Sunday, 1 March 2015

Last Sunday of winter

Entance to the abbey
It is official, we have passed the last Sunday of winter. How do I know? Well I’ll tell you - you can get into the abbey in Cluny free of charge on the first Sunday of every month throughout the winter period and this Sunday was the last free Sunday of the season. So even though the weather left a lot to be desired, we went to Cluny to enjoy the abbey one more time before we had to pay for the pleasure.

It never ceases to amaze me how many changes we notice every time we go there.

The cloister - always worth a photo
When Cees’ son came to visit a couple of weeks ago, he went to the abbey while we were at our tai chi lesson and mentioned how impressive the film was. Yes, the film is impressive, but as we had seen the original film, all the replacements for that one have been rather under-whelming. But we were there and I managed to convince Cees to go and see it one more time. Surprisingly the film has undergone some spectacular changes since our last viewing and it is now a not to be skipped experience.

Above what the abbey looked like in its glory, below what's left
It is a great pity that the commentary is only in French with no subtitles in any other language as non-French speakers will miss out on a lot of information and explanation. But that doesn’t take away from the quality of the film which now has reached a stage where the whole abbey comes to life and really makes you imagine you are there. Then when you go into the abbey ruins and see just what a tiny amount of it is left, it makes me mad that this architectural carnage was allowed to happen. What is even more incomprehensible is that it was done deliberately, not as an act of crazed anger against religion, or collateral damaged caused by war, this was a financial decision by the town itself to fund its expansion by selling off the stone. A real crime.

Always the opportunity to take another photo
Having said that, even with so little of the original buildings left, we enjoyed our wander round the whole place and the museum as well which is so much better laid out than it used to be and now no longer qualifies as the “most boring museum in the world” in fact it has entered the “you really must visit this museum” category – no mean feat. Despite the weather I managed a few nice photos and just enjoyed walking around the whole place soaking up enough of the atmosphere to last me until next winter.

Now the summer can begin - I could do with some sunshine.

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