Archive for May 17th, 2019

May 17, 2019

Church of Sainte Catherine, Honfleur!

Ok so coming in to my latest rounds in my beloved city of Honfleur, in the Calvados dept 14 of the region of Normandy. I have written so much on this city in my blog over the years, and even sometimes repeated but to me its all worth it. If you have read my blog…

Coming to see once again the Church of Sainte Catherine by the old basin or port of Honfleur is always gratifying. It offers a unique architectural experience and loving history of the locals, hard earned traditions and just a positive feeling all around it.  I hope I can show this one and you too can come and experience it. My belle France has an ever lasting inventory of gems some known ,most not, but all exquisite.

honfleur

The Sainte-Catherine Church has the particularity, very rare in France, to be built essentially of wood. The Church is located near the old basin (Vieux Bassin) , just behind the Quai Sainte-Catherine. It is the largest Church built in wood with a bell-tower separated from it in France. This choice of material is due to the lack of resources of the inhabitants of the time. But with a drawback, the local Honfleurais were able to make it an asset. With their knowledge of shipbuilding, they built the Church, with two separate naves, in the manner of a ship, with the help of wood from the forest of Touques. The result is breathtaking. Not to be missed.

honfleur

The Church is dedicated to Ste. Catherine of Alexandria as recalled by a wooden sculpture above the porch of the bell-tower separated from the two naves. She is depicted wearing a wheel and a sword. The first nave (the one on the left) is the oldest part of the building, dating back to the second half of the 15C, built after the hundred years war. It was built on the model of a market hall, where shipbuilding elements were used, giving the appearance of a overturned boat hull. Then, the bell tower was erected at a good distance from the nave, to prevent the parishioners present in the church from being burned in the event of a fire. In the 16C, a second nave was added to the right of the previous one, the vault of which conformed to the wooden vaults of the modest Gothic churches. It therefore has a more rounded shape and a structural layout, unrelated to the structure of a ship. In addition, the two naves are lengthwise by two additional spans. In addition, they are framed by the same length aisles, also wooden vaulted. It is the largest Church built in wood with a bell-tower separated from it in  France.

honfleur

honfleur

The Ste Catherine Church is partially covered with chestnut-wood shingles, which are called dialectally shingles and thus constitute weatherboarding The neo-Norman porch was built on the model of those of the rural churches of Normandy at the beginning of the 20C and replaces a monumental portal in neo-classical  style in the previous century and which can be seen depicted on some canvases of Jongkind or Boudin. The southern portal is Renaissance style.

honfleur

Note the classical organ from the parish of Saint Vincent de Rouen and the Renaissance balcony adorned with musicians. 19C stained glass Windows decorate the window of the choir to the east. The Church of Sainte Catherine  is devoid of transept and the aisles of chapels that are only materialized by recent statues of Holy characters including the indigenous Saint Marcouf and St. Teresa of Lisieux.

honfleur

honfleur

A sight to behold and a must to see while in Honfleur, enough said; plenty written all over my blog. Hope you can see and enjoy it as we do. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Honfleur on the Church

Tourist office of dept 14 Calvados on the Church

Tourist office of Normandy on the Church

And there you go another gem I said, a must to see ,I said. Enough said me think , now its up to you. Enjoy Honfleur , my beloved dear city in Calvados in Normandy in my belle France. Until my next round on Honfleur!

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

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May 17, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXX

And back at you as the weather turns and France reawakens ,even if a bit cloudy we have a nice 16C  or about 62F in my neck of the woods and Paris has 64F and sunnier! I have to tell you more because France always has more. So my latest favorites of the many are to follow below.

This American of Chinese origin has made many monuments around the world. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, the “Nobel of Architecture”. The architect Leoh Ming Pei, renowned in France for being at the origin of the Louvre pyramid, inaugurated in 1989. He has died at the age of 102 years. He is the son of the American artist, born in China in 1917, who announced the news to the New York Times. Some of his work were the Dallas City Hall, Cleveland’s Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame or the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. He, also built the East façade of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., more recently, he was also asked by Qatar to designl the Islamic Art Museum in Doha. RIP

Just after the fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the amount of donations, fueled in particular by the announcements of the great fortunes and companies of our country, was valued at one billion euros. But for the time being, this astronomical sum is far from being reached. According to our own count (Le Parisien newspaper) of the four collecting agencies selected by the State, 71 million euros have, to date, been casted on the half-billion that was directly promised to them. In detail, the Heritage Foundation is still awaiting the payment of 170 million euros, the Fondation Notre-Dame 300 million euros, the Fondation de France 20 million euros and the Center for National Monuments, 1 million euros.  Firstly because we do not know the budget necessary for the reconstruction, the expertise is coming to begin. Secondly,because most of the donations have not yet materialize.  Agreements will be signed between the Associations and the families Pinault and Arnault, who respectively promised 100 and 200 million euros. Payments will be made as the project progresses, many communities, which have not yet unlocked the promised appropriations, should do so in the coming weeks. Some mayors have still made a backhand retreat facing the sling of administrations preferring to give a boost to the the local buildings threatening ruin. From Le Parisien newspaper . Notre Dame Cathedral webpage here: https://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

At the Church of St. Paul and St Louis  4éme, the three large 17C stained glass windows that frame the altar of the Virgin were removed this week., and transported for restoration to the workshops in Tusson (Charente). So, the two large bays on both sides of the statue as well as the oculus of the upper part, protected by a kind of Plexiglas, let pass a white light that will illuminate the choir until September when the stained glass windows will be restored. As the Church has 49 stained glass windows and the donations allow to renovate two to three a year, the whole work will take about fifteen years. The first two were restored in the Choir Chapel in 2018. The Church parish is here: https://www.spsl.fr/contact

175 patronyms will be added on the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France. 1 823 names, 1 097 first name and 1 498 dates of birth will also be changed. Fourteen years after its inauguration by President Jacques Chirac and Simone Veil, herself a survivor of Auschwitz, the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France (including 11 400 children), erected in the courtyard of the Holocaust Memorial (4éme), will be fully demolished and replaced by a new one, also with stones from Jerusalem . The construction site began at the beginning of the past week and will be completed by January 27  2020 for the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Soviet army in the Auschwitz camp. Formed from the archives of the Gestapo anti-Jewish service recovered in August 1944, the lists of the names of men, women and children sent to the death camps were not free of errors: some for example, could be arrested under false patronyms (alais names of resistance or Frenchized…) .That’s why the spelling of 1 823 names and 1 097 first name is going to be changed. 1 498 dates of birth will be added or modified, and 175 names of deportees found through departmental archives or family intervention will be added. The Memorial of the Shoah  is at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier , 4éme. Open every day, except Saturday, from 10h to 18h, until 22h on Thursdays. Free admission. More info here : http://www.memorialdelashoah.org/en

The elected folks  of the depts Yvelines 78, Hauts-de-Seine 92 ,and Val-d’Oise 95, as well as those of Calvados 14, Eure 27, and Seine-Maritime 76  are determined to put the Seine on the front of the  tourist scene. Of the 350 km separating Le Havre from Paris, there are only twenty-five Seine river stops. The reception and the information to the tourists must be improved thanks to the trails and, why not, local guides. The banks of the Seine must be animated, brought to light as is the case in the Hauts-de-Seine. The river must also become useful again. In Mantes-la-Jolie, the barge of the Boucanier offers an original concept of floating restaurant popular especially in summer ( I attest to that very nice ambiance). In Bennecourt, a little further downstream, a lover of the Seine had the good idea to launch a floating cottage. This water camper can be rented by individuals or promoters.  In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the Seine is put forward every year by perpetuating the national pardon of the batellerie, (river boat building, a nice place indeed with a museum) a ceremony that is both commemorative and religious. Not to mention the Guinguettes that return to the taste of the day or the Seine docks made to pedestrians, as has been the case in Sartrouville since the beginning of the May’19. More info on the Fluvial Seine on the magazine Fluvial webpage here: http://www.fluvialnet.com/voies-navigables/bassin-de-la-seine

Info on tourism in the  Seine estuary in French: http://www.bassindelaseine.vnf.fr/tourisme-et-domaine-r316.html

In the evening, come to the castle for a Cine-Bal. The TAM dance company will initially offer a playlist of music films. Then a dozen film-danced sequences will be broadcasted on a giant screen. On the Parvis of the City/Town Hall, farandole of associations this coming Saturday from 14h,  and spring market on Saturday from 10h to 22h, and Sunday from 10h to 18h. At the Castle, night of the museums Saturday from 20h to midnight. Free, more information at tel +33 (0)1.64.73.49.00 and  City of Champs-sur-Marne (77) page here: www.ville-champssurmarne.fr

In it find a pdf file in French with all activities and a map! http://www.ville-champssurmarne.fr/actualite/doc/Champs_Fete2019_programme.pdf

Pierre-Paul Heckly’s collections auctioned this coming weekend by an auctioneer from Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne dept 77. Pierre-Paul Heckly was an architect and navigator located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). He died in 2018, and left behind a real Ali Baba Cave. Tens of thousands of objects, fruits of 60 years of discoveries, according to his multiple passions; bronzes, paintings, prints, crystal, silverware, furniture., etc. In the House, not a square cm or inch that does not carry or support a work. Upstairs, erotic drawings, a collection on the theme of marine anchors, an empire bed or the collection of almanacs Vermot (some dating back to the 1920’s). Close to these pieces of choice, drawings of unknown artists and trinkets caught in flea markets or souvenir shops, like this showcase that is brimming with objects on the theme of the scallops, of a perfect bad taste. But also hundreds of boxes of sardines, full and carefully listed. Or dozens of meters of shelves filled with glasses and beer mugs from all over the world. the most striking collection remains that of advertising lighters, it has 28 000 in its collection. The incredible collection of Pierre-Paul Heckly, is on sale Saturday and Sunday May 18-19  at the Auctions House Osenat  located at 9-11, rue Royale,Fontainebleau. Information and registration via the website . https://www.osenat.com/catalogue/96096?npp=150&

Last night, according to reports in the Le Parisien newspaper ,  the final project of the renovation of the Gare du Nord was unveiled. A green roof, sports fields, bicycle parking…Its new face totally amazing!  For the busiest train station in Europe. The work of the big work will  end in 2022, without consequences on the movement of trains. A second stage will begin in March 2023 for the upper floors and the impressive 11 000 m2 park. The ambitious idea of making the Gare du Nord the showcase of the French art of living (mais ouii). The giant rooftop terrace of 7700 m2 originally planned for 11 000 m2, and its lawns and garden.  Also, apart from children’s games, you can find rest areas, different cafés and many benches for a chilling moment. The rooftop terrace will also offer a range of equipment for sportsmen, at affordable prices: Padel (small tennis), basketball courts, as well as a trail of 1 km long and 50 m of elevation where to spend in the open air after a large day. 2000 bike places will be available in the secure parking lot, it will even have the possibility to have it repaired, to drop the equipment in lockers or to take a shower after a long journey. A space of 45 000 m2 will offer many shops, cafés and restaurants but also local shops and a range of surprising services such as a medical practice, a co-working space or a library. The project includes a lounge area with a waiting zone for Thalys travelers as well as a more extensive duty free area for Eurostar travelers. Official Gare du Nord SNCF: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpno/paris-gare-du-nord

A simple local guide to the Gare du Nord in French: http://www.gare-du-nord.paris/

From 1960 to 1980, musical currents crossed the channel, transforming Paris and London into multicultural capitals. The “Paris-London exhibition: Music migrations 1962-1989” at the Museum of the History of Immigration  proposes to explore the music that has moved the previous generation. One learns how several generations of immigrants, in these two former colonial powers, have seized the music to make their rights heard, claiming their place in public space and contributing to the transformations from the economic and cultural times of both countries. Shows, performances, concerts, screenings and encounters will enrich this magnificent Expo. You will be transported by pieces of reggae-punk, ska, R&B, Rachid Taha punk, electro-rap, rock Etc. Palais de la Porte Dorée,  Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration,  293, avenue Daumesnil 12éme Paris. More info here:  http://www.histoire-immigration.fr/paris-londres

Now let’s finish with a bang and dance away in the nights of Paris for the young at heart.

It is not a grocery store but a bar located in the 11éme arrondissement. L’Alimentation Générale or L’ali-gé  for the intimate locals. It’s a rather chill atmosphere: you can have a drink with your buddies in the early evening and then sweat until the end of the night to the sound of concerts and DJ sets. At 64, rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud 11éme Metro Parmentier, Couronnes, or Goncourt.  Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 19h to 02h, and Fridays and Saturdays from 19h  to 05h!.More info here:  http://alimentation-generale.net/

A real institution in the Belleville neighborhood, the Café Chéri (e) changes at the very end of the weekend. Exit the regulars who come to take their coffee, from 22h to 02h, the DJ’s raise the temperature of this room to the red neon: electro, rock or even jazz, the Café Chéri (e) always makes you happy. 44, Boulevard de la Villette,19éme. Metro Belleville. Open every day from noon to 02h. More info here:   https://www.facebook.com/cafe.cherie/posts/?ref=page_internal

Located a few steps from the Grands Boulevards, the B58 is a bar that wants to mingle culture and fiesta. Expos, stags evenings, the bar has the reputation of being a festive place where you drink well, and not too expensive! The small plus: the B58 can be privatized. At 58, rue richer ,9éme. From Tuesday to Saturday from 18H to 02h . More info here:  http://www.b58-paris.fr/

The party animal that is in you must definitely test the Favela Chic. Known to locals, this tropical-like bar will make you dance until the end of the night! You can even enjoy in the first part of the evening of friendly concerts. At 18, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple ,11éme. Metro République. Open from 19h30 to 02h  from Tuesday to Thursday and until 04h30 on Fridays and Saturdays. A real ambiance assure! More info in their Facebook page here :  https://www.facebook.com/FavelaChicSurofficial/

Located right in the heart of the Villette, this property is completely hybrid. A la folie its a restaurant, bar, guinguette and club, this is the kind of spot where you can spend a whole day. Outside, deckchairs to chilled  and inside a bar quite sympathetic to the colorful and urban décor of Parc de la Villette, 26, Avenue Corentin-Cariou 19éme Metro Corentin Cariou. Open Monday to Thursday from 12h to midnight and until 02h on weekends. More info here: http://alafolie.paris/

You who have a bad image of the neighborhood  of Saint-Michel and its tourist bars(indeed), be attentive and do not miss the Le Cavern Club. Not only because its prices are unbeatable in view of the neighborhood  with 3,50€ cocktails during Happy Hour! (mais ouii), but also because the music is cool. And the little thing in addition: a hidden staircase that leads to a huge vaulted cellar with a second bar. In terms of music, Electro-House enthusiasts should be delighted.  At 21, rue Dauphine, 6éme. Métro Saint-Michel. Open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18h to 02h, and until 06h on weekends. More info here:. http://www.lecavernclub.com/

And they you go be ready for the end of Spring and Summer in France sublime, this is the best time to be here except maybe October and December.  Enjoy it fully as we do. France is a movable feast!.

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

 

 

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May 17, 2019

The Lieutenance of Honfleur!

To continue the saga of my beloved city of Honfleur , and its many sights and views of glory , I now take you to the a emblematic building of the city, this is the Lieutenance. And as the name implies it was the home of the Lieutenant of the King!

You cannot come to Honfleur without seeing it visited it and enjoyed it all by the old basin or vieux basin or port. Glorious basking in Honfleur, the city of seamen. I like to tell you a bit more on it as did bits and pieces in my previous posts.

The Lieutenance or lieutenancy of Honfleur is located near the old basin. Last vestige of the fortifications of Honfleur, the building was the dwelling of the King’s Lieutenant. In 1662, the lieutenancy is one of the two gates of Honfleur. Called the Porte de Caen, it will be one of the only accesses from 1682 after the destruction of the Porte de Rouen in 1682. From 1684, the building officially took the name Lieutenance after the creation of the King’s lieutenant’s apartments. of the old basin, the lieutenancy is the last bastion of the medieval Honfleur, last vestige of the ramparts, dismantled at the end of the 17C by order of Colbert. The lieutenancy, as we see it nowadays, is the result of many renovations over the centuries.

honfleur

honfleur

Two buildings are to be distinguished in the lieutenancy, first the basement, made of stone, built around a corridor, is what remains of the enclosure. Above, the brick and stone buildings, built in the 17C, housed the apartments of the King’s Lieutenant from which it got its name. The very first ramparts of the city of Honfleur were erected in the 13C, around the so-called paddock. Around 1350, Charles V built a veritable fortress surrounding a harbour stranding haven, as well as the city. Beyond the outskirts lie the suburbs. The enclosure consisted of powerful walls. Two doors opened on the outside: the Porte de Rouen gate and the Porte de Caen , in other words the lieutenancy. The most westerly part of the gate was redone, the present façade dating from the 16C.

honfleur

honfleur

in front of the lieutenancy stood the Tour Carre or square tower. As in La Rochelle, chains stretched between these two towers closed the entrance to the port. The square tower was demolished in 1808. The presence of a building is attested as early as the 11C, a time when Honfleur was not yet fortified. It was profoundly reengineered between the 16-17C. Drowned in the middle of the fortifications, this city gate dates from the beginning of the 18C. Following a donation of Queen Anne of Austria, the gate receives in 1643 a niche with a statue of the Virgin, Notre Dame du Port it will be partially destroyed at the end of the 18C, it would regain its place in 1863. And the SNSM boat of many memories of mine bears the name of the Virgin.

honfleur

A plaque in memory of Samuel de Champlain, Navigator who explored Canada and founded the city of Quebec from Honfleur in 1608, is affixed to the sSouth façade of the Lieutenance building.

Some webpages as usual for more information to follow

City of Honfleur n the Lieutenance

Tourist office of Honfleur on the LIeutenance

And there you go another gem in my beloved Honfleur, the world comes to it and we do each time in the city; the Lieutenance , remember the name as in lieutenant. Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

 

 

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