Long-time blog friend Lucy of Box Elder writes wonderful posts from her home in Brittany. I love her rambling stories and gorgeous photos of her garden and the world she lives in, of forays to explore many interesting towns and historical sites. They touch something deep in me, a love for the ancient, the traces of the past, the weathering actions of time and nature. Maybe it's because I live in such a young city and province in the New World. Today Lucy wrote about her visit to Château de la Hunaudaye, a medieval fortress that has been restored.
This inspired me to pull out a photo album from May and June 2002, from a trip to Vaasa, Finland. Two artist friends and I had an exhibition of our prints there, in fact called Traces. We spent several days in Vaasa hanging our exhibition, having a meeting with the press, visiting family, printmakers and exploring the city and surrounds. All culminating in the opening of course.
One interesting place we visited was Old Vaasa, at the site of the original city that had burned down, and its ruins of St. Maria Church. Sadly my photographs are not good - here's a better photo. Like the Château, these ruins had also been restored in part, minus the roof. Lucy lamented how restorations sometimes destroy the character of the original, something I'd agree with from my comparatively limited exposure. Much as I liked these simple church ruins and commend that it was done, it lacked some of that very old, crumbling, decaying quality. It is a quandary indeed, to restore or not and to do it sensitively, to save our history or not.