Archive for May, 2019

May 23, 2019

Landévant,La Gacilly,Lanvaudan,Larmor-Baden in my Morbihan!

And of course, once done, you will know the Morbihan too, and Brittany! Well bear with me, this is a work of love on my beautiful adopted region of my belle France. There is so much , and I feel I am just touching the surface here , believe me. Anyway, here are a bit more on the wonderful towns of Landévant, La Gacilly, Lanvaudan, and Larmor-Baden in my Morbihan!

Landévant is located between Lorient and Vannes on the N165 expressway , and very near me as I go by here when going out to the Finistére dept 29. Of course, Landévant is in the Morbihan dept 56. The town is at the north end of the Étel river. In 1790, Landévant became an independent town! Landévant was a dismemberment of the former parish of Pluvigner . In 1795, takes place the battle of Landévant where several thousands Chouans (rebel for king against the French revolution) obtained victory over the Republican troops( French revolutionaries).

The Church of St. Martin built in 1834. It replaces a 15C Church that has preserved a few animal sculptures. Some carved stones from the old church have been preserved, embedded in the south wall and fragments of inscriptions in Gothic characters giving dates 1413 and 1422. The bell tower, dates from 1857.

Landevant

City of Landevant on heritage

La Gacilly as such   first appears from 1317. In January 1st 2017, a new municipality which retains its original name was created with the administrative status of a new town. It was born from the merger of three former towns, which therefore have the administrative status of a delegated municipality; these are La Chapelle-Gaceline, La Gacilly and Glénac. La Gacilly is 13 km from Redon, 49 km from Vannes, 51 km from Rennes and 78 km from Nantes.

The Church of Saint-Nicolas-de-Myre or Saint-Jean-de-Myre from 1845. This church replaces the old chapel of the castle which once served as parish worship and dated from the 14C and was restored or enlarged in 1626 and 1628. The Church first trivial then parochial of la Gacilly was under the invocation of St. Nicholas. In 1745, the truce of La Gacilly was erected in the parish. The present Church is executed according to the rules of Greek architecture, with portico columns and rich triangular pediment. The church stood on a height, between the city and the old road of Glénac.The first stone of a chapel to the south in 1626, and another to the north in 1628; they were blessed in 1631, and dedicated, that of the north to the Blessed Virgin, and that of the south to St. Nicholas.

la-gacilly

la gacilly

la gacilly

Two events worth mentioning here we had enjoyed are the largest outdoor Photo Festival in France taking place every year from June to October. The Festival “peoples and nature” invades all the streets of the town, revealing images in giant format, exposed outdoors. Of course, my photo skills are still rudimentary lol! More info here: https://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com/

And at La Gacilly you find the home of a world renown firm of Yves Rocher known for its cosmetic product base on natural plants.   You can visit the industrial site the Botanical garden, very nice indeed. More info here: http://www.jardinbotanique-yvesrocher.fr/

City of La Gacilly on heritage

Tourist site on area of Broceliande on La Gacilly

Lanvaudan is best known for its ancient rural habitat which has been largely backed up with its low-cut stone houses and thatched roofs. There is no city/town hall as the town is less than 1K folks , the office locally is at  1,Place de la Mairie.

The Church of Saint-Maudez or Church of Saint-Mandé is at place Saint-Maudé. The parish church was built in 1642 and dedicated to Saint Maudez, a monk of the 5-6C. The first church was mentioned in the 14C. The first was destroyed and a second church was built in 1642. The Church is constructed in a refined way, formed of simples lines, on the basis of a Latin cross plane to a nave and flat bedside walls are built of granite and stone and the roof is covered with slate.

The Interior of the church, albeit very little decorated, contains, in addition to the main altar dedicated to the Saint, two secondary altars dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint Roch . It bears the mark of various stylistic elements borrowed as well from the Greek Antiqué such as in the west gate, and spans of the nave in force between the 15C and the 17C. The continuation at a late date mid-19C of the Breton formula with the porch tower with lateral turrets and open bell tower is perhaps one of the ultimate examples of the genre. In addition, the interior of the church is to be noted, especially for its false vault with starry celestial blue and the preservation of all its furniture from the old sanctuary. It testifies to the wealth of its donors; the Lords under the old regime and the rich farmers in the 19C.

Lanvaudan

Tourist office of Lorient South Brittany on Lanvaudant

The town of Larmor-Baden is located on a peninsula on the banks of the Gulf of Morbihan, 14 km from Vannes and 14 km from Auray. Larmor-Baden has 4 Islands on its territory: the island of Berder (private), connected to the mainland by a submersible roadway, the island of Gavrinis (with a great cairn megalith stone), île Longue and ïle Radenec. The marsh of Pen an Toul occupies about 42 hectares within the town’s territory. This one is separated from the Gulf by a dike equipped with valves, called Pont de Pen an Toul.

In 1857, Larmor is still a village dependent on the parish and the town of Baden. When in August 1858, Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie visited Brittany, the inhabitants of Larmor profited to solicit from their imperial majesties that their section be erected in the branch of the parish of Baden. In 1860, the Imperial decree, which erected the Larmor-Baden Church as a separate branch, was signed by Emperor Napoleon III. But it was only 64 years after the creation of the parish that the steps for the erection of the village of Larmor into the town Larmor-Baden and was finally erected in 1924.

The parish Church of Notre-Dame, blessed on July 29, 1880. It had as godmother of the bells, for the donation the Countess Dillon. Among the statues and paintings that adorn the Church, were donations or works of parishioners, the statue of Notre Dame of Larmor, in polychrome wood, holding a three-masts in her left hand and leaning with her right hand on a naval anchor and the other, a small painting watercolor depicting a brick-goëlette, the “Giralda”, offered by Captain Héno, in gratitude for being released safely, him and his crew, of a terrible storm in the North Atlantic in 1878.

City of Larmor Baden on heritage

Larmor Baden

Larmor Baden

Larmor Baden

Ok so now you have some more! We go around by car mind you , there is public transport in Brittany but a bit behind me think on the rest. Car still king here and to see these beauties is the best way. However, all worth the effort. From in land La Gacilly and is cosmetic fame, to the Gulf coastal of Larmor-Baden, to my backyard of Landévant to rural in country Lanvaudant all is the best off the beaten path stays in my beautiful Morbihan and  lovely Brittany. Hope you enjoy the ride.

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

 

May 23, 2019

Kernascléden,Plouay,Quily,La Chapelle Caro in the Morbihan!!!!

And we go on, on an endless tour of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Brittany in my belle France. The views,sights are indeed endless here and I am doing my best to introduce you to the off the beaten paths of my Brittany. Hope you are enjoying the ride as much as we do. This time a main topic on four wonderful towns, Kernascléden, Plouay, Quily, and La Chapelle Caro!

Kernascléden is a town in a relatively small rural municipality located in the Scorff Valley and connected by its traditions to the country Pourlet . The city center or Bourg here is located 13 km east of Faouët, 11 km west of Guémené-sur-Scorff and 29 km north of Lorient. The construction at Kernascleden of a first Christian sanctuary, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was at the origin of the creation of a pilgrimage on an indefinite date in the locality. The importance of this pilgrimage necessitated the construction of a hospital to welcome pilgrims and the sick. Trade has become a major development and this has led to the construction of a market where a weekly marketplace was held. Around 1420, the first chapel became too small, given the importance of the pilgrimage, or threatening ruin, the family of Rohan, owner of the premises, took the decision to build the present Chapel. Viscount Alain VIII of Rohan opened a construction site that would last about 44 years.

Church of Notre Dame of Kernascléden, is a granite church built in the style of the flamboyant Gothic, and you see on the outside, the beautiful flat bedside, the “men’s Porch” and the “ladies ‘ porch” each supporting a delicately serrated spoof of a shelter the statues of the once-polychrome Saints. These auxiliary entrances are located on the southern façade of the church; the women, separated from the men during the Mass, stood at the bottom of the nave with the children, in front of a space dedicated to the major fairs and festivals of the canton. The multitude of pinnacles with buttresses and other vertical elements is at the origin of the nickname “chapel with a thousand pinnacles”. The steeple itself, with modest dimensions, is in the same plane as the sober west façade. Inside, one of the two frescos of Brittany depicting a macabre dance persists and still underlines the trauma of the great plague of 1356. This work can be dated from the construction of the Church, that is the middle of the 15C and is the only one in the region to be accompanied, on a neighbouring wall, of a representation of hell, particularly evocative and frightening for the faithful of the end of the middle ages. We face the musician Angels dreaming perhaps of a visitor done by the painter Maurice Denis covering the vaults of the nave and choir, scenes of the life of the Virgin and of Jesus chanting pillars and walls. Several elements of the painted décor were recuperated in the middle of the 20C.

kernascleden

kernascleden

kernascleden

The Church also contains another treasure. A colony of bats is housed in its bell tower! That is why, next to the Church, walkers can visit the House of the bat in order to know everything from the mysterious world of these ladies of the night.

City of Kernascléden and its heritage

Plouay historically, it is part of the Kemenet-Héboé and the country of Lorient. The municipality owes to a large extent its fame to the Organization of the Grand Prix de Plouay cyclist event held every year in mid-August. A Brittany classic since 1931. The parish of Plouay is under the patronage of Saint Ouen. During the patron festivals that took place in August various sporting events were organized including a bike race. Thereafter the bike race became the Grand Prix de Plouay, then the Brittany Classic Ouest-France. The town is located 13 km of Hennebont and 19 km of the city of Lorient.

There in Plouay you see the nice Church of Saint Ouen, the Church was built at the end of the 14C, it has a plan in the form of a Latin cross, with two aisles.Its limestone and marble choir develops in three parts: a central panel and two concave wings.All connected  at the beginning of the 18C.In the large niches we can see the statues of Saint Barbara and Saint Eloi who seem contemporary, while in the niche above, the statue of Saint Ouen is older.The altar is of simple form.

City of Plouay on religious heritage

Tourist office of Lorient south Brittany on Plouay in English

plouay

plouay

Quily comes from the old Breton “killi ” or bocage. The town is a dismemberment of the primitive parish of Sérent in the 15C. The parish of Quily once depended on the deanery of Porhoët. Quily was erected as a twon in 1790. The municipality of Quily was first attached to the canton of Guégon, then in 1801 to the canton of Josselin.  Quily became, on 1 January 2016, a municipality delegated to the new town of Val-d’Oust.. Val d’oust is the result of the grouping of the three towns of Le Roc-Saint-André, Quily and La Chapelle-Caro.

We went to Quily on the road D174 , pure country and wonderful ride; big town of 342 inhabitants!, where the main thing to see is the Church of Saint Nicodéme. The Church was originally built as the Church of Notre Dame des Neiges (our lady of snow) built in 1689. The Church is home to altars dedicated to Saint Anne and the Virgin Mary. Under the southern porch is a vault with carved panels of the 16C. Since 1802 the name is that of Saint Nicodéme. Done in Latin Cross style.

New area of Val d Oust on heritage

Quily

We continue from Quily on the road D766A towards La Chapelle-Caro, it takes its name from the family of the Chapelle. This is a break-up of the original parish of Ploërmel. She was nicknamed ‘ the lower-Chapel ‘ or ‘ La Chapelle-sous-Ploërmel’. After having belonged to the great Lordship of Porhoët, La Chapelle-Caro enters the ducal domain in 1168. La Chapelle Caro is elevated to Viscount in 1576, into County in the 17C, and held the lordship of Crévy in 1630.   This parish took the name of “La Chapelle Caro” in the 20C due to its proximity with the town of Caro. It became, on 1 January 2016, a new town of Val-d’Oust. Located on the Ploërmel – Vannes axis, La Chapelle-Caro is located a few kilometers from Ploërmel, but also from Malestroit and Lizio. The town is crossed by the Canal Nantes-Brest.

However, as much as the name the interesting the thing to see here is the Church of Notre Dame, built in 1868 to replace a former treviale church and parish from the 17C, reworked in 1711. The present Church is in the shape of a Latin cross. A square tower is located at the bottom of the nave. The stained glass windows are post–1870. The Church houses a statue of saint Fiacre 16C. A beautiful early 16C processional cross, silver plated on solid wood, is kept in the sacristy; The façade of the Church was restored in 2007 as well as the stained glass windows.

City of Val d’Oust on heritage

La Chapelle Caro

And there you go again, some wonderful off the beaten paths towns of my beautiful Morbihan. We criss cross the department 56 and region of Brittany to show you not only France is the most visited country in the world, but Brittany is the third most visited region of France! Enjoy Kernascléden, Plouay, Quily, and La Chapelle Caro.

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

 

May 22, 2019

The Ciders of Brittany, II

On a still sunny day in my neck of the woods Vannes and also at Paris, I like to update a previous post I did in my blog on the ciders of Brittany. This is as close as you can come to call it the drink of the Bretons (except maybe beers) and we love it. Of course, I need to add nothing new to me as have been drinking ciders since birth all from Asturias Spain. Later on got into Norman cider , a competitor lol! and lastly as living here in Brittany have taken to the Breton ciders , especial all on their own. Let me tell you a bit more on them.

Well, we do drink beers and have some good ones (see previous posts), and wine (not from present day Brittany) but not really; the original to go alone with the galettes and crêpes is the cider of Brittany. We love it and buy by the case ::)

Let me tell you a bit about them, as they can differed a bit from areas within Brittany, and we drink mostly those in the Morbihan dept 56. You can find out about the Breton ciders here: http://www.lescidresbretons.com/maison-cidricole-de-bretagne_actualite.htm

An organization especialising about those in Finistére dept 29 is here: http://www.cidref.fr/les-cidreries

And to locate a good cider distillery you can look here: http://www.lescidresbretons.com/cartographie/cartographieV2.swf

Now some background onto them:

The designation Appellation Cidre de Bretagne or Cidre Breton is a protected geographical area such as a Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) since 2000.  According to the Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle Cidricole, the Breton ciders are characterized by a variant color from straw yellow to tainted or woody brown  according to the varietal composition and the terroir (site of cultivation of apples). Now , you can reach when done thru here: http://www.cliaa.com/pagec.php?interpro=62

The variety Guillevic label rouge given since 2000 is done using apples of the Guillevic variety only, pure juice ,not gasified not adulterer and non pasteurized.  It is produce in my area of the Morbihan and it is with a soft acidic flavor and aromas of fresh fruit, flowers, and exotic fruits like pineapples. The body is pale yellow, with green reflects, crystalline with fine persistent bubbles.

The Breton Cider is serve in cups of terracotta shiny smooth call Bolées ,small bowls with handle or without and the form in cylindrical style. You have Cidre doux or sweet with less than 3 degrees alcohol, Cidre Demi-Sec or half dry with alcohol between 3-4 degrees and the Cidre Brut with alcohol of 4 degrees or more usually 5,5 degrees.

The production of fermented apples is known in Brittany since the 8C. In the 12C several varieties of apples from Spain (I started drinking the ciders of Asturias Spain !) were grafted with local varieties to improved their concentration of tannins and the conservation of ciders.  Until the end of the 19C the harvest of apples and the cider production was very loose and the price varies in the same proportions according to the harvest of apples, the offer and the quality. Brittany produces 40% of all cider consumed in France with the biggest producers located in a radius of 60 km around the city of Rennes, representing 84% of the volume in Brittany. Also, in addition, you have about 70 artisans local producers in farms that gives a different twist to this wonderful drink.  The legend has seven large ciders in Brittany, on the terroirs of the Nantais country, the country of Rennes, Redon, the Val-de-Rance, the Goëlo, the Guillevic and Cornouaille. We only build a legend on great stories, and the cider of the 21C is a Breton one.

As to the production and apples we have plenty to tell, to condense here it is.

The first ciders arrive in the market early October coming from the region of Dol (Dol de Bretagne) ; the farmers from the marshes kept this tradition to collect the apples early. It is a cider doux, acidic, very nice to the taste on drinking but needs early drinking. The varieties of apples are the rouget de Dol and rouget blanc, bit apples. It was sold like table apples in England and Germany.

In Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35, was for long the biggest producer of cider apples in France; and the areas of the basins of Rennes and Vitré  still are the region with the biggest production.  The ciders here are generally light, acidic low in alcohol and nice bouquet.  The varieties are the bedan rouge aigre, marguerite and gilet rouge.  Before ,this region exported part of its apples to Germany for apple juice.

Along the valley of the Rance , and around Dinan the cru call  “de Pleudîhen” is more acidic and stronger than that of Rennes.  The varieties are  the Jeanne renard, chevalier jaune, and marie menard.  The land is more granitic, and the arable land less deeper and less rich than on the basin of Rennes given apples less stronger, fruits richer in sugar,and a density on the must higher.  The Valley of the  Rance has always been a rich region of cider apples and exported the ciders to other areas of Brittany such as Léon  and Trégor, where varieties stronger and good conservation are harvest such as the richarde, vallon, and toupie etc.

The more we go west, the more the crus are acidic and less apples to mix with. The region of Vannes is an exception.  Here is the base for the guillevic variety that only use alone a doux, acidic well perfume and average alcoholic. In the south of the Finistére dept 29, in the apple orchards of Quimperlé they mix the acidic varieties in  Clohars-Carnouët, Moëlan-sur-Mer, Pays Bigouden ,and Fouesnant . The crus are known for their strong color and acidic taken from their varietals such as Chuero briz, c’huero ru and kermerrien. In the north of the Finistére , you have it is not much cultivated and import their apples from the east of the Côtes-d’Armor (dept 22) such as  Dinan, Plancoët, and Matignon. The basin of Fougères produces a lot of apples but do not give a cru well done.

Now we try many in the various restaurants we go to or crêperies but the ones we do buy for home and like the best are in Morbihan dept 56:

Distellerie de Gorvello in Sulniac, the Tradition brut, more here: http://www.distilleriedugorvello.fr/

Sulniac

The musée du cidre in Le Hézo but nice cider on the spot produce, more here: http://museeducidre.com/

The Cidrerie du Golfe , at Arradon, more here: http://la-cidrerie.fr/crbst_7.html

Cidrerie Nicol at Surzur, more here: https://www.cidres-nicol.bzh/

Surzur

Cidrerie des Terroirs at Colpo: more here: https://www.cidreriedesterroirs.fr/

You get the idea , it is drank a lot and especially when a good galette or crêpe do not make the mistake of eating them with wine, beer is an exception, but a cider is a must.

The Tourist office of Brittany has more in English: Ciders of Brittany

Enjoy the Ciders of Brittany , is as local as you can get , get them while they last, traditions are important. Drink in moderation of course, but drink lol!!!

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

 

May 22, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXI

And back at you with my regular some news from France posts; thank you for reading and hoping always you can use it and enjoy it. We have summer weather here in France with sunshine and 20C in my neck of the woods Vannes or about 70F; while in Paris we have the same sunshine and 69F. As many friends and family tells me now time to enjoy the beach, oh yeah I still work here lol!!!

And now let me give something to rant about at least me. The landscape changes of Paris will be detrimental to continue holding the No 1 most visited city in the world if the continuing changes do follow up. The latest is again on restrictions.

In 2024, Parisians will be able to cross the Seine river on foot!, from Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower. The surroundings of the monument will be transformed into a huge garden, according to the project “Grand site Eiffel Tower: discovering, approaching, visiting” launched by the city mayor’s office back in January 2018. And the questions are beginning to come in, where are going to drive a car? On both sides of the Pont d’Iéna, at best motorists hesitate to take the project seriously, at worst they are criticize it as “a new anti-car charge of the Mayor of Paris! On the other hand, on the sidewalks of the bridge, looks and cameras pointed at the Eiffel Tower, phones in selfie mode and bus tickets in hands, most passersby rejoice. Normal, it is the visitors of the Eiffel Tower, dumped by tourist buses or by the Parisian Metro!!. One local explained “In this neighborhood the sidewalks are wide enough for people to circulate quietly, there are already many pedestrian facilities, cyclists etc! I myself have been cycling for 10 years, and there are bike paths 3 times wider than car lanes. Traffic becomes very difficult especially for merchants, and for all those who need the car, they should not be forgotten!”.

This is the impressive project unveiled this past  Tuesday in the late afternoon by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, who will literally disrupt the Trocadero landscape at the école Militaire passing through the Pont d’Iéna to be soon vegetated and very much pedestrian,  and of course the Champ-de-Mars and the Eiffel Tower. Kathryn Gustafson, is the architect whose project was selected this past Tuesday by the tender Commission, among the 4 finalists projects. This American landscaper,  who studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Paysage de Versailles ! will draw and rethink 50 ha in the heart of Paris. Place du Trocadéro, no more roundabout around the equestrian statue of Marshal Foch. The cars will circulate in double direction on the outer part. New bleachers in the central open ground on the Parvis will offer both 12 000 seats and a view of the tower. The Parvis des Droits de l’Homme ( human rights square)  remains unchanged, but below, again, the gardens of Chaillot will be transformed by bleachers that will stretch all along the basin and water games. A set of kiosks and harmonized booths will offer souvenirs, treats and information. The place de Varsovie ( Warsaw) will be totally reserved for pedestrians. The Pont d’Iéna will be, between 2021 and 2023, totally wooded and planted with lawns. Only public transport and emergency vehicles will pass through the existing lanes instead of the current sidewalks. Quai Branly, in the direction of Bir-Hakeim, the cars will be relegated to the tunnel. On the surface, a track at 20 km/h will allow the passage of cars in the opposite direction. Another one will be reserved for buses. Objective: to facilitate the crossing by pedestrians from the quay to the Eiffel Tower. The place Joffre will also have to be reviewed. To this is added a continuous walk to Bir-Hakeim, creations of luggage storage, requalification of the kiosks, highlighting of the site… All this is planned, in a first phase, for the 2024 Olympics. At the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, visitors will be able to discover them and project themselves in the 4 pedestrian projects that have been proposed. Two virtual reality helmets will be made available. Info: 21 Boulevard Morland 4éme. Free exhibition, from Tuesday to Sunday from 11h to 19h. Guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 17h. More info on Paris mayor’s office in French here : https://www.paris.fr/actualites/un-appel-a-projets-pour-reamenager-la-tour-eiffel-5397

Until 2 September 2019, the children’s Gallery of the Centre Pompidou proposes to learn about the practices of prehistory in contemporary fashion.  It welcome children with animators and guides. From 4 years old. Centre Pompidou 4éme, Children’s Gallery, open from 11h  to 19h daily except Tuesday. Accessible with the entrance ticket, in connection with the exhibition “Prehistory, a modern enigma”. Rates: 11-14€.  More info here : https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en/Visit/Exploring-as-a-family

It is a large-scale restoration that has just begun at the Church of St. Louis de lÏle 4éme). The work in this church is expected to be completed in spring 2022. Know that worship and concerts continue to be assured. The restoration of the Spire, a steeple in stone of 18C, is one of the main points of the construction site which includes the renovation of facades and stained glass windows.  More on the Church here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71200/Eglise-Saint-Louis-en-l-Ile

Marnes-la-Coquette is decidedly a separate town. The least populated town of the Hauts-de-Seine (dept 92) attracted the greatest. In the early 1950’s, Jean Marais (famous French actor, director, writer, painter, sculptor, Potter and stunt man.) built a house on one level, where he lived from 1954 to 1971. Today, this house is for sale for 4.95 M €. At the time when Jean Marais bought the land, there was already a 19C hunting lodge Pavilion that has been renovated into a pool house. There is also a beautiful vegetable garden with cultivated greenhouses and vines of the 19C. The hero of the cloak and dagger films, Peau d’âne and Fantômas, also welcomed Jean Cocteau (Famous French poet, graphic designer, draughtsman, playwright and filmmaker). in his walls.   However, my passing to work by this town made me stop for the most important element here, the Memorial de l’Escadrille Lafayette (monument erected in memory of the volunteer American aviators engaged in WWI).More info on them here: https://www.marnes-la-coquette.fr/la-decouverte-de-notre-village/visites-et-promenades/le-memorial-de-lescadrille-la-fayette/

It is an exceptional heritage site but still little known. Built near Crépy-en-Valois in the 14C, the Donjon de Vez (Dungeon)  re-opens this past Monday with many novelties designed to seduce a wider audience. The Dungeon of Vez is the name usually given to the Castle of Vez, a 14C castle located in Vez in the Department of Oise (60). The Dungeon itself was built between 1390 and 1410 by Jean de Vez and probably his brother-in-law Robert of St. Clair, himself having remained  without descendants. It never belonged to Louis D’Orléans or a member of his family, but Jean de Vez was his Chamberlain and evidently appealed to an architect of the Royal or Ducal entourage. The pentagonal plan Dungeon has four livable floors, and its only defensive elements are its machicolations at the edge of the summit terrace. It is located on the edge of a large walled enclosure, partly contemporaneous, in the posterior part, and built on older foundations. In its center, there is a chapel of the same time as the castle and the ruin of the house from the years 1360/1390. In addition, exhibitions of modern and contemporary art are regularly organized such as sculptures, paintings and stained glass. More info here: https://www.donjondevez.com/

Musée des beaux-arts de Dijon or fine arts museum .Installed in this Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy since 1799, the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts sweep a large period, from antiquity to the 19C. Renovated architecture, wider exhibition space (4 200 m2) and scenography more readable to rotate the approximately 130 000 works of the permanent collection. Not to mention the exhibition of the now local  Dijonais Yan Pei-Ming around the emotions. Located at 1, rue Rameau. More info here : https://musees.dijon.fr/exposition-yan-pei-ming-homme-pleure-17-mai-23-septembre

Moutarderie Fallot or Fallot mustard shop .It is one of the emblems of Burgundy, whose seed was historically cultivated in coal clearings. To become acquainted with the making of this condiment, the historical mustard Edmond Fallot proposes, in partnership with the tourist office, workshops of 1h15 to apprehend the manufacture and even realize its own mixture, to flavor according to its tastes. Tuesdays and Sundays, 11h  and 17h. 10€ admission, located at  16, rue de la Chouette .More info here : https://www.fallot.com/en/

The architect Philippe Maidenberg’s project for this hotel in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris, the 123 Sebastopol Hotel, as based on a film script: to succeed in associating in the same place, a Director, Claude Lelouch, a Screenwriter, Danièle Thompson, actors, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Elsa Zylberstein and a famous film music composer, Ennio Morricone… In the sixth fl (7 US), the universe is dedicated to Jean-Paul Belmondo, boxing atmosphere, gym, punching-ball; black and white rooms for Claude Lelouch on the fifth floor, blue for Danièle Thomson in the fourth, with a room inspired by La Boum. Improbable ties and moustache for the third floor, framed like paintings, evoking the main character incarnate by Jean-Pierre Bacri in the  Le Goût des autres (taste of others). The rooms on the floor imagined by Elsa Zylberstein evoke the world of dance under the eye of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, whose portraits were chosen. When on the floor of Maestro Morricone, a decoration based on music, including a master score reproduced in giant format on the wall. Last cinematic touch: the entrance is done by pacing a red carpet. From 160€ for two, including breakfast . More info here: https://en.astotel.com/hotel/123-sebastopol-en/overview

Are you tired of having to go back to Uber(especial us locals)  because you missed the last subway and the night-time is coming in an hour? That should cheer you up: the Parisian Metro will be open all night from September 2019. For the time being, the test will take place one night a month, for 6 months. We already know the days concerned: Saturday 14 September, Saturday 12 October, Saturday 9 November, Tuesday 31 December, Saturday 11 January, Saturday 8 February and Saturday 7 March. The Metro will operate nonstop from Saturday to 5h30 until midnight Sunday night. But beware; experimentation does not concern all metro lines! Only lines 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 and 14 are affected. The T3 and T2 tram will also be part of the game. And be vigilant on your night trips by Metro, because not all stations will be serviced.  More info check RATP here : https://www.ratp.fr/en/horaires-metro

From 22 May to 15 September, the Petit Palais celebrates Paris. More than 600 work, whether paintings, sculptures, costumes or even furniture, are gathered to honor the city of light during the romantic years. From the fall of Napoleon in 1815 to the revolution of 1848, these years represent a great period of founding the identity of Paris. The direction of the exhibition is made through various neighborhoods and iconic places of Paris, from Notre-Dame to the Latin Quarter and through the Palais-Royal. Very great artists are exhibited at the Petit Palais for this trip in romantic Paris. The works of Delacroix, Girodet, Chassériau, Préault or even Barye and many others are to be found at this exhibition, very Parisian and very complete. Paris Romantique, 1815-1848. Petit Palais ; Avenue Winston Churchill 8éme. More info here : http://www.petitpalais.paris.fr/expositions/paris-romantique-1815-1848

The French Opera was started at the beginning of the reign of king Louis XIV. Stemming from the Court Ballet in vogue under the last Valois and Italian Opera introduced in France by Cardinal Mazarin, it is in the ambiguous relationship between the affirmation of a national ambition and the aspiration to a transalpine model that is created the first Opera Academy in 1669. This exhibition celebrates the 350th anniversary of the first French lyric scene through a course that traces the activity of this institution, from the time of the Sun King to the French revolution.  The exhibition course revolves around 130 pieces, mostly from the collections of the BnF (national library of France) and the national archives. Manuscripts, drawings of costumes and projects of decorations are attached, among other things, to describe the process of impregnation of the Italian culture by the performing arts in France. The national and international influence of this great institution is also at the heart of the exhibition. Start: May 28, 2019 end: September 1, 2019. Bibliothèque-musée de l’Opéra , Palais Garnier, 8 rue Scribe. More info here : https://www.bnf.fr/fr/opera

There you go enjoy my belle France and sublime Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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May 22, 2019

How about those European beers!

Ok lack of imagination for titles on my post well you know me by now… I like to tackle a special subject that can be travel related too. I if reading my blog very much into wines , collector, drinker, and amateur lover of the grapes and my god Bacchus ! Certified connasseur by France and Spain. However, I do indulge in other drinks such as beers.

For a friendly chat or apéro as we call it in France, sort of a happy hour US or after work UK, we tend to dwell into beers for the better and quicker conversation lol! Over the years I have appreciated them more and more and by now in my home we tend to divide the subject depending on the type of food we are going to serve. A barbecue of course it is always beers!  Therefore, let me write something on my favorite beers, as have done in the past with those of Brittany and others in my blog. Other than Breton, like the Duchesse Anne triple as the French do not know beers , sorry!!! we drink Belgians, Irish, or German beers at home and at bars. Of course, while in Spain , we do drink the beers there but only our favorite from Madrid Mahou. Lately, we have been trying Czech beers too lol!!!

Pluvigner

Belgian beers are among the most varied and the most numerous beer collections in the world. They vary from the very popular “pils” to the exclusively Belgian appellations of lambic (spontaneous fermentation), old brunette, red beer or raw beer through the famous Trappists! and other Abbey or seasonal beers.  Since 2016, Belgian beer has been inscribed in the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO under the title: beer cultivation in Belgium.

The Guild of the Brewers of Bruges saw the day in 1308, that of Liège in 1357 and that of Brussels in 1365. In the 16C, the “Maison de l’Arbre d’Or” (house of the golden tree) on the Grand-Place in Brussels was bought by the Brewers from the upholsterers. Restored in 1638, the Brewers ‘ House was destroyed during the bombing of Brussels by Marshal Villeroy in 1695. Rebuilt between 1698 and 1707, it is embellished in 1749. After the abolition of the corporations, it was sold as a State property in 1793 under the French occupation. A bit of more recent history, in 1934: the monks of Westmalle brew the first triple, yes! In 1954, the House of Brewers on the Grand Place of Brussels becomes a corporatist house. In addition to the Brewers Guild and the Chevalerie du Fourquet, it houses a brewery museum in the basement (yes very nice). In  2007, was the creation of the Belgian family brewers label bringing together the family Breweries of more than 50 years of existence.  In 2008,  InBev merges with the American brewer Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch InBev is thus created and maintains its position as a world leader.

Authentic Trappist product at the moment, and six are located in Belgium: West-Vleteren, Westmalle (yes!) , Achel, Rochefort, Orval and Chimay (yes!). We know the doubles of the Trappist abbeys, but also the Sint Bernardus Pater, Maredsous (yes!)  and the Witkap Dubbel. The white beers, this type of beer, aged 400 years ago, had disappeared in the  1950’s, but was revived by Pierre Celis in his brewery in Hoegaarden.

Belgium beers webpage on tourism of beers

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Guinness  is a dark Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. It is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries, and available in over 120.  The acquisition in 1986 of Distillers company, a Scottish group, including the brands of Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s or Chivas Regal whiskies. Guinness PLC disappeared in 1997, the date of the creation of the company Diageo PLC by merger-acquisition with Grand Metropolitan.

The Guinness is a stout, a black beer topped with white foam, known worldwide for its flavor and its special appearance. Guinness is strongly linked to the history of Ireland; it is one of the symbols at the international level. The brand uses a Celtic harp such as that of Brian Boru or Trinity College as part of its visual identity. This 14C harp model is one of the traditional symbols of Ireland since the reign of Henry VIII in the 16C. Guinness used the harp as a symbol in 1862 and then as a logo deposited in 1876. However, it is reversed compared to that of the national coats of arms.

This beer is a stout, a type of beer of high fermentation from the beers porter that became famous in the 18C in London. It’s almost black brown color (but which is actually deep red; to be seen in the light) comes from the use for its design of highly roasted malts and roasted barley grains. The cream-colored foam layer that caps the beer is the result of a nitrogen addition during the draught . This latter characteristic poses the difficulty of obtaining an identical flavor and texture between the Guinness pressure and those sold in bottles and cans. In 2016, under the pressure of vegans, Guinness modifies its ancestral recipe; it renounces to use the traditional fish-native bladders to filter and lighten its beer and now uses a new filtration process. their beers are now Vegan

The Guinness draught is the flagship variety of the Guinness range; it is also the best-selling beer in Ireland. The extra stout is a separate range within the Guinness range of beers. Stronger, more “corsed”, with more pronounced bitterness, the extra stout is also exported abroad under the name foreign extra stout.

Official Guinness and its beers

Diageo corporate owner of Guinness

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The German beer (we drink most) originates in the high Middle Ages. For centuries, beer has been part of German culture and gastronomy, and the country is studded of Bierpalast (“beer Palace”), Biergarten (“beer garden”), Bierstube (“Brasserie”), Bierkeller (“beer cellar”), Bierhaus (“house beer “) and Bierzelt (” beer tent “) found at the many beer festivals.  In Germany there are a large number of types of beers but the immense success of the pilsener  dominating 70% of the market eclipsing many regional varieties, apart from the export and the Weissbier which occupy about 10% of the internal market.

In 736 in Geisenfeld in Bavaria, there is a mention of a fermented beverage based on barley. In 766, mention was made of the oldest beer delivery from Geisingen to the Abbey of St. Gallen (Switzerland). In 974, the first brewing authorization was given by the Emperor Otto II of the Holy Roman Empire to the Church of Liège (Belgium).

The Thuringian have a document of 1434 (Wirtshausgesetz) written in Weißensee, which states the only ingredients allowed: water, barley, hops. Decrees in Regensburg in 1453 or Landshut in 1493 prohibit any aromatization except that of hops. In 1842 also arrives from Bohemia, the pilsener which was to be immediately successful.

During the recasting of the Biersteuergesetz in 1993, the rules of the former are maintained as a preliminary law of beer and the tax provisions transferred. Now the regulation on the eligible ingredients is no longer valid only for the production of beer in Germany for the German market. Imported beer is not subject to these regulations; and German Brewers can also escape if they produce for export, unless they receive exemptions for special beers. Now the beers still adhering to its principles are classified among the traditional Lebensmittel (“traditional foods”) and protected also by European decree. The Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law)  is in fact the longest existing law ensuring the food quality of a product for health.

The German beers are legally classified according to their densities: Einfachbiere (“simple beers”) , Schankbiere (“consumer beers” at pressure), Vollbiere (” “complete beers”) , representing more than 90% of the production, Starkbiere (‘ strong beers ‘) or Bockbiere .  To which are added two genres apart: Lückenbiere, all beers banned before 1993 under the classification of the time ; Biermischgetränke, variegated drinks or cocktails based on beer and fruit juice, aroma or energizing. The beers are also classified by type or style so very many!

Centrally and industrialized in the North, breweries are more artisanal and more localized in the South. Only Bavaria contains half of the 1 300 breweries in the country and 4 000 of the 5 000 beer brands produced. The largest concentration of breweries in the world is located next to Bamberg, in the upper Franconia region of Bavaria. The Weihenstephan Abbey founded in 725 holds the oldest brewery still in operation (since 1040).  In 2004 Oettinger dethrone Krombacher (my favorite!) from the top of the biggest breweries

Since 1810, the Oktoberfest has been the largest party in the world for two weeks in Munich. Beer consumption here reaches its peak; there are only doses of one liter. Almost as well known and famous in Germany, the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart is also a huge festival. The Deutschen Bieres Tag (“German beer day”) is celebrated on April 23rd since 1994 in honor of the famous Reinheitsgebot law.

Popular beers of Germany webpage

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Czech beer has a long and complex history. The first known brewery in the region dates back to 1118. The city of Brno had been recognized for brewing rights as early as the 12C, while the two cities traditionally associated with Czech beer namely Plzeň and České Budějovice, have had a brewery since the 13C. The history of modern beer in the Czech regions (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) dates back to the creation of the Pilsner Urquell in 1842 which revolutionized the brewing industry. Previously, Bohemia was famous for its wheat beers, known in Czech under the term “světlé pivo” (light beer), the equivalent of the German “weissbier” or the Belgian “witbier”. Most of the large and medium-sized cities owned at least one brewery. But the largest breweries were in České Budějovice , Plzeň , and Prague. Important breweries were also found in the towns of Rakovník, Žatec  and Třeboň.

The two most famous (and most exported) Czech beer brands are Pilsner Urquell, the first and archetype of Pilsner beers and Budweiser Budvar . Other major brands include Bernard, Gambrinus, Krušovice, Radegast, Starobrno, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Svijany. Budweiser beer produced in the Czech Republic (founded in 1795 and having begun exporting to the United States in 1871); American Bud produced in the United States since 1876. A verdict of the European Court of Justice of July 2010 stipulates that Budweiser beer has the exclusive use of the Budweiser brand throughout the European Union. Its a case of the little country devasted by wars vs the big giant marketing and immigration power.

According to the Czech law, beers are divided into the following categories, regardless of their style and colour: Lehké, a light beer that stands at 8 ° Výčepní, a table beer that is between 8 ° and 10 °  Ležák, a classic Lager beer which is between 11 ° and 12.99 ° premium, for beers exceeding the threshold of 13 °. Originally, Pilsner just meant that the beer was breated in Plzeň. By extension, the term now refers to a pale and hoppy Lager beer. The Czech Beer Festival in Prague is the largest beer Festival in the Czech Republic and is held for 17 days each year in May!. It is possible to taste more than 70 different brands of Czech beers. The Pilsner festival is a two-day beer festival held each year in October by the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň.

Original Czech beers webpage

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And there you, actually the main beer producing and historical countries in the world. We just take a few of their beers for personal and family enjoyment, drink in moderation ,it is all for fun as well as keeping the traditions! However, the beers of Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic are all very good indeed!!! Hope you can enjoy them too.

pluvigner

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

 

 

 

 

May 21, 2019

The Fest-Noz of Brittany!

Ok so this is a traditional local Breton music sang and dance all over here on all major events. It is part of the Celtic Breton culture and you cannot avoided. I got into it as love all that is historical cultural traditional and it is a lot of fun indeed.  I have been asked to write something about it and I went back to newspaper articles and Fest Noz sites translating them and this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy and you too be intrique about trying it, I said , its a lot of fun! The Fest-Noz of Brittany or the bal festival of Bretagne!

A Fest-Noz is a Breton word meaning “night party”, as opposed to Fest-Deiz for “day party” , and is a type of revivalist festivity, essentially a ball, invented in the 1950’s in the center of lower Brittany , essentially the Haute-Cornouaille, with the aim of recreating the festive gatherings of the peasant society which punctuated the days of collective works and which disappeared in the 1930’s. During the   1970’s , thanks to the folk movement, in particular the effect Alan Stivell from 1972 onwards, the festoù-Noz are no longer confined to the center of Brittany.

The Fest-Noz is part of the peasant of the old tradition still well alive in the late 1920’s and in some places like Maël Carhaix, Rostrenen, etc until around 1935, to fall into disuse throughout the late 1930’s. These were, on the one hand, the members of the Celtic circles, eager to have fun outside of their scenic obligations, on the other the former still well-valid peasants who animated the first Festoù-Noz new way, a time baptized “Breton balls” in its urban form. They take all the traits of balls: entrance fee, open to all audiences, musicians and singers advertised by display, elevated stage, refreshment bar with red-lemonade and Champagne Breton.

Loeiz Ropars organizes the first competition of Kan Ha Diskan in 1954 in Poullaouen, whose popular success exceeds expectations. In 1955, he organized his first Fest-Noz in a dance hall in Poullaouen, after the second singing competition. This historic evening, marks both the return to tradition and the adaptation to the new conditions of social and economic life . The singers concur in the room, on a separate stage of the dancers, in front of a microphone. These also provide the first recordings of Kan Ha Diskan, made by the first Breton record company Mouez Breiz. The first urban Fest-Noz was held in Quimper in 1958, under the name of Bal Breton. From the beginning of the 1970’s, Alan Stivell, who obtained recognition nationally and internationally, popularised Breton music and dance practiced in Fest-Noz on a large scale. Today, the dancers are looking for the pleasure of dancing in groups to share a privileged moment, all together. In a way, participate in a large-sized Fest-Noz as it often organizes in close proximity to the big cities Breton gets closer to a nightclub outing, see it as a musical trance.

There are hundreds of traditional dances, the most famous of which are: the Gavottes, the L’An Dro, the Hanter-Dro, the Laridé, the Plinn, the Kost ar C’hoat, etc. During a Fest-Noz, it is practice dances in chains or in rounds as everyone stands by hand and arm, couple dances, and dances to figures, such as the Jabadao or the many avant-deux of upper Brittany. The dances of lower-Brittany are most often arranged in two or three dances: thus, for example, the Gavotte-Bal-Jabadao follows characteristic of the lands of the south of the Cornouaille. You must dance the complete sequence with the same partner.

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The music that can be heard in these festivals is three types: a cappella song, Kan Ha Diskan, accompanied singing, or purely instrumental music. Beyond the traditional instruments, there are nowadays groups with a wide variety of tendencies, from rock, jazz like Diwall, Skeduz, and Roll Ma Yar.etc to punk like the Les Ramoneurs de Menhirs , and mixes from all countries. Stringed instruments such as violin, double bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and bass guitar , as well as North African percussion have long been adopted to animate the Festoù-Noz, there are usually several groups that follow each other on stage, sometimes in the dance. A Bagad, a solo musician or a band is also commonly encountered. At the end of Fest-Noz, it is not uncommon for musicians and singers to make together an ox: a few pieces in a more or less improvised way, with a possible participation of musicians present in the audience.

The main webpage for these festivities and event scheduling is the Tamm Kreiz, here: http://www.tamm-kreiz.bzh/

From May 25 2019 in the context of the Festival of Brittany, the organization Emglev Bro Gwened organizes an event of magnitude on that Saturday under the umbrella of the festival FEST TI AR VRO, with groups likeBoullig Ruz, David Pasquet trio, Korriganed, Tam Glaz, and the Celtic Cercle of Vannes will perform.  Festival of Brittany or Fête de la Bretagne

The association that is organising the main events of the Festival of Brittany is the Tiarvro-Bro-Gwened  (in Breton Vannes the capital city of the Morbihan dept 56 is call Gwened) more on them here: Breton traditions association in Vannes Tiarvro Bro Gwened

Different Fest Noz in the Morbihan dept 56:  https://www.fest.fr/agenda/morbihan/fest-noz-et-fest-deiz

the tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan area on traditional festivities here: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/accueil/a-faire/agenda/fetes-traditionnelles

UNESCO world heritage info on the Fest Noz in English: UNESCO on the Fest Noz

And one that I locally participated in Pluvigner 2016 Fest Noz youtube video

Another youtube video from the Fete d’Arvor festivities of Vannes which are again coming up see my post on Some news from Bretagne in my blog.

And I hope you do try it , very nice family gathering and fun for all. The Fest Noz of Brittany unique gift to the world of inner France, in the Breton lands!

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

May 21, 2019

Guémené sur Scorff, Guer, Guillac in the Morbihan!

And more, never ending beauties of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Brittany. These are my off the beaten paths towns that I have spent weekends and holidays while enyoing the real living of country France. You should try it and enjoy it as we do. Let me introduce you to three more nice towns from Guémené-sur-Scorff, Guer, and Guillac in in-land Morbihan!

At Guémené sur Scorff, we saw the wonderful small Church of Notre Dame de la Fosse, from the 19C and  rebuilt around 1820. The bell tower dates from the 18C and stood near the present Church, housing the four bells. The former bell tower collapsed in 1757. This church’s is square and surmounted by a dome, whose construction was decided by the Guémené-sur-Scorff) factory in 1761, and replaced a former collegiate church of the 14C who disappeared during the French revolution. A college of canons was founded in 1529 by Mary and Louis IV de Rohan, the Lords of Guémené. The choir of the Church is enlarged in the 16C to accommodate the chapter (six canons) and stalls are installed. Stalls are reworked in 1932 and only remain today the sculpted panels. These sculpted panels now adorn the side altars and are the only remnants of the former collegiate church.

The city of Guemene sur Scorff and its heritage

Tourist office of the roi Morvan country on the Church

guemene sur scorff

guemene sur scorff

The town of Guer is located in upper Brittany, in the Gallo (romanesque latin) country; whose language is to be differentiated from the Breton (celtic), spoken in lower Brittany. The town of Guer owes its origin to Saint Malo, the first bishop of Aleth. In the 7C he built a Hermitage at the very place where the Church of Saint Gurval is today.

Another important element here for the military history buffs is the military camp famous since after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.  The national military camp of St-Cyr Coëtquidan is located in the Department 56 of Morbihan and south of the forest of Brocéliande. With an area of 5253 hectares, it covers 6 towns: Campénéac (1 945 ha), Beignon (1 597 ha), Augan (568 ha), Porcaro (491 ha), Guer (358 ha) and Saint-Malo de Beignon (75 ha). The camp currently is hosting 3 military schools. St Cyr Military camps info in French govt site

What we did do is walk the quaint streets of Guer, pl de la gare, the pl de l’hippodrome with its nice horse race track, and the wonderful Church of St Gurval, there was a church here since the 9C when it was mentioned of the arrival of St Gurval as ermite in the 7C and gave its name. The actual church is built from 1807 to 1847,in the form of a Latin cross, with new renovations done in 1870. It is a wonderful church.

Broceliande info site on what is around Guer in French

Tourist office of Guer Coetquidan Broceliande on the Church

Tourist office dept 56 Morbihan on the Church in French

Guer

Guer

The parish Church of Saint Bertin of Guillac built between 16-17C, rebuilt in 1860. The Church, as you see today is from the end of the 16C, and originally included only one nave flanked, on each side of the choir, a chapel opening on the sanctuary by a third-point arcade. In 1860, it was added a choir, which gave it the plan of a Latin cross. There are stained glass windows, and the crawly roof are decorated with crosses. The bell tower is covered with slate. The old stained glass disappeared during the construction of the choir. In the northern Chapel, a stained glass window depicts Saint Sosthène and Sainte Herminie ;donated at the end of the 19C by the owners of the Château de Josselin. The table titled “the donation of the Rosary” dates from the 17C, to the right of the Virgin and Child are women including Anne of Austria and St. Catherine of Siena, and on the left are men, including Louis XIII and St. Dominic. The Church housed a wooden statue of Saint Bertin from the 17C.

Guillac

The parish Church Saint Bertin , dedicated to Saint Bertin, has the form of a Latin cross. It is in medium and small nave with ogival stained glass windows with flaming mullets. there are remnants of stained glass , representing the Apostles, with their names in Gothic letters. These remains of stained glass were replaced by other new stained glass windows, also representing the twelve Apostles, and in addition the child Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and Saint Bertin. In addition, the Church currently owns two other beautiful stained glass windows from 1831, one is at the window of the north Chapel, representing Saint Sosthène and Sainte Herminie ; the other is at the first window of the nave, representing Saint Louis, King of France, and Saint Yves.

City of Guillac on the Church

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on Guillac and Church in French

And again, there you have some nice quant towns of my beautiful Morbihan to do your rounds into architecture,history, and Brittany as well as my belle France. Enjoy Guémené sur Scorff, Guer, and Guillac!

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

 

 

May 21, 2019

Gavres, Guidel, Larmor-Plage in the Morbihan!

And I go on with my beautiful Morbihan, showcasing my visits to this wonderful dept 56 of Brittany that I call home for the last 8 years. Ok these are beach town and more noted for that, and have written on them before. However, this post will be on the monument with historical architectural niceties that I enjoy visiting them all year around. I will tell you a bit more on Gâvres and Guidel.

Gâvres is located on a peninsula of the same name facing Port-Louis, at the entrance to the bay of Lorient and to the east of the ïle de Groix island. Gâvres is located at the northern end of Brittany’s largest dune cordon, which stretches from Pointe de Gâvres to Fort de Penthièvre, in the town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon. Its history is linked to the craft of coastal fishing and offshore fishing with a predilection for sardine, before becoming a strategic military commerce place in the 17-18C, parallel to the development of the ports of Lorient and Port-Louis.

The Church of Saint Gildas b. 1888, in the form of a Latin cross, replaced the old Romanesque chapel which depended on a Priory located in Plouhinec. The former prieural Chapel, largely Romanesque, was demolished around 1880-1891,  and replaced by a Romanesque church. A stained glass windows dates from 1963. There are ex-voto models of the three-masts boats such as  “Saint-Gildas ” and  “Sainte-Anne “, that date from 1900.

Gâvres was part of the parish of Riantec until 1868. This small church was rectangular with two aisles. The central arcades rested on pillars. As the population kept growing, it became too small. The solution: to build a larger church. The first stone of the Church was laid in  1887 and the main work was completed in 1988. For lack of money, it was not possible to build a bell tower. A wooden campanile was erected outside the Church on the north wall to hang the primitive bell that was replaced in 1911. The cracked bell was melted and reformed to get the notes. The other two bells, come from a parish in Algeria. The blessing of the bells took place in July 1969. They are called Jeannine-Stanislas, Reine-Maxime and Marthe-Pierre. In 1971, the Church of Saint Gildas finally had a real  bell tower. Above the porch, a statue of St Gildas in granite, welcome visitors.

City of Gavres on the Church of St Gildas

gavres

Gavres

gavres

Guidel is located bordering the Atlantic Ocean, limited to the west by the Laïta river which marks the border with the Finistère dept 29. It is a seaside resort of the coast of megaliths, its coastline has several sandy beaches. We past once again by city center on the wonderful Church Saint-Peter-Saint-Paul ; in the area the diocese of Vannes

The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul ; 19C, rebuilt in the early 19C, in Gothic style. It is noted especially by its large steeple cushioned by a polygonal spire and built around 1840 the parish church of Guidel is dedicated to the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a vast building, with low sides and polygonal arrow. The choir is lined with beautiful and numerous stalls, and the lateral altars are now dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the Rosary, Saint John the Baptist and the Trinity.

City of Guidel on heritage

Tourist office Lorient south Brittany area on Guidel

Guidel

Guidel

Larmor- Plage ,the village of Larmor in front of its name to that of the ancient scripture of the name of the pilgrimage chapel “Notre-Dame de L’Armor”, which originally stood alone on this promontory by the sea located on the west bank of the entrance to the harbour of Lorient which marks the confluence of the Blavet and Scorff rivers, it faces the island of Groix and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Church of Notre-Dame de Larmor, is the ancient chapel of pilgrimage Notre-Dame de L’Armor, built before the creation of the town of Larmor-Plage, on the parish of Ploemeur. The building is built on a promontory near the shore: its situation facing the inclement weather imposes regular restorations. There are significant architectural elements of the 14C, 16C and 17C. The Church contains remarkable objects, some in particular are the commemorative plaque, in granite, of the construction of the chapel bearing the inscription 1506; in the north porch, 12 stone statues from the early 16C representing the twelve Apostles; a carved stone group representing a Virgin of pity, composed of 6 figures, from the first half of the 16C; a 16C wooden statue depicting a Christ of pity; a carved stone group of the first half of the 16C depicting St. Roch and his chiefdoms wooden statuettes of the middle of the 16C representing Ste. Barbara and Saint Efland; an 18C wooden statuette depicting Salome; Notre-Dame-des-Anges with polychrome wooden statue of the 16C, Virgin with long tresses, a red dress and a blue coat. She carries with her right arm a Child who holds a book; an ex-voto model of the ship “Le Saint-Jean”. Frigate bearing narrow square masts. The hull is painted green, the top in black with a white line for the battery. An altarpiece called “the altar of the Jews” composed of thirty eight figures in triangle dated from the beginning of the 16C; a set of joineries of the late 17C restored , made up of three altars and three altar-pieces with an Altarpiece of the bedside with a central canvas, the Madonna and Child surrounded by Angels heads and donors. In the lateral niches are placed the statues of Saint Efland and Ste. Barbara. The Altar, adorned with torsos columns, preserves in the niches the statue of the Good Shepherd and those of the four Evangelists. An altar in painted canvas whose central medallion represents to the Virgin and Child; the altarpieces of the lower sides of the choir with a central niche flanked by pilasters, with at the top, a painting depicting the Eternal Father. An altarpiece decorated with a statue of St. John the Baptist and carved wooden altar with garlands of flowers. An altarpiece with statue of Madonna and Child and altar on painted canvas appearing Saint Roch. We can see inscriptions: coat of arms and arms of donors. Great!

City of Larmor Plage on heritage

Lamor plage

Lamor plage

There you go another round in my wonderful beautiful Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the ride into these beauties on the off the beaten path trails of my lovely Brittany. These are Gâvres, Guidel, and Larmor-Plage!

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

 

 

May 20, 2019

Saint Jean Brévelay,, Guehenno in my Morbihan!

Moving right along in this fast pace world of travel in our days, I take you once again to the my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Brittany. We will go into towns off the beaten paths ,and some well known, and most that needs to be known!  Today , I will tell you about Saint Jean Brévelay and Guehenno, two unique close by towns of my Morbihan. Enjoy them as we do.

The town of Saint-Jean-Brévelay, was a Saint  fleeing the Norman looters, the Bretons temporarily fled to England. Upon their return to Brittany, they reported relics of a Bishop of Exham and York, who died in 721 in Beverly, where he founded a monastery. They then named their parish the name of the Saint, which gradually became Saint Jean Brévelay. In the middle ages, Saint Jean Brévelay was part of the Viscount of Rohan, divided into 20 lordships.  In the 18C, after 1797, the town embraced the Royal cause. During the Chouannerie, it was noted the passage of Georges Cadoudal, Lieutenant General of the Reds. Pierre Guillemot, called King of Bignan, one of the main chefs Chouans was also noticed passing here.

The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay  was built  from the 15C to the 19C. Dedicated to Saint John of Beverley, an English Saint of the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria Bishop of York who founded the monastery and the town of Beverley in East Yorkshire, died in 721 and canonized in 1037. The church is in the form of a Latin cross, with warhead windows. The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Brévelay gathers parts built in several eras such as the Romanesque gate dates from the 15C, the transept and the choir were reworked in the 17C, the Chapel of St. Joseph added in the 17C, the current nave was built in 1825, the porch bell tower was completed in 1879. A very colorful Altarpiece 1640, in stone and marble,  occupies the background of the choir, with a large painting of Pentecost in the center, surrounded by two statues, Saint Peter holding the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Saint John of Beverley in Bishop with a pig.

City of Saint Jean Brevelay on heritage

Tourist office of the Central Morbihan on the town heritage

Saint Jean Brevelay

st jean brevelay

The battle of Mont-Guéhenno took place during the Chouannerie (the wars against the French revolution and for king). In 1799, a Republican (French revolutionaries) detachment was surprised and was destroyed by the Chouans near Guéhenno. The fate of the Republican prisoners is not known with certainty. According to some witnesses , the prisoners were shot.

The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist is located in Guéhenno. Externally, there remains a gable with hooks, a door with braces, hooks and cabbage. On the left, touching the transept, a butt fort has been preserved, at the top of which is a stone Virgin. Inside, giving in the Choir, there remains an altar pool with crest appearing accompanied by a butt. The Church of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist done from the 16C up to the 19C. This church, which dates from 1859 , replaces an older Church of the 16C which was burned in 1794. From the ancient Church of the 16C, the sacristy was preserved in the south, and It’s pretty flamboyant door as well. Inside you can see, besides a 16C pool, a stone bas-relief from the old porch and depicting various scenes of the Passion and a Virgin to the Child in polychrome wood dated from the 18C. The cowl dates from the 19C. There is also a cranberry credence of the 16C which was updated during the restoration work in 1957.

Guehenno

Guehenno

Guehenno

City of Guehenno under renovation but come back soon

The Calvary of Guéhenno, which was one of the most beautiful Breton calvaries, was ransacked during the French revolution. The Calvary of Guéhenno is one of the seven monumental calvaries of Brittany and the only one located in the Dept 56 of Morbihan. At the time of the reign of terror, in 1794,during the French revolution, the architectural ensemble composed of the 16C Church (see above), the Calvary erected in 1550 and the ossuary, was devastated by the Republican troops. It is only fifty years later that the Church will be rebuilt and the Calvary restored. It will be necessary to await the arrival of Abbé Jacquot in the parish in 1853, so that the restoration actually begins.

Guehenno

Guehenno

An Altar, where the descent to the underworld is carved, is dominated by a pedestal where the scenes of prayer are depicted in the garden of olives, the flagellation, the crowning of thorns and the Entombment. On this pedestal rises a triple Cross from 1550, to the right and left the two thieves, on the central Cross, at the top, Christ with the Virgin and St. John, below a character crowned and half-lying, further down a Virgin of Pity. At the foot of the Cross, on the pedestal, is depicted Jesus carrying the cross between soldiers and Saint Véronique: at the angles are the figures of the four evangelists. The Entombment dates from 1853, and is composed of seven characters in 19C costume. The resurrection, dated 1853, appears on the two bases of the Calvary: we see the risen Jesus Christ appearing to the Holy women. In 1855, the perimeter of the Calvary was paved.

Guehenno

Guehenno

Official 7 Calvaries site on Guehenno in English

Tourist office of Central Morbihan on the Calvary of Guehenno

And again, you see simply beauty before your eyes, these are monumental examples of mankind and when you think of Europe devastated by two world wars and see these again brought back and or save is amazing the human spirit can still do anything. You owe to yourselves visiting in Brittany and see these marvels. We love them. Be welcome at Saint Jean Brévelay and Guéhenno in the Morbihan of course!

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

 

 

May 20, 2019

Grand Champ, Locmaria, and Plumelec in the Morbihan!

And following my now popular series on towns of the Morbihan, my dept 56 of lovely Brittany, we must continue. There is no end really, I am just mentioning those already visited but there are more to be seen! And this is the time to visit really, fine weather and nice history/architecture all around you. Let me go quickly into the best in my opinion of the towns of Grand Champ, Locmaria-Grand Champ, and Plumelec in inland Morbihan.

The town of Grand Champ is located about 15 km from the city of Vannes, capital of the dept 56 Morbihan; and I passed by here every day to work!  The town is a dismemberment of the former primitive parish of Plumergat. The existence of a place-known as “Grandi-Campo ” (big field) was mentioned in the 10C. Originally, Grandi-Campo is a great Roman camp. Around 1342, Jean de Montfort stayed at Grand-Champ to prepare for the attack on Vannes during the War of Succession of Brittany. There are a number of references to King Stevan, including the host country of King Stevan. battle of Grand-Champ in 1795, during the repression of the chouannerie (local rebels against the French revolution). On December 1, 1870 the balloon dirigible Bataille de Paris, flies from the Gare du Nord in Paris then beset by the Prussians and finishes its course at Grand-Champ, after having travelled 460 km.

The Church of Saint-Tugdual , 15-16C, rebuilt in 1865. The first stone was laid  in 1865 and the church was inaugurated  in 1867. The bell tower dates from 1867. The former church of the 15C, which had been roof covered in 1428 and adorned by a beautiful tower with stone spire begun in 1669, was demolished towards 1865 to make way for an ordinary Gothic-style church. The main work was completed in 1870. The stained glass gallery  houses two carved wooden panels from the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Burgo. It preserves a chalice in gilded silver from the middle of the 18C from the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Moustoir, a beautiful processional cross in silver, of 1763, and a silver censer of the second half of the 18C. The Saint Tugdual, the church is name after died in Tréguier, and was a 5C religious, native of Wales, who came with seventy-two religious to evangelize Armorique by landing at Trébabu in Leon. He died in 564 and his celebration Saint day is November 30.

City of Grand Champ on heritage

Parish of Grand Champ on the Church

Grand Champ

grand champ

The town of Locmaria takes its name from the term “loc” from the Latin “locus” which means “the place” followed by the name of Saint Honoré on site (here Mary) and its common “mother” . The township was united in Locqueltas (then Plaudren) in 1802 to form a unique place.A parish reorganization of the diocese in 1802, was erected in Locmaria ward or branch, but without ceasing to belong to the town Grand Champ. The town of Locmaria-Grand Champ is only a town since 1889.

The Church of St. Mary (Sainte Marie) of Locmaria-Grand Champ ( admin apart but really just next to Grand Champ) was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style and completed in 1882. The tower is surely the most beautiful architectural element of this church. Whole granite carved, it rises on three floors. On the ground floor, the porch is opened on three sides by large broken arcades. The floor of the bells presents on each of its faces an oculus over long bays divided into two lancets. Inside the church lies the ruler of a Lord of Coet Candec. Carved and sculpted in a white stone monolith, the lying one, turned according to the custom towards the choir, measures almost 2 meters long for a width of 90 cm. It rests on a base that is probably not original. The recumbent are more likely the portraits of characters of the 15C such as Pierre Chohan who married, around 1534, Jeanne Grillon de Rosnarho, in the town of Crac’h.

City of Locmaria Grand Champ on heritage

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on Locmaria heritage and Church

Locmaria

Locmaria

It is probable that between 460 and 660, Bretons inhabitants of Great Britain, fleeing their island enslaved to Anglos and Saxons, arrived one fine day on the heights of Lanvaux coming from the North from Saint Malo, then along the Roman road of Carhaix , which passed to the South of the town. This group, marveled at a magical landscape, while contrasting, with its mountains and valleys, all scattered in a wild but very beautiful nature, settled there.  These new occupants organized themselves in community, their “Plou “, which has the common sense of parish, to which they added the name of a Benedictine monk who evangelized their country, “Melec”. So therefore, Ploumelec which became simply Plumelec.

City of Plumelec on heritage

The Saint-Maurice Church is located in the center of the village of Saint-Aubin, on the eastern boundary of the town of Plumelec, on the road D174, 5 km from the town.  Built in 1513, the Saint-Maurice Church replaces the old chapel of Saint-Aubin founded by the Lords of Callac. It became a parish in 1872. Since 1985, it no longer has a priest. The Rector of Plumelec is of office.

The nave does not have a side-aisle and the transept is characterized by overflowing cross-braces. The choir is higher than the rest of the church and the bedside is flat. The Baptismal font Chapel replaced the former ossuary dated 1690. The bell tower is a 17C square tower.  The framing, worked as laces, is remarkable and rare. The beams and the sand pits represent countryside scenes and the passion. They are finished with gargoyles yelled: a dragon throwing up a dragon who vomits a dragon. Or would it be the reverse,,,a dragon swallows a dragon that swallows a dragon… An allegory of political and economic power that destroys the people according to the explanatory text proposed to visitors. Outside, under the south porch, there is a stele on the ground and, embedded in the wall, a cowl.

Tourist office Central Morbihan on Church

Plumelec

Plumelec

There you go another wonderful trio of nice unique and local towns to indulge yourselves into the real French life. If only Hemingway would had traveled more he would have certaintly written a second book, France is a Movable Feast! Enjoy Grand Champ, Locmaria-Grand Champ, and Plumelec in my beautiful Morbihan.

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

 

 

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