Monday, June 13, 2011

Adventures in Picardie

I'm a little behind with this post, but the other weekend Lionel and I decided to spend a day in Picardie.  We had originally planned to only go up to Laon, so we left Paris in the morning and drove up.  However, since we saw other things along the way that interestsed us, we decided to leave Laon a little earlier than planned to make some stops on the way back to Paris as well.

First we visited Laon, which is a pretty city with a charming medieval quarter called La Ville Haute or La Cité Médiévale.  The medieval quarter is located on top of a hill with the more modern part of the city situated at the bottom of the hill.  The ramparts and cathedral dominate the hill and there are also a lot of small, charming streets to wander around.  You can also walk along the ramparts on top of the hill and the view over Picardie is amazing.

Cathédrale de Laon

Rue du Cloître in Laon

view from la Haute Ville

medieval gate into la Haute Ville

St. Martin in Laon

La Haute Ville

On the way back we decided to stop at the city of Soissons.  We didn't know anything about the city, but were tempted to stop by when we say some tall towers soaring over the city.  From what we understood, most of the city was destroyed during the World Wars (they say 7 out of every 8 houses was destroyed), so the city wasn't as charming as Laon but the cathedral was pretty, with only one tower, and the ruins of the Abbaye St. Jean des Vignes were very interesting.

Abbaye St. Jean des Vignes

cloisters of the abbey

facade of St. Jean des Vignes...the rest of the church is gone, there is no nave or anything

Cathédrale de Soissons

Finally we saw a sign along the N2 pointing to another abbey off the road, so we decided to investigate and we stumbled upon the adorable village of Longpont and the ruins of its abbey, the Abbaye de Longpont.  Situated in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the woods, past some farmland, the village was absolutely adorable.  Too bad by the time we got there the abbey was closed so we couldn't get a really close look at the ruins.
Abbaye de Longpont

village of Longpont

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photos ! As with many other European destinations, I would love to put this on my bucket list.