Monday, March 4, 2013

Doors in France

We are completely enchanted by the doors in France. Here are a few snapshots  taken in the past few years. Only one is a business and all are in use every day. 


The carving on this door is amazing. On a side street in Marciac, home to the International Jazz Festival held in August of each year. If you are a jazz enthusiast you know... Wynton Marsalis is the quintessential classical and jazz trumpeter. Bandleader, composer, teacher and Artistic Director of Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City. He has been the recipient of numerous Grammy Awards as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Music. 

To paraphrase Wikileaks; ...The city of Marciac, France, erected a bronze statue in his honor. The French Ministry of Culture appointed Wynton the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature, and in the fall of 2009, Marsalis received France's highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, an honor that was first awarded by Napoleon Bonaparte."

Back to the door... I just think it is fabulous and really makes a statement. I don't know if it is a family home, apartments or a business. Perhaps some day we will stop and investigate further to uncover more of the story.

 St Jean de Buerges

This door leads into the renovated home of a French language school in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. A beautiful area with very different geography from the Gers department where Montegut is located. The exterior appears more rustic than the very modern interior.
Barry's cousin Patricia and I spent three weeks teaching our instructors two daughters English  learning French. We were invited to join the family for le petite dejeuner each morning and often for dîner in the evening. It was during and after these meals with the family that we answered questions, corrected grammar and checked homework.

This is the door to our classroom just next door to the family home, our rooms were in this same building. Our accommodations were very modern and comfortable. But our language skills didn't improve much...

St Guillaume

St Guillaume is an medium sized village with an Abbey connected to a church. The village has narrow winding streets filled with small shops that attract tourists. This area is home to an interesting plant - the Cardomon. Residents hang this plants on their doors, shutters and exterior walls. I was told that even the dried plant forecasts the weather... opening and then closing when the weather changes. The example in this photo is about 18"across.


And finally, Montegut. 
A couple of years ago I re-stained the door and then spent two days layering wax onto the surface. The wood made a miraculous comeback!
Notice that curtain just inside the doorway? That is a muslin drape that blocks the hot sun in the afternoon while still allowing airflow to enter the house. Closing the shutters against the intense afternoon sun yet leaving the window open into the rooms provides the same benefit.

And if you have, thanks for reading...

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