Monochrome helps to create a sense of brooding menace in this image of a medieval building in the French town of Chauvigny.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Buildings

Tuesdays of Texture: Undrinkable

I wouldn’t even try to drink the water from this ancient pump, which can be found hard up against the ramparts of the medieval centre of the nearby town of Confolens.

Tuesdays of Texture 18 April 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

I was very surprised to turn around while at the annual medieval fair in the town of Rancon to see that I was being stalked by a witch. Although from her reaction I think she was rather surprised too.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Thursday Doors: Confolens

After four weeks of the doors of St Junien, I suspect we’re all ready for a bit of a change of scenery so today the caravan has packed up and moved on to the town of Confolens, in the neighbouring Charente département. Like St Junien, Confolens has a modern shell around a medieval core, and it’s also on a river, in this case the Vienne, but overall – at least in my opinion – it’s a lot more scenic.

There’s plenty to look at, especially in the older part, so I might as well crack on with this first instalment, beginning with some characteristic sixteenth-century exteriors (in the UK, we’d call this ‘Tudor’).



Maintaining the careworn theme:



Although so as not to give the impression that the whole place is just falling to bits, here are a couple of more dignified – and blue – examples:



More from Confolens next week: perhaps some doors that have found themselves a good home.

Thursday Doors 2 March 2017

Mundane? Staircase

This little-used, but intriguing, stone staircase is tucked away in the narrow streeets of the medieval quarter of the town of Confolens. The composition is almost abstract and puts me in mind a little of Escher.


Mundane Monday

Thursday Doors: St. Junien (1)

St Junien is one of the major towns of the Haute Vienne département and claims to be (or have been) the glove-making capital of France. Leather gloves, that is; they’re quite particular about that.

As with many other similar conurbations, there is a medieval centre that has become increasingly surrounded by more modern, and largely featureless, developments. Be that as it may, a recent ‘doorscursion’ provided plenty of photographic opportunities that will keep my ‘ Thursday Doors’ contributions well-supplied for the next few weeks, so here is the first instalment.

This ancient wooden door is set into what’s left of the old city walls:


By contrast, this house is obviously occupied and well cared-for:


as is this:


This one is more colourful than the norm:


Although these last two are a little more careworn:



(The white street sign in the last image is in the Occitan language, which was what was spoken round these parts until French became the official language of the whole country after 1789.)

Thursday Doors 2 February 2017

Thursday Doors: Honfleur

Honfleur is a small port in north-west France, at the mouth of the Seine. Now dwarfed by its neighbour Le Havre, back in the Middle Ages it was a key European trading entrepôt.

We made a detour on our route back from Zeebrugge to home to have a look. Unfortunately, it was the middle of a long bank holiday weekend so, despite it being the end of October, the harbour area was very crowded.

In the back streets, though, and more specifically in the rather menacingly named Rue de la Prison, I came across some interesting old doors, the first one with a highly topical question posed outside:






And finally, with a welcome splash of colour:


Thursday Doors 15 December 2016