Archive for August, 2020

August 27, 2020

Vannes: Church Saint Patern!

Well back to my playground and the city I work for the last 9 years! I have of course several posts on its wonderful history architecture and beautiful monuments. However, the oldest Church in town deserves more. Even if my bad luck each time by it is closed! I will describe it anyway as I have the history book of Vannes and this church.

Sure done posts but this is new text and photos and I will like to tell you a bit more of a wonderful neighborhood we love and the Church of Saint Patern of Vannes. Bien sûr in the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne!

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The Church Saint-Patern , located in the district of the same name, is dedicated to Saint Patern, the first bishop of Vannes in the 5C. The church is located at the corner of the rue de la Fontaine and the rue Saint-Patern. It replaces an old 10C church which housed the relics of Saint Patern, first bishop of the bishopric of Vannes and one of the seven founding saints of Bretagne/Brittany. The Latin cross church was replaced in the 11C by a Romanesque church which saw its tower collapse in 1721 and the rest of the church 5 years later. The current church was built from 1727 to 1772 (the nave) and 1826 (the tower). The stained glass windows in the choir from 1737 were replaced in 1882 and then in 1918. The stained glass window on the north door, “Christ surrounded by eight children”, is from 1923.

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You can admire 6 altarpieces, including the altarpiece of the Sainte-Parenté (north transept) and that of Saint-Isidore (south transept) which date from the 18C. The altarpiece of the Resurrection of Christ, at the back of the choir, enlarged in 1925, dates from 1744. The pulpit is from 1813. The last restoration of 2006 and 2007 consolidated the church, brought stalls from the 17C, and enhanced the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague.

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The Church of Saint Patern becomes in the Middle Ages a stage of the Tro-Breiz (tour of Brittany), or pilgrimage to the seven founding saints of Brittany. The church, ruined by two successive storms causing the collapse of the bell tower located at the crossing of the transept, was rebuilt in 1727. Between 1769 and 1777, the nave was extended by two additional spans and the construction of the bell tower planned on two floors. The latter was completed in 1825-1826. It is a church with a blind central aisle and side aisles that open onto non-communicating chapels. In the shape of a Latin cross and with a flat apse, a two-sided roof increased to the west by the bell tower caps the whole. To the east, the church is extended by a two-story central sacristy.

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The restoration of the Church of Saint Patern between 2006 and 2008 restored the church to its 18-19C volumes by removing the untimely additions from the beginning of the 20C. The interest of the church rests not only on its stylistic homogeneity found thanks to its restoration but also on its severe style known as “style of the engineers”, noticeable in particular at the level of the openings and the rarity of the decoration.  Inside the church, the restored altarpieces, paintings and sculptures as well as the stained glass windows give the whole a character of elegant purity.

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We know how, tired of the contradictions he encountered, Saint Patern abandoned his diocese and retired to the interior of Gaul or to the Franks, where he died and was buried, around the year 480, and how also, by a great and long drought, the sky itself took charge of recalling it later to the memories of Vannes. Recognizing in this scourge a punishment inflicted on their ingratitude, they went to his tomb, not only to make amends and ask for rain through his intercession, but also with the pious purpose of transporting his body to his Episcopal city. They were able to open the tomb; but the removal of the coffin resisted all their efforts, when the rich owner, who was part of the pilgrimage, publicly promised to donate his land and to build there at his expense a chapel for the burial of the Saint. Immediately, the body could be removed and the rain was not long in falling. Hence; the religious custom, which still exists, of asking for rain through the intersection of Saint Patern. The chapel was built and housed the glorious tomb until the end of the 9C or the beginning of the 10C, when Daoc, abbot of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys, transported the body of the holy bishop, with those of Saint Gildas and of Saint Patrice, in Bourg-Déols, in the Berri, and where, like the other religious monuments. The new building was much superior to the first in its size and architectural character. Raised to the rank of parish church it was surrounded by a cloister which did not collapse until the last years of the 14C, and received, until the middle of the 15C, the visits of the many pilgrims of Tro-Breiz.

In 1727, in order to note its state of ruin and the need to raze it and replace it with a new construction. It appears that these reconstructions had absorbed more than the resources available at the time; because the church was not entirely finished, and it is necessary to cross many years and arrive at 1769 so that it is question of completing the nave and of building a tower, no longer on the transept, like the old one, but at the bottom of the nave. The first stone of this new tower was laid in 1770, at the bottom of the old nave. The works were carried out for 1775 the tower which was not completed until 1826. Among the objects forming the treasure of this church, the archives mention, in 1662 and 1793, a silver chief of Saint Patern and containing some pieces of his relics. There were also, in their custodies, two silver images of Saint Patern and of Saint Mary Magdalene, given, at the end of the 16C.

The official parish of Saint Paternhttp://www.stpatern-vannes.fr/

The city of Vannes on the Church Saint Paternhttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/eglise-saint-patern-en-detail/

And there you go , I feel now given you the whole story on this wonderful old Church of Saint Patern. Which of course ,I will be back lots of things to see inside. Hope you enjoy the architectural and historical presentation that I like as well.

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

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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.

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.

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!!!

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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.

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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August 25, 2020

Saint Malo: Ramparts II !!

This is huge and wonderful ramparts and a must to visit and climb over to see the city and the sea as well as islands before you. Its the first thing we do upon arriving to Saint Malo, well sometimes we eat first but the ramparts are a must right away!

In continuation of part I , let me continue the walks on and by the ramparts of Saint Malo!!!

The tour Bidouane tower is with its original horseshoe shape characteristic of its time. From the upper platform, discover one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the ramparts: in front of you, admire the coast from Pointe de la Varde to Cap Fréhel and behind you, discover the city dominated by the spire of Saint-Vincent Cathedral .

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A few meters away, you will pass over the Porte des Champs-Vauverts which gives access to the Bon-Secours beach but above all to the Grand Bé. Depending on the tides, the peninsula becomes inaccessible, leaving Châteaubriand (who is buried there) to its torments (see post).

Continue your walk on the ramparts to arrive at the Porte des Bés, pierced in 1884 in the Tour Notre-Dame. This is where the Saint-Malo people took the steam shuttles to reach the Rance. When you are in perfect alignment with the Bon-Secours sea swimming pool, you pass without knowing it over the Poterne Jean de Chatillon, pierced in 1757, condemned in 1871 then reopened after the war.

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In 1871, the Porte Saint-Pierre gate replaced the Bon-Secours postern, which had become too narrow. On one of the facades adjoining the ramparts, you will notice the restaurant “Les Chien du Guet”, a reference to the mastiffs that were released every evening around Saint-Malo to prevent any intrusion. In 1684, their niches were moved under the Bastion de la Hollande. Continue on your way to the Bastion of Holland. You will meet Jacques Cartier, a great explorer from Saint-Malo made famous by the discovery of Canada.

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Before reaching the Bastion Saint-Philippe, whose name is a tribute to Philip II of Orleans, Regent of France, you will pass over the Poterne d’Estrées which gives access to the pier shore. Take a moment to admire the scenery. In front of you, you will see the city of Dinard.

The Bastion de la Hollande; was built in 1674 after a collapse of the land on a place called Moulins Collins and a windmill from the middle ages demolished. It was call Hollande because it was done during the war against the Dutch.   It had cannons put there by the Count of Toulouse who was the governor of Bretagne at the time. There was a ammunition depot guarded by 24 mastiffs dogs that were led out for walks once the bells of the Naguette tower had sounded. There were call back by the horns. These dogs not well fed could attack people and they did like in 1770 killing the of a naval officer returning late from visiting his girlfriend.   The town decided to get rid of the dogs and the naguette bells were put in the cathedral where they now sound each evening at 22h (10 pm).

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The Porte de Dinan, formerly the Porte de la Marine, this access was also called the Bishop’s Door, because the men of the Church had to enter through this door on their first visit to the city. Continue a few more meters to arrive at Bastion Saint-Louis, so named when it was built in honor of Louis XIV. On the ground floor of this bastion is a shed which, during the French revolution housed the guillotine. Today, the statue of the famous corsair Duguay-Trouin proudly stands in the center of this stronghold. Last stop to conclude our walk, the Porte Saint-Louis, which was opened in 1874 to make access to the Intra-Muros easier for passengers on ships coming from England.

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

This is wonderful and one of the best if not the best preserve ramparts along the sea of France and maybe Europe. Saint Malo is unique and a great place to hang out indeed up on the ramparts! Hope you enjoy it as we did

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

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August 25, 2020

Saint Malo: Ramparts I!!

And here I am again trying to get used to this new wordpress editor which is to be dump! I am back from Saint Malo one of my favorite cities in my lovely Bretagne. They are of course in Ille et Vilaine dept 35. We have been here before but this is new text and new photos. Hope you enjoy it.

We come by the Porte Saint Vincent one of the gates to the intra muros or enclosed city and we love it. Even coming by car and going around the roundabout is wonderful to see it. Let me tell you a bit on it ok

The Porte Saint-Thomas, the first of the name, because there will be two others. It opens between two towers, the old dungeon, and the square tower; A second Porte Saint-Thomas is opened in the northern rampart, in front of the tower Quic-en-Groigne, allowing to leave the city. The second gate St. Thomas is destroyed with the old rampart and rebuilt in the new between 1737 and 1742. It is the third gate St. Thomas, which overlooks the cale and the Evantail beach  it still retains the old elements of the counterweight of its door. The Grand Porte ( big door), also called: the Sea Gate, because originally, the boats came to moor there. It consists of two towers with a firing platform with machicolations to quadruple heights. It’s the oldest door.

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The Grand’Porte is, along with the Porte Saint-Thomas, the oldest in Saint-Malo. For several centuries, it was the main entrance to the port. In 1552, two towers on each side came to strengthen it. Above the entrance, you can admire Notre-Dame de la Grand’Porte, a statue of the Virgin and Child.

Probably dating from the 15C, sailors have found this marble statue floating in the water. Also nicknamed “Our Lady of Miracles”, legend has it that in 1661, she stood up to the flames that were ravaging the city and stopped the fire. During the French revolution, the statue will be beheaded. Currently, it is a copy that adorns the Grand’Porte de Saint-Malo. The original, meanwhile, was installed in the Cathedral of Saint-Malo after a recent restoration.

By taking the rue Jacques Cartier, famous for its many restaurants, you arrive in front of the Porte Saint-Vincent, the second stop on our walk.   It was in 1709 that the Saint-Vincent district was built out of the rock. The door, built in the same period, takes the name of the deacon martyred in Spain in the 6C.

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Very quickly, this gate becomes the main entrance to the Intra-Muros and will be split in 1890. If you are curious, leave the old town and look up. Two shields appear on the front of the door: on the left, a portcullis surmounted by the ermine of the Dukes of Brittany which represents the coat of arms of the city and on the right the ermines surmounted by a crown symbolizing the Duchy of Brittany.

Upon re-entering the interior of the Intra-Muros, you will face Rue Saint-Vincent, the main artery of the old town. Head on your right towards the Hôtel Châteaubriand. On your right, you can see the entrance to the Château de Saint-Malo, built in 1424 by the Dukes of Brittany. It now houses the Town Hall of Saint-Malo as well as the City Museum (in renovation opens in 2022).

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After leaving the Hôtel Châteaubriand on your left, you will arrive at the foot of the Porte Saint-Thomas, built in 1737. Although it now gives access to the Plage de l’Eventail and the Fort National, it was previously called the porte de Sillon because it opened directly onto the strip of sand connecting Saint-Malo to the land. During the tides, the rising waters, the local Malouins were entrenched within the city.

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 hope you enjoy the ride with beautiful views of the city, the sea and the ramparts of Saint Malo. Awesome!! A nice youtube video to set the tone me think

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

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August 25, 2020

Saint Malo and its streets!!!

Ok there is sometimes the course of action to write about some minor point in a town or a great monument. We forget the main thing that takes us there ,the architecture, the history, and the ambiance of the place. Cities are all made of the three and without it there is no soul me think. I did not took photos of all the streets but you get an idea.

I always make a point to walk the cities and towns I visit, even if it takes me a couple trips. You get the idea, go walk and see it all before your eyes. This is about the streets of Saint Malo, in the dept 35 Ille et Vilaine in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France.

The rue Porcon de la Barbinais between place de la croix du fief et place du Pilori bears the name of a captain from Saint Malo made prisioner by the king of Morocco and sent back to king Louis XIV to negotiate the freeing of the Moroccans slaves. On a side apse of Saint Vincent Cathedral it connects to the port via the Grand Rue. Most of the houses here were destroyed during bombings of WWII with a new spiral for the Cathedral built in 1971.

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The Rue Thévenard, bears the name of an admiral Antoine-Jean-Marie Thévenard in the French navy who lived in Saint Malo and is buried in the Panthéon of Paris. The houses here were rebuilt after WWII by 1947. There are arches here built featuring the bishop of St Malo with a whale and a virgin.

The Rue Saint Sauveur; takes its name from the old church gone thru several renovations. The first church was built in the 17C to serve the hospital that was beginning to fall in ruins from 1734. It was replaced by the current church from 1738-1743. The old church was burned down in 1944 and now used as a cultural venue as a chapel. The old hospital was never rebuilt and now in its place there are housings.

The rue d’Asfeld, marked the boundary of the second and third town expansion was named after Claude Bidal who was the Marquis d’Asfeld and inspector general of France’s fortifications. At No 5 called Hôtel d’Asfeld was build from 1724 to 1730 for François Auguste Magon de LaLande one of the directos of Saint Malo’s East Indies Company (see post). It’s the only house with a basement level to be used as storage. At no 1 the house was built with Mexican plasters earned from seafaring along the Pacific ocean which were done for one of the directors of the East Indies Company. At No 7 lived his last years Joseph Trublet de Nermoins or father Trublet member of the Académie Française. At no 10 is the former Hôtel Lemoine which was used as a bank early in the 20C with the coat of arms of Saint Malo and Saint Servan. At No 12 there is an old house from the 17C.

The Rue Saint-Vincent serves the neighborhood built from 1708 to 1710. In 1792, it was named rue des Sans-Culottes. It ended roughly at the place where the Croix du Fief stood , there is a fountain and statue from 1819. At this street there was the Hotel known as Hotel La Mennais. Built from 1712 to 1713. It has undergone numerous transformations; its wall fence with balusters was demolished in 1896; its large gate was rebuilt at the castle of Beauregard, in the Grève de Chasles, in Saint-Servan. There is my parking here Parking Saint-Malo Quai Saint-Vincent P7 – EFFIA. There are also many shops there which are open every day of the week even Sunday!. In addition to traditional souvenir shops or typical Breton clothing stores. The street is a shopper’s paradise!!!

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The Rue de Dinan runs from Place du Marché aux Légumes to Porte de Dinan. Originally, the northern part of this street was called rue de la Vicairerie because of the presbytery which was in this part, before 1790. From the Place Brevet of uncertain origin and up to the rue d’Estrées, it bore between this street and the rue de Dinan, the name of rue de Coëtquen, because of the governor of the city in 1715. Under the French revolution it was called rue de l’Egalité and the other two rue de l’Abondance. They were brought together in 1739 under the name of rue de Dinan.

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The Rue Jacques Cartier, you will inevitably find your happiness there! Already, we really like the special atmosphere of the place, with all these little restaurants hanging on the ramparts. Jacques Cartier was a navigator, French explorer and writer through his travelogues. Born in 1491 in Saint-Malo, he died there on September 1, 1557. Mandated by the King of France François I, he approached the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534 and explored the surrounding territory he called Canada (from the Iroquois kanata, village). Author of maps, Cartier, through his “Relations”, is the first European to describe and name these waters, their shores and their inhabitants. He made a second trip in 1535-1536 and a third in 1541-1542.

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This Place Chateaubriand square is located just behind the Saint-Vincent gate, the main entrance to Saint Malo intra muros. It brings together many hotels and restaurants including the famous White hotel at number 2, in which Chateaubriand lived from 3 to 8 years. The Malouin writer and his family were dislodged by a fire in 1776 and then returned to settle in the birthplace of François-René, the Hôtel de la Gicquelais located at number 3 rue Chateaubriand. The Historical Monuments assoc have since rebuilt the facade of the White Hotel dating from the 18C. On this square are also the Château de Saint-Malo, the Tour Quic-en-Groigne and the History Museum of the city (until dislodge on a new site and museum by 2022).

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At no 14, Rue Broussais there is a superb mansion, with large windows separated by pilasters, with capitals of a different order ,Ionic, composite and Corinthian, also known under the name of Hôtel de la Marzellière or Maison du Dais d ‘Money.

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The name of the place des Fréres Lamennais was given in 1968 to the square which previously bore the names of Place Duguay-Trouin and Place de la Grande Commune or de la Réunion. J. –M. Robert de La Mennais was the founder of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel and of the Dames de la Providence of Saint-Brieuc, who had before 1944 a boarding school located on the east side of this square. Brother Robert de La Mennais, who called himself Lamennais, was a reforming philosopher condemned by the Pope because of his very visionary ideas which ended up being recognized.

This square is located on the site of the main garden of the former bishopric, suppressed in 1790. Its buildings, extending from the site of the current Hôtel des Finances to the cathedral, housed the city/town hall, the sub-prefecture and the courts. The south side of the square has retained its old houses, including the rear facades of No. 5 rue du Boyer which bears the vintage of 1714. The post office, dated 1828 and located on the west side of the square The east side of the square is bordered by a reconstructed islet which also gave the plans for what was originally to be the city/town hall, north of the square which finally became the Treasury building. In 1999, during the construction of an underground car park, the remains of a Neolithic site were unearthed in the basement of the square.

Now what you see is all new! The Place des Fréres Lamennais. The main square of Intra-Muros where children’s games sit alongside several public benches in the middle of the trees. Of the 19 trees on this square only 3 were cut, those which were located just in front of the old treasury hotel. This will allow this building to be connected again with the square, as it always has been in the past. The children playground was moved to the center of the square to take advantage of the sun, and the former treasury center was transformed into a 4-star hotel. The Le Grand Bé with 62 rooms on 4 levels with restaurant (100 indoor and 35 outdoor seats), swimming pool in the basement and SPA, outdoor terrace and seminar room. Exactly at 1 Place des Frères F and Jm Lamennais.

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The tourist office of Saint Malo in English: https://www.saint-malo-tourisme.co.uk/

The city of Saint Malo tourist office at Esplanade Saint Vincent: https://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/tourisme/

And there you go , hope you take the bite and do walk the Intra Muros or enclosed city of Saint Malo. Lovely place, full of wonderful architecture and history and good chow! See you soon!

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

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August 24, 2020

Saint Malo and its beaches!

Ok so let me start by saying that this is north Bretagne in an area most folks do not know or realise the beaches are gorgeous and name so in many international publications. Of course, Summers are short and that is the big difference. Otherwise, as I said many times ,they can compete with any same time. And I grew in beaches and lived very near 150 meters as a young adult.

Oh yes let me tell you about the beaches of Saint Malo! There are about 16 beaches here but for us on the best and revisit this time is the Grand plage or plage du Sillon , 3 km long, extends from the old town intra muros to the pointe de Rochebonne.

Let me split them in two sections shall we! The beaches of Saint-Malo Intra-Muros.

The plage de l’Eventail beach is located below the walls of Saint-Malo. On the Plage de l’Eventail is the Fort National, which can be visited at low tide. But it’s at high tide that it’s most impressive. In 6 hours, the beach completely disappears and gives way to an immensity of water, still just as magical.

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The plage de Bon Secours beach is particularly accessible by the ramparts that border intra muros. Bon Secours can be recognized by its seawater swimming pool. And yes, when the sea recedes, there is this swimming pool which appears by retaining part of the tide. This is good for lazy people who don’t want to walk too far to go for a swim. And teens love to do somersaults from the diving board! For walkers, it is also by Bon Secours that one can access the Grand Bé where the Tomb of Chateaubriand is located. And in addition, there is a great view of Dinard. In summer, during the La Route du Rock festival, there are often events: it sets the mood!

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The Plage du Môle is the smallest beach of Saint-Malo Intra-Muros . The last beach of Saint-Malo Intra-Muros is accessible only through a small door. And honestly, to find it, you either have to know that the entrance to the beach is there or stumble upon it by chance. Môle beach is completely enclosed. It is not very tall but the weather is generally very good because it is well protected. At low tide, there is a sandbank that appears and you can therefore go very far out to sea with water only up to your knees. If the day is windy, this is definitely the beach you should go for. It is the most protected of the 3 beaches of Intra-Muros.

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The beaches of Saint-Malo (outside the city walls or intra muros).

The largest beach in Saint-Malo is the Plage du Sillon beach begins along Intra-Muros, where it bears the name Plage de l’Eventail. It is about 3 km long. This beach also links Intra-Muros and Paramé, two districts of Saint-Malo. During high tides, the Sillon beach, also sometimes called the Grande Plage, disappears entirely under the water and it is quite impressive to see!

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The end of the beach that touches the ramparts is called the L’Eventail, but if you walk along this long stretch of sand, it becomes the Sillon, the Hoguette or the Minihic. But the real feature of this beach is the rows of breakwaters that are found there. These long wooden sticks are driven into the sand along the dike to break the waves during high tides. These piles have been around since the 19C and do their job pretty well! You can walk or cycle there, see what you prefer!

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The other two are last choices but worth mentioning here for general info.me think.

The Plage de la Hoguette is a continuation of the Plage du Sillon. This section of beach is located right in front of the Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo, the thalassotherapy center. There is also a nautical base and a sand yachting school. When the weather is windy, there are also a lot of kite surfers facing the waves.

The plage de Rochebonne beach is the one that ends the Grande Plage which began at the L’Eventail. It is located in the Paramé district. It is particularly popular with athletes because beach volleyball or beach soccer games are very often organized there. If you want the most unobstructed view of the entire sea wall, Rochebonne beach is the place to be.

Most of the above information comes not only by our visits but also from resident friends of Saint Malo. Hope you enjoy the Summers in Saint Malo!

The tourist office of Saint Malo on its beaches: https://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/decouvrir/l-eau/la-mer/les-plages

My favorite beach webpage plages tv on the beaches of Saint Malohttps://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/saint-malo-35400

And there you go folks a wonderful time on the beach at Saint Malo, dept 35 of Ille et Vilaine, in my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France. Enjoy the water!

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

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August 24, 2020

Saint Malo, and its islands!!!

And there I go still moving along in wonderful Saint Malo. A nice town and one of our favorites on a long list! This is Bretagne at its best and we love it.

I need to tell you about the islands and forts found just at eyes view from the ramparts and some you can even walk to them at low tide! This is seafaring Saint Malo!

In its bay, which was part of the continental relief, sometimes turned into points in the water such as Cézembre Island, Conche Island, Grand Bé and Petit Bé Islands.  Of these four islands, Cézembre is the only one accessible by boat where boarding is at St Malo, at the Cale de Dinan or at Dinard. The crossing takes 10 to 15 minutes. The other three islands are accessible on foot or by ferry boat.

The island of Grand-Bé. This uninhabited island is located at the foot of the ramparts of Saint-Malo. You can see the tomb of the writer Chateaubriand, forerunner of French Romanticism, born in Saint-Malo. You will access it at low tide only. So check the tide times before you venture out on the island! At low tide, a 25-minute walk will be enough to reach the top of the island with a superb panorama of the Emerald Coast. It is on this wide island that the tomb of Chateaubriand is located. From Bon-Secours beach, Grand-Bé is known to travelers and literature enthusiasts, for being Chateaubriand’s last home. The name of Gran bé has several possible etymologies, the most common would be the Grand Bey, coming from Celtic and meaning tomb or Bé, in Breton.

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The island of Petit Bé was fortified in 1693 by Vauban, this private island is accessible on foot or by ferry boat from Grand Bé. A guided boat tour will allow you to discover the island and the fortifications of St Malo bay in the distance.  The Petit Bé is a fortified castle signed Vauban on an islet, for a few years it has been renovated to offer tours of this monument.

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The island of Cézembre ; once the tip of a peninsula, this island was home to Celtic monks from Wales and Eire and then served, during the time of the corsairs, as a depot for suspicious goods and was also a place of quarantine. In 1942, the Nazis fortified it and 20,000 bombs were dropped to dislodge them. A site now owned by the State, the island has only been partially cleared. The island’s beach is one of the few beaches in Brittany that is south-facing and accessible. Legend has it that it was in Cézembre that Maclou (Malo), one of the seven founders of Brittany, landed from Wales after seven years of sailing. In Celtic Cézembre means: Highest height.

The last island off the coast of Rochebonne beach and Varde Point is La Conchée, another military fort by architect Vauban. The owner has been renovating for several years to restore this marvel, which was used to protect Saint-Malo. Inaccessible all year round except for Heritage Day. Located off Saint-Malo, facing the  Grande Plage du Sillon, La Conchée is a military fort, built on a rocky islet rising 32 meters above the sea. It was built at the instigation of the king Louis XIV, who commissioned the military architect Vauban to inspect the defenses of the maritime facades of the Kingdom in 1689. From 1690, Vauban therefore commissioned the engineer Siméon de Garengeau to build several fortresses in Saint-Malo, with the aim of counter attacks from the English ships. Vauban had the audacity to build Fort de la Conchée on a rock head, which will remain one of his finest achievements. This building is now private property. You can admire this monument from the beach or during a sea trip. A webpage for the island fort of La Conchéehttp://www.fortdelaconchee.org/

The tourist office of Saint Malo on its islands: https://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/decouvrir/la-nature/la-cote-d-emeraude-et-ses-iles

And there you go folks, a lovely setting indeed , and gorgeous views from the ramparts of Saint Malo. The sand is soft nice great walk on sands reminds me always of my growing up years. A beautiful setting for two or family trips like us. Hope you enjoy the islands off Saint Malo!

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

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August 24, 2020

Saint Malo and the sea!!!

And continue in magical Saint Malo, like there is no ending! I like to go into the sea, and the corsair city is tops. Just a bit of brag, my father was in the fishing cooperatives and we lived for a while by the sea on a house backyard was the Gulf of Mexico! ,while growing up as a child, the sea was our life. Time change indeed.

In Saint Malo, you are at sea even on land… everything here has a seafarers history and of course ,the corsairs privateers of the king! City is all the sea really.

Let me tell you a bit about the boats I saw and climb on one in Sea bound Saint Malo!

The 3-masted Etoile du Roy is a replica of a 1745 Corsair frigate (and a beauty). This 310-ton vessel was armed with 20 guns and accommodated 236 crew on board. The third largest traditional French ship, Etoile du Roy is today an extraordinary vessel capable of carrying 120 people at sea. It is also an extraordinary reception venue. On board, they organize cocktails, weddings, dinners, dance evenings, product launches, meetings, etc. Etoile du Roy is based in Saint-Malo and is the flagship of the Etoile Marine Cruises fleet.

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With its majestic size, its 790 m2 of sails, its richly decorated transom, its Ottoman figurehead, the Etoile du Roy takes you directly to the 18C. You only need to cross the catwalk to travel through history. Today the ship is visited peacefully. Even if the 20 cannons are still in place! In this veritable floating museum, the spirit of the great royal races awaits you behind each mast, each trunk stowed in the hold. Up to 240 crew were busy on deck and in the shrouds. Want to go further ? Discover life aboard this boat, as in the days of the corsairs. Embark for Roscoff or Morlaix and spend a night in a hammock. In the morning, follow the dream by seeing the sun play in the sails. Magical indeed, recommended!

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The official Etoile Marine on the Etoile du Royhttps://www.etoile-marine.com/notre-flotte/etoile-du-roy/

The tourist office of Saint Malo on the Etoile du Royhttps://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/a-voir-a-faire/culture-et-patrimoine/musees/la-fregate-corsaire-l-etoile-du-roy-1565619

Another dandy from the same fleet (but never try it, this is from their web)  is the Etoile Molène built in 1954 in Camaret-sur-Mer (see post). It worked alternately in tuna fishing and trawling in Ireland.  It has been part of the Etoile Marine Croisières fleet for nearly 25 years. The elegance of its sails makes it one of the most famous traditional boats in France.

The Etoile Molène demonstrates originality at all levels. First, there are its elegant and racy lines. Then her golden yellow sail which marks her rigging. And the speed that this very canvas boat can achieve. Its abilities even prompted Bob Escoffier to join this dundee in the Route du Rhum 1994! But you don’t have to be a seasoned navigator to get on board. All passengers can enjoy its power and the comfort of its deck saloon. A very nice terrace for an aperitif!  The boss, takes the opportunity to talk about the history of the sailboat. Thanks to him and the crew, conviviality reigns during maneuvers or at anchor. Cruises and outings take place under a good Star… Molène!

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The official Etoile Marine Croisiéres on the Etoile Molénehttps://www.etoile-marine.com/notre-flotte/etoile-molene/

We had the great opportunity to see an old tuna factory boat before going to retirement! The Grande Hermine will be leaving for its last campaign. The factory vessel of Compagnie des pêches de Saint-Malo ( Saint-Malo Fisheries Company) will leave for a final campaign last  January 25, 2018. Afterwards, it will be replaced by a new, more modern boat. Then it will be his retirement. Built in a shipyard and named in 1985, the Saint-Malo vessel is the emblem of deep-sea fishing. Before the quotas ended in 1993, he took sailors on board to go fishing for cod in Newfoundland. When the bans closed, they recovered the quotas from Norway. However, it is still looking for a buyer…

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Another interesting fishing vessel we saw was the Joseph Koty II. From the same group and an active fishing vessel still. Indeed, the surimi are from Joseph Roty II fishing. More on the group and the boats here: https://www.compagniedespeches.com/nos-navires-de-peche/

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In all , there will always be fish and seafood here, the sea is all Saint Malo. If you love the sea and fishing like me, than you are in heavens here , the real thing deep fishing in big vessel boats like my father used to do! Hope you enjoy as we did.

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

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August 23, 2020

Saint Malo, the markets!!!

And continuing with my saga of beautiful Saint Malo in the Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my beloved Bretagne and in my belle France. Again, there is so much to see in the city of Corsairs! We love it!!!

Let met tell you now a bit on the markets!!! yes Saint Malo has a wonderful food market and a fish market.

The Halle au Blé is the large market hall of Saint-Malo, like the Halle aux Poissons, on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Saint-Malo residents and tourists will find all the usual market shops there. Outside of Tuesdays and Fridays, it hosts temporary exhibitions.

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The Halle au Blé is located at 10 rue des Cordiers, built in 1822, was intended for meat, butter and poultry. In 1892, it was enlarged with a metal structure. The side parts with their granite arcades recall the architecture of the previous hall..

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Nowadays, twice a week, on each Tuesday from June 2, 2020 until December 29, 2020 from 8h30 to 13h and on each Friday from June 5, 2020 until December 25, 2020 from 8h30 to 13h..There you will find butcher’s, cheese, fruit and vegetable, fish and even florist stands. This hall also hosts exhibitions. It is a small neighborhood market, quiet and convenient for residents and tourists.

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A bit of old history on this area that I like is

The rue de Toussaints, mentioned in 1455, led to the Church of the Toussaints (all Saints) now the location of the halle aux blé, from the bridge which spanned the river. It continued to the south, under the name of rue de la Porte-Toussaint, following a partially preserved route in the southern part of rue de Nemours, and will form part of the urban crossing from the Bordeaux-Saint-Malo road. The framework of the operation of urban renewal of the Jules-Simon block. In this islet, the houses depended on the former convent occupied, between 1614 and 1631, by the Grandes Ursulines and, between 1676 and 1758, by the Dames de la Retraite, who had a chapel built there in 1682. The buildings, acquired by the City Council of Saint Malo, were sold between 1768 and 1770.

Saint-Malo had another so-called Halle aux Poissons or fish market, octagonal in shape, with cast iron pillars. It was destroyed during the bombardments of the city in 1944 (WWII). The one we see dates from 1954 and replaced by this new concrete and slate hall.

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I am still interested in architecture and this one has wooden frames, very beautiful with oak battens, shingle supports and chestnut shingles held by copper nails, stylized carved wood fish all around the frame. It is superb. The ridge is lead. The frame, visible from the inside, is beautifully crafted and features carved elements in the shape of stylized fish. It evokes a Breton chapel. The roof , the battens are in oak, the shingle supports are in chesnut as well as the shingles all redone in 2015. All around the building, the beams surmounting the stalls are engraved with an inscription in the form of a humorous quatrain: “The sea carries us. The tide carries us away. The fisherman takes us away. This is where he brings me.”

The tourist office of Saint Malo on the markets: https://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/a-voir-a-faire/les-marches/marche-intra-muros-1580537

The city of Saint Malo on the markets: https://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/marches/

Hope you enjoy it as we do all over France, the markets are it!! Saint Malo have a nice historical markets that are buzzing with locals and visitors alike. Do come in to visit them.

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

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