The priory of Varangéville (le Prieuré), in Meurthe-et-Moselle, was created by the monks of Gorze (in Moselle) in the 8th century.
In 764, relics of saint Gorgon were carried through the region. One day, late in the evening, it was too dark to go on with the trip and it was decided to stop in Varangéville. The relics were hanged up on a thorny bush. The following morning the bush had changed and grown a lot. That was the beginning of the priory place.
The building we can see nowadays dates from the 12th century. Only the outside is visible and needs some work to restore the old parts. The nearby church is dedicated to saint Gorgon.
And there is a very pleasant park at the back of the priory where you can sit and relax, and also a book tree like in Nancy (but only accessible during week days). A nice place to see.
Have you noticed that we see more and more decoration in our streets ? In France, for sure. When I was young, we only had road signs and lights, sometimes trees. Flowers were in parks. Then flowers appeared in streets, very often in big square or rectangular cement grey "pots".
Nowadays all sorts of plants are in the ground, above the ground, in colourful pots, on the pavement, in the middle of the streets... Paintings are made on walls and all sorts of objects can be seen on roundabouts, in parking places, in squares.
We are getting used to it. Most of the time it is linked to the place (an old building or castle, a tradition, a local product) or to an event (an anniversary, a season, a fair).
Two weeks ago I saw this boat on the big parking place of Dombasle-sur-Meurthe. I am a bit puzzled. I didn't expect this sort of boat, a barge wouldn't have surprised me because of the canal de la Marne au Rhin, but this boat wouldn't be seen on the canal, I think, nor on the Meurthe river which is not navigable.
Sometimes the idea of people making street decoration is a bit difficult to figure out.
Last Wednesday morning we watched glass blowers making Christmas baubles in Meisenthal in Moselle and in the afternoon we visited the new museum dedicated to Lalique work in Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace.
It is the only museum about Lalique creations in Europe and there is only another museum about Lalique in the world, in Japan.
An old glassworks has been restored and a new modern building added to it to make a beautiful and pleasant museum.
Our guide was very lively. She explained about Lalique family and how they have diversified their creations from jewellery to perfume bottles and then to other things.
René Lalique was asked to create the front of a perfume bottle for François Coty in 1908. He was not happy with his own work, just stuck on the front of the bottle, and chose to change the whole bottle. The first bottle is on the left on the picture, and the second one René Lalique decided to make and François Coty chose on the right on the picture.
It was the beginning of a long collaboration.
The work of the Lalique family includes dishes, carafes, and other things for the table, but also bigger or very big objects like fountains, chandeliers or even objects for chapels and churches.
At the museum shop we saw colourful fish and necklaces with information about Lalique, then some of us had a drink in the nearby café which shows beautiful chairs with a green top similar to Lalique work (no picture, sorry).
We enjoyed the tour in the museum, the explanations of the guide and also the surroundings of this place. It was not boring at all and really deserved the time we spent there.
We like La Petite Pierre. This small town is in Alsace if you have to mention the region, but the obvious point is that it is situated in the Vosges mountains.
La Petite Pierre is surrounded by woods. It is nice to walk there. This time we stopped at the restaurant of the Village de Vacances to have lunch and I took this picture as we thought the view was beautiful. It was also calm and pleasant (well, before we all were around tables and started chatting). We enjoyed this break during our tour between Meisenthal and the Lalique museum.
We also had dinner at the same place and had a drink outside before it was served. The view was brighter at that time of the day but I forgot to take another picture. I just appreciated the view and the air while sipping my drink and chatting with friends.
Life is good sometimes.
Each year we hear about Meisenthal in Moselle, as each year the glassworks there creates a new Christmas tree ornament, and each time with a different shape.
I don't know about 2015 yet, but in the previous years, the shape of Meisenthal ornaments has been a pine cone, a cloud, a bauble (the traditional decoration), a weight (!!), a bulb... or an abstract shape. They are beautiful and... heavy.
Yesterday, at the workshop, we saw how some baubles are made. A glass-blower deals with the shape, another helps to make the top or/and to join both parts together. They work in a hot place, about 42°C (107°F). It is a hard job.
A man explained about the whole process to get a perfect Christmas tree ornament. Everybody was interested in spite of the heat. Then we stopped in the glassworks shop to admire all the different creations.
Instead of taking pictures of the different ornaments, I feel it is better to give you the link to have a look at the collection. Prices are quite similar for decorations with the same size but red ones are more expensive as gold is necessary to make the red colour.