Archive for July 17th, 2021

July 17, 2021

Basilique Saint Sauveur of Rennes !

And going on in my wonderful ride of updating my older posts in my blog ,and reviving great travel moments. This is as good as any time to do this and I love it!!! This is a nice monument in Rennes walking distance to many more sites. I will give you an update on the Basilica Saint Sauveur of Rennes!

As said been here several times and walked the beat but with so many monuments there are some that I think are worth mentioning in a post of their own. This is the case of the Basilica minor Saint Sauveur of Rennes.

The Saint-Sauveur Basilica of Rennes is a minor basilica, known as Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtue or Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, located in the heart of the historic city center. Its foundation, under the name of Saint-Sauveur, was before the 12C. Enlarged on several occasions and rebuilt in the early 18C, it was the seat of a parish for nearly three hundred years, until WWII, then again from 2002. Following several miraculous events in the 14C and 18C, the cult of Notre Dame developed strongly to culminate in a basilica erection in 1916. In classical style, this building is particularly distinguished by its furniture, a canopy of the high altar, wrought iron chair, organ, as well as the numerous ex-votos deposited by the faithful.  Located in place Saint-Sauveur, it lies at the end of a perspective starting at the bottom of the Place du parliament de Bretagne and formed by the succession of the Rue Brilhac,Rue Ermine and Rue du Guesclin. Only its eastern and southern facades are visible, the remainder being adjoined by buildings, including the presbytery to the West,at  2 Rue Saint-Sauveur. The main façade, in the east, overlooks Place Saint-Sauveur, while the south façade opens onto Rue Saint-Sauveur, and beyond, on the garden of the Hôtel de Blossac.

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A bit of history I like

The present Basilica Church of Saint Sauveur was built at the beginning of the 18C, replacing a chapel whose origins merge with those of the city. The first written traces mentioning a Saint-Sauveur chapel in Rennes date from the 12C. Erected Saint-Sauveur in parish Church in 1667. This decision was confirmed by the Parliament of Brittany by a judgment of 1667, despite the opposition of the rector of Toussaints. A Brotherhood was founded in 1670 on the initiative of Saint John Eudes in honor of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues and of the Holy Heart of Mary.  In 1682, the west gable of the Church collapsed, making the Church unfit for worship. After a few months during which the Blessed Sacrament was transported to the Saint James Chapel, the cult resumed in the partially demolished church. The first stone was laid two years later, on July 24, 1703. The new orientation allowed to open the facade on the bottom of the place du grand bout de la Cohue (this square where a market was held until 1720 the location of the current Rue de  Clisson and Place Saint-Sauveur).  The Blessed Sacrament, dated is  kept at the Museum of Brittany. The new Church is consecrated on August 5, 1719.

The destruction of the Place du grand bout de la Cohue, replaced by the Rue de Clisson and the Place Saint-Sauveur, and the piercing of the Rue du Guesclin in the axis of the Church, lead it to redraw the façade to integrate it into this new perspective.   The major altar, symbolizing the end of the work, is consecrated in 1768. The French revolution interrupted the reconstruction work of St. Peter’s Cathedral destroyed in 1768. The Church of Saint-Sauveur then became the temple of reason, then the temple of the Supreme Being in 1794. The miraculous statue of Notre Dame is destroyed during this period. The building hosts public meetings. Saint-Sauveur is officially rendered to worship only on September 30, 1802.

The arrival of the master Altar c.1827 – 1829, of a Chandelier c. 1846, of a Cross c. 1860 and of the Choir Organ c. 1894. The Altars of the Sacred Heart and St. Louis and St. Anne are redone and receive new paintings. A second restoration from 1870 on the altars of the transept. It was created in 1875 the altar dedicated to Notre Dame of Miracles and Virtues. Three bells are then installed in the tower in 1876. Finally, a ceramic paving replaces the original tome in 1886. The Church also carries, between 1832 and 1855, a Telegraph Chappe on the station 4 of Rennes and the number 10 of the line Avranches-Nantes. With the reactivation of the cult of Notre Dame of Miracles and Virtues, the Church is consecrated on October 12, 1912 by Pope Pius X. It was erected in a minor Basilica on 27 April 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.

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Four narratives of miracles, attributed to Notre-Dame, are related to the Church and are the subject of special devotion. In 1667, the Church of Saint-Sauveur, truce of the parish of Toussaints, becomes parish in turn, the new parish then has for limits to the north the Porte Saint-Michel (current place Rallyer-du-Baty), south the Vilaine river, to the east the rue  Tristin (route close to the current rue de l’Horloge) and west the back of the Cathedral. This represents half of the first precinct of Rennes, four hectares entirely built. In 1939, the parish’s seat was moved to St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Church of Saint-Sauveur preserving its only Basilical vocation. With the reorganization in 2002; Saint-Sauveur finds a parish assignment, between the Cathedral St Pierre, and the Church of Saint-Étienne.

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The exterior style of the Basilica recalls, on a lesser scale, that of the Church of the Gesù of Rome or the Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victories in Paris. of modest size 43 meters by 26 meters, the Basilica has a multi-cut Latin cross form, with a three-span nave and two collateral, a cut-out apse and a shallow transept. The Basilica St Sauveur is composed of a nave with two aisles, a narrow transept, a short choir and an apse with cut-out pans, without ambulatory or apsidiole. The nave has three spans against one for the choir. The first one contains the baptismal fonts, the second, the confessional. The second span of the south aisle was enlarged at the beginning of the twentieth century to accommodate the Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtues. The master Altar is surmounted by a remarkable canopy, made in 1768 with motifs adorning the adjacent pulpit on the pillar of the choir. This painted or gilded wrought iron chair, made in 1781, richly decorated, the tub carries many ornaments such as medallions surrounded by fins and ribbons, falls of leaves and fruits, volutes and garlands of laurels. The new altar is made of marble and stainless steel, in harmony with the existing furniture.

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The statue of Notre Dame des Miracles et Virtues, often referred to simply as Our Lady of Miracles, is a Virgin and the Child. It is mentioned in the 14C, as part of a miracle that would have occurred during a siege of the city. It is already a sculpture of painted wood. It is repainted in 1445, then its hands are restored in 1522. During the French revolution, as the Church welcomed the revolutionary cult, the statue was destroyed. It is only replaced in February 1876. Two organs are in the church: a choir organ and a monumental organ in a tribune. The choir organ consists of two symmetrical bodies placed obliquely. The bodies are surmounted by gendarme hats adorned with a shell. It is the first electrically transmitted organ installed in Rennes, received on March 11, 1894. The organ of Tribune dates from the 17C. The painted shuttered buffet is made of oak (central part) and fir (wings) carved in the Louis XIV style.  The central turret is surmounted by a statue of St. George slaying the dragon, the side turrets of fire pots in gadroons. The whole is painted in imitation oak covering the original polychromies. Music Rennes on organ concerts webpage: https://rennesmusique.com/lieux-des-concerts/basilique-st-sauveur/

The present stained glass windows were made in 1951 and 1952, with the exception of the Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles and the large canopy on its left. The series of Mr. Barrillet replaces the stained glass windows bombarded in 1940 during WWII. The large canopies at the bottom evoke the cult of Notre Dame des Miracles, while the small canopies of the upper represent Marian scenes. The Chapel of Notre Dame des Miracles retains its clear windows of the late 19C and the canopy on its left is from 1962.

The Rennes tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/organize-my-trip/what-to-do-in-rennes/basilique-saint-sauveur-2/

There you go folks, hope you have enjoy the historical architecture tour of the Basilique Saint Sauveur de Rennes. OF course, this is just a condense story of a magnificent monument.

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

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July 17, 2021

Notre Dame Church of Vitré!

And here I am again on the wonderful ride of updating my older posts in my blog. A work of love which I am enjoying very much and thank you for coming along with me. This is my story on the Notre Dame Church of Vitré! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Having crisscross this vast region of Brittany ,I have encountered many works of arts of great beauty , history and architecture values in many places. Indeed France is a mouvable feast! Having visited Vitré, I have done posts on the sights in a general sense, and I am coming back in more in depth details on my favorites. The Notre Dame Church of Vitré , really can be said to be more like a Cathedral for its wealth of beauty, not enough to post in one single entry ! I will give you some details and hopefully you will go see it and tell me about it , love the sharing of my love of history and architecture with you all.  Disclaimer, I am neither a history major nor an architect but love the fields!

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Notre-Dame of Vitré was the parish of the rich overseas merchants, the flamboyant Gothic building was erected mainly in the 15-16C. Opening to the west on Place Notre-Dame square, along the rue Notre Dame to the south, it occupies the highest point of the old town, prudent against the northern front of the medieval enclosure overlooking the Vilaine river. Only its facades north, west and south are visible, the choir being held in the north in the buildings of the ancient priory of the Benedictines, and masked in the Levant and at midday by an urban islet and the sacristy. And oh yes it is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine!

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A bit of history I like

Robert I of Vitré, the founder, circa 1060, of a collegiate church placed under the summons of Saint Mary. The remarkable density of religious buildings with ancient terms (chapelles Saint-Julien and Saint-Michel, Saint-Pierre churches, Saint-Martin, Sainte-Marie) suggests that Vitré was already an important and coherent demographic entity at the time Merovingian and Carolingian periods. If the collegiate Church of Notre-Dame could go back to the 10C, if it is undoubtedly attested as a parish in 1070-1075.  The French revolution ransacked the interior of the Church, which the priests later attached to endowing it with Gothic furniture of quality.

A longer description of this beauty of Vitré. The southern facade of the Notre-Dame Church is only partially visible, an island of houses and the large sacristy built perpendicular to the Chorus preventing any vision of the bedside otherwise mask by the buildings of the old Benedictine Priory. Built from east to west from 1480 to 1540, its original flamboyant architectural vocabulary tends to enrich itself with details of the first renaissance as we progress towards the west façade. Thus, the four most right gables were built between 1480 and 1500, with the three most western gables being done from 1530 to 1540.  The western facade of Notre-Dame of Vitré dates back to 1550. In its large  nave, it is less finely than that on the south side, with a more Renaissance-style decoration. The door adorns with representations of the Crucifixion, the Apostles Peter, Paul, John and Andre. A laurel wreath, the 1586 vintage and two merchant brands complete this scholarly decoration. Upstairs, a mistress window with four mullions and flamboyant tracery is housed under an archivolt, supposed to have abundant lighting in the generally blind Breton naves. Compared to the west and south facades of the Notre Dame Church, the northern flank appears particularly stripped. Devoid of sculpture.

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 Notre-Dame Church of Vitré offers a singular plan for a Breton church. The nave is located on six bays and is accosted by two collaterals serving six chapels in the north, five in the south and a sacristy. The development of the nave is halted by the mighty pillars bearing the cross of the transept prolonged on either side by two arms, each endowed with an oriental apsidiole. A deep chorus, rectangular in shape and stalker to the right, extends the church to the Orient. In the former Duchy of Brittany, only the cathedrals of Nantes and Quimper now offer the party of three western naves accosted by lateral chapels.

The altarpiece of the Life of the Virgin and of Christ. The history of this altarpiece, once preserved in the sacristy of the Church of Notre-Dame and today presented in the old Chapel Saint-Michel of the Castle of Vitré(see post on it)  is known to us thanks to an inscription appearing on the back of the work. Realized in the 1540’s it was given for the 1544 Christmas to the parish by its priest. It presents itself as a triptych composed of 48 enameled plates of Limoges origin grouped on four rows, the shutters each containing twelve scenes framed and closing on the central part which takes into account 24 scenes. These enamels, narrates the life of the Virgin and the one of Christ.

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The main stained glass of the Notre-Dame of Vitré dates back to the 19C. If the original glazing almost disappeared, the building retains an exceptional room (the entrance of Christ in Jerusalem) dating from the 16C, and two earlier fragments of the end of the previous century. Three windows of the Notre Dame Church retain stained glass from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The stained-glass window of the seigneurial chapel. The last chapel on the south aisle, located on the floor of the old sacristy, houses a fragment of an annunciation dating from the late 15C. The Archangel Gabriel is placed in a flamboyant kiosk on the paved ground, in front of a richly adorned Damascus background.

The northern window of the Monks’ choir conceals in its tympanum a Crucifixion and two ecus one, to the left, of glazed silver of a lion crawling the Gauls, the other, to the right, of the family of Montmorency-Laval , second branch of the Laval House, which held the Vitré castle from 1254 to 1547. The third southern Chapel of the Notre-Dame Church serves as a setting for the canopy narrating the entrance of Christ to Jerusalem. This illustration of the twigs bears the date of 1537. It is a stained glass table that finds place in a Renaissance setting where putti, heads of cherubs, bucranes, antique heads in medallions, all adorned with vegetable garlands.

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Notre Dame of Vitré was endowed with an organ built by Paul Maillard from 1636 to 1639. The Grande organs, built in 1851 by Paul-Alexandre Ducroquet for the World Exhibition in London, won the great gold medal on this occasion. Acquired in 1852, the instrument, perched on the reverse of the western façade of the Church of Notre-Dame on a Renaissance tribune dated from 1639 and embellished with a gothic railing, is housed in a ogival buffet. The Choir organ of Notre-Dame is located in the fifth chapel overlooking the northern collateral of the church. This was delivered in 1971.

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The City of Vitré on the Church: https://www.mairie-vitre.com/Eglise-Notre-Dame.html

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on the Church: https://www.bretagne35.com/offres/eglise-notre-dame-vitre-fr-2723886/

There you go folks, another beauty detail a bit more for you; hope you enjoy the Notre Dame Church as much as we do. Vitré is pack with beauties not to be missed.

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

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July 17, 2021

Notre Dame Church of Clisson!

And here is another dandy monument in wine country of the Loire valley. This town we visited a lot of course and get some our wines from there but on this post I like to tell you about a nice Notre Dame Church of Clisson! This is a glorious update of older post which has been a godsend for me to relieve these wonderful travel experiences and thank you again for coming along the ride with me.

So here I am in these lands of the Loire yes, a lot more than castles! Well for me its the wines as my house wines are purchase there. The town of Clisson is rich in history and architecture combine with excellent price/quality ratio of my belle France makes for a nice visit from me or you anytime. I like to tell you a bit on one thing to see in this would say off the beaten path town of my belle France. The Notre Dame Church of Clisson, that is. Ah yes, where is Clisson? well is in dept Loire-Atlantique no 44 in the region of Pays de la Loire (old brittany!), just south from me.

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The Notre Dame Church was originally founded by Constable of France Olivier V de Clisson around the 14-15C. In his will, Olivier ordained to the Church in 1406, a college of secular canons, composed of a dean, six canons, and six semis-prepends, six singers and four altar children. For this foundation he gave all the land of the castelany of Monfaucon. He also founded the convent of the Cordeliers by a codicil dated in 1406. The magnificent tomb of Olivier V of Clisson and his second wife Marguerite de Rohan, mutilated in the French revolution, is now in the Chapel of Sainte-Marguerite, in the southern transept of the Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Roncier located between in  the Rue Olivier de Clisson and the Place Alain de Rohan at Josselin (Morbihan 56).

The Notre Dame Church  underwent some modifications during the following centuries  such as the addition of the Chapel of Saint Anne to the nave in the 17C. Burned and ransacked during the wars of the Vendée, the Church was restored under the Empire, early 19C. This new shrine, in Neo-Classical-Romanesque style, is strongly inspired by the older Church of St. John and St. Paul of Rome.

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The Notre Dame Church has a tripartite, low and chunky façade, typical of the Roman churches.  Supported by columns, the tympanum of the main gate presents the effigy of Notre Dame and the lateral tympanums  of St Joachim and Ste Anne. Outside, the bell tower and the bedside of the Church are characteristic of the Italian churches.

Inside ,the fresco of the Choir, like that of the baptismal font, is the work of Georges Lusseau, a local painter. The fresco that decorates the stone-vaulted Choir represents the Assumption of the Virgin. The characters are very stylized, lanky in homage to the Italian artists of the Renaissance. The composition is very symmetrical. A modern statue of the Virgin, carved in Oak, was erected after WWII, in recognition of the protection afforded to the city.

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Built on the site of the Collegial of the Lords of Clisson, it was once the Church of the fortified closed city, then burned and ransacked during the wars of Vendée (against French revolution). A commemorative plaque of persecution under the French revolution was affixed in 1961 on the wall to the right of the Choir, in honor of the eight priests of Clisson, killed in the reign of terror. This martyrology also honors the 107 victims from Clisson, killed in hatred of the faith in 1793 and 1794. The Notre Dame Church was rebuilt in 1887-88 with again, Italy is in the spotlight, with its remarkable Tuscan-style campanile and its body inspired by a basilica of Rome; Romanesque neo-classical style, it offers a superb view of the valley. The organ was done in 1903 and renovated in 1986.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Nantes vineyards webpage on Clisson’s heritage: https://www.visitnantesvineyard.com/the-destination/the-unmissable/the-amazing-clisson/

The City of Clisson on the church : http://www.mairie-clisson.fr/ville-de-clisson/presentation/2-eglise-notre-dame/

The Martyrology of Clisson on the historical Vendée and Chouans webpage: http://www.vendeensetchouans.com/archives/2010/11/26/19736832.html

The Clisson historical and heritage association on the church: https://www.clissonhistoireetpatrimoine.fr/eglise-notre-dame/

There you go folks, now you know where to come to see beautiful architecture and history and enjoy some good wines of the Loire. The typical region Nantaise, fame for its wines and the beauty of the Notre Dame Church of Clisson!

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

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