Archive for ‘Europe’

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 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

Boutiques, curiosities of Versailles!

And back to familiar territory of old, my beloved Versailles. Ok so the the city is more than a castle, I know. However, there is so much still to see inside and I am afraid folks rush thru it on just a one day trip from Paris! It really deserves more, really!

I like to tell you a bit on some of the nice boutiques and eating places inside. You will be in heaven! Enjoy my Palace/musuem of Versailles.  And it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, ok!

We dare go in the property to take some pictures, and I like to point out the many boutiques and resto to eat and shop inside, such as the Librarie des Princes, by the Cour d’honneur for books and music.

The Library of Princes  is on 200 m2, and in the form of an apartment. From the boudoir to the dining room, by way of the library and the bedrooms, works and objects celebrating the French way of life are on offer. These rooms with very marked atmospheres will allow the public to discover more than 1000 different books presented alongside objects and by-products. The disguises of princess, marquise and queen, rub shoulders with the chivalrous world of budding musketeers. Reproductions of 18C toys such as totems, spinning tops, bilboquets, drums and rattles of princes and princesses, invite to playful moments to shared. And many books as well. Worth the visit indeed!

Official Palace of Versailles Library info in English

And an official  precise site for it as you do not need ticket admission to the Château de Versailles to come here is : http://www.librairiedesprinces.com/

versailles

The  Boutique de l’Ancienne Comédie, for souvenirs and nice local castle oriented gifts. The boutique is located at the exit of the tour circuits of the Palace/museum, this shop occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the bouche du Roi (King’s mouth), under the cour des Princes. You can see what is available on the below link.

Official Chateau de Versailles on the boutique items

versailles

Angelina at the Petit Trianon. This was our hangout when jogging/ walking in the domaine property at the time of me living there; enormous, awesome, grandiose magnifique to have a light meal while looking at the Palace gardens , the back view and the Petit Trianon next to you!!  Angelina installs during the beautiful days a beautiful terrace under the trees, in front of the Petit Trianon. It is used in an outhouse of the Trianon, then you brings your  trays outside. There is a very nice outdoor terrace of 100 seats and heated in Winter. Also in Summer, an  ice cream cart.

Official Chateau de Versailles on Angelina

Versailles

And of course, when talking about Versailles there is never enough on me. There are about 4 places in the world that are just too much of souvenirs! One of them is Versailles, of course. While now in Bretagne, my soul is still there and why not combine the two while in town , Breton foods and the Versailles ambiance!

The wonderful rue Satory off ave de Sceaux, (walk easy from palace) ,and of course a nice Breton lunch at Le Blé Noir, 9 rue de Satory, from a true citizen of Quiberon,Morbihan , my stop now when in town, lots of local discussion indeed took place; and we both agree we have the best of the world, Versailles and the Morbihan ::)  Great galette de chévre or goat cheese,lardons and tomatoes, 50Cl  pitcher of cider,and expresso coffee. Great!. And now part of a group with two outlets in Paris! More info here: Le Blé Noir at Versailles

versailles

versailles

One emblem of the city that actually divides Versailles from Le Chesnay (now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (which is actually the union of two neighboring towns) ) is the Monument aux Morts (monument to the fallen)  at Place de la Loi. Lovely photo of rememberance. Enjoy my eternal Versailles!

versailles

And I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did telling you about it. Versailles is it! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

August 12, 2019

Antiques at Versailles!

So why not tell you another little spot in my beloved Versailles where I will not be tired of telling you lived for almost 10 sublimes years. I now consol myself to visited it once a year , or sometimes twice, having move to lovely Morbihan in Bretagne.

There is so much to see in Versailles and again will not be tired of telling you the city is more than the palace/museum as almost everyone that comes here do not go elsewhere in the city, a pity.

Let me tell you about the Antiques quarter of Versailles in my nostalgic Notre Dame district of Versailles.

Versailles

The whole area is broken down into sections and all are worth the detour good for about half a day. These areas are the Bailliage, Village, Carré, and Passage.

The Bailliage this superb 18C building built in 1724 by Tavenot, a student of Mansart, first court and first prison of Versailles today houses antique shops and galleries that present furniture, modern paintings and objets d’art in a charming setting.

Let yourself be dragged to the Village, former outbuildings of the Picardie hotel where the little houses arranged in a horseshoe around the well, welcome the walkers. A picturesque staircase will guide you to other exhibitors and will allow you if you wish to join the rue de la Pourvoierie and the Notre Dame market.

Versailles

The Passage is implanted in the old walk of the prisoners of the prison of the Geole. Samson who executed Louis XVI held the office of executioner until 1788. Madame Du Barry, the famous favorite of Louis XV was locked during the French revolution. Today, jewels, ceramics, elegant furniture, objects of shop windows are the admiration of all walkers.

The Carré des Antiquaires, originally stables of the Bailliage, turned into sheds during the 19C to house the wines and spirits destined for the Notre Dame market where the given name of Cour de l’Etape aux Vins. Or courtyard of the step with the wines. Today transformed into galleries of antique shops or craftsmen’s workshops they reveal the richness of the creation, and the art of living of past centuries.

You can come into this wonderful area of my Versailles by the Passage de la Geôle or the rue du Bailliage or the 14 bis, rue Baillet-Reviron or the 13, rue de la Pourvoierie. The hours are for the Passage and Village, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h. For the Carré, Thursdays afternoons and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h and the Bailliage from Tuesdays to Sundays 10h to 19h.

More info here in French: Official Antiques of Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the antiques in English

And there you go another wonderful artful historical and architecturally stunning visit to the other Versailles. The antiquaires area is wonderful worth a detour. Enjoy it

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

 

August 12, 2019

From the old Hospital Richaud, the new Espace Richaud, Versailles of course!

It’s been a while do not share a post about my beloved Versailles. If you have been reading my posts , you know I lived here for almost 10 years and still my sentimental favorite. Versailles is sublime, royal, majestic and chic with nice town feel.

Anything to do with it I stay abreast of the news and a while back I wrote of the transformation of an icon in the city, and now very modern spaces. The city of Versailles did a survey believe was in 2016 where if found the visitors to the city 98% only see the Palace/museum!! What a pity, this is a piece of world history indeed in it. I am trying in my posts to show you the other Versailles as well.

As living there, I needed to do some backtracking to find pictures, as when you live as local found hard times to go around taking pictures lol! I actually took a whole lot more after I left as resident and visited as tourist lol! believe it or not…

Pictures are not allowed inside ,but is worth the detour is the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception. In your walks of the city and you must get out of the palace, at the end of rue royale, take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier, you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the  Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception.

versailles

A bit of history of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception,  and its meaning. It all started when the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, who in 1224 joined the Order of the Poor Ladies, of which its first abbess was the sister Claire. Hence the name adopted later: the Poor Clares., the nuns who joined them were called “Colettines”. The Poor Clares of Versailles belonged to this branch of the Franciscan Order. Some of their most important dates are : The apparitions of Our Lady at Bernadette, Lourdes 1858; Installation of Poor Clares Colettines at Versailles in 1860 ; Chapel consecrated in 1867 to the Immaculate Conception; Departure regretted of the Poor Clares in June 1999; and October 12, 2008, resumption of worship during the month of the Rosary of the year of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

The congregation official Catholic site in French of the chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception in Versailles

I like to take rememberence to the Hôpital Richaud, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days.  I have been in it and still have some pictures as to when it began to be change unfortunately. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo,apartment complex, the only building left will be the Chapel. The Chapel was, in the Convent of the Augustinians of Versailles or Couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772. It is very near my old home and easy to get here from Paris as my old route was from the Gare Rive Droite  Versailles on the Line Paris St Lazare, La Défense. If you are in city center Versailles by the rive gauche station nearest the palace you can take local bus phebus lines A, H, or G, arrêt/stop  Gare Rive Droite. Or do a nice walk and enjoy the wonderful historical and elegant architecture of Versailles!

versailles

L’hôpital Richaud, also known as the  Hôpital Royal de Versailles is completely restored and transformed since 2015 in housing, shops and liberal professions offices. The hospital is located in the Notre-Dame district in the center of Versailles near the Rive-Droite train station (my old neighborhood) . It is located also in this district and near the Notre-Dame Church, Lambinet Museum, Hoche High School and Saint-Jean-Hulst Private School. Two underground car parks have been dug on either side of the building, one under the bd de la Reine named Reine-Richaud and managed by Urbis Park, at the entrance rue du Maréchal Foch, and the another under the Place du Marché Notre-Dame, managed by Indigo.

versailles

This hospital Richaud has a long history since at its origin was the house of charity created by king Louis XIII in 1636 The construction work of the Royal Hospital of Versailles spread over a long period of nearly 80 years,and was not finishing until 1859. The site was assigned a hospital function: first modest ‘charity house’ held by the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, the institution has seen its patient attendance grow over the years   until the 1960s.

After the transfer of activities to the Hôpital Mignot hospital site in 1981, the site goes through many years of neglect. This hospital is next to my boys high school in Le Chesnay now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (as of Jan 2019) , just a street over from the city of Versailles!  City of le Chesnay-Rocquencourt and the Hospital Mignot

In November 2009, the real estate promotor organisation ,OGIC acquired almost the entire Royal Hospital of Versailles from the French State via the town to turn it into housing, with 20% of social housing, shops and gardens . The opening to the public of the whole of the Carré des Siècles,(square of centuries) new name given to the real estate site was made in April 2015. It is a block of housing (317 dwellings including 66 upscale apartments and 91 social housing or students), shops (five in number) and offices ( nearly 3000 m2), with a cultural space that can accommodate exhibitions or concerts, a daycare of 66 cradles and 10.000 m2 of public gardens.

The renovated chapel, now Space Richaud, now hosts exhibitions, the largest as of this date being the one dedicated to the Little Prince, as well as plays in the context of the month of Molière.

Some webpages to help you see more of the site of Richaud are

City of Versailles and the Space Richaud

Tourist office of Versailles on the hospital and chapel restore

General Hospital Richaud of Versailles today

And there you can see it, you can go in and visit the espace Richaud or old royal Chapel and see still the beauty of it. Just another gem in my beloved Versailles, do see it, and behold. Versailles is a lot more than a palace!

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!!!

 

 

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