Romantic Abbey Ruins and Hideous Cement Works

Just across from the ugly out-of-town shopping centre where I reluctantly go for some of my weekly grocery shop, is one of the most hideous concrete constructions I have ever seen in my entire life.  Owned since the 1930’s by the enormous French company Lafarge, a ‘world leader in construction materials’, the monstrous site of concrete towers and cranes is the product of ‘renovations’ carried out in the 1970’s, to accommodate , fittingly enough, a giant cement works.  This appalling example of architectural brutality sits side by side with the romantic remains of an ancient abbey constructed originally in the 12th century and added to over the centuries until its’ completion in the 1500’s.   A number of these monastic buildings remain in glorious ruined contrast to their modern neighbour, but apart from the outer wall, few are accessible to the general public on a daily basis so when we passed by a while ago, I with camera in hand , we had to peer through railings and padlocked gates to get a glimpse of the potential mysteries beyond.  Here is a selection of images of the Abbaye Notre-Dame de La Couronne – the cement works really is just too hideous to show…………….

 

 ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! You got great photos, even though you were blocked by locked gates and railings. When we lived in Madrid, Spain in the late 1990’s, we would occasionally rent a car and drive out to Extremadura and explore ruins of old castles and churches. Back then, a lot of the ruins were not locked or gated.

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    1. Hi Timothy, so glad you like the photos, there’s more to explore there behind the gates but at least some is accessible. Would love to visit your Spanish ruins, especially out in the country, these ruins are a little strange being surrounded by awful modern buildings!

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  2. The ruins are beautiful.

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    1. There is something always magical about ruins like this isn’t there, even if they are in the middle of modern developments!

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  3. Anna says:

    beautiful! I do like gothic architecture a lot! As for the cement works…I know how they look like…

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    1. Thankyou Anna! Whatever you can imagine as the most horrible cement works possible – these are probably worse!

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  4. west517 says:

    These are just stunning images- the sharpness and clarity are wonderfully crisp. I particularly love the images that show the green grasses with delicate flowers. Gorgeous.

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    1. Hi West! Delighted you like them! It’s strange, one or two of them, especially the arch look like I’ve processed them in HD – not a technique I’m particularly fond of! – but I haven’t! The buildings were all made of cut limestone so as the mortar has eroded over the centuries the outline of all the blocks are clearly visible. I’d like to go back and explore more of them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. west517 says:

        You should!! ❤

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  5. Hey there….Sorry I’m late.
    LOVE the light through them winders…..:-)
    But…. I’m strangely disappointed I have to imagine the cement works…Not even one shot to prove your point?
    I thought I was gonna get a bit of artful juxtaposin’
    :-/

    (’tis a fab old Abbey though… 🙂 )

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    1. Never fear sh, I shall return to take a grim photo of the grim cement works, I had thought the same it would be an interesting juxtawatsit, don’t think the cement towers could ever be made artful though 😦 🙂

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      1. Fie on that Mme de M…..
        In the hands of such an artiste those towers will be grimly splendid.
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed a fie and a pox on it sirrah – I shall rise to thy boldly grim (and flattery) challenge! :/ 🙂 😀

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      3. Gadzooks, the woman is a marvel!
        🙂

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  6. Breathtaking. There is such strength in those ruins–despite their state. What a feast to be able to walk around the grounds and view them often. Yup, they don’t make ’em like they used to, do they, Jane? Such a shame. But I’m grateful you and your trusty clicker are there to preserve what’s left of the unparalleled and exceptional.
    We certainly have nothing like it on my side of the screen (although we’ve got plenty of the monstrosities you declined to photograph)

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    1. HI Shelley, This reply is a little late, the world has been upside-down here this week as my lovely Mum died suddenly last weekend. I’m now making sure I follow her example for when thigns get tough – keep busy and keep smiling! 🙂 Glad you like my ‘ruin’ pictures and thankyou as always for your kind comments 🙂

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  7. This is so beautiful and I can certainly understand your outrage on the modern buildings. I see these monstrosities that creep up and destroy the beauty of old buildings. These images are so beautiful and reminds me of the Bronte sister’s who’s work I greatly love, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. I love Gothic architecture and for some reason love ruins. I like ruin and old run down houses it fuels my writing imagination much more than houses that are lived in. Old castles and ruins are so romantic and your pictures has that same mood.

    It’s a dream of mine to visit France someday and I hope that day will be soon.

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    1. You’re quite right! There is something incredibly romantic about ruined buildings, so much history, vanished life, stories to tell. I lived in a medieval village in England and we are still surrounded by history here – I love it! Let me know if you ever get to France!

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  8. Sue says:

    Ah, the romance of ruins! You have done a grand job of capturing these, despite being unable to access them freely….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sue! They are wonderful despite their strange setting on the outskirts of town, next to the cement works, across from the hypermarket and the Bordeaux Paris motorway!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous! All those arches and delicate architectural details!

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    1. It would be so good to get inside the ruins and get closer but sadly not possible, even with the cement works next door it has an amazing atmosphere!

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      1. Wouldn’t that be an adventure?!

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      2. You’d have to get past the chains and padlocks first though!!

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      3. Yes, I’m probably not up for that! Not interested in getting arrested at age 48 for the first time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. These are lovely. I would love to see a photo that contrasts the 2 buildings – “Beauty and the Beast” if you like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Miles you can actually if you click my post on this link – http://wp.me/p4zPbq-Ne – the last photo is the cement works (obviously!) truly grim, it dominates the skyline all around 😦

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