The Community of La Roche d’Or takes its name from the hill where it stands, on the outskirts of Besançon. Located on the side of the hill, the houses are set in a picturesque manner, dominating the Doubs river with several paths weaving around the rocks and wooded slopes.
Developed continuously since 1954, today, the site has several communicating buildings, which are discreetly nestled in the middle of gardens and well-kept woodland areas. The whole of the parks and buildings create a vast welcoming space where the community can come together to listen to the word, yet there remain intimate areas and spaces for solitude and true inner repose.
In order for La Roche d’Or to carry out its mission of spreading the Gospel, the first thing that is needed is people who are open to the idea, goodness for those who arrive, people need to be celebrated, they feel slightly bewildered that life is good; most struggle to believe that they are ok...So we learnt to create space full of goodness...! Roger Robert
In 1954, La Roche d’Or was a maisonnette in a poor state of repair, made up of 8 rooms, a roof in tatters with a tree through it surrounded by wasteland. To create the vast group of buildings that make up La Roche d’Or, the treelined park and terraces over the Doubs river has taken tens of years of work, often in difficult conditions both from a human and economic perspective.
Right from the first few years Florin Callerand said: “From the beginning I was enchanted by the site’s topographical location. I felt that we should be able to occupy it and settle alongside slopes, by turning around the trees and the rocks, so that the buildings, should we manage to build them, become part of the landscape. We settled where nature gave us signs, saying that we could settle there, and that is how we continued, from start to finish, with no other plan than the vision, which I renewed quite frequently by walking along the slopes of Rosement to contemplate the places where we would build and what we would build.“
Hugging the contours and patterns of the hill, the buildings are developed in a striking green space which is like a little valley, a stone’s throw from the city of Besançon.
I need a cathedral of trees to announce the Word of God.” The paths are not drawings at all they are mazes to walk around. They are paths that take you for a meeting with God, as the world is one huge sacrament!” Florin Callerand
It is possible to see a display dedicated to the “Community of La Roche d’Or” in the Besançon, museum, a neolithic display from the third millennium B.C. It is with a flint carved by his ancient ancestors that the priest engraves the Alpha and Omega on the paschal candle. The oratory located on these terraces in front of the cave, a refuge for its ancient inhabitants was the community’s first chapel. It offers a privileged space for silence and contemplation.
So there is no surprise really that this son, Florin Callerand, who admired Teilhard de Chardin enjoyed furnishing these terraces and received the founding grace of his mystical unifying vision there.
If man knew what it was to be God’s heir and to inherit all God’s work, that would change everything in existence.Florin Callerand