Archive for September 12th, 2018

September 12, 2018

Some news from France CXCX

And it is time to bring you once again up to date on the happening in my belle France! There is always something going on in touristic France, you are all welcome ! And of course, some places are full of you, crowded, but heck do you know we just got 88m visitors when we are a country of 67m? Enjoy my beloved France!

As every year, since 84 decades ago, an unchanging ritual is brewing on the roof of Paris: The Vineyard Cup of the Clos Montmartre, which will take place on September 19 next. This will be the prelude to the famous Harvest Festival (fêtes des vendanges), which has become, with some 500 000 visitors each year, the third Parisian event after Nuit Blanche and Paris-beaches. As in 1934, where the feast had been sponsored by Mistinguett and Fernandel, the 85th edition will have its two guardian angels: Madame Monsieur, the pop duo formed by Emilie Satt and Jean-Karl Lucas, who reached the final of the Eurovision 2018 music festival with their title Mercy.

This beautiful vineyard that descends on 1 550 m2 , the slope of the Rue des Saules, in front of the cabaret of the Lapin Agile, was born in 1933 on an idea of the draughtsman Francisque Poulbot and Pierre Labric, mayor of the free town of Montmartre! The Grape Cup of the Clos Montmartre on September 19, rue des Saules; Harvest Festival, placed this year under the sign of peace, from 10 to 14 October throughout the 18éme arrondissement.  Program available here:  www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com

To buy the wines of the Clos look here: comitedesfetesdemontmartre.com

Climespace, dealer of the city of Paris, responsible for developing, since 1991, ice water in department stores, shopping malls, museums, large hotels or office buildings. Since this summer, it is a major project that is launched around the Place de l’Etoile. On 1.1 km, the operation began at Avenue d’Iéna , currently continuing around the square, before continuing on the avenue of the Grande Armée. More in French here: Climespace and cooling of Paris

The Champs-Elysées will illuminate from November 22nd 2018 to January 8 2019, as every year. It’s a tradition that launches the holiday season in Paris. The luminous curtain of white shades darting to the top of the trees has received, in the last four years, a good welcome. This year the city probably would do the same but with different colors according to city officials. They will unveil the full plan on the forthcoming press conference in October. The opportunity to announce the personality that will launch the magic of Lights will be known!  Stay tune…Christmas in Paris ,sublime!!!

After twenty years of abandonment and silence, the curtain will rise again and the music resonate at La Scala Paris this Tuesday night. At 13, boulevard de Strasbourg (10éme), the mythical Café-concert of the late 19C. Fully covered with a blue night color imagined for La Scala, the room, equipped with two balconies, is fully modular thanks to the bleachers accommodating up to 750 people. And no spectator is more than 20 meters  from the stage, also inexhaustible on the 220 variable acoustic panels or the 172 loudspeakers that will offer a Cathedral acoustic sound, the  La Scala Paris already offers a programming provided of 450 pieces, concerts , dance or circus performances for his first year. Shows often available in short format at 18h45, after office hours, then at 21h . It will also be a place of ambiance  open every day from noon to 1h (1am). An 80 seats restaurant overlooking the boulevard de Strasbourg will be available.  La Scala Paris, 13, boulevard de Strasbourg (10éme). Tel.+33 (0) 1.40.03.44.30. webpage : https://lascala-paris.com/

The first Dreyfus museum in France is expected to be open in Médan, (Yvelines 78) in the autumn 2019. The space of 300 m2, located in a wing of the Maison Zola, will be composed of a large hall recounting the story of Alfred Dreyfus, a second with videos and archival documents As well as a third space made up of screens allowing the school to work with the existing databases on the subject.. Creating a Dreyfus museum next to the house Émile Zola takes all its meaning especially because of his involvement in the affair with the publication of his letter j’accuse!, defending Dreyfus. A captain in the French army accused of espionage for the Germans while he was Jewish! More here in French: https://www.maisonzola-museedreyfus.com/index_fr.html

It’s gone for fourteen months of work within the Maison André-Derain. It is a matter of renovating the house of the painter, currently in a state of decay. André Derain’s house is designed to host the school of dance and music, as well as conference, reception and exhibition rooms. André Derain, born in Chatou in 1880, is considered one of the pioneers of the fauvism, like Matisse, Braque, or Vlaminck. He had acquired the Roseraie (Rose garden), this house of 550 m2, in 1936 at Chambourcy, Yvelines 78. More here: http://www.chambourcy.fr/culture-patrimoine-loisirs/maison-andre-derain

The workshop of Louis Vuitton’s prototypes and workshops of Asnières; The tailor-tailored workshop of Berluti; The Professional Academy of Make Up for Ever or the Maison 68 Champs-Elysées de Guerlin; Dior lounges; The Francis Kurkdjian House; The Grande Epicerie ( grocery store); the Bon Marché dept store; Givenchy… Want to push the doors of the biggest houses and places of the LVMH group? This is what the special days offer with 77 places in the world, including 20 in Paris.

For the 4th edition of this event, LVMH sees big: 76 places of exception, of which 40 unreleased and 56 houses open their doors in 14 countries with for the first time Germany, the United States, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. Each venue will offer free or group visits, small committee workshops, to reveal the secrets of making exceptional pieces developed and sold by the LVMH group.

Registrations for ticket cuts lines giving access to the special days on 12/13/14 October 2018, will be accessible on Saturday 22 and Tuesday 25 September from 10h. To have access to these tickets, it will be necessary to create a profile on this same site from September 13th. Any person who has not been able to obtain a cut line ticket can of course on presenting the day of the event on all sites that will welcome spontaneous walk in visitors . More here:  https://www.lvmh.fr/lesjourneesparticulieres/

Something to eat, Paris has the best in the world.

Antipasti, Cicchetti and other delicacies from Italy, complemented by a beautiful wine list. Small plus: Good liquors nicknamed “ladies-jeannes” served on a trolley at the end of the meal to make you happy. Damigiana is at 58, rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau 1éme arrondissement. So new no webpage yet, open in early August 2018! But friends collegues from Paris told me it is very good…Ciao Italia!

Thanks to Ducasse sur Seine, we embark on a new, silent and clean experience on a 100% electric boat. Cruises in the image of the kitchen, which will be contemporary around beautiful seasonal products. Ducasse on the Seine, Port Debilly, 16éme arrondissement. More here: Ducasse sur Seine

L’Office or the Office is a veritable den of Epicureans that is brand new while keeping its trademark: a bistronomique kitchen made from ultra-fresh, ultra-healthy products and at affordable prices. For proof: It is the family garden located hundreds of km which regularly provides the restaurant in fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs. It is at 3 Rue Richer 9éme arrondissement , Tel +33 (0)1 47 70 67 31. Open Monday to Friday from 12h to 14h and then from 19h to 22h15. Reservations recommended. more here: l’Office Paris

Bar, cocktails, restaurant… Perruche flies and nests on the roof (9thfloor) of Au Printemps Haussmann dept store. 500 m2 of powerful wines, quality products and sharing kitchens. Here are the main lines of this new spot greedy and perched. Perruche at 2, rue du Havre, 9éme arrondissement. More here: Perruche Paris

In a big event coming up we get into it too!

From Thursday October 4 to Saturday October 14, 2018, Munich famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, is to be held in Paris for the fourth time in a row at the Paris Event Center. 20 Avenue de la Porte de la Villette,  La Villette.  Many traditional beers tasting including the famous Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier exclusively brewed for Oktoberfest, as well as the Paulaner Müncher Hell or thePaulaner Hefe-Weissbier.  Admission from 34,90€. More info here: Oktoberfest Paris

And why not go down south to my sentimental area on wife father’s side. Toulouse ,the pink city.

The Musée Saint-Raymond is the Museum of the Antiquity of the city. On several floors you can discover the works of the Mediterranean civilisations dating from antiquity but also part of the archaeological site of the city in the basement and numerous Roman statues on the upper floors. The temporary exhibits are pretty cool and easy to access for non-savvy, even kids friendly! Musée Saint – Raymond 1 ter, place Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, Tel +33 (0) 5 61 22 31 44. Open 7/7 from 10h to 18h 4€ children free .More at museum webpage: https://www.saintraymond.toulouse.fr/Musee-Saint-Raymond-Antiquities-Museum-of-Toulouse_a1081.html

Musée des Augustins or Augustinian Museum is the Museum of Fine Arts of Toulouse located in the Augustinian convent of the 14C. On the ground floor you can admire Gothic sculptures or the Pardo room. At the back of the cloister, you can access the church where temporary exhibits are installed. And upstairs, you can look at the sculptures and works of the European Schools of painting from the 17C to the 19C . Musée des Augustins at 21, rue de Metz. Tel +33 (0) 5 61 22 21 82. Open everyday from 10h to 18H but closed on Tuesday and Wednesday night. 5€ admission. More at museum webpage:https://www.augustins.org/en/home

There you go, did I told you we have it all, yes. Come to my belle France and you wish to return again and again, its catchy I warn you now. Enjoy it

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

September 12, 2018

Let’s go a bit north to Pontivy! and the Castle!!!

And in my quest to showcase not only the best of France ,which is a lot, but my new region of Brittany, and especially my home department 56 of Morbihan , let me take you back to the north. Again, to remark, my Morbihan is the only department in France that is not a French word or meaning! It is completely Breton language, mor=sea bihan=small or small sea in French would be petite mer. ok

I have come to Pontivy a few times and even one of my son had a job there for a while so we visit him as needed to stay in an apartment there.  It is a nice town very much with the imperial family in fact for a while it was called Napeleonville ::)

My previous blog posts on it for reference are

Nice Pontivy deep in the woods

Pontivy or Napoleonville

Another visit to inland Pontivy

However, as many things to see and written, the main thing here and indeed worth a detour is the Castle of Pontivy by the Blavet river. Let me tell you a bit more on it.

The Château de Pontivy , called Château des Rohan, was built in the 15C and 16C by the family of Rohan.

Pontivy

An ancient feudal castle that belongs to the family of Porhoët, as mentioned in the 12C along the Blavet river, below the current castle. This Castle of the Halls was besieged in November 1342 by the English troops of William of Bohain, Lieutenant of King Edward III, during the war of Succession. Probably ruined by the assaults it had to support, the castle is abandoned. After this war of Succession, the Viscounts of Rohan decided to make Pontivy the chief place of their quasi-principality. In 1456, the site was given to the Cordeliers who built their monastery there. Viscount John II of Rohan (Count of Porhoët, son-in-law of Duke Francis I of Brittany, who opposed Duke Francis II and governor of Brittany for Charles VIII), wanted to build a new fortress through the drudgery regime (free labor). He built the present castle between 1479 and 1485 on a new site easterly which probably encompasses that of John I of Rohan, his great-grandfather: He made to dig a large trench on the flanks of a hill controlling the main access to the village, indented of the Blavet river, and which dominates the city to the east.

In 2014, following heavy rainfall due to the Petra storm, a part of the south curtain ramparts and tower collapses . While restoration continue and doing some preventive archaeology operations , it was reveal in particular two former furnaces in the courtyard; one the Great Oven which could match a bread oven while the small oven could have been used as a baking oven.

Pontivy

Architecture that I like

The irregular quadrangular plane of about 90 meters by 75 meters of the castle, flanked by four circular corner towers connected by a 20 meters high curtain, remains traditional. The thickness of the walls reached in places more than 5 meters wide, in order to withstand the progress of the artillery and the firing of the cannons. The apparatus is shale up to the height of the Breton machicolations carved in granite. On the floor of the crenulated and covered round road were added at the beginning of the 16C of skylights with acute pediments. Access to the inner courtyard is through a sleeping bridge that replaced the two drawbridges thrown on the moats never filled with water. The counterscarp was levelled at the beginning of the 20C, the land thus recovered having served to bridge the gap.

Pontivy

Only two bodies of dwelling remain, west and north sides. The residential wing at the western façade is flanked by two large towers in machicolations, topped with peppers, of the four that probably included the enclosure. Several statues of Saints such as the Virgin to heavens, Saint Maurice on horseback, St. Catherine, Saint Germain, Sainte Marguerite, Saint Isidore, Saint Louis and Saint John the Baptist, originating in the Chapel of Saint-Laurent in Moustoir-Remungol , are displayed in this gallery. This Gallery the lordships residence in the north is reworked in the 18C. It is adorned with sedentary pediments and a double Louis XV style staircase and a wrought iron ramp. A niche under this staircase of honor houses the statue of Saint-Mériadec (favorite Saint of the Dukes of Rohan) which was carried out in the 3rd quarter of the 20C in the east, the original housing body was transformed into an artillery terrace in the 18C, then a pleasure garden. You can visit the Guard room, the rooms on the first floor overlooking the round road, the ducal room with the beautiful ceiling and the chapel. Especially notice the two stone chimneys in polychrome and armor, from the 16C, from the castle of Coët-Candec in Locmaria-Grand-Champ. (even closer to me).

Pontivy

Pontivy

The castle belongs to the family of Rohan who stayed there irregularly until the end of the 18C. Thereafter, the castle is successively occupied by: the sub-prefecture and the courtroom of the civil court of Pontivy (1800-1839); General Bernadotte, commander-in-chief of the Western Army in charge of combating the Chouans (local farmers who fought against the French revolution for the king and region), installed his headquarters (May-June 1801); The Sisters of Kermaria, who created a school and a boarding schools for girls (1841-1884); A Breton museum founded by Jérôme Le Brigand in the late 19C; La Garde Saint-Ivy (sports Club of the city), the Scouts of France, some local families were housed in the west gallery, then severed in several rooms in the 1st half of the 20C with interruption in 1939-1940; During WWII, the Polish troops and then Autonomists Breton (June-September 1940). In 1953, Madame de Rohan rented it to the town of Pontivy by a lease of 99 years for a symbolic French Franc ,assuming all the charges of the owner. The town of Pontivy is then responsible for the maintenance, restoration and valorisation of the castle. In December 2014, in view of the particular context associated with the collapse of the courtship ramparts towers (due to Petra storm)  and the amount of restorations supported by the municipality would have to endure, Duke Josselin of Rohan agreed to cede his property to the city which became its owner on 16 October 2015. It still has some private rooms ,but most is open to the public.

Pontivy

Some webpages to help your plan your visit here in addition to my blog posts are

Tourist office of the Pontivy community

City of Pontivy on the castle and al.

Tourist office of Brittany on Pontivy

And for the Rohan family and history of Brittany in French only ,and if you like history like me this site is for you on the Château des Rohan or  Pontivy  Historical on the Rohan and the Castle

And one more thing to know about my area ,and a lot more about France than on the travel books. Or rather, a bit more on Bretagne/Brittany or Breizh

The castle is the place of the aborted declaration of independence of Brittany during the creation of the Breton National Committee by the members of the Breton National Party in July 1940. The Breton National Council, a representative body of the Bretons, concerned with the collective good and the honor of their people, would act at the time chosen by it to endow Brittany with a national state, in its natural setting and in the spirit of its tradition, in order that it could finally live in an organized nation, free of its aspirations and owner of its interests   and that the international status of the Breton state, the nature of its relations with France and Germany would be defined by agreements, freely discussed in the the possibilities offered by the new general Conditions. The Castle was the headquarters of Lu Brezhon, the embryo of the Breton National Army created by Breton nationalist Celestine Laine in the wake of the creation of the Breton National Committee in 1940.

I hope you enjoy this trip north of Brittany full of history ,architecture, customs and thrills and of course the very good Breton cuisine.

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

 

 

September 12, 2018

Basilica San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico!

Let me bring you back to America, and especifically Mexico. This is one Latin American country that i have visited extensively from afar back as 2000, and have family there in DF and Yucatàn regions today. Many mention the risks but if careful you can manage it, locals do take precautions as well so why not you. I have enjoyed all my trips there.

I like to tell you about a main religious center very popular with all Mexicans but especially those from the north Jalisco especially.  This is the Basilica Church of San Juan de los Lagos, in Jalisco state. I have written some previous blog posts on it which like to put them here for reference.

Tepatitlan de Morelos and the Basilica

Another time by Tepatitlan de Morelos

While around the town of Tepatitlan de Morelos , locals drove me to San Juan de los Lagos basilica and it was fantastic experience. It was a prayer day and the Basilica was full almost, and it was impressive to see the faithful there, a very moving experience.  However, let me tell you a bit more about this town and Basilica.

San Juan de los Lagos

San Juan de los Lagos is located northwest of the state of Jalisco at 150 Km from Guadalajara. It is considered the most important tourist center of the area because it is the second point of attraction for the religious Tourism of Mexico and one of the main Marian shrines in Latin America, since here is one of the images venerated by the Catholics faithful.

san juan de los lagos

Founded in 1542 by Fray Miguel of Bologna, the indigenous people of San Juan Bautista Mezquititlán today San Juan de los Lagos, where a hermitage was built with hospital, in this place it left the image of the Virgin of the Conception, elaborated a heart of a mixture ground cane with certain bulbs called   talzingen. During the 18C and 19C the city acquired great economic importance due to the demand for services and commercial activity venerated by the thousands of pilgrims. This boom, coupled with the growing presence of the structure of ecclesiastical authority, led to the construction of several buildings and houses that today have an important architectural and historical value. San Juan de los Lagos after Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, is the largest tourism registered in the state of Jalisco.

The architecture of the Basilica is rich and varied some points on it brief.

The High Altar, in the center is located the baldachin of large dimensions, conformed by four columns of African salmon marble that holds a semicircular entablature and on this one vault of a quarter of mat, that is framed with a beautiful arch of half point of wavy and ornamented profile with phytomorphic elements, in the part inside a thin molding of ovals and darts. All this in white Carrara marble. In the center of the arch as a key a cross, and under it a cartridge with the monogram of the Virgin Mary. On the ledge of the entablature lie on the inside two beautiful little angels of Black Broce on a cloud that hold in their hands a beautiful crown, which is said to have been fused in France by the known sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, who made the Statue of Liberty of New York. At the sides of the baldachin framed with a rectangular molding that serves as background and standing on huge corbels, are the sculptural images of Saint Joachim on the left, and Saint Anne on the right.

San Juan de los Lagos

Inside the Baldachin is located the tabernacle that keeps the splendid image of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos, niche of very beautiful manufacture of circular plant supported by eight semi coupled columns of ionic order, with rebounds in the axes of the columns and on these, pairs of crown-shaped auctions; The tabernacle is covered with a sloped front, made in silver, culminating in the high with the symbolic figure resplendent in the Holy Spirit.

san juan de los lagos

The Virgin de San Juan de los Lagos is of Indìan manufacture, made of pasta of corn in Patzcuaro, Michiocàn., the portrays of the clean conception of Our Lady of San Juan, measures 38 cm and represents Marìa standing, with the face a little inclined in prayer and with the hands together before the chest , dressed in blue and a crescent at her feet. The bottom of the body is stored in a glass, the portrays is wrapped in tùnicas linen interiors, which puts a dress of rich fabric with an opening done by leaving the hands, closes with button at the top, under the neck. Her silk tresses, overlapping the gilding of the sculpture, spreads on the shoulders of fine pearls and rich tendrils of gold with precious stones. Both the Tùnica and the mantle can be brocades, apricots, tisù, maorè or silk, with exquisite embroideries or gallons of gold or silver, with inlays of gemstones.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II came as a pilgrim and offered mass to a crowd of six million! And that is me in front of the statue of Pope John Paul II done as a thank to his visit on the side of the Basilica.

san juan de los lagos

A prayer says;  For your clean conception and unsurpassed beauty, cover us with your mantle, blessed Mother of St. John (San Juan).

The Basilica is on a great square: The Plaza de Armas or Rita Pérez de Moreno Civic Plaza is in the center of the city. It was built in the 18C, and later modified. In the center, there is a Monument to Independence, erected in 1872. It consists of a thin column supported by a base which has four dragon figures. At the top, there is marble sculpture of a woman holding a laurel crown. The monument stand in the center of a large circular fountain.

san juan de los lagos

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of San Juan de los Lagos

Official Basilica San Juan de los Lagos

There you go a beauty up Jalisco, Mexico, you should see the country, it has a lot more than tourist beach spots. Enjoy it. I will be back end Sept !!!

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

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