In 2013, when we were planning for our first long-stay here, I read about towns around our 2013 homebase in Montigny-sur-Loing. The town of Moret-sur-Loing looked interesting, especially when I read that Alfred Sisley, long one of our favorite Impressionist painters, lived here, died here and is buried in the local cemetery. So we made an early trip to Moret, fell in love with it, have visited it many times since, and love it more every time we’re there. This morning, we made yet another visit, so I want to post a lot of pictures of our visit. In a country of beautiful and interesting small towns, this is our favorite. This post will be mostly pictures; hope that’s okay.

Does it get anymore beautiful? Any questions why Moret is our favorite place in this area and probably our favorite small town in the world?

Just beautiful…

This building was built by a wood carver. No surprise, eh? Built in the 1600s.

A close-up of the door.

A Renaissance building on the main street. See the plaque under the left window?

The plaque says that on the night of March 19, 1815, Napoleon slept here as he traveled to Paris after leaving his first exile on the island of Elba. Now, “Napoleon slept here” is similar to our “George Washington slept here” (if either of them actually slept in every place that claims that, they would both have lived to be 300 years old), but I think this one is fairly well documented.

Flowers…always beautiful flowers.

Alfred Sisley

Alfred Sisly painted some 500 pictures in Moret-sur-Loing and the surrounding area. In Moret and the surrounding towns there are plaques showing a picture he painted from that place. Here’s an example;

A plaque showing a painting by Alfred Sisley, one of the original (and, in our humble opinion, one of the best) Impressionists.

The view today from where Sisley set up his easel.

Pretty cool, eh?

Laurie and I have taken to visiting the graves of people we admire, so of course, we visited Sisley’s grave. Nice to tell him in person that we love his paintings.

Alfred Sisley’s grave. I know it looks odd, but after spending much of his life here and painting in the Forest of Fontainebleau, he asked that a stone from that forest be placed on his grave. Done.

Alfred Sisley’s grave. The quote says,” Objects must be enveloped in light as they are in nature.” There’s not a better definition of Impressionism.

It amazes us to think that Sisley’s paintings sold for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars in his time. Now? Sell your house for a small one.

L’Eglise Notre Dame

Moret’s church fascinates us. It is gothic, built in the late-twelfth century. Where many churches of that time are gone, or have been added to and changed, or over-restored, L’Eglise de Notre Dame just is. Not much changed, except for a few modifications to keep it standing, it shows what churches of that time looked like. We find it lovely.

An unrestored Gothic church. We find this church to be one of our favorites because it is so original and not gussied up.

And for our organ-playing friend, Margaret:

…a Renaissance organ. It stopped working in 1832, was restored in 2002. We will attend a concert on Aug 15 at which it will be played.

Some sights from the “back streets” of Moret:

A back street of Moret.

Don’t know…

The plaque below says “1638 Sucre d’Orge des Religeuses de Moret.” It was in this building that nuns created the barley-sugar candy for which Moret is famous (sort of). They invented it in 1638!

I know you can’t read this…

Another building by the wood carver seen before.

As I took the previous picture, this painter working next door motioned to take his picture, too. So I did. Don’t talk to me about the unfriendly French; we haven’t found any.

An old sign of a shop here. As we looked at it, a car pulled up, a young man jumped out and told us the sign was from a long-closed store that made wood furniture, and showed us how the shutters would have opened to display the products. Another unfriendly French person. Later we saw him ride by on a electric scooter; he gave us a friendly wave.

Just a couple more pictures…

During the flood of 2016, the water level reached the roof of the structure on the left.

This was July 14, Bastille Day – the equivalent of our 4th of July. As with our Independence Day, lots of picque-niques.

That’s Moret-sur-Loing. We will be back here, many times, I suspect. It’s a lovely small town, not overrun with tourists, though more people should come to see it. This is France at its best.

This entry was posted in Ambles. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *