March 14, 2011

LE CHÂTEAU

Last July I had a long weekend in Le Grand-Pressigny with my friend Barbara.  She was keen to have a look round the château and I realised that although it is literally on our doorstep we tend to take it for granted and this was only the second time I had stepped within its walls.  Of course we usually do a circuit around the outside at least twice a day with Lulu.

P1040898

We often lean over the drawbridge and see this view when walking with Lulu.  You can just see the new part which has been built beyond the tower.

P1040899

New and old blending together – the donjon standing next to the new museum.  It’s nice to remember that it was a hot day in July when I took these photos, in fact I can almost feel the heat………..not long now !!

P1040924

In the courtyard we spotted something that definitely was not open last time I visited the château myself– an entrance and some stairs descending below ground.  It just had to be done !!

P1040925

Once we got to the bottom of the steps we found ourselves inside the base of the round bit of the château wall on Rue des Ramparts. There were slits in the wall where we could peer out over the village.  To think that I walked past these slits every day and it had never occurred to me there could be someone inside, looking out. !!

P1040928P1040927

I wondered how different the view might have been when the slits were being used for their main purpose – presumably watching for unwelcome visitors – hundreds of years ago.  Apart from the obvious, such as there being no washing lines or TV aerials.

It was certainly cool in there, a brief respite from the heat of the day.

P1040930

Turning around, our way back up to the courtyard was through this entrance.

P1040931

And then back up the steps to the outdoors.  All very nicely restored.

P1040912

This view is looking back towards the drawbridge at the other end of the château from the first picture.

When we were chez nous in January I noticed some work going on in the grounds around this part of the château.  It will be interesting to see what has been done next time we visit.

More photos soon.

15 comments:

  1. It looks an interesting chateau. La Rochefoucauld chateau has been under restoration for years now and there is still a lot to do, but it is one of the nicest ones I have walked around. Yep not long now and we will both be back in France :-)) Diane

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a nice chateau. It will be fun to see what work they have done since you've last been there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh go on Jean... sell the "lost masterpiece" and buy the chateau. You know that you want to!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Diane and Meredith - the work is still ongoing and there is always something new to see each time we are chez nous.

    Craig - if only, eh. When the château at La Celle Guenand was for sale I did buy a lottery ticket. They only wanted a cool million for it but it was not to be !!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jean - Although we didn't go inside last year, on our next trip we will.
    We enjoyed a coffee and the small market in the square on our visit last year.
    Leon

    ReplyDelete
  6. Leon - coffee chez nous next time, perhaps, if we can co-ordinate our visits.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great photos you can almost feel the heat coming off the stone. As you say not long now... it is warming up and today was sunny again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, how I long for July. I hope we have a hot summer this year. We deserve it (I may end up regretting that, but probably not).

    Looking forward to seeing you both again!

    ReplyDelete
  9. On my last visit to the Chateau I just peered down the dark steps thinking they went nowhere, what a mistake, never mind next time ... not too long now. I wonder if you, or anyone else, knows why the tower is no longer open to the public though? There was an amazing view from the top.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Antoinette & Walt - it's difficult to feel the heat in the UK today - it's cold and foggy here - July can't come soon enough.

    Gail - I have no idea about the tower. Having seen some photos taken from the top I would love to be able to go up, as you say the view must be amazing. Lucky you to have seen it. The château was already closed for renovation when we discovered Le Grand-Pressigny.
    Perhaps I will ask at the tourist office next time we are chez nous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The work will be the Conseil Général spending squillions on the garden. I've got the details somewhere. I didn't know the tower was closed though, and don't know why - safety seems the most likely reason.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jean, we haven't visited the Chateau yet. We have been meaning to go for the past year, we did try, but arrived too close to the closing time. Sometimes we keep our watches on UK time, and then get confused!!

    We have two lots of friends visiting over Easter, so will definitely have it on our list of places to show them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Susan - I am looking forward to seeing the results of all that spending on the gardens.

    Gaynor - it's well worth the effort. You can wander around the courtyard to your heart's content and admire the view for free. There is a charge if you go into the museum and that is well worth the money. Knock on our door if you're passing - we'll put the kettle on !!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ar first I didn't like the look of that new building standing alongside the old, but your end photo made me realise that it gave a good balance to the chateau - sort of made the old house look more majestic and dignified set against the modern look of the other building. Thanks for the walk around a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Vera - I really hated the new building at first. I have got used to it and quite like it now.

    ReplyDelete