In Black and white – Gallery #1

A photo gallery of pictures in black and white taken around in Europe.

 

In this gallery:

The Pont Du Gard in France, the highest (50 mt.) Roman aqueduct.

The statue of Marquis De Sade in the Château de Lacoste (France).

Two pictures of Jaume Plensa’s sculpture. The Nomade (the biggest one) in harbour of Antibes, and one of the seven Figures,  an installation in Place Massena in Nice (France), representing the seven continents.

Some shots in Netherlands and Bruges (Belgium).

A shot of a frozen day in Campitello di Fassa (Italy).

 

Various gear.

Corte – Corsica

Corte is a beautiful old town in the middle of the island of Corsica (France), built at confluence of the Restonica and Tavignana rivers, and enhanced by the mountain scenery that surrounds it.

Corte was once the capital of Corsica, and the city does still hold quite a grandiose air about it. In recent years Corte was in decline, but since the reopening of the city’s university in the ’80s it has gained hundreds of foreign students (lured in by its growing academic reputation) in a total population of less than 7,000, and helps ensure the town is lively for most of the year, with a cosmopolitan air, cafés and bars.

The most interesting monument in Corte is, of course, the fortress called The Citadel, built in 1419, with the Museum of Corsica.

Corte has two main squares. Place Gaffory, dedicated to protecteur de la Nation corse Jean-Pierre Gaffory, with the walls of nearby houses pock-marked with bullet holes, reputedly from Corsica’s war of independence, and Place Paoli, with the statue of Pascal Paoli, that is generally considered the founder of modern Corsica, having introduced democracy to the nation in the 18th century.

Corte was also the birthplace of Joseph Bonaparte, the eldest brother of the French Emperor Napoleon I, who made him King of Naples and Spain.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 6D and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

Rennes-le-Château – Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Here’s a little photo gallery of Rennes-le-Château in Languedoc region in southern France, and his incredible atmosphere full of mystery and history.

This small village is internationally known following the publication of a series of books dealing with a mystery concerning a nineteenth century priest who lived in the village and, of course, for being at the center of Dan Brown’s world bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The region of Rennes-le-Château is known for beautiful scenery, but also for his very interesting history. The Languedoc were central to the battle between the Catholic church and the Cathar heretics at the beginning of the 13th century.

RennesLesChateau 21The modern reputation of Rennes-le-Château rises mainly from claims and stories concerning the local 19th-century Abbe Saunière, that had become rich by finding a royal treasure inside one of the pillars in his church in the late 19th century.

These stories influenced the authors of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 80’s, and that work in turn influenced Dan Brown when he wrote the worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The stories told about Rennes-le-Château and Bérenger Saunière consist of many theories, revolving around all matters of conspiracies involving the the Merovingians, the Knights Templar, the Cathars, and later, the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, and the remains of Jesus Christ.

The village church dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, having been rebuilt several times until the 19th century, and was almost in ruins when Saunière arrived in Rennes-le-Château.The pillar

According to legend, by moving a heavy stone that served as the altar, Saunière found that one stone  (still preserved in the museum of the village) supporting the slab was hollow and contained four parchments.

Two of them detailed a genealogy, while the other two presented enigmatic writings that, once deciphered by experts in Paris, allowed Saunière to obtain some very strange messages.

Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above church entranceOne of the new features of the church after the Saunière rebuilt was the Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above the front doors, taken from the Common Dedication of a Church, which can be translated as: “This is a place of fear and amazement”.

Another feature Inside the church, is a devil holding up the holy water stoup, a rare, though not unheard of addition found in French churches in this particular style.

Abbé Bérenger Saunière also funded the construction of another structure dedicated to Mary Magdalene.Grave of Bérenger Saunière Named after his church, he built a nearby tower which he used as his library. The tower has a promenade linking it to the Villa Bethanie.

To this day, the secret of Saunière’s fortune remains a mystery. Many theories as to where he got the money have been developed, but none substantiated. We may never know the real story of Saunière and his fortune, the truth of which he most likely took to his grave when he passed away on 22 January 1917.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 40D, Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

 

 

Calvi – Corsica

Calvi is the biggest tourist city of the French island of Corsica.

Places of interest in Calvi are: the long beach of white sand, the harbourside with yachts and private cruisers and, of course, the old Citadel.

The Citadel is the main part of the town, and its most important historical monument. It was a military outpost that helped guard the city against foreign attacks. French Foreign Legion is today based in the citadel.

In the Citadel there are the remains of a house that, according to legend, to be the place where Christopher Columbus was born.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM

A trip in Corsica (Part #1)

This is first part of photos taken in a summer trip all around the Corsica Island.

Corsica is a large island in the Mediterranean sea referred as a “région” of France. It’s a nice place to stay e to visit.

In just a few hours, you can see the most glittering jewels of the island: the seascapes, with a veritable explosion of colours and fantastic scenery, the wonderful beaches with emerald waters, and the villages of Corsica, that are dotted with Genoese towers, prehistoric ruins and fortified bastions. Corsica history is engraved in the very stones of this unique island.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM

Étretat – Normandie

Étretat is on the Alabaster Coast in Normandy, and is known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”.

The beach is composed of stones that have been smoothed by the waves of the English Channel and the town is set just beyond the beach.

These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsène Lupin novel The Hollow Needle by Maurice Leblanc.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 1000D, Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II