Last post of the series. This time about the fortified village of Puycelsi. We approached it on a hot day around noon and the streets were not very crowded.
We left the car in a car park at the bottom of the hill and climbed the dusty road towards the village. Must have been fun doing this in full plate armour under the scorching sun.
Through the gate we stormed the village.
Not much chance of raping and pillaging so far.
Where are the hobbits? Where is the loot?
Ooh, kitty kitty but the kitty was not pleased.
In one of the houses a choir was rehearsing for the upcoming festival so part of our tour was accompanied by classical music. Bit like in those occult demon summoning horror movies.
Chapelle Saint Jacques, once belonging to the Templars.
Horses resting near a bar. The knights got off for a pee and an ale, I guess.
This at first sight seemingly normal quiet village housed some oddities.
Obligatory church visit while holidaying:
Colourful interior of the St Corneille church
The angel above the altar urgently needs to see a chiropractor
This painting of the crucifixion in the church is by local artist Armand Thuiller (I deducted this from the signature). Bit odd, though. John the Baptist can’t have been present at the crucifixion (already beheaded). Did some browsing earlier today to find out more about it and it seems this is a copy of a painting by Grünewald.
Panoramic views of a presently idyllic countryside. No crusaders in sight. On the left you can see the St. Roch chapel. There is an altar inside, some statues and the tourist office with wifi. Strange place for a tourist office.
Outside there was a box with books offered by the local bookshop (Le temps de lire, they don’t seem to have a website, but they do have a lot of books in the shop). Plenty of mystery/conspiracy J’ai Lu paperbacks.
Two de Sèdes added to the collection
Nice picturesque view of a small alley. But wait, what’s that behind the window on the upper floor?
Oh, never mind. It’s just a skeleton.
We continued on our tour.
Another pretty house, with a closed gate and sign that says ‘Do not enter’.
It’s too hot to paint, even for drawing almost. The past few days I’ve been working in my sketchbook, studies for the things I am working on or will start to work on next month. It’s too hot for Caravaggio as well, so that’s for next week. Today I went to pick up a Greek dude I bought in an auction but that’s also for another time. No WIP today, let’s first finish off the last two travel posts. I’ve switched day 6 and 7 around.
On Thursday we went to Albi, known for its ridiculously big brick cathedral. It’s too hot to write large amounts of text, so mostly images hereafter.
I gave up counting the bricks
I wonder how they painted that ceiling.
Looks a bit condescending, this angel
Nothing more uplifting on your wall than a giant apocalypse
Pool party medieval style
There’s people who cuddle cats and there are those other people
Rosy cheeked angel
Saint Cecilia, patron saint of the cathedral, with some relics
Not sure what this is and what happened down there
Monster, no longer in the closet
Lady in the portal with some graffiti on her feet. I was going to write a whole rant about how people have no respect for monument nowadays until I noticed the dates on the scribblings.
There is so much love for you in my heart. Wait, I’ll tear it out, so I can show you.
After our visit to Cordes (see earlier post), we drove on to Penne, another small medieval village. The sight of the castle perched on the rock above the village is quite spectacular.
Again, the streets were narrow and steep so we left the car in the car park and climbed up towards the castle. Along the way we passed the St. Catherine church so we took a peek inside. Per usual, a very dark and medieval looking interior, almost a castle in itself.
The entrance to the church, photobombed by an unknown man.
The church interior
A dramatic head of Jesus and other religious paraphernalia, behind bars in one of the side chapels
Another head, this time above a door
Creative ash tray
Doll’s head in a mouse trap, quirky decoration on the door of a house, mostly interesting because I didn’t know there was a brand of mouse traps called Lucifer.
Local hero Le terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible, some kind of activist and anarchist from what I gather (correct me if I’m wrong)
After paying the entrance fee (6 euros pp) we climbed even higher up towards the castle itself.
As you can see, the castle is quite kaputt so it’s being restored
Taking a dump, medieval style
Hey, look who we got here: great great great great… uncle Charlemagne! (there is a saying all Europeans descend from Charlemagne – explains my carrot nose)
The medieval builders are part of the entertainment. They’re busy chiseling perfectly rectangular stones into less perfectly rectangular stones to repair walls.
Life before Fortnite
And with one last view of the castle, this post comes to an end:
On day 5 of our stay in the Tarn et Garonne, we visited Cordes-sur-Ciel. Cordes is a fortified medieval village and was the most important must see of the area according to the travel guides we took along. The village lies high up on a hill and reminded me of St.Cirq-Lapopie but it was much much quieter down here.
Driving through the village is not allowed (and not possible anyway) so we left the car in a car park at the bottom of the hill and climbed up towards the skies.
Main street with all sorts of small artisan shops
Banners in the main street
Passageways underneath houses
Panoramic view from the terrace at the highest point of the village
A house. Zoom in on the balcony now.
Meal or murder? Fairly spooky inn sign.
Mannequins in a window, slightly creepy.
A curious grotesque
If animals could read…
Shop in the main square, selling all kinds of lecterns and personalised medieval style books and manuscripts. Bit kitsch, ok, ok.
A bad case of pareidolia. I see a surprised face in this. Do you?
Decorative shutter clamp
Time to visit the church:
John the Baptist in a golden fleece. There were many gold painted statues in the churches we visited. They do like bling over here.
Modern painting of Jesus, signed M. Masquin. I have never seen so many Jesuses in one week, nb.
Stained glass window with Saint Sebastian
Then it was time to cuddle the cats:
This pretty cat was not very friendly. When a little girl tried to stroke it, the cat slapped her hand.
This cat was friendly and when I stroked it, it started purring.
But we were not alone. We were being watched by a hidden cat:
After my daily cat cuddles it was time to head on to our next destination, but that is for a new post.