Monday, 29 June 2009

St Suzanne

Our guests this weekend were celebrating an 80th birthday with a big family party. Interestingly, the actual birthday was in December, but they waited until the nice Summer weather to stage the event. Madame the birthday girl was hale and hearty, and managed the whole event. I only hope I am doing so well at that age! They left on Sunday morning, which meant that Sunday afternoon was free:

The new museum at the chateau of St Suzanne was opened this weekend. Since it was the inauguration, you could visit for free, and since there was a free choral concert on Sunday evening, the wife and I went on Sunday afternoon. Having taken the mick about bad promotions in my "Mayenne Muppets" post recently, I now have to give credit where it's due, and say that this new museum is excellent.

The ad in the paper reads: "Re-Opening of the Château of St Suzanne

The new Centre for the Study of Architecture and Heritage invites you to come and discover the heritage of the Mayenne in all its forms.

Grand Opening 27/28 June, with illumination of the castle.

Free concert by the Vocal Ensemble of the Mayenne, directed by Yves Parmentier, Sunday at 5PM in the church."

It is a museum of the Mayenne, covering the development of human habitation from cave man to modern times, and the natural landscape and flora and fauna of the area. The descriptions are comprehensive and also translated into good (not always perfect, but good) English.

We also found an archive that features our gîte, from the earliest days when it was a working farm, that was fascinating. The original layout of the buildings, some pictures before the recent changes, were all there. An 1842 town plan, for example, shows some farm buildings, but does not have our house on it, but a later town plan does. And there were earlier references to a farm here going back to the 13th century.

And the concert was wonderful!


Lia said...

Sounds like you had a really good day.

ReedBunting said...

Wow, there is some history behind Le Domaine des Hallais if people have been living on the land there since the 13th century (and maybe even before then). It sounds like a very interesting place indeed!

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