Archive for April 13th, 2021

April 13, 2021

Classic Deauville!!

I will update this one a classic Deauville one of the most chic of French cities and is not in theh south riviera! This is Normandy at its best , and we like it. Hope you enjoy the revise post on Deauville a dandy amongt the dandies. This is glitzy and old charm town but it is very famous with the upper class and under….

Deauville in the Department 14 of Calvados in the region of Normandy. It is considered, with its casino, its palaces, its classic villas, its racing fields, its marinas, its convention center, its American film Festival, its golfs and its discotheques, as one of the most prestigious city in France. It attracts thousands of tourists each year, especially Parisians because of its relative proximity (about 200 km), which is worth being dubbed the “21st arrondissement of Paris” (21st district of Paris) thanks to the A13 highway  ,and the A132 connector as well as the Trouville-Deauville train station, rebuilt in neo-Norman style in 1931 and which inspired Dalat (Vietnam) and Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo). Of course, we have , also come from Bretagne on the same A13 but getting around Caen to the coast along the road D513.



At the mouth of the Touques river which separates it from Trouville-sur-Mer, (see post) and stretches partly along the river. A bridge connects the two town. From a traditional point of view, it is in the north of the Pays d’Auge  and from a tourist point of view, it is located on the Côte Fleurie. Adjacent to Trouville-sur-Mer, the agglomeration is 13 km L’évêque, 16 km from Honfleur, 17 km Dives-sur-Mer and 42 km  Caen.

The name Deauville is attested in the Latinized form  Auevilla in 1060, then Deauvilla later on. The original village was built on the height of Mount Canisy, belonging to the Bishopric of Lisieux during the old regime ( monarchy).

A bit of history I like

There is still little, of ruins of the castle of Lassay, which  was believed still practically intact in 1830. This castle was built in 1676 by Armand de Madaillan, Count of  Lesparre, Marquis of Lassay. Well known in the court at Versailles, while he was wooing the Duchess of Montpensier,  Countess of Auge, staying  in Honfleur. It was a little embellish reality, the castle was only a simple mansion, it was in this faithful to its gascons origins. It was his son, Count and Marquis of Lassay, who had the Hôtel de Lassay built in Paris, now residence of the President of the National Assembly of France.  King  Louis XIV made parishes of Benerville, Tourgéville, Saint-Aja and Deauville a lordship under the name of Montcanisy. The Domaine de Montcanisy becomes by inheritance of his granddaughter, and then the  Duke of Brancas-Lauraguais. The Duke gave sumptuous feasts in favour of Madame du Barry, favorite of Louis XV, but also later for Sophie Arnoult,a  singer at the Opéra de Paris and his mistress. The castle was sold in 1824 to a Parisian named Auger who let it degrade.

It is Dieppe that inaugurates in France the Sea Baths in 1812, it achieved success with the Duchess of Berry who passes the seasons. The relay is taken by Trouville-sur-Mer, which is still a village, and will develop with the new French bourgeoisie, but also with the aristocracy of the Second Empire (Napoléon III). In 1847, Trouville, to establish a regular correspondence with the Paris trains which now arrive in Le Havre, built a long jetty at the mouth of the Touques river  to facilitate the berthing of the big ships. This disrupts the sea currents and the sand now accumulates along the marshes and the warrens of Deauville, pushing the ocean and creating a large sandy beach; very nice indeed.

The realization of the plan of planning, designed by  Architect Desle-François Breney,  sharing the space in four zones: by the sea, the permits to the avenue Impériale, the luxury residential area with the casino, behind a popular urban area, at the foot of the Hill a worldly area with the Hippodrome and along the Touques river  a zone of activity with the port and the wharf of the railroad. The space is enshrined in a quadrilateral, structured around a cardo with an avenue connecting the casino by the sea at the Hippodrome and the Imperial Avenue, former “customs Road”, parallel to the sea, connecting the other bank of the Touques by a bridge, and shared by a grid of broad streets. Excluded from the urban plan, the old village remains exiled to the top of the hill, around the church of St. Lawrence, in connection with the popular area by the extension of its paths vicinal classic plan is inspired to Breney by the Parisian principles of the Baron Haussmann.

At the beginning of the 20C, Deauville remained in the shadow of Trouville-sur-Mer, a station more famous for Parisian clientele. Grand Hotel du Casino and has a new casino built in its place inaugurated  in 1912. In 1912 is also opened the Hotel Normandy and in 1913, a second palace, the Hotel Royal, is built at the location of the Villa Louisiana of Baron Erlanger  and that of the Duke of Morny, thus turning a page of the history of Deauville. During ,WWI, the Royal, like many other Norman hotels, was transformed into a complementary military hospital to receive the wounded directly from the front through the railway line. The villa de Flots built by Botele, prefect of Police of the Second Empire, bought in 1867 by Count Roger de Gontaut-Biron, is demolished in 1911 to make way for the Normandy-hotel.

The city of Deauville builds the tennis club Lawn-Tennis  in 1913; In 1911, Count Le Marois built the grandstands of the Hippodrome de la Touques, inspired by those of Longchamp in Paris. In 1912 and in 1913, it is conceived, at the back of the casino, a set of luxury boutiques for, among others, the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels and the stylist Coco Chanel. It incorporates the Café de la Potinière. These stores of spring open their first shop outside of Paris, it is in 1924 that are opened the Pompeian baths  with the famous “plates” and in 1929 that is created the Yacht club

During  WWII, Deauville was occupied by the Nazi army. On 19 August 1944, Kommandant Major Rimmer summoned the municipal authorities, tob the city/town Hall, for a farewell party before leaving the city to settle on the heights of Trouville and Now everyone is waiting for the liberators. It was the units of the 6th Airborne Division of Major-General Richard Gale, the parachutists of the night from June 5 to 6, 1944 on the Orne channel that was entrusted with the liberation of the country of Auge (pays d’Auge) . The Belgian units of the Piron Brigade, who have passed Gale’s orders, are entrusted with the liberation of the coast, and after Cabourg, Dives-sur-Mer, Houlgate, Villers-sur-Mer, they arrive in sight of Deauville and Trouville. From August  20, contacts were made between the envoys of Deauville and the Allied troops who now know that the Germans evacuated the West Bank of the Touques including Mount Canisy. It was only on Thursday 24 August at 8h15 that the Belgian troops crossed the Touques river on a makeshift footbridge thrown on the ruins of the bridge between Deauville and Trouville. Allied forces chase the Nazis  in their retreat to Belgium and the Netherlands. It is in remembrance of their liberators that the bridge rebuilt between the two cities bears the name of “Bridge of the Belgians”.

Some things to see and do here, of course ,the Beach is it really for my opinion.

Tourism develops around the casino and the two luxury hotels of the Groupe Barriére, prestigious shops (Hermes, Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Prada, Armani, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tod, Weston, Pardha Jewellery…) and the Centre International de Deauville (CID), which hosts throughout the year numerous festivals, concerts, shows, congresses and seminars and every season the horse races. The Golfs Barriere of Deauville, the Admiralty, and Saint-Ganesh, scattered in the hinterland  of Deauville, the tennis-club on the waterfront, the Yacht club, the nautical center, the slopes of karting..The horse sector is particularly present through regular sales of thoroughbred horses at the Elie-de-Brignac establishment, including the sale of yearlings in August, of international renown; The organization of Grand Prix races on the Hippodrome of the Touques and on the Hippodrome of Clairefontaine as well as the organization of the “Deauville Polo Cup” every year, in the month of August.


The Saint-Laurent Chapel a former parish church of the 12C and 13C, where Yves Saint Laurent contributed to its restoration. Villa Strassburger, on the grounds of the  Ferme du Couteau  built at the beginning of the 20C  it is called Strassburger because it became, in the 1920’s, the Deauville  residence of the American billionaire Ralph-Beaver Strassburger. His descendants have donated the villa to the city of Deauville which has been providing it since its management and maintenance. The Trouville-Deauville train station, rebuilt in neo-Normand style in 1931 and which inspired that of Dalat (Vietnam) and Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo) . The Villa Breloque is the dwelling in which the painter Eugene Boudin  lived the last year of his life and died in  August 8, 1898. The promenade de la plage,  The board and its  Pompeian Baths,  the place Morny, its jets of water and its covered market;  the arcades  of the Avenue du General-de-Gaulle.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The Deauville tourist office on the casino

The City of Deauville on the beaches :

The Calvados tourist office on Deauville beaches

The Normandy Tourist Board on Deauville

There you , if refinement is your taste ,this Deauville is for you, even more than Paris. This is old money here ,even if lately some well to do families do come and some curious ones too. Like I said is an alternative to vacations in France for anyone. Enjoy it.

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

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April 13, 2021

Church Saint Leonard of Honfleur!!

This is a beautiful church in pretty Honfleur many missed as is away from the old port but I say it is worth the detour. We have been many many times here, and walk all over, ride even further, and we rented apartment once very close to it. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church Saint Leonard of Honfleur!

Once again coming back to Honfleur. You can read my blog and will understand more.  Honfleur is special and its Churches are the soul that rings with history, traditions, architecture ,and just quant neighborhoods of old and today. Just lovely for a walk, see ,do eat, drink and be merrier for life’s given. I have done many posts on Honfleur over the years in my blog, today will pick just one the Church Saint Leonard.


First , the Saint-Léonard district overlooks the library and the Tourist office and stands out in particular by the presence of its imposing Church Saint Leonard, dedicated to Saint-Léonard . The fountains and laundry or lavoir of Saint-Léonard, which borders the Church, belong also to history. Their existence has been attested since the 15C. It is in the heart of the Faubourg Saint Léonard, that the recently arranged garden of Tripot  is located. You will discover the Claire River, crossing Honfleur, and the old Tanners ‘ district.


The Church Saint-Léonard of Honfleur, was there already a sanctuary in 1186 at the site of the present Church as evidenced by a charter of the abbey of Grestain. Leonard, young man of the Court of king Clovis and patron Saint of the prisoners , died near Limoges in 559.


The Church Saint Leonard consists of a large nave with two aisles and a choir completed by a three-sided bedside. The façade is of flamboyant Gothic style and only surviving part of the old Gothic Church. The main gate is considered one of the most beautiful expressions of flamboyant Gothic. There are also some rebirth elements. The majority of the Church was burned by the Huguenots (protestants) at the time of the wars of Religion in the 16C. Most of the Church was rebuilt in the 17C and 18C, which explains the peculiar shape of the dome tower, rare in Normandy, but which evokes those that are encountered in eastern France. The large octagonal bell tower dates from 1760. It is decorated in its upper part of elegant bas-reliefs representing instruments of Music.


The interior is fully decorated with murals, as well as the wood vault with apparent framing. The stained glass windows date from the 19C, in the apse, in the center, the life of Saint Leonard. The stained glass windows of the lower sides represent the stations of the Cross. The Organ of the Tribune is by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll ;however by 1901, Charles Mutin, successor to Cavaile-Coll, rebuilt the instrument in its present layout. He reused some of the old piping and rebuilt box springs, mechanics, blower and console.


Some webpages to help your visit to this nice Church Saint Leonard are:

The City of Honfleur on Church of Saint Leonard

The parish of Honfleur on the Church Saint Leonard in French:

There you go a bit of walking past the old basin and you reach this wonderful Church Saint Leonard in a very quant old neighborhood of Saint Leonard in Honfleur.

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

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April 13, 2021

Basilica Saint Martin of Tours!!

This is an update of an older post on a wonderful monument that must be seen more and an a beautiful city of the Loire, Tours! Initially, we came by here practically passing by city center and as time went by we started to stop in the city with nice memorable moment for my family. However, on this post , I like to tell you more about the Basilica Saint Martin of Tours! Hope you enjoy it as I, even if the pictures were dark fault of a phone camera!

And while at wonderful historical Tours in the Indre et Loire dept 37 of the Centre Val de la Loire region, we come to another beauty of my belle France. This is the Basilica Saint Martin of Tours.  A major work of art and a very intense religious building indeed. I have written several posts on Tours and what to see inside but really need to do justice to this basilica and write a post just on it.


The Basilica Saint Martin of Tours is a former collegiate Church of St. Martin de Tours, which was essentially from the 11C, was decommissioned, vandalized and transformed into a stable in 1793, during the French revolution, then demolished following the collapse of the vaults in 1797, only two towers being kept. The present Basilica, much more modest, was built between 1886 and 1902 in the Neo-Byzantine style it is a basilica in limestone, granite and marble, covered with slates. It was consecrated as a Basilica in 1925. The statue of Saint Martin, which crowns the dome, weakened by the storms of early 2014, was deposited to be restored; Its base was consolidated and the statue was re-established on top in 2016, in anticipation of the Saint Martin day, celebrated every year on November 11th.


A bit of history I like

The body of Saint Martin, who died in Candes, was transported to Tours and modestly buried on 11 November 397, three days after his death, in a Christian cemetery outside the city, on the verge of the Roman road to the west. According to Gregory of Tours, Bishop Brice built a wooden building in 437 to house the tomb and the Mantle of Saint Martin, called for this reason a Chapel. Instead the first Basilica of Saint Martin’s Tomb, whose dedication took place in 470, Martin’s body was buried in a sarcophagus behind the altar of the new Basilica. A large block of marble overlooking the tomb, marking its place. In 508, it was in the Church of Bishop Saint Perpet that Clovis, in the aftermath of his victory over the Visigoths at the Battle of Vouillé, he received the insignia of consul from the ambassadors of Emperor Anastase, following which he rode the distance between the Basilica and the Cathedral of Tours by throwing money at the people.


From the reforms of Pepin the Writ, which wanted to impose the rule of Saint Benedict to all the monasteries of the Franks’ Kingdom at 741. Finally a council held in Aix-la-Chapelle in 817. Imperatively imposed the Benedictine rule on all the communities entitled Monasteries; The clerics of Saint-Martin had to choose between the status of monks and that of canons and adopted the second. From that date, the sanctuary of St. Martin is no longer considered a monastery, but as a Collegiate Church served by canons. The head of the community is still called “Abbot of St. Martin”, but from 844 it is a layman (in 860, it is Prince Louis, heir of Charles the bald; in 866, it is Robert the Fort, count of Tours and ancestor of the Capetian).. This was the main place of Christian pilgrimage in the 5C (Saint Martin was in any case the Holy protector of Gaul). The Council of Chalon-sur-Saône in 813 gives this pilgrimage the same importance as that of Rome.  It was then an important step on the Via Turonensis of the Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. The sanctuary was one of the five major pilgrimage Churches. In the 15C, the Basilica benefited from the munificence of King Louis XI, who lived in the Royal castle of Plessis-du-Parc-lèz-Tours, and his funeral were held there in 1483.



During the war of religion of 1562, the shrine of Saint Martin was burned by the Protestants and only a piece of the skull and an arm bone were kept. The old church survived until the French revolution, but in conditions of great decay due to lack of maintenance since well before 1789. In 1793, the Basilica was transformed into a stable to house a hundred horses and for 4 years it was the Martin’s stable. In 1797, a report found that the chaining that maintained the Basilica were partly stolen; The vaults of the ambulatory collapse in November and, as a safeguard for the inhabitants, the town ordered the complete demolition of the Basilica. The monumental organ of Lefevre (5 keyboards, double 32 games), also disappeared at that time. Of all this, only the Charlemagne tower (see post), restored in 1963, the clock tower and the canonical houses in the neighborhood of Saint-Martin cloister, a gallery of the Renaissance cloister, remains. Announcing the rediscovery of the tomb of Saint Martin de Tours in 1860 which allowed to restore the Martinien cult and revive a project of restitution of the grandiose site the new Basilica, smaller than the old one, would be perpendicular (oriented north-south ) and would share with it only the location of the former bedside, above the tomb of Saint Martin. The work began in 1886, the crypt with the tomb was inaugurated in 1889, the church in 1890, and the whole of the masonry was completed in 1902, allowing the Basilica to be opened to worship the following year. Cardinal Maurin consecrated the building as a basilica on July 4, 1925, and the layout of the forecourt was completed in 1928.


Built in 1843 for the Hospital of the Good Savior in Caen, in an 18C buffet, the current organ is bought by the city of Tours in 1956, and has undergone several restoration campaigns. It has two keyboards and a crankset for 17 games: In all, these are more than 1,800 pipes. It was restored and modified in 1977. Stéphane Béchy, was co-holder of 1984 to 1991 had made a recording in 1984 with works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Jehan Alain


The tradition ended as to the last abbot Robert, Count of Paris, elected King of the Franks in 922, and a lay abbot after him, the title of lay abbot of Saint-Martin was transmitted from father to son in the Robertiens, then Capetian, and was carried by the kings of France from Hugues Capet until 1789. Good to say: a religious institution, the petit Clercs of Saint-Martin de Tours, was founded in the years 1920 by Canon Rutard, diocesan priest. Seminarians from other French regions rich in vocation for the diocese of Tours, they also ensured daily religious service at St. Martin’s Basilica. Boarders, the little clerics of Saint-Martin followed their education on the spot, then followed their courses in various colleges of Tours (Collège Saint Grégoire, college Notre-Dame La Riche). The institution, living in particular of the generosity of the Touraine people, settled in the shadow of the Basilica at 3 Rue Baleschoux until 1970, the date of their disappearance. The little clerics of Saint Martin gave about 300 priests to the Diocese of Tours.

Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful city of Tours and its basilica are:

The Official Basilica Saint Martin:

The Tours tourist office on Saint Martin:

The Central Loire Valley tourist office on Tours:

The Touraine Loire Valley regional tourist office on the Basilica:

There you go hope it helps you enjoy this magnificent Basilica Saint Martin of Tours. The city is linked very easily to Paris by train with good parking and even connection to the TGV station outside in St Pierre des Corps. Wonderful road takes you there easy too like we take the D952 along the Loire river. We like to park by Nationale underground parking. You can take from Paris the A10 or the A11 to Le Mans and then the A28 down to Tours.

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

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