Archive for October 19th, 2022

October 19, 2022

The Hôpital Frémeur/Chapelle Saint Eutrope of Quimperlé !

Again, in my road warrior trips in my Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, we came back to the fortified City of Quimperlé, We have come here several times but there is always something new to see and enjoy, This time going to the upper town, we saw a building that look like a chapel and went for it, Pleasant surprise this was the Hôpital Frémeur and Chapelle Saint Eutrope ! Let me tell you a bit about it ; hope you enjoy the post as I.

Quimperle chapelle St Eutrope hospital Fremeur front oct22

At first ,part of the Frémeur Hospital would have been founded at the end of 14C, or even at the beginning of 15C. The monument thus houses under the same roof a hospital and a chapel. For the latter, it is the Saint-Eutrope Chapel dating from the 16C. It communicates directly with the patient wards. Last preserved medieval hospital in Bretagne ! Welcoming few able-bodied people, its chapel is very short but very high to allow the sick to hear mass from their beds, at each level of the hospital. The building was comprised of a farmhouse and a 14C chapel. The name “Frémeur” originates from the Breton word “froutmeur” which means big stream.

Quimperle chapelle St Eutrope hospital Fremeur side back oct22

The exact date of the foundation of the hospital is not known , In the 14C several leprosariums or “maladreries” are attested in the surroundings of the city, on the site of the current buildings. The proximity of the Dourdu river (or Frout Meur, large stream, transformed into Frémeur), would in fact plead in favor of the establishment of a hospital establishment. In the current state of research, we do not know if it is due to the generosity of the ducal family whose coat of arms (full ermine with a crown) appear, a little clumsily reused, in a dominant position compared to the other coats of arms present at the above the master window. In the absence of probative documents designating with certainty the abbots of Saint-Croix as founders, one cannot exclude the hypothesis of a ducal foundation which could have intervened between 1316 and 1491 in this part of the upper town where the great building site neighbor of the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church (see post) which comes from the patronage of Duke Jean V.

Quimperle chapelle St Eutrope hospital Fremeur side front oct22

The clearing of interior and exterior plaster, particularly at the level of the choir, could possibly confirm or invalidate the hypothesis of the existence of traces of an earlier building later included in a new construction. The circular columns of the basement are perhaps the vestiges, in place or reused, of the original establishment. The decorative elements (archs, doors and windows, niches, remains of fireplaces, sculpted elements) and the dates on the outside and inside dated 1523, joist upstairs room dated 1531 or 1537, as well as a large number of sculpted or painted coats of arms of noble families or corporations that remain to be identified, testify to the total reconstruction of the building at this time which coincides with the completion of the choir of the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church with which the hospital chapel shares certain stylistic characteristics.

Until the end of the 17C, the ensemble probably did not undergo any major transformations. The date of 1662, also that of the royal ordinances requiring cities to create general hospitals, corresponds to an extension of the southern part of the building reserved for housing. A small cemetery located to the east of the choir, absent on the plan of 1679, is attested in 1764 and still appears on the cadastre of 1824. Around 1703, the addition of a building to the south, against the old rooms of sick, is undoubtedly accompanied by some interior alterations. Between 1874 and 1875, major restoration work which mainly affected the chapel (enlargement of bays, reworking of the framework, installation of painted paneling and high panelling). Neo-Gothic religious furniture also dates back to this period. After the construction, in 1899, of a new public hospital nearby (Hôpital Saint-Michel), the use of the treatment rooms was gradually abandoned, while the chapel continued its vocation as a place of worship. It keeps statues and altar from the 18C, sarcophagus from the former Church Saint Colomband ,great potrait of Saint Vincent of Paul showing the welcoming of children dated 1837 ; relics and wooden items neo Gothic from the 19C, The Chapel keeps an altar from the 19C ,as well as the ceiling of the oratory, main stained glass from the 19C showing Sacred Heart , and a statue of Saint Eutrope of the 19C.

In the 2nd half of the 18C entry into function of the hospital the sisters of La Sagesse who, the revolutionary period excluded, manage the hospital, then the hospice, until 1976, By 1825 , the whole was designated as Hospice Civil, By 1899 gradual decommissioning of the Frémeur hospital.

Own by the City of Quimperlé since 2002, the firsts work of renovation started in 2015,it had to be put back on its feet. It is now done since after two years of major restoration work, the Saint-Eutrope Chapel opened its doors to the public in 2018. The Frémeur Hospital building can only be visited from the outside.We parked at Place Saint Michel just between the hospital/chapel and the ND Church of my other post.

Quimperle place St Michel by ND de l'Assomption et chap st eutrope oct22

As can be seen on heritage days or an expo by the city ,not much written on the tourist/city sites, the info above comes from Heritage Brittany which I translated. More in French here: https://patrimoine.bzh/gertrude-diffusion/dossier/hopital-fremeur-rue-de-l-hopital-fremeur-quimperle/1a489e13-e591-4a13-8959-6483112a3974

The local Quimperlé Terre Océane tourist office on things to see in Quimperléhttps://www.quimperle-terreoceane.com/en/discover/our-towns/quimperle/

The city of Quimperlé on the city identityhttps://www.quimperle.bzh/decouvrir-la-ville/quimperle/carte-didentite/

There you go folks, a dandy monument almost hidden, off the beaten path walk indeed and worth the hilly climb cobblestone street to see it. This is the fortified city of Quimperlé and the wonderful Hôpital Frémeur and Chapelle Saint Eutrope! 

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

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October 19, 2022

Back at the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption of Quimperlé !

And I come back to the Finistére in my lovely Bretagne to tell you about another gem often misplaced in bigger previous post but that deserve mention on its own. I like to tell you about the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption or St Michel in Quimperlé. Its once again in my road warrior mode in my lovely Bretagne that I came back to this wonderful fortified city. I have written before on the church but this is new text and pictures of today.

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption arriving belltower oct22

It takes a little courage to climb into the upper city, but the ascent is worth it. You can indeed gather in the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption or St Michel , of Gothic origin 13C. The touching statue of Our Lady of Kergornet, who breastfeed the child Jesus, welcomes the Pilgrim.

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption belltower oct22

The church is dedicated to Notre-Dame, this former chapel of the city’s bourgeois community will also take the name of Saint-Michel in memory of the old neighboring parish church ruined in 1765. Of a first building built around 1280 only the walls of the nave pierced with bays and large doors to the north and south and undoubtedly the traces of a west porch, the other parts having been ruined during the Wars of Succession which affected the city in the middle of the 14C.

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption altar oct22

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption chapel saint sacrement oct22

The construction of the eastern part of the church began in 1416 or 1418 and ended in the middle of the 16C. Thanks to the liberalities of Duke Jean V, Henry de Lespervez, the Abbot of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé and bourgeois and aristocratic families of the City ,which of course, had their coats of arms appear both outside and inside, the work includes the installation of the north porch ,completed in 1425, the framework of the nave ,dated 1430, the eastern part of the crossing of the transept , the solid mass of the tower and choir in which Henry de Lespervez was buried in 1434. The construction of a rood screen placed between the nave and the crossing of the transept, accessible from a spiral staircase housed in the turret also serving the upper parts of the tower, remains , in the absence of traces of fixation, uncertain. It was only between 1520 and 1550 that the transept serving as the front choir, the non-projecting transept and the choir with a flat apse flanked by side chapels were covered with ribbed vaults. Since the 16C, the tower housed, as a belfry, the city clock which was equipped with a mechanism setting in motion a statue of Saint Michael; destroyed in 1590, it was restored in 1620. Built as an extension of the chevet, the sacristy, dates from the end of the 18C, as does the house which leans to it.

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption chapel virgin oct22

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption chapel baptismal font oct22

A framed bell tower covered with a pavilion roof surrounded by a platform flanked by four pinnacles. The room located above the north porch, a bay of which opens directly onto the north side chapel, is accessible by a spiral staircase. To the south, another spiral staircase gives access to a straight staircase which joins another spiral which, placed in the south-west corner of the tower, successively serves the space located above the vaults of the crossing of the transept, bell chamber and tower platform, Wonderful architecture !

Quimperle ch ND de l'Assomption organ back oct22

The city of Quimperlé: https://www.quimperle.bzh/decouvrir-la-ville/quimperle/carte-didentite/

The local Quimperlé Terre Océane tourist office on Quimperlé: https://www.quimperle-terreoceane.com/en/discover/history/strolling-in-quimperle/

The All starts in Finistére dept 29 tourist office on Quimperléhttps://www.toutcommenceenfinistere.com/quimperle-cite-histoire-art-creativite

The Bretagne region tourist board on Quimperléhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/quimper-cornouaille/quimperle/

There you go folks, a lovely Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption or also call of St Michel by the locals. It is worth the detour to pretty Quimperlé , check my other posts on the city worth the visit in my lovely Bretagne. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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October 19, 2022

The Torre Mangana of Cuenca !

I have many wonderful memories of living in Spain and visiting over my life, and Cuenca has a strong case to be one of the most memorable. My family followed me here and my dear late wife Martine really enjoy it so much. We had many memorable moments in Cuenca, Provincia de Cuenca, Autonomous Region of Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain, I like to tell you more about it.

One of those memorable moments was climbing to the Torre Mangana tower; it has steep steps and rolling street. I was on point and the rest of the family follow begging to slow down lol! We always had a joke about this walk. Let me share it with you, the Torre Mangana of Cuenca. We came looking for the Torre Mangana tower and we did! This is a huge tower on the upper part of the city.  The tower is from 1565 and the clock and Cross were added in 1532. This clock mark the official time of Cuenca even today! There is ongoing excavations below it closed to the public, as  the base of the tower on the plaza de Mangana,was where the neighoborhood of Arabs and later the Jewish quarter in medieval times and finally the Christian area of  Santa María(Saint Mary). Today it is a symbol of the city of Cuenca.

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During the second half of the 19C, it was decided to change the top of the Mongana tower as it was in not the best shape by 1862 . In 1926, the appearance of the tower will change considerably. The walls were covered with a rich and colorful decoration in plaster, inspired by Islamic motifs, mainly North African; while the staggered battlements that finished off the tower refer us like the mosque of Cordoba. But this picturesque and exotic neo-Mudejar tower would not be the definitive one, the Torre Mangana was once again remodelled in 1970. With this restoration, it was intended to dignify the tower that had great importance for Cuenca, as it had become one of city’s symbols. This project encase the tower and give it a fortified and defensive character that, as part of the old wall, it had originally had ; it provided the construction with a very powerful corbel, and finished it without a roof.

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By starting in Plaza de la Merced, you can already see the Torre Mangana tower looming before going to the Plaza de Mangana. You will do good to stop to contemplate the façade that is carved in stone that is just before reaching the tower, which belongs to an entry from the Cuenca Seminary: Mangana means machine in Arabic. It is known that in the 16C this 28-meter-high tower was remodeled or perhaps was built, in which a cross, a weather vane and a spire crowned this tower, and in which the clock was installed giving the time to the residents of the city. or more surely is that the Mangana Tower was part of the wall of this Arab fortification.  The great Alcazar of Cuenca, was built here. A great building of which little is known and of which little remains today, which are the archaeological remains that are in the same square and the wall cloths in the streets that surround this area of the old town of the city. There is still the part of the ruins of the old alcazar and the old Church of Santa Maria.   When the city of Cuenca was reconquered by king Alfonso VIII, the Muslims who remained in the city and the Jewish community settled in the neighborhood where the tower is today. In this space a Synagogue was built and in the 15C the Church of Santa María, a one-story church with a tower with two bells, the only thing that remains of that church is the Montemayor tomb, transferred to the Cathedral. The church was demolished at the beginning of the 20C. In the archaeological excavations of the Plaza de Mangana , we can see remains of this church.

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You have wonderful viewpoints from the Mangana square or Plaza de Mangana where the tower is also: The new city area, the Hoz del Júcar river and the old town of Cuenca in different perspectives. You can look out or you can also sit on one of the banks of the Plaza de Mangana to contemplate the beautiful landscape of Cuenca.

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The city of Cuenca on tourism : https://ayuntamiento.cuenca.es/turismo

The Cultural Center of the Instituto Cervantes on the Torre Mangana : https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/ciudades_patrimonio/cuenca/paseo/torre_mangana.htm

The Castilla La Mancha region Cultural/Heritage sites on the Torre Manganahttps://cultura.castillalamancha.es/patrimonio/catalogo-patrimonio-cultural/torre-mangana

There you go folks, a symbol of Cuenca and worth the climb to see it and see the city from there, the Torre Mangana is worth the detour indeed. Hope you enjoy the post and will surely enjoy the walk and tower.

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

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