Archive for October 3rd, 2021

October 3, 2021

The Cathédrale Sainte-Croix of Orléans!!!

Again, spent time by the magnificent cathedral of Orléans; we have been here before and now new text and pictures from our newest trip to the city.  The Cathédrale Sainte Croix d’Orléans or Holy Cross Cathedral,is located at  place Sainte-Croix, and is the cathedral of the diocese of Orleans; Gothic style with baroque ornamentation of which partly rebuilt in the 17C, it is dedicated to the Holy Cross (Sainte Croix)  (see previous post).

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We came to Orléans again after several years and the first thing to see was the Cathedral of course; a must to see. It rank as one of the best in my opinion in all of France. The area surrounding the cathedral is great for ambiance and sights, a good way we were just 14 minutes away walking from it; which for us is a piece of cake walk!

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I have another post most on history and architecture, but will give you some more facts on the Cathédrale Sainte Croix d’Orléans! Hope you enjoy the post as we did!

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It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals of the Loire Valley, the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix of Orleans is a must-see monument during a visit to the “Johannine” city!  (Joan of Arc). The Gothic cathedral has seen its construction cross the centuries , for nearly 600 years. It takes its name from the relics of the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ died.

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Construction began in 1287 and the plan included nine apsidal chapels. But the wars of religion will cause the destruction of a large part of the church in 1567. The work of the cathedral that we know today resumed at the very beginning of the 17C. In 1601, Henri IV and Marie de Médicis laid the first stone. Work continued until the French revolution with the north and south transepts and the western portal, and the two towers which replaced the Romanesque facade. On May 8, 1829, 400 years after the lifting of the siege of Orleans by Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc), King Charles X inaugurated the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix. In 1855, the cathedral of Orleans was erected as a basilica by Pope Pius IX.

It is the western facade that is the most interesting feature of the cathedral, with its ornate stones, 88 meters high towers and three rose windows. The highest point of the cathedral, the bell tower, reaches a height of 114 meters and contains five bells ranging in weight from 600 kg to 6000 kg. Inside, the cathedral follows a classical design with a main nave that is 140 meters long, four side naves, a transept and the choir section.  Look up to discover at the top of the towers, eight angels who carry the instruments of the Passion of Christ.

You are about to enter one of the five largest cathedrals in France. Admire the nave, from the pillars reaching up to the vaults which culminate at 32 meters high. Walking through the nave, you will be able to see the great organ, impressive with its 3,760 pipes and its 54 entirely manual stops. In the transepts, you can see two altarpieces dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart. Since the 7C, the cathedral has had the relics of the cross on which Christ was crucified, making the monument a high place of pilgrimage, especially on the road to St-Jacques-de-Compostelle (Santiago de Compostela/St James).

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On May 8, 1429, after having defeated the English and lifting the siege of Orleans, Joan of Arc came to meditate in the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix. Canonized on May 16, 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, Saint Joan of Arc has been intimately linked to the city of Orleans since 1429. In the cathedral, don’t hesitate to look up at the stained-glass windows of the lower naves, its story is told to you! of Jeanne D’Arc.

The Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orléans was also the scene of coronations. Charles II “Le Chauve”, June 6, 848 .Robert “Le Pieux” December 25, 970 ,and Louis VI August 3, 1118 were crowned kings of France in Orleans.

The wonderful Chemin de Croix or Way of the Cross are canvases mounted on the side walls of the aisle chapels. They form trompe-l’oeil and are painted in grisaille. Completed in 1873, this very beautiful Way of the Cross runs along the nave, under the stained glass windows of Joan of Arc. A Stations of the Cross has 14 stations and reminds Christians of the painful Calvary accepted by Jesus Christ to offer people eternal life out of love. It is especially prayed during Lent.

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Some of the most interesting chapels me think are:

Chapelle des Fonts and of Sainte Teresa of the Enfant Jesus, Left enclosure Henri IV visiting the ruins of the Cathedral 1599, Right enclosure presentation plans of the chapel in 1575, pilier entrance to chapel Virgin and Child in stone from the 14C, Interior neo gothic baptismal fonts with statues of St John the Baptist and Sainte Colombe and to the left relics of the 20C.

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Chapelle de l’Ecce Homo or Saint Thorns, with relics of the holy thorns taken to the Cathedral from the Middle Ages, Show stained glass of this thorns and mural portraits of the 19C.

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Chapelle Saint Louis, initially under name of Notre Dame la Blanche founded by the Duke of Orléans with armories and shield of the duke, and France, and the duchy, The Stained glass shows a young Louis IX, future Saint Louis.

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Chapelle St Michel, shows portrait of the Arch Angel Michael copy of original done by Raphaël and conserve in the Louvre offered to the Cathedral in 1820 on the occasion of the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux future Count of Chambord, Portrait and stained glass as well .

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Wooden model of the Cathédrale Sainte Croix done by first architect of the King Jacques V Gabriel, done in Versailles from 1737-40, it was presented for approval to king Louix XV to be put in the Cathedral, This was not follow up and left undone after Gabriel’s death in 1742, It was transfer after the French revolution to the honor stairs of the episcopal palace where it stayed until 2001! The model is again shown in the Cathedral since May 2011 after an exhaustive restoration.

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And, of course, the Chapelle Jeanne d’Arc! with the standard of France protected by two lions with the bishop of Orléans, Msgr Toucher in praying position. A wonderful spot to see and think.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip and it is a must are:

The official Cathédrale Ste Croix of Orléanshttps://www.cathedrale-orleans.fr/

The city of Orléans on the cathedralhttps://www.orleans-metropole.fr/histoire-patrimoine/lieux-celebres/cathedrale-sainte-croix#googtrans(fr%7Cen)

The Dept 45 Loiret tourist office on the Cathedralhttps://www.tourismeloiret.com/en/diffusio/visits/cathedrale-sainte-croix-orleans_TFOPCUCEN0450100249

The Catholic parish of Orleans on the Cathedral in French : http://www.orleans.catholique.fr/horaires-messe/1216-orleans-coeur-de-ville

There you folks, a beautiful must see Holy Cross Cathedral of Orleans! It represent well the history of France as it was written by the elders, get to know the soul of France a bit better coming here. There is no words and pictures are not enough, you need to see it in person. Hope it helps convince you of visiting it.

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

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October 3, 2021

Curiosities of Orléans!!!

While coming from Chartres on the N154/D2020 (the D2020 old N20 we took so many times (memory gleen in my eyes) to Orléans a wonderful trip to see another of our nice cities long while not revisited until now, First thing, first, we headed for our hotel.

The Hôtel Saint Aignan, 3 place Gambetta is close to all amenities (shops, cultural and administrative places) in Orléans, The Saint-Aignan is a hotel, with modern architecture, newly renovated, with an elevator. It is 200 meters from the Saint-Aignan SNCF train station, the proximity with the abundance of places to visit such as the imposing Place du Martroi, and the House of Joan of Arc. The Gothic Sainte-Croix Cathedral is just 900 meters away and the iconic streets of Bourgogne or Empereur are a few hundred meters away.This was a great find centrally located , we parked underground there, and walk all over!!! We had a family room in the 4th floor all by ourselves!! webpage: https://www.hotel-saintaignan.com/

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The city goes back several thousands years but the most important event was that took place with Jeanne d’Arc and its liberation on May 8 1429. Later after much destruction in WWII it was liberated again by Gen Patton of the US 3rd Army in 1945.  I have other posts with plenty of history so will spare this post with new text and pictures of our latest visit. As said, we did our usual walk around and got hungry really quick , so let’s start with that ok

Le Brin de Zinc is located at 62-64 rue Sainte Catherine. We were walking the beat after arriving at the hotel and passed by it on our way to the cathedral. We saw we like the ambiance and presentation and took reservation for the evening meal at 19h Great deal and glad we did. We were there with our dog Rex and all went well. The bistro propose at apéro time (sort of like happy hour/after work) dishes where you can share from different gastronomic themes . The ardoises or black board menus can be taken as entrées, and are very varied. You have several dishes to choose from from fish to meats, cocottes mussels, etc Le Brin de Zinc, also propose burgers, which I took the Zinc burger, and fries, A platter of café gourmand, and plenty of Licorne Alsacien beer pints ! A wonderful evening indeed. webpage: https://lebrindezinc.fr/

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The Church Saint Paterne at 112 rue Bannier was an easy one as it was diagonally from our hotel in place Gambetta. And what a nice discovery as the cult of Saint Paterne was introduced to Orleans by the Bretons!(see ch in Vannes 56) , fleeing the Norman invasions of the 10C. The church was once called Saint-Pouair. Until the French revolution Saint-Paterne will only be sheltered from the ramparts after the construction of the last enclosure between 1485 and 1555. This is why during the Hundred Years War, it will be destroyed twice a year. the people of Orleans themselves (in 1358 and 1428), fearing that the English would use the building as a stronghold. The church was rebuilt at the beginning of the 16C, and a brick tower was added to it, topped with a freestone dome. In 1562, the Huguenots beheaded the tower, then in 1567, demolished the church. In 1588, it was the turn of the Ligueurs to invest the parish. the duke of Mayenne, residing in Orleans, raise the inhabitants against the royal authority. Governor Balzac d’Entragues, who remained faithful to the king, shut himself up in the citadel at Porte Bannier. Mayenne then had the barely restored roof removed and the nave filled with earth and rubble to form an artillery platform intended to bombard the citadel. On January 31, 1589, Balzac fell back to Beaugency. In 1883, the choir, chapels, transept and sacristy were completed, and the church, inaugurated , and began to be used. In 1888, the construction of the nave began. The work, temporarily interrupted for lack of money, was resumed in 1892, and finally finished in 1894. On December 11 of that same year, the new church was solemnly consecrated ; however, current porch was fitted out and inaugurated in 1931 by the Bishop of Orleans! Some of the info above was taken from the Parish of dept Loiret on the Church St Paterne : webpage: http://www.paroissecdvo45.org/clochers/saint-paterne/

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As we walked and cross these wonderful avenues, we saw the inevitable! The Gare d’Orléans or train station with a nice shopping center Place d’Arc as well as bus terminal all in one. The public transport TAO network in the area of Orléans métropole and connections between the train stations are: https://www.reseau-tao.fr/index.php

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We saw two nice tramways passing by but hesitate on taken them as we were walking, simply better. For the memories the tramways , first one passing Rue Royale and the other one Place du Martroi. They too use the TAO network above. I always come to Orléans by car.fyi

We took again a look at the wonderful Hôtel Groslot a 16C ( 1550-1555) mansion built for Jacques Groslot, bailiff of Orléans. The house, also called the Great House of the Steps, House of the Governor, or the Stewardship was successively a mansion and then the city/town Hall of Orléans and today welcomes the celebration of the weddings (see post). The Orléans tourist office on the Hôtel Groslot: https://www.orleans-metropole.fr/histoire-patrimoine/lieux-celebres/hotel-groslot

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The Maison de Jeanne d’Arc  rebuilt to identical after its destruction with the bombings of WWII. This traditional, four-story, wood-framed, wooden-brick townhouse with cross-windows with mullions and stained glass, and slate roof, was the home of Jacques Boucher, treasurer General of Prince Charles I of Orléans (Duke of Orléans and Duke of the Valois 1394-1465.  Joan of Arc spent several weeks there, when she helped to liberate the city heroically, between April 29 and May 9, 1429, during the siege of Orléans, which pitted the coalition of the Kingdom of England and the Burgundian state against the Kingdom of France. (see post). The city of Orléans on the house museum: https://www.orleans-metropole.fr/culture/musees-expositions/la-maison-de-jeanne-darc

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The city center around the place du Martroi, is wonderful central square where all goes on, The place du Martroi, symbolic heart of the city has a huge equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc where she is bigger than the horse, at WWII this sculpture was partially destroyed and it was rebuilt by sculptor Paul Belmondo ,father of the famous actor Jean-Paul Belmondo (recently passed away). There is ,also, a wonderful carrousel here , and criss cross by a multitude of public transport like tramways! You need to be here!!

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Most of the information above is taken from the wonderful regional site of Orléans Metropôle here in English: https://www.orleans-metropole.fr/decouvrir-la-metropole-orleanaise/orleans-capitale-du-centre-val-de-loire

The dept 45 Loiret tourist office on Orléans in French: https://www.tourismeloiret.com/fr/decouvrir/les-incontournables-made-loiret/orleans-la-chatoyante

There you go folks, a dandy town of Joan! and a lot more of course! This is Orléans and we love the city, should be back soon,again. Hope you enjoy the brief tour and see my other fuller posts on it. It is worth your detour , recommended.

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

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