Archive for July 15th, 2021

July 15, 2021

Notre Dame of the Assomption of the Virgin Church of St Jean Pied de Port!

Now this is a wonderful town we like a lot and visited couple times. Road warrior trip up the steep mountains in the Pyrénées chain is awesome. However, once in St Jean Pied de Port, the wonders appeared in your face so nice. One of the meeting point of the route to St James or Santiago on the French road or Camino Francés. Let me update this older post on the Notre Dame of the Assomption of the Virgin Church of St Jean Pied de Port! Enjoy it as I.

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So now, I take you deep south of France near the Spanish border and the wonderful Pyrénées and a wonderful city which took us a nice ride on the tops of the mountains peaks for the scenic ride !  I have written several posts on the town and its marvels but I believe the Church deserves a post of its own. The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin. Oh yes of course ,this is in deep Saint Jean Pied de Port  in the Pyrénées-Atlantique dept 64 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region!

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The church, formerly Notre-Dame du Bout du Pont is currently Church of the Assumption-of-the-Virgin located by the ramparts at 2 Rue de la Citadelle.  Among the many churches, Notre-Dame Church of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, integrated into the ramparts at the bottom of the main street where the fortified bridge is actually the steeple bell tower. The foundations date from the 13C, is one of the most important Gothic Basque buildings with beautiful pink sandstone. Built in the 14C on the foundations of 12C by Sancho the Fort, it has inside, a large nave, pillars of pink sandstone and two stages of galleries or grandstands. Climb the steep street, rue de la Citadelle: Raise your eyes to the carved facades and lintels. Beyond the gate of France, a staircase leads to the round path amusing to go and indiscreet sometimes.

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The Gate of Navarre leads to the Church square. On the left, a staircase leads to the round road that can be taken on almost the entire rampart of the right bank of the Nive river and from where you discover a magnificent view of the basin of the country of Cize. Near the bridge, the house that adjoins the bell tower has sheltered for centuries the Hôpital Sainte-Marie. The Church and the hospital were part of the same ensemble, according to a classical hospital architecture. These medieval hospitals were open to all,   Poor, passersby, and pilgrims.

Opposite stands the triangular gable wall of old Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont with its oculus. The tympan was hammered during the wars of Religion or during the French revolution. The upper part of the gate was awkwardly restored. Built in Gothic style radiating on Romanesque bases, the Church presents a nave with two aisles, two floors of grandstands, slender pillars, with no other décor than the search for the line and a polygonal chorus. It has a portal and bedsides ogival, a five-pans apse.

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The Notre Dame of the Assomption of the Virgin Church, also has an organ dating from the mid-19C and whose factor was Vincent Cavaillon-Coll. It is composed of two keyboards and a pedal. It was the object of a restoration from 2002 to 2004 and on this occasion it was surmounted by the statue of Saint Francis Xavier, patron Saint of Navarre.

The city of St Jean Pied de Port on its heritage including the churchhttps://www.st-jean-pied-de-port.fr/decouvrir/histoire-et-patrimoine/patrimoine-culturel/

The French Basque country tourist office on St Jean Pied de Porthttps://www.en-pays-basque.fr/territoires-et-destinations/le-pays-de-saint-jean-pied-de-port/saint-jean-pied-de-port/

The Parish webpage of St Jean Pied de Port on the church : https://www.paroisse-saint-jean-pied-de-port.com/eglises/saint-jean-pied-de-port

This is a wonderful city Saint Jean Pied de Port, with plenty of culinary delights even the folks there come to my area on gastronomic festival and we load up on goodies. The Notre Dame of the Assomption of the Virgin Church is small but very nice encrusted into the ramparts on the main road that leads the pilgrims to Spain and the road to St James or Santiago de Compostela.

Hope you enjoy the tour, and remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 15, 2021

Saint-Andrews Church of Sauveterre-de-Béarn!

And here I am going deep into south of my belle France. In our road warrior ways we saw wonderful towns all over our République Française and love it. One of these unique off the beaten path towns was Sauveterre de Béarn. I like to update this older post on the Saint Andrews Church, and hope you enjoy as we did.

And then, we love to visit the wonderful area of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept 64 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of my belle France! So much to see, even in places close and dear to me, the choices are unlimited.  Nevertheless, France is a mouvable feast indeed!

This is deep France, sort of an off the beaten path site; tourists are not around here or I never see enough when I am there…. We come to the area that I love to be there, Sauveterre-de-Béarn in deep old region of Béarn! A nice little Church of Saint Andrews to show you, ok.   

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The Church of Sauveterre-de-Béarn, dedicated to Saint-André, was built at a time of transition between the 12C and 13C. Its architecture is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles. On the tympanum are represented St Mathieu (as a young men),  St Mark (as a lion), St Luke (as a bull), and St John (as an eagle). It is a fortified imposing Church. Its situation in the area of the river or gave made it an excellent point of observation vis-à-vis any outside arrival. It is a Church as there are few in Béarn, which mixes elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has a length of 35 meters, a width of 20 meters and at the top of its steeple, reaches the 27 meters. It has 3 naves with the central nave has a height of 13 meters, an apse, two apsidioles, and a transept with 2 beautiful roses.

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Its bell tower, according to some assumptions, was once crenellated (currently it is covered with a 4-sided roof) and on each of its 4 faces, one can see 3 geminate bays, the central column surmounted by an tympanum pierced with a oculi. The porch and sacristy are newer and date from the end of the 19C. On the porch you can see a very nice tympanum above the gate. It is in the form of 2 hangers separated by a key. In the Mandolin, we have a Christ in majesty. To his right, an angel and a lion ,who symbolized St Matthew and St Mark, and to their left an eagle and an ox, which symbolize St John and St Luke, the 4 evangelists

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The entrance gate has only one vaulted, but notice the lateral framing with 7 columns on each side surmounted by capitals decorated with vegetative motifs in general, some of them showing figures. On the side of the nave on the left is another marquee representing the scene of the Nativity. Note also on the side , a small entrance door with a crimson at the top. It is claimed that this side door would be reserved for the Cagots (referred to groups of inhabitants, exercising woodworking, or metalwork, which were struck by exclusion and repulsion in their villages between the 13C and modern times).

The town of Sauveterre de Béarn on the church: https://www.sauveterre-de-bearn.fr/tourisme-et-patrimoine/patrimoine/patrimoine-religieux/

The Béarn Gave region tourist office on the church: https://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/offres/eglise-saint-andre-sauveterre-de-bearn-fr-2226772/

There you go folks, simple old nice architecture in a wonderful old bastide fortified town, impressive just going in by car. Sauveterre-de-Béarn ,another off the beaten path idea in my belle France, make it  yours!

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

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July 15, 2021

The Archeological museum of Alcalà de Henares!

This was a nice find, really. We have been here several times and me since childhood but never recall coming here or if was available then. However, in my walks with the family was curious enough to walked into it and was a pleasant surprise. Therefore, let me update this older post in my blog on the Archeological museum of Alcalà de Henares! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I like my times in Alcalà de Henares , and like to show you another gem of this very unique town and loaded with history, architecture and arts. The town is in the Comunidad de Madrid region of the kingdom of Spain.  This time let me tell you a bit more on the Museo Archeologico Regional or  Regional Archaeological Museum …a joint venture between the Comunidad of Madrid and the city of Alcalà de Henares showcasing the best archeological finds from the area covering a large period. Its a must to see in town.

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The Museo Arqueológico Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid (M.A.R.) was created on November 27, 1997; It is based in Alcalá de Henares, occupying the building of the old school of the Dominican Convent of the Mother of God, in the Plaza de Bernardas, which also give to the Archiepiscopal Palace and the Convent of San Bernardo (see posts). Its inauguration took place on May 25th, 1999.   The Convent School of the Mother of God was founded by Maria de Mendoza, daughter of the Counts of Mélito, in 1565, as part of the university City of Alcalá, although the current construction dates from the 17-18C, since the original building was small and also structurally deficient , although it is probable that the entrance of the Convent , which currently accesses the museum, is reused from the previous.

In 1985, the year in which the State competences in the field of archaeology were passed on to the Autonomous Communities, the Government of the community of Madrid and the city of Alcalá agreed that the building would become the headquarters of the Regional Archaeological Museum of the Community of Madrid. At present the work is being carried out to expand its surface and in January 2018 the works were finally started, whose culmination is expected by the end of 2019.

In addition to its role of research and conservation of the archaeological heritage, it exhibits a permanent collection with a chronological and didactic itinerary: paleontological fossils, Paleolithic, Neolithic, vestiges of the Bronze Age and Iron Age, an important collection of Roman objects ,highlighting the mosaics, and elements of material culture from the old, middle and modern ages, reaching the archaeology of the industrial era. The museum carries out temporary exhibitions of archaeological, paleontological and historical themes. Among its dependencies is the library Emeterio Cuadrado, of restricted use, specializing in archaeology, cartography of the community of Madrid, museology and restoration.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this unique museum are:

The official webpage of the Archeological museum of Alcalà de Henares in Spanish: http://www.museoarqueologicoregional.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1161230074474&language=es&pagename=Museos%2FPage%2FMUSE_contenidoFinal

The Alcalà de Henares tourist office on the museumhttps://www.turismoalcala.es/turismo/museo-arqueologico-regional/

The Madrid city tourist office on the museum in Alcalà de Henareshttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/museo-arqueologico-regional-alcala-henares

There you go folks, a nice place to see in the middle of all the beautiful architecture, historical and religious of nice Alcalà de Henares. Do enjoy it we love it!

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

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July 15, 2021

Pont de l’Alma and Place de l’Alma of Paris!!

And here is a killer one two combination for walks in my eternal Paris! Also, lots of wonderful architecture and history here and we love it. I like to update this older post on the wonderful Pont de l’Alma and Place de l’Alma of Paris!!

And here I come to you with another street, bridge ,square of my eternal Paris. Well, I told you there are so many, impossible to name them all,and all beautiful in their own way… Let me tell you about the gorgeous combination of the bridge or Pont de l’Alma,and the square or Place de l’Alma. I have given metro and bus connections but the best is to walk it from wherever you are, Paris is walkable indeed,and once inside is the best way to see the city of lights!

The Pont de l’Alma is a bridge that connects the Quay Branly (7éme arrondissement, on the rive gauche=left bank) to Avenue de New York (in the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements, on the rive droite=right bank). On the right bank, it separates the ports of the Conference and Debilly, and on the left bank, those of the Gros-Caillou and the La Bourbonnais ,connecting the Quai d’Orsay with the end of Avenue Bosquet and Avenue Rapp , in place de l’Alma.  Its name commemorates the Battle of  Alma (1854) during the Crimean War. Its name recalls the victory of the French and English won over the Russians on September 20, 1854, on the banks of the River Alma (Crimea).  The bridge is served by the Alma-Marceau metro line 9 and the train station of the RER C pont de l’Alma as well as bus lines  42, 63, 72, 80 and 92.

A bit of history I like

The Alma bridge was built from 1854 to 1856 and was inaugurated by Napoleon III on 2 April 1856. For the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the bridge was doubled upstream by a footbridge, known as the Passarelle de l’Alma . From 1970 to 1974, the bridge is completely replaced, due to its narrowness and compaction.  The Pont de l’Alma is located near the tunnel where the Princess of Wales (Lady Diana) was mortally wounded in August 1997. This tunnel, often referred to as the pont de l’Alma tunnel, is actually between the bridge and the Place de l’Alma. At the overhang of this tunnel stands the flame of freedom, a real size replica of the flame of the Statue of Liberty. This monument, offered by the International Herald Tribune in 1989, commemorates the Franco-American friendship and thanks France for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It was diverted from its initial function and spontaneously became a place of contemplation for the admirers of the deceased princess.

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On the old bridge, each of the two piers were decorated, upstream and downstream, by a statue representing one of the four regiments that had bravely fought during the Crimean War: a Zouave and a grenadier, a hunter on foot and a gunner.  The bridge rebuilt between 1970 and 1974 with only one pile, 142 meters long for a 42 meters wide, only the Zouave was retained (but not on the same side), and the other three statues were moved.  The Hunter on foot is visible from the A4 highway against the south wall of Gravelle in the Bois de Vincennes; the Grenadier is in Dijon, birthplace of its sculptor, on the avenue du Premier-Consul,, facing Lake Kir; the Gunner was offered and transferred to the La Fére (Department of Aisne 02),  dear to the heart of the Gunners, where, until 1993, the 41st Naval Artillery Regiment was based.

The statue of the Zouave serves as a popular instrument for measuring the floods of the Seine river. When the level of the Seine reaches the feet of this Zouave, the lanes on the banks are usually closed. When the water rises to the thighs of the Zouave, the Seine is no longer navigable. During the historic flood of 1910, the water rose to the shoulders. As a result of its replacement in 1970, the Zouave now appears to be lower than originally, contrary to what is commonly accepted. At the same point, the floods it reports are less severe. The administration measures the level of the floods at the pont de la Tournelle.

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The Paris tourist office on the Pont de l’Alma: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73139/Pont-de-l-Alma

The place de l’Alma is a square of the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements or district of Paris. It is about 110 meters long and is located at the meeting of Avenue de New York and ,Avenue du Président-Wilson, Avenue George-V, Avenue Montaigne and the cours Albert-Ier.  It takes its name from its vicinity with the pont de l’Alma (see above), which commemorates the Battle of Alma (1854) during the Crimean War. This site is served by the Alma-Marceau Metro station  line 9  and the pont de l’Alma RER C station  as well as by the Alma-Marceau bus Lines 42, 63, 72, 80 and 92.

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The square was created by the decree of March 6, 1858 and aligned, between the avenues of New York and President-Wilson, by a decree of March 9, 1897. The square is famous for its flame of freedom, replica of the flame of the Statue of liberty. This flame, offered by the International Herald Tribune in 1989, is installed between the square and the beginning of the bridge, overhanging the tunnel where Princess Diana died on 31 August 1997 in a car accident. It serves as a monument to the memory for many admirers of the princess.

Some of the things to see here are : At No. 3 by the corner of the Avenue du  President-Wilson was the Café le Yacht Club Français, held by the photographer Eugène Druet and which he abandoned in 1903 to open an art gallery at 114, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. At the west entrance of the Cours Albert 1er , the Polish poet and patriot Adam Mickiewicz was sculpted by Antoine Bourdelle. The Place de la Reine-Astrid is located at the corner of Avenue Montaigne and Rue Jean Goujon. The Monument of the recognition of Belgium to France was inaugurated in 1923. A sculpture representing the Seine  was placed in 1962.

Beautiful area on the side of Avenue Bosquet and Avenue Rapp,near the Tour Eiffel. Where I have spent many times and love it. Hope you do too when visiting the eternal Paris.

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

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