Aspects of Grenoble: the Dauphinois Museum


Dauphinois Museum, Musée dauphinois, Grenoble, France A little way up the slopes of the Bastille is the 17th century Convent of St Mary.  Since 1968, this charming building has housed an eclectic collection which looks at the history of the Grenoble region, known until 1790 as Dauphiné.  At that point the region was divided and it now covers the departments…

Archbishops’ Palace Museums of Narbonne


Archbishops’ Palace, Le palais des Archevêques, Narbonne, France Oops, I did it again.  I’ve written about a museum which is undergoing major changes and no longer exists as I saw it. This is, however, a good thing, because while the museums had wonderful objects on show, the city will be opening a brand new museum dedicated to the Romans of…

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Art and Archbishops: Narbonne’s New Palace Museum


New Palace, Palais Neuf, Narbonne, France From the central courtyard of the Bishops’ Palaces, you ascend a grand staircase to the suite of apartments which form the museum of the New Palace.  It is an attractive though perhaps under-developed space, which provides the briefest glimpse into the evidently grand lives of the archbishops of Narbonne in the 17th and 18th…

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The Three Faces of God: Treasures of Narbonne Cathedral


The Cathedral Treasury, Le Tresor de la Cathedrale, Narbonne, France When visiting the beautiful cathedral of Narbonne and the museums in the adjacent palaces, you can also enter the tiny Treasury museum.  What it lacks in size, it makes up for in the quality of a couple of items which almost make the town worth visiting by themselves. The Treasury…

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View from the Top: The Donjon Gilles Aycelin


Donjon Gilles Aycelin, Narbonne, France I’m not usually that bothered about seeing views from high places – frankly it’s usually quite disappointing, and usually when I do it, I wonder why I bothered.  In this case, the Donjon – or rather, the tower – is positioned so that you could get a dramatic view of the cathedral and surrounding countryside.…

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Goodbye To All That: Narbonne’s (now defunct) Lapidarium


Lapidarium, Lapidaire, Narbonne, France On this blog, I have all too frequently written about exhibitions after they have closed, but now I’ve outdone myself:  this post is on a museum that no longer exists.  Yes, it closed down, not long after I visited – the collection going to be rehoused in a new museum in 2020.  No matter how good…

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Narbonne Cathedral: Between Heaven and Hell


Cathedral of St Just and St Pasteur, Cathédrale Saint-Just et Saint-Pasteur, Narbonne, France   The city of Narbonne is very close to the Spanish border, so it seems appropriate that its cathedral is dedicated to two Spanish martyrs, the brothers Just and Pasteur.  Actually, like many churches in this region, it retains its title of Cathedral despite the fact that…

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The Old Archbishops’ Palace Part One: Roman Narbonne


The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France The formidable Roman history of the French city of Narbonne was, until recently, covered in the Old Palace building by the cathedral.  It was a fitting home, but it is, sadly, no more.  Come 2020, the objects will be in their new home, the NarboVia museum.  This is not a bad thing, because while…

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In the Footsteps of St Bruno: Grenoble Cathedral


Notre-Dame Cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Grenoble, Grenoble, France In my travels in France I have learned one thing about its churches: what you get on the outside isn’t necessarily reflective of what’s on the inside.  A good example of this is Grenoble’s cathedral, which has a somewhat unimpressive exterior, literally squished between other buildings – and somehow it fits in…

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