Archive for February 24th, 2019

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!!!

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2019

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté, Perros Guirec!

And as the coast is nice I continue my tour of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany at Perros Guirec! This is a wonderful area full of great beaches and stone creations by the coast as well as numerous monuments of great historical architectural values that I like.

Let me bring you to another jewel that having written in general before, feel it ought to have its own post. Let’s talk about the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté or Our Lady of Clarity Chapel.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté is the name given to a Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the neighborhood of La Clarté in the town of Perros-Guirec in Côtes-d’Armor,dept 22 of the region of Brittany.

Perros guirec

Some of the local traditions I think are nice to tell you.

The local (costarmoricaine)  tradition of the 15C tells us that a certain lord of Barac’h, in Louannec, nearly failed with his squadron near the Sept-Îles. The mist was so thick that the sailors ‘ death seemed inevitable. All on their knees made a vow to Notre-Dame: The commander would build her a chapel if she created a saving hole in the fog. The miracle took place and the Lord of Barac’h built the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Clarté. Much later, in August 1944, the American troops had planned to bombard Mez Gill, a camp entrenched at 200 meters from the Chapel. In retaliation, the 600 Nazis, pointing their guns at Perros, threatened to bomb the city. On August 7, 8 and 9, the mist covered Perros-Guirec preventing destruction. On August 10, the Nazis surrendered without resistance.

Perros guirec

A bit of history and architecture I like

The local tradition has always maintained that the construction of the Chapel was ordered in 1445 by Pierre de Tournemine, Sieur de Barac’h, of English descent. We can therefore say, with the departmental archives of Côtes-d’Armor, that Roland IV, founder of the Collegiate Church of Tonquédec and Lord of Ker Uzec in Pleumeur-Bodou was also the founder of the Chapel of Clarity(Clarté). At his death in Rhodes about 1470, his property passed to the Coskaër of Rosanbo, of which one of the descendants was Aline, Countess of Combourg, the sister-in-law of François-René de Chateaubriand!

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté Chapel belongs to the flamboyant Breton style. There are some irregularities which contribute to its originality without prejudice to harmony: a single southern transept. A square tower surmounted by a pink granite-laced steeple that seems not to be in the shape of the architectural ensemble. The Chapel is surrounded by an enclosure with a 17C granite base in its center, adorned with a wooden trunk for offerings. Further on, a cross erected in 1630. The lintel of the porch is remarkable with a representation of the Annunciation facing a Pietà, as a reminder of the prediction of the old Simeon: “You yourself, a sword will pierce your soul!” We can also see, around a window in mullions, the inscription “Le Carro”, coats of arms that have become illegible and, above, a Virgin Mother.

 Perros guirec

 Perros guirec

Paved with slabs of Brélévenez shale, arched two spans of warheads, flanked, according to tradition, by two benches of stone , the porch is worth seeing, above all, by its 17C statuary of polychrome wood, a Virgin to the Child, Saint Anne, consecrated officially Patron Saint of the Bretons, on July 26, 1914, learns to read and pray in a Bible to Ste Mary, her daughter, St. Peter, and the Four Evangelists St. Matthew in winged man, symbol of birth, St. Mark, accompanied by a lion, of the Resurrection, Saint Luke and his ox, of immolation, and Saint John in eagle, of Ascension.  On the leaves of the oak door; Saint John the Baptist carrying a sheep, Saint Peter, the key in the hand, the Virgin of the Annunciation and the angel holding in hand the scepter of power, the Virgin to the Child, and St. Paul armed with the sword, symbol of the power of the word of God expressed by his letters.

Perros guirec

The ancient descriptions describe a rood of the 15C, destroyed as most of the Breton roods in the 17C, under the pretext that they prevented the faithful from seeing the officiator. In the same way, the pulpit has now disappeared. It is facing Christ in the 15C Cross. Among the many ex-votos, one can notice, besides the traditional plates of marble, of pink or grey granite, models of boats, testimonies of dangers surmounted by their captain and their sailors.  The statues are remarkable and their diversity does not break the harmony of the ensemble. One notices in particular, in the main part, a Saint-Fiacre recognizable to his spade; a Sainte-Anne in painted wood, from the 20C,and a Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor.

Perros guirec

The altarpiece of the 18C, whose construction began in 1767, is thus described on the deed of command an untainted wooden niche in order to place the image of the Holy Virgin of Notre-Dame of Clarté in middle of the altar, with, on the right side of the so-called niche such a figure as that on the left side. The stained glass windows of the 20C.

Perros guirec

The tourist office has a bit more on this wonderful Chapel of Notre Dame of Clarity.

Tourist office of Perros Guirec on the Chapelle

This is a nice walkable neighborhood of La Clarté, and the chapel is very nice indeed, worth the detour, enjoy Perros-Guirec and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté!

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

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