The church of Appeville-Annebault and its pigeons

The church Saint-André in Appeville-Annebault was mentioned in the 11th century for the first time. I bet the whole village was mentioned in the 11th century for the first time. But it sure wasn’t the same church Appeville-Annebault has today. The choir of the “modern” church was built in 14th century but the nave and the bell tower were rebuilt in 1518 and the following years for the still famous Claude d’Annebault (imagine you’d be dead since over 400 years and still get a Wikipedia article, not that it would make any difference concerning being dead though). He must have been quite wealthy. Strange enough the right of patronage belonged to a monastery, the priory of Saint-Philbert-sur-Risle and later to Bec Abbey, and not to the local seigneur.

I went there on the last warm days 2014. Everybody in Normandy knew it were the last warm days. And everybody was out there on the streets in their car. I had my terrier Rudi with me. He likes to go by car, mainly because he gets a treat if he has to wait. We reached the church and found no parking. There was a one way road and one parking place for the parson. None for the visitors. Maybe they don’t want visitors. On one side of the church runs a route départementale, a big road with lots of traffic. At the side of the church was a lot of space. really a lot of space. With a “No waiting”-sign. I had no choice if I wanted to take photographs of the church, I had to leave my car somewhere. I hoped Rudi would explain to any police officer, that we’re not waiting and I hoped he would drive away if necessary. Would have been a good idea to take the Bernese mountain dog with me as well, he looks so much like a driver.

In front of the gate to the cemetery, that surrounds the church, lay a dead pigeon in a decomposed state. They really don’t want any visitors. After fiddling around with the gate mechanism for 10 minutes I finally opened it and entered the cemetery.

l'église Saint-André
All the photographs in this article are my own. They are on Flickr and somehow I can’t get Chromium to tag or rather describe them here correctly. This is the church Saint-André (Saint Andrew).

Front of the church Saint-André
The picturesque façade of the church.

Musical angels over the entrance
Musical anges over the left front door.

Musical angels over the entrance
Musical anges over the right front door.

Kleiner Fuchs auf verzierter Säule
There’s a small tortoiseshell butterfly sitting on the decorated pillar next to the entrance of the church.

I like gargoyles, there were several gargoyles in good condition and some other sculptures.

Gargoyle on Saint-André

Gargoyle on Saint-André

Saint Andrew holding a cross
This gargoyle had a Saint Andrew above him.

Pigeon playground
This one was a pigeon playground.

Ape and pigeon

This apelike figure is holding a coat of arms with a St. Andrew’s cross. It’s not an ape though. It’s a lion. Go figure. The coat of arms of Admiral Annebault wasn’t like this. It showed two silver branches of rowan berries draped like a double necklace under a blue and white chequered chief.

Appeville Südtür
The southern door, that led the defunct’s soul directly into heaven. Very practical custom, if one believes in it of course.

Kopf ist ab, Schwanz noch dran
A dragon. His head is missing.

Türmchen auf der Kirche Saint-André
On the roof were lots of pigeons and some finials. I liked those finials. They look like thistles.

épi de faitage sur l'église Saint-André

And last but not least a weathercock with “balls”.

Coq avec boules

The “balls” have holes and I guess they are rather loops. Maybe they were used to pull he weathercock up with a rope. No idea. Only some older weathercocks in the area have those loops.

I took those photographs in no time. Was relieved that nobody asked Rudi to drive the car away. It wasn’t the only car standing in the “No waiting”-area though. There were two other cars and a trailer of a truck. But you’ll never know. Rudi appreciated the treat and we drove happily home.

Sources and further reading

The church Saint-André in the Base Mérimée

French Wikipedia, where a user by name of ‘Redbeauty’ has written some completely unsourced content They wrote about the lion.

Heritage Day 2013, Second part: On the ropes of Chamblac and crooked photos in Giverville

Deutsche Version: hier.

And I promise, soon there will be animals again.

In Chamblac the church Notre-Dame was open and a member of the city council showed us around. He was very nice and he even allowed me to ring the church bell.. a bit. The ringing mechanism is not electrical, a rarity in the area. It was the first time I ever rang a church bell. It was impressive. Takes ages to swing the bell enough to make it ring and it feels as if it would fall on ones head.

Alain and Jeannine go into the church Notre-Dame of Chamblac. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The bell ropes. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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Heritage Day 2013, First part: Blanc-Buisson Castle

Deutsche Version: hier.

The name of the Heritage Day in France is: „Journée de patrimoine“, or rather „Journées“, plural, because the Saturday is included. This year I only took advantage of the Sunday. I went with Alain and Jeannine, who lives in a village nearby. I still don’t have a car and it would have been difficult to see as much as I did, if I’d had to go by bike. And the others wouldn’t have been able to go by bike anyways. Driving with Alain’s car was much more social. And he let me drive on the way back. Because I love to drive cars.

At first we went to Saint-Pierre-du-Mesnil where we saw Blanc-Buisson Castle.

Alain und Jeannine habe ich gefragt ob ich Fotos von ihnen hochladen darf, ja ich darf. Da ich mich hier in Fotografenpose warf, machten die beiden sich bereit und Jeannine hastete zum Mäuerchen. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

I asked Alain and Jeannine, if I can upload the photos. They don’t mind. Since I was striking a photgrapherpose, everybody started to get in position. Jeannine ran to the wall. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Alain and Jeannine, who is sitting now,, as if she was always sitting there. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Blanc-Buisson Castle was built in 1290, in the reign of Philip IV of France. The castle is a rare example of the defensive architecture of the Late Middle Ages in the Pays d’Ouche. In 1355 the castle was attacked and nearly destroyed. After 1470 it was inhabited again. In the following seven centuries everything went well for the castle. The owners changed only three times, two times because of marriage and only once because it was sold.

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Visiting Évreux

Deutsche Version ist hier.

I didn’t go to Évreux for fun. I wanted to get a vehicle registration certificate. I didn’t get anything except a lot of photos. But that’s something. Évreux is the capital of the département Eure. It had 50,537 inhabitants in 2010 and it has one of the worst official websites I have ever seen (They want to sell me something?). It has lots of history, even more than the average village around here. And you might have noticed, all those villages got some history.

Court house of Évreux. It was built between 1682 and 1714, renovated and redecorated in the 19th century and hit by lightning in 1911. All the archives burned. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

In Celtic times (since around 600 BC or earlier) Évreux was the capital of the Eburovices. Then the Romans took over (52 BC to 486 AD). They left some ruins and nice things to put in museums.

Then the Christians took over. In the 5th century the first bishop arrived. His name was Taurinus. His life is a legend. According to said legend he died in the year 410. Maybe he didn’t exist. But the people of Évreux prefer to believe that he evangelised the region, was directly ordered to do so by an angel and so on. The usual story.

In the 10th century Richard I, Duke of Normandy (933–996) found an abbey in the name of Taurinus. The church of that abbey is still standing and I visited it. Hurray. It was built at the end of the 11th century or 12th century or in the 13th century. Wikipedia, the city of Évreux or the tourist office and the government in terms of the “Base Mérimée” don’t seem to be able to agree on a certain date.

Floor plan of the church Saint-Taurin with letters indicating the age of parts of the church. I found the floor plan somewhere, think it should be in the public domain, but am unsure. But I don't claim any rights on this image.

Floor plan of the church Saint-Taurin with letters indicating the age of parts of the church. I found the floor plan somewhere, think it should be in the public domain, but am unsure. But I don’t claim any rights on this image.

église Saint-Taurin à Évreux

It has some nice gargoyles, sadly the relief over the entrance door was damaged in the French Revolution (1789-1799). Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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Flowers for the bees

Deutsche Version ist: hier.

In Normandy it used to be custom to plant cornflowers (centaurea cyanus) in the grainfields, so the bees find something to eat. That means until harvest Normandy was full of flowers. Nowadays the cornflowers are rare. But in Berthouville there is still at least one field with cornflowers amidst the cereals and a huge meadow full of flowers of various kinds.

Campanula rapunculus, Rampion Bellflower on an unploughed strip on August 10. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Papaver rhoeas, corn poppy, next to a field. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Corn poppies at a maize field on August 10. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Centaurea cyanus, cornflower on the special cornflower-meadow on August 12. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Pink and white cornflowers on the meadow on August 12. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Splendid cosmos bipinnatus, garden cosmos on the meadow. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Centaurea-meadow in Berthouville. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More of the meadow. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Garden cosmos with a bumblebee in the meadow. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Anthemis arvensis, corn chamomile on August 17. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported