After our walk in the arboretum of Amance, we stopped at the necropolis of Champenoux.
This WW1 French military cemetery was created in 1919. 2862 French soldiers are buried there, most of them killed during the battle of Grand Couronné in August and September 1914. As in Courbesseaux, the sculpture "to the heroes of Grand Couronné" was made by Eugène Gatelet, this time in 1921.
But this necropolis is different from the one in Courbesseaux. It is nearer from houses and also from a busy road, so not as calm. The way it is built makes it similar to the other one which is only a few miles away.
As in Courbesseaux, we thought about all these men who were killed trying to save their country from the enemy. After 100 years, a lot of events are organized not to forget them.
As last year the arboretum of Amance opened its gates to celebrate the Fête de la Nature last week end.
We discovered activities we saw in 2014 like recognizing trees. The path through the trees was the same (I think), European trees first then American trees. And the weather was pleasant, as last year.
There were new things too. We enjoyed watching a play which was "crazy and offbeat". We had a good laugh there. We discovered graffiti art between trees and the artist making them. The way he works is surprising.
And we listened to a scientist explaining about bacteria in the ground and the use of them in biotechnologies. Another one was explaining about tree diseases.
When we were walking, we also saw paintings by Robert Hainard, a Swiss artist. He shows animals in their habitat. This was good too.
We didn't have a lot of time to stay away from home, we were also tired before going to the arboretum. When we left, we were relaxed and managed to be back home on time.
After a visit to the house of Joan of Arc in Domremy, it is common to go to the basilica which is about one mile away.
It was built from 1881 to 1926 near the place where Joan of Arc was tending sheep when she heard the voices of Sainte Catherine, Sainte Marguerite and Saint Michel asking her to help France to be freed from "the English".
Basilique du Bois-Chenu was named after an oak grove which was nearby. There is still a wood at the back of the building. In the front, you can admire meadows and the Meuse River. It is really pleasant. And you stand near the statues of Jacques of Arc and Isabelle Romée, parents of Joan.
A bit further away, near the parking place, there is a big statue of "the voices" and Joan of Arc, dated 1894. You can't miss it as the gilding shines so much in the sun.
In the basilica, there are several big paintings showing the life of Joan of Arc. I particularly liked the ceiling with the cross of Lorraine and fleur de lis. (I always admire ceilings, I don't know why)
In spite of several other visits, I didn't remember how the inside of Basilique du Bois-Chenu was. It was a good opportunity to see it again.
Domremy is a village situated in the Vosges département and the Meuse River goes through it. I have been there several times and each time it was quiet and peaceful. Even last Sunday, and in spite of a spring fair, I kept the idea it is a calm village.
The spring fair was organized with Middle Ages activities and food. Children were training as knights and wearing the same costumes. Drinks had to be paid with écus (crowns). The music was pleasant and people were selling hand-made things.
I wondered if I would be able to take a picture of the house of Joan of Arc because of the activities near it, but the path just in front of the building was free. This house has not changed for centuries. Joan of Arc was born there and lived with her brothers and sister in this place till she left to "kick English people out of France". (That's the way we were taught about it at school).
The house is standing between Saint-Remy church and the Meuse River, on the main road. There is a sign not far from it explaining the village is celebrating the 600th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc ;she was born in 1412.
I noticed cars were coming from different places in France but also from abroad to visit Domremy and the house, but there was no crowd and I liked that.
A guard stone is "a projecting stone located at the corner of walls to prevent damage from vehicle wheels" (source : Wikipedia). In French it is called a chasse-roues, a wheel chaser.
I have seen guard stones during many years without knowing why they were standing near houses. In my village there are still a few, near entry doors ; they are only about two feet high. In Vic-sur-Seille, I took the picture of this big guard stone. It is more than five feet high and one of the highest I have seen. It was useful at the time of horse drawn vehicles in the narrow streets of this small town. It is at the intersection of two streets and I am sure that nowadays cars don't bump into it.
Guard stones can be found quite easily in old parts of towns or villages. I have only seen once a house without a guard stone but with a curved wall instead, to let vehicles turn more easily.It is in Nancy and is called the Goblin's House.