Archive for May 15th, 2021

May 15, 2021

Two temples for Rome!!

And here is my saga of updating older posts in these time of ours. Anyway, it has been a wonderful excuse to see again these wonderful memories of old that will never go away. By family vote, they asked to come to Rome, Italy and we did. I had been on business but this time was memorable with stories to last our lifetime. Let me tell you about two temples that I was on economy time and took two in one picture lol! These are the Temple of Victorious Hercules and the  Temple of Portunus of Rome!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

In our wandering walks we stumbled sometimes into interesting places some not really research but nevertheless very nice architecture which we love much, thank you…  While in Rome, do as the Romans do is an old cliché I have known since birth, and this we did while in Rome with the family. Doing this we came across the Temple of Victorious Hercules and the Temple of Portunus! 


The Temple of Ercole Vincittore ( victorious Hercules) , rises in the square of the Bocca della Verità (mouth of truth) in Rome, not far from the temple of Portuno inside the forum Boario. Due to a mistaken attribution, born during the Renaissance, the temple is sometimes still popularly referred to as the Temple of Vesta; The error is due to its circular shape that makes it similar to the true temple of Vesta located in the Roman Forum. Dating back to 120 B.C., it is the oldest building of preserved marble currently in Rome.

The Temple of Ercole Vincittore was later restored under the emperor Tiberius , and owes its preservation, like many other Roman monuments, to the fact that it was transformed into a church in the Middle Ages; it was in fact consecrated in 1132 and dedicated to Saint Stephen of the Carriages, then to be transformed in the 17C in the Church of Santa Maria del Sole (St Mary of the Sun Dedication: Blessed Virgin Mary), because not far from the church, on the edge of the Tiber, was found an image of the Madonna from where a ray of sunshine departed.

The temple is circular in shape, and is made of marble. Its plant has a diameter of about 15 meters. The original marble used for the opera was Greek. It rises on a foundation with rings of capillaceous blocks in turn on a platform in blocks of tuffa of dark cave, which incorporate the outlet of the deposit of filth. The base has a stepped base, thus lacking the Italian podium. The cylindrical cell, open to the east, is decorated with a high plinth, outer layers and the upper part in imitation of the isonomic masonry. In the floor of the cell opens a Favissa, a deep well in the shape of tholos (round Greek style). The central part is surrounded by twenty 11 meters high flared columns with a base of its own and Corinthian capitals; Eleven columns and nine capitals date back to the restoration of the Tiberian period and are recognizable because in Apanus marble from Luni. Some capitals have lost the upper part.

The Rome tourist office on the Hercules temple:

The Temple of  Mainly Fortune or Portunus (Tempio di Portuno) is a Roman temple , one of the best preserved of all Roman temples. Its dedication remains unclear, as ancient sources mention several temples in this area of Rome, without saying enough to make it clear which this is. It was called the Temple of Fortuna Virilis from the Renaissance, and remains better known by this name. If dedicated to Portunus, the god of keys, doors and livestock, and so granaries, it is the main temple dedicated to the god in the city. It is in the Ionic order and located by the ancient Forum Boarium by the Tiber river.

The temple was originally built in the 3-4C BC, but was rebuilt between 120–80 BC. The rectangular building consists of a tetrastyle portico and cella, raised on a high podium reached by a flight of steps, which it retains. It has a pronaos portico of four Ionic columns across and two columns deep. The columns of the portico are free-standing, while the remaining five columns on the long sides and the four columns at the rear are half-columns engaged along the walls of the cella. If still in use by the 4C BC, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The temple owes its state of preservation to its being converted for use as a Church of Santa Maria in Gradellis  in 872, and Santa Maria Egiziaca in the 15C (Saint Mary of Egypt).  Its Ionic order has been much admired, drawn and engraved and copied since the 16C.

The Rome tourist office on Portunus Temple:

I hope reading this post will give you the curiosity to see these off the beaten path monuments of eternal Rome! The Temple of Victorious Hercules and the Temple of Portunus are another way to see Rome up close and personal!

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

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May 15, 2021

The Circus Maximus of Rome!

And here is my saga of updating older posts in these time of ours. Anyway, it has been a wonderful excuse to see again these wonderful memories of old that will never go away. By family vote, they asked to come to Rome, Italy and we did. I had been on business but this time was memorable with stories to last our lifetime. Let me bring you up the Circus Maximus of Rome! Hope you enjoy it as I.

So we went off to Italy , well I went off several times mostly on business trips, but with the family we chose Rome. Such an impressive name and a great introduction for them to Italy. There is so much to see , very old stones of very old history nevertheless, a primer from where most began.  However, as usual many have been general in scope and I feel this spot in Rome deserves a bit more description and information on it. I will tell you a bit more on the Circo Massimo di Roma!

The Circo Massimo or Circus Maximus literally “the biggest circus”,  is the largest and oldest racecourse in Rome, considering the importance of its dimensions and the richness of its history compared to the dozen or so circus of Rome, it is often called simply “Circus” by the ancient writers. The largest public building of ancient Rome, it is mainly dedicated to chariot races but it can also be used for other types of show or during triumphal processions, especially from the reign of Trajan. Today, it is located in the rione of Ripa and remains the scene of large gatherings at festivals, concerts, or other major events.


A bit of history I like, just a bit ok

The Roman tradition attributes the foundation of the circus to Tarquin the Elder, in 599 BC, with the first works of arrangement. Its location corresponds to the site where, in the time of Romulus, the rites and the first sacred games, called Consualiaa, which included equestrian races, would have taken place in honor of the god Consus. At the end of the 4C BC appear the first permanent structures but it was not until the end of the 1C BC, with the work undertaken by Julius Caesar and Augustus, for the building to adopt its definitive form of Roman circus. At the beginning of the 4C, Emperor Constantine I restored the circus magnificently, and prepared a site on the spina for a new obelisk taken from Karnak in Egypt and it arrived in Rome in 323. In May 357, the Emperor Constantine II resumes the project of Constantine I to raise a second obelisk on the spina. This second obelisk is a monolith of 33 meters, the largest in Rome, as high as a 10-story building. It was carved out of Syrian Aswan pink granite during the reign of Tuthmosis  IV between 1401 and 1390 BC. It is today known as the Lateran Obelisk, because it was re-erected on the Place Saint-Jean-de-Latran in 1588. In 1589, the obelisk of Augustus was in turn moved to Piazza del Popolo.

Today ,the Circo Massimo is on a grassy valley that is used for major events such as concerts, popular gatherings like the celebration of Italy’s victory at the 2006 World Cup with a million people, or giant outdoor cinema sessions.

We came to it first on the metro line B and walking by it saw it by chance!! However, directions to get here are easy, there is the Metro, line B (stop Circo Massimo). The Tramway line 3 (stop Aventino/Circo Massimo). And the many bus lines passing by such as the  51, 75, 118, 81, 85, 87, 118, 160, 186, 626, 673, 810, and N2 nighttime bus.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Rome tourist office on the Circo Massimo:

The Rome cultural webpage on the Circo Massimo:

The Tutto Italy or all on Italy webpage with a map on the Circo Massimo or any other monument usuful me think:

There you go folks, now you are all set for a wonderful time in Rome and the Circus Maximus or in Italian Circo Massimo. Hope you have enjoy the brief tour.

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

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May 15, 2021

The port at Audierne! and the sea!

And why not staying in nice Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne and update this older post of coastal Audierne! The port and the sea are it, beautiful scenery. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

We did passed by the harbor beach town of Audierne, this is very picturesque like a post card and great ambiance along the waterfront. I love the town and will be back in the Pays Capiste (Cape country) ,just before the Pointe du Raz (see post). You take the N165 from Vannes direction Lorient, then continue direction Quimper/Brest; just past Quimper take the D784 direction Landudec/Plozévet/Plouhinec until you reach Audierne. You can park along the wharfs by the harbor or port. You could take the train from Paris-Montparnasse to Quimper and here take bus 53 from the train/bus station direction Quai Anatole-France in Audierne, but never taken public transports here so just for info and please check.


Audierne was born on Jan 1st 2016 of the merger of the two towns previous Audierne and Esquibien. The current Breton name of the town is completely different from that used in French since it is “Gwaien” and is the same as that of the river, the “Goyen”. It is derived from the name of the Breton Saint Gwaien.

The port of Audierne initially developed in a cove on the right bank of the estuary of the Goyen making way to the east, thus in a situation of shelter in relation to prevailing winds; but the port, due to the small size of the site, had to gradually expand downstream along the right bank in less protected places . Audierne was in the 19C an important center of activities related to the seaweed, picked up especially throughout the Bay of Audierne. In Audierne, the growth of the canneries, then called “fryers”, was late; more than 20 years after Douarnenez and Concarneau for example. The port was mainly fishing for lobster, shrimp,and sea spider, species developing in the depth of the bay of Audierne.


Access to the port of Audierne was formidable because not only the currents and pitfalls of the Raz de Sein, the reef of the Gamelle and the bar at the entrance of the port, as well as the unstable sand banks of the mouth of the Goyen caused many shipwrecks. However, between the Pointe de la Torche and the Pointe du Raz. Audierne is, with Saint-Malo, one of the first two French ports where Admiral Rigault de Genouilly created, from February 12 1865, the central rescue society for shipwrecked people, (or société centrale de sauvetage des naufragés) the pioneers of today’s SNSM (societé national de sauvetage de mer or national sea rescue company) because the port of Audierne was one of the most dangerous of the French coastline, a dreadful bar rising facing its entrance to the heights of the Gamelle’s shoals.


As said ,worth the detour for the sea scenery worthy of a good painter; tranquile ambiance and great family place.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Audienne, Pointe du Raz, Sein island tourist board on the port:

The Cap Sizun pointe du Raz tourist office on Audierne

The town  of Audierne on the port

And if need more info have it at the town of Audierne in French on its history/heritage

Lovely place deep into the corner of the Finistére or the end of the Earth! lovely harbors and beaches all around you. Especially here for the sea life and the seafood ,second to none. After all, Brittany is the best agro sea region of France! Enjoy the port of Audierne!

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

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May 15, 2021

Crozon peninsula and St Pierre!

And of course  ,what else? I continue on updating my older posts. I find it amazing the changes in links and directions to be updated and at the same time bring me great pleasure in reviving these wonderful memorable moment in family trips. Today , I take you to the Crozon peninsula and ist wonderful St Peter’s Church. Hope you enjoy it as I. Again, really, thanks for following me all these years since 2010!

There are many things to see in my lovely Bretagne, and we have been to many and there are many more to be seen. However, the coastal region is sublime and always a welcome to visit any time. We love it and will tell you a bit more so you one day can see it and love it too ok.  Let me tell you a bit about the Crozon peninsula and its main city Crozon as well as some of the things to see here. Enjoy it!

We drove all the way on the D791 and D887 from the expressway N165 very easy with good signs.  Here you see the wonderful cliffs at the different points such as Pointe de Pen Hir. One of the most beautiful scenery seen by me here so far can be done from the Pointe de Pen Hir, extending at sea by the Tas de Pois. From this point you  can see the Pointe du Raz  (see post) to the Pointe Saint Mathieu , and on nice clear days we can see the islands of Sein, Ouessant and Molène. It is here that at liberation day from WWII, a huge hill was chosen to built a cross of  Lorraine in granite dedicated to the Bretons who fought for a Free France.  Général De Gaulle came here to opened the tower on July 15 , 1951. This was part of the Atlantic wall of WWII and those who fought it are well remembered here.



Crozon is a town of Finistère dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne. It is located in the center of the Crozon peninsula, the town occupies the largest part of the peninsula. Among them, the seaside resort of Morgat , in the south, offers a nautical center and Le Fret , in the north, a small port overlooking the harbor of Brest.  The Bay of Morgat is limited by Crozon to the east and the Pointe de Kador  to the west. It once housed the sardine and tuna port of Morgat; with the depletion of fishery resources, the fishing port has become a recreational marina port. The town of Crozon is adjacent to those of Camaret-sur-Mer (see posts) in the west, from Roscanvel to the north-west, from Lanvéoc to the north, from Argol and Telgruc-sur-Mer to the east.

A bit of history I like

The megalithic alignments of Lostmarc’h and Ty-ar-C’huré  or House of the Priest prove a settlement from prehistoric times. Two bronze statuettes representing one horse, the other a  cow, probably of Gallo-Roman origin, were found in 1931 in Saint-Fiacre. A Roman road from Vorganium passed through the Chapel of Lospars in Châteaulin, Dinéault, less than 3 km south of Argol, Crozon and the Causeway of the Anse du Kerloc’h to reach Camaret sur Mer. In the 12-13C, the County of Crozon  was possessed by the family of Leon,  before passing to the  hands  of the  family of Rohan because of the marriage in 1349 of Jeanne de Léon (daughter of Hervé VII de Léon), Lady of Crozon and Kéménet-Even , with Jean I, Viscount of Rohan; the family of Rohan was still Lord of Rohan and of Quéménet in 1541. At the beginning of the 16C, the parish of Crozon received, probably from Rome, relics of the ten thousand martyrs (Roman Legionnaires converted to Christianity and crucified under the reign of the emperor Hadrian) and built, in the parish church, a reliquary to keep them and an altarpiece to honor them . 

At the French revolution, the priests were very numerous at Crozon some of them were guillotined in Quimper in 1794. Several other priests from Crozon were either incarcerated or had to hide, or were deported to Spain, etc. The Bishop of Quimper and Leon, Justice of the peace in Crozon  saved the lives of many priests persecuted for the faith, promoting their escape or hiding them in the homes of his parents or friends.  The expulsion of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit in August 1902 under the congregations Act gave rise to demonstrations in Crozon; a first deportation attempt failed on 7 August 1902. In WWI ,  450 German citizens and 250 Austrian citizens, transported from the United States by the Dutch ship Nieuw-Amsterdan in order to be incorporated into the armies of their respective countries, were captured by the French ship Savoie and interned for part  in the Fort of Bouguen in Brest, and part on the forts of Lanvéoc and Crozon (in fact at Ile Longue island). The  WWII military square of the Crozon cemetery houses the graves of 10 dead Commonwealth soldiers in Crozon or at sea in the vicinity and those of two unknown soldiers.

The one things to see here if limited on time is St Peter’s Church.

The parish Church of St. Peter (St Pierre), and its Altarpiece of the ten thousand Martyrs. The current church, begun in 1899 and completed three years later. The church was badly damaged in 1944 during the liberation of  Crozon and restored in 1992, when it underwent new transformations such as the development of the choir and setting up of benches.  Some of the things preserved were the porch dating  from the 16C, the bell tower dating from 1866,done in stone of Kersanton, which replaced the old one that threatened ruin and which could resemble that of Locronan (see post), the sacristy, built before the French revolution, and which served besides the city/town hall until 1823.



The famous Altarpiece of the Martyrs, this one is a polychrome carved piece dedicated to the remembrance of the ten thousand martyrs of Mount Ararat, Legionnaires executed for their faith under the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. Under the altarpiece, probably the former high altar of the Church of St Peter until 1754, with a Tabernacle and two bas-reliefs. These very different formats than the altarpiece represent the flogging and fall of Jesus when he wears the Cross. The Christians of this Legion were allegedly massacred for refusing to sacrifice to the gods. If a date is engraved at the top left as 1624, it would be in fact only a restoration or reorganization of the panels. Considering the importance of devotion and style, the work dates from the early 16C.


Built in the late 17C, the pulpit, in oak, is inspired by that of the Cathedral . The panels of the frame represent the episodes of the life of St. Peter such as the miraculous peach, his liberation from the prison under the guidance of an Angel, his Ministry, his crucifixion. The Lampshade is adorned with plumes and topped with an Angel carrying the sword and sounding the trumpet. The trumpet evokes the trumpets of the Apocalypse announcing the fulfillment of the times and the last judgement; and the sword, the word of God that penetrates and judges the hearts. The altarpiece of the Rosary, dates from 1664, honors the Virgin Mary . In the Center, the Madonna and Child hands over the Rosary to St. Dominic and the scapular to St. Catherine of Siena. All around  twelve medallions that represent the main events of the Evangelical life of Mary and of Christ, or mysteries. The baptismal font carved in granite, and dated 1742, consists of two elements,  the large tank proper which retained the holy water for baptisms, and attached, a receptacle intended to receive water flowing on the forehead of the child. The organ conceived and realized in the 17C, it was restored in 1857 but severely damaged by the bombing of 1944. Rebuilt in 1992. Nothing remains of the old stained glass windows. Those of the Choir and transepts, in the chorus, represent the adoration of the Magi, death on the Cross and Pentecost, and in the transepts, the last supper, the miraculous peach, the conversion of Paul and St. Anne.  The stained glass windows  were destroyed by the bombing of 1944. But thanks to the drawings that had been preserved, they were redone identically and relocated around 1950. The stained glass windows of the nave, in glass slabs, were installed in 1981-1982.

Other things to see, need more time to see it all!

The town of Crozon has many wonderful beaches such as Aber Beach, Kersiguénou Beach, Goulien Beach, Lostmarc’h Beach, Palue Beach, Morgat Beach, Porzic Beach, Postolonnec Beach, spring Beach, Poul Beach, Trez-Rouz Beach, Kerloc’h. The area is  very picturesque and rugged, and  includes the Cap de La Chèvre, Pointe de Kador, Pointe de Dinan, Pointe de Lostmarc’h, Pointe de Kerdra, Pointe de Kerroux,  Pointe du Dolmen, pointe de Rostudel, Pointe de Saint-Hernot, Pointe des Grottes , Pointe du Menhir, Pointe de Trébéron, Pointe of Tréboul  or Pointe du Guern, and the pointe du Pouldu.

The megalithic alignments of Lostmarc’h. The megalithic alignments of Ty-ar-C’huré or House of the Priest. The Villa Ker ar Bruck, it is also called the “Eiffel House”, because it is made of metal. The Saint-Fiacre Chapel and the Saint-Fiacre fountain . They are also the Grotte de l’Autel, and the Kador, the Virgin Island, the Cap de la Chévre, the castle of Dinan, and the cliffs of Morgat. The painters took pleasure in painting this coast, such as Julien Thibaudeau, at the beginning of the 20C, from the pointe de Menhir to Morgat, restoring in depth the beach of Postolonnec, the Aber and the Bay, or Charles-Louis Houdard who painted in 1898 the heights of Crozon.

Very nice natural and monumental complex in one, great views of the Atlantic ocean and great seafood; heavens in my neighbor the Finistére dept 29 and the Crozon peninsula! Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The town of Crozon on its history:

The Crozon tourist office:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on the Crozon peninsula:

The Bretagne region tourist board on the Crozon peninsula:

There you go folks, another sublime spot to visit in my lovely Brittany and good neighbor Finistére dept 29. Enjoy  the Crozon peninsula as we do!

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

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