Monday, July 20, 2009

medieval city of cordes sur ciel

On our fourth day at the Chateau, we trekked to the nearby medieval city Cordes sur Ciel, perched high on a rocky promontory that allowed its fortified long view of the surrounding valleys. Sometimes it even has its head literally in the clouds. Built in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse, a Cathar heretic, and with many 13th and 14th gothic homes still preserved inside the fortified walls, the town of Cordes ("rocky heights") was renamed in 1993 to reflect its romantic appeal to artists and tourists. On our walk uphill, we visited the printing studio of textile artist Rowena Maybourne, tucked in a narrow 13th-century house with her main studio up the winding stairs on the 3rd floor.

For atmosphere, here are some of my photos from our uphill walk on narrow worn cobblestone streets to the town center at the top -- flowers blooming everywhere, wonderful juxtaposed textures of old stone and weathered wood, ubiquitous shuttered windows. The vivid blue sky was somehow, unfortunately, too ethereal for my camera. But if you visit my new friend Cathy Mogull's blog, you'll see some great photos there of the whole week.

Even where stone wall meets stone walk, there's usually a bit of flowering garden.

Finally, up to the town center inside the town's walls, where our sculpted greeter waited just outside one of the main gates. By appointment, we ate lunch in a restaurant specializing in a medieval menu, quite tasty, served with spoon and knife only, no devil's fork. Then a little shopping was followed by the trek back down the hill.

Old sewing machines lined up in the leather shop where Cathy bought her soft green suede boots.

Flowers carved from wood, then perfumed, were light enough for me to buy a big bouquet to fill a glass urn at home.

Leaving town, we stopped at a couple more small antique shops, where I noticed this old brocante wagon waiting its revival.


Lori said...

that is certainly one amazingly beautiful city...i love all of the stone buildings...they are gorgeous...thanks for sharing your wonderful trip!!!

Roberta said...

Pamela Jane...this is such a beautiful post...I am so jealous of your trip...someday I'll make it back to Europe:} I also wanted to ask your permission to use some of your WONDERFUL photos here of this town in my altered art collage books for my own personal use...I will not sell any...but wanted your express permission. Thanks so much, fondly, Roberta

Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

what an absolutly BEAUTIFUL place to visit Pamela. I wonder if this is your first visit to France? I have never been there but would love to go one day. I am trying to catch up on your blog and your amazing trip... I am hoping to follow the links to see more posts too. SO glad you had a wonderful time!


Stephenie said...

What a beautiful post..Your pictures really captured the beauty.. I would love to go to France someday...What an amazing trip..

Pamela Jane said...

Roberta, since I don't have an active link to respond to you, I'll respond here that you're welcome to use my photos in your art journal -- and I would really enjoy seeing what you do with them. Have fun!