We have spent an inordinate amount of our adult lives travelling around Northern Europe in search of Neolithic artefacts. We’ve done most of that on the back of a Harley. We’ve been all over Shetland, Orkney, The Outer Hebrides and various sites in mainland Britain. Two years ago when we toured around northern Spain and up through France we stopped at Carnac to see the alinement with field after field of standing stones. Of all the places we have visited, Stonehenge was the least entertaining experience.Read more
I went on a residential course a few weeks ago and one of my fellow inmates recommended Fontevraud as a place to visit. Once again the vicar is on holiday visiting ABC (another bloody church). Ruth likes to listen to the audio guide whilst I just take in the ambience. When you work in churches it can be a bit too much of a busman’s holiday to think about buttresses and gargoyles in your spare time.
I love how some ancient art incorporates the hierarchy of the institution into the scene. That said, I hate it when the local landed gentry paid to have their face painted onto the infant Christ. My favourite icon is in the Louvre as Christ puts his arm around St Menas. I digress.
In uncertain French Ruth boldly states “We are here for the mass”.
“Are you sure? Lots of people say that they are here for the mass but get up after ten minutes and wander around” replies the keeper of the door.
We’ve just been around the L’Hotel-Dieu in Beaune for a look around. I’ve been a couple of times in the past. I was struck by the large church in which the nave was used as a hospital for hundreds of years. All being treated within eyesight of the alter.
It’s interesting to see that this religious community were still treating people until 50 years ago. A reminder of what the church has done and what it can do when it sets its mind to it.
This is a photo of the posher smaller bit for people deemed worthy. It was much easier to photograph.
C’est la vie!