It would involve huge canvases — up to 6 feet tall and 55 feet long — to hang in purpose-built rooms at the Orangerie. His favorite subject of all was the water lilies. This isn’t any particular woman, but Everywoman — all the idealized features that appealed to the Greeks. Fiat lux. I say she was picking her navel. And once again, we're traveling with the help of my Francophile partner Steve Smith. Even vacationers traveling on a shoestring should spring for a fine meal in Alsace. The oldest one dates back to 1869. In our France guidebook, Steve and I recommend a splurge at Restaurant Le Rapp. Despite all this motion, the impression is one of stillness, as Venus orbits slowly around a vertical axis. The statue became famous for a number of reasons. Steve: Now, I think of snails as Burgundian…. France Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . In the final paintings, he cropped the scene ever closer, until there’s no reference point for the viewer — no shoreline, no horizon, no sense of what’s up or down…leaving you immersed in the experience. This art moment — a sampling of how we share our love of art in our tours — is an excerpt from the new, full-color coffee-table book, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces,” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. And the church is filled with history as well as light. Steve: Bonjour Rick. Like a graphic novel, the Bayeux Tapestry tells the mesmerizing story of how William the Conqueror and Harold of England competed for the English crown. This is the oldest barrel in the cellar. Since then, this bubbly sparkly white wine is synonymous with a first class celebration the world over. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. The ever-present symbol of the Alsace, magnificent white storks, build nests on the town's highest perches. The dazzling glory of Gothic glows brighter here than in any other church. Next up — Épernay, in the region called Champagne. But with his genius, he reinvented the Resurrection. The only reason to stop is to pay the modest tolls and to enjoy some of Europe's slickest rest stops. Grünewald’s happy finale is a psychedelic explosion of Resurrection joy. Gothic architects organized buttresses, ribs, and pointed arches, sending walls soaring high above open and airy interiors. To enhance your art experience, be sure to check out Rick Steves Classroom Europe, my free collection of 400+ teachable video clips — including a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Bernard: It's the same way, but in Burgundy they put only the butter and the herbs and the garlic and in Alsace they put also a bouillon with the butter. She’s actually made from two different pieces of stone plugged together at the hips (you can see the seam). Knights on horseback charge, swordsmen clash, and archers launch arrows, leaving the battlefield strewn with mangled corpses. Colmar is a scenic home base for our Alsatian explorations. Columns and ribs support the spire. Cut into pieces. Venus’ classic beauty was seen as the ideal of female grace. After the cheese, we top off the evening with a tasty light dessert. In the special, Rick visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to reveal their customs and practices of … Mary and Jesus are encircled by it. Lyon, France: City of Capitals - Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide … A model shows how this is a series of paintings on hinges that pivot like shutters. It was made for my grand-grandfather. Monet shows the pond at different times of day. Yet even someone who's given little thought to the human cost of this battle of attrition will be deeply moved by a thoughtful visit to this somber place. Because of the events depicted on the Bayeux tapestry, England got a stable government, contact with the rest of Europe, and a chance to eventually grow into a great European power. The now-famous monk, Dom Pérignon, ran through the abbey shouting excitedly, "Brothers, come quickly! And on feast days, the priest opened the Crucifixion up at the seam, to reveal the panels on the inside of the polyptych. The unique Gewürztraminer and the Alsatian cuisine are a perfect match. While busy with locals during the day, it may be quiet at dinner. This ramshackle yet historic half-timbered house — the home of likeable winemakers André and Myriam — feels like a medieval tree house soaked in wine and filled with flowers. The outer panel of the altarpiece was an image of Jesus, in agony, being crucified, flanked by a pale Mary and a grieving John the Evangelist. And as her knee points one way, her head turns the other. In World War I the cathedral was badly damaged by heavy bombing. To enhance your art experience, you can find a clip related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Louvre. Then Monet picked up his brush and painted it all — the bridge, trellises, pond — creating hundreds of canvases that brighten museums around the world. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. Monet worked at Giverny, in a special studio with skylights and wheeled easels to accommodate the big canvases. This was a "battle of attrition" — when two nations, or at least their leaders, decided to bash their heads against each other, calculating that the other would bleed white and drop first. This illegitimate child, until then known as “William the Bastard,” could now call himself “William the Conqueror.” Unfortunately, that’s where the Bayeux tapestry ends, because the final scene is missing, lost to history. I'm Rick Steves. In a moment, we'll tour the cathedral, but first let's see how it's built. Rich sounds of medieval carols abound, simple rituals are shared by families and friends, and when days are short and nights are long, it’s customary … He spent the better part of his life expanding and supporting this effort, and in 1952 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Jesus has undergone the “resurrection of the flesh,” and now look at his skin: His perfect white epidermis would have offered hope to all the patients who meditated on the scene. That's the summit of Mont Blanc. To remove those barriers to free trade, many medieval European cities banded together to form trading leagues — like the Decapolis. And all these centuries as a political shuttlecock between Germany and France have given the Alsace a hybrid culture. This was good for the nobility — medieval Europe's rural landlords — but a chaotic nightmare for city merchants. Au revoir. Steve: And the wine is named after the grape. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | It only takes 13 — six columns, six buttresses, and a spire. The vineyards overhead conceal a labyrinth of some 30 miles of wine caves meandering into the surrounding hills. And what were her arms (which were never found) doing? In 1883, middle-aged Monet, along with his wife and eight kids, settled into a farmhouse in Giverny, near Paris. Wine continues to fuel the local economy. We’re not in medieval Kansas anymore. Some say her right arm held her dress, while her left arm was raised. Roadside degustation signs mean wine tasters welcome. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. He orders his brother-in-law Duke Harold to ride off to France. This restaurant is a traditional place to savor a slow, elegant meal served with grace and fine Alsatian wine. But in 1927, the “Water Lilies” were hung as Monet had instructed, in this specially built space to enhance the immersive experience. As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences in Italy, Portugal, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. Rieslings and the spicy Gewürztraminer are the fine wines of Alsace. They’d gaze upon the crown, ponder Christ’s sacrifice, see the sunlight pouring in like God’s grace as it illuminates Bible lessons in glass…and get a glimpse of the divine. Signs are bilingual...so are many names. To get more, politely ask "encore, s'il vous plait.". At that time, Normandy (northern France) was under English rule. Who was this beautiful woman? This museum is Colmar's touristic claim to fame. Rick: Steve, thanks for joining us. In Sainte-Chapelle, medieval worshippers could stand immersed in radiant light. This art moment — a sampling of how we share our love of art in our tours — is an excerpt from the new, full-color coffee-table book, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces,” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. Cairo, Egypt: The Egyptian Museum. This huge tomb is the final resting place of 130,000 unidentified French and Germans who died in the muddy trenches of Verdun. Prosperity from trade meant money for art. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. The twisting pose gives a balanced S-curve to her body. The American and British military were careful not to bomb quaintly cobbled Colmar. This is the Edelzwicker. It was finished in 1932. Bennwihr was flattened. This proudly decorated 16th-century building was the home of a wealthy Colmar merchant. Bon voyage. Today, his Alsatian home town is a relaxing and enjoyable getaway. Its extensive yet manageable collection ranges from Roman Colmar to medieval winemaking exhibits, and from traditional wedding dresses to paintings that give vivid insight into the High Middle Ages. It was purpose-built by King Louis IX — the only French king who is also a saint — to house Jesus’ supposed Crown of Thorns. Now it's time to continue our travels. Maison Jund holds my favorite budget beds in Colmar. He adorned his hometown with many statues — most, it seems with one arm held high. Some towns were spared, while others were destroyed. Rick Steves clanging the biggest bell (10 tons!) Now called Mémorial de Verdun since its reopening in 2016. Get close to see how Monet worked. But it worked for the most beautiful city in the Alsace. However, on the plus side, the Norman conquest of England brought that country into the European mainstream. — into a cathedral that seems to be made of nothing more than glowing colors and radiant light. Kaysersberg is a colorful bundle of 15th-century houses. Architecturally speaking, these are ribs...forget the elbows. But the recovery of this village is remarkable. They welcome visitors here with fascinating tours. Rick: Steve, what's this called? Painted on eight mammoth curved panels, they immerse you in Monet’s world. It was a fierce, 14-hour battle. Grünewald’s depiction of this popular Bible scene is unique in art history. The Memorial Museum de Fleury shows reconstructed scenes and models of the trench warfare that raged along the western front for over four years. To enhance your art experience, you can find clips related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Bayeux. Listen to Rick Steves' Europe Video with 716 episodes, free! Her dress dangles suggestively; she’s both modestly covering her privates but hinting at more. The Venus de Milo created a sensation when it was discovered in 1820, on the Greek island of Milos. Our tour concludes with one more salute to French culture. Standing like a flower-child referee between Germany and France, the Alsace has weathered many invasions. M is Mandrace and the other M is Mongold, so my grandfather and the grand-grandfather. Concluding there needed to be a decent final resting place, he began the ossuary project in 1920. We head to Verdun to walk the trenches of World War I before visiting Reims Cathedral to marvel at Gothic splendor and Chagall's stained glass. More intricate details — like folds in the robes or the line of a mouth — are created by scratching or painting the glass. We're on the way to three historical destinations: Reims, Épernay, and our first stop, Verdun. Mix in rusty metals to get different colors — iron makes red, cobalt makes blue, copper makes green, and so on. According to historical accounts, Harold fell from his horse. The Venus de Milo — the goddess of love, sculpted in about 100 BC — sums up all that ancient Greece stood for. The lilies float among sun-kissed clouds and blue sky reflected in the water. His second show, Rick Steves' Europe , debuted in September 2000, and has aired episodes through 2019, though because he does not produce a season every year, this accounts for 10 seasons. This is the tomb of countless French and German soldiers whose last homes were the muddy trenches of Verdun. This production line handles 10,000 bottles an hour, and by the end of the day hundreds of tons of grapes are processed. Thanks for joining us. Small family run hotels like this are one of the great accommodations values in Europe. The devastation of World War II was a hit-or-miss affair in the Alsace. see our FAQ. Today we travel to France, where Christmas is the stuff of dreams. But we're here in June. A tiny seam running down the middle of the painting reminded everyone that there was a better world lying beyond. Listen to Lyon, France: City Of Capitals and 714 more episodes by Rick Steves' Europe Video, free! A few blocks away, the Unterlinden Museum, my vote for the best small museum in Europe, fills a 750-year-old former convent. France. The cathedral of Reims is a glorious example of Gothic architecture, and one of Europe's greatest churches. To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras, and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas. He’d created what many have called the first modern “art installation.”. The meals are served in courses (about five or six), and each one delicious. The town's church features a centuries-old crucifix reminding us of the deep roots of Alsatian towns. Jesus has come down into the world — the real world — as seen by the castle in the background. No uniform currency, different weights and measures, terrible duties every few miles. Even though we’re not visiting Europe right now, I believe a daily dose of travel dreaming can be good medicine. Look for the plat du jour — that's the blue-plate special. Venus rests on her right foot (that contrapposto pose so popular with classical sculptors). At the much-pummeled Fort Douaumont you can tour an underground bunker and tunnels and see the remnants of a World War I command center. Allow a minimum of one hour to visit. Posted on September 6, 2020 by Rick Steves Daily Dose of Europe: Bayeux Tapestry This skinny, 70-yard-long strip of cloth depicts a crucial historical event that helped shape the Europe we know. And after a good tour of the wine making, visitors enjoy the refreshing finale of any visit — the tasting. Historically, the Germans thought the mountains were the logical border The French thought the Rhine River was. Rick Steves France, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually. The artist, Matthias Grünewald, created a dark, gruesome, troubling Crucifixion that could not be more bleak. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on France. The ancient Greeks pictured their gods in human form — which meant that humans are godlike. Terms of Service | Privacy, Colmar, France: Alsace's Most Enchanting City, Épernay, France: Top Stop for Champagne Purists. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. The Normans now ruled England. Each individual scene is interesting, and the whole effect is overwhelming. Despite the seemingly precarious setting, they manage to raise their young while keeping an ever-watchful eye over the vineyards. France is a country with lots of variety, from grand cities to awe-inspiring mountains. This great cathedral was the coronation site of 800 years of French kings and queens. And thank you for traveling with us. The patients lying in this hospital needed some hope that their suffering had a purpose. Bread and water are free. It’s the intermingling of the classical elements — earth (the lilies), air (the sky), fire (sunlight), and water — the primordial soup of life. This art moment — a sampling of how we share our love of art in our tours — is an excerpt from the new, full-color coffee-table book, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces,” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. Only when you back up do the colors resolve into a single “pink” flower on a “green” lily pad. Cafés offer quick meals for nearly the same price as fast-food chains. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy, Daily Dose of Europe: Monet’s “Water Lilies”, Daily Dose of Europe: Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, Daily Dose of Europe: Paris’ Sainte-Chapelle. To enhance your art experience, you can find a clip related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Sainte-Chappelle. What is she thinking? To enhance your art experience, be sure to check out Rick Steves Classroom Europe, my free collection of 400+ teachable video clips — including a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. In the years after the war, a local bishop wandered through the fields of bones — the bones of an estimated 100,000 French soldiers and even more German soldiers. Chamonix is in the valley floor, the great city of Lyon's about an hour that way, and we're gonna see 'em all. There are 4,000 of old Champagnes still aging in this enoteca. And today, historians and tourists alike can stand in the presence of this precious document, stroll slowly along, and see those momentous events from nearly a thousand years ago unfold before their eyes. Participants were able to submit their own questions for Steves to answer. Alsatian cuisine is world famous. In the central scene, Mary beams as she looks down on her baby boy, while a celestial band of angels serenades them. He lifts his visor to shout to his men, when suddenly — shoop! Split Venus down the middle from nose to toes and see how the two halves balance each other. Dominique: All the other wines are made only with one grape, so. — Harold gets hit with an arrow, right in the eye. Alsatian towns like Eguisheim are historic mosaics mixing flower-bedecked fountains, cheery old inns, and characteristic wineries colored in with half-timbered pastels. Seven hundred thousand died as waves of Germans and French fought to take and retake the miles of trenches and forts. So if all you want is the best of the French Riviera, this compact Snapshot guide delivers everything you'll need to … I am drinking stars!". Venus’ well-proportioned body embodied the balance and orderliness of the Greek universe. Harvest time is in the fall. Sainte-Chapelle has only the slenderest of structural columns becoming ribs that come together to make pointed arches to hold up the roof, leaving “walls” of glass. Guide: You can see in our enoteca we keep our oldest bottles of Champagne. People: My name is Dominique Freyburger... Monique Freudenstadt... Maurice Kluft. The Ossuaire de Douaumont is the thought-provoking culmination of any visit to Verdun. The many panels led patients through a series of bible stories culminating with this reassuring resurrection scene. Centuries of successful wine production have built prosperous and colorful villages. Thanks, Steve, for all the travel tips. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at our online Travel Store. Rick Steves France has a rich history, an impressive infrastructure and a tourism industry trying valiantly to cope with its big crowds. Finally, an enemy horseman bends down to finish Harold off with a sword. The tale culminates in one of the most pivotal battles in history: The Battle of Hastings in 1066. Visitors delight in the region's distinctive cuisine and superb wines. The Alsace — that's the area in between. Now step farther back to take in the whole picture. Today, the supposed Crown of Thorns is not on display, but the church is, along with its star attraction: stained glass. And for me, one of the great joys of travel is seeing art masterpieces in person. This tiny jewel of Gothic architecture is a cathedral of glass like none other. A German version of the marker was added in 2012, commemorating 50 years of friendship and celebrating the fact that another war today between these two nations would be unthinkable. The casualty figures were numbing as day after day heroes of 19th-century wars waved their swords and thousands of troops climbed out of their trenches and ran into the bullets of 20th-century machine guns. The sun pours through the upper windows, reminding us of the symbolic importance of light to medieval Christians. Posted on October 10, 2020 October 10, 2020 Luckily World War II spared the church, and since then it has come to symbolize reconciliation. Though Jesus came to be crucified, he overcame death. Gothic architects used new technology to turn dark stone buildings into lanterns of light. The Frédéric Bartholdi Museum honors the great sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States on its 100th birthday. The museum offers interesting historical detail describing the creation of Lady Liberty and displays many of Bartholdi's sculptures. Colmar's charms are rooted in a wealthy medieval past. This cathedral is to France what Westminster Abbey is to England. Fifteenth-century Colmar was one of 10 cities that joined together to make the Decapolis, a league of trading cities. ...wishing you happy travels. This skinny, 70-yard-long strip of cloth depicts a crucial historical event that helped shape the Europe we know. Most of all, Venus brought with her an air of mystery. Rick Steves’ Europe is an empire, with 100 U.S.-based employees and 150 freelance tour guides around the world. It's a tradition upon which much of the local folk culture is built. Our final stop is Epernay, the bubbly birthplace of champagne. In the Alsace, wineries are typically passed from generation to generation. Bernard: Perhaps the escargot? This set in motion 400 years of conflict between England and France — not to be resolved until the 15th century. Notre-Dame has been on everyone’s mind over the last year. Post questions and answers about travel in France. Rick Steves France 2020 - Ebook written by Rick Steves, Steve Smith. Its sudden discovery (by a humble Greek farmer) made great news copy. While we're missing the crushing of the grapes, we can catch a glimpse of the modern production line as it bottles the popular white wines. 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