Saturday, July 05, 2008
Je suis la.........
This is kind of neat.... a panorama shot from a walnut plantation on a high hill near here. Walnuts are one of the main agricultural products of this region. The road that cuts through here is labled La Route de la Noix.
It starts with a close up of Hautefort, across the valley and you can see the chateau which is one of the great chateaux of the Dorgogne with a formal hill top garden overlooking the very well preserved village below. Hautefort was started in the 13th century and continued until the 16th. It was destroyed by the Germans in WW2 and rebuilt by an American Woman. There is quite a lot of history, the original owner was Bertrand LeBorn, the first of the Troubadours, the warrior poets.
The style of the village and chateau ranges from medieval to Baroque.
Then the camera goes across around the valley and focuses for a few seconds on the Citie de Clairvive, a social institution from the 20's. A small community on a hillside in high art deco style dedicated to rebuilding lives. People live there and learn new trades and have access to counseling and education. It's pretty remote as everything is here. If there was a road, you could drive or bike there in a short time, but there are no straight lines in the Dordogne.
We go there in the spring because part of the social program is gardening and they have the best greenhouses I ever seen. A huge complex of art deco glass greenhouses totally self contained which offer garden vegetables and flowers at the best prices.
The camera swings around and focuses for a few seconds on our village, Badefols d'Ans and its 11th century donjon tower and chateau. Badefols has been around since the Romans and the church was supposedly founded by St. Cloud, a son of the legendary Merovingian King, Clovis around 600 ad.
Badefols is a very well preserved town, the heart of it is crowded with architecture from the middle ages until the early 19th century. Commerce? We have a nice Hotel, a small but very good little restaurant, a very mediocre bakery, a little market open at very unpredictable hours and a family run sawmill.
Then the camera continues full circle...somewhere in this sweep, on a forested hill in the distance, I am sitting, typing this post in an old farm house recued from collapse and decay.......