Archive for July 14th, 2016

July 14, 2016

Cathédrale Saint Pierre, Vannes

The Cathedral of Saint Peter in Vannes is a wonderful building right in the middle of the old town with wooden houses going back to the 14C originals.  The parrish Catholic page in French is here ; http://cathedrale-vannes.cef.fr/

I walk by it every so often, several times a week, and always amazed of it’s history and impressive architecture in the right spot.  Many towns have wonderful Churches, Basilicas, and Cathedrals ;usually they are laid out in a square with spaces around them.Not so, Vannes, the Cathedral is right in the town on a street really call place St Pierre attached by houses and shops all around it  in a medieval setting. I have written a bit on it in past posts but this time I believe it deserves a post of its own.

The Cathedral (romanesque in origins but later gothic as we see today) in the middle ages had many tombs, in fact ,they made up the floor. Later for reason of hygiene, only the bishops from the 17C were kept in. In the 15C , it was visited by Saint Vincent (Vicente Ferrier a Dominican monk from Valencia Spain) ; his tomb is in the Cathedral on the left side on what you see on the photo the Tour Renaissance.

If you walk on the right side  the first Chapel will be of the Baptismal rites, since 1856.  Next is the Chapel of Sainte Anne, the patron Saint of the Bretons (according to the Bible, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus). The golden statue of the Virgen is from the 18C.  Next you find the Chapel of the Rosary or Sacred Heart; mainly to celebrate the honoring of the Sacred Heart here since 1757. Then, you have the Chapel of Bienheureux Pierre René Rogue; a priest guillotine in 1796 for defending the faith and a native of Vannes. His remains were brought here in 1936. Behind the altar you have the Chapel of Saint Gwenâel, a 6C monk native of Vannes.

You come to the Altar finished in 1777. In the southern transept you have the Chapel Notre Dame de Lourdes on the old entrance of the Dukes of Brittany when coming to the Cathedral. The deambulatory is big due to the huge crowds coming to venerated Saint Vincent here, and you arrive at the Chapel of the Great Sacrament and Notre Dame de Pitié ; in reality two small chapels, one shown a figure of a pieta shows a stained glass fo the efforts of the USA in WWI. The second on the Notre Dame it is from 1637.

Coming now around on the left side you see the Chapel of Notre Dame de Miséricorde (old Chapel of St Yves). The Vannetais locals love to come to pray here, you will see a small boat in honor of St Yves ,the defender of the liberty of the churches of Brittany found in all of them. You come to the Tour Renaissance and the tomb of Vincent Ferrier (Saint Vincent); marble from 1648 and the remains of the monk Saint  brought here in 1956. In the transept north you have the Chapel of St Antony of Padua, the statue of the Saint is from 1195-1231. On the Chapel of Saint Louis were deposited the remains of the immigrant bretons killed in  1795 ,trying to free Brittany from the French revolution. The Altar in the Chapel is dedicated to Saint Louis with flanking statues of Joanne of Arc(1925)  and Ste Theresa of Lisieux(1956). The entry is the Chapel of Saint Mériadec and Saint Patern. Saint Patern was the first Bishop of Vannes end of 5C and Saint Mériadec his successor in about 666AD.

The organ is from the 18C , the buffet is in sculptured wood from 1740; and great concerts are done today on Thursdays evenings,usually by 20h45.The tour  (13C) is the oldest romanesque parts of the Cathedral and hold the 4 bells. The old  Capilary chapel holds the treasures underneath the sacristy with over 150 beautiful pièces of religious arts from 12C to 18C.

The city of Vannes has more on it in French here: http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/cathedrale-saint-pierre-en-detail/

Some info in English from the tourist office of Vannes here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover/vannes/history-town

This is a must to see while in Vannes, and I never get tired of seeing. Enjoy the visit to a wonderful Cathedral.

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July 14, 2016

Vannes and the Fêtes Historiques!

This is a wonderful event in Vannes, my capital city , where I work and live only 35 kms or about 22 miles on country roads.  A huge middle ages intact city left in time and glory for all of us to enjoy it today. The event in it’s 31th edition is the Fêtes Historiques or Historical Festival. (see previous posts).

We enjoy it every year since the last five we have live in the area, and always wonderful. This year the Festival has a guest of honor ,Napoléon III.

It is held ironically around the National Day of France July 14 ,today ,best wishes to France ::) and this time held July 13-14, 2016. It has hundreds and if not thousands of folks dressed in period costumes with fire works in the ramparts gardens, and many représentations from other European countries. Of course, Spain was here, as the wife of Napoleon III was Maria Eugenia de Montijo, emperatrice of France and Spanish born.

Napoléon III came twice to Vannes ,once in 1858 and again in 1865. It was on a long trip to Brittany to gather support in the region,and stop of the religious center in Sainte-Anne d’Auray as well. They came with their children and were received in the palais de la motte (where today lies the préfecture or regional government building).

The animations starts from 14h30 to 20h each day, and there are walks with all personalities around town at 16h30, from the Church of Saint Pattern, 17h from the Place Maurice Marchais, and at 22h30 from the same square Place Maurice Marchais. Fireworks at the ramparts garden at 23h30. We were early at 10h30 in the Hôtel de Ville where the foreign visitors will be presented and bal dance held as well as marching band from the period.

Some of the artists that will be here of my interest are the Centre Equestre de Plougoumelen.   And the Fundacion Bodas de Isabel of  Teruel, which has an event there in Spain later on in the year as well, very popular:  http://www.bodasdeisabel.com/W3/Bodas/Index_Bodas.aspx

There will be navette bus free from the right bank of the harbor area or le port, and the parc du golfe, and parking Racker. And the city of Vannes had a bus from midnight 00h30 departing from the Place de la République , front of the post office building. We park in place de la Liberation bus terminal area for free and walk 10 minutes to city center.

A great event and more on the city of Vannes page here:  https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/grands-rendez-vous/fetes-historiques-2020/

We always enjoy it, and be ready next time to be in the area; you will enjoy it too.

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