Wednesday, October 1, 2014

photo frenzy!!

No comments:
Gentle Friends, I took so many pictures in France that I am just overwhelmed by my photo's, and really don't want to overwhelm you - so today's travel post will be a little later than usual today, if not tomorrow.  So have no fear - I still have quite a few more Dordogne Days to Post then there is Paris!!

Thank you so much for you kind thoughts and comments - I am aiming for getting all the comments I can answer - answered  and responded to over the weekend.    Also, there is only today and tomorrow left to sign up for the Gift-A-Way - you can click HERE to leave a comment and be entered.

Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenuox and L'eglise Saint-Maur, Martel

5 comments:
Gentle Friends thanks so much for your interest in my Trip through Perigord and the Dordgone Valley.  Today is another wonderful Cahteau and lovely Commune (town).  Chateau first.....

... Castelnau-Bretenoux has been a Monument Historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862.   Construction began about 1100 under Hugues, Baron of Castelnua, who built a wall around his manor.

The castle was enlarged several times between the 12th and 15th centuries, when it was necessary to adapt the fortifications to artillery.  It was taken by Henry the II of England in 1159, and returned to the Barons of Castelnau at the end of the Hundred Years war.  During the 17th century, the castle was improved in an esthetically and practical ways: large windows, richly decorated salons and a balcony of honor.

The castle fell into disrepair after the death of the last Castlenau in 1715.  In 1895 it was bought by Jean Moulierat, a singer with the Paris Opera Comique and also a collector of furniture and sacred artworks.  he undertook restoration and furnished the castle with his collections.  After his death in 1932 the castle was given to the state.  The rooms you see on tour are the ones restored and furnished by he and his wife.

... one of the many statues, this is of St Michael and the dragon....



.....one of the many sacred works of art that decorate the rooms....

...  a super fresco ceiling, this was a small sitting room off a bedroom....

...for some reason this chaise lounge really struck a chord with me, I took 2 photos of it......  go figure...
... this window was from the cathedral in Quimper, Normandy - where we vacationed last year...
... the courtyard of the chateau, it is so red due to the high iron content in the brick and stones used in construction.....
.... "La tour nord est" - the northeast tower...

..... looking out over the valley from the terrace on top of the tower..

....looking down into the courtyard....
.... inside the tower.....
.... another inside shot of the tower...
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... The Church of Saint Maur, Martel, listed as an historical monument in 1960, is a fortified church - these fortified churches dot the entire region an were built so that villagers would have a place of safety to go to when the English army came "calling" during the 100 years war.  The bell tower dates to the 16th century


..... the Romanesque tympanum dates to the 12th century, showing Christ in majesty...
.... the nave dates to 14th century....

... the window over the main alter showing the Passion of the Christ...


... isn't this a great door/gate!!.....


..... wrapping up Martel with a shot of the Main square, where they have weekly market.
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That's about all for today sports fans, thanks again for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sarlat-la-Caneda and Rocamadour

12 comments:
Gentle Friends Maison Grise, the house we were staying in was about a 10 minute drive to the charming 14th century town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, or just Sarlat.  We drove over for dinner on my second evening....
 ... this statue of Etienne de la Boetie was in the middle of the parking lot, I though it was pretty funny with the bird sort of settled on his head.  You can click his name a read about why he has a statue...  we toured around taking pictures before settling on a restaurant.....

The town is located in Perigord-noir and developed originally around a Benedictine Abby.  There is a great medieval "Cathedral" dedicated to Saint Sacredos, a Saint I had never heard of, but of local origin.

... Main Square looking towards the Cathedral...




... The Cathedral of Saint Sacredos is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral.  The Diocese of Sarlat was created in 1317 with a number of others in the region in the aftermath of the suppression of the Albigensians.  The new Bishop of Sarlat was the abbot of the ancient Sarlat Abbey, the church became the cathedral.  rebuilding was not completed until the 1680's (the belfry dates to the 9th century).







... it seems that every church has a statue of Jeanne d'Arc, and so I took a snaps of different versions at different churches - so be warned.....



... and lots of churches have chapels dedicated to Lourdes....and here is the window you can just see the corner of...


... Sarlat is a great 14th century village/town with great old buildings....

... this goose statute is in honor of one of the regions two specialties... one is walnuts the other is Foie Gras.  I am a true lover foie gras, both goose and duck!!  ... we finally settled on a restaurant, there are literally 100's of places mostly small an intimate with sidewalk service to choose from....


... I started off my meal with foie gras, it often comes with a little onion comfit and a bit of jellied aspic and warm toast....  really terrific!!  
... steak with mushroom sauce a carrot puree and some pommed de terre sarladaise. - The foie was the best part of this dinner!!!  We walked around after dinner as it was a warm evening....
... this is the doorway of the Chapelle des Penitants Blancs...  and looked great at night.
... there are lots of side streets and walkways throughout the town..... and that wraps up the evening in Sarlat, we came back for market day on Wednesday......  and I took some snaps!!
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The next day we visited Rocamadour, a lovely town built along a cliff with the buildings rising in stages up the side on the right bank of the Alzou river.  Here are some snaps....

from across the valley driving to Rocamadour...

... from the parking area in the valley, we took the tram up to the first level, but you can walk.....

... from the lower village, this main street is lined with shops and restaurants....

we stopped in a cafe for some espresso's and this was the view - that road you see int he distance is were I got the first photo of the city...

... the main city gate....  most Pilgrims come to Rocamadour to see the Black Madonna or the Virgin of Rocamadour, said to have been carved Saint Amator.  There are two ways of getting to the shrine... an elevator cut into the mountain (the way I went up) or the Pilgrims staircase - Au Pied de grand Escalier....
... the lower staircase....

.. along the way are the 14 Stations of the Cross...

... you also pass the chapel built into the mountain...

... the stairs lead up to this courtyard .... and this

... doorway into the shrine...
... and a close up....

... There is also a church or Notre Dame that you pass into from the shrine....

and....
... the door and stair from the Church, Mass was letting out when we got there...

looking out over the valley...


looking up at the tower...
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... on top, above everything is a Chateau, still privately owner, but you can visit the battlements and look out over the whole valley....

... looking into the courtyard....



... we stopped here for lunch....

my friends had cassoulet...

and a salade with duck breast and gizzard, and I had...

a salade terroir and foie gras....
or as the menu put it...
... on the way back to the car we stopped here...

.... and I got a boule of.....

cafe glace!!  Finished off the visit with a bang!!!
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Thanks fro stopping and sharing my trip!!

Take care,
edgar