Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.
lies between Vienne and Lyons, being one of the loftiest northern summits of the Cevennes, on the borders of the Lyonnaise.[84] The Romans recognised the fitness of the neighbourhood of Vienne for the cultivation of the grape, and the first vine in Gaul was planted on the Mont d’Or in the second century of the Christian era.  In Burgundian times the city held a very prominent place, and became infamous from the frequent shedding of royal blood; so that early historians describe it as ’tousiours fatale a ceux qui vueillent la corone des Bourgougnons,’[85] and as ’fatale et de malencotre aux tyras et mauvais princes.’[86] Ecclesiastically, its interest dates of course from a very early period, from the times of the martyrs of Gaul and the first Rogations.  The Festival of Les Merveilles long commemorated the restoration of the bodily forms of the Lyonnese martyrs, as their scattered dust floated past the home of Blandina and Ponticus; and the dedication of the cathedral to S. Maurice keeps alive the tradition that Paschasius, bishop of Vienne, was warned by an angel to watch on the banks of the Rhone, and so rescued the head and trunk of the soldier-martyr, which had been cast into the river at Agaunum (S.  Maurice in Valais), and had floated down—­probably on sounder hydrostatical principles than the ’Floating Martyr’—­through the Lake of Geneva, and so to Vienne.  There are still many very interesting Roman remains in the city, as the Temple of Augusta and Livia, the Arcade of the Forum, and the monument seen from the railway to the south of the town.  The temple is being carefully restored, and the large collection of Roman curiosities which it contained is to be removed to the church of S. Peter, now in course of restoration, which will in itself be worth a visit to Vienne when the restoration is completed.[87] All the buildings connected with the Great Council in 1311 have disappeared; and the only relic of the council seems to be the Chalice, or, surmounted by the Sacred Host, argent, in the city arms, in remembrance of the institution of the Fete of the S.  Corps.  If the Emperor would but have the town and its inhabitants deodorised, few places would be better worth visiting than Vienne.

The poste leaves Valence—­the home of the White Hermitage—­for Die at 2.30 P.M., and professes to reach its destination in six hours; but sad experience showed that it could be unfaithful to the extent of an hour and a half.  So long as the daylight lasted, there was no dearth of objects of interest; but when darkness came on, the monotonous roll of the heavy diligence became aggravating in the extreme.  The village of Beaumont, once the residence of an important branch of the great Beaumont family,[88] retains still its square tower and old gateway; and the remains of a chateau near Montmeyran, the end of the first stage, mark the scene of the victory of Marius over the Ambrons and Teutons, local antiquaries believing that the name of Montmeyran is

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Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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