Cathedrals

Old Dec 16th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Cathedrals

I'd love to make a looping driving tour of France visiting many of the great cathedrals, seeing a variety of the countryside in the process. Wonder if anyone knows of good reference material, webs, etc. that might help. I imagine starting and ending in paris, need to go to Normandy to see friends but am wide open otherwise. Could run to two weeks or until I go bankrupt, which ever comes first. Thinking of late May early June. Any of the standard great help that marks this place would be greatly appreciated. Popeye and Olive
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Hi pop,

Are you thinking of spending 14 days on the road going from town to town, or will you spend a couple of days at each site?

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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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This suggested itinerary for touring 7 of France's top cathedrals may give you some ideas to start with - http://gofrance.about.com/od/cathedr...cathedrals.htm
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the quick help. I thought it might be nice (or Nice) to rattle around on a loose itinerary spending days where it makes sense, less where I wouldn't feel too foolish for leaving so quickly. Thanks, Xenos, for the site: I wonder how long her route took.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Good heavens! Bourges isn't on that list. I'm not a cathedral fan, but I love that one. They also, unusally, have an excellent visitors' center.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Amiens. Rouen. Reims. Albi.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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And Chartres. Those are all besides Notre Dame de Paris, of course.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Others of import: Vézeléy and Autun, in Burgundy; a smaller one in Tournus; and you might even add the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice.

If ancient abbeys appeal to you there are two fine examples in Caen, and around Rouen is the Route des Abbayes. We especially liked the beautifully simple church of the Abbaye Saint-Georges de Boscherville.

Of course, there's also the magnificent abbey complex of buildings at Le Mont St-Michel
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Two more: the small but very fine cathedral in Les Andelys and the splendid flamboyant Gothic church at Bourg-en-Bresse.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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popeyed, this is a good site for you.

http://www.centralia.ctc.edu/~vfreun...athedrals.html
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Seconding Underhill on Vezelay. Also (and stop me if you've heard this) it's good to put yourself in the mind of an early pilgrim to Notre Dame in Paris, or one of the other great cathedrals, who would be seeing not only the most magnificent architecture of the era, but also, most likely, the biggest building he or she had ever seen, towering over everything else!
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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Take the Paris metro out to the northern suburb of Saint Denis and see the Basilica of Saint Denis. All but three of the kings (and plenty of their queens) are buried there. Rent the English-language electronic guide. Absolutely fascinating.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014...lance&n=283155

This is a perfect and inexpensive book for you.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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Anyone mention Beauvais? Besides the beautiful architecture, it has a great astrological clock.
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Old Dec 17th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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in Dijon as well...
some samples here in english http://dijoon.free.fr/bestof/notre-dame.htm

Cathedrale Saint-Bénigne, Saint-Etienne, Notre-Dame, Saint-Philibert, Saint-Jean, Saint-Michel, chapelle des Carmélites, couvent des Bernardines...

happy travels!
corinne
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Old Dec 17th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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If your taste runs to Romanesque architecture, swing through Auvergne--there is a rich vein of some 50 Romanesque churches in the area. Orcival, St-Nectaire, Issoire, St-Saturnin, and the old church in Clermont-Ferrand are fascinating in the similarity.

For distilled, almost rarefied Romanesque simplicity, look for Cistercian architecture. The abbeys at Senanque and Silvacane in Provence are prime examples. They are hauntingly beautiful.

Anselm
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Old Dec 17th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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Hi pop,

Also St. Etienne in Auxerre and the Cloister at Cadouin Abbey.

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