Archive for October 29th, 2020

October 29, 2020

Paris passes, needed?

This is one of earliest posts in my blog back in 2010, and its time for an update….They have become rather popular, don’t ask me why… I believe that if coming to see 3 monuments or more they are worth it. However,  i never see 3 monuments in a row so never use them. This is an informational post.

paris louvre musee from tuileries gardens mar13

Museums are wonderful exponents of life in Paris. It showcase the culture and way of life of its people and often of others interelations with France. It is one of the main attractions for visitors to Paris. First, there is the Paris Museum Pass

With the pass you can enter for free without waiting in line and as many times as you wish in more than 60 museums and monuments in the Paris region. You may have to go thru security lines on them but they go quickly and certainly more quicker than buying individual tickets for them.  The trick is to decide what museums to see and how many to see, this as in anything in travel needs planning ahead of time. It is a good idea to involved all members of a family in decision and the planning processus.

You have choices of 2, 4 or 6 days passes, with the prices correspondingly. You can purchase the pass at the museum and monuments included in the pass ; at the tourist office of the city of Paris, 25 rue des Pyramides   1éme, the tourist desks at the airports CDG ; Orly airport , and FNAC stores such as Champs-Elysées,Saint-Lazare, Ternes, and Forum Les Halles, as well at Disneyland Paris main entrance. Also, at Versailles at tourist office avenue de Paris.  Usually there are individual discounts for the under 18 and residents of the UE under 26 yrs old. There are free on the first Sunday of every month; see individual museum or monument for latest details

The Paris Museum Pass is a very practical tourist card that quickly pays for itself, allowing you to avoid queues and have unlimited access to more than 50 monuments and museums in Paris and its region. It should be remembered that only visits to the permanent collections are included with this pass. If you wish to access temporary exhibitions or guided tours, you will have to pay for the entrance separately.  Before you start using the Paris Museum Pass, you will need to write the date of the first visit on the back of the pass, along with your first and last name. I recommend that you make your first visit in the morning to make the most of the first day and get the most out of your pass. Please note that these are consecutive days. The Paris Museum Pass has another important advantage to take into account: this skip-the-line will save you from having to stand in lines , usually endless in Paris. 

The official Paris museum pass in English:

The Paris tourist office on the museum pass:

The city of Paris has join several other cities to issue a Paris Pass card offering unlimited access to more than 50 tourist attractions and museums in Paris, while avoiding the queues. This pass will also allow you to travel stress-free thanks to unlimited access to public transport included in zones 1 to 3. This card is aimed at a very specific audience: if the purpose of your trip is to go shopping on the Champs-Elysées or to take your children to Disneyland, this pass will obviously not be profitable. On the other hand, if you want to explore Paris and discover every nook and cranny of the city, this card will help you save big. If you hesitate between buying this card or the Paris Museum Pass combined with the Paris Visite card for transport; it will depend on whether you plan to use the tourist bus, take the boat on the Seine or make a few additional visits (Opera, Wax Museum, Espace Dalí…).

The official Paris Pass Card in English:

The Paris tourist office on the Pass Card:

By purchasing the Paris Visite card, your trips will be made easier since it includes the Paris Visite pass. You can therefore take unlimited public transport in zones 1 to 3 of Paris.

The RATP Paris Visite card on transports here:

Of course these are not all the museums or monuments of Paris, there are over 1000 of them, the passes is a city and regional tourist effort to regroup the best known generally speaking. At least hope it gives you some heads up for future visits to the city of lights!

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

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October 29, 2020

The districts of Versailles!!!

Oh well here I am again looking back at my previous posts and darn it cannot find anything on the districts/neighborhoods of my beloved Versailles!!! An oversight indeed! I wrote on the other cities but not on the one I lived! Well time to remedy that in my blog, for the memories of old! Versailles is it!!!

Well what else. I need to bring you up to speed on this historical ,Royal and magical town of France. Of course, my beloved Versailles. Usually, cities are divided into districts and then neighborhoods and they give you a feeling of an idea of where you are going. And you need to come to Versailles!

The districts/neighborhoods of Versailles are Bernard de Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie , Chantiers, Clagny-Glatigny, Montreuil, Notre-Dame , Porchefontaine, Saint-Louis, Satory, and Instance du château(the castle).

Let me give you the views on most from my views on living there in no particular order.

Notre-Dame (my district!): the most chic district, in the hyper-center, around the Place du Marché, the shopping streets and Notre-Dame Church, which extends roughly from the Lycée Hoche to the Château. At the avenue de l’Europe stop, before the Prefecture, all buses pass. Just a stone’s throw away, the essential Monoprix where toddlers and their mothers dress. The icing on the cake is located between Versailles Rive-Droite station and Boulevard de la Reine, it is the famous “Quartier des Prés”, highly prized for its strategic location.


Saint-Louis is a former military-traditional district with its ex-swarms of children in velvet breeches and worn yellow oilskins, Saint-Louis has changed well ,and attracts today many young families with a more contemporary look. In this 18Cdistrict, the oldest of Versailles, several emblematic streets like the rue Royale and its shops , which crosses the historic Carrés Saint-Louis, the pedestrianized rue de Satory, ideal for a lunch in the sun. far from the Potager du Roi and the delightful Parc Balbi, finally the rue du Vieux Versailles, which has become a mecca for children’s activities with all kinds of workshops, each more delicious than the next.

Versailles back of hotel de ville nov12

The Satory district in priori trusted by the families of gendarmes and soldiers, this somewhat out-of-the-way district now hosts an industrial center of excellence.

The Chantiers district undergoing major changes, this district where very little was happening is undergoing titanic works around the train station. It is reborn in the form of a modern district, inspired by Art Deco, where transport, housing, offices and shops coexist.

The Porchefontaine district is a former popular suburb of Versailles, today it is the area where young families with small children live and dream of a home. The nearby forest and its sports facilities ,including a beautiful, little-known equestrian club and tennis courts that are more accessible then Jardy are its assets. On the Rive-Gauche-Château RER C train line therefore serving the south of Paris.

The Montreuil district is a small village in the heart of Versailles, dominated by the Saint-Symphorien Church and its curious republican architecture. The rue de Montreuil conceals shops, each more charming than the next.

The Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie district is a quiet HLM (low income housing) district with large parks, ideally equipped for children, a stone’s throw from Montreuil train station.

The Clagny-Glatigny district is the most residential and green because right on the edge of the forests of Fausses-Reposes in Versailles and on the edge of the Haras de Jardy and Sans-Souci, in Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. With buses A, H and G, close to the center and the Rive-Droite train station.

From a more touristic version

The Notre-Dame district (of course my old neighborhood) is the oldest district of Versailles. It was built by king Louis XIV to beautify the surroundings of the castle. King Louis XIV undertook to create this district north of the Castle, on virgin land, in order to beautify the surroundings. The inhabitants gradually settled in from 1671, building according to precise rules along streets surprisingly straight and wide for the time. The district still revolves around the original institutions: visit the Notre-Dame Church, which was the king’s parish. There is also the Montansier theater, opened in 1777, and the Place Hoche, originally Place Dauphine, the first octagonal square in France. A few steps away, installed in a charming 18C mansion, the Lambinet museum will immerse you in the atmosphere of a period mansion, unless you prefer to discover the collections on the history of the city of Versailles and the French revolution etc.

The Saint Louis district is made up of two historically distinct parts: Old Versailles and the Saint-Louis district itself. The Old Versailles, which corresponds to the location of the medieval village acquired by king Louis XIII, is the historic heart of the city. Stroll through the heart of this district: you will discover a large number of remarkable and particularly well-preserved monuments such as the Récollets convent, the Grand Commun built under king Louis XIV to house the court kitchens, the former Hôtel des Affaires Etrangères and the Mariners built under king Louis XV. The most emblematic site of Old Versailles is the Salle du Jeu de Paume, which was the scene of a major episode of the French revolution. You will admire the Saint-Louis Cathedral , a superb church which preserves a very fine collection of period paintings as well as the King’s garden or Potager du Roi, designed to supply the castle’s plethora of population. Moved on to the Carrés Saint-Louis, this collection of small houses built under king Louis XV to serve as shelter for a new market. There is a very friendly atmosphere there!

The Antiquaires or Antiquarians district a place steeped in history, near the castle, the Notre-Dame market and the Lambinet museum, is a privileged walk for all amateurs and professionals of antiquity. In the center of Versailles, 50 antique dealers welcome you. Whether you are a lover of beautiful objects, jewelry or silverware, antique or art deco furniture, old, modern or contemporary paintings; or collector of weapons, old books, engravings, earthenware and porcelain, old toys or archaeological remains; or simply occasional bargain hunter, here you will find something to satisfy your curiosity and meet your desires from the most reasonable to the craziest !

The Montbauron and Montreuil districts are located further upstream from the Avenue de Paris leading to the Château. The neighborhood of Montbauron is dominated by the Butte Montbauron and bounded by the avenues of Paris, Saint-Cloud and Europe, this district has everything of a small village which deploys its cobbled streets around a central square, Place Charost. It is in the middle of the city, on a height, that the four reservoirs of Montbauron were built in 1686 to collect water from the surrounding ponds. Of these four reservoirs, only two remain and only one is still assigned to supply the fountains of the castle.

The neighborhood of Montreuil has a village feel and was not attached to Versailles until 1787. It has therefore developed a little away and retains the charm of a village, gathered around the Saint-Symphorien Church, an early example of neoclassical architecture. It is in this district that, under king Louis XIV, the Italian musicians assigned to the chapel of the castle settled. Visit their home, which now houses the Union Compagnonnique museum. Its proximity to the Château also meant that Montreuil was chosen by some great ladies of the court in the 18C for the installation of beautiful mansions, such as the domaine of Madame Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, whose park you will appreciate!

From a more touristic point of view they are group into Notre Dame, Saint Louis, Antiquaires, and Montbauron-Montreuil. As above translated from Versailles tourist office

From living there the neighborhood councils or conseils de quartiers of the city of Versailles

From the Maisons du quartier or neighborhood home of the city of Versailles:

And why not this is another city but just crossing the street and you are in Versailles, my boys high school was here so will tell you a bit on its districts too ok. Le Chesnay used to be called the town now is call Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. A very nice place too even if not in the tourist trail.

The Plateau St Antoine district: A stone’s throw from the Rive Droite train station and adjoining Saint-Jean-Hulst stand up, majestic and opulent, the millstones of the Plateau, which make the peepers of any self-respecting local housewife shine; nonetheless, they are far from affordable for all budgets and sell out in the blink of an eye in a market that remains very confidential.

The Bas-Plateau district: if you have not managed to reach the coveted peaks of the Plateau St Antoine, you can nevertheless find what you are looking for in the northernmost district of Chesnay, in other words the Bas Plateau with pretty houses, sometimes terraced, often dating from the 1930s, nestled at the foot of Saint Antoine, offer a family setting and proximity to Blanche and Saint Jean.

The Parc Aubert district  is built around the pretty Aubert park, this predominantly residential area is close to Parly 2 mall and access to the A13 autoroute de Normandie; on the other hand, it will appear off-center to those looking for the proximity of Versailles train stations.

 The Parly 2 district is to all those looking for the cachet of the old, go your way! For everyone else, this huge condominium, which dates from the 1970s and is one of the largest in Europe, has real assets: functional apartments, greenery, a nearby shopping center, as well as easy access to the Domaine de Versailles.

The Old city/town hall district stretches from rue de Versailles to the brand new library: it has quite diverse habitats, ranging from residences on rue Caruel Saint Martin and rue de Versailles, animated by its small market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in very quiet social housing and very close to the library, through the workers’ houses on rue de la Celle ;some in red brick are reminiscent of their English counterparts: do not think about you there however, everything is spruced up, raised, refurbished by families looking for houses and gardens in the immediate vicinity of Versailles and its stations.

The city of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt on the heritage and history in French:

And as I am at it, why not the other nice town we like ,next to Versailles. To the East of Versailles, the small town of Viroflay cultivates its discretion, nestled between two forests of Meudon and Fausses-Reposes on either side of the D910, which connects the castle to the Pont de Sèvres in Paris. Among the best served in the Ile-de-France region, the town has three train stations such as lines L and N to Saint-Lazare and Montparnasse, RER C (rive gauche château), tramway T6, bus 171(to château) and so on. With excellent public and private schools, dynamic sports and cultural associations and a covered market, this charming little family village is mainly made up of houses built at the start of the 20C, many of which are millstone. The shops are divided into three points: near the market by avenue du Général Leclerc, and around the train stations of Viroflay Rive Gauche and Chaville-Vélizy. When you’ve tasted it, you don’t want to leave!

The city of Viroflay on its heritage and history in French:

And now I feel better, you have a full picture of my old home, and glorious places. Hope you can come and see it again or first time, you will be back. It is a must my beloved Versailles.Hope you enjoy the post.

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

October 29, 2020

The other churches of Versailles!

Well read all about it, no photos !!I feel bad to do this post but feel the information is useful for many including me. And yes, this is Versailles! where I lived for almost 10 years! I have written about my area Church ND and the Cathedral, and couple other churches like Ste Elizabeth and St Symphorien  with photos, and not these ones.

Therefore, need to change that and will post for information only and maybe one day as a visitor can finally take a picture lol!

The Church of Jeanne d’Arc built between 1923-1926,in the quartier or neighborhood of Clagny-Glatigny, 17 rue Albert Joly, Built initially in wood, it responds to the wish made by Mgr Gibier, Bishop of Versailles on August 31, 1914. He would have promised to build a church in honor of Joan of Arc if the city survived the German offensives.

On May 16, 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized in Rome. In Versailles, Canon Subtil, in charge of the fulfillment of the vow and pastor of the new parish, instituted the tradition of a preparatory novena, so that “the city does not forget the vow made to the Saint”. In 1930 the Mutin / Cavaillé Coll organ, donated by a parishioner for the temporary wooden chapel, was installed in the gallery. In 2007, the parish acquired the organ from Studio 103 from Radio France. It was inaugurated in September 2008. The walls covered with stone arabesques contrast with the large fresco in the apse. In 1934, the oil painting on mounted canvas covering the entire apse and representing four scenes from the life of Saint Joan of Arc was placed at the back of the choir; it is signed Henriette Lebon-Delore, a pupil of Maurice Denis. It has four scenes: on the left, Jeanne, keeping her sheep near Domrémy, hears the voices of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Marguerite. In the center, the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. On the right, his martyrdom in Rouen. And above, Joan is welcomed into Heaven by her holy protectors. The three large glass roofs with geometric figures are by Maurice Rocher. Their surface is insufficient to provide the required clarity. When the double front door is not open, Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc Church remains a rather dark church.

The official webpage:

The Church Sainte Bernadette des Petit Bois built 1930 in the quartier or neighborhood of Jussieu-Petits-Bois-Picardie at 7 rue Saint Nicolas. The first stone of what was then a chapel was laid on February 21, 1937. The presbytery was not built until 1963. This church became a parish on September 30, 1959. The main facade of triangular shape was pierced in its center by a bell tower pierced with rectangular bays. A triangular porch surmounted by a tympanum surmounted by a cross precedes the entrance. A front porch flanks the first porch.

The official webpage:

The Saint Mark’s Church ,and English Anglican speaking church in Versailles going back to 1814 at rue Peintre Lebrun, where there was a hospital caring for British soldiers, the church was built in the same spot in 1912.

St. Mark’s Church, dedicated to St. Mark the Evangelist, It is attached to the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar. It is believed that the origin of the Anglican Church at Versailles dates back to the purchase of a piece of land in 1710 by the then British Ambassador at the court of Louis XIV. However, there is no document attesting to this hypothesis. The first documentary trace that we know of dates back to 1814 and concerns the funeral of a British soldier who died in the hospital, just before the Battle of Waterloo.

Between 1825 and 1859 the church rented the reformed church on rue Hoche. In 1860, the construction of a new building for St Mark’s Church, made of wood and iron, which is apparently the old iron church destroyed in the fire of 1911, was inaugurated. The tiny church was rebuilt in 1912 on the same site, and reopened on November 21. It still exists, now occupied by the Protestant Church of the Nazarene, webpage :

In 1985, a large plot of land was purchased, along with an old house, at 31 rue du Pont Colbert on the outskirts of Versailles in the Porchefontaine district; the old church was sold to the Protestant Church of the Nazarene (see above). A large room of worship for 250 faithful was inaugurated on May 13, 2012. The old room of worship, now on the ground floor, will be used for group activities, such as catechism. The main entrance is at 31 rue de Pont Colbert.

The official webpage:

The Church Saint Michel, 18 rue des Celestins, in the district of Porchefontaine, began as a chapel in 1908 to become a church in 1926. It is name Saint Michel because consecrated church on the saints day. Many musical concerts happened here all the time.

The facade of the main entrance is slanted and consists of a gable wall. The portal is slightly raised, accessible by a staircase. A clock surmounts the front door. The bell tower, pierced with bay windows, is at the crossroads of the entrance body and the nave. The sidewalls are supported by buttresses, and pierced with arched windows. Originally, a first chapel was built and inaugurated in 1908, and this is the front part in millstone. It became a parish in 1928. The church was enlarged in 1937 ,it is the part corresponding to the central nave.

The official webpage:

To celebrate the Roman liturgy you come to the Chapelle Notre Dame des Armees, at 10 impasse des Gendarmes, born out of the spirit to serve the soldiers in 1852 ,built in 1877 ,when the military no longer use it, the city took over, then fideles Catholiques took over and administered since 1988 under the Roman rituals of 1962.

An association of prayers spiritually supports this soldier’s home. Pope Leo XIII, canonically erected an archconfraterny in 1875. Notre-Dame des Armées, which then had several thousand members throughout France. Neo-Gothic in style, it is located at number 10 Impasse des Gendarmes, near avenue de Paris and next to the Hôtel de Ville of Versailles; previously served by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint-Pierre, it is today priests of the diocese of Versailles who perform the offices there according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, aided in this by the canonical association of Saint John Bosco.

On September 8, 1914, an apparition took place in this chapel to Marcelle Lanchon, 23, child of Mary who would become a nun, under the name of Sister Marie-France. It is an apparition of the Virgin, of Saint Teresa, of Saint Michael and of the Lord. The message concerns the love of the Virgin Mary for France, the invitation to pray for France and the Lord’s desire to reign over France. The Lord asks to see the image of his Sacred Heart reproduced on flags. Miss Marcelle Lanchon, a nun who had received the name of Sister Marie-France, born December 31, 1891 in Rouen, died October 20, 1933 in Les Chesnay (today Les Chesnay-Rocquecourt) in her community at 6 avenue de Bellevue. She would have witnessed Marian apparitions and the Sacred Heart in the Chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Armées and was a member of the Pious Union of Adorers of the Heart of Jesus. No canonical investigation by the bishop of the diocese has yet been opened, and the Catholic Church has not recognized these apparitions. She rests in the Notre-Dame cemetery; at 15 rue des missionionnaires in Versailles.

The Official webpage:

At 3 rue Hoche you will find the Protestant Temple, it was a site to celebrate the feast of the king , and finally in 1821 the English Protestant  community took over ,after many works including one that took them to do their rituals inside the castle by the cour des marbres, the temple is now recognised as cultural association according to the 1906 law of separation of state and church. About 1250 protestant families belong to the Temple today. The parish is a member of the United Protestant Church of France.

On May 24, 1821, under king Louis XVIII, the government authorized the establishment in Versailles of a Protestant church of the Anglican faith. It was established in 1926 at 3 rue Dauphine, since then renamed rue Hoche, in a former Catholic chapel. The chapel then dates from 1769, built under king Louis XIV on the site of the mansions of Marcillac, La Rochefoucauld and Conti to serve as a resting place during the Corpus Christi procession, which led from the Church Notre-Dame de Versailles to the Royal Chapel of the castle. Desecrated during the French revolution, the chapel was used as a meeting room and then as a temple for the Theo philanthropists.   In February 9, 1828, under king Charles X, the government authorized French Protestants, of the Reformed and Lutheran faiths to celebrate their worship in the Anglican Church. From that time on, the temple was therefore a united Protestant church, bringing together in a spirit of openness and tolerance several denominations in the same temple. The current temple was built from 1880 to 1882, according to a sober and classic plan of Protestant architecture of the time, with an open Bible on the pediment.

The official webpage:

Ok ok, there are a lot more, this is a very traditional city, royal town of France! So here are a few more listed!

Chapelle de l’Ermitage, 1 Rue de l’Ermitage
Chapelle du Couvent des Sœurs servantes du Sacré Cœur,109 Avenue de Paris
Chapelle du Lycée Notre-Dame du Grandchamp,(chapel in a historic high school),97 Rue Royale
Chapelle du lycée Sainte-Geneviève (chapel in a historic high school),2 rue de l’Ecole-des-Postes
Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, 37 rue du Maréchal Joffre
Chapelle Saint-François de Sales,9 Rue de l’École des Postes
Chapelle Saint-Joseph de Glatigny,29 Boulevard de Glatigny
Chapelle Saint-Maurice de la caserne Satory (Fesch), (military chapel)De la Martinière (Satory)
Église adventiste (Adventist Church), 22 rue des Réservoirs
Eglise du Couvent des Récollets, 9 rue des Récollets
Église Évangélique de Pentecôte(evangelical Pentecost) ,15 bis rue du Parc de Clagny
Église Évangélique du Nazareen, 15 rue du Peintre Lebrun
Mosquée de Versailles, 31 rue Jean Mermoz
Synagogue,10 Rue Albert Joly

Well I hope you will come to see the history of Versailles in its churches next time. And do take pictures!! I promise will do when this virus is over eventually. Stay safe!

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

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