France August 2015 – La Cathédrale de Jean Linard

I realised the other day, that what with the onslaught of the beginning of the academic year, I hadn’t finished looking my holiday photos…so here are some more.

A friend was off to Paris while we were away, and keen to find some ‘off the beaten track’ things to see. We found Atlas Obscura , a website with all sorts of interesting places.

I decided to have a look for sites close of Moulins and came across La Cathédrale de Jean Linard. It took quite a bit of finding, but it was well worth it.

The artist Jean Linard, bought some woodland in the 1970s, and built a quirky house, that looks like it’s been there for ever.

He decorated the house and grounds with ceramic mosaics…

…and sculptures.

It’s very hard to describe the place. Many of the pieces are religious in nature, and it is an incredible artwork.

‘The Other Place’ – October 2014

After the madness of the beginning of the academic year…

…I took myself off to Cambridge.

The irony of settling everyone into to Oxford…

….and then heading off to the Fens, didn’t escape me.

Whisper it…but I think that Cambridge is prettier than Oxford.

That’s partly because the river…

…flow through the middle of the city.

I was most taken with these lions outside the Fitzwilliam…

…this chemist’s sign (above a shop that’s still a chemist)…

…this chap’s fangs…

…that the Cavendish Lab was so posh when it built, that it has it’s own postbox…

….the ‘Round Church’…

…and this little ruin.

Good thing that my Ma or Dr Bones didn’t see it, as they’d want to move in!

When not wandering around the city I had a lovely garden to read in.

Lisbon 2013 – Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)

Another rainy day sent me off to the Gulbenkian Museum, which (along with the Gulbenkian Foundation, which funds the arts, social welfare, education and science) is housed in some interesting Modernist buildings.

The buildings are set in a beautifully landscaped park, and softened by lots of plants.

Calouste Gulbenkian was a very interesting man, who made his pile acting as a middleman in oil deals in Iraq post the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th Cent. His shrewd business deals lead to his nickname ‘Mr Five Percent’ (note to self, must look for a good biography).

His extensive art and textile collection would have probably ended up in the UK, had he not followed the French government to Vichy. The British government declared him an enemy alien and sized his oil revenues. You can’t blame him for being a bit miffed.

The collection is absolutely superb. My favourite pieces were the little, Egyptian cat sarcophagus (above) and the collection of Mamluk glass.

St Barnabas – Oxford

Apologies for the poor quality pics…
…but I hope it will give you a flavour…
…of what an amazing building…
…St Barnabas is.
However, I could have done without trying to give the lovely Lindsay a potted history of Tractarianism. “So why didn’t the just become Roman Catholics?”….

Turkey 2010 – Selçuk Red Basilica

This is rather out of sequence, as the pics were on Adam’s iPhone.

This massive structure was built as a temple to Eygptian gods.
Today there is a little mosque built into the corner of the site.
Opposite are a few typical old Turkish houses.

Turkey 2010 – Selçuk St John’s Basilica

Where to start in describing this amazing place?

It was an incredibly dull, grey day – but I hope I can give you an idea how beautiful it is here, at the site of St John’s grave.

As ever, I was delighted by the small details.

This is the baptismal chapel, I loved the circular shape.

I’m not sure what this is supposed to be, but I love the feet.

The site of the altar.

These columns are incredibly slender.

There’s quite a drop…

…which was made ‘safe’ by a retaining wall of geraniums!

Although the site is basically a 19th century restoration…

…there’s an amazing atmosphere here…

…this looks like it’s landed from space…

…here you can almost hold the sculptor’s hand…

…the first of many capital graveyards we’d see.

Most of all I’ll remember the strong sense of roses…

…and the peace.