Archive for March 17th, 2012

March 17, 2012

Versailles ,its worth a kingdom!

will stop this time my historical anecdotes of the city of Versailles to tell you of my coming home “visit”. I am in transition after almost 9 yrs living in the city to move out, my house is sold, waiting for the closing in June to move permanently to Brittany. So every chance I get to be back it feels great indeed. Versailles I wont never forget you!!!

I had to pick up my oldest son for a meal at home with the family, so instead of just a round trip, I spent my time walking and driving all over the city, just a nostalgic tour one more time. It is hard, one who is used to living internationally (four countries already lived), each time is a psychological process, this time even more so, the city has given me and my family so much good.

First an hommage to  a great gardener ,and one that one of my son is trying to follow as gardener paysagiste himself. This is a bust statue of André Le Notre, by ave des Etats Unis  and ave de Saint Cloud, honoring the master of his chef d’ouvre Versailles, but ,also of Palais des Tuileries, Palais Royal, Saint Germain en Laye ,Marly,Saint Cloud, Chantilly, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Sceaux, Saint Maur, Saint Martin de Pontoise, Ussé, Chaville, Pontchartain, Conflans, Gaillon, Guermantes, Castries, Les Rochers,Maintenon, Meudon, and, Clagny. First gardener of the kings of France from 1645 to his death in 1700.

I went back to a seldom site as I live on the oppsite Notre Dame, but the Saint Louis district is unique too, in that it houses the Cathedral de Saint Louis, wonderful ,and today many scouts kids in it, during service. I waited for the end to come back for the photos. One should not take photos when service is held, please.

For an historical anecdote, the collegiale de Notre Dame is the oldest but when the revolution for not given in to the old royal grounds, they chose this one as the city’s Cathedral. Nevertheless as I said , it is very imposing and compact,nice.  First blessed as such in 1754. The organ was done in 1761, and survived the revolution instact. You have the baptismal urn of king Clovis ,the first king of the Franks or Francia=France (best photo).  Wonderful huge paintings, and statue of Joanne d’Arc, patron saint of France. A must to see.

I went again by the Potager-du-roi, the vegetable patch for the king Louis XIV, still given out goodies to the general public on wednesdays.  This one is the one open to the public as the Kings harvest place, there is one bigger behind all the way of the castle properties now accessable by Saint Cyr l-école on the D307. See the wonderful map of the potager du roi in the photo.

I let you have ,once in my neck of the city, the exit I take from the gare rive droite in Versailles, closest to me, I would go out on blvd de la Reine, and next to it is the nice and historical Hotel de Clagny,  the hotel info at the Versailles tourist office site,  this is the site for the train services in Ile de France region including Versailles and Paris,

I once again take you to the wonderful , magnificent, highly recommended Marché Notre Dame, the best. by the place du vieux marché, and parking underground Notre Dame for those daring like me to drive. This is all you need to buy, all is here.

I like to take rememberence to the Hôpital Richard, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo,apartment complex, which if models show it, will be stunning. The only building left will be the Chapel, the new one is even building a new page and recruiting medical personnel, lol!!

The Chapel is or was, in the convent of the augustinians of Versailles or couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772.

I then move over to seldom seen areas such as another district or neighborhood of Versailles (see my previous post on districts of Versailles) ,this is Montreuil, a royal neighborhood, and the church of Saint Symphorien (done 1764-1770,see my post on churches of Versailles), wonderful paintings from the 18C ,but today it was in ceremonial service so no photos inside.  The colorful ,commercial rue de Montreuil leads to ave des Etats Unis is full of shops and bistros ,very lively at night too.

Last we made last tour into the end of rue royale, to take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier, tel +33 01 30 97 67 60; you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception. See the webpage of the diocese with churches in the Versailles area;

On the run, we stop at my son’s hangout in near Saint Louis, where the kebad is the kids thing, talk,gossips and girls, I guess ::) Planeté Food, 7 rue du general leclerc , very good service, and 6€ menus includes fries and soda, just crossing street you are at Cathedral de Saint Louis, and tracing back to rue royale brings you out to the train station gare rive gauche. Tel +33 01 30 21 88 99. Try the Greek or Grec menu with American sauce combination mayo and ketchup. A young crowd but very well disciplined ,most from private schools in the area. Cheers!
March 17, 2012

Paris, again, a marvel , a state of mind…

Well I was today in the area so of course could not miss the chance to stop by Paris,besides my annual gastronomy and wine place was taken place by the Tour Eiffel.

We arrive last night from Auray, Brittany, and this morning we set out for Paris early. There is an event I have been participating for 8 years already and the merchants are now my friends, they recognise on the spot, which is nice ::)

This is the event at the Maxim’s peniche by port de Suffren ,Tel +33  01 44 18 96 96. Métro Bir-hakeim -private free parking by the quais. Almost every year the dates are the same maybe a day or two difference, March 16 -18  2012 Fridays  11h-22h, Saturdays  10h- 21h, and Sundays  10h -19h. Here is the webpage with all merchants participating

If you like gourmet, good wines, and be with the producers themselves this is the event in Paris, hear it here first, its a small event, better to come in the mornings early afternoon, the evenings is full, parking and boat lol!!!

We then did our usual drive and walk scenes of Paris, by Pl de la Concorde, Grand Palais,Champs-Elysées,George V, and the American Church going renovation there, the place de l’Alma, of course the Eiffel tower area cruising by it, and a shot from under Port de Suffren as well as the Palais Chaillot compound of wonderful museums.

We  saw the wonderful Bateaux Mouches going by on the Seine, just for the memories: Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine, and from port de Suffren the pont d’iena, and the Maxim’s peniche bien sur. All was a wonderful day ,and plenty of money spent on goodies like Bessant chocolates and touraine amboise white and red wines,as well as foie gras, terrines,and duck ham from the SW or sud ouest of France near Auch. We are set………………

I will be leaving tomorrow with the gang back to Brittany, and then come back next weekend again lol!! The road warrior, watch out speed traps I know where you ara lol!! Then ,will be ready for the school vacation in April 13 and will be back here. All while my house in Versailles is closed, estimate time by June 2012. Then we will see how can I manage with business and friends to be back into the area as a Breton ::)

Enjoy the photos, Cheers and have a wonderful rest of weekend.

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