June 18, 2021

The magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres!!

Let me update this older post on one of the magnificent monuments of my belle France. Funny I look at my pictures and posts and got to notice I/we tend to post mostly from the areas we live in and once we moved we forget the old places. I think this is the case with Chartres in dept 28 of Eure et Loir in the Centre Val de Loire region. It is about 125 km from my current town; and 75 km from Versailles.

However, the main thing in Chartres is one of the grand cathedrals of France and one I had the priviledge of going to its basement to see wonders not shown to the general public on a tour from the Château de Versailles! Love it!Therefore, let me tell you my bit on the Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres! 

I come to you again from my vault and early blogging back in 2011!  This time, let me tell you about Chartres. And for clarity this is the official site of the Notre Dame Cathedralhttp://www.cathedrale-chartres.org/en/,143.html

chartres-cathedrale-de-chartres

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres is the best example of gothic art in France! Work on it began in 1120, but the biggest construction period took part from 1194 to 1260.  It is about 131 meters long by 46 meters wide with a general dimension of 5 200 square meters; at the transept it is 63 meters and the nave height is 37 meters and a width of 16 meters!  The main façade 30 meters long has 719 statues depicting the life of Jesus most of them of Roman style. The central window and highest has a rosary  of 11,5 meters a fine gallery of the 13C with niches of 15 grand statues of kings with a space with a statue of the Virgin and on top a colossal praying Christ .

chartres-cathedral-front

The bells are impressive as well. the one on the right called the old bell is 106,5 meters high is modest with little décor but nice proportions and was finished in 1145; the other on the left called thje new bell 115 meters high was finished in periods of  1506-1507 and 1514, to replace the wooden bell that was burn by a lightning in 1506.

chartres-cathedral-nave-inside

The stained glass of Chartres numbering 176, covers 1350 objects from the Old Testament and the New Testament ; from the life of Saints, martyrs, popes, bishops and priests to representation of orders with their emblems that help construct or embellish the Cathedral. As you enter the Cathedral on the left see the statue of the Black Virgin done from the 16C and greatly venerated today.

The Chartres tourist office on the cathedralhttps://www.chartres-tourisme.com/en/do-not-miss/the-chartres-cathedral/history-of-chartres-cathedral

And if I have not convince you come here at least once in your lifetime, maybe the Chartres tourist office will:why see Chartres’cathedralhttps://www.chartres-tourisme.com/en/do-not-miss/the-chartres-cathedral/why-chartres

And the city of Chartres on the Cathedral and other things to see in French: https://www.chartres.fr/patrimoine-historique/notre-dame-de-chartres/

The Notre Dame Cathedral alone is worth the visit to Chartres, but there is more if you read my old posts. Enjoy the reading of a nice town and beautiful Cathedral of France and the world.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 18, 2021

Historical Orléans!!

So here I am on a bit of a black and white series again to tell you a sort of introduction to the historical city of Orléans! Of course, this is an update of an older post which again brings back many nice family visits. Hope you enjoy Orléans as we do.

A while back I wrote in my blog about this wonderful town of Orleans. Pictures elsewhere in my blog on its many posts. It is often overlook but it is loaded of the great history of France. Easiest way to get here is on the A10 from Paris direction Bordeaux or the train with two stations ,the gare d’Orléans, right in city center and very nice and the one on the nearby northern town of Fleury-les-Aubrais, both link by bus navette and a tramway.

Public transport TAO network in the area of Orléans métropole and connections between the train stations are: https://www.reseau-tao.fr/index.php

Orléans has been designated as the Capital of the new region of Centre-Val-de-Loire been only about 120 km from Paris. The city is nice ,really, if overlook by many visitors, very good ambiance. The city center around the place du Martroi, is wonderful central square where all goes on; the Loire river passes right in the center, the quais or wharfs along the river are full of walkers and meeting place to go into exploring the city ; also the site of the great Festival de Loire, the biggest gathering in Europe on river cruising (next schedule Sept 22-26 2021). Of course, it is also a city of art and history of France or  Ville d’Art et d’Histoire; it is a stage for the bicycle riders in the circuit Loire à vélo, and at the gate to the castles of the valley of the Loire. The story of  Jeanne d’Arc was what brought me first to this city and it is wonderful for the history lover like me.  The city has nice Christmas market and Jazz by the Bishop event as well as the magnificent Festival of Jeanne d’Arc.

As the circuit of Joan of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc is to follow these monuments.sites (some with separate post in my blog). Place du Martroi, Hôtel Groslot, fine arts museum or musée de Beaux-ArtsCathédrale Sainte Croixhotel Cabu or the museum of history and archeology ; Chapelle Notre Dame des Miracles in the Church St Paulrue Jeanne d’Arc,  the ramparts of the city from the 15C , it had one there since the 4C! and was enlarged in the 14C with some walls left still . You have the white tower or Tour Blanche  and a section of the Roman curtain, more on the north the wall is seen on the court or cour de l’ancien évêché  and near the Cathedral ; there is a bridge giving to the square or  porte du Martroi that still be seen in the parking under the square. To extreme west of the square martroi you see parts of the wall as well on the streets or rue du Cloître-Saint-Paul ,and rue de la Chèvre-qui-Danse. Of course , the main thing is the Maison de Jeanne d’Arc or house of Joanne of Arc. She stayed here from April to May 1429 and now a nice museum with a multimedia presentation retracing her life. On the upper floors there is a recherché center with over 37000 documents on her. (see post).

Of course, Orléans is a lot older since the times of Cenabum ! going thru all the periods of French history, too long to tell you here. Stronghold of the war of 1870 with the Prussians and during WWII the city was again ransacked and bombed until liberated on August 1944 by the troops of Gen Patton, US 3rd Army. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, New Orleans is named in honor of the regent duke of Orleans for Louis XV and inhabited with about 8K French and Arcadians running away from the British in the Northeast USA.

Other information to tell you about this city is the nice park or Parc Pasteur by the northern corners of the city center created in 1927 over the old workers garden that were on a disinfected cemetery of Saint Vincent.  There is a monumental gate of Saint Samson from the 17C a great water basin, even if the children theater, and vapor train are no longer in action (train given by  Wichita Kansas USA in 1952) unfortunately both were closed in 2017. Another nice park is  Parc Floral de la  Source , bigger than above with an iris garden, rose garden, rock garden,  vegetable garden, dahlia garden, Asian garden, grassland garden, tropical garden, strips of perennials, collections of pelargoniums, a display of fuchsias, animal park, exotic birds, butterfly house, animal feeding and adventure playgrounds for younger visitors..etc.

Anyway, the main thing to come to this city other than walking the wharfs of the Loire river are the house and traces of Joanne of Arc ,and the Cathedral of Sainte Croix.(see post). The Cathedral  was inaugurated on 8th May 1829, 400 years after the liberation of Orléans by Jeanne d’Arc on a gothic style of 140 meters long, 53 meters façade and 114 meters on the spiral tower.

Most of the information here is taken from the wonderful regional site of Orléans Metropôle here in English: https://www.orleans-metropole.fr/decouvrir-la-metropole-orleanaise#googtrans(fr|en)

The dept 45 Loiret tourist office in French on Orléans: https://www.tourismeloiret.com/fr/decouvrir/les-incontournables-made-loiret/orleans-la-chatoyante

There you go folks,hope you have enjoy the post on the historical wonderful city of Orléans , in my belle France.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 18, 2021

The Moulin de Crémeur of Guérande!

And I found this one hidden in my vault after so many posts on Guérande here is a find from me! In my road warrior trips I passed by many beautiful sights and  monuments sometimes I take a picture and they stay hidden in my vault. This time I caught this one and will tell you a bit about it ok. Hope you enjoy the story of the Moulin de Crémeur of Guérande! or Crémeur mill.

The Moulin de Crémeur mill, aka as the Diable or Devil’s mill, is a windmill located in the town of Guérande, in the department 44 of Loire-Atlantique,in the region of Pays de la Loire. It dates from the end of the 15C and had to stop at the end of the 18C. It was restored in the 1980s.

You can see the Crémeur or Diable mill or moulin on the road Route de Herbignac or D274 direction Guérande ,just before the last traffic circle entering Guérande on your left hand side. As with everything today, you need to check in advance if open. The La Baule-Guérande tourist office on Guérandehttps://www.labaule-guerande.com/bureau-d-information-touristique-de-guerande.html

Guerande

The Crémeur mill is known mainly for its legend which earned it the nickname “Devil’s Mill”. This legend says that Yves Kerbic wanted to build a mill but that he was too poor. The passing devil offered him a pact: “I will build you your mill in one night if you give me your soul”. Yves consented and the Devil set to work all night. At the morning angelus, the last stone was missing. The cunning miller hastened to place a statuette of the Virgin in a niche and made the sign of the cross. Full of rage, Satan stepped back: “You stole from me! He yelled and disappeared in a whirlwind of fire ..so says the legend. One of the windows retains the winch brackets and, in a recessed niche, takes place a statuette of the Virgin and Child, the same, no doubt, that frightened the devil.

The (FFAM) Fédération Française des Associations de sauvegarde des Moulins or French Federation of Associations for the preservation of windmills on the Moulin de Crémeur: https://www.moulinsdefrance.org/fiches-moulins/moulin-du-diable-ou-de-cremeur-guerande/

The city of Guérande contact info bottom of main page for inquiries on the mill: https://www.ville-guerande.fr/

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. This one going south to old Bretagne in the Loire Atlantique dept 44. A wonderful medieval fortified city of Guérande is a must while in the area. The Moulin de Crémeur is worth the detour .Hope it helps your plans and enjoy the post as I

And remember happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 18, 2021

L’Armoric of Auray!!!

Ok so this is an odd post for me. I will briefly tell tou about a local bar restaurant! I had mentioned in between posts on Auray but reaally needs a post of its own. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on L’Armoric bar restaurant of Auray!!!

On the port of Saint-Goustan in Auray, the L’Armoric bar restaurant opens its doors to you all year round. It, also, offers menus served for lunch and dinner at very good value for money as well as a cinema menu that includes admission to Ty Hanok Cinema!(Auray see post) The service, brasserie type, is pleasant and friendly.  As for the setting, it is charming with superb wooden staircase, exposed beams, and old English style displays. The L’Armoric also has a room upstairs, a large terrace and a bar side to extend your moment of relaxation!

We have come here since moving to the area back in 2011 and always fun. The L’Armoric bar restaurant is open for 45 years already a  small institution in the region ,it was renovated in 2009.

auray-l-armoric-bar-st-goustan-front-may17

And just for an apéro or friendly drink to appease our sorry sort of going out we stop at old reliable L’Armoric, the best ambiance bar in Auray right by the river and next to the old stone bridge. Here we had some beers like the Breton Duchesse Anne (in honor of queen and duchess of Brittany Anne) and of course my gang had other beers and some croque-monsieur and croque-madame sandwiches of ham and cheese toasted. Just great for the home arrival, soft landing, easy living, after all this is France, la vie est belle, the joie de vivre, la vie en rose!!! yes indeed it is. You won’t go wrong here; remember this is at the port of St Goustan (see post) or lover town of Auray, very nice architecturally and huge historical of 3 countries: France, USA, and Canada.

auray-l-armoric-bar-st-goustan-bar-may17

auray

The L’Armoric have a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/larmoric.bzh

There you go a short post on an emblematic bar resto of wonderful historical Saint Goustan in the town of Auray. Enjoy the L’Armoric bar restaurant the place to be at the port. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 18, 2021

The Royal town of Poissy!!!

Another of my memorable times while living in Versailles and working in Paris for almost 9 years was Poissy. This town is close in the royal circle of the Yvelines dept 78 in the region of Ïle de France. As I have several posts already in my blog this memory lane post will be on my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it. This was sort of like an introduction to Poissy written back in 2017 in my blog. I will update text and links for you and me. And thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!

Getting out into the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen until exit sortie 6 Versailles centre that brings you on the N186 is only 23 kms or take a bit longer but more scenic route on the D190 into the N13 at St Germain en Laye and onwards to the N186 to Versailles. The bus no 9 from Poissy train station/bus terminal next to the bus terminal annexe at rue de l’Europe in Versailles near the Castle on Transdev network here: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-9%20Express/poissy-versailles/015-PA2RS

I like to remember memorable places of mine and this is another one. I used to come by here on many business/family trips and to get my sons off school at the train station in Poissy , also a stop for the RER A into Paris.

The memorable museum of toys and the delicious historical drink Noyau de Poissy as well as its wonderful Collegiale Church Notre Dame which witnessed the birth of King Louis IX as well as baptized (the future Saint Louis) are worth the trip easy from Paris on the RER A train. It ,also, has a nice marché Beauregard or market day and a pretty riverfront (Seine) scene of music jazz and restaurant on a peniche boat. La villa Savoye and the parc Chateau de Villiers are good too the park is just across from the Seine river.

For the lovers of nature, walkers, bike riders etc the city is squeeze between two wonderful and historical forests. The forest Domaniale of Saint Germain en Laye to the west and the Forest Domaniale of Marly le Roi to the south. It is ,of course, at the confluent of the Seine river with three islands that of Migneaux ,the Grand Motteau and of Blanc. You can even arrange a boat ride at the harbor or Rue du Port, rive gauche right by the old bridge ; the existence of which is not sure but have found written document of the existence of a wooden bridge going back to 1162! the bridge was 400 meters long over the Seine river from Poissy to the town of Carrières-sous-Poissy , of this bridge only is left about 6 arches but only about 330 meters away from the new bridge and 570 meters from the bridge of the island of Migneaux that links it to the city.

In  all a very nice town for a walk to see the beautiful buildings and lively life not to mention home to the manufacturer of PSA Peugeot automobiles.

The city of Poissy has an excellent webpage on their heritage with a center of interpretation of heritage in French: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/sport-culture/equipements-culturels/maison-de-fer/le-centre-d-interpretation.html

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on Poissy: http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/visiter-poissy-ville-royale

The Poissy tourist office webpage is not working but the city page gives you the contacts: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/sport-culture/equipements-culturels/l-office-du-tourisme.html

Easy ride by train or car from Paris for a good day of seeing something different in France. And Poissy is a Royal town to boot as told above. Worth a detour me think, hope you enjoy the post as I for the memories of always.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2021

More of Paris, do we ever stop !!!

An older post which gives me great pleasure in updating it. I was by Paris when an old friend of Real Madrid internet group we belong for several years finally made his way to Paris and just needed to see them in person. This was done and stayed a memorable moment in my life as well.  This is the brief story of that encounter.

Do we ever stop of seeing Paris? well, never, its a mouvable feast, eternal city of lights. Every opportunity is a welcome mat to civilisation, fun, history, architecture and specially the arts and culture we so much drank from it on each trip.

I was again by Paris yesterday, like so many posts before, (see Paris in my blog), the city never ceased to amazed me. More so because of a good friend from Algeria was coming over with his family and at least I had the opportunity to say hello , that is Paris the sublime meeting point of the world, or as Bogart used to say in Casablanca, We will always have Paris!!!

We had our drinks at La Terrasse resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime.He came with chemist wife and small child from Alger, Algeria. As a fan of Real Madrid I guess he spoked Spanish too. It was a wonderful exchange of football, countries, jobs, the world. Memories forever.  The La Terrasse restaurant is a favorite of mine and not far from my world HQ office in Paris so it was a natural to meet there. A picture for friendship and good cheers!

paris-la-terrace-mohamed-Reis et-moi-madridista-argelia-mar14

This is La Terrasse webpage:  http://www.laterrassedu7.com/?lang=en

While in Paris, I had sublime 10 floor views of the city towards the Eiffel tower,and the Invalides Church. I walk around the Eiffel, and went around the école Militaire. Walking past Place Joffre you see of course still the Eiffel tower but also,a unique monument to Peace. This walking Paris is always good, and I did around these areas, walking in Paris is to live longer! I walked from my office to the restaurant above.

Of course, I came by TGV train from Auray to Montparnasse direct, as much as don’t like trains many times  I have no choice, I took the metro line 6 because it goes above ground on the way ok. However, on the way back, I took the wonderful bus 92 from place de l’école militaire to gare de Montparnasse , much better ride and wonderful Paris scènes ,above ground. I am still amazed at the number of visitors that insist on taking these trains, its like a tourist attraction lol!!! Then on the TGV from Montparnasse back home and  because of railroad tracks works after Rennes are under repairs, I have the distinct pleasure of taking the SNCF buses or cars. from the Gare de Rennes to Auray  in 2 hours! nice ride as it was very late but boy going out of a train station to go to a bus station this late at night almost midnight was not my cup of tea even in the smallist station like Rennes. I arrive well at my car  in Gare d’Auray for the last 15 minutes trip home.

There you go folks , jotted down in my blog for the memories of always and good cheers with good friends. Until we meet again, salut!! Hope you enjoy the brief event and do walk and walk in Paris. The La Terrasse is a great place to mingle and meet folks indeed. Again, hope you enjoy the event.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 17, 2021

Coming back to the Eiffel tower!!

This is actually a new post with older pictures to tell about something that will happened once the gates are open all over the tourism world! One of the emblematic monument of Paris, and France is the Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower in Paris. I have written several posts on it but this one is on what is coming up. Hope you enjoy it.

The Eiffel Tower is located on the north end of the Champ de Mars, a large public park in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. You can find the tower at the intersection of the Quai Branly and the Pont d’Iéna

Due to the terrorist risk, the Eiffel Tower operating company closed the front of the tower to free movement in June 2016 and secured the perimeter by installing in 2018 on two sides a thick bulletproof glass enclosure of 6.5 cm completed by anti-car-ram blocks, on the other two a metal mesh 3.24 meters high (one hundredth of the Eiffel Tower) which takes the shape and curves of the tower.

In 2018, the Eiffel Tower must undergo a facelift which is complicated by the presence of lead.   To give back to the Eiffel Tower, on the occasion of the 2024 Olympic Games, the yellow-brown color desired by Gustave Eiffel in 1907, the company operating the monument, La Sete began in 2019, the 20th campaign of painting of the “iron lady”. The painting project in progress on the Eiffel Tower has been suspended since the beginning of February 2021 because of the traces of lead measured on the surface, in the enclosure of the monument.  This work is part of a reorganization plan of 300 million euros, most of the objectives of which must be achieved before the Olympic Games in 2024.

September 23, 2020, the emblematic monument of the city of Paris was evacuated for several hours at midday, due to a bomb threat. It has been announced the reopening on July 16, 2021. 

Let me update on the extra security measures now around the Tour Eiffel. In addition to the barriers which looks like a war zone to me as used to passed in front of it last in November 2019 due to the virus. I would be tented to go again but with this security will be even more of a hassle. Even with security barriers that looks like a war zone, people keeps coming back. It is Paris after all, it is the Eiffel tower!!

Everyone who visits the tower needs to go through security, and there is no way to skip the security checks. There is a security check to get inside the perimeter barriers and then another security check for those entering the monument via the stairs or elevators. However, visitors who buy their tickets ahead of time online (highly recommended) can save time with fast-track security checks for the elevators. The electronic timed tickets purchased online in advance save you time with fast-track security checks and no need to queue at the Eiffel Tower ticket offices. Thet tickets are personalized so bring some id like passport with you. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded visit, I recommend visiting either in the morning or the evening after dark. The least busy times are generally 9h to 11h and 20h to 22h. Of course, have posted these before and many others to hard to say which time is best nowdays.

paris tour eiffel entr barriers nov17

paris tour eiffel exiting barriers nov17

There are three metro stops and one RER commuter rail stop within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower such as my usual line the no 6 (Nation – Charles de Gaulle Etoile) stop/arrêt Bir-Hakeim. Also, Line 9 (Pont de Sévres – Mairie de Montreuil) stop/arrêt Trocadéro. And Line 8 (Balard – Créteil) stop/arrêt Ecole Militaire. As well as RER Line C stop/arrêt Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel. There are several bus stops within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, like my line on bus 82, stops tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars. (see post). Bus 42, stop: tour Eiffel .Bus 87, stop: Champ de Mars and Bus 69, stop Champ de Mars. You can actually reach the Eiffel Tower by river if you are taking the hop-on, hop-off river cruise on the Batobus. The harbor is at port de Suffren just going down to the Seine river from the tower.

If you are driving,and I have glorious passing with the Eiffel tower ahead of you! There are several paid parking garages located near the Eiffel Tower such as Parking Pullman Tour Eiffel (18 avenue de Suffren). Parking Quai Branly (25 quai Branly).  Parking Bouvard (443 Avenue Joseph Bouvard). Parking Sainte Dominique (133 rue Sainte Dominique). Parking Joffre Ecole Militaire (2 place Joffre). All good and within 10 minutes of the Eiffel tower on foot.

The official Eiffel Tower webpage on getting in etc: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/planning-smooth-visit

The Paris tourist office on the Eiffel Tower: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71062/La-tour-Eiffel

There you go folks, another dandy monument of my eternal Paris. You need to be prepare more than ever to travel and be aware of the latest info. The official sites are best and the tourist office second best for info. Enjoy the Eiffel Tower if you must said you were in Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2021

The Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

I like to re write almost new text and updated links with older pictures on this wonderful monument of Paris, France. I have written before in my blog on the church, this time will do the building,the institution itself so what about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

In my walks of Paris I come to see many nice buildings, some I passed by and at first do not even know what they are, so many gorgeous architecture. However ,the Invalides has always caught my eyes. It was near my old HQ office so even visiting now takes extra time around there. Of course, I am talking about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris. I like to tell you a bit about the history I like on the invalides.

Paris hotel des invalides and dome st lous church behind c1995

The Hôtel des Invalides  was ordered by king Louis XIV in 1670 to house the wounded soldiers of his armies.  Today, it is still with the same functions but also the Cathedral Saint-Louis des Invalides (see post), several museums , and a military necropolis especially the tomb of emperor Napoléon Ier.  This huge architectural complex is one of the most important Classical style design in France, been the work of architect  Jules Hardouin-Mansart (Versailles and al fame).  Interesting to note, it takes the concept from the Monastery of El Escorial outside Madrid ( see post) ordered built by king Felipe II of Spain , but also takes ideas from other hospitals in Paris such as the Salpêtrière.

Paris invalides entr on the esplanade des invalides mar13

In 1659, after the treaty of the Pyrénées (marking the frontiers even today of France and Spain) ,king Louis XIV  took again the idea from Cardinal Richelieu that had done one in 1634 at the Château de Bicêtre  to take care of handicap soldiers under the commanderie Saint-Louis.  The project finally saw the light several years later by ordered of the king in 1670  to built a Hôpital/Hôtel des Invalides to the ageing military, wounded or inapt for war soldiers . The establishement works as a hospital and hospice, military barrack, and convent is all exempted from taxes and administered by a governor.  The soldiers are cure with funds coming from the revenue of the parishes and abbeys starting in 1676; the building was not fully completed until August 28 1706, when the keys of the hotel was given to the sun king Louis XIV.

The Hôtel des Invalides also has museums such as the army museum or musée de l’artillerie est. 1872, army history museum or musée historique des armées ,est. 1896, and both united in 1905 as the army museum or musée de l’armée. The Church is link directly to the Royal Chapel better known as the Dôme des Invalides.  This Chapel with the Dome has a large lantern of 107 meters high that was used only by the Royal family. Finally, the dome is cover completely in gold in a gothic style.  It is a square pavilion facing the street at decorated angles of columns where there are statues and has an obelisk finished by a Cross on top.  The construction of the dome was finished in 1708.  The dome was renovated in gold in 1807, 1830, 1839, 1937 , and lastly in 1989, needing 12 kg of gold or about 26 pounds. It has two cupolas in stone with two scenic drawings decorated with several Saints and a large one representing  Saint Louis  in its mantle of Royal ermine ( fleur de lys=Lilys) giving his sword to Jésus-Christ in person surrounded by musical angels.

Paris invalides esp de l'invalides canons mus armee et eiffel mar13

Since 1861, under the dome and its cupolas rest in peace the so called emperor Napoléon Ier inside six coffins follow by a sarcophagus of red quartz in a open sky crypt in the center of the building.  The choir of the Cathedral of  Saint-Louis (see post) is the only one in France of all its Churches and Cathedrals that has a permanent French flag. In December 1940, the ashes of his son known as the king of Rome or Napoléon II or the Aiglon (English) were transfered from Vienna in a funerary urn by an adviser to Hitler and the govt of Vichy (collaborator) as Paris was in occupied zone.  Here lies as well the remains of brothers Joseph and Jérome Bonaparte as well as the queen of Westphalia and other members of the Bonaparte family. Other commanders of the Great War (WWI) and WWII are also here such as marshals of France Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, , the generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques, and Henri Giraud, and the admirals Boué de Lapeyrère ,and Gauchet.

I have come here by car and even eaten across the street (see post) on the Café de l’Esplanade. Also, you can do it by public transports such as metro Invalides lines 8 and 13 , Varenne line 13 or La Tour-Maubourg line 8. The Hôtel des Invalides is in the neighborhood or quartier of Gros Caillou, and  the 7éme arrondissement or district.

The official webpage of the Army museumhttps://www.musee-armee.fr/en/english-version.html

The formalities to entered the Hôtel des Invalides as a resident patient in French: http://www.invalides.fr/patients/droits-et-informations/les-formalites-dadmissions

The Paris tourist office on the Hôtel des Invalides: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71310/Hotel-national-des-Invalides

Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of history at the huge Hôtel des Invalides of Paris , one of the great French institutions that goes beyond into the veins of the French. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXXVII

And back to the wonderful some news from France series now in its 337th edition thanks to your loyal reading over the years since Nov 2010. Let me tell what are the latest and now the restos/bars are open! Welcome to France!! Bienvenue! or as we say in my neck of the woods Degemer mat!

The world changes ! After weeks of rumors, the Plaza Athénée formalized  the appointment of Jean Imbert as head of its kitchens, to take over from Alain Ducasse. And maybe attract a jet set clientele. Associated since last year with Pharell Williams in the ToShare restaurant of the Hotel White 1921 in Saint-Tropez, Jean Imbert is close to Marion Cotillard, Omar Sy, Madonna, Robert De Niro and Beyoncé.

The Four Seasons George V has reopened one of its three restaurants, the one Michelin star George, which offers Italian specialties. A revival with fanfare facilitated by the superb terrace of the palace and the notoriety of the chef. Since the start of the health crisis, Simone Zanoni has become a star on social networks. Gordon Ramsay’s ex-right-hand man is stopped in the street by passers-by asking for selfies. He even set up a family business of Italian products sold online, Casa Zanoni.

La Estancia (“the ranch”), which the young entrepreneur Nicolas Hesse has just opened in Paris. The butcher shop made in Argentina.  Between Argentina and France, the crossing is done by boat, at 0 ° C, and it lasts a month. Good thing, this is precisely the time you need to give these cuts of black angus beef to tenderize them. Before opening La Estancia, Nicolas Hesse met many cattle farmers, chose one with whom he even partnered. His family having some means, he is also preparing to acquire a local vineyard to serve his own wine in restaurants … or rather in his future restaurants, if he manages to duplicate his concept throughout France. La Estancia, 27, quai des Grands Augustins, 6éme webpage :  https://laestancia.fr/

La Rochelle with the certainty of finding a haven in which to spend the night. At the “Villa Grand Voile”, open last summer, no need to overdo the marine decoration, the ocean being at the end of the street. Between a nod to a boat cabin and a tribute to bourgeois history, the 11 rooms are adorned with the chromatic spectrum of the blues of the ocean and the sky, the stormy grays and the pinks of maritime twilight. White on the beds and walls. From parquet to the ground. An azure square in the courtyard to dive into a pocket pool. Even in stormy weather, we sleep like an old sea bass in these comfortable rooms, in which an iodized and gourmet breakfast is served to the song of the seagulls. In his Michelin-starred restaurant, which bears his name, Christopher Coutanceau works like no other with the lobster that is eaten whole, the flesh cooked on a rock of pink salt, the shell transformed into chips, the coral in foam and the brain in vinaigrette. . In his marine bistro, “La Yole de Chris”, right next door, we can enjoy dishes that are just as salty but more affordable.  Villa Grand Voile 12, rue de la Cloche, 17000 La Rochelle. Webpage : http://www.villagrandvoile.com

In a few years,the rosé wine, the little wine of summer, has changed a lot. And it challenged a lot of preconceptions. It comes from Provence. It is true that Provence is the leading producer of rosé wines of controlled designation of origin (AOC): 38% of them are labeled Côtes-de-Provence, Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux- Varois-en-Provence. But if we consider French rosé wines in general, whether they are AOC, with a protected geographical indication (IGP) or Vin de France, it is Languedoc which is the first producer with, in 2017, 2, 6 million hectoliters vinified. Out of a total of 5.5 million for the entire French vineyard. The main rosé production regions are Occitanie (alone, the IGP pays-d’oc accounted for 23% of the national volume in 2016), Provence (19% of the national volume), the Loire Valley and the Rhône valley. It’s best if it’s clear. Let us say rather that the French prefer it clear. FranceAgriMer and the Interprofessional Committee of Provence wines in 2018 designed a series of pie charts to classify the rosés consumed in various countries according to their color. In France, it is clear, 30% of them are very light, only 15% are very dark. But in Italy and Spain, the result is the opposite: respectively 13% and 11% of rosés opened are very clear, against 46% and 50% of bottles with a very dark shade. Where does such a difference come from? First of all, varieties of grapes and terroirs. Light grape varieties, such as Clairette Rose, Grenache Gris, Pinot Noir, produce pale rosés when Syrah, Carignan or Merlot quickly transmit their color. Grenache oir gives rosés with an orange hue, while Cinsault delivers a more yellow color. Also, the more acidic a variety, the brighter its color, predominantly frank pink. Finally, weather conditions cause changes. The drier and hotter the year, the more colorful the grapes and wines.

“Pastis is like breasts. One is not enough, and three is too much, “said Fernandel.!!  Before sipping the famous pastaga, drink the words of Guillaume Strebler, who works at the Distillerie de la Plaine, in the 6éme arrondissement of Marseille. His workshop to “assemble your pastis” allows you to discover the dry ingredients that go into the recipe, by touching, smelling and tasting anise, liquorice, fennel or star anise. We continue with the identification of macerates obtained from 45-degree alcohol and these same spices and aromatics, joined by mate, pepper and verbena as well as anise essential oil. The latter contributes to squinting, that opaque whitening obtained when water is poured into its pure pastis. All you have to do is compose your own recipe from the ready-to-use macerates, before leaving with your homemade bottle – that’s a lot more than three glasses! Webpage: https://wecandoo.fr/atelier/assemblage-pastis-marseille

The arrival of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Moncler in the Champs-Elysées are still moving upmarket. Avenue des Champs-Elysées has nearly 90 shops. See more webpage: http://www.champselysees-paris.com/shopping/list

Under the sun of Cergy-Pontoise (Val-d’Oise 95). It is this new city in the great Parisian suburbs that the Louis Vuitton house has invested to film its Cruise 22 fashion show, broadcast on the brand’s website on June 15, in the afternoon. It is more exactly around the Axe Majeur (see post), this monumental open-air work of art imagined around the Cergy-Pontoise leisure center from the 1980s, that Nicolas Ghesquière has chose to unveil its new cruise collection. Webpage in French: https://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/magazine/articles/women-cruise-2022-show#

A jewel of Art Nouveau, the cupola of Galeries Lafayette has regained its former glory. The magnificent century-old work of 1,400 square meters built in 1912 by Ferdinand Chanut, Jacques Grüber and Louis Majorelle, three renowned artists, has regained its luster thanks to long-term restoration work, which has undergone a boost thanks to confinement. Webpage: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/events/glasswalk-an-incredible-experience/

At the Centre Pompidou center, after two years of work, the caterpillar is restarting! Beaubourg’s iconic exterior escalator has been completely replaced. It had been at a standstill since fall 2019. A colossal project, accompanied by an enlargement of the main entrance. By 2023, another major renovation will shut the museum down for nearly three years. Be there quick!! Webpage: https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en/

Free parking for scooters and motorcycles in Paris will soon end. The measure will be effective from 2022. It is now done: in 2022, prices will be 3€ per hour in the first 11 arrondissements (zone 1), and 2€ per hour in arrondissements 12 to 20 (zone 2). For this, 5,000 parking spaces will be created, and fines will increase from 50€ to 75€ in zone 1 and from 35€ to 50€  in zone 2. Paris is excluding itself once again!

At La Défense (dept 92), the Rose of Cherbourg ready to be reborn. Until then not very welcoming, this link between Puteaux and the business district will welcome, by 2022, a tower designed by Jean Nouvel, vast green spaces and a suspended footbridge directly inspired by the famous New York High Line. The circular boulevard interchange will be transformed into a suspended promenade inspired by the New York High Line. it will be partly covered by nine arbors. More info in English webpage: https://parisladefense.com/en/discover/projects/rose-de-cherbourg

The great return of the Fête des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) Canceled last year, the famous funfair will resume its usual summer quarters from July 2. The Fête des Loges, 368th, on the agenda, such as the official inauguration of Saturday July 3, the coronation of the Queen of Lodges on Monday 5, or the celebration of the Saint-Fiacre on Thursday 22, with its stroll in music and its mass organized on the track of the bumper cars. From Friday July 2 to Saturday August 15. From 15h. to 01h30. Monday to Thursday, from 15h. to 02h00. on Fridays, from 14h to  02h00. on Saturdays and from 14h. to 01h00. on Sundays and public holidays. Free entrance. Webpage: https://www.fetedesloges.fr/#infospratiques

In Marseille, room 604 of the New Hôtel Le Quai is the starting point for a sunny escape. A stone’s throw from La Canebière, the New Hotel Le Quai claims its discretion behind a 19C facade. Renovated and reopened in 2020 by Caroline and Camille, daughters of Georges Antoun, the president of the New Hotel group, the establishment, which was once a guesthouse, is dressed in wood. The large room on the ground in geometric designs entertains at breakfast time, while the minimalist reception counter welcomes at any time with reserved benevolence. On the floors (6, for 48 rooms), the felted corridors, with striped graphic carpets and raspberry walls, lead to the rooms whose atmosphere evokes the Provencal holiday homes of the 1970s. A newbie to be tested in historical Marseille. Webpage: http://www.new-hotel.com/en/hotels-marseille/le-quai-vieux-port

And yes my part of the world is unique and more and more are coming here to my Bretagne . There is a need to make rules for the avalanche before its too late. We are on the move! The calm before the storm in the village of Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer (Côtes-d’Armor 22), a charming peninsula on the banks of the Channel, the number of inhabitants goes from 906 to 10,000 to arrival of summer in which the town has 63% of secondary residents. There is a risk of becoming an open-air retirement home. Brittany has them on a good part of its coasts. In 2017, 13.3% of dwellings in the region were second homes. On the Morbihan coast, this rate climbs to 80% in villages like Arzon! (Presqu’ïle de Rhuys) .The Breton Democratic Union (UDB) party already with a proposal? Reserve the purchase of real estate in the most desirable areas for people who have lived for a year in the same community of towns. It is inspired by an abortive idea of the Corsican separatists, which provided for a period of five years of life on the territory to access the purchase on the island. To be continue….

For a different taste from America in Paris. We could count on Grindz of Hawaii to warm our hearts and make us travel! It must be said that this new neighborhood canteen with good vibes and a colorful atmosphere saved our lunch breaks thanks to its recipes full of flavors. On the menu, fresh, good and homemade! A second Hawaiian address will open very soon in the 8éme arrondissement! Grindz of Hawaii 29, rue Beaubourg 3éme. Open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 21h. webpage : https://www.grindzofhawaii.com/

There you go folks, another wonderful belle France awaits us all!!! Be there or be square!!! We are on the move again!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 17, 2021

The école militaire of Paris!!

This is a revision of an older post in my blog, a what a blast it has been really. Taking advantage of the current world situation it could not be a better idea to do this, and thanks for reading me since Nov 2010. I like to bring back to life for you and me, the Ecole Militaire of Paris!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

In my walks of Paris I come to see many nice buildings, some I passed by and at first do not even know what they are, so many gorgeous architecture. However ,the école militaire has always caught my eyes. It was near my old HQ office so even visiting now takes extra time around there. Of course, I am talking about the école militaire of Paris.I like to tell you a bit about the history I like on the école militaire.

PAris ecole militaire et eiffel ave de lowendal mar13

The École militaire is a huge assamblage of buildings housing several learning and training military tactics also in the 7éme arrondissement closing the perspective of the Champ-de-Mars.  It was built on orders of king  Louis XV by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel.  The idea came from the wars of successions in Austria by  1748 where it was evident that if France wanted to come out victoriuos it needed to train its Royal officers. The marshal de Saxe having fought in those wars proposes to the king Louis XV to create a royal military school.  The marshal received the support of the king mistresses Madame de Pompadour as well as financial guru Joseph Pâris Duverney (brother of Jean Pâris, marquis de Brunoy  and godfather of the madame), that was enough to convince the king to start with the introduction of 500 young noble soldiers born without wealth; for the king it was an opportunity to leave a grand work of his reign.

paris ecole militaire back mar14

However, the Royal Military college wanted by king  Louis XV  did not survided the death of the king and seven years later the college is closed and plans to transfered it to the Hôtel-Dieu (see post) hospital near Notre Dame. Finally, the move did not took place but the buildings were left in abandon and later looted during the French revolution. The building goes thru a bad period where it served as a deposit, then soldiers hq especially for the Imperial Guard  under the name of the caserne de École militaire, caserne Impériale, and caserne des Grenadiers.  After this , it cames back slowly and later enlarged to the building we know today. By 1878 it opened the superior war school or École supérieure de guerre. Later in 1911 it brings here the center for upper military studies or the centre des hautes études militaires. It has never stop doing this ever since to today. It housed the defense college unter NATO or Nato college from 1951 to 1966 (when De Gaulle had France leave NATO) and the college was transfered to Rome.

paris ecole militaire cavalerie mar14

paris ecole militaire Artillerie mar14

The école militaire as a place of memory in French: https://ecole-militaire-lieu-de-memoire.fr/

The Chapel of the École militaire  was done inside the castle from designs of architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel in honor of  Saint Louis, Patron Saint of the Arms forces. It was probably looted during the French revolution and for a long time without use but serving as ammunition stock and clothing depot as well as the ballroom dance for the second anniversary of the coronation of emperor Napoléon Ier. Finally, the Chapel was given back to the religious activities in 1952. The rotonde Gabriel was the initial Chapel of the École militaire, thought to be the Chapel of the students,houses today one of the two cafeterias in the École militaire.  There is a beautiful library located in the Chateau part and also work of architect Jacques Ange Gabriel.

The hallways are a lineup of rooms that were the previous reception rooms and you can see in the lecture hall ,the wooden work sculpture on the ceilings and portraits, marbre chimney Louis XVI style, where one represent two cadets around the arms of the military Royal school.  You can see on one of the glass two impacts from bullets from the assault on Paris in August 25 1944.  The École militaire is located in one of the better perspectives views of the city of Paris on the axis  Trocadéro- Breteuil, that starts from the Palais de Chaillot, crossing the pont d’Iéna and the Champ-de-Mars to finish at the place de Breteuil.  All square on the Tour Eiffel , and the seat of UNESCO. The École militaire, master work of the Classical architecture from the 18C is at the heart of the city and its history like a symbol of the Nation in arms. 

The metro station here is the École Militaire (line 8). The bus 82 stops (see post) here and took to my office passing by here every month for several years. Howver, with the family came by car and there are two  nice parking Indigo above ground paying just across dandy! This is the parking Joffre: https://www.parking.ai/en/paris/detail-car-park-joffre-ecole-militaire-indigo-m-c7049-ppd/

The Paris tourist office on the école militaire: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71338/Ecole-Militaire

Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of history at the grand école militaire of Paris , one of the great French institutions that goes beyond into the veins of the French. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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