Archive for August 28th, 2018

August 28, 2018

Chapel of Notre Dame de Grâce, Honfleur!

And on my continuing tour of the special ocean city of Honfleur, I come to our utmost favorite. This is without much , the Chapel of Notre Dame de Grâce. A family tradition that with the busy lives sometimes we missed ,but we do come often.

This is the oldest tradition here, and when you are in a traditional Norman town, the oldest have a greater meaning. We love it, enough said.

This is my previous blog post on the Sailors festival here and talk about Our Lady of Grace.

And a bit more on Notre Dame and Sailors festival in another post I like here:

And now let me give you a bit of history and the latest photos of the Chapelle Notre Dame de Grâce or Our Lady of Grace Chapel.

The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is a Catholic chapel located in Équemauville, part of the town of Honfleur in the department 14 Calvados in the region of Normandy. You have faith or come by car as it is very hilly to get to the Chapel in the village .


The Notre-Dame de Grace Chapel is built in 1600-1615 (on land given by Madame de Montpensier) by the burghers and sailors of Honfleur at the site of an old chapel that disappeared in a landslide of the cliff in 1538. This primitive chapel was founded before the year 1023 by Richard II, then duke of Normandy to fulfill a vow made during a storm in which he had almost perished. Since then, the cult of Our Lady of Grace has been perpetuated. It was at this time that the Capuchin fathers planted a wooden cross to indicate the location of the old chapel, a cross that was about thirty meters from the present Calvary. It housed many ex-votos, model boats and an organ made by the organ factor Dupont in 1990. On the outside, on the left, you can see the bells of the pilgrimages.

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The interior consists of a small nave, richly decorated and two transepts; The one on the left is devoted to the Norman settlers who settled in Canada, the one on the right is dedicated to St. Teresa of the Child Jesus of Lisieux. The canopies relate the history of the chapel. By a writ of 1912, the chapter of Saint Peter of Rome awarded the Golden Crown to the statue of Our Lady of Grace and it was in June 1913 that the solemn feasts of the coronation of Our Lady of Grace were celebrated.

You can see the statue of Saint Peter in the choir of the Chapel; A statue of St. Anne bearing Mary and the Child Jesus and a statue of Saint Joseph in wood dating from the 18C. Many marble plaques and paintings perpetuate the memory of famous people who came to this chapel: Samuel de Champlain, Pierre Berthelot, king Louis XIII, Napoleon Ier,  and Saint Theresa of Lisieux.

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There was this first episode narrated from the city of Lisieux, ravaged by the plague in 1624, which was delivered after its officials and religious leaders had made a vow to Our Lady of Grace. Indeed, as a child, Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face came, being a child, several times to Honfleur with her family, on a pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary, to the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace. It was here that little Thérèse Martin took the decision to go to the Holy Father in Rome to asked  him for the exceptional permission to enter the convent before the minimum age required. This is why a relic of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus is now in Honfleur.  It is further noted that Athalie and Désirée Gosselin, two sisters, took to the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace the decision to have a Carmel built in Lisieux, after, because of their fragile health, they could not be admitted to the Carmel of Pont-Audemer. It was precisely in this same Carmel that little Thérèse entered, in 1888.


There is a great Festival of the Marines or Sailors’s Festival on the weekend of Whit Sunday or Fête des Marins. This is taken place here since 1861.This festival is a gathering of all those whose lives are linked to the sea. All kinds of craft gather in the Seine estuary for a benediction to remember the dead and to bless the boats.  On Whit Monday a procession including sailors and their families, carrying model ships, winds its way in pilgrimage from the town center to the Chapel of Notre Dame de Grâce where an outdoor Mass is celebrated, at across from the Chapel there is a smaller one where the Bishop presides the Mass. During this weekend, a fair visits the town and the Société des Marins organises an exhibition and concerts in the Greniers à Sel and concerts in tribute to fellow seamen. One can admire a picturesque procession of the models boats carried by the children from the Church of Saint Catherine (see previous post) to the Chapel of Notre-Dame of Grace. Magical fairy tail.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to my posts are

Tourist office of Honfleur:

Tourist office of Calvados dept 14:

Tourist office of the Normandy region:

It is magical to go up the hill and from there look over the ocean, the city, the Cross of Christ and on the other side Le Havre! At nighttime is awesome for the romantics especially.



Enjoy Honfleur! as we do.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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August 28, 2018

Church of Sainte Catherine, Honfleur!

And here I am again on my special Honfleur, each stop is memorable and full of souvenirs for the family. I have written many posts on Honfleur , all in a general touristic nature; however, I need to tell you about some things to see that are really worth the detour. Of course the city is in dept 14, Calvados , in the region of Normandy.

I like to tell you today about the Church of Sainte Catherine, and have written a bit on it with some photos previously in my blog here:

This is a wonderful Church . The whole area around it is magical quaint , beautiful architecture, and plenty of history I like.  Let me give you a bit more background on the Church.

The Church of St. Catherine is located near the old basin, just behind the Quai Sainte-Catherine, along the rue des Logettes in the neighborhood of the Faubourg Saint Catherine, bordered by the sea, was the sailors ‘ area. The Church of St. Catherine replaces a stone Church destroyed during the Hundred Years ‘ War. It is the largest Church in France built in wood by marine carpenters. It is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, as a wood carving above the porch of the steeple, which is separated from the two naves, reminds you.

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The first nave, the oldest part of the building, dates back to the second half of the 15C. It is built on the model of a market hall, with the appearance of an inverted boat hull. In the 16C a second nave is added, the vault of which conforms to that of modest Gothic Churches. The Church is covered with shingles in chestnut wood that make up the timber frame. At the bottom of the main nave is placed a beautiful organ whose carved oak buffet is in the style of the 18C, one can admire a painting depicting the carrying of crosses. Near the altar, you can see the statue of St. Catherine, which holds with one hand a palm, in the other a sword.

The neo-Norman porch was built on the model of those of the rural Churches of Normandy at the beginning of the 20C and replaces a monumental portal in Neo-Classic style built in the previous century and which can be seen depicted on some paintings of Jongkind or Boudin. The South Gate is in Renaissance style.  Note the classical organ from the parish of Saint Vincent of Rouen and the Renaissance balcony adorned with musical characters. 19C stained-glass windows decorate the chorus in the east.

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The eagle-shaped lectern dates from the 15C, it is in bronze. The painting depicting the martyrdom of Pierre Berthelot was blessed in 1926; The stained glass windows and canopies were inaugurated in 1887. The steeple was erected at a good distance from the nave, it is square in frame, clad in essence and topped by an octagonal pyramid in essence, it relies on stone bedrock. The bell tower’s crutches placed in 1718 support the building. On January 2, 2015 marks the 142nd anniversary of Sainte-Thérèse of Alençon; It is on this day that the sacred reliquary with a kneecap of Sainte-Thérèse was installed at the Church of St. Catherine.


It is a classic in Honfleur, a must see for all. One of the nice things to do in the city.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The city of Honfleur:

Tourist office of Honfleur:

The department of Calvados:

The region of Normandy:

Hope you enjoy this brief but I think interesting story on the symbolic Church of Honfleur. There will be more around here to come. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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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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