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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Travel back in time with me, just a short distance to the final days of February when I actually signed up for this blog whilst visiting the city of Metz, in the north east of France. Metz is a beautiful and ancient city that carries the architectural mark of both German and French creativity along its integral waterways. It boasts legends of a saint banished dragon that can still be seen in a 16th century papier-mache effigy in the cathedral crypt and in a more recent likeness dangling over a street lined with fashionable shops.

Then there is the cathedral itself, a Gothic marvel rising up to neck craning heights in the interior as well as exterior. And everywhere there is the presence of the stone masons and sculptors who fashioned this city and peopled it with a plethora of fantastic personages---foliate heads, gargoyles and mermaids cohabiting with saints and madonnas.

I took a walk one late winter day under leaden skies, past lingering remnants of snow and wet cobblestones and discovered a park near the medieval German gate (pictured at the beginning of this post). The path is lined with stonework of a more melancholy nature--- ancient sarcophagi with interiors shaped to hold human cargo now home to reflecting pools of leaf filled water. There was one tiny child sized coffin among many larger ones.

And so I will leave you for now with the image of a heraldic lion from the facade of a renaissance hotel near where we stayed. A passerby told me the poet Verlaine had lived there for a period, but I have yet to verify this tidbit, preferring to keep it alive as an interesting possibility.

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