📍 🇫🇷 Going full Brou
Bourg-en-Bresse. Approaching the Alps without seeing them.
Many frills, many sculptures at the Saint-Nicolas-de-Tolentin de Brou church; a heavy dose of mannered scenes and polished whiteness... Inspired by Margaret of Austria's native Flanders' region, she ordered the construction to begin in the early 1510s.
English novelist Henry James described the site during a 1882 train journey:
“Beautiful building, delicate ornament, late and most flamboyant phase of gothic [15th/16th century] but located arbitrarily in a vague little suburb of a vague little town… that is because Margaret of Austria undertook to build the church as a mausoleum for herself and her second husband.”
Albert Camus, the famous French novelist, noted the intent as well in his diary. In the stormy summer of 1950, he writes quickly, passing by on the way to Provence:
"The funeral statues of Marguerite and Philibert, instead of looking at the sky, look at each other eternally."
It is indeed very close to the Romantic, Renaissance style, which Camus was very fond of, as opposed to the Medieval and Byzantine attitudes, more religious, devoted entirely to God, for which the French author had less affinity with.
____ Sources ____
>> Henry James, "Little Tour of France", 1882
>> Albert Camus, "Carnets", 1950