Saturday, May 26, 2018

Narbonne Stopover

2000 years ago Narbonne was the Roman capital of Gaul and rivaled Marseilles. Knowing that there is hardly any trace of that past glory, we still had to walk on the ground for completeness, even just as a stopover on our way to Carcassonne from Montpellier.

Unlike Arles, Narbonne is cursed with misfortunes. Being the Roman capital of Gaul, Narbonne suffered more destruction by the Visigoths than its lesser neighbors. Later the Visigoths made Narbonne capital of their kingdom which invited extra sacking by the Saracens. After their archbishop emerged as Pope, Narbonne ended up with an unfinished Cathedral which is the 3rd tallest Gothic structure in France. Finally, the Aude river and the Mediterranean coast moved away from Narbonne in the Middle Ages. Plagues took them down further. I could go on, but it's too depressing....

Narbonne's most noted Roman Ruin is the underground Horreun, once thought to be a granary or warehouse(s), but current thinking says it's most likely a normal storage cellar or cellars - it's too small and damp to have stored grain. It was cool to walk through the subterranean tunnels, admiring the various types of very fine stonework of the ancient Romans. And the woman selling tickets was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
Narbonne, France

Rounded corners.
Horreum - Narbonne, France

Tiled walls.
Horreum - Narbonne, France

Floor.
Horreum - Narbonne, France

A part of the Roman road, the Via Domitia, built to link Italy to the Iberian Peninsula, was unearthed in city center.
Narbonne, France

City center.
Narbonne, France

The Cathedral is basically an enormous, luxurious choir. The rest was never completed.
Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

The Archbishop's Palce is also large and luxurious, and houses several museums, and comes with a tower view (see way below).
Archbishop's Palace - Narbonne, France

And the Bishop's Garden has a large bench.
Narbonne, France

View from Bishop's Garden wall.
Narbonne, France

The Canal de la Robine bisects the town and was dug by the Romans to connect Narbonne to the Mediterranean Sea. Quite lovely.
Canal de la Robine - Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

The Roman bridge, Pont des Marchands (Merchants' Bridge), has shops on both sides, reminiscent of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

Les Halles de Narbonne (Market Hall).
Narbonne, France

A small section of the Roman Wall can be seen to the NW.
Roman City Walls - Narbonne, France

Eglise Saint-Paul.
Eglise Saint-Paul - Narbonne, France

The Musee Archeologique, in the Archbishop's Palace, has an excellent collection of Roman wall paintings.
Musee Archeologique - Narbonne, France

And mosaics.
Narbonne, France

And paintings by George-Daniel de Monfreid.
George-Daniel de Monfreid Room - Narbonne, France

And the adjacent City Museum.
Narbonne, France

Narbonne, France

Great views from the Archbishop's Dungeon (ie Tower). First, to the Cathedral next door.
Narbonne, France

To the Pont des Marchands.
Pont des Marchands - Narbonne, France

To Canal de la Robine.
Canal de la Robine - Narbonne, France

To the Via Domita.
Roman Road - Via Domitia - Narbonne, France

Sun-Ling bundled against the rain, wind and cold.
Narbonne, France

Finally, a pano of the Cathedral.
Narbonne, France






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