On a warm summer afternoon in late June we departed from our usual hike and took a tour through some of the Romanesque cloisters and chapels between Ceret and Collioure namely – le Cloître d’Elne, la Maison de l’Art de St André, l’Abbaye de St Génis-des-Fontaines and la Chapelle St Martin-de-Fenollar. While I’m not much of a history buff I do appreciate the stylized figures and designs found in Romanesque art.
Each place we visited exhibited at least one gem, but often only one, therefore if time doesn’t permit you to visit them all, spend your time at the le Cloître d’Elne. A lovely little cloister that should be on every visitor’s must see list. Be sure to pick up the free “pass inter-sites” at the first tourist destination you visit in the region to save money on entrance fee to subsequent attractions.
La Maison de l’Art de Roman de St André (location)
Never have I seen a museum created with so little. With just a few replicas from the church façade they have produced several displays that span the small museum including an extensive interactive computer program. The façade itself of the nearby church is more impressive than the museum.
L’Abbaye de St Génis-des-Fontaines (location)
This rather shabby cloister doesn’t live up to the fascinating lintel gracing the front entrance. However, on closer inspection some of the column capitals are worth a second look.
La Chapelle St Martin-de-Fenollar (location)
This out of the way chapel is almost more intriguing for its unwelcoming entrance and disheveled caretaker as its uninspiring interior. Nonetheless, one can always find a pearl if you look hard enough.
June 27, 2012
For links to all the posts in this series see the French Pyrenees page.