Archive for September 1st, 2022

September 1, 2022

The Tour Saint Maclou of Mantes-la-Jolie !

I used to lived not far from it and did visit several times and my sons studied in higher education training for Chef here, Therefore, it is time for me to update this older post with new links ; hope you enjoy it as I, This Mantes La Jolie in the department 78 of the Yvelines in the region of the Île de France, sub prefecture of the dept 78 of which the prefecture and capital is Versailles. So let me tell you about a popular monument that must be seen while in town the Tour Saint Maclou of Mantes-la-Jolie !


The Saint-Maclou church was one of the parish churches of the city of Mantes-la-Jolie, and was dedicated to Saint Maclou. The early church was Romanesque. Originally built around the beginning of the 11C, around 1015, the Saint-Maclou church was, according to the local tradition, the Hôtel Dieu of the city. Burned by William the Conqueror in 1087 along with the rest of the city, it was rebuilt nearby towards the end of the 11C or the beginning of the 12C.

The French revolution arrived and the parish was abolished in 1791 to establish the Temple of Reason and, in order to finance the work to be done, sold the materials from the demolition of the choir and the tower. If the choir was effectively demolished, the tower, whose demolition was already scheduled, was only saved in extremis thanks to the action of the Arts Commission. The church was closed again and never served as a temple. It was sold to private individuals. In 1806, when it was no longer known what to do with the church, the walls of the nave began to collapse, so the owners were ordered to demolish all the walls until three meters above the ground, leaving only the tower and one end of the elevation facade.


Many restorations of the tower were carried out in the second half of the 19C, accelerating until the beginning of the 20C. It was shaken by the bombings of 1944 and required numerous restorations until the 1980s before being considered restored, when it was cleaned of the pollution film that covered it. Today there remains the 16C tower, as well as a section of the Romanesque wall, along two arcades, with the pillars of the aisle which correspond to it. The facade, although greatly altered, still has original elements. Of the primitive church, there remains the crypt. In addition, it will be noted that one of the corners of the Saint Maclou Tower is made up of a turret surmounted by a dome which rises to the top: it is here that the spiral staircase gives access to the the top of the tower, from where the view over the Seine valley is impressive. Exceptionally, visitors have access to this part of the building, need to confirm now with the tourist office. The tower is left for immortality and very beautiful in city center Mantes La Jolie.


The city of Mantes-la-Jolie on the tour Saint Maclou

The Saint Maclou Tower is not far from the Seine river and the Collegiale Notre Dame and the Hôtel-Dieu (see posts) that I had already written about. Hope you enjoy the post and I thank you for reading it.

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

September 1, 2022

And I give you Épernon !!

I like to tell you about a spot that visited a while back and just well almost not much mentioned but it is worth to have in my blog me think. I like to update this older post on Épernon. Hope you enjoy it as I,

Épernon is a town in the Eure et Loir dept 28 of the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France. The city is located 8 km from Maintenon (see post), 14 km from Rambouillet (see post) and 65 km from Paris (see posts). By road coming from the Rouen / Caen or Paris area take the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen, then A12 to the Rocquencourt triangle direction Rambouillet / Chartres on N10, take the direction Rambouillet. Go around Rambouillet. Immediately after the Carrefour hypermarket store seen from the road, and then take the direction of Orphin-Epernon. Coming from the Nantes / Le Mans / Angers / Brest / Rennes / Chartres , and now Vannes areas take the A11 exit Ablis then direction Rambouillet by N10. Before Rambouillet, exit direction Orphin-Epernon. By train (never taken) on the SNCF Paris-Le Mans line, from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Épernon.

A bit of history I like

 From the beginning of the 2C, Hugues Capet built the fortified castles of Maules, Neauphle-le-Château, Épernon and Montfort. They constituted a line of defense of the royal domain against the Dukes of Normandy, in other words against the kings of England. The new city extended to the banks of the Tahu river, now called the Guesle. Lord Amaury de Montfort, son of Guillaume de Hainault had Epernon surrounded by walls and ditches. Four gates gave access to the city, the Porte de Chartres, the Porte de Geolle, also known as Normanne or Normande gate, main entrance of the city, the Porte de Paris and the Porte de Beauce.  Épernon is located on Via Turonensis of the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle (Santiago de Compostela) going also by Chartres. The priory of Saint-Thomas, founded by Amaury I of Montfort as a monastery of the Trinity of Seincourt in 1052, has welcomed pilgrims to Chartres and to Santiago de Compostela since the 11C. Closed during the French revolution, the priory was bought in 1936 by the congregation of the sisters of Christ who continue to receive pilgrims.

From 1685 until 1689 the quarry operations contributed to the construction of the Maintenon aqueduct. The sandstone mining slumbered without stopping, until the construction of the railway line in 1843 and then with the opening of the railway line, making it possible to send stones and paving stones. towards the Paris region. The Haussmannian works were very large consumers of paving stones from  Épernon  cobblestone quarries disappeared with the economic crisis of 1929, but the remains were marketed until 1940.

We stopped here because my inclination to wines is such that I need to see all related to it while traveling my road warrior roads. Therefore, we saw the Pressoirs or vine pressing of Épernon ,and the first we saw was the former cellar of the 12C, built of local sandstone, it has three naves with seven vaulted spans, pillars with sculpted capitals and arched arches. Winegrowers were once very numerous in Epernon. The surrounding hillsides were covered with vines. According to feudal custom, each seventh bucket of wine returned to the lord in return for the use of the press. The charters of the Saint Thomas Priory designate it under the name of cellar of Hautebruyère. Indeed, it is there that the nuns of Hautebruyère kept the wine they harvested on the colline de Diane or hill of Diana whose vines belonged to them. It was also their farm for the rights they received in kind at the fairs and markets of Epernon. The Pressoirs are now use for cultural activities of the city, when it can be seen ,otherwise by pushing a button at the door the lights comes on and you can see inside from a glass window the place is vaulted and huge, magnificent sight.


Some other thing to see are

Saint Peter’s Church, of Romanesque origin, it’s the only surviving church in the town. It is mentioned in acts of the 12C. Restored in the 16C. The lords of the place and their families had a vault in the choir. There are still the partially mummified remains of a family member of a lord of Epernon. The Prieuré Saint Thomas Amaury de Montfort , who died around 1060, Lord of Epernon, took in from his ancestors the small Trinity Monastery of Seincourt, located on the banks of the Guesle. He donated this monastery to his friend Albert, a former monk from Chartres and abbot of Marmoutiers, who founded a priory there under the invocation of Saint Thomas. King Henry I solemnly approved this foundation in 1052. (see post on Montfort l’Amaury) .The Conservatoire des meules et pavesor Conservatory of grinding stones and paving stones was created in 2005 to recall the memory of the region’s paver and millworkers. The building is a former stable, stable and sheepfold from the 19C, to which was added a building in the shape of a rotunda covered with slate from the Universal Exhibition of 1900, from the Pays de Caux. Two rooms are reserved for temporary exhibitions, most often on educational subjects.

Great picturesque town to walk about , in fact Épernon has been name as one of the small villages of characters in France. Some nice streets to walk are the rue du Château, as during the weekly Tuesday market and various fairs, the grant, that is to say the right of entry of goods, was collected by the city in a hotel on this street, located at the corner of the rue aux Juifs and the rue du Château. The other been the Place du Change, as this square was once the center of the city and of shops. Old house whose ground floor is from the 15C. On the facade, on the left, Saint Christophe and, on the right, the angel of the Annunciation with the right hand on the chest. From the plain, we can see the turret of this house inside which remains a magnificent stone staircase.

The official Petites Cités de Charactére of France on Epernon

The city of Epernon on its heritage :

The Eure et Loir dept 28 tourist office on contact Epernon

There you go folks, another dandy by the road warrior in my belle France. A very nice quant town that is on the off the beaten path trail but worth the detour. For us Epernon was a nice visit on an area with plenty to see. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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September 1, 2022

The Grand Pond of Toulouse !

Well if you walk, then gardens are a must, and they are all beautiful! Often overlook by visitors because they want to see monuments but here are a wonderful part of any city and gorgeous statues fountains etc as well. A great way to rest amongst this beauty after a long city walk. Toulouse has some nice ones and I will like to update this post to tell you more about the smallist but wonderfully beautiful, Grand Pond or Boulingrin of Toulouse !


The Grand Rond or Boulingrin (bowling-green in English) is a public garden. It was made near of city center/ downtown Toulouse, between 1752 and 1754. It takes the form of a very large roundabout about 200 meters in diameter from which four large alleys, Jules-Guesde, François-Verdier, Paul-Sabatier and Frédéric-Mistral come out. This roundabout is so vast with 4 hectares that it was transformed into an English garden in the 19C. Its name comes from bowling-green in reference to the lawns on which Toulousains came to play the game of boules (sort of petanque with metallic balls) . During the French revolution, the revolutionaries wanted to rename it cercle des sans-culottides but it was baptized Grand Rond after a horse race on July 29, 1830.



The Grand Rond was part of a large urban planning project launched by Louis de Mondran in the 1750s. On December 17, 1751, the Capitouls accepted the project and the work was completed in 1754. In the 19C, the wrought iron gates dating from 1785, initially at the Cours Dillon, are placed at the entrance. The Grand Rond is decorated with several statues, generally copies , the most impressive I like are the Wallace fountain, and the wonderful female dog chained with its puppies; opposite, The wolf with one of the frightened puppies she has just stolen; two statues of Pierre Louis Rouillard opposite which open the aisle on the north side. Winner of the cockfight by Alexandre Falguière; David slaying Goliath by Antonin Mercié; and the Awakening of Morpheus by Léo Laporte-Blairsy.



The Toulouse tourist office on the Grand Pont

The city of Toulouse on its gardens

There you go folks, a wonderful garden and surround by even more wonderful museums, other gardens and near the port Sauveur all gorgeous walks indeed and great food ! The Grand Pond of Toulouse is very nice. Hope you enjoy it as I

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

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