The Old Archbishops’ Palace Part Two: Medieval Narbonne

…continued from Part One

As this whole space will be changing as of 2020, and as there’s not a great deal to say, I have only the briefest description to add to this post.  The museum of the Old Palace will be focussing on the city’s medieval heritage, which may help to really highlight the two wonderful rooms that showcased medieval painting.

The chapel of the Madeleine has some 14th century frescoes still in situ and the painted ceiling next door was astonishing.  Sometimes I am stunned by the paintings that have managed to survive from the Middle Ages.

Looking into the medieval Chapel of the Madeleine, Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

St Pasteur, beginning of 14th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Detail of St Pasteur, beginning of 14th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Colourful decoration in the Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France. It shows Christ on the cross, the Annunciation, and two figures in profile, symbolising the new and the old religion, with one holding a cathedral and the other a synagogue.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

The Annunciation, Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

The Crucifixion, Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Niche oratory, c1272-1286, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France.

Next door is the remarkable painted ceiling which dates from the 13th century.  The adorable little medieval scenes depicted in the wood panels were uncovered in the 1940s and were subsequently restored.   44 are entirely authentic, 26 were retouched, and 56 were reinvented (I assume these are the ones which are merely patterned).  They are just too, too cute and hopefully the new curation will really highlight them and allow visitors to see them a little better… can we have a raised platform, please?

The room of the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Two soldiers fighting on the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

The trebuchet from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

The loading of the trebuchet from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

A soldier and an animal from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

Two fighting soldiers from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

A magnificent bird from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

The solider falling from the ramparts on the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

A running stag from the painted ceiling, beginning of 13th century, The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France

…please click here for Part Three, which looks at more Roman stuff…

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