Sunday, June 29, 2008

It looks even more like Cair Paravel from this angle

My friend in France, Papy Biou, told me about a website with lots of information about the castle ruins I showed you in my post entitled “Remind you of anything?” on June 21st. (The ruins, whose official name is les Ruines du Château du Vivier, are located in Seine-et-Marne. The photo above is the view from the inside looking out.) The only bad thing is that the website is in French and my French is, as they say, ne pas bon (not good). So I used altavista’s babelfish online translator to turn the information into English. Below is the translation, and although I can sort of figure it out, someone ought to tell altavista and the babelfish folks that their product could have used a little more work before they rolled it out. Still, the information is charming and the history, what I can make of it, is fascinating.

“Discovered at the time of excavations carried out in 1830, the currencies with l’ effigy of various emperors Top and Bas-Empire attest l’ prolonged existence d’ a “villa” with hillside of this laughing small valley of Bréon.

“The oldest documents concerning the Fish pond go up in the middle of XIIIe century. The seigniory belongs then to an important family of the area, OF GARLANDE, which have also Châtellerie de Tournan.

“C’ with them qu’ is; it is necessary to allot the construction of the oldest parts of the castle strong (keep and turns of l’ principal enclosure).

“In May 1293, Jean de Garlande sells the Fish pond to Pierre de Chambly, chamberlain of Philippe IV the Beautiful one. But this one yields it almost at once in October, in Charles de Valois, brother of the King, who enjoys to reside at it, with l’ to embellish and to increase the field. It makes build the parts d’ dwelling qu’ one calls the royal manor and the fact of decorating by Evrard d’ Orleans. In 1316, it founds, with l’ authorization of the Pope Jean XXII, a vault dedicated to Saint-Thomas of Canterbury.

“The king Philippe IV fact several stays with the Fish pond between 1301 and 1311. His/her son Philippe V Length also comes there, on several occasions, in particular in 1319 and 1320, years when it promulgates the three famous ordinances in relation to with the Room of the Accounts and the Parliament of Paris. In his turn, Charles IV the Beautiful one remains there in 1322.

“In 1325, before dying, Charles de Valois, “wire of king, brother of king, uncle of king, father of king. . .never king” bequeath the Fish pond to his/her son, the future Philippe VI of Valois. This one comes on several occasions between 1328 and 1344, this last year during eleven days consecutive. It makes gift then with his son of it the Jean future It Good.

“In January 1352, the Innocent Pope VI promulgates a Bubble authorizing the dolphin, the future Charles V, to found collegial there.

“In February of the same year, is celebrated in the royal vault of the Fish pond, the marriage of Jeanne de France, girl of king Jean the Good, with Charles de Navarre, that l’ history named the Bad one.

“In October, with the course d’ one of its stays, the Charles dolphin constitutes a chapter of six canons, assisted of four vicars and four clerks. In 1357, it exempts this chapter of the right of catch and makes him d’ important donations.

“In 1360, king Jean the Good, income of his captivity in England after the unhappy battle of Poitiers (1356), confirms the donations made by his son. After the death of his father in 1364, the king Charles V the Wise one remains on several occasions with the Fish pond; on March 23, 1368, it makes place on l’ furnace bridge of collegial reliquary containing a piece of the true Cross. This one had just made build the Royal Vault on 2 floors. It remains there during six days in October, then remains there again in 1376.

“As of the death of his father in 1380, Charles VI the Beloved comes to the Fish pond on October 26; one l’ there finds again in 1381. Following its tragedy meets in the forest of Mans, on August 5, 1392, which shook its reason, an often pointed out tradition wants that, during some of its accesses of insanity, his/her uncles who s’ were seized the capacity and the Isabeau queen Bavaria l’ relegated to the Fish pond. To distract his royal patient, the doctor of the Court played with him with the charts which came d' to be known in France.

“C’ is thus all during the XIV’ century that the castle of the Fish pond, which saw then successively becoming seven kings de France in its walls, lived its “richer hours” of magnificence.

“From Charles VII, of which one does not raise qu’ a passage in 1456, one does not find qu’ a stay of François 1st in 1546. But, if the kings preferred the Loire ch4ateau then, its chapter remained. Louis XI, Charles IX, Henri 111, assure him successively all the royal privileges granted since their grandfather Charles V.

“The discipline is slackened starting from Henri IV, collegial the n’ being honoured more with the presence of the kings; the abandoned castle n’ is maintained more. In front of this state of the things, Louis XIV decides, in 1694, the translation of the Ste Chapelle of the Fish pond and his chapter to that of Vincennes.

“From this moment, c’ is l’ complete abandonment: the canons rent the grounds and the buildings. In 1791, the field is sold 25,000 books like good national and transformed into farm, the vault in barn.

“In 1830, Main Parquin, lawyer of Paris repurchase it with a carpenter who had paid the buildings 1,200 francs to demolish them with the mine. It releases these beautiful ruins, arranges a park with very romantic taste; then it was again an abandonment moreover d’ one century.

“Aujourd’ today, thanks to l’ happy initiative d’ friends of l’ art and of the past, shaking the yoke of brambles, of the insane grasses which choked its walls, the castle of the Fish pond reappears. More than ever, this quatrain engraved at the XIX century remains true its frontispiece: “Of t’ to cut down, Time n’ could come to end, Your face proud s’ hurl with the stay of the storms, You live to become twenty kings in the torrent of the ages, Their thrones collapsed… Seul, you remainders upright”

(end of translation)

I don't yet fully understand three things, however: why the Innocent Pope VI promulgated a Bubble in January 1352, how the insane grasses managed to choke the walls, and what became of the Fish pond.


  1. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Brage! I have suffered the accesses of insanity from reading l'transcription d'AltaVista! L'eyes d'Pat, they are no longer -- how you say?, -- "dry" from l'weeping with much merriment. For this, I recommend l'Fish Pond post for l'Bubble.

  2. Mme. or Mlle. Pat, il n'y a pas de quoi (you're welcome)!!

    I haven't had such a good laugh in a long time as I did when reading your comment. In fact, each time I read it, I crack up again. It's better than altavista babelfish!

    Oh, well, I do what I can to brighten up your day.

  3. Bob, the bloodline on my maternal side carries a gene (*) which causes a condition known as a "Pond Spell" (Pond being my grandmother's maiden name.) The gene has been found to be dominant to at least the fourth generation (and perhaps beyond - we don't have an adult 5th generation around to test, yet.) A Pond Spell may be defined as a prolonged fit of uncontrollable laughter which leads to copious tears and the seeming inability to breathe. Once near-normal breath is recovered, just a mention (or glimpse) of the causative factor causes a repeat onset of the malady (ad exhaustion.) The terrible part of it is that it's contagious. A Pond who wanders into the presence of another Pond in the throes of a "spell" is caught up in it even if they have NO idea what is so funny! A room full Pond descendants with a Pond Spell in full spate is an event never to be forgotten.

    I am not kidding... I had a Pond Spell while I was reading your post. I dare not look at it again until I've recovered somewhat, and then I expect that it will happen all over again.

    If laughter is the best medicine, I should be healthy for a long, long time. Thanks. -- Mme. Pat

    (*)I'm kidding about the gene; we don't really know what causes it. Mental instability to the fourth generation, perhaps?

  4. Pat, the Pond spell is indeed contagious. In fact, one doesn't even have to be a Pond to have a Pond spell.

    I've had several in the last couple of days just between the altavista babelfish nonsense and your comments!

    And, of course, there's the little matter of mental instability to the fourth generation in my family as well. Not diagnosed, but quite observable.

    Unless--you don't think--is it possible? Could I be a Pond?

  5. If Hollywood ever makes a movie about les Ruines des Chateau du Vivier, I know the perfect romantic lead: Laurence Olivier!

    They would have to exhume him first, though.

  6. A new rubric for you on "Le monde comme je l'aime". Gooud recreation. See you later.

  7. I love the photo. I can't deal with babble fish. I think the babble part of its name is "très vrai." maybe sometime when I'm not enmeshed in the state history and government of Utah, I'll visit the original and puzzle it out.

  8. Papy, thank you for honoring me with your rubric! I am not surprised to learn that Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is the chateau that inspired Verrsailles; it is an impressive sight indeed.

    Ruth, actually it's "babel" fish, not "babble" fish, but your point is well taken. How long will you be "enmeshed" in the state history and government of Utah? Let's see, there's Brigham Young and there's the Utah Jazz, and probably some kind of legistlative body made up largely of Mormons. Doesn't that just about cover it?