Europe 2011

Dijon: 20-21 June

Dijon was a surprise to us, a very grand town with some magnificent buildings such as the Ducal Palace, several large churches, a market hall designed by Gustave Eiffel, a triumphal arch and some magnificent and very old mansions. Not to mention an excellent B&B with a very welcoming owner.

 

 

Facing the Place de la Libération is the Duke’s Palace, now municipal chambers and a fine museum. Artefacts produced in making the panorama make the Palace look curved: it is actually straight. *

 

The church of Notre Dame has this lovely rose window depicting the Last Judgement ... *

 

a soaring nave ... *

 

and a very old statue of the Virgin, Our Lady of Good Hope, clothed in robes but with that extraordinary face found on very old religious carvings. She is 9th Century. *

 

The church of St Michael had a rather grand exterior including a triple portal which contained some amazing sculptures with great detail. *

 

Carving on the portal of St Michael's church. *

 

And an emotional “entombment” scene. *

 

Side aisle in St Michael's. †

 

The Cathedral of St Benignus seemed rather unremarkable at first, but it had an interesting painted chapel. It is quite rare these days to find such painted interiors. This one has even painted on "stained glass" windows. *

 

The treasure of the church is the crypt, going back 10 centuries. *

 

On the capitals of the crypt, there are successive attempts at carving a man with hands raised in prayer. This is the final version. *

 

Of course, someone has to keep the place clean. *

 

The quality and quantity of the beautiful mansions and medieval streets was wonderful. Tall walls hid old mansions (once called hotels), revealed through open gateways and often with explanatory signs about their heritage. *

 

Note the colourful roof in the background. †

 

Madonna and child on a building. †

 

A typically modest French building. †

 

And a close-up of a modest doorway. †

 

Another decorative facade. *

 

Hotel Legouz de Gerland, 1690. *

 

Lynn wanted to find the copy of Pompon's polar bear sculpture in the Musée d'Orsay. It took a bit of searching, but we found it. *

 

This water feature was in the same park. *

 

Plaque on a building. †

 

Art deco decoration on a shop front. *

 

The market in Dijon is housed in a beautiful market hall designed by Gustave Eiffel about 15 years prior to the construction of the Eiffel Tower. It appears to be cast iron and glass and has wonderfully wide aisles for ease of movement. The interior is foodstuffs, but outside the stalls range from beautiful flowers and vegetables to underwear, shoes, jewellery and even second hand clothes. *

 

Whiting, fresh from the sea. *

 

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Detail from a well-preserved 2CV car. *

From Dijon we went on to our last stop in Europe: Zürich.

 

Copyright © 2011 by *Lynn Booth or †Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.