"What is Taizé?" Taizé by christine.j

Taizé Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 46 photos

What and where is Taizé?

So, what is Taizé? It's a small village in the middle of France, but that's not what people mean when they speak of Taizé. Near this village there is the community of Taizé. You could describe it as an international, religious ,christian summercamp for young people.
- But,
it's year-round, not only in the summer.
- And while there is a lot of religion, you can go there when you don't believe at all and still have interesting discussions.
- You don't have to be christian - last year there was a Rabbi giving lectures.
- And you don't have to be young. Most people are around 20, but there are families with small kids as well as people in their seventies.
- But it is certainly international. It's probably the only place in the middle of France where the official language is English. And in addition you hear just about every European language there is.
So, what is it?
It's one the most interesting places I know where you can meet and talk to people from all over the world.
And it's one my favourite places to go to.

During my visit in July 2008 I noticed a lot more people from outside of Europe,it seems Taizé is becoming more and more known in the world.This year there will be a youth meeting in Nairobi, from 26th to 30th November and other meetings outside of Europe are planned.
(One thing hasn't changed, though, and I wish it would: the toilets are still the same, old and dirty.)

Taizé after the murder of Frère Roger

In the summer of 2005 the news that Frère Roger, the founder of Taizé, had been murdered shocked many people. He was killed by a woman who was mentally disturbed and wanted to have more of his attention.
My first visit in Taizé after the murder was in March 2006 and I'm happy to say nothing has changed. The idea of Taizé survived the death of its founder. There is a grave in the small graveyard, but it hasn't become a memorial shrine.
What has changed, however, is the awareness of Taizé in the French towns around. Before there were two seperated worlds. In Taizé you didn't realize you were in France and the tourist informations in the towns around didn't acknowledge there was such a place as Taizé. Now they even seem to be proud of Taizé. I think it has something to do with the fact that many politicians and church leaders from all over the world came to the funeral of Frère Roger.

A week in Taizé

Most young people come for a week. They arrive in groups on Sunday, are greeted in the welcome area and are assigned their places to sleep. They are also assigned some work for the week, for example in the kitchen , or cleaning the bathrooms or serving the food.
When you plan to come for a week, you probably know something about Taizé. My tips here are for people who like to get an idea of what Taizé stands for and who like to visit there for just a day or two. In this case it is better to sleep in one of the towns around Taizé. My favourite place is Cluny.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Interesting people, interesting discussions
  • Cons:Don't expect too much comfort
  • In a nutshell:A fascinating place
  • Last visit to Taizé: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 29, 2008
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Reviews (17)

Comments (17)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    One trip planned by us is to see some more of France. This looks to be a nice place to consider, and your comments are well done.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2010 at 5:29 AM

    Interesting Taizé travel page. Attractions such as African nativity scene and source of St. Etienne certainly atract us the most. Thanks for the virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    The African Nativity Scene looks interesting - with a giraffe! But kangaroos are only in Australia right? Not Africa? Never heard of Taize but you got nice tips of it...Norman :)

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    What a unique place! We'll be visiting France next summer, but Taize isn't on our list. Your page was still a very interesting read.

  • freddie18's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    I would love to visit the village of Taize. I will make sure it will be a small group of ......two.

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Taizé Meditations :~)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2007 at 2:40 AM

    Fascinating place. I've heard about it but never been there. The village looks lovely too. Thanks for the interesting tips.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2007 at 3:48 PM

    I've heard of Taize but didn't know that it's in Burgundy. Fascinating place to explore (like the fat towers) and participate (discussions + singing).

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2007 at 10:52 PM

    Never heard of Taize, but it looks like and interesting place for young people to visit. ;-)

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    Christine, I had never even heard of Taize, so thank you for this page. Very interesting indeed !:)Katherine

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