the advisor and teacher in religious matters of king Louis XIV was bishop Bossuet, the eagle of Meaux ,where he serve as bishop for many many years, he is buried in the cathedral.This is the native town of my wife, obviously been here so much...
Any specific let me know, nowdays, many families use it as a stepping stone to Disneyland Paris nearby as it is cheaper to stay here.
The cathedral is considered as in the top 50 of all Cathedrals in France, and the complex around it includes the old palais episcopal, now a museum of the city,and the jardin Bousset gardens (lovey times spent there in love ...)
A plaque commemorating the sacrifice and efforts of more than 2,5 million British in WWI Battle of the Marne is inside the Cathedral and many war memorials around the city for British and Americans.
a wonderful new museum in my wife's native town, i know pictures but hey I come here so much ..weell
this is a museum re enacting the events of WWI and especially the Battle of the Marne.
It is very easy accessable fromParis gare de l'est,and walk from train station here is easy.
Recently the Monument Americain is being renovated, that I passed so many times,this is a monument offered to France in honor of the American soldiers who died here in the battle of the Marne in September 1914, and its a sculpture of 22 meters high done by the American artist Frederick MacMonnies (1863-1937).
50 000 objects consider by many the best WWI museum in Europe with articles from 35 countries
There is a nice cafe inside for snacks and light meals. you can come as said above and take bus M6 for 10 minutes to the museum, and ,also bus lines 10, 11, 63 and 65. From disneyland, marne la vallée you come here taking bus no 19 to the gare or train station de Meaux
Adult tariff is 10€ and the hours are from may to september from 9h30 to 18h30 and from october to april from 10h to 17h. close Tuesdays and Jan 1, May 1, and Dec 25.
a wonderful place full of history of a glorious sad event
The cathedral and ramparts will certainly not deceive the visitor, but the streets of Meaux do not have a big medieval character, many old houses have been demolished and if it is enjoyable to walk in the streets, they are not really “medieval”; rue St Remy has a few half timbered houses, and offers a nice perspective to the cathedral (picture 1). The streets next to the cathedral are nice to walk (picture 2, rue St Etienne), and other streets like rue Bossuet from the tourist office to the cathedral (picture 3) are very very quiet, and not very medieval! The little statues at the corners of houses they protect are always nice, and there are probably more than the one I photographed (picture 4), and a few classical buildings are worth a look, not only for architecture, but also because some important character is linked to the building; on picture 5, is the city college (equivalent of secondary school) where Georges Courteline was a pupil and where he probably wrote his first attempts of theatre screenplays; Courteline is very famous in France for his humorous social critics he put in his screenplays.
When you finish (or begin, depends which way you prefer) the ramparts tour, you find the tourist office of Meaux, where a lot of information about meaux and surroundings can be found.
At the tourist office, the young employees will inform you about guided tours in the city, guided visits of the cathedral, and here you will find maps which help to orient in the city, flyers about cathedral, museum, and other “must see” in the city, find some restaurants. . . And at the tourist office you will find information about accommodation in the city.
The Tourist office is located on the northern side of the medieval city, Place Paul Doumer where you will not miss the monument to the dead of the wars.
The old city of Meaux is partly surrounded by ramparts some of which date from Roman times, and some remains of that time are still there; they have been rebuilt or renovated during history and today they look a bit like bits and pieces, but I like a lot these ramparts with dark green lawn and multicoloured iris flowers (picture 1). It is very pleasant (and not very long) to walk along the ramparts, see nice towers which are inhabited (picture 2), some Christmas décor left on the cypress trees capping other towers, in winter or spring (pictures 3 and 4), and come back to the roman part of the ramparts (picture 5); it takes about 20 mn to walk slowly along the ramparts, see the towers, read explanatory boards fitted on some parts of the walls, in spring or summer, it is just nice.
You can enter the big yard, or place, located between the cathedral and the bishop’s palace (museum) from the East side, or the west side; it is a closed yard, surrounded by buildings and, if the cathedral dominates the place, there are a few other buildings which are very interesting to look at.
When you enter the yard from the East side, you pass under this little half timbered bridge-house (picture 1) which links the cathedral (I did not hear about a passage from that house to the cathedral) to the “Vieux Chapitre”, a 12th century mansion which you see from the yard side on picture 2, with a 15th century covered staircase; you see this “Vieux Chapitre” again on picture 3, with a small gothic chapel on the left and a well in the foreground. In the yard you have a look on the Episcopal palace, with its windows (picture 4), and of course on the Northern side of the cathedral, and at the tower climbing high in the sky (picture 5).
A visit to the diocese garden is a nice break during a visit in Meaux, between museum and Cathedral. It is not a very big “Jardin à la Française”, but with its surroundings it has some character and the bishop’s palace and the cathedral offer nice backgrounds to the rose gardens and small hedges. Even under grey sky of winter (picture 1) it looks nice, with its perspectives, and in spring (picture 2), the flowered alleys look very long. When you walk along the sides, you always can have a view on the cathedral (picture 3) between the shrubs, above the rhododendrons, next to the lime tree leaves. . .
The Bossuet roses were not blooming when I visited the garden (picture 4), and I still do not know how they look like; other roses were blooming beginning May (picture 5), and the Episcopal palace looks bright with the flowers. In this garden is a small fountain in the centre, but walking under the lime trees surrounding the garden is a real pleasure, looking at the cathedral, palace, flowers. . . listening to the birds, looking at people who like to visit this garden in Meaux.
The day I visited the museum, there was a temporary exhibition about WWI, as the Meaux municipality was promoting a future museum dedicated only to WWI; so all the items of this temporary exhibition would soon go to the museum which is under construction.
I did not take time to visit the permanent collections (which were not accessible when I wanted to visit). The museum of Meaux hosts a number of classical paintings and sulptures I may visit one day; I can only show the building a bit of itys architecture and about the temporary exhibition.
The museum is located in the former bishop’s palace, separated from the cathedral by a wide yard; the building, partly a chapel an partly a 16th century brick and stone building (picture 1).
Interesting is that there is no staircase, but a ramp made of bricks which leads to the first level (picture 2), and the ceilings of the rooms and corridors are nicely ornate with fine arches. (picture 3)
There is an introduction to the permanent collections of the museum in the website, and I show here two pictures taken in the temporary exhibition; this exhibition was very interesting in that it showed lots of items from WWI and was neither a weaning exhibition, as sometimes are about wars, neither a winning exhibition, as the French often forget they won the wars with allied troops help; this exhibition was based on daily life (and death) of soldiers of all nationalities, and I show an Uhlan from the German cavalry (picture 4) and a well equipped rider of the British cavalry (picture 5).
The doors of the cathedrals tell a lot of stories, and to learn what these stories tell, it is better to visit the cathedrals with a guide; I did not visit with a guide, but you can enquire for a guide at the tourist office or at the bishops office.
I noticed that the low reliefs of the tympanums, the statues were in very bad shape, many statues broken; a bit sad, and the scenes they represent are difficult to depict sometimes.
On picture 1 is a general view of the arches and tympanum above the main central door (The Judgement door), where you see on the left the glasses wearing monk and the other character on the right; many statues are broken, but interesting is the lintel representing the doomsday, and right, you see the hell where the sinners are cooking and left is the paradise, with the quiet small boxes for the well deserving (picture 2).
The left façade door is dedicated to St John the Baptist, easily identifiable, with his sheep (picture 3); difficult to “read”, but apparently on the lintel (lower part) on the left John is beheaded by a soldier, and on the right, his head is brought to Salome (?)
The right façade door is dedicated to the Virgin, and in the middle, the angels apparently are taking her soul to the paradise. . . (picture 4)
The door on the southern side of the cathedral is for St Etienne, who gave his name to the cathedral; Etienne was the first Christian martyr, he has been stoned as you can see on picture 5.
Tourist office: 01 .64.33.02.26
Diocese (Bishop’s office): 01 64 36 41 00
As was written at the beginning of this page, Meaux suffered from three wars in recent times, and a big part of the fragile windows has been lost; A few of them have miraculously survived and with recent renovation, they look again beautiful; a few medieval stained glass windows are preserved in the choir of the cathedral of Meaux.
The most famous is the 14th century window of the choir, which has been restored recently (picture 1); the blues and reds are still there, and the medieval style of the drawings is preserved too!
A group of three windows is also preserved, and few parts of windows have been saved here or there, but most of the windows of the cathedral are white. . . . .
The famous window of the 14th century represents St Denis, St Etienne, and Christ, on top, sitting on a rainbow;
The three windows, represent scenes of the life of Jesus, apparently not in the chronological order I know (picture 2);the visit of the wise kings (picture 3), the annunciation (picture 4). But I like most the expressive faces of the oxen and donkey (picture 5), they look really happy on this Nativity. . . .
Open every days, 8 am, 8 pm; masses every day; visit, but do not disturb.