Archive for April 26th, 2021

April 26, 2021

Abbey Church of St Ouen of Rouen!

One of the magnificent abbeys of my belle France, on a right spot next to the Hôtel de Ville, this is a jewel of Rouen. I like to update this older post and tell you a bit more of the  Abbey Church of St Ouen! Hope you enjoy it as I!

And I stay in Rouen, no problems, this is a nice town and full of gems to see and enjoy. I repeat , I have come here many times with the family and even watch sporting events here, the amount of historcial architectural stunning places are awesome. Rouen should get more visitors , it is worth it. I like to tell you here about another jewel of architecture and history, the Saint-Ouen Abbey Church of Rouen.  Its abbey church is a complete example of Gothic architecture in Normandie.

rouen-abbey-ch-st-ouen-front feb09

The Abbey Church of Saint-Ouen was one of the most powerful Benedictine monasteries in Normandy, founded in 750 under the term of Saint Peter the first church at this site was a Merovingian basilica; Dadon (Saint Ouen) was buried there in 684 and then gave his name to the abbey. Also, the Benedictine monastery which succeeded him at the time Carolingian naturally took the name of this prestigious abbot.  Hildebert first true abbot, is considered the restorer of the abbey. Under his command, the abbey follows the Benedictine rule.. In 1067, William the Conqueror attests to a confirmation in favor of the abbey. The body of Saint Ouen and the other relics are transferred there in 1126

The work of the present-day Gothic abbey church began in 1318, the tombstone located in the chapel of the Abbey of St. Agnes indicates in its epitaph that Master Alexandre de Berneval, a masonry master, is the author of this Church And that he died in  1440. In all likelihood, he is depicted on the tombstone and undoubtedly is that of the two characters, the oldest, who holds in his hands a compass and a medium on which is engraved a quarter of a rosette.  In 1803, the Hôtel de Ville of Rouen settled in the former Dormitorium or sleeping quarters of the 18C. The Logis abbatial is demolished in 1816. The church itself, having sheltered a factory at the time of the French revolution, was then returned to the Catholic cult but without becoming a parish church.

rouen-abbey-st-ouen-side-left feb09

The western façade of the Abbey Church Saint Ouen  was built in Gothic style between 1845 and 1852, only the escutcheon is original. It is constructed of limestone from the quarries of Saint-Leu and Saint-Maximin.  The main gate is made up of three porches, whose foot-rights host statues The central portal, composed of Christ on the central pillar of the great gate, is surrounded by the apostles.  We enter the building by the portal of the Marmousets which closes the south arm of the transept. The ribs of the vault fall on two large pendant keys. The lower parts of the foot-rights and the central thomas are carved with forty medallions quadrilles tracing the life of Saint Ouen, whose statue perched on the thomas. The tympan is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  The Abbey Church of Saint Ouen measures 134 meters long, with a height of 33 meters under vaults, and has a superb crowned central tower that does not have lantern of the flamboyant Gothic style. It measures 82 meters and a structural belfry supports the bells, of which one was melted in 1701. The nave, very bright thanks to its canopies on three levels of elevation; adjacent to the north of the nave, stands the only gallery still existing cloister; It has a beautiful, flamboyant network.

A bit on the beautiful inside with brief description.

rouen-abbey-st-ouen-nave feb09

The Choir and the pentagonal bedside with its eleven Chapels, visible from the garden of the town hall, is a marvel of harmony and balance, all in the radiant Gothic style, with the exception of the northern part of the choir against which remains a Romanesque apsidal, Called the Clerics’ tower, a vestige of the former great abbey. The choir is closed by grates forged in 1740-1749; above the large arcades, under the triforium, are wall paintings from the 14C. The Altar is made of gilded brass.

The Salle des Marmosets overlaid at the gate, was once used as a charrier or maybe  the Abbey’s archive room. In the 19C, this room served as a library, as evidenced by the few traces of polychromies and nails. The room has an irregular vault that is based on the bases carved with sacred and secular scenes

The stained glass windows form a coherent ensemble, of great homogeneity, made between the 14C and 15C. All the windows are filled with stained glass. On the stained glass windows are only figures on foot, given the height of the building which would make it impossible to read smaller religious scenes. Therefore, each of them represents a patriarch, a prophet or a sibyl in the north, and a saint, a prelate or an apostle in the south. The windows then open directly to the aisles. Contrary to those of the bays of the nave, the stained-glass windows are here religious scenes under architected decorations of a very fine execution.

The Rosary in the south arm was decorated with a tree of Jesse, a recurring theme in this art. The north arm shows us the hierarchy. As for the façade, its rose is adorned with a modern and abstract window, in beautiful blue hues, which slices with the rest of the scenes. The scenes of the canopies takes up the window of the tall windows of the nave with figures on foot. There is, however, one exception: a modern window by Max Ingrand representing the Crucifixion that adorns the axis.

The windows of the radiant chapels there is the largest collection of stained glass windows from the 14C in France. They illustrate for example the life of the Saints honored in the abbey. The Abbey Church St Ouen has an organ Cavaillon-Coll of 1890; one of the most beautiful in France with that of the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris and the greatest Cavaillon-Coll of the provinces after that of the Collegiale Saint-Pierre de Douai and the great organ of the Cathedral of Nancy. More on the wonderful organ in French here:

The old garden of the abbey is today called the Jardins de l’Hôtel de Ville or City/town Hall Garden. It can be seen, located next to the west entrance, near the portal of the Marmosets, a copy of the Big Stone of Jelling offered by Denmark to the city of Rouen, on the occasion of the millennium of Normandy in 1911.  Not far from there are a stone statue of Rollon and a bronze bust of the Belgian poet Émile Verhaeren, who died accidentally in the train station of Rouen in 1916.  To the north of the Abbey Church Saint Ouen, a basin is decorated with a sculpture evoking the abduction of Dejanie by the Centaur Nessus. Against the north wall, you see the Meridian.


I give you here some anecdotes that I find nice to tell hope you enjoy them as I. Inside one of the highest turrets in the abbey, Private Buckley engraved the name of his regiment, the 6th Australian Artillery, and his hometown: Melbourne. It was October 11, 1918.  A Scotsman also played the knife on August 18, 1916, leaving his historic mark in the limestone. the tags left a rope hanging from a roof bears witness to the escapades led by nocturnal visitors. The wonderful bells making noises such as the Saint-Ouen, Marie and Julie-Marcelle. Like all the bells in France, they have been baptized. The first weighs four tons, the second three, the last one ton. When they ring, the belfry begins to creak. At the central point of the abbey, between the choir, the transept and the nave, from the organ towards what is above it. The stained glass window of Christ, “lost” during WWII ,then recovered, after the element was redone by a master glassmaker.  It sits still in a cask in Rouen. All the stained glass windows were removed during the two world wars, for fear of the bombardments as there was in Reims. They all left at the cask desk in Niort. They have been replaced by woods and cathedral glasses. The Saint-Ouen abbey is closed to the public due to restoration work, bear this in mind to check when coming to see it, and you must!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The City of Rouen on the Abbey:

The Rouen tourist office on the Abbey:

The Abbeys of Normandy on the Abbey of Rouen

There you go folks ,another jewel in pretty historical Rouen. The Abbey Church St Ouen is not to be missed! ok

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

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April 26, 2021

Church Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc of Rouen!!!

And I bring you to another memorable historical town of my belle France. We have been coming to Rouen since early in arrival in France back in 2003. We like it and I love the history and architecture around it. Let me update for you and me the Church Sainte Jeanne d’Arc of Rouen!!!

So I am embarking on a pilgrim route on my way to Normandie and I arrive at Seine-Maritime dept 76 in the beautiful old city of Rouen. What would you do? Well I tell you; you head straight to the Place du Vieux Marché and see the Church of Joan of Arc! There you have started well your visit to Rouen!  Not really off the beaten path, but many sidestep it for the grandeurs of the other buildings, however, this one is a must to see. I like to tell you a bit more on the église Jeanne d’Arc de Rouen. The church is in the city center of Rouen, in the Place du vieux Marché. The daring architecture allows to admire the stained glass windows of the choir of the ancient Church of St. Vincent, formerly located at the bottom of rue Jeanne d’Arc and destroyed in 1944 during WWII. Its appearance evokes both a Viking boat and a fish. It was consecrated on April 29, 1979 , and it was inaugurated on 27 May 1979 by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of the French Republic.(France).

rouen-church-of-jeanne-darc-rouen-pl-vieux-marché feb09

A bit of history I like

The Church of St. Joan of Arc of Rouen dates from 1979. Its very modern curvatures rise in the middle of the Place du Vieux Marché, whose redevelopment ended in the same year. Initially on the square, there was a church dedicated to the Holy Savior. It was the parish of Pierre Corneille. It was closed in 1791; It was demolished in 1795 during the French revolution. In the Middle Ages and in modern times, the place was the heart of the city’s food trade. Under the Second Empire, its surface doubled; two large halls were built. Remembered long forgotten, we finally remember that the place du Vieux Marché had been the place of her torment. After the degradation of WWII, the city decided to set up this vast square  in memory of the maid such as with the construction of a church and a memorial, highlighting the location of the pyre as well as the pillory where we exposed the condemned. Wood-framed houses were even rebuilt.

Before 1944 was, not far from the square, an old church dedicated to Saint Vincent, attested from the 12C. A flamboyant Gothic style, it was one of the richest and most beautiful in Rouen. Its beautiful canopies were dated from the Renaissance. The city made them hide for safety from 1939. Good anticipation: The Allied bombs destroyed the Church in 1944.  The new church roof marries the shape of an overturned ship hull and the nave welcomes thirteen magnificent Renaissance canopies from the old St. Vincent Church. These canopies are an essential step in a visit to the city of Rouen. These thirteen canopies, created in the decade 1520-1530, were in the choir of the ancient Church of St. Vincent. Canopy 9 to 13 illuminated the ambulatory, with the Crucifixion in the central axis. The life of Christ, with four stained glass windows (childhood, Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection), illuminated the chorus. There was added the martyrdom of Saint Vincent, patron of the Church (No. 13).

The other canopies (1 to 8) were distributed in the Chapels. The stained glass windows 2, 3 and 4, relating to Sainte Anne and the Virgin including the sumptuous window of the chariots-adorned the Chapelle Sainte-Anne. Canopy 3, 5 and 6 were made by the famous Le Prince workshop in Beauvais. The other ten are attributed to workshops in Rouen. List of stained glass windows are: (13)

Glass of the life of Saint Peter, 1520-1530; Canopy of Sainte Anne, 1520-1530;  Canopy of the Triumph of the Virgin or stained glass of the Chariots  1515 and carried out towards 1522;  Canopy of the tree of St. Anne, 1520-1530; Canopy of the life of Saint John the Baptist, carried out in 1526; Glass of works of mercy, made in 1520-1530;  Canopy of Saint Antoine of Padua, 1520-1530;  Glass of Saints, 1520-1530;  Canopy of Christ’s childhood and public life, 1520-1530;  Glass of Passion, 1520-1530;  Glass of the Crucifixion, 1520-1530, former axial glass of the Church of Saint Vincent;  Canopy of the glorious life of Christ, 1520-1530; and Glass of the Martyr of Saint Vincent, 1520-1530.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and worth the detour are:

The city of Rouen on the Church:

The Rouen tourist office on the Church:

There you go folks, another jewel on the map of my belle France and my neighbors the Normans! Do not miss to see this Church Joan of Arc in nice quant Rouen.

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

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April 26, 2021

Maison Musée Jeanne d’Arc of Orléans!!!

And this was a dandy and we love it. Came to Orléans for it and glad we did. The history of France is huge and we love it, very much here in this city, all over, and wonderful architecture. I like to tell you my update on the house museum of Joan of Arc in Orléans, which Maison Musée Jeanne d’Arc .Hope you enjoy it as we did!

On my road warrior fix along my belle France , I take you back to a wonderful historical city of Orléans, and now with friends there that worked with me! I was there first and have several entries on it in my blog.  I like to tell you a bit more about the Museum House of Joan of Arc in the city of Orléans. The Maison Musée de Jeanne d’Arc! This is nicely done and worth the visit in city center.

The house known as Joan of Arc in Orléans is a historical museum dedicated to Joan of Arc, inaugurated in 1974, in a town house of medieval style reconstituted in 1965, in the city center of Orléans, in the Loiret department 45  in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Joan of Arc stayed in the former House , during the few weeks of her heroic contribution to the liberation of Orléans at the Siege of Orléans (1428-1429) an episode of The Hundred Years War 1337-1453.


On a side note by the place du Martroi, symbolic heart of the city has a huge equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc where she is bigger than the horse, at WWII this sculpture was partially destroyed and it was rebuilt by sculptor Paul Belmondo ,father of the famous actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.

orleans pl du Martroi 2011

A bit of history I like

This traditional, four-story, wood-framed, wooden-brick townhouse with cross-windows with mullions and stained glass, and slate roof, was the home of Jacques Boucher, treasurer General of Prince Charles I of Orléans (Duke of Orléans and Duke of the Valois 1394-1465.  Joan of Arc spent several weeks there, when she helped to liberate the city heroically, between April 29 and May 9, 1429, during the siege of Orléans, which pitted the coalition of the Kingdom of England and the Burgundian state against the Kingdom of France.

The House-Museum was completely rebuilt in 1965, after being completely destroyed by the bombardments of Orléans of 1940 during WWII. The new Jeanne d’Arc Municipal Museum is founded in 1974 by the Orléans City/Town hall and houses an archival fonds dedicated to Joan of Arc and at the time, about 37 000 documents (books, brochures, journals, manuscripts, posters, engravings from the 16C to the 20C, and films) after one year of closure for renovations, the House of Joan of Arc reopens in Spring 2012.

On the ground floor is the museum part with a whole new set of scenery to discover in a multimedia room offering interactive kiosks, an illustrated chronological frieze and a cartography of Jeanne’s epic story. A film about Joan of Arc and Orléans, interactive kiosks and a timeline will carry the visitor in the midst of a hundred Years War with Joan of Arc for heroin. On the upper floors of Joan of Arc’s house the Jeanne d’Arc Center gathers more than 37,000 documents related to the maid of Orléans. And I could not helped it but loaded on goodies!!!


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its all worth it are:

The city of Orléans on the house museum:

The Orléans tourist office on the traces of Joan of Arc:

The Loiret dept 45 tourist office on the house museum of Joan of Arc

The official maison musée Jeanne d’Arc in French:

I hope you enjoy the tour and get you to come over to this wonderful city of Orléans in the Center of France and visit a lovely well design house on the life of the heroine of France, Secondary Patron Saint of France, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc).

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

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April 26, 2021

Hôtel Groslot of Orléans!

And this historical Orléans and a wonderful mansion. You know who gave us the curiosity to be here and it was nice. Later years, met collegue from here and gave us the impetus to come back. It is a nice central city of my belle France, full of history we love. Hope you enjoy this update on the Hôtel Groslot of Orléans!

So let me tell you a bit about Orléans, and to show a bit more than popular Paris… In my road warrior trips with the family in Europe we have been to a lot of places and some we missed. The wonderful cold weather calls for something more warm down in central France.  Let me tell you a bit more about the Hôtel Groslot in the historical city of Orléans, department 45 of the Loiret in the region of Centre-Val de Loire. Sit back and enjoy the story,  hoping you like it as we.

The Hôtel Groslot is a 16C ( 1550-1555) mansion built for Jacques Groslot, bailiff of Orléans. The house, also called the Great House of the Steps, House of the Governor, or the Stewardship was successively a mansion and then the city/town Hall of Orléans and today welcomes the celebration of the weddings. Built under the impulse of the Groslot family, it welcomed the French Kings François II ,Henri III , Henri IV, and Charles IX and the Regent Catherine de Medici. The hotel is built near the Cathedral of St. Croix, in the Place de l’Etape, in the city center of Orléans. It is located near the B line of the Orléans tramway network.

orleans hotel-groslot-et-moi-aug07

A bit of history I like

The Groslot Hotel is built in the Renaissance of Germain Rebours and Anne Brachet ,the owners of an agrarian land on the Place de l’Etape in the middle of the 15C. They planned to built a particular hotel but give it up before the end of this project to Jacques Groslot, Bailiff of Orléans, in 1545. Jacques Groslot dies before the completion of the work in 1552. His widow and two sons, Jérôme and Henri, inherited the building and attended the end of its construction between 1553 and 1558.

On 18 October 1560, King Francis II imposed himself and settled with his court in the hotel to mark his opposition to Jérôme Groslot, a fervent supporter of the Protestant Reformation. François II died at Hôtel Groslot on 5 December 1560. Charles IX succeeds François II in the aftermath of the general states of 1560 which stand in front of the hotel in a large hall on occasion. As the king was 10 years old, the regency was entrusted to his mother Catherine de Médici. After a stay of almost five months, the court leaves Orléans and the Hôtel Groslot on February 12, 1561.

Jérôme Groslot resumes possession of the hotel after the departure of the court to support the actions of the Protestants and Groslot, Louis I of Bourbon-Condé returns to Orléans in 1562 and resides in the grand house of the Etape or stage (Groslot) which becomes the headquarters of Protestants. Charles IX returned to Orléans to appease the troubles arising from the massacre of Saint Bartholomew and stayed in the great House of the Stage (Groslot). The hotel is then purchased by the town in 1738 after several owners.

A bit on the constrution style of it

This building has a characteristic red brick facade arranged in rhombuses. It consists of a central building with two Renaissance-style wings and a double-volley staircase. The statue of Joan of Arc made by Princess Marie d’Orléans placed in front of its porch dates from the mid-19C. It still bears the traces of bullets received during the liberation of Orléans in August 1944. The Groslot Hotel is composed of four main halls: the Salon d’Honneur, the Old City Council Hall, the Mayor’s old office and the wedding hall. The Gothic troubadour style interior decoration is made between 1850 and 1854 as furnishings, there are many souvenirs of Joan of Arc, paintings, Aubusson tapestries, wooden chests and other period furniture. The gardens are accessible from the Rue d’Escures where there is a wall, consisting of the remains of the Chapel Saint-Jacques which stood up at the rue des Hôtelleries. The French writer Honoré de Balzac describes the Hôtel Groslot in one of his philosophical studies of the human comedy. A painting by the French painter Pierre Dupuis depicts the death of Francis II in a room of the Groslot Hotel.


The front porch and the central façade are restored between 1850 and 1852; The remainder of the work is carried out between 1852 and 1855. The new city/town hall is inaugurated on May 8, 1855. The administrative services of the city of Orléans leave the Hôtel Groslot in 1981 to be transferred to the new municipal center located opposite the hotel Groslot in 1, place de l’Etape.

Orleans hotel Groslot Pedro aug07

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Orléans tourist office on the Hôtel Groslot|en

The Greater Orléans tourist board on the Hôtel Groslot

The Loiret dept 45 tourist office on the Hôtel Groslot

The Loire Valley tourist office (Centre Val de Loire region) on the Hôtel Groslot

This is a nice city of Orléans, full of history and nice walks, all around the Hotel Groslot is worth the walk and marvel of the architecture and history all around you in the city of Joan of Arc made famous. See my other posts on Orléans in my blog.

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

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