Go up the towers with Emilie, in Amiens
My 3 anecdotes about the cathedral
- After strolling around the Saint-Leu district, our own little Venice, you can see Amiens' version of the leaning tower of Pisa – the spire of Notre Dame! It is 112.7m high and seems to lean a little when you look at it, the result of hurricane winds in 1627.
- Notre Dame d'Amiens had a miraculous escape in both World Wars. A cross on the floor near the south entrance of the chancel marks the spot where a shell landed during the Great War, sticking into the flagstone floor of the building but causing no other damage.
- On the back of the altar of Notre-Dame-de-la-Drapière, in the apse chapel, there are four mysterious portraits: Viollet-le-Duc and his lady companion alongside the Duthoit brothers who worked with the famous architect when the cathedral was restored in the 19th century.
My secret sanctuary in the cathedral
It isn't open to the public, in the upper part of Notre-Dame. Time and space seem to stand still when I walk below the flying buttresses. It is a reinvigorating experience, I feel enriched by the beauty of the building and the courage of the men who built it, I'm reminded of my own humble mission as a conveyor of history relating to the (nearly) 800 years of the cathedral's existence.
Good places for food and drink in Amiens
- Douceurs et Gourmandises (Monsieur Bonnotte's chocolates are my favourites! As a bonus you can watch the chocolate artist at work in his glass-walled work space!)
- Hermann cheesemonger and wine shop (they also serve plates of charcuterie and cheese which you can enjoy with a glass of wine! Simple yet very tasty food and a great way to get together with other people!)
- La Coupole (below the Jules Verne circus. Friendly bistro atmosphere! Dishes of the day are based on fresh market produce so they change all the time. You can rediscover old-fashioned vegetables, enjoy subtle flavours and tuck into updated versions of classic dishes! Always surprised, never disappointed!)
- Leu Duo (rue Vanmarcke! An original, tasty and hearty menu at 25€! Delicious open sandwich style food at lunchtime, it makes a change from the pizza, sushi or savoury pancakes that are standard fare for a restaurant meal at lunchtime with colleagues or friends!)