Archive for February 17th, 2021

February 17, 2021

Arras ,up the north!!!

And I bring you up the north again. Well family is around there a bit north and we have gone often. Once from the idea of seeing their Christmas market we went, and it was a wonderful experience. And we have come back to Arras! Let me tell you a bit more on it!

And on my wandering road warrior trips in my belle France, I have come to the Pas de Calais department 62 in the region of Hauts de France. First, it was for no reason at all than visiting family not far, and then, we came back for the Christmas market, and then more.  I like to tell you a bit more on Arras, a very moving historical city to many with vivid history of WWI especially. I like this time to concentrate on the Place des Héros and the Grand Place (Heroes square and Big square respectively).

I have written on Arras in general before in my blog, just to recap.  We came to Arras, a wonderful town  to walk and see. We all come here for the Beffroi or belltower, a must in the city to climb it. built from 1453-1554, it was a lookout point in WWI with its 75 meters high ( 249 ft)  towards 3 kms to the east where the front was. admission was 2.80€ and it is UNESCO. You can see the Boves or the underground tunnels, it house 24 000 British soldiers during  WWI, and can be seen for a modest admission of less than 6€. The Musée des Beaux-Arts or fine arts can be seen for less than 5€.  It is at 22 ruer Paul Doumer,  housed in a wonderful  building of the monastic architecture of the 18C that is the abbey of Saint-Vaast, it has a medieval collection, school of Arras paintings, and porcelains in its gorgeous room or salle des Mays. Come see the Carriére Wellington, chalk caves where soldiers hid during WWI, and started from the offensive of 1917 with 24K British soldiers, admission was less than 7€, and then you have the Citadelle ,built 1667-1672 by Vauban, known as the unused beauty as Arras never had a siege after its contruction, it has a Chapel on the side, the oldest religious building in Arras. It is by Blvd Gen de Gaulle. Here you have one of the best Christmas markets in France( Marché de Nôel) by the Grand Place , and certainly the best in the North,and the Saturday morning market at Place des Héros.

And just to put up  a bit more on these two wonderful streets of historical Arras!

The Place des Héros is a beautiful square in Arras . The place of Heroes was built from 1463 to 1554 and will be enlarged two times in 1572 and 1658. Under the Belfry, the city/town Hall.lined with a splendid strengthened canvas over 50 meters long and tracing the life of the Arrageois in the 16C, it is also covered with magnificent carved woodwork that adorn the Hall of Honor. A place to visit, the belfry not only houses the tourist office but also allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city it protects.  The Petite Place or small square takes the name of Place des Héros in 1945, in connection with the resistance fighters of the town of WWII having been shot here.

arras-place-des-heros jan19

The Rue de la Taillerie connects it to the Grand Place. The square is big which is characterized by a completely mineral aspect that is found in many cities of the old Netherlands. The origin of the Grand-Place of Arras is not certain. This is the historic and main square of the city. The square is surrounded by 155 houses marked by the influence of the Flemish Baroque style in a classic 17C French architecture. Like the place of the heroes, the Flemish influence is visible notably by the voluted gables overlooking the square, as well as the arcades at the front of the houses; the arcades are supported by 345 pillars. Arras’s Christmas Market takes place on the Grand Place from the end of November to the end of December.


The square includes the communal Beffroi or belfry as well as the city/town hall.. Like the Grand Place, the Flemish influence is visible in particular by the volute gables overlooking the square, as well as the arcades in front of the houses. The houses of Grand’Place and Place des Héros have two underground passages. During the bombardments of 1944, they were used as a shelter and as a medical center. This giant network of underground passages (called Boves) has been made open to visitors since 1982.

arras-place-des-heros-and-beffroi jan19

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Arras on its heritage:

The Arras tourist office on its heritage:

The area Arras country of Artois tourist board on the Grand’Place and Place d’Héros:

Again is a magical town of history recent, and well worth the detour. We stop by on our way to visit family each time we can. Hope you enjoy the ride to Arras.

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

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February 17, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXV

And here back to my original Some news from France series that I have enjoyed writing and thank you for reading me all these years as this in my typical Roman numerals is the No 325. We have escape the cold weather and now in the mild usual temps. The virus is improving according to the latest bulletin from the gouvernement de la République Française . However, most businesses remained closed or on delivery status or pick and collect which makes visiting town worthless. We must continue!

The now un-famous Health Defense Council of France is telling us no re-containment planned before the end of the winter holidays. This last month of 18h curfew appears to have paid off: the government is not considering any further restrictions at this time. At least not before the end of the winter holidays. A new Health Defense Council is being held today Wednesday, February 17. The saga continues I am sure there will be movies afterward…..

The Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot said museums and monuments will be the first summoned to the reopening assured to the presidents of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay , the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mucem , Marseille), the Musée des confluences (Lyon) and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. We are still waiting….

The Notre Dame Cathedral is looking for timber. Foresters are currently roaming the Conches-Breteuil massif, in the Eure, in search of century-old oaks as materials. Their mission, to find the right candidates to rebuild the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris, which collapsed during the terrible fire of 2019. The perfect cast? Oaks that have been “led” so as to be straight, 50 to 90 cm in diameter and 8 to 14 meters in height. However, only hundred-year-old trees, even bicentennial, can boast of such statures. Don’t panic, reassure forestry experts in France: in both public and private forests, there are enough such specimens to reconstruct the spire. Indeed!

Unesco’s Intangible Heritage nomination from France will have a fratricidal war between the baguette and the rooftops of Paris. France will present a single candidate in 2022 in the race for the prestigious international cultural label. So take your peak, I go for the baguette yes!!!

And talking about heritage which is history and architecture my fav subjects we have the National Monuments going to give money to renovate places such as the Cité de Carcassonne, Château de Pierrefond, and the Hôtel de la Marine, renovated for 132 million euros. It should open the first half of April, if the government lifts the closure of cultural venues. Until 1789, this hotel housed the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (or crown furniture keeps) before becoming, for more than 200 years, the seat of the Ministry of the Navy. The National Monuments Center took over management in 2015, after the departure of the ministry. The opening expected in two months concerns the heritage spaces, former 18C apartments of the intendant of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne.This is at the Place de la Concorde, Paris. And these are just the ones that caught my eyes, there will be more building to benefit from this financial help and recognition!

Where do we live the oldest in Ile-de-France region? For the first time, the Regional Health Observatory (ORS observatoire regional de santé) is publishing a detailed atlas of health data in the 1287 towns in the Ile-de-France region. Regionally, the average is 80.6 years for men and 86.1 for women. In Paris, in the popular 18éme arrondissement, people live less well and less old than in the 16éme!, reveals a survey by the Regional Health Observatory. And in Jouarre (S/M 77), we live, on average, between 7 and 8 years less compared to regional figures. The ORS webpage in French:

In the Winter 1879-1880: when Claude Monet painted the frozen Seine. Of course, no climate change then lol!! Are you shivering from the cold? Think instead of our ancestors who endured the worst cold snap in France. -26 ° C in Paris and worse still in Vétheuil (Val-d’Oise 95 ) where the painter, a young widower, warmed his heart by painting like the damned. By the Quai Saint-Michel, on January 3, 1880. During that harsh winter, the capital experienced 29 days of frost and the Seine froze!!

According to the Le Parisien newspaper, the struggling Vélib bikes   operator Smovengo will receive 4 million euros more for three years and the amendment to the contract will be validated on Thursday. In return, it will have to improve the quality of service, assessed by a user committee. Oh yeah more taxpayers money down the drain!!!

As of this past Monday evening, only one terminal will continue to welcome passengers at Orly airport. At issue: the recent border closures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, which are causing air traffic to fall. Only Terminal 3 remains open, which is more modern and suitable for national and international flights. Webpage:

Abandonment of tramway 4 or T4 at Roissy airport (CDG) ,the projects to the airport are in the hot seat. The abandonment of a new terminal at Roissy also casts doubt on plans for access to the airport platform, namely the direct CDG Express train and the future metro line 17. Yes we are not moving forward and more closures and more traffic than ever!!!

The Grand Véfour, temple of French gastronomy, will take a 180 degree turn as soon as the restaurants reopen in Paris. Director since 1991 of the famous Palais-Royal house (17, rue Beajolais, Iéme), Guy Martin, its chef, has now decided to devote himself to market cuisine, more spontaneous, less expensive too. Hence the loss, last January, of the two stars it had held in the Michelin Guide since 1991. I am going to make this heritage house, founded in 1784 and listed as a Historic Monument, accessible to as many people as possible. Not without recalling that “originally, the café de Chartres, which became Véfour after its owner’s name in 1820, is open all day”.

The animated reconstruction of a panorama 120 meters long and 9 meters high takes us back to the murderous battle of Champigny, 150 years ago now depicted in detail the Battle of Champigny, a highlight of the Franco-German war of 1870. Inaugurated in 1882, the canvas was exhibited until 1887 at the Panorama National in Paris. These huge paintings were arranged inside a rotunda, allowing the public to immerse themselves in the story told by the painters. Once in the rotunda, visitors climbed onto a central platform and found themselves in the middle of the canvas. The two painters in this panorama, Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Detaille, both took part in the war of 1870. Edouard Detaille was even present at the battle of Champigny. He made sketches of what he observed. The City of Champigny sur Marne intends to go even further, by then reconstituting the original panorama. The city of Champigny sur Marne on the battle in French:

The Louvre museum conservation center was installed in 2019 in Pas-de-Calais. The museum’s reserves, which, under the public establishment, were located in a flood zone, were 80% emptied of some 150,000 works stored there. The Louvre has deployed great resources such as a huge building was built in Liévin (Pas-de-Calais), for a budget of 60 million euros, a few km from Lens, where the decentralized branch of the National Museum is located . Since its inauguration in October 2019, semi-trailer shuttles have not stopped between rue de Rivoli and rue du Docteur-Piette. More info on the Louvre webpage:

And now controversies even on a tomb stone. The tombstone of Constantin Brancusi, simple and discreet in the Montparnasse cemetery, informed visitors preferred to meditate on his Baiser (kiss) statue. Somewhere in Division 22,section 22 they could admire this exceptional sculpture by the Romanian artist, watching over the tomb of Tania Rachevskaïa, a young Russian exile who committed suicide in 1910. Following a judgment by the Paris administrative court of appeal of December 11, 2020, the Ukrainian descendants of Tania Rachevskaïa obtained the right to recover the work. For ten years, this family has been in dispute with the public authorities, who have been fighting to preserve this stone couple, entwined for eternity, of which there are several versions, produced by Brancusi between 1907 and 1945. The Paris tourist office on the Montparnasse cemetery:

Keep an eye on this one folks ! It is the most anticipated exhibition of 2022: 20,000 m2 entirely dedicated to Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, and the entire universe of the saga. On the program, a crazy immersive scenography, original accessories and costumes straight out of the archives of filming locations, original installations, sets, experiences … In other words, a dream come true for any aficionado of the world of JK Rowling . The exhibition will tour the world for an entire year, stopping in almost every continent. Europe is on the program, but the cities and their dates have not yet been announced a stop in Paris is very likely, in line with other world exhibitions that have set down here: Jurassic World, Tutankhamun or even Game of Thrones. We’ll keep you posted.

A free outdoor exhibition dedicated to Louis de Funès (see post). The most famous French comic actor is in the spotlight in an exhibition at Bercy Village from next February 18 2021: it’s time to revise your classics. Passionate about jazz, Louis de Funès de Galarza began as a pianist in a bar during the war. It was long before Daniel Gélin gave him a chance, Sacha Guitry his confidence and Claude Autant-Lara locked him up in front of Gabin and Bourvil in the cellar of La Traversée de Paris. It was not until 50 years old that the little jazzman finally climbed to the top of the bill and shared his burlesque genius with the whole world. His roles describe his life, the rise of a rank-and-file: from small conductor to conductor, from non-commissioned officer to captain of industry, from deprivation to the disruption of consumer society. Thirty-eight years after his death, Bercy Village is dedicating an outdoor exhibition to him from February 18 to May 31, echoing the exhibition at the Cinémathèque française. “Laughter is the sun, it chases winter away from the human face”, proclaimed Louis de Funès, whose career, although started late, will forever mark the 7th art. Fantômas, Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez, La Folie des Grandeurs, The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob or La Grande Vadrouille, who has never watched one of his films with the family in peace on the sofa?   echoing the exhibition at the Cinémathèque française. The classics of your ancestors (and perhaps yours). will be, all in a free course that will undoubtedly bring back beautiful memories. Louis de Funès exhibition at Bercy Village 28, rue François Truffaut – 12éme. From February 28 to May 31, 2021. More on the entertainment webpage of the city of Paris

Did you think Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel was creepy? So you haven’t read anything about this story that really took place in Paris in 1848 yet. It was during the summer of 1848 that we began to discover corpses unearthed every morning in the various cemeteries of Paris: in the famous Père-Lachaise cemetery, in others much smaller, but especially in the Montparnasse cemetery. The peculiarity of these corpses is that they were all corpses of young girls who were found mutilated and often stained with the criminal’s seed. Very quickly the story spread throughout Paris and began to frighten the population. It was the cemetery administration that launched the idea of ​​setting a trap for him to stop this man who was terrorizing the city: a large metal wire was installed around the gate of the Montparnasse cemetery. This large wire is connected to a grape shot which is triggered at the slightest contact. So on the night of March 15, 1849 (it’s still more than six months after the first events) the man was wounded by the grapeshot, he managed to go for treatment to the Val de Grâce military hospital. which is not very far. It was, in fact, François Bertrand: a fairly respected Army sergeant in Paris. He will only receive a one-year prison sentence for “burial violation” because even today necrophilia is simply considered “attacking the integrity of a corpse” and punished by only one year in prison and 15,000 euros in fines!

Something not travel related but me think worth to put in my blog.

The singer Angèle supports cancer research by launching a raffle with great gifts. Winning Angèle’s autographed piano, Julien Doré’s santiags or even a day on the set of the film Asterix and Obelix with Guillaume Canet, it is possible thanks to the commitment of many artists alongside Kickcancer. Angéle has been a sponsor of the Kickcancer association for several years now, which is involved in research into pediatric cancers: she works in schools in Belgium, raises funds regularly … But this time, it is a very large raffle bringing together the outbursts of solidarity of many Belgian, French and English artists. The concept is simple: just choose the prize (or prizes) you prefer and buy a ticket for € 10 – or more, which necessarily increases the chances of winning. The money donated will then help in the fight against cancer through the association which finances scientific research, sets up awareness campaigns on pediatric cancers and fights to modify regulations that make it difficult to take action. care of sick children. Very worthy cause me think. More info at Kickcancer:

And by now once in a while a good one recipe of the month: (metric measurements)

Ingredients for 4 persons: 1 piece of rump steak (about 600 g), 8 organic potatoes (Agria type), 400 g of various salads (lettuce, romaine, mesclun, lamb’s lettuce, treviso … depending on the season), 1 small shallot or ½ red onion, herbs fine (parsley, chives, chervil), optional.

For the vinaigrette: 1 tbsp. to c. mustard, 1 tbsp. to s. vinegar (balsamic or sherry), 3 tbsp. to s. olive oil, walnuts, or a mixture of the two, salt, pepper. For the mayonnaise: 1 egg yolk at temperature, 1 tsp. to c. mustard, sunflower or grapeseed oil, salt, pepper, vinegar.

Preparation: Bake the rump steak in the oven for 20 minutes at 190 ° C, then take it out and let it rest for 10 minutes. Clean and dry the potatoes without peeling them. Cut them into cubes, then sauté in a pan in sunflower oil or butter. Start on high heat, then reduce heat to low until tender and golden on the outside. Clean and wring out the salads. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the ingredients together and adding the salt and pepper. Prepare the mayonnaise by whisking the egg yolk and mustard, then add the oil in a thin stream. Adjust the seasoning and soften with a dash of vinegar or lemon juice. Bon appétit!!!

And there I hope you still dreaming of Paris and France, we are all! Patience is a virtue and we needed now more than ever. Best wishes wherever you are and keep strong and safe.

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

February 17, 2021

Palais du Tau at Reims!!

And going east back to the Marne and the Champagne area of my belle France. I like to update this post on an unusual museum in an episcopal palace next to the Cathedral of Reims! Hope you en enjoy this jewel and thanks for reading me over the years!

And while in Reims why not come to an unique museum, another awesome monument to visit in my belle France. This on in Reims, department 51 of the Marne, in the Grand Est region of France.  This is a city best known for the Champagnes and no doubt a must to see too. However, seldom the monuments are overlook. Do not miss this museum in a palace, the Palais de Tau.  I have other posts on Reims but apparently my pictures for the Palais de Tau are few if any, do not believe it!


The Archbishop Palace of the Tau in Reims was the place of residence of archbishops of this city. It owes its name to its plan, which was in the Middle Ages in the form of a letter T (Tau in Greek). Building adjoining the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, it was also a royal residence at the coronations of the Kings of France in Reims.  Occupied since the 5C at this site, the former residence of the bishops and archbishops of Reims was enlarged and rebuilt over the centuries, with major reshuffles at the end of the 15C and in the years 1680-1690. The palace was transformed into a court of law, then a trade exchange during the French revolution.  Severely damaged during a fire at the beginning of WWI in 1914, following bombardments on the Cathedral, the Palais du Tau was restored in the 1950’s ,and has since 1972 a museum linked to the Cathedral and the coronations of the kings of France.

A bit of history i like

At the present location of the Cathedral, the founding Bishop Nasser built a Church dedicated to Notre-Dame at the beginning of the 5C and settled in a contiguous Gallo-Roman villa, whose vestiges were found during excavations in the lower hall of the current palace. This church is the place of the baptism of Clovis by the bishop of Reims Remi around 500 and becomes from 816 to 1825 the place of the coronation of most of the kings of France. The Palace of  Tau was the place of residence of kings for their coronation, and the Hall of the Tau hosted the Royal banquet at the end of the ceremony.

The palace of Tau is in the flamboyant Gothic style at the end of the 15C. The palace retained this style for nearly two centuries, until the work of Robert de Cotte between 1688 and 1693.. The palace then acquires a classical aspect. The palace saw the archbishop’s departure in 1790 during the French revolution, during which the palace was transformed into a court of law, then on the stock exchange of commerce. The archbishop’s return was made during the restoration in 1823. For the coronation of Charles X in 1825, the palace was restored. The separation of the Church and the State in 1905 ended the occupation of the palace by the Archbishops of Reims. On December 17, 1906, the Archbishop of Reims Louis-Joseph Luzon was forced to leave the palace.

From 1907, the palace of Tau is intended to host the ethnographic Museum of Champagne. It is necessary to wait until 1950 for the reconstruction of the palace to be opened, in order to welcome a museum which opens in 1972. Since 1972, the Palais du Tau is a national monument managed by the Centre of National Monuments ;the Palais du Tau contains the museum with important sculpted elements coming from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, deposited after the fire of 1914 and during the 20C. The tapestries that were exposed to the Cathedral are visible in different rooms of the palace. The museum exposes the treasure of the Cathedral, and dedicates halls to the evocation of the rites of the Kings of France. It is also the place of temporary exhibitions, demonstrations and shows. It currently has a restaurant room with terrace in the courtyard.   Since March 2017, the palace has hosted a tea room, the Tau.

Things to see are plenty here!

The lower Chapel dates from the beginning of the 13C. A 14C tympan, a Virgin and the Child, is located above the passage leading to the Chapel. Since 1919, the lapidary deposit elements of the Cathedral, visible through a glass door closing the access, has been formed in this part of the palace. In particular, the fragments of the rood of the 15C Cathedral, destroyed in 1744, are shown. The lower room, located below the Tau room, dates from the 15C. It presents vaults on a cross-shaped warhead, the vault keys bearing the arms of Guillaume Briconnet. Excavations have shown levels dating back to the Gallo-Roman era and the north wall has 9C arcs

Tau Room or banquet hall; this room initially had a form of T, hence its name. This large, now rectangular room since Robert de Cotte’s works in the 17C, was previously reworked at the end of the 15C. His arms, mingled with those of ecclesiastical heraldry, are carved on the chimney.   The wooden frame of the room has the shape of an inverted ship’s hull and has nine horizontal beams. The room, heavily damaged during the fire of 1914 which destroyed this ceiling but spared the chimney was restored following old engravings. Two large wall hangings illustrating the history of the 15C Fort Roy Clovis are exhibited. This room is also called the Feast Hall as the banquet following the Royal coronation took place there

The treasure is exposed in two rooms located between the Tau room and the upper Palatine Chapel. The first presents the treasure of the old regime and the second exhibits the collections dating from the restoration, mainly the coronation of Charles X. It consists of objects from the cathedral and objects used during the coronation ceremony, among which: the reliquary of the Holy Ampulla ; the chalice of the coronation, a piece of goldsmith which was part of the regalia of the Kingdom of France; the talisman of Charlemagne, jewel of the 9C. This gift of the Caliph Haroun ar-Rachid to Charlemagne would have been found during the exhumation of the emperor’s body in 1166. Kept since in Aix-la-Chapelle, the talisman was offered to Josephine Bonaparte by the Bishop of the city in 1804. This jewel in gold, emeralds, garnets, beads and sapphires contains a thorn of the True Cross; the reliquary of the Resurrection dating from the second half of the 15C. The nave of St. Ursula. This ceremonial nave , carried out by a goldsmith of Tours of the late 15C, was given to Anne of Brittany in 1500. In 1505, the Queen placed statuettes of Saint Ursula and her companions on the deck of the nave. The nave reaches Henri III, who offers it to the Cathedral in 1575. The coat of arms of Henri III, and a Latin inscription made for his gift are visible on the base of the object.

This Palatine Chapel is accessible from the Tau room. The entrance is surmounted by a tympan adorned with a Adoration of the Magi. It currently hosts the six candlesticks and the Cross which were made on the occasion of the marriage of Napoleon and Marie-Louise . The Chapel is built on two levels.

Charles X Room; this room is particularly dedicated to the coronation in 1825 of Charles X, the last sacred French sovereign. The coat of the coronation of Charles X is a piece of purple silk velvet 5.70 meters long.

The Antichamber; this piece presents a copy of the crown of Louis XV, the original in the Louvre museum one of the versions of the painting by Joseph Siffrein Duplessis representing Louis XVI in the coronation costume. Since November 2017 is presented the period copy of a portrait of the Grand Dauphin by Henri Tara, whose original is presented at the Château de Versailles.

Goliath Room; this room contains statues and various elements of the Cathedral. The Goliath, carved with its chain of mesh and its helmet, dated the third quarter of the 13C is 5.4 meters high and weighs 6 tons. Other monumental statues of the Cathedral are also exhibited in this room: the Synagogue and the Church, Adam and Eve, Saint Paul and Saint James, and the risen Christ and Saint Thomas.

Small Sculptures Room ; a hall with many carved heads fallen during WWI, the monumental sculptures of Abraham, and some models, including the one representing the ideal cathedral of the famous-le-Duc, and since November 2017 a Model of the Cathedral of Reims.

Song Room, four wall embroideries, dating from the 17C, represent imagined scenes of the biblical book Song of songs adorning this room. These embroideries of wool and silk come from the castle of Hauteville (Aisne) and were given in 1807 to the Cathedral.

Square Lounge, or Pepersack room; the statues of Saint Peter and La Madeleine, dated the 1st quarter of the 13C and deposited from the western façade of the Cathedral in 1970, are presented here. This room also exhibits the six remaining tapestries of a set of 29 pieces woven in Reims in the 17C , representing episodes of the Life of Christ.

Room of the King of Judah; the statue representing a king of Judah gives its name to this room of modest dimensions. This imposing statue of 4.2 meters high, dating from the middle of the 14C, was located at the base of one of the towers of the Cathedral in the Gallery of Kings.

Coronation Hall of the Virgin; this room owes its name to the gable called Coronation of the Virgin from the central portal of the cathedral. This gable with a width of 8 meters and a height of 5.5 meters, displayed above the staircase of honor, was deposited in 1948-1949. This room contains several tapestries of the   life of Notre-Dame; these were given in 1530 . Sculptures of kings, one attributed to the representation of Philippe Auguste, frame the tapestries.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and coming is a must are:

The National Monuments webpage on the Palais du Tau:

The tourist office of Reims on the Palais du Tau:

This is one of the best antiques museum and merits a visit! Palais du Tau at Reims. Hope it helps you make it when possible.

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

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February 17, 2021

Church of Saint Vincent of Paul, Blois!

And here I am on a world famous town of my belle France. Well famous especially for the castle here and other goodies which I have several posts in my blog. However, today let me update a wonderful post on a beautiful church and famous Saint in Blois! Hope you enjoy as I and thanks for reading me over the years!

Moving right along in wonderful Blois. To move out into the deep France and the wonderful valley of the kings or present Centre-Val de Loire region is to submerge in pure beauty. And again, a lot more than castles.  This is the case of the town of Blois, one of my favorites in the region, and lovely always. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Vincent of Paul in Blois.


Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church in Blois, department of Loir-et-Cher no 41,in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. The former St. Louis Chapel of the Jesuit College of Blois, it was built in the 17C but only became a parish church in the 19C, under the name Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.


A bit of history I like

In 1581, King Henry III ordered the construction of a Chapel for the college which he had just decided to establish in Blois. In 1622, the Jesuits took the direction of the establishment, at the request of the city’s notables. So it was finally in 1634 that the construction of a Chapel began. In 1660, Gaston d’Orléans, exiled in Blois, decided to finance the construction of the Church, making it possible to speed up the project. The Church of St. Vincent de Paul is in fact the former Chapel of St. Louis of the Royal College of the city that Louis XIII gave to the Jesuits in 1622 and that these made restore and decorate thanks to the largesse of Gaston d’Orléans (brother of the King), then of Anne-Marie of Montpensier (The Great Mademoiselle), his daughter. From 1670, the Chapel was transformed into a monument to the glory of the prince and his family. Finally, the Church is completed in 1678 thanks to the donations of Gaston d’Orléans.


In 1773, the Jesuits were expelled from France and thus lost the direction of the Royal College and its Chapel. During the French revolution, the establishment was abandoned and its Chapel was transformed into a temple of liberty…. In 1793, the department’s executive Board ordered the destruction of all the marks which recalled the former regime! The church then served as a place for the raising of the contingent of volunteers for the army during the reign of terror. Transformed into a forage store shortly thereafter, the chapel became a place of worship again in 1826, when it was established as the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church, before being renamed Notre-Dame Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1856 with the new restoration of the Church ending in 1873, and the change back to Saint Vincent de Paul Church.

A bit on the construction/architecture I like

The Church of Saint Vincent de Paul is constructed with a northern orientation as the Jesuit tradition wants it. Reflects the architectural principles enacted by the Council of Trent and the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17C. The church is characteristic of the French religious art of the first half of the 17C as well.The latter comprises a nave of three bays comprising each of the chapels as well as a single-span choir completed by a five-pans apse. The three-level facade underlined by a very salient enlayerment is punctuated by powerful pilasters with overlapping order. The two upper levels are accosted by large fins and vases on the first floor, from pyramids to the second. A large triangular pediment crowning the center span completes the composition. The large, full-hanging windows of the chapels and that of the nave above the table reinforce the magnitude and simplicity of the interior elevation. In 1634, to establish an arch of stone warheads without dome or dome on the crusader. The monument that sheltered the heart of Gaston d’Orléans (3rd son of king Henri IV) has two figures in half relief framing a high pedestal bearing a statue in round-hump. The Church enjoys a rich interior decor: statues, paintings, altarpieces, sculptures.


On the left is the altarpiece originally, there was, in its center, a painted canvas. It was replaced by an apparition of the Virgin after the French revolution. On the left is the mausoleum of Gaston d’Orléans; On the right, the monument of Mademoiselle de Montpensier.


Under the monarchies, the Chapel had beautiful stained glass windows. During the fighting of WWII, they were blown away by the explosions of the bombs dropped nearby. Only the stained glass of the vow of Louis XIII remains and the perimeter of the stained glass of the Saint-Joseph Chapel. It is called the vow of Louis XIII, the consecration of France to the Virgin Mary by King Louis XIII on February 10, 1638. All the other stained glass windows are contemporary.


Not surprisingly been a more Royal pantheon visited even today by French nobility, there is not much written on the Church; but it has a spot in the tourist office of the Blois-Chambord region . webpage:

The city of Blois on its churches including Saint Vincent de Paul:

Hope you enjoy the tour, and do visit once in Blois, like I said so much to see and always a lot more than castles… not that they are shabby especially the one in Blois! Enjoy your visit to the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul. There is a project around the church to put more shops and pedestrians ways now under study but slow down due to the virus.

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

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