A couple of weeks ago there was a ‘do’ at our local castle. (How cool is that – to have one of those!)
Boussac Castle is a truly impressive building, and it was open to the public for an evening to celebrate its 50th anniversary of being, well, open to the public. M and Mme Blondeau bought the castle in 1965 and after just three months started allowing visitors in. The castle took a lot longer to fully restore than that as over the years and under an assortment of owners it had fallen into significant disrepair and at one time was in real danger of falling into the Petite Creuse river that runs below it.
I visited the castle for the full tour a long while ago. Rors was very young and the tour was very long and inevitably he needed a wee. We were at the furthest point from the public toilet at the castle and so, to avert disaster, we were allowed into the private quarters to use one of their loos!
The castle dates back to the 12th century, but it was severely damaged during the Hundred Years’ War. Good old Jean de Brosse, friend of Joan of Arc, rebuilt it in the 15th century, although doing so, as well as helping to pay for his king’s (Charles VII) expensive wars, bankrupted him. In a bid to raise money, at one point he sold off his wife’s jewellery and at another, he allowed the people of Boussac to buy their freedom from him. During those feudal times, the local people were the chatelain’s to command.
Here is the de Brosse coat of arms, which features three wheat sheaves, under what I imagine is Jean de Brosse’s fighting hat!
Anyways, back to our evening visit to the castle, we being Caiti and I. Part of the celebrations were exhibitions of glass and enamel statues by Alain Gribet and of monk Dom Robert’s amazing tapestries. Here’s a giant budgie by Gribet that caught my eye.
I love Dom Robert’s creations. He produced some totally stunning tapestries. I’d seen some before at the museum at Aubusson and loved them, so it was wonderful to see some of them again. They seem to glow, they’re so colourful, and they’re full of life and energy.
One of Dom Robert’s tapestries recently sold for £40,000 at Sotheby’s recently. I’m not suprised. In case you haven’t guessed, I adore his creations.
There were some old interesting things to see too. I’m guessing this cockerel has some fascinating stories to tell if only he could talk.
And here’s a tiny chapel.
It was a wonderful if brief visit. The briefness was due to it being very warm and very busy, also very noisy (but in a nice way) thanks to the Batterie Fanfare de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Boussac. A very pleasant outing.