Archive for November 29th, 2022

November 29, 2022

Again ,Saint Guigner Church of Pluvigner !!!

There, I am back to showcase our main church in town, This is a must for us in town, we have been inside several times and past by it zillions times yet only briefly mentioned in a couple previous posts in my blog. And looking at my vault, found several older pictures not yet in the blog, so therefore, its time for me to tell you more about the  St Guigner Church of Pluvigner !!!

plu ch st guigner entr side apr13

plu ch st guigner altar c apr13

plu ch st guigner ceilings sep13

First, my town of Pluvigner (French) is Breton language by the name of Pleuwigner.  The name comes from the Breton PLOE meaning Parish and GUIGNER , the Saint; therefore, the Parish of St Guigner or Pleuwigner or Pluvigner ! Get it ! We do more than French here!!! All streets, names trafic circles are bilingual and the City/town hall newsletter as well.

Pluvigner had its patron saint as Saint Guigner, under whose name was placed its parish church. Hibernois of origin and son of a small king still peasant, this saint had embraced the Christian religion. Back in his homeland, he renounced the throne left vacant by the death of his father ,and he went to today’s Great Britain, to work there for the conversion of the Saxons who had invaded this country: Barely landed, circa 455 , he was put to death, with all his companions. Fleeing the Saxons, a band of Christians who lived in the neighborhood where these martyrs had plucked their palms; and taking with it the body of Saint Guigner, crossed the sea, and came to settle, in the territory of the ancient Vénètes (Celtic tribe who gave the name to our capital city Vannes or in Breton Gwened) in an almost deserted canton, and was distinguished from other similar bands, by taking the name of Plou de Guigner or parish of Guigner, from which came naturally, later, that of Pluvigner, given to the parish formed, by these emigrants,

The highlight of the town of Pluvigner, is the Saint Guigner Church , our main church. There was a chapel next door called the Notre Dame des Oties b 1426, touches the parish church and communicates with it through the sacristy.

plu ch st guigner front belltower apr21

plu ch st guigner belltower side ent apr21

Only the rather crude south door and the large bell tower in the style of the pseudo-classical Renaissance, with superimposed orders, have been preserved, which was built in 1781. The tower and the bell tower date from 1781. The stained glass windows, date from 1932-1933 and represent the events of the life of certain famous figures of the parish, such as Saint Guénaël, Saint Guigner and the penitent Kériolet. A lintel carries the group of the Crucifixion, composed of Christ surrounded by the Virgin and Saint John. The lectern rests on three griffin legs and at its top is an eagle perched on a terrestrial globe. The church contains the relics of Saint Guigner and houses a statue of Saint Guigner. The painting entitled “Assumption”, a work by Philippe, dates from 1770. The painting entitled “Donation du Rosaire”, a work by Charles Milcendeau, dates from around 1900.

plu ch st guigner organ nave apr21

plu ch st guigner baptismal font apr21

plu ch st guigner tresor left apr21

plu ch st guigner tresor right apr21

The City of Pluvigner bilingual on the St Guigner Church

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Pluvigner

There you go folks, my main church in town. Just enjoy it as we have come to do in our newer little corner of our world. This is the Saint Guigner Church of Pluvigner, in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne, and my belle France!

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

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November 29, 2022

How about a government building in Versailles !

This is unusual but as said government building can be nice and full of history as to its previous occupants This is the case of the préfecture or local government building in my dear Versailles, capital of the Yvelines dept 78 in the Île de France region.  The city as often I mentioned is a lot more than a castle/palance/museum! There is so much history here, lots of things to see. Today will tell you for the first time about an interesting building.

Let me tell you a bit on the Préfecture des Yvelines in Versailles. This is the regional government building and it has many functions one of them is issuing the initial carte de séjour resident card to my parents on the adminstrative side. I will tell you about the historical part that is only open on heritage days or journées du patrimoine. Next will be September 16-17, 2023 !


A bit of history I like: From 1800, the first Prefect of Seine-et-Oise (now Yvelines dept 78) occupied in Versailles the old building of the furniture repository of the Crown, built between 1780 and 1796, and located at 11 rue des reservoirs (nearer the palace/museum). During the summer of 1859, the general council of Seine-et-Oise adopted the principle that a new prefecture would be built, the buildings having become too small for the administrative needs of the time. The general council of Seine-et-Oise buys, on March 26, 1861, the old Chenil du Roi,(the Royal hunting dogs kennel)  built in 1685 behind the Grandes écuries (big stables) , The proposal was selected, among 38 other candidates, and in September 1863, the work began. The installation will take place at the end of 1866, and the inauguration on June 19, 1867 at the current site today by the Avenue de Paris, and ave de l’Europe.  During the Franco-Prussian conflict, from September 20, 1870, the Prince Royal of Prussia, Frédéric-Guillaume, then from October 5, the King of Prussia, Guillaume Ier, occupied the Prefecture until March 6, 1871. The offices on the ground floor of the Prefecture were chosen to serve as a post for the battalion guarding the Prince. Thus, at the top of the Prefecture, the Prussian flag flew in place of the tricolor flag. During this period, the Potager du roi supplied the King of Prussia with fruit and vegetables.  Adolphe Thiers, (third Republic) Head of the executive power, also had his choice of residence on this building. He settled on March 18, 1871 and occupied the entire left wing of the building with his wife and sister-in-law Félicie Dosne. His successors, Marshal Patrice de Mac-Mahon( Count of Mac Mahon and Duke of Magenta), then Jules Grévy,(both Third Republic) did the same. In this way, the current Préfecture of Yvelines was the seat of the French Government for eight years (from March 18, 1871 to January 30, 1879). In 1880, the building again became Préfecture of Yvelines dept 78.

A bit of description on the construction : After the main gate visible from the avenue de Paris, and at the end of the main courtyard, you reach the main body of the préfecture. Two wings in reverse square which determine the main courtyard. Beyond the main building, we can see the design of an English garden. The building also fits into the grand French style breathed since the early 1850s by architects of public administration, like the National Library and the Sorbonne. As for, paintings, furniture. art bronzers suppliers of furniture for the Crown, ministries and the Seine prefecture. The latter will equip almost all reception rooms with chandeliers, most of which are still in place. The main body of the Préfecture des Yvelines, both on the ground floor and upstairs, is reserved for representation functions. The facade is designed accordingly, with a balcony carried by consoles and adorned with neo-18C ironwork, two busts of Ceres and Mercury, allegories of agriculture and commerce and a sculpted tympanum representing, on both sides of an escutcheon carrying the imperial “N”,(for Napoléon Ier) the figures of the Seine and the Oise joining their waters cross the hall, then the waiting room, one can discover the facade on the garden side . The sculpted iconography of the central body adapts to the landscaped environment of this facade with the busts of Vertumne and Pomone and the representation in the triangular eardrum of the triumph of Flora and Céres.

The inside description only seen in heritage days or journées du patrimoine, and no photos allowed. The Prefect’s hearing office. A recent painting, dated 1991, represents the basin of Neptune in the park of the Palace of Versailles, while the four allegories of Arts, Sciences, Commerce and Agriculture decorate the tops of the door. The beautiful double-sided desk, Louis XV period, was used by Mac-Mahon, during his stay in Versailles. On the mantelpiece, the pendulum symbolizing “Study and Philosophy”, from the Louis XVI period. Waiting room or Erignac room. Located in the center of the building, its decor illustrates two of the decorative art trends of the time, neo-classicism and a return to the past. The ceiling, divided into three panels decorated with stylized plant ornaments and acanthus scrolls, interprets the arts of Louis XIV’s past. Since 1998, this salon has been renamed “Salon Erignac” in tribute to the Prefect Claude Erignac, assassinated in the exercise of his functions, on February 6, 1998. The Small lounge, currently secretarial room. This room served as a billiard room as evidenced by the chandelier with two suspensions. On the ceiling, in a sky framed by a stone balustrade, four loves support garlands which meet at the ring of the chandelier. The over-doors represent the four seasons on canvas. Salon Thiers, currently meeting room. This living room retains its original decor: background with leafy sky, cornices painted with still lifes. The first two show flowers, game and fruit in veneer associated with fabrics. Ribaillier-Mazaroz furniture was designed for this room. The two-part glazed sideboard with sculpted still lifes at the bottom, with motifs of fruit and game, mixes Renaissance and Louis XIII styles. The Escalier d’Honneur or staircase of honor. The upper floor is accessible by a large staircase made up of a first central straight flight and a second double flight. Its walls are clad in colored stucco-marble. Upstairs, there is a decoration with iconic pilasters and two imposing canvases, “La Seine à Suresnes” (1867), by Émile Lambinet,(see post on musée Lambinet de Versailles); and a “Vue de Capri” by Félix Lanoüe. The wrought iron railing is inspired by the Louis XIV style. Note the figure of the old Seine-et-Oise formed by two intertwined Ss and an O. The General Council room, currently deliberation room of the departmental council. The general council room has a ceiling in the sky surrounded by a flowery balustrade, a cornice enlivened by musical loves, fire pots and birds, in relief. The monumental fireplace was originally decorated with a bust of Napoleon I replaced by a bust of Marianne and a pendulum of Chaumont-Marquis, still in place. Opposite, a painting by Guillaume Dubufe , “Allegory of the Seine and the Oise”, replaces the portrait of Napoleon III. The Grand salon called Salon des Aigles (Eagles’ room). The Salon des Aigles occupies the entire first floor of the front part of the central pavilion and is opened by six windows. Pilasters and columns with Corinthian capitals, in stucco-marble whose original color is no longer visible, enliven the whole. A chimney in purple breach evokes the living room of Hercules of the Palace of Versailles. On the ceiling, the Four Hours of the Day by Ernest Augustin Gendron are symbolized by four young life-size women flying in the sky. The Morning pours the contents of an urn, the South spreads flowers, the Evening holds an hourglass, the Night is stretched out on a cloud.  The highly decorated cornice is highlighted at the angles of four golden eagles with outstretched wings posed on a geometric decoration. In the center of the arches, the four Seasons are represented. They are personified by life-size women seated and wearing their attributes, from right to left: Winter, with green drapery, Spring, with pink drapery, Summer, with blue drapery and Autumn, with the red drapery. The Louis XV style furniture is due to Ribaillier-Mazaroz. As for the large cartel pendulum with two female heads and the gilt chased bronze cartridge dial, it was delivered in 1867 by the Maison Chaumont-Marquis. The Empress Salon. It takes its name from the portrait of Empress Eugénie,(wife of Napoleon III), which was there. On the ceiling is painted a sky framed by a balustrade, on which are sitting eight loves playing with birds. The cornice is marked on the corners with the crowned imperial emblem “N”. Two allegories, “Poetry and Music”, are represented in the overcoats. The fireplace trim a large white marble scroll pendulum console with chiselled gold ornaments and two white marble egg vases with bouquets of lilies with ten candles. On the ground, the “Le Jour” carpet comes from the national furniture collection and was produced by the Manufacture national de la Savonnerie in 2001. The Large dining room. It is covered with stucco-marble paneling imitating certain decorations of the Palace of Versailles. The cornice, adorned with three cardboard-stone friezes, highlights the ceiling painted by Dominique-Henri Guifard (1838-1913), representing a sky background framed by a gallery with balusters, in the middle of which branches of foliage and flowers run. On the fireplace, a pendulum from the First Empire period on its base Orpheus in Hell: recognizable by his lyre, he arrives in front of Hades seated on a throne, at the back, stands veiled Eurydice led by a little love who wears a quiver.

The Yvelines dept 78 on the building :

The Préfecture des Yvelines government building on the foreign services/immigrants :

For info as I have a picture but hope none need to come here is the Tribunal Judiciaire de Versailles (palais de justice building) at 5, place André-Mignot. This is the judicial courthouse!  A bit of history I like; from the outset, it was occupied by the former stables of the Queen. These were first those of King Louis XIV who acquired the land in 1672. He had built a body of buildings intended to accommodate the squires. , pages, saddle horses and carriages. But, from 1682, Louis XIV had other stables built opposite the château, which were larger and more comfortable. He then donated his old stables to his wife Marie-Thérèse of Austria. The stables accommodated the crews of Queen Marie Leszczynska, then those of the Dauphine of France, Marie-Antoinette, Archduchess of Austria . During the French revolution, the premises were transformed into a remand center. At the Restoration, the royal guard settled there. Then various regiments took up residence there. The army did not separate from the building until 1968 for the benefit of the Ministry of Justice, which installed certain departments of the High Court and the Regional Computer Production Center there. The Court of Appeal will gradually take their place.versailles-palais-de-la-prefecture-back-rue-jean-a-houdon-jul06
There you go folks another dandy historical , architecturally stunning monument in my dear Versailles. Hope you enjoy this post on the off the beaten path government buildings of Yvelines, and a very popular Versailles.

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

November 29, 2022

The Palace of Versailles in WWII !

I have to tell you about the Palace of Versailles during WWII, using my black and white series no pictures, Recently the palace had made in French a recollection of this period and I am translating at best their post here in my blog, Therefore, here is the story and I hope you enjoy it as I.

A huge date of June 28, 1919 was signed the Treaty of Versailles in the palace, Signed on the anniversary of the Sarajevo bombing that triggered WWI, the Treaty of Versailles put a definitive end to the conflict, and defined the sanctions taken against Germany. The choice of location is also symbolic: it is in the Hall of Mirrors where the German Empire was proclaimed in 1871, that the Allied and German signatories meet ! An eventful day for the future on January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellery of the Weimar Republic, As this was becoming real, in 1933, the Ministry of Fine Arts asked all museums in the Île-de-France region to draw up evacuation lists for their works in the event of a conflict. The operation is supervised by Jacques Jaujard, Deputy Director of National Museums. At Versailles, Charles Mauricheau-Beaupré begins to draw up a first plan. In September 1933, he gave Jacques Jaujard a report of around twenty pages. In 1935, the chief architect Patrice Bonnet submitted his first conclusions to the Direction des Beaux-Arts. From the summer of 1936, the Department of National Museums worked on prospecting buildings likely to house the evacuated works. If many names circulate ,including that of the Château de Chambord ,everyone recognizes the need to keep these places secret.

On August 29, 1939 , the Palace of Versailles had part of its collections evacuated by truck to the castles of Brissac and Chambord. They carried a total of 494 paintings, including 283 in boxes, 32 tapestries and carpets, 52 hangings, 85 works of art, 32 pieces of furniture, including the monumental clocks by Passement-Caffieri and Morand, as well as furniture by large dimensions, particularly precious, such as Louis XVI’s desk and Marie-Antoinette’s jewelry holder , A number of works are nevertheless stored on site, notably in the Orangerie. By September 1939, the construction of shelters for the staff of the castle is done. Unable to build a shelter under the Cour de marbre or marble courtyard, the architect Patrice Bonnet built a first shelter, a blockhouse of earth bags on the terraces. The second shelter is under the vault of the bosquet de la Salle de Bal or ballroom grove, which can accommodate 300 people. At the end of the month, a new shelter is set up in the grotto of the bosquet des Bains d’Apollon , behind the sculpted group. October 4, 1939: the Grand Canal is dried up, Only the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses or swiss water piece is left in water.

On July 21, 1938 was the official visit to Versailles by British sovereigns. In this troubled political context, the British sovereigns went to France, and in particular to Versailles in July 1938. On this occasion, King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth were invited by the President of the Republic Albert Lebrun to dine in the Hall of Mirrors. Also, around this date, Gaston Brière leaves his position as chief curator of the National Museum of Versailles. He is replaced by Pierre Ladoué, former assistant curator of the Luxembourg Museum. By September 24, 1938 it was installed anti-aircraft defense machine guns on the roofs of the palace, On April 5, 1939: election of Albert Lebrun as President of the French Republic, In the spring of 1939, the exhibition “At Versailles in 1789” opens on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the French revolution. President Albert Lebrun, newly elected, solemnly inaugurates the exhibition. The Jeu de Paume room is refurbished, Madame de Maintenon’s apartment ​which hosts the exhibition is completely repainted.

By Autumn 1939, the windows of the Palace of Versailles are obstructed, Inside the castle, the wide entrances to the Hall of Mirrors are sealed off with thick brick walls. The sculpted decorations are dismantled, numbered and packed; the fireplaces , which cannot be transported ,are fireproof. In order to ward off possible bombardments, the windows overlooking the city and the gardens are obstructed by thick wooden panels fitted with fire shields, reinforced with sandbags. In the fall of 1939, the Palace of Versailles plunged into darkness. By September 3, 1939, France and Great Britain declare war on Germany, During the month of September, the park is closed to the public and the works it contains (statues, vases, gilded lead from the Bosquet de la Salle du Bal…) were sheltered in the Orangerie or evacuated to the grounds of the Vaux-de-Cernay abbey, like the statue in the Latona fountain. In the winter of 1939, the castle was no longer heated. The panes of the windows, which have been removed to allow the installation of dirt bags , allow the cold to pass inside, and it freezes in several rooms of the palace/museum. At the beginning of 1940, the thaw caused serious damage as the ceilings were pierced and the water ran down the walls and onto the paintings, particularly in the galerie des Batailles or gallery of battles, On March 27, 1940, the woodwork of the Chamber of the Queen, the Cabinet of the Pendulum and the Cabinet of the Council were evacuated.

In May 1940, faced with the advance of Nazis troops, the French population fled south. At Versailles, a dozen guards who remained in post left the castle and retreated to Brissac castle with their families. The staff remaining on site are spread over the estate: Ladoué and Bonnet are stationed at the palace, while Mauricheau-Beaupré oversees the Grand and Petit Trianon; they still benefit from the help of about twenty guards, still present. But a wind of panic is blowing over Versailles…On June 3, 1940, nazis aircraft bomb Versailles. Three shells fall near the Royal Opera, in the Avenue de Paris, and in the rue des Reservoirs. By June 9, 1940, the majority of the museum agents leave Versailles and withdraw to the south (Chambord, Brissac, Valençay) , on June 13, 1940, start the exodus of the population of Versailles.

By June 14, 1940, the Nazis entered Versailles. They take possession of the premises, hoist the swastika flag on the roofs of the palace. In the weeks that followed, a large number of soldiers and officials invaded the castle, visited the premises, and sometimes damaged certain rooms. The implausible has happened ; Versailles has fallen into the hands of the Third Reich… Between 1941 and 1943, the Palace of Versailles lived under Nazis occupation ; the headquarters of the Gestapo is installed rue des Saussaies. Quickly after their arrival, the Nazis troops criticized the state of destitution of the castle, and demanded the repatriation of the collections, still stored in the deposit castles. It was organize the partial restoration of the museum. The castle is still very popular with Nazis troops, but on the French side, there are fears for its future, especially as the bombardments in the French sky are getting closer and closer. In February and June 1944, the city suffered heavy bombardments targeting the Gare des Chantiers and the Satory camp. By August 25, 1944, Versailles is liberated by General Leclerc’s troops. Faced with the Allied advance, the Nazis fled the city. Versailles is safe and sound. From one army to another, Versailles offered itself to the eyes of the British and American troops, who invested the place, visited the castle and the Hall of Mirrors where, 25 years earlier, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. After the Liberation and until 1946, the works were gradually repatriated from the places of deposit, and put back in place in Versailles. There were camps of interntment for Jewish and others at the Saint-Pierre prison, Satory camp, and Borgnis-Desbordes barracks. After WWII, Versailles was in a rather catastrophic state. For this reason, a safeguard plan was initiated in 1952 by André Cornu, Secretary of State for Fine Arts. The Friends of Versailles society contributes to this plan in favor of the museum. And life went on as today !

The Palace of Versailles during WWII :

There you go folks, a sad period but gladly the Palace of Versailles came out ok for all future generations to enjoy. Thanks to some smart , alerte ,and hero folks around here. Hope you enjoy the post on Versailles during WWII as I

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

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