Archive for February 10th, 2020

February 10, 2020

Another Notre Dame but at Chantilly!

So if read my blog you know I have several posts on Chantilly and as most concentrate on the castle.However, we go into the town and see walking all the wonderful architecture and history of this town. And I do not mention much but I am very involve in France on the restoration of national monuments and friends of many, of course, including Chantilly. I am an aficionado of architecture and history which helps understand the place.

Here, let me tell you about an important little church which can be seen from the side back of the Grande Ecuries of Chantilly; the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption.

The Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church is located in Chantilly, in the Oise department, no 60 in the Hauts-de-France region. It is the first church in Chantilly. Its construction was launched in 1687 by Prince Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé in accordance with a wish expressed by the will of his father the Grand Condé, which also stipulates that the necessary funds must be taken from his fortune. The plans are drawn by   architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and the church was completed at the beginning of 1692. It is a building of a fairly sober classical style, which quickly turns out to be too small: to meet the increase in population, an expansion was undertaken between 1724 and 1734. To find a parish priest, the Prince de Condé contacted Mgr Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, bishop of Meaux (my Martine native town and the bishop was the personal advisor/confessor of Louis XIV), who recommended his own nephew,of the same name , then in ministry in the diocese of Poitiers.


The story of the hearts that needs to be understood by many visitors. Here it is the same. Two ebony caskets arrive at the castle. They contain remains of Saint Adrien, Saint Aurélie de Ratisbonne, Saint Eusèbe, Saint Faustin, Saint Julien, Saint Valentine and Saint Victoire, accompanied by their certificates of authenticity. Often there are several saints of the same name, and it is not specified which ones it is. The current caskets were offered by Louis VI Henri de Bourbon-Condé. During the main religious festivals, the Prince of Condé and his family attend Mass in the parish church: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the Assumption, patronal feast of Chantilly. Due to the French revolution in July 17, 1789, the Prince of Condé took the road to exile. From his exile from Turin, he learned that religious establishments and their churches would be sold as national property. In September 1793, Catholic worship was banned in Chantilly, and the church was immediately transformed into a temple of Reason.

It turns out that since the Grand Condé which revived the medieval custom of keeping the hearts or soul of persons apart, the hearts of his family were buried in the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church in Paris, which belongs to the Jesuit religious. He gives the order that the hearts are transferred to the Notre-Dame de L’Assomption Church in Chantilly, and this transfer takes place on February 4, 1791. At the time of the French Restoration (monarchy back), the Prince of Condé and his son returned to Chantilly. The hearts of their ancestors were given back such as Louis V Joseph de Bourbon-Condé died in 1818 and his son Louis VI Henri de Bourbon-Condé in 1830. It was asked King Louis-Philippe I that the hearts of the last Prince of Condé be reunited with the others: this favor was granted to them, and the heart arrives at Chantilly on September 9, 1830. It is temporarily deposited in the sacristy with the others. The Duke of Aumale, Henri d’Orléans, wants to create a funeral chapel for the hearts and order a new monument. The heart of his son Louis d’Orléans, who died in 1866, joined the monument on June 25, 1876. After the completion of the new chapel of the castle, the hearts are transferred towards this one on September 18, 1883 and deposited in the old monument sculpted by Jacques Sarrazin and coming from the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church.

The exterior of the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption responds to a fairly simple plan without transept or ambulatory. The central vessel is preceded by a narthex delimited by two staircase turrets, which serve in particular the organ gallery that hosts this part of the building. The central nave and the apse have an elevation on two levels, with the upper arches and the upper windows. Only the right span of the choir has a gallery, and therefore has an elevation on three levels. The apse is the only one to have two levels of windows. According to the precepts of classical architecture, the large arches are semicircular, and the central vessel is covered with a barrel dome. In its current form, the nave evokes that of the Dôme of Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris, whose large arcades, however, have two floors, and whose entablature has a cornice. In the department of Oise,no 60 the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Church in Chantilly is the only parish church of a clearly stated classical style, quite remarkable for the quality of its architecture.


While the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption was still under construction, Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé commissioned five paintings from the painter Louis de Boullogne: three were used as altarpieces, and two were originally intended as pedalled for the primitive altars of the chapels of the Virgin and Saint-Hubert. The table for the altarpiece of the high altar represents the Adoration of the Shepherds and measures unit 390 cm high by 230 cm wide. The altarpiece in the Chapel of the Virgin is about the Education of the Virgin by Saint Anne. The painting that served as a pedalled is now hanging on the wall. It represents the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, according to the evangile of James (6-10). The altarpiece of the Saint-Hubert chapel is dedicated to the most famous episode of his life, which motivates his conversion to a Christian life; this is the vision he has of a deer carrying a luminous cross between his antlers. On the wall to the right of the altar, the old altarpiece table has been hung. These are the Charity of Saint Hubert, and the Baptism of Saint Hubert.

The monument of the hearts of the princes of Condé is located opposite, in the middle of the right aisle, where it replaced a window. This monument funded by the Duke of Aumale and erected during his first exile was inaugurated on May 13, 1854, and has only been a cenotaph since September 18, 1883. As the real hearts are now in the Chapel of the Château de Chantilly.

There a bit long but worth it me think. It is a wonderful town and the Church still receives today member of the Royals in special occasions.  The city of Chantilly published a pdf file with the full history of the Church ,you can read it here in French: City of Chantilly brochure in French and pdf file on the Church

The parish of the Holy Family of Chantilly  in French here:  Parish of the Holy Family of Chantilly in French

A bit on the area Churches and a bit on the Notre Dame de l’Assomption from the Chantilly tourist office in English: Toursit office of Chantilly on the Churches

And there you another off the beaten path monument to visit in the Oise, in Chantilly ,in  Hauts de France ,and on my belle France. Hope you enjoy it

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


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February 10, 2020

Market days at Amboise!

Well I told you written plenty on Amboise in my blog, one of my favorite cities of my belle France. And we do shop here often during the year for goodies of the Amboise-Touraine area and plenty more from the Loire valley, here the valley of the kings!

There is a pack to see in Amboise, but when you walks its streets mingle with the local people and savored their goodies than you will come to realise the town is a lot more than a castle, and lucky to be not too far from it.! Let me tell you a bit more on its market or marché one of the best of France and we say so! We love the markets!!!

Strolling along the stalls of the Sunday market, will be pleased to introduce you to the world of great wines. Every Sunday morning the Marché d’Amboise market is held. This is the largest market in the Indre et Loire department, 37, some come from Blois, Montrichard, or Tours to shop here and for good reason.


You are invited to stroll from 8h to 13h30 along the market stalls in the city center, which takes place every Sunday morning, on the banks of the Loire, a 5-minute walk from the city/town hall, opposite the Post Office. It takes part in the attractiveness and the life of the city as well as in the surrounding towns, it is a meeting place for all the inhabitants of the region.

On the banks of the Loire at Amboise, the market brings together 215 traders on Sunday morning, distributed along four aisles of 500 meters. It is the most important in Indre-et-Loire. present on the market, there is a bit of everything: early vegetables, food products of the region, flowers, etc .

The Amboise market was selected among the finalists for the competition for the most beautiful market in 2019. The TV chain  TF1 announced in its afternoon edition the prize list of the competition “The most beautiful market in France” ; the market in Amboise, voted best market in the Centre-Val de Loire region!  by internet users, and came 12th in the national ranking!!


My family at it in Amboise!

The top 20 (over 200 markets competed)  winner’s list for reference is below and in black those we have been. Including the one in our capital city Vannes which I have plenty in my blog!

  1. Marché de Montbrison
    2. Marché de Dieppe
    3. Marché de Saint-Pierre
    La Réunion
    4. Marché d’Audruicq
    5. Marché des Halles de Narbonne
    6. Marché de Toucy
    7. Marché des Halles Municipales de Menton
    Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
    8. Marché de Vannes
    9. Marché des Halles de Niort
    10. Marché du Puy-en-Velay
    11. Marché de Brive-la-Gaillarde
    12. Marché d’Amboise
    Centre-Val de Loire
    13. Marché de Saint-Louis
    14. Marché du Moule
    15. Marché de Monsempron-Libos
    16. Marché de Fréry
    17. Marché de Prayssac
    18. Marché d’Honfleur
    19. Marché de Bernaville
    20. Marché de Chaource

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the market here are

Contact the city of Amboise for information on events and hours, location when you do plan to come here: City of Amboise tourist office contact

The tourist office of Amboise Val de Loire on the market in English: Tourist office Amboise Val de Loire on the market in Amboise

There you go a wonderful competition to preserve the tradition of the best France can offer gastronomy and wines! Do visit a market is a must if visiting France, they are monuments to what you come to see in my belle France. Hope you enjoy it! The one in Amboise is tops!!!

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

February 10, 2020

Chateau du Clos Luce, Amboise!

And let me tell you something wonderful of another dear town of mine. I have been coming here for so many years lost count, we get our local country provisions here, wine of course for our house denomination Amboise-Touraine. However, there is a whole lot more to see here and even more than what I have written before on Amboise.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the grand place, the Château du Clos Lucé , last home of Leonardo da Vinci in Amboise!


You come over the museum house of Leonardo da Vinci at Clos Lucé, its just a walk away about 500 meters away from the castle. The Chateau du Clos Lucé-Parc Leonardo da Vinci is  where he lived his last 3 years of his life and worked on his passions furiously, you can see  his bedroom, kitchen, work cabinet, and beautiful rooms in brick and stone as well as a chapel. You will discover in its park about 40 wonderful machine inventions that he created such as the first airplane, submarine, auto, helicopter, tank, parachutes, etc. All vividly display in the house and throughout the park. The visit starts at the gallery climbing the watchtower to remind you this is medieval architecture, and you will see the arms of France, go into the bedroom with a view of the castle, fireplace, aubusson tapestries, and a glass cabinet with many items of historical value such as the Christ in pearl and ivory said to belong to Mary Queen of Scots. Follow with his study room where his manuscripts were done from 1517 with many wonderful displays of history ; the Anne de Bretagne (Anne of Brittany) Oratory or chapel first built by king Charles VIII for his wife.The lounges from the 18C ,they were probably used by Leonardo da Vinci for his portraits of John the Baptist, it contains gorgeous furniture, at the end a small lounge with porcelain items, and continuing to the renaissance reception room where he welcome king François I and many others notables, all furnishing are from the renaissance period. You enter the kitchen with a monumental fireplace and furniture from the 16C.  Then you go down the stairs to Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions or machines all displayed using IBM technology now as models.



You go outside to the park culturel with trails of exhibits in the open, machines hanging from trees as models of his inventions such as the moving bridge or pont mobile, the windmills or moulins, and the amphibious men or pont de briques. Lovely park indeed worth it a lot. You have a boutique store for souvenirs, and restaurants such as the La Terrace and the la Table du Moulin,and the resto du Prieuré, we try the Table du Moulin and is great.

The Château du Clos Lucé, formerly called the Manoir du Cloux, is a residence located in the heart of the Loire Valley, in Amboise. Originally designed in 1471 as an old fiefdom under the Château d’Amboise, it passed through several hands before being bought by Charles VIII and becoming a summer residence for the kings of France. It kept this function until 1516 when François I made it available to Leonardo da Vinci, who lived there for three years, until his death on May 2, 1519

In 1516, aged 64, Leonardo da Vinci leaves Rome, crosses Italy, bringing in his leather bags all his sketchbooks and three famous paintings: Mona Lisa, The Virgin, Child Jesus and Saint Anne and Saint John the Bapstist. These three paintings are now kept at the Louvre Museum. He names him “First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King.

The Chateau du Clos Lucé is located in the heart of a 7-hectare park crossed by the Amasse stream , a small tributary of the Loire. The façade, made of pink bricks and white stones, has hardly been modified since the Renaissance.

Forty models produced by IBM based on Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings are displayed in four rooms in the basement. 3D animations are also presented in the model rooms. We find in the park a dovecote built in the 15C. The dovecote housed a thousand niches for pigeons. A cultural trail was set up in the park of the Château du Clos Lucé in 2003 with sound terminals and 20 giant machines inspired by his sketches. A garden presents Leonardo’s works on plants, as well as a two-level bridge, based on a sketch by the artist.


The Château du Clos Lucé is today a place of interpretation, knowledge and synthesis which aims to allow the widest audience to discover the universe of Leonardo da Vinci. It has been owned by the Saint Bris family since 1855.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which is a must

Official Chateau du Clos Luce in English

Official tourist office of Amboise Val de Loire on the Chateau du Clos Luce

Official tourist office Amboise Val de Loire on the work of Leonardo Da Vinci

There you go folks a masterwork place to make it a must to visit in Amboise, the Château du Clos Lucé is wonderful, and the park displays are as unique as what is inside. Enjoy it as we did

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


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