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Friday, April 22, 2011

France 2010 - Day 13, Part 2 - Bourges Cathedral

"USA Today has come out with a new survey - apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population." - David Letterman

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France 2010
Day 13 - 14th October - Bourges Cathedral
(Part 2)

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"The New Alliance"
This was sponsored by the Brotherhood of Butchers. Notice the pigs in the detail.

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St Ursin Chapel stained glass
Though this depicts the annunciation, the Virgin Mary is not in her usual CHIJ blue but white/green - these were the favourite colours of Charles VII (I overheard a tour guide explaining to a group)

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St Ursin Chapel

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Nice door

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Nice roof above nice door

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More stained glass

The cathedral had some paintings, but after Caravaggio... The stained glass was nice though.

Next was the crypt tour. The woman at the ticket booth asked me what my postal code was - evidently she thought I was French?! I had to tell her I was a foreigner.

I thought the guide said it was the largest cathedral in France. I must've been wrong, as that honour goes to Amiens.

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Crypt passage

The crypt was very bright, whereas crypts are normally dark, but that's because it wasn't really a crypt but the ground floor of the previous church on the site. Since there was a structure there already, it was used as a workshop when they were building the cathedral, instead of building huts at the side of the site.

In the crypt were fragments of stone carvings.

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"The conspiracy and the handover of the 30 denarii"

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The crucifixion

I believe these were from the Judgment Day scene:

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Leviathan

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Pot of Hell
In the pot you see a monk with a tonsure and a bishop

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They left the body of the previous archbishop in the crypt till his successor died. This is something you cannot do in tropical or even sub-tropical countries.

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"Mise au tombeau" (The Entombment of Christ)

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Tomb of John, Duke of Berry, brother of Charles V

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This is a bear at the foot of his tomb. The bear was his heraldic animal. The fleur de lys on its snout is a symbol of power.

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Base of an arch (on the side of the corridor): A King and a Queen

If you look closer you will see that she is holding his sceptre - the symbol of power. Some things don't change.

"Observe the ladies of the court. See how they achieve what they want from their men, not by stamping their little feet but by allowing the men to believe that they, indeed, are in charge. That is the art of being a woman."

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Man

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This ass is coincidental, though the guy above was staring directly at it (notice the pained expression).

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Another portal


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Other side of cathedral

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South portal

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The Martyrdom of St Stephen

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Cock Bus

The crypt ticket allowed mounting of the tower, but I decided to pass on that - my feet were starting to hurt, I had a long drive ahead and the view would probably not be good.

For lunch, we ended up at a Chinese place again, as we were unlikely to find a food place on the way to our next destination. It was also the first place to automatically give us un carafe d'eau (a jug of tap water)

The restaurant nominally served Chinese and Vietnamese specialities, but the only Vietnamese items were meat with basil, nems (spring rolls), meat in caramel and curry. There was even meat with saté sauce (satay sauce) - huh?! And an item called "porc kou lou yo" (koloyok aka Sweet & Sour Pork) - the batter looked very fine and light, but this was wrong for sweet and sour pork! There was also a lot of "Peking Duck" on the menu, which was suspicious. The nems were good though, so we ordered another 4.

The restuarant also sold "fruits au sirop (litchi/ananas)" (fruits in syrup - lychee/pineapple). Literally this involved opening a tin of fruits in syrup and serving them. Ugh.
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