Saturday, 2 February 2013

One thing leads to another

Notre-Dame - Chazelle
What is the link between a baptismal font, moved from an ancient romanesque chapel, attached to a farm along the Voie Verte, and a number of gypsum kilns roughly 30 km to the east of the chapel?
The link may be a bit farfetched, bet there certainly is one! After someone of the “Association des amis du vieux Berzé (AVB)" had approached us (see the previous blog), it seemed logical to have a good snoop around their website. Under “Partenaires” I found a link towards a site specialised in cataloguing romanesque churches in Burgundy, “Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne". And since I am also slightly interested in this subject, I decided to have a look at this site, and especially at the “Saône-et-Loire” page.

Chapelle "romane" - Collonges
After having pressed “Page down” twice I had a number of pictures of romanesque churches with place names in alphabetical order on my screen, on which Chazelle seemed to be missing. When one clicked on a picture, a page opened with a description of the church, a number of pictures, and sometimes with even more additional information, all in French. After having clicked on the “Contact” page I found out that the site was created by a Dutchman, Eduard van Boxtel, and of course an e-mail was quickly concocted telling him that there was no description of Chazelle on his site. Well, was I wrong!
I received a very friendly answer, with a link to the place where Chazelle was mentioned, even though there were not yet pictures available. My built-in impatience was partially to blame for this. Had I pressed the “Page down” button a few times more, I would have ended up in a number of lists of towns and villages, each hosting one or more romanesque churches, ordered by importance ranging from six stars to one star. And indeed, Chazelle was mentioned there as well. After some correspondence with the webmaster I decided to help him with his collection of photos by giving him a few pictures of the churches he had nothing of.

Doopvont - Collonges
Whilst browsing through my pictures of romanesque churches I stumbled upon Collonges, a village signposted as “Chapelle romane” along the road from Cluny to Cormatin. This chapel hosts a romanesque baptismal font, which belonged originally to another chapel in Cotte, and was transferred to Colonges where it is used as a holy water font. And although the chapel in Collonges is not romanesque at all, Eduard found the story interesting, even more when I presented him with a photograph of this holy grail.
Since then we are regularly in touch about photographs and details, and I could even bring an unsightly small romanesque chapel in Cormatin to his attention, of which he had even never heard.
An so one thing leads to another. For those interested in romanesque architecture Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne offers a wealth of information on the subject. And those with a bit more patience than I can muster can find much more on this site: information about romanesque architecture in general, a glossary of French terms, architecture of Rome, Byzantine art, and possibly more, if one has the patience to look for it....

Chapelle Saint-Roch - Cormatin
For our own website click here.