DEC
2018
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 07.22.16
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL
All photos courtesy the author and Kathy Cavanaugh

In Vienne

VIENNE | After breakfast we had a guided walking tour of Vienne right from the boat because we were docked two blocks from downtown. The Heimdal is shown in the picture; it is very low to allow for passage under the bridges.

boat

Most of the buildings in Vienne date from the 12th through 16th centuries. Its cathedral, St-Maurice, was built during this 400-year period and combines Romanesque and Gothic design. It was severely damaged during the French wars of religion in the late 16th century, when as many as 4 million people died including those who died of the plague and starvation. The cathedral restoration was completed in the 19th century and additional restoration work was being done during our visit.

church

Vienne is a really old Roman town that predates Caesar's conquest of Gaul by 60 years and the Roman town sprawled onto both sides of the river. On our walking tour after the cathedral, we visited the Temple of Augustus and Livia, which was built during the reign of Emperor Augustus.

church

It survived because over the years it has been repurposed as a church, Jacobin club, library, court and museum. Nearby, to the east, was the Roman Forum, of which some ruins survive. On the other side of Le Rhône are the remains of Roman villas, houses, public baths, workshops and more. They were discovered in the 20th century when someone started to construct a building and some Roman artifacts were found. The required archeological review discovered over seven acres of ruins, which were excavated and a museum built. The buildings had some fantastic mosaics; the example shown is about 20 feet square.

mosaic

Vienne has some 30,000 citizens, and they all seemed to be in the streets for the Saturday street market. Everything youcould want was displayed and for sale. As mentioned earlier, this area of France is known for its cuisine; I particularly liked the mussels. Food predominated throughout the market although many other things could be purchased.

market

market

market

All of this made us hungry and thirsty, so we returned to the Heimdal for bit of sustenance. (Ruth, Ron, and Cosimo on the deck of the Heimdal, forward of the lounge.)

lunch

(To be continued...)

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