English speakers especially could do worse than take a rest day at the Ultreia gîte in Moissac. It’s run by an Irish couple, well known to the kiwinomad, and now to me.
Spacious, relaxed and sociable: what more do you need?
Before mentioning those famous stones of Moissac, the tympanum and trumeau of the abbey church of Saint-Pierre, and the glorious cloister, there’s that 1960’s paint job right through the church’s interior. Earlier, in the post on Conques, I spoke of the restoration of colour to great buildings and statuary. I’m for it, without knowing how it’s to be achieved.
Now, it’s not that I’m proposing an endless search for the “authentic” and “pristine”. Those notions are about as dodgy as the “natural”. Everything’s a fruit salad. There’s seldom an “original” idea to distort or rediscover.
All kinds of people over the centuries add stuff, and a few centuries further on we start treating those additions with automatic reverence due to age. (Think of that stupid renaissance portico stuck out the front of Rome’s medieval S. Maria in Trastevere!) The abbey of Moissac has been smashed up, rebuilt…and even had a train line run through it.
It’s just that I feel a bit uneasy about the “wallpaper” effect of the paint in St. Pierre’s.
I dream of something more gooey, or more jewel-like…or somehow both.
I dunno. We’re just not there yet with the colour.
Enough whining. Here are my pics of the tympanum, trumeau and cloister. They look like everyone else’s pics.
I recommend many slow laps of that cloister, for a bit of a mental boost. A dawdle, as it were.
UPDATE: Kiwinomad in comments just reminded me of something. Vespers sung by the nuns at Saint-Pierre! A do-not-miss.