Archive for July 27th, 2020

July 27, 2020

Carquefou, anyone?

So here I was in another of my road warrior trips in the west of my belle France. I have passed by here before and even had lunch at the Novotel hotel but this time spent a bit more time in Carquefou, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of Pays de la Loire region. Therefore, let me tell what is about Carquefou. For a primer , I first heard of this town when the football/soccer team past the quarter finals of the Coupe de France championship! losing to PSG, and came to see it when passing by…..hehehe often the case to find off the beaten paths trips in my region!!

Carquefou is bordered by the Erdre river, and dotted with numerous mansions built by Nantes notables from the 16C. It is only 10 km from Nantes The neighboring towns are : Nantes, Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire, Thouaré-sur-Loire (see post), Mauves-sur-Loire, Saint-Mars- du-Désert, Sucé-sur-Erdre and La Chapelle-sur-Erdre.

The town of Carquefou is crossed by a road of national importance, the autoroute A11 , called L’Océane (the ocean), which joins the Île-de-France region to Nantes, and which is part of the road axis which connects Paris to the south of Bretagne. Carquefou is served by the Vieilleville interchange no 22, which is located on its territory. This interchange provides access to the A811, which joins the center of Nantes, and the RD 178 which extends this axis to the north at Nort-sur-Erdre, and Châteaubriant. To the south, the town is bounded by the historic link to Angers and Paris, the RD 723. The notable secondary routes are the RD 37 which joins Sucé-sur-Erdre to the north and Thouaré-sur-Loire to the south, the RD 178 which leads from the center of Carquefou to the center of Nantes via the Beaujoire, and the RD 337 which connects the town to Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire via the industrial zone of Carquefou. From Thouare sur loire to Carquefou take the chemin la basse hilliere to D723 road, then left on D37 to Carquefou centre in about 8 minutes. For info we parked by the parking des Dames on rue du 9 août 1944 for free with a blue disk for 1h 30 min.

Info on traffic as this region has become dense already and all going towards Nantes.

City of Carquefou PDF map on finding the parking see P on the map here:

The public transport service is provided by SEMITAN (which only putting up for reference as never taken here). This offers bus lines that lead to the tramway lines in Nantes: bus line 75 serves the center of Carquefou and Fleuriaye passes to the “Beaujoire” station of line 1 of the tramway, then joins the faculties(schools) sector where there are connections with the trams of line 2 at the “Recteur Schmitt”, “École Centrale Audencia” and “Faculté” stations; Line 1 (green) accessible at the Haluchère-Batignolles stop (direction François Mitterrand or Jamet for the city center of Nantes). From Beaujoire stop to Commerce stop (Nantes): about 20 min. line E5 is an express line which allows you to reach the faculty sector from Carquefou with few intermediate stops, it is in correspondence with the trams of line 2 at the stations “Recteur Schmitt”, and “École Centrale Audencia” then ends at the “Fac de Droit” stop. line C6 departs from Chantrerie-Granfes Écoles, at the entrance to Carquefou. This line leaves for Nantes city center. The major drawback of this type of mobility is the time required to travel. Today, it takes 45 minutes to reach the center of Nantes !

For public transports schedules and itineraries best to check on destineo for the whole area around Nantes including Carquefou :

A bit of history I like

In 851, the region came under Breton control, Carquefou was part of the kingdom then of the Duchy of Brittany. In the monarchial system, the territory was part, until the French revolution, of the county and the seneschal of Nantes. In 1341, Carquefou is this year the city is at the heart of War of succession of Brittany . Carquefou and its castle, whose garrison is favorable to Jean de Montfort, undergo the fire caused by Jean II of France, duke of Normandy , son of the king of Philippe VI, at the head of an army of ten thousand men and Jean of Normandy seizes it without resistance. In 1532, following the Union of Brittany to France, Carquefou is integrated into the kingdom of France.

During the French revolution, the majority of the population joined the Chouannerie (countryfolks who fought the revolution for king and God for what is known overall as the war of the West). The town is the scene of fighting in Le Clouet. On August 12, 1795, a republican convoy leaves Nantes and heads for Châteaubriant. This convoy carries 25,000 pounds in cash and 1,100,000 in assignats, weapons and ammunition. There are also six cars loaded with flour and two others filled with rum and brandy. The convoy is escorted by the entire 3rd battalion of Arras, reinforced by a detachment of volunteers from Nantes. The Arras battalion, distinguished itself twenty days earlier at the Battle of Quiberon where it was one of the first to enter the fort Penthièvre.  The Chouans/Vendeen while waiting for help from England which never came. It later took part in the executions of the Breton emigrants (from England) and Chouan prisoners. The fury of the Chouans was extreme against the soldiers of the Arras battalion who had agreed to shoot emigrant and Chouan prisoners during the Quiberon affair while others battalions had refused. Once capture they were executed as well.

Things to see at Carquefou are many but very well spread out in the countryside, need a car. As we walked we passed by a shopping center in open air, what was the old halles or covered market, now it has a sort of city of shops inside nice to walk by; Des Halles.  There is a Caravin wine store, cheese store, restaurant Vesta des Halles, tabac or newspaper stand, meat market, pizzeria, etc.


We were able to see the Church of Saint Pierre et Saint Etienne (St Peter and St Stephen) only this time; see later post.

The Château de la Seilleraye or Sailleraie b1671 .  the Château de l’Épinay, whose construction was in the middle of the 17C. Today it is surrounded by a golf course. The Château de La Couronnerie was built in 1850 and bears the name of a lordship attested in 1398. Château de Maubreuil was burnt down during the French revolution. Purchased and rebuilt around 1815 by the merchant and owner of Nantes corsair ships Félix Cossin, he returned by inheritance to the husband of Cossin’s granddaughter, the Marquis of Dion who, in 1934, sold it to the department. In 1938, a sanatorium was built in the park. In 1972, the buildings of the sanatorium became a functional rehabilitation center. The Château de la Barre dates from the 15C. Its first known lord is called Guillaume Grimaud, secretary to Duke Jean V of Brittany, in 1440. It was rebuilt in the 17C. The Château de la Chambre, from the 16C, and rebuilt in the 18C. In the 19C, Mr. Marchis de la Chambre, mayor of Carquefou, owned the castle. It was bought by M. Binet, director of LU companies (biscuits empire) and his wife Marguerite Écomard, around 1920, and still belongs to this family. The 16C Château de la Bréchetière was acquired and rebuilt in the 19C. The 19C Château Bel-Air has become a restaurant. The Château de la Fleuriaye or Fleuriais b1852 is home to the municipal services in the 21C. The 16C Château de la Bidaudière was greatly altered in the 18C. Purchased by Arthur Écomard, mayor and notary of Carquefou around 1900, it still belongs to the family. The same Arthur Écomard bought the Manoir de la Chaumière in 1892 and then enlarged it. The Écomard family sold it in the 1950s. The neo-Gothic Church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Etienne was built between 1869 and 1874. For twenty years, it had no steeple. This one, culminating at 66 meters above the ground, was built in 1895-1896. It is located at Place Saint Pierre, which as said we visited.

The city of Carquefou on its history in French:

I rather put this post as a practical information on Carquefou and will do another post with the visit to the Church St Pierre et St Etienne as it is beautiful. Hope you bear with me in showing you the best of my belle France and especially the West , an area that needs to be seen more or as a mouvable feast story, we have the continuation here.

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

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July 27, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXIII

Well I am on a roll, and need to tell you more of the news of France, thanks for reading it over the years. It seems a long time since I started this series on December 9 2010! This is the 313th edition , and I get a kick out of making it than even the travel posts. There is so much to see and do in my belle France.

This is an interesting survey due to the current world situation. The French 28% on leave 22% indecided and 50% on vacation. A bit less than last year they said. 86% will have vacations in France ,with the most by the littoral/coast 43% ,countryside 27% mountain 22%, undecided 8% , in town 6% , and itinerant 4%. There are 72% that will avoid places known to have convid19 therefore, the most chosesn regions will be Nouvelle Aquitaine / Occitanie, then  PACA / Auvegne Rhône Alps, and closing the podium my Bretagne. The preferred places to stay will be 40% with relatives or second home, 39% in hotels or camping, 20% rentals by individual owners, and 1% undecided. The means of transport will be most by car or 3 out of 4 , of course! , 10% by train, 5% by plane, and 4% carpooling. The average budget will be about 1500€ per couple and two children.
59% think of doing more outdoor activity than usual with natural spaces, parks and gardens and heritage sites as the podium. Source: survey of ADN tourisme June 2020, and survey of Opinion Way /Norauto.

News news! the city of Paris is trying to make a deal with Airbnb on the illegal rental companies. The city/town hall wants those interested to put their apartment back on the traditional rental market, at a low rent. The City of Paris asks illegal lessors to offer a classic lease of at least 3 years, with a rent 20% below the market price. And they think owners can afford this?

And on the continue greenhouse Paris mode. At the City/Town Hall, trees will be planted on both sides of the parvis or forecourt. The prospect and the maintenance of a space on the square for ceremonies or events will be respected . Behind the Opéra,  rue Gluck and parvis between the Opéra and Place Diaghilev , greening will be done in such a way as to respect the historic view of the monument. Trees will be planted without obcuring the views.  And concerning the place Henry Frenay, on the north parvis of the Gare de Lyon, a small urban forest will ensure the refreshment of the City. Last but not least, the banks of the Seine river will be adorned with grass on one of the two lanes, thus establishing an arrangement for relaxation and picnics. The other lane must remain paved for emergency vehicle traffic. I guess we will need to take a boat lol!

And the activities around the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris continues. There are huge potraits captured in a blue and white sky, these workers who clean the north tower of Notre-Dame are rope access technicians, specialized in work at height and difficult accesses. And the subjects of one of the impressive photos of the new exhibition dedicated to Notre Dame Cathedral. Since this past Wednesday, 32 photographs have been displayed on the fences surrounding the largest Parisian construction site. Entitled “The Builders of Today”, this free access installation pays tribute to the trades who work to secure Notre-Dame before its restoration can really begin. Like rope access technicians, carpenters, scaffolders, crane operators, glass masters, stone masons and masons are the heroes of this new series of photos which extends in the rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame the one installed since December over the first months of ” renaissance ”of the cathedral. « Les bâtisseurs d’aujourd’hui : les corps de métiers au cœur du chantier de sécurisation de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris » or The builders of today: the trades at the heart of the construction site of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, exhibition rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame 4éme. Free access.

In the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday until August 29, Les Invalides invites you to experience a breathtaking historical epic. The opportunity to discover the history of Paris, of the monument, and to come out with stars in your eyes. On the program: 3000 years of history , covered in 50 minutes. From Lutèce to de Gaulle via Clovis, Louis XIV or even Napoleon: the great periods of French history are told in front of an audience of captivated spectators, eyes wide with wonder. In the main courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides, 129, rue de Grenelle 7éme. Tuesday to Saturday, from 22h30 in July and  22h in August. Price: between 5 and 24 euros. More information in French on  La Nuit aux Invalides

The Le Lavoir Moderne Parisien (LMP) or Modern Parisian Lavoir, a small theater built in 1850 in the popular district of Goutte d’Or 18éme, exactly at 35 rue Léon dreamed of joining the municipal fold: it is now done! This old washhouse described in Zola’s notebooks, which has become a theater for young creation. More info on the LMP here: Lavoir Moderne Parisien

In the heart of summer, the Parc de Saint-Cloud park, renowned for its fountain, its gardens and its magnificent view of Paris, is the ideal place for a family stroll, running or a bicycle excursion. In the huge gardens, you will notice the cut yews or the mosaics of flowers. This is an often overlook spot just near Paris that must be visited more. Domaine de Saint Cloud ;1 avenue de la grille d’honneur, St-Cloud.(Hauts de Seine dept 92).

And yes folks craft beer making in Versailles: it works! Check it out at the La Brasserie du Roi.(or the Kings brewery)  They bottled their first output two weeks earlier! More in French here: La Brasserie du Roi Versailles

Free river shuttles to cross the Seine river operate during the summer at Aubergenville, Juziers and Moisson.  A nice way to see the Seine river outside Paris on my beloved Yvelines dept 78. More info in French here: SMSO bacs or boats across the Seine

And more from my beloved Yvelines dept 78, a mini-cruise in Mantes-la-Jolie to travel back in time. Mantes la Jolie is a town located halfway between Paris and the province (countryside as all outside of Paris is known here ::)). An hour and a half ride on a small boat allows you to discover the third city of Yvelines in a different way, going from the Middle Ages to the modern era. More info in French on Croisières en Seine here: Croisieres en Seine on Mantes la Jolie

A few kilometers south of Bordeaux, between Latresne and Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, an old railway line has been changed into a cycle path, named Roger-Lapébie in homage to the Girondin cyclist. This 47 kilometers greenway is a bit narrow ,about 2 meters , but has an excellent surface which makes the crossing perfectly painless. Things to see along the way are the Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure and the Church of Saint-Pierre, listed as World Heritage by Unesco! You go thru beautiful countryside of undergrowth, wine-growing hillsides, small tunnels, stations converted into bars, restaurants or rest areas ,etc.  In the town of Créon, a bicycle relay point offers very useful services (inflation station, library with maps and travel guides). You can even start from there by renting the vehicle of your choice, from VTC to tandem via electric-assisted bicycle. The Créon bike station in French here: Station Vélo Créon

The Gironde dept 33 tourist office in French on the bike ride Roger LapébieGironde tourist office on bike path Rogher Lapébie

Wrought iron gate, desk, painted wooden chairs and parasols… wonderful indeed! The mismatched furniture in a flea market is scattered on the grass, and the customer is invited to choose his own table, in the shade of the acacias during the day, or under lanterns in the evening. Opened six years ago, the La Guinguette du Phare in Lestiac-sur-Garonne, in the  Gironde dept  33, near Cadillac, has perfectly achieved its objective; to become a popular gathering space facing the river, by promoting discussion and meeting. People come mainly to eat in the chic canteen-style cuisine, at affordable prices, favors seasonal products from local agriculture. But a program (exhibitions, debates, shows, balls dances under a marquee, etc.) also makes the place vibrate artistically, which is a hit all summer long. We recommend that you book a few days in advance by phone. Webpage in French here: La Guinguette du Phare

Been a car aficionado ,needed to put this wonderful anecdote of a historical car that grandparents on wife’s side told me several times! The English voted for the Mini Moke, the Americans the Dune Buggy, the French voted with both hands for the Mehari. In the colorful radius of beach cars, this curious automobile open to all winds, which continues to resonate with its rattling noise around the pontoons of seaside resorts and village markets, has marked its territory. In driving this spartan Citroën, to be driven in sandals and Bermuda shorts, which we saw multiplied in the 1960s and 1970s, we are not leaving , luckily! on vacation,  we live them inside. The Citroën Méhari is not the founding crucible of the beach car. Before it, there was the little-known Baby Brousse, created in 1963 in Abidjan by French manufacturers on the basis of a 2 CV. An astonishing and ingenious creation that looked much more like a dromedary than the Mehari, whose name nevertheless designates this animal among the Tuareg. In 1964, the Austin Mini was the inspiration for the Mini Moke, a small all-rounder that emerged from an off-road vehicle project abandoned by the British military. These pioneers will pave the way for the Méhari that Citroën unveils in May 1968, the day before the general strike. In other words, in total indifference. Yeah nice little car indeed! I have seen them!!! Have you?

In the largest appellation of red wines in the Loire Valley, around fifteen estates cultivate grapes on these small hills, whose sandy soil and vegetation evoke the Mediterranean. Renowned for its medieval fortress, the city of Chinon has nevertheless given its name to the largest appellation of red wines in the Loire Valley. That is 2,300 hectares of Cabernet Franc for the red and barely 100 hectares of Chenin for the white. All around, in twenty-six towns, on both sides of the Vienne, the river which flows further into the Loire. It is also hiding in Chinon itself, on its outskirts. These mounds, which grew in Indre-et-Loire, come from the last geological folds of the powerful mountains of Auvergne. They peak at about thirty meters on average but escape freezing. They are suitable for the inhabitants of elegant houses and for the vineyard. The Puy Besnard, at 88 meters, is the highest. And on tope of wonderful natural scenes you have one of the best red wines of the entire Loire and even France, me think. The winemakers of Chinon in English: Wines of Chinon in the Loire Valley

In Reims, the second life of the Caserne Chanzy barracks. I have not stayed here yet but glad this wonderful building is save and kept for the traditions. Located at the foot of the famous Champagne region cathedral, it has been transformed into a hotel which does not forget to pay tribute to the firemen soldiers who once occupied it. The Chanzy barracks was the first fire station in the city of kings. Built in 1926 in an Art Deco style, it alone symbolizes the energy expended by the town at the time to put the city back on its feet after its almost total destruction during the Great War or WWI. The brigades of firefighters followed there until 1993, when a new barracks was built near the highways for practical reasons. Some 5,500 m2 are thus found abandoned on the forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims, where most of the kings of France were crowned. A local family decides to buy the building and imagine turning it into a hotel. The US group Marriot wins tender, and work began in 2017 and ended in the summer of 2019. The renovation of the old barracks caused a stir, the inhabitants rushed there to see what it was  as all the people of Reims know at least one firefighter who lived within these walls! The result is applauded for its respect for the heritage and the spirit of the barracks, on the facade we find the “Sapeurs-Pompiers” bas-relief, the load-bearing walls and the overall structure are preserved and two additional floors created in order to show the height. From the fourth floor, where the most luxurious rooms are, from 300 to 500 euros per night , the view of the cathedral and the city is breathtaking. The Domaine de Pommery estate also, which stretches out into the distance, the Saint-Rémi Basilica (where Clovis was baptized, in 498) and the courthouse below. But the interior of the hotel is no less striking: every element has been designed in homage to the past of the place. The Marriot La Caserne Chanzy Hotel in English here: Marriot La Caserne Chanzy Hotel Reims

The Ïle de Chatou is a little corner of paradise, located in the west of Paris. It derives its fame from its nickname: “the island of the Impressionists“, a wonderful haven of peace and nature surrounded by the banks of the Seine river. It turns out to be an ideal stopover after a cruise on the Seine. 900 meters long, it runs alongside both the right bank and the left bank. But its fame is due, in large part, to Madame Fournaise’s restaurant. This renowned restaurant welcomed boaters and Impressionists in the 19C, just that! Renoir painted Le Déjeuner des Rameurs or Les Canotiers à Chatou in this restaurant and Maupassant wrote there some short stories about Boating. The atmosphere is therefore there. It is also an ideal site to relax, breathe the air of nature and enrich its culture. To make the most of it, let yourself be tempted by a cruise, public or private, to discover the banks of the Seine, places of residence for many artists. During your cruise, you will continue to discover other emblematic places of Impressionism. The Bains Froids de la Grenouillère, a large ball café floating on the Seine and moored on the Ïle de Croissy, initiated the famous Bains Populaires. You will also discover the banks of the Seine at Bougival, Croissy and many others. Great area with several posts in my blog. The cruise info on the ïle de France tourist office in French is here: Visit Paris region on Chatou

And last but not least a wonderful creation to spent your time in my eternal Paris and with a good chow! Located in the rue de l’Ourcq 19éme at the La Ferme du Rail (the rail farm) . La Ferme du Rail is a social and architectural project carried out in February 2019. Inside, an accommodation and social reintegration center, a student social residence, a production greenhouse and a restaurant. Outside, here and there, a permaculture vegetable garden in the ground, the roof vegetable garden, green areas in the ground, green walls, a henhouse, etc. In short, everything you can imagine on a farm. All this to tell you that from this parcel of land bordering the Petite Ceinture. Then, at the end of this past June, Le Passage à Niveau, its brand new restaurant , be aware,  if you want to go for dinner, remember to book to be sure to have a place.  Le Passage à Niveau (level crossing) La Ferme du Rail. 2, bis du de l’Ourq 19éme Paris of course!

The La Ferme du Rail project webpage in French here: La Ferme du Rail project

The Le Passage à Niveau restaurant Facebook page in French here: Facebook page of Le Passage à Niveau restaurant

And with this I say farewell on the 313th Some News from France! I thank you very much for reading and liking theses posts.

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

July 27, 2020

Vignobles Marchais at Thouaré sur Loire!

So here I am closing my latest escapades in my lovely West of my belle France! I am staying at Thouaré sur Loire in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the region of Pays de la Loire. Old Bretagne!

This is a wine region and with the only winery in town it happens to be one of our favorites in France. Not only the wines are good, the prices are right ,but the human factor is excellent. And the ambiance, the welcome by the owners and staff has a lot do with wine driking ,all in friendship and cheers!

I have written before on Vignobles Marchais so will spare you the history of it. We went for tasting the new vintage, buying of course, and this time we were able to have lunch in town. Last time we did it at Carquefou, see that town post.

We got in as usual following the great Loire river on the D751 from Nantes, and always sublime. You have plenty of picnic stops along the way if you wish ( see post). We cruise on down to Thouaré sur Loire and plenty of time before heading for the wines, we had lunch. As we saw it before, this time we came in and what a surprise it was.


The Brasserie La Fontaine at rue de Mauves and inside pl de la Fontaine is a workers’s canteen right smack in town across from the Church of St Vincent (see post). One of the virtues of my belle France is the culinary choices and just friendly town folks of ordinary daily life here, we love it!! We arrived without reservation of course, and immediately were seated in the little terrace out front nicely next to a flower shop and with views of the church.



And we had our lunch. We had bavette d’aloyau or whats best translated as flank steak , fries, salad with breads and a 100 Cl bottle of local rose wine (that is more than a bottle 75Cl). We sat in glory under a sunny day with a nice patio umbrella and went at it. Very nicely done and friendly service as many were known to each other, real country town ambiance we love so much. We finish with dessert i had a creme caramel à beurre salé or sort of a salted caramel cream pudding, nicely done crunchy. A expresso coffee followed to finish the lunch. The bill well this is the countryside, came at about 12€ per person. We shall be back!!!



The Facebook page of the Brasserie de la Fontaine: Facebook page of Brasserie de la Fontaine

From we took the easy ride on route de mauves to reach Vignobles Marchais we already been here couple times before. And we were met by a very nice and knowledable guy who immediately took out into the terrace to avoid having to wear masks! He took a wine barrel out that served as the table and started to bring bottles out! We tasted 6 wines , five white and one rosé as it is the tradition in this area.

thouare vig marchais barrel tasting wines outside jul20


The Melon B of Burgundy but planted here as a muscadet  was excellent apéritifs and light cheeses/meats. The Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire AOP Domaine du Bois Blot 2018 as had before and delicious with fish and chips! The Coteaux d’Ancenis Malvoisie AOP 2018 good for cheeses and apéritifs and white meats. The bubbly rosé Perles Lutines Noir is excellent for apéritfs , soft cheeses, and light meats. The Saveur d’Origine 2014 / grape : Melon was not to our liking.  Another we try but did not purchase this time was the Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire AOP Vignoble de Thouaré 2018.



I also purchase wines from the cellars that belongs to family members in other parts of France which he sells in his cellars such as Malbec from Pays d’Oc ville blanche , Saumur-Champigny, and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil in the Loire; all red wines. In all 24 bottles for our cellar!


The official webpage of Vignobles Marchais on the cellars in English here: Vignobles Marchais cellars


And yes another wonderful trip down the majestic Loire river and great wine country nearest to me. And we love to go on site to purchase. Hope you enjoy this winelogy trip down to Thouaré sur Loire!!

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

July 27, 2020

Thouare sur Loire!!

And once again back to this nice town by the Loire river where I also go to get my house wines for the last couple of years. This is Thouaré sur Loire in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of Pays de la Loire region. And this is alongside the wonderful Loire river.

I have written before on the town and its church but let me give you a bit more of the practical information we all need for visits. I was there this week again so hope you enjoy the run to the wines at Thouaré sur Loire as well.


Thouaré-sur-Loire is in the historically Brittany, the name in Breton is Tarvieg. Thouaré-sur-Loire is located on the north bank of the Loire, 10 km north-east of Nantes. The origins of Thouaré are confused. According to certain assumptions, the foundation of the city would be due to a Roman legionary of the name of Taurus or Tauraicus who would have installed a rich villa. Or it would be due to a Celtic god celebrated in this part of Gaul: Taur.

You get to Thouaré sur Loire by taken N165 to the boulevard peripherique Nantes N844 to porte Sainte Luce no. 42 ,then ,take route de Sainte Luce D68 dir Sainte Luce sur Loire to La Blandiniére turn left to Vignobles Marchais in about 2 hrs. Or get the scenic drive off the N844 take porte du Vignoble no 43, and get on the D751 road that runs alongside the Loire river on your left hand side, past the picturesque Boire Courant village to the le bout de ponts and the D37 direction Thouare sur Loire and you past twice the pont de Thouare bridges as they pass the Ïle la Chenaie into rue des ponts at the Church St Vincent (see posts) traffic circle take right into the road D68 direction Mauves sur Loire but before on the village of La Blandiniére you will see on your left hand side the signs for the Vignobles Marchais.




There is a train station but not sure if trains stop here as the building was lockup boarded up windows but I did saw a TGV passed rather fast by it, anyway there must be local service here is the station from the bridge over the tracks at rue des ponts.


Four regular SEMITAN bus lines serve Thouaré-sur-Loire: Never taken but the most interesting seems to be the Chronobus C7, which connects Thouaré (from 2 terminus: Clairais and Trianon) to line 1 of the tramway at l ‘Souillarderie stop in Nantes, via Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire.

A bit of history I like

Around the 13C, civil and religious powers were concentrated around the Château de la Motte, also called the Château de la Tour. The lord of the place, “founder of the Parish”, exercised the rights of high, medium and low justice over his subjects. Especially in 1567: Anne Descartes, half-sister of the famous philosopher; Note, during this period, the arrival of the King of France Charles IX and the court who went to Nantes, acclaimed by the Thouaréens. He stayed at the castle of Thouaré where he was received by Claude de Bretagne (son of Charles de Bretagne and Philippe de Saint-Amadour, countess of Vertues, baroness of Coueffret, viscountess of Guingamp and lady of Thouaré).

During the revolutionary unrest, Thouaré (apart from a few victims including the constitutional priest Giron) was generally spared from massacres and destruction. Thanks to Napoleon, the country was restored to peace and the Thouareans were generally favorable to the Empire and they showed it. In particular during his visit to Thouaré, on August 11, 1808, for which a triumphal arch was erected on the Chemin Nantes, where the Thouaréens acclaimed the Emperor, or during the feast of the birth and baptism of the King of Rome, where a bonfire was lit and wine given to the public. In 1815, when Napoleon fell, France was occupied by foreign powers. Thouaré was occupied for several weeks by a detachment of Saxons.

In 1832, the demoiselles du Guiny (born at the Château de la Hillière) were involved in the uprising organized by the Duchess of Berry, with a view to bringing the Duke of Bordeaux to the throne of France. (see post Count of Chambord).

The War of 1870 affected Thouaré very little. The First and Second World Wars were more deadly, especially the first which saw the death of 43 inhabitants of Thouaré. The Thouaré bridges were blown up three times, notably on June 19, 1940 by the French army, and on June 18, 1944 by the British air force.

Things to see: Saint-Vincent Church (see post). Just as a reminder I need to see a lot more !!


La Vierge des Noues This oratory was initially located at the Noues crossroads (now Place de la République). It was transferred in 1863, at the intersection of the roads of Mauves-sur-Loire and Belle Vue, because of the construction of the Saint-Vincent church. It is in the shape of a small temple, with pilasters, a triangular pediment and its semicircular arch. Note the presence of an ornate grid and mosaics. The Noues virgin was the subject of a restoration which ended in November 2005.

La Croix Bertrand Located on the path leading from La Pamprie to La Robinière, the Croix Bertrand was not the first Calvary erected on this site, hence the name given to it of “new Cross”. La Croix Bertrand owes its name to its founder, Dominique Bertrand, who erected the Calvary in 1705, during the reign of Louis XIV. In 1944, the wooden cross that existed at the beginning of the century was replaced by the current Calvary.

Château de la Picauderie is a vast estate of just under 2 hectares located near the Loire, opposite the ancient port of Thouaré. Before the 18C, there was already an important residence, we find the remains to the east of the property, such as a perfectly preserved bread oven. Having belonged successively to the Proust and then to the D’Avoynes, the Domaine de la Picauderie became, under little-known circumstances, the property of the Barbiers, ironmasters in the region of Châteaubriant and Nantes merchants Built in 1773, the castle is of the purest neoclassical style. This castle is a typical 18C madness.

Located to the north-west of the town, on the slopes overlooking the Loire, the Château de la Hillière is a neoclassical-style castle. The origins of La Hillière are confused. Only the converted vestiges of the old stately homes built around the 14th century remain. During the Revolution, the Hillière, as well as all its furniture, land and farms, were sold as national property. the estate has been occupied since 1952 by the community of the brothers of Saint-Gabriel. In an 8 hectare park surrounded by landscaped gardens, stands the castle

The Castle of Thouaré. The origins of the castle, probably built on the site of a Gallo-Roman villa, date back to the 10C. The castle had a great influence in local life until the Revolution. He belonged to different families. The most famous owner was Anne Descartes, half-sister of the famous philosopher the domain was bought in 1882 by the family of Vienne who still own it. The east facade of the castle presents a style combining Renaissance elements, such as the dome lantern-tower, and others from the Middle Ages, such as the battlements, or the double-mullioned window dating from the second half of the 19C; of tufa and stone, it is framed by a full curve, on which appear the coats of arms of the families of Vienne and Boucher’s Argis, owners of the estate.

The main reason I come here is for my house wines at Vignobles Marchais (more soon) but posts on it already in my blog. The vineyards of Nantes Webpage: vineyards of Nantes on Thouare sur Loire

Official Vignobles Marchais webpage: Vignobles Marchais wines

The city of Thouare sur Loire in French : City of Thouare sur Loire

There you go folks , another wonderful area of my belle France and this one includes wines of the muscadet appellation and more, we love it. We load up and are really good at decent prices. The town is quant laid back country town of the real France, this is what Hemingway forgot to tell you and I am trying my best! Hope you enjoy Thouaré sur Loire.

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

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