Travelling in France is a great pleasure. You can choose your destination but you never know what to expect on the way – small towns, vineyards and villages. For our trip we decided to go to Saint-Affrique. We admired incredible views, picturesque sceneries and a feeling of a an endless horizon. To be completely honest I chose this city purely by its name because I love a restaurant African Queen in Cote D’Azur on the seaside of Eze-sur-mere.
Saint-Affrique is a rather big city with its own infrastructure: there is a cinema, tourist centre, college, hospitals and everything else that attributes to a big city. Population is a little over 8,000 people and it spreads over more than 100 squared km.
The architecture is interesting, some buildings have blue elements (like balconies or window shutters) resembling sunny Nice whereas some buildings made from heavy stones resemble medieval times.
The bridge in the heart of the city was build before 1368 and is one of the few medieval bridges left in France.
Artwise there were two interesting sculptures – Statue De La Liberte and a statue of a boy.
Replicas of Statue of Liberty are all over France, there are more than one in Paris, one in Nice, Bordeaux, Soulac-sur-Mer and other French cities. The statue in Saint-Affrique is not the exact replica of its American sister, but rather interesting interpretation made from metal wires.
The second sculpture, the statue of the boy and it is also made from metal, it is constructed from many pieces of metal things such as wheels, screws, locks etc.
The stature is a rather bold statement, a quote form Victor Hugo:
“I am not one who believes that we can remove the suffering in this world; the sufferance is a divine law, but I am among those who think and affirm that we can destroy misery. Note well, I do not say decrease engine, impair, restrict, confine, I say destroy.
Destroy the misery!
Yes, this is possible.
The legislature and the rulers must be constantly; because, in such matters, as long as possible is not done, the task is not completed”
Apparently there is an elephant made in the same style unfortunately we have not seen it.
Different cafés and shops are decorated with an exterior artwork. It is a beautiful contrast between graffiti decorations and old, even historic, buildings. We also glanced a piece of street art, it is a shame that we did not see more.
It is a very nice city to walk around, explore history and enjoy your day!
Bonus fact: in the end on 20th century there was a prize for French painters, the most talented painters were honored to spend one month in St Affrique in a famous hotel and paint in one of the most beautiful region of France.