Â I am doing my own little Tour de France but not on a bicycle. Maurice has to work-he is helping his son install some sort of computer systems-and I am tagging along exploring the cities he has to visit. Auxerre was my first. We just returned from Besancon(the birth place of Victor Hugo, by the way)Â which turned out to be really incredible. It is a short way from Dijon in Burgundy country. The city looks like it was once very prosperous with rich buildings everywhere and it still looks prosperous to my eyes. I’m glad they preserved the old city as I really enjoyed walking around. On the second day I rented a car to make my way out into the country to see the Saline Royal, a very interesting architectural wonder which was built to process salt out of nearby marshes.
Â Many of the roofs in the Burgundy region have interesting tile work
Â Most of the churches have distinctive roofs on their towers
Â This church had a huge clock in a tiny room with dials covering it telling the time all over the world. It also told lunar times, horoscope time, and one dial that only moved once every 400 years. It has to be wond every day with an enormous handle. On top there was a section that moved on the hour, with the 12 disciples of Christ turning in a circle and Christ blessing everyone. The best part, right under Mary at to very top-the queen of the world-was a tomb guarded by two soldiers. when the clock chimbed, the tomb open and up popped Christ. A really impressive piece of work from the 1800’s.
Here is the main house at theÂ Saline Royal which was very impressive. It was part of a complex, very beautiful, built in a half circle, a symbol of the arc of heaven. The owner envisioned a perfect city, as many have in times past, with the saline “factory” being the center. As most utopias, it didn’t work but it certainly is beautiful.
Â A closeup of the columns on this beautiful day.