Archive for May 3rd, 2023

May 3, 2023

The Ambassador theater of Dublin !

I crossed the channel to visit a country always heard about and never been until then, It was a wonderful trip and nice available time to see a bit of the City with many posts in my blog, However, I found me new pictures not in my blog and they should, so therefore, decided to do a post on the Ambassador Theater of Dublin, Hope you enjoy the post as I

dublin ambassador theatre front oct16

Well for many  years heard of Dublin  ,in fact used to lived near a neighborhood that was called and still is  Dublin for the many Irish immigrants there. This was back in Perth Amboy, New Jersey USA. (see posts). The reason of this post is on the Ambassador Theater an impressive building built like a Roman amphitheater , now holding concerts and events, not bad at all, It is located by Parnell Square South on Upper O’Connell Street.

Dublin Ambassador theater oct16

A bit of history I like

The building was constructed as part of the Rotunda Hospital in 1764 as an assembly hall and social rooms on what is now called Parnell Street. From 1897 onwards, the venue was given the name Rotunda Room and hosted a number of moving picture screenings which were a great novelty at the time. From about 1908 onwards, it was used more regularly to show film presentations and in 1910 it became a full-time cinema, with 736 seats,

In the 1950s, the cinema was redesigned, increasing the capacity to 1,200. Added to the main hall was a balcony ,containing 500 seats with private boxes. A new entrance area was also constructed. The cinema was reopened on 23 September 1954 as the Ambassador. It became a gala event venue, holding screenings of many films for the first time In 1977, the cinema was forced to close briefly, but it reopened that summer under new ownership. A new group ran the cinema until 1988, and it played mainly children’s films and its sequels. In 1988, with single-screen cinemas on the wane, it closed. However, in 1994 it was given a new lease of life when it reopened under new ownership On 27 September 1999, after 45 years, the cinema closed.

This however was not the end of the venue. Entertainment promoters leased the building and for a number of years ran the Ambassador as a live music venue, until 2008. The Ambassador now hosts a variety of events including exhibitions, one-off concerts and corporate events. Which I happened to passed by but no time to see a performance still.

Dublin Ambassador theatre side fr oconnell oct16

The Dublin tourist office on the Ambassador

The Dublin city council on getting around the city

There you go folks, feel doing justice to a wonderful monument of Dublin that should with more time enjoy it . This was a memorable trip and just when were preparing to go back we got hit with this virus. It will have to wait and hopefully back eventually, Again, hope you enjoy this post on the Ambassador Theater of Dublin as I.

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

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May 3, 2023

A stair for a goodbye of an emperor in the Château de Fontainebleau !

I am coming back at you in my fable Fontainebleau to update this older post on a memory of France, The Château de Fontainebleau is a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it. Therefore, let me tell you on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region of my belle France. This post is on the famous Cour du Cheval Blanc and the escalier Fer-à-Cheval.

The Cour du Cheval Blanc, (courtyard of the white horse) also known as the Cour des Adieux (courtyard of the goodbye) or Cour d’Honneur (courtyard of honor) is in a rectangular form, was an old poultry yard then a service courtyard, which very early became a parade court. It acquired its name thanks to a plaster cast of the equestrian statue of Marc Aurèle at the Capitol, installed between 1560 and 1570, disappeared in 1626, and of which a small slab, in the central alley, recalls the location. This courtyard was originally closed by four wings of the castle, the west wing of which, known as the aile de Ferrare or Ferrara wing, was destroyed and replaced by an honor grid with Napoleonic decor such as golden lead eagles, ornaments around the entrance portal , etc made in 1808.

Fontainebleau main entrance PF nov08

The buildings at the back of the courtyard of the white horse retain, from the reign of François I, the sandstone and coated rubble stone constructions, adorned with pilasters and dormers with triangular pediments. From left to right: the pavillon des Armes or   Arms pavilion where the Royal armory was found, the tour de l’Horloge or Clock tower, pavillon des Orgues or the Organs pavilion, the three neighboring spans, and the fourth pavilion. At the level of the pavillon de l’Horloge or Clock pavilion, we can see the Chapelle de la Trinité or Trinity Chapel. The North wing, built around 1530, known as the aile des Ministres or Ministers’ wing, was greatly restored in the 19C. The central pavilion is decorated with  a salamander , a 1878 reconstruction,  and the fireplaces bear the figure of François I. Opposite,  the l’aile Louis XV  or Louis XV  wing which  replaces, in the 18C, the sumptuous gallery of Ulysses designed  by Primatice, the ground floor of which housed shops rented to the privileged merchants who followed the Court. At the southern corner of the entrance gate remains the pavilion which shelters, on the garden side, the grotte des Pins or the cave of Pines. The pillars consist of four rustic Atlanta’s as captives of the rock, put out of harm’s way, and its three arcades sketch triangular pediments.

The famous escalier Fer-à-cheval (horseshoe stair) was built in 1550 by Philibert Delorme, but was redone between 1632 and 1634 by Jean Androuet du Cerceau. It has an appearance comparable to that of the Château d’ Anet (see post), also created by Delorme.


Built at the request of Louis XIII between 1632 and 1634 ,the Fer-à-cheval staircase, with atypical shapes, allows to stage the access to the François I gallery and at the Grands Appartements of the castle. From the reign of king Louis XIV, the staircase served as a grandiose setting to welcome princesses coming to marry a son of France such as the Duchess of Burgundy in 1697, Marie Leszczynska in 1725, Helène de Mecklenburg-Schwerinen in 1837. On April 1814 that the Horseshoe stair becomes legendary and is definitively inscribed as the emblem of Fontainebleau by becoming the theater of the famous farewells of Napoleon I to his guard.

The Cour d’Honneur, closed on three sides and facing west towards the town since the fourth wing was demolished and a gate was created in 1809-1810. This vast courtyard with a uniform layout from the 16C gradually became the main courtyard at the château. Known as “White Horse Courtyard” since it was built, after a horse statue at its center, it is bordered to the east by the iconic Horseshoe staircase wing punctuated by five pavilions which were built between the 16C and 19C. In the north, the Ministers’ wing, built in the 1530s bears the initials of Francis I and his salamander. Facing it, the Louis XV wing, which is taller and boasts brick and stone façades maintains the harmonious colour palette of the courtyard. Construction of the Louis XV wing started in 1739 on the ruins of the Ulysses gallery to house accommodation for the court, and it was only completed in 1773-1774. Since Napoleon I bid farewell to his Old Guard, on 20 April 1814, this courtyard which became the most famous view of the Château de Fontainebleau, was also known as the “Cour des adieux” or goodbye courtyard. See me on top of stairs !


The castle of Fontainebleau on the horseshoe stair:

The Fontainebleau tourist office on the castle’s history and heritage:

For info Friends of the castle or Amis du Château de Fontainebleau:

There you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle since 2003 !! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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May 3, 2023

The bedroom of Anne of Austria of the Château de Fontainebleau !!!

This is difficult to write as many wonderful moments with my dear late wife Martine visiting the castle and town of Fontainebleau in her region of Seine et Marne 77, and becoming Friends of the Castle since 2008. However, I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. This is new text using older pictures from my vault, This time is on a special bedroom , the one of Anne of Austria ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.


The Château de Fontainebleau, a major place in the history of France and an essential monument of French heritage. This royal, then imperial residence, extends its history over more than 8 centuries, and has hosted all the French sovereigns from the Renaissance to the Second Empire, The bedroom/room of Queen Anne of Austria, which is located on the 1st floor of the castle , in the apartment known as the Queens Mothers. This apartment is located in a wing built under François 1er to connect 2 buildings between the Cour d’Honneur and the Cour Ovale. Henri II will convert it into an apartment which will be occupied by his widow Catherine de Médicis , then by the second wife of Henri IV and Queen of France, Marie de Médicis , and finally by Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII and mother of the future King Louis XIV.  It will then welcome the Dauphin under Louis XIV, then distinguished guests, to then be occupied by Mesdames Henriette, Adélaïde and Victoire, the daughters of Louis XV. Split in two under Louis XVI, these apartments will house the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI and future Louis XVIII. In 1804, before his coronation on December 2 of the same year, Napoleon I had them fitted out for Pope Pius VII. Then, King Louis-Philippe of the 1st July Monarchy lodged his son there, while Napoleon III welcomed his cousin there. This is an older picture …you can see the same as the newer above.

Fontainebleau bed of Anne of Austria 15dec07

It is a piece that I find above all impressive. It is very well preserved in its original version from 1660, decorated by Charles Errard and Jean Cotelle for the Queen. It shows what a royal apartment of the 17C was like, with a lot of very beautiful furniture and decors loaded, yes, but really sumptuous. Above the door, notice the portrait of Marie-Thérèse of Austria, wife of Louis XIV and Queen of France, which faces that of Anne of Austria, her mother-in-law done by Gilbert de Séve around 1660. This former bedroom of Anne of Austria has a ceiling and paneling painted with polychrome grotesques by Jean Cotelle. On the walls, two tapestries by the Gobelins of the Triumph of the Gods series: The Triumph of Mars and The Triumph of Religion, on cartoons by Noel Coypel after Jules Romain. The furniture consists of a carved walnut set: a four-poster bed, two bedside tables, two chests of drawers, a console, a sofa, six armchairs, six chairs, two foot stools, delivered in 1860 by the Fourdinois house. The pedestal table ,the work of the Italian marble worker Pietro Martinori in the center of the room, was offered by Pius IX to the Prince Imperial, his godson, and was presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1867. The circular top is covered with a mosaic of marbles found on Palatine Hill (Rome) . In the center of the composition are the arms of the pope. Under the Second Empire, this room was used as a living room. The carved oak bed and seats date from this period and reflect the Renaissance style, while the carpet, also from the 19C, is in the Louis XVI style. The tapestries of the “Triumphs of the Gods” after Noël Coypel were woven at the Gobelins royal factory around 1700.


The official Château de Fontainebleau on the royal apartments:

There you go folks, this is special, a must to visit while in Francethe Château de Fontainebleau that is. So much history of France and Europe , and the World is here, as well as loving architecture. For me is sublime and the bedroom of Anne of Austria is awesome !!! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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