Saturday, 18 May 2013

A doyenné

Since I have discovered that our village Chazelle once was a doyenné belonging to Cluny I have been trying to figure out what exectly a doyonné is. The dictionary simply gives the word "deanery". Wikipedia is a bit clearer.

The tower and deanery of the doyenné in Bezornay
A deanery (or decanate) is an ecclesiastical entity in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or residence of a Dean. It appears that a doyenné consists of a number of parishes.
I also found out that around Cluny there had been a disproportional number of deaneries. To mention a few : Saint-Hippolyte, Bezornay, Jalogny, Chazelle, Mazille... They are all within a circle with a radius of 15 km.
Of course Wikipedia is not the only source of knowledge, and reading a book about Cluny, I stumbled upon a different and more logical definition of a doyenné: a doyenné is an agricultural unit, providing an abbey with agricultural products. According to this definition the big number of deaneries around Cluny seems all of a sudden very plausible and logical.
In the hamlet of Bezornay, near Saint-Vincent-des-Prés, is such a doyenné. We had visited the building in the past, but we had not found much more than a piece of defence wall with a tower and a gate, and at the gate a sign "No entry, work in progress". From the entrance the recesses for a drawbridge were clearly visible.

the crenellated wall
When we came here for the second time there was nobody around, so I peeked in through the gate. I noticed a crenellated wall, and within the walls stood a house. In order to have a look at the house itself I did not have trespass or to break any laws; when I walked down the path along the property I had a clear view of the house and former chapel. The chapel had on the outside a rather strange extension; an apse in the shape of a "demi-cône renversée" (reversed semi-cone).
This type of construction had been employed in the past inside Cluny III, and in the church of Semur-en-Brionnais something similar can still be seen. I do not make this up; my knowledge comes straight away from Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne. This site, by the way, also has a very handy glossary of terms used in Romanesque architecture, of which I have made an illustrated English translation.

The apse of the chapel with two storeys
With some pride I can announce, that not only my pictures have been added to the aforementioned site, but also that the definition of doyenné has been slightly changed to reflect the agricultural meaning of the word.

Practical information (courtesy of Eduard van Boxtel) :
Former chapel (habitat) Saint-Pierre in Bezornay (Saint-Vincent-des-Prés), 11th century, 3*

For our own website, click here.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Interactive maps of Romanesque churches in Burgundy

These are short instructions for use of the interactive maps of Romanesque churches in Burgundy. . This description is entirely based on the interactive map for the department Saône-et-Loire (71), but is als valid for the remaining 3 departments (21, 58 and 89).

The Romanesque churches in Saône-et-Loire

This map is entirely based on a web page , further referred to as EvB, where (almost) all Romanesque churches in Département Saône-et-Loire (71) are inventoried. Only a few churches outside this department are included, basically because they are just outside 71 and because they are normally included in travel guides for this department, e.g. Charlieu -42-, Neuilly-en-Donjon -03-.

A short explanation on how this map works:

1. Symbols

The lefthand side menu contains a number of symbols.

1a. The first symbol, the red house, points to our house, the basis for our tours in search of Romanesque churches in the area.

The basis of this map (71)
Symbol 1a : the red house

1b and 1c. The information symbol i points to general, not necessarily building or edifice related information.

Link to the "instructions for use (71)"
Symbol 1b : the information symbol  i  .
This particlar i gives a link to the "instructions for use" of this map.

Places of interest in and around Cluny (71)
Symbol 1c : the information symbol  i  .
This particlar i points to major places of interest, enabling the user to "jump" straight to a specific town or area (Cluny, Tournus, Brionnais, etc.). From there it is easy to zoom in or out to find edifices in or around the area itself.

1d. Symbols in the shape of various pointers.

The remaing symbols are pointers, in various shapes : upside down drops (called drops) in various colours, with or without en eye in the middle, drawing pins in matching colours, blue question marks and purple cameras. The colours of drops and drawing pins are all related to the rating of the buildings.

The matrix below shows how the various edifices are indicated.
Vertical :
The colours of the markers follow the rating of Eduard van Boxtel's website (EvB).
The dark-blue markers on the lefthandside are used for edifices wit a rating of "6" on a scale of 6, hence for buildings of extraordinary architectural interest (e.g. Cluny, Tournus).
To the right the importance diminishes from "5" (red) down to "1" (dark-violet), where the latter is a building with very few romanesque features (e.g. a window opening, a baptismal font).
The column on the utmost righthandside (purple pointers) indicates that EvB so far has had insufficient information to properly rank the building; they are indicated as ranking "1 or 2".
Horizontal :
The top row (drops with a black eye in the middle) indicates that there are pictures available on the internet. The description of the buildings gives a link to EvB's site only. The rating of those drops runs from "6" down to "2". As soon as as I have my own pictures available, the drop will be replaced by one without a black eye in the middle. In principle the amount of drops with a black eye in the middle should decrease.
The middle row (drops without a black eye in the middle) indicates that there are pictures available on the internet. The description of the buildings gives a link to a Picasa Album of myself, Cees van Halderen (CvH) as well as (sometimes, not always) to a page of EvB's site. The rating of those drops runs from "6" down to "1" and to catagory "1 or 2" (undetermined). In principle the amount of drops without a black eye in the middle should increase.
The bottom row (drawing pins) indicates that there are not yet pictures available on the internet (at least not from EvB or CvH). The rating of those drawing pins falls in the catagories of "3", "2", "1" and "1 or 2". In principle the amount of drawing pins should decrease.

The matrix of pointers

2. Tags or labels

A typical tag (71)

Header and description of a tag

The header contains:
Place or hamlet name. Place names or hamlet names in the side menu are ordered alphabetically, with in case of hamlets the name of the commune between brackets behind the hamlet's name.
Name of edifice.
Rating in stars on scale ranging from 6 to 1 (EvB).

The description contains:
Some particulars about the edifice, if available.
The century the building was erected.
Accuracy of the location on the map.
100% spot on, 90 to 50% reasonable, 0% unknown.
A link to one or more picture albums.
Bourgogne Romane (EvB): gives a short description of the edifice and photographs.
Cees van Halderen (CvH): gives only, but usually more photographs.
Sometimes there is a link to both albums, sometimes to one of either albums.

3. Examples

Some examples of the various entries are given below.
Needless to say, that these are only examples; a drop with a black eye in the middle or a drawing pin could in the meantime have been replaced by a drop without a black eye in the middle.

Edifice with "6" star rating (71)
Building rated "6" out of 6 based on EvB's scale.

Edifice with "2" star rating (71)

Building rated "2" out of 6 based on EvB's scale.

Edifice with "1 or 2" star rating (71)

Building rated "1 or 2" out of 6 based on EvB's scale.
Edifice of which neither EvB nor I have yet photographs or detailed information available.

4. Buildings of which is not even sure whether they are Romanesque at all

Edifice without rating, no pictures available (71)

Building which has no rating (red question mark).
Edifice of which it is not even sure whether it is romanesque at all.
neither EvB nor I have yet photographs or detailed information available.

Edifice without rating, pictures available (71)

Building which has no rating (red camera).
Edifice of which it is not even sure whether it is romanesque at all.
Although I have some photographs available, they are insufficient to qualify the building as romanesque.
People who might be able to clarify this are requested to contact me via email. 

Information can be sent to the following email address:

Niet romaans gebouw (71)
A building of which it became clear that it has no Romanesque featues (red exclamation mark). There are only pictures available on the internet taken by CvH. The edifice is still shown on this map because there is either still a link between this building and another (often demolished) Romanesque building, or because the building is worth visiting despite it not being Romanesque. There are however very few buildings marked thus; at this moment there are only two.

5. remaining departments 

Boundering departement
Finally the map shows a number of "speed limit signs". the figures on display are however not speed limits, but department numbers. The signs with the numbers 21 (Côte-d'Or), 58 (Nièvre) and 89 (Yonne) contain a link to the map of the relevant department; they are almost as complete as the one for department 71. Because romanesque architecture in Burgunduy does not stop abruptly at the present border of this region, the bordering departments (e.g. 01, 03, 10, etc.) are indicateed with their own "speed limit sign". For most of these departments van Boxtel has made a (limited, arbitrary) choice from the romanesque churches in in a belt of roughly 25 km around Burgundy.
N.B.: the partial maps of the boundering departments 01, 03, 10, 18, 39, 42, 45, 52, 69 and 77 are incomplete and onnly give an impression of the area around Burgundy.

6. conclusion

Needless to say that this map does not pretend to be complete. It is virtually impossible to keep two separate sites, i.e. this map and van Boxtel's site completely in line with each other. When the latter adds a photo page to his site this will not automatically mean that this map will be updated as well. However, I think that this map is very usefull for those who would like to find out which churches can be found in a certain area.
Comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Websites and churches

Whenever I use a website slightly more than normal, there is bound to come a day when I think "Would it not be handier if....". And nine out of ten times it does not come any further then a loose thought, although...

Part of the list of churches on "Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne"

Ever since I have been looking for information about Romanesque churches in Burgundy, I am using "Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne" more and more often. This is mainly because the site contains a lot of information on the subject. And since I am quite interested in this subject, I spent more and more time on that site. And indeed, one day I thought "Would it not be handier if there was also a map available, where one can see very quickly what a certain area has to offer?". An email to the webmaster told me that he would like to have this feature as well, but that he had not gotten around it yet.
As a workable alternative I changed my database of churches such, that I could sort that database on specific areas as well, instead of only alphabetically or on rating. A list with churches in the vicinity of e.g. Montceau-les-Mines could be generated very quickly.

Zoomed in on the area of Cluny (Google Map satellite view)

One day my better half bumped into an option of Google Maps. Although making an interactive map was a lot of work, it was certainly doable and not very difficult. After a number of days hard work I now am the proud owner of an interactive map of "all" Romanesque churches in Saône-et-Loire. I can now pinpoint easily and quickly all churches in a certain area, find out how they are classified and find pictures of them. In a following blog a short explanation of how to use the map will be given.
And what about the rest of Burgundy? I gladly leave that chore for someone else!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A transformation : from chapel to church

For the umpteenth time on our way to the church in Saint -Maurice-de-Satonnay in order to see a wall painting in the (non-Romanesque) Sant-Denis we passed through the hamlet of Satonnay. There seems to be a curse on this particular visit, because every time we go there we find that church shut.

Notre Dame in Satonnay
But anyway, Satonnay itself has a small Romanesque church, although according to various websites the church is private property and not open to the public. Le site sur l'Art Roman en Bourgogne says that it is not a church, but a chapel. Since I had only one picture of this chapel, we decided to stop and snoop around a bit. The gate that gave access to the space around the church was locked, so having a look inside was impossible. However, on the side of the church there was a notice giving some information. From the information some conclusions could be drawn:

Firstly, this was the church of Satonnay, not a chapel. The church was built in the 10th century, and had been regularly altered over the centuries. It was originally dedicated to Saint-Victor, then to Saint-Maurice. Between 1978 and 1999 there had been regular appearances of the virgin Mary, reason why the church had been re-christened as " Notre Dame de Satonnay, Queen of the Poor".

De "bijsluiter" van de kerk in Satonnay
Secondly, and what I found most interesting, was that the church was no longer under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Autun. The church was run by clergy following the traditions from before the second Vatican Council. It follows the Latin liturgy according to Saint-Pie-V (Pope Pius V, 1504-1572).

Paraphrasing the title of one of John Grisham's novels, one could classify this church as a run-away church.
And I had been convinced for a long time that only the Protestants were divided amongst themselves....

Practical information (courtesy of Eduard van Boxtel) :
Church Notre-Dame (first Saint-Victor, then Saint-Maurice) in Satonnay (Saint-Maurice-de-Satonnay), 10th century, 0*

For our own website, click here.