Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Photo Friday - far from home.

Queen Victoria's Royal Coat of Arms seems an unusual find in the middle of Nice, France. The lion and unicorn support the shield which features the three lions passant guardant of England quartered with the lion rampant of Scotland and the harp of Ireland.

The church where the arms are displayed is a typical English Anglican church and most definitely 'far from home'.

The Holy Trinity Anglican church is in Rue de la Buffa, in the heart of Nice and apparently has regular services in English all year round.

The stained glass altar windows here date to the 1920s

Queen Victoria apparently only worshipped at the church on her first visit to Nice. On subsequent visits , church services were performed in her hotel in the district of Cimiez which is north of Nice centre.

The stained glass windows and some of the paintings are Pre-Raphaelite inspired so its well worth making a detour to see -and very different from the traditional Nicois churches around Nice.

The Anglo-American Library is based in the one of the church hall rooms , which is why I ended up visiting the graveyard and church grounds on a regular basis.

The graveyard has graves from about 1830 onwards till around the first world war -there are probably about 50 graves in evidence now , though at one time the graveyard was considerably larger. Apparently the land was sold off to property developers who built the adjacent shops and high-rise apartments.

I'm not sure what happened to the graves and remains that were displaced -I'll need to check up on that next time I'm at the library.

There are some interesting statues and gravestones, including a couple of memento mori skull and bones.

One particularly moving epitaph tells of a 19year old Scottish boy who tried to rescue his parents as they were swept away crossing a 'river in torrent' near San Remo in Italy [ further down the coast]. The parents survived but the boy's body was never recovered , so the stone marks and empty grave.

I think a lot of people mistake this cherub grave marker for the grave of the hymn composer Henry Francis Lyte [author of Abide with Me] because the signs are misaligned . His real gravestone is quite plain.

Like many of the people buried in the graveyard, Henry Francis Lyte died of consumption [tuberculosis] . People suffering from lung diseases such as TB used to travel from the damp north of Europe to the sunny Mediterranean [especially Nice] in the hope of breathing more easily and living longer.

1 comment:

Stained Glass said...

Hi, thanks for a tour to the beautiful Holy Trinity Anglican church. The images of the stained glass windows are fabulous. The next time I visit France I will definitely see this church.