Archive for December 23rd, 2018

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.


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.


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.


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!



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).


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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