Saturday, 16 August 2014

In the right place at the right time

Some time ago I received an email from a lady of the Office de Tourisme of Buxy with the question if she could use some of my pictures of the Romanesque churche in Saint-Martin-du-Tartre for a tourist guide of this typer of churches in the ccScc (a body uniting a number of communities in the South-Chalonnais).

She had been browsing the internet in search of pictures, and she had stumbled, through the site “Bourgogne Romane”, on one of my picture albums. The guide was an initiative of the ccScc, not published before, and it would make an inventory of the 19 Romanesque churches in the area. The lady coordinated the project, a group (Pastourisme), specialised in the churches of the diocese of Autun would write the texts, and the Chalon branch of a French club of amateur photographers would provide the pictures. In a word, why in heaven’s name did they need my pictures of that church? I am certainly not an outstanding photographer!

2012 Saint-Martin-de-Tartre
The answer was a logical as it was simple. I visited this church for the first time on a foggy day in October 2012. The church was open (which is not always the case in churches around here), so I could shoot as many pictures of the interior as my heart desired. I visit rather a lot of churches in the course of time, hence I do not always remember whether a church was open or closed during a previous visit. When we were near that church again, this time on a sunny day in May 2013, I decided to make some pictures of the outside with a nice blue sky. The door was open, and just to make sure I had not missed it I walked in to take some pictures of the interior. This time however there was scaffolding up, making crossing and choir inaccessible, and it hid the interesting parts of this church from view.

2013/14 Saint-Martin-de-Tartre
At the beginning of 2014, when the photo club was on its way to photograph the 19 churches, they found the interior of this church still under renovation; hence they could not take any pictures of the crossing and choir of the church. And that is where I came in the picture, like a ministering angel. The lady asked for, and obtained permission to use my pictures, and in March I was invited to the opening of a picture exhibition of the 19 churches at the Office de Tourisme in Buxy, during which the guide would be presented to the public.

Speeches, speeches, speeches, speeches....
The opening of an exhibition in this part of France consist most of the time of a number of interminable speeches, where each speaker extensively thanks all collaborators, their wives, their children, their servants, their neighbours and their pets. Just grin and bear it. After half an hour, in which my attention was waning, each one present received a free copy of the guide, at which it was aloso time for the obligatory glass of Crémant de Bourgogne and some snacks.

Guide touristique
The guide is now for sale in the town halls and the Offices de Tourisme in the area for the very reasonable price of € 5. And since I do not receive any royalties of this extravagant amount of money, I can, without moral dilemma, warmly recommend this tasteful booklet of 48 pages. It indeed contains a wealth of information on the subject, which is otherwise not at all or hardly available for those interested.
The above mentioned 29 churches are only a short distance away from La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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