Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Villesavin-Wedding treasures

Wedding treasures-the name of the small exhibition in the castle Villesavin. It offers some beautiful examples of hand-made lace probably executed in the convents, dresses made by seamstresses for this special occasions and bridal trousseaux that consisted of meters and meters of linen sheets, dozens of shirts and petty coats. Trunks and linen draws, cupboards that came together with cups and plates but the most surprising- hundreds of surviving Globes mariee, souveniers of the day, where newly-weds put bride's bouquet, crown , mirrors to cheer it up, sometimes photographs,pieces of jewellery and gilded decorations.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Erotic gothic -les gargouilles of Suevres

The neighbouring village was very busy today, vide grenier is equal to 14 juillet in a small community. Looking for a parking space we turned behind the church I thought had nothing else to offer and was surprised to see a couple of gargoyles I missed before. One of them was on the ground, the other nearly destroyed, but the third was quite unusual.

Leaving the parking we saw the priest entering the church. I was very curious to ask him if this gargoyle has always decorated the church or this was the artistic freedom of a mason who did the restoration. Some of the gargoyles were clearly restored recently. My husband refused to assist and my French is not good enough to have an intelligent conversation. I guess I'll never know.
Quel cauchemar!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Textile fire-place screens -Cheverny

The fire-place screens I saw in Cheverny castle were quite difficult to date. Textiles are perishable and many of them were replaced.

One of the rooms was full of beautiful portraits in gilded frames, but more than the portraits I was fascinated by the textile that covered the walls

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Stand alone houses look like orphans to me. I don't mean villas, surrounded by a neatly cut lawn or a garden, but houses left alone in a street or the last survivors of a row, or semi-derelict in the middle of a field. I particularly feel emotionally connected with one house in my neighbourhood, jammed between two highways, clearly ex-row house without windows on the side walls. I've always wanted to make a good picture of it but it's always difficult to find time to take photos of something that is five minutes drive from home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birds or chasing white heron

Every vacation I invent some goal to escape the boredom of being far from my working-room. It has been tasting muscats or choosing the best fish-soup all over the region, looking for himantopus, a little white bird with funny long legs. This year we happened to be in birds paradise of Somme basin and Loire river. The most clever, cautious and graceful bird-white heron is not easy to approach. It seems that the company of grazing cows or passing cars doesn't bother herons, but as soon as the car stops, window goes down and photo camera appears, off it goes. The grey heron is not a stranger to our koi pond and I saw the intruder very close. But the white one was much more difficult to watch. I took a lot of other pictures: landscapes, cows, swans but saw this bird only at a great distance.
The white heron could be in all the pictures but I was too late

And a couple of more pictures since I am writing about birds
This pigeon home is certainly the biggest I've ever seen, there is place for 1400 birds. This castle among the pigeonries is in Talcy. The pigeon definitely was one of the most popular dishes some centuries ago.

The interior of the pigeonry is as impressive as its exterior.

By the way , to have such a building was a privilege of castles' owners abolished completely only in 1848.

Swallow nests can be seen everywhere, under the roofs of all the castles. Talcy:

And Chambord, same swallows, same huge pigeonry

Cheverny has its "Fuye"built in 11th century as well

Here it is: a heron at a safe distance

Monday, September 3, 2012


The castle of Cheverny has a kennel where they breed hounds. The name of the owner of the castle is Vibraye, that's why the big letter "V" is on the side of the dog. Not tattooed or burnt but cut with scissors, says the information board.

Every detail of the kennels life is in conformity with the rules and the area that dogs occupy varies according to their number. The place looks small, but can't be bigger. The dogs start running around wildly, get nervous and show signs of aggressive behaviour.

Many of the castles were built and visited because their owners were passionate hunters. Trophy hall and tapestries of Chambord castle:

Lots of tapestries show hunting scenes, some of the dogs look like the hounds of Cheverny

The textiles of Cheverny

The castle of Chiverny has some beautiful textiles displayed in a number of interiors. I particularly liked the chairs. Honestly, I liked all the tapestries, but the big wall-hangings were covered with plastic and it was impossible to take photos. The textiles of the beds were also impressive, and mostly floral.