Tuesday Photo Challenge: Surprise

We’d never been to Perigueux before. We were expecting to see some old buildings  but it was quite a surprise to find one hanging in mid-air just outside our hotel down by the river.

It’s known as the ‘eschif’, which translates – rather gloomily – as ‘scaffold’. It was constructed in the first half of the 14th century to straddle the protective wall on which it appears to balance precariously and act as a look-out post. That door isn’t terribly practical now.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Surprise

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Height

The medieval Abbaye de la Reau has been extensively renovated in recent years. It has to be said, though, that not much has been done to the 15th-century Tour de Défense (built after the original Abbaye was burnt down by the English: so a bit late then) whose roof collapsed long ago.

The Tour actually isn’t a particularly tall structure (just two stories), although the sense of height is – well, heightened – when you point a camera straight up at the sky.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Height

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Here’s a sight you’re unlikely to see….unless, of course, you happen to be at the annual medieval fair in the nearby village of Rancon.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Thursday Doors: Return to Cahors

Regular readers – small, select, yet discerning band that you are – may just recall that last October I put up a couple of posts of doors from the southern French town of Cahors. Most of those images were snatched from a little tourist train, driven by a man with a mission to be somewhere else in a hurry. Consequently,  many of the images fell even further short of acceptable standards of sharpness and composition than is usually the case.

However, Madame and I enjoyed our first visit so much that recently we returned for a more leisurely couple of days’ exploration. We’re very glad we did, because it is a delightful place with a sizeable medieval quarter, boasting a considerable number of highly photogenic doors that I missed the first time around. So, in the coming weeks, expect scores more doors from Cahors.

May as well start at  the beginning; this was the first door I photographed on my recent trip. It’s not even in the old quarter, but it does feature some interesting carved detail, which proved to be quite a common feature, I discovered.

…and where there isn’t so much carved detail, ironwork seems to be the acceptable alternative:

Or you can just have plain old, largely unembellished doors:

Over time, it’s inevitable that some doors will have become redundant and been repurposed:

While some more modern examples clearly still function:

Finally, for this week, a somewhat more colourful example. This gateway leads to what was a medieval hospital.

Thursday Doors 8 March 2018

The old staircase

This ancient and very worn staircase can be found on the Pont Valentre in the town of Cahors, in southern France.

Amazingly, worn as it is and with no handrail, it is not roped off in any way to prevent public access. It would take a brave or foolhardy soul to climb it, though, however impressive the views over the River Lot might be from the top.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Structure

The staircase

While visiting the restored medieval abbey of Noirlac last year, I was struck by this almost abstract composition of a curving staircase and austere stone walls. Another homage to M C Escher and suitable for Cee’s Black & White subject of ‘Walls’ this week.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Walls

Thursday Doors: Confolens – After The Fall (2)

Another group of images from my PTSD (post-traumatic seeking doors) visit to the town of Confolens.

We finished last week with a half closed-up door, so here’s what it might look like when the process is complete:

There is a whole street of medieval houses down in the town centre that the local authorities are anxious to preserve…

…although some individuals do their bit for the doors in their possession:

Some with more enthusiasm than others:

Thursday Doors 7 December 2017