Archive for August, 2019

August 23, 2019

And one more time in Auray!

As said, come here often and never tired of seeing this lovely town of Auray in the Morbihan breton of my Bretagne. The town itself is smallish and all can be done on foot, but it is full of wonderful architecture and history of three countries France, Canada ,and the USA. Just need to read my post on Auray to realise this.

This week is my last week here as will be going to my beloved and dear Madrid so no more posts for a while. Once back will be the rentrée or the re-entry period for French summer vacation to end and we all go back to the regular routine in September. One more year and will be retirement time in France for me yuppééé!!!

In my last walk around Auray before leaving I like to show you a beautiful small city with a huge history of the world that needs to be known better.

auray

place de la République Auray

auray

Place aux Roues Auray

auray

rue jean marie barre to Keriolet parking! Auray

auray

Rue du Belzic arts ménagers du Belzic Breton architecture

auray

rue du Belzic quincaillerie or hardware store our favorite in town

auray

Rue du Pére Eternel and the toilets can’t be far from them lol!

And there you go , another nice walking adventure in the lovely city of Auray in my Morbihan breton dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! You can easily spent a day here walking, shopping and eating good ! Love it!! Hope you enjoy it. Until soon on my blog , thank you for visiting.

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

August 23, 2019

El Escorial: Infante and Principe!

And now that my time to Spain is approaching once again, and the libido is going out the window, looking back in my blog once again feel not given credit to this area enough. I like to tell you that I have several posts on San Lorenzo de El Escorial and its monuments, especially the monastery. However , not on the houses of the Infante and Principe.

This brief post will bring me up to date and hopefully remind you or tell you of the wonders to see there besides the main building. We love it as it is in the Comunidad de Madrid or the region of Madrid.

The Casita del Infante (also known as the Casita de Arriba) or small house of the sons of the king, but not the heir to the throne, is one of the residences of the Spanish Royal Family. It is a neoclassical building, built in the last third of the 18C, located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the Comunidad de Madrid region. It owes its name to the infante Gabriel de Borbón, son of Carlos III, who used it as a recreational and resting place.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo

This mansion is located on a promontory south of the Monastery of El Escorial and was conceived to host chamber music concerts, one of the great hobbies of Infante Gabriel de Borbón. It was carried out between 1771 and 1773, from a design by Juan de Villanueva, the same architect who drew the Casita del Príncipe or de Abajo (see below), which is located nearby.

San Lorenzo

It has Italian-style gardens on descending terraces and it was possible to listen to music from inside and outside. The original decoration was lost and the one that can be observed corresponds to the reigns of Carlos IV and Fernando VII. Vicente Gómez painted the vault with a fresco of the Four Seasons.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo

King Juan Carlos I resided there during the time he attended college and before getting married. His bedroom and the furniture he used are preserved there. On October 19, 1988, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia held a lunch in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

San Lorenzo

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of San Lorenzo on the Casita del Infante

Tourist office Comunidad de Madrid on the Casita del Infante

Spain National Heritage on the Casita del infante

The Casita del Príncipe or Casita de Abajo is one of the residences of the Spanish Royal Family. It is an 18C building, located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Community of Madrid as well. It was built between 1771 and 1775, based on a design by Juan de Villanueva, one of the most important architects of Spanish neoclassicism.

San Lorenzo

It was chosen as a recreation pavilion for the use of Carlos IV, then Prince of Asturias, in a forest of oaks between the Monastery of El Escorial and the town urban nucleus. Not far from its enclave is the Casita del Infante or de Arriba (see above).

San Lorenzo

The Casita del Príncipe initially consisted of a single rectangular block, with a 27-meter façade, reminiscent of the Museo del Prado, Juan de Villanueva’s masterpiece. Between 1781 and 1784 it was enlarged with a rear wing. It has two floors.  It is surrounded by two gardens, one in the front and one in the rear, connected to each other by two Tuscan columns. The palatial taste of the time is present in its fountains, ponds, waterfalls, walks and boxwood hedges. To this is added the existence of an extensive park around it, populated by native species, such as oak and encina, local species like sequoi and pinsapo; and typical garden trees.

San Lorenzo

The Casita del Principe keeps in its interior a relevant 18C decoration, representative of the palatial art of the time, in good condition. Although much of the original elements were lost during the Napoleonic invasion, King Ferdinand VII returned to decorate it. In the 20C, the furniture was restored at the initiative of Alfonso XIII. On the ground floor, the Neoclassical Ferroni decorations of Pompeian and Etruscan style, silks, upholsteries, furniture, lamps and clocks stand out. The marble stucco and ceilings were painted by Vicente Gómez, Juan de Mata Duque, Luigi Japelli, Mariano Salvador Maella and Francisco Bayeu. On the upper floor, the vaults located at a much lower height than those on the lower floor are topped with stuccoes with reliefs. It has a room completely decorated with porcelain of Buen Retiro, with taste close to the Rococo style. This house has no bedrooms, since its use was limited to enjoy them and their surroundings during the day, and not to sleep in them.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of San Lorenzo on the Casita del Principe

Spain National Heritage on ticket info on the Casita del Principe

Tourist office Comunidad de Madrid on the Casita del Principe

These are two marvelous houses to see , the best way is to have a car , however, you can go on foot,  to the Casita del Principe  walk from the monastery in about 1.2 km. To the Casita del infante is about 1,8 km. They have good signage to lead you to them.  An opportunity to go into the wooded area and see something different from the Monastery and the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial not to leave with a great piece of history and wonderful architecture. Enjoy the  Casitas of the Infante and Principe!

Couple more webpages to give you a rounded information on the area as usual in my posts.

City of San Lorenzo on the history of the town in Spanish

Comunidad de Madrid govt culture on Juan de Villanueva in English

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

 

 

 

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August 22, 2019

The Big Wheel at Brussels!

So looking back I guess have not told you about the Big Wheel in Brussels during Christmas time. It is a magical place and one of my family’s favorite spot. Therefore, it is time to render the credit it deserves and write a bit on it ok.

Brussels

This is an awesome time to be in Brussels and its shows by its Christmas market been rank right up there with the best in Europe. The European Best Christmas Market organization voted Plaisirs d’Hiver the seventh best Christmas market in Europe! More here: European Best Destinations best Christmas markets

Brussels

Winter Wonders or Plaisirs d’Hiver ,the big holiday market, done in the center of the City of Brussels. No less than 270 stands make up this magnificent market, which crosses most of the historic center for more than 2.5 km. The event is organized around the Grand Place of Brussels and around the Bourse, on the Place de la Monnaie, Place Sainte-Catherine and Place du Marché aux Pisissons. It’s a very nice family festive environment which we have enjoyed for several years while the boys were younger!!

Brussels

Brussels

However, as the boys grew the attractions became a bit more daring and I had to climb the big wheel or Ferris wheel or Grande roue  to watch all these animations and all this high agitation. And even if the hulls are largely glazed, it is better to take your scarf and  hat, and a lot of courage lol!

Brussels

Do you know the Paris Ferris wheel was inaugurated on the Boulevard du Midi in Brussels, in the extension of the pedestrian area?. It will be accessible from 27 November 2019 and will then go to Ghent.

The Ferris wheel is 55 meters in diameter and 60 meters high. It has 42 cabins that can hold up to six people, for a total capacity of 252 people. In comparison, the Ferris wheel of the Foire du Midi rises to 44 meters, while that of the Plaisirs d’hiver rises to 50 meters in height. The latter will be accessible from November 27, shortly after the disassembly of the Paris Ferris wheel on the Boulevard du Midi. The Ferris wheel was purchase by a forain duo from  Place de la Concorde in Paris for 3.5 million euros. A wheel 70 meters high will soon be installed on the Parisian square. Stay tune for that.

Brussels

A wonderful place to be at Christmas and even if far away we all need to plan right? Go there. Enjoy the Ferris wheel or Grand Roue at the Plaisirs d’Hiver Christmas market in Brussels Belgium.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

Official Plaisirs d’Hiver in English

Tourist office of Brussels on the plaisirs d’Hiver event

The text is all new, the photos are from 2015. Enjoy them and be there, I will try to be there again even if my boys are now men!  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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August 22, 2019

Going south to Chetumal in Mexico!

Let me bring you across the ocean to a place very familiar to me not only for the many trips over the years there, and good friends ,but with locals coming into my family hailing from DF and Merida to boot.

I have gone down Mexico way to the beautiful Quintana Roo State and the wonderful city of Chetumal near the border with Belize.  Let me tell you a bit on Chetumal ok. Chetumal is the state capital of Quintana Roo and is located at the extreme south of the Yucatán Peninsula, this city is bathed by the Caribbean Sea at Chetumal Bay.

A bit of history i like

In the pre-Columbian period, it was the port of an ancient Mayan state that stretched north of Belize. The revolt of the Maya peoples against Mexican rule, known as the Yucatan Caste War in the 1840s, drove all Hispanic people from that region; many settled in the city of Corozal, today Belize. The modern city was founded in 1898 under the name of Payo Obispo. The city was populated by settlers from Belize ,including refugees from the Caste War and English nationals.

The city is on the border with Belize. Every weekend, residents of neighboring Belize come massively to the Chetumal markets, because in Belize life is much more expensive than in Mexico so they tell me. Chetumal is especially the point of arrival of many buses or planes coming from other regions. It is also from Chetumal that one can go to northern Guatemala and Belize.

Some things to see here are

Cultural Center of the Fine Arts (Centro Cultural de las Bellas Artes), located in the center of the city. The building is housed in what was the school Belisario Domínguez, which was the first school of Quintana Roo.

Museum of the Mayan Culture (Museo de la Cultura Maya), considered the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state dedicated to the Mayan culture. It has an important collection of authentic and reproductions of classical works, and tells the development of Mayan culture, its origins, as well as various aspects of their daily life. The museum is very well designed to understand the traditions, beliefs and way of life of the Mayans. More from the Cultural ministry here: Mexico Culture Ministry on the Museum

chetumal

Museum of the City. Tied to the Cultural Center of the Fine Arts, dedicated to the exhibition of photographs, tools and documents that tell the story of the founding of the city.

There are various monuments around the city such as the monument to Renacimiento or rebirth of the city (after the hurricanes) , and the lighthouse monument by the beachside.

chetumal

chetumal

While at it we ate and enjoy it at the great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and outside a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS Insurgentes Km. 5-025  which we use for our lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo here:   VIPS Quintana Roo Chetumal

The Centro Comercial Las Americas shopping center more info here: Facebook page of Plaza Las Americas Chetumal

chetumal

chetumal

Oh yes important how I got here lol! I took a flight on Interjet Airlines ( a nice low cost in Mexico) from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, about 2 km from the city and a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to  Chetumal. More info here: Chetumal Airport

chetumal

And I stayed here! City Express a nice down to earth chain of hotels already in various countries in Latin America. Once the night arrive we stayed  at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city.  More info here: City Express Quintana Roo Chetumal

Some webpages to help you plan further your trip here are

Grand Mayan coast Mexican Caribbean on Chetumal

Zona Turistica site on sights to see in Chetumal

Mayan Beach Garden site on things to see in Chetumal

Belize ‘s take on Chetumal

There you go a wonderful paradise still not so much touch by the hordes of tourists and extreme sublime beauty all around. Hope you enjoy the post on Chetumal, me looking forward to a repeat!

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

August 21, 2019

The Château de Kériolet at Concarneau !!

And I am back seeking castles again, this time up the alley from my house lol! You won’t believe it but I have been to Concarneau with the family in several occassions, just browse search in my blog. Each time I made reference to this castle to go see it just outside of town, and never did! until today! Goes without saying there is so much beauty to see in my belle France I am afraid won’t have time to see it all, and why see something else.

I like to present to you the Château de Kériolet and its unique architecture and history.  The Château de Kériolet is a neo-Gothic and part Renaissance castle located near Beuzec-Conq in the town of Concarneau, in dept 29 of Finistère in my lovely Bretagne. It is less than an hour from my house!

Concarneau ug19

A bit of history I like

Kériolet appears in the texts for the first time in 1481. There resides Jean Trévaré, ducal accountant at Concarneau during the restoration work on the ramparts. In the 17C, Jean de Kerguen, notary at the Conq court, succeeded him, and in 1752, the former mayor Jean-Pierre Billette. In the late 1850s, under the Second Empire, the Champenois Charles Chauveau in of territorial artillery and diplomatic courier, responsible for transporting suitcases and dispatches between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy of France in St. Petersburg, met the Russian princess Zinaïda Ivanovna Ioussoupova; born Naryshkin, immensely rich and widowed. She falls in love with him and wants to marry her; in the face of scandal, Tsar Alexander II consents, but exiles the princess and lays down conditions; Chauveau is made a Roman Count and becomes Count Chauveau; later he appropriated or purchase the names and coats of arms such as the blue of a a leopard of gold laden with three stars of gargouilles of an extinct family from the Nantes region, that of Chauveau de La Mulonnière, ennobled in 1663 ; he is made Marquis de Serres. In order to stand for election, in the new Brittany, the young candidate must acquire a residence in the constituency he covets, which makes him look for a property; elected in 1860 and bought personally in 1861 the estate of Kériolet, in Beuzec-Conq , later the town will be attached to Concarneau in 1945.

concarneau

The new Château de Kériolet has copies or similarities to the castle of Blois (equestrian statue in bas-relief of Louis XII on the facade), the castle of Rustéphan (turret-staircase), the priory of Locamand (portal entrance) in its decorations. On the south wing, carved crowns of count and marquis, fleurs-de-lis, hermines of Brittany, Russian-inspired stars, scallops, letters A (for Anne de Bretagne) and L (for Louis XII) are contiguous.

concarneau

The park is decorated with statues: a Velléda, a copy of that of Hippolyte Maindron exposed to the Louvre of Paris; a Vercingetorix, a Charles VIII, and an Anne de Bretagne statues, the good duchess so dear to the heart of the princess, a Joan of Arc, a Bertrand Du Guesclin. The park also includes, in the immediate vicinity of the castle, the guard tower, and the Marie-Jeanne Tower ;named after the Count’s cook!.

concarneau

concarneau

The 57-year-old Count de Chauveau died in October 1882 in Kériolet. Charles de Chauveau had left the estate to his sister, Madame Prieur. His widow Zénaïde bought Kériolet and decided to donate it, with the land and its collections, to the department of Finistère, provided to leave everything as is. She spent a few more summers in her residence in Concarneau, before dying in turn in 1893. Her remains were repatriated to Russia.

concarneau

concarneau

The great-grandson of Princess Zénaïde, Prince Félix Youssoupoff and his wife, Princess Irina Alexandrovna (the niece of Tsar Nicholas II), left Russia on April 11, 1919, aboard a battleship of the Royal Navy, the HMS Marlborough sent to Yalta, Crimea by King George V of the UK , to rescue his Russian cousins, members of the imperial family. Much later, in the 1950s, Youssoupoff brought a lawsuit in restitution of the castle for non-compliance with the testamentary provisions of her great grandmother, After years of proceedings, the prince won his trial in 1956; Youssoupoff enters into possession of Kériolet, which does not please him, and very quickly the collections are scattered and the land fragmented; he proposes to the city of Concarneau to acquire the castle, the talks drag on. He offers the wells of the kitchens, which was reassembled in the closed city of Concarneau (where you can see it today at the entrance to the right). The estate is reduced to skin of sorrows and is finally sold and resold. In 1971 the chapel is destroyed and its stones recovered to build a house. The castle is deteriorating inexorably; some elements of interior decoration and the park disappear during thefts. The storm of 1987 carries away the roof. Then,   Christophe Lévèque, buys the castle, restores it and opens it again to the public as is today , still in renovation on the upper floors who are also his living quarters and not visited.

concarneau

The visit of the Château de Kériolet is by guided tour and a very good one too. They come for you in the garden by the front door and take you to the big salon, main entrance lobby. It follows the guards’s room but was really an entertainment salon, then the living room, hunting room, the kitchen and the cellars. All with anecdotes of the periods of the castle from the 15C to the 19C ,and the fact that most of the furniture is not original but put it to give it a resemblance of living castle (the furniture was sold all over) , some still goes back to the 15C.  The personage of Charles is unique as not been Breton he incarnate all of it in his architecture demands and decorations even trying to be a knight himself of royal blood which was not true. All a fascinating walk thru a beautiful castle very close to me! Done!

concarneau

concarneau

concarneau

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and should be side visit from the ville close fortified town of Concarneau are

Official Château de Kériolet

The official Concarneau tourist office on the Kériolet castle : https://www.deconcarneauapontaven.com/en/heritages/chateau-de-keriolet/

Tourist office of Brittany on the Keriolet castle

And there you go another dandy castle in the dukedom of Bretagne indeed, plenty of all kinds abound in my lovely Brittany and belle France. I am just starting lol! Enjoy the Castle of Keriolet in Concarneau !!

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

August 20, 2019

The Château de Brissac !!

Hi there, its me back with castles!!! I love castles seen so many in my belle France but each new ones is just more beautiful lol except one…hehehe you know if you read my blog.  I was with the boys on our road warrior trip in the Pays de la Loire, Maine-et-Loire dept 49 and visited on the way home the old town of Brissac-Quincé; this is since 2016 a new town call Brissac Loire Aubance . Of course, there is a beautiful gorgeous castle here.

Brissac-Quincé is an old town located in the department of Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire region. The town was born in 1964 from the grouping of two old neighboring towns of Brissac and Quincé. It is then consolidated in 2016 in the new town of Brissac Loire Aubance. Brissac-Quincé as the best known name still is located on the D 748 road, 16 km south of Angers, 29 km from Saumur, 46 km from Cholet, 85 km from Nantes and 266 km from Paris.

The new town heritage info is here: City of Brissac Loire Aubance on heritage

However, the main here is the Castle of course and our wonderful stop for lunch in town!

The Château de Brissac  is located in new town of Brissac Loire Aubance. With seven floors and more than two hundred rooms, this castle is one of the highest in France (it claims to be the highest). Cradle of the family of Cossé-Brissac since 1502 that still live in it as private property open to the public. Its medieval towers, remains of its fortress of origin of the 15C, shelter perfectly the main facade. It is in this castle that in 1620, took place the reconciliation of Louis XIII with his mother, Marie de Medici, widow of Henry IV. Many plantations adorn the park with beeches, tulip trees, maples, willows, cedars, as well as liquidambars trees as well as a nice farm with donkeys!!!. Its architecture makes it so they tell me the highest castle in France, it has seven floors in total, as well as two hundred rooms, and its facade reflects the baroque influences of the time. Home of the dukes of Brissac, the castle raises its monumental facades from its large landscaped park. Since the beginning of the 16C, it is the property and residence of the dukes of Brissac.

Brissac

Brissac

A bit of history I like

It was originally a castle built by Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou,(who built so the story about 35 castles in the region)  in the 11C. After the defeat of the English by Philippe Auguste, this one yields it to Guillaume des Roches. The castle was acquired in 1435 and rebuilt in 1455 by Pierre de Breze, a rich minister of Charles VII. At the death of the latter, occurred at the Battle of Montlhéry saving the king, it is his son, Jacques, who inherits and moved to the castle. He settled there with his wife Charlotte de Valois (daughter of Charles VII and Agnès Sorel). When Jacques discovers that his wife has an affair with his friend Pierre de Lavergne, he pierces her with his sword in 1462; today a legend claims that it appears in the form of a white lady on stormy nights. During the reign of Francis I, the property was bought in 1502 by René de Cossé whom the king named governor of Maine and Anjou. The castle thus enters the family of Cossé which then adopts the name of Brissac.

Brissac

The Cossé-Brissac retain the castle until 1792. During the French revolution, it is requisitioned and turned into quartering for the Bleus (republican revolutionaries) of   Vendée. Sacked by the revolutionaries, it remains in this state until 1844, where a program of restoration is undertaken and pursued by the Cossé-Brissac, to whom the castle is restored after the revolution, and whose members are there since. In 1890 is inaugurated its theater, created on two floors by its owner, Jeanne-Marie Say granddaughter of the famous sugar refiner Louis Say, widow in first wedding of Roland de Cossé, marquess of Brissac in 1871, then viscountess of Trédern .

Brissac

Brissac

The theater of the Marquise de Brissac , born Jeanne-Marie Say heritage of the sugar Say empire, had a passion for the opera and singing. As her status won’t allow showing in public she decided to built a theater in the castle so she could play to a select public. The theater open in 1890 and until her death in 1916 she organized events here. She created the festival in September called Les Séries d’Automme du Château de Brissac. She plays with her performing friends works of Wagner, Gounoc, Massenet, Saint Saëns, Donizetti, and Offenbach. The theater was abandoned for more than a century until reopen in 1983 thanks to a volunteer association of the Friends of the castle of Brissac.

Brissac

The Duke of Brissac proposed his castle to house works of art, it received in 1939-1940 during WWII such as the furniture of Versailles ! kept on site until 1946 by the wife of Gaston Brière, it former curator, and works of museums Gustave Moreau, Nissim de Camondo, Decorative Arts, Châlons sur-Marne, the Elysée and Senate palaces, the Comédie Française, the Swiss legation, the embassies of Argentina and Great Britain and among 65 private collections such as the ones of André Lhote, Maurice Denis, Paul Valery and the treasure of the cathedral of Angers. In 1950, Jean Morin, then prefect of the department, had the idea of ​​organizing a theatrical performance at the castle. This spectacular open to the public, the castle is home to a Christmas market, an Easter egg hunt and the Fashion Flower Festival. It also regularly hosts events related to hot air balloons, as departures of the Championship of France and   inaugurates what will become the Festival d’ Anjou.

Brissac

Brissac

Brissac

It is a wonderful beautiful castle with as said so many rooms difficult to post in one time but will hopefully give you the flavor of what to expect, photos are allowed! Again beautiful castle worth the visit.

Some webpages to help you plan your must trip here are

Official Chateau de Brissac in English

Tourist office of Loire layon aubance on the castle

And on the way back we had our lunch/dinner here in city center Brissac and voilà another gem of the wonderful French gastronomy.  So good hard to missed one.  The restaurant for the late lunch/dinner was the L’Ardoise-Brissac with apértifs or apéros entries of 200g terrine de godet(canard), assorted cold cuts and ham terrine platter chicken with curry paste, goat cheese with nuts moelleux au chocolat with strawberry ice scoop, dame blanche , 3 scoops of ice cream and a bottle of red La Source du Ruault Saumur Champigny 2016 all for less than 21€ per person Divine we went to the shop purchase more for home ! the staff very attentive and friendly welcome and service, only families and found out dogs allowed for our next trip over lol!!! Lovely recommended at Place Clemenceau Brissac Quincé tel +33 (0) 2 41 66 54 22 More on web here: Restaurant salon de thé bar à vins L’Ardoise-Brissac

Brissac quince

Brissac quince

There you won’t go wrong at Brissac-Quincé and its castle and wonderful eateries, a lovely trip indeed, more to come of course I am just half way on my vacation time in my belle France! In the meantime , enjoy the Château de Brissac!

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

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August 18, 2019

Château de Brézé!

And on my wandering road warrior trips of my belle France I heard about this castle and decided to give it a run; very impressive. This is in what is normally call the Loire or valley of the kings but since France restructured its regions (for lack of history) there are now two parts of the Loire. This one is in the region of Pays de la Loire and the department 49 of Maine et Loire! I will be telling you a bit about the Château de Brézé!

First, there is the little town of Brézé that became on January 1, 2019 a town delegate of the new town of Bellevigne-les-Châteaux. The Castle of Brézé is a monument of which a vast underground gallery was recently discovered a castle under the castle. It also has the deepest dry moat in Europe with their 18 meters. And this is about what is in town really but worth alone the trip.

This is the city page on its heritage: City of Brézé on its heritage in French

There is plenty of free parking outside and you walk in with grandeur to the ticket office with the old stables on your left and the pigeon house right next door before you face on the beautiful castle of Brézé!

Breze

Breze

Breze

The château de Brézé, is a 16C castle located in the town of the same name 10 km south of Saumur. The particularity of the Château de Brézé lies in its troglodyte network located under the castle and in the ditches, comprising both parts of daily life (bakery, stables, silkworm) and military (drawbridge, walkway). The castle of Breze is a private property belonging to Jean de Colbert, son of the late Count Bernard de Colbert and the late Marquise Charlotte de Dreux-Breze. However, it is open to the public.

Breze

Its dry moats are the deepest in Europe at 18 meters. The stone of the construction was taken from the moat digging. It has a drawbridge and an underground network of the 12C, a troglodyte part. Renaissance style, it includes a large gallery, a Renaissance home and a clock tower. The cylindrical dovecote dating from the beginning of the 16C, of 3,700 balls (holes that serve as a nest for pigeons), is capped with a lantern dome. The orangery also has a lantern.

Breze

Breze

In 1448, Gilles de Maillé-Breze obtained from King René permission to strengthen the castle and dig ditches. The renaissance Italian-style castle and outbuildings were rebuilt in the early 16C by Arthur de Maillé. Urbain de Maillé Breze will be the first marquis after Louis XIII erected the estate in marquise in 1615. He marries Nicole du Plessis, sister of Richelieu and they will have two children Armand, grand admiral of France, who dies in Tuscany at the 27 years of age without posterity, and Claire-Clémence who married Louis II of Bourbon-Condé, the Grand Condé and he transmits this heritage in 1650. The Grand Condé takes the head of the Fronde, thus opposes the regency during the minority of the young Louis XIV and, in 1653, the castle is occupied by royal troops. In 1682, Condé will exchange the castle of Breze against La Galissonniere in Bere (Châteaubriant), owned by Thomas de Dreux. In 1685, Thomas de Dreux, advisor to the Parliament of Paris, was confirmed the title of Marquis de Breze by King Louis XIV. Following the marriage of Charlotte de Dreux-Breze with Count Bernard de Colbert in 1959, the property passed to the hands of the Colbert family who still lives there.

The Château de Brézé hosts the time of a weekend a tournament. This medieval joust brings visitors back to the days of armored knight battles. The show is livened up by multiple animations and workshops in the park of the castle, transformed for the occasion into a medieval village. The Château de Brézé is mentioned by Marcel Proust in the second part of “Du Côté de Guermantes”. In the novel, the castle is presented as having been the property of the late wife of the Baron de Charlus, who would then have made a gift to his sister, Madame de Saint-Loup. “Brézé, it’s royal!” says Charlus. This assertion of one of the characters of La Recherche and which appears as a Proustian fiction, is not entirely unfounded if one considers that Breze belonged a time to the Grand Condé who, by their relationship with Louis XIV (they were his cousins ​​first cousins) were what were called “princes of the blood” (of royal blood). Proust’s novel thus presents the castle of Breze as a Royal residence likely to be worth millions.

Breze

Official Chateau de Breze in English

Some remarkable photos you will see here are the ones on Louis XVII the son of king Louis XVI ,that was assassinated by the revolutionaries as well as that of Henri V to be, the late Count of Chambord! There are also of Louis XVI and Louis XVIII in the Grand Galerie!

Breze

King Louis XVII assassinated son of Louis XVI

Breze

Count of Chambord could have been king Henri V

In all it was a nice visit especially walking underground on what it is a castle under a castle with living quarters and even a space for a mini farm all dark lit up but very medieval indeed, worth the trip. There is wine tasting of the property and take home too lol!!

Breze

Breze

Breze

Hope you enjoy the trip on the wonderful Loire ,these places are about less than 3 hrs from my home and should come often even if I do , there is so much to see and castles to spend a lifetime visiting them and maybe not enough time lol! This one is a dandy and really off the beaten path for most, do see the Château de Brézé.

And of course at the end of the day between Fontevraud and coming to Brézé we were hungry on the road not many choices so we settle for the familiar La Boucherie steakhouse chain right at Bd Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny on the beltway D347 outside Saumur for our lunch of burgers, tagliatelles, mince meats with fries, red Saumur wine and expresso coffee for less than 14€ per person!! More on the resto here: La Boucherie at Saumur

And now ready to head back home! another dandy day in the beautiful Loire valley and there is more to come while we still driving around my belle France! Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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August 17, 2019

Once again Cathedral St Corentin at Quimper!

And yes once again I have to tell you the latest about the Cathedral Saint Corentin in beautiful Quimper of dept 29 Finistére of my lovely Bretagne! This is a place about an hour from me and love to come but with so much to see sometimes there is a space of time in between.

This time again was not meant to stop by as was in my road warrior campaign in the Finistére visiting new places (see previous posts). And all of a sudden we were ready to go back home, and I say nooo we have more time so on the way back we stop by Quimper, voilà c’est fait!

And of course, the must visit place here is the wonderful beautiful Cathedral Saint Corentin at Place Saint Corentin! As have written on it before and do not want to duplicate things, here is my last post on it in my blog here:

My post on the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Let me tell you a bit more on this jewel that again is a must to see while in France let alone Bretagne! 

Welcome to the magnificent Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper! It is a house where God loves to welcome and gather men. The Cathedral is under the patronage of Notre Dame (Our Lady) and its first Bishop Saint Corentin. Tradition reports that in testimony of faith, he chose the green martyrdom, hermitical loneliness on the uncultivated slopes of Ménez Hom. The Eucharist ensured his sustenance. What symbolically represents the legendary story: every day he took a part of the fish from the fountain and he found it intact the next day. The same Latin life story reports that Gradlon, king of these lands, came to beg him to be the pastor of his city, Kemper (Quimper in French Kemper in Breton) at the confluence of Odet and Steir rivers, making him one of the founders of the dioceses of Brittany between the 5C and the 7C.

Quimper

Quimper

You can see between the arrows, the equestrian statue of the legendary king Gradlon watching over the inhabitants. After fleeing his town of Ys, engulfed by the escapades of his daughter Dahut, he made Quimper his new capital.

Its construction spanned nearly six centuries, with a serious break of almost 400 years. Begun in 1239, it is in the middle of the 19C that it will be definitively completed by the realization of the two striking arrows. One of the peculiarities of Saint-Corentin Cathedral is the difference of orientation between the nave and the choir. Two hypotheses are advanced to explain this particularity: the first says that the choir follows the inclination of Christ’s head on the cross while the other, more prosaic, reports difficulties encountered during the work as the Cathedral being built on the foundations of an old Romanesque cathedral and the soil, in this place, was marshy because of the proximity of the Odet river. The windows, as for them, were put in place between 1417 and 1419.

Quimper

Quimper

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

City of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Tourist office of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Come and behold its beauty, it will dazzle you for sure. We love it and come several times over the years here. Enjoy once again the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne!

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

 

 

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Chapelle Notre Dame des Portes!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou. Enjoy the off the beaten path gems of my region!

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Bretagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou.

The beauty to see here is the  Notre-Dame des Portes Chapel, combining Neo-Roman and Neo-Gothic styles  dates from 1892. The statue of Notre Dame (Our Lady) was crowned in 1894; the day before the coronation took place the procession of miracles, which took place traditionally every year and ended with an edifying spectacle; the feast of the coronation ended with fireworks and the illumination of the whole city, thirty parishes came with their crosses and their banners the chapel was restored in 1953. The pardon of Notre-Dame- des-Portes, which takes place every penultimate Sunday of August, remains very busy. Paul Sérusier made about 1896 a painting “The pardon of Notre-Dame-des-Portes in Châteauneuf-du-Faou” which is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Quimper.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The Gothic porch of the 15C chapel of Notre Dame des Portes (of doors) is decorated with statuettes, leaves of vines and acanthus, animals and grotesque figures. At the bottom of the right pillar, a magnificent finely carved molded holy water font is found. Lovely and worth the detour.

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual from me are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on Notre Dame chapel

You will do well to visit Châteauneuf du Faou and we had time for lunch just when it started raining and when we finished the rain stop lovely !!! We did had our lunch at  Pizzeria La Volterra wonderful family place full of patrons and a delicious big over the plate Chorizana chorizo pizza with big chunks watch down with Rose pitcher of the house and express coffee to run, all for under 14€ per person! nice.

Chateauneuf du Faou

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

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Church of St Julien!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou.

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Brietagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

A bit of history I like

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

The construction of the canal from Nantes to Brest, begun in 1806 and completed in 1836, which borrows locally the course of the channeled Aulne river ; the last barge crosses the lock of Châteauneuf-du-Faou was in 1942. From then on the neighboring section Châteauneuf is open only to a tourist navigation. On August 8, 1896, the president of the French Republic Felix Faure, coming from Brest via Morlaix and Carhaix and heading towards Pleyben, Chateaulin, then Quimper, stopped in Châteauneuf-du-Faou as part of a trip to Brittany. It seems he is the only French head of state to have stopped one day by Chateauneuf! Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou. The Pont du Roy bridge, whose six arches span the canalized Aulne river (canal from Nantes to Brest), south of the town. It was built in the first half of the 17C.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou has the project to create a museum dedicated to Paul Serusier. For this purpose, the painting Autoportrait à la barbe rutilante (self portrait with a gleaming beard) , painted in Châteauneuf-du-Faou, was acquired by the city in 2017. The village of Paul Sérusier, famous nabi with a gleaming beard, a local citizen for nearly 30 years, he left behind wall paintings in the parish church. A circuit through the city is now dedicated to him, an exhibition space “Paul Sérusier” receiving contemporary artists was created at the Tourist Office, the City/Town Hall has a small collection of his works. His house whose walls are covered with frescoes is private and can not be visited. Who is Paul Sérusier ,well he was a friend of Paul Gauguin, and creator of the school of the Nabis, lived more than three decades of his life in Châteauneuf-du-Faou: he built in 1906 his house at No. 27 street who now bears his name and remains there until his death, which occurred at Morlaix in 1927. It is in Brittany, still in Chateauneuf-du-Faou, that, wearing his broad hat, wrapped in his shepherd’s cloak he continues to spend almost all his hours. In Paris, he cannot work . Member of the school of Pont-Aven, nabi painter, his work is worth by his moral qualities as much as by his style. It is persuasive and forces us to recollection and silence; moreover, it has its own radiance . It is said in painting circles that If Cezanne is the bridge between Impressionism and Gauguin, he is the elegant bridge that unites the symbolism of Gauguin synthesizing post-Impressionism a little raw cubists His wife, Marguerite Sérusier (born Marguerite Gabriel-Claude   at Lons-le-Saulnier; Jura), who died in   1950, was also a talented painter The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou devoted an exhibition to her in 2016.

The one showcase on this post is the Saint-Julien Church dates from the 18-19C. The current church includes a nave with six bays and a choir with a polygonal chevet. The bell tower with its dome and its lantern is from a previous church built in 1737, as well as many statues that adorn it such as those of St. Margaret, St. Michael, St. Maudez, St. Barbara, St. Pierre and a stone Pietà. A statuary group representing St. Anne and the Virgin and Child dates back to 1632. The church is adorned with murals by Paul Sérusier dated from 1914 to 1919 which represent the Annunciation, the Assumption, the Baptism of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Chateauneuf du Faou

 

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see in French

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on the Church of St Julien in French

There you go another jewel in my off the beaten path trails of Bretagne, this one in pretty Finistére dept 29 and nice Chateauneuf du Faou,  and its Church of St Julien! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

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