A trip through history in La-Sainte-Baume

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As mentioned in my first post in this set (Vienna and Austria), I had the opportunity to travel to Europe last year. My last post was just getting started in France, showing of the Côte d’Azur. Today is the next set in France, where I explored around the La-Sainte-Baume mountains, and ending off in Marseille. The next part will be Aix-En-Provence and some French countryside, so don’t forget to follow me, to not miss out!

To start the day, we trailed around places that Mary Magdalene, a very popular figure in Christianity, went. While I am not religious, I found the artwork, construction, and general history of these places to be absolutely incredible and fascinating. So, we followed along where people would go in pilgrimage to her; we started with Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, a small commune associated with her, and even said to host her burial place. From there, we hiked up the La Sainte Baume mountains, to visit the “Holy Cave” or sanctuary where she stayed for thirty years. This cave was historically, and remains to this day, a religious pilgrimage site for Christians.

I’ll end off the photo set where we ended the day, in Marseille, where is where Mary apparently landed after sailing in the Mediterranean, and first started spreading her religious knowledge. So, let’s get started!

 


 

Inside The Basilica

 

 

The small little commune of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, as I mentioned above, is host to this Basilica dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Here’s a shot right down the center, showing the main church. Around the sides there was some extra artwork, and at the bottom of the church is a small little crypt that you look into.

 


 

Outside The Basilica

 

 

Here’s the above Basilica from the outside. It’s interesting to see how almost ‘simple’ it looks; it’s not a fancy church by any means, but it was, and still is, an important place.

 

 

Another shot outside the basilica, with me trying to be a bit artistic — the lighting in this shot is what makes it a challenge, and makes it fun to play around with in post, and really helps me practice and learn how to actually get these types of shots correct.

 


 

Sanctuary

 

 

Next up, went on a hike to another place associated with Mary Magdalene, La Sainte Baume. This sanctuary is where Mary stayed in her later years, after she was expelled from the Holy Land. The site has thus become a place for pilgrimage from Christians far and wide, even to this day!

 


 

Inside The Sanctuary

 

 

To be respectful to everyone else visiting, I didn’t use my flash inside, so many of my pictures were kinda.. meh. However, this one turned out really well after performing an HDR on it. The bright light coming through the door and windows, in contrast to the pitch black indoors was really fun to play with in post.

 


 

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

 

 

Going back into civilization, we went to Marseille for dinner at a little restaurant by the Vieux-Port. I got to taste traditional Bouillabaisse, and of course I had to try Pastis too!

Anyways, this is the view of the Notre-Dame de la Garde, which also was referred to as “la bonne mère”, or “the good mother”, as a sort of watchful protector of the city. It’s on the hill looking down at the port, and I literally took this picture from right where I was eating!

 


 

Vieux-Port de Marseille

 

 

The Old Port of Marseille, or Vieux-Port, as I mentioned above. It is one of the city centers and most popular places to go, being a natural and created harbour for ships. This shot was hard to fix with the sun being so centered, so the blue is a bit off, but the effect was very cool. The clouds were shaped like an explosion, right behind the sun, and it made for this weird ball of light above the port.

 


 

Goodnight Marseille

 

 

Basically the same view from above of the Vieux-Port, but just before leaving for the night, as the sun was setting. I really liked how this shot turned out, with my accidental subjects sitting all nice and lined up in the perfect spot!