Archive for April 23rd, 2021

April 23, 2021

The galerie des Carrosses, Versailles!!

And back again to my beloved Versailles, never to forget the wonderful family times we had there while living in the city for almost 9 years. One of the emblematic places of course was the palace but there are many things in it and around the city to see. One place that was renovated and back open is the galerie des Carrosses where the coaches that carry the nobility of Versailles is kept just across from the palace. Let me bring you and me back to this beautiful monument.

This is part of the Chateau de Versailles but apart in a separate building across the street so maybe you go for the nice horse show and by pass this beauty just back open to the public not far back. I was here before they renovated it as Versailles has so much more than the palace. I told you so!  The new galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of Coaches/carriages is a wonderful place indeed. One place on my list to be back when possible ,and to take more pictures as like i said living and visiting are two different things. The galerie des carrosses is in the Grande Ecurie or Great stables of the king across from the palace.

The galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of coaches-formerly Museum of Carriages (until 2006) is done as a museum which presents a collection of coaches mainly from the 19C.  It is attached to the public establishment of the palace, the museum and the Domaine de Versailles and housed in the Grand Ecurie across from the palace.

A bit of history I like

After the carriages were dispersed during the revolutionary period, and selling at the end of the French revolution, this museum was created by King Louis-Philippe I in 1833 when he decided to transform Versailles into a museum of All the glories of France (and therefore saving the palace and dependencies from demolition!!!). It is then installed in the Grand Trianon, in a small building. The first museum of the Trianon opened its doors to the public in 1851.

Both Museum of the history of France and Salon of Automobile of the 18-19C, the gallery of coaches presents the most beautiful prototypes and the latest advances of the French bodywork in terms of comfort, performance and technique as well as traction, suspension, and first cut convertible.  The collection consists mainly as said of 19C vehicles with sedan and gala cars of the imperial Court of Napoleon I, the funeral chariot of Louis XVIII; and the carriage of the coronation of Charles X. The museum has only a few vehicles dating from the old regime (monarchy) with the sedan of the Dauphin Louis de France chairs with carriers and six sleds. The coaches of the gallery are the creations of the best artists and artisans of luxury of the court: architects, carpenter, saddler-bodywork, shimmerer, locksmith, bronzier, chaser, gilder, melter, painter, plasterer, trimmers, and knitters.etc.

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In 1978, the collection at the Museum of the Carriages or wagons of Trianon, built in 1851, was moved to the Grande Ecurie. In 1985, the Museum of Carriages was opened to the public. In 2007, the Museum of Carriages closed its doors for the expansion work. In 2016, the museum is open again to the public. the Gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie is the new name.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Château de Versailles on the galerie des Carrosseshttps://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables/gallery-coaches

The Versailles tourist office on the galerie des Carrosseshttps://en.versailles-tourisme.com/the-coach-gallery.html

Hope you enjoy it with the family lots of nice wagon/coaches and even more history in them.  The galerie des Carrosses is worth the detour in Versailles, one more reason it takes more than one day to see it all!!

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

April 23, 2021

Rue de la Paroisse in Versailles!!

So this was one of favorite walks in Versailles from the time living there to when I later visited. Walking give you a different dimension seeing a city and get to know it up close and personal. This Versailles is personal to me more so than a tourist spot. I like to walk you again thru the streets of Versailles, and this time take you to the Rue de la Paroisse!!

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A bit on some of the more personal and remarkable streets of the city of Versailles. A genuine effort to bring you out of the palace to the off the beaten paths, and fully enjoy this royal magnificent city.  I will tell you a bit on my main street where I drove/walked and spent most of my time in the city, this is the rue de la Paroisse. Other than been a hugely commercial street with all commodities walking distance from me and near the marvelous Notre Dame market; well there is the hugely historical ,royal and magnificent district church, Notre Dame Collegiate Church of Versailles (see post but one for the memories).

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Notre-Dame is my old district of Versailles, department 78 of Yvelines, in the Ïle de France region of France. The district is located north of the axis of the palace by the Avenue de Paris, and takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame the old parish of the palace. This is the first district, built during the creation of the new city under Louis XIV. It includes the theater Montansier opened in 1777, the museum Lambinet, the hotel of the Bailif which housed the local court under the old regime-today the heart of the picturesque district of antique dealers-and still has the most commercial streets in Versailles; like the Rue de la Paroisse.   Really, here I got all my living needs with the market Notre Dame (see post but one for the memories) nearby so it was very sedentary life in the beautiful city.

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A bit of architecture and history I like

The rue de la Paroisse is an old street from the east to the west. It takes its name from the Notre-Dame parish from 1686 to 1793, then again from 1806. Filled with the sandy terrains of the hill of Montbauron under king Louis XIV.

The remarkable buildings on the odd numbers side are at no 1 the location of the trough removed with the drying of the Clagny pond from 1770, then land acquired by Soufflot architect of the Pantheon. At no 7a the house of the lawyer Albert Joly in 1869. at no 11 the Hôtel Pièche from the beginning of the 18C with facade ornaments of the late 19C (Jean-Joseph Pièche was a musician from the King’s chamber. See the dogs seated and the garlands of flowers carved between the windows. He would have seen Rameau and Boucher passed). It was restored between the two wars. At nos 3-5-7-7 bis-11-21 are facades of houses established in the 18C. At no 15 there is a house with the sign of the royal mark in the 18C; at no 32 there is a 19C cast-iron balcony guardrail, at no 35, this is it the Notre-Dame Collegiale Church created in 1686. at no 37-39-41 lies the former house of the mission of Notre-Dame from 1686; Order founded by Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. At no 43 the house of Dionis surgeon of king Louis XIV, at no 49 the house of Félix de Tassy, surgeon of king Louis XIV ; at no 53 the Hôtel de Bretagne, house of Guy Fagon, surgeon of king Louis XIV , at no 63 the House of the Grande Fontaine, by the name of Fontaine the public works contractor who lived there under king Louis XIV, at no 79 the building at the sign of the Rising Sun, the birth house of the poet Jean-François Ducis.

On the even numbers side the remarkable buildings are at no 2 and 4 the House of the Caretakers built under king Louis XVI. At no. 4 lived Joseph-Adrien Le Roi, head of Clinic at the hospice and historian of the Streets of Versailles in 1860. At no 6-6 bis 8-10, the Hôtel de Soissons stable of the Dauphine mother of Louis XVI, then Hôtel de Berry belonging to the Count of Provence. At no 28 the Restaurant of the Count of Toulouse. At no 32 by 1811, owned by the wife of Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , zoologist at the Natural History Museum. At no 14 or 15 the charitable home of Madame de Maintenon, rebuilt in 1772. At no 108 ,the former property of Jean-Baptiste Faugeron, geographer of the Ministry of War who had the two balconies built in 1783, bearing his initials and the motto “Fidem Fortuna Coronat” or fortune rewards loyalty . At no 110, a 19C cast iron balcony guardrail. At no 112 it was in 1734 the Auberge Au Roi Charlemagne; a cabaret.

The Versailles tourist office on the Notre Dame district which inclus the rue de la Paroisse: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/notre-dame-area.html

If you are curious to know more of this district and the streets in it visit the maison de quartier at 7, rue Sainte Sophie. Easy walk out of palace by the Chapel into Rue des Réservoirs continue until Bd de la Reine, take a right here, continue until rue Sainte Sophie take a right here until the house at about 150 meters on your left hand side.

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Really a lovely street not to lived on it but just side of it was a wonderful experience indeed, and great memories. I hope you enjoy the post on the rue de la Paroisse as much as I reliving it, and provide some curiosity to come over and walk it when possible again, the beautiful Versailles.

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

April 23, 2021

Rue des Reservoirs in Versailles!!

So this was one of favorite walks in Versailles from the time living there to when I later visited. Walking give you a different dimension seeing a city and get to know it up close and personal. This Versailles is personal to me more so than a tourist spot. I like to walk you again thru the streets of Versailles, and this time take you to the Rue des Réservoirs!! 

I take you to one very near the palace/museum, but still in my old Notre Dame district. This is a very historical street, famous for its aqueducts which you can still see today if now all is underground. I am talking about the street of Rue des Réservoirs.

Notre-Dame was my old district of Versailles, department 78 of Yvelines, in the Ïle de France region. The district is located north of the axis of the palace by the Avenue de Paris, and takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame the old parish of the palace. This is the first district, built during the creation of the new city under Louis XIV. It includes the theater Montansier opened in 1777, the museum Lambinet, the hotel of the Bailif which housed the local court under the old regime-today the heart of the picturesque district of antique dealers-and still has the most commercial streets in Versailles; like the Rue des Réservoirs. Really, here I got all my living needs with the market Notre Dame nearby so it was very sedentary life in the beautiful city. Of course, the sights above have their post in my blog.

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Close to the Palace of Versailles, and having a south-north axis from it, the Rue des Réservoirs is located north of the palace and is on a section of the road RN 186, from the crossing of rue Carnot to the place Gambetta. It takes its name from the large reservoirs built to power the basins and water games of the Domaine de Versailles, reservoirs now extinct. The current reservoirs of the opera that were along the street were built after the creation of the Rue des Réservoirs.

On the apparent wall of these réservoirs were backed by 3 houses (at no 3, 5 and 7) which were demolished in the first half of the 19C. At no 11, where the Hotel du Garde-Meuble was then built, were initially wells which communicated by aqueducts with the Clagny pond located at the bottom of the rue des Réservoirs. Four covered pumps then lifted the water from the sumps to the reservoirs and fed the basins of the domaine. Later, a bit higher on the street, at the location of the Hôtel des Réservoirs was built a hexagonal tower to house a new sump surmounted by a strong hydraulic pump called the water tower. This was intended to feed the reservoir of the Tethys Cave built above it and thus higher than the 3 initial reservoirs fed by the other 4 sumps. The cave was destroyed a few years later, in 1686 to give way to the new Chapel of the palace.

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Later, in 1752 , king Louis XV built for Madame de Pompadour on this site a particular hotel, called Hôtel de Pompadour or Hôtel des Réservoirs, connected to the castle by a covered corridor along the wall of the reservoir beside the park. In 1765, it was to house the Governor of Versailles. During the 19C this hotel became a luxury hotel that will house one of the most famous restaurants in the city. It saw itself adding two floors at the beginning of the 20C. Now extinct. In 1774, the land located at present No. 11, formerly occupied by the 4 pumps and houses of caretakers, was given by Monsieur, (Louis XVIII) the brother of King Louis XVI, to Thierry de D’Avray, Commissioner-General of the House of the King responsible for the storage/stocks of the Crown. This was then Hôtel de Conti, judged too far from the palace and too narrow (today the City/town Hall of Versailles); the works began in 1780 and the hotel of the storage was completed in 1783. It also had the advantage of being able to use the covered corridor connecting the castle to the Hôtel de Pompadour, located just next door. In 1778, it was built, at present No 2, the large buildings that surround the body of the middle. At this location was under king Louis XIV, the Hôtel de Louvois, a hotel occupied under king Louis XV by the Governor of Versailles which earned him his name as a government hotel. Under the Empire, the military staff of Versailles and the engineering administration settled there, in 1816, the building became a dependency of the palace before being re-used by the army in 1830. In 1855, the town built sidewalks and planted two rows of trees in what was then, off avenues, one of the widest streets of Versailles, between 32 and 38 meters. It then had a length of 481 meters.

In the Rue des Réservoirs, the numbering starts south of the street, the pairs number are to the East, the odd numbers to the West. The remarkable buildings here are

Reservoirs of the castle, at no 2-4, Hotel du government, former hotel of Louvois built in 1672, renovated by Heurtier in 1778; At no 6, hotel Ecquevilly; at no. 7-9, Hotel des Reservoirs or Hôtel de Pompadour; at no 8, Hotel de Serent, at no 11, Hotel du Garde-meuble which served as a storage of the castle and then housed the prefecture of Seine-et-Oise (current Yvelines) from 1800 to 186. At no 15, Théâter of Montansier, present Municipal Theater of Versailles. At no 19 (at the intersection with the rue de la Paroisse ),the building where Ferdinand de Lesseps was born in 1805. At no 21, the house where Blaise de Jouvencel lived , former mayor of Versailles. At no 22, Hôtel de Condé, built in 1679 and raised in the 19C, where lived and died Jean de La Bruyère, and was born the General Gaspard Gourgaud , Napoléon’s biographer, and lived a few years from 1950 the writer Maurice Martin du Gard. And at no 27 (at the intersection with the Boulevard de la Reine), a building where the painter Henri-Eugène le Sidaner lived.

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The Versailles tourist office on the Notre Dame district includes the Rue des Réservoirs: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/notre-dame-area.html

If you are curious to know more of this district and the streets in it visit the maison de quartier at 7, rue Sainte Sophie. Easy walk out of palace by the Chapel into Rue des Réservoirs continue until Bd de la Reine, take a right here, continue until rue Sainte Sophie take a right here until the house at about 150 meters on your left hand side.

There you go something to spent your good times in marvelous Versailles, a must I say to get a picture of France, Paris is not enough, and Versailles is a must. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

April 23, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan XCII

And my road warrior mentality cannot keep me at home for long. Today I went back to nice Brandivy and the relaxing Etang de la Forêt with a pretty lake. I went closer to home to see something we always go by and stop a couple times before today. It shows the multitude of choices in my beautiful Morbihan, and  lovely Bretagne

Brandivy etang de la foret arriving apr21

I have mentioned the town of Brandivy on a previous post. However, it has more and after figuring where to go out and still the 10 km confinement rule here we came back to the lake and the forest!!! So will keep it short as plenty in my blog; hope you enjoy the new post!

The artificial lake of the étang de la forêt on Brandivy. Here is nature heavens with free access to the   playground, outdoor fitness center, climbing, fishing, hiking. Also, a supervised section for sailing, kayaking, pedalo, climbing, archery, orienteering, and mountain biking. The refreshment bar, rental of pedal boats and kayaks from July 1 to August 31: Monday to Friday from 13h45 to 18h30 , and from Saturday to Sunday from 13h45 to 18h45.

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Brandivy etang de la foret escalade playground apr21

A pleasant stroll to do on foot in unspoiled nature , and children can also cycle around the pond. The walk is also accessible to strollers, only the footbridge to cross the pond is a little more difficult, but doable. A   6 to 7 meters high climbing wall is also available to the public and freely accessible from April to October. On site you will also find a fenced playground, as well as a few picnic tables.

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Brandivy etang de la foret island apr21

Brandivy etang de la foret passarelle apr21

For a reminder the town of Brandivy on heritage/history (bear in mind some of these are private properties) http://The town of Brandivy on its history and heritage

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on the étang de la Forêt facility : https://www.golfedumorbihan-vannesagglomeration.bzh/la-base-de-loisirs-de-brandivy

The town of Brandivy on the Etang de la Forêthttps://www.brandivy.fr/la%80%99etang-foret-base-loisirs-c40.html

You need a car to get here the Etang de la Fôret, Brandivy , road D779   just before arriving Bieuzy Lanvaux; a village of Pluvigner. However, if in the area and with small children, early teens this is a nice detour to do me think.

For the real walkers, (not me take the car) this is a trail taken by neighbors and townfolks very popular as walking is very popular here for some…. Distance of 10 km and difficult terrain sometimes I am told.. You will walk into the domaniale forest of Lanvaux, passing by the Chapel Saint Mériadec, the Notre Dame de Fatima aux Granges Retreat, and the tomb of the seven holes as well as the lake or étang de la forêt (as above).

For the pros walkers here is an interactive map of the trail but on site the trail says 9.5 km not 10.03 km. Rando Breizh webpage: https://randobreizh.fr/randonnee-bretagne/morbihan/brandivy/circuit-de-letang-brandivy/

The steps by steps walk is as such. Depart from the ND Retreat 16C,  take the lane on the right, cross the road and go opposite. At the Fontaine Saint-Bieuzy (16C), turn left, go straight ahead. At the City/Town Hall, go down to the right towards Quatre-Chemins road. After the restaurant, take the Chemin des Charbonniers on the left. Take the path on the right, cross the footbridge, go straight ahead. At the road, turn right into the path and follow the road to the left. Follow the path going up to the left. Possibility to descend to the étang de la forêt at 900 meters and walk around it (ruins of an 11C castle). Turn left to shorten the circuit. Turn right for the long route, turn left, pass the stream and go up the path on the left. Follow the path to the right, cross the line of the Vannes barrier. Take the path opposite. Go up on the left by the path, turn right. Go straight on until you reach the stone embankment. Turn left, follow the path along the embankment, cross the road. Take the path opposite. Continue straight onto the burial of a hermit priest, Les Sept Trous. At the crossroads with the road, go straight ahead. Go down to the right by the path, turn right, walk along the stream, cross the footbridge. Turn left to join Chemin des Charbonniers then the starting point. Variation: go right on the GR38, cross the road and take the path opposite to reach Saint-Mériadec and its chapel. To go back. On the road, make a return trip to Notre-Dame de Fatima aux Granges (19C). Return to the starting point. Some sights worth seeing along the route are the Saint-Mériadec Chapel was built by an abbot on the stronghold of the Abbey of Lanvaux. His pilgrimage was very popular with farmers, peasants who came from afar with their animals. The chapel houses, among other things, sculpted sand pits and a statue of Sainte-Noyale holding her head in her hands. Open occasionally (check with the tourist office). And Notre-Dame de Fatima aux Granges is a house of Spiritual Retreats. The chapel, adjoining the house, is open every day. This place of prayer, and the silence of those who follow a retreat route, must be respected. Now go ahead, make my day!!!

So there you go folks a dandy in the countryside of my Morbihan, and close to me so say Hi! This is Brandivy and its wonderful lake, the étang de la forêt. Enjoy the walks and activities within it.

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

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April 23, 2021

Church Saint Nicolas of Blois!

And here I go revising updating these wonderful posts of my previoius travels; all bringing back great lovely memories of my family. This time I bring you back to royal and lovely Blois and one of its emblematic monument, the Church Saint Nicolas of Blois!!!

The country of France is awesome, no wonder is No 1 visited country in the world since 1949 according to the WTO-UN studies. I like to bring you to an area of much fanfare and visits very popular and one of its most emblematic castle. Oh did I say castle, well that was another post. The city of Blois is loaded with goodies to see and do, and I like to bring you up to date with the Church Saint Nicolas of Blois.

Saint-Nicolas-Saint-Laumer Church is located in Blois, department of Loir-et-Cher no 41 ,in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle France. It was originally the abbey church of a monastery built in the 12C. It takes the name of the founder of this abbey, Saint Laumer. Its construction began in the 12C. The choir, the transept and the first span of the nave are built from 1138 to 1186. The Church is finished at the beginning of the 13C. The Church is in the Middle Ages an important place of pilgrimage. It is indeed home to several relics: Saint Lubin, Saint Laumer, Holy Mary the Egyptian and a fragment of the Cross of Christ.

A bit of history I like

The Church of St. Nicolas as said dates back to the 12C. Fleeing the Vikings, Benedictine monks from the monastery of Corbion in the Perche area, find refuge in Blois in 924. In the 12C, they built a monastery there. Their abbey church will be the Church of Saint-Laumer, the name of the founder of their first monastery. And from this founder, they took away the relics. The real name of St. Nicholas is thus Saint-Laumer. From 1138 to 1186, the first part of Saint-Laumer was built: choir, transept and first span of the nave. The remainder was completed at the beginning of the next century. With the wars of Religion, the church was damaged by the Protestants and the abbey destroyed. The latter was rebuilt in the 17-18C. At the French revolution, Saint-Laumer became the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital).

In the Middle Ages, the Church was an important place of pilgrimage to the relics it houses: Saint Lubin, Saint Laumer, Holy Mary the Egyptian and a fragment of the Cross of Christ. The pilgrimage to Saint Marcou will take shape in the French revolution. The Church of Saint-Nicolas is a magnificent Romanesque church: the three levels of elevation of the nave are of flawless purity, the interior architecture of the transepts is very harmonious. In the ambulatory and the radiant chapels, the contemporary stained-glass windows create a unique atmosphere, bathed in a yellow or blue light, peculiar to meditation.  When you see the Church from the left bank of the Loire river , it is almost taken for a building of the 19C with two towers on the façade, a steeple above the crossroads of the transept, the sober walls, combining rigour and robustness as thus worked the Benedictines monks.

A bit on the description of the Church Saint Nicolas of Blois.

At the front façade to the right you see on the main gate built between 1186 and 1120. The archivolt consists of three character covings. Originally, the gate was surrounded by six statues, now extinct. On the left, the majestic nave gives an impression of grandeur. That the narrowness of the spans still accentuates. Everything is coordinated so that the prayers rise to the sky without hindrance.  The western façade is like no other: The three gates are dissimilar and surmounted by an elegant gallery of arches that stretches over the entire width of the façade.

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The choir of St. Nicolas in all its Romanesque purity. The semi-circular apse is supported by six pillars with marquees. The second level consists of blind arches in broken arc, while the third one receives five windows of Max Ingrand in large openings. The stained glass windows at the Abbey Saint-Nicolas , in the aftermath WWII, the stained glass windows of St. Nicholas Church are to be rebuilt. From 1947, the iconographic programme of the new canopies was established with the agreement of the Religious Art commission of the Diocese of Blois. It will pay homage to the patron Saints of the Church/abbey, to those who had relics, without forgetting the coats of arms of the abbots of the Blésoises abbeys. In 1968, the nave was completed.

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The Chapel of Saint-Laumer is the chapel of the baptismal font. The Chapel of the Virgin replaced, in the 14C by an ancient Romanesque chapel. The beautiful sculpture of the Assumption dating from 1672, which stands out in a very happy way on the unfigurative stained glass of the Chevalier, and the Dome of St. Nicholas is an architectural curiosity. It is adorned with niches housing-in theory-statues of Saints or Bishops. Its eight warheads converge towards the central Oculus. Since it has only four openings, it is quite dark.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The tourist office of Blois Chambord on the Church Saint Nicolas of Bloishttps://www.bloischambord.co.uk/on-the-agenda/heritage/monuments/eglise-saint-nicolas-250270

The regional tourist office of the Loire Valley on the Church Saint Nicolas of Blois: https://www.loirevalley-france.co.uk/organise-your-stay/visits/other-monuments-and-heritage/eglise-saint-nicolas-abbaye-saint-laumer

Hope you enjoy this Church Saint Nicolas, one of the best religious monuments in Blois, me think. Fully enjoy Blois.

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

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