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Post 7. House of the Bourgeoisie

Here, we are in the presence of a large stone and wood house, called “ Gite de Saint-Jean ”, where since 1996, the training of guides for the middle mountains was undertaken. This building is, above all, the home of the bourgeois citizens of Saint-Jean, originally from Saint-Jean, Mayoux, and Pinsec, the villages that formed of Saint-Jean until 2008.

A remarkable octagonal stove dated 1641 is in the Bourgeoisie room. It is made of soapstone, a soft stone used because of its refractory properties.

To be part of the Bourgeoisie, it is necessary to submit an application at the age of eighteen and to appear before the Assembly of active citizens, called the “Rogation”. The Bourgeoisie of Saint-Jean owns forests, buildings, such as the House of the Bourgeoisie, the main cellar, the small chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire in Saint-Jean, and vineyards in Sierre. In the cellar, the Bourgeoisie cares for barrels of Malvoisie and Glacier wine. The wine of the Glacier, once made with rèze only, now consists of rèze kept in barrels that are never completely emptied, and are supplemented with Hermitage wine.The bourgeoisie offers wine at Corpus Christi, the feasts of the patron saints, the National Day, the days of lotteries, etc... René Z., former president of the Bourgeoisie of Saint-Jean recounts a brief history of the various political changes in the Valley from 1327 to the present (Annex).

Our returning friends specify that the two upper floors of the building housed the school. In the 1930s, about forty-five students were in attendance. The “School House” also hosted many meetings. Subsequent to the end of one these meetings, the large house underwent a major disaster that could have caused the disappearance of much of Saint-Jean du-milieu.

The citizens of Saint-Jean had gathered to review the accounts of the Bourgeoisie. It was so cold that the heating was turned up high. A fire started between the wall and the furnace. Terrified families woke the children up, dressed them and took them to a place of refuge away from the fire.

Since then, the building was enlarged. Some beams retain traces of the fire as does the stove. It broke into forty-two pieces with the thermal shock of the cold water of the fire fighters. Erasmus Z. completely rebuilt it with the original stones.

The one who best knows the House of the Bourgeoisie is probably the president without a head, called “the ghost of Saint-Jean” who is said to have haunted the building for years. Sentenced to return each night to correct falsified documents, it is believed that he has now finished serving his sentence...

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Our friends lead us to the small chapel situated below the House of the Bourgeoisie.

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Post 7. House of the Bourgeoisie
3961 St-Jean
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