Monday, October 24, 2011

On The Road to Cagnes-sur-Mer

On the center divider for Cours Mirabeau, the prettiest thing about the street.

A very traditional French style fountain.

Built on a shady corner, a fountain that cascades.

Locals enjoying a fountain.
On the road from Arles to Cagnes-sur-Mer, there are two interesting towns to visit.  Aix-en-Provence is known as the town of fountains.  Every square, most intersections, and sometimes just for fun, there is a fountain.  Some are very old, some extremely modern.  The disappointment of Aix was how dirty it was.  In most French town the sidewalks are washed on a daily basis.  Aix's haven't been washed in ages.  The Cours Maribeau, which is described as one of the most beautiful streets anywhere, is covered in bird poop and doggie bombs.  Even the cafes are dirty looking.  We didn't stay as long as we thought we would.

It's not a particularly pretty building, but......

...the organ is spectacular!
We stopped along the way at St-Maximin-la-Ste-Baume.  The cathedral is not very pretty to my eyes, but it's considered the best example of a Northern Gothic building in France. It's old, 13th century, with several "remodels" along the way.  It's main claim to fame is Mary Magdalene, yes, that one.  After she moved from Israel to France with the other Marys (see past post on Ste. Maries de la Mer), she and Maximus moved to this area.  Her bones were found in 1279.  Now her skull is kept in the crypt of the church, resplendent in a golden crown.
Down in the crypt, behind a beautiful gilded door you will find her.

The skull of Mary Magdalean in her golden crown-like helmet.

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