Articles avec #around lorraine tag
Pottery in Alsace is a very old art, it started at least a thousand years ago. Betschdorf and Soufflenheim are two villages which are very famous because of their pots, pitchers and tins.
I wanted to go there this year after watching a video about pottery on television but last week end a couple of potters came to the village. On top of showing how to make pots, there was a short film about it and we learned that to make grès au sel (salt glazed stoneware) salt is added when stoneware is in the oven and heat at about its highest point. There are special holes on the top of the oven and salt is dropped in it to get vitrification.
I have always known grey and blue pots in houses of the village. I have never looked for the place where they were made but I am nearly sure they came from Alsace and then were sold in local shops.
Big pots were used to keep salted beans in winter (I've seen it when I was young), other vegetables and also eggs. In the end, at my parents', pots were kept empty in the cellar, jars and freezers have replaced them.
On Saturday as we were standing in front of the potters' table we didn't know what to choose. The traditional pottery is now standing next to the modern one, more attractive perhaps, or easier to put with today's decoration.
In the end we chose a traditional pitcher, reminding us "the good old times".
Liberty is often called Marianne in France. So, on Monday, when we arrived at the end of the square in the Skyscrapers District of Villeurbanne, we discovered a statue of Marianne commemorating WW2.
The first thing I noticed was the machine gun in her hands. I had never seen Marianne with a modern gun ! And I was not mistaking ! It was definitely Marianne with her Phrygian cap, her naked bust... It is so easy to recognize her once you keep in mind the painting by Delacroix called Liberté guidant le peuple. Or we think about our stamps.
Coincidentally I read a text about Marianne yesterday saying that "French people were led into the French Revolution by a pair or boobies" with the painting by Delacroix. A man must have written that, only a man can write that ! And where is the problem ? She has led people to victory ! I imagine this man arriving in front of the statue would have not noticed the machine gun first... Male eyes and female eyes don't look at the same things. We know this, don't we ?
After a walk around I only saw the broken chains and the inscription saying the statue has been put on soil brought back from German camps. A beautiful statue fitting with the style of the district.
I feel the photo of the town hall of Villeurbanne is not enough to show you the Quartier des Gratte-Ciel. The architecture of the buildings needs a look and also the end of the square.
The walls of these buildings imitate a curve but along the streets there is at least one building with a real curve on one side instead of an angle, the post office. And we also saw stained-glass windows with 1930s design which were in an inner courtyard.
We would need another trip there to real enjoy the skyscrapers and maybe visit flats (it can be done).
This district is a recognized 20th century heritage monument.
Quartier des Gratte-Ciel in Villeurbanne, suburbs of Lyons, is the sign you have to follow to find this part of the town built in the 1930s.
When I think about the 1930s, the first thing which comes to my mind is the music, especially the charleston, then the clothes, and the only buildings I think about are the ones we can see in Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot on television.
So on Monday morning when we arrived in the middle of this district, walking out of the underground parking place, it was just as if we were going back to the past. It was very calm, and these high buildings are not at all the same as the ones built in the last 40 years. It was the first time I faced this architecture in France.
Skyscrapers District has got a rectangular shape with two higher buildings at one end. At the other end, the town hall is in the middle of the square with big columns and fountains in the front. It is facing the theater, very popular in the town.
You find plenty of shops, cafés, restaurants in the two streets along the district. So we had lunch in a brasserie not far from the town hall. A pleasant break in a long day.