The elegant forms. The fantastic creatures. The visionary composition. The mustaches.
Moissac Abbey is one of the great Romanesque churches (and admittedly deserves much better photos than what we managed with our crappy camera). The South portal, created 1120 – 1135, and the tympanum are a masterful sculptural illustrations of the vision of Saint John.
Ah, two of my favorite things: the apocalypse and Romanesque sculpture. Go ahead, ask me if Moissac Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. YES! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a stop on the Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage.
Prophet Jeremiah, looking absolutely gorgeous. Of the many carved mustaches on the portal, his is the most exquisite.
Self-portrait as a cloister gaper.
The Abbey’s cloister is from 1100 and has 76 capitals plus a dozen relief carvings. Most of the capital carvings illustrate bible stories and they are in great shape, except that many of the human figures have smashed faces.
Daniel of the Large Hands in the Lion’s Den.
I adore this genteel writing, but I don’t know what it says.
All the carved knots!
A frieze of griffons.
I don’t often see fish in Romanesque art.
An early form of dentistry?
So many wonderful details!
Hands in a carving of the Last Supper.
Didn’t your momma teach you that foot eating is a bad habit?
While we were inside the cloister a group of well-dressed business people came in on a tour. Why does my business travel only take me to over-air conditioned conference rooms in lame places like Orlando? I need a job that pays for me to tour medieval churches instead.
Here was our day in Moissac: hopped off the train, walked a couple of blocks to our hotel. Dropped our bags, walked another block to the abbey. Looked at the abbey, ate a picnic in front of the abbey, looked at the cloister, ate a picnic in front of the abbey, looked at the abbey again until night fell and they closed it down. In other words, a perfect day.
How we got to Moissac: train from Cahors.
Where we slept: Hotel-Restaurant Le Luxembourg. Price: €48 for a double. Recommended: yes.