Lyon
Basilica of Notra-Dame de Fourviere
Walk through old town Lyon
The Lyon Traboules
Night Cruise up the Soane River
Visit to Tournus & Abby St. Philibert
Visit to Domain de Leveche winery
Visit to Beaune & Hospice de Beaune


All pictures expand when clicked on.

Finally we arrive at Lyon which is the second largest city in France. 

The first stop was the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.  The Basilica was built with private funds between 1872 and 1884 in a dominating position in the city. The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan

Inside the Basilica was beautiful.

The basilica is perched on a bluff overlooking the Rhone and the city Lyon.

After lunch we boared a fernicular to decend off the bluff and to the level of the river.

When we exited the fernicular we began a walking tour of historic Lyon.

We stop in front the the Lyon Cathedral.

Lyon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.Begun in the twelfth century on the ruins of a 6th-century church, it was completed in 1476. 

 

Next we are introduced to some of the Traboules in the old city. 

Traboules are a type of passageway primarily associated with the city of Lyon, FranceIn Lyon, they were originally used by silk manufacturers and other merchants to transport their products to the river.

Dozens the 300 or so traboules are open to the public, thanks to innovative agreement between the city council and the inhabitants of the pertinent buildings.  Residents around a traboule must agree to keep it open to the public between 8 am and 7 pm. But like the traboules themselves, the agreement is a two-way street.Visitors are expected to be quiet, and respect the fact that the apartments surrounding the fascinating old passages are private homes.  

Back on board the ship Kate and Laurence lead a wine tasting demonstration. 

That evening the ship cruised from the Rhone into the Soane River to continue our cruising north.

Many building were lit along the waterfront making for a beautiful cruise from the upper deck of the ship.

Next morning we bused to the monastic town of Tournus.  Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centres in Burgundy with a superb abbey, St-Philibert, parts of which date back to the 10th Century. 

The first documented presence of Christianity is in the 2nd century, with the arrival of St. Valerian from Lyon. Valerian preached in Tournus and converted some of its inhabitants before being executed by the Romans around 179 AD.

In the 4th century, after Christianity became legal under Emperor Constantine, a small monastery dedicated to St. Valerian was founded on the site in the 6th century.

In 875, King Charles the Bald offered the Abbey of St. Valerian in Tournus to homeless monks from Noirmoutier, whose monastery had been captured by the Normans. That monastery had been founded by St. Philibert (616-85), whose relics the monks carried with them. This led to an unusual situation in which the abbey was shared by two monastic communities, each dedicated to their own saint.

Hungarian invaders damaged the monastery buildings in 936-37, after which the church begun to be rebuilt in the form we know it today.

Construction on this new pilgrimage church lasted from the late 10th century to the early 12th century, with frequent interruptions.

After Tournos the bus drove for quite awhile through the beautiful countryside of Burgundy.

We arrived at the Domain de Leveche, domaine being a name given to historic wineries.

A small family run Domaine of just over 12 hectares, purchased by the Joussier family in 1985, with vines initially known to have been cultivated in the middle ages, situated in Saint Denis de Vaux area of  Burgundy. 

 

 

The French are very particular about the growing and naming of their wines.  There is a level of regulation that seems to control what can be grown where.

Burgundy wines are named according to the French “Appellation Controlée” system, under which wines are identified by the place where the grapes are grown and the wine is made. Each province in France is divided into communes – usually a small town with its surrounding lands, something we might call a township.

The better communes have the right, under the regulations, to name the wines produced there after the commune. Lesser wines from lesser communes may only bear a regional name, the lowest ranking name being simply Bourgogne. In total there are several dozen different “Appellations” in Burgundy. 

 

The wines of Bourgogne are classified into 100 Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (AOCs). From appellations Régionales to Grands Crus, they guarantee the authenticity of the region’s wines.
 

The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is a form of certification. It guarantees the characteristics of a wine in terms of:
• The terroir where the grapes were grown
• The way it is made, following certain precise steps
• Local savoir-faire, born from traditional methods that have been improved over time

 

Each wine stamped with an AOC is rigorously checked at every stage of its production.

 

 Despite all the falderal we enjoyed the visit to the Domaine and the interesting wine tasting.

Back on board the MS Camargue we prepare for the farewell dinner.

In the morning we leave the riverboat and begin the bus ride to Paris.  First stop is the town of Beaune. 

Beaune is a walled city, with about half of the battlements, ramparts, and the moat, having survived and in good condition, and the central old town is extensive.

Next we visit the Hospices de Beaune.

The Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse.  It was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor. 

The Hospices de Beaune consists of a pair of two-storied buildings arranged around a stone courtyard. The building wings are well-preserved today; they contain half-timber galleries and ornate rooftops with dormer windows. The hospital is arranged so that the wings served the office, kitchen and apothecary functions. The nuns and patients were housed nearer the chapel, towards the center of the complex.

The Room of the Poors measures 50x14x16 meters. On the ceiling, the exposed painted frame is in an upside down boat-skiff shape and in each beam are sculpted caricatures of some important Beaune inhabitants.

On the floor tiling are written Nicolas Rolin's monogram and his motto "Seulle" referring to his wife, Guigone de Salins. The room is furnished with two rows of curtained beds. The central area was set up with benches and tables for meals.

The Chapel room contained several tapestries and some original furniture.

The Beaune Altarpiece (c. 1445–50), often called The Last Judgement, is a large polyptych altarpiece by the Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden. It was painted in oil on oak panels, with parts later transferred to canvas. It consists of fifteen paintings on nine panels; six of these are painted on both sides. It retains some of its original frames.

Six outer panels (or shutters) are hinged, when folded they show an exterior view of saints and the donors. The inner panels contain scenes from the Last Judgement and are arranged across two registers. The large central panel that spans both registers shows Christ seated on a rainbow in judgement, with his feet resting on a golden globe. Below him the Archangel Michael holds scales as he weighs souls. The panel on Christ's far right shows the gates of Heaven, that to his far left the entrance to Hell. The panels of the lower register form a continuous landscape, with figures depicted moving from the central panel to their final destinations after receiving judgement.

 

There was an interesting magnifying glass that was placed in front of the painting to illustrate the incredible detail in the paining.

 

A view of one of the panels of the painting.

After wandering the streets of Beaune for awhile longer we boarded the bus to continue the trip to Paris.

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