Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Cravant Les Coteaux, France

Cravant Les Coteaux
If we aren't mistaken, this is a ninth century church,and while it's architecture is inspiring, the real story is about a structure across the street from it. While we talked at considerable lengths about this structure, we didn't take a picture of it... which may or may not have been on purpose.

Here's the story: The structure in question stands about 10 feet tall and is about 2 feet in diameter -- column-shaped, with a rounded top. Our guide pointed out the plaque on the side of the column, then asked us to guess what it was there to commemorate. After naming various wars, seiges, famines, plagues, marriages, etc., he gave us a hint as to the signifigance of the structure we had been walking around, leaning against, and rubbing our hands on. "This used to have a wall about four feet tall that surrounded it," he explained,"and was a type of gathering place for the men in the village." Quirking an eyebrow, he went on to explain that this was one of the only pissatories still standing in France -- the others had been destroyed as more the conventional toilet became more popular in rural villages. We quietly passed around hand sanitizer and got back on our bikes...

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