Archive for August 8th, 2021

August 8, 2021

YES! Once again Quimper!!!

And yes, time to update this older post on one of my favorite cities in Bretagne. We love to come to Quimper and it shows with many posts on it in my blog. I love to update this post for you and me with refresh text and updated links; hope you enjoy it as I.

Indeed, once again Quimper!!! YES!!! this is a very nice city we love it and with so much to see sometimes we take time to come back, but come back we did again ,and not the last…. We were riding the road warrior routine in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne and with time on our way back and looking to eat we decided to stop by Quimper before heading home in my beautiful Morbihan breton dept 56. Needless to tell you driving and finding parking is our best, and I did found wonderful parking on the street for free!! At Rue de Pen Ar Steir! 

One thing we love to do once in town is to walk, indeed walk as much as you can and see more of our beautiful region and country for that matter. One walk that is a must repeat is the one by the Steir canal down to rue Kéréon and the Cathedral of Saint Corentin, this is QuimperBretagne and for that matter my belle France!  So we walk down steep street by the Steir canal and onto Pont Médard and into rue Kéréon and into the city center and the wonderful Cathedral of Saint Corentin, awesome building, we didn’t go in as plenty on that but the outside is always majestic! And see the Carrousel!! Then the Halles St François and finally our meal at the Tavern des Halles!

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A break to tell you about the La Taverne des Halles at Quai du Steir right in front of the Halles St François, in fact we had eaten here above and there is a huge window to look down on the market inside! This time we took a table by the side of the Quai du Steir and  people watching took over. This is a tavern so no fancy French food, just working class chow, fish and chips, burgers, and Gimbergen Christmas beers as well as expresso coffee! All nicely serve as usual , good value/quality as it is purchase right around the corner and the market! Real food for real people, the webpage: https://www.tavernedeshalles.com/

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The Quimper tourist office in English: https://www.quimper-tourisme.bzh/en/

Enjoy Quimper, worth a visit any time ,truly breton and great architecture and histoy I like! It’s about one hour and 96 km (about 60 mi) from our house!

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

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August 8, 2021

Lescar, and more !!!

This is one of the nice off the beaten path towns of the old Béarn area of south France. We love it in the area and would like to show you the town to you updating an older post with text and links. Therefore, let me tell you about Lescar and more!!!

A lovely region that we had enjoyed tremendously over the years, and always looking forward to return. Let me tell you a bit more on a very nice quant town. Lescar is located at 6.5 km  west of Pau;  it is also 52 km north of Urdos, which allows the passage to Spain (via the Col du Somport), heck yeah for many years our route even before the tunnel was built !!!

At Lescar you come into the Cathedral of the Kings of Navarre, and its wonderful.  The Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption.  Here by the Cathedral there is a small but interesting museum of antiquities from the findings in the area dating to Romanesques times, located at the old cellars of the episcopal palace.

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The medieval town develops on a rocky headland , overlooking the gave (river) to the south, and bounded by the brook of Lescourre to the north and then to the plain of the Pont-Long. Lescar is the heir of the Gallo-Roman city of Beneharnum. Having lost its role as capital Béarnaise, in favor of Morlaàs, the city rebuilt at the end of the 10C under the impulse of the Duke of Biscay Guillaume Sancho. He built a chapel in the upper town dedicated to Saint Mary, which is consecrated Cathedral in 1062. It became the seat of the bishops of Lescar, following the primitive Cathedral of Saint-Julien in Lower town. Taking part in the Reconquista in the 12C, Bishop Guy de Lons replaced  the Chapel-Cathedral by constructing the present Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral in the Romanesque style in  1790 as part of a grouping with Bayonne and Oloron.  From this period, Lescar retains several heritage elements including its ramparts (partly ancient), with the gates or Porte de l’Esquirette and certain towers constituting them. It remains one of the stages of the Via Tolosana, on the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. Lescar became an educational center, first with the installation of the Protestant Academy of Béarn in 1562, then with the decision of king Henri IV to establish a college of Barnabites. This college built in the 18C is the ancestor of the current lycée Jacques-Monod.

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You, also , have interesting ruins of a castle and citadel up at pont Saint Louis very nice rustique natural setting, you can climb from the bottom parking lot thru the river and up the ruins into the high city and the Cathedral.  Here was the old bishophery from the 6C and from the 10C a  baptistry dedicated to Saint-John-the Baptist.  Later a repenting soldier built a chapel , “Loup-Fort”,where it was dedicated to Saint Mary.

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A bit more on the history I like

This amazing small town of Lescar which we stopped by every year we passed by . The birth of Lescar as a city occurs in the 1C, from the time of the Roman occupation of Aquitaine. The city Beneharnum becomes the capital of the people of Venarni, sheltering in Lower town the bulk of the habitat and activities. The earliest Roman period occupation indices date back to around 15-10 B.C., but a true urban plot only appears from the second quarter of the 1C. It was at the end of the 10C that the city was reborn, under the impetus of the Dukes of Biscay and, in particular, Guillaume Sancho. Legend has it that a soldier, named Loup Fort or strong wolf, finds in the ancient city only a forest and a baptistery dedicated to Saint John Baptiste in the  Upper town. Loup-Fort then built a Church under the Saint Mary name in this place, in repentance of past crimes. This Church became a Cathedral in 1058, before its official consecration in 1062. The name Beneharnum is abandoned for that of Lescar, the city rebuilt on the rocky spur in the 5C.  The ramparts of the city are reinforced, while the Cathedral attributed to Loup-Fort is rebuilt in the 12C in the Romanesque style, mainly under the episcopate of Guy de Lons, it takes the name of Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption. Already highly independent since its formation around the 9C, Béarn won its independence in 1347 under Gaston Fébus,  it is in the Cathedral of Lescar that the Kings and Queens of Navarre choose to be buried from 1483 to 1555.

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After becoming king of France in 1589, Béarn Henri IV promulgated the Edict of Fontainebleau for the Catholics of Béarn in 1599. It is necessary to wait 1610 for the Cathedral of Lescar to be restored in its Catholic cult, but it is the military expedition of King Louis XIII in 1620 which allows to restore definitively the Catholic cult in the whole country of Béarn.  The historical part of the town is composed of ancient houses dating for most of the 18C, sporting a classic Béarn style with roof steep covered with slates, stones of size at angles and openings, sponge cake between the roof and the wall, Pebbles of the gave river to make the walls. Older houses of the 16C and 17C are also present in the city, made especially for the canons of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption dating partially from the 12C and 13C.  The Cathedral of Notre Dame de l’Assomption is considered the most imposing Romanesque building in Béarn.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its worth a detour are:

The city of Lescar on its heritagehttps://www.lescar.fr/attractive/ville-historique/patrimoine/patrimoine-architectural

The Pau Pyrénnées tourist office on the Lescar cathedralhttps://www.pau-pyrenees.com/lescar/cathedrale-de-lescar/tabid/315/offreid/aa47f7dc-a773-4054-a084-48aad516f4c6

There you go another splendid recommendation to come and enjoy the Nouvelle Aquitaine and the wonderful Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept 64 (old Béarn) as well as the lovely city of Lescar! Hope you enjoy the introductory post as I

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

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August 8, 2021

Church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur of Toulouse!!

Pleasant to again update my older post and especially on one of my favorite cities of my belle France, Toulouse, the pink city.  Needless to tell you the many posts on it in my blog, and this one is a nice monument right off the Place du Capitole. Let me tell you a sort of introductory post on the Church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur of Toulouse!!

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We have been here many many times and have posts on several monuments. However,  I think this one deserve more so will do a post on it alone; the first of a couple on the church.  The city is in the Haute Garonne department 31 of the region of Occitanie.  Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for reading me since November 2010!

The Church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur (taur=horns in the local occitan language) is located at 12 bis rue du Taur, between the Place du Capitole and the Basilique Saint-Sernin, in the center Toulouse. The church, built between the 14C and the 16C is one of the principal monuments of Southern Gothic art. It is particularly famous for its high facade, a steeple-wall that fits into the buildings of the street. According to early Christian tradition, the church was built where the martyred body of Bishop Saturnin would have detached himself from the bull that dragged him thru the streets. A martyrium was built there by Bishop Hilaire, before being enlarged by his successor, Silve, at the end of the 4C.

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Saint Saturnin was the first bishop of Toulouse, martyred in 250. An oratory was first installed for the pilgrims on the exact place of his death, by Saint Hilaire, third bishop of Toulouse, a brick vault surmounted by a small oratory built with ordinary material. An ancient tradition indicates that this oratory was located at the current location of the church.

The relics of the Saint were kept until 402, when they were transferred with great pomp to the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, which bears the altered name of Saint-Saturnin. The church we know was called until the 11C Church de Taur, probably because it was in the area that kept the memory of the race of the bull tied to Saint Saturnin. In the 12C, it is named Saint-Sernin du Taur. Finally we must wait until 1534 to take the current name for the benefit of the Virgin Mary. The church that we can admire today, and whose characteristic bell-wall is clearly visible from the heights of the city center, was built in the 14C. The maiden represented is Notre-Dame des Remparts, moved from the place Ville Nouvelle ,current place Wilson in 1783.

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The western facade of the church, into which the portal opens, is enshrined in the line of houses. It is presented as a large brick wall, monumental bell-wall. If it is not the oldest of the region, it is one of the highest, since it rises to 42 meters. It comprises two levels framed by turrets and surmounted by a triangular pediment, which rise above the level of the church, marked by the withdrawal of the wall. Each level is pierced by three openings, called topped up, whose miter arches recall those of the bell tower of the Saint-Sernin  Basilica, and surmounted by crenellations. The carillon comprises thirteen bells, probably of the 15C.

The Toulouse tourist office on the churchhttps://www.toulouse-visit.com/notre-dame-du-taur/toulouse/pcumid031fs000a8

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France, and lovely territory of many memories from and with the family over the years. Again, very nice area ,hope you enjoy the post on the Church Notre Dame du Taur in Toulouse, the pink city!

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

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