Archive for January 21st, 2019

January 21, 2019

Notre Dame of the Assomption of the Virgin at St Jean Pied de Port!

So now, I take you deep south of France near the Spanish border and the wonderful Pyrénées and a wonderful city which took us a nice ride on the tops of the mountains peaks for the scenic ride !

I have written several posts on the town and its marvels but I believe the Church deserves a post of its own. The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin. Oh yes of course ,this is in deep Saint Jean Pied de Port  in the Pyrénées-Atlantique dept 64 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region!

St jean pied de port

The church, formerly Notre-Dame du Bout du Pont is currently Church of the Assumption-of-the-Virgin located by the ramparts at 2 Rue de la Citadelle.

St jean pied de port

Among the many churches, Notre-Dame Church of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, integrated into the ramparts at the bottom of the main street where the fortified bridge is actually the steeple bell tower. The foundations date from the 13C, is one of the most important Gothic Basque buildings with beautiful pink sandstone. Built in the 14C on the foundations of 12C by Sancho the Fort, it has inside, a large nave, pillars of pink sandstone and two stages of galleries or grandstands. Climb the steep street, rue de la Citadelle: Raise your eyes to the carved facades and lintels. Beyond the gate of France, a staircase leads to the round path amusing to go and indiscreet sometimes.

St jean pied de port

The Gate of Navarre leads to the Church square. On the left, a staircase leads to the round road that can be taken on almost the entire rampart of the right bank of the Nive river and from where you discover a magnificent view of the basin of the country of Cize. Near the bridge, the house that adjoins the bell tower has sheltered for centuries the Hôpital Sainte-Marie. The Church and the hospital were part of the same ensemble, according to a classical hospital architecture. These medieval hospitals were open to all,   Poor, passersby, and pilgrims.

St jean pied de port

Opposite stands the triangular gable wall of old Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont with its oculus. The tympan was hammered during the wars of Religion or during the French revolution. The upper part of the gate was awkwardly restored. Built in Gothic style radiating on Romanesque bases, the Church presents a nave with two aisles, two floors of grandstands, slender pillars, with no other décor than the search for the line and a polygonal chorus. It has a portal and bedsides ogival, a five-pans apse.

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

The Church also has an organ dating from the mid-19C and whose factor was Vincent Cavaillon-Coll. It is composed of two keyboards and a pedal. It was the object of a restoration from 2002 to 2004 and on this occasion it was surmounted by the statue of Saint Francis Xavier, patron Saint of Navarre.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

city of St Jean Pied de Port on heritage

tourist office of Saint Jean Pied de Port on heritage

Parish of Saint Jean Pied de Port on the Church

This is a wonderful city Saint Jean Pied de Port, with plenty of culinary delights even the folks there come to my area on gastronomic festival and we load up on goodies. The Church is small but very nice encrusted into the ramparts on the main road that leads the pilgrims to Spain and the road to St James or Santiago de Compostela.

Hope you enjoy the tour, and remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 21, 2019

Some news from France CCXVII

And here I am direct at you again on the tidbits of my belle France, which thanks to you all have become as popular as I wanted to be over the years. This is in Roman numerals the but is the 218th post!! Thank you.

It is cold and sunny today -1C or about 31F today and even colder in Paris this morning. As I write , it is 3C  (about 38F) in my neck of the woods and the same in Paris, still morning. But hey nothing to stop me or you to enjoy the beautiful France; 90 millions this past year wow its awesome! and expecting 100M in 2019!!!!!

In 2018, the Louvre was the most popular museum in the world, with 10.2 million visitors, 25% more than in 2017. With a bonus for the Louvre, which combines the advantages: its collections cover several centuries of history within a majestic historical monument; It houses masterpieces including the most iconic, the Mona Lisa; It is located in Paris, the world’s number one destination. In fact, three quarters of its visitors are foreign. The permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou recorded an increase of 18% of their attendance; the Museum of the Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac saw its growth of 7%, Versailles of 6%, Orsay of 3%. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, received incredible media coverage for its opening in November 2017 and attracted for more than a million visitors, valuing the Louvre in the Middle East, Africans, and Asian region. The museum currently has 70 international collaborations: Exhibitions, research, excavations, various exchanges. The Centre Pompidou has installed antennas in Malaga, Brussels and is going to establish itself in Shanghai… The French regional metropolises, which have invested a great deal to equip themselves with attractive museums, are thus able to drain several hundred thousand visitors a year. On the other hand, the Paris Opera receives 97 million euros of state subsidies (from happy French taxpayers like me), compared to 28.5 million for the twenty operas in the regions combined, to which 18 million euros came from private patrons in addition. Compile from various newspapers.

In Marseille, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), for which it is necessary to book and justify its identity as a conservation and resource Centre, a 800 m² “control apartment” presents a rotating sample of the funds Preserved by the museum, pieces from all eras, provenances and dimensions. The Marseille institution now retains the collections. Georges Henri Rivière , his founder, to whom the MuCEM is currently dedicating an exhibition, had imagined, from 1937, to show the gallery of studies to the general public.  The artists ,also take up the reserves is to expose anonymous artists whose creations are taken from the reserves of the museums where he intervenes, for example the Museum of Arts of Nantes, the MuCEM, and until February 3, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. In Paris, the Museum of the Quai de Branly-Jacques Chirac has long been the example of the reservations visible with its tower of instruments, 27 meters high and which exhibits 10 000 musical instruments. These reserves are not  visited but an application gives elements of information and the walls diffuse the sounds of the instruments that are kept there. The Louvre-Lens goes even further in this logic. The reservations, visible from the lobby, are visited by groups on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Visitors were able to benefit from a guide in the food shop to see the reserves. News from various newspapers in France.

Imagine a health course of 40 km that meanders between the marshes and the boulevard périphérique of Paris, along a vegetated weft dotted with sports challenges. This dream for aspiring marathoners and sportsmen of Sundays may become reality by 2024. At the request of the City/Town Hall of Paris, the Parisian planning workshop Apur has just made a long study on a project of “Urban Sports Walk” along the green belt. Specifically, the course, already equipped with seven sports challenges sites, would be equipped with ten new challenge sites for bodybuilding or cardio-training work. Many recreational facilities such as children’s games, petanque, table tennis, foosball, climbing walls, board games, etc are also provided on 17 points along the route as well as convivial spaces such as picnic tables, fountains, Superloos etc. According to Apur, 600 new alignment trees will have to be planted, sidewalks widened for 9 km, a band of 42 000 m2 cleared of bitumen from the trees, 6 km of vegetated walls and about 15 pedestrian crossings created in the most perilous zones. See attached map. More info here: https://www.apur.org/fr/nos-travaux/parcours-sportif-ceinture-verte-plans-programme-2024

Paris

credit Le Parisien newspaper

400 years is a celebration! To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the departmental estate of Sceaux  (Hauts de Seine 92) where he lived, inaugurates an exhibition of family portraits of this minister of Louis XIV. Until April 21, 2019. Château de Sceaux stables.Every day except Monday from 13h. to 17h. until 28 February and from 14h  to 18h30  starting March 1st. Admission is 3-4€. More here:

http://www.hauts-de-seine.fr/actualite/tourisme-patrimoine/la-ville-de-sceaux-et-le-departement-celebrent-lannee-colbert-en-2019-3295/

http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.fr/les-expositions/who-is-who-chez-les-colbert/

This is the year of the 7th art in the Yvelines dept 78. In 2019, no less than 31 new cinemas should be opened. In total, the department will count 6 780 new armchairs. The most important will be located at the Vélizy 2 shopping center,(Vélizy-Villacoublay) (nice shopping and cinema we like) which is to open in February 2019 ,a complex of 3 800 armchairs in total in 18 rooms on two levels. More here: https://www.velizy2.com/cinema

At Plaisir, UGC also invests in pleasure, where the opening at the end of 2019 of a multiplex cinema Cité of 9 rooms and 1 280 armchairs to play the role of Open Sky locomotive, the shopping center whose work continues along the road D11. The developer also builds the Open Sky shopping mall, for fun. The signs Primark, Zara, H & M or Undiz will be the locomotives of the center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. More here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/plaisir_78490/yvelines-plaisir-multiplexe-ugc-9-salles-futur-centre-commercial_18088098.html

In Maurepas, the multiplex, the first stone of which was laid at the end of November, will have eight projection rooms and 1 700 seats on 5 000 m² and two levels in the area of the Leisure Village. A parking space of 500 is planned to accommodate the 400 000 annual visitors expected per year. To achieve this attendance, the complex will be equipped with the latest technologies with an ICE room (immersive Cinema Experience) and a MX4D room with seats that move according to the action of the film. The establishment is expected to be opened by October 2019. More info here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/maurepas_78383/maurepas-futur-multiplexede-8-salles-attendu-2019_14429803.html

And it’s not over: next year, 12 rooms should open at the Parly 2 shopping center, at Le Chesnay next to Versailles! This is great our favorite cinema is improving! More here in French: https://www.parly-2.com/projetcinema

And after all the above you might be hungry , really hungry, so heads for…aka for serious meat lovers only.

Is meat consumption down? For the-good-restaurateurs, this may be a godsend. As long as you don’t just push a trivial rib steak on the plate but offers an “experience”, a moment. Its Beefbar, just open last October in the former Marbeuf farmhouse in Paris, a few steps from the prestigious Avenue George V, is already filled. A few days ago, walking between carpet rolls and plasterboard, we were struggling to believe that the deadlines would be kept. He never doubted.  The place, magnified the Art nouveau room. Beefbar , created in Monaco in 2005 and present since then in Monaco, Mexico City, Cannes, Budapest , and Hong Kong, and now Paris. The meats served will be chosen and worked with the utmost care, including a limousine of Auvergne refined 60 days and of course Kobe beef. More info here: http://paris.beefbar.com/

There you go happy Monday lol! always a drag I know, but hey there is always going to be a first day of the week! Enjoy your week wherever you are!

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

 

 

 

January 21, 2019

The Opéra Theaters of Paris!!

So here we are in full winter, today sunny -1C or about 31F morning a bit colder in Paris and some call it possible snow , will see, do not think so. Anyhow, let me touch another amateur subject of mine, operas. Paris has plenty and some of the best in the world. I have touch on them back years in my blog, you can do search.

However, I like to bring them back due to some nice anniversaries coming up. Here is the latest with some touches of history from yours truly.

Opera National de Paris celebrates in 2019, a double anniversary: The 350 anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music and the 30 years anniversary of the Opéra Bastille.  The Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse or Royal Academy of Music and Dance, in 1663, the King Louis XIV founded the Royal Academy of Dance, with the mission of training the artists and codifying the choreographic art. In 1669, the Royal Academy of Music was founded at the instigation of Colbert. Under royal tutelage, this institution brings together a troupe of singers, the first professional orchestra of France and the Ballet Corps of the Royal Dance Academy.

The Palais Garnier was built between 1861 and 1875 by the architect Charles Garnier on the order of Napoleon III. It is a building which was affirmed to be the best symbol of the Second Empire’s “contentment of oneself.” The hall was inaugurated on January 5, 1875. Napoleon III, who died two years before, will never see the opera he ordered.  The electricity was installed in the room and on the stage between 1881 and 1887. In 1932 the first radio broadcast of a live show was held.   At the request of André Malraux, the painter Marc Chagall creates a new ceiling for the grand Hall of the Palais Garnier. Inaugurated on 23 September 1964, this monumental canvas of 220 m² required a year of work with three assistant painters.

paris

In 1987, the l’Ecole de Danse or School of Dance, built and inaugurated in Nanterre (Hauts de Seine dept 92).  While President François Mitterrand launches the work of a large popular opera in the Bastille, it is without counting on the patronage of the Maison Yves Saint-Laurent, and Pierre Berge, who was eyeing the presidency of the institution.

On 13 July 1989, the Opéra Bastille, built and inaugurated as part of the bicentennial events of the French revolution.  Having arrived at the helm of the Paris opera in the summer of 2014, Stéphane Lissner created in September 2015 the Academy, which welcomes singers, instrumentalists, directors and artisans of Art (costumers, wigmakers, carpenters…) to ensure the succession.

On September 15, 2015, the Opéra de Paris opened its “3rd scene” on the Internet. After the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille, the institution has a third digital space dedicated to original creations.

A third room at the Opéra Bastille,  the Opéra de Paris will regroup the activities of the Berthier workshops (manufacturing, renovation, storage of decorations, reserve of costumes) and create a new modular room in a space of the Opéra Bastille empty for 30 years. and supposed to start work in the spring of 2020, the opening of this third room is scheduled for January 2023.

The Opéra National de Paris is the French opera and ballet company that has succeeded those gathered from 1669 in the Royal Academy of Music in Paris. The opera has produced lyrical works in the various halls that it has occupied in the course of his history, sung by lyric artists formerly attached to it permanently but now invited, and ballets, danced by the members of this company of ballet, and accompanied by the musicians of the Symphony orchestra.

Since the end of the 20C, the Opéra National de Paris activity has been organized between the two theaters of the Opéra Garnier (inaugurated in 1875) and the Opéra Bastille (inaugurated in 1990). In common talk, the term “Opéra de Paris” often refers to the Palais Garnier in the architectural sense of the word. Between 1939 and 1990, the company was united with the Opéra-Comique (Favart Hall) under the name of the National United  Lyric Theaters. The Opéra National de Paris is a member of the United Operas of France (ROF), RESEO (European Network for the Awareness of Opera and Dance) and Opera Europa.

A bit of history I like, brief on these wonderful institutions of Paris, France, Europe, and the World!

First steps from the activity of operas in Paris: On December 14, 1645, Cardinal Mazarin represented in the room of the Petit-Bourbon of the Palais du Louvre, for the entertainment of the young Louis XIV, La finta pazza by Francesco Sacrati. Forerunner of the Opéra-Ballet, this is the first opera given in Paris. The hall is demolished on October 11, 1660 to make way for the colonnade of the Louvre. The Salle des Machines (engine room)  that follows it is installed at the Palais des Tuileries (now gone too) and inaugurated on February 7, 1662 with the Ercole Amante by Francesco Cavalli, commanded by Mazarin for the marriage of Louis XIV but whose representation is delayed. Apart from the creation on January 17, 1671 of the tragedy-ballet Psyche of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault, it is however no longer used.

The Royal Dance Academy was founded on the initiative of Louis XIV in 1661. The thirteen “Academists” are part of the entourage of the King and the court. They are, for the most part, both dancers and musicians and have the mission to train dance artists and to codify choreographic art.  The Opera academy in charge of broadcasting the French opera to the public, not only in Paris but also in other cities of the kingdom, was founded on June 28, 1669 at the instigation of Jean-Baptiste Colbert.  The Academy obtains the privilege of blackmailing in public  operas or performances in music and French verses’, with no one to do the same without obtaining permission from the holders. The first to benefit from the privilege granted by the letter patent of King Louis XIV is the poet Pierre Perrin. On March 3, 1671, Pomone, considered the first French opera, composed by Robert Cambert on a libretto by Pierre Perrin, is created under the aegis of the Opera Academy in the salle du Jeu de paume de la Bouteille. Or room of the palm game of the bottle(sp?)

The Dance School of the Opéra National de Paris trains the future dancers of the ballet of the National Opera of Paris, one of the most prestigious classical dance companies in the world. Founded in 1713 by Louis XIV, the school is now considered the best in the world. The school moved to 1987 in the new building located in Nanterre, near the Parc André Malraux.

More on the Dance School here: Official Opera de Paris on the Dance School

The Opéra Bastille is a modern opera house located on the Place de la Bastille. It was inaugurated in 1989 on the occasion of the festivities of the bicentennial of the Revolution as part of the major works for Paris. It is with the opera Garnier one of the two halls constituting the Opéra de Paris. With its 2 703 seats, the Grand Salle of the Opéra Bastille is one of the most important in the world in terms of capacity.

More on the Opéra Bastille here: Official Opera de Paris on the Bastille

The Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier, is a national theater with a lyrical and choreographic vocation and a major element of the heritage of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. It is located at the Place de l’Opéra , at the north end of the Avenue de l’Opéra ,and at the crossroads of many lanes. The building is a monument that is particularly representative of the eclectic architecture and the historicist style of the second half of the 19C. On a design by the architect Charles Garnier retained following a competition, his construction, decided by Napoleon III in the context of the transformations of Paris led by the prefect Haussmann and interrupted by the war of 1870, was taken up at the beginning of the Third Republic, after the fire destruction of the Opera Le Peletier in 1873. The building was inaugurated on January 5, 1875 by President Mac Mahon under the Third Republic.

More on the Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier here: Official Opera de Paris on the Palais Garnier

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So in brief there you have it, wonderful places to come to them when visiting Paris. I admit been once to the Opéra Bastille but several times to the Opéra Garnier who was next to my previous employer and I love it. And of course, is Paris, plenty to see close by to the two. Never been to the Opéra-Comique or the School of Dance in Nanterre. So , therefore, plenty still to see in my eternal Paris!

Enjoy the tour and see you soon by Paris! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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