Romanesque Church Hunt Looking for churches and other France adventures.

May 22, 2007


Filed under: Dolmens & Other Archeological Tidbits — Karen @ 4:07 am


After our week in the Drome, we will cross the Rhone to visit our good friends in Ardeche. We saw many lovely churches there last year, which I hope to document in the future. I was not aware, though, that Ardeche was a veritable treasure trove of megaliths and dolmens. Above and antique postcard with an assemblage.

May 21, 2007

What is this?

Filed under: Drome - Other Items of Interest — Karen @ 4:07 am


This very interesting ancient building is in the back roads of the Baronnies, a wild, less populated, higher elevation area to the east of our house. <>

This building dates to medieval times when it functioned as a toll house to collect a toll from travelers on this road.

Le Poet-Laval

Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 2:52 am

poet2.jpgThis town has been proclaimed one the the “most beautiful villages of France” and this fractured Romanesque church is surely of interest.

Most of the village dates from medieval times. This village was part of a Knights of Malta commanderie.

The village also retains remnants of its medieval past in that until recently there was only a single port of entry into the town.

The golden stone rises in a pyramidal form, contrasting with the mostly azure skies of Drome Provencale. Although this Romanesque fragment is in a pitiful state, the bell tower steadfastly served a defensive purpose throughout the ages.

Below is an another view from a 1900 postcard of the town.


Truffle Headquarters

Filed under: Dining Delights From All Over — Karen @ 1:00 am


I went looking for a truffle picture and the first one that came up was this sample from a truffle store in our neighborhood, St Paul Trois Chateaux. Drome Provencale is one of the main truffle- producing areas in France, along with the Perigord.

It’s nice to think of tripping over one of these $500 a pound nuggets, but the truffle season is from November to March. Right now, these types of mushrooms are just beginning to form under their truffle oaks (common in the woods around our rental house.) The truffle grows beneath the soil and it’s only by scent that they can be found.


Although it has been tried to standardize the cultivation of truffles, they resist standardization. Most of the harvest is still done by a lone truffle-hunter with his dog or pig. Pigs have a natural love of truffles and a keen-scented hound can be taught to find the truffle for rewards and his master’s approval. Taking out your trusty pig means watching him carefully so he does’t gobble the truffle once he has found it.

At left is St Antoine and his truffle pig.

May 20, 2007

Rousset le Vignes

Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 3:34 pm

 Church Preview

Working on this one too–for more info.
One site mentions “the priory with its beautiful renaissance facade and the Romanesque church.” I think this is a picture of it below. The village itself sounds lovely, as do many in the Baronnies.



Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 3:30 pm

Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is a small village in the Baronnies, the wild natural area to the east of our location. The Drome website notes that you can visit the ruins of the castle, the fortifications and a 12th-century lookout tower, the Chapelle du Calvaire, the chapel Notre-Dame de Beaulieu. Another site mentions Eglise St-Julien. Don’t get too excited, I’m not sure any of these are Romanesque. I will be researching further.

May 18, 2007

The Chicken Hunt

Filed under: Dining Delights From All Over — Karen @ 2:47 pm


After all the hard work of hunting down a particularly toothsome spectacle of Romanesque churchdom, nothing satisfies quite like a rotisserie chicken brought home fresh from the market, perhaps accompanied by some crispy bread and fragrant fresh cherries and peaches.

As all Francophiles know, everything tastes better in France and chickens are almost a different species over there. They have an essence of intense ‘chickenness’ that can only be guessed at here. There is even a type of chicken in France that is awarded a special ‘appellation’ like wine. These chickens, in Bourg-en-Bresse, are the only ones that can be marketed as chickens from that particular area.


But back to our rotisserie topic: the rotisserie birds generally come in two varieties–the regular bird and the farm-raised bird. The regular is great, but the farm-raised, usually a big beefy bird, is a cosmic experience.

Occasionally there will also be tiny wild birds for sale–that’s a future adventure for us.

Roman Mosaic Alert!

Filed under: Drome - Other Items of Interest,Roman Ruins — Karen @ 2:08 pm

Across the way from the Romanesque Cathedral in St Paul Trois Chateaux is the Musee Archeologique de Tricastin. Besides the usual array of local “finds” the museum also houses pieces of a Roman mosaic floor.

And we brake for mosaics!!


Roman bird

There’s other items of interest as well!


More Aleyrac

Filed under: Church Previews,Drome - Churches — Karen @ 6:05 am

 Church Preview

Prieure d’Aleyrac - MapAleyrac seems to be a truly magical place. It became a ruin
wayback in 1389 but still possesses many notable features
and is located in a wild and beautiful site.

Prieure d’Aleyrac

Prieure d’Aleyrac

  • The western facade with its three windows surmounted by a bell tower.
  • The pentagonal apse.
  • Interior ornamentation of the nave and the cornices.

Under the first span of the nave spouts a spring that pilgrims to the site believe to be miraculous especially for the cure of headaches and skin diseases.

Prieure d’Aleyrac - Miraculous spring


May 16, 2007

Prieure d’Aleyrac

 Church Preview

Prieure d’Aleyrac

All I can say is ‘Wow!’


Just found this photo and I’ll need to get some more information, but it is sure interesting.  More later.

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