Last night we attended an open house and jazz concert at the Musee du Bois et Marquetry ( Museum of Wood and Marquetry) in nearby Revel. Revel is five minutes away from our village Durfort and was built around a covered central square in 1342 at the foot of the Montagne Noire ( the Black Mountain).
Revel is laid out in an octagonal grid shape, emanating from the central square and is a perfect example of a bastide town. The square is bordered by medieval houses and arcades and the covered central square itself is supported by ancient oak pillars and beams topped by a belfry.
A Saturday market has been going on underneath and around this beautiful covered square since medieval times. It has been named one of France’s 100 Most Beautiful Markets and certainly lives up to that honor.
Since the 1800’s Revel has also been a center of skilled woodworking, furniture making and marquetry and still continues on today as the capital of artistic furniture. The Musee du Bois celebrates this history. There is a permanent exhibit of the history of Revel’s furniture making with many beautiful examples of the processes involved. The exhibits on marquetry are worth the small price of admission alone . There are also revolving exhibits of painting, ceramics and other mediums that use wood or are inspired by wood. The third floor houses a library of wood samples from all around the world. Classes are also offered to all ages.
We had a lovely evening touring the museum to the sounds of Daniel Lucchese- a wonderful jazz pianist and singer. He then gave a 2- hour concert in the museum. At the end of the music room was a huge hearth. Daniel had his piano and several percussion instruments (made out of wood of course) set up inside the hearth! It wmade a small charming proscenium style stage and the acoustics were great. All this (and a glass of champagne) for the admission price to the Musee. Come visit!