Monday, July 19, 2010

Carmes convent

This convent was founded at Beauvoir-en-Royans in 1343, in the grounds of the magnificent castle of the Dauphin Humbert II [1312-1355], just a few years before all his lands and possessions (the vast territory known since then as the Dauphiné) were donated to the monarchy of France.

In a typical medieval religious spirit, the extravagant 31-year-old feudal lord created this male convent, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint Catherine, in the hope—as the Regeste Dauphinois of the erudite local historian Ulysse Chevalier [1841-1923] put it—of "repairing his errors and those of his predecessors". The community, composed of 50 priests belonging to the order of the Brethren of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was referred to as the Carmes.

A few years ago, the dilapidated property was acquired by the associated municipalities of the Bourne (including Pont-en-Royans and Choranche), and the buildings have been expertly restored and transformed into a museum. On Bastille Day, Natacha and Alain invited me there for lunch. These video sequences, taken by my friends, show me inside the museum and then out in the gardens.

I've added the trivial sound effects, first, in order to hide the rumbling noise of the wind, and second, because I've been fiddling around with the iMovie software tool, learning how to get it to do tricks.

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