Friday, April 10, 2009

Visit to Penne

Yesterday was a wonderful sunny day almost like summer. We went to an amazing place, the village of Penne in the Tarn departement. Actually it is not far from us but the border of the Tarn and the Tarn et Garonne winds about a bit in the area. Penne has an amazing ruined castle which looks like a fantastic stage set from an Arthurian fable but is actually quite genuine. It was first built about 560 (No I have not missed the first 1 off!), In the thirteenth century it was used a refuge by the Cathars who were a Christian sect much persecuted during the Albigensian Crusade. Next it was occupied by the English and it was dismantled in 1586 by Henry IV who used the stone to build up the surrounding village. It certainly makes for a breathtaking sight.

We walked all around the village and as we were coming back to the car I noticed that we were parked right next to the memorial for the First World War. Every village in France has a memorial which is absolutely covered with names and what always strikes me about the one in Verfeil is that all the names on the memorial are the same as the one s in today's phone book. I'm sure it is the same at Penne and all over France, and I would guess many villages in England probably including East Harling. It really brings home to me how many families lost not one but two three sometimes four members. For tiny villages like Penne and Verfeil every family would have been affected. It makes me think how important it is to remember.


JoeyJoJo said...

Wow. How amazing. A great history lesson too. It is always so sad when they read out the list of people at Church who died in the two world wars. It goes on forever with three & four names all the same. There must not have been many men left at all.

Mrs WJ said...

Hi Joey happy Easter! I love your embroidery; so detailed. I always want to cry at Rememberance. We will see you in a few days, can't wait.
Love Sally and John and a special hug from Amelie and Camille alias Spike who have chewed their elastic to bits!