Voie de Vézelay, Day 22

BILLANGES – SAINT-LÉONARD-DE-NOBLAT

 

 

What day are we?

We are every day, my friend

We are the whole of live, my love….

                                                                                              Jaques Prévert

                                                          

 

It was a rainy morning when we left Billanges. Against the grey sky, the green leaves of trees and shrubs were shining in a saturated, deep green. It was a feast for the eye. We walked over paved streets and small forest ways and passed an abandoned looking palace. In a forest, we came up to a decorated tree trunk, the “tronc du pelerin”. This tree trunk was decorated with all kinds of objects people left on their way to Santiago. We had great fun to look at all these different things.

 

 

Pont du Dognon over the river Taurion
Pont du Dognon over the river Taurion

 

 

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Le tronc du pelerine with the inscription “Ultreia”. It means “onward and upward” and was used by the medieval pilgrims as a greeting phrase.
Le tronc du pelerine with the inscription “Ultreia”. It means “onward and upward” and was used by the medieval pilgrims as a greeting phrase.

 

 

Rohan was always walking in the front. Although he suffered from Asthma this day, his speed was faster than I normally walk. In hiking up a muddy path one time, I felt a sudden sharp pain in my left calf. My leg was cramped and I hardly could walk anymore. I asked Eddy and Rohan to continue the trek and I would slowly follow. After a while my leg relaxed. From then on, I walked at my own speed.

 

 

 

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Sometimes, I came across conflicting signs. Usually, I ignored the local signs and followed the symbol of the Way to Santiago.

 

 

Conflicting symbols
Conflicting symbols

 

The refuge I stayed at in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat was right in the center of the city. Here I met Eddy and Rohan again. St. Léonard is a medieval city where old and new is often perfectly blending together.

 

 

House with Gothic facade
House with Gothic facade

 

 

Fresh fruit and vegetables sold in the street
Fresh fruit and vegetables sold in the street

 

The town is famous for the church Église Saint-Léonard, an 11th century church dedicated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It contains the grave of St. Léonard, the patron saint of prisoners. At one time, the church was filled with prison chains donated by former prisoners. Now, there is only one chain mounted over the grave of the Saint and no candle burning in front of his grave. He was one of the most popular saints in the medieval ages and many churches all over Europe were dedicated to him.

 

 

Apsis with side chapels of Église Saint Léonard
Apsis with side chapels of Église Saint Léonard

 

 

Main nave of the church
Main nave of the church

 

 

Grave of Saint-Léonard
Grave of Saint-Léonard

 

 

To my great surprise, in one of the side chapels, I saw a model of a church I know very well. It was the church Sankt Leonhard in the little village of Altaussee in Austria.

 

 

Model of the church in Austria
Model of the church in Austria

 

 

gwwien
gwwienhttps://simplyjustwalking.com
Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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