Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pilgrimage to Annecy

From Once I Was a Clever Boy:
The countryside got increasingly spectacular as we traveled through the Ain gorge to Nantua and on to Bellegarde,which still feels like a frontier town, which it was until the ebvents of 1858-60, and into Haute Savoie. Here is what was until that time part of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia, the modern regional authority uses the Savoy arms of a white cross on red and these were much evidence as asign of local identity. The landscape subtly changed at ground level, whilst at Annecy we were in an Alpine setting, the mountains looking down on the lake. This forms a very spectacular setting for the city. As with so many French cities the outskirts were rather depressing, with a closed up, dusty aspect, and too much architecture in the style of Le Corbusier, but the old city itself is. charming. It is small and the buildings suggest a similarity to the architecture of other Alpine countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Austria - it is not especially French in feeling.

We parked up near the basilica of St Frances and walked down into what is very much the city of St Francis de Sales, the erstwhile Oratorian who based himself in Annecy as Bishop of Geneva, being unable to occupy his episcopal city which was under Calvinist control. There is an online life of St Francis de Sales here. (Read entire post.)

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