Archive for July 13th, 2022

July 13, 2022

Buckingham Palace of London !

Well here I am taking a large task, needless to say each time in London I missed the guided tour and we just walked around it and take a peek at the changing of the guards. Me think is enough too, For the time been I like to update this older post on the Buckingham Palace of London, UK. A wonderful palace in a very nice area too. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Buckingham Palace is both the venue for events in relation to the Royal family, the home of many visiting heads of State, and an important tourist attraction. Built for John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and Normandy (yep you know it), in 1703, it is the place of residence of the British monarchy. It was enlarged during the 19C for King George IV. In the middle ages, the site of Buckingham Palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury. It had several Royal occupants since Édward the Confessor and was the subject of numerous speculations about its owner: a flaw in the lease of Charles I of England allowed the land to return to the Royal lap in the 18C.

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First known as Buckingham House, the palace was previously a large mansion built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham and Normandy John Sheffield and acquired by King George III in 1762 to make it his private residence. It was enlarged over the next 75 years. The Palace eventually became the official residence of the British monarchy during Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837. The official entrance, Marble Arch, was moved near the Speakers ‘corner to Hyde Park, where it still is today. The Victoria Memorial, created the public façade of Buckingham, with the famous balcony in its center.

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The main rooms are located on the noble floor, behind the façade overlooking the gardens. In the center of these richly adorned rooms is the music room, whose large arch is the main element of the façade. Adjacent to the music room are the blue and white reception lounges. In the center of the suite, the 50 meters long picture gallery serves as a link between the different rooms. Other rooms leading to the gallery are the Throne room and the Green reception lounge. The Green reception lounge, which serves as a Grand antechamber to the Throne room and is part of the ceremonial journey to the hall from the Guard room, contains a white marble statue of Prince Albert, located at the top of the grand staircase.

Just below the official apartments is a series of slightly less solemn rooms, called semi-official apartments, accessible by the Marble hall. These parts are used for less formal occasions, lunches and private hearings. the Room of 1844 which was decorated that year for the official visit of the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. Then ,in the center, the Hall of the Arch, that thousands of guests cross each year to go to the gardens during the garden parties. The Queen occupies a suite in the north wing for her private use. The Chinese Red and Blue breakfast room is made up of elements of the Brighton banquet and music halls, however the fireplace is Indian-style, although it also comes from Brighton. In the Yellow reception room you can see an 18C tapestry, which was used in 1817 for the Brighton Salon. The chimney in this room is a European transposition of what would be the Chinese equivalent, with mandarins nodding in the niches and scary dragons. In the center of this wing we recognize the famous balcony, and behind its windows is the Central room. It is a Chinese style salon arranged by Queen Mary at the end of the 1920’s, although the lacquered doors were brought from Brighton in 1873. The visiting heads of State occupy the Belgian suite when they are received at the Palace. It is located on the ground floor facing the gardens.These rooms, whose hallways includes domes, were the first decorated for the uncle of Prince Albert; King Leopold I of the Belgians. King Edward VIII lived there during his short reign.

At the back of Buckingham Palace is the large garden, which is the largest private garden in London. The large artificial lake was completed in 1828 and its water comes from the nearby Serpentine Lake of Hyde Park. The gardens of Buckingham Palace feature many works of art. The most notable is the vase of Waterloo, a large urn commissioned by Napoleon I to commemorate his upcoming victories, and which in 1815 was presented unfinished to the Prince Regent by Ferdinand III of Tuscany, and after some work given to the prince in 1906. King Edward VII solved the problem by placing the vase in the garden where it still remains today. In the gardens there is also a small Pavilion attributed to William Kent, built around 1740.  Adjacent to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews, are home to the Royal carriages, including the King’s carriage. This Rococo-style gilded carriage, created by Sir William Chambers in 1760, features panels painted by G. B. Cipriani. Having served for the first time at the official inauguration of the Parliament by king George III in 1762, it is used by the sovereign only in sacred or jubilee ceremonies. The horses solicited for the Royal processions in London are also housed in these stables.

The London tourist office on the palacehttps://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/427311-buckingham-palace

The official Royal Residence of Buckingham Palacehttps://www.royal.uk/royal-residences-buckingham-palace

There you go folks, a dandy to see while in London. The lines are huge and you need to early but worth the detour, Again, hope you have enjoy the post on Buckingham Palace of London !!

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

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July 13, 2022

Tower of London, of course in London !!

I have been here several times, more on business than pleasure and we all love it. I guess we do not mind big cities… This is London, and one of the best for us has been the Tower of London. In fact upon arriving this was the first monument we visited!I like to update this older post with new text and links using older pictures ; hope you enjoy it as I.

First, my business trips are done by airplane but the personal trips were done by car and it is super , love to drive in big cities too even on the wrong side of the road lol!  We came and asked around and was told to go to the corner of Lillie rd and Seagraves rd where there was an Avis rental car park but for a fee they let you park, well it was word of mouth and it works, we parked there twice more and at half prices ,recall 16£ per day cash.  This is close to West Brompton tube Southern line you might want to check it out.  Althought, we stayed in apartment closer to Earls Court easy walking distance to get back home. The London inner ring road (beltway of London) with the local routes A406 and A205 (mine) and the motorways M25 getting around the city best to the city center of Inner London Oh yes to find your way driving, this is a tool I use rather nicely, good driving skills are needed London Traffic webpage: https://www.londontraffic.org/

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Let me tell you about our favorite sightseeing in London. Tower of London; wonderful places of history old and new. Visit the White Tower, and the Crown jewels section for sure.  The Tower of London is a historic fortress located on the north bank of the River Thames in London next to the tower bridge. The tower is located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets east of the City of London in a space called Tower Hill. Its construction began towards the end of the year 1066 as part of the Norman (French) conquest of England. The White Tower, which gave its name to the entire castle, was built on the order of William the Conqueror in 1078. It also served as Grand Palace and Royal residence. As a whole, the tower is a complex composed of several buildings surrounded by two concentric defensive walls and a moat.

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The tower consists of three ramparts. The inner rampart protects the white tower and represents the first phase of the castle’s construction. The intermediate rampart which encircled it ,and was built during the reign of King Richard I to ensure the security of the Kingdom during the reign of king Henry III, the castle was strengthened and extended, with among other things the construction of the Wakefield tower, the Lantern tower and a curtain wall surmounted by nine towers and surrounded by moats. Finally, a third rampart was built under king Edward I. The king only rarely stayed at the castle. A prison is installed there as well as a division of the Hotel Royal of the Treasury. The fortress is also used to store important goods and documents.

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The White Tower is a dungeon, which was often the strongest structure of a medieval castle and the one that housed the dwellings of the Lord, in this case the king and his representatives. The White tower was also, by its strength, its majesty and its grandiose dwellings, the dungeon by excellence. As one of the largest dungeons in Christendom the White Tower has been described as the most complete 11C palace in Europe. The White Tower, without taking into account its corner towers, measures 36 × 32 meters at its base and rises to a height of 27 meters at the level of the south rampart. The building initially consisted of three floors: a basement, an entry level and a higher level. The entrance, as was the norm in the Norman dungeons, was above ground level. It was  equipped with a wooden staircase that could be removed in the event of an attack. From the stone of Caen was imported from France to form details on the coating of the tower but much of it was replaced by Portland stone in the 17-18C. Since most of the windows in the tower were enlarged in the 18C, there are only two originals, albeit restored on the south side.

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The crypt of the Saint John Chapel occupied one corner, and was accessible only from the Oriental room. The upper level housed a large hall ,and a residential room, both initially open on the roof and surrounded by a gallery built in the wall, as well as the St John’s Chapel. A fourth level was added in the 15C as is the current roof.

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The inner rampart delineates just by the White Tower and extends to what was the shore of the Thames river. The construction of the Wakefield and Lanthorn Towers, located at the corners of the inner rampart along the Thams river began around 1220 a gate located near the Wakefield Tower allowed private access to the King’s apartments. The intermediate rampart was created during the reign of king Richard the Lion Heart when a clod was dug in the inner rampart which allowed to double the size of the castle. The main entrance to the intermediate rampart would have been a body of guards probably in what is presently the Beauchamp tower; The Beauchamp tower built in the 13C marked the first use on a large scale of the brick in Britain since the departure of the Romans in the 5C. The Beauchamp Tower is one of the thirteen towers located on the rampart.

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The Salt Tower initially gave on the Thames river. Archers settled there to protect the tower and castle. The Broken Arrow Tower takes its name from the spear-iron symbol stamped on the property belonging to the King. From 1669 to 1841, the tower houses the Crown jewels. It was then known as the Jewel Tower. A third rampart was built under king Edward I. A bastion called Legge’s Mount was built at the corner of the castle and a second bastion, Brass Mount, was later added to another corner. As a result of the addition of this new enclosure, the former main entrance to the Tower of London was blocked and a new entrance was created at the corner of the outer rampart. In this rampart, it was built the St Thomas Tower between 1275 and 1279; subsequently called Traitors’s Gate, it replaced the bloody Tower as access door from the Thames river. From 1560, the Royal Mint was installed in a building backed by the exterior wall near the Salt Tower. Between 1348 and 1355, a second access gate on the river, the Cradle Tower, was added to the east of the St Thomas ‘ Tower for the exclusive use of the King.

A bit of condense history I like.

After his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, and vassal to the king of France spent the remainder of the year fortifying key positions to secure his power.  The fortification which eventually became the Tower of London was built on the southeast corner of the ancient Roman walls of the city and were used to serve as prefabricated bases; In addition the Thames river provided an additional defense to the south. Almost all the first Norman castles were built of wood but at the end of the 11C some of them, including the Tower of London, were renovated with stone. The work on the White Tower, which gave it its name, would have started in 1078 but the exact date is uncertain. The castle probably retained its form established from 1100 until the reign of king Richard I ,the Lion Heart.  The castle  present form has hardly evolved since. From 1238, the castle was enlarged on most sides.

The beginning of the Tudor period marked the decline of the Tower of London as a royal residence.   From 1547, the Tower of London was only used as a royal residence when its historical and political symbolism was deemed useful; For example, Edward VI, Marie I, and Élisabeth I stayed briefly before their coronation. The 16-17C marked the culmination of the tower as a center of internment, and many religious and political opponents were detained there. Among the people executed at the tower are Anne Boleyn. So when Walter Raleigh was held in the tower, his cell was modified to accommodate his family whose son was born there in 1605. The executions were usually carried out at tower Hill rather than in the Tower of London itself and 112 people were there executed in over 400 years. Before the 20C, there were seven executions carried out within the castle in the Green Tower. This was reserved for prisoners whose public execution was deemed to be dangerous.

The tradition of harboring the crown jewels in the tower probably dates back to the reign of king Henry III. In 1649, during the first English revolution, the contents of the Jewel House were emptied of the royal properties. The metal objects were sent to the mint to be melted and reused, and the crowns were completely broken and disfigured. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, the only elements of the Coronation regalia were a 12C spoon and three ceremonial swords. The other objects had to be recreated. In 1669, the Jewel House was demolished and the crown jewels were moved to the Martin tower where they were exposed to the public.   Crown jewels are currently preserved in the Waterloo Barracks of the tower.

During WWI, eleven men were tried behind the walls and executed by a firing squad for espionage. During WWII, the tower was again used to detain prisoners of war. One of them was Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s representative, but only for four days in 1941. He was the last prisoner of state to be imprisoned , and the last execution in the tower was that of the German spy Josef Jakobs shot on 14 August 1941. The executions during the two world wars took place in a small field of shooting practice located near the exterior rampart which was demolished in 1969.

The Tower of London had become one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of UK. In 1984, the London subway/tube/metro station Tower Hill (Mark Lane before 1967) was opened north of the tower, bringing tourists and locals more closer to the Tower of London . The Tower is managed by a Recognized Association of Public Utility, the Historic Royal Palaces, which receives no assistance from the Government or the Crown and is funded by donations and admissions. A must to visit indeed.

The official Historic Royal Palaces management of the Tower of Londonhttps://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/

The London tourist office on the Tower of London :https://www.visitlondon.com/fr/que-faire-a-londres/endroit/22249-hm-tower-of-london

There you go folks, a wonderful spot to start your London sightseeing ,the Tower of London is a must and a first to go visit, me think. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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July 13, 2022

Sept Îles of Baden !!

So after a bit of running around the world with special feature Europe and the grand lady of them all France in terms of tourism of course (UN-WTO) I bring you back to my beloved home of the Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne. Always lovely and the 3rd most visited region by the French! I came upon the idea of going further than we have gone just south of us. Imagine only 21 kms and there are still places not seen lol! I have been to Baden but never reach the outer point of land before the Gulf of Morbihan,  this is Sept Îles or Seven islands , and I like to update this older post with fresh text and links hoping you like it as I.

Sept îles or seven Islands are located in the Gulf of Morbihan and belongs to the town of Baden. It is a private island but very easy to walk around it as in all the islands of the Gulf respecting the privacy and environment. It is connected to the mainland by a tombolo of sand submerged at high tide. It is indeed a tombolo. This form of coastal cordon only exists in about ten points of the French coast. The most well-known in Morbihan is undoubtedly the one that connects the Quiberon Peninsula to Penthièvre (which we passed every weekend). More modest, Baden’s sand bank is always regularly covered by the sea and offers a beautiful postcard view of the Gulf of Morbihan.

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You get there from Baden taking the road D316 direction Locmiquel and then the Route des Sept-Îles which will take you directly to the entrance of a beach facing the island. Only way to go these wonderful spots is by car or bike.

The beach, fragile, is protected by a stone dike. Violent currents make it dangerous by certain times as the heights of water and certain winds can be strong. It communicates with the cove of Baden by a coastal road which allows to reach on foot the town of Baden, located 3 km, passing through megalithic tombs.  Find out about the tide schedules so you don’t have to be trapped on the island in which case the return could be done waist water deep or more! You have to know that in this place when the sea goes up, a strong current is created. The walk on the island is done with a view to 360 degrees on the Gulf of Morbihan! Whether you take the right or the left you will return to your starting point.

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Stop on one of the small beaches of the island or on a rock to admire the Gulf of Morbihan. You will see the pointe de Blaire! The town of Locmariaquer and the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan between Port-Navalo and the islands of Ile Er Runio or ile Le Grand Huernic. You will walk about 2 km on the Sept-Iles and if the weather and envy tells you, continue to the right of the tombolo by returning to the mainland. 

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Opposite to the pointe de Blaire, you see this ruin house been the remnant of a pharaoh project that has not succeeded. Built by Count Dillon at the beginning of the 20C as well as a wharf, this “Harbor House” was to be the freight station of the future great deep water port he imagined there… The idea collided with its cost, war and other ports took away the project.

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The south side of the island is entirely surrounded by oyster parks. Between the tables, you can also reach the nearby island of Er Runio on foot.

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We need to eat gone all day  We walked in city center Baden ,and hit a find which we are sure to be back ,this is the type of places you find in my lovely Bretagne and belle France for that matter pure local no advertising family run but just a jewel of a cuisine!  We found the Les Kerguelen , just next to the Church St Pierre. The family was very nice homey, and they have a bar cafe on street level and the restaurant in upper level; very cozy. We had lunch with few people there and had the opportunity to exchange with the owner. We had an entrée all you can eat of salads of various kinds, patês, cold cuts, fish salads, and bread/butter. The main dish we had the parmintier du canard or duck ground beef in mashed potatoes, and also spaghetti carbonara for others; all wash down with a quart of red and rosé house wine which was good. Then , the dessert was a home made apple pie or white/dark chocolate fondue for some; a plate of cheeses which we took the goat cheese and the camembert very nice and soft. Finish with a expresso coffee all for 13,30€ per person!!! Just what the family was looking for and found! Webpage: https://leskerguelen-baden.com/

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The city of Baden on the 7 islandshttps://www.baden.fr/iles/les-7-%C3%AEles

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the 7 islandshttps://www.golfedumorbihan.co.uk/fiche/plage-des-sept-iles-locmiquel-en/

There you go folks, another wonderful escape in my beautiful  Morbihan , this is Seven islands at Baden! A nature lover’s paradise indeed. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

July 13, 2022

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté of Perros Guirec !

I am taking you to Perros Guirec in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my lovely Bretagne. This is a wonderful area full of great beaches and stone creations by the coast as well as numerous monuments of great historical architectural values that I like. I am updating this older post with fresh text and links for you and me. Let me bring you to another jewel that have written on the town in my blog, but this time will talk about the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté or Our Lady of Clarity Chapel of Perros Guirec !

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Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté is the name given to a Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the neighborhood of La Clarté in the town of Perros-Guirec. .The local  tradition of the 15C tells us that a certain lord of Barac’h, in Louannec, nearly failed with his squadron near the Sept-Îles. The mist was so thick that the sailors ‘ death seemed inevitable. All on their knees made a vow to Notre-Dame: The commander would build her a chapel if she created a saving hole in the fog. The miracle took place and the Lord of Barac’h built the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Clarté. Much later, in August 1944, the American troops had planned to bombard Mez Gill, a camp entrenched at 200 meters from the Chapel. In retaliation, the 600 Nazis, pointing their guns at Perros, threatened to bomb the city. On August 7, 8 and 9, the mist covered Perros-Guirec preventing destruction. On August 10, the Nazis surrendered without resistance.

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A bit of history and architecture I like

The local tradition has always maintained that the construction of the Chapel was ordered in 1445 by Pierre de Tournemine, Sieur de Barac’h, of English descent. We can therefore say, with the departmental archives of Côtes-d’Armor, that Roland IV, founder of the Collegiate Church of Tonquédec and Lord of Ker Uzec in Pleumeur-Bodou was also the founder of the Chapel of Clarity(Clarté). At his death in Rhodes about 1470, his property passed to the Coskaër of Rosanbo, of which one of the descendants was Aline, Countess of Combourg, the sister-in-law of François-René de Chateaubriand!

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté Chapel belongs to the flamboyant Breton style.  A square tower surmounted by a pink granite-laced steeple that seems not to be in the shape of the architectural ensemble. The Chapel is surrounded by an enclosure with a 17C granite base in its center, adorned with a wooden trunk for offerings. Further on, a cross erected in 1630. The lintel of the porch is remarkable with a representation of the Annunciation facing a Pietà, as a reminder of the prediction of the old Simeon: “You yourself, a sword will pierce your soul!” We can also see, around a window in mullions, the inscription “Le Carro”, coats of arms that have become illegible and, above, a Virgin Mother.

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The porch is worth seeing, above all, by its 17C statuary of polychrome wood, a Virgin to the ChildSaint Anne, consecrated officially Patron Saint of the Bretons, on July 26, 1914, learns to read and pray in a Bible to Saint Mary, her daughter, St. Peter, and the Four Evangelists St. Matthew in winged man, symbol of birth, St. Mark, accompanied by a lion, of the Resurrection, Saint Luke and his ox, of immolation, and Saint John in eagle, of Ascension.  On the leaves of the oak door; Saint John the Baptist carrying a sheep, Saint Peter, the key in the hand, the Virgin of the Annunciation and the angel holding in hand the scepter of power, the Virgin to the Child, and St. Paul armed with the sword, symbol of the power of the word of God expressed by his letters.

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 Among the many ex-votos, one can notice, besides the traditional plates of marble, of pink or grey granite, models of boats, testimonies of dangers surmounted by their captain and their sailors.  The statues are remarkable and their diversity does not break the harmony of the ensemble. One notices in particular, in the main part, a Saint-Fiacre recognizable to his spade; a Sainte-Anne in painted wood, from the 20C,and a Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor.  The altarpiece of the 18C, whose construction began in 1767, is thus described on the deed of command an untainted wooden niche in order to place the image of the Holy Virgin of Notre-Dame of Clarté in middle of the altar, with, on the right side of the so-called niche such a figure as that on the left side. The stained glass windows of the 20C.

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The Perros Guirec tourist office on the Chapelhttp://tourisme.perros-guirec.com/fr/decouvrez/patrimoine-religieux/chapelle-notre-dame-de-la-clarte-et-souscription.html

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist office on the Chapelhttps://www.cotesdarmor.com/fr/fiche/patrimoine-culturel/chapelle-notre-dame-de-la-clarte-perros-guirec_TFOPCUBRE0220HA638A/

There you go folks, this is a nice walkable neighborhood of La Clarté, and the chapel is very nice indeed, worth the detour, enjoy Perros-Guirec and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté!

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

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