About 40 miles north of Dijon lies the ancient city of Langres. Historians speculate that the city has existed since the 3rd century, and was fortified in the following centuries to protect against invading troops. Today, it is a historical town, a monument to its own lengthy history.
The walls of the city loomed as we approached one of seven centuries-old gateways and made our way into the ancient fortress. Our first stop was the Langres Cathedral, built in the 12th century.
I knew when we visited the basilica in downtown Chaumont that its beauty would eventually be surpassed by the bigger, better-maintained cathedrals on our trip itinerary, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon! (This assumption turned out to be true: we visited plenty of cathedrals before returning stateside, and each was more beautiful than the last.) I know not everyone is a fan of cathedrals, but I could not get enough of the elegant arches, carved ceilings, and carefully-laid stained glass in this one.
I am not a religious person in any sense of the word, but it was hard not to get lost in the beauty of this building. These photos really do not do it justice (sorry iPhone). I would have loved to wander around for another hour and take in all the gorgeous details in the architecture and time-worn frescoes.
P.S. You can (and should!) view any of these photos in greater detail by clicking on them.
I could write an entire blog post just about this cathedral, but we still have the rest of Langres to explore, so I will leave you with this panoramic photo (which you should definitely click).
After bidding farewell to the cathedral, we took off down a side street, walking until we reached the great wall, 3.5 kilometers in length, which surrounds the entire city. The views from the top were magnificent, especially when paired with the fantastic, crumbling buildings and small European cars parked along the street behind us. A small sidewalk ran the length of the entire wall, full on that day of locals out for a jog or an afternoon stroll.
We ambled along, taking photos of the insane views and marveling at the city’s age. From up here, it was easy to see why the city was considered a prime location to defend against invaders!
Have I mentioned how much I love France? It is everything I hoped it would be: charming, classy, and full of history. There were so many beautiful homes along the wall, and I caught myself daydreaming about what it would be like to live here.
Wake up, have a nice cup of coffee in my garden, walk into town and do some writing…I mean, I might even take up jogging if this was my view every morning! Once again, I was charmed by the effort that the French put into maintaining their homes and making them as beautiful as possible. As we moved away from the wall and further into the city itself, the streets became even narrower, and the homes were set apart with gorgeous painted doors and house numbers. I was dying to explore each side street and take photos of the most beautiful doors I could find (I like doors, if you hadn’t noticed), but we were on a schedule. Next time I’m in France, I would love to come back and see more of what this city has to offer.