Archive for February, 2019

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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

Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Rennes!

So let’s stay in wonderful Rennes shall we! This is a city that has lots to offer and still remains on the off the beaten path of foreign visitors here. It should be seen more. I like to bring out some of the monuments that struck me while visiting this city and walking its streets.

A pity on the Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ( Our Lady of Good News Basilica) there is little information on the tourist office while I have plenty in my history books on Brittany. Something to make you find out about, hope you do and enjoy it.

rennes

The Church of Saint-Aubin later Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, is located in the city center of Rennes, Ille et Vilaine dept 35 in Brittany, on place Sainte-Anne. The current, unfinished building replaces an ancient homonymous church located in the same square. Its north and east facades are bordered by the Contour Saint-Aubin. The Rue de Saint-Malo separates the Church from the convent of the Jacobins. It was erected in Basilica minor on August 6, 1916.

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A bit of history I like

The old Church Saint Aubin, demolished in 1904, was located in the north of the city, outside the ramparts of Rennes and occupied the western part of the present place Saint-Anne. Attested in the 12C, it is mostly from the 17-18C, and it had hosted from the 19C, the cult of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, primitively located in the convent of the Jacobins. Guy XII de Laval continued the work begun by Jean IV of Brittany for the construction of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle de Rennes, founded in the aftermath of the Battle of Auray.

The tradition reports that the Duke of Brittany Jean IV attributed the victory of the Montfort’s (his) to the Blois’s, during the war of the Duchy’s succession, during the Battle of Auray, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. In 1368 he founded the Dominican convent of Rennes, which quickly became the name of the convent of good-news (bonne nouvelle), a painting on wood of the Virgin and the Child becoming during the 15C the object of the veneration of the faithful. Still, the votive work was melted during the French revolution and replaced after a cholera epidemic in 1849 by a new ex-voto dating from 1861. During the Prussian invasion of 1871, Mgr. Brossay-Saint-Marc decided to offer a candle to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle every 8 September, if the city was spared. This tradition was perpetuated and the Church of St. Aubin was erected in Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle on August 6, 1916.

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The Church of Saint-Aubin was built from 1884 to 1904, the manifesto of the Gothic style triumphant in the Breton capital. In the absence of the main façade, the creation of the Rue de Bonne-Nouvelle magnified the entrance to the right transept, in the axis of rue Saint-Melaine and the former Benedictine Abbey.  St. Aubin’s Church being the parish where Blessed Marcel Callo was born and the church where he was baptized, a permanent place in his memory was installed following his beatification on 4 October 1987, by Pope John Paul II. There is a statue to remember this occasion.

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A bit on the construction style I like

The Basilica, although unfinished, presents itself as a Latin cross with ample chorus. The nave, of three bays, is accosted by collateral that promotes easy circulation during the liturgy. It leads to a largely overflowing transept, each arm having two spans. The chorus, extending the distribution to three vessels of the nave, ends with a pentagonal apse. Its side aisles act as an ambulatory, allowing to bypass the liturgical choir and to access the bedside, place of devotion to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. The sacristy and Catechism room are in the extension of the transepts along the first two spans. The elevation has two floors with large arcades and high windows; made in the Gothic style of the 13C. The rosettes of the transepts are the direct transposition of the rose of the west facade of Chartres, and the high windows with four lancets derive from those of Amiens. The stained glass of the Basilica is its major ornamental element. Most of the stained glass, declining floral motifs,  are also featured in medallions of the scenes of Brittany’s history in connection with the Duchess Anne (Anne de Bretagne).

 

As said not much online on it but these will give some idea

Catholic Mass info on Bonne Nouvelle in French

Breton heritage site on Bonne Nouvelle in French

Hope you enjoy and do stop by it is a nice Basilica indeed and something different to see in wonderful Rennes!

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.

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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!!!

February 23, 2019

St James’s Church at Perros Guirec!

And I am staying right here in lovely Côtes d’Armor dept 22 in my beloved Brittany. A world to discover, the 3rd most visited region of France by the French, just need some of you visitors to discovered it. I like to tell you about another place where I have written before in a general sense but merits a full post of its own.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the église St Jacques or St James’s Church of Perros Guirec in the granite coast!

Perros guirec

The Church of Saint-Jacques is located in Perros Guirec in Cotes d’Armor dept 22 in Brittany.  In the heart of the city center, it strikes the visitor through its portal ogival adjoining a square granite tower of Ile Grande 14C, surmounted by a dome extended by a pyramidal spire in granite of the Clarté-Ploumanac’h ,17C. Raised on a hill from the end of the 11C, dedicated to Saint-Jacques (St James/Santiago), it sheltered pilgrims from the north en route to Santiago de Compostela. The South Porch 12C offers specially crafted capitals over which runs a frieze of octopuses, the only one of all the Romanesque art listed so far. The Church was enlarged in the 14C,16C, and 20C.

A bit of description and histoy I like

Massive and dark, this St James’ Church is distinguished by its strange capitals carved granite, leading to massive columns of a half-nave opening sideways by a portal to covings. From the original building, it remains the Romanesque nave and the southern porch. The ten pillars of the Romanesque nave , from 11C and 12C, feature capitals carved from Celtic or biblical motifs. In particular, the second pillar represents the arrival of Saint-Guirec in Perros. A gothic nave has come to prolong the Romanesque nave in the 14C. The square tower also dates from this period; the balustrade and the curious pyramid-boom dome are from the 17C. The two transepts were added in the 20C.

Perros guirec

Inside, you  will be able to discover a beautiful 17C altarpiece comprising nineteen finely shaped statuettes. The Church of St Jacques (St James) also contains a 12C blessed and a 14C grain measure; this measure was used to receive and evaluate grain offerings.The Romanesque nave has ten pillars with carved or carved capitals. The Romanesque nave displays beautiful arcades in full hanger with marquees richly adorned with characters, foliage, animals. A plain ceiling covers the entire Church.

 Perros guirec

The statuary, the furniture are also worthy of interest. Above the door, in the tympanum, the image of the Christ in glory, wearing a long tunic and raising his hand to bless. Around him, the eagle, symbol of St. John, and the lion, symbol of St. Mark, suggesting that on the lintel remade in the underwork, were once figured the other two evangelists, St. Luke and St. Matthew.

Perros guirec

The bell tower, with the curious spire dome which today crowns the top, is raised on the base of the tower only in the 17C. From that same 17C date the baptismal fonts, with their admirable balusters, and, behind the major altar, the Church Saint Jacques (St James) had to grow in the middle of the 20C where new arms were built at the transept and a more spacious sacristy, which opens onto the nave by an old door entourage at a noble pace.

Perros guirec

The heavy granite of the baptistery, decorated with 4 roughly carved characters, is from the 12C, from the time of the Romanesque part of the building. Saint John the Baptist, on the wall of the baptismal font is from the 17C. Saint Lawrence, in dalmatic of Deacon, his grill in hand, seems to be from the 16C. St. Catherine, crowned like a queen, is from the same time as St. Lawrence. The Pietà, at the crossroads of the Romanesque part and the Gothic part, unfortunately damaged, dates back to the end of the 16C. Saint Yves, at the same crossroads, is from the 18C, on a Romanesque base of the 12C. Christ in contempt, late 15C or early 16C, near the door of the sacristy, is worth admiring. The Virgin mother, called Notre-Dame du Foyer is from the 17C. Christ on the Cross of the beam of glory is a magnificent sculpture of the late 15C. The Saint James of the altarpiece is from the 17C as the ensemble of which it belongs.

Perros guirec

By the way, we noticed the two modern windows of the transept. The one on the left in Saint Yves. At the entrance of the choir and around the baptismal fonts, other modern stained glass windows.  The organ was created in 1996-1997. The latter has used as much as possible old techniques and traditional materials such as oak or lead.   This was a new organ, the Church of St Jacques had never had an organ.

Perros guirec

A bit more on the nice Church Saint Jacques from the tourist office of Perros Guirec.

Tourist office of Perros-Guirec on the Church

There you go another wonderful monument to visit on your rounds in the granite coast , wonderful coastal views and great beaches. Enjoy it

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

 

 

February 23, 2019

Cathedral St Etienne , Saint Brieuc

So I am back in my beloved Brittany,and why not keep you in the north of the peninsula! We have visited Saint Brieuc, can be considered an off the beaten path here, but worth the visit for its Cathedral at least me think.

Therefore, other than my general posts on Saint Brieuc, decided worth it to tell you a bit more on the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Saint Brieuc (Cathédrale St Etienne).

The Cathedral St Stephen of Saint-Brieuc (St Etienne) is in the Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany.  It is one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. It is currently the seat of the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, known by this name since 1852.

Saint Brieuc

Saint Brieuc

A bit of history I like

The Gothic-style contemporary Cathedral St Etienne was built from the 13C to the 18C. Some relics of Saint Brieuc itself, dating from the 6C, are preserved there. It was built on a swamp with wooden pillars. It is one of the few fortified churches in Brittany. The “Grande Dame de Pierre” or the Big Lady of Stone, thus reflects the history of the city. Besieged, burned, the Cathedral will experience many avatars during the 14C, during the wars of succession that hit Brittany. Its restoration and extension spread throughout the 15C. The Cathedral was looted again during the Wars of Religions, and the League from 1589 to 1598.

 Saint Brieuc

A bit of chronological history is as follows: 1220, the planning of the western pediment of the Cathedral after the Cathedral of Noyon, in the Oise. Construction of the North tower. It becomes the Episcopal dungeon. By 1431-1436, construction of the South tower following the generous gift of Duke Jean V. In the 17C construction of corbelets supporting the balustrade, and completion of the nave rosette in 1728. By the time of the French revolution 1789-1794, the Cathedral serves as a warehouse and shed. In 1853, construction of a wooden hourd topped by a pyramidion. The corbelets are transformed into machicolations consoles.  The six portraits of the north side door known as the Gate of the Martray were made around 1860. Four of these portraits were sawn to allow the opening of two small doors.  in 1889, construction of the central porch.

Saint Brieuc

Some of the wonderful description of this Cathedral of St Stephen (St Etienne) to follow.

From its two towers, both with deadly features, the Brieuc tower is the lowest and the highest is the Marie tower. A century separates the construction of the two towers, 14C and 15C.  The Brieuc tower is the lowest and the Marie tower the highest. The towers are equipped with slits for archers.

Inside, do not miss the baptismal font Basin ,15C, as well as the altarpiece of the Annunciation, in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, masterpiece of Baroque Art ,18C. The Chapel of the Annunciation, this altarpiece is considered a masterpiece of rock aesthetics in Brittany. It is one of the most beautiful wooden retables of the Côtes d’Armor, it is surmounted by a glory illustrating God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The central table of the altarpiece represents Christ alongside the angel Gabriel making the announcement to Mary.

Saint Brieuc

The great organ of the Cathedral St Etienne is a great Cavaillon of 1848, takes place in a magnificent buffet dating back to 1540. Several recumbents and tombs of the 17C and 18C are spread around. A few stations of the contemporary Way of the Cross made by the school of Fine Arts of Rennes are shown around the walls.

Saint Brieuc

Since 2009, the Cathedral St Etienne has enjoyed an important programme of works, which must be completed running 2019 with the nave. The stones are cleaned to restore their whiteness and the cement joints are replaced by traditional lime joints. The axial chapel was restored as it was in the nineteenth century: very colorful. The starry blue vaults are surrounded by repainted pillars of flowering or spiral motifs. Like the choir, it is certainly accessible to the public.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Tourist office of the Bay of St Brieuc on the Cathedral

Official dept 22 Côte d’Armor tourism on the Cathedral

City of Saint Brieuc on heritage

There you go another nice stop in my lovely Brittany and up north in the sea coast as Côte d’Armor means  côtes as coasts and ar mor is “the sea” in the Breton language. And of course, the wonderful fortified Cathedral of St Stephen is a must stop while in town. Enjoy it

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

 

 

February 22, 2019

Nha Trang, Vietnam of course!

Therefore, lets go east far east to exotic Vietnam. Let’s go East!!! ,I have come here several times in the last few years, last was in Dec’18. Plenty written in my blog on it. However, there is one spot that brings about great souvenirs and fun times and many things typical of my youth as well.

So let me bring you back to Nha Trang, a delightful coastal beach town in central Vietnam. I considered myself lucky to be able to come to these far places and to enrich my knowledge of the world.

Nha Trang is in the top places with the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. There are long beaches of white sand and a turquoise and transparent sea. Nha Trang is the capital of the province of Khanh Hoa. It is a seaside town, located in 434 km, north of Ho Chi Minh City (aprox 1h flight).

A bit of history I like

The city of Nha Trang belonged to the kingdom of Champa, founded in 240AD inhabited by the Chams. There were about 200 kings in the Viet Nam Center (Annam) before their disappearance. In 748, construction of the group of temples of Po Nagar (Hindu) where the adoration of the Lingam and the Yoni is still being practised (symbols of male and female energy, Yang/Yin, and the main love engine of life). The city was looted by the Khmers in 950.  In 1640 ,aprox., the town was invaded by Northerners, the Giao-Chi, later called Kinh or Viets. This leads to the disappearance of the Cham.

A bit more on things to see here

With an area of approximately 507 sq km , Nha Trang Bay comprises 19 islands and islets, and is one of the few natural models of the bay system in the world, which brings together most of the rare and tropical ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, herbaria… With a diverse ecosystem, Nha Trang Bay becomes the ideal shelter for rare and precious animal species such as swiftlet, caret, red coral, pearl oyster, and oval abalone.

nha trang

nha trang

The main central beach in town is a beautiful 7 km beach, and runs along the road of Trần Phú, the most lively axis of Nha Trang.  The beach is clean and shallow, with white sand and turquoise waters. In the afternoon, it is often populated by tourists. It is in this area where you can find all types of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. This is awesome, and I walk it all 6 kms of it lol! plenty to do for all tastes! You can see the rest below interesting, but the main action here is the beach and clubs!

nha trang

nha trang beach 1 mar16

nha trang

nha trang sailing club entrance mar16

nha trang

As in my previous posts and some more things to see here of interest according to me are the Đầm market; built in 1908, it is the largest market in Nha Trang. You can find seafood, clothing, souvenirs, fruits, etc.

Visit Po Nagar a Cham temple founded before 781, dedicated to the goddess Yan Po Nagar, legendary founder of the Kingdom of Champa, later identified with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini, and which is called in Vietnamese Thiên Y Thánh Mâu.

Visit the Long Son Pagoda, built in 1886, Long Son is one of the oldest pagodas in the region. It is located 3 km from the city center and has a reclining Buddha, at 17 meters, surrounded by 49 stone monks. The pagoda offers breathtaking views of Nha Trang.

Discover the Nha Trang Oceanographic Institute. The Institute includes an oceanographic museum. Many ponds and aquariums are home to a multitude of animal species in their reconstituted ecosystems. Visitors are immersed in a colorful world of rare and delicate marine creatures such as anemones, starfish, holothurians, snakes, turtles, fish…etc.

Visit the Museum of Alexander Yersin ; the discoverer of the plague bacillus. The panels retracing his life are written in French and the curator is Francophone. In the Institut Pasteur, at 10 rue Tran Phu.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Vietnam Guide by Hotels.com

Cap Vietnam on Nha Trang

Official govt tourist board on activities in Nha Trang

Tourist site on things to do in Nha Trang

There you go another nice spot to visit, Nha Trang, plenty of visitors already from Vietnam and Russia and of course France! It is a jewel in exotic Vietnam. Hope you have enjoy the introduction tour by yours truly!

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

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February 22, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXV

So coming back at you at my beloved Spain , everything under the sun. Well it is sunny now with temps of 64F or about 18C, just fine , I have similar in my neck of the woods !!!

It is time tell you the latest and traditions of my Spain, this time with an emphasis on gastronomy and wines, what else, the country is loaded; I say the best component. And enough conversation topics to heal the troubles of my today’s Spain.

Do we say Pizzas? yes the cuisine of the world, and Spain is nothing to be left behind. My lovely Madrid has plenty, and will give you some good ones of my own.

Grosso Napoletano. The Neapolitan pizzas in this house are already spread over five sites in Madrid. In the menu, classic creations such as the Margherita or the piquant Diavola share protagonism with the Borghese (with truffle and speck) or the Cantabrian (with anchovies and sauce with San Marzano, cherry, olive oil and garlic).  My take was at Paseo de La Habana, 27, the original: more here: Grosso Napoletano Madrid

Luna Rossa , visited at Calle San Bernardo 24. Opened a quarter of a century ago, it has been in the hands of Ana Zucchini (daughter of the founder) for two decades. Its raison d’être is Neapolitan cuisine, especially pizzas made in a wood-fired oven (such as Arrabiata, with hot sobrasada and fennel seeds, or Tonno, with tuna, olives, basil and onions). The space, recently restored, preserves the rustic charm of yesteryear. More here: Luna Rossa MadridLuna Rossa Madrid

Of course, if you want your regular eat in take out delivery place then no one better in Madrid than TelePizza, doing it for years!!! Several locations all over the city, I have in my old neighborhood of Quintana (Ciudad Lineal): Telepizza Quintana Madrid

And why not alone,no way, we need to have a good beer with them and Madrid has plenty of this too. My favorites amongt many are

Cervecería Santa Bárbara .Although it has several branches in Madrid, the one that occupies us in these lines is the original (opened in the year 1815). It is a reference to the time of the appetizer: for its beautiful bar of marble rods fly  and the doubles, with cream instead of foam, of soft bitter taste and uniform. Do not leave without tasting the prawns of Huelva, the canned cockle and the anchovies in vinegar with french fries of Churrería . The original at Plaza de Santa Barbara 8:More here: Cerveceria Santa Barbara

La Ardosa. Although it started as a wine tavern where it was sold in the region of Toledo from which it takes the name, when Gregorio Monge (father of Angel, current owner) was made with the business transformed it into a brewery, a pioneer in outside brands such as Guinness or Pilsner. Now, this passion is preserved (European labels are always served in double glass) and is complemented by a good vermouth of Reus. To accompany, salmorejo, potato tortilla, salted and pickled. As a curiosity to add that in this address you will find the first tap of Guinness of Madrid . Calle  Colon 13.More here; La Ardosa Madrid

Bar Martín. Martín Jiménez is the third generation that directs this bar devoted to the appetizer first opened in 1940. Besides calluses, Banderillas and Russian steaks, to drink the rods triumph, pulled with a lot of grace from Madrid (not in vain, our host is Master marksman of Mahou, the beer that is very local ). At Avenida de Menendez Pelayo 17. No webpage but a reference in my favorite YELP: Yelp on Bar Martin Madrid

La Dolores. Inaugurated in 1908, this centennial house is one of the most traditional bars in Madrid. Easily recognizable by its beautiful tile façade, inside an army of duly uniformed waiters is struggling to serve the reeds, doubles and muds (earthenware jars) of beer served as ordered by the canons of Madrid: Up to half, blow to up and up. They always go with a snack of bucket, but if you want something more it has an incredible collection of canapés and rations to match (boquerones and anchovies) served with olives, piparra and french fries .At Plaza de Jesus 4. A wonderful bar and great area for walks before or after: no webpage but my favorite YELP here: Yelp on La Dolores Madrid

Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, Calle Doctor Esquerdo, 157  or Ave Menendez Pelayo, 47 both locations are great and my hangout in Madrid for the last few years. Great service, good food, prices to match and great cold beers, the terraces are superb! These are setup as franchises so are you up for it? try them you will love them. More here: Cerveceria Cruz Blanca Madrid

Then I take you to something typical of Galicia and Madrid, hard to tell I like them both even if grew up eating the Madrid style; talking about the stews or Cocidos. Here are some where to eat them well in both places. No carnival without stew. At least in Galicia. With just similarities with the Spaniard (coincide in being a mix of meat, vegetables and carbohydrate and to have the soup as an entrée), the Galician is a hearty recipe that is enjoyed in Galicia, but also in cities like Madrid. In Madrid, Casa Gallega, where it is served with cabbage (instead of grelos or Nabizas), and Sanxenxo.  Meanwhile, Sal Negra dispatches both Madrid and Galician stew styles

At Coruña or Puxigo (as Pontes), which incorporates Grelos de Villalba, and Cabana (Bergondo), classic overlooking the estuary that prefers cured and non-smoked pieces. Sarria is Roma, restaurant-hotel of the Fontal family with 44 years where they serve the stew or also only the horn. And the recipe includes that piece almost wild as a star: the head of the pig (Cacheira, or hat), tasty and cartilaginous that, if you like, derives in a real enjoyment and can be of Celtic pork (salted and cured before their cooking, they sell it in Carnicas and Teijeiro) or Galician pork without this marking. More on hotel restaurant Roma here: Hotel Restaurant Rome in Sarrià

Time for Carnivals in Orense province,Galicia and more celebrations!!

The carnivals (from March 1 to 6), many of the municipalities of the province of Orense have been celebrating one of the most festive and expected moments of the year for several days. The Entroidos, popular name for which in Galician lands are known the carnivals, of the oldest in Spain, are characterized by the presence of picturesque masked characters of ancestral origin, denominated in different way according to the locality ( cigars, barbers, screens…), which take over the streets forming part of lively and colorful parades and troupes. This tradition is a special claim for the towns of Laza, Manzaneda, Verín, Viana do Bolo and Ginzo de Limia,  which lasts up to five weeks in some cases. Putting Orense capital as a starting point, I propose a route to live three of these most popular carnivals in Galicia: Ginzo de Limia, Verín and Laza, to the south of the province, make up the “magic triangle” of the Entroidos.

Ginzo de Limia. The most durable, since it takes place over five weekends, in which charangas, parades and musical acts do not cease. The main protagonists are the screens, some characters in white suit, a peculiar mask and red cloak with colorful ribbons and bells chasing, cow bladder in hand, to those who are not disguised. Once reached, they take them in twinkling to a bar, where they will have to pay glass of white wine and gather in the Plaza Mayor and then start their characteristic dances and jumps through the streets of the town. See program here: https://www.paxinasgalegas.es/fiestas/entroido-2019-xinzo-de-limia-0686.html

Verín.  At 35 km, this town next to the Portuguese border, protected from the top by the castle of Monterrey ,a fortress of the 10C perfectly preserved. It starts its carnival on February 21 with the traditional Thursday of Compadres, a parade predominantly Male that runs through the streets of the village to the Plaza Mayor. Sunday 24 February by 11h is the day for the cigars, which flood the streets with their characteristic wooden masks, their colorful costumes, which hang the legendary clashes of cowbells and a crop called Zamarra, the rhythm of brass bands and the clink of their bells. On Saturday and Sunday March 2-3 are the big days of the carnival, in which the whole city turns over. Plaza de la Merced welcomes the baptism of the Cigarrón on Saturday,16h30, while at Av. de Castilla is the place for the Grand Parade ,Sunday at 12h, with the participation of cigars, floats and troupes that parody politicians and society in general. More info here: http://www.visitchavesverin.com/es

Laza. It is obligatory to move to the central Plaza de la Picota and to the adjoining bars of this town  60 km from Orense. Although it will officially begin on February 28th, with the thursday of Comadres, the carnival has already several weeks of celebration, with the four Fridays of Folión ,street party from 23h. The main protagonists of this celebration are the Peliqueiros, characters armed with their officer sheepskin coats, their clashes at the waist and their demonic animal masks that roam the streets imposing their law. These accompany the leaflets, groups of 30 to 40 people with different instruments, whose mission is to scare away evil spirits. This ancestral celebration continues until Tuesday of Carnival ,March 5, the farewell day with the Peliqueiros, the parade of floats, the will of the donkey and the Queima do Arangaño. More here: http://www.entroidodelaza.com/dias-de-entroido/

Orense. It is also worth the festivities that mainly fill the historic center of Orense, the city bathed by the Miño river. The celebrations in the capital start on Thursday of Comadres ,February 28, a night traditionally reserved for women. From there, there are five days of uninterrupted festivities in which everyone goes out into the street in disguise or with a mask. More information and program in  http://turismodeourense.gal/

Let’s talk about wine stores; sure we like to go to the source, but sometimes little time so what to do to grab the beauty of Spanish wines? Well heads for these wonderful wine stores of my trail.  You know the best known ones are all based in Madrid and Barcelona, where abound, and those reference addresses that are for offer and service. Asking in Madrid, there are many that I will recommend Lavinia, Santa Cecilia, Viuda de Cuenllas, or Mantequerías Bravo come to mind.  And there, in Barcelona, as many others as Celler de Gelida, Lafuente,  La Carta de Vinos, or Enoteca Divins. But the wine stores continues beyond these big cities and it is in those other wine stores in which today I will take you with my favorites over the years.

La Vinatería Yáñez ,calle Padre Sacramento 11. Zaragoza. They have since 1953 focused on the sale of wines apart from those dedicated to the diffusion of their culture. It gathers several thousand references among which the representation of foreign labels stands out. Good offer of malts, Armagnacs, brandies… Conditioned rooms for tastings and conferences, and good library of consultation. More here: La Vinateria Yanez Zaragoza

Vinoteca El Lagar, Calle San Lesmes 14 bajo. Burgos . A small space that houses labels of very different nationalities, since they have great relevance the foreign, especially those of French origin. It has a part destined to distillates and various gadgets useful for wine. More here: Vinoteca El Lagar Burgos

Vino Cutanda La Bolsa de los Licores, Avenida Ramón y Cajal 14, Albacete. Family business located in the center of the city, opened since 1982, and with more than 2,500 references; Wines from all the processing areas of the world as they gather a thousand foreign labels. They complete the wine offer, with spirits, accessories, gourmet foods, and various activities.   More here: Vinos Cutanda Albacete

Valentín Moreno e Hijos ,Calle Méjico 8, Guadalajara. Dedicated to wine since it opened in the mid-sixties, it responds to the name of its founder. Now the third generation owns it and among its more than 700 references there are wines from all over the world, although the protagonists have the patriotic, with special attention to the Manchegos. They include distillates and miscellaneous wine accessories.  More here: Valentin Moreno e Hijos Guadalajara

The Palacio de los Licores, Calle Correhuela 24, Salamanca. A neighbor of the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, this large wine market brings together more than 1,500 selected wines, liquors that surpass the five hundred brands, specialized publications and accessories. More here: Palacio de los Licores Salamanca

Casa Claudio , Rúa San Andrés,  A Coruña. With two points of sale in the city, this was the first, inaugurated in 1889 and therefore emblematic store in terms of the sale of oenological and gastronomic products: wines (on 3,500 references), liquors, distillates, canned, sausages, spices, etc. They also schedule tastings.   More here: Casa Claudio A Coruna

La Licoreria De Cuenca,  Avenida de la cruz roja Española, S/N,warehouse and store open to the public where we purchased last in Spain, at Cuenca of course. This last address is off the A-40 ,Autovia de Castilla La Mancha. A place to visit. They have a store in city center at Calle Doctor Alonso Chirino, 9-Bajo ,where you can make your purchases as well. In it you can find a great variety of wines, liquors and delicatessen products. They have 21 years of experience. The webpage is here: http://www.lalicoreria.es/

Hope you enjoy the ride in my beloved Spain, the second most visited country in the world by UN WTO standards.

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

 

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