October 19, 2010

15| Cantobre

Very soon after leaving Nant, I decided I must visit Cantobre, built on rocks 100 meters above the Dourbie, and visible from the road.  As I climbed up the short, but somewhat steep side road, down rode the group I’d seen earlier, their shouts of encouragement as they sped past motivating me to pedal harder.

Cantobre reminded me of the perched villages of the Luberon, in Provence, clinging to their cliffs, the buildings attached to the sheer rock.

The village church, L’Église Saint-Etienne de Cantobre retains its 11th century choir. My brief visit there started me again wondering just what it is that draws me, raised without religion and not much interested in it, to these old religious buildings. Clearly it’s partly the art, and the structure itself, the architecture, but it’s also the history and the stories that the stones hold, the patina of age, the silence and solitude, the caring, focused intent which generations of people spent in the building of them.




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