Archive for December 13th, 2020

December 13, 2020

The Haras National of Hennebont!!

And I keep cruising in current times updating my older posts and it has been a wonderful rollercoaster. Thanks for following along with me. I like to update, revise my older post on the wonderful Haras National of Hennebont or horse breeding/training/show stables!

I am bringing you closer to home in my delightful Morbihan 56 in beautiful Bretagne. There are towns that for some reason stay on the off the beaten path do not know why. They are loaded with good sights and wonderful small town ambiance of my belle France. This is the case of Hennebont.

Hennebont is a fortified city,but on this post will tell you about the Horse Stud Farm or Haras National d’Hennebont!  Various activities are carried out such as  reproduction of stallion, Equestrian Club, dressage, discovery space of the horse, guided visits etc. It is a historical place and very nicely done; worth the detour near me!


As now routine by me in my posts as love history, this is a bit  I like.

The deposit of stallions created at Langonnet Abbey (see post) in 1806 for the south of Brittany, poorly served by narrow and unpassable roads, was transferred in 1857 to Hennebont in the enclosure of the Abbey de La Joie. The Abbaye de la Joie Notre-Dame or Abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Joy is a former Cistercian Abbey. Nowadays, it is on the site of the national stud farms.  The Abbey of Joy Notre-Dame, founded in 1953 in Campénéac, takes over the tradition now of the abbey of old.

From its inception, the Haras National or national stud farm of Hennebont  became the capital of the Breton horse breeding.  The Haras  comprises seven stables arranged around two courtyards as well as an infirmary, a forge, a saddlery and the dwellings of the Director and staff. Since 2007, the Joint Union of the national stud farm of Hennebont manages the property, outside the Abbey of Joy ND and the Pavilion of the Porterie.

In April 2016, the city of Hennebont and Lorient agglomeration officially announced that it had negotiated an agreement with the IFCE to become owners of the entire site comprising the 32 buildings, including the Abbey of Joy de ND, spread over 23 hectares,  provided that the partners of the mixed Union are committed to helping to ensure the management of the site.  The envisaged project plans to perpetuate the activity around the horse to make the stud farm a tourist hub of the Lorient basin. Which they did!

An integral part of the history of Hennebont for over 150 years, the Haras National or national stud farm is a unique and prestigious place. The wooded park, located between the city and the countryside, houses the historic buildings of the Napoleonic stables. The birthplace of the Breton draught horse, the stud was originally bred for war horses.  If the activity of the place has evolved over time, it is always dense with reproduction of stallions, Equestrian Club, dressage, carriage rides, sightseeing, and saddlery. A discovery area of the horse is located in its enclosure.

It was after WWII,  the decline of breeds line began with the progress of mechanization. The Breton horse breed, by its qualities, nevertheless resists thanks to the meat market in the French and Italian markets.  The techniques evolve and the Haras now transport the stallions by truck to mount bars installed near the farms. The incentive premiums allocated during the breeding competitions encourage the continuation of the activity and allow the Haras National d’Hennebont to maintain its influence.  It also opens up to other uses of the horse, through equestrian sports by hosting the national equestrian society. The number of sports and racing horses goes up to 12 stallions in 1973.  The decline in the line workforce is thus compensated by a progress in the blood workforce.  The number of stations decreases and the techniques become sharper with the emergence of artificial insemination in 1981 to the Haras National d’Hennebont,  then the techniques of freezing of semen that allow today to serve the mares without moving the stallions .

In the great period of the stud farm, more than 200 stallions were in operation. At the beginning of the 2000’s, a total of 50 horses, including 35 traits and 15 horses of blood that live permanently at the Haras National d’Hennebont stud farm. In 2016, there are only a dozen horses in the stud farm.


Plenty for the entire family to spent an afternoon here ;worth the detour I say. The Haras National site offers you a two-time tour combining a free and guided course. In an old stable renovated, discover through a beautiful exhibition space with films, computer terminals, panels, the history of relations between man and horse, the activity of the Haras and its trades. Then, accompanied by a guide, you go to meet the horses in the stable n ° 1 through the saddlery of honor and the collection of horse-drawn carriages. The most for us was the animations and Equestrian shows done !



Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

Official Haras National d’Hennebont

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Haras:

The Bretagne tourist board on the Haras National d’Hennebont

The webpage Institut Français du Cheval et l’équitation or the French institute of the horse and Equestrian activities in French on the Haras National d’Hennebont:

Again lovely place worth the detour. Enjoy the Haras National d’Hennebont in my gorgeous Morbihan 56.

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

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December 13, 2020

Church Saint Malo at Dinan!

And continuing on this wonderful memory lane tour of my older posts. I come to one that is so nice,need to update and show it. This is the imposing Church of Saint Malo in Dinan. Let me give you something to think and see when possible.

And I take you up north to the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 and beautiful Dinan. Ah yes very popular town and famous for the chic and famous nice living good beaches and several nice places to see if reading my blog.   I have written several entries on Dinan, and believe a single post on this wonderful Church is worth a post. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Malo in Dinan. The Church of Saint-Malo is from the 15C. It is representative of the flamboyant Gothic in Brittany. The Church dimensions are 76.50 meters long by 44.10 meters wide.


A lot of history I like….

The first Church of Saint-Malo was located outside the walls at the site of the present Chapelle Saint-Joachim at boulevard Flaud, this first church depended on the Priory Saint-Malo founded in 1066 by Olivier, Viscount of Dinan. In 1488, the French army threatened Brittany, Duke Francis II fearing the capture of Dinan ordered the destruction of the first Church of Saint-Malo, in order to prevent the French army of Charles VIII from using it as a fulcrum to attack the city. He agreed to finance a new Church on the condition that it be rebuilt intra-muros. At the end of July 1488, after the Breton defeat of the Battle of Saint Aubin du Cormier, the French army commanded by Louis de la Trémoille began the siege of Dinan, the city capitulated quickly and in August 1488 Jean II of Rohan, first Baron of Brittany but ally of France, took control of the city. There he will remain the captain from 1488 to 1516.


The choice of this Flamboyant Gothic architecture could have been imposed by Jean II of Rohan, churches with the same type of architecture are indeed distributed in its possessions in other regions of Brittany.   The laying of the first stone takes place in May 1490 with part of the materials recovered from the site of the old church of Saint-Malo (present-day Chapel of Saint-Joachim), of which there will remain only part of the nave, the complement is provided by Querignan granite.

In 1508, the financing of the church was taken over by Duchess Anne and then by King Louis XII. These gifts added to those of the congregation of Saint-Malo, allow to complete the choir , a sanctuary covered with a wooden vault, ambulatory and chapels, the walls of the transept and the central vessel of the nave. The steeple without its arrow were built in 1517. The north chapels would not have been built until the mid-16C.   At the end of the 16C, the heirs of Jean II of Rohan became Protestants, Henri II de Rohan then ceded his right in the axial chapel of the church to the steward Raoul Marot des Alleux, he was built a mausoleum in white marble in the form of a sarcophagus of the first half of the 17C. The triumphant porch on the Grand ‘ Rue ,southern entrance of the transept was erected between 1613 and 1630.

During the French revolution, the Church of Saint Malo was no longer dedicated to worship, it served as a wheat market, stable, theater, and barracks. Most of the noble marks present in the Church are hammered according to the guidelines of the Convention, the mausoleum of the steward Marot des Alleux was destroyed in 1795 (five fragments are known: two were reused as fronts of altars- Chapel in the Church of Saint-Malo and Chapelle Saint Joachim-Two are stored at the museum and the last one is used in siding in a chapel of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur). Throughout the revolutionary period, the church degrades, the roof of the nave pours the rainwater into the nave, the two chapels which had been built at both angles of the transept and nave threaten to fall into ruins, the Ivy invaded the pinnacles and the gargoyles, the windows were clogged in the places where the stained glass was broken. The Church is returned to worship in 1803.

A bit on the construction architecture and more on the history I like

The construction of the nave takes place from 1855 to 1865, it relies on foundations dating from the 15C respecting the original plan (the columns of the nave dating from the 16C) the spire of the steeple will never be built. The entire eastern part (chorus and transept) as well as the nave’s central hall date from the 15C and 16C in flamboyant Gothic, the triumphant porch on the Grand ‘ Rue, the 17C of Renaissance style and the aisles of the nave, of the 19C (interior and exterior neo-Gothic) but respecting the original flamboyant style. The choir measuring 25 meters by 20 meters is supported by eight pillars, the granite vault culminates at 21 meters. Two chapels open on the south ambulatory, they are followed by a small strong house that contains the sacristy, part vaulted surmounted by the hall of the factory. It is accessed by the second door and a spiral staircase. This staircase also makes it possible to reach the triforium. These two broken-arched doors are adorned with sculpted animals (dog, lion and 2 dragons) and kale. The Hall of the factory is illuminated by a large gothic canopy and has an opening overlooking the choir. This little opening might imply that Jean II of Rohan was using this room as Oratory.


Three chapels occupy the apse and four the north ambulatory, the last one contains the door overlooking the staircase leading to the steeple. Each chapel has splashback . The key located in front of the axial chapel of the apse represents the seven deadly sins, this representation could relate to the conflict between Jean II of Rohan, founder of the Church of Saint Malo and the Duke of Brittany. If one observes the scene well, one can notice that the devil having the hand on the mouth of the character tortured possesses a ducal crown, it could be the Duke of Brittany preventing Jean II de Rohan from expressing himself.


At that time, it was planned to build a high arrow in place of the current steeple, this explains the imposing size of the columns of the transept. The north arm of the transept ,early 16C contains the staircase leading to the steeple. The south arm, built in the 16C, contains the great organ, it opens with a triumphant portico of Renaissance style 17C closed by two oak doors 17C. The nave 19C, 26 meters long and 18 meters high, comprises three vessels. The central nave is covered with a vault in Tufa of Angers. The aisles are illuminated by ogival windows topped with stained glass from the 19C and 20C. The Church of Saint Malo, of quite imposing size, has a small steeple 40 meters, which is in fact only a four-pans roof with some small giblets. Originally, the Church had to have a granite arrow, of which we can see the bases from each angle of the roof. It should have been consistent, given the size of the four pillars of the transept, each having a diameter of three meters.



The bell tower still contains four bells, three of which are regularly used and are motorized.   The Bourdon, affectionately dubbed “Gros-Malo” and would weigh the low weight of 2.980 kg. According to the diameter of this bell, 1.775 mm, it would actually weigh 3.319 kg. This bell was made in 1869. The second bell, “Mélanie-Clementine” up and done in 1835. It has a diameter of 1.230 mm and weighs about 1.092 kg. The third bell, “Marie-Henriette-Anne ” and replaces since 1929   “Marie-Louise “, which was offered by the sister of François-René de Chateaubriand, in 1846. It has a diameter of 1.075 mm and weighs about 720 kg. The fourth bell, slightly false, non-motorized, probably served as an alarm bell. It never rings.

Set up after the completion of the nave in 1865, the stained glass windows of the choir, the transept and the chapels of the nave were laid during the late 19C, those of the aisles of the nave, during the first half of the 20C, then the stained-glass windows of the axial chapel were renovated at the beginning of the second half of the 20C. The Church Saint Malo has two organs: the Grand organ, built in 1889, of English built, it has three keyboards of 56 notes and a pedal of 30 notes., just like the carved chestnut tribune, which is located in the south transept. A second organ, formerly owned by a Polish pianist, Henri Kowalski, serves as a choir organ. It is in a chapel in the northeast of the altar.

Some webpages to help you  plan your trip here and do get to this Church of Saint Malo even if not much written on in the tourist sites I need to look up brochures at the Church itself.

The tourist office of the Dinan-Cap Fréhel region on the heritage of Dinan

The tourist office of Brittany/Bretagne on Dinan

This is in French from the Pastoral Catholic community of Dinan on the Church of Saint Malo

The sights are endless, the beauty is out of this world, this is celtic Brittany at its best and I encourage you to come over and see it first hand.   The  Church of Saint Malo is a bit struggle into the politics of Brittany that prevails it from getting independent with many of its nobles not decided or did so with France. Lots of history, architecture here at Dinan. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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December 13, 2020

Tour Eiffel!

So really easy title no need for more explanations. I have written couple posts on the Tour Eiffel in my blog but have found several pictures of different years not yet in, and feel they deserve to be shown for the memories.

paris tour eiffel walking from bir hakeim nov17

Let me tell you folks, I came here first in 1990 and had gone regularly until 2005 and stop. However, my office as of before the virus was very near and i needed to pass by it walking every month! Nice views anyway and memories of older family visits. It is now completely secure place with wagons for security personnel in front, not a nice environment to climb up me think. Hope you enjoy the new photos in my blog of my walking tours, some goes back to 2011 to 2017!

Not going to go deep in the text as plenty already written in previous posts, but for ease of reading for new readers here is some briefs on the Tour Eiffel!

paris tour eiffel from rue de la federation nov17

The Tour Eiffel was built in less than two years in the gardens of the Champ de Mars on the banks of the Seine river. It was intended to crown the Universal Exhibition of 1889. High of 317 meters its structure is in puddled iron with no less than 18,000 metal parts and 2,500,000 thousand rivets make it up. A very brief description of it has it on the 1st floor of 57 meters high, a restaurant, bar, and lounge. On the 2nd floor of 115 meters high, a restaurant, bar,and tea room. On the final 3rd floor of 214 meters high, you have wonderful far views of Paris. A panorama up to 90 km from Paris on a clear day!!!

paris tour eiffel from ave de suffren 23dic11

At the end of the concession in 1909, it was saved thanks to its military and then civilian reconversion with the installation of a radio transmitter! Lucky us!. Since its creation, it has been repainted seventeen times or once every seven years. Likewise, the hues have changed several times; initially reddish-brown, then yellow ochre and now bronze. It takes sixty tons of paint to cover it and, in all, 25 painters are at work for over a year. The bust of Gustave Eiffel was made by Antoine Bourdelle.

paris tour eiffel from Seine nov17

The best place to admire it in all its splendor is the Trocadéro terrace facing it. One way to save a lot of the queues at the Eiffel Tower is to buy tickets in advance. You get there by Metro: Trocadéro, lines 6 and 9; Ecole Militaire, line 8. Bus: lines 42, 69, 72, 82 and 87. RER line C at Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel.

paris tour eiffel from garden quai-branly nov17

Today, the Tour Eiffel is a symbol of France to the world and window of Paris!

You have the official webpage and the Paris tourist office as the usual posts but let me give you a different look here with the region of Ïle de France tourist office on the Eiffel tower

paris tour eiffel cours de la reine apr12

One great lawn garden to admire it and even host picnics as well as many events like New Year’s celebration is the Champ de Mars. It is dedicated to this warrior god and place of manoeuvre for military troops until the end of the 19C. It is a large open garden with a length of 780 meters, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, which begins at the edge from the Seine river to the Pont d’Iéna to end at the Ecole Militaire west facade. Wonderful place indeed.

And novelty I passed by it but never been inside and no pictures however, so many times walked by it that need to have it here for a reminder to visit later on when possible. It has a very nice sounding name!!

The Theâtre de la Tour Eiffel at 35 avenue Rapp, built between 1912 and 1915,was a place for lively discussions and debates in the start-up district of the time. Formerly called the Adyar room, it is the actress Christelle Chollet and her husband, who bought it and renovated it in 2016 to give it back its former soul. The room has kept the soul of the inventiveness and creation of the last century thanks to technical equipment unique in Paris. Christelle Chollet sourced the decoration across Europe so that the Art Deco of the building is present in the room. It is access on Metro line 9 Alma-Marceau and line 8 Ecole Militaire. Bus lines passing by here 42 69 80 87 and 92. Webpage:

And there you go another dandy in my eternal Paris always something to see and do, never ending like all eternal things in life. And Paris is worth living for it! I will leave you with the new blog pictures,enjoy them as I do.

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

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