Archive for June 3rd, 2018

June 3, 2018

History in Poissy, Yvelines 78! Saint Louis!!!

And I am at it again to revive old glories. This is on a cloudy day in my new neck of the woods. I used to lived not far from here, and came often , the shopping and the Church are really nice, and the local liquor fantastic. It is very easy from Paris too, can be done in half a day tour. I am talking about Poissy, in department 78 Yvelines, region of ïle de France.

Here are my previous blog posts on Poissy to help you enjoy the town better.

Royal Town of Poissy

The town of Saint Louis

The town of king Louis IX

Poissy, the other Royal town

The town of Poissy is only about 30 km from Paris and 8 km from Saint Germain en Laye as well as 23 km from Versailles, the capital of the department  (78) Yvelines. It is on the left bank of the Seine river in a stream of water limted by the forest of Saint Germain en Laye on the east and the Seine river on the west. It has a very good train bus terminal with the train on the Paris Le Havre line coming ouf of gare Saint Lazare in Paris and the terminus for the RER A. The regular train Transilien J takes you even to Mantes La Jolie and Vernon (Giverny)

There is the A13 road passing by it on way to Normandy, the river road D153 is nice coming facing the Collegiale Church, and the D190 along the St Germain en Laye corridor as well as the D308; many intersecting roads with good car travel to and from Paris. The parking by the train station is good or along the Seine river park Meissonier.

The town has a long history starting with the Pincerais under the  Merovingians, and thereafter becomes one of the oldest Royal towns in Ïle de France, birthplace of kings Louis IX (Saint Louis) and  Philippe III. It was one of the earliest towns to received city designation in 1200 by king Philippe-Auguste, as well as an important religious town with convents of the Dominicans, Capuchins, and Ursulines before the French revolution.

Here is the bit of history I like

From the time of the Gauls ,Poissy  was a modest town of farmers and fishermen on the limit of the territory of the  Carnutes or  Chartres (Carnutum). They have discovered some tombs on the street of  rue de l’Église  when doing work that is from that period. On the Roman times, Poissy was one of the crossing points of the Seine river. Recently, they have found evidence of Antiquity or the Middle Ages by the area of the Royal Priory. Under the Merovingians, Poissy, was called  Pinciacum, and the territory extended to the north of the Seine river to the limit with the forest of Yvelines all including the valley of the Mauldre. Under the Capétiens, there was already a castle here and the first one old castle next to the collegiate Church was on a site of a hunting meeting place of the Mérovingiens. The second or new castle was built probably by Constance d’Arles, 3rd wife of king Robert II the Fair, and was at the enclos of the abbey next to the old castle. In 1200, king Philippe-Auguste gives this castle to his son Louis VIII on the occasion of his marriage to Blanche of Castile.

Saint Louis was born here in 1214, probably in the castle and was baptised in the parish Church of Notre Dame(today collegiate), later he signed private letters as  Louis de Poissy or  Louis, lord of  Poissy  to remember his baptism here.  In 1297, the Pope Boniface VIII does the canonisation for Saint Louis here.  The king Philippe le Bel, founded an abbey of Dominicans here in honor of Saint Louis that was his grandfather.

In 1245, is born here Philippe III le Hardi, son of king Louis IX , and  Marguerite de Provence , and he ruled from 1270 to 1285.  During the War of Hundred Years in 1346 the king of England , Edward III pillage and burn the city  after landing in Normandy and coming along the Valley of the Seine, and defeat king Philippe VI de Valois at Crécy before his capture at Calais. In 1369, king Charles V ordered destroyed what was left of the castle of Poissy, that was burned in 1346 by the Black Prince son of the king of England. In 1429, the troops of Joanne of Arc takes the tower or tour de Béthemont aux Godons. Poissy is again occupied in 1441 by John Talbot and the English and again pillage the town and the abbey.

It is at Poissy in 1561 that the colloquial of Poissy takes place. This was organized by Catherine de Médicis, to meet Catholics and Protestants held on the refectory room after been restored from the pillages of John Talbot. The failure of the effort of reconciliation gave light to the Wars of Religion. Here in 1567, took place the Battle of Poissy between Calvinists(led by the Prince Condé) and Catholics.

In December 12/13 1840, the flotilla of transports carrying the rests of Emperor  Napoléon Ier made a stop at Poissy and a ceremony was held the Sunday December 13. An interesting anecdote, worth mentioning even if no longer there.  There was a live animal market here very important in the region, on the route Paris to Rouen to provide beef to Paris. It was the right to trade given by king Louis IX in 1245 and the names of some streets tells you of the activity that was here such as  rue de la Triperie (tripes) , rue des Moutons (lambs), rue du Bœuf couronné (beef), ruelle aux Vaches (cows). This concentration of animals also needed great expanse of land that was to be built on it . In 1867, the live animal market of Poissy, was cancelled and transferred to the new market at Villette  in Paris on that year.

During the Franco Prussian war of 1870, the town was occupied for several months in 1870/71. The bridge was mined to slow down the Prussian advance arriving from Saint Germain en Laye; the town was submitted to requisitions and needed to maintained a regiment of cavalry and their horses. During WWI, Poissy was in the field of tranches from Paris and many fortified works were done in town, the town hosted two military hospitals for the battlefront wounded.

f From 1928 to 1931 the architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret dit Le Corbusier  built the villa  Les Heures claires better known as the Villa Savoye. IT was damaged during WWII and taken by the city in 1958 that wanted demolished. A campaign was done with the intervention  of  d’André Malraux ,then Minister of Culture to save the villa,and of course it was succesful. In 2016, a convention between the town of Poissy and the Fondation Le Corbusier was signed to open the museum Le Corbusier.

During WWII the town was again occupied by the Nazis from 1940 to 1944. The town of Poissy is liberated by the American army in August 26 1944.

Some things to see

The main sight to see is the Collégiale Church of Notre Dame, a Roman style of the 12C with two octagonal bells and restored in the 19C. The old bridge of Poissy dates from the 12C destroyed in 1944; it was 410 meters long with 24 arcs now only 3 remains connecting the left bank of the Seine to the isle Migneaux in the middle of the river . It has been replaced by a new bridge of about 300 meters long. The Porterie of the Priory is what is left of the old abbey of Dominicans where the Colloquial of Poissy was held. The Priory founded by king Philippe le  Bel in the 13C was destroyed i the 18C including the Saint Louis Church. The Porterie houses today a very nice old toys museum.


The city hall or Hôtel de ville at rue de la Gare was an old convent of the Capuchins dating from 1620 transformed into city hall/school in 1837. A new city hall was done opening in  1937 with the innovation of integrating a theater.  Renovated in 1991, the theater room has an exceptional accoustic hosting concerts and recordings. The Pavillon de l’Octroi, on an octagonal shape built in 1830 replaces the old gate to Paris (today the tourist office of Poissy).  It has sculptured symbolising the activities of the town at the time such as fishing, agriculture, and live animal market.

The Villa Les Heures Claires  aka Villa Savoye built from 1928-1931 as mentioned above. It is constructed in armored cement with geometrical lines on pylons.  It was occupied by the Nazis and later the Americans during WWII and later abandon for a long period and even in 1958 taken 6 hectares to built a high school lycée Le Corbusier. The STate took over in 1964 and important restorations were done in the 1980-1990 period.

The wonderful delicous Distillerie du noyau de Poissy a herbs liquor with a secret recipe with a store at the rue du Général-de-Gaulle. The Maison Centrale de Poissy or prison been before the convent of the Ursulines from the end of the 17C, renovated since to house the prison. The Château de Villiers, built on orders of the baron Léonce Hély d’Oissel (1803 – 1883). A Louis XIII style building done in stone and brick. In 1976 the town purchase it to open a playcenter; which the presence of the castle makes it very romantic. The Château de La Coudraie, built in 1870  is located in the rue de Migneaux.

The Château de Bethemont,modified in 1858, today host a park and golf course. The manoir normand de Donat Agache built in 1928. The Chapel or Chapelle Saint-Lazare de la Maladrerie,dating from 1120-1140, discovered by an archeologist Edgar Mareuse (1848 – 1926). The tower or tour de Bethemont built in the 14C to 15C damage in 1429 while been reconquered by the troops of Joanne d’Arc and taken by the English that made it uninhabited and of no use.

The 12 hectares park or  parc Meissonier  from city center along the avenue du Bon Roi Saint-Louis (road D153). It has an English style park with a lake of 8 000 m2,a rosary , a theater and a green house.  Owned by the city since 1952 arranged from part of the old enclos of the abbey. The parc de Villard, next to parc Meissonier, own by the city since 1976 ,has a castle, playground and mini farm.

As an anecdote of our memories we came to shop at the Art de Vivre shopping center in Orgeval very close to Poissy and along the A13; it was always a nice family outing; now I read that by 2020 they will demolish the shopping center .There are only a six stores left from the 25 of before and this year the nice bookstore we purchased Gibert Joseph is closing. The site still posted here for the memories.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which I think is worth a detour are

City of Poissy tourist interest page in French :

Tourist office of Poissy in English:

Dept 78 Yvelines tourist office in French on Poissy:

Ïle de France region tourism on Poissy :

Hope you enjoy it, I did while living nearby; I think is worth a detour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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June 3, 2018

A bit of impressionism at Bougival

Again on the trails and enjoying all my travels with the family. I will tell you about a place that even if we passed by and had my boys birthdays (Chez Clement) done there along the Seine river, we really never took the walk to see it. However, it is part of our trailblazing in my belle France and here it is.

Bougival Bougival


I am talking about Bougival  in department 78 Yvelines in the ïle de France region. My old home, and we have less rain in Brittany! Bougival is located east of Saint Germain en Laye and north of Versailles,not bad at all ::) It is on the left bank of the Seine river and only 20 km from Paris. It is a hilly town, with only about 24 meters elevation by the levies of the river to as high as 110 meters by the train station. It ,also, has part of the forest domaniale of Louveciennes as part of the city limits.

To get around is easy along the Seine river, on the wonderful D113 (my old N13) and also by the D321  passing the bridge of  Bougival that connects to Croissy-sur Seine (almost lived here but choose Versailles lol!) . Bougival can also be reach by the autoroutes or expressways A86 (exit Rueil Malmaison) then the D113 along the Seine river direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The A13 autoroute de Normandie  (exit Saint-Germain-en-Laye), then the  N186  until Port-Marly ,and the D113 to  Bougival. There is the nice D321 going from Versailles to Croissy sur Seine and passing by Bougival. All these roads greatly traveled by yours truly. The train station ,never taken here,  is on the line from Paris Saint Lazare to Saint Nom la Bretéche  and located in the town of La Celle-Saint-Cloud.

A bit of history I like

The territory now where Bougival is today was divided in two sections one was Bougival , and the other La Chaussée-Charlevanne, aka La Chaussée, or even Charlevanne.  Documents have been found mentioning Charlevanne before the 9C while Bougival was from the 13C.

In the 12C, war against the king of England by king Louis VI the Fat was decided to built Charlevanne,as a fortress to block the incursions ; on the insistant of the priory of Saint Germain en Laye , Louis VI abandoned these plans and gives the land to the monks of the Church. In 1273, Philippe le Hardi, abandon the rigths of Justice and gives the abbey of Saint Denis, the rights to the homes of Charlevanne. It creates differences between the two abbeys of Saint Germain des Prés and Saint Denis that own most all of Charlevannes, Rueil, La Celle, and Croissy; these differences were settled by an arbitration ruling of 1336.

In the 16C , Gabrielle d’Estrée lived in the mansion of the La Chaussée , she was the mistress and favorite of king Henri IV from 1591 to his death. It was here ,also, that lived mademoiselle de Blois from 1711 to 1716, she was the legitimate daughter of king Louis XIV  and Louise de La Valliére. She had built the pavillon de Blois. In 1683, king Louis XIV buys the lands of Bougival to the family of the Count of Assy; the family Mesmes already holding the lordship of Bougival received from the king early in the 18C almost the entire lordship as well as La Chaussée and a great part of the surroundings. The family of Mesmes owned almost the entire town of Bougival.

The machine de Marly that brought water from the Seine river to the domaine and Chateau de Versailles was built here. The Church of Bougival dating from the 12C has he tomb of Rennequin Sualem, the inventor of the Machine de Marly.

Some of the things to see in Bougival

The before mentioned Machine de Marly (even thus it competes with been in Louveciennes)  considered the 8th wonder of the world worked for 120 years from 1684 to 1817, and later replaced by the vapor machine and later the hydraulic machine. The Notre Dame Church, from the 12C with a bell tower in an arrow of octagonal stones partly built in the 19C. The Château de la Jonchère that welcome many famous guests such as Gabriel Julien Ouvrard, Count of Tolstoî, Adolphe Thiers, the Prince of Metternich, etc etc

The buildings of the water controller from the times of Louis XIV at quai Rennequin Saulem by the  Seine river. The building of Charles X neo classic style started under emperor Napoléon III that house the Vapor Machine of Martin et Cécile, 1817. The laundry in the Saint Michael neighborhood near the town of Louveciennes.  The Datcha built by Ivan Tourgueniev ,and where he died in 1883 today is a museum at  16 rue Yvan Tourgueneff. The levies of Bougival with the longest at 220 meters along the Seine river.

The house of Georges Bizet a famous composer that rented this house on the banks of the Seine river and created Carmen and where he died in 1875 after taking a swim in the river. It is in this island or ïle de Bougival that several portraits were made by the Impressionists; some of the most famous ones were le Pont de Bougival by Claude Monet, le Quai by Berthe Morisot, Sur la Terrace or les deux soeurs et Dance à Bougival by Pierre Auguste Renoir, and again La Seine à Bougival le soir painted by Claude Monet in 1869. These painters frequented Bougival from 1850 to 1900 for entertaintment and past times staying  and dancing at the  Auberge du Bal des Canotiers every Sundays in Summer. Or the island or Ïle de la Loge, several shown by Alfred Sisley .

The colonne des fréres Montgolfier dating from the  1817-1818 was a stone done on 22,5 hectares by the Count of Boissy d’Anglas, member of the Senate and pair of France to remember his friends of  Annonaye, the brothers Montgolfier ,inventors of flying ballons.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here,and it should be an easy day trip from Paris, this is impressionists along the Seine at its best. We love to come here to celebrate our sons birthdays!

City of Bougival on tourism in French :

Tourist office of Bougival in English :

Yvelines tourism on museum

Enjoy the arts along the Seine at the door to Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers!!!

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June 3, 2018

My boy REX, the dog!!!

Ok so given some glimpses of our dog Rex , but need to do a post just for him on a quiet homey Sunday. More posts later had worked during the week.

I always had dogs in my single life; and even as I was married back in 1990 with my Frenchie Martine. As we began to have kids, it was difficult to handle both and my previous dog was almost 12 yrs old and became a bit jealous been female and aggressive so my parents kept her until her last days and me went on without a dog for years.

As my boys became older, the need to have a dog grew , but my wife wanted none of it. Finally, we convince her as the boys also wanted a dog. She was very enthusiastic once the decision taken, and was the first one to go and buy him a bed ,and ball toys etc. We are customers of Maxi Zoo store in Séné next to Vannes.

Unfortunately, for us, my Martine could only enjoyed Rex, our borador dog for 19 days before she went into the hospital and finally passed away last April 30th from cancer. We will missed her tremendously, and no words can describe my and the boys pain. However, we have Rex.

Rex is our boy ,and her legacy with us. We love him very much, and he is very active and well behave. I have my three young men to help me out doing everything with me. Rex will go on as a memorial to Martine, and warm and happy moments we had.


ready to help loves those pebbles


ready to jump the wall already


of course not afraid of water

As said, Rex is a borador, that is pure mix Border Collier and Labrador taken from a cattle/milk farm nearby here. He is now fully up to date on all his needs with the Clinique Vétérinaire du Chêne in our town.

So, therefore, here are his latest pictures taken around us. For all animal lovers out there.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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June 3, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXV

So here we are on a Sunday ,not so good coming up. We have no clouds so far, not really knowing where we are going to go. My dear late wife Martine was a catalyst on these things, always ready and suggesting places to go; now it is up to me.

I will continue to tell about daily life in our belle France; leave to others to tell you only the glamour; life is a combination of everything. My daily life here is no different than anywhere else I have lived, and that includes five countries and holding passports from four. We have come a long way and fully understand what is globalization or mondialisation.

I went out last Friday at work and decided while walking to our cafeteria ,which is a full grown restaurant to take a couple shots of the outside. Very nice and very innovative French food inside too as well as the usual burgers and fries lol!

Last Saturday was our errands day with the boys. We did our duties with the bank at Auray, and then went back to Vannes to have lunch in one of our family favorite pizzerias (we love pizzas) this is the chain Tablapizza, good Espagnole chorizo pizza and a great Saumur-Champigny red 2016 Les Chanteraines.

We went for a spin to nearby Electro Depot store of plenty of electronic gadgets and home accessories and we got some earphones, cups:plates, etc .

Continue practically next door to do our groceries at E Leclerc hypermarket, always a treat with so much selection, service, and reasonable prices. We skip the market this week.

We got home and took a tour with our dog Rex, he had his first taste of dog food sausage  on real beef from Germany. Very happy to do so. He is now relaxing , yes as soon as he is in the veranda he is calm once inside the house he does not stop moving high energy borador of 6 months old.

Now we are unwinding our simple Saturday day. I have already been accepted our long summer vacation at work for August. Really, we have so many in mind with little effort missing one member of the family. She always wanted to go to Toulouse from where her father’s family comes from. Then, I was thinking going to the Bordeaux area instead of again to Spain.  We are looking at Lyon area, and Paris of course even if repeated we used to lived in Versailles.  Nothing settled yet it will be a slow last minute thing as usual for us. Then , have some friends telling me will visit from the USA in the next few months ,will see. Lastly, the mother’s side family always gets together in Auvergne area as the stepfather is from there, so will see if we have a family gathering there. Will see.

And this is Sunday. Well, we have storms alerts orange coming to our end and its already by Lorient, in the afternoon it should hit us. As simple rain storms can cause havocs here, we are staying home and resting on memories on this family day in the Morbihan Breton of France. The temps now are 15C it should go to 25C but then 66% chance of rain  anx thunderstorms warnings until midnight. This is for all west coast of France, or about 29 departments. So we are staying dry.

I did cut some bad grass in the garden, and took our Rex out, he is so playful running all over the house patio we have 1000 sq meters or about an acre of land. Cheers


Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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