Saturday, 4 May 2013

Under an upside down boat

In the centre of Bourges in France you can find the building known as Palais Jacques Coeur which was built in the mid 15th century as a "grand maison", just a larger than normal residence. The word "palais" or palace started to be used in about 1820 when the royal courts of justice moved in. Unfortunately Jacques Coeur never saw the building completed, and it passed from owner to owner until 1923 when the state bought it. By then it was in a sorry state and massive restoration had to be carried out.

I've seen the palace from the outside more than once but early last summer we decided to see the inside. I remember the day well.  We arrived too early and had to wait for the doors to open, but it was exceptionally hot and trying to find a shady spot to wait wasn't easy.

Many of the ceilings inside are magnificent but these two at least are reminiscent of upturned hulls of boats.  I don't know if it was by accident or design but Jacques Coeur made his fortune from trading and commerce and owned twelve ships.  There are references to his ships in a number of places so I like to think the ceilings reflect his dependence on ships too.

This second picture shows the attics which would once have been an area for storage and for servants' rooms.  The ceiling is apparently unique in that it's made entirely of rafters. 

A two-in-one post for the Photo Hunts. 

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  1. Very cool!
    Who would have thought that a boat would make a beautiful ceiling?
    Happy Hunting y'all~

  2. A very creative take on the two Photo Hunt themes! Love it when you take part A. :)

  3. I was told all English churches with such roofs (rooves?) were made by boatbuilders.
    Nice place, especially the 'too hot' bit!

  4. Wow ! how interesting ! and it looks beautiful !

  5. Great photo. I'd love to have a ceiling like that in my house.


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