Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Stunning in Stone

It must feel good to be perched on top of the world!  This confident little fella was standing on the 700 year old stone roof of the cloisters of St. Trophime in Arles.  Consider the weight of the stone!
St. Trophime - Church and Cloisters

Here is the 12th century romanesque gallery - you can see the beautiful blue stained glass window at the end.  

Close up of the blue window
An interesting feature of the cloisters is that all four galleries are different architecturally, with the style evolving as the galleries were built in different eras.  The south gallery (below), built in the late 14th century, is distinctly gothic while the ones built in the 13th century are romanesque with some gothic features.  And if I weren't so busy taking photos, I would be looking at the fine details of the columns, each depicting a different biblical tale.

In stark contrast to the cloisters, is the Roman arena - clearly built for the beasts!   

It had been around since 1 BC but had also evolved as the world around it changed.  With the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, it became a fortress and the town was built inside the arena.  It remained so until the 18th century when it became a national monument.  And now there are bullfights and concerts.

Under the arcades

View of the city and the river from the top arcade

      Next post:  The Red Door


  1. Ooooh I love the blue stained glass. Makes it seem like there's a reflected gradient in the sky! Also you and I seem to share the same obsession of taking pictures of birds :)

  2. That's probably the artist's concept - I think it's a modern insert. As for birds, wait till you see my collection. I'll do a post one day just on birds.