Friday, 25 March 2016

A visit to Maisonnais-sur-Tardoire

Maisonnais-sur-Tardoire is a commune of about 400 inhabitants, in the Haute-Vienne department, but only 20 minutes by car to the east of here.

Located on the ancient Roman road from Perigueux to Poitiers, the area has been inhabited since time immemorial! Underground silos (cluzeaux) used for crop storage, dating from the Merovingian period (when the Romans and Gauls held sway over France in the 5th - 8th centuries) have been discovered nearby. 

The honey produced in the commune has the label "Regional Natural Périgord Limousin" and they have a notable honey festival to celebrate, attended by many beekeepers on the third weekend in September.
A view down the main street approaching the church. It's such a well-kept village!! The first thing  one notices is the exceptional state of the buildings, even including the barns!; the stonework, mortar, painting, roof tiling and carpentry are all exquisitely restored, maintained and preserved!

The village church is dedicated to Saint-Cyprian. It was built in the 11th century in the Romanesque style and its square steeple is somewhat unusual.

The simple altar. Note too that domed stone vaulted ceiling, curved in two directions! How skillful is that, with 11 century building techniques!

The pulpit, obviously a later addition, but a plain design, in keeping with the original structure.

We visited the village to hear a concert by a local choir, of which a friend is a member. They learn and sing songs from countries all around the world.The list of songs they sang, if you should be interested, is at the end of this post.The singing was excellent, and in fact so well appreciated by the audience they did two encores!

Elaborate dovecote-porch entrance to the large house opposite the church.

The property also has a second gateway (the servant's entrance?) on the other side!

 Looking down the immaculate main street, away from the church, note the house on the right. It's unusual, but it's not immediately obvious why this is so......

 here it is again, from the other side.
It was built in 1905, not using the normal local granite, but using limestone from the Charente.See how the corners and frames to openings are carefully detailed in squared stone blocks. Expensive! Its mansard roof with dormer windows is a design feature generally found in much grander residences.Many of the other village houses are rendered (this was a fashion in times past, to show one's neighbours that one had  the money to spend to upgrade one's house!) but this building really outdid all the neighbours! In 1910, the building was the local post office, but whether it was originally built as such isn't stated. Thankfully no-one has interfered with the original mason's fine craftsmanship and it remains unaltered to this day.



The entrance and window. More very expensive carving. This building is quite a statement of expense in a small country farming village. One wonders what the inhabitants at the time made of this lavishness!

Detail of the stone carving over the window.

The local Mairie (Mayor's office), the bus stop, and  not forgetting the lady in black, of whom every French village has at least one!

and of course no village in France would be complete without a war memorial. To close, as promised, the concert programme!






Also see my daily diary HERE

and My Life Before Charente (updated 08 February 2016) 

37 comments:

  1. I really appreciated your photos of this lovely village. The ornate old post office building is certainly grand and, compared to it, the Mairie looks like a poor relation.
    I am not too familiar about the UK referendum called Brixit. Just now a read an article that mentions that Britons living on the continent may lose many rights that are only guaranteed because of EU laws, such as access to pensions, health care and public service. I have not seen anyone mention this on blogs. What is your opinion on all this?

    The choir must have given a great show considering their choice of international songs. I would have loved listening to them.

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    1. Vagabonde the choir was superb and I am so glad we went.

      Re Brixit, NOBODY KNOWS. No one has left the EU before so there are no answers at this stage. leaving is a huge risk as we see it. We should still get our pensions we think, but it will not be indexed linked. As for health care and everything else as I said nobody knows. We will vote to stay in obviously, we have the right to vote as we have not been 15 years out of the UK. There will be 2.2 million people in the same position as we will be if the UK leaves the EU. Hopefully all of these people will vote if they can. It seems though that it is pretty much 50/50 at this stage. We will be in the USA when the result comes out!!!

      Hope you are both well Diane

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  2. It is a spic and span village. It is great to see that the buildings have been carefully restored. The old post office is a beauty.

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    1. Diane it is such a pretty town and probably worth a return visit sometime. It is great to see a place so well cared for. T'other Diane

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  3. Hi Diane - as you say ... what an amazing village - if only (IF ONLY) other inhabitants kept their village or town as well maintained and clean as Maisonnais-sur-Tardoire ...

    Excellent visit with a purpose - your choir .. what fun ... then those buildings .. wonderful to see - that window is incredible, let alone the building ...

    Happy Easter and all the best - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary and a Happy Easter to you as well. I have to say many small towns in France are well cared for in France but this was exceptional.

      The choir was amazing and I would certainly like to go to another of their concerts. Take care Diane

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  4. Thank you for telling me about this lovely village. I will save your post and hope to be able to visit it one day.

    Libbie Griffin
    http:/in-my-suitcase.com

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    1. hanks Libbie for the comment and visit, I hope you get to go there one day. Have a good Easter, Diane

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  5. Thank you Diane for sharing your knowledge of Maionnais- sur -Tardoire . I've driven past it so many times, but never stopped to look around. It's always the same when something is practically on your doorstep. Such lovely architectural detail on the front of that house. I must stop next time and take a look around. Happy Easter, enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Barbara I know the feeling well. Since blogging I am inclined to look for new places to blog about, but we probably would not have gone here other than to hear the choir. I am so glad we went :-) Happy Easter to you as well Diane

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  6. What a lovely village and I agree, so well kept. I am always in awe of 11th century buildings and how incredible that we can still enjoy them today. Those Romans were all over France and it constantly amazes me that their work still remains for us to enjoy today. I've saved this post and like Libbie, I hope to visit one day too.

    Happy Easter to you and Nigel.
    Sam

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    1. Sam the village was spotless and obviously everyone takes car of their own bit. The church was beautiful and the acoustics were quite amazing. So glad we were invited to listen to the choir.
      Happy Easter and keep well Diane

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  7. A super programme from the choir - and such lovely photographs as always. I hope you don't mind but when friends here ask what France is like I show them some of your photographs - so that they can see that there is an awful lot more to France than the Eiffel Tower!

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    1. Fly it was excellent, I have seldom enjoyed an afternoon so much.
      Of course I don't mind, I hope that my blog does some good to enlighten people who know nothing about France other than Paris. Good to hear that your husband is doing well at the moment. Long may it last. Take care both of you Diane

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  8. What a charming village that is, Diane. You really are supremely talented at capturing the essence of a place with your wonderful images. My congratulations to you.

    Have a wonderful Easter - - - Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard Easter was quiet at home but as always there is much to be done. I am not sure about talent, I think a lot of it is luck on my behalf and a camera that takes good photos. I appreciate the comment though. Have a good week Diane

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  9. What a pristine village. So well preserved. I absolutely love the church interior. Just splendid. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, Diane. Thank you for visiting my blog. ♥

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    1. Thanks Joyful, it was such a lovely town and one we would not have discovered if not for the choir singing there. Hope you are well Diane

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  10. Once again I'm impressed with the architecture and the fact that it is so well maintained. So much detail on the "unusual" building. And to hear wonderful music in such a lovely village. I do like touring with you.

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    1. I wish we could tour here together other then virtual, but you are used to to wide open spaces and wild life, while here it is more history and buildings. Keep well Diane P.S. (I hated history at school, now I regret I did not learn more when the brain sort of remembered things!)

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  11. What a beautiful village and such stunning buildings. Being invited to these events enables you to visit places you would never have visited otherwise x

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    1. You are so right Kerry, this is a town we would not have seen if it was not for the choir. Not an area we normally go but perhaps we should think otherwise! There is not a lot about it on the internet so information was not easy to find. So glad we went to see the town and enjoy the fabulous choir. Hope you are feeling better Diane xx

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  12. What a gorgeous place! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour, your photos are beautiful and captivating.

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    1. Thanks Linda for the lovely comment. Have a great week Diane

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  13. What a great little neat village, Diane, so close to your home! And a honey festival to top it off. The church is beautiful, great ceiling, arches and all. And the fantastic architecture on the post office! It would definitely put our little post office here in Cary to shame. It is amazing how old and how well preserved so many structure there are, unlike ones here that are torn down all the time to make way for the new. Great post, Diane! I enjoyed reading it, just wish I knew French to understand the concert program. :-) Take care

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    1. How good to hear from you Pam, I hope all is well.

      The problem with new buildings is they are not built as well and they don't last as long. All these historic buildings were built to perfection without the tools that they have today and they made a much better job of it!! They last with a little updated help.
      Have a good week Diane

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  14. Maybe the owner of that spectacular house was a local boy made good and come home? That happens here sometimes; it makes a house that much more special. What a pretty little town, and, as always, you found a pretty church for us to admire. Lucky you, enjoying their choir! Hope you and Nigel had a nice Easter, Diane.

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    1. Thanks Marjie, this was one of the special towns around here and not one that is advertised or written about. It was tremendous and I am so glad we got to see it thanks to be being invited to hear the choir which was brilliant.
      I hope you are all well Diane.

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  15. You managed to take some lovely shots!!
    So lovely!

    Sugarcandycandy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Monique for the visit and the comment, much appreciated. Have a good day Diane

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  16. What a beautifully kept village. Your photos of it are wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Mary, we were lucky to see it, not an area we would have gone to if it had not been for the choir. :-) Have a great day Diane

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  17. Extremely beautiful.. I can visit France through your camera ..

    http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the virtual tour and thank for the visit. Have a great weekend. Diane

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  18. I want to go and explore France again, when I see your photos.
    You, your camera and blog must be good for the tourist industry.

    Happy Spring time to you.

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  19. I am really impressed along with your writing skills and also with the format on your blog.

    eaux de vie

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  20. I was thrilled to find your blog - and your piece about Maisonnais-sur-Tardoire, which is where I live! It was strange but also rather lovely to see the photos of the old Post Office too - my mother lived there in that very flat shown by the net curtains, until she died in 2011. We are very proud of our village, and do try to keep it neat and tidy - and pretty, with tubs and baskets of flowers. Thanks you so much for the tour around the village!

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