Archive for February 5th, 2011

February 5, 2011

Some news about France XV

Well good weather is back highs of 13°C today still a bit cloudy damp, but no rain nor snow ::) the weather for the next few days is looking good indeed. Temps in the 4 to 12°C range some days with light rain predicted.

The biggest news is Versailles is going after Roland Garros, the French Tennis Open!!! The present location has long been deemed to small and outdated to accommodate this prestigious event, and the French Tennis Federation is seeking better venues. One of them really competing against Paris is my beloved Versailles….The final decision will be rendered by end of next week either Saturday or Sunday February 12 or 13. Stay tune….

The Halles at the Forum in Paris has began to look like a construction site starting this weekend !  It started actually yesterday and will continue for the next few months. The first will be done by the church St Eustache, next to Place René Cassin, playgrounds galore ,This one will along rue Berger,there will be another one by 2014 .  There will take down about 340 trees and work with no date set on getting about 478 trees in its place and better looking…There will be about 50 bungalows along rue Berger and the others will follow so construction in Paris folks be prepared as some buildings will be demolished along rue pierre lescot the so call Willerval buildings of old. The quasi private company or quasi public that will handle this is Sempariseine  with webpage for this project in French here

France just beat Scotland in VI Nations rugby 34 x21 with up and down plays, which they will need to improve to face Ireland next week. Ireland just barely beat Italy 13×11 today’s games. Montmartre is dress up to receive the Scots with dinner tonite at Moulin de la Galette . Festivities continue tomorrow , you have all info here

Have a great end of weekend.Cheers

February 5, 2011

Versailles ,its historical churches

When it comes to coming to Versailles we all think the castle/palace/museum. However, as I have often said, Versailles has a lot more to see and do than a castle. Let me start this trip with the churches of Versailles.

My favorite and my area wonderful church is Notre Dame, this is also, a district or neighborhood that has amongst other things the Marché Notre Dame at the place of the Domaine de Clagny (1665), for now the Collegiale de Notre Dame was built between 1684-86 in a record time for the times.  It became the royal parish as in it it is kept the records of birth and baptismal of all the princes and princesses born in Versailles (including one Duke d’Anjou future king Felipe V of Spain, grandson of Louis XIV).  The church is at 35 rue de la Paroisse (parish street), where it cast a magnificent glow as you stand right outside the Place d’Armes of the castle facing out and look to your left, you will see its facade (before piercing the place Hoche with its statue) . It is from this church that the initial processesion to the Etats Generaux took place in 1789 which led to the French revolution.  Most of the interior had to be replaced as the revolution in 1792 took most everything else. One of the relics still inside is the coffin of Vegenness who sign for France the Declaration of Independance of the USA in 1783. It ,also,has the heart of Marshal Hoche.  It is the center piece of the history of Versailles once you entered, and will let you understand the kings/queens that inhabit the castle a bit more, they all set foot in it with their children, and today so can you. Official webpage

The Cathedrale de Saint Louis, Versailles  did not have one, so built between 1743-1754, (which the king  Louis XV puts the first stone) which began as the church of the district or neighborhood of Saint Louis ,having amongst other things the jeu de Paume, Potager du Roi etc.  It became the Cathedral after the revolution as the new design of the Diocese was done, I guess they did not want to give more title to the royal one already build see above.  It is gorgeous inside thus, right by 4 place Saint Louis off ave du gal Leclerc just down to your left coming out of the RER train station rive gauche make a right on Leclerc and on a half street later turn to your left and see the facade of the Cathedral before you. When the church was officially open the royal family was not there, as they were expecting the child, the future king Louis XVI. Many came here during the revolutionary period to continue their faith after all going on, some priest were martyred.  It is here that the Pope Pie VII  is received in 1805 came here for the ceremony of Napoleon. There are many work of art classify as heritage of France here, including paintings, furniture,and ceramics including a painting of the resurrection given in 1802 to the Cathedrale by the Louvre.  The official webpage is here

There are other churches, for example the church of Saint Symphorien,the parish church of the district or neighborhood of Montreuil, which has amongst other things the house of Madame Elizabeth (sister of Louis XVI ) and Madame de Provence (sister in law of Louis XVI). Built by the kings money from 1764-1770; located at Place Saint Symphorien, it has an official webpage at

Still others are the Church Sainte-Elizabeth de Hongrie near the train station Chantiers (B 1850-1864) at 28 rue Jean Mermoz, done by the piety of a priest who was the confessor to Madame Elizabeth the sister of king Louis XVI who was also, guillotine in 1794 at the age of 30. The priest left after the revolution and came back when it was ok, he continue his office until his death in 1823 after which he left his fortune to have build the church. It was as small as the actual nave of today but it was the foundation, official webpage

church of Jeanne d’Arc built between 1923-1926,in the district of Clagny, 17 rue Albert Joly, with its official webpage   and the church Sainte Bernadette des Petit Bois built 1930 in the district of Jussieu at 7 rue Saint Nicolas, official webpage .The Saint Mark’s church ,and English Anglican speaking church in Versailles going back to 1814 at rue Peintre Lebrun, where there was a hospital caring for British soldiers, the church was built in the same spot in 1912, main entrance at 31 rue de Pont Colbert, official webpage .  Church Saint Michel, 18 rue des Celestins, in the district of Porchefontaine, began as a chapel in 1908 to become a church in 1926. It is name Saint Michel because consecrated church on the saints day. Many musical concerts happened here all the time. official webpage .  To celebrate the Roman liturgy you come to the Chapelle Notre Dame des Armees, at 4 impasse des gendarmes, born out of the spirit to serve the soldiers in 1852 ,when the military no longer use it, the city took over, then fideles Catholiques took over and administered since 1988 under the Roman rituals of 1962. Official webpage

At 2 rue Hoche you will find the Protestant Temple, it was a site to celebrate the feast of the king , and finally in 1821 the English Protestant  community took over ,after many works including one that took them to do their rituals inside the castle by the cour des marbres, the temple is now recognised as cultural association according to the 1906 law of separation of state and church. About 1250 protestant families belong to the Temple today. Official webpage and under the reformist church of Versailles

Well I hope you will come to see the history of Versailles in its churches next time.



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