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Castle cappers

Here are some of the roofs on the logis royal (royal residence) at Loches. Looks very castle-y. The main roof and the conical tower roof on the left are made of slate tiles. The roof over the crenelated tower looks like it's made of stone tiles. Logis royal, Loches, September 2003. I had a good trip to the garden center on Tuesday. All the outdoor plants looked healthy and pretty, but I wasn't there for plants. I picked up three bags of seedling soil (for the price of two!), seeds for haricots...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches, Loches Looks


Top 'o the wall

Another random photo from Loches. This time, a view along the western wall of the upper city. Not much to say about it, but I liked the way the wall seems to snake along on its way toward the royal gate. Wall with moss. Loches, September 2003. I need to go to the pharmacy this week for prescription renewals, so I'm planning to combine that errand with a stop at the nearby garden center. They're having a sale on seedling soil and seeds, and I need a few other things as we begin to prepare for t...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches


Good knight

While not exactly shining, this is a suit of armure (armor) that was likely worn by a soldier in the late middle ages in France. I can't be certain, of course, because I don't have a photo of the description (visible on the base in front of the knight's left foot). It stands in the Royal Residence in Loches. A late middle ages/early renaissance suit of armor. Loches, May 2006. I think we Americans tend to think that all those who wore armor were knights, but as the British well know, the term ...
Tags: Travel, France, Wikipedia, French Language, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches, Royal Residence, Alec Guinness Sir Elton John, Sir Loin of Beef


Sunday stained glass

I believe this window is in the logis royal (royal residence) at Loches. It's a symbol of the royalty, replete with a crown and the fleur de lys (lily flower), a favorite symbol of the French monarchy. There are also the letter C and the Roman numeral VII, standing for King Charles VII, who frequented the logis in the fifteenth century. Original or reproduction? I don't know. Logis royal, Loches, May 2006. I read in Wikipedia that Charles VII was the first French king to reside in the Loire Va...
Tags: Travel, Wikipedia, WCS, Loire Valley, Chateaux, Francois, Southern Touraine, Charles VII, Loches, Château de Chinon


Une lucarne

There is always a splash of color among the greys and browns of a French city. A bright red pot and some greenery on the sill of this lucarne (dormer window) give this scene a simple but effective punch. A dormer window in a slate roof. Loches, June 2011. We're back down to single digits (but above freezing) now that the clouds are gone. And the full moon lights the night. [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches


Simple elegance

There's something quite inviting about these small urban spaces in French cities and towns. They're often not visible to passersby, tucked behind walls, in courtyards. But from up in the Cité royale above Loches, visitors can catch a glimpse of a few of these private spaces. Access to the street, a respite from town. Loches, September 2003. A little outdoor space in a crowded town is nice to have, especially if it's separated from the street. An oasis of calm, a little bit of nature, a place t...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches


Porte royale

This is a sideways view of the Porte royale (Royal Gate) that leads into the upper city at Loches. Only local traffic is allowed inside the gate (residents, workers) so visitors need to park outside and walk up. There are a couple of parking lots just outside the gate, as you can see, but most people have to park farther below. Looking south toward the Porte royale, Loches, September 2003. Our nice weather is expected to end after today with a cold and rainy system predicted for Friday. I did ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches, Porte royale Royal Gate, Loches Only


A taste of spring

Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful day after some morning overcast cleared away. Our neighbors from Blois were out (parents, children, grandchildren, and friends) working in their yard all day, mowing, weed whacking, trimming, raking, and who knows what else. I, on the other hand, got two things done: I cleaned up and mowed the oregano patch and pruned our eight grape vines. I could get more done if I had a small army to help. But it's still only February. We have a lot of time. Fresh spring...
Tags: Travel, Weather, France, WCS, Blois, Southern Touraine, Garden Flowers Plants, Loches


Laundry day

Sometimes you just have to take advantage of a dry, sunny spring day to get some chores done. Like hanging out the laundry. Or some of it. Hanging out clothes also adds a little color to the city. Loches, May 2006. We hang laundry outside during the nice weather in spring, summer, and fall. Otherwise, we hang it indoors or use the dryer. In winter, Ken likes to stretch certain items out on the radiators to dry, taking advantage of the heat to dry them and put some humidity into the air. I don'...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches


Walls and roofs

Here's a more abstract view from up in the Cité royale in Loches. The stone walls of the upper city contrast with the clay roof tiles on the houses in the lower part of the city. A mix of shades and textures, Loches, May 2006. The weather was nice yesterday, as predicted, and I got the hydrangeas pruned. We're expecting similar weather for the next few days and there are other little jobs I'd like to do. For instance, the oregano patch needs to be trimmed of last year's growth to make room for...
Tags: Travel, Jerusalem, WCS, Chateaux, Blois, Southern Touraine, Loches


A (not so) private garden

This private garden is walled off from the street, but it's in full view from the ramparts of the Cité royale in Loches. Whoever owns it did a really nice job. I wouldn't mind a place like this in the middle of the city. I wonder how much it would go for. Bird's eye view of someone's back yard. Loches, May 2006. We're expecting a high temperature of 18ºC (64ºF) today. The one thing I want to accomplish outside today is the pruning back of our hydrangeas. They're planted under the deck on eithe...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches, Loches Whoever


Another view over Loches

This photo was taken near the northern point of the Cité royale in Loches, very close to the royal residence (visible on the right). It's looking roughly eastward. You can see the fifteenth century Porte de Cordeliers down below (with the pointy conical roofs), the eastern gate in what was then the wall around the lower city. The Indre River is just beyond. There's Ken taking a photo of the Porte des Cordeliers, Loches, May 2006. From that gate, a street wound around the promontory and up to t...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Indre River, Loches, Porte des Cordeliers Loches, Porte Royale


O'er the ramparts

The city of Loches is actually two cities. The medieval château, the church of Saint-Ours, the renaissance royal residence, and many private residences are built on a rocky promontory above the Indre River. Below, on the flanks of the higher city and in the river valley itself, is where Loches expanded and grew in the centuries after its founding. Ramparts that once protected the Cité royale in Loches, May 2006. This is a view of a section of the ramparts that protected the Cité royale (royal ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches, Indre River Below


Wall and window

I think, based on the order these photos are in, that this is one of the walls of the medieval château at Loches. But I wouldn't bet my life on it. I think it's an interesting composition nonetheless. A castle wall at Loches, May 2006. We've been having a little trouble recently with Tasha's, um, "bathroom" habits. She's been having a hard time "going" and, when she does, well, the result is wet and runny and not at all normal for her. Sorry.It occurred to me the other day that it may be her f...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Chateaux, Tasha, Southern Touraine, Loches


Pigeon in a rain spout

Some of the walls of the donjon in Loches are fitted with a modern gutter system to keep rainwater from damaging the stonework. This simple outlet looks to be made of copper. It serves the same purpose as a gargoyle (to project water away from the sides of the building), but is not ornately sculpted. Pigeon in a rain spout, Loches, May 2006. The pigeon was standing in the dry outlet, keeping an eye on me as I pointed my camera and snapped the photo. I'm sure I was using my zoom lens and was, t...
Tags: Travel, Wildlife, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches


Inside the donjon

So far I've only found one photo in my collection of the inside of the donjon (keep) at the Château de Loches. I think I may have more, but I obviously didn't label them well enough to find them easily. This one will have to do. Looking up inside the donjon walls at the medieval castle at Loches, June 2011. As you can see, the interior structure (beams, floors, walls, and anything else that was not made from stone) is gone. The tower is an empty shell, except for the traces of fireplaces and w...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches


Le donjon de Loches

Here I'm standing at the base of the 11th century donjon (keep) at the Château de Loches, looking up. This is a view of the exterior. Visitors can go inside the castle and climb up a modern stair built inside to get views of the surrounding region from the top. The tower is 36 meters (118 feet) tall. Try scaling those castle walls! Donjon de Loches, May 2006. There's a lot to see inside the castle, too. It's a paid entry, but well worth it, unless you're mobility impaired. There are many stair...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Loches, Château de Loches


Art imitates life

That's what I called this photo back in 2006 when I took it. It was a sunny and warm May day. Our friend Sue from California was visiting and we took her to see Loches. We visited the old donjon, the church of Saint-Ours, and the renaissance château, and we walked around in the city center for a while. The Tour St.-Antoine, Loches, in real life and as seen by 19th century painter Emmanuel Lansyer. Photo from May 2006. It's difficult to make out what the words below the painting say. The firs...
Tags: Travel, California, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Cathedrals And Churches, Loches, Saint Ours, Antoine Loches, Emmanuel Lansyer, Lansyer


Random views from Loches

I've taken pictures in Loches a few times over the years, so I thought I'd dust a few of them off and post them, even if I've posted them before. There are two distinct buildings in this view. On the right is a corner of the renaissance château built on a bluff above the center of the city. On the left is the Tour Saint-Antoine, the bell tower of a chapel that's long gone. The top of the Tour Saint-Antoine seen from the bluff above the city of Loches, September 2003. The chapel and its bell to...
Tags: Travel, Antoine, WCS, Chateaux, Southern Touraine, Cathedrals And Churches, Loches


A front door in Loches

Loches is a small city (just under 7,000 people) about forty minutes south and west of us. Its prominent features include the ruins of a medieval château and its donjon, an interesting church, and a renaissance château, all built on the high bluff that dominates the city. The church is the final resting place of Agnès Sorel (1422-1450), the official mistress of king Charles VII. Someone's beautfully maintained front door on the streets of Loches, September 2003. Loches hosts an animated market...
Tags: Travel, Charles, WCS, Southern Touraine, Loches, Agnès Sorel


Broken tile

One of the grape growers with parcels out behind our house has been using broken terra cotta roof tiles to fill deep ruts in the ground at the end of his vine rows. The ruts are made by tractors and harvesters in the space between the dirt road and where the vines rows begin. The ground gets saturated with rain and becomes very soft and muddy. Broken tiles in the vineyard. The broken tiles give the tractors more traction as they enter the vine rows. The tractors' weight helps to break up tile...
Tags: Travel, WCS, The Vineyard, Loches, Perrusson