Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Dining Room

The fanciest of dining rooms I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating in have been at nice restaurants or hotels. At the time, I marveled at the decor of each location. But none of them could compare to sitting down for dinner in the dining room at Vaux-le-Vicomte.

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Just imagine being a guest here. Where would your eyes land? There’s so much to take on and you’d know that you were in for a treat.

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The large mirrors play a trick on your eyes, making the room feel much larger than it really is.

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James just looked over my shoulder as I’m proofing this post, and asked why I don’t decorate our place like this. That sounds like an absolute dream but I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte, Looking Up

I took a lot of photos during my visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte. Of course I did. So many, in fact, that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with where to start. I have decided that looking up is as good of a place as any, and am sharing an assortment of ceiling photos.

If I’ve learned anything from the amount of times I’ve walked away with a kink in my neck, it’s that these fancy French chateaux rarely have a surface untouched.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte – Dome with a View

Located at the back of the Chateau is an impressive dome that towers above you at an height of 25 metres. Climbing to its top provides a 360° view around the expansive estate.

In order to climb the tower, I had to pay an additional 3€ at it’s entrance. The woman collecting money looked down at my walking cast and seemed concerned that I wouldn’t make it up the stairs. Feeling quite confident, I assured her that I had been traipsing around Paris and would be fine.

Of course, as soon as I saw the stairs themselves I questioned my bravado.

What the hell had I got myself into?

I took my time, stopping along the way and forcing myself to not look down. Aside from my injured foot, I’m actually quite scared of heights.

When I had finally reached the top I turned around to look back where I came from. Truth be told, I was dreading heading back down the rickety stairs.

But the view of the gardens more than made up for my white knuckles experience. The tiered gardens stretch outwards for near 3 km and are self watered by canals.

The swirly design on the grass in the foreground is an art installation called, Ephemeral Ribbons, by Patrick Hourcade. They take the place of the previous boxwood hedges that were destroyed by disease.

If memory serves correct, I believe that the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte live in the building in the distance.

One last look up towards the sky before I headed for the stairs

With trepidation, and an hand firmly grasping the railing, I made my way safely back down

Check back tomorrow to start the tour of the Château’s jaw dropping interior.

Bonne journée!

Marla

My Feet At ..

A year ago this month, I was in Paris with my friends Baxter and his long suffering wife, Karen. Our first night back in one of favourite cities saw us strolling the streets of Paris as the sun set and the lights of the city began to sparkle.

We headed for the Louvre, where we hung out for a while enjoying the energy and taking photos before continuing on with our Parisian adventure.

You can read my full post here.

Bonne journée!

Marla

G is for .. Stained Glass

G is for Glass. Stained glass. Said like a certain famous fictional spy who likes his favourite beverage shaken, not stirred.

Yes, that’s right. In this installment of my Alphabet series, we’re headed to Reims to visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.

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Jardin de Marqueyssac

Yesterday I shared photos from the Château de Marqueyssac, which I loved. Today we’ll take a look at the gardens. Admittedly, the crowds, heat and being hangry meant that we didn’t venture far. After a quick decision to return in future to do it justice under better conditions, we took a brief walk before heading indoors.

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Château de Marqueyssac

Google Château de Marqueyssac and you’ll find countless photos of swirly box hedges and topiaries set high above the Dordogne River. The gardens and their setting are stunning. Upon discovering them online, I immediately knew that I had to see them in real life.

I imagined our visit to be everything it was not. I had this romanticized idea that we’d be the only visitors, giving us the place to ourselves to leisurely wander. It would be early in the day, before the sun rose too high in the sky and baked everything to within an inch of its life and created harsh shadows. There would be a light breeze and (most importantly, just ask James) I wouldn’t be hangry.

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l’Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Statues

Today we’ll take a look at statues on display at l’Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe. I’m not religious – or knowledgeable on Christian figures – but I enjoyed each these figures. Each is featured in its own alcove, surrounded by painted brick effect, and lit by light coming in through beautiful stained glass windows.

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Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Bones

We’ve taken a look at the exterior, as well as the famed murals, of Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in previous posts. Today I’ve decided to share some photos that I took of the bones of the church. By that, I mean architectural pieces that I found to be interesting. Sorry to anyone hoping to see real bones.

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Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Murals, Part 1

As I mentioned yesterday, Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983.

The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is a masterpiece of the murals of the 11th and 12th centuries. Its outstanding character is due to its extraordinary decor, testimony to the art of representing and painting in western Christian medieval civilization.

– UNESCO

Continue reading “Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Murals, Part 1”

Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday. The winner by a landslide is, “Look up!”.

So today I’m going to share with you a beautifully decorated church in France. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, l’Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is often referred to as the Romanesque Sistine Chapel because of its impressive murals (many of which are on the church’s ceiling).

Hence the Look up!

But before we head inside, let’s take a wander to appreciate the exterior of the church.

The history is a bit unclear to me but the story goes that it was originally founded under the rule of Charlamagne. The bodies of two 5th Century martyrs, Savin and Cyprian, were discovered and a church was built above their crypt to protect these Holy relics.

The church was later rebuilt in the 11th Century, expanded in the 13th Century and the spire we see here was added during the 14th Century.

The building is very imposing, and made me feel quite small in comparison.

The rear of property runs along a portion of the River Gartempe, separated by an impressively old stone wall. It’s also home to a vegetable garden and a selection of fruit trees.

I think it’s time we head inside to see what really brought us here. Oui?

I take A LOT of photos, so it’s not uncommon to find James relaxing somewhere while he waits for me.

See you tomorrow!

Bonne journée!

Marla