06 September 2010

Things look different in the dark

A couple of nights ago, after a dinner at “Flunch” a restaurant who’s décor and food style made it disconcertingly American-like, I walked around the city with two of my friends from the program. We walked to the Palais du Justice (the very modern building I made fun of for clashing with the other architecture).  As we stood between this palace and the castle built in the 15th century, Tristan made witty comment about not being able to take justice seriously when it is administered in an ice cream cone shaped auditorium.  Claire noticed that there was a bridge that connected the two, and Tristan, the history nerd among us, was very pleased with the symbolism that suggested. Something about the juxtaposition  of these two buildings, and perhaps the dark and stillness of the night made the age of this castle more comprehensible. We walked up the wall, and I understood why peasants 600 years ago would have found this castle impressive. I was impressed. Standing next to the wall of the fortress looking up, I felt small and insignificant. When we continued on to the cathedral, I felt the same way about this ancient building. The intricate detail that still survives today, and the tall spires are still considered beautiful today. It was one of those times when you feel transported back in time and able to see things as people saw them hundreds of years before.
The history here is amazing. The 600 year old cathedral sits across from a 500 hundred year old fortress which is across the street from centuries old buildings in front of which runs a 4 year old trolley, while behind the fortress a modern building shows us how far we have come.

1 comment:

  1. The history here in Europe amazes me every single second of every single day.


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