Archive for ‘Europe’

February 15, 2019

Some news from France, CCXX

So this is a special edition of my Some news from France episodes which is now to its 220th edition with Roman numerals. I have said many times the beauty of my belle France and the attraction it has in the world. Yes there are many wonderful beautiful places in our World.

However, when it comes to numbers and favorites, France and Paris is at the top with Versailles right behind ok. No wonders some of the visitors here claim of overcrowded and long lines etc, well we are the best in the world of showing you the beauty of our landscape, architecture, history and struggles of mankind. Nobody does it better.

We have some new figures from the tourists authorities coming out yesterday and I wanted to share them here fresh and hot off the press. France is a movable feast!!! And just step out a bit from Paris and you will see what I mean.

In my beloved Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris, and another state/province/department sits the Royal Mansion…………

The Royal mansion has made a place in the sun. The Château de Versailles surpassed for the first time the bar of 8 million visitors in 2018, in the line of a record tourist year for the Ile de France region monuments, which saw the passing of 50 million visitors last year. It is the third most visited monument in the region, behind the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Now you know why crowded, the world wants to come here!!!!

Even if it remains the second most visited monument of the Yvelines dept 78 with its 105K visitors, the National Bergerie of Rambouillet loses 10 000 visitors. In its aftermath, the Museum of National Archaeology of Saint-Germain-en-Laye holds its course, surpassing just the 100K visitors. The Château de Rambouillet also gives off good figures with more than 43K visitors, for its first full year since its reopening in September 2017 after two and a half years of work. The Villa Savoye, in Poissy, which accounts for more than 38K visitors, hopes to inflate its attendance quickly. At the 6th place in the Yvelines department 78, the Château de Maisons-Laffitte welcomed 25K visitors, 15% more than the previous year. 2017 had been marked by heavy work on the facade of the castle, until the beginning of  2018.

Paris

See the photo above ,credit Le Parisien newspaper, and the regional committee on tourism of ïle de France.

Regional wise as in Ile de France, (Paris, Versailles Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte etc etc) we have 50 million tourists welcomed in 2018, the Ile-de-France beat, for the second consecutive year, a record of attendance. The Ile-de-France is the locomotive of tourism in our country which attracted a total of 90 million people last year (2018). For the first time in 2018, hotels welcomed more foreigners (17.6 million, + 8.7%) than, French from other regions (17.5 million,-1.1%). In the Nationalities, the Americans arrived in the lead with 2.8 million, followed by the British with 2 million, the Germans with 1,220,000, almost equal with the Chinese at 1,190,000 ,and the Spaniards at 1,140,000. To welcome visitors, the region is deploying this year 700 tourism volunteers, students in BTS or languages in 75 places (train stations..etc.).

A famous international travel forum which won’t mention has shown the favorite past time of its users is the promenade on the pedestrian banks of the Seine river  in the Top 10 favorite activities of tourists in Paris!

And the ongoing improvements are continuing all over and the Eiffel tower is definitively not behind to anyone ! For the Eiffel Tower and its 6 million annual visitors, as many potential mouths to feed from a simple sandwich or gourmet meal, a lollipop or a brownie, the producer’s Guild (Guilde des Artisans) will therefore be a guarantee of quality whatever the product. The entry “contest” will be renewed twice a year, and 5 categories of products are open to selection: Bakery (bread, pastries, sandwiches…), Sweets (chocolate, cakes, jams and other confectionery), Savoury tastes ( Charcuterie, cheese, cannery etc), Beverages, and unprocessing plant products, i.e. fruit, vegetables and cereals. Season, always in season. Applications are now accepted for registration on the website: https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/fr/guilde-artisans.html

And last news but not least, a wonderful royal place that needs to be seen more. The national Domaine of Saint-Cloud (Hauts de Seine dept 92) records an annual increase of 2-3% of its attendance. The fifth most visited site in Île-de-France in 2018 outside Paris and Disney, the estate welcomes walkers, joggers and festival-goers throughout the year. With 148K visitors last year, the national domaine of Saint-Cloud does not have to blush at its attendance. This figure allows it to position itself in the fifteenth position of the ranking of the most visited sites in Île-de-France, and fifth position outside Paris and Disney, according to the regional figures of tourism unveiled this Thursday. More on it here: http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/en/

There you go just a bit of news on some attendance records on tourism in my belle France. Allez les Bleus et Vive la France!!!

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

 

 

 

February 15, 2019

Basilica minor Saint Sauveur, Dinan!

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

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

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

Dinan

Dinan

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

Dinan

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

Dinan

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

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

Dinan

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

Dinan

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

Dinan

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

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

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

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on the heritage in Dinan

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

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

 

 

February 14, 2019

Church Saint Malo at Dinan!

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

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

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

Dinan

A bit of history I like

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

 Dinan

Dinan

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

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

Dinan

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

A bit on the construction architecture I like

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

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

Dinan

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

Dinan

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

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

 Dinan

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

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on heritage

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Dinan

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

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

 

 

February 14, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXIIII

Ok so need to get back to my beloved Spain, it has been a while on news of my Spain. Weather-wise we are in heaven here at 53F same as Madrid and sunny; this is about 11C.

There is lots of things always going on in Spain ,everything under the sun. However, I will pick some with historical values and great off the beaten paths ways to discovered the beautiful country.

This is a wonderful trip by car . Perched on the Sierra de Ayllón, these Segovian villages of black architecture, by the abundance of slate, and red, by the use of clay, trace a perfect route for a weekend in nature, mountain flavors and absolute disconnection. Everything, an hour from Madrid.

The medieval village of Riaza is one of the most beautiful villages in Segovia province. Its arcaded square which also exerts the bullring, its ancestral houses with emblazoned facades and the Church of Nuestra Senora del Manto (Our Lady of the mantle) are the main traveler’s claim. The construction of the houses has given Villacorta that characteristic reddish color. In addition to the Church of Our Lady of the Mantle, we can visit the hermitages of San Roque and the Eternal Father, whose pilgrimage, which is celebrated the Sunday following Pentecost, constitutes one of the most popular festivities in the region. Of blacks, the blackest, this is the Muyo, a hamlet where time seems to have stopped. The most characteristic is that the walls and roofs of all their houses are built with black slate. Also the pavement of the streets. The only touch of color is provided by his church, with red tiles. Becerril, we now come to a town that has built its brownstone houses with slate roofs. Its most emblematic building is the Romanesque Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción or Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, renovated in the 16C. In the visit you cannot miss a walk through its magnificent Acebeda where there are also yew, rowans and Ash. At Martin Munoz de Ayllon; its slate quarries served to make the roofs of the Palacio de La Granja and for the floor of the Cathedral of Segovia. Also to cover their roofs that contrast with the reddish of the land of the place and the gilding of quartzite. Thus colorful is this small and picturesque village located in the foothills of the Sierra de Ayllón whose parish church, San Martín de Tours, is the most outstanding building. At Ayllon proper, this villa hides important jewels in its medieval lattice. From the Contreras Palace to the lively Plaza Mayor arcaded, passing through the Church of San Miguel or the Convent of San Francisco. Everything can be discovered through dramatised visits. A wonderful ride by car is a must to see deep Castilla y Léon autonomous region!

And fantasy in Spain can be real, as said everything under the sun. Well there is more! see Astroland, the newly created Spanish interplanetary agency, has chosen a cave in Cantabria to develop the technology needed to inhabit the red planet. It is a cave of Arredondo with similarities to the Martian environment: low temperatures, strong winds and high stellar radiation that make it very hostile. If the forecasts are fulfilled, this innovative project will begin with a mission of ten expedition members on June 15th 2019. And all of this, of course, with a view to making the arrival of manned missions to Mars a reality, a feat that, at least, is expected for the year 2030. Of course, each of the ten crew members will have to demonstrate a number of skills to know the role assigned to them: leadership, expeditionary, biologist, psychologist… And they will receive a previous training program of about 90 days, which includes knowledge of coaching and leadership, climbing and caving, skill in emergency plans or hydroponic crops. These are the methodologies that space agencies follow to train their astronauts. At the moment, emulating this experience in Cantabria is a possible proposal at a reasonable price of about 10,000 euros. For those who want to sign up, the registration process is already open through the Astroland website.: www.astrolandagency.com

February is the month of lovers, of the Saint Valentine and it is no coincidence that it is also the time when Teruel, the true city of Spanish love, revive its most beautiful story ever told, occurred eight centuries ago. A romantic getaway to the walled Aragonese village is worthwhile to admire one of the most important and best preserved mudejar constructions in the world, but also to participate in the weddings of Isabel de Segura, the celebration that commemorates the annual legendary tragedy of lovers of Teruel. This goes back to 1217, when Diego de Marcilla, after five years in the war, returns to marry his beloved, Isabel de Segura, not knowing that this, pressured by her father, has not waited as promised and committed to another. Diego dies of grief, like Isabel, after learning the news.

For four days (from Thursday February 14th to Sunday February 17th ), the city immerses its inhabitants and visitors in the 13C: In the streets the medieval atmosphere is recreated, the locals are dressed in the period, the camps and artisan markets are held, dances are celebrated , tournaments, parades… and concerts, exhibitions, entertainment and many activities are held for all ages. But the real tourist attraction is that, in addition, some 400 actors recreate the drama of the lovers with many theatrical performances. The majority takes place in the Plaza de la Catedral, where the temple of Santa Maria de Mediavilla was erected, of Mudejar construction, with the tower, the dome and the roof as more important elements, and in the Plaza del Torico, surrounded by modernist buildings On whose porches there are shops, bars and restaurants with terrace. More info here:   http://www.bodasdeisabel.com/W3/Bodas/Index_Bodas.aspx

Those interested in learning more about this tragic love story cannot fail to visit the Mausoleum of Lovers, where rest their remains under magnificent sculptures with the hands clasped by Juan de Avalos. The Pantheon, attached to the Church of San Pedro (14C, its belfry, the Torre de San Pedro, is the oldest example of Mudejar), has different exhibition halls that seek to bring to the visitor everything related to these characters, from the social, political and cultural characteristics that surrounded the events in the Teruel of the beginning of the 13C until the influence of the lovers in the world of the Arts (literature, theatre, music, painting, sculpture…) Throughout the history and how It carried out the finding of the mummies (it was in 1555 in the subsoil of one of the side chapels of the mentioned Church of San Pedro), as well as its location for years: The Mudejar cloister of San Pedro, next to the temple of the same name, built in the second half of the 14C, Gothic-Mudejar style (entrance to the mausoleum: 4 euros; Mudejar and mausoleum: 8 euros). More info here: http://www.amantesdeteruel.es/

Literature lovers have another original option to learn more about this medieval story, thanks to the initiative Leer Aragón (read Aragon by the regional government), which proposes 11 literary routes (one or two days and with the option of including meals and accommodation) to know first hand of Aragonese writers and visit with them the scenarios that inspired some of their novels, set in Aragon. The tour will include a walk along the Calle Amantes (lovers), which goes from the Plaza del Torico to the Plaza de Pérez Prado, where stands the tower of San Martín (Mudejar style of 1316), and where they spent their childhood Diego and Isabel, as it is near the house where she grew up, next to the city/town wall. You will also visit the Plaza del Mercado (place of furtive encounters of the lovers), the Monasterio de los Hospitalarios ,and the corner in which begins the slope that leads to the Church of San Pedro, where this love drama ends. More info here: https://www.leeraragon.es/

And yes Paris and Madrid has a lot in common going back way back; intellectually too.

Paris, at the end of World War II, became the largest artists ‘ refuge town in the world. Painters, sculptors and writers of half the world (also Spaniards) settled there willing to soak up the bohemian atmosphere, the artistic independence and the freedom that many denied them in their countries. In Paris, Kandinsky became master of abstraction, Picasso turned to the conventions of painting, Chillida met his friend Pablo Palazuelo… All are protagonists of the show Paris despite everything. Foreign artists, 1944-1968, with whom the Reina Sofía Museum reveals the importance of foreign creators in that city during the postwar period. It is a sample that gathers works of more than 100 artists, among which are, in addition to those mentioned, Herrera, Kelly, Tinguely, Tamayo, Asger Jorn, Arroyo or Alfred Manessier.  More at the Reina Sofia museum webpage:   https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/paris-without-regret

There enjoy my Spain, and remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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February 14, 2019

The castle museum of Dinan!

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

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

dinan

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

dinan

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

dinan

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

dinan

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

dinan

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

dinan

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Dinan on the Castle

Tourist office of Dinan Cap Frehel on the castle of Dinan

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

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

 

February 13, 2019

Saint Enogat Church, Dinard!

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

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

dinard

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

But onwards with the find at fashionable Dinard!

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

dinard

dinard

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

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

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

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

dinard

dinard

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

dinard

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

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

February 13, 2019

Notre Dame Church of Dinard!

Moving right along showcasing the best and even the off the beaten path trails of my belle France I bring you back to my Brittany! The region alone is a treasure chest of beauties to be seen and discovered by most visitors to France, especially those from outside of Europe.

The town of Dinard, is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine and itself fully loaded for things to see as in my previous posts. However, decided to tell you more about the Notre Dame Church.

We were sightseeing the city and as always did our usual walking around, walk long and my team was beginning to be tired, but i kept pushing as i have read about a Church in a section of the city along the big bay. We walked we arrived and were pleasantly surprise to what we saw. The Notre Dame Church is on a hill overlooking the wide boulevard des Maréchaux.

dinard

Of course, finding information on the Church is another matter, it is so off the beaten path and little information is published even in the city tourist office or city/town hall. From scratching from several religious sites I was able to find bits of information.

dinard

The construction of the Notre Dame Church dates from the middle of the 19C. It was done on a single plane of three naves. The Church has stained glass windows, some old paintings and statues.

dinard

The organ was built in 1986 in a style inspired by the French Baroque era. This organ replaces a previous instrument built in 1926 by the manufacture Convers-Cavaillon-Coll, inaugurated by Louis Viere. The current organ buffet is inspired by the St. Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva!

The one webpage with some mentioned of it is in the city of Dinard itself in French: City of Dinard religiouis heritage

This is my translation of the city of Dinard writing on the Church of Notre Dame

“Poullain du Reposoir, the owner of the Belle Issue, the priory of the Trinitarians and numerous land in this area, graciously offered to the town a plot of 77 ares near the baie du Prieuré (bay of priory) for the construction of a new church, after the destruction caused by the storm of April 1853 on the church of Saint Enogat. This construction, far from unanimity of the population, was consecrated by a great Mass celebrated on January 10, 1858 which marked the transfer of the cult of Saint Enogat to Dinard. The building was built by architect Linley Lacroix. The interior fittings include a master altar ordered in 1866 to the sculptor Rennais Valentin. After the Second World War several reshuffles were planned: The sculptor Armel Barat designs a project of decorative frieze for the façade that remained in the project state (1949-1950). An arrow crowning the bell tower replaced the campanile and the stained glass windows of Max Ingrand replaced the 19C canopies.”

dinard

If you are like me curious about the sights and love to walk the beat then this one is worth the detour indeed. It is as said around a big boulevard opening to a nice bay pretty area and great for romantic pose as well! Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path offering of Dinard.

For the discovery of Dinard, see my previous posts in my blog and or the tourist office here: Tourist office of the emerald coast Dinard

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

February 12, 2019

Church of Saint Sulpice of Fougéres!

And as we like Fougeres why not staying a bit longer here! Very nice town, and to think rode by for several years while living in Versailles and never stop! then once moved to Brittany decided to go, a pleasant surprise, a find; great town.

I like to bring to your attention another nice monument there , the Church of Saint Sulpice.

The Church of Saint-Sulpice is located at the foot of the castle of Fougères, outside the city walls. Between the castle moat and the old courtyard of the Nançon, in the medieval area of the Tanners, it forms the heart of the Old Town (Lower town), as opposed to the Church of Saint-Léonard (see previous post), located in the Bourg-Neuf (upper town) which developed from the 12C. Of course, it is in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of Brittany!

Fougeres

A bit of history I like

The foundation of the parish of Saint-Sulpice is closely linked to the birth of the town of Fougères, around its castle, which is attested from the 10C. The Barons of Fougéres favored the construction of the first parish church of Fougères, under the patronage of Sulpice Severus, biographer of the Apostle of the Gauls Saint-Martin. The Bishop of Rennes, having authorized the translation of the parish cult into the convent church in 1155, more than three centuries of difficulties had to be raised between parishioners and religious as to the maintenance of the original parish. Finally, the cure remained at the presentation of the abbot of Marmoutiers throughout the old regime and the present church replaced from the 14C the ancient edifice. The construction of the present Saint-Sulpice’s Church has spread over nearly four centuries, from 1380 to 1760.

Fougeres

Fougeres

The Church of Saint Sulpice ,that was replaced occupied the current Choir. A simple nave accosted by a steeple and a sacristy forming a transept, it had probably been lengthened westward from a simple nave during the 14C. It was gradually surrounded by a crown of chapels, starting from the transept, to the West such as the construction of the Tanners ‘ Chapel, circa 1380. Construction of the Grande-Chapelle Notre-Dame, in the north, consecrated in 1410. Extension of the Choir, in 1412, whose apse was replaced by a flat bedside. Erection of the Paël Chapel, in the north, originally separated from the Grande-Chapelle but joined between 1450 and 1462. Realization to the south of the Chapels of San Sebastian (c. 1420, but done in 1516), St. Helena and the steeple from 1469 to 1490.  Establishment north of La Petite-Chapelle Notre-Dame and the Chapelle Saint-Damyn from 1495 to 1503, then the western gable. The work of the nave was actually completed only in 1546 and the Choir was then undertaken and conducted in the 18C, from 1747 to 1760.

Fougeres

St Sulpice’s Church housed the cult of Notre-Dame-des-Marais, which is still alive today. The tradition is that the statue of Notre-Dame-des-Marais was venerated as early as the 11C in the Chapel Sainte-Marie and that it disappeared after the Castle of Fougeres was taken by Henri II Plantagenet in 1166. It was allegedly exhumed on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Church of Saint-Sulpice at the turn of the 13-14C. A window of the choir recounts this legend. The present statue, in the stone of Caen, seems to go back to the 14C, but a restoration of the 18C makes it uncertain its dating. Hidden from the French revolution, the statue joined this chapter until the construction of a Gothic chapel in the same location in 1872

The western part proceeds from the style of church in vogue in upper Britain in the 14-15C: large, blind main ship accosted by multiples-gabled collateral. Buttresses summoned by pinnacles, gargoyles, independent roofs and different templates of the chapels animate the three facades while a corner steeple, of square size, presents a floor of the bells completed by four gables and capped with an arrow in tapered slates that confine four pinnacles. The Church of Saint Sulpice is composed of a nave of four bays, bordered by collateral, and a flat-sided choir with three bays lined with lateral chapels, which communicate with each other through low-arched doors. The separation between the sacred space and that conferred on the laity is deeply marked. A triumphal arch underlines the chorus entrance, which itself is elevated by a walk in relation to the nave. The development of collateral is halted net at the fourth span by monumental granite altarpieces dating from the 16C. The choir has a more classical structure. Six Full-hanger arches carry a wooden vault, in cradle, adorned with paintings as well as the spandrels of the arcades. The chapels, capped with half-cradles, are separated by slitting walls pierced by small, low-slung doors. Only the ogival windows attest to the Gothic origin of this part of the building completed in the 18C.

 

The entire stained glass of Saint-Sulpice’s Church was carried out between 1885 and 1926 with the exception of five fragments of stained glass windows dating from 1558. The Church has stained glass windows from the early 20C, including the patriotic window of Joan of Arc, a vast composition that integrates with the crowd of three hairy processions. This stained glass was offered to the parish by local families who had lost their sons During the 1914-1918 War. The furnishings of the Choir of Saint-Sulpice’s Church almost exclusively local, which executed from 1757 to 1774, in a rococo style, one of the most beautiful liturgical arrangements of Brittany dating from the end of the old regime. The master altar executed from 1757 to 1760 is a work in red marble of Saint-Berthevin, Black of Solesmes, and white ( appearing the Lamb to the seven seals of Revelation). Its tabernacle, framed by two worshipping angels, dated 1759, is a semi-cylindrical wardrobe enriched with bas-reliefs representing the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the presentation to the temple and the baptism of Christ. A canopy, summoned by a statue of the Risen crown.

The altarpiece of the high altar, rococo-style, punctuated by four black marble pilasters, its paneling houses two paintings ,an Assumption and a panel containing the sacrifice of Abraham and the scene of the bronze serpent. And two statues of Notre-Dame De Grace and Saint-Sulpice. The work is crowned by a balustrade and triangular pediment, which bears two angels surrounding a 14C Christ in the cross; The side altars were raised towards 1760-1762 of more Baroque style, they host statues of Sainte-Anne and Saint-Joachim. Although not collegiate or abbey, the church houses a set of stalls from 1757-1762 that compete with the choir’s perspective. On both sides of the triumphal arch separating the nave from the choir, two large granite altarpieces, integrated into the body of the slitting walls, interrupt the development of collateral bordering the main nave. In a flamboyant Gothic style, raised at the dawn of the Renaissance, they are among the last medieval altarpieces built and preserved in Brittany.

Fougeres

The northern altarpiece, undertaken under the Duke Francis II, was completed after his daughter, Anne, became Queen of France, the splash back of the right presenting a crest of the party of France and Brittany. Originally to be used as a casket for the statue of Notre-Dame-de-Marais, it welcomed until the 1950’s the Virgin of the Rosary which occupies today the altarpiece of the Tanners, the object of devotion having recovered its primitive location since then. The Tanners ‘ altarpiece was undoubtedly completed during the reign of Duke Francis I. It presents the peculiarity of offering to its summit the complete iconography of the instruments of the Passion of Christ. In addition, a fleur-de-lis and an eagle are depicted on the torso columns, referring to the candidacy of Francis I in the imperial title, in 1517

Although the first mention of an organ in the Church of Saint-Sulpice dates back to 1447, the current major organs are recent, having been rebuilt from 1919 to 1921.

Fougeres

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And as usual some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Fougeres on heritage

Tourist office of Fougeres on the Church

Tourist office of Ille et Vilaine dept 35 on the Church St Sulpice

There you go folks another dandy in my dandy Brittany. Hope you have enjoy the post and do stop by and let me know if around ok. The Church of Saint Sulpice in Fougéres is one site to visit while in town.

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

February 12, 2019

Church of Saint Leonard, Fougéres!

Moving right alone in my beautiful Brittany and visiting the neighboring departmet of Ille et Vilaine no 35 we come to the city of Fougéres! Again, several entries in my blog on it, but as a general descriptive nature. I feel obligated to mention some single out as my favorites.

From Fougéres came out Armand-Charles Tuffin, marquis de La Rouërie, that went over with La Fayette and fought with gen Washington for American independance. He was promoted to Colonel for courage and valor in the battlefield and the US Congress in 1817 gave him the US citizenship honorably. fyi

However, walking around town we came upon this Church that stands out and took a closer look, we were pleasantly surprise, another jewel in my belle France! I like to tell you a bit more on the Saint Leonard Church of Fougéres, in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, region of Brittany!

Fougeres

Saint-Léonard Church  is located in the upper town in the immediate vicinity of the city/town hall and the public garden. The impasse Saint-Léonard separates it from the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country of Fougéres.

Fougeres

The Church of Saint-Léonard was erected in the 12C by the monks of Pontlevoy on the plateau which dominates the Castle of Fougéres. It was rebuilt from 1407 to 1636 in a flamboyant Gothic style in order to meet the demands of the demographic increase that the city knew. Desecrated at the French revolution, the Church was profoundly revamped in the 19C, including the reorientation of the sanctuary, its expansion and the construction of a new main façade.

Church Saint-Léonard is a typical example of the religious buildings built in upper Britain at the end of the Middle Ages. Without a transept, finished by a flat bedside, its ample nave is accosted by a row of chapels built according to the foundations and the needs of a growing population.

I like to go a bit more on the description of it

The main façade dates back to the 19C and replaces the original choir. Placed on a high step, a real stone lace, it transposes the models of the large flamboyant facades of Ile-de-France (Beauvais, Senlis, Sens or Meaux) under the Breton skies, using brilliantly the Kersanton stones for a result of the most graceful. The main door, with a perforated tympanum, is surrounded by buttresses with pinnacles, a gable crowning the whole and interrupting a first finely gallery bordering a terrace located at half-height. A six-meters diameter rose is the major ornament of the front piece. A second balustrade surmounts the intermediate stage that a pediment adorned with foliated balusters motifs finishes. Two powerful buttresses, embellished with pinnacles and finished by pinnacles, balance the horizontal lines of the degrees or galleries, even contributing to a certain upward momentum of the work. The steeple, built in local granite, endowed with gargoyles in the shape of cannons and a Renaissance gallery, the tower ends with high belfry crowned by a dome with lantern.

Fougeres

The Church of Saint-Léonard presents a simple basilical-type layout. It is indeed a large nave of nine bays accosted by collateral, the first span constituting a kind of narthex opening on two chapels. The building is akin to a Halle church, the Doves covering the main nave having been raised to a height higher than the vaults of the secondary naves during the 19C. The liturgical space of the choir is singled by the presence of a triumphant arch at its entrance and the vaulting of warheads from the last two spans of the church. The latter date from the 19C which saw the change of orientation of the building, the main façade being now turned towards the upper city.

Fougeres

Most of the stained glass windows of the Saint-Léonard Church date from 1959. The bombardment of the city in 1944 having blown the old glass. The windows of the collateral and the bedside of figures in foot of Breton Saints or having been the subject of special veneration in the Middle Ages and under the old regime ,such as Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Geneviève, Saint Yves and the Curé of Ars, Saint Crépin and Saint Crispinian, Saint Aubert and Saint Michel. The Church still retains some fragments of its 16C stained glass and the oldest stained glass of Brittany from the abbey of Saint-Denis and dates from the 12C. These pieces, exhibited in the chapels flanking the main façade of Saint-Léonard.

Fougeres

In the Chapel of the Baptismal Fonts ,on the north under the tower, fragments of an entrance of Christ in Jerusalem that adorned the former mistress-glass and other scenes of the 16C. Fragments of a resurrection of Lazarus, of Jesus in the Temple, of the adulterous woman. In the Chapel of the Sacred Heart; the exploration on the body of Christ, donor and Saint-Yves. Rondel of the 12C presenting two scenes of the Life of St. Benedict, coming from Saint-Denis: Romanus giving to Benoît his flow and Benedict nourished the Easter day by a priest. It is the oldest stained glass in Brittany. It was given to the Church of Saint-Léonard around 1898. The large organs were built in 1881.

Fougeres

There you go another worth a detour and may be considered an off the beaten path trip as most folks coming over here stop at the castle for the day and leave ;pity there is a lot more to see in Fougéres.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are (in French there is always more info of course)

City of Fougeres on heritage

Tourist office of Fougeres on the Church in English

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Fougeres

There you go all set, go, you will be glad you did. My beautiful Brittany is awesome! And even as off the beaten path, the St Leonard’s Church is a dandy to see; hope you have enjoy the post

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

 

February 11, 2019

Notre Dame Church of Vitré!

So here I am back at you with wonderful stories of my beloved Brittany. Having crisscross this vast region ,I have encountered many works of arts of great beauty , history and architecture values in many places. Indeed France is a movable feast!

Having visited Vitré, I have done posts on the sights in a general sense, and I am coming back in more in depth details on my favorites. The Notre Dame Church of Vitré , really can be said to be more like a Cathedral for its wealth of beauty, not enough to post in one single entry ! I will give you some details and hopefully you will go see it and tell me about it , love the sharing of my love of history and architecture with you all.  Disclaimer, I am neither a history major nor an architect but love the fields!

Notre-Dame of Vitré is a parish Church. The parish of the rich overseas merchants, the flamboyant Gothic building was erected mainly in the 15-16C. Opening to the west on Place Notre-Dame square, along the rue Notre Dame to the south, it occupies the highest point of the old town, prudent against the northern front of the medieval enclosure overlooking the Vilaine river. Only its facades north, west and south are visible, the choir being held in the north in the buildings of the ancient priory of the Benedictines, and masked in the Levant and at midday by an urban islet and the sacristy. And oh yes it is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine!

vitre

A bit of history I like

Robert I of Vitré, the founder, circa 1060, of a collegiate church placed under the summons of Saint Mary. The remarkable density of religious buildings with ancient terms (chapelles Saint-Julien and Saint-Michel, Saint-Pierre churches, Saint-Martin, Sainte-Marie) suggests that Vitré was already an important and coherent demographic entity at the time Merovingian and Carolingian periods. If the collegiate Church of Notre-Dame could go back to the 10C, if it is undoubtedly attested as a parish in 1070-1075.  The French revolution ransacked the interior of the Church, which the priests later attached to endowing it with Gothic furniture of quality.

vitre

A longer description of this beauty of Vitré, Ille et Vilaine and Brittany!

The southern facade of the Notre-Dame Church is only partially visible, an island of houses and the large sacristy built perpendicular to the Chorus preventing any vision of the bedside otherwise masked at the septentrion by the buildings of the old Benedictine Priory. Built from east to west from 1480 to 1540, its original flamboyant architectural vocabulary tends to enrich itself with details of the first renaissance as we progress towards the west façade. Thus, the four most right gables were built between 1480 and 1500, with the three most western gables being done from 1530 to 1540.  The western facade of Notre-Dame of Vitré dates back to 1550. In its large nave, it is less finely than that on the south side, with a more Renaissance-style decoration.

vitre

At the top of an important step, the west portal is a perfect example of the art of the second Renaissance inspired by the canons of antiquity. In the manner of a triumphal arch, the full-hanger door is placed under a triglyphal and metopes-shaped interchangeable pediment. Two pairs of columns of Doric order resting on high pedestals support this scholarly composition. The work is housed under an arch, the underside of which should have been adorned with partially made caissons. The door adorns with representations of the Crucifixion, the Apostles Peter, Paul, John and Andre. A laurel wreath, the 1586 vintage and two merchant brands complete this scholarly decoration. Upstairs, a mistress window with four mullions and flamboyant tracery is housed under an archivolt, supposed to have abundant lighting in the generally blind Breton naves. Compared to the west and south facades of the Notre Dame Church, the northern flank appears particularly stripped. Devoid of sculpture, it originally hided against the cloister of the Benedictine priory before it was rebuilt by the Maurists in the 17C, northeast of the bedside of the Church of Notre-Dame

 Notre-Dame Church of Vitré offers a singular plan for a Breton church. The nave is located on six bays and is accosted by two collaterals serving six chapels in the north, five in the south and a sacristy. The development of the nave is halted by the mighty pillars bearing the cross of the transept prolonged on either side by two arms, each endowed with an oriental apsidiole. A deep chorus, rectangular in shape and stalker to the right, extends the building to the Orient. In the former Duchy of Brittany, only the cathedrals of Nantes and Quimper now offer the party of three western naves accosted by lateral chapels.

vitre

Five doors give access to the building: one, in the center of the western façade, two south side of the building at the third Chapel (middle gate) and the transept (upper gate), one in the north transept and the last in the northern Choir of the monks. These last two served under the old regime the Benedictine Priory. Until the clearing of the place Notre-Dame en 1958, occupied then by the hall south facade of the building, facing the city and preceded by the pourer’s. Thus, nowadays, the altar where the offices are celebrated still occupies the last nave span preceding the crossing of the transept.

vitre

The main stained glass of the Notre-Dame of Vitré dates back to the 19C. If the original glazing almost disappeared, the building retains an exceptional room (the entrance of Christ in Jerusalem) dating from the 16C, and two earlier fragments of the end of the previous century. Three windows of the Notre Dame Church retain stained glass from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The stained-glass window of the seigneurial chapel. The last chapel on the south aisle, located on the floor of the old sacristy, houses a fragment of an annunciation dating from the late 15C. The Archangel Gabriel is placed in a flamboyant kiosk on the paved ground, in front of a richly adorned Damascus background.

The northern window of the Monks’ choir conceals in its tympanum a Crucifixion and two ecus one, to the left, of glazed silver of a lion crawling the Gauls, the other, to the right, of the family of Montmorency-Laval , second branch of the Laval House, which held the Vitré castle from 1254 to 1547. The third southern Chapel of the Notre-Dame Church serves as a setting for the canopy narrating the entrance of Christ to Jerusalem. This illustration of the twigs bears the date of 1537. It is a stained glass table that finds place in a Renaissance setting where putti, heads of cherubs, bucranes, antique heads in medallions, all adorned with vegetable garlands.

Notre Dame of Vitré was endowed with an organ built by Paul Maillard from 1636 to 1639. The Grande organs, built in 1851 by Paul-Alexandre Ducroquet for the World Exhibition in London, won the great gold medal on this occasion. Acquired in 1852, the instrument, perched on the reverse of the western façade of the Church of Notre-Dame on a Renaissance tribune dated from 1639 and embellished with a gothic railing, is housed in a ogival buffet. The Choir organ of Notre-Dame is located in the fifth chapel overlooking the northern collateral of the church. This was delivered in 1971.

vitre

The altarpiece of the Life of the Virgin and of Christ. The history of this altarpiece, once preserved in the sacristy of the Church of Notre-Dame and today presented in the old Chapel Saint-Michel of the Castle of Vitré(see post on it)  is known to us thanks to an inscription appearing on the back of the work. Realized in the 1540’s it was given for the 1544 Christmas to the parish by its priest. It presents itself as a triptych composed of 48 enameled plates of Limoges origin grouped on four rows, the shutters each containing twelve scenes framed and closing on the central part which takes into account 24 scenes. These enamels, narrates the life of the Virgin and the one of Christ.

vitre

As always, some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Vitré on Notre Dame Church

Tourist office of dept 35 Ille et Vilaine on the Notre Dame Church

Heritage of Brittany on the ND Church

There you go another beauty detail a bit more for you; hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Vitré is pack with beauties not to be missed.

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

 

 

 

 

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