Saturday, 22 November 2014

It is finished

It must have been in July 2012 when I tried to get in touch with Eduard van Boxtel about his site “Bourgogne Romane”.

Orangerie - Cluny
Ever since that day a steady stream of emails went up and down between Chazelle and Rotterdam at first, Amsterdam later, with questions, answers, remarks, but mainly with pictures of Romanesque buildings in (for the biggest part) Saône-et-Loire. It started off with transferring pictures which I had in stock for possible future use on our own website. After I started studying van Boxtel’s website in greater detail I came across a number of buildings I did not know yet, but which seemed worth a visit.

Former church, now habitat - Ciergues
This soon lead to an interesting day out looking for a specific church, a quest for remains of Romanesque houses in Cluny, a long and tiring search for former churches almost unrecognisable due to renovations into a habitat, several expeditions in search of a chapel which was mentioned somewhere, but which could not be traced on any map (nor in real life after inquiring with the locals, I might add).
In the meantime, after having gotten the hang of it, I started to plot out all churches mentioned on “Bourgogne Romane” in Google Maps, which gave me even more inspiration for even more search actions…

Romanesque churches in 71
In short, the contact I built up with van Boxtel kept me until a few weeks ago off the streets (as it did van Boxtel, because he meticulously studied the pictures I sent him and put them on his site when appropriate), and it gave me and my better half, despite a bit of aggravation every so often with local authorities who did not want to play ball, two years of pleasure and satisfaction. But all good things come to an end, and even though a very small number of items on “Bourgogne Romane” still has not been solved by us (due to a combination of not interesting enough, not findable, too far away, and/or not accessible), I dare say that Romanesque Saône-et-Loire has been almost completely covered by us on the map as well as in real life with pictures.

That's all that rests in 71, folks...
That does not mean that there is nothing more to be visited; revisits sometimes bring unexpected surprises, but the big bulk of work has been done. A comparison between the number of 6, 5, 4 and 3-star churches which are covered with a separate page by van Boxtel in Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d’Or, Nièvre en Yonne speaks volumes. I really do like statistics, and that results in the following percentages (the percentage of churches with a link to one of van Boxtel's web pages related to the number of churches on his overall list):

Saône-et-Loire : 68% (281 of 411 churches) Bourgogne Romane resp. Google Maps.

Côte d’Or : 25% (76 of 306 churches) Bourgogne Romane resp. Google Maps.

Yonne : 21% (49 of 228 churches) Bourgogne Romane resp. Google Maps.

Nièvre : 16% (30 of 185 churches) Bourgogne Romane resp. Google Maps.

The 68% for S&L is rather conservative. In the category 1 or 2 star churches van Boxtel possesses pictures of the majority of those churches, but this material has not (yet) been translated into a web page. When I consider all placenames of which I am sure van Boxtel has pictures, the percentage all of a sudden goes up to 97% (400 of 411 churches).

Somewhere here lies a motte féodale - Loisy
How many churches in Saône-et-Loire already had their own web page before I started my contributions I cannot (unfortunately) retrieve. A cautious estimate is between 25 and 50%.
This however does not mean the end of this blog; during my trips I have stumbled upon sufficient interesting material to keep me going for a while. Hence: will be continued!

Revisit : capitals - Saint-Bonnet-de-Cray
The link to the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle can be found here.

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