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Showing posts with the label France

Nice la Belle

Promenade des Anglais Though I had been to Nice several times in the past, I saw a different Nice in 2019. Gone were the familiar scenes with the exception of the Promenade des Anglais and the pebbly beach. How these people in the photo embrace the sea! For there lies the key to relaxation and a “happier, healthier, more connected” * mind. *Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols.
Basilica Notre Dame de Nice It was a sad day when the Notre Dame de Paris burned down in April 2019. I remember attending a special prayer at the Notre Dame de Nice on Avenue Jean Médecin when all of France was mourning after the devastating fire that consumed the spire and roof of the 800-year old Gothic icon of Paris. 
House of Adam and Eve Bas-reliefs of Adam and Eve in the old town of Nice was a surprising find. This former private residence dates back to the late 16th century and the reliefs are said to be of Adam and Eve. But there’s another story about these reliefs that attributes the figures to a quarrelsome coupl…

Off Grid Paris 2019

No matter how often I return to Paris, I am still making new discoveries. Paris seems to have an inexhaustible number of delightful things yet to be revealed. On my recent visit, I found unique architectural gems like the McDonald's restaurant and the newly installed artwork, Bouquet of Tulips, by Jeff Koons.
The Bouquet of Tulips is a monument to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. It was recently installed near the Petit Palais and was immediately greeted with disapproval and negative criticisms including comparing the tulips with anuses. The monument was vandalized shortly after its installation. These colorful tulips are made of polychromed bronze, aluminum and stainless steel.
Metro: Champs Elysees Clemenceau Lines 1 and 13, RER C Invalides, RER A Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
This Neo-Baroque Italo-Spanish motifs of the right wing façade of École Massillon is enough to stop anyone and pay attention. Quai des Celestins and Rue du Petit Musc. Metro: Sully-Morland 
Do…

Inside Albi Cathedral

The austere brick exterior of the 13th century Sainte-Cécile Basilica Cathedral of Albi (or Albi Cathedral) reveals nothing about its opulent interior with its painted vaulted ceiling and columns, the Gothic lacy stonework in the Choir, the exquisite rood screen, and the 15th century mural of the Last Judgment under the monumental organ by Christophe Moucherel.

The altar of the Church of the Canons within the Cathedral.

The Choir of the Canons is hidden behind the rood screen which divides the Cathedral in two.  It is decorated with a host of angels, the twelve apostles, the Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul. The statue of Sainte Cecile, the patron saint of the Cathedral, is at the center of the screen below the crucifix. The figures of the emperors Charlemagne and Constantine face one another above the north and south entrances to the Choir.

The ambulatory around the Choir is decorated with carved figures from the Old Testament. Notice the painted columns.
The side altars in…

October

What does October remind you of? Pumpkins and marigolds
Golden trees and falling leaves
"O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not averse to being beguiled, Beguile us in the way you know. Release one leaf at break of day; At noon release another leaf; One from our trees, one far away." Robert Frost
Discovering there are other types of pumpkins Orange you glad
Crawling vines turning red and gold
Corn with black ears 
Pumpkin pie. But can you make pies from these pumpkins with warts?
Pleasant walks with a warm sweater Cool, crisp air Steaming and sweet apple cider
Ghouls and trolls Trick or treat Candy Pumpkin wishes and Halloween dreams.
What are your October feels?
*****
Images by TravelswithCharie

Albi on the Tarn

Having arrived by train from Toulouse in early afternoon, I was greeted by a peaceful ambiance that belied the bloody history of this river town. Albi was an active center of Catharism in southwestern France in the 13th century. The Catholic Church considered their beliefs heretical and was challenged by their existence. In 1209, Pope Innocent III launched a crusade against the Cathars led by Simon de Montfort. The Albigensian Crusade as it was called, was a ruthless 20-year war that extinguished the Catharis until they no longer posed a threat to the Church. In the aftermath of the crusade, the King of France solidified his stronghold in the Languedoc by taking the estates of the Counts of Toulouse and the independent princes. The Catholic Church reclaimed their hold of Albi with the construction of the fortress-like Cathedral of Sainte Cécile which started in 1282. Sainte Cécile is the largest brick built cathedral in the world. The Cathedral's 78-meter (256 ft.) steeple served …

Marc Chagall Museum in Nice

In 1966, Marc Chagall donated the group of paintings collectively known as “Biblical Message” to the French State. These paintings were exhibited at the Louvre and became the inspiration for the Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice which was inaugurated in 1973 and attended by the artist himself. This biblical series of 17 large scale paintings form the core of the exhibition. 250 works were initially donated by Chagall. Aside from the paintings, there are sculptures, bas reliefs, a ceramic piece, lithographs and copies of his illustrated books. A mosaic wall called, The Prophet Elijah, presides in the courtyard.

Every Chagall painting has more than one story to tell. I learned to watch for the little vignettes scattered throughout his canvases so I wouldn’t miss the rich narratives that define his works.

The Creation of Man, 1956-58 An angel carries Adam from the ocean where animals thrived prior to the creation of man. The rays of a swirling sun evoke the artistic style of Delaunay (who…