Surface Beauty: Old Town Walls

I’ve just returned from my summer holiday hiking the mountains and visiting the small towns of Europe. I’ve previously blogged about the old-world charms of these towns, many of which date back to medieval times. While my travel buddies were smitten by the soaring cathedrals, the happening town squares and eye-candy shops, all of which are no doubt Instagram-worthy, I roamed the quiet alleys and thoroughfares, zooming my eyes and camera at walls.

That’s right, walls. The walls of medieval towns are a sight in their own right. Typically made of a patchwork of stone sealed by ruble within timber frames, their charm lies in the natural textures of the wood and stones, beautified by the centuries of weather patina.

One of the most delightful town I visited was Annecy. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region of southeast France, 40 km south of Geneva, Annecy is nicknamed the “Venice of the Alps”, and it is easy to see why. The highly picturesque town boasts a canal, with beautiful bridges, flower-bedecked banks, and medieval houses on both sides. But quaint houses are also found in the quiet alleys and residential quarters, away from the buzz of tourism. It is here I find some of Annecy’s greatest charms, in the colors, shapes and textures of the stone houses, and of course the distinctive beauty of their walls.

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