Archive for March 13th, 2022

March 13, 2022

A lot more curiosities of Versailles !!!

Here I am in my dear Versailles, a city bashfully lived for 9 years, my royal town by Notre Dame district! The Notre Dame market and the Rive Droite train station oh lots of memories forever! I like to tell you more, there is always more of Versailles! I like the history and architecture of my belle France, and would do justice to the city in my black and white series, no pictures. So take note and do enjoy these lot more curiosities of Versailles!!! Ah for info so many books missed the point, Versailles is in the Yvelines dept 78, its capital city and in the Île de France region.

By the place Saint Louis you have the Chapelle des Catéchisme ou de la Providence next to the Cathedral Saint Louis, At the birth of neo classic style and the wishes of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour, and Madame du Barry . This chapel built in 1764 was the return to antique style that were to house the defunct of the royal family and only took its name after the French revolution, The central altar Roman style like the ones in Pompeii are very imaginative.

You have the Chapel of the Royal Hospital of Versailles former hospital Richard at 78 bd de la Reine, One of the most beautiful buildings done under Louis XVI that ordered built in 1779, The chapel was done so that the patient can come to it even in wheel beds, However, the story here goes way back still to Louis XIII that turn an old leprosy infirmary on the current rue de la Paroisse, and later Louis XIV transfered it to the current site, He ordered the building of a huge hospital place under the authority of the religious of Saint Vincent de Paul, Under Louis XV double the function of it with in 1786 finance the school of lectures for the blind.

The theater Montansier 13 rue des Reservoirs was open on November 18 1777 with the work of Joseph Aude, « La Fête des Muses » in the presence of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, however, all started in 1768 when the actress Marguerite Brunet aka La Montansier was put in charge of a small theater on the rue Satory, and given priviledges by the king in 1775 to be the director of all spectacles with the condition that she builds a theater within 2 years, And this was done which gave her the opportunity to do the same elsewhere in France, including the théâtre des Variétés in Paris that she direct it at the age of 89 in 1819 !

You know the cour de Marbre of the Palace of Versailles has 84 busts antique style done in 1665. The reference to the heroes of antiquity such as Cyrus, Démetrios, jules Cesar, Auguste Marc Anthony, Titus, Alexandre Severe, Constantine, Alexander the Great as well as a Greco-Roman pantheon that mark the work of Le Brun all over the palace to glorified he actions of Louis XIV. The Eagles flight of Mars and Hercules resting of 1679 renovated in 1869, Done by Le Brun showing next to Mars the lion and the eagle symbolising Spain and the Holy Empire defeated by Louis XIV in the war of Holland, to the left next to Hercules, the bull of Achéloos river which he fought, and hydra de lerna that he killed, the hydra symbolised the grand alliance vs France, and the bull the glorious passage of the Rhine river by Louis XIV and his army in June 12 1672. The clock cadran goes from Hercules to Mars Louis XIV victorious passed from a status of semi god heroic to that of god of war, In the renovation of 1869 they change the lion for a ram as this was during the Second Empire and the lion was of Napoléon III, a bad reproduction taking away the historical value of the piece.

In the rooms of the 17C you can see the portraits of the women of the court of Louis XIV, this is on the north wing of the palace, 18 total portraits in a Cabinet des Beautés or beauties. These includes the Duchess of La Villiére, Henriette of England, the Princess Soubise, or the Princess of Monaco, And some married by force as the case of Anne Marie Martinozzi who married the old prince of Conti while she was in love with the Duke Candolle,or the missing love of Louis XIV in Marie Mancini, niece of Cardinal Mazarin.

You can see a wonderful pallier the heart of the king or Trophy of the Hymen of 1681 under the staircase of the queen, It was done in a mixture of lead and copper, It remembers the marriage of Louis XIV with his cousin Maria Theresa of Austria infanta of Spain to reconcile the peace between Spain and France on the treaty of the Pyrénées of 1659. After her death in 1683 she is quickly forgotten and on her apartment comes to live the mistress Madame de Maintenon after his wife in secret. The staircase of the queen was very much frequented without paying much attention to this Trophy of the Hymen. The French revolution erase the souvenir of the queen leaving just an L interlaced.

There are statues facing the the central corp or the 2nd group from left to right in the central wing or aile du Midi, These are the Aristocracy and the Democracy. Of the 12 couples of statues done in 1682 these two are prominent, The Aristocracy looks to the right the reason of State statue and the Democracy extend her hands to the snakes a significant of the absolute monarchy.

In the Royal Chapel in the sacristy of musicians there is a calendar of the anniversaries of the Royal Chapel. This sacristy looks at the tribunes of the Royal Chapel that has the calendar preserve in an armory showing the life of Louis XV in court with all the commemorative Masses, It was done around 1770, The Royal Chapel was a model parish on the eyes of the kingdom and at the heart of a religious community guided by the lazaristes.

You have the mansion section of king Louis XV in the cour des Cerfs. When visitors came here they saw several floors and several windows of small size, The story here starts after the regency of duke of Orléans in 1722, The Regent will stay on the inferior apartments where Louis XIV show his collections, where Louis XV learned to turn the ivories and woods, He decides to raise the existant to create three floors invisible from the Cour de Marbre or the cour royale, This allowed to create several cabinets , library and dining room where Louis XV could received his intime friends, The Dining room of Summer was on the third floor (4th US) opening into vast terraces with other curious cabinets, Built in 1754 the king’s degree, main staircase from which he would go in to the apartments of his guard from the cour royale, allowing to avoid the official apartments and staircase of the queen crowded with courtiers.

There is a nice anecdote on the private oratory of Madame de Pompadour in the Royal Chapel. From 1750, Mme de Pompadour was no longer the favorite of the king Louis XV that just a friend and confidant, In 1752 she received the title of Duchess, Following very bad rumors on her actions, she decided to follow the example of Mme de Maintenon and enters into devotion, this is the private oratory was arranged as she wish so she could come to it, and entered in religious services and thanks to its white glass to be seen, In 1756, she obtained from the king the post of Lady of the Palace of the Queen and take a jesuist as her confessor, However, this is all show as she continues to do parties, theater, philosophy, and the arts, She stayed the mistress in title close between the close group of the king and Louis XV never leaves her, In April 1764 while she was dying the king allows her to stayed in the palace, While it was not allowed for any person that do not have royal blood to stayed to died, she did. While looking at the carriage that will take her from the palace, it is said that Louis XV said this phrase : « Here are all the honors that I was able to pay her ,a friend of twenty years ».

You must marvel of the astronomic clock of Passemant created in 1730-1740, It is in the Cabinet of the Clock interior apartments of the king. Done by the engineer Claude Siméon Passemant and clock maker Louis Dauthiau to do this work of art. It was presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1749 and offered and place on this cabient to Louis XV in 1754. Each Dec 31st the hour was change and the king witness the event with his family. The clock could work until 9999 !! and could observed on the globe the revolution of the planets around the Sun ! This serve to make the hour the official time in the kingdom of France. In this cabinet you have a copper line encrusted in the parquet that help measure the solar hour of the meridian of Versailles, King Louis XV was an enthusiast astronomer and was able to witness an total eclipse of the Sun in May 22 1724, at the age of 14.

You can go to Rue de la Division Leclerc (D10) and see the ruins of the royal ménagerie built by Le Vau between 1662 and 1664, It was the first intervention of Louis XIV in Versailles. It was Louis XVI who had them transfered in 1787 to the pavillon de la lanterne. It has many statues of men and women metamorphose into animals that adorned the walls and cours de la Ménagerie, The pavilions done by Jules Hardouin Mansart that we see today on site are the only remaining after the sale and demolition during the French revolution,

And I have to finish with the Porte Saint Antoine. This was done by architect Richard Mique in 1786 that opened to the small park on the village of Le Chesnay (today town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt , my sons study in this town) ,and the route de Marly, There is an allegory of the key of the arch de triomphe on this gate with the bare of the lion of Némée with an impenatrable skin that Hercules killed with a masou. The porte de Saint Antoine marks the entry to nature, the park of the palace of Versailles and my family playground for jogging and fresbee playing and nice ice cream at Angelina by the Petit Trianon straight ahead.

There you go folks, this is my dear Versailles. Its a town to see on its own and a lot more than the palace, I said. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and do visit when possible. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 13, 2022

Memorable Bergerac!!

I continue to dig deep into my vault and got me one nostalgic picture that makes write this post all worth it, There is a sentimental memorable moment passing by Bergerac even if pictures are hard to find. I will put information here that will help me re visit the area again the soonest. Bergerarc is located in the Dordogne department, no 24 in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The town is 93 km from Bordeaux, 48 km from Périgueux, 90 km from Agen and 110 km from Cahors. Libourne is 66 km away.

Of course, many other highways converged here or take you here such as from Paris the A10–A71–A20–A89–RD709, from Lyon: A6–A89–RN21, from Bordeaux RN10–RN89–A89–RD709, and from Toulouse: A62–RD931–RN21, The train station of Bergerac is on the Libourne – Le Buisson line which allows the connection between Bordeaux and Sarlat by the TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine , You have ,also, the Bergerac-Dordogne-Périgord airport currently linked to several cities in UK, Paris, Rotterdam and in Brussels-Charleroi mainly thanks to low-cost companies.

My anecdote on the departamental road D936 connecting Bergerac to Bordeaux !

Arriving in Bergerac is the Ave du Général de Gaulle before arrival it is the Avenue de Bergerac, Going to Bordeaux it passes by Lamonzie-St Martin, where it becomes the Avenue de Bordeaux, continues passing by Gardonne, then Sainte Foy la Grande, Vélines, Moncaret, Lamothe-Montravel, the nice Castillon-la-Bataille, and right next to the Dordogne river before reaching Branne I think, we stop for brunch with Monbazillac white sweet wine my dear late wife Martine love, see Pic.

Bergerac D936 monbazillac to Bergerac wines and Noel 6mos old 1992

Moving on the D936 we arrived at Saint Quentin de Baron, and by Fargues Saint Hilaire the road is call Avenue de l’Entre Deux Mers, and continue crossing the road N230 passed the road becomes the Boulevard de l’Entre Deux Mers passed the next trafic circle and it becomes Rue Galin to connect with the Avenue Thiers do left, to cross the Pont de Pierre over the Garonne river into Bordeaux!see the Porte de Bourgogne and the Cours Victor Hugo, A wonderful road warrior ride indeed !!

A bit of history I like as the city is very old but will condense to say that in May 1472, King Louis XI confirms by letters patent the privileges of the city granted by his predecessors, following the death of the Duke of Guyenne, After the massacre of Saint -Barthélemy in 1572, Bergerac joined the Protestant military camp. On September 17, 1577, during the Wars of Religion, a truce was signed in Bergerac: the Peace of Bergerac. On July 16, 1621, King Louis XIII entered Bergerac and had the safety fortifications by the Huguenots demolished. It is indeed one of the most important strongholds of the Protestant Sud-Ouest or South-West area of France, On November 15, 1683, the temple was demolished On August 11, 1685, the first companies of dragoons arrived in Bergerac to convert the Huguenots. On August 23, 24 and 25, dragonnades and forced conversions took place ,On August 21, 1944, the liberation of Bergerac took place.

There is a whole lot to see here, but will mentioned my favorites:

The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix de l’Alba, rue Thomas, its offices have been carried out there since 1997 by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter according to the Tridentine form of the Roman rite. The Chapelle Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc and its traditionalist school outside the contract, affiliated with the Fraternity of Saint-Pie X and located at avenue Foch. The Church of Our Lady of Bergerac, rue Sainte-Catherine, The Church Saint-Jean-des-Cordeliers, rue de Clairat, it was first the place of worship of the local Cordeliers convent, then for nearly 120 years it was used secularly as a brasserie and then as a hotel-restaurant. Since 2004, Masses have again been celebrated there according to the Tridentine form of the Roman rite by the priests of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X. The Saint-Jacques Church which is one of the stages of the Via Lemovicensis for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, And the Grand temple of Bergerac, formerly of the Reformed Church of France, today of the United Protestant Church of France, place Cayla,

You have a wonderful tabacco museum as it is grown here ! See the Tobacco Anthropology Museum in the Château Peyrarède or “Henri-IV” , The Musée du vin et de la batellerie or wine and shipping museum, The Château de Lespinassat, 17-19C, The statue of Cyrano de Bergerac inaugurated in 1977 ,place de la Myrpe ,and the statue of Cyrano de Bergerac located on Place Pélissière.

The area has 12 Appellation d’Origin Controllée (AOC) including the nice ones, Bergerac, Bergerac Rosé, Bergerac Sec, the memorable Monbazillac, and Pécharmant, Of course, I have mentioned elsewhere on my wines posts, our favorite here is the Domaine de l’Ancienne Curé of the friendly Christian Roche.

The city of Bergerac and its history

The Pays Bergerac tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, a dandy spot in my belle France. Many memories of old in my early road warrior tours, Bergerac has sentimental value and always looking forward to be back.  There is so much choices that time is ticking, will have to be this year; Bergerac is calling on me! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

March 13, 2022

Aux Vignobles Salon of Vannes!!!

My fav event in the area of Vannes and they continue the tradition!!  When, I moved to the beautiful Morbihan for work duties and stayed, we heard about it, but always too many to choose from went elsewhere, then in 2014 got the bugs and went in;surprise was nice . Then, for some unexplained reason of travels elsewhere skip again 2015/2016 and got hook thereafter, going to the events in 2017/2018/2019! Unfortunately 2020 was cancelled due to the virus and they were back in 2021!  All known as the Salon de la Gastronomie  et Arts Culinaires. 

This year we made sure we were there and went for it again, Now this year 2022 it started with a new name Aux Vignobles and held over from March 11 to the 14 at the Chorus Parc des Expositions de Vannes in the Parc du Golfe. General admission 5€! (we get invited by the merchants so free admission) ,More than 100 exhibitors representing French gastronomy and sorted for the quality of their products. Wine and food tasting during the show from all corners of my belle France. We were there again Saturday morning March 12 , This is great and already a tradition for us to be here. Going in…………..

vannes aux vignobles expo salon entrance NF XF mar22

For this edition it was once again the opportunity to meet some of the providers we shop while in our adventurous road warrior ways thru the French countryside, You have the real France here nothing industrial, supermarket type but the real deal straight from the farms and the artisans who produces the marvelous things we all came to know France for and still is. You have them here from different regions all defending their land and product. We later came to visit many of them on site and the history continues,,,

vannes aux vignobles expo salon entr inside mar22

We stopped by our long time favorites sort of house wines/champa/foods, we love their conversation and love it even more being recognised and even family details exchange, These are our visit to their stand this time :

Champagne Lagille et Fils Treslon near Reims (all Brut Chardonnay white and rosé)

EARL Cousseau Boireau of Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil , they purchase a secondary home near us in St Philibert !! (red and rosés Cabernet Franc)

Maison Gastellou from Saint Jean Pied de Port (sheep cheese, filet mignon sausages, ham in espilette spice, gateau basque cake, saucissons)

Château Tour Birol Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux region with delicious malbec reds!!! The owner has grandaugher living in Michigan USA ! Reds Malbec !

Domaine Herault, Chinon -Panzoult (red and rosés,Cabernet Franc)

vannes aux vignobles expo chateau tour birol cotes de bourg bordeaux mar22

vannes aux vignobles expo maison gastellou sausages cheeses mar22

vannes aux vignobles expo maison gastellou hams mar22

We wanted to see a lot more but felled sorry my twin boys were not allowed in because their health pass had expired two days !!! Even if we are told the pass will go away by March 14 ! So in order to hurry up we only saw those above from the ones below we wanted to see, tant pis, there will be next time.

We were looking forward to see again the Aux Délices Catalans, Aux Goût du Monde, the Caves Rougebec (Vouvray Touraine) ,Château Fonbaude (côtes Bordeaux/Castillon), Château Lambert (Fronsac)  ,Ferme Aguerria (foie gras), La Rose Pauillac(Pauillac) ,La Pose Catalane (saucissons), Maison Guibert (Tarn charco cheeses), and Roxane et Cyrano (Bergerac).

vannes aux vignobles expo salon 1 mar22

vannes aux vignobles expo salon 2 mar22

The official event Aux Vignobles – Vannes:

The official Le Chorus Parc des Expositions de Vannes on getting there:

There you go folks, a dandy indeed! These fairs events are held throughout France every year except the darn virus. We have been to some but this one is so convenient we repeat visits even if already visited the producer in their farm. Already looking forward to the next one, catch it , this is France at its best for the food, the ambiance the savoir faire and all!

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

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