First one big doorway!
We have arrived in Bordeaux traveling from the Bay of Biscay down the Gironde River, where there was sometimes only four feet between the ship’s bottom and the river floor. Yikes! Hold your feet up! The drawbridge was very impressive too!
Today a group of us are traveling to the village of Saint-Émilion, (population 1900) a Unesco World Heritage Site. Last week I talked about the cordeliers (the brown belts) that settled Dinan and today we discover that the Breton monk, Émilion, has left a group of traveling monks and came upon a limestone cliff and started digging into it, making a cave retreat to to get away from it all. Soon others came and sought confession with Émilion and miracles occurred, bringing more monks and more people. And, they all kept digging into the limestone (from the 9th to the 13th century) until there was a large monolith (carved from one piece of stone) church, (the largest underground church in the world) and a small village of cloisters and gardens among steep and narrow streets. The monks, who followed him, started growing grapes and cared for the vineyard, which today makes up the commercial wine production in the area. Let’s get on to Saint-Émilion!
To say the streets are narrow and steep is an understatement! Hold on to that rail or you will find yourself at the bottom quickly!
And here is looking down into the village from the ramparts of the church and upper street.
Here is a look at the church from the village center.
It goes on and on!
The monks kept digging and digging and building this church! It is huge and yes we did go inside! But, it was dark, and no photography was allowed! In recent years the underground walls and ceiling structure have been fortified to keep them up! Huge steel beams are down there now! This is the locked door to get to the church, first going to the underground sanctuary and then into the upper church, which is still used today.
Let’s move on through the village and see more doors! There are many restaurants and wine sellers!
If you don’t want the wine the vine is available too!
There were a few doorways too!
And the blue door………
And a great red door with flowers to match………….
and little shops in the cloister gardens……..
And the Cordelier’s Cloisters, which includes a reception hall, cellars, and offices…..
and you have to have a manor! Our last look at Saint-Émilion!
I hope you have enjoyed our little jaunt to Saint-Emilion! It was another village I’d go to again! See you next week in Spain!
This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0! Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next Thursday with more doors!