Archive for October, 2018

October 31, 2018

Legion of Honor Museum, Paris!

And as the week goes on, and the wintery weather continues chez nous but even worse in the south of France, I like to bring you back into the capital city, the eternal Paris.

There are no words to describe the city, why bothered , millions have try and there is always something new.  And , there is always something old seldom seen or off the beaten path of Paris. This is the case of the Musée National de la Legion d’Honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, something like the National Museum of the legion of honor and the orders of chivalry.


I have to admit, never thought of coming here until my oldest son got a training job on his restaurant degree at the House of Polytechnicians (Maison des Polytechniciens) nearby (often call the X) , and even after trips to the Musée d’Orsay never had ventured here before. Well so much to see even if living here ,there is always more and more, more lots more to see. The webpage of the X for the curious is here:  Maison des Polytechniciens

The National Museum of the Legion of Honour and orders of Chivalry , a national Museum of Art and History dedicated to the orders of chivalry and merit, decorations and medals, both French and foreign. It is located in the Hotel de Salm in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris, right across from the Orsay Museum.

The museum was created on the initiative of General Dubail, Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour, and financed by an open subscription among the legionaries and military medalists, whose success was particularly keen in the United States. It was inaugurated in 1925. The initial nucleus of the collections, composed of the Grand Chancellery Fund, of National Museum deposits, have been added, over time, to numerous donations of collectors , but also donations made by foreign States in order to complete the existing collections , finally prestigious purchases and items.

The museum occupies a modern wing built between 1922 and 1925 on the site of the former stables of the Hotel de Salm, overlooking the forecourt of the Musée d’Orsay. The museum presents its permanent collections on several levels, in thematic areas dedicated to: the history of the palace and the creation of the museum, the chivalrous and religious orders, the French royal orders,  the Legion of Honor, Imperial orders and memories of the first Empire, foreign orders, and  the French orders, decorations and medals of 1789 to the present day.

It is to this day, the only museum dedicated to the Phaleristics ( an auxiliary science of history which studies orders, fraternities, and award items such as medals and other decorations). The museum regularly organizes large-scale exhibitions, as well as exhibits of interest in orders, decorations and medals.

The Society of Friends of the National Museum of the Legion of Honor and orders of Chivalry was founded in 1970. More info here:

The Association of Ancient Hereditary Honors (AHH), is a non profit association created in 1967 that brings together in a friendly circle families of which at least three consecutive generations were received in the Order of the Legion of Honor. More info here:

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and more information to have are

official legion of honor museum

Tourist office of Paris on the legion of honor museum

And one very much on the museum and all over France, Napoleon official family webpage today on the museum of the legion of honor: Napoleon organisation on the legion of honor museum

There you go another nice spot to visit while in Paris, and it should be given more recognition indeed, and more it is so close to the Orsay museum , it should be a 1-2 punch.

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

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October 30, 2018

The other side of Saint Anne d’Auray

This again is a town I go often in fact almost every day passing from or to work , and of course visited and spent many times there with the family. It is hugely a religious town of great significant in Brittany at least, so since written so much on it in my blog I like to tell a bit more on the town and not the Basilica. This is Sainte Anne d’Auray in my Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany of course!

Sainte-Anne-d’Auray is a town in the Morbihan department 56 in the region of Brittany,and only 11 km from my house. The Breton name is Santez Anna Wened.

Sainte Anne d’Auray is the main pilgrimage site of Brittany. It has been like this since 1625,when the faithful came to commemorate the apparition of Saint Anne, mother of Mary , and maternal grandmother of Jesus Christ, to local farmer Yves Nicolazic (his native house preserved below photo). Every summer, on 26 July, a pilgrimage takes place: The pardon of St. Anne. is famous for its Catholic pilgrimage in honor of St. Anne. Pope John Paul II came on a pilgrimage on September 20, 1996 , first visit of a Pope in Brittany.


There are various memorial to the Fallen here along statues of Sainte Anne and plaque commemorating the visit by Pope Johnn Paul II.

st anne d auray

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray, built from 1922 to 1932 by the five dioceses of Brittany to keep the memory of  the 240 000 Breton victims of WWI. The Rotunda that supports the slenderness of eight arcades is crowned of a sarazinoised helmet roof that dominates a lace cross. The dome houses a monolithic altar in pink granite from Ploumanac’h. The door is framed by two great granite bas-reliefs representing the protective arms of the allegories of victory and peace. The burial crypt is organized in 5 apsidioles arranged in chapels for the 5 dioceses of Brittany. New conflicts having grieving the country since 1932, a mausoleum was placed in the center of the crypt, dedicated to all the dead of all wars. The symbolic tombs of the missing sailor and infantryman, are guarded by Saint Michel, patron of France, and Saint Yves, patron of Brittany.

The whole story in French here: Memorial story on journals in French

st anne d auray

The nécropole nationale de Sainte-Anne-d’Auray is a French military cemetery there are graves of fallen soldiers during the war of 1870, WWI, WWII and the War of Indochina. The necropolis was created in 1959.  In 1960-1961, the bodies of soldiers killed during WWII   exhumed from the military squares of the communal cemeteries of Brittany, Poitou and the Pays de la Loire were buried in this necropolis. In 1983-1984, it was the remains of soldiers who died during WWI exhumed from the military squares of the communal cemeteries of Brittany, which were grouped together with the bodies of Belgian soldiers who died during WWI and previously buried in Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy. In 1988, the remains of Belgian soldiers buried during the war of 1914-1918 in Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées were transferred to this necropolis as well. With an area of 1.7 hectares, the national Necropolis has 2 106 burials of soldiers who died in hospitals in western France of injuries or illnesses contracted during the wars of 1870, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. It is the only national necropolis located in Brittany. The ossuary is located under a menhir dedicated to the fallen of all wars.

Official gov roads of memories on memorial of Sainte Anne d’Auray

Govt of Morbihan in pdf on the memorial of Sainte Anne d’Auray

st anne d auray

Something from the past still very much in evidence of this of most glorious town. The monument of the Count of Chambord erected in 1891 in memory of Henri d’Artois, the Count of Chambord  last Bourbon pretender to the crown of France. During the attempt to restore Henri V, a pilgrimage was organized by the Royalists from the west of France to Sainte Anne d’Auray to pray for the return of the king to the throne. The latter is held every year on 29 September, the anniversary of the birth of the prince, until his death in 1883. The monument consists of a summit statue of the Comte de Chambord, depicted on his knees and in coronation attire, placed on a granite pedestal. On the sides of it are the statues of all the Saints such as Jeanne d’Arc, on the front, and Saint Geneviève, at the back, as well as the Bayard Knights on the left and Du Guesclin on the right.

Official Royalist on the memorial of Count of Chambord

st anne d auray


The Musée de cire, l’Historial or the wax museum, the Historial; This museum traces, through various scenes, the origins of the Pilgrimage, the life of Yves Nicolazic, the apparitions of St. Anne, mother of Mary, and her miracles, the origin of the Great Breton Pilgrimage. The last scene, carried out by the Musée Grévin de Paris, presents the pope surrounded by 5 Breton children, winking at the visit of John Paul II to Sainte Anne d’Auray on September 20 1996. It is a total reconstruction of the origins of the pilgrimage, etc, under the reign of king Louis XIII.  I passed by it almost every day but not been inside yet, goes without saying. More info here:

Official Wax Museum of St Anne d’Auray

Académie de Musique et d’Arts Sacrés or the   Academy of Music and Sacred Arts which carries a magnificent cultural project and the musical animation of the site with its choirs, its music (great organ of Cavaillé-Coll). The Breton culture is endowed with a long musical, artistic and religious tradition which is expressed in particular by the pardons. This tradition has been celebrated fervently, since the 17C in Sainte-Anne of Auray. Academy of Music and Sacred Arts has been established since 1999. It is then founded under the name Center of Sacred Music. A veritable bridge between art, culture and faith, it seeks to bring to life and transmit this sacred Breton heritage, rich in music and singing, dance, customs, art objects and creations. Again passed right in front of it almost every day but not been inside yet lol! Official webpage here:

Official Acadamy of Music of Sacred Arts

City of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the academy

And will give you a couple more webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must not just for the religious significance but the architectural,history,and knowledge of the Breton culture.

City of Sainte Anne d’Auray on heritage

Tourist office of the Auray region on Sainte Anne d’Auray

And there you , something different to see in a city surrounded by Sainte Anne, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus, patron Saint of Brittany!

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




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:

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:

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:

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:

Show on November 24th at 18h Free. Registration at email: A call for donations is being made for the funding of this unique representation here:

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:

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:   :

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:

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 30, 2018

The Churches of Auray!

And on a very cold Sunday , we have 7C and sunny of course…. I take you to a Sunday event, talk about Churches. In France we have thousands, and Brittany leads the way been one of the most if not the most traditional region of France. I happened to have inititally lived here in Auray a historical town of many nations and with plenty of Churches. Some main pictures as others are spread all over previous posts.

I have written many posts on Auray and bits on them, but believe a full post on just the Churches is merité n’est pas? So,therefore, here they are , the Churches of Auray! Oh yes of course in the Morbihan dept 56!!! mine!!! I moved but only by 12 km ::)

Auray well again needless to tell you I used to lived here when initially moved from Versailles ,Yvelines 78 to Brittany. The town is surrounded by the towns of Crac’h to the south and west, Brech to the north, and Pluneret to the east. It is crossed by a small coastal river, the Auray river, which leads into the Gulf of Morbihan. The port of Saint-Goustan is at the bottom of the valley, east of the river. The port of Saint-Goustan is at the origin of the city. It is located on the Auray river, at the most upstream point that can reach the sea ships with the help of the tide. It received high seas vessels until the 19C. It is also a port of Cargo active in the direction of Spain and Great Britain. Its decline as a trading port with the arrival of the railway in 1862. Today it is a marina and a stopover of the tourist circuit of the tour of the Gulf of Morbihan

In the 1950’s, the national road N165 Vannes-Lorient bypasses the center of Auray by the north. In 1989, the construction of the Kerplouz viaduct on the N 165 (voie express) in 4 lanes above the Auray river downstream of Saint-Goustan removes the agglomeration of transit traffic. The train station of Auray is located more than two km north of the city center. This is the station that I take and Vannes  all  my trips to Paris via TGV.

I was going on the history but done that before in other posts so briefly here: Auray is a place name, originating from a Breton name of a person, mentioned for the first time in 1069, Alrae, then in 1168 Alrai, in Breton An Alré.

What Churches are in Auray? well several and will start with the main one.

The Church of St Gildas owes its name to a 12C priory which depends on the Benedictine abbey of the Rhuys Peninsula. It was conceived at the site of the old priory of which combines medieval and baroque styles. The work started in 1623 ,it bears the date of 1636 on the three gables and was consecrated in 1641 ,but is only completed in 1663. The steeple of the three-story square tower was however only completed in 1701, and rebuilt in 1832. The Church is built saddle an elongated plan, with non-protruding transept. The nave consists of three aisles. The western facade consists of a three-level steeple tower surmounted by an octagonal lantern. The south façade is remarkable for its Renaissance-style porch, with three levels with twin columns on the first two levels and a triangular pediment in which the saint’s niche is located. The nave has a level of large arcades resting on columns that rise up to the coffered vault whose double arches are resting on carved bases. The aisles are vaulted in cradle, separated by double arches. The crossing of the transept also receives a vouûte with a cross-box of warheads. The flat choir, vaulted also with caissons, is adorned with a large altarpiece. It dominates the whole city, and will serve as a model in the region.   This Church is a sober building, except for the two porches of Renaissance and Baroque style. Inside you can admire a recently restored 16C Christ-recumbent. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.   The vault is adorned with painted boxes and at the bottom, in the Tribune, the organ of Waltrin dates from 1761.   The whole dates from the 17C 18C, 19C and Baroque style .Located at Place Gabriel Deshayes.



The Chapelle du Saint-Esprit (Holy Spirit). 13C, it is the last vestige of the commandery of the Order of the Holy Spirit of Montpellier. In the 14C, this convent and hospitable house of the Holy Spirit at Auray would have become one of the principals of France, with, under its authority, some fifty foundations. In 1762, Pope Clement XIII abolished the order of the Holy Spirit. The city installed the headquarters of the General Hospital, then, in 1790, a military hospital. At the beginning of the 19C, what remained of the buildings was transformed into a permanent barracks. Important works transformed the chapel as seen before the restoration of 1990-1994. It will take the name of Duguesclin Barracks. The present restitution allows this building to regain its original volumes: a single vessel with five bays and a flat bedside ; an unusual silhouette in Brittany. It is a site of many cultural presentation exhibits etc today. Located at Place du Four Mollet.

Tourist office of Morbihan on Holy Spirit Chapel


Chapelle du Père Éternel (Chapel of the Eternal Father). This Chapel is the last testimony of the convent built from 1644 to welcome the Franciscan sisters. They arrive at Auray in the early 17C to hold a girls’ school. Hunted in 1792 during the French Revolution, the convent and thus the Chapel are abandoned and serve different uses. These monuments retook their original function in 1807 with the arrival of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. The Chapel contains beautiful 18C carved panelling and stalls. Located at Rue du Pére Eternel.

Tourist office of Morbihan on Eternal Father Chapel


The Chapelle Sainte-Hélène , built in the 15C is one of the oldest monuments in the city of Auray. It is known in the course of history under four names: Chapel of Notre-Dame, name under which she was blessed; Chapel of the hospital, in reference to the hotel Dieu which it served; Chapel of the Augustines, name from the hospital nuns in charge of the sick; and Chapelle Sainte-Hélène, name given by the locals to their Chapel. This Chapel contains beautiful 18C carved stalls from the Chartreuse de Brec’h, a 19C altarpiece and woodwork. Open all year round ; Daily from 9h to 12h and from 14h to 17h30, except Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. It holds a Pardon on August 21st at 18h each year. Located at Rue Georges Clemenceau.

Tourist office of Morbihan on St Helene Chapel


Ancient Chapel of the Congregation of men at auray. Its full name is Chapel of the Brothers of the Congregation of Men of the Immaculate Conception . It’s dated from 1672. Only the front is original. Pious craftsmen gathered there to pray to the Virgin. Before going out, observe the Tribune and its central panel. You will see the Rapture of Saint Paul , a work performed around 1672-1678 by Antoine de Bray a Parisian decorator who adorned several halls of the parliament of Brittany in Rennes. Today it welcomes the tourist office, at rue du Lait.

Tourist office of Auray


One of my favorites because of the historical context that it was built and personnage. Charles of Blois was the son of Marguerite de Valois, sister of the king of France Philip VI, great-granddaughter, therefore, of Saint Louis, who had just been placed on the altars. His father, Guy de Châtillon, Count of Blois, was as good a Christian as brave Knight. The old chronicles point out that everything was serious, almost severe in his castle; One could have believed in a monastery rather than in the abode of a lord.

On the conflicts of the War of Succession of Brittany, the quarrels got first to an arbirtration by the king of France. King Philip VI convened his parliament in an extraordinary assembly. In July 1341, the ecclesiastical and secular peers were gathered in the united commission, presided over by the bishops of Noyon and Langres, who travelled to Brittany to study the customs of the country on the spot. The final judgment, after hearing counsel for both parties, was rendered on September 7, 1341. The right of representation was law in Brittany, Jeanne de Penthièvre, daughter of the elder brother of Jean III, inherited from her uncle by him, Charles of Blois was Duke of Brittany!!! The opposing Jean de Montfort did not wish to submit to this sentence, and the war was declared and lasted for more than twenty years!. The death in combat at the Battle of Auray of Charles de Blois ended it. On December 14, 1904, Pope Pius X solemnly recognized that the cult of blessed Charles of Blois had been maintained throughout the centuries. He was beatified then.

The église Charles de Blois  begun to be built in 1929, and consecrated in 1939. Built according to a centered plan, the Church consists of a first vessel that opens onto a wider square space where the cult takes place. The wrong side is adjacent to the west.   Access to the Church is done in the east. It is a gabled façade adorned with Lombard strips. It consists of a portal in full hanger topped with a rose, and has to its left a small steeple. The main steeple is to the west of the building, it is a Cornish steeple. The roof of the building is polygonal on its central part and double slope for the remainder. The side walls are pierced with berries. The district of the train station quickly populated at the beginning of the 20C, a Church became necessary. Léon Chevassu, rector of the parish, decides to built it with private donations. And it is done very nice you can see from the train station of Auray. Located at Place Léon Chevassu.


Another nice one I go often for visits is the Church of Saint-Sauveur located in the Saint-Goustan district of Auray. The Church, whose origin dates back to the 15C (c 1469), was largely destroyed by a fire in 1886. Rebuilt, the Church retains the original portal only. The carved wooden furniture, including the pulpit with a statue of St. Goustan, and the closing of the choir sculpted by Joseph Jegouza in 1929, can be admired. See the model under glass of a boat that received the special prize of the jury category “Ex-Voto” at the national competition of the heritage of the Côtes de France in 1996. Although the Church is under the term of Saint-Sauveur, the district is under the protection of Saint-Goustan, the patron of sailors and fishermen. Saint Goustan was born in Cornwall in 974. Kidnapped by pirates at 18 years old, wounded, he is abandoned on the island of Houat (Gulf of Morbihan) where he owes life only to Providence which provides him with fish which he uses sparingly and which each day reconstitutes (hence his legend and his representation with a fish) and the cures of St Felix, who will convert him to Christianity. He became a monk in 1025, and founded a priory on the island of Hoëdic. He rests with his friars monks in the abbey of Saint Gildas de Rhuys.



On the other side of the street stands the Notre-Dame de Lourdes Chapel of 1878, closed, given a certain fragility. The construction of the Chapel Notre-Dame de Lourdes takes place from the winter of 1874-1875 and probably continues until 1878 (vintage of stained glass) or 1879 (the blessing by the Bishop taking place in November 1879). Victim of a fire in 1886, the structural disorders, visibly still today, are recorded as early as the 1930’s at least. In a Gothic style is currently being restored and it is closed to the public since July 1998. A repair of the roof took place in 1990 and some of the stained glass windows were rehabilitated. The Friends of the work of Saint-Joseph, located in Saint-Pol-de-Léon (Finistère) are trying to raise funds to complete the restoration. More contact info here:  Association Friends of St Joseph


Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip in addition to asking me are

City of Auray on heritage walks

Tourist office of Brittany on Saint Goustan district

There you go, a hugely historical city for USA and Canada as well. A gorgeous old upper city center and a magnificent district of St Goustan in the lower city! Direct trains from Montparnasse Paris , superb! Enjoy it, this is Auray.

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


October 29, 2018

Another beauty at Commana!

And why not continuing with the wonderful parish enclosures of Brittany , a wonderful history trip. These are religious monuments that go beyond religion due to their enormous architecture showing and the huge historical significant to the region of Brittany.

I went out again to see the parish enclosure of Commana, in the Finistére dept 29 of my beloved Brittany. This is my latest take on the town and its parish enclosure.

Commana  is part of the Regional Natural Park of Armorique and benefits from the label “Town of Rural Heritage of Brittany”. It is located on the northern slopes of the Monts d’Arrée and on the Haut-Léon area, on the edge of Cornouaille.  The town is situated on a mound facing the north slope of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée. Two coastal rivers, the Élorn to the west and the Penzé to the east serve as part of limits to the territory, separating Commana from Sizun to the west and Plounéour-Ménez to the east. The mountains of Monts d’Arrée separate Commana from Saint-Rivoal and Botmeur to the south, even if the town boundaries do not coincide exactly with the ridge line; To the north, the boundary with Saint-Thégonnec passes through the plateau of Leon without relying on any notable topographic features.

The name of Commana would come from the words Bretons muc (valley) or Komm (trough) and St. Anne, due to the local tradition, of a trough of stone containing a statue of Sainte Anne which one would have found at the site of the Church (but which would in fact be a Statue of Venus that the inhabitants would have Christianized in Sainte Anne). This would be the origin of the cult of St. Anne in the parish

A bit of history I like

A commandery was created in the 12C at the place called Kaerfornerit by the Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem implanted in the neighboring parish of La Feuillée. Kaerfornèrit, with about twenty outfits, were under the command of the commander; the last of these villages is reported in 1160 as belonging already, to the Knights of Saint John of Jèrusalem; It is called in the Charter “Kaerfornerit in Commana”.

The Bois de la Roche, in Commana, which embraced in its fief the majority of this parish, was formerly of Penhoët; In the 17C, the Lord of the Bois de la Roche acquired the portion of Penhoët stretching into Commana as well as all the other fiefs of this parish which did not belong to him yet, and thus brought together the entire parish, which he called “Seigneury of Commanan” and which he paid homage directly to the king. Note that in a relatively modern era, the manor of the Bois de la Roche in Commana was called Château de Bouvans, named after its last owners.

Commana is on an ancient axis of communication. It seems certain that the Roman road from Carhaix to Plouguerneau is directed by the vicinity of the Huelgoat by Comanna, Guimiliau, Lampaul-Guimiliau. The royal road became the N164 which connected Ancenis to Landerneau, then Brest, whose traditional route passed through Huelgoat, La Feuillée, Commana, Sizun and Landerneau. It was in 1973 that this axis was downgraded to the axis from Carhaix to Châteaulin, now expressway.

Since the 16C at least, the activity linked to flax and hemp, probably thanks to the impulse aroused by the monks of the abbey of Relec located in the neighboring parish of Plounéour-Ménez, has developed in Commana, allowing among other the social ascent of the juloded and the financing of the construction of the parish enclosure. At the end of the 18C, a veritable canvas industry was created in Commana, but the wars of the French revolution and the Empire ruined this nascent industry, which remained until the end of the 19C.

The use of slates has once constituted a very important activity in the Center-Finistère. Confined to the 18C in the vicinity of Châteaulin, it gradually developed eastward following the Aulne Valley and to the north in the Monts d’Arrée mountains, mainly to Commana, Sizun and Plounéour-Ménez . Production reached its maximum level in 1923,, still sought nowadays by historical Monuments renovations. Production reached its peak in the 1950’s to 1960’s, then rapidly declining under the effects of competition from the slate quarries of Trélazé , then foreign, Spanish especially. Today the extraction has stopped.

The monument to the fallen of Commana bears the names of 126 deaths for France of which 119 were from WWI, and 7 during WWII.

Things to see, and the main thing here and a must to see is the Parish Enclosure, a must to see in my Brittany.  The parish enclosure, built around the Church of Saint-Derrien. This architectural ensemble built in the 16-17C is considered one of the most beautiful in Brittany. The Church, the funeral chapel, the enclosure itself, the Calvary and the Arc de Triomphe.

The parish Church of Commana is dedicated to Saint Derrien, a Saint who lived in the 4C.. Legend has it that upon his return from the Holy Land, he rescued Prince Élorn from drowning, who later gave his name to the coastal river. Refusing the land offered in gratitude for this good deed, the Saint demanded from this prince the construction of a Church, that of Commana it was at the end of the 16C, in 1592, that the construction of the parish enclosure of Commana, the Church, was undertaken. Dating back to 1645. It comprises a five-span nave with its lower sides as wide as the central nave. The chorus ends with a three-sided bedside. All naves are panelled in cradle , all in Renaissance architecture style.



This porch was built from 1645. Three dates listed in three different locations allow us to say that it was built in three separate major stages (1645, 1650, 1653). The central niche housing the statue of Saint Derrien is surmounted by a pediment itself topped by a lantern. Inside the porch, twelve niches with balusters form a hedge of honor leading to two doors separated from a thomas with a blessing from wherever it comes, the visitor will be impressed by this steeple, high of 57 meters, perched on one of the highest hills of Leon, at 262 meters above sea level, Supported by eight buttresses adorned with mouldings and cornices, this pointed steeple, straight up to the sky, cohabits with the shale and serrated Roc’h of the ridges of Monts d’Arrée. Overcoming a massive tower, this pointed arrow devoid of pinnacles can only impose a respect for a admiring contemplation. The date, 1592, is engraved at its base.


Dating from the beginning of the 18C (1701), the Sacristy complements the Church harmoniously, integrating perfectly with the rest of the building. The altarpiece of St. Anne is a masterpiece of 17C Baroque art. So complete, accurate and illustrated, it is difficult to describe it. The Church of Commana also houses two other altarpieces that do not possess the beauty of the first. These two altarpieces are that of the Rosary and that of the Five wounds. Located south of the choir, these two altarpieces are based on the same architectural pattern as the altarpiece of St. Anne with a central scene, framed by two niches, all placed under the gaze of the eternal Father.


The Baptismal Chapel dating back to the 18C are located in the northwestern corner of the Church. The baptismal fountain dated 1656, is arranged in the heart of a fluted column, adorned with gadroons and surmounted by a five-part wooden canopy covered by five pilasters which are backed by two cardinal virtues (Justice and Temperance) and the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity). Above the canopy, balusters support the dome overhung by the statue of Jesus holding the Cross, supported by three caryatids. This last work dates from 1683 .


This monumental, Arc de Triomphe overhung by three lanterns is the main entrance to the parish enclosure. Decorated with mouldings carved in stone, it housed up to 1978 two statuettes in the lateral niches. In the past, this triumphal arch was closed to a wrought iron grate dating back to the 18C. It was only open on the occasion of marriage or burial in order to pass the procession, access to the church usually by the steps located on the left of the Arc de Triomphe.


Once crossed the Arc de Triomphe, one finds, immediately on the left, the Reliquary Chapel, improperly called Ossuary. Dated from 1677 to 1687, this building is very sober, includes only one door and four windows each containing a blessed. Only crosses and spiral ramps carved from dragons adorn the façade.


There are two Calvaries in the parish enclosure. The first one located between the Arc de Triomphe and the south porch is dated 1585, however the Cross bears the date of 1742, which suggests that it replaced a cross dating from the 16C. Dating back to 1624, the second Calvary lies more in the cemetery.


Other things to see in Commana are

The covered alley of the Mougau-Bihan, or “Tomb of the Giants” (Neolithic). is a megalithic ensemble composed of 24 large blocks of stone this monument was dated, by comparison, between 3 000 and 2 500 B.C. It is 14 meters long, and consists of juxtaposed granite walls; These pillars are from 1-1.30 meters apart from each other. The horizontal ceiling consists of four almost horizontal slabs, the fifth covering the cell at the north. The 5th Slab does not cover the burial chamber but a terminal cell called “Cella” which overlooks the south. The entrance is located in the north. Its width is less, because it is half closed by a pillar placed obliquely.

The windmills of Kerouat built from 1610 to 1910, the village comprises two water mills and their hydraulic system, the Museum of Fauna and Flora “Art and Nature” of Kervelly This museum allows to discover the animals, the flora and the minerals of the four seasons in the Mountains of Monts d’Arrée.   Fifty-nine Kanndi were recorded on the territory, the laundries in the parishes of Plounéour-Ménez, Commana and Sizun in the 18C. Located in the eponymous village, the Kanndi of Rozonoual, was an ancient property of the monks of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, was restored by the association   “Lichen ” between 2007 and 2013

 The lake of the Drennec gives you possibilities of a water course, artificial beach, pedestrian path, rest areas and picnic, camping of 50 places, tennis and petanque. A restaurant (bar-Crêprerie) is open in season. Its waters are almost free from pollution given its very upstream situation on the Élorn basin. This artificial reservoir with an area of 110 hectares, partly fuelled by Élorn and Mougau, supplies water to a part of north Finistère, including Brest Métropole, Landerneau and Landivisiau. Located on the towns of Commana and Sizun, this lake enjoys a 1st category classification for trout fishing.

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

City of Commana on heritage

Tourist office of Finistére on the parish enclosure of Commana

Tourist office of Brittany on parish enclosures

And two association that preserves these parish enclosures dearly and a must to read and translate from the French (too long for me::)) are

APREV assoc on parish enclosure of Commana

APEVE association on parish enclosure of Commana

And there you go, another wonderful historical and fascinating trip into my Brittany, hope you enjoy it as I do.

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:

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:

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):

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,(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:

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 :

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:

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:

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 :

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:

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:

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.



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.


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.


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 28, 2018

Never enough of Vannes!!!

Ok so this weekend was quiet in my front, just cold is setting in we had wind chill of 1C this afternoon and now it is 6C, cold and will continue like this next week. We have November coming with lots of dates including the 100 of World War One or the Great War with lots of celebrations. Me by end of month will be in Asia, more of this then.

The trip was mostly of errands but most were in the capital city of Vannes, in the Morbihan Breton dept 56. I work ,also, not far from city center in the countryside in a castle ruins of 1504 ::) HQ now.

The day Saturday went on as usual with a regular trip to EasyCash so my boys can sell some of their old stuff from books, dvd, cd, video games etc, the cash collected there they turn it into new games at Micromania all in Vannes.

We continue into our wonderful Saturday morning market in old town Vannes mainly done around the place du poids public and place des Lices. We loaded on cheeses of different types, and fruits fresh and dry as well including some mangos from Brazil! And believe for the first time took some photos of what happened after the market close;;;;


As we had time and parked on the streets of a side road near Le Port harbor marina we did our usual walk around the old town  ,always lovely to do.




While walking we got hungry so we decided to re visit an old favorite. It used to be called Cat Way when came into the area and later change to Le Gambetta. Well nice folks, but the service was slow beyond regular French time, and the food well the pizzas were not well cook on the edges. I did better ordering fish soup and a nems greens salad. All wash down with Heineken and Affligem beers, finishing with the popular cafe gourmand (coffee and small varied cakes); all came out to 25.50€ per person.  The resto brasserie is here on Yelp one of my recomm in my blogroll bottom of my front page. Yelp on Le Gambetta Vannes



We did some additional walks and decided to get some good chow at La Trinitaine store in Place des Lices, grabbing traditional Breton fish soup, and tuna terrines for a late night munch.  This is our favorite Breton tradition goodies store here. More info: La Trinitaine Vannes


The port area is always very nice and lively with good ambiance here so we took additional walks around Le  Port harbor marina.






Once done , we headed home to do our groceries just past the expressway N165 into our favorite hypermarket of E Leclerc. This is huge and practically you can buy all here, althought we prefered to only get the grocery basics and leave the food for especialized stores that offers the best of France and the world.


Of course, coming home to our town, we could not past by without the omnipresent baguette bread in our favorite bakery Boulangerie Delumeau at rue de la Gare to get our Breizh breads, done with traditional Breton flours and a two point ends!


And, then we can say we were loaded for the weekend. Unfortunately my team Real Madrid had a lousy game and were beaten badly by the unname but we can’t win them all to continue be the best in history! Tonight there is the Classic football/soccer match with Marseille vs PSG=Paris St Germain from Marseille Velodrome stadium. 21h French time.

And that is all for now , will continue update on the beauties of my Brittany in the comig days. You all have a wonderful Sunday and best of next week. Enjoy the pictures!!!

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

October 28, 2018

The unmistakable Sizun, parish enclosure!

And continuing my lovely ride in my beautiful Brittany  I take back to our neighbor Finistére dept 29 of Brittany ,and the historical Calvary and parish enclosure town of Sizun.


The winter is here with temps drastically fallen to 7C and wind chill of 1C today in my neck of the woods, anyway we did go out. Now back to Sizun, one of the jewels of our region and a must to see , for not only the religious meaning but the wonderful architecture, and historical value in it. We love it.

Sizun is located north of the Monts d’Arrée ;name as a green station and part of the regional Armorique natural park. The name is quoted for the first time in 1173 in the Charter of the foundation of the Abbey of Daoulas under the name of Sizan and Plouecisun, the spelling being then variable over time. The etymology of the name Sizun is incertaine: As for Cape Sizun, it is perhaps the sense of rock imbedded in the Celtic language, alluding to the rocky ridges of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée . To the north of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée, the section of Saint-Cadou, even having a part of the North Slope, ranging from 382 meters above sea level to the top of the Ménez Kador, whose western side therefore belongs to the town’s territory and which was long regarded as the highest peak of Brittany before being overtaken by the Roc’h Ruz located in the territory of the town of Plounéour-Ménez and 80 meters to the northwest of the territory in the downstream part of the valley of the Élorn. The town is crossed by the Élorn river, formerly called Dourdun or Dourdu, whose source is located in the northern part of the Tuchen Kador, and two of its tributaries: the Stain on its right bank, the brook of Kan an Ôd on its left bank. This river, long rich in salmons, flows into the harbor of Brest, the dam of the Drennec created for the water needs of the city of Brest and the other towns of northern Finistère which led to the creation of the Lake of Drennec, straddling the towns of Sizun and Commana.

A bit of history I like

An ancient Roman road, whose plot coincided roughly with the current route Brasparts-Saint-Rivoal-Sizun passed through Saint-Cadou. The name Saint-Cadou probably originates from Saint Cadoc or Cadmael, founder of the Welsh Abbey of Llancarfan, in the 6C. According to a version of his life, he would have withdrawn as a hermit in Belz (Morbihan 56) where the Chapel of Saint-Cado preserves the hermit’s stone bed.. About twenty chapels are dedicated to this saint in western Brittany. The chapel is built between 1650 and 1663. The Chapel de la Tréve (truce) of Saint-Cadou is erected in the branch of the Church of Sizun in 1748 with the agreement of the Rector ( priest) of Sizun, who demands, however, as a primitive rector that the parishioners of Saint-Cadou come to Sizun for their Easter; It is then described as follows: There are three altars: on the high altar, we see the statues of Saint Cadou, Saint Joachim, Saint Joseph and the Holy Virgin, St. Anne and Saint Margaret

Located on the route of the N164 going from Landerneau to Angers (actually Ancenis), and which itself resumed the route of the old Roman road, Loc-Ildut housed an important post relay, which already existed in part in 1812 the other buildings dating from 1831 and 1845. The whole is currently in ruins. The first Chapel of Loc-Ildut, built in the 12C by the Earl of Leon, was of Gothic architecture. The current chapel dates from 1653, 1677 and 1727, but has undergone multiple re-use and successive additions. Very degraded, it was almost sold in 1930, but it was gradually restored since 1960.

Vicar at Sizun, and another Vicar in the  parish, both refractory priests (against the French revolution dictum of negating on their faith for taking on the Constitution of France), and the sister of the first , who had hidden them in Plouguin, were guillotined on 15 October 1794 in Brest.

Sizun was part of the parishes which, from the 16C to the 19C, owed much of their prosperity to the making of flax and hemp, which allowed the funding of the parish enclosure and the ascent of a true peasant aristocracy, the ” Juloded ”

The monument to the Fallen of Sizun bears 127 names of soldiers who died for France during WWI and 25 people who died for France during WWII and that of Saint-Cadou the names of 45 soldiers who died for France during WWI.

Albert David Rothschild, of Jewish origin, son of Brestois traders, took refuge in Sizun during the Occupation. Aged thirty years, loving fishing and perfectly assimilated to the young people of the area, he did not hide, despite his wearing of the yellow star. He entered the network of resistance Justice of Morlaix, animated in the canton of Sizun by François Manac’h and Lucien Messager. Albert Rothschild was arrested and led to the Feldkommandantur of Sizun and severely beaten. His tortured body was found, his hands tied in the back, under a pile of coal in the schoolyard, following the liberation of Sizun.

Things to see; a must here and worth alone coming is the parish enclosure.


The Arc de Triomphe (b.1585-1588), whose full-scale reproduction was exhibited in 1989 in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris during the commemoration ceremonies of the bicentennial of the French revolution, is a monument representative of the Breton Renaissance.


The Chapelle-Ossuary (b.1585) whose facade is adorned with the caryatids statues of the Twelve Apostles; It now houses a museum of popular art and traditions showing bed-clos, clock, costumes, embroidery; A woman with bare breasts is represented just under the Twelve Apostles and they are surmounted by a series of figurines, two of which represent squatting women who display their vulvas (this illustrates that at the time of its construction the ancient cults Pre-Christian fertility and its organs still mingled with Christianity) .


The Church of St. Suliau, dating from the 16C to the 18C and its steeple of 56 meters high. It has a 17C high altar, richly decorated and sculpted and a polychrome organ built from 1683 to 1686 its 16C south porch is flamboyant in style. A statue of Saint Suliau, in a priest vest, surmounts the inner door and is dated 1514. A baptistry topped by a carved wooden canopy dates from 1619. A silver reliquary of Saint Suliau dates from 1625. The Church has retained a processional banner of the 17C where Saint Suliau is depicted on one of the faces and Christ in the cross on the other side.


All of the above are part of the parish enclosure that is so  nice to visit Sizun just for that. Then there are other things to see

The Chapel of Saint-Ildut dates from the 15C, built around 1485. It was built by the Earl of Leon. Consecrated to Saint Ildut, this Welsh monk evangelist of the Armorique, who is part of the Breton Saints not officially recognized by the Catholic Church. It has banners, crosses, statues of which some are pieces of goldsmith (Saint Mélar, the Virgin to the Child) three fountains are visible on the placître, one of which, associated with a wash-house, is perhaps an old basin to make hemp.  The Church of St. Cadou of the 17C and 19C and its Calvary, which dates from 1744.

The Maison de la Riviére ( House of the river), water and fishing, located on the outskirts of the village in the old windmill of Vergraon, presents all aspects of the life of a river (aquariums, models) and has an annex the Maison du Lac (house of the lake). More here in English:  House of the River in Sizun

The Lake of Drennec is straddling the towns of Commana and Sizun. It is a reservoir lake of 110 hectares containing 8.7 million m3 of water, with a dam weight of 500 000 tons of materials and embankments, dating from 1982, intended to store potable water for the supply of the region around Brest and a good part of the north of Finistère. A 7 km walking trail makes the tour, allowing you to discover landscapes, fauna and flora. The nautical center of the Monts d’Arrée has settled there. Two beaches have been arranged.

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

City of Sizun on heritage

Tourist office of Finistére on Parish enclosures

And some specific sites on the parish enclosure of Sizun in French.

Sprev an association to preserve them

Apeve an association to preserve them

There you go , a small town , but me think well worth it for the parish enclosure of Sizun and Finistére,and Brittany;a jewel.

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


October 28, 2018

The painters at Pont Aven!

I like to take you on a foggy day as I write in my Brittany to a famous place, and a picturesque beautiful place we like a lot. This is in next door neighbor Finistére dept 29 and the city very much along the history of painters in France. For a little town, I think it has more punch than even Paris on an even scale. This is of course, Pont Aven. It is only 66 km from my house or about 41 miles.

Pont-Aven is dubbed “the city of Painters” as many painters including Gauguin have stayed there. And so beautiful a must to visit near me ::) On the N165 expressway!

The town of Pont-Aven is close to the Atlantic coast, bordered on the east by the Aven river. The small town of Pont-Aven is located at the edge of this river, where it widens into an estuary that forms an ria, where the last bridge before the sea is located on this coastal river. They are at the origin of the saying: “Pont-Aven, renowned city, 14 mills, 15 houses” of the Breton Aven which means river, river of Pont-Aven, in Breton Pont-Aën and one of the sources is located near the village of Pen-Aven

pont aven

Pont-Aven, came from the dismemberment of the parish of the primitive armory of Melgven. Pont-Aven, which depended on the bishopric of Cornouaille, was a simple truce of Nizon until the French revolution, part of its territory depending on the parish of Riec-sur-Belon. This town is quoted on the occasion of the revolt of the Bonnet Rouges (Red Caps,against the taxes demanded by the King) which occurred in Brittany in 1675. In 1844, Pont-Aven is described as a “seaside village, picturesquely situated on a sea side, with a port where ships abound from 50 to 70 tons.” In the second half of the 19C Pont-Aven welcomed its first tourists.

From 1830 at least, artists represented Pont-Aven as shown by paintings and lithographs of the time, but facilitated by the opening of the railway line to Quimper in 1863, the true discovery of Pont-Aven by the artistic world date from 1864: In July of that year, a young American painter, Henry Bacon travels diligently between Concarneau and Quimperlé where he travels to take the train and the stagecoach stops at Pont-Aven which he discovers by chance. He is seduced by this village. Anyone would even today!

Henry Bacon, back in Paris, talks to his artist friends, including Robert Wylie, who arrives at Pont-Aven in 1865 (he stayed there until 1876), quickly joined by other young American artists from Philadelphia such as Charles Way, Earl Shinn, Howard Roberts, Benjamin Champney, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Moses Wright, and English painters such as Lewis and Carraway. Jean-Léon Gérôme, who teaches at the Paris School of Fine Arts, encourages his students to go to Pont-Aven in the summer and many young painters follow his advice in the following fifteen years; among them were Frenchmen such as William Bouguereau, Louis-Nicolas Cabat, Léon Germain Pelouse, Sébastien Charles Giraud, Paul Sébillot, Maxime Lalanne, etc., but also foreigners such as the Dutchman Herman van den Anker, the Irish Auguste Nicolas Burke, the Canadian Paul Peel, etc. All these artists are attracted by the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the low cost of living. They stayed at the hotel des Voyageurs, held from 1871 by Julia Guillou, the Hotel du Lion d’Or, at the pension Gloanec, or even at the Manoir de Lezaven.  By the summer of 1866, a dozen artists, most American or English, were present at Pont-Aven, including Henry Mosler, William Lamb Picknell, Thomas Alexander Harrison, Clement Nye Swift, and Frederick Arthur Bridgman.

Around 1880, a second wave of artists frequented Pont-Aven, which became the “new Barbizon”, there are some forty English or American landscapers, or painters from northern Europe such as the Danes Marie Luplau and Emilie Mundt, the Finns Amélie Lundhal and Helene Schjerfbeck, etc. as well as French painters such as Alexandre Dephony, Marius Gourdault from 1879, Gabriel-Charles Deney, etc.

The arrival in this “little cheap hole”(Pont Aven), on the advice of Jobbé-Duval, during the summer 1886 of Paul Gauguin, who resided at the pension Gloanec, then of Émile Bernard . Émile Bernard then painted “Bretons in the Green Meadow”, a painting that lays the groundwork for the synthetism that Gauguin explores in his turn the same year in the vision after the Sermon (Jacob’s struggle with the Angel). The name “Synthetism” was later given by Armand Jobbé-Duval who became leader of this artistic current which was to be called later the school of Pont-Aven, in which a whole colony of artists-painters such as Paul Sérusier (to whom Paul Gauguin gives in September 1888 the famous lesson of painting known as the Wood of love which is also the origin of the group of Nabis), Charles Filiger (who resides in Pouldu), Émile Schuffenecker, Meyer de Haan, Charles Laval, Rodel O’Conor, Robert Bevan, Armand Seguin, Wladyslaw Ślewiński, Jan Verkade, Mogens Ballin, Henri Delavallée, Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard, Émile Jourdan, Gustave Love, Maxime Maufra, Jens Ferdinand Willumsen, Flavien-Louis Parkes, etc.  After a stay in Arles, Paul Gauguin returned in April 1889 to Pont-Aven staying at the Manoir de Lezaven where he painted notably “The Yellow Christ, the Green Christ” and “the Beautiful Angèl”, before going to stay from the summer of 1889 at the Auberge de Marie Henry at Pouldu where he  was joined by Paul Sérusier, Meyer de Haan, and then in 1890 by Wladyslaw Ślewiński, Henry Moret, Maxime Maufra and Émile Dezaunay.  After a stay in Tahiti between April 1891 and August 1892, Paul Gauguin returned to France and returned to Pont-Aven in April 1894, staying again at the pension Gloanec, accompanied by his companion Annah the Javanese, alongside Alfred Jarry, but he left definitively France in July 1895 for the Marquesas Islands.

A third wave of artists frequent Pont-Aven in the Belle Epoque and the Inter-war: Among them, Adolphe Beaufrére, Jean Émile Labourer, Henri Hayden, Nicolas Tarkhoff, Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Charles Wislin, Ernest Correlleau, Maurice Asselin, Fernand Danner, Maurice-Marie-Léonce Savin, Léon Germain Pelouse, Geoffrey Nelson, Andre Even, Mary Piriou, etc. Several of them (Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Ernest Corelleau, Maurice Asselin, Pierre Vaillant, Fernand Danner) worked in the same workshop at the Manoir de Lezaven. Foreign painters as well as the Australian Mortimer Menpes stayed a while at Pont-Aven at that time.

And some history on the lodgings of Pont Aven:

Julia Guillou  nicknamed “Mademoiselle Julia ” buys in 1873 the Hotel des Voyageurs, located on the Grand Place, which belonged to the Feutray family, and where she had been working since 1870 as a hotel mistress. Since 1865, this hotel welcomed American artists such as Clément Swift. Renamed Hotel Julia, many painters stayed there later as Robert Wylie, Thomas Alexander Harrison, etc. Its success is such that in 1881 Julia was able to build an annex, the Villa Julia (which now houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Pont-Aven). The less fortunate artists settled at the Pension Gloanec, located near the bridge over the Aven river  and built in the 1860’s and frequented by painters who lead a free life of artists without worrying about conventions. The Hotel du Lion d’Or, which belonged to the Linthillac family, was also frequented; It was replaced in 1892 by the hotel Gloanec built by Marie-Jeanne Gloanec nicknamed “La Mère Gloanec”(mother Gloanec) in the same location. La Mére Gloanec  welcomes Gauguin again. In 1904 Mademoiselle Julia  opened in Port Manec’h an establishment with breathtaking sea views on the mouths of the Aven and Belon rivers. The third celebrity was Angélique Marie Satre nicknamed “La Belle Angèle ” which was immortalized in her Inn by Paul Gauguin in 1889. The portrait currently sits at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris marked in capital letters on the canvas  “La BELLE ANGÈLE “.

The Monument to the Fallen of Pont-Aven, built in 1921 bears the names of 101 soldiers killed for France during  WWI.

In 1920, Julia Corelleau, née Louédec, opened the Hotel de la Poste and hosted numerous painters during the Inter-war period  like Paul Sérusier, Maurice de Vlaminck, Émile Bernard, Maurice Asselin, Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Pierre Vaillant, etc. and writers such as Pierre Mac Orlan, André Salmon, Roland Dorgelès, Paul Fort, Xavier Grall, Georges Perros, Max Jacob, etc.. Her husband Ernest Corelleau  was also a painter who acquired a certain notoriety.

The Monument to the Fallen of Pont-Aven bears the names of 29 people who died for France during WWII. Daniel Lomenech, a Breton native of Pont-Aven, engaged in the Free French naval Forces. He made about 30 trips with the boat N 51 on behalf of the English Secret Service, collaborating notably with Commander David Birkin, the father of Jane Birkin.

Nowadays, the town of Pont Aven is mostly tourism. In summer, when the tourist season is in full swing, many shopping malls open their doors. The painters exhibited their works there.

Things to see

Le Musée des beaux-arts  or Pont-Aven Museum of Fine Arts ( a very must to see) has been open since 1985. He has led a major acquisitions campaign from the outset and currently has a fund of 4 500 pieces, ranging from Pont-Aven School to contemporary art. It has been renovated to occupy  2 000 m2, spread over 7 floors. If anything here is the painters and this museum is a must;and the walk around the town, just magical with so much history and picturesque architecture all around you, magical. The museum official site is here: Fine Arts Museum of Pont Aven

pont aven

pont aven

The Church of St. Joseph was rebuilt in the late 19C in a neo-Gothic style. In the city center you can admire some old houses at rue des Meuniéres or place Delavallée. The oldest dates from the 15C. The Moulin du Grand Poulguin (transformed into a restaurant), the Moulin de Rosmadec (renowned gourmet restaurant), the Moulin David (painted by Gauguin) are all very nice to see and eat in ! Let’s add the flour mill le Dérout, still operating and testifying of the past Millers of the city. On the hillsides, above the harbor, you can admire villas dating from the late 19C and early 20C.At the right bank, on the hillside of Keremperchec, mention the farm of the same name, a beautiful set of 18C cottages recently restored (presence of a monumental well dated 1788), inaccessible to the public. Left bank, on the hillside of Saint-Guénolé, you can admire the two villas of the singer Theodore Botrel, built successively (Castel-Brizeux and Kerbotrel). The Manoir de Lezaven, privately owned, has long been popular with artists, some have been housed there. It belonged to Étienne Manac’h, Ambassador of France in China from 1969 to 1975.

pont aven

pont aven

And for a nice souvenir biscuits and gift giving typical of this town go to the Traou Mad here: Traou Mad biscuits of Pont Aven

pont aven

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

City of Pont Aven on painters

City of Pont Aven on the fine arts museum

Tourist office of Finistére on Pont Aven

Tourist office of Brittany on Pont Aven

Again a nice little town of Pont Aven very picturesques and architecturally nice with lots of good food and great walks along the Aven river. We love it!

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

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