After Christmas Walk…in Saorge

This is the second article of my “would-be-several-series of-Christmas-walks” that we had and still about to do until the holiday season is over.  It’s fun to walk especially if the scenery is staggeringly beautiful and time passes so quickly that you don’t realize you have already done up ten kilometers!  Imagine, if I walk that distance each day until the New Year, 2012,  I would be fitter and lighter than I was in 2011!

Our destination for today is classed as One of the 40 Most Beautiful Villages of France – SAORGE.

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With a population of around 400, Saorge is a very charming medieval village perched on a long narrow rock, 500 meters in altitude and overlooking the Roya river. 

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The tall multi-level houses date back from the 15th-19th century

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The roofs of the houses are the grey and dark-red slates that were chipped out of the mountains

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The communal Lavoir (washing area) in the old days

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This tall house which used to belong to an Italian duke was for sale for several years.  Seeing the curtains on the opened window says that it now has a new owner.

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This building was the site of the old communal oven.

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This ancient photo shows how the village folks used to line up with their bread dough for baking in the public oven.

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This is the 17th century Monastery of Saorge which was built by the Franciscan monks when they came to settle in the village.  It houses a museum and the church is regularly used as venue for free concerts especially during the annual Fete de la Musique.

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The 11th century Madone del Poggio church with its 15th century Lombardy style bell tower.  It was built by the Cistercian monks who lived in Saorge for 700 years.  The present owners now run it as a home for writers around the world wishing to find inspiration in tranquil and beautiful surroundings.

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The old pulpit stairs of the Church of Saint Sauveur.  This must date back as early as the 18th century when the church was modified to conform to its present Baroque-style

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The Sistine-chapel looking like ceiling which is getting into a bad state of disrepair.

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Of all the various architectural designs used in churches, I just love the Baroque-style! Such glory and elegance!

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In France, the colours of the window shutters must conform to what is legally allowed by the mairie (town hall).  In Saorge’s case, it must be green, different shades of green, however, is acceptable, as long as it is found in the colour chart which is kept by the Office of the Maire (mayor)

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This bed and breakfast establishment, as typical in the region, is closed in the winter and opens up again in the summer.

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A drinking fountain dated 1920.

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