Sunday, February 07, 2010

Candles And Columns At Fontevraud

I've posted many images from the abbey at Fontevraud in past years. If you haven't seen them, just type "Fontevraud" in the search box at the top and they'll come up. This photo is one I rejected early on because I didn't like how the candles are out of focus. But what the heck, here it is anyway.

Candles and columns in the abbey church.

Fontevraud is not very far from Chinon and it is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The government has done some spectacular renovation work and the place is breathtaking.


  1. The restoration here is not to everyone's taste of course. It is far to much like reconstruction for most British people, who like their heritage conservation to stabilise the existing invisibly and leave a picturesque ruin as they have always known it. I believe this was the biggest heritage conservation project in France in terms of money spent, until Chinon.

  2. Fontevraud is another of our very favourite places. It is a photographer's delight.

    I love all the different verticals in this picture.

  3. i know ur making fun of our snow looniness but we live in the south and this ain't sposed to happen! plus the machinery to clear streets is lacking......i am glad to still have power & heat, but my 83 yr old dad in charlottesville doesn't have either

  4. Wonderful photo. Susan's comment is interesting and well-taken - the carving is rather pristine, but still it's so beautifully done. It will ripen to perfection in a few decades.

  5. Susan, as far as I know, Fontevrault (previous spelling) never was a ruin. It has been disfigured by how its successive owners used it, and that's what the government tried to remedy after it no longer was a prison.

    There are two well-known actual reconstructions in France: château de Pierrefonds, north of Paris, and château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, in Alsace, two sorry ruins at the time.

    Pierrefonds was in complete ruin when Napoleon III asked the controversial architect Viollet-Leduc to rebuild it.

    As for the Haut-Koenigsbourg, Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered its rebirth. Here is a link:

  6. I have such a long list of things to see in France.
    I had been thinking that I would force the issue and be SURE to go to France this summer (especially with my niece being in France this semester), but, with our (hopefully) getting the new house, this isn't the best year. There's too much to do! But, by golly, when I come, I need to see Fontevraud. And Chinon. And Loches. And Chenonceau. And the Bayeux Tapestry. And the tapestry museum in Angers. And the château d'Angers. And Montrichard. And Montrésor. And every stinkin' other place you guys have mentioned in your blogs the past few years! *MDR*


  7. Judy - and don't forget Rigny-Usse, the Sleeping Beauty chateau, and Azay le Rideau, and our own humble Le Grand-Pressigny, the museum of prehistory and..............
    Better take at least a fortnight off work for all that !! MDR !!

  8. It almost looks as if someone had been thinking of that shot when they put the candles there..

  9. You keep this up and I won't HAVE to come visit, I will have 'seen it all" right here !

  10. Walt,
    The building that they confirmed as a kitchen at Fontevraud amazed us and of course the effigies of Queen of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart were a highlight for us.

    Was it Viollet le Duc that was also commisioned to "restore" Carcassonne? Although maybe not a faithful restoration, are not we fortunate that it was saved.

    Seine Judeet, Do not miss the Bayeaux Tapestry in your lifetime.

  11. Leon, yes, you're right, Viollet-le-Duc "saved" Carcassonne, as well as the Palais des Papes in Avignon and Notre-Dame in Paris and a number of other monuments. However he is very controversial because he recreated things that didn't exist to begin with or let his imagination wander too far... For instance, in Notre-Dame he destroyed genuine sculptures to replace them with new ones that, in his opinion, fit better the style of the church! But, as you said, we must be grateful that thanks to him we can enjoy those monuments.


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.