Archive for July 20th, 2019

July 20, 2019

Languidic and ND des Fleurs!

Ok so let’s give it a breather to the restaurants post even if I really enjoy nostalgia. I was wandering with my father in tow to take him out for his 84th birthday and I past by this town again. Again! it is only 14 km or about 9 miles from my house but darn it ,so much to see and do here, I could not find a post on it in my blog!!! So this is it, I need to tell you about Languidic, in the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh!

Languidic , by its area, is the largest town of the Morbihan and since 1 January 2016, the fourth largest in Brittany. Established on the left bank of the Blavet river, the town is bordered by a towpath of 18 km, the main tourist activity. In addition, fourteen chapels, housing rich liturgical furniture, are scattered throughout the territory. The most remarkable remains the Chapel Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs (see below). It   is located 35 km from Vannes, 30 km from Pontivy and 18.5 km from Lorient, 10 km from Hennebont , and   14 km from my town!. The expressway N 24, connecting Rennes to Lorient, crosses Languidic for about 15 km and from my town the road D 102, takes yo there easily.

A bit of history I like

The parish of Languidic seems to exist at least as early as the 9C. The War of Succession of Brittany; initially supporters of Jeanne de Penthièvre, Henry de Spinefort, captain of the city of Rennes, and his brother Olivier, captain of the city of Hennebont, rally shortly after Jean de Montfort (keep Brittany independent). They defend the city of Hennebont during the siege of Charles de Blois (bring Brittany to France) ; the Languidic campaigns are then plundered by the Breton and French soldiers. During the eighth war of religion (1585-1598), the governor of Brittany, the duke of Mercœur, put himself at the head of the Breton league. Philip II (Felipe II)  of Spain, who supports and finances the League, sends him troops. From 1590, the cities of Blavet (former name of Port-Louis) and Hennebont are fiercely disputed; the soldiers do not hesitate to loot the villagers of Languidic. The Chouannerie (local rebels vs the French revolution) was gaining more and more supporters, especially in the countryside, and threatens communal power. With the fall of the First Empire, the municipal council affirms its attachment to the Royalist regime. In 1820, Languidic participates in the national subscription of the castle of Chambord; it votes in 1822 subsidies for the erection of a monument to the dead of the Quiberon expedition (Breton immigrants coming from England to fight vs the French revolution )and a monument to Georges Cadoudal (chouan general fought vs the French revolution buried in Auray).

Other things to see I like here

The megalithic alignments and tumuli of the Grand Resto or Lann-Venet (Neolithic period), also called menhirs of Kersolan or soldiers of Saint Cornély, are composed of three alignments of menhirs of 29, 69 and 43 stones each. The St. Peter’s (St Pierre) Church was built between 1876 and 1879 and replaces two older churches. The first was erected around 1329, about the same location The second was built in the 15C, perhaps in 1453 or 1433. Today, the church is home to one of rarest bells in the region prior to the Revolution. “Kolas” (or Nicolas) dates from 1783 and was not melted because it was used for civil ring tones. The silver chalice and the ciborium pewter, respectively of the 17C and 18C. In 1933, a Calvary is built on the Place General-de-Gaulle. The Chapel of Saint-Jacques (St James) 17-18C, in the heart of the hamlet of Kergohanne, replaces an older construction and was part of stage of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.   The Chapel houses the polychrome wooden statue of Saint Isidore, dating from the 19C. A Calvary of 1745 greets visitors at the entrance while the devotional fountain is not far, arranged near a large pool, probably a laundry. There are numerous castles but these are worth the detour ;  the castle of Kerrous   19C, the castle of Quellenec 15-18C, and the castle of La Forêt 17-19C. At the cemetery, there is the tomb of Marie-Thérèse-Perrine-Josephine Hersart de la Villemarqué, daughter of the philologist Théodore Hersart de La Villemarqué.

And to me what is worth coming here is the Chapel of Notre Dame des Fleurs! worth a detour.

Languidic

In town, the Chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, flamboyant Gothic style, was built in the 15C (begun in 1451 and restored in the 18-19C) . A Calvary, dating from the 17C, stands at the entrance. It is located at the corner of the Rue des Fleurs and rue Saint-Aubin, and a few meters from the presbytery.

The construction of the Chapel of Notre Dame des Fleurs was in devotion to the Virgin Mary. The chapel was restored once in 1741. At the French revolution, the cult of reason and the Supreme Being is intended to replace Catholic religion; St. Peter’s Church is considered too large, the temple of the reason of Languidic was installed in the Chapel. When not in service, the rest of the time, the Chapel was used as a school. In 1794, the constitutional priest refused to deliver his priesthood letters to the authorities. Arrested and locked up at the Notre-Dame-de-Joye abbey, he resigned himself to questioning the documents. However, to punish him for his attitude, he is forbidden to officiate at the church. For nearly two years he gives the sacraments in the chapel. In the 19C, the chapel was once again restored to repair the damage suffered during the French revolution, and on this occasion, the chapel is equipped with a new bell. The Chapel undergoes a third restoration from 1892. It had some further restoration lastly in 1993.

Languidic

Done in Flamboyant Gothic style, the Chapel of Notre Dame des Fleurs (flowers) was built on a Latin cross-shaped plan comprising of a single nave, a transept and a flat chevet choir. It is 25 meters long and 6.5 meters wide. Large windows with flamboyant lattices light the chapel. The gate of the southern cross is composed of two bays in a basket form under a large brace with perforated tympanum. The tower, built on a cornice projecting from the western gable, is flanked to the north by a turret in the style of the 15C. A stone tribune, composed of four decorated panels, on small vaults of ogives and three square pillars, topped with pinnacles with hooks, occupies, in the west, the whole width of the bottom of the nave. You can, also note the stone lecterns, worn on columns with capitals carved with foliage, the nave and the north cross. The interior is organized in four bays: two for the nave and two for the transept.

Languidic

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Languidic on its history in French

Local tourist office of Lorient south Brittany on Languidic

City of Languidic on the Chapel Notre Dame des Fleurs in French

Another nice gem of my beautiful Morbihan that does not stop to amaze me for its beauty whether by the coast or inland. Languidic is easy on and off the N24 direct from Rennes or the N165 coming from Vannes. Worth a detour town indeed ,enjoy it.

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

 

 

July 20, 2019

Taverne de Maître Kanter at St Gervais la Forêt!

Not too often I write about a restaurant alone unless is part of a trip. However, this is part of a nostalgic trip along the favorite spots of my family, and  I like to keep firmly in my blog, and hopefully you can enjoy too when traveling near Blois. I like to tell you a bit more on the Taverne de Maître Kanter!

In the unmeasurable and wonderful gastronomic delights of my belle France we set out many times without any fix rdv or reservation just on our road warrior kind of living. On the road one gets hungry/thirsty and we need to stop to refill. While on the marvelous castle road of the D956 of the Loir et Cher dept 41 of the Centre Val de Loire region we came upon this restaurant we already knew as a chain and like it; so we stop by to eat. Always a pleasant experience of the Alsacien style of cooking and great beers! So here is a bit on the town and the resto; stay tune. Bon appêtit!!

First a bit about the town of course, a nice escape from Blois!

The town of Saint-Gervais-la-Forêt  is located in the department of Loir-et-Cher, 41 in the Centre Val de Loire region. A town bordering the south of Blois, Saint-Gervais is the crossroads of the four main roads of Sologne. Three of them have met since 1770 at the crossroads known as the Patte d’Oie (goose Paw ) such as Lamotte-Beuvron, Romorantin-Lanthenay and Contres. The fourth arrives along the Cosson river and joins the town from the north. The town is passed  from the south and west by the Russy forest which occupies most of the town’s territory. The neighboring towns are Blois to the north, Vineuil to the east, Mont-Près-Chambord and Cellettes to the south and Chailles to the west.

A bit of history tell us that the town was known as Saint-Gervais-des-Près for more than a thousand years (between the 8C and the French revolution), then Saint-Gervais-sur-Cosson, the town finally  took its current name in 1918 to distinguish itself from the other 17 towns of the same name!.  It is a town of winemakers and meadows, renowned since the 18C for its cream, it took between 1794 and 1795 the name of Bonne-Crème and that of Gervais-sur-Cosson. From 1803 to 1828, Saint-Gervais was attached to the city of Blois.

A bit on things to see here once in town that we only passed by and are more things to see in my belle France are

The Pont Jacques Gabriel (D956) over the Cosson river, which dates back to 1771. The Priory, built in the 18C on the Cosson hillside for a prior of Saint-Solenne, faces the Loire Valley. It was the last resting place of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin (better known as Houdini the magician) from 1851 until his death. From 1856, he made it an enchanted house in the garden from which he had installed his automatons (see my post on the museum in Blois). The castle, close to the priory, remains in the 19C, now inhabited by the  Warren’s family. It was built in 1842 on the site of the Juiverie (Jewry), formerly Le Vivier (Templar Commandary of the 12-13C).  The Church of Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais has a 12C Romanesque tower, the only remnant of the old church burned down by the Huguenots in 1567. It was rebuilt, enlarged and built between the  16C and the 20C  (reconstruction in 2007 of a caquetoir (conversation chair) according to the plans and watercolours of the period).

Some webpages on the town are

City of St Gervais La Forêt on heritage

Tourist office of Blois-Chambord on St Gervais La Forêt

And how about the restaurant of La Taverne de Maître Kanter at St Gervais la Forêt!

La Taverne de Maître Kanter located at 515 Rue Georges Méliès 41350 Saint-tGervais-la-Forêt off the D956 road towards Blois coming from Cheverny on your left hand side. We later continue passing The Jacques Gabriel Bridge which goes over Loire river into  Blois. This bridge was built in 1771 by Jacques Gabriel.

st gervais la foret

The Taverne de Maître Kanter is a franchise chain of brasseries taverns with wooded décor dedicated to Alsatian dishes, seafood and local specialties. It offers a multitude of flavors: seafood, traditional dishes, Alsatian specialties and gourmet salads… rediscover all the generosity of a traditional cuisine through the varied and quality menu. At Maîtrer Kanter, cooking is a simple value that must be accessible to all. Come and share warm and authentic moments with family, couples or friends. Always as said a very nice place of good quality/price ratio.

st gervais la foret

In general the menus of The Tavern of Maître Kanter (could change and prices too) are: Hamburger, fries, Caesar salad 15.70€ ,Kir with white wine 3.30€, Tarte du jour 5.10€ ,Kro pure malt at 3.5€,Tasting assorted plate at 20.30€, Roquefort endive salad at 6.90 €, Flammekueche traditional at 8.80€, Drinks soup at 14.10€. The drinks such as White Alcohols 7.70€, Kir with white wine 3.30€, Bordeaux between two seas- Château tour de Mirambeau 2014 22.60€, Loire Valley at 13€, Pinot noir at 11.90€, Café at 1.60€, Kir with white wine at 3.30€

Last I read, the Taverne de Maître Kanter were absorbed by the Groupe FLO several years back and now the FLO is under the Groupe Bertrand. However, most of the restaurants are now franchise independent. https://www.groupe-bertrand.com/restauration/

More on the Maître Kanter at St Gervais La Forêt: Tourist office of Blois Chambord on the Maître Kanter

Facebook page of the Taverne de Maître Kanter at St Gervais La Forêt

There you go another memorable spot for my family in castle territory of my belle France on my road warrior trips. The chain even less and less it still a good one to come in we had in other towns. Enjoy the Maître Kanter a nice escape from while visiting Blois!

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

 

July 20, 2019

Les Halles of Ancenis!

Once again another gem while on my road warrior in my belle France. We do not stop , so much to see, and we are just beginning ::) even with trips in earnest to France since 1990, and living here for 16 years we are short on the wonders of my adopted country.

Let me show you a dandy we saw while driving towards the valley of the kings but in Pays de la Loire territory. This is Ancenis, and its wonderfull belltower covered market or Les Halles d’Ancenis.

As not really written much on the town even if passed by it several times…. let me give you some introduction.

The town of Ancenis is in the department of Loire-Atlantique, no 44 of the Pays de la Loire region. Since January 1, 2019, it is the new town of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon with the old neighboring town of Saint-Géréon. Ancenis was built in 984 on an island whose contours can still be seen thanks to boulevards Joseph-Vincent and Léon-Séché. The wharves demonstrate the importance of past traffic on the Loire river  and the importance of the port of Ancenis. The city is part of the Markets of Brittany (marches de Bretagne). Ancenis is part of the historic Brittany region in the traditional country of the Pays Nantais!  The city is 35 km from Nantes, 50 km from Angers, 50 km from Cholet, and 50 km from Châteaubriant.  Ancenis is connected to the national network by its highway/motorway interchange and its toll on the A 11 linking Nantes to Paris!

A bit of history I like

The old town of Ancenis was founded in 984 by Guérech, son of Alain Barbetorte, Duke of Brittany, or by his wife Aremberge. An earlier Gallo-Roman occupation exists on the current territory of Saint-Géréon, on a higher point of the slopes of the Loire, the Meslières Stones. The foundation of Ancenis is intended to defend the new Breton border created by the victory of Alain Barbetorte on the Normans, including the pretensions of the dukes of Anjou who, as early as 987, besieged the city. In 1468, the Treaty of Ancenis was signed, committing duke François II of Brittany to break his alliances with Charles the Bold and King Edward IV of England.

Tourist office of the Pays Ancenis on Ancenis in English here:  https://www.pays-ancenis-tourisme.com/en/to-see-and-do/visits-culture-and-heritage/towns-and-villages/ancenis-and-its-banks-of-loire/

The nice monument here that caught our attention passing by it was the covered market or halles. Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on it.

The market or halles are the heart of the city center, around which all the shops of the city are installed. They are built on the site of the old market which dated from the 15C, razed in 1859. It is in 1862 that they are inaugurated. They include the covered market, surmounted by a belfry, the whole is of Napoleonic architecture. The halles as they exist today were part of the vast operation Coeur d’Ancenis 2017 (heart center of Ancenis), whose objective was to render the heart of the city more attractive. Thanks to this program that included the creation of a forecourt, the renovation of the facade, the renovation of the roof , the installation of new joinery and the redevelopment of interior spaces, the halles have found all their superb aspect and now offer a new commercial space of 600 m2. This does not prevent market gardeners, poultry farmers, fishmongers, and cheese makers from setting up their market around the halles every Thursday morning !

Ancenis

A bit of history on the covered market or Halles d’Ancenis.

The Ancenis-Saint-Géréon market is already 413 years old. Recognized in the regional commercial landscape, this event has gone through times and historical events. The Duchess of Mercœur, who today has an alley to her name in the Rohan district, is at the origin. The Duchesse de Mercœur was born Marie de Luxembourg, she married Philippe de Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur and Baron d’Ancenis. The latter was appointed governor of Brittany in 1582 by King Henry III and later became leader of the Catholic league which challenged the arrival of Henry IV, of Protestant origin, while wars of religion were raging. In March 1606, she obtained from King Henry IV the patent letters establishing in Ancenis a fair each  year and a market each week, thus giving them a legal existence. The wooden halls (instead of the current halls) have been home to the market since at least the 15C. On September 6, 1623, the Duchesse de Mercœur died at the Chateau d’Anet  (Eure-et-Loir,dept 28). She was buried in the Convent of the Capuchins, at 222 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, which she had built.

The city of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon on the covered market of which some of the description above was translated by yours truly! City of Ancenis on the covered market or Halles

There you go my dear readers, another gem as said of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the ride and do ride into the wonders of my France. Ancenis-Saint Géréon in the Loire Atlantique! 

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

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