It is late autumn 2019. With Ursula, I travel to Spain with stop overs in France. The weather is rainy and chilly. Our first stop is in Issoire, where we spend one night in the convenient IBIS hotel.
Source: Google Maps
We visit the Paroisse St. Austremoine. Austremoine was a preacher that christianized Clermont around 250 and the church of Issoire is named after him.
The Paroisse is famous for the choir that has been freshly renovated. We admire the fine patterns created by black basalt, grey granite and yellow arkose. We are in the area of the volcanic Puys around Clermont-Ferrand.
We like the reliefs of the astrological signs. Here are Virgo and Libra.
This is Capricorn.
And this is my astrological sign, Gemini. It is the third relief, as the series start in March, with Aries.
In the 19th century, the church has been painted inside. This creates the solemn atmosphere that existed in Romanesque times, though the painting is not authentic. Ursula discovers maize plants on some columns… definitively not authentic for the XIth or XIIth century.
The choir is decorated with eight columns. The ambulatory allows to walk around the choir.
Here, the Last Supper circles around the capital. I have never seen this before.
We leave the Cathedral. We may have to return once more to see the parts that are now under renovation.
It is around six in the evening – already dark. We take a last foto of the Bell Tower near the Republic Square.
Then we return to our IBIS hotel and have a light dinner. Tomorrow we will continue our way to Conques.
Sources: Noël Graveline: “Die romanischen Schätze in der Auvergne”, Edition Debaisieux, 2006 und Thorsten Droste: “Romanische Bauten in Frankreich, DuMont Kunstreiseführer Köln 1992.