Archive for July 12th, 2022

July 12, 2022

The Church St Pierre of Orthez !!

I like to update this older post which brings lots of memories of my road warrior travels in my belle France. This is going to the Pyrénées Atlantiques dept 64, region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, and to another off the beaten path for most visitors. This is the town of Orthez and to show the nice St Peter’s Church (l’église St Pierre). See my other posts on Orthez in my blog. Hope you enjoy this post as I.


The Church of Saint-Pierre is said to be built by the Viscount de Béarn. It is the testimony of the past greatness of Orthez. It dates from the 14-15C, when the city was the capital of Béarn in the 12C ,following Morlaàs and before Pau. It was an important city at the crossroads of the route from Toulouse to Dax and on the Vicomtale road that led to the Pyrenees, a passage from the Gave de Pau.

orthez-ch-st-pierre-nave to altar aug14

There is not much documentation on the church, and there is no document to established the conditions for the church of the choir and the nave. The establishment of Orthez as the seat of the Viscounts of Béarn had to lead to the work of the St Peter’s Church in the 13C. They started with the construction of the chorus of modest proportion. Some historians believe that the work had to stop there at the death of Gaston VII of Béarn, in 1290, and that they did not resume until the death of Gaston Fébus, in 1391, when the city would have received a part of the treasure lying in the tower of Moncade.(see post).


orthez-ch-st-pierre-chapel-st pierre aug14

Some parts of the nave are ancient, probably, prior to the 14C.  Among the peculiarities of the St Peter’s Church are the absence of collateral and the highest vault of the Béarn with 18 meters at the dome. Inside ,it houses a sketch for the panel of the Pantheon, the Martyrdom of Saint Denis which was offered by the Beaux-Arts Museum in 1924. Two wooden statues-one representing Sainte Anne, mother of Mary ,and grandmother of Jesus, and the other Saint James, also decorate the church. In 1870, Aristide Cavaillon-Coll built an organ. The organ was restored in 1925 and in 1958. The original organ of Cavaillon-Coll was again restored in 1982.


There is wonderful painting L’église Saint Pierre à Orthez of 1914 done by Maurice Utrillo! Now at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.

The city of Orthez on the Church St Pierre

The local Béarn heartland tourist office on Orthez

There you go folks an unique city with lot more to see off the beaten path and a great gateway to the Pyrénnées and Spain. The Church St Pierre is one nice monument to visit in Orthez !

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

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July 12, 2022

The Ille river of Rennes !

As it goes, looking at my vault of pictures found me one that tells me of my entry point to the wonderful pretty city of Rennes and its Ille river. Therefore, here is my take on it, and hope you enjoy it as I. The Ille river passes in the department 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine, in my lovely region of Bretagne/Brittany, and is a right tributary of the Vilaine river in Rennes, of which the deparment is name after.

You take by car the road warrior roads into the Rocade de Rennes N136 exit 13b on the D137 rue St Malo becoming same road N137 passing the bridge on the Canal St Martin look to your left and see the levy house and the peniche boats as in the picture ! Continue on this road rue St Malo into city center by the new tourist office and the congress hall former convent of Jacobins, Fab street where we come many times to eat at resto Back to the 60’s (see posts).

rennes rue St Malo bridge N137 to ille river canal st Martin levies mar14

The Ille flows only in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine in eleven towns. It rises at the border between the towns of Lanrigan, Saint-Léger-des-Prés and Dingé, near the place called la Butte d’Ille or the hill of Ille. The towns it passes are from Dingé (source), Saint-Léger-des-Prés, Lanrigan, Montreuil-sur-Ille, Saint-Médard-sur-Ille, Saint-Germain-sur-Ille, Melesse, Chevaigné, Betton, Saint-Grégoire, and Rennes ( confluence). From upstream to downstream, the Ille has the following tributaries: left bank: the Boulet stream , Andouille river, and the Illet, On the right bank it has the Ille-et-Rance canal , the Ménardière stream , de la Jandière stream , the Touche stream , Ménuchère stream , Quimcampoix stream , Gravelle stream, and the Mare stream,

When it passes through Montreuil-sur-Ille, it joins the Ille-et-Rance canal, then through Saint-Médard-sur-Ille; it then forms the border between Melesse and Saint-Germain-sur-Ille before flowing east of Chevaigné. It ends up passing through Betton, Saint-Grégoire and finally Rennes, where it meets on the right bank at an altitude of 28 meters. The Ille is a natural watercourse but also a 48.7 km canal between Montreuil-sur-Ille and Rennes, the river sometimes runs parallel to the canal, sometimes merges with it. This is the Canal St Martin.

The Ille river is connected to the Rance river by the Ille-et-Rance canal. It thus creates a link between Rennes and Saint-Malo, and therefore between the Atlantic Ocean, where the Vilaine river flows, and the Channel, where the Rance flows. This canal was dug between 1804 and 1832, in total more than 260 structures line this canal, including 48 locks and many bridges.

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 Haute Bretagne tourist office on Rennes

I have walked a bit but bikers should enjoy it more, here is some ideas from the Metro Rennes tourist office on biking the canal Ille et Rance :

There you have it folks, another nice spot in lovey Rennes! Great for walks along the banks ,and of course, biking/cycling. The area is peaceful and nice; hope you enjoy the post on the Ille river of Rennes.

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

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July 12, 2022

The former Chapelle St Yves of Rennes !  

I bring you back to dept 35 Ille et Vilaine in my lovely Bretagne. This time to the archicturally and historically stunning Rennes !! I have several posts on this pretty city ,but need to tell you that is wonderful sublime to walk on it, so therefore, here is my take on the pretty former Chapelle St Yves of Rennes ! 

rennes chapel st yves rue st yves 11 old tourist office dec13

The Metro Rennes architecture and heritage interpretation center presents the history of the city with regard to its heritage, represented by photographs, models, desks and objects. The former tourist office in a former St Yves chapel ! The former tourist office had for years been located in the heart of the historic center in the chapelle Saint-Yves, 11 rue Saint-Yves. The Saint-Yves Chapel will remain the starting point for groups ,and will always house the permanent exhibition on architecture and heritage of Rennes. Very nice indeed !

rennes chapel st yves expo exhibit dec13

The Saint-Yves chapel is located at the corner of rue Saint-Yves and rue Le Bouteiller. The history of the Saint-Yves chapel is closely linked to the development of hospital activity within the city of Rennes . On October 8, 1358, the act of founding a Maison-Dieu (see post) in Rennes, deciding to transform the manor and its outbuildings in a hospice also dedicated to the Virgin.  Very soon placed under the invocation of Saint Yves, freshly canonized in 1347 and also a former official of the Trégorois bishopric, the hospital was not long in being rebuilt, starting with the chapel, undertaken in 1494 on the site of the old oratory of the manor. Today, this is the only testimony of a hospital establishment which was to continue in these places until its transfer in 1858 in the current Hôtel-Dieu, rue de la Cochardière.

rennes chapel st yves expo dec13

The Augustinian nuns of Mercy of Dieppe moved to the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Yves on June 27, 1644. They served the sick until the French revolution before returning in 1804 and participating in the moving of the  new Hôtel-Dieu, not ceasing their activity until 1896.  Grown up in the 17-18C, the hospital, located on the banks of the Vilaine, experienced the gradual destruction of its classical buildings, Transformed into a hardware store after the Hôtel-Dieu moved . The St Yves chapel was finally bought by the city in 1981 to be restored, then refurbished to house the Rennes Métropole tourist office until 2019.

The main facade, on the rue Le-Bouteiller side, includes a low-arch entrance door, surmounted by three now empty niches. On the rue Saint-Yves side, the facade has four windows, one of which is very large, and a low door also surmounted by niches. Following the installation of the tourist office, the buildings encompassing the chapel have been transformed into offices and a reception area. The nave of the chapel is fitted out with an educational trail on the history of Rennes and its architecture. The tourist office is also ,now moved to the old convent of Jacobins (see post).

The Rennes tourist office on the chapel:

The city of Rennes on going out activities

There you go folks, another gem in my lovely Bretagne. This is a nice place to visit still, the former St Yves chapel, and will do for a nice walk in a lovely part of town. Walking Rennes will amaze you with their beauty, architecture,and history.  Hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

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