Archive for April 22nd, 2021

April 22, 2021

Galerie des Batailles, Versailles !!!

It is with great pleasure and memories ringing that I am updating this older post on my beloved Versailles. Indeed wonderful memories with the whole family in a beautiful historical royal town of my belle France. Let me tell you about the Galerie des Batailles in the Palace of Versailles one with many portraits of many Nations. Hope you enjoy as much as I.

I like to expand a bit on a wonderful place inside the Château de Versailles. I have written in my blog before and you know you can search but not in a post by itself , which I think merits one.  Therefore, I will tell you a bit more on the Galerie des Batailles or gallery of battles of the Palace of Versailles. This is my take on it.

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In the 19C, the Château de Versailles experienced a new destiny: to become the Museum of the History of France, dedicated to “all the glories” of France, according to the wishes of the king of the French, Louis-Philippe I in 1830. The Museum of the history of France was created in 1837 by Louis-Philippe, who entrusted the organization to the Count of Montalivet. Installed in the wings of the Château de Versailles, then in a state close to abandonment, it brings together a vast ensemble of portraits and historical scenes, canvases commissioned for the most part to artists of the time. A unique ensemble in Europe, it has recently undergone restorations. It includes the Galerie des Batailles (gallery of battles), a gallery of 120 meters long with large paintings illustrating the major military events in the history of France. Not many realized this is a museum and think only of a palace; but it was saved by Louis Philippe creating the idea of all the glories of France and creating a museum here!

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The collections of the Museum of the History of France include today almost 6 000 paintings and 1 500 sculptures, dated from the 15-20C, of which almost half are orders of Louis-Philippe for his museum (works of creation, copies and die castings). Since the fall of Louis-Philippe in 1848, the collections have continued to enrich themselves, by orders or purchases of the French Republic, but also by numerous legacies and donations. Most of these works are in the official art and have been used for generations to illustrate countless books of history, literature, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

The Gallery of Battles is a gallery in the Museum of the History of France, located on the first floor of the south wing of the Château de Versailles. This gallery measures 120 meters long by 13 meters wide and occupies the length of the first floor of the central wing or aile du Midi. The architects Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine and Frédéric Nepveu created the solemn decor. A large cornice supports a painted coffered vault and encasements supported by corinthian columns chant the length of the gallery. On sixteen bronze tables are the names of princes, admirals, constables, marshals, great warriors killed or wounded to death fighting for France.   The busts are placed on sheaths between the tables and against the columns. The Battle Hall features the busts of French soldiers who died in combat. The paintings cover fourteen centuries of the history of France, since the Battle of Tolbiac, delivered by Clovis in 496, to that of Wagram, won by Napoleon Ier in 1809. A bit of credit on architect Frédéric Nepveu of which street directly to your left out of the palace and before getting into the avenue Saint Cloud is name after.

If you want to know more of Mr Nepvue , the Palace of Versailles has a section on him here: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/history/great-characters/frederic-nepveu

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Its creation was decided by King Louis-Philippe in the place of apartments which had been successively occupied, in the 17-18C by the Duke of Orléans Philippe de France, said Monsieur, brother of Louis XIV, and by his second wife, Elisabeth-Charlotte Palatine Princess of Bavaria; The Duke and Duchess of Chartres, Philippe d’Orléans, regent during the minority of Louis XV; The Duke of Orléans, son of the regent, Louis d’Orléans; the Dauphine; the Count of Artois (future king Charles X) ; and Madame. Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI).

There was some renovations to house the gallery from the above apartments: mainly a metal structure and a large overhead window similar to the Grand Gallery at the Louvre museum. French history is presented from Clovis to Napoléon by reading left to right with special mention of Tolbiac, Poitiers, Bouvines, Marignan, Rocroi, Yorktown (my favorite ::) , Rivoli , and Austerlitz. In the center , among the heroes ,the historical sequence portrays the horsemen, the statement, the wounded, and the leader or legitimate sovereign who prefigured the new king of France.

You can enjoy, Delacroix painting of the battle of Taillebourg part of a series devoted to the Hundred Years’ War. Also, works by Horace Vernet, Heim and Bard who did paintings on the inauguration festivities of the Gallery of Battles in 1837. You will see the portrait of the battle of Saint Louis vs Hugues de Lusignan rebel vassal allied with king Henry II of England (a sketch is at the Louvre museum as well). The revolt of Cairo 1798, painted by Anne Louis Girodet showing General Dupuy trying to disperse the crowds on which he was assassinated (similar work by the painter in the Coronation room at the Chateau de Versailles on the battle of Abukir. Of course, for me, nothing better than the battle of Yorktown showing  George Washington Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, count of Rochambeau, and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette painted by Auguste Couder.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and you must when possible are:

The official Château de Versailles on the Galerie des Batailleshttps://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/palace/gallery-great-battles

The official Château de Versailles on the famous persons in ithttps://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/history/great-characters

The official Château de Versailles on its collections from palace to museum: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/collections

Just one single spot worth coming to the Palace/museum of Versailles indeed!!! I could stay long time glancing of these paintings and busts and did come several times.  Enjoy the Galerie des Batailles in my beloved Versailles!!.

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

April 22, 2021

Church Saint Symphorien of Versailles!!

And coming back to update this off the beaten path monument of my beloved Versailles. You need to know the city and go back into residential areas to see this beauty, but a walk is well recommended. I like to tell you more about the Church Saint Symphorien of Versailles!! This is my challenge to you to come to see more than the palace in Versailles.  Hope you enjoy it as I.

And I have to tell you more of my beloved Versailles! The city did a study where 98% of visitors only come to the palace/museum, what a pity!! You are missing out on a Royal and de facto capital of France with numerous things to see of great value.  I like to tell you a bit more on the Church Saint Symphorien in the district of Montreuil , just north of my former home district following the same line on the avenue Saint Cloud and Avenue de Paris up. See Versailles at its best!

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The old village of Montreuil was only attached to Versailles in 1787. So it developed a little out of the way and kept the charm of a village, massaged around the Church Saint Symphorien.  It is an early example of neoclassical architecture. It was in this district that, under king Louis XIV, the Italian musicians (see post) who were assigned to the palace’ Chapel settled. Visit their home, which now houses the Compagnonnique Union Museum . Its proximity to the Château also brought Montreuil to be chosen by some of the great ladies of the court in the 18C for the installation of beautiful resorts, like the estate of Madame Elisabeth,(see post) sister of Louis XVI, whose park you will enjoy! (again see previous post on her).

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The Church Saint Symphorien is on a square at the end of bd Lesseps, and at the intersection of rue Saint-Charles, rue de Montreuil and rue d’Artois . The square of the church gives a place of the same name as the church, the place Saint Symphorien. This is in the district of Montreuil a royal neighborhood of which the construction was done between 1764 and 1770. There are wonderful paintings and the next to is a colourful commercial street rue de Montreuil leading to Avenue des Etats Unis full of shops, bistros, very lively at nights.

The Church Saint Symphorien is a south-facing building with an elongated plan ending with a semicircular apse surmounted by a steeple. The west and east sides are grafted into a chapel. The nave is three aisles and seven bays. The style is Neo-Classical and 18C. The nave is vaulted in cradle. Colonnades separate the central nave from the aisles. The cradle vault is decorated with a coffered ceiling. The arch in the end of the apse is adorned with a fresco by Demachy. The total length of St Symphorien is 52 meters by its bell steeple rises to 30 meters.  The vault fresco are as far as the shades of clothing are concerned, red is the color of sacrifice, the blue, that of the sky and the white, the symbol of purity. In the fresco, Saint-Symphorien is on the right, Sainte Geneviève on the left. The Resurrection of Christ painting was behind the altar until the French revolution. In the 19C, when the apse was painted, it was placed in a lateral chapel.

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The main façade is advanced by an antique portico, enhanced by stair steps, with a pediment decorated with a clock. The side walls are pierced by eight rectangular bays. A second entry is on the north end. It is surrounded by two columns and a triangular pediment. It is also topped by a square steeple, pierced by a bay and decorated with a clock. The roof is double-sloped.

A bit of history I like

The history of the Church of St. Symphorien begins in the early 6C when a first building is built at the corner of current rue St. Symphorien and rue de l’école des postes. A second church would have succeeded it and then the Célestins monks of Paris, owners of the land, had a third sanctuary rebuilt in 1472. A project to expand the old Church is signed by the King dated September 15, 1754. But it is finally a new Church that is built. On January 1, 1787, the new Church of Montreuil became the third parish of Versailles. The aisles are adorned with great paintings from the 17C and 18C. Note that there is no stained glass in the church of St. Symphorien. With the French revolution, the Church of St. Symphorien was desecrated, the vases stolen, the furniture scattered. Then the building was closed. The cult of reason was not celebrated there. With the Concordat of July 1801 the Church found its status as an official place of worship.

A bit of current history on the separation of State and Church very vividly lived here. This is from the archives of Versailles , translation by yours truly.  At the end of the law of 9 December 1905, the priests were no longer paid and the State became the owner of the Church property which remained at the disposal of the clergy, but without any legal title. When the officials of the French Republic came to compile an inventory of the property of the Church Saint Symphorien, on February 8, 1906, there was an insurrection. Here are the facts.

The priests were informed that the inventory has to start from 8h to 14h . By 11h, merchants closed their shop, the population began to assembled around the Church. Fearing incidents, the security forces take a stand (gendarmerie, Genie, Dragons) to block access to the church. A violent brawl erupts with punches, cane and chair. There are some slight casualties. Demonstrators manage to return to the Church where the defence is organized. The small front door is only open, it is blocked by a barrage of chairs. The double central door remains closed. At 14h, everyone is there: the priests and the Council , the prefect and an inspector of the fields. The troop is ordered to roll back the demonstrators. They take that order for provocation. Cries of anger in the crowd, young men hold the horses of the constables, notables are arrested. With difficulty, the police come to the end of the dam of chairs that blocks the door . The Prefect enters the Church with the estate agent. Chairs are thrown from the organ gallery. The prefect is hit in the head. He orders to clean the tribune and leave to be bandaged. The gendarmes enter the nave by protecting themselves with chairs. A shower of projectiles falls on them. The door of the staircase leading to the Tribune is driven by an axe. The troop rushes, clears the crowded staircase, and then pushes the top door. Finally six defenders are arrested, including a Vicar. An official protest is read to the domain officer who recognizes that the inventory is impossible in this mess. The prisoners, gathered at the rue Saint-Pierre prison, immediately appear in a hearing of flagrant offences. The convictions, including that of the prelate, will be severe. Postscript: things never change in my belle France!

Hope you enjoy the ride and do visit this wonderful Church Saint Symphorien of Versailles, history and a nice neighborhood of great architecture and history too, many of the nobles of the court of Versailles own homes here, but that is another story to be read in my blog.

oh yes the ride well there is little on it the walk is about 22-25 minutes from the Chateau de Versailles a wonderful walk full of French history. Best to come out left on place d’Armes by the horse statue of Louis XIV, continue walking left until the Avenue de Saint Cloud, take a right here and continue walking on it. You will pass the famous Lycée Hoche on your left keep walking to the round traffic circle ,this is Place Alexandre Ier; bear right and on the 3rd street turn right this is rue de Montreuil; this street takes you straight into place Saint Symphorien , look right and the Church is facing you!

There is one webpage from the official Parish of Church Saint Symphorien in French here: https://paroisse-saint-symphorien.fr/leglise-saint-symphorien/

Again, a recommended walk into the off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles ,hope you enjoy it and do walk it, and see beautiful architecture and history at it.

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

April 22, 2021

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXX

Well I guess I have overlooked this series telling you about my town. Many things happened lately you know, like the virus and we still trying to get out of it. However, we are behaving well in Bretagne and have some movement and hopefully by mid May we will be fully out. I like to tell you about some curiosities of Pluvigner, my town in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of Bretagne and my belle France! Pluvigner comes from the Breton “Ploe” (parish) and “Guigner”, a Breton saint. In the Breton language is written Pleuwigner. 

I have written plenty on our main Church Saint Guigner so will try to minimize this with new pictures not in other posts. And for the record, not too many dare to write about their town but of far away lands; I guess I am lucky.

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pluvi ch st guigner organ nave apr21

Most of the church dates back to the 16C. The tower and bell tower, built in 1781 were restored in the 19C. In 1842, the construction of the transept arms gave the church its Latin cross shape.  The parish church is dedicated to St Guigner whose relics are carried in procession. The Saint is accompanied by an angel wearing an ermine coat of arms. 
The stained-glass windows done 1932-1933, relate the events in the life of famous figures of the parish, such as St Guénaël, the penitent Kériolet or St Guigner.  The lintel of the south door shows a group of Crucifixions, made up of Christ surrounded by the Virgin and Saint John.  The church contains the relics of Saint Guigner and houses a statue of Saint Guigner.  

pluvi ch st guigner altar apr21

pluvi ch st guigner baptismal font apr21The city of Pluvigner on the Church Saint Guignerhttp://www.pluvigner.fr/eglise-paroissiale-saint-guigner/

Next door to the above church and connecting to it we have the  Chapelle Notre-Dame des Orties or Our Lady of the Nettles was invoked against rheumatism. It stood next to the parish Church Saint Guigner , and even communicated with it, at the level of the sacristy. These are called double churches.  From this old chapel, there remains the crossing of the transept dating from the first quarter of the 15C. That is to say, a triple arcade on the nave side, three other simple ones that overlooked the choir and the wings in a pointed arch, with a double roller. These arches rest on columns with capitals which are engaged in piles. On the south side, there is a base, supporting a column, which contains a sculpted mask and a bust figure. The walls of the chancel contained the remains of an 11C Romanesque church. The chapel was demolished in the early 1960s for lack of sufficient funds to restore it but also because of significant risk of collapse. The chapel was shaped like a Latin cross. It consisted of a nave, a transept and a flat apse. A sand pit bearing the date of 1426 was in the choir. We also know that four shields decorated the east gable. Previously, an ossuary took place between the chapel and the parish church.

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Located between the parish Church Saint-Guigner and the remains of the Notre Dame des Nettles Chapel, this massive Calvary has a plinth with several degrees. Its long column ends with a two-sided sculpted panel. It shows the Christ, and Sainte Anne left and Saint Guigner rigtht.  It has been recently renovated to look like new.

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The Monument to the Fallen or Monument aux Morts has an obelisk on plinth with war cross at the top and numerous plaques with names of the dead for France (about.336 local boys) The Bas-relief on bronze plaque representing a Hairy or Poilus as combatant in WWI were called in France,it shows it shows a weapon at his feet. The monument is in granite and the slabs are in white marble. It was started and in 1906 and finished after the Great war, and renovated in 2018. It is right next to the above church as well.

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Last but not least we had to take some home as it was across the street ! The La Fondue de Chocolat.  3 rue de l’église, diagonally in front of the Church Saint Guigner. This is a great shop and one we certainly visit often. The store is smallish, but packed with all kinds and shapes of chocolate items, wines, liquors, pates, miel ;coffees, cookies, jellies and snacks from many leading producers even as far as Provence. However, the main thing is the chocolaten and they are maître chocolatiers! We carry a box or botin with 45 pieces of an assortments of chocolates!!! Yummy!! The webpage in French :https://www.lafonduedechocolat.fr/

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And the section on the city of Pluvigner webpage on heritage and history: http://www.pluvigner.fr/listes/patrimoine/

The Bay of Quiberon tourist board on Pluvigner: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/pluvigner

And there you go folks ,show you a bit more of my hole on earth Pluvigner, for the last 8 years! It is really , the longest I have stay in one home domicile! Sometimes , I ask myself why;hard to tell but here we are for the long run! Many family memories lived in this house already ,that will not be forgotten. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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April 22, 2021

Church Saint-Théleau of Landaul!!

Well this is another close one to my house and with the restrictions on the pandemia decided to go again on my road warrior trips. I notice had an older post on the same church but only exteriors! This time I was able to go in. So it will be an unique post, same text newer pictures. Hope you enjoy the Church Saint Théleau of Landaul!

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And I will be around the beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. I have look deep into my blog ,and found many posts needed a refresher and just went out to get new pictures! My road warrior template got me going and having a blast with the boys on each town. The Morbihan rocks!  I have , also, refresh the text done in previous posts with new information so therefore, a new post. Hope you enjoy my tour of Landaul and the Church of Saint Théleau!

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The Saint-Théleau or Sainte-Marie-Magdeleine Church 15C. Sainte-Magdeleine replaces Saint-Thuriau at the beginning of the 19C and Sainte-Magdeleine is replaced by Saint-Théleau in 1903. The parish church of Landaul having been demolished in 1862, the Chapel Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours founded by the Kerambourg family and which was close to it in turn became a parish church in May 1863, after having been completely transformed by adding two large chapels forming crosses to the north and south. The chapel had been built around 1450. Fortunately, the beautiful western portal with bays in a basket handle has been preserved intact. The arches are decorated with foliage scrolls, taken under a large arcade in a third point with several archivolts surmounting a tympanum. On the gable rises a square bell-tower, posterior of at least a century, formerly surmounted by a stone spire and flanked by a cylindrical staircase turret. The nave dates from the end of the 15C. Against the north gable, sealed on a granite slab, are aligned the stone statues of Saint Barbe, Saint Isidore and Saint Marguerite.

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The Church Saint Théleau is in the shape of a Latin cross is presented today in two parts clearly identified by a different material. The freestone nave is open to the south of a door now blocked, the brace of which ends in a quartered coat of arms held by two angels and is extended by a Christ on the cross framed by two inscriptions. Inside, the angle is emphasized by engaged columns with smooth capitals in the style of the 14th century. These columns support a false vault of plaster edges. The wall of the freestone bedside replaces part of the stones from the old church bedside, in particular the crawling ones, some of the fantastic sculptures of which are broken. The gray dimension stones are modern. Two sacristies take place in the angle between choir and transept, one square, the other tringular to the south, to provide the passage to the south of the church.

landaul ch Saint-Théleau chapel left apr21

landaul ch Saint-Théleau chapel right apr21

The town of Landaul on its heritage: http://www.landaul.fr/landaul/patrimoine.html

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Landaul: https://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/landaul

This is one of those town, you passed every day by it but hardly ever stop. Landaul is not a tourist town but a rest stop would be fine in its city center by the Church Saint Théleau. It is historical for sure locally and has nice architecture which I like. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

ps. I have just been told by wordpress this is my 465 consecutive day posting in my blog!!!! wow glad to do it and thanks for reading me over the years!!!

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