Château de By

Thomery, France

The Château de By is a town museum run by the town of Thomery. The building was purchased in 1859 by the French animal painter Rosa Bonheur, who moved her studio there. Aged 37, she was at the height of her popularity and made the building her home and studio for forty years, with pens for her animals in its park. She rebuilt the chateau to make it comfortable and to add a vast neo-Gothic studio room with the space and light she needed. It was in the chateau that empress Eugenie presented her with her Légion d'Honneur in 1865.

The museum mainly consists of objects relating to Bonheur's everyday life (including a Native American costume given her by Buffalo Bill) and the building has remained unchanged since her death in 1899, other than the sale of all the paintings it once contained.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1859
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Dyer (3 years ago)
A good place to drink tea in the afternoon
Hans-Christian Bohlmann (3 years ago)
Atelier authentique. La guide charmante et compétente vous expose la vie et l'œuvre de Rosa Bonheur avec beaucoup de passion pour cette grande artiste. Très intéressant aussi pour des enfants et adolescents intéressés par l'art et les animaux. L'état original des pièces ajoute à la magie du lieu. Salon de thé avec grand choix de thés et délicieuses pâtisseries.
Rodrigo Ferreira (3 years ago)
Unique!
Nicki Bagatta (3 years ago)
A beautiful place and well worth the visit. The guided tour gives great insights into the life of Rosa Bonheur. Well done to the new owners for putting Rosa Bonheur back into the spotlight, and for giving her her rightful place in history.
Trent Vance (3 years ago)
Great experience. Very informative and lovely guide, who we learned at the end speaks English perfectly. We took the tour in French but English language tours are also available. Rosa Bonheur was a lively and eccentric character worth learning about and this is a must-see museum if you're in the area. Gift shop and tea room look like they'll be very nice (to open the day after we visited).
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.