Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Afternoon in the Cloisters

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   Ancient stones are one of the pleasures of living in France--and the carved variety don't come much more ancient than in Moissac.
   Here, swiping liberally from the guidebook, is a potted history. Sometime in the 7th century, an abbey was founded here. The present buildings are a few centuries younger.
    The cloister dates back to 1100 and is in amazing condition. We spent a couple of hours here just gazing, especially at the capitals, 76 of them--and each one different. Some show scenes from the bible, others are carved with animals, birds or plants. All would have been intended as inspiration for the monks as they slowly walked the length of each gallery. The other remarkable carvings are around the door of the abbey-church.. The wistful face is that of the prophet Jeremiah. The main carving is of Christ surrounded by the 24 elders. I really liked it that each of the elders was slightly different from his neighbours. Look at the angle of their heads and they way their legs and feet are positioned.
    Inside, the church is bright, its walls painted in warm, sunny colours.

1 comment:

North of Andorra said...

Wow, it looks like a visit is in order, soon.