Archive for February, 2020

February 29, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXI

And here I am back at you, its beena  while on my regular post of Some news from France! Well it has been rewarding to say the least. However, with all the hoopla of the latest pandémonium in our world let me tell you some news from France!

The postponement of the Paris half-marathon to an undetermined date provokes contrasting reactions from the 44,000 runners entered, all disappointed.
Victim of the coronavirus epidemic and the precautionary principle, the Paris half-marathon will not take place this Sunday morning. 44,000 runners were registered and the organizers expected at least 37,000 people on the starting line. Pity , all these cancellations, this one is just one but they have been many others.

Now for some serious news on the funny virus Coronavirus now lately been call COVID-19, we do not want to insult the beer lol!

In my belle France, it seems the epidemy is centered on the Oise dept 60 north of Paris in Hauts de France region old Picardie claiming 750 calls per day to Samu (the emergency healh folks). In the past 48 hours, the number of calls to 15 (the local French emergency health telephone number which in EU is 112) has increased by 66%. In the face of the epidemic, hospitals are organizing. Yes my Vannes hospital has been added to the ones in Brest and Rennes in Brittany to handle any eventualities.   For the World Health Organization (WHO), the threat linked to the new coronavirus is “very high”. In France, the alert level was raised to 2 (out of 3). Since the start of the epidemic in January, 100 cases  (out of 65 million persons!) have been confirmed in the country.     According to a new report by the French Director General of Health, 86 patients have been hospitalized since the start of the crisis following a coronavirus infection, of which nine in serious condition, 12 have recovered, and two have died (one French and one visiting Chinese). In Spain it has been documented up to today 58 cases,  including the two cases given release from hospitals,one patient from Germany in La Gomera and one from France in Mallorca. The cases so far are in  Madrid: 10 – Andalucía: 10 – Canarias: 7 – Cataluña: 6 – País Vasco: 3 – Castilla y León: 2 – Baleares: 2 – Navarra: 1 – Asturias: 1 – Cantabria: 1.  At least 34 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus spreading from China, federal health officials said on Friday. A 50-year-old patient died in Washington State USA  after contracting the coronavirus. It was the first death linked to the epidemic in the United States (out of like 330 millioin persons). This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat, by a Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news briefing. Eleven of the infections were diagnosed in travelers who fell ill after returning on their own from overseas, and two of their close contacts became infected. The other 21 patients are people who were returned to the United States by the State Department. Source NYT.

Just briefly, we are in a cold virus period and these have killed more people than any other virus including the coronavirus so far. Stay tune it will get better in the news.

In another important news, ……The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (from Cadiz she was Ana) , had to face several “tiles” that fell during the mandate. Among them: the end of the Autolib ‘contract and the failures of the Vélib’ transition in Paris. After the end of Autolib ‘and the difficult transition of the Vélib’ service, Parisians have massively shifted to new toys to claim eco conciousness … free floating scooters that swarm the streets!!!!

In the middle of summer 2018, the 4,000 gray Autolib ‘cars that appeared under former mayor Delanoë disappeared from the Parisian landscape, disconnected due to a heavy deficit. The same year, the deployment of the new metropolitan Vélib by the company Smovengo, winner of the market at the expense of JC Decaux, derailed, accumulating delays and technical problems. In the meantime, Parisians have massively turned to new toys: free floating bikes and scooters that swarm and pile up on the sidewalks. In the past  spring, the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) nevertheless punched the table to restore order on the public highway. Last week, the executive announced that it had arranged 4,600 parking spaces (out of the 15,000 planned) for scooters in the city. And promised to launch before Christmas a tender to ultimately retain only three operators of self-service electric scooters next year. On this subject too, Parisians diverge; these machines were not regulated: nothing was adapted for their circulation, the cart was put before the horse.

Since the City of Paris disconnected the Bolloré group and its famous Bluecar, three operators have shared the market. “3000 self-service electric cars are available,” said the deputy layor. Parisians now have the choice between the Zoé from Renault, the Smart from Car2go and the vehicles from Free2Move (PSA) which they can leave on the spot, once their journey is over, or bring back to the departure station. Part of the Autolib ‘charging stations are used by private electric vehicles, for 120 euros per year. As for the anarchic development of free floating scooters, the City of Paris put an end to it with a charter of good conduct in May 2019, the ban on parking on sidewalks since last July, and the creation of dedicated locations. Still to select 3 operators among the eight who are currently sharing Poor Parisiens, their money is going down the hole and we still claim eco conscience ! Source; Le Parisien journal

Now for something ligher and worth it.

Discovering objects made in deportation, the clandestine printing of leaflets or the letters of deportees was already extremely moving in the former museum of the National Resistance of Champigny. But by discovering the new site, located on the Quai Victor-Hugo on the banks of the Marne river, visitors should feel even more the shift in the lives of the French from May 1940. The museum will be open on average from Thursday to Sunday. The historic site of the museum, the Jean-Louis-Crémieux-Brilhac area, avenue Marx-Dormoy, remains a place of conservation. National Resistance Museum, 40, quai Victor-Hugo in Champigny-sur-Marne More info here in FRench: Museum of national resistance WWII

And on the popular football/soccer, well big moves for PSG, Paris Saint Germain.

The countdown begins for PSG which officially launches today Saturday morning the construction of its future campus in Poissy whose delivery is scheduled for 2022. Excavators, bulldozers and trucks will come into action on the 74 hectares acquired by the club in 2016 on the edge of the A 13 autoroute de Normandie. The goal is to develop around fifteen football fields, a stadium with 5,000 seats, but also accommodation buildings for professional players and those of the training center, who will then leave the Camp des Loges, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The campus will not only welcome footballers. The handball and judo sections will also be set up in Poissy. The site is divided into three zones with land reserved for professionals and others for young people from the training center. These different spaces will be separated by accommodation buildings to accommodate players. These sets will also include treatment rooms but also classes since the campus will house a Blue and Red school for young people in the neighborhoods and aimed at fighting against school failure. As for the 5000-seat stadium, located near the A 13 highway/motorway exit ramp, it will be used for meetings of European competitions for the PSG women’s team and matches for the reserve team. An agreement was also reached with the city which could use the equipment if the local club, which is currently playing in National 2 were to move up into the upper division. The total investment for the club amounts to almost 300 million euros.

And two heavyweights of the wine world speaks out against the forseen fear of drinking wine (alcohol).

Aubert de Villaine (Romanée-Conti) and Alexandre de Lur Saluces (Château de Fargues), two winemakers who have bottles, denounce campaigns that aim to reduce wine to alcohol. According to them, it is much more than that. Bien sûr monsieurs! merci
They are two figures of the French vineyard, one in Burgundy, the other in the Bordeaux region. Aubert de Villaine, 81, directs the cult area of ​​Romanée-Conti, in the Côte de Nuits (Côte-d’Or), and was a key player in the classification of Burgundy climates in 2015, on the list Unesco World Heritage Site. Alexandre de Lur Saluces, 85, has spent more than 30 years at the helm of Château d’Yquem, the king of sauternes, and now owns Château de Fargues, in the same appellation. Both claim that the image of wine in France is today quite damaged. And they worry about it. Me too and its spread out worldly but I see here much more.  Aubert de Villaine says: Our wine culture is considered everywhere as a model, no other country has our prestige. The Italian, Spanish, American or Australian vineyards are defended without fault by their leaders, but in France, not. Indeed they got it well I got it, these are icons of my wine life, and speaking out well. Drink wine is a honest tradition and good for you in moderation.

No less than 413 Parisian restaurants are participating in the new edition of a somewhat special food festival. Food by the thousands, at reasonable prices ,-50% off some menu cartes, your wallet will say thank you. From February 21 to April 5, 2020 you will be able to have fun without tearing your arm away. Festival LaFourchette   .The Fork in English or Tenedor in Spanish or Garfo in Portuguese, of course in French is Fourchette. More info on their site which is one of my blog roll webpages bottom of my front page in my blog.La Fourchette in French

And lets finish up with some fashion news of course, I am in France!

Manfred Thierry Mugler, Better known as Thierry Mugler, the multi-faceted creator is exhibited by the Galerie Polka gallery, in partnership with Bercy Village. Thus, in free access, 34 photos are exposed in the passages until June 7 2020. “What guides me is the quest for the perfect place, and the perfect place is not necessarily easy to access or free for a shoot. My photography is an adventure, it is often done in extreme conditions. We sometimes found ourselves in forbidden places, at the top of a temple or a building, “said Mugler to Sidonie Gaychet, deputy director of the Polka gallery. Guaranteed without special effects, the pictures by Thierry Mugler show surprising imagination, above the cities, in the desert, in the shade of icebergs, on dinosaurs, under the hooves of horses in the Grand Palais, on the Art Deco peaks Chrysler Building in New York, Russia, Paris, China, Japan or Mali. We enter a dreamlike universe, between science fiction, transhumanism and robotics, staging superheroines and superheroes in landscapes chosen for their unique beauty. Like his sculptural fashion, he succeeds in once again asserting his unique aesthetic full of poetry by magnifying “the most beautiful animal on earth, the human being”. Manfred Thierry Mugler In the covered passages of Bercy Village. More info here: Bercy Village on Mugler

Christian Louboutin: The exhibition [niste]!! As of February 26, the Porte Dorée museum is offering the largest exhibition ever devoted to the red soles creator’s work and imagination. We cross 11 chapters dedicated to his sources of inspiration as well as a selection of works from his personal collection and loans from public collections. Several surprises await the visitor: did you know that Louboutin collaborated with the Maison du Vitrail  (house of glass) in Paris to create stained glass windows and that he is the proud owner of a 300 m2 Buddhist temple, star of the Universal Exhibition in 2000 in Hanover!  Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition [niste] From February 26 to July 26, 2020 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée 293, avenue Daumesnil – 12éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Palais porte doree on Louboutin

Harper’s Bazaar. First fashion magazine! The Museum of Decorative Arts (on the Louvre) invites us to delve into the epic of the famous American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. We will discover a large photographic retrospective embellished with a selection of pieces from the museum’s fashion collections. We are aware of the enormous influence of this iconic magazine founded in 1867, which has helped to spark a new mode of fashion consumption. Sixty sewing and ready-to-wear creations are offered, mainly from the museum’s collections, punctuated with loans of prestigious iconic pieces and are presented in correspondence with their publication in this magazine. The artists and photographers Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, and even Peter Lindbergh contributed to the magazine’s unmatched aesthetics while the journalists Carmel Snow, Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland finished writing it in the legend. Harper’s Bazaar Museum of Decorative Arts 107, rue de Rivoli- 1éme arrondissement of Paris going on from February 28 to July 14 2020. More info here: Musee des arts decoratifs on Harper’s

Like many successful meetings, this one took place in a nightclub: when they met at New Jimmy’s (ex-Régine, on boulevard de Montparnasse) in 1967, it was love at first sight between Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux. “She is Saint Laurent as she breathes. Its appearance, its mystery, its sulphurous side, an elusive, desirable danger, everything that makes the aura of this house, we understand the magnitude when we meet Betty. The pieces presented in the museum’s exhibition come from the important donation that Betty Catroux chose to make to the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. Betty Catroux, Yves Saint Laurent, Feminine Singular from March 3 to October 11, 2020 at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris 5, avenue Marceau – 16éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Museum YSL on Betty Catroux

An exhibition bringing together two of the colossi of fashion, we dreamed of it, the Azzedine Alaïa association did it. When Cristóbal Balenciaga decided to close his fashion house in 1968, the assistant director of the Balenciaga house, Mademoiselle Renée, contacted the young Alaïa to offer him to send him the stocks of fabrics and dresses stored in the workshop. Alaïa keeps them and begins to build an archive which he will enrich all his life. The exhibition brings together the models of the two creators in a duel of breathtaking cuts and volumes. Alaïa and Balenciaga, sculptors of the form
until June 28, 2020 Association Azzedine Alaïa 18, rue de la Verrerie – 4éme arrondissement of Paris . More info here:  Assoc azzedine Alaia

Renowned American artist and photographer, Cindy Sherman is her own model and her productions question the image and role assigned to the American woman of the 60s. She refers to and diverts advertising, cinematographic or even erotic imagery with fantasy and daring. A resolutely feminist exhibition. From April 1 to August 31 2020. Cindy Sherman Retrospective, Louis Vuitton Foundation 8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi – 16éme arrondissement of Paris/ More info here: Fondation Louis Vuitton on Cindy Sherman

And there you go some news from France of all kinds like the country of many cheeses and wines lol! Hope you enjoy it.

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

 

 

February 29, 2020

Artisanal France, museum at Bourges!

Once again surprise, we admit stumbled upon this museum while visiting the Cathedral St Etienne and walking around the Bishop’s garden in the back we saw it. Curiosity took us in as one cannot overlook something call the Best Artisanal or craftsmen  workers of France. One reason why we are excellence in monuments and many other things…. Welcome to Bourges, in the Cher dept 18 of the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France.

And while here , and walking around, remember I told you about the museum of the best craftsmen of France, wonderful experience truly enjoyed by the family. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok.

The Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France at the old episcopal bishops palace and open since 1995, showcasing the best art form in France from cuisine to leather makers to wood makers craftmens that was established in France from 1924. If you want to know the French joie de vivre then come here, we all enjoy it much. At the Place Etienne Dolet just around the corner from the Cathedral!

Bourges

With two exhibitions a year and a permanent one, you will plunge into a little-known world of know-how and technical challenge. Ironwork, architecture, jewelry, music, etc. A clear explanation of the competition for the Meilleur Ouvrier de France  or Best Craftmen of France, will dispel your doubts about their membership in the Compagnons. Also discover unforgettable works such as Jacques Baptiste’s miniature spinning wheel, or exquisite desserts in puffed sugar , well sheltered by gourmets behind the protective glass! Do not hesitate to take time to admire the details of each work, it is a quality signature that we do not see every day. Little more ? This museum located opposite the cathedral is completely free!

The collections represent many crafts, crafts and industry. Temporary exhibitions are organized each year at the Museum of the Best  Craftsmen of France.  The collections of masterpieces, tools, archives, photographs and medals were made up of donations and deposits made by the craftsmen themselves!

bourges

Presented on two levels, these collections evoke the history of the movement of the Best Craftsmen of France since its creation in 1924 by the government, in the various categories of trades chosen among the professions admitted to the annual competition.

Bourges

And again do not miss seeing the museum or Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France , free admission  next to the St Stephens’ Cathedral and in front of the Bishop’s garden. Awesome combination indeed. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

The city of Bourges has more info on it in English here: City of Bourges on the Museum of Best Craftsmen of France

A site of friends of museums I follow elsewhere, and worth to know you can help the preservation of these wonders as well. More info in French here: Friends of the museums of Bourges on the Craftsmen museum

A general tourist office of Bourges here: Tourist office of Bourges

And there you go short and sassy as the saying goes for a nice spot in my belle France. Do come it is nice indeed. Hope you enjoy the post.

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

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February 29, 2020

More curiosities of my Versailles!!!

helloo, more of me and petit creativity genious hard to choose titles and oh well, I stick with the stories and fables of travel, the very best. I had to climb some stairs today and thought of ideas for the blog so here are some stairs and a bit of trivia information on the Palace/museum of Versailles, sometimes known as the Château de Versailles , but this only covers one building, and the whole is known as the Domaine de Versailles.

Let me start with some figures on it just to give an idea of what it is and even better was.

I do not think had mentioned earlier in my blog but what folks see today is a miniature of what it was the Domaine de Versailles, the whole property that includes the Palance, Trianons, Hameau, gardens , Orangerie etc. Today this is about 642 ha,(about 1586 acres) enclosed by walls, under king Louis XIV its area was around 5000 ha!(about 12355 acres).

It, also has 16 doors or gates to give access to the area. These are grille d’honneur, the grille Dufour , the two grilles of the Hundred Marches stair, the grille du Mail, the grille des Matelots, porte de la Ménagerie, porte de la ferme de la Ménagerie, grille de l’Agronomique, porte de la ferme Bailly, porte de Bailly, porte du Muséum, porte Saint-Antoine, grille du boulevard de la Reine, grille du Dragon , and the grille de la Chapelle. In the Royal period it had even more such as the Porte de Saint Cyr where I came now to find some veggies and fruit on the Ferme de Gally.

Versailles

The Grand Canal is occupy by 24 ha measuring 1650 meters by 62 meters and 1070 meters by 80 meters for the transverse arm, average depth is 2 meters. On the other side of the road or ave de l’Orangerie after given way to the Route de Saint Cyr or road D10, you can see the pièce d’eau des Suisses or Swiss pond this has a total area of 16 ha with dimensions of 682 meters by 234 meters, depth 2.5 meters.

versailles

The Domaine de Versailles has 47 pools, including 26 in the palace grounds and 21 in the Trianon area. 5.56 ha is the floor area of the Palace of Versailles, as for its roofs, all buildings combined, this represents 11 ha. 415 meters, represents the length of the facade on the gardens 670 meters developed, if one counts the returns of the central body. 20 meters is the average height of the Palace of Versailles, compared to 44 meters for the Chapelle Royale and 35 meters for the Opera Royale.

You have 67 stairs in the Palace, 16 of them also serve the roof. About 100 clocks are wound every Monday by the Palace clockmaker, which obviously does not give the number of clocks present at the castle. The Domaine de Versailles has 352 chimneys today while in 1789 there were 1252! About 700 is the number of rooms in the palace and finally it has 2153 windows.

And some interesting stairs is one that goes into the Salon des Nobles or Nobility room. Lots of historical figures walked by here folks. The living room of the Nobles is the antichambre under Queen Marie-Thérèse, it is in this room that Queen Marie Leszczinska granted her solemn audiences, seated under a canopy. She also held her circle there, as this talk time with the ladies of the court was called. Queen Marie-Antoinette had the decoration entirely redone, retaining only the ceiling paintings, and for her, the walls were stretched out in apple-green damask bordered with a large gold braid.

Versailles

Versailles stair to salon des nobles jun15

Other more easily seen from the outside is the Hundred Steps stair seen from the beforementioned roads.

The two Stairs of the Cent Marshes or hundred steps of the Palace of Versailles frame the central gallery of the Orangerie. Two smaller side galleries are located under these stairs. The one hundred steps stair is in fact 103   and 105 steps whose proportions (13 cm x 39.5 cm or about 5,1 by 16.6 inches)) accommodate the steps wonderfully, to the point that it is as easy to climb as to descend. Two return galleries end under the monumental staircases of the Cent-Marches which act as buttresses to the whole. The walls, 4 to 5 meters thick (about 13 to 16.5 feet), the double glazing of the bays and the exposure to the South allow to maintain the winter a temperature which does not drop below 5 ° C or about 41F.

Versailles

There you go folks, you need time even to see this Domaine, I know many travel books tells you it can be done in one day even two days, but if you want to soak fully the history and architecture of this Domaine de Versailles you need a week! Well i used to lived there and it took me several visits to see it all.

Hope you enjoy the post on my favorite city of France, Versailles. And the most beautiful palace in the world, the Palace/museum of Versailles.

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

February 28, 2020

A bit more on the wines of Spain!

Ok so is not all French wines with me. I grew up drinking Spanish wines, believe I told you already my grandmother gave me a zip of a Marqués de Riscal red Rioja when I was 8 yrs old! And the tradition took off never to look back. Wine is a way of life, tradition, but good foodie complement and I follow it to the letter with diplomas from France and Spain on its wines.

I have written a bit on Spanish wines before , mainly on region overall history and making of the wine. I have done the same for France. However, done a brief introduction to the wines of Castilla La Mancha but not the others for lack of photos. This has change found them and will tell you a bit more on the wines of Spain.  Disclaimer, the prices are only a guide,they may differ in your area or at time of purchase.

Believe me I had this one for the first time in La Coruña, Galicia and been after it ever since on my visits there. This was one of first bottles. The Juan Gil Jumilla Castilla La Mancha 2014 . Nice density and velvety texture. It is clearly distinguished by its nose, a real explosion of fruit, and by its delicacy on the palate. It is a sweeter wine, with perfectly balanced tannins. a varied wine from the Monastrell variety, the variety that reigns in Jumilla. The grapes come from a single estate of old vines over forty years old planted on limestone and stone soils, at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. The cost is around 10 euros. Webpage: Official Bodegas Juan Gil

jumilla

Marqués De Griñon Red 2010 Dominio de Valdepusa, Castilla La Mancha. The grapes with which the wines are produced come from the own vineyard planted 20 years ago. After fermenting in stainless steel tanks, it is aged in a heated container in French oak barrels for 18/24 months. Ruby red color of high layer, intense aroma of red forest fruit and spices, structured and powerful in the mouth. To consume today, but it will certainly improve over the next ten years. Cabernet Sauvignon (90%). Merlot (10%). The cost is about 20 euros. webpage: Official Pagos de familia wines of Marqués de Griñon

Toledo

Bodega Garcia Carrion Pata Negra Valdepeñas Gran Reserva 2006 ;Castilla La Mancha. This Pata Negra Gran Reserva is a deep red wine, the tile tones appear very slightly, in the nose the aging aromas are complemented with the aromas of the variety, which are no longer fruity but have evolved to more complex spices and dairy. It is a structured, very pleasant, enveloping wine with a long aftertaste. A wine whose destiny is a five-year-old guard perfectly accompanies red and roasted meats. Theh cost is about 20 euros. webpage: Bodega Garcia Carrion on Pata Negra Valdepeñas

Valdepenas

Some webpages to compliment those above and provide you with more info for your plan to visit and they are a must, wines is it.

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on its wines in English: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on wines

The wines of Ribera del DueroRibera del Duero wines

The DOC official wines of La RiojaOfficial Wines of Rioja DOC

There you go ,now you all set to enjoy the wines of Spain ,whether those above , recommended or your own finds, wine is good, enjoy it.

Oh yes Spanish nostalgia.  You get the idea , and I won’t translate;;;!!! En vino veritas!

La comida es la parte material de la alimentación, pero el vino es la parte espiritual de nuestro alimento.» Alejandro Dumas

“Un buen vino es como una buena película: dura un instante y te deja en la boca un sabor a gloria; es nuevo en cada sorbo y, como ocurre con las películas, nace y renace en cada sabor.” Federico Fellini

El vino hace la vida más fácil y llevadera, con menos tensiones y más tolerancia.» Benjamin Franklin

Dios no hizo más que el agua, pero el hombre hizo el vino.» Victor Hugo

«El vino es la cosa más civilizada del mundo.» Ernest Hemingway

El vino da brillantez a las campiñas, exalta los corazones, enciende las pupilas y enseña a los pies la danza.” José Ortega y Gasset

El vino, mientras más se envejece, más calor tiene: al contrario de nuestra naturaleza, que mientras más vive, más se va enfriando.» Lope de Vega

«Se templado en el beber, considerando que el vino demasiado ni guarda secreto ni cumple palabra.» Cervantes

«Me gustaría ser todo de vino y beberme yo mismo.» Federico García Lorca

«Para conservar la salud y cobrarla si se pierde, conviene alargar en todo y en todas maneras el uso del beber vino, por ser, con moderación, el mejor vehículo del alimento y la más eficaz medicina.» Francisco de Quevedo

«Un gran vino requiere un loco para hacerlo crecer, un hombre sabio para velar por él, un poeta lúcido para elaborarlo, y un amante que lo entienda.» Salvador Dalí

Remember, always with moderation but keep the tradition going after all these folks above could not be wrong. Enjoy the wines of Spain

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

February 28, 2020

Saint Peter at Montfort L’Amaury

So sticking around this quant and nice town in my beloved Yvelines department 78 of the Ïle de France region of my belle France.  I will tell you a bit more on the nice things to see in Montfort L’Amaury

This time will need to tell you a bit more on the St Peter’s Church or église St Pierre located at Place de la Liberation. 

Montfort L'Amaury

A bit on the town history  I like.

Count Amaury I who inherits the titles of his father. Under his authority will be built the castle, the ramparts, the churches of Saint Pierre and Saint Laurent . The Montfort family perpetuate themselves with Yolande who, by her marriage to the Duke of Brittany Arthur II links the county to the Duchy of Brittany. From this union was born Anne of Brittany, Queen of France twice and Duchess of Brittany who embellished the City of Montfort L’Amaury with its constructions. Today, Montfort l’Amaury has become a place of residence for artists who come to relax and find their inspiration.

Montfort L'Amaury

The wonderful impressive by its size and the size of the town is St Peter’s Church from the 15C and 16C ordered rebuilt by Anne de Bretagne in 1491, at the place of the old medieval church of the 11C ordered built by Count Amaury Ier de Montfort. If you are into these sort of things ,there is a cemetary from the 15C and 16C surrounded by galleries looking like a cloister serving as charniers for the inhumanisation of corps taken from the old cemetary by the Church; nice looking cloister entrance.

Montfort L'Amaury

The St Peter’s Church is made of cut stone. It consists of three naves and eleven spans. Its facade is surmounted by a tall, stocky bell tower. This same facade has a semicircular arch entrance with a semicircular bay on each side highlighting the side aisles of the nave. The church is dotted with typically Gothic bays alternating with buttresses. You will note the presence of gargoyles in the upper part of the church holding as well as buttressing arches to the east supporting the structure. Side openings provide access to the interior of the church. The église St Pierre ends on a semicircular apse also reinforced by flying arches and pierced with Gothic bays. The interior of the church is vaulted in quadripartite warheads with magnificent hanging keys.

Montfort L'Amaury

The Romanesque St Peter’s Church, surrounded by its cemetery, was becoming too small and perhaps dilapidated. It is undoubtedly Queen Anne of Brittany who commissioned the construction of a new place of worship. The bedside and ambulatory have started, but work must be stopped before resuming around 1532; the vault of the nave then stops at the old Romanesque bell tower, still in place. The last works, covering and gargoyles, date from 1595. In 1613, the church receives a facade inspired by a drawing by Philibert Delorme. It was not until 1848 that the nave, beyond the bell tower, was raised to the height of the first part. The northern part of the Romanesque bell tower, with its two twin bays, is probably from the 11C. The construction of the bell tower-porch was completed in 1851.

Finally, the 16C stained glass windows are perhaps the most precious jewel in the building. Brilliant in color, these thirty-seven canopies are a precious summary of the art of the time. Lead salts, enamel and Venetian glass are at the service of a refined design and a very complete iconography synthesizing the great scenes of the Old Testament, of the life of the Virgin, that of Christ and the Saints.

It is a small detour not far from Versailles or Paris but worth the off the beaten path visit to Montfort L’Amaury and the Church of St Pierre! Hope you enjoy the post

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Montfort L’Amaury on Ch St Pierre in French

Official Church St Peter in French

Tourist office of the Yvelines dept 78 on Ch St Pierre in French

There you go another dandy in my beloved Yvelines 78, the royal grounds of France. And behold not know it at the time of the visit but now live in Brittany and all makes sense of the Montfort’s! Superbe!! Hope you enjoy the Church of St Peter in Montfort L’Amaury!

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

 

 

 

February 27, 2020

A Notre Dame at Amiens!

Ok so you know we have a lot of Notre Dame in France, and it means Our Lady or signified the Mother of Jesus , Mary. There is a very famous one in Paris but there is the biggest in Amiens. I have written little on Amiens yet visited several times over the years. I need to get going here folks; so let me tell you a bit about the Cathédrale Notre Dame d’Amiens.

Wait a minute, this is a huge task just looking at the library of yours truly so much written on it and so much information, will need to write another book on it. However, been the uncreative guy I am , let me tell you just a bit on it on this post ok.

The Cathedral of  Notre-Dame in Amiens, the biggest medieval and religious building in France (twice the size of Notre Dame of Paris) . It is 145 meters long ,with an arrow top at 112 meters, the nave vaults are 42 meters high.  OF course, it is in Amiens, dept 80 of the Somme in the region of Hauts de France.

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The Cathedral Notre Dame of Amiens has lost most of its original stained glass, but it remains famous for its 13C Gothic sculptures adorning its western facade and the portal of the Golden Virgin on the south facade of the transept, as well as the stalls, work of art in cabinetry. Its architectural unity is evident, except for the upper parts of the two towers. The elevation of the nave of the choir and the transept reflects the ingenuity and boldness of the builders.

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The current Notre Dame Cathedral occupies a site where several sanctuaries have followed one another and of which the historians knows little, due to the lack of texts and archaeological excavations. Catholic tradition, however, traces the Christianisation of Amiens to the arrival at the end of the 3C of Firmin who would have suffered martyrdom at the end of the 3C or at the very beginning of the 4C. He is considered by Catholics as the first bishop of Amiens. The first church was dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, later to Saint Firmin the Confessor; the second devoted to Our Lady and to Saint Firmin the Martyr. Following a fire which destroyed a large part of the city, a new Romanesque church was built between 1137 and 1152, the year of its consecration, but there are any document to determine what it was. The prestige increased dramatically with the arrival in 1206 of the chief of Saint John the Baptist.

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At the beginning of the 13C, period of the reign of king Philippe-Auguste, Amiens knew a period of prosperity. It was the bishop Évrard de Fouilloy who would have laid the first stone of the church under the pillar supporting the statue of the Golden Virgin at the south portal of the transept. It was necessary to offer the relic of Saint John the Baptist a case worthy of the importance of the character. And to welcome pilgrims from all over Europe, you had to think big. The construction work begins with the foundations in 1220 and the laying of the first stone takes place the same year as evidenced by the inscriptions in the labyrinth and above the portal called the Golden Virgin.

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The Notre Dame Cathedral is erected on a plan in the shape of a Latin cross and is liturgically oriented from East to West, with an inclination to the south of about 23 degrees. It has a surface of 7,700 m2 and a volume of 200,000 meters. Its aisle with aisles opens onto a transept overflowing with collaterals and a Choir which includes five naves. The bedside consists of three straight spans with double side pieces. The ambulatory is surrounded by seven radiating chapels, of which the central one, the axial chapel, resembles in architecture the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, of which it is contemporary. The elevation in the nave is tripartite: large arcades, triforium and the skylight of the tall windows. The pillars supporting the arches are round and confined by four columns. The rib vaults are supported by engaged columns.

During the French revolution: In December 1793, volunteers from Lille entered the Notre Dame Cathedral and mutilated with sabre the sculptures of the enclosure of the choir; they were restored in the 19C. The statue of Saint Louis in the Chapelle du Pilier or Chapel of the Pillar was destroyed, crosses were also removed, but most of the carved decoration was preserved. In 1793, the cathedral was transformed into a temple of Reason and Truth and then, in 1794, a temple of the Supreme Being. Catholic worship was restored there in 1795.

During WWI: In 1915 during an episode of intense bombardment, the three portals of the main facade as well as the portal of the Golden Virgin were covered with a formwork made up of dirt sacks, to protect as much as possible their sculpted decoration. In July 1918, during the last German offensive in the west, the cathedral fell under the fire of the German imperial troops, in spite of the intervention of the Pope with the Emperor William II. On April 4, a shell crossed the roof of the choir, without much damage. On the 25th of the same month, three shells reached the cathedral and a buttress was destroyed, the vault of the south aisle of the choir was pierced as well as the paving, a third shell destroyed the first span of the southern triforium and opened the wind tunnel of the organ placed there. A few days later, the vault of the Chapelle de l’Annonciation or Chapel of the Annunciation was pierced by a shell, the first flying buttress south of the apse was destroyed by another and a third touched the outside of the cathedral near the sacristy. The grandstand organ was dismantled by the Paris fire brigade, the stained glass windows were also dismantled and sent to Paris to be restored there before reassembly. Unfortunately, they were largely destroyed by an accidental fire in the Paris premises where they were stored.

During WWII: In May 1940, during the Nazis bombardments which destroyed a large part of the city center. Many of the buildings surrounding the Notre Dame Cathedral were destroyed, but fortunately the cathedral was not affected. Allied bombing in 1944 also spared the cathedral.

In 1981, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. In 1998 it was registered a second time under the Routes of Compostela in France. Some of the events and I pick my favorites are: king Charles VIII and Queen Anne of Brittany came to Amiens on June 11, 1493 and went to the Notre Dame Cathedral. On September 25, 1513, Louis XII attended, at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens, the Mass of the feast of Saint Firmin. In June 1517, it was François I and Queen Claude of France who came to Amiens and went to the cathedral. King Henry IV came twice to the Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens to attend a religious ceremony, the first time on August 18, 1594 after the city recognized him as king of France, the second time on September 25, 1597 after the city was taken over from the Spanish. King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu attended a thanksgiving ceremony at the Notre Dame Cathedral after the fall of Arras, from the Spanish on August 9, 1640.

Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, accompanied by Joséphine de Beauharnais, visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral and struck by the beauty and majesty of the cathedral, would have said this sentence: “Atheists must not be well here”, June 28, 1803. The October 12, 1854, Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie, attended in the Notre Dame Cathedral the inauguration of the Chapelle Sainte-Theudosie chapel whose Empress Eugenie had financed, on her personal wealth, the refitting and decoration under the direction of Eugène Viollet -le Duc. On November 7, 1920, Marshal Foch attended the inauguration ceremony for the monument in memory of the Australian soldiers who died on the soil of the Somme department during WWI or Great War.

This is a huge wonderful gorgeous Cathedral that needs to be visited by all means while in France. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Notre Dame Cathedral in English

Official Notre Dame Cathedral on the 800 years anniversary in French

city of Amiens on the Notre Dame Cathedral in French

Tourist office of the Somme dept 80 on Notre Dame Cathedral in French

And there you go folks just a brief introduction to what should be on anybody’s list of things to see in France. Remember, Notre Dame Cathedral in AMIENS, Somme dept 80, region of Hauts de France, in my belle France!

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

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February 27, 2020

The Basilica of Albert!!!

And do stay in the north of my belle France, the real thing, and wonderful things to see around here, close to family territory.  I have done posts on the region briefs and have come back with more on their main things to see me think. I take you now to Albert and the Basilica of Notre Dame de Brébiéres . It is the basilica of Albert and could be at least one of the Basilica’s of France for its history and meaning.

The wonderful Basilica of Notre Dame de Brébiéres built from 1885 to 1895 in neo byzantine style, and connects to the museum of  Somme 1916. See that post

The Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Brebières was one of the high places of Marian worship in Picardy since the 11-12C. At the end of the 19C, the pilgrimage experienced a revival of fervor with all of Marian devotion. In 1895, at the time of its new inauguration, Pope Leo XIII conferred the honorary title of Minor Basilica on the new church. He specified in his papal bull his ambition for the basilica: “Albert would have to become the Lourdes of the North”. The bell tower-porch, 76 meters high, was surmounted by a dome carrying a golden statue of the Virgin which culminates in 82 meters. Albert’s basilica was completely destroyed during WWI ( Great War) . Just on the south side of the basilica is the entrance to the Somme 1916 Museum. As part of the ceremonies commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, American singer Barbara Hendricks gave a Peace Concert accompanied by the Orchestra de Picardie, on Friday July 1, 2016 at 22h at the Basilica Notre Dame of Brébiéres in Albert.

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A bit on the construction which is unique me think

The main facade is formed by a porch with three gates located under the bell tower. The floor and the facade are decorated with mosaics. The bell tower-porch rises to 76 meters. Its upper part is made up of a dome carrying a virgin covered with 40,000 gold sheets, six meters high presenting the Child Jesus: the child’s arms form a cross. An outdoor gallery located sixty meters above the ground allows you to go around the bell tower and offers a remarkable view of the city and its surroundings. The plan of the basilica recalls that of the first Christian basilicas with a large apse formed by an elevated chapel and framed by two apsidioles leaning on both sides on the transept also finished in the north and in the south by two apsidioles . The transept crossing is surmounted by a small quadrangular lantern tower. A five-span nave flanked by two side aisles extends the basilica. Each of the spans communicates with the collaterals which open on each side into five chapels. A decorated frame and a coffered ceiling replace the traditional vaults. The length of the building is 70 meters, its width is 35 meters at the transept. The ceiling height is 23 meters. The tribune organ inaugurated in 1901; the organs were completely destroyed. They were replaced, in 1958. The Choir organ was installed in the basilica at the same time as the tribune organ.

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And the event that the world remembers, and me too. Here is the story.

On October 22, 1914, a first shell hit the Basilica Notre Dame de Brébiéres. Unintentionally perhaps, because from a strategic point of view the Basilica offers the enemy a landmark for the regulation of artillery fire that destroys industry, the railway and improvised hospitals in schools and boarding schools. Three other shells still hit the Basilica across the bell tower right through without causing irreparable damage. Two others crush the central skylight, the debris of which crashes on the high altar. A quarter of the roof is destroyed. On January 7, 1915, a shell burst the dome and the vaults collapsed. Having achieved its objectives, the enemy then targets the Basilica. On January 14 and 15, 1915 about 43 shells fell on the basilica!.

On January 15, in the afternoon, around 15h the dome shatters, and shortly after the bronze statue of the Virgin and Child Jesus, 7 meters high, surmounting the bell tower of the Basilica of Notre Dame de Brebières , bows. Later in the evening, under the effect of the storm, it positioned itself horizontally. The frame yields without completely breaking. The Virgin finds herself suspended above the void, directed towards the south. Seeing this leaning Virgin, the soldiers imagine a legend: “When the Virgin falls, the war will end”. On March 26, 1918, Albert fell back into German hands. What remains of the bell tower of the Basilica becomes an observation post for the occupier, which must be destroyed to take back the city. On April 16, 1918, around 15h30, on the third attempt, the British artillery hit the steeple and the Virgin collapsed. We are in 1918 the Virgin falls and the same year the war will end. The legend is “respected”. Indeed wonderful story!!!

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Ministry of Culture of France on the Basilica in French: Ministry of Culture of France on the Basilica Notre Dame de Brébiéres

Tourist office of the Somme dept 80 on the Basilica in French: Tourist office of the Somme dept 80 on the Basilica Notre Dame de Brébiéres

I have the city of Albert on public transports as train passes by here from Paris to from Lille. City of Albert on public transportation

There you go another gem ,this time in the north or Hauts de France, old Picardie region. Albert has a lot of punch and thanks to the Basilica Notre Dame de Brébiéres. Hope you enjoy the post and do come to visit it, its another must around this region.

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

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February 26, 2020

WWI museum at Péronne!

Well let me bring you up up to my picardie and now Hauts de France region, in nice Peronne and a great museum for all to know and visit and learn not to be repeated.

The Historial de la Grande Guerre or the Historial of the Great War (WWI) is located in Péronne,next to the medieval castle, and taken some parts of it. This is in the Somme department 80, region of Hauts de France. It is a museum of the history of WWI, an international research center and a documentation center. It is a an official Museum of France.

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Among the most terrible moments of WWI was the Battle of the Somme, as tragic as the Battle of Verdun: from July to November 1916, it caused, all nationalities combined, more than a million victims including more than 400k dead or missing!

The Historial of the Great War  was born, and the location was fixed in Péronne, which offered the double advantage of being located in the heart of an area of intense fighting from 1914 to 1918 and near an access to the autoroute du nord or northern highway. The Historial of the Great War opened in 1992.

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It was conceived and designed in 1986 by international specialists, it favors an approach that puts people at the center of concerns, by comparing the three main belligerent societies: Germany, France, and the United Kingdom , in fields relating to life at the front and the rear lines. On what was the front line, where more than twenty nations came to fight during WWI, the Historial was financed with European, national, regional and departmental funds.

The Historial of the Great War invites visitors to question the concept of conflict , to reflect on the past, present and future world. The Museography seeks to explain at first, so that knowledge then allows emotion to express itself. Thus, the museum shows the profound influence on the contemporary resonances of a war, total, industrial and world.

The collections are distributed in space according to their level of belonging to the conflict and according to a comparative system between the German, British and French collections.

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Those on the front , the relics are placed in the center of the rooms in disbursed in pits of white marble,   one for each nationality, referring to the world of trenches and death. In the center of rooms II and III, the pits display the uniforms and weapons of the combatants, surrounded by regulatory objects specific to war of movement and then, of trenches. The rear collections , those of civil society engaged for the first time in this global war are displayed in display cases at the periphery of the rooms on three levels of presentation to better compare the social and cultural dimension of the conflict between the belligerents or the mobilization of the rear. Between the two, the objects of memory such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, engravings, extracts from archive films , etc., which try to describe the indescribable and play in the museum the role of mediators as they played in society. Extracts from war literature and poetry punctuate didactic signage and also strengthen mediation. Awesome!!!

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official museum historial de la grande guerre in English

This is the Somme dept 80 on museum of WWI history in English: Tourist office of the Somme 80 on museums of WWI

City of Peronne on history and heritage of it

And this one you should come and see it , a must for all. We by passed the area on our trips to visit family in the Nord so it makes it easy but if you are in Paris you should make the effort to come here, after all France is a movable feast! Hope you enjoy the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Péronne!

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

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February 26, 2020

ramparts of Meaux!

I have to come back to this sentimental city seldom visited even if the history and monuments are rich very much related to Royal France. Here is a bit more of the history I like of Meaux and especially the Gallo-Roman ramparts. I give you one day and one night time picture.

I have written several posts on this city in my blog and for good reason. However, taking the fact that will show you pictures of the ramparts as of today; let me tell you a bit of old history I like on Meaux

Meaux

The original known settlers here were the Meldes, a Celtic people, who had made Lantinum their capital. After the Roman conquest, of “Iantinum civitas Meldorum” only the name of the Meldes remains and the city takes the name of Meldis. The inhabitants are of the Meldois!

The Gallo-Roman city of Lantinum was established under the High Roman Empire following an orthogonal grid extending from the Marne river in the south to the Saint-Faron district in the north, that is to say in the old meander of the river , currently Le Brasset . A large number of large public buildings are attested, such as forum, theater, amphitheater, thermal baths, as well as a suburban cult complex at the place of the Bauve with a fanum and amphitheatre. Under the Lower Roman Empire, due to increasing political instability and the threat of invasions, a fortified enclosure was built in the southern part of the city (these are the ramparts and can see the vestiges by boulevard Jean-Rose ) and the extra-muros part of the city was gradually abandoned. Christianity was preached among the Meldes from the 3C by Saint Denis . His successor, Saint Saintin, would be the first Bishop of Meaux.

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In 861, the Normans plunder Meaux, and the whole region. In 887, Meaux, who was commanded by Bishop Segemond and Count Thibert, was constantly attacked, night and day, by the Vikings. The city resisted for a long time, causing heavy losses to the besiegers. However, the city was taken, Thibert killed, and Bishop Segemond taken into captivity. The wealth of the city and the failure of Charles II the Bald to pay compensation to the Vikings at the fortress of Oissel made them occupy the city especially in 852 and 886.

Meaux was from the 10C the possession of the Counts of Champagne who were also called Counts of Meaux and who were assisted by the Viscounts of Meaux; the city returned to the crown under Louis X King of Navarre in 1305, King of France from 1314 to 1316, son of Philippe le Bel and Jeanne de Champagne-Navarre.

The Hundred Years War was particularly heavy with its procession of looting, plague and famines. This instability led the peasants to the uprising in 1358 under the leadership of Guillaume Callet , this is known as the Grande Jacquerie (short jackets, say jacques revolt by farmers). The inhabitants of Meaux are favorable to their demands. By surprise, the royal troops seized the fortress. On June 9, Gaston Fébus, Count of Foix and the Capitaine of Buch arrive with a troop of knights and massacre a part of the Jacques and Parisians (came to help the Jacques) who flee.

In October 1421, Henry V of England and his troops, consisting of 24,000 soldiers, laid siege to Meaux. The city held out for five months, but preferred to surrender on May 10, 1422. The English were merciless: the defenders of the city were hanged or had their heads severed. It was owned by the English from 1421 to 1436, then later reunited definitively with the Crown of France, after the events following Jeanne d’Arc.

Meaux is one of the most active French cities in terms of Protestantism in the 16C. Thus, the cenacle of Meaux was founded in 1521 at the request of bishop Guillaume Briçonnet by his friend and humanist Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples while Jean Leclerc preached there in 1523. In 1562, freedom of worship was granted to Protestants, but the latter were trying to take control of the city. In 1567, during the surprise of Meaux, the Royal family owed it only to the hundred Swiss to escape capture by the Protestant troops of the Prince of Condé. Meaux took the side of the League before going to Henri IV in 1593.

In 1681 Bossuet was appointed Bishop of Meaux and remained so until his death in 1704. In the meantime , been the confessor of king Louis XIV!; and known as the Eagle of Meaux. The Royal family (Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette) , during the dramatic return from the Varennes flight, spent a night in Meaux. In the 19C, the Marquis de Lafayette was a deputy for the district of Meaux, especially in 1827.  During WWI or the Great War (1914-1918), Meaux was the scene of the First Battle of the Marne, which shook the Seine-et-Marne region.

Lately, because of the Gallo-Roman past, certain districts of Meaux and its surroundings systematically undergo preventive archaeological excavations during works giving access to the ground, such as roads or during a demolition / construction. This allows the discovery of many vestiges. In 2007, discovery of an artisanal district of the High Roman Empire in the Saint-Faron district. In 2009, on the Villenoy plateau, during excavations, discovered an important section of an underground aqueduct which supplied the city before being now covered by the Pays de Meaux Activity Park.

Some famous battles here were: “Battle of Meaux” is a term that can refer to different events such as:

The Siege of Meaux (1358) or “Battle of Meaux”, during the Great Jacquerie. the siége of Meaux of 1421 and 1422, on the other hand, was not designated by the term “battle of Meaux”. The Surprise of Meaux or “Battle of Meaux” (1567), where Louis I of Condé (Protestant) tries to kidnap King Charles IX (Catholic), during the wars of Religion. The Battle of Meaux (1814), March 27, 1814, during the French Campaign, opposing Napoleon I and the Prussian and Russian armies. The “Battle of Meaux” (1892), journalistic term to designate a brawl between officers of the 8th regiment of dragons, August 30, 1892 in Meaux, which occurred following the acquittal of the Marquis de Morès of a duel to which he had participated ten days before. It is part of the beginnings of the Dreyfus Affair. The battles fought on the surrounding municipalities of Meaux (“pocket of Meaux”), during the first Battle of the Marne (1914), between August 30 and September 12, 1914. The Battle of the Ourcq (1914) and the battle of the Marais de Saint-Gond (marshes of) , more decisive, were of a greater magnitude and took place, both between 5 and 9 September, also in the general framework of the Battle of the Marne, but in communes further from Meaux.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Meaux on the walks in the ramparts

Tourist office of Pays de Meaux on the ramparts garden

And there you go a nice walk in old Meaux wonderful monuments all around it. When in town we went by the Cathedral of St Etienne and the Bossuet garden into the ramparts awesome. Even parked my car later by there nice parking with the back of the ramparts! Hope you like the post and take the off the beaten path detour to see this up close.

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

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February 25, 2020

A stair for an emperor, Fontainebleau!

And I will settle in to tell you some fables of a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it.

Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the ïle de France. Allow me to tell you a bit more on the Cour du Cheval Blanc and its most famous spot the escalier Fer-à-cheval.

The Cour du Cheval Blanc, (courtyard of the white horse) also known as the Cour des Adieux (courtyard of the goodbye) or Cour d’Honneur (courtyard of honor) is in a rectangular form, was an old poultry yard then a service courtyard, which very early became a parade court. It acquired its name thanks to a plaster cast of the equestrian statue of Marc Aurèle at the Capitol, installed between 1560 and 1570, disappeared in 1626, and of which a small slab, in the central alley, recalls the location. This courtyard was originally closed by four wings of the castle, the west wing of which, known as the aile de Ferrare or Ferrara wing, was destroyed and replaced by an honor grid with Napoleonic decor such as golden lead eagles, ornaments around the entrance portal , etc made in 1808.

Fontainebleau

The buildings at the back of the courtyard of the white horse retain, from the reign of François I, the sandstone and coated rubble stone constructions, adorned with pilasters and dormers with triangular pediments. From left to right: the pavillon des Armes or   Arms pavilion where the Royal armory was found, the tour de l’Horloge or Clock tower, pavillon des Orgues or the Organs pavilion, the three neighboring spans, and the fourth pavilion. At the level of the pavillon de l’Horloge or Clock pavilion, we can see the Chapelle de la Trinité or Trinity Chapel

The North wing, built around 1530, known as the aile des Ministres or Ministers’ wing, was greatly restored in the 19C. The central pavilion is decorated with a salamander , a 1878 reconstruction, and the fireplaces bear the figure of François I. Opposite, the l’aile Louis XV or Louis XV wing which replaces, in the 18C, the sumptuous gallery of Ulysses designed by Primatice, the ground floor of which housed shops rented to the privileged merchants who followed the Court. At the southern corner of the entrance gate remains the pavilion which shelters, on the garden side, the grotte des Pins or the cave of Pines. The pillars consist of four rustic Atlanta’s as captives of the rock, put out of harm’s way, and its three arcades sketch triangular pediments.

The famous escalier Fer-à-cheval (horseshoe stair) was built in 1550 by Philibert Delorme, but was redone between 1632 and 1634 by Jean Androuet du Cerceau. It has an appearance comparable to that of the Château d’ Anet (see this post), also created by Delorme.

Fontainebleau

Built at the request of Louis XIII between 1632 and 1634 ,the Fer-à-cheval staircase, with atypical shapes, allows to stage the access to the François I gallery and at the Grands Appartements of the castle. From the reign of king Louis XIV, the staircase served as a grandiose setting to welcome princesses coming to marry a son of France such as the Duchess of Burgundy in 1697, Marie Leszczynska in 1725, Helène de Mecklenburg-Schwerinen1837. On April 1814 that the Horseshoe stair becomes legendary and is definitively inscribed as the emblem of Fontainebleau by becoming the theater of the famous farewells of Napoleon I to his guard.

Fontainebleau

Some webpages for practical information and history to follow

Castle of Fontainebleau for practical information on visits

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the history and heritage

And there you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle for many years!  Friends of the Castle of FontainebleauFriends of the Castle of Fontainebleau

Hope you have enjoy the post and I thank you for reading me. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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