Sunday, 27 July 2014

Angouleme - Home of Street Art and Comic Strips.

 Angouleme is my kind of City ,
Art , Architecture and Cafes.

Somewhere I would like to go to again
and spend the day .

But I am going to start with Art.

I did a little bit of research on  Street Art and Comic strips

and found out about this yearly festival.

Every year since 1974 there has been a

Angouleme International Comics Festival

which takes place all over the city.

This festival is the largest comic festival in Europe
and the second biggest in the world after Comiket,
held in Japan twice a year.
The four-day festival is notable for awarding several prestigious prizes in cartooning. The awards were originally called the Alfred awards, after the pet auk from Zig et Puce by Alain Saint-Ogan.

 In 1989, the name changed to the Alph-art awards, honoring the final, unfinished Tintin album by Hergé.

Right in the centre of one of the many walk ways is a bust of the
Belgian cartoonist .
known by the pen name Hergé
Best known for his comic books
Herge  completed 23 comic books in The Adventures of Tintin series,
which he made from 1929 until his death in 1983

Surprising what you come across when you least expect it ,
I did wonder why this bust was here,

And then we have this fantastic mural..
Amazing how they have created such a wonderful scene,

And Art on street corners 

If you are ever in Angouleme , you can go to the Tourist information and
pick up a map to do a tour. The map has two walks, one of the history and
architecture and the other of the street art.  You just follow the signs !!

This one below is fantastic ,, I had to look twice!!

I find this fascinating and such a great way to decorate the city.

And I ended with this one , I think you know why..
It is Fabulous , I really thought they were windows!!

The Paper industry  plays a very big
part in the making of Angouleme
and they have a museum
dedicated to the history .
Information taken from  Google.
 Angouleme developed thanks to the paper industry. As from 1516, mills are installed in Charente to make paper pulp. During the Renaissance, François 1 commanded to do some works to facilitate navigation and granted numerous privileges to stationer. By this way, he promoted their activities’ expansion. During the 18th century, no less than 70 stationery shops exported their production in Europe. The use of wood to the paper pulp making led to the stationery shop industrialization and the decline of mills. Nowadays, the reputation of paper in Angouleme is untouched.
I hope that if you are interested that you will click on the many links for more info.
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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Doors, Knockers and Shutters ... Dreaming of France

I have a fascination with Doors and Shutters but now
with the Door Knockers too!!
I remembered reading  about Doors knockers
a few years ago, funny how some posts stick in your mind.

This was on Corey's blog Tongue in Cheek..
A fascinating blog , French orientated of course. Corey is an American
lady who has lived in France a long time, married to French husband.
Hope you go and have a read .  If you love France you will love this blog!!!
I have been reading about the history and it seems that it is connected to the Muslims.
One story  is that the hand -symbolizing the Hand of Fatima- was not only a talisman to protect a house from evil but also a sign for other Muslims in non-Muslim countries that in a certain house lived people of their faith
The ‘Hand of Fatima’ is particularly common on front doors in Morocco and from there spread to France,  then the rest of Europe, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its arrival in France  coincided with the period of Art Nouveau (circa, 1890-1910) and the European castings used for the Lady’s Hand became more sensuous and somewhat more elegant.
Hand of Fatima



In the picture below you can see the Ghost writing, I think that it is great
that they leave this up , to show us what it used to be.

Love this , but wonder who went through here, I am sure Diane will know!!

Fascinating mural and I love the colour!

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Dreaming of France ,, Villebois-Lavalette part 2

 Who loves a biscuit ?
Les Cornuelles,   a unique speciality of Villebois, are small Easter biscuits.

They are instantly recognisable by their shape, a small triangle with a hole through the centre, symbolising the creation and the Holy Trinity.

In days gone by, these little shortbread biscuits were threaded onto long sticks to carry them to market.   They also decorated the branches of boxwood trees blessing Palm Sunday.
 La Cornuelle is a short-bread biscuit decorated with aniseed stars or balls.   Distinctive - in a triangular shape (some say to represent The Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit) with a hole through the middle, allowing it to slide easily onto branches during the festival.   Traditionally, the biscuits are blessed on the branches of the boxwood tree, and enjoyed by the villagers after the Palm Sunday service!  It is also written, that the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrims carried them around their necks to sustain them on their long journey.    At the start of  Spring, the cornuelle also comes to represent fertility. You can read more HERE

In Villebois Lavelette they use  the biscuit designed brass markers to identify points of interest for tourists .  I do believe you can get a map at the Tourist Information .

Love Shutters , I think we must all
have so many photos of them .

This car has not moved for a long time!!

Are you dreaming of France and have story to share,
maybe about  a book , memories , a film or a trip you made or would
like to make then why not join us on
over on Paulita's blog

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Villebois Lavalette -France

The town of
is a lovely little town
perched on a hillside
and surrounded by countryside.


Full of character and a
wonderful place to have a walk
With a Castle , Church and a
very unusual Market place.


And here we have a


Which in English is a Grinder.

They even have their own Patron Saint.
Sainte-Catherine is the patron saint of grinders.

You might just still see one or two left in Paris.
But now a very dying trade.

He was very happy to have
his photo taken whilst doing
his sharpening.  Merci.

 Les Halles

Such an unusual market place , one that is so original.

In 1665 the covering of the original market was
replaced with the one we see now. 

and its huge wooden pillars  and fascinating structure.

The stone columns were added in 1855 to replace the original oak ones

A small but very lively market takes place
on Saturday mornings.
This is where I go a FREE oyster ,
I offered to pay  but she said it is Nil price.

 Shopping, Lunch and coffee all under one roof .

Apart from the market , many other events take place here,
suppers, concerts and shows.
The House of  Francois de Corlieu.
This house dates back to 15th or 16th century and the
the lintel is decorated with a  magnificent

 Francois was a celebrated historian , who acted as a
counsellor to the King and Duke of Orleans from 1544 , and he
was then appointed to the position of King's Procurator. Unfortunately
he drowned in the River Charente in 1576.

The Church of Saint-Romain.

In 1864, the commune of this town, received a bequest
contained in the will of the parish priest Vacher.
 The careful economies of the priest, together with the sale of his goods, realised the sum of 30,000 francs, sufficient to pay, in those days, for the enlargement and reconstruction of the church, dedicated to Saint Romain de Lavalette. His will also included the proviso that a requiem mass be celebrated in  perpetuity, on the anniversary of his death.

Unfortunately we could not enter the church on this day ,
as there was a funeral service being held.
Here is the link to Diane's blog and her photos of inside.

We then made our way round to
The Castle which was built in the 10 century on the site a former
Roman settlement, it was modified and fortified in the 12th and13th centuries
by the Lusignan family.

We did not go into the grounds of the Castle either
(no tour) here is Diane's day out there!

As you can see I love ROUND walls .
I have a few more photos to show you , so will
do that in the next post. I hope you enjoy the
tour as much as I did.
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