Archive for January, 2022

January 28, 2022

Curiosities of Granville!!

This is a nice town which we visited as a family and have several posts in my blog. However, there are some pictures missing and will tell you all about it here to do more credit to wonderful Granville. Hope you enjoy the post as I remembering of it.

The city of Granville is in the Manche department 50 in the Normandie region. It is a seaside and climatic resort in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel at the end of the Côte des Havres, a former cod fishing port and the first shellfish port in France. It is sometimes nicknamed the “Monaco of the North” due to its location on a rocky promontory, the presence of a casino and several large luxury hotels. Granville owes its name to the Grant family, to which Duke William the Conqueror (king of England) allotted land.

Today you can come into the city by the road RD 924 towards Villedieu-les-Poêles of which we take always, The road RD 973 from Avranches is also a good choice. Granville is 25 km from the A84, a free highway/autoroute which we take. It is also crossed from north to south by road RD 911, the coastal road to Avranches. The Paris-Granville train line, departing from Paris-Montparnasse station, terminates at Granville station. It is used by Intercités Normandie and TER Normandie , By boat, the port of Granville serves the Chausey and Channel Islands.


Let me tell you a bit about its wonderful streets we enjoy walking and driving on them in our visits.

The Place du Général-de-Gaulle is the point marking the heart of the city center. It overlooks rue Lecampion, cours Jonville and rue du Docteur-Letourneur. It is crossed by Rue Paul-Poirier, the extension of the latter to the south leading to rue Couraye and rue Saint-Sauveur. The first city/town hall was erected here in 1692,still is and the tourist office too. It pays homage to General de Gaulle, leader of Free France and President of the Republic from 1959 to 1969.


The Cours Jonville name is in tribute to Gilles Méquin-Jonville, doctor and former mayor of Granville. Cours Jonville is a central artery of Granville, with a single east-west traffic direction, which starts from the bottom of Boulevard d’Hauteserve for end on the Place du Général-de-Gaulle. An extension of Cours Jonville should be noted coming from rue Ernest-Lefrant. It receives the rue du Boscq, the rue du Docteur-de-La-Bellière, which crosses it, the rue du Docteur-Letourneur and the passage de l’Abreuvoir. You have the interesting building at No 7 of the Banque de France built in 1890. It opened in the 1920s before closing in 2004. There is ,also, a nice open air market on Saturday mornings.


The Rue Paul-Poirier is name after Paul Poirier, surgeon who bequeathed a maternity hospital to the city of Granville. Former rue du Pont, rue Paul-Poirier is a shopping street in the city center. Oriented south-north, it rises from the Place du Général-de-Gaulle to the intersection between the rue des Corsaires, the rue des Juifs and the rue Georges-Clemenceau. At the top of the street, the motorist then heads respectively towards the port district, towards the Upper town and towards the casino. In its lower part, it extends beyond the Place du Général-de-Gaulle and overlooks the rue de l’Abreuvoir, the rue Couraye, the rue Saint-Sauveur, the rue des Carrosses, and the rue Clément-Desmaisons. The rue du Pont, a historic crossing of the Boscq, dates back to the 17-18C, at the time of the growth of the port and the development of suburbs in the Lower Town. It takes its current name of Rue Paul Poirier in 1907.


The city of Granville on its heritage

The Granville tourist office on the must sees

There you go folks, another dandy tour which can be done on foot of Granville by the bay of Mont Saint Michel, gorgeous countryside of my belle France. Again, hope you enjoy the tour and see you soon by Granville.

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

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January 27, 2022

Curiosities of Dieppe!!

The wonderful memorable city of Dieppe is in the département 76 of Seine-Maritime in the region of Normandie. It has been called the city of the four harbors in the Caux country ,about 170 km from Paris, and north of Rouen; right in the deep valley of the Arques. We have come here often, more when living in Versailles; but still nice memories of Dieppe. I like to tell you more of it with new pictures in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Dieppe has a beach,right off the bd de Verdun, and yes! Casino 3 boulevard de Verdun , 18 hole golf course, racecourse, harbor with ferry service and very nice complex of thalasotherapy on the beach and near the castle such as the Les Bains, Centre Aquatique et Thalasso , 101 bd de Verdun. Since 1980, it host every two years, the biggest kite event on the beach by Bd de Verdun ,on a site Aire de cerf-volant . This is the Festival International de Cerf-Volant, with as much as 44 countries represented and one of the best world events. Be there Sept 2022. Webpage:

dieppe bd verdun to castle sep07

The Boulevard de Verdun is facing the Dieppe beach, with plenty to do there and around it, There is plenty of on street parking but also an underground Indigo La Plage parking, The street takes you directly to the Castle/museum of Dieppe (see post).  Of course, we have stayed there overnight to fully enjoy the city! At the Hotel de la Plage, 20 Bd de Verdun, just across from the beach and near the pool complex ,and castle. Great normandy welcome,friendly, excellent price for a family and great views. Inter Hotels chain we use all over too, webpage:

And lastly, we have eaten in a couple places in Dieppe over the years, and for a while the Créperie Ty Breiz was a warm welcome managed by the owner-family with a good feel of the Bretagne. However, they have closed a while back, nevertheless , just for the memories of always will leave a picture.

Dieppe ty Breiz creps front jul09

You cannot leave this town without going to the fish market, even if not buying, and we have! This is around quai Henri IV facing the marina. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7h30 to about 13h. The scallop is king here. It has more than one trick in its shell and you will appreciate it in a thousand ways. It can seduce you naturally, raw in carpaccio, or snacked, accompanied by small candied vegetables. It goes great with strong alcohol, preferably a shot of Calvados. This is the white gold of the Dieppois, an institution, an emblem that has stood the test of time. Try it of course from Dieppe! You will see plenty of painters and painters to be around quai Henri IV, lovely spot with a view of the boats, the sea and the cliffs of Dieppe!

dieppe pleasure marina to ch st jacques sep07

dieppe quai henri IV sep07

The city of Dieppe on its heritage

The Dieppe tourist office on the beach and its activities

The Dieppe tourist office webcam on the beach

There you go folks, a memorable town with the whole family for several years, and we have good visits enjoying fully marine Dieppe. Hope you enjoy this new post and the older pictures as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 27, 2022

Café Brasserie La Bourse of Saumur!!

We came for the wonders of the Loire river and my belle France, continuing our road warrior trips and enjoying the best of the country. There have been many but I am choosing the most memorable times with my family.  We came to Saumur!

I have written on Saumur wonders before but let me give you a brief introduction to the town ok. Saumur is a sub-prefecture of the department of Maine-et-Loire, No. 49 in the Pays de la Loire region. It is particularly known for his cavalry school, castle and wines.

Saumur is located in the natural region and former division of the province of Anjou. Nearby towns are Angers ,and Chinon, and  Tours (Indre-et-Loire).(see posts). The town of Saumur has five associated towns since February 1, 1973: the city of Saumur itself in the center ,on the left bank of the Loire and the right bank of its tributary Le Thouet, Dampierre sur Loire , half of the island of Souzay which it shares with the neighboring town of Souzay-Champigny), Bagneux , Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent and including the village of Terrefort and the aerodrome of Saumur – Saint -Florent), and Saint-Lambert-des-Levées . Saumur is located in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park, of which it is the largest town.

The city of Saumur on its history

The Saumur tourist office on its heritage

And now to our fav brasserie in town, again as we do just without reservations just pop in as in your house, the real French welcome with real people, and real food. This is special for me as was the last trip I was able to take with my dear late wife Martine, afterward she passed away from cancer RIP ; memories forever, we will be back with the boys,I have to update this older nostalgic post with new text and same pictures.


The Café Brasserie La Bourse, 1 place de la Bilange,  It is an institution in Saumur with its large terrace. Depending on the affluence at lunch, we will be more or less quickly serve and when a big service is on the way, we will cut a little attention. Like all institutions, it must constantly give the desire to return, so the carte menu is renewed according to the seasons and desires of the chef. Traditional Brasserie Saumurois, at the foot of the theater and a few meters from the Loire river, with magnificent views worth it to take a walk along after eating. La Bourse has a large capacity indoors as on the large terrac outside.


It is fast but above all we were impressed by the service of the team. They are fast, efficient with a good memory and communicate with each other to provide water, bread, etc. A nice menu and value for money very interesting indeed. They exchange their role with amazing dexterity. All with a smile always shown; we shall return!


The Facebook page of Brasserie La Bourse in Saumur

The Anjou area tourist office on the Brasserie La Bourse of Saumur

There you go folks, another dandy to try it in your visits or travels in my belle France. Very nice location in Saumur, and wonderful service and food at the Café Brasserie La Bourse!

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

January 27, 2022

The Place Royale of Nantes!!

Here is another from the vault, have written briefly on it as part of the Christmas market of Nantes (see post). However, feels it needs a post of its own on the architecture and history on the Place Royale or royal square of Nantes!! Therefore here is my again historical version of it; hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place Royale is located in the city center of Nantes, was designed in 1786 and laid out in 1790 after the destruction of the medieval ramparts, it constitutes the central element of a homogeneous set of buildings responding to classical architecture built for the occasion . It has a monumental fountain inaugurated in 1865. Dedicated from the start to trade, it has housed brands that have marked memories, and in the 21C retains its commercial vocation. It has a symbolic value in the city, and is a popular point of artistic, festive or political gatherings.  The royal square is shape of a rectangle and a hemispherical part, giving it a shape known as “toilet mirror”. A fountain, symbol of the city, sits in the center of the rectangular part. The square, entirely paved with granite blocks, is served by nine streets : rue Crébillon, rue de la Fosse, rue de Gorges, rue La Pérouse,rue d’Orléans, rue du Commandant-Boulay ,rue d’ Arche-Sèche, rue Saint-Julien and rue des Vieilles-Douves, The square is located at one of the lowest points of the city.

Inaugurated in 1865, the monumental fountain symbolizes Nantes‘ river and maritime vocation. Its pyramidal structure is made up of three superimposed granite basins, the one at ground level forming a square. The city is represented by an allegorical statue in white marble (all the others are in bronze) with the features of a crowned woman holding a trident. It stands facing the rue Crébillon,( closer facing resto la Taverne Royale) perched on a pedestal surmounting a circular basin overlooking the lower level. She watches over a series of allegorical statues representing the Loire and its tributaries. The Loire is represented by a woman, seated in the direction as the statue of Nantes, and who pours water from two amphorae. Its tributaries are symbolized by two statues of women and two statues of men, half-elongated and pouring water through an amphora: the Erdre, the Sèvre, the Cher and the Loiret rivers. Other statues symbolize the eight geniuses of industry and commerce: blowing water through shells and perched on dolphins spitting water through their nostrils, they recall the major role of the port in the economy of the city. Behind it the Taverne Royale resto.

nantes place royale fountain and statue city of nantes my13

A bit of history I like

Originally, the site was occupied by an advanced bastion built around 1500, defending access to the Porte Saint-Nicolas, itself pierced into the enclosure of Peter I of Brittany, and rebuilt since 1444 (it opened between two towers named in honor of the bailiff and his wife: Pierre de Bretagne tower, to the north, and Alix de Bretagne tower, to the south).  This bastion, surrounded by ditches, was demolished in 1773. In 1769, part of the land was given by Louis XV to his new mistress, Madame du Barry. The level of Boulevard Saint-Nicolas is lowered, the old moats partly filled in to give access to the Place du Bon-Pasteur. In 1784, a negotiation led to the transfer of land from Madame du Barry to the city of Nantes, against the payment of a very large sum. The city also acquired the possessions of Jean-Joseph-Louis Graslin (theater see post) in 1789. The city of Nantes,then launched a major urban planning program.

Articulated around the royal square or Place Royale. This is rectangular, and in a semicircle. The rue des Vieilles-Douves and the rue Saint-Julien were created to respect the symmetry with the openings of the rue de la Fosse and rue de Gorges. Around the square, the facades are uniform the buildings have four floors, including an entresol, a first floor with openings onto a balcony, two floors with high windows and a slate roof pierced with dormers. This ordered set is characteristic of French royal squares. The Porte Saint-Nicolas and its two towers (read above) were demolished in 1790, the work planned around the square completed in 1794.

When the project was launched, the existing esplanade was called Place Saint-Nicolas. In the project, the future square must be called Place Louis XVI, a name it bears between 1789 and 1792. But the French revolution makes this name obsolete. The square then took the names of champ de la Liberté and champ de l’Égalité, or place de l’Égalité until 1806. Under the First Empire (Napoleon I) it became Place Impériale. During the Restoration (revolution of 1815) , it could not find its initial name: in fact, it is the Place d’Armes, in the middle of which stands one of the rare statues of Louis XVI, who takes the name of this king. Between 1814, Place Impériale was renamed Place Royale. The Revolution of 1848 brought about a new change, the Place de l’Égalité was once again in the air in 1849. Finally, in 1852, the Place Royale took its final name. However, it has never housed a monarch statue, which distinguishes it from other royal places in France.

The bombing of September 16, 1943 devastated the esplanade , destroying eight of the nine buildings which surround the square. It was decided after the war to rebuild it identically, The buildings were rebuilt, this time in concrete, slightly set back from their old alignments. However, they include some modifications such as the enlargement of the windows and skylights, or the access to the buildings, which is now carried out at the rear to favor shops on the square side. In doing so, the latter, with wide sidewalks, was enlarged to facilitate traffic., The work was carried out in 1961 , The fountain, long confined to the role of ornamental roundabout, was renovated from February to March 2007. The square was changed in order to make it more pedestrian. This transformation was inaugurated on April 6, 2007. Since 2011, Place Royale has become entirely pedestrianized.

For memories of shopping and we come always for the Christmas market held here (see post) you have by the axis of the rue Crébillon, since the end of the 19C, there had been the Café Continental, which offered 750 seats, contained a mezzanine and housed a orchestra. The Cafe Continental became the Taverne de Maitre Kanter and later currently the Taverne Royale. We have been to the later two nice splendid views, Between rue des Vieilles-Douves and rue Saint-Julien, the Pharmacie de la place Royale holds the record of presence on the esplanade, having been founded in 1793, and not having disappeared until 2010. The Grande Pharmacy de Paris, now call the Pharmacie de Paris, founded in 1900, is still the oldest store active on Place Royale.

No specific mention as a tourist spot but it is really. Leave you with two sites for reference on Nantes.

The Metro agglo of Nantes :

The Nantes tourist office on the green trail of monuments to see

There you go folks, another dandy spot in nice Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region in pretty Nantes. Hope you enjoy the walk to the Place Royale, worth the detour indeed. Thanks for reading me and hope you enjoy it as I

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

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January 26, 2022

Wines news of France XV !!

And again wines, my newest series in my blog but an older hobby from yours truly! Let me share with my readers and followers this wonderful heavenly liquid we enjoy so much in my family. There are many wine regions of the world, and performance is going up all over including my beloved Spain. However, when it comes to decision, France is tops me think. Therefore, here is my newest Wines news of France.

I open with a bang with the second Grand Cru Classé of Margaux, Château de Brane-Cantenac belonging to Henri Lurton, renowned for its exceptional terroir, discreetly cultivates racy wines at very affordable prices. Its clientele is made of 70% sold in Europe, including 40% in France, A nugget of 75 hectares in one piece where Cabernet Sauvignon dominates (55%). The heart of the vineyard is located on the dominant ridge of Brane whose plots are among the most beautiful of the legendary AOC with the estate and its pretty chartreuse with a double tower remains the place to be, Wonderful property and one of my favorites, webpage :

Château d’Issan 2018 Margaux, another of my dandies , The 2018 vintage, as dense in the mouth as it is to the eye with its dark color surrounded by purple, will perfectly complete the tasting. On the nose, aromas of cedar, floral dried rose escape while the palate of great freshness, mineral, juggles with smoothness, complexity, maturity and salinity. The whole evokes richness and courtesy, playing on velvet from the attack to the finish. A lively and creamy wine with well-integrated silky tannins. A delight ! Webpage :

The Château Malactic-Lagraviére ,Cru Classé de Graves has been developing a visibility strategy for several years by multiplying screen appearances, particularly in Hollywood productions. Latest: the adaptation of “Death on the Nile” by Kenneth Branagh, in theaters on February 9, 2022. Hercule Poirot will come to solve one of his most famous cases in a new version of “Death on the Nile”: Agatha Christie’s novel is adapted by British director and actor Kenneth Branagh, who also finds himself in front of the camera decked out in mustaches of the famous Belgian detective, and surrounded by a four-star cast, including Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, and Letitia Wright. Spectators who flock to the cinema to see this sparkling production will be able to see, during a sequence, the characters revel in a bottle of Château Malartic-Lagravière 1920. Suspense, exoticism, glamour, intrigue which takes place aboard a boat (symbol of Malartic-Lagravière), The Malartic-Lagravière also appeared in the English series “Riviera” with Poppy Delevingne, and in the French comedy « Mes très chers enfants » or My Very Dear Children in 2019, Malartic was also invited to the American Cinémathèque’s tribute gala dinner to actress Charlize Theron; and, last November, it was another star, Scarlett Johansson, who posed with a magnum of Malartic signed by them, on the occasion of the thirty-fifth ceremony of the same American Cinémathèque.webpage :

Even if away from Burgundy lately, this was one of my first properties and well deserving house in Beaune. Here is a bit of history i like

The history of Bouchard Père et Fils. In the 18C, Michel Bouchard ran a cloth trade with Flanders. This activity regularly leads him to stop off in Burgundy with hosts who, on the way, sell him wine. Once he arrived in Flanders, he quickly realized that his customers always asked him for more Bourgogne wine. Gradually, Michel Bouchard abandoned his drapery business to devote himself exclusively to the sale of wine from the Beaune vineyards, which he considered more profitable. In fact, in 1731, he moved to Beaune and founded the Bouchard house. His son Joseph Bouchard bought in 1775, a first plot of 3.76 hectares of pinot noir grape variety, in Volnay in the climate of Caillerets , Later, the sales of the national property of the Burgundian clergy and monks expropriated by the French revolution was an opportunity to purchases to extend the estate, including the Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus, in Beaune. This plot will become the emblem of Bouchard Père et Fils. The company also obtains the monopoly of the Clos Saint Landry cru. In 1820, the descendant Bernard Bouchard bought the prestigious Château de Beaune, a former royal bastion of the 15C leaning against the ramparts of the city, built during the reign of Louis XI. The galleries with fortified and isolated walls were then transformed into aging cellars. The Beaune du Château cuvée, made from a blend of Beaunes 1er crus, was born in 1907. In 1995, the Bouchard heirs, some of whom were far from the wine world , collectively resell plots of the family business to the Champagne house Henriot, which undertakes in return to develop the wine-growing activity of Bouchard Père et Fils. Joseph Henriot thus made acquisitions in Côte de Nuits and Meursault, then bought the William Fèvre house in Chablis and the Château de Poncié in Beaujolais, among others. The house can be visited at 15, rue du Château,Beaune, Webpage :

The Champagne Wine Museum on the avenue de Champagne, Epernay. The museum exhibits unique pieces dating from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages,in the Château Perrier, it is only about champagne. We won’t complain. In Épernay, after a long renovation and its inauguration on May 29, 2021, the new Champagne Wine and Regional Archeology Museum, located in the prestigious premises of the former Château Perrier, on the fascinating Avenue de Champagne, offers the opportunity to admire one of the most important national archaeological collections. In total, the establishment has more than 100,000 objects. A unique collection that brings together 80,000 regional pieces, from the Paleolithic to the beginning of the Middle Ages, 4,000 objects and documents relating to the history of Champagne wine, bearers of its geological, archaeological, historical and cultural identities. Built from 1852 to 1857, Château Perrier is the first testimony to the architectural diversity of the region. The interior decorations, the parquet floors in marquetry or the neo-18C grille were made by craftsmen who created the decorations of the Opéra Garnier or the Paris City Hall.Nice indeed Webpage :

Something to indulge while looking at the Louvre, there is a lot more than works of arts, the wines are also a work of art !! The Caves du Louvre offer you a fun and interactive journey into the world of wine, It is right next to the famous Louvre museum that we meet another temple dedicated to culture. Two streets away at 52 Rue de l’Arbre Sec off rue de Rivoli, stands a magnificent mansion dating from the 18C with one of the most beautiful facades in Paris! It was erected by André Eynaud, a great wine merchant who supplied King Louis XV and his court. Its architecture houses magnificent vaulted cellars which, according to history, allowed wines to be discreetly transported to the Louvre Palace. The hotel was then bought by Jacques-François Trudon, head of the royal wax factories. The latter provided the candles needed to light the Louvre Palace and the Palace of Versailles. He will also open, within his cellars, a grocery store offering wines, Today, Les Caves du Louvre has 600 m2 accessible to visitors. The key: guided tours by a sommelier, workshops, tastings, for an immersive initiation into the world of wine. Along the way, you will discover different spaces awakening all your senses: the terroir room for touch, the aroma room for smell, the laboratory for taste, the bottling room for sound and finally the label room for the view. Throughout this experience, a multitude of notions will be explained to you (vineyard, vinification, flavors, label, etc.). The visit will end with a tasting of three to six selected wines. And if that’s not enough for you, you can opt for a workshop…Les Caves du Louvre cellars webpage :

You can tell the wine by its color ,yes indeed, Here is a sampler in my technical side of the post:

Yellow Green, This yellow-green color reminds me of a wine with notes of dried grass, straw, citrus. .

Green gold, I am thinking of white wines high in sugars, sweet sweets, A wealth of candied fruit aromas with a well-balanced sweetness.

The pale gold evokes the sun, the heat and especially the grape in its most beautiful diversity. With its finesse, its roundness

Straw yellow is a delicately macerated and slightly cloudy, almost orange white grape juice. Aromas of freshly fermented fruit, tangy and crunchy, such as nectarine and not quite ripe pineapple. A delight.

Doré à la Stéphane Tissot from Château Chalon is more saline, En Spois, more honeyed. I was just entering the world of wine and discovering what this liquid gold harbored intense emotions…

Almost black nature does it right. A wine often shares the same color as the aromas it releases. With this almost black, I imagine a sunny mouth of black cherries, or rich and surprising wines that play with time,

There is in the word purple, in its very pronunciation, a certain heaviness. I have in mind the image of a thick hanging that nothing makes move, then in places a reflection would appear, like piled up velvet… When the purple is in the glass, we manage to see light there according to the wrist movement. There you have it, a diaphanous breakthrough!

Until the 1970s, in Ancy-sur-Moselle, most of the “elders” owned a few ares of vines and produced wine for their personal consumption, Drawn from the barrel, they had this purple coloring. and I remember their scents of Moselle quetsche and small plum, masked at first by a volatile acidity, formidable in some years.

Garnet, for me, is pomegranate: matter, structure, but also light. The powdery velvet of chocolate ganache. Garnet, pomegranate, ganache, grenache ,and more !

Raspberry , Seeing this color, I first thought of 100% grolleau but it may be more warm red. I will therefore stick to the Bordeaux claret, oh yes !

Cooking and wines the best combination. We cannot eat at home without wine on the table. This is a nice recipe from Taillevent restaurant in Paris, of one of our favorite foods ,oysters that goes well with the local Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur lie white wines!

Natural oysters, figs, Colonnata bacon and wild carrot seeds For 4 people 2 Solliès figs, 4 very thin slices of Colonnata bacon, wild carrot seeds (3 seeds per oyster), 10 cl of port, 1 tablespoon of red vinegar. Cut the figs into quarters and marinate them in port and red vinegar overnight. Then dry them gently in the oven at 100°C for 2 hours. Open the oysters keeping the foot. Arrange the fig pulp on the oyster. Cover with Colonnata bacon previously melted in the oven at 100°C. Sprinkle with a few wild carrot seeds. Delicious!!! Great for Valentine’s Day coming up !! restaurant for reference webpage:

There you go folks, another dandy culinary tour of my belle France! It is all over really not just Paris mind you, go out into the countryside you will be amazed of things not even Hemingway knew about! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

January 26, 2022

Some news from Spain CXIX

And back to my beloved Spain, on a cold day here and Madrid. My stadium Santiago Bernabeu is almost done and can’t wait for the green light to go visit the new stadium. In between, here are my some news from Spain series, and thanks for reading me.

The Casa del Ataud or Coffin House, the unknown predecessor of the Metropolis Building (see post) that was inaugurated exactly 111 years ago and converted into a symbol of the Gran Vía, the space on which it stands today was previously occupied by a most atypical construction, a very different building occupied the site that existed between Calle de Alcalá and Calle Caballero de Gracia. The Coffin House, popularly known for the narrowness of its façade, barely reached five meters in length. It was built in 1851 from the Calle de Alcalá, its façade measured 15 meters, from Calle Caballero de Gracia it did not exceed 14.90 meters. The Casa del Ataúd was demolished when construction began on Gran Vía, conceived as one of the largest urban interventions in Madrid at the time. The commissioning of one of the busiest arteries in Madrid involved the demolition of a total of 312 houses. In addition, 44 plots of land were leveled, 8,856 meters of sidewalks were de-paved, and more than 20,000 square meters of paving were removed. Yes Madrid is a lot different today even from my time in the early 1970’s.

The Prado Museum has just inaugurated an exhibition that proposes a journey through the American artistic culture that arrived in Spain in the Modern Age. The exhibition is made up of 107 pieces, of which 95 are kept in cultural institutions, religious spaces or collections in our country. The objective is to know the reasons for the journey during the Modern Age of these works of Ibero-American origin. The first room revolves around the concept of “square” as an urban element. Through it, the first two sections dialogue, “Geography, conquest and society” and “Images and cults of round trip”. The third section, “The crossings of art”, is articulated around domestic and ecclesiastical trousseaus while those typical of the Indian identity are under the umbrella of “Impronta indiana”. Prado webpage :

The town of Nuevo Baztán, in Madrid’s Alcarria, 50 km from the city, was chosen a year ago as one of the most beautiful in Spain. Today triples its visitors attracted by the palace of Churriguera , Juan de Goyeneche with the help of his friend the architect José Benito de Churriguera built between 1709 and 1713 a small city of new plant that he called Nuevo Baztán in homage to his homeland . It was the first time in Spain that a town was created to house a group of manufacturers and their workers. You should pay attention to the Tritons fountain, also in Churriguera, before heading towards the Plaza del Mercado, which preserves the original cobblestones. And peek at the Plaza de Fiestas, with a square floor plan. Bullfighting shows are no longer held, but concerts and summer cinema are. « El Zorro » was filmed here with Alain Delon, Madonna was never in Nuevo Baztán, but in the video clip of La isla bonita you can see several images of the town. The Plaza de la Cebada, where the humblest houses are like matchboxes, where factory workers and farmers lived. Across the road, an agricultural center served to supply them. Today it is the Fourth Lot winery, so called because it was within a quarter of the assets that Goyeneche’s heirs shared out. The Nuevo Baztàn tourist office :

 Fitur, the international tourism fair ,In its pavilion 9, it is possible to tour the entire region, including the capital Madrid, since the Community and the City Council share a stand. For the first time, in addition, there is the Los pueblo de Madrid space,(the towns of Madrid) which details the news and leisure plans for the next 12 months in the 179 towns of the region. The fair already happened but here are my favorites! Colmenar Viejo (see post), for its part, praises two of its popular festivals, La Maya, of literary origin, and La Vaquilla, in which 25 figures pretend to be these animals walking through the streets of the town amid dances and cheers. Its next edition is this January 29 2022. One last plan: get to know the first national museum of the Spanish Tercios (miitary units) in Villarejo de Salvanés (see post), which opens in February2022. Webpage :

A wonderful place already written on it in my blog, see post. More than 180 years old and with monumental facilities, González Byass Tío Pepe is one of the most important tourist attractions in Jerez de la Frontera. Its history, its legends, the beauty of its facilities, the centuries-old cathedrals where fortified wines age and its privileged location in the heart of the old town of Jerez de la Frontera, between the Cathedral and the Alcázar, are some of the reasons why it has been become the most visited winery in Europe and the best wine tourism destination in the DO Sherry of the planet, as published in The World’s Best Vineyards , We discover six curiosities of this legendary brand that in 2010 received the award for Best Winery in the World at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. Behind the Cathedral and at the foot of the Alcázar de Jerez, the gate at number 12 on Calle Manuel María González opens to invite the visitor on a journey through time. The seven-hectare site where Tío Pepe is located lacks vineyards (these are on the outskirts), however, in this small town there are old houses with white facades with Andalusian patios, 2,900 square meters of gardens with more than 400 trees and plants of 40 different species, spectacular centuries-old cathedrals where generous and brandies age, different wineries, a cooperage and beautiful narrow cobbled streets whose walls and ceilings are covered with vines. One of them is Los Ciegos,(the blinds) a magical corner considered one of the most beautiful streets in Spain. the Hotel Bodega Tío Pepe, a 27-room boutique hotel in a recovered building, more than 150 years old, made up of four houses that were once home to the workers of the winery. From the rooftop pool of the main building, you can almost touch the Cathedral of Jerez. Another curiosity of the Tío Pepe complex is that it houses the offices of the consulates of Sweden, Italy and Denmark, in addition to those of the González Byass group, which brings together Tío Pepe and ten other wineries from different denominations of origin throughout the Spanish geography. . At the entrance of the enclosure is the Real La Concha winery, a spectacular building with a semicircular floor plan and a metal structure whose design was attributed (there are discrepancies in this regard) to the prestigious French engineer Gustavo Eiffel. The large space with albero floors was built in honor of Queen Isabel II of Spain in 1868. Inside, 206 La Concha amontillado boots are arranged in a semicircle and each one has the flag of the 115 countries to which it has sales ;González Byass wine is exported. Another of the facilities considered an architectural jewel is the Gran Bodega Tío Pepe, in a modernist style, designed and built by Eduardo Torroja in 1964 in concrete, the only one in the Jerez region with this material. Up to 15 million liters of fino can be stored in it. The beautiful Los Apóstoles room, where important receptions and dinners are held, houses huge barrels that are more than 300 years old. The barrel of El Cristo stands out, an immense barrel with a capacity of 16,500 liters (33 barrels of 30 arrobas), which was ordered to be built in Germany. The name is related between the capacity of boots that it contained and the age of Christ when he died. Around it, there are another 12 barrels of 6,000 liters each, known as The 12 Apostles, although the name of Judas Iscariot was replaced by that of Matías. In El Cristo there is fine Tío Pepe made from grapes trodden by Queen Isabel II herself during her visit to the winery in 1862. The Bodega Los Reyes is dedicated to the Spanish royal family and houses the brand’s most precious and oldest wines, such as the Oloroso Methuselah, Del Duque amontillado or Pedro Ximénez Noé. There are also those classified as VORS (Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum or Very Old Rare Sherry), wines with more than 30 years of aging and exceptional quality. Most of its boots are signed and dedicated by the members of six generations of royalty in our country who have visited the wineries at some time, such as Isabel II (1862), Alfonso XII (1877), Alfonso XIII (1904), Victoria Eugenia (1927), Juan Carlos and Sofía (2000) and the Infanta Elena (2006). Other monarchs who have visited are Edward VIII of England (1927), Naruhito of Japan (1992) and Simeon of Bulgaria (1999), Reservation visit webpage :

The first Salvaje (wild) , a signature Japanese fusion cuisine business with cocktails and music, opened its doors in Panama, and later, Colombia. Today it has three restaurants in Madrid, in the recently reopened Hotel Bless, after moving from Calle Velázquez itself, in the wealthy neighborhood of La Moraleja, and the Galería Canalejas food hall, also a novelty. In addition to Barcelona, ​​in Only YOU Valencia and planning new locations, for example, in Marbella and Ibiza, Spanish destinations that move luxury. They have scheduled the opening of Paris in April, and after summer, they will open in Milan and Lisbon. In the US in 2022 ,they will open in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver. They are also going to reach the Arab world, first of all, to the city of Al Khobar around May, to Qatar to coincide with the World Cup and to Egypt, where they have planned a very special location in Cairo. In addition to the show, another the strong points is an eclectic decoration that also calls the mobile phone camera If there is something that hooks about Salvaje and makes you come back again and again, it is its Japanese cuisine with Latin roots, the result of the vital and professional experience and the creative personality of the Venezuelan chef Fermín Azkue, from a Basque father and with experience in some of the best restaurants in Europe, including some Michelin stars in Barcelona, ​​Paris and London, on the French island of Saint Barth, in the Caribbean, and in Panama. The Mixology is also a fundamental section Borja Goikoetxea, one of the most valued bartenders in our country, is the company’s head bartender and currently runs the national Salvaje or wild bars. Salvaje Madrid webpage :

If you want to see palaces in the strictest definition of the word palace then take a tour of these:Palacio Real de Madrid, Palacio de la Granja de San ildefonso in Segovia province , Palacio de Aranjuez in Madrid province ,Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander , Palacio de Larrinaga in Zaragoza, Palacio de los Leones in Granada, Pamacio Episcopal de Astorga in Léon, Palacio Municipal de la Coruña, Palacio de San Telmo in Sevilla , Palacio de Chavarri in Bilbao, Palacio de Sobrellano in Cantabria ,Palacio del Infantado in Guadalajara , Palacio de Santa Cruz in Valladolid, and Palacio Gûel in Barcelona. Something to plan ahead all wonderful.

Love dogs had them since childhood and glad my boys do too and help out a lot, Madrid is moving on!!pet friendly !! Nearly half a million pets currently live in homes in Madrid. The number of animals registered in the Identification Registry coordinated by the Department of the Environment and the Official College of Veterinarians of Madrid has increased by 30,000 pets in just five years. Between 2019 and 2020, 8,595 dogs and cats found a new family in the region, a rebound marked by a pandemic that seems to have made society aware of the advantages of living with a pet. In the case of public transport, movement with pets has been made easier in Madrid. In the municipal buses they can travel in their carrier. In Cercanías trains, dogs that are not in cages can travel, although it is mandatory that they travel with a muzzle, leash or non-extensible chain with a maximum length of 1.5 meters. Animals can travel on the Metro during the entire service except from 7h30 to 09h30, from 14h to 16h and from 18h to 20h. On weekends, holidays and the months of July and August, access is free. Of course, the journeys must be made in the last car of each train with a muzzle and a leash that, in this case, does not exceed 50 centimeters in length.

Its designation as World Design Capital 2022 is one more reason to enjoy new spaces by the sea or in the pedestrian heart of the Mediterranean city of Valencia! Veles e Vents is a verse from the great 15C poet Ausiàs March, the name of the building futuristic port of Valencia, designed by David Chipperfield and Fermín Vázquez, and the headquarters of the organization of Valencia World Design Capital 2022, This enclave is also a good starting point for touring the old maritime towns of the city and entering from the El Cabanyal The boutique hotel Balandret has established itself on the beachfront of Las Arenas, paying homage to the famous painting El Balandrito (1909), in which Sorolla painted that same sea , In a territory that last November declared paella An Asset of Cultural Interest, you cannot miss rice The Lavoe restaurant, next to the stately Calle de la Paz, embroiders it. The plaza del doctor Collado a newsstand and now, under the name of News & Coffee, it offers excellent coffees and design magazines under the nearby and hypnotic gargoyles of the Lonja to the spectacular and modernist Mercat Central of fresh products and full of decorative allusions to the orchard and gardens of Valencia, and even more so now that its entire heritage environment is being pedestrianised, The Buenavista store, already in the night-owl neighborhood of Carmen, brings together objects of ingenious and practical native design. The old Turia riverbed, converted into a garden, crosses Valencia and leads to a bike path whose route is full of contrasts and attractions. The path runs through the open seams of the outskirts, with the port cranes in the background, and through the surviving remnants of the orchard until it advances between pine trees and the El Saler sea and reaches the Albufera lake natural park. The Valencia tourist office:

The Can Jubany restaurant in Calldetenes (Barcelona) has been chosen as the favorite of the Spanish in 2021, according to the ranking just published by TheFork, (el tenedor) following it in the top 5 of the ranking La Casona del Judío, located in a 19C Indian house (Spanish returning from America) in Santander with a Michelin star, in third position is Venta Moncalvillo, the project by the Echapresto brothers in Daroca de Rioja, La Rioja, followed by the Amós de Jesús Sánchez gazebo in Villaverde De Pontones (Cantabria) and L’Ó-Hotel Món Sant Benet, in Sant Fruitos De Bages (Barcelona), also with a Michelin star, Catalonia is the region with the highest representation of Spain within the ranking, with 26 restaurants in the top 100, of which 20 are in the province of Barcelona . For its part, the Community of Madrid follows with 16 restaurants, while the Valencian Community and the Basque Country register a total of nine each.

Pizza Hut has just landed in the Plaza Mayor (Calle Gerona, 3), and to celebrate the opening of the new establishment in one of the most emblematic and traditional places in Madrid, the American fast food chain is launching its peculiar Pizza Chulapa for a limited time, a tribute to one of the gastronomic icons of the capital: the squid sandwich. One more reason to be in Madrid for us!! Webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy opening window to Spain, everything under the sun! Hope you enjoy the post as I, and always looking forward to visit my beloved Spain and my dear Madrid!!!

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

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January 26, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLVI

Therefore, here I go with my regular series on some news from France. This has become my longest running regular series and I thank you all my readers and followers. The days are now wintery with temps in 32F or 0C gray well winter at least we have no snow!! Let me get off these news report for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

From this Monday, January 24, 2022 the vaccination pass comes into force and replaces the health pass ! Here we go again folks!! Concretely, this means that presenting a negative test is no longer enough: it is now necessary to justify a complete vaccination schedule, i.e. one or two doses depending on the vaccine. , and its booster dose. And that concerns anyone over the age of 16; minors aged 12 to 15, for their part, remain with the simple health pass. This vaccine is now in force will be requested in all restaurants, bars and cafes, like its big health brother. But it will also be necessary to count on it to access all the leisure activities, from the cinema to the sports hall, as well as to transport, that is to say all the planes and the coaches and interregional trains, except in the event of compelling reason. We are forcibly taken all the shots and we are ready to go out! Even if the demonstration against the pass are gaining ground,

The travel site Tripadvisor (one I left long ago) has compiled its list of the world’s 10 best eating cities by compiling data shared by its users. Rome takes first place, followed by London then Paris. (this is no surprise as after it all is heavily influence by the readers there), Paris closes the top 3 with food critics who nevertheless praised the quality of the French products such as cheese! London has seduced the hearts of its travelers with its unmissable fish and chips, its Borough Market or the Hand and Flowers, the only two-Michelin-starred pub in England. Finally, Rome takes first place with its famous pizzas and authentic pasta recipes. The ranking with my experiences in black are 1. Rome, 2. London, 3. Paris, 4. Dubai, 5. Barcelona, ​​6. Madrid, 7. São Paulo, 8. New York, 9. Bangkok, and 10. Singapore.

Placed under the supervision of the Commission des Monuments Historiques, the museum covers the history of the arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Since 2015, the museum has been engaged in a vast modernization project: creation of a new reception building, accessibility and resumption of visitor routes which will allow, by 2022, to bring the museum into the 21st century. The Cluny Museum, the medieval world is reopening during Spring 2022 , 6, place Paul Painlevé 5éme, webpage:

This new wasteland is the work of Yes We Camp (the co-founding collective of Les Grands Voisins), Plateau Urbain, Ancoats, Coups deousses and Aurore who won a call for tenders. For the moment, it’s a vast wasteland in the Bercy-Charenton ZAC, but to make the place more fun and lively than ever, there could be biodiversity, bars, barbecues in a few months in self-service, an urban garden, yurts and culture, here you go… A great program in perspective! Stay on for more news! Wasteland Les Grands Voisins, 22, boulevard Poniatowski, 12éme, Nearest stop metro line 8 Porte de Charenton and Tramway T3a, More info contact webpage:

From this Monday, January 10, 2022, the Navigo pass is transformed into a cultural pass in more than 300 places in Paris. Using public transport offers you many advantages and discounts from this Monday ; among the addresses concerned are: 147 cinemas, 63 museums, 52 performance halls, 26 cultural centers and 12 festivals. To enjoy the benefits, your pass will simply be scanned at the entrance to the facility to verify its validity. Welcome gifts, preferential rates, invitations to openings and other discounts are yours! Webpage :

At the Maison de Balzac, the artists to the test of the “unknown masterpiece”, Disparate works, Picasso or Bernard Dufour in particular, illustrate the famous news of the writer, dialogue with him or refer to it. The unknown masterpiece is a news of Honoré de Balzac, whose first publication dates from 1831 and the final version of 1847. The protagonists are three painters: the imaginary Frenhofer, the real Pourbus (Frans Pourbus) and Poussin (Nicolas Poussin) as well as the friend of this one, the beautiful Gillette. The young Poussin visits his elder Frenhofer , which Balzac presents as a student of Mabuse , the Flemish Jan Mabuse, which is more often called Jan Gossaert and who died in 1532, webpage :

On January 21, 2002 was inaugurated a contemporary art center in the Tokyo Palace in Paris. Twenty years later, the pandemic questioned a once winning model, based on the rental of space and patronage. The building was built on the occasion of the 1937 World Expo. The Bureau of the President of the Palace of Tokyo only resembles that of a President of French Cultural Institution. Of course, the view of the sky of Paris gives a prestigious impression. And the folders to sign and to parapher pile up. But here there is nothing ceremonial that we find elsewhere. There is strictly not even a desktop, but a huge circular table that invites disorder and collective meetings. Palais of Tokyo, the largest center of contemporary art in Europe, needs help=visitors, webpage :

This is the impression that this new fashion season autumn-winter 2022-2023, which took place in Paris from 18 to 24 January: 59 of the 76 houses listed in the official calendar played caution with a video or presentations (appointments face-to-face between designer and professionals). Only 17 brands organized physical parades with guests. So again , a new way to see the Fashion Week in Paris ! There is more coming here ,Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode webpage :

The gardens of Luxembourg and the Tuileries offers are of real very popular bonuses, but are not determining factors to develop or stay in Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The Saint-Germain-des-Prés , quartier or neighbohood no 24 and on the 6éme arrondissement or district of Paris, is a very privileged area with its old buildings and its proximity to many and famous green spaces. Only nature at hand does not seem to be a criteria determining and staying in the neighborhood. Although they occupy a small square in the daily lives of its inhabitants, green spaces do not always ever in first place when it has to skip the footsteps and invest. Living here, you hope to have a beautiful view of the Seine, on Saint-Sulpice. You want a Haussmann building to see older. But you do not think about parks. squares, there are everywhere. Here you look for a certain way of life in a bourgeois district. But this “way of life” also has its disadvantages. Everything is expensive, the pharmacy at 61, rue de la Seine is the most expensive of all Paris ! Yes even in the most beautiful city in the world, you cannot have it all !!! The Paris tourist office walks in the neighborhood :

The future of Orlyval compromised after the extension of metro line 14 to the airport, the opening, in 2024, a direct connection between Paris and Orly (Val-de-Marne 94 ) will remove a lot of its interest , At this automatic shuttle that connects the airport to Antony Rer B Station (Hauts-de-Seine 92 ), already low frequented. Ile-de-France Mobilité has not yet decided on its future. From 2024, to go from Paris to Orly Airport , public transport users will have the choice. Either a direct trip by the prolonged line 14 at the price of a metro ticket. Either a correspondence route to Antony by RER B, then the Orlyval automatic shuttle at the price of 9.30 euros (the shuttle price, not included in the Pass Navigo) plus the ticket from RER … which will still choose option B, the longest and most expensive? Of not many huge price difference and time.

At the Château de Chantilly, the Logis wing was a beauty for reopening, In the old owner of the duke of Aumale, in the Oise (60) the winter closure made it possible to operate renovations, and to restore certain works, in tight calendar to allow the reopening, this coming Saturday January 29. And expectations are large for 2022. Despite a rise in attendance in 2021, the past year was more marked by news related to the financial management of the Institute of France, the owner of the castle, strongly criticized. Managers would now like to focus on the cultural aspect. During this winter break, the big operation was therefore the Cabinet de Giotto, which brings together Italian works of the 14C to the 17C. This is one of the seven enfilade pieces that make up the paint galleries of the Logis wing. After the renovation of the private apartments of the Duke of Aumale, whose 200 years of birth are celebrated, it is the great project that will occupy the teams until 2024. What to put a little light on this part of the castle, less known than others. Watteau, Géricault, Delacroix or Ingres, however, there are all masterpieces to be shown ! Webpage :

The Saudade Portuguese resto is recognised as the embassy of Portuguese gastronomy in France. Saudade (given for good deeds, health, and prosperity) offers a setting faithful to its country of origin. Wooden furniture, earthenware on the wall and especially large tables, we go there to listen to fado, a traditional local song imbued with… nostalgia Saudade, 34 rue des Bourdonnais, 1éme, webpage:

Have you fallen in love with Portuguese pastry? If gluttony is a sin, it is easily forgotten when entering the shop. Also perfect at lunchtime, we leave with a dish (bacalhau a bras, baked chicken and baby vegetables, octopus with potatoes and salad…), a pastel and a drink for 11€. Café Nata, 58, rue Richer 9éme, webpage:

Difficult to forget his passage as he marked the spirits. Mallory Gabsi, 23 at the time of Top Chef, had his audience languishing for nearly two years. In an interview with Sudinfo, the news broke: Mallory will soon open its first restaurant in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris near the Arc de Triomphe. Be alert webpage:

A journey through time, from the 80’s to today, a scenography punctuated by ghetto blasters, jukeboxes, disco balls or collector skates while free access vintage consoles will bring together all retrogaming enthusiasts… As for food, beware the eyes: we travel around the world , minus the jetlag , with Asian burgers from Little BaoBei or street version fish from Père & Fish, passing through the recipes (pizzas in mind) from Magna and its chef Julien Serri or the Japanese-inspired rolls from Kantine (Kumo). iconik
28bis, avenue d’Italie, 13éme, Opened by December 9, 2021, webpage:

Last but not least another great one fades away…Thierry Mugler or fashion as a total art, in the 1970s, the Creator had imposed a line exacerbating femininity, and had transformed his parades into disproportionate shows. Later, his perfume Angel had had a phenomenal success, (presented by Eva Mendes) opening the doors of haute couture. Producer of shows, choreographer, he died on January 23, at the age of 73 of natural causes in Paris. RIP. Webpage:

Great Update, wonderful France! Historical scoop. The National Assembly, the first chamber of the French Parliament, has approved tonight the bill that will allow the return to the heirs of their first owners of the works that have been, for years, the property of the Louvre Museum and other great national heritage institutions, that you can return them to the heirs of their owners. They were looted by the Nazis. Fifteen works, including a Klimt and a Chagall, will be the first to benefit from the bill, after its final approval. The concordant works of several independent historians discovered, five years ago, that more than 100,000 works of art, among which were approximately a thousand masterpieces by great creators (Monet, Degas, Picasso, among others), were transferred from France to Germany, between 1940 and 1945. But the global importance of the works stolen by the Nazis that today are part of the national heritage. And the identity of the heirs of the victims of Nazi looting is also unknown. After its final approval, the new Law will allow an unprecedented historical review and restitution to begin. Great news I know of many works of arts in the Louvre; as I am friend of the museum since 2004.

There you go folks, another some news from France, and just great fun. Paris, one told us is a mouvable feast,and I said needs to be expanded to France is a mouvable feast. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by will you!!

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

January 25, 2022

The Château of Azay le Rideau!!!

And on my way back from my road warrior trip in the Loire Valley of the Kings, I had time to stop by another castle. I chose Azay le Rideau, believe or not ,this is my first visit to this castle. It was impressive as all of them in my belle France. Lucky enough to be less than 4 hrs from them ,and need more time to see them all!!! Let me tell you a bit more on the town and castle of Azay le Rideau! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Azay le Rideau is located in the department of Indre-et-Loire 41, the Centre-Val de Loire region, On January 1, 2017, it was integrated into the new community of towns Touraine Vallée de l’Indre. It is located in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park.

A bit of history on the town tell us that on July 4, 1189, Henry II Plantagenet, King of England, faced a coalition of his sons with Philip Augustus, King of France. His defeat ended with the Treaty of Azay-le-Rideau which established his son Richard the Lion Hearted as sole heir to the throne of England.  Honoré de Balzac quotes Azay-le-Rideau in his novels, in particular Le Lys dans la vallée (1836). The descendants of Armand de Biencourt having kept or having been able to buy back part of his important collection during sales, his granddaughter Marguerite Marie Amélie donated in 1939 to the “Musée Condé” in Chantilly a set of 52 portraits drawn by old masters ( François and Jean Clouet, Corneille de Lyon, Holbein, Memling, Pourbus, Cranach, Rubens, Stella).

It is accessible by the TER Tours – Chinon line which systematically stops in the town. I came from Amboise taken the road D31 to the autoroute/expressway A85 to the road D751 direction Azay le Rideau and into the castle. The parking is paying we did 2,80€ and just walk around the corner into the castle entrance, easy even with a wheelchair and Dad in tow in addition to our dog Rex!

The Château Azay le Rideau is one of the most beautiful Renaissance architectural marvels along the Loire valley It was built early 16C skillfully combining French architecture and Italian-Flemish influences In the 17C , a monumental entrance with a grand staircase was built with a half moon courtyard In the 19C 3 generations of the Marquis de Biencourt focused the restoration to elevate Azay to the rank of national treasure.

Azay le Rideau castle entr out jan22

Azay le Rideau castle entr front jan22

Azay le Rideau castle from entr ofc jan22

There is a Secret Garden in the 19C, today a conservatory garden planted with heirloom vegetables of the Centre Val de Loire region, There is the Priory Garden where a priory once stood and now it is an English garden, This leads you to the Main Courtyard or Cour d’honneur with an L shape logis and two facades in tuffeau, The Grand staircase is composed of four tiers of bays that are staggered in relation to the other windows of the logis, The emblems and initials of the salamander and ermine of François I and Claude de France (daughter of Anne de Bretagne), This Grand staircase very modern in 16C France was built at the center of the main building, with nice landings and a handrail sculpted into the wall attest the quest for comfort in its conception,The standings opening into loggias allowing people to look out while also being seen are covered by quite different vaults ,the arches of which are decorated with ermines, salamanders, and putti cherubs,  You come into the Great Hall or Grande Salle, with a monumental fireplace, tapestries and various wooden furniture.

Azay le Rideau castle to front ofc and garden moat jan22

Azay le Rideau castle grand staircase out jan22

Azay le Rideau castle le pressoir entr jan22

Azay le Rideau castle grand staircase jan22

You move on to the Psyche’s room, located beyond the Great Hall , the room was used as a bedroom during the Renaissance, It owes its name today to the wonderful tapestries adorning its walls telling the story of Psyche a methodological theme very much in vogue in the Renaissance, There are scenes depicted on them with the central one telling the story of Psyche persuaded by her sisters, the young girl tried to discovered the identity of Cupid and glimpses his face by the light of an oil lamp, A drop of burning oil falls on the god, who at once flees, abandoning her,

Azay le Rideau castle psyche room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle psyche room tapestries jan22

There is a little room as the wardrobe during the Renaissance period and then goes into the Renaissance room used as a living space then, People slept, ate here etc, The room reflects the 16C interiors as the bed is the main of the decor, There is a painting work of Primaticcio from the 16C.

Azay le Rideau castle work room jan22

You move into the Antechamber which served as a waiting room for people waiting to be received by the lord into his private apartments, Portraits of kings hangs on the wall from the Renaissance to the 17C, Louis XII can be seen on the left of the fireplace, then a series of portraits of François I, Henri II, and Henri III, Facing the fireplace portraits of Henri IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV shown standing.

Azay le Rideau castle antechambre room chimney jan22

Azay le Rideau castle antechambre room paintings jan22

The King’s bedroom where Louis XIII spent two nighs in 1619, The cabinet motifs shows the macabre episodes of the Thirty Years’ War which devastated Europe, The walls are adorned with 17C tapestries after the cartoons by Simon Vouet illustrating two episodes from Jerusalem Delivered , an epic by Torquato Tasso a celebrated Italian Renaissance poet,

Azay le Rideau castle bedroom kings jan22

We move on to the Biencourt Salon, Which as a state room ,its furnishing are of the highest quality, inviting distinguished guests to relax, A layout worthy of the best from the 19C aristocratic residences, You see an equestriajn statue of Louis XII, porcelain from the Indies, and a collection of 300 paintings from the 16-17C of great figures of France.

Azay le Rideau castle salon biencourt jan22

Azay le Rideau castle bedroom Biencourt jan22

You move to the wonderful Billiards ‘room, Portraits from the 16-17C belonging to the Biencourt family decorate this room, Amongst others, you see opposite the fireplace a 16C work representing Psyche bringing Proserpine’s vase to Venus, At the far end there is a remarkable bust in white marble and bronze of Henri IV in his robes.

Azay le Rideau castle billiards room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle billiards room et chimney jan22

There is the storeroom to house tableware, linen, etc for daily use as well as the necessary utensils for preparing meals, Next you have the kitchen with a ground level raised in the 19C, the fireplace and wells were just over a meter below and installed 16C, Follow up with the Dining Room ; where the table is set up according to the 19C with the Biencourt porcelain table service and completed with a table service of Louis XV, the dishes from the 18C.

Azay le Rideau castle dining room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle kitchen jan22

Azay le Rideau castle kitchen oven jan22

You have a corridor opened into the main coutryard from the 16C, and the Salon Library arranged according to furniture of 1854, You see gaming tables, musical boxes, and books with comfortable Louis Philippe sofas, bergeres, and armchairs ideal for relaxation and conversation, You go up the large attic given extra height because the walls supporting the trusses are raised above floor level, The original framework is oak,which was cut on the authority of François I in 1517 in the forest of Chinon.

Azay le Rideau

Azay le Rideau castle corridor stairs jan22

Azay le Rideau castle large attic jan22

The Château d’Azay le Rideau was taken over by the government of France in 1905 bare of all furniture,It was initially furnished by loans from public collections notably the Musée du Louvre and the Musée National du Moyen Âge, Since 2015, special partnership with the Centre des monuments nationaux has allowed for the restoration of about 100 pieces of furniture, carpets, objects, and works of arts incarnating the art of living in the 19C.

Another wonderful castle in the valley of the kings of the Loire. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

The Azay-Chinon-Val de Loire tourist office on the castle

The Touraine Val de Loire tourist office on the castle

The city of Azay le Rideau on its heritage

There you go folks, another dandy castle in the Loire! The Château d’Azay le Rideau is another worth the detour castle me think. We enjoy it and our quest to see them all continues, the castles of the Loire are awesome. A good reason to leave out Paris indeed.

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

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January 25, 2022

Montrichard and its heritage!!

Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Montrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire: less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115,

So again, my road warrior tours takes me to new places i was not intended to visit! This time with extra time after visiting Amboise and Chenonceau, took a peek of Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France.  Nice monuments here, and will like to show you these beautiful monuments in Montrichard Val de Cher! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil has a choir with polygonal apse vaulted cul-de-four, projecting transept and semi-circular apsidioles vaulted cul-de-four 12C, single nave of four bays 13C, facade and portal 15C, two superimposed 15C chapels at the corner of the nave and the north transept, two stone staircases, an internal staircase; paintings from the 16-17-18C. In the 15C, King Louis XI and Queen Charlotte of Savoy, his wife, continued to support it. Thus, thanks to them, the external staircase was completed. In addition, the sculpted tympanum takes the form of two cherubs bearing a shield now erased, formerly bearing the arms of Louis XI who launched work in the 15C. Also outside, on the chevet, interesting sculpted corbels are preserved. It is worth highlighting, inside, the presence of finely carved capitals with exceptional decorations. Plants, birds, characters or monsters, the varied subjects and the finesse of execution are remarkable.

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil front facade jan22
Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil altar jan22
The furniture of the Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil is of the most classic without any real striking piece, except for various paintings, most of which are kept at the city/town hall and in the museum. Only the Presentation at the Temple, a 17C oil on canvas is presented in the north transept., The most revered object is a statue of the Virgin Mary. This high place of Marian devotion has witnessed many miracles and graces, if judge by the quantity of ex-votos that are still gathered there. Pilgrimages have taken place there since time immemorial, since, in 1218, the lord of Montrichard had given the chapel a large meadow, already bearing the name of pilgrims’ meadow. King Louis XI went there often, he who built the great portal decorated with the arms of France, united with those of Charlotte of Savoy, his wife, Pope Pius IX granted indulgences to pilgrims coming to Notre-Dame de Nanteuil . The great annual pilgrimage takes place on Whit Monday (Pentecost) each year.

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil chapel sacre heart jan22

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil chapel virgin et child far jan22


The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on the church

The Hôtel d’Effiat at place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, built by Jean de Beaune for the Gothic part, and by his son, Guillaume de Beaune for the Renaissance part. The Marquis d’Effiat, who owned it, offered it to the city in 1717 to set up a hospice there. It remained a local hospital until 1977., The story goes that at the beginning of the 16C, Jacques de Beaune , superintendent and governor general of royal finances, became lord of Montrichard and baron of Semblançay. The castle having become uninhabitable, he had the “Grand Maison” built to the west of the castle, between rue Porte aux Rois and the current rue Carnot. During the reign of Louis XIV, Martin de Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, inherited the Montrichard estate, then in 1677 gave it to his eldest son Antoine, first squire to the Duke of Orléans. The Marquis d’Effiat bequeathed the “Grande Maison” to the city in a will of 1714 to set up a hospice there. It was a hospital-hospice from 1727 to 1977. During the 19C, the current chapel and the rooms that extend it replaced the rampart on the edge of the “mail Soudée” currently boulevard Philippe-Auguste. In 1978, the former hospice took the name of Hôtel d’Effiat and became a socio-cultural centre. The hotel was restored in 2007, The wonderful Chapelle d’Effiat is the church of the Hôtel d’Effiat at 8 Rue Porte au Roi.

Montrichard hotel de l effiat front jan22

Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat jan22

Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat nave to altar jan22

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on its heritage

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its history

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichard

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Hope you enjoy the Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil and the Chapelle d’Effiat in Montrichard Val de Cher!!

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

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January 25, 2022

Montrichard and its castle!

So again, my road warrior tours takes me to new places i was not intended to visit! This time with extra time after visiting Amboise and Chenonceau, took a peek of Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France.

Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Montrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire: less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115.

Nice monuments here but the main one me think is the donjon of the old castle and the museums inside or around it. Brief stop this is it for Montrichard Val de Cher!

The main tower constituting the Château de Montrichard from the 12C probably succeeds a first tower built by Foulques Nerra at the beginning of the 11C. The main tower is still in elevation with part of its curtain walls. The Castle is a fortified castle, now in ruins , and initially was built at the beginning of the 11C by the Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra. It served as a fulcrum in his fight against the Count of Blois, Eudes II. Hugues I of Amboise seized the fortress of Montrichard in 1109. He made expansion works and it is the remains of this fortress that we see today.

Montrichard castle towers jan22


Montrichard castle front side jan22

The former Château de Montrichard  keep is enclosed by a protective wall, a defensive wall, surrounding a tower, In 1461, Louis XI exchanged his lordships of Gourmay and La Ferté-en-Bray for the lordship and castle of Montrichard, together with Guillaume d’Harcourt. The king chose this castle and the Sainte-Croix Church for the wedding celebrations of his two daughters, Anne de France (1474) and Jeanne de France (1476). During WWII, the site was cannonaded by French troops in 1940 and the small round tower from the 15C was destroyed. Nowadays, two museums stand side by side at this unusual site: The archeological museum of the friends of René Galloux will make you discover the depths of history. Through the visit of its rooms, you will travel in Paleontology, the Prehistory of man, Molinology (unique room in Europe), the Gallo-Roman period or the Merovingian period. The Ethnology Museum of the Friends of Old Montrichard will immerse you in the atmosphere of the 1900s, you will discover objects from the past, admire the wax statues of famous figures from the history of the city, learn certain methods of crafts. 

Montrichard castle back wall jan22

Montrichard castle tower wall jan22

As this was attach to the ramparts of the castle will include in this post. The Musée des Confréries Européennes at 4 Rue Porte au Roi in the moat of the Château de Montrichard-Val-de-Cher, at the foot of the monumental staircase. 400 statuettes about 60 cm high and all bearing the image of the famous brotherhoods statuettes of more than 700 European brotherhoods, but not only that, you will also find documents and objects there. The museum is to make known, to promote with all the brotherhoods, those existing and to come, both on the French and European level, to defend, promote, animate and make recognize the museum of European brotherhoods.Just for the anecdote as the museum is closed.

Montrichard mus des confreries européens 4 Rue Prte au Roi jan22

The Montrichard Val de Cher tourist office on the donjon and its museums :

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on its heritage

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its history

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichard

There you go folks , another dandy in my belle France. Always amazing to find these gems all over, and yet so close less than 4 hrs from home, just perfect. Hope you too can enjoy these gems and do visit Montrichard Val de Cher and its donjon. France is a mouvable feast!!

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



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