[flower logo]Study Tour of Medieval France and Spain (7-18 July, 2006)
organized by MA office, Department of History, CUHK

The tour is intended for students with genuine interest in the history of the medieval Western Europe. Participants are required to attend two study sessions before and one meeting after the tour. Each participant will constribute a report of about 3000 words for the pamphlet to be published after the tour.

Recruitment priority will be given to students of HIS5532 and of the history department. Members of CUHK and their relatives or friends are welcome to apply if the group size has not reached the maximum of 41 persons by the 10th of March.

The 12-day tour will provide participants physical contact with medieval cathedrals, castles, monasteries, palaces, towns and centres of pilgrimages, intending to enhance a deeper understanding of the medieval society, mentality, authority and order in Western Europe.

Itinerary (updated on 14 May, 2006)

DAY ONE: July 7 (Friday)
23:15  Hong Kong - London (BA26)

DAY TWO: July 8 (Saturday)
7:20 London - Paris (BA 304)
9:40 Paris - Chartres (coach 1 hour 15 mins)
Lunch, dinner, hotel: Chartres

The cathedral at Chartres (built ca. 1194-1220) is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic architectural style. Its stained glass windows and statues are the most important heritage of the medieval period. The labyrinth on the nave floor contains 11 circles, one of the biggest labyrinths.

Chartres, Cathedral of Notre-Dame
Lester Korzilius: Medieval Thought and its Architectural Expression (pdf)

DAY THREE July 9 (Sunday)
Breakfast: Chartres
Chartres - Chinon (248 km, 2 hours 24 mins)
Lunch: Tours
Chinon - Fontevraud (20 km, 19 mins)
Dinner, hotel: Chinon

The castle of the Plantagenet dynasty at Chinon where Henry II (1133-1189), Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199) and later Joan of Arc (1412-1431) stayed for some time. The effigies of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in Fontevraud Abbey will be visited too. The wine is also very special here.

Castel of Chinon

Fontevraud Abbey


Fontevraud Abbey - virtual visit


DAY FOUR (updated) July 10 (Monday)
Breakfast: Chinon
Chinon - Clermont-Ferrand (coach 3 hours 58 m)
Lunch, Dinner, hotel: Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont-Ferrand , Auvergne, is famous for the chain of valcanoes surrounding it. It was one of the largest cities of the Roman Gaul in the 2nd century. Pope Urban II (1042-1099) preached the first crusade here in 1095. It is the birth place of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) who made the experiment creating vacuum in a mercury tube here.


DAY FIVE (updated) July 11 (Tuesday)
Breakfast: Clermont-Ferrand
Clermont-Ferrand - Autun (207 km, 2 hrs 51 mins)
Lunch: Autun
Autun - Abbaye de Citeaux (81 km, 1 hr 6 mins)
(from Saint-Nicholas-les-Citeaux take D8 towards east, then take D996 towards north)
Abbaye de Citeaux - Dijon (30 km, 24 mins)
Dinner, hotel: Dijon

Autun, a town founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus (63 B.C. - 14 C.E.) 20 centuries ago, was known as the "sister and rival of Rome".


St. Lazare Cathedral

The monastery at Citeaux (near Dijon) where the ancient Benedictine order was renewed by St. Bernard (1090-1153). The trappist monastery in HK is a branch of this monastic order.

Abbaye de Citeaux

DAY SIX (updated) July 12 (Wednesday)
Breakfast: Dijon
Dijon - Avignon (coach 4 hours)
Lunch, Dinner, hotel: Avignon

The Papal palace at Avignon where 7 medieval popes [Clement V (1305-14), John XXII (1316-34), Benedict XII (1334-42), Clement VI (1342-52), Innocent VI (1352-62), Blessed Urban V (1362-70), Gregory XI (1370-78)] stayed for 73 years outside Rome .

The Popes' palace

DAY SEVEN July 13 (Thursday)
Breakfast: Avignon
Avignon - Toulouse (coach 4 hours 40 mins)
Lunch: Toulouse
Toulouse - Lourdes (coach 2 hours 30 mins)
Dinner, hotel: Lourdes

Lourdes (near Toulouse) is the place where St. Bernadette (1844-1879), a village girl, witnessed 18 apparitions of the Lady of Immaculate Conception in 1858. It has been since a place of pilgrimage and miracles.

St. Bernadette

DAY EIGHT July 14 (Friday)
Breakfast, lunch: Lourdes
Lourdes - Bilbao (coach 4 hours 30 mins)
Dinner, hotel: Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum (built between 1991-1997) in Bilbao, Spain, is a fantastic chrome and metal creation designed by the North American architect Frank O. Gehry (1929-). It houses a large collection of modern and contemporary art.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Press to watch a short video on Guggenheim

DAY NINE July 15 (Saturday)
Breakfast: Bilbao
Bilbao - Oviedo (coach 5 hours 30 mins)
Lunch: roadside fastfood
Dinner, hotel: Oviedo

Oviedo, Spain, became the Capital City of the medieval Kingdom of Asturias by King Alfonso II the Chaste (759-842) in the 8th century. The flow of medieval pilgrims used to visit El Salvadore here on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
The construction of a defensive wall around the city and aqueduct was the work of 13th to 16th century. The Asturian Art is a unique art style heir to Eatern, Visigothic and Nordic traditions.

Kingdom of Asturias
Oviedo, Spain

DAY TEN July 16 (Sunday)
Breakfast: Oviedo
Oviedo - Santiago de Compostela (coach 5 hours 30 mins)
Lunch: roadside fastfood
dinner, hotel: Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela was one of the three most important centres of medieval pilgrimages. It preserves the relic of the Apostle St. James the Greater (?-44), who is believed to be the cousin of Jesus.

Santiago of Compostela
St. James the Greater

DAY ELEVEN July 17 (Monday)
Breakfast, lunch: Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela (13:40) - Madrid (14:45) (IB 567)
Madrid (18:30) - London (19:50) (BA 461)
London (21:15) - Hong Kong (BA 31)

DAY TWELVE July 18 (Tuesday)
Arrival: 15:55 Hong Kong

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Three meetings are planned for participants:
1) 1st April: study session and assignment of study material.
2) 24th June: study session and briefing from traveling agency.
3) ? 26th August: presentation of reports. (A 3000-word report by every participant)

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Contact MA Office, Department of History, CUHK by -
Tel: 2609 7198 (Ms Maisie Chow)
Email: macph@cuhk.edu.hk