Archive for August 17th, 2020

August 17, 2020

Lisieux: Halle Saint Jacques!

So let me tell you about a curiosity that we saw while touring awesome Lisieux, in the Calvados dept 14 of Normandie in my belle France! There is always something to see around here!!! See next posts!

This could a post for a monument pictures but is not. It sounds like a market as it is call a Halle but is not; well it actually was a former church Saint Jacques or St James! Let Me tell you a bit about it ok

The Church Saint Jacques was built from 1496 to 1540 in a flamboyant Gothic style. The choir was completed in 1501, while the last stone of the nave was laid in 1540 – the date of the dedication of the church.


The oriented church is built according to an elongated plan ending in a rectangular apse such as the end of the church at the back of the choir. It is flanked by a porch tower at the level of the western facade and has the particularity of not having a transept . It thus does not respond to the traditional plan of Latin cross churches. The construction being built on a slope, the choir is at ground level, while the facade is raised on a porch subdivided into several flights, which contributes to the embellishment of the large portal. The nave is made up of a central aisle flanked by side aisles.

Formerly, the interior decor consisted of stained glass windows and painted vaults. The ornaments of the columns or pillars were also loaded with inscriptions, medallions and painted statues. All the old stained-glass windows in the choir dated from 1501. The first window of the nave was adorned with a splendid Renaissance stained-glass window with a scene from the Apocalypse. The stained-glass window in the Chapel of Charity represented a miracle of Saint James.The six windows of the bedside were, in the 19C, adorned with stained glass windows. All this rich heritage was blown away during the 1944 bombings (WWII).

Badly damaged in WWII, the church has been restored as faithfully as possible. The church, which has not received worship since 1965, served as a storage location for the museum. The Victor-Hugo district ,wonder what will happen to the Saint-Jacques Church , closed to worship. Today it is a place of cultural events such as exhibitions, shows, etc; and it is now called Halle Saint-Jacques, located at 6 Rue Saint Jacques.

The city of Lisieux with its emblematic monuments including the Halle St JacquesCity of Lisieux on its emblematic monuments incl Halle St Jacques

So yes this impressive building once supposely a nice church, is now an exhibition hall  for events , arts festivals etc of the city of Lisieux. It is impressive indeed passing by. An anecdote for us passing by here maybe next time we can go inside for an event! Hope you enjoy the tip.

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


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August 17, 2020

Honfleur: Notre Dame de Grâce Chapel!!!

And voilà , all good things have a quick ending, my stay in my Honfleur special has ended. This again for those coming in new in dept 14 Calvados of the region of Normandie in my belle France.  We have come here since early days in France like 2003-2004, and always come back!

Let me tell you a bit more as again have already written posts on it, the wonderful Notre Dame de Grâce Chapel up hill in the town of Equemauville even if belongs to Honfleur.

Honfleur Notre Dame de Grâce Chapel front aug20

In a way  ,it is sad to say this the end of the trip as really I know it is not. I will be back every year until my end at sea here too as my Mom Gladys, and Wife Martine. My Dad Elio is on the waiting line as I.  Then ,hopefully my sons will follow us here. We lay at sea as we were born on an island and since traditions are strong we love it here. So let me tell you again a bit on the Notre Dame de Grâce Chapel.


On the Plateau de Grâce is one of the oldest shrines in the region surrounded by centuries-old trees. The Notre-Dame de Grâce Chapel built in 1600-1615 by the bourgeois and sailors of Honfleur replacing an old chapel that disappeared in a landslide of the cliff. This primitive chapel was founded before the year 1023 by Richard II Duke of Normandy, to fulfill a wish made during a storm in which he nearly perished. Since then, the cult of Our Lady of Grace has continued.


Marble plaques and paintings perpetuate the memory of illustrious figures who came to this chapel: Samuel De Champlain, Pierre Berthelot, Louis XIII, Bonaparte, Thérèse de Lisieux, etc. Notre-Dame de Grâce has exceptional ex-votos. All the faithful who come to meditate in the sanctuary are struck and surprised by the impressive number of plaques, models or inscriptions which testify to the general gratitude. All these ex-votos have a story. Their presence symbolizes the success of a wish, a recommendation, a prayer. Of course the protection of seafarers holds a privileged place. But it can also be a testimonial of gratitude following healings or the completion of a happy event.


Every year, in Pentecost is the traditional theater of the Fête des Marins during which it is possible to admire the picturesque and colorful procession of models of boats carried by the children from the Place Sainte-Catherine to the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Grâce. After a real procession out to sea blessed by the bishop of Honfleur when all the fishing and pleasure boats form a flotilla and in a small boat the ND is carried out.


Again, the Notre Dame de Grâce Chapel and the Plateau de Grâce, although located in the parish of Equemauville, have belonged to the city of Honfleur since the French revolution. The area is magical and already thinking of renting a gîte here for our next visit, already planned!

The tourist office of Honfleur on the côte de Grâce or plateau here: Tourist office of Honfleur on the plateau de Gràce and ND

The Catholic Parish of Notre Dame of the estuaire of HonfleurThe presbitary of Honfleur Notre Dame de Grace

This is a must visiting Honfleur. Folks from all over Europe comes here and many choose to do picnic around the chapel. You have a huge Cross of Christ with wonderful views of the estuaire of Honfleur all the way to Le Havre. One of my most cher moment in the city and we must come every year. Hope you enjoy it as we do. Notre Dame de Grâce!


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

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