Archive for February 10th, 2023

February 10, 2023

Church of Notre Dame of Versailles !!! , part III

I like to come back to this marvel once again, as you can see from title have other posts on it, but it merits even more, After, all this was my church in town for 9 years as lived not far behind it, You have read enough! I found older new to the blog pictures and they should, especially on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles ! This is it, Versailles is a lot more than the palace as said, Again, this is a must, the : history of FranceEurope, the World ! started here,,, Hope you enjoy this post as I.



The City of Versailles once had a parish church of Saint-Julien, located in the Old Versailles district. When the Notre-Dame district was created, it was decided to transfer it to the north of the Palace of Versailles, and a modest church was built, still under the patronage of Saint-Julien. But the installation of the court in Versailles in 1682 changed the status of this parish which became that of the king: indeed, all the inhabitants of the city then depended on a single parish, and the Royal Chapel was in its dependence.

Versailles ch coll Notre Dame dec18

The church of Saint-Julien was far too modest, and the construction of a new church was launched in 1684 on the plans of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the famous architect of the Sun King. In a very sober classical style, the church was completed in record time (1686), and from then on served the inhabitants, but also the Court. The links of the king with the Notre-Dame Church are materialized by the parish registers, in which were recorded the baptismal, marriage and death certificates of the members of the royal family. This is how we find the death certificate of King Louis XIV or even the marriage certificate of the future Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette, all scattered between acts relating to the humblest of parishioners…The stained glass windows embellish beautifully the side parts and the transept. The church is voluntarily not very high because the palace must dominate everything in the city.


Versailles ch coll notre dame chapel 2 mar13

On Monday, May 4, 1789 is an important day for the Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles. It is from there that the procession of the Blessed Sacrament leaves in the direction of the Saint-Louis Church with all the deputies for the high mass consecrating the opening of the States General. Under the French revolution, the church temporarily became the cathedral of the new diocese of Seine et Oise (old name for current Yvelines), then Temple of Reason, and was stripped of all its ornaments. Returned to worship in 1800, it was refurnished and thus found its stalls and its splendid altar painting commissioned by King Louis XIV from Michel II Corneille and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, the patronal feast of the kingdom. It also retains its original pulpit and its organ case, as well as a fine set of sculptures made by members of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture during the reign of Louis XIV, and paintings by painters of the King such as Jean Restout, Carle Van Loo, Louis de Boullogne, Joseph Suvée, Nicolas Brenet…etc, The choir has stained glass window of the Coronation of the Virgin, In accordance with the wishes of Louis XIII in 1638, the church being dedicated to Notre-Dame, the axial chapel (main chapel) is not dedicated to her. At Notre Dame Church of Versailles, the axial chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.

Versailles ch coll notre dame nave mar13

The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame  is officially at 2 rue Baillet Reviron ,but the main facade entrance is on Rue de la Paroisse corner with Rue Sainte-Geneviéve in the Notre-Dame district (mine!) and its facade facing the rue Hoche, formerly rue Dauphine,  leading to Place Hoche and eventually the Place d’Armes and the palace/museum of Versailles!! Easy walking from the palace ; go out past the equestrian statue of Louis XIV and turn left into avenue Rockefeller , continue past ave Saint Cloud ,continue into Place Hoche go around the square and the statue of Gen Hoche, and continue straight on Rue Hoche, until reaching Rue de la Paroisse, the church is facing you ! You can see it from the time you head on Ave Rockefeller really !

Versailles ch coll Notre Dame salle notre dame back of church aug12

The official parish of Notre Dame Church:

The Versailles tourist office on the Notre Dame Church: 

The City of Versailles on its heritage/history

There you go folks, a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Palace of Versailles ! After all, it was the royal church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see the Collegiate Church Notre Dame in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

February 10, 2023

Always more on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles !!!

I like to add to this wonderful monument in my blog, It was my church while living in Versailles, you have read enough! I found older new pictures not in my blog and they should, especially on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles !!! This is it, if you are coming to see monuments away from the palace/museum , and you should, this is a must, the history of FranceEurope, the World  started here really,, Hope you enjoy the post as I,

The Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles is located rue de la Paroisse and facing rue Hoche, Notre-Dame is known to all Versailles residents. Built between 1684 and 1686 by the famous architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, its history is punctuated by very important episodes such as the departure of the inaugural procession of the States-General, on May 4, 1789. The Diocese of Versailles, suffragan of Paris, was created by Pope Pius VII, following the Concordat of 1801, promulgated in April 1802 at Notre-Dame de Paris. On October 9, 1966, on the feast of Saint-Denis, and in the overall reorganization of the parrish of Paris, the Diocese of Versailles was identified with the territory of the Yvelines department 78 by an autograph letter from Pope Paul VI.

Versailles ch coll notre dame mort pour la france front mar13

New info on the ongoing restoration of the enclosure and the roof of the Notre-Dame Church is progressing. The church suffered from alterations related to its obsolescence. The City of Versailles is the contracting authority for this restoration, which will be carried out over several years. It is emblematic monument of the City of Versailles, This is a restoration program for the main façade and the Sacré-Coeur Chapel. In addition, the elected officials approved the renovation of the great organ of the church, The great organ of the church was built from 1687 to 1691 by Julien Tribuot, and the sideboard was built in 1687 by Antoine Rivet, A new Choir organ was built by Merklin according to the estimate of September 29, 1869. The organ was raised by the Abbey house in 1911; it is still presently in the choir; but transformed in 1974 following the removal of the woodwork, it now comes without a sideboard.

The construction of the Notre-Dame Church for short, was ordered by King Louis XIV to be able to exercise the worship imposed by the official religion. This church was built to supplement the small chapel of the castle suitable only for the prayers of the royal family, By the end of April 1686 it was placed 6 bells giving the notes do, re, mi, fa, sol, la. The Archbishop of Paris blesses them on May 3. The Dauphin, the Dauphine and four other blood princes accepted the sponsorship. By January 12, 1782 , despite the opposition of the building dept, the parish increased the number of its bells. The first, named Louis, by the king and queen; the second, Louise-Marie, by the Dauphin; the third, Marie, by Monsieur; the fourth, Thérèse, by the Comte d’Artois; the fifth, Elisabeth, by Mme Elisabeth; the sixth, Adelaide; the seventh, Victory; the eighth, Sophia.

On the eve of the French revolution, the parish of Notre Dame was served by 14 priests who lived in community, with 5 Vincentians attached to the castle chapel, in the mission house. We can imagine to see the Notre-Dame parish live in this period of anguish and restriction of political and religious freedom. First of all, the clergy of Versailles will try to find a compromise with the revolutionaries (republicans). The unsworn clergy of Versailles had to leave in the first fortnight of February, 1789 except for a few Lazarists who pursue an underground ministry. The revolution requiring cannons, many bells of Notre Dame are destroyed on site and taken to be melted down. On November 7, 1793, there is a general depretization with the closing of the churches is voted but not without conflicts. The Church of Notre Dame is completely stripped and transformed into this “Temple of Reason”. After the failure of the city in the face of the refusal of Notre-Dame and its clergy to take the oath (revolutionary constitution), other places of worship are inspected. It was then that on January 16, 1798, the city issued an order to close the four oratories where worship was celebrated clandestinely. Thus the church was closed on September 15, 1798 ,and only became a ten-day place of worship. The church was subsequently taken over by the city to celebrate the decadal worship, consisting of the reading of the laws and the celebration of serial marriages. From October 12, 1798, the Catholics had more at their disposal for worship than the Church of St Symphorien (see post) , In December 1799, Bonaparte, still consul, concerned himself with the release of the deported priests and took a new measure: citizens could use their buildings freely. But in Versailles, two clergy will try to gain a foothold in Notre-Dame: constitutional and refractory (against revolution). However, it quickly turns out that the cohabitation of the latter is impossible at Notre-Dame. Then, the Minister of the Interior declares that the Churches of St Symphorien and St Louis (see post) must suffice for the Catholics of Versailles and that Notre-Dame must remain assigned to the ten-day solemnities. On September 15, 1802, Granpré wished to restore the cross on the dome of the church and was reappointed parish priest by the bishop. Thousands of Versailles residents welcome Pope Pius VII who is led to declare: “Is this then the people who were said to be so irreligious?”

Versailles ch coll notre dame mort pour la france chapel side mar13

Back again into monarchy on June 25, 1816 before entering his apartment, the priest, the vicars and the administrators of the parish were presented to the king by the prince of Poix, governor of the castle and honorary churchwarden of the parish. This is a monument that the parishioners of Notre-Dame erect and dedicate to the memory of the return of Louis le Désiré (Louis XVIII) and the restoration of France.(monarchy), The baptism of the bell, according to ancient customs, took place on November 15, 1816 by the Bishop, in the presence of the authorities. The Prince de Poix represented the king, and the Duchess of Damas , the Duchess of Angouleme.

The official Notre Dame Church of Versailles :

The Château de Versailles on what is around it in Versailles :

The Versailles tourist office on the ND Church :

The City of Versailles on its history/ heritage:

There you go folks, a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Château de Versailles! After all, it was the royal church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see the Collegiate Church Notre Dame in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. The decorations are very nice as well.  Again,hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

February 10, 2023

Mansart and Le Nôtre of Versailles !!!

I like to tell you about two men who really gave notice to Versailles in more ways than stones and trees, I have written before on them briefly but a full post on them is merited me think, Versailles is a lot more than a castle I said, and I know lived very close to it for 9 glorious years. Therefore, let me tell you more about these two men of Versailles, Jules Hardouin-Mansart and André Le Nôtre !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Earl of Sagonne (in 1699), born on 16 April 1646 in Paris and died on 11 May 1708 in Marly-le-Roi (Yvelines 78) , buried in the church Saint Paul des Champs (demolished in 1799 and now nothing left of him thanks to the French revolution), He was the first architect of King Louis XIV and superintendent of the king’s buildings. The son of  Raphaël Hardouin, master painter, and Marie Gaultier, niece of François Mansart. Jules Hardouin-Mansart married Anne Bodin on 3 February 1668, with whom he had five children. She was the daughter of Nicolas Bodin, advisor to the king, treasurer of the provost of the hotel and grand provost of France, and Madeleine Adam, his wife. Pic statue by bd de la République in Versailles.


He built the small castle of Val (in 1674) and won the esteem of King Louis XIV after drawing the plans for the castle of Clagny ( now notre dame market and by bd de la Reine, Versailles) , intended for the king’s favorite mistress, Madame de Montespan. He became an ordinary architect in 1675 and entered the Royal Academy of Architecture. First architect of the king in 1681, he was appointed general steward of the king’s buildings in 1685.

On the death of Charles Le Brun in 1690, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, who had just completed the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, became inspector general of the king’s buildings in 1691. He painted the interior of the dome from 1702 to 1706. In 1699 he was able to acquire the county of Sagonne in Old region of Berry and Bourbonnais today dept 18 Cher in the region of Centre Val de Loire, and assert his title of count.

At the Château of Versailles his work are noted as 1677 : Le bosquet des Dômes;   1678 -1684 : The Galerie des Glaces ,   1679-1689 : the façade on the side of the park, the wings of  retrait du nord and du midi , 1684-1686 : the Petite and Grande Écurie, the new Orangerie; 1687 : the Grand Trianon, 1698-1710 : the Chapelle Royale 1698-1710 : the Coll Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles , 1681 : Hôtel de Beauvillier, Versailles,(aka Hôtel du Grand Contrôle, located in the extension of the Midi wing of the castle and overlooking the gardens of the Orangery),   1682 : Hôtel Colbert de Croissy ,Versailles (Charles Colbert de Croissy) , and 1683 : Hôtel de Chevreuse ,Versailles.

Jules Hardouin Mansart’s rise to fame became meteoric when, in 1678, Louis XIV charged him with the vast modifications and additions to the Château of Versailles. He first reworked Le Vau’s garden facade, filling in the large terrace set into the middle of the building’s second story, in order to create the Galerie des Glaces. Later Mansart erected the great wings which extend symmetrically north and south of the central block, creating in the overall 549 meters (about 1,800-feet) in length an unparalleled monumentality. Among his most imaginative efforts at Versailles were the splendid horseshoe-shaped stables , which were carefully planned to fill in the wedge-shaped areas formed by the avenues radiating out from the château’s forecourt. Equally notable is his work on the second Orangery, with its magnificently scaled embracing staircases. His last undertaking at Versailles was the Royal Chapel ;conceived 1688; built 1697-1710. Jules Hardouin-Mansart died in 1708 while working on the Royal Chapel. It was completed by his assistant and son-in-law, Robert de Cotte in 1710.

Beginning in 1679 and continuing to the time of his death, Mansart was occupied at Marly-le-Roi, (Yvelines dept 78) building a novel weekend retreat for Louis XIV. In the perfectly balanced layout of the entire complex, the building reserved for the King’s exclusive use stood as an isolated block, bounded on its flanks by individual pavilions designed to accommodate those members of the court who were invited to spend several days at Marly. The arrangement suggests a new intimacy in French architecture and can also be regarded as symbolic, for the central building is the dwelling of the Sun king and the pavilions are his satellites.

Architectural genius, Jules Hardouin-Mansart has given Versailles to France , a monument that is without a doubt one of the most prestigious castles that the whole world envy us. It has its place among the great builders of France! Indeed !!!

The official Château de Versailles on Jules Hardouin Mansart

André Le Nôtre  born on March 12, 1613 in Paris, at the palais des Tuileries (no longer there) where he died on September 15, 1700, in same palace ; his funeral was held at the Church Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois , and buried at the Church Saint-Roch, He was a gardener to King Louis XIV from 1645 to 1700 and had the task of designing the park and gardens of the Château of Versailles, amongst others. Very famous courtier, he managed to attract the favor of Louis XIV, by a fellowship probably worked in the presence of the king, who earned him the nickname, during his lifetime, of “Bonhomme Le Nôtre” or Fellow Le Nôtre. He knew how to distance himself from the intrigues of the Court and obtain the good graces of a king passionate about gardens. He is the author of the plans of many French gardens. I will concentrate on those in Versailles. Pic by rue Jacques Boyceau in Versailles


He was baptized on 12 March 1613 in the Church Saint-Roch ( 254 rue Saint Honoré) in Paris, his grandfather was Pierre Le Nôtre, a market gardener and then the king’s gardener at the Tuileries palace, a prestigious office he passed on to his son. His father Jean Le Nôtre was the king’s ordinary gardener in charge of the maintenance of the Tuileries garden of Marie de Medici and, since 1625, has held the title of designer of plants and gardens. His mother Marie Jacquelin is the daughter of master gardener Toussaint Jacquelin. his godfather, André Bérard de Maisoncelle, comptroller general of the King’s gardens under Henry IV and Louis XIII ,His godmother, Claude de Martigny, is the wife of Claude Mollet, also gardener of the king at the Tuileries, On January 16, 1640, André Le Nôtre marries, in Paris, Françoise Langlois, daughter of the governor of the pages of the Grand Ecuries (stables) who survives him and with whom he had three children, all of whom died young.

The young André Le Nôtre entered, in 1620, as a pupil in the studio of Simon Vouet, painter of Louis XIII, where he learned drawing for six years He also studied sculpture with Louis Lerambert and architecture and perspective with François Mansart . The craftsmen and artists (especially painters), whom he met at the castle where his father worked, allowed him to become familiar with the uses of the court that would be useful for his career.   In 1635, Le Nôtre becomes the first gardener of Gaston de France , brother of king Louis XIII, who entrusted him with his gardens in Saint-Cloud and Luxembourg. In 1656, Le Nôtre designed the new gardens of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte . In 1661, André Le Nôtre put himself in the service of Louis XIV to restore the gardens of Versailles: his intervention began with the parterre de l’Amour ( Love) at the end of 1662 and continued until 1687. In 1664, Colbert instructed Le Nôtre to beautify the Tuileries garden, which he transformed in depth, opening several perspectives, one of which served as a route to the future Avenue des Champs-Élysées.Le Nôtre was knighted by Louis XIV himself in 1675: on this occasion he received the Order of Saint-Michel followed, in 1681, by the Order of Saint-Lazare.

In 1693, André Le Nôtre retired to his house near the Marsan pavilion (today housing the musée des Arts décoratifsin the Tuileries Palace (now gone) , with his wife and nieces and nephews whom he adopted after the death of his three children. His house was surrounded by a garden that he maintained himself. He died there on 15 September 1700 at the age of 87, leaving an estimated fortune of one million pounds. His funeral was celebrated in the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois and was buried in the Church of Saint-Roch. According to his wishes, he is buried unceremoniously. The chapel that houses his tomb is decorated with a painting by Jean Jouvenet, entitled the Martyrdom of Saint-André. His widow, Françoise Langlois, soon commissioned the sculptor Pierre Cotton to honor the memory of her husband. Made before 1707, it took place in front of the high altar, under a large arcade. Standing on a veined marble background of color, it consisted of a white marble allegory holding the gardener’s epitaph, in golden letters on black marble, all topped with the coat of arms of the deceased, with the famous three masons and the necklace of the order of St. Michael’s; below, at the height of the spectator, was placed on a console the bust of the deceased, his head slightly turned to the right, specially ordered by one of the masters of the funerary sculpture of the time, Antoine Coysevox. It was demolished   during the French revolution, only Antoine Coysevox’s bust remains from this tomb, unfortunately.

Upon his death, the local newspaper Mercure Galant said of him in 1700, (Trans) ” The king came to lose a man unique, and in love with is service to him, and a strong admirer of his own art, that had given him honor. It is Mr le Notre, general controller of buildings for his majesty, its gardens, and manufacturers of France….Never a man has given more of all that he has been able to give and contribute to the beauty of gardening…”,

Some of his nice work at Versailles , such as the great allée Le Notre, more often overlook by visitors, it is the extension of the castle  envision by Le Nôtre, along the axe allée des Mortemets that goes to the eau des Suisses at the today caserne Pion almost at the doors of the city of Saint-Cyr-l’école right by the ferme de Gally (see post), back of the Grand canal!  A complete renovation in the gardens all dear to me such as Potager du Roi, parc Balbi, and domaine de Madame Elizabeth (see posts). The Allée Royale in the castle will be an excellent opportunity to see his work up close starting from the bassin d’Apollon descending to the Grand Canal, and beyond into the Etoile Royale going to the towns dear to me such as the Saint-Cyr-l’école,Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin, and Villepreux (road 307).

In one of my visits to Versailles , the City was celebrating his 400 annivesary in 2013 , The City covered its City/town hall in the garden colors of his favorites, An “André Le Nôtre International Prize” was founded in 2013 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre. It was presented in the context of the meetings André Le Nôtre of Versailles. It is intended to reward landscape architects from all over the world, for the whole of a work (from conception to realization, through the quality of the mastery of work, knowledge and know-how).


The official Château de Versailles on André Le Nôtre

There you go folks, two genious that we still keep coming back for them all over my belle France!  And Versailles was/is their greatest work of art!!! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I ,and especially their work.

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

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