Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feeding swans in the French Village of Creil

Feeding swans on the Oise River in the village of Creil. 

Last Summer I spent a week in the French Village of Creil. Only 46 km from Paris. Creil was not my main destination. It was a place I used as a base. I wanted to sight see around the area of the Picardy region. In the 18th and 19th century Creil was known for faience. A few months before traveling to France and visiting the village of Creil, I bought a pair of early 19th century period Empire Creil faience plates in a New Orleans thrift store. Not knowing about modern Creil I thought it was a lovely French village of wonderful antique faience. Little did I know it is one of the worse villages in France for crime. I rented a house across the street from the train station and upon my arrival and leaving the train station I felt like I was in the Bronx circa 1980! I had never seen some many people standing around in France that appeared to be up to no good. 

Creil will never win a beautiful village of France award.  During World War II, from 1943, the city suffered heavy bombing destroying much of the historic buildings in the city.  Creil served both air base for Luftwaffe (air base on the current) and key rail hub, and is near the quarries of Saint-Maximin and Saint Leu-d'Esserent that are the basis for V1 of the German army. A great deal of the city was built after World War II in cold architecture. As a Leo I always look for beauty where no one sees it.  The beauty I saw in Creil was the beautiful swans and baby cygnets. Every morning on the walk to get my croissant I would feed this family of swans on the Oise River.


You can see the City Hall, on the island of St. Mauritius: Built near the site of the ruins of the old castle and collegiate Two Cities, it was inaugurated on 7 June 1903

Two Grisaille faience plates I bought in New Orleans were made by the Creil factory with transferware by Stone, Coquerel and Legros d'Anisy in Paris during the French Empire period.

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