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After spending 3 months living in the tiny hamlet of Bardou, located in the Cevennes mountains of Southern France, Amy and Tom Valens created a photo essay that captures the spirit in which the village was brought back to life. Over a span of 40 years Klaus and Jean Erhardt developed a small stone monument to the appropriate use of local materials that their medieval predecessors perfected, and to the creative energy of a new generation of inhabitants.

Tom's evocative photos and Amy's lyric recounting combine to make a story that will delight both the initiate to medieval building practices and life styles, and those who have walked these paths many times.

Klaus Erhardt left us this fall. His enthusiasm for this project spurs us to make the story of his life work available to a broader readership.

tomvalens

About the Author

Tom Valens
tomvalens Forest Knolls CA, USA
Tom Valens has been involved in film and video since the mid 1960’s, working as a cameraman and editor for television news and documentary departments, for independent producers, and for himself. As editor, his films have won local and national Emmys as well as an Academy Award nomination.

Publish Date  May 27, 2007

Dimensions  Standard Landscape  40 pgs Standard Paper

Category  Architecture

Tags  , , , , , , ,

Comments (9)

nanoose

nanoose says

I met Klaus and Jeanne in the spring of 1968 in Morocco when they had just learned they purchased Bardou.. I then went with them to their new home, and worked with them for a few weeks cleaning up. I kept contact with Jeanne for years, and recently lost contact. Do you know her?

posted at 11:04am Feb 14 PST

LoraT

LoraT says

I spent winter of '74 '75 there. I read your note ramonaramona,so thrilled to hear you had fond memories, I also have great memories of you and your Mom, Amy.You played the viola, and I still have some of your drawings. Where are you now??? It was Jerry that baked the amazing bread in those days. What a beautiful place. So sorry to hear of Klaus's passing. Thrilled to hear the village is still there as it was, due to Jean and Klaus's clear vision. We used to read Shakespeare by candlelight with a delightful group. Yes, Chestnuts were a part of every meal. We gathered Thyme for tea, and the local wine was worth packing up the mountain. To all past and future travelers, worth the hike up the road.

posted at 11:06am Jul 15 PST

richardmotor

richardmotor says

Bardou, was a special place when I first visited in '73. I was there twice in 1973 and again in 1977. I have been back to France many times since with my wife and daughter on vacation, but yet to get back to Bardou. This year we have scheduled a week to visit Bardou. With sadness I learned of Klaus's death.
When I returned for a second time in '73 and again in '77 is met some of the same folks I had met on my first visit.
On my first visit I'm sure I met VTCHIS, RAMONARAMONA, possibly KAPRICELESS in 73. I knew Ingrid but did not stay in touch (she rented the small round turret shaped house). I'm also '59 this year so it has been 35 years since I visited Bardou.
Some of the other names I remember from '73 were :
Kirsten
Ingrid
Estrid ( Danish)
Audrey (Canadian)
Miriam (French) She would catch a ride on my motorcycle to Olargues to buy gitanes cigarettes.
Judy ( South Africa)
Sue (South Africa)
Sandy
Serge (Quebec)
Kevin and Edna (New Castle Upon Tyne)

I recall the horses was named "Irish"

I remember eating the local chestnuts from the forest. They were the best! Being a backpacker on a tight budget chestnuts from the forest made great salads, soups, and all sorts of dishes back at Bardou. I think if I collected a full burlap sack I got about 3.75 french francs .
My wife is looking forward to experiencing Bardou and my daughter who is studying art restoration in Italy this summer plans to visit Bardou as well . She has seen the pictures and heard the stories. I hope it is a special for her as it was for me.
Richard in Victoria BC
Canada


posted at 09:17pm May 24 PST

juventusfc

juventusfc says

Hi so glad to have come across your book which I will be purchasing I was there in the early nineties 92 or 93 I think I believe Klaus said I was the first Scottish person to have volunteered, I would love some of the people who I was there with could get in touch as I've lost all contact details i.e. Hilary Orange, Dave and brother Mike, all 3 from England if any of you stumble across this please get in touch yeah. David, Dumbarton, Scotland. 07873483676 or e-mail me at realmadrid195@yahoo.com

posted at 02:28pm Dec 02 PST

ramonaramona

ramonaramona says

I lived there as a child with my mom, Amy, in 72-73. It was one of the best memories of my childhood, I didn't go to school! VTchris - who are you? Maybe we met...were you the guy who manned the big ovens and sold bread to the village?

posted at 09:18pm Jun 20 PST

erintom

erintom says

December and part of January, 1976-77, wonderful memories.

posted at 10:12am Feb 10 PST

kapriceless

kapriceless says

vtchris! I wonder if I know you TOO! Do you remember Becky? Would love to hear from anyone with Bardou stories! It is a magical place and I am going back this summer! I am buying more books because they love the story!

posted at 10:31am Jan 11 PST

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