FolkestoneJack's Tracks

24 hours in Amiens

Posted in Amiens, France by folkestonejack on August 29, 2011

Our itinerary allowed us a full day in Amiens, as a break from our cross-country expeditions, and it served up a wonderful mixture of attractions to us – including a walk around the canal district of Saint-Leu, a visit to the Maison Jules Verne, a walk around Amiens ‘in the footsteps of Jules Verne’, a visit to Amiens Cathedral and a boat trip to see the hortillonages (floating gardens).

Amiens Cathedral

Lion in Amiens Cathedral

The hortillonages cover 300 hectares criss-crossed by 65km of small canals, which you can experience on a 45 minute tour by boat. It was a suitably relaxing way to start the afternoon with some charming views – you just had to remember to duck every now and again as a low hanging branch or two came into view!

The hortillonages and the Perret Tower

The towers of Amiens Cathedral were open between 3pm and 4.30pm on the day of our visit so we returned to the cathedral to take in the view from the top. You ascend one tower, cross the west facade in front of the rose window and then ascend the taller tower for a view across the city. It’s not for the faint hearted but it was well worth the view.

Spire of Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral is one of the largest gothic cathedrals of the 13th century and impresses in every way – both inside and outside. In recent years restorers discovered that the western facade of the cathedral was originally painted rather than plain, as we see it today. This spectacular sight is cleverly brought back to life each night between June and September by projecting colours onto the facade. The times vary according to the month but tonight it began at 10pm and even knowing what I was about to see, it was still quite amazing to watch the transformation.

Figures in daylight

Figures illuminated