Thursday, October 16, 2014

THIERS - a surprise stop to RIOM

I'd heard of Theirs in the Auvergne region through our France travel books but never made the visit despite being close by on a previous trip. The town's main commercial claim to fame was its knife manufacturing industry of which Sue after becoming aware, could not contain her excitement. Being a tragic cook, she has this knife fetish and travels with them. She now has two additions to the collection - one especially for boning fish.

Several past scenes are on show as you walk Theirs. Some today scenes differ little from  the past.
We parked at Rue Terrasse overlooking the valley. 
It's possible I may have a door or window fetish. It's hard not to when you see such age and art in many of them.

This half wood house is now the Tourism Centre (much the same as Montrichard, not far from where we will be staying tomorrow. 

The town itself is quite magical and our short lunchtime visit only gave us a glimpse of its hidden treasures. Sitting high in a ridge, it's buildings and streets follow the lay of the land with many windy and narrow passageways to explore. Although today there are many derelict medieval buildings, there are also an increasing restoration happening. These buildings date back to the 14th and 15th centuries when Theirs was in its most prosperous period up to the 18th century.

Supposedly the largest church dome in the Auvergne region.
We stumbled apon the Church of St Genes as we wandered aimlessly through the lane ways. Many flowers sat in the doorway when we arrived and we expect that there was a funeral service not far off in the afternoon.
We read in the notes provided while sitting inside the church that it was claimed to have been initially built in 575 and rebuilt in the 12th century. A small portion of the ancient fresco still remained and the stained glass was impressive for a small church.

Hard not to appreciate the stained glass as the sun pours through.
To the right are scenes of Adam and Eve. Click for a larger view. 
The church organ. It would take a rather slim and fit organist to climb  the very small enclosed stairway to the left. 

and yesteryear.
Not wanting to be there when the funeral service arrived, it was time to find some lunch. This we discovered in a half wooden medieval building around the corner. It was a Creperie and it seemed to be more locals than tourists eating there. We prefer this.
Behind the doors which seemed to accommodate a small number of tables, I later discovered that further stairways, both up and down opened up into further eating areas. It seemed that these rooms were carved out of the cliffside. Oh, yes - and the crepes with a beer went down well.

The Creperie was to the left via the wooden doors.
The same street scene.
We left the relaxed quietness of Theirs (approx 11,000 pop) for the larger busier town of Riom for our last overnight stay before reaching friends at Saint Romaine sur Cher, 250 kms away.

1 comment:

  1. It looks an amazing place, another one to add to the growing list! Fabulous photos. Diane


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