Search Results for “victo hugo”

January 10, 2020

Marche Victor Hugo-Toulouse!

And why not food in Toulouse, wonderful occitan cuisine rich and hearty for the soul of hte mountains and the Garonne. This is a place I have been coming in for years for drinks with friends, and family and for lunch and dinners as well as market and nearby stores shopping galore, this is Toulouse

I like to tell you more on the marché Victor Hugo at Place Victor Hugo in Toulouse.


The Marché Victor-Hugo market is a covered market located in the center of the Place Victor-Hugo, in the Saint-Georges district, in sector 1 of Toulouse. It is one of the main Toulouse food markets. it once stood under a metal hall, dismantled and replaced by a concrete parking market.

Toulouse arriving marche victor hugo jan20

Before the opening of the rue d’Alsace-Lorraine, the current Place Victor-Hugo was called Place du Marché-au-Bois. There was a wood market, also known as an old-fashioned market. This market was a vast wooden hall, built in 1825 on the site of the old rampart Villeneuve destroyed. The square was completed in 1832. It received the name of Victor Hugo in 1885, on the occasion of a coronation of the poet by the Floral Games. The Victor-Hugo market was inaugurated on March 20, 1892 and opened on July 1, when the works were not completely finished. They are not completed until the following year.


The Victor Hugo market is in the form of a large rectangular building, it consists of a central nave. The building rests on a basement of vaulted cellars. Four entrances are located on the gables of the central nave. Two canopies run along the side elevations, the building rests on cast iron pillars and is covered with a metal frame. The old metal hall is destroyed and replaced by the current parking market, inaugurated on October 17, 1959. It was then the city’s first parking market. Between 2017 and 2019, new renovation and upgrading work was undertaken, while the Place Victor-Hugo was itself rehabilitated.


The city of Toulouse show you this grand opening with a video here: City of Toulouse on new project of place Victor Hugo

We do shop inside but also around the covered market and the great convenience of a Monop grocery store part of the Monoprix group. Location here: Monop grocery store at Pl Victor Hugo


There is an excellent bakery pastry store with branches in other parts of Toulouse, this is the Le Fournil de Victor Hugo! This is my fav search page Yelp with info on the store here: Yelp on Le Fournil Victor Hugo


And last we grab our regional wines such as Fronton here at Busquet’s Maison Busquets, more on the tourist office in French here: Tourist office of Toulouse on Maison Busquets wines etc


You will be loaded with goodies of my belle France and lovely Toulouse all the very best. ah if cheese is your way than see Xavier fromagerie right there, no buy this time but worth the stop anytime. Here is their webpage for reference: Official Xavier fromagerie, cheeses

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Marché Victor HugoTourist office on the marché Victor Hugo

Official webpage Marché Victor HugoOfficial Marche Victor Hugo

As said, this is heaven territory and we stick to it for years, you will be delighted take it from me, diplomé in wines of France by SOPEXA food and wine from France. And the culinary delights of the Haute Garonne, Occitanie, and France!

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


November 13, 2018

Victor Hugo

So , short title, indeed. Do I need to tell you more? For me the name means France, there are a few more but none as high as Victor Hugo. From time of my early life I read his books first in Spanish, then in English, and finally in French all good.  When we speak fo traditions and literary mind set, he probably means France more than anyone else. For me ,the men is huge.

I cannot find photos but so what, I need to tell you about my France, the deep France, the ones known by others on books and me on beliefs and the thank you to be here, and the many thank you’s to my dear late wife Martine, who show me all about France. I remember.

For me a lousy writer to write about Victor Hugo is a monumental task, one I am not up to it, but will do my best to tell you a bit about the men and France or is it France and then the men, Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo born at Besançon, February 2, 1802. He married Adéle Foucher in 1822, very early. He went into battle with his work of Hernani in 1830. Entered the Académie Française in 1841 ,entered the City council of Paris in 1845. In  1851 exile to Brussels, return from exile 1868, Senator in 1876, death in Paris and national funeral on May 22 1885 to be entered into the Panthéon. Indeed well deserve all of it.

Victor-Marie Hugo is the son of the Empire General Joseph Leopold Sigisbert Hugo , reaching Count status himself, according to the family tradition, by Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, and garrisoned in the Doubs at the time of the birth of his son, and Sophie Trebuchet, young woman from the bourgeoisie of Nantes.

On October 12, 1822, he married his childhood friend, Adéle Foucher, born in 1803, in the Church Saint-Sulpice in Paris, she gave birth to five children: Leopold ; Leopoldine ; Charles , François – Victor; and Adele, the only one who survives her illustrious father, but whose mental state, very soon failing, will earn her long years in a health home.

Beginning of February 1804 and the family elects domicile at 76 rue Neuve-des-Petites-Champs. It will remain for almost five years in this apartment of the 2éme arrondissement which unfortunately remains nothing and which today corresponds to no. 20 rue Danielle-Casanova. The couple lives with Adele’s parents. They moved to 90, rue de Vaugirard; then the family moved the following year into a house at 11 rue   Notre-Dame-des-Champs. In May 1830, the family moved again to the Rue Jean-Goujon; where Adele, had their last child. They will live on Rue Jean-Goujon until October 1832. In 1832, Victor Hugo settled in an apartment of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené, at no 6 Place Royale, which became Place des Vosges in 1848. For sixteen years, the author of Notre-Dame-de-Paris will write several of his major works here.

At the end of November 1878, Victor Hugo moved to 130, Avenue Eylau, in a mansion in the 16éme arrondissement that belonged to the Princess of Lusignan. It is here that on 27 February 1881, more than 600 000 people will parade under its windows to celebrate its entry into its 80th birthday! Later that year, Avenue Eylau will be renamed Avenue Victor-Hugo , the house is now at 124 Avenue Victor Hugo.

In 1837, Victor Hugo, the journalist Anténor Joly and the writer Alexandre Dumas, committed the creation of a theater that will leave its full place to the romantic dramaturgy, of which Victor Hugo is one of the most illustrious representatives: the Theatre de la Renaissance settled in the premises of the Salle Ventadour, a few steps from the Rue des Petites-Champs where, as a child, the young Victor Hugo had discovered Paris. The theater did not managed to cover its costs and ceases its activity in May 1841. The new Renaissance Theater will be inaugurated on March 8, 1873 at 20, Boulevard Saint-Martin, 10éme arrondissement of Paris.

He is considered one of the most important French-language writers, indeed. He is, also a political figure and a committed intellectual who played a major role in the history of the 19C. It occupies a prominent place in the history of French letters in the 19C, in genres and fields of a remarkable variety. In the theater, Victor Hugo manifests himself as one of the leaders of French romanticism when he exposes his theory of romantic drama in the prefaces that introduce Cromwell in 1827 then Hernani in 1830 which are real manifests, then by his other dramatic works: Ruy Blas in 1838, but also Lucréce Borgia and the Le Roi s’amuse (king has fun). Victor Hugo is also a lyric poet with collections such as Odes and Ballades (1826), Les Feuilles d’Automne (Autumn Leaves 1831) or Contemplations (1856), but he is also a poet committed against Napoleon III in Les Châtiments (Punishment 1853) or even an epic poet with the La Légende des siècles (legend of Centuries 1859 and 1877). His novels also met with great popular success, including Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), and even more with the Les Misérables (wretches of 1862). His multiple work also includes political speeches in the House of Peers, the Constituent Assembly and the legislature, including the death penalty, school or Europe, travel accounts like the Rhine, 1842, or things seen, posthumous, 1887 and 1890, an abundant correspondence, as well as numerous sketches and drawings in pen and wash.

Victor Hugo was a poet, drama writer, romance novel writer that also had a political career. The humanistic message on the speech of 9 july 1849 in the National Assembly of France (Assamblée Générale) and entered in conflict with Louis Napoléon Bonaparte future Napoleon III. To defend their rights of authors and prove that they live off their writing he found the societe of people of letters or sociéte des gens de letters in 1838 initial members included Honoré Balzac Alexandre Dumas, Théophile Gautier, George Sand, and Victor Hugo etc

In 1852 Louis Napoléon Bonaparte propose change in the constitution of the 2nd Republic and Victor Hugo oppose them, the National Assembly refuses the changes ,but his family goes in danger by the police more friendly to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. His son Charles Hugo is arrested and put in the Conciérgerie, other son Francois-Victor joined him a few weeks later. The coup d’état comes on the night of Dec 2 1851 Victor Hugo tries to get the people of Paris to raise up in arms but the repression is huge, even his friend Alexandre Dumas suggested for him to go into exile and he does. Napoleon III is firmly in his coup d état and the police searched for Victor Hugo. The mistress of Victor Hugo in Sept 1852 was Juliette Drouet and she helped him hide and escape. There is another important mistress at the time name Léonie d’Aunet wife of painter Francois-Auguste Biard who with the knowledge of his formal wife Adéle for seven years, Juliette does not know this. Victor and Leonie are caught by the police she goes two months in jail but not him as adultery was not condemn then and until 1975!!!

In 1843 during a vacation trip to Spain coming back by La Rochelle , he takes the news that his oldest daughter Léopoldine and husband drown in a boat ride in the Seine river. From this date and for a long while until his exile he stop all ,no theater, no novels, not a poem,nothing, as the shock of his daughter death is huge.

Exile in Brussels in 1851 he lived at No 16  Grand Place in the Maison du Moulin à Vent then, No. 27 Grand Place in the Maison du pigeon , and he writes a small journal Napoleon le petit or little napoleon. Juliette Drouet, does not live far away from him, while here, she is in an apartment in the Galeries Saint Hubert where today there is a library call Librairie Tropismes . Victor Hugo patronized the places in the gallery and one today rename the Tavern du Passage where he meets with other writers exile in Brussels such as Rimbaud, Verlaine, etc all in Brussels to able to think freely.

Eventually, he goes to the island of Jersey to lived with Adéle and family. Here while they settle down at Saint Helier in the neighborhood of Marine Terrace, his mistress Juliette comes in at Havre des Pas. In the 1860’s upon returning from Jersey , his wife Adéle and children lived at a house in the Place des Barricades in Brussels. In 1862, he is back in Brussels and settled in a house at the rue des Colonies.

Victor Hugo writes here the Les Contemplations, les Châtiments etc. Eventually he is force to leave the island and goes to Guernsey followed by Juliette. Victor Hugo acquired a house in Hauteville House and rent a house for Juliette a few meters away, his sons Charles and François Victor do visits and in 1863 Adéle dedicates a book to Juliette ;Victor Hugo raconte par un temoin de sa vie (Victor Hugo Tells by a Witness of his life).

In 1871 ,he finds refuge during 3 months and half at the Grand Duché Luxembourg. He stayed there successively in Luxembourg city , Vianden , Diekirch , and Mondorf, where he takes thermal bath cures

Adéle Hugo died 27 august 1868 and Juliette do not come together right away for fear of bad press but in sept 1870 when the second empire is ended and Vctor Hugo come back in triumph to France, Juliette is at his side. She died of cancer on May 11 1883 and from then on Victor Hugo stops writing altogether. He died in 1885 in his mansion or hôtel particulier « La Princesse de Lusignan », that was at no 50 Avenue Victor-Hugo, now it is no 124. The funeral goes under the Arc de Triomphe in May 31 1885 and exposed there, covered in black; a 21 gun salute is given from the  Invalides , and on june 1, 1885 the funeral processesion goes by the Avenue des Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, then bd Saint Germain and bd Saint Michel to arrives at rue Soufflot and his body is transferred to the Panthéon where he lies today he was 83 yr s old, and it is estimated 2 million folks in person participated in the funeral!

He was the most popular writer of his time; It is already for several decades considered as one of the monuments of French literature.

There are several webpages that traces his life, I just put some official ones here

The Association of Friends of Victor Hugo:

The  maison de Victor Hugo  (house museum) is a monographic museum, located at 6 Place des Vosges, in the 4éme arrondissement, which preserves the former Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené where Victor Hugo rented the apartment on the second floor for sixteen years, from 1832 to 1848. More info here:

In French , a bit on the house where he was born in Besançon:

Vacquerie in Seine et Marne dept 77 the resting place of his wife Adéle and oldest daughter Léopoldine near the spot where she drown with her husband in 1843 while on a Seine boat ride. Info here:

And I have been too ,in Vianden Luxembourg where his rental house is a museum today , more info:

Info on the houses he lived in the British isles of Jersey and Guernsey:

Victor Hugo in Guernsey

There you go , good reading , I did my duty to write at least this post on this great men, and hope it helps you understand the French a bit more, and do come to check these places out, awesome. Salut

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


November 6, 2018

Place Victor Hugo, Paris!

SO on a cold night in my beloved Morbihan breton, I like to go for a short post on a wonderful neighborhood in a splendid district of my eternal Paris. I seldom just write on streets, and there are some major ones here , very popular, even wrote on one or two of those,but there are so many corners of my lovely Paris seldom mentioned, hardly ever visited and simply not remembered. And they should be look into closer.

I have come to eat ,and visit Paris and sightseeing on many years by this street and passed by this wonderful square always; it is one of my sentimental memories of my Paris, that I like to tell you today.

This is the title of course, Place Victor Hugo in the neighborhood of the plains of Passy and the district 16 of Paris. And passing this wonderful square, all along I came on the Avenue de Victor Hugo!

The square or Place Victor-Hugo is located in the 16éme arrondissement . It is at the meeting of the Avenue Raymond-Poincaré, Avenue Victor-Hugo, Avenue Bugeaud and Rue Copernicus, Rue Boissière, Rue Mesnil, and rue Sontay, and Rue Leonardo-de-Vinci.   The square is served by the metro station Victo Hugo of line 2. Also , the RATP bus 52 passes by here on the line Parc de Saint-Cloud to the Opéra passing by the towns of Saint-Cloud, Boulogne-Billancourt,and Paris. Also, RATP bus 82 on the line Hôpital Americain in Neuilly sur Seine to the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

A bit of history I like tell us that the square was in the center of the subdivision of the plain of Passy created in 1825 on a rural territory little developed on the old town of Passy between the Avenue de Neuilly, (current Avenue de la Grande Armée) in the north , the exterior boulevard of the enclosure of the Fermiers Généraux (General Farmers), present Avenue Kléber in the east, the former faisanderie of the Château de la Muette that stretched between the path of the little Park, current rue Pergolései, rue Spontini, and rue Mignard and the Bois de Boulogne to the West, and the rue de Longchamp to the south.

The Place Victor Hugo was called place de Rond-point Charles-X of the date of its creation in 1825 to honor the monarch at the time, and was renamed successively after the fall of Charles X, Place Rond-point de Saint-Cloud, Place Rond-point de la Plaine-de-Passy, Place de l’Hippodrome, then Place Eylau in the Second Empire before taking the name of Place Victor-Hugo following the decision of the city Council of Paris taken the very day of the death of Victor Hugo.

And in 1856, there was an Hippodrome (horse racecourse) opening here at the current spot of the Place Victor Hugo that was called at the time Place Rond-point de la Plaine-de-Passy. Its entrance was located on Avenue de la Dauphine (today Avenue Bugeaud). This lasted until the night of 29 to 30 September 1869, when the Hippodrome, built of wood, is completely destroyed by a huge fire.

The neighborhood is one of the first to benefit from 1900 of a Metro service. The station Victor Hugo opened on December 3, 1900 on the stretch of the line limited at the time to the segment Etoile-porte-Dauphine.

In the center of the square there rose a monument celebrating Victor Hugo, inaugurated in 1902 for the centenary of his birth. This group carved in bronze on a stone base, decorated with four bas-reliefs. The bronze part is requisitioned and melted to produce weapons in 1943 under the Nazis occupation. The bas-reliefs of the base have been saved: one is now at the Museum of Fine Arts of Calais and the other three in Veules-les-Roses. Since 1964, a large fountain has taken its place. The fountain is a circular stone basin with in its center three powerful jets of water that rise above three imposing vases covered with glass crystals. It is nowadays functional. See it below picture.


Around this square you will find interesting points such as

Church of Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau . The Church was built in 1855. On September 2, 1867, a hundred people attended the funeral of the poet Charles Baudelaire. On 13 May 1871, during the commune of Paris of 1871, the Church was transformed into the barracks of the National Guard under the name of Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau Barracks. This Church is home to the nuns of Bethlehem. More info :

At No. 10 Place Victor Hugo, there is the building where Maurice Schumann was born. He had joined General de Gaulle in London from June 1940, and became the spokesman for Free France. He is the voice on Radio London throughout the conflict. A loyal Gaullist, Christian Democrat and convinced European, he was one of the founders of the popular Republican movement, of which he was the first president. A member of the North for thirty years and then a senator for fifteen years, he was appointed Minister of State in the governments of Georges Pompidou several times and concluded his government career as Minister for Foreign Affairs (1969-1973). He was elected to the French Academy in 1974. More on him at the Order of the Liberation official webpage:

In addition, one of my access to Paris while living in Versailles was the Avenue Victor Hugo entering on the Porte de la Muette. This avenue will take you through the place Victor Hugo . Victor Hugo lived the last years of his life in a hotel on the avenue which, since 1881, bore his name, at No. 50, and with the change in numeration in Paris it is now today   No. 124. The avenue Victor Hugo begins at the place Charles-de-Gaulle and ends at the place Tattegrain (Avenue Henri-Martin). It is one of twelve avenues starting from the Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) and the longest after the avenue of the Champs-Elysées. It is located between Avenue Foch and Avenue Kléber on the hill of Chaillot.

And of course, do not forget to have a coffee while doing your walks at the wonderful Café Victor Hugo on the square ,see it on picture above. More here: Café Victor Hugo Paris

There you walking and glancing of the architecture and the bits of things to know like above is wonderful; do walk in Paris is glorious and good for your health ::) Hope you enjoy the short post ….

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



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November 20, 2020

Notre Dame Cathedral update Nov2020!

All quiet on the western front! I have been away from these updates and everybody else have been rather quiet too. However, things are moving along and we still have the magic five years to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. 

Let me give you the latest from the French press on the reconstruction with some of my previous posts on the subject for the new arrivals to my blog.

The return of the statues, reopening of the crypt, study on wooden structures is ongoing!! Closed to the public since the fire of April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral is gradually coming back to life.

They have been working day and night to dismantle the damaged scaffolding, and for several weeks, they have been setting up a scaffolding over 30 meters inside the cathedral. Dismantling of the damaged scaffolding, state of the vaults, removal of the organ, test site for cleaning and restoration in two chapels of the cathedral.

The archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité, located under the cathedral, has also just reopened to visitors. There, an exhibition devoted to Victor Hugo and Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, the two key men in the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19C, has been installed since last September 9 2020. Likewise, a brand new souvenir shop has appeared on the forecourt, designed above all to be a place of welcome for visitors/tourists.

A few km away, three statues which adorned the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral such as those of the apostles Saint Barthélémy, Saint Jude and Saint Simon will be exhibited at the Cité de l’Architecture, at the Trocadéro (16éme arrondissement), as part of the European Heritage Days in September 2020. They had been removed a few days before the fatal fire, to be sent to Dordogne for their renovation. Now restored, they are the first of a set of 16 miraculous statues which will find their place once the building has been restored. Next to them, the famous bronze rooster, which was on the spire of the cathedral and miraculously recovered after the fire, will also be exhibited on this occasion.

Regarding the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a study project targeting the spire, the framework and the roof is launched since September 17 2020 by students from 4 major schools specializing in wood. Together, they will be responsible for designing a prototype of an evolving and adaptable wooden frame according to the knowledge which will result from the studies in progress. A first progress report will be made public in mid-December 2020, then the conclusions of this project will be unveiled next January 2021.

The government presented an ordinance which will dispense with a certain number of procedures and obligations to reopen or extend new stone quarries, which will considerably facilitate the restoration work of Notre-Dame Cathedral which has a significant need for freestone. This commitment is further proof of the desire to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the restoration work and achieve the objective set by the President of the French Republic (France) of completing the reconstruction site of this cathedral so dear to the French in five years.

Currently, workers perched tens of meters high are dismantling the gigantic metal scaffolding and its 40,000 metal tubes, a delicate painstaking job that should be completed by Christmas 2020 and will allow reconstruction to begin. A large part of this structure is mounted around the spire for its restoration and badly damaged by the fire of April 15, 2019, has been removed. Its complete removal will be completed in the next few weeks, by the end of the year. This cleaning of the upper surface of the vaults, also including the suction of lead dust, has already been largely carried out. It allowed their examination by the chief architect, with the exception of the crossing of the transept, to the right of the burnt scaffolding. Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve was thus able to make a rather reassuring diagnosis, allowing access to several spaces in the cathedral from then on.

The removal of the great organ, which began in August 2020 , will continue until January 2021. The 8,000-pipe instrument was not damaged by fire on April 15, 2019, but it is covered with dust and parts of it suffered from thermal variations. It must therefore be cleaned and renovated.

Donations for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral must go entirely to the site. They should no longer finance the operation of the public establishment, the Court of Auditors demanded last week. After the publication of a report on the Notre-Dame site, the president of the Court of Auditors Pierre Moscovici urged the Ministry of Culture to allocate the entire 922 million euros of donations and pledges to the catering works. Of the 922 million euros in donations pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral, he said, the order of 400 or 500 million have so far been collected.

The official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral on the agenda section here:

And as promise above, my posts on the situation of Notre Dame Cathedral

Stay tune, once the scaffolds are down, the reconstruction project approve, the work really will begin. Hopefully, I will be around to see this ,at least better look than on my last passage November 2019 in Paris. Always nice and impressed to see the grand monument of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

paris cat notre dame cat under repairs nov19

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

November 17, 2020

Fontainebleau royal and imperial castle of France!!!

And voilà doing my updates/revisions of old posts in my blog I stumbled onto Fontainebleau. Oh well this is nostalgic, happy and sad for me, a personal post.

This is a wonderful castle in a very nice town in department 77 Seine-et-Marne; Fontainebleau , royal and imperial castle town of France. It was my first castle visited in France ever going back to 1990 when the one that became my wife who introduce me to her region. However, this was my first entry of the Château de Fontainebleau in my blog, after there were many more.

The first time my then girlfriend was driving, and not so much into driving (she learned from me!) she tried to impressed me by driving to Fontainebleau in 1990. Well she got lost!! I had to look at the map and guide her into town! Her excuse is she came by train and grandfather driving! Oh well, leave it to the road warrior. Always a nice family discussion, gently..

This occasion, in 2015 , we arrive by car with me driving! Knowing the construction, came by the A6 and cut off at the D637 connect just north of Barbizon with the D607 to Fontainebleau. The parking was done at our usual place almost empty in parking chateau across from the castle at place Général de Gaulle. And we walk from there all over.


As we arrived early , we went by the city and then the gardens and then the castle. This is a huge property not enough to do one blog entry on it, but anyway , I always leave the intrigue for you, giving you a bit to tell you without given the end of the movie. OR read my further posts on it…

We walked along bd Magenta and bd du Maréchal Juin, and up Rue de France, along rue Dénecourt that continues to Rue Grande up to rue Aristides Briand into place du Général Patton. Back to bd du Maréchal Joffre back to ave de Verdun into rue de la Paroisse, and rue Victor Hugo and rue des Sablons all wonderful full of shops, restos, bars etc. Do not felled tired at all, looking at the marvelous architecture and history panels on some.

We briefly saw the church Saint Louis,this time, and came into the jardin de Diane by the back of the castle and out into the Place d’Armes. Then finally , we hit for lunch! We went to one we had not been as usually we came by the day and had our meals at family nearby. This time in town all day, we ate at the Au Délice Imperial at 1 Rue Grande. They have a huge dessert center where 3 pastry chefs change each day the menu of this house founded in 1889. At the side of the restaurant, there is a small fast food place for sandwiches etc, and you can take home too. We had several beers, coffees, two desserts for each, milk shake, tagliatelle bolognaise, burger dish, and 3 roasted pork dishes all for 23.75€ per person. webpage:


We, therefore, had the energy to hit the Château de Fontainebleau inside and out , but rather quickly this time.  You entered the grand grill door and to the ticket office. We did not purchase in advance as wanted the full tourist feel of the place. The entry was easy , behind this building you have the English garden.  you walk inside all along the rooms into the fountain courtyard or place de la fontaine with the horseshoe on the other side of the building and in front of the carp lake which has adjoining the grand parterre. Inside the golden gate you come into the Oval courtyard and beyond the cour des offices.  Outside facing the Diana garden  you have canopy building and a passage way to the main courtyard, here is the jeu de paume, the oldest in France.

The Chinese museum is exotic, the Napoléon I museum is fantastic, the new Pope’s apartments are interesting, as well as the grand or large apartments and the Madame Maintenon apartments are nice.  You see the small apartments and the Josephine ‘s private apartments.  All the way in the back past the grand parterre you have the White Gate and the city and the town of Avon. In all a wonderful castle you should see it, a must while visiting France.

We notice on the way out a building with some folks in and out, on our right hand side going out. This is the Friends of Fontainebleau office, folks donating and helping out to keep this property what it is a grand of France and Europe, the World. We became members, I am still on a family deal.

The official Château de Fontainebleau:

The city of Fontainebleau on the castle:

The tourist office of Fontainebleau on the castle:

The official Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau org:

And there you go folks, memories for me, grandeur for my France,and hopefully beautiful moments for you. Fontainebleau is the history of France, Europe, and the World all in one. A must to visit when possible.

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

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November 10, 2020

Paris ,yes Paris is always in my mind!!!

Again in my black and white world lately and due to new conditions due to the wuhan virus ,I am updating revising, new text in very old posts that have been left dormant in my blog. Hope you enjoy these new updated posts.

Back in January 2013 we had a brief spell with snow or rather icing. This was snow time in most of France,and we were not spare. Brittany is under snow of just one inch wow!!!, and already causing problems; by nightime the snow was mostly gone but still some icy spots. In the Paris area it was worse, school transport was stopped and the Paris airports had some delays and cancellations.

In the Paris region was snowing , for quite some time and in my Bretagne it quickly stopped!.  In other regions came to -4 C like in Normandy.  Rennes had 3-5 cm of snow (1-2 inches), really nothing as from my previous residences but here it is a mess. It is big news but really no big deal when you are used to 30 and more cm (12 inches) of snow from living in New Jersey USA for 13 years lol!!!

Paris will have -1C or about 30F so be careful with the ice.  Sunday in January will continue to snow in Paris.  The RER A is having  delays; as well as RER B the one connecting to the CDG airport. RER C to Versailles is normal.

As the rest of living we go on in my eternal Paris. Some info on parking away from CDG airport so less congestion and they have navette bus to take you to the airport from the parking. Check Aeroparc Roissy parking !

This was new back in 2013, now very much in use and very handy me think. OpenStreetMap help you find many things, Just put Paris or major city and voilà you have lock. Here is the webpage:

You have been thinking what electricity outlet or pins are use in the coutnry you are going to visit so this site let you know the electricity plugs and power in the world and handy anywhere Worldstandards:

I used it quite a bit and here is another handy site for that power plugs sockets world:

Finallyn of course, I was in Paris at this time surving the bit of cold weather. Specifically, I was around  the 9éme arrondissement of Paris for it was my walking neighborhood when was working in Paris for several years. You have nearby the wonderful wide screen presentation film on Paris at Paristoric, 11 rue Scribe. You will have a different look of Paris and is wonderful.

The historically wonderful Olympia at 28 Blvd des Capucines, you have the grands magasins or dept stores like Au Printemps at 64 blvd Haussmann, and Galeries Lafayette at 40 blvd Haussmann.  The église de la Trinité at 3 rue de la Trinité just around from blvd haussmann and galeries lafayette, built in 1867, Casino de Paris, 16 rue de Clichy, Musée de la vie Romantique at 16 rue Chaptal anecdote that on 66 rue de la Rochefoucault,  Victor Hugo lived here! at place Gustave Toudouze you will find a Wallace fountain and a Morris column. See the place St George where the lorette girls were the incarnation of a church and statue now in the plaza; and off of it is the rue St George with the théatre Saint George.

Moving on for the wonderful 9éme or 75009, you see the Musée Gustave Moreau at 14 rue La Rochefoucauld , the painter died here in 1898. By here you are in the area known by locals as the new Athens or Nouvelles Athénes. Rue Saint Lazare communicating at the no 58 with the 56 , and rue Taitbout, at no 80 gives access to Square Orléans of Napoleon III architecture where on the street at No 9 Chopin lived and at No 5 Georges Sand lived. You move into church or église Notre Dame de Lorette, 18bis rue de Châteaudun, built in 1823 . And don’t forget to walk the Grands Boulevards of  des Italiens, Montmartre, Poissonnière, Saint Denis, and Saint-Martin going into adjacent arrondissements. Especially the passage des Panoramas (first gas lights in 1817) at 14 blvd Montmartre ,done in 1800 and passage Jouffroy at 12 blvd montmartre, that links with passage Verdeau. Follow up at no 10 blvd Montmartre with Musée Grévin.

At No 32 rue Richer, you see the Folies Bergére nightclub .Continue at 16 rue Cadet you see the Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie, or Masons museum at no 5 rue Drouot  ,you find the Hôtel de Ville of the 9éme arrondissement de Paris.

A magical walk in sublime eternal Paris. And walks we can do even in today’s environment. Do really go out in Paris and enjoy the city of lights. The most beautiful city in the world!!!

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

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November 3, 2020

Fougéres and its castle!!!

Well ,well how about this find. As I am heavy into revising old posts with update text and some new photos, I came into a post on Fougéres. And behold, I could not find any post on the castle fortress there! To my surprise! Therefore, this is a new post and new photos in my blog. Hope you enjoy it.  Fougéres in itself is nice as many other posts on it here but now I give you the Château de Fougéres!

Briefly, Fougères is a sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine,dept 35 in the region of Bretagne. It is located in the Marches de Bretagne in the northeast of the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. The city is about 300 km from Paris, 50 km from Rennes,  47 km from Mont-Saint-Michel,  75 km from Saint-Malo, and about 180 km from my house! I passed by it many times on the road N12 going from Brest to Paris via Rennes and Alençon with no tolls! My favorite way to Paris. Of course, once in a while do go into town.

Fougères is historically, since the arrival of Latin in Armorica, in territory of practice of Gallo (a latinized language) in which it is called Foujerr. However Breton has never been spoken in the country of Fougères which is outside the traditional area of ​​dissemination of the Breton language yet entrance panels of the agglomeration have been installed there for several years. The town has been classified as a city of art and history since 1985. It is home to 24 historical monuments and 87 inventoried buildings of France.

The Château de Fougéres at Place Pierre Symon is one of the most imposing French fortified castles, occupying an area of ​​two hectares, and constituting a medieval ensemble from the 12C to the 15C. The castle is built on the naturally protected site of a rock emerging from the swamp surrounded by a loop of the Nançon river, a tributary of the Couesnon (famous for MSM), acting as a natural moat.


The first fortified castle which belonged in the 11C to the Fougères family was ruined in 1166 after the siege of Henri II Plantagenêt. It is dismantled and its dungeon razed. Raoul II rebuilt it around 1173. Raoul III pays homage from Fougères to king Louis IX (Saint Louis). Pierre de Dreux, known as Mauclerc, seized Fougères by surprise in 1231 but Louis IX, at the head of his army, came to retake the city. Raoul III was Louis IX’s comrade in arms during the Seventh Crusade and died in 1256.

Jean de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, settled there but Du Guesclin seized Fougères which returned it to Pierre II d’Alençon in 1373. In 1428, Jean II d’Alençon sold the Château de Fougères to the Duke of Brittany to pay his ransom. By this time, the fortifications are further increased, in particular by Peter II in the 15C. The castle has two squat towers, the “Françoise” and the “Tourasse”. In 1488, La Trémoille, lieutenant general of the Royal armies, took the castle in a week despite a defense made up of 3,000 men and the King of France left a garrison in Fougères once it was attached to the kingdom of France, in 1491. The Duke of Mercœur, governor of Brittany, lead in rebellion against Henri III, seized the castle on March 28, 1588 and took refuge there.

in 1793, the Château de Fougéres was taken by the Chouans and the Vendéens (fighting in the wars of the West against the French revolution) . The 14C main logis-home was destroyed around 1810. In October 1828, Honoré de Balzac stayed several weeks in Fougères with Gilbert de Pommereul. He visited the castle and the entire region to draw inspiration from it for his novel Les Chouans, published in 1829. Victor Hugo, in Quatrevingt-Treize (1879), was inspired by the Mélusine tower which he describes at length : it is Hugo’s “Tourgue”, “a high and wide tower, with six floors, pierced here and there by a few loopholes, having for entry and for only exit an iron door giving on a bridge-châtelet”. On the ground is the gate through which is visible the famous dungeon, sometimes a prison, sometimes a pantry. It was especially used in 2018 for a video parodying the Harry Potter saga!

A bit about the castle architecture I like

In the Château de Fougéres, the first towers are square and certainly have a defensive role, but a passive one; the circular towers allow the defenders not to fear blind spots during shots; the horseshoe towers cleverly protect the bases of the towers and give enough clearance to archers and crossbowmen. The ramparts are very well preserved and form three enclosures. If the stately logis-home is in ruins, the towers still rise with majesty. Some can be visited: the square tower of La Haye-Saint-Hilaire 12C which gives access to the lower yard, the Raoul tower 15C, the Mélusine tower 14C and the Hallay tower. The entrance gatehouse is defended by the Mélusine and Gobelins towers. The entry and Coigny towers date from the end of the 12C. In the 15C, the Amboise tower (poterne), then the Raoul and Surienne towers complete the fortifications.



At the entrance, there is a quadruple watermill whose wheels were restored in 2013 and still work; one of them runs an electric generator. This mill is located below the concierge desk. The Château de Fougéres is completely remodeled and fitted out to become the entrance to the castle, thus accommodating the ticket office, the shop, a projection room, and an educational space. Access to the west curtain allows you to observe the upper town. In 1892, the town of Fougères bought the castle from the Pommereul family and began its restorations as you see them today.



The city of Fougéres on the castle and its heritage:

The official Château de Fougéres webpage:

The Fougéres tourist office on the castle:

There now I feel much better, a wonderful monument in my lovely Bretagne is fully showcase in my blog, for the memories, for the history for all to enjoy it. Hope you do get to visit Fougéres and go straight to the Château de Fougéres!

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

October 24, 2020

My memorable restaurants in France!!!

Well I would like to talk about dining in the rest of France ,outside my current living area of Morbihan Bretagne. This is an updated old post done when I started blogging but many moons have passed and need to update. My initial post was in 2011!

I need to do some catch up so will list the ones that have remained memorable for me and my family and some repeat. It is a difficult task as there are so many good ones here, food is king or queen, and choices are endless. However, I will again dare to give my choices; hoping they will become yours in the years to come.

A bit of the ways that never change. The French follow a light breakfast, continental style , and lately some yogourt, are thrown in there. Sometimes you see heavier placing but this is only in tourist places or buffet style. Lunch is the main meal of the day, heavy and hearty, usually between 12h-15h where you need to be there on time or be square, place is closed or chef is out having lunch! Then dinner starts by 19h in most cases onwards to about 23h generally speaking. I know in some places nice folks have stay open for me until 01h00 when gathering with a group, but most like to leave by 23h and in some chains they stay until midnite 00h00, this is a lighter meal than lunch, but sometime hard to distinguish the two. Sundays lunch is our big gastronomic time, and we either go out or cook a big meal at home. More and more places are opening with Brunch , with one price all you can eat.

There are many places where you can eat in France, these are call auberge, hostellerie, relais (all a coaching inn or alternative to restaurant); a bar, a bistro,a cabaret or boite de nuit, brasserie, cafe, buffet , restaurant,hotels, pizzerias,libre-service (cafeteria style self service usually in hypermarkets and autoroutes/expressways), rôtisserie,salon de thé, and restaurants. The hours again, varied a bit as to more tourist big city areas to provincial inland towns, but normally are open from 11h to 23h or later in brasseries, cafes:bars are from 06h-07h until midnite 00h00, but they can be license to be open as late as 02h00. Restaurants are open for lunch between 12-15h but usually stop seating by 14h30, dinner is between 19h and 22h with some staying as late as 00h00.

The menus are displayed outside every restaurant or eating place, sometimes the meal of the day or plat du jour is posted in a board inside main lobby of the place, call the ardoise. You can have a set menu call menu prix fixe where for one standard price you can get a combination of entree and main dish or main dish and dessert or other combinations.  Some places will have a menu conseillé or advice menu which is often the cheapest combination available or you can have the other side of the most expensive with a menu gastronomique. The idea  of tipping is often raise by visitors, here there is something call service compris , meaning the total price including the tip and tax (VAT) is included. If it is not mentioned you can assume it is or ask. If the mention is only prix nets it means nothing extra has been added so you should tip. The tip is not obligatory, and it should be given with several variables in mind; like, what type of place you are in, if you will be a regular customer or just passing visitor,and the amount of services offered, as well as of course the excellence of the service. Its a personal choice. My take is ,if the service is good beyond reproach at a passing establishement, I tip a bit a few coins, if indeed is one of my regular joints where I am treated like a family then I tip as much as 10% of the bill. Again ,its up to you, and your habits.

Some of my favorite places over the years in France were/are:

le Lotus d’Or, 7 rue Bac, 92150, Suresnes; (this one is closed unfortunately here for the memories many times for lunch while working nearby) tramway suresnes-longchamps. tel +33 01 40 99 07 10. Just before mounting the highest hill in the Paris area at 162 meters in Mont Valerien, surrounded by the beautiful sight of the river Seine overlooking the bois de bolougne on the other side. Oriental chinese, vietnamese, thai food serve by an entire family with great service and prices,menus from 10€.

Donatello, 24 Esplanade Courtieux, 92150, Suresnes. tramway Suresnes-Longchamps, no web tel +33 01 42 04 41 67. An oasis of good inexpensive Italian food just over the bridge pont de Suresnes other side of bois de boulogne and on a courtyard where the market of Suresnes is held. Pizzas from 9€, and real Italian products and chef! More here:

Chez Clement, 15bis quai Requenequin Sualem, 78380, Bourgival. a chain that have gone thru bad times due to owner personal problems and now closed too here for the memories even my oldest had his birthdays there.  French cuisines in a painter’s old house cant be more romantic, and overlooking the river Seine,really French. You can take RER A to le Vésinet-le Pech and walk here.

Le Duc de Guise, 13-15  place Louis XII, 41000, Blois. Now closed, here for the memories.  traditional pizzeria and huge salads that wont break your bank and serve very good food. Near the Houdin magician museum,and castle.

Le Triboulet, 18 place du Chateau, 41000, Blois. French traditional in a house warming cozy setting with wood stove and fireplace. Just across from castle with a great view. Enjoy it, the family love it. More here:

Cafe des Arts, 138 cours Victor Hugo, 33000, Bordeaux,tramway musée d’Aquitaine gets you there. tel +33 05 57 95 94 51. Traditional French cafe of old, nicely decorated, good food, if a bit slow at lunch times. More here:

Le Kayoc, 2 allée Pierre Ortal, 33680, Lacanau-Océan. great view right on the beach, and seafood galores ! an oasis our family trek practically every summer. More here:

Le Colibri, 12 rue Chanzy, 51100, Reims.  Closed here for the memories. Great piano bar restaurant right by the Cathedral. Very cozy French traditional, and elegant. Our family love it.

La Scala, (now la Scaleta same owners) 1 Place Planchat, 18000, Bourges. Great food, ambiance, decorations like you were in Italy, the servers are Italian and you cant eat any better listening to Eroz Ramazzotti! and the waittress singing alone!!!! The reason for the name maybe .We have it mark. More here:

Le Palerme, 8 place de l’Eglise, 11990, Hourtin. The medoc again, central plaza overlooking the marché on your way to the beach. Nice setting ,simple but great pizzas good food, great service even in busy summers, you wont be disappointed.  tel +33 05 56 09 18 46. more here:

Le Meridional, 27 ave Pierre Curie, 78210, St Cyr l’Ecole. Recently open and it was a surprise, great Italian dishes at good prices, and family fun, the owners are on board daily. Real Italians for that home cooking we seek always. no web, tel +33 01 39 42 02 95. right on road D10 coming into the city from Versailles. Cannot confirm if open or not but here for the memories anyway.

Brasserie Paul, 1 place de la Cathédrale, 76000, Rouen, a local gourmand place of French traditions. Open in 1898 and the quality continues, friendly fast service even at lunch. Great food and ambiance at the side of the Cathedral of Rouen. tel +33 02 35 71 86 07. More info here:

Ty Breiz, 59 Quai Henri IV, 76200, Dieppe, a great creperie in the best area traditon all done on order by mama and son themselves ,right by the harbor. Cant make it any better than like home. tel +33 02 35 82 86 56. Cannot confirm if open or not, here just for the memories.

Le Crystal, 3 Rue Haute, 14600, Honfleur, a beauty try the second floor inside a house on the pedestrian street out of the harbor to your right, left hand side. great seafood place. tel +33 02 31 89 12 02. No web but confirm still open!

Le Bistro du Port, 14 Quai de la Quarantaine,14600, Honfleur. whether its a seafood pizza or a plat from the ocean this is to be seen and be seen with great ambiance, friendly service always for many years. tel +33 02 31 89 21 84. More here:

Le Queen, 3 Place Gambetta, 80000, Amiens (closed now but here for the memories) ;it had a very nice terrace near hotel de ville, to be seen and be seen in town, great views, and ambiance. Come for a pint or a nice steak and fries, good prices,great service, a stop a must.

Le Bistrot des Brasseurs (3 brasseurs) , 18-20 place de la Gare, 59000,Lille,  a place to taste the beer made next door at the 3 Brasseurs and use here with some moules and frites, great people , come enjoy +33  03 20 06 37 27. More here:

Le Vieux Comptoir, 10 rue de la Rôtisserie, 37000, Tours, great family place, in an old street of Tours, very nicely decorated. French traditional of great estime locally, and wines of the Loire valley. very sympa. More here:

Taverne de Bois de Maitre Kanter, Rue Georges Méliés, 41350, St Gervais la Forêt. on the road D174 towards the A10 or Blois. Great setting in the middle of the forest to sample Alsacien cuisine. A great tour to continue your journey with a great ambiance. More here:

La Fontana, 2 Rue de la Croix de Fer, 78100, Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Great traditional Italian resto with Italian natives at the kitchen and serving. You will taste like mamma mia and just with the junction of the N186 to the A15 and Paris or the train at Saint Germain en Laye bel air-Fourqueux.  We love but now closed, just for the memories. I put what they put out in their Facebook page: “Despite the announcement of the reopening of restaurants on June 2, we are announcing the definitive closure of La Fontana.
After 25 years of good and loyal service, unforgettable memories, loyal customers in each decade of this great adventure … it is time to give back our apron!” Another sad story!

J’Go, 16 Place Victor Hugo, 31000, Toulouse. they have it now in Paris rue Drouot 9éme. The best of the southwest with an unique local flavor, my favorite in the city of roses. Good times ever roll.

Le Louchebem, the butcher of Toulouse in the covered market of place Victor Hugo, great cassoulet toulosain, ambiance, service and great views on the second floor over the place.Cant beat it. 21 different meats to choose from but keep at the cassoulet ::) More here:

Bar Les Clip’s , 1 place de la Trebaille, 81000, Albi . Great prices good view underneath the cathedral by the parking below its back. Cassoulet was good,and the service very family friendly. Good to go; no web but still open.

Les Berceaux,  13 rue de Berceaux, 51200, Epernay. Sublime Champagne resto gastronomic French cuisine at its best, cozy, ambiance sublime, regal, one of the best in the area. right in central town off  rue Eugéne Mercier, More here:

La Cave d’Artagnan, 4 rue de la republique, 32000, Auch. Great tapas selection and ambiance, friendly service. The products comes right from the owners farm, great foie gras tapas. Cannot confirm if open or closed, here just for the memories.

La Vieille Auberge, at Mont Saint Michel. Lovely architecture overlooking the bay, good food friendly service in an area loaded with tourist is to recommend. More here:

Le Phare in the island or Ïle de Ré, wonderful quaint seafaring town of St Martin de Ré, and the place was just great: also, lodging available. More here:

La Brasserie Royal at Pau. Grand of Pau; historical chic good ambiance right on the square Place Royale. More here:

Le Suisse, at St Jean de Luz right in the pays Basque, great location near all at place Louis XIV , and good times in family.  Cannot confirm if open or not so here for the memories.

Pizzeria Nota Bene at Nantes.  3 Rue Saint Denis near Cathedrale; excellent location , nice architecture, good food and soft prices. more here:

Crêperie Le Blé Noir at Noirmoustier en L’ïle. A wonderful location by the place Saint Louis and good galettes! More here:

Le Pub du Ralliement at Angers. nice central location good food and nice ambience; nice. They went thru a fire back in June 2020 but under control and back on. More here:

Crëperie La Flambée at Guérande. In the old town just next to the ramparts walls; good old fashion ambiance good service good food nice; more here:

Le Café de la Plage, Batz-sur-Mer. Overlooking the sea cith by the harbor at the beach or plage Saint Michel.Very good family ambiance good food good prices nice. More here:

I have try to update as many. As usual some were already out of business, a very common thing here where competition and the tourist season are fierce, and of course, there are those still open that I like. Of course, you must verify before hand at the time of your travel if they are still open. hope it helps and bon appétit!

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

September 28, 2020

Paris and an arch!!!

So here again at you with some new found photos from my vault and of course will try to provide more information on the text. I have done posts before on the Arc de Triomphe but as usual always leave things out. It’s a habit of rushing my amateur writings, and know can always come back for more.

The Arc de Triomphe is located on Place Charles de Gaulle which was previously called Place de l’Etoile from where 12 major avenues, among the most exclusive in Paris, depart. Clockwise, you will find the avenue Marceau, avenue d’Iéna, avenue Kléber, avenue Victor Hugo, avenue Foch (my favorite entry!) , avenue de la Grande Armée, avenue Carnot, avenue Mac-Mahon, avenue de Wagram, avenue Hoche, avenue de Friedland and finally avenue des Champs Élysées.


The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris. Measuring 50 meters high, 22 meters wide and 45 meters long, the Arc de Triomphe is the symbol of the victories of the French army under Napoleon’s Empire. The attic or upper part of the Arc, crowned with 30 shields on which are engraved the names of great battles of the revolution and the empire. The battles you will find on the interior faces of the large arcades. The 558 French generals, some of whom died in action, their names are underlined.

paris arc de triomphe conrer of Iena et Marceau sep16

Some emblematic ones me think are the departure of the Volunteers in 1792, also called the Marseillaise, represents the French people in all their diversity from revolutionaries (Republicans), Royalists and Bonapartists going together to fight. An iconic work of the French Republic erected under king of the French, Louis Philippe, in 1833. At the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, you can discover the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument erected in 1921 with a flame that never goes out, called the eternal flame. This symbol represents all the French who died during WWI or as we know it here, the Great War, who could never be identified.

It was Napoleon who decided to build it in 1806 at the end of the Battle of Austerlitz and the arch was completed during the reign of Louis-Philippe. Before the expansion of Paris in 1860, the land on which the monument was built was on the border of the city, and offered privileged access to the Emperor’s residence, the former Palais des Tuileries, via the Champs-Élysées.

The panoramic view from the roof of the Arc de Triomphe is equally impressive. From above, you can admire the dynamism that animates the city by observing the twelve main arteries meeting at this point. The ascent to the Arc de Triomphe will give you beautiful views of the Champs-Elysées and the La Défense district. The climb is worth it. To enter and access the upper floor of the arch, you will need to pay the entrance fee and climb the 286 steps that separate the terrace from the ground. There is also a small museum inside, relating the history and construction of this imposing monument.

The official Arc de Triomphe

The Paris tourist office on the Arc de Triomphe

You will be delighted with the history and the wonderful architecture but the views oh the views are gorgeous of my eternal Paris. Hope you enjoy the updated post on the Arc de Triomphe.

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

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August 19, 2020

Saint Lô: Church Notre Dame!

And while having a stop at Saint Lô (see previous post) , we had time to indulge in some sights as was near where we had our lunch lol! We had the ramparts and then this Church of Notre Dame right in front! Therefore, here is my take on Saint Lô ‘s Church of Notre Dame.

The Notre-Dame Church is in the Gothic-style erected over four centuries from the end of the 13C and strongly marked by the Battle of Normandy (WWII). As such, it is a “memorial” of the destruction of WWII. The parish church and former collegiate Church of Notre-Dame built from the 13C to the 20C is rightly considered the symbol of the city. This church dedicated to Notre Dame originates from the parish of the castle of Saint-Lô on Mont Briovère: the parish of “l’Enclos” whose patron was the lord of the castle, namely the bishop of Coutances.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The nave of five bar long spans dates from the first third of the 14C as well as its immediate side aisles; the foliage baskets on the capitals are very characteristic of the period. The north tower also dates from the 14C and the south tower dates from 1464, according to an inscription. There is no transept and the choir has four bays; the sanctuary is closed with six columns. The church has old stained glass windows, deposited safely during the bombing period, which date from the 15C including the royal stained glass which according to tradition would have been offered by Louis XI around 1470. It presents the Coronation of the Virgin and the story of Saint Crépin and Saint Crépinien. The south tower, square at the base, becomes octagonal. The two towers were completed with arrows in the 17C and gave the church a false appearance of a cathedral which was the pride of the Locals. Described and sketched by Victor Hugo, it was used more to harangue the crowds than to deliver the religious sermon. It consists of a vase with five flamboyant decoration panels surmounted by an arrow with brackets of fern leaves.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The Notre Dame Church did not undergo any major degradation before 1944. On July 18, after the fierce battles of the Liberation, the church was nearly 50% destroyed: nave uncovered with its cover and its vaults, facade collapsed as a result the bombardment of the North Tower by nazi artillery. Only the South tower without its spire, the choir and the aisles remained standing almost intact. The restoration of the church from 1944 to 1974 was long and difficult due to a change in the restoration bias during the construction. The restored church received its new dedication on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Liberation The statue of Notre Dame du Pilier , in a thousand pieces during the disaster, was saved and placed at the bottom of the sanctuary. The Notre-Dame Church therefore became the memorial to the destruction of the city of Saint-Lô.   The choir organ was acquired by the parish in 1960. After a first lifting carried out in 1999 it was restored and inaugurated in 2007. The great neoclassical organ of Notre-Dame was built in 1968.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The tourist office of Saint Lô on the Church Notre DameTourist office of Saint Lô on Church Notre Dame

The city of Saint Lô and its heritage sites: City of Saint Lô on its heritage sites

It is an impressive church considering it was almost all destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt with care. Indeed a symbol of a city that is very much on most WWII movies done by Hollywood and beyond, Saint Lô you know the name? And do stop by the Church of Notre Dame. Hope you enjoy it

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

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