Friday, 20 May 2011

...into Eleanor territory

Hello again,
Is France the most impossibly beautiful country?


Charles IV charged his chief minister Sully to redress the depredation to the forests of the 100 years war and it was him we can apparently thank for the beautiful avenues of Lime trees that now jump out and bang into cars on roads often only meant for the speed and traffic of a horse and cart.

The town architecture in the areas south of Poitiers suggests more wealth from better soil… and notwithstanding the bloody religious clashes of the C17th (ta, for that Marie de Medici and various Huguenot stirrers) a settled prosperity.

 Bourg Archamboult, making a transition from defensive habitation to something a little bit more Rapunzel.... (round the corner rom the troglodytes digs.)

And a evening wander around the immediate vicinity of Moustiers to a farm that is being renovated

Montmorillon known for its paper-making..and all things 

...and a riot of colour I didn't quite expect the extent of at Poitiers... fun times for the C11th... 

allegedly, Eleanor liked to party and this is her bailiwick.

With a C7-8th Baptristry/Chapel thrown in. 
Beautifully deft calligraphic drawing and a rather kindly Christ Pancrator showing, I think more a Roman than Byzantine influence.

After the confrontational, "you'll-do-as-your-told-or I'll-chop-you-off-at-the-knees", doctrinal thuggery of the Albi Cathedral's architecture, these are a pure delight was this C16th choir stall at the village of Mortemart with what was under the seats being vey funny as well.
I was also interested in what seemed to be a queue of saints, (Joan, Tony and Cath) waiting to be seated.

Apologies to St Joan of Arc... it was her feast day after all.

Oradour-sur-Glane was a relatively contemporary and nasty bit of destruction from 1944 .... the church being a very moving space. 
Much as Pompeii, a brooding place in its sense of untimely and unexpected demise.

Villandry where an appreciation of formal gardens begins...("..... it's the scale that's been missing", opines Mrs Wombat, and starts to get excited by realising the aesthetic value of hedges other than as demarcation lines) ......a gorgeous relaxing place.

As was Anzy-le-Rideau a beautiful little river segment

Angouleme Cathedral

... closed it seems, for "exceptional" circumstances.... 
 ...which may or may not have had something to do with a scandal relating to the Cathedrals' sextant and a facebook affaire, noted in a local scandal/gossip mag on a news-stand.

The femme in distress here looks like she might sound a bit like Lena Lamont from "Singin' in the Rain"... Aahh, Georgie, Oohh, Georgie.

Bientot petals.... more in a bit about: French lunchtime, roadsigns: the lack of and/or weirdness of placement, on being "Chateaued", tourist dress and behaviour and copping a good dose Haute Bourgeouisie.

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