Archive for June 5th, 2021

June 5, 2021

Musée Bossuet of Meaux!!!

This is another darn good memory lane post. I have it mentioned briefly in other posts but really needs a post of its own in my blog. I have written several posts on Meaux, and this is part of the episcopal cité complex that includes the Cathedral St Etienne, the garden, the old chapterhouse, the house of rest for Le Nôtre and writings of Bishop Bossuet, and the museum! A wonderful spot to be in nostalgic Meaux!

I like to tell you a bit more on the Musée Bossuet museum beautiful. There is a museum Bossuet on the story of Bishop Bossuet, and that of the city of Meaux and the Cathedral very nice and worth going in. This time I arrive late but a nice night shot looks very nice me think. Right behind the Cathedral in what was the episcopal palace! Bishop Bossuet, the eagle of Meaux and confesseur to king Louis XIV. He lived on what is today the museum from 1682 to 1704 as Bishop of Meaux. The Fine Arts collections are presented on the first floor and the lower rooms host temporary exhibitions.

Meaux episcopal palace and mus Bossuet jun10

The museum or Musée Bossuet as I said opened in 1908  in the episcopal palace; today we can see an  aquarelle by Delacroix , and a portrait by  Courbet, given by the son of Chemistry Nobel Prize winner Henri Moissan, before going to WWI in 1914.  The museum , also , gives credit to its biggest donor the neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux, that gave it about 50 portraits and about 20 engravings.  You will see a huge herborist collection of 18 volumes given to the museum by him in the 19C.  In the Chapel , the town has put enclosed glass furniture with archeological items like a collar on shells from the Black Sea dating from  4 000 years BC.  A room is dedicated to portraits representing Bossuet.  The museum is concentrated with paintings from the 17C to the 19C, and has on display between 1000 and 1500 works.


The Fine Arts collections are presented on the first floor. Paintings and objects, assembled in the former study of Bishop Bossuet, testify to the admiration that posterity has for him. The lower rooms from the 12C host temporary exhibitions. The permanent collections of the Museum are regularly enriched by donations from J.-P. and A. Changeux, with paintings from the French school of the 17-18C. The 16C is brilliantly represented by a Deposition from the Cross by Frans Floris. The works of the Meldois painter Jean Senelle offer a particular testimony to the 17C, also illustrated by the canvases of Bon de Boullogne, Noël Coypel, François Verdier, Jean Tassel. The 18C shines with the works of Carle Van Loo, Jean-François de Troy, Charles-Antoine Coypel. The 19C collection includes paintings by Jean-François Millet, Charles Daubigny, Alexandre Decamps, Jean-Léon Gérôme and others.

The official musée Bossuet

The city of Meaux on the musée Bossuet

The Meaux tourist office on the musée Bossuet

This again is a must to see in Meaux, my dear city in Seine et Marne dept 77 of the region of Ïle de France. Enjoy this Bossuet museum is neat and surrounded by wonderful architecture and historical buildings.

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

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June 5, 2021

The Vieux Chapitre of Meaux!!

And this is news! As getting to update many of my older posts during this special period of our lives, I sometimes encounters finds never told in my blog. I am thrill to tell you about this memorable spot shame not done it before. I have written so much on my beloved Meaux, Seine et Marne dept 77 of the region of Ïle de France and can’t believe left this one out!!

It is about time to remedy this unforgettable spot one of the first walks I took with my then girlfriend and later wife , my dear late wife Martine, a native of Meaux! Let me then, tell you a bit of history on the Vieux Chapitre or old chapterhouse of Meaux!!

Today we can still see a large building erected next to the Cathedral St Etienne (see post), with turrets on all four corners, called the Château du Chapitre. There is the old Refectory, the Common Dormitory, with large deep cellars below, spacious attics above. The Bishop provides for all the needs of his Canons, as much for clothing, as for food, and other necessities of life.

Meaux vieux chapitre stairs jun10

Contemporary of the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Meaux, the old chapter house is hidden just behind it. You will recognize it by its turrets and its large exterior staircase. It is here that ecclesiastics met, in court or in council, to administer justice, collect taxes or discuss important matters concerning the city. Part of the building now serves as a sacristy.


The Meldois (local people of Meaux old celtic tribe) have been talking about the old chapter house since the 19C. But what is the origin of this denomination we can ask. The first hypothesis come up is the assembly of canons who were held in the chapel of cathechisms in the courtyard of the episcopal palace at the beginning of the 19C, the castle then became the Vieux Chapitre or old chapterhouse. The second and most probable hypothesis tells us that from the end of the 18C, cracks were clearly visible on the turret and the bay. The state of disrepair set in and grew throughout the 19C. The first hypothesis probably favored the second, the clergy not wanting, not being able to finance the work.

The old chapter house became State property, restoration began in 1916 and was completed in 1933 except for some interior fittings such as heating, wc, etc. completed in 1937. The footbridge designed and built by the architect Albert Bray was completed in 1935. The origin of the castle dates back to the 12C or 13C. The external staircase was covered with its framework in the 14C. It leads to the first floor. The basic room, located about 5 meters underground, was used as a storeroom. It would also have served as a prison. In the 19C, the room was partitioned. The two naves are separated in the middle by four massive pillars thus delimiting ten cross vaults. The ground floor has the same layout as the basement. This room would have been the refectory of the canons or the meeting place of the chapter. The first floor is accessed by the only external staircase. Inside, four columns carry a 15C framework. It is the noble floor as in any castle of the Middle Ages. Later, this room would have served as a dormitory for the canons. The attic, accessed by a   collimasson staircase located in the turret. The beautiful frame rests on the north and south walls joined by four oak beams crossing the room. This floor served as an attic.


Its picturesque silhouette already attracted the attention of Victor Hugo as seen in his travelogue “Le Rhin”, published in 1842.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it’s a must me think are:

The city of Meaux and the Vieux Chapitre

The Meaux tourist office on the Vieux Chapitre

This is a wonderful spot in Meaux as said behind the Cathedral and around the Jardin Bossuet and the museum, and the tourist office with the house of the brie cheese all in old town wonderful architecture and history abound. Hope you enjoy the post as me telling you about it!

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

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June 5, 2021

Saint Stephens Cathedral of Meaux !!!

Oh this is wonderful unique Gothic in France. I am thrill to tell you it is in my beloved city of Meaux and a place never missed when in town, and we have been there so many times as it is the native town of my dear late wife Martine. I have written a post before but this is new text and new pictures on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux!!!

meaux cat st etienne front facade dec18

My other post was long on the history and construction so will be briefer this time with some additional tidbits. Hope you enjoy the post as I have, and thanks for the run updating older posts that I found things missing again from my blog.



The current Saint Etienne Cathedral of Meaux was built on the site of an old Romanesque cathedral. Today it is impossible to date precisely the beginnings of the reconstruction of the cathedral, following the destruction of the archives of the bishopric in 1793-94 (during the French revolution). However, we can estimate that it began around 1175.


In the first half of the 13C, the first choir, the transept and part of the nave were built. The choir was rebuilt in the radiant Gothic style, to be completed in 1275. At the beginning of the 16C, the facades of the transepts were erected. At this time, radiating chapels were also added. The nave was not really completed at the beginning of the 15C. The portals on the western facade are made between the second half of the 14C and the beginning of the 16C. In 1331, the wealthy merchant Jean Rose founded the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament on the south side of the nave, where his funeral slab still appears. Finally, attention was paid to completing the nave, following the royal authorization of 1335. But the work was interrupted by the Jacquerie (uprisings of peasants) in 1358. The work resumed towards the end of the 14C, but experienced a new interruption during the English occupation of 1422 to 1439. It was not until the second half of the 15C that it was completed, with the completion of the nave and the western facade. Side chapels were also added to the north of the nave with foundation in 1512. The work ended with the construction of the north tower of the facade, completed in the 1530s. The “black tower”,received in 1460 a provisional wooden covering, which will become final. The north tower was completed in 1540.

meaux cat st etienne pulpit et bousset tomb dec18

meaux cat st etienne statue Christ dec18

The Meaux tourist office on the Cathedral St Stephens

Again, hope you enjoy this brief additional text to my older post in my blog on the Cathedral, and the beautiful new pictures of a special period exhibition. The Cathédrale Saint Etienne is a marvel of France and a must visit.

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

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