Articles avec #saint nicolas tag
I don't always go to the basilica of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port as a tourist, sometimes I have to go there for sad events or happy ones. Today it was cold in this big building, and even more outside because of the wind. When we were free to go, we went to the tourist office nearby and I discovered it (the tourist office) is going to close next week ! Bad news. We walked back to our car by going through the basilica and I decided to take pictures of the organs to write this article.
As we were sitting and waiting one hour earlier, I noticed the details of the instrument. I had never seen the wooden statue of saint Nicolas standing in the middle of the organs before, same for the angel playing the trumpet at the top. And I had also missed the eagle, representing saint John, under the organs. Sometimes I simply wonder what I really see there as each time I go I discover something else. Is the place changing between my visits ?
Being back home, I looked for information about the organs. This instrument is the fifth one in the basilica, it was built in the 1990s, but the buffet (the wooden part) was built in 1848 by Joseph Cuvillier. There are 3673 pipes ! The bottom of the organs is 7 meters (nearly 23 feet) above the basilica floor.
The sound is quite strong, better than the former organs. It plays a pleasant music, and sometimes with other instruments like hunting horns.
I couldn't help comparing the size of the organs of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port and Vézelise. The later was beautiful but much smaller (and much older).
The light inside was really good and the sun was shining outside. A very cold but sunny day, a good day to appreciate the architecture and details of the basilica.
On my way back from saint Nicolas' market to the parking place, I stopped in a small street I never walk through usually. It is called rue Mercière and I used to buy shoes in a shop there when I was a young girl.
This street is very small but has a right angle so you can't see the end of it from the beginning. It is narrow and certainly very old as it is just near the basilica.
When I arrived near the angle, I saw this strange house, two mail boxes, one door, one sort of door on the first floor and... nothing else. As the street, it is narrow but also low compared to other houses around. From bird's eye on internet, it is difficult to see what it looks like behind the front wall. Two small flats maybe. It was so unexpected.
I have been in this town hundreds of times and I had never seen this house before. I was even not looking for something, just changing my way to go back to my car. Saint-Nicolas-de-Port can be so surprising sometimes.
Each year I go to Saint-Nicolas-de-Port on the day of the celebration of saint Nicolas. This afternoon was grey but not cold for my walk in the town.
This time I had to park further away and I walked up the main street and had a look at shops on my way to the basilica. I entered through the side door, stopped near saint Nicolas' statue where plenty of candles were lit and I noticed the picture of Sire de Réchicourt on the right. There were a few pilgrims inside already. Then I walked out through the back door.
I went further up in town to saint Nicolas' market. It was quite similar to the one I saw last year. There were hand made things (jewels, cards, toys...) and products with saint Nicolas printed on them (balloons, biscuits, beer, tiles, cards...). The music was a bit loud but pleasant and children were already asking for cotton candy.
Then it was time for me to go back home. I walked through the basilica again, there were more people near the statue and the relics.
I decided to stop at the tourist office nearby and... saint Nicolas was there ! We spoke together, reminded the time my children were so surprised when he told them not to leave their sweets near their father who would eat them. "How does he know, Mum ?" "Well, it is a long story, he also met your father when he was a child."
I wished the good saint a pleasant evening, knowing he would be very busy in the coming hours. And by arriving near my car, bells started ringing, it was the song for saint Nicolas, to celebrate the patron saint of Lorraine.
Last week we missed the long night of museums as we had to fetch our son back from his holiday and then there was no time left to visit anything.
Last year we went to Saint-Nicolas-de-Port to the brewery museum and I took this picture from the roof of the building before it was too dark. It was an unusual opportunity to see the basilica from a high point. It is such a big church standing amongst small houses. I imagine it was even more impressing for people living around or for pilgrims in the seventeenth century.
This year I would have liked to go to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nancy to be able discover the exhibition in a calmer atmosphere and to enjoy a drink afterwards in one of the Place Stanislas cafés. We will have to wait for next year to do this. Or we could try to look for another museum organizing a special event for this long night to change from the usual visits.
I suppose it is different in Paris but, here in Lorraine, not a lot of people join the event and so it is really pleasant to visit places after dinner, avoiding a crowd and without paying anything. It is free and allows visitors to have a good time in good conditions.
Last week I went to the 2nd Salon du Livre (Book Fair) of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port. I wanted to meet some writers I knew to get their new books. Before this book fair was organized, we used to go to the old Chapelle de la Congrégation, once a year, to buy new and second-hand books, but it seems the number of writers was increasing and it was better to organize a book fair just for them in a big hall.
When I entered the place, I discovered so many people that I couldn't fix my eyes on anybody so I walked around and when I was back to where I started I had a better idea of what I wanted. Most writers were local people or writing about local history or places. I like this as we all speak about the same things.
Frédéric Maguin told me he was a guide in Nancy and knew a lot about the town. I bought his books about Renaissance and also one about Art Nouveau. As the year about Renaissance in Nancy is over, prices were reduced and it was a good bargain. These books will help me for my next articles about Nancy.
Then I saw a few writers I know and had a chat. By speaking with them I saw Solange Louis near the door. I have known her for a long time now and she was present to make people discover her book about the genealogy of Jacques Callot the engraver. I like genealogy a lot, so one more book in my bag.
I left the hall happy and when I arrived near my car I realized I had forgotten to buy another book written by a retired teacher. It was too late to go back there. Next year I'll look for this one and I imagine the author will have written another one in between, so it will make two in the bag at least.