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Here, as promised, are some more images of the wonderful abbey at Lagrasse.  I know I previously waxed lyrical about the painted ceilings which proliferate throughout the medieval houses of Languedoc - well, here's another bit of medieval interior decorating which left me a bit gobsmacked.

Now, experts in medieval architecture often wax lyrical about our colourful medieval past, always going out of their way to remind us that the cold austere stonework we see in modern churches is nothing like the original medieval decor.  But it's a bit difficult to envisage what actually would have been going on, and I find that usually, when I stumble across real examples of medieval interior paintwork, it's nothing like how I would have imagined it.

Take this wall, for example.  I hadn't a clue what was going on here, until I actually found a display in the room which revealed that this incredible painted stonework is original medieval painting:-


The photograph has actually come out rather well, giving a true impression of what is a very strange but not altogether unpleasant decorating scheme.

No sooner had I got my head round this, than I realised that this little room was the antechamber to a small chapel which could not unfortunately be accessed, because it still had its original medieval paintwork surviving on all four walls, and an original in situ medieval tiled floor, too.


Thankfully, the authorities have provided visitors with shuttered hatches through which they can view the interior.  The These do not do much to assist photography, but I did my best.  The east wall shows the Tree of Life, and is still inlaid with some of its original precious stones:-


I've left these photographs at an unusually large size so you can get a better look...

Here's a view of the tiled floor now, which doesn't do it justice, I'm afraid, but believe me, it was impressive:-


One last view of the interior now.  This magnificent fireplace is much later than the medieval paintings and tiling featured above, but if I remember aright, it was earlier than I'd expected.  I'd opted for a late 16th or early 17th century date, but I think it was much earlier in the 16th, a sign no doubt that Scotland (and England!!) were the tail end Charlies as far as renaissance fashions were concerned:-


Again, it's really worth a close look because the details were incredible.

And as far as Lagrasse is concerned, that's still not everything...


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