Archive for April 16th, 2019

April 16, 2019

The grand lady Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

This is my first post historical only on Notre Dame de Paris. Here is a list of what is save most and not. This was due to the fire of April 2019.

What was save.

The relics of the passion of Christ; The Crown of thorns is the most precious relic preserved in Notre Dame. According to Christian tradition, she was laid on the head of Jesus with his crucifixion. Besides the Holy Crown, Notre-Dame preserves two other relics of the passion of Christ: a piece of the cross and a nail of the passion, which could be saved. The tunic of St. Louis the white adornment of King St. Louis was evacuated from the Cathedral at the beginning of the fire, as was the discipline of St. Louis. The 16 copper statues that adorned the great arrow of Notre-Dame, now destroyed, were withdrawn four days before the fire. They are currently in a safe place in Périgueux, where they are being restored. These representations of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists, Matthew, mark, Luke and John, date back to the great restoration conducted by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 1860’s.

The topping of an altar and several elements of an altar were taken out of the Inferno: six candlesticks, two candleholders, a Korean Holy Martyr, a Virgin and child. The two towers and the large stained glass window of the South façade were spared by the fire. The North and South rosettes, the two largest, are 13 metres in diameter. They are represented in medallions, prophets, Saints, Angels, Kings, scenes of the life of Saints, etc. The three rosettes present in their center, respectively, the Virgin, the child Jesus and the Christ in Majesty. The cross of the altar of Notre-Dame,

Some minor damage were the great organ saved, but the organ was not burned in the fire that ravaged the building, but its structure could suffer damage inflicted by the smoke. The small organ, which was under the arrow was damaged by the fire .

What was destroyed . Done between 1630 and 1707, the Corporation of the Parisian goldsmiths offered every May 1 a canvas to the Cathedral. On these 76 “large Mays “, 13 are today presented in the different chapels of the nave. “There are four very large ones, notably a Laurent de la Hyre, who a priori are destroyed.

What has been destroyed the arrow, the rooster, and its relics . The arrow had already been reconstituted by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19C. Three relics were nestled in the Rooster perched on the arrow: a parcel of the Holy Crown of thorns, a relic of Saint-Denis and one of St. Genevieve.

The “forest ” is lost , the roof was erase by the flames. This ensemble, of which most of the elements date from the 13C is one of the most beautiful structures in France. For architectural historians, it is a considerable loss of a heritage that tells a story and a know-how of artisans, sometimes from father to son.

The Minister of Culture has indicated that the “major parts” of Notre Dame treasure are safe at the safe of the City/Town Hall of Paris.

She will be back already 400M euros raised and counting!!! yes indeed as by now there are 922M euros raised in 2020. I have several posts on the updates.See posts

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

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April 16, 2019

Château Museum de Saint Malo!

So I am sticking around the wonderful Corsair city of Saint Malo. Lots of things to see here, and very nice old feel of my Brittany. This is again in dept 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine (ah forgot to tell you the name of the dept as usual in France are rivers) . And ,again, there are other posts on St Malo but feel the castle deserves a post of its own.

Therefore, on a cloudy rainy cool 7C weather in my neck of the woods, let me tell you a bit more on the Castle of St Malo.

The Château of Saint-Malo was built between the 15C and the 18C and located to the East of the closed town of Saint-Malo in Ille-et-Villaine dept 35 of the region of Brittany. The castle was built by the Dukes of Brittany to ensure the defense of the city of Saint-Malo.

saint malo

Saint-Malo, which had been ceded by the Duke of Brittany to the King of France in 1395, was returned in 1415 by the King of France Charles VI to Duke Jean V of Brittany, his own son-in-law. Shortly thereafter, in 1424, the latter began building the future castle by constructing the Grand Donjon on the isthmus which at that time was the only crossing point between the closed city and the mainland. The Grand Donjon is based on a portion of the 14C Saint-Malo primitive enclosure, namely the Petit Donjon and the western courting. However, the Castle of Saint Malo has the particularity to detach itself from the ramparts. The Grand Donjon is a high-level construction with a horseshoe. The result is an original silhouette with its large gable facing the city, its high roof which partly covers a path of crenate round on machicoulis and its two watchtowers.

saint malo

In 1475 the Duke of Brittany François II built the tour La Générale ( General tower) which is less high than the Grand Donjon, but more massive. His daughter Anne of Brittany, and future Queen of France, made built from 1498 to 1501 the Quic-en-Groigne tower so named because it would have been built against the will of the Local Malouins. The Duchess Anne of Brittany engraved the inscription “who will be so grumpy, for that is my pleasure”.

saint malo

In 1590 the Castle of Saint Malo was stormed by the inhabitants of Saint-Malo who wanted to prevent the Governor from delivering the city to supporters of the Protestant King Henri IV. The Governor is killed during the riot. In the 17C the bastion de la Galère in the form of a ship’s bow complements the defenses. During the reign of king Louis XIV, Vauban had changed the curtains and the upper parts of the towers to allow the installation of artillery pieces from 1690. Two buildings, acting as barracks, are built along the north and east wings.

saint malo

In 1765, king Louis XV had the Attorney General of the Parliament of Brittany, La Chalotais, imprisoned in the Castle.  At the French revolution the courting linking the Quic-en-Groigne towers and the General tower are suppressed. In the 19C, the castle became a barracks. This condition lasted until 1921. On that date, the municipality bought a part of the castle to install in 1927, the History Museum.

At the time of the liberation of Saint-Malo in 1944, during WWII, the castle was heavily damaged and subsequently restored.  The inner courtyard of the castle is bordered to the north and east by barracks dating from the early 18C. In the east side, the Mayor’s Office is adorned with carved woodwork from the late 17C, from an old ship-owner hotel in the city destroyed in 1944. Behind this building is the courtyard of the Galère. This name was given to the triangular bastion in the peak form which was added to the castle in the 16C and which was strengthened by Vauban because of its analogy with a ship’s bow.  Today the old barracks have been arranged and host the services of the City/Town Hall of Saint-Malo while the General Tower and the Grand Donjon house the Museum of history of the city and countryside Malouin or musée d’Histoire de la Ville et du Pays Malouin created in 1862.

The Museum occupies the Grand Donjon on three levels, the Tour du Général  on three levels and the Chapel of the Château de Saint-Malo. Its collections retain more than 8 000 pieces concerning the history of the city of Saint-Malo, the local ethnography, the memories of the captains in the long course around Cap-Horn (in the Solidor Tower).

The halls include paintings, models, objects by theme such as the Roman period to the voyage of Jacques Cartier; the peak of the port in the 17-18C; 19C personalities, such as Chateaubriand, Lammenais, Surcouf etc; fishing in Newfoundland; the way of life of the Malouins in the 17-18C; works by artists from the 19-20C. The Chapel contains, among others, liturgical objects and portraits of clerics. At the top of the Grand Donjon, in the watchtowers, the visitor can see a beautiful view panoramic of the  outskirts of the close town and the harbor.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

City of Saint Malo and the Museum

Tourist office of St Malo on the ramparts fortification

Tourist office of Ille et Vilaine dept 35 on the Museum castle

Tourist office of Brittany on Saint Malo

In all a wonderful tour of a very old nice city of Saint Malo and its Castle museum that is a must to visit. Hope it helps you enjoy the visit.

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

April 16, 2019

The Jardin du Parc at Vitré!

So I am moving a bit inland now into the wonderful dept 35 of Ille et Vilaine still in my beautiful Brittany. Again, I have been here several times and passed by it even more, there is so much to see in lovely Vitré, see my previous posts on it

However, I again believe this park deserves to be known more, because its beautiful and historical at the time. A perfect excuse to walk it and indulges in its beauty and nature right in the middle of the city. I will tell a bit more, just a bit on the Jardin du Parc , also serving as the Jardin des Plantes or garden of the park or floral park, all of it!

The Jardin du Parc or Garden of the Park is an English garden located in the heart of the city of Vitré.  The Park was created in 1867 by the French architect Georges Aumont and is referenced by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of France.


The Jardin des Plantes or Jardin du Parc of Vitré covers 7 hectares at an altitude of about 100 meters. It was built on a stream, making it possible to create the pond, in the heart of the park. The land would have been acquired by the city of Vitré in 1867 to the widow of the Baron Henri Charles de la Trémoille and constitutes part of the park of Château Marie., a 17C castle.

The Jardin du Parc includes,  a Glaciére or ice machine, dating from the 17C, whose inner well allowed to conserve the ice naturally, transformed into fish farming, for nursery in 1904, and renovated in 1989. There is a nice music kiosk, from 1897, destined for the municipal harmony and the music of the 70th infantry regiment. It has the particularity of being in the form of decagon.  A rain gauge from 1885, an Aviary from 1907, a deer enclosure dating from 1887, a statue of Madame de Sévigné from 1911, a garden of aromatic, edible and medicinal plants; and ,also, different games for children are available.





This Jardin du Parc contains a wide variety of trees, including a ginkgo biloba, a cedar of Lebanon, a cedar of the Atlas, a cedar of the Himalayas, a tulip tree of Virginia, a green oak, a Metasequoia, bald Cypress with their pneumatophores and a giant cedar of 44 meters in diameter, appearing in the inventory of remarkable trees of Bretagne (Brittany) and the list of remarkable trees of France since 2012. The park is populated by many species of birds. On the pond you will see  water hens, and mallards ducks.



The entrance to the Jardin du Parc can be done by the Boulevard Châteaubriant, to the West. From Boulevard des Rochers, to the East. Through the Allée Verte or green alley, to the North. By the Avenue des Fonderies, to the South. The entrance to the park is free, all year round and at any time.

As usual from me, here are some webpages to help you plan and visit this pretty park

City of Vitre on its gardens

Tourist office of Vitre on its gardens

Tourist office of dept 35 Ille et Vilaine on the garden

Tourist office of Brittany on the garden

And to add a webpage on Parks and Gardens of France featuring the Jardin du Parc of Vitré

Parks and Gardens of France on Vitré

There you go now you have it all to visit this nice off the beaten path Jardin du Parc as most folks here go for the castles of Vitré and its ND Church; this is a nice family alternative. Enjoy it in nature!

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

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