Friday, April 26, 2019

Looking up

The church of Saint-Julien de Brioude is ostensibly a romanesque building. But, as with most churches that took a hundred or more years to build, the styles change from bottom to top. The upper parts of this building look like they're moving into the gothic style.

Ribbed vaults form the ceiling of the nave, a feature common to most gothic cathedrals.

I say that because the lower arches are round, typical of the romanesque style. But the upper arches are looking a bit pointed and the vaults are ribbed, both characteristic of the gothic style. Many churches in France exhibit this bridge between the two styles. That's part of what makes them interesting.

The column capitals are intricately carved. And look at that fancy stonework in the columns themselves!

The stone used in the columns and walls is multi-colored, quarried at various locations nearby. Light from the stained glass windows enhances the colors, almost magically.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I have a confession to make

Well, no I don't. But it seemed like a good title for this image. A double, or is it quadruple, confessional in the church of Saint-Julien de Brioude. There are four places for sinners, but only two for priests. Is that normal? Not being a Catholic, I wouldn't know.

Bless me Father for I have sinned. No waiting.

At any rate, these confessionals were wide open, perhaps suggesting that there is nothing to confess in Brioude. At least on Saturdays. Because, you know, it's market day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Inside Saint-Julien de Brioude

Brace yourselves for a few church-y posts. I probably spent between five and ten minutes inside the church, so this is not an in-depth photo study, nor do I have any idea of the history or significance of what I was looking at most of the time. But no matter. It was pretty.

Looking up the central aisle of the nave toward the altar. That's a tour group seated around their guide.

We didn't get even one drop of the rain that was predicted to fall all day on Tuesday. I was frustrated because I put off cutting the grass. Turns out that I could have got it all done. Light rain is once again predicted for most of today. It is blustery out there this morning, and Ken just noticed that some rain is falling. It's 06h30 as I type this; not even light outside yet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tasha Tuesday

As Tasha and I walked around the church in Brioude, I was snapping photos. I had my special belt on that lets me attach Tasha's leash to my waist, leaving my hands free for the camera. The leash is retractable, so she has some freedom of movement, but I can "reel her in" at any time to keep her close.

I see you!

Monday turned out to be a nice day. I took advantage of the 10h00 to 12h00 window to run the lawnmower outside the yard (noise is restricted on Sundays and holidays to those two hours). We have a strip along the road, outside the hedge, that we're supposed to maintain. There's also the strip outside our fence along the north property line that I like to keep clear so the woods don't take over the fence. So that's done for now. It's time to cut the yard again, but rain is predicted for today so it will have to wait.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The back side

The view from behind the church of Saint-Julien de Brioude gives visitors a better idea of the whole building thanks to a wide plaza. While Ken looked around inside the church, Tasha and I took a walk around back. I was surprised when the narrow medieval streets opened out onto this space.

Jesus hangs out behind the church.

There were plenty of people around because the Saturday open-air market was nearby, but I still managed to get a photo with no people in it. After a few minutes we walked back around the church to wait for Ken, then I went inside for a look.

Last December I mentioned that we were having relatively warm weather and quoted the old French dicton (proverb) Noël au balcon, pâques aux tisons (Christmas on the balcony, Easter in front of the fire). Well, the saying didn't hold up this time. Easter Sunday was warm and pleasant.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Basilique Saint-Julien de Brioude

This is a more or less romanesque style church built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It's about an hour north of Le Puy-en-Velay where we stayed for a week last month. Ken read that the church was worth seeing, so we stopped in Brioude on the way home to have a look.

Saint-Julien's western facade and bell tower.

That day, a Saturday, turned out to be market day in Brioude. We found a parking spot on the main street through town and started following the people who were going to market, figuring that the church would be in the center of town, close to the market. Even though the church is big and its bell tower is tall, it's not easy to spot from the town's narrow winding streets. Sure enough, our path took us right up to the church's front door.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A last look at Arlempdes

This is the view of the tiny town of Arlempdes from the walkway that leads up to the castle ruins. You can see the back side of the church's clocher-mur (bell tower wall) in the center. There was very little activity in town -- we saw one guy doing some work outside the town's café/restaurant and the arrival of a fuel-oil delivery truck.

Arlempdes in March, almost a ghost town. I think it's more animated in summer.

The dermatologist visit went well. I had one kératose (keratosis, a pre-cancerous growth) removed from my temple, which is why I went in the first place, and another non-threatening growth removed from a place nobody can see. Both were removed with liquid nitrogen, essentially freezing them. I got the standard admonishment to use plenty of sunscreen all the time, and to come in for more regular checkups. It turns out my last visit was back in 2007. She wants to see me every two to three years. Well, that's no skin off my back. Oh, wait...