Archive for August 10th, 2022

August 10, 2022

The Porte Serpenoise of Metz !

So back to the lovely city of Metz, one of the surprises of our interlude in this region of my belle France. I like to update and tell you a bit more on the Porte Serpenoise  ,a gate in Metz, dept 57 of the Moselle in the new region of Grand Est.

The Porte Serpenoise gate is a city gate located at the corner of Avenue Robert Schuman and rue du General Gaston-Dupuis in the district of Metz-Centre. It remains the symbolic witness associated with several historical events of the city, which it marked the southern limit of the 3C during the construction of the Roman rampart, until the beginning of the 20C at the time of the destruction of the enclosure.  The first Serpenoise gate is built in the 13C at the same time as the ramparts of the city, on the Roman road coming from Scarpone, city upstream from Metz on the Moselle river. The Via Scarponensis gave a contraction to the name Serpenoise or sometimes even Champenoise. It had an oblique vault crossing the ramparts. It was added in 1466 a cylindrical element connected to the door by a fortified bridge that spanned the canal walls, filled to achieve the current Avenue Foch. Very damaged during the siege of 1552, the Serpenoise medieval gate was demolished in 1561 to make room for the fortifications of the citadel.


The current Porte Serpenoise was rebuilt in 1852, not far from the site where the Scarponne Gate once stood. It is an elbow tunnel of about thirty meters crossing the embankment of the southern rampart. Its bent shape, in an arc, avoids direct artillery fire in the city. The gate serves as a link with the old station. Outside, a bridge spans the ditch of the fortifications. In 1892, the gate is widened and one throws down its external part, the double entrance which precedes the gate inconvenient for the circulation.  In 1902-1903, during the dismantling of the ramparts, the inner part was also destroyed. The Serpenoise Gate is remodeled and takes its current form of Arc de Triomphe. Only one section of the gate was retained and four turrets and a staircase are added. It thus becomes an autonomous monument, embellishing the promenade of the new tree-lined boulevard. The two facades are dismantled and united to become a triumphal arch crowned with watchtowers, wearing a grassy slope, evoking a bastion. Some elements come from the Saint-Thiébault rampart.

October 31, 1870, the Prussian troops enter after the defeat of Napoleon III in Sedan, In November 19, 1918, the Allied troops enter the Porte Serpenoise for the liberation of Metz.

The city of Metz on the Porte Serpenoise (pic) :

There you go folks, another beauty and we stayed in a hotel not far from it in fact we went by it to access the city center of Metz, a wonderful sight to see every morning and even more so at night, the Porte Serpenoise! To think the allied troops entered by here to liberate the city is awesome me think. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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August 10, 2022

The Pointe du Blair of Baden !

Let me bring you back to the coast of my beautiful Morbihan, and update this older post on the Pointe du Blair of Baden ! Today, I take you to another semi private public space of the so many found in the gorgeous Morbihan. For those new to my blog , Morbihan is the only department/state/province of France that does not have a French name but actually the local Breton language. Mor means sea and bihan is small so in French would be petite mer nevertheless it is Breton Morbihan !! 


I went to what is usually routine trip on already visited areas but with so many creeks, points and valleys attach, I have enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life here. We went by car along the old familiar D101 past Le Bono ( see post) into the town of Baden to find this gem. 

The Pointe du Blair or Blair is in the Gulf of Morbihan, located on the territory of the town of Baden, at the mouth of the Auray river. Opposite the pointe du Blaire is the entrance to the Auray river. To the left of the entrance, facing the sea, is the island of seven isles or the Sept ïles. On the right is the town of Locmariaquer. (see posts).


The Pointe du Blair is a peninsula about 1 km long and 200 meters wide. It rises to 21 meters above sea level . In the Auray river, between the Pointe du Blaire and Huernic, the currents reach 4 knots (about 7 kph or less than 5 mph). Access to the jetty, which belongs to the public domain, is made by a private road, on a private lot, serving a subdivision. Access to the Pointe du Blair is via the coastal path.


The Route des Vénètes road, there is the Venetean Wall a barred spur that closes the Pointe du Blair , in the town of Baden. The remains date from the Neolithic ,between 5000 and 2500 BC! Go around the Pointe du Blaire with beautiful views of the island Sept ïles , Er Runio and the Auray river.


For a day picnic or sightseeing into the natural environment of our world or the Morbihan this is a pleasant trip. We have already plan to do picnics here even in cooler weather !at nice secluded Pointe du Blair. Really nice natural area and it has already bench tables for picnics and wooded free parking right next to walk trails to the secluded beach ! Lovely indeed.


A bit of history on what could have been here at the Pointe du Blair

Count Arthur Dillon wanted, in 1899, to make Baden a commercial port that would easily compete with that of Vannes. He built for this purpose at Penn Lannic a 110 yards jetty. Not finding the depths that he expected as only 6 meters, he abandoned the site in 1905 and transposed his idea at the Pointe du Blair, the mouth of the Auray river in the Gulf of Morbihan. Taking advantage of the existence, in the bed of the river, depths of 10 meters at low seas, he planned to create a port in deep water, connected offshore by a natural channel. The future port, the deepest of all the French ports of the Atlantic, could have accommodated the ships with the largest drafts of the time. He would have transformed the Gulf of Morbihan by attracting trade and industry. Finally, after many twists (including the war of 1914-1918), the idea had no follow-up.   Today remains a pier of 88 meters to which leans a large platform. Access to these places, which became public since 1922, is regulated by a private subdivision. There is a coastal path that allows you to go around the Pointe du Blair.

The city of Baden on its walks

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the off the beaten path Pointe du Blair of my beautiful Morbihan and do come after ll we are the 3rd most visited region of France, and most visited departement in Bretagne!

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

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August 10, 2022

The streets of Tours!

And here I go again with walks on a city ! The best way to see a place on site is to walk. And Tours is wonderful to do walking with plenty to see and do, see in search my previous posts on Tours with many of the sights there. For now  ,let me tell you about the streets of Tours , and hope you enjoy it as I.

The Château de Tours by the Place des Turones, accessible by the rue Lavoisier, at the old entrance to the barracks or the rue des Maures. The street rue Lavoisier  is along from the Loire river Avenue André Malraux next to the Château de Tours ;the Musée de la Typographie , Cathédrale St Gratien, Cloître de la Psalette, Musée des Beaux Arts just before the Place François Sicard and the garden of same name.


The Rue des Halles starts at the wonderful Halles of Tours or covered market in Place des Halles, and it continues passing by the Basilique Saint Martin de Tours, and the Tour Charlemagne. It continues on as the rue de la Scellerie which passed the Grand Théatre to the jardin François Sicard and the musée des Beaux Arts !


The rue de Corneille starts at the Grand Théatre (rue de la Scellerie) and continues to the end at rue Emile Zola. It is wonderful to see the great Haussmannien style homes along this short and quant street.


Another quant street we like is the Rue des Bons Enfants it  is around the Place Châteauneuf/Rue de Châteauneuf with nice parking area. It is a very old quant street we like it, and short ends at rue du Président Merville. On the backside is the Rue des Halles and the Basilique St Martin de Tours as well as the Tour Charlemagne. Also, the old  Palais de Ducs de Touraine back gives to the Rue des Bons Enfants , the entrance been on 15 Place de Châteauneuf.


And the dandy is the Rue Nationale at 700 meters long, it extends on a flat land from north to south. It connects the Place Anatole-France , where the Pont Wilson opens and the Avenue de Grammont. It is one of the oldest and most commercial streets of the city that cuts in two the old or Vieux-Tours and is one of the main arteries of the city. Its rectilinear layout is in the center of a very beautiful prospect, called the major axis of six km and constituted from north to south by the Avenue de la Tranchée, the Pont Wilson, the Rue Nationale and the Avenue Grammont. The northern part of the street is wider than the southern part.  Since the installation of the tramway in 2013, the rue Nationale becomes pedestrian.


The Rue Nationale, formerly known as rue Royale, was really opened in 1777. Under the mandate of the mayor of Tours Jules Charpentier ,the rue Royale was renamed to the Rue Nationale. At the beginning of the street are the Central Library of Tours, the Saint-Julien Church , and the Musée du Compagnonnage . At no. 17 was the renowned Hôtel du Faisan (Pheasant), and on no. 39 was Honoré de Balzac’s birth house. The big retailers are present on Rue Nationale such as the Galeries Lafayette at the southern part of the street.


The Passarelle or pont Saint-Symphorien or Pont de fil is a pedestrian and bicycle suspension bridge crossing the Loire river, built from 1845 to 1847, roughly at the site of the old medieval bridge of Eudes, demolished in 1784 but of which traces remain upstream. Since the outbound lane of the Pont Wilson (bridge) is reserved for a pedestrian / bicycle traffic due to the tramway, this being in addition to the developments on the banks of the Loire river already made, walkers and strollers now have, in Tours, a closed circuit around the Loire river, passing through the two bridges, which allows them to enjoy part of this Loire heritage in the Val de Loire perimeter. Finally, the Passarelle St Symphorien is on the pilgrimage trail of Saint-James of Compostela, in the direction of L’Île-Bouchard coming from Vouvray on the GR 3 way.


The official Tours tourist office

The official Indre-et-Loire dept 37 tourist office on Tours :

In all, Tours is a great walking city indeed, and we have plenty in my belle France! Oh yes as a reminder Tours is in dept 37 Indre et Loire in the region of Centre-Val de LoireThere you go folks, I hope you enjoy the walking in Tours!  A memorable experience even in the rain on some occasions.

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

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