Archive for May 5th, 2022

May 5, 2022

Chenonceaux, the town !

Oh yes mighty Chenonceaux , really! well folks come here for the castle of Chenonceau, and I have written posts on it . However, in my road warrior endless walker side we did went around the town of Chenonceaux. Yes notice the X, is in my previous posts. I like to update this older interesting post on the village of Chenonceaux.

Chenonceaux is located in the department of Indre-et-Loire,37 in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Specifically,in the heart of the Loire Valley, just 10 km from Amboise, less than an hour from the prestigious castles of Blois, Chambord, Azay le Rideau or Chinon, barely two hours from Paris and 35 km from Tours. An ideal and central destination for exploring the many Châteaux of the Loire. And 336 km (about 232 mi) from my house ! The village of Chenonceaux is bordered on its southern flank by the Cher river which constitutes its town’s limit. The Cher river , with a total length of 365.5 km, rises at 714 meters above sea level in Mérinchal, in the Creuse and flows into the Loire at Villandry, 40 meters above sea level, after crossing 117 towns. The neighboring towns to Chenonceaux are Civray-de-Touraine, Francueil, Chisseaux, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher, and Chissay-en-Touraine.

There is a gare or train station here believe or not. It is on the line from Vierzon to Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, between the stations of Chissay-en-Touraine and Bléré – La Croix. Chenonceaux is served by TER Centre-Val de Loire trains which carry out trips between Tours and Saint-Aignan – Noyers, Vierzon-Ville, Bourges, Nevers or even Lyon-Perrache. Car parking is available. By road the way I have come here from Paris is the A10 direction Bordeaux; by exit or sortie 18 take the N10 road which quickly becomes the D31 road direction Chateau Renault/Amboise, taking you around the latter town where you link up with the D81 road direction Civray-de-Touraine and here turn bearing left onto the D40 road direction Chenonceaux. From my new home in the Morbihan breton best most direct is to take the D768 to Vannes on the expressway N165 direction Vannes, and get off on the N166 direction Rennes, get off at the D775 direction Questembert;continue on the D153 direction Redon, then same road D163 direction Candé continue direction Angers ,then Tours, and here take the D140 direction Chenonceaux.

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Chenonceaux would mean: the little house of Chenon and counts only 353 inhabitants. Some things to see in this village are the obvious Château de Chenonceau as well as the Church Saint Jean Baptiste (st john Baptist), built in the 12C and renovated in the 16C; The house or maison du garde barriére next to the train station built in 1847 with openings reminiscent of the Gothic windows of the neighboring castle, and the house or maison des Pages, built in the 16C.

A bit of history I like on the town of Chenonceaux as well as the historical lineage of the château de Chenonceau :

Chenonceaux was erected as a chatellenie in 1514, with the union of various areas that surrounded it. It came under Amboise by faith and homage-line. All the millers, fishermen and fish merchants, residing in the district of the châtellenie, from the mill of the Etourneau to the defeat of Chenonceau, were required to be, on the day of Pentecost, to break three poles against a pole planted in the middle of the Cher river. This feudal solemnity was announced several times in the pulpit by the priests of Chenonceau, Francueil, Saint-Georges and Chisseaux. A certain quantity of wine had to be supplied by the lord or by the lord’s farmer to the vassals who took part in the quintaine. In the 16C, the land of Chenonceau included the stronghold of Argy and the farmhouses or closeries of Bois-de-Pont, Baiserie, La Grange, Coulommiers, La Bruandière, La Chevrière, La Grange-Rouge , Port-Olivier, de la Touche, Vrigny, Deffais, Les Houdes and La Berangerie.

The castle of Chenonceau,(see post) built on a bridge that crosses the Cher river, is one of the most beautiful residences in France. Its reputation is wordly. It was built in the first part of the 16C by Thomas Bohier and Catherine Briçonnet, his wife. Diane Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, who owned it, made great embellishments. The chapel adjoining the manor also belongs to the 16C. Guillaume Marques, knight, first known lord of Chenonceau, is cited in Marmoutier charters of 1234, 1243 and 1248. Thomas Bohier, baron of Saint-Ciergue, lord of Chenaie and de la Chapelle-Bellouin, took possession of Chenonceau on February 10, 1513, and three days later paid homage to the king for this land. Katherine Briçonnet, widow of Thomas Bohier, lady of Chenonceau, paid homage to the king for this land on June 6, 1524. She died on November 3, 1526, and had her burial near her husband. François Ier, king of France, took possession of the Châtellenie de Chenonceau on September 27, 1533 against payment of the debt of Antoine Bohier. He died in Rambouillet on March 31, 1547.

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Diane de Poitiers, mistress Henri II king of France; widow of Louis de Brezé, grand seneschal of Normandy, and daughter of Jean de Poitiers, count of Saint-Vallier and Jeanne de Bastarnay; received by letters patent of June 1547, the châtellenie of Chenonceau. In 1559, she ceded it (not willingly) to Queen Catherine de Medici, in exchange for that of Chaumont. Catherine de Médicis owned Chenonceau until her death, arriving on January 5, 1589. She bequeathed this land to Queen Louise de Lorraine. By letters sent to Moulins on February 8, 1566 and registered in Parliament on March 21 of the same year, King Charles IX had given Chenonceau to Henri, his brother. This donation has so far remained unexplained and it is unknown how the châtellenie in question could have come into the possession of the king. What is quite certain is that Catherine de Medici did not stop enjoying Chenonceau and acting as owner there from 1559 to 1589. Louise de Loraine de Vaudémont, daughter of Nicolas de Lorraine, count of Vaudémont, and Marguerite d’Egmont, married king Henri III on February 15, 1575. By letters of October 15, 1598, she gave the land of Chenonceau, reserving the usufruct, to César, duke of Vendôme, to the occasion of his marriage to Françoise de Lorraine, niece of the donor in July 1609. .César de Bourbon, duke of Vendôme, d’Étampes, de Mercœur, de Beaufort et de Penthièvre, comte de Buzançais, took possession of Chenonceau on February 20, 1601. This land, put up for sale at the request of the creditors of Catherine de Médicis, was auctioned, to Marie de Luxembourg, widow of Philippe-Emmanuel, duke of Mercœur, on November 15, 1606. Marie de Luxembourg, duchesse de Mercœur, Étampes et de Penthièvre, died in Anet on September 6, 1623. Chenonceau’s land passed to her daughter, Françoise de Lorraine, and to César de Vendôme, her son-in-law. César de Vendôme took possession of Chenonceau in 1624. He died in Paris on October 22, 1665. His wife, Françoise de Lorraine, died on September 8, 1669.

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Louis-Henri, Duke of Bourbon, Prince of Condé, Duke of Bourbonnais, peer and grand-master of France, son of Louis III, Duke of Bourbon, and Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, legitimized of France, died on January 27, 1740 . On June 9, 1733, he sold Chenonceau to Claude Dupin and Louise-Marie-Madeleine Fontaine, his wife. Louise-Marie-Madeleine Fontaine, widow of Claude Dupin, had the land of Chenonceau in the division which was made in 1772, between her, her grandson Dupin de Rochefort, and Dupin de Francueil, She died in Chenonceau on November 20, 1799. And kept the castle from the ruins of the French revolution by declaring was part of the town as with the story of the X. Therefore not royal grounds. Chapeau Madame!

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Seized as national property, at the French revolution, the land of Chenonceau passed, by inheritance, to François-René Vallet, count of Villeneuve, grand-nephew of Mme Dupin, married, in 1795, to Adélaïde Charlotte-Appoline de Guibert, daughter of Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte , count of Guibert, and Françoise-Adélaïde de Valmalette de Courcelles. Commander of the Legion of Honor, senator, honorary chamberlain during the reign of Napoleon III, knight of the order of the crown of Bavaria and member of the General Council of Indre-et-Loire, the count of Villeneuve died at Chenonceau on February 12, 1863. On June 15, 1889, following a bankruptcy, Marguerite Pelouze ceded the Chenonceau estate to Crédit Foncier de France (bank) during an auction.   In 1891 Crédit Foncier sold the entire estate to José Emilio Terry, (family of Cuban origin, born and died in Paris) son of Tomas Terry (Of Irish paternal descent, Terry was born in Caracas Venezuela died in Paris) and by Teresa Dorticos (born in Cienfuegos Cuba died in Rome Italy). The estate remained in this family until 1913. On April 5, 1913, Henri-Emile Anatole Menier, famous for their chocolates, acquired the estate and the Château de Chenonceau by public auction .The castle has been in this family (Laure Menier now) since that date.

The Chenonceaux tourist office on the castle and morehttps://tourismaroundchenonceaux.com/chenonceau-castle/

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castlehttps://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/chateau-of-chenonceau-chenonceaux/

There you go folks, a nice area, and a beautiful castle of great architecture and history, a must to see, Do walk around the village of Chenonceaux, worth the detour quant and nice We love it !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 5, 2022

The Church of Sainte-Croix of Saint Lô!!

And I finally came to this historical town in my belle France. It was a pleasant visit and we will be back. I have other posts on Saint Lô in my blog, but feel that the Church Saint Croix needs a post of its own. Therefore, here is my take on it with new text and older pictures not yet in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Church of Sainte-Croix was built there in the year 300 on the ruins said to be of a temple of Ceres . Later, the Abbey Church of Sainte-Croix at place Sainte-Croix, was built in the 13C, but it has been profoundly altered through its successive renovations, especially in the 19C.

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Consecrated in 1204, this church is the oldest Romanesque building in Saint-Lô. The bell tower, of contemporary architecture, rises on two levels and is pierced with bays with geometric shapes over the entire height of the bell tower. The second level is pierced with thin rectangular windows fitted with louvers. The bell tower placed in front of the facade is connected to the building by a closed gallery. The bell tower was renovated in 1957

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The facade rises on three levels, the central body of the church is higher than the collateral ones. The first level is pierced by three semicircular portals, the second is pierced by two semicircular bays surmounted by a cross, the third level is pierced by three fine semicircular lancets.  On the old porch is a representation of chained Paganism: a man, the pagan, is chained by two figures. The tympanum is decorated with a bas-relief representing the miracle performed by Saint Laud on a blind woman. The interior of the church houses sculpted Romanesque capitals: the weighing of the soul, Christ on the cross, the goldsmith at work.

Inside, the high altar is 2.25 meters high and nearly 4 meters long. The tabernacle is confined by an altarpiece with the twelve apostles who seem to be in motion. The altar of the Virgin, located on the aisle, is an example of the polychrome altars of the 19C, the bas-reliefs are the reduced reproduction of those of the Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais Cathedral of Soissons made by Viollet-le-Duc. These two altars were restored in 2006.  Above the portal is the organ built in 1892. It was completely restored and inaugurated in 2003.

An anecdote of great importance me think.  On July 16,1944  in the evening, Major Thomas Dry Howie, Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 116th Infantry Regiment (29th USA Division) received a mission from General Gerhardt to lead the attack to take Saint-Lô. While preparing for it, he was killed by a mortar splinter on the morning of July 17, 1944 not far from La Madelaine. It is for this reason that General Gerhardt wanted the Major’s corps to accompany the first elements of the 29th when it entered the city. Covered with the American flag, it was placed on the ruins of the church tower. A plaque affixed against the wall of the church marks the memory.

The Saint Lô tourist office on the churchhttps://www.ot-saintloagglo.com/sainte-croix-church

There you go folks, a dandy monument in historical Saint Lô. The Church Saint Croix is worth the detour me think. Hope you enjoy the post as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 5, 2022

Church of Notre Dame of Versailles!!! , part II

I like to add to this wonderful monument in my blog, It was my church while living in Versailles, you have read enough! I found pictures not in my blog and they should, especially on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles ! This is it, if you are coming to see monuments away from the palace/museum , and you should, this is a must, the : history of FranceEurope, the World started here!!!

The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame  is officially at 2 rue Baillet Reviron ,but the main facade entrance is on Rue de la Paroisse corner with Rue Sainte-Geneviéve in the Notre-Dame district (mine!) and its facade facing the rue Hoche, formerly rue Dauphine,  leading to Place Hoche and eventually the Place d’Armes and the palace/museum of Versailles!!

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As part of Versailles urban plan, the establishment of a church between Place Hoche and the Clagny pond was to contribute to the urbanization of the Notre-Dame district. Built from 1684 to 1686 on the plans of Jules Hardouin Mansart, Notre-Dame is the church of the royal parish, served by the Lazarist Fathers, in charge of nearly 20,000 souls on the eve of the French revolution, i.e. half of the population of Versailles at the time. In 1790, after the vote of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, it became the constitutional cathedral of the new diocese of Seine-et-Oise (former dept now most of Yvelines 78) , without the religious life of the parishioners being profoundly modified: the same church wardens, the same processions and the same offices. Removed from worship in 1793, it was then erected as a Temple of Reason, then Temple of the Supreme Being, where civic festivals were celebrated, including the decadal festivals (festivals of compulsory rest every ten days), suppressed in the revolutionary year VII, (meaning 1797-1798). The Notre-Dame Church was returned to Catholic worship on April 6, 1800.

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The Notre Dame Church is voluntarily not very high because the castle must dominate everything in the city. The Choir, the stained glass window of the Coronation of the Virgin In accordance with the wish of Louis XIII of 1638, the church being dedicated to Notre Dame, the axial main chapel is not dedicated to her, but to the Sacred Heart, The Notre-Dame Church has registered all the baptismal, marriage and death certificates of the royal family. notably the baptisms of seven kings of France, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis XIX and Louis-Philippe I, as well as that of Philippe V of Spain (current line in Spain today by Felipe VI) , the marriages of Louis XVI and Marie- Antoinette, Louis XVIII and Marie-Josephine of Savoy, and Charles X and Marie-Thérèse of Savoy, and the tombs of Louis XIV and Louis XV.

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On Monday, May 4, 1789 is an important day for the Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles. It is from there that the procession of the Blessed Sacrament leaves in the direction of the Saint-Louis church with all the deputies for the high mass consecrating the opening of the States General. The French revolution stripped the church of its paintings, goldsmithery and liturgical ornaments. The building becomes Temple of Reason. From this period only the great organ, the pulpit and elements from the altarpiece of the high altar remain. From 1858 to 1872, a rotunda chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart was added to the apse of the church. Between 1854 and 1887, historiated stained glass windows, with strong coloring, take place in all the chapels.

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During the 19C, the Notre Dame Church was gradually refurnished and restored. Thus, in 1818, the cenotaph of the Comte de Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Louis XVI, was installed there, he who signed the Treaty of Versailles giving independence to the United States in 1783. From 1858 to 1873, a new axial chapel is built. The choir is also completely refurbished. This circular axial chapel takes up the theme of the Marian chapels of the classical period, the most famous of which is that of the Saint-Roch Church (296 rue Saint Honoré) in Paris, built in 1709 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.

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By car, you have closest parking at the Notre Dame market or Place du Marché Notre Dame, however, the in out is very narrow if coming with a bigger car, so suggest use the parking Saint Cloud or 33 Avenue de Saint Cloud, only about a couple blocks from the church.  However, the easiest way when coming from Paris on the RER C Château-Rive-Gauche station is to walk to the palace as probably you will see that first, Then, with time from the palace go out past the equestrian statue of Louis XIV and turn left into avenue Rockefeller , continue past ave Saint Cloud ,continue into Place Hoche go around the square and the statue of Gen Hoche, and continue straight on Rue Hoche, until reaching Rue de la Paroisse, the church is facing you ! You can see it from the time you head on Ave Rockefeller really ! Hope it helps.

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The official parish Church Notre Dame : https://notredameversailles.fr/

The Versailles tourist office on the Churchhttps://www.versailles-tourisme.com/eglise-notre-dame.html

The City of Versailles on its heritage, see bottom royal parish Church Notre Damehttps://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir/patrimoine-et-monuments/

There you go folks, a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Château de Versailles! After all, it was the royal church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see the Collegiate Church Notre Dame in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. The decorations are very nice as well.  Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

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