Tuesdays of Texture: Ruined Abbey

This partly overgrown double arched window can be found at the medieval Franciscan Abbaye de la Réau in the Vienne département of France. It looks like it’s had some restoration work done on it, but there’s a long way to go.

Tuesdays of Texture 8 August 2017

Thursday Doors: Meillant (2)

This week we have the second instalment of doors in the town of Meillant. Last week we focused on the imposing Chateau, but we are ranging a little further afield this time – although to begin with only as far as the family chapel, which stands in front of the main house:

Just inside the entrance to the site is this visitor centre, which houses a number of miniature models of the chateau and other prominent buildings:

All the doors so far have been in more or less pristine condition, but these two examples in the grounds of the Chateau are rather more neglected – and mysterious:

Finally, because there is a town (or village at any rate) outside the walls, two examples of where the other half 99.9% live:


Thursday Doors 27 July 2017

Thursday Doors: Noirlac

Last month we went on a day’s outing by coach with a local group. In the afternoon we visited an ornate chateau (watch this space…) but we began at the restored Cistercian Abbey at Noirlac, in central France.

A slightly different take on ‘doors within doors’:

If anything, the interior is even more impressive:

Although the requirements of modern life can sometimes be a little jarring (that silver column is an air-conditioning unit, I think):

And it’s always nice to see the backs of doors:

Thursday Doors 13 July 2017

Thursday Doors: Saint-Martial-sur-Isop – Finale (almost)

This will be the final set of doors from the nearby village of Saint-Martial-sur-Isop, although we haven’t quite seen the last of what it has to offer…

Last week we faded out to grey and now we’re picking up where we left off. The legend over the larger door reads ‘Vins en gros’ and the date 1895, so this used to be the premises of a wholesale wine merchant.

It wouldn’t be a village if it didn’t have a church and this one, although quite small, is very interesting. The original building is believed to date back to the Carolingian period (987-1268), although what’s visible today is 12th century (with subsequent renovations and additions).

And finally, as regards doors, some houses in rather better condition than some of the ones we’ve seen:

Next week, before moving on elsewhere, some of the gates to be seen in Saint-Martial and Saint-Barbant.

Thursday Doors 29 June 2017



Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steps

Answering the theme of ‘steps’ this week is this dramatic-looking staircase to be found in the twelfth-century church in the nearby village of Saint-Martial-sur-Isop.

Although the ceiling has obviously been renovated,  this steep and winding set of stairs leading up to the roof looks, if not original then pretty old. Not surprisingly, it isn’t open to the public.

More responses to Frank’s latest challenge can be found here: Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steps

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Music

For Frank’s theme of ‘Music’ this week, here is a detail of the mightily impressive pipe-organ in the main church of the French city of Thiers:

…and for perspective, here’s the whole thing:

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Music

Thursday Doors: Saint-Barbant (2)

This week, some more of the doors on offer in the little village of Saint-Barbant.

Ever since I got bitten by the Doors bug (cheers Norm), I have looked at this stretch of wall as we drive through Saint-Barbant and thought that it needs to be explored in more detail:

Yes, a whole range of doors that aren’t doors any more:

This one in particular intrigues me. The brick surround is obviously comparatively modern, and while it’s common enough to see old doors blocked up, in this case it must have happened relatively recently:

Moving on to actual doors, but keeping the blocked-up theme, here’s a proper door and an ex-window:

I’ve always liked the ironwork on the doors of the church  (that notice on the left is, sadly, a sign of the times: one has been placed on all public buildings in France as part of the continuing State of Emergency):

Just along from the church is the former tram station: Saint-Barbant was one of the main stations on the Limousin network (although you’d never guess that now), which is why this is more than twice as big as the typical tram stop:

And finally something a little different and definitely prosaic. I think it may once have been used for chickens:

Next week the caravan moves on fifty yards down the road to Saint-Martial-sur-Isop.

Thursday Doors 8 June 2017