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House Of The Rose Photo Tour: Southern France And Constantinople

Medieval Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and Languedoc (present-day south of France) play a large role in the House of the Rose series, beginning in Broken Gods (House of the Rose, Book 3). In 2008, I spent three weeks traveling through western Turkey, principally touring Hittite, Neolithic, Greek, and Roman sites, but also exploring some of the Byzantine and Ottoman cities as well. The last three days of the trip were spent in Istanbul, a beautiful city built on the hills overlooking clear blue waters, with a wealth of architectural and cultural treasures. There, I had the chance to visit some of the places that Marian and I wrote about for the House of the Rose novels. It was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to a return visit to Istanbul. The following year, I spent a month in Europe, included a visit to Southern France, which plays such a key part in the events of the final two books in the House of the Rose series. I was thrilled to spend a couple of days in Lyons, the setting for one of my favorite historical novels, Dorothy Dunnett’s Checkmate (The Lymond Chronicles), the climactic volume of her classic Lymond Chronicles. Of course, the old Roman cities of Orange, Nimes, and Arles were hugely interesting to me as well, especially since a number of the Roman public buildings are still being used: the amphitheater in Nimes  hosts bullfights (a blood sport that would have excited your average Roman citizen), and the theaters in Orange and Arles are still used for plays and concerts.

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