Sunday, November 6, 2016

I love living at a Swiss national heritage site

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This is one super-long house.
And indeed it is named The  Big House (sounds better in French).
It is one of several beautiful centuries-old buildings in the hamlet of Grandchamp.
The little hamlet is included in the Swiss  Federal Inventory of Heritage Sites (ISOS). 
Notice the custom of always leaving a few of the original stones bare, instead of plastering them over; this is out of respect for the old stones. 


 Here's the other end.
The house that I'll call home until the end of December is just over to the right.
(I'm waiting for strong sunlight to photograph it in all its glory.  Be patient.)


The long house overlooks the old farm of the neighbors.
Here in the ring three horses graze what is left of the grass, and young people sometimes have riding lessons.


And old fountain spews fresh water in the courtyard (except if it freezes!).
(Maybe you have to click a few times and enlarge the photo.)
These fountains, ubiquitous in Europe, offered drink to thirsty people and livestock passing through.
And this is my favorite old tree here at the contemplative monastic Community of Grandchamp.
Does it remind you, too, of a menorah?
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12 comments:

crystal said...

I hope you're having a good time in Switzerland. I've only been once, to Lucerne. Is this something you do every year?

Dina said...

Crystal, I wish it could be every year. I first came as a volunteer to the monastery in 2002 and ended up staying for a year and a half. After that I came three more times for shorter stays. I have been away for 9 years.

William Kendall said...

A grand place to be spending time in!

Cloudia said...

Yes I see the menorah. So glad you will enjoy lovely surroundings

Hels said...

Was the Big House originally built just for one family? I looks as if it could have fitted a hotel or perhaps a convent.

Petrea Burchard said...

What a wonderful place to be. Great pictures in these posts, too.

Honest Abe Lincoln said...

Your old fountain photograph showing water coming out reminds me of the water troughs in our tiny hamlet of Gordon, Ohio where I was born and grew up. There were two water troughs with hand pumps. People passing by could pick up the metal or tin cup and use the hand pump to pump a cup of cold water straight up from the deep well where it was always cold. People would herd cattle from one pasture to another and come through town and the farmer would pump the water troughs full for the animals to get a drink.Now, the water troughs are gone and the water pumps were removed and the pipes sealed off that went down into the water. Passing through town these days you either bring your water along or keep on driving another 7 miles to another town where they have restaurants to get drinks of water or anything else.

Karl Demetz said...

Nice to see that you feel good at the Community of Grandchamp, Dina !
(Not too cold?) :)

Dina said...

Karl, even though there were patches of snow on the Jura this morning, it is not all that cold down here on the plain. I mean, I have four layers of clothes on inside, and add a jacket for outside. :)

Abe, thanks for your contribution! So you really saw how these water sources work!

Hels, no, the building was not for just one family; it's not a palace. I'll check with the sisters about the history and tell you next time. I know one of the houses here was originally a hospital, and then a school.

Alice said...

What a lovely place to be staying at .

Suzanne said...

Ahh, Grandchamp! Beautiful photos Dina and I so look forward to your reflections for the next two months. Peace be upon your time at this magnificent sanctuary.

Kay said...

Ah yes, that does look like a menorah. Until December? Wow! That will be a nice long stay. I'm so happy for you.