This morning it is chilly and very windy. I had hoped to eat our breakfast outside on our little porch but the weather is not cooperating. Still, it’s nice to be in our comfy clothes having a small breakfast of tea and toast rather than the more elaborate breakfasts we have been having.
Then we are off to the Glanum archaeological site. The town of Glanum was first settled south of St. Remy de Provence (SRdP) in the 6th and 7th centuries B.C. The site has successive layers of buildings as the town changed from Gallic to Greek to Roman.
First we visit a small section outside the city walls. As a traveler approached the city he would see a large necropolis filled with monuments to the dead. One very important person’s mausoleum still exists. It is a monument in honor of a compatriot of Julius Casear’s in the Gallic campaign. Service in the army lasted anywhere from 16 to 25 years. If you survived, you were given a plot of land in the provinces.
The traveler would then see the arch welcoming them into the city. This arch was built around the time of Augustus’ death in 14 A.D. It declared Glanum’s status as a Roman colony. The arch is decorated with triumphant Romans and Romanized Gauls and shackled barbarians.
Across the street is the entrance to Glanum Archaeological Site. There is a small interpretive area. Then we walk through the springtime flora to the excavated city.
The town of Glanum is laid out with a main street and several side streets. It ends at a rampart built between a narrow spot in Les Alpilles, a rock formation which provided a natural defense. There are houses, a market, a forum and curia, baths and temples.
We do a thorough job looking through the Glanum and then head back to the apartment for lunch. What a pleasure to relax and have a salad instead of eating out. And it is so much fun shopping in the markets.
The afternoon’s entertainment is going to St. Paul de Masole, the place where Vincent Van Gogh was hospitalized in the year before his death in 1890. In the exhibition are prints of pieces produced by Van Gogh during his hospitalization in SRdP. Here are a few I tried to match to their 2014 counterparts.
John and I walk around the hospital grounds. It’s all very peaceful.
Van Gogh was a tortured soul whose last year of life was spent in delusions and paranoia interspersed with moments of brilliant artistic vision. He lived in a tiny room with barred windows and had hydrotreatments to try to soothe his ailing mind.
Van Gogh checked out of the hospital in May, 1890 and took his life in July 1890 at 37 years old. Most of his greatest works were made in the frenzied last two years of his life.
We are pretty tired out from another full day. Tonight we fix penne with asparagus and have a relaxed dinner before retiring for the night.