Archive for May 14th, 2020

May 14, 2020

Memorable streets of Versailles!

Ok so here I am back home literally , always my Versailles. If you have read my blog posts you know why. I am looking at some pictures from my vault and found some new ones of memorable streets of Versailles! Therefore, here they are ; hope you enjoy them as I do.

The Avenue du Général de Gaulle: Notre Dame district (mine !). Most surely the first street you meet while arriving to Versailles. Gives access to the Versailles-Château train station and the bus station, between the first city/town hall of Versailles and the Manège district. Former rue de Berry since 1829, then rue de la Mairie and rue Thiers until 1979. Named for General Charles de Gaulle, liberator of occupied France and president of the French Republic from 1859 to 1969.


Some of the interesting buildings here are

At No 1: city/town hall of Versailles. Former hotel of Marie-Anne de Bourbon, princess of Conti, daughter of Louis XIV, then of the Grand Masters of the royal house under Louis XV and city/town hall of Versailles since 1791 (corner of and main entrance avenue de Paris). No 5: Versailles-Château-Rive gauche RER C   station. Inaugurated in 1840 , the railway station, restored in 2014, changed its name in February 2012. It is the terminus of line RER C. Opposite, in place of an old music pavilion, the regional bus station and in particular the coach service (Eurolines) for Portugal. Nostalgic for us as my oldest son worked here at No 6-8: Monumental porch: vestige of the entrance to the old cavalry barracks and the merry-go-rounds destroyed in 1988 to make way for the Maneges shopping center ,it was inaugurated in 1991. On the arch of the barracks portal, the motifs of cannons, crowns, the “LN” for Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte as well as the “N” for Napoleon illustrate its origin. The gate of the carousel has a horse’s head. It is less decorative and smaller than the barracks gate. Then at No 8: Residence Les Hespérides-des-Manèges.

The Rue Hoche: Notre-Dame district (mine !). only 191 meters long. Former street and square Dauphine, de la République, de la Loi, de la Colonne, Napoleon, then Hoche under Louis-Philippe in 1832. Named after Lazare Hoche, born in Versailles rue de Satory, become general of division. He became famous during the French revolutionary wars and the Vendée Wars (including Bretagne), which he pacified . At Place Hoche was the place of public access to wheelbarrows and blue chairs in the 18C and to capital executions as the first hanging in 1788. A statue of Gen Hoche was erected in 1836 and a public garden landscaped in 1853.


Some interesting buildings here I like are

At No 1, 3, 5: old hotel Conti, built in 1765. No 5: Protestant church since 1820 (the current temple was built from 1880 to 1882); former chapel of the repository of the procession of the Blessed Sacrament under the old Regime. High place of theophilanthropy under the French revolution. No 8-10: House with the sign of the Flower basket under Louis XIV. No 14: House of the Francini fountains (before their installation at the Château de Grand-Maison in Villepreux) No. 16: House built by André Le Nôtre, master gardener of Louis XIV, he probably did not live in it and sold it in 1686. Mirabeau stayed there in 1789. The Lycée Hoche One of the many lycées (high schools) in Versailles, but the oldest.

The Rue du Maréchal Joffre: Saint-Louis district.  named in 1919. Old rue de Satory named after the hill it crosses to the south. Named after Joseph Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the French Army from 1914 to 1916 during WWI.


Some of the interesting buildings here are

At No 1: Former restaurant of the Trois Marches (Gérard Vié moved to rue Colbert then to the Grand Trianon). No 2: Former small vegetable garden of the king (manure and seedlings), allotted in 1736. No 4: Lot attributed to Jean Loustonneau, surgeon of the Children of France, under Louis XV. Awarded in 1864-1869 to the chief medical officer of the military hospital. No 5: House where Mademoiselle de Romans died, one of the mistresses of Louis XV in 1808, from whom she had a recognized son Louis-Antoine de Bourbon. No 7: Home in 1789 for Isaac Le Chapelier, founder of the Breton club which met at the café Amaury, rue Carnot, and associated with the corporate prohibition law which bears his name and which was never applied.

At No 10: Current entrance to the Potager du Roi which was created from 1678 to 1683 under the direction of Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie. Former vegetable garden and orchard of Louis XIV and his successors. A neighborhood police station and housing for employees of the horticultural school were located at the corner of rue Hardy until the 1980s. The construction of craftsmen and traders along the wall of the vegetable garden was eliminated in 1853 and two gates open opposite the streets of Anjou and the Bourdonnais. Headquarters of the National Higher School of Horticulture from 1873 to 1995. Currently and since 1976 National Higher School of Landscape training landscape architects (State diploma in landscaping at the master’s level since 2015), and research master (Theories and approaches to the landscape project) since 2005. The   Potager du Roi has been accessible to visitors since 1991 from April to October from Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 18h, and from October to March on Tuesday and Thursday. (See blog post)

At No 12 Parc Balbi park. Former cul-de-sac in Satory giving access to the entrance to Balbi park. Named after the Countess de Balbi, Anne Jacobé de Caumont de la Force, for whom the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI and future Louis XVIII had the park and adjoining pavilion demolished by its owner Claude Cagnion, a merchant, in 1785 for wood, in 1797 In 1792, part of the rare plants was moved to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. In 1842, the land was ceded to the State and to the neighboring Grand Seminary, which turned it into a park with statues and oratories. Then it was rented at the Collége Jules-Ferry (middle school) in 1907. That year a gate with a gate was opened between the park and the Potager du Roi. In 1907 its management was assigned to the School of Horticulture and, in 1986, in part to the city of Versailles as a neighborhood square. Since 2004, the cave and the pond have been open to visitors upon request to the National School of Landscape, which has managed the site since 1996, when the Horticultural School was transferred to Angers. (See blog post)


At No 13: Former dwelling of the family of the Marquis de Lalonde (mayor of Versailles until 1825) entrance to the Saint-Louis cemetery. Depended in 1990 on the college of the Sacred Heart. No 14: Former Hôtel Letellier before the French revolution, then Grand Séminaire in 1833, which became college Jules-Ferry school in 1907 after the Separation of the Church and the State, then Lycée Jules-Ferry (high school), extending in place of the old Denfert barracks across the street. No 15: Corner of rue des Bourdonnais. Cemetery from 1725 to 1776. Purchased in 1890 by the Versailles Provident Society. In 2015 collége Saint-Louis private school. No 19: Former hotel of Choiseul d’Aillecourt. Salon of the Countess of Écotais under the Restoration, then of an American diplomat between the two wars. No 21: In 1990 André-Mignot home for the elderly and inter-age university. No 24: Impasse Satory. A villa built from 1791 to 1804 with a view of the pièce d’eau des Suisses. Convent of Carmelites in 1900, then Grand Seminary in 1906 until 1972. Saint-Louis retirement home for elderly priests and some laymen since 1981 (EHPAD). No 29: Lycée Jules-Ferry (high school). Former hotel of the Duke de la Vrillière in 1772, which served as stables for the Comtesse d’Artois, younger sister of the Comtesse de Provence. They contained 28 cars and 7 sedan chairs. The building then became the Denfert cavalry and infantry barracks, and from 1981 the new Lycée Jules Ferry (high school) with the extension of the building on the other side of the avenue. No 30: Old ice house or coolers in the Satory area   which operated until 1879 by the Société des Glacières de Paris. No 37: Land purchased by the Sisters of Hope in 1854; they built a chapel there, now disused, the entrance of which is on the street. Retirement home in 1990. No 39: former home of Jean Chavignat, the queen’s first surgeon and his wife née Simonet des Tournelles, the queen’s maid. No 40: Old Grant for duties closed in 1943.

The city of Versailles on its history in French to get all of it (however go to globe upper right hand and change to several languages): City of Versailles on its heritage

And voilà a few more streets of my beloved Versailles. All full of history and architecture for wonderful walks in town , very pleasant to do. We used to walked a lot and love it, each time went out find out more of our city. It is more than just a palace, lots of history here and the architecture is sublime. Hope you enjoy the tour and do walk Versailles.

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

May 14, 2020

Temple de l’Amour, Petit Trianon!

Ok so need to come back to my royal town of Versailles. My love always remembered wonderful times, and great family outings when lived here. Now I have come back for visits several times from my outpost on the Breton coast and written many posts on the city as a whole. However, there is always some details missing that are worth a post of their own. This is the case of the temple of love or Temple de l’Amour in the Petit Trianon of the Domaine de Versailles!


I love the history of it and of course is all about love indeed!

Completed in 1778, the Temple de l’Amour built  in an antique style, is erected on an islet of the artificial river to the east of the jardin anglais in the Petit Trianon. The tholos, placed on a raised platform of seven steps, includes twelve Corinthian columns which support a dome decorated with boxes, whose bas-reliefs represent the symbols of love. The sculpture in the center of the temple is a copy executed by Louis-Philippe Mouchy, another 18C sculptor, of Love cutting an arc in the club of Hercules, by Edmé Bouchardon, statue preserved in the Louvre museum.

This small antique rotunda is neoclassical factories of the English garden(jardin anglais) imagined by Queen Marie-Antoinette that she could contemplate from the windows of the castle of Petit Trianon. When Marie-Antoinette, very young queen, took possession of the Petit Trianon in June 1774, she became enthusiastic for its charm and its simple and elegant decoration and quickly evoked her desire to reshape the landscape seen from her windows, including the botanical garden Louis XV spoiled the attraction. On the contrary, in reference to Greek and Roman Antiquity, she preferred a temple to be used as a canopy to the statue of a Love. the windows of the Queen, and in particular those of her boudoir or her bedroom in the Petit Trianon, opening onto this perspective You could also see the temple from the king’s bedroom in the attic! Its inauguration gave rise to a brilliant celebration on September 3, 1778. Another reception was given on the occasion of the visit, in August 1781, of Joseph II, brother of Marie-Antoinette, during which thousands of fascines were burned in the ditches so that the temple appeared as the most shiny from the garden.

A bit on the architecture, construction of the Temple de l’Amour in the Petit Trianon gardens.


The marble temple is in neoclassical style. The peripteral tholos, placed on a platform 14 meters in diameter and raised by seven steps, includes twelve Corinthian alabaster columns which support a dome decorated with caissons made of Conflans stone. Sculptures adorn the capitals of the columns with, at the cutter, four suns and four dolphin tails, eight tigettes and small florets, eight large and eight medium masses each split into five olive leaves, with smooth ribs in the middle and rich cuffs at their ends These ornaments were reproduced identically on one of the facades of the Petit Trianon castle then on the Gabriel wing and the Dufour pavilion of the Palace of Versailles

In the dome, the central trophy, about 2 meters in diameter, is made up of the attributes of Love such as crowns of roses, quiver, sautoir brandons, arrows tied with ribbons and entwined with roses and olive leaves; it is bordered by  a torus of roses tied with rotating ribbons . The entire central composition is surrounded by one hundred and twenty rosettes, arranged in five rows, in rotating acanthus leaves with seeds in boxes bordered with oves . The interior and exterior entablatures are thus formed: cornices, roses, modillions and moldings of heart raises, oves and pearls; with friezes, braids with double florets and pearls; with architraves, leaves of water and pearls with, with soffits, sixty rosettes and one hundred and twenty florets. The floor is in veined white marble, with compartments bordered in red, the inter-layers being embedded with bands of Flanders marble. The island is connected to the vast lawns of the two banks by two planked bridges formerly furnished with boxes of flowers

The center of the temple, the statue of a Love with Love cutting an arc in the club of Hercules. The sculpture in the center of the temple is also a replica, with an identical height of 1.75 meters. It was sent, during the French revolution, to the Special Museum of the French School then to the orangery of the castle of Saint-Cloud , before resuming its place in the center of the Temple of Love in 1816.  The original was transferred to the Louvre palace on the orders of Queen Marie-Antoinette where it is kept today.  In the meantime, in 1805, replaced the missing statue by a group representing Venus and the Love of Vasse.

The official Château de Versailles webpage on the English garden and the Temple of love in English: Versailles palace and the temple of love

I must say been all over the property even to parts not open to the public as I am friends of the palace, but the Petit Trianon is special. We used to come here on weekends to jog around play with the boys and had our lunch at the terrace in Angelina before going to Jardin anglais and the Temple de l’Amour walks to end our day. Memories forever: Versailles is unique. Hope you enjoy the tour and see my other posts on Versailles.


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

May 14, 2020

A bit more of Luxembourg garden!

Looking for articles to post in my blog from my vault , realised that I have many posts of a general overview way and many needs more in detail posts. Between these and the new items found to post , I think will have enough until retirement alone not counting the new trips lol! I have said before from my vault, but if count the numbers on my cd roms of pictures i have almost 100K photos! yes 100 000. Stay tune…

One of these spots and a very popular one by all is the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Indeed one post would not do justice to it and I said that initially. I have some additional photos found so will give you a bit more on it. Anyway ,is always good to speak/write about Paris!

I will give brief introductions here as already loaded on my blog. The Jardin du Luxembourg are located in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris between the Latin quarter, Saint-Germain des Prés and Montparnasse. I take my bus in front of it for my job duties in Paris nowdays. There are several buses that stop here my favorite is the 82 see post.

The 23 hectare jardin du Luxembourg garden was created in 1612 by Jacques Boyceau at the request of Marie de Médicis widow of Henri IV. It was created around the Luxembourg Palace that the mother of Louis XIII had built. It owes its name to François de Luxembourg, a duke, a distant descendant of the first count of the Grand Duchy. The flowerbeds were refurbished in 1635 by André Le Nôtre. In 1830, an orangery was built in the garden, then gradually added an orchard, greenhouses, a rose garden and an apiary still used today and accessible to visitors

Some of the latest additions to it came last mid-November 2019 to early March 2020, the 49 chestnut trees that surround the bandstand on the St Michel plateau will be slaughtered to be replaced by 60 hackberry trees. Further south, 6 chestnut trees will also be cut down in order to renovate the eastern border of the staggered tree replanted in 2013. Seven hackberry trees will take their place.  A jade vine,is in full bloom in the corridor of the orchid greenhouse. This vigorous climbing plant is native to the tropical forests of the Philippines. Its flowering is inimitable since the plant forms large hanging clusters of 90 cm, along which are flowers in the shape of a claw of a very unusual bluish green color.


Some of the spots around the Jardin du Luxembourg are the Jardin d’été or summer garden where you can see the central basin, the Luxembourg palace (senate) , and the Medici Fountain.

Looking towards the  Palais du Luxembourg – Senate ; Marie de Médicis on the death of Henri IV decides to have a palace built which reminds her of his old Tuscan home on land which she buys from Duke François of Luxembourg. She had the palace built by Salomon de Brosse from 1615 to 1630, which was modeled on the Pitti Palace in Florence. This is where the Senate of France is located today.


Towards the  museum and the orangery.  The orangery of the Luxembourg garden, built in 1834 by Alphonse de Gisors was assigned to the Luxembourg museum in 1886..The Luxembourg museum was first installed in the Luxembourg Palace. It was then transferred to the current building constructed by the Senate between 1884 and 1886. Closed after the construction of a National Museum of Modern Art at the Palais de Tokyo in 1937, the Musée du Luxembourg reopens its doors to the public in 1979.

Towards the jardin d’hiver or winter garden  where the main entrance is where I usually park when coming with family for visits in the area on the rue Guynemer. In this area you have easy access to the Medici fountain , the Greek author statue, view of the Pantheon, the Lycée Montaigne( high school) , and view of the tour Montparnasse.

Finally ,towards the apiary school which the first apiary school in Luxembourg  abd was founded in 1856 by Henri Hamet, training in modern beekeeping techniques continues to be provided by the Socièté Centrale d’Apiculture  ( sort of the central beekeeping company).

This is a map you can print from the Senate of France ,helps on guidance and free/ The Senat de France map on jardin du Luxembourg

In terms of entertainment, you can practice chess, bridge, tennis, admire the works regularly exhibited on the outdoor grills, or simply sit on a chair and enjoy a moment  in the green . The music kiosk offers eclectic programming in summer, children can rent remote-controlled boats that they maneuver on the basin, attend puppet theater performances, ride a pony or enjoy the playground.

As always by yours truly some webpages to help you plan your trip from official sources:

The city of Paris on the garden: City of Paris on the luxembourg garden

The Paris tourist office on the garden: Paris tourist office on the Luxembourg garden

The Senat de France on practical information for visiting the Luxembourg garden: Senat de France practical information on the Luxembourg garden

And there you go always a happening place, full of Parisians and visiting families fun for all and a must to visit while in Paris. The jardin du Luxembourg are sublime. Hope you enjoy the briefings.

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

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