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 31, 2018

Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux!

So I am winding down my visit to my beloved city of Meaux, plenty written on it on previous posts so will be short and to the point. The St Stephen Cathedral of Meaux is what is on the title and it is one of the great Gothic Cathedrals of France.

I have written several articles on it ,with the last been last Dec17, here is the post: My previous post Dec17 on the Cathedrale St Etienne of Meaux

So, therefore, will cut it short. However, you know it , you must see it at least once;not too far from Paris gare de l’Est station direct and also near Disneyland which is nearby in Seine et Marne dept 77 not Paris but the name is catchy lol!!

The pays de Meaux region tourist office in French on it: Official tourist office of Meaux St Stephen Cathedral

A bit more on the latest history of its construction:

In 1317, the king of France Philippe V along donated a plot to build two additional radiant chapels. Around 1331-1335, a bourgeois of Meaux, Jean de Rose (today a boulevard name after him) , financially supported the construction of the last lateral chapel to the right of the nave. In 1335, King Philip VI allowed the extension of the nave of three bays, the latter, located to the west of the building.   The work resumed in 1390, with the construction of the left part of the first three bays; The construction site lasts until 1410. The first three bays of the nave were completed only during the second half of the 15C. Further work still follows: the fourth and fifth spans of the nave are modified to display the flamboyant style at the end of the 15C. The North tower was finally completed following a long campaign ranging from 1505 to 1540. As for the North Gate, it was completed before 1506. The same goes for the first north side chapel of the nave. Most of the stained glass windows were executed in the 19C and are therefore of recent construction. Some stained glass windows date back to the 14C, like the one at the back of the altar.

The main figure here and also one of the better known in French history was  Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) was the most famous of the bishops of Meaux. Particularly renowned for his eloquence, he preached repeatedly before the king and the court and was even instructed to instruct the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, for ten years. In 1681, he obtained the Siege of Meaux, which had the advantage of being close enough to Paris and of Versailles to allow it to maintain its ties with the court, while ensuring the direction of his diocese. It was also dubbed the Eagle of Meaux as opposed   to Fénelon, the “Swan of Cambrai”, whose style was more suave. The two prelates are fought on the question of “quietism”, a mystical approach to the divinity of which Bossuet obtained the condemnation. He was one of the most ardent proponents of the conversion of Protestants, imposed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In the context of the administration of his diocese, Bossuet sought to combat anything which, in his view, threatened to threaten the greetings from the faithful. He was fiercely hostile to the puppets and the dance that distracted his flock.   Comparing his condemnation with the position of the Church towards the actors like what happened to Molière’s death at the same time.

After a slow and painful agony, Bossuet dies in a house currently located at 46 Rue Bossuet in Paris on April 12, 1704 of the formation of kidney stone disease. The funeral services were done at the Church of Saint Roch in Paris.  The Cathedral of Meaux houses the tomb of Bossuet, located near the high altar, as well as two monuments in white marble erected in memory of the famous bishop. The most imposing of these sculptures, installed in 1911 in the north side of the nave, at the top of a pedestal flanked by four characters: Henriette de France, pour qui Bossuet fit l’oraison funèbre le Dauphin pour qui Bossuet fut le précepteur , Louise de La Valliere, mistress of Louis XIV who entered the convent of Carmel on the advice of Bossuet   and Turenne; converti par Bossuet . On the reverse is also carved a bust in medallion, with the inscription Rocroi ;   showing the event of the Prince of Condé who won the Battle of Rocroi in 1643 under the influence of Bossuet.

There is a museum Bossuet on his story and that of the city of Meaux and the Cathedral very nice and worth going in. This time I arrive late but a nice night shot looks very nice me think. Right behind the Cathedral in what was the episcopal palace and also has nice gardens jardin Bossuet! Enjoy it; the webpage is here: Musée Bossuet de Meaux

meaux

Definitively you need to see it and come back to tell me about it. Cathédrale Saint Etienne or St Stephen’s Cathedral of Meaux.

I like to show you a pictorial of it here: Of course any questions you can ask me on the photos or anything on the Cathedral.

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

 

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December 31, 2018

The sights of my Versailles!

Coming along on my latest trip to the Paris region and a visit to in laws, I could not resist not passing by my beloved Versailles. So many great memories of it that will stay with me and my boys forever, these were really happier times. Versailles is it, royal beautiful quiet and just quant. We love it and its shows in my posts.

We had little time on this trip as our final destination was the family on wife’s side in Seine et Marne 77; however, we made the best of it by walking all over our old neighborhood of Notre Dame. I like to tell you about with a brief description of the pictures.

We first stop by the gorgeous wonderful lively Notre Dame market at the square crossing of rue de la Paroisse and rue du Maréchal Foch; we even walked our dog Rex on the streets and he love it, looking and smelling everywhere!

versailles

versailles

versailles

Versailles

We stop by the neighborhood Church and the Royal Church of Versailles, Notre Dame, behind it was my home ::) (see the first picture) . This is a very nice historical Church of France; the kings and family members were baptised here and birth recorded and deaths all is here in the basement sacristy.

versailles

Versailles

versailles

We went over to see the Porte Saint Antoine on bd Saint Antoine, which was our easy entry to the property of the castle and our jogging, walking and just killing time space with glorious lunch/snacks at the Petit Trianon, Angelina. Now we just took some shots of the Bassin de Neptune area and one looking towards the Royal Opera.

versailles

versailles

versailles

versailles

While driving out we went by the new renovated and very nice Monument Américain , the American monument featuring the heroes of the US war of independance and the help back to France in WWI, statues of the Marquis de La Fayette and General Pershing.

versailles

versailles

We, then were able to take new shots of the Gibert & Joseph book store in rue de la Paroisse as well as my Nicolas wine store, the old favorite resto Le Boeuf à la Mode, and the old Cyrano cinema as well as some shots of Rue de la Paroisse and Rue des Reservoirs. And of course, the big photo on my way to my old house. Gorgeous Versailles always was and is and will be me think!

 

I leave you with that though a medium size loaded with commodities town full of architecture, history of the world, and quant streets to walk by with friendly people even in the maze of tourist, over 7 millions come over each year 98% visiting the Chateau de Versailles, but do come out , it is full of off the beaten paths beauties to see and marvel. Enjoy it fully without moderation!!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Church of Saint Symphorien, Versailles!

And I have to tell you more of my beloved Versailles! The city did a study where 98% of visitors only come to the castle/museum, what a pity!! You are missing out on a Royal and de facto capital of France with numerous things to see of great value. I wll try to bring you into these off the beaten path jewels.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of St Symphorien in the district of Montreuil , just north of me following the same line on the avenue Saint Cloud and Avenue de Paris up. See Versailles at its best!

The village of Montreuil was only attached to Versailles in 1787. So it developed a little out of the way and kept the charm of a village, massaged around the Church of Saint Symphorien. The early example of neoclassical architecture. It was in this district that, under king Louis XIV, the Italian musicians who were assigned to the castle Chapel settled. Visit their home, which now houses the Compagnonnique Union Museum (see my previous post on them). Its proximity to the Château also brought Montreuil to be chosen by some of the great ladies of the court in the 18C for the installation of beautiful resorts, like the estate of Madame Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, whose park you will enjoy! (again see previous post on her).

The Church of Saint Symphorien is on a square at the end of bd Lesseps, and at the intersection of rue Saint-Charles, rue de Montreuil and rue d’Artois . The square of the church gives a place of the same name as the church, the place Saint Symphorien. This is in the district of Montreuil a royal neighborhood of which the construction was done between 1764 and 1770. There are wonderful paintings and the next to is a colourful commercial street rue de Montreuil leading to Avenue des Etats Unis full of shops, bistros, very lively at nights.

Versailles

Versailles

The Church is a south-facing building with an elongated plan ending with a semicircular apse surmounted by a steeple. The west and east sides are grafted into a chapel. The nave is three aisles and seven bays. The style is Neo-Classical and 18C. The nave is vaulted in cradle. Colonnades separate the central nave from the aisles. The cradle vault is decorated with a coffered ceiling. The arch in the end of the apse is adorned with a fresco by Demachy. The total length of St Symphorien is 52 meters by its bell steeple rises to 30 meters.

Versailles

The vault fresco are as far as the shades of clothing are concerned, red is the color of sacrifice, the blue, that of the sky and the white, the symbol of purity. In the fresco, Saint-Symphorien is on the right, Sainte Geneviève on the left. The Resurrection of Christ painting was behind the altar until the French revolution. In the 19C, when the apse was painted, it was placed in a lateral chapel.

Versailles

The main façade is advanced by an antique portico, enhanced by stair steps, with a pediment decorated with a clock. The side walls are pierced by eight rectangular bays. A second entry is on the north end. It is surrounded by two columns and a triangular pediment. It is also topped by a square steeple, pierced by a bay and decorated with a clock. The roof is double-sloped.

A bit of history I like

The history of the Church of St. Symphorien begins in the early 6C when a first building is built at the corner of current rue St. Symphorien and rue de l’école des postes. A second church would have succeeded it and then the Célestins monks of Paris, owners of the land, had a third sanctuary rebuilt in 1472. A project to expand the old Church is signed by the King dated September 15, 1754. But it is finally a new Church that is built. On January 1, 1787, the new Church of Montreuil became the third parish of Versailles. The aisles are adorned with great paintings from the 17C and 18C. Note that there is no stained glass in the church of St. Symphorien. With the French revolution, the Church of St. Symphorien was desecrated, the vases stolen, the furniture scattered. Then the building was closed. The cult of reason was not celebrated there. With the Concordat of July 1801 the Church found its status as an official place of worship.

A bit of current history on the separation of State and Church very vividly lived here. This is from the archives of Versailles , translation by yours truly.

At the end of the law of 9 December 1905, the priests were no longer paid and the State became the owner of the Church property which remained at the disposal of the clergy, but without any legal title. When the officials of the Republic came to compile an inventory of the property of the Church of Saint Symphorien, on February 8, 1906, there was an insurrection. Here are the facts.

The priest is informed that the inventory has to start from 8h to 14h . By 11h, merchants closed their shop, the population began to massage around the Church. Fearing incidents, the security forces take a stand (gendarmerie, Genie, Dragons) to block access to the building. A violent brawl erupts with punches, cane and chair. There are some slight casualties. Demonstrators manage to return to the Church where the defence is organized. The small front door is only open, it is blocked by a barrage of chairs. The double central door remains closed. At 14h, everyone is there: the priest and the Council of the factory, the prefect and an inspector of the fields. The troop is ordered to roll back the demonstrators. They take that order for provocation. Cries of anger in the crowd, young men hold the horses of the constables, notables are arrested. With difficulty, the police come to the end of the dam of chairs that blocks the door . The Prefect enters the Church with the estate agent. Chairs are thrown from the organ gallery. The prefect is hit in the head. He orders to clean the tribune and leave to be bandaged. The gendarmes enter the nave by protecting themselves with chairs. A shower of projectiles falls on them. The door of the staircase leading to the Tribune is driven by an axe. The troop rushes, clears the crowded staircase, and then pushes the top door. Finally six defenders are arrested, including a Vicar. An official protest is read to the domain officer who recognizes that the inventory is impossible in this mess. The prisoners, gathered at the rue Saint-Pierre prison, immediately appear in a hearing of flagrant offences. The convictions, including that of the prelate, will be severe. Postscript: things never change in my belle France!

Hope you enjoy the ride and do visit this wonderful Church. There is one webpage from the official Church in French here: Official parish Church of Saint Symphorien

oh yes the ride well there is little on it the walk is about 22-25 minutes from the Chateau de Versailles a wonderful walk full of French history. Best to come out left on place d’Armes by the horse statue of Louis XIV, continue walking left until the Avenue de Saint Cloud, take a right here and continue walking on it. You will pass the famous Lycée Hoche on your left keep walking to the round traffic circle ,this is Place Alexandre Ier; bear right and on the 3rd street turn right this is rue de Montreuil; this street takes you straight into place Saint Symphorien , look right and the Church is facing you!

And 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 29, 2018

Salon de Diane , Versailles of course!

And as I am on a roll in my beloved, beautiful and Royal Versailles ; let me continue somethings to ahhh about. Versailles is sublime and one needs to see it more to understand is not Paris it preceeds Paris, it is part of the constitution of France a de facto capital of France! My kind of town!

While wandering in the city you come to realise the multitude of things to see that is not castle related. However, there is always the castle. Inside of it one of the places that always fascinates me is the Salon de Diane ,and I like to tell you a bit more about it. Again, if you look in my blog you will find plenty on it but never in a single dedicated post like now.

The Salon of Diane is a room of the Château de Versailles, and my favorite room. Part of the King’s Grands apartments, this room decorated with the theme of Diane, goddess of Roman mythology, served as a billiard room in the time of Louis XIV. The lounge communicates to the west with the Salon de Mars and to the east with the Salon de Venus. And the door of the bottom, on the right, led to the second flight of the staircase of the  Ambassadeurs. You will see in the center of the ceiling, Diane accompanied by the nocturnal hours and the cool hours of the morning, presiding over hunting and navigation. The salon is 10,3 meters long by 8,7 meters wide and 7,5 meters high.

Versailles

The King’s Grands apartments constitute the public part of the monarch’s life, which received the court and foreign ambassadors with pomp. There, especially at the time of king Louis XIV, was a veritable staging of absolute power,   great power for official receptions, feasts, concerts, etc. The decor, of infinite richness, constitutes a real work of art , and it is not an inch of ceiling, tapestry or furniture that does not advocate the virtues of the king. The walls of the Grands apartment are panelled with marble and were exhibited in the Royal Collection of antique statues and busts or enriched with paintings, a number of which are now at the Louvre Museum.

Versailles

King Louis XIV originally used the Salon de Diane as a billiards room. He was a master at this game. The billiard table stood in the center of the room, covered with a fringed crimson velvet carpet. Stands covered with Persian rugs embroidered in gold and silver were placed around the room on which the women sat to observe the game.

Some of the decorations to keep an eye on are in the ceiling; Diane on her chariot presiding with hunting and navigation, in ancient Greece, the goddess of hunting, Diane, was associated with the moon for her coldness. She was also the sister of Apollo, the god of the sun. The covings are adorned with hunting scenes of ancient heroes. Here the allusion is transparent, because it is common knowledge that Louis XIV was a great hunter. At the north side see Alexander chasing the lion, the east is Cyrus chasing the boar, and on the south Julius Caesar sending a Roman colony to Carthage,and the west see Jason and the Argonauts.

Versailles

The chimney is surmounted by a painting representing Iphigenia saved by Diane. A small relief of marble representing the escape in Egypt is embedded in the apron of the chimney. In the middle of the wall facing the windows stands a bust carved in 1685 of king Louis XIV at the age of 27 years. The brilliant performance of this sculpture is one of the masterpieces of the artist Bernini.

Versailles

Some of the nice paintings here are : The Sacrifice of Iphigenia,by   Charles de La Fosse; Diane and Endymion, by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard; Camaïeu above the doors, evoking the legend of Diane:; Diane and Actaeon, by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard; Diane protecting Arethusa,by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard, an offering of flowers, and the Sacrifice to Diane, also by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard

Some of the nice sculptures here are: Bust of Louis XIV by Bernini from 1665 in white marble; Ancient Roman woman bust with head in white marble, onyx shirt from Egypt or Asia Minor, tunic in Brocatelle; Ancient bust of Roman Empress with head in white marble, the onyx shirt of Egypt or Asia Minor, the tunic and the pedestal in flower of peach, this marble comes from Serravezza in the Carrara basin in Italy.

Versailles

Just marvelous indeed the whole and its parts. You must come even if lately due to its worldwide popularity has become a bit crowded. Pick early hours, bring your ticket with you, go in by the back either the orangerie or the better and mine  porte Saint Antoine, and try the Wednesday mornings when school is out and kids with their parents are elsewhere.

Some webpages on the Grand Apartments here: Official Chateau de Versailles on Grand Apartments and Diane

The always helpful commons by wikipedia show you details of the deco paintings sculptures there. Commons wikipedia photos on the Salon de Diane

Enjoy it fully ,its a must to see in your lifetime .And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

December 29, 2018

Galerie des Batailles, Versailles of course!

So moving along on my nostaltic tour of my beloved Versailles, I like to expand a bit on a wonderful place inside the Château de Versailles. I have written in my blog before and you know you can search but not in a post by itself , which I think merits one.

Therefore, I will tell you a bit more on the galerie des batailles or gallery of battles of the palace of Versailles. This is my take on it.

In the 19C, the Château de Versailles experienced a new destiny: to become the Museum of the History of France, dedicated to “all the glories” of France, according to the wishes of Louis-Philippe, the new king of the French in 1830. The Museum of the history of France was created in 1837 by King Louis-Philippe, who entrusted the organization to the Count of Montalivet. Installed in the wings of the Château de Versailles, then in a state close to abandonment, it brings together a vast ensemble of portraits and historical scenes, canvases commissioned for the most part to artists of the time. A unique ensemble in Europe, it has recently undergone restorations. It includes the Galerie des Batailles (gallery of battles), a gallery of 120 meters long with large paintings illustrating the major military events in the history of France. Not many realized this is a museum and think only of a castle; but it was saved by Louis Philippe creating the idea of all the glories of France and creating a museum here!

The collections of the Museum of the History of France include today almost 6 000 paintings and 1 500 sculptures, dated from the 15-20C, of which almost half are orders of Louis-Philippe for his museum (works of creation, copies and die castings). Since the fall of Louis-Philippe in 1848, the collections have continued to enrich themselves, by orders or purchases of the French Republic, but also by numerous legacies and donations. Most of these works are in the official art and have been used for generations to illustrate countless books of history, literature, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

Versailles

The Gallery of Battles is a gallery in the Museum of the History of France, located on the first floor of the south wing of the Château de Versailles. This gallery measures 120 meters long by 13 meters wide and occupies the length of the first floor of the central wing or aile du Midi. The architects Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine and Frédéric Nepveu created the solemn decor. A large cornice supports a painted coffered vault and encasements supported by corinthian columns chant the length of the gallery. On sixteen bronze tables are the names of princes, admirals, constables, marshals, great warriors killed or wounded to death fighting for France.   The busts are placed on sheaths between the tables and against the columns. The Battle Hall features the busts of French soldiers who died in combat. The paintings cover fourteen centuries of the history of France, since the Battle of Tolbiac, delivered by Clovis in 496, to that of Wagram, won by Napoleon Ier in 1809. A bit of credit on architect Frédéric Nepveu of which street directly to you left and before getting into the avenue saint cloud is name after. More here: Chateau de Versailles on Frederic Nepveu

Versailles

Its creation was decided by King Louis-Philippe in the place of apartments which had been successively occupied, in the 17-18C by the Duke of Orléans Philippe de France, said Monsieur, brother of Louis XIV, and by his second wife, Elisabeth-Charlotte Palatine Princess of Bavaria; The Duke and Duchess of Chartres, Philippe d’Orléans, regent during the minority of Louis XV; The Duke of Orléans, son of the regent, Louis d’Orléans; the Dauphine; the Count of Artois (future king Charles X) ; and Madame. Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI).

There was some renovations to house the gallery from the above apartments: mainly a metal structure and a large overhead window similar to the Grand Gallery at the Louvre museum. French history is presented from Clovis to Napoléon by reading left to right with special mention of Tolbiac, Poitiers, Bouvines, Marignan, Rocroi, Yorktown (my favorite ::) , Rivoli , and Austerlitz. In the center , among the heroes ,the historical sequence portrays the horsemen, the statement, the wounded, and the leader or legitimate sovereign who prefigured the new king of France.

Versailles

You can enjoy, Delacroix painting of the battle of Taillebourg part of a series devoted to the Hundred Years’ War. Also, works by Horace Vernet, Heim and Bard who did paintings on the inauguration festivities of the Gallery of Battles in 1837. You will see the portrait of the battle of Saint Louis vs Hugues de Lusignan rebel vassal allied with king Henry II of England (a sketch is at the Louvre museum as well). The revolt of Cairo 1798, painted by Anne Louis Girodet showing General Dupuy trying to disperse the crowds on which he was assassinated (similar work by the painter in the Coronation room at the Chateau de Versailles on the battle of Abukir. Of course, for me, nothing better than the battle of Yorktown showing  George Washington Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, count of Rochambeau, and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette painted by Auguste Couder.

Versailles

Versailles

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Chateau de Versailles Galerie des Batailles

Chateau de Versailles and the great characters of its history

Chateau de Versailles museum collections

Just one single spot worth coming to the Palace/museum of Versailles indeed!!! I could stay long time glancing of these paintings and busts and did come several times.  Enjoy it !!.

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!!!

 

 

 

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