Part 8: Le Mans


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The Trip

We drove to Le Mans which was a substantial distance.  When we arrived in town, we went out for dinner and found a great place.  Later, we hiked the city (without my camera) and witnessed something that I have never seen before: lights projected onto buildings.  There were 2 that were most noteworthy: a medieval rendition of a play, with some interesting special effects and music; and an awesome projection onto the Cathedral at Le Mans.  Sadly, without camera, I have no sharable record of these events.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The cathedral at Le Mans is a wonder to behold.  It is massive beyond words, but like many other structures of the same era, needing constant repairs due to weathering.

The cathedral had extensive flying buttresses that supported the main walls.  And, plenty of gargoyles.

Intricate stone work on the windows.

Gargoyles are essentially demonic and were used by the church to convey the concept of evil to the mostly illiterate congregation.  This one is even scarier since it has been eroded.

The scope of the architectural effort put into this church was intimidating.

To the side of the cathedral was an interesting fountain.

There were impressive stained glass windows in the cathedral.

The inside of the cathedral was at least 10 stories high.

Most of the statues were quite well preserved.

While not the world's best photo due to the darkness of the interior, this set of carvings was one of the most intricate we saw.

Several of the stained glass windows were some of the best that we have seen.

The frescoes on the ceilings were quite well preserved and still colorful.

This bible was on a massive cast iron stand.

The inside of the cathedral is huge and had panel after panel of stained glass as well as complex fluted columns.

An interesting carving.  Note the feet to the bed.

This carving was very well preserved.

The organ was massive.

Another stained glass panel that shows a rural setting.

This very busy panel was behind the altar.

One of the entrances to the cathedral had these detailed carvings that were suffering due to freeze-thaw damage.  Note the damaged face on the left bottom.

Another awesome gargoyle.

We continued to explore the old part of Le Mans.  The older buildings were very ornate.

This alcove was covered in intricate carvings.

This house was part of the cathedral and was probably the Bishop's dwelling.

More bizarre gargoyles.

There is a viaduct through the hill that has the cathedral.  The road is cut deep into the hill with cut stone sides.

A public water tap that still works.  This is on the street at the curb, so residents would bring their jugs for a full-up.

The story here is the broken beam between the doorways.  Note that the right doorway has a cap that has taken into account the sag in the beam.

A view of the Roman Wall in Le Mans.  Sadly, due to other constraints we were not able to check it out in detail.  The patterns in the wall date to the Roman occupation.

From Le Mans we headed to Saumur to see their chateau, then on to Chenonceau to see the chateau there and stay in a "country hotel".

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.