Archive for July 28th, 2021

July 28, 2021

Chateau de La Roche Guyon!

And this was a historical visit lol! Actually passed by it several times and never got in until one day we had time and finally went in!! It was a memorable visit and we remember fondly especially the garden with my dear late wife Martine. Thereafter we came several times. Therefore, here is my take on the Chateau de La Roche Guyon!

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This is an updated older post. It is always good to have nice memories of the Castle of La Roche Guyon! Let me tell you a bit about La Roche Guyon  in dept 95 Val-d’Oise in the Île-de-France region. Very nicely along the A13 by car, direction from Paris on the autoroute A13 of Normandie, direction Rouen, at Mantes exit 14 take it followed direction Limay than Vétheuil./La Roche Guyon or even better the A15/D14 more scenic out of Paris. We always stop by La Roche Guyon, make it a one two punch hard to resist while driving this beautiful area great for weekends. Here you have the Chateau de la Roche Guyon, the Seine river form an unique turn with a high elevation ideal for a lookout from those invading Normans!

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A bit of history I like

In the 3C , the troglodyctives caves, and the local lord Guy eventually gave the name to Roche Guyon. History tell us that from the year 911 , the treaty of Saint Clair sur Epte giving Normandy to the Vikings, the Roche Guyon keeps the limits of the frontier with the French kingdom over the Seine river.  The French revolution has a tragic and bloody event here, as the owner of the castle was Louis Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld, he was very close to the ideals of the American Revolution and translate to French all the articles of the constitution of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina with first editions in 1778.  He along with the Marquis de Lafayette, joined the estates generals and guided in principles the avenants of the French revolution, elected President of the department of Paris in 1791. Aftet the revolutionaries turn against him for fear of his democratic ideals, he take refuge with his wife and mother at  Forges-les-Eaux where he hides there but in september 4, 1792 while doing a carriage transfer at Gisors he is arrested and massacre by stoning while his mother and wife looks on in disbelief.  More than 1000 are taken prisioners there and killed, the mother the Duchess of Enville is spare with the daughter in law by the intervention of the local people who appreciated their support. She died in Paris in 1797 and the grandson continues with the property of Roche Guyon which eventually passes to his heir, the Cardinal Rohan. Some renovation is done to preserve the castle from lack of care in years later.

Then WWII starts, from 1940 the village is occupied by the nazis, and on 1943 a civil defense field  created.  In February 1944, marshal Rommel established his command HQ in the Château de La Roche-Guyon.  The town is liberated the 8 august 1944 after 8 bombs hits the Chateau , taking about 20 yrs to make it back to how it was before the war.

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The castle and gardens are now open.  The visit is done following the terraces, then along and inside the salons or rooms, then the circuit of donjons /towers, and chapels, then the casements. Dont forget to visit the gardens just in front of castle towards the Seine river.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Château de La Roche Guyon: https://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/

The town La Roche Guyon on the castle in French: http://larocheguyon.fr/decouvrir-roche-guyon/le-chateau/

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the ride, it is a historical nice place to visit and the views over the garden and into the  Seine river are sublime. Enjoy La Roche Guyon!

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

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July 28, 2021

A nostalgic look at New Brunswick !!

Well this is another gem taken from the vault of memories not yet written on. After going over updating many older posts in my blog, and what a thrill it has been!! I found this nice picture that reminded me of a town visit several times in my youth back in my days of New Jersey USA! Therefore, let me tell you another of my nostalgic posts this time on New Brunswick!!

As briefly as possible as already written on NJ but just to remind new readers.  New Jersey  State borders on the west by  Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the north by New York State, and on the south east by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s capital city is the historic Trenton and its biggest city is metropolitan Newark. It is one of the smallest State but one of the most densely populated one as well. Sitting in what we call, the Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and CT was my area or Central NJ.

I lived in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, (see posts). Part of Central Jersey but stuck up near North Jersey and across from New York City.  The capital of the county is New Brunswick! Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill, (and my house was by there looking at NYC Staten Island), and features a historic waterfront. Here I spent my Middle School name William C McGinnis; and graduated from Perth Amboy High School (or PAHS) ; the Panthers!!!(see posts)

At New Brunswick, I became an American citizen in December 13 1980 in the municipal courthouse, 25 Kirkpatrick Street!

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New Brunswick is the seat of Middlesex County. It is located 50 km from New York, on the south bank of the Raritan river, about 24 km from the mouth of it.  The site of New Brunswick where the first settlers settled in 1681 was first inhabited by the Amerindian people of the Lenapes. This first colony was called “Prigmore’s Swamp” from 1681 to 1697 then “Indian’s Ferry” from 1691 to 1714. It was not until 1714 that the young colony took the name of “New Brunswick”. New Brunswick was delimited by Royal Charter on December 30, 1730, between other towns in Middlesex County and Somerset County, and was again delimited by Royal Charter on February 12, 1763. The name comes from that of the German city of Brunswick. Brunswick was an influential and powerful city within the Hanseatic League, then the Holy Roman Empire, and was the seat of the Duchy then of the Principality of Hanover whose prince-elector became King George I of Great Britain who reigned between 1714 and 1727.(change name after WWI and now continues as house of Windsor).

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read in public in Philadelphia, after having been promulgated there by the Continental Congress, and was then read for the third time in public in New Brunswick. The 3rd public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place outside a tavern on Albany Street on July 9, 1776. The document was en route from Philadelphia to New York when Col. John A. Neilson stood outside a tavern, atop a table, and read it to the townspeople! A life-size bronze statue commemorating this significant moment in our city’s history is located in Monument Square, in front of the Heldrich Hotel.

The city is also home to most of the Rutgers University campus.The main NJ state university. New Brunswick is remarkable for its Hungarian community. It counted nearly a quarter of the population of Hungarian origin residing in New Jersey.

Things to see in my opinion are: Old Queen’s College, the oldest building on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, built between 1808 and 1825. Rutgers Church, Douglas College. Statue of William of Orange in Voorhees Mall on the Old Queen’s College campus . The home of Henry Guest, alderman of New Brunswick and friend of John Adams and Thomas Paine. The birthplace of Joyce Kilmer. journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer and editor.

Sadly in these years my hobby was turn into post card collection (4K+ 76 countries) and pictures were not important so now do not have hardly any of this period. Needless, to say have New Brunswick in my blog because know the city, played soccer against their HS and went in summer matches against kids there, visit and played on the Rutgers univ stadium and just about everywhere including obtaining my US citizenship there. Another memorable spot in my world map!

Some webpages for further info on New Brunswick are:

The city of New Brunswick on things to do / seehttps://www.cityofnewbrunswick.org/visitors/index.php

The New Brunswick tourist officehttps://www.newbrunswick.com/

The New Jersey tourist board on New Brunswick: https://visitnj.org/city/new-brunswick

There you go folks , a nostalgic spot in my world map has a post and I feel good about it. New Brunswick was part of my early life in the USA, memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

July 28, 2021

Cathedral St Alain of Lavaur!

Again, another memorable older post very happy to update for you and me. Enjoying doing these updates and they bring lots of memories such as this one.  I have other newer post on the Cathedral fyi. The Cathedral St Alain of Lavaur is beautiful and the native town of my boys maternal grandfather Pierre RIP.  His daughter my dear late wife Martine took me here and then several times even for the memories after her passing, she love it in Lavaur. Let me tell you a bit more about it.

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Well in my rounds thru a very dear region of my belle France for my family, I though I had told you all but it seems in my vault there are plenty more to tell you. I am glad to show you the Cathedral of Saint Alain in Lavaur, the native town of my dear late wife Martine, late father Pierre (which unfortunately never met died when she was 10 in auto accident snowy roads same day my twin boys were born later!). We have visited the town several times over the years.  The Cathedral of St. Alain is located in Lavaur in the Tarn department 81 , in the new region of Occitanie ,and was built between 1255 and 1300.  It is 73 meters long by 14 meters wide. A Jacquemart rings the hours at the top of the tower. At the front is the garden of the bishopric.

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The origin of honoring Saint Alain at Lavaur remains unknown. The foundation of the Priory of Saint-Alain is attested by a charter of 1098 where the bishop of Toulouse Izarn of Lavaur makes a donation to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Pons-de-Thomières, dependent for them to rebuild the Church of St. Elan of Lavaur, then in ruins, proving that the cult of Saint Alain in Lavaur is clearly prior to this date.

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A bit of history I like

A Romanesque church was built between 1099 and 1211 by the Benedictines of Saint-Pons for their priory at Lavaur, which was destroyed during the Albigeois (cathars)  crusade during the siege of 1211. The present church was rebuilt in the middle of the 13C, begun around 1255, preserving the Romanesque footprint of the small bell tower south of the Jacquemart. It is of pure southern Gothic style with a large nave unique to slender proportions, the 13C church had only five bays closed at both ends by a straight wall. The erection of the priory in the bishopric of Lavaur in 1317 transformed the church into a cathedral, prelude to the expansion of the church, which would continue until the beginning of the 16C at the initiative of the bishops.

In the 14C, the chapels were built and by the middle of the 15C, the chapel currently serving as the sacristy, under the term of Saint Martial and in 1480 adjoining the canons established a chapter hall dedicated to Saint Gauthier. Fresco paintings performed in 1730 adorn its walls, narrating in episodes the story of Lavaur. They are erased on quite a large part by the humidity. It was especially in the last quarter of the 15C, on the initiative of Bishop Jean Vigier, that major works were undertaken giving the cathedral its present physiognomy. It is still the end of the 15C that a chapel was added adjacent to the south of the old Romanesque porch, well preserved, to the rich capitals evocative of the childhood of Christ. A new side entrance, adorned with pinnacles, surmounted by the Bishop’s shield, is then carried out on the southern flank of the connecting span.

A bit on the description and architecture

The Altar table, late 11C. Since 1967, the altar of the Choir of Saint-Alain has a table whose exact provenance we do not know. It was found in 1876 in the Chapel of the hospital of Lavaur, but this is not its place of origin. It is possible that it came from the Cathedral and may have been part of the donation of Bishop Izarn to the Benedictines, but another hypothesis would make it come from the Church of Sainte-Foy de la Salvetat founded in Lavaur in 1065 by the monks of the abbey Sainte-Foy de Conques, which then took the name of Sainte-Croix and served as chapel for the Brotherhood of the Blue Penitents. This Romanesque table, in white marble probably of Saint-Beat, is part of the continuation of the production of altar tables of the Ecclesiastical province of Narbonne. The main theme of the anterior face is a Christ blessing in a circular mandorla, is the same on both tables. A series of angels, complete this face. On the right side are represented two angels supporting the altar table itself, a motif found on the stone of one of the capitals of Saint-Sernin (Toulouse). The sculpture on the left side would represent two angels worshipping the bread of heaven. The fourth face was destined to be engaged in masonry and is not decorated.

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At the beginning of the 15C, a magnificent portal was adorned in flamboyant Gothic with thomas; at the porch steeple the delicately chiseled ensemble will later be added the two chapels on the south side with very ornate vaults , one of which presents a very decorated niche, currently framing a beautiful pietà of painted and gilded wood of the 17C.  A very nice organ completes the whole feature with a richly Renaissance buffet. At the same time the enfeu to the right of the sanctuary of Renaissance decor, tomb of a bishop of Lavaur. Finally, the first mechanism and the bell of the famous Jacquemart date from 1523. But it appears that the automation (currently 3rd generation) will only take place in 1604.

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There you go folks, a bit more on it in addition to my other general posts on the region and department of the Tarn! Hope you enjoy, it is another wonderful example of Cathedrals in France. Worth a detour to see the Saint Alain Cathedral at Lavaur!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and is a must me think are:

The city of Lavaur on the cathedralhttps://www.ville-lavaur.fr/la-cathedrale-saint-alain/

The Tarn dept 81 tourist office on the cathedralhttps://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/cathedrale-saint-alain

The Tarn dept 81 tourist office on the cathedral’s Jacquemarthttps://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/le-jacquemart-cathedrale-saint-alain

The Catholic churches in the Tarn dept 81 on the Cathédrale Saint Alain in Frenchhttps://albi.catholique.fr/tarn-tourisme-catholique/eglises-du-tarn/lavaur-cathedrale-saint-alain/

There you go folks, fully enjoy it as we do. The Cathédrale Saint Alain is unique in France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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