Posts Tagged ‘castles’

In 2014, my husband and I went to France to visit his sister and her husband and to see a stage of the Tour de France.  His sister, a marvelous tour guide, drove us all around the Franche-Comté, including a visit to Château d’Oricourt, a feudal motte.  Motte isn’t a misspelling of “moat” and although a bit similar in effect, it “is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.”  (Wikipedia)

After the Revolution, the town of Oricourt wanted to get rid of the fortifications and fill in the ditches, saying they were symbols of feudalism.  (Sound familiar??)  Thankfully for those of us interested in the past, the authorities declined this request (and hopefully they were far enough from Paris that no heads rolled) and the castle is now privately owned, but open to the public, and a national monument.

Where there are castles, there must be doors of one sort or another.  Let’s take a look.


Yes, I shamelessly stole my post title from the Dodie Smith book of the same name.  So sue me.  On second thought, don’t.  And I only capture the castle by photo, but after all, that, like the hokey pokey, is what it’s all about, right?

We were told to visit the town of Villersexel and its castle, something that sounded like a great idea. Nothing like a good castle, especially for those of us from countries where castles are few and far between (Hurst Castle and ?)  After the usual tussles with lack of/deceptive signage and one way streets, we ended at a parking area, disembarked, and began our search for the castle, which was not exactly standing in plain sight, however hard you find that to believe once you see the photos.

When we got to the entrance, however, we were greeted by this sign:


The red sign, mostly edited out, says in French, “Private property.”  Hmmm.  I’m sure that doesn’t apply to us.  Onward, but carefully.  We can always play the American-tourist-who-doesn’t-read-French card if absolutely necessary.   No one was in sight, so we slipped in.  Although I’m a distressingly lawful person, this harmless bit of law-breaking was well worth it.  A family still lives in the castle, but as you can see from the sign, they are also a hotel.  Click on the link and you can sigh over the rooms and grounds or book if you like.  You’ll be glad you did.

Needless to say, my shots are all from the outside.  We managed a good number of minutes and amazing views before spotting a woman making her way purposefully toward us.  We nonchalantly but quickly walked out without her either catching us or yelling at us.  She seemed happy to have seen off the invaders and we all went happily on our separate ways..

Just an outbuilding

Just an outbuilding


The left and middle


Middle and left


Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.