Archive for ‘Bretagne’

February 23, 2019

Cathedral St Etienne , Saint Brieuc

So I am back in my beloved Brittany,and why not keep you in the north of the peninsula! We have visited Saint Brieuc, can be considered an off the beaten path here, but worth the visit for its Cathedral at least me think.

Therefore, other than my general posts on Saint Brieuc, decided worth it to tell you a bit more on the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Saint Brieuc (Cathédrale St Etienne).

The Cathedral St Stephen of Saint-Brieuc (St Etienne) is in the Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany.  It is one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. It is currently the seat of the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, known by this name since 1852.

Saint Brieuc

Saint Brieuc

A bit of history I like

The Gothic-style contemporary Cathedral St Etienne was built from the 13C to the 18C. Some relics of Saint Brieuc itself, dating from the 6C, are preserved there. It was built on a swamp with wooden pillars. It is one of the few fortified churches in Brittany. The “Grande Dame de Pierre” or the Big Lady of Stone, thus reflects the history of the city. Besieged, burned, the Cathedral will experience many avatars during the 14C, during the wars of succession that hit Brittany. Its restoration and extension spread throughout the 15C. The Cathedral was looted again during the Wars of Religions, and the League from 1589 to 1598.

 Saint Brieuc

A bit of chronological history is as follows: 1220, the planning of the western pediment of the Cathedral after the Cathedral of Noyon, in the Oise. Construction of the North tower. It becomes the Episcopal dungeon. By 1431-1436, construction of the South tower following the generous gift of Duke Jean V. In the 17C construction of corbelets supporting the balustrade, and completion of the nave rosette in 1728. By the time of the French revolution 1789-1794, the Cathedral serves as a warehouse and shed. In 1853, construction of a wooden hourd topped by a pyramidion. The corbelets are transformed into machicolations consoles.  The six portraits of the north side door known as the Gate of the Martray were made around 1860. Four of these portraits were sawn to allow the opening of two small doors.  in 1889, construction of the central porch.

Saint Brieuc

Some of the wonderful description of this Cathedral of St Stephen (St Etienne) to follow.

From its two towers, both with deadly features, the Brieuc tower is the lowest and the highest is the Marie tower. A century separates the construction of the two towers, 14C and 15C.  The Brieuc tower is the lowest and the Marie tower the highest. The towers are equipped with slits for archers.

Inside, do not miss the baptismal font Basin ,15C, as well as the altarpiece of the Annunciation, in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, masterpiece of Baroque Art ,18C. The Chapel of the Annunciation, this altarpiece is considered a masterpiece of rock aesthetics in Brittany. It is one of the most beautiful wooden retables of the Côtes d’Armor, it is surmounted by a glory illustrating God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The central table of the altarpiece represents Christ alongside the angel Gabriel making the announcement to Mary.

Saint Brieuc

The great organ of the Cathedral St Etienne is a great Cavaillon of 1848, takes place in a magnificent buffet dating back to 1540. Several recumbents and tombs of the 17C and 18C are spread around. A few stations of the contemporary Way of the Cross made by the school of Fine Arts of Rennes are shown around the walls.

Saint Brieuc

Since 2009, the Cathedral St Etienne has enjoyed an important programme of works, which must be completed running 2019 with the nave. The stones are cleaned to restore their whiteness and the cement joints are replaced by traditional lime joints. The axial chapel was restored as it was in the nineteenth century: very colorful. The starry blue vaults are surrounded by repainted pillars of flowering or spiral motifs. Like the choir, it is certainly accessible to the public.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Tourist office of the Bay of St Brieuc on the Cathedral

Official dept 22 Côte d’Armor tourism on the Cathedral

City of Saint Brieuc on heritage

There you go another nice stop in my lovely Brittany and up north in the sea coast as Côte d’Armor means  côtes as coasts and ar mor is “the sea” in the Breton language. And of course, the wonderful fortified Cathedral of St Stephen is a must stop while in town. Enjoy it

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

 

 

February 21, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXI

And here I am with the latest handn picked news of my belle France. Always something going on in the World’s most visited country!!!  The temps here is lovely sunny nice no rain, and just wonderful.  Right now is 52F or about 11C in my neck of the woods, with Paris at 62F ,about 17C and sunny.

So therefore, some of my latest tidbits on my belle France!

Final clapping for the Beverley, lol! Just news never been here , really honest. Forbidden to minors, the last cinema X of Paris  will definitely close its doors this Saturday February 23rd . At 75 years old, Maurice Laroche, owner since 1993 of this discreet establishment located 14, rue de la Ville Neuve, 2éme arrondissement, a few steps from the Grand Rex, decided to take a well-deserved retirement. Will console ourselves with the Beverley box which contains, for 60€, a DVD telling the story of the establishment, photos and a CD with the song of the house! According to the National Film Centre (CNC), after the closure of the Beverley, there will be only one X-cinema in France: the Vox in Grenoble! More here in French: https://salles-cinema.com/paris/cinema-beverley-a-paris

The martial arts enthusiast had an institution on the 15éme. A space whose tatamis have seen the training of several generations of Judokas, Aikidoka, yogis and practitioners of various martial arts: the Shiseikan Dojo,(been here as my French family are all enthusiasts of these arts)  nestled for over 70 years in the courtyard of a private building on Rue Lecourbe, will have to move or closed by September 2020. More on this nice place in Paris here:  https://dojoshiseikan.wordpress.com/

The Vincennes Racecourse, (a wonderful place to be anytime) has a date on Sunday February 24 2019. It is called the festival at the Hippodrome and puts in the spotlight this year ,Brazil. Between a capoeira dance, Batucada (Brazilian music and percussion), traditional dancers, pastries and a Portuguese-speaking carnival, families can attend the ten afternoon trotting races. Because this racecourse is the French temple of the Trotters and that it runs this Sunday the Grand Prix de Paris. A marathon, for horses, 4.1 km.  At the Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme , 12éme arrondissement. More here : https://www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/fr/

This Sunday, February 24th, 2019, your children are invited to the Château de Fontainebleau (one of my favorite castles of all of France!)  for a carnival punctuated by the reviving dance and duels with the sword. They are expected to be welcome disguised in front of the golden gate and then be trained in the arts of fencing and dance as they were practiced then. The program includes weapons courses and demonstrations of duels. The swords are of course of wood, suitable for children during animations. On the other hand, demonstrations are made in the period of time, when the weapons were actually used to injure in the duels and they were not wearing protections. The only safety of the actors is their technical mastery and their synchronization in these millimeters fencing shows. Sunday, February 24th, from 14H to 17h.  Château de Fontainebleau (Seine et Marne dept 77), Place du Général-de-Gaulle.  Admission 9€ In addition to the entrance fee to the castle (10-12€, free for under-25). On Reservation because places are limited! More here:  https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/CARNAVAL-AU-CHATEAU,1505

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February 2019, the Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne dept 77) hosts a large medieval festival and heavy-metal concerts name Cernunnos Pagan Fest (noisy but good my sons are into both). The program: Scenes of reconstruction of life in medieval Scotland, initiations to traditional Celtic dances, but also ancient games, demonstrations of combat and spectacles of fires. There are even smaller ones, with make-up workshops, calligraphy, young audience shows. More info here: http://www.lafermedubuisson.com/programme/cernunnos-pagan-fest

Vintage game consoles await the nostalgic of the first emotions to the controllers. Well my sons are into it but on the modern side, this should be interesting in my wife native town) They will be at the Retrogaming play on 23 and 24 February 2019 in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77). RGC (Retro-gaming Connexion), Replay and Chezmoa associations return on February 23rd (Friday) and 24th(Saturday)  for retro gaming Play 2019. The retro and alternative video game festival will launch its 2nd edition at the Meaux Coliseum to promote the videogame heritage and the history of the video game, always in the same desire for sharing and conviviality.  https://www.rom-game.fr/agenda/3227-Retro+Gaming+Play+2019.html

Michael Bunel is a photo-reporter born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). For several years he has been walking the world’s roads to trace the path of exiles fleeing conflict zones. His work is exposed at the La Cle. Interesting to see the other side on the people’s side. More here:   https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/111-1269/fiche/la-clef-exposition-michael-bunel-exil.htm

New metro lines, new stations, 200 km new tracks. The Grand Paris Express is the urban project that will change the landscape of Paris in 2030 (they needed too overcrowded but do not think this will help much ). Seven teams of architects responsible for building the 68 new stations have been associated with artists who must design original creations. Each metro station will have its own works of art! To create a large collection of works, such as a museum of the twenty-first century open to all audiences. More here :  https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

It happens that the city of Paris has decided to put a clean coup on the Regional Express network of Île-de-France region, with these new RER  “New Generation”. The RER project  “NG ” could well change the lives of the RER D and E passengers, who were seriously starting to rust rails (this will help these lines often overlook for the more glamorous ones such as A and B). These new trains will accommodate up to 1860 people, with 600 seats spread over two floors. These new RER, without separation between cars to optimize the space, will show an exceptional comfort, because this is where the whole issue lies for the manufacturers. So air conditioning and USB ports will be available to you. Spaces with and without seats for short trips, as well as more comfortable spaces including only seats for longer trips. As for the ends of the train, they will be reserved for strollers, wheelchair users and travelers with suitcases. More info here:   https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/actualites/le-futur-rer-dile-de-france-se-devoile/

There you short and sassy as they said. Hope you enjoy it the runs of my news entries ,and thank you for your support.

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

 

 

 

February 19, 2019

Calvary at Plougastel-Daoulas!

So let’s continue our journey in the Finistére dept 29 of my beloved Brittany. And of course, why not sticking to the same town of Plougastel-Daoulas. I like to repeat the introduction to the town from previous post here

Plougastel-Daoulas is in the dept 29 of Finistère in Brittany/Bretagne. It is a town in the Brest harbor, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the city, which is separated by the mouth of the Élorn. The town is part of the former bishopric of Cornouaille. Plougastel-Daoulas remained very isolated, the Élorn being an obstacle to its relations with the Bishopric of Leon and especially with Brest. Before the construction of the Albert-Louppe Bridge in 1930, only one ferry allowed to cross the estuary starting from the place called the Passage to lead to a place of the same name located on the current town of Relecq-Kerhuon. The WWI painfully strikes Plougastel, which accounts for 212 deaths during this conflict. In  1944, a parachute unit of the 3rd Parachute Fighter Regiment, was parachuted into the Plougastel-Daoulas area as part of Operation Derry to open the way to the 8th US Army Corps, commanded by General Troy Middleton, responsible for taking Brest, to support the local resistance and to avoid the destruction of the Plougastel bridge. The Task force  “B ” continued its advance and showing a very high attack power clearing the Plougastel Peninsula on August 30, 1944.

The must to see here is the Calvary one of the seven jewels calvaries of Brittany. It is magnificent,and along worth the detour to this nice town of Plougastel-Daoulas.

Plougastel Daoulas

The calvary of Plougastel-Daoulas dates from 1602-1604 and its about 10 meters high. On a yellow granite base of Logonna-Daoulas, about 182 statues carved in blue Kersanton stone, the larger ones measure one meter and weigh from 100 to 200 kg. They illustrate, in 28 paintings, biblical scenes of the life of Christ or legendary scenes such as Katel Kollet. It is one of the seven great Calvaries of Brittany. The octagon that forms the core of the basement is 1.70 meters apart.  A 14-step staircase near the northwestern foothills provides access to the central platform where the preacher was once installed. It was erected as a result of the plague epidemic of 1598. This is a religious ensemble which is unique of Brittany. This one is one of the best around. The stairs on the northwest side allowing to go inside where the predicator is illuminated.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

This is a tremendous beautiful gorgeous magnificent calvary that is a must see even passing just for it is good. My best in the region simple yet detailing of such love and history of Christ. The original date is under the statue of Christ. There is the Nativity, the flight to Egypt, the Last Supper, and the washing of the feet. The great drama of the passion then unfolds in an army of actors among different groups of statuettes. One is the one depicting the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ in Jérusalem. It is dominated by three large crosses in the center.  Destroyed during the period of the terror (French revolution), it was restored again after the liberation after been damaged during the siege of Brest in WWII.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

Again some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Official 7 calvaries of Brittany on Plougastel

Tourist office of Brest on the Calvary of Plougastel

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Plougastel

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on calvary of Plougastel

There you go, this one is a must to visit I said… on a wonderful city of the Finistére dept 29 Plougastel-Daoulas.

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

February 18, 2019

Church of St Pierre , Plougastel-Daoulas!

And I sticking around the area to take you to another off the beaten path of my lovely Brittany. This time is a wonderful town of many nice memories for my family. We first came to Plougastel-Daoulas on a rainy day and had lunch where we met the owners and try a delicious African chicken dish from Senegal. To our surprise the city is full of memorable places to see and it must be seen.

Plougastel-Daoulas is in the dept 29 of Finistère in Brittany/Bretagne. It is a town in the Brest harbor, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the city, which is separated by the mouth of the Élorn. The town is part of the former bishopric of Cornouaille. Plougastel-Daoulas remained very isolated, the Élorn being an obstacle to its relations with the Bishopric of Leon and especially with Brest. Before the construction of the Albert-Louppe Bridge in 1930, only one ferry allowed to cross the estuary starting from the place called the Passage to lead to a place of the same name located on the current town of Relecq-Kerhuon. The WWI painfully strikes Plougastel, which accounts for 212 deaths during this conflict. In  1944, a parachute unit of the 3rd Parachute Fighter Regiment, was parachuted into the Plougastel-Daoulas area as part of Operation Derry to open the way to the 8th US Army Corps, commanded by General Troy Middleton, responsible for taking Brest, to support the local resistance and to avoid the destruction of the Plougastel bridge. The Task force  “B ” continued its advance and showing a very high attack power clearing the Plougastel Peninsula on August 30, 1944.

The parish Church of St. Peter, once a priory dependent on the abbey of Daoulas, dating from the 15C, but then too small, was destroyed in 1870 and replaced by a Church of Flamboyant Gothic style at a site of a Chapel.  The initiative probably comes back to the Lords of Léon and the family of Rohan. The Church was completed in 1623 with a 28 meters high bell tower in a round turret containing the staircase to access the bells.  A Renaissance porch is added between 1640 and 1650. It was destroyed by WWII  and it was rebuilt with the bell tower done with concrete. However ,some items do remain such as the descend of the Cross and two retables one of Saint-Peter ,and the other of a Rosary.

Plougastel Daoulas

plougastel

The first that you see upon coming to town is the Church of Saint Peter rising above the place de l’église, monumental front and great bell tower. It was rebuilt as it is today in 1950.  The current Church was rebuilt in cross–shaped, style  with a recessed Spire, a nave of five bays with aisles, a crossroads with lantern and wings at the center of which is the choir, then another nave of three bays with aisles terminated by a right chevet. The Church of the 19C has retained a beautiful retable of the Rosary (dated 1654-1656) and topped by an altar the tomb of 16C of the Fallen Christ. The modern altar, made with marble of Mayenne dedicated in 1957.  There is a path of modern cross and the baptismal fonts from the 12C. The Church houses a statue of St. Peter and a Pietà.

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

Plougastel Daoulas

A lovely ensemble around the main square of the town, the Church, (calvary next and strawberry museum afterward). A great day for the whole family on a lovely traditional Breton town, and it was here that we first heard the Breton language spoken by folks in the restaurant!!

Some general webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Brittany on Plougastel-Daoulas

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on Plougastel

city of Plougastel on heritage

There you go enjoy a nice Church St Pierre in an nice town off the beaten path and trails of coastline to fall in love with!

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

 

 

February 18, 2019

Castle museum of the Navy, Brest!

As I like to stick with maritime heaven of Brest, let me bring you into something more historical , older, and with great architecture. Just what I like to see. I have come to Brest several times with the family, and we have stop here each time with each trip more in depth visits. The diversity of things to see here allows for the opportunity to come back again and again to see these jewels of my beloved Brittany and  belle France.

One of the sights that rigth away comes to your eyes upon entering the city is the Castle , a wonderfully preserved one indeed. However, the best of it is what is inside! A navy museum of France! It is a must to see indeed and good for the whole family! So I like to tell you a bit more on the National Museum of the Navy at Brest!

Brest

The National Museum of the Navy of Brest is one of the five national Museums of the Marine with Port-Louis, Rochefort, Toulon and Paris. The Museum of Brest, located within the framework of the castle, houses a heritage testifying to the history of the arsenal of Brest and the French Navy.  The visit of this Maritime Museum combines interior and exterior and allows discovering its maritime collections: models of ships, navigational instruments, paintings, sculptures (figures of bow and stern, busts of legendary figures linked to the world and objects of art.

Brest

Within the recently renovated Brest Castle, rich in 17 centuries of history, the National Museum of the Navy, traces the history of the arsenal and large sea fleets from Primauguet and Richelieu until today, and confirms the close ties between the city of Brest and this maritime history. By browsing the different rooms of the castle, the historic heart of the city, and one of the few vestiges of its past, you will enjoy a superb collection of models of ships, paintings, sculptures, the pocket submarine, the evocation of the old Brest, The memories of the prison… all in connection with the great naval adventure. Alone or in the company of a speaker, discover this exceptional site that offers a superb panorama of the harbor, the Penfeld and the city.

brest

brest mus marine insignias weapons nov13

Heir to the historical halls of the arsenals, the great collections of Paris, Versailles and the practical Works Hall of the School of Engineering Builders, the National Museum of the Navy is both museum of art and history, science and technical, human adventures and popular traditions, a center of maritime culture open to the widest public. It is intended to be the showcase and the Heritage Conservatory of all Marines. With the Museum of the St. Petersburg (Russia), it shares the privilege of being one of the two oldest maritime museums in the world by the importance and diversity of its collections.  Around its permanent collections, large models of arsenals, paintings including the series of the ports of Vernet, of objects witnessing maritime activities, and by its temporary exhibitions, the National Museum of the Navy sensitizes the public to the maritime fact. It offers to the visitor not only a permanent collection but also temporary exhibitions as well as numerous animations, workshops and visits with family or for the younger ones.

brest

brest

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official National Museum of the Navy at Brest

Official tourist office of Brest on the museum

There is a great parking area just in front of the castle ,where we always parked and from there is easy walking all over the city center. A wonderful time well spent with the family and highly recommended as one of the best maritime museums in the world! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2019

Océanopolis at Brest!

So let me bring you up north of my Brittany and into the seafaring tradition of the Bretons. The sea is all around us and is part of the history and traditions of this region so no surprise that one of the best aquariums are here too.

I have written before about Brest of course, but believe showcasing this aquarium or Océanopolis of Brest is worth it. I say it is worth a detour, wonderful place indeed. It is impressive enough arriving on the point of the city next to the harbor and sea making a roundabout turn to get into it and there you have it , again , a wonderful place to visit, and good for the whole family.

Océanopolis is a center of scientific culture dedicated to the oceans, located in Brest, near the marina of the Moulin Blanc. Rue Cormorans, Brest. The shape of the first building, the temperate pavilion, is reminiscent of a crab. Océanopolis opened its doors in 1990. The first goal was to offer a showcase to the sea science through the temperate pavilion. In fact, Brest brings together 60% of European research on the sea. Fully refurbished in 2000 with the addition of the polar and tropical pavilions, Océanopolis proposes a scientific approach to the marine environment as a whole. For this, about 50 aquariums from 50 to 1 000 000 liters for the shark basin are offered to the public. In addition to the basins, different supports (video, interactive kiosks, panels…) provide additional information on the biology of species, the protection of the environment, the functioning of ecosystems. The center is cut into three pavilions, corresponding to three different environments: temperate, polar and tropical. 10 000 animals and marine plants of 1 000 species can thus be discovered in this complex. Océanopolis includes 8 700 m2 of visiting areas and 4 million liters of sea water including 1 million for the shark basin.

Brest oceanopolis boutiques restos nov12

A bit of history I like

Éric Hussenot, marine biologist passionate about marine mammals and Jean-Paul Alayse, oceanographer and specialist of basins, have a joint project of Aquarium-Museum from the beginning of the 1980’s. These two researchers from the CNRS write the thesis “Project for the creation of an aquarium-museum in Brest” highlighting the potential of the ecosystems of the Sea of Iroise. In 1988, the work of Océanopolis, called “The House of the Sea”, began. It opens its doors to the public on June 21, 1990 with the label of center of Scientific and technical culture. By creating in 2000 two new pavilions (one showing the polar ecosystems, the other the tropical marine environment), the center passes from the simple aquarium stage to the ocean Discovery Park.

It is divided into zones or basins such as:

Pavillon Bretagne : The first pavilion of Océanopolis, the temperate pavilion was designed to serve as a showcase for marine and scientific activities in the region. From the bottom of the Atlantic continental Shelf to the fine sand beach, we discover animals and plants of the Breton coast in reconstituted environments in the nearest reality. At the end of the pavilion, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize themselves even more with the fauna and the coastal flora thanks to the demonstration puddle where they can touch the inhabitants of the seaside: starfish, anemones, sea urchins… Among the animals that can be seen in the basins: bars, marine seals, bats and spotted local sharks.

Brest

Pavillon Polaire : Opened in 2000, this pavilion presents the fauna of the north and south poles. At first, it is the penguins and birds that inhabit the sub-antarctic islands that visitors may encounter.  A little further afield, a transitional space allows us to learn more about the food relations in the poles and the Inuit people living in the Arctic. In a second step, the Polar Pavilion proposes to discover the Arctic fauna

Brest

Pavillon Tropicale :  Open at the same time as the Polar Pavilion, the tropical Pavilion is built as a four-step journey through the tropical seas. At the entrance of this tropical pavilion, the visit begins with the lagoon, a new aquarium that allows observing from the surface of the water the species of a tropical lagoon of shallow depth. Each stage of the visit then corresponds to a tropical zone and one or more basins as well as a theme. The Pacific Ocean and the Sharks, the Indo-Australian archipelago, the coral and the inhabitants of the reef, the Indian Ocean and the large tropical fish families, the endemism of the Caribbean regions. The visit of the pavilion ends with a walk in an equatorial forest, carried out in partnership with the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest.

Brest oceanopolis to tropical sect nov12

Outside the Océanopolis building is a marquee that welcomes a new exhibition every two years. Océanopolis has expanded by creating a new outdoor space dedicated to otters and sea lions. This space of 300 m2 is specially designed to discover two new coastal ecosystems, one northeast Atlantic and the other Californian. Océanopolis also offers general public lectures available for free. Océanopolis also hosts annual cultural and scientific events, such as the Oceanographic Adventure Film Festival, the Science Festival or the night of the researchers.

Brest

The Marine Mammal Studies Laboratory of Océanopolis (LEMM) was established in 1989. Its mission is to study the coastal populations of marine mammals in Brittany. The species studied are mainly: the grey seal of the Mullein Archipelago and the Sept-Îles, the great dolphin of the island of Sein and the archipelago of Mullein. It is part of it and tours can be arranged with the Océanopolis.

Brest

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Océanopolis in English

Tourist office of Brest on Océanopolis

There you go, again , a wonderful trip with the whole family and fully educational with fantastic views of the basin in all pavillions. Hope you enjoy Océanopolis as we did.

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

February 15, 2019

Basilica minor Saint Sauveur, Dinan!

Today I finish my tour of Dinan in the wonderful Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved region of Brittany. It is an area worth seeing indeed, and one reason is very popular to visitors to Brittany.

As said, have written several posts on Dinan, but this time will pick one monument that needs special attention for a one post visit. This is the Church of Saint Sauveur of Dinan.

The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan It is also a place of Marian devotion to Notre-Dame-des-Virtues, bas-relief of the 15C formerly preserved in the convent of the Cordeliers. The object of local veneration, this representation of the assumption of the Virgin allowed the Church to be erected in a minor Basilica by Pope Pius XII on 23 May 1954.

Dinan

Dinan

The building of Saint-Sauveur Church, in 1112, was attributed to the Chevalier Riwallon Le Roux, the grandson of Josselin I of Dinan, on his return from the crusade to the Holy Land, where he fought bravely in Palestine. In the battle, he made a vow, if he saw Dinan, to build a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity: Saint-Sauveur. Back in Dinan, he undertook the construction of the sanctuary. In the arm of the north transept are preserved the heart of De Guesclin and its tombstone. This basilica, which overlooks the Rance river, is one of the most original in Brittany, raised in the 12C, with a Romano-Byzantine façade, and developed in flamboyant Gothic in the 15C and 16C. Also to see, the statuette of the Madonna with the child, the monumental splashback in granite, the vault of the basilica, a stained glass window representing the four Evangelists or the Holy one at the bottom of which appear two fish in high relief that symbolize the life brought by baptism. Note that most stained glass windows date back to the 19C, with some unidentified fragments, apparently prior to the 15C .During the French revolution, the Church was change into a temple of the Supreme Being and then hay Barn, the Church was returned to worship in 1800. The salvage of the dilapidated work continued until the Second Empire.

Dinan

The 12C Church of St Sauveur was the subject of a campaign of important works starting from 1480: a aisle with a line of chapels was built north of the Romanesque nave; The upper level of the façade was rebuilt. South of the nave, a aisle was planned but not built; Instead a small three-piece chapel was built at the old location of a door, starting from 1500. The bedside was completely rebuilt from 1507. The ambulatory and the radiant chapels are vaulted before 1545, the date of the collapse of the steeple. After this event, the upper parts of the choir and the transept, which began in 1557, were not vaulted. These parts are completed in 1646 by a panelled frame, replaced by a false plaster vault in the 18C.

Dinan

The architecture of the Basilica of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan is divided into two distinct ensembles:

A Romanesque part of the 12C consisting of the ground floor of the western façade and the southern wall of the nave, outside, the Romanesque part is exceptional; the western façade is of a very unusual style in Brittany and the south wall seems to influence Byzantine ; while the lower part of the western façade is actually approaching a more prevalent Romanesque style in the regions of Poitou and Saintonge than in Brittany. Of the 12C architecture, the nave and the transept can only be described, the choir having been completely rebuilt in the 15-16C. A Gothic part occupying the rest of the building (top of the western façade, north wall of the lower side of the nave, transept, chorus and bedside). The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur was rebuilt in the 15-16C, the builders adopted the flamboyant Gothic architecture as at the Church of Saint-Malo de Dinan (see previous post)  of which the construction is contemporary with that of the basilica. The upper part of the western façade, the north wall of the nave, the transept and the bedside are built in flamboyant Gothic. The realization of the bedside was laborious, several incidents postponed the work and the construction of the Chapels of the ambulatory, begun in 1507, continued until the 18C. Despite these difficulties, the bedside represents a dazzling example of Renaissance Gothic.

Dinan

The Basilica of Saint Sauveur currently has three bells, which are located on the lower level of the steeple (stone part). Before the French revolution, the Basilica had four, but they were sold. The bells were replaced successively in 1832, 1868 and 1873. The latter was replaced in 1961. The bell name, Elisabeth weighs about 2.516 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.620 mm. It was done in 1868. The Bell No. 2, Bell without baptismal name weighs about 1.250 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.285 mm; done in 1832. The  Anne Cécile, weighs between 845 and 900 kg. The diameter of the clamp is 1.150 mm and was done in 1961. It is the smallest of the three bells that ring, three times a day, in 8:02, 12:02 and 19h02, the Angelus.

Dinan

 The stained glass windows of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur are mostly from the second half of the 20C, except for the Évangélistes window, placed in a chapel on the north side. The two stained-glass windows of the Romanesque wall closest to the Crusaders contain fragments of unidentified stained glass, probably prior to the 15C.

Dinan

Two   important altarpieces that struck the most on the visit was that of Altar piece painting of Santa Barbara 18C and the Painting of Saint Eloi as a bishop .

 In 1839 , Aristide Cavaillon-Coll delivers his opus 6 to the parish of Saint-Sauveur in Dinan. He then had 28 games on three manual keyboards and a pedal (12 games at the Grand organ, 8 at the positive, 4 in the narrative and 4 on the pedal. The buffet, in a single-minded style, affects neoclassical architecture tempered by Renaissance ornaments. Today, the Grand organs of Saint-Sauveur de Dinan have three manual keyboards and a pedal. of neo-classical aesthetics, the instrument, with electric transmission, has not much to do with the work of Cavaillon-Coll.

Some webpages to shed more on the wonderful Dinan even if on the Basilica you need to come to see are

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on the heritage in Dinan

There you you go a bit more on wonderful Dinan and its beautiful Basilica Minor Saint Sauveur a well merited stop while here. Another jewel of my belle France and gorgeous Brittany.

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

 

 

February 14, 2019

Church Saint Malo at Dinan!

So keeping my wings over my beloved Brittany, take you up north again to the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 and beautiful Dinan. Ah yes very popular town and famous for the chic and famous nice living good beaches and several nice places to see if reading my blog.

I have written several entries on Dinan, and believe a single post on this wonderful Church is worth a post. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Malo in Dinan.

The Church of Saint-Malo is from the 15C located in Dinan in the dept 22 of Côtes-d’Armor. It is representative of the flamboyant Gothic in Brittany. The Church dimensions are 76.50 meters long by 44.10 meters wide.

Dinan

A bit of history I like

The first Church of Saint-Malo was located outside the walls at the site of the present Chapelle Saint-Joachim at boulevard Flaud, this first church depended on the Priory Saint-Malo founded in 1066 by Olivier, Viscount of Dinan. In 1488, the French army threatened Britain, Duke Francis II fearing the capture of Dinan ordered the destruction of the first Church of Saint-Malo, in order to prevent the French army of Charles VIII from using it as a fulcrum to attack the city. He agreed to finance a new Church on the condition that it be rebuilt intra-muros. At the end of July 1488, after the Breton defeat of the Battle of Saint Aubin du Cormier, the French army commanded by Louis de la Trémoille began the siege of Dinan, the city capitulated quickly and in August 1488 Jean II of Rohan, first Baron of Brittany but ally of France, took control of the city. There he will remain the captain from 1488 to 1516.

 Dinan

Dinan

A polygonal bedside plan with three radiant chapels of Beaumanoir style architecture is chosen, departing from the fashion of the bedsides favorite designs in the large churches built at that time in Brittany. The choice of this architecture could have been imposed by Jean II of Rohan, churches with the same type of architecture are indeed distributed in its possessions in other regions of Brittany.   The laying of the first stone takes place in May 1490 with part of the materials recovered from the site of the old church of Saint-Malo (present-day Chapel of Saint-Joachim), of which there will remain only part of the nave, the complement is provided by Querignan granite.

In 1508, the financing of the church was taken over by Duchess Anne and then by King Louis XII. These gifts added to those of the congregation of Saint-Malo, allow to complete the choir , a sanctuary covered with a wooden vault, ambulatory and chapels, the walls of the transept and the central vessel of the nave. The steeple without its arrow were built in 1517. The north chapels would not have been built until the mid-16C. At the end of the 16C, the heirs of Jean II of Rohan became Protestants, Henri II de Rohan then ceded his right in the axial chapel of the church to the steward Raoul Marot des Alleux, he was built a mausoleum in white marble in the form of a sarcophagus of the first half of the 17C. The triumphant porch on the Grand ‘ Rue ,southern entrance of the transept was erected between 1613 and 1630.

Dinan

During the French revolution, the Church of Saint Malo was no longer dedicated to worship, it served as a wheat market, stable, theater, and barracks. Most of the noble marks present in the Church are hammered according to the guidelines of the Convention, the mausoleum of the steward Marot des Alleux was destroyed in 1795 (five fragments are known: two were reused as fronts of altars- Chapel in the Church of Saint-Malo and Chapelle Saint Joachim-Two are stored at the museum and the last one is used in siding in a chapel of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur). Throughout the revolutionary period, the church degrades, the roof of the nave pours the rainwater into the nave, the two chapels which had been built at both angles of the transept and nave threaten to fall into ruins, the Ivy invaded the pinnacles and the gargoyles, the windows were clogged in the places where the stained glass was broken. The Church is returned to worship in 1803.

A bit on the construction architecture I like

The construction of the nave takes place from 1855 to 1865, it relies on foundations dating from the 15C respecting the original plan (the columns of the nave dating from the 16C) the spire of the steeple will never be built. The entire eastern part (chorus and transept) as well as the nave’s central hall date from the 15C and 16C in flamboyant Gothic, the triumphant porch on the Grand ‘ Rue, the 17C of Renaissance style and the aisles of the nave, of the 19C (interior and exterior neo-Gothic) but respecting the original flamboyant style. The choir measuring 25 meters by 20 meters is supported by eight pillars, the granite vault culminates at 21 meters. Two chapels open on the south ambulatory, they are followed by a small strong house that contains the sacristy, part vaulted surmounted by the hall of the factory. It is accessed by the second door and a spiral staircase. This staircase also makes it possible to reach the triforium. These two broken-arched doors are adorned with sculpted animals (dog, lion and 2 dragons) and kale. The Hall of the factory is illuminated by a large gothic canopy and has an opening overlooking the choir. This little opening might imply that Jean II of Rohan was using this room as Oratory.

Three chapels occupy the apse and four the north ambulatory, the last one contains the door overlooking the staircase leading to the steeple. Each chapel has splashback . The Sacraire (a niche containing the objects of worship) and sometimes a stone altarpiece (an architectural piece against which the altar is supported and whose background, placed above the altar, contains a painting, a bas-relief, a statue, etc.. ) . Some chapels have enfeus in arcades indicating their assignment to wealthy families in Dinan.. The key located in front of the axial chapel of the apse represents the seven deadly sins, this representation could relate to the conflict between Jean II of Rohan, founder of the Church of Saint Malo and the Duke of Brittany. If one observes the scene well, one can notice that the devil having the hand on the mouth of the character tortured possesses a ducal crown, it could be the Duke of Brittany preventing Jean II de Rohan from expressing himself.

Dinan

At that time, it was planned to build a high arrow in place of the current steeple, this explains the imposing size of the columns of the transept. The north arm of the transept ,early 16C contains the staircase leading to the steeple. The south arm, built in the 16C, contains the great organ, it opens with a triumphant portico of Renaissance style 17C closed by two oak doors 17C. The nave 19C, 26 meters long and 18 meters high, comprises three vessels. The central nave is covered with a vault in Tufa of Angers. The aisles are illuminated by ogival windows topped with stained glass from the 19C and 20C. The Church of Saint Malo, of quite imposing size, has a small steeple 40 meters, which is in fact only a four-pans roof with some small giblets. Originally, the Church had to have a granite arrow, of which we can see the bases from each angle of the roof. It should have been consistent, given the size of the four pillars of the transept, each having a diameter of three meters.

Dinan

The bell tower still contains four bells, three of which are regularly used and are motorized.   The Bourdon, affectionately dubbed “Gros-Malo” and would weigh the low weight of 2.980 kg. According to the diameter of this bell, 1.775 mm, it would actually weigh 3.319 kg. It is inlaid in the floor of the chamber of the bells because too big to fit in this little steeple. This bell was made in 1869. The second bell, “Mélanie-Clementine” up and done in 1835. It has a diameter of 1.230 mm and weighs about 1.092 kg. The third bell, “Marie-Henriette-Anne ” and replaces since 1929   “Marie-Louise “, which was offered by the sister of François-René de Chateaubriand, in 1846. It has a diameter of 1.075 mm and weighs about 720 kg. The fourth bell, slightly false, non-motorized, probably served as an alarm bell. It never rings.

Set up after the completion of the nave in 1865, the stained windows of the choir, the transept and the chapels of the nave were laid during the late 19C, those of the aisles of the nave, during the first half of the 20C, then the stained-glass windows of the axial chapel were renovated at the beginning of the second half of the 20C. The Church Saint Malo has two organs: the Grand organ, built in 1889, of English built, it has three keyboards of 56 notes and a pedal of 30 notes., just like the carved chestnut tribune, which is located in the south transept. A second organ, formerly owned by a Polish pianist, Henri Kowalski, serves as a choir organ. It is in a chapel in the northeast of the altar.

 Dinan

Some webpages to help you  plan your trip here and do get to this Church of Saint Malo even if not much written on in the tourist sites are

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Dinan

The sights are endless, the beauty is out of this world, this is celtic Brittany at its best and I encourage you to come over and see it first hand. Say hello who knows I am always around! The Church of Saint Malo is a bit struggle into the politics of Brittany that prevails it from getting independant with many of its nobles not decided or did so wiht France. Lots of history, architecture here at Dinan.

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

 

 

February 14, 2019

The castle museum of Dinan!

And continuing to showcase my lovely Brittany to all readers, I come to a very nice popular area of Dinan. Not to be confused with the other similar name town this one is in the dept 22 of Côtes d’Armor. And one of the beauties of it is its castle museum!

We came by car of course, and as always once in town, walking is it. Lovely city to walk full of history and architecture marvels, the Castle is one of the main attraction but there are others to come in later posts. I have written before on Dinan, but believe it gives credit to what is deserve a post on the castle alone is well merited. Here is my take on the Castle museum of Dinan

dinan

The Château de Dinan in Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 in my beautiful Brittany lies to the south of the city. It is a composite ensemble, formed at the end of the 16C by the Duke of Mercœur from three elements initially distinct: The ducal tower, built in the decade 1380 by the Duke of Brittany Jean IV, the Guichet tower originally the southern gate of the city-and the Coëtquen tower, a remarkable artillery tower built at the end of the 15C during the modernization of the urban enclosure, sponsored by the Duke Francis II. The ensemble is part of the urban enclosure of Dinan, built at the end of the 13C by the Dukes of Brittany, and was once the third most important of the duchy after those of Nantes and Rennes.

dinan

Winner of the War of the succession of Brittany, Jean IV the Conqueror, Duke of Brittany, decided to build a master tower in Dinan in 1380 in order to assert his authority in a city that had long supported his rival Charles de Blois . The construction site is completed in 1393 and maybe even from 1384. Made up of two contiguous round towers, the junction of which is reinforced to the west by a square front, the building culminates more than 30 meters. The coronation is reinforced by machicolations consoles with four jumps. The lower, very stretched jump allows the console to rely on a larger number of seats, while providing a high quality aesthetic rendering.

dinan

More than a fortress, this construction is above all a princely residence, a real palace tour where the distribution of the spaces and the high quality of the interior decorations meet a strict organization, characteristic of the end of the 14C. Thus, on five levels, the kitchen, the banquet hall, the siding room and the chapel, and finally the private apartments, take place in turn. Originally, a sixth level and a roof described in 1636 as double peaks in slate-covered spikes complemented the ensemble. A remarkable example of the architecture of the late 14C, the tower-Palace of Dinan, due to its architectural complexity and the quality of its decor, is one of the great princely mansions of the period. At the scale of Brittany, the castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes (Loire Atlantique 44) and the Château de Suscinio (Morbihan 56) are a witness to the refinement of the Court of Montfort.

dinan

At the end of the 16C, Dinan became a stronghold of the Catholic League and, under the impetus of the Duke of Mercœur, governor of Brittany, major changes were made. In order to reunite the master tower at the Coëtquen Tower, an artillery tower erected at the end of the 15C, a military sheath called the Mercoeur underground was arranged, resulting in the condemnation of the Guichet gate which is then walled. In parallel, a high-court, protected by spurs structures was built in a very significance way, it is to the city and not to the exterior that are turning the doorways.

dinan

The castle, which became a common law prison in the 19C, was bought in the early 20C by the town of Dinan, which installed its municipal museum in 1908. The Museum of Dinan in the ducal tower which then becomes the Castle Museum. Dedicated to the history and crafts of Dinan and its territory, the collections include many ethnographic objects collected in the towns of the banks of Rance river in the 1950’s and 1970’s. The museum is in discussion for a  Projet Scientifique et Culturel,(cultural and scientifc project)  that come about this year 2019 to determine its orientation for the future so make sure call ahead to know if will be open.

dinan

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Dinan on the Castle

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on the castle of Dinan

Therefore, another excuse to come to jolly celtic beautiful Brittany where history architecture and religion is all around us every day. Hope you enjoy it and do come is a must visit! The castle museum of Dinan is very nice indeed

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

 

February 13, 2019

Saint Enogat Church, Dinard!

So here I am back at you with another off the beaten path jewel of glorious Dinard in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my beloved Brittany. As our insaitable thirst for the curiosities of our world and the richness of our belle France have taken us to many small villages and even famous ones as Dinard is, but rather to seek the humble and simple kept apart from the noises of visitors to show us the real city and its past.

I like to tell you about the Saint Enogat Church of Dinard, another off the beaten path of my belle France. Again not much written on it officially.

dinard

We like to arrive at a city by car and in Europe that is very doable and easy and for large families cheaper. Once settle in to our city, the real thrill begins with walks, yes inside a city in Europe the best is to walk. Not easy to tell my dear friends and family from America but walking a couple of km in a city is a piece of cake here and all do it, we love it!! There is so much to see, and reminds me of a fellow blogger jot down and marked it right away because with so much to see , easily forgets later.

But onwards with the find at fashionable Dinard!

In 1858, the capital of the old parish of Saint-Enogat was transferred from the village of this name to the town of Dinard. The Church that was Renaissance style Latin cross form, was demolished except the tower. In 1867, a new parish was created in Saint-Enogat and a new church was built between 1872 and 1874, reusing the tower of the steeple-porch dated 1761.

dinard

dinard

The organ built at the beginning of the 20C, by Charles Mutin, for an English family. It was transferred to the Church of St-Enogat around 1950, it is completely redesigned and modified in its composition in 1970.

The city has some info here: City of Dinard on religious heritage

And once again, need to translate from the city as not much info on these off the beaten path jewels

“At the beginning of the 17C, the primitive Church was already located at the site of the present Church; in Renaissance style, it included a nave and three altars. Only the steeple-porch built in 1761 survives today. Indeed, a violent storm destroyed in April 1853 the roof and the nave of the Church. The inhabitants of the village began the reconstruction themselves before obtaining satisfaction when the Imperial decree of 19 June 1867 recognized their Church as a separate branch from that of Dinard founded in 1858. On 27 June, a episcopal ordinance created a new parish, including Saint-Enogat and various neighbouring villages. . The first stone of the new place of worship was laid on January 7, 1872. The construction of the Church was completed only in June 1874, the presbytery in 1877. On June 27, 1880, the parish, affirming its individuality, was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The interior now retains pieces of liturgical furniture from the late 19C and 20C.”

dinard

dinard

The walk around the neighborhood is super, with beautiful beach of Enogat, lovely grand, chic very classic as the city is known to be. I have written on previous posts on the city and its beauties, and just leave you the tourist office here: Tourist office emerald coast Dinard

dinard

Hope you enjoy these off the beaten path tours on popular places to visit in my Brittany. There is a whole world out there seen and yet to be seen, my long journey to see as much as possible of this most visited country which I proudly call mine!

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

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