Yesterday we took a little trip to a medieval town call Tournon-d’Angenais. The old bastide village sits atop a high hill with views in all directions. Although there aren’t many buildings surviving from the middle ages, the village has created a wonderful garden to commemorate all those who have died in war. Each war from WWI through Indochina and Algeria has a plaque outlining French involvement and the numbers killed and wounded, both civilian and military. The final couple of plaques ask what about tomorrow, is peace possible? Looking out at the beautiful French countryside one must hope it is.
Many war memorials for both wars in English villages, which are decorated with red poppies on Remeberance Day, but your one sounds rather special. Thank you for introducing it.
Continue to send notes from your magical adventure.
Agreed: this is a very beautiful area which I should know better. I have a query and a comment.
Query first: How do you it is Saint Bartholomew?
The comment is about the war memorial on which the name of the dead from WW1 on are inscribed. This is not something very original in France; in fact, you do or should find one such monument on every single town in France. In the late fifties, it was tastes, monumental tastes that is, had changed and a number of these glorifying statues were moved and/or destroyed; also it was the time of the great reconciliation bw France and Germany. Most of the monuments had been erected just after WWI when feelings for Germans in general were not exactly warm, so often the monument was that of a dying soldiers leaving behind sorrowful widows and children, or that of a crowing rooster (emblematic of France) and of an eagle (emblematic of Germany) transfixed by an arrow. Then came WWII which certainly caused more civil than military casualties; it was followed by the Indochina war (it concerned mainly professional soldiers, on the French side of course); and then we fought the Algerian war, which I escaped by the skin of my teeth. And thus, we (bearing here my French béret) are not short of names to inscribe as victims of recent wars. I have noticed that often a memorial to war victims is dedicated — a bit too late in my opinion — to the pursuit of peace.
THank you for your continuous flow of fascinating pixes.
I did not make myself clear. Yes, we see war memorials in all towns in France. It is sobering to see so many names for such small towns. There are always fewer for WWII because the village had lost so many men of the previous generation. However, the peace garden in Tournon d’Agenais goes further. It also includes French casualties in Indochina, Algeria, Tunisia, the Balkans, and other places. Then it asks the question why. That is something I haven’t seen in other French towns.
As for Saint Bartholomew I confess the church was named Saint Bartholomew’s and this statue adorned the front of the church over the door. Therefore, I assumed they would not name the church for Saint Bartholomew and then erect a statue of another saint. However, it was not labeled so I suppose it could be another one of the many saints.