Carcassonne has an open-air market 3 days a week and we often walk over there even if we don’t need any fruits or vegetables, just for the free entertainment. The colorful displays of fresh produce, some of which might have been in the ground or picked just hours before, are interesting enough. Add to that perhaps a guitarist, a dance troupe, drummers, a jazz or pop trio, and your morning is off to a great start. Last Saturday was no different except that Bill told me we’d be listening to “The Winds of Angels”. Now I was intrigued.
About 2 blocks off of Place Carnot, the square in the middle of downtown Carcassonne where the market takes place is Église Saint Vincent (St. Vincent’s Church) that was constructed over the 13th to 15th centuries. There are 232 steps to the top of its 54 meter (177 ft.) tower that was used as a defensive point equipped with cannons and in the 17th and 18th century first by astronomers and later by cartographers calculating latitude, longitude, and distances from Paris. Now it houses a powerful 47-bell carillon that has made it impossible to hear ourselves talking in the surrounding streets when it’s been ringing at full force.
We went inside where the 15th century stained glass windows, stretching to the top of the 54 meter (77 ft.) tall ceilings caught our eye. Then we turned around and saw the massive pipe organ that for the next hour filled every part of that huge building with music. Now it made sense that this weekly series was called Les Vents d’Anges since those angels had to create a lot of wind to make all of those pipes work. I also understood why the program’s subtitle is The Music of the Market since we weren’t the only ones with shopping bags overflowing with fruits and vegetables we had just bought from vendors on the square.