Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Abbey of Saint Ursanne, And More

Day 3: Pipedreams Tour in Switzerland

Remember the bridge in the musical Brigadoon? It's a magical bridge where where life is storybook lovely on the other side? Today's Pipedreams tour took us across the bridge over the River Doubs into the historic village of Saint Ursanne and it was as if we had stepped into another world.

We visited the Abbey of St. Ursanne and heard a two manual French organ that dates from the 18th century. Bright, sweet sound echoed from walls to ceiling, from nave to transepts. Truly a delight, this organ still has much of its original 1776 piping. The organ was refurbished most recently in 2004.

The Abbey Church, a Romanesque style building, is a delight to the soul and to the eye. With tall marble columns, many arches, and side chapels, the historic church is a highlight of a visit to a village that welcomes visitors and has good places to find lunch.

Pollarded trees in two rows outlined the approach to the church. Pollarding, a method of trimming trees that is used in Europe, creates knots at the ends of limbs. New growth emerges from the knots. Pollarding is used to control the size of trees, both in height and width.

Besides visiting Saint Ursanne, we were in Porrentruy and St. Urban today. Our journey took us through many tunnels that crisscross the Jura Mountains and we eventually ended up in Biel. Before coming to Switzerland, I plugged today's travel into Google maps to illustrate the countryside travel from Basel to Biel. 

Bill and Deb Timby from Rhode Island are enjoying their fifth Pipedreams tour. Deb pulls out her applique needlework after each concert. She gets in a little stitching time while listening to the organists in our group as they get keyboard time on some remarkable instruments.

No comments:

Post a Comment