Day 1,595 of Traveling the World | Amiens, France | June 15, 2022

Amiens was a big surprise for us. We went for the cathedral, but got canals, hortillonnages, Jules Verne’s final residence (and final resting place), some peaceful and pretty walks, and the chance to eat a wonderful local specialty. It is great when a city gives more than you were expecting, rather than less.

The cathedral’s entrance is magnificent, with more sculpted figures than we have seen on the exterior of a church. And rather than repetition, each one is different, with even different characters acting as pedestals. And it was the first time we have seen gargoyles on this trip! Gargoyles are a noteworthy feature on Notre Dame in Paris, but we couldn’t get close enough to see them with all the construction going on.

All of the water features in Amiens were really nice. Not many people were out in the morning, and as we strolled along the water, it was easy to imagine that it was many decades ago, a more serene time, not 2022!

After the cathedral, the highlight was Jules Verne’s house. There were many artifacts there that were his personal possessions, and even furniture from when he lived there was on display. As we have seen in other museums in France, however, we had free use of/could roam the house, with nobody telling us what to look at, nobody shushing us, nobody saying, “NO!” (Not that we, ever-obedient, would ever touch anything we weren’t supposed to! Huh-uh. Not us.) Verne died in 1905, so it all gave us a glimpse into a largely-untouched home of the turn of the last century. It was very moving to be there and see how the family lived. And then, we visited his grave, to see that he would love to live again!

A pretty scene, walking along Amiens’ canals. This is likely almost the same view people had hundreds of years ago.
Another view, this time with modern buildings.
Les Hortillonnages, 40 miles of floating vegetable gardens of the “hortillons,” market gardeners who have done this since medieval times.
Awesome clouds.
“Marie-sans-Chemise” (Marie, Shirtless), Albert Roze, 1897. This sculpture caused some commotion in its day. The rococo clock, created by the architect Emile Ricquier, has three faces that were once lit with gas.
Eglise Saint-Leu. On Easter Sunday, 1581, a violent storm destroyed the roof, and it collapsed, killing 68 people. On Easter Sunday! Outside of its use for Mass, it is not open to the public, so we were unable to see the interior.
Our first glimpse of Amiens’ canals.
We passed by this unusual house, surrounded by the canal and with a bridge at its front (on the far side).
People enjoying lunch along the water. We had lunch here the following day, enjoying the local specialty, Ficelle Picarde, a crepe filled with ham, cheese, and mushrooms, topped with grated cheese, and then baked in the oven.
Hotel Bouctot-Vagniez, built as an Art Nouveau castle and private home from 1909-1911.
Parc de l’Eveche, adjacent to the Cathedral, included this chia-looking arbor.
Cathedrale Norte Dame d’Amiens. one of the largest 13th-century Gothic cathedrals, known for the figures on the exterior.
Some of the cathedral’s figures, in the center arch entrance.
Close-up of two martyrs holding their beheaded heads!
All the pedestals were people holding up the statue. This guy looks quite distressed, right?
One of many gargoyles peering out from the roof.
The huge, soaring, magnificent interior of the cathedral.
A close-up of the main altar, farthest back. This part of the altar area is now fenced off, likely for security reasons.
We liked these blue “crackle-effect” windows in one of the side altars.
One of the beautiful rose windows. Even seen through netting due to construction, it is still lovely.
Jules Verne’s house in Amiens, where he lived for 18 years until his death and where he wrote 30 novels.
The only way to reach the upper floors is via this spiral staircase.
Mr. Verne had a model of his famous submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Nautilus, in his sun room.
The third floor was remodeled to resemble the bridge of The Nautilus submarine.
Two fantastic ships (the Horror and the Go-Ahead) from Jules Verne’s imagination, mounted on the attic ceiling.
A light sconce on the wall in Verne’s library.
Jules Verne’s final resting place, in La Madeleine Cemetery in the north of Amiens. He was sculpted trying to rise from the dead by Albert Roze, who also sculpted the “Marie, Shirtless” statue previously shown.