Archive for May 6th, 2021

May 6, 2021

Church Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis of Lorient!!

This is sort of an odd post, as it can be call an update on the texts, but the pictures are all new from May 2021. It is one of our fav areas for walks in Lorient and the Church Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis cannot be missed at the Place Alsace Lorraine. It is call Church Notre Dame de Victoire but the locals still call it Church de Saint Louis. Let me tell you a bit on it ok, and hope you enjoy it as I.

Lorient is about 35 km by car from my house, and visited several times if only a couple been inside the church. It really needs a post of its own and tell you more about the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire or St Louis of Lorient. Of course, this is in beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne!

lorient ch St Louis belltower clock may21

Let me go from the back forward on the nice sea town of Lorient. The town was created in 1666 and developed in the 18C following two axes from the paddock, one in the direction of Ploemeur, via the rue du Port, an another one towards Hennebont via the Rue Maréchal Foch. It is around the Church of St. Louis, which was in the extension of the Rue Maréchal Foch, that all the administrative, educational, social and commercial spots are concentrated today.

The Church of St. Louis escapes the rule by being built along a north-west – southeast axis. The Church is elevated in the axis of old Rue du Morbihan (current Rue Maréchal Foch). Revamped several times, the Church is truly completed in 1830, with the construction of the Bell Tower. which also served as a flashing light.

The new Church of Notre-Dame-de-Victoire, the seat of the parish of Saint-Louis, is a church located by the place Alsace Lorraine. It was completed in 1955 after the bombing that had destroyed in 1943 the Church of St. Louis b.1810-30. It is the most important parish in the country of Lorient. The dedication to Notre-Dame-de-Victoire refers to the city’s English siége in 1746.  Made of concrete, the steeple culminates at 54 meters high, and is the highest point of Lorient. The access to its summit is done by means of a staircase of 270 steps.

lorient ch St Louis front may21

Let me tell you a bit of history and details on the Church Notre Dame de Victoire or Saint Louis as I like

The former St. Louis Church  was built between 1810 and 1830. A neo-classical style, it had a bell tower that dominated the city. In 1940, the Nazis occupiers created a very vulnerable submarine base in the Atlantic. Curiously, the Royal Air Force will only start bombing once the base is finished from 1943. Under the influence of the bombs, the Church of St. Louis will be so damaged that it was abandoned to restore it.

In 1953, the request was given to rebuild a church, 400 meters from the site of the old one. It will be inspired by neo-Byzantine art by creating a large dome above the nave. The development of the place Alsace-Lorraine, who’s Church occupies one side. The construction of the Church will span three years from 1953-1955, and use materials and finishes in honor at the time, in other words the concrete left unsheathing.  The Church is placed under the patronage of Notre Dame de Victoire or Our Lady of Victory, but also, as the one she replaces, under that of Saint Louis. Our Lady of Victory, very honored by the locals since the failure of the English siege of 1746, owes to her statue in the Chapel of the Virgin.

Poor in ornamentation, this Church of Notre Dame de Victoire nevertheless possesses some interesting frescoes, works of Parisian and Breton artists. One will notice the great fresco of the apse illustrating the coronation of Virgin. The exterior of the Church also offers three stone statues ; Madonna and Child, Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens and Saint-Louis. The stained glass windows, are very succinct. The monumental porch, in the middle of the façade, is 12 meters high, it is adorned with a statue of Notre Dame.

lorient ch St Louis dome ceiling may21

As soon as the visitor enters the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis , their gaze is struck by the chromatic contrast between the grey, almost uniform, of the nave and the rather yellow clarity of the choir. This was the will of the architects, to create a nave without many stained glass and which must remain in the shadows so that the attention of the faithful is sucked by the light of the choir. To this end, a series of glazed screen walls borders the north and south sides of the sanctuary, almost from the ground to the vault.  The Entombment,  and the Annunciation show the chromatic dominance of the two frescoes is grey, as if it were not necessary at any price to detach themselves on the concrete elevation in the background, grey too. Admittedly, it is necessary to ensure the contrast with the choir, but a distracted visitor may very well not see them by doing the round of the nave.

lorient ch St Louis mis en tombeau Christ may21

lorient ch St Louis baptismal font may21

The high Altar of the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis is associated with the famous word of Christ, read in the Gospel according to Luke: “advance offshore, and throw your nets for fishing.” These words addressed to Simon-Peter are the prelude to the miraculous fishery. “Forward offshore” also appears on a banner clearly visible on the western façade of the Church. The side chapels are  two chapels each decorated with a large fresco. That of the Chapel of the Virgin traces elements of the life of Saint Louis, while that of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel  is rich with a biblical symbolism very moving.

lorient ch St Louis nave to altar may21

In the Chapel of the Virgin throne the statue of Our Lady of Victory, (Notre Dame de Victoire) from 1850. The city of Lorient is meant to be under the protection of Saint Mary and this statue is the illustration. In 1746, during the war of the Austrian succession, when the city was besieged by the English, the inhabitants made a vow to the Virgin. A silver statue of Notre Dame was created. It will disappear in the French revolution and be replaced in 1850. In 1943, the statue was removed intact from the rubble of the Church of St. Louis, which was interpreted as a sign of the protection of Our Lady of Victory over the city. The Virgin sits on the city walls. From her scepter, she made depart the British leopard.

The previous Church of Saint Louis had in 1838 the first instrument built by the young factor prodigy Aristide Cavaillé–Coll, recently installed in Paris, rue Notre-Dame de Lorette.  Bretagne was the breeding ground for Aristide since if Lorient is his first organ delivered in France, Pontivy is the third , after Notre-Dame de Lorette Church in Paris, and Dinan the fourth ,and so on.  In 1959, a new large organ with 48 stops on three keyboards and pedals was built and installed by the Roethinger company in Schiltigheim (Bas-Rhin). In 1965, the Roethinger house installed the 12-stop choir organ with mechanical transmission. It was not until 2001 that a complete restoration of the instrument was carried out as of today.

lorient ch St Louis organ back front door may21

I keep writing the double name of Notre Dame de Victoire and Saint Louis because as the new Church was really given the name of ND de Victoire, the locals still refers to it as Saint Louis therefore ,the title of my post! ok It is worth the detour for the contrast of a modern Church to many old ones we have around here.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Lorient heritage on the church

The Bretagne region tourist board on Lorient

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist Board on Lorient

And there you go folks, now come and see the nice Church of Notre Dame de Victoire or Saint Louis ,and lovely city of Lorient. It is worth a detour me think.

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

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May 6, 2021

A return visit to Lorient!

Well this is just about 35 km from my house and is the sub préfecture of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 and my lovely Bretagne. I have come here several times but taking advantage of the new freedom to ride more than 10 km we re visit Lorient. The things will be same but the pictures are from today May 2021! Hope you enjoy it as we did.

We set out as usual by car on the N165 get off at Lorient and follow panels Lorient Centre.  Then we park by a side street to the palais de Congres close to the pleasure marina more or less facing the shopping center Nayel. I have to say in order to change driving habits and making roads one way and reducing city center parking it is indeed a scare off tactics to come by car here. Before, was difficult now it is a laberinth of roads and hardly any parking close to the old center. So much for urban planning!

lorient Nayel cc front across square may21

We set up on foot to go around the big area around the old town which is not old as WWII did destroyed it all. The place Aristide Briand where the FNAC store (which my boys shop enormously!) is where the gare d’échanges for the bus terminal and the narrow streets full of shops and restos are vibrant always especially on Saturdays. The whole town is there it seems. We took a look of our usual spots.

lorient FNAC store pl aristide briand may21

We could not bypassed the favorite store of my dear late wife Martine,  Damart , where not only she purchase clothings and shoes but always pick up the gifts from the purchase such as more clothing, small cooking pressure pan in ceramics , towels, socks, table cloths you name it. Many nice souvenirs for us coming to shop , and of course now looking at it were very sentimental; it goes with the times of our lives now. For info the webpage:

lorient Damart store souvenirs 7 rue Vauban may21

Then, right around the above we came over the city center where we just walk around, so again the wonderful Church Saint Louis (see post) at place Alsace Lorraine, near the wonderful shopping of the Galeries Lafayette.

lorient Galeries lafayette place Alsace Lorraine may21

On the way back , we passed one of our favorites libraries librarie au vents des mots at 7 rue du Port. The deco of the building is superb as the service inside. Gladly given the webpage here:

lorient librarie au vent des mots deco 7 rue du Port may21

We got to see the nice carrousel in Place Alsace Lorraine with a second big bus depot terminal and on the other side the beforementioned Church Saint Louis.

lorient pl alsace lorraine carrousel bus depot may21

Coming around the nice shopping mall Centre Commerciale Nayel we saw the nice big square where across we parked as well as a new resto O Tacos! as from 2007 the first French chain of tacos lol! They were showcasing a challenge to eat a tacos 2,5 kgs and if you do its free! Mind you this is about 5,5 lbs! pounds as in weight! I am talking now with my Mexican friend and want me to try it and send them a picture so will have to gain strenght to do it soon lol!! O Tacos webpage:

lorient Nayel cc front ent may21

lorient o tacos resto 2 ,5 kg giant nayel rue paul bert may21

There is always something in my lovely Bretagne and my beautiful Morbihan, the above place was packed as was lunch time and the high school students were out in force! Lorient is spread out big but newer buildings and parking is terrible will have to see when again to try that taco lol!!

The city of Lorient on its history:

The Lorient south Bretagne tourist office on Lorient

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist Board on Lorient

Well there you go folks, a short nice ride out and stretching our wings for more in the coming days. Not bad after all Lorient for the first go, stay tune for more. Hope you enjoy this bit of extra and the newer pictures.

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

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May 6, 2021

Porta Nigra in Trier!!!

And continuing in my update of older posts saga ,which have been enormously uplifting for me to review these wonderful travel experiences again! Thanks again to all of you for your following and encouragement over the years since 2010. I have to go out into something off the beaten path, I mean, Trier is very popular in Germany. I like to update for you and me something that strikes you as you enter Trier, the Porta Nigra!!

Sticking around lovely Germany , not a huge tourist destination probably for the lack of language translation in many places but nevertheless beautiful monuments to see. I have come here several times over the years business and pleasure. One of our favorite towns with the family has been Trier.  Let me tell you a bit more on the Porta Nigra of Trier or Black Gate! It is awesome sight indeed! Not to be surprise as Trier is considered the oldest town in Germany! and a huge University town now! For the Francophiles Trier is Tréves in French.


The Porta Nigra (Black Gate) is a Roman-era fortified gate located in Trier. This gate is built in concrete blocks that are assembled without concrete. An emblematic monument of the city of Trier, it is one of the oldest city gates of Germany. And it leads you right into city center with all shops and restos galore!!!


A bit of history I like

This monumental gate was built during the winter of 169-170 ,as the northern entrance door of the town of Augusta Treverorum, capital of the Celtic tribe of the Treveri, which became Trier. Its name comes from the dark color of the stone, due to the patina of centuries; this color is attested from the Middle Ages.

The Greek monk Simeon came to settle as a hermit in the monument around the year 1028 and was probably cloistered there. After his death in 1035, he went down to the ground floor and canonized. A sanctuary is built in his honour and the Porta Nigra was used as a two-level church, whose apse is still visible on the eastern part of the monument.


In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte destroyed the church and the sanctuary (as usual by him) . In 1804, during his visit in Trier, he decided to eliminate also the other additions, which allows to restore the aspect of the Roman construction.

The Porta Nigra is impressive to see its beauty and this old right in the middle of town. Some of the stone blocks weights 6 tons , and admission to the top is 3€ last check.


The Trier tourist office on the Porta Nigra

The Arts Heritage of the Rheinland Pfalz region on the Porta Nigra

Hope you enjoy it, one of the nice sights of lovely Trier as said , great town worth a visit. Enjoy the Porta Nigra!

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

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May 6, 2021

Electoral Palace or Kurfürstlichen palais in Trier!!

And continuing in my update of older posts saga ,which have been enormously uplifting for me to review these wonderful travel experiences again! Thanks again to all of you for your following and encouragement over the years since 2010. I have to go out into something off the beaten path, I mean, Trier is very popular in Germany but this Electoral Palace is seldom seen by visitors, and we walked the beat all over Trier on several occasions. Hope you enjoy it as I.

I have written several posts over the years in my blog on Trier and spoke to you of many sights, many times briefly. I believe this monument deserves more on its history and architecture and two wars. I will be telling you a lot of history on the Electoral Palace or Kurfürstlichen Palais of Trier. Bear with me please!

The Electoral Palace or Kurfürstlichen Palais in the city of Trier was the residence of the Trier electors from the 17C to 1794, that is, the Trier archbishops. The Renaissance and Rococo cobalt had been partly built on the floor of the Roman Constantine Basilica. In the 19C, the west wing of the palace was laid down in order to rebuild the Basilica (see post on Basilica).  After the expropriation of the electors under Napoleon I, the Electoral Palace was used as a barracks by French and Prussian troops in the 19C early 20C. During WWII, the building was severely damaged. Subsequently, the farm buildings, the so-called low-rise, were completely demolished, with the exception of the Red Tower and a portal. Today, the building houses various government authorities. Parts of the north wing are used by the Protestant congregation; parts of the south wing serve representative purposes. The palace garden in the south of the palace has been available to the public as a park since the beginning of the 20C.


A bit of history I like

From about the year 1000, the Trier bishops used the iconic palace hood of the Roman emperors (Constantine Basilica) as a castle. A  few centuries later, the building no longer met changing needs and current tastes. Elector Johann VII of Schönenberg planned a Renaissance-style castle. To do so, he had houses demolished around the Basilica in order to gain space for the new building.

In the period from 1615 to 1676, was first built under his successor, Elector Lothar von Metternich  a late Renaissance castle, named St. Petersburg after Peter, the patron Saint of Trier. The plan was on a complex of high and low altitude, in which the four-winged high castle with residential and representative rooms was to be laid out around an almost square courtyard. To the north, the lower castle was to connect with the economic areas and a second courtyard.  It was built on and in the Constantine Basilica, which was partially laid down for this purpose. As a result, it was decided to leave the west side and the northern apse of the basilica standing and to integrate it into the castle building as external walls. Since the floor of the ancient building was lower than the ground of the 17C, the east and south walls did not need to be completely removed.

In 1756,  it was to redevelop and expand the south wing of the Electoral Palace according to the taste of the Rococo style. The new, pink south wing was to rise beyond the previous castle on both sides. Some axes of the old building remained unchanged, this part was demolished in the 19C during the reconstruction of the basilica. The pink south wing was also designed in Rococo style inside. Upstairs, a hall was set up centrally to which a representative staircase leads up on the west side of the main entrance.Until 1794, the Electoral Palace occasionally served as a residence for the electors, although only a few rooms were fully furnished. In 1794, French revolutionary troops occupied Trier. From 1803, the French occupation used the Electoral Palace as a barracks. When the Protestant Prussia conquered Trier, this did not change. They, too, used the Electoral Palace as a barracks for their troops until 1918.

Around 1830, the Red Tower was increased by one floor.  The West Wing had to be completely laid down, reducing the size of the courtyard and losing its symmetrical architecture in the west, since then, it has suddenly risen in reddish, Roman bricks.  The Rococo South Wing was also impaired and shortened to the west.  The Electoral Palace was shortened by several meters, but the staircase was preserved. The south wing was originally shortened in a smooth cut, so its west side ended in an unadorned triangle gable, further differentiating from the east side with its forest gable. This disparity was only lifted at the beginning of the 20C, when the upper floors of the west side were further shortened and a forest gable was used here as well.   From 1871, the 7th Rheinische Infantry Regiment No. 69 was located in the so-called Palace Barracks.

During WWI, the Electoral Palace housed the Reserve Areton III.  After the war, the barracks were briefly occupied by the US army, followed in 1919 by the French, who named the barracks Quartier de la Marne,(the Marne district) in reference to the Battle of the Marne. Until the end of the occupation in 1930, the Electoral Palace remained a barracks.  The interiors were greatly altered by the use as barracks and multiple conversions, apart from the staircase had hardly survived any of the original equipment. In the 1930s, there were plans to establish the princely palace as a grand museum, bringing together the modern holdings of the Trier museums. In the course of these measures, some interiors were restored, but the plans were eventually not continued by the beginning of the WWII.

During WWII, the Electoral Palace was severely damaged: The roofs burned down, in addition to grenade and bomb hits. Due to the urgent weather, the last remains of ceiling paintings and stucco decorations in the garden wing, which had been recovered a few years before, were destroyed, and the magnificent rococo staircase also had serious damage. The two wings of the Lower Castle were almost completely demolished during the reconstruction. Only the Red Tower and the St. Petersburg Portal were preserved. Behind the portal and sideways to the Red Tower, a new building was built, but it extends wider than the floor area of the lower castle west wing, which was formerly located there, and thus partly into the former courtyard. The remaining floor area of the Lower Castle remained undeveloped and today forms Willy Brandt Square with a modern fountain that symbolizes the historical phases of Trier.

Since the dissolution of the district governments in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2000, it has been the headquarters of the Supervisory and Services Directorate. Of the old interiors, only the rococo staircase and the associated vestibule are preserved. The new ceiling of the originally higher staircase and the hall on the first floor, which followed the staircase, were painted in the 1970s with a painting based on the style of the construction period.  Guided tours of parts of the building, which belongs to the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and its courtyard are possible. Parts of the south wing are also used for events. Accessible via the preserved staircase, the rococo hall on the first floor covers up to 190 persons, and sometimes serves chamber concerts and representative events with smaller audiences. It can also be rented. The inner courtyard sometimes hosts open-air concerts and once a year the Trier Short Film Festival. Part of the north wing, accessible through a small portal in eclectic style, is available to the Evangelical Church congregation. Inside the north wing, the Caspar Olevian Hall serves as a community hall for the Evangelical Church. In it, Sunday services are often held in winter to save on heating costs for the huge hall of the Basilica. In addition, in the north wing there is access to the organ of the basilica. The building with the St. Petersburg Portal, on the floor of the former Lower Castle, and the Red Tower are also used by the authorities. The Red Tower has served as a bell tower for the Basilica since 1968, when it was again given a baroque roof hood.

In the south of the Electoral Palace there was a park in the time of the Electors, although it is very unlikely that the original plans for its design were actually implemented. In 1761, the Ferdinand Tietz Fountain was mentioned here for the first time, which today stands again in the park.  When Trier was occupied by French troops in 1794, the park was converted into a public square. During the use of the Electoral Palace as a barracks, the site in the south was used as a retreat place up to the Imperial Baths.  At the beginning of the 20C, the city of Trier tried to make the area a public park. It was only through the donations of the  Franz Weißebach foundation of Trier that the city received funds in the early 1930s to create the park, which still bears the name Palace Garden. Over time, numerous sculptures were purchased from private property, which may once have been part of the park’s furnishing, but also from other Trier gardens. In its present form, the park is therefore the ideal of a baroque garden, even if it was probably more simply designed in the 18C.


Adjacent to the Electoral Palace in the immediate south, there is now a section of the park with an unaccessible lawn, flower discounts in front of the main entrance of the south wing and a water surface in front of the eastern south wing. The lawn is bordered on both sides by a hedge and trees and thus visually separated from the water basin. The most famous view of the Electoral Palace are from the south, with the basilica behind it, therefore shows only the former central part of the south wing, which largely obscures the modern asymmetry of the building. In the park there are replicas of the Tietz sculptures; the originals can be seen at the Simeonstift Municipal Museum next to the Porta Nigra (see post). Since the Tietz Fountain was found again in 1940, it too has been inserted into the northern park.  To the west of the lawn there is a monument of two high-standing concrete slabs on one path, which will be awarded to cities for their 2,000th anniversary.


The Trier tourist office on sights to see

The Trier art heritage local page in English:

The Trier tourist office on the electoral palace in German:

Indeed a wonderful place to visit and the area is just awesome with the Basilica next  door. Do visit at least the garden of the Electoral Palace  or in German, the Kurfürstlichen Palais of Trier!

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

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