One night in Bourges and visiting Bernadette's body in Nevers
25.03.2015 - 27.04.2015 10 °C
We had a group of four people flying initially to Paris, then drive through major cities in France, Spain, Portugal, Monte Carlo, Italy and Switzerland.
Helen and Susan, two sisters and our close friends agreed to join the two of us, I and my wife Mala. The whole trip would take one month. Our plan was to fly to Paris, then lease a vehicle from the airport and drive to all the destinations returning back to Paris to take the flight home.
We have booked all our flights, a vehicle from the airport and all the hotels so that we knew exactly where we were going to be on any particular day.
Our Emirates flight was through Dubai. The first part of the trip from Sydney to Dubai took nearly 14 hours. The next part from Dubai to Paris was only 7 hours. We purposely selected flights that use 380 planes. They have slightly bigger seats and more space between rows. The main advantage is to have more leg room.
We landed in Paris, Charles De Galle airport on March 26th Thursday at 12:30PM. We then collected the vehicle from the airport and drove to Bourges which was our first stop. We took a long time stuck in the traffic trying to get out of Paris and eventually arrived at our hotel in Bourges around 9:00PM. We had a booking in Hotel Novotel Bourges for one night.
We had no time to visit any attractions in the evening. The next morning, we had early breakfast and left the hotel to see the Bourges Cathedral locally known as Cathedral Saint-Etienne de Bourges. Bourges Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to Saint Stephen, located in Bourges, France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges.
The present Cathedral was built as a replacement for a mid-11th-century structure, traces of which survive in the crypt. The date when construction began is unknown.
Important figures in the life of the cathedral during the 13th century include William of Donjeon who was Archbishop from 1200 until his death in 1209 as well as his nephew, Philip Berruyer (archbishop 1236-61), who oversaw the later stages of construction.
The cathedral was added to the list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1992.
Next morning we drove to the small town Nevers which was only 60 km from Bourges. We visited the church of Gildard in Nevers. That is where St Bernadette's unperished body is kept. It is said that her body was exhumed several times before finally laid to rest in the chapel of the church of St Gildard. The body was on display in a glass case. Her face and the hands were the only exposed parts of the body and have been covered with a thin layer of wax. She looked more like a statue.
There are several museums in Nevers and we took the opportunity to visit one museum called Musee de la Faience de Nevers and see the art works and pottery done by various artists.
The history of the town, and in fact the whole of France can be traced through the pottery in this museum. From Italian origins, this heavily patterned china depicts scenes from the ancient régime, to the Revolution in miniature on plates and ornaments. The Montagnon factory, Du Bout du Monde, founded in 1648, still carries on the traditions of generations. Now a significant collection is on view at the Musée de la Faïence de Nevers in the beautifully renovated Abbaye de Notre Dame.
This fine museum at the heart of Nevers celebrates the rich social history of the town. Within the exhibition are some of the best collections of earthenware that have been assembled in France. The majority of the work locally made, there are many pieces of exceptional ceramics dating from the 16th and 17th Century as well as some more modern pieces. The facility is also well known for having a large collection of spun glass on display, a technique that is dying out, but has been preserved here in some of its finest forms
We left Nevers late in the evening and finally arrived in Bordeaux just in time for dinner.