3730 – In the Church of Kellerberg

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Jan 052017
 

“Kellerberg? Kellerberg?”, did I ask myself, “where is Kellerberg?”. I had to ask Google, and they told me it’s north of Villach, maybe 10 kilometers away.

It’s a small village along the old road. Normally when I drive that way, I take the highway, and the few times that I took the old road, I passed through without even recognizing the village.

Not so this time. I checked if the church was open, went in, took a few photos, and in the evening I added “Kellerberg” as a keyword in Lightroom. Then I forgot about it 🙂

Dec 162016
 

Nice chandelier, isn’t it? I found it in a church in Novo Mesto, Slovenija. That’s more or less between Ljubljana, Slovenija’s capital, and Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

Four million displaced persons and a hundred thousand dead earlier, they would have been together with Beograd and Sarajevo in the same small spot that was Jugoslavija. It didn’t last.

You have no idea of Jugoslavija? Well, imagine Oregon, but with seven times as many people, approximately as many as in Texas. And now imagine it to break up in six countries and one autonomous region. One of the six, Bosnia, is full of internal strife, that still threatens to tear it up into three parts. The world is strange, huh?

3700 РBaptistery and Cathedral in Fr̩jus

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Dec 062016
 

The cloister was more important to us than the church, and because the tourist office, our entrance to the cloister, closed at noon, we started there and visited the church later.

Well, it was slightly anticlimactic. The baptistery, the oldest part of the church, originates from the fifth century, but you can only look into it through a scratched and smeared glass window. I’ve tried my best in post-processing, but you can only do so much to a bad image 🙂

The other thing is the church. It looks like an odd mix of architectural styles and misplaced furniture. By all means, this is one of the most ugly churches that I’ve ever visited.

I’ve spared you the baroque parts of the church, and to be honest, I’ve not even taken an image of them.

There’s one exception though. The church has two beautiful modern stained glass windows. They are not enough to save the ensemble, but at least they take away some of the pain.

3699 РAn Unexpected Cloister in Fr̩jus II

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Dec 052016
 

In earlier times I would have had bought a guide to the region, or more likely a few. I’m mostly interested in art, history and architecture, and the quality of guides varying.

Today I always start with a look into Wikipedia, and in order to be independent of Internet connections, I also have an offline copy of the German Wikipedia on my phone.

Basically the quality of that information is comparable to everything that a good tourist guide of the Provence would have revealed about a town like Fréjus. It told me that there is a cathedral, and it also told me about a cloister. I love cloisters, therefore we had to see it.

It’s a two story cloister. It’s not a big one, but it is extremely beautiful.

What makes a cloister beautiful? Well, twin columns are always nice, and of course much depends on the nature of the patio. This one has a lovely well, white gravel and a few small trees.

Fréjus is not a tourist center. We spent maybe 20 minutes in the cloister and for the whole time we were completely alone. That’s one of the benefits of visiting places off the beaten path.

One of the beautiful details was the wooden roof of the lower part of the cloister. It’s not completely uncommon, but most of the time you have gothic or romanesque vaults.

Originally the cloister was connected to the church, but that door is closed now. You reach thr cloister through the tourist office, just like we’ve seen it in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.

3698 РAn Unexpected Cloister in Fr̩jus I

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Dec 042016
 

Fréjus had not been on my radar. If you had asked me where that place is, I would have said it’s in the French Alps, just across the border from Torino, Italy. Which is also correct, because the mountain pass pass leading from Torino to France is called Col du Fréjus, and that’s the name that I had in mind.

It’s always irritating when two places have the same name. I don’t know the origin of the name of the mountain pass, but the city in Provence derives its name from Forum Julii. It’s one of the cities founded by Julius Caesar. From there, linguistically, it’s a long way to Fréjus, but that’s what 2000 years do to names.

It’s not a particularly interesting city, not a must-see in Provence, but it was one of the places where we could reach the sea. Cannes, half an hour on the highway to the east, would have been the next access to the Mediterranean, but we didn’t want to drive that far. We just wanted to drive an hour or two along the coast and probably sip a drink somewhere. Therefore Fréjus was it.

3692 – Abbaye du Thoronet: Above the Cloister

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Nov 272016
 

I’ve never seen a cloister like this. Like in Silvacane the refectory is above church level and atop the chapter house.

Not only do stairs lead down to the cloister though. Through the refectory you can also get out and on top of the cloister.

Of course the ultra-wide at 7 mm makes the cloister look bigger than it is. At 14 mm the third image, while still wide, gives a more accurate impression.

In hindsight, of the “Three Sisters”, l’Abbaye du Thoronet is the most impressive, and even more so because of this unusual view.

3691 – Abbaye du Thoronet: The Church

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Nov 262016
 

The Abbaye du Thoronet is the third of the “Three Sisters”. It’s not in use any more and most of the outbuildings are already in ruins.

You reach the abbey on a small street. To the left is a big parking area with a small café (very welcome afterwards), and the abbey itself is on the right side. You follow a short, cobbled road through oak trees leading down to the gate.

There you pay the entrance fee, and then you can either go to the right and up to the humble main entrance of the church (depicted here), or you go down through some ruins and into the cloister. Church and cloister have been beautifully restored.

Everything is empty though. We know that mediaeval churches were colorfully painted, but nothing is left of that. Again it’s all naked architecture, only that the stone here has a beautiful red tinge.

Nov 252016
 

Using a fisheye is hard. Before you look through the lens, you never know what you’ll get.

For the fountain the lens was ideal. Everything is round here anyway, you have to look twice to even see the fisheye effect.

The image from the chapter house is extreme, but then, in a certain way it conveys what I saw and how it felt to be there. That’s a funny thing to say about an image that’s totally distorted 🙂

The third image, looking from the cloister into the chapter house (yes, it was that dark in there) is somewhere in the middle.

For comparison I have an image taken from the church down into the cloister, also ultra-wide, but this time with the rectilinear 7-14/2.8.

Fisheyes: this is really stuff for experimentation. Try it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Predictions impossible 😀