Archive for May 15th, 2023

May 15, 2023

New Moisenay in S/M 77 on the road warrior trail !!!

I am back again on my road warrior trips in my belle France , and why not start with something memorable for my family, We went into Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region and saw some new and some old nice spots of my belle France! I will be telling you about them in the next posts to my blog, This time let me tell you of a new town and rental property close to all we went to see there , this was Moisenay ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The village of Moisenay is located in the Seine-et-Marne department 77 in the Île-de-France region of my belle France, It is only 8 km from Melun. 2 km from Château Vaux le Vicomte , 4 km from Château Blandy les Tours ,and 21 km from Château de Fontainebleau , In addition to 53 km of my dear Meaux, A very pleasant village out in agricultural lands !

Going on A10 to VLV taking the N104 around Paris

We came here to be centrally located to what we came to see and pick a wonderful property of the Domaine des 3 Châteaux at 7 bis Rue des Sirens, actually next door in the village of Le Petit Moisenay, The rental property takes its name from its obvious proximity to three jewels of French history: the castles of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Blandy-lès-Tours ,and the castle of Fontainebleau and its famous forest. A place conducive to relaxation with its park of more than 1500 m². Enclosed indoor parking and free wifi. Private terraces. Several suites are available including the magnificent cupid suite with spa and private sauna. The Capucine and Constance (ours) apartments are located on the ground floor of the 18C Briarde building. The Mathilde and Romane apartments are nestled on the 1st floor.(2nd fl US).

Moisenay domaine des trois châteaux gym may23

Moisenay domaine des trois châteaux garden entr to appart constance may23

Moisenay domaine des trois châteaux garden may23

What is to see here briefly we saw the Saint-Martin Church located at 16 Rue de l’École in the main town of Moisenay, The church was built in the 12-13C, and has the particularity of having the only steeple in Seine-et-Marne all in paired stone. Built on the site of a first Christian sanctuary and completed by the construction of the bell tower in the 13, This church, never subsequently altered in its general architecture, is undoubtedly the oldest in Seine-et-Marne.

Moisenay ch st martin front may23

Its nave has three bays and its choir with a flat apse. The Church Saint Martin has many columns and smaller columns adorned with carved capitals. As in many churches in the region, the entrance door was once preceded by a portico canopy, If it were open you could see two wooden statues: A crowned Virgin and Child from the 15C; a Saint Martin sharing his mantle. There is a stone statue and two canvases: Abraham chasing Sarah and David holding the head of Goliath; finally, a tombstone of Sir Esprit de la Grange, doctor at the Sorbonne.

Moisenay ch st martin belltower side may23

Other things to see if time permitting on site is the Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Kazan, located at 2, chemin du Moulin-de-la-Roue. The parish community is formerly dependent on the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople It is since the end of 2019, and following a vote of the parishioners , attached to the Vicariate of Russian tradition near the Metropolis of France, which allows it to remain faithful to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The official Domaine des Trois Châteaux rentals

The town of Moisenay on its heritage/church :

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior trip this time only with my 3 young men and dog Rex , less but nevertheless, a wonderfully trip down memory lane in Seine et Marne, Moisenay was nice quant and close to what we came to see, follow up in my next posts, For now, again, hope you enjoy the post on my latest road warrior trails in  Moisenay as I

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

May 15, 2023

The portes/gates of the Domaine de Versailles !!!

I have written quite a bit on Versailles and of course used to lived in this glorious sublime city of my belle France , The usual tourist brochures do not tell you all but here , we make a distinction between the Château or Palace/museum, the annexes such as the Trianons and the old Domaine de Versailles. One is just current properties you come to see and the other is much more going back in history way back before 1685 ! Let me tell you a bit more in my black and white series, no pictures ; on the gates or portes of the Domaine de Versailles !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The property goes back way back of the Grand Canal into the towns of St Cyr l’école , etc , and its many gates or portes that encircle the old Domain of Versailles for 43 km !!. My favorite here was the Porte de Bailly still visible from the Ferme de Gally on St Cyr l’école. 700 meters from it you can still see the Porte de Noisy with a garden guardian house still there. Much further in the enclosure you have the Porte de Buc (town of Buc) ,Porte de Saint Cyr (town of St Cyr l’école) ,Porte d’Aréne (town of St Nom la Bretêche ) Porte de Jouy (town of Jouy en Josas) , Porte de Mérantais (town of St Quentin en Yvelines) , pavillon de Chateaufort (town of Chateaufort) ,Porte de Puissaloup (town of Bois d’Arcy) ,my favorite entrance to the Domaine , porte Saint Antoine or Porte de la Reine ( town of Versailles) ,Porte de Trou Salé (town of Toussus le Noble) ,Porte d’entrées or entering gate (town of St Nom la Bretêche private occupied today). You see my Domaine de Versailles !!!

Starting in 1685, Louis XIV had a wall built around his estate of Versailles, pierced by around twenty gates. These monumental doors are all built on the same model, according to the drawings of Jules-Hardouin Mansart. Straddling the enclosing wall in the form of a porte-cochere, they consisted of a quadrangular pavilion covered in slates, the ground floor of which constituted the passage and the first floor served as accommodation for the Swiss guard. The passage, capped with exposed joists, opened with two semicircular arches. It was flanked by two small recesses, one of which contained the staircase. The accommodation on the first floor consisted of a single room equipped with a furnace fireplace and lighted by two large pierced windows above each opening of the passage. The construction was in coated rubble with corner chaining, strips and cornice in cut stone. The enclosed estate had an area of 86 km2, more than ten times the territory of Versailles today. It then included 9 villages, erected into parishes, existing before its creation. These are the villages of Buc, Guyancourt, Bois-d’Arcy, Saint-Cyr, Villepreux, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin, Noisy, and Bailly. The palace and the small park were to the northeast of the greater park. This included the plateau of Satory, the upper part of the Val de Bièvres, the plateau of Villaroy, the pond of Saint-Quentin , the plateau of Bois d’Arcy and the plain of Versailles to the limit of Villepreux to the west. The large park was delimited to the north by the park of Marly. From the western end of the Grand Canal radiated five great alleys, dozens of meters wide, crossing the park. Villepreux’s Royal Alley was part of the “Great Perspective” imagined by Le Nôtre on either side of the Palace of Versailles.

The Porte de la Tuilerie, dite Pavillon de l’Arènes  (b,1685) In Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, the Château de la Bretèche (private property), was sold to King Louis XIV in 1700, for the Count of Toulouse (legitimatized son of the king and Madame de Montespan) who will put his crews there, hunting, the castle finally returned, in August 1766, to Louis XV who wished to increase his domains of Versailles and Marly. The castle and the estate were then the subject of meticulous surveys by the first architect of King Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The castle cannot be visited. La Tuilerie-Bignon, also enclosed in the large park of Versailles, is the setting for one of the most prestigious French golf courses, of international renown. The Pavillon d’Arène, or Daresne, from the name of its first guard, is the remnant of a gate in the wall that surrounded the large park of Versailles, reserved for hunting small game and falcon hunting, known as falcon hunting. flight. Surmounted by a pavilion roof, the floor is occupied by a single room, which is generally the housing of the game warden. the perimeter wall formerly attached to the former hunting domain of Versailles today the GPV = Grand Parc de Versailles, You will see this abbrv repeated here,

Located on the D186 road arriving via Le Chesnay, the Porte Saint Antoine provides access to the domaine’s park. The Porte St Antoine or Porte de la Reine was one of the entrances to the Petit-Parc and the palace (our favorite entry for walks and plays with the family in the gardens) , Arranged at the passages of the riders and close to the Avenue de Versailles, this exit from the castle made it possible to reach the castle of Marly then St Germain in Laye

The Porte de Rocquencourt was the old entrance door and its porter’s house attached to the GPV enclosure wall today has become a simple access to the forest of Marly, The door and certainly the old porter’s house adjoining the enclosure wall of the GPV runs along the forest of Marly in the direction of the Porte à Bailly. Pierre Julien de La Faye, king’s adviser, and last lord of Rocquencourt , sells the estate to Monsieur, brother of the king, count of Provence, while Louis XVI acquired the lordship. The original fortified castle, built on the promontory overlooking the valley, was replaced by a building occupied by Madame de Provence, then by the Furtado-Heine family, and finally by the Murat family. On August 20, 1944, a stock of ammunition was there. destroyed and the damaged building was demolished in 1960.

The Porte du Val Joyeux , the Swiss house built in the middle of the 18C along the departmental road to Plaisir (D10/11), It was added to the pavilion built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart above the road in 1685, during the final closure of the large hunting park at the Palace of Versailles. Porch added in the 19C , Pavilion destroyed around 1855.

The Porte de Bailly or Porte de Maintenon (enclosure wall of the Petit-Parc) is located on the Allée Royale de Maintenon, its access allowed during hunting parties to reach the Grand-Parc, the forest or the castle of Marly, In the extension from the Allée Royale de Maintenon there was a last gate called the Grille de Maintenon. Located on the Allée Royale de Maintenon which linked the Etoile Royale to the Grille du Trou d’Enfer opposite the old castle of the Marly estate, the gate was, with the Porte de Noisy, one of the exits from the Palace of Versailles during hunting parties in the forest of Marly,

The Porte des Gondi formerly gatehouse of the Château de Noisy ,The gate, formerly known as Criton, is the only preserved architectural element of the château built for Albert de Gondi. The triangular pediment is supported by Tuscan pillars resting on harped legs. Integrated into the enclosure wall of the Parc de Marly during the reign of Louis XIV, it was renamed Porte des Gondi in 1993. This house, which disappeared from the domain of Versailles, was located on the road leading from Versailles to Marly.

The Porte de Puissaloup or the Puit à Loup  had a single room that serves as housing for the Swiss quickly becomes insufficient for a family. Annex buildings are therefore gradually added to the original building, which loses its rigor and symmetry. Thus the door of Puisaloup will end up being incorporated into constructions so important that one will not even distinguish the door any more , The building is then made up of a kitchen, next to a room with fireplace, above 3 bedrooms and below a cave. The pavilion of the door is composed of 2 rooms. A stable for 4 horses furnished with mangers and racks. A barn for 3 cows, a barn with 3 bays and lean-to; all covered in slate, except the barn and the lean-to covered in reed and in good condition except for a few minor repairs. When the RN 12 road (take no tolls from my Morbihan) was widened, the Porte de Puisaloup was demolished. It was located near the Elf gas station.

The Porte de Noisy was one of the accesses to the hunting grounds of the Grand Parc de Versailles and the forest of Marly , Due to its monumental dimensions, its height and width facilitated the passage of riders of up to 200/300 men during hunting parties , Erected on the 2,500 meter long Avenue Royale de Noisy from the Apollo basin, it joins the Avenue Royale de Maintenon used as a launching pad towards the game-rich lands of the Marly forest.

The Porte Porte de St Cyr as the entrance to St Cyr and the perimeter wall separating the Petit Parc from the hunting lodge, Located inside the Domaine du GPV ,its wall was integrated into the domaine

The Porte de Buc or du Cerf Volant , The village of Buc located in the GPV and its Porte du Cerf Volant integrated into the surrounding wall of the Petit-Parc In modern times in 1685, Hébert sold to the Marquis de la Feuillade seventy-eight arpents of coppice which were united the following year in the Grand Parc of Versailles. The proximity of Versailles also explains another major event for the topography of Buc: the construction of an aqueduct, completed in 1686, to convey the waters of the plateau through the Bièvre valley.

The Porte de Trappes was located outside the wall of the GPV, the village held a gateway to the domaine de Versailles , Also, known as the False Porte de Trappes.

The Porte du Mérentais was built as the others in 1685. This pavilion was enlarged during the 18C,and is the only one still present on the territory of the current town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, a rare witness that should be preserved due to its unique character. Despite many transformations, the door is still visible. It is therefore a former guard house of the Grand Parc de Versailles. This residential building is now located in the heart of the Golf National course in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The building, made of millstone, is made up of a cellar in the basement, a ground floor and an upper floor, i.e. an approximate area of 40 m². The roof is a 4-sided pavilion and is covered with slates.

ThePorte de Montigny in the town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux was located outside the wall of the GPV Also, the Porte de Voisins located outside the perimeter wall of the GPV, the village of Voisins had a gateway to the estate, which no longer exists. Their last descendant would be Count Auguste Gilbert de Voisns who had married one of the daughters of José-Maria de Hérédia.(French academy seat 79 and Cuban born).

The Porte de Chateaufort was located outside the GPV and its entrance door integrated into the surrounding wall of the GPV.

The Porte de La Boulie, now in the the Valley and the Forest located at the doors of Versailles, today a Golf de la Boulie

The Porte de Toussus Le Noble and Porte du Trou Salé (b 1686), The village of Toussus located on the edge of the GPV enclosure wall and its 2 gates, The Porte de Toussus is located west of the village. The ruin of the vault, threatening the safety of users, led to the destruction of two-thirds of the building in 1914. The rest was enlarged to accommodate agricultural workers. It is still used as a private dwelling. The Porte du Trou Salé is located to the east of the village. A farm developed around the gate in the 18C. It is now private property. Nearby we discover an old royal crown terminal, oriented towards the castle they indicated the limits of the domain, these were stone marks to delimited the entire property as king’s lands.

The Porte des Loges en Josas , The village of Les Loges was located outside the GPV with a single entrance gate into the estate , The former porter’s house composed of a main building where the guards or porters of the administration of the Domaine or Estate of Versailles

The Porte de Jouy en Josas , The village of Jouy on the outskirts of the surrounding wall and its gate allowing access to the GPV , This house is a former gate of Louis XIV’s hunting estate. In the canton, another gate remains at Trou Salé (Toussus-le-Noble see above) ) as well as the remains of a third, also at Toussus. These gates, where the guards residences, were built from 1684 to 1686 and were originally linked together by a masonry wall protecting the hunting lodge from any unauthorized intrusion. This, later crossed by a railway line that no longer exists, was used in particular for supplying French troops during WWII. The door or gate or Pavillon then annexes or outbuildings were added later.

The official Domaine de Versailles today

The city of Versailles on its origins:

The official Versailles tourist office of the must see:

Les Amis de Versailles or the friends of Versailles supporters’s group:

The association des Amis du grand Parc de Versailles or assoc of the friends of the grand park of Versailles (domaine):

There you go folks, the property is huge, and this additional post will give you some ideas and history of its original size before the French revolution. If need any detail information feel free to post a question or contact me on this blog. I lived there for 9+ glorious years with memories forever !!! Again, hope you enjoy the post on my Domaine of Versailles as I 

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

May 15, 2023

Again, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres !!!

Let me update this older post on one of the magnificent monuments of my belle France. Funny I look at my pictures and posts and got to notice I/we tend to post mostly from the areas we live in and once we moved we forget the old places. I think this is the case with Chartres in dept 28 of Eure et Loir in the Centre Val de Loire region, and in my belle France. It is about 125 km from my current town; and 75 km from my former town of  Versailles.

However, the main thing in Chartres is one of the grand cathedrals of France and one I had the priviledge of going to its basement to see wonders not shown to the general public on a tour from the Château de Versailles! Love it! Therefore, let me tell you my bit on the Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres! 

In 1353, Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres already had an organ: Jehan de Chateaudun appeared as organist of the cathedral. He touches an instrument installed on the platform with double ogival vault in paneled wood, still visible today, hung on the second bay of the southern wall. In 1475, is installed an instrument making speak up to 50 pipes per key in the top, The large rectangular pedal turrets each receive three pipes per turret. The great organ is equipped with a Joël Petrique electronic combiner of 8,848 combinations, organized into 33 workspaces. Each space has 16 series, and each series has 16 combinations (a total of 256 combinations per space). Each space also offers 2 programmable crescendi.

Chartres Cat ND organ sep21

The Portail Nord or north door was probably made between 1210 and 1225. Made up of three bays, it is preceded by as many porches, resting on light supports, decorated with interesting natural motifs. It is that of the Covenant of God with Humanity. central porch, the sculpted program of the 13C begins with the creation of the world, with an obvious concern to encompass all of time. On the trumeau of the central portal, Anne carries the young Mary in her arms. On the tympanum, the Death, Dormition and Coronation of the Virgin, surrounded by her ancestors, complete this frontispiece, designed expressly for the Marian sanctuary.

Chartres Cat ND portail nord double rosary sep21

In the embrasures, ten biblical characters announce Christ the Savior: Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Simeon, John the Baptist and Peter.  At the right door, it is the praise of wisdom, through the biblical stories of Job and Solomon , Gideon, Judith, Esther, Tobit, and Samson . At the left door, it that is to say, on the eastern side, Christian wisdom is revealed: incarnation. On the lintel is represented the Nativity, followed by the announcement to the shepherds. Marie, lying on a bed, shows her hand to her swaddled child placed in a manger. Joseph, seated behind a small column, watches the scene leaning on his staff. Further on, the shepherds learn the Good News from an angel. Above them, angels unroll a banner on which were the first words of the Gloria. The tympanum is dedicated to the adoration of the Magi: Mary presents the child Jesus. One of the kings, having taken off his crown, kneels before him to offer him his present. Next door, the Magi are dozing in a bed. The youngest is awakened by an angel who informs him of Herod’s fatal plan. At the flares, the Annunciation and the Visitation face each other. It will be noted that the large statues, which show true naturalness, now address each other. On the tympanum of the central portal, Mary crowned by Christ also appears as a symbolic figure of the Church, people on the move since the dawn of time, passionately alternating discouragement, enthusiasm and conversion whose extreme dignity God thus consecrates. which can be discerned in certain figures of the central portal. However, it is difficult to imagine what the portal was like in the eyes of the pilgrims of the 13C.

Chartres Cat ND portail nord rosary out sep21

A sculpted angel carries a sundial in her arms.The southern dial, stone-engraved, semi-circular, numbered lines in band, chevron style. This is a copy dating from 1974, the original dated 1578 is placed in the crypt. A copy of this sundial was made at University Hospital in Saint-Louis (USA-MO) In the Tour de Chœur, or choir enclosure, is almost a hundred meters long, 6 meters high, and even more at the tip of the spiers of the upper dais. This fence is made of stone from Vernon and Saint Leu for the lower and upper parts, not to mention stones from Tonnerre and other sources for the sculptures. It was built starting with the two rectilinear parts, first on the north side, quickly followed by the south. The wall is divided into forty bays, delimited by buttresses adorned with statues of bishops. Vertically, there are four levels: a base sometimes decorated with sculpted medallions, a skylight, filled almost entirely with plaster, 40 niches filled with sculpted scenes, and a crowning canopy made of stone lacework, in the flamboyant style.

Chartres Cat ND cadran choir apostles sep21

These sculpted scenes tell the unfolding of the story of Mary and Jesus: its reading begins from the south transept, and by entering the ambulatory. He wears the pontifical tiara, holds the globe in his right hand and probably carried the scepter in his left hand unfortunately cut off. It is the Creator, at the origin of everything, and who will give his son to the World in the Christian Revelation. The first two scenes show us a man and a woman, the man is Joachim, father of Marie. One day of great feast in Israel, he is refused his offerings by the high priest because of his sterility, a condition considered a divine disgrace. Joachim, ashamed before God and confused before men, goes to hide his tears by keeping the flocks away, abandoning his house and his wife, who remained at home in tears. Hence Joachim on the left and Anne on the right. Angels are divine messengers coming to reveal the designs of God. Joachim and Anne receive the same message: a child promised to a special destiny will be given to them. The angel invites them to meet at the golden gate of Jerusalem. All of the 37 scenes that follow summarize the life of Mary and Jesus, ending in the north in the apotheosis of Mary’s coronation in heaven by the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit.

Chartres Cat ND choir apostle corner sep21

Chartres Cat ND choir apostles side sep21

The sacristy is an elegant construction from the end of the 13C. The treasury was constituted around insignia relics such as the heads of Saint Anne or Saint Matthew, but one of the pillars of the foundation and growth of the treasury of Notre-Dame is incontestably the relic of the veil of the Virgin , called holy shirt before the 18C or Sancta Camisia.

Chartres Cat ND sacristy ent sep21

The city of Chartres on the Cathedral:

The Chartres tourist office on the cathedral

This is the official Friends of the Cathedral assoc

There you go folks, come here is a must at least once in your lifetime, The Notre Dame Cathedral alone is worth the visit to Chartres, but there is more if you read my old posts. Most of the information above was taken from the officla Cathedral webpage quickly basic translation by yours truly. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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