My parents used to drag us into endless churches, cathedrals and cemeteries whenever we were on holiday exploring an old city. I used to think it was the dullest thing ever. Obviously, as a kid, places where you have to be very quiet, or look at dead people, are pretty boring.
But something seems to have rubbed off on me, because now I quite seem to like it. Now I'm the one dragging Husband into these places. I don't find them quite as fascinating as my parents did, because I don't need to spend endless hours in them, but there's definitely a kind of majesty to these buildings. They are grand and ornate. They fit into my love of all things old and time-consuming. Things that were built with love and care.
Last week in St Jean de Luz, we were lucky enough to walk past this church, and find it open to visitors. In 1660 this beautiful building hosted the wedding of King Louis XIV to Maria Teresa, the Infanta of Spain (thanks Wikipedia!). Built in the 15th century in the Basque style, I loved the ornate patterns and carvings. This church had so much color and texture in it, which surprised me.
My favourite part about the couple of churches we saw in this area was the model ships hanging from the ceiling, about mid-way along the aisle. The interweb tells me that this is actually common practice in fishing towns in western Europe - meant to bring luck to fishermen. They were beautifully constructed little boats, and definitely a feature in the churches that we visited.