Archive for August 22nd, 2021

August 22, 2021

Always nice back to Sainte Anne d’Auray,and Sainte Anne!!

I like to update this older post for you and me. Indeed I passed by it again today so many times it seems I live here… This is historical, architecturally stunning Sainte Anne d’Auray! I will be telling you again about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne (sse post); the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.

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I have written on this religious town often as it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 each year  will be the pardon holy day of Sainte Anne  in the town, and we passed by it for just an opener. Even in these pandemic days, the town was full if the grand pardon could not be done into the fields , on site it was nice worth seeing me think.

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.  You will find the monument plaque to Pope John Paul II visit in September 26 1996. It is made exactly 16,129 blocks offered by the pilgrims. It is surrounded by 12 granite columns, recalling that these are the twelve bishops of the twelve dioceses of the ecclesiastical region of western France who invited the Pope to come to this region: Angers, Bayeux, Coutances, Laval, Le Mans, Luzon, Nantes, Quimper, Rennes, St. Brieuc, Sees, Vannes. There is figure stele bearing the image of John Paul II.

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You will see the stairs or Holy Stairs (see post). This monument was built in 1662 by the Carmelite Fathers. Currently located in the area of the spine, the Scala Sancta was until 1870 the front porch of the Basilica and thus defining the place reserved for prayer.  You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica. By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, Ste. Anne reminds us of the importance of  the source of water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and Ste. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

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The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne (see post) is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of Ste. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic , the man who saw Ste. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent.  A bas-relief on a pillar of the choir, right, points out the spot where Yves Nicolazic and its neighbors, discovered the statue of Sainte Anne March 7, 1625.

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You will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne  and another one to Sainte Marie . The beautiful organ is spiral right against the left side wall of the altar.  And the stained glass is wonderful vivid and bright well done and tells the story well.

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The sanctuary of Sainte Anne official webpage: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?langue=en

The Sanctuary of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the Grand Pardon day: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=grand_pardon

The Bay of Quiberon local tourist office on Sainte Anne d’Aurayhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/sainte-anne-dauray

Again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  It is worth it to understand the history of Brittany as well as  France, and the beautiful architecture if not the religious fervor that it attracts. The Basilica of Sainte Anne is worth the detour.

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

August 22, 2021

Church Saint Gildas of Auray!

Let me tell you about a beauty in my lovely Auray! in beautiful Morbihan breton of the gorgeous region of Bretagne!  Plenty written on Auray in my blog but as usual need to tell you in specifics about the main things to see and the Church St Gildas is one of them. The town has a lot to offer on history and architecture that is worth a detour.

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The Church St Gildas owes its name to a 12C priory which depends on the Benedictine abbey of the Rhuys Peninsula. It was conceived at the site of the old priory of which combines medieval and baroque styles. The work started in 1623 ,it bears the date of 1636 on the three gables and was consecrated in 1641 ,but is only completed in 1663. The steeple of the three-story square tower was however only completed in 1701, and rebuilt in 1832.

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The Church Saint Gildas nave consists of three aisles. The facade consists of a three-level steeple tower surmounted by an octagonal lantern. The other façade is remarkable for its Renaissance-style porch, with three levels with twin columns on the first two levels and a triangular pediment in which the saint’s niche is located. The nave has a level of large arcades resting on columns that rise up to the coffered vault whose double arches are resting on carved bases. The flat choir, vaulted also with caissons, is adorned with a large altarpiece. It dominates the whole city, and will serve as a model in the region.

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Inside you can admire a recently restored 16C Christ-recumbent. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.   The vault is adorned with painted boxes and at the bottom, in the Tribune, the organ of Waltrin dates from 1761.   The whole dates from the 17C 18C, 19C and Baroque style .Located at Place Gabriel Deshayes in the upper town; it is the main church in Auray!

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The city of Auray on its heritage including the church: https://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Patrimoine/Les-monuments-historiques

The area Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/auray

The Bretagne region tourist board on Auray: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/auray-port-of-saint-goustan/

There you go folks, another dandy place to enjoy architecture and history in my Morbihan. Auray is tops for a whole day or more; hope you enjoy the post on the Church Saint Gildas as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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August 22, 2021

My road trips in the Comunidad de Madrid !!

I like to update this older post on these three together, after reading a similar ride on a Spanish tourist site (see some news from spain in my blog).  It’s in my wonderful region of Madrid ,and flashes already begin as I write. I had great memories, and later with the family on all three ,sometimes coming back to back to them. My dear late wife Martine really enjoyed it and we love it together. Memories forever and I like to share it with my readers . Of course, I repeat the triangle; Colmenar de Oreja, Chinchon, and Villarejo de Salvanés. They are already in my blog in separate posts and together but this is one special trip; however, will post new pictures to my blog only, the rest are in the other posts.

Oh yes this is south of Madrid and a wonderful area we enjoyed coming as a family, and can’t wait to be back when possible, We first thought of retiring here , than buying a second home for vacations ; life is too short.  Memories now of what could have been, sad yes. No words yes. Read on,,,  Colmenar de Oreja  is only about 50 km from Madrid and you can only come here by car ,no train station. You come by the expressway A3 Madrid-Valencia and take the entry into the road M404 by km 50 at Villarejo de Salvanés (see below) until Belmonte de Tajo and here take the M303 to Colmenar de Oreja.  There is another way from the A3 take the M307 at Km 21 before reaching Arganda del Rey, and by it follow continuously the M311 and before reaching Morata de Tajuña the M313 to Colmenar de Oreja (also take you to Chinchon, (see below).

A bit of history I like is that between the years 1500 to 1700 the successive kings of the Habsburg (Austria) ordered the most important works in this town such as the enlargement of the Church of  Santa María la Mayor (1517), repairs to the wall ramparts  (1517) the irrigation of the fields of Vega  (1572), and the foundation of the Franciscan Monastery of San Bernardino de Siena (1570) , and the founding of   the Monastery of the Incarcanation of the recollects Augustinians (1685).

Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, built by the order of St James in the third part of the 13C, enlarged in second half of the 16C. A beautiful organ with great concerts here. The Chapel of the Christ or Ermita del Santisimo Cristo del Humilladero, patron Saint of the town , different architectural styles and periods with a beautiful chapel of the 16C, all in a Latin Cross and a small dome. The Convent or Convento de la Encarnacion del Divino Verbo, belongs to the sisters Recollect Augustinians and known locally as the convent of the sisters. It has an area of almost 7K sq meters and done with three bodies and a garden, built around the 17C even if founded the order in 1536.

Other nice things to do and see here are the building of the Plaza Mayor in 1676, a wonderful example of Castilian squares finished in 1794 and on it you find the Casa Consistorial ( served as city hall)  and Posito (old food depot). The Teatro Municipal Diéguez, built on top of the former charity hospital. In the 19C, it was called the comedy theater and later Charity theater,currently bears the name in memory of Antonio Diéguez Cruz, a famous cinema and theater actor born here at Calle Pérez,2. The Museo Ulpiano Checa museum, the most ample collection on the work of this painter of historic paintings from the end of the 19C, oriental paintings etc. You get to the building by a nice garden where you can see a bust of the painter and a monument to items typical of the town such as the stone and the earthenware.

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Colmenar de Oreja: https://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/colmenar-de-oreja.html

The city of Colmenar de Oreja on its heritage: http://colmenarte.colmenardeoreja.com/#

Moving right along to Villarejo de Salvanés 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.

Some of the things to see and do here are

The sanctuary of our Lady of the Victory or the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria started built in 1573 in memory of the victory against the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where the admiral  Requesens, asked for the intervention of the Virgin del Rosario to win promising to built a Church in her honor if victorious; and so he was and so was built the Church. The Third house or Casa de la Tercia, built in the 16C name as such because he guarded a third of the tribute for personal use of the Commander; it has two floors and a patio with columns as well as caves with earthenwares of great size used to house the wine of the commanders, with subterranean galleries that communicates with the Church and Castle.

The tower or Torre del Homenaje of the  Castle of Villarejo de Salvanés was part of a defensive network that protected the old way to Toledo as well as before the Galiana way in Roman times that link Gaul with Hispania (France and Spain) during the middle ages was still in use.  The castle had many uses and the point of uprising of Gen Prim. This is where we parked and walked around and my dear late wife Martine found a lady who told her where to buy groceries (Mercadona at Calle de la Encomienda, 56! ) just around the corner….She could talk Spanish too. The parish Church of San Andrés Aposto 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.

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Villarejo de Salvanés: https://turismomadrid.es/es/descubre/las-vegas/7168-villarejo-de-salvanes.html

The town of Villarejo de Salvanés on its heritage: https://turismovillarejodesalvanes.com/puntos-de-interes-turistico/

And last but not least in this wonderful ride by car in my favorite of my beloved Spain. We reach once again, lovely Chinchón  only 44 km from Madrid.  The unique find here is that in 1638, the properties of the skin of the Quina was discovered by the Countess of Chinchon wife of the vice king of Peru ,observing the healers working on treating fever.  In 1738, the county passed after purchase to the House of Bourbon and Farnese and later it was given the title of Very noble and loyal city for its fidelity during the War of Succession.

Easiest way to get here A-3 to Arganda’s bridge with sign posted in the M-311-313 road, which passes near Morata de Tajuña to Chinchón, winding route on its last sections. From Madrid there is a good bus service every hour, by the carrier “La Veloz”, which starts in Plaza Conde Casal, (metro line 9 and bus depot) head of the highway A3 Madrid-Valencia. This is the 337 bus line Madrid-Chinchón-Valdelaguna.

Some things to see and do here at Chinchon are

The wonderful Plaza Mayor of Chinchón.  The first houses had supports and balconies built in the 15C and became enclosed in the 17C.  The buildings are of three floors and indented galleries as well as 235 balconies in clear wood supported by pillars. The square has hosted several events like Royal feasts, proclamations, comedy theater, beer games, bullfight corridas , executions, sacrificial acts, religious acts, political and military as well as a cinema filming like the corrida shown in the movie The tour of the world in 80 Days and circus acts in the movie The fabulous world of the circus.

The Church of our lady of Assomption or Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, began built in 1534 as a Chapel annex to the County Palace in a gothic style and finished in 1626. The current Church is a reconstruction of Gothic, Plateresque, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.  The main retable altar has a painting of the Assomption of the Virgin painted in 1812 by famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya on orders by his brother Camilo, priest of the Church!

Torre del reloj  or clock tower from the 15C restored in 1808 but not the Church that remained enclosed in time. We love to come up here the Castle of the Counts or Castillo de los Condes,  built in the second half of the 16C with a renaissance style but very robust and horizontal in order to avoid the artillery fire. The castle was abandoned in the 18C after the counts residing here for over 200 years. The Imperial troop of the Marquis of Mina attacked it and destroyed it, it’s last used was a factory of liquors. Yet the views from it are impressive over the city in addition of stepping into history.

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arriving at castle of the counts castillo de los condes of Chinchon!

The convent or Convento de San Agustin, currently house the tourist hotel Parador Nacional de Chinchon after been rebuilt and restored in 1982 once given by the city to the regional government. The first convent here was founded in the end of the 15C and built in 1626 during the war of Succession where it was lived by the Archduke Carlos of Austria. During the 18C and 19C was a training center of humanistic approach to theology, grammar, and latin. In 1842 it was the courthouse and later prison. In the 20C, it housed tribunal of justice. Today, it is a parador  and on the Church it is the Chapel of the Our Lady of Rosary or Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

The city of Chinchon on tourist information and tours: http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/oficina-turismo/guias-turisticas.php

The Chinchon tourist office on its heritage: http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/en/conoce-chinchon/lugares-interes/edificio

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Chinchon: https://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/chinchon.html

And the ride is over for now folks. Again a very nice area to drive around, and see wonderful towns , like Colmenar de Oreja, Villarejo de Salvanés, and Chinchon, some off the beaten path ways. Enjoy it as we do. And even if not always posted you know I always thank you from the bottom of my heart you reading me ,and accompanying in my journey, better together.

And remember as always my dear readers, happy travels, good health and many cheers!!!

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