Archive for April, 2019

April 30, 2019

Hôtel de Francheville or Myner at Vannes!

Moving right alone to showcase the beauty and independance mood of the people of Brittany with its unique history in France, and my lovely intact capital city of Vannes; let me give you some off the beaten path thing to see.

With so much to see it becomes almost impossible to see it all in one visit to any place, I am lucky to live in the worlds vacation hotspot and most visited country for a good reason. However as an amateur of history and architecture I do notice! And living here helps and living in the beautiful medieval intact city of Vannes (no fires, floodings, bombings here!) gives me a great advantage. One of the building I go by every week and my favorite old town shopping area and the site of the famous Vannes market is one with a bit of a confused history.

For years, it was call Hotel de Francheville until recent studies have shown it should be Hotel Myner, never mind , the archeologist, the locals still refer to it as Francheville! Let me tell you a bit more on it ,and hope you enjoy it.

The Hotel Mynier ,formerly Hotel de Francheville from the 17C is a private hotel located in Vannes, in the Dept 56 of Morbihan. It makes the corner of the place des Lices and the place de Poids Public.

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A bit of history I like

It was previously considered to have been built for the family of Francheville, who gave it their name for many years. However, recent finding has shown that one everyone calls the Hotel Francheville should be called the Hotel Mynier. No, the most beautiful house of the place des Lices was not the home of Claude de Francheville,  seneschal (royal officer in charge of justice) of Vannes. The illustrious family also counts in the 17C, the blessed Catherine de Francheville, the origin of the construction of the Chapel of Saint-Yves (by the College(middle school) Jules Simon) and the Foundation of the Order of the Sisters of the Retreat. It was built in tufa and granite in the second half of the 17C this building owes its name to Julien Mynier a merchant. It dates back to the time when the Parliament of Brittany was exiled to Vannes, between 1675 and 1689 and is located on the site of an older building, probably with wood, of which some elements subsist such as on the ground floor (1st US), wall gutter water with an gavel arch bay on the ground floor and a chimney on the 1st floor (2nd US).

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Chapel Saint Yves in collége Jules Simon Vannes

Part of the current location that belongs according to the archives before 1662 to the Guydo families and at best was occupied in the middle ages by the House of Robert de Callac, Maître d’hôtel de la Duchesse of Brittany. The building is then composed of a large house in a wooden panel overlooking the Place du Poids Public opposite the mill of the so-called Lices with courtyard, gallery, and stable.The acquisition of the ensemble in 1665 by Julien Mynier, merchant, two works campaigns were done the façade place des Lices corresponding in the 17C, while the openings of the south façade place du Poids Public are taken up at the beginning of the 18C.

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A bit on the construction story I like

Built in coated rubble, the building is dependent on the existing elevation and offers on the façade 3 levels with elevated ground floor served by a double-flown porch in masonry, and on the south façade 4 levels, the first of which catches the slope of the site. The building is rectangular in its center but slightly shifted with a large stairwell, lined with a small courtyard covered today. The hotel develops a grid-lined façade with granite on the eastern façade, and limestone on the south façade headbands. The rectangular-shaped bays are paired in granite and topped on the square side of the granite tables. The dormers are adorned with semicircular white stone pitons; on the southern façade, they are covered with a circle-segment arch and alternately show triangular and curved pitons; presence of a cornice with white stone modillions. A limestone-edged, rounded corner, topped with an imperial roof topped with slates in tortoiseshell adorns the southeast corner of the hotel, offering a viewpoint on both places. The sample is based on three horns adorned with scallops. A staircase, with turns by day in framing, serves the floors. There is the existence of another secondary service staircase taking its departure on the half-story landing.

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Some webpages on Vannes to help your visit to the great city are

Area tourist office of Gulf of Morbihan on Vannes

Toursit office of Brittany on Vannes

There you go another gem to see and marvel in my pretty Vannes, the Hotel de Francheville , ooops Hotel Myner is something to admire for all lovers of architecture and history.

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

 

April 29, 2019

Saint Vincent Ferrier at Vannes!

So much to see and do in my wonderful Vannes of my lovely Morbihan and beautiful Brittany. However, some things holds you and make you reflect even on the bounties of been able to enjoy what I see around me and appreciated. Then, it hits you a person , a men who come from my beloved Spain, and so revered here with the Bretons. I need to write a post on him.

Please bear with me as I write to you about Saint Vincent Ferrier , or Vicente Ferrer as known in Valencia , Spain!  Saint Vincent Ferrier spread the word of God to the Bretons from March 3 1418 to April 5 1419.

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Vincent Ferrier (Sp. Vicente Ferrer) was a priest of the Dominican order, born on 23 January 1350 near Valencia (Crown of Aragon) and died on 5 April 1419 in Vannes (Morbihan,Brittany), which remained famous for his public preaching. Some of his relics are revered at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vannes. He is the patron saint of the Valencian Community in Spain.  Vincent is the fourth child of a man born of the Aragonese nobility, Guillem Ferrer, from Palamos and Constança Miquel. It was named after Saint Vincent of Zaragoza, the patron of his hometown, Valencia. In 1379, he was ordained a priest in Barcelona. Initially, he taught theology in Barcelona and then at the University of Lleida, where he obtained a doctorate in theology.

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Close to Pedro de Luna, then Cardinal and future Pope Benedict XIII, Vincent Ferrier first joined the papacy of Avignon, rejecting the legitimacy of  Roman Pope Urbain VI in his treatise de Moderno Ecclesiae Schismate. He later became a confessor of Benedict XIII, now antipope and emblematic figure of resistance in Rome. But for the sake of Union of the Church, he eventually resigned himself to abandoning the cause of Benedict to recognize the Roman Pope. His official waiver took place in 1416, at a time when the Council of Constance was working to end the Schism.  A tireless preacher and evangeliser of Europe for twenty years, from 1399 to his death, he travels to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and even goes to Scotland. He is often accompanied by an impressive amount of disciples, to the point that he must essentially preach in large outdoor spaces in order to be heard from the crowd. We lend him the gift of languages, given his ability to communicate with so many different peoples.

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The Relics of Saint Vincent Ferrier at St Peter’s Cathedral of Vannes

He was successively a Professor of Philosophy, eighteen years old! Professor of Science, Professor of Theology. His authority was necessary. His lights were used in the throes trials of the application of Canon law and Civil law. His decisions had the force of law. Chapters and bishops, parish priests and religious, neighboring and rival cities referred to him as arbiter of their disputes. He travels sometimes on foot, sometimes on the back of mule. He goes from Avignon to Valencia, bids farewell to his homeland, travels all the provinces of Spain, crosses the Pyrenees to San Sebastian, visits all our Midi region, passes to Italy, evangelises Switzerland, the center of France, goes back to Belgium, returns to the Franche-Comté, tilts towards Bordeaux and finally heads to Brittany!

To appreciate the results obtained by Saint Vincent Ferrier during his 20 years of apostolate, we must know what Europe was in the 15C. Everywhere, war. The Turks were to settle definitively in the eastern provinces. It was the time of the great pity of the Kingdom of France. Three quarters of the territory were at the mercy of the English troops, who had accumulated in their passage the material ruins. The black plague had made incredible havoc.  In France, the very Christian country, the practices of paganism had been re-enacted. The sign of the Cross was ignored by many. There was still a lot of misery, but they did not always respond to a need for faith; they were often erected to ward off a bad spell at the crossroads of roads. God spoke so clearly through the lips of the preacher brother that one only recognized an attitude in front of him, that of the penitent who implores forgiveness.

One of the most difficult works that a missionary can encounter is the conversion of Jews and Muslims. Everyone knew their hatred of the Christian name. Their obstinacy is explained: on the first weighs the responsibility of the Deicide, and the paradise of Muhammad is too easy for the latter to decide to follow the hard path that leads to heaven. The Moorish Kings of Granada also wanted to hear the voice of the famous missionary. They picked him up. Saint Vincent went to their call.  It is to him that we owe the intense Christian vitality that distinguishes us even today. But do not believe that we were the only beneficiaries of his zeal. It is the whole of Europe that should come to its Tomb, for it owes its life. He tore it from paganism. Where his action was more particularly felt, in Spain, Italy, France, the storm raised by Luther came crashing powerless. Faith crumbled: under the fire of his inspired verb, she resumed the solidity of granite.

He is the Adviser of Pope Benedict XIII in the throes questions that the Schism is born. When Spain finally feels the need to get out of the political crisis that threatens its existence, it chooses nine delegates who will have to settle the succession to the throne. After a month of laborious studies, these men, the most illustrious of the Kingdom, doubted themselves. But as soon as master Vincent expressed his opinion, they rank as the one who is required.

And he came to Brittany ,finally!

Twice already the Duke Jean V of Brittany had prayed to Saint Vincent to come and evangelise his States. A final letter from the Duke, written at the beginning of November 1417, exposed the dismal situation of religion among the Breton populations. For the third time, Designated person by the duke Jean Bernier began his journey. He met with Vincent in Tours, in the last days of December, and was happy enough to triumph over all the resistance. On February 8, 1418, Saint Vincent arrives in Nantes. He stayed there for nearly two weeks, and went on to Vannes where the Duke was standing with his court. He preaches in Fégréac, La Roche-Bernard, Redon, Muzillac, Questembert, and on Friday, March 4, he is in Theix.

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The Apostle is at Theix on March 30th again. On the 31st of the evening, he travels to the Abbey of Prayers, near Muzillac. He arrives in Guérande on 8 April. He preached through the peninsula, and on 14 April he was found in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, where after talking about perseverance in good works, he healed a demonic that was brought, solidly garrotted, to the parish church. He then went back to Rennes, and the capital of Brittany made him a triumphal reception. On April 20-22, he preached on Place St. Anne in front of a huge crowd. All the houses that began to populate this square opened their windows to the impatient listeners, and saw up their roofs to cover themselves with the most impatient. For about ten days he travelled around the area. Fougéres, Vitré, Montfort heard him. Then he returned to Rennes on 2 May 1418.

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The Apostle pursues his mission by the north coast of Brittany. The canonization trial mentions Quintin, Châtelaudren, Guingamp, La Roche-Derrien. It is certain that he visited Tréguier, Lannion, Morlaix, Saint-Pol de Léon. Lesneven kept a long time in a silver reliquary “the cap of Monsieur Saint Vincent Ferrier”. From Quimper,   Apostle Vincent headed east, passed through Concarneau, Quimperlé, Hennebont, then ascends inward and evangelized Guémené, Pontivy, La Chèze, La Trinité-Porhoët, Josselin, and Ploërmel. He went to Redon a second time, and went down again to Nantes.

In the early days of 1419, Saint Vincent slowly moved to Vannes, where his prodigious career was to be completed. Alas! Vannes was no longer to hear the voice that had awakened the souls of a deadly lethargy. The sick would no longer surrender in the Cour Dreulin, their foreheads would no longer bend under his blessing hand. The thaumaturgy Apostle, the soberer of material and moral life, slept without hope back in the miraculously furrow. On 25 March 1419, Saint Vincent was seized with a violent fever. Soon the Holy missionary entered into agony. He clasped his hands, looked up at the sky, held his crucifix one last time, and on Wednesday of the week of passion, 5th day of April, in the year 1419, the glorious confessor and friend of God, brother Vincent Ferrier, native of Valencia, religious of the order of Preachers Brothers, returned to God the spirit, in the city of Vannes, in the hotel of one of the bourgeois of the city. On Friday, April 7, the funeral, took place in great solemnity. The Tomb had been dug between the Choir and the high Altar on the north side, opposite the Pulpit. Saint Vincent had promised his good people of Brittany never to forget them. He kept his word beautifully, and his tomb was the living source from which bursts of dazzling wonders sprained. They are always there much at least in St Peter’s Cathedral, the relics that proved to our ancestors the incomparable power of Saint Vincent. Several centuries have passed. The time had only taken on our hearts where he threw oblivion. The dust of these bones kept his immortal power: we could test it, if we had faith.

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France is not forgotten his missions, it travels all the south before being called in Brittany in 1418 by Jean V, Duke of Brittany. He travelled practically all of Brittany from town to town for nearly two years and returned to Vannes, exhausted, where he died on 5 April 1419.   After the many miracles recorded on his tomb attributed to him, the Duke  Jean V of Brittany asked that the Dominican be canonized. Pope Calixte III proclaimed his canonization on 29 June 1455. The Pope designates the Breton prelate Alain de Coëtivy to lift the relics of the Tomb; the ceremony took place in Vannes on April 5, 1456. He’s celebrated on April 5th still. A nice story me think.

Some webpages to help you understand more the man, the city of Vannes, Brittany and Spain are

Official Saint Vincent Ferrier Vannes

Official St Peter’s Cathedral of Vannes on Saint Vincent Ferrier

It is still very much visited, every time I stop by the Cathedral the chapel is with many, and it is a nice story that helps the travelers on its journeys as he did. Saint Vincent Ferrier of Valencia ,Spain, Vicente Ferrer. Hope you have enjoy it.

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

 

April 29, 2019

Saint Emilion of Vannes!!

Well not many know this , it still a small space in an old town of the Morbihan breton. If you are into wines ,and go beyond the simple tasting and drinking of it and into the history of the men and women who creates them, then you too will come to Vannes. This is my hommage to the story of Saint Emilion, that wonderful wine town of Bordeaux who started it all by a Breton monk from Vannes!!!

Saint Émilion was intendant of the Counts of Vannes, monk and hermit Breton. He is celebrated on 16 November and is the patron Saint of wine merchants and traders. Born in Vannes, the capital of the Broërec in Brittany, he was intendant of a count of Vannes whose name is unknown. According to a legend, he gives bread to the poor of the area of present day Vannes in hiding from his master. The count wanting to take him on the fact, stops him while he transports under his mantle the bread. He asks him to open his coat, but Émilion makes a miracle by transforming the breads into pieces of wood.

He became a monk in Saujon, near Royan. Forced to flee due to the influx of pilgrims as a result of his miracles, he settled in a solitary retreat in Combes, near what became Saint-Émilion, and died in 767. Nearby, a great Latin-speaking poet, Ausone,(in a great wine name now) had erected his villa in the 4C. Saint Emilion settled in a cliff where he dug a troglodyte Hermitage.

A metro station in Paris has its name ,cours Saint Émilion on line 14. Saint Émilion is the patron Saint of the parish of Loguivy-Plougras , Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Brittany. A hamlet in the commune of Motreff, in the dept 29 of Finistère, Brittany is called Saint-Émilion.

And in his native city of Vannes it has, at 24 ,rue des Viérges, a statue of the famous hermit. Built and blessed in 1986. In 2009, a second granite statuette housed in a small monument was placed on 8, Avenue Saint-Emilion . This discreet reminder of a local Vannetais, which symbolizes first of all life, will offer the passing folks the opportunity of a small pause in a pleasant site. Indeed it is nice.

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A bit on his life, Saint Emilion

Emilion made the decision to go to Spain to visit Santiago de Compostela, and to withdraw himself unknown in this region to serve the Lord God alone. On his way, Emilion stopped in a monastery of Saintonge, region of Saintes. The Abbot of this Benedictine monastery, Martin, engaged Emilion to become a monk. Saint Emilion was named cellarer, i.e. steward of the monastery. The place of this Hermitage has now become the city of Saint Emilion. It was then only a forest just a short distance from the Dordogne. This beautiful  Dordogne river comes from the Massif Central, to the north east, and will extend to the west, 80 km farther, with the Garonne river this great estuary that is then the Gironde. Blessed waters of the best wines in the world!

On the edge of the forest there was a rocky escarpment and caves. Saint Emilion fixed his Hermitage, with an oratory, in one of these caves. But Holiness attracts, and once again Saint Emilion is being sought. Folks came to see him, ask questions, hear him, and sometimes convert. Among the converts, Saint Emilion then decided to propose to some to live with him in community to teach them, to train them and to support them in their good dispositions. The monastery of Saint Emilion was born.

This monastery of Saint Emilion known many hours and misfortunes over the centuries. The Sarrazins/moors damaged it; then it was taken over by monks from the Benedictine Abbey of Nanteuil near Poitiers. Then lay people seized it; they were brought to its doorsteps by Gosselin, Archbishop of Bordeaux, who set up regular Canons, followed by the religious Esterp. Finally this abbey was secularized by a bubble of Pope Clement V in 1309, and until the French revolution it remained collegial. With the end of the revolution it was in ruins. The Monolith Church and its bell tower remain. The Church was dug into limestone rock, a massive so-called karstic stones. The steeple built above, with its 133 meters high is the highest of the steeples of the Bordelais region after that of the Church of Saint Michel of Bordeaux.

The wines of Saint Emilion are excellent, rightly famous. There are: Saint Emilion, Montagne Saint Emilion, Puissegain-Saint Emilion, Lussac-Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and Lalande de Pomerol. All from a hermit’s story from Vannes !

He has best on him from the tourist office of Saint Emilion. Tourist office of Saint Emilion on history

Ok so en vino veritas and enjoy the wines of Saint Emilion. However, if you want to see him do come by his native city of Vannes. He is a popular statue here for many visitors.

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

 

April 29, 2019

La Cohue at Vannes!

Ok so lets stay in Vannes why not the small capital city of the dept 56 Morbihan in Brittany in my belle France has a lot of punch; starting that its medieval old town center is intact with wooden houses from the 14C, no fires, bombings to report here all naturally beautiful. This is my continuing series on all Vannes, enjoy it as we do.

And even if I have touch on it briefly in other posts, again, I believe that I should tell you more about the Fine Arts Museum of Vannes, oh yes we call the La Cohue…!The Fine Arts Museum (beaux-arts) of Vannes known as  La Cohue is located at Place St Pierre (facing the Cathedral) and also a back entrance on lovely rue des Halles. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Vannes or Museum of Fine Arts of Vannes or aka La Cohue was created in 1982, is one of the museums of the city of Vannes.

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A bit of history I like

Since the Middle Ages, La Cohue, a word of Breton origin  meaning Halles or market used in the middle ages to designate market places in cities, belongs to the Duke of Brittany. Its oldest part dates back to the 13C and the building was enlarged in the 14C and again in the 17C.

Located in the heart of the city facing the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre , the place has two uses: A  ground floor (1st US)  houses the rooms and many stalls; upstairs 1st or 2nd US, sits the Ducal Justice Palace, until 1796. From 1675, the Parliament of Brittany exiled to Vannes held meetings here. La Cohue, welcomes the States of Brittany ten times from 1431 to 1703.

La Cohue, which became the property of the city of Vannes in 1813, was transformed into a theater that was active until the 1950’s. The old building was restored from 1970, before collecting the collections of paintings and engravings from the city and presenting large exhibitions from 1982,its opening to the public.

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A bit of description of La Cohue Museum of Fine Arts of Vannes :

On the first floor (2nd US), you will see  today a collection of works representative of the abstraction of the 1950’s  to the present day. Also devoted to the presentation of the works of Geneviève Asse, a Breton painter of international renown, native of Vannes , which allows the visitor to discover the important donation made by the artist to the Museum. Since 2013, a permanent space is devoted to the work of this native artist of Vannes in the upper room of the Museum.  The permanent space also gives a beautiful space to the works of the late 19C and the beginning of the 20C.

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The main work that I saw were of Eugène Delacroix “ Christ on the Cross “also “Christ between the two thieves  or the Crucifixion “, 1835. And, Claude Monet “ Rain in Belle-Ile”. You will see as well a rich Breton panorama of romantic landscapes and contemporary compositions.  Other works includes, a collection of polychrome wooden sculptures from the 14C and 16C. Set of 18C goldsmiths ‘ pieces, furniture and decorative art objects. As well as 19-20C prints.

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Since 1982, the ground floor (1st US) of 700 m2 receives the works of temporary exhibitions the opportunity to explore the different facets of contemporary plastic creation. La Cohue ,  Museum of Fine Arts affirms an identity strongly rooted in contemporary artistic expression. For just over thirty years, temporary exhibitions have been an opportunity to explore the different facets of living plastic creation.More space is now reserved for temporary exhibitions including the permanent collections of modern and contemporary art of the Fine Arts Museum of Vannes, enriched by the important deposit of the Centre Georges-Pompidou-Musée National d’Art Moderne of Paris and several paintings of private collectors, offering visitors a rich panorama of the painting of the second half of the 20C. Nice indeed!

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it is nice are

City of Vannes on the La Cohue museum

Friends of the Museum practical information

There you go another nice gem in my backyard that I am sure will be a pleasure for all to see, and be surprise of the beauty of museums we have outside of Paris. The Fine Arts Museum (Beaux-Arts) or La Cohue is worth the detour.

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

April 28, 2019

The museum of History and Archeology of Vannes!

Hi all, the time to speak about my beloved Vannes again. If you have read my blog you know I worked in the suburbs of the city for the last 8 years in a ruined castle from 1504 renovated! and modern office building now. The city has lots of offering and genuine architecture as it suffered no damage in the last two great wars in France. Wooden houses here go back to the 14C! originals!

However, in the all to see and do, there are things that are just a must to see. And darn me for not showing it before. Even did some bits on it never a post to this wonderful place; the Musée d’Histoire et Archeologie de Vannes or the Museum of History and Archeology in the wonderful Castle of Gaillard! The former hotel of the Parliament of Brittany or Château-Gaillard, is a former mansion located  at Rue Noé in  Vannes in the Morbihan dept 56. Built in the early 15C, Château-Gaillard has been hosting the city’s History and Archaeology Museum since 2000.

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Vannes

The museum of History and Archeology (musée d’histoire et d’archéologie) is house in  the wonderful historical Chateau Gaillard from the 15C in stones while the rest of the town at the time was in wood. The original owner of the lot was a Gaillard Tournemine so there goes the name of the castle. In 1457 it was the auditorium of the Parliament of Brittany! and home of the President. The castle has four levels and all connected by a stair in stone. The street level room opens to the garden connecting  it with the Hôtel de Roscanvec ,and has two monumental chimneys. First floor (2nd US) has wooden decorations, and the 2nd floor (3rd US) has the library of the Societé Polymathique du Morbihan (SPM)  where it has installed the collections of its museum here in 1912. The SPM is the current owners and the management is handle by the city of Vannes.  Wonderful arts in a medieval setting.

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Vannes

A bit of history I like

The Gaillard castle is built on land originally owned by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Built in 1410 by Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Saint-Brieuc between 1406 and 1419 and Nantes between 1419 and 1443, Chancellor of duke Jean V since 1408, this medieval mansion passes through the hands of Hervé de Malestroit, Jean de Mésanger and the canons of Nantes before being redeemed in 1457 by the Duke of Brittany. It is in this sovereign Court that the Duke’s vassals vote taxes. In 1485, duke François II entrusted the role of States in litigation to a Court of Justice, Parliament of Brittany. The Castle then serves as an audience in Parliament as well as a home to the President. The Castle will remain the seat of the administration of Parliament until 1535, three years after the signing of the Treaty of Union of Brittany to France, voted by the States of Brittany in 1532.  In 1912, the Société polymatique du Morbihan bought the Château-Gaillard and entrusted it to the city of Vannes in 2000 in order to create a Museum of History and Archaeology that allows the preservation and presentation to the public of its collections.

A bit of a description of the musée d’histoire et d’archéologie de Vannes!

The former hotel of the Parliament of Brittany consists of two houses with mullioned windows, served by a spiral staircase located in a polygonal stone tower. At the rear, another, narrower, screw staircase serves the various levels. This building is adorned with Renaissance paintings and woodworks and a coffered ceiling. The roof is supported by a hull boat frame.

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The Museum of History and Archaeology presents permanent collections of archaeology. The museum database lists 74 pieces classified as historical monuments in the Museum.

By visiting the Museum, you discover other architectural treasures. In the room of the apparat, the monumental chimney captures the gaze but it is also necessary to look up to admire the painted woodwork of the 15C. In the next room, one enters the bedroom to the decors of the 17C. And, after a spiral staircase in stone, one reaches the jewel: the room of the fathers of the desert. This 17C work room is decorated with 57 painted wood panels and nine canvases, on the theme of hermits and the life of Christ. From an anonymous author, the works are inspired by the engravings of the Sadeler brothers and compose a unique ensemble in Brittany.

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Vannes

The Société polymatique du Morbihan ( Morbihan polymatic society), a scholarly society created in 1826. These scholars were among the first in France to embark, around 1860, in a new science, developed in Egypt: Archaeology. Their museum thus contains unique pieces in the world, discovered especially in the major Neolithic sites of Morbihan such as in Carnac, Locmariaquer, Arzon, Gavrinis, but also Gallo-Roman remains discovered in Vannes. The curiosity of the polymers was limitless: nearly 40,000 pieces compose their collections. The city proposes, through 400 objects, a panorama of these treasures. Fossils, minerals, herbals, seashells, exotic birds, Oceania adorns, Carthaginian funeral urts or the last wolf of Vannes!  All wonderful for the visitor to enjoy, a must in Vannes!

Vannes

Vannes

Vannes

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it is a must are

City of Vannes on Museums in English

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Museum

Its a treasure to be seen, a must when visiting Vannes or nearby areas. it is our favorite museum here, and we go in in several occasions  and by it every week. The Chateau Gaillard is wonderful as it is and when you add the Museum of History and Archeology is a combination to come see now.

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

 

 

 

 

April 26, 2019

Le Port at Vannes!

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I have only mentioned in bits and pieces in previous blog posts! It is time I pay my tribute to a wonderful part of Vannes, Morbihan and Brittany at least, this the Le Port, harbor marina, grand living, la vie est belle!!! This will be follow up by a series of posts on Vannes, lovely quant historical medieval Vannes! Stay tune!

Where can I start! well not into the creative mind I will just tell you a bit of the history and what is around it and photos of course. Just to remind you, if you are in Vannes you need to be here. And to some of my lucky friends who have already visited, you know it!

The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a Marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1 200 meters  on a south-north  channel that leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert to the afloat basin , at the foot of the Porte Saint-Vincent, entrance gate of the old town of Vannes. The port is a lively area of the town of Vannes.

A bit of history I like

The first traces of the existence of a port in Vannes date back to the Roman occupation of the city of Venetes then known as Darioritum. The research carried out on Darioritum shows that the port was the heart of the urban and commercial growth of the 1C to 5C .Until the end of the 14C, no document known to date allows to specify the actual configuration of the port. From 1604, a new wharf is built on the right bank. The Porte Saint-Vincent and the double-antenna bridge which served it  are completed around 1625 facilitating the passage from one side to the other south of the ramparts. At the time of the exile of the Parliament of Brittany in Vannes ,1675-1689,  a hunting lock is fitted upstream of the Calmont gate to clean the moat of the garbage and wastes that accumulate there and weaken the current of the river. A second lock, known as Kérino, is mentioned in 1683, much further downstream.

In 1697, the left bank of the port saw the realization of its first wharf, the pier Billy, the name of its owner. In 1754, recurrent problems of pollution and siltation forced the city to incur considerable costs for the construction of a new hunting lock in front of the Saint-Vincent bridge, and the development of new docks to the south in order to facilitate the docking of boats. At the end of the 18C, king Louis XVI wanted to take out the cities of the middle ages, the reorganization of the space by the filling of ditches. This project is accompanied by the desire to build a place in the form of a hemicycle. It is only in 1835 that the place Gambetta (old place du Morbihan)  is carried out. the project of requalification of the left bank between 1995 and 2001 is continued by the operation of raving and restoration of 45 facades located around place Gambetta, rue du port and Rue du Drézen.  Finally, in 2003 , in order to give a more important place to pedestrians and to create new service establishments it was done the landscaping of the spaces: realization of a parking under the paved esplanade of granite and the driveway of wood decking, construction of the new harbormaster , the cultural kiosk and the Tourist office.

vannes

vannes

Popular with locals and visitors alike boaters and tourists thanks to its location in the heart of the city, the Marina is equipped with many facilities: harbormaster cultural kiosk, tourist office, green area  and underground parking le Port. The Port of Vannes webpage is here for more info:  https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/horaires-vannes

The current look of the port of Vannes and its neighborhood dates from the end of 2000. The second phase of the project which was started in 2011 took care of the  the upstream of the port of the Marina, such as the development of the commercial port and the maritime station on the right bank, the future of the buildings of the departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea (ex DDE ) on the left bank and the construction of the Kerino tunnel at the port entrance. At the Directorate there is  now a café gallery showing works of arts related to the sea;nice.

The docks of the port of Commerce welcome the goods arriving in Vannes after crossing the Gulf of Morbihan. At the exit of the Marina, the Parc du Golfe (Gulf Park) is the starting point for passenger boat cruises of the outlying islands, and the Gare Maritime. Many passenger and cargo boat cruisers are here to take you out into the outlaying islands. The city of Vannes has a listing of these companies here: City of Vannes on passenger boat cruisers

vannes

The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent. The place was created in 1835 in order to clean up a low zone corresponding to the old ditches of the city, in which the sewage accumulated. The Marle river then threw itself into the channel leading to the Gulf of Morbihan, between two mudflats. The construction of the houses of the place du Morbihan(current Pl Gambetta) was completed in 1843.  The square was restored in 1976, which gave rise to the destruction of the surviving arches of the old St. Vincent bridge. New road works, in 2005, brought to light a last ark still in condition. The free space is almost entirely used by the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Very nice indeed!!!

vannes

vannes

Located on the right bank of the port, the Promenade de la Rabine walkway is made up of a long alley of trees stretching about 800 meters between the Esplanade of the Port to the north and the docks of the commercial port to the south. The construction of a wharf and the destruction of the Saint-Julien Chapel in 1740 allowed the widening of the rows of trees in front of the convent of Carmelites barefooted in 1745. As the docks expanded southwards, the Promenade de la Rabine was extended. In 1887, the extension of the promenade beyond the Santière, to the Pont-Vert. More info here: Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Port of Vannes

The Marina has a capacity to host 280 boats on pontoons. It can accommodate 34 boats on dead body. The port of Vannes has a visitor area for your stopovers with 60 places available. More on the Marina here: boaters site on the marina of Vannes

And more from the city of Vannes: City of Vannes on the Marina

vannes

vannes

Some further webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Vannes

Tourist office of Brittany on Vannes

And a site on sea levels that change every day so check if coming by boat or surfing etc. The Tides of the Gulf of Morbihan and Vannes

There you go something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want… Enjoy le Port of Vannes.

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

April 26, 2019

Wines of my belle France!

So here I am in one of my all time best hobbies, wines! Once in a while I dwell into the world of wines in my posts; its a habit to be away from old stones sometimes ! One of the pleasures of mankind , and much abuse these days of zero tolerance for some, it is still the motor that moves our civilization. Therefore, let me tell you a bit on things about wine happenings in my belle France!

You need to keep up with the weather to know who is doing what, and then choose the best known producers from it to maximize your pleasure of drinking these bottles later. As we deal with nature, and know it best, weather is key factor 1.

Since the beginning of April, French vineyards have been experiencing frost episodes, especially Bordeaux, Burgundy and Beaujolais, with consequences that are still difficult to measure but seem less dramatic than two years ago. In the Bordeaux region, the cold shot struck for two consecutive nights. Overall 5%  of the vineyard  was touched. In Burgundy, Chablis was hardest hit by this frost dry, with wind. If it is too early to evaluate all the damage, the Chardonnay looks like it lost against the Gamay, no matter what happens. In the Beaujolais, making it both violent and early. The most affected areas are in the lowland and lower slopes (less than 200 meters above sea level), especially the appellations Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages (towards Belleville, Saint-Georges de Reneins and the Valley of the Azergues).

How about that huge space we call Languedoc, its really a country of wines and coming on strong with its Rosés to the detriment of sweeter white wines.

In 2018, the immense vineyard of Languedoc, which stretches from Nîmes to the Spanish border, descending from the foothills of the Massif Central to those of the Pyrenees, produced nearly 2.5 million hectolitres of rosé wines, a 25% leap in two years. In the Languedoc, the wine was long before red table wines. It became more and more rosé and festive, under the influence of a global trend drawn by Provence, which could give the winegrowers the comfort to manage their agro-ecological turn. Rosé now represents 16% of the region’s production, compared to 10% 10 years ago. The Languedoc is by far the first producer in France with some 30% of the total. In the region, the success of rosés, are not the same for organic wines and  niches such as the terraces of Larzac, the Livinière or the Pic-Saint-Loup also masks the problems encountered by the Muscats, sweet wines (Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Lumel, Frontignan…) less in fashion, when they lost  20% volume in 10 years. The Rosés are it.

And Burgundy is fighting it on! The UK and US markets are crucial, whereas between 2014 and 2018, Burgundy wine sales in the European Union declined from 41 to 38 million bottles. The Burgundian winegrowers, who sell one bottle out of two abroad for revenues flirting with the billion euros, see with concern the protectionist threats of US President Donald Trump and the even delayed specter of the exit of Great Britain from the EU. They remain substantial, with almost half of the volumes exported. Canada has become a benchmark market. The province of Quebec is the most interesting because it is the fifth export market for Burgundy. South Korea , a small rich country that could look like Japan in a few years shows potential. In the longer term, India and its billion inhabitants where free trade would go pretty well, or China market, more complicated at administrative level and where tariffs are higher. All seek the international markets for volume and profits. Expansion and marketing are in order here.

Some prices in France for you to compare these are primeurs prices or before the harvest ok. The prices are all H.T (hors taxe) meaning before TVA sales taxes. And of course, my favorite bottles only, a sample.

CHÂTEAU D’ARMAILHAC  Pauillac, 5th Cru Classé  2010 : 41 euros – 2011 : 42,20 euros – 2012 : 30 euros – 2013 : 26,80 euros – 2014 : 28 euros – 2015 : 33,90 euros – 2016 : 38,10 euros – 2017 : 36,70 €

CHÂTEAU CLERC MILON  Pauillac, 5th Cru Classé  2010 : 60 euros – 2011 : 50,70 euros – 2012 : 37 euros – 2013 : 35,3 euros – 2014 : 40 euros – 2015 : 50,80 euros – 2016 : 59,50 euros – 2017 : 59,30 €

CHÂTEAU DUHART-MILON  Pauillac,  4th Cru classé  2010 : 130 euros – 2011 : 82,50 euros – 2012 : 59,9 euros – 2013 : 55 euros – 2014 : 48 euros – 2015 : 55,20 euros – 2016 : 63,50 euros – 2017 : 55,20 €

CHÂTEAU MOUTON-ROTHSCHILD Pauillac, 1st Cru Classé  2010 : 1 000 euros – 2011 : 478,40 euros – 2012 : 282 euros – 2013 : 250 euros – 2014 : 282 euros – 2015 : 450 euros – 2016 : 495 euros – 2017 : 410 €

Second wine of  Château Mouton-Rothschild,  LE PETIT MOUTON DE MOUTON-ROTHSCHILD 2012 : 78 euros – 2013 : 78 euros – 2014 : 92 euros – 2015 : 120 euros – 2016 : 155 euros

White wine of Château Mouton-Rothschild   AILE D’ARGENT DE MOUTON ROTHSCHILD Bordeaux Prix : 56,50 euros – 2015 : 60 euros – 2017 : 64 €

CHÂTEAU PONTET-CANET  Pauillac, 5th Cru Classé 2010 : 145 euros – 2011 : 90,80 euros – 2012 : 67,40 euros – 2013 : 67,40 euros – 2014 : 75 euros – 2015 : 85 euros – 2016 : 129,60 euros – 2017 : 96 €

My near and beloved vineyards of the Loire, between Tours and Saumur, the vineyards of Bourgueil and Chinon face each other and offer a tasty stopover in the Loire and Vienne river basins. Touraine undoubtedly has its grand visitor centers of Ussé, Rivau, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais or Villandry. It is starting from Tours, which deserves its own respects. It is Villandry, Langeais, then Saint-Patrice and Ingrandes-de-Touraine that we must rally then, to the extreme east of the vineyard of Bourgueil. At Ingrandes, take the road D35 for about 1, 7 km and turn right towards the Peu Muleau. Continue on the small paved road under the forest, at the top of the hillside. The view is splendid !. It is good to step in the heart of the most beautiful terroir of the appellation Bourgueil, (yes indeed)  in Benais,  then Restigné (Domaine de la Chivalerie), Bourgueil (Domaine de La Butte), then Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (stop at Frédéric Mabileau and Yannick Amirault), in the heart of wine-growing villages with charm still intact. You can then return to Bourgueil before crossing the Loire and spinning westward to Candes-Saint-Martin via the road  D7. The landscape is of serene beauty in Candes and Montsoreau, not far from the confluence of the Vienne and the Loire rivers

And of course, it begins to be feld. In New York, there is a real approach of liquor stores  and restaurateurs to go to the discovery of unknown things; they are the ones who also make the trends and its benefitting  the Loire. In ten years, exports of white Loire wines in the US market doubled, leaping from 42 000 to 86 000 hectoliters, or 11.4 million bottles sold last year, according to the figures of the professional body InterLoire. And the value tripled to reach 67 million euros of turnover in 2018, synonymous with a rise in range. The Sancerre caracole in the lead, in front of the wines based on Sauvignon or Chenin, emblematic grape of the Loire Valley (includes region of Centre-Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire), not forgetting the Muscadet. The big export is increasingly seen as a real outlet by the winegrowers of the Loire who see, like all the French wine-growing actors, the downturn of the internal market on one side and the consumer boom in the United States, world leader, on the other. The French system of appellations is really interesting because we do not sell a grape variety, we sell a history, a landscape, a culture. Yes indeed, and I have put some winegrowers there in touch with my old reliable sources in the US!

The 4 architectural cellars to visit in France! Some of the newer trend of wine tasting, history ,and architecture on all in one for the visitors appeals. Some of the trendy ones in my opinion are:

Chateau La Dominique ,the winery of this Château from Saint-Emilion was redone in 2013 and appealed to the services of Jean Nouvel.

Château Romanin , heading for Provence to discover the Château Romanin. The estate of 58 hectares (42 in wine production, 4 olive groves and 2 almond trees) reveals itself to you between Saint-Rémy-de Provence and Eygalieres.

Château Cheval Blanc, in 2011, Christian de Portzamparc built the winery of the mythical Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion. The winery of the vineyard of Bernard Arnaud is then completely redesigned and made of concrete.

Chai logistique Ballande et Méneret ,located in the heart of Bordeaux between the Le cite du vin (city of wine) and the Musée du Vin et du Négoce (wine and trade museum) , this  winery has been noted in the city. With UFO tunes with its rectangular shape almost too perfect, this block of concrete transforms the night by brighten orange dots, sensations guaranteed.  Inside, these are not less than 4 million bottles that are stored in the 10 000 square meters available.  The must is to go around this building at nightfall, in the pine forest that surrounds it.

And a sentimental favorite with historical wines of my beloved Paris. Montmartre is another world indeed!

The vineyard of Montmartre is most certainly the most famous vineyard in Paris. Its existence is attested from the Gallo-Roman era, but it is in the Middle Ages that the wine-growing activity of the Butte will develop. At the time, the Mount of Martyrs (Montmartre) was quite different from today’s. On the Hill (Butte), the scenery was rather bucolic. There were mainly fields, vines and some mills.  In 1133-1134, King Louis VII founded the Royal Abbey of the Dames de Montmartre, at the top of the Hill (Butte), for his mother Adelaide of Savoy. In 1147 the construction ends. It is Eugene III, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and the Abbot of Cluny who dedicate the land and they plant the first vineyard of the Abbey.

Winemakers start cultivating their own vines and offer cheap wines such as “Le Clos Berthaud”, “La Goutte d’Or”, “Le Sacalie”, “La Sauvageonne” ,and later the “Le Picolo” . The wine of Montmartre is even known for its diuretic qualities. The setting up of the General Farmers  (fermiers généraux) wall around Paris in 1785 will greatly expand the Butte. To avoid paying taxes on wine, Parisians will drink it in Montmartre. Guinguettes (riverside cafes) and cabarets develop on the Butte in the image of the Moulin de La Galette, the Moulin Rouge or the Trianon. The Butte has become a festive and artistic place where wine flows.  In the middle of the 19C, the vineyards declined with urbanization and the development of the quarry exploitation of the Butte. The competition of wines from sunny regions and the arrival of phylloxera will mark a stop at the vineyards of Montmartre. In 1928, the vines disappeared completely.

But in 1930, the inhabitants of Montmartre led by the cartoonist Francisque Poulbot, mobilized against the construction of buildings on the vacant lot of 12 rue Cortot, which formerly housed the house and the garden of the writer Aristide Bruant. They transform the vague terrain into liberty square (square de la liberté) and they plant a tiny vineyard there. Three years later, three thousand thomery plants and three Morgon vines as well.  Today, the Clos-Montmartre is the smallest vineyard in France! It represents two thousand vines and twenty-seven different grape varieties, which produce approximately 1800 bottles of Clos-Montmartre each year. The bottles are sold at auction and the profits are donated to the social works of the City/Town Hall of Paris. An event each year not to miss, the Vendages! 86th edition coming up October 9-13, 2019! More here: Official Fêtes des Vendages de Montmartre

There you go another magical thing to do in my belle France, drink the best wines in the world. Often, imitated but never overall surpassed!  Enjoy them en vino veritas!

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

 

 

 

 

April 23, 2019

The Presqu’ile of Quiberon!!!

On a calm cool evening at home , let me tell you a bit more of my local area.  Well this is by far the best area that I have seen in my region. The Quiberon is actually a peninsula( presqu’ile is almost island in French)  jetting out from mainland France into the Atlantic ocean in the department of Morbihan no 56 in Brittany.

quiberon

You are best get here by car from Paris A13 towards Rouen, then Caen, then there take the A84 towards Rennes, then the N24 direction Lorient or get off from the N24 to the N166 direction Vannes then N165 direction Lorient. You can do it from Paris on the A11 direction Le Mans but higher tolls. The trains get you to Vannes or Auray, from Roissy CDG or Montparnasse in Paris, and one ride to Quiberon during july and August, call the Tire Bouchon from Auray train station. There is ,also, bus line 1 TIM from Auray train station.. As always , I come here by car, is only about 40 minutes by car from my house, and find easy parking by the side of the church and near the tourist office, in front of the gare or train station, just 5 minutes walking to the tourist office and city center. Or if come early like we do just park at parking Varquez after the morning market on Saturdays!

quiberon

You really know you are entering the peninsula after the isthmus of Plouharnel and you come into the Fort of Penthiévre , still a military post. This is at before entering the second important town in the peninsula, St Pierre de Quiberon .  You can visit the memorial to resistance fighters in the region who were shot by the nazis, now a wonderful cross stand and a great view of ocean and nearby beaches. There is, also, a museum to the wars of the west or chouans. I have other posts in my blog on them.

Once in the big town of Quiberon, which you entered on the main road by the train station before heading into city center and the beach areas or by the wild coast (côte sauvage) along the cliffs and once see the castle of Turpault (private) you are in town. Again written on these areas in previous posts in my blog. Once in town you can move nicely with the Petit Train or litle train. Allows for a quick sightseeing and pick the best to come back in details , the info is here  Petit train of Quiberon

Of course, walking is best and this is gorgeous to do along the beaches.

The beaches are wonderful if for a short time they remind me of the ones grew up with , the Grande Plage just next to Place Hoche , the city center of Quiberon is wonderful, just go in and out secure and with all amenities. You have a wonderful excuse to walk, along the Grande Plage or Big Beach to  Port Maria  (where the docks are to visit the nearby islands) and the nice  Casino, the so call Promenade de la Plage ,and Boulevard Chanard are very nice, and all along city center you have the field of an old town but a beach town as well with numerous shops,restos, bars, etc to keep you busy for a while.

quiberon

We do enjoy the Grande plage or big beach, the center of it all here. It has kiddies areas, and grownups. Large beach with white sandy sands and wide enough to play games. The peninsula at its tip in Quiberon has many other beaches, such as Govino, Goulvars, and Conguel, this last one at the tip of the peninsula which has gorgeous views of the island of Belle Ilê ,here you find picnic areas, campings, white sandy sands horse backriding, and nearby aerplane lessons.

My favorite site on beaches Plages TV on the Grande Plage also my favorite here: Plages TV on Grande Plage in English

quiberon

quiberon

For some plays and dancing at night ,you can rely on the Casino, nice views of the beach/ocean and good restaurant. The official webpage is at Casino of Quiberon

quiberon

I give some places to eat all around the beach at Grande Plage, wonderful places ,they are our hangouts so if in town let me know ok.

You will once again have your first glass of wine or beer at the Café Hoche resto in city center by the Place Hoche. More info here: Tourist office of Morbihan on Cafe Hoche

Quiberon

And of course, another great favorite that I have even done a post on it, Esplanade Hoche at Pl Hoche across from the one above. More here: Esplanade Hoche Cafe

quiberon

My lunches, the Restaurant Le Colibri  is a great spot, people watching par excellence and the prices right and food good, can’t ask for more lol! at 1 boulevard Chanard, and even you can have your breakfast here ! right at the tip of the beach entrance. More info here: Restaurant Le Colibri Quiberon

quiberon

There is a resto bistro right on the sand call Fisher’s Club, we had our beers, and tapas of red peppers with goat cheese, calamar in its sauce, ham and cheese rolls, codfish fritters, with a great look at the beach, grandiose!!!  Very nice cool place , to relax by the sea, sublime, and even kids space to boot. classic on the Big beach of Quiberon.   More info here: Fishers’ club at the Grande Plage of Quiberon on the sands!

Quiberon

For dessert, we went over across to the Quai des Glaces or Ice wharf  parlor to have our 3  ,4 and even 5 scoops of ice creams like marc de bourgogne, pruneaux d’armagnac, strawberries for me with churros or chichis as call here. At the place du Hoche just going down to the beach at Grande Plage. Wonderful friendly service always , great ices and good prices. They do have a FB page.

quiberon

Finally we had our in between lunch and dinner meal lol!!!And we have come back as well several times. La Cabana, (sadly closed 2020) for us right at Pl Hoche, at the entrance to the Big beach. . We are always very  surprise at the attention and service given even in a full resto day, and prices correct.

quiberon

For info on eating places in Quiberon, here is the tourist office pdf file listing:  Tourist office of Quiberon pdf file listing of places to eat and drink

The biggest market day is Saturday morning at the Place du Varquez; very popular with all the products fresh even the fish lol!! I am in heavens!! but also clothings, artisanal, etc.We come at the end for best prices and cheap parking.

Quiberon

Overall the town and area is wonderful ,highly recommended, and the season really starts by July 14 to August 30 or so, weather permitting, come early in the morning to avoid the only road that reaches this heaven in paradise, you wont be disappointed once you are here. I will make it my hang out place for the next stage in my life.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Quiberon in English

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Quiberon

Tourist office of Brittany on Quiberon

Tourist office of Quiberon on the beaches in English

This is a paradise especially in Summer months, compare to any and believe me I was born on a Caribbean beach and travel to many around the world. Enjoy wonderful Quiberon and its beaches ,good for the whole family!

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

April 23, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVIII

Ok so on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and the same at Madrid, except the rain temps of 53F (11C) there and 61F (16C)  with me. Its time to tell you a bit more about my beloved Spain!

Update on the news the new mayor of Madrid has cancelled the regulations to enter the center of Madrid.

The DGT’s (Direccion General de Tràfico) environmental label, which will be compulsory since April 24th, must be visible in your vehicle to enter the Madrid (more on the fashion in Europe to charge you more to come to the city without adequate public transports or park and relay garages), something that will be a minor infringement of the ordinance and that will be associated with fines of up to 100 euros. All labels can be purchased at the post offices, and also in several workshops, thanks to the agreement of the DGT with the Spanish Confederation of Workshops. To purchase it in person, it is essential to present the registration  of the vehicle for which the sticker is requested, and the DNI (personal identification Documento Nacional de Identidad) of the owner of the vehicle or the person authorized for it. In addition, you can buy  online ; the sticker has a price of five euros at any site. The label would reach the selected home address within three days, but due to the high volume of orders, it may take up to 10 working days.

There are four types of stickers, depending on the emissions of the vehicle: Zero Emissions,  ECO, C ,and  B.  Madrid delimits the motorized access to much of the center of the city depending on the levels of pollution. Cars with labels B or C can only access the Central Madrid area if they stay in a car park, but never to cross the perimeter. They will also be able to enter if they have the invitation of a resident registered in the area, since each one has 20 invitations per month. Cars with ECO or zero tags can access the Central Madrid area without any risk of fine. All registered in the area of Central Madrid, regardless of the label that have their vehicles, can circulate without problem and park in your car park or in the area , either blue or green. If at any time you need to access the city, either by tourism or for work, you will have to have visible the sticker of the DGT that corresponds according to the emissions of your car.So visitors if renting a car make sure it has the corresponding sticker! More on the DGT here: http://www.dgt.es/es/la-dgt/quienes-somos/estructura-organica/jefaturas-provinciales/madrid/madrid.shtml

New chapter in the family war of the Alvarez Mezquíriz. The family owned the Bodegas Vega Sicilia and Grupo Eulen again have the swords in high, this time, by the decision of the five litigious  sons ‘ of the founder,  Pablo, Emilio, Elvira, Marta and Juan Carlos, to modify the statutes of El Enebro SA Owner of Bodegas Vega Sicilia,(the most historically famous Spanish wine label)  to prevent a shareholder from forcing the sale of his or her share if the company does not share dividends. It has convened an extraordinary meeting, next May 24th, called to approve  “The modification of the social statutes. María José Álvarez, who controls 59% of Eulen through the company Daval Control, has a 16% stake in the El Enebro. In 2013, its five brothers sold their shares of Eulen with Enebro for 100 million euros, operation which is contested judicially. Info in newspaper The Confidencial 23/04/2019 .The wine here: http://www.vega-sicilia.com/en/

Premio Cervantes award given to her by the King Felipe VI  this  past April 23, Day of the Book, the Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale (Montevideo, 1923) has offered an ironical apology for an affirmation of the author of Don Quixote regarding the craft of poetry to which she has applied her whole  literary career that still today, at her 95 years, is still in full activity. A ceremony held in the auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares has recalled her readings “Libres y Tardias” or free and late of Don Quijote in an illustrated edition that already read as a teenager in her  native Montevideo and immediately fascinated by the respect that showed Cervantes for her character. Vitale’s speech has followed the usual model of the genre: Homage to his predecessors, Cervantes, Garcilaso, Baudelaire, vindication of the Spanish language, rejuvenated and revitalized on the American shores ,brief biographical exegesis and acknowledgments.  The spider’s thread woven by the poet has succeeded in trapping the author of Don Quijote, to pluck it from prose and recover it for poetry, the creative imagination of the award-winning poet. Well done! Official Culture Ministry of Spain: http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/cultura/areas/libro/mc/premios-cervantes-40/presentacion.html

And how about that weather huh! Always gives the current but what about a bit ahead , well call in the AEMET or the meteorological agency of Spain. They say, today Tuesday the rains and showers will affect the Atlantic and Cantabrian slopes and in the north of Aragon and Catalonia, where there are likely to be occasional storms before the crossing of an Atlantic front, reported by the AEMET. Rainfall may be extended to the rest of the peninsula throughout the day, except in the Levante coast in northern Huesca and Catalonia, rainfall will be locally strong and persistent. In the Canary Island there will be probability of rainfall in the north, without ruling out some afternoon showers in the rest of islands. During the Wednesday, temperatures will not vary too much, but if the wind blows strongly in many areas of the interior and coastline. In fact, the AEMET has already activated several yellow warnings (risk) by wind. On Thursday, another front will leave rain in the western half of the country, in the surroundings of the Pyrenees, and can be strong in the west of Galicia and Pyrenees. As of Friday,the Anticyclone will again act of presence and therefore the rains disappear. Temps will be accordingly low before going up by Friday. Official webpage here: http://www.aemet.es/en/portada

Beautiful and unknown off the beaten path places of my Spain:

The Manchuela, between the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca, this natural region comprising about 25 municipalities is a gem from all points of view. It includes wonders like the Hoz del Júcar with spectacular villages including Jorquera and Alcalá. But also the valley of the Cabriel that can be seen in all its grandeur from the lookout or Mirador del Ensueno. Official in Spanish more info on Manchuela: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

The Pedroches, this region of near Cordoba hidden in the foothills of Sierra Morena that connects with Extremadura but also with Castilla La Mancha, is one of the best kept secrets of Andalusia. They call attention to their huge meadows where they feed  one of the best hams porks or  Pata Negra, best in the World. More on the Pedroches here: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

And you have four towns of prominence of Castilla La Mancha because of their connection to Don Quijote have joined together to design ; the country of Don Quijote, a dream route, a new planning for your next trip and by car is glorious! More on the below towns in Spanish more info here: http://paisdelquijote.es/

Very glad to tell you that tonight on Spain TVE the route was shown in the program  España Directo that I watch every night; it is awesome do it. cheers

Alcázar de San Juan, this town in the province of Ciudad Real is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, so they claim. In its Church of Santa Maria La Mayor (St. Mary the Eldest) , you can see a baptism game on whose margins a manuscript reads “This was the author of the story of Don Quijote “, words that Don Blas Nasarre would sign in 1748 when he found the baptism game in the name of Miguel. There you can also visit the Museum of Hidalgo, located in the old palace known as the Casa del Rey (king’s house), where the historical and ethnographic heritage of Castilla-La Mancha is exhibited and disseminated. The Formma Museum, where the Manchego pottery is shown, its spectacular palace and ecclesiastical ensemble or the windmills of the Cerro de San Antón are another of the attractions of Álcazar de San Juan.

Argamasilla de Alba;  in the cave of Medrano you can visit the place where Cervantes was prisoner and who saw the birth of the history of Don Quijote. The castle of Peñarroya, the Church of San Juan Bautista or the Pósito de la Tercia are another of the obligatory visits in this locality that serves as gateway to the Natural Park of the Lagunas de Ruidera, a place that hides one of the great wetlands of the geography  of Spain.

Campo de Criptana has the original windmills that inspired Miguel de Cervantes to narrate the most famous adventure of universal literature: Don Quijote against the Giants. Its Sierra and the district of the Albaicín are the zenith of the literary Cervantes universe and paradigm of the Manchego quaintness. There is no better place to contemplate all the stain in its splendor and one of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. It is best to go through the Pósito Real, former bank to give loans in kind to farmers in times of shortage. The caves, the snow well or the Sara Montiel Museum (great Spanish actress and singer), complete this quixotic kingdom.

Finally, you get to El Toboso , the homeland of universal Love;  the home of Dulcinea. In its streets and squares we find phrases carved in the walls of the facades, which honor the chapter IX of the second part of the book, which narrates the visit of Don Quijote and Sancho to El Toboso in search of Dulcinea. The Casa de Dulcinea Museum, which belonged to Mrs. Ana Martínez Zarco de Morales, to which Cervantes immortalized as Dulcinea (sweet Ann or Dulce Ana or Dulcinea), maintains part of its 16C structure; Typical example of the houses of gentlemen and wealthy Manchego workers. Several museums, such as the Cervantino or the graphic humour “Dulcinea”, as well as the set of churches and convents make up one of the places that keep a love story without borders.

And finally, to find something classy, good, vintage, second hand, griffés stores in Madrid, my family swear to these ones; enjoy it the shopping!

Vintalogy:  It is the largest vintage clothing store in Europe and boasts that there you can find accessories that are not in any other second-hand clothing store. Most of their garments come from the United States although more special ones, such as dresses and jacket and trouser sets, are selected by themselves one by one. At Calle Atocha 10. More info here: https://vintalogy.es/

La Mona Checa:  It is located at the beginning of what is known as the ‘ vintage ‘ shopping street of Madrid, Calle Velarde. From its beginning in Tribunal until its end in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo, you will be able to find all kinds of treasures among its different  locations .Calle  Velarde, 3. More in this blog of them: http://lamonacheca.blogspot.com/

So enjoy Spain, everything under the sun. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 20, 2019

Basilica of Notre Dame du Paradis at Hennebont!

And I need to take you back to my beloved home dept 56 of Morbihan in my beautiful adopted Brittany. There is so much to see and I feel I just touch the top, there is so much to see and see in depth, hopefully will have life to see them all. Hoping and praying, help me too. I thank you for reading my blog for the last 9,5 years and my almost 9th in the Morbihan!! time flies when having fun they said.

There is a nice fortified town near me that is just a gem and seldom visited even on tourist offices , sort of like an off the beaten path find. I will tell you a bit more of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradise Basilica in Hennebont.

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The Basilica of Our Lady of Paradise located in Hennebont dept 56 of the Morbihan in the region of Brittany; it has the status of minor Basilica.

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The project of a chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame is presented by François Michart, an ironworker, in 1513, on the place du Paradis. The first stone is laid in 1514 and the unfinished Church is consecrated in 1524. The chapel serves as a parish church from 1590. The Church is of flamboyant Gothic style, and is noticed by the boldness of its porch and the richness of its ornamentation.  The Church was elevated to the rank of minor Basilica by Pope Pius X on January 17, 1913. The Basilica Church Notre Dame du Paradis was miraculously spared by the Nazis bombing of1944, when a large part of the city was destroyed.

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The imposing Bell Tower. high of nearly 65 meters, its location on one of the high points of the city makes it a real sight. Moreover, when folks came on a pilgrimage from the west, the first point that could be seen was baptized because of that “mountain of salvation”. As soon as they saw her for the first time, the pilgrims were already saved.   The tower is divided into three parts. The base that opens with a vast porch whose elevation is made even more vertiginous by the carved decoration that adorns it. The massive buttresses are lighted by the presence of niches which may have housed statues   and small vegetal sculptures; at the first Gallery level. From the first balustrade, here is the drum that is enclosed the Bell-room, the only room in the building with a chimney, and the belfry with the bells. And finally, all of lace, the arrow itself that will know many times and restorations. Attached to the Bell Tower, the two turrets of stairs   one of which no longer exist   allow access to the upper parts and still visually lighten the mass of the Bell Tower. The particular color of the granite drawn from the old quarries of Locoyarne gives the Bell Tower a beautiful blond hue especially in the end of the day.

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Among the architectural features of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradis, you will noticed as soon as you penetrated into its walls the vast nave formed by the dark nave and the aisles pierced by large bays to bring the light in. This rather dark nave allows to highlight the most important part of a it; the choir. This polygonal choir receives a flood of light from the five stained glass windows that open into its walls. These stained glass windows are so vast that the walls that surround them seem, in the light, almost non-existent. Now masked by the organ, a canopy opens above the western gates; way to add light to the bottom of the nave. This emphasis on light is one of the characteristics of Gothic architecture. The oldest organ in the Morbihan which dates from 1652.

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In 1652 an epidemic ravaged the region, and nothing seemed to be able to stop it that the intervention of the Virgin to whom the inhabitants promised a silver statue that would be carried out in procession each year. Hennebont was spared and offered to the Church a silver statue in 1700, which unfortunately was melted in the Mint of Nantes in 1792 ,during the French revolution.. Since a new silver bronze statue made in 1818 replaces it. There is a painting evoking this episode: the vow of 1699, work of 1807 by François-Henri Mulard.. See inside the stained glass by Max Ingrand retracing the great events of the history of Hennebont.

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An imposing Basilica Church on the now name Place du Maréchal Foch of Hennebont. Another gem of a monument to visit here and walking in town is glorious. We parked by the river basin just behind the ramparts or up behind the Basilica each time in town. We are just 28 km or about 17 miles from it along the expressway N165 direction Brest.

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your visit here are

City of Hennebont on the Basilica ND du Paradis

Tourist office of Lorient Brittany south on Hennebont

Tourist office of Brittany on Hennebont

et Voilà you have it all on the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis and a great part of the city of Hennebont history. A welcome stop easy on and off the N165 expressway and train service abound. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

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

 

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