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…

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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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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