Archive for February 12th, 2019

February 12, 2019

Church of Saint Sulpice of Fougéres!

And as we like Fougeres why not staying a bit longer here! Very nice town, and to think rode by for several years while living in Versailles and never stop! then once moved to Brittany decided to go, a pleasant surprise, a find; great town.

I like to bring to your attention another nice monument there , the Church of Saint Sulpice.

The Church of Saint-Sulpice is located at the foot of the castle of Fougères, outside the city walls. Between the castle moat and the old courtyard of the Nançon, in the medieval area of the Tanners, it forms the heart of the Old Town (Lower town), as opposed to the Church of Saint-Léonard (see previous post), located in the Bourg-Neuf (upper town) which developed from the 12C. Of course, it is in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of Brittany!


A bit of history I like

The foundation of the parish of Saint-Sulpice is closely linked to the birth of the town of Fougères, around its castle, which is attested from the 10C. The Barons of Fougéres favored the construction of the first parish church of Fougères, under the patronage of Sulpice Severus, biographer of the Apostle of the Gauls Saint-Martin. The Bishop of Rennes, having authorized the translation of the parish cult into the convent church in 1155, more than three centuries of difficulties had to be raised between parishioners and religious as to the maintenance of the original parish. Finally, the cure remained at the presentation of the abbot of Marmoutiers throughout the old regime and the present church replaced from the 14C the ancient edifice. The construction of the present Saint-Sulpice’s Church has spread over nearly four centuries, from 1380 to 1760.



The Church of Saint Sulpice ,that was replaced occupied the current Choir. A simple nave accosted by a steeple and a sacristy forming a transept, it had probably been lengthened westward from a simple nave during the 14C. It was gradually surrounded by a crown of chapels, starting from the transept, to the West such as the construction of the Tanners ‘ Chapel, circa 1380. Construction of the Grande-Chapelle Notre-Dame, in the north, consecrated in 1410. Extension of the Choir, in 1412, whose apse was replaced by a flat bedside. Erection of the Paël Chapel, in the north, originally separated from the Grande-Chapelle but joined between 1450 and 1462. Realization to the south of the Chapels of San Sebastian (c. 1420, but done in 1516), St. Helena and the steeple from 1469 to 1490.  Establishment north of La Petite-Chapelle Notre-Dame and the Chapelle Saint-Damyn from 1495 to 1503, then the western gable. The work of the nave was actually completed only in 1546 and the Choir was then undertaken and conducted in the 18C, from 1747 to 1760.


St Sulpice’s Church housed the cult of Notre-Dame-des-Marais, which is still alive today. The tradition is that the statue of Notre-Dame-des-Marais was venerated as early as the 11C in the Chapel Sainte-Marie and that it disappeared after the Castle of Fougeres was taken by Henri II Plantagenet in 1166. It was allegedly exhumed on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Church of Saint-Sulpice at the turn of the 13-14C. A window of the choir recounts this legend. The present statue, in the stone of Caen, seems to go back to the 14C, but a restoration of the 18C makes it uncertain its dating. Hidden from the French revolution, the statue joined this chapter until the construction of a Gothic chapel in the same location in 1872

The western part proceeds from the style of church in vogue in upper Britain in the 14-15C: large, blind main ship accosted by multiples-gabled collateral. Buttresses summoned by pinnacles, gargoyles, independent roofs and different templates of the chapels animate the three facades while a corner steeple, of square size, presents a floor of the bells completed by four gables and capped with an arrow in tapered slates that confine four pinnacles. The Church of Saint Sulpice is composed of a nave of four bays, bordered by collateral, and a flat-sided choir with three bays lined with lateral chapels, which communicate with each other through low-arched doors. The separation between the sacred space and that conferred on the laity is deeply marked. A triumphal arch underlines the chorus entrance, which itself is elevated by a walk in relation to the nave. The development of collateral is halted net at the fourth span by monumental granite altarpieces dating from the 16C. The choir has a more classical structure. Six Full-hanger arches carry a wooden vault, in cradle, adorned with paintings as well as the spandrels of the arcades. The chapels, capped with half-cradles, are separated by slitting walls pierced by small, low-slung doors. Only the ogival windows attest to the Gothic origin of this part of the building completed in the 18C.


The entire stained glass of Saint-Sulpice’s Church was carried out between 1885 and 1926 with the exception of five fragments of stained glass windows dating from 1558. The Church has stained glass windows from the early 20C, including the patriotic window of Joan of Arc, a vast composition that integrates with the crowd of three hairy processions. This stained glass was offered to the parish by local families who had lost their sons During the 1914-1918 War. The furnishings of the Choir of Saint-Sulpice’s Church almost exclusively local, which executed from 1757 to 1774, in a rococo style, one of the most beautiful liturgical arrangements of Brittany dating from the end of the old regime. The master altar executed from 1757 to 1760 is a work in red marble of Saint-Berthevin, Black of Solesmes, and white ( appearing the Lamb to the seven seals of Revelation). Its tabernacle, framed by two worshipping angels, dated 1759, is a semi-cylindrical wardrobe enriched with bas-reliefs representing the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the presentation to the temple and the baptism of Christ. A canopy, summoned by a statue of the Risen crown.

The altarpiece of the high altar, rococo-style, punctuated by four black marble pilasters, its paneling houses two paintings ,an Assumption and a panel containing the sacrifice of Abraham and the scene of the bronze serpent. And two statues of Notre-Dame De Grace and Saint-Sulpice. The work is crowned by a balustrade and triangular pediment, which bears two angels surrounding a 14C Christ in the cross; The side altars were raised towards 1760-1762 of more Baroque style, they host statues of Sainte-Anne and Saint-Joachim. Although not collegiate or abbey, the church houses a set of stalls from 1757-1762 that compete with the choir’s perspective. On both sides of the triumphal arch separating the nave from the choir, two large granite altarpieces, integrated into the body of the slitting walls, interrupt the development of collateral bordering the main nave. In a flamboyant Gothic style, raised at the dawn of the Renaissance, they are among the last medieval altarpieces built and preserved in Brittany.


The northern altarpiece, undertaken under the Duke Francis II, was completed after his daughter, Anne, became Queen of France, the splash back of the right presenting a crest of the party of France and Brittany. Originally to be used as a casket for the statue of Notre-Dame-de-Marais, it welcomed until the 1950’s the Virgin of the Rosary which occupies today the altarpiece of the Tanners, the object of devotion having recovered its primitive location since then. The Tanners ‘ altarpiece was undoubtedly completed during the reign of Duke Francis I. It presents the peculiarity of offering to its summit the complete iconography of the instruments of the Passion of Christ. In addition, a fleur-de-lis and an eagle are depicted on the torso columns, referring to the candidacy of Francis I in the imperial title, in 1517

Although the first mention of an organ in the Church of Saint-Sulpice dates back to 1447, the current major organs are recent, having been rebuilt from 1919 to 1921.



And as usual some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Fougeres on heritage

Tourist office of Fougeres on the Church

Tourist office of Ille et Vilaine dept 35 on the Church St Sulpice

There you go folks another dandy in my dandy Brittany. Hope you have enjoy the post and do stop by and let me know if around ok. The Church of Saint Sulpice in Fougéres is one site to visit while in town.

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

February 12, 2019

Retirement time in France! opinions!!!

Ok so today I come to you on a non travel related subject ,really; it could be too lol! Well , my dear readers and travel buddies, I am getting to that age, yes the golden egg or whatever, and its time to think about retirement!!

I am in in what could could be my last full year of my working life per se. Not that I would not continue to dabble in consulting work later on, but to finally get my retirement benefits and start enjoing time and travel even better or at least I hope.

So let me give some light into the subject in my belle France. As the minimum retirement age is 62 years, it is important to anticipate and wonder which French cities are the most accessible or offer the most enjoyable living environment. The cities of the west of France and especially of the southwest have achieved better scores than their eastern municipalities, in particular thanks to air quality, safety and overall lower fixed expenditure. Limoges exceeds with one head all its sisters thanks in particular to its security and its pleasant living environment. It has therefore distinguished itself as the ideal destination to retire. Le Mans and Nice close the podium .

Some of the most mention areas of my France for retiremet heavens are the Var department as one of the most adored places of the elderly who wish to enjoy the Mediterranean climate that bathes this department of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur. The Charente-Maritime is also a destination that pleases seniors, interested in its vast seaside and the beauty of its landscapes. New retirees who don’t like big cities will enjoy it. This department is appreciated for the quality of its living environment and for the dynamism of its cities (Montpellier, Agde, Béziers, etc.), but also for the charm of its small communes located on the periphery. The Hérault is endowed with many infrastructures specially set up for the elderly. The Alpes-Maritimes is the ideal place to spend a peaceful retreat in the sun. This department houses large cities like Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Menton,

And of course, my own neck of the woods is showing up right up there, hint hint!! The Morbihan (Brittany) is also interested in a large number of retirees who appreciate the authenticity and beauty of its typically armoricaines landscapes. With vibrant, human-sized cities such as Lorient and Vannes, this is the ideal destination for those who no longer want to live in the big cities. Its rich history and cultural life are suitable for many seniors. The map below show in red the most wanted places to retire and in blue places people are leaving elsewhere!


Security, access to care, Estimation of the cost of living;  Estimated from 4 weighted sub-criteria: The average price of m², the housing tax, the water price, the garbage disposal fee.  The quality of public transport ,Cultural offer with criterion: The number of museums, the number of theatres and places of culture, the number of active cinema screens, the number of festivals; Potential access to an active social life, the living environment. According to these criteria the best are: Limoges, le Mans, Nice, Bordeaux, Perpignan, Saint-Étienne, Caen, Nancy, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble;  Dijon Marseille Aix-en-Provence; Metz ,Tours, Toulouse, Reims, Brest, Rouen, Lyon, Montpellier, Nîmes, Nantes, and Rennes.

And if even want to spread our wings and go retire at a pleasant place here the scores are high on Portugal, Morocco… and Florida(USA) lol!!! it is retirement USA heavens for sure. But Spain, Malta or Italy can be an interesting options to retire abroad as well of course.

So there, gave you some thoughts now is your turn to give me yours please. I like this post to be more than just glitter photos and travel anecdotes but a working post where you can help me decide. Its your only chance to there take it and go for it. And I thank you.

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

February 12, 2019

Church of Saint Leonard, Fougéres!

Moving right alone in my beautiful Brittany and visiting the neighboring departmet of Ille et Vilaine no 35 we come to the city of Fougéres! Again, several entries in my blog on it, but as a general descriptive nature. I feel obligated to mention some single out as my favorites.

From Fougéres came out Armand-Charles Tuffin, marquis de La Rouërie, that went over with La Fayette and fought with gen Washington for American independance. He was promoted to Colonel for courage and valor in the battlefield and the US Congress in 1817 gave him the US citizenship honorably. fyi

However, walking around town we came upon this Church that stands out and took a closer look, we were pleasantly surprise, another jewel in my belle France! I like to tell you a bit more on the Saint Leonard Church of Fougéres, in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, region of Brittany!


Saint-Léonard Church  is located in the upper town in the immediate vicinity of the city/town hall and the public garden. The impasse Saint-Léonard separates it from the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country of Fougéres.


The Church of Saint-Léonard was erected in the 12C by the monks of Pontlevoy on the plateau which dominates the Castle of Fougéres. It was rebuilt from 1407 to 1636 in a flamboyant Gothic style in order to meet the demands of the demographic increase that the city knew. Desecrated at the French revolution, the Church was profoundly revamped in the 19C, including the reorientation of the sanctuary, its expansion and the construction of a new main façade.

Church Saint-Léonard is a typical example of the religious buildings built in upper Britain at the end of the Middle Ages. Without a transept, finished by a flat bedside, its ample nave is accosted by a row of chapels built according to the foundations and the needs of a growing population.

I like to go a bit more on the description of it

The main façade dates back to the 19C and replaces the original choir. Placed on a high step, a real stone lace, it transposes the models of the large flamboyant facades of Ile-de-France (Beauvais, Senlis, Sens or Meaux) under the Breton skies, using brilliantly the Kersanton stones for a result of the most graceful. The main door, with a perforated tympanum, is surrounded by buttresses with pinnacles, a gable crowning the whole and interrupting a first finely gallery bordering a terrace located at half-height. A six-meters diameter rose is the major ornament of the front piece. A second balustrade surmounts the intermediate stage that a pediment adorned with foliated balusters motifs finishes. Two powerful buttresses, embellished with pinnacles and finished by pinnacles, balance the horizontal lines of the degrees or galleries, even contributing to a certain upward momentum of the work. The steeple, built in local granite, endowed with gargoyles in the shape of cannons and a Renaissance gallery, the tower ends with high belfry crowned by a dome with lantern.


The Church of Saint-Léonard presents a simple basilical-type layout. It is indeed a large nave of nine bays accosted by collateral, the first span constituting a kind of narthex opening on two chapels. The building is akin to a Halle church, the Doves covering the main nave having been raised to a height higher than the vaults of the secondary naves during the 19C. The liturgical space of the choir is singled by the presence of a triumphant arch at its entrance and the vaulting of warheads from the last two spans of the church. The latter date from the 19C which saw the change of orientation of the building, the main façade being now turned towards the upper city.


Most of the stained glass windows of the Saint-Léonard Church date from 1959. The bombardment of the city in 1944 having blown the old glass. The windows of the collateral and the bedside of figures in foot of Breton Saints or having been the subject of special veneration in the Middle Ages and under the old regime ,such as Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Geneviève, Saint Yves and the Curé of Ars, Saint Crépin and Saint Crispinian, Saint Aubert and Saint Michel. The Church still retains some fragments of its 16C stained glass and the oldest stained glass of Brittany from the abbey of Saint-Denis and dates from the 12C. These pieces, exhibited in the chapels flanking the main façade of Saint-Léonard.


In the Chapel of the Baptismal Fonts ,on the north under the tower, fragments of an entrance of Christ in Jerusalem that adorned the former mistress-glass and other scenes of the 16C. Fragments of a resurrection of Lazarus, of Jesus in the Temple, of the adulterous woman. In the Chapel of the Sacred Heart; the exploration on the body of Christ, donor and Saint-Yves. Rondel of the 12C presenting two scenes of the Life of St. Benedict, coming from Saint-Denis: Romanus giving to Benoît his flow and Benedict nourished the Easter day by a priest. It is the oldest stained glass in Brittany. It was given to the Church of Saint-Léonard around 1898. The large organs were built in 1881.


There you go another worth a detour and may be considered an off the beaten path trip as most folks coming over here stop at the castle for the day and leave ;pity there is a lot more to see in Fougéres.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are (in French there is always more info of course)

City of Fougeres on heritage

Tourist office of Fougeres on the Church in English

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Fougeres

There you go all set, go, you will be glad you did. My beautiful Brittany is awesome! And even as off the beaten path, the St Leonard’s Church is a dandy to see; hope you have enjoy the post

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


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