Archive for January 4th, 2023

January 4, 2023

I bring you back to the Maintenon castle !!!

We have been lucky enough to visit France, me for a brief moment to Paris in1972, and later with my Frenchie since 1990 until finally residing as French citizens in 2003 in Versailles. Later in 2011 we moved on to the Morbihan breton and it has been a blast if not for the personal losses. This is a post taken bits from others as not to repeat text just to remind of you the beauty of my belle France. I like to give more on Maintenon with new older pics for my blog ;and see my previous posts on the town. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Maintenon is only about 65 kms  (40 miles) from Paris and 47 kms ( 29 miles) from Versailles.  You can come by train from Paris Montparnasse to the train station in Maintenon, on the line Paris-Montparnasse direction Chartres.  

The main thing to come here is the Château de Maintenon, that really was here since the middle ages and was the first fortress of the count of Monfort. The castle was later rebuilt in a renaissance style from 1509, and the garden, park was done by André Le Nôtre; and Racine came here often to meditate and Vauban, to direct construction of the aqueduct.  Eventually the Castle passes to the family of Noailles ,after the marriage of Françoise-Amable d’Aubigné (niece of Mme de Maintenon) to the Duke of Ayen ,the son of Marshal Noailles (the marshal died of wounds in Cuba).  Even king Charles X on it’s way to exile, sleeps in the castle in 1830.  

Maintenon chateau from side street apr11

maintenon chateau canals in back apr11

And of course, the main personnage of the town and the title of Madame de Maintenon , we say wife of king Louis XIV was Françoise d’Aubigné, future marquise de Maintenon she catches the attention of King Louis XIV , and in 1683, after the death of the queen the king married Madame de Maintenon on the night of October 9-10, 1683,some said in Versailles. In 1674, Françoise d’Aubigné, future Madame de Maintenon buys the castle, lands and farms thanks to the help of the King Louis XIV, to think of retired in her last days; however, after 1688 ,she will never lived in the castle.   In 1715, few days before the death of the King, Madame de Maintenon retires from the Court to  Saint-Cyr l’école, where she died four years later on April 15 1719.  Her remains were profane in 1793 during the French revolution ,but were later found after WWII and brought back to Saint Cyr l’école in 1969.

maintenon chateau piece de saxe apr11

maintenon chateau battle at sea marshal Noailles died of wounds in Cuba remi et xavi apr11

Under her influence, the Black Code was completed in 1685 and the Edict of Nantes revoked, which triggered the persecution and the exodus of Protestants. Madame de Maintenon had Saint-Cyr-l’École (Yvelines 78) created in 1686 the Royal House of Saint-Louis, an establishment intended for the education of noble and destitute young girls. The establishment was maintained during the first years of the French revolution, but closed its doors definitively in March 1793. Napoleon I was inspired by the Royal House of Saint-Louis to create the House of the young ladies of the Legion of Honor, which still exists today under the name of House of Education of the Legion of Honor.

maintenon chateau bibliotheque or library apr11

maintenon chateau billiard room apr11

Françoise d’Aubigné, marchioness of Maintenon, will be raised eight years, in the middle of her Protestant cousins, to Mursay. Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné makes of Mursay castle near Niort, his residence of rest in 1583.  The house where it was the prison , she lived with her father and was born in. The house can be visited, here is more info in French:

The City of Maintenon on its history:

The official Maintenon castle

The Eure et Loir dept 28 Tourist board on Maintenon:

There you go folks, another dandy of my belle France. A castle worth the detour to royal Maintenon in deep country France. Hope you enjoy the new post on the castle of Maintenon as I. 

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

January 4, 2023

Wonderful Lacanau Océan !!!

This is a spot of many wonderful family vacations over the years in my belle France and missed it, We always went from our former home of Versailles, and it was sublime, Near my wine best area, with nice architecture and history sites, and beautiful beaches, Lacanau Océan is in the Médoc  of Bordeaux, Gironde dept 33  in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, The town is composed of several zones: Lacanau-Ville, consisting of the village town and  Lacanau-Océan,the beach resort we always stayed on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Let me update refresh this older post with new older pictures ; hope you enjoy it as I.

Lacanau is crossed by the 45th parallel north, is thus situated at an equal distance from the North Pole and the Earth’s equator (about 5 000 km). Lacanau is located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Médoc, 42 km from Bordeaux. The Ocean coast of the Médoc offers a line of more than 100 km of beaches made of fine sand !!! On one side along the Gironde , you have the best wines in the world, me think and on the other you have the best beaches such as the Plage Sud, Plage Centrale, and Plage Nord. All beautiful!!! Of course, we always stayed at the Yelloh Village ,Les Grands Pins camping !


Let me tell you about a little camping call Les Grands Pins. We wanted an area of beaches but I insisted on near wines…So we settle for the compromise of renting a mobile home vacation at a camping very near the beach in Lacanau-Océan ,about 300 meters, but a nice ride amongt pine trees into the wine world along the D6 into Margaux !!

Camping is very popular in France and even with visitors from other European countries. So it wasn’t that hard to ask collegues in my Paris office for suggestions and Lacanau Océan at Les Grands Pins came up. It was the best decision we could had made and did came back in subsequents years here until 2011, when already the boys big and living in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne.

lacanau ocean camping sunset in grand pins aug08

This camping is tops you can walk to the Lacanau-Océan city center and the beaches and plenty of family activities inside! The beaches at Lacanau-Océan are 16 km long or about 10 miles and are three south, central, and north (sud, central, nord). As said, we always stayed at the Camping Yelloh! village Les Grands Pins 5 star rating ,and great for the whole family only 300 meters from the beach!!!  The nice mobile homes, with all amenities, great pricing, with grocery store ,bike rental, pool, exercise room, dancing at nights,and free parking so close to all in the region even trips to Bordeaux. The beach is glorious here, as good as any anywhere, and been to some tops as well as lived near them or on them!

Lacanau ocean grand pins camping from of ours S059 the gang aug08

lacanau ocean plage nord medoc aug06

lacanau ocean beach kids medoc aug06

A seaside resort, it appeared at the beginning of the 20C. Sketched during the period between the two wars, it developed in the years 1960-1970, as part of the development of the Aquitaine coast. Lacanau-Océan is separated from Lacanau-Ville by the road D6 and 13 km and the lake of Lacanau-Lac, composed of several hamlets such as Talaris, Le Moutchic, le Tedey, Longarisse, La Grande Escoure, and Carreye.

Lacanau ocean centre ville towards plage centrale aug08

The official Les Grands Pins camping :

The city of Lacanau on history and heritage

The Médoc Atlantique local tourist office on Lacanau Océan:

My fav beaches site Plages TV on Lacanau beaches

Unofficial Lacanau Océan on activities:

There you go folks, one of my fav areas in my belle France; hope you get the bugs to see something different and beautiful, the beaches of Lacanau Océan, the lake, and the wines , la vie est belle!!! or is it la vie en rose ? Salut !!

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

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January 4, 2023

More of the Cathedrale St Pierre et St Paul de Nantes !!

We have come quite often to Nantes, a City that needs to be visited more by all. A wonderful historical city of my belle France , there are many monuments to see, many wonderful properties. I believe that this one is a must to visit in beautiful Nantes, Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the region of Pays de la Loire, even if old Bretagne! You can always do search in my blog ot find more about Nantes. For now let me use some new older pictures in my blog with new text to tell you a bit more of the  Cathédrale St Pierre et St Paul de Nantes!

nantes cat st pierre st paul front door mar11


More than 1500 years of history are written around this St Peter and St Paul Cathedral, from the first pre-Romanesque cathedrals to contemporary restorations. With it unfolds the story of the first Christian communities, the epic of the Dukes of Brittany and the awareness of the heritage value of a historic monument to be completed and protected. A huge monument for Bretagne/Brittany too.


According to some written sources, a first cathedral would have been erected in the 6C. Between the 6C and the 9C, it is difficult to know what were the architectural evolutions of the pre-Romanesque cathedral. In 843, the cathedral was looted during a Viking raid ; a series of attacks ensued which ended in 936 when Alain Barbetorte, first Duke of Brittany, drove the Vikings out of Nantes, In 960, Bishop Guérech began the construction of a new cathedral whose appearance remains unknown today. It is likely that a crypt was dug under the choir at this time.


The current Crypt, the only vestige of the Romanesque cathedral, was fitted out to house the bodies of Saints Donatien and Rogatien as well as some of the relics of Saint Gohard. Today, this crypt serves as a place of exhibition for the treasury of the cathedral. It is made up of works of art and religious objects, silverware, liturgical ornaments and a freestone model of the cathedral dating from 1632. The lower Crypt, for its part, was dug the end of the 19C to serve as a foundation for the new neo-Gothic choir. It hosts a permanent exhibition tracing the history of the cathedral.


The construction of a sumptuous cathedral, reflecting the power, prosperity and ambitions of the duchy of Brittany, is fully in line with a new project. It was launched in 1434 by Duke Jean V and Bishop Jean de Malestroit. The frontispiece is made up of three portals decorated with decorations illustrating biblical scenes and characters. It is framed by two side portals dedicated to Breton saints: Donatien, Rogatien and Yves de Tréguier. Around 1520, the construction site was interrupted, due to a lack of financial means. At the beginning of the 17C, the construction site resumed, motivated by the reform of the Catholic Church and of the liturgy recommended by the Council of Trent. In 1626 the covering of the nave ,and the southern part of the transept 1642 were completed. The latter is pierced by a portal in its southern part which allows processions to cross the cathedral from south to north. A rood screen is high to hide the junction between the Gothic nave and the Romanesque choir. In the 18C, the vaults of the Crypt were destroyed in order to lower the level of the Romanesque choir. The space for the canons is thus enlarged and the faithful are closer to the altar.

During the French revolution, the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral suffered a lot of damage. It lost its original function and became a fodder store and then a military depot. Public festivals were, also celebrated there, which replace Christian ceremonies. The cathedral, already weakened by these degradations, was even more so when the powder magazine, installed in the castle of the Dukes, exploded. On December 25, 1891, the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral was inaugurated.

It is possible to admire the tomb and the recumbents of Duke Francis II of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix (parents of Anne of Brittany) executed at the beginning of the 16C.

nantes cat st pierre st paul tomb of francois II and Marguerite de Foix mar11

The Cathedral also houses the Cenotaph of General de Lamoricière, a monument erected in 1878 in papal homage to the services rendered by this child of the wealthy country.

nantes cat st pierre st paul tomb général de Lamoricière side my13

An event of note with the Cathedral were that in front of the Cathedral, place Saint-PierreNicolas Fouquet was arrested by d’Artagnan on September 5, 1661 by order of king Louis XIV. After having built Vaux-le-Vicomte (see post) and after some accusations of mishandling of money and jealousy.

Due to the fire of July 18, 2020, there is lead depollution work and the first restoration work on the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral are planned for 2023 and will primarily concern the choir of the Cathedral in order to reopen this first part for worship before a partial reopening which does not seem possible before 2025 or 2026, Therefore, the Cathedral is close for work until futher order which partially hoping for 2023.

The official St Peter and St Paul Cathedral of Nantes:

The Nantes tourist office on the Cathedral

This is a huge task more can be written about the cathedral so will let you read even if in French, more of this wonderful monument of Brittany and France, The Heritage Foundation of France on the Cathedral :

There you go folks, do visit Nantes ,and the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral is a must, you will be glad , And again ,hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

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