Serrabone Priory is a former monastery of Canons Regular in the commune of Boule-d'Amont. The priory is located in a wild and beautiful area in the valley of the Boulès in the heart of an oak forest, at the centre of the Aspres mountain range. It is famous for its splendid marble rostrum from the 12th century, regarded as a masterpiece of Romanesque art.
The name of the monastery derives from the Catalan serra bona, meaning 'good mountain'. The original foundation - of which order if any is unclear - on the site took place in the 10th or 11th century and is recorded in a document of 1069. In 1082, under the patronage of the local lords and the Count of Conflent, who gave it property and revenues, it was re-established as an Augustinian priory.
The first church at Serrabone had just one nave with a pointed barrel vault. An extensive transformation took place in the 12th century. A transept and three apses replaced the earlier chevet. The principal apse, protruding on the exterior, is flanked by two absidoles enclosed in the walls. On the north side there is a second nave and a bell tower, on the south side a cloister, and another building containing three rooms.
The thick walls of the nave are built of local schist rubble stone. The second construction was more elaborate and used large blocks of cut schist which were carefully placed.
The sculptures in the cloister, the main portal, the window in the apsidole and the gallery, are all worked in pink marble from the Conflent, which makes a startling contrast to the green-grey of the schist.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.