Archive for May 26th, 2021

May 26, 2021

Other monuments of Rennes!

And here I am again back in my Bretagne and updating this older post on several monuments of Rennes. I am taking a saving mode and doing on general post on several of off the beaten paths monuments that I like to include in my blog, hope you like it as I do. 

Ok so I have been to Rennes several times, and written on it on several posts in my blog. However, it has so much to offer as things to see, the city is amazing. The capital city of the region of Bretagne, and the seat of dept 35 Ille et Vilaine. I like telll you a bit about some other monuments especially from the history ,architecture side I like.  Therefore, here are my takes on two Churches, Notre Dame St Melaine and Toussaints of Rennes. 

The Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Church is located in the extension of Rue Saint-Melaine in the center of the medieval town. It is bordered on its southern façade by the western end of the Thabor Park (see post).  The sanctuary is dedicated to Saint Melaine, traditionally considered as the first bishop of Rennes, who died here in 6C. He is buried on the hill of the cemetery in Rennes, where the abbey of Saint Melaine was built. Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Church presents itself today as a composite building in Romanesque and Gothic style, behind a classical and neoclassical tower-steeple. Its layout is in the form of a Latin cross.

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A bit of history I like

The primitive Church was built on the tomb of Saint Melaine, Bishop of Rennes at the end of the 5C and early 6C. The construction of the Romanesque church ,taking from 1081 to 1109, some parts of which remain today; such as the transept and the bases of the tower of the steeple. In the first half of the 13C, the square of the transept was covered with a vault of warheads whose departure is still visible. In the 14C, the arches of the nave and the high windows are redone, as well as the choir. In 1432, the tower of the steeple was rebuilt on Romanesque bases. The façade of the steeple is entirely remade in limestone, also in 1683 a new cloister, but the capitals and columns of the ancient cloister of the 11C are preserved in the Museum of Brittany.

The facade dates to its current appearance of 1676, and is made of limestone. From the old stained glass windows of the Church blown up during WWII, during the bombardment of the city, in 1943, which touched notably the Thabor park, remains, at the bedside a canopy characteristic of the production of the 19C. The stained glass windows are replaced in the 1950’s by simple colored glasses. The large bay of the south transept is adorned with a window of eight meters in height and four meters in width evoking the Translation of the relics from the remains of the Holy Bishop Melaine arriving at the gates of the city of Rennes by the Vilaine river while the laity and clerics prostrate himself in its passage. A Way of the Cross painted in fourteen paintings made in a classical style, inspired by the 17C French or Italian. A great-organ Claus from 1879. The Organ Cavaillon-Coll, former organ of the chapel of the Carmelites delivered in 1874. Transfer of the Church of Saint Aubin to the Abbey and restoration in 2011.

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Saint Melaine would have played an important role in king Clovis, which he would have become the adviser. At his death between 529 and 549 his body deposited in a boat would have reached Rennes where he was buried in the cemetery in the north east of the city. A monastery would have been founded at the site of its tomb around 550. A new monastery was consecrated in 630. The abbey remains abandoned until about 937. The bishop withdraws to Saint-Melaine by designating as his successor his son Gautier who takes his retirement as abbot after the accession of his son Garin to the episcopate of Rennes. Saint-Melaine is finally reformed from 1058. Endowed with Abbots commendatory since the beginning of the 16C, during the collapse of the Cathedral of Rennes, the Benedictine monks oppose twice in 1740 and 1770 at the installation of the Episcopal headquarters in Saint-Melaine. The abbey was finally assembled at the Bishopric of Rennes in 1775. The cloisters of the 11C and 17C, the logis abbatial, the conventual buildings and the garden were preserved.

Here is the Rennes tourist office on the Church Notre Dame en Saint Melaine : https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/fr/organiser-mon-sejour/que-faire-a-rennes/eglise-notre-dame-en-saint-melaine/

The Church of Toussaints (All Saints), formerly Chapel of St. Thomas, Baroque style counter-Reformation, located south of the Vilaine river ,by  rue du Captain-Alfred-Dreyfus. Designed from 1624 to 1651 as the Chapel of St. Thomas College, this chapel became a parish church in 1803, replacing the ancient Church of Toussaints, which was 300 meters away.

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A bit of history I like

Chapel of Toussaints existed in Rennes at the end of the 10C, occupied by hermits of St Augustine and dependent on a parish established in a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Its location corresponds to that of the central market halls built in 1922. The All Saints ‘ Chapel was rebuilt during the 15C and 16C, despite the collapse of the bell tower in 1482 and a tower in 1513. This one, rebuilt in the 17C, collapses again in 1715 to be rebuilt from 1764.

The municipal  Royal College of Saint-Thomas-Becket , (as middle school and future high school Émile-Zola) is founded around 1534 and moves into the buildings of the old Priory St. Thomas, near the Church of Toussaints. In 1604 the Jesuits were entrusted with the instruction until 1762. The two Chapels of the Collège ,Saint-Thomas and Saint-Marc, revealing themselves too small, the instructions given to built the Grande Chapelle Saint-Thomas  consecrated in 1651. The main altarpiece of the All Saints ‘ Church of Rennes dates from 1653.

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During the French revolution, in 1789, schoolchildren and soldiers occupied the new St. Thomas Chapel on several occasions. The college became a central school in 1795 and then high school (lycée) in 1803. The seat of the parish is transferred to the Chapel of St. Thomas in 1803, which takes the name of the Church of Toussaints and is no longer attached to the school. Nevertheless, a passage from a courtyard of the same establishment remains, until the 1970’s, the only way to access the right-hand tribune overlooking the choir as the headmaster’s Tribune, reserved for the administrative staff of the school. It was restored in 1834, then in the middle of the 20C and again in 2013.  It is today the seat of the parish of Toussaints Holy Family.

The Rennes tourist office on religious heritage so Toussaints: https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/fr/decouvrir-rennes/histoire/eglises-parcours-patrimoine/

The Metro Rennes on the Toussaints Church: https://metropole.rennes.fr/organisme/eglise-toussaints-311

Just two wonderful monuments while walking in delightful Rennes, the best way to see a city. It has a lot of things to see and this is just a minor contribution. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path churches of Rennes!

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

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May 26, 2021

A church and museum at Baden!

And I bring you back home to my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne of my belle France! This is home territory just south of me and very picturesque town of Baden by the Gulf of Morbihan. I like to update for you and me the visit to Baden nice small church and historical museum. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Ok so I was in town for a ride in my area with the boys and came back to Baden only 21 km south of me. I guess told you bits and pieces of it in previous posts and there is so much beauty around it. See my previous posts as Baden is on the head of the Gulf of Morbihan! The monuments around here is huge, and the architecture and history of it enormous. So will tell you a bit more on a simple off the beaten path Church St Pierre (St Peter) and the traditions museum  in Baden.

The Church of St. Pierre ,built in the 12C, founded by the Rolland family of Cardelan. This Church was rebuilt in 1835-1836 and between 1860 and 1864, when it was completed by a spire with an arrow. The Choir altarpiece dates from the 17C. The Lords of Cardelan had once their burials in the Chapel of Saint John, on the side of the epistle of the ancient Church.

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The steeple of the Church of St Pierre forms a remarkable guide for sailors. From the Bay of Quiberon, aligning the white obelisk of the island of Petit Vézy and the steeple, the boats enter the Gulf following the deepest channel. Located in the heart of the town on a headland, it is remarkable for its bell tower built in 1864 and the arrow steeple in 1866 which serves as a guide to the navigators of the Gulf.

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This Church of St Pierre, falling apart, was rebuilt in 1835-1836, in the form of a Latin cross, with two aisles. The old steeple, having been demolished later, to widen a path, the Church took a squat short form. The new tower, surmounted by an elegant pyramid, all in beautiful sizes of stones, that can be seen from a very far.

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In 1801, Baden was attached to the canton of Vannes-Ouest, or Saint-Pierre, which was accepted by the bishop in 1802. Dedicated to Saint Peter, the present Church dates back only to the 19C, even though it presents in the south wing the outer buttresses showing its Romanesque origin.  In 1869, the rector acquired a monumental wooden altarpiece dating from the 16C and would come from the Chartreuse of Auray. Reassembled and finished , this altarpiece has been registed as a national treasury in 1912. Outside, near the porch, there are two Gallic stele stones.

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It has a quant small city center with good restaurants and a musée des passions et des ailes  or museum of wings and passions. The museum includes 4 permanent and 1 temporary exhibitions and is managed by the association of friends of the museum of Baden. It recounts the life of Joseph Le Brix, an aviation pioneer with numerous documents and personal objects retrace his life and his exploits, he was, in fact, the first to cross the South Atlantic with Costes, his traveling companion, in 1927. Also, it houses a collection of old toys and automatons, offers a collection of ship models that reflect the evolution of the navy from the 15C, and presents 73 accordions from 1840 to 1960. The whole consists of dolls, ceramic toys, paintings and automatons, among others. An exhibition on model ships . Nice cosy small interesting me think!

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The city of Baden on the churchhttps://www.baden.fr/eglise-et-chapelles/%C3%A9glise-saint-pierre

The official museum of passions and wings webpage: http://www.museedebaden.fr/

The city of Baden on the museumhttps://www.baden.fr/mus%C3%A9e-des-passions-et-des-ailes

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Badenhttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/autour-golfe/baden/

All around the Church of St Pierre and shops and restos very quant corner on the road to the beaches. A nice off the beaten path into the creeks and cranny areas of my beautiful Morbihan breton. Again, hope you enjoy Baden as I.

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

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May 26, 2021

The public transports in Basel!

Ok this is sort of an odd post and updating from an older post too. I have been to Switzerland several times usually to Geneva but somehow have no pictures left to show; then came again to Basel and here took some pictures of something we hear the precision of the Swiss public transports. Well there are all over with more tracks than roads compact country could be useful… you know me lol! Let me tell you a bit on the public transports of Basel, Switzerland!

So I have talk a lot of my road warrior campaigns in Europe and elsewhere, as I love the freedom of the road. Not withstanding folks think that all I do is put the pedal to the metal and drive around. Well nothing of the truth if you live in Europe lol! I have taken my faire share of trains, tramways, metros, buses, velib bikes, and especially the best walks on many cities of Europe.  One city that comes to mind for its extensive network of trains, and tramways where everything runs smooth is Basel in Switzerland. I like to tell you a bit on the Basel transport choices.

My trips started always from the Gare de Lyon on the TGV Lyria to Basel or Geneva. I arrived in Basel train station, which is a beautiful building in city center, and the hotel was just across it, nice lively place lots of people out which is always good.

A bit overall on Basel can be resume into this.  Basel, its the third most populous city in Switzerland ,after Zürich and Geneva, and the capital of the canton of Basel-Ville. The Basel agglomeration is bilingual ,German and French, and Tri-National since it includes the towns of Saint-Louist Huningue, in Alsace, and Weil am Rhein and Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg. The urban area of Basel is called Eurodistrict of Basel. Basel is 70 km from Bern, 75 km from Zurich, bordering St. Louis, 27 km from Mulhouse, 60 km from Colmar and 115 km from Strasbourg; pretty central I think. The famous university of Basel founded in 1460, the first Swiss university , frequented over the centuries by Erasmus of Rotterdam, Paracelse, Daniel Bernoulli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jaspers, Nobel laureate Tadeusz Reichstein or the philosopher Jeanne Hersch.

What astound me the most was its intricate transportation network where it is all very punctual and clean. A bit expensive but so is everything with the Swiss… However, the roads are excellent. I have come here by train and used the public transportation but will mention about the road warrior options as would be nice to try it in the future.

It has 4 bridges crossing the Rhine and Birsig rivers. The best known is the Mittlere Brücke, Central. The two most traffic bridges are the Dreirosenbrücke, consisting of two superimposed roads, and the Schwarzwaldbrücke, consisting of a motorway part and a road part. On the Swiss side, you have the A3 highway towards Zurich and Coire, the A2 towards Lucerne, Chiasso and Milan. This highway has a motorway junction south of Basel on the cantonal Road 1 or main road 18 in the direction of Delémont. On the German side, you have the A5 in the direction of Freiburg im Breisgau and Frankfurt. This German highway has a motorway junction north of Basel on the A98 in the direction of Rheinfelden (Baden) in Germany and Rheinfelden (Aargau) in Switzerland and then joins the A3 mentioned above. The latter and short section therefore indirectly corresponds to a motorway bypass of the city of Basel via Germany. On the French side, you have the A35 (this one I rode on it before)  in the direction of Mulhouse, Colmar and Strasbourg. A good webpage on the motorways of Switzerland in English: https://www.autobahnen.ch/index.php?lg=001&page=001

Basel is served by the international Airport of Basel-Mulhouse-Fribourg, also known by its trade name, Euroairport . It has the peculiarity of being located in binational territory, both Swiss and French. Just for info webpage: https://www.euroairport.com/en/

The city of Basel has five train stations!, three of which are served by several international lines. The Basel CFF train station is connected to the SBB/CFF/FFS network and is served by the TGV and ICE . The  Swiss Basel SBB , and French Bâle SNCF stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs and Immigration facilities.   Basel SNCF railway station is served by the French TER trains. The German train station of Baden is part of the DB Network and is served by the DB Regio and the ICE. Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city. In addition to these three major train stations, the city has two other stops served by various regional trains: Basel St-Jean in the direction of Saint-Louis and Mulhouse and Basel-Dreispitz in the direction of Delémont and Porrentruy. Webpage of Basel SBB I took: https://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/at-the-station/railway-stations/basel-sbb-station.html

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The city of Basel has a dense network of urban and suburban tramways. The first, green-colored, are operated by the company BVB (Basler Verkehrsbetriebe: Public transport Basel). The latter,  yellow to red strip, belong to the BLT (Baselland-Transport: transport of Basel-Country, the other half-canton, with that of Basel city). Today, the 8 urban lines of the BVB and the four suburban routes of the BLT with the four lines of the BLT (lines 10, 11, E11 and 17) also traverse the city by way of the BVB and are therefore urban tramways. Line 10 of the BLT serves the French village of Leymen. The station itself is in French territory and when one leaves the station of Ettingen you can see a sign announcing that you leave Germany, so you go for a few minutes on French soil. The terminus, Rodersdorf, is again in Swiss territory. I was very impressed by the tramways all over the city huge quantity of them, and very clean easy to take indeed. webpage BVB: https://www.bvb.ch/fr/fahrplan/liniennetz/

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The city of Basel on public transports in English: https://www.bs.ch/en/Portrait/living-in-basel/traffic-and-transport.html

The Basel tourist office on public transports in English: https://www.basel.com/en/getting-there-exploring-the-city

It is an interesting city and one that needs more visits to fully enjoy it.  I ,now have a good friend working there so maybe a shot of getting to meet and see more of the city of Basel! Hope you enjoy the post and do know how to get around.

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

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