Archive for October 4th, 2019

October 4, 2019

Jacobin convent and Basilica minor at Rennes!

So I am back in earnest in my lovely Bretagne and my continuing search for the travel ark, i look i search and i come back. This time to lovely Capital of Bretagne/Brittany ,Rennes! Ille et Vilaine dept 35!

On the Basilica have written before and this is a repeat visit to a wonderful area of Rennes that is a must to visit. So will touch briefly here. The Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ( Our Lady of Good News Basilica) was the ancient Church of Saint-Aubin  located in the city center by rue Saint Malo and place Sainte-Anne.


The old Church Saint Aubin, demolished in 1904, was located in the north of the city, outside the ramparts of Rennes and occupied the western part of the present place Saint-Anne. Attested in the 12C, it is mostly from the 17-18C, and it had hosted from the 19C, the cult of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, primitively located in the Convent of the Jacobins. Which therefore has gone thru a wonderful transformation to preserve it.


For reference, my previous post on the Basilica is here: My previous post in my blog on the Basilica Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle


The Convent of the Jacobins, also named old convent of Bonne-Nouvelle (good news see Basilica above and previous post) , is an old religious building and an old barracks, located in Rue Saint Malo and Place Sainte Anne. It includes an abbey, a cloister and conventual buildings. In 2018, the building became the Congress Center of Rennes Métropole.  It is exactly on Place Sainte-Anne, along the rue d’échange and Rue Saint-Malo . The latter separates the convent of the Jacobins from the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle.

The research allows experts to find under the convent the expected trace of the intersection of the cardo maximus, main street of Condate (Roman name for Rennes), and another important artery. At this intersection is erected a monument, an aedicule or a statue, which will become, three centuries later, a temple. Traces of buildings from three different periods are found, as well as everyday objects. A sword is also found on the spot, confirming the martial quality of the city. The renewal of the site began in the 14C when the Dominican order decided to install a convent on the site with the help of the founder is the Duke Jean IV (John) who laid the foundation stone. In this place are celebrated the engagement of Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII in 1491. There is a painting of the Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle of the 14C depicting the Virgin that made the convent a place of pilgrimage and preaching. It is today preserved in the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. The convent then declines, until its end at the French revolution. Some brothers refuse to take an oath of the new revolutionary French constitution, while others found a priest position in Rennes. In 1793, the building was assigned to the army, which turned it into a barracks, and then housed the sports club of the garrison of Rennes. The new Congress Center is inaugurated on January 10, 2018 by a concert given by the Symphonic Orchestra of Brittany/Bretagne in the large auditorium.


The Congress Center is composed of a large François Regis Hutin auditorium, with 1000 seats; an auditorium with 500 seats; a 300-seat auditorium in the old church area ; 25 committee rooms; and 3,000 m2 of exhibition or restoration space, specially around the cloister. In the process the Convent is save!

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Congress Center of Rennes

Tourist office of Rennes on history of the convent

And yes right next to the convent of Jacobins and across from the Basilica Minor of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle is the tourist office of Rennes!  Actually an extention of the convent facing rue Saint Malo!


And there you go  ,one simple trip to Rennes and gems are found, we have more , a lot more , stay tune. Bretagne is amazing as is France ::) Just make yourselves a bit space out of Paris!

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


October 4, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLVIII

And here I come back to you with more news of my belle France or is it Paris! Well its all concentrated you know. We have a semicloudy day today in my neck of the woods of Brittany/Bretagne and windy but no rain so far and temps of 16C or 62F  and the same in Paris with 63F as well as cloudy. We are already into the Fall season and it shows on the tree leaves!  Now, lets get into the news shall we. Hope you enjoy it!

Nice things to see in the 19éme arrondissement de Paris !

Between the exhibitions of the City of Science and Industry, the Géode, the large spaces for sports, concerts, the Cabaret Sauvage, it is a unique complex. There is also an equestrian center. The Cité des sciences et de l’industrie (City of Science and Industry) of La Villette.30, av. Corentin-Cariou 19éme. More info here:

The bookshop or atelier created a youth workshop and an annex dedicated to art books and comics. Librerie L’Atelier . 2 bis, rue du Jourdain  20éme  Several others in Paris, more info here :

Original films and original versions are play here in a nice environment. There is also a nice bookstore specialized in cinema and a caféteria where you can sit and talk about the movie at the exit … These are very friendly places. The cinemas MK2 quai de Loire and quai de Seine.7, 19éme.  More info :

The parc  de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge  is a very bucolic and unknown place.  Another dandy in my eternal Paris. Spaces landscaped by good gardeners create a strong mineral presence. This is where Jean Jaurès made his speech on peace in 1914. It is a popular place, with lots of cultural events. The park is at  5, av. Debidour 19éme . More info city of Paris :

Another wonderful walk in my eternal Paris is from the villas where we can see Montmartre. I like to walk between these small typical brick worker houses. There is the Villa Danube , populated by artists, the Villa Kronstadt or Villa Amalia. It’s a little countryside  in Paris … You can hear the birds singing in the morning. They are between the rue de Miguel-Hidalgo, rue  de Mouzaïa,rue  de Bellevue and rue David-d’Angers 19éme arrondissement of Paris!.

The Fréres Gruss brothers presents a new show, called Les Folies Gruss, which takes the codes of the cabaret year creating a before and an after-show. The new show, entitled Les Folies Gruss, from October 12th 2019. And to continue to capitalize on their heritage, but also to familiarize the spectators with their universe, they went digging in the tradition of the cabaret by shortening the show in itself  1h15 for the new formula against 2h30, and by creating a “pre-show” and an “after-show”. Les Folies Gruss Bois de Boulogne,  carrefour des Cascades ,16éme.  More info :

A Parisian tradition that won’t stop even if now heavily on visitors is the Cabarets. Here are my favorites over the years, but not been to one lately!

The Moulin Rouge at 130, the beautiful age. That of the Eiffel Tower, too. Born both in 1889, the year of the World’s Fair. The year that pushes Paris into modernity, a century after the French revolution. Two symbols of the Belle Epoque that will make Paris, with the urban transformation led by Baron Haussmann, the most attractive capital of the world. The Moulin Rouge opens its doors on October 6, 1889, succeeded for the cabaret of the butte Montmartre, become a Mecca of the Parisian festival, immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec (which will see a major retrospective, “Toulouse-Lautrec. From 9th October at the Grand Palais, see my previous news from France). The Moulin Rouge, 82, boulevard de Clichy  18éme. More info :

The Lido nestled at the top of the Champs-Elysees, the small entrance is shared with UGC Normandy cinema. It’s a bit odd, especially on a night when Tout-Paris is running for the premiere of Joker, but, after the first five meters, it’s time to go into another world with curiosity.  The blue star-studded carpet pixelated golden walls, mirror on the ceiling and from the outset one of those huge chandeliers to make Louis II of Bavaria jealous. Without realizing it, the visitor has just crossed an airlock of two huge armored doors. The Blue Bell Girls, charming smile, minimum 1.75m, are as comfortable strings rhinestones in punches.  The Lido, 116 bis, av. Champs-Elysees Paris  8éme . More info :

The red doors of Madame Arthur (installed in the walls of the Divan of the World). The public, rather chic and trendy, between 35 and 50 years, is already in a good mood. Madame Arthur is one of the most fun places in Paris. When Madame Arthur reopened in late 2015, the troupe sang in front of four people. Today, thanks to word of mouth, the cabaret is packed. Of all their skills, this is the one that best reinvented the great tradition of Parisian cabaret, by rejuvenating the public. Madame Arthur, 75 bis, rue des Martyrs 18éme. More info :

Near the bar, Michou, 88 springs (yrs old), greets the spectators. The man is friendly, his impressive career and his biography, The Blue Prince of Montmartre, published by Éditions du Cherche Midi, is to be read. Here, in the corridor covered with photos, he poses with Alain Delon as with Jean-Luc Lahaye. In the intimate room, the walls covered with mirrors are lit by small flowery lamps highlighting two large portraits of the boss. For decades, his cabaret has been a must-see address for all-Paris. The gap with the delicacy of the show opposite, at Madame Arthur’s, with real singers and real musicians, is abysmal. Chez Michou, 80, rue des Martyrs. 18éme. More info :

The Le Paradis Latin is a show as a hybrid show that mixes the codes of classic cabaret with French cancan and acrobatics, and a succession of contemporary dance paintings with a touch of circus. If the costumes are very studied and created by the team of On will have seen everything, the staging has also enjoyed large means, when it is not a Pegasus coming out of the ceiling, it is a cloud on which two singers move. In two parts, the show begins with a meal alternately animated by the singers. A foretaste in details led to enter the dance thanks to the main actors of the magazine: the waiters and their ballet of plates. Le Paradis Latin, 28, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine  5éme.  More info :

Always have a leg up. This is the motto of the Crazy Horse, since its inception in 1951. Seek the novelty, draw inspiration from the zeitgeist. Meanwhile, the sculptural dancers, whose origins are more and more diverse, continue to roll out the magazine Totally Crazy. Twenty paintings follow each other, including the classics as well as the best of each collaboration over time. A show always sparkling, interspersed with numbers of singers, jugglers, contortionists.  Crazy Horse, 12, av. George-V  8éme. More info :

Something outiside Paris we love over time a wonderful place and event.

Under the title «Jardins divers, jardin d’hiver» or various gardens, winter gardens, professionals and amateurs meet up at the Domaine de Villarceaux. On the program: market and plant exchange, conferences, barter of seeds, bookstore gardens and sale of honey … The 2019 edition is combined with  Jardins ouverts or open gardens. At the Villarceaux estate castle in Chaussy , dept 95 Val d’Oise.  Tomorrow Saturday 5 October and Sunday 6 October from 11h to18h. More info :

And the Nuit Blanche (White Night) is coming again to Paris! This weekend!

Nuit Blanche  offers athletes (and others) two loops of 10 km untimed, combining running and walking in cultural venues. The choice will be made from the place de la Concorde, for a parallel trip to the Seine river, west (blue and yellow loop) or east (red and green loop). Meeting is at the place de la Concorde. Departures between 22h and 23h30. More info :

The Cité Internationale Universitaire is the flagship location of Paris South Station. Visitors are invited to discover through a creative journey ten works scattered around the park: two in the main courtyard, three in the International House, three on the big lawn, one in the House of Korea and a stroll to meet the artist Camille Voyenne throughout the evening.  Cité Internationale Universitaire  17 boulevard Jourdain 14éme. From 19h to 02h. More info :

This year, some fifteen artistic platforms designed by contemporary artists will start from the Place de la  Concorde to the Place de la Bastille. The public will be able to see a mobile exhibition, made of monumental works. The Parade. The procession from Place de la Concorde to Place de la  Bastille. From 19h to 22h. More info :

The wonderful recipe with a touch of Brittany: A simple blue Lobster with potatoes. Ingredients for 2 persons are:  1 blue lobster about 800 g,  120 g of new potatoes,  60 ml of raw farm cider,  60 ml of muscat,  1 coffee spoon . from Noilly Prat,  1 coffee spoon  spring water ,  ½ unprocessed lemon,  110 g butter + 20 g for roasting lobster,  Fresh cucumber,  Salt

Step 1: the lobster:  Bring a large saucepan to the boil and cook the lobster for 3 minutes from boiling. Let it cool and peel it. Cut the tail into thick slices. Cut the claws and paws into small cubes. Wash the potatoes and steam them in their skin. When they are cooked, remove the skin and cut into small cubes, keep warm. Peel and cut a piece of cucumber into 8 thin slices, salt slightly.

Step 2: the sauce: In a small saucepan with a thick bottom, reduce the cider and muscatel by half, lower the heat and stir in the butter. Add a few drops of lemon, the Noilly Prat and a spoonful of water. Salt lightly (do not pepper).

Just before serving, combine the diced potatoes with the butter sauce and leave on very low heat for a few minutes. Quickly pan lobster rolls in a knob of melted butter.

Step 3: Dressage :  In a hot soup plate, place dice, claws, cucumber slices, butter and potatoes, and place lobster loaves. Grate some lemon peel over and serve.

Ps: I gram= 0,035274 ounces. 1 gram= 0,033814 US liquid ounces.

And there you go enjoy your weekend me with the lobster will do!! And do come on over ok. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 4, 2019

Streets of old Rennes!

So in our latest visit to the capital of Brittany located in the dept 35 Ille et Vilaine we walked a lot in Rennes. I like to tell you a bit about the scenes in city center or centre ville that are beautiful to say the least. For the newbies, I have several entries on my Brittany in al depts including several on Rennes, hope you enjoy it as we do.

The streets of Rennes holds a lot of history and will take a book or more to tell you all so therefore will just concentrate on the real center in old town, and even here just some of them.

The Place Saint-Michel is located at the crossroads formed by Place des Lices, Rue Saint-Michel and Rue Rallier du Baty. It was called Place du Bout du Monde (square at the end of the world) before 1720 because of its proximity to the usual place of public executions. Its name comes from an old chapel Saint-Michel which existed in the 12C. The Place Saint Michel has become a popular place for the student population that likes to be there, especially the terraces of cafes that border it.


The main street ending here is the Rue Saint-Michel, better known as “rue de la soif” (street of thirst). The Rue Saint-Michel connects with the Place Sainte-Anne to the Rue Rallier du Baty via the   Place Saint Michel. It has many half-timbered houses dating from the 16C and 17C lining the street, built on narrow plots they have a side corridor and a staircase on the back facade. They have decors carved with human profiles, heads of chimeras and foliage, dolphins and griffons. The house at number 13 dates from 1580, the oldest in Rennes.


 Very popular with the student and some not student lol! With lots of bars and beer flowing into the wee hours. They are even mention in the tourist office of Rennes here:

The Place Sainte-Anne is located in the historic heart in the city center. It is bordered by the Basilica of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle (see posts on it) . It is the absolute center of the city from which the kilometric distances are calculated! Moreover, near the rue Saint-Michel, with its many bars, it is often animated at night. In the streets that lead to the square as well such as the rue Saint-Louis, the famous rue Saint-Michel, rue de Penhoët, rue de Saint-Malo , rue de Saint-Michel and Rue de Saint Melaine. Most of the houses are half-timbered such as the Hotel de Bretagne at No. 94, the houses at number 105; 176; 187; and no. 198, where Jean Leperdit mansion where he died in 1823 . The new church Saint-Aubin, Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle basilica, built in the early 20C, and the convent of the Jacobins, current Congress Center of Rennes (see previous post).


The Rue d’Estrées is the extension of the Rue Le Bastard (see below), without being able to distinguish it, starting from the crossroads of the rue Nationale and rue Lafayette with the latter and ends at the Place de la Mairie, in the pedestrian axis. Named as such during the City Council of 1726, it was renamed during the French revolution, at the City Council of 1792, rue Franklin and under the Empire, rue Napoleon, before finally resume officially its original name by deliberation of the City Council in 1862.


It was name the Rue d’Estrées during the new network of Rennes after the fire of 1720, in honor of Victor-Marie, Duke of Estrées in 1723 after he became Duke of Estrées and Peer of France. On the death of his father ;he became governor of Nantes, lieutenant general of Brittany and viceroy of the New France. King Louis XV gives him free ownership of the island of Saint Lucia, in the West Indies. He is also co-director of the East India Company, which enables him to amass a very large fortune, which he devotes to acquiring important collections of art objects and books, which he accumulates in his Hotel. de Noailles and in his castle of Nanteuil-le-Haudouin. It also owns the Château de Bagatelle, in the Bois de Boulogne (Paris). Victor Marie, Duke of Estrées was elected member of the Academy of Sciences in August 1707, the French Academy in March 1715 and the Academy of inscriptions and belles-lettres in 1726.

The Rue Le Bastard is the main shopping and pedestrian street of the city center of Rennes. It is located in the extension of the rue de Motte-Fablet and Rue d’Estrées, between the rue Bertrand , Rue de La Fayette and Rue Nationale. It is thus the central street of the main commercial axis of the city, along more than 800 meters and extending from the rue d’ Antrain at the level of the Rue de Saint-Melaine to the Rue Jules Simon . It’s   name comes from Edgar Le Bastard, former mayor of Rennes from 1880 until his death in 1891. It was called until 1893 rue aux Foulons before taking its current name. Admiral Villeneuve died there on April 22, 1806. He committed suicide after the defeat of Trafalgar at No. 21 rue de la Patrie.


The Rue Saint-Louis is a street in the center of Rennes, from Place Sainte-Anne to the Jouaust junction , parallel to the Place des Lices (market see next post). It replaces an old road that went in the 15C from the Saint-Aubin church in Bourg-l’Evêque. In 1659, it received the name of rue Neuve-Saint-Louis, name of the church of the convent founded at this place by the Minimes religious and demolished during the French revolution, then replaced by the religious house of the Ladies of Saint-Thomas de Villeneuve. After the assassination in Paris in 1793, of the unconstitutional priest Le Pelletier de Saint-Fargeau, the street bore at a time the name of Le Pelletier, considered the first martyr of the French revolution. At the end of the 18C, it was called rue Saint-Aubin, and its section was the rue du Séminaire.


You will see here beautiful architecture as well such as at number 12 Rue Saint Louis was the back of the military hospital. The ballroom built in the early 17C called The Pelican, built in earth and wood and girdled galleries had a less noisy assignment in 1686 becoming a chapel of the Grand Seminary installed in the convent of the Eudists arranged in 1724, and became Military Hospital in 1793. This building, behind the House of the people built in 1925 under the impetus of Mayor Jean Janvier, and the Hall of the City, keeps a wall panel of the old game of palm (Jeu de Paume!). The south gable of the old chapel, at number 22, bears the coat of arms of bishop Lavardin and the Latin inscription on the black marble plaque signifies: “It is nothing less than the House of God, the Gate of Heaven “.The chapel has been transformed into the game of palms or Jeu de Paume (ancestor of Tennis). According to specialists, the surface of the game, inscribed in the original architecture of the chapel, is intact in its dimensions (30 meters x 10 meters) and accessories. Only four or five buildings in France, almost exclusively in the Ile-de-France region, have such characteristics. The building of No 12 rue Saint-Louis will then experience several lives such as been confiscated at the church during the French revolution, it will become the property of the army in 1793 , the major seminary becoming military hospital and to the city of Rennes in the 20C, which will install offices of municipal services. The building and the Maison de La Cité (hall of the city) next to it were to house intergenerational neighborhood equipment. In 2016, the works are announced for 2017 and the opening for 2019,was done..

Also, at number 11 Rue Saint Louis, stands the Hôtel Marot de la Garaye, built around 1675, with an attic roof and stone-framed windows. It belonged to the couple Marot de la Garaye, he apothecary and surgeon, she nurse, who retired to his castle de Taden, caring for the sick and needy. At No. 13, at the corner of the little rue des Innocents, you look up to admire a beautiful roof shaped inverted thin hull. In numbers 16 and 18, is the Hôtel de Cicé. The n ° 30 shelters a church, property of the Congregation of the hospitable sisters of Saint Thomas de Villeneuve. All very nice!

And there you go I hope you like the walks , it is really nice and we won’t mind coming back again, lucky to be only 1h30 from it! See you around my lovely Bretagne! and beautiful Rennes!

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




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