Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Swinging Sainte-Anne's

Our time in Montpellier draws to a close. We have developed a huge appreciation for this town, for all it has to offer in the way of culture, sights, music, and, of course, food. And, we are constantly discovering new aspects, and things we like about Montpellier.

One concert series that interested us was the “Soirées de Sainte-Anne,” a series of evening concerts on the steps of the Sainte-Anne church. Or rather the former church, since it has been decommissioned as a church (whatever that’s called). Now it’s an art gallery and community center.

Like everything in the old part of the city (the écusson, or shield), Sainte-Anne was built a long time ago, in the XIXème siècle (which I think is the 18th Century, those Roman numerals confuse me). The steeple is very tall, and can be seen from many parts of the city (including the rear window of our first apartment).

Seen down a narrow street
From under the Arc de Triomphe

From the water temple at the Place Royal du Peyrou

For the summer, the good folks at Carré Sainte Anne, the square in front of the church, set up these Soirées, this series of open-air concerts. We went to the first, of classical music. It started with a group of children from the local music conservatory, and the audience consisted of beaming parents. We figured we’d come back later when the adults were playing. But what with one thing and another (there really is a lot going on in this town, especially on a summer evening!), we never did.

Then suddenly, it was the last concert of the series. A swing band, we were told. We had to check it out. Sure glad we did! Here’s a little video to give a flavor of what we saw, as the sky darkened and night came on...

A few days later, still jazzed from the excitement of the evening, I strolled past the old church. It's just not the same in the daylight....

Sainte Anne's Square; so empty and quiet!

Sainte-Anne at night, sans musique

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