Archive for December 24th, 2018

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

VAnnes

VAnnes

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!.

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 24, 2018

Jeu de Paume or Royal Tennis court, Versalles of course!

Continuing with my run of off the beaten path places in my beloved Versailles and to once again show you that the city has a lot more than a castle/museum; my saga continues… This time will stay in that other district of Versailles, Saint Louis ,and show you a bit more on the Jeu de  Paume hall or Royal Tennis Courts!

This is in a quant nice little street that makes the place even a bit cozy and ancient. A lovely walk indeed and top by an afternoon visit to the Jeu de Paume. Even if in Saint Louis, the pictures are a bit more this time ::) from my vault!

The Jeu de Paume hall (Royal Tennis Court) is located no. 1 rue jeu de paume, in the heart of the Saint-Louis district, in Versailles of course, dept 78 of Yvelines. It is famous for the oath of the jeu de paume which the deputies of the third State lent there on June 20, 1789. This hall, which was called at the time a Den, was built in 1686. King Louis XIV, as well as other characters of the court, played in the tennis game, very popular game at the time and ancestor of the current Tennis.

Versailles

King Louis XVI wanted to prevent the third State and its allies from the clergy and the nobility from meeting again, because the States General are in the process of making a legal revolution. With the decision to dissolve the orders and create a National Assembly, the king must take over the advantage and summon the three states for a royal meeting. Under the pretext of decoration work, the Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs (see this post) is thus closed by the king, against the advice of his minister Jacques Necker. The provisional president of the All-new National Assembly, Jean-Sylvain Bailly, presents himself on the morning of 20 June, in front of the Hotel, while a detachment of French guards forbids access. In the street, the noise of a coup is circulating, the crowd is agitated and the deputies are looking for another place to continue their work. On the proposal of Deputy Joseph Ignace Guillotin (you know him! la guillotine! ), they are investing in the Jeu de Paume hall in the Saint-Louis district. It is an all-length building of 29 × 10 meters owned by private individuals. The walls are painted black in order to help the players to see the balls better and the blue ceiling is dotted with fleur de lys. For all furniture   it was installed a few seats and, as a table, a door on two barrels. This scene was immortalized in 1791 by the great unfinished historical picture of the painter Jacques-Louis David, the oath of the Tennis game (jeu de paume). The hall became a national property in 1793.

Versailles

The Jeu de Paume hall was abandoned under the Second Empire, before being transformed by the Republicans in the Museum of the French Revolution in 1883, with the commemorations of the centenary of the revolution. Completely renovated in 1988 on the occasion of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the revolution in 1989, the jeu de paume hall received President François Mitterrand to commemorate the legacy of Bailly and the spirit of 1789.

Versailles

Currently managed under the responsibility of the public establishment of the castle, the museum and the National estate of Versailles, it is open to the public every afternoon. See the webpage for updates.

Some webpages to help you prepare your visit here are

Official Chateau de Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume

Tourist office of Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume

City of Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume in French

There you go ,another off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles , full of wonderful sights and history, architecture,and just plain beauty all around you. Hope you enjoy it.

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

 

 

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