The Robine Canal runs from the Aude River to provide a passage through the center of Narbonne. Promenades are present here on each side of the canal. Only a few boats are commercial in type stopping on each bank, most are for pleasure, without stopping. The parking for sightseeing is on the far bank from the famous sights. Neverless walking along the Canal is one of the things to do. On the parking side of the Canal is les Halles (with a bust of E. Ferroul).
The west side of the palace is just south of the Cathedral. Next to its garden are fine pieces of fanciful bas-relief animals which are elements of the Musee holdings and are associated with other emblems and portrait items that are in the Synod rooms.
The main facade inside the courtyard is the Grand Escalier and Balustrade. While at the southwest edge are the upper reaches of the Donjon of Gilles-Aycelin. At the east is the Tower St. Martial and running inward are the outer exit and the inner parts of the Passage de l'Ancre with a fine vaulted area. One of the sections contains the Salle des Synodes which leads is the Audience room, somewhat decreased in height in more recent times but still impressive. From here one visits the Art and History Museum.
The older palace surrounds the sections of the old Palace which enclose the Place de la Madeleine, which has on its East side the Tower of the Madeleine. The earliest section is along its western edge.
To make up for the absence of a nave, the church has accumulated a number of interesting examples of objects and early tapestries in the ambulatory and the choir surrounding chapels. The oldest single item is a 10C Holy Water Stoup. In the eastern most chapel is a small alabaster 14C Mary and Child and a set of frescos from the Passion of the same period. There are several tapestries in the chapels in the outer chapels of Gobelin and Aubusson sources. At the end of the choir near the south entrance is a Virgin and Child of 1525 which was once elsewhere
Upon the outside of the Church only a single pair of figures are found and they are on the west edge: Peter and Paul. Inside the cloister there are more pieces of sculpture and bas-reliefs. The most attractive pieces however are the Gargoyles.
The very long choir is able to within it enclose sides accommodate entire sides of the cloister to the south. The bays are large and tall with tetragonal vaults but with different functions along each side with a Chapel of the Annunciation beyond the East Cloister side and an exit on the south side to the Archbishop's Palace. The sides were built between 1349 and 1417. A piece of fine belvedere was created above the church side of the cloister.
The interior of the church of St. Just consists of only a choir, but is very tall with lower and clerestory levels of tall stained glass windows many of which are of the early 14C. The altar is topped by Corinthian columns and above this by a carved canopy (or Glory) added in 1694. At the west end of the choir is a giant organ completed in 1741 with 68 stops with a fine chest. In the ambulatory are carvings of some fine mausoleums and other works.
The Cathedral is enormous even though it is only a choir. Still what you see from next to the apse is quite a sight. As tall as the choir is, there are three others in France that are taller, in Beauvais, Amiens and Metz. This one uses an entrance that is not interesting. Minimal attempts have been made to continue it since 1500 and it is no longer a cathedral. A beautiful view of the top is had from near the Robine Canal.
..........make sure you see the elaborate altar piece, carved and painted in the 14th century, covered over in the 18th and rediscovered in 1981. It's damaged, but you can still see the complexity of its design and imagine how stunning it must have been when first unveiled.
This underground Roman warehouse is extremely atmospheric, unusual and well worth visiting. Only two of its 'wings' have been excavated so far, their 'cells' now housing bits of Roman statuary and carvings from elsewhere in the city.
The archaeological museum in the Palais Vieux contains beautiful Roman mosaics, stunning wall-paintings and a huge quantity of Roman artefacts of all types. It also has an excellent section devoted to the prehistory of the region, with some wonderful stone axes, trepanned skulls and examples af Paleolithic art. I was really impressed by the clear, accessible way the exhibits were displayed.................makes a nice change from some of the museums I have visited!
The archeological museum occupies the main part of the Arch bishops' Old Palace. You will find an important collection of prehistoric, protohistoric and above all, Gallo-Roman collections. Almost all were found locally. I really loved the frescoes and the large Roman mosaic in the Paleo-Christian room..... This museum is worth a visit!
The Must See of Narbonne......
The building of the cathedral started in 1272. It replaced 3 churches which were more of less on the same site: a basilica dating from the time of Constantine, a Roman basilica and a cathedral of the Caroligien period.
Connecting the Archibiship's apartments and the Cathédrale St-Just-et-St-Pasteur is the very striking cloister. Built in the 14th century, the cloister is very beautiful, with intriquing worn down gargoyles, gothic arched walkways, and a lovely interior garden. I thought the cloister was one of the prettiest I had seen in France.