Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pont l'Eveque

Last summer the buzz-word was a stay-cation. What is it this summer? I don't know, all I know is that it's a no-cation, for me, until September's trip to Beaune. So I am forced to browse my photos of last summer's trip with the boys and have a virtual vacation, which I will share with you today, our brief drive through Pont l'Eveque in Normandy. The name means "the bishop's bridge." If you are a lover of French cheese, you may know it, cow's milk cheese, unpasteurized in France. Square; mild but delish; find a local AOC producer if you can:

The town itself is in lower Normandy and the Departement of Calvados; I have visited a handful of times; thankfully R was driving this leg so I could take lots of pics in the bright light; the baskets to be had in town; at the general store:
Even the city trees and flowers are held in osier (reed) planters; I love it!
Textured baskets for sale in town, we did not stop :(
The fantastic church of Saint Michel:
the city seems a little alpine always to me, but that is perhaps due to the profusion of geranium window boxes:
The city hall or maire; this is where we get our word town Mayor is like la Lanterne at Versailles, full of windows that light from the inside like a lantern:

There is a preference in town for the color blue:
Most of the buildings in town are what are called maison a colombage (house of columns), or sometimes pans de bois (walls of wood). The word colombages comes from the 11thC term columbe and from the Latin columna = column. Plaster was added generally in the XVII - XIX th C to make the houses more sophisticated. This architecture is found all over Europe, though after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 the French and English shared this style. The style has a generous roof overhang, and a brick and/or stone foundation as this one; fantastic:
and a close up of the window boxes:
The colour blue again, which will be cheerful when the weather is dreary as it often is; this is a tiny period door, and I loved the blue and geometric:
here too:
the Maire again: it sports a fine slate roof and what the French call Bossage. Exposed stone corner supports. This is an excellent example. I do not know what we call this in English, but in French bossage figures prominently. In America we see it more as an affectation, but in France it is usually structural; we referred to this style a million times at the Louvre:
More colombage, note the stone and brick foundation, and a lantern for Joni:
Ivy covered walls elsewhere in town:
the main drag; columbage and dormers + + +:
here a final example, slate or ardoise roof and terra cotta chimney toppers:
just outside of town you can taste every kind of Calvados, at the farms; here with an old slate roof:

More tomorrow on Normandie....


  1. You have such an observant eye and I am so happy you share it as I just learned to pay closer attention to what I am looking at while traveling. Much love XO

  2. Oh Andrea, this is well worth the wait! Thank you for allowing to tap into your reservoir of inspiration. xo

  3. I soooo wanted to stop here last week, but we were in our motorhome and parking was not possible. Thanks for posting the pics