Archive for February 10th, 2021

February 10, 2021

Chateau de Keravéon at Erdeven!!

So yes we have castles in Bretagne, plenty of them; of course not all still doing its function but  nevertheless impressive properties. In my road warrior tours of my Morbihan dept 56 , I have visited Erdeven several times and see posts in my blog. However, this time went to see a castle or the Château de Keravéon at Erdeven! updating my series of older posts from 2018 in my blog, hope you enjoy the post!


On Sunday, rest day, families here tend to stay close to home or in home. We have seen this tradition more and more broken as Sunday has become a day to go out, and more and more places are open. Is a gradual push towards the modern times, good or bad , do not know.  We are having a heat wave in France and even if Bretagne takes the low end of the readings it is still hot. Therefore, we seek places to go out.  As it is the case often, we live in the most visited country in the world, for a good reason me think, and there are so many places to see. I am sure it will take more than a lifetime for me to see all. However, I am trying harder. Today was such a day to see something new. We decided to take our dog Rex with us for a walk and get him used to the car. So funny he goes to the front door but won’t go in, need some extra effort to get him inside. Once inside, he is settled down and ok for the ride. He has since do it automatically!


So after some quick look at our tourism guide for the Morbihan, I pick up a place we have not been even if driving just by it off the main road. We went for a walk to the park and gardens of the Chateau de Keravéon! yes a castle. In the town limits of Erdeven along the D105 , D22 roads from Auray, passing the town of Ploemel and see the Rue de Keravéon on your right side there is a sign post.  20-hectare landscaped park, comprising 3 water bodies, a health course and 2 playgrounds for children. Stylized entrance door, inner enclosure. There are gites rental that were before the old stables and a castle now part of a apart hotel chain Odalys, luxury rental.


The park of the Château de Keravéon conceals natural wonders: 57 Essences of trees are there. You will find them on the map located at the entrance of the park. All along the paths, the trees and their origins are indicated by landmarks posts.  A small, unsung corner of the park, the Isle of Love is accessible by a small wooden bridge. For sportsmens, the park is home to a health course while the children can have fun on an area of playground for the 2-12 years old (under adult supervision).  With family or friends, you will find picnic tables! They are available on the other side of the enclosure wall.



A bit of the modern history so to speak that I like.

The Château de Keravéon original from the 9C, enlarged in the 17C and rebuilt in the 19C. The ruins of the old fortified mansion are still visible at the level of an enclosure wall. Siege of an ancient seigneury of the name of Keravéon , quoted from 1275 and owned by Guillaume de Talhouët. Owned by Pierre de Talhouët in 1350. The part of the castle built in the 17C is probably the work of Georges-René de Talhouët. This castle then became the property of the Coislin-Cambout family (whose last Marquis was executed in 1795 by the French revolutionaries, the Botdéru family, and then the Viscount of Soussay in 1847. It serves as a headquarters of Gen Hoche in 1795, then is burned by the French revolutionaries. It was bought in 1798 by Adelaide de Coislin du Botdéru, who rebuilt the castle. The current castle, top of five floors with its tower, is a 19C building. The House of Guards was acquired by the town of Erdeven in 1981 after the death of the last squire, the Viscount of Soussay in 1979. The whole has been transformed into luxury hotels and lodgings. The castle once had a dovecote, a triple enclosure with moats and Bartizans, a monumental entrance flanked by two large towers, and a House of the Guard in carved granite. The portal and the dovecote date, like the building’s low construction, from the 17C.


The last occupant was the Viscount of Soussay, after studying as an agronomist, settled in the family chateau in 1937. He was elected mayor from 1945 to 1962, with great ambitions for his town; like the creation of a port for example, since Erdeven is just at the entrance of the ria of Etel  (river and sea meets) .He resigned his mandate since he was disavowed in this project.  During the Nazi occupation, the coastal situation of Erdeven caused the castle to be requisitioned by the Nazi staff. Thus the Viscount had access to information which he discreetly transmitted to the resistance. .

The Château de Keravéon enjoyed various fortunes. Having no direct heirs, it was sold. Several owners have succeeds the dependencies and the park, with its walls of stone enclosures, have become the property of the town. You will discover a wooded area of about 20 hectares, an arboretum, a meadow and several pieces of water (with a small island). Be aware that the park, open to all, is very pleasant during the Summer heats (yes indeed!) , it is an ideal lung of air for the stroll, in the middle of the trees more than 100 years old, whether it is sporty or contemplative walks.



During the landing of the emigrants Bretons in Quiberon, in 1795 (and waiting for English help that never came) , General Louis Lazare-Hoche (native of Versailles ) obstructed the nobles who were supported by the Chouans (local farmers against the French revolution). His headquarters was installed in the Castle , and the General won the battle, and the defeated were taken prisoner and locked in part in the Orangerie of the castle. Future owners found signatures of nobles on the walls. The visit of the Orangerie will also discover the history of the castle. To visit needs to be organized by the tourist office as it close to the general public, it is now a luxury hotel

More information on the castle hotel property and the gites lodging rooms in the park and in or next to the castle.  The Château de Keravéon once belonged to the Géraud-Diamedo family who had turned it into a luxury hotel (Odalys).

The official Odalys property webpage on the castle:

The city of Erdeven on the rentals gîtes of Keravéon:

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Erdeven things to do/see:

There you go now you know as well as us. A nice place to spent an afternoon with the family or using it as a bike walk reprise after a day at the beach nearby. Of course , if you have the wonderful idea of staying here the gites are reasonable and nice; the hotel  castle  well is a luxury chain, see the prices ::)

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

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February 10, 2021

Catedral Santa Maria de Valencia!

This is a dandy do not know why not popular while visiting Valencia. I have come here a couple of times and always marvelous. I am updating this older post from my visit in August 2018 to the Cathedral St Mary of Valencia or of the Holy Chalice. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading me over these years!


On of my old favorite cities of my Spain. Many years ago came here often starting while living in Madrid as had my mother’s aunt living there just south in El Saler. She took us to the city for tours and of course, the main things to see. I was just a teenager and really not pay much attention to the details. Rolled over a few years after, my mom’s aunt no longer living, came over to visit the city again from Madrid in 1982. The story continues as again rolling a few years came in with my dear wife Martine for a family trip which we all enjoyed. Do not know when returning here as my dear wife Martine passed away in April 30th 2018; but the memories will lingered for a lifetime.

I like to tell you that I have several blog posts on Valencia , and more pictures, but this is one only on the Cathedral, a must to see in the city of ValenciaComunidad Valenciana in the kingdom of Spain. And the story on the Cathedral goes…as briefly as I can make it.

The Cathedral of Valencia (the Metropolitan Cathedral Church-Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, dedicated to Saint Mary) is a Cathedral that bring out several architectural styles  with a Valencian gothic predominance. In addition, we see elements of Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical.  It was built over an old mosque and  it was consecrated in the year 1238 by the first Bishop of Valencia after the Reconquista. From 1262 to the 18C it has gone thru several modifications. Inside it contains some of the first and best paintings of the Quattrocento of the Iberian Peninsula, which came from Rome through artists hired by Alejandro VI. This last Valencian Pope, when he was still Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja, made the request to elevate the Valencia Cathedral to the rank of Metropolitan, category that was given to him by Pope Innocent VIII in 1492.


Some of the things to see in the St Mary’s Cathedral of Valencia are:

The Gate of the Apostles (Puerta de los Apostoles) of the 14C is particularly remarkable as well as that of the Palau, the oldest of the Cathedral, Romanesque style and some mudejar elements. The iconic Micalet tower is nearby.

Since 1437, the Holy Chalice is preserved in the Cathedral of Valencia. According to historical documents, it was St. Laurent, Deacon of Pope Sixtus II, who would have had him handed over to his parents, who lived in Huesca, to avoid been taken by the Roman Emperor Valérien, who persecuted the Christians.   Among the singular elements must be highlighted, as far as the exterior of the Cathedral is concerned: the Eastern gate, called L’Almoina and Romanesque style 13C. The small northern Chapel, called Sant Jordi, where the first mass was held in the 13C. The Northwest Arcade, called Nova in Italian Renaissance style 16C. ; The western gate, called by the Gate of the Apostles with the influence of the French Gothic style 14C. ; The belfry, called the Micalet and of Valencian Gothic style 14C. ; The southern gate, called the Puerta de los Hierros in Baroque style 18C.


The Puerta de l’Almoina gate , named for being neighbor to the already disappeared House of L’Almoina , where the needy was given relief, is the oldest of the Cathedral. It is also known as the Palau Gate by its proximity with the Palau or Archiepiscopal Palace ;in Romanesque style, it is a clearly differentiated element of the rest of the Cathedral, which is mainly Gothic.

If you walk from L’Almoina leaving the Cathedral on your left you will find just in front of the archaeological center of the Almoina a small Chapel of Sant Jordi or Saint George. According to the Chronicles, in 1238, conquered the city of Valencia, Jaime I went directly to the major mosque, and made the first Mass on the site where today is the Chapel of Sant Jordi, attached to the outside of the apse. Inside the Chapel, on an altar, there is a Gothic altarpiece, with a painting by Sant Jordi and a sign that says: Sant Jordi at the Battle of Puig de Santa María. Year 1237. This painting is very similar-on a small scale-to the painting that is kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum of London entitled  Saint George in the Battle of Puig.

You will see a passageway dating from 1660 that links the Cathedral with the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados (see post). Just passing it begins the Obra Nova, a gallery or tribune of Renaissance style that is open to the current Plaza de la Virgen square, which historically received the name of Plaza de la Seu or Seo.  Just passing the Obra Nova on your left is the gate of the Apostles (Puerta), named after the statues of the Twelve Apostles it houses. In French Gothic style, it contrasts notably with the Romanesque gate of L’Almoina with which it confronts the other part of the nave. Begin in 1303 and finished in 1354.

From the Puerta de los Apóstoles, If you leave the Plaza de la Virgen to your right and you go down the Calle del Micalet, we will arrive at the belfry of the Micalet or Miguelete. Intimate sentimental emblem for Valencia, and probably the most characteristic monument of the city. It was started on 1381 and finished in 1453. Since 1476, it was definitively joined to the Cathedral. Throughout its history, the Micalet fulfilled several functions such as a Lighthouse, watchtower, and even platform for fireworks. The city was in charge of the illuminations that were made for the extraordinary festivities. Right next to the Micalet is the main gate, called the Puerta de los Hierros by the iron gate that surrounds the entrance atrium. It is the most modern, replaces a previous 15C, started in 1703 and finished in 1713.

As far as the interior of the Cathedral is concerned, it is worth highlighting: The dome, masterpiece of Gothic Art 14C , exceptional both inside and outside. The old chapter house or Chapel of the Holy Chalice, in late Gothic style from the second half of the 14C. The Girola (ambulatory) , in Valencian Gothic style 13C, mostly covered in neoclassical decoration of the 18C. The main altar or presbytery, decorated with Renaissance paintings 15C and later Baroque additions 17C. The main nave and the sides, in Valencian Gothic style 13C-14C.

The Dome or cimborrio is of French Gothic style 14C and 15C, it is formed by an octagonal prism of two overlapping bodies, with eight stained glass windows of fine tracery in each body. The first body or lower part is of unknown author, of the 14C, whereas the second body or upper part of is towards 1430. The dome endows the nave with natural light that is always white, thanks to the translucent alabaster windows and the fact that its stone frame is reduced to a minimum.

The present Chapel of the Holy Chalice was destined initially to the celebration of meetings of the chapter of the Cathedral, that is to say, the capitulate room. It was originally an exempt chapel, but in 1496 Pere Comte finished the corridor, in a florid Gothic style, which linked it with the rest of the Cathedral. To access, you have to enter through the Puerta de los Hierros and turn right until we find an entrance to the hallway or access room, at the end of which there is a Gothic door in stone that allows the entrance into the Chapel. In this corridor of access we find five Gothic stone sepulchres, the Chapel of the Holy Chalice, of square design, measures 13 meters wide and 16 meters high, with smooth walls of carved dark stone and three windows with polychrome glass. Highlights the beautiful and complicated Gothic vault with eight ribs and twenty-four torsions arches that form an eight-pointed star, resting on polychrome corbels. About the keys to the vault, also polychrome, appear the twelve Apostles . The most important treasure that houses this room, of which it receives the name, is the Holy Chalice, donated by the King Alfonso the magnanimous one in 1437 and preserved in the room of relics until in 1916 it moved to this Chapel. In the central ceiling, there is the coronation of the Virgin in heaven after the assumption.  The legend of this relic it is said that, at the death of the Virgin Mary, the Disciples of Jesus distributed everything she kept and that St. Peter took the Chalice to Rome. Because of the frequent persecutions suffered by the Christians, Pope Sixtus II gave the precious relic to St. Lawrence the Martyr, his deacon, who had moved the Chalice to Huesca, his homeland. There was the Holy Chalice until the year 712, when the Christians, fleeing the Moors, took refuge in the Pyrenees and finally in the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, near Jaca. From there, according to the historians, it went to Zaragoza, to the royal Palace of the Aljafería , the Holy Chalice was in the possession of the monarchs of the Crown of Aragon until in 1437 Alfonso the Magnanimous, who had taken to Valencia the relic for the Chapel of his Royal palace , having absent himself from the kingdom of Valencia, gave them to the Cathedral, which since then houses the Holy Chalice.

In the wall, at a higher height, there are two large chunks-of 59 meters and 70 meters respectively-of large chains. They are those that once closed the port of Marseille, which was famous impregnable, and that in 1423 broke the ship of Romeu de Corbera, which commanded the attack of king Alfonso the magnanimous to the capital of the House of Anjou, rival of the king. The chains of the port were taken as trophy, taken to Valencia and donated by the king himself to the Cathedral. At first, the chains were deposited in the presbytery but with the reforms of 1779 passed to the present Chapel of the Holy Chalice.

In front of the wall where the pulpit is located there is a Gothic door that leads to the interesting Museum of the Cathedral, where there are works of primitive Valencian painters, like Jacomart and Rodrigo de Osona, and others such as Juan de Juanes, Castellanu, Correggio, Orrente, Espinosa, Vicente López Portaña, Camaron, and Francisco de Goya.

It is one of the oldest parts of the cathedral, because here began its construction on 1262. The Girola (ambulatory), a space destined for the faithful to wander through the Chapels without interrupting the cult of the main Altar, is not a very common element of the Churches of Valencia, since it only appears in the Cathedral and in the Church of Santa Catalina. The Girola has eight Chapels originally Gothic, but following the Neoclassical reform projected in 1771 they were covered with stuccoes and other elements. With the restoration works initiated in 1972 some of the Chapels have partially recovered the original look.

Capilla de la Resurreccion (Chapel of the Resurrection). It is popularly called the coveta. It is a beautiful Renaissance high relief of the resurrection, of 1510, made of polished and glossy alabaster powder stone. The sacristy is one of the oldest parts of the Gothic Cathedral, 13C. It is located in the right corner at the beginning of the Girola, at its intersection with the nave.

The main Altar of polygonal design is covered by a six-nerve vault. It has five windows and communicates with the Girola through two side doors. The main Altarpiece in the presbytery is actually a large cupboard bounded by two doors, which kept a renaissance altarpiece of silver from about 1492-1507 that was melted in Mallorca in 1812 for coins in the war against Napoleon I.

The main structure of the St Mary’s Cathedral, formed by the naves, the transept and the Girola, was built between the 13C and 15C, which is why it is of Gothic style and, in particular, Valencian or Mediterranean Gothic, which is characterized by being more primitive, horizontal and heavy than the vertical and sumptuous French Gothic .Between 1300 and 1350 were built the first three sections of the three naves-a larger central and two smaller sides-, starting at the nave and finishing at the end, reaching the current Chapel of San Francisco de Borja. It is one of the side Chapels on the right side of the central nave, dedicated to San Francisco de Borja, which contains two magnificent pictures of Goya of 1788. The left represents San Francisco de Borja saying goodbye to his relatives in the Ducal palace of Gandía to enter the company of Jesus. On the right we find San Francisco de Borja, already a Jesuit priest, who assists an unrepentant dying man. Last, the Chapel of St. Joseph we find the buried bishops and archbishops Simón Lopez García, Agustín Cardenal García-Gasco and José Gea Escolano.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The official Cathedral of Valencia webpage:

The official tourist office of Valencia on the Cathedral:

The official museum of the Cathedral of Valencia:

Hope you enjoy the trip and do come over to Valencia to see this wonderful monument ,the Cathedral of Valencia.

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

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February 10, 2021

This is Düsseldorf!!

Again, this is a memorable visit of many anecdotes on my first ever visit to Dusseldorf in neighboring Germany. I like to update/revise text and refresh links on this original old post from 2018, however the pictures first time in my blog are from 2011!!. Hope you enjoy it ,and thanks for reading me over the years!

The idea of going to Germany was always in our minds and we eventually got there on several times. However, the start was slow; after Trier, I had a business trip to Düsseldorf and it became and still is the only time needed an airplane to get there!  Düsseldorf has been buried in my blog for a long time and I like to give it a new fresh air to this wonderful city of many nice funny memories.

The funny part I remember well was that in our group someone got the idea for dinner out in the city and reserved a restaurant Brauerie Schumacher was it. We of course, speak no German ,so we figure we can go out and find the place. We walked a lot followed other groups thinking they knew where was the restaurant ,when in fact, they were lost too!!! lol! We tried several places that the name looks close until we finally arrived at the restaurant above and dinner was half way going, of course we stayed for the rest !! yeah!

Anyway these were the restaurants for the memories’ sake (see post) The bars were full, we had a great time at the Intercontinental Hotel lobby bar, and then went on to check out the two next ones that are a must for everyone visiting the city. For the best steaks western style and wines galore head for the The Classic Western Steakhouse, Tubmannstrr 12 , Tel +49 (0211) 20031507. top US beef with sound of country music and old western photos all over the walls,huge and delicious. The next evening we went for old German chow, of beef and potatoes and green beens at a place where the beer never stop coming, I had ten glasses, and it was delicious, we walk home lol! This was at Brauerie Schumacher, Oststr 123, Tel +49 (0211) 828 9020. A brewery there since 1838, pub with beautiful wood carvings. The airport was great too, very clean, and friendly even without speaking German. I try the resto on the travel gallery on the E3 level , Das Gasthaus , more chow, this time flaky meaty fish, mashed potatoes, and the same nutty walnut cake type with a large Becks beer lol!



Another funny sequence for me was that I was a top contributor in a travel forum now gone called Virtual Tourist, and I asked in the forum how to get to the hotel from the airport as I was reaching the city by airplane (first and only time because afterward been with my car ::)) . Of course, in this forum , you know, reason not on any now; the gang suggested for me to take the S-Bahn or something like that. Well for this road warrior first time in a city that was a bit too much. I remember walking out of the airport thinking on what I was told on public transport ,and instinctly just walked out to get a taxi lol! This was about 21€ but it was the most talkative funny guy ever in English! Of course, the way back took a taxi too, sublime.

Now a bit on the city of Dusseldorf itself!

Düsseldorf is the capital and the second largest city in the Lande of North Rhine-Westphalia, located mainly on the right bank of the Rhine river, it lies at the western limits of the vast agglomeration of Rhine-Ruhr.  The town is located on the Rhine, at the confluence of the Düssel, a small river in the valley of which was discovered in 1856 in a cave the skeleton of what is now called the man of Neanderthal and is located in the neighboring town of Erkrath. Düsseldorf  means the  “village of Düssel”.

Düsseldorf International Airport is located 8 km north of the city center and is very nice and easy to navigate,  the airport is connected directly to the central train station of the city by the S-Bahn Rhine Ruhr (Metro/Regional train) in about 12 minutes. There is a  suspended monorail, the Skytrain, connecting the 3 terminals to Düsseldorf Flughafen station, where many ICE trains stops. The largest station of the city is however the Central station right in the city center.  The roads I find out in later trip are very good and fast just like I like them ,to the west, the A57 highway, which connects Cologne to Nijmegen in the Netherlands, to the east, the A3, one of Germany’s longest highways, since it extends from the Dutch border (Arnhem) to the Austrian border (Passau) on nearly 750 km. To the north and south, respectively the A44 direction Liège in Belgium and the A46 join the A57 to the north and south of Neuss, the great neighbouring city of Düsseldorf and the A3. The Taxis are strictly regulated, and very good deal, I took them for this trip and they were superb.

Now, a bit of history I like

Erected in town in 1288, Düsseldorf was a long time the capital of the Duchy of Juliers-Berg; with this, the city passed under the domination of the Palatine counts, which, by inheritance, became the 17C and 18C of Latin and Bavaria voters. The first written mention of Düsseldorf (then called Dusseldorp in the local Low Rhenish dialect) dates back to 1135. Under Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa , the small town of Kaiserswerth to the north of Düsseldorf became a well-fortified outpost, where soldiers kept a watchful eye on every movement on the Rhine river . Kaiserswerth eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929. Bombarded by the French in 1795, which razed the fortifications, transformed today into parks and avenues, the city became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Berg, which had Murat and Napoleon Bonaparte as sovereigns. It was returned to Bavaria by the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, and passed with the Grand Duchy of Berg to Prussia in 1815.

Some of the key dates on Dusseldorf are:

1773, the oldest academy of Fine Arts in Europe is founded.
1795, the French Revolutionary army bombarded the city and razed its fortifications, which were then transformed into parks and avenues. 1797 ,birth in Düsseldorf of the poet Heinrich Heine who writes in 1827 “The city of Düsseldorf is very beautiful, and when in the distance we think of it and that by chance we were born, we feel all funny. I was born there, and in those cases I think I have to go home right now. And when I say go home, I mean the Bolkerstrasse and the house where I was born… »

1805, Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Berg within the framework of the Confederation of the Rhine and designated as capital Düsseldorf. The Dukes of Berg housed in a castle town where he hosted Joachim Murat and Jérôme Bonaparte. 1815, after the fall of the French Empire of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna established that the whole duchy should be part of Prussia. 1921-1925, in the context of the occupation of the Rhineland after WWI,  French troops stayed in the city.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Düsseldorf in mid-April 1945. The United States 97th Infantry Division easily captured the city on 18 April 1945,  after the local Nazi resistance group launched Aktion Rheinland.  At the end of the war 50%  of the buildings were destroyed, 90% damaged.  1946, the British military government raised the city to the rank of capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  The city is then rebuilt and becomes the administrative center of the region.

Some of the things to see and do here are

In the 19C, the Academy of Fine Arts, under the impetus of Wilhelm von Schadow, made Düsseldorf both one of the major artistic centers of Germany and a pole of European romantic and realistic art. We are talking about a school in Düsseldorf.  At the same time, Düsseldorf is also associated with an essential artist of Romanticism in another field, music. The city appointed Robert Schumann Generalmusikdirektor (something like Music Director). He lived there with his wife Clara Wieck, a composer and pianist, from 1850 to 1854. It was in Düsseldorf that he created his last symphony, Symphony No. 3, called “Rhine”. The highly visited Museum Kunstpalast and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which brings together the K20 and the K21 are some of the notable museums in town. By the city center you have the Church of Saint Andrews built in 1667; the  Düsseldorf racecourse for horses, the  Basilica of St. Margaret, the Church-Bunker, and the Church of St. Cecilia.

Düsseldorf is a very active city with good ambiance and old world town area vibrant with restos and beer pubs.  It is also of course known for beer. The local one is known as the Altbier , a hoppy beer which translates as old style beer , a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales.  Over time the  yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19C  to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany . In the city ,there are five pub-breweries which brew Altbier on the premises, these are  Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and Brauerei Kürzer. Four of the five are in the historic centre of Düsseldorf (Altstadt); the other (Schumacher), between the Altstadt and Düsseldorf Central railway station (Hauptbahnhof), also maintains an establishment in the Altstadt, Im Goldenen Kessel, across the street from Schlüssel.

One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the  Karneval or Carnival which starts every year on 11 November in the morning., and reaches its climax on Rosenmontag or Rose Monday, featuring a huge parade through the streets of Düsseldorf.  The Carnival ends on aschermittwoch or Ash Wednesday. The local tradition of the Radschläger or Cartwheelers is said to be the city’s oldest tradition .This tradition was honored in 1954 by the erection of a fountain, called Cartwheeler’s Fountain, on the Burgplatz square.  Every Christmas, the city of Düsseldorf uses the city center to host one of the largest Christmas gatherings in Germany. The Christmas festival occurs every year from 17 November until 23 December. OF course all these dates are to be check on your trip here.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The City of Dusseldorf on things to see in English:

The Tourist office of Dusseldorf:

An interesting webpage on the Franco-German Circle of Dusseldorf in French/German of course:

It was a memorable trip and nostalgia says I should go back, will see when possible. If not as we say memories forever and thanks for reading me and to have a blog to keep these memorable travels. However, recommended for all visiting Germany.

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

February 10, 2021

Brussels and the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule!

And I bring you north, north of France that is, to the country of Belgium and a wonderful monument in its capital of Brussels. This continues my saga of updating older memorable posts in my blog; this one from 2018. Let me bring you up to the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule!

And I come back to Brussels, well I like it, is the architecture of the north and the tastes of the south of Europe. I am lucky to have family right by the border Belgium/France and had used them as a base to go into Belgium and its wonderful cities. Of course, the family trips were done by car, and then on business trips I have used planes, trains and automobiles combinations ! Brussels is nice and great memories of family trips. I have written before quite a bit on Brussels but never on this particular part in details aparts , generally many deserve a post for each.  You can do search in my blog on Brussels and find many interesting facts and sights. In fact, never written a post on the wonderful Cathedral of St Michael and St Gundule! Well its about time.

A bit of history I like

The Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule (used to be collegiate Church of St Michael) is the cocathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels located in Brussels. It is dedicated to St. Michael and St. Gudule.  Lambert II, Count of Leuven, and his wife Oda de Verdun, founded in 1047 a chapter of 12 canons in the Church of St. Michael (hence the name of “collegiate”) and transported the relics of Saint Gudule until then preserved in the Church of Saint-Géry which occupied, until the French revolution, the current location of the Halles Saint-Géry (market).


In 1200, under the impetus of Henri I of Brabant, the church was restored and enlarged by the construction of a Western facade , accompanied by two round towers. In 1226, the Duke of Brabant Henri II decided to build a Gothic collegiate Church which was not completed until the beginning of the 16C, shortly after the birth of  king Charles V. Some chapels were added to the 16C and 17C.  The construction of the current Church begins with the choir in 1226. The nave and the transept dating from the 14C and 15C are of Brabant Gothic style. The façade is surmounted by two towers and dates from the years 1470-1485. It was only in 1962 that Brussels, hitherto dependent on the archbishopric of Malineneux, was the Primate of Belgium, and was associated with this episcopal office under the title of the Diocese of Mechelen-Brussels. This is how the collegiate Church was promoted to the rank of CoCathedral.


The cathedral offers, in the basement, an archaeological site created by the placement, in 1991, above the vestiges of the ancient collegiate Church, a slab which, while supporting the paving of the choir, cleans an underground space which had already been spared by the Construction of the 13C Gothic building. At the time, it was a matter of safeguarding access to the Romanesque crypt to allow for the perpetuation of the use of burial sites, which continued until the end of the 19C. Two staircases give access to this site, which allows to observe it through thick transparent glasses arranged above the excavations.


A bit on the description of the Cathedral.

The western façade is typically Gothic-style brabant by its highly flamboyant décor. But it is also inspired by the typology of French Cathedrals, with its two towers and three portals surmounted by their gable. However, unlike the French facades it has no rosette, the latter being replaced by a large Brabant canopy. The two towers whose tops are laid out on terraces the facade is on three levels. The lower level is that of the portals and their gable. The two side portals are located at the base of the towers. The middle level is that of the large canopy, characteristic of the style ogival Brabant, flanked by two tall bays, narrow and slender each located in the axis of one of the towers. Finally at the top of the façade the third level presents a huge triangular pinion  perched above a gallery lace with fine balusters, and topped by several flamboyant pinnacles, one of which, at the top of the pinion, is particularly impressive and reaches more than 55 meters in height. On either side of this pinion, stand the third and penultimate floors of the two towers, with two very slender bays with giblets.

The nave is supported by two-tiered buttresses, of the same type as those created for the first time at the Cathedral of Soissons, and ensuring maximum stability. The chaperone of each of the upper buttresses is topped by a pinnacle at its peak near the nave. The same with each of the abutments.  The back of the chaperone of each upper arch has a pipeline to evacuate the rainwater from the Cathedral roof. At its outer end, this pipe crosses the upper part of the abutment to end with a gargoyle intended to project the waters as far as possible from the building.  On either side of the nave, between these buttresses, there is a series of small, shallow lateral Chapels, each of which is outwardly fitted with a beautiful, six-lancet, flamboyant canopy. The facade of each of the Chapels is surmounted by a typically Brabant triangular pinion, also crowned with a small pinnacle. Each side of the nave appears well decorated and very elegant.

The Cathedral St Michael and St Gundule has 114 meters long with the towers at 64 meters ,inside the width is 54 meters and the ceiling is at 25 meters. The Cathedral has beautiful stained glass windows, notably from the 16C, 17C and 19C. The interior in the nave with eight barlongues or rectangular spans, the elevation is three levels: large arcades communicating with the two collateral, triforium and high windows ; the ones on the right represent Thaddeus, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, James the Mayor and Paul.  Sixteen small lateral Chapels (eight in the north and eight in the south) open on the aisles. Each is equipped with a large, flamboyant bay with 19C stained-glass windows.  The nave features a 17C baroque pulpit carved in 1699. The base represents Adam and Eve driven from the Garden of Eden after plucking the forbidden fruit. In the summit, the Virgin and the Child piercing the serpent symbolize the redemption.



The organ was built in 2000 by organ factor Gerhard Grenzing . The  Choir of the Cathedral also has three rectangular bays and a five-pans apse. Its elevation in three levels; large arcades communicating with the ambulatory, triforium and high windows. It is surrounded by a large ambulatory which opens the large hexagonal baroque Chapel of the Madeleine, which became the Maes Chapel (17C). The addition of two large lateral Chapels at the level of this choir ; Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament , and Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Deliverance made it so much wider than the nave and even the transept, although the latter was  done at the end of the 14C, by the addition of a narthex at the end of the south brace.


The Chapels houses the treasure of the Cathedral and contains some superb works of religious art, including a cross-reliquary with Anglo-Saxon inscription dating from around the year 1000, the Cross of Brussels , a Virgin and the Child, as well as the canvas of  The Legend of Saint Gudule.  The vast Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament lies on the north side of the ambulatory. In a flamboyant Gothic style, it was built in the 16C. The Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Deliverance is the corresponding and quasi-symmetrical Chapel in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Like the latter, it constitutes a small Church in the Cathedral, located to the right (south) of the ambulatory with which it communicates by four large arcades. Built at the request of the Infante of Spain Isabel (daughter of king Felipe  II of Spain) that had married Archduke Albert of Habsburg, it was completed in 1649.

The axial Chapel of the Cathedral formerly Chapel of the Madeleine is today called Chapelle Maes. Built in the 17C, it is baroque-style and hexagonal in shape. It is lodged between the abutments of the two posterior buttresses of the bedside. It is surmounted by a small dome, which itself is crowned with a lace-up lantern. The Chapel is endowed with berries including the 19C stained glass.

Some of the webpages that will help you plan your trip here are

The Official site of the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule:

The official site of Cathedrals of Brussels on the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule:

The tourist office of Brussels on the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule in English:

Beautiful 3D view of the exterior and interior of the Cathedral on the ilotsacre site:

Hope you enjoy, of course there are so much to see in Brussels ,and some are very popular, but this is part of the history of the city, its architecture styles, and beautiful place to see. See the Cathedral St Michael and St Gudule.

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

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