Archive for March 16th, 2023

March 16, 2023

More of the Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon !!

Let me take you back to Alençon, the wonderful historical town of the Orne in Normandy. This time will tell you more about a hugely historical church ; part of the history of France, Europe, and the World. Hope you enjoy the post on the Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon !! as I,

The Basilica of Notre-Dame (see post) is a Gothic architecture church located in the Place de la Magdelaine in city center of Alençon in the pedestrian area. Its construction was begun by Charles III, Duke of Alençon at the time of the Hundred Years War in 1356 to end in the 19C. The Notre Dame Church, because of the importance of the pilgrimage in the footsteps of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and her parents, Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin ,who became saints in October 2015, is elevated to the rank of basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in August 2009.


A Romanesque church, already dedicated to Notre-Dame in her Assumption, existed on this site in the 12C. It depended on a priory founded by the Abbey of Lonlay. Then became a parish church, it was enlarged, The collection of stained glass, the elegance of the 15C nave and the fully restored organ are worth a visit indeed. More of these below on new text and links.

The eleven windows of the 16C are incomparable witnesses of the art of the glass painters of the Renaissance. Over the centuries, they have undergone many restorations that have enabled us to preserve this heritage. They were sheltered during WWII. Dominating the case of the great organs c1540, the Tree of Jesse was donated in 1511 by the brotherhood of Notre-Dame de l’Angevine, which brought together the leather professions. A cartouche at the bottom of the window presents the Nativity of the Virgin. The five windows on the north side illustrate fundamental biblical stories in the History of Salvation; the Creation, the Original Fault, the Sacrifice of Abraham, the Passage of the Red Sea and the cycle of Moses and the Brazen Serpent c1543. Those in the South present episodes from the life of Mary known from the Gospels or recounted in the Golden Legend: the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, the marriage of the Virgin, the Virgin of Mercy, the Annunciation and the Visitation, the Dormition and the Assumption. It is possible to understand the spatial arrangement of each of the themes by associating them in an analogical way: the presentation of Mary ,new Eve, facing the presentation of Eve to Adam, the human marriage facing the Mystical Marriage. In the middle of the nave, two sacrifices answer each other; the sacrifice, forbidden by God, of the only son of Abraham and the Sacrifice, granted by God, of his Only Son to save men. Likewise, the Law symbolized by Moses is fulfilled by the coming into our flesh of Jesus. The windows closest to the sanctuary deal on the one hand with the bad death, that to which sin inexorably leads, and the Good Death, that of Mary, who consecrated her life to the Love of God.


During the restorations of the Notre Dame Church in the 19C, historiated stained glass windows for the windows of the chapels were inaugurated in 1884. Blown away by the bombardments in 1944, they were replaced between 1986 and 1996 for the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. The Chapel of the Baptistery retains a stained glass window recalling the baptism in this place, on January 4, 1873, of Thérèse Martin, the future Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1997, year of the centenary. of her death. Around the Coronation of the Virgin, figures of Blessed Margaret of Lorraine and Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, stained glass windows created in the 1930s

It should also be noted that new large organs were installed in 2016 in the case dating from 1537. There is mention of an organ in the church from 1506/1508. In 1537, a new instrument was ordered , The remarkable case of French Renaissance, which we can admire today, restored to its original light colors. A historical chronological view on the organ of the Basilique Notre Dame d’Alençon.


From 1652 to 1657, the organ was restored. At the end of the 17C, again was restored . In 1804 and 1805, it was carried out repairs following the damage caused by the French revolution. In 1862, the case was classified as a Historic Monument and restore, or even rebuild the instrument, in an obviously very different style. In 1944, the organ suffered enormously from the Allied bombings of WWII. At the end of the 1960s, the organ was damaged by restoration work on the vault and in 1976 it became mute. In 2008, the city of Alençon approved the restoration project of the historic buffet and the reconstruction of a new instrument. In 2012, the contract for this work was awarded. From 2014 to 2016, the organcase was completely dismantled and restored . The original colours, as they appear in the 1537 contract, have been restored. It is neither a baroque or classical instrument, nor a romantic or symphonic instrument, nor a neo-classical organ from the 20C… It is a real contemporary creation.The instrument has 33 real stops on three manuals and pedalboard, with mechanical transmission of the keyboards and electromechanical stops. The sound layout allows the interpretation of different repertoires, from the 17C to the 21C. The instrument was inaugurated on September 1, 2016.


The city of Alençon on its heritage :

The Alençon tourist office on its religious heritage:

The Sanctuary towns of France on Alençon

There you go folks, a memorable beautiful Notre Dame Basilica on a very nice pleasant Alençon. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I, And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all !!!

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March 16, 2023

The Pont Vieux of Orthez !

I am again on the southwest of my belle France. The region has been criss cross by my family for many years and remains one of our favorites. Even thus, written plenty on it over the years in my blog, there is so much to see, always something missing.I like to update this older post for you and me with new text and links which deserve. Therefore, let me tell you about the Pont Vieux of Orthez ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Pont Vieux, is in Orthez, department 64 of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The old bridge is a 13C fortified bridge.  The Pont Vieux , spanning the Gave de Pau river, it connects the city center to its suburb of Depart. It is on the vicomtale road which went from the Haderne bridge, at Sault-de-Navailles, to the Osserain bridge, and led to Roncevaux. It owes its construction to Gaston VII Moncade of Béarn, when he made Orthez the capital of Béarn and transported his court there.


We do not know when the bridge was built in its current state with 4 masonry spans. In 1589, there was already only one tower. The upper part of the tower had disappeared. The bridge resisted two major assaults: in August 1569, the Huguenot troops of Montgomery, after the battle of Orthez precipitated priests in the Gave by an opening , the priests’ window in the downstream parapet, to the right of the key main span. In February 1814, troops of the Duke of Wellington went after the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte in retreat. On February 27, 45 soldiers of Marshal Soult’s army rearguard entrenched in the bridge tower resisted for one day the attacks of the English army during the battle of Orthez.

The Pont Vieux d’Orthez has protected the village of Orthez, located between Pau and Bayonne, at the gates of the Basque Country. No wonder it has been the emblem of the city for many centuries. With its fortified tower and arches of different sizes, it is one of the rare examples of medieval military architecture. Originally, two towers framed the main arch, while on each side were wooden passages, which could be raised in the event of attacks, to block access to the village. Today, small stone arches replace the old wooden constructions. If it could speak, the Vieux Bridge or Old Bridge would recount the bloody episodes that took place on its stones.


it is today remarkable for its uneven arches and its fortified central tower. The tower was restored according to its original arrangements in 1873. The aliening and the roof are modern. Total length of the bridge between the two abutments: 46 meters long; width span  about 15 meters; Openings of the two adjacent arches about 7 meters and 8 meters.

The city of Orthez on the Pont Vieux

The local Heart of Béarn tourist office on Orthez :

There you go folks, another nice monument of architectural and historical value I like to keep in my blog, Again, hope you enjoy the Pont Vieux of Orthez as I

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

March 16, 2023

Saint Herblain and Atlantis !!

I come here often for shopping and have a post on the mall at Christmas but feel need to tell you as well about the town of Saint Herblain,and its wonderful carrousels at the Atlantis shopping mall, Therefore, this is my take on it and hope you enjoy the post as I,

The town of Saint-Herblain is located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region of my belle France, The city is located a little north of the Loire, immediately west of Nantes. The city center of Saint-Herblain is 7 km from that of Nantes,

The town is mainly served to the east by five gates of the ring road (A844) , which I have taken many times for business and pleasure trips, These gates are from south to north, gates of the Estuary (no. 30), of Saint-Herblain (no. 31), of Atlantis (no. 32), d’Ar-Mor (no 33 going home for me), de la Chézine (no 34), de Sautron (no 35)), in the center run by the D17 road, The town has its own train station of La Basse-Indre – Saint-Herblain, located in an area with difficult access. The station is served by the TER Pays de la Loire ,The Saint-Herblain network TAN (same as Nantes) is served by 2 tram lines ; line1 with six stations in the town, and line 3 with two stations in the town, Also, 14 bus lines, The public transports for info here I come by car always,

However, the main thing I come by this town of Saint-Herblain is the shopping center Atlantis, right off the N444 road best by porte d’Atlantis no 33 beltway road on your way to the Nantes Atlantique airport. The mall or shopping center is huge atypical for the French, this one is of international quality. Words cannot describe it. I have another post on coming at Christmas time here sublime, Shopping is fine with our favorites Adidas, Armand Thiery, L’Atelier du chocolat de Bayonne,Boulanger, Brico Depot ,Chaussea, Burton of London,Darty, Decathlon, E Leclerc and its cultural space, H&M ,L’Occitane en Provence, Lacoste, Lego, Micromania, Nocibé, Norauto,Orange, and Yves Rocher, Big cinemas with the 12 rooms of UGC Atlantis and 14 rooms of Pathé Atlantis, The restos Brioche Dorée, Burger King, Häagen Dazs, Hippopotamus,L’Hacienda, New Yorker,Starbucks, Subway, and Vapiano.

And while here nostalgia even if my boys are older now we remember when we took them to these and as said memories forever, From the earth to the moon, the extraordinary carrousel or merry-go-round at the Atlantis shopping mall takes children on a fantastic journey in the middle of a dream. This took me to write this post more on the town.

Saint Herblain cc atlantis carousel canopy dec13



Things to see here with time are the Saint-Hermeland Church, The church is from the 15C, modified at the end of the 19C, It was built in the shape of a Latin cross. The original church is in the Gothic style, elements were added in the 18C and 19C. The bell tower rests on the columns of the north transept, its spire has eight sides. The polychrome oak barrel vault dates from the 15C; its dragon head decoration makes it look fantastic. The confessional, the high altar, the wooden altar of the Virgin and the statue of Saint Hermeland are from the 19C. The niche where Hermeland’s statue is encased contains relics of the saint. The blue stained glass windows, destroyed during the bombardment of September 16, 1943, are reconstructed on the basis of fragments from 1987. A cross in granite, stone and tufa dating from the 15C is located next near the church.  Others are the Protestant church Amour Foi Espérance. The Van Hanh pagoda, dedicated to Buddhist worship, The Château de la Gournerie dates, in its oldest part, from the 17C, Tillay Abbey was built in the 14C. Built in stone, it is located in the middle of a park enclosed by walls three meters high. A carved stone porch is present, its arched lintel bears the insignia of the Cordelières.

A bit of history I like tell us that around the 7C, a Merovingian necropolis was installed in the foundations of the villa. The parish of Saint-Herblain was founded around 675 by Saint Hermeland, a Frank of aristocratic origin who became a monk of the Abbey of Fontenelle (today Saint-Wandrille), at the call of the Bishop of Nantes, Miracles are attributed to Hermeland, who died around 720 ; having become a local saint, his worship would later be used by the orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans, and Hermeland would be the patron of six parishes: Indre, Indret, Bouaye, Guenrouët, Saint-Herblain and Saint Herblon. The monastery was demolished after the sack of Nantes by the Vikings in 843, In 1678, Charles Maillard, Sieur du Plessis, squire and court lawyer, owner in Saint-Philbert de Grand-lieu, chose to acquire land closer to Nantes. He buys La Béhière de Saint-Herblain and La Sionnière, In 1743, his son increases the family patrimony by buying the Château de la Gournerie, Becoming the biggest owners here before the end all French revolution.

The City of Saint Herblain on its history

The Atlantis shopping mall of Saint Herblain

There you go folks, a nice pleasant shopping mall in Saint Herblain just outside Nantes really same public transports network, I passed by here so many times and saw it, came in and love it , we have been coming ever since 2012 !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

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