Archive for June 23rd, 2021

June 23, 2021

How about Eragny!!

Another nice memory of our times in the Yvelines dept 78 and the beautiful city of Versailles! I have several older posts and need to update them with new links and places as time takes its toll. They are in my blog for the memories’s sake and hoping some can use the information on their travels in the Paris region. This is a nice place to go shopping in Eragny!!

I decided to start this post on an unique aspect of my belle France. I will put one memorable family picture of those early days in the Yvelines dept 78 where we road warrior the whole of the region of Ïle de France. As visitors, we tend to come to the famous places and many like it. France gets millions of tourists every year as No 1 by the official UN-WTO. However, as one who lives here,and travel everywhere not just to the famous and sparkling clean taxpayer supported sites (and some nice visitors) I like to take you places, off the beaten path of my belle France.

Let me tell you a bit about Eragny sur Oise. Our family love to come here when we lived in Versailles. Eragny  is in the department 95 Val-d’Oise  in the region of Île-de-France. Locals sometimes call it Éragny-sur-Oise to differentiate from other similar name town of Eragny in France. The city is located in the left bank of the Oise river at about 30 km (about 19 mi) from Paris, and it is a member of the metropolitan area of the new city of Cergy-Pontoise, (the area of my first job in France!)

It was , also convenient stop coming from Roissy CDG airport on the La Francilienne road N104 on our way home under the A15 by the N186 to Versailles. A bit further direction Paris,(or from Paris direction Rouen)  you can come as we did to a nice outlet stores mall  at Franconville off the A15 exit/sortie 4 ; the Quai des Marques (see post)  for especially my brand names business suits and coats. It’s takes a bit time by public transport from Paris but with a car is always easier.  You can  take at Gare Saint Lazare the train  direction Gare d’Ermont Eaubonne and descend at the station of Sannois  from there take bus 261 to Franconville and walk 20 minutes to the shopping.

Eragny sur Oise was where we went for the Art de Vivre shopping center, just because it had the Pizza Hut and Toys ‘R US stores  (now both gone from here! so anyway the memories lingered) nearest our home in  Versailles, and was easy on our runs to Normandy to pass by here on the A15. It is very nice and a good stop on your runs from Paris to Normandy and Brittany etc. on the A15. In fact most pizza hut are now take out or delivery only and toys r us went under.  webpage:



Might as well tell you a bit of history I like on Eragny sur Oise.

Early in the 12C the lands and villages around here had the name of Erigny, belonging to the abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs . It was exposed on a cliff dominating the Oise river. Eragny was just a small village until the 20C.  It was in 1564 that a Jean d’Alesso, coming from Italy with Saint Francis of Paul purchase the lordship of Eragny.  His coat of arms are now the town. François d’Alesso, marquis of Eragny was governor general of the Antilles in Martinique by 1691 and their descendants were spread all over the area and preserve it until the French revolution when they were confiscated as immigrants expropiated lands. In the 20C, an important writer set up home here, this was Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, author of  Paul et Virginie. He was a disciple of Rousseau, and took possession of a house here in 1804 that was the old presbytery, after his death in 1814 the town really came down to the sleepy town it is today.

Things to see in Eragny sur Oise

The Presbytère at  31 rue Bernardin-de-Saint-Pierre ,  it was built under the order of priest Sigogne in the middle of the 18C . Under the French revolution his successor died in the guillotine and the building change hands several times thereafter until given in 1804 to Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre in exchange for a debt of the family. The writer known for his work call Paul et Virginie lived there the last ten years of his life until finally purchase by the city in 1834. The house of the fisherman or Maison des Pêcheurs at  24 rue de la Fontaine, this was built behind a guinguette bordering the Oise river for the Sunday fisherman  coming from Paris as the train station was close by . The ground floor has original pieces and can be reach ,those in the first floor (2nd US) are reach thru an exterior balcony. The front gates of the old Castle at  6 rue de Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône ,has two square  pylon that still is there of the castle of Alesso from the mid 16C . The castle came down even before the French revolution. The Saint Pie X Church built in the 1950’s to replace an older Church destroyed during WWII. The army stables, at the Clos du Manége, the army trained here in a horse complex of seven identical stables built early 20C.  It stop working in 1918  when the army set up headquarters in the city of Pontoise . One of these stables is used today for equestrian circle club.

The city of Eragny sur Oise on its heritage in French:

The Cergy-Pontoise area tourist office on Eragny sur Oise: 

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on its must see (not Eragny) :

There you go folks ,enjoy my off the beaten path treat of Eragny sur Oise. Hope it helps expand your vision of my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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June 23, 2021

Memories of my Spain, Villanua!!!

Ah yes so many memories here enough to write a book or two or volumes! Spain is everything under the sun. We end up going there since the moment I was back in Europe. France this time took the cup but so close we could go by car every year, even while staying in southern France! When I met what would be my wife in 1990 I took her to Spain to know my roots and we passed by Villanua. The story is in my blog! and we have passed several times by it. Therefore, this is memories of my Spain at Villanua!!!

This is a road taken many many times since 1990. It nostalgic for me and brings me many good memories now even more.  My dear late wife of 28 years Martine, came to love coming down and did all the preparations of the trip , we were thinking of buying a second home in Castilla La Mancha ,before the F cancer took my Martine, away from me on April 30 2018.  I am talking with deep emotions about a very small town in Spain, call Villanua.

Villanúa is a mountain town in the Province of Huesca and the communidad autonoma de Aragon in northern Spain. It sits at the foot of the peak Collarada with 2 886 meters. The town itself is at 953 meters. It is half way between Jaca and the ski stations of Candanchu , Canfranc ,and Astun and only 12 km from the frontier with France over the Somport tunnel on the road N330 or E-7.

The first time in 1990 we stopped at the mountain hotel Faus Hutte, Carretera de Francia, Villanùa, Huesca province  later was called hotel LaCasa but a very charming place. We ate right there even waking up the cook, so it became our home as we tried to stop there always on our road trips into Spain.  Years later it became as still the El Albergue Villanúa.


A bit of history I like

Very old town was mentioned for the first time in the Cartrusa of Santa Cruz de las Seros in 992 AD   The Church of San Esteban from the 11C inside it has a polychrome St James from the 15C and a Virgin with Child from the 10C or early 11C called here the Our Lady of Angels or Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.

Things to see I like

It has the cave of Las Guixas, dolmens or old stone as well as the abandon towns of Cenarbe and Aruej with its small roman Church from the 11C. The old bridge or Puente Viejo from the 12C built by ordered of king Pedro I of Aragon in 1100 the only access to the town until the new bridge in the 1990’s. The adventure park of Parque de aventura de los Arboles El Juncaral. The biggest in the pyrénees.

Villanua is an excellent base for the skiing station of Candanchu and Canfranc especially and for the lovers of nature and walks, bikes, it is very laidback and the hotel/restaurant we stayed and always stop is still there even if the name has change. Even if we do not stop, we always passed by here at least one way and take a look at the hotel. The story is we arrived very late by 22h or 10pm and the kitchen was closed, but the nice owner open it to serve us and even allow to take pictures of his pyrenian dogs.



In addition to skiing, the area offers great caves and walk trails in the mountains. Some of the better known caves other than above are Fuente del Candado, Way of Canfranc, new cave or Esjamundo, and Venero. It is ,also, a way to the Camino de Santiago or the way to Santiago de Compostela, many routes pass by here all into the Camino Aragonés.

The town of Villanua things to see webpage in Spanish:

The now call Albergue Villanua (old Faus Hutte) hotel resto in Spanish:

The Villanua tourist office on things to see/do in Spanish:

The Pirineum of Jaca on Villanua things to see /do in Spanish:

Not been there but one of the principal attraction of Villanua is the cave of Guixa see them at the Huesca province tourist office in Spanish:

Memories to last a lifetime at Villanùa. I have many paper photos and with the aid of the internet and wordpress blog, my history can now be kept longer and for more to know the beauty of the mountains of Huesca and Aragon, kingdom of Spain.

Hope you enjoy the story and thanks for reading me since Nov 2010. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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June 23, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXXVIII

And back with my regular news report by yours truly! Times are cloudy and rainy here. I am looking for quotes to redo my front garden and cut down some of the shrub from the side. Many already busy asking me to do in winter oh well la vie est belle in my belle France! Let me tell you the latest of my some news from France! While watching England vs Czech Republic in the euro 2020 playing nowdays due to the pandemic.

Return of the clubs on July 9 and standing concerts on June 30 The executive and representatives of the clubs have agreed to open the doors with mandatory health passes and 75% gauges inside and 100% outside. Concerts with a standing audience will be able to resume from June 30, but with a 75% level and the systematic presentation of the health pass at the entrance. Ok we are moving along the Summer looks awesome in my belle France.

Something to brag about and I will be there; enjoy the Tour de France cycling finest!!

I have mentioned it before but this is big here and in my Bretagne is huge. Cycling is in the blood of the Bretons and even thus we are not bikers can’t help but join in the festivities all the time and of course, the Breton beers are tops! The Tour de France passes near me this 2021!! It brings smiles to the side of the road, dreams of being in all runners, stars in the eyes of fans and not only. It is all of Brittany, mythical and festive land of cycling, which for 4 days gets under its wheel and its light! Yes! I will join in the fun!!! The four stages passing near me in this edition are:

Stage 1 – Brest-Landerneau (Finistére dept 29). The “postcard” stage on Saturday June 26 – 187 km. The lucky winner to launch the 2021 edition is Brest! welcoming this year its 4th big start , a record after Paris! The Finistère stage heads south via Daoulas, without straying from the coast; it crosses Locronan, mineral and radiant, a small town full of character, then Quimper, the capital of art and legends. Climb up via Pleyben and its magnificent parish enclosure … and that’s it, the Arrée mountains are looming. A sublime panorama of the Regional Natural Park, the windy summits of the Armorican massif play with the calves of climbers and your pupils … At the top of a 3 km bump, the arrival awaits the punchers at Landerneau, a stronghold of the contemporary art with alleys steeped in history. (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 2 – Perros-Guirec – Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan (Côtes d’Armor dept 22). Punch, again and again! Sunday June 27 – 182 km. It’s been  25 years since Perros was not the starting city … and now the Tour returns to stop on the Pink Granite Coast for this second 100% granite coast stage! Exceptional images guaranteed, from Ploumanac’h to Trébeurden and beyond. Follow the coast to the east, then head south, to Saint-Brieuc via Paimpol, the abbey of Beauport and the cliffs from Plouha. Flirt barely with the mountains of Mené, before returning to the heart of Brittany. At Mûr always a theatrical arrival! The mythical climb of 2 km is a must that lights up stars in the heads of all runners, and dreams of a yellow jersey among the little Bretons… For the trouble, as in 2018, it will be climbed twice! (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 3 – Lorient-Pontivy (Morbihan dept 56) My dept province/state the best !!! An imperial sprint Monday June 28 – 182 km .Seeing the riders pass, it would be almost a formality for Lorient, stage city of the Tour for the 13th time in its history … Happy and popular, its DNA goes hand in hand with that of the race ,and enthusiasm is mounting at the prospect of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Interceltic Festival at the same time! Yes!! From south to north, the Morbihan stage heads towards the bay of Quiberon, which is not called “sublime” for nothing … The estuary of Etel, Carnac and its alignments and hop, in La Trinité sur Mer, up in land, in the heart of Breton territory. Passing over the four-way bridge (N165) between Vannes and Lorient, a pretty little port catches the eye. Nestled in the back of an estuary, Saint-Goustan has spanned the centuries, retaining its cobbled streets, its stone bridge, its half-timbered houses and its lively quays. A historic town, Auray is also home to a high place of pilgrimage in Brittany (Sainte Anne d´Auray, and I will be base here to see the tour). Vannes is right to put an “s” in its name. The city is so multiple! Capital of Morbihan, marina, fortified square, medieval city, town of art and history. From the tree-lined quays to 15C houses, the streets are the sweetness of life. Come share this atmosphere! In focus, Pontivy the Napoleonic city, which is with Landerneau the news of the stage , ready to welcome a stage for the first time ever!. A great first, eagerly awaited! The sprint finish at the foot of the Château des Rohan promises to be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.yes indeed!! (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 4 – Redon-Fougères (Ile et Vilaine dept 35) – Castle life. Tuesday 29 June – 152 km. All the spotlight is on Ille-et-Vilaine, traversed right through its diagonal, from Redon in the south to Fougères in the north. Between land and water, Redon welcomes its first departure. The caravan and the runners then set off due north in inland Brittany, between wind and greenery, towards Bain-de-Bretagne. Then the peloton will take the direction of the “marches” of the territory and the fortified castles which once defended the region. Passage planned in Vitré, the medieval city with a thousand years of history, before finishing with a sprint near the castle of Fougères, the fortress town all in granite.(see posts on these towns in my blog).

Official tour de France webpage in English:

This place of worship has been closed for 15 years, but its reopening day has finally been announced: it’s June 23, 2021! The Samaritane of Paris!!! Discover a lot of beautiful new features: offices, a nursery, social housing and even Cheval Blanc, a luxury hotel with 72 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the Seine and a 30-meter-long swimming pool. There are also 20,000 square meters of shops including 600 brands, magnificent art nouveau decorations and a magnificent glass roof to overlook the whole. The Samaritane is back sort of at 19 rue de la Monnaie 1st. webpage:

The Musée de l’Homme offers its first exhibition for families, on the origins of laughter! The Children are the target and should be nice. Webpage:

There were the Uber X, Green, Comfort, Sedan. And then the motorcycles. With the lifting of restrictions, Uber wants to relaunch its Uber Moto option, created in September 2020 but forgotten with the confinements. “Premium”, the offer is therefore more expensive. The support costs are 40 euros compared to 1.20 on Uber X. You also have to count 1.60 per km by motorbike compared to 1.05 per km by car. Thus, a 10 km La Défense – Gare Saint Lazare race will cost around 56 euros (excluding price increases) by motorbike. On the driver side, the company also ensures their reliability. They will need to have passed an exam to obtain their license. And they will have to justify three years of license A, pass a theoretical then practical exam in order to obtain their license or justify professional experience in the world of transport. To have their vehicles insured, they must also justify 3 (and sometimes 5) years of personal insurance. The age of the motorcycle must be less than four years. The vehicle maintenance certificate is renewed each year. Ok for whom?

From RER A to metro line 6, several lines will be disrupted by major summer projects on the rail network from this Saturday, June 26 2021 Of course, just in time for Summer and the breakaway from the bondage of the pandemic…yikes! Be aware ok More info RATP webpage:

Clairefontaine here there are nine football fields/pitches, seven accommodation residences for 200 rooms, including 110 luxury rooms, an auditorium, a medical center, a gym, physiotherapy and balneotherapy area, as well as a dozen meeting rooms … All on one area of nearly 60 hectares of greenery, well hidden away from view, on the northern ridge of the valley. At the Château de Montjoye – or Montjoie -, where since 1998 has proudly stood an XXL reproduction of the World Cup, everything is now done for football. And we are good thanks to this installations.

The residence of the Bleus (France’s teams)  is in fact almost 200 years old. It was initially a modest hunting lodge, built in 1830 and called “Mon Jouet”. Enlarged by its successive owners, it did not really take its letters of nobility until the end of the 19C. But it was when it became the property of the English aristocrat Henry Noailles Widdrington Standish around 1910 that the building took on the face we know it today, with its south facade erected in pure British style. During the Great War or WWI, the castle welcomed the war wounded arriving from Rambouillet, at the expense of the Standish family. It was then rented and acquired in the early 1920s by the banker André Lazard, passionate about hunting and floral art. Its orchids gave it real fame. Faced with energy needs, the Château de Montjoye can be seen then endowed with its own power station which will ensure the supply until the end of the years 1950s. It is in 1983 that the FFF, (French Football Federation) in search of a site intended to develop all the technical aspect of the French football, is acquirer of the premises. The center was officially inaugurated on June 11, 1988 in the presence of Pres François Mitterrand and João Havelange, president of Fifa. The site ,also train French referees, and especially young talent of French football within the National Football Institute (INF).

Clairefontaine FFF Centre National de Football:

The Château de Compiègne relies on the sleigh of Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, to attract visitors. The last acquisition of the Château de Compiègne (Oise 60) belonged to the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. A jewel which should represent one more reason to discover the Carriage Museum. Webpage:

A concert on the water to participate (a little) in the restoration of the Ricquebourg castle. called the “Petit Trianon of the Oise”. It was a simple assistant farrier to have the glory of saving the favorite horse of Louvoirs, minister of Louis XIV. He will also have the right to breed and train horses for the royal artillery. What he will do in his castle, built in 1712, in Ricquebourg. It was acquired by the Ridgway family, originally from Pennsylvania USA. They enlarged the castle and transformed the French-style park into an English garden. Ricquebourg remained American until 1914, when WWI broke out.  The proximity of the front cost the castle dearly, which was partially destroyed by fire in July 1918. Restoration began in 1925. It was done with a material from the revolutionary era: reinforced concrete. They cemented the cellars, redone the balusters, the concrete handrails. With the frost and humidity, the concrete slammed and caused water to seep in, causing irreversible damage. The castle had been in peril for years. Restoration work related to the Stéphane Bern mission is still ongoing.  The Mission Bern weppage:

The Heritage Foundation on the castle :

In Paris, room 601 at the Hôtel du Sentier is the starting point for a full stroll. When he returned from Egypt in 1798, Napoleon decided to pay homage to the land of the pharaohs by renaming the arteries of the Sentier neighborhood or quartier of the 2éme arrondissement or district, in the heart of Paris, with Egyptian names: rue d’Alexandrie, rue d’Aboukir, place du Cairo… On this one stands today a building whose facade, classified, decorated with three large carved faces representing the goddess Hathor and numerous friezes of hieroglyphics, is supported by columns whose chiselled capitals evoke the lotus. The 30 rooms, spacious (a luxury in Paris!), Bright and sober, have windows redone identically on the original model from 1826. The 601 has two major advantages. First, its small windows: they offer several openings on Paris, including a bird’s-eye view of the Cairo Passage , the oldest, the longest (370 meters) and the narrowest in Paris , recently renovated and which s’ illuminates in the evening. Webpage:

The Hôtel L’Aigle Noir Fontainebleau or the Black Eagle Hotel is a 16C building and was one of the favorite vacation spots for the nobility, who accompanied the rulers on their travels to the castle, 100 meters away. The historic four-star hotel is luxurious, but the family room is still affordable. Empire-style carpeting and wallpapers, impressive breakfast room: children will feel as if they are sleeping in a museum. As they leave the hotel, they will come face to face with a pretty old-fashioned horse carousel. Take a tour of the merry-go-round, before going for a picnic in Diane’s garden, just opposite, then visiting the castle and its park, where you won’t escape the boat ride on the carp pond. Webpage:

Ketchup, a generic name given to a thick sauce made from tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar, enjoys such popularity that it seems to pass through eras and pandemics with the same ease as a fresh anisette in the aperitif time. Long criticized for its deplorable nutritional score (up to 22% sugar) and industrial manufacture (it sells twenty-one bottles of Heinz ketchup around the world every second), ketchup is in the process of moulting.  While more than 45% of French households say they consume it regularly, more and more small producers are revisiting the original recipe to develop more balanced sauces, less sweet and, above all, made in an artisanal way from local products. To the point of seeing their sales explode and of interest to chefs in gourmet restaurants. One is from my area delicious, the Breton ketchup from the Conserverie des Saveurs, based in Landreau, (44) contains 60% Breton tomatoes and 13% Roscoff onions – all seasoned with Guérande salt. Webpage:

There you go folks, another round in my belle France. These are the latest from my point of view , of course,there are many more. Again, hope you are out in your part of the world and can look forward to vacation time, we are! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 23, 2021

This is unique San Clemente!!!

And I bring you down to my beloved Spain. So many memories in my life and can’t wait to be back when possible to do so safe. The family and I went long stays here over the years , and many new places that joined our pantheon of memorable spots; one of this was San Clemente.  There are several posts on the town in my blog. Let me update for me and you this wonderful visit. Hope you enjoy it as I.

When we made our runs of Castilla La Mancha in the last couple of years, after I convince my dear late wife Martine to come here. It was not easy to convince as she wanted to go elsewhere in Spain. However, my adolecent and youthful days were spent around here, and it is like a pilgrimage each time around my beloved Spain. So , let me tell you about San Clemente in the Province of Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha autonomous community of the kingdom of Spain.

We were base in the serrania de Cuenca high on the mountains at 1400 meters, and used it as a base to go by car all over the Castilian countryside.  I have remote recolletions of been by here before, but we decided to pass by and check it out with the family. It was a memorable stop and we love it. This is San Clemente, another memorable spot of nice family souvenirs that today are stronger than ever. She would still reminded me about it ,and I am sure , it would have been easy to convince her again to vacation by these lands.

San Clemente is in the southeast part of the  province of Cuenca  historically it is known as the town of  Mancha Alta, inside the  Mancha de Montearagón area, this name came from the fact that the Castilians traveling to Valencia  (once conquered by king Jaime I of Aragon in 1238) climb up or went up towards Aragon, and therefore the high or alta on the name that was at a higher altitude.

It is about 110 km from Cuenca, 80 km from Albacete 197 km from Madrid ,and 200 km from Valencia on the banks of the Rus river and the roadcross of the  A-43 and AP-36, and only 30 km from the A-3 that connects fast and free Madrid to Valencia. The signalisation of the roads are AP-36 ( Autopista Ocaña-La Roda: Ocaña – La Roda), A-43 (Autovía Extremadura-Comunidad Valenciana), A-3 ( Autovía del Este: Madrid – Valencia) connecting itself to the  A-43 at Atalaya del Cañavate. The A-31 ( Autovía de Alicante: Atalaya del Cañavate – La Roda – Albacete – Almansa – Alicante) connects also with the A-43 at Atalaya del Cañavate. Other roads and directions are the N-310 ( Manzanares – San Clemente – Villanueva de la Jara)  N-301 ( Ocaña – Cartagena) ; CM-3009 ( Saelices – San Clemente),  CM-3112 (San Clemente – Honrubia) ; CM-3117 ( San Clemente – Minaya). N are National roads ,and CM are community regional roads.  It could be tempting by many but I would not do this trips with bus or train, not comfortable in my opinion. However, there are buses and a station in San Clemente connecting to Madrid, Albacete, Cuenca, Valencia, and severall other towns. The train station closest are in Villarrobledo at about 29 km and  Albacete at 80 km.  Albacete has AVE connection to correspond with any city in Spain using RENFE.

A bit of history I like.

Here, there was a Goda town venerating the Virgin and once the Moors invasion the Virgin was hidden in a rock inside a cave.  On this spot, later came to live a Moorish people but a pastor found the Virgin in a cave known locally as the Mora or moor at the foot of a castle. The Virgen de Rus is today the Patron Saint of  San Clemente, an a Church was built at the foot of the old Castle.  The name of the town comes from a knight that was installed here name Clemente Pérez de Rus, the name of the castle before the founding of the town.  The conquest of Cuenca and Alarcón by king  Alfonso VIII and later defeat of the moors at Navas de Tolosa in 1212, is the cause for the annexation of San Clemente and its territory in Castile.  Depending of the town castle of Alarcón it passes to be part of the Marquis of Villena under the lordship of the Manuel, first and later of the Infantes of Aragon finally passing to Don Juan Pacheco, Master of the order of Santiago (St James), and first marquis of  Villena.  In 1445,  Don Juan Pacheco raised it to a City recognized by king Juan II of Aragón and Navarra ,and  Enrique IV of Castilla.  The town of San Clemente took side with queen Isabel I  la Católica (the Catholic) on the fight with Juana for the right to rule in Castile and rises up against the power of the Marquis of Villena that sided with Juana. Once the war of succession over, the Catholic Kings incorporated the town into the crown and freeing it from the association of  Alarcón; receiving the visit of the Catholic Kings (Isabel and Fernando)  in 1488 as gratitude for the services rendered to them. During the follow up war of Succession was the headquarters of the Duke of Berwich showing support for king Felipe V that gave the town the title of most noble , most loyal and trusted city.

In the 19C during the War of Independance of 1808-1814 (against Napoleon’s France) it offered resistance to them as Napoleon sent a division Frére to reinforce the army of Moncey  that were operating in Valencia and Dupont that was in Andalucia. However, the Frére division could not do what it was intended due in part to the resistance of the local people of San Clemente, amongst them was the local heroe Bibiano Hellín. During the Spanish Civil War it was built here an aerodrome and was the home of the 3ª squadron of the group 12 of Russian bombers  Tupolev SB-2 (katiuska) and some Russian fighters planes such as the biplanes Polikarpov I-15. As comunist USSR sided with the Republicans in the war.

Main things to see in San Clemente, in my opinion are:

At the Roman times both Republican and Imperial there was a Roman bridge to cross the Rus river with three arcs and still the best preserve of the Roman bridges in the province.


Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol ,or parish Church of St James the Apostle is on the renaissance style from the 16C with elements Gothic from early in the 15C and some Baroque from the 17C.  It is a basilical Church with three nerfs and huge pillars and chapters and starets coupolas.


The Casa Consistorial  it served as the city hall and currently the first floor houses the Museum of Graphic Work “Fundación Antonio Pérez”. On the ground floor is the Temporary Exhibition Hall of the Museum of Graphic Work. Inside, the Local Historical Archive is preserved, with documents and copies from the 14C. 


Torre Vieja,or old tower, was built in the 15C before 1445 during the reign of king Juan II .It is a tower with a square built and it is the oldest construction in San Clemente.  Currently it is the Tourist office and from 1998 the Etnographic museum of Labranza. Castillo de Santiago de la Torre  or castle of James of the tower is on the west of San Clemente,on the banks of the Záncara river.  It is a medieval castle that belonged to the Order of ST James or Santiago as well as the Marquis of Villena and the Catholic Kings. However, last in 2017 was in bad shape and hopefully it will be safeguarded for future generations.

The main event here is to come during the Festival of Rus or Fiestas de Rus on the Sunday of resurrection when groups of young and young at heart come together in the main square or Plaza Mayor  below the columns of the old city hall with money in cash to begin one of the most beautiful spectacles in all of Castilla-La Mancha. The auction of the walks of the Virgen de Rus. The square is full of people on foot with notary, and brotherhoods houses that within half an hour of uses and costums starts the groups putting a quantity of money on the table for all to see, each group would do the same until the last one and on the last minute push for the highest amount ;even bats have been given to the groups to reach the last table with the highest amount. The auction of the Cross follows the same ritual but with younger groups . Until the spectacle is done and all go to Mass.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this nice town of San Clemente are:

The San Clemente tourist office on its heritage in Spanish, see right hand column for more:

The City of San Clemente on things to see in Spanish:

There, a new town for you maybe… this is another of the jewels you will find in nice Castilla La Mancha, the region of Don Quixote of Cervantes Saavedra. Again enjoy San Clemente, we will be back!

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

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