Some news from France CXXXIII

Back again for some wonderful news about glorious France, and this time sadder by the lost of Spain in the Euro16;now it will be all for France ::) Just an update France has 13 régions not 22 anymore, and they have all chosen their names; some kept the old, some has a new one, and then some have a combination of the old.

This Tuesday, June 28th at 5.30 p.m., 40 of the largest private donors who funded the restoration of the belt of light of the Opéra Garnier, will unveil the 18 bronze caryatids freshly rehabilitated. They are still hidden behind a discreet veil, to preserve the surprise. Side  of Rue Scribe, already restored caryatids are in place. the most decorated side rue Halévy will have it’s  18 caryatids (women naked carrying a lantern – over their heads)  will be unveiled. But their stone base has totally changed. Far from scandal, when placed in 1874, they should now welcome the Parisians. High of blue marble of turquois creates columns. Boat prows, symbols of the city of Paris, made of bronze, as wished by Charles Garnier, but who had not had the money to do it at the time. All handrails have also been reworked in Carrara marble. Finally a good part of the grids have been restored.  Tuesday evening, at night, once the temporary power poles, wooden, will be removed, the belt of light of the Opéra Garnier will be a glow that most had for long as before.

ON 3 July, for the first time in its history, the BHV-Marais will officially open on Sunday. This store which will celebrate in September its 160 years!!!  For several months, and yet until end of 2017, it entered a huge phase of the rue de Verrerie  to the rue  du Plâtre! The building, of 2500 m2, will be inside a court, in the heart of the Marais, between Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie and rue du Plâtre. A 1000 m2 space will be dedicated to the public for exhibitions and 1 500 m2 will remain ‘invisible ‘ to the public. It will be available to artists for their daily work.  The Italian franchise Eataly, a kind of Mall, restaurant dedicated to the transalpine fresh products. In short a trendy store concept. It is a place where you can both lunch and do shopping, in short it will be a place of life. There will be  fresh produce, Delicatessen, a wine cellar, fish, and restaurant self service. On 3,000 m2, the bobos and tourists had to find their happiness!!!

Goodbye  the Salon de thé, and hello the chocolate cellar. The famous chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin has just opened its new chocolate cellar store at 231 rue Saint-Honoré (Ier), in the courtyard of a building dating from the 18C, close to the place Vendôme. News from Le Figaro magazine.

The House of Chanel  has chosen to relocate three of its arts and crafts in the match factory in Aubervilliers in July 2015,and now it has set its sights on the Porte D’aubervilliers to implement by 2020 its ‘Manufacture de la mode” which will  put together some fifteen workshops, so-called”art houses”of its Paraffection subsidiary.

The Navigo pass  (transport pass in the Paris area) pricing will be revised upward. “An increase limited to 3 euros”, in the  Ile-de-France region and, as of August 1.  Navigo pass will go to 73€. This is a political settlement between the RATP, the region île de France ,and the city of Paris.

The Church of our Lady of the Assumption, that Van Gogh painted and is resting in the cemetery is in poor shape: fragile frame and roof, which lets the rain in are to be restored fully.  Van Gogh wrote about it  at Auvers-sur-Oise , “Auvers is fine, many old stubble, among others, which is rare, really it’s severely beautiful, is the characteristic and picturesque countryside ‘, he wrote to his brother Théo, who is buried also at the cemetery of the Church. The village conquered  him and he spent the last 70 days of his life, to immortalize landscapes and monuments; he has made not less than 60 paintings, before dying there on July 27, 1890.  Mayor Isabelle Mézières has appealed for donations via the Heritage Foundation.

And can we recite some memorable movies about or with Paris over the years and its different districts where they were film:love these films ALL seen over the years. This is Paris from your living room.

The Louvre is not only one of the most famous museums in the world. It  is also a film set that has welcomed  the Da Vinci Code, by Ron Howard (2006), adapted from the Dan Brown bestseller.  Woody Allen loves Paris and in “Everyone says I Love You” (1997), the character played by the Director himself went on the Pont-Neuf with his loaf of bread under the arm, while his” Midnight in Paris “(2011) played by Owen Wilson took good time on the Quays of the île de la Cité, at the foot of the famous 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

Sofia Coppola knows something since she had transformed the Hôtel de Soubise (seat of the national archives) in replacement of the Palace of Versailles on the occasion of filming “Marie-Antoinette ” (2006).  In another genus, filmmaker Doug Liman changed the entry of the Conservatoire national des arts et Métiers in “La Mémoire dans la Peau” (2002); Ah the Latin quarter! The Sorbonne, its great schools… And therefore the films taking these buildings for scenery. In La Gifle by Claude Pinoteau (1975), the character of Lino Ventura as Professor of geography in the  prestigious Lycée Louis le Grand, Rue Saint-Jacques. The  Director will ask again its cameras in the area a few years later for La Boum (1980) where the young Vic played by Sophie Marceau studied in the institution of prestige of the district, the Lycée Henri IVMontmartre without thinking about  Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. In the Café des Deux Moulins ,Rue Lepic or near the grocery shop  Colignon at the top of  Montmartre , the film revealed Audrey Tautou to the general public was instrumental in popularizing the image of Montmartre abroad.  The Champs Elysées, signs of romance with the most famous example remains Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in the cult work of new wave,  “A Bout de Souffle ” of Jean-Luc Godard (1960).  An idea taken up by Philippe de Broca in the l’Incorrigible (1975) with Geneviève Bujold and Jean-Paul Belmondo ? but also by the young Jean-Jacques Beineix in “Diva” (1981) and its tandem of actors played by Frédéric Andréi and Thuy An Luu.  The Montparnasse district is of course famous for its famous Tower but also for its brasseries known all over the world. The bistros of luxury that cinema has immortalized, in the image of the famous Closerie des Lilas which serves as a meeting place for the couple formed by Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret in the “Le Vieux Fusil”  by Robert Enrico (1976).  More recently, it is  La Coupole, another must-see Montparnasse brasserie, which served as a filming location for the adventures of the characters played by Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet “Ensemble“, (2007)that’s all by Claude Berri.

Now on July 10th, the Eiffel Tower will find some calm and its usual hue. The suite will be played in theaters. The blockbuster of the summer produced by 20th Century leaves no doubt about its future. Indeed, displays of “Independence Day: Resurgence“, in theaters July 20, shows the Parisian monument ready to undergo the attack of a spaceship.

The anti terrorist plan call ‘Vigipirate’ in France  makes  it less accessible for leaving luggage in SNCF train station and more difficult nowdays in  2,3 stars  hotels who hesitate to keep the luggage of their clients when they make their room check out at noon, without necessarily leaving Paris.  In addition  renters of housing sites such as Airbnb and those who frequent the many places where it is more possible to have a small bag on you : fan-zones of the Euro, theatres, Department stores… Then what about the backpack or small suitcase?  well here comes City-Locker to the rescue offering a secure room which has the appearance of a shop in a shopping street, and in which we find 45 boxes of storage whose measurements XXL (81 cm in depth, 65 cm wide and 48 cm tall) are very welcoming. An address in the Marais, one in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, one between the gare du Nord and the gare de l’Est and one newly inaugurated between Opera and Madeleine. Between €10 and €16 per day depending on the period and the occupancy rate (comparisons SNCF billed around €9.50 but it is impossible to book ahead). City Locker will let you book ahead. more info at

And now we come closer to me at Brest,Finistére dept 29 of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh.

A fleet of 1,000 ships flying 200 insignias  and the Hermione as a main boat. From July 13 to 19, Brest 2016 looks like an exception ,not to miss indeed. Stroke of luck on the calendar, the 7th edition of these  maritime festivals, given every four years, fits between the Euro and the Olympic Games. Entrance one day 15€ , 9€  for children 10 to 17 and free for young ers. More info here ;

For fall, it is been build an aerial tramway, the first cable car  city of France. It will fly over the Penfeld, between the bottom of the famous  rue de  Siam, left bank and right bank, a new district built on a former military site rehabilitated. Three-minute panoramic overview of the arsenal, at the price of a single tram ticket.  You can see the project here in French,

Brest has the last army citadel since the 17C (Vauban) and still in activity. Since the 1950’s, it houses the maritime (naval govt) and a Maritime Museum. An exhibition “Brest, port of freedom, at the time of the American Revolution”, will open Until April 2017, with  more than fifty works, including a model of the Hermione boat (took Marquis de Lafayette to help Gen Washington) ,and the sword of Lafayette to  show the commitment of France and the strategic role of the Breton port in the war of the American colonists against the British Crown, daily, admission 6€. Tel. +33  (0) and webpage of museum ;

Going South to another favorite city of mine we seek the celebration of Saint Martin at Tours.

Martin was born Roman in 316, at Savaria, a village in Hungary. Engaged in the legion, he travelled the empire of Germany to the banks of the Loire. Very early attracted by the Christian faith, soon converted, it is known after having torn in two his own coat, his cape (this is the origin of the word ‘Chapel’), to warm a bashful cold man.  Appointed Bishop of Tours in 371, he crisscrossed the country with monk’s disciples who help him install Christianity. Martin died in  November 8 ,397AD ,and was buried on November 11 in Tours.

The exhibition «Tours en cape» on July 2-3 , the anniversary date of the ordination of St Martin, will be presented a show of cape and sword, «Saint – Martin Tours». A village of the era will be installed on the Place  Anatole-France. In its Center, the giant statue of St Martin, 4 meters (about 13 feet)  in height, that one  that is usually on the cupola of the Basilica. It will then be covered by a giant glass dome.  Throughout the day, the village will host shows, concerts and DJ as well as the circus, dance, street arts, etc.  A guinguette will be installed to quench the audience and serve cake Saint-Martin, a creation of the pastry chefs in the city.  A popular ball dance will conclude each day.  Its conclusion, an event on the water. After his death a few kilometers from the city, the body of St Martin had in fact been transported up Tours aboard a seagoing barge on the Loire. Legend has it that flowers blossomed as the passage of the convoy, despite the November frost. To honor the memory of the saint, 10 000 white flowers will adorn the city. And on the Wilson Bridge, 1 700 sky lanterns will be available to visitors who turn them on and let them spin in the sky.  More info in French here:

Enjoy the beauty of France. Bon voyage et à bientôt ::)

2 Comments to “Some news from France CXXXIII”

  1. I quite fancy those St Martin celebrations in Tours, but we are only leaving England on Friday 8th July en route to Zaragoza. I hope you get to visit, though, and tell us all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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