France/Les Amis de Fresselines watch over the commune's heritage

Published on 24/04/2024 | La rédaction


"You have to come to Fresselines for its nature, its artists and its heritage," says Hedwige de Croutte, president of the Friends of Fresselines association (Creuse).

Perched between the confluence of the two Creuses, close to the Indre and to the north-west of the Creuse, Fresselines offers a wide range of heritage sites to discover around the town.

A castle

The château de Puy Guillon, built in the 15th century and remodeled in the 18th, dominates the valley on its promontory above Puy Rageau. The small, classical 15th-century château, with its staircase tower and two rooms on each floor, is complemented by a large defensive tower, separate from the dwelling. In the 18th century, an additional construction was added, joining the small château to the defensive tower. Renovation work has been carried out on a regular basis ever since.

A mill

Further down, the Puy Guillon mill, which belonged to the château at the beginning of the previous century, is a remarkable place to discover old buildings, a footbridge and a bridge.and bridge along the Petite Creuse, joining the Monet trail and the confluence of the two Creuses, precisely where Claude Monet set up his easel. Among the many artists who frequented the valley, "Claude Monet was drawn here by an art critic, a friend of Maurice Rollinat, who praised the light at Fresselines. The painter stayed for three months in Fresselines, where he produced his famous series.

A bust of Claude Monet

To celebrate the 130th anniversary of Monet's visit to Fresselines, the Friends of Fresselines association has commissioned the erection of a bronze bust, to be inaugurated in 2020. "This bust, the fourth to be exhibited outdoors in France, represents the artist at 49, the age he was when he visited Fresselines. Danielle Bertholdt sculpted the bust, and Didier Fauguet, stone cutter and sculptor, created the base from a block of blue granite donated by Microplan, the Forêt-du-Temple master workshops", explains Hedwige de Croutte.

A church

Not far away, in homage to Maurice Rollinat, Rodin's "Last Vision" bas-relief by Rodin, is displayed on the other side of the church, also opposite the hotel-restaurant.

In the 12th-century Saint-Julien church, the 21st-century stained glass windows were created by Didier Bourdeau, a master glassmaker from Épie, a small hamlet near Cressat. Three stained glass windows were created: "The largest depicts the martyrdom of Saint Julien and the sword that decapitated him. An inlaid hand illustrates the work of the Creusois; the martyr's blood is found in the other two windows".

Sculptures by Anna Quinquaud

The church features a monstrance, a 19th-century reliquary and a conpee from liturgical times. A painting by Fresselin artist Gaston Thiery depicts the head of Christ. The granite altar was donated by entrepreneur Pierre Dumont du Rivaud, and completed by a bas-relief and statues of Saint Peter and Saint Theresa by his friend, sculptor Anna Quinquaud.

Small-scale heritage

The association is also interested in the two other chapels located in the commune: "the Chambonnet chapel on private property and the Forges chapel, where a restoration study is underway. The commune also boasts a number of covered wells, as in Chatre, mostly on private land. There are also a number of calvaries, as in Vervy," says the president.

The Saint-Julien fountain at Le Palot and the Oratoire de la Bretaudière will soon be the subject of descriptions to inform visitors.
The work carried out by Les amis de Fresselines to put the sites into perspective will be completed by poetry panels paying tribute to the poet Maurice Rollinat and reminding us that Fresselines is a village of artists and a village of poetry.


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