Archive for August 26th, 2020

August 26, 2020

Vannes: Quartier Saint Patern!

And it seems to me, that I had concentrated the writings on the old town and ramparts of Vannes ,when the city is much older elsewhere! Well, as said, so much to write in my lovely Morbihan , beautiful Bretagne and wonderful Vannes things can be overlook for a while.

I will try to remedy that in this post on the neighborhood or quartier Saint Patern. A bit of the architecture and history I like.

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The territory of the Faubourg Saint-Patern is bounded by the Porte-Prison and the bottom of the current rue du Mené ,by the Administrative City and the cemetery of  Boismoreau, by the gardens of the Prefecture and by the Tête Noire or route de Rennes. The suburb of Saint-Patern, on the hill of Boismoreau, urbanized between the 1C and the 3C (forum and basilica, site excavated between 1988 and 1991), does not retain any townhouses dating from before the 15C!. The oldest buildings located rue Saint-Nicolas and place de Gaulle were replaced by buildings at the beginning of the 19c; the cloister built in the 17C by the construction of the Petit-Fers establishments around 1895. Under the rue Saint-Nicolas, heavily backfilled, the remains of two bridges spanning the stream as well as the base of some houses in the rue Saint-Nicolas.

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The natural environment is marked by the site’s escarpment on the hillside with the summit occupied by Place Cabello. From the inner city, the access to the suburb passes over the stream of the Bishop’s mill, which is channelled today. The Faubourg Saint-Patern forms an agglomerated fabric made up of islets of irregular shapes, crossed by a network of streets and alleys. The identified and selected houses are located within a perimeter positioned around the city walls. the most striking is the closure in the middle of the 18C of the rue de la Petite Garenne, a route of Roman origin, in favor of the current route of the rue du Maréchal Leclerc and the place du Général de Gaulle. In total, 21 blocks or part of blocks are identified, limited by 23 streets, alleys or squares. The houses are built in line with the streets while the rear facades open onto small courtyards of old gardens which housed secondary buildings: sheds and stables. There are a few houses with gardens set up in the middle of the plot in the block between rue Saint-Patern and rue du Four. Some pedestrian crossings built today, arranged between the houses to move easily between the streets are still detectable in several places, and this despite the successive land upheavals. Finally, some houses are distinguished by specific access or circulation, especially on the ground floor.

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As said ,the main sight to see here is the Church Saint Patern,(see post) a must and do keep trying to see the interior. However, there are other interestings buildings will briefly tell you about it here.

The Chapelle Sainte Catherine chapel renovated in 1848, also called Chapelle de la Congregation is next to the Church Saint-Patern . It is accessed by a staircase with several steps. On the facade a statue of the Virgin Mary, recalls that this chapel was formerly called ChapelleNotre-Dame . On the ledge, located below the small rose window, an attentive eye can discern an inscription in the Breton language “Congregation en dud Yaouank” which means “congregation of young people.” Today fitted out for parish needs, this small chapel is used for Mass on weekdays and evenings of prayer and adoration.

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The préfécture or regional government building at Rue Alain le Grand is for official events only as the administrative part is elsewhere in city center by Place de la République. Inaugurated in 1865, this prestigious building is built on the site of a former convent. A large park surrounds this U-shaped building. On the pediment, a bas relief shows two important figures in the history of Brittany: Nominoë and Alain Barbetorte, as well as the imperial eagle and the arrival of the railway at Vannes in 1862.

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The building of the old Petit-Fers establishments is an old industrial building built across from the Morbihan prefecture regional government building in Rue Alain le Grand. This building was built between 1894 and 1906 by the Petit family, who were metal traders. The building served as a warehouse until the 1970s. It was then partly redeveloped into a shopping mall known as “Les Arcades” before being transformed into several businesses. The Petit-Fers building was developed on two levels with a large volume reserved for the store and apartments located in the attic. It has a metal framework and a T-shaped plan. The rich decoration of the facade combines granite, limestone, tufa, brick, as well as cast iron columns and enamelled ceramic.

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And of course, walking, it is always nice to see visitors taking a ride in the Petit Train by rue du Four old Saint Patern neighborhood!! On a sunny afternoon!

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The tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the St Patern’s neighborhoodhttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/activites-vannes/randonnee-pedestre/balades-urbaines-vannes/le-quartier-saint-patern/

In all , always a pleasant walk in my capital city of Vannes. Hope you enjoy the walk as we did on a nice Sunday afternoon where was glad to find restos open in this quartier or neighborhood! Remember to stop by Saint Patern.

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

August 26, 2020

Saint Malo: ramparts III !!

Of course a couple of posts would not do credit to the wonderful ramparts of Saint Malo ,not even three. However, I am covering lot of territory and you can tell by the photos and text this is a huge area that needs to be visited, a must!

Let me finish the walks around the ramparts of Saint Malo with a chrono walk we enjoy a lot.

The ramparts of Saint-Malo were built in the 12C, well before the golden age of the King’s corsairs. After the great fire of 1661, the granite wall was completely rebuilt. It was enlarged in the 18C. The fortified enclosure of Saint-Malo (Intra Muros) today comprises eight gates, three posterns and three bastions. The ramparts, lined with machicolations and flanked by several towers. The high wall which surrounds the city of Saint-Malo forms a loop of about 2 km. You can go down and up where you want, from the various stairs located at each door.

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We agree that the best start is the walk by taking the Porte Saint-Thomas, located behind the Place Chateaubriand (where our hotel was). From this access, you will have a direct view of the large Sillon beach on your right, the Fort National opposite and on your left the islet of Grand Bé. The first part of the covered way will lead you to Fort à la Reine, where at its feet exploded the Infernal Machine, an English ship loaded with powder in order to destroy Saint-Malo and which ran aground on the rocks between the Fort à la Reine and the Tour Bidouane. Looking left, you will see the famous rue du Chat qui danse. A cat who according to history was the only victim of this infernal machine!

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Continuing on your way, you can climb the Tour Bidouane, a former powder magazine shaped like a horseshoe. This place offers you a panorama over the entire bay of Saint-Malo, it is from here that you will have the best view of the islands of Grand Bé and Petit Bé. By taking the ramparts again, they will lead you to the Bastion de la Hollande from which you can observe Bon Secours beach and the famous diving board of the seawater swimming pool.

The curtain connecting the Bastion de la Hollande to the Bastion Saint-Philippe overlooks the beach of Môle and the Môle des Noires, a 500-meter-long jetty that protects the outer harbor. Then to Bastion Saint-Louis by taking the south curtain, you can admire the houses of wealthy Saint-Malo shipowners or so-called corsairs houses, recognizable by their high granite facades. The famous Robert Surcouf lived in one of them, near the Porte de Dinan. Towards the outside of the ramparts, an interesting point of view on the town of Alet, the district of Saint-Servan and the port of Saint-Malo.

By continuing this walk towards the Grand ‘Porte, you will be able to see from the ramparts, the most remarkable of the corsairs’ houses, the Hôtel d’Asfeld, built for the amateur Magon de la Lande. And you will dominate, towards the outside of the ramparts, the Quai Saint-Louis and the Vauban basin. And so you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the port of Saint-Malo. The Grand ‘Porte is the oldest gateway to Saint-Malo, it is part of the medieval wall, at that time, it could be accessed by boat. From the rampart walk, perspective view of the Grand’rue and the bell tower of Saint-Vincent Cathedral.

You will end your walk by the Porte Saint-Vincent, now it is the main entrance to the Intra-Muros. This double door is decorated on the outside with the arms of Brittany and the city. From here, you can observe the Grand’rue, the rue Saint-Vincent and on the other side the Esplanade Saint-Vincent and the castle of Saint-Malo. . The medieval-looking Château de Saint-Malo was built between the 15C and 18C. Or you can complete the ramparts circuit by bypassing the castle via the Jardin des douves which opens directly onto the large Sillon beach.

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The tourist office of Saint Malo on the ramparts: https://www.saint-malo-tourisme.co.uk/explore/a-box-of-delights/the-ramparts-of-saint-malo

And there you go another wonderful walk on the gorgeous awesome ramparts of Saint Malo, again, a must to see! Hope you have enjoy the tour and do visit.

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

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