Archive for ‘Europe’

April 24, 2019

Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie at Pontivy!

So here is another gem that I have often written on it in previous posts but never a post of its own, which I think it deserves.  Again right up the alley on my area on the Napoleonic town of Pontivy (read my posts to know why) we have the Basilica Church of Notre Dame de la Joie; of course in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56.

The Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-La-Joie is located at the place Bourdonnay-du-Clézio, and the place Anne de Bretagne, it is in the center of the medieval town of Pontivy.

Pontivy

A bit of history I like

The commemorative stone placed between the two flagstones dominating the western portal, recalls that the first stone was laid on April 29, 1533. The local Pontivyens, whose Church of St. Ivy was too small and falls from dilapidated, are obliged to raise in the 1530’s a new sanctuary in the form of a Latin cross, partly thanks to the financial assistance of the Bishop of Cornouaille Claude de Rohan. The arms of the family of Rohan are also listed above the double door of the tower and their faces are recalled on the columns.

Pontivy

According to local tradition, an epidemic of dysentery was rampant in the city in 1695 and 1696. On September 11, 1696, the inhabitants would have made the vow, if the scourge ceases, to offer to the Virgin an eternal silver lamp in the Chapel dedicated to St. Ivy. The invocation of Mary having made the scourge disappears, the lamp would have been lit the next day and a first procession organized in her honor. The Church is then placed under the term of Notre Dame de la Joie or Our Lady of Joy. In reality, the cult of the Virgin is more ancient in the region and that of Pontivy dates back at least to the previous century. Since then, the tradition lasts, a pardon (penitence procession) being organized on the 12th of September or the following Sunday, now every second Sunday of September.

The Church of Notre Dame de la Joie was transformed at the end of the 18C, in particular thanks to the liberalities of the Dukes of Rohan, as well as at the end of the19C such as the Spire, the aisles of the choir and the vaults of the nave date from 1886 in order to respond to the increase of the population of Faithful. On January 10, 1959, Pope John XXIII granted the Church the title of minor Basilica.

Pontivy

A bit of architecture I like

The Basilica Church of Notre Dame de la Joie makes a large appeal to the granites stones of  with grey-green brick schists and eroded sandstone. Successive additions have made the Church lose its primitive plan in the Latin cross, but among the gables that cut the southern façade one still recognizes, at its elevation, the old cross brace. The broken-arch windows are lined with networks restored in the 19C and are topped with gables to the creeping hills decorated with sticks and cabbage. The western gate is made up of two twin bays in a basket-loop, underlined by a double-glazed window of gorges and carved with vine and oak leaves. These berries are topped with ornate curly braces and framed with three balusters fashioned in fine granite. Above their marquee stand out on slight pinnacles the repeated rhombuses on the three fretted columns,  these rhombuses represent the faces of the coat of arms of the House of Rohan.

The two upper floors are pierced on each side of a long window and crowned by a flaming gallery. This railing is loaded with animal gargoyles and corner pinnacles. On this basis was built an octagonal dome from which rises the stone Spire which succeeded, in 1886, to a slate frame. The three-nave main nave consists of four spans and communicates with the aisles through broken arcades to several archivolts that penetrate into columns engaged in square pillars. These pillars are done in granite coarse grain.

A bit more on the interior

The Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie preserves several altarpieces in the Interior, including that of the high altar. This altar, in polished grey marble and polychrome stone, done in 1782 in Rennes while the architectural altarpiece in marble and taffeta stone, dates from 1725. The Louis XV style, altarpiece adopts a concave plan with a central body in advance which houses in a huge niche, in the shape of arch in basket, the carved group of the Holy Family in terracotta. In the center, depicts Christ as an adult, summoned from the dove of the Holy Spirit and which shows the figure of God the Father. The columns of black marble, arranged on either side of this niche, support an entablature, embellished with rondeaux, dominated by an imposing semicircular pediment on which rests a crowning niche. In this niche, accosted with inverted columns and consoles, throne St. Ivy (Patron Saint of the parish) as a Bishop wearing monograms crowned with Christ and the Virgin, accompanied by two musicians Angels. The wings, curved, are flanked by columns lined with pilasters with Corinthian capitals and finished by inverted consoles with vegetal décor. They shelter, under red draperies forming a canopy, the statues of the parents of Virgin Mary, St. Joseph on the left and St. Anne on the right. Each statue is topped with an entablature decorated with crisscrossed palms and a cornice with dentelles and modillions. The upper level ends with two small ailerons, adorned with medallions probably illustrating the portraits of the donors carved in bas-relief and the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul draped in antique style.

Pontivy

Pontivy

The front of the high Altar bears the name of Jehovah in Hebrew characters, with the sun and the beams of stylized rays. It is topped by a marble Tabernacle with a wrought-in mosaic gold and enamel door over mounted. It was on this Altar that the Federation volunteers of the French revolution  signed their act of Union on January 19, 1790. This is the first time that the term living free or dying is used.

Pontivy

The Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie ,also, presents a series of statues from the 16-17-18C. The most notable, backed by the pillars  are Our Lady of Joy carved in an oak trunk, Our Lady of Deliverance revered by pregnant women, a polychrome wooden statues of St. Catherine and St. Barbara are likely to come from the former convent of the Recollects of Pontivy, now destroyed. The Church has a 17C wooden eagle-lectern, donated by the Duke of Rohan. The Louis XV style desk is adorned with a raptor whose greenhouses cling to a large bronze sphere that symbolizes the Earth’s globe.

Pontivy

Pontivy

An oil on canvas with the subject of the descent of the Cross, dated 1635 and restored in 1974, is a work of the Flemish school.  The Chapel Our Lady of Joy, has an altarpiece where the revered statue sits. The seated Virgin holds, on the right, a scepter and, standing on her knee the child Jesus. On the other side of the Choir, the altarpiece of the carved wooden Calvary is a typical 17C work.  The perpetual lamp is suspended from the vault. From the 19C, the Church preserved a series of stained glass windows and a Cavaillé-Coll organ made in 1836. Other stained glass windows were added in the 20C.

Pontivy

Pontivy

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Pontivy on heritage

Tourist office of the Morbihan 56 on the Basilica Church in French

There you go another gem near me and worth the detour, wonderful city center and great walks by the river. This is the Rohan territory of the Morbihan breton. Enjoy the Basilica Church Notre Dame de la Joie or Our Lady of Joy

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

April 23, 2019

The Presqu’ile of Quiberon!!!

On a calm cool evening at home , let me tell you a bit more of my local area.  Well this is by far the best area that I have seen in my region. The Quiberon is actually a peninsula( presqu’ile is almost island in French)  jetting out from mainland France into the Atlantic ocean in the department of Morbihan no 56 in Brittany.

quiberon

You are best get here by car from Paris A13 towards Rouen, then Caen, then there take the A84 towards Rennes, then the N24 direction Lorient or get off from the N24 to the N166 direction Vannes then N165 direction Lorient. You can do it from Paris on the A11 direction Le Mans but higher tolls. The trains get you to Vannes or Auray, from Roissy CDG or Montparnasse in Paris, and one ride to Quiberon during july and August, call the Tire Bouchon from Auray train station. There is ,also, bus line 1 TIM from Auray train station.. As always , I come here by car, is only about 40 minutes by car from my house, and find easy parking by the side of the church and near the tourist office, in front of the gare or train station, just 5 minutes walking to the tourist office and city center. Or if come early like we do just park at parking Varquez after the morning market on Saturdays!

quiberon

You really know you are entering the peninsula after the isthmus of Plouharnel and you come into the Fort of Penthiévre , still a military post. This is at before entering the second important town in the peninsula, St Pierre de Quiberon .  You can visit the memorial to resistance fighters in the region who were shot by the nazis, now a wonderful cross stand and a great view of ocean and nearby beaches. There is, also, a museum to the wars of the west or chouans. I have other posts in my blog on them.

Once in the big town of Quiberon, which you entered on the main road by the train station before heading into city center and the beach areas or by the wild coast (côte sauvage) along the cliffs and once see the castle of Turpault (private) you are in town. Again written on these areas in previous posts in my blog. Once in town you can move nicely with the Petit Train or litle train. Allows for a quick sightseeing and pick the best to come back in details , the info is here  Petit train of Quiberon

quiberon

Of course, walking is best and this is gorgeous to do along the beaches.

The beaches are wonderful if for a short time they remind me of the ones grew up with , the Grande Plage just next to Place Hoche , the city center of Quiberon is wonderful, just go in and out secure and with all amenities. You have a wonderful excuse to walk, along the Grande Plage or Big Beach to  Port Maria  (where the docks are to visit the nearby islands) and the nice  Casino, the so call Promenade de la Plage ,and Boulevard Chanard are very nice, and all along city center you have the field of an old town but a beach town as well with numerous shops,restos, bars, etc to keep you busy for a while.

quiberon

We do enjoy the Grande plage or big beach, the center of it all here. It has kiddies areas, and grownups. Large beach with white sandy sands and wide enough to play games. The peninsula at its tip in Quiberon has many other beaches, such as Govino, Goulvars, and Conguel, this last one at the tip of the peninsula which has gorgeous views of the island of Belle Ilê ,here you find picnic areas, campings, white sandy sands horse backriding, and nearby aerplane lessons.

My favorite site on beaches Plages TV on the Grande Plage also my favorite here: Plages TV on Grande Plage in English

quiberon

quiberon

quiberon

For some plays and dancing at night ,you can rely on the Casino, nice views of the beach/ocean and good restaurant. The official webpage is at Casino of Quiberon

quiberon

I give some places to eat all around the beach at Grande Plage, wonderful places ,they are our hangouts so if in town let me know ok.

You will once again have your first glass of wine or beer at the Café Hoche resto in city center by the Place Hoche. More info here: Tourist office of Morbihan on Cafe Hoche

Quiberon

And of course, another great favorite that I have even done a post on it, Esplanade Hoche at Pl Hoche across from the one above. More here: Esplanade Hoche Cafe

quiberon

My lunches, the Restaurant Le Colibri  is a great spot, people watching par excellence and the prices right and food good, can’t ask for more lol! at 1 boulevard Chanard, and even you can have your breakfast here ! right at the tip of the beach entrance. More info here: Restaurant Le Colibri Quiberon

quiberon

There is a resto bistro right on the sand call Fisher’s Club, we had our beers, and tapas of red peppers with goat cheese, calamar in its sauce, ham and cheese rolls, codfish fritters, with a great look at the beach, grandiose!!!  Very nice cool place , to relax by the sea, sublime, and even kids space to boot. classic on the Big beach of Quiberon.   More info here: Fishers’ club at the Grande Plage of Quiberon on the sands!

Quiberon

For dessert, we went over across to the Quai des Glaces or Ice wharf  parlor to have our 3  ,4 and even 5 scoops of ice creams like marc de bourgogne, pruneaux d’armagnac, strawberries for me with churros or chichis as call here. At the place du Hoche just going down to the beach at Grande Plage. Wonderful friendly service always , great ices and good prices. They do have a FB page.

quiberon

Finally we had our in between lunch and dinner meal lol!!!And we have come back as well several times. La Cabana, for us right at Pl Hoche, at the entrance to the Big beach. . We are always very  surprise at the attention and service given even in a full resto day, and prices correct.

quiberon

For info on eating places in Quiberon, here is the tourist office pdf file listing:  Tourist office of Quiberon pdf file listing of places to eat and drink

The biggest market day is Saturday morning at the Place du Varquez; very popular with all the products fresh even the fish lol!! I am in heavens!! but also clothings, artisanal, etc.We come at the end for best prices and cheap parking.

Quiberon

Overall the town and area is wonderful ,highly recommended, and the season really starts by July 14 to August 30 or so, weather permitting, come early in the morning to avoid the only road that reaches this heaven in paradise, you wont be disappointed once you are here. I will make it my hang out place for the next stage in my life.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Quiberon in English

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Quiberon

Tourist office of Brittany on Quiberon

Tourist office of Quiberon on the beaches in English

This is a paradise especially in Summer months, compare to any and believe me I was born on a Caribbean beach and travel to many around the world. Enjoy wonderful Quiberon and its beaches ,good for the whole family!

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

April 23, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVIII

Ok so on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and the same at Madrid, except the rain temps of 53F (11C) there and 61F (16C)  with me. Its time to tell you a bit more about my beloved Spain!

The DGT’s (Direccion General de Tràfico) environmental label, which will be compulsory since April 24th, must be visible in your vehicle to enter the Madrid (more on the fashion in Europe to charge you more to come to the city without adequate public transports or park and relay garages), something that will be a minor infringement of the ordinance and that will be associated with fines of up to 100 euros. All labels can be purchased at the post offices, and also in several workshops, thanks to the agreement of the DGT with the Spanish Confederation of Workshops. To purchase it in person, it is essential to present the registration  of the vehicle for which the sticker is requested, and the DNI (personal identification Documento Nacional de Identidad) of the owner of the vehicle or the person authorized for it. In addition, you can buy  online ; the sticker has a price of five euros at any site. The label would reach the selected home address within three days, but due to the high volume of orders, it may take up to 10 working days.

There are four types of stickers, depending on the emissions of the vehicle: Zero Emissions,  ECO, C ,and  B.  Madrid delimits the motorized access to much of the center of the city depending on the levels of pollution. Cars with labels B or C can only access the Central Madrid area if they stay in a car park, but never to cross the perimeter. They will also be able to enter if they have the invitation of a resident registered in the area, since each one has 20 invitations per month. Cars with ECO or zero tags can access the Central Madrid area without any risk of fine. All registered in the area of Central Madrid, regardless of the label that have their vehicles, can circulate without problem and park in your car park or in the area , either blue or green. If at any time you need to access the city, either by tourism or for work, you will have to have visible the sticker of the DGT that corresponds according to the emissions of your car.So visitors if renting a car make sure it has the corresponding sticker! More on the DGT here: http://www.dgt.es/es/la-dgt/quienes-somos/estructura-organica/jefaturas-provinciales/madrid/madrid.shtml

New chapter in the family war of the Alvarez Mezquíriz. The family owned the Bodegas Vega Sicilia and Grupo Eulen again have the swords in high, this time, by the decision of the five litigious  sons ‘ of the founder,  Pablo, Emilio, Elvira, Marta and Juan Carlos, to modify the statutes of El Enebro SA Owner of Bodegas Vega Sicilia,(the most historically famous Spanish wine label)  to prevent a shareholder from forcing the sale of his or her share if the company does not share dividends. It has convened an extraordinary meeting, next May 24th, called to approve  “The modification of the social statutes. María José Álvarez, who controls 59% of Eulen through the company Daval Control, has a 16% stake in the El Enebro. In 2013, its five brothers sold their shares of Eulen with Enebro for 100 million euros, operation which is contested judicially. Info in newspaper The Confidencial 23/04/2019 .The wine here: http://www.vega-sicilia.com/en/

Premio Cervantes award given to her by the King Felipe VI  this  past April 23, Day of the Book, the Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale (Montevideo, 1923) has offered an ironical apology for an affirmation of the author of Don Quixote regarding the craft of poetry to which she has applied her whole  literary career that still today, at her 95 years, is still in full activity. A ceremony held in the auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares has recalled her readings “Libres y Tardias” or free and late of Don Quijote in an illustrated edition that already read as a teenager in her  native Montevideo and immediately fascinated by the respect that showed Cervantes for her character. Vitale’s speech has followed the usual model of the genre: Homage to his predecessors, Cervantes, Garcilaso, Baudelaire, vindication of the Spanish language, rejuvenated and revitalized on the American shores ,brief biographical exegesis and acknowledgments.  The spider’s thread woven by the poet has succeeded in trapping the author of Don Quijote, to pluck it from prose and recover it for poetry, the creative imagination of the award-winning poet. Well done! Official Culture Ministry of Spain: http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/cultura/areas/libro/mc/premios-cervantes-40/presentacion.html

And how about that weather huh! Always gives the current but what about a bit ahead , well call in the AEMET or the meteorological agency of Spain. They say, today Tuesday the rains and showers will affect the Atlantic and Cantabrian slopes and in the north of Aragon and Catalonia, where there are likely to be occasional storms before the crossing of an Atlantic front, reported by the AEMET. Rainfall may be extended to the rest of the peninsula throughout the day, except in the Levante coast in northern Huesca and Catalonia, rainfall will be locally strong and persistent. In the Canary Island there will be probability of rainfall in the north, without ruling out some afternoon showers in the rest of islands. During the Wednesday, temperatures will not vary too much, but if the wind blows strongly in many areas of the interior and coastline. In fact, the AEMET has already activated several yellow warnings (risk) by wind. On Thursday, another front will leave rain in the western half of the country, in the surroundings of the Pyrenees, and can be strong in the west of Galicia and Pyrenees. As of Friday,the Anticyclone will again act of presence and therefore the rains disappear. Temps will be accordingly low before going up by Friday. Official webpage here: http://www.aemet.es/en/portada

Beautiful and unknown off the beaten path places of my Spain:

The Manchuela, between the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca, this natural region comprising about 25 municipalities is a gem from all points of view. It includes wonders like the Hoz del Júcar with spectacular villages including Jorquera and Alcalá. But also the valley of the Cabriel that can be seen in all its grandeur from the lookout or Mirador del Ensueno. Official in Spanish more info on Manchuela: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

The Pedroches, this region of near Cordoba hidden in the foothills of Sierra Morena that connects with Extremadura but also with Castilla La Mancha, is one of the best kept secrets of Andalusia. They call attention to their huge meadows where they feed  one of the best hams porks or  Pata Negra, best in the World. More on the Pedroches here: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

And you have four towns of prominence of Castilla La Mancha because of their connection to Don Quijote have joined together to design ; the country of Don Quijote, a dream route, a new planning for your next trip and by car is glorious! More on the below towns in Spanish more info here: http://paisdelquijote.es/

Very glad to tell you that tonight on Spain TVE the route was shown in the program  España Directo that I watch every night; it is awesome do it. cheers

Alcázar de San Juan, this town in the province of Ciudad Real is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, so they claim. In its Church of Santa Maria La Mayor (St. Mary the Eldest) , you can see a baptism game on whose margins a manuscript reads “This was the author of the story of Don Quijote “, words that Don Blas Nasarre would sign in 1748 when he found the baptism game in the name of Miguel. There you can also visit the Museum of Hidalgo, located in the old palace known as the Casa del Rey (king’s house), where the historical and ethnographic heritage of Castilla-La Mancha is exhibited and disseminated. The Formma Museum, where the Manchego pottery is shown, its spectacular palace and ecclesiastical ensemble or the windmills of the Cerro de San Antón are another of the attractions of Álcazar de San Juan.

Argamasilla de Alba;  in the cave of Medrano you can visit the place where Cervantes was prisoner and who saw the birth of the history of Don Quijote. The castle of Peñarroya, the Church of San Juan Bautista or the Pósito de la Tercia are another of the obligatory visits in this locality that serves as gateway to the Natural Park of the Lagunas de Ruidera, a place that hides one of the great wetlands of the geography  of Spain.

Campo de Criptana has the original windmills that inspired Miguel de Cervantes to narrate the most famous adventure of universal literature: Don Quijote against the Giants. Its Sierra and the district of the Albaicín are the zenith of the literary Cervantes universe and paradigm of the Manchego quaintness. There is no better place to contemplate all the stain in its splendor and one of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. It is best to go through the Pósito Real, former bank to give loans in kind to farmers in times of shortage. The caves, the snow well or the Sara Montiel Museum (great Spanish actress and singer), complete this quixotic kingdom.

Finally, you get to El Toboso , the homeland of universal Love;  the home of Dulcinea. In its streets and squares we find phrases carved in the walls of the facades, which honor the chapter IX of the second part of the book, which narrates the visit of Don Quijote and Sancho to El Toboso in search of Dulcinea. The Casa de Dulcinea Museum, which belonged to Mrs. Ana Martínez Zarco de Morales, to which Cervantes immortalized as Dulcinea (sweet Ann or Dulce Ana or Dulcinea), maintains part of its 16C structure; Typical example of the houses of gentlemen and wealthy Manchego workers. Several museums, such as the Cervantino or the graphic humour “Dulcinea”, as well as the set of churches and convents make up one of the places that keep a love story without borders.

And finally, to find something classy, good, vintage, second hand, griffés stores in Madrid, my family swear to these ones; enjoy it the shopping!

Vintalogy:  It is the largest vintage clothing store in Europe and boasts that there you can find accessories that are not in any other second-hand clothing store. Most of their garments come from the United States although more special ones, such as dresses and jacket and trouser sets, are selected by themselves one by one. At Calle Atocha 10. More info here: https://vintalogy.es/

La Mona Checa:  It is located at the beginning of what is known as the ‘ vintage ‘ shopping street of Madrid, Calle Velarde. From its beginning in Tribunal until its end in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo, you will be able to find all kinds of treasures among its different  locations .Calle  Velarde, 3. More in this blog of them: http://lamonacheca.blogspot.com/

So enjoy Spain, everything under the sun. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 23, 2019

Saint Philibert and the beaches near me!

Ok so moving alone in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Brittany/Bretagne or Breizh (Breton language) I like to show you a bit more of the goodies and lovely beaches we have here now that the season is getting nearer and planning is a virtue!

I am lucky perhaps to have so much near me next to the Atlantic coast with lovely beaches often overlook for those in the south and south east of France , however these ones here can keep up nicely in Summers. I have a wonderful choice of beaches that I have briefly mentioned in my other posts but like to tell you a bit more on Saint Philibert.

The town is really, believe me, best known for its megaliths stones that abound in this area going back milleniums without still knowing exactly how they got here. However, seldom the beaches are mention and they are very nice. Therefore,here is more on the beaches and goodies of the sea off Saint Philibert.

Saint-Philibert, is a  town  created in 1892 on territories that belonged to the town of Locmariaquer.   Here I come for my oysters and mussels, more below.

It is part of the community of towns of the Trois Rivières . Saint-Philibert has a total area of 7 km2; with average altitude of 10 meters. The neighboring towns are La Trinité-sur-Mer, Crac’h, Locmariaquer, Le Bono, and Carnac. The big city closest to Saint-Philibert is Vannes and is 20 km away (about 12 miles). The closest train station to Saint-Philibert is in Auray at 11 km( about 7 miles) (direct to Montparnasse Paris on TGV).

At Saint Philibert you have more megalith stones, more religious buildings from Chapels to Churches and of course the beaches. These are some of the best in the area; and we love it. The architecture is modern spacious home of the good living of my belle France.

The beaches are wonderful here  info can be found at Plages tv here in French:   https://www.plages.tv/station-balneaire/saint-philibert-56471

City of St Philibert on its beaches https://www.saintphilibert.fr/st-philibert/les-plages/

The local area tourist office of Morbihan on the beaches:  http://www.morbihan-way.fr/fr/page/saint-philibert-nautisme-et-plages

The  beach or plage de men er beleg is really nice ,secluded with nuts trees and good condominiums for rentals behind it.  In French you can see more of it on the plages tv webpage here, and more pictures : https://www.plages.tv/detail/plage-de-men-er-beleg-saint-philibert-56471

saint philibert

saint philibert

And, after further loading here from the real thing, we continue to see the splendid beaches of Kernevest ; these are gorgeous and not far from the first one above. Toilet facilities and parking in the pines in a wild environment. Just what the doctor calls for relax you are in heavens.  The plage de Kernevest are just that, more here:  https://www.plages.tv/detail/plage-de-kernevest-saint-philibert-56471

More in English from the Brittany tourist office official site here:  https://www.brittanytourism.com/offers/plage-de-kernevest-saint-philibert-en-1994147/

It’s the main beach and lovely with families and young crowd as well but quiet and beautifully serene facing the ocean and to your right the entrance to the harbor of La Trinité sur Mer.

Saint philibert

As promise at the start these are my suppliers and they are both good!! We passed by many oysters and mussels producers like those at Intrenn Passion at the corner of rue des presses and rue de l’océan; more here:  https://www.ostreiculteur-trinitesurmer-morbihan.fr/

Or a bit further the buying and tasting of oysters and mussels at Chez Jaouen , more here:  http://jaouenaquaculture.objectis.net/

saint philibert

One more webpage to share is the Golfe du Morbihan or Gulf of Morbihan with tourist info on all the towns around it and have it on Saint Philibert: Gulf of Morbihan on tourist sites such as St Philibert

And there you go another nice sublime gem of my lovely Morbihan to share with you.  And of course, pretty Saint Philibert. If in the area let me know; and why not come, this is great living by the sea. Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

April 22, 2019

Church Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis at Lorient!

Ok this is one example of the multitude of choices and sights we have in my belle France. The place is only 30 minutes by car from my house, and visited several times; even in the Church, yet not written a post on it!!! Amazes me all the time! Well it’s time I tell you a bit more on the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire or St Louis of Lorient. Of course, this is in lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Brittany!

Let me go from the back forward on the nice sea town of Lorient. The town was created in 1666 and developed in the 18C following two axes from the paddock, one in the direction of Ploemeur, via the rue du Port, an another one towards Hennebont via the Rue Maréchal Foch. It is around the Church of St. Louis, which was in the extension of the Rue Maréchal Foch, that all the administrative, educational, social and commercial equipments are concentrated today.

The Church of St. Louis escapes the rule by being built along a north-west – southeast axis. The Church is elevated in the axis of old Rue du Morbihan (current Rue Maréchal Foch). Revamped several times, the Church is truly completed in 1830, with the construction of the Bell Tower. which also served as a flashing light.

The new Church of Notre-Dame-de-Victoire, the seat of the parish of Saint-Louis, is a church located in the center of Lorient. It was completed in 1955 after the bombing that had destroyed in 1943 the Church of St. Louis b.1810-30. It is the most important parish in the country of Lorient. The dedication to Notre-Dame-de-Victoire refers to the city’s English siége in 1746.  Made of concrete, the steeple culminates at 54 meters high, and is the highest point of Lorient. The access to its summit is done by means of a staircase of 270 steps.

lorient

lorient

Let me tell you a bit of history and details on it. Imposing Church right in the area we do our shopping!

The former St. Louis Church  was built between 1810 and 1830. A neo-classical style, it had a bell tower that dominated the city. In 1940, the Nazis occupiers created a very vulnerable submarine base in the Atlantic. Curiously, the Royal Air Force will only start bombing once the base is finished from 1943. Under the influence of the bombs, the Church of St. Louis will be so damaged that it was abandoned to restore it.

In 1953, the request was given to rebuild a church, 400 meters from the site of the old one. It will be inspired by neo-Byzantine art by creating a large dome above the nave. The development of the place Alsace-Lorraine, who’s Church occupies one side. The construction of the Church will span three years (1953-1955) and use materials and finishes in honor at the time, in other words the concrete left unsheathing.  The Church is placed under the patronage of Notre Dame de Victoire or Our Lady of Victory, but also, as the one she replaces, under that of St. Louis. Our Lady of Victory, very honored by the locals since the failure of the English siege of 1746, owns her statue in the Chapel of the Virgin.

Poor in ornamentation, this Church of Notre Dame de Victoire nevertheless possesses some interesting frescoes, works of Parisian and Breton artists. One will notice the great fresco of the apse illustrating the coronation of Virgin. The exterior of the Church also offers three stone statues ; Madonna and Child, Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens and Saint-Louis. The stained glass windows, are very succinct. The monumental porch, in the middle of the façade, is 12 meters high, it is adorned with a statue of Notre Dame.

As soon as the visitor enters the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis , their gaze is struck by the chromatic contrast between the grey, almost uniform, of the nave and the rather yellow clarity of the choir. This was the will of the architects,  to create a nave without many stained glass and which must remain in the shadows so that the attention of the faithful is sucked by the light of the choir. To this end, a series of glazed screen walls borders the north and south sides of the sanctuary, almost from the ground to the vault.  The Entombment,  and the Annunciation show the chromatic dominance of the two frescoes is grey, as if it were not necessary at any price to detach themselves on the concrete elevation in the background, grey too. Admittedly, it is necessary to ensure the contrast with the choir, but a distracted visitor may very well not see them by doing the round of the nave.

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The high Altar of the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire/St Louis is associated with the famous word of Christ, read in the Gospel according to Luke: “advance offshore, and throw your nets for fishing.” These words addressed to Simon-Peter are the prelude to the miraculous fishery. “Forward offshore” also appears on a banner clearly visible on the western façade of the Church. The side chapels are  two chapels each decorated with a large fresco. That of the Chapel of the Virgin traces elements of the life of Saint Louis, while that of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel  is rich with a biblical symbolism very removed.

lorient

lorient

In the Chapel of the Virgin throne the statue of Our Lady of Victory, (Notre Dame de Victoire) from 1850. The city of Lorient is meant to be under the protection of Saint Mary and this statue is the illustration. In 1746, during the war of the Austrian succession, when the city was besieged by the English, the inhabitants made a vow to the Virgin. A silver statue of Notre Dame was created. It will disappear in the French revolution and be replaced in 1850. In 1943, the statue was removed intact from the rubble of the Church of St. Louis, which was interpreted as a sign of the protection of Our Lady of Victory over the city. The Virgin sits on the city walls. From her scepter, she made depart the British leopard.

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I keep writing the double name of Notre Dame de Victoire and Saint Louis because as the new Church was really given the name of ND de Victoire, the locals still refers to it as Saint Louis therefore ,the title of my post! ok It is worth the detour for the contrast of a modern Church to many old ones we have around here. Something to see other than sea boating museum activities in town,and shopping::)

lorient

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Lorient and its heritage sites

Tourist office of Lorient South Brittany on Lorient heritage

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Lorient

Tourist office of Brittany on Lorient

And there you go, now come and see the nice Church of Notre Dame de VictoireSt Louis ,and lovely city of Lorient. It is worth a detour me think.

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

 

 

 

April 22, 2019

Church Notre Dame de Kerdro at Locmariaquer!

So let me put you back near me and keep showcasing my area gems of my belle France. We are still in Spring but sunny just nice Breton weather!  Again passages of it but feel need to tell you a bit more in depth on these beauties.

Locmariaquer is a town in the Morbihan Department 56 of the region of Brittany . The town is located at the western mouth of the Gulf of Morbihan and has many beaches overlooking the Bay of Quiberon, western part of Mor Braz which opens access to the Atlantic Ocean.

locmariaquer

 The Church of Notre-Dame de Kerdro is a Romanesque style church, built between 1082 and 1120 by the monks of Quimperlé, the transept and the choir are the surviving elements. In 1548, Locmariaquer was attacked by the English fleet and largely destroyed. The Church suffers damage. It is re renovated new in the 17-18C as the construction of the nave, modification of the Romanesque parts; the Bell Tower is built in 1817. The west, north and south gates are built in 1835.

Locmariaquer

The Church of Notre Dame de Kerdro is done in a Latin cross, the intersection of which is a square tower of 1817 with a Bell Tower and a slate. The Romanesque apse is backed by four buttresses.. At the location of the southern one, a sacristy was built. The exterior walls of the Romanesque part, choir and transept, mounted in small archaic apparatus like cubic rubble, scattered bricks and rows of Roman bricks in re-use, are older 11C than the interior structure. The façade bears the Latin inscription “HIC Domus dei” or”here is the House of God“. The south gate is protected by a porch in advance; It is topped by a crest bearing the words “Haec Porta Coelli” or “this is the gate of heaven”.

Locmariaquer

The Church Notre Dame de Kerdro is covered with framing. It consists of a nave with three smaller naves 18C separated by full-arches worn by square piles, a transept and a Romanesque Choir 11-12C. The Cross of the transept opens with large double-roll arched arches worn by complex piles with engaged columns whose capitals are carved. It is covered with a wooden ceiling. The choir of two bays separated by a double arch falling on columns engaged in carved capitals is vaulted into a cradle. It ends in a cul-de-furnace the beautiful series of Romanesque capitals is adorned with stylised geometric and vegetal motifs. A marquee is carved from opposing Rams ‘ heads in angles.

Locmariaquer

Locmariaquer

The ornamention inside the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro includes a Blessed cowl included in the wall near the south entrance would date from the 15C. It is adorned with foliage and grapes. Each of the two crosses has an altarpiece topped by a painting, dating from the 17C. The table of the north brace represents the Annunciation, the one of the south the crosillon the Visitation. The twelve stained windows of the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro are equipped with contemporary stained glass, made in 1960.The motifs of the seven stained glass windows of the nave and the transept are abstract. The five stained glass windows of the choir represent images related to the region such as boats and fishing, ears of wheat (agriculture), letters NDK (Notre-Dame-de-Kerdro), bouquet of oyster-culture tiles, dolmen and menhirs (megaliths /stones).

Very nice Church and just around the port area with great seafood and views of the boats, nice indeed. Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

City of Locmariaquer on Religious heritage

Tourist office of Morbihan on religious sites in Locmariaquer

Tourist office of Brittany on Locmariaquer

So there you go another gem indeed me think. And only 34 km from my house or about 21 miles. Enjoy Locmariaquer and the Church Notre Dame de Kerdro!

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

April 22, 2019

Château de Josselin!

This is one of the towns of Brittany that we have visited the most. Its a lovely town by the Canal Nantes-Brest and the quant city center, and of course the main thing is the Château de Josselin. I have written plenty of posts on Josselin but feel the castle deserves a post of its own; so here it is.

Josselin

I have to start by saying is a must see in Brittany, part of the history of it and France lies here, and it has been renovated in good taste with the Dukes of Rohan still living in it! Of course all this is in the town of Josselin, dept 56 of Morbihan in the region of Brittany!

Josselin

The Château de Josselin  was built between 1490 and 1505, taking up many elements from the Louis XII style. It is one of the peaks of the Rohannais triangle of three great fortresses la Chèze, Josselin and Pontivy,  which is the center of the village of Rohan, the nominal fief of the House of Rohan whose castle is neglected for the benefit of the other three. The Castle is since its construction, the residence of the Dukes of Rohan.

josselin

A bit of history I like, and history it has!

Guéthénoc, cadet of the Ducal House of Brittany, Viscount of Porhoët, of Rohan and Guéméné, member of the family of the Counts of Rennes, would have left the feudal mound of Château-Tro in Guilliers to build in this place a first wooden castle around the year 1008. His son Goscelinus gives his name to the new fortress, castellum goscelini, from where Château-Josselin then Josselin, the casterly town that develops at the foot of the castle and offers a relative security.

josselin

In 1154, Eudon de Porhoët, stepfather, Regent and guardian of the young Duke of Brittany, Conan IV, brought together Breton Lords to deprive his son-in-law of his rights. He was defeated by Henry II Plantagenet, King of England and new Duke of Anjou, with whom Conan IV was taken refuge. Around 1170, Henri II personally directed the demolition of the Castle and planted salt to keep the walls in ruins. The fortress was raise from 1173 by the Viscount of Porhoët ,Eudon, an ally of the King of France. Then the Chatelaine passes to the hands of several large families foreign to Brittany. In 1370, it is agreed to cede Josselin, Castle and town, to Olivier V de Clisson in exchange for the Barony of Thuit, near Falaise (Normandy).

josselin

From the existing castle, Clisson built the best armed fortress of Brittany, a feudal enclosure of 4 500 m2, with a Chalet-residence and walls of 25 meters staked with nine towers and a huge dungeon of 26 meters in diameter and 32 meters in height. In 1389, Clisson was banned from the Kingdom of France and sentenced to death by Duke John IV. He takes refuge in his stronghold of Josselin but John IV does not delay to make the siege of the castle. The struggle with the Duke of Brittany will continue until his death.  After the death of Olivier de Clisson, the Château became the property of Alain VIII de Rohan ,heir to the Viscounts of Rohan, whose castle is about 20 km away, and who married Beatrice, daughter of Olivier de Clisson.

Josselin

In 1488, the Duke of Brittany François II took the Castle of Josselin and partially demolished it in order to punish John II of Rohan for his support of the French party against him. His daughter Duchess Anne de Bretagne restored it to John II, who, thanks to the incomes of the Chatelaine of Dinan and Léhon, he was gratified by Charles VIII in gratitude for his help in conquering the hand of the little Duchess (also Queen of France), can transform the Castle and build in the ramparts a Logis de Plaisance (pleasure house), which will be endowed with 1490 to 1510 of a beautiful façade of carved granite typical of the style Louis XII.

josselin

Banished from Josselin because of their adherence to Protestantism, the Rohan must let the Governor of Brittany, the Duke of Mercœur, make their Castle a base for the League opposite to the new King Henri IV. The war of Succession of Brittany gave him its military role during the episode of the combat of the Thirty in 1351 as from Josselin leave the thirty supporters of Charles de Blois (side of king of France) under the leadership of Jean de Beaumanoir. In 1455, the Viscount de Rohan rearranges the castle to install artillery,but the time of military concerns has passed.  Jean II de Rohan undertook important restoration work aimed at improving comfort. He rebuilt the Manor House and its beautiful façade on the northeast courtyard.

Henri II de Rohan, Chief General of the Protestants, transferred the siege of his power to the Château de Pontivy. During the wars of Religion, he rebelled against the Royal power. To punish him, Cardinal Richelieu had the dungeon dismantled in March 1629 , and three towers, but spared the Renaissance building.  In 1694, after the battle of Camaret, the Castle of Josselin served as a prison for British soldiers. In the 18C, the Rohan, living at the Court, no longer resides in the castle which is unfurnished and abandoned. The castle again became a prison in 1758, after the battle of Saint-Cast, and then housed nearly 1 200 prisoners of war. In 1760, in front of the decay of the fortress, Louis III de Rohan Chabot demolished what remains of the two large towers that frame the first door and the drawbridge. In 1776, in order to provide work for poor children in the region, the Duchess of Rohan used to establish a cotton spinning mill in the rooms on the ground floor.

josselin

During the French revolution, the town of Josselin took over the castle and settled there to hold its meetings. Part of the dwelling serves as a grain depot and in the isolated Tower the well-off are imprisoned. In 1799, the castle was returned to the Rohan family, in a much degraded state. This situation of abandonment of the Castle of Josselin will continue until around 1850. In 1822, the Duchess of Berry, during her adventurous tour, convinced the Duke of Rohan to restore it. Around 1835, Charles de Rohan-Chabot, 10th Duke of Rohan, decided to initiate a restoration in good and due form of his abode.  The exterior is rehabilitated; the Interior decorated in the neo-Gothic style called “Troubadour” then in vogue and refurbished almost completely redesigned. The work was continued from 1880 to 1904 and then in 1917, before being opened to the public in 1930.

josselin

It is currently inhabited by the 14th Duke of Rohan, Josselin de Rohan, withdrawn from regional or national policy affairs, and his family. The gardens and four large rooms on the ground floor of the Castle are visited, the long dining room whose top of the paneling is carved up to date with the names of Duke Alain, his parents, his wife and his children, the Salon, an anteroom and the library containing 3 000 volumes and old portraits. Very nice kept indeed!

There are many works of art exhibited such as paintings by masters including a portrait of Louis XIV by Rigaud, that of the Admiral of the Casse attributed to Rigaud, that of Louis XV child by Rosalba Carriera, number of family effigies like the Cardinal of Rohan, the Duchess de La Rochefoucauld d’Enville, Josselin de Rohan-Chabot 12th Duke of Rohan and member Deputy of the Morbihan dept by Jean-Gabriel Domergue, the marble bust of Duke Alain by Auguste Rodin, a beautiful 18C furniture, the table that served for the signature of the Edict of Nantes, porcelain of Sèvres, a large pendulum offered by Louis XV to Bussy, successor of Dupleix as Governor of the French India c 1755, the bronze copy of the famous statue of Henri of Navarre young by Bosio who was shown until 1830 the apartment of the Royal children at the Palais des Tuileries (Paris) , a monumental equestrian statue in marble by Olivier V de Clisson by Emmanuel Frémiet whose plaster reproduction, offered by the 12th Duke, is exhibited in a room of the Château de Suscinio (Morbihan). The old stables have been upgraded to accommodate the doll museum (musée des poupées) of historical dolls collected by the Duchees of Rohan and very interesting especially for children.

The French garden created at the beginning of the 20C extends to the Renaissance façade of the Castle of Josselin. Boxwood and trimmed yews frame the lawns.  A rose garden has been arranged in 2001. It comprises 160 roses belonging to 40 different varieties.  An English park stretches at the foot of the ramparts, along a river. This park features rare species of azaleas, camellias, many rhododendrons and centuries-old trees. It is open to the public for the heritage days (journées du patrimoine)  ; the next on is due 36th Edition September 21-22, 2019.

josselin

As usual by me , some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Josselin

Tourist office of Morbihan on the Castle and gardens

Tourist office of Brittany on the Castle

It should be one of your highlights of a visit to Brittany away from the beaches. I say worth the detour indeed at the Château de Josselin. Enjoy it with the whole family and not forget to visit the Dolls museum in it, great for all but especially for children.

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

 

April 21, 2019

Lorient , a nice sailing harbor!

Well now the weather is on sunny days and nice even high of 24C under the sun , it seems Spring is getting ready.  I have come to this town often close to me and the sub prefecture of the Morbihan dept 56 .  It really not well known off the beaten path even if has nice things to see especially as it relates to the sea. The city of Lorient means in breton An Oriant or the Orient as the companies that sail to the new world ,the Americas were done here and across the bay at Port Louis.

Lorient was heavily damaged during WWII about 80% of it destroyed. It was an important nazi submarine base from which they prowl the Atlantic sinking allied ships. The base is still there , today use for better things. city webpage  https://patrimoine.lorient.bzh/histoire/

lorient

lorient

lorient

You then go next door in the beautiful sailing boats harbor of Lorient home of many sailing competitions, and the great champion Eric Tabarly. He ,with sponsors created a place call the Cité de Voilé Eric Tabarly. This is an impressive building with all you need to know about sailings boats, models, sea maps, interactive sailing boat class, films, pictures,and guides, all around and inside the sailing world. The boats are magnificent starting with the front door black  boat in front that you can climb inside with the purchase ticket, and the sailing boat tower to see all the harbor of Lorient. Huge interactive ,display museum of sailing interesting for the whole family. Webpage:   https://www.citevoile-tabarly.com/en

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lorient-ent-inside-cite-eric-tabarly-sep12

lorient

lorient

We have been here before, but as there is so much to see here, sometimes you need to come back for more lol! The place Aristide Briand where the FNAC store (which my boys shop enormously!) is where the gare d’échanges for the bus terminal and the narrow streets full of shops and restos are vibrant always especially on Saturdays. The whole town is there it seems. The marina of pleasure boats just as impressive as the harbor of sailing boats,and the passenger terminal to go to île de Groix (sublime at the Atlantic ocean) across the bay with the compagnie Océane, webpage : https://www.compagnie-oceane.fr/en/node/2

lorient gare maritime pass entr jul13

lorient

A nice way to do some walking around beautiful sailing boats,and past the afternoon with the family, while looking into some historical facts of our past to serve as learnings not to repeat them in the future. Enjoy renovated Lorient, only about 30 minutes from my house. If you like the sea ,then this town is for you. Remember to search in my blog for more posts on Lorient!

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

April 21, 2019

A paradise found, La Trinité sur Mer!!!

It never cease to amaze me of the gems we have in my belle France, and my beautiful Brittany just needs to be seen more. I am always wondering where to go as always a difficult decision here. However, going to La Trinité sur Mer is sublime. This is heavens for boaters, but a great leisure day can be spend here, more if you decide to partake the wonderful beaches here.

I have written about La Trinité sur Mer  before in my posts. So this is a recap with some common information. To start ,I always look up the tourist office ,the office is just before reaching the Casino on the wharfs, webpage http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/en/default.aspx   ,then for bit more on transports I take a look at the city mayor’s site , let me tell you by TIM bus line 1  Auray-Carnac-Quiberon ,you can connect from Paris Montparnasse to Auray and there take this bus to LTM. Of course, we come by car , off the N165 expressway exit on D28  dir St Philbert, and find easy free parking at Place du Voulien (except market days), Stade de la Vigie, Le Poulbert by rue du Men Du,dir Carnac, and Le Men Du by the beach.   There is a small parking above the main street Kermogat.

la trinite sur mer

The highlights for me here other than seeing the boats, and walking the upper city hilly street all with beautiful views of the bay below is to eat or beach activities.  There is a great bridge over the harbor, pont de Kerister, and a nice resto A l’etage just by the end of the marina with good food and great views; upper floor with a cold one lazy outlook you can spend several hours there lol!!!  This site in French but nice picture tells you of the bridge of Kerister the new one from 1956 but was initially conceptualise by Gustave Eiffel (you know him!). http://locmariaquer.info/f221_%20le%20pont%20de%20Kerisper.htm

la trinite sur mer

Oh yes the beaches, well give the names, port Men Allen,Kerbihan, Kervillen (the best), and Le Men Du. The tourist office tells you more about them,  http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/en/les-plages.aspx

This is a webpage that I always look when looking for beaches to go here Plages TV, have it on La Trinité sur Mer: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/la-trinite-sur-mer-56470

Some further info on the beaches here:

Plage du Port, is a small sandy beach exposed to the East, located along the side trail with green surroundings. It is the closest to the city center, and the view stretches from the Kerisper bridge to the channel’s exit. It is accessible only from the coastal path sentier des douaniers.

The beach of Plage du Men-Dû  is a fine sandy beach facing South. It’s shallow. It makes the joy of bathers at high tide, and the joy of wading and fishing by foot on shallow waters at low tide. In the center, dominates the island of Stuhan (l’île de Stuhan). At low seas, this islet is connected to landside by a strip of sand, called tombolo. Parking with direct access allows you to reach the beach by car with ease. In July and August, a free mini bus, circulating on the town, serves this beach. At the same time, it has a Beach Club, which also provides surveillance. It is equipped with public toilets. Pets are not allowed. A bar-restaurant is located close to the beach.

la trinite sur mer

The beach of Kervillen or plage de Kervillen (good one ok) is a fine sandy beach facing South. A parking nearby with direct access to the beach makes it possible to get there by car with convenience. In July and August, a free mini-bus circulating on the town serves this beach. It is ideal for swimming at any time of the tide, and safely. In July and August, it has a rescue station (SNSM very good folks) open from 13h30 to 19h. A seahorse armchair for people with reduced mobility is available. It is equipped with a slipstream for small navigation gear (light sail). On site, public toilets. Family-run, it hosts a Beach Club in July and August. Pedalos (pedal boats) ,and kayaks rentals are also possible at this time. Dogs are not allowed. A restaurant and bar with direct access overlooks it and offers food and beverages at any time.

La trinite sur mer

There is a funny petit train or little train ride that takes you into the hilly parts of La Trinité sur Mer and the harbor front up to nearby Carnac. A nice quick way to see the main points,and giving you time to come back to see more in depth later on. You get on it at La Trinité Sur Mer by the cours des quais along the marina; webpage:  https://www.petittrain-carnac.com/carnac?language=en

la trinite sur mer

You to go to this resto A l’Etage , you can start here for an apéro drink before meal or the whole thing, one of my favorite there, great views and great company ,Yelp has some info on the resto here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-etage-la-trinit%C3%A9-sur-mer-2

la trinite sur mer

la trinite sur mer

For lunch, you can try another favorite ,the Créperie Le Goeland, just in front of harbor marina on main street, men du, and it is on a second floor, you entered to a stair in beton  up to the upper level by the parking La Vergie and turn left, its just about 25 meters ,and the entrance its there. Very good food, although the portions a bit small, sausages and cheese galettes, ham and cheese galette, with poire hélene and banana split desserts and half a bottle of sauvignon white wine from Touraine(Loire); expresso coffee, was the last euros given here! .Webpage on tourist office:  http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/fr/restaurants-la-trinite-creperie-le-goeland-e121-l1-r908.aspx

la trinite sur mer

Another place I do frequent and buy when I visit really early is the fish market, all fressssh off the boats and very nicely and cleanly done, they can even cook it for you on the spot!!! Yummy seafood from Brittany, the best in France for sure. They are the Halle aux Poissons,open every mornings,and another foody ,veggie, clothings type flea market that is on in summers only ,Foodies on Tuesdays and all types on Fridays mornings from 8h to 13h by the Place du Voulien continuing towards the rue du Douet. But hurry up as they are to begin remodeling the whole area on September 2019 and the fish/food market won’t open until Summer 2020. More info on the market in the city page in French here: https://www.la-trinite-sur-mer.fr/vie-quotidienne/marches/marches-de-la-trinite-sur-mer-et-de-sa-region/

la trinite sur mer

la trinite sur mer

There is a nice grocery store right in town such as Carrefour City, and other specialize food stores. Carrefour is a chain, and there you will find the best prices for your in house food,sundry items. It is on your way from the center towards the Casino, on your left hand side, webpage https://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/city-la-trinite-sur-mer

There you go folks, another gem in my background.  I am only 26 km or about 16 mi from me, and it is a delight at any time. La Trinité sur Mer is really a Trinity!! Enjoy it

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

 

April 21, 2019

Sarzeau castles and oysters!

Staying in my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Brittany of my belle France let me tell you a bit more on a nice area we like. I have to say as many here do with pride, this is the only administrative department of France that the name is not French! You will be in Dept 56 Morbihan or in French would be Petite Mer, small sea. This is what is call in Breton language, Mor=sea bihan=small. And you should know my lovely Brittany is Bretagne in French but in local Breton is Breizh!

Now you come into the Presqu’île de Rhuys or the Rhuys peninsula to visit the nice small town of Sarzeau. The most known castle here ,Suscinio, and resident of the Dukes of Brittany had a separate page in my blog. I give that link here for ease of search in my blog: My blog post on the Chateau de Suscinio

Sarzeau has several islands which are administratively attached to it such as the Isle of Ouefs, Godec Island, Stibiden Island, Govihan Island, and Brannec island.  Sarzeau is limited to the west by the towns of Arzon and Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys, to the northeast by that of Saint-Armel and to the southeast by that of the Tour-du-Parc; To the north by the Gulf of Morbihan and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 65 km of coastline, Sarzeau is one of the towns of Brittany and even France that have the longest coastline!!

Area Tourist office of Gulf of Morbihan on Sarzeau

sarzeau

However, the area has plenty of castles , unfortunately most are private, still in old families descendants or partially open by reservation or in Summer. And we keep missing them by traveling outside the area in those months! So when we try this past Saturday , it was more of the same lol!  Let me just give you a couple of examples

The Château or Castle of Kerlevénan is built in the late 18C, by 1780, the Castle, built in the classical style was restored in the 19C in the Italian taste. Chinese pavilion, family Chapel and English garden/ park. All done on behalf of Marie-Joseph-Armand de Gouvello, Lord of Keriaval, Kelevenan, Kerhar, Kerbot and Kerlen. Born in 1747, he married in the same year 1780, Catherine-Charlotte de Peyrac, a native of Santo Domingo. He is a member of the Court by the order of nobility, in the States of Brittany of 1788. He emigrated from the French revolution in Augsburg, Bavaria, and then to Brighton, Sussex, England. The castle is sold as a national property during its exile. Under the restoration of the monarchy, the castle is bought by his son who had also, emigrated with his parents in Bavaria and England, then in Italy (see post on the Hotel de Limur of Vannes) heir to the Castle, the founding son of the rural senior rest homes of Kerhar and Kerbot, in Sarzeau, near the Castle of Kerlevénan. He is a legitimist Royal member of the Morbihan from 1871 to 1876, President of the society of patronage of the agricultural orphanages of France, Honorary President of the society of Breton rescuers and of the Board of Directors of the École Saint-François-Xavier in Vannes. The castle is open every day from July 1st to September 15th, except on Wednesdays, from 14h to 18h, and by appointment from October 1st to June 30th. Which we always missed lol! Contact tel for reservations is +33 0) 2 97 26 46 79.

Tourist office of Dept 56 Morbihan on Kerlevenan castle

Tourist office of the Area Gulf of Morbihan on Kerlevenan castle

Tourist office of Brittany on Kerlevenan castle

Sarzeau

The Château or Castle of Truscat, is from 1702, revamped towards 1830 at the site of a Manor of the 16C, after 1850, the works of embellishment were carried out. The Chapel is built between 1625 and 1630. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park on the edge of the Gulf of Morbihan with centuries-old trees. It belongs to the descendants of the Francheville family for more than five centuries. In 1815, General Bernadotte, the future King of Sweden (and from which Royal line is today) , presided over the feast of the pacification. A friend of Jules de Francheville, Frédéric Ozanam often stayed there. A private property is not visit. Even with call for reservation.

sarzeau

Both of these castles have to be seen up close otherwise the park property is too far to be seen from closeup. Kerlevenan can be seen a bit from the road D780 that goes into the peninsula but rather fast difficult for pictures.

However, one thing we enjoy coming to the town itself of Sarzeau and the coastal area is the precious oysters, one of the best and produce , taste, sold and eaten locally!!! We shop at one property that we were just this morning

The Nurserie of the Gulf-Spiru’Breizh is the 1st connected growing of oysters of France. Tasting of oysters refined to the fresh Spiru’Marine produced on site and appetizers ‘ Triskel.  From Wednesday to Sunday, terrace laid out on the sea and privatise area for all your events (seminar, wedding, birthday…). A magical place, a remarkable site. Open from April.  Visit of the farm from 11h to 12h with guide or interactive (children quiz): 5€ at Pointe de Benance, city limits of Sarzeau on the water!

Official La Nurserie du Golfe

Area tourist office Gulf of Morbihan on the Nursery of the Gulf oysters!

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

The whole area is full of awesome seafood of course and many more all over the place along the coast. However, we like to stick with the one we first like and continue the patronage , it is always appreciated. For other choices here is the tourist office

Area tourist office Gulf of Morbihan on oyster farming

You all come here you hear this is the best time before the real hot weather and crowds come in, well they are already here but later will be busier indeed.  Presqu’ile de Rhuys ok. This is the third most visited region of France ,Brittany, after Ile de France ,and PACA/provence, but , also, the least publisized for foreign visitors still. You will have a lot of off the beaten path places to see and enjoy.

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

 

 

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