Archive for July 18th, 2022

July 18, 2022

My other towns of Indonesia !!

Here I am remembering my footpaths in the world and recalling Indonesia. A far away land for many years, and then all of a sudden 8 trips ! Many nice memories and more important nice friends, always looking forward to seeing again. For now let me tell you about my other towns of Indonesia , such as Bogor, Mojokerto, Ngoro, Malang and Sidoarjo. Memories forever.

The Sidoarjo Kabupaten admin area is located in the province of East Java, south of Surabaya, (see posts) the provincial capital and main town is Sidoarjo. The Surabaya International Airport (Juanda) is located in the Sidoarjo Kabupaten. Interesting thing to see here are the Pari temple located in the village of Candipari, one km south of Sidoarjo. It is a fairly massive but well preserved brick building. The date equivalent to 1371, is engraved on the pediment of the door. The temple of Sumur is located a hundred meters from that of Pari. It is a brick building of which there are only half remaining, but whose staircase still allows access to the cella, which is distinguished by a well about one meter on a side, located in one of the angles. The temple of Gunung Gangsir, located in the village of the same name, near Bangil, south-east of Sidoarjo on the road to Pasuruan, dates from the end of the 14C; it has terracotta decorations representing offering pots and goddesses holding lotuses.   The Sidoarjo mud volcano has caused great damage to the local landscape to say the least. The flows have  repeatedly  buried  villages, communication  routes and fields despite  the construction of numerous retention dams.

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The road warrior in me passing Sidoarjo and a great city center shot indeed for the memories. The East Java tourist board on Sidoarjohttps://www.eastjava.com/east-java/tourism/sidoarjo/candi-sumur.html

Malang is a city in the province of East Java as well. It has a history dating back to the age of Singhasari Kingdom. It is the second most populous city in the province. During Dutch colonization, it was a popular destination for European residents. Dutch heritage in general in the form of ancient buildings such as the Kayutangan Church and Ijen Cathedral which has gothic architecture. The city was capital city of Singhasari in 1222, then transferred to Dutch colony. During the Japanese occupation, Malang was also occupied by Japan by March 1942. After the Independence of Indonesia in 1945, Malang became part of the Republic of Indonesia on 21 September 1945 and re-entered on 2 March 1947 after being re-occupied by the Dutch East Indies.

The city of Malang is surrounded by Mount Arjuno in the north; Mount Semeru to the east; Mount Kawi and Mount Butak in the west; Mount Kelud in the south.The popular active volcano Mount Bromo is about 25 km (16 miles) east of the city. Malang Metropolitan Region is a leading tourist destination in Indonesia with the City of Batu as its center. Malang has various tourist areas including volcanoes to beaches for all to enjoy.  We were on the road warrior mode I love so much , the freedom to move about to exotic splendid areas and of course a novelty a gas/petrol station Pertamina at Malang! I also passed by you guess it a market, always love these anywhere. Time to eat of course, and ate at Warung Bu Kris a concoction of local platters and fruit juices very exotic, so much do not recall the names ! all I know is that it was good, and great live rock music!! The Foursquare on Warung Bu Krishttps://fr.foursquare.com/v/warung-bu-kris/4e3bccbee4cdab9b932bff73

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The Indonesia tourist board on Malang :https://www.indonesia.travel/fr/en/destinations/java/malang

The town was Mojokerto a city in East Java Province It is located 40 km from Surabaya, and constitutes one of the component units of the Surabaya metropolitan area ,which comprises  Gresik Regency, Bangkalan Regency, Mojokerto Regency, Mojokerto city , Surabaya city, Sidoarjo city,(see above)  Sidoarjo Regency and Lamongan Regency. The Surabaya–Mojokerto Toll Road or Sumo Toll Road, is a part of Trans-Java toll road with a length of 36 km. Very nice quick clean road to take each day of my stay and each visit.  And again Pertamina gas/petrol station. Driving by car and ate in Mojokerto at the Me Joyo Restaurant of local cuisine. The Foursquares on Me Joyo Restaurant: https://fr.foursquare.com/v/rm-mejoyo/5149417ae4b00b4871d39af9

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The Indonesia tourist board on Mojokertohttps://www.indonesia-tourism.com/french/java-est/mojokerto.html

It was easy pickup and delivery to the job site in Ngoro Industrial Park, and always with private shuttle. Passing by the great Volcano on the horizon, nice view but its active so nice to have it dormant every time I visit !!!  This is where my branch office was, and I was in charge of Finance team for them. The official Ngoro Industrial park :https://www.ngoroindustrialpark.com/location

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Bogor is in the province of West Java, and its ,also the name of the kabupaten (admin area) of Bogor in which the city is located. Its capital is Cibinong. It is part of the Jabodetabek conurbation, which also brings together the cities of Jakarta,(see posts), Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi and the kabupaten of Tangerang and Bekasi. It is surrounded by extinct volcanoes such as the Gede and the Salak. It experiences more thunderstorms than any other point on the planet! I never got wet thus !!!  Bogor has a Botanical garden. The garden was founded in 1817 by the government of the Dutch East Indies, which wished to bring together the plants that the Javanese and natives of other regions of their colony used in their home use or as medicine, and allow to study them in order to use them for commercial purposes.

They have discovered inscriptions in Ciaruteun, Kebon Kopi and Jambu in the region of Bogor, written in Pallava alphabet of South India and in Sanskrit, which dates from around 450. They are attributed to King Purnawarman of Tarumanagara. A second inscription found at Kebon Kopi, dated 932 and written in Malay, mentions a king of Sunda. The site of Pakuan, the capital of the Sundanese Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran (1333-1579) was in present-day BogorThe name of “Bogor” appears officially in a document dated April 7, 1752 and signed by the Hoofd van de Negorij Bogor, that is to say chief of the village of Bogor, which is located at the site of the Botanical garden. Bogor was called Buitenzorg or carefree in Dutch in colonial times and was the residence of the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies at the time of Herman Willem Daendels ,and Thomas Stamford Raffles ,and much later.

I did a bit of driving to Bogor just about 1h30 from Jakarta (50 kms but always traffic) and into another world,different more exotic; well just preferred the city.  The Jakarta–Cikampek Toll Road or Japek toll road was one I took several times on the many trips to this part of Indonesia, driving was part of the thrills just road warrior trips and not enough photos in these smaller towns.

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The Indonesia tourist board on Bogor : https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/destinations/java/bogor

These were on the road warrior run trips with not much time to see tourist related areas as this part was for the big cities, however, part of the nostalgia of been to Indonesia and the rides with by now friends. The memories of these sites and friends will be long remembererd fondly, and always looking forward to a repeat visit to Indonesia. There you go folks, a dandy ride in exotic Indonesia ; hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

July 18, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXVII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it seems we will have a wonderful hot summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Even in the middle of a heat wave , deaths from the heat and fires all over, Spain rocks !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Galeria Jonica or Ionic Sculpture Gallery has been conceived as an exhibition space, but also as a rest area in which to enjoy the natural light that enters through its huge windows and the privileged views of the Paseo del Prado in the company of 56 sculptural pieces that range from Ancient Egypt, through the Greco-Roman period, to the Renaissance and Baroque. In this way, a privileged space is recovered that was closed to the public and that, in addition, takes up a project from 1881, More info at Prado museum : https://www.museodelprado.es/en/museum/ionic-gallery

Baptized by the Romans as Finis Terrae or end of the earth ; the cape of Fisterra is located in one of the westernmost points of Europe and the Camino de Santiago ends here. It is located on the Costa da Morte, this area is characterized by its spectacular landscapes that overlook the imposing Atlantic and its hidden beaches with calm waters, some and strong waves, others. But if something precisely characterizes the end of the world, it is its sunset, watching it plunge into the immensity of the ocean is a spectacle of nature and perhaps this is one of the reasons that lead many pilgrims to become known as the Camino de Fisterra and Muxía, which starts from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Fisterra. Arriving in Fisterra is almost synonymous with freedom. Here the pilgrim finds the Church of Santa María das Areas, which guards the Santo Cristo de Fisterra. Getting to the cape is enjoying the best views imaginable, impossible to describe in words. Come and see. Galicia Tourism on the Cabo Fisterra : https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/destacados/cabo-fisterra?langId=en_US

The Caixa Foundation inaugurates its ninth cultural container in the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, In a building that had been without function since construction began in 2006 , The Ágora reopened its doors as the ninth CaixaForum in Spain of the hand of the Caixa Foundation which, 16 years after the first stone was laid, has managed to reconcile Valencia with its Agora. Not because the Foundation expressly seeks it, but because it is located in the heart of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The building is, without a doubt, one of the most emblematic and visible in the area, webpage : https://www.cac.es/en/agora/Descubre-y-conoce-el-Agora/conoce-el-agora.html

As the official tourism organism ,and the one I always quote in my posts ; the World Tourism Organization (UN) embarks on the task of choosing the “Best Tourist Towns“. Three towns in Huesca, Barcelona and Cáceres could win the distinction this year. In specific, they are Alquézar (Huesca), Rupit (Barcelona) and Guadalupe (Cáceres), the three candidates that Spain has presented to the second edition of the Best Tourism Villages program, an initiative that seeks localities that are good example of rural tourism and commitment to sustainability.webpage : https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-invites-applications-for-best-tourism-villages-2022

Something for the nature lover in all of us, The Cabo de Gata Natural Park , whether on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle or car, it allows you to explore the unusual landscapes of this corner of Spain marked by the profile of ancient volcanoes and aridity. The local star is, without a doubt, the Cortijo del Fraile. It was built in the 18C and is famous for many reasons. First, because the crime that the Almerian journalist Carmen de Burgos wrote about, in Colombine, and, later, Federico García Lorca in his Blood Weddings, took place there. And, second, because Sergio Leone chose it as the setting for films such as Death had a price or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with Clint Eastwood leaving the place after recovering from several days lost in the desert. Getting to it is not easy between the few indications and the poor conditions of the tracks. The best option is the small road that starts in Fernán Pérez between cereal fields and some olive groves. A rusty sign leads to the building, now by land through a huge orchard where fennel and celery scent the strange atmosphere. To the north, the same old sign that leads to the Cortijo del Fraile points to the Cortijo Higo Seco, a handful of abandoned houses, among which some survive, inhabited, and mailboxes at the foot of the road. Go ahead make my day ! The official Cabo de Gata on the Cortijo de Fraile available in Spanish : https://www.degata.com/cabo-de-gata/visitas/cortijo-del-fraile.html

When you open the door it gets cold, a cold like a church. It will be the figure of Jesus Christ that welcomes the visitor in the hall, raised on an inscription that reads ‘Kingdom of Spain’. Or maybe it’s just the magic (the science) of architecture. Who knows. In the hall there are many things. Two candlesticks made from grenades from the Whitworth cannon, those cucumber-shaped projectiles that gave rise to the famous ‘pepinazos’. A funeral mask of General Nicolás Ollo, killed by an explosion in 1874. A portrait of Carlos VII with his dog, León. A flag of the Barcelonan third of requetés of Santo Cristo de Lepanto. Cabrera’s face in oil. The one from Zumalacárregui. Two red berets. a white one And more. This is the entrance to a house that is not a house. To a museum that is not a museum. It is called the Carlist Museum of Madrid, but in reality it is a private collection (perhaps the largest of its kind) that can only be visited with the owner’s permission and accompaniment. Downstairs is the basement, the main part of the museum. Each room is a Carlist war, in perfect order: the first (1833-1840), the second (1846-1848), the third (1872-1876) and the Civil War bonus track with the searches, Just like a history book. The Museo Carlista de Madrid : https://www.museocarlistademadrid.com/

Some scary nice places full of history and anecdotes for your visiting pleasure, my favorites on this post are :

The Royal Palace of Olite (Navarra), It is clear that it was not conceived to wage war, an activity in which Carlos III the Noble never shone: his thing was art, luxury and having children, no less than 13. It is a castle, a romantic palace, in a gothic but romantic style, full of galleries, windows with exquisite tracery, hanging gardens and very high and tiny turrets, from which the king and queen, Doña Leonor de Trastámara, watched the tournaments, or so they said. Next to the New Palace, which is the part of the castle that is visited, is the Old Palace, which is the oldest (from the 13C, with Roman foundations) and the one that occupies the Parador de Olite lodging establishement now, webpage : https://palaciorealolite.com/en

The castle of Riba de Santiuste, near Sigüenza. It is planted on the crest of a hill full of folds and fractures, of layers of red and yellow sandstone, salt crystals and ripples, the waves drawn by the tide on a beach millions of years ago. Another castle in the province of Guadalajara that makes your hair stand on end is that of Zafra. In the high and desolate moor of Molina de Aragón, 6 km from Campillo de Dueñas, this red fortress is discovered balancing on a sharp rock of the same color. It’s like finding a castle on Mars. Or was it, because since it appeared in the sixth season of Game of Thrones, like the Tower of Joy, it appears every few minutes on a blog and there are always onlookers around.

Riba de Santiuste on Castilla La Mancha tourist office :http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/castillo-de-riba-de-santiuste-33464/descripcion/

Zafra castle on Castilla La Mancha tourist office : http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/castillo-de-zafra-33564/descripcion/

And of course, from the 12C, which is when the Alcáçar of Segovia (my favorite) is mentioned for the first time, it does not seem strange, be that as it may, this fairytale castle, bristling with turrets with pointed spiers, is one of those that inspired Cinderella’s at Disney World in Florida. You can visit 11 rooms: among them the oldest, that of the Old Palace, with its twin windows from the 12C, and the most important, that of the Kings, where the Cortes met under the gaze of all the sculpted monarchs in the frieze, from don Pelayo to Juana la Loca. In addition, you can climb the tower of Juan II, 152 steps that end at 80 meters high. Cinderella’s castle is only 57,,, The Castilla Y Léon tourist office on the Alcazar : https://www.turismocastillayleon.com/en/art-culture-heritage/castles/alcazar-segovia

The summer season for tourist railway trips through Galicia is already underway. You just have to choose the most desired route (there are 13 and two new ones, the Galician cheese route and the As Mariñas route) and get on the train. Some of my favorites are :

The Ribeira Sacra Route along the Sil River, The most popular route of all is this one aboard the Aba Sacra motorized train bound for the Regina Viarum winery. The Monforte Wine Interpretation Center is also known and the Sil River is crossed in a catamaran through the canyons, as well as a guided visit to the Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas, where a monk officiates the ceremony of the queimada with tasting. O Ribeiro and Rias Baixas Route, It is time to discover the Rías Baixas Designation of Origin in enclaves such as Señorío de Rubiós and O Ribeiro wineries, which includes a walk through the medieval town of Ribadavia and its castle, the Galician Wine Museum and the fort of San Cibrao de Las. There is also time to visit the Santa Crux de Arrabaldo railway station, rehabilitated as a museum complex. Rias Baixas Wine Route, The route goes into the interior of the Arousa estuary to visit the medieval Torres de Oeste, in Catoira, a strategic containment enclave for the barbarian hordes that tried to go up the river to plunder Santiago. It includes a visit to the Pazo de Baión wineries and the monumental town of Cambados, capital of Albariño, and the Pazo de Fefiñáns. The route concludes with a boat ride on the Vigo estuary and disembarkation on the island of San Simón. The Route through the paths of Santiago, Leaving La Coruña, within the English Way, the first stop is Sobrado dos Monxes to visit the Cistercian monastery of Santa María, already on the Northern Way. With a small section on foot passing by the Chapel of Santo Alberte, in the afternoon it continues through Samos, on the French Way, to stop at the Benedictine Monastery of San Julián. The trip ends at the wall of Lugo, on the Primitive Way, and returns to La Coruña. The Galicia Cheese Route, covers three of the four appellations of origin for Galician cheeses. The first stop is at Sobrado dos Monxes to enter the Casa do Queixo, with a tasting of Tetilla and Arzúa-Ulloa. The next visit is to the Don Crisanto cheese factory, in Vilalba, where you can meet the San Simón da Costa. In the afternoon, the Arqueixal eco-agrotourism project, in Albá (Palas de Rei), focused on Arzúa-Ulloa cheese, is known. All sublimes !

Something I learn to drink and enjoy as a child visiting my aunt in El Saler south of Valencia in the early 70’s and continue to this day each visit these regions and Madrid, A good balance of tiger nuts, water and sugar is the key to this summer drink that has its origin in the Valencian orchard ; this is the Horchata. Today it has a museum and there are unique places where you can taste it, the garden of Valencia became a place of pilgrimage. What would soon be known as Avenida de la Horchata, a road that connects Valencia with the town of Alboraia, came to house more than a dozen horchata shops that enlivened the Levantine summer nights. Today, however, less than half remain. of those premises, at the same time that the borders of white gold are blurred. The producers of 19 towns are struggling to value the denomination of origin of the Valencian tiger nut, a sweet tuber, introduced with the Arab conquest of the Peninsula and well adapted to the warm climate and sandy soils of this area I tried Daniel from Alboraia at the Colón market in Valencia, a modernist building that delights any traveler with an architectural sensibility. There you can now visit the Museum of Horchata and Chufa, located in the farmhouse El Machistre, a monumental mansion from the 12C that preserves the architectural remnants of its Arab origin. Located in the middle of the Alboraia orchard, it is one of the few stately farmhouses in good condition in Valencia. Inside, the decoration of the house of a family from the 18C is preserved, while the museum shows the different processes of traditional elaboration of this drink. The visits can also include a tasting and even a workshop to learn how to make it, since only you need tiger nuts, water and sugar to taste. Because, after all, horchata has always been the white gold of the families of the orchard, now the heritage of the entire world. Enjoy especially in Summer months!!!Remember, Horchata !!

The official Daniel horchata stores : https://horchateria-daniel.es/

The Community of Valencia on the museum : https://www.comunitatvalenciana.com/en/valencia/alboraia-alboraya/museums/museo-de-la-horchata

And last but not least for this post a wonderful historical anecdote of the history of modern Spain,La Barraca, and one of the greatest poets ever, Federico Garcia Lorca, (see post). Enjoy it as I.

They were on two vans, different sets, avant-garde costumes and even a female chaperone to quell the ardor of the young people and thus allow their companions to also undertake the trip, is all that La Barraca carried on their outings. They visited more than 70 locations where they performed up to 14 combinable repertoires from 1932 to 1936, all of them with a different repertoire. On July 10, 1932, their first performance took place in Burgo de Osma, Soria. There, Lorca, who had neither founded the improvised company nor named it, was already at the forefront of an experience in which he would give free rein to his imagination and form of regenerating the theater. La Barraca was much more avant-garde and they wanted to get away from the zarzuela theater, the bourgeois theater. They worked on the great classics in a very innovative way. Their first performance was the auto sacramental of “La vida es sueño”,or Life is a Dream, by Calderón de la Barca, something that the communist wing of the company did not like, enthusiastic about the project of a republic supposedly lay , The people of Catholic Action did not like it either, who came to destroy the works of the group led by Lorca and Eduardo Ugarte. After all, ‘La Barraca‘ was a microcosm of the society of the Second Republic in which communists and Falangists coexisted with a very advanced aesthetic ideology and with the aim of bringing culture to the people. This theatrical experience, brought to today, it would be like taking the opera to the streets, that everyone could enjoy the highest, most exquisite art, as part of a profoundly democratic project. In this way, in our streets we could see condensed the silver age of Spanish art, great painters of the time who dedicated themselves to designing the sets, such as Benjamín Palencia, José Caballero and Alfonso Ponce de León, a Falangist, who latter died in a Checa (communist raid gangs of executioners) in 1936. Thus, around 40 students turned into premature actors, actresses, musicians and painters, they toured the towns of the Spanish geography, especially in summer, on the back of the van they called the Bella Aurelia, because his driver was called Aurelio. La Barraca ended with many deaths in the Spanish Civil War, on both sides, but it was a fundamental moment in the history of Spain, like that utopia in which a national classical theater company could be created, La Barraca non-existent at the time. It was maintained long after the coup d’état, by the end of 1935 it was not the same as before and it came crashing down completely with the assassination of Lorca (by extreme right wing falangists) , The work of Lope de la Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderón de la Barca, also Cervantes, and Juan de la Encina and Lope de Rueda , all these consecrated authors passed through the hands of the fervent actors and actresses of La Barraca. Another era, innocent perhaps but much better than today, Spain Culture site on La Barraca : http://www.spainisculture.com/en/companias_artisticas/la_barraca.html

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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July 18, 2022

The Citadel of St Martin de Ré !!

So lets bring you back out to the coast and even beyond to an island off the mainland of France. I am updating and splitting the older post into two as they are different things to see in Saint Martin de Ré on the island or Île de Ré. A Lovely place it reminds me of my favorite islands in a time far away now, but always nice to come back to the roots. island boy, beach bum you name it , the thrills are huge!  However, as usual running with so much to see feel that I need to detail the most important monuments to see according to me lol!   Therefore, let me show you a bit of the Citadel of St Martin de Ré !!

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Brief repeat introduction to the Île de Ré:

The Île de Ré is the fourth largest island of metropolitan France, behind Corsica, the island of Oléron and Belle-Ile island (Morbihan 56!) It is located in the dept 17 of the Charente-Maritime in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. The historic center of the island is Saint-Martin-de-Ré, which forms with the neighboring town of La Flotte the urban unit of the Flotte. The island of Ré is separated from the mainland by the Pertuis Breton and is located north of the islands of Aix, Oléron, Madame and Nôle, and the forts Boyard, d’Enet and Louvois located in the Pertuis of Antioch to the South. Since 1988, it is connected to the mainland by the Pont de Île de Ré or island of Re bridge. Touristic wise, the island is nicknamed “Ré la Blanche” or Re the White one because of the characteristic hue of its traditional houses.

The Citadel of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is a military work built from 1690 to protect the Île de Ré. It is one of the main historical monuments of the city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. In 1873 it was transformed into a depot for the regrouping of prisoners destined to be sent to the Bagnes and was for 65 years (from 1873 to 1938), the only point of grouping of convicts to forced labour, before their departure, by boat (the Loire, or La Martinière), towards the prison of French Guyana or the prison of New Caledonia.

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A first Citadel was built in 1625 which was destroyed in 1628. It was rebuilt by Vauban and François Ferry from 1681 until the end of the 17C, following the siege of La Rochelle. It protects La Rochelle and Rochefort from the English invasions. In the 18C, access bridges were rebuilt. In the 20C, buildings were built for prisoners.

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The Citadel served many years as a gathering place for the convicts who were leaving for the Bagnes of New Caledonia and Guyana. It was then transformed into a penitentiary, a Central House still active. The visit of the ramparts west side of the city and on the entire waterfront is possible with the porte de La Flotte, currently Porte Thoiras . And the Porte de la Couarde, currently the Porte de  Campani.

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With 485 places, the penitentiary of Saint-Martin-de-Ré is the most important Central House in France, and the prison administration, the main employer of the island . In 1958, the Thoiras barracks of the Penitentiary Center was reserved for Algerian prisoners. It is a case, undoubtedly unique in France and Europe, of a prison located in the heart of a renowned tourist area, in the town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and of which a part of the infrastructures is classified as World Heritage site by UNESCO !

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The Île de Ré tourist office on the citadelhttps://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/discover-ile-de-re/places-of-interest/the-fortifications-of-saint-martin-de-re

The official Vauban fortification on the citadel of St Martin de Ré : http://www.sites-vauban.org/Saint-Martin-de-Re,748

There you go something to get you over the island, car is king and the ride over the bridge is awesome. Once in the towns walking is best. The Citadel is a must to visit, hope this post brings you there. Hope you have enjoy the post and thank you again for stopping by.

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

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July 18, 2022

The Church Saint Martin of St Martin de Ré !!

So lets bring you back out to the coast and even beyond to an island off the mainland of France. I am updating and splitting the older post into two as they are different things to see in Saint Martin de Ré on the island or Île de Ré. A Lovely place it reminds me of my favorite islands in a time far away now, but always nice to come back to the roots. island boy, beach bum you name it , the thrills are huge!  However, as usual running with so much to see feel that I need to detail the most important monuments to see according to me lol!  Therefore, let me show you a bit of the Church St Martin on Saint Martin de Ré !!

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Brief introduction to the Île de Ré:

The Île de Ré is the fourth largest island of metropolitan France, behind Corsica, the Île d’Oléron and Belle-Ile sur Mer (Morbihan 56!) It is located in the dept 17 of the Charente-Maritime in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. The historic center of the island is Saint-Martin-de-Ré, which forms with the neighboring town of La Flotte the urban unit of the Flotte. The island of Ré is separated from the mainland by the Pertuis Breton and is located north of the islands of Aix, Oléron, Madame and Nôle, and the forts Boyard (see post), d’Enet and Louvois located in the Pertuis of Antioch to the South. Since 1988, it is connected to the mainland by the Pont de Île de Ré or island of Re bridge. Touristic wise, the island is nicknamed “Ré la Blanche” or Re the White one because of the characteristic hue of its traditional houses.

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We move on to the inner city of Saint Martin de Ré ,visiting the Church Saint Martin, with gothic ruins from Normans invasions  in the middle of the high city to be seen from the harbor. Today the oldest part dates from the 15C  on the walls on both sides of the high towers in ruins.  The belltower has a square tower and has three bells.  The parish Church of Saint-Martin in Saint-Martin-de-Ré still stands in Gothic ruins in the heart of the city. Raved repeatedly by the conflicts, it was eventually rebuilt more modestly in the 17-18C, reusing what remained of the Gothic edifice.

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The origins of the city and the Church Saint Martin are poorly known, although the fact that the two were destroyed by the Normans is quite probable. It is known however with certainty that in the 11C, the parish was given in the Puy-en-Velay chapter by the Count of Poitou. The canons will retain the parish until the 16C. However, there remains no vestige of the 11C Romanesque church. The church collapses in large part: only the base of the walls of the nave and the lateral chapels and the high walls of the transept, preserved because of their military importance, have been fortified.

In the 17C the cult was able to resume in the devastated the Church Saint Martin. In 1629, the reconstruction work that was said to begin lasted for several years. But the church was again ravaged in 1696 during the bombardment of the stronghold of Saint-Martin-de-Ré by a fleet consisting of English and Dutch ships. On the first day of the year 1774 the Bell Tower collapses, dragging with it a part of the vaults. It was then decided to rebuild the church by reversing the orientation of the choir: steeple to the East, chorus now to the West. At the French revolution, the cult is momentarily closed. The Bell Tower now serves as a panoramic terrace on the city and its surroundings.

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The oldest parts date from the 15C, these are the walls of the two cross-crosses of the transept, still in elevation, with a path of round and endowed with their portals to the mutilated statuary. There are also the chapels of the present Choir ,and those of the medieval church. One can also see a window of flamboyant style and today obstructed gutted on the north wall. The steeple formed by a square Tower is now visitable and contains three imposing bells: Marie Thérèse (the largest ring ); Charles Catherine , and Marie Pierre Michel Samuel Augustine , the smallest one.

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The Île de Ré tourist office on the churchhttps://www.iledere.com/vivre-et-explorer/explorez-a-votre-rythme/musees-galeries-d-arts-et-artistes-sur-l-ile-de-re/eglise-et-clocher-observatoire-de-saint-martin-de-re-107515

The Parish of Île de Ré on the churchhttp://www.iledereparoisses.fr/pages/les-eglises-de-l-ile-de-re/ile-de-re-centre.html

There you go folks, something to get you over the island, car is king and the ride over the bridge is awesome. Once in the towns walking is best. The Church St Martin is worth the detour. Hope you have enjoy the post and thank you again for stopping by.

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

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