Last Sunday my family took me to Palavas Les Flots, a tourist city right next to the Mediterranean Sea.
The rocks that are found on the beach are called “les Galais.” They are made smooth by the constant rubbing of other rocks because of the tides. Claude and I had fun skipping stones (faire ricocher) across some trapped water in the sand. Claude got one to skip six times; I think my best was three.
After the beach, we visited La Cathédrale Maguelone. (I’ll update this post when I have time to write)
Maguelone is a small island next to Palavas and the Cathédral Maguelone is on this island. During the Muslim-Christian wars of the 8th century the building became a fortress for Christian forces. During this time, parts of the building were destroyed. The original walls’ foundations can still be seen on the exterior of the building.
The four effigies on the main floor are anonymous bishops. They are made of white marble. Most of the tombstones below are also anonymous.
The scene depicted above the door is the Apocalypse. The relief features Christ, and the four living creatures of the apocalypse: a lion, calf, man and eagle (Revelation 4:6-10). Below him, St. Paul and St. Pierre guard the door.
(Maguelone, a beautiful, austere, peaceful, place on a small island sloping down to the blue waters. Beyond the waters are mountains, whose lines are lost in the desert haze. Dominated by the giant mountains, the cathedral and the cross, this basilica is canonical, by its strong harmony with its landscape, its solitude, its horizon, its grandeur.
It is one of those places that has a soul and the souls must seek placed in certain moral conditions. Here, we must contemplate, pray, and cry. It is a place consecrated by the great memories, by grasping what is death and what survives, a ruin and a Cross. In the middle of some pine is what remains of the Roman city. Home to Saracens in the seventh century, destroyed by Charles Martel in the eighth century, rebuilt in the eleventh century, and it became the episcopal and papal capital of Montpellier and ecclesiastical capital of the country)
Today the Cathedral is rarely used for religious purposes. Because of its acoustics, there are often choirs that use the building. Right next to the cathedral is a small vineyard. The society responsible for tending to the church also uses the vineyard to help rehabilitate mentally challenged adults. They produce wine from various local grape species. The proceeds from the wine sold by this vineyard go to helping the adults who work there.
…and then we had ice cream at one of the oldest glaciers in Palavas.
Some landscapes taken from an observation tower in Palavas.
Ballestras Redoubt used to be a fortress to guard the coast against piracy. Now, it is a museum featuring work by the cartoonist Albert Dubout, a Palavas inhabitant.