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

March 26 2014 4 26 /03 /March /2014 12:20

484 Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Miracles de Mayenne

Over-Blog is one of the worst blogging platforms ever.  The ability to insert photos is constantly changing.  Even now, it is impossible to insert photos from my Flickr account the way that I want them.  You will have to appreciate them like they are...sadly, I can't figure out how to post them the way that I used to.  To see  all of my photos, GO HERE494 Le château de MayenneThe last place I visited on my trip to the Mayenne was the actual town from whence the department gets its name.  In medieval times, the town was the seat of the Lords of Mayenne. It originated when Juhel II of Mayenne built a monastery near the gate of the pre-existing castle, which led to the formation of a settlement.  Mayenne was besieged two times in 1574 and 1590, and suffered substantial damage. It was rebuilt and re-embellished in the following century thanks to the help of Cardinal Mazarin.  It however suffered from plague in 1707.  On 9 June 1944, during World War II, it was bombed by English airplanes, which caused heavy damage and numerous casualties.  455 Le château de Mayenne459 Le château de MayenneThe château, built in the 11th century over remains of a much older building.  It has five towers, only one of which has kept its original conical roof.  The vaulted rooms and the chapel have 13th century decorations. Once used as a prison, since 2008 it is home to a museum.  464 MayenneThis is the municipal theater which was built in 1891.    471 Le palais de justice, MayenneThis last building is the former Palais de Justice.  It is closed and in desperate need of repair.  Right now, the city doesn't have enough money to do anything interesting with it.  489 Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Miracles de Mayenne478 Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Miracles de MayenneThe Basilica of Notre-Dame was  founded in 1100. Of the original building, the piers and the arcades of the nave remain.  481 Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Miracles de MayenneIn one of the side chapels is the polychrome wooden statue of Our Lady of Miracles which has been welcoming vistors and the faithful alike since 1897.  509 l'église Saint-Martin505 l'église Saint-MartinThe Romanesque church of St. Martin which originally dates from the 11th century, was enlarged in neo-medieval style during the 19th century.

511 l'église Saint-Martin

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
March 23 2014 1 23 /03 /March /2014 09:10

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3819/13124868953_7d7529c7d4.jpgThe menhir just outside of the Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Épine (Our Lady of the Thorn) shows how Évron was once a site of great spiritual pilgrimage even before the introduction of Christianity.  The first mention of a church in Évron occurs in the testament written in 642 by Saint Hadouin, bishop of Le Mans.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2722/13124898833_ab27152bed.jpgThe Legend of the Thorn tells of a pilgrim who, returning from the Holy Land with a few drops of the Virgin’s milk, fell asleep at the foot of the hawthorn where he had hung his bag containing the precious relic. When he awoke, the tree had grown so much that the bag was out of reach.  But bishop Hadouin, who was visiting the area, prayed and promised to build a monastery on the site. The hawthorn bent down to return the relic. Thus Notre-Dame de l’Épine, or L'Aubepine (Our Lady of the Thorn, or Hawthorn) was founded in the 7th century, becoming an important pilgrimage destination and a Benedictine abbey. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7401/13124789835_e7605ae972.jpgDestroyed during the Breton and Norman invasions of the 9th century, the Abbey's reconstruction began in 989 by order of the Viscount of Maine. This led to the foundation of a monastic village which later became the town of Evron.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7443/13125068924_0328c4714f.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2755/13124785855_9f5174251b.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2313/13124783845_5763eaef8b.jpgThe 16th century organ case rests high above the western wall where one of the walls still reveals remains of a fresco depicting the Nursing Virgin and probably dates from the 13th century.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/13125062974_e983b0ed06.jpgThe Gothic windows of the central nave were installed in the 15th century to provide more light while the stained glass of the choir were installed in the 14th century and depict the legend of the abbey.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3674/13124766755_763603a191.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7299/13125045064_a2a2ff2638.jpgThere are some fine sculptures throughout the abbey as well. Situated above the southern pillar in the choir is a relief composed of two registers.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3829/13125057564_9000b40d36.jpgThe lower section depicts men suffering from violent toothaches consulting the extractor for relief of their pain. In the upper register, a monk listens to the confession of a kneeling man. The tooth extraction and the confession were placed in the same composition to illustrate the relationship between the two: the believer comes to relieve his soul of sin as he does to relieve his physical pain with the tooth extractor.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2709/13125055454_a82b8058f2.jpgA chapel was built in the 12th century to the north of the Romanesque apse.  It was originally separate from the abbey church, but 13th century reconstructions combined the two buildings.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7317/13125052864_7a044ae567.jpgThe semi-circular apse is decorated with a beautiful 14 century fresco of Christ in Majesty.  The chapel was formerly dedicated to the Virgin and its 13th century statue of the Virgin should not be missed.http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/13216823795_7b3c21b268.jpg

 

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
March 15 2014 7 15 /03 /March /2014 11:48

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7341/13124637433_bdc8126fa8_o.jpgAfter visiting Chailland, it was off to the capital city of the Mayenne, Laval.  Parked the car next to the cathedral and walked down the hill to the tourist office in order to get a map of the town.  Unfortunately, the map they provided was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.  Nearly everything was mismarked and street names were missing.  Half the time I was walking in the wrong direction.  I think I would have done better finding all of the tourist sites wearing a blindfold.  However, I can’t find fault with anything else in this lovely town.  There are so many wonderful places to visit.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/13124830504_8772927800_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2706/13163939483_e1e56d81cb_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2570/13163937773_5390c10dae_o.jpgThis is the Place de la Trémoille, named after the last of the local lords.  The house next to the archway which leads to the castle is known as Maison Pierre Briand and dates from 1469.   There are other interesting half-timbered houses that face the square as well as the famous Grande-Rue within the old town.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2636/13124548175_96b79d6b21_o.jpgOn the east side stands the Renaissance façade of the Nouveau Château built in the 16th century as the residence of the Count of Laval; it was enlarged in the 19th century and now houses the law courts.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3782/13124623933_c635f917d3_o.jpgNearby is the Renaissance house from 1550 of the Master of the Royal Hunt (Grand Veneur); the façade and the windows in carved tufa are similar to those as the château.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7422/13124521435_67f8993777_o.jpgLaval still has many of its original half-timbered houses including this one called the Maison des Maires, built between 1471 and 1477.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2750/13124650773_dea7115776_o.jpgJust in front of it is the Maison du Pou Volant which was built in 1423 and was once a hospice for poor and needy people.  It is considered one of the oldest houses in the west of France.  Along the rue de la Trinité another set of remarkable half-timbered houses present themselves.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/13164670854_0a224eeb28_o.jpgAmong them in particular is the Hôtel de Clermont, the urban seat of a Cistercian abbey which offers a decorated façade of religious sculptures including Saint-Benôit and Saint-Bernard as well as Saint-Christophe, Sainte-Barbe and the Virgin and Child.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/13164115144_5b0c96d0e4_o.jpgThey were meant as protection for the residents of the house as well as those living on this city block.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3696/13124819754_d8146616ea_o.jpgThis house along the Grande-Rue has recently been restored and is dedicated to Saint-René—his small statue rests in a niche in the corner.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2274/13124816634_443fb45b19_o.jpgThese particular sets of houses along the Grande-Rue were my favorite. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/13124541185_e5da95016b_o.jpgThis is the Porte Beucheresse.  In former days this gate, then called Porte des Bûcherons, or gate of the woodcutters opened directly into the forest (for this was where wood from the forest was brought into the city each day).  It was built in the 14th century with a pointed entrance arch and is flanked by two round towers, topped with machicolations, which were once part of the town walls of Laval.  Henri Rousseau was born in the south tower where his father exercised his trade as a tinsmith.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3708/13124629053_89da8eb67a_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/13124497135_ef59746a4b_o.jpgLaval still has many traces of its ancient fortifications throughout the city including this section of the southern ramparts and the 15th century Tour Renaise.  Not far from the Tour Renaise is the Church of St-Martin.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3743/13124515835_a29f364f66_o.jpgJust outside of the medieval town, Guy, the first lord of Laval allowed monks from Tours to create a priory dedicated to Saint-Martin in 1040.  This very old church is now closed to the public but its interiors hold some very well preserved frescoes dating from the 12th to 17th centuries.  Across the street from la Porte Beucheresse is the Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3826/13124543685_95e136291e_o.jpgIt was begun in the 11th century but has been altered so many times over the centuries that it wasn’t until the 19th that it received its current aspect.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7455/13124597783_9abb254fe8_o.jpgThe walls are hung with early 17th century Aubusson tapestries depicting the story of Judith and Holophernes in six panels.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7428/13124494505_ae3cb969c2_o.jpgWalking up towards the nave, on the left is the tomb of Guillaume Ouvroin, once bishop of Rennes, who was born in Laval and died in 1347.  The recumbent figure is made of Carrara marble.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3732/13124770154_f669e7793b_o.jpgThe large screen of the original main altar was built between 1634 and 1640 by the Laval architect, Corbineau.  The central picture illustrates the mystery of the Holy Trinity.  On either side are statues by the Anjou sculptor Biardeau of St-Peter and St-John the Apostle.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7357/13163832665_fe0b741117_o.jpgThis is the recumbent figure of Monsignor Bougard, bishop of Laval in 1888.  One of the more recent additions to the cathedral is the stained glass windows to the martyred priests of Laval.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2260/13164104144_c1f51bb59f_o.jpgOn January 21, 1794, these old or crippled priests could not be taken away so they were guillotined on the Trémoille Square near the old castle.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3723/13124639393_12eb96a64a_o.jpgThe Vieux Château, or Old Castle was originally built in 1020 when Guy de Denere established his residence there along an old Roman road that crossed the River Mayenne.  The cylindrical tower was begun in the 13th century.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3771/13124767544_a9f4be5bb7_o.jpgDuring the 16th century, new rooms and halls were built, and new Gothic windows were opened on the courtyard.  The Vieux Château became Europe’s first museum dedicated to naïve art in 1967 featuring many works by local artist Henri Rousseau.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3757/13124527495_c4e74ac27d_o.jpgHigh above the town is the Jardin de la Perrine, created in 1920 by Jules Denier on land purchased in 1885 by the city from its previous owner, who lost it to gambling debts.  The terraces of these huge public gardens command attractive views of the Mayenne, the lower town and the castle keep.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7340/13124809564_ef26a18d1e_o.jpgThere is a nice view of the Eglise Saint-Pierre-Saint-Vénérand on the other side of the river.  The first stone was laid by Guy XIV Count of Laval in 1485 but was enlarged several times over the centuries.  The last part was restored in 1870 and enlarged once again in 1900 to accommodate the ever growing population of the city.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3748/13124631353_ea71f0e657_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/13163948193_7feb58c92b_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7326/13163834505_32453b5245_o.jpgAlso nearby is the Science Museum, formerly the Beaux-Arts Museum built in the late 19th century in the neoclassical style.  The exterior is really something to see with two large bronze statues on either side of the stairs, one featuring a tiger attacking a tortoise and the other a bison being attacked by a jaguar.  The main building is also ornamented with bas-reliefs depicting the birth of Venus and Agriculture.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2799/13124513105_01ec994f5c_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3801/13124787254_f24580d3a3_o.jpgThis is the Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Cordeliers built between 1397 and 1407.  It was formerly a chapel of a Franciscan Monastery and contains a remarkable set of seven altarpieces from the 17th century.  They were carved out of tufa and marble by the local architect Pierre Corbineau.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2175/13124608103_378660eed4_o.jpgThe large altarpiece over the main altar is also believed to be by Corbineau.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2318/13124611033_86271c9583_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2355/13124499785_70546ce152_o.jpgOne of the 19th century side chapels is dedicated to Our Lady of Pontmain.  This is the St-Julien, one of the last remaining bateaux-lavoirs or washing boats in Laval.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7038/13163838125_a3fc53ba7c_o.jpgThey resembled landing stages surrounded by washboards where the housewives came to beat their linin and rinse it in the running water.  In the center were enormous vats for boiling and drying the laundry.  About 1,5 km from the city along the river is the ancient sanctuary of Notre-Dame-d’Avesnières  which was made into a basilica in 1898.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7339/13124477065_ac0505330b_o.jpgThe Romanesque east end is best seen from the Avesnières Bridge.  The attractive Gothic-Renaissance spire is an identical copy, made in 1871, of the original which was erected in 1538.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7042/13164216945_ee35b0ba3d_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2549/13124474865_df9ae34fac_o.jpgThe 19th century restoration, which is quite visible on the west front, has not spoiled the atmosphere of meditation with which this place of pilgrimage is imbued.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2308/13164332663_96caaf8c24_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7237/13164330073_da02d86e31_o.jpgInside, flanking the entrance, are two colossal painted wooden statues.  One is of St-Christopher carrying the infant Jesus from the 16th century while the other is from the 15th century and represents the Holy Savior about to ascend into heaven.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7322/13124482955_ded789d1ae_o.jpgThe fine Romanesque chancel consists of three storeys of arches and bays with some very splendid carved capitals.http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2019/13124760054_6ab1101b3b_o.jpg  

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
December 11 2013 4 11 /12 /December /2013 09:36

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/9015879480_efc43e83aa_o.jpgThe Château de Brissac is located in a fine park shaded by magnificent cedar trees. The building is unusual both because it is exceptionally tall (the tallest château in France, they claim), and because it comprises two juxtaposed buildings one of which was intended to replace the other, rather than stand next to it. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5336/9015882164_661e010283_o.jpgBuilt around 1455 by Pierre de Brézé, Minister to Charles VII and then to Louis XI, the chateau was bought by René de Cossé in 1502 and has remained in the family ever since. René’s grandson, Charles de Cossé, Count of Brissac, was one of the leaders of the League, the Catholic party which supported the Guises in the 16th century. In 1594, as Governor of Paris, he handed the keys of the city to Henry IV who had arrived newly to Roman Catholicism at the city gates. In gratitude the king raised him to the status of duke. The new duke began to rebuild his house but work was brought to a halt by his death in 1621 and the chateau has been left unaltered ever since. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7332/10452470465_1944cdf23a.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2806/10452463215_1921a321a8.jpgIt was by far the most impressive chateau that I visited during my time in the Loire. Inside, the ceilings are still adorned with superb tapestries. http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1262/1195544033_714aa75533_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5462/9015883158_9436e4e4df_o.jpgThe Louis XIII staircase leads to the guardroom on the first floor as well as the bedchamber where Louis XIII and his mother, Marie de Medici, were at least temporarily reconciled after the Battle of Les Ponts-de-Clé in 1620. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5445/9015882190_45b17050bd_o.jpgThere are a number of interesting rooms underneath the château including the old kitchen and endless corridors that wind themselves around the foundations like rabbit warrens. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7290/9014694439_a558d4eb66_o.jpgIn the Golden Drawing Room, many family souvenirs are on display. It was the first room that we visited and certainly the most elegant. The top floor is the highlight of the visit to the château. It reveals indeed the most remarkable room: the theatre ! http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3516/3216120192_871aba6a3e.jpgIt was built at the initiative of the Marquise de Brissac, born Jeanne Say, who undertook the restoration of the château in the late nineteenth century. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8041/8003994237_94f996e354_o.jpgPassionate opera and herself a talented performer, she built her own theater in a Belle Epoque style. I was amazed by the gilt and red draperies that decorate this room. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/9014690317_ebe8c27be5_o.jpgThe park and gardens equally offer agreeable walks under imposing century old trees, following flowered paths winding along the riverbanks of the Aubance. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8259/9015880398_2c6ffd1a8f_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7401/9014689589_43a8f77200_o.jpgThese walks evoke names such as Pierre de Ronsard, the gardener's cottage, the Mausolée and the five century vineyard. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7402/9015880944_6b208714ce_o.jpgThe vineyards yield 1,500 bottles of some of the worst tasting wine you will ever encounter. I’m not sure what the owners were thinking trying to sell this stuff to tourists but it certainly wasn’t a good idea. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3732/9015881438_d1f035020e_o.jpgAnother interesting part of the walk through the park is the family mausoleum built in the early nineteenth century in the neo-classical style.

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
December 5 2013 5 05 /12 /December /2013 13:20

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7433/9015886618_9a7733fe1e_o.jpgThe monastery at Cunault along the banks of the Loire, downstream from Saumur, was founded in the fourth century by Saint-Maxenceul the area’s first evangelizer. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3723/9015886334_11478bb85a_o.jpgMonks from Noirmoutier then founded an abbey here in 847 but were expelled from Cunault during the Viking invasions and fled to the Abbey of Tournus in Burgundy. They came back in 858, bringing with them the relics of Saint-Philibert and a reliquary containing a vial of dust from the cave of the Nativity which was moist from the breast milk of the Virgin Mary—this led to the church being named in her honor and drew many pilgrims to the region. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8115/9014695295_6fedfcfa80_o.jpg A new church was built in the 11th century and the priory was enriched through the favors of the lords of Anjou, Fulk IV Rechin and Fulk Nerra. After the Hundred Years War, the priory grew weak and was closed. In 1749, the choir was sold to an individual who made it into a barn while the nave became a parish church.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3801/9014696441_f127cef9bc_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5470/9014694571_be5b37412f_o.jpgFinally, the building was sold as national property during the Revolution. Notre-Dame de Cunault is famous for its 223 carved and painted murals that make a true artistic treasure. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6175/6171598883_4a9cb8c084.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5044/5234339569_5109a40a9f_o.jpgThe church keeps its place the shrine of St. Maxenceul, the founder of the abbey church. His reliquary is almost like a small church itself with a roof and a door. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5341/9015886126_b8279818c4_o.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8116/9015885478_002137dfe7_o.jpgIt is carved from a single block of walnut and depicts scenes from Christ’s life including the Last Supper and Pentecost.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8277/9014695273_c175a79c25_o.jpgThis is a piece of furniture inside the church which was used to store vestments.

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
December 5 2013 5 05 /12 /December /2013 10:30

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7343/9015887806_62cfea958f_o.jpgIt was a beautiful day when I visited Saumur but I must admit that it was colder than I expected. I parked the car near the chateau and walked to the tourist office to see if I could get myself a walking map of the city. Strangely enough, the map misses many interesting places including this building known as the Maison des Compagnons which dates from the 15th century. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5453/9015892018_7c9a137438_o.jpgIt was in ruins and sold for a symbolic franc to the Assiciation Ouvrière des Compagnons and was rebuilt I 1982 as a training center for apprentice stonecutters. Just down the hill from here is the Église Saint-Pierre which is the only church of the enclosed town. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/9014701933_729694b6f9_o.jpgIt is a building that dates from the second half of the 12th century. After its collapse in 1673, the façade was built in a classical style. Unfortunately, the church is closed and undergoing a complete restoration until 2014. It has been a historical monument since 1862. One of its most interesting features is its spiral steeple which doesn't really spiral that much.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8272/9015891994_fda002e5c4_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7454/9015890520_f3c9e4488f_o.jpgAt the front of the church is the Place Saint-Pierre which is surrounded by several old timber framed houses which date from the 15th and 16th century. After leaving the tourist office, one of the first things to see in Saumur is the Pont Cessart which spans the river Loire with twelve basket handle arches. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3750/9015891760_86dbda3865_o.jpgIt was built with the labor of 600 men in 1757 and finally completed in 1770. It was restored to its former glory after German forces destroyed some of the arches in 1944. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8536/9015890944_751e53f79f_o.jpgThis is the Hôtel de Ville located along the banks of the Loire. The old part of the building, flanked by two turrets, dates from the 15th century. It was originally a fortified stronghold incorporated into the city walls and was intended to enhance the protection of the bridge. Its façade is decorated in the Gothic style. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2830/9014700657_a4fd712e8a_o.jpgStanding twenty meters tall, the tour Grénetière, built in the 15th century, was the most impressive of the city’s defensive system. It takes its name from its use as a wheat granary in the 17th century. It became a prison for salt smugglers in 1694. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/9015889944_44110efa0f_o.jpgSaumur’s first protestant temple was built in 1593 but after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes it was destroyed in 1685. The new temple was constructed outside the city walls in 1842 by architect Joly-Leterme. It is a Neo-classical rectangular building with four Doric columns. The tympanum represents the burning bush with the inscription "To God alone the glory." Despite poor reviews in my guidebook, I decided to visit the famous castle that overlooks the city. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/10313032405_1a8863fb03_o.jpgThe Château de Saumur, originally built as a castle and later developed as a château, was originally constructed in the 10th century by Theobald I, Count of Blois, as a fortified stronghold against Norman invaders. It overlooks the confluence of the Loire and the Thouet. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8140/9015889382_29b6783f82_o.jpgIn 1026 it came into the hands of Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou, who bequeathed it to his Plantagenet heirs. Following its destruction in 1067, the castle was rebuilt by Henry II of England in the 12th century. Since then it has undergone many different owners and uses. In the early part of the 13th century, Philip II of France made Saumur part of his royal domain. A page from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry depicts the château as it looked in 1410. http://farm1.staticflickr.com/160/363536238_c03eed2eb0_o.jpgIt changed hands several times until 1589 when the Protestant King Henri IV gave the castle to Duplessis-Mornay. In 1621 the castle was converted into an army barracks. Nearly two centuries later it was converted into a state prison under Napoleon Bonaparte. It now serves as a museum featuring tableware, porcelain and crockery.  It even houses some interesting pieces of religious art.http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7424/9015888798_c29c8374c7_o.jpg

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
December 3 2013 3 03 /12 /December /2013 09:51

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7399/9015906056_14b0d0589b_o.jpgWell you are probably wondering where I stayed while visiting the Loire this summer. It was a very nice bed and breakfast called Domaine des Gauliers which overlooks vast fields of grapes and the small village of Chavagnes. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5465/9015906180_dc0f056698_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5467/9014717383_5befc5feba_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3771/9014717135_3f6a123636_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/9015905968_a1ea598aa2_o.jpgThe property consists of a lovely manor house and two old farm buildings that have been recently converted to fully functioning holiday cottages with kitchens, bedrooms and living space. The owners were very kind and even invited us up to the manor house one evening for aperitifs and foie gras. It was quite entertaining. Visiting châteaux in the region is easy since Les Gauliers isn’t far from Angers or Saumur. After visiting the Abbaye de Fontevraud, I spent the next day in the pleasant city of Angers, the former capital of Anjou. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3755/9015895876_d467763fa4_o.jpgWalking through the streets of the old town is like visiting an open-air museum with many 16th century buildings and half-timbered houses. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3693/9014715013_62b1f74bf6_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3768/9014714281_caa45b46ff_o.jpgPerhaps the most popular spot in the city is the fortress which was built by Saint-Louis between 1228 and 1238 and is a fine specimen of feudal architecture in dark schist alternating with courses of white stone. It is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the river Maine and has been occupied by man since the Neolithic period. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Dukes of Anjou Louis I, Louis II and King René, enlightened princes and art lovers, developed a dazzling court life at the château. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8541/9015904288_99c33b7bb3_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7432/9014711343_f89fb91eae_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2893/9014711769_d2a2b9c708_o.jpgAt the end of the 16th century, at the height of the Wars of Religion, on the orders of Henry III, the governor of the fortress, Donadieu de Puycharic, had the roofs of the towers and the ramparts levelled. It subsequently became a simple security enclosure and was frequently used as a prison. From the top of the hightest tower, Tour du Moulin, on the north corner, there are interesting views over the town, the cathedral towers and St-Aubin, the banks of the Maine and the gardens laid out at the foot of the castle (these beautiful gardens used to be the castle moats). http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/9014713471_b254cbd157_o.jpgWithin the castle precincts are the towers on the curtain wall, the chapel and the Royal apartments, residents of the dukes of Anjou in the 15th century. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3752/9014713303_c134ae7b29_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/9015902774_b7994fa5b2_o.jpgThe château even has its own vineyards with vines grown the traditional way using slate stakes which absorb sunlight keeping the grapes warm at night and free from mildew. Along the ramparts of the east side are charming medieval gardens laid out with lavender, marguerites and hollyhocks as well as various species that were known in the Middle Ages as medicinal plants, aromatic herbs and flowers reproduced on the Apocalypse Tapestry. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8135/9015903434_befc74769b_o.jpgThis legendary tapestry is housed in a gallery especially designed in 1954 on the site of former buildings to ensure maximum preservation conditions. Apart from the Bayeux tapestry, it is the oldest to survive to the modern era. The tapestry is still an exceptionally large piece of cloth work, measuring about 100 meters long and 4.50 meters high. http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1011/1185437566_e37ba18ef7_o.jpgIt was commissioned in 1375 by Louis I, Duke of Anjou and brother of King Charles V, and was probably completed in 1382. It was subsequently hung in the courtyard of the bishop’s palace in Arles to celebrate the marriage of Louis II of Anjou to Yolande of Aragon in 1400. Donated to Angers Cathdedral by Good King René, it was often displayed during religious festivities up to the late 18th century when it fell into oblivion. Though it has deteriorated over time, most of it has survived and was restored by cathedral canons between 1843 and 1870. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3676/9968858304_010570dbc2_o.jpgThe tapestry consists of six sections of equal size, each featuring a main character seated under a canopy looking on as scenes from the Book of Revelation are depicted on alternating red and blue backgrounds. It is truly a stunning piece of work and not to be missed. After visiting the castle, I took a walking tour of the city and crossed the Ponte de Verdun into the right bank of the city called la Doutre. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5459/9014710061_a0fb312013_o.jpgOf all the bridges that span the river Maine, this one is the oldest in existence since the third quarter of the 6th century. It was reconstructed in early 19th century and was named in honor of Nicolas-Joseph Beaurepaire, a French army officer who died in 1792 in Verdun (not during the battle in 1916 as some people assume). http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/9015899384_fc409a449f_o.jpgFrom the other side of the river there are exceptional views of the old quarter, the château and the impressive towers of the cathédrale Saint-Maurice. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5461/9015899106_ab42061991_o.jpgThis is a beautiful building called the hôtel des Pénitentes and was built in 1490 for the Benedictine monks of Saint Nicolas. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8268/9015898522_bff56468b9_o.jpgNearby is the Place du Tertre-Saint-Laurent and its memorial which shows the former location of the pauper cemetery. It is also the place where the procession of the Blessed Sacrament began in the 13th century and continued up until the 1960s. Beside the memorial is the 12th century Grenier Saint-Jean which is now used as an exhibition hall. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7298/9014708507_95cf2818a9_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5332/9015897692_7fbccb43c1_o.jpgNot far from there is the old Hôpital Saint-Jean, a hospital founded in 1174 and provided care for the poor until 1854. The large room is hung with Jean-Lurcat’s modern tapestry called Chant du Monde. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5446/9015900270_feec927eef_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3667/9015896260_47fc59dea0_o.jpgAfter trying to visit several places that were closed for lunch, I made my way back to the old town and up the grand staircase which leads to the cathédrale Saint-Maurice, a fine 12th and 13th century building surmounted by three towers, the central tower having been added in the 16th century. Above the third story level are eight niches containing roughly carved bearded figures in military uniforms, St-Maurice and his companions. Inside the walls are hung with Aubusson tapestries and everything is dimly lit by 13th century stained glass windows. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8394/9015896124_f1a71e2ecd_o.jpgOne of the most impressive half-timbered buildings in Angers is the Maison d’Adam. This 16th century house has posts decorated with numerous carved figures. It owes its name to the apple tree which appears to hold up the corner turret and which was flanked by statues of Adam and Eve until the Revolution. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/9014705571_5ab709f001_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/9014705251_08b0e091b1_o.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8118/9014704389_1f6c945e7d_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7379/9015893318_55ac185d0c_o.jpgThis is the Logis Barrault which is now the Fine Arts Museum. Beside it is the courtyard of the former All Saints Abbey which now serves as a sculpture museum. This is the belfry (12th century) of the former St-Aubin monastery, a wealthy Benedictine abbey founded in the 6th century. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7371/9014705315_dfb9607576_o.jpgThe tower takes its name from St-Aubin, Bishop of Angers who was buried here.

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
October 23 2013 4 23 /10 /October /2013 09:19

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3695/9014724759_eeb2d9dc45_o.jpgSorry that I’ve been away from my blog for so long.  I’m occupied with so many other things and just don’t have the time or the energy to post more often.  I would however like to share some photos of the vacation that I took just after finishing the Camino de Santiago in May.  After spending a few days with friends in the Lot, I drove to the Loire region where I had the chance to visit many lovely churches, castles and châteaux.  My first stop was to the Abbaye de Fontevraud between Saumur and Chinon.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8554/9014726265_74682854ca_o.jpgDespite the fact that it has been ravaged through history, it remains the largest group of monastic buildings in France.  The monastic order at Fontevraud was founded by Robert d’Arbrissel who had been a hermit in the Mayenne Forest before being appointed by Pope Urban II to preach in the west of France in 1101.  The order soon became quite aristocratic and the Plantagenets showered it with wealth.  From the beginning the abbey was unique among religious houses in that it had five separate buildings accommodating priests and lay brothers (St-Jean-de-l’Habit), contemplative nuns (Ste-Marie), lepers (St-Lazare), invalids (St-Benoit) and lay sisters (Ste-Marie-Madeleine).  Each body led its own life, with its own church and cloister, chapter house, refectory, kitchen and dormitory.  Robert d’Arbrissel had ordained that the whole community be directed by an abbess chosen from among widows; she was later designated as Head and General of the Order and this female supremacy was to be maintained right up to the French Revolution.  The abbey became a refuge for repudiated queens and daughters of royalty or highly placed families who, voluntarily or under compulsion, retired from the secular world.  There were 36 abbesses, half of whom were of royal blood including five from the House of Bourbon, between 1115 and 1789.  The Huguenots desecrated the abbey in 1561; in 1792 the order was suppressed by the Revolutionaries who completely destroyed the monk’s priory.  In 1804 Napoleon converted the remaining buildings into a prison which remained open until 1963.  In 1975 the abbey embarked on a new vocation as a venue for cultural events.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7449/9014726083_bd4a1638e2_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5339/9015914264_9f9b1a2e38_o.jpgThe now-restored 12th century abbey church was divided into storeys at the time when it served as a prison so much of its original interiors are missing or damaged.  The vast nave is roofed by a series of domes, a characteristic of churches in the south-west of France.  This style can be explained by the important links the Plantagenets had with Anjou and Aquitaine.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7429/9015915268_7ecc9ce244_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7356/9014725307_48ba7ea12d_o.jpgThe abbey church houses the 13 polychrome recumbent figures of the Plantagenets, representing Henry II, Count of Anjou and King of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, who died at Fontevraud in 1204, their son Richard the Lionheart and lastly Isabella of Angouleme, second wife of their son, King John of England.  http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5470/9015914190_bf25f13424_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5450/9015913110_940eb8b85f_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5461/9015913066_35fd8800fe_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7351/9014723335_b2b487d04d_o.jpgThe Ste-Marie cloister of the nun’s convent is quite large and decorated with nicely trimmed boxwood shrubs laid out in geometric patterns.  A wooden walkway, much like a roller-coaster now takes up much of the center space and serves as a functional piece of art allowing visitors to walk high above the columned walls in order to meditate.  http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5446/9014720867_0e929f32cd_o.jpgIt also serves as a platform for taking some pretty interesting photos of the surrounding arches.  Here the vaulting is of the Renaissance style except on the south side which is Gothic inspired.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2826/9014722211_a2f9db34bc_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5342/9014722363_4cf9ac34ac_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7361/9015911842_07ef675d0a_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3751/9014722645_9d05b6464f_o.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/9015911246_68e6cd4087_o.jpgA richly carved doorway in the east gallery, paved with the Bourbon coat of arms opens into the chapter house which is lavishly decorated with 16th century murals representing the life and passion of Christ with former abbesses meditating upon the action.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/9014720151_711b4e867d_o.jpgThe refectory is a very large hall with Romanesque walls and roofed with Gothic vaulting which replaced a timber ceiling in 1515.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3771/9014720043_8516f42920_o.jpgThe kitchen is perhaps the most unusual building on the site.  It is the only Romanesque kitchen in France to have survived the centuries.  This most intriguing building is roofed with overlapping lozenge-shaped stones and topped by a number of chimneys, added in 1904 during restoration by the architect Magne.  http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/9015909316_19346c89ab_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3817/9014719193_75d352a71a_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5443/9014718627_ed32eca77e_o.jpgOriginally, the building was free-standing, built on an octagonal plan and capped by an octagonal hood.

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
January 16 2013 4 16 /01 /January /2013 11:33

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8334/8385370019_32be46780d_b.jpgColmar is one of the most beautiful towns in Alsace.  It is lined with picturesque timber frame houses steeped in history.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8328/8385370313_16fabae762_b.jpgThe town is also the birthplace of several artists including Martin Schongauer (1445-91) whose altarpieces and engravings were admired by Dürer and Venetian artists of the Renaissance, and Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), best remembered for the Statue of Liberty.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8511/8386456000_b5d8c2b0f3_b.jpgBetween 1870 and 1914, when Alsace was occupied by Germany, a talented artist, Jean-Jacques Waltz, better known as Hansi, stimulated the town’s passive resistance to German influence and kept alive the traditional image of Alsace with his humourist drawings of good-natured villagers in regional costume.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8077/8385759765_2b87013d3f_b.jpgAlong the rue des Clefs is the Hotel de Ville.  It is an 18th century building which belonged to the Abbaye de Paris.http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8385370691_f57f16bc30_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8366/8385370509_0bd9253fd1_b.jpgDown the street is an interesting building called the Ancienne Maison de la Chambre de la corporation des Laboureurs. It is an old guild hall for farmers.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8184/8386843666_f52b09e905_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8224/8385751375_4ddddf85e1_b.jpgThis is the Temple protestant St-Matthieu, a former Franciscan church decorated with fine 14th and 15th century stained glass windows.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8467/8385748839_da2278b727_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8496/8385747003_4e50d55a30_b.jpgAlong the Grand’ Rue is the Renaissance Maison des Arcades, framed by two octagonal turrets and the Schwendi Fountain (one of statues and fountains in town by Bartholdi).  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8328/8385370165_cb2d1a8631_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8186/8385741141_b5930f7bb9_b.jpgThe former customs house, or Koifhus is the most important civilian edifice in Colmar.  The main building is from 1480 and its ground floor was used as a warehouse to stock goods subject to municipal tax.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8386830602_fc0673ecd1_b.jpgThe great hall on the first floor, known as the Salle de la Décapole was the meeting place for representatives of ten Alsatian cities.  In the late 16th century, a second building was added.  This is attractively decorated with a wooden gallery and flanked by a stair turret with canted corners; on the ground floor, three arches underline the opening and form a passage.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8473/8386452730_8cd6530f87_b.jpgOpposite the customs house along rue des Marchands is the Maison Pfister.  A hatter from Besancon had this lovely house built in 1537 and decorated with frescoes and medallions.  The arcaded ground floor is surmounted by an elegant wooden gallery.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8044/8386452528_49c7942124_b.jpgNext to the Maison Pfister, at no 9, stands a fine house (1609) adorned with a wooden gallery and a corner sculpted figure representing a merchant.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8375/8385818521_741affdbe0_b.jpgOn the left of rue des Marchands, the 15th century Maison Schongauer, also known as Maison de la Viole, is where Schongauer reputedly lived from 1477 to 1490.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8329/8386881266_6973aae9fd_b.jpgOn the square of the Place de la Cathedral stands the oldest house in Colmar, Maison Adolphe (1350), and the Ancien Corps de Garde (1575).  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8186/8386904954_291010636a_b.jpgThe town’s magistrate was sworn in on this lovely Renaissance loggia.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8229/8386880750_f636362d1d_b.jpgOpposite the guardhouse stands the collegiate church of St-Martin, known as the cathedral.  This imposing edifice decorated with glazed tiles and red-sandstone projections was built in the 13th and 14th centuries on the site of a Romanesque church.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8360/8385797279_be171b91be_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8518/8385367145_0ee755cac0_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8385367337_9904529ebc_b.jpgThe west doorway is flanked by two towers.  The south tower is decorated with a sundial bearing the inscription Memento Mori (think of death).  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8214/8386452334_d432d7781d_b.jpgThe St-Nicholas doorway, which gives access to the south transept, is decorated with a beautiful tympanum.  Inside is a beautiful organ loft by Silbermann.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/8386451510_41feb4f885_b.jpgThe fine Renaissance Maison des Têtes owes its name to the numberous carved heads decorating the façade.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8335/8385366935_a7af2479c7_b.jpgThe graceful gable is underlined by rows of scrolls; oriel windows complete the ornamentation.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8335/8385368343_bdf4282238_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8053/8385368565_bfa3b00081_b.jpgAnother part of Colmar that is quite popular is the ancient tanners’ district known as Petite Venice.  It is named for its inhabitants who used the river to tan and wash hides.  Timber-framed houses were narrow but high, creating lofts to dry the skins.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8512/8386453510_8ffc4ba498_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8052/8386824998_66217e2540_b.jpgCrossing the River Lauch one enters the Krutenau district, once a fortified outlying area; this district’s has a beautiful covered market where farmers and fishermen would gather to sell their wares after arriving on flat-bottomed boats.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8386760556_ae681209ae_b.jpgAt the corner of rue des Écoles and rue du Vigneron is Bartholdi’s Fountaine du Vigneron, a celebration of Alsatian wines.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8211/8385368913_3b85486e7d_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8374/8386453882_7b0520da3e_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8363/8386454110_f675094405_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8368/8385369491_a4d88609c1_b.jpgThe quai along the river is lined with colourful and picturesque fishermen’s cottages.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8473/8385369659_ffab85da69_b.jpgIn the Place des Six-Montagnes-Noires is Bartholdi’s Fontaine Roesselmann, dedicated to the town’s hero St-Bernard de Clairvaux...(so why in the world is it called the Roesselmann Fountain ?)  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8074/8385370883_f2a406653f_b.jpgOther Bartholdi creations include the Monument to General Rapp as well as the Bruat Fountain in the center of Place du Champs de Mars.http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8377/8385371097_2e1f503672_b.jpg 

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
January 10 2013 5 10 /01 /January /2013 13:51

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8352/8341815000_437a89a931_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8503/8340756145_f557126f03_b.jpgOne afternoon, I went for lunch at a restaurant near the cathedral.  I wish I could remember its name.  The food was delicious: Baeckeoffe and another choucroute dish with the best tasting sauerkraut I’ve had my entire life.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8340796299_3da1bef50c_b.jpgAfterward I went to le Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.  Admission is normally five Euros but for ten Euros I had admission to ten different museums as long as I visited them on the same day.  I took advantage of this and visited several other museums including the Musée alsaciaen and Musée historique.  The Œuvre Notre-Dame is a unique institution founded to collect donations for the building, upkeep and renovation of the cathedral.  Medieval and Renaissance Alsatian art is displayed in the Maison de l’Œuvre (1347 and 1578-85), the Hôtellerie du Cerf (14th century) and in a 17th century house surrounding a courtyard.http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8213/8340762103_59cf020f7a_b.jpg  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8501/8341820834_5c31b6b53b_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8223/8341821628_a123efd889_b.jpgMany of the original statues from the Cathedral can be found in the hall of the builders’ and stone masons’ guild.  The first floor houses an important collection of religious Alsatian art.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8079/8340761389_d0bdef5985_b.jpgThe panels of the Nativity of the Virgin and of Doubt of Saint Joseph, painted by an anonymous master at the beginning of the 15th century, are from the convent of St. Mark's in Strasbourg.  They were probably part of a large altarpiece dedicated to the Virgin Mary which has long since disappeared.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8341818166_3c1a09e764_b.jpgPerhaps the most valuable piece of art in the museum is the painting of Sainte Madeleine et Sainte Catherine by Conrad Witz from 1440.  It is kept behind bullet proof glass and within a vacuum sealed case upon the wall.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8224/8340761003_7e51e32da6_b.jpgThe painting of Sainte-Ursule and her eleven companions is quite stunning.  It comes from the Dominican Convent in Colmar and was painted  between 1440-50 by an unknown Alsatian master.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8341819812_b21932bac2_b.jpgThis rather macabre painting from around 1470 is called Les amants trépassés (the departed lovers) and is a very popular piece in the museum.  It works as a meditation on the vanity of earthly things and the fragility of existence.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8340760271_e2d3a17bbd_b.jpgThree Pilgrims on Their Way to St James of Compostela (1480-1490)  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8212/8341818970_ee466efe11_b.jpgThe arrest of St James the Greater (1480-1490)  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8073/8341817226_c1fae53b0c_b.jpgPortrait of a Young Man by Lucas Cranach le Jeune (1533) http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8491/8340757519_288cfb4ceb_b.jpgVanity (1650) by German still life painter Sebastian Stoskopff—I thought that it was rather interesting to see the room set up behind this painting with all of the things that the painter used as props.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8215/8341818504_3620504059_b.jpgThese are some polychrome wood busts from the main altar of the cathedral and were created in 1500 by Nicolas de Haguenau.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8360/8341817724_d37b093157_b.jpgThis altar to St- Sébastien from the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in  Neuwiller-lès-Saverne dates from 1520 and is just one of many beautiful altars on display at the museum.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8216/8340769261_23e04bf1ee_b.jpgThe Musée alsacien (Alsatian museum) is located in a group of 16th and 17th century houses.  It opened on 11 May 1907 and is dedicated to all aspects of (mostly rural) daily life in pre-industrial and early industrial Alsace. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8076/8340770339_754253dc30_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8079/8340770771_df6dcf1687_b.jpgIt contains over 5000 exhibits and is notable for the reconstruction of the interiors of several traditional houses.  I was in awe of this place and wanted to take photos of everything inside.  In the end I just purchased the museum catalogue but even that wasn't enough.  I simply must go back someday.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8071/8341830988_701b327105_b.jpgThis is the door to an Alsatian wardrobe made in 1764 on the occasion of someone’s marriage.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8355/8340771675_9b9a74c398_b.jpgThese jugs and beer tankards are made from salt-glazed stoneware.  Production of this type can be traced back as far as the 15th century, but only seems to have started in earnest when a German stoneware potter settled in Betschdorf in 1717.  The grey surface of the pots is decorated with etched motifs and cobalt blue designs commonly depicting animals.  Towards the end of the firing process, during which the temperature inside the kiln reaches as high as 1250° C, coarse salt is thrown inside.  The heat vaporizes the salt and a fine vitreous film forms on the sides of the pots giving them a shiny impermeable coating.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8492/8341830168_ca0ba2bbdc_b.jpgThis is an 18th century earthenware stove from Riquewihr.  White earthenware stoves, decorated with figurative motifs painted in blue and rocaille decorative moulding were found in the houses of the prosperous.  It could be heated up and cooled very slowly.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8081/8340769929_49e316db90_b.jpgThis is the main room of an Alsatian farmhouse, the Stub.  The ceiling and wood panelling come from a farmhouse built in 1810 in Wintzenheim, a village in the Kochersberg region west of Strasbourg.  An iron stove kept the room warm and the panelling helped to insulate the room from the cold outside.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8361/8341828518_b84bc5c35a_b.jpgItems used for farm work kept outside in the courtyard.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8356/8341849404_fcc7e9d656_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8214/8341827472_7dd6547069_b.jpgThe Strasbourg Historical Museum is located in the Ancienne Boucherie (1587) and depicts the urban, political, economic and social history of Strasbourg throughout the period from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, with rich collections of paintings and works of graphic art, arms and military uniforms, and objects from everyday life.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8362/8340768119_32cbce3e92_b.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8361/8341826804_eabc9b6fe1_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8341826342_fcb5767ece_b.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8219/8340766715_4326a16871_b.jpg

These works come from a house on rue Faubourg National.  As in the paintings of Archimboldo, the four busts are made up of flowers, fruits and vegetables evoking the four seasons.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8071/8340766311_b122f93b1c_b.jpgThe museum pays homage to Johannes Gutenberg and the many different printing houses which opened up all over the city in the second half of the 15th century.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8074/8341827802_8048d98f5a_b.jpgMany first editions of original books can be found here as well as the first printed copy of the Oath of Argentoratum, an oath of fidelity sworn by two of Charlemagne’s grandsons and is the first official text written in both a Romance and a Germanic language.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8341825030_e2d889e3c9_b.jpgJohann Jacob Fried (1623-1677) painted by Théodore Roos in 1667.  As a lawyer and syndic of the city, Fried directed the chancellery.  The mayor entrusted him with several diplomatic missions to Louis XIV.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8351/8341824650_7205cb9f1f_b.jpgJohann Adam Schrag (1617-1687) painted by Barthélemi Hopfer in 1687.  Schrag was a diplomat that argued that Strasbourg should remain a neutral city.  The museum has a wealth of tiles, pottery and dishware used in everyday Alsatian life.http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8077/8341823876_f5ae08ecce_b.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8359/8340765147_47f5e6cddf_b.jpg 

Share this post
Repost0
Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage