Archive for January 1st, 2019

January 1, 2019

Church Sainte Elizabeth of Hungary, Versailles!

So we starting 2019 and here I am as usual trying to tell you a bit more than the castle of Versailles in Versailles of course! The off the beaten paths found in my beloved city are numerous and merits a longer visit to see these wonders of France, Europe ,and the world. Therefore, let me bring on a bit long, sorry, post on a venerable building; the Church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary very much linked to Madame Elizabeth.

Eglise Sainte-Elisabeth de Hongrie (French) is located at 25 rue des Chantiers very closed to another train station of Versailles, Chantiers, this one takes you to gare Montparnasse in Paris! Here is an old photo, recently it has gone big renovations.


The layout of the Church of Ste Elizabeth of Hungary in Versailles is of a basilical without transept visible from the exterior. Three aisles nave ending in a flat bedside. The exterior main façade is advanced from an ancient porch surmounted by a triangular pediment. The steeple wall is pierced by a bay with giblets and topped by a clock and capped with a cross. The roof is double-sloped. Two lateral wings flank this main façade. While the interior is a building on two levels. The central nave is covered with a coffered ceiling. The high windows are in a full-hanger arch. The aisles are separated from the central nave by square pillars. All done in the Neo Classic style from the 19C.

The main construction stages were taken as first a chapel built in 1850 which corresponds to the present central nave (20 meters by 8 meters). Then we add the two aisles. The chapel became a parish church in 1863 and as early as 1864, the choir was enlarged. In 1890, the decorations were finished with the choir enlarged by embellishing it with a armature adorned with rinses, the whole dominated by the monogram of St. Elisabeth. Finished the decoration by painting a large canvas depicting the Miracle of roses. There was restoration work carried out in 2009-2010 which have brought to life a hidden backdrop. Now, with its belt panelling , its azure-blue coffered ceiling decorated with gilded motifs, with its superb choir and historico canopy in the aisles, St. Elizabeth’s Church has an undeniable artistic cachet.



A bit of history I like

The district of Montreuil in Versailles has its church: Saint-Symphorien (see previous post), which is in fact located in the Grand Montreuil. The so-called Petit Montreuil had no place of worship in the 18C, although this area was the subject of all the attention of the younger sister of King Louis XVI, Madame Elisabeth (see previous post on her). The Royal Princess lived on the level of the current Avenue de Paris,(Domaine de Montreuil) which separates the Grand from Petit Montreuil. In the 19C, the district enjoyed a legacy of the former Princess who died on the scaffold (guillotine) during the reign of terror of the French revolution. The construction of a worship building was then started. It was “Saint Elizabeth of Hungary” in homage to Princess Elizabeth.

Elisabeth of Hungary (b.Pressburg,1207- d. Marburg,1231) was a sovereign of Thuringia, a member of the Franciscan Third Order and recognized Holy by the Catholic Church. Her day is celebrated on the day of her death ,November 17. The Teutonic Order built a Gothic church destined to receive her relics. These attract large crowds making Marburg a large pilgrimage center of the Christian West. She was the daughter of King Andre II of Hungary (Árpád dynasty) and Gertrude of Andechs-Meran (Babenberg dynasty). Betrothed at four years old and married at fourteen years old to the Landgrave Louis IV of Thuringia, she was acquainted with the movement founded in Italy by Francis of Assisi, to which she adhered from the bottom of her soul. The couple is very united and had three children, Elizabeth dies at 24 years old.

She can be represented either as a princess or as a Franciscan tertiary. When she is portrayed as a princess, she wears a crown on her head and in her hands a book where two crowns are laid. These can represent her royal birth, her austere piety and her abstinence, or be understood as the three knots of the Franciscan cord representing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She holds by hand a alms, a jug, a basket of bread, fruit and fish; It can also have an apron with roses. She is one of the main characters of the opera by Richard Wagner Tannhäuser (Dresden 1845); as well there is an oratorio by Franz Liszt about the legend of Elisabeth of Hungary.

A bit on the religious significance of this Church of Ste Elizabeth of Hungary and Madame Elizabeth. Madame Elisabeth died in the smell of holiness. According to Madame de Genlis, a rose smell spread over the Place de la Concorde after her exécution. Her cause for beatification was officially introduced on December 23, 1953 by Cardinal Maurice Feltin, Archbishop of Paris, after being declared, the same year, Servant of God by Pope Pius XII, acknowledging by decree the heroic of her virtues, of the only made her martyrdom. Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, reactivates the cause of his beatification in 2016, Abbé Xavier Snoëk, parish priest of the Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Hungary, being appointed postulator of the Cause, and recognises in May 2017 the Association of the faithful promoters of her cause. On November 15, 2017, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, after the opinion of the Conference of the Bishops of France and the Nihil obstat of the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints, in Rome, hopes that the trial will lead to the canonization of Madame Elisabeth, sister of king Louis XVI.

With Saint Elisabeth of Hungary the Christian hagiography has built a character of a perfection rarely reached. In the golden legend , one reads that, daughter of an illustrious king of Hungary, she had been raised in the veneration of God and disdained children’s games. At the age of five, she had so much pleasure in praying in the Church that her companions were unable to get her out. When she was playing, she was always seen running next to a Chapel to be sure to get into it more easily. Of all that was given to her, she reserved the tenth part to the poor.

When she arrived at the age of marriage, she married the Landgrave of Thuringia. Which was pretty good dough, tells us the legend, to all endure the mania of his wife: incessant devotions, fasting, mortifications, offerings of her clothes, preferring the dry bread to the sumptuous dishes of her husband’s table, etc. The legend still adds to the altruism: she fed the poor, dressed those who went naked, burying herself the beggars and pilgrims, wore the children on the baptismal fonts, sewed their swaddling clothes, spun the wool with her maids, sold her ornaments to feed the poor when the wheat was missing; She built a large house at the foot of the castle to greet the sick, coming to visit them every day, distributing gifts, care and holy words. All called him the mother of the poor!.

However, the Landgrave of Thuringia went on a crusade and died there. Having become a widow, Elisabeth was expelled from the castle by the parents of the deceased who accused her of being dissipating and prodigal. After wandering, depressed, in the countryside, she was received by her uncle, the Bishop of Bamberg… who wanted to remarry her. She did not have the time: the body of her deceased husband came back from the Holy Land and the bishop had to let her go. Elizabeth wore the religious habit, lived like a poor, even refusing to return to the castle of the King of Hungary. Her life of humility continued. Serving the poor. She received two thousand marks in dowry, distributed some to the indigent and built a large hospital in Marburg with the rest, dedicating all its activity to the sick.   The life of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary-in her absolute altruism-is one of the most incredible ever written.

The official webpage of the Church here: Church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Versailles

Yelp on Church St Elizabeth of Hungary

Hope it gives you the desire ,the curiosity to come this way and enjoy this wonderful Church of my beloved Versailles.

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


January 1, 2019

Restaurants of Versailles , Colbert and Mode!

In the my saga of Versailles told many times in my blog so no need to repeat again, just read on. I had written a post back on January 9 2011 on Restaurants of Versailles which turn out to be pretty popular! However, there are two restaurants we went a lot and one more than the other that I like to emphasized here on a new post in my blog.

The one of great history and good food and the other of lesser history but even better in my opinion. I like to tell you about the current Le Pavillon Colbert and Le Boeuf à la Mode restaurants.

It started out as the Tavern of Maître Kanter, a chain of Alsacien type style restaurants. It was located at 5 Rue Colbert , a small side street left of the Château de Versailles in the Notre Dame district.  In the old Colbert Hotel that Louis XIV built to his chief minister, the former residence of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the decor of the tavern is faithful to the tradition of the sign: purple, wood, mirrors, fountain and abundant shellfish pond. The location of this establishment makes you dream: to the right of the castle, near the Place d’Armes, the storefront dazzles the passers by its lights and its presence in this small counter-alley of the rue Colbert. This little street, cozy with great views over the parvis , and the great Choucroutes Lol! It had its mentioned in Yelp my recommended search engine in my blogroll bottom of my front page. The tips were put there: Yelp on Tavern of Maitre Kanter Versailles





Their webpage from 2012 in French still show the Tavern as in here: Tavern of Maitre Kanter in the Hotel de France Versailles

In the light of the Sun King, facing the sumptuous Chateau de Versailles, the Marquis de Villacerf opened the doors of his mansion and invites you to his table. Madam, Sir, welcome to the Le Pavillon Colbert or  Colbert Pavilion (the new name). This 17C mansion owes its existence to the benevolence of Louis XIV who donated the site to his state councillor, Edouard Colbert de Villacerf. The latter built a pavilion, which he named Hôtel de Villacerf. Later Colbert Hotel and now Hotel de France!

A place full of history since 1690. The lounges of the Hôtel de France combine: The Salon des Glaces (Ice salon) , which will enchant you with its warm colours, chandeliers and parquet of the period, the Salon Napoleon III, ideal for your sub-commissions or a private meal, and the salon Colbert.

The new restaurant now attach to the Hotel de France webpage is here: Le Pavillon Colbert in the Hotel de France at Versailles

For New Year 2019, they have set up a nice menu such as: Menu 80€ Price per person. Drinks not included.  This menu includes: Starter + main dish + Dessert

Starter choices: Lobster Bush just Pearly; Crispy lobster, Granny apple tartar, artichoke and citrus fruit, mango vinaigrette. Fried foie gras with carrot and pear chutney, gastric sauce.  Main dish: Ostrich breast, oyster and vegetables, truffle in wine sauce; Filet de Saint Pierre fish, carrots risotto style, sauce with the capucin; Roasted scallops in bacon lard and her yarrow of vegetables with morels. Dessert: Secret chocolate black nougat, orange cream.  Sabayon with truffle oil au gratin and its poached pear in red wine; Verrine mascarpone and Nutella with glazed chestnut flakes. The seafood map will also be available.

For info, some of the other remarkable buildings on the Rue Colbert (known for short of Jean-Baptiste Colbert) are no. 1: Hotel de Grammont until 1809, at n ° 5: Hotel de Villacerf, property at the end of the 19C of Prince Roland Bonaparte (and now hotel de France and restaurant Pavillon Colbert), at N ° 7: Former hotel of Choiseul, then of Villeroy, which housed in 1870-71 the Prussian minister of War and its services. And No. 13: Current EDF, (electricity co of France) location of the former hotel of Aumont under the former regime , and home of Charles-Frédéric Nepveu, architect of the château under Louis-Philippe, at the end of his life.

As this is a very famous area and very frequented by my family, with many trips to the tavern and later a couple times at the Pavillon I like to tell you a bit of history I like on Mr Colbert.

Mr Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a pupil of the Jesuits in Reims by 1634,  Clerk of a Notary as chaplain, then of a prosecutor , Commissioner of the troops in Nivernais by 1640, the Regiment of Tavanes by 1641, Clerk of Sublet de Noyer, Secretary of War, protected by Michel Le Tellier ( Brother-in-law of Saint-Pouange) by 1643, his special clerk by 1645, and patented councillor of State then Intendant of Cardinal Mazarin, Marquis of Seignelay by 1657 in the county of Auxerre, purchased in favor of his eldest son, Châteauneuf-sur-Cher and Blainville, Count of  Creully by 1682), Baron de Sceaux, Linières, Ormoy, etc., Lord of Torcy, Minister & Secretary of State of the King’s house from 1668, Marine & Commerce, from 1669, Intendant by 1662 and Comptroller-General of the King’s Finances, superintendent of Buildings, Arts & factories and purchases of France by 1664, Commander & Grand-treasurer of the orders of the King, Academician by 1667, he (inherits a fortune confiscated on an uncle Pussort passed to the enemy in 1647. Married in 1648 Marie Charron ,daughter of Jean-Jacques Charron , Lord of Menars, Grand-Bailiff of Blois, captain of the hunts of the county of Blois, and of Marie Begon. Together they had nine children.

What he had done from all that above.  Mr. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Comptroller General of the Finances of Louis XIV was responsible for the development of trade, industry, the Royal Navy, the planning of Paris and the growth of sciences. In constant relationship with the king, he remains one of his best trusted men. As in charge of buildings,  he, also took care of Paris with the layout of numerous squares and the Tuileries garden. Attached to the sciences, Colbert was at the origin of the creation of the Academy of Sciences in 1666, as well as of the Observatoire de Paris the following year. Colbert will never be disgraced. He is one of the few men whose Louis XIV will always be sure.

His name gave the Colbertism, economic theory which implies dirigisme state and protectionism.  Responsible for the management of the finances of the state, Colbert writes in October 1659 a brief on alleged mismanagements of the superintendent of Finance Nicolas Fouquet, pointing out that less than 50% of the taxes collected would reach the king!. On September 5, 1661, the superintendent Fouquet, fallen in disgrace following the analyses of Colbert, was arrested in Nantes by D’Artagnan (famous muskeeteer). Following this arrest, king Louis XIV abolished the office of Superintendent of Finance and decided to exercise it himself with the help of a council created on 15 September 1661 at the instigation of Colbert called the Royal Council of Finance.

He died in 1683 and was buried at Saint-Eustache Church in Paris. And where his legs are kept, while the remainder of his remains was transferred to the catacombs of Paris in 1787.  So a great historical street as well isn’t it! And we love it by there.

Another less historical street but in my opinion a more family ambiance to eat out was and still is since 1999 Le Boeuf à la Mode on tranquil picturesque Rue au Pain around the Notre Dame market and behind the Carré aux Herbes pavillion.

This is the compress review from 2011; Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain, 78000, ,this is the sublime cozy romantic, French traditional restaurant of old I like to seek and keep. tel +33 01 39 50 31 99. very near Castle on the marche Notre Dame area tuck away in rue au pain ,but well known.  You wont go wrong here for an evening in Versailles!

For New Year 2019, they have this menu offering and we have done a couple new year’s here! Menu 60€ price per person, drinks not included. This menu includes Starter + main dish+ dessert.  Starters to choose from: Slice of foie gras semi-cooked homemade, jelly in port, brioche with the flower of salt; Salmon and smoked tuna duo, crème au yuzu, blinis; Calf’s egg on potato-truffled capucin. Choice of main dish: Filet of beef, Lameloise sauce, potato gratin in Cantal jeune (Sup Rossini (+ €5.00); Roasted turbot fillet, hollandaise sauce, mashed butternut ;  Poultry Supreme, Morel sauce, roasted chestnuts, green bean bundle with smoked bacon, braised endive; Cheese (Supplement Menu 8€) ; AOC Camembert stuffed with truffle, mesclun. Desserts to choose from: Chocolate Dome, crispy heart at Praline; Frozen Nougat way Norwegian omelet, red fruit coulis; Pineapple Carpaccio, from roasted mango, ice almond milk. As well as Coffee and sweet snacks

The webpage for this wonderful restaurant is : Official Le Boeuf à la Mode Restaurant in Versailles

My Yelp site on reviews on Le Boeuf à la Mode resto here: Yelp on Le Boeuf à la Mode Restaurant in Versailles

And more from the Yvelines dept 78Official Tourism Yvelines 78 on Le Boeuf à la Mode



This cosy brasserie of the 1930’s style with authentic décor serves traditional cuisine and beautiful quality. The establishment obtained the Master Restaurateur label in January 2013, and offers a menu that evolves according to the market and especially of the seasons. I repeat , you won’t go wrong here! France, and Versailles at its best!


Despite its name, the menu offers a variety of dishes, from beef to fish to chicken and vegetables. In addition to the printed menu, the chalkboard lists daily specials, which take advantage of the market offerings.  We prefer to sit upstairs, in a charming old-world room that also gave us a view down to the bustling activity of the market.

A bit on Rue au pain which is on the south side of the Market square. Some of the old sectinon was before the rue des Fripiers. A baker’s street before , there is only one left today. Other remarkable buildings are at no 16, the Hôtellerie À l’enseigne de l’Écu de France in 1673 and at no 20, the Auberge à l’enseigne du Royal Vert galant in 1860.

Hope you enjoy the story and do explore beautiful Versailles and its many culinary wonders!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




%d bloggers like this: