Facing squarely towards Germany, Verdun has been France's logical point of defense and its principal fortress since the late 1800s. Over time, fewer visitors come as pilgrims and more as tourists. This museum delivers gripping exhibits on the 300 days of the Battle of Verdun, with lots of information in English. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Bread and water are free. To understand the purpose of this particularly gruesome crucifixion scene, it helps to know who paid for it. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Rick Steves France … And for me, one of the great joys of travel is having in-person encounters with great art — which I’ve collected in a book called “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces.” Here’s one of my favorites. Now even the survivors of that war have died and little remains to remind us of the carnage. In 1914, Monet, now in his seventies, began a water-lily project on a massive scale. Jesus has undergone the “resurrection of the flesh,” and now look at his skin: His perfect white epidermis would have offered hope to all the patients who meditated on the scene. Listen to Rick Steves' Europe Video with 716 episodes, free! Craftsmen made the stained glass — which is, essentially, melted sand — using a recipe I call “Stained Glass Supreme”: Melt one part sand with two parts wood ash. — into a cathedral that seems to be made of nothing more than glowing colors and radiant light. Most of all, Venus brought with her an air of mystery. France Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . At that time, Normandy (northern France) was under English rule. Centuries of successful wine production have built prosperous and colorful villages. He adorned his hometown with many statues — most, it seems with one arm held high. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. It was finished in 1932. The granddaddy of Champagne companies offers one-hour tours with three pricey tasting possibilities. This ramshackle yet historic half-timbered house — the home of likeable winemakers André and Myriam — feels like a medieval tree house soaked in wine and filled with flowers. Wine continues to fuel the local economy. Monet’s “Water Lilies” float serenely in two pond-shaped rooms in a Paris museum. Steve and I like to illustrate the structure of a Gothic church by building one out of tourists. No signup or install needed. While Lady Liberty is his most famous work, you'll see several Bartholdi statues gracing Colmar's squares. The region of Alsace along the German border is where two mighty nations meet. The story they tell is that around 1700, after lots of fiddling with double fermentation, one of the monks developed the first Champagne. Verdun is a chilling reminder of one of the most costly battles of World War I. In World War I the cathedral was badly damaged by heavy bombing. This cathedral is to France what Westminster Abbey is to England. Rick: Steve, thanks for joining us. This time we're in France. The Isenheim Altarpiece was commissioned 500 years ago by a monastery hospital filled with people suffering terrible skin diseases — a common cause of death back then. It was made for my grand-grandfather. Altogether, Monet painted 1,950 square feet of canvas. Grünewald’s depiction of this popular Bible scene is unique in art history. Each individual scene is interesting, and the whole effect is overwhelming. Rick Steves is a travel writing guru, for anyone unfamiliar with the pencil yellow and navy blue guidebooks ubiquitous on the streets of Europe. The restaurants serve sauerkraut...with fine sauces. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Terms of Service | Privacy, Colmar, France: Alsace's Most Enchanting City, Épernay, France: Top Stop for Champagne Purists. The great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer once lived in this peaceful village. Put it all together, and — voilà! In the years after the war, a local bishop wandered through the fields of bones — the bones of an estimated 100,000 French soldiers and even more German soldiers. Rick: Steve, thanks for joining us. Seven hundred thousand died as waves of Germans and French fought to take and retake the miles of trenches and forts. These inner panels put Christ’s seemingly tragic death in the wider context of his blessed birth and radiant resurrection. Today, his Alsatian home town is a relaxing and enjoyable getaway. With our buttresses in place we've got a solid Gothic structure, more windows than ever, and a spire that will never fall. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. We've enjoyed our visit to Colmar and our stay at Maison Jund. She’s probably Venus, but no one knows for sure. The artist, Matthias Grünewald, created a dark, gruesome, troubling Crucifixion that could not be more bleak. I am drinking stars!". The climax of the whole tapestry is the Battle of Hastings, which pitted the invading Normans of France, led by William, against the Anglo-Saxons of England, led by Harold. A German version of the marker was added in 2012, commemorating 50 years of friendship and celebrating the fact that another war today between these two nations would be unthinkable. That's the summit of Mont Blanc. Steve: Bonjour Rick. The story begins in London. The sun pours through the upper windows, reminding us of the symbolic importance of light to medieval Christians. But in 1927, the “Water Lilies” were hung as Monet had instructed, in this specially built space to enhance the immersive experience. Luckily World War II spared the church, and since then it has come to symbolize reconciliation. To remove those barriers to free trade, many medieval European cities banded together to form trading leagues — like the Decapolis. Cut into pieces. Her expression is alluring yet aloof. With Rick Steves, Andreas Clemens, Georg Reichlmayr, Holger Zimmer. Now step farther back to take in the whole picture. ...wishing you happy travels. No signup or install needed. I'm Rick Steves. Her dress dangles suggestively; she’s both modestly covering her privates but hinting at more. Posted on October 10, 2020 October 10, 2020 Jesus rockets out of the tomb, as this once-mortal man is now transformed into God. And that’s what we see in the Resurrection panel on the right. Though Jesus came to be crucified, he overcame death. Colmar's knack for trade and its local industries, such as the leather business in this tanner's quarter, added up to a strong economy. Posted on September 6, 2020 by Rick Steves Daily Dose of Europe: Bayeux Tapestry This skinny, 70-yard-long strip of cloth depicts a crucial historical event that helped shape the Europe we know. In a moment, we'll tour the cathedral, but first let's see how it's built. This art moment — a sampling of how we share our love of art in our tours — is an excerpt from the new, full-color coffee-table book, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces,” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. The now-famous monk, Dom Pérignon, ran through the abbey shouting excitedly, "Brothers, come quickly! Steve: What else do you recommend Bernard? As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences in Italy, Portugal, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. M is Mandrace and the other M is Mongold, so my grandfather and the grand-grandfather. And what were her arms (which were never found) doing? Here in the Alsace, wine is the primary industry, topic of conversation, and perfect excuse for countless festivals. The unique Gewürztraminer and the Alsatian cuisine are a perfect match. But with his genius, he reinvented the Resurrection. In this travel talk, Rick Steves guidebook co-author Steve Smith describes scintillating Paris, Normandy's D-Day beaches, Loire châteaux, Dordogne cave art, fortified Carcassonne, Burgundy vineyards, Alpine peaks, hill towns of Provence, and the glitzy French Riviera — and teaches skills for traveling in France. Originally, Colmar's canals were busy transporting goods. The Latin words on Mary's halo read: "Pick me also for your child, o holy Virgin.". “Let there be light.” From the first page of the Bible, it’s clear: Light is divine. Verdun offers a memorable chance to revisit World War I. Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Sainte-Chappelle. Steve: I'd like the muenster. He’d created what many have called the first modern “art installation.”. Allow a minimum of one hour to visit. In the special, Rick visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to reveal their customs and practices of … This asphalt ribbon ties 80 miles of vineyards, villages, and feudal fortresses into an understandably popular tourist package. Blow glass into a cylinder shape, cut lengthwise, and lay flat to cool. In the central scene, Mary beams as she looks down on her baby boy, while a celestial band of angels serenades them. The museum offers interesting historical detail describing the creation of Lady Liberty and displays many of Bartholdi's sculptures. Thanks for joining me here on my blog and via Facebook. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Paris, France and find out what to do on your next trip. Down-to-earth details keep you “reading.” The narrative is framed by a border (top and bottom) with more eye candy — some related to the story, some mere decoration. Participants were able to submit their own questions for Steves to answer. This is the tomb of countless French and German soldiers whose last homes were the muddy trenches of Verdun. Cafés offer quick meals for nearly the same price as fast-food chains. Au revoir. Imagine the painstaking process of making the glass, fitting the pieces together to make a scene…and then multiply it by a thousand. And once again, we're traveling with the help of my Francophile partner Steve Smith. But we know the rest of the story. Steves' first television show, Travels in Europe with Rick Steves, debuted on public television in April 1991 and ended production in 1998. After the cheese, we top off the evening with a tasty light dessert. Rick Steves France has a rich history, an impressive infrastructure and a tourism industry trying valiantly to cope with its big crowds. He spent the better part of his life expanding and supporting this effort, and in 1952 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the seemingly precarious setting, they manage to raise their young while keeping an ever-watchful eye over the vineyards. In Gothic you've got pointed arches, not round arches — this is a Gothic innovation — which sends the weight of the roof out rather than down therefore we need buttresses to support the walls. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy, Daily Dose of Europe: Monet’s “Water Lilies”, Daily Dose of Europe: Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, Daily Dose of Europe: Paris’ Sainte-Chapelle. This restaurant is a traditional place to savor a slow, elegant meal served with grace and fine Alsatian wine. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. His joyous mission is to defeat death, just as God the Father is doing in the shower of light. The American and British military were careful not to bomb quaintly cobbled Colmar. While busy with locals during the day, it may be quiet at dinner. The cathedral of Reims is a glorious example of Gothic architecture. Today we travel to France, where Christmas is the stuff of dreams. The twisting pose gives a balanced S-curve to her body. And thank you for traveling with us. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Join Rick as he experiences the local culture, cuisine and fun in some of Europe's most interesting places: Sicily, England, Scotland, Portugal, and Greece — plus multi-country … So, two families. And on feast days, the priest opened the Crucifixion up at the seam, to reveal the panels on the inside of the polyptych. And for me, one of the great joys of travel is seeing art masterpieces in person. With free tasting and inexpensive bottles, French wine tasting can be an affordable sport. in Switzerland! The dazzling glory of Gothic glows brighter here than in any other church. They had hope that the suffering they now endured was all part of God’s grand plan, and a loving God would reward them in the hereafter. American travel authority Rick Steves guides viewers through his favorite European cities. No one knows. Because of the events depicted on the Bayeux tapestry, England got a stable government, contact with the rest of Europe, and a chance to eventually grow into a great European power. But it worked for the most beautiful city in the Alsace. Panning slowly around the museum’s hall, you can watch the scene turn from predawn darkness to clear morning light to lavender late afternoon to the glorious golden sunset. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. The Latin titles reinforce the main characters and key events. Our final stop is Epernay, the bubbly birthplace of champagne. The tapestry is realistic enough that even an illiterate peasant could understand what’s happening. Four hundred years before Bartholdi, Martin Schongauer was Colmar's leading artist. RICK STEVES ’ EUROPE: French Alps And Lyon Stream now or tune in Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 at 4 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. on … Bernard: It's the same way, but in Burgundy they put only the butter and the herbs and the garlic and in Alsace they put also a bouillon with the butter. Historically, the Germans thought the mountains were the logical border The French thought the Rhine River was. It's magnificently set in a Gothic Dominican church, surrounded by fourteenth century stained glass. The last canvas shows darkness descending on the pond — painted by an 80-year-old man in the twilight of his life. Learning the stories behind great art can shed new light on our lives today. The cathedral of Reims is a glorious example of Gothic architecture, and one of Europe's greatest churches. The town's church features a centuries-old crucifix reminding us of the deep roots of Alsatian towns. Well...this glass is empty and our visit is over. Thanks, Steve, for all the travel tips. Notre-Dame has been on everyone’s mind over the last year. Columns and ribs support the spire. It's the only blended Alsatian white wine. In Sainte-Chapelle, medieval worshippers could stand immersed in radiant light. Convinced he’d found the real McCoy, he spent a fortune to build a suitable chapel to hold it — and paid triple that for the precious crown. In the final paintings, he cropped the scene ever closer, until there’s no reference point for the viewer — no shoreline, no horizon, no sense of what’s up or down…leaving you immersed in the experience. To enhance your art experience, be sure to check out Rick Steves Classroom Europe, my free collection of 400+ teachable video clips — including a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Small family run hotels like this are one of the great accommodations values in Europe. Bernard: So you have Camembert, which comes from Normandy; Roquefort, a blue cheese; Comté, that comes from the Jura; that's a goat cheese; this is Bleu d'Auvergne; and this is a local cheese, a muenster. The Memorial Museum de Fleury shows reconstructed scenes and models of the trench warfare that raged along the western front for over four years. Today, the supposed Crown of Thorns is not on display, but the church is, along with its star attraction: stained glass. The Normans now ruled England. It was purpose-built by King Louis IX — the only French king who is also a saint — to house Jesus’ supposed Crown of Thorns. Standing like a flower-child referee between Germany and France, the … Even though we’re not visiting Europe right now, I believe a daily dose of travel dreaming can be good medicine. Monet shows the pond at different times of day. Sainte-Chapelle was completed in a mere six years (Notre-Dame, just a few steps away, took 200), creating a harmonious structure that’s the essence of Gothic. Visitors delight in the region's distinctive cuisine and superb wines. Signs are bilingual...so are many names. This little museum recalls the life and work of the local boy who gained fame by sculpting America's much-loved Statue of Liberty. Only then do you see that the true subject is not really the famous water lilies but the changing reflections on the pond’s surface. The ever-present symbol of the Alsace, magnificent white storks, build nests on the town's highest perches. Worshippers are surrounded by 15 big windowpanes, with more than 1,000 different scenes. Monet worked at Giverny, in a special studio with skylights and wheeled easels to accommodate the big canvases. Concluding there needed to be a decent final resting place, he began the ossuary project in 1920. The balance between fleeting motion and timeless stability made beauty. The tale culminates in one of the most pivotal battles in history: The Battle of Hastings in 1066. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store. People: My name is Dominique Freyburger... Monique Freudenstadt... Maurice Kluft. We head to Verdun to walk the trenches of World War I before visiting Reims Cathedral to marvel at Gothic splendor and Chagall's stained glass. And as her knee points one way, her head turns the other. These cover the entire Christian history of the world, from the Creation to Christ to the end of the world — 6,500 square feet of glass in all. But we're here in June. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904) was a dynamic painter/photographer/sculptor with a passion for the defense of liberty and freedom. Gothic architects organized buttresses, ribs, and pointed arches, sending walls soaring high above open and airy interiors. According to historical accounts, Harold fell from his horse. Harold was to announce to all the subjects that Edward had decided who his successor as king would be — a seemingly illegitimate duke called “William the Bastard,” known today as “William the Conqueror.”. Knights on horseback charge, swordsmen clash, and archers launch arrows, leaving the battlefield strewn with mangled corpses. Alsace is France with a German accent. In Sainte-Chapelle, the sunlight shines through the stained glass like God’s grace shining down to earth. The artist might use, say, blue glass for background, green for clothes, brown for hair. Fifteenth-century Colmar was one of 10 cities that joined together to make the Decapolis, a league of trading cities. It only takes 13 — six columns, six buttresses, and a spire. The shorter Rick Steves Best of France guidebook focuses on France's top destinations and sights, is in full color, and is updated every other year. France is a country with lots of variety, from grand cities to awe-inspiring mountains. Jesus has come down into the world — the real world — as seen by the castle in the background. On the loose in France's countryside, we drive up Alsace's Route du Vin for miles of vineyards, half-timbered villages, and feudal fortresses. Our tour concludes with one more salute to French culture. William marched to London, claimed his throne, and (though he spoke no English) became king of England. The statue is a rare Greek original, not a Roman copy. What is she thinking? He orders his brother-in-law Duke Harold to ride off to France. They welcome visitors here with fascinating tours. You enter Sainte-Chapelle on the somber ground floor, wind your way up a tight spiral staircase, and then pop out — wow! Rick Steves France, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually. As merchants met in this customs house, they were creating a new economic order. As America continues to suffer crisis upon crisis, it has never been more important to broaden our perspectives and learn about the people and places that shape our world. Matthias Grunewald's gripping Isenheim Altarpiece is the museum's most important work. This huge tomb is the final resting place of 130,000 unidentified French and Germans who died in the muddy trenches of Verdun. More intricate details — like folds in the robes or the line of a mouth — are created by scratching or painting the glass. It's a tradition upon which much of the local folk culture is built. Alsace has carefully coifed poodles and the best beer in France. Zermatt, Switzerland: The Matterhorn and the Swiss Alps. Rieslings and the spicy Gewürztraminer are the fine wines of Alsace. And Colmar had more than its share. The hospital's goal, long before the age of pain killers, was to remind patients that Jesus understood their suffering. Grünewald’s happy finale is a psychedelic explosion of Resurrection joy. The darkness parts, and Grünewald shows a more expansive, more colorful, and cheerier world. His favorite subject of all was the water lilies. The rich mixing of cultures has done the Alsace well. Four million bottles are exported all over Europe each year. Now it's time to continue our travels. Rick Steves France 2020 - Ebook written by Rick Steves, Steve Smith. Standing like a flower-child referee between Germany and France, the Alsace has weathered many invasions. This is the Edelzwicker. From manger scenes and mistletoe to wintry wonderlands, RICK STEVES' EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS celebrates the Christmas season throughout the European continent. Colmar's charms are rooted in a wealthy medieval past. Limited edition: This two-DVD set includes the 12 newest shows from Season 10 of public television's "Rick Steves' Europe" series, with a bonus extra. They’d gaze upon the crown, ponder Christ’s sacrifice, see the sunlight pouring in like God’s grace as it illuminates Bible lessons in glass…and get a glimpse of the divine. This altarpiece was painted for a medieval hospital, which specialized in patients suffering from horrible skin diseases. Despite all this motion, the impression is one of stillness, as Venus orbits slowly around a vertical axis. Thanks for joining us. In 1883, middle-aged Monet, along with his wife and eight kids, settled into a farmhouse in Giverny, near Paris. Listen to Lyon, France: City Of Capitals and 714 more episodes by Rick Steves' Europe Video, free! 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