"What is Taizé?" Taizé by christine.j
Taizé Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 46 photos
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.
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.)
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.
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:Interesting people, interesting discussions
- Cons:Don't expect too much comfort
- In a nutshell:A fascinating place
When entering the community you can see a very interesting plate on the wall, showing a nativity scene. But instead of... more travel advice
For young children the service can be boring, so their parents can take up the offer or a playgroup. The playgroup is... more travel advice
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