12 February 2016

Not in brick

These are some more photos from my pre-blogging days — June 2004. I started blogging in October 2005. The summers of 2004 and 2005 were some of the best we've had since we moved to Saint-Aignan, with bright, clear, warm sunny weather. Click on these photos to see them at full size.


This little chapel sits on a plot of land next to a main highway across the river from Saint-Aignan, maybe five kilometers from our house, in the little town of Noyers-sur-Cher. I must drive by it several dozen times a year. And I've posted pictures of it before.


In a way, it's too bad the old chapel, dedicated to saint Lazarus, can't be picked up and moved to a new site. As I said, it's on the edge of a big highway, and you can really only see it from the side or from the back. There's a high hedge mashed right up against the front of the building. Actually, the chapel has been sitting in this same spot since about the 12the century, according to what I've read.


One time when I went there to take photos, years ago now, I did find the front door unlocked. I pushed it open and was disappointed to see how falling-down the chapel was inside. In fact, a big white owl was living in there, and when the door opened he swooped nervously, like a winged ghost, from one perch to another on the walls and beams. He was startled by the sudden brightness, I guess. I posted about it back then, with some photos of course.


Since then, the chapel has been refurbished inside, with new wooden floors and cleaner interior walls. It's open periodically and is used as an art gallery for temporary exhibits. Since it's dedicated to Lazarus, they say there must have been a leper colony here all those centuries ago when the chapel was built.

15 comments:

  1. This post is more Ramanesque, than the renaissance chateaux. Still a lovely building. The setting looks peaceful in these pics....can;t tell it's next to a highway.

    I remember years ago when we were driving from Bath to London (in a left-handed stick shift no less) we were at one point on a major highway. Then suddenly Stonehenge appeared. Right next to the highway. That was a surprise!

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    1. I remember that too, but I had set out on purpose to see Stonehenge (1995). Good memory.

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  2. I've just read your older post... I wasn't into blogs or bloggin' then...
    You describe the owl as being a large bird... it's wingspan certainly is... but a healthy, mature female weighs only 350 grams!!
    We had one round last night... and it was using the hissing, sonic attack routine...
    which is where its " l'effraie des clochers" name originates....
    like a lot of French animal and flower names, far more descriptive than Barn Owl...
    "la dame blanche" is, too!

    You commented in one of these two posts that it was so far from the town...
    that points to it being a leper chapel as well.
    It is a lovely looking building... warm... and I like the raptors carved around the pillars.

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  3. I first found you on the Slow Travel site. Wonder when that was...before you had an official
    blog? I remember that you and Walt were harvesting tomatoes and bell peppers from your garden.

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    1. I think I first went on Slow Travel in 2004, when Chris from Sacramento urged me to. Later, she and Frank came to Saint-Aignan and we spent a couple of afternoons with them.

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  4. This is a lovely chapel. It gives me the same feeling as the lonely one in a clearing in the forest of Loches.

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    1. We should go back to Le Liget on your next visit.h

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  5. I just read the finding of the owl (both of them) post. I love seeing owls, but I bet you and Claude were surprised at this one and then to find an owl carving- probably gave you a frisson...I read a book called Molokai recently about leper colonies and understand why this chapel is set away from town. Maybe people were afraid to tear it down or reuse the stone. It's nice to look at and imagine life 900 years ago.

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    1. It was a spooky coincidence seeing that owl carved in stone after seeing the real owl inside the chapel. I had pushed on the front door there several times before but never had found it unlocked. It opened, but Claude and I didn't dare go inside. There was that big bird in there, and we didn't know if there was a danger of stones falling on us.

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  6. Oh what a lovely chapel, with the sun hitting it. Glad to hear it is now in partial use.

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  7. Oh, my, I do love these close-up shots :) The stone is just great. Is that limestone?
    I enjoyed looking at your 2007 post, too, and seeing the carved owl!

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    1. It has to be the local limestone, I think. I'm in high gear, getting ready for my trip back to N.C.

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    2. If you haven't left yet, the strong cold front is supposed to go away by about Sunday, so temps in NC should be more your French normal.

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  8. it looks interesting and old

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