Archive for May 11th, 2021

May 11, 2021

Church Notre Dame de Kerdro of Locmariaquer!

And let me continue my journey of past posts enjoying every minute of it; and thank you for following me along. I take you back to my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. This is a place we go often but as usual cannot write everyday on it! and sometimes pictures are not taken… Nevertheless, I did on the wonderful coastal Church Notre Dame de Kerdro of Locmariaquer! Let me tell you a bit about it.


We are still in Spring but sunny just nice Breton weather!  Again passages of it but feel need to tell you a bit more in depth on these beauties.  Locmariaquer is a town located at the western mouth of the Gulf of Morbihan and has many beaches overlooking the Bay of Quiberon, western part of Mor Braz  (sort of like the Breton sea area just outside the gulf of Morbihan) which opens access to the Atlantic Ocean.

One nice monument to see here and its just by the harbor,nice, is the Church Notre-Dame de Kerdro , a Romanesque style church, built between 1082 and 1120 by the monks of Quimperlé, the transept and the choir are the surviving elements. In 1548, Locmariaquer was attacked by the English fleet and largely destroyed. The Church suffers damage. It is re renovated new in the 17-18C as the construction of the nave, modification of the Romanesque parts; the Bell Tower is built in 1817. The west, north and south gates are built in 1835.  The Church of Notre Dame de Kerdro is done in a Latin cross, the intersection of which is a square tower of 1817 with a Bell Tower and a slate. The Romanesque apse is backed by four buttresses.. At the location of the southern one, a sacristy was built. The exterior walls of the Romanesque part, choir and transept, mounted in small archaic apparatus like cubic rubble, scattered bricks and rows of Roman bricks in re-use, are older 11C than the interior structure. The façade bears the Latin inscription “HIC Domus dei” or”here is the House of God“. The south gate is protected by a porch in advance; It is topped by a crest bearing the words “Haec Porta Coelli” or “this is the gate of heaven”.


The Church Notre Dame de Kerdro is covered with framing. It consists of a nave with three smaller naves 18C separated by full-arches worn by square piles, a transept and a Romanesque Choir 11-12C. The Cross of the transept opens with large double-roll arched arches worn by complex piles with engaged columns whose capitals are carved. It is covered with a wooden ceiling. The choir of two bays separated by a double arch falling on columns engaged in carved capitals is vaulted into a cradle. It ends in a cul-de-furnace the beautiful series of Romanesque capitals is adorned with stylised geometric and vegetal motifs. A marquee is carved from opposing Rams ‘ heads in angles.


The ornamention inside the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro includes a Blessed cowl included in the wall near the south entrance would date from the 15C. It is adorned with foliage and grapes. Each of the two crosses has an altarpiece topped by a painting, dating from the 17C. The table of the north brace represents the Annunciation, the one of the south the crosillon the Visitation. The twelve stained windows of the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro are equipped with contemporary stained glass, made in 1960.The motifs of the seven stained glass windows of the nave and the transept are abstract. The five stained glass windows of the choir represent images related to the region such as boats and fishing, ears of wheat (agriculture), letters NDK (Notre-Dame-de-Kerdro), bouquet of oyster-culture tiles, dolmen and menhirs (megaliths /stones).



Very nice Church Notre Dame de Kerdro, and just around the port area with great seafood and views of the boats, nice indeed. Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are:

The town of Locmariaquer on religious monuments such as the Church

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Locmariaquer

A private webpage in French locker56470 with lots of history on the Church:

So there you go folks, another gem indeed me think. And only 34 km from my house or about 21 miles. Enjoy Locmariaquer and the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro!

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

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May 11, 2021

Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie of Pontivy!

Ah this is a dandy and very close to home. It is an inland Morbihan town of a very long history especially link to Napoléon! I like to update this older post on the Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie of Pontivy! Hope you enjoy it as I.

So here is another gem that I have often written on it in previous posts but never a post of its own, which I think it deserves.  Again right up the alley on my area on the Napoleonic town of Pontivy (read my posts to know why) we have the Basilica Church of Notre Dame de la Joie. TheBasilica is located at the place Bourdonnay-du-Clézio, and the place Anne de Bretagne, it is in the center of the medieval town of Pontivy (Pondi in Breton language)


A bit of history I like

The commemorative stone placed between the two flagstones dominating the western portal, recalls that the first stone was laid on April 29, 1533. The local Pontivyens, whose Church of St. Ivy was too small and falls from dilapidated, are obliged to raise in the 1530’s a new sanctuary in the form of a Latin cross, partly thanks to the financial assistance of the Bishop of Cornouaille Claude de Rohan. The arms of the family of Rohan are also listed above the double door of the tower and their faces are recalled on the columns.  According to local tradition, an epidemic of dysentery was rampant in the city in 1695 and 1696. On September 11, 1696, the inhabitants would have made the vow, if the scourge ceases, to offer to the Virgin an eternal silver lamp in the Chapel dedicated to St. Ivy. The invocation of Mary having made the scourge disappears, the lamp would have been lit the next day and a first procession organized in her honor. The Church is then placed under the term of Notre Dame de la Joie or Our Lady of Joy. In reality, the cult of the Virgin is more ancient in the region and that of Pontivy dates back at least to the previous century. Since then, the tradition lasts, a pardon (penitence procession) being organized on the 12th of September or the following Sunday, now every second Sunday of September.  The Church of Notre Dame de la Joie was transformed at the end of the 18C, in particular thanks to the liberalities of the Dukes of Rohan, as well as at the end of the19C such as the Spire, the aisles of the choir and the vaults of the nave date from 1886 in order to respond to the increase of the population of faithful. On January 10, 1959, Pope John XXIII granted the Church the title of minor Basilica.

A bit of architecture I like

The Basilica Church of Notre Dame de la Joie makes a large appeal to the granites stones of  with grey-green brick schists and eroded sandstone. Successive additions have made the Church lose its primitive plan in the Latin cross, but among the gables that cut the southern façade one still recognizes, at its elevation, the old cross brace. The broken-arch windows are lined with networks restored in the 19C and are topped with gables to the creeping hills decorated with sticks and cabbage. The western gate is made up of two twin bays in a basket-loop, underlined by a double-glazed window of gorges and carved with vine and oak leaves. These berries are topped with ornate curly braces and framed with three balusters fashioned in fine granite. Above their marquee stand out on slight pinnacles the repeated rhombuses on the three fretted columns,  these rhombuses represent the faces of the coat of arms of the House of Rohan.  The two upper floors are pierced on each side of a long window and crowned by a flaming gallery. This railing is loaded with animal gargoyles and corner pinnacles. On this basis was built an octagonal dome from which rises the stone Spire which succeeded, in 1886, to a slate frame. The three-nave main nave consists of four spans and communicates with the aisles through broken arcades to several archivolts that penetrate into columns engaged in square pillars. These pillars are done in granite coarse grain.


A bit more on the interior

The Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie preserves several altarpieces in the Interior, including that of the high altar. This altar, in polished grey marble and polychrome stone, done in 1782 in Rennes while the architectural altarpiece in marble and taffeta stone, dates from 1725. The Louis XV style, altarpiece adopts a concave plan with a central body in advance which houses in a huge niche, in the shape of arch in basket, the carved group of the Holy Family in terracotta. In the center, depicts Christ as an adult, summoned from the dove of the Holy Spirit and which shows the figure of God the Father. The columns of black marble, arranged on either side of this niche, support an entablature, embellished with rondeaux, dominated by an imposing semicircular pediment on which rests a crowning niche. In this niche, accosted with inverted columns and consoles, throne St. Ivy (Patron Saint of the parish) as a Bishop wearing monograms crowned with Christ and the Virgin, accompanied by two musicians Angels. The wings, curved, are flanked by columns lined with pilasters with Corinthian capitals and finished by inverted consoles with vegetal décor. They shelter, under red draperies forming a canopy, the statues of the parents of Virgin Mary, St. Joseph on the left and Ste. Anne on the right. Each statue is topped with an entablature decorated with crisscrossed palms and a cornice with dentelles and modillions. The upper level ends with two small ailerons, adorned with medallions probably illustrating the portraits of the donors carved in bas-relief and the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul draped in antique style.



The front of the high Altar bears the name of Jehovah in Hebrew characters, with the sun and the beams of stylized rays. It is topped by a marble Tabernacle with a wrought-in mosaic gold and enamel door over mounted. It was on this Altar that the Federation volunteers of the French revolution  signed their act of Union on January 19, 1790. This is the first time that the term living free or dying is used.


The Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie ,also, presents a series of statues from the 16-17-18C. The most notable, backed by the pillars  are Our Lady of Joy carved in an oak trunk, Our Lady of Deliverance revered by pregnant women, a polychrome wooden statues of St. Catherine and St. Barbara are likely to come from the former convent of the Recollects of Pontivy, now destroyed. The Church has a 17C wooden eagle-lectern, donated by the Duke of Rohan. The Louis XV style desk is adorned with a raptor whose greenhouses cling to a large bronze sphere that symbolizes the Earth’s globe.


An oil on canvas with the subject of the descent of the Cross, dated 1635 and restored in 1974, is a work of the Flemish school.  The Chapel Our Lady of Joy, has an altarpiece where the revered statue sits. The seated Virgin holds, on the right, a scepter and, standing on her knee the child Jesus. On the other side of the Choir, the altarpiece of the carved wooden Calvary is a typical 17C work.  The perpetual lamp is suspended from the vault. From the 19C, the Church preserved a series of stained glass windows and a Cavaillé-Coll organ made in 1836. Other stained glass windows were added in the 20C.


Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are:

The Pontivy tourist office on its heritage

The Morbihan dept 56 Tourist Office on the Basilica Church ND de la Joie

There you go folks, another gem near me and worth the detour, wonderful city center and great walks by the river. This is the Rohan territory of the Morbihan breton. Enjoy the Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie or Our Lady of Joy

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

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May 11, 2021

St Peter’s Cathedral of Vannes!!!

And thrill to update this older post for you and me! This is my wonderful capital city of Vannes and the St Peter’s Cathedral is awesome ,all in old town surrounded by wooden houses from the 14C! A must to visit and I will tell you a bit more on the Cathédrale St Pierre! Hope you enjoy as I.


I search my blog for a post on the St Peter’s Cathedral or Cathédrale St Pierre and needed to tell more!! There were some bits and pieces in other posts but for the Cathedral not one  as a whole.  Amazing all the things we see and write and continue!  Anyway this is the 600 anniversary of the coming here of Vincent Ferrier from Valencia Spain to spread the gospel of Christ in this area. It is now Saint Vincent Ferrier and we are celebrating big from March 2018 to June 2019 but especially this year.  His body rest in the Cathedral on a special Chapel as you enter on your left hand side nearer the Altar.And of course, it is a great center of pelegrinage from many parts of Europe. He was born in 1350 at Valencia at the time part of the kingdom of Aragon, and died in 1419 at Vannes! He is the Patron Saint of the Comunidad of Valencia in Spain. In Spanish he is written at Vicente Ferrer.  The Dominican fathers have a page on him in Spanish here: Dominicans order page on San Vicente Ferrer


As it would be a monumental task to tell you all about this wonderful magnificent beautiful St Peter’s Cathedral, I will just tell you the main points me think.  

The Cathedral Saint-Pierre of Vannes is done in Gothic style, it is elevated on the site of the ancient Romanesque cathedral. Its construction spans five centuries, from the 15C to the 19C, and if one includes the length of existence of the Romanesque Tower-Belfry preserved from the old building, one arrives at a construction period of seven centuries. As a whole, the Cathedral remains, nevertheless, faithful to the ancient Romanesque and comprises a nave annexed by ten lateral chapels, a transept with unequal arms, a choir wrapped in a ambulatory and a row of two axial chapels. The nave has a length of 47 meters and a width of 13 meters. The total length of the Cathedral is 110 meters, which makes it the longest among the Cathedrals of Brittany. The vault of the nave and the transept measures almost 21 meters high.




From west to east, the following five chapels are found on the south side:

Chapel of the baptismal font this is the smallest of the five chapels. Sainte-Anne Chapel she is the patron Saint of Brittany, and according to the Bible, the mother of Mary ,grandmother of Jesus. Chapel of the Rosary the stained-glass window shows the sacred heart of Paray-le-Monial. Blessed Pierre René Rogue’s Chapel blessed Pierre René Rogue was a priest, born in Vannes, known for his great piety he was sentenced to death and guillotined for bringing communion to a dying man. It is buried under the altar. The Chapel Saint-Gwenaël, Saint Gwenaël took part in the evangelisation of the Breton dioceses in the 6C. On the corresponding stained glass, he is represented in the company of the blessed Françoise d’Amboise. The latter, Duchess of Brittany, founded the first convent of Carmelites in Vannes.



The five chapels on the north side of the nave are the following from west to east:

Chapelle Saint-Mériadec-et-Saint-Patern the stained glass depicts Saint Mériadec and Saint Patern, the first bishop of Vannes (see post on him and church ,is the oldest Church in Vannes). Chapelle Saint-Louis with about 5.17 meters over 6.15 meters. This is the largest Chapel in the nave. Built around 1456, it was first dedicated to St. Sebastian, to which St. John the Baptist was added from 1648. At the end of the 18C, it was dedicated to Saint Louis, hence the stained glass window which represents twelve scenes of the life of the Holy King. Chapelle Saint-Antoine, its Gothic-style porch is topped by a stained-glass window bearing the arms of Brittany, Vannes and Mgr Bécel. Since December 2015, an inscription in red, affixed to the outside of the porch, indicates that this entrance is called the gate of Mercy. referring to the Holy Jubilee year decreed by Pope Francis in the Bull of Indiction Misericordia Vultus of April 11 2015. The Rotunda Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament this rotunda shaped side chapel is of Italian Renaissance style, a rare case in Brittany. Adjacent to the north façade, it was built between 1530 and 1537 at the expense of Canon Jean Daniélo, inspired by his Roman memories and who thought to make it his mausoleum. Originally destined for the Blessed Sacrament, this chapel was dedicated to the cult of St. Vincent Ferrier from 1956 to 2018. It is currently empty and awaiting a new liturgical assignment. Maybe a baptistery. The altar-tomb of Saint Vincent Ferrier, which was there, was transferred to the North cruiser. And the Chapel called Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes-this is the place of the ancient gate of the Dukes of Brittany.


The Northern Cross of the transept opens outwards by the beautiful portal of the Chanoines. It is topped by a stained glass window depicting Saint Vincent Ferrier. This North brace which, from 1956, had been reduced to being a place of passage, since may 2018 hosts the tomb of Saint Vincent Ferrier. It is thus found, the altar-tomb of Saint Vincent as well as the beautiful reliquary in the form of a bust of vermeil made in 1902. On the edge of the upper part of the woodwork, is deployed the tapestry of Aubusson of 1615 which relates on 28 meters of length, seven miracles attributed to the Saint as well as the scene of his canonization in 1455 and the portrait of the donor, the Bishop of Vannes.

The Choir is surrounded by a very large ambulatory intended to channel pilgrims who came to pray on the tomb of St. Vincent Ferrier in the middle ages. Like the basilical pavilion located in the Choir, a marble plaque recalls the affiliation of the Basilica Cathedral of St Peter’s Vannes to the Basilica of St. Peter of Rome.


The Grand Organ of the St Peter’s Cathedral is today an instrument of 35 games which has been the subject of a complete restoration in 1985. The Tribune is supported by six Doric columns with smooth bole and molded marquee resting on masonry quadrangular granite bases, the upper part of which consists of a larger stone treated in quarter round, ledge and ogee before resuming a square shape under the column tours. The organ consists of two buffets: the positive and the great organ. The positive is placed in cornball in the middle of the Tribune. The Grand-Organ is composed of three levels of mouldings, squares at the lower level, rectangular horizontal at the middle and rectangular vertical level at the upper level. Marrying the bulge form of the cheeks of the Massif, two monumental sculptures support the large turrets.


Some webpages to help you enjoy and plan your trip here which is a must,are:

The official Cathédrale St Pierre webpage:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on Vannes:

The Bretagne region tourist board on Vannes (watch the video!):

And they you have it folks, a gem of my lovely Bretagne and beautiful Morbihan in my belle France, a must to see while in medieval Vannes, and you have to see if passing by my beloved adopted Morbihan and of course our capital city of Vannes.  The St Peter’s Cathedral is worth your while.

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

May 11, 2021

Saint-Louis Cathedral of Blois!!

And taking you back to a royal town and pretty and plenty of architecture and history in it, this is Blois. I like to update my older post for you and me on the  Saint-Louis Cathedral of Blois! Hope you enjoy the post as I and thanks for reading me since 2010!

And well going back this wonderful region of the Loire valley now comprises of really two regions of the new French Republic. I have come here often and there is still lots to see as in my belle France. I though that I had written apart on it but apparently not, so here is my take on the Cathédrale Saint Louis de Blois!  Saint-Louis Cathedral is located in Blois in the Department of Loir-et-Cher No. 41, Centre-Val-de-Loire region. It is the seat of the bishopric of Blois, erected in 1697 by a bull of Pope Innocent XII.


A bit of history I like

The Cathedral St Louis is of late Gothic style. Before becoming a cathedral, she was a collegiate and was placed under the patronage of Saint-Solenne. Construction began in the 12C. But apart from a few vestiges in the crypt and the base of the steeple, nothing remains of this church. The façade and tower of the steeple were built from 1544. The nave was destroyed by a hurricane in 1678, and the reconstruction in Gothic style took place between 1680 and 1700.  To celebrate the promotion of the Church to the rank of Cathedral in 1697, king Louis XIV offered the organ buffet in 1704. Since its construction, the current Cathedral has undergone very little transformations. The Notre-Dame Chapel was added in 1860. The American bombing of WWII destroyed most of the Cathedral’s stained glass windows. In 2000, the new stained glass windows were inaugurated as part of a general restoration of the building undertaken since 1985. The new stained glass windows cover thirty-three bays, high and low, and represent a total surface area of more than 360 m2.  Dating from the middle of the 16C, the façade shows a compromise between the traditional late Gothic style and the beginnings of Classicism. There are medieval elements such as gargoyles, buttresses topped with pinnacles as well as the acute pinion that surmounts the whole, but also classical elements such as the triangular pediment, the medallions in round-hump in the spandrels.  The most remarkable part is the tower-steeple located to the north of the façade and which dominates the whole city. Although its bedrock dates from the 12C, construction began in 1544. The Renaissance style is equipped with ionic and Corinthian columns. The top floor is topped by a dome topped by a lantern built in 1603.  The tower has seven bells.


A bit more on the description and dates

The Saint Louis Cathedral is composed of a large nave with north and south collateral done between 1680-1700, on which are opened lateral chapels, as well as a choir with its ambulatory. There is no transept. The choir has a five-part apse from the 16-17C. Framing the choir, the ambulatory and its radiant chapels date back to the 19C. In the high windows there are 19C stained glass.  The ambulatory added in the 1860’s with its twisted pillars is a pastiche of the style Louis XII, example of imitation of the styles of the past under the Second Empire.


After the hurricane of 1678, only the façade, the five-sided apse and the pillars of the choir were reused. For the first time, the sanctuary of a warhead vault was covered.  The church has one very old chapel, dating from the 12C and located on the left under the tower, with a vault of period warheads falling on the capitals of Acanthus leaves. In front of it, on the right side in the first chapel is a marble bas-relief depicting the baptism of Christ and recovered from the tomb of the mother of the King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine Stanislas Leszczynski, who died in Blois. The Saint Louis Cathedral still houses another bas-relief of white marble called memory and meditation, dated 1660. The Clicquot organ buffet was offered by king Louis XIV in 1704.


The Saint-Solenne Crypt is located under the Cathedral Choir. It was in 1927 that the remains of a Carolingian church, built at the end of the 10C by the Counts of Blois, were discovered to house the relics of Saint Solenne, Bishop of Chartres. Later, in the 12C, during the building of the next church, the choir of this Carolingian church became a crypt.  In the Crypt alone remains the central ship and the apse of this ancient church-basilica. Behind the altar, you can see the trace of its semi-circular apse. On the left side, a vault houses the tombs of the bishops of Blois.


Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are:

The city of Blois on its heritage

The Blois Chambord tourist office on Blois

The Loire Valley or region Centre Val de Loire tourist office on the Cathedral:

The Catholic parish of Blois on the Cathedral

There you go folks, another gem to see as often the city is more than just a castle. Enjoy Blois, and do visit the Saint Louis Cathedral worth a detour.

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

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