Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bordeaux - Day 3 (late afternoon still) - Sainte Croix Abbey and Place de la Bourse by night - The 1st of December 2013


The "best" was saved for last - The Abbey Sainte Croix, which according to my personal opinion was the most outstanding religious edifice we visited in Bordeaux. I don't know whether it was its façade with the zodiac signs and the old men of the Apocalypse or its interior atmosphere, but I felt there was something magic about this Church.

It lies on the site of a 7th century Abbey said to have been destroyed by the Saracens. Having been rebuilt under the Carolingians it was again destroyed by the Normans in 845 and 864. It would finally be built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries.

The representation of several men pulling a rope to be seen in the main portal is said to symbolise the efforts the soul has to make in order to reach the Paradise. A woman having her breasts bit by a serpent (sculpted in five different positions) is said to be a representation of lust (to be seen on the right hand side of the arcade).

This church is apparently known all over the world mostly because its organ built by Dom Bedos - an absolute masterpiece, we were told.

We were led into a poorly illuminated chamber where the church guardian had us exceptionally photograph a statue representing young Jesus in a rather unusual position (sucking his thumb whilst in the arms of Virgin Mary). 

As we walked out we came across the TnBA we had been to the first evening we arrived.

Night fell almost abruptly and by the time we reached our hotel decided to walk the few metres separating us from the Place de la Bourse so as to admire it under the lights for what would be the last night in Bordeaux.


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