Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Nice Day

What a great Sunday this was. Almost warm and absolutely clear.
The weather says that it will rain for the next 8 days, so I forced Janet to go for a hike
with me and the dog. I was going to take more pictures, but the battery on the camera
was weaker than I thought. So here's a picture of St. Robert. We walked around the entire valley. The country side is like this. Villages clinging to hill tops and entire
worlds in each valley with forests, fields, streams and marshes at the bottom.
St. Robert is a very beautiful village. A very well preserved medieval place.
The Romanesque church was an important abbey dating back to the 1100's.
The village has very little to remind you of the modern world. Ruined walls surround it, there are two chateaux from different periods. Great houses with courtyards in the village and what new construction there is, has to be done in harmony with
with the rest of the village. This is at the edge of the Correze and the look here is grey limestone with slate roofs. There is some yellow limestone for the fancier buildings as it was quarried far away and very expensive. A lot of the fancy lintels and carved stone details on the more wealthy buildings are done in yellow limestone. Also on the walk, we passed the Miraculous Fountain of St. Maurice. I wanted to photograph that, perhaps I'll take a camera on my next bike trip here. The fountain is a spring in a grotto in a hillside. The rock around the grotto is carved with inscriptions and designs from around 1100 ad. In the grotto is a carved stone sarcophagus that must contain the remains of St. Maurice. According to the legend, St. Maurice was martyred around 300 ad. It's in a rather remote place and if you don't know about it, you would probably never go there. I tried to find out about St. Maurice as there are a number of Cafes and Distillers in the region who seem to evoke him as a patron saint. Why is St. Maurice the patron saint of alcohol consumption and its manufacture? I must find the answer!
Our walk was about two hours long and we met some horses.
Here they are!


Village Green said...

It doesn't look like you are dealing with suburban sprawl and the rise of the mini-mansion developments. It looks amazingly unspoiled there. Is this typical of France?

liberal_dem said...

How wonderful to visit your area. We are snow/ice-covered and -2F.

Enjoy the weather and the grand environment.

ohdave said...

Thanks for the pic. Looks idyllic.

microdot said...

I live in a relatively undiscovered corner of the Dordogne and really on the broder of the Correze. Far enough away from major routes not to be convenient for anyone. The old abandoned farms and houses are being bought up and being restored. Some new construction, but the villages here are more concerned with keeping enough population to stay in business.
There is a lot of France like this and as you get into the center, the Massif Central, it gets more remote.
St. Robert has recieved the title of One of the Most beauttiful Villages in France. I can bike there in about 45 minutes but in the car, I can get to at least 5 other villages with the title within an houurs drive.
I think my Village, Badefols d'Ans is deserving of the title, but it is a real working village though practically no commerce. There is a little grocery, a restaurant, a hotel with a cafe, a saw mill and a gargage. We had a gas station, but it went out of business a few years ago. Oh yes, mysteriously enough, a couple opened a distribution for a brand of Belgian Chocolate. You can buy his products in he little shop and he serves tea and coffee and ice cream in the summer, but his business is wholesale. The fact that he is in business after 2 years and no one seems to go there makes every one gossip as to what really goes on there?

historymike said...

Very beautiful and rustic, Microdot.