Jul. 17th, 2012

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To Languedoc now, which makes a bit of a change from Largs, at least as far as the weather is concerned...

I'm going to write a series of posts dedicated to the city of Narbonne, and in particular to its medieval buidlings.

The city has its origins much earlier, as is attested by a number of Roman features which can still be identified in various places throughout the city.

A swathe of an old Roman road can still be seen in a square close to the cathedral.  It's been fully excavated and preserved as a feature, giving an idea of what lies beneath the modern city, and the depth at which it can be found.  I must admit - as I wandered around the city, I was poking my nose into every construction trench I could, trying to spot something, but alas, every exposed section I saw was totally FUBAR, archaeologically speaking, at least.

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Even more intriguing are the carved stones which can be seen in the wall of the Bishop's Palace.  I'm not much of a Romanist, but when I spotted the moo-cow shown below, I thought, "Eh?  That's a wee bit strange..." So I photographed it, and only discovered later on that it's actually a Roman carved stone.  A large number of very ornate carved stones were removed from their original locations and used for medieval structures and fortifications, and if you look hard enough, they can still be spotted in places.  Though most have been removed to another location which will be divulged in due course....

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Lastly, in a more contemporary nod to the city's Roman ancestry, here's a rather nice (and very modern indeed !!) triumphal arch featuring those two archetypal Romans, Romulus & Remus (plus foster-mum!)

144Narbonne

 

Yes, when I spotted that one, I was beginning to think I'd stepped into a freak wormhole and ended up in an alternative - and very Romanised - dimension!!! 

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