Archive for ‘Europe’

June 25, 2022

Curiosities of France !! Part I

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my digital camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of France !! Part I

These are pictures before my blogging effort and even before coming to live in France! Hope you enjoy these marvels of my belle France!!!

Meaux Marne river to old town and Cathedral as per picture.  Meaux is crossed by the Marne river. This waterway offer magnificent landscapes with a variety of fauna and lush flora. You can enjoy their calm during a walk or a guided tour. The Marne, the main tributary of the Seine, crosses through Meaux and gradually changed course in the Middle Ages. It now forms a loop and makes the city bucolic. Nothing is more relaxing than a moment of relaxation at the water’s edge… Electric boat rental with Marin d’eau douce is open from March until the end of November webpage:

Meaux marne river bridge to cathedral and old town

The pays de Meaux tourist office on the Marne river

Château Vaux le Vicomte, bassin de la couronne as per picture.  Out of 36 basins created by Le Nôtre at the request of Nicolas Fouquet, 20 basins still exist today. The crown was built in homage to King Louis XIV who stayed at Vaux le Vicomte on the occasion of a grand celebration given in his honor on August 17, 1661. The beauty of the park, its ponds and its fountains dazzled the king who later wanted to reproduce this decor at Versailles. The Parterre de la Couronne has a golden royal crown in the center of a basin, in homage to the King, whose ground floor bedroom is also on the left side of the park. These two parterres are asymmetrical with respect to the central axis of the garden.

Maincy Castle vaux le vicomte bassin de la couronne

The official Château Vaux-le-Vicomte on its gardens

Fontainebleau cour de la Fontaine, etang des carpes et old 17C buildings as per picture. At the Château de Fontainebleau to access the Cour de la Fontaine or courtyard of the Fountain, you have to cross the courtyard of the white horse and a passage leads to the courtyard of the fountain, In the center of this courtyard is the fountain dating from 1812, it is surmounted by a sculpture representing Ulysses that was put here in 1824, The courtyard name of the fountain recalls that here in 1541 had been placed a fountain (by Primatice) which was then surmounted by Hercules by Michelangelo. This fountain courtyard overlooks the étang aux carpes or carp pond. Sublime spot !

Fontainebleau castle cour de la fontaine etang des carpes back

The official Château de Fontainebleau on its courts and gardens

Versailles Grille d’Honneur to Royal Chapel and aile Gabriel as per picture.

The grille d’honneur of the Château de Versailles is a gate separating the Place d’Armes from the Cour d’Honneur. The gate is framed by two gatehouses surmounted by two groups sculpted in Saint-Leu stone: Victory over the Empire, north side, by Gaspard Marsy and Anselme Flamen (presumed) Victory over Spain, south side, by François Girardon , It is closed to the north and south by the Aile or wing of the Ministers, to the east by the main gate , and to the west by the royal gate , The Grille d’Honneur is the first you see when you arrive from the city, separating the Place d’Armes from the Cour d’Honneur. Built in 1682, it will be redone in the 19C. Today it is the main entrance to the Palace of Versailles. webpage:http://The official Château de Versailles on its Grille d’honneur or honor gate :

The Aile Gabriel wing was built under Louis XV by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Located between the Cour d’Honneur and the Chapel, it serves as an entry point for groups of visitors. It houses a grand staircase designed by Gabriel, the construction of which began in 1772 but was not completed until 1985 due to insufficient funds !  The Royal Chapel is a palatial chapel , Five sanctuaries followed one another, according to the architectural transformations of the castle. The current Royal Chapel was blessed in 1710, after a project started in 1687. It is the part of the castle that has been the least modified by history.. It has been totally restored to its old magical self,wonderful !!! webpage:

Versailles castle grille d'honneur royal chapel right and aile gabriel left

Versailles salle du sacre or coronation room as per picture.  The Salle du Sacre or Coronation Room is a room dedicated to the glory of Napoleon I, and named after David’s painting : The Coronation of Napoleon. The Coronation Room is located on the first floor (2nd US) of the Palace of Versailles, it is adjacent to the Queen’s Guard Room. The room was built on the site of the second chapel of the castle, transferred in 1682 to the North wing, on the site of the current Salon d’Hercule. It was then planked and the ground floor became the apartment of the Dauphine while the first floor then became a guard room, intended to bring together the guards of the castle to assign them to their day of service. The room was used for a few significant events: Louis XV dismissed the parliament there on April 13, 1771 and the revolutionary rioters entered the Queen’s apartments through this room on October 6, 1789,

The ceiling is a painting by Antoine-François Callet titled Allegory of the Eighteenth Brumaire or La France Sauve, commissioned under the Consulate for the Tuileries and dated 1801. On the wall are three paintings: The Coronation of Napoleon, or Coronation of the ‘Empress Josephine, at Notre-Dame de Paris, December 2, 1804, by Jacques-Louis David, moved to the Louvre in 1889 and replaced by a second copy commissioned from David by a group of American businessmen in 1807, begun in 1808 and completed in 1822 during his exile in Brussels; this painting gives its name to the room, The Battle of Aboukir, commissioned from Antoine-Jean Gros by Joachim Murat, The Distribution of the Eagles, or Oath of the army made to the Emperor after the distribution of the eagles, December 5, 1804 , by Jacques-Louis David. Above each door, other paintings are visible. They are allegories of courage, genius, generosity and constancy commissioned by king Louis XVIII: Warrior Courage (represented in the guise of a Gallic fighter), Genius rising despite Envy, Clemency s leaning on Strength, Constance leaning on an anchor. Portraits of Napoleon and his wives are placed between the windows.

Versailles castle salle du sacre Napoleon I

The official Château de Versailles on the salle du Sacre

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to my belle France. The wonders of France, the most visited country in the world (UN WTO). I say that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

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June 24, 2022

Curiosities of Paris, !!! Part III

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Paris, part III

These are pictures before my blogging effort and even before coming to live in France! Hope you enjoy these marvels of my eternal Paris!!!

Anvers is a station of line 2 of the Paris metro, located on the border of the 9éme and 18éme arrondissements, The station is located under the boulevard Marguerite-de-Rochechouart, at the level of the place d’Anvers, The station carries as a sub- title Sacré-Coeur, in order to recall its relative proximity to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, The Anvers station has a single access called “boulevard de Rochechouart – Sacré-Coeur”, leading to the central reservation of this boulevard, on the place d’Anvers opposite the square of the same name. Consisting of a fixed staircase, it is decorated with a Guimard aedicula, It owes its name to its proximity to the Place d’Anvers , which bear the name of the Belgian city of Antwerp (which is Anvers in Fr) where French troops won a victory over the Dutch during of the siege of the citadel of Antwerp in 1832. I have come by car here too good underground parking at the Saemes Anvers car park, 41 boulevard de Rochechouart, The picture is actually coming out from this parking walking to Sacré Cœur !

Paris anvers metro station to sacre coeur

The RATP of Paris on the Anvers metro station

The Saemes parking Anvers

The Saint-Pierre Church of Montmartre is located in the 18éme arrondissement of Paris, at the top of the Montmartre hill, at No. 2 rue du Mont-Cenis, west of the Sacré-Coeur basilica. Since the French revolution it has been the oldest parish church in Paris after that of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It succeeded a Merovingian basilica dedicated to Saint Denis, of which five capitals and four marble columns were reused in the current church, the columns coming in turn from an ancient temple, Very dilapidated at the beginning of the 12C, the old basilica was acquired by King Louis le Gros in 1133, who replaced it with a new Romanesque church consecrated in 1147 by Pope Eugene III. Queen Adelaide of Savoy at the same time founded an abbey of Benedictine nuns south of the church, known as the Royal Abbey of Montmartre. The church is therefore parish and abbey at the same time , The restoration was undertaken between 1900 and 1905, and the Church of Saint-Pierre then obtains its current face. Today, is a center of Christian spirituality in the north of Paris.

Paris ch st pierre side montmartre

The official St Pierre Church of Montmartre

The Sainte-Chapelle, also known as Sainte-Chapelle du Palais, is a palatine chapel built on the Ile de la Cité, in Paris, at the request of Saint Louis to house the Holy Crown of Thorns, a piece of the True Cross, as well as various other relics of the Passion which he had acquired from 1239. Although , the Sainte-Chapelle has been officially decommissioned since the French revolution, it is periodically returned to its original purpose. Thus, the Catholic Group of the Palace, which brings together magistrates, lawyers, clerks, and members of the staff of the Paris courthouse, has ensured since the interwar period, the Catholic spiritual presence in the Sainte-Chapelle. The group’s chaplain celebrates a remembrance mass every year on All Saints’ Day, as well as a mass for Saint-Yves in May, one of the patron saints of Jurists. On March 21, 2014, on the occasion of the opening of the year of Saint-Louis, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, led in procession the Holy Crown of Thorns from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Sainte-Chapelle for the first time since the Ancien Régime (monarchy). A solemn mass was celebrated there, and broadcast live on a giant screen installed on Place Louis-Lépine. The Palais de Justice of Paris courthouse with a footprint of approximately four hectares ,surrounds the Sainte-Chapelle, adjacent to 36, quai des Orfèvres.

Paris sainte chapelle et palais de justice

The official Sainte Chapelle of Paris

The port of Suffren is a thoroughfare in the 7éme and 15éme arrondissements of Paris, located on the left bank of the Seine. It bears this name because of the vicinity of the avenue de Suffren which takes its name from the French vice-admiral Pierre André de Suffren.  This port bears its present name since 1905. It starts at the Pont d’Iéna and ends at the Pont de Bir-Hakeïm , measuring 600 meters long. Enter by the Quai Branly.  I came here for several gastronomic events in the Pierre Cardin boat, Maxim’s (see post) and brings always nice memories, The pic looks out to the Palais Chaillot! It is also, the base for the Seine boat ride of Vedettes de Paris, webpage:

Paris port suffren to palais chaillot

The Grand Palais is located on the edge of the Champs-Élysées, separated by Avenue Winston-Churchill, in the 8éme arrondissement. The “Grand Palais des Beaux-Arts” was built in Paris from 1897, for the Universal Exhibition scheduled from April 15 to November 12, 1900 , The main vessel, nearly 240 meters long, consists of a imposing space surmounted by a large glass roof. The slightly lowered barrel vault of the north and south naves and the cross nave (paddock), the pendentive cupola and the dome weigh approximately 8,500 tons of steel, iron and glass. The total weight of metal used reached 9,057 tons The summit of this set culminates at an altitude of 45 meters. The Grand Palais, is closed until the spring of 2023, in order to carry out a larger renovation before 2024, the date on which the fencing events of the Paris Olympic Games are to take place there. The initial project for the Grand Palais, deemed too expensive and poorly suited to current ecological and health requirements, has been abandoned in favor of a more modest and more classic renovation. The Grand Palais now is planned for the Paris Olympic Games for the nave and the galleries and for spring 2025 for the rest of the works, During the construction period, a temporary structure was built on the Champ-de-Mars to host major events, this structure also being used for the Olympic Games. This “ephemeral Grand Palais”, was inaugurated in early 2021.

Paris Grand Palais from C E

The official Grand Palais

The Hôtel de Ville de Paris or City Hall, is the building that has housed the municipal institutions of Paris since 1357. It is located Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, in the 4éme arrondissement part now of Paris Centre. The main facade, 143 meters long and 18.80 meters high (26.80 meters for that of the corner pavilions and 50 meters for the campanile), includes a central avant-corps corresponding to the old monument built under the Renaissance.  The Hôtel de Ville can be visited free of charge after prior registration with the public relations department of the City of Paris. The spaces offered for viewing are all the reception rooms (Arcades rooms, Jean-Paul Laurens room, Bertrand room and party room), the main staircase and the Paris Council room. The Pic from the Quai aux Fleurs , notice the bronze equestrian statue of Etienne Marcel provost of merchants from 1354 to 1358, The statue was inaugurated in 1888.

Paris hotel de ville across seine

The city of Paris what to do

The Quai André-Citroën is located along the Seine, left bank, in the 15éme arrondissement, The quay is extended, by the Quai de Grenelle, from the Pont de Grenelle and, to the Quai d’Issy-les-Moulineaux, from the Pont du Garigliano. Between the two, the Pont Mirabeau bridge also overlooks the quay. The entire quay, on the Seine side, is occupied by the port of Javel. It takes over from the Pont de Mirabeau to the Quai André Citroën to the Eiffel Tower! As my pic ! Some nice things to see driving or walking are between the bridges of Grenelle and Mirabeau, the port of Javel Haut is home to the Yachts of Paris-Ouest which is composed of the La Barge Liberty, at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, with a view of the Eiffel Tower, The Front-de-Seine is an area of ​​Paris, located just downstream from the Eiffel Tower. It includes one of the largest concentrations of high-rise buildings in the city. And the Beaugrenelle shopping center with an area of ​​45,000 m2 of shops and leisure, 110 brands, a department store, restaurants and a multiplex. Located in Front-de-Seine Javel train station on the Invalides line, The nice parc André-Citroën park , a public garden ,located on the grounds of the former Citroën factory, in the Javel quartier or neighborhood. It is an SNCF station served by trains on RER C line.

Paris driving quai andre citroen to eiffel tower

The Paris tourist office on the parc André Citroën

The Eiffel Tower is a 330 meter high wrought iron tower (with antennas) located at the northwest end of the Parc du Champ-de-Mars along the Seine in the 7éme arrondissement. Its official address is 5, avenue Anatole-France, Paris. Plenty in my blog on it, and the pictures are from my visit in 1990 from it to the city of Paris. Enjoy it as I did finding them!!  On March 15, 2022, a new antenna compatible with the DAB+ network is installed by helicopter at the top of the tower, thus increasing it from 324  to 330 meters high!


The official Tour Eiffel :

Pigalle is the name of a quartier or neighborhood of Paris, located around Place Pigalle, it includes the streets located on both sides of boulevards de Clichy and Marguerite-de-Rochechouart, and spans the 9éme and 18éme arrondissements. It grew with a few more sex shops and specialty bars, nightclubs, the famous cabarets, the multicolored and neon signs that give the image of a red-light district. The history of Pigalle, as a red-light district, began in 1881 with the opening, in premises previously occupied by a post office, of the cabaret Le Chat noir de Salis located at the current 84, boulevard Marguerite-de- Rochechouart where Aristide Bruant worked. Pigalle’s golden age was between the 1930s and 1960s , From the beginning of the 1970s, with the liberation of morals, the first pornographic cinemas were set up, sex shops multiplied as well as sex salons. massages, and the first live-shows appear, in which couples make love in public.

Paris pigalle sexodrome

Paris pigalle sex shops

The Paris tourist office on the quartier or neighborhood of Pigalle :

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to my eternal Paris. The wonders of Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, I say, that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post curiosities of Paris, part III, as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

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June 22, 2022

Curiosities of Spain !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Spain !!

The Prado Museum has the most complete collection of Spanish painting in the world. The visit can begin with the 11th century, with the Mozarabic frescoes in the San Baudelio church in Berlanga The Golden Age is largely represented by works by Ribera, Zurbarán and Murillo helping us to understand the context in which the painting appeared by Velásquez, which culminates in the paintings Las Meninas and The Spinners, also on display at the museum. Italian painting, essential for understanding the passage from medieval art to the Renaissance, also shows a very strong influence on Spanish Baroque art. The Flemish school is very well represented, due to the political links between the Spanish monarchy and Flanders. The old Villanueva building houses a large part of the painting, sculpture and decorative arts collections. Adjoining the rear facade, around the cloister of Los Jerónimos, built several rooms dedicated to temporary exhibitions and restoration workshops, as well as an auditorium, cafeteria, restaurant and offices. Another of the museum buildings is El Casón: this was the former ballroom of the now defunct Buen Retiro Palace. Nowadays, this space houses the library and the reading room reserved for researchers. Early on my twins on pic below.

Madrid Prado mus Velazquez statue et twins

The official Prado Museum

The Palacio de Cristal del Retiro park is an emblematic example of what is known as iron architecture in Madrid. Originally designed as a gigantic greenhouse to house tropical plants for the Philippine Islands Exposition of 1887, the building is now one of the headquarters of the Reina Sofía Museum hosting temporary exhibitions.

Madrid Retiro palacio de cristal over pond

The official Reina Sofia Museum on Palacio de Cristal

The Palace of Velázquez was built in Retiro Park between 1881 and 1883 on the occasion of the National Mining Exhibition, which took place in the city from May to November 1883 It is a building covered with a glass roof supported by iron vaults which allow the rooms to be lit naturally. it was built with bricks of two colors, as well as with earthenware from the Royal Factory of La Moncloa. Currently, it belongs to the Ministry of Culture, which uses it as a temporary exhibition hall for the Reina Sofía Museum. Early on my twins below pic.

Madrid Retiro palacio de Velazquez twins

The official Reina Sofia Museum on the Velazquez

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to and within Spain. The wonders of Spain, everything under the sun, that still rings many nice memories to my mind on each stretch of meter I take on it. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

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June 22, 2022

Curiosities of Europe !! Part II

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Europe !! Part II

The Place Clairefontaine square ,and the statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte who ruled between 1919 and 1964 graces the space done in 1990. It was redesigned in the late 1980s as part of a complete restoration and reconstruction of the whole from the neighborhood , Grouped around the square, one can see a legion of government buildings, mostly former cloisters dating from the 17C.


The city of Luxembourg ville on the square

The Herengracht or Canal of the Lords is one of the main canals of the city of Amsterdam, located in the borough Center, it is the second of the four concentric canals that form the district of the Grachtengordel or literally Canal Belt with the Singel and the Keizersgracht between which it is located, and the Prinsengracht. With a length of 2.4 km, it was dug in the 17C. It took the name Herengracht in 1612, in honor of the “17 Gentlemen” , governors of the East India Companies, who played a major role in the management of the city in the 16C. You can see around ,the Bible Museum located at numbers 366-368. The Cabinet des Chats presents a collection of works on the cat in a mansion at number 497. The Geelvinck-Hinlopen Museum is located at number 518, the Hendrikje Bag Museum at number 573 and the Willet-Holthuysen Museum at number 605 The official residence of the Mayor of Amsterdam, the Column House or Huis met de Kolommen, is at Herengracht 502. The building, built in 1672, has had official residence status since 1927.

Amsterdam Herengracht neighborhood

The unoifficial Amsterdam tourist guide on Herengracht

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to and within Europe. The wonders of Europe that still rings many nice memories to my mind on each stretch of meter I take on it. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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


June 21, 2022

Curiosities of Europe !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my digital camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Europe !!

On some of these, I have already done newer picture posts in my blog,fyi

The Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia of Barcelona,or ​​often nicknamed Seu in Catalan, the current cathedral, in Gothic style, was built between the 13C and 15C on the old Romanesque cathedral, itself built on a church dating from the Visigoth period in the same place as an earlier early Christian basilica, some remains of which are still visible in the basement, at the Barcelona History Museum.

Barcelona Cathedral Metropolitan Basilica of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels form a complex of three shopping passages covered along their entire length by glazing in arcades. They consist of: the Galerie de la Reine (from rue du Marché aux Herbes to rue des Bouchers), the Galerie du Roi (from rue des Bouchers to rue d’Arenberg), and the Galerie des Princes (from the King’s Gallery at rue des Dominicains).

Brussels galerie st hubert 1999

Rue des Bouchers is a street in Brussels, located right in the center, in the Grand-Place district. it concentrates a large number of restaurants such as the famous Chez Léon, specialist in “mussels and fries”, which occupies four adjoining houses (n° 18-20-22-24). It starts from rue Grétry and goes up, parallel to rue du Marché aux Herbes and rue de l’Écuyer, until it intersects the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert before joining rue de la Montagne. Rue des Bouchers is home to many buildings worthy of interest, including Baroque or Neo-Baroque houses.

Brussels rue Bouchers 1999

The Grand-Place of Brussels, world famous for its ornamental richness, it is bordered by the houses of the guilds, the town hall and the Maison du Roi. Victor Hugo considered it one of the most beautiful squares in the world The 19th century facades of the current square are not always an exact reflection of the constructions after 1695. Sometimes the restorers lack information Sometimes the original does not corresponds more to the ideas or the needs of the 19th century.

Brussels grand place tapis des fleurs hotel de ville 1999

The Palais de Justice of Brussels or courthouse is an imposing Greco-Roman-inspired eclectic-style building located in Brussels’ largest square, Place Poelaert. With a floor area of ​​26,000 m2, it is larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome! The first Palace of Justice was established on the site of the former Jesuit church, Place de la Justice. Built in 1818-1823. The new courthouse first stone was laid on October 31, 1866 during the reign of Leopold II, and  was inaugurated on October 15, 1883 after the death of the architect Joseph Poelaert in the presence of King Leopold II.

Brussels palais de justice 1999

The Royal Palace of Brussels is located on Place des Palais. Born from the combination of four mansions built in the 18th century, Walckiers, Bender, Belgiojoso and Belle-Vue, it now houses the office of the King of the Belgians, who grants audiences and carries out his official activities there, as well as some Richly decorated reception rooms used for various annual events such as visits by Heads of State and Christmas concerts.

Brussels Royal palace 1999

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of British sovereigns. Located in London, the palace is both the venue for events relating to the royal family, the home of many visiting heads of state, and a major tourist attraction. Here Queen Guards parade!  

London buckingham palace queen guards parade

St. Paul’s Cathedral of London is the cathedral of the Church of England, Diocese of London. It was built after the old building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It crowns Ludgate Hill, the site of four sanctuaries before the present cathedral and is located in the City of London, the historic heart of the city that has become now London’s main business district.

London St Paul s cathedral

The Tower Bridge is a tilting bridge in London and notably allowing the passage of the Thames to motorized vehicles. It belongs to the class of suspension bridges and is made of granite for its facade, steel for its structure and concrete for its foundations. At the time of its construction, the Tower Bridge was the largest (246 meters in length and 65 meters in height) and the most sophisticated of the drawbridges ever built. The bridge is famous all over the world thanks to its very particular architecture, in neogothic style.

London tower bridge

Frankfurt’s Old Opera House is one of its most prestigious concert halls and the home of the Old Opera House in Frankfurt am Main.  The Old Opera House was almost completely destroyed by bombing in 1944 .A citizens’ initiative campaigned to collect funds from reconstruction after 1953 ,and the Opera was reopened on August 28, 1981, Today the Opera or Alte Oper consists of the Grosser Saal Hall (Great Hall), the Mozart-Saal, and other smaller halls , used for conventions. Because the new Frankfurt Opera House had already been built in 1951, the old opera house was designed for use as a concert hall from the start of its reconstruction. Today, it regularly hosts concerts and plays.

Frankfort opera house 2004

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to and within Europe. The wonders of Europe that still rings many nice memories to my mind on each stretch of meter I take on it. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

Tags: ,
June 20, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXVI

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it seems we will have a wonderful hot summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

According to an analysis by Rastreator, traveling for a week in August this year is 24% more expensive than the previous summer and 56% more than in 2020. The latest ranking of the online comparator places Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Sevilla as the three cheapest cities in Spain to travel to this summer ! On the other hand, Cádiz, Gijón and Palma de Mallorca are among the most expensive cities, with prices up to 63% above the average !. As explains by the El Mundo Viajes, renting a car in the destination this vacation will be one of the main higher expenses that we face. In fact, the average price in Spain of renting a mid-range vehicle for a week in August costs an approximate average of 422 euros.

Spain is one of the best countries in the world to travel with children. But within our geography there are some cities where it is more comfortable, cheaper and fun to do so. And the first of all is Alicante. Reasons? It has good communications, the average annual temperature is pleasant, it has a good handful of attractions for the little ones, the price of its hotels is the most varied… These are just some of the points analyzed by the company Bounce, specialized in slogans of baggage and author of elaborate rankings linked to international tourism. Alicante is number one, followed by Benidorm, Valencia, Malaga, Granada, Palma de Mallorca, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Santiago de Compostela and Toledo.

An hour and a half by car is enough to escape from the bustling city of Madrid and enter Belmonte, a small town located to the southwest of Cuenca, which the vertigo of the passage of time seems not to have affected. There are many ways to marvel at this town, that in 1361 Pedro I of Castilla, El Cruel, made it independent from Alarcón to incorporate it into the crown and create the state of Belmonte, You should get lost in its urban area, admire its stately buildings or walk among its important monumental heritage with the Collegiate Church of San Bartolomé and its castle as banners. Both built in the 15C, The castle in the Gothic-Mudejar style, has even been the setting for the filming of all kinds of film and television productions. Multiple feature films, as well as series and spots, have been filmed within its walls. But this emblematic fortress has made its way into celluloid history thanks to the epic film El Cid, starring Charlton Heston and Sofía Loren (1961). The Palace of the Infante Don Juan Manuel, which was ordered to be built in the 14C by this famous writer and prince of Villena. The construction was built as a passing fortress for his travels. In the same way, today it intends to welcome travelers who want to discover these lands. It has 39 rooms equipped with all the comforts. In its restaurant, open to the public, you can taste the most varied dishes, prepared with a personal touch, Belmonte tourist office:

In the interior of Tarragona, isolated between gentle hills and surrounded by lush forests, is El Fonoll, an ancient town, whose origins would be between the 10C and 12C, which today is an acclaimed destination in Spain for lovers of naturism. A private farm of 200 hectares, in the town of Pasanant, returns to normality and to receive tourists. The owners of the farm, ittle by little ,turn it into a naturist destination to which those interested would expressly go, since it is not a place of passage and getting to it is not easy either. Currently, in addition to the owners, another 30 people live there all year round. From June to October is when more people congregate in this place and the camping area. Anyone can visit El Fonoll, but to do so it is necessary to meet certain requirements: first, pay the entrance fee , and the second, to live completely naked from the moment you enter until you leave the town. In addition to nudism , other established norms are: be respectful of the political, social, and religious beliefs and ideologies of others; you can only smoke in private spaces; No photographs can be taken without permission from the management or respecting the environment, fauna and flora. Those who visit El Fonoll will find an ecological and sustainable town, where chickens, goats and donkeys roam freely. The electrical cables do not reach them, so the light and everything related to it is obtained through the solar panels.

The water is obtained from a natural source, which fills the pool, ideal for bathing in summer, and irrigates the many orchards and fruit trees that are planted on the premises. Mobile coverage is minimal, to get it you have to move away from the town, and there is also no Wi-Fi (only available on demand in a small area in the center of the town and a maximum of five minutes). Yes there is a public telephone. A wide range of fresh and packaged goods, including locally produced wines and artisan foods, are available at the store, but the store is open on request. The wonderful natural environment of El Fonoll is also perfect for excursions. The farm has about 20 km of tracks (not marked) between forests and valleys that are worth discovering, Those who want to get to know the region a little more simply have to put on their clothes again, take the car and go to the beautiful and historic neighboring towns, such as Guimerà, a beautiful medieval town just 7 km of El Fonoll, the Vallfogona Spa, built around the river Corb in the 19C with springs of mineral-medicinal water, Forés, on top of a hill crowned by a castle and a viewpoint with panoramic views of the Conca de Barberà, or Vallbona de les Monges and its large monastic complex, a female Cistercian monastery founded in the 12C. Official El Fonoll webpage :

Barcelona, ​​New York, San Sebastián or Brussels were some of the cities in the world that saw the imprint of an artist who stood out greatly in the field of murals: Josep Maria Sert. But, without a doubt, no other defines his excellence better than Vic, given the commitment he made to this town in Barcelona province as a result of a commission from his friend Bishop Josep Torras i Bages in 1900, and which he carried out for a good part of his life. We are referring to the decoration of the neoclassical Cathedral of Sant Pere de Vic, his crowning work, completed in 1945 ,Today, the capital of the Osona comarca, (sort of county) pays tribute to him through the Sert Route, which allows you to delve into the career of this painter who is buried in the same cathedral. The cathedral has undergcone different transformations and additions: the original Romanesque temple dates back to the 11C, and the crypt and the bell tower, seven stories high and 46 meters high, remain from that time. In addition, very close by are other buildings of great historical interest, such as the Episcopal Palace, from the 17C, or the old Notary’s Office, which was rebuilt in the 18C, and, if you want to investigate in this field, the Episcopal Museum, which has a remarkable collection of medieval painting and sculptures, The Roman temple, with free access, built in the 2C, was part of the castle of the Montcada lineage and is made up, among other elements, of a portico with eight columns and Corinthian capitals on an Ionic base. Later on, by the way, Vic would be occupied by the Muslims, in the year 718, and finally repopulated by Guifré el Pilós in the 10C. Also, see the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, erected by a viscountess at the beginning of the 11C, after buying this allodial domain from Count Ramon Borrell of Barcelona. It carefully cares for its customs through other events such as the Ram Market, an agricultural and livestock fair with exhibitions and livestock and machinery competitions, which have been held since 875 !. But also artistic events, with another drawing, painting and sculpture market in the Plaza Mayor, on the second Saturday of each month, and since 1989 , the Mercat de la Música Viva (its 34th edition is held from September 14 to 17 2022), where many bands coincide with the presentation of their new albums, plus the Jazz Festival, which is held in May. Vic tourist office webpage :

One of my favorite neighborhood of Madrid. This is the Barrio de las Letras. There are places that do not lose their essence, although time passes and fashions change. The Barrio de las Letras is one of them. Its streets of buildings with balconies and Fernandino lanterns where great authors lived, from Cervantes to Lope de Vega, are today the lure of modern business ideas. It is conceivable that it is a neighborhood with a captivating spell. Calle de Huertas, is the endless avenue of bronze literary quotes on the cobblestones that articulates the neighborhood and gave it a popular name, (see my post for more).

From the Italian to the Japanese tradition, passing through the ‘made in Spain’, the quintessential summer sweet experiences moments of splendor in Madrid. Ice creams anyone?

Heladeria Los Alpes, a historic house in the city, founded in 1950, dedicated to the manufacture and sale of ice cream (Italian style), sorbets, cakes, horchata with DO Chufa de Valencia… Raw material of national and international quality (pistachios from Bronte, pine nuts from Valladolid, Talavera cheese…) and craftsmanship, from start to finish, are the keys to this family business, In the Moncloa district not far from El Faro, store has 65 flavors, Location: Los Alpes, Calle Arcipreste de Hita, 6 just off Calle de la Princesa, webpage:

Maison Glacée next to the Moulin Chocolat (same owner). Set up, in 2019, this charming place, whose ice creams are a cult object. They are made with organic milk and a slow ice cream process. Smoothies, croissants, biscuits… complete the experience. Locations at Calle Ibiza, 42 and calle de Alcalá, 77. webpage:

Panda Patisserie, this place, close to Gran Vía, dresses up for summer with its delicate kakigori, ice creams that were born in Japan in the 11C for the unique enjoyment of Japanese emperors and nobles, The Japanese cuisine and ideologue Hattori Hanzo , izakaya that houses this pastry shop. This frozen mountain that is the kakigori is the result of an arduous elaboration, whose starting point is ethereal layers of ice soaked with flavors and syrups, “all natural” , Location Calle de Mesoneros Romano, 17. webpage:

La Pecera, In just five years the brand has become a phenomenon and already has eight stores, one in Valencia and seven in Madrid (including a foodtruck). The last one openned near the Royal Palace at Calle de Bailén, 13, and in style The menu changes often The offer is completed with taiyakitos and batiyakis. Webpage:

And , we will have the Galerias de las Colecciones Reales or the Royal Collections Gallery will open in June 2023, 25 years later , A quarter of a century will take the hitherto called the Royal Collections Museum to open to the public. The project was born within the Government of José María Aznar in 1998, during his first legislature. The idea was to show all citizens and tourists the vast heritage that the Spanish monarchs, since the Catholic Monarchs, have treasured throughout history and that now belongs to the citizens. Up to 160,000 works, ranging from painting to sculpture, floats, clocks, photographs or engravings, and consisting of the work of artists such as Goya, Velázquez, Tiziano and Caravaggio, among others. The building, which is located in the Jardines del Moro, between the Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

The new Royal Collections Gallery will have a chronological layout that will begin on floor -1 with the Catholic Monarchs, the tapestry collections and the Royal Armory will dialogue with works by El Bosco, Tiziano, El Greco, Ribera, Velázquez and Caravaggio, among others. The Royal Monasteries as spaces for women and for power and patronage will also have their leading role. From this floor you can see the 9C wall discovered during the construction of the building, which is also explained through an audiovisual. Floor -2 begins with the plans for the new Royal Palace of Madrid, built by order of Felipe V after the fire in the Alcázar, and will end with the model of the Gallery. Musical instruments, furniture and decorative arts will speak of this first period of the Bourbons along with paintings by Mengs, Goya, Tiepolo, Paret and Maella. In the last section, photography is included and it is explained how the State assumed, through the National Heritage, a body created in the Second Republic, the conservation of the Royal Collections and the opening of the Royal Sites to the public. Finally, on the -3 floor, an immersive cube has been installed where the images of the architectural and natural spaces of the various Royal Sites will be projected in 360 degrees. The temporary exhibition hall will be located on this floor. National Heritage webpage :

And why not tell you about some fine wines from my dear Spain, enjoy them in Summer, and all year long, Salud !

Finca Moncloa Tintilla de Rota Edicion Limitada, González Byass launches the first vintage of this unique and very scarce red wine (just over 2,000 units have been bottled). Produced in Arcos de la Frontera, the winery and vineyard are located there where, after 50 years of research and work, Tintilla de Rota has been recovered, a native grape that has almost disappeared and with which González Byass made wines in the 19C. . Aged for 12 months in eight new American oak barrels, this reference reflects the terroir of Tierra de Cádiz and displays aromas of red and black fruit, oak, cocoa and spices, as well as light floral and balsamic notes. On the palate it is a soft, balanced wine, with body and a slight acidity characteristic of this vinifera, webpage :

Finca Rio Negro Nº 5, The most exclusive reference of this winery that is committed to high-altitude wines (at 1,000 meters, next to the Sierra Norte de Guadalajara Natural Park). Made using artisanal methods with the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, it is a wine for aging with a long and careful process of at least five years, destined to continue improving in the bottle for many more years. The result is a red wine with an intense, elegant and complex aroma, where notes of ripe black fruit predominate, combined with notes of new wood, spices and balsamic. On the palate it is fleshy, persistent and balanced. webpage :

Habla Nº 28, From Bodegas Habla, located in Trujillo, comes this Tempranillo grape monovarietal, which last year’s edition (Habla Nª22) was awarded at the London Wine Competition, held in London. Habla Nº28 is the fifth that the brand has launched this variety on the market -after Nº2, Nº15, Nº19 and Nº22- since its ‘Limited Edition’ series began in 2007. It is aged for 13 months in new barrels of French oak and one year of rest in the bottle. It also comes from a 100% organic viticulture. In the mouth it is balanced and fresh and persistent at the end. Webpage :

This Martín Códax Arousa 2019 is made at the emblematic Martín Códax. The particularity of this label is that it comes from Albariño vineyards located at the foot of the sea in Cambados (Pontevedra), in the San Tomé area. They are vineyards that grow at the mouth of the Umia, under the influence of the Arousa estuary and on granite soil. Conditions that give it a clear saline, iodized, marine character. After 18 months in stainless steel tanks , the result is a balsamic wine, with aromas of citrus, stone fruit, iodized and hints of seaweed. Great liveliness in the mouth, with a juicy citric acidity and a finish in which the saline note encourages you to continue drinking. A different albariño. Webpage :

And last but never least, something from my grandparents and descendant (see posts), Walking through prehistoric forests, discovering endless beaches or contemplating an infinite sky of stars are just some of the innumerable experiences for those who want to embark on enjoying Tenerife from a different perspective this summer. In the north, the traveler can go deep to discover prehistoric forests, endless beaches of golden or black sand and picturesque towns with small pastel houses and church steeples scattered amidst green hillsides where the locals still greet you with a welcoming smile. . Tenerife’s cookbook stands out for its traditional dishes rich in vegetables, fish and meat. Recipes such as wrinkled potatoes, gofio or mojo picón (later the Cuban mojito! To accompany it) have become popular on the peninsula and internationalized in recent years. Special mention deserves the Tenerife wines. The island has five denominations of origin for wines made with different autochthonous varieties of pre-phylloxera vine, among which the malvasia stands out, with which white wines of exceptional quality are made. A private webpage on tourist info on Tenerife :

The official Tenerife tourist office :

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is practically here with all that heat wave, even if officially is June 21st. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 19, 2022

Curiosities of Cuba, Brazil and Spain !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Cuba, Brazil, and Spain !!

The Coliseo de la Ciudad Deportiva is an indoor sporting arena located in Havana. Built in 1957, the Sports City Coliseum is one of the most important works of Cuban Civil Engineering. The capacity of the arena is for 15,000 spectators , and its construction began on November 1952. It is a 20,000 m² circular concrete building with an outside diameter of 103.2 meters and is located at the confluence of the Vía Blanca and Avenida de Rancho Boyeros roads (the latter takes you to the airport) . Did went once as a boy here for a volleyball game I believe…


The Monument to Antonio Maceo in Havana is located between El Malecón and the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital ,put here in 1916. In front of the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, at 701 Calle San Lázaro . It is a bronze representation of the heroe of the First War of Independence (known as the war of 1868) , one of the most important Cuban general, known as the Bronze Titan and buried outside my native town of Punta Brava.  It sits in an important neighborhood of San Lázaro with importantas things to see such as Caleta de San Lázaro, Calle Belascoáin,(one of my family’s favorite), Calle San Lázaro, Torreón de San Lázaro, Hospital San Lázaro (today  Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. ) On March 3, 1901, the Basques Jai Alai frontón was built, but today in ruins as much there now . The Cuban Grand Prix was a sports car motor race was run here until 1959.  Arrested at the age of 16, José Martí (Cuba’s independence heroe) was sentenced to six years of imprisonment of hard labor in the San Lazaro Quarry in the western part of the neighborhood, where he was sent to cut coral rock. It is now a memorial called Fragua Martiana . The Santa Clara Battery was built on top of a hill that was home to one of the most historic caves on the island. The hill of Taganana, located in the coastal outcrop of Punta Brava (also in Tenerife and name of my native town) near the cove of San Lázaro took its name from a cavern in the Canary Islands where the princess Guanche Cathaysa took refuge. She was captured and sold by the Spaniards as a slave in 1494. The Spaniards finally took over the island of Tenerife in 1496 from last Guanche king Bencomo!

Havana mon antonio maceo malecon

The Morro Castle or Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro named after the three biblical Magi, is a fortress guarding the entrance to the Havana harbor. Originally under the control of Spain, the fortress was captured by the British in 1762, returned to Spain under the Treaty of Paris of 1763. Although the castle is an irregular polygon, the stonecutting works on its walls are very attractive. The castle houses a beautiful lighthouse, an exhibition on the lighthouses of Cuba, a small underwater archaeology exhibition, a 20-meter-deep (66 feet) moat, central barracks, old cannons, guns and batteries, dungeons, a church, the office of the current harbormaster, wells, and very old bathrooms. A cannon is fired at 21h (9pm) nightly, the “El Cañonazo de las 9” is a leftover custom kept from colonial times signaling the closure of the city gates and port.

Havana morro castle inside moats

Niterói is a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The city is located on the eastern side of the entrance to Guanabara Bay, facing Rio de Janeiro, 13 km distant, to which it is connected by the Rio-Niterói bridge and a catamaran service. Niteroi is ultimately a miniature Rio, between its beaches, its hills and its lagoons, the resemblance is disturbing. The beaches of the Atlantic facade, Piratininga and Camboinhas / Itaipu stare insistently at the famous Copacabana and Ipanema. the Parque da Cidade with its view of the entire bay, it feels like having a huge 3D map unfolding at our feet! From the park, 2 launching ramps allow the practice of paragliding or hang-gliding, (see photo)

Niteroi me and back copacabana rio de janeiro

The Palacio Vistalegre is a multi-spectacle complex located in Madrid. The building is built on an old bullring called La Chata, dating from 1908 and then destroyed in 1995 to make way for the current building. The latter was inaugurated in 2000. In the lower part are located a shopping center and two thousand parking spaces. There is also a covered and air-conditioned arena with a capacity of 15,000 seats. In addition to its bullfighting function, the new facility allows regular hosting of musical and sporting events. From 2004 to 2010 , it hosted the Real Madrid basketball team (see photo).

Madrid palacio vista alegre RM basketball

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to Cuba, Brazil, and Spain. The wonders of a great combination of Europe and the Americas that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

June 17, 2022

Le Quesnoy ,the north of France !

I updated and now I am updating again and splitting the towns to have it in separate posts. It was a memorable post from visiting nearby family in the Nord dept 59 of my belle France. We took advantage of visiting older brother of my wife and decided to do short road warrior trips along the Belgian border. We came upon picturesque  Le Quesnoy .The pictures are a mix of old and older even before coming to live in France! Hope you enjoy it as I.

le quesnoy city center jun02

I take you closer to family and times expent there for years since 1990. On this particular road warrior trip, I like to take you to visit the nice city along the Franco-Belgian border, that is Le Quesnoy in the department 59 of the Nord, in the region of Hauts de FranceWe were nearby by so why not do a run and see something new, this time in the Nord to see Le Quesnoy,  with it fortified ramparts, they are 12 km of walls in line around a fortified wall intact of 3,5 km in circle with an ingenious systems of wells. Le Quesnoy,  has kept intact its characteristic ramparts which show the evolution of the art of defence of the 17C (the so-called Spanish era) at the beginning of the 20C passing by the famous Vauban who changed its appearance. Belgium is 10 km away!   A belltower or Beffroi of 48 carillons, and a Hôtel de Ville city govt building from 1700.

le quesnoy fortification MF et PF jun02

Le Quesnoy hotel de ville belfry

Le Quesnoy Porte Farroulx ramparts wall

 A bit of history I like

The city was under Hainaut, Burgundian, and Spanish occupation and or control .Before the end of the Fronde in 1654, the city is taken by the Royal French Army of Turenne. The city that had never been French became it for the great pleasure of the court. The young king Louis XIV receives the city as a gift of his coronation!

The border town undergoes a siege by the Austrian army of Cobourg and falls in 1793 it was retaken in 1794 by the troops of Schérer after a severe siege under a downpour rain.The news of the capture of the city is transmitted in a few hours by the telegraph Chappe, a world premiere, to the Committee of Parisian Public Salvation which welcomes it.

The city was taken in 1914 by the German troops suffered a severe occupation during four years, that after a difficult approach by the Valley of the Ecaillon, the city was liberated in 1918 by a New Zealand Division. In 1923, the New Zealand monument was inaugurated. The Mayor Daniel Vincent welcomes Marshal Joffre, Lord Milner (one of the English signatories to the Treaty of Versailles) and Sir Allen, representative of New Zealand. The communal cemetery of the Quesnoy and its extension host 189 war graves of the Commonwealth War Graves Soldier’s Commission who died in November 1918, of which 49 are New Zealanders. Le Quesnoy is forever linked to the city of Cambridge in New Zealand. A vivid nice memorial for all to see and not forget. 

le quesnoy mem new zealand wwI PF jun02

In WWII, once defeated the Algerian Tirailleurs Battalion, which defended Jolimetz with a few tanks in support after the Nazis’ breakthrough through the defences of the Sambre, the 5th Panzer stood in front of the ramparts of the Quesnoy on 18 May 1940 towards the end of the afternoon. The Nazis of the 5th Panzer, who are preparing a new attack with tanks and heavy artillery, propose to the defenders to give their surrender, which they accept in the afternoon. By September 1st 1944 the local resistance put up a fight all over the city, forcing the nazis to retreat into Belgium so liberated the city of Le Quesnoy !

The City of Le Quesnoy on its heritage:

The local towns and villages of the Avesnois on Le Quesnoy heritage :

The Mormal country tourist office on Le Quesnoy

There you go folks, hope it helps come over to this wonderful northern region of the Nord, unique and different but still my belle France. Le Quesnoy is one of those town that are full of history and architecture but seldom gets recognition by the visitors. Hope it helps you discovered them.

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

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June 17, 2022

Mauberge ,the north of France!!

I updated and now updating again with new text and old pictures from visiting nearby family in the Nord dept 59 of my belle France. We took advantage of visiting older brother of my wife and decided to do short road warrior trips along the Belgian border. We came to the picturesque town of Mauberge. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Mauberge rondpoint du pont de sambre

I take you closer to family and times expent there for years since 1990. On this particular road warrior trip, I like to take you to visit a nice city along the Franco-Belgian border, that is Mauberge in the department 59 of the Nord, in the region of Hauts de France.

mauberge pl jean mabuse MF et PF et Twins jun02

We were nearby by so why not do a run and see something new, this time in the Nord to see the small town of Mauberge  with its wall fortifications going back to 1676, the museum les Corps de Garde, and the nice places to eat with good beers of the Nord (north).  And I go on with some update wonderful information to help you visit this wonderful frontier town.  Maubeuge is a town near the Franco-Belgian border  only 7 km north of the city. The province passes to the House of Austria from 1478 to 1513, and to the House of Spain from 1513 to 1678. Maubeuge was definitively attached to France by the Treaty of Nijmegen of 1678, ratified by King Louis XIV a few days later, and by the King of Spain Carlos II , a few days further on.

Mauberge ecluse de la sambre

A bit of history I like

In 1678, the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen ended the war in the United Provinces. This treaty allows France to fill a fortified border in the north of its territory. This line of fortifications is almost identical to our current border with Belgium (from Dunkirk to Givet). The ensemble imagined for Maubeuge is composed of a line of ramparts of a height of ten meters flanked by seven bastions in Roll-ons. To close the space between two bastions, a half-moon belt is added (completely surrounded by ditches). The construction of this ensemble lasted from 1679 to 1685 in the north, on the place Vauban, leaning against the wall the Porte de Mons, a stone work surmounted by attics as of the Mansart style. Built in 1682 with materials of local origin two buildings from the military heritage have survived; the powder shop located near the rue de la Croix exhibits a vaulted room covered with a thick earth mount. The Arsenal built between 1678 and 1689 develops a long silhouette on three levels (103 meters long by 12 meters wide). This building is part of the barracks planned at the time to house the troops of the garrison.

During the French revolution in 1793, the siege was placed before the city by the Austrians of the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. A few months later it was the Battle of the Sambre, in 1794, which took over Maubeuge, and ended with the victory of the French revolutionaries, thus securing the conquest of Belgium.

Following the defeat of the Napoleonic armies in Leipzig in October 1813, the coalition forces invaded France. The stronghold of Maubeuge resisted victoriously in 1814 to the attacks of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar troops. During the Hundred Days, Napoleon’s troops prepared here for the nearby Battle of Waterloo. Three days after this defeat, on June 21, 1815, Maubeuge was besieged by 12 000 Prussians and had to surrender. Followed by three years of occupation of the Prussian and then Russian troops.

In WWI will re-test the city until finally liberated by the British on 9 November 1918. WWII, on the other hand, had a disastrous effect on the city destroying the heart of Maubeuge at more than 90%. On September 2, 1944, the city was liberated from the Nazis occupier by the American’ 3rd Armoured Division known as SpearHead , led by Gen Maurice Rose.

The town other than fortications has a nice Zoo , to visit is worth the detour. The Zoo of Mauberge:

The city of Mauberge on its heritage:

The Sambre-Avesnois tourist office on Mauberge and the zoo:

The local towns and villages of the Avesnois on Mauberge heritage :

There you go folks, hope it helps come over to this wonderful northern region of the Nord, unique and different but still my belle FranceMauberge  are those town that are full of history and architecture but seldom gets recognition by the visitors. Hope it helps you discovered them.

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

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June 10, 2022

The L’Orangerie du Château of Blois !

Again usually not mentioned this restaurant but looking back of my vault of pictures and memories found one memorable picture, Therefore, it should be in my blog ! Family memories on the restaurant we have visited in my belle France. I bring you to distinct places,and choices! In my road warrior ways around my belle France I have come to enjoy many restaurants of all sorts and price levels. The L ‘Orangerie du château of Blois is on a higher echelons and very good indeed! This is magical Blois in the Loir et Cher dept 41 of the Centre Val de Loire region.  Hope you enjoy it as I.

The L‘Orangerie du Château changes ownership In 2019, from Jean-Marc Molveaux to Kevin Gardien , This is after we visited the restaurant so my experiences are from the former chef only, However, the restaurant is exceptional, gourmet, historic and refined place, You can enjoy the terrace in summer, with a breathtaking view of the François I lodges of the Royal Castle of Blois, of the Church of St Vincent and of the Anne de Bretagne pavilion. (see posts).This is a 15C residence bordered by a superb garden , Between the large dining room decorated with wood paneling, the private sitting room more intimately, or the terrace with a view of the castle all is sublime setting.

Blois l orangerie du chateau resto PF dec15

The L’Orangerie du Château is at,1 Avenue du Dr Jean Laigret, We came by car on the D956 or Quai Ulysse Besnard along the Loire river , and just by the Pont Mitterrand turn left away from the Loire and into Bd Daniel Dupuis or road D202, all out past the Gare or train station turn slightly right into Avenue du Dr Jean Laigret, past the parc des Lices ,the resto is on your left hand side and just to your right you see the castle of Blois.

The official L’Orangerie du Château

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the L’Orangerie du Château

There you go folks, the fancy of my belle France, nobody does it better and it shows each year by the number of visitors. Hope you have enjoy this marvelous Loire . The L‘Orangerie du Château of Blois is a must indeed.

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

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