Archive for August, 2018

August 31, 2018

A beautiful island, Noirmoustier!

And yes we do have plenty of islands in metropolitan France. they are some of prettiest islands you can imagine and still most little visited. I am lucky to have several nice ones around the Gulf of Morbihan, but even down the coast south you have a wonderful universe!

I am from nature a lover of these islands, reminds me of my roots in double islands of our world. Coming to them is always pleasant and full of expectations. The one I will tell you today is no difference. The Noirmoutier island is heavens on earth, so much you need to book in advance for the best season, and can be a bit pricey for that.

And let me give you a more historical/geographical view on the ïle de Noirmoutier! Don’t forget to see my several posts on the island.

The island of Noirmoutier is in the Bay of Biscay located in the Department of the Vendée (85). It is connected to the mainland by a submersible roadway called the Passage du Gois and, since 1971, by a bridge. It is made up of four communes in a community of communes of Île-de-Noirmoutier. Its length is approximately 18 km, its width varies from 500 meters to 12 km and its area is 49 km2. It lies south of the Loire estuary, northeast of the island of Yeu and southeast of Belle-Ile-en-Mer (Morbihan Breton!) . Separated from the mainland by the Strait of Fromentine, located at its southern end, it closes the Bay of Bourgneuf or Bay of Brittany, in its western and southern part. The island is often dubbed the “island of the Mimosas” for its climatic sweetness allowing the mimosas to grow and bloom in winter. Its dominant landscapes are salt marshes, dunes and holm oak forests.

Until the beginning of the 19C, the island of Noirmoutier had only one town with a seat at the village of Noirmoutier. Barbâtre became independent in 1858 before the constitution of two other communes some sixty years later in 1919 these are Guérinière and L’Epine.  The main towns are today:

The city of Noirmoutier located in the northeast of the island and its historic capital. Its center is marked by old monuments such as the Castle (see post), the Church of Saint-Philbert, (see post) the hotel Jacobsen, etc. includes, salt marshes, an agricultural plain, the seaside resort of the Bois de la Chaize, the fishing port and the pleasure port , the old Abbey of La Blanche as well as the two villages of the Vieil and Herbaudière. The rocky nature of the coasts makes the beaches rather smaller than those that border the Bois de la Chaize (ex: Plage des Dames , Souzeaux beach, and  L’Anse Rouge.

The village of L’Epine is located to the west of the island comprises a part of the salt marshes, the port of Morin (north of the village), a part of the Bois des Eloux (south of the village) and the Moulin de la Bosse. The beaches of L’Epine form a continuous sandy cord bearing different denominations according to the zones (plage Saint-Jean,plage de la Martinière.,beaches, punctuated by breakwaters which contribute to the defense of the island against the sea.

The village of La Guérinière is located in the centre of the island. With the seaside village of Sable d’Or and Sable de la Tresson, located to the south of the town. The sandy beach of the Guérinière offers a view of the bouchots (mussel culture) and the Huïtres parks installed at sea and visible at low tide. At the beach la Cantine,see old WWII bunkers.

noirmoutier noirmoutier

The village of Barbâtre, of rangy form by the extension of the suburban subdivisions , is the southernmost municipality of the island, it comprises the two routes connecting the island of Noirmoutier to the mainland: the Gois (passage du Gois submersible Road) and the new bridge. The urbanization of the 20C has extended the village to the old hamlets of Midi, Frandière and the Fosse. The beach of Midi is the beach of Barbâtre, it is the longest of the island, sandy cordon of more than 5 km long.

The village of  Vieil is located to the north of Noirmoutier and is part of its communal territory. It is a peaceful village of quiet streets stretching between the Bois de la Chaize and the Bois de la Blanche. The beaches are pretty rocky.

The village of Herbaudière is located in the north-west of the island, also integrated into the commune of Noirmoutier. It is the fishing port and the main marina of the island. The beach of Luzeronde, south of the Herbaudière, is sandy and quite steeply inclined, it offers a view on the island of the Pilier (north-west of the island).

For reference as not gone to any of these are in the south of the island the state Forest of Barbâtre in the northeast is the forest of the Bois de la Chaize on the west and south side, the small national Bois des Éloux. Natural setting for the nature lover in you.

A bit on the transports in and out

Until 1971, the island of Noirmoutier was an island accessible at low tide through the famous Passage du Gois ,a roadway about 4.5 km across the south of Bourgneuf Bay. Since then, a bridge supporting the D38 road also connects it to the mainland. I did the going to the island by the modern bridge coming from Nantes and then the return passed the Gois passage, super a must to do! This road the D38 travels the island from south to north to the port of the L’Epine, and the port of the Morin. From the Guérinière, the D948 road (very good road and scenic) crosses the salt marshes to reach Noirmoutier. Again , not use for information only: During the whole year, the bus station of Noirmoutier is served by a bus service connecting Nantes (Nantes train station) and La Roche-sur-Yon (Departmental network Cap Vendée). Also, the departmental Council of the Vendée set up an island service called the Bus d’ïle (Bus of the island) serving nearly thirty stops, while during the same time, the city of Noirmoutier organizes a free shuttle service “Gratibus” Ensuring daily connections between the Vieil , the Herbaudière and the village of Noirmoutier.

A bit of history I like

The story goes much older even with megalith stones found but I will keep it brief and later history. It was on the old island of Her or Hero that the monk Saint Philibert settled in 674. There he founded a monastery which was later at the origin of that of Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu. He organized the salt harvest and the construction of many dikes. To fight against the Viking invasions, the Lords of the Garnache, the owners of the places, as well as the monks, built successive fortifications from 830.


The island of Noirmoutier, like the ancient island of Bouin (now attached to the mainland), depended before the French revolution of the lordship of the Garnache, fief sometimes Poitevin (Duchy of Aquitaine and County of Poitou) in the Middle Ages, sometimes linked to Brittany with Breton expansion in the 9C broken by Viking incursions, then legal links with the Brittany marches region from the 16C to the 17C.

In the course of its history, the island suffered several attempts at invasions: English (1342, 1360, 1386); Spanish (1524, 1588). However, could not resist the Dutch invasion of 1674 by Admiral Cornelis Tromp.

In the 15C, the island of Noirmoutier is attached to the Thouars, which belongs to the family of Amboise. In March 1479, by his patent letters, King Louis XI confirmed the privileges granted by king Charles VII. In 1562, the Huguenots Corsairs from La Rochelle took over the island, which they made a sanctuary until 1569. During the French revolution, the island was the scene of two battles of the War of Vendée (for the maintain of the monarchy and Catholic faith): the first in 1793 resulted in a Vendée victory, While the second the following year saw the defeat of the latter.

Things to see in my opinion here are

The climate of the island also promoted very early the production of sea salt. Thus, as early as the 5C, the Benedictine monks began to transform the wetlands into salt marshes in order to harvest the white gold. These cover a large part of the island territory today. The salt and the flower of salt are still harvested in artisanal fashion and the production reaches, the best years, 1 500 tons of salt.


The Castle of Noirmoutier dating from the 9C; the Church of Saint-Philbert, a former Benedictine abbey with Romanesque and Gothic style. It contains a beautiful crypt of the 11C, as well as the first tomb of the monk Saint Philibert, its founder in the 7C. Here you have a nice butterfly garden museum to see live.

The former Hotel Lebreton de Grapillières, a beautiful 18C mansion, now a tourist hotel under the name of Hôtel D’Elbée; Mansions dating back to the 18C.

The Estacade, emblematic building of the island of Noirmoutier. The first wood boom of the Bois de la Chaize was built in 1889. This boat pier played a major role in the development of seaside tourism in the early 20C. The work was completely restored in the years 2013-2014.

The passage of the Gois, submersible roadway, main tourist attraction of the island.  The Bois de la Chaize is known for its woods of holm oaks and mimosas, as well as beautiful shady beaches. A hundred seaside villas ,a majority of which date from the late 19C and early 20C were built in this forest. La promenade des Souzeaux along the ocean with several creeks. The lighthouse or Maison phare de la Pointe des Dames in the Bois de la Chaize; in Le Vieil, one of the village of the island facing the coast has several vacation centers for families. The National Natural Reserve of the marshes of Müllembourg, and the Regional Natural Reserve of Polder de Sébastopol. And of course, the many beaches mentioned above early in the post with the towns descriptions.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of the ïle de Noirmoutier:

Department Vendée 85 tourist office on Noirmoutier island:

Local private guide on all about the island of Noirmoutier in French:

Region Pays de la Loire on Noirmoutier:

There you go plenty of info and photos of a beautiful island ok away from Brittany not bad at all ::) Enjoy it

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

August 30, 2018

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Vittoriano of Rome!

On my family trip to Rome and surrounding Lazio region area we were confronted with lots of history and architecture which we love. However, one building really struck us for its size, meaning and even a bit of controversy. It sits in the middle of old Rome yet the building is newer sort of a big contrast that Romans and visitors alike come to understand and like. We like it too.

I have written on bits in my previous Rome posts, but think a separate post will do justice to this wonderful building, oh yes it is the Monument of Vittorio Emmanuell II the unifying king of Italy known there as Vittoriano as well.


In fact, looking back of my blog, only had briefly mentioned it on a post on squares of Rome, piazzas! So many things to see in my Europe sometimes overwhelmed with ideas. Now is the time to make up for it.

The monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittoriano, is located in Piazza Venezia (Venice Square) next to the Capitol. At the center of the monument stands the altar of the Fatherland (Altai della Patria), while the interior of the building houses the museum on the Reunification of Italy (Museo del Risorgimento).  The immense monument of an immaculate white marble, made between 1885 and 1911 to celebrate the 50 years of the Italian unity. It was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy unified in 1861. It was built in the neo Classic style.


Architecture description, brief.

The monument, along with its grand staircase, is full of dazzling white marble extracted from the quarries of Botticino, Brescia. It is a profusion of columns and fountains where throne an equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, supported on both sides by 16 columns. The reliefs represent the Italian cities, the great reliefs on both sides of the altar of the Nation; these sculptures evoke Italy in art, science, religion and law. The structure measures 140 meters wide and 70 meters high. Above the building, on each side, representing unity and freedom, two statues inspired by the representations of Athena lead a quadriga. Below burns the eternal flame, on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The fountain, on the left, symbolizes the Adriatic Sea and on the right of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Romans have given it a number of humorous and somewhat uncomplimentary nicknames, including La torta nuziale (the wedding cake), dentine ( the Gears), Macchina da scrivere (the typewriter) and the Zuppa inglese (English soup) etc. However, today most Romans consider this monument, which continues to attract many visitors, as one of the symbols of their city.



What is there to see, really.

The monument holds the Tomb of the unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Goddess Roma after WWI following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the Unknown Soldier was chosen in 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca of Isonzo whose only child was killed during WWI. Her son’s body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Maria Bergamas had taken place, to Rome and buried in a state funeral in the same year 1921.

The flags of disbanded units of the Italian Armed Forces, as well as the flags of ships stricken from the naval register of the Italian Navy are stored at the Vittoriano in the so-called Shrine of the Flags (Sacrario delle Bandiere). The oldest flag on display is the flag of the 19C frigate Giuseppe Garibaldi. When an Italian military unit is reactivated its flag is taken from the Vittoriano and returned to the unit, which with the flag receives also the name, traditions, and military honors bestowed upon the flag over time.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II is the panoramic view that is obtained from the terrace at the top of the Quadrigas. Panoramic elevators/lifts are the only way to get to the top floor but the nice views from above make it worthwhile to climb.

Rome Rome

It is at the Piazza Venezia Free admission but to get the elevator/lift admission to top terrace is 7€. You have some nice nearby places to see as well such as the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli only 48 meters, Museum of the Capitole 134 meters, Capitole square 142 meters, Venice Palace 187 meters and the Trajan steps at 273 meters (the longest 273 meters is about 900 feet.

In all, it is a nice area to walk and walk we did. I do like to walk in the cities rather than public transport; I do come in by car , parked and walking we go; the best way to see and feel a city is walking above ground lol!

A webpage on tourism of Rome with a good (better) explanation of the monument here:

Hope you enjoyed this modern part of Rome ::) as we did.

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

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August 30, 2018

Trevi Fountain in Rome!

Upon my business trips to Rome for some time, the time was tight, but did manage to get to some monuments; one of the famous ones always saw it on films was the Trevi Fountain. Once got to know Rome a bit; came with the family on a flight from CDG to Fiumicino airport, got to our apartment in Nomentano , got a bus 62 (best deal and see more above ground) and went to see it first thing!


It is very very touristic spot, sometimes overwhelming but you need to be there either early in the morning or at lunch time when everyone else does it. And still there will be folks there. However, at least for the first time,is a must to see in Rome. We came back several times by it in our two weeks in Rome. My boys finally convince me to take them ,and they all like it; my dear late wife Martine loves the sweets especially there!

I have written pieces of it in my other posts on Rome, however, it deserves a post on its own, therefore, here it is. Enjoy it la Dolce Vita.

The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the largest and one of the most famous fountains in Rome. Built between 1732 and 1762, it is located in the Trevi Rione, in Piazza di Trevi, and is attach to the Poli Palace. The Trevi Fountain is an example of the perpetuation of the Baroque style in the 18C Rome, by its mixture of  monumental effects.

A bit of history I like

This monument was conceived at the request of Pope Clement XII who organizes in 1730 a contest to celebrate, with a fountain, the aqueduct of the Aqua Virgo built in 19BC.   Carried out on Piazza di Trevi, at the time three ways converge towards this square, hence the name of Trevi. The fountain is done in 1762, and inaugurated on 22 May 1762 . The Trevi Fountain wa the subject of a restoration in 1998 in order to modernize its hydraulic system. In 2014,came another restauration without the need to completely mask the monument to the public. However, the fountain was empty and visitors cannot easily see or approach the fountain. It is reopened to the public on November 3, 2015.

Architectural description

The composition of this monumental ensemble is dominated in the lower part by a rocky travertine cliff carved also from animals and plants, in the midst of various streams of water. In the center, a large niche framed with columns, with a coffered ceiling, houses the god of the ocean, Neptune, who drives a tank shaped like a shell drawn by two winged sea horses one of the horses is peaceful while the other seems agitated, in order to symbolize the two aspects that can be offered to us by the sea, themselves preceded by Tritons. The large central niche is framed by two smaller side niches occupied by two marble sculptures; on the right, the statue of safety and left that of prosperity, alluding to the effects of pure water. These two round-tops are themselves surmounted by two panels in bas-relief representing on the left, the general and politician Roman Agrippa commanding the construction of the aqueduct of the Aqua Virgo that feeds the fountain and right, the girl who discovered the source feeding the fountain.


The four large Corinthian columns support enrichment and an attic adorned with a panel on which is engraved the great inaugural inscription and which is adorned four small allegorical statues; from left to right, the abundance of fruits, the fertility of the fields, Autumn richness   and landscaping. The ensemble is crowned by a balustrade and by the arms of Pope Clement XII held by two cherubs. The Trevi fountain is water-powered by the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, built in 19BC. This 20-km long canal fed water throughout the Middle Ages, the area of the champ de Mars field; A part is visible in the underground archaeological area.


It was customary to throw a coin by the right arm by turning its back to the fountain before leaving “the Eternal City”, a superstition associated with the fountain being that whoever makes this gesture is guaranteed to return to the Italian capital in order to retrieve the coin. After some less good folks this practice is forbidden, and the coins of the fountain is now collected by the authorities and donated to the Catholic Caritas charitable association. Every morning, before the arrival of tourists, the circulation of water is cut. The fountain is cleaned with a brush and the coins are assembled in a long snake line, using long poles, and removed by suction, under police supervision.


The Cinema in the Trevi fountain, and one reason I came looking for it. My favorite films are: In The Fountain of Love (1954) by Jean Negulesco, three young Americans make the vow to find Prince charming by throwing each coin in the fountain. The La Dolce Vita (1960), Federico Fellini shows Anita Ekberg taking her bath in the fountain in evening dress, under the eyes of Marcello Mastroianni (superb). In 1995, on the death of Marcello Mastroianni, the city of Rome veiled the statues in black. Other famous by Federico Fellini is Roman Holiday.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Site dedicated wholly to the Trevi Fountain

Tourist office of Rome on the Trevi Fountain

Region of Lazio tourism on the Trevi Fountain

There you go, all set, go. It is a must in Rome and a wonder always to look at it, love is in the air, and it is good for the soul. Enjoy it

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

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August 29, 2018

The wines Nantaise or Muscadet or Poiron Dabin!

Ok let’s talk wine again! If you have been reading my blog you know my love for wines went back to my first sip from my maternal grandmother at age 8! It’s a tradition in our house ever since and into marriage and family life it continues. Today with so much to do and see in my belle France sometimes we skip trips to the wineries ;however, in my vacation time we took it to see one not far from Nantes in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 region of Pays de la Loire.

the vineyards here are the home of the Melon de Bourgogne or simply melon and gives a minerally flavored white wine known as the Muscadet or higher up we have the Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur lie. However, there are other wines  as the AOP region (Appellation d’Origine Protegée by EU standards that in France is same as AOC appellation d’origine controllée) can be broken down into parcels outside the appellation where the growers can choose other grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir , etc. These of course are not AOP wines but just as good indeed if looking at the right producer=winemaker.

Let me tell you briefly about this region and wine appellation first, before we go into the property visited.

The region is located in the departments of the Loire-Atlantique (44), the Vendée (85) and the Maine-et-Loire (49). A single IGP (Iindication Géographique Protégée more at EU level) wine appellation, the Val de Loire.   The vines are planted on shale, granitic and silty soils. The main grape varieties that make up the vineyard are for red wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Négrette. For white wine, Melon de Bourgogne, Chenin and Sauvignon.  The list of wine region within this AOC are Coteaux Ancenis, fiefs Vendéens, large Plant of the country Nantes, Muscadet, Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire, nutmegt cotes de Grandlieu, Muscadet Sévre and Maine.

More reading to do and learning as we all do is to read these webpages that enhance anybody vision and appreciation for these wines.

Tourist office of Nantes:

Tourist office of the region Pays de la Loire :

Info webpage of the winegrowers of the Nantes region:

The Loire Atlantique dept 44 has more info in French:

Hope you get to know these wonderful wines of the Nantaise, old Brittany you know ::)

The property we visited was that of Poiron Dabin in near town of Chateau Thebaud village of Chantegrolle. Why this property? Well we like to go to places already spoken with the owner either by telephone , email, or in fairs , city tastings promotions etc. Once I realized the property has potential to like it , the personality, the winemakers, and the wines, then we proceed to a formal visit to the property itself. We came to know Poiron Dabin by attending the wine event Village Vignerons in Guérande a while back (see that post); and by speaking with Cynthia and JP we realized these were real wine aficionados who love to tell their trade and wines to all; the wines that follow 3 of them were very good and a great price/quality ratio.

Chateaud thebaud

Once past that stage, we proceed in making reservation for a visit to the property. This we did last Monday August 27th. We arrived by 10h30 as agreed and all was ready with a nice welcome tasting of four bottles from sparklers to pinot noir wines. We proceeded to given a booklet map and go walking in the vineyards!!! This was fun we did about 3 kms or 1.8 miles of vineyards of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Tannat, Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc fields and fields about 70 hectares or 173 acres!

Chateaud Thebaud

The best was that on several posts along the route you needed to find the bottle! lol! This was great you find the bottle , you drink it, (we carry cups, corkscrew, etc all provided for). The walk seems like heavens as we seriously search for more posts with wine bottles !!! It was a huge field with a horse farm in the middle of it all, but we were able to find 6 out of 8 bottles; not bad for amateur walkers in the sun at 25C or 77F.

Oh yes the walk is divided into two parts one in the morning and another in the afternoon, with a break for lunch .Oooh did I said Lunch ! wow this was superbe, on our way back we call to let the organizer of the walk know we are close by and she had already all prepared. A huge picnic basket full of cheeses, small tomatoes, cold cuts including pate de champagne delicious ,and baguette breads as well as fruit yogurt like strawberry, framboise etc and of course accompany by the house wines from Pinot Noir, to Muscadet ,Chardonnay and a sparkler brut rose as well ,ending with Maxwell House coffee, bread and butter or tea!!  This trip is explained further in only French here:

chateau thebaud

You are ready all of this plus the tasting, and the supplies of the walk for 30€ per person , we thought this was a still and will surely be back in Fall. English and Spanish is spoken too ! The property webpage is here:

They can ,also, propose a tour in a local river flat bottom boat and wine tastings. This is La Divette option, you can inquire in the property contact email here:

The property of Poiron Dabin produces about 600K bottles per year and were ready to start harvest for 2018 in a couple weeks! They do Melon de BourgogneChardonnayPinot GrisPinot Noir, Fié GrisCôt Malbec, and Berligou, a historical red variety from Britanny ( great red a gift of the duke of Burgundy to his cousin the duke of Brittany in 1460!), petit Manseng and rich Gewurztraminer.

chateau thebaud chateau thebaud

As what we did after tastings all these wonderful wines well we purchase of course. About two cases of wines lol! We do drink in moderation ::)

Our lot included Berligou, sparkler on the traditional method (ie champagne) 2016, Berligou marché de Bretagne 2016 red, Perle de Seduction mousseux demi sec sparkler and The Pinot Gris Rosé Val de Loire et voilà we are taking care of rather nicely.

In all, it was a wonderful day in the vineyards as usual in my belle France or rather beautiful Loire Valley, in the coastal Pays de la Loire (not to be confused with the castle known Centre-Val de Loire region more inland). Enjoy the post and En Vino Veritas

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

August 28, 2018

How about Mettlach, Germany!

In my lapse on Germany after finally coming on family visits we were base south of Trier and by car traveled all over the Western parts. One town caught the attention of my dear late wife Martine from brochures, this was Mettlach; the reason ,shopping !!!

I like the town for its quaint architecture, on the banks of the Sarre river, and the quaint restaurants around the main square on a hilly terrain down to the river. Of course, if you are into shopping of the good names at reduce prices then this is it for you!! My Martine love it!!!

Let me tell you a bit more on Mettlach, my previous touristic blog post is here: Mettlach in the Sarre of Germany

Mettlach is a municipality in the district of Merzig-Wadern in Saarland,  approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) northwest of Merzig, and 30 km (19 mi) south of Trier. Here we took again the B51 south from Konz-Trier. Very nice picturesque road takes you right along the Sarre river entering town over the bridge on Von Boch Liebig Strabe(street).

A bit of history I like

Mettlach, formerly Mettloch, was a village and abbey in the Duchy of Lorraine, attached to the Diocese of Trier. The Abbey of Mettlach was founded in the 7C by Lutvin, who was the first abbot.

For those in the footing, there is a nice castle ruins outside of town. The Castle of Montclair is in ruins.  At the Convention of  1778, it was recalled that, in accordance with what had already been stipulated in 1661, between France and the Elector of Trier(local govt at the time), the fort and Château de MontClair could never be relieved or reinstated. The way the tourist office has it, you go from the parking place at the Pfaffkirche in Mettlach, following “Tafeltour ” signs you will reach this picturesque small castle after about 3.5 km of walking. The Trail is quite steep, but it leads through beautiful woods with several viewing spots with benches where you can relax, if needed, so it is still enjoyable.

There is an opportunity for river cruising very popular here even if we had no time or no willingness to do so, it is here for information only.

Cruises on the Sarre river from Mettlach:

The Church of  Liutwinious name after the first abbot who founded it here is very quaint nice on a hilly plateau overlooking the city below, worth the climb.



Like I said, we came here for the shopping and the whole town seems to be gear for the factory outlet stores especially that of fame Villeroy & Boch! Here we took small plates and cups and went on to the others to get some more goodies always temptation abount here, the prices are right for the quality product, the places is picturesques and quaint old world ,and just dandy places to eat. A nice find indeed.


More info on the shopping below

Outlet factory store shopping in Mettlach:

Outlet factory shopping in English:

Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach:

Official webpage Villeroy & Boch :

Some additional webpages on tourist info to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist info city of Mettlach:

Tourist info region of Sarre:

There you a nice spot indeed to spend a day of glorious shopping ,good food, and nice picturesques scenes on the Sarre river. Enjoy it

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


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August 27, 2018

Lovely, quaint Dublin!

And let me bring back memories of my trip into Dublin. This was needed,and first came on a business conference of two days and later came back for a week! personal visit. It is time we go back if the will and force is still with me to go traveling out with the boys. Time will tell.

Let me bring you up to date on wonderful Dublin. I have a previous blog post on it here: Dublin more than just green

I like to go into more of the history and  a general overview of the best to see in my opinion of course.

Dublin The city is located near the central point of the eastern coast of the island of Ireland and in the center of Dublin County The name “Dublin” is generally considered from the original Gaelic Dubh Linn (“The Black Pond”) which now means “bay “Smoke”, the name of a basin of a tributary of the Liffey, near which was erected the first stronghold of the Irish Vikings, or Gall Gàidheal. OF course, here I came by plane direct from Nantes to Dublin international airport and then the airport bus to old city center where from there did a lot of walking, great!

A bit of history I like

In the year 837, Thorgis returned there for the second time, accompanied this time by a fleet of one hundred and twenty Viking boats. Sixty of them go up the Boyne River, the other sixty the Liffey River. According to the Annals of the time, this formidable military force gathers under his authority. Unknown in his own country, all the tales relating to his conquests are found in Ireland and the British Isles. Upon their arrival in Dublin, his men took over this community of fishermen and farmers and erected a strong fort according to the Scandinavian construction methods, on the hill where is the present Castle of Dublin. King Brian Boru, nicknamed Boroimhe, Brian Mac Cenneidigh, born in the year 941 in the Thomond in Ireland, was buried in Dublin in the year 1014, at the age of 73 years. He tried to unify Ireland; He died at the Battle of Clontarf on April 23, 1014, in his tent, on a Good Friday.

After the invasion of Ireland by the Normans (1170/1171), Dublin replaced the hill of Tara as the capital of Ireland, the power settling at the Castle of Dublin until independence. After their victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the Protestant troops of William of Orange, among them 3 000 French Huguenots, installed many of their men in Dublin, to stand out from the controversial Protestants who had colonized Ulster and Munster for a century. The 239 Huguenots of Dublin have a collective burial, Huguenot House in the small street of Mansion Row near the park of St Stephen Green, created in 1693 in the new Dublin, where are engraved the names of 239 of them, listed in alphabetical order.

Since the beginning of the English occupation in the 12C, the city has played the role of the Capital of the Irish Island, in all forms that political authority has taken: The Lordship of Ireland (1171-1541); The Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800); The island as a member of the United Kingdom (1801-1922); and the Irish Republic (1919-1922).

The Easter Uprising in 1916 placed the Capital in instability, and the Anglo-Irish War, while the Irish Civil War left the city in ruins, many of its most beautiful buildings having been destroyed. From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, Dublin is the capital of the Free State of Ireland (1922 – 1937) and then of the Republic of Ireland. After WWII (known as “the Emergency”) in reference to the state of emergency decreed from 1939 to 1946). Today, it is still the Republic of Ireland or Eirie.


Things to see abound some are

Of course, plenty of theater choices and good ones. The most famous theatres are the Abbey Theater, the Gate Theater, the Gaiety Theater and the Olympia. The Abbey Theater was founded in 1904 by a group of writers, including Yeats, in order to promote the literary talents of Irish authors. It allowed the discovery of works by authors such as Shaw, Synge, O’Casey, and at the same time to serve as a springboard for national and political revival of the early 20C. The Gate Theater was founded in 1928 to promote avant-garde European and American works. The Gaiety Theater specializes in musical productions: operas, musical comedies, ballets. The greatest theater is the Mahony Hall,and Ambassador theater is not bad at all!


Kells’s book is kept in the Trinity College library. The Chester Beatty Library has many manuscripts, drawings and other rare books whose oldest documents date back to 2700 B.C. The main museums are the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland divided into three sites, archaeology in Kildare Street, decorative arts and history in Collins Barracks and Natural history in Merrion Street..

There is a vibrant nightlife in Dublin, indeed is true. Dublin is dotted with pubs, especially around Temple Bar, located on the south shore of the Liffey, is the attraction of a crowd from all over the city and many tourists who come to take the pubs by assault.   This area was developed as a cultural district with art galleries, the National Film Center (Irish Film Institute), and photography Studios. The streets around St Stephen Green,Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street, in particular, there are a lot of nightclubs. The brewery of St. James Gate , where the famous Guinness has been produced since 1759. O’Connell Street is one of the main avenues with many places and squares of Georgian architectural treasures such as   St Stephen Green, Merrion Square, Ely Place, Fitzwilliam Squares


Trinity College, a university founded in 1592 by queen Elisabeth I of England and home to the book of Kells, a illuminated manuscript dating from about 800, making it one of the oldest books in the world. Christ Church Cathedral, some parts of which date back to the original Danish construction. St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Pro-St. Mary’s Cathedral, Dublin Catholic Cathedral;   Dublin Castle, Dublin Writers Museum, and the Ha’penny Bridge, which owes its name to the price (half a penny) that had to pay any person to have the right to cross it and enter the city.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of DublinDublin tourist office

City of Dublin;

Tourist office of Ireland on Dublin

Dublin city council site:

There you go a nice city to visit and we are looking forward for a repeat. Enjoy it fully.

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

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August 25, 2018

The time will be cherished forever, the pain will remain, and the memories will linger my dear Martine!

And here I am alone, not really, my sons are all around me and still my old Dad with me.  It is a cloudy day and some rain was felled. I have come back from a trip, a special trip to a special place in our family’s heart. This entry will try to make it brief and share a bit more personal with my readers, friends and family who reads.

I have just came back from Honfleur , dept of Calvados 14 in region of Normandy. Why Honfleur, well people asked me. When we came to France we lived in Versailles and on our many runs in France and neighboring countries we came for a visit to Honfleur. Mine all mine, everybody felled in love with the quaintness of the town, architecture ,and the fact that the sea plays a major part past and present here and we are islanders on all sides !

Over the years we came back visiting the town and participating in its many activities and felled more for it. When it was the unfortunate time to say farewell to my dear mother Gladys, she asked to be deposit her ashes here, why tombstones for a traveling islanders , the sea is life. I took my mother on the Notre Dame du Port boat from the SNSM société nationale de sauvetage en mer or the National Marine Rescue Society. This is a volunteer life savers at sea ,former marines ,fisherman , and sea lovers who come to help the distress at sea in France.

The people were very nice and humble to us. We continue to visit the town ,and I became a donor for the association,back in 2008. My father always told me if his time comes, he too will out here at sea. I told him , I will follow suit and made it known to my sons. As the unfortunate lousy cancer came and took my my dear wife Martine, I had asked her where, and she too told me to put her ashes at sea here. And so I did on Friday ,August 24 2018 at 10h between Honfleur and Le Havre out at sea with the braves of Normandy. I was told by the boat Captain and President of the SNSM Honfleur station the ashes were spread at coordinates 49°2’6′ 08 N and 000° 10′ 850 E.

A phase is turning and now the duty is done, the paperwork is mostly done minor details left but easy.   Life they tell me is to be continue and so I will, there is no sensible  alternative. However, the memories, the souvenirs, the happy face, the energy and love will remain forever. I am very lucky to have met her at that 36 rue de Noefort, Meaux , Seine-et-Marne dept 77 and before on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in beautiful romantic Paris.

Yes, they tell me too ,time will ease the pain. Heck, I am human, time will not heal any pain. The pain will be there, I will just have the will and need to continue with my  young men sons. We are very much together, always as a family remembering those words in the 3 Muskeeteers of Alexandre Dumas, One for all ,and All for one! We stand together.

I will put the previous post in hommage I did in my blog for my dear loving wife Martine, and some of the photos of this special sad trip here. The rest is up to you. And me.

The ordeal of a good bye

Hommage to my dear late wife Martine

In memoriam my sweet wife Martine

An hommage to Paris and Martine



out to sea between Honfleur and Le Havre


coming back to Honfleur and the garden promenade on right


ecluse levy to open boats out and in at sea


Notre Dame du Port waiting for our day at sea


Notre Dame du Port of the SNSM of Honfleur


Notre Dame du Port waiting for the volunteer crew


going in to the Notre Dame du Port at Honfleur


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

ps. if you think the SNSM job is a worthy one, and would like to help  with Euros here is their official webpage in French of course. No obligation at all just for information. SNSM org

August 22, 2018

Vignobles Marchais!

Well why be so creative with a name when the name says it all. Wines of the Marchais family of Thouaré sur Loire. We look them up in a previous wine fair in Guérande (see that post) and decided their ideas were worth a follow up on site. Great experience, recommended to all wine lovers. Part of our little vacations trying to continue life aftet the loss of my dear wife Martine.





First, Thouaré sur Loire is in the department 44 Loire Atlantique south of me in the region of Pays de la Loire. Historically part of Brittany … and only 10 km from Nantes. And about 2 hrs by car from my house. What is to see here well there is a nice Church of Saint Vincent, and the castles of  Picauderie built in 1773, that of Thouaré from the 10C but profoundly restored in the 19C and finally the closest we saw was the Hilliére overlooking the Loire river in the Neo Classical style. Built in the 14C with a beautiful Chapel of the Virgin that was taken from the Chapel of Auray.





However, what we came to see here was wines of the Loire, muscadet  Sévre et Marne sur lie, the very best of its field,and the only vineyards in the limits of the town. This is a family effort started in 1947 by the father and today continue with the son Philippe and older brother and the help of all the family and some local and far winegrowers who have invested in a beautiful cellars and property.  We were helped directly by Cynthia a very nice helpful lady. The propery vignobles Marchais.



The idea here is to come in and stay one night in a huge wine barrel made lodging with bedding, another barrel acts as a bathroom and showers and more bathrooms are allowed inside the cellar house. We spent the night and it was a fantastic experience ,and recommended by all. We arrived the night before, and got a lesson in winemaking of the local grapes such as the melon de bourgogne (for the muscadet) but also pinot gris and the fact that they can do other grapes not from the AOC/AOP such as Chardonnay. The presentation included discussion on the stone ground composition on the three areas they own vineyards and how it is grown. They have about 30 hectares in total and exports about 200K bottles including the partners growers some family members from other parts of France.


We are welcome with tasting of 3-4 bottles in the cellar house ,and from there shown our bedroom a wine barrel made into a bedroom.  We did good and ample space. The next day we had a wonderful breakfast served on a picnic area of the cellars with plenty of pain au chocolat, croissants, orange juice, coffee, jellies, baguette ,butter, and water. We then did our purchases in the store ,not obligatory but we love these wines. Especially the sparklers rosé and white perles lutines and the parasol rose from old grapes before phylloxera call the 54 dating from the 1800’s.  The welcome was perfect and again this is what France is all about come direct to the grower and feel the bounties of the land and the history of the regions. They do events, and even picnics, tents, a warm up cooking area for onsite meals for groups , etc and business conference rooms on site. The food chosen is paired with the wines recommended or your own. The webpage in English  is here:  Vignobles Marchais




They have a Bar à Vin open Tuesdays to Fridays from 17h to 20h and Saturdays 16h to 19h. This works as a bar where you can come in and try the different wines offered by the glass. The region and best bottles in my opinion are Thouaré sur Loire on the Muscadet Côteaux de la Loire with vignobles de Thouaré , and coteaux d’Ancenis Malvoisie. The area of Loroux-Bottereau on the Muscadets-Sèvre-et-Maine with the Perle Lutines noir and blanc ,Rosé parasol parapluie , and the star the Grand Clos du Moulin du Pé. Also, the Mauves-sur-Loire area with the Domaine du Blois Blot ,and Champtoceaux.


To have dinner, we ask for recommendation but unfortanely the resto was closed for personal reasons, and searching for others were closed as we left the tastings late ::) So i pull my old reliable, a Novotel four star hotel in nearby town of Carquefou. And we call from the car, made the reservation on the run and voilà they were open ,of course. A delicious file mignon steak with mashed potatoes for me with abricot in peanut butter and vanilla ice cream dessert and a bottle of Alsace Pinot Noir red from the Klipfer family for a change of pace, all for 25€ per person. More on the hotel restaurant Novotel here: Novotel Carquefou




They have many other offers even a day in the vineyards and wine tastings. Very much into the wine and big investment to satisfy all comers; all are welcome, and again, I really do not write much about properties we go but on some we make an exception for the value/quality ratio and the warm welcome. Enjoy it.

The tourist page in English of the Vineyards of Nantes or Nantaise region is here: Tourist office Vignoble de Nantes

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

August 22, 2018

Cathedral of Saint Louis, La Rochelle!

Back at you with a dandy by the Atlantic ocean.  I passed by this town lots of time on my ways south, but never stopped in. Then, my oldest son got a training as part of his chef studies that happened to be at La Rochelle! Voilà, we need to come to see where he had been and came back with nice stories and pictures. So we headed for La Rochelle and it was a blast, we love it another destination found in our belle France. Like there is no end lol!!!

La Rochelle is in Charente-Maritime dept 17 in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine and is an ocean harbor. I have written before on the town, let me give those touristic post for reference: The seafarer La Rochelle

night time La Rochelle

Now let me tell you a bit more on this wonderful Cathedral of Saint Louis of La Roc

St. Louis Cathedral of La Rochelle was built from 1742 on an initiative of the Cardinal of Fleury and the Bishop, Augustin Roch de Menou de Charnizay, it remained unfinished for lack of financial means, but was still open to worship in 1784.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

The nobles of the area donated land called the Champ de Guillaume de Syré, located between the gate of the Petit-Comte (west entrance of the rue Aufrédy) and the old Port of the castle ( Place de Verdun) to build a Church under the invocation of Saint-Barthelemy.  The church was erected in parish by the Bishop of Saintes, Mgr Ponce de Pons, in 1217.

La Rochelle

In 1429, king Charles VII accepted the title of founder of the chapter here. In 1542, king François I attended Mass in the company of the princes and bishops, before going around the city.  In 1558, David, chaplain of the King and Queen of Navarre visiting La Rochelle, preaches in the pulpit of St. Bartholomew, the first, the dogmas of the Reformation.  In the victory of 1628, king Louis XIII dispossessed the Protestants of the Great Temple. The king vowed to make the defeated city an episcopal seat whose Great Temple was to become the Cathedral. In this expectation, the king confided to the parishioners of St. Bartholomew the guard of the Great Temple which became Saint Barthelemy of the Great Temple. The king’s vow was realized in 1648, when the Pope transferred the episcopal seat of Maillezais to La Rochelle. In the year 1666, the chapter of the ancient Abbey of Maillezais, by order of the pope, resolved to settle in the city and at the Grand Temple, which became cathedral in 1648. In 1668, the construction of a new Church is undertaken at the site of  old Church destroyed during the wars of religion, which was completed 10 years later.  In 1678, the first Mass was celebrated in the rebuilt Church . In  1756, it was  baptized here Billaud-Varenne, and François de Beauharnais.  During the French revolution in 1793, the Church Saint-Barthélemy was made into a cereal market . It later became a place for concerts and finally in 1797, it was sold and demolished.

The first Cathedral was the Church of Saint-Barthelemy-du-Grand-Temple. This building is the former Great Temple of the Reformed Church built on the Place du Château, current Place de Verdun, between 1600 and 1603. After the destruction of the Great Temple and the inability to transform St. Barthelemy’s Church into a Cathedral, projects were studied to erect a new Church, but budgetary considerations and the priority given at the end of the 17C to the emergence of a new enclosure for the city did not permit the launch of the site.  In 1742, the first stone of the new Cathedral is blessed.  After further funds constraints the work resumed in 1773. By 1784, in the presence of the clergy and all the civil and military personalities of the city, Mgr de Crussol of Uzès consecrated the Cathedral.

At the dawn of the French Revolution, the Cathedral was built to the second span of the present choir, beyond which a wall separates the new Cathedral of St. Barthelemy’s. In 1801, a decree of the first Consul, at the request of the Department, authorizes the municipality to make use of the Cathedral, twice a year, for the holding of the fairs however on October 3, 1802, the Cathedral is returned to the cult. The construction of the Cathedral is taken from 1849 to 1857, the Cathedral is completed with the exception of the two towers and exterior sculpted decorations. The Cathedral, having taken the bell tower from the last parish of  Saint Barthelemy,  was placed under the prayers of Saint-Louis and Saint-Barthélemy. By chance of the calendar, their respective feasts are on August 24th for Saint-Barthélemy and on August 25th for St. Louis.

Some of the architecture and historical Chapels are to follow

The bell tower of Saint-Barthélemy is Gothic in style and adjoins the bedside of the Cathedral. During the reconstruction of St Barthelemy’s Church in the 14C – 15C, the steeple was built on the southwest corner of the building. This construction is attributed to the generosity of King Charles VII, named founder of the chapter of the Church in 1429. The summit is accessed by wooden staircases, the stone screws and the high vault having been demolished in 1651.. The bell tower contains the three bells of the Cathedral: Marie-Ursula  from 1818, Louise from 1818, and  Louise-Marie-Aimé from 1887.

The Chapel of the Virgin has a cupola dome adorned with a homogeneous pictorial ensemble consisting of 6 paintings depicting the scenes of the life of the Virgin surrounding the painting of the Assumption dated 1875. The other paintings represent the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the flight to Egypt; the swooning of the Virgin; and the Virgin of Pity.  Each portrait consists of two contiguous copper plates . The Chapel of the Sailors(Marins) , the paintings come from the  Church of Saint-Jean-du-Perot, the former fishermen’s Church. This Church was located in the Saint-Jean-du-Perot district of La Rochelle, a district delimited by the tour de la chaine (chain tower) and the  tour de Lanterne (lantern tower)  to the south and the Rue Leoncé Vieljeux. It was one of the five historical parishes of the city all the paintings and ex-votos are grouped in a Chapel of the cathedral, which became the Chapel of the Sailors. Most of these works represent shipwrecked ships, while the Virgin intercedes to save their crews.

La Rochelle

The Saphir, presenting a slave ship, recalls the participation of the port of La Rochelle in the slave trade. The ex-voto shows the ship Rochelais Sapphire immobilized for lack of wind between the coast of Guinea and that of Santo Domingo, threatening to famine the crew and the slaves. The painter represented several black slaves begging Christ. The main shipowner of the ship, Giraudeau, was Protestant and it is likely that Captain Rossal was also; this could explain the choice of Christ as intercessor in the place of the Virgin. The painting had to be painted in 1741 or shortly thereafter by an unknown artist.

The stained glass windows were created in the 19C by three different workshops. Previously, the berries were simply furnished with white diamond-cut glasses and placed with lead fasteners. The existing stained glass windows were set up between 1872 and 1892.

La Rochelle

The Great Organ at  the present Tribune corresponds to the project and plans of Brossard, dating from 1835. It is destined to receive the first organ of the Cathedral.  The organ is built in 1867 by the manufacture Merklin-Schütze and has been preserved almost intact until today. In 1869, the factors built a new buffet, the former of John Abbey not proving finally reusable for the new instrument. The Great Organ of the Cathedral allows to interpret the music of the 19C.

The Choir Organ is located in the first right-hand span of the choir. It is a work carried out in 1860-1861 by the Maison Merklin-Schütze in Paris. It consists of a Second Empire style buffet in oak with a central side of 13 pipes framed by 2 turrets themselves flanked by 2 small silent platforms. It has a vegetable decor on its turrets and above the cornice. The pipes are in tin.

There you have a grand old Cathedral Saint Louis by the harbor town of La Rochelle. Wonderful indeed. And to get to know it more, here are some webpages to help you plan your trip.

Parish site of La Rochelle on the Cathedral in French :

Tourist site on the old region Poitou and the Cathedral :

Tourist office of La Rochelle :

Charente Maritime dept 17 tourist office :

region nouvelle aquitaine on La Rochelle :

You have it all now to see this beauty, and hope you do. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!







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August 21, 2018

Cathedral St Stephen, Toulouse!

Back to the blog to tell you about one of our favorite cities in France.  I have written several posts on one of our favorite cities of France, Toulouse. If anything my dear late wife Martine father’s side family comes from here. The post that best describes the city in general is here.

Toulouse the pink city

This time I do justice to the Cathedral of St Stephen or Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Toulouse. A city of many Churches, Basilicas, and Chapels, the Cathedral for us is it.


The Cathedral of St Stephen or Cathédrale Saint Etienne of Toulouse and located near the Grand Rond (a garden).The Church of Toulouse was founded in the 3C by St Saturnin, it’s first bishop, who suffered martyrdom around the year 250 AD. As for St Stephen’s Cathedral, we do not really know the exact origins. According to some historians, it was built on the foundations of a Chapel built by St Saturnin and rebuilt by St Exuperius, 150 years later. However, the first mention that we know of is provided by a charter of Charles the Bald given, in the year 844 AD, for the benefit of the Churches of the city. At the time of the Gregorian reform, in 1078 AD, Bishop Isarn decided to rebuild the then-ruined Church, a new Church located on the site of the present nave known as Raimond VI.


Now divided into 3 bays, it is covered by a vault with the powerful cross-section of square warheads. High and wide by more than 19 meters. The counting of the brick walls, the beauty and the power of the lines, evoke the constructions of the Cistercian order, then represented on the episcopal seat of Toulouse by Bishop Foulques. The rare sculptures are the keystone of the arches, one adorned with the cross of Toulouse, and the Capitals of the armature on the back of the façade. The great rosary would be added later by 1229.  The 13C begat 2 cathedrals, the one evoked above and another joining towards 1270, when the count of Toulouse was attached to the crown of France ,if this project had been fully realized, we would have in Toulouse a Cathedral equivalent to those of Reims or Amiens.

Thereafter, various works executed according to a different plan, bring the fantasy of somewhat enigmatic achievements. These are, in other things, the portal of the Archbishop Denis du Moulin (1447), the big pillar and the steeple of Cardinal Jean d’Orléans (16C). The 20C saw an unnecessary transept arm realized at the expense of a chapel of the 15C. Its architecture is peculiar because it is composed of architectural elements of various eras. The Cathedral adjoins the former Episcopal palace, now occupied by the prefecture government building.

On the Western Wall, you will recognize a rosary, directly inspired by that of Notre Dame de Paris. The main originality of the building is to present two very distinct parts, a Romanesque part at the back of the nave, the nave Raymondine, and a gothic part, the Choir. These two churches were connected  in the 16C by Jean d’Orléans. The Choir is twice as wide as the Romanesque nave, so the central aisle is broken in line. The southern Roman wall was extended by the Gothic church. This gigantic project began in  1272, under the aegis of Bishop Bertrand de l’Isle .

In 1609 a vault in the Choir calls for an initial project provided for a ceiling height of 40 meters, the vault is now only 28 meters, and is nonetheless impressive. In 1794, the majestic bell of 12 or 13 tons, the Cardailhac, was thrown from the top of the steeple, plunged deep into the earth and broke, despite several layers of straw arranged on the forecourt. The fortified Romanesque steeple houses a carillon of 17 keypad bells and 5 on the fly! The Cathedral is the only Church in Toulouse to have preserved its original stained glass windows dating from the 14C for the older ones. It also has an organ with woodworks of Béhorri and Morisot and a altarpiece of Pierre Mercier and Drouet  from 1670.  The history of this Church is so enamelled with modifications, renovations and reconstructions that it could be called “the unfinished Cathedral.”

The furniture of the Cathedral presents a series of works of great interest. In the canopy, incomplete, of the 14C, adorn the Chapels St Pierre, St François, St Augustin, and St Vincent de Paul. The Royal canopy ,15C offers the portraits of Charles VII and his eldest son, the future Louis XI. Remarkable vaulting keys present, among others, the image of St Louis, seated on his throne, Raised in Heaven by two Angels, Around 1300, the Chapel St Joseph, Chapel of Ste Catherine and of a bishop, these sculptures from 1340 by the maker of the Chapel of Rieux ,On the southern collateral, see the woodwork of the choir and the great organ, executed from1610 by L. Béhorri and A. Morisot, constitute a rare ensemble of sculptures, which complement the great altarpiece of the master altar by Gervais Drouet and Pierre Mercier , from 1660-1668, it is surrounded by grates in wrought iron from 1766 , a curtain in 33 pieces, from the 16C and 17C, dedicated to the history of St Etienne and all Saints Bishops of Toulouse. In the collateral are the tombs of the president of Lestangpar A. Legoust from 1623, the Bishop H. De Sponde, 17C, and the president of Puyvert ,1784. Finally, two paintings of the 17C ;the triumph of Joseph by H. Pader, under the organ, and the Adoration of the shepherds by Nicolas Bollery, School of Fontainebleau.

The tour of Chapels

The baptismal font chapel. On the left side itself it contains the fonts composed of a circular tank resting on a polygonal base. Several entries are engraved on the tank as well as the date of 1305.  The transept wall shows the organs The choir is made up of wooden stalls once fenced by a rood, with a choir organ and a platform for practices, and ends with an Episcopal necropolis, located under the altar accessible after several steps bounded by a balustrade. The gothic nave is surrounded by 15 pentagonal chapels, vaulted in the last years of the 13C.

The Chapels on the right, behind the pillar of Orléans the Chapel of the secondary altar of the Cathedral. The altar and Tabernacle in marble, Louis XV style, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels(Notre Dame des Anges) . erected under the episcopate of Jean d’Orléans at the beginning of the 16C, the chapel has since been dedicated to the Virgin as evidenced by the keystone that represents it the former chapel of St. Lawrence it serves as a passage to the Cour Sainte-Anne.

The Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul was completed in the first half of the 14C. The vault key bears effigy of Saint Dominique the chapel was originally dedicated to him. After the concordat it was dedicated to Saint Vincent de Paul in memory of his stay in Toulouse: He studied theology from 1597 to 1604 at the University of Toulouse.

The Chapel of St. Augustine originally dedicated to St. Catherine whose image is on the keystone of the chapel. It is found below the Annunciation on the stained glass window with the palm of martyrdom and the image of the wheel of its torment.

The Chapel of St. Germaine, originally dedicated to Saint Nicholas, which is on the keystone of the chapel, was dedicated in the 18C to Saint Francis of Paul, whose stained glass traces his life. Finally it was dedicated in 1876 to Saint Germaine de Pibrac.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Chapel was restored in 1879. The reliquary dates from this time it is in painted metal.

The Absidials Chapels are: The Chapel of the Relics disposed of the closed niches of bronze grates, which contain the relics of different Saints. The oak confessional of 17C and other the Chapel of St. Joseph, the Chapel of the Sacred Heart , the Chapel of Saint-François-de-Sales, and the Passage Chapel towards the Sacristy, this Chapel finished around 1279, was originally dedicated to the body of Christ.

The Chapels on the left (from the Sacristy) are the Chapel of Saint Joanne of Arc; This chapel dates from 1279. The current decorations date from 1922 after its canonization in 1920. It became a memorial for the parish soldiers who fell in WWI. On the right is a statue of St. Clotilde and left of Sainte-Geneviève. The Chapelle Saint François-Xavier, completed in 1279, was originally dedicated to Saint Martin, which is always present on the keystone. Reworked and restored from 1843 to 1846 the Chapel is then consecrated to St. Francis Xavier. The Chapelle Saint-Roch, this Chapel contains the cenotaph of Joseph and Jean François Sylvestre Roux de Puyvert. Work in polychrome marble of the sculptor François Lucas 3rd quarter of the 18C. The Chapel of Saint Peter, completed in 1286, is the seat of 24 canons whose group was created in 1259. The Chapel of Saint James (St Jacques).


The ambulatory it enshrines the Choir and serves the Chapels. The two organs are located in the Gothic part. The Tribune organ of the Cathedral weighs about thirteen tons. It is 12 meters high and 10 meters wide. It is not placed on a stand, but hung on a vertical wall. The original organ dates from 1612. Restore the last several times in 1977. The Choir organ by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll (organ factor) dates from 1868.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here in addition to my blog post of course, are

Official site Cathedral St Stephen Toulouse

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Cathedral

There you go, a nice Cathedral, great city of pink and just a wonderful time always. One of my fav spots for retirement in my belle France!

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

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