Archive for June 4th, 2021

June 4, 2021

The Saint-Nicolas Church of Meaux!

Well well, here I am updating older posts and found another dandy again from my dear city of Meaux which had not written on in my blog!! So much fun updating and the thrill of finding wonderful monuments that need to be shown in my blog. Hope you are all enjoying these posts as much as I. Let me tell you about a nice gem the Saint-Nicolas Church of Meaux!

The Saint-Nicolas Church is at 11 rue de Faubourg-Saint-Nicolas in Meaux. And this was the neighborhood by the same name where my dear late wife Martine was born; so obviously I know it well. Can’t believe not written on this church before!!  There is not much online on it but I have a historical book on Meaux showing all monuments and their history!!

meaux ch st nicolas belltower side dec18

At the entrance to the Faubourg Saint-Nicolas, which extends east of the ramparts of the old town, stands the parish church which serves the district. This church, separated from the street by a small garden, was originally the chapel of the convent of the Friars Minor. The parish Church of Saint-Nicolas is in fact the former chapel of the Cordeliers convent, installed in Meaux since the 13C. According to the historical tradition perpetuated by the convent itself, in 1248 the Franciscans set up their establishment in the Faubourg Saint-Nicolas on land donated by Jean Rose (ancestor of the 14C rich merchant). However, the scroll of the dead bears mention of the Cordeliers of Meaux from 1234, which implies a somewhat earlier arrival.

Meaux ch st nicolas side dec18

In accordance with the tradition of the mendicant orders, the Franciscan chapel was a building of great simplicity: it had only one vessel, each bay being marked by an ogival bay, without tracery, between two buttresses. This part indicates a medieval dating maybe end of the 15C, but the chapel was subsequently greatly altered, with the installation, at the beginning of the 18C, of a low arched roof and a decoration of pilasters. The buildings of the Cordeliers convent were in fact the subject of major works around 1700, affecting both the church in 1706 and the dormitory in 1708. This campaign was accompanied by a renewal of the furniture such as the high altar, its altarpiece, the paintings of the two small altars were redone from 1696 to 1712. The two paintings representing Saint Francis and Saint Roch, the latter signed and dated Guy- Louis Vernansal, 1701, are probably the remains of this Louis XIV style decoration.

The convent was sold as national property during the French revolution. During this period, the monks were expelled and the church became a place of accommodation for troops, then a warehouse. Following a 19C Royal ordinance, six years of work were necessary for the reopening of the place of worship. The city then acquired the church by August 1791, used as a stable and as a warehouse. In 1837, the church was transferred to the parish factory. The architects to return the building to worship carried out significant work, again celebrated within its walls from 1842. Other interventions proved necessary in the 1850s, in particular at the level of the buttresses. It is also from this period that the apse chapel dates, a neo-Gothic extension on two levels with crypt and upper chapel, commissioned in 1849 by the parish priest, Father Berthemet.

As for the conventual buildings, they were occupied in the 19C by the gendarmerie, the municipal library and the school of the brothers, which today is the Pasteur elementary school and the Henri IV college (middle school).

A bit more on the construction architectural details I like:

The Saint-Nicolas Church has an elongated plan with a single aisle, terminated in the east by an apse originally with cut sides, on which has been grafted a semicircular chapel on two levels with crypt and upper chapel. The first bay is occupied by an entrance vestibule surmounted by a bell tower. The nave and the choir, whose limit is marked only by a step, occupy the rest of the rectangle. Their elevation is very simple with each bay delimited by two buttresses and lit on an ogival bay, without tracery. The north side is blind ,except for a small pierced bay near the organ stand, and a window. The whole is covered by a false wooden vault. The interior walls have a neoclassical ornamentation: pilasters, dentil cornice. A partition fitted out in the 1960s hides the cut sides and the apsidal chapel which end the church to the east. The apsidal chapel is clearly distinguished from the rest of the building, both by its neo-Gothic style and by its two-storey structure. The upper chapel was adorned with wall paintings which are now partly covered with white wash. It is the only vestige of the paintings which adorned the whole church in the 19C.

There is an old picture of the nave to altar in the city of Meaux heritage page on the Saint Nicolas Church

There you go folks, another gem in my dear Meaux that I had left overlooked all these years and finally tell you about it witha  couple exterior pictures. Hope you enjoy the Saint Nicolas Church of Meaux!

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

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June 4, 2021

Village de l’An Mil in Merland!!

I need to update this post with refreshing text as it something unique not far from me. It says the Village de l’An Mil in Merland. Literally, it means the town in the year 1000 and located in Merland. I think this is neat unique and hope you enjoy it as I.

And of course, there is always one major site or event that brings me out to these back woods of my  beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne in my belle France.  I have passed by this place many times and always intrigue by the name Village de l’An Mil or town of the year one thousand……so I put my car to good use and follow the signs to it in Melrand


Actually to get here by car is easy for me. Just go northwards on the road D768 past Baud and into the D142 to St Barthélemy, here you hit right on the town of Melrand and on its city center take direction Village de l’An Mil on the rural road D2 and we get there in about 32 minutes ;nice country ride up hills and vast flat farms all around you, the good life!

The Village de l’An Mil or village of the year 1000 is an archaeological site and a village-museum reconstructing the 11C habitat, located in Lann Gouh (the exact country site and village) in the town of Melrand . The archaeological site occupies an area of approximately 1.5 ha, on a plateau peaking at 112 meters above sea level. It is a deserted medieval village of seventeen buildings. The ruins, clearly visible and perfectly preserved, show only the walls of the houses, the hearths and the floors, delimiting circulation spaces or private courtyards. The houses are at most 11 meters long and 6 meters wide. The walls had an average height of 80 centimeters for a width of 60 centimeters. In local gray granite, they were very well built, an interior facing and an exterior facing enclosing an internal blocking of all comings.


In the center of the houses is the foyer, which is in the form of granite blocks drawing a circle, a rectangle or a square. The floors of the houses are very slight. They are therefore mixed houses, humans housed in the upper part when the animals are in the lower part. This configuration allows the heat of the animals to warm humans and to avoid the inhabitants from wading in the excrement. The living never having to go through the same door as a dead person, this door was only dismantled on the occasion of a death to take the unhappy out without the living having to suffer. Inside the buildings, a layer of granite arena restores the ground surface in order to differentiate it from the outside of the houses. The remains of a common bread oven, collapsed vault in a circle of about 3 meters in diameter in granite surmounted by a heap of earth, are still visible. This vault was in cob, mixture of very clay soil and crushed plants. Near the ruins, an experimental archaeological farm occupies ten hectares, presenting to the public the life of a medieval farm. The garden presents plants (medicinal, dye, vegetable) cultivated or harvested in the Middle Ages.



The Village de l’An Mil, particularly well preserved, was occupied between the 10C and the 14C. Some studies, however, make it possible to trace the occupation of the site to the 8C. The site was rediscovered in 1902 and was the subject of excavation campaigns from 1977 to 1992. The archaeological material discovered during these years amounted to a thousand of pieces, mainly shards of pottery. However, note the presence of fragments of earthenware cakes, pitchers, pots and pans, a fragment of a knife blade, several manual grindstones (standing and rotating), sharpening stones etc. The museum area opened in 1985 A threshing floor was built at the end of the 1990s. An area was dedicated to metalworking: quarry, forge fixed on the ground and low furnace reconstituted and used gave the experimenters the possibility of study the work of metallurgists in the Middle Ages.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The town of Merland on the Village:

The Centre of Morbihan tourist board on the Village:

The Bretagne tourist office on the Village:

A very interesting wooded backward area of my Morbihan, and off the beaten path par excellence. In Summer or warmer month will be super indeed. Remember, the inward town of Melrand and the wonderful Village de l’An Mil. Hope you have enjoy it

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

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June 4, 2021

Santa Felicidade in Curitiba!!!

Now this is dandy memories of myself traveling and living in Curitiba as an expat for 3 months!!! Lots of memorable moments and keeping up with good friends over the years. I have all over Brazil really, but the experience at Curitiba is tops! Let me update this memorable neighborhood of Santa Felicidade in Curitiba! Hope you enjoy it as much as I.

And why not stay in Brazil as memories flash on my screen. Having visited the country south and north several times and having the opportunity to lived there has kept many nice souvenirs of the country. Of course, none more than the city of Curitiba where I lived.  And having the opportunity to stayed which could had change my life, but my wife was not for moving again so we stayed in France. And to my bragging I speak Portuguese, eu falo português!

I have several posts on Curitiba, this time will concentrate on one district, not the one I lived (Batel) ,but I was a regular there! This is Santa Felicidade, let me tell you a bit more on it.  The Santa Felicidade bus terminal is very well served by public transport that connects Santa Felicidade to several other neighborhoods in Curitiba., however my visits there were always by car, my own while living there!


Santa Felicidade is an administrative district of Curitiba, State of ParanàBrazil. The neighborhood emerged in 1878 with the arrival of immigrants descended from the first Italian colonizers of the 14C.  The neighborhood started on the old road that connected the Curitiba to the old north of the state, which today we know as Estrada do Cerne. In its historical formation, it received a large number of settlers from northern Italy, especially from the regions of Veneto and Trento. The immigrants initially devoted themselves to the production of cheeses, wines and vegetables.

The name of the neighborhood is a tribute to a former landowner in the region in the 19C, the Portuguese Dona Felicidade Borges, who donated part of her land to Italian immigrants. In 1891, given the strong religiosity of Italian immigrants, the São José Church was built in Santa Felicidade. In 1899, the first school was built. Some buildings from that time still exist in the region, such as Casa Culpi, Casa dos Arcos, Casa dos Gerânios and Casa das Pinturas.

Some things to see in Santa Felicidade, Curitiba are:

Bosque Italiano, also known as Bosque São Cristovão, (St Christopher forest) with 23,540 square meters, it houses the Italian Immigration Memorial, a tribute to the Italian immigrants who transformed the Santa Felicidade neighborhood into a gastronomic reference in Curitiba. The place has spaces for holding typical parties, tents, and a stage for presentations. Gorgeous area I love it!

Other nice architecture from this period are the Casa Culpi built by Giovanni Baptista Culpi in 1887 to be a dry and wet residence and commerce, Casa Culpi is known as a historic building and currently belongs to the Curitiba City Hall that transformed it into a Social Assistance Reference Center (Cras ).. The Casa dos Gerânios , also known as the Nona Carolina townhouse, Casa dos Gerânios was built in 1891 by Nicolau Boscardin who was one of the first residents of the region to stand out in the neighborhood. The townhouse became known as Casa dos Gerânios because the windows were decorated with herbs and geranium bushes.

The three main roads in the neighborhood are Avenida Manoel Ribas, Alderman Toaldo Tulio and Via Vêneto, where the traditional restaurants, the bus terminal and Rua da Cidadania are located respectively. Nowadays, Santa Felicidade is home to about 30 restaurants, some with a capacity for more than a thousand seating. It also has wineries (Vinhos Durigan!!), wine canteens, craft stores and wicker and reed furniture. Typical events such as the annual Polenta and Chicken Festival, at Bosque São Cristóvão, demonstrate the Italian culture traditions of Santa Felicidade.

The anecdote here is the local Brazilians held a dinner in honor of a top management person and I was to take this person to the dinner. Fearing that I might get lost, they were a bit worry at the table. However, I arrive on time no problems direct to the restaurant Famiglia Fadanelli in Santa Felicidade and as soon as I entered all stood up and applause me!! nice story, and memories forever!

A bit more on the Curitiba Parana page has more in portuguese on Santa Felicidade:

For info some webpages to glue this memorable post in my life

Vinhos Durigan:

Famiglia Fadanelli:

This is still a memorable soft spot on me and really would love to visit again, at least. Hopefully you too can visited or even already had , let me know. Hope you enjoy the post on Santa Felicidade.

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

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