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Journées du Patrimoine, Sept 19-20, 2015
by Annik • Thu 10 Sep 2015 20:40

Yes, folks, it's that time again.

Look out for the usual very peculiar posters that the artistic bods at the Ministry of Culture have decided will advertise the Journées du Patrimoine events this year. You can also get hold of A4 booklets produced by the Limousin giving details of places that are open - usually free or for a reduced tariff. La Montagne also produces a detailed list either the day before the weekend or on the Saturday morning.

The theme this year is the heritage of the future - 21st century buildings. In our commune that would be our neighbour's new bungalow built about 2006. However, all the usual participants will be opening their doors and welcoming visitors, regardless of the age of their premises.

Our three "Mottes Castrales de l'An Mil" (dating back to about 957AD) at La Tour in the commune of St Dizier la Tour will be taking part as usual, offering free guided visits round our medieval trail from 10am-7pm, in French or English. We have had an exciting year with the project: a medieval feast, a Crusaders' camp re-enactment, an archaeological dig by the University of Picardie, and recognition by the Prefet of the Creuse as one of three major sites of historical importance in the department. We are seeking Historical Monument classification, too.

We would be delighted to welcome you there!

Attachments
JdP500poster.jpg

The mysterious poster...

pont-noir_mottes2015.JPG

Atmospheric picture showing the two small mottes and wooden bridge over the River Goze.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Journées du Patrimoine, Sept 19-20, 2015
by Dave • Tue 12 Jan 2016 11:17

It's a distinctive poster and I looked for it, but I didn't see it anywhere - is this a very local thing?

Also where are those mottes exactly?

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Dave
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Re: Journées du Patrimoine, Sept 19-20, 2015
by Annik • Tue 12 Jan 2016 12:07

The blue and grey posters should have been everywhere, but I think many organisations involved in the Journées du Patrimoine at grassroots level think they are so gross each year (when they have different avante garde design described graphically by our association president as "moche") that they don't use them. In true French bureaucratic style, no-one has consulted the users about the size, so you receive a large box of posters from the Ministry of Culture which must have cost the taxpayers a fortune and some of them are about as large as a double bed. I usually download a PDF sample off the internet and print our own to a size that can go in a shop window or on a busy noticeboard.

The three "Mottes Castrales de l'An Mil" as they are now officially called, are at the hamlet of la Tour in the commune of St Dizier la Tour (23130) and are now a recognised historical tourist attraction in the Creuse. They feature in the annual tourists' passport and we have brown signposts on the main roads around Chénérailles. The mottes are part of a signed medieval circuit round La Tour.

There were originally four mottes in the village but one was demolished to make way for a road. The largest was enormous and although depleted in size now because villagers have quarried it for building materials over the years, it is still very impressive. The best-preserved are the two smaller twin mottes in the picture above which are in a very atmospheric site. This number of mottes in one place is extremely unusual.

You can visit all year round, using guidebooks sold from a box beside the church in La Tour. During July and August there are guided tours, starting from the church where there is an exhibition about mottes castrales and the history of La Tour - which was an important place in medieval times, right in the centre of border country which was disputed by various warlords.

We have a website in French or English. The English version is fuller:
http://latourassociation.wix.com/latouren

If people are interested, I can write a feature about it...

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Journées du Patrimoine, Sept 19-20, 2015
by Dave • Tue 12 Jan 2016 13:58

I shall definitely check them out (once the weather has improved a bit) and I for one would certainly like to hear more about them, and in-fact more about local history in general, there's so much of it the La Creuse that you sort of take it all for granted until someone points it out and you focus on something a bit more.

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Dave
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Aug 2004
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