The sales are on in France. Second markdown already. See, it`s a bit more structured,or should I say restricted here in France. Sales do not happen every Saturday. Just twice a year. And then every one goes shopping.
Winners stresses me out, so for sure Victoria was on her own. But she would not go to Niort by herself, I had to drive.
I took the opportunity to explore this city in the south of the Deux Sevres department a bit beyond the shops.
While the peripherie is ringed with power centers a la America, the historic part of Niort is what`s exciting to see. A famous Dungeon, churches, great architecture and quite simply the heart and soul of an old town. When you look at old buildings that are a bit rundown, you can`t help but wonder about it`s century old stories, what happened, who lived there, what business was on the ground floor 150 years ago.
Dominating the view from almost every angle is the church of Saint Andre, elevated above the town.
Having seen my fair share of churches (it`s part of life in Austria), this one was a very nice surprise. The stained glass windows, old frescoes, oil paintings, wood carved monuments, all of them a testament to the talent employed by our pals in the catholic church.
The covered market hall, right next to the famous dungeon, a generous pedestrian zone which begins/ends at Place de la Breche. Which is undergoing some massive renovation and the end result this summer is nothing short of world class. All parking has been moved underground, the square will be greened with 350 trees, dozens of inviting Cafes and Bistros.
Niort is well worth a visit if you come down to the area.
NIORT WITH 11TH CENTURY CHURCH OF ST. ANDRE
DESTROYED AND REBUILT IN THE 16TH CENTURY
STUNNING STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
GILT SIDE ALTAR
WOULD MAKE A NICE FOUNTAIN IN YOUR YARD
CAFES ALONG PLACE DE LA BRÉCHE
COVERED SHOPPING ARCADES
FINE ZONES PIETONNES
IF YOU LIKE A PLACE IN WINTER, YOU`LL LOVE IT IN SUMMER
NOT THE BUSINESS IT USED TO BE
NOT SURE WHAT, BUT COOL GRAFFITI NEVER THE LESS.
AN ACTUAL ENTRANCE TO A HOME
H0TEL DE VILLE