Archive for May 2nd, 2021

May 2, 2021

Goya museum of Castres!!!

And again looking at revising updating older posts found some surprises again. I am sure there will be more as my vault of travels is huge…. I have mentioned this beauty in previous posts but feels it deserve a brand new post of its own. This is the Goya museum of Castres!!! Hope you enjoy it as I.  

For orientation, Castres is a town in the Tarn department 81 in the region of Occitanie. My nostalgic part of my belle France. It is  42 km from Albi ,15 km of Mazamet, and 72 km from Toulouse. The town is cross by the Agout river a tributary of the Tarn river that joins here with the Durenque and the Thorate rivers.

The Goya museum is located in a former episcopal palace of classical 17C architecture whose plans were drawn by Jules-Hardouin Mansart, one of the architects of Versailles. The Goya museum is a museum of Hispanic art unique in France, presenting the creation in Spain from Antiquity to the 20C. The Goya museum has the second biggest collection of Hispanic art in France after that of the Louvre.

castres hotel de ville and musee goya jul10

A bit of history I like

In 1894 when Pierre Briguiboul, son of a painter and collector from Castres, bequeaths the private collection of his father Marcel to the city of Castres, he donated in particular three works by Goya, “Self-portrait with glasses”, “Portrait of Francisco del Mazo ”and“ the Philippine junta ”. At the same time entered the museum in the company of seventy-two objects including sixteen paintings, furniture, weapons. and tapestries. This bequest is at the origin of the Hispanic vocation of the museum. From Goya, the museum also preserves all four engraved series: Caprices, Bullfighting, Proverbs and the Disasters of War, regularly presented in temporary exhibitions. In 1947, in agreement with the authorities of the State and the City, the museum of Castres then took the name of “Goya Museum” and oriented its collections around Hispanic art.

 In 1949, prestigious deposits from the Louvre confirm the Hispanic orientation of this museum.  Since then, the acquisition policy pursued by the City of Castres and the museum has made it possible to regularly enrich this remarkable collection. The purchase of the Gaudí series by Joan Miró fulfills the desire to strengthen the estate linked to the 20C. The Goya Museum also keeps in its collections, the four engraved series of Goya. However, these are only presented to the public on an ad hoc basis during temporary exhibitions for conservation reasons.  Other artists are also present, such as Juan Rexach, Velasquez, Murillo, Ribera, Valdés Leal, Alonso Cano, Pacheco, Zurbaran, and Picasso. Among these deposits, we find two essential paintings: the Portrait of Philip IV by Velázquez and the Virgin with the Rosary by Murillo. The galerie du Siècle d’Or or golden age gallery dedicated to 17C works was opened to the public in 1956. More recently, following on from salle Goya or Goya room, a 19-20C room has been fitted out, bringing together major artists of this period. that some historians have called the Silver Age such as: Anglada-Camarasa, Rusiñol, Sorolla… and Picasso.

The building on which museum is located began its construction in 1665 under the direction of Jules Hardouin Mansart , intendant of the buildings of King Louis XIV and architect of Versailles, it ended in 1673. In 1676, the building was decorated with French garden designed by André Le Nôtre, architect of the royal gardens under Louis XIV. Requisitioned as national property following the French revolution, the building was acquired by the town in 1794. It initially housed the Sub-prefecture then the City/Town Hall and in 1840, the first floor accommodated at its creation, the Castres museum, then the library and archives.

Castres hotel de ville and musee Goya ent jul10

There is a large-scale project that began the summer of 2020 at the Goya Museum. Expansion of exhibition halls, redevelopment of spaces, improvement of accessibility etc. This in-depth modernization will breathe new life into the museum and renovated it from top to bottom and for 18 months, this cultural establishment steeped in history. Due to the pandemic the renovations are ongoings and its expected to reopen in July 2022.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and its worth the detour are:

The City of Castres on the Goya Museum:

The Castres-Mazamet Tourist office on the Goya museum:

The Tarn dept 81 tourists office on Castres:

The museums of the Occitanie region on the Goya Museum of Castres :

And there you go folks, a wonderful historical museum in a wonderful historical architecturally nice building in central Castres. You won’t have to go to Spain to see Goya at his best, just come to the Goya Museum of Castres! And my nostalgic Tarn dept 81 of my belle France.

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

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May 2, 2021

The ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse !!

Well well, one thing looking at this older posts is well a thrill! However, one great thing out of it is that I find sights to tell that have overlooked over the years. This was a wonderful trip with the whole family! many years back, the pictures are personal but all that is left. I like to relive and tell tell about the ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse in the Château de Bresse! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me bring you in into this east of France beauty slowly… The town of Pierre-de-Bresse is located in the department 71 of Saône-et-Loire in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. By the road is halfway between Chalon-sur-Saône (40 km) from where we came in sort of , and Dole (40 km).  The village would take its name from a megalithic monument similar to the stone of Couhard (near Autun). Pierre was on the border of Bresse then Burgundy after 1477. The village was burnt down in 1638 by Spanish troops under the orders of Baron de Watteville. The fortified château de Pierre was defended by Captain de Chanteret for the crown of France. Other interesting thing here are the Saint-Marcel Church, and the Château de Terrans  that is in the former village of Terrans, merged with Pierre-de-Bresse in 1973. The castle is a private property, cannot be visited, but worth seeing from outside.

The way to get there on public transports for information as never taken them are:  The Dijon – Bourg-en-Bresse line serves Seurre Station (21) located 18 km from Pierre de Bresse webpage:

Also, Bus Line 716 of the MobiGo network connects Pierre de Bresse to Chalon sur Saône. Webpage pdf file:

The property of this post is the Château de Pierre de Bresse. A bit on its construction includes two very distinct parts: on the one hand the outbuildings, and on the other hand the manor house. Each of these parts is surrounded by ditches filled with water. The outbuildings are accessed by a stone bridge connecting the park to them, and to the house by another stone bridge ensuring communication between the two. The outbuildings are formed, on either side of a large rectangular courtyard, of two oblong buildings, each preceded by a small pavilion. There is a nice park with grand tree lined entrance!

The castle is built in brick,and a rectangular shape, made up of three U-shaped bodies topped with a broken slate roof and surrounded by towers. The two wings in return of square have the same external elevation as the main building. Finally, if the twelve windows on the second floor correspond exactly to the twelve windows on the ground floor, the roof dormers are only six in number and their wider intervals help to lighten the two facades. A sundial is placed at the north wing. The castle is also characterized by the presence of four towers at the corners of the stately home. The better tower has four gun outlets, two downstairs, two on the first floor, the other towers none, the  remaining two towers, are on the ground floor. Likewise, only the two towers are crowned with machicolations. They are all four covered with bulbous domes surmounted by a campanile.   The castle is the property of the department of Saône-et-Loire.

The ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse is an ecomuseum of the history of Burgundy Bresse, founded in 1981 at the Château de Pierre de Bresse. In 1956, the castle was bought by the general council of Saône-et-Loire. It was restored and founded this eco-museum there in 1981.  The museum exhibits the history of Burgundian Bresse (one of the three parts of Bresse with Jura Bresse and Pays Dolois and Savoyard Bresse), with its natural environment, its heritage, its history, its habitat and its architecture, its farms bressane, furniture, old trades (mulching of chairs, breeding of Bresse chickens, tile making, pottery, clog makers , popular arts and traditions (costumes, pottery, music), the life of the Thiard family in Château de Pierre de Bresse as well as temporary exhibitions of local art, shop, sale of local specialties and tea room etc.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse

The region tourist office of Burgundy Bresse on the ecomuseum

The town of Pierre de Bresse on ecomuseum

Pierre de Bresse

Now last but not least , you might be wandering what was the family wonderful trip of above… Well the oldest brother of the Nord and my dear late wife Martine figure it out that since we were vacationing together in Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise of Burgundy in a house take some side trips away from wines lol! So the bro decided to take us here and we were following in our car. Well the trip was about an hour but I was getting a bit upset seeing just cows and mountains on the N73 road and then the D73 road until we got to the town of Pierre de Bresse and I say geepy now a pint! Well he ahead of me turn left and voilà this wonderfu gorgeous castle that in order to save it the regional council has turn it into an ecomuseum. A very nice experience, we like it and stay as a memorable family trip. Do not know why left it out ,maybe because all I had were a couple of personal pictures from it!

Pierre de Bresse

Hope you like the story and do come over the Château de Pierre de Bresse and its ecomuseum are wonderful. One more reason to love my belle France!

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

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May 2, 2021

Encore Sainte Anne d’Auray!!!

And yes encore Sainte Anne d’Auray, again and again; I passed by it almost every day and have several posts in my blog on it or its surrounding monuments. This is awesome regardless of your beliefs and the town of Sainte Anne d’ Auray is totally devoted to the wonderful Basilica.

Needless, to repeat the many text on its description and history so I will be brief and add new pictures taken yesterday morning on our Labor Day 1st May road warrior trip. Hope you enjoy it; I think the pictures came out better than ever ::)

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne altar left side may21

Taken some parts of previous texts on older posts let me tell you that I have written on this religious town often as it is just 20 minutes from my house I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ!

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne fountain ste anne may21

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne altar may21

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel Ste Marie may21

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica  By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of Ste. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic , the man who saw Ste. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent.

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel back right may21

You will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary).

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel ste anne et mary may21

Again, some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and a must if want to get into the Breton/French psyche with its huge history and beautiful architecture. Of course, try not to come on July 24-26 if you don’t want to see yourselves in half a million to a million pilgrims from all over the world.

The official Sanctuary of Sainte Anne:

The long webpage of the Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Sanctuary of Ste Anne

The Bay of Quiberon local tourist office on Sainte Anne d’Auray:

Hope you enjoy the short post and do read my many others on Sainte Anne d’Auray and its wonderful monuments. A small town but packs a lot of power….The history is nice and the architecture is beautiful, a must to see in my Morbihan breton.

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

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