Archive for October 23rd, 2021

October 23, 2021

Curiosities of Poitiers!

So we came back to Poitiers about 4 hours from home by car ,nice easy ride along marvelous roads, and we left early to have the most of the day, sunny cool nice. I have written an introduction to Poitiers so will now run a series of posts on what we saw and enjoy it. Oh for the geographical buff, Poitiers is in dept Vienne no 86 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.

In this post I will put up some miscellaneous spots me think that makes a trip to Poitiers worth it. I will start with getting there. Well we went on the N165 past Nantes hook up with the A83 and then the A10 to Poitiers Centre and after doing some walks and sighseeing with on street parking around the rue Jean Jaurés, we went for the underground parking of the Centre Commercial des Cordeliers shopping center at Rue Henri Oudin for convenience we like. For info the underground parking was 8.80€ the day, and the tolls were 17,30€ each way. I usually do not like to pay tolls but for one day and fast road it is worth it.

Poitiers cc cordeliers entr parking oct21

Poitiers centre commercial Cordeliers oct21

Before on the way in the A83 we stop at the Vendée 85 rest stop for a nice breakfast of coffee, orange juice, one croissant and one pain au chocolat! Very nice indeed.For info the cost was 36€ for five persons.

Vendee aire de vendee A83 to poitiers stop breakfast oct21

We did go straight to the market which is very nice, the marché Notre Dame in lively  Place Charles de Gaulle ; this is open from 6h to 14h Tuesdays to Saturdays. Recommended!! We got our goat cheeses here very famous in this area and found a nice Mexican lady already in France for 20 years who has a stand selling delicious home made Mexican food, and we got our chicken and beef empanadas, and lychéé sodas! We had a nice conversation on A la Mexicana cuisine Mexicaine! 

Poitiers marche notre dame ent oct21

Poitiers marche notre dame goat cheeses purchase oct21

poitiers marche Notre dame a la mexicana 20 yrs oct21

Poitiers marche notre dame a la mexicana empanadas mex lady oct21

The Poitiers tourist office on the markets

The Place Charles de Gaulle is one of the most important and largest square in the city of Poitiers. It is on this square that you will find the city’s indoor (and outdoor, depending on the day) market, the tourist office, the most famous church in Poitiers (see post later) and also many bars and restaurants. If you are by car, you can park in the car park of the same name which is located at the entrance to the square. At night and on Sundays, parking costs only 50 cents. The Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly known as Place du Marché Notre-Dame, unveils a splendid collection of half-timbered houses. All very nice indeed!

Poitiers pl Charles de Gaulle by ND grande ch oct21

We were hungry of course, and time to eat, might as well put it on this post. As things goes around our house lately…I had pinpoint a place to eat before leaving the house which will remain nameless as when we arrive we saw the Factory and it was an instant hit. We had our late lunch here at 31 Rue du Marché Notre Dame not far from the market, the ND church, tourist office and central Poitiers, a lively area of many stores, restos and the university of Poitiers hangouts. We love it!! As it goes had my double wrap goat cheese, with a couple rounds of Tigre Bok blonde beers, and fries, and passionfruit cheesecake with café au lait!! all for about 23€ per person, nice. The place was popping and service was friendly nice and fast! To be repeated. webpage:

Poitiers factory resto bar oct21

Poitiers factory resto dining room oct21

Poitiers factory resto tigre bock beers oct21

The Sainte-Croix museum is the largest museum in the city of Poitiers. Built in 1974, it stands in the place of the former Sainte-Croix abbey, today in Saint-Benoît. It is a vast structure of concrete and glass, in the purest brutalist style of the 1970s. It also has the particularity of being built on a former excavation site in its Archeology department. The first museum in the city of Poitiers was established in 1820. It then moved to the ground floor of the new city/town hall built at the end of the Second Empire. We did not go in as really brutal but for the must art lover, we passed by and here it is.

Poitiers mus ste croix side oct21


Poitiers mus ste croix front oct21

The city of Poitiers on the museum

The Vienne dept 86 tourist office on the museum in English :

There you go folks, a nice town we should had come back earlier but there is always tomorrow and glad we finally reach it again. It brought nice memories of our first visit to Poitiers and the ND church and Futuroscope park as well as the Campanile hotel in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou , a town just outside nearer the park. Hope you enjoy the post as we did!

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

October 23, 2021

Some news from Spain CXII

And it’s time for my some news from Spain again!! The latest in my opinion of course, of worthy news of my dear Spain. The trend is good, easy does, we will be there. Spain everything under the Sun!!! Let me tell you the latest news and trip tidbits for your enjoyment and mine.

In the south of Madrid, between the old town of the city and the Manzanares River, is Matadero, (see post) a complex of buildings of more than 165,000 square meters that today houses one of the reference spaces for contemporary art and creation in Madrid. Its name may mislead those who visit it, but it gives a clue to its past: for more than half a century, the slaughterhouse and municipal cattle market of Madrid was here. It was inaugurated in 1924, chaired by an administrative building that also retains its original name, the Casa del Reloj, remained open until 1995. In addition to being an important cultural enclave for Madrid, with a wide program of events from different artistic disciplines, Matadero at Plaza de Legazpi, 8 is an example of the industrial architecture that the city conserves. Webpage:

The Tabacalera building, as the people of Madrid affectionately call it. Its name is also related to its past, because during a long period it was the Royal Tobacco Factory in Madrid, although previously it hosted the Royal Factory of Liquors and Playing Cards (1792-1809). Built in the Lavapiés neighborhood, Tabacalera Calle Embajadores, 51 Its rectangular floor plan, distributed around three patios, currently houses two projects: Tabacalera Promoción del Arte, managed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports since 2003, the building maintained its tobacco activity until three years before, it schedules temporary exhibitions and activities around photography and the visual arts; and a social and cultural center self-managed by the neighbors La Tabacalera that organizes all kinds of initiatives for locals and visitors. It is easily identifiable by its exterior walls, which since 2014 also serve as a canvas for urban artists. Webpage :

In 2013, two cultural programmers lit up the La Neomudéjar Vanguardia Arts Center Museum at Calle Antonio Nebrija s / n, a center for artistic experimentation in an old warehouse dedicated to the training of railwaymen, owned by the Compañía de los Ferrocariles from Madrid to Zaragoza and Alicante (MZA). The company operated during the 19-20C, constructing this and other buildings, in addition to the Atocha station itself. The visitor will be able to relive part of this railway past in La Neomudéjar because much of the original machinery coexists in the space with works of art, video art and new media arts, the bets of this cultural center in the Pacifico neighborhood. Webpage:

At the beginning of the 20C, no one imagined that the first elevated water reservoir in Madrid would end up becoming, more than 100 years later, a space of national and international reference in the world of photography. The Sala Canal de Isabel II Room Calle Santa Engracia, 125 programs temporary exhibitions of this discipline in a space with a circular plan and topped by a metal dome. An industrial work that looks more like a work of art. The deposit, which had a capacity of 1,500 cubic meters, remained in disuse between 1952 and 1986, when it began its stage as an exhibition hall. Webpage:

The CondeDuque Contemporary Culture Center (see post) Calle Conde Duque, 11, in the central neighborhood of Universidad. It was built in the early 18C to house the Royal Corps Guards. Two centuries (and two fires) later, the 55,000-square-meter barracks was on the brink of demolition due to its poor condition, but the insistence of the public to use it for public use managed to save it. The current and reformed CondeDuque not only serves as a cultural container for the city, it also houses part of its history with the Villa Archive (with its Jurisdiction of 1202), the Historical Library, the Municipal Newspaper Library, the Musical Library and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art. Webpage:

In the Fuencarral neighborhood, there is another large military complex: the General Headquarters of Ferrocarriles y Zapadores Ferroviarios, converted into the City of Art – Zapadores Museum at Calle Antonio Cabezón, 70, in 2018 by the same creators of La Neomudéjar. Permanent and temporary exhibitions, workshops and art galleries, and cultural associations currently coexist in this 23,000-square-meter space. Webpage :

Let’s take a tour on a route full of art and history through Palencia, a province that has the world’s largest concentration of hermitages and churches of the style that forged European identity during the Middle Ages. To enter the Romanesque of Palencia, it is convenient to focus on the upper course of the Pisuerga, in the regions of Cervera de Pisuerga and Aguilar de Campoo, where the concentration of monasteries and small hermitages is enormous. But further south there are treasures to be discovered such as Frómista or Carrión de los Condes, essential stops to understand the artistic trend that reigned in Europe during the Middle Ages.

One of the Palencia towns with the most abundance of this religious architecture is Frómista, where the Church of San Martín de Tours stands out, undoubtedly the masterpiece of the Spanish Romanesque of the 11C. Another of the crossroads of the Camino de Santiago from Palencia is Carrión de los Condes, a communications hub that connects the French branch with the Camino del Besaya. Carrión was always an important population; Hence, it has some remains in stone of authentic luxury, such as the Church of Santa María del Camino, known as La Victoria, a 12C Romanesque temple with a southern façade of silent beauty and valuable Romanesque images inside. We find a similar artistic imprint in the Church of Santiago and in its pantocrator (representation of God typical of Romanesque and Byzantine art) presiding over its main façade. But the jewel of the place, the one through which it receives thousands of visitors every year, is the Royal Monastery of San Zoilo, from the 11C, which still hides Romanesque details, surrounded by others. many styles that were happening throughout the centuries. It is currently a hotel , although you don’t have to be a guest to visit the beautiful Gothic cloister or the church and sacristy.

Aguilar de Campoo stop on a secondary branch of the Camino de Santiago that communicated the Camino de la Costa with the Francés. This is the only way to explain the size of its great Monastery of Santa María la Real, where the Romanesque Exhibition Center has also been installed, in which you travel to the Middle Ages through models, audiovisuals and interactive tables. There we will see a collection of wooden replicas of the best Romanesque churches in the area. The monastery was founded in the 4C and in later centuries it grew richer. Completely restored in the last decades, today it is a cultural center that also houses the Center for Romanesque Studies. Olleros de Pisuerga is a small district of Aguilar de Campoo where the hermitage dedicated to Saints Justo and Pastor is located, considered a cathedral among the cave churches. It is still open to worship and has anthropomorphic tombs inside and outside. It appears among a grove at the exit of the town of Mave and on the outside it does not give away what it keeps inside. Only a sober portico and a belfry reveal that we are before one of the great works of cave architecture in Spain. In Palencia they call her little Petra. Its history is that of a succession of artistic styles, beginning in the 9C and continuing until the 17C, but with special importance of the Romanesque trace: a pulpit, the baptistery, the cells of the first hermits and a column and a pilaster, both covered with colored remains, which are the only ones left standing from the original construction.

San Salvador de Cantamuda, a town also with noble houses, in the heart of the Palentina Mountain. The genius is in the collegiate Church of San Salvador that draws attention for its peculiar belfry. It was ordered to be built in 1181 by the Countess of Castile, Doña Elvira, and it is a Romanesque church with three apses and ribbed vaults. Continuing along the same road, three km away is the Abbey of Lebanza, founded in the 10C. There are hardly any remains of it, but the environment is very beautiful, at the foot of the Corazo peak, 2,012 meters high.

In Villa de la Olmeda , near the town of Saldaña, which stretches on the banks of the Carrión River. This Roman mansion, built in the Low Empire (284-476) and occupied until the 6C, was discovered in 1968, fortuitously when a farmer worked his fields. In the eighties of the last century it opened to the public so that the visitor can contemplate one of the longest collections of mosaics inside a private building in Roman Hispania. It consists of 35 rooms, distributed between the main house and the bathrooms. Of these, 26 rooms are decorated with polychrome mosaics that are extraordinarily well preserved. La Olmeda is a whole trip to Antiquity, which is completed with a visit to the Museum of La Olmeda, in Saldaña, where the objects that have come to light in the successive excavations at the site and that bring us closer to the daily life of the Romans of the Empire.

The Canal de Castilla, which along its 207 km runs through part of the provinces of Burgos, Palencia and Valladolid. The original project started in the time of the Catholic Monarchs,(Fernando y Isabel) who even thought of having Leonardo da Vinci for its design. The idea was not taken up again until the 18C, under the reign of Fernando VI, who wanted to find an outlet to the sea for Castilian products. The final project, entrusted to the Marquis de la Ensenada, contemplated four channels that would link Segovia with Reinosa (Cantabria) to later cross the Cantabrian Mountains and reach the sea. The works began in 1753 in Calahorra de Ribas (Palencia) and were completed in 1849. This kind of fluvial highway to the sea was never completed, but has left a Y-shaped infrastructure. On the way there are locks (there are 50 to along the entire canal), two of them, probably the most interesting, in Frómista and in Calahorra de Ribas. 69 aqueducts were also built, which today go quite unnoticed, and other architectural elements such as bridges (Valdemudo, in Palencia, is one of the most beautiful), as well as dams and docks to dock barges, such as Alar del Rey. an essential visit, or the same dock in the capital of Palencia. La Casa del Rey, an old shipyard where the Canal de Castilla Museum is installed today.

The Palencia tourist office on things to see:

The Province of Palencia tourist office on Romanesque routes:

The Castilla y Leon autonomous region tourist board on Palencia:

Some good news!!! Online restaurant reservations increased 38% in September 2021, according to data from TheFork,(El Tenedor or la Fourchette) a TripAdvisor brand. the sector expects to reach 70% occupancy in the last quarter of this year, according to a study carried out by this leading booking app. With these green shoots, the platform (with the support of American Express) has launched a global initiative with thousands of restaurants involved and directed at millions of diners to return to their favorite dining rooms or to dare to meet new ones: TheFork Festival . Until November 28 2021, some 1,200 restaurants in Spain and 6,000 around the world join this proposal with a clear objective: to boost consumption and consolidate the recovery of the hotel industry after the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, for almost two months, discounts of 50% will be offered, as long as it is booked through the TheFork app. See also below my blog one of my favorite restaurant sites, Meanwhile in Spain its webpage :

Telmo Rodríguez’s Rioja Bordeaux ‘grand cru’ has been made, discreetly for a decade, with the original vineyards of an old divided land dating back to 1420. September 16, 2021 will remain as a historic date for Rioja wine,for the first time a Riojan brand is now being sold through the Bordeaux market, that historic market formed 800 years ago by Bordeaux’s négociants and dedicated to marketing all the grands crus of the most famous wine-growing area in the world, from Petrus to Haut-Brion. The Spanish wine that enters the place is Yjar 2017, the work of the renowned winemaker Telmo Rodríguez. located on the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño (Rioja Alavesa) at an altitude of between 600 and 800 meters above sea level, this historic property has a privileged location, since on the limestone soils of the triangle that form the towns of Labastida, San Vicente and Peñacerrada are home to some of the most exceptional old vineyards in Rioja Alavesa. It took more than 100 years for the activity to return to this enclave of Rioja Alavesa, thanks to the Rodríguez family who, in the 1960s, acquired the property and dedicated the rest of the 20C, and a few more years to recovering the wine culture on a farm with exceptional conditions to produce quality wines. Glass-pruned, this 3.8-hectare high-altitude vineyard, where the five varieties that make up the Yjar blend grow (Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Grand Noir and Rojal), is the basis of this project. Yjar’s 2017 vintage has produced 7,200 bottles, the retail price of which has been announced at 110 euros in Spain. Decanter 98 Wine Advocate 96,welcome aboard! webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy from my dandy Spain, enjoy it fully and with moderation easy does it suavemente, we are getting to full throttle and the world is noticing it. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 23, 2021

A lot of Normandy in Alençon!!

I have passed many times, stop by several times, but never really went in deep as to said saw something. So much beauty to see in my belle France, already the world’s most visited country (UN-WTO), and we have just touch the surface on things to see, really. I heard about the religious importance of Alençon and took it to finally stop by and see the town. To my surprise , there were many other things to see there,so therefore, let me give you an introduction post on Alençon; plenty of posts and pictures elsewhere in my blog. Just one picture here sort of a black and white series in disguise! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

This town is one example, a wonderful city center or downtown ,beautiful historical buildings and great architecture not quite Norman even if in Normandy. I like to tell you a bit about Alençon. The city is in the Department of the Orne,no. 61 in the region of Normandy. It takes an advantage of its position on the Paris-Brest axis (route RN 12) when entered a period of dynamism, then, the route A11 autoroute puts Le Mans in a strategic position on the Paris-Brittany axis, which confirms at the end of the 1980’s by the opening of the LGV Atlantique train service. Alençon is again doomed to be only a relay city on a north-south cross-section, in this case the Rouen-Le Mans A28 autoroute. The town is situated between the Normandy-Maine Regional Natural Park and the Perche Regional Natural Park. Alençon is also located about ten km from the forest of Écouves to the north, the forest of Perseigne to the east, and from the Mancelles Alps to the south. The town of Alençon is located at the confluence of the Sarthe and Briante rivers which descends from the forest of Écouves.

The city is located 119 km from Caen, and 161 km from Rouen, the regional capital, while Le Mans is only 54 km away. It is located between Paris and Rennes, 192 km and 158 km respectively. Alençon is at the crossroads of the national road RN12 connecting Paris with Brittany (take it now all the time) with the old national roads RN 138 and RN 155. In addition, a few kilometers from Alençon you can connect respectively the old RN 158 and RN 176. In this way, Alençon is located at a road crossroads which departing routes to Caen, Rouen, Dreux, Paris, Chartres, Orléans, le Mans, Laval, Fougères, Rennes, Le Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo. Alençon is served by the A28, a north-south cross-section which is part of the Grand bypass of Paris and allows you to leave Calais and join Bayonne using only the autoroute network and avoiding Paris. It allows for the town of Alençon, in addition to a logical opening, a quick access to the cities of Le Mans, Tours, Angers, Rouen, Le Havre, Lisieux and Deauville. 20 km north of Alençon, at the level of the city of Sees, the A28 gives birth to the A88 leaving to connect the towns of Argentan and Caen.  Alençon ,also has a SNCF train station, the station is located on the line Caen-Alençon-Le Mans-Tours. Daily connections to the stations of Caen, Le Mans, Tours and Saint-Pierre-des-Corps are therefore offered. Connections to the Gare Paris-Montparnasse are organised via the Gare de Surdon or Le Mans stations, respectively thanks to intercity trains and regional express trains (TER) or the TGV Atlantique. The train station of Alençon, rebuilt in 1952 after the bombardment of 1944, was originally a standard station of origin in the west of France.

A bit of history I like

Mentioned in the form Alencione at the time of the Merovingian. Its meaning would therefore be that of “nourishing place”, “fertile place”, which corresponds well to the situation of Alençon in a fertile plain that slices with the harsher lands of the surrounding hills.  Erected in Duchy, in 1414, Alençon is the place of residence of Marguerite of Angoulême, who married, in 1509, at the age of seventeen, the Duke of Alençon Charles IV, first marriage. Even after Charles ‘ death in 1525 at the Battle of Pavia, Marguerite of Angoulême, maternal grandmother of the future Henri IV, sister of King François I, establishes, after her widowhood, her court in Alençon, where she remained after her remarriage with the king of Navarre.  The Protestant Reformation was preached in the Duchy of Alençon, as early as 1524, and the spirit of tolerance of Marguerite de Valois, which also allowed the preachers to penetrate the new ideas in Alençon, made many proselytes among its inhabitants, during the first half of the 16C. The first city of Normandy acquired with Calvinist ideas, it quickly became a hotbed of reform, to the point that, in 1530, a German reformist called Alençon ,the Little Germany. The Protestants then took over the city, pillaged the churches and forbid Catholic worship.

On the death of the Queen of Navarre in 1549, the Duchy of Alençon, despite the disputes of the collateral heirs of Duke Charles IV, was definitively attached to the Royal domain of France. After the death of Francis II, Charles IX ceded the duchy to his mother Catherine de Médici, who enjoyed it until 1566, when she handed it over to the king, who gave it to his younger brother Francis, then twelve years old. It was in Alençon that Henri made his comeback in the Protestant church, publicly denying the Catholicism he had embraced under duress a few weeks after the day of the massacre of St. Barthélemy.  In 1605, Henri IV ceded the city and the duchy to Duke Frederick I of Württemberg, to whom Marie de Medici bought it in 1613. Later included in the privilege of the brother of Louis XIII, Gaston d’Orléans, the Duchy of Alençon passed, in 1660, to his second daughter, Elisabeth d’Orléans, wife of the Duke of Guise.   Alençon soon submitted to the authority of the Convention. In the same year, after the defeat of the Vendéens at Le Mans, a large number of insurgents were taken and led to Alençon, where they were executed.  

During WW II, Alençon was occupied by the Nazis from June 1940, after they bombed the city on 14 June, making 31 casualties. The Gestapo arrives in Alençon during the summer of 1943 and had   executed several resistance fighters. During the occupation, 38 persons are sentenced to death and executed for resistance. A Frontstalag (Camp of prisoners of the Nazis army in occupied area during WWII) was created in Alençon. On 12 August 1944, coming from Champfleur, the 2nd Armoured Division of General Leclerc returned to Alençon and liberated this city from the Nazi yoke before leaving after a few days to Argentan and then to Paris

Things to see that I like in Alençon.

The Castle of the Dukes (see post) was built under Peter II, Duke of Alençon between 1361 and 1404, dismantled in part under Henri IV, serving as a begging depot from 1768 to 1824, the existing buildings represent only 10% of the original. There remains the Châtelet, a curtain, the crowned tower and a posterie; The courthouse dating from the first Empire (Napoléon I) is next door. The castle of the Dukes became an arrest or prison house where during WWII many people were tortured by the Gestapo. The Alençon arrest house was transferred to Coulaines and Le Mans in 2010.

The City/Town Hall (place Foch) (see govt post) was built in the shape of an circular arch from 1783 to 1788 Originally, the city/town hall occupied only the central part. Done in the style of Louis XVI. It was not until the 19C that the town of Alençon acquired the right and left parts which were the property of private individuals. Before the end of the 20C, the city/town hall occupied only 60% of the total area. In 1966, during the renovation of the mayor’s office, we found in the ceiling 297 posters of Charles Éléonor Valazé from1793, member of the Orne in 1792 and who suicide in 1793. One could read on these posters “I am arrested without knowing why, without even having an accuser”. In front of the city/town hall you can see a bronze statue of Louis Derbré.

The House of Ozé (see post) from the 14C ,(1449 exactly) with renovations by the Alderman Jean de Mesnil in 1450 Charles de Valois, Duke of Alençon and his wife, Marguerite of Navarre lived there and even invited the future Henri IV in 1576.   It is now home to the tourist office. At its feet is the conservatory of the House of Ozé which is not strictly speaking a public garden because if it can be a place to walk, it is rather a place of learning and experimentation on plants and other plants. This 585 m2 Orchard is managed for maintenance by the town of Alençon and the Orne Horticulture Society.

The Halle au Blés (see post) or wheat market is a circular building, built 1801 and a glass dome built on top in 1865.   Originally dedicated to the grain trade, this place is used today for various exhibitions and events.

The pharmacy Pesche, (see post streets) at 4 of the place aux Cornes. The dispensary was created under the Directory (French revolution) in a building that belonged to a canvas merchant, then prosperous industry in town. Inside, the fully painted ceiling reminds, by its palms, its serpents, its amphoras, its hive and its bees and the sham of a military tent that its first holder was a pharmacist to the armies returning from the campaign of Egypt. In addition to two monumental vases in Italian ceramics showcases, the pharmacy has a beautiful collection of Empire jars .

The islet Aveline (between the rue du Collège and the Rue Julien) in the Carré de la Dentelle brings together buildings set up from 1675. This site first sheltered the Jesuit college, then the Central School of Orne, then a college, then in 1848 a high school , until the transfer of it in 1963 in new buildings by Boulevard Mézeray, then Aveline high school from 1963 to 1975. The buildings of the 17C were then restored and renovated to bring together the cultural activities of the city such as the Museum of Fine Arts and Lace, library and bookcase, Lace Workshop, municipal Archives, Conservatory, and Auditorium.  The Museum of Fine Arts and Lace (see post), adjoining the library, is devoted, in addition to lace, to schools of French, Italian and Nordic painting of the 4C to the beginning of the 20C and to the arts of Cambodia. Temporary exhibitions, especially on famous fashion designers, are organized regularly.


The birthplace house of Sainte Thérèse, (see post) located 50-52 Rue Saint-Blaise, was reopened after extensive works of accessibility and scenography. It has a foyer, a gallery exhibiting personal objects of the family Martin. An auditorium with film presentation, and the various furnished rooms of the house such as the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen. The parents moved here in 1871 and she was born here in 1873 for the first five years of her life before moving on to Lisieux. There is a chapel added on the house next door in 1925 very nice. For an anecdote before purchasing the house where Saint Teresa was born, the parents lived at 35 rue du Pont-Neuf  where the father Mr Martin had a jewerly store. the parent Luis Martin and Zélia Guérin are Saints too.

Built in 1679, the former St. Joseph’s Church of the Collège of Jésuites, (see post govt ) characterized by its imperial roof, became a library. Its 18C carved oak cabinets from the Val Dieu Abbey contain, among other things, rare editions dating back to the 16C, and medieval manuscripts. There is a library from 1779, today is the Mediathéque of the city opens to all.  The hotel of Préfecture of the Orne (see post govt)  is originally a mansion built around 1630 by a catcher of sizes in the election of Alençon, Charles de Fromont de Bouaille, Lord of the Besnardière. In 1676, Elisabeth d’Orléans, half-sister of the ” Grande Demoiselle”, and cousin of Louis XIV, Duchess of Guise and apanagist of the Duchy of Alençon, took possession of it. Since 1815, the Hôtel Fromont de La Besnardière  has become the Préfecture of the Orne department 61. Located behind, were erected gardens on more than three hectares contributing to the embellishment of the whole. They are open to the public only on heritage days.  The Tribunal du Commerce (see post govt ) or commercial court with its polygonal turret, this elegant construction of the mid-16C described by Balzac in the Le Cabinet des Antiques was the seat of the finance office from 1640. The Palais de Justice (courthouse)(see post govt)  built from 1818-1824 in neo classic style. It was built due to the visit of Napoléon 1er in 1811 to Alençon.

The Grande Rue (see post streets ) is a main thoroughfare of Alençon which leaves from this district to end at the crossroads of Saint-Blaise district streets, where the prefecture, the rue Cazault and the cours Clemenceau are located. It passes through the Place de la Magdeleine, whose name comes from Mary Magdalene, a Saint who witnessed the burial and resurrection of Christ. Until 1789 there was a cemetery there. Today, this place serves as a match to the lines of the bus network Alto and a market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays. This place has become a major part of Alençon over time. This area is entirely pedestrian except for buses.

The Basilica of Notre-Dame (see post) has a 15C nave, flamboyant porch, early 16C. Following a fire, the choir and bell tower were rebuilt in the middle of the 18C. The Church of Notre-Dame of Alençon was elevated to the rank of basilica on 6 June 2009 by Pope   Benedict XVI by a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The Tribune organ is from1535.  The Church of Saint-Léonard (see post) of Flamboyant Gothic style of the 15-16C, St. Martin’s Tower of the 12C, very reworked in the 17C following the collapse of the vaults of the nave and restored outrageously in the 19C.

The park of the promenades (see post) of more than 4 ha is the preferred place of the Alençonnais and visitors alike. Built in 1783, renovated in 1999, located close to the city/ town hall and the courthouse, it offers a music kiosk (1888) , a pool, playgrounds for children and animal pens. It also offers a bowling ground as well as a snack bar.  The Alençon Racecourse is located in the Croix-Mercier district not far from the Écouves area. It is run by the Alençon Racing company. An average of eight trotted or mounted trot races are included in the program six annual races.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this nice city and you should are;

The City of Alençon on heritage:

The Alençon tourist office

The Orne dept 61 tourist office on Alençon

The Normandie region tourist board on Alençon:

There you go folks a nice summary of what is best about the wonderful Alençon. The lot of Normandy and worth the detour with easy road connections . I always passed it stop by going on the in N12 national road from my house. Hope you enjoy the recap

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

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