Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Palais des Papes, Avignon


We're touring a little piece of Provence history today
at the papal palace in Avignon,
the capital of the Vaucluse department in southern France.




This medieval, gothic fortress and palace,
once the seat of Christianity 
and known as one of the greatest examples of Gothic style, 
was begun in 1252.



Clement V made it his home in 1309...


...moving the Papal Court to Avignon
 thus creating a period known as the Avignon Papacy
which lasted not quite 70 years
when the Popes returned to Rome in 1377. 




But the antipopes moved in,
ending the Avignon Papacy
and creating the Papal Schism
when several announced themselves the true Pope.


(Christ carrying the cross with Sainte Catherine of Siena on the left)


I love old snapshots of history...



and these sliding media photos show the walled city
in the 1600's. 





Anyone who knows me 
knows I'm a door and window person
taking shots of them wherever I go. 






All around Avignon are murals like this one...


and on many walks in Europe
you'll find just such an elderly woman staring out her window
watching the world pass by. 


I couldn't pass up this beautiful door
with its gorgeous arch, 
cobblestone walkway
and infinity sign. 



And this one just tickled me!



Also in many European cities
one finds Virgin altars on corners of the Old Towns.



Usually holding something precious.


More photos of Provence next time. 
So much beauty...
and such history.

Happy waning summer to you!



(All Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rosa Bonheur sur Seine



I'm pretty sure I've posted this photo before
but I love it so much I had to take another when I walked by.




Seine art.


While down there on our way through Les Berges de Seine,
Seester and I came across the shipping containers used as rental spaces
where they were having a sustainable design show.
I loved these bikes made out of wood.
The above link gives you an idea of the 
amazing things they're doing on the Left Bank these days
with all kinds of fun things for kids and adults alike. 





We went to Rosa Bonheur sur Seine
where it feels like Paris Plage without the sand.



A gorgeous, warm, sunny day
perfect for wine on the river. 



And a fantastic view!




Pull up a chair, find a spot of shade
and people-watch while sipping pink wine. 






One last look at the Seine before we move on to Provence...
next time. 



(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Marche aux Fleurs


First, a few pieces of Paris street art! 




And some interesting outdoor seating.





Walking near the Ile de la Cite,
there is a building along the Seine
that says it is the location
where Heloise and Abelard lived in 1118. 
A love story for the ages!




Further down,
my sister and I walked through the Marche aux Fleurs
which I've always wanted to do but never managed to stop in. 


Located on the Ile de la Cite since 1808,
the Marche aux Fleurs has been the home of thousands of potted flowers and plants
beneath pavillions of the 1900's-era. 



On Sundays,
it also becomes a bird market. 


This tree-lined street sits just at the Seine and the Quai de la Corse. 



The pavillion-created stalls
are filled with trinkets and eye candy
which I do wish I had gotten some photos of. 


And the beautiful art nouveau Cite metro stop sits just at the entrance.




Ma soeur noticed that someone took the time and trouble
to try to replace one of the tiles in the metro entryway
...with their own mosaic creation. 




More photos of Paris and Provence
coming up next time.

Til then,
I hope your summer is stunning and ...
a love affair for the ages! 


(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)