Tag: Tourism

Loire II – Amboise

The second day – Monday – we visited Amboise and its castle. Much of the castle has disappeared over time and not much is to be seen inside except busloads of disrespectful tourists, the furniture consists mostly of replicas, the entrance fee is rather steep, all of this turning it a bit into a tourist trap. Nevertheless, the castle and its surroundings are very picturesque.

Link with CtB: the castle belonged to his arch enemy Louis XI’s father. Louis XI hated his father and his mistress but liked the castle and let his wife and children live in it.

No links with CtB but still interesting: Leonardo’s presumed body is buried in the St Hubert chapel on the castle grounds. Note the words presumed. At some point a skeleton was dug up somewhere else, it was concluded that it could be Leonardo and was eventually buried in the chapel. Also, Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne lived at the castle (after research it turns out that the Jean I was researching earlier on is linked with them). It was at Amboise that Charles the VIII hit his head on a door lintel and died a few hours later.
Amboise itself is a bit meh and very touristy.

In the neighbourhood but not visited:
The Pagoda: it is just a high, not so old but neglected tower.
The mini castle park: a park with miniature versions of the Loire castles.
The Clos Lucé: this is the manor where Leonardo lived and it has been turned into a tourist attraction. After reading reviews it seemed not worth it: the manor is not the original one, the things on display are not that interesting, it is too crowded and the entrance fee is very high.

Some snaps. First off, the castle grounds and Loire. Note they use robots to mow the lawn and seeing them at work is quite funny and anachronistic. Also it took some patience and planning to avoid crowds in the pictures.

The medieval St Hubert chapel where Leonardo is buried:

Inside the castle:


Site update: Pictures of the Seven Sacraments

I have uploaded the pictures I took of the Seven Sacraments altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden on a separate page under the menu (see above or on the right). I have not yet added my personal thoughts and background information.

The page can be found here:

V. Documents & Background > The Dukes of Burgundy > The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden


Day 7: Albi

It’s too hot to paint, even for drawing almost. The past few days I’ve been working in my sketchbook, studies for the things I am working on or will start to work on next month. It’s too hot for Caravaggio as well, so that’s for next week. Today I went to pick up a Greek dude I bought in an auction but that’s also for another time. No WIP today, let’s first finish off the last two travel posts. I’ve switched day 6 and 7 around.

On Thursday we went to Albi, known for its ridiculously big brick cathedral. It’s too hot to write large amounts of text, so mostly images hereafter.

I gave up counting the bricks

I wonder how they painted that ceiling.

Looks a bit condescending, this angel

Nothing more uplifting on your wall than a giant apocalypse

Pool party medieval style

There’s people who cuddle cats and there are those other people

Rosy cheeked angel

Saint Cecilia, patron saint of the cathedral, with some relics

Not sure what this is and what happened down there

Monster, no longer in the closet

Lady in the portal with some graffiti on her feet. I was going to write a whole rant about how people have no respect for monument nowadays until I noticed the dates on the scribblings.

There is so much love for you in my heart. Wait, I’ll tear it out, so I can show you.

See you laters, alligators

And sorry, Jesus


Day 5 (II): Penne – Masons & Mouse traps

After our visit to Cordes (see earlier post), we drove on to Penne, another small medieval village. The sight of the castle perched on the rock above the village is quite spectacular.

Again, the streets were narrow and steep so we left the car in the car park and climbed up towards the castle. Along the way we passed the St. Catherine church so we took a peek inside. Per usual, a very dark and medieval looking interior, almost a castle in itself.

The entrance to the church, photobombed by an unknown man.

The church interior

A dramatic head of Jesus and other religious paraphernalia, behind bars in one of the side chapels

Another head, this time above a door

Creative ash tray

Doll’s head in a mouse trap, quirky decoration on the door of a house, mostly interesting because I didn’t know there was a brand of mouse traps called Lucifer. 

Local hero Le terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible, some kind of activist and anarchist from what I gather (correct me if I’m wrong)

After paying the entrance fee (6 euros pp) we climbed even higher up towards the castle itself.

Info panel

As you can see, the castle is quite kaputt so it’s being restored

Taking a dump, medieval style

Hey, look who we got here: great great great great… uncle Charlemagne! (there is a saying all Europeans descend from Charlemagne – explains my carrot nose)

The medieval builders are part of the entertainment. They’re busy chiseling perfectly rectangular stones into less perfectly rectangular stones to repair walls.

Life before Fortnite

And with one last view of the castle, this post comes to an end:


Day 5 (I): Cordes-sur-Ciel – Cats are not dolls

 

On day 5 of our stay in the Tarn et Garonne, we visited Cordes-sur-Ciel. Cordes is a fortified medieval village and was the most important must see of the area according to the travel guides we took along. The village lies high up on a hill and reminded me of St.Cirq-Lapopie but it was much much quieter down here.

Driving through the village is not allowed (and not possible anyway) so we left the car in a car park at the bottom of the hill and climbed up towards the skies.

Main street with all sorts of small artisan shops

Banners in the main street

Passageways underneath houses

Panoramic view from the terrace at the highest point of the village

A house. Zoom in on the balcony now.

Meal or murder? Fairly spooky inn sign.

Mannequins in a window, slightly creepy.

Picturesque street

A curious grotesque

If animals could read…

Shop in the main square, selling all kinds of lecterns and personalised medieval style books and manuscripts. Bit kitsch, ok, ok.

A bad case of pareidolia. I see a surprised face in this. Do you?

Decorative shutter clamp

Time to visit the church:

John the Baptist in a golden fleece. There were many gold painted statues in the churches we visited. They do like bling over here.

Modern painting of Jesus, signed M. Masquin. I have never seen so many Jesuses in one week, nb.

Stained glass window with Saint Sebastian

Then it was time to cuddle the cats:

This pretty cat was not very friendly. When a little girl tried to stroke it, the cat slapped her hand.

This cat was friendly and when I stroked it, it started purring.

But we were not alone. We were being watched by a hidden cat:

After my daily cat cuddles it was time to head on to our next destination, but that is for a new post.

 


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