Archive for March 7th, 2021

March 7, 2021

Church of Saint-Jean-du-Baly, Lannion!

So looking at older posts in my blog, a great time in these days for sure , I came across this post. Ok so Lannion is to be considered an off the beaten path area in my Bretagne and the Church too, but heck, this is the thrill of travel to discover these unheard of monuments of always. Hope you enjoy my update on the  Church of Saint-Jean-du-Baly of Lannion!

Ok so I am in another department, 22 Côtes d’Armor, but in same region of Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh! Again, have general posts on the city of Lannion, but thought necessary to tell you about places of importance on each, according to ME!  Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on what you can see in the northern city of Lannion. The Church of Saint-Jean-du-Baly  was built in the 14C and modified in the 15-16C.


It was before called Notre-Dame Church until about 1625. In 1839, it was placed under the word “Saint-Jean“, or St John which was added ‘ du Baly ‘, in reference to the Promenade du Baly, located at the site of the ancient city walls . In essence, literally would be the Church of Saint John of Bale. This Church replaced the chapel depending on the castle of Lannion and dedicated to Saint Eloi. It is from 1680-1690, increased laterally by Chapels. One of the pillars of the nave bears the date of 1511. The square tower, worked begun in 1519 and ended in 1548. The pulpit dates, it seems, from the 17C. The figures of the rim of the cube represent the Evangelists, such as a man for Matthew, a lion for Mark, an ox for Luke and an eagle for John.

The Church of Saint Jean du Baly features a beautiful series of six stained glass windows “Arts Deco”, set up between 1925 and 1930. They are due to Henri-Marcel Magne, also painted the stained glass for the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, and they were made by the workshops L’Eglise in Paris!!!

Its square tower has been devoid of its spire since the 18C. In 1643, it was decided to raise a wooden arrow, covered with slate and capped with lead, at the top of the imposing tower. However, one of the girders of the frame broke and the arrow leaned dangerously.  The Duke d’Aiguillon, Commander-in-chief of the province and Lieutenant-General of the king in Brittany, ordered it’s demolition in 1760. During WWII, the Nazis hoisted a swastika to the top of the tower. At the liberation, the local people hurried to replace this symbol of the occupant by the French flag.

lannion ch saint-jean-du-baly view mar16

Inside the Church Saint Jean du Baly, you can find a hollow pillar with a screw staircase. In the past, this staircase allowed access to a rood now extinct. There will be marks on some stones of the hollow pillar; these marks were probably used to count the number of stones cut by each worker. The Church Saint Jean du Baly, also contains a pulpit to preach from the end of the XVII century, as well as a white marble altar and altarpieces from the XVIII century. In the parish enclosure, one will notice a beautiful Calvary which was directed by Yves Hernot for the Universal Exhibition of 1867. A slate sundial, dating from the 18C, adorns the south side. Outside there is a cross, carved in 1870 by Yves Hernot, an artist who made the grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican garden!!!


It is a nice off the beaten path place to see in the off the beaten path town of Lannion!  And some famous artists took part in it so much to come and see  their work here. Well some think I have travel a lot but believe me, I am just touching the surface on what is available. My humble opinion.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and not so much on the Church are:

The Brittany region tourist board on Lannion’s heritage

The area heritage webpage of Trégor and Goëlo on the church:

Hope it helps, and do ride by here. The best of course is the car, king of the roads. You will be able to see these jewels of Brittany, and France! The Church of Saint Jean du Baly in Lannion is nice. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

Tags: ,
March 7, 2021

Cathedral Sainte Cécile of Albi!!!

Now this is a dandy beautiful monument of my belle France. I need to update and revise links on this older post of 2019. Albi is in a special region of family ties from nearby. We have sillonned the area by car many times and in addition to monuments visit cousins on wife’s side. The  Cathedral Sainte Cécile of Albi is a must while in the area ,even coming just to see it is worth it. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

albi-cathedrale-st-cecile-from-parvis 2010

Well here I am back at you going back south to the wonderful deepness of my belle France.  I will take you to the Tarn ,an area very well known to me as my dear late wife Martine, dear late father Pierre came from nearby Lavaur (see post). We had crisscross the department 81 on many occasion while telling me of stories of the occitan ,cathars etc and on all these wonderful cities and monuments.  Anyway, I like to tell you a bit more on the Cathedral of Sainte Cécile of Albi!

albi-cat-ste-cecile-baldoquin-door 2010

The Cathedral of Sainte Cécile is the seat of the Archdiocese of Albi, in the Tarn Department 81 and the region of Occitanie. It is built on a rocky outcrop that dominates the Tarn river . Two centuries will have been necessary for its edification, from 1282 to 1480. The building surprises by the contrast between its austere exterior appearance of a military fortress and the pictorial and sculptural richness of its interior. Monument without equal, it asserts its power through a typical style of southwestern France, southern Gothic. Its unique style is reinforced by its interior design. In addition to her archiepiscopal Church status, it was raised as a Minor Basilica, a dignity given by Pope Pius XII in 1947. The celebrations were presided over by Mgr Roncalli, Apostolic Nuncio to Paris, future Pope John XXIII. The Cathedral of Sainte Cécile, is on the Unesco World Heritage List, and is today one of the most visited Cathedrals in France. A must to see!

albit-cat-ste-cecile-from-parking-rear-of-cat 2010

The Sainte Cécile Cathedral is built between 1282 to 1480 by the bishops of Albi who were the lords of the city after the crusade against the Albigeois (Cathars). In honor of Sainte Cécile, martyr at Rome in 232 and Patron Saint of the Musicians. It is of meridional Gothic with bricks, been the biggest in the world on bricks, and inside has the biggest concentration of Italian paintings in France!. The Cathedral is 114 meters long  (373 feet) by 35 meters wide (115.5 feet)  and 40 meters high (132 feet); the bell tower are at 78 meters. The entrance on the side of the nave and not by the gate of entrance under the clock tower for lack of space. The Cathedral was restored in the 19C and by 1948 it was raised to Basilica. The square around the Cathedral of the same name has been renovated into a pedestrian way ,and very nice with restos all around even back of the Cathedral.

albi-cat-ste-cecile-pulpit 2010

You can see its distinction on the  Côté sud,or south side with a look of a fortress showcasing the door or porte de Dominique de Florence(c. 1400) , and the porch or Baldaquin  (c. 1530), a gothic work of art.  You will see a huge wonderful Last Judgement or Jugement Dernier (c. 1475-1480) of 300 square meters or about 3 228 sq ft)!  Inside you find an organ from 1734, updated several times last in 1996. You ,also, will see  87 statues on the exterior facade, 33 persons from the old testament around the choir, 15 statues of the Church with 12 Apostles, Virgin Sainte Cécile, St John the Baptist and St Paul; 72 statues of angels, plus Charlemagne ,and the emperor Constantine dominating the two doors of entry into the cloister!  Bringing Italians painters from Modena and Bologna in 1509-1512, the ceilings are painted in rich colors and extraordinary dimensions (97 meters long  (320 ft) by 28 meters wide (92.4 ft)). And dont forget the salle de Tresors or treasury room!  A really remarkable Cathedral not to be missed while in France.


albi-cat-ste-cecile-organ 2010

The amount of details and beauty is beyond my humble writings, and I will let you browse the webpages below and more importantly do come here, is a must in my belle France. Indeed again, is a must to visit in traditional Tarn dept 81! 

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Albi tourist office on things to see highlighting the Cathedral:

The city of Albi on the Cathedral Sainte Cécile

The Tarn dept 81 tourist office on things to see :

The Occitanie tourist board on things to see in Albi

This is beyond words really, again, a must to see come here , the Cathedral of Sainte Cécile ,the country in my deep France gets you to know the real story and the real people, with wonderful monuments of history and architecture. One of the reason I say to Mr Hemingway, France is a moveable feast!

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

Tags: ,
March 7, 2021

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie, Noirmoutier

I really enjoy updating this post on a wonderful island off the continent of France. We had many memorable family times here and this was a surprise. The island had a gem to be discovered in an off the beaten path mold in the lovely Ïle de Noirmoutier. Let me tell you a bit about it and hope you enjoy it as I.

And back at you on wonderful island of Noirmoutier on the west coast of France not far from Nantes and south of my present home. I like to tell you about some serious tourism that can be done in Europe and here in my belle France plenty. This is a place still remembering events of 1790’s France and the French revolution which as all revolutions are bloody and abusive in her hate for power.  The French Republic started out no different. I like to tell you a bit about the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie in the city of Noirmoutier-en-L’ïle!

Noirmoutier-en-l’ïle, commonly known as Noirmoutier, is a town in the Noirmoutier island in the Vendée department 85 in the Pays de la Loire region. In old Poitou.

You can see the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie or commonly call the Chapel of the Martyrs at Rue des Martyrs. Among the souvenirs of the wars of Vendée on the island of Noirmoutier, here is one, very discreet, which commemorates a terrible massacre of Vendéens prisoners committed in January 1794. It is also known as Notre Dame de la Pietie Chapel or Our Lady of Pity. Built in 1950 on the outskirts of the city, this little white Chapel marks the place where the revolutionary Republicans shot nearly 2,000 Vendéen prisoners after their taken over of the island on January 3, 1794.


This place witness the massacred of nearly 2000 prisoners of the Vendéen armies, despite a promise of life saved that had been given to them. A large number of prisoners were then confined to the Church of Saint-Philbert (see post) . On the morning of January 4, their Republican revolutionary jailers told them they’re going to be released, then get them out in groups of sixty by telling them that they’re going to hand over passports and civil cards. First, they were led under escort to the place d’Armes, facing the castle, the Vendéens took on the left the rue de Banzeau, and a few hundred meters to the right, an alley, current  Rue des Martyrs, which leads to the place called “le Vache ” (cow) where the local people (Noirmoutiens)  used to dump the garbage in the city. Unclothed and stripped of their last possessions, the groups of prisoners are aligned one after the other and shot at close range. The number of victims is not exactly known for the simple reason that they were executed without questioning or judgement with little trace of paperwork.


A first monument, the Croix de la massacre, was raised here on September 7, 1902 by Abbé Jaud. The present Chapel of the Martyrs was built later in 1950 by Abbé Raimond. The Vendéen memoires that took over to nurture this moving place of remembrance where some relics of those who perished here, such as bones and rosaries, are resting. Under the soil rests in dusts of about 3000 victims including 20 priests, 12 nuns, 730 men, 508 women and 96 small children. A cannon ball fallen on the crest of the wall and still in balance perched, is the only surviving witness of the barbarism of this unsung episode of the Wars of the Vendée.(part of wars of the west which included Bretagne).

Renovation of the Chapel was launched by Abbé Chatry in 2015. Abbé Cieutat continued this project. The Chapel was blessed on April 4, 2018, allowing the presence of the Holy Sacrament in the tabernacle of the altar.  And therefore officially known as the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie. Do not hesitate to stop there to pray. The Chapel is open every day from 9h to 19h, from April to early November.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and more info on this episode are:

The city of Noirmoutier on other things to see:

The Vendée dept 85 tourist office on Noirmoutier island

And finally, a  private webpage on the history and heritage of the wars of the Vendée and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie in French:

There you go, a real off the beaten path story that is worth remembering for all humanity sake, and my dear French are not spare. A moving little places as the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Piétie to see while basking in the sunshine activities of the Noirmoutier island of the Vendée.

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

Tags: ,
March 7, 2021

Church Notre Dame des Victoires of Angers!!

And here is a wonderful monument that needs to be seen more and maybe off the beaten path in the pretty town of Angers. I am updating an older post with text and links. Hope you enjoy the update on the Church Notre Dame des Victoires of Angers!

So why not Angers, the city has lots of history and wonderful monuments while sitting just at the door of the Loire Valley and its wonderful castles !  Of course, I have written before on Angers just do search in my blog. Today , I like to tell you about a Church, yes just a Church but not just any Church, you know Churches whether you believe who is in it or not, are the real history , and architecture, and customs of a region or country. This is the case with Churches in France in general.  The Church Notre Dame des Victoires of the city of Angers in department 49 Maine et Loire region of Pays de la Loire is located in city center at the Place Louis Imbach.


The Church Notre Dame des Victoires was enlarged, in bad conditions, in 1842. In the 1880’s, the construction of a real Church financed by the bequest of a parishioner, Marie Guitton, died in 1883. But a long court procedure ensued and the bequest was reduced by half. The call to donations was indispensable; the generosity of the parishioners will cover almost half of the expenditure. Nevertheless it was necessary to cut in the project… and the steeple disappeared from the plans.


The Church Notre-Dame-des-Victories is a Romano-Byzantine style church with a very attractive architectural and aesthetic balance, bathed in intense light. Completed in 1904, the church was enriched in the 1930’s and 1940 by the windows of the choir. A voluminous canopy that enshrined the high altar was abolished in the context of the conciliar reform of Vatican II.  In 1841, the parish of the first chapel was affiliated with the archconfraternity of Notre-Dame-des-Victories, created in 1836. In 1960, the church obtained the use of the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the name of Notre-Dame-des-Victories.



An architecture eye from an amateur eye, tell us that the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victories, is 64 meters long by 25 wide. Its two-colored outward appearance results from the association of Tufa and shale rubble in horizontal sittings.  The nave comprises five spans separated by fairly thin cylindrical columns (60 cm in diameter), extended by three other spans in the chorus. Apart from the capitals with vegetable motifs on their tops, the absence of siding on these columns offers a very pleasant contrast to the ensemble of Byzantine decorations and sculptures of the nave and the choir. This contrast ideally enhances the face of bulging vaults. These vaults, built in Tufa, are called Angevin or Plantagenet style. Finally, the presence of white glass windows in the nave brings a very high brightness to the Church. Thus presented, the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victories can boast a magnificent balance both architectural, artistic and decorative, as beautiful as the eye can see.  The height of the vault  is 18.50 meters. At the crossroads of the transept, it is 22 meters. The Church has no steeple.  Finally, the frieze that crosses the whole Church at half-height, above the windows, and consisting of interlaces, traces the litany of the Virgin.



The Church Notre-Dame-des-Victories cross is made up of very classical paintings, without great stylistic research. Attention will nevertheless be drawn to the station “Jesus is condemned to death” on the left, recalling what this condemnation represents for the human race. “Who Killed Jesus?” is a common question. Behind the responsibility of the Sanhedrin hide conflicts for power. And this in all civilizations. A true educational story to see and behold.


These are webpages that will help you enjoy this Church fully; it is again worth a detour, even if little is written on it, remains a wonderful off the beaten path find.

The Angers tourist office on things to see, but not this church!

The official webpage of the  Cathedral of Angers (see post) on the heritage/architecture of the Church Notre Dame des Victoires

Again, this is a wonderful monument to see in Angers, off the beaten path, not well represented in tourist sites but worth the detour; you can tell by the pictures above. Hope you enjoy and do visit the Church Notre Dame des Victoires of Angers!

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: