Archive for December 10th, 2021

December 10, 2021

Notre Dame Cathedral update Dec2021

And time to come back to this wonderful epic work going on in my eternal Paris. I have follow thru on the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral since its unfortunate fire in April 2019. There are several posts on the work going on in my blog; and feels before the year is out to give you one more update. Therefore, without further words here is the Notre Dame Cathedral update for December 2021.

The dismantling of the damaged scaffolding which surrounded the Notre Dame Cathedral for many months after the fire of April 15, 2019. The removal of the great organ for cleaning and restoration. The bending of the 28 flying buttresses. Or that of the weakened vaults of the cathedral. Five renowned French-speaking designers sketched out important steps in securing Notre-Dame de Paris, which ended this summer so that the actual restoration of the Gothic jewel could finally begin. Exhibition on the site’s fences. Parvis of Notre-Dame. From Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

About ten volunteer carpenters recreated one of the trusses of the frame of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Avranches (see post Manche 50), last Tuesday November 30 and Wednesday December 1, 2021, preferring their hands to industrial machines. The members of the Charpentiers sans frontières association, or carpenters without borders recreated the seventh truss in the framework of Notre-Dame, To build this 3.5 tons prototype, they used nine oaks, rather young and with a diameter rather weak. The volunteers cut the frame only by hand, like the builders of Notre-Dame around 1220. And the oak logs were squared with an ax, as in the Middle Ages.

Despite some reservations about the benches on wheels and the maintenance of statues in the chapels, the heritage experts, meeting this Thursday, December 9 (yesterday), gave the green light to the future interior redevelopment of Notre-Dame Cathedral, which partially burned down in 2019, They did however have reservations about the roller benches, which have candle lights and want to see a prototype first which will be submitted to the committee again., Their access to the crypt must also be re-specified.

Experts also oppose the relocation of statues of 19C saints dating from Viollet-le-Duc (architect entrusted with the restoration of the cathedral from 1844) which were on the altars of the chapels and which the diocese had planned to install along the large pillars of the cathedral, according to the same source. They also oppose the transformation of the choir into a space of prayer, fearing that the floor, which dates from the 18C, will be damaged by the passage of the faithful and tourists.

No object or painting that was in the cathedral before the fire will come out. The liturgical redevelopment of Notre-Dame has drawn fierce criticism. Such proposals completely distort the decor and the liturgical space,cried a hundred personalities, including the host Stéphane Bern or the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, in a column published Wednesday in Le Figaro newspaper , and the Tribune de l ‘ Art (Art specialised journal). They want to respect the work of Viollet-le-Duc, let us respect the work of the artists and craftsmen who have worked to offer us this gem.

A deep cleaning of the 14 chapels, already very dilapidated before the fire. This cleaning should make it possible to rediscover the “Mays”, large altar paintings ordered each year from great artists, between 1630 and 1707, by the corporation of silversmiths who offered them to the cathedral , and painted by amongst others ,Laurent de La Hyre, Charles Le Brun and Jacques Blanchard. The cleaning work will take about 27 months supervise by the DRAC d’Île de France (or regional direction of cultural affairs)

The restoration phase has been actively prepared and is now resolutely engaged in order to launch the first restoration work this winter.2021-2022, The site will not be completed within the period promise by President Macron, according to the public institution responsible for its conservation. On the other hand, the monument must be returned to worship by April 16, 2024, the day when a mass must be celebrated again in the nave. In addition, a campaign of thorough cleaning of the interior walls and floors of the cathedral begins this month of December 2021.

All the area around Notre Dame Cathedral will be embellish and renovate for ease of passage and beautification. Concretely, the redevelopment will concern: the square and its underground spaces including the archaeological crypt and a car park on two levels; the Jean XXIII and Île-de-France squares (located behind the cathedral) to the tip of the Ile de la Cité;the banks of the Seine, high and low;and the adjacent streets of rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame, rue de la Cité, and quai de l’Archevêché.

All the work is handle , work, changes approve by the National Heritage and Architecture Commission (CNPA) made up of 26 members and chaired by the senator of Eure-et-Loir ( 28) Albéric de Montgolfier.

There you go folks, we are on our way for sure. All are making huge efforts to do this on time and I thanks them, and with them all the way. Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris will be superbe!!! gorgeous again, stay tune and be ready by Summer Olympics time!!

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

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December 10, 2021

Chartreuse Saint Michel of Brec’h!!!

This is a wonderful spot, a monument to Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh in the town of Brec’h. Of course, in my beautiful Morbihan. I have mentioned this spot briefly but need to have a post of its own, me think. Therefore, here is my take on the Chartreuse Saint Michel of Brec’h!!!


Brec’h is crossed by the Loc’h river. It is surrounded by other towns such as my current Pluvigner, and Auray, Landaul, Locoal-Mendon, Plumergat, Pluneret, Ploemel and Crach. Brec’h, in Breton, means ” Mountain “. Brec’h includes 26 hamlets and localities, I lived on Corn er Hoet !

On September 29, 1364, the battle of Auray (see post) took place near the Kerzo swamp. The future Duke Jean IV de Montfort triumphs over his rival Charles de Blois. This one is killed, while his second, the knight Bertrand Du Guesclin, is taken prisoner. This victory puts an end to the War of the Succession of Brittany. In August 1795, near the same Kerzo marsh, nearly a thousand royalist and Chouan emigres (from England) were shot after the failed landing at Quiberon. In the Champ des Martyrs, a mausoleum was built in 1828 in commemoration. The remains are kept in the Chartreuse St Michel, In May 2015, Prince Louis de Bourbon (legitime king Louis XX) went to Brec’h, with his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite, during his official visit to Morbihan. He then announced the financing of the restoration of the Expiatory Chapel of Champ-des-Martyrs by the House of Bourbon.


A hugely historical monument is the Chartreuse St Michel, it was built in 1382 in memory of the soldiers who fought in the war of succession in Brittany ,where the toughest battle was held on Sunday, September 29 1364 the day of St Michel. François II, Duke of Brittany change the collegiale of the monastery of Chartreux in 1480 , an order founded by St Bruno. Under the French revolution, the chartreuses were  chase out. The abbey Gabriel Deshayes, priest of Auray put in here in 1812 the Filles de la Sagesse, or Daughters of the Wisdom who were in charge of caring for the blind, deafs, and hard of hearing or understood. In 1814, under the restauration in France, the bones of the immigrants who were shot in firing squad during the revolution at the Champ des Martyrs (field of heroes) in 1795 were transfert here . It is by the village of Penhoet, part of Brech off D120e coming to Brech on the D768 off the N165 expressway.  It is part handle by a retirement center, Daughters of the wisdom  webpage:

brech compound st michel statue michel de montfort by convent chartreuse jan12

An attach building is held by an order of Montforistes religious order and houses homes for the needed and impaired.  I have been and it is nice.

The Chartreuse St Michel has a cloister dating from the 17C. The chapel was built around 1720. The refectory, built around 1630, is covered with a paneled vault painted and decorated around 1750, and retains woodwork at the base of the walls. The sepulchral chapel communicates with the church by a large arcade, the sides of which are adorned with two bas-reliefs in white marble. The story goes that on  May 15, 1814, in a funeral vault of the Chartreuse, where the Duke of Angoulême, son of Charles X comes to gather the same year.  On September 20, 1823, Madame Royale, Duchess of Angoulême, the only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette lays the first stone on the one hand, at the Chartreuse, of the Quiberon monument also known as the sepulchral chapel, intended to house the mausoleum and on the other hand, on the Martyrs’ field, the expiatory chapel. The two buildings were inaugurated on October 15, 1829.

Brech Chartreuse main ent nov12

The city of Brec’h on the Chartreuse

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Chartreuse

There you go folks, another dandy historical monument in my neck of the woods, of my beautiful Morbihan and close by Brec’h, always will be my introduction to Bretagne!!! Hope you enjoy the history and the post on the Chartreuse Saint Michel , the real story.

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

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December 10, 2021

The Battle of Auray!!

Ok so indulge a bit into history, one of my favorite subjects. I came into a unique region of France, very independent traditional and lots of things to tell. I have over the years told you a lot on Brec’h and Auray my initial towns in the beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne for me. However, just touch briefly on this Battle of Auray, and would like to expand on it. Visiting and /or living a place I feel important to know its history too for the overall feeling of been here! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The battle of Auray took place on September 29, 1364, it is the last battle of the War of the Succession of Brittany, a regional war which is part of the Franco-English rivalry of the Hundred Years War. It opposes an Anglo-Breton army under the orders of Jean III de Montfort to a Franco-Breton force supporting the party of Charles de Blois.  It all began on April 30, 1341 when Duke Jean III (John) died without a direct heir. His niece, Jeanne de Penthièvre, and his half-brother, Jean, comte de Montfort, both claim the ducal crown. The stake also concerns the maintenance of the French influence in Bretagne since Jeanne de Penthiévre is married to Charles de Blois, nephew of Margaret of Valois sister of King Philip VI of France, For his part, Jean de Montfort was helped militarily by the King of England. He died in 1345 but his son, also called Jean de Montfort, took up the torch after spending his youth in England.

At the beginning of 1364, after the failure of the negotiations of Évran, the young Jean IV of Brittany, son of Jean de Montfort, came to attack Auray with the help of the Englishman John Chandos, in the hands of the Franco-Bretons since 1342 because this coastal town is a strategic stake (fortified castle built on an escarpment, dominating a sheltered port and which has a bridge on the road to Vannes (today ruins only)). He entered Auray and besieged the castle blocked by sea by Nicolas Bouchart’s ships from Le Croisic.  The two armies stand face to face along the Loc’h river, north of Auray. The chroniclers estimate the Franco-Bretons between 3,500 and 4,000 and the Anglo-Bretons between 1,800 and 2,900 men, According to the English chronicles, out of 3,500 Franco-Bretons, 900 are killed and 1,500 are taken prisoner. Montfort would only have to deplore 7 deaths out of 2,000 men.

Auray st goustan old castle ruins mai12

On September 27,1364 while Charles de Blois was at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Lanvaux,(now private property but the abbey is gone), Du Guesclin, who commanded the avant-garde, was in Brandivy. On the 28th, du Guesclin settled on the left bank of the Loc’h river , within sight of the castle. To avoid being between the castle and the French army, Jean IV evacuates Auray and places himself in front of the enemy, on the slope of the right bank. On the 29th, attempts to reach an agreement took place, without success, and Charles de Blois ordered the attack. His army crosses the river and lines up facing south. Jean IV follows suit and lines up facing north.

Brech loch river to auray river jan12

The forces involved were : The Franco-Breton army of Charles de Blois,had on the left the count of Auxerre, on the right du Guesclin, in the center Charles de Blois. A small reserve that will not be used. The Anglo-Breton army of Jean IV of Brittany had on the right Clisson, on the left the Englishman Robert Knolles, in the center Jean IV and the Englishman Chandos. An important reserve ready to intervene.  A first short skirmish opposes the French crossbowmen and the English archers In addition the instructions were given on both sides not to make a quarter to that of the two suitors who would fall into the hands of their enemies , Each Anglo-Breton corps is pushed in, one after the other, but the reserves restore the situation. On the other hand, the Franco-Breton right wing bends and, not being supported by the reserves, falls back towards the center. The left wing in turn bends and Charles de Blois’s troops give way. Charles de Blois is knocked down with a lance, and is finished off by an English soldier obeying the order given. Du Guesclin, having broken all his armies, is obliged to surrender to John Chandos

After his victory, Jean de Montfort becomes master of the duchy. He is recognized by the Treaty of Guérande as the only Duke of Brittany under the name of Jean IV. This victory puts an end to the War of the Succession of Brittany and by the Treaty of Guérande, in 1365, the King of France recognizes Jean IV of Brittany as Duke of Brittany. However, Jean IV then paid homage to Charles V of France, rather than to his patron, Edward III of England. The Anglo-Breton military victory appeared to result in a diplomatic coup for the King of France. The Monfort dynasty will last just until Anne De Bretagne! 

Tradition reports that the Duke of Brittany Jean IV attributed the victory of the Montfort party over the Blois, during the war of succession of the duchy, during the battle of Auray, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. In 1368 he founded the Dominican convent of Rennes which quickly took the name of Bonne-Nouvelle convent, (see post now basilica), a painting painted on wood of the Virgin and Child becoming during the 15C the object of veneration of the faithful of Rennes. As a sign of reconciliation, Jean IV founded the order of Hermine and the Chapel of Saint-Michel-des-Champs (see post), The Chapel of Saint-Michel was converted in 1480 into the Chartreuse,(see post) was located on the site of the former battlefield, in the town of Brec’h, north of Auray.

To commemorate this battle, a high cross was erected on a rounded pedestal bearing the inscription “in memory of the battle of Auray with Jean de Montfort and Charles de Blois in 1364. This was done in 1842. Carrefour des 5 chemins, lieu-dit Toulbahadeu, Brech.

Brech cross in memory of the battle of jean de montfort et charles de blois in 1364 done in 1842

The city of Auray on its heritage

The city of Brec’h on its heritage

There you go folks, a bit of history will help the traveler realise where he/she is at and enjoy the trip even more, me think. I look for these bits of history everywhere I go and why not in my neck of the woods! ,the Morbihan! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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