pezanas – inside and out
July 3, 2012
Le guide vert refers to Pézanas as the Versailles of the Languedoc in terms of the town being a royal court for Amand de Bouron, Prince de Conti. In 17c terms, he was a Prince du Sang and son-in-law of Louis XIV. Much of the old town remains unchanged from this time. The Hôtel de Lacoste is of an earlier construction and was built and used as a mansion. The staircases and Gothic arches are remarkable. This little group was brought along with their teachers to ‘get into the feel of the period’.
The inlaid pebble pattern on the entrance ground floor level is also quite lovely . . . .
. . streetscapes around Place Gambetta. The tone of green on doors and shutters is fairly appealing – sort of soft apple green – and fits in well with the stone and general ambiance of countryside town. The colour and the town remind me of the Cotswolds and, Pézanas is described by some, as ‘where Languedoc meets the Cotswolds’.
The Ilôt des Prisons and one of the watch towers . . . and parthenocissus, delicately and respectfully, caressing a building.
Doorways are a great feature in the town. In Rue du Château, at Hôtel de Graves, an ogee doorway. The door museum is fascinating – the guardian insistent that you should enter and enjoy – and he’s right!
More soft green and, below, an intriguing set up for sheltering cats from the sun!
Finally in Rue Alfred-Saatier at no 12, stands the Maison des Pauvres (almshouse) with another stunning staircase and 18C wrought iron work. The poem is about, for me anyway, the restlessness of the journey of life – if you let it happen that way of course!
This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to
change beds; one man would like to
suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health
beside the window.
It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and
this question of removal is one
which I discuss incessantly with my soul.
‘Tell me, my soul, poor chilled soul, what do you think of going to live in
Lisbon? It must be warm there, and there
you would invigorate yourself like a lizard. This city is on the sea-shore; they
say that it is built of marble
and that the people there have such a hatred of vegetation that they uproot all
the trees. There you have a landscape
that corresponds to your taste! a landscape made of light and mineral, and
liquid to reflect them!’
My soul does not reply.
‘Since you are so fond of stillness, coupled with the show of movement, would
you like to settle in Holland,
that beatifying country? Perhaps you would find some diversion in that land
whose image you have so often admired
in the art galleries. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of
masts, and ships moored at the foot of
My soul remains silent.
‘Perhaps Batavia attracts you more? There we should find, amongst other
things, the spirit of Europe
married to tropical beauty.’
Not a word. Could my soul be dead?
‘Is it then that you have reached such a degree of lethargy that you acquiesce in your sickness? If so,
flee to lands that are analogues of death. I see how it is, poor soul! We shall pack our trunks for Tornio.
Let us go
farther still to the extreme end of the Baltic; or farther still from life, if that is possible; let us settle at the
the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses
increases monotony, that half-nothingness. There we shall be able to take long baths of darkness,
while for our
amusement the aurora borealis shall send us its rose-coloured rays that are like the reflection of Hell’s
At last my soul explodes, and wisely cries out to me: ‘No matter where! No matter where! As long as
it’s out of the world!’ Charles Baudelaire Anywhere Out of the World