Archive for July 8th, 2018

July 8, 2018

Some news from Spain LXIII

And Summer is here already very hot all over and in my beloved Spain it is sizzling, my friends from Granada reported going up to 39C!!! 102F! In my neck of the woods we have gone up to 32C about 90F!

Here is the latest news I can pick up from Spain.

The Royal Palace of Olite, in Navarre, in fact, this medieval palatial complex is so special that it already hosted  travelers in the 15C.  It’s maximum splendor during the reign of Charles III of Navarre also known as ‘ The Noble ‘, who honoring his French origins called expert architects from all over Europe to remodel and expand the building under the distinguished French civil Gothic style that was in vogue at the time. The Palace was  partially destroyed in 1813, when fire made it to partially collapsed ; later rebuilt more than a century later, when the fallen walls were re-erected respecting the French design that one can presently observed.

You can distinguish two parts in the medieval building: the commonly known as ‘ Old Palace ‘ and the ‘ New palace ‘: The old part, where the Parador national de Turismo is now located, corresponds to the building erected on an old Roman fortress that was remodeled during the 13C and 15C and that keeps features of Gothic and Renaissance architecture in its walls. Its exterior is characterized by the large stone walls that surround the palace and the circular turrets with slate roofs that rise in the corners. A large courtyard gives access to the interior of the enclosure where there are three gardens, the grapefruit, the aviary and the Mulberry, the latter being the home of a centenary Mulberry and the central nucleus of the ‘ New palace ‘, where were the ostentatious royal chambers with flared windows and the towers from which the Kings followed the tournaments held in their palace.

The Palace of Olite is in the historic centre of the town of Olite, 42 km south of the city of Pamplona and to get there you can go by car or by bus from the capital of Navarra. To access the palace you will have to pay an entry of 3.5 euros per person and can be made in summer time, every day from 10h to 20h ( 10am to 8 pm). More on the palace and parador below.

Palacio Real de Olite :

Parador de Olite :

The ancient inhabitants of al-Andalus (Andalucia) called these lands Fash al-Ballut, “The valley of the Acorns “, and today it is enough a walk by the place so that there is no doubt about the origin of such name. The region of Los Pedroches, in the north of the province of Córdoba, has been synonymous with dehesa for centuries, a natural environment that nourishes life and prosperity throughout the region for centuries, the Dehesa de los Pedroches-which presumes to be the largest continuous dehesa of all Europe- It has been the main sustenance of the region, providing wealth thanks to the breeding of lamb and, above all, the pampered Iberian pork-here prefer to Cochinos or filthy pig, a real star of local cuisine.

A D.O. Pedroches denomination of origin designation. Each herd enjoys a space equivalent to one hectare per pig , at Finca Las Lagartosas in Villanueva, tourists have the possibility to spend a day in the Dehesa to know all its secrets as you walk between Holm Oaks and Cork Oaks. In addition to the beauty of the landscape, the experience allows to taste the typical products or participate in a ham-cutting workshop. More in Spanish here: Finca Las Lagartosas

The dryers, like that of IBESA, also in Villanueva, have emulated the model of many wineries and offer a guided tour of their facilities, in which they explain the whole process of production of their delicatessen, including tasting and demonstrations of howto get the perfect ham cut. More in Spanish here: IBESA

Among the most important buildings is the former audience, an outstanding civil construction of the 17C, today Museum of Local History. Nearby there is also the interpretation center of the Dehesa and the parish Church of San Miguel (16C), under whose square is hidden an old refuge from the Civil war. The visit to Hinojosa del Duque is essential to know its stately buildings, a sign of wealth and one of the reasons that king Alfonso XIII granted the population the title of city. Another of its jewels is the spectacular Church of San Juan Bautista,(St John the Baptist)  with a superb renaissance façade. Pedroche is the oldest locality in the region and was its capital in the time of the Catholic monarchs. Here it is obliged to visit the Church of El Salvador, whose Renaissance tower, 56 meters high, allows you to enjoy one of the best views of the region. Pozoblanco is probably the best known locality, because in its bullring , the great Spanish bullfigher  Paquirri lost his life. Leaving aside sad bullfighting milestones, the population is now capital of the region, and offers a varied sports offers such as in addition to a equestrian club and a shooting range, Pozoblanco attracts fans to airplanes and fishing, and especially golf lovers , because not in vain has the first municipal club of this sport that was created in Spain. The Pantano de la Colada swamp, near El Viso, is another enclave that attracts locals and visitors. In addition to numerous sporting activities, the swamp has a landscape of great beauty that in winter serves as a refuge for cranes from northern Europe. With the arrival of twilight, these birds quietly fly in flocks, offering a spectacle difficult to describe.  The AVE train arrives at the Pedroches in just an hour and a half from Madrid. More info on the Los Pedroches below!

Turismo Los Pedroches:

Local tourism and business center on Los Pedroches:

Terraces in Madrid for the summer, some of my favorites that can recommend are

Aduana ,calle Hermosilla, 2 (inside the Gran Meliá Fénix Hotel); metro  Serrano or Colon Tel +34  91 431 67 00 ,Average price: 50 euros | It doesn’t close. It has only decoration: to this rooftop (on the seventh floor of the hotel) you will have enough views of the Discovery Gardens, Paseo de Recoletos or the National Library.  I have stayed in the hotel as well tops! Aduana in the Gran Fénix

Behia , calle Manuel de Falla, 5 ; metro Santiago Bernabeu ;tel +34 91 421 19 07; Average price: 35 euros.  It doesn’t close. Decorated with wooden floors and covered by a structure that allows it to be open all year, the elegant exterior space of Behia offers market cuisine. Behia

Cafe Comercial Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro: Bilbao ; Tel +34 91 088 25 25. Average price: 35 euros ; It doesn’t close. The historic café (just under new management been here in old and new still very good) takes a few tables to the roundabout, protected by awnings. Now owned by Grupo El Escondida, has strengthened its gastronomy on Sundays, brunch by Café Oliver on the second floor (28 euros). Cafe Comercial

Calista, Paseo de la Castellana, 95 (in the Torre Europa); metro  Santiago Bernabeu ; Tel +34 91 770 78 99 . Average price: 20 euros. It doesn’t close. In the Bajos of Torre Europa (basement of Tower Europa), its terrace is decorated with illuminated trees and hanging wisteria. Calista

The new exhibition of the Thyssen Museum explores for the first time the connection that was established between the life and work of the disciple and his teacher. The paths of Claude Monet and his master Eugène Boudin crossed for the first time in the spring of 1856 almost by chance, when they coincided in the stationery store Gravier, in Le Havre. It was just then that Boudin, 16 years older than Monet, wanted to congratulate him on his work as a caricaturist, and encouraged him to continue studying and painting, inviting to do it with him.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum delves into the relationship forged between the two artists. Through a hundred works that include loans from museums and institutions such as the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London or the Metropolitan of New York, the exhibition is recreated in the picturesque landscapes with which master and disciple put to the test in their brushes. First, formed under the grey skies of Normandy. Then, protected by the light of the Mediterranean. Many landscapes and brushstrokes later, in 1874, Monet invited his teacher to join the first Impressionist show, where he exhibited seven portraits in what can be interpreted as homage to his mentor. As Monet himself once wrote, “If I have dedicated myself to painting, I owe it to Eugène Boudin “.  The show is until September 30th 2018. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8. More here: Thyssen Museum on Monet and Boudin

After its exhibition in Sevilla, Valencia and Valladolid, the Museum of  Sorolla in Madrid hosts the exhibition Sorolla. Un Jardin para pintar or a garden to paint, which crosses the evolution of the painting of the Valencian artist while designing and seeing the  growth of  his own garden. The exhibition contains more than 170 oil paintings, sketches, drawings, sculptures, tiles and photographs related to his passion for the gardens. Sorolla painted on numerous occasions Andalusian gardens such as the Alcazar of Sevilla and the Alhambra in Granada. These inspired him to start building his in 1910. It is a Mediterranean garden where the features of the gardening of the Italian Renaissance are mixed with the Hispanoárabe.  Museo Sorolloa Calle General Martínez Campos, 37, in the  Chamberí district , metro Rubén Darío. More here: Museo Sorolla

Update , be prepare as Madrid is following the lead of other European cities making it tougher to go in with a car, a series of vignettes decals on pollution will begins by November, the areas in question are in all the center. Lucky me I always park outside the centro area ::) Here is a map from El Confidencial newspaper.

Now enjoy Spain, and Madrid especially in the summer heat , not too many but all is open really, we go there every summer. Well now maybe not as my wife is gone, really need to soak in all these trips and see what we do next.

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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July 8, 2018

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXVI

And here we are ending our Sunday in the heat almost 21h or 9pm and it is 28C or about 82F, sunny with a bit of a breeze. We finished another week in wonderful Morbihan.

A bit sad as we are without our dear late wife/mom Martine in our first Summer alone since 1989. We had so much planned and we came to realise one late, the barbecue. We had set up stones in the back to create one from scratch ,the old fashioned way.  Procrastination and a lot of other projects put it in the lower end of the to do list.  We finally decided with the boys to get a simple Weber on charcoal.

We went to the groceries bearing in mind to try it this weekend. After so many errands ,we finally did it this afternoon.

Saturday, well is now our battle ground. We went to Castorama for the Weber barbecue and supplies as well some pebbles for our driveway. I was there with my oldest boy as my twin boys were in a competition on video games in Cinéville, the cinema complex in Vannes, where one of them got second place and many giveaways!

Continuing with my oldest, we passed by V&B beer place in Auray to get our load of beers from Germany. And of course, we continue zig zagging to Nicolas in Vannes for our wines load. Passing by the market (marché de Vannes) to get some real cheese from the cheesemaker stand.

We went to Animalis animal store to get the sign for our house, Beware of Dogs ,just to be in regulation as we do have a big 7 months old borador (mix border collier and labrador) male. Right around we went to Norauto auto store to get me my new car charger for my mobile telephone Samsung.

We had lunch at the McDonalds in Auray for lunch as my oldest crave about these still…. even in lovely France lol! yes.I know.

We finally went to E Leclerc in Vannes to do our groceries and get the goods for the barbecue. wow, that was a lot of moving in one day. We were doing it during the week to leave our weekends free, but now we really have not decided our next adventures, even my vacation at work for 3 summer weeks in August are approved, not yet chosen where we are going. I know we will need some days to finished the work in the basement of our house that was purchase a while back with the Mother. So stay tuned for the vacation.

At home Sunday, we started the new Weber barbecue and as amateurs the darn thing was not starting, the fire died out three times and we were exhausted with the same. Then my dear old father came in and told us the bottom holes had to be open so the air circulate and the fire takes off.Oh well, we did and the fire did caught up ok. The cooking was on!!! Steaks first and then sausages and chorizos and of course the German cold beers.


All for a nice simple French family Sunday; everybody now got the idea of the barbecue passing by our outdoor terrace, we should see some competition by next weekend. A big one here as it will be National Day July 14 (better know outside of France as Bastille day) ,the French revolution.

Until then, and other posts, stay fresh, dry and remember; happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all !!!



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July 8, 2018

This is Paris: Basilica Notre Dame des Victoires

And we move on, the Churches of Paris. Written on them before in my blog and some just mention briefly, this one deserves a post of its own. A wonderful Church Basilica Notre Dame des Victoires.

Basilica Notre Dame-des-Victoires is located at Place des Petits-Péres in the 2éme district or arrondissement of Paris. It is one of five minor Basilicas in Paris been raise to Basilica in 1927.

The building is in the Chapel of the former Augustinian convent. The construction begins in 1629. King Louis XIII posed the first stone and dedicated the Church to Notre-Dame-des-Victories because of its military successes, especially at the Siege of La Rochelle (1628).  111 years took to completed it finally in 1740. The convent had a library of forty thousand books. In the French revolution, it’s closed. The Church is occupied by the offices of the National Lottery and then by the stock exchange. It was returned to worship in 1809. The conventual buildings, themselves, were destroyed in 1859. During the commune, the church was looted again and ransacked.

In 1836, Notre-Dame-des-Victories is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin. The abbot creates an association of which one of the first aims is the conversion of sinners. In 1838, the association became Arch confraternity patronized by Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, approved by Pope Gregory XVI. In 1927, the church was elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope Pius XI.

Our Lady of the Victories is a high place of devotion, unique in Paris, its walls are covered by about thirty-seven thousand ex-votos in gratitude to the Virgin. Finally, the Church has a choir richly endowed with seven paintings by Carl Vanloo (1705-1765). Six of them are devoted to the life of St. Augustine. In 1778, Mozart prayed in this church . The total length of the church is 62 meters for a width of 24.50 meters. The height of the vault is 15 meters. The church is in the Classic style, notice the cornice in modillions and roses, and its pilasters of ionic order.


Chapel St Theresa de Lisieux

PAris Paris

Some of the nicest Chapels to see are the Chapel in memory of St. Teresa of Lisieux ,surmounted by the stained glass showing Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux in 1887, before going to Rome to asked the Pope the permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux,the girl comes to pray to Notre-Dame-des-Victories with her father and sister. The Sainte-Anne Chapel dated from 1878 and showing the painting of “The Education of the Virgin” (upper part). The Saint Augustine Chapel on the left side of the transept. The six paintings of Carl Vanloo on the life of Saint Augustine were painted between 1746 and 1755. Removed from by the French revolution, reestablished in 1811, they evoke the baptism of Saint Augustine, his episcopal ordination, his oratorical jousting with the Donatists, his homilies before Bishop Valeri, his death, and finally the translation of his relics in Pavia. This collection of paintings by Carl Vanloo is unique in France

The impressive cenotaph of Jean-Baptiste Lulli.  Lulli lived in Rue des Petits-Champs and was buried in the Church. His tomb, executed in 1687 was demolished during the commune. What remained of the tomb was placed between the chapels of St. John and the Holy Childhood to the left and to the right are seated two mourners representing poetry and music. On the upper pedestal: two statues of children (or weeping geniuses). At the top sits the bust in bronze of Lulli 17C.

Eight windows of the nave follow a common pattern, they are surrounded by a garland with decorative themes. The background is made up of a grey clover-base on which one or two central characters are detached. These stained glass windows let little light pass. In summer, the grand portal of the Basilica is always open to bring a little clarity to the nave. On the other hand, the transept and chorus are still quite dark.

The 37 000 ex-Votos of Notre-Dame-des-Victories are, above all, marble slabs that cover the aisles and the transept, but also thousands of hearts, stained glass windows, military medals and decorations. The ex-Votos are in French, English, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. True to the principle of arch confraternity conversion is the main subject of recognition.

The Chapel of the Virgin dedicated to the very holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary a statue financed by king Louis XIV. Beneath the altar is a part of the relics of St. Aurélie, victim of persecution under Emperor Valérien.  Dressed in a white mantle, the forehead girded with a golden crown.  The Virgin disappeared in the French revolution with all the treasures of the Church.

The lower part of the stained glass (which is visible above on the right) illustrates the vision and its consequences. The manuscript of the archives of the Augustinian Convent reports, after the Brother Fiacre had  heard the cry of a grandchild: he turned his head on the side of the voice and saw the Sacred Virgin surrounded by a beautiful and pleasant light, having a Child in her arms, dressed of a blue robe dotted with stars, her hair hanging on her shoulders, three crowns on her head, sitting on a chair and saying: “My child, do not be afraid, I am the mother of God.” On this, the witness Brother Fiacre  flung himself to the ground to worship the Child held between her arms, believing that it was Jesus Christ, but the Sacred Virgin said to him:  “My child is not my son, it is the child that God wants to give to France.” This story came to the ears of the court and the king. The Virgin asked for three novenas in three shrines of the kingdom dedicated to Notre-Dame, including Notre-Dame of Victories and Notre-Dame de Paris. Brother acquitted himself of this prayer in November and December 1637. Ten months later, on September 5, 1638, Queen Anne of Austria gave birth to a son, Louis Dieudonné ( Louis the God given), at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye (future king Louis XIV)!

At court, it was recalled that this birth had been foretold by a religious. Brother Fiacre will devote his life, through prayer, to the royal family, to the poor and to peace and will become famous. It is reported that later, his portrait adorns a car rental office on horseback. They will eventually take its name, the famous “cabs”, ancestors of our taxis. Nice story after all, you find thousands in the Churches of Paris.

Notre Dame des Victoires has two representations of the “vow of Louis XIII”a painting by Carl Vanloo 18C  and a 19C stained glass window. Another great stained glass window can be seen on this theme at the Chapelle Saint-Vincent-de-Paul de Blois (17C).  In gratitude for this long-awaited son (Louis-Dieudonné, the future king Louis XIV), king Louis XIII vowed, in 1638, to dedicate “his person, his state, his crown and his subjects” to the Virgin and to renew this vow every year at the feast of the Assumption. In Carl Vanloo’s painting, King Louis XIII,  has his vow, exposed to the Virgin the drawing of the façade of the church which he had promised to edify. This will be Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.

The first crowned statue in France is that of this basilica, on 9 July 1853 at the request of Pope Pius IX in gratitude for the grant of Rome by the French

The organ was executed by Lesclop, factor of the eighteenth century and the buffet by Louis-Alexandre Reigner, Master Carpenter in Paris and member of the Académie Saint-Luc since 1735. The buffet, made of wood carved and decorated in the mass, consists of a large body with five turrets and a positive of three turrets back. It has decorations in bas relief and in round hump, including vases, trophies and musical instruments; The central turret is crowned by an angel who holds an open book on his knees. The light asses of the turrets are adorned with heads of cherubs at mid-body. It dates from 1739

This is it, another passing of history from my library on history books on France . This is wonderful .

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and recommended are

Webpage of ND des Victoires :

Catholic Churches of Paris :

Tourist office of Paris:

City of Paris on ND des Victoires in French :

Enjoy Paris ,a lot more to see than on many travel books. And the story is not over yet because Paris is eternal.

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

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July 8, 2018

This is Paris: Church of Saint Sulpice!

And we continue with the wonderful Churches of Paris a heaven of history, architecture and religious overtones. This is to know Paris at its best, no where else you will find so much history than on them.

I have come by here, and written on previous blog post bits of it, but never a post solely on it. The Church of Saint Sulpice has a lot history on it if not on my top 3 it is certainly in my top 10. Let me tell you a bit about it, my side.

The église de Saint Sulpice is in the Place Saint-Sulpice within the rue Bonaparte. The current Church took place from a small sanctuary dedicated to Saint Sulpice des Champs which dates back to the 12C, Rebuilt in the 14C and 16C finally considered small; new plans approved in 1645, and first stone laid by the queen Regent Anne of Austria in 1646.  It is the largest Church in Paris with 119 meters long and 57 meters wide.  The selected style is Classicism with abundance of Corinthians elements, the carved decorations (capitals, cherubs, and vases of flames) made the body with stone giving a very neat architectural look.  As said, for all those visiting Paris coming here is a necessary step; its architecture is the epitome of Classicism, the decorations, the murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve careful look. You see the giant clams and its Virgin and Children, reliefs and sumptuous mausoleum offer the Church artistic masterpieces in Paris.

The Saint Sulpice Church is in the Odeon neighborhood of the 6éme district of Paris. It is located in place Saint-Sulpice with an official address of 2 rue Palatine. It is dedicated to Sulpice the pious, Archbishop of Bourges in the 7C.

Saint-Sulpice is not a frequent dedication in the churches of France. Yet it is a French Saint born at the end of the 6C in the Diocese of Bourges and of Noble ancestry. He would have been raised at the Royal palace, which would have initiated him into business. Dubbed the good or the pious, known for his austerity, fasting, his affability, but also for his healing gifts on the sick, indulging in prayer and serving the poor, he was said to enjoy a gift of persuasion through his voice that led people to invite to conversion . The Bishop of Bourges would have conferred on him the orders to make his preaching official. In 624, he was appointed Bishop of Bourges. Pursuing his role as missionary, he focuses on the conversion of the Jews, many in his diocese, and participates in the training of the campaigns. After 17 years of Episcopate, he chose a coadjutor to devote himself entirely to the service of the poor. He died in Bourges in January 646 or 647. More than 340 churches are dedicated to him in France, which is little in a country that has about 45 000 religious buildings.

The present Church of Saint-Sulpice took the place of a small sanctuary dedicated to Saint-Sulpice-des-Champs, which would go up in the 12C. Rebuilt, then enlarged in the 14C and 16C, it eventually proves to be insufficient for the population of the parish. It was the priest Jean-Jacques Olier , who arrived in his duties in 1642, who set in motion what was going to be the very long journey of the construction of the new church. The plans were approved in 1645. The first stone was laid by the Regent Anne of Austria in February 1646. The plans are to build the largest church in Paris (119 meters long and 57 meters wide). The old church will be totally encompassed (it was at the level of the present choir, the Cross of the transept and two bays of the nave). Nothing prevents the building ,but for the sanctuary, the choir and the nave, the old church will have to be broken up gradually.  In 1660, he was the architect and engineer of the King, Daniel Gittard , who took over. His plans, which are accepted, cover the choir, the transept and the nave. They will be respected until the end (apart from the façade whose design is not yet established). He is the real architect of Saint-Sulpice.

The style chosen is the classicism with plenty of Corinthian elements. The sculpted decoration (capitals, cherubs and vases of flames) is made with the stone, giving the whole a beautiful architectural balance, very neat. Radiant chapels, chorus and much of the north arm of the transept are built, when suddenly everything stops due to lack of funds. Forty years will pass. It is the energetic priest Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy  who will restart the construction in 1719 thanks to a lottery.

For all those who visit Paris, the Church of Saint-Sulpice is an indispensable step. Its architecture is the very example of classicism. The decorations were highly evolved from the 18C to the 19C. The murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve a careful glance. Each chapel has its own dedicated painter. The sculptures of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle with his two blessed and his Virgin of the Child in the axial Chapel, finally the  Bas-reliefs and a sumptuous mausoleum, offer to the church some masterpieces of the art of Paris.


The façade of Saint-Sulpice. the construction of the Church began with the axial Chapel, the ambulatory, then the choir, the transept and the nave. Came the necessity in 1726 to choose a façade a Classic styled with two superposed Pedestal, bordered by two lateral towers. This architecture, which is a beautiful part of the straight lines of the school. Each pedestal supports a series of lintels, the whole is crowned with a wide pediment. But this kind of façade is conceived only preceded by a grand forecourt: we must therefore clear the space and, for this, buy back the buildings that are there… to demolish them.

In 1766 the architect dies. The towers are barely begun. In the face of the novelty of the project, the King asked the academy to decide. The project a  low square floor and no more polygonal, with pilasters, as well as a triangular pediment, above, a rotunda tower and not the campanile. The construction of the North Tower resumed in 1775 and ended in 1780. The South tower, because of the French revolution, was never completed.

The Chapel of the Virgin, future Axial Chapel, is the first element that will be built. In October, the young king Louis XIV (he was seven years old), in the presence of the Regent Queen, signed letters Patent authorizing the mastery of work to receive legacies, foundations and donations.  In 1660, after ten years of interruption, the work resumed. The choir and the nine chapels of the ambulatory are erected, then, in 1674, these are the four large piles of the Crusaders. In 1676, the north arm of the transept came out of the ground. The choir of the Old Church (which hinders the construction) is then destroyed. But in 1678, the funding dried up, the crates were empty. In addition, a huge passive is discovered. It is important to be clear: legacies, foundations and donations are not enough for such a large construction. The financial situation is even disastrous forty years will pass. Nothing is more built. The new church will use the nave of the ancient… with a difference of four meters (because the old church dates from the 12C and the natural level of the soil was ascended during the ages-in addition the plans of the new building envisaged a first raised level). The transept is not finished, the South arm does not exist. The aspect of the neighborhood is the one given by a interrupted construction site, with the inevitable nuisances for the residents and a deformed cult house, prey to the bad weather.

In 1714, an energetic abbot was appointed to the priesthood, Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy Above all he organizes a lottery that will fill the crates and assure, from 1719, the continuation of the construction site. The construction site will end around 1745 (facade excluded). Nevertheless, in September 1718 with a small bequest, he buys stones that he has deposited at the corner of the streets. Then he distributes a leaflet where the unfinished church, open to all the winds, is drawn. In the foreground is Saint Sulpice in person, accompanied by prelates, who exhorts the wealthy parishioners (and all others) to give.  And from 1719, the work resumed. Languet de Cergy died in 1750,the factory, thankful and then enjoying sound finances, ordered the magnificent mausoleum that can be seen today in the Chapel of St. John the Baptist.  After twenty-five years, in 1746, the Council of State demanded the sharing of profits: a half for Saint-Sulpice (whose façade still remained to be built).

The sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle rested the two giant tridacnes (offered by the Republic of Venice) on marble supports reproducing a marine décor. Above, the Holy One with the famous octopus.  The architecture of the nave, of very classical style.  As for stained glass windows, remember that in the 18C fashion was clear. We can see that the second floor of the nave includes a series of large white glass windows. Saint-Sulpice is a church that enjoys a very high brightness.

After the Concordat of 1802, the church was in a bad state. Work was done to put it back afloat, especially in the re furnitures. Paintings and various objects which were purchased , and even the woodwork of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.  But it was only from the restoration, and especially from 1824, with the rise on the throne of king Charles X and the arrival of the ultras, that the Church could hope to regain its former splendor.

The Church of Saint-Sulpice is rich in multiple murals and frescoes.  One owes the initiative of these artistic creations to the municipality of Paris. Between 1820 and 1875, the latter commissioned renowned painters to decorate all the lateral and radiant chapels, not forgetting four large canvases in the transept.  Some great names were sought, such as Eugène Delacroix  for the chapel of the Saints-Anges and whose paintings obviously aroused controversy. In 1824, Jean-Dominique Ingres  was asked to take over the chapel of the Souls of purgatory (at that time, dedicated to St. Anne and located next door), but he declined the offer. Refusal that deprived the posterity of a promising artistic comparison.

Chapel of the Holy Angels. This side chapel (the first on the right when entering the church) is one of the most interesting by Eugène Delacroix.  The artist took six years, from 1855 to 1861 (and with the help of an assistant), to create the two large oil and wax paints, as well as the vault that is a strengthened canvas. The spandrels receive large paintings of angels in grey. Jacob’s struggle with the Angel, the subject of one of the two great murals, is the only theme in the Bible where one sees a mortal fight with a celestial being. Jacob fights all night long for the angel to bless him. In response, the Angel tells him that he will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, that is, “strong in front of God.” So it will be the name of the Jewish people, descendant of Jacob. Shows celestial beings throwing ashore the envoy of King Seleucus V, who came to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the Temple. He is beset by a fiery horse mounted by an angel in the Golden armour and whipped by another angel who descends from heaven. Eugène Delacroix in Saint-Sulpice ,at the time he painted the Chapel of the Holy Angels, the priest of the church had forbidden the artist to work on Sundays. Delacroix was very upset because the music of the offices threw him in such a state of exaltation that he worked twice as many times on Sundays of sung masses. With his assistant, he decided to play a trick on the guard responsible for monitoring the application of the instructions. The chapel, during the works, was closed by a palisade and a door. On a Saturday night, the two compadres set up a mannequin, dressed like the painter, sitting on a chair. On Sunday morning, the caretaker went to check that no one was working. Applying his eye to the keyhole, he saw the dummy, took it for Delacroix and knocked on the door to expel this disrespectful. No answer, he thrust the door. Delacroix and his accomplice come out of their hiding place and surprised our man… in flagrante of breaking and entering. And Delacroix was finally able to work on Sundays!!!

The Chapel of the Virgin is one of the oldest places of the monument. In 1774, enriched with an open dome, very original, responsible for plunging the assumption into a sort of celestial light. You can also see two paintings by Carl Van Loo , about the life of the Virgin, and the Angels of the Slodtz brothers adorned with garlands.  Finally, the most majestic element is undoubtedly the white marble statue, the Madonna with the Child, by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle  in a niche created by Louis-Philippe Mouchy, his nephew and pupil. In this chapel, the Classical and the Baroque come together in a happy way, but in general, the darkness prevents to admire it fully.

Having been restored, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle Chapel is one of the most beautiful in the church. The fresco paintings trace two episodes of the Life of Saint Roch, as well as an allegory of his apotheosis on the vault.  There are many chapels dedicated to Jean-Baptiste de la Salle in the churches of France. This presence is justified because this Saint, a contemporary of king Louis XIV, devoted his life to the education and training of the young children of the popular classes, an activity which the Jesuits ensured for the affluent classes. At Saint-Sulpice, he was all the more entitled to his chapel that he was trained in the priesthood at the Sorbonne and at the Séminary de Saint-Sulpice. Here in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle chapel, in illustrations of the Life of Saint Roch. The same was done in the Chapel of Saint-Maurice and in the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Chapel. Finally,  see the two masterful frescoes in the Chapelle Saint-Martin.  The fresco of Saint Martin sharing his coat is very nice. The Chapelle Saint-Jean-Baptiste does not shine by the beauty of its paintings, but by its two magnificent works of art in marble: a Saint Jean-Baptiste preaching  and the funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy.

The funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy represents the struggle of immortality against death. An angel raises the funeral veil which covered the prelate. Immediately, to the right, death flees, frightened by the hope of eternal life and resurrection, which humbly awaits the prelate, both hands strained. A work with a very strong symbol, made from 1756 to 1758.

In 1777, Birch was hired for the decoration of Saint-Sulpice, undoubtedly on the initiative of the architect Jean-François Chalgrin to whom he is related. Indeed, Chalgrin married the daughter of the painter Joseph Vernet, while Birch married his niece. It is also in 1777 that Chalgrin receives the charge of finishing the façade, in particular-and according to his own plan-the towers. Once the North tower was completed in 1780, Chalgrin addressed the sculptors Louis-Simon Birch and Louis-Philippe Mouchy for the large statues of the four evangelists on the upper floor. Unfortunately, the state of the archives does not allow us to know who did what. Chalgrin also commanded these two sculptors the three large stone statues, which remained unfinished, located in the gallery of the first floor of the Portal. Again, we don’t know who did what. Birch was also responsible for the sculpted decoration of the baptismal font chapel under the North Tower. Small reliefs, statues and great bas-relief of the Baptism of Jesus Christ are still in place, but in plaster. The financial difficulties of the factory have never allowed Birch to create their stone version.

The pulpit to preach of Saint-Sulpice, made in 1788, is an architectural piece as original as it is magnificent. It gives the impression of being suspended in the air. His creator, Charles de Wailly, also author of the Odeon Theatre, did not want to make an pulpit leaning against a pillar of the nave. His project, in a very classical style, was innovative for the time. His pulpit is marked by a great sense of balance in both shapes and colors. The allegories of the theological virtues (Faith and Hope), frozen on the pedestals, seem to weigh with all their weight to stabilize this elegant construction that its apparent lightness seems to threaten to collapse. On the lampshade, Charity  was carved into the wood.

he marble statue of Saint Vincent de Paul holding small children was very successful during its creation. It was exposed to the Salon of 1857 and received a medal.

The Choir of Saint-Sulpice. for the reception of the seminarians, it was decided to expand the sanctuary of the Church by advancing the altar to the nave, and to enrich the choir with a decoration worthy of the greatest Parisian cult places after the Cathedral. In 1825, thanks to a sumptuous tabernacle adorned with four palms created for Saint-Sulpice, the order of the altar pads for the coronation of king Charles X.  The Golden bronze bedrock of the high altar Jesus in the midst of the Doctors of the Church is of the same maker of the choir.

The stained glass windows of Saint-Sulpice. At the end of the 17C, the Church still had only the sanctuary, the Chapels of the ambulatory and the south transept before the work was interrupted for forty years. But this did not prevent the filling the apse and the radiant chapels in stained glass. It is a time when we demand light, and it will be even more true in the 18C.  In the 16C, the Council of Trent opposed the historiated stained-glass windows, which were dear to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and kept the churches in darkness. At the time of the Counter-Reformation, the faithful were to be able to read the missal inside the building. So, we settle for a beautiful medallion in the center of a white glass window, often enriched with a floral-themed garland around the edges. In Saint-Sulpice, the large windows of the second level of the nave are even filled with white glass. Only the rectangular mesh in lead ensures the decor.

The restoration of the ancient stained glass of Saint-Sulpice began in the 19C. Unfortunately, the explosion of the Luxembourg magazine in 1871 destroyed or damaged many of the stained-glass windows in place. The general restoration of the canopy was done from 1872. The face of Christ in the resurrection has been redone. Perhaps also the face of the Virgin in the Annunciation, although the sources consulted do not mention it. The stained glass window showing Saint Sulpice  in adoration before the Sacred Heart is a creation of 1885 to replace the original stained glass window destroyed during the War of 1870.  Nevertheless, it is at the Church of Saint-Sulpice that one can admire the most important collection of stained glass windows made during the reign of king Louis XIV. More precisely, their creation is part of the decade 1670. During the visit of the church, we must not miss to have an eye on the floral decorations of the borders.

The organ of Saint-Sulpice has an international reputation. Built by Cliquot in 1781 (with 5 keyboards and 64 games), it was already looked at at the time as one of the best in the kingdom. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll rebuilt it from 1857 to 1861. He reused many of the elements created by Cliquot to link classical tradition with romance. The 20C has respected this illustrious instrument; it has retained all its original characteristics. And many wonderful concerts are played here indeed today.

There you go a historical big Church of Paris, a must to visit at least once in your lifetime. Hope you enjoy the reading, sorry a bit long, but the history I like is long here (I had condensed it).

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Saint Sulpice Church webpage:

Catholic Churches of Paris:

Tourist office of Paris on the Church Saint Sulpice:

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


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