Sénanque Abbey is the second of the so-called “Three Sisters of Provence”.
To be honest, it was a little bit of a let-down. The view in the Image of the Day is one of the classic views in Provence: Sénanque, and in front of it endless lavender fields.
Well, actually the distance between the wall that I look across and the monastery is far from endless. The illusion in about every book is createy by wide-angle lenses. Actually it’s good that there is a wall, because otherwise it would be hard to get an unobstructed view at all. In other words: you can’t imagine how many photographers there are 🙂
You’ll see later, that we were generally a little bit too early for the lavender season. It was impressive elsewhere, but Sénanque lies higher than most lavender areas. Therefore the blossom is later, and for our visit it meant that we got precious little color. Have a look at Wikipedia to see what it should look like 😀
It was worse though. The monastery is still in use, it can only be visited as part of a guided tour, and unfortunately we had just missed the tour. What now? Wait?
We decided to have a look around and get a better feeling for what we’d be missing. The church was open, so I took a peek inside, found it almost completely dark, and otherwise it was just more of the same. By the way, the image of the inside has been taken at ISO 200 and 0.3s, handheld.
What we did not know, what our books did not depict, and what I had neglected to research beforehand, that was the cloister. In the end we gambled, left and lost – a little.
Any picture search with the terms “sénanque abbey cloister” will reveal a beautiful cloister. Had I had Internet access on the spot, I think the outcome would have been different. But then, I wanted to take some pictures on our way back, and had we stayed two more hours in Sénanque, I would have missed those. You’ll see what I mean in two days.