Archive for May 18th, 2021

May 18, 2021

Church of the Madeleine of Paris!!!

Now, this is a wonderful church in my eternal Paris. It is very popular and should be seen more me think. It is surrounded by a wonderful neighborhood which we love. And if that is not enough, I walked by it every day for 3 years working nearby! It was awesome to say the least , each popping up in front of those columns!! Let me update for you and me this older post on the wonderful Church of the Madeleine of Paris!!!

paris-ch de la madeleine-night-dec13

A while back,  I realize have not written enough on the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. I did spoked about in previous posts ,but not one dedicated to this wonderful Church ,that was my walking by to work traject for three years in Paris! Many memorable moment stopping in the place de la Madeleine to get my early morning coffee or shopping ! As well as along rue Tronchet! Stopping by to shopped around it such as from Lavinia, Nicolas, Hédiard, Fauchon, Maison madame de Sevigny, and the lower level stores and my rest stops at the Café Madeleine just looking at it. Some of these shops are no longer there like Sevigny but the spirit rest the same. I would walk from the Gare St Lazare passing the great department store with Au Printemps on my left crossing the Bd Haussmann towards the rue Tronchet walk around the Church de la Madeleine and continue on rue Duphot to Rue St Honoré ,Rue Cambon, rue du Mont Thabor to rue Rouget de Lisle and my job!! Sublime my eternal Paris!!


The short story I like is that this part of the Saint-Honoré suburb closest to the Charles IX compound was called the city of Bishops. It was served by a small church dedicated to Mary Magdalene, which stood at the entrance to the present-day bd Malesherbes . The decision to rebuild it as a first-rate monument was taken in 1757; it stems from the royal project of redevelopment of the west of Paris around a square in honor of Louis XV . It  was ordered built a Church here since 1764 to provide a nice ending to the Rue Royale facing the Bourbon palace! In 1806, Napoléon I, change the plans in order to provide a temple to the glory of the French armies… The building with columns was to resembled those in Athens; the Church once again dedicated to religious worship was finally finished in 1842.

paris ch-de la madeleine- altar mar13

It is an imposing appearance of a classical temple with 108 meters long (350 feet) by  43 meters wide (140 feet) surrounded by 52 Corinthians columns each measuring 20 meters (64 feet). There are no external bells or cross to show this is a Church but in the bronze doors (3 tons) you see bas reliefs of the Ten Commandments and the niches hold 52 Saints inside.  In the axis of Rue Royale, an octagonal style portico with a triangular pediment adorned with sculptures treated in high relief and depicting a scene from the Last Judgment ; bronze doors, and nests housing 32 statues of Saints.

paris-ch de la madeleine-side-mar13

The interior has a vast nave of about 79 meters long (260 feet) with three bays surrounded by flattened domes . Two beautiful sculptures  such as “The Rapture of Mary Magdalene” in marble ,and “The Baptism of Christ“, on the surface of the dome you will see a fresco covering about 23 feet of “The history and Glorification of Christianity” .  This is the only fresco in a Church in Paris where you see the figure of Napoleon I, surrounded around the Christ, Mary Magdalene ,and the apostles the great personage that marked Christianity such as Constantine, Clovis, Godefroy de Bouillon, Frederick Barberousse, Jeanne d’Arc, Dante, Raphaël, Pius VII , and the emperor in sacred costume.

An official Napoleon’s heritage webpage on the Church of the Madeleine:

At the rear of the church, above the high altar, stands a statue depicting Ste Mary Magdalene being carried up to heaven by two angels.  The half-dome above the altar is covered with a fresco entitled The History of Christianity, showing the key figures in the Christian religion with  perhaps inevitably  Napoleon I occupying center stage.

paris-ch de al madeleine-virgin-behind-altar-mar13

There are two important persons buried in the Church. These are Pierre-Alexandre Vignon ,principle architect of the Church who expressed in his last will and testament to be buried here. And, Abbey Déguere, a priest of the Church who gave the first communion to the Imperial Prince Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; and was executed by the communards in the rebellion of 1871 in the house of arrest of the rue d’Haxo.

The Church of the Madeleine has a celebrated pipe Organ, built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll  which is widely regarded as one of the best in Paris. The composers Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré were both organists at the Madeleine, and the funerals of Frédéric Chopin, Saint-Saëns, and Fauré were held there.  There are music concerts here with an organ from 1846 ,they are held on Sundays at 16h. The Madeleine concerts webpage on the future agenda at the Church of the Madeleine

The Church of the Madeleine sits on the wonderful Place de la Madeleine, where a flower market was held since 1834, and there still is places there today as well as the before mentioned stores.

The official webpage of the Church of the Madeleine

The Paris tourist office on the Church of the Madeleine

One of the icon monuments of France and a must on a visit to Paris. It was my walking route to work going around it every day was awesome, and I got to have a sentimental touch to this area of Paris ever since.  You will do well to come and visit the Church of the Madeleine in Paris.

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 18, 2021

Plérin , it will amaze you!!!

And great to be out again, just another road warrior trip to some familiar territory and voilà new wonders found of my lovely Bretagne. We decided to go out and have a ride into our familiar Saint Brieuc in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22. However, always looking for more; notice had an upper coastal area that we have not been yet. Therefore, we took the ride over the coastal areas of Plérin, St Laurent sur Mer, and Sous la Tour areas. Hope you enjoy the ride as we did!

The main town just north of Saint Brieuc is Plérin.  The center of Plérin is located on a plateau about a hundred meters above sea level. The coast is made up of cliffs such as the Pointe du Roselier at altitude 68 meters we visited, beaches like the Les Rosaires, Tournemine, and Les Nouelles;  and we were by Martin plage or beach; and the port areas  like Le Légué, and Sous-la-Tour; we visited. To the south, the town is separated from Saint-Brieuc by the Gouët valley and the port of Légué.

The town is located by the sea, which earned it the Plérin-sur-Mer appellation (13 km of coast and 2.5 km of beach). The Rosaires seaside site is located north of the town, between Roche des Tablettes and Pointe de Pordic. It includes a large sandy beach and a pebble beach like Tournemine. The Pointe du Roselier, which overlooks Martin-Plage and its rock, as well as Saint-Laurent beach, offers a view of the bay of Saint-Brieuc. There is also a barred spur which testifies to an occupation in the Iron Age, a ball oven (cannon) dating from 1794 and a monument to the men perish at sea erected at the end of the 20C..

The village mainly developed during the 4th quarter of the 19C and the 1st quarter of the 20C around the Saint-Pierre Church (17-18C).   The territory of Plérin depended, in the 9C, on the county of Goëlo. Two centuries later it was incorporated into that of Penthièvre, to which it did not cease to belong until 1789. It came under the jurisdiction of La Roche-Suhart. During the French revolution, the parish of Plérin depended on the deanery of Saint-Michel. It was erected as a town in 1790, Plérin ceded the village of Plessis to Trémuson in 1804. Plérin saw the creation of two towns on its territory: that of Saint-Laurent-de-la-Mer in 1931, and that of Notre-Dame-du-Légué, whose chapel 1815 was once dedicated to Saint Julien. Saint-Laurent-de-la-Mer owes its name to an old chapel located in Port-Horel in 1589, dedicated to the holy deacon and martyr of the 3C, which was demolished in 1938.

The Pointe du Roselier is a belvedere and an impressive view of the Breton coast, a few kilometers north of Saint-Brieuc. The cliff here is around 68 meters high and there is an ‘orientation table’ so you know what you are looking at. This particularly spectacular portion of the coast of Plérin, offers the bay of Saint-Brieuc on a plateau for hikers! A promontory long used to watch (guardhouse), defend (remains of a ball oven), and communicate (old telegraph and semaphore now missing). The wooded valley of Bachelet allows the ascent from Martin Plage.

plerin Pointe du Roselier Martin-Plage closeup may21

plerin Pointe du Roselier bay to st brieuc may21

plerin Pointe du Roselier to city may21

You can see here a ‘ball oven’ (cannons); it dates from the 18C and was an oven used to heat cannonballs before firing them at enemy ships, to increase the chances of them igniting when they are affected. This was created under king Louis XVI.  As you explore, you will also see several imposing monuments for those who perished at sea off the coast of Brittany.

plerin Pointe du Roselier four à boulets may21

plerin Pointe du Roselier mon to marine perish at sea may21

The port with locks of Légué. In 1859 a project to connect the floating basin and the grounding port of Légué was designed. Between 1868 and 1876 a lock and floating basin completed in 1869. In 1885 completion and opening of the floating basin, manual operation of the lock. Construction of the railway, right bank. In 1893: opening of the swing bridge delivered to traffic (and we crossed it!). The port of Légué becomes a port with basins, the only one in the Côtes d’Armor at the time. The port of Légué is today the main commercial port of Côtes-d’Armor and the 5th Breton port for the development of port activities The port includes several distinct parts, from the outer harbor downstream, with its dikes, jetties, moles and its access channel to the two basins (fishing, trade and pleasure), connected by the lock, the dam spillway and swing bridge. These port structures are supplemented by the new dikes of Pointe-de-Cesson towards the pier of the neighborhood of Sous-la-Tour, which broaden the prospects for port development. The handle forms a rectangle 48 meters long and 30 meters wide. It ends with 2 inclined wedges and its ground has the particularity of being paved.

plerin sous la tour out to sea port may21

The Church of Saint Laurent is a new church, whose first stone was laid on May 8, 1932 and whose blessing took place on December 18, 1932. The spire was built in 1938. Neo-Gothic style built in shale rubble on a Latin cross plan. Decorative elements: architectural portal, modillion, flamboyant network, gable dormers, exposed gables, hooks, finials, balustrade, modillions. Nice on a hilly mount on the way to the pointe du Roselier.

plerin ch st laurent sur mer front may21

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is worth the detour are

The Bay of Saint Brieuc tourist office on the Pointe du Roselier

The ports of Brittany on the port de Legué

The town of Plérin on its heritage/history

My fav beach webpage plages tv on the Martin plage by the pointe du roselier

There you go folks, another dandy magical trip in my lovely Bretagne so much to see and do! This is a great area for family visits and great outdoor fun especially for walkers rando type folks. We would love the sights over the Bay of Saint Brieuc and the beaches! Hope you enjoy the road warrior trip to Plérin as we did.

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

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May 18, 2021

Saint Brieuc , monuments to mankind!!

And now this is a new one, just doing again my road warrior trip in my lovely Bretagne. We went out again to the north , dept 22 Côtes d’Armor and a town we had like but been a while not been to. This is Saint Brieuc and we went to new places I like to tell you now.

For a refresher , Saint Brieuc has connection with the TGV train from Paris Montparnasse. By car, you easily can reach it  on the N12 from Rennes in one hour. The bus terminal has access to all the major big lines to the rest of France. We came up on the D768 direction Baud, Pontivy, changing to the D700, direction Loudéac, and Saint Brieuc right into centre ville or city center in about 1h25.

We could not missed the grand daddy of all monuments here; the Cathédrale Saint Etienne or St Stephens’s Cathedral. The Cathedral has already a long post in my blog so these are just new pictures. It is one of the nine historic cathedrals in Brittany. It is currently the seat of the diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, known by this name since 1852.

st bri cat st etienne front may21

st bri Cat st etienne side left may21

Also, next door to the cathedral in the place du Martray you have the beautiful halle Georges Brassens where open market is held, the rdv of all Briochins! the local people of Saint Brieuc!(see post).

st bri halles georges brassens pl du martray may21

As it was a Sunday, easy to move about in a city with dead ends one way roads etc not the most car pleasant town. The new finds on this road warrior trip were:

The Saint-Michel Church a 19C neoclassical church. The current church replaces a 13C chapel, founded by the lords of Boisboissel, which was rebuilt in 1470 and used until 1835. In 1839, it was destroyed as well as the cemetery. The construction of the new Saint-Michel Church took place between 1837 and 1841. The church was blessed on October 25, 1841 and was consecrated on July 25, 1875. A large part of the paintings are by Raphaël Donguy and the statues of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Michel are the work of Pierre-Marie-François Ogé , and the chair that of Yves Corlay.   The glass roofs are the work of Gérard Petit , master glassmaker from Strasbourg.

St bri ch st michel front may21

The anecdote here that I could find is that Ferdinand Foch, future Marshal of France and commander-in-chief of the allied troops in 1918, religiously married Julie Bienvenüe (born in Saint-Brieuc, niece of Fulgence Bienvenüe (as the metro in Montparnasse Paris) on November 5, 1883. The street leading to the church also bears the name of “rue du Maréchal Foch”. In his novel Le Sang noir, published in 1935, the Breton writer Louis Guilloux refers to the Saint-Michel Church. During the nazi occupation of WWII, Father Fleury hides a clandestine transmitter behind the organ. Father Fleury will be arrested and killed in 1944.

st bri ch st michel side front may21

This is a webpage on the St Michel Church and on painter Raphäel Donguy

The Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gouédic Church located Place Sainte-Thérèse. This is a church built from 1929 to 1932. the frescoes are by the local painter André Coupé. It is a modern church comprising a single nave with narrow passages on the sides and a large gallery at the bottom of the nave. The bells were placed in 1935. Its massive exterior appearance contrasts with its light interior proportions and luminosity. The first stone of the church was blessed on May 19, 1929. The whole church was blessed on December 11, 1932 and consecrated in 1955. No web of tourist interest ,yet it is in a nice neighborhood with nice big homes.

st bri ch ste therese front may21

St Bri ch Ste Therese back side may21

st bri ch ste therese back may21

The city of Saint Brieuc and its heritage/history

The Bay of Saint Brieuc tourist office on Saint Brieuc

And there you go folks, another dandy nice trip in my lovely Bretagne where the places to see are unlimited and even those already visited holds still many nice secrets. Hope you enjoy the post as I do. And do stop by Saint Brieuc worth the detour me think.

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

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