Sunday, 25 January 2009

2004 Within These Walls - How Many Quilts????

Midway through our second week we were at a loose end as to where next to visit when Ian suggested that we travelled back to Langres, the town we passed through earlier on the way to Switzerland.More information is available here. Guzzisue was up for this as Langres is the city that had all the quilts hanging from the city walls.
Having swapped yet another relay on the Guzzi we left Europa Park and headed across country and into France, where the police were watching the border with interest, but they left us along to continue our journey.
Finding a hotel inside the town, Grand Hotel De L'Europe
, quite expensive for us but at least they have a car park at the back of the building. We also dine at the hotel in the evening, having a meal prepared with local produce and finishing with a selection of local cheeses.
Next morning we concluded that by the amount of buffet breakfast that had disappeared we must be the last people down. Never mind, a lie in never hurt this group of travellers.
Hunger defeated we walked down to the tourist information centre where we were able to hire out an electronic tour guide, called a "Guide-Man" for 5 euros each. These devices enabled us to key in a code as directed at several places of interest around the city and have a commentary about the location. A great idea as these are available in several languages.
With clear blue skies, armed with our "Guide-Men" we embark on a walk around the outside of the city with Guzzisue in heaven taking pictures of the numerous quilts. The exhibition ran from July to September 2004 under the banner of Patch' Murailles, with input from francepatchwork.com. Below are a few examples of the work.
Most of the quilts were made of fabric although one was made from ripstop nylon, used mainly for kites and tents. Another was made using plastic flowers and fruit woven into chicken wire onto a fabric background. There was an international feel to the exhibition as some quilts had the name of the area it was made.
The one from Beaconsfield took us by surprise until we discovered that it is twinned with Langres.
The largest quilt on display was La Fresque Geante, The Giant Fresco, measuring in at 25 x 8 metres!
The quilt below was based on the roof of Cathedral Saint Mammes looking splendid in the red and gold.
To get out of the sun for a while we entered the coolness offered by the cathedral giving Guzzisue another photo shoot opportunity.
After lunch, for which the local museum closed, we wandered round the exhibits, including having a long look at the remains of a Roman mosaic floor that was discovered during some building repairs. Our "Guide-Men" came in useful again as there were several pieces programmed into them. We also discovered the Green Valley Gallery that was displaying the works of local artist Jean-Yves Texier and Ian and myself got dragged into an exhibition of small patchworks. Here Guzzisue got talking to a lady who told her the story behind several of the pieces, both hanging on the city walls and inside the gallery.
Walking around Langres there are several plaques giving the history of an area of interest.
With the streets being narrow, Langres is an idea place for the pedestrian that is more intent on looking around without having to be too wary of passing traffic.
In conclusion, Langres is well worth a day stop over and one day we may well return for another visit as I'm sure we did not see everything the city has to offer. There was one last thing to do and that was a visit to the local pizza house for dinner before returning to the hotel to pack for tomorrows journey back to Bethune and then onwards back home.

2 comments:

Pam said...

Great photos! Thanks for the tour.

Affer said...

How extraordinary - a town draped in quilts! Marvellous photos and descriptions (as usual!).