Click on title to view photo in large format. While most of the focus in Nice, France, is on the town’s beaches and the historic Old Town, the nearby Port Lympia is worth a stroll. Port Lympia was once a bustling commercial port. These days, one of the few commercial activities that occurs at the port is shipment of cement, an important export in the area. Beyond the cement plant, however, the port is a veritable showcase of luxurious Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format. Nice, France is perhaps best known for the string of beaches that line its beautiful crescent bay. Some are public and free, while others are private and require either an entrance fee or a chair rental fee. This photo is of public Beau Rivage Beach in Nice, looking toward the private Opera Beach. Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format. Though Nice is one of the most famous destinations on the French Riviera, it’s still a simple town. I found this charming scene of a bicycle leaning against the Municipal Police station in the historic Old Town. Just a few feet away, tourists from all over the world streamed down the stone-paved street. Just like the locals, they browsed for bargains in the Monday antiques market that occupies the main street every Monday. Read More
Mention the Pope and people immediately think of Rome. Or perhaps of Vatican City. But the Popes of Avignon, France? For me, at least, it was a surprise to learn that this city in Provence, France, was the seat of the Papacy for more than 70 years during the 14th century.
As with most political situations, the “great controversy of the anti-popes” was ignited by money and ego. By the end of the 13th century, the Crusades had seized an immense amount of wealth and property in the name of the church. With such resources and armies at their command, the Popes decided that the church should dictate secular as well as spiritual matters. Drunk with power, in November of 1302, Pope Boniface VIII issued a papal bull that decreed, “it is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff.” He subsequently excommunicated the king of France and dismissed the entire clergy of France.
Boniface likely thought he could succeed in such a power play because the position of Holy Roman Emperor had been vacant since the death of Frederick II in 1250. However the King of France, Philip IV, was having none of it. In 1303, he sent a delegation to Rome, providing them with orders to bring Pope Boniface VIII to France, by force if necessary. The delegation arrested the 68-year old Pope in his home town of Anagni, Italy. Town residents freed him three days later, however the shock was too much for the elderly Pope. He died a few weeks later. Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format. View down the Cours Saleya in Nice, France. Every Tuesday through Sunday, vendors selling fresh cut flowers and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables take over this street in the historic center of the city. Sidewalk cafes tucked among the kiosks are ideal for people watching while sipping the first espresso of the day. And this market is not only for tourists! The variety and quality of the produce and flowers bring locals to the square to do their daily shopping. Though the fruit and vegetable sellers pack up by 1:30, the flower kiosks stay open until around 5:30 p.m.. Read More
Click on title to view photo in large format. The Chapel of the Grey Penitents was founded by pious King Louis VIII, as thanks for a successful campaign during the 1226 Siege of Avignon. The church gained fame in the 14th century, when Avignon, France was the seat of the Papacy. Following several days of heavy rain, the Sorgue and Rhône Rivers flooded the city. Members of the brotherhood set out in a boat to rescue the Blessed Sacrament, which stood exposed on the altar. Their worst fears were realized as they neared the chapel, which was surrounded by four-foot high flood waters. Read More