Archive for December, 2018

December 31, 2018

And I show you again ,Meaux!

Once again I have to come back to this quant town of Seine et Marne dept 77 Ïle de France region , where Disneyland is located nearby.  There have been so many times here that I lost count, I know the town without any gps or google help and proved it again this time. Here began my French history when I met a young lady native of the town of Meaux back in 1990.

This young lady became my wife Martine, and mother of our 3 boys, over time we spent many times walking the streets of this town. This trip was to see the maternal mother, mother in law, maternal grandmother and the rest of the French family with sisters and nephews, nieces and cousins. It was something different this time, for the first time on our wedding anniversary (26 December) my young lady was not with me. She passed away from cancer last April 30 2018. It was a sad trip, but a must trip to relieve those times and gain strenght with the family for the future.

This is Meaux, Brie country, the king of cheeses, the cheese of kings, Vienna congress 1815. I like to show you a bit more on this memorable town always in my heart and soul.

We came to the inlaws house and immediately set out to walk the town with the boys and I. First stop was the house where I met her at 36 rue Noefort, a humble sweet home and a magical spot indeed.

meaux

36 rue Noefort Meaux 77100

We passed by the cinema Majestic in which I saw my first movies in France at place Henri IV. Now part of the UGC cinema group, more here: UGC Cinema Majestic Meaux

Meaux

While there we realized they had a Christmas market at the Place Henri IV, where many times we did parking to walk into the old town area on Rue Général Leclerc. It had now an ice skating ring as in many years.

meaux

meaux

meaux

Walking along the Rue Général Leclerc we go into the old town direction the Cathedral (another post on it) , and we find many familiar spots still open like the wonderful La Fromagerie or cheese store!

meaux

Continuing on the Rue Général Leclerc you past by the historical Hôtel de la Sirene; built by 1740. It has change names until the a luxury hotel; this hotel was occupied by the Nazis in WWII and later by the American officers station in this region. The hotel closed in 1986, and its now private property.

meaux

Our walk coming from rue Noefort along the Rue du Faubourg St Nicolas into old town past place Henri IV and the Rue Général Leclerc with the Cathedral in sight!!

meaux

In the evening we came back after having lunch in the sister in law house in a village nearby;there is a Finnish sauna with a central barbecue which was awesome to do it with the family here.

Etrepilly

Etrepilly

etrepilly

We headed back to the city and parked this time by the boulevard Jean Rose right next to the old ramparts and behind the Cathedral of St Etienne (St Stephen)(see many posts on it), this is wonderful indeed, and here you walk all along first the Rue du Faubourg Saint Nicolas just around the house of my dear late wife Martine.

Meaux

You walked past the wonderful old hospital or Hôtel-Dieu where the historical archives of the city are now kept. Again on Rue du Faubourg Saint Nicolas.  A bit of history on this building is a must. The Priory of Noëfort (today modern headquarters of the gendarmerie French national police) ,and the General Hospital, founded in 1667 to intern the poor and vagrants in application of the great containment decided by the Royal Ordinance of 1662. A large part of the land of this district belonged to settlements. such as the Grand Hôtel- Dieu of Meaux. Also , here there is a large mass of archives, because these are always better preserved by religious institutions than by the laity.

meaux

The Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Nicolas is none other than the Decumanus Maximus which crossed the ancient city from east to west. In the 5C, there was St. Céline, a friend of Saint Geneviève; On her tomb, placed extra muros in the ancient tradition, arose a church that had to endure until the French revolution. So along this wonderful street off my dear late wife Martine street, we found our bakery of old; and of course we purchase the baguettes, apple pie  ,chocolate flan, to take to the family as sharing is a French passion especially when food is concerned. The bakery is Le Fournil du Faubourg (under new owners) at 52 rue du faubourg st nicolas.

meaux

meaux

As I am on foood, let me tell you about another gem. I have another exclusive post on it but briefly, this is Meaux. If you know French gastronomy and you should simply the best always imitated but never better,then you should know about Brie. The Brie de Meaux cheese was elected by the leaders of Europe in the Congress of Vienna of 1815 as the king of cheeses and the cheese of kings! Here is the original anywhere else is imitation even if legally sold the milk for the original has to come from Brie country and only here you get the Terre de Meaux brie with cow milk from the Meaux region or pays de Meaux!! Enjoy it while here, short distance from Paris and Disneyland and none better than the Fromagerie Saint Faron, unique. Only in French of course, its original! Official tourist office of pays de Meaux region on the fromagerie Saint Faron

meaux

meaux

meaux

meaux

meaux

There you go another wonderful family trip to a memorable wonderful loving enormous city of Meaux for me. Thank you very much for following along and Happy New Year 2019 to all.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!! AND Happy New Year 2019!! Best wishes to all!!! Bonne Année et meilleurs vœux!!!

December 30, 2018

The roads of my belle France,visiting family!

So we are arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom house, the grandmother of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne. It was a memorable trip of many nice good souvenirs that will be with me forever.

As I will have this trip and one post on my beloved Versailles,  I have decided to brake it down in sections. This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, here are some pictures of my round trip this week, a personal one!

On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from Brittany it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Bolougne, to the boulevard Périphérique into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3 .

 

The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.

Pantin

This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great field of wheat !!!

chambry

meaux

meaux

The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 and my dog Rex pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family ,more of those stories later , stay tune.

The way back was easier the modern way. I left the village on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77 ::)). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!

 

So, therefore some road pictures into my memory bank here at wordpress which is running up!!! Again ,thanks for reading , and more for liking it and Happy New Year 2019 and best wishes or as we say here Bonne Année et meilleurs voeux!!!

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

 

December 30, 2018

The ladies of Versailles, Adelaide and Victoire!

And I continue with my saga of Versailles. My beloved old home in the Yvelines dept 78 of the region of ïle de France. As said, the castle not been the only thing to see here, it is imposing of a must visit. You need time to see it and better yet understanded all but 3 days should be it;one day is cutting it short. In my opinion of course.

If you have read my blog, you know that in my rumbling mumbling of words I love history. I am living in the right country of Western civilisation. Versailles has the most as it is the de facto capital of France by the constitution because history matters even more than governments. While telling you of this history, I am always  intrigue by the Royal families and their experiences and histories especially after the French revolution. This is my take on telling you a bit more on two remarkable ladies that history did not serve them well after all.

I like to tell you a bit apart on the lives of Mrs or Madame Victoire and Marie-Adelaide ;whose rooms you can see in the Castle museum of Versailles.

The Daughters of Louis XV bear the title of “Madame”. The four cadets, Victoire, Sophie, Thérèse and Louise, were thus placed at the abbey of Fontevraud, while the elders, Louise-Elisabeth, Anne-Henriette, Marie-Louise and Marie-Adelaide, remained alongside the king. Separated, the influence of the ladies was limited.

Victoire Louise Marie Thérèse de France, called Madame Fourth then Madame Victoire in 1745, was born in Versailles on May 11, 1733 , baptised at Versailles on 27 April 1737, died in Trieste, Italy on June 7, 1799, was one of the eight daughters of Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska.  With her younger sisters, Victoire de France was raised from 1738 by the nuns of the abbey of Fontevrault, The Queen of the Abbeys she was called. Madame Fourth received baptism in 1745, at the same time as her sisters, and was now called Victoire (victory). Victoire learned as her brother and sisters to play various musical instruments.

During the French Revolution, she and Madame Adelaide were left with the ten children that Louis XV had with the Queen. The two princesses, opposed to the anti-Christian politics of the revolutionary assembly, left France in February 1791, not without having suffered some affronts on their way of exile. They only were lucky and thanks of their salvation because of the intervention of Mirabeau in the revolutioinary assembly. They took refuge in Italy. First in Turin, where their niece Clotilde, wife of the Prince of Piedmont and then in Rome, protected by Pope Pius VI who hosted them at the Palais Farnese. Upon the arrival of the French troops, they joined Naples, where a sister of Marie-Antoinette, Marie-Caroline of Austria, was the ruler, very little delighted to see them. The two old ladies had to flee again in 1798 and crossed the Adriatic on an oil boat.

Versailles

Versailles

Madame Victoire was extinguished the first, in Trieste, of breast cancer, on June 7, 1799. Adelaide only survived her for eight months. Their bodies were repatriated to France under king Louis XVIII, another of their nephews, and were buried in the abbey-Basilica of Saint-Denis, the tomb of the Royal family. A novel by Frédéric Lenormand, Les Princesses Vagabondes (the Vagabond Princesses ) of 1998, describes the escape of the ladies to Italy from 1791 and until their death. In her biography Mesdames de France (Ladies of France), Bruno Cortequisse honors the daughters of Louis XV and describes their existence full of emptiness.

Marie Adelaide of France, called Madame Adelaide, then from 1752, Madame, fourth daughter and sixth child of Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska, was born on 23 March 1732 in Versailles, baptised at Versailles on 27 April 1737, and died on 27 February 1800 in Trieste, Italy. Madame Adelaide rooms were the former bedroom of Madame de Pompadour ,where she died in 1764.

Sent to complete their education at the Abbey of Fontevraud, Madame Adelaide succeeded in softening her father and remained in Versailles, where she was raised with her two eldest sisters Madame Elisabeth (who married as early as 1739 the infant Philip of Spain) and Madame Henriette. The three girls lived there in the shadow of their brother the Dauphin Louis. Louis XV, who loved her very much, was amused to name her Madame Rag because of her taste for housework. Endowed with a lively character, she knew how to impose herself as a true head of the family with her sisters. Only the young lady Louise, who entered Carmel in 1770, escaped her ascendancy.

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

On the death of the Dauphin in 1765 and then of the Dauphine in 1767, Madame Adelaide had been the custodian of their papers, as well as an instruction destined for the future king. This document was opened two days after the death of the King, on May 12, 1774, in a small family council, in the presence of the new king Louis XVI. He designated three possible premiers minister Maurepas, d’Aiguillon and Machault . At the dawn of the French revolution, no one remained alive as children of Louis XV and the Queen as Madame Adelaide and her sister Victoire.

The two princesses had to leave Versailles and prefer to settle in Bellevue, near Meudon , on a Castle offered by their nephew Louis XVI rather than at the Tuileries.

The laws against the Church prompted them to flee France to join Italy on February 20, 1791. Their departure aroused some emotion and they were arrested and detained for a few days in Arnay-le-Duc. Mirabeau defended them before the assembly. Mocking the assembly which had deliberated for hours on the fate of the two ladies who preferred to hear Mass in Rome rather than at Versailles, the Tribunal obtained that the princesses could enter the Savoy whose heir had married their niece Clotilde de France. They arrived in Rome on April 16, 1791, where they met from the day after their arrival in a private audience, Pope Pius VI. However, Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power and his conquests forced them to flee even further, first to Naples in 1796, then to Corfu in 1799 and finally to Trieste, where Madame Victoire soon died, Madame Adelaide passed away a few months later, On 18 Februray 1800, at the age of 68 years.

Some further reading can be done in the below webpages

Officia Chateau de Versailles on the ladies

Official Chateau de Versailles on the daughters of Louis XV

Official Chateau de Versailles on the placement of the apartments of the daughters of Louis XV

Hope you enjoy the brief introduction and allows for your curiosity to take flight and learn more of these fascinating characters of our history.  All of course, in royal Versailles, where else!

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

 

December 28, 2018

Galerie des Glaces, Versailles, of course!

Ok so let’s continue on my presentation of my beloved dearest Versailles. If new to my blog, I used to lived there almost 10 years ,work took me out west of France but still many memories there and glad to be able to visit often.

I have written on it in several posts in parts, but I think it deserves a post of its own. What do you think? Anyway, let me tell you a bit more on the Galeries des Glaces or Gallery of Mirrors of the Palace/museum of Versailles.

The Gallery of Mirrors or Grand Galerie is a large baroque-style gallery located in the Palace of Versailles, which is one of the emblematic pieces. Conceived and built from 1678 to 1684 by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, it was then intended to illustrate the power of the absolute monarch Louis XIV and to dazzle its visitors, by its ornamentation, by its rich iconography and by its original dimensions of   73 meters long, 10.50 meters wide, and covered with 357 mirrors, or 21 mirrors at each of its 17 arches facing 17 windows. Located on the first floor of the central body of the castle, it faces, in the west, the gardens of Versailles, of which it gives a great perspective.

Versailles

Versailles

Several galleries were able to serve as models: that of the Château de Clagny of  Madame de Montespan (favorite of Louis XIV) in Clagny-Glatigny (today one of the eight districts of the City of Versailles) works begin the year even at the site of a terrace ( whose remains can still be seen in the attic above the vaults) overlooking the west facade of the castle of Louis XIII which connected the two wings housing the large apartments to that built to the north and south of it in order to wrap it around it As a result of the construction of this gallery, no façade of the old castle will give to the park or the garden.

versailles

The painter and decorator Charles Le Brun began the decoration in 1680. The gallery was inaugurated in 1684. The Gallery of Mirrors is located in the alignment of the green carpet, between the halls of War and Peace, the latter giving respectively access to the Grand apartments of the king and Queen. The mirrors were made at the glass manufacturer La Glacerie south of Cherbourg. The 17 arched windows give rise to as many arcades adorned with mirrors held by chopsticks and chiseled bronze cabochons. The arcades are surmounted alternately by a head of Apollo and the remains of the lion of Nemea. The ceiling is decorated with nearly 1 000 m2 of paintings from the atelier of Charles Le Brun illustrating the achievements of the reign of Louis XIV, staging the king himself in 30 large compositions. The furniture and numerous statues that originally decorated it were dispersed at the French revolution.

versailles

The capitals of the marble pilasters of Rance on white marble background are adorned with a fleur de Lys and Gallic roosters. The Golden Bronze trophies, which adorn the piers in Campan’s green marble, were chiselled. The eight busts of Roman emperors, in marble and porphyry, accompanied eight statues, including seven ancients, representing Bacchus, Venus (Venus of Arles and Troas), Urany, Hermes, Nemesis and Diane of Versailles. The latter, moved to the Louvre in 1798, was replaced by a Diane sculpted for the gardens of the Château de Marly until the restoration of the Gallery of Mirrors of 2004-2007 where she is in turn replaced by a casting of the Diane de Versailles in restored marble.

Versailles

During the reign of Louis XIV, the gallery is essentially a place of passage, the King preferring to receive the guests of prestige in the lounges of the Grand apartments. However, several hearings were granted, including the one at the Doge of Genoa in 1685, the ambassadors of Siam in 1686 and those of the Shah of Persia in 1715. Louis XV also received the Embassy of King Mahmud I of Turkey in 1742. Anecdotally, the gallery saw the arrest of the great chaplain of France the imprudent Cardinal of Rohan in 1785, before his incarceration in the Bastille (epilogue of the Affair of the Queen’s necklace).

The Gallery of Mirrors was also part of major festivities such as the marriage of the future dolphin Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette of Austria in 1770, a ball given by Napoleon III in honor of Queen Victoria on August 25, 1855;   reception by General de Gaulle of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his wife, that given in the honor of the last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in 1974 or the invitation of representatives of the “G7” by President François Mitterrand from 4-6 June 1982.

It is symbolically in the Gallery of Mirrors, in reference to the wars and annexations led by Louis XIV in Germany that illustrate the painted decorations (notably the passage of the Rhine, 1672), which proclaimed the creation of the German Empire after the defeat French in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The accession to the new imperial throne of his first emperor, William I, took place on January 18, 1871, before the assembly of the German princes and the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, a true political architect of the Empire.  In this spirit of revenge, it was in the Gallery of Mirrors that was signed between the Allies and representatives of the young German democracy, the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI, and redrawing the borders of Europe and the colonies,on June 28, 1919. It was the humiliation of the “diktat of Versailles”, which was one of Adolf Hitler’s political tools for his rise to power against the Democrats of the Weimar Republic, and the rearming of Nazi Germany to crush France in 1940.

The Gallery of Mirrors has undergone many restorations. It was abandoned shortly after the French Revolution, rapidly degrading. king Louis XVIII reconditioned it from 1814-1815. The mirrors are polished and retinnted in 1820. The paints are cleaned and restored between 1825 and 1832, then once again between 1949 and 1952. In 1980, the gallery was refurnished. A new program of restoration of the Gallery of Mirrors, begun in July 2004 finished 2012. 70% of the mirrors are from the period, 30% poorly restored in the 19C have been replaced by old mirrors.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Chateau de Versailles on the Gallery of Mirrors

Chateau de Versailles on collections museum

Chateau de Versailles on the characters of its history

Gallery description in French on frescoes

Enjoy the awesome beauty of the most beautiful castle/Museum in the world; royal Versailles indeed.

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

December 25, 2018

Gare Rive Gauche, left bank and Castle, Versailles of course!

So as I was telling you about the train station closest to my house in Versailles, why not tell you apart on the train station closest to the Château de Versailles! I have written posts in general on transportation in and around Versailles but these ones needs a separate entry me think. Hope you enjoy it.

I would like to tell you a bit more on the train station of Rive Gauche or left bank of Versailles. Therefore, here it is my take on it.

The Gare de Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (formerly called Versailles-Rive-gauche-Château de Versailles until February 2012), but still commonly called simply Rive Gauche , is one of the terminus of the line RER C . The word “Château” comes from its proximity to the Château de Versailles; The terms “rive gauche” are explained by the fact that it is located on an established line, departing from Paris, on the left bank of the Seine. This station has three platforms (two central wharves and one outside wharf) for five dead-ends (plus a service lane).

Versailles

A bit of history I like

The opening of the station of Versailles-Rive-Gauche, in the district of Saint-Louis, takes place on September 10, 1840 at the inauguration of the line of Paris at Versailles by the left bank of the Seine. Its origin being the pier of the Maine (old station of the Gare de Montparnasse). It is the closest station to the Château de Versailles (about 500 meters to the entrance gate of the castle, by the Avenue de Sceaux, which folks usually go a longer way by the Avenue de Paris). In order to facilitate the access of the site to its many visitors, the old name of the station nevertheless included the mention Château de Versailles. Its new name now includes the historical mention Rive-gauche as well. As mentioned, the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station is the closest to the castle/museum . It is accessible from the center of Paris with stations such as Champs de Mars, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay,Notre Dame-Saint Michel , etc. This station gets very busy, so I suggest that you buy a return ticket so you won’t have to waste time queuing to buy your ticket back to Paris. This is call in French un billet Aller/Retour.

versailles

Versailles

This SNCF train station, has a passenger building with open counters every day. It is equipped with Transilien automatons machines and Grandes lignes (big lines and even to Europe). facilities, equipment and services are available for people with reduced mobility. A press magazine snacks Relay is present, as well as distributors of fresh and hot beverages and snacks, an automatic photograph booth, a photocopier and a telephone booth are also available.

Versailles

Versailles

The Rive Gauche station is served by the bus lines A, B AK, C, H, K, L, P, R, T Express, TRI (see links below), W, X, Z and 22 of the Phebus bus network of Versailles, by lines 261, 262, 263, 39.12 and 39.37 H of the company Chevreuse Valley (SAVAC) , by Lines 401, 439 and 440 of the Sqybus bus network, by lines 11 and 111 of the Hourtoule company, by the lines 40 and 44 of the STAVO company, by the Express Line 1 of the Transdev of Montesson , at night, by the lines Night 1 and night 3 of the Phebus bus network and by the N145 line of the Noctilien network. The station has a Véligo(bikes) space.

The line RER C into Versailles many times is decorated with sumptous wagons and I caught one for the memories here

Versailles

If anything, there is a full SNCF/Transilien/RER sales office at the Chantiers train station (Montparnasse line) not that far from rive gauche station. Located at 4, rue de l’abbé Rousseau Open from Mon. – Fri.: 7h- 13h10 / 13h45 – 20h30.  The best most direct way to reach Chantiers from Rive Gauche is to leave the later turning left into rue du Général De Gaulle and then a left into Avenue de Sceaux by the parking right before the garden Etangs Goubert take a left into rue de Noailles continue until next street which is Rue des Etats-Généraux and take a right on it continue until the Place Raymond Poincaré take a right ,the station is right ahead takes only about 14 minutes walking on beautiful streets of Versailles.

Let me give you some webpages to help you plan your trip here some are well known others not

Official Transilen trains RER C for Versailles

Official Chateau de Versailles on Rive Gauche and others

Official city of Versailles on public transports getting in

If you come by car, and why not,, neoparking is the one I use all over here: Neoparking on rive gauche parking

City of Versailles phebus bus network passing by castle

Official Phebus bus network Versailles lines passing by Castle

The TRI bus works from April to October, here is 2018, the bus takes you from the 3 major train station to the castle and trianons only stops! Use it great service. Phebus network on TRI schedule for 2018

There you have it in a nutshell if still need more, ask me. We did took several times for the thrill of public transport with the boys as they came in front of it all the time from their school and they use the same buses as all. Versailles is Royal. Hope it helps

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

 

 

 

December 25, 2018

Gare Rive Droite, Versailles!

Hello my world, here I am on a nice  morning, cool, cloudy and rainy at 13C or about 52F. And I feel nostalgic about my Versailles and my travels to work in Paris as did use public transport like anyone else here (well for a time I could use my car love it) but only at work, personal took my car ok ok !

I like to tell you a bit more on my train station in Versailles; done transport routine in other previous posts you can find in my blog, but only on the nice old quant Versailles Rive Droite (right bank) alone this is it. My train station!

The Gare de Versailles-Rive-Droite is a train station terminus of the Paris-Saint-Lazare to Versailles-Rive-Droite, located in the Notre-Dame district of Versailles at 40 rue du Maréchal Foch. (You can see if walk a bit more after the Notre Dame market ). Opened in August 2, 1839. It was my closest station to our house! From Paris Saint Lazare ,it will take you about 28 minutes to reach it (depends on traffic and problems can be as much as 36 minutes sometimes).

versailles

It owes its name of Rive Droite (right bank) to the fact that it is located on an established line, departing from Paris, on the right bank of the Seine river. It is managed by the SNCF serviced by the trains of the L line of the Transilien (network Paris-Saint-Lazare). It is located at a distance of about 23 km from the station of Paris-Saint-Lazare. This train station is one of the oldest in the French railway network and has relatively little evolved since its inauguration, preserving its configuration and its original passenger building. It is one of the five stations of Versailles (the others been gare de Porchefontaine RER C , gare de Montreuil line L Saint Lazare trains (stop before rive droite), Chantiers Montparnasse trains ,and Rive Gauche (left bank) RER C (closest to the castle/museum). The station with its six sidings , and two more for night and sometimes daytime, it serves as a parking point and train of the South Line.

versailles

A bit of history I like

The project to built it was granted to James de Rothschild, on the project of the Paris line to Versailles by the right bank of the Seine, had until the station of Asnières, a common trunk with the line of Paris in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, that opened in 1837.

The passenger building is made up of a single building perpendicular to the tracks and level with them. The tracks are arranged in two bundles in cul-de-sac around a central wharf. They are connected to the ends by rotating plates in order to rotate the locomotives, allowing them to be placed at the head of the convoys. After the arrival of a train, the locomotive was detached, returned to the plate and joined the other end of the convoy by the adjoining track, to which it connected after a manoeuvre to return to the other way. On August 2, 1839, the sons of Louis-Philippe (king of the French) inaugurated the new line. The depot is built along the ramp to the Rue de Clagny. It comprises a five-lane building, separated into two groups of two and three lanes; Each is equipped with a 20-meters long sting pit, designed to collect the slag falling from the fireplaces of the locomotives. The installations are reworked during the electrification of the line, by a third side rail and then by catenary, respectively in 1927 and 1978.

versailles

 

In 2011, a counter is open daily from 6h to 01h40. As before, there was a one person handling the tickets or you bought it in advance online! . The Transilien and Grande Lignes ( big lines) automatons are also available, and the station tickets can be purchase for the Grandes Lignes (big lines intercity Europe) from Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 19h30, and Saturday from 10h to 18h30. A Relay magazine and snacks store are present in the lobby, as well as beverage or snack vending machines, an automatic photo booth, a telephone booth, a photocopier and a custom postcard distributor. A bicycle park is located outside the train station, but apart from a few parking spaces in front of the passenger building, it has very little parking area.

The station is served by the lines A, D, E, G, H, H Express, S, T Express, TRI and night 1 of the Phebus Versailles bus network, as well as by lines 17 and 17S of the Transdev of Ecquevilly bus network, by line 471 of the RATP Paris region bus network, by line 111 of the company Hourtoule and by the Line 39.37 F of the company SAVAC. Of course these needs to be verify as they can change from the time I used them.

You can come to from Paris at Rive Droite train station ; for example take the bus G towards Versailles Chantiers train station, but get off at Hotel de Ville Monday-Saturday: 6h07-20h23 ,on Sunday: 7h28-20h28 taking about 10m to 25mn ;on Saturday 15-27minutes, and on Sunday 15-40 minutes, there at Chantiers , take the bus 171 direction Pont de Sèvres ,to terminus in Paris or back reverse order , the bus runs Monday-Saturday: 5h30-01h , Sunday: 6h30-01h and runs every 8-10 minutes. There you can then connect to all of Paris on metro line 9 as well as tramway line T2 or other bus lines such as 160 169 179 279 389 and 467.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and enjoy the ride into Royal Versailles are

Official Transilien on Rive Droite in French

Useful (me think) pdf map on the transport zones of the Paris region, Versailles is in zone 4 for all train stations:  Official Transilien zone transports map

Official Chateau de Versailles on train stations see Rive Droite

My favorite blogroll site YELP for all tips and info on all of France, here is Rive Droite: Yelp on Gare Rive Droite Versailles

Hope it helps guide you well into my favorite city aside from new home of course! Enjoy Versailles!!!

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

 

 

December 24, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVIII

And with the tradition of my now travels in the Morbihan I come back again soonest as this is the season to be  merrier and preparation are all over. Even with some road block from the yellow jackets we are still moving smoothly in our neck of the woods. Temperature is a warm 13C or about 55F cloudy but no rain! Just the nice day we need for our Christmas eve preparation.

We did slept a bit more than usual but got up rather quickly with me pulling the cord on the boys. I did took the dog out and allow him to do his things, then feed him, put some manure dirt around our Rose plants for added protection from winter days, cut some bad grass always creeping out, and did my breakfast , ready to take on the days chores.

We went to our favorite hangouts. First, was Bureau Vallée in Vannes for our 2019 calendars . We continue to E Leclerc hypermarket for last minutes Christmas shopping , and had our lunch at the unusually Brooklyn Café very French indeed but fish and chips was in order with our working out routine sprite and fanta sodas lol!! (We will get more of the other stuff later tonite) just a warm up. They are part of a group of restaurant in the Atlanville area north of the N165 road. More of Brooklyn Cafe here: Brooklyn Café at Atlanville

Vannes

Vannes

We finally headed for the town of Le Hézo, in the Rhuys peninsula to load up on cider, apple juice, breton sweets and the local gifts for my in laws that will be visiting next week in Seine et Marne dept 77. More on the Musée/Maison du Cidre  (House/Museum  of ciders) place here: Museum of Cider at Le Hézo

le hezo

le hezo

They live in a village off Meaux, the native town of my dear late wife Martine. There will be the opportunity to walk the streets of this town so much personal with my boys and remember many souvenirs on a sad note but one we must endure and go thru it. It will give me the opportunity to load up on traditional Brie de Meaux cheese , (the king of cheeses, the cheese of kings Vienna 1815) where they still do it the traditional way not the ones in supermarket or even in markets!. This is the Fromagerie Saint Faron cheese makers, webpage here:  official tourist office of Meaux country and Fromagerie St Faron

Meaux

Finally on our way home, we stop at our favorite Boulangerie/Pâtisserie Delameau to pick our pre order of Christmas goodies including a pain au surprises a loaf made up of small sandwiches, sweets, Christmas log, etc etc etc. Always delicious and my late wife Martine most favorite place in town! And you can see why she was right is a favorite in town. It will be a trying Christmas but we are ready for it.

pluvigner

I take once again this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of joy and health with your love ones and friends. This is indeed still a very special day in our calendar.

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

December 24, 2018

The Orangery of Versailles, Orangerie!

So back to Versailles shall we! a wonderful town that needs to be seen more, my kind of town, actually did lived there for almost 10 glorious years! Very nice family memories. I like to tell you a bit more of Versailles.

The orangery is one that is very nice, part of the Castle of Versailles but actually a different history and even before there was a castle. Therefore, let me go on with the Orangerie!

The Orangerie of the Château de Versailles was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart between 1684 and 1686, it replaces the one built by the Vau in 1663 , therefore before the beginning of the works of the castle!.

The Orangerie, a wonderful building right in the gardens, really. and Plenty of plants ::) See the Statue of Louis XIV in emperor garments ,made of marble done to be put in the place des Victoires in Paris ,and done by the personal fortune of Jules-Hardouin-Mansart in 1686. The bronce did not resisted the time elements and was melted in 1792 by the revolutionaries to make canons. You can see at the Louvre the socket and decorations of these canons showing the conquered nations of Nimegue in 1678. When the new Orangerie was built in 1686 there was a perfect gallery of 156 meters long by 21 meters wide and the statue in marble found its place. Inside the Orangerie you will find, the most extraordinary collection of plants of all time, more than 2000 pots of lemon,grenades, laurel roses, oranges coming from Portugal,Spain,Italy, and the Vatican. During the winters these treasures were preserved thanks to the thick walls of 5 meters and the double window panning, even able to keep the Connétable de Pampelune planted in 1421!!! You ,also, can see the horse statue of Louis XIV done from 1665-1673! where you might remember it more for the replica in the pyramide of the Louvre  There is another copy at the piéce d”eau des Suisses since 1990; The original in the Orangerie is from 1685. You can see inside the baths or vasque octogonale done in 1674. done on a piece of marble de Rance, it is an octogonal of 3 meters wide and 1meter deep.  It is difficult to imagine taken a bath here as it would be impossible to heat in those years. The vase took several turns in different places until finally arriving at the Oragerie in 1934

Versailles

The first orangery was built by Charles VIII at Amboise Castle. artichokes, melons and bitter oranges are naturalized there. Henri IV built an orangery in the Louvre. By retaining water and nutrients, and using pruning techniques, French gardeners were able to make citrus trees bloom throughout the year, to the delight of Louis XIV. Citrus-based motifs will become a theme in sculpture, mosaic, embroidery, weaving, paintings, poems or songs throughout history. Orange flowers remain popular as floral ornaments in weddings.

Each year at the end of November, the Orangery floor is empty. Oranges, lemons, palm trees, oleander, pomegranates in crates are mounted in the “berlinguettes” to join their winter refuge. Access by very small doors, “flaps”. They were pierced so as not to open the big doors and prevent the cold from getting into the building. The orangery, oriented to the south, is buried underground so no air flow , and still has the double chassis of its period mirrors. Attributes that ensure a stable indoor temperature (between 5 and 8 °c) in winter. Indoors, all this lush, almost tropical vegetation, with these hundreds of delicate trees from Italy, Spain, Portugal, disturbs the smell. Strange and delicious Sensation that the cold on the face combined with these fragrances come from the warm, sunny countries. From October to May, oranges, lemons, pomegranates and palm trees winter in this cathedral of 13 meters high built partly underground. Inside, the scents are intense or delicate.

Versailles

This building of the Orangery is located under the Parterre du Midi ,  illuminated by impressive arched windows, consists of a central vaulted gallery, 150 meters long, flanked by two wings of  117 meters supporting the two staircases called the Hundred-Steps(cent marshes) . The walls, to keep the heat, are so thick, five meters, that they give the impression that we are cut off from the cold and the noises from the outside, disconnected from the universe Versailles. The ensemble, illuminated by large, curved windows, constricts the low floor or the flowerbed of the Orangery. A beautiful place that I like a lot ,and I walked around a lot of times.

Versailles

This orientation, a thickness of walls more than 5 meters and precautions taken in winter-for example, under the old regime, gardeners came back by large chatiers to avoid opening large windows doors whose joints were caulked with straw made that the Orangerie has never experienced a freezing ,the low floor is bounded on its fourth side, to the south, by a balustrade overlooking the road to Saint Cyr l’école (D10). My route a lot of time to see my boys girlfriends lol! This one separates it from the pièce d’eau des Suisses . In its center is a large circular basin, surrounded by six pieces of grass. Under Louis XIV, it was adorned with some sculptures today all at the Louvre Museum.

Versailles

Versailles

The great orangery, by its dimensions, was transformed into a prison for the Communards in 1871, and became the obligatory step between the Satory garrison, where the military judgments were held.

There is a wonderful statue there, commissioned by Colbert and made of Carrara marble by Bernini, this equestrian statue of Louis XIV almost did not reach us. When the King discovers it in 1685,  he did not appreciate it, judging it ill-made, to the point of demanding its destruction. But he reconsidered by making changes which transformed it by taking inspiration from Marcus Curtius, a Roman hero hurling himself into the flames to save the Republic.

You get more info in english from the Château de Versailles here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Orangerie

A must to see while in Versailles, it will take you more than a day to see it all , I would give it 3 and that is just the Domaine of Versailles. Need more to see the rest of the city wonders. Enjoy it as much as I did/do; Versailles is going to the soul of France!

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

December 23, 2018

Saint Louis Cathedral, Versailles of course!

Ok so let’s get back to my beloved Versailles. This is a bit of anecdote for me, I saw later while living there, in another district here is like another town, and there is a revolutionary veil behind it . Maybe one reason not taken time to take pictures here, the one below is from my sons school resto: update did found more right in my blog!!! my son took them long ago so update them here!!!. I lived at Notre Dame district !!!I came eventually as my sons gathered around a resto near it while lunch or even after school and needed to get them there, but did finally saw the theme of this post. The Saint Louis Cathedral of Versailles.

Another of the most see while in Versailles and to get away from just the castle/museum; as said, Versailles has a lot more to offer. its like coming to Paris and not seeing Notre Dame Cathedral!

The Cathedral of Saint Louis in Versailles is a rock-style Church built by the architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne. It was blessed on August 25, 1754, Saint Louis Day, and chosen as a Cathedral for the creation of the Bishopric of Versailles in 1802, (as the revolution Concordia did not want to name the Royal Notre Dame) but was consecrated only in 1843. The facade, adorned with Corinthian and Doric columns is flanked by two lateral towers for the bells, capped with bulbs characteristic of the rock-style, gilded. A dome topped by a baluster-shaped arrow, also gilded in the past, is arranged over the cross-aisle.

A bit of history I like

The Church of the village of Versailles, before the construction of the castle, was dedicated to Saint Julien de Brioude. This church was demolished in 1681. On its site was built the grand commun of the castle. The Church of St. Julien was rebuilt in the new city. It also had a fleeting existence. In 1684, Louis XIV laid the first stone of a new building: the parish of Notre-Dame (the Royal historical Church that should be the Cathedral) which gave its name to the district.

From 1725, at the corner of the rue de Satory and rue d’Anjou, near the king’s vegetable garden (potager du roi), a temporary chapel of about thirty meters, flanked by a collateral and surrounded by a cemetery, was built. It began to buried folks there in April 1727, and was baptized on May 1728. The foundations were started in June 1742. The first stone was solemnly laid by the Archbishop of Paris on June 12, 1743. Louis XV placed himself in a cavity dug for this purpose a gold medal and four silver medals, then proceeded to the sealing of the stone of Assisi. The Church of St. Louis was indeed completed only twelve years later. The inauguration passed without fanfare on August 24, 1754, without the presence of the Royal family because the Dauphine, Marie-Joséphe de Saxe, had given birth on the eve of a son (the future Louis XVI!!).

The St. Louis Church underwent few transformations until the French revolution and its history was devoid of major events, the Royal Parish remaining at the Church of Notre-Dame. However, when the general states of 1789 were opened, it was in Saint-Louis that the solemn procession (departing from Notre-Dame Church) surrendered and it was from the pulpit of the church that the Bishop of Nancy denounced the abuses of the court. Several meetings of the States General also were held in Saint-Louis during the month of June 1789. On the 22nd, the oath of the jeu de Paume was renewed.

In 1790, Versailles became the seat of a bishopric. The first constitutional bishop, chose Notre-Dame for Cathedral. Subsequently, the Church of St. Louis was closed and, most of the objects of worship having been confiscated, turned into a temple of abundance. It was given the attributes; on the façade a ploughman was even painted on the front facade of the Church. As soon as the Catholic cult was restored (after 1802), the constitutional (revolutionary) bishop who had succeeded preferred St. Louis to Notre-Dame (of course the Royal pantheon) and thus this Church finally became the Cathedral. On January 3, 1805, Pope Pius VII, who came to Paris for the coronation of Emperor Napoleon I, was welcomed into St. Louis Cathedral by the first Bishop of the Cathedral.

The architecture of it on the exterior. The Cathedral is done in a traditional Latin cross plan of Gothic style with a central nave, collateral flanked by chapels, protruding transept, choir surrounded by an ambulatory interrupted by the axial chapel dedicated to the Virgin. The arms of the transept are concave. The Cathedral is oriented north-south, in the meantime to that of Notre-Dame, since the Council of Trent no longer imposed the traditional east-west orientation. The master altar was once placed at the back of the choir, constituting the sanctuary. The current location is more in line with the Council of Vatican II, the priest officiating against the faithful and not his back turned. The façade is located on an eight-degree step and has two levels. Three doors pierce the lower level. Six Doric columns flank the main; The two side doors of two columns of the same order. The second level, which reigns only on the central part, repeats exactly the layout of the ground floor. It opens on a full-hanger bay in the upper part of which a clock was placed. Above, the façade is crowned with a triangular pediment enthroned with a golden cross. It is adorned with a winged royal crest whose lilies were hammered at the time of the French revolution.   The two lateral towers are punctuated with Doric pilasters forming protruding, surmounted by stone vases. They are capped with bulbs according to the Rococo tradition to cover the steeples.

Versailles

On the Interior we have in brief. It reflects this somewhat cold nobility, softened by the delicacy of style in honor under Louis XV. The nave, with five spans, is chanted with pilasters engaged in a rather thin relief, cushioned by Corinthian capitals. You will admire the beauty of the cartridges that mark the key of each of the big arcades. They are framed with garlands of roses. On the other side of the façade, the Stone Tribune is supported by a large bow that is leaning on both sides on a console. It gets up in brace to wear the organ buffet of Clicquot. Above the large arcades, the Cathedral is illuminated by spectacled bays whose vaults penetrate the nave, according to the usual process used at that time. 93 meters high, the nave is covered with a penetrating vault whose built-in doubles are paired with the claves of the cradles and reach nearly one meter thick. The vaults of the collateral fall on pillars to the Corinthian capitals.

The square of the transept is covered with a dome on carved pendants. It is itself surmounted by a second cap with a low dome, the sculptures of which were never finished, as the presence of the stones shows. The choir, circular, has three bays and an apse. The pillars, like the cornice, are identical to those of the nave. The ambulatory that surrounds the choir stops at the height of the axial chapel. The chapels that flank the collateral and the ambulatory are dedicated, on the left side, to Saint Julien, to the Departed, to Sainte Geneviève and to Saint Peter. Beyond the left arm of the transept is the Ecce Homo Chapel, those of Saint Francis, Saint Vincent de Paul, the Sacred Heart and Saint Joseph. On the right side, the Chapel of the baptismal fonts is first presented, followed by the presentation of the Most Holy Virgin and Saint Charles . Beyond the transept, the three chapels that surround the choir are dedicated to the Good Shepherd, Saint Louis, and Saint John the Baptist.  The chapel of Providence adjoins, on the left, the chapels of Ecce Homo and Saint Francis. We penetrate them from the inside.

Versailles

The great historical organ commissioned in 1759 on the order of Louis XV to Louis-Alexandre Clicquot was completed in 1761 by François-Henri Clicquot (his son). Blessed on the eve of Toussaint 1761, it will cross unscathed the revolutionary period, not undergoing, thanks to the intelligence of the lord of the Municipality of Versailles, that the removal of three large flowers of wooden lilies on the buffet of the positive . It then has 45 games on 4 keyboards and a high-cut crankset. On 4 May 1789 the organ participated in the mass of the States General convened by Louis XVI.

Versailles

This is one of the marvels of Versailles still pretty much remaining in the off the beaten path level. The city of Versailles did a study where 98% of visitors only come to the castle/museum! what a pity, there is so much more to show you; do some walking. Enjoy it

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official sit of the Cathedral Saint Louis in French

Tourist office of Versailles on the Cathedral of Saint Louis

Hope you enjoy it as much as we finally did. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 23, 2018

The rue de l’Independence Americaine, Versailles of course!

Ok ok, been inspired writing posts about streets and squares of Paris. However, my beloved Versailles has a punch and as it is my kind of town, will tell you a bit on them.

The first one dear to me is the rue de l’ndépendance Américaine or the American Independence street of Versailles. Do I need to tell you more? Well, ok here I go

The rue de l’Indépendance-Américaine in the immediate vicinity of the Château de Versailles, which it runs along a wing, is located in the Saint-Louis district. The street has a roughly north-south orientation, with a marked slope ,lower to the south. It begins at the end of rue Pierre de Nolhac, at the right of a passage to the Cour d’Honneur of the château by the height of the Pavillon Dufour. It ends on Rue de l’Orangerie, facing the pièce d’eau des Suisses (lake and statue of Louis XVI! ) along the D10 road.

It was previously named “Rue Gambetta” (1885), formerly “Rue de la Bibliothèque” (1841), formerly “Rue de la Superintendence” (1693-1793 and 1804-1841, before 1793 sometimes “rue de la Superintendence and Quatre fermes”), and “Rue de la Fédération” Or “Rue de l’Union” (1793-1804) before taking its current name from 1935.

Ok so you have to make a sharp right out of the castle/museum of Versailles and take the street parallel to the castle walls along rue Pierre de Nohac on another right. and at the end turn left into the rue de l’indépendance Américaine. You will see beautiful architecture and American history as well.

Under the former regime, it housed numerous official services of the monarchy with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, War, Superintendence and the general control of finances in addition to the Grand Commun which housed the feeding services of the Castle, making the street an administrative city of the time.

You have the following observation on the street to the west.

South wing of the castle, built in 1679, called the former wing as opposed to the north, raised in 1685, known as the new wing. At No. 6: Former Hotel de la Surintendance des bâtiments du roi, built in 1670, one of the oldest houses of Versailles. Having become too small to meet the surface needs of the administrative staff, in 1683, a new superintendence of larger buildings on the other side of the same street (see # 9) was built, while maintaining the housing of the Superintendents of Buildings in this House. Louvois occupied an apartment on the first floor where he died in 1691; To No. 8, 8bis, 10 and 10bis: Different classified buildings, some of which were made by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. At No. 12: Hotel du Grand contrôle. (All this area has a contract by grand chef Alain Ducasse to convert into a luxury hotel by end 2019). Stay tune!

Paris

versailles

The same observations can be made to the East.

At No. 1: Grand Commun (the bldg of the servants of the court); At No. 3: Hotel de la Guerre (war ministry), at No. 5: Hotel of Foreign Affairs and the Navy, present Central Library of Versailles. It was in this building that the Treaty of Paris of 1783 ending the American War of Independence was negotiated. At No. 9: Barracks Vauban, formerly New Hotel of the Superintendence of the king’s buildings, built in 1683 (see No. 6).

Versailles

A bit more on the history USA/Versailles from the Château de Versailles site: France America history from the Chateau de Versailles

And a lot more in French from the city of VersaillesCity of Versailles and municipal library

Just walk this historical section of Versailles and see architecture, history and the power of government before your eyes. Versailles is worth a kingdom ::)

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

 

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