Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Journée du Patrimoine

Today is the 'Journée du Patrimoine' - 'Open Monumentendag' in  Flanders. This yearly event was established in 2001. I think it's a copy of the 'Journée du Patrimoine which is a recurrent event in France. 

I remember being in France in September in the late 80-ties and 90-ties, visiting the Tour the Vetz and the Château de Pierrefonds in the Champagne-Ardennes region on one of these 'Journées'. It was fun and free! I think I still have some photos of those two visits. Paper copies, of course ... no digital cameras in those these ... I'll try and find them for you.

In the meantime here's a scan of a 1914 postcard of a castle that used to be the pride of our village before it was burned down by the invading German army in 1914.  What a shame!

The photo was published in our local newspaper a few days ago. I didn't recognize it as one of the two castles/manors that are still standing. So I showed it to my mother, who immediately knew where it used to be ... although she never saw it in real life, because it was torn down after the fire. By the time my mother was born (1928) the grounds on which it used to stand, had been divided into small building parcels. Today it's a nice quiet street featuring some stately villa's and ... a 1970-ties apartment building.

**** Update: I posted the above while preparing Sunday lunch. In the meantime I've been over to my mother's and guess what she has come up with since I've shown her the newspaper clipping yesterday:

An 'eye-witness' photo of the damaged castle not long after the fire...

Sorry for the poor quality. Even my brand-new scanner isn't up to the challenge of bringing an almost 100 year-old picture back to life.

And a photo of the chateau in its full glory ...



Niall & Antoinette said...

Think Monumentendag is a great invention. We used really enjoy it when we lived in the Netherlands.
It's this upcoming weekend here in France and we're trying to decide what we'll go and visit :-)

Love old photographs like the ones you mother has. The place looked a very grand 19th century "pile" before the fire destroyed it.

VirginiaC said...

That was a lovely castle in its heyday, what a pity it is no longer standing.
You have a treasure trove of historical facts in your Mum, take as much time as you can to have long chats with will learn a lot of family history and other details from her childhood as well.
I wish my mum was still here.

ladybird said...

N&A, My mother has many more of these photos, showing our village in the 19th and early 20th century. The transformation is amazing.

Virginia, We have long conversations over lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes staying at the table till 3 p.m. Sorry to hear you no longer have your mum. I'm sure you miss her.