This weblog is kind of my sandbox in my head. I have a lot of interests. Items regarding history, archeaology, GPS/GIS, ham radio, Grail Legends, geneaology, animals, books, .... Anything is fair game in this weblog.
Les Baux-de-Provence is a small village and commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône département in southern France, in the province of Provence. It has a spectacular position in the Alpilles mountains, set atop a rocky outcrop crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. Its names refers to its site — in Provençal, a baou is a rocky spur.
Lots of cool history.
Maybe the Cathar Castles if we have time. It's going to be tight. We're taking a little detour to Milan, Italy on the way to Barcelona.
Notre Dame des Doms, the cathedral, is a Romanesque building, mainly of the 12th century, the most prominent feature of which is the gilded statue of the Virgin which surmounts the western tower. Among the many works of art in the interior, the most beautiful is the mausoleum of Pope John XXII, a masterpiece of Gothic carving of the 14th century.
Palais des Papes, the palace of the popes, almost dwarfs the cathedral. The palace is an impressive monument on a square of the same name. Begun in 1316 by John XXII and continued by succeeding popes until 1370, it is in the Gothic style. In its construction everything has been sacrificed to strength, and though the effect is imposing, the place has the aspect rather of a fortress than of a palace. A vistor to some of the interior rooms with their frescoes is given a sense of space and of the cultural richness of the papal court. For a longtime, it was used as a barracks and prison, to the exigencies of which the fine apartments were ruthlessly adapted, but it is now municipal property.
Rennes-le-Château (Rènnas del Castèl in Occitan) is a small medieval castle village and a commune in the Aude département, in the Languedoc area in southern France. It is known internationally, and receives tens of thousands of visitors per year, for being at the center of various conspiracy theories. Starting in the 1950s, a local restaurant owner, in order to increase business, had spread rumors of a hidden treasure found by a 19th century priest. The story achieved national fame in France, and was then enhanced and expanded by various hoaxsters, who claimed that the priest, Father Bérenger Saunière, had found proof of a secret society known as the Priory of Sion.
In Milan, hopefully we'll check out Leonardo's 'Last Supper' and a museum or two.
Then we'll have a couple days in Barcelona and fly back home from there.