Archive for December, 2018

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).


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.


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.



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 25, 2018

Royal Chapel: Château de Versailles!

This is an odd day very busy going around preparing for Christmas 2018, which by the way Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers of my blog even if a bit late… I had to do it all with my boys in tow preparing and having my father get involved helping too for the dinner preparation. And what inspiration I took from all that well a special place for me on a special city .

I came first to the Château de Versailles back in 1990 and was like any tourist hurry up to see all in one day.  I had the my family, my parents, and wife’s grandmother with us. The first couple of trips were like this, then they were more routine until finally came to live here in 2003. I took this place as my own, for many reasons not tourist inclined. I like to tell you a bit more of the Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles.


The Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles is a palatial Chapel near the corner of the king’s Grands apartment and the north wing (aile nord). The present Chapel was completed and blessed in 1710, after a construction period that lasted for many years, a first draft of the project dating in fact from 1687. The definitive Royal Chapel, was preceded by four successive shrines, made in various locations of the palace. The chapels formed the place in which the daily activities of the Court were held during the Monarchies.

A bit of history I like

From 1663, a first confined sanctuary was lodged in the northeast of the castle in the stalled pavilion, at the location of the current cabine doré of Madame Adelaide; The expansion of the castle subsequently took place at the chapel, which was moved in 1670 to the south, at the site of the present Queen’s guard room (Salle des Gardes de la Reine).   Two years later, in 1672, a new chapel was installed at the site of the present hall called the coronation (salle dite du Sacre). It was blessed on November 3, 1672 and had an area of nearly 250 m2.

In 1682, the court settled in Versailles. The project of Le Brun is then abandoned. The wing of the South (l’aile du Midi) was built and the chapel was fixed at a temporary location in the north, against the Tethys Cave (grotte de Téthys ). A large cross was placed at the top of the roof, designating the function of the place. The space allotted to the musicians, in the tribune of the first floor, was fully integrated into the chapel. Two secondary altars were placed on the ground floor, one dedicated to St. Louis, the second to St. Theresa, patron saints of the royal couple. A third altar was set up in the rostrum, adorned with a painting of Cortona stone from the royal collections.

On this occasion, a permanent service of the Royal Chapel was instituted. king Louis XIV entrusted her to a community of Mission Fathers-also called Lazarist-Sons of Saint Vincent de Paul, who were housed in the castle. Conceived as provisional, the chapel of 1682 was used for 28 years; As a result, it is the most frequented building by Louis XIV. Important ceremonies took place, such as the great receptions in the order of the Holy Spirit in 1688-1689 or the marriage of the Duke of Burgundy in 1697.

The definitive location of the Royal Chapel was found in 1687. The plan of the building was barlong, with an initially rectangular bedside. The Chapel had two levels,on the first floor, a tribune reserved for the king, facing the altar, bordered the entire nave. The Royal Chapel was preceded by two superimposed vestibules, which gave access to the north wing (l’aile nord). The Royal Chapel was first designed not to exceed the height of the roofs of the rest of the palace. But from January 1689 the building was significantly higher. On June 5, 1710, the Royal Chapel was blessed by the Cardinal Noailles, Archbishop of Paris.

The sculptures was in the service of architecture. Originally, a large royal crown on a cushion and a mat-all in lead-was to be placed at the top. But finally, a lantern of nearly 12 meters high, surmounted by a Cross, overcame the edifice. The ridge of the roof of the chapel rises to 38 meters (43 meters from the lower court of the chapel) and is dominated by a cross at its eastern end.. On the ridge of the roof, there are two groups of three lead angels. These angels, originally gilded, measure 210 cm. The first group carries the fins, symbol of the hope of the resurrection; The second supports the Cross. The roof is also adorned with motifs, landforms and round-bumps in lead, once gilded. Representing the fleurs-de-lys, tussock, florets and palmettes, a torus of chopsticks, branches of rotating fins, consoles and double-consoles, campanes and cherubim, friezes of posts, Royal crowns, cartridges and pellets, they were performed by the artists who worked in the lantern.

In 1705, twenty-eight statues of apostles and evangelists, fathers of the Church and allegories of Catholic virtues were arranged on the outer balustrade. Evoking the great achievements of Baroque Rome, this ensemble is animated by a powerful and innovative breath. The iconographic programme originally provided for thirty-four figures: The Four Evangelists, the Twelve Apostles, the four fathers of the Latin church, the four fathers of the Greek Church, eight virtues and the patrons of the French monarchy: Saint Louis and Saint Charlemagne. The last two figures and four virtues were suppressed. So 28 statues of the outer balustrade are today.   In order to obtain a vast unified space that can receive a painted vault; the designed in 1707 traces an ensemble programme, centered on the representation of the life of Christ and, at the vaults of the rostrum, on that of the Apotheosiss of the Twelve Apostles. The Great Vault shows the resurrection, in the cul-de-furnace of the apse. The central part of the vault an imaginary edifice, pierced by three openings to the sky. In the center is represented God the Father in His glory, on both sides are depicted angels bearing the instruments of Passion.. The realization of the Twelve Apostles a concert of angels singing the dominion, in the axis of the chapel, above the organ buffet. The sculpture is especially visible inside the building, in the reliefs that animate the walls. In the nave, also begun in 1708, each pillar is adorned with a relief evoking an episode of the Passion.

The interior decorations:

A column ordinance was created on the first floor of the Royal Chapel, integrating into this process of raising the building, to which it brought lightness and strength. On the ground floor, on the other hand, pillars were used. . The marble pavement was undertaken in 1708, according to a pattern which seems to reflect that of a vault still supported by double arcs: a orthonormal weft defined by black strips supported by white, in which take place of the compartments of symmetrically distributed geometric shapes. The balustrade of the rostrum, originally slated in marble, was provided with gilded bronze balusters laid on plinths and supporting handrails made of Serravezza marble. At the same level, two cubicles or lanterns were added on either side of the Royal Tribune. Rock-inspired furniture remains only the altars and the organ, designed specifically for the building and become buildings by destination. The master altar was placed in the arcade of the sanctuary, completely obscured by the glory of the altarpiece. The ensemble was made of gilded bronze in 1709-1710. The bas-relief of the lamentation of the Dead Christ, a masterpiece of the art of French bronze, was placed in antependium. It is in a way the culmination of the cycle of Passion carved to the pillars of the nave and the sanctuary.


The nine other altars of the Royal Chapel were consecrated to the Holy Sacrament, to the Holy Virgin and to the principal patron saints of the Royal family: St. Louis, St. Anne, St. Theresa, Saint Philip, Saint Charles, Sainte Victoria and Saint Adelaide. Four altars were surmounted by painted altarpieces.


The organ buffet, designed and sculpted in 1710, shows chubby cherubs, the favourite theme of the next generation, around a bas-relief depicting King David playing the harp. Normally placed above the entrance, it is here exceptionally above the altar to which the courtiers turned their backs to face the king, whose prayer-God occupies the place traditionally reserved for organs: on the first floor, facing the altar.


What you have today:

The Royal Chapel is placed under the word Saint Louis. This ancestor of Louis XIV, his patron Saint and his model, built the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris, an architectural reliquary designed to contain the crown of thorns. The Parisian monument will serve as a model for religious architecture. The Royal Chapel of Louis XIV is inspired by it. Respected as such, it is today the most authentic part of the castle because it was spared by the revolution (only the Fleurs-de-lys, at the base of the columns on the first floor, were smashed) and excluded from the restructuring of the 19C. Since June 2017, the exterior of the chapel, very degraded after three centuries, is the subject of a campaign of restauration. The first instalment concerns the cover and framing, the lead ornaments, the sculpted statues and decorations, the stained glass windows and the upper floors. It will last from 2017 to 2020. The statues are the subject of an adoption campaign.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Royal Chapel

Visual Video of the Royal Chapel on the Château de Versailles webpage:

It is a masterpiece and a must room to see in the must to see Palace Museum of Versailles to be enjoy by all for generations more. Versailles is Royal.

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







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


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.


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 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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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!!!



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!!!


December 22, 2018

Place du Châtelet, and theaters!

So it seems taking the liking of these streets/squares places of my eternal Paris.  And Merry Christmas again to all my readers. So ,ok here is another gem for you to walk all over it and do enjoy some of the best theater outings in the city of lights. For repetition sake, the most beautiful city in the world!

I like to bring you over to the Place du Châtelet and the wonderful fountain , statues and theaters of Châtelet and Ville that is here. I had to say, keep saying go all over Paris and do have my favorite district in the 16éme but in one square this is it I am all over it, do see me around here for lunch , apéro or even dinner many times ::)

I let you do the sightseeing on this one as it is pack for the season. That is, the Theatre du Châtelet at the Place du Châtelet and inaugurated in 1862. More info here:

The Place du Châtelet is located at the intersection of Rue de Rivoli, from avenue Victoria Avenue and the quays of the Mégisserieet de Gesvres, on the east-west axis, and from the boulevard of Sébastopol and the Boulevard du Palais, by the Pont au Change, on the north-south axis. It was built at the site of the Grand Châtelet, a former fortress which served as a prison and a court under the former regime, and which was destroyed in 1802 during the reign of Napoleon Ier.

The Place du Châtelet is equipped with a metro station, accessible from the center and the sides of the square: The station Châtelet, which serves the metro lines 1 4 7 11 14 ; RER Chatelet – Les Halles A B D and Bus lines 21 38 47 58 67 69 70 72 74 75 76 81 85 and 96.

The center of the square is reserved for pedestrians. There stands the Fontaine du Palmier a column erected in 1808 to the glory of the Napoleonic victories. A pedestal with a fountain was added in 1858, raising the column. The fountain, adorned with sphinxes and statues. Along the quays, there are two theaters built at the request of Baron Haussmann: the Theatre du Châtelet (see above) and the Theatre de la ville; more info here:



The idea here is to sight see, window shopping, zip a coffee, have a glass of wine, do some shopping, and then go to a theater play, choose your site ,is all wonderful. Enjoy it in Paris, of course. So ok can’t resist. My hangouts are Le Zimmer right on the square or a bit further Au Trappiste (tops for aperos/happy hours/after work) at rue St Denis. Here are some reviews from Yelp my blogroll recommended place:


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



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December 22, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVII

SO here I am on a cold gray rainy Saturday in my lovely Morbihan. The season to be merrier is here and we are all over locally doing errands and sights to be repeated always. We are getting ready next week to be with family on wife’s side in Seine et Marne 77 east of Paris near Disneyland.. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2018!!!

For now we took off just to get out of the house and get some cold medicines for my sons, regular stuff for the times at our local pharmacy in Pluvigner. Then, We took off for the Quiberon peninsula south of us about 40 km from home.


We took the route of the Côte Sauvage or wild coast  a beautiful road along the ocean waves pouncing on the cliffs we ride on ,and onwards toward Quiberon. Once there the market was done but we were for our daily dose of beers at our favorite hangout and friendly owner.




We stop by at L’Esplanade Cafe at pl Hoche facing the grand plage or big beach of Quiberon, the cafe bar is sideway to the beach. We enjoy the company and had our usual Belzebuth 8,5% beers well me my sons on medication had their smoothies lol! a bit serious faces!!! Along some nice duck paté à l’orange and breads. We went for a second round and this time I try the La Goudale de Noêl 7,2% Christmas beer nice balance of spices and caramel. We left happy once again.




On the way back, we stopped at our favorite local store La Trinitaine in the town of Saint Philibert along the coast too but the store is inland. We loaded on fish soups , pates, etc for the entrée dish here and now we are all set for Christmas! This is a big store of their chain and factory outlet as well so more selection and better prices!

St Philibert

The route of the wild coast is always awesome and we love to drive, walk here and even stop at the restaurant there Le Vivier. This is prime area and very much sought after by tourists especially British and Germans.

The tourist office is here in English: Official Tourist office of Quiberon

And back jhome in time for my football/soccer match at the World Clubs Championship of UAE facing surprise Al-Ain local club vs my other love Real Madrid CF of Spain! Hala Madrid!!!!! Just to start! More info here:

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are and Merry Christmas to all my readers indeed. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


December 22, 2018

Champagne, wines, and liquors of Christmas 2018!

As we are getting into the season to be merrier and we will just hit the last weekend before Christmas , its time for me to come to you with some juices or the best for the season.

In my family, we have a tradition that we will keep even if one strong pillar of it is missing physically of sharing drinks, old and creating new ones, all with food all at home and with moderation ,never a problem.  So, therefore, let me give some last minute ideas from France (the root of it all) , that I believe can be adjusted to wherever you are for the holidays. Beware some of these bottles may not be available where you are but from the readings they should be easily replace with something locally available! Another thing, all of the below suggestions have been tried by myself or a trusted family member of the same line of tastes as I.

To accompany a festive fish, a poultry, seafood or for the aperitif, here is my selection of Champagnes at good value for money

With a nice cheese platter: Its graceful bubble, its slightly stewed fruit aromas will flatter the hard pasta. You’ll enjoy its refreshing finale. Coeur des Bar, Blanc de noirs, Champagne Devaux, 32€

With pineapple chicken skewers: This organic champagne with fine bubbles has a mineral frame. Very pure, it can support the associations of sweet and savoury feasts and bring freshness to these duets daring. Cuvée Brut bio, Champagne Duval-Leroy, 28€

With a creamy poultry: Its green-tinted dress announces the plant partition. White, hawthorn-acacia flowers, allied with roasted notes, hug each other in the nose. Mineral and frankly lemon, this champagne is lively. Propose it with creamy dishes to give the reply to the smoothness. Fleur de Craie, Blanc de blancs Champagne Bolieu, 21€

For an iodized appetizer: Ideal to accompany a cocktail of iodized feasts based on smoked salmon, fish eggs and crustaceans, this lively champagne has flavors of yellow fruits such as peach and apricot. Champagne Pannier, Brut selection,25.90€

With Christmas dinner: This low-dose champagne is complex and greedy. You will find a slight toast, notes of white fruit and even a hint of honey. Champagne Mandois, Brut Origine, 30€

With a bar filet in salt crust: This winemaker’s champagne in the pale yellow robe has fine bubbles and a bouquet reminiscent of acacia and fresh butter. The whole is aerial and delicate. Perfect with fish. Champagne Sanger, Terroir Natal, Blanc de blancs, 24€

With foie gras toast: Its bouquet flowers citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, but also very lightly pear. Fresh and well-balanced, this champagne has tenderly brioche notes. Beaumont des Crayères, Grande Réserve Brut, 25,70 €

With a stuffed young rooster with morels: In the nose, this champagne has pretty gourmet notes of vanilla, honey and roasted summer fruits. Complex, it is supported by its minerality. The dishes of character, with the flavors of undergrowth, have its preferences. Champagne Yves Jacques, 23.50€

With a dessert : Its dress is pink with coppery reflections and a string of fine bubbles. Intense, its bouquet develops aromas of rose, fruits of the wood and even of blood orange. To enjoy in the company of a red fruit log or a macaroon. Cuvée La Douce Folie, rosé Brut, Champagne La Borderie, 35€

With spice-marinated prawns: The white flowers and the notes of cut grass that this champagne develops are well-married with spicy dishes. But we also appreciate its gourmet amplitude in the palate. Champagne Philippe Gonet, Réserve Brut, 24€

To accompany a festive fish, a poultry, seafood or for the aperitif, here is my selection of white wines at good value for money.

With a stuffed poultry: The chardonnay cultivated on a limestone terroir gives a cuvée in the nose of stone with shotgun. Very complex, this wine offers a hint of grilled and exotic notes. A dense white that generously rugs the palate. Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Lucien & Fanny Rocault, 10,90€

With a seafood platter: The Domaine Romy cultivates 25 hectares of vineyards in the extreme south of Burgundy. This floral cuvée comes from a plot of 4 hectares surrounded by a clos. Raised on fine lees for 6 months, this finely toasted cru will appreciate the flesh of crustaceans. Clos de la Chapelle 2016, Domaine Romy, AOP Bourgogne, 10€

With a fried foie gras: In homage to the goddess Sirona who watches over the river Ciron (responsible for creating the morning mists conducive to the appearance of Botrytis on the grapes), this cuvée 100% semillon is golden. We appreciate its balance between the white flowers, the quince and its vivacity. Sirona 2015, Les Vignerons de Tutiac, Sauternes, 15€

With a bar fish in salt crust: Mineral and focused on white flowers, this white wine offers a very representative extract of the typicités of its grape. With the fish but also with the goat cheese, it gives the replica. Domaine des Crêts, Climat “En Bout” 2015, Mâcon-Chardonnay, 14,70€

With a risotto with crustaceans: Products with the Aligoté grape variety, the wines of the appellation Bouzeron possess material. It is named after an assemblage of 3 plots; The nails, the tower, the Cordères. A hint of hazelnut, acacia blossoms, a note of stone and citrus flavours stand out at the palate. Les Trois 2013, Maison Chanzy, Bouzeron, 14,50€

With a stew of Lotte: Assemblage of Grenache Blanc, Rolle and Roussanne, this organic white is subtly woody. In the heart of the Alpilles, Mas de Gourgonnier is an environmentally friendly family winery. Reserve du Mas, Mas de Gourgonnier, AOP Les Baux-de-Provence, 12.60€

With a goat dung : This 100% Rolle high six months on fine lees in barrel has a pale dress. His light toast comes to underline the finesse of citrus fruits. A balanced wine to be tasted with simplicity. Vallon Sourn 2017, Les Vignerons de Correns, 11,50€

with roasted scallops: This sweet white fruit nose reveals a zest of citrus. It gives him freshness and pep. Perfect with scallops with aromatic herbs. Château de Rouquette 2013, Loupiac, 10.50€

With a sea bream with fennel : Her dress is shiny and her nose lemon. Oscillating between roundness and freshness this white of the Haut-Var is perfect in the company of the iodine dishes. Terres de Berne 2016, Côtes de Provence, 15€

With salmon : Very fine, this white wine has exotic notes of pineapple. Ample to the palate, it evokes the ripe fruits. He will know how to be subtle and discreet in the company of character dishes like smoked salmon. Vita Bella, Château La Mascaronne, Côtes de Provence 15€

Very well choose your digestif for your Christmas meals. This is the drink after the meal families here enjoy, less often in restaurant but in special family meals we still do. Spirits (eaux-de-vie) are liquors obtained by distilling wine, marc, cider or fruit. There are also numerous fruit spirits, alcohols derived from the fermentation of smashing fruit: cherries, mirabelles, plums or berries and obtained by distillation. What about fruit liqueurs? They come from a maceration or an infusion of fresh fruit .

So which ones to choose ? These are the spirits of wine or cider, type Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados which are the most sought-after consumers in the holiday season. While brandies or fruit. liqueurs would be more regional winks or would act as nice gifts This is according to the cellar master of the Galeries Lafayette Paris. It is better to have 2 to 3 references of digestifs to propose to your guests. The holidays, at home, are the opportunity to enjoy nice products as long as you do not take risks.

To second the good advise from Galeries Lafayette, here are some I have tried that are super! Maison Dudognon, Vieille réserve, Cognac. This small family house develops in all discretion a cognac of high quality, very balanced thanks to an exemplary outfit of the vines and a flawless ageing. Price France 48€. Château de Lacquy, Bas Armagnac 1995 ; the château de Lacquy is a traditional armagnac,who did not give in to the sirens of the white Ugni Blanc to favor the Baco, which gives it a lot of class. Price France 79€.

Let’s have a break from drinking and propose a nice gift idea for the Holiday and those in the mood. These folks I have followed for many years , lost count, always good notes and the book is a classic. One of my all time favorite wine experts Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson with their book World Atlas of Wine, publisher Flammarion,in France price 45€

And to finish this post ,a bit on those wonderful bubblies at little price that are coming strong all over and France will not be left behind. The Cremants and one of my favorite region Bordeaux. They can be an exceptional quality/value purchase for the Holidays!

With 80 million bottles sold in 2018, in constant increase of 5 to 7% in the last ten years, Crémant is present in eight appellations: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire, and Savoie. Today, it manages in blind tastings to compete with Champagne and is particularly distinguished by its varietals and a different terroir. For Crémant, the minimum duration between circulation and marketing is 9 months, compared with 15 for Champagne and… one month for prosecco!; produced with faster and cheaper methods, this Italian wine extends in all markets: the harvest is mechanical and not manual as for Crémant, and the second alcoholic fermentation, which produces the effervescence, is made in vats and not in Bottle as required by the traditional method. For the last five years, the figures for Crémant de Bordeaux have exploded: 1,200 hectares, or 50% more in two years; 75,000 hectolitres foreseen this year, which is five times more than in the early 2010’s. In 2017, 20% of Bordeaux’s annual sales had taken place during the year-end celebrations. With an average price of between 6 and 10 euros, Crémant is mainly sold in large distribution and 20% exported, especially to northern Europe, but also to Japan and the United States, the world’s first sparkling wine market.  The Crémants has exploded with an increase in sales year to year of + 29% by volume and 35% in value between October 2017 and October 2018); to be served very cold between 6-7C (43-44F), they go well with aperitifs to desserts, especially with seafood, white meats or sushis.

Some of my bottles that had in the last couple of years are from names such as Bulles de Lalande-labatut, Domaine de Grava Jaillance, Chateau Turcaudn Charme d’Aliénor, Lateyron, Fleur de Rauzan, Domaine du Cheval Blanc , Jean-Louis Ballarin, Domaine de Laubertrie, and Grangeneuve. The ones to bring up as my best experiences were from Ballarin and Lateyron, their webpages are here:

Crémants of Lateyron

Crémants of Ballarin

For further dwelling into this fascinating world see below the two webpage, the first one is the Bordeaux wine council on crémants and the second one is the appellations of Bordeaux and specific the section on Crémants.

Bordeaux wine council on Crémants

Planet Bordeaux on territories and Crémants

Just go and ask your local wine merchant, cellar or distributor, to know the availability of these wonders of our world, and enjoy them fully with moderation of course! Merry Christmas to all !!!

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

PS And I could not leave without leaving some pictures of the bubblies been able to take photos and some like the Pommery and Pol Roger will be on for this Christmas 2018 in our house. You are welcome!!



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