It’s catch-up time!! Oh boy, are we confused! Four months ago we visited the beautiful and ancient town of Vence in the Alpes-Maritimes department in France. You may remember a couple of posts to that effect – and now we’re in Costa Rica watching blue-grey Tanagers (Thraupis episcopus) nearly drown in a wet seasonal deluge.
But I promised myself to work up those travel pics if it kills me. By the same token, you’ll have to suffer through them now. Like it or not, it’s back to Vence again!
Once more, we were taking a leisurely walk through town, noticing this and that.
This isn’t a mosque, it’s a church dating back to 1614. It was built in an eclectic, provençal style with polychrome glazed tiles. It’s one of many chapels of the Brotherhood of White Penitents in France. These brothers were not connected to anybody wearing bedsheets with hoods. They were confraternities, whose members dressed in white habits signifying their desire for purity. They pledged themselves to do penitence, including wearing hair shirts and whipping themselves and, yes, wearing pointy hoods with eye slits on occasion.
The Brotherhood of White Penitents in Vence, going as far back as the 12th century, was dedicated to fighting poverty in the region and caring for the sick and dying. In today’s language, we would say it was a non-profit doing charitable work while atoning for the sins of mankind in very personal and rather painful ways.
|Horsehead sketch by famous artist Rérat in a contemporary art gallery window|
|Husband admiring the colorful façades in this street – not! In actuality, this is the pose of a long-suffering spouse, resigned to wait ad infinitum for pictures to be taken …|
|Allopathic & homeopathic potions & pills have been dispensed here
in the service of public health since 1744
It is, in fact, the oldest known pharmacy in the Alpes-Maritimes department.
|Husband waiting again, this time inadvertently reflected in the shop window of
the bakery across the street, which bears his name
Underwear for amazons in one house and laundry decorating another one, a flower shop in between, such a lively street!
|In need of a little loving care, but lovely nonetheless|
You see, Vence is home to a very important example of contemporary religious architecture, La Chapelle du Rosaire, more often referred to as The Matisse Chapel. It’s located a little way outside the center of town and you have to hike up into the hills to be rewarded with this great artist’s vision. Or not. Unfortunately, the chapel was closed, when we got there, allowing only this one outside picture, shot through the fence, and some huge disappointment.
|The Matisse medallion over the stained glass window seemed a little creepy to me|
Luckily, there is the Internet to provide us with the Matisse images we missed in reality.
|Near the chapel, one can catch a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea, or one can just look bored|