It’s been one of those weekends when thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoons. It’s hot and close but apart from a few black clouds billowing up now and again we seem to have missed any storm or hail.
It’s been useful as Chris has got the shed roof on. This had been put off for a while as there was the randonnée last weekend, and the weather has often been too wet or too windy or too hot.
Claude and Chris take off the old asbestos roof
and here it is today with the new roof
Of course the shed still needs its gutters to channel the rainwater into the two big recuperators that Claude is going to install on the far side by the vegetable garden.
Thoughts of going for a Sunday afternoon walk soon evaporated when we found there was not a breath of air even up the hill. But we went over to Donzy le Pertuis where there was an exhibition of craft work. There were paintings, petit point, homemade greetings cards, sewing, patchwork and photographs. Outside there was wine tasting with Lionel Jacquet, Marie-Thé’s son.
Pascale was showing her paintings on porcelain
I’ve said this before but I am amazed how skilled and artistic people are here. You find painters and potters and basketwork makers everywhere. Pascale always says that you need to find a handicraft that interests you so you are not just watching daytime TV in the old people’s home. So I hope some of this rubs off on me!
Members of the local heritage society have recently been engaged in marking out the ban sacré, a circular route drawn around Cluny in 1095. At that time the third stage of the building of Cluny Abbey was well advanced and the rapidly increasing numbers of monks found themselves in need of protection from attack and robbery. Hugues de Semur, the Abbot under Pope Urbain II, decreed that within the confines of the ban sacré nobody could carry arms. The penalty was excommunication from the church, a serious punishment in those days. The ban sacré followed existing paths, waymarked with stones carved with the sign of the crossed keys and the arms of the Abbey.
Last October a group of 20 under the guidance of Raymond, the leader of Cortambert, notre Patrimoine, spent two days walking the 46km trail. They started at Donzy and passed through Berzé-le-Châtel, Le Bois Clair and Sainte-Cécile, to spend the night at the Domaine Saint-Laurent at Château. Next day they continued to Croix Micaud, Lournand and finished in Varanges.
There was a little bit of the ban sacré left to do, from Varanges to Donzy, and yesterday we joined the group to complete it. It was lovely weather and here’s a few photos of the afternoon.
Raymond (right) demonstrates how the divining rods can help find buried stone waymarkers
We paused at Notre Dame des Roches, erected just after the war by Cortambert, Donzy and Blanot to give thanks for being spared the bombing. Cluny was bombed in June 1944.
The view back to the Grosne valley was well worth the climb
There are lots of lovely walking trails around here, and thanks to Raymond and the members of Cortambert, notre Patrimoine, we can now follow the ban sacré around Cluny.
We learned a lot more about the heritage of the local area when we participated in a 12km walk around part of the ban sacré between Cortambert and Donzy le Pertuis.
In 1095, when the third stage of the building of the Abbey was well advanced, the rapidly increasing numbers of monks found themselves in need of protection from attack and robbery. Hugues de Semur, the Abbot under Pope Urbain II, decreed that there should be a line drawn around Cluny within which nobody could carry arms. The penalty was excommunication from the church. The boundary followed existing paths and was about 40km in circumference, waymarked by stones carved with the sign of the crossed keys and the arms of the Abbey.
At Notre Dame des Roches
Good views although a bit hazy
It wasn’t just a walk this afternoon. Along the way we had questions to answer about the features we saw. Our score was rather low but we couldn’t compete with the local knowledge (Who built the lavoir? “Oh, that my was grandfather’s brother in law”……).
We looked at the land in a different way. In Roman times (before 550) there were thousands of soldiers camped in Cluny due to its good supply of fresh water. There used to be a dam in the fields above the Chemin du Clou to make a reservoir from which the water was piped to Cluny. The large stones from the dam can still be seen in hedgerows and walls. Water was also run down to the forest between Varanges and Cluny which was divided into plots of 9 square metres. Each soldier was given a plot where they could build a hut.
In sight of Cortambert
Anyway having exercised both the legs and the brain we came back to the foyer rural in Cortambert to have our papers marked and to chat over new wine and cakes.
Very welcome at the end of the afternoon
Many thanks to Cortambert, Donzy and the local Heritage Society for a most interesting afternoon.
Donzy le Pertuis is a picture postcard village nestling on the other side of the hill from us in the direction of Azé. At 426m in altitude it is a little higher than Cortambert and in winter often surprises us with its fairy tale sparkle of snow on the rooftops.
There is a local patois which Donzy helps to keep alive. Some translations and a bit of local history can be found on www.donzy-le-pertuis.fr
Today there was not a cloud in the sky and we went up to Donzy for its annual vide grenier. There was a eclectic variety of goods on stalls along the winding streets of pretty stone houses and outside the romanesque church of Saint-Julien.
Church of Saint-Julien
Many of the 150 or so residents were out with their stalls or picnicking en famille under the shade of the trees. The smell of the barbeque at the buvette persuaded us to stay and have lunch.
Friendly stallholders with a variety of treasures….
I steered Chris away from the bicycles (we usually don’t leave without one) and instead came home with a lovely set of coffee cups. Thank you Donzy!