Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Urval, Dordogne, community brick oven

It appears easy to find old brick ovens in rural France. Finding one that is still in use is a bit more challenging. Urval, a tiny town in Dordogne, has preserved their 'four banal' or common oven, sited right next to the church.
Although they fire it up only during festivals, I got some good photos of it and the accompanying environment that has been well preserved over the more than two hundred years it has been in use.

Let the photos speak for themselves, though you might note that the shelves above the face of the oven and against the stone chimney were used to rise bread as that was the warmest place in cooler weather.

 Many ovens in France also used wrought iron in the mouth, likely to take the wear and tear of use.  All the ovens I found were domes, which seem to be both traditional and extremely durable.

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