Browsing Category : France

Aix-en-Provence’s Granet XXe: 20th Century Boys


Granet XXe Collection Jean Planque, Aix-en-Provence, France It’s an interesting juxtaposition for the modern art of Aix-en-Provence to be housed in a pretty little chapel built in 1654.  It’s been adapted to house the impressive collection of Jean Planque, which is 20th century heavy, and made up of works which he sometimes got straight from the artists, which is pretty…

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Solid Granet: Old Masters in Aix-en-Provence


Granet Museum, Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France It’s not surprising that the smart, prosperous town of Aix-en-Provence has a major art gallery – especially considering the fact that two major artists were born here. Before the start of the French Revolution, the town hall housed a collection of historical and archaeological objects and in 1821, a cabinet of curiosities belonging to…

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An Aix-eptional Experience: the Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence


Cathedral of St Saviour, Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence, France The elegant town of Aix-en-Provence has an unexpectedly low-key cathedral.  There isn’t a huge square in front, there’s only one bell tower, and the outside looks a tad decrepit.  Once you go inside, however, the dark interior gradually brightens up and offers a cosy space for exploration and worship. The cathedral is…

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Roman Life in all its Forms in Lyon’s Lugdunum Museum


Lugdunum Museum, Lugdunum Musée, Lyon, France If you first approach the Lugdunum Museum from the base of the Roman Theatre, you may be struck by the bunker-like quality of the architecture.  Depending on your aesthetic sense, your heart may drop.  You may get a flashback to the days of the Cold War.  You may think, ‘Why?  O why?’ But don’t…

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Public Performance: the Archaeology of Roman Lugdunum


The Theatre and Odeon of Lugdunum, Lyon, France France is blessed with many fine Roman archaeological sites.  So many cities in the south of the country have ancient origins and by just walking around the streets you can see evidence of the Roman period in dramatic remains like amphitheatres, or more mundane sights such as reused stones in houses. On…

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Something For Everyone at Lyon’s Museum of Fine Art


Museum of Fine Arts, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France Knowing that Lyon is one of France’s most culturally significant towns, I had high hopes for its Museum of Fine Art. The museum is housed in an important former abbey, which has its origins in the 6th century.  In 1659, the abbess Anne de Chaulnes began construction of the Royal Abbey…

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Spirits of Old Japan: the Yokainoshima Exhibition in Lyon


Yokainoshima, Spirits of Japan Exhibition, Confluence Museum, Lyon, France If there is an exhibition on about Japan – I want to see it.  I have an old, old fascination with the country, and its wonderful culture, and this exhibition at the Confluence Museum promised to be fun.  After all, it was advertised with this lovely photograph: Gee, ain’t they cute?…

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Walled in Gem: A Day in Aigues Mortes


Aigues Mortes, France The little walled city of Aigues Mortes doesn’t get much of a write-up in English guide books – it comes across as being a somewhat dull afterthought in the Camargue region.  Therefore, when I disembarked my bus, I was surprised to see how bustling it was – it was full of French tourists. So. The French are…

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Blood and Freedom: the Museum of the French Revolution in Vizille


The Domain of Vizille – Museum of the French Revolution, Domaine de Vizille – Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille, France Not far from the tranquil city of Grenoble is a museum dedicated to the history of one of France’s most bloody chapters.  The château that houses it is linked to significant pre-Revolutionary events, and also served as a summer…

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Grenoble’s Old Bishop’s Palace: A Museum with Surprises


The Old Bishops’ Palace Museum, Musée de l’Ancien Évêché, Grenoble, France The history of the Isère Department is sweepingly and excellently looked at in the building that used to be home to the bishops of Grenoble.  The collection is not vast, but very well presented, and makes for a good starting point for further exploration of the city. The building…

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