Romanesque Church Hunt Looking for churches and other France adventures.

February 2, 2008

Mystery double church of Ardeche

Filed under: Ardeche - Churches — Tags: , , — Karen @ 3:54 pm

This beautiful church below is accompanied by a small chapel less than 50 yards away. I took this photo 2 years ago and it’s a mystery only because I have not remembered the name of this dynamic duo of Romanesque landmarks.

Double church

What I do remember–the day was sunny, but cool. The type of day when the sun goes under the clouds a chill seems to descend, but as the cloud passes, the warmth returns. This remarkable assemblage had a churchyard with a shimmering layer of soft wheat-like grass. No longer used as a cemetery, there were ancient gravestones build into the retaining wall that faced out toward a marvelous valley view. The whole effect was magical.

More tomorrow–I’m sure with a little research I can identify this lovely church and its companion. And I have a few more photos as well that I will post.

January 31, 2008

An adventure in Rochecolombe

Filed under: Ardeche - Churches — Tags: , , — Karen @ 10:32 pm

I mentioned earlier that our destination this June will be the beautiful and wild Ardeche region of France. We have visited there twice before and the number of Romanesque churches to be explored is endless.

This post will go back to our trip in 2006 going to the perched ancient village of Rochecolombe in central Ardeche. Our friend had told us about this village and as we approached we could see the tip-top of the church, but no apparent means of getting there.

So what to do with a church in tantalizing proximity? Why, follow the signs that say “Eglise romane XIIieme” of course. In fact, a whole chapter could be written on the adventure of following “eglise romane” signs.

The road led up a steep hill and past a residence to a place where we could look down at the church.

Chapelle du Vieux Rochecolombe

We spied a weed-strewn and overgrown path and of course, the “eglise romane” sign and followed it for quite a while.

The path to Roche-Colombe

This path led us to the back of the church which while closed, was viewable through a grate. A very great discovery! It’s often complicated to try and get in to see the interiors, so we are always thrilled when we can see inside or can get a key.

Interior of Roche-colombe.

Here’s a detail of the wall painting:

Detail of wall painting

January 27, 2008

Church Hunt 2008

Filed under: Ardeche - Other Points of Interest — Tags: , , , — Karen @ 9:54 pm

This year we will be traveling to Ardeche, the wild rocky region just west of the Rhone river and north of Gard.  We have traveled there twice before because a very wonderful friend of ours has invited us to her lovely village.  This year, I will focus on reviewing churches in Ardeche that we have seen and ones that we hope to see in the future.

The Ardeche countryside is startling in its combination of ruggedness and beauty.  There is many variations in the terrain from north to south, but we have mostly explored the center region.

The photo below was from a golden afternoon when we thought we saw a large soaring bird so we stopped the car and wandered in a field that overlooked this valley.  The sun and clouds created a pattern of shifting light and dark that was magical, but we never did see our bird again.

Ardeche Valley

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