May 20, 2010

Bressuire - May 18

Nothing like starting the day with a good car wash.  The town has now torn the street apart for the third time in one month, so there was about an inch of dust on our poor Peugeot.

We stopped at Noirterre to visit the shrine erected to the memory of WWI soldiers.  It is extremely elaborate.

We've arrived in Bressuire.  We can always find the centre of any town by looking for the Mairie (city hall), l'église (the church) and la boulagerie (the bakery).  This trio, with sometimes a fountain, tells us we are in the middle of things.  I ate one of the best Croque Monsieur (ham sandwich with melted cheese) at a bistro down the street.

The Bressuire castle was built by the lords of Beaumont, vassals of the viscount of Thouars, and belonged to the Beaumont family from the XI to the XV centuries.  Since I come from Beaumont, I wonder if there is any link...

It's not windy, Karl is protected by the stone walls, and yet he leans...

The name Bressuire comes from two elements, being "Berg" (hill) and "Durum" (fortress).  It therefore defines a fortress on a hill.

The castle is now in ruins, and a portion of the site is occupied by a modern château, but an inner and outer line of fortifications are still to be seen.  The whole forms the finest assemblage of feudal ruins in Poitou.

For my gardening friends, there was a wonderful "Jardin des sens" tucked away in the corner with lots of herbs and flowers that had scent.

The current castle houses an artists' workshop, but it's a great place for photography as well.

If you ever start a fire in France, this is what a fire hydrant looks like.

~ AM & OK

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