"" Writer's Wanderings: France - Vienne

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

France - Vienne

A short two hour trip down the Rhone from Lyon, the Viking Burgundy stopped in Vienne for the afternoon. While not a little village it was much smaller than Lyon. Unfortunately we had the same guide as in Lyon—too much non-essential information given too fast to assimilate and no waiting for the last person off the bus. (Note: Good tour guides create an atmosphere in which the emphasis is on the sites not on themselves.)

The tour took us through the older parts of town where we visited the Cathedral of St Maurice. Notice in the picture of this ornate exterior that the figures are all missing their heads. During the French Revolution, the people were so upset with the royalty and the connection of the Catholic Church to them, that they beheaded the statues as well as the reigning royal families. Unfortunately it has left many of the large church buildings with irreparable damage.

As in Lyon, there was a vantage point high above the town where we could get a panoramic view. The weather cooperated a bit more for this one. In the picture you can see how large the cathedral is in comparison to the other buildings around.

Vienne has remnants of ruins from the Roman era when Rome was great and extended its control over much of southern France. One building in the center of town resembled the Parthenon in Rome. From a spot higher up, we were able to look down on a theater as well. Who knew we would come to France and view Rome??

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