Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Amour de porte française

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Europe: Simply Irresistible,  
. . . . . . . .
A collection of dream voyages 
posted by world travelers 
about destinations that call to them. 

Where, you ask, calls to me? 

Off we go to my dream destination. 
Beynac Château inside the walls 

. . . as part of Anita's 

Castles Crowns and Cottages

Pack a bag, 
just a lightweight carry-on, 
and come along for the journey 
to irresistible places 
across France. 

Then visit the simply irresistible destinations 
of the other 54 bloggers. 
It's bound to be a 
Grand European Tour. 

What is irresistible about France? 
There are . . .  
the food, the gardens, the shopping, 
the history, and the architecture. 

All are reasons to return over and over again 
to France, but our journey today is about  

Amour de porte française
(French door love) 

The doors, oh the doors... 
From massive carved wooden doors in Paris 

. . . to carved stone statues surrounding a door also in Paris. 

Wandering the streets of Paris 
for usual tourist activities is always interrupted 
just to gaze at the beautiful doors. 
Repeatedly, I catch myself straining my neck, 
slowing my pace, and exclaiming, 
"Look at that one," 
to my traveling companions. 
Inevitably, we stop to take in all the details. 

Beyond Paris, there are more doors to love. 
The Dordogne area is filled with 
castles, ancient cities, cave drawings, and 
lush countryside. 

Massive defensive walls 
surround the 13th century town of Beynac, 
and visitors enter through an old city doorway  
to make their way to the Château de Beynac. 

Along the narrow cobblestone street 
is this door just inside the old city walls.  

The massive wooden doors built in the 
creamy colored stones has an iron gate 
that can be dropped in front of the 
main Château de Beynac entrance. 

The iron studs in the doors and 
the arched shape of the doors 
are hallmarks of medieval doors. 

Inside the Château walls rising far above the Dordogne River 
are many more buildings other than the main castle.  

We have to get closer to the small 
addition on the right side of the above building to take in all its beauty.  

Two doors to study and to love. 
Could there once have been a balcony that 
the roof door opened onto? 

How long did it take for the 
stone mason to carve the intricate stones? 

Is this not the quintessential French architectural style? 
Cream-colored stones, red tile roof, carved arched wooden doors, 
and stone carvings around the roof door. . . 
Oh, be still my heart! 
To see this structure, 
to touch the stones and the wood, 
and to feel the air on the terrace 
is to experience France. 
Simply irresistible. 

The city gate has two distinctive towers 
surrounding the gate that leads into Domme. 
Any French person can identify the old city from this view 
of the well-known doorway that is on our list of 
doors to love.  

Château Montford was razed and rebuilt multiple times since 
the Middle Ages, and is not open to the public. 

Built close to a public highway 
and on the Dordogne River, 
it can be admired from outside its ramparts. 

Does this entrance not look like a 
Hollywood set? 
Yet, it is the real thing. 
See the stone crest at the top? 

The wisteria-covered courtyard 
behind the wrought-iron gate 
is one of my favorite entrances in France. 
What a glorious sight the courtyard must be 
when the wisteria is in full bloom. 
Perhaps one day I will be in Sarlat 
when wisteria is in bloom. 

Located in the walled city of Sarlat, 
the little courtyard has a door to love. 
The graduated carved stone surround 
is elegant in its simplicity. 

Also in medieval Sarlat, 
the door at #20 seems modest compared 
to the massive doors of châteaux. 

Near the center of Sarlat 
this arched doorway opens to a passageway 
with multiple doors opening onto it. 
I wonder about the  
stone-carved crest above the doorway. 
Was this a royal household?  

Sarlat was saved from being razed and rebuilt as a modern city 
in the 1900s because it had fallen on hard 
financial times. 
No one was interested in the small crumbling city. 
French laws protecting national historical sites were passed,  
and Sarlat benefited from government funds 
to help restore the city and to revitalize its economy. 
Today it is thriving with the help of tourism. 

How glad I am that these beautiful doors 
have been restored. 

Throughout France, 
gardens and courtyards are graced 
with modern metal doors like this. 
Another style to love. 

An old wooden gate stands with a gnarled tree 
that has sprouted new growth. 
What once was a doorway into an enclosed field in Carsac, 
a small town near Sarlat, 
is still a thing of beauty in its forlorn setting. 

For a list of more posts about France, 
click on 

A Moment in France
Please join me at these inspiring sites...




  1. These are simply gorgeous shots! If I spoke French, I would love to go to France. I know that Rick Steves manages to travel without speaking the country's language, but I think that would be pretty tough, and that I would miss so much.

  2. Judith, your beautiful images made me feel as if I've just spent a wonderful mini vacation traveling the French countryside. Merci! The heavy doors, the stone details, and all the ambiance of the architecture and beauty of the French countryside makes my heart sing.
    I had intended to join in the party, but life took me elsewhere this week with the joy of time spent with my sister.

  3. Oh, Judith! How I would love to have been there to see these in person! But, thank you for sharing your beautiful images and memories! There is a reason my little bank in my studio is wrapped with a burlap ribbon marked Paris! One day.........

  4. I have been here your first photo!I have the same exact photo of the little door on top of the larger door!The BEAUTY in just doors alone is worth the trip............Beautiful Post!Anita sent me........hope you visit me soon!

  5. Such lovely images, Judith! Your doorways beckon me to visit parts of France I haven't visited yet. On my next trip, I'm hoping to visit the Colmar region. France will always be 'simply irresistible' to me! ♡Dawn

  6. So many ‘beautiful portals’ I'm spoilt for choice! The lovely Anita sent me, and I’m very glad I came. Barbara

  7. WOW, OH LÀ LÀ! Judith, it is a joy to begin my tour here from Minneapolis at 5:00AM. I believe in getting an early start, and I can see my dear friends are here with me.

    You have captured my heart and have stopped it for a moment! Do you know that Sarlat is my favorite place? When I lived in my beloved Provence, my husband then met me there after my studies, then we traveled to Italy, more of Provence, then before heading out to the Loire Valley and Paris, we spent a week in Le Perigord. My husband fell in love with Sarlat (me too) and decided he'd like to retire there. Who knows...but seeing it through your portal has made this morning just so special. I appreciate the details you've put into your post, and it's so lovely and ironic that you are the very first link that we literally are walking through, through the doors of FRANCE.

    May you enjoy this virtual tour (and I hope you are keeping your post up all week?)

    ENJOY!!!!!! Anita

  8. Hi Judith!
    Thanks to Anita today I can enjoy your pictures and your blog!.
    It has always fascinated me throughout France, but your photos are so kind and sweet as you look it.
    I wish you a great weekend.
    Today I am happy to have known
    personally selected products

  9. So many charming, elegant, rustic and tale inspiring doors in France...certainly much more interesting and romantic than my Home Depot stock entryway! ;) Thanks for the lovely tour!

  10. Such a gorgeous tour!!! My daughter and I visited England together. Perhaps one day we will go to France!
    Thank you for sharing it with all of us, Judith!

  11. I love doors and French doors.. wow! Thank you for the tour I cant wait to go for real!

  12. Hello Judith and good morning - I Came from Anita's link party.

    What a wonderfully interesting visit you have given me through France this morning!
    Thank you for the time and thought you put into your lovely tour:)

  13. Hello Judith...I've popped across from Anita's link party to...The perfect trip to France and doorways are a favourite shot of mine there's something so inviting and intriguing about them.
    Lovely post...happy weekend!

  14. Those are beautiful. A place I would love to visit for sure.

  15. Oh c'est trop beau, la France oui elle est belle et elle regorge de beaucoup de détails qui ont fait notre histoire, et ceux souvent qui en parlent le mieux se sont vous les autres nations...Vous trouvez les mots justes pour la décrire, moi je vais en Angleterre, je t'invite à découvrirr my destination...
    Bisous tout plein

  16. What is it about doors and doorways that are so fascinating? You answered that question and more! Wonderful visit!

  17. Hi Judith, I’v visiting from CCC and have to say your “storybook villages” leaves me wanting to leave this very minute on a trip to France! Thanks for the tour, it was lovely. Hugs, Emily

  18. Hello Judith, I am visiting from Anita's dear blog. Your post is magical and the photos refresh my memories of visiting France. Such a gorgeous country. Make me want to return, because there is so much to see. Happy week-end.

  19. Judith, what a wonderful journey! Thank you for sharing all of these amazing images with us!

    The Arts by Karena
    Europe: Simply Irresistible Party

  20. So nice to meet you in the French countryside Judith... I love the doorways! Wonderful visit!

  21. I am a big lover of doorways as well, Judith, and this collection of yours is fabulous! So nice to read about the history, too. A door says so much about a home! So nice to meet you and visit your lovely blog. Enjoy your weekend :)

  22. Fabulous!!!you make us yearn for France,xx Speedy and Rachel

  23. Wow the old word architecture is a dream!! Thanks for sharing!!

  24. Chère Judith! How lovely to see your comment as I emerge from a break (working out in my basement gym!) for I have thoroughly enjoyed EIGHT HOURS of blog hopping today! I am fascinated by your vision ( like mine) to become a better writer. If you haven't already, I encourage you to take a class on writing poetry. There is nothing like poetry to shake up your imagination and jostle about your writing skills to hone your writing. I liken poetry to ballet. Ballet teaches grace but also skills that strengthen the body and give a dancer the ability to soar beyond what the normal body can do. Poetry does the same thing. It stretches you, it is demanding, but the results are skills that can be used in other forms of writing. Not everyone can become a ballerina in this life, nor a poet, but one can equip themselves with the tools of poetry that unlock so many possibilities.

    I was a dancer, but like you, I hope to dance in and beyond the heavens....

  25. Stunning images and I'm a new follower of your blog now! France calls me daily, I've been once and need to go again.

  26. Gorgeous doors! I think in some ways I love that last image the most! Would love if you stopped by, I also joined the Castle Crowns & Cottages Irresistible Destinations party :)
    xo Mary Jo

  27. I have a love affair with doors and gates and every one you've show is a beauty.

  28. Hi Judith,

    Thank you for taking us away to France - there is so much to love about the place isn't there.
    I enjoyed seeing all your photos
    Happy weekend

  29. What a beautiful visit to France! I love the doors also, LOVE them! I am looking for an old iron gate to hang on a big blank wall, maybe I'll look for a door instead. :)

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  30. Oh, how beautiful! My daughter has such a fascination with France---can't wait to show her this post! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos. I hope you'll stop by and visit my England photos post!

  31. What beautiful images. I feel like I've visited a part of France, thank you.

  32. So many Lovely pictures ~ France is an adventure,so many things to see!!!!Had to laugh,AS I am a door addiict too!If only one could tale some of those french doors back Home!!!!!But memories aren't too bad either ;)

  33. Le portail extraordinaire!
    How "PARFAIT" that you are first on the list of this beautiful journey via Anita!
    I too have a passion for doors. The thought of how they have weathered over hundreds of years is amazing! My first trip to Europe was in the summer of 1969. Seattle, as a direct result of the 1962 World's Fair (Century 21), was in the process of tearing down the old historical buildings and replacing them with mid-century metal and glass. I loved seeing how the Europeans preserved their structures. When I returned, I would repeat again and again..."I can't believe our American cities demolish their history!" Fortunately, someone put a stop to the destruction of Seattle before every brownstone and brick was replaced with metal and glass. ( I still mourn the loss of three amazing theaters.)

    I thank you for your kind comments on my posts. You also inspire me, my friend!
    Your heart and your home are very special to me!

  34. Hello,I'm Denise and Your 205th follower :) I see we are fellow blog hoppers and go to several of the same parties.Now I have one more reason to make it to France one day-the doors alone-I love mysterious doors.I have a huge imagination, and love to wonder about the adventure behind special magical enchanted doors,so I do get this post and I enjoyed-Denise of Coffeeberry Cottage

  35. p.s. came back again to enjoy all the lovely doors and the doorway to the imagination you provided on your tour!
    Happy saturday to you:)

  36. PENNY!
      I love knowing that there are people like you, so imaginative, so far, but so close now! thank you very much for your visit!
    I wish you a happy day!


  37. Judith this is such a lovely adventure in France. I have traveled quite a bit yet not made it to France yet and it is at the top of my list!

    The Arts by Karena
    Europe: Simply Irresistible!

  38. Thank you for these beautiful photos, the doors don't let me indifferent!

  39. Everything IS more beautiful in France, including the doors! I always take photos of the pretty doors when I am there! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! xoxo

  40. Judith, I am so happy to come by to see you, opening all these gorgeous portals is fabulous. My son is a professional photographer, and one of his favorite subjects is old or interesting doors. Just beautiful. I think I need to see this part of France !!

  41. This is simply beautiful. Love all the doors and their unique styles. I am traveling to France in my dreams too. And this just fueled it even more. Have a beautiful day.

  42. Oh, you have certainly taken us on a most beautiful journey here! :) Thank you!!
    My post may be on the Cotswolds, but my heart will always belong to France...
    I, too, love beautiful doors...
    On one of my trips, our bus was taking us from the airport to our hotel in Paris...what was I looking at as we rode through the city? The doors! :)
    Merci...a wonderful Sunday to you...
    - Irina

  43. Simply irresistible through and through.
    Lovely stopping by via Anita's.

  44. Thank You new friend :) for Your sweet comment and following Me- To new Adventures-Denise

  45. Hello Judith,
    I had a most delightful time knocking on the beautiful French doors and gates!!
    Thank you for sharing these very lovely images!
    Many Blessings, Linnie

  46. Good evening Judith,
    I had to stop back in and soak up the beauty here.
    Wishing you a wonderful week.

  47. A wonderful holiday travel with you, dreams can come true through the beauty and inspiring photos that leave you dreaming.

    See you soon.


  48. We all want to walk through those gates and big beautiful doors and start our adventure! This post is delightful.....and I've looked at it more than once! Enjoy your week! Keep dreaming! Hugs, Diane

  49. such a wonderful tour of France + I also have a passion for doors! + small world

  50. Thank you for an amazing tour of France and sharing the wonder of the doors and gates. I love doors too and all the different styles. All your photos are incredible and just pull you in to the old world charm and beauty of France. Thank you for sharing. I have so enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. I am visiting from Anita's special link party which I could not participate in due to a hectic schedule but I have enjoyed my visits just the same.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Hugs from Texas, Celestina Marie

  51. What fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing and taking me there!

  52. Dear, dear Judith,

    I delightfully read your comment to learn so much about your art education! Oh, I could hear stories about the bygone era and love each sentence, paragraph and page to turn back in time. I love bringing out the silver trays to serve up tea for a neighbor; I did that this winter for our poetry group and served up a pot of tea on a silver tray. The women swooned and for a moment, time stood still. Art is to celebrate, not hide in a dark cabinet! Bring out the art, the frippery, the opulence and watch people stop in their tracks. Paper cups? Oh well, I guess when you're having a large group! But I love hearing about the southern traditions and I have friends who are from the south and have gorgeous traditions of such grace.

    Thank you so much for being involved with our link party. Many hugs and wishes for an outstanding summer of discovery!! Anita


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