Friday, 23 January 2009

Out and About from La Barre - France Pt.3

Now for a little 'out and about' again in rural France. There are very few photos as I was not a blogger at the time of these visits (2002) and I was getting used to my new digital camera, taking many of my pictures with my old 'instant'.







Here we are visiting the Chateau Touffou with it's two 12th century Keeps and it's four Round Towers linked in the 16th century by the Renaissance building. The gardens are a mixture of French and English.


The English style garden



Here we are visiting Chauvigny, the walled upper part of the town set on the hillside. Full of history. Theseignory and consequently barony of Chauvigny belonged to the bishops of Poitiers from the 11th century - a chauvinois family provided Poitiers with 3 bishops at this date - up until the French Revolution of 1789. During the hundred years war the French King, John II, stayed in Chauvigny on the eve of his ill-fated battle of Poitiers-Maupertius against Edward II, the Black Prince, in 1356.
Captured and laid in ashes by the English in 1369, Chauvigny was liberated by Duguesclin but was re-taken by the Duke of Clarence in 1412. Recaptured by the French 15 years later, the Scottish mercenaries of Charles VII were entrusted with the protection of the half-ruined baronnial chateau. Hostilities resumed with the advent of the French wars of religion, when the baronial chateau - became a Hueguenot stronghold - was siezed firstly by the king, then by Coligny, who had it burnt in 1569. World War II also created ruins here as it was shelled by the retreating German armies in 1944.
I wonder how many photographs of this ancient town would be in my possession if I went back today. Sorry I can only show you 1 here. We found an amazing English style tea shop in the lower town selling just about every kind of tea one could think of with every tea having it's own individual drawer. That would certainly be on my list as a blogger!


And here, the centre of Poitiers, a town with 2000 years of history and the best Morroccan restaurant where we had the most delicious chicken with chickpeas and couscous. What else in a genuine Morroccan eating place.



And here the Chateau Royal in Blois, visited during a stop-over on our way home. During more than 4 centuries, a succession of Kings and Queens of France made their royal residence one of the great masterpieces of French architecture. Lois XII rebuilt this chateau, blending the late Gothic style with Italian art



Note the famous staircase tower built by Francois 1st. I cannot imagine having to use an outside staircase when moving between floors. One of the Rothschilds mansions in England has these staircases but they were sensible enough to glass them in!
Do stay tuned for one more post on this trip but it will be locally at La Barre, where we were staying this time.

26 comments:

Susan said...

What history!!! Anything in our area is thought old if it's more than 100 years. Oklahoma only became a state in 1907.
Susan

Willow said...

So much wonderful history in your post, Barbara! I enjoyed it!

Sara said...

Beautiful architecture and I especially love that photo of Chauvigny. What a fascinating history, and so long ago too. You are wonderful to go to the trouble of sharing it with us; I assume you have to look it up, or else you have a great memory for history.

nikkipolani said...

I do love this series, Barbara. In my last visit to France, I didn't have enough time to visit with my uncle and do the countryside, but your terrific narratives will do nicely :-)

JoAnn said...

I just came across your blog for the first time....how I envy you your travels AND your talent for photography!

How lovely!

Thank you for sharing...

Needled Mom said...

Your photos and history really make me want to jump on a plane and visit.

I have been hearing about all the heavy rains in England and, of course, thought about you. Hope all is well.

Mmm said...

I've actuallybeen here. Lovely, isn't it?

Aubrey said...

What's the weather like down where that outdoor staircase is? I can't imagine having to go outside to go up or down stairs during the winter or bad storms. Their poor servants.

As always, all those old, stately buildings are so dreamy--I wish I could go and see inside all of them and live in a couple for a little while. If only.

Barbara said...

How comfortable! Sitting at home in front of my computer and travelling with you through a lovely and very interesting part of France! I guess, if you were a blogger at that time, you would have taken even more pictures (of gardens too) ! I enjoyed it!

Linda said...

Isn't it a lovely area. I was there many years ago.

Merisi said...

Another beautiful excursion,
thank you for sharing these gems with us!

There is a spiral staircase, similar to the one you show us here, in Venice, the so-called Scala Contarini del Bovolo, part of Palazzo S. Paternian.

Gwendolyn said...

Breathtaking! Absolutelty breathtaking! I'd love to walk right into one of those pictures and then let you be my guide! Thank you for "taking us with you!"

Me Maw said...

Ok...that's it! I'm putting France on my list of places to go! Lovely pictures, great post!

Chrissy said...

You are killing me... you know that don't you?? Your photos are so lovely,and your info. is wonderful!!!

Elizabeth said...

Glad you managed to find the excellent Moroccan restaurant!
Poitiers -what images that conjures up.

Word verification: menstop

what can this mean?

Tea Time With Melody said...

Oh my, what a great post. I can never wait to see what you have going next. You provide so much history with you photos and I like that.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

This area of France is so beautiful and the buildings equal anything Englad has I think. Great tour.

Me Maw said...

Hey Barbara, finally got my post completed on "The Shack". Would love to know your thoughts about this little book. Had no idea it had became such a controversy in the christian community!

Blessings!

Melanie said...

What a lovely place Barbara. Thanks for putting so much of the history down. Fascinating! So many of the Norman knights who came over with William in 1066 held lands here (hence the battles over it being French or English) so it was wonderful to see the region. Thank you so much. I do like that outdoor staircase and the later roofs on those towers. :-) They look a little like rocket fireworks. LOL

Judy said...

How nice to be touring France from my home office! I have been to France once...for an afternoon visit. We made the trip across the border from Switzerland to look up some friends...and that is all we saw. One day I would like to return...see the sights...and re-visit history. Thanks for taking us along on your tour.

Betty said...

Barbara,
Who knew when I began my day early this morning that a visit to France would be in my future....that's what makes the unexpected so much fun...

No, I wouldn't prefer an outside staircase either!

Thank you for popping in....always a pleasure to see you've been by...

By the way, our daughter, Amy, is expecting their second set of twins in September...so she will really have an entry in our 'Book of Memories' this year....Betty

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

How did I lose your post...I don't think that it rose to the top of the pile. I'll pay closer attention from now on.

I'd hate to be a student of history in France...so much to learn! =>

That outdoor staircase is quite something...handsome and elegant, but not one bit practical.

Now what does it mean that each tea had its own drawer? That the flavors didn't mingle, I'm taking it.

As always, another fascinating post!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Their castles really do look storybook, don't they? I enjoyed this very much!

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Kate said...

Again, absolutely charming - thank you!