Archive for March 3rd, 2021

March 3, 2021

The glorious Jardin des Tuileries!!!

It is with great pleasure that I am updating this older post in my blog.  The Jardin des Tuileries were my next door relaxation while working in Paris for several years, many times just walked on it and have my lunch while looking at the wonderful architecture and history all around me. Therefore, let me tell you more and more of the glorious Jardin des Tuileries of Paris!

I always love to tell you about a wonderful beautiful inmense garden I came to love and became my favorite. I had visited before, visiting is different than living as many should know. Of course, I am talking about the Tuileries garden or Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.  I came to know it intimately while working off rue de Castiglione off rue de Rivoli for several years. It was my lunch break lol!!! and on weekends will bring the family to walk on it , poney rides, and swings the fairs of many games on it, the Grande roue , all very memorable moments and a thrill to past by it once in a while now.

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You get there on metro Tuileries (design of Hector Guimard),the entrance is located along the Tuileries garden, rue de Rivoli on line 1 or Concorde lines 1, 8 and 12 . The  line 1 of the Metro built has two staircases with low frames with cartridges with an entrance and an exit.  The Tuileries Garden is open daily from 7h30 to 21h. Also, bus lines 20 21 68 72 73, 84 , as the closest , and my best parkings underground here are Concorde  Place de la Concorde (corner of Avenue Gabriel and Place de la Concorde), and Tuileries by 38, rue du Mont Tabor (now not open to the public).

It is actually a series of gardens and the locals sometimes call it the Jardins des Tuileries in plural. There is the Tuileries and then the Carrousel. Let me tell you a bit on them and more now.

The Jardin des Tuileries garden extends from the Palais du Louvre (east) to the Place de la Concorde (West), it is bordered to the north by the Rue de Rivoli, the place de Pyramides and to the south by the Seine river . The Arc du Carrousel, built in 1806 in the Carousel’s garden, marks the entrance to the Tuileries. The Palace of the Tuileries, which closed the Louvre on its west side, was burned during the commune in 1871 and its ruins were razed in 1881 by the third Republic. From the 1st arrondissement or district created in the 16C to the site of old Tuileries which gave it its name. It is the most important and oldest French garden of Paris, which used to be the palace of the Tuileries, a former royal and imperial residence, now extinct. I was a former treasurer to rebuilt it but it is difficult and costly almost 400M€, believe the effort is dead unless Stéphane Bern come in …

The Rue de Rivoli is located in the early 19C between Rue de Rohan and rue Saint-Florentin, in particular the impasse  and the grounds occupied by the Dames-de-l’Assomption. The garden then expanded during the development of the Tuileries Wharf, a support wall is built along the terrace of the water’s edge, with stones extracted from the quarries of Châtillon.  In 1519, king François 1er had chosen this vast land occupied since the 12C by tile factories (hence Tuileries) . In 1553 Catherine de Medici decided to settle in the Louvre and to have a castle built, she bought land at the Tuileries and built an Italian park with fountains, a cave, a greenhouse and a menagerie, the Palais des Tuileries.

Catherine de Medici buys these lands between the walls of Charles V and the walls of the Fausses Jaunes (ditches). Starting from 1564, it began the construction of the Palais des Tuileries, while beginning the development of an Italian garden to the west until the glacis of the enclosure (present Place de la Concorde). It consists of six aisles in the straight direction and eight in the witdth direction, which rectangular compartments comprising different plantations (trees, quinconces, lawns, flower beds, etc.). In the years 1605-1625 an orangery and a petting zoo were added. In 1664, Jean-Baptiste Colbert and King Louis XIV ordered the garden to be entirely redesigned by André Le Nôtre, who had already illustrated himself in Vaux-le-Vicomte.  Royal Gardens of Versailles, Marly, Saint-Cloud and Saint-Germain en Laye.  The destruction of the Palace of the Tuileries opened a perspective towards the Place de la Concorde, the Avenue of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue of the Grand Armée, and the Grand Arche de la Defense.

At the western angles of the garden, Napoleon III ordered built two identical buildings:

An orangery in 1852, in the southwest, today hosting a museum of modern Art, the Musée de l’Orangerie (see post). The Museum of the Orangerie is a museum of impressionistic and Impressionists paintings located in the garden of the Tuileries, at the western end of the terrace of the waterfront, Place de la Concorde it presents works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Amedeo Modigliani, Le Douanier Rousseau, André Derain, Chaïm-Soutien, Marie Laurencin, Maurice Utrillo, Paul Gauguin, Alfred Sisley and Kees van Dongen.

A Jeu de Paume in 1861, today hosting a museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Jeu de Paume.   The Jeu de Paume Museum.(see post)  The building is located on the terraces by rue de Rivoli dominating the Place de la Concorde in the Tuileries garden.  The Jeu de Paume game was built in 1861 on the model of the Orangerie was a gym where the ancestor of tennis was practised.  At the beginning of the 20C, the building is a national museum.  The museum was remodelled in 1986, following the opening of the Musée d’Orsay, and became a place of temporary exhibitions.  

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The Tuileries Garden, is of major historical importance, has 22.4 hectares. Between the wings of the Louvre, the Carousel garden is 6.2 hectares. The Tuileries and the Carrousel are separated by the Tuileries Terrace.  These two gardens are accessible to visitors.. To the east, three small gardens enshrine the building: Along the Rue de Rivoli lies the  Jardin de l’Oratoire (4 500 m2), and, opposite the Seine, the Jardin de l’Infante (3 900 m2) and the Jardin de Raffet (1 250 m2). These small gardens are not accessible to the public.

Ok so not much on the other gardens but will give you an overview from my books on the history of Paris. The Oratory garden takes its name from the religious building opposite, between 145 rue Saint-Honoré and 160 rue de Rivoli. The construction of this building was started in 1620 and completed in 1748. A statue of Admiral de Coligny, by the sculptor Gustave Crauk, was erected at his bedside in 1889, to recall the Saint-Barthélémy massacre perpetrated against the Protestants in 1572.

The Garden of the Infanta recalls the ephemeral fiancée of Louis XV, who was an “infanta” of Spain, that is to say a child of the Spanish royal family. In 1721, little María Ana Victoria was promised to her cousin the King of France when she was only three years old and he was eleven. She was sent to Paris, where she arrived on March 2, 1722. Given her rank, she was housed in the Louvre in the queen-mothers’ apartment. A garden is created for her, which she can admire from her windows and where she likes to play. It is adorned with a set of statues representing the nymphs of Diana, brought back from the parc de Marly (Yvelines 78 see post). In June 1722, when the king moved to Versailles, his fiancée followed him. But from 1725, she was sent back to Spain, so that Louis XV could marry Marie Leczinska, the daughter of the King of Poland. Of its short stayed at the court of France, only the name of this garden remains, which has been modified several times.

The name of the Raffet garden keeps the memory of the monuments to the great painters who adorned the eastern perimeter of the Louvre, a sort of “Pantheon of all the masters of the art” wanted by the Third Republic. The ditch below the Colonnade de Perrault was then filled in and flowerbeds formed a green and flowery setting for the building. On the lawns, sculptures were placed in honor of Velázquez, Boucher or Meissonier. Facing the Seine stood a monument to Auguste Raffet, a romantic painter who had illustrated the Napoleonic epic in the front, a grenadier drummed, while military trophies recalled the exploits of the Grande Armée . Since then, the bronze soldier has been melted down by the Vichy regime for the recovery of non-ferrous metals on behalf of the Nazis, then the marble bust was deposited by order of André Malraux in 1966. Only the column remains.

The gardens of the Carrousel and the Tuileries are true museums of open-air sculptures: At the carousel are exposed twenty sculptures of Aristide Maillol and the Tuileries, the visitor can admire more than 200 statues and vases of first importance, ranging from  17C to 21C. This vast garden offers varied walks, at the rhythm of the seasons, and relaxation areas for young and old alike. Some of my favorite statues here are by Auguste Caïn Deux Lionesses attacking a bull the Nubian lion and his prey lion and wild boar igre slaying a crocodile. By Aristide Maillol  the Mountain (1937) The Air (1938) The River (1938) Elongated Girl (1921) The Nymph (1930) The Three Graces (1938). By Paul Gand Medea Statue in marble. By Louis Lévêque,   the Young Nymph (1866). By Pierre le Gros   Vetturie (1665).

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Paintings immortalizing the Tuileries gardens amongst my favorites are by Édouard Manet, music at the Tuileries Garden (1862), Adolph von Menzel, afternoon at the Tuileries Garden (1867) Claude Monet, Les Tuileries (1876),. Maurice Prendergast, the Tuileries Garden (1895), Camille Pissarro, the Tuileries Gardens (1900), and Paul de Castro, the Tuileries Garden in Autumn (1921).

During WWII, part of the garden was transformed into a depot because of the lack of supplies during the Occupation. On 25 August 1944, General von Choltitz, commanding officer of the “Groß-Paris”, received an ultimatum from Colonel Pierre Billotte  of the 2nd DB and replied “I do not accept ultimatums”. In the ensuing fighting, Captain Branet seized the hotel Meurice, rue de Rivoli, headquarters of the Nazis occupying forces; Captain Julien goes to the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré to reach the siege of the Kommandantur, Place de l’Opéra and on his side Lieutenant Bricard clears the Tuileries garden. The ten commemorative plaques affixed along the garden at the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Place de la Concorde do not fully account for the intensity of the fighting and the number of casualties.

Since 2005, the management of the Tuileries Garden has been entrusted to the Louvre museum, which ensures the development and maintenance of it. A real treat in Paris.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful beautiful garden park are:

The Paris tourist office on the Jardin des Tuileries: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71304/Jardin-des-Tuileries

The city of Paris on the Jardin des Tuileries: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/jardin-des-tuileries-1795

The Ïle de France region tourist board on the Jardin des Tuileries: https://www.visitparisregion.com/en/garden-of-tuileries

The managing Louvre museum on the Jardin des Tuileries: https://www.louvre.fr/en/departments/carrousel-tuileries-gardens

Hope you enjoy all Parisiens do even if loaded with tourists in a heavily visited area of Paris. The Jardin des Tuileries is a must to see in Paris. So much part of the history and landscape of Paris. We love it!!!

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

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March 3, 2021

Vannes a medieval intact in the Morbihan!!!

Oh yes my beautiful capital city of the Morbihan, Vannes can claim to have an intact city center with wooden houses going back to the 14C and thru the 17C in addition to wonderful monuments. I did this post back in 2018 and need to update links and text so here is again Vannes a medieval intact in the Morbihan! Hope you enjoy as I and thanks for reading me over the years!

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Vannes is a medieval jewel of France really, all intact ,no wars have done damage here ,all original with some repairs needed for upkeeps. There are even people living in these old wooden houses going back to the 14C, where nothing can be change by law of preservation of the heritage. Vannes is my capital city and where I worked for the last 9 years as of today update.

We got up early and went for the Japanim mangas store in the old town section of Vannes, at 14 bis rue Emilie Burgault; parking for free by Place du Maréchal Lyautey as National Holiday, or National Day July 14 (what visitors still call Bastille Day,no longer use in France).  From there we walk to the market around Place des Lices, Place du Poids Public and rue Saint Vincent, Rue de Le Hellec, one of the best I have seen around France. It is big and has everything, we get our fruits, vegetables, and cheeses here and nice to be recognize by the vendors already.

Then it was time to do my car wash at the automatics at the E Leclerc shopping center, had lunch at Flunch , a supermarket chain restaurants typical of the all you can eat phenomenon reminded me always of my Piccadilly’s in Florida way back. The best here is the salads and the sweets , ice cream and wines all at reasonable prices, who said France is expensive!  Of course, we stop by Castorama our home building store and gather more garden and barbecue goodies, at their store in Vannes just around the corner from all the above places. And finally we crossed over to E Leclerc hypermarket to do our groceries with the boys.  And we got back home as now it’s been played the 3rd game match of the World Cup Russia 2018 between Belgium vs England; two dear countries so we are neutral.

My beautiful medieval Vannes as we walked its streets just before preparation for their Fêtes Historiques (see post)  today and getting ready for a wide screen TV to see the France vs Croatia World Cup final tomorrow 17H French time from Moscow. We will be in our town watching it with the locals at Skellig Irish Pub!

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Again some repeat webpages but for the sake of searching here they are:

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist board on Vanneshttp://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

The city of Vannes on things to see and tourist office: http://en.mairie-vannes.fr/discoveringvannes/tourism/tourist-office/

Hope it helps your trip on medieval wonderful Vannes, in dept 56 Morbihan, region of Bretagne.

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

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March 3, 2021

The ecclesiastical historical Burgundian Sens!

And here I bring you to Burgundy right at the top of it, updating a nice post me think on the ecclesiastical historical Burgundian Sens! A beautiful town on history and architecture that I like visited by chance! Let me tell you a bit on Sens!

As we go to all over our belle France, we have so much to see ,sometimes even with money there is no time. However, this is a nice surprise visit to the beautiful ecclesiastical , historical Burgundian Sens. A bit of an anecdote as before never had visited Sens. While talking with my Franco-American friends in Paris one of them history teacher at Paris Univ IV (now retired) decided to get the group to visit Sens and so we went by car a group of about 8 ,and this is how I saw the city, later to come back with the family!

Sens  is in the  Yonne department 89 in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and about 100  km south of Paris.  Sens  is traverse by two rivers, the Yonne ,one of the tributaries on the left bank of the Seine river and the Vanne on the right bank.  The Yonne has a total of 292 km long crossing the town south to north coming from the Morvan before joining the Seine river at the town of Montereau-Fault-Yonne. There is an aqueduct de la Vanne that provides a great part of the water to Paris, long of 156 km the work started in 1866 and finished in 1874 ordered by the Baron Haussmann that wanted to bring potable water from sites far from Paris and provide a regular flow of water to the city.

There is regular TER train service from the gare de Bercy  and the gare de Lyon in Paris. Internally, the city has 14 lines of buses to cover its needs but the best is still the car here. The roads A6 and A5 passes by here very nicely. I only have come here by car.

A bit of history I like. The city was called  Agendicum in the Roman period , however, the actual name of the city comes from the Gaullic tribe of Sénons. By the year 53 BC, during the invasion of Gaul by the Romans Ceasar had spent winter six legions here just south of the city and you can see many remains of this period in the town of  Motte du Ciar  near the  joining of the Vanne and Yonne river.

The Diocese of Sens was founded in 240 by Saint Savinien. His archbishops had an important place in the Church of France: In the 9C, Pope John VIII gave the archbishop of Sens the title of “Primate of Gauls and Germania” and until the 17C, the Bishop of Paris depended on the archbishop of Sens. These seven bishoprics constituted an exceptional ecclesiastical province which was reflected in the motto Campa acrostic of the initials of the seven seats enshrined under the arms of the Cathedral of Sens. In 769, the Archbishop of Sens, Villicaire, was at the helm of the French Episcopal mission which was attending Rome at the council responsible for judging the intruding pontiff Constantine II, with the title of Archbishop of Gauls. The archbishop’s throne dominated in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the episcopal throne of the bishop of Paris. In 1622, the Ecclesiastical province of  Sens  was divided into two, Chartres, Meaux, and Orléans became under the new archdiocese: Paris.

In 1015, the county of Sénonais was first attached to the crown and finally to the death of the last Earl Renard  the Bad in 1055.   In 1135, the city chose to rebuild its cathedral in an innovative style. It was the first Gothic cathedral in France in 1163, under Louis VII, for nearly three years, Pope Alexander III, exiled by Frederick Barbarossa, fixed himself with the Curia at Sens. The city receives the Archbishops of Canterbury Thomas Becket and Edmond (Saint Edme). In 1194, a bailiff royal is located in Sens. It is the first of the royal domain to be so localized while the institution has been known since 1184. . On 27 May 1234, Archbishop Gauthier le Cornu organized and celebrated the royal marriage between Saint Louis and Marguerite de Provence at the Cathedral of Sens, where many personalities were invited. May 28, 1234, Marguerite de Provence is crowned queen of France.  The Parliament of Paris gave the Archbishop of Sens the title of “Primate of Gauls and Germania” to remind all the pre-eminence of the Archbishop of Sens dating from the end of the 8C, when he was systematically appointed legate Permanent Pope for the free kingdoms. The title is preserved today. During the reign of Louis XIII, the Diocese of Paris was erected in archdiocese by dismemberment of that of Sens. Death of tuberculosis shortly before Christmas 1765, the Dauphin Louis-Ferdinand was buried in the cathedral. The Dauphine Marie-Josephus, who had contracted the evil of her husband by treating him, joined him a few months later. Their tomb was desecrated in 1794 during the French revolution, but their remains, thrown into the common grave, were placed in their tomb in 1814 on the orders of their son king Louis XVIII.

In 1914, the city welcomed the French General command  before the launch of the Battle of the Marne. The first Nazis motorcycles arrive in Sens on June 15 , 1940 at the end of the morning and troops with armored vehicles were in by 14h. By 1944, Sens was abandoned by most of its Nazis occupants  and the city was crossed on August 21st 1944 in the early afternoon by Troops of General Patton’s USA Third Army who left the next day at dawn in the direction of the east.

Things to see in Sens in my opinion are:

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Saint Etienne) , the first Gothic cathedral in France. The former Archbishop’s palace: the Synodal and archbishop Palace. The covered market: inaugurated in 1882, it is located on the Place de la République, opposite the Cathedral.  The House of Abraham: half-timbered House of the 16C built for the Tanner Nicolas Mégissier, also called House of the Four winds. Tree of Jess carved on the post, representing the Virgin and eight kings of Israel. The working instruments of the tanners are carved on the studs.

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The courthouse (palais de justice), built on the site of the former royal Palace, built in the 11C, it retains a round part corresponding to a Gallo-Roman tower of three levels (the ground floor is incorporated into a private property). This palace welcomed Saint Louis after his marriage with Marguerite de Provence, celebrated at the Cathedral of Sens. Its central body was rebuilt in the middle of the 16C, the walls of the royal Chapel (served by the parish priest the neighbouring church of Saint-Maximin) persists, encroaching on the pavement. The stables were located across the street in front of the courtyard. The Queen’s halls, located in the northern prolongation of the king’s halls, were done  around 1500. The Royal garden and the prisons have recently taken up constructions in the south.  Today, the TGI or main courthouse is the tenant there.

Saint-Jean-lès-Sens Abbey,  Church of Saint-Savinin-the-young of Sens,  Park of Moulin in Tan and its tropical greenhouses.  Jean Cousin Park, La Grande Rue: Pedestrian shopping street. The banks of the Yonne and the Church of Saint-Maurice. In the central aisle of the cemetery rests Saint-Denis, the last  Mamaluke  of Napoleon 1st, who after serving the emperor at St. Helena until his death retreated in Sens where he died. The museums of Sens, are in the building adjacent the Cathedral and Justice palace; more in the Sens museum webpage here: https://www.musees-sens.fr/le-musee/cathedrale-saint-etienne/

Some additional webpages to help your planning for a visit to Sens, it is worth a detour. These are:

The city of Sens on its heritage and gardens: https://www.ville-sens.fr/patrimoine-et-jardins/

The Sens tourist oficehttps://en.tourisme-sens.com/

The Yonne dept 89 tourist office on Sens: https://www.tourisme-yonne.com/lyonne-en-bourgogne/les-tresors-de-lyonne/sens-porte-de-la-bourgogne/

The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté tourist board on Senshttps://www.bourgognefranchecomte.com/les-villes-et-villages/sens

Hope it helps your planning to visit this wonderful city of Burgundy not far from Paris. This is Sens in all its splendors ,enjoy it as we did.  And, remember, Happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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