Monday, August 20, 2018

Villedieu les Poeles, Avranches and Saint Sever Calvados, Normandy, France

Villedieu les Poeles

See Slideshow

Villedieu-les-Poêles is a small city of 3,900 people in Normandy authorized by the Government to use the accolade "City & Art Trades" in recognition of its tradition of copper working since the Middle Ages. Products have included kitchen utensils, brass-ware, cauldrons and the like since the "City of Copper and Pewter" was created in the 11th century by the Knights Hospitaller. The inhabitants are known as Sourdins from the French sourd, meaning deaf, from the time that most workers in the manufacturing of copper pans, which involved repeated hammering, became deaf.
Our visit was cut short by a mishap making our next destination truly "accidental" since we we arrived there by ambulance!


See Slideshow
Having sampled the French EMS and the mind-numbing "hurry up and wait" routines of the hospital in Avranches, we decided on a late lunch and an exploration of this slightly larger town, population around 8,000. In 511 the town became the seat of a bishopric and later, the location of Saint Andrews, a major cathedral. In 933 the area was ceded to the Normans and became part of William the Conqueror's stomping ground.

Saint Sever Calvados

On the way back to base we decided to stop by this little burg that we had seen the previous day. Not a lot to see beyond a once grand abbey, it is yet another example of slowly atrophying French village with its declining population now less than 2,000. See Slideshow.

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