Stones

20160606_102109

On Monday we headed back to Saintes. I’d read that there was a large monthly market on the first Monday each month, so thought we’d check it out. Maybe it’d be great, maybe it’s be blocks of shoe vendors. Turned out, shoe and clothing vendors, with a small shot of cheap housewares. Ah well.

20160606_095832

We walked over to the Abbay Aux Dames. This was an enormous, very wealthy convent founded in 1047. The present church was constructed in the 12th century, and the abbey buildings shortly thereafter, and rebuilt after fires during the Renaissance. In the 18th century the abbey buildings housed a prison, the church was eventually returned to its intended use, and today the buildings house a music school, concert facilities, and you can even stay in the former nun’s cells. And wonder of wonders, the English audioguide is fantastic, packed with detail and engaging. We spent a long time outside the church, identifying the stories and motifs in the carvings.

20160606_101811

20160606_102050

20160606_101935  20160606_102228

20160606_111830  20160606_102019

We then spent time inside to the reconstructed convent, where the reconstructed rooms are airy and light, with some lovely 17th and 18th century carvings.

20160606_110304  20160606_110542

. Larry climbed the steep scary steps to the belltower, where there were more magnificent carvings.

20160606_112126

20160606_102310  20160606_11504820160606_112146

We drove the short distance to Les Lapidiales in Port-d-Envoix. This is a former stone quarry, where each year sculptors from around the world are invited to create on the site, sculpting into the rock face of the quarry or onto freestanding forms to leave on the site. The works are stunning in their variety and how the artists chose to integrate their ideas with the site.

20160606_131811

20160606_132451  20160606_13381520160606_133018IMG_1095

We had a picnic lunch under the trees–artichoke, cheese, bread, fruit..

20160606_123551

We drove through two pretty nearby river towns, Port-d-Envoux and Taillenbour. River views, a Saracen tower with a barn added on to it, a chateau or two turned into schools and hotels, cows contemplating us.

20160606_141333 20160606_141419

20160606_140214

Spent the evening under the grape arbor, and made steak au poivre, endive, and potato salad for dinner.

20160606_194132

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Stones

  1. Wonderful imagery. I esp. love the works of art in the stone quarry. Thank you posting and sharing. W

  2. Hi Amy!
    Just catching up on your travels in France. WOW! Love all your photos. I would have been right up there with Larry in that Belltower. What cool sculptures! I also really loved the murals/painting in the Chapelle des Templiers in Blanzac-Porcheresse. Glad you were not driving during all of the floods. Also sounds like you might have missed the flooding in Paris. Have a fantastic time!!

    🙂 susan (girasoli)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s