Monday, September 12, 2022

Turning Tourist

That tower is 149 steps high
Okay, it had to happen, we have been here over a week enjoying the south of France, and so far other than exploring and getting to know the town of Narbonne, we have not really done anything. Today we actually went to one of the “attractions” in the town and paid to visit it. 

Like many old European towns, Narbonne has a beautiful central Town Square, and on this square along with a Roman archaeological site and numerous little French Cafe’s there is the Archbishop’s Palace and the Saint Justus and Saint Pastor Cathedral. Two €6 tickets gave us access to both the Palace and the cathedral. You do not actually need a ticket to get into the cathedral, but the ticket gives you access to areas that are not open to the general public. 

Not a very scary dungeon!

Lots of stairs
First stop was the dungeon which was just a big round room with comfy chairs. I was expecting instruments of torture and empty chains hanging from the walls but you could imagine it I guess. From the dungeon, we climbed to the tower in the Madeline Chapel, 149 slippery steps up a narrow spiral staircase to the top of the tower overlooking the square and the rest of the town. The climb was worth it to get the spectacular views out over the town and as expected I took WAY too many photos. Look for them at the end of the post.

You then have to climb back down those 149 steps, so I was a bit disappointed to

Just one of the beautiful rooms

find that the next exhibit, the Archbishop’s actual former apartments in the palace which is now an art gallery was up four floors or 89 more steps to climb. We have been to some nice art galleries on our travels, and I have to say, the paintings here were nothing special, but the actual rooms they were displayed in were amazing, each one different and all really spectacular. I found myself looking at the rooms more than the actual paintings. 

The Cathedral
The Palace is attached to the Cathedral and is accessed via arched doorways, a cobbled street and a beautiful archbishop’s garden & terrace. The gargoyles protecting the Archbishop’s garden were amazing, and would have scared away most garden pests I suspect. Like most cathedrals this one was beautiful with large tall stained glass windows and high arched ceilings. Oh, and more stairs, up another spiral staircase to the treasury which now displays historical artifacts none of which were especially interesting. 

So, our first real tourist event added 7.6 km to our French total, and 8,639 steps of which over 400 were climbing up and down stairs.

There was a beautiful display of pottery

This room was amazing! Pantings were from Africa I beleve

An amazing ceiling

View from the tower of the town square

Regis insists on a selfie!

One ugly gargoyle

Even the walls were beautiful

Another beautiful ceiling

The Cathedral from the tower

A nice painting in a beautiful room

What happened to their heads

Haggis on the hoof - I did actually look at the paintings

Gelato break after a busy day

1 comment:

  1. You always look so happy when taking a "selfie" ... LOL
    The ceiling details are incredible! I also think I loved the African room the most.
    What DID happen to the heads?!?!? Inquiring minds wish to know!