Archive for March 5th, 2019

March 5, 2019

The Villeroy & Boch ceramics of Mettlach!

I had one entry recently on wonderful Mettlach, Germany on my road warrior trips with the family in that neighboring country. The city center is very nice quant old pretty, and the monuments are nicely put historically and architecturally as I like. However, there is one store we like.

Again, I am not the heavy shopper but on somethings I rather go along with the wife, she is no longer with me due to the dreadful cancer, but all the memories still are intact forever. She love it here and did some heavy duty shopping my dear late wife Martine. This is my bit of story on the Villeroy & Boch ceramics store in Mettlach, Germany! 

Mettlach

Initially a manufacturer and distributor of pottery, the Villeroy & Boch company, created in 1748 in Audun-le-Tiche in Lorraine(still French), has evolved into multiple ceramic products for the private sector and major construction sites.

An outlet specializing in the arts of the table that leaves also fashionable. In the south of the country, close to the French and Luxembourg borders, Mettlach houses 9 factory shops and first of all the seat of the Villeroy & Boch company, whose origin dates back to 1748, specialist in the art of the table, porcelain, crystal and cutlery. At Villeroy & Boch Mettlach, prices are between 30 and 50% cheaper than in a classic store and you find a shop dedicated to Christmas open all year round.

Behind the facade of the ancient Benedictine abbey of Mettlach, today’s headquarters of the specialist of the Art of Living Villeroy & Boch, 260 years of history of ceramics and business relive.  The Keravision, the Museum of Ceramics and the Museum Café dating from 1892 traces the course and the success of a family dynasty.

Mettlach

The Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center presents centuries of tradition of ceramics and future-oriented ideas on the theme of live and living. The Keravision in the Discovery Center showcase an exhibition of the current palette of products. In the neighboring Ceramics museum , you will discover the evolution of the art of ceramics and culture through time. In front of the table, the Arts Information Center invites you to an innovative exhibition of tables staged with different dishes services. Among the many exhibits in the Ceramics museum, you can admire the dishes of Pope Benedict XVI. The Information center bathrooms, kitchens, tiles and well-being will give you ideas for your interiors decoration.

Close to the Discovery Center, take a break at the museum cafe, decorated in the style of the Dresden Dairy. More than 15,000 tiles, decorated by hand from original pieces of the 19C, were made for its decoration. Not far from the Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center, the city center of Mettlach invites you to do good shopping in these different factory stores as well such as Land End, Trigema, and many more.

Mettlach

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its all worth it me think ,are

Official Villeroy & Boch in German

Mettlach outlet center on Villeroy & Boch store

A nice Youtube video that shows more of the store and the place:

Hope you like the shopping tour and again it is worth it ,the old abbey building is gorgeous from a historical/architecture point of view and facing the Sarre river! A tributary of the Moselle river . Enjoy Villeroy & Boch at Mettlach!

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

 

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March 5, 2019

Monastery of Sao Bento, Vinhedo, SP Brazil!

So let’s go south a bit into the big country of Brazil from my last stop. Coming inland into Sao Paulo State, better known for the big city is awesome. You feel the real people, the real country of Brazil. I have a friend here and when visit there is a funny story.

Oh yes the main attraction for me was the monastery of Sao Bento or St Benedict and the Wine Festival! However, my friend had the in-laws visiting and I was put in a hotel nearby. He was so busy, I went out to seek a place to eat. I found one very nice superb meal, as I speak Portuguese. When back together with him and the family I mentioned the restaurant was very good and he never been there! A while after, maybe a few months, he called me and told me had a gathering of friends and took them there to eat and were all impressed with the food, prices ,and services. The end story is I can tell you where to go even in your own town lol!!!

Now let’s get back to the sights of history, architecture I like so much and tell you a bit more on Vinhedo. Where?

Vinhedo is a town in the State of São Paulo. It is located in the mesoregion of Campinas, 75 km from the capital of São Paulo. The region of the São Paulo Plateau was inhabited by several indigenous groups, some from the coast, which sought refuge from the wars and slavery moved by the Iberian colonizers. Others, lived in the region since before colonization. With the arrival of Europeans to the South American continent, the region was traveled by the Bandeiras, which occupied land considered unexplored and hunted Indians for slave labor, as well as seeking natural resources such as noble woods, gold and precious stones, during the 17C. For this, the indigenous tribes were decimated or expelled from the region. African slaves were introduced to forcefully assist in the Bandeiras or work in the newly created subsistence crops that were forming. At the end of the 19C coffee growers settled in the northern region of the municipality of Jundiaí . Many of them taking advantage of old farms that since the 18C produced sugar and brandy.

From 1948 onwards begins to be officially held the Grape Festival of Vinhedo, at the Piazza Sant’Anna. In 2009, the Grape Festival held the Wine Festival, which in 2019 will be in its 57th edition and which was currently incorporated into the calendar of events of the town of Vinhedo. The festivities takes place in Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park and receive thousands of people, both local and tourists. It has several attractions such as exhibition and sale and auction of fruits, crafts, amusement park, concerts with national renowned artists, dance performances, regional bands in various musical styles, varied performances, food court, parade of horse riders, motorbike rides, among other activities. It has become the main attraction of the town of Vinhedo.

Local gov site of Vinhedo on the wine festival in Portuguese

Tourist office of Vinhedo on things to see wine

Vinhedo

The other nice thing to see here on a hill overlooking the city of Vinhedo very nice indeed. The Monastery of St Benedict (Sao Bento).

Vinhedo

In the year 1649 on the site of the village of Santos, on the Paulista coast, and sensitive to the needs of those who passed through this bustling Port village, the Benedictine Frei Gregório de Magalhães, Superior of the Brazilian province of the Portuguese Benedictine congregation, decided to establish a small monastery that served both shelter for monks who use the port, and spiritual stronghold for those who wish to recover from the day-to-day assignments. In 1650, the monks of Sao Bento (Saint Benedict) receive, in donation, the Hermitage of Our Lady of Desterro, with the lands attached to it. As soon as they are established in Santos, the monks take charge of another Hermitage of Our Lady of Monte Serrate, received in 1652 the ownership of the same. For three centuries, the monastery of St. Benedict was a small monastery, being affectionately called by the Benedictines the  “Mosteirinho de Santos “ or monastery of Saints.

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento entrance may17

Vinhedo

In the 19C, the Benedictine Order of Brazil was almost eliminated due to the anticlerical laws that closed the novitiates of the order. With the advent of the Republic and the separation of the Church and State, German monks from the congregation of Beuron arrived in Brazil and repopulated the monasteries, accepting novices. In 1905 the Monastery of Sao Bento de Santos became independent Priory and began a re-flowering of monastic life. However, the story took a new course when Brazil entered WWII. Due to the presence of Germans among their monks the monastery was closed and the monks forced to leave Santos in 24 hours. A Benedictine monk from São Paulo took over the monastery for several years, not interrupting the Benedictine presence in Santos, especially in the shrine of Our Lady of Monte Serrate. The monks, expelled from Santos, spent a year in the capital, and two more years in Jundiaí, Sao Paulo State, buying the Bela Vista Farm, in the city of Vinhedo,  settling in the year 1948. Unfortunately, the community didn’t bloom in vineyard , and after the war, the few monks  divided themselves between the care of Santos and the administration of the enormous farm in Vinhedo. The new name was that of the Monastery of São Bento de Santos in Vinhedo.

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento main altar may17

In 1963, then the prior of the Monastery of St. Benedict of Santos in Vinhedo and its small community, decided to ask for help to the Archabbey of Saint Vicent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The hope and faith of the vineyard community were rewarded when, in 1964, the then Archabbot of Saint Vincent, sent the four first monks to Brazil. The community then became part of the American Cassinense Benedictine Congregation.  At the beginning of the 1970’s, the community built and inaugurated a new monastery, settling definitively in Vinhedo. Then the American monks, along with the surviving Germans  reduced the large farm, built a house of ecumenical retirement such as the Casa Siloé, and began an ardent work in the communities of the region, founding Parishes such as the São Sebastião (St Sebastian) and Nossa Senhora de Lourdes ( Our Lady of Lourdes), and several communities, in addition to developing an intense training program for religious, young people and couples in the Casa Siloé (house of Siloé).

Official site of the Monastery of Sao Bento in Portuguese

There you go the whole story on Vinhedo ::) a nice town in inland Sao Paulo Brazil. If you ever around this around do come for the Wine Festival and the Monastery of St Benedict, it will be worth your time and money, me think. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

March 5, 2019

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza (St Joseph).

And as I am in town ,why not tell you more about the city of Fortaleza, in Cearà State. It is more famous for the beaches and carnavals, but it has wonderful architectural monuments for all to enjoy ;hope you do as I did.

Let me tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as folks need to know more of it, me think.  Fortaleza  is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a village 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará state in 1799.

Now let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Cathedral of Fortaleza.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza (St Joseph) is a historical monument, headquarters of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, in Fortaleza, State of Ceará. It was built on the site of the old Sé Church. The work took 40 years to complete, and was initiated in 1938 and inaugurated in 1978. It has capacity for 5 000 people and its towers reach 75 meters high. Occupying most of the Praça Pedro II square, also known as Praça da Sé, in the historic center of Fortaleza, the temple stands out for the architectural grandeur and the beauty of the stained glass windows.  Saint Joseph is the Saint bound to the Cathedral.

fortaleza

The first main Chapel of the Fortaleza Church had its construction authorized by the Royal Order in 1746. In 1795, the work was finished. In 1821, the São José Chapel was in ruins, needing to be rebuilt. In 1861, after the rebuilding, automatically, the mother Church became a Cathedral. In 1938, a survey was made and a crack was found in the bases of its construction, by the sea side. The Cathedral was then again condemned and demolished in the same year. In 1939, the first stones of the new Metropolitan Cathedral  aka St Joseph was launched, designed by the French engineer George Mounier and that, like the other, took 39 years to complete. In apparent concrete, neo-Gothic style with predominance of eclectic and Romanesque elements, occupying much of Praça Pedro II, was inaugurated on 22 December 1978, with references to the Cathedral of Cologne and the Cathedral of Chartres.

fortaleza

The Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Joseph was inaugurated in 1962, honoring six Saints who died young: São Domingos Sávio, Saint Pancracio , Saint Tarcísio and the Saintes Maria Goretti, Inês and Luzia. For this reason, it was devoted it to the young, calling it the Crypt of the Teenagers. In the Crypt is the Chapel of the Resurrection and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to the remains of several prelates buried therein. The Crypt was reopened in 2011, after one year and four months of renovation, in which was placed a granite floor, a new lighting, an air conditioning system, and completed the altar. Currently, the Crypt allows to accommodate 350 seated persons.

fortaleza

There you a nice monument indeed and worth the detour while in Fortaleza. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Archidiocèse of Fortaleza in Portuguese

Local gov foundation on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza in Portuguese

A site on the beaches of Fortaleza with info on the Metropolitan Cathedral in Portuguese

fortaleza

showing off in Fortaleza!

Nice youtube video on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza

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

 

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