Archive for July 4th, 2022

July 4, 2022

The Château de Beauregard !!

 Memories, yes I remember the Château de Beauregard. We came here by chance, going between Amboise and Blois and saw it on the map, so we took a quick detour and saw this wonderful pretty castle still in private hands. The family love it. I like to update this older post with new text and links using same pictures. Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path castle of the Loire!

The Château de Beauregard is secluded in a deep forest off a narrow tree line road of the village of Cellettes , dept 41 of the Loir et Cher, Centre Val de Loire region; of course you need a car to come here.  From Paris on the autoroute A10 and get off at exit/sortie 17  at Blois, go thru city center on avenue de Chateaudun then right at rue Denis Papin cross bridge pont Jacques Gabriel hit the avenue Wilson same continuation is road D956 direction Cheverny , about halfway once out of Blois and Cheverny you will see on panel to make you turn right into the Chateau de Beauregard. Go on the narrow tree line road to the castle on the left before castle there is open air free parking.


The Château de Beauregard, dates from the 16C and is about 10 km south of Blois. The must visit here is to see its gallery of personages or galerie des Illustres.  The castle is in the borders of the forest of Russy, on the ruins of a Chapel dating from before the 15C that you can still see in the park, has engrave on a stone the shell of the pilgrims of St James of Compostela and their symbol written God saw it or Dieu le Voit.

A bit of history I like

In 1495 Louis d’Orléans (future king Louis XII) raise these lands into a lordship and authorised the building of a pigeon house.  In 1521, king François Ier uses the castle as a meeting for hunting and offered it to his uncle René de Savoie that perished in the battle of Pavia in 1525 and the property comes to his widow. In 1545, the property is sold to Jean du Thier, secretary of State in charge of finances by king Henri II, he was a great humanist, protector of the poets Joachim du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard. Jean du Thier was really recognised as the builder of the castle.  Jean du Thier had built or attached the main body of the old castle to the new building done in the Renaissance style on the central gallery that links the two buildings and used as living quarters. From 1553 the interior decoration is done by calling upon various artists from abroad that worked for the king Henri II. At the foot of the windows on the south wing, a garden is created on the renaissance style as well showcasing rare botanical plants that the owner loves.

The next period of importance in the construction of the castle came with Paul Ardier in 1617, he was just retired from services of 55 years to kings Henri II, Henri IV,and Louis XII. He was controller of the war, grand treasurer of the accounts, and already aged of 72 yrs. He dedicates his life to improved and renovate the castle. Destroyed the old central bodies to surrounded the central gallery with two modern symmetrical wings, and gives the common areas the look you see today. His major work and the castle main work was the creation of the gallery of the famous or personages or Galerie des Portraits or Illustres that continues to be improved by the next two generations of owners including Gaspard de Fieubet, chancellor of the queen mother Anne of Austria. The property of Beauregard is raise to viscount by king Louis XIV.  Passing by several owners again, we arrive at 1850 when Jules Count of Cholet becomes the new owner that eventually gets the castle nominated to a historical monument of France and stayed in his family for 62 years. Eventually the castle passes in 1925 to the Gosselin family from where the Count Guy du Cheyron du Pavillon comes and continues the restoration of the castle and the gallery of personages   with his wife to our days.

What to see here ;well ,the Galerie des Illustres. Located in the 2nd floor US it measures 26 meters long and 6 meters wide with 327 portraits on three levels and twelve panels each. Each portrait is painted on a fabric measuring about 55 cm by 45 cm and represented in bust except king Henri IV and Louis XIII; the great equestrian portrait of king Henri IV is on top of the chimney of the 16C. The 14 portraits of personages that surrounded it are smaller size then the rest of the collection. The portrait of king Louis XIII covers the three levels of the paintings. The number of portraits by king varies like for king Philippe IV you see 6, and Charles VII 21, Louis XIII has 40 portraits. The dates of their reign as well as the symbols of the kings are painted on the wooden bars between the floor and the portraits.


Other nice part of the Castle of Beauregard is the Cabinet des Grelots ,completively surrounded by wood of oak in the Italian tradition of Studiolo. Originally, this room was connected to the gallery by a small door that in the 17C was closed when the collection of portraits was created. The ceiling of peg casing is one of the most beautiful in France. It is composed of a big octagonal surrounded by 8 small hexagons finely sculpture; at the center of the ceiling you see the arms of Jean du Thier (blue in three grelots posted 2 on one with the golden grelots in a blue background). On the upper part of the wooden work are engraved the portraits done by local artists where Jean du There is surrounded by his favorite activities such as ; the arts, paintings, sculpture, literature, music, and jewerly as well as physic activities like the art of war, hunting and tennis. In the 17C Paul Ardier covered the original chimney with the arms of his family. There is a big portrait of king Louis XIII on horse decorating the chimney until the 20C, it disappeared in 1925 and the Gosselin family ordered the Louvre museum a copy of Diane the hunter by François Clouet.

The park garden surrounding the castle of Beauregard has 70 hectares with 40 hectares of garden and the rest forest. There are since 1992 a portraits garden or Le jardin des Portraits with 12 gardens imitating the 12 groups of portraits in the gallery of the castle. The colors of each room is symbolic associated with a personage or an event told in the gallery of castle like showing as example one of the rooms is in red associated to the blood shed in the massacre of Saint Barthélemy. There is a freezer or glaciére in the castle renovated in 2008 but dating from the 17C with a technical innovation not well known to the general public; this building was used to stock ice and the conservation of food all year long.

The town of Cellettes on the castle

The local Blois Chambord tourist office on Beauregard:

There you go folks, another dandy castle in the Loire, you will love with the family , the portraits makes for an interesting conversation indeed. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path post on the Château de Beauregard as I

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

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July 4, 2022

The Tour Charlemagne of Tours !

The department of which the city of Tours is located is call Indre et Loire dept 37. This is in the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France, I have written several posts on Tours in my blog but feel that need to update this older post for the off the beaten path monument it is and new text/links , The Tour Charlemagne of Tours needs more attention by all, and I hope you enjoy the post to come see it.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Tour Charlemagne tower .  The  tour Charlemagne is a remnant of an old basilica dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours (see post) and located at  rue des Halles, in the historic center of the city. Its name comes from the tomb of Luitgarde d’Alémanie, fourth wife of Charlemagne, who died in 800 during the emperor’s stay in Tours. Tradition reports that the emperor had it buried under or near the tower, but opinions are very divided as to the exact location of the tomb, never formally identified.


A bit of history, shorten it as it is long but I like

No source can be affirmative on the chronology and the exact dating of the construction of the tower. However, it took place shortly after the construction of the transept of the Basilica of Saint Martin de Tours, (see post) because paintings on the walls of the latter were hidden by the masonry of the Charlemagne tower, but a certain unity of style prohibits too long delay between the two events. In the second half of the 11C and shortly after the completion of the basilica in its original state, a tower-porch was built, capping the end of the north arm of the transept with reinforcement of the vaults of the latter, having to bear the weight of the tower. The tower rested, on the tribunes of the first span of the transept, reinforced for the occasio. The tower then consisted of two semicircular vaulted floors, typical of Romanesque art, the second floor acting as a belfry. The external absidiole of one of the arms of the transept was integrated into the tower in the form of a sacristy and surmounted on the first floor of a chapel of the same plan. At the beginning of the 14C, a new floor was added to the tower, but this time it was the Gothic style that was used with broken arch windows. The Romanesque windows of the lower floors were walled, to reinforce the solidity. An arrow, present in the 17C, crowned the tower which, in this configuration, reached a height of 56 meters. In the 15C, the hall of the belfry on the third floor (4th US) was shared in its height by a Gothic vault; it was sheltering two bells.


In 1790, many religious buildings were declared national properties during the French revolution. The Charlemagne tower was not demolished because a restoration project of the tower was set up in 1805 to recall that a new Charlemagne (Napoleon I) had just been crowned emperor on December 2, 1804 ,the  project will not be realized, but the Charlemagne tower was preserved due to this initiative.  The tower eventually hosted a factory of lead (1813); a carpentry settled in its ground floor and was the victim of a fire (1826); an artesian well of 107 meters deep was dug at its foot (1831); a water tower was installed on its first floor (1860 to 1885), an overload of 218 tons; finally, she survived an earthquake (1927) ; while the tramways of Tours shook it at each of their passages. Fragilized, the Charlemagne tower partially collapsed in 1928. In its southern half, from top to bottom, fell down in the neighboring streets without causing casualties . The part that remained standing was abutted with scaffolding to avoid further damage.


A company, created in 1931, ” les Amis de le tour Charlemagne “, or the Friends of the Charlemagne tower, bought the monument at a symbolic price ,and as a precautionary measure, consolidated the remaining part with a concrete inner frame. During , WWII, the tower was fortunately spared by the bombings and fires that ravaged the northern part of Tours in 1940. In 1972, the Charlemagne tower  was offered to the town of Tours. More recent developments have been made to allow the public access to the “Luitgarde Arch” located on the ground floor of the tower on the occasion of the European Heritage Days since September 2013 ; a project provided for full access to the monument, which was done on the occasion of the European Heritage Days 2016. And we were there !!

A bit on the Architecture I  like

The floor dimensions of the Charlemagne tower are approximately 25 × 15 meters. In its current configuration, after restoration, its summit platform culminates at 48 meters. The tower is Romanesque style for its lower floors, Gothic for its top floor. The lower two floors of the tower are accessible from a spiral staircase in a turret outside the transept, on a corner of the tower. The top floor is accessed via an internal spiral staircase. The tower had Romanesque frescoes dated 12C. Discovered during the restoration work on some pillars but especially in the apsidiole transformed into sacristy, they were deposited and restored; they are now kept at the Saint-Martin museum (see post) in Tours. Because of the successive embankments around the basilica, the original floor of the Charlemagne tower is now down about 2 meters from the surrounding streets.

The city of Tours on the Tour Charlemagne

The city of Tours reservation for visits to the Tour Charlemagne

The Loire valley Touraine tourist office on Tours

There you go folks, another gem in the beautiful valley of the kings or Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France, A wonderful city indeed that of Tours plenty to see, as shown of this unique building ,the Tour Charlemagne, We love to visit it. Hope you enjoy it too

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

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July 4, 2022

This is Brandérion, near me !

And here I am again in my new life of retiree, doing short trips on the road warrior mode and finding new places not yet visited. There is so much to see, I am overwhelmed  by the quality even in smallist towns. I like to show in my blog a new town in my world map; this is Brandérion near me !

The town of Brandérion is a novelty as we passed by it almost every week, and finally got the urge to come into town, It is of course in the beautiful Morbihan, in the country of Lorient, in the lovely region of Bretagne.

Brandérion is located 14 km from Lorient and 36 km from Vannes, as well as 16 km from my house ! The town is located at the crossroads of the two main roads in southern Brittany, National Route 24 ( N24 Rennes-Lorient) and the National Route 165-E60 ( N165 Brest -Quimper-Nantes). There is a train station that I have never even passed by it and it is open since 1925, today is a “free access stop” for TER Bretagne traveling the Vannes-Lorient line, The historical anecdote is that in June 1795, several battalions of royalists (Chouans) retreated to Brandérion.

There is a nice Sainte-Anne Chapel done and renovated in the 9C, 12C, 14C, and 15C. The Sainte-Anne Chapel is in city center Brandérion. Today is mostly a small 14C chapel with a choir with a flat apse, and a smaller chapel inside. On each side of the nave, engaged, square and massive pillars seem to wait for the arcades. The single chapel communicates with the nave by two third-point arcades resting in the middle on a cylindrical column and on each side on engaged polygonal pillars. Small, very splayed radiating windows illuminate the nave. The style of the choir is flamboyant.

Branderion chapelle Sainte Anne side road jul22
Branderion chapelle Sainte Anne nave to altar jul22

Branderion chapelle Sainte Anne altar to back wall jul22

They have a nice Parish Church of Saint-Pierre ,done in Gothic style from 1879. Bell tower rebuilt after WWII. Initially had renovations done in 1656, and was rebuilt in 1879, in the shape of a Latin cross, The church is at Rue Vincent Renaud or road D158.

Branderion ch Saint-Pierre front jul22

Branderion ch Saint-Pierre side belltower jul22

The City/Town Hall is the former presbytery, It is a 17C two-story house with a kitchen, a living room, two bedrooms and a study. An attic is used by the rector to store his grain reserves and he had a cellar where he can store barrels of cider. A porch adjoins the house which overlooks the courtyard where there was a stable with its hay loft and a log cabin. Nice.

Branderion mairie city hall jul22

The city of Brandérion on its history/heritage

The Lorient South Brittany local tourist office on Brandérion

There you go folks, another dandy small spot in my beautiful Morbihan! Never cease to amaze me of the beauties found here, and now the tourists are coming back! This is Brandérion and near me !! yes something to be back to ,eventually. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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July 4, 2022

This is Kervignac near me !

And here I am again in my new life of retiree, doing short trips on the road warrior mode and finding new places not yet visited. There is so much to see, I am overwhelmed  by the quality even in smallist towns. I like to show in my blog a new town in my world map; this is Kervignac near me !

The town of Kervignac is located in my beautiful department of Morbihan 56 in the lovely region of Bretagne. This town is known for facts related to the revolt of the Bonnets rouges ( Red Caps) in 1675 against high taxes by the king,

The town constitutes part of the Blavet Bellevue Ocean Community, with Merlevenez, Nostang, Plouhinec and Sainte-Hélène. The town of Kervignac is 43 km from Vannes,and is the center of a territory, which is bounded by the towns of Languidic , Hennebont, the Blavet river, Merlevenez, Nostang and Brandérion. It is 20 km from my house !

The Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul of Kervignac, dates from the 19C, having been destroyed in the battles for the liberation of the pocket of Lorient in WWII, it was decided after the war to rebuild it, and was done between 1956 and 1958. This new church is dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, The church is built according to a Greek cross layout, A monumental porch, containing the statues of the apostles, marks the facade.

Kervignac ch Notre Dame de Pitié front jul22
The old Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul was already facing damages since 1760, and threatened ruin, was prohibited by the ordinary worship then moved to the Notre-Dame de Pitié Chapel, begun in 1553, which stood in the cemetery. This chapel was a beautiful Renaissance building. In 1929, it was transformed into a parish Church.  The large square tower with an openwork gallery, flanked by two turrets of polygonal stairs, which was its most beautiful ornament, was then preserved intact. The spire which surmounted the tower, demolished by lightning in 1833, had been rebuilt on the same model. It had also preserved the porch of the chapel, built like the tower around 1560, where you will noticed a mixture of flamboyant ornamentation and Renaissance motifs. The stained glass windows of the current Church Notre Dame de Pitié ,date from 1958, The church is recognizable by its bell tower topped with an openwork spire. Its glass slab windows make up a remarkable frieze. Twelve wooden statues representing the apostles adorn the entrance porch. Inside the church is a piéta in waxed wood dating from 1962.

The town of Kervignac on its history/heritage

I stopped briefly by the jardin du hameau de Lopriac a beautiful garden but was loaded with folks that could not even get my car in the parking!!  Noted to be back. In the meantime, let me tell you a bit of its history from their webpage, It all started in the spring of 2010 after the acquisition of this 17C building converted into a dwelling house. Passionate about nature, culture, the environment and beautiful gardens, without horticultural or landscape training, it is without outside help, by feeling, by heart and always with this bit of madness that guides the owners to create on 2300 m2 “The garden of the hamlet of Lopriac” Over the years, our plant inventory (in progress) has continued to expand, to date it has nearly 7,000 varieties… Trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and spontaneous seedlings make up scenes that change with each season. Endemic, exotic or collectible, ancient, forgotten or novelty we exchange, barter, share, buy, not only plants but favorites, Open to the public since 2012, member of the parks and gardens of Brittany since 2015.

Kervignac Le jardin du hameau, Lopriac entr jul22

The official Garden of the village of Lopriac

The Lorient South Brittany local tourist office on the garden

There you go folks, another dandy small spot in my beautiful Morbihan! Never cease to amaze me of the beauties found here, and now the tourists are coming back! This is Kervignac and near me !! yes something to be back to ,eventually. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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