Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little History . . .

A friendly question was raised about the post just below this one : Was I going to spend my vacation visiting French human waste treatment plants ? Well, I'd just like you to know, for the record, that I did not actually set out yesterday with the intention of tracking down a sewage plant. It was an accident. . . but the sort of accident that I'm absolutely not averse to. When I saw the dirt road heading off down along the Oise River, I could do little else but follow it to see where it went. Not my fault if it led to a place stinking to high heaven.
.
In fact, the goal, or the objective of our trip yesterday, was to get to the Abbaye Royale de Moncel, a somewhat more culturally lofty destination than the other. Although it is not too far from our humble abode, we'd never been there . . . and decided to rectify that gap. The Abbey at Moncel was founded in 1309, by Philippe le Bel, so they are celebrating 700 years of history there this year. This is the cloister courtyard . . .
.










Underneath that row of arches in the courtyard, there was a message painted on a wall a long time ago, the French in it is archaic, but translates approximately as : "YOU entered this monastery in order to obey and not to command, so do be persuaded that all that is required of you here is always very useful, very just, and very saintly". I can't help but wonder what all that included through the Middle Ages . . .
.



















In a massive wood door at the entrance to the site there was still an old crudely created iron grill set in the door to allow a conversation to transpire, without necessarily seeing much of person on the other side . . . God only knows what sorts of things were said through these holes over the centuries . . .
.


















.
.

20 comments:

English Rider said...

I know that many English churches had such doors to keep lepers separate. Could this be the same origin?

TechnoBabe said...

Pretty mind boggling the age and history of the buildings and lands you explore. Awesome.

louciao said...

Was the gift shop open?

The Sagittarian said...

What was the ir cellar like then, I bet they would have had fab parties behind those walls!
Amazing old history tho', you're lucky to have all that almost on your doorstep. Thanks for sharing (and making us jealous)

Janie said...

Looks like a fascinating place to fvisit, and I'm sure it smelled better than the sewer plant...
Interesting to contemplate what it would have been like to live a cloistered life.

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Just went on a google/bing quest for info on the monastery and Philippe was not a nice man. He is part of the reason Friday the 13th is a no goodnik day. Templar history and all that.

I wonder if that door was for lepers? Fascinating history.

Steve said...

What an incredible building - grand and yet so heavily austere. Can't expect anything else from a monastery I guess. Can't see Brother Cadfael fitting in very easily...!

cieldequimper said...

It's beautiful in its simplicity. Yes, I know Carentec, à vrai dire il n'y a pas beaucoup d'endroits que je ne connais pas en Bretagne ! En revanche, je ne suis pas versaillaise !

Seb! said...

Bon, l'anglais me met encore un peu à la rue mais l'écriteau qui accueil les moines est absolument incroyable et me refroidit illico... je ne ferai pas moine ;-))

Jill said...

This place gives me the creeps...and that door with holes is a potent image...I think I'd rather hang out on the bridge by the sewage treatment (that photo WAS aesthetic, I thought:)) Good job reporting on both sites, and I did like how you tied all the life preservers together - I just HAD to poke fun at you on how your vacation was starting out...:)enjoy the rest of it!!

clo said...

hello Owen...un bonsoir du soir...j'espère que ça va pour toi...
tu vois on a pas continué les cours d'anglais et je sens que mon cerveau redevient hermétique a tous ces mots qui ne veulent pas délivrer leur substance...c'est difficile de dire quelque chose qui tient debout si on ne comprend pas ce dont il s'agit...Owen il faut que tu mettes un traducteur sur ton blog...même si les traductions sont souvent très mauvaises ça donne une idée un peu plus précise du sujet....
oui Owen dans le sud on est des faignants...on est pas si loin de la Corse que ça...et la chaleur nous épuise...:)...
bises cher Owen...a bientot....

DaisyDeadhead said...

Fantastic photos, as always.

robert said...

Good morning Owen,
was too impressed by the holes your photography shows. Kept me too much in thoughts, that it was actually the 'nothingness' of a hole, which kept me away from writing a comment earlier.
Thank you very much for this feeling. Please have a nice Sunday.

Adrian LaRoque said...

Great post Owen!

Dedene said...

What a great place! I must go visit. The sign is priceless.

Owen said...

Hi Dedene, Not sure how far you are from Paris, but from la Porte de la Chappelle, it's probably about 45 minutes to an hour to get to Pont St Maxenc / Pontpoint, where this is located... the sign is something, YOU are here to obey ! And don't forget it...

==============

Thanks Adrian !

==============

Tag Robert, There is certainly food for thought there. Nothingness versus somethingness. Holes and non-holes, matter anti-matter... A separation between separate universes...

==============

Thanks very much Daisy, and a grateful weekend to you !

Owen said...

Bonjour Clo, en tout cas, ce sont les images qui valent mille mots chacune, même pour les fainéant(e)s... :-D Tu sais, même sur Google il y a un traducteur... ici :

http://translate.google.com/#

Donc, par exemple, pour les premiers paragraphes cela donne :

"A friendly question a été posée sur le post juste au-dessous de celui-ci: Est-ce que je vais passer mes vacances de visite français des usines de traitement des déchets humains? Eh bien, je voudrais juste vous faire savoir, pour mémoire, que je n'ai pas mis hier à l'intention de suivre une station d'épuration. Il a été un accident. . . mais le genre d'accident que je ne suis absolument pas hostile à. Quand j'ai vu la route de terre au large de la position le long de l'Oise, je pouvais faire d'autre que de peu de le suivre pour voir où il va. Pas ma faute si elle a abouti à un endroit puant à haute ciel.
.
En fait, le but ou l'objectif de notre voyage, hier, était de se rendre à l'Abbaye Royale de Moncel, un peu plus noble destination culturelle que l'autre. Bien qu'il ne soit pas trop loin de notre humble demeure, nous n'avions jamais été là. . . et a décidé de remédier à cette lacune. L'Abbaye de Moncel a été fondée en 1309, par Philippe le Bel, afin qu'ils célèbrent 700 ans d'histoire cette année. C'est la cour du cloître"

Qui n'est pas trop mauvais comme traduction... bien que ça pourrait être un peu plus chatié, mais l'essentiel est là...

Il y a aussi le celebre site de Babel Fish ici :

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

Owen said...

Hi Jill, the convent life wouldn't be for me either, but I love the architecture in these places... am already enjoying the rest of vacation, we're out in Brittany now by the sea... not a sewage plant in sight ! Saw a blue lifesaver yesterday... a change from orange...

============

Bonjour Seb! et bienvenu... c'est vrai j'ai l'habitude de blogger plutôt en anglais, mais bon, comme répondu à Clo ci-dessus, il y a des traducteurs qui marchent plus ou moins bien... parfois drole comme inepties. En effet, le "VOUS est là pour obéir" me refoidit moi aussi... j'aurai eu de mal je pense à m'y plier...

==============

Salut Ciel... ahh, peut-être des racines brétonnes ? La grenouille est un peu (bcp) brétonne d'origine, du coup nous y sommes assez souvent... à bientôt !

=============

Hi Steve, who's brother Cadfael ? Indeed austere, a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to have to live there, and to obey ! It was a convent, I would imagine some young ladies were sent to such places against their will...

==============

Hey Happy Hour ; you are right, his reputation for having people burned alive was not in the "Mr Nice Guy" category...

==============

Hi Janie, yes, it definitely smelled better ! :-D Perhaps best to contemplate such a way of life from afar, in the wide open spaces of the mountains, for example...
:-)

==============

Dear Saj, I was expecting to see a "sod" in there somewhere... trust you to head straight for the wine cellars ! In fact, apparently this place had amazing cellars, although I didn't see them, am not sure if they can be visited, will have to ask... we didn't feel like waiting an hour for the next guided tour, and it's so close to where we live, we'll go back to get the guided version...

==============

Lynne, surprisingly enough, didn't see a gift shop...

==============

Hi Techno, That's what I love about living in France, history everywhere, going back centuries...

==============

Hey ER, not sure if leprosy was an issue here, or more likely, given that it was a convent, the desire to speak to the outside world without opening the door or being seen by prying eyes... ?

J said...

Those holes are strangely compelling, and I can't help wondering what they used to end up with the holes all different sizes? Incredible to think of the learning and knowledge that must've been passed on here.

Roxana said...

i couldn't agree more, the images are worth a thousand words each. and i can't break away from that of those holes, Owen, i shudder at your question (the only one which can be asked here, indeed): God only knows what sorts of things were said through these holes over the centuries . . .
a question awaiting no answer, because there is no answer. except history itself.