Archive for ‘Europe’

October 17, 2019

Porte des Allemands at Metz!

Ok so let’s go east shall we! IN my road warrior trips in France and elsewhere…. I have come to visit the east of the French Republic and one of the towns that impressed us the most was Metz. Even if not on the tops list of folks in that area, it is a must to visit. Metz is in the dept 57 of Moselle in the new region of Grand Est. I have written in a general sense before in my blog, but let me tell you a bit about its wonderful things to see in my next posts.

The Porte des Allemands or gate of the Germans is a fortified city gate in  Metz. It serves as a bridge over the Seille river  from the 13C to the beginning of the 20C. The building is today the most important remnant of the medieval walls of Metz and testifies to the evolution of the military architecture of Metz in the Middle Ages.

metz

It was mentioned first in 1267, the gate of the Germans  was one of the seven main gates of the city, which had twelve others, less important, in medieval times. Both a fortified gate and bridge, the gate spans the Seille river  at the Pont Henry-de-Ranconval (bridge) which now connects the expressway Est Boulevard Andre Maginot, the latter having replaced the ramparts at the beginning of the 20C. The fortified gate dominated the eastern boundary line for nearly 1,200 meters, from the Porte de Mazelle to the Porte Sainte-Barbe. The Porte des Allemands  was part of the medieval walls of Metz. A veritable fortress-gate with towers, battlements and machicolations, the gate of the German owes its name to the knights of the Teutonic Order, or “Hospitaller Brothers of Our Lady of the Germans”, installed at that time in a neighboring street. Their hospice was destroyed by François de Guise, during the siege of Metz of 1552.  The towers dominate the Seille river from a height of 28 meters. The thickness of the walls, which reaches 3.50 meters, is then adapted to the power of the emerging artillery. The bridge is fortified between 1480 and 1550.

Metz

A major renovation project was undertaken in 2013-2014 to open the premises to the public for cultural events. Bleachers and a scenic area are built on an outdoor terrace in the garden behind the great hall. A glass elevator accessible to people of reduced mobility is set up in the north tower which sees its treated framework and its blanket in hollow tiles redone. The elevator joins the terrace which is safe. The rooms of the north tower of the 15C gate are also restored ; the double-screw staircase of this tower gives access to the terrace on the east side. Sanitary facilities are installed and a technical space for heating and air is installed underground.

The city of Metz becomes owner of the Porte des Allemands in 1900. A part is then transformed into a museum. This museum contains until 1918 an archaeological collection from the missing districts, doors or demolished ramparts of the city. On the first and second floor were documents, printed pieces and engravings on the history of Metz since Roman times. The halls also contained seals, coins and medals dating from the war of 1870, as well as Lorraine furniture and costumes and the guillotine, “La Louise”, which would have been active on the Place de la Comédie in 1793. Because of its emblematic value, the nazis made their solemn entry to Metz, by the porte des Allemands on September 23, 1940.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

City of Metz on the Porte des Allemands in French

Tourist office of Metz on the Porte des Allemands in English

There you go another dandy monument in very nice Metz. Hope you enjoy visiting the Porte des Allemands as we did walking to it!

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

 

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October 16, 2019

Grand Thêatre de Tours!

Ok so I have been to some theaters usually in Paris (where I used to worked) or in Vannes (where I now work) but very little into the details of the performance. My main interest on them is the architecture and history of these buildings which are of the story of France in most cases.

The city of Tours is a wonderful place to be with plenty to see and do, and we have been there of course. One of the building monument that took our eye fancy was the Grand Theater of Tours or the Grand Thêatre de Tours. Let me tell  you a bit more on it ok

In our street walks of Tours, always good to walk in towns here, we took a detour into the rue de la Scellerie with ambiance the district of the antiques shops, book shops, and china porcelain , to the right you see the flamboyant façade of the Grand Théatre!

The Grand Théâtre of Tours is a 913-seat auditorium, it is home to the Opéra de Tours, which has a permanent choir and is also home to the Centre-Val de Loire-Region Symphony Orchestra.

Tours

The Grand Théâtre de Tours is built on the old church of Cordeliers. As early as 1796, this church was converted into a 800-seat theater by a private individual, the citizen Bûcheron. In 1867, the hall was bought by the city of Tours, which was demolished and replaced by a new ensemble inspired by the Opera Garnier de Paris The inauguration took place on August 8, 1872.

tours

In 1883, a fire destroys a large part of the building with only the facade and the four walls remaining This second and current theater is finally inaugurated in 1889. The Grand Theater of Tours is a theater in the Italian style. Decor representing a theater scene in the Middle Ages, the Cardinal du Bellay introducing François Rabelais to François I and the Glories of Touraine.

tours

Hope you enjoy the architecture of it and why not come to see a play here, the area is quant pretty and old world looking very romantic I must say. Enjoy the Grand Théâtre de Tours!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Opera of Tours on the Grand Theater history

City of Tours on the Grand Theatre info

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

 

 

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October 16, 2019

The streets of Tours!

And here I go again with walks; oh well you know i love the car and can’t be without it . However, there is a point in getting to a place and then another on seeing the place. The best way to see a place is to walk. And Tours is wonderful to do walking with plenty to see and do, see in search my previous posts on Tours with many of the sights there.

For now  ,let me tell you about the streets of Tours , I enjoy walking there some of them with photos.

The Château de Tours by the Place des Turones, accessible by the rue Lavoisier, at the old entrance to the barracks or the rue des Maures. The street rue Lavoisier  is along from the Loire river Avenue André Malraux next to the Château de Tours ;the Musée de la Typographie , Cathédrale St Gratien, Cloître de la Psalette, Musée des Beaux Arts just before the Place François Sicard and the garden of same name.

tours

The Rue des Halles starts at the wonderful Halles of Tours or covered market in Place des Halles, and it continues passing by the Basilique Saint Martin de Tours, and the Tour Charlemagne. It continues on as the rue de la Scellerie which passed the Grand Théatre to the jardin François Sicard and the musée des Beaux Arts !

tours

The rue de Corneille starts at the Grand Théatre (rue de la Scellerie) and continues to the end at rue Emile Zola. It is wonderful to see the great Haussmannien style homes along this short and quant street.

tours

Another quant street we like is the Rue des Bons Enfants it  is around the Place Châteauneuf/Rue de Châteauneuf with nice parking area. It is a very old quant street we like it, and short ends at rue du Président Merville. On the backside is the Rue des Halles and the Basilique St Martin de Tours as well as the Tour Charlemagne. Also, the old  Palais de Ducs de Touraine back gives to the Rue des Bons Enfants , the entrance been on 15 Place de Châteauneuf.

tours

The Passarelle or pont Saint-Symphorien or Pont de fil is a pedestrian and bicycle suspension bridge crossing the Loire river, built from 1845 to 1847, roughly at the site of the old medieval bridge of Eudes, demolished in 1784 but of which traces remain upstream.

A monument to the Fallen, dedicated to the volunteers of 1870 for the sacrifice of the soldiers of the 88th mobile regiment of Indre-et-Loire, was erected on the southern entrance, on the Château de Tours side , which at the time of the conflict was a barracks, having been moved to this place in the 1970s, from the Place du Chardonnet where it was originally since July 1914.

Since the outbound lane of the Pont Wilson (bridge) is reserved for a pedestrian / bicycle traffic due to the tramway, this being in addition to the developments on the banks of the Loire river already made, walkers and strollers now have, in Tours, a closed circuit around the Loire river, passing through the two bridges, which allows them to enjoy part of this Loire heritage in the Val de Loire perimeter. Finally, the Passarelle St Symphorien is on the pilgrimage trail of Saint-James of Compostela, in the direction of L’Île-Bouchard coming from Vouvray on the GR 3 way.

tours

And the dandy is the Rue Nationale at 700 meters long, it extends on a flat land from north to south. It connects the Place Anatole-France , where the Pont Wilson opens and the Avenue de Grammont. It is one of the oldest and most commercial streets of the city that cuts in two the old or Vieux-Tours and is one of the main arteries of the city. Its rectilinear layout is in the center of a very beautiful prospect, called the major axis of six km and constituted from north to south by the Avenue de la Tranchée, the Pont Wilson, the Rue Nationale and the Avenue. from Grammont. The northern part of the street is wider than the southern part.  Since the installation of the tramway in 2013, the rue Nationale becomes pedestrian.

tours

The Rue Nationale, formerly known as rue Royale, was really opened in 1777. Under the mandate of the mayor of Tours Jules Charpentier ,the rue Royale was renamed to the Rue Nationale. At the beginning of the street are the Central Library of Tours, the Saint-Julien Church , and the Musée du Compagnonnage . At no. 17 was the renowned Hôtel du Faisan (Pheasant), and on no. 39 was Honoré de Balzac’s birth house. The big retailers are present on Rue Nationale such as the Galerie Nationale at the southern part of the street.

tours

In all a great walking city indeed, and we have plenty in my belle France! Oh yes as a reminder Tours is in dept 37 Indre et Loire in the region of Centre-Val de Loire !

The tourist office of Tours as reference here: Official tourism office of Tours

The tourist office of Indre et Loire as reference here: Official tourism Indre et Loire on Tours

And there you go hope you enjoy the walking of Tours! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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October 16, 2019

Tour de France 2020!

Ok so you are going to K me again this is an event way ahead but me think is good to plan ahead. When you have these big events I think it is always good to know the dates and the towns so you have plenty of time to plan your family’s trip. And I mean plan everything. This is the case with the Tour de France cycling race. The ultimate!!

I am not an expert nor I ride now but still love it and all my family do. For all even the views of the cyclists going thru the wonderful countryside of my belle France is enough to come and see it, either on TV or even better on site. Over the years we have followed it usually around Pau but sometimes near me now and even near Paris. Let me tell you a bit about the 2020 edition of the Tour de France.

A Tour de France entirely in France, with mountain from beginning to end and in which the only test against the clock will be in the penultimate stage, ending in the hard climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. This is the route of the 2020 edition of the Tour de France, which will be held from June 27 to July 19, 2020 dates advanced by the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Southern Grand Départ from Nice will have three exits with an initial stage for sprinters and on the second day there will be a mid-mountain exam with 4,000 meters of unevenness in order to fight the Leader from the beginning. In fact, on the fourth day the first final will appear on high, on the high in Orcieres-Merlette, 7.1 km at 6.7% level.

The sixth stage will be another arrival up in a port like Mont Aigoual, which will link up to 34 km of final ascent. It will be on the way to the Pyrenees, protagonists of the second weekend. Two days, Saturday July 4 and Sunday July 5 with the first with Balès (11.7 to 7.7%) and Peyresourde (9.7 to 7.8%); and the Sunday, with Hourcere and Marie-Blanque. After the rest day, the race will reach the Atlantic coast, between the islands of Oleron and Ré, with the wind as the main protagonist. Nor will forget the Tour de France to honor the recently deceased Jacques Chirac, with the longest and only stage that passes 200 km at 218 ending in Sarran, in a second week that will end with the final in Grand Colombier.

The final berth will be blatantly mountainous, with a day on July 14 with five ports and final in Villard-de-Lans, to give way to one of the great novelties the next day, the Col de Loze, an extension of the station Meribel, which leaves a rise of 21 km to 7.8%, the last four hard and exceeding 2,300 meters of altitude. Everything, after having made the Madeleine before (17.1 to 8.4%). Stage reigns before another mountain day (four ports on the way to La Roche-Sur-Foron) and the decisive 36 km chrono ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, the hand-to-hand duel where the organization expects the winner to be decided.

The stages of the Tour de France and brief commentaries from AS and L’Equipe sports journals.

1st stage (June 27th): Nice –Nice (medium country) 156 km.The first stage of this Tour de France will make a great loop in the Nice hinterland with, rare thing, three difficulties to borrow from the inaugural Saturday.

2nd stage (June 28th): Nice –Nice (high country) 187 km. From the second day, the long but steady col de Colmiane pass (16 km to 6.3%) placed in the first third of the stage, then in the wake of the Turini pass (15 km to 7.4%) both already punctuated Paris-Nice in 2018 and 2019 respectively – and the slightly more affordable Col d’Eze (7.8 km at 6.1%) will stand in front of the peloton, in a Tour de France which begins full slope (nearly 4000 m of elevation gain).

3rd stage (June 29th): Nice-Sisteron. 198 km. Without being a mountainous stage as the day before, the profile of this day will be slightly bumpy when the riders leave the Mediterranean shores for the Provençal hinterland, and will rise to above 1000 m before descending to Sisteron for an arrival which will be disputed between bruisers and/or sprinters.

4th stage (June 30th): Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette. 157 km. A 4th stage that already reaches the 2,000 m of altitude at its arrival: the first days of the 2020 edition will be steep, with the line drawn at the top of the climb of Orcières-Merlette, only 7 km but at 6.7% average. The foot also includes the steepest pass, with a second kilometer of ascension announced at 8.2% average. The riders will have already negotiated a first difficulty at nearly 1500 m before

 5th stage (July 1st): Gap-Privas. 183 km. Runners will leave the Hautes-Alpes gently sloping for the Ardèche buttresses through the Rhone Valley, often open to the winds of the South and, why not, to the curbs. Long-distance breakouts could be a breeding ground for victory if the sprint teams do not lock the race.

6th stage (July 2nd): Teil-Mont Aigoual. 191 km. Back on the slopes for the fourth time in six days with an arrival at Mount Aigoual that the Tour de France had not visited since its only passage in 1987. It’s not so much the last 14 kilometers that will make the difference, with their alternation between plateau and final elevation at a pleasant 4% average, as the formidable and irregular Lusette pass (11.7 km at 7, 3%) just before, including two kilometers passed in 11 % of slope. A total of 34 km climb that will reduce the organisms after not even a week’s drive.

7th stage (July 3rd): Millau-Lavaur. 168 km. A hilly stage but without real big difficulty. If weather conditions do not spread the peloton in small clusters, the riders could come out unscathed.

 8th stage (4th of july): Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle. 140 km. A sequence of three well-known passes, an arrival in the valley in a rather narrow stage: the Pyrenees stand before the peloton at the end of the first week of racing. Col de Menté, Port of Balès and Col de Peyresourde punctuate this mountainous stage which finally switches to Loudenvielle. The succession of three climbs introduces the lightning but strong passage that makes the Tour de France in the Pyrenean massif.

9th stage (July 5th): Pau-Laruns. (we have been here before!!) 154 km. Second day Béarnaise before the day of rest, again a wild severity. The brutal succession of the Hourcere and Soudet passes, planted well in the middle of the stage with 11 km at 8.8% followed by 3.8 km at 8.5%, barely interspersed with a descent of 5 km before the pass of Marie Blanque and its 7.7 km at 8.6% is added to the table in the last third of the stage, conclude a first week of Tour de France particularly marked by the mountain, unpublished in the modern history of the test.

10th stage (July 7th): Île d’Oléron (The Château d’Oléron) – Île de Ré (Saint-Martin-de-Ré).170 km. The Tour de France will go from island to island (wonderful to see) after the day of rest, for one of the few steps possibly for sprinters.

 11th stage (July 8th): Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers. 167 km. New stage with very soft relief, which will still be able to smile to the teams of sprinters on the Poitevin line .

12th stage (9th of July): Chauvigny-Sarran. 218 km. The longest stage of this 2020 edition will lead the pack towards Sarran, through a bumpy course without being really nothing complicated.

13th stage (July 10th): Châtel-Guyon – Puy-Mary. 191 km. A profile that will leave no respite, typical of those stages of mid-mountain that have worn out the bodies of runners in 2019. All incessant climbs and descents, this stage crossing the Massif Central is announced as the one with the biggest difference in altitude of the 2020 edition – 4400 m for 191 km of course. Among other celebrations listed: the Col de Ceyssat pass, the Col de Guéry, the Montée de la Stéle, the Estiade coast, the Anglards-de-Salers coast before concluding by the Col de Néronne pass (3.8 km to 9.1%) which precedes by 5 km the final rise of Pas de Peyrol, a sacred delicacy of 5.4 km to 8.1% of average. And whose 2.5 ultimate kilometers stand at nearly 12% with a passage to 15%. Big program in perspective.

14th stage (July 11th): Clermont-Ferrand – Lyon. 197 km. A stage marked the passage of the Béal pass in the first part of the race. Not enough to decide the fate of the stage before a descent to Lyon and some bumps on the menu in the very last part of the race: the coast of the Duchère, the rise of the Observance and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse will spice up the finale.

15th stage (12th of July): Lyon-Grand Colombier. 175 km. From almost every angle: from Lyon, runners will approach the Grand Colombier by almost all its possible access and drive. First by coming flirting with him from the west, to the saddle of Fromentel (11 km to 8.1%, including slopes between 11.5 and 22% in the last three kilometers), before s’ turn to go down to the north and hang on the Col de la Biche (7 km to 8.9%). They will then have to turn east, join Culoz and tackle the Grand Colombier, which is so difficult (17.4 km at 7.1%), irregular, with a brittle rhythm, where in several places the slopes follow slopes of 12%!

16th stage (July 14th): The Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans. 164 km. If the Chartreuse massif and the Col de Porte pass, which appear quite early in the stage (km 47) do not already scatter part of the peloton, the Vercors, its climb of access (by Saint-Nizier-du -Moucherotte), its plateau and its final coast at Villard-de-Lans, could legitimately be the theater.

17th stage (July 15th): Grenoble-Col de la Loze. 168 km. The queen stage of this Tour de France will cross the Madeleine and will end at the top of the Col de la Loze Pass, an unprecedented climb to the spectacular finale, destined to become a classic of the Great Loop. A narrow road opened last May and closed to cars has made accessible to cyclists the summit of the Col de la Loze (2 304 m), which connects the valley of Meribel to that of Courchevel. The extraordinary strength of this climb does not lie in its length (21.5 km in total from the foot, Brides-les-Bains), nor in its average percentages (7.8%), but in the unique profile of last six terminals, on the new elevation road. This consists of a succession of impressive walls and floors, with many passages over 20%. Short laces, violent raids and incessant ruptures of slope, which offer cyclists a phenomenal field of expression.

18th stage (July 16th): Méribel – La-Roche-sur-Foron. 168 km. Since it was retracted due to weather conditions in the 2019 edition, here is the Cormet Roselend served on the menu of 2020, but this time in its direction Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Beaufort. Then come a solid sequence of the Col des Saisies, the Aravis, the rise of the plateau Glières (back to the program after an appearance in 2018)

19e étape (17 juillet) : Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole. 160 km. Part of the Ain to join the reliefs of the Jura, it will not present difficulties comparable to the previous days and could benefit the sprinters.

20th stage (July 18th): Lure – La Planche des belles filles (against the clock). 36 km. The only stage against the clock of this Tour de France 2020 will be played on 36 km with a final in hill. And what a rise: the now classic Planche des belles filles, on the program for the fifth time in nine editions. Nearly 6 km to 8.5% (in “normal” version for 2020 after the “Super Planche” of 2019) with ad hoc passages at 13 or even 20%. A chrono during the penultimate stage is not new in the recent history of the Tour de France all editions from 2002 to 2008, then those of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 or even 2017 were filled, with a single change of leader on the eve of the arrival in Paris, in 2011. But the uniqueness of the individual chrono this year makes it a unique event.

21st stage (July 19th): Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines dept 78! – Paris .122 km. As every year until 2024, the last stage of the Tour starts from the Yvelines to reach Paris. By an agreement between the Tour de France and the dept 78 Yvelines! My old home!

The official webpage of the Tour de France: https://www.letour.fr/en/

There ,now you are all set to come in, bienvenue  and enjoy the race ,the Tour de France 2020.

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

 

October 15, 2019

Church of Notre Dame, Versailles!!!

I am surprise not to find a single post on this church in my blog! I could not find it and it was my church while living in Versailles! ouuffs so much to see and many thing even forgotten lol! Well this post is to remedy this forgetfulness of mine. This is it, if you are coming to see monuments away from the palace/museum , and you should, this is a must, the history of France, Europe, the world started here!!!

The Church of Notre-Dame  is officially at 2 rue Baillet Reviron for the parish office but the main facade entrance is on Rue de la Paroisse corner with Rue Sainte-Geneviéve in the Notre-Dame district (mine!) and its facade facing the rue Hoche, formerly rue Dauphine,  leading to Place Hoche and eventually the Place d’Armes and the palace/museum of Versailles!. It is notably the parish royal church of the Palace of Versailles since the monarchies. The closest train station is Gare Versailles Rive-Droite (mine!!!)  but on the RER C rive gauche you can easily walk to it. Of course, it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France!

Versailles

The carved decoration is limited to the façade with figures of Religion and Charity  with the spandrels of the Porte Royale (royal door). Statues of Religion and Martyrdom occupy the niches from 1812. Inside, the central nave extended by the choir ends in semicircle; it opens with large arches on the aisles and the ambulatory. The crossing of the transept is covered with a dome, surmounted by a lantern. A suite of thirteen chapels surrounds the church.

versailles

A bit of history I like

From 1682, the definitive installation of the king at Versailles, then that of the main administrative services of the monarchy, determines a strong increase of population: the small village becomes a real city, and in particular in the new district located north of the avenue of Paris, which becomes the Notre-Dame district (mine!!!) .The construction of a church, at once parish of the royal castle and the new city, is decided on the accounts of the King’s Buildings. For this project, king Louis XIV chose his first architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. On March 10, 1684 was the laying of the first stone by king Louis XIV and by October 30, 1686 ,the consecration of the church to Our Lady of the Assumption.  At the same time the palace of Versailles was still been enlarged. The registers of the parish will include baptisms, marriages, and deaths of the royal family.

Versailles

versailles

This is how all the baptismal, marriage and death certificates of the royal family of France in Versailles are recorded in this parish registers, including the baptisms of seven kings of France, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis XIX and Louis-Philippe I, as well as that of Philip V of Spain, the marriages of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Louis XVIII and Marie-Josephine de Savoie, and Charles X and Marie-Thérèse de Savoy, and the funerals of Louis XIV and Louis XV. A condensed version of all these names that mark the history of France, Europe , and the World from Versailles!

versailles

versailles

In 1786, a campaign of decorative works included: in the nave and the choir, fluting of the pilasters; in the choir, rosette sculpture with arches doubling from the vault, leaves, ovals and pearls with moldings of the large arches. Three years later, the inaugural procession of the Estates General leaves from the church on May 4, 1789. After the French revolution, the only original furniture remaining was  the buffet of large organs  the pulpit, the Assumption , painting of the high altar, adds to it the Preaching of St. Vincent de Paul, arrived in 1739; Christ on the Cross , marble statue, from 1690, arrived in 1791. In 1793, when the policy of official atheism began, it was transformed into a temple of reason and then a place of worship. At the end of the revolutionary period, it is its neighbor, the Church of Saint-Louis of Versailles, (St Louis district) which was chosen as cathedral of the new diocese of Versailles. Due to the fact, it would have been sensitive to name the Royal pantheon, the cathedral so a compromise was done with the French Republic! It is still the place of nobility and they do come often to the Church of Notre Dame!

Versailles

Versailles

Efforts was made to refurnish the Church of Notre Dame such as  in 1815, twelve precious marble medallions (apostles, evangelists, etc.) were sent by the best sculptors of the 16C, from the former Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture; in 1818, installation of the cenotaph of the Comte de Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Louis XVI, signatory of the Treaty of Independence of the United States (1783), a marble of 1788. Over the years, arrival of paintings, among which: Assumption, 1767; Martyrdom around 1730; Lamentation of the Death of Christ, 1635; the Transfiguration and Christ in the Garden of Olives, circa 1610.  The construction at the bedside of the church of the important Chapel of the Sacred Heart, 1858-1872.  Baptismal marble basin closed by a lid surmounted by a statuette of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in bronze or copper from the 17C . The stained glass windows with strong coloration in all the bays of the chapels. Marble paving of the choir and marble plating at the base of the pillars. Installation of an accompanying organ at the location of the altarpiece at the end of the choir. According to the norms of the liturgical reform decided by the Council of Vatican II, reorganization of the choir and construction of a new high altar,1999.

versailles

versailles

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and again is a must are

Official Church of Notre Dame in French

Tourist office of Versailles on Church of Notre Dame in French

City of Versailles on monuments and heritage see Notre Dame bottom

Again, this is a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Château de Versailles! After all, it was the church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. The decorations are very nice as well.  Hope you enjoy the tour!

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

 

October 14, 2019

The groves or bosquets of Versailles!

Ok so even thus written on the gardens of the palace/museum of Versailles, there are areas dear to me that have givne the full credit they deserve. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the groves or bosquets in the gardens of Versailles. Even thus, I will say again, there is a lot more to see in the city than the palace, just browse thru my blog search Versailles.

Two particular ones always gathered my attention and spent many times walking around them when lived there and when visiting Versailles. The groves of the baths of Apollo and the ballroom grove. These are my favorites of the many there.

The Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon or Grove of Baths of Apollo is a decoration in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Located immediately west of the castle, it was made by Hubert Robert, in the romantic spirit under the reign of king Louis XVI, between 1776 and 1778. In 1778, the former “Bosquet du Marais” created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1704 under the probable instigation of Madame de Montespan, becomes the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.

Versailles

In 1704, the three groups were installed in the bosquet de la Renommée , which occupied the northeast corner of the current grove and took the name of Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.   To protect the works, frail iron canopies trimmed golden lead ornaments were completed in 1705.

In 1778, the statues were moved in the bosquet du Marais redesigned for the occasion and which then takes the name of the bosquet des bains d’Apollon. For the redevelopment of the grove, Hubert Robert designed an artificial cave in the middle of a green landscape dotted with waterfalls and small pools of water, in the Anglo-Chinese style then fashionable. An English garden whose center is occupied by a lake dominated by a huge dummy rock adorned with waterfalls and dug a cave in which is installed the group of Apollo, while the two groups of the Horses of the Sun are placed from either side.

Apollo is accompanied by five nymphs, in the grotto of the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon, a set of seven statues, the first masterpiece carved in marble and probably the most important for Versailles. The central figure of the composition was freely inspired by the Apollo Belvedere and also evoked that of the King, two side groups representing the Horses of the Sun which replaced those of December 1667.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Grove of the baths of Apollo

The Bosquet des Rocailles or Salle du Bal is another grove of the gardens of Versailles. The Rocailles grove is located in the southeastern part of the gardens. It is near the following places for direction: to the north, the rampe du Midi, which separates it from the parterre de Latone, to the east, the parterre du Midi, to the south, the bosquet de la Reine, scattered by the allée de Bacchus-and Allée de Saturne ,to the west the bosquet de la Girandole. The Bassin de Bacchus is located at the southwest corner, the fontaine du Midi at the northeast corner.

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The grove has three entrances on the Allée de Bacchus-and-Allée de Saturne, at its southwest corner, in the middle. The last entrance is south of the northwest corner. The Salle de Bal is decorated by several vases and torches in golden lead. Arranged by André Le Nôtre between 1680 and 1683, the grove is the last compound before the installation of king Louis XIV at Versailles. It was inaugurated in 1685. The central zone originally had an oval dance floor, delimited by a small canal. This track is destroyed in the early 18C.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the ballroom grove

And for all the others the direct link is here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Groves or bosquets

The gardens are a must to visit and will take you a whole day to see it all. This is a huge property and unfortunately most foreign guides tells you to head for the inside and then the rest. To me it should be the other way around one day gardens one day inside and then maybe another half day for the Trianons/hameau. Then , you can leave saying you saw the Domaine de Versailles. Enjoy the groves or bosquets of my beloved Versailles.

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

 

October 14, 2019

Souvenirs of Versailles!

So let me give you now a special shopping experience in my beloved Versailles. You know the story of me and Versailles by reading my blog so will go to the post right away.

There is a wonderful souvenir shop right across from the RER C train station that is very popular with locals and especially visitors grabbing that last souvenirs before embarking on the RER C train back to Paris. I am putting this here to let you know and also for my memories.

This is the place of my oldest son first job in France!  The owner or manager at the time hails from Valencia, Spain! and we made a pleasant friendly relationship for a long time. My son really used his three languages here to talk with the world and we were by to take a peek at him working and buying some postcards and porcelain lamps. The place is the Presse Librairie des Manèges  Souvenir Shop at  2 avenue du General de Gaulle.  It has a wide range of souvenirs from Versailles and Paris, illustrated guides, postcards, t-shirts,  all Made in France products !

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The official webpage: Official Souvenirs de Paris in Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the press librarie des menages

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There are just around it many shops such as a McDonalds, KFC , Ibis hotel, Le karaoke bar ,Chez César pizzeria,Class’Croute sandwiches, Jeff de Bruges chocolates, NatureHouse, Sports House, the Phébus bus network office , Games Workshop, etc.

It is located just a stone’s throw from Versailles Château Rive-Gauche train station, opposite, this new renovated square or Place des Manèges . The building of the Manéges (or merry go around)  was a former military building under Napoleon III.  It now proposes a new landscaped area and a new perspective on the Porte de la Maréchalerie (contemporary art center located in the forge of the petite ecurie, go in the parvis and look back) . The square known as Place des Ménages, located in the  Avenue du General de Gaulle between the city/ town hall and the Château.  There is a renovation as well to the stairs leading to the Maréchalerie  and the high sidewalk.

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Some history I like as always architecture and history is all around us in France and Versailles  as the cradle of the French Republic (France).

The Avenue du  Général de Gaulle provides access to the Rive Gauche Château  RER C station and the bus station, between the first city/ town hall and the district of the Manèges. It was the old rue de Berry since 1829, then of the rue de l’hötel de ville and rue Thiers until 1979. The name of the general Charles de Gaulle  credited with liberating occupied France and president of the French Republic (France) from 1959 to 1969.

Some interesting buildings here I like are at No 1 First Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall of Versailles. Former hotel of Marie-Anne de Bourbon, princess of Conti, daughter of king Louis XIV, then of the Grand Masters of the Royal House under king Louis XV and then the  mayor’s office of Versailles since 1791. At No  5: Gare Versailles-Château-Rive Gauche RER C . Inaugurated in 1840, the train station, restored in 2014, changed its name in February 2012 from been simply the rive gauche. It is the terminus of line C of the RER.  Opposite, in an old music pavilion, the regional bus station.  At No 6 a monumental porch vestige of the entrance of the former cavalry barracks and rides destroyed in 1988 to make way for the mall Les Ménages.

There you go another nice memory lane building in my always beloved Versailles. Hope you enjoy it and do come to shop , very friendly folks work there even today!

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

October 13, 2019

Looking through the windows to the gardens of Versailles!

Ok again my limited creativity I just came up with this title to tell you about something wonderful. On a sunny day in my neck of the woods perfect for a walk in the gardens and if in Versailles , sublime!

One of the wonders of this magnificent palace/museum done from 1837 to all the glories of France by king of the French Louis-Philippe are the gardens. I know the rush to see the wonderful inside, but the gardens are all on its own. Do not want to go into details on this post as have many on Versailles in my blog having lived there. The gardens are free entry even on musical water fountain days if you go way back after the Grand Canal from the entrance by the Porte Saint Antoine, and we jogged walked and just had our lunch at Angelina at the Petit Trianon for many years; we love and we still do !

I like to give two perpective on the gardens as view from inside the Palace/museum of Versailles, the Domaine de Versailles includes all the buildings while the Château de Versailles is call just the main castle.  It is a lot smaller today than what it was under the Louis’s if you can believe that due to the size it has even today.

The great gardener of France , André Le Nôtre organized the gardens of Versailles around two axes, north-south and east-west. The first part of the bassin de Neptune, goes up by the allée de l’eau and continues until the Orangerie and the piéce d’eau  des Suisses. The second, called Grande Perspective, crosses the gardens like an axis of symmetry, beyond the Bassin de Latone, it follows the allée royale to the Grand Canal.

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And from the Salon de la Paix come the picture. This salon is ​​a lounge located south of the Galerie des Glaces.  Above the green Campan marble fireplace stands Louis XV offering his two daughters in testimony of peace to Europe painted in 1729. The young ruler, aged nineteen, holds out an olive branch and receives his two twin daughters, Louise-Elizabeth and Anne-Henriette, from the hands of Fecundity and Piety . In the end, the Discord vainly tries to reopen the doors of the temple of Janus. In the time of Marie Antoinette, the Salon de la Paix was an integral part of the king’s apartment. It was a bit like his games room. The Salon de la Paix was restored in 2017, thanks to the patronage of Renault (car maker).

The Allée Royale is the major east-west axis of the garden. It is drawn from the first garden of the time of Louis XIII. It is at the beginning of an alley about fifteen meters wide, showing a steep slope, ending in a basin dug in the early 1660s, the piéce d’ Eau des Cygnes, future bassin d’Apollon. Around 1665, the alley is widened (it is now about 45 meters wide) and its slope considerably softened. Under Louis XVI, an alignment of chestnut trees is added to its border with yew and hornbeam. On the side of the Parterre de Latone, the entrance to the alley is marked by two admirable groups of Louis XIV, Milon of Crotone  in 1682 and Perseus delivering Andromeda  in 1684. Today, these are casts, the originals being kept in the Louvre museum of Paris.

See the parterre d’eau from the Salon de la Paix

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And from the Salon de  Mars is the picture. The salon part of the Great King’s apartment, this room decorated on the theme of Mars, god of Roman mythology, served as the guard room of the time of Louis XIV. The Salon de Mars served as a guardroom. It marked the true entrance of the Grand Apartment of the King, giving access to the salon de Mercure. During the evenings of apartment introduced by Louis XIV, the Salon de Mars was first devoted to a gameroom. There were several tables for card games and other games of chance. Around 1685, the king made pierce the two walls on both sides of the chimney to arrange two stands supported by columns and intended for the musicians. The salon is then dedicated to music and dance. Louis XV removed these stands in 1750. As the function of the salon requires, the iconography of the ceiling is dedicated to the god Mars and war work. A golden cornice is supported by helmets of all models such as Roman, Turkish, etc.

See the avenue du Sud  section from the Salon de Mars window.

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There are many objects such as fountain, statues , busts in the gardens and a walk here is sublime, again. One of the highlights of coming to Versailles, enjoy the gardens!

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

 

October 13, 2019

More streets of Paris!

So lets get into the streets of Paris!  Ok so you all come here and eagerly get into the metro lol! Never understood why… with so much beauty above ground why go underground? Of course, there is the RER B from CDG airport but there are also buses Air France and Direct Line so much comfortable. And believe me I have tried them all over the years.

There is also the bus in Paris, above ground: and like me the road warrior there is always the first choice for the car; even with all the contraints of doing so in Paris nowdays. Bottom line, once you get to Paris proper (districts or arrondissement 1-20), the ultime best way is to walk its streets. And this is the idea of this post, stretch your legs and have your feet well dressed and do some awesome walking above ground in the most beautiful city in the world, Paris!

One of the streets I entered my eternal Paris the most is by the rue d’Auteuil in that quartier or neighborhood in district or arrondissement 16 of Paris. I usually come in to Paris by car on this street! Lets go on…

The rue d’Auteuil was the main street in the old village of  Auteuil. Founded aound the year  600, this village was located near the vast forest of Rouvray, part of which is the Bois de Boulogne today.  In 1860, the village is annexed by Paris  and the street is name for it.  This street previously in 1813 was designated as the D30 road as the  rue du village d’Auteuil. The part between the streets  rue La Fontaine ,and bd  Murat and bd Suchet were incorporated into the D29 road in 1847.

Some interesting building along this street of rue d’Auteuil are: At no 4 Chapelle Sainte-Bernadette. 11 bis entrance to high school or lycée Jean-Baptiste-Say. No 16 Hôtel de Puscher, 17C, redone in 1806,you can admire the facade on the street rue des Perchamps. No 40, it was for a long time the lodging or Auberge du Mouton Blanc  where Molière, Racine , and La Fontaine were regular vistiors, there is a plaque on the wall. At the end of the 17C it was the LIPP of the times. At No 43-47, there is pretty mansion of the 18C more precisely 1715, known as the Hôtel Antier or Hôtel de Verrières. Moving on at No 43-47  John Adams 2nd President of the USA and one of the founding  fathers of the USA lived here with his wife and two children from September 1784 to May  1785! At No 59 was the site of a mansion from the 18C that hosted many known figures of the time. From  1750 to 1772,it belonged to the painter Maurice Quentin de La Tour. In  1788, was sold to Madame Helvetius  or Anne-Catherine de Ligniville Helvétius.  It was here which was known as the Our Lady of Auteuil or Notre-Dame d’Auteuil or simply Minette gathering the brightest from the time. It was here as well the site of the Condorcet, shock by a demonstration where for the first time came the red flag ,writing the treaty on the prevost justice.  A few years later we find Napoléon  Bonaparte before he was emperor and after 1854, one of this nephews the Prince Pierre Bonaparte, that made famous in January 1870 for the murder of the newspaper men  Victor Noir, real name Yvan Salmon. Finally at no 63-73 was the place of the Château du Coq that in 1717,belonged to  Samuel Bernard  that left it to one of his mistresses  Madame de Fontaine. In 1767, king Louis XV became proprietor  to use it as a fun lover meeting place.

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Another street I have used a lot is the Avenue du Maine by Montparnasse.  It includes the neighborhoods of Necker, Montparnasse Plaisance, and Petit Montrouge in the districts of 14éme and 15éme of Paris. Another of my work offices was by here and really walk and eaten around there a lot.

The Avenue du Maine owes its name to the presence of the Château de Maine, which was, according to a legend, an old hunting appointment of the Duke of Maine at the northern tip of the domain of Sceaux. In fact, this castle whose entrance was located at 142 rue du Château was very far from Sceaux and never belonged to the duke of Maine but had several owners including the literary critic Élie Catherine Fréron. The origin of this avenue is due to Auguste de Bourbon, Duke of Maine. His main residence, located on the site of the future hotel Biron, was located rue de Varenne and his country residence was in Sceaux where his wife, Louise-Bénédicte de Bourbon, received the beautiful spirits of the time as Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu, Stanislas of Boufflers, Voltaire, Bernard Bouyer de Fontenelle, etc…

To go from one house to another, you had to take the little streets of Paris that led to the site of the old Saint-Michel gate and then take rue d’Enfer. In order to shorten the route, the Duke of Maine made a path through the countryside of the Montrouge plateau, which ran around the outlets of the rue de Sèvres, rue de Vaugirard and rue du Cherche-Midi, and which joined the  Route d’Orléans ( current avenue du Général-Leclerc) at a place called “Le Petit-Montrouge” in the parish of Montrouge by extending the rue d’Enfer. The avenue seems to have been opened in the late 1730s.  This road bore the names of chemin d’Orléans around 1760,  Nouvelle route d’Orléans around 1763, Chemin du Petit-Montrouge  around 1777, Route du Maine around 1791, before taking, from 1821, that of chaussée du Maine  and eventually avenue du Maine.

Some of the interesting things to see in the Avenue du Maine that I  like are at No 13 house shop of the organ builder  Aristide Cavaillé-Coll!  No. 14 lived the painter Fernand Léger and the Lebanese-American poet Gibran Khalil Gibran  from 1908 to 1910 , there is a plaque. The young Jean Mermoz  future legendary figure of  Aéropostale lived there with his mother, born Gabrielle Gillet a nurse at the Laennec hospital  from 1917-1918 and until his departure for the Aviation School of Istres in October 1920. No 21 the Montparnasse museum, former Grande-Masse workshop of the National School of Fine Arts, At this address was also the studio of the Russian painter, Marie Vassilieff, who opened there in 1915 the  Cantine des artistes , she welcomed there among others: Guillaume Apollinaire, Braque, Cendrars, Chagall, Jean Dannet, Max Jacob, Léger, Matisse, Modigliani, Radiguet, Soutine, Zadkine, etc. At no  33 lived Piet Mondrian from 1912 to 1913 , and left for 26, rue du Départ, nearby. Since 1973, it has been the official address of the Montparnasse tower. At No 44: the Douanier Rousseau lived  here from 1893 to 1895.  No. 79 in front of this number, on May 12, 1902, the Pax airship with its two occupants, aeronaut Augusto Severo de Albuquerque Maranhão and his mechanic, Georges Saché, felled. There is also the  Maine-Montparnasse buildings including the Paris-Montparnasse train station, the Montparnasse tower, and the Atlantic garden. The Church Saint-Pierre-de-Montrouge is also here.

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In another area of Paris ,another popular street of mine is the rue Royale near the Madeleine. Where not only by car but walk a lot as one of previous jobs was not far from it.

The rue Royale is a lane of the 8éme arrondissement of Paris. 282 meters long, the street starts from Place de la Concorde and ends at Place de la Madeleine. It measures about 23 meters wide between Place de la Concorde and rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré and 43 meters elsewhere. Its name comes from the fact that this way was opened to give access to the place Louis-XV, current Place de la Concorde.

This rue Royale street replaced the Porte Saint-Honoré, which was at the corner of Rue Saint-Honore, built under Louis XIII and destroyed in 1733 and the rampart that extended to the Jardin des Tuileries. The rue Royale  Tuileries was built from 1758 on a uniform facade design given by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Around 1792, the rue Royale was renamed rue de la Revolution. It then became the rue Royale Saint-Honoré then, in 1795, the rue de la Concorde. It resumed its current name in 1814. After the Restoration, the rue Royale gradually lost its residential character and became one of the high places of luxury Parisian trade, especially from the late 19C.

Some interesting buildings I like are: At No.1 Hotel on the corner of Place de la Concorde where, on February 6, 1778, Conrad Alexandre Gerard in the name of King Louis XVI, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, Arthur Lee signed the treaties by which France was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States of America!!!.  At No 2 Hôtel de la marine, also known as the hôtel des Garde-Meuble . Today headquarters of the staff of the French Navy.

At No 3 Hôtel Richelieu. The Maxim’s restaurant, established at this address since 1893, is remarkable for its storefront and its Art Nouveau interior of 1899 . No 6: Hôtel Le Roy de Senneville. Built in 1769 by Louis Le Tellier for Jean-François Roy de Senneville , secretary of the king from 1752 to 1780 and farmer general from 1772 to 1789.

To the right of the porte-cochère, the jeweler Fouquet commissioned in 1901 for his shop a remarkable decoration of 1900 style designed by Alfons Mucha and realized with the help of the Maison Jansen. On the noble floor, two lounges have retained their original decor of the 1770s. The passage checker has retained its flat vault. The staircase of honor remains with its railing wrought iron Louis XV. At No 11 a hotel built by Louis Le Tellier, after 1781. The large half-timbered salon was reassembled in Paris at the Nissim-de-Camondo Museum and the bedroom at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Buenos Aires. Queen Nathalie of Serbia lived there.

No 14, at the corner of rue Saint-Honoré at the location of the Credit Lyonnais agency, established at this location since at least 1910, was at the end of the 19C a cabaret with the sign of La Porte Saint-Honoré recalling the old door of the enclosure of Louis XIII who was at this location and was demolished in 1733. The physiologist Claude Bernard lived in this house in 1859.  In April 1939, the building becomes the head office of L’Oréal, the company’s premises also occupy all the buildings belonging to this number and run up to rue Saint-Florentin, parallel to it.  At No 16: the Ladurée bakery founded in 1862. In 1871, while Baron Haussmann gave a new face to Paris, a fire allowed the transformation of the bakery into pastry. Ernest Ladurée has the idea to mix  Parisian coffee and pastry, and thus gives birth to one of the first tea rooms in the capital. Ladurée remained a pastry famous for its macaroons.

At No 21 ,the famous Weber brewery was installed in this building from 1899 to 1961. Before 1914, it was the rendezvous of writers, journalists and artists, frequented by designers Forain and Caran d’Ache, writers Paul- Jean Toulet, Léon Daudet, Marcel Proust, the writings of Time and Figaro, and  comedians like Marguerite Deval. At No 25: entrance to Cité Berryer, which extends to 24 rue Boissy-d’Anglas; location of the old Aguesseau market, inaugurated in July 1746.  At No. 27 and No. 3 Place de la Madeleine building that housed the Austrian Brewery, heavily damaged by projectiles fired during the Commune, in the second half of May 1871; Larue restaurant, opened at the same location in 1886, welcomed Proust in the early 1900s, and from 1924 the monthly meeting called Bixio Dinner.

It was at this street that the nice movie Le Château de verre  or the Glass Castle (1950), by René Clément was filmed.

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Some of the wonderful streets of Paris. Well I could write a book on them but really lazy to do so, these few will do. Anyway , I think it gives a flavor of the architecture and history of  the streets of Paris, eternal, sublime, one can easily get lost on them and be glad . Enjoy some streets of Paris.

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

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October 12, 2019

Amboise, a king and a genius!

Ok on a nice afternoon let’s talk about one of my favorite castles again, this time is Amboise. Not only it is a great castle with wonderful views of the river Loire but it houses the Leonardo da Vinci house and museum of the great genius. I come here often as I get my delicious Touraine wines just across the river from Limeray.

You can get to Amboise from Paris by road on the A10 direction Bordeaux and get off at exit /sortie 18 road D31 that leds you right into the river Loire, here you can turn right before the river into the D952 to go cross at Amboise on the D431 or cross the river from the D31 and come alongside it on the D761 into the city. All is well paneled with signs so it’s very easy. You can do so by train station by Blvd. Gambetta./rue Charles Peguy and walk along rue Jules Ferry towards the river crossing it you are in Amboise and the castle upon you. You can ,also , arrive by bus from Tours. I come by car and parking is very convenient by the castle at rue Victor Hugo underground.

Amboise means Ambacia in old latin it means a city between two bodies of water such as the Loire and the Amasse rivers . However, it is in 1431 AD that the city was attached to the kingdom of France and became royal residence of king Charles VII .

There are many things to see here and nearby city but as usual I will give you my favorites and it is up to you to choose the ones you want to see when visiting the city. My favorites places are of course the Royal Castle, Castle of Clos-Lucé, parc Leonardo da Vinci, Beffroi or tour d’Horloge( belltower), the nearby Pagoda de Chanteloupe, Aquarium Val de Loire, and the park mini Chateaux.

The main is the Royal Chateau or castle, you first arrive at the Terrases from the 15-16C as it was the first castle to introduce the Italian renaissance style in France. Here in the terraces you see the Chapelle Saint Hubert, dedicated to the patrons saint of hunters built under king Louis XI and finished by king Charles VIII, it is the resting place of the genius Leonardo da Vinci from May 2,1519.  From the outside the castle is a prime example of the Renaissance of which king François I was the initiator. He was responsable for bringing Leonardo da Vinci over to his kingdom in 1516AD  when he was 64 yrs old.

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Now you are going inside the castle, you see the salle des gardes, where the kings guards were kept to control access to his bedroom. You go up unto the promenoir des gardes or the walkway of the guards where they can surveyed the Loire, passing into the salle des gardes nobles, where the nobles kept guard of the king and control the stairs leading to his rooms. Continue on to the salle des tambourineurs where the feast ,parties were held as to the wishes of the king. You reach the salle du conseil, the most important room of the castle where the king give his orders and received advised from his counselors, a notion of modern government.

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You go now into the salle de l’échanson, where you drank with the king, and eat; then la chambre Henri II, or bedroom; passing into the antichambre de la cordeliére where the entrance today has disappeared. Then you transposed into the appartements of Louis-Philippe of which he made several changes to the castle, king of the French from 1830. You see the cabinet Louis-Philippe where he did his studies and pass laws, to his bedroom or chambre style premier empire, and continue to the Salon de musique, with piano . You come back to the parks with the tour des Minimes with a great view of the river Loire ,and you exit the castle. Wonderful castle. The official webpage is at https://www.chateau-amboise.com/en/

Then, you come over the museum house of Leonardo da Vinci at Clos Lucé, its just a walk away about 500 meters away. the Chateau du Clos Lucé-Parc Leonardo da Vinci is  where he lived his last 3 years of his life and worked on his passions furiously, you can see  his bedroom, kitchen, work cabinet, and beautiful rooms in brick and stone as well as a chapel. You will discover in its park about 40 wonderful machine inventions that he created such as the first airplane, submarine, auto, helicopter, tank, parachutes, etc. All vividly display in the house and throughout the park. The visit starts at the gallery climbing the watchtower to remind you this is medieval architecture, and you will see the arms of France, go into the bedroom with a view of the castle, fireplace, aubusson tapestries, and a glass cabinet with many items of historical value such as the Christ in pearl and ivory said to belong to Mary Queen of Scots. Follow with his study room where his manuscripts were done from 1517AD with many wonderful displays of history ; the Ann of Brittany Oratory or chapel first built by king Charles VIII for his wife.The lounges from the 18C ,they were probably used by Leonardo da Vinci for his portraits of John the Baptist, it contains gorgeous furniture, at the end a small lounge with porcelain items, and continuing to the renaissance reception room where he welcome king François I and many others notables, all furnishing are from the renaissance period. You enter the kitchen with a monumental fireplace and furniture from the 16C.  Then you go down the stairs to Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions or machines all displayed using IBM technology now as models.

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You go outside to the park culturel with trails of exhibits in the open, machines hanging from trees as models of his inventions such as the moving bridge or pont mobile, the windmills or moulins, and the amphibious men or pont de briques. Lovely park indeed worth it a lot. You have a boutique store for souvenirs, and restaurants such as the La Terrace and the la Table du Moulin,and the resto du Prieuré, we try the Table du Moulin is great. The official webpage is at  http://www.vinci-closluce.com/en

The Beffroi or tour d’horloge is a wonderful building as you walk from the entrance to the castle down a pedestrian street and dates from the 15C. The Pagoda de Chanteloup on the road of or route de Bléré  is of style Louis XVI with a Chinese touch dates from 1775 and has a height of 44 meters ( 145 ft) offering a splendid view over the valley of the Loire river and the forests of Amboise.  The official webpage for the pagoda is here: https://www.pagode-chanteloup.com/?lang=en

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Then you have the mini chateaux park or sort of a miniature castles of the Loire park, it has 2 hectares or 5 acres showing 45 castles of the Loire. Located at La Menaudière on the road D81 very close to Amboise. Official webpage is at https://www.parcminichateaux.com/en

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Last but not least there is a nearby aquarium of Touraine or Val de Loire between Amboise and Tours and very near the mini chateaux park with good activities for the kids as we are based in Amboise. The official webpage is  https://decouvrez-levaldeloire.com/a-propos-du-grand-aquarium-touraine/

The castle of Chanteloup was an 18C castle located precisely in the heights of the city of Amboise, which was built on behalf of the princess of the Ursins, and was considerably embellished and expanded by the Duke of Choiseul, Louis XV’s minister Destroyed in 1823 , there remains in the domain of Chanteloup only the Chanteloup pagoda and its park, built by Louis-Denis Le Camus on behalf of the Duke of Choiseul in 1775, and open to the visit since the late 1990s by the André family. Webpage here: Pagode de Chanteloup

Very nice area indeed you should plan to be here. I have stayed at the Novotel Amboise  located on a hill overlooking the city below with resto and pool and free parking. It is part of ACCOR my favorite chain of hotels never disappointed anywhere,  webpage: https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0395-novotel-amboise/index.shtml#origin=novotel

As far as restos, we have eaten at L’Amboiserie ,7 rue Victor Hugo (now call the La Terrace not try the new one yet)  between castle and da Vinci, great crêpes for the whole family: webpage https://www.amboise-valdeloire.com/restaurant/la-terrasse/

If not going straight into Amboise, Auberge de Launay when I am with my wine folks,  and has lodging too, ,hightly recommended if travel by car webpage: https://www.aubergedelaunayamboise.com/.  For a quick drink , snack in town head for the Cafe des Arts at 32, Rue Victor Hugo, webpage at  http://www.cafe-des-arts-amboise.fr/

I like to mention that just next to the castle you have one of the biggest regional marché or markets around, they are on Fridays, and Sundays mornings

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The official tourist office for the city area is here https://www.amboise-valdeloire.co.uk/   and the region of Touraine tourism webpage  https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/

Hope you enjoy the visit to the wonderful Amboise, the town, the castle , the museum and the wines! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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