Saturday, July 15, 2017

So Much History

This week our fellow senior missionaries, Elder and Sister Klemasz from Adelaide, Australia, were transferred to a new assignment in the city of Béziers in the south of France. To get all their things moved, they needed "The Duke", a large mission van. To help them with their move, we drove their car down to Béziers, spent the night, and then drove the empty van back to Lyon. 

Driving in France is such a tour through history.  In the city of Béziers, we made a quick stop at the medieval Saint-Nazaire Cathedral perched on a cliff overlooking the Orb river.  We marveled at how beautiful and well preserved this cathedral is, with elements from the 11th century romanesque era onward.  It is so old when compared to any of the structures we are used to seeing in Idaho.  Then, when we turned around to look over the river valley below, we saw a bridge built by the Romans more than 1000 years earlier than the cathedral.  And the parade of civilizations that left their visible mark on this country certainly didn't begin with the Romans.  In France there is just so much history.

A bridge along the Roman Via Domitia below the Saint-Nazaire cathedral in Béziers.

Cathedrals like Saint-Naziare were often built over hundreds of years. This cloister is more gothic than the earlier Romanesque cathedral structure.  On the interior, many of the embellishments are a later baroque style.   

The road back from Béziers goes along the Mediterranean coast and the fishing village of Sète.

In Sète we happened upon an interesting gondola jousting tournament.

Each "knight" took aim as the boats passed...

Just glad they weren't wearing heavy armor!

On the way home we stopped for the night on the Mediterranean coast at the medieval city of Aigues Mortes.  In 1243, Louis IX and his Chevaliers sailed from here on the seventh crusade.  

A statue of Saint Louis stands in the square near the church.

The church in Aigues Mortes where Louis received the crusaders cross from Cardinal Légats in 1243.

The ramparts, gates, and towers surrounding the city are still completely intact.

Our dear friends and fellow missionaries, Elder and Sister Klemasz, now live in Béziers.


  1. I would not like to be the guy that fell in that water and i bet those sticks hurt.-Claire

  2. This is the coolest mission ever!!! Jousting on a gondola is a new thing. Super interesting. Naney says that he wants to do this. He says that he'll get a stick and knock all of the guys down and then he'll win. Then he said, "I actually want to live in France." And now he's kicking and demonstrating exactly how he'll knock the guys into the water. :)

  3. In my opinion jousting looks fun as long as I don't get poked in the eye!

  4. Haha. Now Nathan and Cam got a blanket out that represents the water and they're wrestling each other, pretending to get the other guy in the water. Aren't you glad that they get so much out of your mission blog?

  5. Old I forgot to say my name again! -bruds

  6. I loved the 2 year history tour during my time in France too. What amazes me is how much everyone there appreciates what they have. I don't recall any graffiti or vandalizing of their monuments. They respect their well built surroundings enough to preserve them- sounds like a good lesson for America n'est-ce pas?

  7. The Romans were geniuses- masters of structure and aesthetics.

  8. Thanks for the rich history lesson!
    (And like Claire, I especially noticed that guy falling into the water... cool action shot!)