Overblog Follow this blog
Administration Create my blog

Profil

  • The Baguette
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

Archives

October 10 2011 2 10 /10 /October /2011 16:14

5013 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasLes cabanes form part of an actual farm that raises geese.  The huts are constructed by using dry stone walling techniques--they are built by carefully piling up stones and wedging them with more stones.  5029 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasThis work is done without any cement, mortar or lime to bind it together.  Some of the first written records concerning them occurs in 1449 when they were in the possession of the Benedictine monks of Sarlat.  There are other buildings similar to les cabanes such as the Village des Bories in Gordes, Provence.  They are also found in Italy and Turkey.  Les Cabanes du Breuil came into use again in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the birth of new industries.  At that time there were three artists who set up workshops here--a weaver, a harness maker and a blacksmith.  They found the site in a dilapidated state and consequently restored it.  5012 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasThe three huts that are side by side are actually used by the farm's owners.  Their home is also attached to them around the back.  Like all others on the site, the huts were built using very specific techniques.  5016 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasThe builders of the day began by constructing the lower wall in its entirety, to a thickness of about one meter.  Then, they built the corbelling from the inside and without a framework to guide them.  5018 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'Allas5019 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasOne can differentiate between corbelling and a vault by the positioning of the stones.  For corbelling, the stones are placed horizontally and for a vault, the position changes progressively from the horizontal to the vertical.  5020 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasOnce the corbelling was completed, the next step was the construction of the exterior "lauze" roof.  As the roof could not support the weight of a man without collapsing, they built it with the aid of a ladder.  For these buildings, the last stone is simply placed in position and there is no need for a keystone.  5026 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'Allas5027 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasAt the base of the roof, the wall is over one meter thick while the thinnest parts on the roof range from 5 to 7 centimeters.  The weight of the stones is about three metric tons to the square meter.  5031 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'Allas5030 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasLes cabanes en pierre sèche sont l' une des composantes caractéristiques du paysage périgourdin. Elles semblent avoir été bâties au 19e siècle et ne peuvent être antérieures au 17e siècle. Le groupe fait partie intégrante de la ferme. Le porche de la cour porte la date de 1841.  5028 Les Cabanes du Breuil à Saint-André-d'AllasFor more information, it is worth the time to check out their awesome website.

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
October 6 2011 5 06 /10 /October /2011 22:59

004 Dordogne, Le BastitBefore arriving at les grottes de Lacave, I made a quick stop along the Dordogne via the small village of Bastit.  The river itself is quite calm and the region famous for its good food and wines.  002 Dordogne, Le BastitThose seeking excellent accommodations in the area need look no further than le Château du Bastit.  006 Le Château du BastitIt is built on a hill overlooking the Dordogne with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.  The castle, which dates from the 14th and 15th centuries was completely restored in 2004 and now serves as a private château with four bedrooms and enclosed grounds along with a private swimming pool.  010 Château de la Treyne, LacaveIf you are looking for even nicer accommodations, try Château de la Treyne.  011 Château de la Treyne, LacaveIt is also perched on a cliff and overlooks the east bank of the Dordogne while the other side a vast 120-hectare French garden groomed with roses, box shrubs and parterres with fountains.  014 Château de la Treyne, Lacave020 Château de la Treyne, Lacave022 Château de la Treyne, LacaveBuilt in the 14th century it was burned to the ground by the Catholics during the Wars of Religion.  The château was rebuilt in the 17th century and has been well cared for ever since.  024 Château de la Treyne, Lacave025 Château de la Treyne, LacaveThe current owners, since 1982, are natives of Aveyron and work hard to keep the chateau alive throughout the year with cultural events, concerts and exhibitions held in the private chapel016 Château de la Treyne, Lacave019 Château de la Treyne, Lacave017 Château de la Treyne, Lacave018 Château de la Treyne, Lacave 

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
October 6 2011 5 06 /10 /October /2011 09:09

086 Château de HautefortOne of my favorite films is Ever After (À tout jamais in French) starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston.  The settings, the music, the costumes, the acting and especially the modern retelling of the Cinderella story have stayed with me these many years.  It wasn’t until recently I learned that much of the principal photography took place in the Dordogne region of Périgord.  The scene where Prince Henry plays tennis with another courtier takes place at the Château de Fénelon while many of the other castle scenes were shot at the Château de Hautefort.  087 Château de Hautefort135 Château de Hautefort136 Château de HautefortTwo years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Fénelon and this summer I had to opportunity to visit Hautefort.  It was a fairy tale treat walking the same courtyards, French and English gardens, and elegantly decorated rooms that could be seen in the film.  Forgive me if I say this was, by far, one of the most beautiful châteaux in the region as it is unlike any other with their medieval-style architecture.  103 Château de Hautefort099 Château de Hautefort108 Château de HautefortChâteau de Hautefort seems more like a château brought straight from the Loire region with its harmonious combination of architectural styles—Renaissance and Classical—which contributes to the building’s original and elegant appearance.  It is indeed a fine example of stately 17th century Périgord.  During the 16th and 17th centuries two architects, neither of whom were native to the Périgord region, Nicolas Rambourg (Lorraine) and Jacques Maigret (Parisian) transformed the defensive aspects of the château in keeping with the popular architectural forms found mostly in the Loire region.  140 Château de Hautefort139 Château de Hautefort133 Château de Hautefort138 Château de HautefortA former medieval château existed here in its place, with a keep, drawbridge and several towers.  123 Château de HautefortToday, the Tour de Bretagne is the only relic left of the former construction.  It dates back to the end of the 14th century or the beginning of the 15th century.  The cupola was added in 1678.  Here, the roof structure is on display to the public.  107 Château de HautefortThe beams are made from oak and chestnut.  On November 29, 1836, the famous Eugène Le Roy was born in this tower.  His parents resided here working as domestics for the owners: the Baron and Baroness of Damas.  He is most famous for his novel Jacques Le Croquant which has been made into a television movie, film and even a comic book for children.  134 Château de HautefortDuring the 9th century, the fortress belonged to the powerful viscounts of Limoges and then, to the Lords of Born who fought over its possession in the 12th century.  The most memorable was Bertran de Born, who became a famous troubadour.  It wasn’t until the late 17th century that Maigret brought symmetry to the château by building a second wing (the chapel wing) with a tower to mirror the Tour de Bretagne.  Between the two towers, a terrace was set up to give a clear view of valley and woodlands to the south.  109Château de HautefortFrom the courtyard, one overlooks part of the French gardens planted in the early 20th century by Baron Henri de Bastard and his wife who bought the château and decided to restore it.  095 Château de HautefortAs its restoration neared completion in 1968, a huge fire swept through the main building.  With support from villagers living down below, national televised fundraisers, state funding and a huge volunteer force of specialized workers, the château was completely restored.  Before passing away in 1999, the Baroness de Bastard bequeathed the château and its grounds to a foundation established especially for its future preservation.  130 Château de Hautefort132 Château de Hautefort111 Château de HautefortThe terraces of the château are laid out as French-style gardens, planted with flowers and box shrubs forming geometric patterns and offering views of the surrounding countryside.  There is even a covered path along the left of the front courtyard.  088 Château de Hautefort118 Château de Hautefort116 Château de Hautefort119 Château de Hautefort120 Château de HautefortOn the east terrace, a box hedge is planted in the form of a gushing fountain, a symbol of Baroness de Bastard’s dream of building a fountain in this spot.  Inside the château, the apartments have been carefully restored and are on view.  089 Château de Hautefort090 Château de Hautefort091 Château de HautefortOn the first floor one can visit the grand fireplace room, master bedroom, drawing room, study and a ladies bedroom.  092 Château de Hautefort093 Château de HautefortThe drawing room is decorated with Louis XVI period furniture, which includes one couch and eight armchairs covered in Beauvais tapestry.  094 Château de HautefortThe décor of this particular room, thought to be that of Marie d’Hautefort, dates from the middle of the 17th century.  The walls are covered with an indigo and bright red Le Manach fabric.  096 Château de HautefortOn the ground floor is the dining room.  The 17th century panelling that had survived the fire of 1968 was reinstalled during the renovations.  It features trompe l’œil panels decorated with cartouches framing small landscapes.  104 Château de HautefortUnderneath the chateau is an underground network of tunnels leading to the former kitchen, as well as several storage rooms and serving areas, which are found underneath the present chapel.  097 Chapelle, Château de HautefortThe Baron of Damas installed the altar in the chapel during the early 19th century while its copula was painted in trompe l’œil so that it would appear to be a coffered dome.  It center is crowned with the symbol of the Holy Trinity.126 Château de Hautefort

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
October 2 2011 1 02 /10 /October /2011 11:56

073Château de LaunaguetOn September 10th I attended a typical French wedding here in the small town of Launaguet just outside of Toulouse.  This was my first opportunity to see what a civil ceremony looks like for couples wishing to tie the knot in France.  It’s actually quite short and simple—it also mandatory before a couple can be married in a religious institution (if they so wish).  The mayor of the town greets the couple, says a few opening remarks and then states a number of facts such as the names, dates of birth, occupations, and addresses of the bride and groom as well as those of their respected families.  Afterward, they sign a legal document where the couples must promise to not only love one another, but also pay their taxes and to make large financial decisions together.  There was no religious ceremony afterward—only a nice reception held at the salle des fêtes because, like many weddings these days, divorced couples cannot get married in the church.  My friends exchanged rings and signed legal documents.  050 Château de LaunaguetThe venue for the ceremony is almost always the town hall or hôtel de ville.  Some towns are not as fortunate to have a building as nice as this one in Launaguet.  The present château is listed as a historical monument and was built in 1845 on the ruins of a mansion that burned in 1805.  Jasques-Henry Dufay, Baron de Launaguet and Prefect of Montauban purchased the estate in 1843.  An architect based in Launaguet, named Auguste Virebent, then restored the château.  It wasn’t until September 1991 that the city council purchased the building and undertook the task of restoration.  It was then listed as a historical monument on February 11, 1993.  051 Château de LaunaguetDespite appearances, the building is actually made of red stone and plastered to look like limestone.  The window frames and doors, balconies and turrets were decorated in moulded clay using a flamboyant Gothic style: grape leaves, kale, thistle and the monogram of the owner.  052 Château de Launaguet055 Château de Launaguet056 Château de LaunaguetThe two windows at each end of the ground floor of the north façade are painted trompe l'œil.  The second floor bay windows are adorned with Gothic openwork balustrades.  071Château de LaunaguetOn the south façade, the windows are framed with exposed brick while only the three central doors are decorated like those of the north façade.  Unfortunately, I did not get any photographs of the sumptuous interior which was entirely designed by Auguste Virebent, furniture included.  The Marriage Hall is also known as the Gothic room and occupies the entire width of the building’s center.  The walls are covered with Gothic tracery.  The flat caisson ceiling has the coat of arms of the owner in the middle while a fireplace and a decorative niche face one another on the either side of the room.  It is still furnished with custom-made sofas and chairs.074Château de Launaguet

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
June 27 2011 2 27 /06 /June /2011 05:00

2623 Mont Saint-MichelDuring the final days of my vacation, I spent some time in the countryside near Montbray.  From there, I took a morning trip to Mont-Saint-Michel.  It is truly one of the most amazing places in France if not the world.  I’ve been there before and did not want to pay 9 Euros to see the abbey again.  (If you’ve never been, you simply MUST take the full tour.)  2673 Mont Saint-MichelThis time around, I was more interested in the exterior of the building as well as taking a walk around the famous island.  2670 Mont Saint-MichelThe monastery was founded about the year 708 by St-Aubert, Bishop of Avranches.  According to the legend, by direct command of the Archangel Michael himself, who appeared to the bishop in a dream on three separate occasions, a church was to be built on the rock once called Monte-Tombe.  2632 Mont Saint-MichelPeople come from all over the world visit this place, still occupied by an order of monks, some of whom I saw worshiping in the parish church of St-Pierre.  2635 Mont Saint-MichelIf you plan on visiting Mont-Saint-Michel, be prepared to do a lot of climbing stairs.  It’s great exercise.  If you aren’t in a hurry, take advantage of the low tides and walk across the bay with a group of fellow pilgrims.  2666 Mont Saint-Michel2645 Mont Saint-Michel2644 Mont Saint-Michel2675 Mont Saint-Michel2639 Mont Saint-MichelBe sure you go with a group at the right time or else the tides can wash you out to sea.  I won’t go into great detail about Mont-Saint-Michel since its history and architecture can be read about in books and online quite easily.  2626 Mont Saint-Michel2627 Mont Saint-Michel2628 Mont Saint-MichelNeedless to say, I had a wonderful morning and got some photos I was unable to get the last time I visited in 2004.2678 Mont Saint-Michel

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
June 24 2011 6 24 /06 /June /2011 05:00

2315a Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456This ancient market town owes its name to a Roman town called Lacciacium or Laaceio because it used to be surrounded by lakes.  A few remarkable buildings have been restored, revealing some of the splendid red granite facades (especially along rue Dorée).  On the edge of the town stands an imposing fortress.  The castle, which dominates the village with its eight pepper-pot towers linked by a strong curtain wall, was built in 1458 in place of an older building which had been dismantled in 1417 during the Hundred Years’ War.  2310 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-2312 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-The castle is a prime example of military architecture under the reign of Charles VII.  Its history evokes three famous people – King Henry IV, the writer and poet Victor Hugo and the chemist Lavoisier who was a prisoner in the castle during the Revolution and used a curious “Chinese oven” situated in one of the towers not only to carry out his experiments but also to produce the first porcelain objects made from hard paste.  2302 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-The bridge spanning the moat leads to the barbican, a fortified structure defending the entrance to the castle.  2307 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-2308 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-The two towers guarding the drawbridge are linked by living quarters, in which 16th and 17th century weapons and furniture are displayed.  Don’t miss the rose garden maintained by the city or the beautiful medieval garden.  2300 Le Crépuscule Pizzeria, Grande Rue, Lassay-les-ChâteLe Crépuscule Pizzeria along the Grande Rue is where I had lunch.  Excellent pizza !  2301 16 rue du Château, Lassay-les-Châteaux16 Rue du Château  2314 Le moulin et Église de Saint-Fraimbault-de-Lassay, LaLe moulin et Église de Saint-Fraimbault-de-Lassay  2315 Le lavoir, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLe lavoir  2317 La Tour carrée, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa Tour carrée  2318 La Tour carrée, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa Tour carrée  2319 9 Grande Rue, Lassay-les-Châteaux9 Grande Rue  2322 18 Grande Rue Courtyard, Lassay-les-Châteaux18 Grande Rue  2320 XVe siècle, Rue Dorée, Lassay-les-ChâteauxRue Dorée  2321 XVe siècle, Rue Dorée, Lassay-les-ChâteauxRue Dorée  2324 Le Pub à Victor Hugo, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLe Pub à Victor Hugo  2325 Maison du Bailly, Lassay-les-ChâteauxMaison du Bailly  2326 Hôtel de Ville, Grand Rue, Lassay-les-ChâteauxHôtel de Ville  2328 Église de Saint-Fraimbault-de-Lassay et la roseraie mÉglise de Saint-Fraimbault-de-Lassay  2329 Ancien couvent des bénédictines, Lassay-les-ChâteauAncien couvent des bénédictines  2316 Château de Lassay, XIIe siècle, reconstruction 1456-2331 La roseraie municipale, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa roseraie municipale  2334 La roseraie municipale, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa roseraie municipale  2332 La roseraie municipale, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa roseraie municipale  2333 La roseraie municipale, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLa roseraie municipale  2330 Le jardin médiéval, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLe jardin médiéval  2335 Le jardin médiéval, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLe jardin médiéval  2336 Le jardin médiéval, Lassay-les-ChâteauxLe jardin médiéval

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
June 23 2011 5 23 /06 /June /2011 05:01

2283 West façade, Château de ValençayValençay is actually in the Berry region but it can be included with those of the Loire Valley because of its period of its construction and its huge size, in which it resembles Chambord.  Valençay was built in 1540 by Jacques d’Estampes.  He had married the daughter of a financier, who brought him a large dowry, and he wanted a residence worthy of his new fortune.  The 12th century castle was demolished and in its place rose the present building.  Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, who had begun his career under Louis XVI as Bishop of Autun, was Minister of Foreign Affairs when he bought Valençay in 1803 at the request of Napoleon, so that he would have somewhere to receive important foreign visitors.  Talleyrand managed his career so skilfully that he did not finally retire until 1834.  2238 Orangerie, Le jardin à la française, Château de ValThe railings of the entrance, with the former orangery and outbuildings were renovated in 1785 and again restored in 1805.  2240 Boutique et Billetterie, Le jardin à la française, C2240a Petit théâtre, Château de ValençayIn 1810 an exquisite theatre was inaugurated in one of the renovated outbuildings.  Restored in 1989, it is a precious example of an Empire-style theatre preserved with its sets.  2231 Château de Valençay et le jardin des RondsThe beautiful French-style gardens with its statues and fountains welcomes visitors to the château.  2272 West façade and South tower, Château de ValençayBefore entering the château’s courtyard just through the keep, I wandered alongside the 18th century south wing to take a closer look at the roof-level Mansard windows and the alternating small circular apertures called l’œil de bœuf windows.  2247 Le jardin de la Duchesse, Henri Dauvergne double-retur2246 Le jardin de la Duchesse, Château de ValençayThe double-return staircase, designed by the architect Henri Dauvergne in 1882-1883, leads to the courtyard from the small Duchess’ Garden along the eastern slope of the estate.  From these steps, there is a splendid view of the forest of Garsenland and the hunting lodge in the distance.  It was built by the architect Charles Bonnard, in 1810, and is one of the very rare examples of Italianate construction still in existence in France.  2241 Cuisines du château, Château de Valençay2244 Cuisines du château, Château de Valençay2245 Cave des vins, Château de ValençayJust beneath the 18th century wing of the château are the pantry, kitchen and wine cellar.  They are enormous and demonstrate how much Talleyrand cared about food.  His table was famous throughout Europe, notably thanks to his talented cook, Antonin Carême, whom he discovered in 1804.  2232 Le jardin à la française, Château de ValençayThe entrance pavilion is a huge building, designed like a keep, but for show not defence, with many window, harmless turrets and fancy machicolations.  2235a Château de Valençay2235 Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Coat of Arms,The Talleyrand coat of arms hangs above the carriage entrance.  2249a Galerie et Donjon, Inner courtyard, Château de Valen2249a Galerie, Inner courtyard, Château de Valençay2248 18th Century wing and Donjon, Inner courtyard, ChâteaBeside the 16th century keep is an outdoor gallery lined with basket arches and square pillars.  It was inspired by the ones at Veuil and Villandry.  The statue of Paris as a Shepherd, attributed to Pietro Francavilla is said to have come from the Palazzo Vecchietti in Florence.  2270 Chambre XVII siècle, Donjon, Château de ValençayIn the central room of the keep, in addition to the French-style ceiling, two 17th century fresco paintings have survived: a still life depicting a basket of flowers and a picturesque landscape with a fisherman in the foreground.  2252 Grand Salon de jeux, Château de ValençayThe Grand Salon contains a remarkable collection of Empire chairs (c. 1808-1810), upholstered in tapestries worked, it is said, by the ladies of the Spanish court during their exile at Valençay.  2251 Grand Salon de jeux, Château de ValençayBehind the two columns in the room is the Empire table thought to have come from Kaunitz Palace, where Talleyrand stayed during the Congress of Vienna (1815).  Hanging on the wall is a full-length portrait of Talleyrand (1806) by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon and a portrait of Talleyrand’s mother, Marie-Victoire-Eléonore de Damas d'Antigny (1728-1809) by Joseph Chabord.  The south tower of the château was built in 1770 and is therefore referred to as the new tower.  2255 Music salon, Château de ValençayA room on the second floor houses the Music Salon.  It has fine Louis XVI panelling, a piano made by Sébastien Érard dated 1808, and a Restoration style harp.  This was just one of the apartments that belonged to the lady of the house.  This turned out not to be his wife but the wife of his nephew, Dorothée, the Duchess of Dino.  With her in the role of as Talleyrand’s chief political collaborator she also took on the duties of the perfect hostess at Valençay.  Assisted by Dorothée, Talleyrand renovated and reappointed apartments, galleries and everyday living spaces.  2258 Chambre du roi d'Espagne, Château de Valençay2259 Chambre du roi d'Espagne, Château de ValençayThe state bedchamber, known as the king’s bedchamber, on the first floor, which was occupied by Ferdinand VII of Spain for six years, was decorated with a valuable grisaille wallpaper, produced in the Dufour factory in 1816, which depicted the story of Cupid and Psyche.  Most of the mahogany furniture dates from the Empire or Restoration period.  2256 Gallery, XX siècle, Château de ValençayThe tour of the ground floor includes the great Louis XVI vestibule and the gallery devoted to the Talleyrand-Périgord family with portraits of Talleyrand’s ancestors painted by Joseph Chabord from 1817.  Empire chairs and a superb collection of 19th century neoclassical sculptures complete the decoration.  2257 Tallyrand's Bedchamber, Château de ValençayTalleyrand’s Bedchamber, on the first floor, contains Empire furniture, some of which came from his Parisian mansion, the Hôtel de Saint-Florentin, where he would later die in 1838.  There is a bust of Talleyrand on a table in the center of the room as well as showcases nearby which hold clothes, ceremonial costumes and decorations that evoke the minister’s long diplomatic career.  2260 La chambre de la Duchesse de Dino, Château de ValençAlso on the first floor is the Duchess of Dino’s Bedchamber.  It boasts an outstanding suite of mahogany furniture including a Restoration platform bed in Cuban mahogany, adorned with four columns.  On the wall, Joseph Chabord painted the full-length portrait of Dorothée, Duchess of Dino, in ceremonial dress, in 1820.  2261 La chambre de Madame de Staël, Château de ValençayThe next room on show is the Madame de Staël Bedchamber.  It is on the first floor of the new tower and owes its name to the Empire-style bed that belonged to her.  2262 La chambre de Madame de Staël, Château de ValençayThe guéridon with Egyptian motifs was designed for one of the follies in the garden, an Egyptian temple (now lost).  2263 Le bureau de Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord,In the Périgord Room is a collection of furniture that belonged to Talleyrand.  The large early 19th century secretary is said to have been a gift from Prince Murat.  Like all convertible furniture, it contains several secret drawers and hiding places.  The prince used the worktable when he acted as ambassador to London (1830-1834).  I’ve no idea who the bust on the left is.  The one on the right is of Voltaire.  2264 Blue salon, Château de Valençay3The Blue Salon contains a pair of large Chinese-style vases that were fashionable in the 19th century, flanked by a Boulle bureau inlaid with brass and tortoiseshell.  On the wall, a full-length portrait of Frederick-Augustus I of Saxony (1750-1827), who became king in 1806, was a gift from the sovereign to Talleyrand.  2265 Blue Salon, Château de Valençay4The splendid ormolu-mounted Japanned writing desk with tiered drawers seems to be an original 19th century creation in Louis XVI style attributable to Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen (1812-1871).  It was in this room that the Treaty of Valençay was signed on December 10, 1813, thirty minutes after midnight.  A clock in the room marks the historic moment.  2266 The Long Corridor and Gallery, Château de ValençayThe long gallery on the second floor serves the upstairs apartments.  It is filled with bureaus of different designs.  At the opposite end is a small room that used to be a chapel.  Today it houses a copy of Houdon’s statue of Diana.  2267 Escalier d'honneur, Château de ValençayGoing down the Staircase of Honor, one arrives at the dining room.  2268 Salle à manger, Château de Valençay2269 Salle à manger, Château de ValençayOne could seat up to 36 guests around the large mahogany table.  Louis Hersent’s portrait of Louis Philippe was a gift from the king to Talleyrand on his return from London.2280 West façade, Château de Valençay   2284 Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-CherLes Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher was just one of the places we stayed while we were travelling around the Loire.  It’s situated in the middle of a 15-hectare vineyard from which the grapes are used to make their own wine.  2284a Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-CherIf you feel like it, the host will give you a wine tasting session and you can purchase a variety of reds and whites made on the property.  The rooms have wonderful views over the vineyards and it is exceptionally quiet.  2284e Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher2288 Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-CherThe breakfast is served downstairs in one of the three dining rooms or, if you prefer, outside on the patio.  I guess if you plan on visiting châteaux along the river, this would be a great place to stay.2284b Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher2284c Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher2284d Les Pierres d'Aurèle Hotel, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
February 15 2011 3 15 /02 /February /2011 13:20

L'ABBAYE UNE CITE IDEALE Dominique DEME

(Aquarelle : composition libre de François Callu, inspirée de l’architecture de différentes abbayes normandes.)

1 – La porterie (Gatekeeper’s Lodge)

2 – L’église abbatiale (Abbey Church)

3 – Le cloître (Cloisters)

4 – Le jardin du cloître et le puits (The Cloister Garden and Well)

5 – La sale capitulaire ou sale du chapitre (The Chapter Room)

6 – Le réfectoire et la cuisine (The Refectory and the Kitchen)

7 – Le scriptorium ou la bibliothèque (Scriptorium or Library)

8 – Le doritoir des moines. L’escalier (The Monk’s Dormitory. The Staircase)

9 – Le chauffoir. L’infirmerie (The Warming Room. The Infirmary)

10 – Le quartier des convers (The Lay Quarters)

11 – Le logis abbatial (The Abbey Dwelling)

12 – Les bâtiments agricoles (The Farm Buildings)

13 – Le colombier (The Dovecote)

14 – Le potager ou jardin (The Vegetable Garden)

15 – Le mouiln et babitation du Meunier (The Mill and the Miller’s House)

16 – Le four à pain (The Bread Oven)

17 – L’hôtellerie (The Inn)

 

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
July 13 2010 3 13 /07 /July /2010 09:44

032 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer copy026 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer copyThe sizeable ruins of Lucerne Abbey stand in an isolated spot in the pleasantly green Thar Valley.  The abbey was founded in 1143 by two Premonstratensian monks following a donation by Hasculfe de Subligny, the great nephew of William the Conqueror.  It was not before 1164 that construction started.  The abbey is in a fine parkland setting.  After the French Revolution, the abbey was almost completely destroyed and its buildings dismantled so that the stone could be used to build roads and even a house located in Granville.  In 1959, Abbot Marcel Lelégard purchased the church and its grounds and began restoration work which continues to this day.  035 Façade de l’église abbatiale, franchir le portail r037 Façade de l’église abbatiale, franchir le portail rThe Romanesque doorway in the 12th façade is decorated with flat heads on the archivolts.  The Cistercian-style nave consists of seven bays.  The six arches of the north side, which collapsed in the 19th century, were reconstructed using the south side as a model.  038 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer041a La nef, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer041 Début de la nef, transept et chœur restaurés, Abbaye042 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer copy045 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremera copyThe transept crossing supports a late 12th century Gothic square bell tower, pierced on each side with narrow lancets.  During my visit, it was completely covered in scaffolding for restoration purposes.  040 Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer, l'orgue, 1514 copyThe south transept houses a fine 18th century organ with 33 stops.  058 Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerAll that remains of the cloisters is the north western angle.  There is currently a project to rebuild the cloister gallery, which was destroyed at the beginning of the 19th century.   The arcades of the northwest corner and the entrance to the chapter house are still standing.  In the southwest corner, near the door to the old refectory (entirely rebuilt), is a 12th century lavatorium with four beautiful little Romanesque arcades.  056 Cellier, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerUnderneath the refectory are the cellars which are partially buried in the ground.  054 Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerThe refectory, three quarters of which were destroyed, was rebuilt from 1989 to 1995 with support from the French Department of Historical Monuments.  Before restoration all that remained were the first two windows.  Following the same outline as Mont-Saint-Michel, but in a slightly more Romanesque style, the refectory is a succession of identical windows, on both its north and south sides.  062 Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer065 Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer064 Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerTo the north, two thirds of these windows have been walled, in order to reinforce the building to ensure outside support for the cloister gallery roof.  068a Réfectoire, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerThe roof framework, in the form of an overturned hull, has been restored following the 15th century carpentry design, fortunately preserved in the west monastic building.  110 cubic meters of oak were required for its construction.  052 Bâtiment conventuel, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerThe west monastic building was the only building which remained completely intact in 1959.  Originally, it housed the lay brothers.  In the 15th century, after the decimation of the brothers, caused by the 14th century black plague epidemic, the building was used as a barn.  To the east, two corridors offered access to five rooms on the first floor to accommodate passing guests or visitors to the order, then nine further loft cells for the novices and servants.  078a Aqueduc de l'abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerSouth in the park are the remains of an aqueduct built in 1803 to provide water for the spinning mill set up in the abbey precincts.   079 Porte Est, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerThe east gate was rebuilt during the 18th century, very probably on the same site as the original medieval gate, at the edge of the forest.  It comprises a perron with double revolution staircase and a wrought iron grid maintained by two blue Carolles granite pillars.  092 Logis abbatial, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerOverlooking a stretch of water is the fine Classical façade of the abbot’s lodging.  It was built from 1719 onwards.  089b Moulin, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerAcross the ornamental pond is the abbey’s old mill, together with its small bridge.  It was extended with the addition of a right-angled wing in 1866, using stone from the east monastic building.  031 Porterie, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'OutremerTemporary exhibitions are now held in the rooms above the 12th century to 15th century gatehouse (Almonry Gate), which is also the location of the ticket desk and souvenir shop.  034 Colombier, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer034a Colombier, Abbaye de La Lucerne-d'Outremer copyThe way back to the porter’s lodge passes the old tithe barn and the dovecote, a huge round tower with 1,500 pigeon holes accommodating up to 3,000 pigeons.  Sadly, during my visit, the exterior of this building was also covered in scaffolding for restoration purposes. 

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture
March 23 2010 3 23 /03 /March /2010 14:50

027 Château de BalleroyThe Château de Balleroy was built between 1626 and 1636 by François Mansart for Jean de Choisy, Chancellor to Gaston d’Orléans.  De Choisy’s descendants, under the title of Marquis de Balleroy, owned the château for three centuries.  It is now owned by the family of Malcolm Forbes, the American publisher and aeronaut who bought it in 1970. 

015-copy-1The plain but majestic brick and stone building provides the focal point for the village’s main street, rue du Sapin.  Entering the forecourt through the main gate, one crosses a garden with boxwood parterres (ornamental flower gardens with beds and paths arranged to form a pattern) executed in 1894 by Henri Duchêne after designs by André Le Nôtre. A similar, but much larger garden originally planted to the rear of the château was replaced by an English-style park landscape in the mid-nineteenth century.

021 Château de Balleroy016 Château de Balleroy018-copy-1At either corner of the main entry to the estate are two large round towers with conical roofs.  The first tower has two floors and served as a guardhouse.  The other served as a dovecote.

What once served as two horse stables, the mirrored outbuildings now provide visitors with a gift shop, tea room and the world’s first museum dedicated to ballooning.  In Malcolm Forbes lifetime, he collected paintings, miniatures, artifacts and documents related to the history of ballooning from the time of the
Montgolfiers to the present. 

030 Château de BalleroyThe construction materials for the main house are limestone from Caen and local area schist.  The main building is topped with a bell turret and flanked on either side by two decorative pavilions that, from a distance, gives the illusion that the château is much larger than it really is.

028 Château de BalleroyPhotographs inside the château are forbidden since it is still used as a private residence for the Forbes family.  One very special feature of the interior is the open staircase in the central pavilion made entirely of limestone and no mortar.  The steps do not wind around a central column, but press against the outer walls.  It is the oldest cantilever staircase in France.
035 Château de BalleroyL'église paroissiale stands at the entrance to the château.  It is attributed to Mansart and was built of local brown schist in 1651.  The church can be pinpointed from afar by its octagonal belfry over the transept crossing.  Inside, above the altar, is an Annunciation from the 18th century Italian School.  Sadly, my photographs of the parish church are not very good.  Scaffolding surrounded much of the church since roofing tiles are currently being replaced.
033 Château de Balleroy

Repost 0
Published by The Baguette - in Architecture