Château de Tournon

Once again I am disappointed by a French historical building that promised much and delivered so little.

Tournon Castle

Perched above the town of Tournon, the castle has views over the town and river.

View From

Inside though another historical building has been stripped of much of it’s original fixtures and fittings, only to be replaced by modern works of art.

Art Work

Nice as some of them are to look at, you can soon get bored wandering from room to room and finding only these. Where is all the magnificent furniture, the drapes, ornaments etc. I mean you only have to read about some of the historical homes I have photographed in the UK to see the difference. Despite being built during the 16th century the Castle at Tournon has so little. Even Wikipedia in it’s description of Tournon Castle strips it down to one lineittle. Even Wikipedia strips it down to one line.

The Château de Tournon is a listed castle in Tournon-sur-Rhône, Ardèche, France. It was built in the 16th century. It has been listed as an official historical monument since March 28, 1938

Anyway let’s have a look around the castle. After paying your entry fee the first thing you get to see is the courtyard. Like all museums there is a sort of suggested route and entry to the rooms of the castle are through the small door. We struggled to find the light switch at this point and you do need it, especially as you are met with a winding staircase. Also coming in from the bright sunlight to this dark area, you are at first as “blind as a bat”.

Castle Courtyard

First room, mind the step, you have to step down into the room. Lots of shields on the wall.


Through the door into the next room. There’s a table and two chairs. Moving on quickly….

A Room

At this point I stopped following the plan. Up until this point I was by myself and could take my time taking photographs. But suddenly a part of people turned up so I jumped ahead to other rooms to get some peace and quiet to photograph. Later I can double back once they have passed through. It’s one of those things, you can’t expect exclusive access when visiting buildings…..but there is always one who wants to linger and look at the carving on the clock. I mean ten minutes just to look at it, c’mon give me a break.


Another table and chairs……


….and here’s some more

Table and Chairs

viewed from another angle.


In one of the rooms, there was a large glass case with what looked like some remains of a bridge. Remember Marc Seguin? I couldn’t photograph it, because there was a party of people there being given a lecture by one of the museums curators so time to move on. I found the church. Yep! That’s it below. Enough said.


That’s it for Tournon Castle. Another disappointment, although that’s not strictly true. I did enjoy wandering around, especially as it got me out of the heat of the day.

10 thoughts on “Château de Tournon

  1. Some of the rooms do look a bit bare. People never seem to care that some of us want to get a decent photographs, not just a quick snap-shot. Very nice HDR processing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for commenting David. The HDR is a bit heavy and normally I would not be as quite in your face with it. But for this whole series from France I just felt I needed to do something with the photographs. I was in one room and had put the camera on one of the tables just to get it a bit steady. Had the remote control attached. This woman came in and proceeded to stand right in front of the camera. I’d already started an HDR sequence and she heard the camera. She even asked me if I was taking photographs and then she just lingered.


  3. Great photos as always.

    Unfortunately I have seen examples of the random modern art over here as well, though admittedly it was in conjunction with the period furniture as well. I think it was at Hughenden (National Trust, might have been Basildon though) they had an artist installation which consisted of lots of plaster hands and feet painted gold dotted around the place. There had been a reason for it which at least kind of made sense but it still looked ridiculous.

    I feel your pain with the people that just hang around while you’re waiting as well, I’m sure there must be some of them that do it deliberately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normally I’ll wait until someone moves but I really felt as though she was being deliberate about it. I have used an old technique before of saying, ” Could you just stand still a second, you’ll look really good in the photograph” That usually moves them on….

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  4. These are great and I like seeing pics of France. Not as pretty as Wales though. I liked the castle but it makes me wonder if maybe their is hardly any furniture because it was stolen during WW11 or at some point in the past. People are so dang rude. I can’t believe the woman’s behavior as you were setting up your camera. She was thoughtless and crass.

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  5. I am a great admirer of minimalism and often wish I could bear to have less in my own space! It’s difficult to get a sense of what daily life might have been like with such a lack of detail though isn’t it? Are they worried that artefacts might be stolen I wonder? That has happened in so many of our churches resulting in a lot of them being locked up when there’s no one there to look after them. Beautiful clean lines, no people and no clutter have resulted in some great images though Mike!

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    1. Personally I like the clutter Theresa, it just seems to add something. But the people I can do without. I think the French Revolution may have had something to do with the lack of artefacts but the rooms do look bare.

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  6. The castle may have been disappointing, Mike, but your images are anything but! Difficult conditions in which to photograph and you’ve captured some gorgeous architectural shots despite the bare rooms and challenging people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane, The architecture was nice to photograph and towards the end of this week I ‘ll be posting about the Hotel Dieu in Beaune which is a museum now and one of the better equipped ones, with many of the original artefacts still surviving. I’m currently working through the photographs as this was one place where I spent a lot of time.

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