Sunday, 3 June 2012

Marble from Caunes

Caunes is famous for its red marble, which has been used in the construction of the Trianon at Versailles, the Paris Opera House, the Great Mosque in Cordoba and St Peter’s in Rome. It also seems to feature in all the Minervois churches, and most homes own at least one red marble mortar and pestle.

It is impressive stuff, and the village is littered with marble statues which have been carved by various sculptors over the years. There is an annual marble festival where sculptors compete over a weekend to create their masterpieces. The results of the annual festival are then displayed on a gorgeous walk from the village, up to the quarry, where the marble is still extracted, although probably not in the same quantities it was when they were sending it to Rome.



                               Liam and the lion, on a walk from the village to the marble quarry



a strategically placed marble seat, for rests along the way


great views over the plains towards the Pyrenees


         a piece showing some of the colour variations in the marble

a sculptor's shelter, preparing for this year's competition

I am looking forward to the Marble festival this year....and feel  I may find myself developing a more comprehensive  post about the marble in Caunes.


Dexter and Liam playing by other pieces of marble ........just lying around in the village.



16 comments:

  1. Oh yes, more marble, Janice. Nice links to Cordoba and other impressive sites. The French do have some great ideas - marble statues on the way to (or from?) the quarry - excellent. Axxx

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    1. Some of the statues around the village could be described as a bit naff....but some are beautiful, and those on the walk to and from the quarry, set against the gorgeous views are wonderful. The festival is just a few weeks away, so marble activity in the village is increasing. The kids love it. Jx

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  2. A great day out Janice, and obviously much enjoyed by the boys. Lovely view to the Pyrenees. It will be interesting for you to visit the marble festival, and I look forward to seeing the post.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary, it will be interesting to see how the festival is organised. All my visitors will have gone home by the time it happens, but I am looking forward to getting involved with it all. J.

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  3. That is sure to be quite an exciting festival, Janice, and I do hope you will post on it. These statues are pretty amazing and i can only imagine the lure they must have for children - of all ages. I love your photo looking out toward the Pyrenees. My imagination would be going wild there.

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    1. One of the reasons we chose this area for our French home, was the fabulous setting and views. It is great to watch the mountains coming into focus on colder days and then vanish again as the heat haze arrives. One of the good things about the marbles statues in the village and on the way to the quarry is the way children are encouraged to play on them.Some of them are right next to the village's playground.

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  4. Fantastic views to have, and as you say they can change hourly. I love mountains and am fascinated by rocks.

    It is wonderful to hold a rock in your hand and be able to tell the pupils that it is 350 million years old by the fossil contained within it. Who says that there isn't any awe and wonder left in life...

    Lovely photos of your grandchildren. It must be super to have them visit.

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    1. Thanks Gaynor....the rocks, and this interesting marble are fascinating, even to someone not normally interested in such things.J.

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  5. That's wonderful. I rather fancy the Neptune-ish face (?). That tiny tin shed reminds me of my own days of stone cutting... the bit you were working on was always out in the wretched sun. Hope you post something a few days in advance; I'd rather like to pop down.

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    1. The marble fete is 23/24 June, in Caunes itself ( 11160). If you do make it down here, let me know, it would be good to meet you. J.

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  6. What a fantastic materiel the red marble is, Janice and what a sense of history it must give you. I love the photos of your wonderful view and gorgeous grandsons. :-)

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    1. I now find myself checking out marble in all sorts of buildings, wondering whether it originated here in Caunes. The children are having a great time.....we're shattered ! J.

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  7. Some of the shapes in the marble are so fluid I wanted to reach out and touch them. Wonderful.
    Celia

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    1. The lion is my favourite, although there are some wonderful bears just by the children's playground. I'm not sure whether I like them for their artistic merits, or just that the children love them so much. J.

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  8. Loved the second last pic, where two kids are standing with a big face made up of marble. Marble Sculpture Replicas are the best thing with which I like to decorate my house.

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