Villedieu-les-Poëles Things to Do
The Copper Workshop - ﻿Atelier du...
Here's my journal entry for the atelier.
We entered and purchased our tickets for the tour. No one appeared to speak a word of English but we thought we'd be okay. In addition to interesting entry exhibits, there were two very husky men beating madly on a huge piece of copper. Suddenly the French-speaking desk clerk appeared again and in perfect English said, "This way please." He led us to a screening room and proceeded to give us a history of copper utensils before he showed a film. His entire presentation was in excellent English.
We watched the film and then were free to wander the factory floor watching the artisans. It was fascinating. There was also a dog in the factory. He would take a yellow tennis ball up a ramp and drop it to roll down. If you tossed it someplace, he’d get it and play with you. If you ignored him, he’d retrieve it and do it all over, in essence, playing by himself. He was great.
The tour ended, as all tours do, in the gift shop filled with lovely copper and pewter cookware and decorator items made there and elsewhere. We got a lovely copper omelet pan lined with tin. It’s being shipped home. (It arrived in beautiful shape and I love it.)Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
We went through Villdieu les Poeles for the copper pots and ran smack dab into the weekly street market. Streets were closed, traffic was bad, parking was difficult. But we were so excited. We finally found a place to park and took off up and down the streets looking at the wares, the food, the clothes, the baskets, the shoes, the beads, the watches, the food, etc etc. It was so much fun. We forgot to take pictures we were too busy looking. So the ones I have to share are not the best, not even the best of the market let alone good pictures. We were there Tuesday morning. It seemed like an odd time for a market, but it was large and crowded. I found a great dress at a bargain price which I continue to wear with pride.
Afterward we went searching for copper pots. There are many stores and we probably didn't get the best one, but we loved it anyway.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The Cornille-Havard Bell Foundry
We arrived in the small medieval town of Villedieu-les-Poêles on a cool, foggy October morning. I vividly recall our bus driver parking along the side of the road by an old stone wall, and we walked across the street and around the corner. We really didn't know what to expect, but we followed our teachers over to this old Norman citadel which was home to Cornille-Havard bell foundry. We all gathered around inside and were introduced to one of bell-makers of Cornille-Havard who proceeded to give us a 20 minute tour. We learned that we were standing in one of the most important historical metalworking centres in France, specifically copper. We learned that the very bell foudry we were standing in has been producing bells the old fashioned way since the Middle Ages! We were shown the equipment used to melt the metal, the bell moulds, and of course, the bells themselves. Most of the bells produced were church bells, so there was that certain magic to the place. At the end of the tour I browsed around their gift shop and purchased a little bell for my parents.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
le Fruitier: Seafood
We dined here several nights over the week we stayed in the Hotel. Excellent service, very good wine selection. Not knowing much about the local wine, left the selection up to the waiter who offered an excellent selection. Deserts are to die for. Well worth the visit/stay if looking to tour the
Favorite Dish: Seafood
various: Don't forget the poeles!
What to buy: copper! pots, flower planters, etc. I also bought some beautiful pottery - I try to get something ceramic/handmade where ever I go.