I have, for whatever reasons, held Vincent in my head and heart as a prime force in my life, having visited so many of his life work setting in Holland but more especially France: St Remy, Paris, Auvers Sur Oise, Ste. Marie and for the longest stay of all: Arles, a fascinating place in itself on so many varied levels first seen thirty years ago on a sabbatical.
In an case, making it to the Espace Van Gogh, as it is now more currently known, was a most moving and somewhat unanticipated experience. Walking where he walked, seeing what he saw, feeling for what he might possibly may have felt was in itself extremely satisfying. A nun, at the time, took me to his uniquely shaped restorative chamber with its heavy old metallic door. The next events felt somewhat bizarre to both of us.
Knowing how much this moment meant to me, she began to inquire as to my reaction. I told her something simply did not feel right, but couldn't determine why. I had no specific knowledge as to the chamber itself, but was not comfortable with what I was being shown. Somewhat sheepishly, she volunteered that this particular cell was used for demonstration purposes and was a virtually exacting replica of Vincent's down the hall a bit. I quickly asked if it might be possible to see that more precise spot.
Her own curiosity seemed to outweigh her reluctance so off we went. It wasn't so easy engaging the somewhat rusted door which eventually creaked its way open depositing bits of metal rust on the ground and small billows of dust in the air. All I can say is that once inside, it simply felt different and she saw it in my face. I assured her such potentially extra sensory moments were not at all common in my life. in any case, I am confident neither of us would ever forget that day.
The Espace Van Gogh is a wonderful place for anyone who has ever been touched by Vincent's genius and fascinating biography. A couple of his paintings, before the world recognized him wholly beyond his mysterious death, were found lining a chicken coop and used for target practice. There's so much ambiance here to echo his life ina visit for those so disposed not to miss.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.