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Sticking close to home

Sticking close to home again on Monday, we walked a block down Boulevard St. Germain to the Cluny Museum and Jardin du Moyen Age. Outside the museum, we meandered through the renovated garden, which was actually a series of small gardens created to look as they might have in the middle ages. One large area was planted like a natural meadow, with a stream down the middle. A shiny metal sculpture in the center, with its moving parts, reminded me exactly of the contraption we used to make to scare the crows out of the strawberries up at Grandma Pete's. In neat separate squares, there were also gardens of herbs, vegetables and lovely flowers. I had never seen woven fences like these, made of chestnut branches, and common to the middle ages. Once we entered the museum, we headed straight for the remains of the Gallo-Roman baths to cool off a bit from the very hot Paris day. Mind you, I'm not complaining after those long very chilly, rainy weeks I spent here earlier, but the frigidarium still worked as the Romans had planned it, even without the water. Then we spent several fascinating hours viewing the extensive collection of Middle Ages arts, crafts and religious items. Each time I found something I especially admired for its unique colors and patterns or bits of trim, I discovered it was from the thirteenth century and was amazed by aspects of design I would almost have termed modern. The collection of tapestries, all so well preserved and so huge, made me wonder again whether the weaving was a collaborative effort or done by a single person, and how much time it took to weave each immense tapestry. We finished up in the original chapel of the Hotel de Cluny, a small space maybe twenty by twenty, where we could see close up the incredible groin vaults that are only visible towering above in larger churches. Looking at the posted images, side-by-side makes the characteristics of intricacy and attention to detail obvious. Those folks in the Middle Ages not only had a lot more time on their hands, but they also put it to really good use.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 30, 2001 5:18 PM.

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