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September 25th 2012
Published: September 25th 2012
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Trip: HIDDEN FRANCE 2. Aubusson

It was my third time in Aubusson this year, the first time in March to see about a B-and-B for August and the second time for a one week course I attended in needle tapestry. This time around, however, I was just a tourist visiting tapestry museums and taking m-teen photos.

Tapestry is synonymous with this small town. This is where the famous huge wool hanging of a sitted Christ in the Coventry cathedral was made. By hand. Woven by the hands of the loom workers here in Aubusson.

As a tourist I am entitled to give my impressions of the place, aren't I?... Built in dark grey granite stones, set deep within walls of granite hills, it thrives on memories of the past, seen as glorious. It looks like some kind of sleeping beauty awaiting a rich prince who would order hundreds of giant tapestries to ornate the walls of his hundreds of giant castles. Yes, but no rich prince is coming. And the city dreams of the past.

I was really dumbfounded when I realised they were actually making tapestries in the same old way as in the 1700's, i.e. on an old archaic horizontal loom, with a man tapping bits of wool between warp and weft with a kind of comb, following a painted pattern underneath called 'un carton'. A museum has just opened to keep all these old 'cartons' of past centuries representing stories of the Greek mythology with numerous intertwined leaves and funny beasts. Sure, they were very popular 3 centuries back. They look good in a museum.

Apart from this impression of being caught in the past, the town is pleasant enough for a stroll. People are friendly, especially the lady running the 'chambre d'hôte' where I staid. The room was clean, welcoming and cool in the hot summer. I recommend this 'gîte' at La P'tite Maison to anyone travelling that way.

Anyway the photos below will tell more about Aubusson than I can write.

Additional photos below
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My 'chambre d'hôte' at La P'tite Maison

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