Monday, 17 September 2012

European Heritage Weekend

Every year in September, the 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention take part in European Heritage Days.  These have to be in September and here in France, it was the weekend just gone - 15th and 16th September.

I decided to go to see a nearby château - called Le Fraisse - on the Sunday, although there was a big brocante locally that I wanted to visit too (more about that in a later post). I've been here over 5 years now and always planned to visit this château, which is only a few minutes away from me.

It was stunning.

I've seen châteaux in the Loire, but they weren't a patch on this one, which is still a family home. I didn't like to ask how they escaped all that nastiness in the Revolution, but suffice it to say they did.  Guess the peasants here weren't quite so revolting as in other parts...

It was a guided tour and fortunately my French is good enough to understand 90% of what was said.  The outside is beautiful...

front

...and the inside was lovely, especially with the fact that the family had dressed in antique costumes to provide atmosphere and they were all very polite, allowing me to take a few photographs without a murmur...

Old costume

(The lady above was actually an English friend of the family and said they all spoke excellent English)

Living room 

Fireplace

In the courtyard was a stall selling BIO (organic) vegetables, which is one of the ways the family earns a living.  At the back of the château is an enormous potager - with lots of pumpkins at this time of year, of course...

pretty big potager

The tour was given by a dashing family member, dressed as a huntsman, complete with an old-fashioned horn around his shoulder. He was so busy I didn't dare ask to take his photo!  A young girl - about 8 or 9 I judged - kept running around with the Tour and into the rooms where we were taken.  She was obviously a member of the family too - and dressed in an old-fashioned nightgown! Here she is in the Lingerie (not the underwear room but the Linen room)...

The laundry

...and here, in the bedroom, but she turned just as I took the photo...

bedroom, right

Here is the other side of the bedroom...

bedroom, left


...and a bathroom...


bathroom

...sadly lacking in prettifying ornamentation and looking rather stark!

I had a lovely afternoon out there and still can't believe that the French haven't cottoned on to the idea of a tea rooms as part of the 'experience'!

2 comments:

quilterliz said...

G'day Penny. Lovely photos and it looks to be a gorgeous place. I love the period dress they are wearing. Take care. Liz...

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Bonjour Penny
I really enjoyed seeing through the lovely chateau with you!
I've recently returned from France where my daughter and granddaughters live - so sadly I missed Heritage weekend.

There is a lovely 'lived in' private chateau near her too, so I would be interested to know if they opened their doors too!

Thank you for joining my blog and I'm now following you too we're sure to have lots in common even tho we live 12,000 miles apart!

Shane in New Zealand