Archive for ‘Bretagne’

August 17, 2019

Once again Cathedral St Corentin at Quimper!

And yes once again I have to tell you the latest about the Cathedral Saint Corentin in beautiful Quimper of dept 29 Finistére of my lovely Bretagne! This is a place about an hour from me and love to come but with so much to see sometimes there is a space of time in between.

This time again was not meant to stop by as was in my road warrior campaign in the Finistére visiting new places (see previous posts). And all of a sudden we were ready to go back home, and I say nooo we have more time so on the way back we stop by Quimper, voilà c’est fait!

And of course, the must visit place here is the wonderful beautiful Cathedral Saint Corentin at Place Saint Corentin! As have written on it before and do not want to duplicate things, here is my last post on it in my blog here:

My post on the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Let me tell you a bit more on this jewel that again is a must to see while in France let alone Bretagne! 

Welcome to the magnificent Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper! It is a house where God loves to welcome and gather men. The Cathedral is under the patronage of Notre Dame (Our Lady) and its first Bishop Saint Corentin. Tradition reports that in testimony of faith, he chose the green martyrdom, hermitical loneliness on the uncultivated slopes of Ménez Hom. The Eucharist ensured his sustenance. What symbolically represents the legendary story: every day he took a part of the fish from the fountain and he found it intact the next day. The same Latin life story reports that Gradlon, king of these lands, came to beg him to be the pastor of his city, Kemper (Quimper in French Kemper in Breton) at the confluence of Odet and Steir rivers, making him one of the founders of the dioceses of Brittany between the 5C and the 7C.

Quimper

Quimper

You can see between the arrows, the equestrian statue of the legendary king Gradlon watching over the inhabitants. After fleeing his town of Ys, engulfed by the escapades of his daughter Dahut, he made Quimper his new capital.

Its construction spanned nearly six centuries, with a serious break of almost 400 years. Begun in 1239, it is in the middle of the 19C that it will be definitively completed by the realization of the two striking arrows. One of the peculiarities of Saint-Corentin Cathedral is the difference of orientation between the nave and the choir. Two hypotheses are advanced to explain this particularity: the first says that the choir follows the inclination of Christ’s head on the cross while the other, more prosaic, reports difficulties encountered during the work as the Cathedral being built on the foundations of an old Romanesque cathedral and the soil, in this place, was marshy because of the proximity of the Odet river. The windows, as for them, were put in place between 1417 and 1419.

Quimper

Quimper

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip here are

City of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Tourist office of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Come and behold its beauty, it will dazzle you for sure. We love it and come several times over the years here. Enjoy once again the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne!

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

 

 

August 17, 2019

Once again Quimper!!!

Indeed, once again Quimper!!! this is a very nice city we love and with so much to see sometimes we take time to come back, but come back we did this week and here are some new photos. Really not much to tell as I have plenty written in my blog on various spots of the city. However, always worth it to come back!

We were riding the road warrior routine in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne and with time decided to stop by Quimper before heading home in my beautiful Morbihan breton dept 56.

For now something on Quimper. One thing we love to do once in town is to walk, indeed walk as much as you can and see more of our beautiful region and country for that matter. One walk that is a must repeat is the one by the Odet river and over and across its passarelle bridges lovely sublime, this is Bretagne and for that matter my belle France!

The passarelles from the theater Max Jacob coming along the Odet river to the Préfecture of Finistére and along the blvd Dupleix and Blvd Amiral de Kerguelen. In my beautiful Quimper. These are

Passarelle Louis Pasteur, Passarelle Canet-Mallejacq (right by old gardens) ; Passarelle Bolloré, (here is the post office and the pont de la poste); Passarelle Guével, Passarelle Max Jacob (by the Bishop’s garden) ; Passarelle de la Phalange d’Arvor, (start again of old gardens) Passarelle Tanguy, Passarelle Traonouez; Passarelle Liot, here you see the Musée Départemental Breton or Breton dept museum, and the pont St Catherine. A wonderful promenade indeed we love to do each time in town!

quimper

While in this walk, even if no time to go in again (you can see my previous post on it) we love the Musée Départemental Breton or the Departemental Breton Museum on the local history of customs and the city lovely historical and an nice architecturally stunning bishop’s palace.  And a peek of the Cathedral St Corentin!!!

quimper

There is the always wonderful Cinéma Arcades facing the Odet river and the passarelles, just perfect for a movie, sublime, or as I said in heavens.

quimper

The always wonderful Place Saint Corentin full of great ambiance, lively and great places to sip , shop , and see the world go by. Right there is the inmense Cathedral St Corentin more of that in later  post. On the right a peek at the fine arts museum musée des beaux-arts

quimper

quimper  19

The always a must Rue Kéreon right off the Place St Corentin and into old Quimper full of restos, shops, and ice cream parlors , our favorite is Georges Larnicol, also with stores in Paris but Breton!

quimper

quimper

quimper

In all, it is always a pleasant visit to Quimper , one of the must cities to visit in Brittany in my opinion; and these days full of tourists especially from UK and Germany. Don’t missed out on it come on over folks, you will love it! we do!!!

As always , the tourist office of Quimper in English: Tourist office of Quimper in English

And the very good City of Quimper on heritage here: City of Quimper on heritage in English

Enjoy Quimper as much as we do,and if in town hollow we will love to meet you in this wonderful city and show you around.

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

 

 

 

 

 

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Chapelle Notre Dame des Portes!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou. Enjoy the off the beaten path gems of my region!

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Bretagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou.

The beauty to see here is the  Notre-Dame des Portes Chapel, combining Neo-Roman and Neo-Gothic styles  dates from 1892. The statue of Notre Dame (Our Lady) was crowned in 1894; the day before the coronation took place the procession of miracles, which took place traditionally every year and ended with an edifying spectacle; the feast of the coronation ended with fireworks and the illumination of the whole city, thirty parishes came with their crosses and their banners the chapel was restored in 1953. The pardon of Notre-Dame- des-Portes, which takes place every penultimate Sunday of August, remains very busy. Paul Sérusier made about 1896 a painting “The pardon of Notre-Dame-des-Portes in Châteauneuf-du-Faou” which is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Quimper.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The Gothic porch of the 15C chapel of Notre Dame des Portes (of doors) is decorated with statuettes, leaves of vines and acanthus, animals and grotesque figures. At the bottom of the right pillar, a magnificent finely carved molded holy water font is found. Lovely and worth the detour.

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual from me are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on Notre Dame chapel

You will do well to visit Châteauneuf du Faou and we had time for lunch just when it started raining and when we finished the rain stop lovely !!! We did had our lunch at  Pizzeria La Voltera wonderful family place full of patrons and a delicious big over the plate Chorizana chorizo pizza with big chunks watch down with Rose pitcher of the house and express coffee to run, all for under 14€ per person! nice.

Chateauneuf du Faou

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

 

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Church of St Julien!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou.

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Brietagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

A bit of history I like

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

The construction of the canal from Nantes to Brest, begun in 1806 and completed in 1836, which borrows locally the course of the channeled Aulne river ; the last barge crosses the lock of Châteauneuf-du-Faou was in 1942. From then on the neighboring section Châteauneuf is open only to a tourist navigation. On August 8, 1896, the president of the French Republic Felix Faure, coming from Brest via Morlaix and Carhaix and heading towards Pleyben, Chateaulin, then Quimper, stopped in Châteauneuf-du-Faou as part of a trip to Brittany. It seems he is the only French head of state to have stopped one day by Chateauneuf! Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou. The Pont du Roy bridge, whose six arches span the canalized Aulne river (canal from Nantes to Brest), south of the town. It was built in the first half of the 17C.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou has the project to create a museum dedicated to Paul Serusier. For this purpose, the painting Autoportrait à la barbe rutilante (self portrait with a gleaming beard) , painted in Châteauneuf-du-Faou, was acquired by the city in 2017. The village of Paul Sérusier, famous nabi with a gleaming beard, a local citizen for nearly 30 years, he left behind wall paintings in the parish church. A circuit through the city is now dedicated to him, an exhibition space “Paul Sérusier” receiving contemporary artists was created at the Tourist Office, the City/Town Hall has a small collection of his works. His house whose walls are covered with frescoes is private and can not be visited. Who is Paul Sérusier ,well he was a friend of Paul Gauguin, and creator of the school of the Nabis, lived more than three decades of his life in Châteauneuf-du-Faou: he built in 1906 his house at No. 27 street who now bears his name and remains there until his death, which occurred at Morlaix in 1927. It is in Brittany, still in Chateauneuf-du-Faou, that, wearing his broad hat, wrapped in his shepherd’s cloak he continues to spend almost all his hours. In Paris, he cannot work . Member of the school of Pont-Aven, nabi painter, his work is worth by his moral qualities as much as by his style. It is persuasive and forces us to recollection and silence; moreover, it has its own radiance . It is said in painting circles that If Cezanne is the bridge between Impressionism and Gauguin, he is the elegant bridge that unites the symbolism of Gauguin synthesizing post-Impressionism a little raw cubists His wife, Marguerite Sérusier (born Marguerite Gabriel-Claude   at Lons-le-Saulnier; Jura), who died in   1950, was also a talented painter The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou devoted an exhibition to her in 2016.

The one showcase on this post is the Saint-Julien Church dates from the 18-19C. The current church includes a nave with six bays and a choir with a polygonal chevet. The bell tower with its dome and its lantern is from a previous church built in 1737, as well as many statues that adorn it such as those of St. Margaret, St. Michael, St. Maudez, St. Barbara, St. Pierre and a stone Pietà. A statuary group representing St. Anne and the Virgin and Child dates back to 1632. The church is adorned with murals by Paul Sérusier dated from 1914 to 1919 which represent the Annunciation, the Assumption, the Baptism of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Chateauneuf du Faou

 

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see in French

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on the Church of St Julien in French

There you go another jewel in my off the beaten path trails of Bretagne, this one in pretty Finistére dept 29 and nice Chateauneuf du Faou,  and its Church of St Julien! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

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August 15, 2019

Domaine de Trevarez at St Goazec!

And continuing on my showcase of my lovely Bretagne, we headed north to our neighbor Finistére dept 29 and were in and around the town of St Goazec where we saw marvels as in previous post, this one is on the wonderful Domaine de Trévarez , a castle and park just outside of city center before arriving on the D36 road.

St Goazec

This one I feld needed a post on its own because its wonderfully beautiful and still in renovations, however you can see two of the three floors of the castle and the vast park/gardens. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Domaine de Trévarez ( on site is a Domaine because of the gardens, then also call a castle for the main building).

St Goazec

The Château de Trévarez is located in the limits of the town of Saint-Goazec, but outside no the road D36 that leads you to city center/downtown. Built at the end of the 19C by James de Kerjégu, president of the general council of Finistère to welcome his worldly relations, it is, with its park open to the public, an important monument of Finistère. The castle is both an example of eclectic style, combining Victorian and Neo-Gothic styles with elements of Breton decor, and a prototype of the house equipped with the latest technological advances of the time: elevator, central heating, running water, electricity , etc. Its wrought iron door, was also exhibited and awarded in 1903 at the Grand Palais in Paris before being installed in the castle. Very damaged in 1944 by an Allied bombing, it has since been bought and put in value by the general council of Finistère.

St Goazec

A bit of history I like

The name of Trévarez is of Breton origin. It comes from “Trev”, which means district (or place formerly inhabited. In 1567, the barony is erected in Marquis de la Roche by Henry III, for the benefit of the knight Troilus de Mesgouez, who was page at the court of Catherine de Medici before being the lover. Governor of the city of Morlaix, then viceroy of New France in 1578. It was his niece, Anne de Coëtanezre, Marquise de la Roche and Laz, and wife of Charles de Kernezne, who made the manor of Trévarez their ordinary residence . The mansion was totally rebuilt during the 17C.

It was inherit by Louise de Bot du Grégo, only daughter of Charles-François Jules du Bot and Marquess du Grégo, wife of Viscount Antoine-Henry d’Amphernet of Pontbellanger, who was Chouan (rebel vs the French revolution) and she denounced him to the troops of Gen. Hoche (Gen of the army of the west to crutch the rebellion), which was her lover. Louise du Grégo will succeed, thanks to her relations, to spare Trévarez from revolutionary looting. Widow, she will then marry General Bonté in the chapel of Trévarez. The castle remains today the manor, completely modified and modernized in 1860 by François de Kerjégu, the Chapel Saint-Hubert, formerly dedicated to Notre-Dame, then rebuilt in 1699 and placed under the patronage of Saint Hubert, patron of hunters, and the Fontaine Saint-Hubert, dated 1700, nestled at the foot of the current Castle.

St Goazec

During WWII, the Castle of Trévarez served, from October 1939, to receive the classified objects and collections of museums, from the Pas-de-Calais. In July 1940, the castle will be requisitioned by the Nazi occupation forces and serves as a resting place for kriegsmarine submariners stationed at the port of Brest between two missions at sea and Japanese submariners stationed at the port of Lorient.

In 1968 , it will be bought by the General Council of Finistère, which will start a progressive renovation, starting with the outside of the castle and the gardens. The roof of the castle will be restored in 1993, revealing its metallic structure. However, a chimney will be missing on the new roof, which disappeared during the bombing. Reopened in 1971, the garden, now 85 hectares, is labeled “Remarkable Garden”. There was an impressive colony of bats, protected species, in the attic or basement. Eight different species coexisted in the abandoned castle. They now have a special place at the entrance of the attic. Today, it houses the National Collection of Rhododendron Cultivars, with about 700 varieties, the Certified Collections of Cultivars as well as botanical species of the genus Camellia, some of which are extremely rare, as well as extensive collections of heathergrass ( Camellia, Hydrangea, Pieris …), as well as various trees, such as Japanese maples, oaks, Virginia tulip trees, silver limes, as well as several hundred-year-old conifer species (Monterey pines, Scots pines, Sequoia, Sequoiadendron , Sciadopitys, Thujopsis, Thuja plicata ‘Aurea’).

St Goazec

St Goazec

St Goazec

St Goazec

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual by me are

Finistere heritage on the castle of Trevarez

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on the Castle of Trevarez

Tourist office of Brittany on the castle in English

Parks and gardens of France on the castle

You have all you need to come enjoy this wonderful property about an hour from me by car. The best entry is to take from front office to the stables and then the chemin des camélias hilly but wonderful trees and takes you right in front of the castle. Good for a whole day if you are into nature , and there is a cafe inside on the stable building as well as a boutique at the left entrance to the castle main. Enjoy the Domaine de Trévarez at St Goazec

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

 

 

 

August 15, 2019

St Goazec in the Finistére breton!

So here I am already in my vacation and before i take off for the Loire and  Spain (more later) I am indulging myself in some new territories of my lovely Bretagne. As said before, so much to see here, and the old saying is know your country before you know the world… I am doing that one at a time.

I decided to travel with the boys to Saint Goazec in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just less than an hour from me! And behold, there are beauties to see here. I will try to bring you up to date on the town in a couple posts; bear with me please.

Saint-Goazec  is a town cut off by the Aulne river that splits it from Châteauneuf-du-Faou (more on it later) , and the town is 30 km from Quimper and 58 km from Brest. The  castle of Trévarez is located  just outside (more later).

During the French revolution, the Trévoazec estate passed into the hands of Antoine-Henry d’Amphernet of Pontbellanger, a Chouan chief who died in 1796 in Médréac after being ambushed by soldiers of General Hoche (native of Versailles and gen of the armies of the west) ; he had been denounced by his wife, the Marquise Louise Bot du Grego, who was the mistress of General Hoche. The   Republican revolutionaries blues, in recognition of the services she gave them, razed the church of Trégoazec, but left intact her lands and her manor of Trévarez. The canal from Nantes to Brest with the Voaquer lock and its salmon and trout ladder, which allows them to climb the course of the Aulne to spawn. The parish Church of St. Pierre, built in 1896. The Calvary and his Madonna and Child, alas mutilated, dates from the 15C.

The construction of the Church of Saint-Pierre took place from 1894 to 1896. It is a church in the shape of a Latin cross formed of 3 naves with 3 bays. The shell, in shale rubble, is partially coated. The frames of the bays are cut granite. It is covered with paneling painted blue. The arch is painted in ochre and yellow. The transept has a polygonal choir lit by 3 stained glass windows: The central stained glass dates from 1593 and represents The Passion. The Church St Pierre houses the statues of the Virgin Mother, Saint Goazec, Saint Peter and Saint Herbert.

City of Saint Goazec on the Church

st goazec

st goazec

st goazec

Another curiosity that i can add to this post is the Château de Kervoazec which is a private property but I was able to arrive just to it. It is now rented for special events such as wedding and can be rented as lodging B&B. Very interesting if you like castles like me to see it. The property is just outside of main city center on the road D36 before reaching St Goazec.

st goazec

The Château de Kervoazec was built around 1860, on the site of the ancient village of Tregoazec by Louis Monjaret de Kerjégu, deputy and general counselor of Finistère who practiced there raising horses and creating a farm-school , that allows young girls in the country to work so that they can live in their area. The embroiderers made Breton lace: headdresses, collars, etc. Thirty young girls were working there in 1928 the workshop is annexed to the school. In 1930 the decline in orders led to a decrease in the number of embroiderers and by 1939 only 22 workers were left; in 1946 the workroom was closed. His daughter Anne Monjaret de Kerjégu married Count Eudes de Rouvroy of Saint-Simon, mayor of Saint-Goazec between 1919 and 1929, nephew of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, count of Saint Simon , founder of Saint-Simon, who made him build Ker Maunoir, a pretty house at the end of the park for his daughter. From 1932, after the death of Eudes de Rouvroy of Saint-Simon, the castle, then called castle of Saint-Simon became the property of Pierre de Foucault, Baron de Tournebu, because of his marriage with Genevieve de Rouvroy de Saint-Simon, daughter of Eudes de Rouvroy de Saint-Simon, who opened a lace workstation there between 1916 to 1928. A man of the 19C, a supporter of the French Action ( a French far right monarchist political movement)   which he presides the local group, he organized important political meetings in which participated in particular Leon Daudet and many Camelots of the king. The castle was occupied by the Nazi army from May 1944 and served as a gathering center for the children of Brest. The current park is only 8 ha, the rest having been gradually sold in the 1950s. Since 2014, the Castle of Kervozec offers hotel rentals all year round, dining rooms rentals etc.

Official Chateau de Kervoazec

st goazec

st goazec

This is an introduction to the town of Saint Goazec, another post to follow shortly. Enjoy it ,this is the backwoods of my belle France in lovely Bretagne, off the beaten path and the beauty to be in real French country. Family and friends tells me I am lucky and I am beginning to believe it !!! For now enjoy Saint Goazec in the Finistére breton.

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

 

 

 

August 14, 2019

Château Turpault in Quiberon!

Well been a beach resort and playground of all, you would not guess it has a castle, it does. However, before you get excited to come dont bother as it is private! Nevertheless, it is a city icon and one we see each time we approach Quiberon by the côte sauvage along the ocean or wild coast!

As for the marquee and to not missed seeing while in town, we all go to see it locals and tourist alike, so jot it down to see when in town, remember Château Turpault in Quiberon. Here is something more on it. Enjoy it as we do.

We like to come by the ocean side for its wonderful views and riding along the ocean is a super adreline for me anyway. Once at the city limit you see the  Castle of Turpault, very nice out into the sea just before entering Quiberon.

quiberon

Since 1967, the then owners the , Richards lived there well. For proof: when Johnny Hallyday and his young wife Laeticia knocked on their door in the hope of acquiring the premises, they received a categorical refusal.

quiberon

The Château Turpault in Quiberon was last sold in 2014. The buyers succumbed to the charms of this manor of the early 20C on a stormy day. Its very particular silhouette, the focus of many photographers, marks the entrance to the côte sauvage or wild coast at Quiberon. Located on the Pointe de Beg er Lann or pointe de la Lande, the castle of Turpault has an  Anglo-Medieval-style mansion was built in 1904 by Georges Turpault, a spinner from Cholet, who christened it the Castle de la mer or the sea. It was then renamed Château Turpault by the local Quiberon folks. The castle of 500 m2 of living space is located in the center of a park of nearly 5000 m2.

The Castle of Turpault is like the emblem of the city. On stormy days, the waves crash on the windows of the third floor. The sand rushes into the living room. A fantastic home, evoking the Middle Ages and English-influenced period. Open on all the wild coast, it is a pure jewel whose architecture must be appreciated and at the foot of which it is necessary to come to admire the view of the point of Beg-er-Lann to which it adds a little majesty and a fantastic tone. You cannot get close to the castle as it remains a private property, but it is enough to admire the beauty and be hypnotized by the atmosphere it gives off. Indeed it does!!!

The movie “Martin Soldier“, with Robert Hirsch, and several German films were shot here!. Fittingly, from 1940 to 1945, the property served as a staff for the Nazis. It is fortified and all windows are walled. It will come out very damaged. Today, two bunkers bear witness to this era: one at the rear left of the castle and the other at the front of the property, camouflaged under the lawn. The sites of the old machine gun turrets, still visible all around the building, serve today happily as flower boxes.

More on Quiberon here: Tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on things to do

City of Quiberon on history and things to see in French

Not much else as again it is a private property however, you can come very close to it and have a souvenir photo as well as marvel of its architecture and see the bunkers. There is parking very near before entering the city so easy walk to it; enjoy it !! The Château de Turpault is indeed an icon of Quiberon!

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

August 13, 2019

Le petit trains or the little trains!!!

Now on a windy cool semi cloudy day in my neck of the woods, and temps of 21C or about 65F let me bring you to the magical world of litle tourist trains which abound in my belle France. I cannot tell you all but the most significants for my family and with some pictures of some of them.

We have enjoyed them tremendously especially when visiting and early on that my boys were younger,now grown men difficult to get them into them but the memories lingered for the parents ,especially. I like to briefly share some of our favorites petit trains with you all. Enjoy it as we did! No specific order of the experience.

The Petit Train of Tours taking you to the old neighborhoods of the city of Tours such as the  Hôtel de Ville – Palais de Justice – Basilique Saint-Martin – Place Plumerau – Théâtre – Place Foire Le Roi – Château -, and  Cathédrale Saint-Gatien. More about it here: Petit train de val de loire, Tours

The Petit train of Albi is great for the hilly streets and a a great experience when approaching the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Albi on the petit train

The Petit Train of Rouen, other than Paris and Versailles this one was the first one taken in France way back in the 90’s, and repeat with the boys A wonderful experience on the old neighborhood of Rouen and the parvis of the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Rouen on the petit train

The Petit Train of  Bourges. hah, when we saw the steep streets at first this one was the best option to see the most important monuments and choose those most like to come back on foot! The approach to the Cathedral is awesome. More info here: Tourist office of Bourges Berry region on the petit train

The petit trains of Quiberon, Vannes ,and La Trinité sur Mer/ Carnac are awesome especially at the beginning of the summer beach season as later are packed! Theses towns are in my beautiful Morbihan, just south of me,  and they are worth the walk but on a petit train at first is sublime. More info on their sites here:

Petit Train of Quiberon

Petit Train of Vannes

Petit train of Carnac

quiberon

Quiberon

carnac

Carnac

vannes

Vannes

la-trinite-sur-mer

La Trinité sur Mer

The Petit train du loch in Auray. Also, in my lovely Morbihan breton and the first one taken while living here. It is a good idea as the lower town of St Goustan is very steep in streets and cobblestones; so a first try here is recommended. More info here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the petit train of Auray

Auray

The Petits Trains du Val de Loire, and in Amboise. A lovely ride on the Château Royal; Château du Clos Lucé,  the banks of the Loire river and the golden island or l’île d’Or . Great views magnificent rides and we take our house wines here so we tested a few time after a long day lol! More info here: The petit trains du Val de Loire in Amboise

The Petit train of Angers, a wonderful ride on old Angers discovering the Cité la doutre, wooden houses ,anecdotes as told by the conductor and of course the Cathedral. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Angers

The Petit train of Beaune! from departure at the  rue de l’hôtel Dieu in front of the Hospices of Beaune! Nothing more sublime than this and a narrated tour of the old town with its wonderful monuments and the vineyards of Burgundy! More info here: Visio petit train of Beaune

Under the slogan  «Bénodet, bonne idée» or Bénodet, good idea, take a ride into the old port and town of Bénodet, by its corniche de l’estuaire to the corniche de la mer, along the ocean and to the pointe Saint Gilles to the Fort du Coq. Great sights of boats and sea always gorgeous. More info here: City of Bénodet on the petit train

benodet

The Petit train of Caen, again one of the earliest little train we took as a family , great memories. You take at the wonderful Church of St Pierre facing the tourist office , and go on to see the  Château, Abbaye aux Dames,  port, Tour Leroy,  Abbaye aux Hommes, place St Sauveur, and the old city center of Caen. Still very nice to do! More info here: The Cap Petit Train of Caen

The Petit train of Chartres, another of the earlier ones we took and very nice. Along the banks of the river, to see all monuments and of course the Cathedral of Chartres glorious as ever. More info here: The Petit train of Chartres

The Petit train of Deauville; this one is a long run worth it to avoid long walks, you can always come back to the best sights. Starts at City center and goes into Place Morny, Vieux Marché (old market), Yatchs basin, Port Deauville, Poney Club, Mini-Golf, CID, Piscine (pool), Plages (beaches) and along the sea, Les Planches, Promenade M. d’Ornano, new gardens ,  wonderful luxury Hôtels, and Casino,and back to the city/town hall or  Mairie. More info here: The petit train of Deauville

The Petit train of Dieppe, a nice narrated ride on the narrow streets of Dieppe with history of the town included.  The ride takes you into the old town, and the port, the landing beach and its monuments. More info here: The Petit train of Dieppe

The Petit train of  Guérande ; very nice on narrow cobblestone streets and as have friends with small children here we took it too lol! Goes from the foot of the gate or porte St Michel, the main entrance to the fortified city. More info here: The Petit train of Guérande

The Petit train of La Baule, a great ride from the bay 8 km connecting the towns of La Baule to Pornichet. Passing by great beaches and wonderful view of the ocean! More info here: The Petit train of La Baule

The Petit train of Le Mans,another great idea on a narrow steep and cobblestone fortified town. You go into the old town of the  Cîté Plantagenet and the pedestrian center, along the banks of the Sarthe river, with story telling indeed very interesting. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Le Mans

The Petit train of Nantes. A great ride with lots to see and come back for it in details later on. The trip goes into the city center retracing the history of Nantes.  You leave from the wonderful Cathedral Saint-Pierre, to the center gazing at beautiful architecture we like it still. More info here: The Petit train of Nantes

Nantes

The Petit train of Quimper , goes to the historic center town and into pedestrian only streets! and along the wharfs or quais of the Odet river! More info here: The Petit train Celtic of Quimper

Quimper

The Petit train of Saumur. Very nice as it was the last petit train we took as a family after my dear late wife Martine passed away from cancer. You ride along the banks of the Loire river into the historic equestrian and military heart of the buildings of the cavalry, Church of St Pierre, medieval streets of the city center to arrive at the majestic Château de Saumur overlooking the Loire river. More info here: The Petit train du Val de Loire in Saumur

The Petit train of Tolouse. It has two tours or trips one lets you see the monuments such as the Place du Capitole, Basilique St-Sernin, Place St-Pierre, Quais de la Garonne, Church de la Daurade, neighborhoods or quartiers Croix-Baragnon and St-Georges, and the Place Wilson.  The second trip takes you to discover the monuments of the neighborhoods or quartiers Dalbade, Palais de Justice, and the public gardens such as  Jardin Royal, Grand Rond. Also, the palace or Palais Niel, and the Canal du Midi. A sentimental favorite in France and worth the ride on both tours. More info here: The Petit train of Toulouse

The Petit train of St Jean de Luz. a nice ride looking at its beautiful houses, Church of  Saint-Jean-Baptiste (St John the Baptist), thalasso and casino,the house of the future queen of France Maria Teresa of Spain, and the wonderful place Louis-XIV. This one is going back a lot but nice memories, More info here: The Petit train of Saint Jean de Luz

st jean de luz

The Petit train of Fougéres, you go to the foot of the castle at place Raoul 2. And go no with a beautiful ride into old Fougéres for a 40 minutes ride! More info here: The Petit train of Fougéres

Fougeres

The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris. It was the second petit train we ever took in France! Well this one by now is very touristic in my opinion but with the steep cobblestone streets of Montmartre it is still a good idea to take it at first. You will ride into its picturesques streets, the ateliers of painters, the monuments, the cabarets, the vineyard, and the wonderful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Sacre Coeur with a panoramic view of Paris to end start at the Place du Tertre. More info here: The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris

The Petit Train of St Malo. another good option on a narrow cobblestone fortified city to take the tour first. You take it at the Esplanade Saint Vincent, between the tourist office and the Castle. More info here: The Petit train of St Malo

St Malo

St Malo quai-st-vincent

The Petit train of Port du Crouesty, Arzon; you take it from here to the next port harbor of Port Navalo passing by the windmill or Moulin de Pen Castel. A nice ride along the ocean and harbors; more info here: The Petit train of Arzon, Port du Crouesty

Arzon

The Petit train or Noirmout’train of the island or île de Noirmoutier . This offers four tours but take the grand tour first time to see it all.  These are call the découverte or discovery , village anciens or old towns, marais salants or salted marshes and the grand tour or big trip. More info here The Petit train of Noirmoutier or noirmouttrain

Ile de Noumoutier

And last but not least, the first petit train we took in France in our dear beloved Versailles. It is an internal train on the property of the castle even if sometimes it is taken outside on heritage days . We have not taken it since 2011! You will ride in the property of the Domaine of Versailles which includes the gardens, the palace/museum, and the Hameau, Petit and Grand Trianon. Sublime to take it at least once and if too tired of the walks in the domaine. Enjoy it. More info here: The Petit train of the Domaine of Versailles

Versailles

Versailles by rive gauche RER C station

There is one more webpage that showcase all of the above and a lot more petit trains in France. For info it is here: The Petit trains of France

Wow, impress myself no idea on how many of these wonders we have been to, great memories indeed. Much have been said about the little trains or petit trains and sometimes the price ratio does not seems correct. However, for someone with limited time and or not good at long walks they are a perfect choice to do here. Enjoy them as we have done over the years, and glad still around us for the enjoyment of all! The Petit trains are sublimes!

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

August 11, 2019

Tour Tanguy at Brest!

So let me bring you back to a very nice feature of Brest. I have written several posts on this quant city of the north of the Finistére dept 29 of Bretagne. However, this part is rather nice so figure deserves a post on its own. Here it is for you, hope you like as I do.

As arrive by car and park in front of the Château, then do our walks all over the city. While passing by the Recouvrance bridge we noted this ancient tower right in the harbor not knowing what it was we headed for it. Well, it is a very nice museum of the city of Brest. I like to tell you a bit more on it.

The Bastille Quilbignon or Motte-Tanguy tower is built on a rocky mound along the Penfeld river, facing the castle of Brest, Recouvrance. It is accessed from Rue de la Porte by the Place Pierre-Péron, at the foot of the Recouvrance bridge. This tower of the 14C houses the museum of old Brest.

Brest

The origin of the medieval tower could not be determined very precisely. Tradition give it as founder Tanguy I of Chastel, lord at the castle of Trémazan in Landunvez, which was illustrated in the struggle of Brittany against England and contributed to the development of the right bank. But the construction is probably posterior.

In 1386 the Duke of Brittany Jean IV undertook the siege of the castle of Brest occupied by the English. To ensure the blockade he leaned on two bastilles: one facing the castle, the other at Quilbignon on the right bank, called Bastille Kerneguez, simple wooden fort. The Bastille of Kerneguez was taken and destroyed by the Duke of Lancaster. In 1387 Jean IV rebuilt the two stone buildings, much stronger than before

It is very likely that this Bastille Kerneguez, mentioned as being on the edge of the Penfeld river facing the castle, became the property of the family of Chastel after the departure of the English in 1397. The name of the Bastille gave way to that of Tanguy tower, first name worn by several members of this line. Their weapons are engraved above the door.

Until about 1580, the Tanguy tower served as the seat of justice of the lords of the Châtel, before they transfer it to a neighboring house. Then neglected, the tower became the property of the Rohan-Guéméné family in 1786 then passed into the Royal domain before being sold as national property during the French revolution to the Sieur Gabon. It becomes at this time the Cabon Tower. In 1862, it is acquired by the architect Barillé who transforms it into a dwelling house. It’s last resident and private owner, Dr. Joseph Thielmans, leaves her after the fire during the fighting of 1944 in WWII.

Brest

The city of Brest becomes the owner in 1954. The Tanguy tower is restored and inaugurates the museum of old Brest in 1962 which then had only two rooms. A third room was opened to the public in July 1964. In 1971, a pepper mill was added to it and its neo-Gothic cornice was replaced with crenellations to give it a medieval silhouette. The museum houses a set of models and historical reconstructions that constitute a walk through the picturesque streets of Brest before 1939, that is to say in the city as it was before the Allied bombing during  WWII. On two floors, there are models, huge dioramas (paintings painted in relief), official documents of several eras, photos and rare postcards, a collection of coats of arms or the map of the old Brest with the Vauban fortifications. Dioramas made by the Brest artist Jim Sévellec represent the great episodes in the history of Brest.  The tour Tanguy is divided into three section, the street level, (1fl US etc ), first floor and second floor, all very nice.

Brest

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Brest on the history of Tanguy tower

Tourist office of Brest on the Tanguy tower museum

And there you go another dandy in nice Brest in the lovely Finistére of Bretagne. The Tanguy tower museum is worth the detour in the city and close to the main museums in the castle.

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

 

 

August 9, 2019

The manufacture des Tabacs at Morlaix!

So let me take back to my region of Brittany and something off the beaten path but worth stopping by especially as it is going thru a transformation that will be super for all to see. I have done briefs on it in my posts on Morlaix but feel now deserves a post of its own. I will be telling you about the Manufacture des Tabacs or the Tabacco Factory of Morlaix.

The Manufacture des Tabacs or Morlaix Tobacco Factory is a group of buildings located on the quai de Léon in Morlaix. This is in the Finistére dept 29 of the region of Brittany. I will skip the town as already mentioned in previous posts in my blog.

The manufacture des Tabacs was built in four stages: the main buildings, subdivided into three groups (manufacture, stores, logis) were built between 1736 and 1740 according to the plans of Jean-François Blondel, member of the Royal Academy of Architecture. During the inter-war period, four new buildings were added, crowned by a concrete frame imitating green wood.  The Chamber of Commerce and Industry  (CCI) of Morlaix acquires the monument in April 2001.

Morlaix

In December 2007, the entire west wing of the architectural ensemble found new assignments: artists’ studios, businesses, offices , etc.  At the end of 2008, a first installment of repairs to the fireworks and burned roofs is completed. In 2009, the development of courts and public passages are made, allowing it to open a little more this property complex to the rest of the city.  On May 24, 2013, the Espace des Sciences and Morlaix Communauté sign an agreement to open a branch of the Espace des Sciences in the tobacco factory of Morlaix in 2015.

Morlaix

A bit of old history I like

The Manufacture des Tabacs de Morlaix must be one of the oldest in France. It already existed in 1689, because there are records of the hospice, that the children of this establishment worked and made ankles for the manufacture. In 1667, the Monarchy having reserved the monopoly of the manufacture of tobacco, leased it to Sr. Jean Breton. In 1718 this monopoly returned to the general farm; it was then that it was established a factory in Morlaix.  From 1723 to 1747, the East India Company owned the tobaccos, the company was obliged to build a new building, which rose on the Quai de Leon instead called the Clos-Marant. The new Royal factory was completed in 1736-40.

The Manufacture des Tabacs produces snuff, chew and smoke until the dawn of the 21C. The advent of the steam induces the construction of new premises between 1868 and 1871. Four other buildings surmounted by a concrete frame, called “the Cathedral”, are erected between the two wars.  At the height of its activity, around 1880, the Manu employs more than 1,800 people. First manual (hence the name of Manufacture), the production is mechanized from the late 19C. Machines are improving and the number of jobs is decreasing. In 1995, the establishment has only 185 employees. Production begins to be delocalized. It is then that a large fire seriously damages part of the site. The announced closure of the Manu is experienced here as a historical, social and economic wrench.

Until the decree of the National Assembly, dated March 20, 1791, under the French revolution, which abolished the monopoly, recognized to all French the right to cultivate, manufacture and sell tobacco. The tobacco factory was closed and a large number of workers were out of work.  The buildings, which were almost entirely rebuilt in 1868-1871, are immense, the courtyards spacious, the workshops vast and well ventilated, but the whole is without architectural character.

There is a future for all wonderful beautiful things in my belle France!

The Manufacture des Tabacs that for 250 years was a main motor of fabrication of cigars etc, today it is save by administrative offices and it is open to the public to showcase it.  A reconversion project was born: the Manu, hitherto closed to the public, will become a new city district combining economic, administrative, cultural and educational activities, around a few dwellings. The CCI takes charge of the project management of all the works. Of the 31,000m² of the site, 10,000m² of buildings without heritage interest are demolished between 2003 and 2005.  In order to make this project feasible, work is needed to rehabilitate 3600 m2 of this historic monument. This site also includes the restoration of 14 preserved machines and 12 mills to grate as well as the creation of an attractive scenography, Including the installation of “Espace des Sciences”, a unique science center in France that will open in 2020. This real palace of discovery will have the mission of promoting the heritage and history of the Manufacture and promoting scientific and industrial culture through exhibitions, workshops, events and conferences for all. Great indeed, we will return.

Morlaix

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Morlaix on the tobacco factory in French

Tourist office of dept 29 Finistere on Morlaix in English

Tourist office of Brittany on Morlaix in English

There you go, i hope you have the chance to stop by this wonderful town of Morlaix, we like it and have memorable moments here with the family. As said, we will return to see the Manufacture des Tabacs or Tobacco factory fully restore in 2020. See you!

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

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