Archive for January 25th, 2019

January 25, 2019

Saint-Andrews Church in Sauveterre-de-Béarn!

And then, why not stayed in the wonderful area of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of my belle France! So much to see, even in places close and dear to me, the choices are unlimited. Now I get it, why 90M visitors came to France last year and authorities on tourism are saying we might hit 100M in 2019!!! France is a movable feast!

But ok, this is deep France, sort of an off the beaten path site; tourists are not around here or I never see enough when I am there…. We come to the area that I love to be here, Sauveterre-de-Béarn in deep old region of Béarn! A nice little Church of Saint Andrews to show you, ok.

The Saint-Andrews Church is located in Sauveterre-de-Béarn, dept 64 of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.

Sauveterre de Bearn

The Church of Sauveterre-de-Béarn, dedicated to Saint-André, was built at a time of transition between the 12C and 13C. Its architecture is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles. On the tympanum are represented St Mathieu (as a young men),  St Mark (as a lion), St Luke (as a bull), and St John (as an eagle). It is a fortified imposing Church. Its situation in the area of the river or gave made it an excellent point of observation vis-à-vis any outside arrival. It is a Church as there are few in Béarn, which mixes elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has a length of 35 meters, a width of 20 meters and at the top of its steeple, reaches the 27 meters. It has 3 naves with the central nave has a height of 13 meters, an apse, two apsidioles, and a transept with 2 beautiful roses.

Sauveterre de Bearn

Its bell tower, according to some assumptions, was once crenellated (currently it is covered with a 4-sided roof) and on each of its 4 faces, one can see 3 geminate bays, the central column surmounted by an tympanum pierced with a oculi. The porch and sacristy are newer and date from the end of the 19C. On the porch you can see a very nice tympanum above the gate. It is in the form of 2 hangers separated by a key. In the Mandolin, we have a Christ in majesty. To his right, an angel and a lion ,who symbolized St Matthew and St Mark, and to their left an eagle and an ox, which symbolize St John and St Luke, the 4 evangelists

Sauveterre de Bearn

Sauveterre de Bearn

The entrance gate has only one vaulted, but notice the lateral framing with 7 columns on each side surmounted by capitals decorated with vegetative motifs in general, some of them showing figures. At the pier on the left of the heart is a historic marquee representing backbiting and gluttony. On the side of the nave on the left is another marquee representing the scene of the Nativity. Note also on the side , a small entrance door with a crimson at the top. It is claimed that this side door would be reserved for the Cagots (referred to groups of inhabitants, exercising woodworking, or metalwork, which were struck by exclusion and repulsion in their villages between the 13C and modern times).

Sauveterre de Bearn

Sauveterre de Bearn

Some webpages as usual to help you plan your trip here are

City of Sauveterre-de-Bearn on heritage

Tourist office of the Bearn gaves on heritage

There you go simple old nice architecture in a wonderful old bastide fortified town, impressive just going in by car. Sauveterre-de-Béarn ,another off the beaten path idea in my belle France, make it  yours!

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

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January 25, 2019

The Notre-Dame Church in Oloron-Sainte-Marie!

There we go moving right along in the deep south of my belle France. I continue to show you some that I may consider off the beaten path places and they are worth a detour while visiting France. On a nice wintery Monday, I bring to you the Notre Dame Church of lovely Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

I have come by the city often usually in my ways to Spain, but lately been stopping by to see a bit of the town. This Church is one of those things to see there. Here is more of it.

The Notre-Dame Church is  located in place Gambetta, in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, in the  Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept 64 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

oloron sainte marie

In 1844, the inhabitants of the Notre-Dame district asked the city council to build a more decent place of worship than the chapel of St. John the Baptist, which became a parish Church in 1826. The municipality agreed to provide the land to build the new Church while the parishioners financed its construction. The Church is a Gothic building, with many borrowings from Romanesque art. It consists of a central nave along two aisles, a transept and a choir flanked by two chapels in Apsidiole , Chapel of the Sacré-Coeur and Chapelle Saint-Pierre, the apse ends with a vault in the cul de furnace adorned with the fresco of the coronation of the Virgin . Overrides arch separate transept, chorus and nave. The steeple-tower rises to 52 meters. It is constructed of hard stones of Louvie. The first stone was laid in 1869 for the new Church with setbacks during the construction led to the resignation of the architect and the stoppage of the works for a dozen years. The work resumed and the Church was consecrated in 1893.

oloron sainte marie

 oloron sainte marie

The statues inside the Church are of St Vincent de Paul gathering abandoned children, 19C, a work from the altarpiece of the old hospital; First Communion in the Trinity , end 19C.  Assumption of the Virgin, mid 19C; and Adoration of the shepherds, 19C.

The important painted decoration was mainly made between 1895 and 1899 by Paul-Louis Delance, pupil of  Jean-Léon Gérôme , and of Léon Bonnat, several times medalists in competitions. For the choir they produced a fresco and 25 strengthened canvases distributed in the choir and the transept on the theme of the Life of the Virgin. The coronation of the Virgin is placed in the axis of the apse.

The Chapel of the Sacré-Coeur was decorated with a fresco with 8 strengthened canvases. In the Chapel of St. Peter, a fresco was executed. Most of the stained glass windows are from Atelier Charles Champigneulle and son with the exception of the stained glass windows of the Chapel of Saint Peter and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart which are from A. Straus.

oloron sainte marie

oloron sainte marie

The organ was created in 1851 by Vincent Cavaillon-Coll , the elder brother of Aristide. It was first carried out for the Capuchin church before being transferred to the Church of Notre-Dame at the end of the 19C.

Some webpages as usually me to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Oloron Sainte Marie on the Church

Tourism of the Pyrenees of Bearn on the Church

Tourist office of Pyrenees Atlantiques on the Church

A lovely territory to come in and of course the car is king, to see more of the wonderful Bearnaise architecture and its sauce! and wines! ,its chocolate, and history of a region within a region. Oloron-Sainte-Marie is nice.

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

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January 25, 2019

Cathedral of Sainte-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie!

And why not stay a bit longer in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, a nice town between lovely Pau and the Pyrénées to Spain! I cannot count how many times by here, since 1990! Read my previous posts on the town. It is a nice stepping stone into the mountains, the wines, the history and the architecture. Speaking of which , let me tell you about another gem of my belle France.

The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie  department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques 64 in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. I will make it brief, promise.

 oloron sainte marie

The Church of Oloron was destroyed in 848 by the Vikings when they ransacked the city.  It was around 1102 that the Viscount of Béarn Gaston IV the Crusader decided to build a new cathedral that  began to build on the left bank of the gave Aspe (river). It remains from this 12C Cathedral especially the Romanesque portal protected by the steeple-porch as well as elements in the transept. The new cathedral dedicated to the Virgin was begun at the beginning of the 12C.

oloron sainte marie

The nave was built in the 13C. The present sacristy, former Chapel of St. John the Baptist, was built in the late 13C or early 14C. The  Church was partly burned by lightning in 1302. The choir and bedside are rebuilt in the 14C. Two lateral vaulted chapels of liernes and third-party warheads were added in the late 15C or early 16C. The Cathedral was enlarged  in 1749 by constructing four lateral chapels with altarpieces on both sides of the nave and creating a new decor. This Cathedral was the episcopal seat of the former Diocese of Oloron, which was abolished in 1802 (separation of Church and State). In 1909, the Bishop of Bayonne was given the title of Bishop of Oloron and Lescar. Since that time the diocese of Bayonne, Lescar and Oloron has a mother church (Cathedral of Bayonne) and two co-Cathedrals (Cathedral of Oloron and Cathedral of Lescar). The restoration of the Cathedral was undertaken from 1859.

oloron sainte marie

In front of its Romanesque portal, a 12C, defensively-styled steeple-porch surmounts a slate roof. The main eardrum is adorned with a carved cross descent. The Romanesque portal is the work of two sculptors who are distinguished by their technique. One of them is called the Master of Oloron. With his workshop, he worked on the roads of Compostela, the main theme of the descent of Christ’s cross is very rare in a church at this side. This representation takes up the account of the death of Christ given in the Gospel according to John:. Around the cross, you can see on the left, Mary, mother of Jesus, hands on the heart, Mary, mother of James, kisses the Hand of Christ who has been liberated, a character who holds the body of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea holds pincers to denial the left hand of Chris, and the Apostle John with a hand against his cheek to manifest his deep sorrow. Above the horizontal traverse of the cross, two busts, which represent the sun and the moon to recall the darkness that occur at the time of the death of Jesus. At the foot of the Cross, a Crimson. Under the Crimson has been carved a calf or bull’s head whose interpretation is not assured.

oloron sainte marie

 oloron sainte marie

The treasure is made up of articles of Goldsmiths, cabinetmaking and liturgical garments dating from the 17-18C. It is housed in the restored and rehabilitated North lateral chapels.  A curious and imposing cabinet of the 19C, presenting a collection of priestly ornaments from the 14C to the 17C  worn by the bishops of Oloron including a veil, a handle, a stole, two jumpers, three dalmatiques, and two screeds. A nativity scene and figures from the 1Q of the 18C.  Orfrois representing Saint Denis, Sainte Barbara, a holy bishop, the Veil of Véronique held by two angels dating from the 16C. Goldsmith’s pieces from the 16C to the 19C.

oloron sainte marie

oloron sainte marie

oloron sainte marie

The Organ was built between 1647 and 1652. The organ was restored in 1771. The organ was dismantled at the French revolution. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll installed an organ in the 17C buffet in 1870. Stained glass windows were laid in the 19C after the restoration of the Cathedral. A stained glass window depicts Mary’s presentation at the Temple and the Annunciation. Another, representing the Virgin Mary, the Child Jesus and Saint Joseph, from 1867.

There you go a bit of history I like which always look forward to when visiting these places and talking with the local people its just an amazing experience. I was glad to spent more time in the city, see my other posts, there is nice wines, chocolates and food here to keep at least me for a long time… Been the importance of the Cathedral in terms of local folklore, it is not a big size nor highly decorated but worth the detour if passing by Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Oloron Sainte Marie on heritage

Tourist office of Oloron Sainte Marie on the Cathedral

Tourist office of Pyrenees Atlantiques dept 64 on the Cathedral

Tourism of the Bearn region on the Cathedral

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

 

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