Archive for January 18th, 2022

January 18, 2022

The Tour d’Horloge of Dinan!

We walk into the gorgeous city old center with wooden houses from as far back as the 14C, and came up to see the tour d’Horloge. The Tour d’Horloge or belfry of Dinan, is a tower built at the end of the 15C, located rue de l’Horloge , For reference, Dinan is in the Côtes-d’Armor department 22 of the region of Bretagne. The tower is 45 meters high, which symbolizes the prosperity of the city. It still has the bell offered by the Duchess Anne de Bretagne and Queen of France.

I have look up this monument briefly mentioned in previous posts, and decided to do a separate post with older pictures as it merits me think. Hope you enjoy the post on the Belfry or Tour d’Horloge of Dinan!


Under the reign of Duke François II of Brittany, the council of notables decides on the construction of a building, to serve as a meeting room, except for the Great meetings which are held in the chapter house of the Jacobins convent , and conservation of archives, as well as a watchtower to prevent fires that are too frequent in the city.  It was Jehan II de Rosnyvinen, Lord of Vaucouleurs then governor of the city who laid the first stone in the rue de la Corduennerye. Twenty years later, in 1500 the Duchess Anne of Brittany ordered her representative, governor of the city: the viscount of Rohan, to install a presidial and granted by letters patent in 1507 permission to put a clock in the town’s tower, raising it to the rank of belfry, with the installation of a bell of which she is the godmother and Monsieur de Rohan the godfather. The bell  received the first name of Anne. It will ring from that day to the year 1906, when it will be melted down and remade identically with a new name: Duchess Anne. Dinan becomes after Rennes and Fougères, the third town in Brittany to have a belfry. The clock manufactured in 1498 was ordered by the town in 1505 and installed at the same time as the bell. It will be changed in 1657 and stopped in 1847. It will remain the seat of the town until the French revolution which will subsequently move according to local events, to settle in 1817 in place de l’Hospice.


The belfry, at the top of which we can see from its circular platform, a panoramic viewpoint over the city of Dinan, was opened to the public in 1932.The passage which links the rue de l’Horloge to the Place du Guesclin was opened in 1984. The clock still strikes every quarter of an hour, half an hour, and hour.  The base of the building has a square plan of 8 meters on each side and from the 4th floor (5th US) becomes octagonal. The tower is accessed by the spiral staircase of the turret adjoining the west facade which is itself surmounted by a half-peppered roof with cut sides and double slope.

This Tour d’Horloge contains five bells . A small bell dated 1823, Noguette, the smallest of the four bells installed under the headdress of the tower is a Gothic style. Françoise, the small quarter bell weighs 121 kg for 590 mm in diameter.  Jacqueline, the fat quarter bell weighs 154 kg for 640 mm in diameter. Duchesse Anne, ,the bell of the hours, remelted in 1905 as an almost identical copy of the bell of 1507, weighs 2.355 kg for 1.585 mm in diameter. It scores at once every hour. The three bells equipped with a ringing system give the exact time from 7h to 22h inclusive thanks to a radio-synchronized control panel on the time. 

The city of Dinan on the Clock tower

The Dinan Cap Fréhel tourist office on Dinan

There you go folks, another dandy monument in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. Dinan is very nice indeed, and plenty to see, search in my blog for more of it. For now enjoy the Tour d’Horloge as we did.

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

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January 18, 2022

The gare or train station of Pau!

Well yes the road warrior has taken lots of trains in Europe, and I am still a Grand Voyageur card holder frequent traveler due to my business trips. I have taken a lot fewer personal trips as well. The train station in Pau was used once several years back, do not recall as usually by there with my car. Nevertheless, found these pictures not in my blog so for the memories of always let me tell you a bit about the gare de Pau train station.

The gare de Pau train station is in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department 64,of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is a station of the National Company of French Railways (SNCF), served by the TGV, Intercités and regional trains (TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine and TER Occitanie networks). Principal connecting cities are Toulouse Matabiau, Bordeaux Saint Jean, Paris Montparnasse, Hendaye, and Bayonne.


In 1857, the city of Pau looked into the construction of a train station. The project chosen was along the Gave (river), not far from the town of Bizanos. The eastern section of the line was then put into service on March 4, 1863. It was then necessary to wait for the commissioning of the central section between Lourdes and Pau on June 20, 1867 for the station to be finally rebuilt in the same year. In 2019, the city announces the rehabilitation of the station and the Sernam hall, for delivery scheduled for the end of 2022.

In its initial state, the Gare de Pau train station is a long building 115 meters long by 14 meters wide, to which is added, on the track side, a large hall with large glass roofs. On the north facade overlooking the courtyard, a long promenade covered with awnings, runs along the facade, ending on either side with two pavilions. In the center rises a portico with three arches, forming a peristyle open to the outside. This is adorned with a pediment decorated with oak leaves, supporting a clock. The pediment also supports the crowned arms of the cities of, Toulouse on the left, Bayonne on the right, those of the city of Pau in the center. In 1907, the station was enlarged by the addition of two side wings, intended to accommodate, to the west a buffet, and to the east, a new courier service. The east wing was doubled in width during the 1930s, and a large hall attributed to the Sernam was also built at the same time.


.A parking retrieval space for bicycles and a parking lot for vehicles are arranged around it. It is served by the urban buses of the Idelis network serving Pau and its agglomeration for the Fébus line train station, operating every day including public holidays and in the evening until midnight by the station lines T1, and bus lines 5, 9, 15, by the Pau funicular (see post) and by line 966 of the liO network or link between the territories of Occitanie, is the public transport network of the Occitanie region.

There is a nice parc relay or park linking with public transport by the train station, info city of Pau :

The SNCF gare de Pau train station

The TER Nouvelle Aquitaine gare de Pau train station

There you go folks, a missing link to Pau is done in my blog. The train station is rather nice and great views down from the funicular or cable car. Hope you enjoy the post as I .Pau is worth the detour indeed

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

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January 18, 2022

Curiosities of my road warrior western campaign!!

Well, I have been saying road warrior in my posts. The reason is I love to travel by car and lucky to be in belle France , both central north and west areas that allowed me to do these trips. I have passed by many many small towns that seems obscure at first but pack a wonderful history and heritage of their own. Therefore, let me use this post to tell you about Etauliers, St Jean de Beugné, and Mouzillon.

The town of Saint-Jean-de-Beugné is located in the Vendée department 85 of the Pays de la Loire region. The St John the Baptist Church built from the 12C to the 15C. It has three altarpieces, and a portrait oil on canvas of St John the Baptist. It is right on the road D137.

Saint jean de Beugné

You can see precious remains of its heritage with the Chapel Sainte Catherine des Mottes, 12-13C near the communal hall in the village of Les Mottes, dating from the Carolingian period or about 751 to 987. An important period in the history of Saint Jean de Beugné, explains the name of St Jean arose from the 8C with the evangelization and the establishment of a priory in the current town depending on the monastery of Luçon. The dominant lord belonged to the Chateaubriand family With the Hundred Years War everything was destroyed and became English possession, The writings tell us that the parish belongs to 2 owners, one to the Marquis de Dangeau and the other to the Chapter of Luçon, A note that during the revolutionary period, the town was called Beugné en Plaine.

The city of Saint Jean de Beugné on its heritage

The town of Mouzillon is located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region. Mouzillon is located in the Muscadet vineyard, 2 km from Vallet, 6 km from Clisson, and 28 km from Nantes.

The tourist attraction of Mouzillon is undoubtedly its Gallo-Roman bridge of four unequal arches which spans the Sanguèze. It would be the vestige of a Celtic road which linked Rouen to Bordeaux and of which Mouzillon would have been a stage. Nearby, the Saint-Julien fountain, said to be miraculous for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. The Saint-Martin Church, rebuilt in the 19C in neo-Gothic style, The church is dedicated to Saint Martin de Vertou, abbot, evangelizer of the region in the 6C.


The city of Mouzillon on its heritage

The vineyards of Nantes on the muscadet grape and Mouzillon

The town of Étauliers is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is located on the D137 road 60 km from Bordeaux.  By the A10 highway/motorway, Bordeaux is 35 minutes away. The highway junction is 3 minutes from the center of the town,

It is a station on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, a town of history, it owes its prosperity to its geographical location. The ancient Roman road, which links Saintes to Blaye, was used for fourteen centuries. In the 12-13C, it was used by pilgrims to Saint-Santiago de Compostela. A hospital, located near the road, run by religious, was intended for the rest of travelers. The D137 road was known under the name of “royal road” (imperial road under the Empire) and dates from the reign of Charles VIII. Its creation involves the establishment of hotels, inns and stagecoach services which are established by the roadside.

The parish Church Sainte Marie Madeleine rebuilt in 1853, neo-Gothic style, of great purity. It was consecrated on July 22, 1857 and is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. The richly decorated tympanum of the facade houses God the Father surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists: a lion, an eagle, a bull and a young man. Stone draperies hide false doors. Many stained-glass windows illuminate the interior of the building. Among the saints represented on these stained glass windows, figure Saint Romain, priest and apostle of Blayais,

On August 3, 1808, Napoleon I, the Empress Joséphine and their retinue made a short stop at Étauliers on their return from Bayonne. Another stopover for the emperor took place on October 29, 1808 while he was on his way to Spain. They were accommodated at the Dezage hotel. During its transformation into city/town hall, a Renaissance style fireplace was left in 1903-1904, which is still in the town council chamber. It is shown to visitors as having been part of Napoleon I’s bedroom.


The city of Etauliers info

The private tourism site Caruso33 on the marvels of the Gironde dept 33 on Etauliers

There you go folks, wonderful road warrior trips in my belle France. Beauty, architecture, history is all around us and I am enjoying every minute of it. Hope you do like the post and venture out into the off the beaten path of my France, you will be even more amazed. For now enjoy Mouzillon, St Jean de Beugné, and Etauliers.

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

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