Archive for February, 2019

February 28, 2019

Saint Louis Church at Darmstadt!

So I take you back to Germany ,its a tour really lol! sorry.  A bit of story telling here. Several years back while working for a multinational French co with a branch in Germany at Darmstadt I needed to visit and did a couple of times. The city was nice and the people very helpful that took me out to see the city and eat out etc. Rolled the clock several years later, my family decided they wanted to vacation in Germany so ok off I went, family votes counts! So ,while road warrior tours of Germany visiting several cities, I decided why not show them the city that i came on business for the them to see. Something of a tradition we do where once gone on business if the city is nice I bring the family later on. So they did and really enjoyed, especially those pretzels lol!

Well we did stop and wrote my blog posts on it, but decided this unique Church of Saint Louis needed a bit more exposure. I think one of the must see in the city of Darmstadt even if not well publicise oh well here I go again on the off the beaten path trail.

St. Louis Church is the main Catholic Church in Darmstadt. Its characteristic dome, is located in a conspicuous place above the city, at the end of the Wilhelminenstraße street.The Saint Louis Church was built between 1822 and 1827 as the first Catholic Church of Hesse-Darmstadt since the Reformation. The model was the classical construction of the pantheon of Rome. The construction site required a great deal of money for Grand Duke Louis I of Hesse. The building was bombed in 1944. This destroyed its foundations; its reconstruction took place in 1950. The wood of the old construction of the dome was replaced by a steel structure. The exterior decoration was completed in 1994, and that renovation of the interior in 2005. There was a new organ as well in 2005.

Darmstadt

On February 19, 1827, the fifteenth anniversary of Grand Duke Louis I’s marriage to Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt, five years after the start of the building, the new Church was consecrated. In honor of the Grand Duke, it was named after Saint Louis of France. The Pantheon of Rome was taken as a model for this classicist construction with a total reduction of one fifth. The 35 meters high central plant consists of a cylinder with a diameter of 43 meters with a semi-spherical top. The entrance emphasizes the colossal dimensions with a gable. A circular line of plaster, insistent on a high basement, divides the façade, which is almost completely devoid of openings. The capitals of the pilasters hold a high double-arm beams, ending in a band decorated with roll motifs. The dome, which rests on an inner crown of 28 Corinthian columns covered with imitation marble, has a diameter of 33 meters. With its 33.5 m opening was the largest wooden dome in Germany. Simple oak beams and double radial rings absorbed the circular pressure and the tensive forces of the dome and ensured the spatial tightness. The natural light only descends through a circular opening nine meters wide on the dome, screened by a Trinitarian window, symbolizing the illuminating intrusion of the divine in the world. In the plastic representation, the blue of the Divine Eye (Father) joins with the blue of the dome, the Red of the Cross (Son) with the red of the roundabout, and the Yellow of the Dove (Holy Spirit) with the tapered fields of the dome.

A more general restructuring took place between 1909 and 1910. On the main altar there is a 4 meters long sandstone slab and a mosaic angel on the back wall. They are both works of the late 20C and the mosaic is from 1960. The chromatic re-elaboration with intense red and blue on the dome and on the walls became the dominant stylistic figure after 2005. Noteworthy are the stations of the Via Crucis made in 1905.

Some Catholic members of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt are buried in the Church of St. Louis: Grand Duchess Matilde ,1862 on the right and Prince Frederick of Hesse-Darmstadt , 1867 on the left.

In 2005 the new altar island, surrounded by a communion bench, whose canteen rests on a Jewish menorah. The seven arms of that candlestick recall the seven sacraments that also appear on the back of the choir’s benches. The altar is still wrapped in twelve embossed metallic symbols, written in the marble floor, representing the twelve Tribes of Israel. There is also a match with the twelve squares of the altar, in which the names of the Apostles are engraved. At the apex is the Cross done in 2007

In 1823 the first organ with 34 registers came in. The instrument was damaged in 1944, and was replaced in 1955 with an organ with two keyboards and 20 registers. In 2005, a new one was made at 43 registers in a Romanesque French style.

Darmstadt

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Saint Louis Church site in German

Tourist office of Darmstadt on heritage in English

City of Darmstadt on heritage in English

There hope you have enjoyed this off the beaten path city and Church of Saint Louis in Germany. Oh Darmstadt is very close to Frankfurt, and even closer to the main airport  Flughafen where I landed the first time and went by rental car to Darmstadt on the A5 highway. The family visits were done from south of Trier Germany.

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

Tags: ,
February 28, 2019

Other Churches of Brussels!!!

So I am moving up again to my neighbor Belgium, many times here taken advantange of family near the Belgian border. I have several posts on one of my favorite cities in my blog, but feel obligated again to tell you a bit more of its most interesting monuments.

What better way to do this then by showcasing several Churches of historical and architectural significance in the city of Brussels and nearby Schaerbeek. Therefore here is a bit more on these wonderful buildings!

The Royal Church of St. Mary is on the Boulevard de la Reine in Schaerbeek, a suburn of Brussels. Built in the 19C in the Romano-Byzantine style, the church is located on the Royal Route leading from the royal residence of Laeken to the royal palace in Brussels. Officially dedicated to Notre-Dame de l’Assomption ,she is popularly associated with Louise-Marie d’Orléans, the first queen of the Belgians, earning her the qualifier Royal.

Further along, with the Rue des Palais and the Rue de la Reine, a large royal route is created linking the royal residence of Laeken to the royal Palace of Brussels. On the plan, at the beginning of the Rue des Palais, a parcel of land is destined for the construction of a church. The work site opened 1846. There is a statue of Notre-Dame in the main façade and three bells,  Marie, Joseph and Salvator are installed in 1866. The Way of the Cross is placed during Lent 1868. The black granite baptistery takes its place in 1873. The definitive completion of the work is officially done in 1888. On October 14, 1902, On the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Church is solemnly consecrated.

From 1887 the stained glass windows are installed. In 1894, Confessionals are done. In 1899, a new bell which will be removed by the Nazis occupier in 1943. Throughout the 20C the Church will be embellished with suitable furniture, especially in secondary chapels. Thus the benches of Communion done in 1905) and the organs in 1907. The Way of the Cross is blessed in 1908. But above all, the Sanctuary is built from 1900. A carved copper altar in a Romano-Mosan style replaces the primitive altar.

The degradation is such that, in 1966, the Royal Church of St. Mary is closed to the public because it is considered too dangerous! The liturgical offices are celebrated in its Crypt. In 1982, the complete restoration work of the historic monument began. They’ll last 14 years. Facade, turrets, pinnacle, porch, cornices; everything is inspected and restored. All the stained glass windows and the bell tower covering its three bells as well. Inside large surfaces of ceilings and the stuccos that are restored. The Royal Church of St Mary is reopened to the public in 1996.

City of Schaerbeek on Royal Church of St Mary

YELP favorite site on reviews on the Royal Church of St Mary

Brussels

The Church of Notre-Dame des Victoires at Sablon, is located on the edge of the Sablon. It was not until the 18C, more precisely in May 1716, that a written record of the name Notre-Dame des Victoires was found, which was already at that time in use by the people, because one believed, wrongly, that it had been founded to celebrate the victory of Duke John I at the Battle of Worringen. On the other hand the reference to the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 is well established.

The arrival in 1348 of a miraculous Virgin whose cult and procession called Ommegang were soon to supplant the devotion and procession to Saint Michael was to give this Church a major role in the social life of Brussels. The progression of this nearly century-long workyard is poorly known, due to the disappearance of the crossbow archives. The Choir was completed in 1435, as evidenced by mural paintings bearing this date. The north transept was probably completed around 1450, and the south transept and the first five bays of the nave were already done. It had built two chapels: the Chapel of St. Ursula north of the Choir done 1651-1676, and the Chapel of Saint Marcou south of the choir,1690.

Under the French revolution , the Church of Notre-Dame des Victoires was spared the anti-religious zeal of the revolutionaries, its priest having agreed to take an oath to the Republic. It was nevertheless closed for a few years, then returned to the cult under Napoleon I, as a branch of the Church of Notre-Dame de la Chapelle. The Chorus is illuminated by eleven lancets of some fourteen meters high separated by fibrous pillars. The Choir is framed by two baroque chapels. In the north the Chapel of St. Ursula is the sepulchral Chapel of the Tour and Taxis, the general postmasters from the 16C. The sponsor’s funerary monument a white marble allegorical group consisting of virtue, time and fame, accompanied by a group of Angels, stands out on the black background. The second part is dominated by a statue of St. Ursula, around two genies symbolizing death and life; in niches an allegory of truth and an allegory of hope. Under the chapel is the family vault of the Tour and Taxis, during its opening in 1928, the bones and coffins of nineteen members of the family were found, disturbed during the French revolution. They were then brought together in a single sarcophagus. To the south, the Chapel of Saint Marcou, which is during that of Saint Ursula, was also commissioned by the Tour and Taxis. His prescription is the same; the entrance gate is topped by a statue of Saint Marcou accompanied by the date 1690. The interior in faux marble color is decorated with various statues. The canopies above these two chapels come from fragments of ancient stained glass, the arms of the transept are decorated with two registers of arches surmounted by a frieze of cabbage leaves, dated 1545. The nave has a central ship flanked by four collateral. It is divided into seven bays; the five spans originally planned and two additional bays built at the beginning of the 16C. The pulpit of the Truth in Baroque style was made in 1697 for the now gone Augustinian church. It is decorated with medallions of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Virgin and Saint Thomas of Villeneuve. It is based on the sculptures symbolizing the four evangelists: the Angel, the Eagle, the Ox and the lion. In the north brace of the transept a jacquemart of the 15C rings the hours.

Brussels site on the Church Notre Dame

YELP reviews on the Church of Notre Dame

Brussels

The Church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, built between 1776 and 1787, is part of a set of nine neo-classical buildings that form the perimeter of the Place Royale in Brussels.  The Church is  Royal parish and Cathedral of the diocese to the Belgian Armed Forces.   It succeeds two neighboring places of worship; the Castrale Chapel of the Palais du Coudenberg and the Church of the Abbey of Coudenberg, both demolished for the occasion. The Church of  Saint-Jacques (St James) is the third known church in Brussels, after Saint-Géry (destroyed at  the French revolution) and Saint-Michel (now the Cathedral Saints-Michel-et-Gudule). It is possible that Saint-Jacques originated as a castrale chapel of the first castle built around 1100 by the counts of Louvain on the Coudenberg, the highest hill on the right bank of the Senne river that crossed the  town. Most probably St. James (St Jacques) was a adjacent church at a hospice for pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela next to the castle, which would explain its title of St. James. The presence of a church on the Coudenberg is attested in the 12C. The name of its servants is known from 1121.

In 1183 the Brabant was erected in the Duchy, and the Coudenberg became the habitual residence of the Dukes. During the construction of the first precinct of Brussels in the 13C, the Church, the hospice (now Prévôté) and its gardens, which extend to the present  rue Brederode  are found intra muros. In remembrance of his parents, the Emperor Charles V built, in extension of the Aula Magna, a gothic chapel which became the new Chapel Castrale in place of the Church of the Prévôté. In 1774, Prince Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine proposed to transform the square  into a royal square. As neither the old Gothic-style castle Chapel, nor the ruins of the abbey church, presumably in Romanesque style, were compatible with the neoclassical taste of the late 18C, they were demolished and replaced by the Church of St Jacques in a Neoclassical style  that we know today.

For the Church of St Jacques, the work was completed in 11 years (from 1776 to 1787). The interior of the Church is built between 1785 and 1786. In 1849,it replaced the old bell tower with an imperial wooden dome tower with four bells and, in 1851, decorates the pediment of an original fresco of the Virgin consoling the afflicted. In neoclassical style, the interior of the Church is united, sober and solemn. Outside, the façade evokes, with its triangular pediment and its six Corinthian columns, the appearance of a Greco-Roman temple. Two large statues frame the porch, king David and Moses. The three statues of the pediment, Saint James (in the center) with Saint Andre (to his right) and Saint John (to his left). After the annexation, on 1 October 1795, of the Austrian Netherlands by the first French Republic(revolution), the Church of St Jacques became, for a period of time, a temple of reason before being rendered, by the signing of the Concordat of 1801, to the Catholic cult in 1802.

Other religious events concerning the Belgian royal family were celebrated in Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg Church, such as the funeral of Charles of Belgium 1983 and King Leopold III 1983 or the eulogy mass of King Baudouin 1993. Several royal children received baptism such as Leopold II in 1835, Albert I in 1875, Leopold III in 1901, Charles in 1903, Marie-José in 1906, Josephine-Charlotte in 1927, Baudouin in 1930, Philippe in 1960 and Astrid in 1962. In 1978, the Church of St Jacques was entrusted to the Apostolic Vicariate by the Belgian armed forces. In 1986, this vicariate became the Diocese of the Armed Forces and the Church of St. James (St Jacques) its Cathedral. The titular bishop of this diocese is the Primate of Belgium, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels.

Military parish of St Jacques Church

YELP reviews on the Church of St Jacques

Brussels

The present St. Catherine’s Church was built on the site of a basin of the old Port of Brussels between 1854 and 1874. Opened in St. Catherine’s Square, it replaced an ancient building dating back to the 15C. It was finally consecrated to the cult in 1874. It is the only religious building built in the Pentagon (historical center of Brussels) since the end of the old regime. The Italian campanile adjoining the entrance to the Church of St. Catherine is, in fact, the Baroque steeple that lined the choir of the old church demolished in 1893.

Inspired by 16C French churches, such as the Saint-Eustache Church near the Halles of Paris; the Sainte-Catherine Church presents a hybrid architecture, between Gothic forms and Baroque decoration. The size and sobriety of the interior of the Church is reinforced by the white coating that covers it. It presents a homogeneous furniture, designed in Neo-Renaissance style, to which were added the main works of the old church, such as the washbasin, the cupboards of the sacristy. The pulpit of truth would come from the Cathedral Saint-Rombaut de Malines. By 2014, following a decision by the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, the Church of St Catherine in Brussels was reopened to worship and placed under the responsibility of 4 young priests of the Brotherhood of the Holy Apostles.

Official site St Catherine Church

YELP reviews on St Catherine Church

Brussels

There you a bit long even if condensed a lot just to give you a better overview of these magnificent Other Churches that are worth a visit while in Brussels. Hope you enjoy the tour!

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

Tags: ,
February 28, 2019

Other Churches of Valencia! Spain of course!!

And why not come down the Mediterranean coast to a lovely town often overlook for the bigger two others but worth a detour indeed.  I have come since teens years as my aunt used to lived just south of it at El Saler. Then visited with the family and always nice souvenirs of our visits.  I have written several posts on it before but feel deserves to tell you about the other Churches architecture and historical jewels of Valencia, capital of Comunitat Valenciana in my beloved Spain. This is their tourist portal here on the region: Tourism in the Comunitat Valenciana Valencia Spain

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on some of the other wonderful other Churches of Valencia.

The Church of San Juan de la Cruz, formerly Parish Church of San Andrés, located in Calle Poeta Querol N º 6 in the city of Valencia, was one of the first to be founded after the conquest of Jaime I of Aragon, on an old mosque. Its current configuration date, however, between 1602 and 1615 .

It is a single-nave church with chapels between the buttresses and polygonal headboard. In its facade the decorative elements are concentrated especially on the door, while the rest is a smooth brick wall on a stone plinth topped by a balustrade with balls. At the sides were opened two small chapels one of whose acropolis is still visible today. The cover is already from the end of the 17C and is notable for the use of spiral columns and side corbels on which two female figures seem to slide. The upper Aedicule was presided over by a statue of St. Andrew of which today only the traces of its cross with its characteristic shape of blade remain.

The highlight is, however, the rococo decoration of the interior, done in the second half of the 18C. Made in stucco, but worked with exceptional quality, the reloaded full forms of angels, fabrics and vegetation seem to climb the walls.

City of Valencia on the Church of San Juan de la Cruz

valencia

The Church of San Martín Obispo and San Antonio Abad, located in Calle San Vicente 11 martyr of the city of Valencia , was built in the 14C with reforms of the later centuries 15-16-17C being its styles Gothic Valencian and Baroque , retracing its antiquity to the time of the conquest of the city of Valencia by the troops of Jaime I, the Conqueror. It would not be until the year 1902, when the temple was definitively consecrated with the complete dedication of San Martín Obispo and San Antonio Abad. Its current design, with subsequent extensions and reconstructions, corresponds to the works of 1372 to 1401, in which it was used for the enlargement of the temple the space occupied by an old building,   graciously given to the parish by the General Council of the City in 1372.

The Gothic construction presents a type of longitudinal plant, of a single nave, without cruising, with the peculiarity of its irregularity, in trapezoidal form, because only the wall of the gospel parallels the axis of the temple, being at an angle the western and southern one that it was adapted the layout of the streets that border them, especially to the west, Calle San Vicente, whose antiquity exceeds that of the church, being an old Roman way on the side where the parish building appears.

City of Valencia on the Church San Martin Obispo

valencia

The Church of Santa Catalina the Martyr is one of the Gothic temples of the city of Valencia. It was erected in the Cathedral district, in the current Plaza Lope de Vega, on a previous mosque. In the 13C it acquired the rank of parish. It consists of three naves, with lateral buttresses, between which the chapels were installed, and girolas. Its baroque tower is very emblematic. In the 16C the Church was covered with classicist decoration to the Renaissance taste. After a awesome fire suffered in 1548, it was partially rebuilt. In 1785, following the prevailing fashion, it was given a baroque look.

The belfry was built between 1688 and 1705 . Masterpiece of the Valencian Baroque, is of hexagonal plant and its elevation is divided into four floors separated by mouldings, plus the body of bells and the upper crown. In its origin it was called Bells Salomonic by the helical columns that adorn that high part. It also stands out for the highlights as pilasters that adorn its angles and the decoration of its windows, where the decorative style of the ephemeral Baroque was moved with mastery. It reaches 56 meters high. The bells melted in London in 1729 and later, in 1914, the clock was added. During the restoration carried out in 2012, when going to repair the clock they realized that the machinery was relatively modern and had no value, so it was decided to remove it and replace the old bell that had been removed in 1902.

In 1936 the Church Santa Catalina the Martyr was assaulted by Republican militiamen and burned, demolished it completely. In the 1950’s works of Repristina were carried out, to give back its original gothic physiognomy, for which it was stripped to the walls of the remains of baroque and neoclassical decoration. It is a temple of Eucharistic reparation for more than 50 years, ruled by the Brotherhood of Diocesan operative priests. It has a nice museum inside.

Tourist office of Valencia on Santa Catalina the Martyr

valencia

The parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro martyr is a parish church located in Calle Caballeros No. 35, in the historical center, specifically between the neighborhoods of La Seu, El Carme and El Mercat. It is one of the best examples of coexistence of a 15C Gothic Church with a spectacular 17C baroque decor. After its restoration in 2016 it is popularly known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel. It has its usual worship schedule and also a timetable for sightseeing or cultural visits. The temple is located next to the Calle Caballeros, which was the old Decumano of the Valentia Edetanorum founded by the Romans in the year 138 BC, and in the vicinity of the Plaza de San Nicolás have been found funerary remains belonging to an ancient Roman temple. Then it was briefly a temple Paleocristian- Visigoth until the arrival of the Muslims in the 8C, when in its place a mosque was erected towards the east, towards Mecca. With the conquest of Valencia by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1238 this ancient mosque was consecrated as a Christian parish and donated to the Order of preachers or Dominicans, who baptized it in honor of St. Nicholas of Bari. Years later the same order added another titular Saint to the parish, St. Pedro el Martyr, who was the first martyr of the Dominican Order.

It was in the 15C when the temple was rebuilt and expanded acquiring its current physiognomy of the Valencian Gothic with a single nave, polygonal apse and six bays, in which there are so many vaults of simple crossing and six chapels to each side located between the buttresses of the nave’s pointed arches. Another gothic element that is preserved is the outer cover at the foot of the temple, built in the second half of the 15C, with archivolts in pointed arches, with a Baroque relief added later in the tympanum and with a meat dish carved in the key alluding to a miracle of St. Nicholas of Bari. On this cover there is a large neo-góthic rosette inspired by the star of David, which was an extension of the original Gothic rosette that had in the same place but smaller dimensions.

To the right of this cover is the only Chapel outside the temple, closed with a gate and call of the Christ of the Fossar, since in this place was the old parish cemetery before its 15C Gothic enlargement.   The taste for Baroque decoration opens its way inside the Christian temples within the atmosphere of the Reformation and the idea of modernizing the Gothic. For this reason at the end of the 17C, between 1690 and 1693, the Baroque recovered the interior with engravings, stuccoes and reliefs that were rather sculptures, like the plaster putti sculpted on each pilaster. It was, also the work of the arches of half point on the chapels that hide the original gothic pointed arches. The south facade, which falls to the pedestrian Plaza de San Nicolás, is all neo-Gothic style due to the urban renovation of the Plaza de San Nicolás promoted by the city/town hall in the 19C.

To the left of its cover is a ceramic panel of 1957 in memory of the premonition that the Dominican Valencian San Vicente Ferrer ( and can preaching in my current area of Morbihan and is buried in the Cathedral St Peter in Vannes! )did to a young Alfonso de Borja, predicting that someday the young man would be named Pope, as it happened years later as Pope Callixtus III (He was also responsible for the retrial of Joan of Arc  that saw her vindicated) . Visits are only accessed by the door located in Calle Caballeros, No 35, which leads to a hallway through which access to the interior of the temple as cultural or tourist visits are not allowed on Mondays or during the worship hours. They can be made from Tuesday to Friday from 10h30 to 19h30, Saturdays from 10h30 to 18h30   and Sundays from 13h to 20h. The timetables may undergo modifications for specific liturgical celebrations, so it is recommended to consult the agenda of the Church.

Official site of San Nicolas of Valencia

Tourist office of Valencia on Church San Nicolas de Bari, San Pedro el Martyr

City of Valencia on Church San Nicolas de Bari

valencia

The Church of Santo Tomás and San Felipe Neri is located in the Plaza of San Vicente Ferrer and is a temple built in the 18C in Baroque style. This Church is also called the congregation’s Church, because it was part of the convent house erected by the congregation of the Oratory of San Felipe Neri on the former parish of St. Thomas. After the disentitlement the rest of the convent complex was demolished and only the temple remained. The Church was built between 1727 and 1736 , and was inspired by Baroque models of Rome, recognizable especially in the broad façade. Constructed of red brick with elements of stone , it follows the form of the Roman Church of the Gesu and consists of two bodies: a wider inferior one crowned by a entablature and with a lowered arch on the door, and another more narrow upper , which corresponds only to the central nave, is topped by a triangular pediment and has two large volutes on its sides. Pilasters, corbels and statues compose a very classical image that is completed with the bell tower and its curious eighteenth sundial. If we enter, we will observe a Latin cross style temple, with a short nave covered with a barrel vault with lunettes between side chapels crowned by small domes. It also has a large transept on which stands a large dome and contains rich pictorial backgrounds.

City of Valencia on the Church San Tomàs Apostol and San Felipe Neri

Valencia

SO there you go a small tour of some of the nice monument Churches of Valencia a very nice city to walk as well, beautiful architecture is all around and history to boot. We always have come here by car, the most scenic route. Therefore, hope you have enjoyed the Other Churches of Valencia.

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

 

 

 

Tags: ,
February 27, 2019

The Basel on transports in Switzerland!

So I have talk a lot of my road warrior campaigns in Europe and elsewhere, as I love the freedom of the road. Not withstanding folks think that all I do is put the pedal to the metal and drive around. Well nothing of the truth if you live in Europe lol! I have taken my faire share of trains, tramways, metros, buses, velib bikes, and especially the best walks on many cities of Europe.

One city that comes to mind for its extensive network of trains, and tramways where everything runs smooth is Basel in Switzerland. I have several posts on it in my blog, my trips there have been on the business side of things. However, I like to tell you a bit on the Basel transport choices.

My trips started always from the Gare de Lyon on the TGV Lyria to Basel. I arrived in Basel train station, which is a beautiful building in city center, and the hotel was just across it, nice lively place lots of people out which is always good.

A bit overall on Basel can be resume into this.  Basel, its the third most populous city in Switzerland ,after Zürich and Geneva, and the capital of the canton of Basel-Ville. The Basel agglomeration is bilingual ,German and French, and Tri-National since it includes the towns of Saint-Louist Huningue, in Alsace, and Weil am Rhein and Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg. The urban area of Basel is called Eurodistrict of Basel. Basel is 70 km north of Bern, 75 km north-west of Zurich, bordering St. Louis, 27 km south of Mulhouse, 60 km south of Colmar and 115 km south of Strasbourg. The famous university of Basel founded in 1460, the first Swiss university , frequented over the centuries by Erasmus of Rotterdam, Paracelse, Daniel Bernoulli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jaspers, Nobel laureate Tadeusz Reichstein or the philosopher Jeanne Hersch.

What astound me the most was its intricate transportation network where it is all very punctual and clean. A bit expensive but so is everything with the Swiss… However, the roads are excellent. I have come here by train and used the public transportation but will mention about the road warrior options as would be nice to try it in the future.

It has 4 bridges crossing the Rhine and Birsig rivers. The best known is the Mittlere Brücke, Central. The two most traffic bridges are the Dreirosenbrücke, consisting of two superimposed roads, and the Schwarzwaldbrücke, consisting of a motorway part and a road part. On the Swiss side, you have the A3 highway towards Zurich and Coire, the A2 towards Lucerne, Chiasso and Milan. This highway has a motorway junction south of Basel on the cantonal Road 1 or main road 18 in the direction of Delémont. On the German side, you have the A5 in the direction of Freiburg im Breisgau and Frankfurt. This German highway has a motorway junction north of Basel on the A98 in the direction of Rheinfelden (Baden) in Germany and Rheinfelden (Aargau) in Switzerland and then joins the A3 mentioned above. The latter and short section therefore indirectly corresponds to a motorway bypass of the city of Basel via Germany. On the French side, you have the A35 (this one I rode on it indeed)  in the direction of Mulhouse, Colmar and Strasbourg.

Basel is served by the international Airport of Basel-Mulhouse-Fribourg, also known by its trade name, Euroairport . It has the peculiarity of being located in binational territory, both Swiss and French. Just for info

The city of Basel has five train stations, three of which are served by several international lines. The Basel CFF train station is connected to the SBB/CFF/FFS network and is served by the TGV and ICE . The  Swiss Basel SBB , and French Bâle SNCF stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs and Immigration facilities.   Basel SNCF railway station is served by the French TER trains. The German train station of Baden is part of the DB Network and is served by the DB Regio and the ICE. Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city.   In addition to these three major train stations, the city has two other stops served by various regional trains: Basel St-Jean in the direction of Saint-Louis and Mulhouse and Basel-Dreispitz in the direction of Delémont and Porrentruy. More here: SBB Basel train station

basel

basel

basel

The city of Basel has a dense network of urban and suburban tramways. The first, green-colored, are operated by the company BVB (Basler Verkehrsbetriebe: Public transport Basel); The latter, yellow to red strip, belong to the BLT (Baselland-Transport: transport of Basel-Country, the other half-canton, with that of Basel city).

Today, the 8 urban lines of the BVB and the four suburban routes of the BLT with the four lines of the BLT (lines 10, 11, E11 and 17) also traverse the city by way of the BVB and are therefore urban tramways. Line 10 of the BLT serves the French village of Leymen. The station itself is in French territory and when one leaves the station of Ettingen you can see a sign announcing that you leave Germany, so you go for a few minutes on French soil. The terminus, Rodersdorf, is again in Swiss territory. I was very impressed by the tramways all over the city huge quantity of them, and very clean easy to take. More on them in German (more info) here: BVB tramway schedule in German

basel

basel gare walking out to city oct13

Some further webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Basel on getting around and in

Tourist office of Basel on getting around and in

It is an interesting city and one that needs more visits to fully enjoy it. Hope you enjoy the post on transports in Basel, and can discuss your travels there with me. I now have friends working there and who knows a escape is in order ::)

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

 

 

Tags: ,
February 27, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXII

So back to the latest news from my belle France. All under a wonderful sunshine of 18C lovely in my Breton woods!!! By Paris, is the same!  Let me be a bit different this time as France is a whole country with all kinds of issues like many others but seldom spoken by visitors seeking the glamour of my adopted country.

Ok so can never always tell you the nicest things about Paris, France ,I am aware of it all been citizen/resident of many countries and many large cities. Paris has its down side too, just be aware when visiting.

The number of deaths on the roads of metropolitan France increased by 3.9% in January 2019. 238 people were killed, nine more than in January 2018, Wednesday announced Securité Routiére (official road safety organism). This increase in agglomeration(cities) and on highways, comes after the announcement of a historical decline in  2018, with 3 503 killed (Hexagone and overseas). The results that had led Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, ardent defender of the 80 km/h limitation that it is legitimate to discuss this measure, in the context of the great national debate. Of course, speed is not the main issue, bad road conditions, traffic circles, priority on the right, etc are the issues but they do not gather money like a speeding ticket lol!!!

Looking more closely at the surveys made available by Airparif (the body for Air quality control in île de France region), it was notice that the air has been described as Bad already four days since January 1, 2019 compared to three over the whole of last year ! Of the four days with a bad index in 2019, three have been found since February 12 , two at the top of the pollution peak of  February 21 and 22. The levels of particle concentrations have also justified the establishment of an alternating circulation in Paris from today February 27. Charles Karimi, a forecaster at Airparif, explained that without wind or rain, these discharges of particles, mainly due to road traffic and residential heating, etc., remain in the atmosphere and cannot escape because of the very cold air that creates a kind of bell cover over the Ile-de-France region. This is more like the factories around Paris, the overcrowding with no park and ride parking’s, public transport that is still not enough for the population , and the building heating yes in Paris, all these a lot more than simply road traffic which has been there since day 1.

107 homicides in Ile-de-France region in 2018, twenty less than the previous year! This is one of the positive developments in the numerical balance of delinquency delivered by the Ministry of the Interior in its data state 4001. The number of armed robberies decreases in the capital. A significant decrease of almost 9% over one year and even half -55% over 5 years which reflects a fairly general trend in Ile-de-France, except perhaps in Seine-Saint-Denis 93 where the number of robberies of this type has fallen only 2.62% since 2013. On the other hand, the number of sexual assaults is progressing throughout the Ile-de-France and the Oise. They increased by 25% compared to the previous year in Paris and in the Hauts-de-Seine, in the latter department, they even almost doubled + 90%! over five years, between 2013 and 2018. So even if Paris by major city standards is still a safe city, common sense should prevail at nights by all, but especially women.

In the ligher things of my belle France, there are as always some nice developments to tell you.

In the spring of 2020, this 14 000 m2 operation overlooks the Parc des Expositions (fairgrounds). It will feed the restaurants of the site and the inhabitants of the area. On the heights of a building under construction, to the southeast of the exhibition center of the Porte de Versailles (15éme), a landscape echoes the ephemeral largest farm of France. It is here, at the top of the future Pavilion 6, that the largest urban farm on the roof of the world will be created.  It will be complemented in the spring of 2020, with the delivery of the new hall and the two hotels under construction, a Mama Shelter and a Novotel of 440 rooms in total. More than a thousand fruits and vegetables of about thirty different species will be pampered each day, in season, by some twenty gardeners. The production will feed the restaurants of the exhibition center, starting with the le Perchoir, which already is present on several Parisian rooftops, which is set on the panoramic terrace of the new hall. More on the parc des exposition and the Salon de l ’Agriculture going on now: https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-do-in-paris/info/guides/salon-international-agriculture-paris

And on the farm press release in French here: http://www.presseagence.fr/lettre-economique-politique-paca/2019/02/22/paris-la-plus-grande-ferme-urbaine-en-toiture-au-monde-bientot-a-paris/?print=print

Le musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) or The Museum of the Great War of the country of Meaux. Welcomes comics authors (BD) interested in the 14-18 period. The opportunity to meet them and to visit this great museum for free!! Great event indeed and wonderful museum. More here: https://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/en/la-grande-guerre-en-bd.html

Ski, snowboard and curling trails give a winter sports air to the One Nation shopping center, in Clayes-sous-Bois (Yvelines 78). You can ski there every day until Sunday, March 10, 2019. And it’s free.The mall info here: https://www.onenation.fr/en/

Indeed, between February 27 and March 3, 1969 took place the legendary move of the halles of Paris to Rungis: 20 000 people, 1 000 wholesale companies, 10 000 m3 of equipment, 5 000 tons of goods left Paris for the south of the capital where a new blazing market , installed on 4.2 km, was waiting for them . This is the Rungis market today one of the biggest in the world, celebrating 50th anniversary!. https://www.rungisinternational.com/rungis-50e-anniversaire/

The two cabins of the Montmartre funicular are as new! After three long years of work, the famous 18C funicular railway was completely renovated. 25 years after its operation in its current form, the new funicular, frequented by more than 4000 people per hour, announces its great comeback! The modern cockpit will undoubtedly appeal to travelers: New benches, new floor, LED lighting, more dynamic information screen and a stroke of paint on the outside. The renovations taking place every ten years, the next is planned for 2027 and 2028. You have time! More in tourist office of Paris: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/103125/Funiculaire-de-Montmartre

The official tourist office of Montmartre! http://www.montmartre-guide.com/acces-a-la-butte-montmartre/

The Paris Music Festival is back! And with it, three days of celebration, music and love with a ton of concerts at a very sweet price, at all in the craziest places of the capital. A lovable program awaits you for this new edition, with a beautiful headliner, such as one named Bertrand Burgalat, talented musician and patron of the label Tricatel, who will perform at the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts). You will also find Zombie Zombies on stage with a choir of teenagers, Bashar Mar-Khalifé in solo piano with Faraj Suleiman in the first part, a tribute to Rachid Taha. But also the wonderful Hugh Coltman, Apple, Sage, Ignatus, Louis Aguilar, Gael Faure, Barbara Carlotti, Silly Boy Blue or even Zaza Fournier. This year you have an appointment in places such as the American Cathedral, the College of the Bernardin, the archaeological crypt of the Ile de la Cité, the Hôtel de Lauzun, the Museum of Arts Deco or the Eugène Delacroix Museum. With a single rate of 10€ per concert, no more, no less. From March 14 to 16 2019. More here:  http://paris-music.com/

The brand new Institut Français de la Mode (French Institute of Fashion) or IFM Paris. This Parisian fashion school was created by the merger of the French Institute of Fashion and the School of the Trade Union Chamber of Haute Couture (ECSCP). The Bachelor’s registration is open for the beginning of the 2019. A Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, a three-year course, taught in French and English, at 13 000 euros per year for EU nationals, 19 000 euros for all others. It will teach the anatomy, drawing, cutting, patronage, creation of images, staging, but also the industrial and economic reality of fashion. The creation of a collection of 6 to 8 silhouettes accessorized is to be carried out in the last year. More here: https://www.ifmparis.fr/en/

Cannes and its Croisette is in fashion! again!   It is offering itself a big facelift. The old bathing establishments are going to be demolished to give way to harmonized dismantling structures. The mayor, David Lisnard, decided to launch an international competition in 2019 to entrust architects and landscapers with the requalification of public spaces. The main asset of the Croisette is their village sides, where you can do everything on foot, go from hotel to beach, shopping, join the Palais des Festivals. Nowhere else in France, even in Paris, we find on less than 3 km such a concentration of luxury shops with some sixty brands which, since 2016, can open on Sundays or in the evening with a golden square registered in the perimeter of the International tourist area. Since 2009, the Groupe Barriére has dedicated 120 million euros to its two flagships, the Majestic and the Gray of Albion hotels, including the construction of a new wing for the Majestic housing 42 suites and 2 penthouses. The Martinez completed in 2018 a construction site of 150 million euros. The Intercontinental Carlton, (owned by Qatari Katara Hospitality Fund now under my management accounting wise once!), has undertaken extension work (more than 13,000 m2) and modernization that should be completed in 2021 with an estimated investment of more than 250 million euros. Finally, the JW Marriott Hotel (own by groupe Jesta), by 2020, will offer 2,500 m2 of new commercial areas and a renewed hotel offer on 7,800 m2. Amount of expenditure, about 32 million euros. Indeed a total facelift of an already glorious boulevard de la Croisette of Cannes!! More on it here: https://www.cannes-destination.com/must-see/la-croisette-cannes

There you go, many things still to do and common sense will prevail, I never had any problems whatsoever here nor my family. Other than some speeding tickets lol!! but now down to 11 points out of maximum 12, okeerokee!

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

 

February 26, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXII

Well here I am the local guy, its been a while doing this continent tour and more to come back to my dept 56 Morbihan breton in the region of Brittany, my home for the last 8 years! I like to catch up a bit as some interesting events are coming up that we participate over the years

N164 the Breton free road of course that goes from Châteulin (Finistére 29) to Montauban de Bretagne(Ille et Vilaine 35) is in repairs for improvements; the highway is 162 km long and so far 106 km are done. The rest are to be finish by 2021 And there is more work in the planning in the Côtes d’Armor 22 to be done by 2022/23 or even 2025.

The tourism is up in Brittany, I told you we are the third most visited region in France, the World’s top vacation visitor visits. There were 97,5 million tourist in Brittany in 2018!!! The numbers come from the CRT comité regional du tourisme. Even with this is 2% less than in 2017 due to a school vacation that was shorter, the weather was no help , the strikes of the SNCF train network and the yellow jackets strikers at end of year 2018.

However, the foreigners are up! With hotels and campings full and positive increases over 2017. The most as I see it too are from the UK, Germany, and Belgium. What would be the impact of Brexit to tourism in Brittany? That is the big question, time will tell. Official site her: https://acteurs.tourismebretagne.bzh/

The old 35 yrs old cocodrile of the aquarium of Vannes is getting larger quarters!  Eleonore she is already 4 meters long! And 200 kg!  It was found in the sewers of Paris when it was 2 years old and was hosted by the Museum of d’Histoire Naturalle . The crocs can live to 70 years old in the wild and up to 100 in captivity!!! And they can run fast but only for about 20 meters!  Tips I know from growing up in their tropical areas. The aquarium webpage is here: http://aquariumdevannes.fr/photos-videos-aquarium/

Coming up in  June 14-16 the Livr’ à Vannes book fair with over 200 writers on site!  This will be the 12th edition!More here:  http://www.livreavannes.fr/

March 2-4 the Salon de l’Habitat on its 33rd edition at Vannes! All to  know how to buy sell and renovate your house and financing ideas of course. Time to check it out !!!  At the Chorus in the parc du golfe in Vannes of course! More here:  http://ouest.viving.fr/vannes/salon-habitat-immobilier-viving-vannes

February 23 to March 3 Salon de l ’Agriculture in Paris its 56th edition  but we are big there!!! At the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles of  Paris. All you need to know about our wonderful gastronomy from where it comes from and how it is raised.  The exponents listings here: https://www.salon-agriculture.com/Catalogue-2019/Liste-des-exposants/(search_text)/bretagne/(search_on)/all/(limit)/48/(sort)/most_viewed

And the Salon Vins & Gastronomie de Vannes ! March 9-11 2019. The 27th edition and I will be there for the 8th time!!! Again!!! At the Chorus in the Parc du Golfe, loads of goodies from my belle France foods, accessories  wines you name the crème de la crème be here or be square lol!!More on the Salon here:  https://www.salons-vins-gastronomie.fr/fr/vannes

The Chorus exhibition hall here: http://www.lechorus.com/salon-des-vins-et-de-la-gastronomie

At Arzon, Criée de Port Navalo, the event  Imagine ton Naviere ! imagine your boat. From Saturday 6 April to Sunday 9 June 2019 the exhibition invites the public to imagine how men design and then build ships to meet their desire to move on the water. By browsing the exhibition, its digital games and interactive manipulations the visitor becomes in turn naval architect and navigator. Free entry. More here:  https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/arzon/imagine-ton-navire-a-la-criee/tabid/701/offreid/ebb065cd-6484-4c22-8982-7d969a3a29f1

Sunday July 14 2019 at Sarzeau – Port de Saint Jacques,  FÊTE DE LA MER (Feast of the sea) .During the day; games on water and on land, and empty attic fleas market. In the evening; popular ball and at nightfall, fireworks. Possibility of eating on site. Free admission. More here:   https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/sarzeau/fete-de-la-mer-port-saint-jacques-a-sarzeau/tabid/718/offreid/c1b1f67c-3a17-47d2-95b3-fc1727d53aac

Every 2nd  Saturdays of the month  at  Vannes-Le Port from 9h to 18h. The quays of the book , professional market of the old book, used, vinyl records and postcard organized by the Association of Booksellers of South Brittany (weather permitting) .About 10 exhibitors . Free attendance. More here:  http://www.lesquaisdulivre.fr/

There you go some nice activities near me, I will be around!!! and planned trips already to the Loire, Amboise, and Honfleur. Stay tune ok!

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

 

 

February 25, 2019

Basilique Saint Sauveur, Rennes

So why not stay in lovely Rennes! As said been here several times and walked the beat but with so many monuments there are some that I think are worth mentioning in a post of their own. This is the case of the Basilica minor Saint Sauveur of Rennes.  Let me tell you a bit more on it and hope you enjoy it.

The Saint-Sauveur Basilica of Rennes is a minor basilica, known as  Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtue or Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, located in the heart of the historic city center of Rennes. Its foundation, under the name of Saint-Sauveur, was before the 12C. Enlarged on several occasions and rebuilt in the early 18C, it was the seat of a parish for nearly three hundred years, until WWII, then again from 2002. Following several miraculous events in the 14C and 18C, the cult of Notre Dame developed strongly to culminate in a basilica erection in 1916. In classical style, this building is particularly distinguished by its furniture, a canopy of the high altar, wrought iron chair, organ, as well as the numerous ex-votos deposited by the faithful.

Located in place Saint-Sauveur, it lies at the end of a perspective starting at the bottom of the Place du parliament de Bretagne and formed by the succession of the Rue Brilhac,Rue Ermine and Rue du Guesclin. Only its eastern and southern facades are visible, the remainder being adjoined by buildings, including the presbytery to the West,at  2 Rue Saint-Sauveur. The main façade, in the east, overlooks Place Saint-Sauveur, while the south façade opens onto Rue Saint-Sauveur, and beyond, on the garden of the Hôtel de Blossac.

rennes bas st sauveur front dec13

A bit of history I like

The present Basilica Church of Saint Sauveur was built at the beginning of the 18C, replacing a chapel whose origins merge with those of the city. The first written traces mentioning a Saint-Sauveur chapel in Rennes date from the 12C. Erected Saint-Sauveur in parish Church in 1667. This decision was confirmed by the Parliament of Brittany by a judgment of 1667, despite the opposition of the rector of Toussaints. A Brotherhood was founded in 1670 on the initiative of Saint John Eudes in honor of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues and of the Holy Heart of Mary.

In 1682, the west gable of the Church collapsed, making the Church unfit for worship. After a few months during which the Blessed Sacrament was transported to the Saint James Chapel, the cult resumed in the partially demolished church. The first stone was laid two years later, on July 24, 1703. The architect decides to orient the new church from east to west, unlike the old one. This new orientation allows to open the facade on the bottom of the place du grand bout de la Cohue (this square where a market was held until 1720 the location of the current Rue de  Clisson and Place Saint-Sauveur). The work begins with the Chorus, once it is completed, the Blessed Sacrament is transported there and the old church is finally demolished. Of it remains only a marquee carved on a face of a standing figure, dated the 12C, and kept at the Museum of Brittany. The new Church is consecrated on August 5, 1719, when only the choir (blessed earlier in the same year) and a crusader are completed.

rennes bas st sauveur back dec13

The destruction of the Place du grand bout de la Cohue, replaced by the Rue de Clisson and the Place Saint-Sauveur, and the piercing of the Rue du Guesclin in the axis of the Church, lead it to redraw the façade to integrate it into this new perspective. It also produces the map of the gate and its leaves. The major altar, symbolizing the end of the work, is consecrated in 1768.

The French revolution interrupted the reconstruction work of St. Peter’s Cathedral destroyed in 1768. The Church of Saint-Sauveur then became the temple of reason, then the temple of the Supreme Being in 1794. The miraculous statue of Notre Dame is destroyed during this period. The building hosts public meetings. Saint-Sauveur is officially rendered to worship only on September 30, 1802.

The arrival of the master Altar c.1827 – 1829, of a Chandelier c. 1846, of a Cross c. 1860 and of the Choir Organ c. 1894. The Altars of the Sacred Heart and St. Louis and St. Anne are redone and receive new paintings. A second restoration from 1870 on the altars of the transept. It was created in 1875 the altar dedicated to Notre Dame of Miracles and Virtues, in the north-side. Three bells are then installed in the tower in 1876. Finally, a ceramic paving replaces the original tome in 1886. The Church also carries, between 1832 and 1855, a Telegraph Chappe on the station 4 of Rennes and the number 10 of the line Avranches-Nantes. With the reactivation of the cult of Notre Dame of Miracles and Virtues, the Church is consecrated on October 12, 1912 by Pope Pius X. It was erected in a minor Basilica on 27 April 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.

Four narratives of miracles, attributed to Notre-Dame, are related to the Church and are the subject of special devotion. In 1667, the Church of Saint-Sauveur, truce of the parish of Toussaints, becomes parish in turn, the new parish then has for limits to the north the Porte Saint-Michel (current place Rallyer-du-Baty), south the Vilaine river, to the east the rue  Tristin (route close to the current rue de l’Horloge) and west the back of the Cathedral. This represents half of the first precinct of Rennes, four hectares entirely built. In 1939, the parish’s seat was moved to St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Church of Saint-Sauveur preserving its only Basilical vocation. With the reorganization in 2002; Saint-Sauveur finds a parish assignment, between the Cathedral St Pierre, and the Church of Saint-Étienne.

A bit more on the description and architecture I like

The exterior style of the Basilica recalls, on a lesser scale, that of the Church of the Gesù of Rome or the Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victories in Paris. of modest size 43 meters by 26 meters, the Basilica has a multi-cut Latin cross form, with a three-span nave and two collateral, a cut-out apse and a shallow transept.

The Basilica St Sauveur is composed of a nave with two aisles, a narrow transept, a short choir and an apse with cut-out pans, without ambulatory or apsidiole. The nave has three spans against one for the choir. The first two bays on the north side are slightly deeper. The first one contains the baptismal fonts, the second, the confessional. The second span of the south aisle was enlarged at the beginning of the twentieth century to accommodate the Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtues. The aisles communicate with the central ship and the transept through full-hang arches supported by square pillars. Each face of these pillars is adorned with a Doric pilaster. The south aisle has a canopy at each span. The north side has only two, the first span being adjacent to the tower. The choir span has only one canopy on the south side, the blind north wall being occupied by a sham

The master Altar is surmounted by a remarkable canopy, made in 1768 with motifs adorning the adjacent pulpit in the south-western pillar of the choir. This painted or gilded wrought iron chair, made in 1781, richly decorated, the tub carries many ornaments such as medallions surrounded by fins and ribbons, falls of leaves and fruits, volutes and garlands of laurels. The lampshade is surmounted by a gadroons dome, and the pellet is made of acanthus leaves. The new altar is made of marble and stainless steel, in harmony with the existing furniture. Each side carries a monogram: “JHS” facing the nave – as a reminder of the dedication of the Basilica, the Chrismon surrounded the letters α and ω facing the choir, “MA” facing the altar of Notre Dame des Victoires, “JPH” in front of that of Saint Joseph. Relics of Saint Melaine are laid in the table. A new Ambon accompanies the altar.

rennes bas st sauveur nave dec13

The statue of Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtues, often referred to simply as Our Lady of Miracles, is a Virgin and the Child. It is mentioned in the 14C, as part of a miracle that would have occurred during a siege of the city. It is already a sculpture of painted wood. It is repainted in 1445, then its hands are restored in 1522. During the French revolution, as the Church welcomed the revolutionary cult, the statue was destroyed. It is only replaced in February 1876.

rennes-bas-st-sauveur-virgin-chapel-dec13

Two organs are in the church: a choir organ and a monumental organ in a tribune. The choir organ consists of two symmetrical bodies placed obliquely. Each body consists of two flats, thirteen and three pipes respectively. The bodies are surmounted by gendarme hats adorned with a shell. It is the first electrically transmitted organ installed in Rennes, received on March 11, 1894. The organ of Tribune dates from the 17C. The painted shuttered buffet is made of oak (central part) and fir (wings) carved in the Louis XIV style. It has four six-, twelve-, twelve-and six-pipe plates, separated by five-pipe turrets. The flat faces are surmounted by damping volutes; the skylights have motifs of abundance horns and cherub heads. The central turret is surmounted by a statue of St. George slaying the dragon, the side turrets of fire pots in gadroons. The whole is painted in imitation oak covering the original polychromies.

a site on organ concerts in Rennes and that of the Basilica: Music Rennes concerts Basilica St Sauveur

The present stained glass windows were made in 1951 and 1952, with the exception of the Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles and the large canopy on its left. The series of Mr. Barrillet replaces the stained glass windows bombarded in 1940 during WWII. The large canopies at the bottom evoke the cult of Notre Dame des Miracles, while the small canopies of the upper represent Marian scenes. The Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles retains its clear windows of the late 19C and the canopy on its left is from 1962.

The Rennes tourist office take on the Basilica of Saint SauveurTourist office of Rennes on the Basilique Saint Sauveur

Hope you have enjoy the historical architecture tour of the Basilique Saint Sauveur de Rennes. OF course, this is just a condense story of a magnificent monument.

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

February 25, 2019

Church of St Peter , and al. Baden!

Ok so I was in town for a ride in my area with the boys and came back to Baden only 21 kms south of me. I guess told you bits and pieces of it in previous blog and there is so much beauty around it. See my previous posts as Baden is on the head of the Gulf of Morbihan!

As in many posts, the monument heritage around here is huge, and the architecture and history of it enormous. So will tell you a bit more on a simple off the beaten path Church St Pierre (St Peter) in Baden, the Morbihan dept 56 (mine) in the region of Brittany/Bretagne!

Baden

Baden

The Church of St. Pierre ,b.12C, founded by the Rolland family of Cardelan. This Church was rebuilt in 1835-1836 and between 1860 and 1864, when it was completed by a spire with an arrow. The Choir altarpiece dates from the 17C. The Lords of Cardelan had once their burials in the Chapel of Saint John, on the side of the epistle of the ancient Church.

Baden

 Baden

The steeple of the Church of St Pierre forms a remarkable guide for sailors. From the Bay of Quiberon, aligning the white obelisk of the island of Petit Vézy and the steeple, the boats enter the Gulf following the deepest channel. Located in the heart of the town on a headland, it is remarkable for its bell tower built in 1864 and the arrow steeple in 1866 which serves as a guide to the navigators of the Gulf.

This Church of St Pierre, falling dilapidated, was rebuilt in 1835 and 1836, in the form of a Latin cross, with two aisles. The old steeple, having been demolished later, to widen a path, the Church took a squat short form. The new tower, surmounted by an elegant pyramid, all in beautiful sizes of stones, that can be seen from a very far.

Baden

Baden

In 1801, Baden was attached to the canton of Vannes-Ouest, or Saint-Pierre, which was accepted by the bishop in 1802. Dedicated to Saint Peter, the present Church dates back only to the 19C, even though it presents in the south wing the outer buttresses showing its Romanesque origin.

In 1869, the rector acquired a monumental wooden altarpiece dating from the 16C and would come from the Chartreuse of Auray. Reassembled and finished , this altarpiece has been registed as a national treasury in 1912. Outside, near the porch, there are two Gallic stele stones.

It has a quaint small city center with good restaurants and a  traditional museum  of wings and passions, all around the Church of St Pierre. A nice off the beaten path into the creeks and cranny areas of my beautiful Morbihan breton.

 Baden

City of Baden on the Church St Pierre

Museum of Baden

Hope you enjoy the tour of these off the beaten paths places, they abound in France still even if receiving millions of tourists , for the enjoyment of those who seek the traditional and local folklore. Baden is one jewel to be visited, and of course in my Morbihan!

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

 

February 24, 2019

The other Churches of Rennes!

Ok so I have been to Rennes several times, and written on it on several posts in my blog. All have been of a general nature on day, weekend trips. However, it has so much to offer as things to see, the city is amazing. The capital city of the region of Brittany, and the seat of dept 35 Ille et Vilaine. I like to change all that a bit by telling you about some of its monuments especially from the history ,architecture side I like.

Therefore, here are my takes on two Churches, Notre Dame St Melaine and Toussaints of Rennes. Hope you enjoy it.

Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Church is located in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine department no. 35 in my beloved Brittany. It is located in the extension of Rue Saint-Melaine in the northeast part of the center of the medieval town. It is bordered on its southern façade by the western end of the Thabor Park (see post on it).

rennes ch notre dame st melaine dec13

The sanctuary is dedicated to Saint Melaine, traditionally considered as the first bishop of Rennes, who died here in 6C. He is buried on the hill of the cemetery in Rennes, where the abbey of Saint Melaine was built. The Church served as a Cathedral in the first half of the 19C. Between 1803 and 1844, the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre , deliberately demolished at the end of the 18C and not yet rebuilt, was no longer usable as a cathedral or sanctuary. Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine presents itself today as a composite building in Romanesque and Gothic style, behind a classical and neoclassical tower-steeple. Its layout is in the form of a Latin cross.

A bit of history I like

The primitive Church was built on the tomb of Saint Melaine, Bishop of Rennes at the end of the 5C and early 6C. The construction of the Romanesque church ,taking from 1081 to 1109, some parts of which remain today; such as the transept and the bases of the tower of the steeple. In the first half of the 13C, the square of the transept was covered with a vault of warheads whose departure is still visible. In the 14C, the arches of the nave and the high windows are redone, as well as the choir. In 1432, the tower of the steeple was rebuilt on Romanesque bases. The façade of the steeple is entirely remade in limestone, also in 1683 a new cloister, but the capitals and columns of the ancient cloister of the 11C are preserved in the Museum of Brittany. A Way of the Cross painted in fourteen paintings made in a classical style, inspired by the 17C French or Italian.

The facade of the steeple designed in a perfectly symmetrical way is in very good condition. It dates to its current appearance of 1676, and is made of limestone. From the old stained glass windows of the Church blown up during WWII, during the bombardment of the city, in 1943, which touched notably the Thabor park, remains, at the bedside of the north collateral, a canopy characteristic of the production of the 19C. The stained glass windows are replaced in the 1950’s by simple colored glasses. The large bay of the south transept is adorned with a window of eight meters in height and four meters in width evoking the Translation of the relics from the remains of the Holy Bishop Melaine arriving at the gates of the city of Rennes by the Vilaine river while the laity and clerics prostrate himself in its passage.

rennes

The great-organs Claus from 1879. The Organ Cavaillon-Coll, former organ of the chapel of the Carmelites delivered in 1874. Transfer of the Church of Saint Aubin to the Abbey and restoration in 2011.

Saint Melaine would have played an important role in king Clovis, which he would have become the adviser. At his death between 529 and 549 his body deposited in a boat would have reached Rennes where he was buried in the cemetery in the north east of the city. A monastery would have been founded at the site of its tomb around 550. A new monastery was consecrated in 630. The abbey remains abandoned until about 937. The dynasty of the bishops of Rennes seizes the time of the abbey and  endows his daughters in dismembering the diocese the bishop withdraws to Saint-Melaine by designating as his successor his son Gautier who takes his retirement as abbot after the accession of his son Garin to the episcopate of Rennes. Saint-Melaine is finally reformed from 1058. Endowed with Abbots commendatory since the beginning of the 16C, during the collapse of the Cathedral of Rennes, the Benedictine monks oppose twice in 1740 and 1770 at the installation of the Episcopal headquarters in Saint-Melaine. The abbey was finally assembled at the Bishopric of Rennes in 1775. The cloisters of the 11C and 17C, the logis abbatial, the conventual buildings and the garden were preserved.

Tourist office of Rennes on Notre Dame en St Melaine

The Church of Toussaints (All Saints), formerly Chapel of St. Thomas, of Rennes, Baroque style counter-Reformation, located south of the Vilaine river ,by  rue du Captain-Alfred-Dreyfus. Designed from 1624 to 1651 as the Chapel of St. Thomas College, this chapel became a parish church in 1803, replacing the ancient Church of Toussaints, which was 300 meters away.

Rennes ch toussaints front oct12

A bit of history I like

A Chapel of Toussaints existed in Rennes at the end of the 10C, occupied by hermits of St Augustine and dependent on a parish established in a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Its location corresponds to that of the central market halls built in 1922. The All Saints ‘ Chapel was rebuilt during the 15C and 16C, despite the collapse of the bell tower in 1482 and a tower in 1513. This one, rebuilt in the 17C, collapses again in 1715 to be rebuilt from 1764.

The municipal  Royal College of Saint-Thomas-Becket , (as middle school and future high school Émile-Zola) is founded around 1534 and moves into the buildings of the old Priory St. Thomas, near the Church of Toussaints. In 1604 the Jesuits were entrusted with the instruction until 1762. The two Chapels of the Collège ,Saint-Thomas and Saint-Marc, revealing themselves too small, the instructions given to built the Grande Chapelle Saint-Thomas  consecrated in 1651. The main altarpiece of the All Saints ‘ Church of Rennes dates from 1653.

During the French revolution, in 1789, schoolchildren and soldiers occupied the new St. Thomas Chapel on several occasions. The college became a central school in 1795 and then high school (lycée) in 1803. The seat of the parish is transferred to the Chapel of St. Thomas in 1803, which takes the name of the Church of Toussaints and is no longer attached to the school. Nevertheless, a passage from a courtyard of the same establishment remains, until the 1970’s, the only way to access the right-hand tribune overlooking the choir as the headmaster’s Tribune, reserved for the administrative staff of the school. It was restored in 1834, then in the middle of the 20C and again in 2013.  It is today the seat of the parish of Toussaints Holy Family.

Rennes

Touristi office of Rennes on Toussaints

Just two wonderful monuments while walking in delightful Rennes, the best way to see a city. It has a lot of things to see and this is just a minor contribution. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path Churches of Rennes!

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

February 24, 2019

Sept Îles or Seven Islands of the Morbihan!

So after a bit of running around the world with special feature Europe and the grand lady of them all France in terms of tourism of course (UN-WTO) I bring you back to my beloved home of the Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. Always lovely and the 3rd most visited region by the French!

I was out with the boys in my continue quest to find new places and planning for bigger trips starting in May, I came upon the idea of going further than we have gone just south of us. Imagine only 21 kms and there are still places not seen lol! I have been to Baden but never reach the outer point of land before the gulf of Morbihan this is Sept Îles or Seven islands , and I like to tell you a bit more on the beauties of my region.

baden sept iles inner bay boats feb19

baden

Sept îles or seven Islands is a Breton island located in the Gulf of Morbihan and part of the town of Baden. It is a private island but very easy to walk around it as in all the islands of the Gulf respecting the privacy and environment. It is connected to the mainland by a tombolo of sand submerged at high tide. It is indeed a tombolo. This form of coastal cordon only exists in about ten points of the French coast. The most well-known in Morbihan is undoubtedly the one that connects the Quiberon Peninsula to Penthièvre (which we passed every weekend). More modest, Baden’s sand bank is always regularly covered by the sea and offers a beautiful postcard view of the Gulf of Morbihan.

baden

baden

You get there from Baden taking the road D316 direction Locmiquel and then the Route des Sept-Îles which will take you directly to the entrance of a beach facing the island. Only way to go these wonderful spots is by car or bike.

The beach, fragile, is protected by a stone dike on the east side. Violent currents make it dangerous by certain times as the heights of water and   certain winds can be strong. It communicates with the cove of Baden by a coastal road which allows to reach on foot the town of Baden, located 3 km, passing through megalithic tombs.

Find out about the tide schedules so you don’t have to be trapped on the island in which case the return could be done waist water deep or more! You have to know that in this place when the sea goes up, a strong current is created. The walk on the island is done with a view to 360 degrees on the Gulf of Morbihan! Whether you take the right or the left you will return to your starting point.

baden

baden

baden crossing sept iles on low tide feb19

baden

Stop on one of the small beaches of the island or on a rock to admire the Gulf of Morbihan. You will see the pointe de Blaire! The town of Locmariaquer and the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan between Port-Navalo and the islands of Ile Er Runio or ile Le Grand Huernic. You will walk about 2 km on the Sept-Iles and if the weather and envy tells you, continue to the right of the tombolo by returning to the mainland. See my previous posts on these towns.

baden

baden sept iles l’Ile Er Runio feb19

baden sept iles l’Ile Le Grand Huernic feb19

The south side of the island is entirely surrounded by oyster parks. Between the tables, you can also reach the nearby island of Er Runio on foot.

baden

baden sept iles moules 3 feb19

baden sept iles moules 4 feb19

Opposite, at the pointe de Blaire, you see this ruin house been the remnant of a pharaoh project that has not succeeded. Built by Count Dillon at the beginning of the 20C as well as a wharf, this “Harbor House” was to be the freight station of the future great deep water port he imagined there… The idea collided with its cost, war and other ports took away the project.

baden crossing sept iles channel harbor house feb19

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to asking me are

Tourist office of Morbihan 56 on Baden and Sept îles

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Sept Îles

My favorite beach site Plages tv on the Sept îles beach

City of Locmariaquer on Baden and the Sept îles in French

Another wonderful escape in my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan in my beloved Brittany region of my belle France! This is Seven islands at Baden!

Oh yes I almost forgot. We need to eat gone all day so I knew of a place in town that always ask for reservations ,but try it anyway and of course it was full long line to wait, so we decided to go on foot in city center Baden looking for another. We hit a find which we are sure to be back ,this is the type of places you find in Brittany or France for that matter pure local no advertising family run but just a jewel of a cuisine!  We found the Les Kerguelen at Baden just next to the Church St Pierre. The family was very nice homey, and they have a bar cafe on street level and the restaurant in upper level; very cozy. We had lunch with few people there and had the opportunity to exchange with the owner. We had an entrée all you can eat of salads of various kinds, patês, cold cuts, fish salads, and bread/butter. The main dish we had the parmintier du canard or duck ground beef in mashed potatoes, and also spaghetti carbonara for others; all wash down with a quart of red and rosé house wine which was good. Then , the dessert was a home made apple pie or white/dark chocolate fondue for some; a plate of cheeses which we took the goat cheese and the camembert very nice and soft. Finish with a expresso coffee all for 13,30€ per person!!! Just what the family was looking for and found!  The city has a nice picture and info on the restaurant here: City of Baden on Les Kerguelen

baden les kerguelen front feb19

baden les kerguelen inside dining fl 2 feb19

 

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

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: