Archive for December 26th, 2015

December 26, 2015

Locronan ,back again at Christmas season !

Ok so continuing with the Christmas spirit we headed for Finistére departément 29 or the town of Locronan. The tourist office is here;

I had visited the town back in same period in 2013 (see post), and I was told again that the Christmas market was taken off here well so so we decided to take a look.  The town is a Petite Cité de Caractère de Bretagne or a small town of character of Brittany. It shows the Breton traditions quite well, and the stone ambiance gives it an eerie feeling of Merlin ::) It is, also, one of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France or one of the most beautiful towns of France !

The town is small just around the Church St Ronan, and many quaint stores all around the center. I took an intrepid walk down a ravine very steep to see the chapelle de Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle (15C-17C).  More from tourist office here in French:

In the tourist site they mention a Calvaire or Calvary ,and it shows in the picture I took, this is dedicated to Saint Eutrope. He is according to leyend the 13 apostle. It was martyred for having been stoned and shot for converting the daughter of a Roman governor of Saintes. The Calvary is one of the few monuments of this type built in limestone. A Madonna and child is carved on his lapel, on the other side are represented Angels gathering the blood of christ.

I was able to get Inside the Church of St Ronan and newer pictures, this is impressive and Worth coming here just for it.  We did our shopping in the Au Loup Garou Gourmand store with goodies like cider, seafood products in cans, candies, jellies etc.  It is known as the house of the 100 Breton beers as they are here in all shapes and tastes. No webpage but you must come in when in town.

We gathered our pastries and baguettes from Le Guillou boulangerie pâtisserie just yummy for the house.  And they have a webpage for your tasting eyes ::)

And of course, we look at the Christmas chalets even if in the afternoon they were not light up yet. It is nice quaint but a bit smallish and we have other town as favorite here for that …..see my posts. We are only about over an hour from our house so another wonderful backyard town to stop by.

Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas ::) well by now more like Happy New Year 2016! Ours will be small as need to flight out to Asia. Cheers.

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December 26, 2015

Chaumont sur Loire,the castle ,one more in the Loire!

This can be call new, as was here many moons ago ,and now in the area decided to stop by as driving along the Loire river. This is the castle city of Chaumont sur Loire. The tourist office is here;  ; and the city page on the castle is here;

We were driving to pick up some wines and decided to come here before getting to the wines in Limeray. Really to get here from the usual Paris you can do the route on the autoroute A10 to Direction Bordeaux. Take exit 17 direction Amboise  you will be on the D952A pass Blois over the Loire river on the road D174 once on the other side of the Loire take right into the D951/D751 direction Amboise and soon see on the panels Chaumont S/Loire. Once entering town take the first traffic light left into the castle parking about 1000 meters (1 km).  You can, also,take exit 18 direction Blois go thru city center Blois cross the river Loire and take right on the D951/D751 as well as above. You can come by train on the line Paris Gare d’Austerlitz-Orléans-Tours stopping at Orzain/Chaumont sur Loire.

However, the first thing we saw was the Church of Saint Nicolas; this is the parrish Church site in French;

We were already hungry so we stop at a créperie La Bolée just across the street and the lady very friendly told us we were Lucky she was about to close as no guests so far in the day! Well they came after us ,we gave her some luck lol! The Créperie is at 33 rue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, it is listed in the city page for tourism here;—restaurants.html

We had the usual galette mine with scallops, and other varieties along a bottle of cider brut from the region and plenty of ice cream like mine banana split. all for about 17€ per person. Very well done and talkative friendly owner server ! Something to remember always when in the region again.

And now was time to hit the castle. We took the car to climb to the parking lot nearest the entrance, there was security checking the bags, and ticket office, all very easy and in we were.  The castle webpage is here;

The castle of Chaumont sur Loire is very old having been founded around the year 1000 AD by Odo I Count of  Blois. The history as you can tell is long and easy found in official brochures as many Kings and nobles took part in its history  including the reluctant resident Diane de Poitiers and it is to her that most of the castle appereance is credited (1562-1566). Many more owners after her again Marie-Charlotte-Constance  who married Prince Henri-Amédée de Broglie and was the last private owner of the castle until 1938. At this time the Govt of France took possession. The princess Broglie spent her last days in the luxury hôtels of Paris  like the Ritz and George V as well as her Paris apartment at rue de Grenelle; she finally passed away in 1943.

The castle has a great arts community at its entrance with several modern building showing works of arts (like the Mexican Gabriel Orozco) , and a wonderful garden of winter (jardin d’hiver) all very well landscape starting in 1880  at the request of prince Broglie. It has a wonderful stables (écuries) building apart from the castle with a nice water tower (château d’Eau) in the garden. You can, also see a dogs cementary  (ciméntiere des chiens) with an elephant as well all very care by the Prince:ss Broglie. The historical park was closed for renovation, and for this reason we pay a reduce admission of 7,50€ in lieu of 11€ ::)

Inside the castle, you will see the beautiful dining room with the coat of arms of Cardinal Georges d’Amboise and historical tapestries from the 16C. You move on to the Library with 19C bookcases , tapestries from the 17C done at Aubusson showing the life of Alexander the Great. Then, the Little  Living Room, with empire period clock in marble with gilded in bronze;continue to the Billiards room,  with a ceilings painting of different scènes of the castle, more tapestries of the 16C on the life of Hannibal. You reach the Great Salon on the inspiration style of the castle of Blois many things there goes back to Napoleon III or late 19C. You leave into the courtyard and visit the Chapel restored in 1886. It shows the history of Chaumont from its origins to the Broglie family’s  days. Paintings from the 15C and do go down to the Kitchen but still Under renovation.

The stables or écuries were order by Prince de  Broglie in 1877, the larger used by the Castle owners and the smaller one for the guests.  You see carriages houses and carriages with Tools of the times with kitchen and working saddlery and next the gala saddlery unchanged since the 19C; you have also, a small riding arena of about 12meters and then the pony stables!

In all a nice visit of another wonderful Loire castle, you will need a lifetime to seee them all. We passed by many not famous or even known but equally impressive properties some still private. Come and enjoy the Loire, oh this is region Centre-Val de Loire, where the main famous castles are, not to be confused with other region of castles Pays de la Loire.

Enjoy the pictures and stay safe for New Years’s. Happy New Year 2016!!!

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