That’s what I heard someone from our tour say as we were climbing yet another spiral stairway up to the organ loft. “OSHA would never allow these dangerous steps!” Apart from our first church visit today, someone counted 67 steps at the Église Saint Sébastien and over 70 steps at the Cathedral Notre Dame de l’Annonciation in Nancy.
After breakfast we left the Hotel Novotel in Metz and stopped in Liverdun, a quaint medieval village which has served as the summer vacation home of the bishops of Toul since the 12th century.
The Église St Pierre, containing the tomb of decapitated Saint-Euchaire was constructed in 1184 by Pierre de Brixey, although it was destroyed in a siege in 1467 and later rebuilt. We were met by a woman who is one of the church’s local organists, and obviously very, very proud of the organ, which was built by the celebrated Callinet family of organ builders.
This instrument is what we call “Side-Saddle,” because the console and player are located on the side. You can just see Christophe Mantoux’s head to the left in the picture below.
As you can see by the slideshow below, our bus had to park outside the village because it wouldn’t fit through the gate! We could see the Moselle River below which made a very pretty picture.
We next drove to Nancy and dropped off our luggage at the Best Western Crystal Hotel, and then visited the massive Église Saint-Sébastien, where the largest mechanical action organ was built by Dalstein and Haerpfer in 1881. In both this organ and the following one at the Cathedral Notre Dame de l’Annonciation, I felt like an absolute WEAKLING and my fingers like jelly on the heavy, stiff action.
Something that really caught my eye at the Cathedral were the many numbers of plants throughout the building, looking like a garden. We were told that this weekend is the celebration of the Irish Saint Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, who died on August 30, 670.
This weekend there will be a special high mass to commemorate the saint, and flowers, fruits and vegetables will decorate the cathedral.