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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mon Quartier (My Neighbourhood)

In the past five years I've spent much of my time traveling and living on the road but during 2013 I decided to spend some more time in one place, the better to work on my art. The city of Nantes is one of the larger cities in France, with a long and significant history. For me, part of everyday here is dedicated to walking. Although there are several lovely wild rivers including the Loire that flow through Nantes, and the seacoast is near, I'd like to share a decidedly urban walk today. I love the study of architecture and there is an abundance of medieval buildings in the centre ville where I live. In fact the Gothic cathedral is practically outside my door and the chateau of the Dukes of Bretagne (Brittany) is a mere block away. My own apartment is an add on that abuts a medieval convent on an enclosed courtyard. In fact there is so much to see that I can only begin to touch on in this post...This is just a taste...

View of my neighbourhood and the Gothic cathedral of Saints Pierre and Paul, seen from the chateau ramparts.


Medieval era carving on the facade of a half timbered and slate shingled building, now a popular cafe and restaurant.

Entry to a medieval era cellar on a cobbled side street.

Part of the roof line of the chateau of the dukes of Bretagne (Brittany) viewed from the ramparts.

An ancient house and former food shop.

There are many fascinating doors and blue is the ubiquitous trim colour in France.

The next block from where I live: a clever public bike rental system in front of narrow medieval buildings.

Another ancient stone structure and once again, blue is the colour of choice.

Beautiful half timbered buildings on a cobbled side street.

Aerial view from the castle ramparts looking toward the towers of St. Croix and St. Nicolas Basilica.

A former stable with a heraldic pediment and a yellow ceramic cat on the roof.


 Medieval buildings with newer facades reflect in the window of an artist's studio.
Aviary in the botanical garden.

Behind the cathedral, part of the old city wall and the medieval La Psallette building and park.

Part of the chateau roof line.

Spires on the cathedral heights.

Heraldic emblem on the chateau of the Dukes of Bretagne.

Nantes seldom has more than one or two light snowfalls per winter, so the beauty is especially precious.

Behind the Jardin des plantes botanical garden.

A view of part of the chateau complex seen from the park behind the cathedral.

Medieval frontage on a side street.

A multi point star motif carved in stone on the Gothic cathedral's facade.

A jumble of roof lines seen from the street.