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19 July, 2009

A Mosaic for Outdoor Wednesday...or...Roussillon, France

page This week, we are taking a little trip to Roussillon, France in the heart of Provence! It’s a hilltop village like Gordes in my previous post…but with one big difference. Can you see it? The entire village has been painted in beautiful earthy shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and brown. It’s a small village with narrow, winding streets surrounded by bright red ochre cliffs covered with deep green pine forests…such a breathtaking collage of colors!


rou 2 Roussillon sits on one of the world’s most important deposits of ochre, once used as a natural pigment in paintings. The many shades of ochre covering the walls of the village reflect the seventeen shades of ochre that were mined here. But since natural ochre is no longer used, the quarry is now a tourist attraction. I must add here that, as a Georgia girl, I was right at home among all of the pine tree forests and red clay!!


ochre cliff How did the red cliffs of Roussillon come to be? According to a Provençal legend dating from the Middle Ages, the beautiful Lady Sermonde was the neglected wife of Raymond d’Avignon, the lord of Roussillon who was frequently absent for long hunting trips. The lonely Sermonde fell in love with Guillaume de Cabestan, a young troubadour, but their affair was discovered by her vengeful husband. Raymond invited Guillaume to accompany him on one of his hunting parties, had him killed and then cut out his heart, which he had cooked and served to Sermonde. When she discovered that she had eaten her lover’s heart, she threw herself from the cliffs of Roussillon and they have run red from her blood ever since! Yikes! The kinder, gentler version has something to do with the fact that this part of France was under the sea at one time!

image5 Please head on over to Susan’s amazing blog, A Southern Daydreamer, to see who is sharing some gorgeous outdoor scenes for Outdoor Wednesday! See you next time! A la prochaine!

38 comments:

  1. Debbie, that is fascinating! Loved the story and the mosaic. It's amazing that the soil is that color. And I hear the term "ochre" a lot from my friends who are artists. They always seem to be mixing that color with something else! :-)

    Thanks for sharing. I always learn something interesting from your blog!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  2. Oh I just want to get on an airplane right now!

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  3. Debbie, you have the most amazing photos and stories to go with it. What a gorgeous little town. I love all the colors. It so reminds me of Sedona, Az. and the red rocks, they are the same color. It's funny that most of the homes in this area are painted those colors too. I think I like the last version of the story best. Your time living in France was wonderful. Such great places to see and I know you have wonderful memories. I love it when you share with us. Hugs, Marty

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  4. Oh Debbie, what magnificent photos and such a sad, romantic story!
    Would love to visit there...thanks so much for the mini journey!
    Hugs,
    Lynn♥

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  5. HI Debbie! What a story and gorgeous pictures! At first glance I thought this little village looked like Orvieto, Italy! Up on the hill and all.
    Love these little trips...oh, camera, take me away...;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

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  6. Beautiful mosaic, Debbie. I loved the story, too!

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  7. Your photos are beautiful Debbie! What a lovely area. I loved the story too. ☺ diane

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  8. Debbie - This is just wonderful. I would love to visit there. Your story has so much passion. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

    Charla

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  9. Your pics are amazing Debbie!! I like the kinder version but the tale of the two lovers is certainly more intriguing! Do you have plans to go back to France in the near future? Hugs, Cindy

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  10. Salut Debbie, Quel joli petit village! Je pense que Peter M. a parlé de Roussillon dans son livre "Une année en Provence". Un village très charmant, bien sûr! (Je suis en train de re-lire ce livre!) Linda

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  11. The French certainly have a flair for the dramatic. ;) Love the little story you threw in...very cool!

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  12. What are we having for dinner tonight my dear? Well, for an appetizer, you will be dining on your dead LOVER'S heart!!!.. For the main course You shall throw yourself off a cliff and for the meals finale...I shall committ myself to the Nuthouse...Where I belong...Yikes!!!!Can You Imagine that?, Great post, xoxo~Kathy@ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  13. cindymeguiar@yahoo.comJuly 19, 2009 at 10:56 PM

    I love your pictures from France.....so beautiful. Quite a story!

    Enjoyed this so much! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and memories of France with us. Its the one place I would really like to visit.
    Dawn

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  15. Debbie I just love it when you take us on mini vacations. This village is just beautiful. The colors against the green of the foilage are gorgeous. Now as to the story, very romantic, so very French, but it gave me the willies! I think I prefer the under the sea version - kind of like the Little Mermaid lol. Hugs, Kat

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  16. Hi Debbie, lovely pictures.

    Thanks for following Bella Vista. Looking forward to getting to know you. Come back soon.

    Barb

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  17. Breathtaking sceneries and what a fascinating legend. ...Christine

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  18. Thanks, Debbie, for sharing your photos. I believe I will get to France one day.

    Bonnie

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  19. I noticed the earthy colors right away! I guess because I've been looking at yellows like that for my family room LOL! I loved seeing your pictures (as always)!

    Manuela

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  20. France is so beautiful! Their architecture has so much character and beauty. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. I have a sudden urge for some pomme frites, or pastry !
    Beautiful pics, always so educational!

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  22. I love that picture of the cliff, how beautiful!
    Love that picture of your cat taking a coffee break, how cute !

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  23. Hello, dear Debbie... I came back for another look and to say, "Hi!" How is Baby Kitty? I've been thinking about him. Have't seen Pippy lately, but if he had been up for adoption, he might have had to come home with me!

    Love to you on OW...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  24. the story may be a little disturbing...but the photos are just delightful!

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  25. Charming....and oh so gorgeous, all at the same time. Loved the photo share.

    My Outdoor Wednesday is flowers with a 'passion'. Come over if you can find time. I'd love your company today.

    And, hope the day treats you well!!!

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  26. Thanks for taking us along with you, wonderful pictures. I prefer the 2nd version of how ochre got color, but it's not as dramatic. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Hi Debbie, wonderful pictures but boy oh boy, the height.......!! Amazing. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

    Barb

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  28. Thank you for the arm-chair travelogue to such a beautiful place! I so enjoyed the lesson on the color ochre too and the next time I paint I will think of Roussillon.

    ~Susan

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  29. I think you need to post each one of your shots individually... they are all so charming.

    Wouldnt you want to throw yourself off a cliff if you ate your lovers heart? ... for that matter.. ANYONES heart?? LOLLL

    Thanks!

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥

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  30. Ooooh la la France... MAGNIFIQUE!!

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  31. What a romantic version of the redness...loved it.

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  32. Thank you for the trip and your photos are beautiful!

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  33. I love touring with you. Each week the trip gets better and better. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them and your stories with us.

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  34. Such a beautiful collage and music. I feel like I was visiting France!

    Russel Crowe...oh la la!
    Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

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  35. Wonderful and beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy outdoor.
    Regina

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  36. How lovely. That is breathtaking. That is one thing I like about some of the buildings here in sw Fl-the rich vibrant use of and mix of colors.

    Come by for my GIVE-A-WAY this week by 10 pm Fri.
    and then check out our newest addition.

    Cheri
    www.itssoverycheri.blogspot.com

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  37. Debbie,
    I love your mosaics of France, but they are making me 'Francesick' with no possibility of a return in sight. Sigh. Dommage. Have you seen the site France Monthly? http://www.francemonthly.com/ They have wonderful information on all the different regions of France, the history, cuisine, etc. Virtual travel. So what is your favorite region? I have a personal love for le sud ouest - le pays Basque and les Pyreenees - among others! A bientot.

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie