blue cheese will no longer hold any secrets for you.
The father of Bleu d’Auvergne, Antoine Roussel (1820 – 1886)
Under the leadership of his teacher, Antoine Roussel became interested in natural sciences, and particularly in volcanism. He studied in Normandy and became a pharmacy technician, which allowed him to acquire solid scientific training. Back in Auvergne, he carried out various experiments: manufacturing blue powder, invention of the machine for perforating local tommes, etc. This is how the first Auvergne blue cheese was born. The first cheeses were mainly matured in the caves of Puy de Côme. It's only at the 20th century that we discovered the underground passages of Empego, under the rocky promontory of Laqueuille. Cellars will be created there to refine cheeses.
A highwayman, Victor Mornac (1802 – 1869)
Having left to study law in Clermont-Ferrand, he was convicted twice for rebellion against the police and mistreatment. Later, a free school teacher in Laqueuille, Mornac fled after attacking a colleague. He was sentenced in absentia to 2 years in prison. He is credited with numerous thefts committed in the canton. Finally, he will be arrested by the gendarmes, then tried and sentenced to 10 years of forced labor. In 1844, then aged 42, he returned to Laqueuille, free. He seems to use his image and his strength to obtain services and arrangements.
- In 1849 and 1850, two men were murdered, Mornac was each time suspected, charged, and released for lack of evidence.
- In 1852, Mornac was sentenced to forced labor for life.
- In 1862, after 10 years in prison in Toulon, Mornac obtained retirement from the convicts: he was sent to the fortress of Belle-Ile-en-Mer (Morbihan).
- Open all year from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
- Independent visit lasting 1h30 (visit booklet available from retailers).
- Individuals: single price €4 (provide 4 €1 coins for the coin mechanism).
- Groups of more than 10 people: by reservation with the Auvergne VolcanSancy Tourist Office – 04 73 65 89 77
- Parking behind the Town Hall.
- Special access conditions in the event of snow or ice.
To be found in downloading the visit booklet.
It is also available on site, at the entrance to the site.