The Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez, which is usually called the Monastery of Cimiez, is a stone’s throw from our condo. It is an 800’s monastery with gardens overlooking Nice, plus paintings by Brea, a museum, and Matisse’s grave. It includes a church (which looks like a Cathedral to me), a cemetery, and a convent where some Franciscan friars still live. The church has significant paintings by 15th century local artists, the Brea brothers. The convent houses the Musee Franciscain (which is decorated with 17th century frescoes), many documents, and a recreated cell showing how the austere religious life is lived. The chapel dates from the 17th century and the lovely gardens have sweeping views across Nice and out to the sea – where I take pictures of the roses I post on Facebook. I walk by it every day.
The painter, Henri Matisse, is buried in the cemetery. His grave is signposted ‘sépulture Henri Matisse’ from the cemetery’s main entrance. Raoul Dufy (1877 – 1953) is also buried here. I am not familiar with Dufy, but I have seen the paintings inside – beautiful.
It has been particularly meaningful to me. As many of you know, Steve was a devout Catholic. Always has been, as far as I know. Last Christmas, we went to Paris for six days and stayed in an Airbnb in the Marais – next to a “church” – which also looked like a cathedral to me. I wanted to light a candle for my children, but wasn’t sure how to do it. He took me inside and showed me where to get a candle, pay for it, light it, and pray for my kids. Which I did. It was a beautiful moment.
Since that time, I have frequently gone into the Monastery Church and lit candles for many things. And, I lit two candles almost every day after Steve got sick. I continue to light a candle most days. Doing so makes me feel better.
These are pictures that I have taken over the year – both in Paris and here.
I particularly like the one I have used as the Featured Photo – Steve standing in front of the Monastery, trying to get his camera phone ready to take a picture.