Archive for April 30th, 2021

April 30, 2021

Church Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre in Navarrenx!!

And continuing my rounds of updates on older posts on the deep France which brings many memorable moments of family travel, let me stop in an unique off the beaten path town of Navarrenx and show you a bit of the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre! This is my deep France , and we love it. Hoping you do too!

The territory in expansion is not really big but the treasures in it are huge. And coming back to the deep south I came upon the nice historical Church of Saint Germain d’Auxerre in the lovely town of Navarrenx.  The Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre Church is located in Navarrenx, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dépt 64 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.  It is a fairly old Church whose origins date back to 1551, under the reign of Henry II of Albret. Its steeple, as can be seen at present, dates from 1731. This gothic style Church, relatively rare in this part of France, measures 41 meters in length for 21 meters wide.  Following the arrival of king Louis XIII, wishing the final end of the war of religion, in Naverrenx in 1620, the Catholic cult was indeed restored. The patron of the Church is Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre, whose painting adorns the back of the Church. The Saint feast is on July 31st. The organ was built around 1850, but it is not signed so builder not known for sure.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This was the so-called Edict of the Union of Béarn. At Naverrenx, in favor of the entire integration of the kingdom, the king attended the solemn Sunday Mass at the Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre Church the following day. Two days later, the edict was finally approved by the Royal Council. Above the gate is a laurel wreath with the shield of France, completed according to the visit of Louis XIII. On the other hand, the current common coat of arms is characterized as a bluish golden Fleur de Lys replacing the old coat of arms.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The main portal of the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre is distinguished from four large-scale paintings, including those granted by Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie de Montijo. Indeed, after treating Eugènie, future Empress, Doctor Jean-Baptiste-Prosper Darralde became a resident of Navarrenx, then Mayor of this town between November 1841 and December 1845, finally was appointed ordinary doctors of their Imperial Majesties, towards 1857. Hence, during the visit of the Imperial couple to Navarrenx in 1859, Napoleon III thanked him because of numerous treatments, notably those of the Empress, by granting the Church four paintings. The gifts of the Emperor and the Empress were successively arrived while they were copies of the masterpieces.  With their biblical subjects, these great paintings at the door invite the Pilgrims of St. James, during the the re start of their journey, to keep their spiritual prayer on the way. These paintings are:

Nativity of the Virgin MarySaint Germain, Patron of the Church and parish; Piéta of Adele de Kercado, this Piéta is accordingly exactly attributed to Mademoiselle de Kercado, who made numerous copies of masterpieces at that time; And this is a reproduction of the piece by Lodovico Carracci. The Ascension of Jesus, unlike the other three paintings, this work is nothing but an original by François Dubois, already completed in 1848, and which arrived at the Church later, in 1859. This is a work of the Ascension of Christ.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Navarrenx on history/heritagehttp://www.ville-navarrenx.fr/histoire-ville-de-navarrenx

The Béarn Gaves tourist board on Navarrenx in English: https://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/en/discover/culture-and-heritage/bearn-des-gaves-cities/navarrenx-the-bastioned-city/

The Béarn Gaves tourist board on the route to St James at Navarrenxhttps://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/decouvrir/pelerinage-vers-saint-jacques-de-compostelle/la-voie-du-puy-en-velay/#.VTDLRfmsXp4

This the real old France we came to know in books and old films, lovely pure and simple with lots of architecture, history and more; the food of course is delicious and so are the wines of the Béarn! Enjoy Navarrenx and the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre as I do!

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

Tags: ,
April 30, 2021

Cathedral of Sainte-Marie of Oloron-Sainte-Marie!

And moving right along in one of my favorite areas of my belle France, we went deep! We have been passing by here for several years until one time we settled in Pau and began to see the region up close. One of my pleasant surprise was quant tranquil Oloron Sainte Marie. Let me update this old post on one of its emblematic monument, the Cathedral Sainte Marie!

And why not stay a bit longer in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, a nice town between lovely Pau and the Pyrénées to Spain! I cannot count how many times by here, since 1990! Read my previous posts on the town. It is a nice stepping stone into the mountains, the wines, the history and the architecture. Speaking of which , let me tell you about another gem of my belle France.  The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie  department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques 64 in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. I will make it brief, promise.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Church of Oloron was destroyed in 848 by the Vikings when they ransacked the city.  It was around 1102 that the Viscount of Béarn Gaston IV the Crusader decided to build a new cathedral that  began to build on the left bank of the gave Aspe (river). It remains from this 12C Cathedral especially the Romanesque portal protected by the steeple-porch as well as elements in the transept. The new cathedral dedicated to the Virgin was begun at the beginning of the 12C.

The nave was built in the 13C. The present sacristy, former Chapel of St. John the Baptist, was built in the late 13C or early 14C. The  Church was partly burned by lightning in 1302. The choir and bedside are rebuilt in the 14C. Two lateral vaulted chapels of liernes and third-party warheads were added in the late 15C or early 16C. The Cathedral was enlarged  in 1749 by constructing four lateral chapels with altarpieces on both sides of the nave and creating a new decor. This Cathedral was the episcopal seat of the former Diocese of Oloron, which was abolished in 1802 (separation of Church and State). In 1909, the Bishop of Bayonne was given the title of Bishop of Oloron and Lescar. Since that time the diocese of Bayonne, Lescar and Oloron has a mother church (Cathedral of Bayonne) and two co-Cathedrals (Cathedral of Oloron and Cathedral of Lescar). The restoration of the Cathedral was undertaken from 1859.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

In front of its Romanesque portal, a 12C, defensively-styled steeple-porch surmounts a slate roof. The main eardrum is adorned with a carved cross descent. The Romanesque portal is the work of two sculptors who are distinguished by their technique. One of them is called the Master of Oloron. With his workshop, he worked on the roads of Compostela, the main theme of the descent of Christ’s cross is very rare in a church at this side. This representation takes up the account of the death of Christ given in the Gospel according to John:. Around the cross, you can see on the left, Mary, mother of Jesus, hands on the heart, Mary, mother of James, kisses the Hand of Christ who has been liberated, a character who holds the body of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea holds pincers to denial the left hand of Chris, and the Apostle John with a hand against his cheek to manifest his deep sorrow. Above the horizontal traverse of the cross, two busts, which represent the sun and the moon to recall the darkness that occur at the time of the death of Jesus. At the foot of the Cross, a Crimson. Under the Crimson has been carved a calf or bull’s head whose interpretation is not assured.

The treasure is made up of articles of Goldsmiths, cabinetmaking and liturgical garments dating from the 17-18C. It is housed in the restored and rehabilitated North lateral chapels.  A curious and imposing cabinet of the 19C, presenting a collection of priestly ornaments from the 14C to the 17C  worn by the bishops of Oloron including a veil, a handle, a stole, two jumpers, three dalmatiques, and two screeds. A nativity scene and figures from the 1Q of the 18C.  Orfrois representing Saint Denis, Sainte Barbara, a holy bishop, the Veil of Véronique held by two angels dating from the 16C. Goldsmith’s pieces from the 16C to the 19C.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Organ was built between 1647 and 1652. The organ was restored in 1771. The organ was dismantled at the French revolution. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll installed an organ in the 17C buffet in 1870. Stained glass windows were laid in the 19C after the restoration of the Cathedral. A stained glass window depicts Mary’s presentation at the Temple and the Annunciation. Another, representing the Virgin Mary, the Child Jesus and Saint Joseph, from 1867.

There you go a bit of history I like which always look forward to when visiting these places and talking with the local people its just an amazing experience. I was glad to spent more time in the city, see my other posts, there is nice wines, chocolates and food here to keep at least me for a long time… Been the importance of the Cathedral in terms of local folklore, it is not a big size nor highly decorated but worth the detour if passing near or by Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Oloron Sainte Marie on heritagehttp://www.oloron-ste-marie.fr/Oloron/histoire-et-patrimoine.php?id_page=18

The Pyrénées Béarnaises tourist office on Oloron Sainte Mariehttps://www.pyrenees-bearnaises.com/offres/oloron-sainte-marie-oloron-sainte-marie-fr-2227838/

The Béarn Pyrénées tourist board dept 64 on the Cathedralhttps://pratique.tourisme64.com/patrimoine-culturel/oloron-sainte-marie/cathedrale-sainte-marie-d-oloron-et-tresor/PCUAQU064FS00061.html

And there you go folks, another dandy in my belle France and a deep region bordering with Spain, the real country just what I like the best. And the Cathédrale Sainte Marie of Oloron Sainte Marie is a nice place to stop while in town.Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

Tags: ,
April 30, 2021

Gan on the Pyrénées Atlantiques 64!

Let me bring this old post to life again for the road warrior memories of my southern France near border with Spain. Many years by here, and always an exhuberant glory of going there. I like to update our stayed in Gan (as many passing by!). Hope you enjoy as I.

So let me bring you down to a beautiful area and wonderful wines. I have enjoyed with the family for many years and even been base at Pau to just drive around the whole region. It is a pity not better known, as it is worth a detour for an off the beaten path area of my belle France.  The city of Gan is best known for its wine, which I have done another post on it. However, it does have a nice Church which again is very little credited and it is a nice stop while in town. It goes to saying have wine and take time for the Church. Let me tell you a bit more on this quant little town. Gan is a town in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept 64 in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, and only 9 km south of Pau.

The St. Barthélémy Church was rebuilt near the ancient church of St. John which was restored in several phases between 1811 and 1930.  The St Barthélémy Church has an 18C gilded wooden altar, enamelled Way of the Cross of ceramists Cazaux, stained glass windows of Atelier Mauméjean.. The Atelier Mauméjean is one of the main actors in the decoration of the stained glass. They are the work of three generations of Mauméjean the oldest being a Saint Peter of 1891 the most recent dating from 1939. The 18C gilded wooden altar located in the left ambulatory is the oldest room. The restoration of the church in 1920 and entrusted to the Abbot Annat priest of Gan who will follow the complete remodeling work of the Church to be consecrated in 1922 by Monsignor François Marie ,Bishop of Bayonne.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Gan is a large French wine-growing town with permission to produce the following appellation wines:   Béarn, comté de Tolosan; and Jurançon.   The Béarn is a French AOC label (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée))   and a European AOP label(Appellation d’Origine Protégée).  The Comté de Tolosan is a European label IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée). Note that the IGP label replaces the VDP label (Vin de pays) since 2009. It also has the word “regional “. The word “regional ” means that the IGP has the legal area of wine production of the widest possible. As it is fixed to a whole region which can bring together several departments.  The Jurançon is a French AOC label (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée ) and a European AOP label (Appellation d’Origine Protégée ). We love and are direct with the cooperative at Gan for jurançon and béarn wines, delicious at affordable prices!

gan-caves-de-jurancon-front-aug14

Some webpages on the city heritage and sites on Gan are:

The city of Gan on heritagehttps://gan.pau.fr/article/commune/histoire-de-gan–henri-iv-et-henri-dalbret

Official bastides fortified towns of the Pyrénées Atlantiques on Ganhttps://bastides64.org/bastides/gan/

The Béarn area tourist office on Ganhttps://pratique.tourisme64.com/activite/gan.html

Its market is usually open from 8h to 13h in city center. These times can vary depending on the weather and the season.  There you go a nice stop for us always on the way in or out of Spain, and we stop by Gan  too. As said, we have even stayed at Pau and wondered around this area for several years. Very nice places and should be seen more by all. Hope it encourage you to do so.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: