Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Nymphaeum


A spring fed pool outside the Nymphaeum.

The other day I got to see a local heritage site that I've known about for ages, but for one reason or another, never visited. It's not like it's difficult to get to either, as it is a short walk from the chateau in Le Grand Pressigny.

The interior.

The Nymphaeum is a little architectural jewel, situated in what was once the vast gardens of the Chateau of Le Grand Pressigny. It's concave facade is set with niches, decorated in the antique style and looking out to a rustic landscape designed to imitate cascading waterfalls. The roof is domed and the ceiling vaulted.

The Savoie Villar monogram and a scallop over a niche.

Constructed at the beginning of the 17th century by the Savoie Villars family it once acted as a pendant to the chateau, allowing a stop sheltered from the wind and the sun, tucked into a little copse in a valley. A cool stream used to gush from the 'grotto' and permitted noble ladies to refresh and recover themselves before returning to the chateau.

Hideous protective canopy and concrete block buttresses are revealed as you walk up to the Nymphaeum.

It was a discrete and mysterious place, romantic and favoured for amourous trysts.


4 comments:

  1. That really looks unloved except, perhaps, for the litter-ati.

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    1. It's a well known site and the locals are proud of it. I expect the commune owns it, and they probably struggle to come up with the funds to properly restore it. I wouldn't want to see it fenced off and access restricted, but it is at risk from careless picnickers and bored yoof.

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  2. Hideous is the perfect description of that contraption...

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately yes, but it's saving the building I guess.

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