Beaune, France.

Above: Chatting on church steps at sunset. Beaune, France.

Tucked away in Burgendy region, southeast of Paris, is the peaceful small town of Beaune. Fantastic food and wine may be Beaune’s mainstay – they are both salubrious – but the proximity to vineyards, vistas, and ancient architecture offer adventure galore. One of the most enjoyable days in Europe was spent bicycling 22 miles on smooth, paved paths through the small villages surrounding Beaune. I will feature that in a future post.

Today is a brief overview of Beaune.

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Palace at Versailles – Grand Finale!

The two-hour fountain and fireworks show started at sunset and lasted well into dark. Symphony music streamed out from speakers hidden in hedges while water jets fired in sequence. The special event is held only a few times a year, and being in Versailles the weekend before Bastille Day it was performed twice.  

To me it felt gimmicky. The water patterns flat and repetitive and the music too loud. The setting in the gardens was incredibly gorgeous, and was fun to photograph. Most disappointing was how far back spectators must retreat before the fireworks. I’m spoiled – in Fairbanks we can sit as close as we want to most fireworks shows. 

The start of the show coincided with sunset.

The start of the show coincided with sunset.

A crescent moon begins to rise over the fountain.

A crescent moon begins to rise over the fountain.

Long exposure of the fountains.

Long exposure of the fountains.

People, fireworks and fountains during the grand finale.

People, fireworks and fountains during the grand finale.

 

 

Palace at Versailles – Part Three

Above: The grand Château de Versailles as seen from the gardens, July 12, 2013.

It’s time for more images from the extravagant Château de Versailles. If you missed either Part One or my Hall of Mirrors post check them out for more history and a more complete tour. This post fits in particularly well with the Weekly Photo Challenge – Grand. 

Palace at Versailles: Hall of Mirrors

Above: Le château de Versailles as seen from the gardens. 

In continuation with Palace at Versailles Part One, it’s time for part two.

There’s more Palace de Versailles then a person could fathom to tour and document in one day. Between hordes of people and long walks with minimal refreshments or restrooms the end of the tour was welcome.

One of the highlights was the hall of mirrors, also known as la grande galerie. The hall of mirrors was the utmost symbol of power and vanity from a time when mirrors were were only for the wealthy. Perhaps the most well-known story involving the hall of mirrors – if not the entire Palace – is the Treaty of Versailles. The armistice that ended WWI on June 28, 1919, also often credited the leading cause for WWII, was signed in this hall. WordPress.com has a detailed and succinct post about the treaty. 

Historyplace.com has a photo credited to U.S. National Archives of the absolutely packed hall during the signing.

treatyofversailles

Here’s the hall of mirrors from a not-so-high vantage point I shot July 13, 2013. The similarities and differences between the amount of people but their purpose for their visit are shocking. Chandeliers and much decoration have apparently been since added. 

Lots of people.

Lots of people.

Decoration and mirror closeup.

Decoration and mirror closeup.

And for good measure an image from the other end of the hall of mirrors.

Versailles, France.

Versailles, France.

The Palace at Versailles – Part One.

Above: The private cathedral at the Palace of Versailles.

Chateau de Versailles is unlike anything I have ever seen. Enormous, gaudy, deluxe, extravagant, historical, overwhelming and beautiful, all barely begin to describe the centerpiece of the Paris suburb of Versailles. 

Originally built as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the Palace at Versailles was the official seat of power for courts and the government from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789. Indeed, Chateau de Versailles played a large role in the anger French citizens had directed toward the aristocracy – and the resident King Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antionette were forced to flee the palace, before both being executed. 

Louis XVI was preceded by his grandfather, Louis XV, who allegedly foresaw the revolutions, as legend says he proclaimed “Après moi, le déluge,” which translates to “After me, the flood.”

This is first in a series of three posts with pictures from the Palace at Versailles. 

Beginning the tour of the Palace, July 12, 2013.

Beginning the tour of the Palace, July 12, 2013.

Every square inch is decorated, and ceilings become canvases for colorful paintings. As well as the cause of a sore neck.

Every square inch is decorated, and ceilings become canvases for colorful paintings. As well as the cause of a sore neck.

Statues and busts fill any available spot, often portrayed in classical greek style.

Statues and busts fill any available spot, often portrayed in classical greek style.

Statue, Palace of Versailles.

Statue, Palace of Versailles.

More Paris Street Photography

Above: Color and form first attracted me to the setting below the Eiffel Tower, then a fellow photographer in a too-see-through dress added some unique content.

The post title says it all – street photography from beautiful Paris. 

I really like how all the elements form an abstract nature: water jets slice through the frame, a young girl apparently in the path of large sliding figure, and the flat perspective give the viewer leeway in interpreting the image. 

Statues, sprinklers and fun in the sun.

Statues, sprinklers and fun in the sun. July 9, 2013. 

Cigarettes and coffee play an important role in French culture.

Intently writing and smoking in Paris.

Intently writing and smoking in a Paris cafe.

Sometimes a subject catches you taking the photograph. That happened when a lady standing in lovely light with great hair saw me snap my shutter. Perhaps my favorite element in the image is the suitcase-pulling pedestrian in distance. 

Getting the glare, July 8 2013, Paris.

Getting the glare, July 8 2013, Paris.

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral

Above: The ceiling of Notre Dame Cathedral

I’ve been blogging about travels in Europe last summer – since my objective is to go mostly chronological  this is one of my last posts from Paris, save film shots or missed images. This is also my last post from Notre Dame Cathedral. Today we travel inside. 

With anything so grandeur it’s impossible to capture to the feeling of being there. Indeed that could be said for any photograph. 

Arches and chandeliers inside Notre Dame Cathedral

The main altar inside Notre Dame from behind

The main altar front, complete with floor cleaning. Notre Dame Cathedral, July 10, 2013.

The main altar front, complete with floor cleaning. 

Notre dame has many altars, the following photo is one of the side altars.

NotreDameSideAltar

Side altar, Notre Dame Cathedral, July 10, 2013.

Photographing inside Notre Dame Cathedral does require a somewhat advanced digital camera. The lack of light means shooting at ISO 1600 minimum.

Arches and a chandelier.

Arches and a chandelier.