Chateaux's, Country Roads and two more Cathedrals!

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August 21st 2016
Published: August 22nd 2016
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Woolly says – A lovely week had passed with me being able to doze in the shade and direct and ensure that Jo and Zoe were working hard on the farm, pointing out when they had missed dust in the glamping tents, bypassed an egg or forgotten to feed the goats, although they didn’t seem to appreciate my efforts! Friday evening saw us at the local gathering of the town for the weekly farmers market which included live music and lots of wine, being the considerate mammoth that I am I made sure to help Jo drink her’s so she didn’t over indulge!

Friday evening had been lovely and a nice chance to sit and talk with Adrian, Fiona and their friend Sarah about the farm and anything that came to mind whilst Irish music played in the background and we consumed huge plates of local produce, feeling fat and full we retired for the night and a lie in.

Woolly says – With the sun pouring into the tent and the heat starting to rise I took to kicking the women in turn to rouse them so we could get on our way. With Jo driving I spent the journey to Perigreux with my eyes shut as she concentrated on driving a left hand drive vehicle on a left hand road with dyslexia, I did peek out every now and then to see her trying to change gear with the door handle! Perigruex has been an established town since 200 BC and a place that provided the Romans with one of their major camps...... Romans equals happy mammoth!

Having parked up we realised that we had inadvertently parked right outside the ruins of Chateaux Barriere, a 15th century residence for the Knights of the middle ages, the mammoth leapt out of the car and galloped over to have a look.

Woolly says – The stone windows and carving above the main door gave an idea of how lovely the building must have once been and as I peered through the bars I could see the empty fireplaces and holes where the floor joists would have once been, the chateaux would have been one of the first points of the city that people came to and had been built into the ancient city wall which had crumbled away. Following the women I was excited to see the domes of the first cathedral of Perigueux. Constructed around the 11th century the Eglise Saint–Etienne de la Cite was destroyed by protestant forces in 1577 and then became a Calvary training centre, I considered the doorway and wondered how they had got the horses in!

I chuckled at his confusion and followed Zoe inside, as the door closed behind us the sudden noise of the organ starting nearly caused us all to have heart attacks.

Woolly says – it was like something out of a Dracula movie and keeping a wary eye out for monsters I considered the huge gothic arches and the immense wooden alter that took up a whole wall, the lovely stained glass windows took the scary edge of somewhat but with the smell of damp and the eerie strains from the organ I felt quite relieved to arrive back outside. My breakfast croissant had been hours ago and as I gently nudged the girls towards the nearest café we enjoyed a pleasant chat about land buying, acquiring a van to live in and our enjoyment of farm life. As Jo attempted to remove the chocolate from my tusks....will she never learn that I like them grubby! I set off towards the next set of domes.

Grubby is one thing but he seriously needs a bath!

Woolly says – Perigreux Cathedral has been the centre of the city since 1669 constructed on a former 4th century church, as we got nearer it looked almost the same as Sacre Coeur in Paris which I suppose isn’t surprizing as it was modelled on this very building. The large clock tower and lovely brick domes stood out against the darkening sky and not wishing to get involved in a rain shower I jumped down the steps and into the vast interior. Beautifully intricate chandeliers hung over my head and a first in alters for us as this one was in the centre of the huge arched columns. I sat on one of the wall seats and admired the stained glass windows that told stories from the bible before tuning my stare to another impressive wooden alter set under one of the domes, not as pretty as Sacre Coeur inside but great none the less. I realised that the others were heading for the exit so scurried after them and managed to get half way across the square before rain started to hurtle down onto me.

I don’t think I have ever seen him move so fast, as he flopped exhausted at my feet we stood under a shop canopy and consulted the map.

Woolly says – I voted on a visit to the Roman area and with the sky clearing a little I was hopeful but not knowing how much cover there would be and considering that Zoe was in a summer dress and shivering already I couldn’t see that happening somehow.

Having promised a return visit to see the Roman museum we raced towards the car avoiding puddles and sheltering at points under the trees or anything handy that kept us dry.

Woolly says – having cadged a lift in Jo’s bag I was warm and dry which was the complete opposite of the girls who were bedraggled and shivering, bearing in mind they usually carry coats in the highest of temperatures I think they must have left their sensible heads behind today! As we drove through the town and out into the countryside I kept a keen eye out for the chateaux we had chosen, between trying not to shriek each time Jo got a little to close to the hedgerow. Missing the turn as we always do we turned round and bumped our way through a tunnel of trees to the fairy tale looking castle of Les Bories, a renaissance chateaux built in 1497 and inhabited by the same family for the next four hundred years. I knocked on the spiky front door and a window opened above me, ‘cinq minutes’ a lady said and the window closed. I decided to spend the time admiring the moat which surrounded the beautiful building.

As a group of tourists were ushered out the lady beckoned us and four others over and proceeded to start her tour speech before realising that we weren’t understanding a word, she then repeated everything in English for us, which was most kind.

Woolly says – I listened intently to both languages and found that I was understanding bits and pieces of the French tour as well and was most proud when I realised that she had been explaining the area had four types of chateaux, black, white, red and blue denoted by the building materials used and confirming it when she repeated it in English. Entering the spiked door we were informed that no photo’s could be taken which was a shame but the family that still lived there wanted to guard their privacy which was fair enough. Climbing the steps of the square tower the guide pointed out the tiny prison cell before showing us the miniature chapel which was right above it, it was just about big enough for me! At the top of the tower a door was opened and we entered a large room which was dominated by a rather impressive fireplace, as the lady told us more about the family I felt rather awestruck to be in a room that hadn’t changed in centuries.

It wasn’t a pretty room but certainly functional and with it’s huge tapestries it must have been quite cosy on cold winter nights.

Woolly says – as I followed our tour guide down the steps the sunlight through the stained glass gave a beautiful colour to the white walls and floors with it’s lilac, greens and yellows. The next door to be opened took us back in time completely and into what looked like a movie set, the kitchen with it’s arched and blackened roof showed the amount of use it must have once had whilst the two ovens looked as though they had been used yesterday, it was like being in another world. Jo was intrigued with the original oven with cooking places on top where fire would have been placed for the saucepans to bubble. Thirty workers would have been in here at any one time which would have made it a little crowded and I could almost hear the cook shouting out orders to the maids.

It certainly ticked the box for the oldest and most complete kitchen we have ever seen, the next door had provided room for the chateaux’s guards and a vantage point to see who was arriving, as Woolly took up centaury duty it seemed a shame that our visit had ended.

Woolly says – I marched to the door and checked outside for intruders but having not seen anything untoward I thanked the lady and padded my way back to the car. Well worth a visit and if this is the standard of what is to come it’s looks as though I have plenty to look forward can we see the Romans?

Additional photos below
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22nd August 2016
Chateaux des Boires

Hard to come up with a word for this beauty but I've posted it in Palaces & Castles thread in Photography forum anyway!
23rd August 2016
Chateaux des Boires

Thank you
That's great, thank you hopefully there will be some more coming soon
26th August 2016
Spiky door into the chateaux

French Architecture

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