Archive for May 5th, 2020

May 5, 2020

La galerie David d’Angers ,Angers

Here is another perfect example of the multitude of choices we have in my belle France. I have come to Angers several times, and even had lunch there with my boss who is and lives there. I have chosen several monuments including the fine arts museum, but this part which is just an annex next to it I overlooked telling you about yikes! Time to remedy this forgetfulness of mine.

Let me tell you a bit more on the Gallery of David of Angers or La galerie David d’Angers annex to the Fine Arts Museum or musée des Beaux-Arts of Angers. It is part of the Toussaint complex which includes the garden and  fine arts museum, the David d’Angers gallery and the municipal library.

Angers

The galerie David d’Angers or  David d’Angers gallery is a museum located in Angers in Maine-et-Loire dept 49 ,in the region of Pays de la Loire. It is on the site of the former Toussaint abbey.

It is dedicated to the works of the sculptor David d’Angers, from whom it takes his name. The collection is mainly composed of original plasters which are the preparatory stages for bronze or marble sculpture. An Angevin artist Pierre-Jean David d’Angers, sculptor, medalist and designer of the 19C, produced a large quantity of works. In 1811, he offered the city of Angers three of these rewarded works and from 1839 the city of Angers dedicates an exhibition space to him, located for almost one hundred and fifty years in the refectory of the Museum of Fine Arts. At the beginning of the 20C, the museum’s most important sculpture collection is that of David d’Angers, comprising more than 400 pieces given by the artist, completed in 1903 by the donation of Mrs. Leferme, wife of David-d’Angers.

Angers

In the early 1980s the decision was made to transfer the exhibition to the old Toussaint abbey, dating from the 12C and completely restructured in 1984. The roof and its frame, for example, were made of metal beams completely covered with glass panels allowing natural overhead light to pass, the whole being decorated with local materials such as tufa and slate The David d’Angers gallery is created in 1983 and inaugurated on May 22, 1984 to the public.

Angers

The works of David d’Angers are today scattered in several parts of the world, mainly in Europe and the United States. The David d’Angers gallery provides access to the works in a unique place, the collection of which mainly consists of plaster workshop models. There are statues, busts and medallions. The sculpture collections, imposing by their size, are placed at a low level so as to create a perspective from the mezzanine. You can see a major work there, consisting of preparatory work for the realization of the pediment of the Pantheon in Paris including a sculpture made in the third and visible at eye level..The mezzanine accommodates the smallest works, drawings, busts of literary personalities, politicians or friends of David, as well as a hundred medallions.

The David d’Angers gallery offers a renewed display of its collections. This is how the establishment presented in 2014 the artist’s drawings for the decor of the Odéon theatre in Paris for example. A nice addition to see while in Angers!

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

The museums of Angers on the gallery David d’Angers in English: Museums of Angers on the gallery of David d’Angers

Tourist office of Angers on the Gallery of David d’Angers in English: Tourist office of Angers on the Gallery David d’Angers

And voilà a wonderful spot in city center Angers not to miss… well I did came back and on my blog too. Hope you enjoy the Galerie David d’Angers as we did

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

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May 5, 2020

Ville d’Avray!!

Ok so lets bring you back up to the Paris region and my old hunting ground as in living. Again, there is so much material to write on my belle France and lucky enough to have traveled thru these places. I found some photos on a nice town and would like to tell you more about it.

This is Ville d’Avray in Hauts de Seine dept 92 in the region of ïle de France; and I was here way back by chance. Let me tell you a bit about it ok

As often the case with so much to see sometimes is the visitor who push you to go beyond the resident/citizen role and find new places. My alma mater alumni director from FL USA was coming to meet me and she stays in the hotel in the town so i need to go meet her, lunch and take her out into Paris and the Paris Air Show! And this is how I step in into historically known Ville d’Avray , even if it is just a step away from my Versailles!!!

Ville-d’Avray has as neighboring towns the Sèvres, Marnes-la-Coquette, Saint-Cloud, Chaville, Viroflay, and Versailles. Viroflay is only accessible by the paths of the Fausses-Reposes forest (no road). The village or town is now part of the   Grand Paris Seine Ouest born on January 1, 2010, from the merger of the two agglomeration communities, Arc-de-Seine and Val de Seine, grouping the towns of Boulogne-Billancourt, Chaville, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Meudon, Sèvres , Vanves and Ville-d’Avray.

You get there easy by car from Versailles and Paris and a bit more complicated on public transports as there are always works on the lines. Normally, these are By train, the stop is at gare de Sèvres / Ville-d’Avray, the line linking here is from Paris gare   Saint-Lazare /La Défense/Versailles rive-droite (line L my station but never taken here) ,and La Défense/La Verrière. The La Verrière on line U departing from Gare de Sèvres Rive-Gauche , and line N from Paris- Montparnasse / Versailles – Chantiers.

The special electric mini bus Dagobus allows you to go to Garches train station and return to Sèvres – Ville-d’Avray train station. It’s a free shuttle also connects the Sèvres / Ville-d’Avray train station at the end of the rue de Versailles. The new line 526 electric line circulates on the territory of Grand Paris Seine Ouest to ensure new connections between Ville-d’Avray, the Monesse district in Sèvres and the center of Marnes-la-Coquette. Ville-d’Avray is served by the bus lines of the GPSO (Grand Paris Seine Ouest) and Phébus network (Versailles). The bus line 426 (Pont de Sèvres / La Celle Saint-Cloud); line 471 (Saint-Cloud Les Coteaux / Versailles Gare SNCF Rive droite); line 469 (Porte des Hauts-de-Seine / Chaville Station Right bank); line 526 100% electric (Marnes-la-Coquette, Sèvres and Ville-d´Avray.

By the road, the way I have come here the two main routes are the D 407 which links Garches to Sèvres by crossing the town in a north-west to east direction via the rue de Marnes and rue de Sèvres and the D 985 road (my route) which connects Versailles to Suresnes by crossing the town in the south-west to north via the forest of Fausses-Reposes. Parking in town is reduce and street parking hard to find, but the best known ones are the Parking La Fontaine du Roy located under the college of same name but accessible by the rue de Saint-Cloud. Open every day, Sunday and public holidays, 24 hours a day – Doors closed at night from 20h30 to 8h. Also nice parking at Place Charles de Gaulle. The town is about 10 minutes from Pont de Sèvres or Pont de Saint-Cloud by car.

ville d avray

In the village of Ville d’Avray is the Fontaine du Roy, the waters of which were reputed to be the best around Paris, and which king Louis XVI reserved for his particular use. In 1815, General Piré in concert with General Exelmans fought the Prussians there. Nice parks to stroll and very nice in quiet peaceful Ville d’Avray are Parc de Lesser doors at rue de Sèvres and avenue Gambetta open 7h – 20h ; and Parc du Château :7h15 – 20h.

Some other nice things to see here are

Les Etangs de Corot (tops) : The old pond was created at the end of the Middle Ages by the lords to serve as a fishing reserve. It belonged for a long time to the Célestins de Paris, lords of Ville-d’Avray, who sold the fish to Parisian merchants. It used to be called “the pond of Célestins”. In 1680, Louis XIV’s brother Philippe Duke of Orléans decided to build a new pond to meet the water supply needs of the Château de Saint-Cloud (now gardens) and its park. It is to him that we owe the creation of the Etang Neuf or new pond , and its dike around 1690, and of the underground aqueduct which connects it to the park of Saint-Cloud passing through the Etang de la Ronce and the Fontaine du Roy. The ponds are fed by channels collecting rainwater from the nearby forest and by an aqueduct draining groundwater. This aqueduct is extended by the great channel of Ville-d’Avray which winds through the open air through the properties, upstream from the Vieil étang or old pond. This privileged site was long frequented by Jean-Baptiste Camille  Corot who had his country house nearby and left many paintings, visible in museums around the world. This is why we often speak of “Corot ponds”. The Old Pond has an area of more than one hectare and a depth of 3 meters. It is the wildest and the most attractive. The new pond, more than 3 centuries old, has an area of 3 hectares and a depth of 5 meters. Its banks have been replanted since the storm of 1999 thanks to the Ville-d’Avray Fishing Society. This place for walking is easily accessible to pedestrians since the creation of the mall passage in 1986 which connects the ponds to the center of the city and crosses the former property of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. The property hotel there now which made me come to know this village is here in English:Etangs Corot property

ville d avray

ville d avray

The Forêt de Fausses-Reposes or false forest remains of the ancient Rouvray massif, this forest belonged to the Célestins order from the end of the Middle Ages. This wood evokes royal hunts and hikes. King Henri IV’s hunting ground, it became lordship property, integrated into the royal domain in the 18C and today retains the structure of its facilities, with its straight roads and its star crossroads. It is planted mainly with chestnut trees. It covers 624 hectares, and includes 8.5 km of forest roads, 8 km of footpaths, 2 sports trails, as well as a playground. A bit more on it in French here: Tourist office dept 92 Hauts de Seine on the Foret Fausses Reposes

The Church of Ville-d’Avray is the primitive church of the village, which undoubtedly dates from the 12C, stood at the top of the hill of the Monastery, at the top of the village, on the hillside, along what is today rue Grange-Fontenelle. It was an imposing church if one refers to the painting of Pau de Saint-Martin by the end of the 18C,now property of the Musée de Ville-d’Avray, and which constitutes one of the rare documents known to this church. , already dedicated to Saint Nicholas.. Very dilapidated in 1788, it was demolished in 1791 after the construction by Baron Thierry of the present church. The first stone was laid on July 11, 1789 in the presence of Marc-Antoine Thierry who financed the work thanks to the funds granted by the King. The Saint-Nicolas Church became the Saint Nicolas Saint-Marc Church, patronym of the Baron. in a neoclassical style, it is one of the few churches built in France during the French revolution. The interior was decorated in the 19C by artists staying in Ville-d’Avray such as frescoes by Corot, statues by Pradier etc. The parish of Ville d’Avray on the church in French: Parish webpage of the Church of Ville d’Avray

Some anecdotes of the town of Ville d’Avray are

In Vercoquin et le Plankton, the residence of the hero created by Boris Vian, in which the absurd and crazy parties from the young author’s revolt take place, is in “Ville-d’Avrile”, an obvious nod to Ville -d’Avray, in which the author has resided for many years. The participants in these “Viannesque” orgies also arrive by train from Versailles. The hero of a new eponym of Boris Vian, Le Loup-garou, lives on rue de Versailles, just before the côte de Picardie hill. And the movies with Les Dimanches de Ville-d’Avray, a film directed by Serge Bourguignon (1962), Oscar 1963 for best foreign film!

The city of Ville d’Avray on its history in French: The city of Ville d’Avray on its history

The tourist office of dept 92 Hauts de Seine on the Etangs de Corot in French: Tourist office dept 92 Hauts de Seine on Etangs Corot

And there you go another dandy in my belle France and very near Paris on a off the beaten path per se, hope you enjoy it as I have souvenirs of the Ville d’Avray.

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

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May 5, 2020

Saint-Lieux-lès-Lavaur!!

Ok so if the others were small, this one is smallist a village really but oh so wonderful of my Tarn dept 81 of the Occitanie region of my belle France. This is Saint Lieux lés Lavaur!!

This is what happened when you step into a car and let your wheels do the numbers in the French countryside. Awesome!! we love the freedom of travel by car. And this area is prime for it. OF course , briefly mentioned in previous posts, but let me tell you a bit more on this nice little village of Saint Lieux lés lavaur!!

This one is a bit easier to get to as it is close to the A68 autoroute du pastel east of Toulouse and west of Graulhet and a bit south of Giroussens; all previously written in my blog. You get on the Toulouse beltway A61 and get off at exit/sortie 15 La Rosseraie to connect to the A68 follow this until exit/sortie 6 St Sulpice la Pointe or D630 road.  On the village of La Pivraine take left on communal road and follow signs for Saint Lieux. The town is south of Lisle sur Tarn and north of Lavaur (see posts on the above towns).

Saint-Lieux-lès-Lavaur  is watered by the Agout river, which is a tributary of the Tarn river. Saint-Lieux lés Lavaur is located at 2 km east of Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe.  A bit of history I like says that in 1240, Raymond VII was Count of Toulouse, son of Raymond VI, count of  Toulouse, Saint-Gilles, Marquis of Gothie and Provence, Duke of Narbonne and  Jeanne of England. He is then Lord of Saint-Lieux-lès-Lavar.  By 1655, the town is given to the bishop of Lavaur. At the end of the 17C, Saint-Lieux was part of the township of Lavaur circa 1802-1803.

Saint-Lieux lés Lavaur, also experienced all the rigors of civil wars, being occupied several times by the Protestant troops who destroyed the Saint-Léonce Church raised at the end of the 16C. Saint-Lieux was the seat of a large parish which formerly included several annexes: ND de Pierrecise, Saint-Jean-de-Rives, Saint-Martin. It will finally be given at the very beginning of the reign of Louis XIV to the bishop of Lavaur and its future will oscillate between the canton of Saint-Sulpice in 1790, and that of Lavaur to which it returns under the Empire. The Saint-Léonce Church, reconstructed in bricks, in the style of southern Gothic, dates from the years 1844-1845; it is arranged in a Latin cross with a chevet of five sides and a wall bell tower with a height of 21 meters.

A bit on the village of Saint Lieux lés Lavaur from the tourist office of the Tarn dept 81 in English: Tourist office of Tarn on Saint Lieux lés lavaur

However, what took us here at the village of Saint Lieux lés Lavaur was an interesting real train ride from the old days, and still kept alive by enthusiasts, the ride is wonderful for the entire family.

It starts at the former Tarn Steam Tramway station in the center of Saint-Lieux lés Lavaur. It crosses the departmental road, passes through the center of a street lined with houses and enters after crossing the switches giving access to the depot, along a local road to a place called the Port. It then crosses the Agout river on a reinforced concrete railway bridge covered with bricks and which includes six arches overhanging the river at 20 meters. The route offers in short everything that makes the charm of the Tarn landscape: a river, the Agout, a wood forest , the Garrigole, and a high hill village Giroussens (see post), and finally a garden les Martels.

Saint Lieux les Lavaur

saint lieux les lavaur

Its call  the chemin de fer touristique du Tarn . It is listed as an association of Acova ,and has five locomotives of vapor, 3 locomotives electric, and 25  locotracteurs or road switchers!! The official webpage in English is here: Chemin de fer Touristique du Tarn

The CFTT of Saint Lieux lés Lavaur from the city page in French: Village of St Lieux les lavaur on the CFTT train

The local tourist office of Agout Tarn on the Saint Lieux lés Lavaur train in French but nice pictures: Tourist office of Tarn Agout on St Lieux lés Lavaur train

The train ride is awesome with great views and fun family outing. The area is glorious deep Tarn French countryside, an off the beaten path yes but now hopefully you all can come and ride it when you can. Hope you enjoy the Train ride at Saint Lieux lés Lavaur.

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

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