Archive for October, 2018

October 30, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVII

So here I am on a sunny cool day in my Morbihan Breton only 12C sunny no rains nothing else to report, great! We are fully into the end of October and Halloween waiting be scary be nice and trick or treat ok!

Let me give you the latest from my sources on what is happening in my belle France ,and gorgeous Paris! Oh yes Paris is at 11C  but cloudy !

Oh for some is trouble. The white one has arrived!!! Nearly 950 people were stranded in the night from Monday to Tuesday on the roads of Haute-Loire where a brutal snowy episode fell, while 195 000 homes were still without electricity in France this Tuesday morning. The main regions affected are the Auvergne ,Rhône Alpes, the Centre Val de Loire and the center of the Limousin, according to electricity provider Enedis. According to the weather report in France this Tuesday morning, 17 departments are still concerned with the orange alert and the current snowy episode. It is the Ain, the Allier, the Ardennes, the Aube, the Cher, the Corrèze, of the Côte-d’Or, the Creuse, the Loire, the Haute-Loire, the Loiret, the Seine et Marne, the Marne, the Haute-Marne, the Nièvre, the Puy-de-Dôme, the Saône-et-Loire and the Yonne. !! Not me ::)

View from the outside, the large house located at 32, rue de Toul, in the 12éme arrondissement of Paris, is hardly distinguished from the other buildings erected in the quarter at the beginning of the 20C. However, above the doorbell, to the left of a black gate, a small plaque today takes on a historical value: “SON-RE Pierre Henry“. Fifteen months after the composer’s death (July 5, 2017, at the age of 89 years), it is still the only indication of the place which was both his home and his studio (“Son-RE” meaning “sound and electro-acoustic research”). On October 31,(tomorrow) Isabelle Warner, widow of Pierre Henry  will return the keys to the house rented since 1971. Then the building will probably be demolished to make room for a building. Again Paris trivia is gone. More on Pierre Henry: https://www.discogs.com/artist/7209-Pierre-Henry

And more, a masterpiece of the Renaissance, the Fountain of the Innocents (1éme), just a few steps from the canopy, is hard to see. Sculpted in 1540 by Jean Goujon, the silhouettes of the naiads with the veiled body that dance between the Corinthian pilasters are gradually crumbling. Not to mention the marble basins, hopelessly empty and more and more chipped… At the city/town hall, it is announced that it has launched in early October a study which will be made by the end of the year to obtain a precise state of the restoration needs of the fountain and an estimate of the cost of the operation. Still Paris fall behind their monuments! Here is the fountain: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73158/Fontaine-des-Innocents

This winter, fashion is checkered. On cashmere, mohair or silk… For the winter season, small or large-tile motifs are printed on dresses, cardigans, jackets and other ponchos.Be ready winter is coming and fashion Paris gets the best out.

The Niflette is a Halloween bake good, originally from Provins, the iconic pastry of All Saints (Nov1)in the medieval city will be honored as it should be on November 11th. In the Middle Ages and to the feast of All Saints. The niflettes would then have been distributed to the orphans at the exit of the cemeteries, Niflette finding its origin in the Latin injunction “do not flounder!”, that is, do not “weep”. It is a puff pastry with a custard in the center. It is found nature or scented with the orange blossom.flavor. tourist office here:  https://www.provins.net/

The old refectory of the abbey of Royaumont will be the scene of a unique spectacle on November 24th. This one, free of charge, will cover the history of the Scottish ladies, these women doctors, surgeons or nurses from across the channel, who led alone during WWI a military hospital in the walls of the abbey. From December 1914 to February 1919, they will be a total of 477 ladies from Royaumont to take care of nearly 10 861 wounded, including 8 752 soldiers. The abbey here: https://www.royaumont.com/en/home

Show on November 24th at 18h Free. Registration at email:  plume.poesie8@gmail.com. A call for donations is being made for the funding of this unique representation here:  www.helloasso.com/associations/plume-poesie

Astrophysicists, historians, neuroscientists, artists…etc. The inaugural lesson is the entry ritual of any new teacher at the Collège de France. A large oral as free as protocol as the image of this institution born under François I. In the 5éme arrondissement of Paris, to attend the inaugural lesson of Amos Gitai, the new holder of the annual chair of artistic creation of the Collège de France. He is the first filmmaker to occupy it. Before him, the composers Pascal Dusapin and Philippe Manoury, the plastic artist Anselm Kiefer or the writer Alain Mabanckou have succeeded.  On the stage of the Grand Amphitheatre Marguerite de Navarre, they are allowed in to the Speaker’s office. According to tradition, it is in this small room adjoining the amphitheatre that the applicant patiently, surrounded by professors of the Collège de France entered and make their presentation of acceptance to the Collége de France. More on the Collége de France here: https://www.college-de-france.fr/site/fr-about-college/index.htm

Within the framework of the centenary of the Armistice, (end of WWI) a large exhibition of panels made by the photographer Philippe Abergel, will be installed on the facades of the Napoleon Barracks, at the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Rue de Lobau. You will be able to discover the daily life of the little hair guys (youngs soldiers for WWI) or Poilus in French. An exhibition of Centenary objects in a Polaroid format. The opportunity to take another look at the poilus, with the idea that behind these small craft creations, this cache of knowledge how to do. 14-18 Monument to the Fallen of the Great War Hôtel de Ville Paris, until December 15 2018. More here:   : http://memorial14-18.paris.fr/memorial/

In collaboration with Sandra Reignoux, the music library of Paris offers you an unprecedented exhibition of about fifty drawings by visionary artist Daniel Johnston. Drawings collected by Sandra Reignoux during a correspondence from 1999 to 2003. Arts Factory will also be joining the exhibition to present you other works to the graphic universe, where you can attend concerts and film projections. A high-color program. Last Night Daniel Johnston saved my life.  Music Library of Paris 8, Porte St Eustache until November 8th, from 12h to 19H: more info here:   https://www.paris.fr/equipements/mediatheque-musicale-de-paris-mmp-2883

Something buzzting with excitement here is the spread of this guy in social media and even the News on FR2 this morning. A star is born. His name is Salif Gueye, aka Salif la Source. This street dancer, unknown a few days ago, literally ignited social networks. His video of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk at Beaubourg made the buzz. An American career seems to be drawing for this Parisian. This is our feel good portrait of the week. At the age of 22, the hip-hop dance was even knighteded by American basketball player Lebron James and actor Dwayne Johnson. This real Michael Jackson fan seems to be the new incarnation of the King of Moonwalk. He repeated the dance steps of the thriller singer, Fred Astaire, James Brown and many others, with a relentless and correctness that touched the fans of MJ and the others. Originilally fromf Dakar and who grew up in Epinay-sur-Seine in the dept  93 Seine-Saint-Denis. Ten hours of dance a day: it can be said, dance is the whole life of this young man who sees far the dancer of Beaubourg should fly soon to the United States!.

At the time of the 20th anniversary of the World pasta Day, it goes back to the origins of a must: pasta with carbonara. This is called “Carbonara” because there is so much pepper that looks like coal! It is probable that at first we put all this pepper to mask the taste of the rancid deli. Carbonara is a dish born in Rome it is quite recent, a priori of the 1940’s, when the Americans were still in Rome. They say that in their equipment they had freeze-dried eggs and old bacon that they sold to the Romans. And the Romans had pasta. Here is a dish prepared with the help of Tommaso Melilli, Italian chef and culinary columnist for Slate.

Preparation time: 15 min, Cooking time: 15 min, Ingredients for 2 persons: 200 g hard wheat pasta, spaghetti or linguine (preferably Italian brand), 2 beautiful slices of guanciale (cheek of dried pork), 1 egg and 2 yolks, 60 g of Pecorino Romano , Pepper from the mill.  Cut the guanciale into pieces and melt it in a frying pan, cold start and dry. Reserve the pieces and the melted fat separately. In a casserole, beat the eggs, add 6 to 7 rounds of Pepper mill, the finely grated pecorino. Whisk all the way until you get a creamy consistency. Gradually add the fat of  warmed guanciale. Then, cook the pasta al dente (Reserve 1 glass of cooking water). In the frying pan on very soft fire, pour the pasta, the sauce, the pieces of guanciale, add a few spoonful of cooking water and mix quickly and vigorously to get the Mantecatura (link between the pasta). It has to go very fast, and it heats very little, so the egg is just starting to coagulate. Serve immediately, possibly adding some more pepper. Ciao Italia! Oh a dish we eat here too often and my boys love it!!!

Here is a find; nestles a small pearl in terms of Savoyard or Burgundian fondue, since 1987. Quality/price ratio, it is not better elsewhere because the formula at 16€  gives the fondue, the meat (for the Burgundian), the croutons of bread (for the Savoyard), and the fresh salad and homemade potatoes at will. Yes, at will. There’s no way we’re going to get enough. In addition to the lunch time, the glass of wine and the coffee are offered! . At Heureux comme Alexandre 13, rue du Pot de fer. More info here: Heureux Comme Alexandre resto

And for the history in me, here is a nice one to end the post

“No sir it’s a revolution!” This sentence, pronounced in the bedroom of king Louis XVI in Versailles on the night of 14 July 1789, remained engraved in history. But we know less the person who pronounced it… François Alexandre-Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld, Duke of  Liancourt. Born in La Roche-Guyon, he will spend his childhood there and regularly attend. But it was his cousin Louis-Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld who officially lived there. François, in particular, owns the Château de Liancourt (Oise dept 60 only the common areas exit today), and its magnificent park. To cultivate the majority of this historical garden, in particular to experience the techniques that he observed during his trips abroad. The castle itself will be replaced by factories dedicated especially to the work of wool. This is the career of this astonishing man who is currently retraced in the halls of the Château de la Roche-Guyon. On this famous night, as anger rumbles outside, he is the one who takes charge of waking up Louis XVI, and answering him when he naively asks him if it is a “revolt”. The Duke of Liancourt was then Grand Master of the King’s wardrobe and under his responsibility more than 200 persons. Of course, if he has won such a title, it is because François de la Rochefoucauld is a convinced monarchist. But his political opinions are not summed up in this… François de La Rochefoucauld is also the founder of the l’école d’Arts et Métiers (School of Arts and Crafts) and will participate in the creation of the Caisse d’épargne, (savings bank), always in the logic of helping the poorest population to progress. These are all facets of this resolutely modern man who are presented at the Château de La Roche-Guyon. A castle, which still belongs today to its descendants. “No Sir, it is a revolution! The lives of the duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt”, until November 25, from 10h. to 17h. daily, admission: 7.80€. More info here as the castle is closed but the show is on: Chateau de la Roche Guyon

The city of La Roche Guyon on the castle: The castle at the city of La Roche Guyon webpage

And there you go another things to do in my belle France, and even outside Paris! And for the disclaimer, these are only my favorites from the lot; there is a lot more going on!

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

 

 

 

 

 

October 29, 2018

Some news from Spain LXVIIII

And here I am on a cloudy cold Autumn day in the Morbihan Breton and thinking of my Spain, and of course , cannot be too far from it. Already plans to go back!!!

There is always something going on in Spain and their tourism is climbing so much already on the steps of France, the all time no 1 leader according to the UN-WTO. And this is even with the political haggling of usual Spain; if not they will be no 1 long ago.

I like to give you the latest info according to me hehehe! well…..

Valencia is a good choice to take children to gain knowledge. In the City of Arts and Sciences, known for its iconic architecture, children can find a section dedicated to them in which specialized monitors will teach them small scientific concepts in a fun way. The museum also organises the ‘ science on stage ‘ workshops, which children can sign up for. More info: https://www.cac.es/en/home.html

There stands out the Chocolate Museum, in Barcelona where activities are organized for children between 0 and 7 years ranging from the experimentation with chocolate for the little ones until the blind tastings so that the older ones learn to distinguish the aromas of this product and to differentiate between variants of the same. It also offers workshops for the whole family where you can learn how to make chocolate lollipops. More info: http://www.museuxocolata.cat/?lang=en

Almeria has been chosen this past Wednesday as the Spanish Capital of gastronomy in 2019 after its candidacy was left alone in the struggle organized by the Spanish Federation of Hospitality and the Spanish Federation of Journalists and Writers of tourism. More info at Foods and Wines from Spain(official): https://www.foodswinesfromspain.com/spanishfoodwine/global/whats-new/news/new-detail/almeria-spanish-capital-gastronomy.html

Some picturesques towns to visit in my beloved Spain off the beaten track a bit,suggestions ok.

Cadaqués, Girona . Located in the Cape of Creus-Alto Empordà, this fishing village is one of the most beautiful in Catalonia and the easternmost of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1998 it was declared a Natural park. Its peculiar beauty made Salvador Dalí choose it as a summer residence and his house-museum is the most visited of the town. Its white houses in front of small coves, its steep alleys and its walk to the lighthouse of Cala Nans are its hallmarks. http://www.visitcadaques.org/?lang=uk&sec=

Laguardia, Álava . From the top of a hill and surrounded by a great wall, this medieval-rooted town is the capital of the Rioja Alavesa, on the left bank of the river Ebro. In its old town, considered one of the most beautiful in the Basque Country, highlights its Plaza Mayor arcaded and its Paseo del Collado, which borders the place with the extensive vineyards appropriating of the landscape. I recommend the night visit to the bodegas Solar de Samaniego, converted into the wine cathedral with the impressive murals of the Australian Guido van Helten. https://laguardia-alava.com/index.php/en/

Lastres, Asturias. Located on the top of a cliff over the Cantabrian Sea, this seaside town is one of the most visited in Asturias, especially since it was recorded there the TV series Doctor Mateo (for Spanish viewers). Its urban center, declared a historic complex, leads you to a maze of narrow cobbled streets leading up to the 18C Church of Santa Maria de Sábada. https://en.desdeasturias.com/la-villa-marinera-de-lastres/

La Alberca, Salamanca. It was the first town in Spain to be declared a National Historic site in 1940. Its facades, full of colors and flowers, are very popular. This town, integrated in the region of the Sierra de France, is also famous for its cobbled streets and its characteristic arcades. The villa was already constituted in the 13C and associated with the crown. http://www.laalberca.com/GB/index.php#

Villanueva de los Infantes, Ciudad Real.  This village of La Mancha, where Francisco de Quevedo died, and whose streets also crossed Lope de Vega and Miguel de Cervantes, was declared a National Historic site in 1974 by the archaeological sites found there, belonging to the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. Highlights the monumental ensemble around its main square built in the 17C and the more than 250 shields that look on its facades. http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/villanueva-de-los-infantes-13531/descripcion/

Chinchon, Madrid. Perhaps the most picturesque town in Madrid with a medieval square that still preserves its typical 15C houses, with its wooden balconies and arcades and where it was proclaimed King Felipe V in 1706. It’s Castillo de los Condes (Counts) is a must visit, as well as the purchase of anise, garlic, oil and wine. http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/en/conoce-chinchon/lugares-interes/edificios-historico-artisticos.php

Aínsa, Huesca declared  National Historic site complex since 1965, this villa located in the Hautes-Pyrenees of Huesca is one of the places that frequent more tourists. It stands out its medieval old town and its stone houses, arranged in a staggered way.(see writing below)

Morella, Castellón .This town, guarded by an enormous military fortress of almost two kilometers and located at 1,000 meters of altitude, possesses sixteen towers and an impressive castle. It has witnessed battles of El Cid Campeador or the war of succession. His undisputed beauty has made it a World heritage site. http://en.morellaturistica.com/

And let me take you into the wonderful Pyrénées from where I drive all the time north south ,west east sublime. One of the entrances to the Pyrenees is located in the municipality of Aínsa-Sobrarbe this year has been chosen as the capital of rural tourism in Spain. It is the first municipality in Aragon in number of rural houses (37) and places to stay (262). The Unesco World Geopark of Sobrarbe-Pyrenees, which has a heritage with more than one hundred geological interest sites. Therefore Escaparural.com,(I rent from it very much recommended) the digital platform dedicated to the promotion of rural accommodation, had chosen it rural capital. The webpage for rentals is here: https://www.escapadarural.com/que-hacer/ainsa

The peculiarities of the old town of the village of Aínsa. Each street has a history to tell, since, in the antiquity, each one stood out for hosting the houses of certain social classes. For example, in the Calle Santa Cruz lived the people who belonged to the lower, like artisans and laborers, whereas in the Calle  Mayor, or Calle Gonzalo I, emphasized the buildings of the nobility. It does not matter which of the two streets you walk, as both lead to the Plaza Mayor and the castle. From the Torre del Homenaje (tower of the homage)  of the fortress to the main entrance, passing through the parish Church of Santa Maria, famous for its crypt and the belfry with spectacular views to the nearby places. Also the old Town treasures a Jewish bath discovered 400 years ago. Also you have to visit the ecomuseum of the Pireneica Fauna. It is not a common cultural space, but an interpretation center open 11 months a year dedicated to the animal world of the Pyrenees. In it it is possible to admire birds of prey incapable of living in freedom for having received  physical damage. From a real owl to a toed eagle, through a kind of bearded vulture. The latter is the only  Osteófaga Bird of the world, i.e. capable of ingesting bones. You can admire from 200 to 400 birds that come down from the mountains when they leave for food, fed twice a week in winter and three in summer. In addition, all those who become partners can enter three times a year in two enclose glass booths to take pictures of the vultures.

Another indispensable museum is the Traditional Crafts and Arts museum, a private collection, preserved in an old manor house, which houses more than 1,500 pieces from the 19-20C. From pottery and ceramic objects to blacksmiths ‘ instruments, such as curious pica-shaped horseshoes, through woodworking tools, knitting utensils and a kitchen of the period with fireplace included.  A few kms from Aínsa, the Latorrecilla rises beyond its architectural peculiarities, there is another reason why it is worth going there: the bees. The beekeeper Paco Parra and his family, in addition to selling artisanal honey, have devised my friends bees, a classroom of nature where they perform guided tours dedicated to the life of drones, worker bees and queen.

Lleida’s AVE train station is just over an hour’s drive from Aínsa. You can also reach Zaragoza or Huesca and then drive. On the website of the city/town hall of Aínsa : www.villadeainsa.com.

More on local tourism from the municipality Ainsa Sobrarbe here: Tourist office of Ainsa Sobrarbe on heritage

Moving down to my fav region of Spain other than Madrid you have a beauty many times visited and worth the detour.

In the province of Cuenca, in the heart of the Quijote route and an hour and a half drive from Madrid, Belmonte stands out for the unique beauty of its urban center, its stately buildings and its important monumental patrimony, one of the richest in the area , which has earned it the title of good of Cultural interest town. It includes its most recognized enclaves, which crown the two hills that surrounds the beautiful walled village of La Mancha: The Collegiate Church of San Bartolomé and the Castle of Belmonte , both buildings of the 15C. The castle, built in 1465 in the Cerro de San Cristóbal on a previous fortress, by order of Don Juan Pacheco, first Marquis of Villena and authorized by King Enrique IV of Castilla. Privately owned (descendants of the Empress of the French Eugenia wife of Napoleon III), the enclave has become a tourist destination thanks to its exhibitions, museums, theme park, historical recreation days, medieval battles and dramatised sessions, which transport the public to bygone times.

In Gothic-Mudejar style, the castle is a national monument, with a star-shaped structure around the courtyard (plaza de Armas). It was the refuge of Juana la Beltraneja at the end of the 15C, prison of the Napoleonic troops during the War of Independence (1808), residence of the Empress of France Eugenia de Montijo (1857), Convent of the Dominicans (1885) and prison during the Civil War ( 1936).

As the Sun falls, the castle becomes a frightening place and what better time to check it out than the Halloween weekend. Those interested in touring their halls and darker corners can do so from 1 to 3 November (from 20h to 01h.), dates in which the spectacle of terror will take place call Virus. More info here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/virus-halloween-2018/

For about 45 minutes, the public, distributed in groups of no more than 14 persons will go through the different areas of the fortress in which they have unpleasant encounters. Attendees will also participate in the story, know first-hand some of the characters who inhabited the castle centuries ago and have to follow the instructions that will indicate them during the tour. The dungeons, torture rooms and the most gloomy corners of the castle will be the scenarios of this event, not recommended for pregnant women, people with heart problems or under 12 years. More info at the Castle site here: http://castillodebelmonte.com

To complete the tour, it is obligatory to take a walk around the newly opened theme park Trebuchet Park, located at the foothills of the fortress and inside its walls. The enclosure houses 40 real-size, perfectly operational siege machines, rebuilt with the utmost historical rigor based on existing documentation. The sample explains the importance of such weapons during the Middle Ages, in which the sieges were much more numerous than the open-field battles. More info :http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/trebuchet-park/

Of this neo-tasca, put with modesty but with luminosity in a small side of Calle Edgar Neville ,for those who have not yet learned the new street, is the old Calle General Moscardó, have opted for the fixed menus, changing every day according to market.

They serve as total surprises that the diner will see arriving at your table without prior description, and only with a question about possible allergies. This fashion, which certainly saves work and avoids wasting time, can be somewhat irritating, or at least puzzling, for the traditional customer who prefers to study a menu card and choose between their offerings. But the surprise menu is here to stay, and you have to get used to it. Ignorance of what you are going to eat turns the choice of a wine into a Russian roulette game. White, red, sparkling? Light, powerful? The portions are small, and on occasion the Iberian ham found it even less. But the good level of each dish leads you to accept it in good measure, in addition, announce until December 2018  an interesting promotion for its second anniversary: a 30% reduction on the bill. It’s going to be something to take advantage of…!!!

Something to taste different in Madrid. Lúbora, Calle Edgar Neville, 39  .Webpage: http://www.lubora.com/

And finish with the arts , sublime romantic, wonderful for the senses in my Madrid.

Legend of the transgression, icon of the modernity, precursor in the naturalness and declaration of its bisexuality, the Reina del  Art Deco (art deco queen) Tamara de Lempicka is the protagonist of the new exhibition of Arthemisia, that will be seen in the Palacio Gaviria until the next  February 24 2019. 200 works, from more than 40 private collections, museums and lenders reveal, in this first retrospective dedicated to Lempicka in Madrid, an unknown dimension of the creator, besides, of course, to illustrate magnificently her artistic trajectory. The work of Tamara de Lempicka, a journey that reveals the aesthetics of the 1920s, the geometry of Cubism, elements inherited from Futurism and a powerful influence of the Bauhaus coexist in the exhibition with photographs (with Dalí, with Otto Preminger…), Lamps, furniture, vases, screens… and other Art Deco objects, and with dresses, hats and delicate shoes (designs by Salvatore Ferragano), proposes an immersion in the environment in which she developed her art as a the painter. Where:  Palacio de Gaviria, Calle Arenal , 9. More info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/tamara-lempicka-gaviria-palace

There you go for my Spain, worth a detour I say lol! Spain , everything under the sun.

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

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October 29, 2018

The traditions of Brittany, Locronan!

So now let’s tackle a serious tourism and heritage subject in my old beautiful Brittany. Tradition with the Bretons is very strong even now, and the legacies of the past are well maintained with their language pushing and the religious beliefs, here strong. One town stands of many on this example.

I like to talk to you today about Locronan in the Finistére dept 29 of Brittany. A town full of traditions and beautiful architecture not to mention history. Enough for me to love it. Taken the expressway N165 (no tolls) you go to exit D770 and then take the panels saying Locronan on the D39 then D63 to Locronan.

Locronan  is a town in the department 29 of Finistére in the region of Brittany.  The important architectural heritage of Locronan, preserved very early, allowed the village to be a member of the network of Small Cities of Character. Locronan is also today gratified of the label of the Most Beautiful Villages of France. Around the church, the roofs of the village are works of art. From its Belle Epoque, the village has preserved a centrally paved square adorned with a well, the vast Church of St. Ronan, and Renaissance houses in granite.

Most Beautiful Villages of France on Locronan

Small Towns of Character in France on Locronan

The Montagne de Locronan (Menez Lokorn in Breton) with its 289 meters of altitude is one of the highest points of the Black Mountain massif characterized by outcroppings of granite on an axis starting from the Pointe de Raz and going up to Lizio near the moors of Lanvaux.  The place of Plas Ar Horn, at the top of the Priory Mountain, which is backed by Locronan, offers a splendid panorama of the Porzay Plain, the Ménez-Hom and the Bay of Douarnenez as a whole.  Its name means “the consecrated place (of the Hermitage) of Saint Ronan”, lok meaning consecrated place in Breton. The ancient archives sometimes call Locronan, Saint-René-du-Bois .

The town  of Locronan is 15 km west of Quimper and 5 km from the sea (Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Douarnenez, Kervel beach  which is part of the commune of Plonévez-Porzay). It is about 110 km from my house.

A bit of history I like

In Roman times, Locronan was at the crossroads of two Roman routes, one coming from Quimper and heading towards the peninsula of Crozon, the other heading towards Douarnenez. Saint Ronan later installed his hermitage (at the site of the present chapel of the Pénity, adjacent in the southern part of the Church of Saint-Ronan), which explains the Christianisation of the town. The main square of Locronan is located at the crossroads of two Roman roads as above.

The existence of a church is attested from 1031 because on this date the count of Cornouaille Alain Canhiart donated the Church of Saint-Ronan to the Abbey of St. Croix of Quimperlé following his victory as he would have implored the rescue from Saint Ronan and won against the Duke Alain III of Brittany and known as the “Battle of Ronan” . Later, the Counts of Cornouaille carried a great devotion to Saint Ronan.

The region was Christianized in the 5C  by Saint Ronan, an Irish hermit. The contemporary oral tradition wants Saint Ronan to travel every day in penance to the circuit of the petite Troménie, and every Sunday that of the Grand Tromérie. The city of Locronan forever keeps track of its passage since we now name it Locronan, the locus (space) of Ronan.  In St. Ronan’s Church, the statue represents him with mitre and lacrosse as a roving abbot or bishop. This is a famous town here, only about 800 inhabitants but famous for its Grande Tromédie (second sunday of July) a religious and historical procession of 12 kms.

As early as the 14C, hemp flourished almost everywhere in the Locronan region. From this production is born an industry of windsurfing, the sails of Locronan would have thus equipped the Invincible Spanish Armada and Shakespeare cites it even in “Coriolanus” (act II, Scene I). It was at this time of prosperity, halted a time by the destructions linked to the Wars of the League (Locronan was looted in 1594 by the Spanish troops, then successively by the war captains  of which belongs  most of the architectural treasures of the granite mansions of the Place de l’église  and the surrounding streets and, of course, the Church of St. Ronan and the small Chapel of the Pénity adjoining it and housing the lying of the Saint (15-16C). Since 1914, there were no more hemp sails artisans in Locronan.

The square, endowed in its center of the old town’s  well, long only source of drinking water of the town, takes its full dimension every second Sunday of July during the Troménies, but even more every six years during the Grande Troménie (next in 2019). The square is lined with 14 granite houses that make up a remarkable architectural ensemble, testifying to the richness of the canvas merchants and other notable people who built them in the 17-18C, including the canvas office and the Hotel de la Compagnie des Indies. The current  rue Moal was the old rue des Tisserants(weavers).

Locronan is famous for its troménies: The Grand Troménie, a procession that is held around the limits of an ancient sacral space, which has become a Leigh (Tro Leigh, now  “Troménie “), every six years (next in 2019). Between two Grand Troménies takes place annually la Petite Troménie, the 2nd Sunday of July.

72 soldiers from Locronan died for France, including 48 during  WWI, 17 during WWII, and 7 during the other conflicts of the 20C.

Things to see, the first one is a must!

The Church of St. Ronan, (15C), and its Chapel of the Pénity where is the tomb of Saint Ronan. The Church was built between 1430 and 1480 by the Lords of the Nevet, with the gifts of the Dukes of Brittany Jean V, Pierre II and François II. It is erected at the site of the Chapel of the Priory depending on the abbey of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé. Its arrow, struck three times, was finally demolished in 1808. The Church is 43 meters long. The width of the building increases in the last spans of the southern collateral. The big Western Tower, which has lost its arrow, is preceded by a raised porch of several steps. A 17C pulpit is noticed inside. The Tomb of Saint Ronan is in the Chapel of the Pénity, built in 1530 by Renée de France, daughter of King Louis XII appended to the Church at the supposed location of his former Hermitage. The Chapel of the Pénity is a one-nave construction, consisting of three bays, one of which only the western one, does not communicate with the Church of St. Ronan. The Saint is depicted on a stone slab of Kersanton, supported by six angels carrying coats of arms; Two angels stand by his side, the other six bear the funeral table. The recumbent of the Saint shoves with his left hand his butt in the mouth of a monster and he blesses with his right hand. It is huge in treasures, from statues of saints, St Barbe,Ste Marguerite, saint Herbot,Saint Maurice,Saint Fiacre,St Therese de Lisieux,Saint Yves, saint Apolline, etc etc, all over, an altar in golden sculpture ,the tomb of St Ronan, the Chair done at Quimper, and a nativity scene just for the season, was great.

locronan

locronan

La Place de l’église with its well In curbstone, destroyed in 1932 by a bus, but rebuilt since . The buildings of the Place de l’église date from the 17C and 18C, with the facades of bluish grey granite. The Hôtel Gauthier 16-17C at Place de l’église city center. The camp des Salles ( halls), referred to as Goarem-ar-Salud an ancienne Carolingian camp.

locronan

The Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle (15-16-18C), dedicated to Saint Eutrope. The stained glass windows were made in 1985 according to drawings by the painter Alfred Manesser. The Chapel also houses numerous stone statues, including those of the Virgin Mother, the Holy Trinity and a descent of the Cross. Nearby, the Calvary and the fountain, offered by a canvas merchant named Conan, date from 1698. This chapel is mentioned in the Testament of Jean Le Moine of 1439. It constitutes the fifth station of the route of the Grande Troménie.

locronan

The Museum of Art and History, created in 1934, presents the great moments of the history of Locronan on the ground floor (1st Fl US) and a hundred paintings and drawings representing the Finistère on the first floor (2 FL US), as well as the earthenwares of Quimper. On the ground floor, you can discover a real weaving workshop (stage of the Route des canvases de Bretagne). A loom of the 18C is presented there as well as many tools necessary for the textile work of hemp and flax. In the 16C, this was what made the wealth of Locronan. In this space, we also discover the secret of making Breton costumes and the exhibition of some traditional costumes. As for the first floor, almost a hundred paintings  are exhibited alongside some costumes of the Porzay. The paintings represent the attachment of some men to this city and thus constitute the testimony of an artistic life in Brittany at the beginning of the 20C. By the men who frequented it but also its history and its architecture, the Museum of Locronan is an exceptional site to discover.

The Mountain of Locronan, (Menez Lokorn), have exceptional views, and the vitality of the legend of St. Ronan, the undeniable historical interest of the secular tradition of the Troménie, and more. It is a hill located on the towns of Locronan, Quéménéven and Plogonnec, with an altitude of 289 meters, offering  panoramic views  on the Bay of Douarnenez, the Cap de la Chévre and the Ménez-Hom. It houses the Chapel Ar Zonj, dedicated to Saint Ronan, and the chair of Saint Ronan, both constituting stages of the Troménie. Its north face is surrounded  by the bois du duc (duke forest)  while its southern slope is laid out in hedgerow.

Some webpages in addition to my previous post to help you plan your trip here and it should be a must especially at Christmas time.

City of Locronan at Christmas market

Tourist office of Locronan

Tourist office of Finistére on Locronan

Tourist office of Brittany on Locronan

And there you go , well arm now come and see this beauty you won’t regretted, for sure. And, remember as always, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 26, 2018

More wine news from France!

And once again I gather some efforts to write about one of my favorite hobbies yet seldom write on it. This is wines of course, if you read my blog you know about my qualifications and experiences so rather than repeat let me tell you the latest wine news from France! Simply the best ::) End of discussion!

Well is the 2018 harvest coming along? From my ins to the wine growing region near me in the Loire the 2018 should be very good and now from the experts of my fav Bordeaux it is confirmed. Bordeaux had another great vintage in 2018 – at least, those who managed to ward off the mildew did.

Jean-Basile Roland of Château Rauzan-Ségla says, “it was impossible to run from plot to plot because of the configuration of our plots. But we reduced the impact. It could have been worse. We did a drastic crop reduction in August, and we have lower volume, but we’re very, very happy with the quality and with our selection in the vineyard.

In Pessac-Léognan,Château Malartic-Lagraviére, not organic but with some organic and biodynamic plots, had little damage. “They’re small plots, two and four hectares,” says Jean-Jacques Bonnie.

At Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste in Pauillac, Emmeline Borie says “we had no mildew. Somebody came looking for it, and found just one berry in the vineyard with mildew.”

Philippe Casteja of the Domaines of Borie-Manoux says that for some people, “le pont” caused problems. The pont is the bridge to “le weekend”, taking it easy on Fridays, in other words. “There would be three days dry, then three days rain. If you were not very careful and on the spot, you had problems. It’s a matter of the politics in each estate.”

But the good news is that the wines in the vats are looking good.  Sauternes is still being picked, and the botrytis is spreading nicely. There was some evaporation of water from the grapes before the botrytis set in, reports Fabrice Dubordieu of Château Doisy-Daëne, and hail hit parts of Sauternes but not Barsac; he’s expecting a good year.

At Domaine de Chevalier, M. Bernard likes the look of his Cabernet Sauvignon, “It was the driest September for the last 60 years”, he says. “To say so early that this will be one of the best vintages in Bordeaux; but we are sure. Sometimes we have some doubt, but this year we are quite sure.” Generally the quantity is good, too, he says, in spite of the worst that mildew and hail could do.

at Château Rauzan-Ségla, M Roland says “the Merlot is splendid, and the Petit Verdot amazing; the first Cabernet Sauvignon from the vats is quite impressive.” M Borie of Château Grand Puy Lacoste adds that “the quality of ’18 is crazy”.

And you know who these names are don’t you!

A surprise, do not like it but it is doing great marketing and coming up very nicely here in France, especially those that shop in supermarket for wine, which I don’t.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: Today, the Union of Cooperatives located in Chouilly (Marne) Associates 4 500 winegrowers for a surface of 2 100 hectares and 10.4 million of bottles produced. Which puts the mark, in terms of volume, just behind Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

Today, 40% of our volumes are destined for the international market. They would like to achieve parity with the French market, i.e. 6 million bottles sold in France and 6 million elsewhere, and that’s within five years.  They have great margins of progress in the United States, where they are imported and distributed by the group Ste Michelle. They benefit from its network. In addition, they have signed a three-year partnership with the Canadian company Cirque du Soleil last May. We are now their official supplier in the US and Canada.

They are already the preferred brand of the French, as confirmed by several studies carried out by the Nielsen group.

And the complexities of Burgundy continues.

Nothing so surprising about these Cistercian lands overlooking the three villages of Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses, in Côte-d’Or. The 66 hectares planted with ash trees, beech, oak and chestnut trees culminate at 388 meters and style one of the most famous wine-growing hills in the world, whose flanks include 167 hectares of vineyards classified as Grands Crus, from which are derived Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Corton and Corton-Charlemagne appellations.

Among the many owners, the Maison Louis Latour alone has about twenty hectares, a continent on the scale of Burgundy. Aubert de Villaine, also co-owner of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Vosne-Romanée, has invested heavily in recent years, with three parcels and a closing contract, for a total of about 6 hectares. The Burgundian family Méo-Camuzet is also present today in Corton, like the Freys who bought the château of Corton-Andre, renamed Corton C, Patrick Landanger of the Domaine Pousse d’Or and others. Thus, 20% of the Corton-Charlemagne appellation has changed hands over the last twenty years.

The Hill’s wine rating is at its highest, and the price of the land rises to heaven. In a generation, the value of the land has quintupled, however, compared to the Côte de Nuits, almost untouchable, the hill of Corton proves to be an excellent quality-price ratio for investors. This situation makes the premises very sensitive to new transactions that are emerging.

Like the climate, the territory becomes a quasi-philosophical concept when the Burgundians take ownership of it. Burgundy is a very fragmented region. Subjects of biodiversity cannot be apprehended in any other way than collectively. The environment needs to be managed in common. That is how they have been able to fight land erosion. This is also how they distributed to everyone honey plants and reimplanted hives

In other words, some accuse the Latour and Villaine of wanting to freeze the hill of Corton for the benefit of the historic owners who “play the Rent”. Burgundy cannot be frozen because it is an economic entity that lives, makes wine and sells it. The idea is not to freeze, but to evolve within the framework of a tradition. Of course, they are not going to evolve from a geographical point of view because they are stuck between the Morvan and the Saône plain. But they are progressing in the know-how, in technological knowledge, in Biodynamics.   ”

The hill of Corton in figures: 1 000 hectares of which 550 ha of Vine and 167 ha of Grands Crus in the name of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.   3 communes Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses and Ladoix-Serrigny share the hill. 2015 year of the inscription of Corton Hill on the Unesco heritage list.

Well not really wine news but indirectly it is, the tourist business in France. Record revenues on tourism for France 2018 it will  be more than the record in 2014 of 54B euros. According to the Bank of France (Banque de France). For the 12 months running ending Aug 2018 France had already 56,8B euros. All the main 6 country visitors had an increase in revenues with the British on top with 1,9B and then the Belgians Japan is in 10th place just behind China. The USA is in 4th place without telling the amount. On the contrary, French vacationing outside total 39,5B euros as a whole worldwide.

Among the great villages of the Côte de Nuits, Morey-Saint-Denis is undoubtedly the most unknown or even the most misunderstood of the wine aficionados. The story explains much of this disaffection: until the 1960’s, the wines of Morey-Saint-Denis were bought by the traders of Côte de Nuit and Beaune to assemble them with wines of Chambolle-Musigny or Gevrey-Chambertin, better known and easier to market.

Another significant element, the absence in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis of large historical family property, pioneer of bottling at the Morey-Saint-Denis estates has taken on its neighbors a delay of notoriety that the town still behind .

All of these considerations deserve to be reviewed. Modest in area with 133.53 hectares of vines, the name of Morey-Saint-Denis is not lacking in advantages thanks to five Grands crus: Clos de Tart, Clos de la Roche, (which has added its names to that of the town), Clos des Lambrays, and Bonnes-Mares, mainly located on Chambolle-Musigny, but a small part of it is included in Morey-Saint-Denis. These five Grands Crus pass through the town, from the south to the north, glorious succession of exceptional terroirs in the middle of the hill.Therefore, try them more and you will be delighted.

The French vineyards  will produce even more than expected, confirming  2018 as a good vintage, with a production up 27% compared to the catastrophic harvest of 2017, according to figures revised by the Ministry of Agriculture. With an estimate of 46.7 million hectolitres (against an estimate of 46.1 million at the end of August), the services of Agreste, the department’s statistical body, even consider that production 2018 should be 6% higher than the five year average ,as told to the Press by the specialist wine Council of FranceAgriMer. The Department’s Services have revised the estimates upwards from the sunshine and have also better estimated the losses related to downy mildew and drought, there have been strong attacks of downy mildew, with very heterogeneous consequences.

If vineyards such as Champagne or Burgundy-Beaujolais seem to be able to count on remarkable yields (respectively + 39% and + 20% compared to the average of previous years), the basins of Languedoc-Roussillon (-2%), Southeast (-11%) and Corsica (-5%) have, as announced in the first estimates, all experienced a setback compared to the average of the last five years.

In Bordeaux, although some areas have been severely affected by hail and downy mildew, harvesters have regained normal production levels, an increase of 9% from the average including the nightmarish harvest of 2017. On the stock side and in particular the VCI (individual complementary volumes), intended to help producers in the bad years, customs have unsurprisingly unveiled figures in sharp decline,  a fairly logical evolution compared to the disappointing harvest of 2017 , the most modest of the post-war. In the aggregate, stocks destined for trade and production, at 47.8 million hectolitres, fall by 11%. The VCI’s fell by almost 70%, but will skyrocket in some vineyards after this year’s beautiful harvest. They were able to support French exports, which remained in volume (+ 1.6% to 14,680,000 hectolitres) from August 2017 to July 2018 and even experienced a sustained increase in value to + 6.3%, reaching record turnover over the period of 9.35 billion euros!

The  bio-driving of Château Lafon-Rochet has stopped. They made the decision in February of this year according to Basile Tesseron, head of the property at Saint-Estèphe since 2007, operates a turn at 180 degrees for the 41 hectares of the family estate. The bio is not sustainable in Bordeaux today according to him. Copper treatments leave residues in soils that do not disappear, the multiplication of passages leads to over-consumption of fuel for machine gears that wear out much faster, which generates a grey energy, explains him. We must take into account the globality of the elements and find other solutions, such as accept the mushrooms we are fighting today and a certain rate of harvest loss. This is the price to pay to leave a sustainable world to our children.

The city of Dijon, a stage privileged by many Chinese tourists travelling between Paris and Geneva, aims to become a destination in its own right for these wealthy visitors, betting on its gastronomy and the famous wines of Burgundy. The entry door of the route of the Grands Crus of Burgundy, Dijon put on the Chinese tourists. The city benefits from a double inscription by UNESCO, for the “gastronomic meals of the French” and for its “climates” (name given to the terroirs in Burgundy). It will inaugurate in 2020 an international city of gastronomy.

In Dijon in 2017, Chinese visitors represented the first foreign nationality and totaled almost 95,000 hotel nights out of a total of 3.4 million accounted for by INSEE (French govt. statistical office) throughout the French territory. The capital of Burgundy receives some 2 million tourists a year and is ranked ninth city of France in the number of hotel nights for international visitors. This summer they have had a 20% increase in Asian tourism including Chinese in Dijon , and these visitors are increasingly a high-end clientele, seeking cultural offers and authentic experiences related to gastronomy and wine.

A promotional program designed to conquer a high-end Chinese clientele, through the strengthening of links with Chinese tourism professionals as well as campaigns on social networks. The young generation of Chinese travelers  are looking for different experiences. They also spend more and more on gastronomy and wines, and less in luxury brands and shopping. Some 2.2 million Chinese tourists are expected in 2018 in France. Their attendance had jumped 19% last year, after a gap following the terror attacks of 2015. The average Chinese spending basket per stay (excluding transport) is evaluated by the Banque de France (Bank of France) at 1,647 euros per visitor.

The Reds look beautiful in silky tannins, aromatic whites and drinkable, the  2018 vintage is something to delight the winegrowers of the northern Rhone Valley even if they had to juggle the spring rains and the Summer heatwave. In 2018, the winegrowers of the North Rhone are happy  with volumes on whites and phenolic maturity arrived faster with fine balances. It cannot be denied that the situation was difficult until the beginning of June with the rains that caused a high pressure of downy mildew but contained thanks to the always vented and airy hillsides. The risks are of course stronger in bio, hence the importance of preventive treatments. The beautiful weather on the changes climats and until the harvest was particularly pleasant for the cellar as well as for the harvesters. It’s a dream vintage that allowed them to choose the right moment for each parcel without the need for arbitration, which rarely happens. This will not necessarily be a very long-guarded wine, but it will take at least 15 years.

On the Reds, they climbed to 13.5-15 ° on some vats, which had not happened since more than 20 years except in 2003. The acidity is low but not catastrophic with silky tannins and no aromas burned as in 2003. The big harvest allowed to avoid overconcentration and to keep the typicality on blackcurrants, gooseberry and fresh fruits with a nice finesse of tannins even if this year it will still have a southern style. Finally, the vine, especially when it is not totally weeded, is resistant to excessive heat, which would not have been the case 10-15 years ago.

The harvest took place from August 28 to September 22  without discontinuing and under an intense sun and homogeneity of maturity, on all the northern appellations, has forced to harvest all at once, the Crozes-Hermitage but also the Côte-Rôti, the Saint Joseph and the Hermitage. Of course, it was the viogniers on Condrieu and the marsannes that were the priority. The parcels of La Landonne in the  Côte-Rôti, and Les Bessards in Hermitage were picked on the same day of Sept 13th with a very good maturity and natural degrees of around  14 °. Everywhere, the acidity is weak, but not a major concern. On the occasion of the first tastings, the quality of this vintage 2018 is remarkable with a tannic frame at the same time dense and velvety and a beautiful sucrose.

One example from one of my fav producer over the years.  Christelle Accosta, technical director and Clément Bartyschi, cellarmaster of Maison Chapoutier:

“We accumulate the beautiful vintages since 2015 and 2018 will be very pretty despite a complicated and intense start of the season to fight against the fungal pressure. But we passed through downy mildew, except for a few small impacts on St. Péray. The plots in altitude of Cornas and Côte Rôti will give exceptional qualities and more homogeneous, which is not always the case contrary to the always regular Hermitage. Saint Joseph should produce full maturity wines with pretty balances. For Crozes-Hermitage, it was necessary to know how to harvest at the right time especially in the plain where the degrees are quickly rising after the rains of September. It will be a beautiful year at Syrah with wines flourished with pretty silky tannins and without hardness.”

There you go from the world of wines and yours truly with the cooperation of my LRVDF magazine, and official government sources as above.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!! As well as En Vino Veritas!

 

 

 

October 25, 2018

Welcome back ,Camaret-sur-Mer!

And get us closer to the ocean and the cliff at the point of Finistére dept 29 in my Brittany. This was an adventure to find the confines of Brittany on the road warrior that we are.

So welcome back to Camaret-sur-Mer, an idyllic place worth to live there after retirement and just do nothing but admire the natural beauty of the place; away from it all in peace. Poetic thoughts but endurables. This is a long post, sorry, I think is worth it.

A bit of description of the place.

Camaret-sur-Mer is located 80 km from Brest and 65 km from Quimper and is located in the far west of the peninsula of Crozon. It is 169 km from my house! Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, more precisely the sea of Iroise, at the entrance to the gully of Brest. Camaret, half of which is made up of protected natural areas, is part of the regional Natural Park of Armorique and is now located in the heart of the marine Nature Park of Iroise. It’s a quiet seaside resort.

The coastline is very curvy, we have in the northeast, the Bay of Camaret with the advance of the pointe Sainte-Barbe follows the peninsula of Roscanvel; to the west, the tip of the Grand Gouin beyond the Corréjou beach; Further west again, beyond the beach of Porzh Naye, the tip of the Toulinguet; To the southwest, the cove of Pen Hat extended by the Pointe de Pen-Hir and the Tas des Pois, then by the beach of Veryac’h; To the south, the Pointe de la Tavelle and the Pointe de Portzen extended by the Anse de Dinan, which empties into the Kerloc’h Brook which separates the town of Camaret from that of Crozon. Further south, but located in the territory of the town of Crozon are the Pointe de Dinan and the Cap de la Chévre(goat).

Advancing towards the Pointe de Pen-Hir and the Tas des Pois, we encounter a succession of cliffs all as impressive as each other by their huge chunks of rocks that fall in peak into the ocean.  One arrives at the imposing promontory supporting the immense Cross of Lorraine in blue granite, inaugurated by General de Gaulle  in 1951, the scenery is grandiose. A natural cliff-side platform, called the Salle Verte (green room), is covered with marine turf. But you have to be very careful because the inclined and fast plane that drives it is very dangerous. Below is the beach of Véryac’h, which means limestone or maerl sand beach. It draws a semi-circle that ends right by the Tas des Pois and left by a succession of cliffs with brown and yellow tones.

camaret

You have several beaches such as Corréjou Beach, Pen-Hat beach, Veryac’h Beach, Lam Saoz Beach, Kerloc’h Beach, Trez-Rouz beach, Notinau Beach (very nice). On the West Coast, you have several nice points or lookouts such as the pointe du Grand Gouin, pointe du Toulinguet, pointe de Pen-Hir, pointe de la Tavelle, and pointe de Portzen. On the West Coast you have pointe Sainte-Barbe, and pointe du Pouldu. These points delimit the bottoms in softer rocks such as the Anse de Porzh Naye and Anse de Pen Hat in the phyllite of Dournanez in the heart of the Mort Anglaise (English-death)  anticline of -the Toulinguet (affected by the slip of the Kerforne fault), and  Anse de Camaret in the schist.

A bit of history I like

For Camaret, the Roman surveillance camp was located at the site of the present village of Kerloc’h, between the marshes of Crozon and the Pointe de Dinan. Then it was the fall of the Roman Empire and the freedoms found. The Armorique, delineated geographically by the Atlantic Ocean and the monts d’Arrée, incorporates a new political system and takes the name of Cornouaille.  The young Lord Riok, Crown Prince of the Elorn, converted to the new Christian faith. The history of Camaret is linked to the legend of Saint Riok. In the 4C, an authentic Saint lived in Camaret as a hermit, removed in one of the many caves of the Pointe du Toulinguet. He was the patron of the Church of Camaret, but his name never appeared on the list of Roman canonization. After the Council of Trent, he had to officially give up his place to a recognized Saint: Saint Rémy. On the death of his mother, Riok leaves the Leon region , and comes to the end of the world to seek refuge in a cave. He lived a few years in this religious monastery. Since his death, God has done so many miracles to his tomb that Saint Budoc, third Archbishop of Dol, Metropolitan of Armorique Brittany by having been duly informed, declared him Holy, about the year 633AD.

One of Camaret’s main activities at that time was the flour milling. There were different kinds of windmills: windmills and water mills. In the 12C there are two types of mills: Water mills and windmills at tides. They were often associated with a fishery. Camaret develops both as a fishing and trading port, but also, at the end of the Middle Ages, serves as a port of call for coasters of the French coastline and for the long hauls that rise from Spain and Portugal.

Vauban took care of the defence of the Anse de Camaret, which commands the entrance to the gully of Brest, having the Vauban tower built on the furrows of Camaret, and batteries in the vicinity at the Grand Gouin, at Pointe Sainte-Barbe ( renamed  Mort Anglaise or English death thereafter), at the tip of the Toulinguet, in Kerbonn and all along the Roscanvel Peninsula.

During the Hundred Years ‘ War, which brought England and France to battles in the 13-14C, an English squadron came to the port of Camaret for a truce, the Duchess Jeanne de Navarre, widow of the Duke of Brittany, Jean IV de Montfort. On January 13, 1403, she embarked for England to marry King Henry IV of Lancaster, and thus became sovereign of the United Kingdom. The Bretons and the court of France saw a betrayal there. In 1404, an English fleet attempted to attack Camaret on the beach of Trez-Rouz. The Camarétois, with their leader Olivier de Clisson, second constable of France, and more than 700 soldiers, engaged the fight. The enemy would have prevail, when the young Duke of Brittany, Jean V, then 15 years of age, appeared accompanied by 2 500 soldiers. The British were repelled to the sea and Camaret as well as Brittany were saved. In 1434, a new landing was attempted by the British fleet. The third constable of France, the Earl of Richemont (son of Jean IV de Montfort and of Jeanne de Navarre), who later became Duke Artur III of Brittany fought the assailant with his army of knights, supported by the local people. Once again, Brittany was saved thanks to Camaret.

In August 1801, American engineer Robert Fulton experimented with his propeller submarine, the Nautilus, in Camaret Bay to convince Napoleon Bonaparte of the future of underwater navigation. The Nautilus tried to place a mine on an English ship, then in the Camaret Harbor. The test might have been conclusive, if the frigate had accidentally sailed at the time the submarine was slowly approaching the vessel!

Camaret was, like other fishing ports of the Atlantic coast, from the 17C to the 19C a sardine port. The sardine fishery was at the heart of the economic life of the town of Camaret until the great Crisis of 1903-1904. The port of Camaret, located at the front of the gully of Brest , was also a release port and shelter for other town’s fishermen or commercial boats. In 1898, we discovered the plateau of Rochebonne, off the Vendée. The Camarétois sailors embark on the adventure by creating a new type of boat capable of facing the more difficult seas. This will be the birth of the bridged sloops, built especially in the Kéraudren shipyards. In 1960, Camaret went on the  yearly call of Mauritanian with  considerable catches; it is then the first European port for lobster fishing. Starting from 1963, the lobster fishery begins along the Brazilian coast, resulting in a diplomatic crisis between France and Brazil (the “War of the Lobster”),which caused the extention of its territorial waters to 200 nautical miles to protect its fishermen. At the end of the 1960’s, lobster fishing began a slow decline, due in particular to the various fishing bans in their exclusive economic zones decided by the governments having authority (Morocco, Mauritania), and then collapsed completely by the end of the 1980’s. The peninsula of Crozon has been, from the 19C to the middle of the 20C, the region of the know-how of shipbuilding. From these shipyards, it came out of magnificent boats, some of which still continue fishing, and others, rebuilt in the same way, roam the maritime festivals. Since 1867, Camaret has a lifeguard boat rescue station from the SNSM (=société nationale de sauvetage en mer) or National Marine Rescue Company. Three marinas have been set up such as Styvel, Notic, and Vauban, all with 750 places of which 450 places afloat on pontoons.

Starting in the decade of the 1880’s, Camaret gradually became a popular resort for a number of Parisian intellectuals and artists during the summer season, most of them frequenting the two hotels of the port, the Hotel de la Marine, held by Nathalie Dorso, and the Hotel de France. Eugene Boudin was the first of them, soon followed by Charles Cottt, Gustave Toudouze, André Antoine (founder of the Théâtre Antoine, then director of the Odeon Theatre, who stayed for a time in the Vauban Tower), Maxime Maufra, Henri Rivière, Laurent Tailhade (from 1901), Saint-Pol-Roux, etc. Some even eventually built a house in front of the beach of Pen-Had like Saint-Pol-Roux (Le Manoir de Cœcilian) and Andre Antoine.

At the end of 1916, in order to combat German submarines, a seaplane base was installed in Camaret near the lifeguard boat place. The Poyer  entered service in January 5, 1917, the first seaplanes coming from the La Pallice, depending on the Brest aerospace Center, which also includes a base of airship located in Guipavas and a base of Captive balloons located in Brest-Laninon. This seaplane base was very active, with its 32 seaplane showing in 21 fights against German submarines. The monument to the dead of Camaret bears the names of 106 soldiers who died for France during WWI.  The Nazis built numerous blockhouses along the  coastline, within the framework of the Atlantic Wall, the most important being the Kerbonn battery located between the tip of Pen-Hir and the tip of the Toulinguet, now transformed into The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Museum, but also at the tip of the Grand Gouin. 72 people from Camaret-sur-Mer died for France during WWII according to the list that carries the Monument to the Fallen located in the communal cemetery.

Things to see are many and even in two trips to the area we have not seen them all, will tell you about it.

In the midst of the war of the League of Augsburg,Vauban took care to arrange the defence of the Anse de Camaret which commands the entrance to the gully of Brest, by arranging according to his plans, in addition to the Vauban tower on the furrows of Camaret, batteries in the vicinity at Grand Gouin, at Pointe Sainte-Barbe , at the tip of the Toulinguet, in Kerbonn and all along the Roscanvel Peninsula.  It effectively repels the British and Dutch landing attempt at the Battle of Trez-Rouz. Since that date, the cliffs to the east of the furrows are called “the English death” or Mort Anglaise ,and the surrounding dunes were turned into a cemetery to bury the dead English and Dutch sailors. Vauban tower ( a must yes) on the harbor of Camaret has a coastal defence tower with a low battery built on a master plan of Vauban. It is locally named the tour Vauban. Vauban named it the tour Dorée or golden tower. This polygonal tower is defensively reduced with a ditch, a drawbridge and a perimeter wall. Projected from 1683, the tower is drawn in 1689 by Vauban. The construction starts in 1693 and ends in 1696. A road of victory webpage on the significance of the tour Vauban tower in English here: The roads of memory on the tour Vauban

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Kerbonn’s battery, (a must yes) the site of Kerbonn lies between the tip of Penhir and the tip of the Toulinguet. It is part of the defence system of the gully of Brest. The first military fortifications on the site of Kerbonn are dated 1889-1891. The fort of Kerbonn is a coastal battery , whose role was to fight the ships in the Bay of Brest. Between 1942 and 1944, the Nazis built bunkers on the site. It consists mainly of 4 fire bunkers for canon of 164 mm French, 6 passive shelters, 1 firing station and 3 tanks for defence gun against Aircraft (DCA).  One of the Nazi bunkers is now home to the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial.

camaret

Toulinguet’s battery (to be seen) on the tip of the Toulinguet is located a second category semaphore lighthouse for the National Navy. The Grand Gouin battery is the most important coastal defence of the Crozon Peninsula. It consisted of four 220-mm batteries, each with four bunkers, as well as a fire tracker and several pieces against aircraft.

The Monument to the Bretons of Free France, known as the Croix de Pen-Hir is a memorial to the Bretons of Free France, inaugurated on July 15, 1951 by General de Gaulle. It is intended to bear witness to the sacrifice of free French Bretons, who notably founded Sao Breiz in Great Britain during WWII. It was built from 1949 to 1951. On the back of the Cross is an inscription in Breton: “Kentoc’h mervel eget em zaotra”, meaning “Rather death than defilement”, the currency of Bretagne attributed to Alain Barbetorte. On the west face of the Croix de Pen-Hir, at its foot, there is also the inscription “Free man, always will cherish you in the sea”, by Charles Baudelaire.

camaret

The megalithic alignment of Lagatjar  (nice to see) no longer include only 65 menhirs. We will have to wait 1928 for the Lagatjar alignment to be restored. The alignment of Lagatjar is made up of three rows of menhirs. The set draws a line oriented N -E and S-W, from where, at right angles, two parallel lines are left. This orientation suggests an astronomical character. The Lighthouse of Toulinguet on the Pointe de Toulinguet is located.

In 1903, Saint-Pol-Roux buys a fishing house overlooking the beach of Pen-Had and transforms it into an exotic manor with eight turrets, the Manoir de Boultous. On the death of his son Coecilian (killed near Verdun) in 1914, he renamed it “Manoir de Coecilian” (to be seen). During the inter-war period, he received many writers and artists.  In June 1940, the manor was invested by Nazi soldiers, his daughter Divine was raped and the mansion delivered to the looting and burned down. In August 1944, the manor was bombarded by Allied aviation. There are now only ruins.

The port of Camaret (yes nice to walk around) along the sea to reach the furrow, the Quai Toudouze, the main wharf of the port, crosses the center of Camaret. Construction starts in 1842. It has a length of 350 meters and a width of 30 meters and has four cales. In 1895, it is enlarged. At the end of the last, it is the quay of the Styvel with its launch block built after 1926. On the parvis, a cemetery of fishing boats sheltered up to 10  often ceded for a symbolic euro to the town. Many of them have been removed due to their degradation and those who remain have had their hull pierced so that it does not float during high tides of whitewater. Opposite is the marina. In 1963, a new dike was built to house the pontoons reserved for yachting. After having borrowed the furrow that leads to the Vauban tower and the ND Chapel of Rocamadour, you can reach the harbor’s captaincy. We notice the mole with the Green Lighthouse at its end. The construction of the latter began in 1842 to end in 1857.

camaret

The Notre-Dame-de-Rocamadour chapel, (yes a must) located on the furrow, is very nice and a must to visit. Saint-Rémi’s  Church, (yes nice to see) consecrated in 1931, succeeds a smaller church of the 18C. Formerly named because of their form in Breton Pézeaux or pile of hay before being renamed in the middle of the 19C a Tas de Pois, these five rocks  offer an unforgettable panorama of the Pointe de Penhir  (a must to see) on the Sea of Iroise. The Pointe de Penhir is also an ornithological reserve.(yes very much a must and beautiful views of the sea if it can be windy at times).

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition always to my previous posts on these wodnerful places are:

City of Camaret-sur-Mer on heritage

Tourist office of Camaret-sur-Mer

Tourist office of Brittany on Camaret sur Mer

Tourist office of Finistere dept 29 on port of Camaret

The roads of memory site on concentration on Vauban fortifications in Camaret: Roads of Memory on Camaret sur Mer and Vauban

You are now loaded for an invasion of Camaret sur Mer in the Finistére Breton; great area full of life and the sea ,good for the soul anytime.

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

October 25, 2018

The beautiful harbor city of Douarnenez!

Moving right along the coast of upper or north Brittany we came to this wonderful town not expecting much got a lot out of it. We are enjoying great weather in Brittany! Here is my update post on Douarnenez.

Douarnenez is in the Finistère department 29 in Bretagne/Brittany. It still retains the reputation of a large sardine port, although the vagaries of sardines, over time, have resulted in a diversification of once-seasonal fisheries as well as in other economic sectors. It is also an important marina of Finistère with Tréboul and Port-Rhu. This is the city in which the Kouign-Amann Breton dessert was invented. The town was enlarged in 1945 by merging with the neighboring towns of Ploaré, Pouldavid and Tréboul, and is now known as the city of the three ports (Port-Rhu, Port of Rosmeur, and Port de Plaisance).

Douarnenez is located 600 km west of Paris, 250 km north-west of Nantes and 25 km north-west of Quimper, at the bottom of the Bay of Douarnenez, and is part historically of the Cornouaille. Tristan Island, which is located about 50 meters from the coast, is accessible on foot, during low tides with a strong coefficient. There is a mansion, a lighthouse and a fort. Tristan Island now belongs to the Conservatory of the coast.

N 165   Nantes to Brest expressway partially 4 lanes between Quimper and Douarnenez. The D 7 connects Douarnenez to Châteaulin. There is no train station.  It is at 121 km from my house.

The city, nestled at the bottom of a harmoniously curved bay, deploys its colorful and picturesque facades that have attracted many artists such as Auguste Renoir, Eugène Boudin, Maurice Boitel, Emmanuel Lansyer, and Roberto Cedrón…etc.

The name of Douarnenez  would come from the Breton expression Douar an girl up (the land of the island) as the site dependent on Tristan Island. The name Douarnenectz appears for the first time in 1505 it is necessary to wait to 1118 to find a name on the island. It was on this date that the bishop of Cornouaille, Robert de Locuon donated in 1121 to the monks of the Abbey Tourangelle de Marmoutier of his small island of Saint Tristan.

At the time of the Wars of the League (1576-1598), the Bandit Guy Éder de la Fontenelle took advantage of the situation to brigand Brittany and more particularly the Cornouaille and the region of Douarnenez. Tristan Island was his base. The consensus of putting at the end of the wars of religion sees him even being given the governance of the island. Finally convinced of guilty of providing intelligence to the Spaniards and without forgetting the memory of its massacres, he was severely beaten to death in September 1602.

Dom Michel Le Nobletz lived in Douarnenez from 1617 to 1639, in a house close to the present St. Michael’s Chapel, built between 1663 and 1665 under the influence of the preacher Julien Maunoir . The 64 paintings adorning the ceiling of the chapel were painted between 1667 and 1675 (and completed in 1692): They represent scenes of the Passion of Christ, of the Life of the Virgin, of the Evangelists and of the Doctors of the Church, and are occasions of the taolennoù (teaching of Christian values by figures andn portraits) by Michel Le Nobletz

It was only in 1790 that Douarnenez became an independent municipality (70 ha only), to the detriment of Ploaré, which it had hitherto depended on, and even the capital of the county. Douarnenez, a former truce of Ploaré, became a religious branch of Ploaré and became an independent parish in 1875.

The rise of the sardine fishery continued in the first half of the 19C and by 1860, Douarnenez had fished 300 million sardines, half of which is cooked in oil in the “Fried Foods” style before being put into cans still in good part pressed, with the exception of those that are sold fresh. In 1900, Douarnenez was the first French coastal fishing port.

Douarnenez, as well as Camaret-sur-Mer, specializes in lobster fishing: In 1960, Douarnenez had about thirty yearly call ships (it was then the 2nd French port of lobster fishing behind Camaret-sur-Mer), Mostly built in the two aforementioned ports; The fishermen were going to fish the lobster (the green lobster and the pink lobster) off the coast of Mauritania and were for this reason referred to as “Mauritanians”: they were wooden vessels 26 to 35 m long and 8 m wide that were between 250 and 350 tonnes of gross tonnage and generally had a crew of 13 men, with vessels averaging out for three months. In 2011 this made Douarnenez the 3rd French port by the tonnage of fish landed that year behind Boulogne-sur-Mer and Lorient.

In 2015, only two industrial canneries survived in the city of Penn Sardin: Cannery Paulet, which sells its products under the brand name Petit Naviere and which is located in the industrial zone of Pouldavid and the Cannery Chancerelle (the Maison Chancerelle would be the oldest cannery of sardines in the world still in operation), which has just left its historic factory on the port of Rosmeur to settle in the industrial zone of Lannugat, near the Cobreco, which Chancerelle repurchased in 2013; The Cobreco is the largest French group in the market for the canned scallops and tuna and is the result of the merger of two former canneries of Douarnenez: J. J. and Gourlaouen. An artisanal and family cannery, Kerbriant, also exists in the industrial zone of Lannugat. Currently, there are three industrial plants that have been able to grow, and are canning 70% of the French tuna Paulet (Petit Naviere), Cobreco (with its brands Arok and Jasc, it is the leader of the canned scallops and tuna Made in France) and Chancerelle (Brand Le Connétable)

The fishermen’s village of the Plomarc’h dates from the beginning of the 19C and has houses, with walls of granite stones coated with a whitewash of lime, have a ground in clay and were Initially covered with rye stubble before being slated. All the houses turned their backs to the sea, in order to protect themselves from the north wind. The openings were small and so it was dark at the interior. The village of Plomarc’h, with its penty houses and its breathtaking view of the bay, the port’s longboats, the beaches of the reef and the white sands, attracted many painters throughout the second half of the 19C and 20C; such as Jules Breton, Emmanuel Lansyer, Eugène Boudin, Maxime Maufra, Paul Sérusier, Charles Cottt, Paul Signac, Henri Matisse and many Scandinavian painters; Later, in the course of the 20C, Mathurin Méheut, Pierre de Belay, Maurice le Scouëzec, Émile Simon, Louis-Marie Désiré-Lucas. As well as Poets and writers have also been drawn here, such as José Maria de Heredia, Jean Richepin, Jules Breton, and Max Jacob.

The city has three ports: the Rosmeur, a fishing port with auction, managed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Quimper Cornouaille, inaugurated in 1958 in its present form; Port-Rhu (former Ria de Pouldavid) where the museum port is based, inaugurated in 1992; The marina in Tréboul.. In 1912)  the Douarnenez sailor’s shelter is inaugurated. During WWI it housed a unit of the 151st Infantry Regiment. The shelter closed in 1971, but now houses the publishers of the magazine Chasse-Marée. The monument to the Fallen of Douarnenez, built in 1919, bears the names of 389 soldiers and sailors who died for France during WWI.

douarnenez

At Port Rhu on the quays there is a nice maritime museumMaritime museum of Douarnenez

douarnenez

The victims of   WWII from Douarnenez were numerous. On Friday, August 4, 1944 in the morning, the false news of the liberation of Quimper reaches Douarnenez; Spontaneously many inhabitants began to see their windows in the Allied colors. The FFI of Douarnenez (resistance fighters) take control of the siege of the Nazis customs installed in the premises of the Vallombreuse and barricades are built in Ploaré. Several casualty fights take place in the early afternoon in the vicinity of place Paul-Stéphazn. The Nazis finally left town on August 8, 1944 after detonating their stockpiles of ammunition.

Port-Rhu was the starting point for two boats bound for England: the My gondola as of June 18, 1940, the day of the call of 18 June. Pilot students of the Le Mans Elementary pilotage aviation school, led by Reserve Lieutenant Pinot , embarked on 18 June 1940 aboard the Trébouliste, a lobster boat equipped with an auxiliary engine, led by François Lelguen they arrived in Falmouth on June 20, 1940 and helped to form the first nucleus of the future Free French Air Force (36 of them perished in air fights during WWII.

Things to see

The Port-Rhu, a veritable conservatory of ancient boats, and the Port museum , which illustrates the maritime life of Douarnenez. In 1993, it was inaugurated the Port-Museum of Port-Rhu, but the Port-museum had to close in 1995 due to lack of financial resources because it did not attract enough visitors. The Port-Museum opens again at the beginning of the year 2 000, with a more important budget ,see webpage and photo above. Here is the port Rhu

douarnenez

douarnenez

New halls (the Halles) were built in Douarnenez in 1871 at the site of a previous building that had become too cramped; Built on the floor, they were raised one story at the beginning of the 1930’s decade to set up the festive hall which opened in 1934; It was decorated by six painters who painted frescoes there. The decor of the festive hall of Douarnenez, above the old halls dating from the 19C, was entrusted, on the initiative of the mayor of the time Daniel Le Flanchec, to six painters: Abel Villard, Robert Paulo Villard , Lionel, Jim Sévellec, Gaston Paul, Maurice Le Scouëzec, who made 16 oils on toile, and were completed in 1938

Tristan Island: Accessible on foot at low tide when the tidal coefficients exceed 90, the island is managed by the Coastal conservatory, accessible to the public only on authorization or on certain days of the year and supervised by a guard. Its exotic garden houses 358 different floral species and protected animal species live on the island like the Quimper snail, the tawny owl or several species of bats.

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The Plomarc’h, natural and historical site: The Plomarc’h are now a protected site of 16 hectares, acquired by the city of Douarnenez, the Department of Finistère and the Conservatoire du littoral. The town maintains a natural space open to the public, which includes in particular an educational farm that breeds farm animals of the Breton races and cultivates among other things black wheat. Afforestation is made up of the traditional trees of the region (chestnut, beech, oak)..

The Church of St. James  (14-15C): Built on the hillside, the church features a nave with 14C arcades, a 15C porch, and a 16C choir. The vault of the choir is adorned with sixteen 16C painted panels retracing scenes of Passion, but only fragments remain. The church contains several ancient statues, including a Piétà (late 17C) on a stone altar.

The Church of the Sacred Heart  in Gothic style, it was built between 1874 and 1877; However, its arrow was only completed in 1939. Its furniture dates back to the end of the 19C.

douarnenez

The Chapel of St. John at Tréboul dates from the 18C, but with a re-use of a previous building dating from the 15C, especially for the windows. Its high altar in polychrome wood dates back to the 18C. It has ancient statues of polychrome wood of the Immaculate Conception, an angel of the Annunciation, two worshipping Angels, Saint John the Baptist, etc. It served as a parish church between 1841 and 1884. Its stained glass windows, set up between 1986 and 1988. A mutilated Calvary dating from the 17C is located at a nearby crossroads.

douarnenez

The Church of St. Herlé of Ploaré (16-18C): The construction of the church began around 1548 as attested by an inscription once visible at the base of the tower; The spire was built in several stages in the course of the 17C. The whole thing is Gothic Cornish style. But the tower and its arrow were rebuilt several times, probably after partial destruction due to lightning, hence their composite character. The sacristy dates from the 18C.

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The Chapelle Saint-Michel is located 50 meters from the Port-Musée and the library; An earlier chapel of the same name is mentioned in 1312, but the present chapel was built between 1663 and 1668 at the site of the house where the preacher Michel le Nobletz had lived; Its baroque-style furnishings, among others a chested column altarpiece, dates back to the 17C. The chapel is best known for the paintings of its panelling which illustrate in 52 panels the taolennoù of Michel Le Nobletz, representing the mysteries, guardian angels, etc.

The Chapel of St. Helena on the Port of Rosmeur dates from the 17C, but was very revamped in the 18C. It comprises a nave of three bays with aisles, a high altar and two side altars with altarpieces dating back to the 18C and numerous statues. Two stained glass windows date from the 16C are probably due to a Spanish artisan

The statue of the Bolomig, at the place Gabriel Péri. This statue, dating from 1860 and overlooking a public fountain, is somewhat the emblem of Douarnenez. Its name originates from Bolomig Tal ar Groas in Breton ( “Little Man of the square of the Cross”, name that was the square at the time). Unbolted in 1932 to make way for parking, it was reinstalled in 1990. This is a copy of the original which is now in the hallway of the City hall of Douarnenez.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and one you should are

City of Douarnenez on heritage

Tourist office of Douarnenez

Tourist office of Brittany on Douarnenez

And there you go another wonderful spot in the Finistére of my lovely Brittany the 3rd most visited region of France after Paris and PACA! Enjoy it

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

October 24, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVI

And here we are cruising on a Tuesday in my lovely sunny cool 64F Morbihan. Time me think for an update on what is going on in the world’s most visited country, my belle France! Oh yes Paris is cloudy at 61F,sorry!

The venerable Opéra Bastille, 30 years already! (Happy birthday, Joyeux anniversaire!)Building a modern and popular opera, radically opposite the Opéra Garnier originally built for the bourgeoisie of the Second Empire so many have mentioned: This was the objective assigned by President Mitterrand to the 757 architects who participated in the international competition launched in February 1983 to build the Opéra Bastille. Winner of the competition, the Uruguyao-Canadian architect Carlos Ott ,and finally opened in 1989.

With 2 745 seats, Bastille is the largest European seated opéra . The  opera room covered with black velvet that absorbs sound, in perfect harmony with the grey granite walls..The most remarkable, it is the ceiling of 700 m2 all in glass that illuminates the room with a very white fluorescent light it is the gigantism of the scene of a surface of 750 m2, lined with a back-stage of the same size and two lateral scenes of 500 m2 Each! Not to mention the rehearsal room of 2 500 m2. All decorated with 22 fire-cut metal curtains weighing 8 tons each. These curtains also serve as an acoustic boundary, which allows to repeat several shows at the same time

On the rue de Lyon side, the building houses the workshops for the production of the scenery of the performances given in Bastille and Garnier. In this factory of 8 000 m2, the small hands of the opera are dealt: sculptors (polystyrene in which are carved some elements of decoration), shoemakers, jewelers, dyers, launderers, Upholsterers… A hundred enthusiasts of great talent who together form a true conservatory of craft arts.

Here is the official webpage: Official Opéra Bastille

New setback for the city of Paris in the banks of the Seine!. Last  Monday, October 15  the Administrative Court of Appeal confirmed the cancellation of the pedestrian use of the quays on the right bank, the flagship measure of mayor Anne Hidalgo,Socialist Party of Paris. In its judgment, the court not only confirms the judgment of the Administrative Tribunal which, on 21 February 2018, cancelled the deliberation passed by the Paris Council on 26 September 2016 to create a pedestrian area in place of the 3.3 km of the Voie Georges-Pompidou (Iéme and 4éme). But the appellate judge goes further by cancelling by way of consequence, the order of Pedestrian use taken by the mayor of Paris on October 18, 2016. Ok so enough of changing Paris! In French here! Administrative Court of Appeals Paris

Something useful. Pierrick Bourgault  is the author of a small guide that lists more than 200 bars in activity in the capital. Genius under the stars. This is the name of a hotel bar… Ibis, which will make you change your mind about Ibis hotel bars, says Mr. Bourgault. It has a huge terrace with large trees and guinguette and a charming indoor garden, built in the spirit of the green squat. To listen to jazz in an unexpected place. 15 rue Bréguet (11éme). More info on the book here on the FNAC: Pierrick Bourgault Paris book

Anecdote: Because yes, every 1st of every month is the same thing, you forgot to load your Navigo card! So here you are stuck in a long queue for more than 30 minutes and you are late, once again. Luckily, your boss will be late too! So no stress, you are late and it’s normal in Paris, everyone is late! Yes!!! Just saying…!!!

Boissise-la-Bertrand: A new dam on the Seine to manage the increase in traffic near Melun.77 Seine et Marne. See the picture;nice Levy on the Seine Boissise-la-Bertrand 77

Always looking for new place for your domestic animals ? Good news! Pauline and Sarah, two friends passionate about animals, open the first dog cafe in Paris: Dog District! A la carte, you can enjoy snacks, pancakes, sandwiches, coffee, tea or original drinks with the names of each of Pauline and Sarah’s 9 dogs. You can go to meet the dogs in need of love around a small café, and even decide to adopt one if the coup de coeur was to happen (we will not lie, there is a chance that it happens). Dog District opening end 2018, start 2019.For now more in Facebook: Dogs District Paris

Here it is the largest independent bookstore in Paris, which opens this past  Friday 26 October.  Located in Paris, on the side of the Grands boulevards, precisely at 25, Boulevard Poissonnière, the new and large independent bookshop is very much awaited. And its opening is only a matter of hours. The project is ambitious: on 450 m2, the shop replaces a children’s clothing store. The most: A team of enthusiasts, ready to make you discover their favorites and their favorite books. ICI  Grand boulevards 25, Boulevard Poissonnière More here on site I follow : ICI Grands Boulevards Paris

A bit on some wonderful tree parks that are worth the detour me think,and one that is a must!

L‘arboretum national des Barres, located in Nogent-sur-Vernisson (Loiret 45), is certainly the largest and most illustrious. This domain, created in 1820, by Philippe-André de Vilmorin, son of the founder of the famous Seeds company, brings together over 50 hectares more than 2 600 species and subspecies of the most diverse trees and shrubs .More info here: Arboretum des Barres

Located on the ancient domaine of Louis XIV, the arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup was created much more recently, in the mid-years 1960, by the National Museum of Natural History, for a scientific purpose, planting the trees according to their origin rather than their botanical classification. Since the spring, this vast area of 200 hectares planted with 10 000 trees of 2 500 different species is fully open to the public. Yes not far from my old home , lovely historical place seldom visited by tourists. More here: Arboretum Chevreloup Versailles

And a site to see them all in France: Association of arboretums of France

And now last but not least, the foodies, food , repas apéros, à la table!!! in my belle France and gorgeous Paris! + been and recommended by yours truly = not been but well recommended

Le Scénarium. =Behind the façade of a mysterious couscous specialist, this “speakeasy” (Secret bar) offers its chic decoration and its microphone to all amateurs, musicians of various styles or comedies. 198, rue Saint-Maur (10éme). More here Le Scenarium Paris

Chez Hélène. =A tiny coffee shop in a small street… but that makes them happy. In addition to her stage, the boss makes available instruments! Tenor Sax, Casio organ, amp, guitars… And for the record, the bar has its copy in  Shanghai, arranged by Johnny, the ex-husband of Helen. 43, rue Damesme (13éme). More here: Chez Hélène Paris

Le Connétable. + The frame is responsible for history: This was the former mansion of the Cardinal of Retz. This restaurant-theatre-night bar, open from Monday to Saturday until 05h (5am), welcomes in its vaulted cellar  one or two concerts every evening, or almost. The show listens in silence, as in the theatre. 55, rue des Archives (3éme).More here: Le Connetable Paris

The first place of ephemeral conviviality stamped Ground Control + opened in the city of fashion, quai de Austerlitz, in Paris. The concept? Bars, a dance floor, couches, a new way to apprehend the city in a festive and informal way. Over time, other urban areas were invested, the last being in 2017 the former postal sorting center of the SNCF, 150 years old, located two folds from Gare de Lyon (12éme). And in the bag, there is the opening in November of a new Ground Control on the most beautiful avenue of the world, in Le Galerie 26 at the avenue des Champs Elysées!.  More here and see the pending news of the gallery (le galerie).  Ground Control Paris le Galerie

And if lookig for some good Italian in Paris here are my newest suggestions!

The Roman Giovanni Passerini ,who became known at the Gazzetta and in its micro-table Rino-serves in its corner restaurant delicious fresh pasta embellished with bold sauces (pici with octopus stew, marinated cuttlefish and friarielli; Casarecce with turbot, asparagus and oregano; Ravioli of guinea fowl, poultry juice and Bottarga) Restaurant Passerini. = 65, rue Transverse (12éme). Tel.: 01 43 42 27 56. Every day except  Sun, Mon. and Tue. Formulas: 26 to €48 (lunch). Menu carte  approx. 40-70 €.

The stand of Riccardo Ferrante . (see above Ground Control) Which daily makes tasty fresh pasta from a variety of ancient organic wheat from Abruzzo (the solina, which gives its name to the resto) and seasonal products. Casarecce All’amatriciana, three cheese ravioli, gnocchetti with violet broccoli and hazelnuts… worthy of the best transalpine trattorias! To be enjoyed on one of the large guest tables, under the hall of 4500 m2.  Solina à Ground Control. 81, rue du Charolais (12éme). Open every day except Mondays. Menu Carte aprox. 15-20€. More here Solina pasta Ferrante Paris

Calling in this canteen run on two floors, little sister of Deux fois plus de Piment (11éme) and big sister of Cinq fois plus de Piment (3éme). After tasty pork ravioli, we attack excellent sichuanaises noodles (beef, chopped pork or seafood), served in a spicy sauce with varying degrees (to be chosen on a scale from 0 to 5). Level 1 is enough to awaken the most hardened papilla. To taster beware… Trois Fois Plus de Piment. + 184, rue Saint-Martin (3éme). Tél.+33 (0) 6 52 66 75 31. Open every day except Mondays Menu carte aprox  10-15€.More info here : Trois fois plus de Piment Paris

And that’s all folks!! for now in the Frenchie waves with a Breton twist. Enjoy your week, mine is cruising already thinking where for next weekend!

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

 

 

 

October 24, 2018

Lannion, a re visit to the north!

I come back to you to another find in my lovely Brittany. This time again I go up north to the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 and the pretty city of Lannion. Big world one of my co workers is a native!

The origin of the name Lannion comes from “Lann”, which designates a religious establishment created by the Bretons of the High Middle Ages.

The city of Lannion is served by a four-lane road connecting it to Guingamp on the N12 (Paris-Brest). From a TGV station in low season, the TGV provides a connection on Friday evening from Paris with a return to the capital on Sunday evening. In high season, a rotation per day is ensured in addition to the weekend’s service. The high-speed line “Le Mans-Rennes”, opened in 2017, will allow to earn 40 min on average on the journey to Paris from the stations of Plouaret and Lannion. The station is also, served daily by the local TER Bretagne trains. Lannion is located at 35 km from Guingamp; 84 km from Brest; 166 km from Rennes; and 515 km from Paris.

Lannion is a bridge town on the Léguer river. The proximity to the mouth of the Léguer makes the river level in the city center different from several meters depending on the tides. This feature allowed the establishment of a forjd in the most remote times at the level of the bridge of Kermaria, point where the influence of the tides stops as you can see near the rue Saint-Christophe-le-Passer. A dam allows to hold the water brought in by the rising tide and to release it in an artificial path at a descending tide.

Lannion

A bit of history I like

The numerous megaliths in the region testify to its ancient past, not to mention the flints, axes and polished stones belonging to the prehistoric ages. Near Lannion the Tumulus de la Motta contains precious metal jewelry. The menhir of the Crec’h in Servel and that of Saint-Patrice, also called the Menhir of Righteousness (by the rue des Fréres Lagadec, included in a wall), are in fact two Gallic stelae. The second was Christianized.

The first dam used as a fish trap built in Servel, 190 meters long, formed of piles connected by wooden strips, with triangular platforms anchoring the structure in the sand and also serving as breakwaters, was built between 613 and 615 ( These dates were found thanks to the dating of the oak wood  used for its construction in the estuary of the Léguer river. At a descending tide, the fish were trapped in the reservoir.  Lannion is involved, during the Hundred Years War and the war of the Succession of Brittany.

Things to see

The Church of Saint-Jean-du-Baly, with its tower of 1519 and the vault of its nave restored in 2003 is one of the highlights of visiting this town in my opinion but there is more. The Church  is nicknamed Notre-Dame until about 1625. This Church replaced the Chapel depending on the Castle of Lannion and dedicated to Saint Eloi. The Church was built in the 14C and later renovated in the 15C and 16C. Then, again  in the 17C, by the addition of a small sacristy.  Some of the highlights inside are the Calvary dated 1867 , a Sundial dated 1668, the  altarpiece of the Rosary  and several portraits such as that of the Virgin, St. Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena ,also, St. Anne and St Mary and St. Joseph and the child Jesus. The master Altar dated 1787,  altarpiece of the Sacred Heart, Chapel of Death (altarpiece),  the pulpit dates from the 17C. The figures of the rim of the cupola represent the evangelists: a man for Matthew, a lion for Mark, an ox for Luke and an eagle for John.  The Church ,also has a beautiful series of six stained glass windows Arts Deco style, set up between 1925 and 1930. They are due to Henri-Marcel Magne, also the stained glass painter for the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre Paris, and they were made by the workshops of the Church in Paris. Their restoration was completed in 1999.

The Chapel of Collège Saint-Joseph, built from 1935 to 1938 . in the filiation of the Seiz Breur. The Church of Brélévenez, and its staircase of 142 steps that leads to the bottom of the city. The other Churches: Sainte Marguerite in Buhulien, Saint Ivy in Loguivy-lès-Lannion, Saint Pierre in Servel. Also, the Saint Roch Chapel, 15-16C. The Ursuline Convent. The monastery of Sainte-Anne transformed partially fin 2006 into a media library, the several half-timbered houses.

The Château du Cruguil, 15C you can see it in Summers. This former residence of the family of Lannion was transformed into a farmhouse from the 17C. In the 19C, the castle passed through the marriage of the last of Lannion to the family of Mac-Mahon, who transmitted it at the end of the 19C to the Earl of Lur-Saluces whose daughter married Baron Édouard Hainguerlot, former mayor of Brélevenez. It has been in this family since.

The Château de Kerivon D65  road in private hands but to look on the outside, the Manoir de Langonaval, 15C, you can visit in Summers. Le Manoir de Kerprigent, exterior visitable by appointment.  Lannion also has two superb beaches to Beg Léguer and two mooring sites offering 176 boat places.

The  Maison du Chapelier or hatters 16-17C, located at No. 29, Place Général Leclerc is something to stop and closer look. This house, which for a long time was millinery, replaces a house destroyed during the wars of the League. It was rebuilt in 1646. Antother one located at No. 31,  contains caryatids carved in the style of Henri IV and replaces an old house mentioned by an act dated 02 June 1444 in the renter of the factory of Saint Jean du Baly!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of Lannion on heritage

Tourists office of North Brittany on St Jean du Baly Church

Hope it helps you enjoy this area, nice and coastal pretty towns abound. Great for a weekend getaway and we are always looking for that !!

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

October 19, 2018

Some news from France CXCXV

So let me take a break from my lovely Brittany ! if I can . So I can update you on my belle France and especially on my romantically beautiful exciting Paris! Ok ok I am not going into the poetic me, anyway I probably fail in that dept but will bring you up to date on the events and my ramblings in the city of lights and love!

The weather is sunny nice almost like Summer here now at 65F or about 15C… about the same at Paris! Did I need to tell you the weekend !!glorious and ready to step out again into my Brittany love.

Palais d’Iéna Suspension historique.  A century of abstract sculpture (1918-2018) from the unprecedented angle of the aerial suspension, it is the exhibition not to be missed at the Palace of  Iéna. Some fifty works signed by the greatest (from Alexander Calder to Sol LeWitt) mingle in this grandiose architecture of Auguste Perret. Until 28 October 2018. More here Le CECE palais d’Iéna Paris

Orphée et Eurydice. Version Berlioz.  It is indeed the score prepared by the French composer in 1859 for the resumption of Gluck’s opera by the famous soprano Pauline Viardot: He then fixes a few verses which he denounces the silliness and proceeds to some improvements of the narrative. But to these reshuffles, Raphael Pascal has added his own. At the opening festive and luminous,disconnected from the drama to come. Do not miss this production of the opera of Gluck at the Opera Comique Hall Favart . More here Opera Comique Paris

Les Journées des plantes de Chantilly at the Domaine de Chantilly awaits 200 exhibitors: nurserymen, collectors, landscapers, plant professionals, horticultural associations, sellers of accessories and tools… From collection plants to great classics, lectures, animations, green hands will find their happiness. From Friday 19 October to Sunday 21 October 2018 from 10h to 18h. admission from 12€ to 20€. More here Flower Show at Chantilly

La Dame de cœur, le son et lumière from Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, comes up to October 25 2018. Centenary of the Armistice obliges, the story happens at the end of WWI, on a battlefield. In the Twilight, a meeting is established: that of a young French nurse and an American dying soldier. The Soldier’s dream? Discover Notre-Dame, which he has never been able to visit.  From this tragic starting point, starts a festival of lights and colors, where the paintings follow one of the most famous Parisian monuments. The great lady is adorned with a thousand motifs that marry her rich façade, and seems to come to life before our eyes. Magic! Forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.  15 meetings up to October 25 2018 from 19h30 to 21h30. Free event ,more here:    Sounds and LIghts from Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

As part of the 50th anniversary of the disappearance of the Franco-Japanese painter Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita, a free exhibition, organised from October 20 2018  to January 13  2019, highlights his “great compositions” and makes them dialogue with art Contemporary. Tuesday to Saturday from 14h to 18h, Sunday from  14h  to 18h30. Château du Val Fleury at Gif-sur-Yvette. Free admission. More here :  Expo on Foujita

Meaux Beach, in Seine-et-Marne, is the only licensed and supervised whitewater bathing site in Île-de-France region! And my dear late wife Martine native town!. It is advisable to park behind the extended Quai Jacques-Prevert, in the parking lot located at the entrance to Avenue de la Marne. The beach is less than a five minute walk away. For snacks to eat try the captain’s Guinguette, where are offered aperitif baskets (7 euros) or formulas (main dish, dessert and drink at 13 euros) to be enjoyed on a covered terrace. With the Marin d’eau douce , you can rent electric boats without a permit for walks upstream of the Marne (40 euros per hour for five people).  More info here:   Swim by the Marne at Meaux

In Paris, they are trying to clean up the waters of the Seine and Marne river to open more beaches along them from now until 2025. An ambitous plan that I will keep you updated.

 

And now the coup , Pay to enter Paris? Builds on the experiences of London (UK), Stockholm (Sweden) and Singapore. 2,50€ per vehicle per day in a city of more than 100 000 inhabitants; 5€ in cities of more than 500 000 inhabitants and 10 euros maximum for heavy vehicles!!!  . This is already in London and has not lowered emissions still very high there but different rules now In London, if a motorist wants to access the London center between 7h  and 18h. from Monday to Friday, he must pay a fixed rate of 11.50 pounds, or 13 euros, regardless of the number of trips between the area and its exterior. Weekends, bank holidays, evenings and nights are free. In Stockholm, it is another system: every passage from 6h30. to 18h30 from Monday to Friday is paid but is capped at 10 kroner per day or 11 euros. The rate also varies depending on the timetable, to encourage you to take your car during off-peak hours. Every month, the bill is sent to the taxpayer. In London, residents of the area benefit from 90% discount. Electric cars are exempt as well as buses and taxis. Stockholm on its side is much less complacent with its motorists but the toll is tax deductible for those who do more than two hours a day by taking their car to get to their work instead of taking public transport. These two European capitals do not tax the cars of disabled people, the police cars or even the ambulances. London and Stockholm use automatic optical recognition systems for effective registration plates; In the English capital, 646 cameras were installed. They analyze 650 000 images of plaques per day. The authorities then send the bill to the motorists.  Singapore is with another device. Motorists have a coder box  in their car. As soon as they want to access the city center, they insert a prepaid card and the box communicates with the terminals installed at the entrances of the zone. Still in the Asian city-state, they project for 2020 is to use a GPS system that would geo locate the cars and calculate the distances travelled to adapt the tariffs  And the beat goes on with the car. This is the way to say as it is elsewhere why not here !! .Drive in Paris now Driving in Paris France

An American tourist was arrested on Thursday, at the entrance to the Château de Versailles, for using a drone to take pictures of the monument. It was a little over 12h30 in the afternoon, when the security PC of the castle alerted the police after noticing a man who was using a drone in the place d’Armes, in order to take shots, which is forbidden by law. On-site officials brought the tourist, aged 39, to the police station . Keep aware of the laws, do not do this ever ;ask if photos permitted etc do as the French do , period. So mad my former home is nice do not touch it !!! News in Le parisien newspaper, history of the city of Versailles  City of Versailles heritage

I also deplore the disappearance of the playground of the Jeux du Poussins Luco (game of chicks luco), in the Jardin du Luxembourg, where the small Parisians could bellow  more than half a century  on a Tyrolean and mute their families under the ramies of the Luco. I called the Senate (owner of the premises): Believing me reassure, they told me that the dealer family for fifty years has not been renewed (strange, right?) But that there would be new operators in March 2019, after six months of work, with games much more interactive. Sadly. Where Paris is going!!! The owners are the French Senate! Senate of France Jardin du Luxembourg

A bit of a nice seldom known event but nice again…The music festival is back in the Orangerie of the departmental estate of Sceaux until June 2019. The small nights of Sceaux have existed since 2011. More here Festival Orangerie at Sceaux

The Maison de Victor Hugo, Place des Vosges, Paris invites all to discover an unpublished exhibition of the political and literary cartoons of the author of the Misérables (wretches), published in the press between 1830 and 1885. To be seen until January 6, 2019. Exhibition caricatures, Hugo on the one. Maison de Victor Hugo. 6, Place des Vosges (4éme). Open Tuesday to Sunday and from 10h to 18h. Admission 8€. More here:    Maison Victor Hugo Paris

Trick or treat is coming; kids be ready, I will join you!!! Halloween!!!  One of the popular event for the kids and mine younger did participated at St Cyr l’école (Yvelines 78).  Pumpkin Feast (Halloween) at Gally Farms at both locations Sartrouville and St Cyr l’école.  From October 26-31 2018. More here:  Ferme de Gally St Cyr l’école

With Peur sur le Parc or fear on the park at the Parc Asterix and the Halloween Festival in Disneyland Paris, you can play to scare yourself. Activities for all ages, metamorphosed attractions and parades, scary shows and encounters to give you goose bumps. The perfect place to have a good time and a little ruffling during Halloween 2018 season. They are great did participated with my boys ,and still brings the kid in me as well. Enjoy them

Parc Astérix. Plailly (Oise dept 60).Until November 4  2018.  More info here : Parc Asterix fear on the park

Disneyland Paris. Marne-la-Vallée (Seine-et-Marne 77).Until November 4 2018. More info here  Disneyland Paris Halloween Festival

Some off the beaten path sites in Paris

To go to this Cathedral is a journey. I loved this sensation, the quality of silence, this distance that one can suddenly take with the outside, with our Lives . Some off the beaten path beauties of Paris; the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky. 12, rue Daru (8éme) More info here: Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Paris

The wonderful  parc Monceau of my days in Paris, It’s a green lung of Paris that reminds me of so many souvenirs, the pony rides for the boys, the rides, the swings. It is very big… it is a real pleasure to walk there. Parc Monceau. 35, Boulevard de Courcelles (8éme).More info here from the city of Paris :  City of Paris on Parc Monceau

A great cheese maker and an excellent baker. This is real living in my belle France and nothing beats a local market. The products are always fresh, sorted on the shutter , see it at the covered market or Marché couvert des Ternes. 8, rue Lebon (17éme). More info here from the city of Paris:  City of Paris on the market of Ternes

When a room full of spectators responds present, it is enthusiastic, it feels like a surfer who overcomes a wave. It’s exhilarating. And then, we must salute the quality of their programming  See the wonderful little Théâtre Tristan-Bernard. 64, rue du Rocher (8éme). More at Theater Tristan Bernard Paris

Caravage à Rome, Amis et Ennemis ( From Caravage to Rome friends and enemies) All the beauty up to January 28 2019 at the  Musée Jacquemart-André.158, bd Haussmann (8éme). A wonderful work indeed in a very nice museum. More here: Museum Jacquemart-André Paris

Mary Poppins à la Philharmonie. Wonderful in Paris. For the first time, the famous Disney film is presented in Ciné-concert. A perfect opportunity to rediscover in family this sparkling musical with timeless themes.  November 3 and 4, 2018. At the Paris Philharmonic (19éme) More info here Philarmonie de Paris on Mary Poppins

And to finish with the culinary arts of France, tops!

An old favorite especially when my trips to Switzerland were often and rejuvenated indeed. The Rostang family takes over the spectacular institution of Gare de Lyon and celebrates Lyonnaise and Mediterranean recipes. The LeTrain Bleu (blue train) is a gastronomic restaurant in the neo-Baroque style and Belle epoque of the 1900’s located in the lobby of Paris-Gare de Lyon train station in the 12éme arrondissement of Paris. The restaurant re-opened its doors on September 12th, 2014. The kitchens have been fully modernized. All the decorations and frescoes have been cleaned, restored, the walls repainted and the gilding ironed back to the gold leaf. The parquet floors and all the furniture were redone identical, however the club Chesterfield armchairs of the lounges were not kept. New armchairs and seats and chairs now have the new blue color.  On the ground floor the brewery was previously transformed into a musical bar. More on it here: Le Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon Paris

A street kitchen with pepper and salt on the left bank, where the market Saint-Germain proves that in these neighborhoods Blondin and two glasses of the street of thirst, starts to kindly open the mouth. Potato Tortilla: Well at the rebound. Iberians croquettes: Sharp. Wagyu: Biting . My latest gamble and it was great as usual in romantic Paris. Le Café du Marché. 6, rue Lobineau (6éme).Tél. +33 ( 0) 1 42 02 77 20. Open every day except Sunday dinners and all Mondays ; closest metro/subway/tube is Saint-Germain-des-Prés. More here : Le Café du Marché

Enjoy my belle France , all of it. And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 16, 2018

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXVIIII

And here I am on a Fall week of October at home and thinking where I am in the world map. So many places visited already 81 countries, and lived in 5, and citizen of 4, and several languages like 4 so why this small town of Pluvigner in the Morbihan breton of Brittany, France.

Pluvigner

Well it goes without saying, my best living as yet and enjoying it fully. This is history and love it, quaint streets building of historical value right in the cross roads of the Morbihan equidistance almost from good size cities like Lorient and Vannes and Pontivy; along major roads and close by TGV available train stations, local and departamental bus lines and all the amenities of a small town with all the trimmings. The city center is at 31 km from Lorient and 27 km from Vannes

So , this is Pluvigner, and what is it? Well I have written on many of its sites before, but this is about history after I am an amateur of history . I have membership in the local heritage association that tries to preserve and enhance history and architecture. Their webpage is here: Heritage association of Pluvigner

The town city hall page on history/heritage in French is here: City of Pluvigner on heritage

A bit of the very old history.

Pluvigner comes from the Breton “Ploe” (parish) and “Guigner “, a Breton Saint. The story of Pluvigner begins in the 5C with the installation at the place called “the Moustoir ” by Guigner, son of an Irish king named Clyton. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity despite the opposition of his parents. Hunted by his father, he left for the Armoric where King Audren offered him a place to establish his hermitage. On the death of his father, King of Ireland, he went to his native country. Guigner, still known as Prince Fingar, had his head cut off in the year 455 by a man named Hengist, King of the Angles.

Pluvigner is a primitive parish which included Pluvigner and its truce Bieuzy-Lanvaux, the territories of Landaul and Landévant, as well as part of the territory of Camors (the southern third). The parish of Pluvigner is attested in 1259 in the form “Ple Guinner ” and in 1325, 1337 in the form “Pleu-Vingner “. A community of the Sisters of Wisdom settled in the city center on January 27, 1774, following an epidemic.

Pluvigner belongs first to the jurisdiction of the barony of Lanvaux until 1238, then is awarded to the Cistercian abbey of Lanvaux and finally to the Collegiate Church of St. Michael. Pluvigner was erected in a town in 1790. The following appellations are found: Pleuvigner (1427), Pluvigné (1448), Plevigner ( 1464, 1477, 1481), Ploevignier (1536).

In the 5C, lived Saint Guigner, son of one of the many kings of the Hibernie. Converted by Saint Patrick, he came to settle, with several compatriots, in the Armoric (name given to this area by the other side of Brittany or British). Back in his homeland, he renounced the throne left vacant by his father, and went into the insular Cornouaille, to work on the conversion of the infidels; There he gathered the palm of martyrdom around the year 455. The Bretons, who came to settle here in the 6C, adopted him as patron, either in remembrance of his sojourn in the country or for another cause. If they did not bring with them, from the very beginning, relics of the Saint, they obtained it later, because in the 18C one still possessed two femurs and two arms of the Holy man.

When the districts were abolished in 1800, Pluvigner passed through the arrondissement of Lorient; At the reshuffle of the cantons, in 1801, he retained its title as chief-jurisdiction and acquired Landaul and Landévant. One of the beautiful feasts of the parish is the Baniélo, where the numerous relics and banners that are preserved there are in procession. In 1887, Pluvigner was enriched with a young girls ‘ orphanage founded in Bieuzy; A Chapel was built dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Pins (1891).

The feudal jurisdiction of Pluvigner belonged almost entirely to the barons of Lanvaux. After the confiscation of 1238, she passed to the Duke of Brittany. This one gave a part to the abbey of Lanvaux around 1250, and a larger part to the collegiate Church of St. Michael in 1383. Later, in 1563, the monks of Saint-Michel alienated their fief from Pluvigner ,and was offered to Mr. René de Malestroit, Lord of Ker and Kerambourg. The latter, soon finding his market unfavourable, sued the sellers and teased the monks of Lanvaux for their share of jurisdiction in Pluvigner. One of his successors, Andre de Robien, RMS. De Kerambourg, formally contested, from 1684, the jurisdiction of the Abbey of Lanvaux in Pluvigner, and began against the religious an unfair trial, which extended for a century, before Parliament and before the Council of the King. Mr. De Robien claimed to be the only lord of Pluvigner, and he had the audacity to remove from the parish church the arms of the King, successor of the dukes, and to substitute his own; But a ruling of the Council of State put it in order in 1731. Besides the small fief of Lanvaux-Pluvigner, the monks of the abbey still had that of Broel since 1516, and they also saw it challenged by the family of Robien.

The Church of Saint-Guigner (16C). Our Lady of Nettles, (Notre Dame des Oties) in the village, touches the parish church and communicates with her through the sacristy. It has the form of a Latin cross; The transepts are shallow and seem older than the rest of the monument. The choir is square; On each side, two arched arcades, now clogged, imply the primitive existence of two collateral. The square of the transept is separated from the nave by three arches, one large and two small, in warhead, worn on polygonal pillars. The windows are ogival, and the fire and trilobed mullions. A chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Nettles (1426 ) it is now ruins of arches left of this Church next the town’ s Church of Saint Guigner.

Pluvigner

Other Chapels in the city are

The Chapelle Saint-Adrien (15C) Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Fatima-aux-Granges (1895), Chapelle Saint-Colomban or Saint-Colombier (1453) ,Chapelle Saint-Mériadec (11C), Chapelle Saint-Guy or Guyon (circa 1600) , Chapelle Sainte-Brigitte (16-17C),Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde or Mercy (17C). Chapel of the Trinity (end of the 15C), Chapelle de Saint-Bihui (1593) The Chapel of Saint-Goal (17C),Chapel of Saint-Fiacre, in ruins in 1888, and rebuilt in the 19C. The ancient Chapel of St. Guénaël, rebuilt at the end of the 19C in an isolated place and mentioned in 1930, nearest to me.

Also, the Fontaine Saint-Guigner (1526). The set includes a three-basin wash house ,the Fontaine Notre-Dame-de-la-Misericorde or Mercy. And the Château de Rimaison (before 18C), rebuilt with stones from an older château (now a restaurant creperie but the chapel still intact). The Chateau of Keronic (1426). Siege of an ancient lordship called Queronic or Keronic ; Château de Kerlois (15C), located on the Sainte-Anne road and transformed in the 17C. The old castle of Tancarville (located in the former spawning of Trelecan). The lordship belonged to the family of Lanvaux. The private chapel which was enlarged in the 15C, then restored in 1640, is dedicated to Saint-Fiacre and seems dated from the 12C. You can see a 15C altarpiece; The Manoir du Guern (circa 18C), which served as a presbytery. It is made up of a large body of dwelling. There is a small oratory with an 18C wooden altar surmounted by the statues of Saint Yves and Saint Vincent Ferrier; The steles of Pluvigner and Cosquéric (Iron Age). A dozen stones have been listed on the territory of the town of Pluvigner.

Pluvigner

Pluvigner

Pluvigner

As you might be able to tell the town Of Pluvigner is full of historic monuments and rich architecture even if it is a small town of just over 7K folks! Enjoy as I do!

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

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