Browsing Category : France

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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Dissected Layers: Grenoble Archaeological Museum


The Archaeological Museum of St Laurent, Musée archéologique Saint-Laurent, Grenoble, France Across the Isère river, in the quaint streets of the St Laurent quarter of Grenoble, is a fascinating little museum which serves as a heartening example of what can happen if you dig down under the buildings of cities with ancient origins. The museum is proud of the fact…

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Roaming the Ramparts of Aigues Mortes


Towers and Ramparts of Aigues Mortes, Tours et remparts d’Aigues-Mortes, Aigues Mortes, France The most impressive feature of the little city of Aigues Mortes is its admirable walls.  These may not be on as grand a scale as those of the much-lauded Carcassonne – but I’ve not been there, so I’m in no position to compare them.  They’re certainly dinkier…

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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…

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