Archive for July 25th, 2021

July 25, 2021

Château de Versailles , Salon d’Apollon/Salle du Trône !!!

And this is again a wonderful update of my fav palace museum in my dear Versailles. I love to tell you all about this great city of my belle France, and this is one of the intriguing rooms of the palace still with a throne room! Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on the Salon d’Apollon and its Salle du Trône of the Château de Versailles!

So I am coming back again to my beloved old home of Versailles. What can I say when you are lucky enough to lived there for about 9 glorious years and worked in Paris.… Well I have come back several times and have many posts on it in my blog. However, there are areas missing a bit more of it me think. This is the case with a nice living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or more commonly call by us locals as the Throne room or Salle du Trône.

It is inside the wonderful beautiful palace/museum of  Versailles, holding its name from the ceiling representing Apollo on its chariot. The living room of Apollo is located on the first floor of the Château de Versailles, in the King’s large apartments. It is adjacent to the mercury and war rooms (Salon de Mercure et Salon de la Guerre).  Serving as the King’s room from 1673 to 1682 and then as the Throne room as soon as the king and the court settled in Versailles, the king granted his ordinary hearings here. The room was also reserved for dancing during the evenings of apartments.

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The living room of Apollo is dedicated to the Greek god, god of the Sun, to whom the Sun King identified himself. Commissioned by king Louis XIV, the ceiling is a painting by Charles de la Fosse which represents Apollo on his chariot dragged by four couriers, accompanied by the figures of France, the Magnanimity and Magnificence and the procession of the seasons figured by Flora, Ceres, Bacchus and Saturn in the center. The covings represent Porus led in front of Alexander, Coriolanus raising the Siege of Rome at the request of his mother, Vespasian raising the Colosseum in Rome, and   Augustus building the port of Miseno . The four continents are represented in the four angles of the ceiling.

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The chimney was surmounted by the portrait standing of king Louis XIV in a royal suit, wearing the insignia given to the Kings on the day of their coronation. Painted in 1701 by Hyacinthe Rigaud to illustrate the power of the king and his natural majesty. This portrait is now preserved at the Louvre museum, a copy replaces the original in the living room of Apollo. In front of the painting is a portrait of king Louis XVI.

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The living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or Salle du Trône  was restored last in 2014.

The official Palace/museum of Versailles on the rooms including the Apollon: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/palace/king-state-apartment#the-mars-room

The whole palace/museum of Versailles is magical and to think it was once practically my backyard literally used to play and jog with my boys in the gardens! magical sublime nostalgia setting in and vacation time is coming again!  Versailles it is! Enjoy the post and thanks for stopping by.

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

July 25, 2021

The Villeroy & Boch ceramics of Mettlach!

We have been fan of this brand for years and we love it. Little did we know it was close to where we were staying in Germany, exactly Trier. Therefore ,we took a road warrior trip to the nice town of Mettlach and found this beauty of ours, the Villeroy & Boch ceramics. Let me update this older post and show you a bit more on it. Hope you enjoy it as I.

I had other posts on wonderful Mettlach, Germany on my road warrior trips with the family in that neighboring country. The city center is very nice quant old pretty, and the monuments are nicely put historically and architecturally as I like. However, there is one store we like.  Again, I am not the heavy shopper but on somethings I rather go along with the wife, she is no longer with me due to the dreadful cancer, but all the memories still are intact forever. She love it here and did some heavy duty shopping my dear late wife Martine. This is my bit of story on the Villeroy & Boch ceramics store in Mettlach, Germany!

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Initially a manufacturer and distributor of pottery, the Villeroy & Boch company, created in 1748 in Audun-le-Tiche in Lorraine(still French), has evolved into multiple ceramic products for the private sector and major construction sites.  An outlet specializing in the arts of the table that leaves also fashionable. In the south of the country, close to the French and Luxembourg borders, Mettlach houses 9 factory shops and first of all the seat of the Villeroy & Boch company, whose origin dates back to 1748, specialist in the art of the table, porcelain, crystal and cutlery. At Villeroy & Boch Mettlach, prices are between 30 and 50% cheaper than in a classic store and you find a shop dedicated to Christmas open all year round.

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Behind the facade of the ancient Benedictine abbey of Mettlach, today’s headquarters of the specialist of the Art of Living Villeroy & Boch, 260 years of history of ceramics and business relive.  The Keravision, the Museum of Ceramics and the Museum Café dating from 1892 traces the course and the success of a family dynasty.

The Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center presents centuries of tradition of ceramics and future-oriented ideas on the theme of live and living. The Keravision in the Discovery Center showcase an exhibition of the current palette of products. In the neighboring Ceramics museum , you will discover the evolution of the art of ceramics and culture through time. In front of the table, the Arts Information Center invites you to an innovative exhibition of tables staged with different dishes services. Among the many exhibits in the Ceramics museum, you can admire the dishes of Pope Benedict XVI. The Information center bathrooms, kitchens, tiles and well-being will give you ideas for your interiors decoration.  Close to the Discovery Center, take a break at the museum cafe, decorated in the style of the Dresden Dairy. More than 15,000 tiles, decorated by hand from original pieces of the 19C, were made for its decoration. Not far from the Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center, the city center of Mettlach invites you to do good shopping in these different factory stores as well such as Land End, Trigema, and many more.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its all worth it me think ,are:

The official Villeroy & Boch in German but can be translated bottom of page: https://www.villeroy-boch.de/

The Mettlach outlet center store on the  Villeroy & Boch in English: http://www.mettlachoutletcenter.de/en/brands/villeroyboch.html

Hope you like the shopping tour and again it is worth it ,the old abbey building is gorgeous from a historical/architecture point of view and facing the Sarre river! A tributary of the Moselle river . Enjoy Villeroy & Boch at Mettlach!

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

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July 25, 2021

Torre del Homenaje and Iglésia de San Andrés in Villarejo de Salvanés!

This is again the wonderful opportunity due to the times to spend time updating my older posts in my blog. It has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride with lots of memories and thrills! One of this was our road warrior trips in the Comunidad de Madrid of my beloved Spain. This time let me tell you about the Homage tower, and the Saint Andrews Church of Villarejo de Salvanés! Hope you enjoy it as I.  So let’s go to my beloved Spain and gorgeous Madrid community region that is just wonderful me think. Again, these I have written before a while back on a general passing sense, and I feel they need a bit more exposure in my blog. 

A bit of orientation first just to tell you ok. Villarejo de Salvanés is located at the km 48 of the expressway A3 Madrid-Valencia.  Some anecdote on the town I like on my history was that here in 1866, General Prim rose up against the government of O’Donnell and the Isabeline regime, failed coup.  Ahh for those in public transport you can easily go from Atocha in Madrid to the town on bus lines 351: Ronda de Atocha (Madrid)  Estremera – Barajas de Melo, bus line 352: Ronda de Atocha (Madrid) Fuentidueña – Tarancón,  and bus line 353: Atocha (Madrid) Villamanrique – Santa Cruz de la Zarza.

The Torre del Homenaje or tower of homage or castle of Villarejo of Salvanés, constitutes a unique architectural site in Spain. It belongs to the city/town hall of Villarejo de Salvanes. The castle of Villarejo of Salvanes was part of the defensive system that protected the passage by the old way of Toledo, as well as by the so-called Senda Galiana (Roman road that linked the Galia (France) and Hispania (Spain), in use during the Middle Ages). The castle of Villarejo of Salvanes was the seat of the special court of the military orders and, in the 19C, was accommodated as a refugee to Gen. Juan Martín Díez ,the subborn one ( Empecinado). Hero of the Spanish War of Independence, El Empecinado participated in several episodes, which became legendary, where he routed the Napoleonic army.

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This is where we parked and walked around and my dear late wife Martine found a lady who told her where to buy groceries just around the corner in a Mercadona. She could speak Spanish/English too. My memories of always ok ;thanks. Another anecdote not told in original post is that on subsequent trips to the area we had thought of buying a house in this town on what would have been our next trip August 2018 . Unfortunately, she could not make it due to pancreatic cancer, ideas cut but not forgotten. RIP

The parish Church of San Andrés Apostol or St Andrew the apostle. Built in the 14C has high towers and on the front the shield of the order of St James (Santiago) as well as on the lateral door. The Church is on the Plaza del Castillo square. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War it lost its artistic heritage. After an earthquake in 1969, the roof and vaults were demolished and completely restored in the 1980’s. The Church of San Andrés Apostol, consists of a polygonal apse with high buttresses, which make it similar to the castle. It is a single nave and has two side chapels, sacristy and tower, recently topped by a slate spire. In its main façade we see a pediment with a shield of the order of Santiago in the center as in the side door. It is presided by San Andrés, patron Saint of Villarejo de Salvanés, the image is framed in a plaster altarpiece inaugurated in 2000. The images of the Blessed Nicanor Ascanio and José de San Jacinto, both illustrious sons of the locality, complete the ensemble, which is crowned by a carving of Christ in its color. In the ample presbytery stands out the neo-Romanesque tabernacle, the altar, the seat and the pulpit in white stone.

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The interior of the Church of San Andrés, also has two side chapels. The one on the right or the Aponte chapel is closed by a Renaissance gate and contains two altarpieces with the images of the Immaculate Conception and Jesús Nazareno. In it you can contemplate the founding headstone in addition to the images of the Virgin of Health (Salud), the Resurrected, San José de la Montaña, San Juan Bautista and the Naked Cross, which is called here  “La Sabanilla “. In the chapel on the left we find the baptismal font of 1959 and the altarpieces of Nuestra Senora  Del Carmen, wood carving, and Nuestra Senora De la Soledad with the recumbent Christ. In the nave of the church are the images of Jesus attached to the column and the Holy Christ of the Faith, as well as a Holy Supper. The sacristy, which was one of the old side chapels, is the one that preserves the ribbed vault and there is a size of San Andrés from the beginning of the 17C.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as an off the beaten path of my Spain are:

The Villarejo de Salvanés tourist office: https://turismovillarejodesalvanes.com/

The local villas of Madrid on Villarejo de Salvanés: http://www.villasdemadrid.es/villasdemadrid/plan/143

The Madrid city tourist office on Villarejo de Salvanés: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/villarejo-salvanes

Lovely town we love to pass by and come in for a relaxing afternoon and walks on our road warrior ways in old Castile!  Villarejo de Salvanés is a nice clean town with friendly folks! and nice monuments. Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.

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

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