Archive for February, 2018

February 28, 2018

Rouen, Joanne of Arc ,and the history of France!

As on my day off, taken the winds out of my blog and given you all kinds of choices to come visit my belle France. This time will like to tell you a bit of the history of Rouen, I enjoy history, and Rouen has plenty of it. I used to come often to this city, many times even for lunch with the family or to see the Rouen Huskies, baseball champions of France !!! yes. Now I am looking into other areas, distant lands but Rouen remains very much in my top of the list of French cities.

My previous post talked more about the tourist sites that I like to visit. Here is the post with photos. https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/03/24/rouen-normand-and-jeanne-darc/

Well, here we go. Rouen is a city cross by the Seine river in the department 76 of Seine-Maritime in the region of Normandy (Normandie). After the new administrative alignment in France bringing the two Normandies low and high back together again, it was decided that Rouen will be the administrative Capital or prefecture of the region, and Caen will be the host of the regional council or political Capital. it is now part of the  metropole Rouen-Normandie ,6th in size in France and 2nd on the west. Their site on the tourism page in French is here: http://www.metropole-rouen-normandie.fr/laissez-vous-conter-la-metropole

The city of Rouen was between 911 and 1204, the capital of the duchy of Normandy and for many years always in dispute between the French and the English especially during the War of 100 years. It was on its soil that Joanne of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc was imprisoned , judge, and burned at the stake on May 30 , 1431. She is now a patron Saint of France, doctor of the Catholic Church. The city was heavily bombarded during WWII in 1944 and revive later thanks to its wonderful harbor 5th port in France. The Seine river covers 179 hectares of the city area.  In 949, the Duke of Normandy, Richard 1 known as the Fearless wins a decisive battle over a coalition of forces which included the king of France, Louis IV , Emperor Othon the Great and the Count of Flandres. A plaque commemorating this victory is at the Place de la Rougemare.  The work (invasion and conquest of England) by William the Conqueror Duke of Normandy allows the region to be the most powerful in Europe. Rouen becomes the economic and religious capital while Caen is the political capital; it is at Rouen that William the Conqueror died in 1087. It is after the burning of Jeanne d’Arc by the instigation of the Duke of Bedford and the Burgundian party majority in the city; same year a young Henri IV is crowned king of France and England in Paris before coming to Rouen where he is acclaimed by the people.  The king Henri IV takes the city of Rouen in  1449, 18 years after the death of Jeanne d’Arc and 30 years after the English occupation.

During the French revolution, in 1792 on the last days of the monarchy, several members loyal to the king are united in  Rouen and put in place all the necessary preparation for host the King and fight back. However, the always indecisive Louis XVI decides to stayed in Paris; this stopping all possibilities of an uprising to reverse the revolutionary process. Therefore, Rouen was the last chance for the monarchy to win back the monarchy.

Symbolize by a statue done by Jean-Pierre Cortot, erected in 1838, makes Rouen one of the 8 cities represented in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. During the war of 1870, Rouen is occupied by the Prussians  with 16 battalions and 16 squadrons under General Ferdinand von Bentheim. During the Great War or WWI, Rouen served as a base for the British army, and on August 2 1944 the general mobilization for the war is call for in the city. The city welcome many Belgians escaping from the Germans and the city turns out to help them out with donations, the city hall of Rouen decided to change the name of the blvd Cauchoise to blvd des Belges (or blvd of Belgians) to honor them.  Rouen was again occupied by the Nazis in WWII on June 1940 and suffered greatly the bombardments and fires practically destroying the whole of the old town between the Cathedral and the Seine river ; August 30 1944 the Nazis retreat and the city is finally liberated by the Canadians.

The city has excellent and nice train station direct with gare Saint Lazare in Paris which I have taken as well. This is the Rouen Rive Droite gare de Rouen. Also, local train transport on the Intercités Normandie lines and the TER Normandie lines.  The main SNCF rive droite info and TGV included is here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frurd/rouen-rive-droite

For the TER trains here is their site in French; https://www.ter.sncf.com/normandie/gares/87411017/Rouen-Rive-Droite/pratique

There are locally two metro lines on a north south axis, three lines of TEOR bus of high level of service on a east to west axis; 33 bus lines and 4 lines of taxis, there is a park relay for cars using the public transport system with 1500 spaces for free or free upon presentation of a transport ticket.  The network running all this are ASTUCE and VTNI. Their webpages here:

https://reseau-astuce.fr/

http://www.vtni76.fr/presentation/?rub_code=8

The metro lines also cover adjacent towns such as  Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Sotteville-lés-Rouen, le Petit-Quevilly, and Le Grand-Quevilly. The bus system TEOR also reaches the towns of  Déville-lés-Rouen, Bihorel, Mont-Saint-Aignan, Darnétal, Canteleu, Notre-Dame-de-Bondeville, and Maromme.

The city tourism page is here: http://en.rouentourisme.com/

As well as the tourist section of the city of Rouen : https://www.rouen.fr/tourisme

Now the road network is extensive and for the novice can be difficult, but once in the habit it becomes easy.  The city does not have a beltway or péripherique/rocade so all traffic is around the city center and along bordering the Seine river. Some of these roads are the N338, expressway A13 (autoroute de normandie) and the bridge Gustave Flaubert. There is a link to the bridge on the A150 from Barentin; the N28 linking the A28 towards Abbeville on blvd de la Europe by the bridge  Mathilde and the tunnel de la Grand’Mare. On the west there is the A151 to Dieppe and the A28 to Le Mans and Tours, on the east the A28 and the north the A154 on the section Tourville-la-Riviére to Evreux. On our travels we have taken the A13 and A28 as well as the A150.

Some of the interesting thing of Rouen is that as well as been name a City of Arts and History of France; Stendhal called it The Athens of the Gothic style.  What can you see here, well I did a post on some of the buildings I like here, these are  The primate Cathedral of Notre Dame, gothic architecture that inspired Claude Monet to paint her on the series of  « Cathédrales ». The abbey of Saint Ouen flamboyant gothic architecture . The symbol of Rouen,(we have a painting from a local artist on it) is the Gros-Horloge or big clock astronomic with a mechanism of the 14C and a cadran of the 16C located in a building over the rue du Gros-Horloge with a renaissance arch next to the bell tower or beffroi of gothic style; just a marvelous sight always.  The current city hall  from 1800 now in the dormitory of the old abbey of Saint Ouen. The finance bureau of the Bureau des finances,built between 1509-1540 upon the request of Cardinal George d’Amboise ,the oldest renaissance building in Rouen. it is, also, known as the place where Claude Monet painted most of his 11 portraits in the series « Cathédrales ». The justice palace or courthouse of Rouen is the former building of the Parliament of Normandy.  To note the Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde in the place de la Pucelle with flamboyant gothic and renaissance styles built in the first part of the 16C and today a very nice hotel. The Saint Maclou Church a flamboyant gothic style Church built between 1437 and 1517; it has a rosary façade. The Aitre Saint Maclou is an ancient ossuary consisting of four stone and half timbered wings surrounding a square courtyard. Its history goes back to the black plague of 1348 that killed a large part of the population; the cementary around the Church Saint Maclou becoming too small. the Aitre which was then a courtyard ,was transformed into a necropolis. In 1526, a new epidemic led to the construction of three half timbered galleries.

The square that we always headed for is the place du Vieux-Marché, for the market and around it the old museum of Jeanne d’Art, the Cross at the spot of the burning, and the Church of Jeanne d’Arc (see photo below) built at the same spot of the martyrdom.  The tower of  Jeanne d’Arc that was part of the old Castle of Rouen built in 1204 by king Philippe Auguste on the ruins of a Gallo-Roman amphitheater of Rotomagus; it is on this castle that Jeanne d’Arc was imprisons and where the charges against her were given.  The Fierte Saint-Romain, attach to the Halle aux Toiles, the only renaissance style building remaining after the  bombardment of WWII. The Hôtel-Dieu hospital built in after 1127 is today the seat of department and regional government entities such as the Préfecture de la Région Normandie and Préfecture de la Seine-Maritime.  There are many more minor historical places here but so many to mention, the city is an oasis of history and architecture. One particular one that always cought my attention is the Church of Saint-Laurent , flamboyant gothic style sold during the French revolution and renovated to house the Museum of Le Secq des Tournelles where there is a nice collection of  Ironwork.

Rouen  is a model of the romantic town celebrated by Victor Hugo in his famous poem of the Autumn leaves or Les Feuilles d’Automme.  The city, also, has nearly 2000 houses in wood especially in the streets of  rue du Gros-Horloge, rue Saint-Romain, rue Damiette, rue des Faulx, rue d’Eau de Robec , the rue Martinville. The museum or musée des Beaux-Arts one of the most important in France, second only to Paris and opening in 1801 and noted as such by 1878. The museum of natural history or the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, the second in France after the one in Paris for the richness of tis collection. the museum or musée Flaubert et d’histoire de la medicine on his native house showing a collection of objects and document related to medicine and pharmacy.  The theater or Théâtre de Rouen holding up to 1350 spectators was first built between 1774 and 1776 , destroyed by a fire in 1876, a new building was built on the ruins of the old one. Partially ,destroyed during WWII bombardments of 1944 ,the new theater was built between 1952 and 1962 on rue Jeanne d’Arc.

The tourist board for the department 76 is here: https://www.seine-maritime-tourisme.com/en/

And the region of Normandy tourist board is here: http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/normandy-tourism-1-2.html

There you go, I think I pay my respects to Rouen, a wonderful town, history, architecture and good food as the Norman hole or the trou Normand ::) A picture to me means Rouen ,Jeanne d’Arc or Joanne of Arc, or Juana de Arcos. Happy travels, and good health to all. Cheers!

Rouen

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February 28, 2018

The Nord Lille ,and Pas de Calais, Arras!

So in the times of cold and snow , let’s go north, lol! This is an area I have visited while visiting family and then use them as a base. The wonderful towns of Lille and Arras.

I have written on these and other before and even the Christmas market in Arras is tops. Here are my previous posts in my blog. Now, let’s give you a bit more on the history, I like.
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/261

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/1781

Lille is a great city often overlook and now really link by train from Paris and even London, Brussels, Amsterdam etc. The city center is wonderful and the shopping phenomenal.  Lille is a city in the Nord 59 departément of the region of Hauts-de-France. It is often calle the Capital of Flandres as it used to belong to the roman flandres which in turn belongs to the historic French Flandres, old territory of the Count of Flandres and not part of the Flemish speaking area.

The city of Lille has gone thru many monumental periods in its history and count as one of the cities most invaded in France. Lille has belong to the counts of Flandres, kingdom of France, Burgundian state, Holy Roman Empire ,the Spanish low countries before coming back to France taken by king Louis XIV during the war of Spanish succession. Theh city was again invaded in 1792 during the Franco Austrian war and very much touch by the two World wars. During WWI the city was occupied by the Germans from 1914 to 1918, and it was the English under Gen Birdwood that liberated the city in October 17,1918. The city was in ruins. Lille was taken in WWII since May 1940 by the Nazis and attach to the nazi commander HQ in Brussels and not from the Vichy regime, so totally detached from the rest of France. Lille is finally liberated again by the British on September 3, 1944.

It is for this reason that the city did not developed into a typical city center layout but a mosaic of districts with their own identity. The historic heart that today is composed of the old Lille and Center Lille or Vieux-Lille and Lille-Centre; these two districts are extensions of the city in the 17C to 19C. Then, coming the districts born out of annexations in the 19C such as the Bois Blancs, Vauban Esquermes, Wazemmes, Lille-Moulins, Faubourg de Béthune, Lille-Sud, Saint-Maurice Pellevoisin , and Fives as the better ones and then coming those born out of the 20C such as Hellemmes ,and Lomme.

Some of the things to see here are The Collegiale Church of Saint Pierre and its crypt, Church of Saint-Maurice, and Church of Sainte-Catherine, the old stock exchange or Vieille Bourse house or maison de Gilles de la Boë, Church of Saint Etienne, Church of Saint André, the wonderful Citadelle known as the Queen of Citadelles , the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille, new stock exchange or ouvelle bourse, city hall or hôtel de ville, and wonderful shopping train complex of Euralille. A memory lane shot in EuraLille.

lille

Other wonderful streets to walk on and see old Lille are rue des Chats-Bossus, Place du Lion-d’Or, rue de la Monnaie, rue des Arts ,rue Saint Jacques, place aux Bleuets, or the house of old men or Maison des Vieux-Hommes built in 1624 at rue de Roubaix. And do not missed the Grand’Place this to me is Lille at its best. You wonderful art at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, B. 1885,the Théâtre Sébastopol B. 1903, and the Opéra B. 1907. The wonderful park of Bois de Boulogne in Lille next to the Citadelle,with a zoo, an attraction park. Not to leave out the other museums such as the native house/museum of Charles de Gaulle at rue Princesse, and the wonderful musée des Canonniers at rue des Canonniers house in an old convent tracing the history of the military actions in town and especially the sieges of Lille.

Some of the must dishes to try here in the northern cuisine mixing French and Flemish traditions are other than the local beer, The Flemish Carbonade, simmered beef stew with beer, often embellished with gingerbread; the Potjevleesch, a terrine of four white meats taken with jelly; the Waterzoï, chicken or fish stew with cream and small vegetables. The Petit Salé Lille, made only from lean ham, and the mussels and fries, a dish obliged to the great sale of Lille, are also part of the culinary heritage of the city. The city of Lille tourist page in French is here:  http://www.lille.fr/Que-faire-a-Lille/Decouvrir-Lille
The tourist office of Lille in English here: http://en.lilletourism.com/

Then, we go down to Arras, a nice town with lots of war history to remember. Also, in my opinion , the best Christmas market in the dept 59. Arras is the historic capital of the departement 62 of Pas-de-Calais, in the region of Hauts de France; 45 km from Lille,and 160 km from Paris. We go here on the A1 who has an important exchange with the A26 here. And we do take the D 939. Trains to Paris Gare du Nord are regular. The core historical of the city is along the ramparts with the oldest construction there around the bell tower or beffroi,and by the beautiful Grand’Place.

Arras

 

 

A bit of history I like: the treaty of Madrid of 1526 attached Arras to the Spanish lower countries but was never respected by king François I and conflicts continue until the end of his reign. The city is conquered by king Louis XIII in 1640 and later siege by the Spanish in 1654 ; however , the attachement to France does not happenned until the Treat of the Pyrénées in 1659.

WWI or the Great War gives considerable damaged to the city and destruction of its heritage buildings as the town was only 10 km from the front. The beffroi is destroyed then the Cathedral and the palace of Saint-Vaast are bombarded in 1915. In secret the British built the stone quarries of chalk under the city to house the soldiers necessary for the battle of Arras of April 9 1917; the quarry of Wellington is open today to remember what heroic actions were taken place here. After the war, Arras was demolished in 3/4 of it and was rebuilt almost identical later. Arras had some damaged in WWII but not nearly as much than during the Great War 1914-1918.

Some of the things to see here are; well let me tell you this little town has a punch. Arras is a City of Arts and History designation, and member of the Vauban network; it has 225 monuments classified as historical monuments that makes it the 7th city in France! The wonderful place des Héros,rue de la Taillerie, and the Grand’Place form an extraordinary monumental group of buildings unique in Europe.

The bell tower or beffroi in the city hall or hôtel de ville was built between 1463-1554, destroyed by Germans in WWI it was rebuilt to the identical after the war. The huge abbey of Saint-Vaast rebuilt in the 18C in classical architecture today houses the fine arts museum or musée des Beaux-Arts d’Arras, and the municipal library. Originally founded in the 7C ; the Church became the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Vaast after the old cathedral was destroyed during the French revolution. The lower town has the district that link the city to the Citadelle, around the place Victor-Hugo, built in 1756 in an octagonal shape of which in the center an obelisk was placed. The Citadelle was built between 1668-1672 as a defense in square format as wanted by Vauban, to protect the kingdom from invasion by the Spanish low countries but was never attack.

Arras

There is a theater on the Italian model built in 1785 and renovated last in 2007. The fine arts museum has sculptures, objects of art, and painting collections from the Flemish, Dutch, Italian, and French schools . There is an agreement between the city and the chateau de Versailles to offered collaboration that will give the museum a royal domain look (of course).

The culinary traditions here are other than the beer… Chocolate Hearts: In the 12C the heart-shaped pastries were done and still do. In the 17C, the Gingerbread hearts became the “hearts of Arras”. Since the years 1950, they are made of chocolate, and they are great! Since the Middle Ages, the home grown pigs perpetuate the traditional recipe of the antler of Arras, elaborated from veal strawberries prepared by hand. The antler of Arras has its brotherhood and its annual feast. The city of Arras tourist page in French here:  https://www.arras.fr/fr/mes-loisirs/tourisme-patrimoine

arras

 

The tourist office of Arras in English here:  http://www.explorearras.com/?lng=en

There you have it, two wonderful towns of the North that needs to be visited more, and me included with relatives nearby. So much to see here you know ::)

There are factory outlets in the outskirts of Lille such as at Roubaix the Usines we have been with the family and they are pretty good if you know what you are looking for and prices. here is the link to the Usines:  http://www.usineroubaix.fr/en/

Also,McArthur Glen factory outlet here:  https://www.mcarthurglen.com/fr/mcarthurglen-roubaix/en/

Roubaix

Great shopping indeed just one for old memories’ sake at McArthur Glen. I remember when was preparing moving to France permanently, I met a collegue at the Novotel hotel at the airport at Lille-Lesquin to go over my resumé/CV in give it a French format; I drove from my wife’s older brother home in Caudry (see that recent post). The meeting went well, we still in touch ,and I got the job right away!! memories of 2003. Airport site here for the memories!! http://www.lille.aeroport.fr/home/

And the Novotel hotel at Lesquin. https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0427-novotel-lille-airport/index.shtml

Enjoy your week, happy travels and good health to all. Cheers!

 

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February 28, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXVI

Well we have a wave of cold glacier weather and folks here are jumping literally! Even total strangers are telling me this morning (day off ::)) that it was chilling cold; ça caille!  Well c’mon it is about 17F not that bad from one who had lived in minus zero Fahrenheit’s , here it was -8C windy in Vannes today. Anyway, the beat goes on.

Even snow was felled in the west ! not here…. it was in the Paris region of Ile-de-France. My old département 78 of  Yvelines was the worse hit by snow falling according to Météo France. They anticipate having 1cm to 3cm in the country side (that is max 1 inch folks)  of lower Normandy, and Pays de la Loire.  The region of Hauts-de-France  to the Pyrénées  passing by Paris ,the snow will be humid so it will go away quickly and it did.  Higher than 500 meters the snow fall could reach 5 cm to 10 cm ( for info  2,54cm = 1 inch) .  In Paris the police is advising folks not to use the car lol!! they will make a mess if they go out ::) , and of course use public transport if enough space lol!  on all the western part of the region of Île-de-France. At the old school on the rue de Monceau (8éme) the city of Paris has setup beds refuge for the homeless ; which according to a recent survey , they are 3000 in Paris alone, well I think it’s a government conservative figure.  The region of PACA = Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, and Corsica have clouds bringing snow storms where even Nice has been covered in white even extending to all the coastline.  The snow here will be 2cm in city to 5 cm in the interior lands with winds of 60 KPH or about 36 MPH. Here in my lovely Brittany we have no snow, but it’s unusual cold with temps down to minus 8C and very windy especially in city center Vannes that makes it for even lower temperatures due to the wind chill factor.  There small cloudy waves with snow in the Grand Est region and the point of the Cotentin. snow storms at the foot of the Pyrénées  with sunny skies.  The cold there will be  -4C to  -8C inland and  -8C to  -12C on the highs and  -1C to  -4C by the sea. Excepting the Mediterranean coastline we expect to have maximums of 2-5C  with no further warming so be careful on the roads; the temps will be higher than -4C to 0C in the plains. All from Méteo France weather report. A view of Paris from the bridge Bir Hakeim and Eiffel on the way,  by the Le Parisien journal credit Olivier Arandel.

Paris

And Disneyland Paris just announce a 2B € investment over the coming years !!! in Seine-et-Marne dept 77. The new expansion plan calls for the transformation of the Walt Disney Studios park including three new themes zones such as those dedicated to Marvel, The Snow Queen, and Star Wars as well as new spectacles and attractions.  The work will be done in phases starting in 2021 to enlarge the Walt Disney Studios park; including a new lake, theater of new spectacles that will be link to the new themes zones . the second park of Disneyland Paris, the Walt Disney Studios opened in 2002 after the opening of Disneyland in 1992; that celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. More here: http://www.france24.com/en/20180227-france-disneyland-paris-2bn-upgrade-star-wars-zone

Ok ok so once in a while we get visitors to the Grand Canal of the Chateau de Versailles, and wild pigs are the most numerous . As they go in not realising there is no slow wave early in the morning the waters takes them in and find it difficult to get back up , the pigglies . The wild pigs or sangliers were each of 100+ kg each so kind of big and they end up drowning. The park worker will need now to wait a few days for their bodies to surface again on the lake to be able to pick them up .  Of course, this after they made a mess of the garbage cans, and fences holes and causing damages to the nearby wonderful Arboretum de Chèvreloup  that is just alongside the Castle domain.  This park, the Arboretum already has several wild pigs that hides in the holes during the day and come out at night when there are no visitors to do their work. Here is a picture from the Le Parisien journal.

Versailles

Another good news to save a wonderful French heritage. At the parc naturel regional de la Haute-Vallée de Chevreuse there is the Château de la Madeleine  in bad condition and no gov money to save it. The castle looks over the Chevreuse for over thousand years .  The Yvelines council ,its owner since 1982 look for a solution and found it.  Without putting it for sale, the castle will be given to a renter who in exchange will make the expenses necessary; the work should begin by 2020, and will require the park management now in the castle to find a new home, tant pis ;it’s all worth it. The Castle already was attracting over 60K persons per year.  More here in French with gorgeous photos better than I. https://www.parc-naturel-chevreuse.fr/destination-parc/chateau-de-la-madeleine-maison-du-parc

A new great movie on the Nordistes or the folks of the Nord or the Ch’tis. The movie is in French, La Ch’tite Famille directed by great French actor/producer/director Dany Boon and starting himself and Laurence Arné, Guy Lecluyse, Line Renaud ,Valérie Bonneton, and François Berléand, out this year. The story of a couple of architects designer very famous at the turn of their best moment in their careers. a retro expo at the  Palais de Tokyo in Paris will change their lives. Everybody thinks Valentin (Dany Boon) is Parisien to help fit in in a very snob world without telling that he was from the nord or region of Hauts-de-France. His mother, brother, and sister in law want to give him a surprise  and land on a day of showing arts or  vernissage.  For Valentin the risk of been discover is a catastrophic.  While leaving the museum (Tokyo) , he is hit by a car and by consequence finds his accent; his wife will do anything to make sure he loses the accent of the Nord lol!!! hilarious, you need to know France has many dialects, accents ,languages etc. and funny things are done to them.  A movie site here in French and a trailer : http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19576950&cfilm=235236.html

For those looking for after movie Paris, well since 2010, you have Le Pompon nightclub right in a old synagogue. The place had change hands and names before a group got together and got this portion of the rue des Petites-Écuries. They open the  Hôtel Bourbon, a house of  insomnious. Between re done shiny furniture, benches, low wooden tables and encrusted on walls, with Rougier lamps on a very contemporary style  with graphics and neons models on two levels .  a wonderful menu of numbered cocktails (10€) to drink on an ambiance disco rock , Chicago house  and even hip-hop in the basement played by different groups.  see it all at the Hôtel Bourbon , 39, rue des Petites-Écuries (10éme). From Wednesdays to Saturdays and from 23h to 5h mornings. More here:   http://hotelbourbon.fr/

How about some dancing in Paris, and not in the rain ::)

Éléphant Paname , has dance nights from the folks who choreograph the famous Single Ladies that made the world tour. Now just for starter in a sexy mood you can go for two hours of training and a final 3 minutes, an intense dance course to get you to the level of a  Queen B. This is one of favorite nights spot in Paris for many years in the area, Elephant Paname , 10 rue Volney (2éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 27 83 33.  the dance course lasts 2 hours on Sundays March 25 and April 15 from 14-16H price 40€.

you can enjoy waltz in Paris too.  They organize events so you can dance without fancy clothing or finding your place and many formulas on the webpage as well as the opportunity to participate in the Bal des Parisiennes next June 16th. You find the place Votre Bal, Place du Louvre (Iéme). 10 classes of 1h30 from 150 € to 195 € ; one class without commitment for only 19,50 €. More on the courses here: http://www.votrebal.com/apprendre-a-danser-la-valse-viennoise.html

On the dance competition Bal des Parisiennes here: http://www.baldesparisiennes.com/

located not far from the parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the small room welcome the lvoers of Tango for about 15 years now. One Saturday per month the debutants with or without partner can start on the fundamentals of the Argentinian dance and participate for their first Bal ( next stage is March 10th at  15h to 20h, price 66 €). Or you can come to tango for pleasure every Tuesdays and Fridays from 16h to 19h, for  6€ only! At the La Casa del Tango ,11, allée Darius-Milhaud (19éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 40 73 60. More in French here: http://www.lacasadeltango.net/

Lots of new places to tell you, and good ones in Paris.

You have Le 975 ,25, rue Guy-Môquet (17éme). Tél.+33 (0) 9 53 75 67 71. open every day except Saturdays and Sundays ;menu Formules lunch: 17 € (Entrée-Plat or Plat-Dessert).  there is a Menu at 39 €.  Straight from the menu Carte: 40-50 €. The dining room is cozy in the form of a V, and the lunch menu is unbelievable, coffee included ! More here: http://www.le-975.com/

In while landing by the Gare du Nord in the spring of 2016 with its décor of broken floor, old buffet tables, zinc and bistro tables and its good service, the nice cellars from natural wines also to take home and the bread from neighbor Thierry Breton. Les Arlots, 136 rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière (10éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 82 92 01. open everyday except Sundays and Mondays. menu Formules lunch for 19 € (Entrée- plat or plat -dessert) , and 23 € (Entrée, plat, dessert. menu Carte: 30-50 € for dinners.

You have nice ballet like the all time famous Bolero version Maurice Béjart that was declare vulgar by the Americans is always an event here. the opening by Daphnis and Chloé  of Benjamin Millepied with a choreography of Daniel Buren at the Opéra Bastille, until March 24, More here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-17-18/ballet/benjamin-millepied-maurice-bejart

The work of Tchaïkovski (Fr) Onéguine  played by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris at the wonderful Palais Garnier opera house until March 7th.  More here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/ballet/oneguine

And the wonderful Romeo et Juliette, the nice version of Sasha Waltz with the music of  Berlioz. the symphonic ballet is full of images that gives passion to the play and it continues in a nice flux all this at the Opéra Bastille from April 10 to May 4 2018. More here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/ballet/romeo-and-Juliet

Now,then ,enjoy France and Paris the best 1-2 combination in the world…well do not forget Brittany ::) enjoy your week, Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2018

The bulls and at Ventas, what about them…..

I will speak about perhaps a controversial issue, not fully understood or traditions gone out the window in our current world. The bulls corridas and especially those at the Monumental de Ventas in Madrid.

This is a great tradition with bulls that are giving the best care and upbringing in the world today, they are pampered.  I have written two posts before on them in my blog, here they are:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/10/madridthe-bulls-of-san-isidro/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/09/madrid-ventas-and-the-bulls/

For official ticketing to the Ventas bullring, the San Isidro festival and Autumn season, here it is for you: https://www.entradastorosmadrid.com/Bullfight-Madrid.htm

The monumental Ventas official link is here: http://www.las-ventas.com/

The plaza of Ventas opened in 1931 with a capacity for 23 798 persons, and a neo mudéjar architecture;  been the biggest in Spain for the size and the fame, as well as the third in the world. The plaza is composed of a main bullring  diameter measuring 60 meters , and the callejon or alley of 2,20 meters.  The resting place of the bulls is divided into three sections. the left gate are where the first three bulls come out and the two replacements if needed .The Central gate where they come in and out the cabestros or bell ax  and the right gate where come out the last three bulls.

The arena belongs to the neighborhood of  Guindelera in the district of  Salamanca. The metro line 2 and 5 Ventas is right in front.

Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid

A bit of history I like. Upon request of king Felipe IV ,the count of Olivares built an arena in 1630 at the place Buen Retiro (Retiro park)  to give replacement to the Plaza Mayor where many corridas were held. Another arena was built in 1737 on the location of Soto de Luzon. Later, king Felipe V ordered built another arena that give  management to the  Sala de Alcaldes de la Casa y Corte in 1743; this is the Puerta de Alcalà arena. On the same spot ,king Fernando VI ordered built another arena that gives the hospitals the management of it! It was in 1875, near Calle Aragon that another arena was built under the name of Las Ventas , the name that today we know as the Monumental de Madrid.

There is ,also, a fine museum about the art call Museo Taurino with interesting objects and architecture that will bring many even if no interest to the corridas; the museum is in the back of the Monumental , you walk around it. It, also has a chapel devoted to the Virgen de Guadalupe and to the Virgen de la Paloma, patrons of Mexico and Madrid, respectively. The museum tour here: http://lasventastour.com/el-museo-taurino/

During the Spanich Civil War between 1936-1939 the arena was closed and open again in May 1939. The first bull to participate in the arena was called Hortelano, and the bullfighter name was Aguililla (little eagle).

The arena is used as a concert hall events as well. Best to see the stables of the horses, the bulls resting barns, the Arena itself of course, the Big gate or Puerta Grande, the stands, and the statue dedicated to  El Cordobés outside facing Calle de Alcalà.

 The Festival or feast of San Isidro is enormous and a must see at least once in  your life. In 2018 there will be a corrida internacional, with bulls from different countries so far accepting are Juan Bautista (France), Juan del Álamo (Spain), Luis David Adame (México), Joaquín Galdós (Perú), Jesús Enrique Colombo (Venezuela), and maybe Luis Bolívar (Colombia) , and the horse swordmen  Joao Moura(Portugal). All of San Isidro is this year from May 11-15.  The official site still do not have the 2018 activities but it is here: http://www.sanisidromadrid.com/

More from the Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/search?text=san+isidro+2018&sort_bef_combine=search_api_relevance+DESC&items_per_page=20

My recollection as a young boy in Madrid was been taken at Las Ventas to see the rajoneros or the men on horse poking the bulls and taken into the arena itself. I lived not far from here in Quintana, two metro /subway stops. It was the boys hangout in an other era.

One area where my Mom shopped was at the now call Mercado de las Ventas  (before the Canillas) almost across from the Monumental. Here you get your good groceries, fruits etc. http://www.mercadoventas.es/

Down the street straight out of Las Ventas you come to the Tablao Flamenco La Quimera, Calle Sancho Davila; here is the site in English: http://www.tablaolaquimera.com/en/

Continue the Tablao on Calle de los Peñascales and reach the wonderful park of  Quinta de la Fuente del Berros. Further, at Calle de Eduardo Aunos, the city edge of the park you have the Casa del Reloj or Watch house, a historic building.

Out of Arena turn right towards Plaza Manuel Becerro and see the Eva Duarte de Peron park at Calle del Dr Goméz Ulla, the park makes like a triangle in the square.  Out of the arena left and you pass the beltway M-30 Avenida de la Paz and you are in Calle de Alcalà , metro stop Carmen and then Quintana on line 5 and you are in my old neighborhood; unfortunately all change now.

 Madrid

To eat around the Arena, you have the Casa Toribio restaurant very nice food and great prices. Here they serve rabo de toro de Liria, the lidia bulls oxtail stew, omg delicious, my favorite; lucky my father makes it too ::)  http://www.restaurantecasatoribio.com/

Another nice one across is Los Clarines Restaurant, here they have smaller versions call raciones and the same bull oxtails stew, love it. try it !!! http://www.restaurantecasatoribio.com/

There is an inexpensive good chain cafeteria just across the Ventas call VIPS, Calle de Alcalà, 200. https://www.vips.es/restaurantes/vips-alcala-200?utm_source=directorios&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=estatica_directorios&utm_content=sitio_web

Another good one over the years is Quinta la Candela, Calle Julio Camba, 5 ; for those bellota hams delights. http://www.quintalacandela.com/

And at Calle de Alcalà 227 you have a masterpiece of bullfights history and tradition. still going strong Los Timbales, went there with my Mom as a boy and repeat repeat… Very Madrileño, more tips on yelp search page with comments. https://www.yelp.com/biz/los-timbales-madrid

Even with a Facebook page ::) https://www.facebook.com/restaurantelostimbales/

Now hotels abound, but you can understand never needed one by there. I have family by aluche and on the way to Toledo or a business trip. However, some well known hotels in the area are the Hotel Ibis Madrid Centro Las Ventas across the street, and the Rafaelhoteles Ventas by metro Carmen on Calle de Alcalà 269 and very nice chain.

Hope you have enjoyed the ride, and can understand the world of bullfights, heck I have seen cow fights as well, but they get extra treatment and well fed, we end up having some later too.  In Spanish, but see the amateurs enjoy the tradition of bullfights in a world of bulls or Mundotoro here: http://www.mundotoro.com/

Until next time on the written waves of wordpress by pedmar10. Enjoy your week, happy travels, good health, and Cheers to all!

 

 

February 26, 2018

The family trace in France, roots Français!

In the continuing saga of family roots and places of yesteryear and today and tomorrow,oops long. Ok ,I will tell you about the roots =racines of my family in France, les frenchies as I call them ho ho ho(even if I am too since 2000). Some pictures ok, but not too much ::)

As you might know, sometimes when you have the chance to be in a gorgeous country and world acclaim like France, everybody tells you ,have you been there? like France is a miniature country and not aware of the enormous tourist potential here! Even the city of Versailles did a survey on visitors to the palace, found out 98% of them just visit the palace!! c’mon you don’t even go to see up the road ave de Paris the Menus Plaisir where the French constitution was written and now a wonderful baroque music conservatory ! wow!!

Well there you have it, we live here but cannot be everywhere, with time we will see everything; maybe, we will need good health too. Anyway, this is our roots here in France with a bit on each place. Hope you enjoy knowing the French.

My wife’s mother or my mother-in-law was born here in Villenoy, a small town in the département 77 or Seine-et-Marne , in the region of Île-de-France. The town is bordered by the Marne river on the southeast side of the canal de l’Ourcq passes by it. The road I took many times and still do as it has no tolls or péage is the N3 passing to the north of the town. The name of the town was first noticed in the 7C on a will and last testament of Aldegonde of Maubeuge,that the town belong at the time part of the abbey of Maubeuge. In the 12C , the bishop of Meaux creates a parish and the first Church was built.The Church of Sainte-Aldegonde rebuilt in the 17C. At the end of March 1814, the town had combats just around it and inside the town when the Russians entered Meaux. The biggest battles took place in the quarter of faubourg Cornillon in Meaux. The war of 1870, caused heavy damaged to the town and lots of requisitions. There is a anti aircraft bunker that could house hundreds and built between 1938 and 1940, restored in 2013. It was designed to protect the personnel of the sugar factory nearby in the parc de l’Hôtel-de-Ville. More on the sights in the city page here in French:  https://www.villenoy.fr/categorie/notre-ville/histoire-patrimoine/

The mother or my mother in law now lives here in Chambry, and another sister too. Another town in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. There is a legend that town was given by Jules Ceaser to one of his legionaries in the 1C , with the first mention of the town dates from the 12C. The town was the scene of heavey combat during the famous battle of the Ourcq (September 1914), that was part of the bigger conflict in the area of the Battle of the Marne. You have a monument known as the Four Roads built in 1915 on ordered of general Galliéni dedicated in memory of the soldiers of the Paris army that won this battle It is a national necropolis with a French cemetary as well as a German cemetary (1918). You have the St Peter and St Paul Church or Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, from the 15C, damaged in 1940 and restored after 1944. Well I joked with in laws, that Julius Ceaser did indeed past by here because there is not much all surrounded by wheat fields. The city hall is Mairie de Chambry, 10, rue de la Ville 77910 Chambry.Tel +33 (0)1 64 34 04 77 ma; email: mairie-chambry@wanadoo.fr

Chambry

Chambry entering town

Then, nearby there is a sister at Étrépilly. A national neocropole with tombs and ossuaries of the fallen in WWI fallen while the battle around Étrépilly in 1914. During the Battle of the Ourcq,September 7 1914 ,the 2e Regiment of Zouaves were here and were stop the charge before the cemetary where the German were in trenches during the charge half the men felled together with their commanding officer lieutenant-coronel Dubujadoux. You can see the St John the Baptist Church or Saint-Jean-Baptiste. The city hall is at Mairie 4 Place Christian de Bartillat 77139 Etrepilly, Tél: +33 (0) 1 64 36 61 19 ; Fax:+33 (0)1 64 36 66 13.

Another sister lives at Chauconin-Neufmontiers also of course in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. The first mention of the town of Chauconin was shown in texts of the 8C under the name Coconiacum ,with the town of Neufmontiers, was shown from the 13C created by the abbots of Saint Faron in Meaux, which has now no trace, the fusion of the two towns was done in 1972 as Chauconin-Neufmontiers. The Battle of the Ourcq as known here the Battle of the Marne bigger theater. The Saint Saturnin Church or Saint-Saturnin de Chauconin,built in the 16-17C. In the 18C the relics of an old Church in the village nearby were transfered to the current Church. This Church serves as an example of the change from gothic to renaissance styles. The Church of Saint-Barthélemy de Neufmontiers, 20C served as a hospital in the first Battle of the Marne in WWI,September 5-13,1914. Jeanne d’Arc passed by Chauconin on her way to Reims by the road we now call the road of Reims that goes from Chauconin towards Crégy-lès-Meaux. Painter Maurice Utrillo painted the the burning farm of Chauconin or « La ferme incendiée à Chauconin, near Meaux where the Church of Chauconin appears in the background within the context of WWI. More on the town here:  http://chauconin-neufmontiers.fr/decouvrir-le-village/sites-remarquables/

A younger brother lives at Nanteuil-lès-Meaux a town as well in department 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. The Marne river marks the northern limits of the town. Here you have a protestant temple built in 1827. This one was a replacement to one built in the village of Chermont around 1570 and destroyed after the enactment of the edit of Nantes in 1685, one of the first ones built in France at the end of the 16C. Nanteuil-lès-Meaux becomes the Capital of Protestant Briard following the disappearance of the Cénacle of Meaux. there is, also, the Saint Georges Church of the 18C. More on the town here:  http://www.nanteuil-les-meaux.fr/Decouvrir-la-ville/Histoire-et-patrimoine

Meaux , i have written individually before as it is the native town of my wife, but here is some history I like. Also in departément 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. Old capital of the Brie region, the Meldes were celts made their Lantinum their capital. After the Roman conquest the name of Meldes still exist and the town takes the name of Meldis. The Christianism is preached to the Meldes in the 3C by Saint Denis and his successor Saint Saintin was the first bishop of Meaux. During the WWI Meaux was the theater of the first Battle of the Marne. The old bridge over the Marne was destroyed to stop the advance of the Germans. the combats around the town of Meaux or the pocket of Meaux during this first battle of the Marne between August 30 and September 12 1914 was furious; there were battles known as the Ourcq and Marais de Saint-Gond were huge within the overall Battle of the Marne. The liberty in tears by the American Frederick MacMonnies, better known as the American Monument (We have paid our respects RIP) or the monument of Varreddes was a huge statue of 22 meters high, erected in 1932 on the road leading to the town of Varreddes and also Chambry was done in the memory of the French fallen during the first Battle of the Marne. The monument was done on the forward advance line of the Germans in their drive to Paris in 1914.

The wonderful museum of the Great War in the country of Meaux dedicated to the WWI (the Great War is how it is known here the First World War), and especially to the two battles of the Marne (1914 and 1918), opened in 2011. Meaux is crossed by the road N3, old royal road also known as the Germany way. The N3 is ,also, link to the expressway /Autoroute A4 passing south of the city and arriving at Meaux by the A140. Meaux is a town of Art and HIstory designation and a four flower label as a flower town of France. The navigation of the Marne river is authorize by boat/peniche and other motor boats with a wonderful pleasure harbor marina, sailing, Canoë/Kayak club. Meaux has a river beach and is one of the rare town to have swimming in the Marne river. The historical spectacle of Meaux,held during June, July, August, and September in the gallo roman ramparts is magnificent way to see life in the middle ages done by actors; check for official days;see the wonderful episcopal city which includes the St Stephen Cathedral or Cathédrale Saint-Étienne built in the 12-15C and the Episcopal palace built in the 12-16C including the museum Bossuet , the old palace of canons of the Cathedral and the old chapter in the jardin Bossuet, 17C, and the ramparts garden credited to André Le Nôtre , etc etc, really a wonderful town. More on tourism by the city of Meaux here:  http://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme.html
The tourist office is here:  http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/

Meaux

American Monument next to museum of WWI

Let’s go south! to Lavaur, where my wife’s father was born, a town in the département 81 of the Tarn,in the region of Occitanie. Located in a triangle of Albi, Toulouse, and Carcassonne. The town is on the borders of the Agout river,on the hills of the cocagne country. On the east north east of Toulous ,south of Gaillac and west of Castres. It is seen written for the first time in 1025 and by 1035 as a enclosed town. By 1065, there was written a constitution of the Lavaur, given by the monks of the abbey of Sainte-Foy of Conques. In 1098, it was built the Saint Alain Church in a prairie offered by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Pons of Thomières,by Isarn, bishop of Toulouse. You have here now the Saint Alain Cathedral built 13-15C with the only jacquemart in the southwest of France. The Bishop’s garden old French style gardens done by the bishop and renovated in the 19C in the English style. St Francis Church also known as the Cordeliers built in the 13-15C with a great organ of 1866. The Plô old site of the old Castle today gone, attached by the King by the consuls in 1622, and now arranged into a nice promenade later esplanade from the 17C. The tower or Tour des Rondes, one of the last remaining from the fortifications of the old town and today the tourist office. The monastery of Clarists founded in 1642 destroyed during the French revolution and restored in 1802; the current chapel from 1837 has a in a chase the body of Sainte Clémentine,a Roman Virgin and martyr discovered in one of the catacombs of Rome. The lavaur bridge in stone and cement over the Agout river built in 1773-1791, and the grains warehouse or Halle aux Grains, built in 1880. The town webpage here:  http://www.ville-lavaur.fr/-Visiter-Lavaur-
The tourist office here:  http://www.tourisme-tarn.com/a-voir-a-faire/les-incontournables/les-bastides-et-villages/lavaur

There are still cousins at Montans , a town in the département 81 of the Tarn, in the region of Occitanie. You can reach it by the expressway/autoroute A68 exit or sortie 9 ,and the by the road N88.  The Gallois produce pottery here on the site of Montans and after the Roman occopation the town became one of the most important early on our era o the production of potteries. The findings are presented in the Archéosite de Montans, a museum and conservation center since opening in 1995 retracing the history of the prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. There is a gallo roman road in the principal street of Montans as well as a house of the ceramic worker where you can imagine life as it was in the 1C. All year round there are animations, events, demonstrations, expositions, shops and spectacles. The town city hall is here:  https://www.montans.fr/archeosite

Other cousins and uncles/aunts are still in Graulhet, also in the département 81 of the Tarn in the region of Occitanie. Located at the heart of the Tarn at equal distance from Castres and Albi in a valley parallel to the axis Toulouse-Albi but with no train station , and for the same reasons a bit on the distant of the roads such as A68 that links Toulouse with Albi,and do link by the D964 to Gaillac. The Roman presence here was big with evidence of a center gallo-romain. In 1166, Graulhet, been a lordship passes under the domain of the Counts of Toulouse.In 1484, again the lordship passes to the house of Amboise, due to the marriage of Hugues d’Amboise d’Aubijoux with Madeleine de Lescun d’Armagnac. You can still see here the Château de Lézignac, 17C, the old bridge built in 1244 ; the quaint medieval neighborhood of Panessac, narrow and with many mansions in wood embellished from the 16-17C . The wonderful Hostellerie du Lyon d’Or, a medieval mansion. Henri of Navarra, future king Henri IV, did a gourmand stop here. You can still see the Cross of Saint Andrew from the 15C on a nice facade with showing roman numerals on the wooden sides.The Church Notre-Dame-du-Val-d’Amour,which at its foundation you see a funeral stone of Louis d’Amboise d’Aubijoux, also the leather house or Maison des Métiers du cuir to visit the transformation of leather from the skin to the objects done with leather. The city hall page here:  https://www.ville-graulhet.fr/historique-0
And the tourist page here:  http://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/graulhet

graulhet

market day in Graulhet

And we go north or nord to the older brother at Caudry. The town is located in the south of the département 59 or Nord in the region of Hauts-de-France.Lots of fabrication of tulle and lace by mechanical means where the quality was crowned in the international exposition of Brussels in 1910. Caudry shares with Calais the title of the world Capital of lace of Calais design to go into high fashion garments. The town is ,also, named City of occupations and Arts in 1995. It is located about 14 km from Cambrai, and 62 km from Lille . It is south of the D643 road, the old N43 that links Cambrai with Charleville-Mézières. The origins of the town are not well knownw but it can be said goes back to the Merorvingians era as many passages mentioned the martyrdom of Maxellende. Caudry was anneexed to the kingdom of France by the treaty of Nimègue signed in 1678, after that taken of Cambrai by king Louis XIV in 1677. During WWI Caudry was occupied by German troops mostly all the war period ; entering the town in August 1914 with the city hall serving as HQ. The town was again occupied during WWII when the Nazis entered in May 1940; the town was liberated by an American 5th Armored Division on September 3, 1944. You can see here:Breweries Brasserie l’Union des Coopérateurs du Cambrésis, rue Charles-Gide ; Brasserie-malterie Lemaire et Defossez ,rue de Saint Quentin ; the industrial house of maison Dumont, built in 1947, rue Émile-Salembier. The laces museum or Musée caudrésien des dentelles et broderies in the factory of Théophile et Jean-Baptiste Carpentier, where the brick building dates from 1898. In its collections you can trace the history of the knitting machines. It does expositions and learning shops for the children.

Caudry has an underground carved from chalk around the 10C to hide the population in times of needs. it was not known until discovered in 1847. The underground goes into three directions , the part under the rue de la Paix has 14 rooms and a a gallery at 13 meters deep and 74 meters long. In 1916-1917, caving of the land allowed the Germans to discovered a great part of it , and it was fitted as an ammunitions depot; while retreating in 1918 the German blew up the entrance and a part of the cave. The parish of Caudry is mentinoed since 1181 , and the Basilica of Sainte Maxdellende was done as the previous one was too small and was in bad shape. The new one was started in 1887, consecration in 1890 and was raised to basilica minor by a Papal briefing in 1991. It has a neo gothic style built in bricks on white stone measuring 72 meters long and 36 meters wide with a bell tower at 75 meters high with three bells Vox Dei, weighting 2 tons,Pax at 1700 kg and Maxellende 1500 kg; the bells were blessed in 1920 and 1922 replacing those taken by the Germans in 1918. More in the city hall of Caudry here:  https://www.caudry.fr/fr/visiter-caudry.html
And the tourist office here:  https://www.tourisme-caudry.fr/

Caudry

at Caudry me,dad and inlaws being shown how to roast a pig

The metro area with these towns tourist page is here:  https://www.agglo-paysdemeaux.fr/fr/tourisme.htmlion 

The department 77 tourist webpage is here: https://www.seine-et-marne-attractivite.fr/en

And the region of ïle de France tourism is here:  http://en.visitparisregion.com/

And there you go , a bit more of me , us in France. For the memories, for eternity ,for the web, and you. Enjoy your week. Cheers!!!

February 25, 2018

Some distant cities in the USA!

Ok on a Sunday evening, I kind of becoming nostalgic and try to remember places I have been in the USA but not lived. Well , if read my blog ,you know I lived in New Jersey and Florida for a total of 31 years…. yes.

However, I did went out to other areas and can’t believe very little pictures or memories that can be recall now. These areas were Boston, Washington DC ,Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Richmond/Midlothian, New York, and Omaha ,Nebraska, also Chicago. Then, from France, I did visit San Francisco for a week and again little pictures. These were older times before blogging and love of pictures.

I used to collect post cards and have still over 4000 of them from about 79 countries. Once, began to like photos ,stop collecting postcards. In the switch something go lost…

Maybe the kind readers of my blog can help me remember some of these places. Just let it all out !!!

I will start with Boston, I remember going to Brighton. It must have been many many years back, as one of my cousins was going to marry someone from there, (which eventually did not lol!!) We met the family,stayed in their home, and got a car tour of the city center, even to Harvard and MIT campuses. It is said that it was later had the area change to become Cambridge and the part of old Brighton became part of the city of Boston in 1874 as a neighborhood. Brighton/Allston (aka Brighton, MA and Allston, MA, 2 subdivisions of Boston proper) are known for their large population of students. Boston University and Boston College bookend the Brighton/Allston neighborhood. Found out here: https://www.bostonusa.com/about-boston/boston-neighborhoods/brighton-allston/

Then, it was Pittsburgh, I remember staying in the Hilton by the water point across from Three rivers stadium as 3 rivers do meet at the point (Allegheny,Monongahela,and Ohio). We went up in a group of friends up to Liberty avenue and had a good time indeed… the hotel was tops first time staying in a fancy hotel it was an experience. There was the Three Rivers Park and then the Point Park with lush looks over the rivers. I believe the hotel name has been change, do not recall been a Garden, just a plain Hilton back then in and around 1984 ::) I believe this was the hotel:  http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/hilton-garden-inn-pittsburgh-downtown-PITFAGI/index.html

 Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Hilton postcard

 Pittsburgh

Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh postcard

I like to tell you about Omaha ,Nebraska. This was way back to around 1984/85 and believe me the city was pretty serious not much to do then watch an American football game, and of course go Cornhuskers! I remember was there trying to become an insurance salesperson right out of college, and the company well still there ,as of 2017, Mutual of Omaha holds the 367th rank on Fortune 500’s top companies !! but did not stayed with them lol! We stayed in a nice hotel ,can’t remember the name, and ate in fancy restaurant taken a taxi with a group of us but do not remember the restaurant name lol!  Ok got one picture of the training class, hope somebody remembers me not sorry.

Omaha

Class training MO Omaha I am on left

Chicago, went part of the same training class as Omaha, it was the first test and we were put in an hotel by the waterfront can’t even remember the name. WE were just in the hotel for about 3 days with all day testings. But again , I was there ::)  The class picture here:

Chicago

MO training class in Chicago

Washington DC was even older, it was a high school trip to see the Smithsonian Institute complex of museums, very nice air museum there is all I can remember. It was a bus tour for a day, and all I know we had a great time on the bus !!! I came back later with my mother to do some paperwork but also a roundtrip in one day. just can say, I were here ! https://www.si.edu/museums

Going from high school in NJ to university in FL did by bar cheapest and awesome ride along the I-95. Well my car a Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 had break problem from the factory, and I was left without breaks near Richmond VA. The tow truck from the highway took me to Martin Chevrolet in downtown Richmond and there was taken care by Sales Manager Ray Palmer. The part needed to be ordered from Petersburg down south a bit so needed an overnight stay. The gracious Mr Palmer took me to his house!! his older son was hunting in the VA mountain and slept in his room! played Atari games with the younger son , got dinner and breakfast with the family, got my car fix at no cost, not even for the tow truck; and went on my way. Amazing good Samaritan gesture, and I kept in touch with uncle Ray for many years. Even from France, he was 81 and retired, now handling his farm of 100 cows near Midlothian west of Richmond, this was a couple years ago. I need to get back at him. Anyway I did not see much of Richmond other than the dealer. It was at Cowardin ave US301, and now I read is the Richmond Christian Center !!!

Back in around 1980, while in university got a tour of the Delta airlines facilities at Atlanta international airport and stayed at a Days Inn. The fun part was the bus and me waking up everybody at 6h when we needed to get out at 8h, I just fake the school guide voice over the phone and got everyone up earlier ,terrible feeling lol!! The Delta L-1011 airplane were cool. indeed. The hotel is shown with Wyndham webpage but I believe it was this one:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/college-park-georgia/days-inn-and-suite-college-park-atlanta-airport-west/overview

Atlanta

Me ready to take off Delta L 1011 jet

Atlanta

people mover transport at Atlanta Hartsfield Inter Airport and me

Atlanta

bus trip rest stop and me indulging to Atlanta HIA

Atlanta

bus trip Atlanta HIA break down panic and me taking pictures

atlanta

breakfast at the Days Innn airport Atlanta with buddies me on right bottom maybe

Atlanta

Days Inn atlanta airport party room me in front

Atlanta

hangar Delta L 1011 Atlanta HIA

Atlanta

Postcard shot Atlanta downtown believe Peachtree

I went several times with my father to Philadelphia as he had business there and I accompany him. We were on the road selling to grocery stores, discount,convenience stores and went in the city along Broad and Market Street that I can remember. I was still a teenager and later took my first car ride getting lost into the city, a State trooper police help me out get out lol! terrible times I know…..::) We never stayed in hotels ,these were just in and out same day trips.

Then, it was New York, well this was across the street I mean the Hudson river, and my first going trip just fresh from my driver’s license was to see Yankee Stadium in the Bronx! well on the way back read above the end in Philadelphia along the Garden State Parkway!! Here went also by bus to Shea Stadium in the Queens borough and had a train ride on the World Trade Center to see the Yankees again (of course unfortunately the old World Trade Center, it was destroyed by terrorists attacks). Then, went several time for dance clubs and just plain ride even by car on those crazy young days always lots of fun . Went to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Knicks basketball and NY Rangers ice hockey lol! great times. And waited New Year’s in time Square and skated in Rockefeller center , and did my walks in Central Park. I again help my father go into the meat market area around 14st and the Bronx Terminal Market for groceries for our store in NJ. This was tough wakeup at 4am all day work…but it help my future face to reality in the real world. Also, spent my high school senior class trip at the Rocky Horse Ranch in the mountains with horse rides and wild pool activities which cannot mention here lol! Which I see now is an all inclusive resort of world renown wow!! here is the webpage:  http://www.rockinghorseranch.com/

New York

the Brooklyn bridge over to New York postcard

New York

Rockefeller Center NY postcard

New York

Rocky Horse Ranch graduating class HS77 me on right cheap camera!

New York

NY Yankees Bronx stadium postcard

New york

statue of liberty New York postcard

Of course, if I drove to college along I -95 I passed by many states, and several times stop for a night sleep at South Carolina or Georgia or Virginia. I passed from New Jersey to Delaware, Maryland, W DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The trip took from 17-20 hrs depending on the driving ::) did that twice in the summer and twice at Christmas every year for 4 years! In Virginia I stopped around Emporia, South Carolina around Santee, and Georgia around Savannah or Brunswick.

While coming and going from college, I did rode with a college buddy to drop him off at Lancaster, PA on the I-83 to York and then the US30 to Lancaster. I continue on the D30 to Downingtown to connect with the I-95 home north of Philadelphia. Those were the roaring days on the road. Or put your pedal to the metal and rock !!!

I even did a post here in my blog on the trip to San Francisco but no photos. I spent a week there at the Hotel Nikko and got around to Pier 39, the Golden Gate bridge, and Union square area, several places;road the tramway trolley cars, and ate at Bastille Cafe, and John’s Grill where the Maltese Falcon movie was filmed part of it.  Here is the post I did on early in my blog: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/05/09/san-francisco-golden-and-more/

San Francisco

multiview sights San Francisco postcard

San Francisco

believe union sq postcard

I search for photos but not too many, too old on paper copies ,and had to resort to some postcards for the post. So sad, no wonder nowadays we keep things better with better technology, back them paper photos were shuffle in moves, and I do average one every 5 years ! so thinks gets lost or trip where a camera was not necessary as was thinking more postcards. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days ::) Enjoy your week, mine is tomorrow yikes! Cheers!!!!

February 25, 2018

Vannes, it’s fortified history of the Middle Ages!

So here I am finally at home, and looking at the news oh well glacial cold is coming up to -15C in some parts, and preparations underway to face it. We have our heating up earlier because its beginning to be felt. Snow is forecast for Thursday too! as the whole week is going to be very cold. That is for France too ,mind you.

Anyway just a tidbit of information. I was yesterday and this morning with the family again by our glorious little Capital city Vannes. It always amazed me the multitude of towers and rampart wall from the middle ages while looking at it , they seems to be done yesterday.

From the magnificent tour du Connetable or Constable tower and the surrounding garden of the Garenne, the famous lavoir or laundry, the ruins of the old castle, the walls and the sights of history are just phenomenal.

The ramparts of Vannes were built in the 3-7C to protect the city founded by the Romans in the end of the 1C under the rule of Auguste. This first protection was the only one for the city for more than 1000 years!  At the times of duke John IV (Jean IV) at the end of the 14C, the city has extended to the south to protect its new districts. The duke came to have his residence here and wanted to have a stronghold to protect him in case of conflict.  The town had grown to double its size and the new fortress of the Hermine was added.

The spurs of the Garenne was the last defensive work built here in 1630. From 1670, king Louis XIV sell piece by piece the ramparts in order to raise money for his campaigns of war; the most important of which was in 1697 when the ruins of the Castle of Hermine, was used the stones to built the port and other buildings. By the 19C, many sections were also destroyed in the north and west. It took the turn of the porte Prison or prison gate partially destroyed in 1886 and one of the oldest access tot he town to make the people react to save the ramparts  and create and association in 1911 to do so. The works continues today, making it the key to the local heritage seen by tourists and locals alike; making the ramparts one of the rare urban fortifications still existing today in all of Brittany.

From the bell tower of the old Chapel now part of the middle/high school Jules Simon; to the Port area Porte Saint Vincent , you walk into another world, one that has remained intact since the Middle Ages and wooden houses as far back as the 14C still remaining.  Most of it encircled by the beltway road boulevard de la Paix and rue Thiers.

You have the wonderful laundry or lavoir with their long roof, raised along the creek La Marie in early 19C, can’t missed it by the Garenne river out of the Porte Poterne where you can even drive a car thru still, just did !

You get great views from the gardens garenne to the Cathedral St Peter and over afar to the St Patern Church (the oldest in Vannes), as well as the fortification walls and the towers, just a magical ensemble.

Vannes Vannes Vannes VAnnes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

In French, the tourist office has a walk to guide you, if on short time. Here it is; http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/voir-faire/balades-et-randonnees/circuit-patrimoine/243972-balade-en-ville-les-fortifications

And if in town by June 2018, you can even do a running trail marathon around the ramparts too!  You need to sign up and have a medical certificate to run. More here in French http://www.trailvannes.fr/

And if you like gardening and the location of the Garenne garden with your back to the ramparts and towers , unique. See the event  Côté Jardin , on May 5-6 2018. More in French here: http://www.vannescotejardin.fr/

The city of Vannes has plenty on the remparts here in French, I believe you can translate with google. http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/les-remparts-en-detail/

Tourist office general view on Vannes in English: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover/vannes

Tourist office in general by the department 56 Morbihan in English: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

Tourist office in general of the Region of Brittany in English: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/vannes

There you have it, another look at beautiful medieval small enough to hug and kiss Vannes. or GWENED in the Breton language ::) kenavo!

 

 

 

February 25, 2018

The shopping in Vannes, market and else!

I  have written several articles on market shopping especially in my new area of the Morbihan Breton. They never stop amazing my family, we just simply love them. We do most of our food shopping in them, and the misc extra in the supermarket.

Yesterday and today morning (Saturday and Sunday) we did some wonderful shopping in our capital city of Vannes; where most of the shopping is located, and I work just outside in a castle ruins (1504) complex.

We get up and go by 9h and always find parking at the parking République that for less than 3 euros a day will do nicely across the market.  Down across rue Thiers we head to rue Le Hellec into the place du Poids Public , a great space of delicious goodies. Also, many stores like bakeries, butcher, fish market and the wonderful Halle aux Poissons fish hall now under renovations. Right into the Place de la Poissonnerie/rue de la Poissonnerie. This goes back into rue Saint Vincent,now under renovation of the brick stones on the street.

Vannes Vannes

However, the best is to go up from Place du Poids Public into the Place des Lices; another wonderful square full of shops even Belgian chocolates, souvenirs of Brittany, and fish canning store,not to mention anything to outfit your family and house.  This continues into the Place Lucien Laroche with stands all over.

We got our mangos, avocados, raspberries, bananas, red/green peppers, clementine, dates, prunes, and next door to the stand a farmer’s hen roasted to perfection. Salads greens, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

In my opinion is the best market in Brittany and we have been to all if not most of them already. Very well can match our beloved market of Notre Dame in Versailles… and that is saying a lot ::) The market here in Vannes are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8h to 13h30 ; the city page in French has better information for the open air market or “Marchés de plein air” ;  http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/marches/

Vannes Vannes vannes Vannes vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

And as the link above tells you in “Halles”, there is a wonderful covered market that is open every day with over 30 merchants inside. This is the Halles des Lices as it is right in the Place des Lices; the back street is the ramparts of the old town.  The hours here change with some holidays ,but usually they are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays (until 19h), and Sundays from  8h- 14h, closed Mondays.

We had here our oysters and shrimp on the Les Viviers des lices in the covered market Halles des Lices, nice folks, the oysters were open for us !!! Here they are in the webpage for the covered market under Poissonneries ; http://www.halles-des-lices.fr/   If you are staying in the area and need to buy already done even cook to order, the contacts are here:  David LANAU Tel mob +33 (0) 6 64 19 60 50; E-mail :lesviviersdeslices@orange.fr

We, also,got our breads au fournil Breton in the covered market slices to order with sesame seeds! and of course the baguette!

Vannes vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

Right behind the Cathedral St Pierre (St Peter) at 4 rue des Chanoines you have a wonderful store for home decorations and furniture  with 300 m2 of space of changing modes according to season, call simply NOX; more on the store here: https://noxdeco.com/vannes/

Another nice one we go and long time here is Olivier Desforges at 22 rue Saint Vincent right by the market.  The accessories for the house from towels to linen, all tops. More even in English here: https://en.olivierdesforges.fr/storelocator/vannes-14.html

Another for home deco we like is L’échoppe at 15 rue des Halles off the place des lices into a laberinth of middle ages wooden houses! lamps,sofas, furniture in general, table décor in an ali baba bazaar (their words). More here: http://www.lechoppevannes.fr/

We came back on way home to finish our shopping in our favorite hypermarket Carrefour at Avenue de la Marne, where we purchased the misc groceries like papers, cleaners, shampoos etc webpage here: http://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/vannes

And just recently with even a Facebook page lol!!! https://www.facebook.com/centrecommercialvannes/

vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes vannes

Now ,we do eat most of the time out. We did stop to try a new place here for us. Columbus Café, I figure from the name it had an international feeling for it, but is a complete French chain. The one in Vannes is very nice , right on rue du Mené and right next to a couple usual stores for us , Monoprix department store !, and Bouchara (old eurodif stores) home deco stores. Their local links to follow.

https://www.bouchara.com/boutiques/vannes

https://www.monoprix.fr/mono-vannes-vannes-56000-s

vannes Vannes

More on Columbus Café; the service was very nice,and the products of high quality and reasonable price. We had our old time favorite pastrami bagel sandwich, a huge chuck of raspberry cheesecake and coca cola, we each had different menus, we end up with a huge mocha coffee all came to about 12.50€ per person. There are square tables by the counter area and then lounge low tables and seat on a side room all facing the street. We sat on a window facing the Monoprix store. Their official webpage is here: http://www.columbuscafe.com/columbus-cafe-vannes/

And,also, a good Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/columbuscafevannes/

Vannes Vannes vannes Vannes

Some other nice places to eat I can tell you here are the Lecocq & Folks restaurant at 5 rue Saint Vincent ,almost at the foot of the gate or porte Saint Vincent to entered old town. This is a bistronomic style restaurant held by brother and sister! Here is their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LeComptoirVannes/

You have the Di’Vin, at 15 bis rue Noé right by the place du poids public in a wooden house  very fesh cuisines and great deco on the old town quaint place. http://www.restaurant-divin-vannes.fr/

Moulin du Roy at 14 place Gambetta ,just outside the Porte Saint Vincent facing the port marina , the Breton cuisine with burgers and chip and fish and great people watcher place ! http://www.lemoulinduroy.fr/

Next to it is the L’Atlantique, facing the  port marina Le Port, and a seafood lovers heaven !!!https://www.facebook.com/Restaurant-latlantique-vannes-345170025543195/

Anna & Paul, 23 place du Général de Gaulle, in the old town section too near the government building prefecture, this is a couple and the name is after their kids. very homey welcome and good food, most is made in house, and good prices for a gourmand dinner or lunch. http://annaetpaul.com/

Bibovino at 18 Emile Burgault right up in old town on the way to the Cathedral. Great combination of food and wines!  Wonderful planchas of seafood, and great wines choices. https://www.bibovino.fr/content/45-bibovino-vannes

And of course, if coming my homey way then come to the winner (recognize by TF1 French tv as one of the best deals) The Crêperie du Château in a castle yes Château de Rimaison right at the entrance to my town entrance by the 7 rue de Landaul, Pluvigner. Great galettes Breton, beers and cider of the country all especially chosen by the owners who are from Vannes ! http://lacreperieduchateau.blogspot.fr/

And the Chateau info here: http://chateauderimaison.blogspot.fr/

There you go, a wonderful day and is not over yet. Wishing you and yours a happy Sunday, happy travels and especially great health. Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2018

The Gardens of the Ïle de France region of France!

On this cold windy and grey glassy morning, and sticking into our coffee house in Vannes, I have decided to be romantic ok, and talk about gardens; we have many beautiful ones and some are well known so I will avoid those. Let me tell you about some not so much known in the region of ïle de France.

Ok, this time will tell you I wrote a bit on them a while back in my blog this is it: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/5255

I will like up front to tell you about a couple of sites in French that will tell you all about them. First , a general ideas site with many of them here: http://www.idfutees.com/Idees-et-bons-plans/Guides-thematiques/A-la-decouverte-des-jardins-d-Ile-de-France

And this one is an official site on gardens in all of France, I have on just ïle de France here: http://www.parcsetjardins.fr/recherche-geographique.php#resultats

Now , let me tell you my stories on them. Briefly ok, because it can be long stories.

Thoiry. is a castle and open air zoo but it has beautiful gardens of the castle and a great labyrinth ,the English style garden, a flower prairie , a hill of roses, garden of rhododendrons, garden of perfumes and garden of autumn. It’s a bit awkward in going there from Paris, I have been there by car. More here on the gardens: https://thoiry.net/fr/jardins

Thoiry

More noble,the parc du Bois de Préau in Rueil-Malmaison, was a property of Imperatrice  Joséphine and she has a statue there. It is a real English style garden of 17 hectares. It has rare centenary trees like the hazelnut of Byzance or the common charme, the Corsican pine, or the giant sequoia. The Château de Bois-Préau remind us of the time of the Emperor in Sainte Hélène  and the return of his ashes to Paris. it was the last acquisition of Joséphine, where she house her doctor and has many memorable objects. After her death in 1814, many owners went by until purchase in 1920 by the American couple Tuck that eventually did a donation of it in 1926 to the national museums of France to create an annex to the Château de Malmaison. More in English here: http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/en/discover-rueil-malmaison/heritage-culture/parks-and-gardens/park-and-château-bois-preau

Then, I take you to tranquil surrounding of an old abbey. This is the medieval Abbey of Royaumont. There is a garden and a cloister, vegetable garden and a long canal. It is all in 6 hectares with many signs of medieval times.  The Cistercian monks of the 13C were master of the hydraulic canalization to bring the water to the one point in the monastery. Today there are medicinal  plants from the middle ages still there and shape in 1912 into a French style garden with renaissance lawns.  There is a vegetable garden or potager of 160 varieties of vegetables, 3000 plants, and 60 fruit trees! More here in English: https://www.royaumont.com/en/three-gardens-and-a-park

The Arboretum de Chèvreloup, is handle by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. Here in more than  200 hectares you can discover over  2500 species and varieties of trees with the best collection of western Europe. This is practically attach to Versailles, it was part of the domaine and even king Louis XIV planted trees there; after the French revolution it was split and now is a stand along park, you can reach it on bus 19 from ave de saint cloud and stop at parly II/arboretum. More in French here: http://chevreloup.mnhn.fr/

Since 1766  the students of the veterinary school of Alfort have their own botanical garden and you can visit it in groups to discover toxic plants and medicinal plants ; contact email here: etienne.bacle@vet-alfort.fr .  I have it on the botanical garden webpage in French : https://www.vet-alfort.fr/domaine-d-alfort/jardin-botanique/presentation

The Jardin botanique de Luzarches or botanical and it’s 2500 plants awaits you and do not missed the purple oak dating from the 18C.  The garden is open on weekends. More here in French:  http://www.luzarches.net/le-jardin-botanique.html

The national conservatory of plants of perfumes, medicinal, aromatics and industrials  or  Conservatoire National des Plantes à Parfum, Médicinales, Aromatiques et Industrielles  welcomes you to its greenhouse garden center, botanical garden , agronomic center and interpretation center with a sensorial walk into it’s collections of more than 1500 species , completed with a museographer presentation. Located in an old plant dryer building you will be walk into the history of plants ,their origins and their daily use. This is at Route de Nemours, 91490 Milly-la-foret (Essonne). More here in French: https://www.cnpmai.net/fr/visites-animations-boutique/visite-tourisme-gatinais/

In one of the best medieval towns in the region or even France, that of Provins in Seine-et-Marne 77, you have a beautiful Rosary or Rosarie, where you will see, know, and learn about the old and new roses of our world.  More here in English: http://www.provins.net/en/natural-outings/the-provins-rose-garden.html

If you like Contemporary art, then go to Rentilly or Chamarande you need to go .The cultural park of Rentilly or  Parc culturel de Rentilly ,and it castle offers every year expositions and on the Domaine de Chamarande , the expositions and spectacles, shops on the program  with the opportunity to visit a wonderful garden paysagiste ; located at 38, rue du Commandant Arnoux , 91730 Chamarande.  More in French here: http://chamarande.essonne.fr/categorie/domaine/un-jardin-remarquable/

There is a wonderful garden and beautiful castle, need to be visit more. A magnificent park of 75 hectares with botanical curiosities such as a labyrinth and a playground. The Chateau de  Breteuil was built on a hill overlooking the natural regional park of the valley of the Chevreuse or Parc Naturel Régional de la Vallée de Chevreuse.  There is a French style garden there over 400 years with a lake glass of water,and parterres of ifs trees and nicely cut shrubs while the Castle garden are in the English style on one of the lawns looking at the Chevreuse valley or  Vallée de Chevreuse.  There are massive rhododendrons in flower trees in the Spring, for wonderful bicycle trails in autumn and a promenade that takes you to two lakes with plenty of ducks.  In the vestiges of a plantation dating from the 18C are now terraces Italian style with the oldest the current prince gardens or Jardin des Princes  with a nice collection of plants, trees, and flowers around a vegetable garden  and a pergola covered with roses in spring. In another terrace, you have the  the laberynth with 1000 shrubs or the  labyrinthe aux 1000 buis, opened in 2000, and a current interpretation of the forest lost of the 19C. More castle and gardens in English here: http://www.breteuil.fr/en/gardens/french-garden.html

In the regional natural park of the upper valley of the Chevreuse or the Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse, you have the wonderful semi private Castle of Saint-Jean de Beauregard , always sought after for its wonderful gardens.  The Castle has seven courses and the park and garden French style in a perfect square where you find the Chapel, commons areas, stables, vegetable garden , pigeonier , orangerie, freezer, and pigeons cellars , all the element for life in the 17C. The Domain of Saint-Jean de Beauregard is a family owned property inhabited year around with the current owners showcasing their gardens.  Their passion allowed for the creation of the first festival of plants or Fête des Plantes,in 1984 becoming one of the main garden events in France. The pigeon house or pigeonnier of Saint-Jean de Beauregard  is one of the biggest in the region of Ile-de France with 12 meters high and a bending roof , a must on the visit. One of the best vegetable gardens since the 17C, the flower garden here is one of the rare that have survived to our days; it has 2 hectares with flowers, fruits and vegetables rare or hard to find. The walk is very nice and allowed you see wonderful trees and grape green houses , fruit trees etc. Part of the park has been changed into a garden English style early 20C allowing the creation of a lake and new tree species such as oaks, etc. More in English here: http://www.chateaudesaintjeandebeauregard.com/en/

One of the best known rosaries is the one at Hay les Roses or  Roseraie de l’Haÿ les Roses, today more known as the rosary of the Marne valley or Roseraie du Val de Marne. It has the most important collection of old roses in the world! They were made and designed by  Edouard André,a well known gardener of the 19C upon the request of an avid  collector Jules Gravereaux. More in English here: https://roseraie.valdemarne.fr/an-historic-garden

The park of the Champs Castle or the Parc du Château de Champs in Champs-sur-Marne, dept 77 Seine-et-Marne is a wonderful garden with a Castle.  Garden started in 1710 due to Claude Desgots a grand nephew of the master André le Nôtre that followed his principals very well. A big axe with basins and sculptures, a big alley along the wall of the property, lawns in the middle and bordered with trees, parterres and division of small forests with transversal alleys; however, the lawn surface are more and closer to the castle. This is one of the best preserved garden and castle combination in the region, and only 18 km from Paris. More in English here: http://www.chateau-champs-sur-marne.fr/en/

Another one in the good department 77 … we have the Templars commanders garden or the Jardin de la Commanderie des Templiers. It’s  a center of culture and history of the commanderie of Templars with a medieval inspiration in Coulommiers (also another good Brie cheese area AOP) , the garden is composed of square borders of chesnut trees. The plants were chosen and raised taken example of miniatures from the middle ages and old maps of the abbey of Saint-Gall. They are vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants that today serve to raise funds for the center. This is a great place to visit for the history of the Templars and the gardens, More in French at official historical Templars page here http://www.templiers.org/coulommiers.php

Another wonderful castle and garden in my beloved Seine-et-Marne 77 is the castle of Ferriéres or Château de Ferrières and its old park, former owned by a certain Rothschild.  The park passed by many gardeners and botanical folks until in 1854 an English architect and gardener  Joseph Paxton upon the request of James de Rothschild,gave it the look we see today.  The castle and garden were done again with lakes and streams with bridges done like harbors like the one at the island or Île d’Amour,love island surrounded by trees, lovely indeed.  More in French here: http://www.chateaudeferrieres.com/histoire-du-chateau

At the heart of the departemental domain of the wolves valley or the Domaine départemental de la Vallée aux Loups you can discovered another interesting arboretum with over 500 species of trees on 12 hectares.  This is a park done on the English style with small ornamental construction called factories to surprise all along the walk. It was created by the pharmacist of Napoléon I facing the property of Chateaubriand in the park with many rare trees . In 1890, it changed owner to a gardener who re arranged the arboretum with lakes and suspended bridges as well as kiosks and factories while cultivating the essences of the Americas and Asia today over 100 years old trees  such as China poplar, hairy oak trees , myrsine oak, heavy wood pine and a weeping blue cedar of 680 m2 in diameter that can be look on the lake reflexes. Here do not missed the house of Chateaubriand where he lived and where he writes the first chapters of his memories of the grave or  ‘Mémoires d’Outre-tombe’, with welcome visits, conferences and expositions.  Located at 46 rue de Chateaubriand / avenue Jean Jaures,   Chatenay-Malabry (92 dept Hauts-de-Seine). More in French for the garden,  park ,and house of Chateaubriand with links to each one is here: http://www.hauts-de-seine.fr/cadre-de-vie/patrimoine-vert/les-parcs-et-jardins-du-sud/le-parc-de-la-vallee-aux-loups-chateaubriand/

Moving now into territory of Val d’Oise dept 95 we come to a wonderful garden castle. This is the Château d’Ambleville with a feudal origins, gardens in three terraces inspired from the Villa Gamberaia in Florence, Italy and the portraits of Villa Arthena in Rome. A corner of Italy in the region of Île de France, the sun garden or Jardin du Soleil is a huge chessboard, the moon garden or jardin de la Lune with 6 statues of the times, and the Eyes garden or Jarind de l’Oeil taking you to four rooms of greens, Italy at your feet. More in French here:  http://www.chateauxetjardins.com/menu_jardins/ambl_hist_jard.html

One of my favorites is the gardens in the donjon castle of La Roche Guyon, in the same dept 95 Val d’Oise. This is a French style garden with a vegetable garden or the Jardin Potager du Château de La Roche Guyon . It has four parterres or square lawns divided into 32 triangular parcels with octagonal alleys, a central basin in each square and fruit trees bordering them.  At the time, around 1740, the garden had 675 trees of which  442 pears, 143 apples, some of peach and prunes. After a long period of neglect the garden has had a revival to find its initial vocation of the 18C by the owner  La Rochefoucauld ; a space of production and experimental agro, where seeds and biodiversity are a primary place all around a central garden.  Do not missed the castle and especially the underground cellars famous from WWII. More in French from the city here: http://larocheguyon.fr/decouvrir-roche-guyon/le-chateau/

The castle site is in renovation but keep an eye for it ,it is full of information. http://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/

La Roche Guyon

Another wonderful garden, moat and domain that I love going with my family for their medieval market days is the parc de Villarceaux  with  63 hectares of walks and the mansion or Manoir de Ninon, renaissance style and the high castle or Château du Haut in the Classical style.  Beautiful views, alignments and water basins. The  domaine de Villarceaux (which includes all of the before mentioned)  is a must in the area even if by car is a must to visit; take the A13 direction Rouen to exit/sortir 11 at Mante Est,and follow direction Beauvais and you will begin to see signs for Villarceaux at Chaussy.  You have gorgeous gardens, terraces and water basins all around you and history of course. More in French and a beautiful picture here: http://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/

Villarceaux

Ok ,hope you have enjoyed this green ride into the first, most beautiful region of France; oh well, there are all beautiful, really ::)  Sprinkle some photos here and more on the blog post. Enjoy your weekend and happy travels. Cheers!

 

February 23, 2018

How about those other Royal towns of the Ïle de France region!

Ok , let me tell you about the Royal towns of the region of île de France, the one around Paris and Versailles etc. Some of these are very well known towns and others much less; but they are all wonderful towns visited umpteen times by yours truly. They deserve more folks to come and visit them, you will be pleasantly surprise.

The first one I like to tell you about is Rambouillet in my old department 78, Yvelines. It is about 45 kms from Paris and the road N10 takes you there easy or the train from Montparnasse in Paris.  The town is mentioned as far back as 768AD. However, it is best known for the residence since purchase a mansion castle there by king Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette ordered built a milking farm. However, it last not that long as the French revolution came around in 1789. Napoleon I in 1809 made restored the Castle where earlier king François Ier came to hunt and died here in 1547 on a tower now bearing his name. Napoléon III gets the train connection in 1849.  The castle was built between 1368 and 1384!  Before in 1815 Napoleon Ier passed his last nights in France before exile in Sainte Hélène and by 1830 the last king of France and younger brother of Louis XVI, Charles X escape from the Paris event of the Trois Glorieuses to arrived at Rambouillet castle , and later here he abdicated. The President Félix Faure makes the castle his summer residence in 1896. Until the end of 2009, it was the residence of the President of the French Republic . You have here the Palais du Roi de Rome built in 1784 on orders of king Louis XVI as well to served as the government seat; the town now uses as a cultural center. You can see the Bergerie Nationale built in 1786 by king Louis XVI and now the museum of the lamb or musée du mouton. The  monument du Souvenir et de la reconnaissance, aka as the American monument or the American Eagle Monument by the old American military that participated in the town’s liberation in August 1944 was done outside of town on the route de Gazeran,in memory of the American soldiers fallen here in August 1944, the monument was unveiled  in 1947. One of my family fondest moment here was visiting the Rambolitran museum on train models which opened in 1984 showing the history of railroad from its origin to our days, and also toys and an reconstructed toys store from the 1930’s. More on Rambouillet on my previous post here: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/1258

Rambouillet

Fontainebleau is in Seine-et-Marne dept 77, a wonderful castle spanning 34 monarchs and the almost all history of France. Paris here is from the gare de Lyon to the station that is actually in the town of Avon or the A6 road. Fontainebleau was just a village until 1528, when king François I returning from prison in Spain after losing the battle of Pavie in 1525 decided to built a castle here inspired by the Italian palaces. The rest as we say is French history, and the world. Other than the magnificent castle propery you can see here many mansions or hotel particulieres. There is also, the musée Napoléonien d’Art et d’Histoire Militaire that in 8 rooms with weapons and uniforms going back to the 16C, the third most important museum in France for the subject display. Some of the works here were given directly by the Imperatrice Eugénie (Montijo of Belmonte, Castilla la Mancha Spain). There is ,also the musée des Arts Figuratifs with a collection of contemporary works by several painters; The town is an important center of the horse, housing the prestigious Centre sportif d’équitation militaire (CSEM) housed in the old stables of the castle, trained the mounted officers for competition. As well there is the Hippodrome de Fontainableau de la Solle . It is here at Bois le Roi  in Fontainebleau that in 1776 was held the first horse race on the English style in France. The first test was opened by king Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette of Austria; and the brother count of Artois (later king Louis XVIII) had his horse run in the race. more on wonderful Fontainebleau here on my previous posts!

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Fontainebleau

I take you now even closer to my old home , this is a nice town compact on things to see but really nice and easy connection to Paris from gare Saint Lazare or the RER A trains. This is Poissy. One of the earliest cities of France, since 1200. It is old, main site of the Pincerais under the Merovingians kings and one of the oldest royal towns of France. Here, kings Louis IX (Saint Louis) and Philippe III were born ; before been overpassed in the 15C by Saint Germain en Laye. The roads A13,A14, D30, N13 D190 all passed and bypassed the town. A city always in the history books to modern times and a big crossroad of railways as well. You have things to see here such as  The Collegiale Church of Notre Dame (St Louis was baptized here ) a roman Church style from the 12C; the old bridge of Poissy first built in the 12C destroyed by English bombings in 1944; was a bridge of 410 meters long and 24 arches , now only three remain linking the left bank of the Seine river to an isle in the middle of the Seine river; it has now been replaced by a new bridge just 300 meters next to it. The prairie Porterie is what is left of the old abbey of the Dominicans where the colloquial of Poissy was held, been founded by king Philippe le Bel in the 13C and destroyed in the 18C including the priory Church of Saint Louis. It is now housing the museum of toys or musée du jouet (very nice indeed) . The city hall or Hôtel de Ville is the old Cistercian convent dating from 1620  that was changed to a school in 1837; a new building was done in 1937 including a theater. The Pavillon de L’Octroi is an octagonal tower  built in 1830 replacing the old gate of Paris and now the tourist office . The nearby  Villa « Les Heures Claires », or aka as Villa Savoye work of architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret aka as Le Corbusier built between 1928 and 1931; the wonderful distillery of the liquor of Noyau de Poissy, with a store at the rue du Général-de-Gaulle. The old slaughterhouse of the Halle aux Veaux built in 1831 in the now place de la République, stop been used as such in 1870;now it is the host of a wonderful market inside and outside there. The Chateau de Villiers of Louis XIII style built with stone and brick in the 19C now houses since 1976 an events center; the Chateau de la Coudraie built in 1870, on rue de Migneaux, and housed personnel of the auto brand Simca in 1962. The Chateau de Bethemont modified in 1858 is today a golf park . The chapel of Saint Lazarus de la Maladrerie dating from 1120-1140 , the tower or tour de Bethemont built in the 14-15C, damaged in 1429 while the reconquest by Jeanne d’Arc and taken again by the English who made it without further use. The wonderful park or parc Meissonier 12 hectares along the Seine river and the avenue du Bon Roi Saint-Louis (road D 153).  It has English style garden with a lake , a rosary, theater and green house owned by the city since 1952 and renovated a part of the old abbey cloister. The parc de Villard next to the parc Meissonier and owned by the city since 1976 includes a castle, playground park and mini farm. Lovely town I tell you. More here in my blog:  https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/1042

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Poissy

Ok so why not follow the wonderful Poissy with the magnificent Saint-Germain-en-Laye. only 20 km west of Paris. It was very closed to my old home in dept 78 Yvelines. The presence of a castle here one of the regular residence of the kings of France that loses out once king Louis XIV goes to Versailles, and the forest, royal hunting ground.  You have here the castles such as the Chateau-Vieux and ruins of the Chateau-Neuf (where Louis XIV was born) and the chateau of Hennemont (now international high school ; as well as wonderful museums such as the musée d’Archéologie nationale (inside the castle) , the musée du Prieuré and musée Claude Debussy. The road A13 exchange at Orgeval connects to the city as well as N184 and N13; trains as RER A and from gare Saint Lazarus in Paris. Anecdote, in 1919 the treaty of Saint Germain signed in one of the rooms of the castle established the peace between the Allies and Austria given to the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire and Hapsburgs.  There is a great number of mansion or hotel particulieres in town with a great architecture façade, and one of the most shoppers paradise city center/Downtown in all of  France, over 700 stores. The Priory the old home of painter Maurice Denis houses since 1980 a museum dedicated to his work. The house was built in end of 17C by Madame de Montespan to installed a royal hospital of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The Chapel was decorated by  Maurice Denis. More on my previous blogs here:

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Saint Germain en laye

Now here is something for you, in Seine-et-Marne dept 77, there is a small village call Maincy.The owners purchased these lands and built a castle on it. The village is still here and so is the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte  (17C) and still in descendants hands semi private. Most people, even in travel forum still name the place as Vaux le Vicomte, but in reality the place is Maincy, ok.  Only 4 km from nearest town of Melun.  Before the castle, the Manufacture of Gobelins or manufacture des Gobelins was here, and was displaced to Paris by order of king Louis XIV after firing Nicolas Fouquet his superintendent of finances and first owner of Vaux-le-Vicomte; some said for jealousy and other for mishandling of State funds. Other than the castle, other things to see here in Maincy are the Saint Etienne (St Stephen) Church, the Maison des Carmes where the manufacture of Gobelins was, the the bridge at the place known as Three windmills or Trois-Moulins over the Almont river, famous because it was painted by Paul Cézanne under the title Pont de Maincy.  Who worked in the castle well, André Le Nôtre, Nicolas Poussin, Daniel Gittard, Charles le Brun and Louis Le Vau. The principal owner today is the Count Patrice de Vogüé. More on my blog here:

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/1081

Vaux le Vicomte

How about Houdan now I bring you to the heart of the Yvelines; visitors should dare more even if France is visited by 85 million no 1 in the world ! This is another example of town that is not portrayed as Royal, but it is, go figure ::) There are places most of them hardly ever if ever go to. One of them is Houdan, 43 km from Versailles. The nice road N12 (free road) passes by the town as well as the Paris Montparnasse direction Granville line that has stop at Houdan. The bit of history I like tells us that Houdan belongs to the Lords of Montfort from the 10C and later was added to the Duchy of Brittany!!! by marriage. It was disputed between the English and finally entered the royal domain with the marriage of king Louis XII and Anne of Brittany/Bretagne. Given by king Louis XIV to the Luynes family in exchange for lands closer to Versailles, and stayed with them until the French revolution. The fair or festival of Saint-Matthieu is done here every year for 2-3 days on the last weekend of September (Saint-Matthieu saint day is Sept 21). It is one of the oldest fairs in Europe with the first one going back to 1065,by the Count Amaury II de Montfort. If not at this time in town, go to see the St James and St Christopher Church or église Saint-Jacques et Saint-Christophe gothic style built in the 15-16C with a renaissance choir, and an organ originally from 1739. Also, the tower or donjon very visible as you entered the city by car .It is what remained of the old fortifications been built in the 13C by Count Amaury III de Montfort; a massive tower alone in the western part of the town with 25 meters high and 16 meters of diameter, flank by four smaller towers of 4,8 meters in diameter; it is used today as a water tower. More on the area tourist info in English here:  https://www.tourisme-pays-houdanais.fr/ent/Home.html

My blog  post here ; https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/1263

Houdan

Then, we go down south a bit on the region into magical Dourdan, about 44 km from Paris in the department 91 Essonne. This Celtic village later Gallo Roman town, birthplace of the Capetian kings and royal town from the 10C, is today known for its castle, 13C very well preserved.  The road A10 passes on the north of town before the tolls of Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (that I always avoid lol!). You have the better road D836 crossing the town west to east and onwards to Etampes and Rambouillet. Also, the D838 goes up to Versailles and the D116 with a beltway going to Arpajon. You,also, have good train service on the line RER C and the TER Centre Val de Loire that passes by here too. There is a train station in town as well as the Dourdan-La Fôret servicing the RER C as terminus.

 The castle belongs to Hugues le Grand, Duke of the Franks that built this castle to his taste and died in it in 956AD. Also, here was born in 940, Hugues Capet founder of the dynasty of Kings and crowned himself in 987, so Dourdan can be called the foundation of the House of France, royal town since the 10C.  It was in 1220 that king Philippe Auguste decided to built a new castle here taking as a model, the Louvre. The donjon was 26 meters high which was impressive at the times. It was offered as a chic place to such folks as Blanche de Castille, Marguerite de Provence, Saint Louis, Louis d’Evreux, Jean I de Berry, Sully, favorite Anne de Pisseleu and Anne of Austria. The town had a hotel Dieu to welcome pilgrims .  In 1314, Jeanne II of Burgundy future queen of France was prisioner here. By 1340 it was completed the Chapel Saint Jean l’Evangéliste.

The castle of Dourdan owned by Jean Ier de Berry since 1400 , and he ordered the construction of the ramparts. It passed thru many ravages of wars for many years and by 1562 king Henri II sold the property to the Duke de Guise, in the 17C by wish of his son king Louis XIII gives it to the queen Marie de Médicis. At the French revolution, the Church was ravage, enclosed and change into a temple of reason ,then prison, and finally brought back to a religious building in 1795. At the time, the castle was the property of the Duke of Orleans, and became a prison; in 1961 the castle is sold to the city.  What can you see here; well the Church or église St Germain d’Auxerre built along the lines of the Cathedral of Chartres in 1150 and finished in the 13C  with modifications in the 15C and 17C, the Church is 50 meters long by 18 meters wide, with a spiral tower at 50 meters, the bronze bell called “Germaine” dates from 1778 and weights 2300 kg, the portal gate on the north side is from the 15C, and there are wonderful paintings, sculptures  ; the Hôtel-Dieu with the chapel of Saint Jean l’Evangéliste or St John the Baptist; there is a vast hunting royal forest that became domain in 1870. The ramparts are still there since the Middle Ages, long of 1700 meters and with 24 towers, Four gates (Paris, Chartres, Etampes, and Puits des Champs) and three wells (Grouteau, Croix-Ferras, and Petit-Huis) ; today only remains some in the north, west, and east of the city, two towers on the blvd des Alliés, one tower on the trail of Laubier, and that tower or tour du Petit-Huis on rue de l’Étang. The tourist office is here: http://www.dourdan-tourisme.fr/

In my blog the town of Dourdan is mentioned here: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/2388

Dourdan

  There are two other towns that are not royal towns but merit the distinction in my opinion. These are Jouarre and Maisons-Laffitte.

The first one is Jouarre in Seine-et-Marne, not far from my wife’s native town. This is where king Dagobert Ier created a palace school reuniting in court ,the highest dignitaries of the kingdom and gave them a culture and initiation of the royal administration. This is how Adon leave the king’s court to found a monastery at Jouarre becoming in time an abbey of double sense, men and women living in the same monastic order in the same place with separate buildings and all the founders on both sexes are in tombs there at the crypt of Saint Paul in the monastery of Jouarre, except those in the crypt of Saint-Ebrégésile, Caroligian origins and used as a Chapel until the 20C ,it has the tomb of Saint Ebrégésile, bishop of  Meaux  in the 7C, and brother of Sainte Aguilberte. The abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre a Benedictine abbey of the 7C and still inhabited by them; it was destroyed during the French revolution in 1792 but rebuilt in 1837 . The Tour Romane, house a sisters store and traces the history of the abbey, shown a audiovisual projection on the monastic life. It is the example to see and know about the history of Jouarre.

You can see here the wonderful  musée de la Civilisation paysanne or the museum of the farmers’s life, in two rooms given by the abbey and families of the town you see agriculture hardware in all shapes and forms, and rural furniture all in the Chapel  Saint Martin  above the crypts. Also, the St Peter and St Paul Church or église Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul built in the 16C with many jewels and chases from the abbesse and other protector Saints, a Christ in wood 15C, pieta 15C, Christ in resurrection 16C, stained glass from the 17C and several statues and sculptures in stone. The relics are carried on the back of the faithful every year in procession of Pentecost. The Manoir de Nolongue, a farm kept intact from the middle of the 14C; the Domaine de Perreuse and its Castle of the 16C, here during the first Battle of the Marne in WWI, the castle was turned into the HQ of the allied commanders and one of the biggest military hospitals in the region, now it is a nursing home. Especially, the Fromagerie Ganot, one of the oldest if not the oldest brie cheese maker and tastings and visits available. Brie is from this region, unique, cheese of the kings, king of the cheeses , Vienna 1815. The tourist office for the region in French here: http://tourismepaysfertois.fr/ouvrir-une-porte/jouarre-son-abbaye-ses-cryptes/

My blog entry on nice Joaurre here: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/2262

Jouarre

Last but not least we come back to the Yvelines dept 78 this is Maisons-Laffitte. About 10 km from Saint Germain en Laye and 18 km from Paris.  It is on the left bank of the Seine river, and the forest of Saint Germain en Laye with an isle on the Seine river ,île de la Commune.

Very well connected by road on the D308 linking Paris to Poissy and the train station Gare Saint Lazare as well as a RER A train line and regular train service J and L Transilien network. The bus 262 link Pont de Bezons and T2 that passes by the La Défense and to Porte de Versailles. The night bus Noctilien N152 link the train station here to Saint Lazare in Paris.

First mention of Maisons-Laffitte is around 1060, and the town is finally shape as still is around 1602  when Jean VIII de Longueil buys all the parts of the town. He was succeeded by his son René that was President of the Paris parliament and superintendent of finances in 1650-51 ; the castle was done on his request to François Mansart, uncle of Jules Hardouin Mansart who built Versailles a few years later.  The castle is big to welcome the King on his hunting days in the forest of Saint Germain, and for this reason the entrance is on the back of the Seine river in front of a grand avenue coming from the forest, construction begins around 1642 and finished in 1650.  There are many attempts to sell the castle , king Louis XIV stayed here in 1671 during the funeral of the Duke of Anjou, but only finally the castle is sold in 1777 to the Count of Artois brother of king Louis XVI and future Charles X that finished the decorations. After many attempts to embellished the castle and due to short cash and the subsequent French revolution makes the Count of Artois exiled in England and finally the castle is taken in 1792 during the French revolution, again sold in 1797 and again in 1804 to the Marshal Lannes. The Castle is brought to the attention of Napoléon I, and the Marshal does more renovations including the gardens. After his death in 1809 in the battle of Essling, his wife Duchess de Montebello received the emperor and he ordered in 1810 the construction of the first bridge between Sartrouville and Maisons; by 1813 the emperatrice Marie-Louise also visits the castle and finally in 1818 the castle is sold to Jacques Laffitte.

Jacques Laffitte comes from modest background , carpenter, but quickly rises up. Governor of the Bank of France in 1814, opposing Charles X, he welcomes to the castle many adversaries and has great influence on the Revolution of 1830 (that ended monarchy in France with Charles X)  The same year he is named President of the Chamber of Deputies and once in throne king Louis Philippe I king of the French (but notice not of France) he is named President of the Council and minister of finances for the king. He goes thru a period of real estate development to create a new town, selling lots and building houses. Jacques Laffitte died on May 26 1844 not before building a town that now bears his name. The domain past to his daughter Albine that continues the sale of lots and finally sells the domain including the castle in 1850.  The castle is very nice and so is the town, we went there regularly and shop at the épicerie de Longueil a lot. The castle site in English here: http://www.chateau-maisons.fr/en/

The tourist office in English here: http://www.tourisme-maisonslaffitte.fr/

And another thing not to missed even if do not bet, the place is nice to visit is the racecourse, full of history too; here is the site in English. http://www.france-galop.com/en/node/62

And with the castle and the grocery store Longueil we had enough here, and still going strong, webpage in English here.http://www.epiceriedelongueil.com/

And of course, my blog post on Maisons-Laffite here: https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/5188

Maisons Laffitte

So hope you have enjoyed the virtual trip ! Wonderful places that makes me feel good about living in France. Enjoy your royal weekend, Cheers!

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