Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In the United States we seldom think about where our water comes from. Generally we just turn on the tap & take it for granted that there will be water. Here in France, however, there is a greater sense of awareness of the water supply. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that here in the countryside, indoor plumbing did not even exist until the late 1950's & in some cases even later. Really, this is shocking but true. In my village there are people much younger than me, who remember going to the town square to get their water in a bucket for household use.

This area has a long history intertwined with water. My little village & many others in the area were originally Roman towns founded because of an excellent source of water. The photos above & below, are of a beautifully preserved Roman source in the town of Varen, not far from here. The spring that feeds it continues to flow freely from the lovely ancient spout. Although, the town has now posted a sign reading "non potable" for legal reasons, people still come with bottles to fill, believing in the superiority of the water.

In the early 19th century, people started coming as "tourists", to "take the waters". There are also many old wells still to be found in the village, like the one below. It is on the grounds of a what was once a convent that took in the ill, the pure water filled with minerals, being part of the treatment. Although no longer in use, these wells are lovely reminders of a time gone by.

At some point, more modern water sources were put in the town squares, where villagers could continue to gather for their water & to connect as a community.

Replicas of these older faucets can be bought & installed as decorative elements in gardens of today.

There are any number of interesting old water receptacles, like the old pump below, to be found & admired.

I love the fact that they are appreciated & preserved in all of their forms.

The formidable town pump below, is found in the the town of Cordes sur Ciel.

While, in a hill top village, a cool mountain spring still feeds the lovely fountain below.

I could not help but finish with this sweet little well house, spotted recently on one of my adventures. I hope these photos may give you pause, to consider your water source, & how valuable pure clean water is to all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Sally, Very true that we do not consider where the water comes from and we waste it. I love these pumps and fountains. When my parents lived on a farm in Kentucky, they got water from a spring. It was kind of a pain to keep all of the complicated hoses and pumps working.