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?…

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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