Monday, May 18, 2009

FRANCE: COLLIOURE


Collioure is situated in the very south of France, 26 km from the Spanish border. Its small Catalan harbor is sheltered by a quiet bay where the chain or the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean Sea. The exceptionally sunny climate and the north wind “Tramontane” makes Collioure a unique place where well-being and Catalan "art de vivre" have their origins. You can count on having a splendid swim at one of the small coves and several sand and pebble beaches.


Collioure is a seaside village with a special charm, full of medieval reminiscences and a really nice look to the last detail, cheerful and colorful. It's a fairy-tale village, really idyllic. As Henri Matisse said: "In France there is no sky as blue as the one in Collioure...I just have to close the shutters of my room and I have all the colors of the Mediterranean before me."

From the year 981, the Counts of Roussillon and the Kings of Majorca began to fortify Collioure, which became the summer residence of the Kings of Majorca between 1276 and 1344.

CollioureThe creek of Collioure dies near the marina, beside the Royal Castle


Collioure
Another picture of the previous creek. The day was hot and the sun shone strongly in Collioure

Marina of Collioure
The marina of Collioure, small and located under the protection of the Royal Castle. In another era, Collioure was a strategic point along the Catalan coast and that's why it owns an important network of fortifications

Collioure
We were lucky to find a small orchestra on the street that gave an added joy to this colorful village. The music flooded the atmosphere of Collioure a festive air pervaded the whole village

Royal Castle in Collioure
From the year 981, the Counts of Roussillon and the Kings of Majorca began to fortify Collioure, which became the summer residence of the Kings of Majorca between 1276 and 1344. The Royal Castle you can see in this picture was one of the main elements of this fortification

Collioure church of Our Lady of Angels
Collioure church of Our Lady of Angels has the foundations in constant contact with the Mediterranean Sea. The bell tower, built during the Middle Ages, was also the lighthouse of the harbour

Royal Castle of Collioure
The Royal Castle of Collioure is the masterpiece of the defense device. Chiefly conditioned by the Counts of Roussillon and the kings of Aragon between 1276 and 1344, it was the headquarters of the court of the Kings of Majorca

Royal Castle and beach of Collioure
The sunny day encouraged some bathers to approach the nearest beach to the Royal Castle of Collioure

Church and the Royal Castle of Collioure
The bell tower of the church and the Royal Castle of Collioure from one of the piers of the village

Old town of CollioureThe narow streets of the old town of Collioure are colorful and very lively, always full of people walking

Old town of Collioure
Another street of Collioure where you can see the colorful façades and how narrow these streets are

Royal Castle and church of Collioure
From the entrance to the Royal Castle you can enjoy a nice view of the church and one of the beaches of Collioure. The stone walls give a very attractive medieval look to this village


Small playground on the promenade of CollioureSmall playground on the promenade of Collioure


Royal Castle and malecon of Collioure
The view of the Royal Castle from this promenade, with the malecon of Collioure and the bell tower of the church in the background, was one of the best views in this charming small village

Royal Castle and malecon of CollioureBeautiful view of the Royal Castle and the church of Collioure 


Collioure cemetery
In Collioure cemetery rests eternally Antonio Machado, the great Spanish poet and prominent member of the generation of 98

Antonio Machado's grave in Collioure
Letters and dedications come mostly from their country of origin accompany the eternal journey of Antonio Machado from Collioure to heaven

Overview of Collioure
Collioure is a small seaside village fully facing the Mediterranean Sea, protected on either side by two hills. It became a strategic point along the Catalan coast and therefore it has an extensive network of fortifcacions, as you can see in the upper right of the image

Small park in Collioure
This tree gave a pleasant shade in a small park with magnificent views of the harbor and the church of Collioure

Sunset on the Church of Collioure
The sunset on the Church of Collioure, flanked by two breakwaters from a slightly elevated place




Some months later, also in 2009, I spent some days in Paris. You can see some pictures of these days in Paris clicking on the links below:



Besides, in France I have visited the following beautiful places I strongly recommend:

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