Archive for May, 2020

May 28, 2020

Théâtre de la ville de Paris: Espace Cardin!

So this is wonderful in Paris ,even if I myself need to do it more, it has been done. Theaters in Paris, the fact of the areas are all romantic and quaint, and the shows are of historical significance in a historical building and of course ,Paris makes it all worth.

This is an interesting place that I have not been for theater plays but for conferences , and of course passed several times as it is quasi diagonal to the US Consulat/Embassy. Let me tell you a bit more on the Theater of the city of Paris Espace Pierre Cardin.

The Theatre de la ville de Paris- Espace Cardin is at 1, avenue Gabriel 8éme arrondissement and quartier Champs-Elysées, and just at corner of the Place de la Concorde. There is plenty to get here such as the metro Line 1,8,and 12 stop Concorde exit 7 Avenue Gabriel and metro lines 1 and 13 stop Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau. Also, bus lines 24, 42, 52, 72, 73, 84 and 94  stop Place de la Concorde. Of course I have come by car too and for many other things as well my parking is underneath the Place de la Concorde and Indigo 3608 parking. I must say that bus line 73 is wonderful from a tourist point of view.

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The Espace Pierre-Cardin, former café des Ambassadeurs, then theater and restaurant of the Ambassadors, is a place composed of a theater, a cinema, a multipurpose room and a gallery and property of the city of Paris.

The construction of the café des Ambassadeurs or Ambassadors’ café was authorized on the site of the current Pierre-Cardin space in 1772 by Father Terray, controller general of finance. This cafe owed its name to the hotels built by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel on the edge of the Place de la Concorde, hotels that were supposed to serve as accommodation for foreign ambassadors. One of them ,the USA Embassy at Avenue Gabriel. From 1897 to 1914, reviews/plays were played there. These continued after the Great War or WWI, until the Café des Ambassadeurs was demolished in 1929, and replaced by a theater built in 1931 also called Ambassadeurs and a new restaurant, bearing the same name.

The first show in May 1926 coming directly from London and New York, Blackbirds by Lew Leslie and his troop, Florence Mills plays the main role. It was well done the new ambassadors the most famous night meeting of the world for the rich and the celebrities. Among the biggest French stars, who attend the show we can mention Maurice Chevalier, Sacha Guitry, Yvonne Vallée, the Dolly Sisters, Raquel Meller and even Joséphine Baker. It becomes a model for all future theater-restaurant operations that were to flourish in the 1930s.

At the end of the 1928 season, the owner Sayag renovated the Ambassadors and built a larger building around the existing building, creating two equal parts of the music hall and the restaurant with a common stage. Cole Porter created La Revue des ambassadeurs, May 10, 1928. The Ambassadors ‘Conferences given by personalities from the political, diplomatic or business worlds are organized at the Ambassadors’ theater, notably on the initiative of André David, Jules Cambon, François de Menthon, Pierre-Henri Teitgen, Marie-Claude Vaillant – Coutourier. In 1938, Henri Bernstein took over the Théâtre des Ambassadeurs until his exile in June 1940 for the United States. He leaves the theater in the hands of his secretary Madame Refoulé. From 1940 to 1944, the theater was directed by the actress of Romanian origin Alice Cocéa who was criticized at the Liberation for her attitude under the Occupation.

Official Theater of the city of Paris space Pierre Cardin here: Théâtre de la ville de Paris Espace Cardin

Theater online webpage on reviews of the Theater of the city of Paris space Pierre Cardin in French: Theater on line on Espace Cardin

And there you go folks, something unique and can include in the off the beaten path section for Paris, as so near famous places and embassies it is many times overlook by visitors. However, a magical place, with history and architecture to boot and so near the Place de la Concorde and Avenue des Champs Elyssés it is magical Paris indeed. Hope you enjoy it and do visit one day the Théâtre de la ville de Paris-Espace Cardin! 

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

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May 28, 2020

Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin,Paris

So this is wonderful in Paris ,even if I myself need to do it more, it has been done. Theaters in Paris, the fact of the areas are all romantic and quaint, and the shows are of historical significance in a historical building and of course ,Paris makes all worth.

This one is a bit I would say off the beaten path but worth the detour. Therefore, here is a bit more to help you find it.  You get to the theater at  entrance on 17 Rue René Boulanger with facade on 47 bd Saint Martin, almost facing the Porte Saint Martin gate (see post)  on the metro lines 4,8,and 9 Strasbourg-Saint-Denis , metro line 3,5,8,0, and 11 République as well as bus lines 20,38, 39,and 47.  Along the encounter of the bd Saint Martin and bd Saint Denis you can see other theaters such as Renaissance and the petit Saint Martin.

You have the pretty and wonderful Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin  in the 10éme arrondissement and porte Saint Martin quartier of Paris .  The theater is the biggest in the grands boulevard area with  1 800 seating capacity and only took two months to built to host the Royal Academy of Music or the Académie Royale de Musique after that of the Palais Royal was burned. It opened in October 27 1781 with the lyric tragedy of Adèle de Ponthieu  by Jean-Paul-André Razins de Saint-Marc on a music by Piccinni. After closing after the French revolution, again opened in 1802 under the name of Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin or theater of the gate of St Martin playing great pieces of comedies and ballets.

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The dancer Mazurier makes the theater one of the most frequented at the times. Serving works by talented actors such as Frédérick Lemaître, Bocage, Potier, Mademoiselle George, and Marie Dorval. The programs gain a further status with the drama and tragedy works by Frédérick Lemaître and especially the repertory of Casimir Delavigne, Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, George Sand, and Victorien Sardou. Later under the direction of Crosnier and then Harel the biggest work of the romantic reformation come to play such as Marino Faliero, Antony, La Tour de Nesle, Richard D’Arlington, and the dramas of Victor Hugo, Marion de Lorme, Marie Tudor, and Lucréce Borgia. After the bankrup of Harel in 1840 the Cogniard brothers take over with festives of the the thousand and one night or Les Mille et Une Nuits and La Biche au bois. In 1851 Marc Fournier comes in to bring back the dramas and the grand spectacles such as Le Bossul of Paul Féval adapted in 1862. You know the names!!!

Burned during the uprising of the Commune in 1871 the Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin is rebuilt at the same spot. The new decoration of the facade with in particular figures symbolizing Tragedy, Drama and Comedy. The theater reopens on September 28, 1873 with Marie Tudor by Victor Hugo. Ten years later, Sarah Bernhardt performed there for several months in a row and remained faithful to it until the end of the century. On December 27, 1897 the Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand was created there. From 2001, it has come under various management and now the theater is part of a group to support these theaters under the Théâtres Parisiens Associés or the associated Parisians theaters group. Their webpage is here: Theatres Parisiens Associes on theater of the Porte de Saint Martin

The official webpage of the Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin is here: Theater of the Porte Saint Martin

And there you go a nice area I have walked all the way from place de la République and wonderful architecture all around you. Enjoy the Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin!

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

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May 28, 2020

Théâtre Edouard VII, Paris!

So this is wonderful in Paris ,even if I myself need to do it more, it has been done. Theaters in Paris, the fact of the areas are all romantic and quaint, and the shows are of historical significance in a historical building and of course ,Paris makes all worth it. I have several entries on theaters of Paris but need to give you some as stand alone for memorable moments.

The Théâtre Edouard VII or Edward VII or aks Sacha Guitry is in a marvelous area part of my walks to and back from work. It is located at 10 Place Édouard VII in the 9éme arrondissement , Chausée d’Antin quartier or neighborhood,and located between the Madeleine and Opéra Garnier.

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The square Edouard VII opened in 1911 founder of the association of the rue Edouard VII at the place of the stables of a company of horse drawn carriages. It had immediately the support of the king of England Edward VII aka the most Parisian of the English kings. At the times the boulevard  ended at Maxim’s and here an Englishmen William Sprague built a spectacle place in 1913.

In 1920, there was a declaration of love that attracted the public to the Theater Edouard VII , calle Je t’aime, Sacha Guitry did the declaration to Yvonne Printemps. All of Paris was witness to the ravishes of this love.  ” No spring is more delicious than the one in Paris, but when it is called Yvonne, it becomes incomparable… it is impossible to embody more exactly Paris ”  During many years Sacha Guitry gives the theater a prosperours future .Today we can see the unique poster of Sarah Bernhardt n the lobby of the theater.

Noel Coward played in French the Happy Sorrows  and  Raymond Rouleau features A Streetcar Named Desire of Tennessee Williams with Arletty. Orson Welles confirms his vocation to this Anglo-Saxon theater, in 1950, he played The Lobster in English for two months. In a brief direction, Raymond Rouleau staged one of his great successes, dangerous turn of John Boynton Priestley, which he performed with Gaby Sylvia and Mylène Demongeot. The Théâtre Édouard VII then knows beautiful evenings and decided to join forces under a common sign,  the Association of Parisian Theaters.

More on the theater Edward VII official webpage: Théâtre Edouard VII

The Association of Parisian Theaters webpage on Edouard VII: Theatres Parisien Associes on Edouard VII

This is a gorgeous area to walk around the Church of the Madeleine, Opéra Garnier ,and the grand department stores Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette to mention a few… this is Paris at its best and I hope you enjoy an evening at the Théâtre Edouard VII!

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

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May 27, 2020

Vaux le Vicomte, Chambre des Muses!

And why not tell you of another wonderful room we love in the wonderfully gorgeous castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte in the village of Maincy, Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Ïle de France region of my belle France! I have written several posts on this wonderful castle but as usual feel need to expand a bit on the details. Therefore, here is a bit more on the chambre des muses or bedroom of Nicolas Fouquet!

The first floor (2nd US)  is that of the Fouquet family. Mr. and Mrs. each have their apartment. You can see the superintendent’s bedroom is the only one in the chateau to have retained its original decor, including a magnificent Gobelins tapestry. The castle once had 150 tapestries and Le Brun had created a workshop in the village near Maincy which, after Fouquet’s arrest, moved to Paris and became the Gobelins factory (manufacture des Gobelins). This is where he slept last before been taken by D’Artagnan to Nantes on orders of Louis XIV. The tapestries here are very rich and many were confiscated by Louis XIV until 1787. The five still in his room done at Gobelins for the Count of Toulouse son of Louis XIV with the arms attach of his wife Marie de Noailles at the angles. On top of the chimney you see another tapestry l’Amour pour qu’il demeure toujours auprés d’elle (love to always stay with her), with the traces of Marie-Madeleine de Castile that Nicolas Fouquet married in second marriage in 1651.

The Chambre des Muses was the bedroom of Nicolas Fouquet; it owes its name to the 9 Muses which animate the admirable ceiling imagined by Charles Le Brun whose central work is an oil on 4 x 4 meters octagonal canvas, Le Triomphe de La Fidélité, echoing the fidelity of Nicolas Fouquet to Louis XIV during the Fronde uprisings. We discover Clio, Muse of History and Fame, in the company of Prudence and Loyalty, and at the corner of the arches, the other eight muses, two by two: Euterpe, Music; Calliope, Epic Poetry; Terpsichore, Dance; Melpomene, the Tragedy; Thalie, the Comedy; Erato, Lyric Poetry; Polymnia, Painting; Urania, and Astronomy. On each side of the chairs, a pair of dressers called “Mazarines” by Boulle. On these chests of drawers, two 17C Chinese sandstone hawks with gilt bronze mount from the 18C. On the ceiling you have an Apollo with the lighs of the world and around the above description of the muses.

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Nicolas Fouquet’s bed room has the particularity of having an alcove with a raised platform which was to accommodate the superintendent’s bed but which remained unfinished. This platform served as a stage for Molière as a theater on July 12, 1661 for the representation of the L’École des maris, (school of husbands), before members of the royal family,  guests of Fouquet. On the ceiling of this alcove is the second oil on oval canvas by Le Brun: La Nuit, where you see the divinity Diane gracefully unfolding her bluish veils, which will also be restored. The very refined decor of the ceiling of the Triumph of Faithfulness symbolically combines science and the arts. Here you are at the dawn of the first Versaillese style, inspired by Italian mannerism. Traumatized by an old transposition of the original canvas, this large painting is in a poor state of conservation requiring urgent intervention. All the windows have been covered by glass and lead as was done to windows in the 18C.

You too can participate in helping keeping this beauty for all of us. As said, I am friends of the Castle for many years and one of the first castle ever visited in France since the dept Seine et Marne is the birth place of my dear late wife Martine. And we love these monuments/castles.

The Les Amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte association has 2,500 members. For thirty years, it has been working to find, all over the world, pieces of furniture, works of art, documents that belonged to Vaux or relate to its history. Among the treasures now on display at the chateau, a portrait of Madame Fouquet by Le Brun, letters to D’Artagnan on the detention of the superintendent at Pinerolo, an extremely rare manuscript by La Fontaine. And, the eighth tapestry from the Barberini collection, found in the United States. Today 2 M € are disbursed annually for the maintenance of Vaux-le-Vicomte. More on this association in French here: Friends of Vaux le Vicomte

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual by me are

The official webpage of Vaux le VicomteCastle of Vaux le Vicomte

Tourist office of the area Melun val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte in English: Tourist office of Melun Val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte

The tourist office of the Ïle de France region on Vaux le Vicomte in English: TOurist office region of Ile de France on Vaux le Vicomte

And there you go another wonderful gorgeous room in magnificent Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, not far from Paris but not in Paris or a thing to do in Paris. This is an all together wonderful chic adventure I recommend to all visitors to France. Hope you enjoy it.

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

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May 27, 2020

Vaux le Vicomte, Salon d’Hercules!

And why not staying here in beautiful beyond description Vaux le Vicomte at Maincy, dept 77 of Seine et Marne and in the Ïle de France region. One of our sentimental favorites and we know it well. Let me tell you a bit more on the Salon d’Hercules.

Located to the right of the Grand Salon (see post), you find the impertinent rodent in the Salon d’Hercules on a recently restored carpet it stands out prominently, covering the snake, emblem of its rival Colbert. The Salon d’Hercules, the anteroom of Fouquet’s apartment, is adorned with a painted ceiling of a scene representing a Hercules greeted in the Olympus by Jupiter, Diane, and Junon. The medallions and panels adorning the arch represent the twelve works of Hercules by Le Brun. In the center of the anteroom, stands the bronze model of the equestrian statue of Louis XIV that Girardon made in 1699 for the Place Vendôme in Paris, and which was destroyed during the French revolution. This model rests on the wooden base carved by Slodz, a pupil of Girardon at the gallery of sculptures in the Louvre museum!

Maincy

Above the chimney see the painting of Louis XV by Van Loo around a portrait of François de Neufville, marshal of Villeroy young guardian of Louis XV until 1722 of which will followed in the same functions the Duke de Charost grandson of Nicolas Fouquet, Louis-Philppe d’Orléans (lieutenant general of the French armies and father of Philippe Egaliteé that voted the death of cousin Louis XVI and grandfather of Louis Philippe,king of the French ). You see facing the windows portrait of Princess Palatine second wife of Monsieur (Philippe de France) the brother of Louis XIV. here you find an interesting fellow, portrait of battles of François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, duke and marshal of Luxembourg. He was orphan of his father ordered beheaded by Richelieu, but nevertheless a great warrior soldier winner of many battles including during the war of Augsbourg, where he took the flags of the enemy and sent them to decorate the nave of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, giving him the name of the tapestry master of Notre Dame!

Another impressive room you must see, well all see it, is a must when visiting the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte. There are some webpages to help you plan your trip here as my usual information.

The official webpage of Vaux le VicomteCastle of Vaux le Vicomte

Tourist office of the area Melun val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte in English: Tourist office of Melun Val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte

The tourist office of the Ïle de France region on Vaux le Vicomte in English: TOurist office region of Ile de France on Vaux le Vicomte

A bit of extra information but I think is needed to be told.

The Les Amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte association has 2,500 members. For thirty years, it has been working to find, all over the world, pieces of furniture, works of art, documents that belonged to Vaux or relate to its history. Among the treasures now on display at the chateau, a portrait of Madame Fouquet by Le Brun, letters to D’Artagnan on the detention of the superintendent at Pinerolo, an extremely rare manuscript by La Fontaine. And, the eighth tapestry from the Barberini collection, found in the United States. Today 2 M € are disbursed annually for the maintenance of Vaux-le-Vicomte. The official webpage is here in French: Friends of Vaux le Vicomte association

And there you go another wonderful castle monument and gorgeous room to be dream on while visiting my belle France. Hope you enjoy the details and feel free to ask for more that I might have missed as usual in rushing these things. Vaux-le-Vicomte is waiting for you.

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

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May 27, 2020

Vaux le Vicomte Grand Salon!

Now lets get you back to my backyard. It disturb me that many link the castle with things to do in Paris!! when in fact this castle belongs to the Seine et Marne dept 77 dear to me and in the village of Maincy not far from Melun. Ok so enough for my rant; I have written several posts on it but as usual need to come back for the details.

I like to tell you a big more on the Grand Salon of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. 

The Grand Salon is found after crossing the vestibule, located under the dome. It is oval; an innovation for the time, which preferred the galleries. The idea is directly inspired by the Italian Baroque. The decoration planned by Le Brun is not finished, Fouquet having been arrested before. But the Vogüé family, current owner of the premises, do not despair of achieving it one day, because they have the drawings, signed by Le Brun. Le Brun had planned a vault ; the first for a private building – famous on the theme of Palace of the Sun. This was not finished and the plans are in the Louvre museum today. At its place, the previous owner Mr Sommier put 12 busts in marbre of famous personages like emperors and Romans Italian works of the 17C coming from the collection of the Prince Napoleon. However, there are 4 busts high up in the columns around the north and south doors that have never left Vaux-le-Vicomte since 1661.

Maincy

This is where Nicolas Fouquet gave the party with guess king Louis XIV on a room or salon 18 meters long by 18 meters wide was still unfinished. As it is done by Le Vau is an oval perimeter mark by 16 arches and 16 doric columns high to the windows in the first floor (2nd US). Here it is represented in arcades beautiful cariads representing the 12 signs of the zodiac and the four seasons, with below decorations of flowers, fruits and animals.

It is an impressive room and one of the highlights of the visit by many visitors. I must add I am Friends of the castle  (les amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte) for many years and help out voluntarily and financially for its upkeep.

The Les Amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte association has 2,500 members. For thirty years, it has been working to find, all over the world, pieces of furniture, works of art, documents that belonged to Vaux or relate to its history. Among the treasures now on display at the chateau, a portrait of Madame Fouquet by Le Brun, letters to D’Artagnan on the detention of the superintendent at Pinerolo, an extremely rare manuscript by La Fontaine. And, the eighth tapestry from the Barberini collection, found in the United States. Today 2 M € are disbursed annually for the maintenance of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

The official webpage of Vaux le VicomteCastle of Vaux le Vicomte

Tourist office of the area Melun val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte in English: Tourist office of Melun Val de Seine on Vaux le Vicomte

The tourist office of the Ïle de France region on Vaux le Vicomte in English: TOurist office region of Ile de France on Vaux le Vicomte

This is dear castle of mine and very much a must to visit while in my belle France. Hope you enjoy as we do and you too can help maintained it as beautiful as you see it by donating to the Amis de Vaux le Vicomte webpage here: Friends of Vaux le Vicomte association

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

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May 26, 2020

Victoria & Albert Museum, London!

And here is another jewel that was left in the closet and not told in my blog. This is a great omission as it was one of if not our favorite museum in London. The place is very chic, nice, we love it and came back twice during our family stay there. Oh this is the Victoria & Albert Museum or V&A of London. Let me tell you a bit briefly on it, hope you enjoy it as we did. For all its avant garde collection!

The Victoria and Albert Museum, often abbreviated “V&A”, is a national art museum located in London, in the district of South Kensington. It is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of more than 2.27 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is a fabulous museum to visit !!!

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The V&A museum was conceived in the aftermath of the Universal Exhibition of 1851, it first bore the name of South Kensington Museum then was renamed of its current name in 1899, after fifty years of work. First element of Albertopolis, a set of museums and educational institutions which aimed to bring education, industry, science and art together in the continuity of the ideas developed during the Great Exhibition of 1851, it was built on land acquired thanks to profits made during this last event. Dedicated mainly to industry and craft products, it was also in charge of a didactic mission with English artists and decorators, at the time when the Art & Craft movement was developing The collections of the India Office were integrated in 1880, to extend the interest which had been expressed around civilization and Indian art as it was presented in the gallery of India at the Crystal Palace in 1851 and – above all maintain the adhesion , then particularly enthusiastic, of the British to the imperial project.

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The V & A covers 5 hectares and has 145 galleries. Its collection covers 5,000 years of art, from Antiquity to the present day, from cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The ceramic, glass, textiles, costumes, silverware, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, medieval objects, sculptures, prints and engravings, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most complete in the world.  The museum notably has the largest collection of post-classical sculptures in the world, the collections of Italian Renaissance objects being the largest outside of Italy. The collections from East Asia are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramic and metalwork, while the Islamic collection is among the largest in the Western world.

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It is a huge place to see it all and like I said we came back twice and still not seen it all. I will tell briefly the sections below, you need to see it, period.

The art collection from Asia of the V&A has more than 160,000 objects, one of the largest existing. The V&A contains more than 19,000 objects from the Islamic world, ranging from the beginning of the Islamic period 7C at the beginning of the 20C. The Museum’s South and Southeast Asian art collections are the most complete and the most important in the West. They include nearly 60,000 objects, including about 10,000 textiles and 6,000 paintings, and the diversity of the collection is immense. The collections of the Far East include more than 70,000 works of art from Asian countries mainly China, Japan and Korea. The collection includes approximately 1,130 British and 650 oil paintings from Europe, 6,800 watercolors, pastels and 2,000 British miniatures, of which the museum holds the national collection. The V&A sculpture collection is the most comprehensive collection of post-classical European sculptures in the world. The collection consists of approximately 22,000 objects covering a period ranging from approximately 400 to 1914. It has the largest and most complete collection of ceramics and glass in the world, with more than 80,000 objects from around the world. Each populated continent is represented. The jewellery collection, which has more than 6,000 objects, is one of the most comprehensive jewellery collections in the world. It includes works from ancient Egypt to the present day, as well as drawings of jewellery on paper. The museum houses the National Art Library, a public library containing over 750,000 books, photographs, drawings, paintings and prints. It is one of the largest libraries in the world dedicated to the study of fine and decorative arts.

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In 2004, the V&A and the Royal Institute of British Architects opened the first permanent gallery in the United Kingdom, covering the history of architecture with exhibitions using models, photographs, elements of buildings and original drawings. The costume collection is the most complete in Great Britain, containing more than 14,000 outfits and accessories, mainly dating from 1600 to the present day. This collection of over 45,000 works includes decorative ironwork, forged and molded, in bronze, silverware, armor, pewter, brass and enamel ,including many examples of Limoges enamel. The textile collection includes more than 53,000 copies, mainly from Western Europe, although all the populated continents are represented and which dates from the 1C AD to the present day. It is the largest collection of this type in the world. The collection contains more than 500,000 images dating from the advent of photography, the oldest dating from 1839.

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As you can read , it has beautiful collection in many domaines and most are the best in the world at least Europe. It is very educational for the customes and arts all over and during different periods. My whole family enjoyed it very much and it is in our agenda for a future visit.

The main webpages here are the official Victoria & Albert museumVictoria & Albert Museum of London

And the tourist office of London on the V&A MuseumTourist office of London on the V&A Museum of London

And there you go folks another dandy in London, UK, a wonderful city to visit and another dot in my world map. We enjoy the V&A museum and hope you enjoy the post enough to make you come to see it too. For us , its a must in London.

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

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May 26, 2020

Imperial War Museum, London!

And why not stay in cosmopolitan London. We spent our time well there and saw plenty , all wonderful family souvenirs. I am amazed that I have left these beautiful monument out of my blog for so long. Anyway, this is make up time. I like to tell you a bit more on the Imperial War Museum of London.

The Imperial War Museum is a national British military museum established in 1917 during the reign of George V, King of England. and today consists of five sites, including three in London. The Imperial War Museum London is the network’s main and most visited museum and is located in the central part of the former Bethlem Royal Hospital. It concerns WWI and WWII, it also shows the horrors of Nazism.

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Originally housed in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill, the museum opened to the public in 1920. In 1924, the museum moved to space in the Imperial Institute in South Kensington, and finally in 1936, the museum acquired a permanent home that was previously the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark on Lambeth Road. The hospital consisted of a range of buildings 580 feet long with a basement and three storeys, parallel to Lambeth Road, with a central entrance under a portico. he original hospital building is now largely occupied by corporate offices. The 1966 extension houses the library, art store, and document archives while the 1980s redevelopments created exhibition space over five floors.

An anecdote is that with the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk in May/June 1940, the British Army’s shortage of equipment saw eighteen of the museum’s artillery pieces return to military service!!. While closed to the public the museum’s building was used for a variety of purposes connected to the war effort, such as a repair garage for government motor vehicles, a center for Air Raid Precautions civil defence lectures and a fire fighting training school. In 2011, the museum rebranded itself as IWM, standing for “Imperial War Museum” .In April 1984, the Cabinet War Rooms were opened to the public as a branch of the museum.

There are eight departments responsible for the various aspects of the Imperial War Museum’s collections: The Department of Documents, The Art Department; The Department of Exhibits and Firearms; The Department of Printed Books; The Film and Video Archive, The Photograph Archive, The Sound Archive, and The Department of Holocaust is in the History of Genocide (Department of Holocaust and Genocide History). A bit more into them below

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The Imperial War Museum’s original collections date back to the material amassed by the National War Museum Committee. The present departmental organisation came into being during the 1960s as part of Frankland’s reorganisation of the museum. The museum’s documents archive seeks to collect and preserve the private papers of individuals who have experienced modern warfare. The archive’s holdings range from the papers of senior British and Commonwealth army, navy and air officers, to the letters, diaries and memoirs of lower-ranked servicemen and of civilians.

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The Imperial War Museum’s art collection includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and works in film, photography and sound The museum’s Film and Video Archive is one of the oldest film archives in the world The archive preserves a range of historically significant film and video material, including the official British film record of the First World War. he museum’s Photograph Archive preserves photographs by official, amateur and professional photographers. The collection includes the official British photographic record of the two world wars

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The Imperial War Museum’s exhibits collection includes a wide range of objects, organised into numerous smaller collections such as uniforms, badges, insignia and flags (including a Canadian Red Ensign carried at Vimy Ridge in 1917, a Union flag from the 1942 British surrender of Singapore, and another found among the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks), as well a piece of the towers; personal mementoes, souvenirs and miscellanea such as trench art; orders, medals and decorations (including collections of Victoria and George Crosses); military equipment; firearms and ammunition, ordnance, edged weapons, clubs (such as trench clubs) and other weapons, and vehicles, aircraft and ships

The Imperial War Museum’s library is a national reference collection on modern conflict, and holds works on all aspects of warfare, including regimental or unit histories (such as 789 rare German unit histories from WWI technical manuals, biographical material and works on war’s social, cultural, economic, political and military aspect. he museum’s Sound Archive holds 33,000 sound recordings, including a large collection of oral history recordings of witnesses to conflicts since 1914. The IWM has an online database, listing the various items which make up the IWM Collections. In some cases, there are images of the item, or contemporary photos, which can be shared and reused under a Creative Commons Licence.

A wonderful must place to visit me think, and let me give you some webpages to help you plan your trip here

The official Imperial War Museum’s :Imperial War Museum’s

The tourist office of London on the Imperial War Museum’s: Tourist office of London on the IWM

Like I said, my family really enjoy the visit here, and we recommended to all. If you follow history, this is library like no other on wars perils. The Imperial War Museum is an educational must place to visit for all. Hope you enjoy as we did

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

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May 26, 2020

Big Ben, London!

So here I am taking you across the Manche and into jolly England and its capital city London. I have some posts on the city which I have visited on business trips several times and once with the family. It has souvenirs for all of us.

One of the symbols we look for it was Big Ben and I like to tell you a bit on it with our pictures.

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london

Big Ben is the nickname for the 13.5-ton large bell on top of the Elizabeth Tower, the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, which is the seat of the Houses of Parliament in London. It is a symbol of the city of London. Only people who live in the UK can visit the clock tower after obtaining permission (so was told never tried to go up). The building faces the Thames, between Westminster Bridge and Westminster Abbey . Initially, the name of this bell was The Great Bell. The origin of the name Big Ben is uncertain.

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The first bell was manufactured in 1856. To be able to transport it to the clock tower, it was installed on a carriage drawn by 16 horses. It split a few months after its installation, a second bell was then molded in 1858. In October of the same year, the bell was moved 61 meters to the belfry of the bell tower in 18 hours. On May 31, 1859, the famous clock entered service.

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The frequency of the pendulum is adjusted to 2 fifths of a second per day, by adding (to accelerate) or removing (to slow) old 1 penny coins dating from the time when the British monetary system was not decimal. The sound of the Big Ben bell is due to the fact that it also cracked in 1859, barely two months after its official installation, which gives it a very distinctive tone. For technical reasons, the bell is oriented so that the hammer does not strike at the location of the crack. The famous chime air that marks the hour is called Westminster Quarters.

On three occasions, the Big Ben bell was rung for national mourning, at the national funeral; 68 times for the funeral of Edward VII in 1910, 70 times for that of George V in 1936, and 56 times for that of George VI in 1952. Each sound of the bell represents a year of their lives. Technically, Big Ben strictly refers to the largest bell on the clock, while the clock itself is the Great Westminster Clock and the tower was renamed in 2012 Elizabeth Tower on occasion of the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.   Since August 21, 2017, the tower is under renovation until 2021.

Here is my usual webpages to help you plan your trip here even if just to look at

Big Ben clock in the palace of Westminster, House of ParliamentBig Ben at the Parliament of UK

Tourist office of London on Big BenTourist office of London on Big Ben

As said ,this is one of the main attractions of London and a must to see at least once. Afterward it loses its magic a bit me think. Hope you enjoy the post and do see Big Ben at London

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

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May 25, 2020

Saint Louis Cathedral, Invalides!!

Ok I admit do not know how to tackle this monument. I past by it many times and my office lately is not far , I even eat my lunch nearby restos; but so far only briefly mention in my blog. I will do my best to tell you a bit more on the Saint Louis Cathedral, Invalides, of course Paris.

The Saint-Louis-des-Invalides Church or Soldiers’ Church attracts many visitors. It is even one of the most frequented churches in Paris. This is due, of course, to the presence, nearby, of the dome of the Invalides, created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, which hosts the tomb of Napoleon I. It is also due to the presence of the Army museum in the buildings that surround the magnificent courtyard. The Church of Saint Louis des Invalides is under the responsibility of the museum, it houses the burial of Napoleon I, his two brothers,Joseph and Jérome; his son (the Aiglon), which in December 1940, the ashes of his son known as the king of Rome or Napoléon II or the Aiglon (English) were transfered from Vienna in a funerary urn by an adviser to Hitler and the govt of Vichy (collaborator) as Paris was in occupied zone. As well as the queen of Westphalia and other members of the Bonaparte family. Marshals of France , Vauban, Turenne, Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, , the generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques, and Henri Giraud, and the admirals Boué de Lapeyrère ,and Gauchet.

Paris

The Saint-Louis des Invalides Church has the most traditional classical style architecture, like many of the churches and buildings erected at that time. The first architect draws up the general plan of the Invalides and ensures the realization of the buildings as well as that of the Saint-Louis Church. In 1676, Jules Hardouin-Mansart designed the famous dome and ensured its construction; the Dome rises to 101 meters The notable feature of the Saint-Louis Church is to have a series of flags, taken from the enemy in the 19-20C, suspended from the cornice, on both sides of the elevation.

The Saint Louis des Invalides Church and the dome, where the tomb of Napoleon rests, in fact constitute a single building with the nave; the dome and the choir. In the Grand Siècle, the high altar was common to attend the service, Louis XIV returned by the dome, the disabled soldiers returned by the nave. Today the separation is ensured by a large glass roof through which we can see, among the reflections, the tomb of Napoleon. Visitors cannot go from one to the other as entry to the church is obviously free, the visit to the dome is with admission. Let me add that all of these imposing buildings created in the 17C, surrounded by green spaces, constitute one of the most chic districts of Paris. There are ministries and many private mansions all over.

Paris

A bit on the construction Architecture I like

The nave is punctuated by semicircular arcades which separate it from the aisles. In keeping with the classical style, the pilasters are topped with Corinthian capitals. On the second level of the elevation, the large grandstands open onto the nave by a series of arcades with basket handles. There is no side chapel. Only two side altars, without projection, break the monotony of the aisles. The choir is surmounted by a triumphal arch which, in the Grand Siècle, gave access to the choir of the old church. Finally, the barrel vault is enriched with fine double arches decorated with royal crowns, fleur-de-lis and rosettes. This beautiful set offers an impression of great artistic coherence.

Paris

And some anecdotes on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church.

The boundaries of the two world wars in the fore-nave and in the right aisle are placed two stone posts. The first dedicates the Sacred Way of War 1914-1918 . You can read the inscription: “In tribute to their sacrifice, there is enclosed in this marker a parcel of sacred land from the battlefields of 1914-1918”. The second stone post consecrates the Way of Freedom in 1944. The inscription at the bottom recalls that it contains plots of land from American cemeteries in France.

The grandstand organ was built between 1679 and 1687, and restored several times since. The buffet dates from 1683. Note that the first representation of Berlioz’s Requiem was given at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides Church in 1837.

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

Official Army museum on the Saint Louis des Invalides Churcharmy museum on the St Louis des Invalides Church

The tourist office of Paris on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church : Tourist office of Paris on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church

The official Diocese of the Armed Forces on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church (they recognise as Cathedral of the armed forces) in French: Diocese of the Armed Forces on Saint Louis Cathedral of Paris

Here you can surely have an apero or lunch at Le Vauban just facing the Church/Cathedral. And my favorite hangout in the area Le Café de l’Esplanade just off the side seeing all the canons of the army museum! great service and glorious food.

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There you go a wonderful monument in my eternal Paris , that for some reason, left it untold until now. See my previous posts on the army museum and Invalides in general. Hope you enjoy the visit to the Saint Louis des Invalides Church! 

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

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