Archive for February 22nd, 2021

February 22, 2021

St James’s Church at Perros Guirec!

And I bring you back north of Bretagne that is and pretty Perros Guirec in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 and update the St James’s Church or Saint Jacques! Hope you enjoy the post as I, and thanks for reading me all these years!!

A world to discover, the 3rd most visited region of France by the French, just need some of you visitors to discovered it. I like to tell you about another place where I have written before in a general sense but merits a full post of its own.  Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the église St Jacques or St James’s Church of Perros Guirec in the granite coast!

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The Church of Saint-Jacques is in the heart of the city center, it strikes the visitor through its portal ogival adjoining a square granite tower of Ile Grande 14C, surmounted by a dome extended by a pyramidal spire in granite of the Clarté-Ploumanac’h ,17C. Raised on a hill from the end of the 11C, dedicated to Saint-Jacques (St James/Santiago), it sheltered pilgrims from the north en route to Santiago de Compostela. The South Porch 12C offers specially crafted capitals over which runs a frieze of octopuses, the only one of all the Romanesque art listed so far. The Church was enlarged in the 14C,16C, and 20C.

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A bit of description and histoy I like

Massive and dark, this St James’ Church is distinguished by its strange capitals carved granite, leading to massive columns of a half-nave opening sideways by a portal to covings. From the original building, it remains the Romanesque nave and the southern porch. The ten pillars of the Romanesque nave , from 11C and 12C, feature capitals carved from Celtic or biblical motifs. In particular, the second pillar represents the arrival of Saint-Guirec in Perros. A gothic nave has come to prolong the Romanesque nave in the 14C. The square tower also dates from this period; the balustrade and the curious pyramid-boom dome are from the 17C. The two transepts were added in the 20C.

Inside, you  will be able to discover a beautiful 17C altarpiece comprising nineteen finely shaped statuettes. The Church of St Jacques (St James) also contains a 12C blessed and a 14C grain measure; this measure was used to receive and evaluate grain offerings.The Romanesque nave has ten pillars with carved or carved capitals. The Romanesque nave displays beautiful arcades in full hanger with marquees richly adorned with characters, foliage, animals. A plain ceiling covers the entire Church.

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The statuary, the furniture are also worthy of interest. Above the door, in the tympanum, the image of the Christ in glory, wearing a long tunic and raising his hand to bless. Around him, the eagle, symbol of St. John, and the lion, symbol of St. Mark, suggesting that on the lintel remade in the underwork, were once figured the other two evangelists, St. Luke and St. Matthew.

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 The bell tower, with the curious spire dome which today crowns the top, is raised on the base of the tower only in the 17C. From that same 17C date the baptismal fonts, with their admirable balusters, and, behind the major altar, the église Saint Jacques (St James) had to grow in the middle of the 20C where new arms were built at the transept and a more spacious sacristy, which opens onto the nave by an old door entourage at a noble pace.

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The heavy granite of the baptistery, decorated with 4 roughly carved characters, is from the 12C, from the time of the Romanesque part of the building. Saint John the Baptist, on the wall of the baptismal font is from the 17C. Saint Lawrence, in dalmatic of Deacon, his grill in hand, seems to be from the 16C. St. Catherine, crowned like a queen, is from the same time as St. Lawrence. The Pietà, at the crossroads of the Romanesque part and the Gothic part, unfortunately damaged, dates back to the end of the 16C. Saint Yves, at the same crossroads, is from the 18C, on a Romanesque base of the 12C. Christ in contempt, late 15C or early 16C, near the door of the sacristy, is worth admiring. The Virgin mother, called Notre-Dame du Foyer is from the 17C. Christ on the Cross of the beam of glory is a magnificent sculpture of the late 15C. The Saint James of the altarpiece is from the 17C as the ensemble of which it belongs.

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By the way, we noticed the two modern windows of the transept. The one on the left in Saint Yves. At the entrance of the choir and around the baptismal fonts, other modern stained glass windows.  The organ was created in 1996-1997. The latter has used as much as possible old techniques and traditional materials such as oak or lead.   This was a new organ, the Church of St Jacques had never had an organ!

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A bit more on the nice Church Saint Jacques from the tourist office of Perros Guirec. http://tourisme.perros-guirec.com/decouvrez/patrimoine-religieux/eglise-saint-jacques.html

The city of Perros Guirec on the église Saint Jacques: https://perros-guirec.catholique.fr/L-eglise-Saint-Jacques-de-Perros-Guirec.html

There you go another wonderful monument to visit on your rounds in the granite coast , wonderful coastal views and great beaches as well, see posts. For now enjoy the St James’s Church of Perros Guirec!

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

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February 22, 2021

Church of Saint Sulpice of Fougéres!

And my saga of updates on older posts in my blog continues while staying in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. This is another nice historical town that needs to be visit more and would like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Sulpice of Fougéres!

And as we like Fougeres why not staying a bit longer here! Very nice town, and to think rode by for several years while living in Versailles and never stop! then once moved to Brittany decided to go, a pleasant surprise, a find; great town.  I like to bring to your attention another nice monument there , the Church of Saint Sulpice.

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The Church of Saint-Sulpice is located at the foot of the castle of Fougères, outside the city walls. Between the castle moat and the old courtyard of the Nançon, in the medieval area of the Tanners, it forms the heart of the Old Town (Lower town), as opposed to the Church of Saint-Léonard (see previous post), located in the Bourg-Neuf (upper town) which developed from the 12C. 

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A bit of history I like

The foundation of the parish of Saint-Sulpice is closely linked to the birth of the town of Fougères, around its castle, which is attested from the 10C. The Barons of Fougéres favored the construction of the first parish church of Fougères, under the patronage of Sulpice Severus, biographer of the Apostle of the Gauls Saint-Martin. The Bishop of Rennes, having authorized the translation of the parish cult into the convent church in 1155, more than three centuries of difficulties had to be raised between parishioners and religious as to the maintenance of the original parish. Finally, the cure remained at the presentation of the abbot of Marmoutiers throughout the old regime and the present church replaced from the 14C the ancient edifice. The construction of the present Saint-Sulpice’s Church has spread over nearly four centuries, from 1380 to 1760.

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The Church of Saint Sulpice ,that was replaced occupied the current Choir. A simple nave accosted by a steeple and a sacristy forming a transept, it had probably been lengthened westward from a simple nave during the 14C. It was gradually surrounded by a crown of chapels, starting from the transept, to the West such as the construction of the Tanners ‘ Chapel, circa 1380. Construction of the Grande-Chapelle Notre-Dame, in the north, consecrated in 1410. Extension of the Choir, in 1412, whose apse was replaced by a flat bedside. Erection of the Paël Chapel, in the north, originally separated from the Grande-Chapelle but joined between 1450 and 1462. Realization to the south of the Chapels of San Sebastian (c. 1420, but done in 1516), St. Helena and the steeple from 1469 to 1490.  Establishment north of La Petite-Chapelle Notre-Dame and the Chapelle Saint-Damyn from 1495 to 1503, then the western gable. The work of the nave was actually completed only in 1546 and the Choir was then undertaken and conducted in the 18C, from 1747 to 1760.

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St Sulpice’s Church housed the cult of Notre-Dame-des-Marais, which is still alive today. The tradition is that the statue of Notre-Dame-des-Marais was venerated as early as the 11C in the Chapel Sainte-Marie and that it disappeared after the Castle of Fougeres (see post) was taken by Henri II Plantagenet in 1166. It was allegedly exhumed on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Church of Saint-Sulpice at the turn of the 13-14C. A window of the choir recounts this legend. The present statue, in the stone of Caen, seems to go back to the 14C, but a restoration of the 18C makes it uncertain its dating. Hidden from the French revolution, the statue joined this chapter until the construction of a Gothic chapel in the same location in 1872.

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The western part proceeds from the style of church in vogue in upper Britain in the 14-15C: large, blind main ship accosted by multiples-gabled collateral. Buttresses summoned by pinnacles, gargoyles, independent roofs and different templates of the chapels animate the three facades while a corner steeple, of square size, presents a floor of the bells completed by four gables and capped with an arrow in tapered slates that confine four pinnacles. The Church of Saint Sulpice is composed of a nave of four bays, bordered by collateral, and a flat-sided choir with three bays lined with lateral chapels, which communicate with each other through low-arched doors. The separation between the sacred space and that conferred on the laity is deeply marked. A triumphal arch underlines the chorus entrance, which itself is elevated by a walk in relation to the nave. The development of collateral is halted net at the fourth span by monumental granite altarpieces dating from the 16C. The Choir has a more classical structure. Six full-hanger arches carry a wooden vault, in cradle, adorned with paintings as well as the spandrels of the arcades. The chapels, capped with half-cradles, are separated by slitting walls pierced by small, low-slung doors. Only the ogival windows attest to the Gothic origin of this part of the building completed in the 18C.

The entire stained glass of Saint-Sulpice’s Church was carried out between 1885 and 1926 with the exception of five fragments of stained glass windows dating from 1558. The Church has stained glass windows from the early 20C, including the patriotic window of Joan of Arc, a vast composition that integrates with the crowd of three hairy processions. This stained glass was offered to the parish by local families who had lost their sons During the 1914-1918 War. The furnishings of the Choir of Saint-Sulpice’s Church almost exclusively local, which executed from 1757 to 1774, in a rococo style, one of the most beautiful liturgical arrangements of Brittany dating from the end of the old regime. The master altar executed from 1757 to 1760 is a work in red marble of Saint-Berthevin, Black of Solesmes, and white ( appearing the Lamb to the seven seals of Revelation). Its tabernacle, framed by two worshipping angels, dated 1759, is a semi-cylindrical wardrobe enriched with bas-reliefs representing the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the presentation to the temple and the baptism of Christ. A canopy, summoned by a statue of the Risen crown.

The altarpiece of the high altar, rococo-style, punctuated by four black marble pilasters, its paneling houses two paintings ,an Assumption and a panel containing the sacrifice of Abraham and the scene of the bronze serpent. And two statues of Notre-Dame De Grace and Saint-Sulpice. The work is crowned by a balustrade and triangular pediment, which bears two angels surrounding a 14C Christ in the cross; The side altars were raised towards 1760-1762 of more Baroque style, they host statues of Sainte-Anne and Saint-Joachim. Although not collegiate or abbey, the church houses a set of stalls from 1757-1762 that compete with the choir’s perspective. On both sides of the triumphal arch separating the nave from the choir, two large granite altarpieces, integrated into the body of the slitting walls, interrupt the development of collateral bordering the main nave. In a flamboyant Gothic style, raised at the dawn of the Renaissance, they are among the last medieval altarpieces built and preserved in Brittany.

The northern altarpiece, undertaken under the Duke Francis II, was completed after his daughter, Anne, became Queen of France, the splash back of the right presenting a crest of the party of France and Brittany. Originally to be used as a casket for the statue of Notre-Dame-de-Marais, it welcomed until the 1950’s the Virgin of the Rosary which occupies today the altarpiece of the Tanners, the object of devotion having recovered its primitive location since then. The Tanners ‘ altarpiece was undoubtedly completed during the reign of Duke Francis I. It presents the peculiarity of offering to its summit the complete iconography of the instruments of the Passion of Christ. In addition, a fleur-de-lis and an eagle are depicted on the torso columns, referring to the candidacy of Francis I in the imperial title, in 1517. Although the first mention of an organ in the Church of Saint-Sulpice dates back to 1447, the current major organ are recent, having been rebuilt from 1919 to 1921.

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And as usual some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Fougéres on its medieval heritage like the church: https://fougeres.fr/dossier/d%C3%A9couvrir-le-patrimoine-fougerais-0

The Fougéres tourist office on the Church of St Sulpice: https://www.ot-fougeres.fr/home/discover/fougeres_and_its_surroundings_the_must_sees/touristic_map_of_fougeres/saint_sulpices_church

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on the Church of St Sulpice: https://www.bretagne35.com/offres/eglise-saint-sulpice-fougeres-fr-2728519/

There you go folks another dandy in my dandy Bretagne. Hope you have enjoy the post and do stop by and let me know if around ok. The Church of Saint Sulpice in Fougéres is one site to visit while in town.

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

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February 22, 2021

Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Rennes!!

And here staying in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine of my lovely Bretagne I like to update for all this wonderful Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle of Rennes. I will update this one in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy as I.

The city of Rennes has lots to offer and still remains on the off the beaten path of foreign visitors here. It should be seen more. I like to bring out some of the monuments that struck me while visiting this city and walking its streets.  A pity on the Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ( Our Lady of Good News Basilica) there is little information on the tourist office while I have plenty in my history books on Brittany. Something to make you find out about, hope you do and enjoy it.

The Church of Saint-Aubin later Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, is located in the city center of Rennes on place Sainte-Anne. The current, unfinished building replaces an ancient homonymous church located in the same square. Its north and east facades are bordered by the Contour Saint-Aubin. The Rue de Saint-Malo separates the Church from the convent of the Jacobins. It was erected in Basilica minor on August 6, 1916.

A bit of history I like

The old Church Saint Aubin, demolished in 1904, was located outside the ramparts of Rennes and occupied the western part of the present place Saint-Anne. Attested in the 12C, it is mostly from the 17-18C, and it had hosted from the 19C, the cult of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, primitively located in the convent of the Jacobins. Guy XII de Laval continued the work begun by Jean IV of Brittany for the construction of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle de Rennes, founded in the aftermath of the Battle of Auray (1364).

The tradition reports that the Duke of Brittany Jean IV attributed the victory of the Montfort’s (his) to the Blois’s, during the war of the Duchy’s succession, during the Battle of Auray, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. In 1368 he founded the Dominican convent of Rennes, which quickly became the name of the convent of good-news (bonne nouvelle), a painting on wood of the Virgin and the Child becoming during the 15C the object of the veneration of the faithful. Still, the votive work was melted during the French revolution and replaced after a cholera epidemic in 1849 by a new ex-voto dating from 1861. During the Prussian invasion of 1871, Mgr. Brossay-Saint-Marc decided to offer a candle to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle every 8 September, if the city was spared. This tradition was perpetuated and the Church of St. Aubin was erected in Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle on August 6, 1916.

The Church of Saint-Aubin was built from 1884 to 1904, the manifesto of the Gothic style triumphant in the Breton capital. In the absence of the main façade, the creation of the Rue de Bonne-Nouvelle magnified the entrance to the right transept, in the axis of rue Saint-Melaine and the former Benedictine Abbey.  St. Aubin’s Church being the parish where Blessed Marcel Callo was born and the church where he was baptized, a permanent place in his memory was installed following his beatification on 4 October 1987, by Pope John Paul II. There is a statue to remember this occasion.

A bit on the construction style I like

The Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, although unfinished, presents itself as a Latin cross with ample chorus. The nave, of three bays, is accosted by collateral that promotes easy circulation during the liturgy. It leads to a largely overflowing transept, each arm having two spans. The chorus, extending the distribution to three vessels of the nave, ends with a pentagonal apse. Its side aisles act as an ambulatory, allowing to bypass the liturgical choir and to access the bedside, place of devotion to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. The sacristy and Catechism room are in the extension of the transepts along the first two spans. The elevation has two floors with large arcades and high windows; made in the Gothic style of the 13C. The rosettes of the transepts are the direct transposition of the rose of the west facade of Chartres, and the high windows with four lancets derive from those of Amiens. The stained glass of the Basilica is its major ornamental element. Most of the stained glass, declining floral motifs,  are also featured in medallions of the scenes of Brittany’s history in connection with the Duchess Anne (Anne de Bretagne).

As said not much online on the Basilica , but the Catholic parish webpage  will give you some ideas.

The parish  Basilica Church of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle of Rennes: https://www.notredamedebonnenouvelle.com/

Hope you enjoy and do stop by it is a nice Basilica indeed and something different to see in wonderful Rennes!

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

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