Archive for March 31st, 2019

March 31, 2019

Île de Ré and Saint Martin de Ré!

So lets bring you back out to the coast and even beyond to an island off the mainland of France. Lovely place it reminds me of my favorite islands in a time far away now, but always nice to come back to the roots. island boy,beach bum you name it the thrills are huge! I have written on it in a general sense before in my blog.

However, as usual running with so much to see feel that I need to detail the most important monuments to see according to me lol! This is lovely ïle de Ré or Re island and the main capital city is Saint Martin de Ré. 

Brief introduction to the ïle de Ré:

The Île de Ré is the fourth largest island of metropolitan France, behind Corsica, the island of Oléron and Belle-Ile island (Morbihan 56!) It is located in the dept 17 of the Charente-Maritime in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. The historic center of the island is Saint-Martin-de-Ré, which forms with the neighboring town of La Flotte the urban unit of the Flotte. The island of Ré is separated from the mainland by the Pertuis Breton and is located north of the islands of Aix, Oléron, Madame and Nôle, and the forts Boyard, d’Enet and Louvois located in the Pertuis of Antioch to the South. Since 1988, it is connected to the mainland by the Pont de Île de Ré or island of Re bridge. Touristic wise, the island is nicknamed “Ré la Blanche” or Re the White one because of the characteristic hue of its traditional houses.

We move on to the inner city of Saint Martin de Ré ,visiting the Church of Saint Martin, with gothic ruins from Normans invasions  in the middle of the high city to be seen from the harbor. Today the oldest part dates from the 15C  on the walls on both sides of the high towers in ruins.  The belltower has a square tower and has three bells.

saint martin de re

saint martin de re

The parish Church of Saint-Martin in Saint-Martin-de-Ré still stands in Gothic ruins in the heart of the city. Raved repeatedly by the conflicts, it was eventually rebuilt more modestly in the 17-18C, reusing what remained of the Gothic edifice.

The origins of the city and the Church of Saint Martin are poorly known, although the fact that the two were destroyed by the Normans is quite probable. It is known however with certainty that in the 11C, the parish was given in the Puy-en-Velay chapter by the Count of Poitou. The canons will retain the parish until the 16C. However, there remains no vestige of the 11C Romanesque church. However this church was to be ruined less than a century later. The island of Ré, predominantly Protestant, was put to sack by the latter in 1586 during their disputes over the territory against the Catholics. The Church collapses in large part: only the base of the walls of the nave and the lateral chapels and the high walls of the transept, preserved because of their military importance, have been fortified.

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In the 17C the cult was able to resume in the devastated the Church  of Saint Martin after the victory of the Catholics over the Protestants. In 1629, the reconstruction work that was said to begin lasted for several years. But the Church was again ravaged in 1696 during the bombardment of the stronghold of Saint-Martin-de-Ré by a fleet consisting of English and Dutch ships. On the first day of the year 1774 the Bell Tower collapses, dragging with it a part of the vaults. It was then decided to rebuild the building by reversing the orientation of the choir: steeple to the East, chorus now to the West. At the French revolution, the cult is momentarily closed. The Bell Tower now serves as a panoramic terrace on the city and its surroundings.

saint martin de re

The oldest parts date from the 15C, these are the walls of the two cross-crosses of the transept, still in elevation, with a path of round and endowed with their portals to the mutilated statuary. There are also the chapels of the present Choir ,and those of the South side of the medieval church. One can also see a window of flamboyant style and today obstructed gutted on the North wall. The steeple formed by a square Tower is now visitable and contains three imposing bells: Marie Thérèse (the largest ring ); Charles Catherine , and Marie Pierre Michel Samuel Augustine , the smallest one.

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Chapel in memory of priests killed by the French revolution

The parish of Ile de Re on the Church in French

Tourist office of the Ile de Re on the Church

The Citadel of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is a military work built from 1690 to protect the island of Ré. It is one of the main historical monuments of the city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. In 1873 it was transformed into a depot for the regrouping of prisoners destined to be sent to the Bagnes and was for 65 years (from 1873 to 1938), the only point of grouping of convicts to forced labour, before their departure, by boat (the Loire, or La Martinière), towards the prison of French Guyana or the prison of New Caledonia.

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A first Citadel was built in 1625 which was destroyed in 1628. It was rebuilt by Vauban and François Ferry from 1681 until the end of the 17C, following the siege of La Rochelle. It protects La Rochelle and Rochefort from the English invasions. In the 18C, access bridges were rebuilt. In the 20C, buildings were built for prisoners.

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The Citadel served many years as a gathering place for the convicts who were leaving for the Bagnes of New Caledonia and Guyana. It was then transformed into a penitentiary, a Central House still active. The visit of the ramparts west side of the city and on the entire waterfront is possible with the porte de La Flotte, currently Porte Thoiras . And the Porte de la Couarde, currently the Porte de  Campani.

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With 485 places, the penitentiary of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is the most important Central House in France, and the prison administration, the main employer of the island . In 1958, the Thoiras barracks of the Penitentiary Center was reserved for Algerian prisoners. It is a case, undoubtedly unique in France and Europe, of a prison located in the heart of a renowned tourist area, in the town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and of which a part of the infrastructures is classified as World Heritage site by UNESCO!

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Tourist office of Ile de Re on the citadel

Official site of Vauban fortifications on the Citadel of Saint Martin de Re

There you go something to get you over the island, car is king and the ride over the bridge is awesome. Once in the towns walking is best. Again for public transports see the tourist office here: Tourist office on public transports in the Ile de Re

Hope you have enjoy the post and thank you again for stopping by. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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March 31, 2019

Garden of Oranges or Giardino degli Aranci or Parco Savello or Savello Park, of course, Rome!

Ok so this was a dandy I need to tell you more about it, almost forgot from my vault of over 50K photos, yes! As I told you, we go to a city by plane car or train and then we walk all over , staying above ground. In my opinion, the best way to see a city and its monuments. No different in Italy and especially Rome

As we walk we came to a high point with great views of the city and a nice story. So with different names but in English, Garden of Oranges or Savello Park and in Italian Giardino degli Aranci or Parco Savello. This is my bit of history on it, enjoy as we did

The Garden of Oranges is the name used in Rome to describe the Savello Park. It has a surface area of 7,800 square meters and is located on the Aventin Hill. The Park is famous for offering an excellent view of the city. The garden, as it is today, was designed in 1932. It has been designed to offer the public access to the view on the other side of the Hill, creating a new viewpoint, to be added to the viewpoints already existing in Rome, such as the Pincio and the Janiculum.

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We were actually in Trastevere and decided to walk towards the Tiber river crossed it a the ponte sublicio going along the river and saw these huge building above us which was actually the Basilica di Santa Sabina all’Aventino or the Saint Sabine basilica and right next to it is the parco Savello!

A bit of history I like

The garden of oranges, whose name comes from the many orange trees that grow there, stretches over the area of the ancient fortress built near the Basilica of Santa Sabina by the Savelli family between 1285 and 1287. It was built on an ancient castle built by the Crescentii family in the 10C. The garden is bordered by a wall that surrounds the Castle Savelli and other remains of the castle are still visible. The castle was later given to the order of the Dominicans of Santa Sabina, which transformed it into a monastery, and the small park, in vegetable garden. According to legend, St. Dominic gave the garden his first orange tree, after transporting a shaft from Spain. The legend also tells that Catherine of Siena picked the oranges from this tree, and made candied fruits, which she gave to Pope Urbain VI

The garden is very symmetrical, with a central avenue aligned with perspective, later named in honor of actor Nino Manfredi. The central square is named after another Roman actor, Fiorenzo Fiorentini, who for several years had led the summer theatrical season in the Park.

The fountain at the entrance is composed of two separate rooms: an antique Roman bath basin, and a monumental marble mask. This mask was originally backed by a fountain built in 1593 for a cattle market (Campo Vaccino) in the center of Rome. The mask has a long history. After the dismantling, in 1816, the fountain of Campo Vaccino, it was recovered and then in 1827 used to decorate a fountain erected on the right bank of the Tiber river. This fountain was demolished in 1890, and the sculpture was kept in a municipal depot before being moved to its current location.

Indeed the views of Rome are splendid and worth the detour in your travel plans to Rome! Roma! Italy, Italia! Enjoy it

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The Roman tourist office has a bit more on it here: Tourist office of Rome on Parco Savello

One of the nicest walk you can do in Rome with plenty of architecture, garden and history all around you. Ciao Roma!

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

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March 31, 2019

St Peter’s Cathedral ,Vannes!

Well I was back in Vannes this Saturday and behold  always wonderful, see my previous post just for a taste and search my blog for many others on wonderful medieval intact Vannes. However, looking at the current festivities I search my blog for a post on the St Peter’s Cathedral or Cathédrale St Pierre and behold my last entry was from October 2016!! There were some bits and pieces in other posts but for the Cathedral not one since 2016!! Amazing all the things we see and write and continue! New fresh photos!

Anyway this is the 600 anniversary of the coming here of Vincent Ferrier from Valencia Spain to spread the gospel of Christ in this area. It is now Saint Vincent Ferrier and we are celebrating big from March 2018 to June 2019 but especially this year. There is a dedicated site for the festivities in many languages here: Official Saint Vincent Ferrier festivities Vannes

His body rest in the Cathedral on a special Chapel as you enter on your left hand side nearer the Altar.And of course, it is a great center of pelegrinage from many parts of Europe. He was born in 1350 at Valencia at the time part of the kingdom of Aragon, and died in 1419 at Vannes! He is the Patron Saint of the Comunidad of Valencia in Spain. In Spanish he is written at Vicente Ferrer.  The Dominican fathers have a page on him in Spanish here: Dominicans order page on San Vicente Ferrer

As it would be a monumental task to tell you all about this wonderful magnificent beautiful Cathedral, I will just tell you the main points me think. Hope you enjoy as we do.

The Cathedral Saint-Pierre of Vannes is done in Gothic style, it is elevated on the site of the ancient Romanesque cathedral. Its construction spans five centuries, from the 15C to the 19C, and if one includes the length of existence of the Romanesque Tower-Belfry preserved from the old building, one arrives at a construction period of seven centuries. As a whole, the Cathedral remains, nevertheless, faithful to the ancient Romanesque and comprises a nave annexed by ten lateral chapels, a transept with unequal arms, a choir wrapped in a ambulatory and a row of two axial chapels.

The nave has a length of 47 meters and a width of 13 meters. The total length of the Cathedral is 110 meters, which makes it the longest among the Cathedrals of Brittany. The vault of the nave and the transept measures almost 21 meters high.

vannes cat st pierre front door mar19

From west to east, the following five chapels are found on the south side:

Chapel of the baptismal font this is the smallest of the five chapels. Sainte-Anne Chapel she is the patron Saint of Brittany, and according to the Bible, the mother of Mary ,grandmother of Jesus. Chapel of the Rosary the stained-glass window shows the sacred heart of Paray-le-Monial. Blessed Pierre René Rogue’s Chapel blessed Pierre René Rogue was a priest, born in Vannes, known for his great piety he was sentenced to death and guillotined for bringing communion to a dying man. It is buried under the altar. The Chapel Saint-Gwenaël, Saint Gwenaël took part in the evangelisation of the Breton dioceses in the 6C. On the corresponding stained glass, he is represented in the company of the blessed Françoise d’Amboise. The latter, Duchess of Brittany, founded the first convent of Carmelites in Vannes.

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The five chapels on the north side of the nave are the following from west to east:

Chapelle Saint-Mériadec-et-Saint-Patern the stained glass depicts Saint Mériadec and Saint Patern, the first bishop of Vannes (who also has a Church on his name in his neighborhood and is the oldest Church in Vannes). Chapelle Saint-Louis with about 5.17 meters over 6.15 meters. This is the largest Chapel in the nave. Built around 1456, it was first dedicated to St. Sebastian, to which St. John the Baptist was added from 1648. At the end of the 18C, it was dedicated to Saint Louis, hence the stained glass window which represents twelve scenes of the life of the Holy King. Chapelle Saint-Antoine, its Gothic-style porch is topped by a stained-glass window bearing the arms of Brittany, Vannes and Mgr Bécel. Since December 2015, an inscription in red, affixed to the outside of the porch, indicates that this entrance is called the gate of Mercy. referring to the Holy Jubilee year decreed by Pope Francis in the Bull of Indiction Misericordia Vultus of April 11 2015. The Rotunda Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament this rotunda shaped side chapel is of Italian Renaissance style, a rare case in Brittany. Adjacent to the north façade, it was built between 1530 and 1537 at the expense of Canon Jean Daniélo, inspired by his Roman memories and who thought to make it his mausoleum. Originally destined for the Blessed Sacrament, this chapel was dedicated to the cult of St. Vincent Ferrier from 1956 to 2018. It is currently empty and awaiting a new liturgical assignment. Maybe a baptistery. The altar-tomb of Saint Vincent Ferrier, which was there, was transferred to the North cruiser. And the Chapel called Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes-this is the place of the ancient gate of the Dukes of Brittany.

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The Northern Cross of the transept opens outwards by the beautiful portal of the Chanoines. It is topped by a stained glass window depicting Saint Vincent Ferrier. This North brace which, from 1956, had been reduced to being a place of passage, since may 2018 hosts the tomb of Saint Vincent Ferrier. It is thus found, the altar-tomb of Saint Vincent as well as the beautiful reliquary in the form of a bust of vermeil made in 1902. On the edge of the upper part of the woodwork, is deployed the tapestry of Aubusson of 1615 which relates on 28 meters of length, seven miracles attributed to the Saint as well as the scene of his canonization in 1455 and the portrait of the donor, the Bishop of Vannes.

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The Choir is surrounded by a very large ambulatory intended to channel pilgrims who came to pray on the tomb of St. Vincent Ferrier in the middle ages. Like the basilical pavilion located in the Choir, a marble plaque recalls the affiliation of the Basilica Cathedral of St Peter’s Vannes to the Basilica of St. Peter of Rome.

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The Grand Organ of the Cathedral of St Pierre of Vannes is today an instrument of 35 games which has been the subject of a complete restoration in 1985. The Tribune is supported by six Doric columns with smooth bole and molded marquee resting on masonry quadrangular granite bases, the upper part of which consists of a larger stone treated in quarter round, ledge and ogee before resuming a square shape under the column tours. The organ consists of two buffets: the positive and the great organ. The positive is placed in cornball in the middle of the Tribune. The Grand-Organ is composed of three levels of mouldings, squares at the lower level, rectangular horizontal at the middle and rectangular vertical level at the upper level. Marrying the bulge form of the cheeks of the Massif, two monumental sculptures support the large turrets.

vannes

As usual some webpages to help you enjoy and plan your trip here which is a must,are

Official Cathedral St Peter of Vannes

Tourist office of the Morbihan dept 56 on Vannes heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on Vannes heritage

And they you have it a gem of my belle France, a must in my beautiful Brittany and you have to see if passing by my beloved adopted Morbihan and of course our capital city of Vannes.  The St Peter’s Cathedral is worth your while.

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

 

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