«Come with me, I’ll show you the devil»

…that’s what a very serious middle-aged man told me today. «Venez, je vais vous montrer le diable.» …What?

Day started bright and not so early (not so much) with some papirology, after which I wanted have lunch and then visit the Musée historique (the city museum). I was thinking about trying a new place for lunch but the one I’d chosen wasn’t really convincing, so I stuck with something I knew I liked:

It was red kuri squash with chestnuts on the left, and eggplant on the right, with chicken and mixed grains. Amazing as usual.
I didn’t show you the ceiling, last time. I think it’s pretty cool!

By that time, I already had spent one of my four hours before the following class getting my bus card for the next two months, and another half eating lunch, so I felt like there wasn’t much time left. I quickly walked to the museum, in high spirits. But.

It was closed today! For no apparent reason whatsoever.
Fortunately, I had a plan B.
Exactly one week ago, I went to the Musée de l’oevre de Notre-Dame and found out on the place that my camera batteries were still in my room. Urgh. I visited it anyway, not expecting much, but it was beautiful! So I decided to visit it again today, with camera and batteries, to how it to you.

The museum is filled with everything concerning the cathedral from its beginnings up to a couple centuries ago. It’s an outstanding collection in an awesome place:
And awesome location too. It’s just 30 meters from the cathedral, that can be seen from most windows, as is the case of Palais Rohan (more about that in another post, since the archaeological museum is in there):

I seriously had no idea there were stained windows aged 700+ years (sorry it’s out of focus, but clearly there wasn’t much light in these rooms):

The museum’s population is mostly in the form of statues (really, the number of tourists is extremely limited) displayed in the most suggestive rooms decorated with original pieces from the cathedral itself. Here are some of my favourites:

And yes, some are creepy. One more reason to love the place.
The museum even has a mediaeval garden that’s always filled with music because it’s right beside the restaurants downtown.

Inscriptions from different ages scattered here and there…

…and herbs just like the ones that probably grew here 800 years ago.

A small part of the museum is dedicated to the jew community. I still have to figure out exactly what was the role of that community in the city, but it seems it comes up very often.

And that’s the moment. Right as I was taking a picture of this door, that’s when the middle-aged man beckoned me. I thought he was going to scold me for obnoxious camera use, and preparing an explanation in french, when he told me he was going to show me the devil.
What? I thought. Is this some kind of french disgusting pick up line? But he had a tag which said he worked there, so I still followed him. He brought me back to this room:

And started showing me three places were there were the devil’s attributes hidden among the other statues: horns, a face, a figure. He even showed me where to stand to take the best pictures. He waited for me to take one before showing me the next spot. And he made all this in extreme seriousness, without smiling once.
It really made my heart melt to see how dedicated this man was. I’ve seen hundreds of people who have his same job and seem to think it’s the most boring thing that could pay their bills. Not him. It was some serious business to him. He probably mistook me for an art student and wanted to add his contribution. How sweet! Only… I found out something, today.
You can’t take a picture of the devil.

(But still: thank you, nameless man.)


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