Archive for June 16th, 2020

June 16, 2020

Pont Neuf, Paris!

Ok so here I am inspire again on writing about the different spots around my eternal Paris. The whole world comes to Paris , yes it is nice, I just wish they see my belle France. As said, Hemingway wrote the Movable Feast printed posthume, if he had traveled more he would have written a second volume, France is a movable feast!

Having said that, let me tell you about some of the bridges of Paris, sublime, beautiful, architecturally stunning and full of wonderful history. And why not start with the Pont Neuf!

The Pont Neuf is despite its name, the oldest existing bridge in Paris. It crosses the Seine at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité. Built at the end of the 16C and finished at the beginning of the 17C, it owes its name to the novelty that constituted at the time a bridge devoid of dwellings and provided with sidewalks protecting pedestrians from mud and horses. It is also the very first stone bridge in Paris to cross the Seine entirely. This site is served by the Pont Neuf metro line 7 station.

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It is, after the pont aval and the pont amont of the périphérique, the third longest bridge in Paris at 238 meters. On March 16, 1578, construction was authorized by letters patent from the king, who laid the foundation stone for the work on May 31, following in the presence of Queen Mother Catherine de Médicis and Queen Louise of Lorraine-Vaudémont. Its construction will continue until 1607, under the reign of Henry IV.  It is also the first bridge in Paris to no longer be covered. Like most bridges built at the time, the Pont Neuf consists of a series of short arches. When work resumed interrupted for ten years , Henri IV opted for a bridge without houses, but the cellars already built remained. An underground connected them. They were later transformed into lower rooms. In the cellars are erected small buildings housing shops. Second hand booksellers or bouquinistes also compete with bookstores in the area, so that in 1619 the latter obtained a ban on the presence of this commercial competition on the Pont Neuf, something reaffirmed by a royal ordinance in 1742.

In 1702, the bridge, which is part of the Cité neighborhood, had 22 buildings and 20 lanterns. It begins at Quai des Augustins, opposite Place Dauphine and ends at the corners of the quai de la Vieille-Vallée-de-Misère and quai de l’École opposite the carrefour des Trois-Maries. In the 19C, cellars were removed from their buildings and the old cellars were blocked. The last shop did not disappear until around 1854.

On August 23, 1614, four years after the assassination of the king, the equestrian statue of Henri IV ordered by Marie de Médicis to be placed on the median of the Ile de la Cité, between the two abutments of the bridge, is inaugurated. It will be melted together with the two bas-reliefs on the side faces to make cannons in 1792 during the French revolution and of which fragments of the horse as well as the four statues decorating the angles, of slaves or defeated nations are kept in the Louvre museum. Under the Restoration, following a subscription launched by king Louis XVIII, it was replaced by a new equestrian statue of Henri IV, inspired by the original. This statue was inaugurated in 1818.

In addition, on January 2, 1602, the king authorized the construction of a large water pump to the right of the second arch from the right bank downstream side: the Samaritaine pump, which later gave its name to the department store of La Samaritaine  (see post) which was built not far from there. The pump was destroyed in 1813. Nothing remains of it, except one of the bells, transferred to the Saint-Eustache Church (see post).   In the first quarter of 2007, the City of Paris completed its complete restoration, with the last arch and its macaroons, on the right bank side and on the left bank.  The masonry bridge measures 238 meters, width is 20.50 meters with the road measuring 11.50 meters, and the two sidewalks, 4.50 meters each. The large arm has seven opening arches, between 16.40 meters and 19.40 meters and it measures 154 meters long. The small arm has five opening arches, between 9 and 16.70 meters . It measures 78 meters long. Along its cornices, 385 mascarons or grotesque masks representing heads of forest or country deities from Greco-Roman mythology are carved.

More of this wonderful Pont Neuf can be seen at the Carnavalet museum of Paris which preserves many paintings from all eras representing the Pont Neuf. The most interesting is an anonymous canvas from the second half of the 16C, which is inspired by the drawing approved by Henri III in 1577 and shows a much richer decoration than that which was ultimately made, with triumphal arches, obelisks. and a central pavilion. Other great paintings of it that I like are the ones by Auguste Renoir, Le Pont-Neuf ,1872, oil on canvas now at the National Gallery of Art Washington DC USA, and Camille Pissaro, Le Pont-Neuf ,1901, oil on canvas, now at the   Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio USA; and by Albert Lebourg, Le Pont-Neuf, 1906, oil on canvas,at the Petit Palais in Paris. Films not many but I like the 1991, » Les Amants du Pont-Neuf” by Léos Carax. On January 1, 2002, the Pont Neuf was chosen to symbolize the changeover to the new European currency during the changeover ceremony. The Minister of the Economy at the time, Laurent Fabius, would have chosen it for its solidity and its 12 arches which symbolized the 12 countries of the euro zone in 2002.

The Paris tourist office on the Pont Neuf in English: Paris tourist office on the Pont Neuf

And there you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Paris, once bitten, the virus of love stays with you. Hope you enjoy the post on the Pont Neuf of Paris!

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

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June 16, 2020

Some news from Spain XCI

And well, need to catch up on my beloved Spain news, it has been a while. I let it pass the worse moments and come back to the real world, my world of Spain. Therefore, I am back with Some news from Spain, on its 91st post! thank you for reading.

Spain is considering quarantining UK visitors when it opens its borders June 21st in reciprocity to a similar measure imposed by London, Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya has told the BBC. We do not seems to learn restriction keeps away the human race and we need more opening.

The bull taurino sector has concentrated in Salamanca to claim bullfighting as a part of universal culture, as a means of expression of the people around tradition and reminded the “new powerful” that, therefore, the culture “does not is censored, it cannot be limited. ” About three thousand people have gathered in the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, wearing masks and scrupulously keeping the security distance, among which were active matadors such as Enrique Ponce, El Juli, Miguel Ángel Perera, El Capea and Jiménez Fortes, seconded this protest in the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca ; that this past Saturday was repeated in various cities of Castilla y León. What is a tradition of a country where thousands come to see even from abroad it must be maintain. My region of Canarias abolished corridas, the first in Spain as it was not our Guanche culture, but that does not mean other places can’t have it. Open up freedom of choice is an important human trait.

In Santiago de Compostela to study in depth a stone sculpture of a Gothic-looking Virgin that, according to the first analyses, could date back to the 14C and which was casually located in recent days in a surprising setting. An amateur fisherman discovered it leaning on the bed of the Sar river as he passed through La Coruña, semi-submerged in an area with little flow. It is a round bundle carving that is carved on four of its five faces and represents a virgin enthroned with the Child. On both sides of the Virgin, on her shoulders, two angels arise. This part of the sculpture is quite worn, but in any case, the face and hand of each of the angels can be seen holding some object or the Virgin’s own cloak. Therefore, another one to see soon in the Cathedral

Benito Pérez Galdós (there is a new bio coming out on him) toured the mid-19C and the first bars of the 20C with a vocation to look at everything, understand it on site when possible and write it without fatigue. It is not a modern pawn nor a vintage one by installments. He was a writer unleashed in all directions. A Canarian (Las Palmas) boy who came to Madrid at the age of 19, in 1863, with the purpose of studying Law until the city, journalism, theater and the upheaval of those years turn him to writing. He was the giant who starting from nothing (no family of education, nor great fortune), he became one of the best European writers of his time. He was such a popular author that on the day of his death, the mayor of Madrid dictated a side ” With his books he honored his homeland, with his life he honored himself “, who encouraged the neighbors to honor him. More from Casa del Libro in Madrid here: https://www.casadellibro.com/libros-ebooks/benito-perez-galdos/78143

The Council of Ministers is expected to approve two museum expansions: that of the Prado (see post) salon de Reinos or kingdom hall; and that of the Sorolla house-museum,(see post) both located in Madrid. Originally scheduled for 2019 and postponed on successive occasions until 2024 due to the tumultuous political situation of recent years, the works of rehabilitation and museum adaptation of the Salon de Reinos of the Prado National Museum will be carried out by the studies of the British architect Norman Foster and the Spanish Carlos Rubio. These two buildings are the last remains of the Royal Palace of Buen Retiro, a complex erected between 1633 and 1639 under the reign of Felipe IV. The urban reorganization of the project, called Campus Prado, will connect the Prado and the Salon de Reinos, facilitating the transit on foot of visitors through Calle Felipe IV and joining in the same complex the buildings of Villanueva, Los Jerónimos, El Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos. This extension is linked to the candidacy of El Paseo del Prado and El Buen Retiro, Landscape of Arts and Sciences for World Heritage, which UNESCO must decide soon!!

The King Felipe VI appeals to international tourism: “Spain is a safe and quality tourist destination” “We have demonstrated world leadership in tourism development policies and now is the time to continue doing so”. Spain opens borders on July 1. And where to go , well some points. Yes he is the tradition that must represent folks knowing about Spain and coming over to see its wonders!

Here is some ammunitation for you planning to visit Spain next week!!!

Palma de Mallorca is the most expensive, while Alicante the least expensive, according to the Habits of Savings report, which compares the price of a seven-night getaway in a three-star central hotel, a rental car, a dinner for two, a beer, a coffee and a liter of gasoline. Not surprisingly, at the moment Spain is already the country with the most hotel reservations for summer in the world. It is followed by the United States , Portugal , Italy , France and Mexico. These are the data managed by the online platform Travelgate, based in Palma de Mallorca. If we analyze only the Spanish regions, Andalusia takes 31.66% of hotel reservations. Then came the Canary Islands (16.7%), Valencia (13.4%), the Balearic Islands (13.01%) and Catalonia (9.69%). In the list are the 10 most tourist Spanish cities according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). Spending seven nights in a three-star hotel costs an average of 508 euros. However, in Almería, the cheapest city to stay, the average cost is 314 euros (about 44 euros per night), 38% below the average. Almería is followed by Madrid (51.5 euros per night), a city whose prices outside the summer season are usually much higher than in August. Alicante (60 euros per night) and Barcelona (65 euros per night), as the cheapest cities to stay in a hotel. In contrast, Palma de Mallorca is the most expensive city, with an average price per night of more than 102 euros, followed by Cádiz (100 euros per night), Gijón (85 euros) and Tarragona (77 euros). When it comes to moving around the city and going from beach to beach, many people decide to rent a car at their destination. In this regard, Cádiz ranks as the city with the highest price (235 euros for a seven-day rental, 68% above the average) and Alicante -due to the greater offer of this service in the region- is the cheapest city (35 euros if the collection point is the airport, 75% below average).  Almería is the most expensive city to have a beer, with an average price of six euros per half liter, 35% above the national average, which stands at 4.40 euros. On the contrary, Cádiz is positioned as the cheapest, with a price of two euros, 55% below the national average. If we talk about the price of a dinner for two in a restaurant in the city center, A Coruña is the cheapest city, with an average price of 34 euros, 22% below the average, followed by Cádiz (34 euros, -20%), and Malaga (37 euros, -15%). At the opposite extreme is Palma de Mallorca, with an average price of 53 euros, 22% above the average, followed by Tarragona (51 euros) and Barcelona,with a cost of 49 euros (+ 12%). Now you chose….

And festivals are back , book quick, they are been taken in hordes, people want out!!!

Five absolute premieres this year make up the program of the most special Classical Theater Festival in Mérida in recent years. Throughout a month -from July 22 to August 23- the event will take place under security and hygiene measures and with the idea of being an example of the revival of the performing arts. The program proposes five great shows at the Roman Theater, all absolute premieres, in addition to performances in the Roman theaters of Medellín, Regina and the Roman city of Cáparra and a wide content of artistic, recreational, informative and educational activities both in Mérida and in other parts of Extremadura’s geography. More info in English here: https://www.festivaldemerida.es/en/

The Almagro Festival will celebrate its 43rd edition between the 14th and 26th of July this year there will be shows in the Corral de Comedias, the flagship of the La Mancha theater event; at the Adolfo Marsillach Theater (former Hospital de San Juan), the summer headquarters of the National Classical Theater Company; in the Old Renaissance University of Almagro (AUREA), a closed and air-conditioned space; and in the Palacio de los Oviedo, an old summer cinema recovered as a stage space two years ago. The Almagro Festival will be held guaranteeing all health regulations for workers, companies and the attending public, thus ensuring the well-being and health of all people who visit the town of La Mancha and its inhabitants this summer. More info in English here: https://www.festivaldealmagro.com/en/

Now if you are like me who like nice places typical of the country and away from crowded cities, as a base; then check these out, all known visited by me over the years.

There are many rural accommodations, but they do not have a Michelin star. The Molino or Mill of Alcuneza de Sigüenza ,Guadalajara province is one of them. After a renovation, it is time to visit this 15C flour mill with 17 rooms and a spa. More information at https://www.molinodealcuneza.com/

La Casona de la Paca is a 19C Indian (as from America) palace built in Cudillero by an Asturian who marched to Cuba (and we had plenty even in my town) and, on his return, wanted to pay tribute to his mother by giving it his name. It offers 19 rooms ,where you are greeted with a handful of walnuts and a few apples from the area, and several apartments that occupy the old blocks. More information at http://casonadelapaca.com/web/

The name of La Casa del Presidente is not accidental, since this was the summer residence of Adolfo Suárez (former prime minister and founder of Spanish democracy, a great men). Located in the city of Ávila, this five-star rural style preserves the structure of the original building built in the 70s and the president’s office practically intact. You can also see the wooden beams and shutters typical of Castilian palaces or the stone hallway that welcomes the guest. In addition, it is the only hotel with a swimming pool within the wall. More information at https://www.fontecruzhoteles.com/en/

Los Ánades, Abànades, Guadalajara province. We moved to 135 kilometers from Madrid, in the Serranía de Guadalajara mountains, to enjoy this complex consisting of a rural hotel plus three houses distributed in 180 square meters built on three floors. The town in which it is located, Abánades, barely has 70 inhabitants, so social distancing in these times is guaranteed. Another of its strong points is the one-hour private sessions in the spa, with a bottle of cava included. More information at https://www.losanades.com/

And there you , some news to start the new season of opening up all over Europe, and Spain is right there, waiting for its usual visitors, welcome to my beloved Spain! Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for reading again.

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

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June 16, 2020

Pont Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur,Paris!

Ok so here I am inspire again on writing about the different spots around my eternal Paris. The whole world comes to Paris , yes it is nice, I just wish they see my belle France. As said, Hemingway wrote the Movable Feast printed posthume, if he had traveled more he would have written a second volume, France is a movable feast!

Having said that, let me tell you about some of the bridges of Paris, sublime, beautiful, architecturally stunning and full of wonderful history. And why not start with the Pont de Grenelle! oh yes this is how I came to know it alright but if not Paris lately the bridge has change name to the current one as on the title of the post.

The Pont Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur ,formerly pont de Grenelle was built between 1966 and 1968 on the site of a first bridge built in 1827. The Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur bridge spans the Seine from the rue Linois 15éme arrondissement to rue Maurice-Bourdet, in the 16éme arrondissement, with support on Île aux Cygnes, the downstream end carries a 9 meters high replica of the Statue of Liberty. This site is served by the Mirabeau and Charles Michels metro line 10. On June 18, 2016, the Pont de Grenelle bridge takes the name of Pont de Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur in homage to the aspiring reserve students (EAR) defenders of the Loire bridges in June 1940.

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Since its inception, three successive bridges have been built. The first Grenelle bridge was designed on the initiative of promoters in the Beaugrenelle district. The bridge is open to pedestrians and to carriages on May 1, 1827. In 1873, this bridge collapsed completely. In 1874, just a year later, the decision was made to build a cast iron bridge with six arches. Eventually, the pont de Grenelle was reconstructed from 1966 to 1968 . The bridge has two main metal spans of 85 meters, crossing the two arms of the Seine, a span of 20 meters above Île aux Cygnes and two spans 15 meters in concrete, crossing the right bank and left bank quays. The total length of the bridge is 220 meters, its width 30 meters with 22 meters for the roadway, and 8 meters for the two sidewalks. Currently, its width is not fully exploitable, as there is a building narrowing the access on the 16éme downstream side. There is a nice scene on the movie of 1947 by Charlie Chaplin Monsieur Verdoux.

Of course with all the name changes maybe no time to post in the Paris tourist office but they do have on the Flame de la Liberté and Memorial to princess Diana in English (again have written before on these) here: Paris tourist office Flame of liberty by pont de l’Alma

And there you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Paris, once bitten, the virus of love stays with you. Hope you enjoy the post on the Pont Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur of Paris!

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

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June 16, 2020

Pont Alexandre III, Paris of course!

And why not a bridge, well not just any bridge but a bridge in Paris and over the Seine river. This is important news, monument to walk both ways for hours… I have written a post on bridges ,rather general overview, but back to the streets series nah, just reminder from a fellow poster. Why not do justice to the Alexander 3rd bridge of Paris and in honor of Russia.

Oh yes it is known as the Pont Alexandre III located in Paris, dept 75 of the Ïle de France region. Paris is a unique district where the city is the same name of the department, there are others elsewhere. Reminder Alexandre III was not really a friend of France even if spoked perfect French, just out of geopolitical convenience he was honored with the bridge. The Pont Alexandre III  was built during the Belle Époque opened just in time for the Universal Exposition of 1900. The bridge is decorated with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs. Tall pillars on either side of the bridge are topped with large gilded statues, and connects the Invalides to the Grand and Petit Palais. Let me tell you a bit more on the Pont Alexandre III mostly from a historical architecural point of view i like even if make it brief.

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The Pont Alexandre-III bridge crosses the Seine river between the 7éme and 8éme arrondissement or districts of Paris. This site is served by the Invalides metro station lines 8 and 13 , and the Invalides RER C station. It is located between the Pont de la Concorde and the Pont des Invalides. It links the Esplanade des Invalides on the rive gauche or left bank at quai d’Orsay to Cours la Reine on the rive droite or right bank at Avenue Winston-Churchill, where the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais are located. This bridge is named after the Tsar of Russia Alexander III. Few Parisians know that the axis of the Alexander III bridge is slightly skewed compared to that of the Seine. Far from being an error on the part of the architect, this orientation of the bridge was intended to be in perfect continuity with the Esplanade des Invalides. The bridge thus participates in the Republican axis created under the Third Republic for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 for which it was built.

Inaugurated for the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900, the bridge was intended to symbolize Franco-Russian friendship, established by the signing of the alliance concluded in 1891 between Emperor Alexander III and the President of the French Republic Sadi Carnot . Dead in 1894, Alexander III will never see the bridge that bears his name today. It was his son, Tsar Nicolas II, who laid the foundation stone for this monumental work of art with the Empress and President Félix Faure (as President Carnot had been assassinated in 1894) on October 7, 1896.

During the decision to organize a Universal Exhibition of 1900, it was decided to destroy the Palace of Industry dating from the 1855 exhibition to replace it with two palaces, on either side of a track that would extend the Place des Invalides. Also, the Trinity Bridge or Troïtsky Bridge ,another bridge very similar to the Alexander III bridge, was built in 1903 on the Neva River in Saint Petersburg in Russia. In the spring of 1900, the Lumière brothers did not resist the urge to film the crowd of visitors to the Universal Exhibition, wandering from the Pont Alexandre III to the Esplanade des Invalides.

The bridge was made of cast steel. In order to resist the enormous horizontal thrust, it was equipped with very massive abutments. The foundations were dug under a pressurized box using the Triger process. It is a metal bridge 154 meters long and 45 meters wide composed of a single arch of 107 meters comprising three points of articulation, allowing to cross the Seine without an intermediate support point. Two stone tunnels of 22.50 meters each are located at its ends. Because of its large span for a low height, the Alexandre-III bridge exerts a significant lateral thrust. In order to avoid the spacing of the anchors, the banks were considerably reinforced by means of immense concrete masses, undoubtedly the most important foundations ever made. The monumental columns seem like matches in comparison: their foundations being independent of those of the bridge, their role is only decorative.

The Pont Alexandre III bridge is illuminated by 32 bronze candelabras which were made by the Lacarrière establishment, also known for the realization of the monumental chandelier of the Opéra Garnier!  The four renown’s at the top of the entrance pylons represent the right bank, upstream: La Renommée des arts, by Emmanuel Frémiet; right bank, downstream: La Renommée des sciences, by Emmanuel Frémiet; left bank, upstream: La Renommée au combat, by Pierre Granet; left bank, downstream: Pegasus held by the Renown of the War, by Léopold Steiner (due to his death in 1899, the group was completed by Eugène Gantzlin). The decorations at the base of the four pylons have as themes: right bank, upstream: France of the Middle Ages by Alfred-Charles Lenoir; left bank, upstream: France in the Renaissance by Jules Coutan; left bank, downstream: France under Louis XIV by Laurent Marqueste; right bank, downstream: Modern France by Gustave Michel. The authors of the groups of lions led by children to the bridge entrances are: left bank: Jules Dalou; right bank: Georges Gardet.

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The different bronze or copper groups spanning the bridge are: Les Amours supporting the four lampposts, by Henri Désiré Gauquié; Four geniuses with fish and shells, by Léopold Morice and André Massoulle; in the center upstream of Concorde: Nymphs of the Neva with the arms of Russia, by Georges Récipon; downstream center of Alma: Nymphs of the Seine with the arms of Paris, by Georges Récipon. The apron supported by the metal arch is decorated with a series of masks and garlands taking up the rhythm of the connecting posts.   The Pont Alexandre III bridge has changed color several times; it went from gray to green-brown then to pearl gray. It resumed its original colors during its only restoration in 1998. A medal by engraver Daniel-Dupuis commemorates the laying of the foundation stone of the bridge. It carries the allegorical figures of Peace, France and Russia as well as the Nymph of the Seine and views of the projected work. A copy is kept at the Carnavalet museum of Paris.

Paris

Finally, the Pont Alexandre III has been seein in several films, my favorites are 1966: Does Paris burn? by René Clément; 1973: The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob by Gérard Oury; 1985: Dangerously yours by John Glen, with Roger Moore in the role of James Bond 1997: Anastasia by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, the bridge is the place of the final fight against Rasputin and 2011: Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen! In music my favorites are on British singer Adele shoots the clip for her ballad “Someone like you” .2011. The clip “It’s almost the end”, by Mozart, the rock opera was filmed on and around the bridge. The Diva Mariah Carey filmed a large part of her music video for the song “Say Something” in 2006, featuring Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg.

Tha Paris tourist office has a bit more on the Pont Alexandre III in English: Paris tourist office on the Pont Alexandre III

One of my glorious road warrior rides into Paris and taken many friends over it. Just wonderful views and easy parking at 45 Quai d’Orsay Tour Maubourg or Place de la Concorde for sublimes walks in beautiful Paris. Remember booking secure parking ahead you cut your costs in half ! Hope it helps. And do enjoy the pont Alexandre III whether is driving it, biking it or walking it

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

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June 16, 2020

Brech or Brec’h!!!

Ok this is small but what a pack of architecture and especially history it has! I was lucky to lived in it briefly when first came into the Morbihan breton dept 56 from Versailles in the Yvelines dept 78 way back. And of course, I have written about some of the things to see in Brec’h in my blog.

However, I like to tell you a bit on the town and village I lived and my first apartment in Brittany!!! So for lack of better creativity let me show a bit more of Brech or Brec’h!

Brech is crossed by the Loc’h river, that goes on and becoming the Auray river into the Gulf of Morbihan and then the Atlantic ocean!. Brec’h is a neighboring town of eight other towns namely , Pluvigner, Auray, Landaul, Locoal-Mendon, Plumergat, Pluneret, Ploemel and Crach. Brec’h, in Breton, means mount or hill. It is composed of believe or not, 22 villages! (of course only about 7 can be call even a village the rest are just a couple houses and rien!) These are Bonerfaven, Le Beudrec, Botergollec ; Brégoharne, Brézéhan, Calan , Corn er Hoet (my first town/village in Brittany! Breton name means edge of the woods), Kerdrain ,Kerglas , Kergornic ,Kerguéro , Kermané ; Kervalh ,Lann er Rheu; Lann Palvern ;Mané-Salut ; Penhoet ; Saint-Dégan is the biggest village and was probably founded in the 6C, par Saint Dégan; Saint-Guérin ; Tréavrec , Treumer, et Toulchignanet.

A bit of history I like

A Gallic deposit was unearthed in the 19C. Dated 1C BC. the deposit, attributed to the Venetians (gauls of the area of Vannes or Vénètes), contains a set of small Armorican ridges and ornaments in polychrome and metallic glass paste, bronze and gold.   On September 29, 1364, the battle of Auray takes place near the marsh of Kerzo .The future Duke Jean de Montfort (Jean IV) triumphs over his rival Charles de Blois (later he was beautified by Pope Pius X in 1904). Charles was killed, while his second, the knight Bertrand Du Guesclin, was taken prisoner. This victory puts an end to the War of Britain’s Succession. In August 1795, near the same Kerzo marsh, about 795 Royalist and Chouan emigrants were shot after the landing of Quiberon failed. In the Field of Martyrs, a mausoleum was built in 1828 in commemoration. The remains are now in the Chartreuse of Auray.

In May 2015, Prince Louis de Bourbon (legitimate aspirant as king Louis XX and born in Madrid) went to Brec’h, with his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite (born in Venezuela), during his official visit to Morbihan. He then announced the financing of the restoration of the Expiatory Chapel of Champ-des-Martyrs by the Maison de Bourbon. Or Field of Martyrs by the House of Bourbon.And I was there!

I have given some insights on the things to see here in my blog so just resume them as the  Saint-André Church (12C-19C). The Chartreuse or charterhouse of Auray built in 1382 in memory of the dead of the battle of Auray. And the Expiatory Chapel of the Champ-des-Martyrs, built in memory of the Breton royalists executed during the French revolution. The water mill of Estaing dating from the 15C. The Saint-Dégan eco-museum traces the rural life of the town and life in Brittany in the past. Located in the heart of the village of Saint-Dégan.

General and Marshal of France (posthume) Georges Cadoudal was a figure of Chouannerie in Brittany (who fought against the French revolutionaries). Born and lived in the manor of Kerléano which at the time, a hamlet in the town of Brec’h; and now part of Auray. You can visit the field of martyr and his mausoleum as well as see from outside his house now lived by his descendants. Georges Cadoudal, born in Brec’h on January 1, 1771 and died guillotined on June 25, 1804 in Paris, was a Chouan general, commander of the Catholic and Royal Army of Brittany.

The Carthusian order founded by Saint Bruno settled there in 1482 and was expelled in 1791 during the French revolution. The 17C Saint-Quirin Chapel, its classic altarpiece attributed to the Laval masters, its miraculous fountain and its pardon on the 4th Sunday of July (very popular here with a great procession).

It is not possible to go around the Loc’h river, (I have on some parts entrance of Brech bourg or city center) part of the banks being private property of the Domaine de Mane Er Hoët. The Domaine de Mane Er Hoët is very formerly occupied; Gallo-Roman remains were found and are currently on display at the Vannes Archeo museum. There is also within this property one of the last hollow paths in Morbihan which is assumed to follow the route of one of the ancient Roman roads. The park has a wide variety of species typical of the region. It is crisscrossed by numerous walls marking out the old plots, some of which date back 500 years. The Domaine de Mané Er Hoët is not open to the public unfortunately.

The tourist information can be found plenty around here:  The Baie de Quiberon tourist office will advise and assist you in organizing your stays and weekends in Pays d’Auray. The Tourist Office welcomes you in Auray at 20 rue du Lait. Two branches of the tourist office are located in Pluvigner at place Saint-Michel – 02 97 24 79 18 next to city/town hall, and in Sainte-Anne d´Auray at rue de Vannes – 02 97 24 24 94.

This is the city of Brech on heritage in French: City of Brech on heritage

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Brech in French: Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Brech

Ok great, but what about my apartment? well the least for last ho ho ho!! I came here for a better job which turn out even better, the best ever, and very happy thank you. I left the madness of Paris in time ,but I do missed Versailles. As you may know finding an apartment is a time consuming and paperwork loaded period in France for everybody. However, my experiences have been nice and easy. I came and look at one apartment in Vannes which was not to be, and on my second tour was taken to a little town or village Corn er Hoet in Brec’h! The match was perfect in 2011, and I had a four bedroom apartment with the bus stop just before it, small grocery, bakery, doctor, pharmacy, and post office and restos in about 1 km which we went on foot! The funny thing is there was a bar where the owner had an American flag outside! I ask why and he told me because he is thankful for the Americans to free France in WWII, oh boy I was in good relations already! Unfortunately later he close and now there is an even better quality restaurant which we have been too.

Brech

Brech

The apartment had a back entrance with a cement stairs into an open terrace and then enter the apartment kitchen , grand living dining room, bathroom and then inside stairs to another bathroom and 3 bedrooms all surrounded with windows overlooking the road D768 that goes into the beaches! My boys school bus no 5 stop right outside crossing the street from the apartment. All nice memories, we like the area so much that later in searching for buying a home, we got love away to our current town which I have written pleny on it already too.

Brech

Brech

In all memorable moments that I must have in my blog for the souvenirs, the memories whatever, a family trail in my blog. Hope you enjoy the story and do come for the historical sights to understand better my adopted Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh!

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

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