Archive for ‘France’

October 18, 2019

shopping: Paris!!!!

So I think this is a good moment to update my oldest shopping posts on Paris. The season to be merrier is coming upon us and with that a shopping spree of enormous proportions the world over. And of course, Paris is tops for it. Therefore, here is my update on shoppingn in Paris!

I will dare go into a very subjective territory but as many do come here for the shopping and gift given too, I will put my favorites over the years in some areas, and others not so favorite but of popular demand. This is not an exhaustive all- inclusive list, it is only my best shot of shopping places in Paris proper from a guy point of view ok. Hope you too can make it your own or bring on some more ideas in the comments area. Of course if need direction or help locating one of the list or other let me know.

There is many things to shop in Paris, from real luxury to common items, and all are magnificents. People sometimes think that items will be cheaper here, and asked me, but in reality most of the well known items are the same price when you compare shipping cost. Still, buying IN Paris is a heck of a lot better than elsewhere….

First a general overview will tell you the main shopping areas in Paris are in the 8éme arrondissement or district, they have the zip or postal code 75008. The haute couture or ready to wear goes from the city “golden triangle” from avenues Montaigne and George V to the rue Royale, rue du Faubourg St Honoré and rue St Honoré.  Luxury jewelers are in the 1eme or  2éme arrondissement or 75001 and 75002 zip codes all around the place Vendôme ,and rue de la Paix. You have in the Marais area around 4éme or 75004 many interesting boutiques. You have my favorite area the chic 16éme or 75016 with clothing, perfumers, and home decor stores lining up rue de Passy and avenue Victor Hugo. Plenty of ritzy stores in bd St Germain des Prés and surrounding streets. As well as the Department stores known to all.

Talking of deparment stores, even thus is very heavy towards tourists still is a nice place to go at least to browse.  Visitors  receive 10.8% of your purchases back as long as you depart from the EU within 21 days. If you decide to wait and have it refunded on your credit card you will receive 12% cash back. If you have permanent residence in a non-EU country, If you are older than 16, and If you spend more than 175.01 EUR . Rather than filled the page with webpages will only put up the least known brands /stores.

The well known dept stores are the Galeries LafayetteAu PrintempsBHV, and  Bon Marché.

Then you have some shopping centers or malls that are my favorite come and get all, stay warm or cool,and mingle with more local people, these are CC Bercy 2, by Porte de Bercy ; CC Italie 2 ,by Place d’Italie.  The center of the Forum Les Halles is great for shopping ,eating and entertainment as well.

The stores for high tech/ books/ music , I love of course  FNAC, love the Champs-Elysées, Forum, or passage du Havre by gare St Lazare.  For telephony/mobile ,the best is mine own provider  Orange , for visitor the one I found most friendly is at metro Madeleine out on your back , and the one on left hand side going up to the Arc de Triomphe. For more local books, cd, maps, dvd etc the Gibert Joseph stores are a must, see the one coming out of metro St Michel to your right,  webpage : https://www.gibert.com/stores/

For men’s business and nice combinations, mines are  Boggi Milano ,at 8 rue Marbeuf  75008. closer is metro line 9 Havre Caumartin or RER A Auber. Webpage here: https://www.boggi.com/fr_FR/stores

Between the grand magasins and madeleine.  Daniel Hechter, 32 Avenue de l’Opéra webpage: https://www.daniel-hechter.fr/company/en

JMWeston for shoes at 1-3 Boulevard de la Madeleine, 75001 not far from the Madeleine Church. Webpage: https://www.jmweston.com/en/  . The H&M stores but mostly the one at 88 Avenue des Champs-Elysées . The C&A stores but especially the one at Maine rue de l’Arrivée 3 near Montparnasse tower.

Beauty salons my dear late wife Martine like and went to  Jean-Louis David several in Paris, our favorite is at 5 Rue du Havre by the gare St Lazare.Webpage: https://www.jeanlouisdavid.com/salon-coiffure/coiffeur-paris-08_s245

When I need to get me a book in English I go to WH Smith at 248 rue Rivoli, 75001, English bookstore,and the service is great they can hold the book for you after finding it, they just did it again for me ::) Metro Concorde!  English is well spoken !

I don’t have small children anymore but did a lot of loads here Bonpoint,  you can get at dept stores too but do go to the main store 6 rue de Tournon, 75006.Metro Mabillon. Webpage: https://www.bonpoint.com/fr/storelocator

My oldest son is into restaurant and cuisine ,commerce, so he dwells into some good schooling here, if you are in Paris and need some cooking classes than head out to the Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, for the best . At 64 rue de Ranelagh 75016 metro Ranelagh line 9. very nice area too. Webpage:  http://www.ecolecuisine-alainducasse.com/en/home

Some discount shops, an outlet for haute couture and ready to wear for years is Anna Lowe, 104 rue du Faubourg Sainte Honoré,75008 metro Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau.  Webpage: https://www.annalowe.com/

If want to get an international wine go to Lavinia, 3-5 bd de la Madeleine, metro Madeleine. Huge place with lots of choices, prices a bit high but hard to get foreign wines available as well as restaurant. Webpage : https://www.lavinia.fr/fr/pages/restaurants-madeleine-cnit   If you want French wines then head for the Nicolas stores all over Paris; mine favorite is at 3 ave Mozart, 75016; neighborhood Muette, metro Muette line 9.Webpage:  https://www.nicolas.com/en/magasins/LA-MUETTE/s/00001134.html

For goodies there are several but my all time favorite is Hediard, probably because I have close to house and use it more;in Paris is at 21 place de la Madeleine, metro Madeleine 75008  for wonderful chocolates to many places, but again my favorite is the La Maison du Chocolat, 120 ave Victor Hugo, 75016: metro Victor Hugo. Webpage: https://www.lamaisonduchocolat.fr/la-maison/fr/nos-boutiques/france/paris/victor-hugo . Another chocoholic place of great standing is the house of Debauve & Gallais, 30 Rue des St Péres, 75007: metro St Germain des Prés. Webpage:  https://debauve-et-gallais.fr/en/

My favorite store even today in my new neck of the woods is Armand Thiery , my shopping in Paris was at 15/17 Rue Auber, 75009. Nor far from gare St Lazare or the Opéra Garnier. Webpage: https://www.armandthiery.fr/fr/magasins/paris-75/paris-15-17-rue-auber-890.htm

Another all time favorite even from the USA now locally is L’Occitane, some of our Christmas gifts came from there this year, in Paris our fav store is at 53 rue de Passy,75016 at the galerie Passy Plaza. Metro Passy or la Muette line 9. Webpage: https://fr.loccitane.com/

Perfums at Fragonard at 196 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 webpage: https://www.fragonard.com/fr/boutique/saint-germain-des-pres

Great grocery shopping is Monoprix, my fav store is at 24 rue des Belles Feuilles,75016. various stores all over Paris, A more accessable and more food oriented store is Franprix, good store at 38 avenue Mozart,75016. again many stores throughtout Paris.  Webpage: https://www.franprix.fr/magasins/paris_m5202

For home projects and the ever ending repairs around the house, etc, other than the basement of the grand magasin BHV, you can try Leroy Merlin at 52 rue Rambuteau,75004 Metro Chatelet. near centre Pompidou or Beaubourg . Its a national chain that I use near my home too. Webpage:  https://www.leroymerlin.fr/paris-beaubourg  Another local store of good quality is Bricolex, 178 ave de Versailles ,75016. Other locations as well. Webpage:  https://www.bricolex.fr/magasin-bricolage/bricolage-paris-16.html

Again on my roots I always need to look for Spanish and American products and over the years these have been the best price/quality and selection. Cap Hispania, a Spanish grocery store in Paris. This is clean cut and run by Spaniards as well. It is at 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, 75017. Metro  Wagram .webpage at http://www.caphispania.fr/

American stores left, many many years here is The Real McCoy at 194 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 no webpage;nearest metro La Tour-Maubourg line 8

Then there are many market or marchés in Paris, over the years we have settle to go to the Bastille market by bd Richard Lenoir, not only goodies but also the best arts around on Saturdays. The site for the arts is here    then the local produce was known as the Saint Ambroise, today you get there on bd Richard Lenoir on metro Breguet-Sabin and Richard Lenoir. One of the largest in Paris every Thursdays from 7h to 14h30 and Sundays from 7h to 15h,best. Webpage city of Paris: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/marche-bastille-5477

The other is a favorite of my wife , the marché des fleurs Cité at place Louis Lépine, near the Conciergerie. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 8h to 19h Metro Cité.

Now some directions, the famous Champs-Elysées has many shops, and one of the best shopping in town. Near metro George V is one of my favorites Massimo Dutti 24 Rue Royale. Webpage: https://www.massimodutti.com/

The tops streets here off ave Champs-Elysées are ave George V,  Rue François Ier, Rue Marbeuf,rue Pierre Charron,Ave Montagne, all in the stretch from the Arc de Triomphe to the ave FD Roosevelt.

Another area is the Pierre Cardin at 59 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. You have workshops here for outfitting by the old master. Webpage  https://pierrecardin.com/workshops

Another and my sons favorite is Hugo Boss at 43 Avenue de l’Opéra. Webpage  https://www.hugoboss.com/fr/storedetail?storeid=9929229

The tops streets here are of course Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré,and Rue Saint Honoré, but ,also, Rue Royale,Rue Cambon,Rue Boissy d’Anglas,, rue des Pyramides,and Rue de Castiglione.

The Madeleine quartier is a favorite of mine and, also, my walking way to work for many years in Paris. Cafe Coton,32 Rue Tronchet, walking to the church of Madeleine. Webpage https://www.cafecoton.fr/

All full of stores around Pl de la Madeleine,from blvd Haussmann up rue Tronchet ,and past the place to rue Royale,and blvd de la Madeleine.

You have nice stores in the blvd des Capucines, with Lacoste, another of my sons favorite at  37 blvd des Capucines, webpage : https://www.lacoste.com/fr/stores/france/paris/lacosteparisopera-648

Moving over to Pl Vendome to Opera along rue de la paix, lots of watch stores there but the Comptoir des Cottonniers ,at 17 rue de la Paix 75002  webpage : https://www.comptoirdescotonniers.com/

Other areas dear to me, as to cover all of Paris lol!!! blvd Saint Germain,Rue Saint Sulpice,Rue du Four, Rue de Sévres, and rue de Grenelle.  Near  blvd Saint Germain  at 48 rue des écoles you have my outdoor favorite Au Vieux Campeur, bags winter and summer sports equipement camping etc, webpage https://www.auvieuxcampeur.fr/boutiques/Paris

You have one of my favorites at 27 Rue Marbeuf  Façonnable, webpage https://www.faconnable.com/fr/shops/locator/map/

You  have Guess, at 32 Rue Etienne Marcel. Webpage https://www.guess.eu/fr/storelocator , and many other stores.  Just as along rue des Saint Pérés, all a laberynth of shopping delights.

In closing, these are sites that provide excellent info on stores, they are helpful in finding top quality items with current information. There are in French but so its the country, you get the real thing.  Just click on th search symbol and put in the French word for what you are searching if doubt any translation service can help you such as bing or google etc or ask me. Webpage: http://www.magasins-paris.com/magasins/

And of course, these are the stores that I have been in, there are others, plenty others all over Paris, because Paris is a shopper’s paradise of the best in Paradise!

There you go happy shopping in Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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October 18, 2019

Church Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains at Metz!!!

And continue on my presentation of the city of Metz in the Moselle dept 57 of the new region of Grand Est of my belle France! This is an awesome building to visit, a must I say, not only for the architecture and history but the wonderful programming now done in it. Let me tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Pierre aux Nonnains. I must say I will be brief as the history is long as old as it is !

The Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains dates from the end of the 4C located in the city center of Metz. It is one of the oldest churches in the world, and the oldest church in France. In Roman times, the building is used as a palestra and integrated into a thermal complex. In the 7C, it became the chapel of a Benedictine abbey. The Romanesque nave was built around the year 1000, which corresponds to the Ottonian period for the Holy Roman Empire of which Metz was then part.

Metz

The city of Metz is invaded and destroyed the first time in 253 by the Alamans (or Alemanni tribe from Germany later defeatd by Clovis in 496 founding old France). In this climate of less security, the city surrounds itself with a wall of 3.5 meters thick pierced with several doors where are reused architectural elements and steles of Roman monuments. From this troubled time, date the construction of the Basilica of St. Pierre aux Nonnains.

The building was built in the 4C by the Gallo-Romans. It was then presumably the palestra of a thermal ensemble. The Roman walls are recognizable by their brick links, separating rows of cut stones. In the 7C, the building was built for Christian worship, and receives a stone balustrade, or chancel, to separate the choir from the nave. This chancel is currently preserved in the museums of Metz.  In the 15-16C, Gothic arches were built over the nave and aisles. Unfortunately, during the siege of Metz by Charles V in 1552, François de Guise has erased forty religious buildings, including Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains.

metz

In the 7C, the Roman building became the church of a women’s abbey. From 1556, at the time of the construction of the citadel by the French, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains becomes a military warehouse and the remained until the 20C. In 1946, the city council approved the principle of transfer of various buildings by the army to the city of Metz. Today, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains has become a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

And great historical exhibitions are held here now as well as concerts of the period and modern, a great cultural center in the city center of Metz. Some webpages to help you  plan your trip here and it is a must are

City of Metz on the Church in French

Tourist office of Metz on the Church in English

And a webpage for all your cultural needs in the city of Metz and especially the St Pierre aux Nonnains here: City of Metz cultural webpage cite musicale on the St Pierre aux Nonnains

And there you go a wonderful space to see and enjoy it with the whole family, hope you do have a chance to visited ,it is worth the detour at the Saint Pierre aux Nonnains!

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

 

 

 

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October 17, 2019

Some streets of Metz!!

And as you know by reading my blog I like to go the fast way into towns on the road warrior trail but once in them, we will walk the beat and its great in my belle France. As told in some towns before in my blog, the city of Metz is no different to this practice which is recommended to all. Walk it and enjoy it, some streets of Metz.

As you know Metz is in the dept 57 of the Moselle in the new region of Grand Est of my belle France. I like to tell you a bit about some streets of Metz that I like.

The Arsenal is a set of performance and exhibition halls, mainly devoted to classical music and contemporary dance, where numerous recitals and concerts are represented. See my previous post on St Pierre aux Nonnains.  Also, behind the hall Arsenal you see the Chapelle des Templiers a unique vestige of a templar commandery founded in the 12C, and today is also an exhibition hall.

The big parvis or Esplanade de l’Arsenal is located around the above building between boulevard Poincaré and Avenue Ney and below is my parking République! There is a nice statue of Marshal Ney and across is one of the spot of the Christmas market in Metz (we have been at this time and it’s superb). You have plenty of stores, bars, and restaurants around this lively area!

metz

The Place de la République is the largest square in Metz city center. It was built in 1802, then called Place Royale, next to the old citadel and the limits of the city. During the annexation, the square was renamed Platz des Führers. The Universal Exhibition of 1861 was organized on this square and on the Esplanade which prolongs it. It is bounded by three urban facades, the Avenue Robert-Schuman where is the Bank of France, the rue du Maréchal-Lyautey  which borders the Ney barracks; on the side parallel with Rue Winston-Churchill, a shopping street that runs along the hypercenter and leads to the courthouse. Avenue Ney marks an open boundary on the jardins de l’Esplanade (gardens). From 1964, an above ground parking occupies the place de la République of which it takes the name.

metz

The Station République, formely known as the Galerie République, is an underground shopping arcade with some twenty shops in the Place de la République. In 1987-1988, with the expansion of the car park, an extension of the gallery was dug under the Avenue Winston-Churchill  in order to develop its commercial space and link it to the Galeries Lafayette and FNAC stores. A new access is thus created at rue Winston-Churchill. A wonderful shopping experience!

The Place Saint-Jacques is our favorite square in the city center of Metz, as it is also ,opposite the shopping center , the Centre Saint-Jacques. It is located between the Rue Fabert and  Rue de Ladoucette, in the heart of the historic and pedestrian center of the city, not far from Saint-Etienne Cathedral. Place Saint-Jacques is located near the main crossroads of the old Roman city ( by rue Taison ,and rue En Fournirue) and corresponds roughly to the site of the ancient forum.  The current name of the square appears in the 12C and comes from the Church of Saint-Jacques which bordered it before being demolished in 1574. Today, the place St Jacques is known to the locals Messins for its many restaurants and cafes terraces during the beautiful season. It is, also one of the sites for the wonderful Marché de Nôel or Christmas market in the wonderful city. And we love it here!

Metz

A bit of history and or anecdote I like

During the break-up of German troops in 1918, Metz Catholics fear that they will transform the city into a new Verdun. They pray then to vow to raise a statue to the Blessed Virgin, if the city was spared by the fighting. It was done thanks to the efforts of Bishop Benzler of Metz from 1901 to 1919, however, he was expelled by the French authorities in July 1919 and died in Germany in 1921 .The statue was inaugurated on the feast of the Assumption 1924. The Place Saint-Jacques was chosen for its central location and its proximity to the cathedral.

Again on August 15, 1940, despite the prohibition of meeting people imposed by the Nazis who then occupy the city, and the presence of many armed soldiers, nothing can prevent the devotion of the local Messins for Notre-Dame of Metz, and of to show their patriotic attachment to France. The statue is surrounded by flowers in the colors of France and a huge cross of Lorraine, decorated with flowers tricolor, thistles and a yellow and red ribbon, colors of Lorraine, is attached to the column.  You can read the motto of Lorraine: “Who rubs there pricks.” A chorus suddenly rises from the crowd: “Queen of France – Pray for us – Our hope – Come and save us! . The tradition is honored every year on August 15, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The Pontifical Mass is first celebrated in the morning at the cathedral, and then vespers are sung, followed by a procession led by the bishop, which goes from the cathedral to the column.

There you go a wonderful set of streets to get lost in this wonderful city of Metz. You will love it here , very quant, traditional, and yes very French indeed. Some streets of Metz hopefully will get you acquainted with this beautiful city.

For guidance, do not forget to stop by the tourist office always the first stop before and during your visits. Tourist office of Metz in English

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

 

 

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October 17, 2019

Porte Serpenoise at Metz!!

So back to the east I said, and the lovely city of Metz, one of the surprises of our interlude in the region of my belle France. As said, there are some additional posts on Metz coming up something needed to do in order to describe better its things to see. I like to tell you a bit more on the Porte Serpenoise  ,a gate in Metz, dept 57 of the Moselle in the new region of Grand Est (Big East).

The Porte Serpenoise gate is a city gate located at the corner of Avenue Robert Schuman and rue du General Gaston-Dupuis in the district of Metz-Center. It remains the symbolic witness associated with several historical events of the city of Metz, which it marked the southern limit of the 3C during the construction of the Roman rampart, until the beginning of the 20C at the time of the destruction of the enclosure..

The first Serpenoise gate is built in the 13C at the same time as the ramparts of the city, on the Roman road coming from Scarpone, city upstream from Metz on the Moselle river. The Via Scarponensis gave a contraction to the name Serpenoise or sometimes even Champenoise. It had an oblique vault crossing the ramparts. It was added in 1466 a cylindrical element connected to the door by a fortified bridge that spanned the canal walls, filled to achieve the current Avenue Foch. Very damaged during the siege of 1552, the Serpenoise medieval gate was demolished in 1561 to make room for the fortifications of the citadel.

The current Porte Serpenoise was rebuilt in 1852, not far from the site where the Scarponne Gate once stood. It is an elbow tunnel of about thirty meters crossing the embankment of the southern rampart. Its bent shape, in an arc, avoids direct artillery fire in the city. The gate serves as a link with the old station. Outside, a bridge spans the ditch of the fortifications. In 1892, the gate is widened and one throws down its external part, the double entrance which precedes the gate inconvenient for the circulation

metz

In 1902-1903, during the dismantling of the ramparts, the inner part was also destroyed. The Serpenoise Gate is remodeled and takes its current form of Arc de Triomphe. Only one section of the gate was retained and four turrets and a staircase are added. It thus becomes an autonomous monument, embellishing the promenade of the new tree-lined boulevard. The two facades are dismantled and united to become a triumphal arch crowned with watchtowers, wearing a grassy slope, evoking a bastion. Some elements come from the Saint-Thiébault rampart.

October 31, 1870, the Prussian troops enter after the defeat of Napoleon III in Sedan, In November 19, 1918, the Allied troops enter the Porte Serpenoise for the liberation of Metz.

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

City of Mets on the Porte Serpenoise in French

Tourist office of Metz on the Porte Serpenoise in English

Again, another beauty and we stayed in a hotel not far from it in fact we went by it to access the city center of Metz, a wonderful sight to see every morning and even more so at night, the Porte Serpenoise! To think the allied troops entered by here to liberate the city is awesome me think. Enjoy it

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

 

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October 17, 2019

Porte des Allemands at Metz!

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

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

metz

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

Metz

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

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

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

City of Metz on the Porte des Allemands in French

Tourist office of Metz on the Porte des Allemands in English

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

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

 

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October 16, 2019

Grand Thêatre de Tours!

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

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

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

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

Tours

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

tours

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

tours

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

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Opera of Tours on the Grand Theater history

City of Tours on the Grand Theatre info

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

 

 

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October 16, 2019

The streets of Tours!

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

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

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

tours

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

tours

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

tours

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

tours

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

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

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

tours

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

tours

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

tours

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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October 16, 2019

Tour de France 2020!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

October 15, 2019

The Christmas markets of my France!

So this is the season to be merrier indeed. Always my best part even if already the second one without dear late wife Martine and the 13th without my dear mom Gladys. I will be with my 3 boys and Dad to weather the seasons and be merry.  And we need to plan ever so earlier these days lol!! So here it is be prepare be ready be merrier !!!Merry Christmas to all:::!!

As the title says, there are many wonderful Marché de Noël or Christmas markets in my belle France. I have written before on some,but this year will post those that I have great memories with the family and been to them on several occassions sometimes two in the same year! Hope you enjoy them as we did/do.

Some of my favorites Christmas market or Marché de Noël, well there are many favorites, let’s just say these are the ones been while living there or nearby.

The marché de Noël or Christmas market at place de la Poissonnerie in Vannes all part of a project of the school Ecole Sainte Jéhanne d’Arc near the Place du Poids Public   many vendors and creators, producers will be at the school yard on December 7th.

From December 20th to January 5th, 2020 at the place Maurice Marchais,Hôtel de Ville in Vannes. A huge Marché de Noël a highlight of the Christmas activities, appointment appreciated by families. An ice rink of 300 m² and a 50 m² ice garden will also offer to the little ones a safe gliding area, equipped with games and accessories. Do not forget your gloves! They are required for skating. A glove dispenser (€ 5 per pair) will be available at the entrance to the rink. On this same square, two gourmet chalets offer sweets: pancakes, chichis, waffles, chocolate, mulled wine, coffee, tea … Every day from 14h to 19h and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10h to 12h. Opening Friday, December 20 from 18h to 22h. More info here in French: Tourist office South Brittany on Vannes Christmas market

Another nice one in my area will be from Friday December 13 to Wednesday December 19 at the Place Notre Dame in Auray, across from the Church of St Gildas. A wind of magic will blow on the city with the launch of the Illuminations that will unfold from December 6 in the streets of Auray. More info in French here: Tourist office bay of Quiberon on Auray Christmas market

One of the best in Brittany will be the Marché de Noël in Rochefort en Terre from December 13 to the 31th 20190 The whole city puts on its clothes of lights to the delight of young and old! Light garlands, stalactites, curtains of lights are installed in the streets and alleys and the park of the castle. Come stroll and admire these lights that will amaze young and old. Wooden chalets and shops of the city: Fairy atmosphere in the Small City of Character from 17h30! We have come every year since 2011! More info here: https://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/feerie-noel-rochefort-en-terre/

Live Magic of Christmas at the Esplanade de Hoche, in Quiberon! The Village de Noël will be there from December 21 to January 4 2020. Come stroll, feast and meet the folks at the Christmas Village, open every day. You will discover gift proposals, an associative scene and booths with the theme of Noël Gourmand! Free skating on natural ice. Every day for free, borrow ice skates, take off on the track! The little ones will be able to take off themselves, wearing shiners, pushing toboggan sleds. A teams of volunteers are there to help you choose the skates. For your safety and comfort, do not forget your gloves and hat! Opening of the ice rink on December 21st. There will be horse wagon or Caleche from 23 to 31 December. Makeup artists from December 23rd to January 3rd 2020. More info here in French: City of Quiberon on Christmas market

At Versailles ,not a specific Christmas market but plenty of events especially for the season. See the lineup on the palace/museum site at their official webpage here: https://en.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/programmation/1?theme[]=136&id=field-theme-136

And, also, at the city of Versailles webpage on these days activities here: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/visit-and-explore-versailles-the-royal-town/going-out-in-versailles-the-festival-town

For the memories a short film I saw in YouTube that is pretty good to show you the ambiance in a town like Versailles this was a few years back. Enjoy it here:

And on my dear Seine et Marne at Disneyland Paris we will be a big one as usual.  The Noël Enchanté Disney 2019 at Disneyland Paris the traditions continuesin the two parks Disney and the Disney Village.  There will be many thrills and entertainment at the Walt Disney Studios Park and Disney Village. All from November 9  to January 6  2020. More info in French here:  Disneyland Paris Christmas market and celebrations

From November 20 2019 until January 8,2020 hundreds of garlands will illuminate the Christmas 400 pine trees on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, of course. The installation of trees will last until mid-November and will illuminate the most beautiful avenue in the world with a flamboyant red.

One of the best if not the best in the Paris region happened in Hauts de Seine dept 92 at La Défense. A Christmas Village on the parvis de la Défense from November 21st to December 29th, 2019. The modern neighborhood at the forefront of La Défense is transforming its face as the sun goes down and the lights of the Christmas market come on. Under the Grande Arche of glass and steel, emblem of the city’s economic district, the atmosphere becomes magical thanks to the Christmas stalls. Decorations, gifts, ethnic objects, delicacies, sandwiches with melted cheese: these are the ingredients of this evocative Christmas market. More info here in French: City of La Défense on the Christmas market

For nostalgic sake, here are some small one passed by them and enjoyed many times.

Take it to the Gare St Lazare; Cour de Rome ; the Marché de Noël   November 16-21 2019. Creations made in France . Rendez vous in the street Cour de Rome to see some like Basus, La Fine Equipe, Dagobear, Ullys, TheTops, Furia, Laurie, and Collants Lauve. More info here on the Gare St Lazare and others from SNCF: SNCF Christmas markets and on gare St Lazare

Another small but nice is at the Marché de Noël des Fééries of Auteuil on the Rue Jean de la Fontaine 16éme arrondissement of Paris from December 1-6 2019. 11h to 19h. More here in French from the mayor’s office of the 16 of Paris: Mayor’s office of the 16 arrondissment of Paris on the Auteuil Christmas market

Then some bigger and popular market in Paris proper.

The Saint Germain des Prés 2019 Christmas Market from 1st to 31st December 2019 , and 10h to 19h. You will find many stalls merchants but also entertainment for young and old. It is also an opportunity to find gift ideas or culinary specialties. This is the ideal way to market and prepare your New Year’s Eve meal. Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. More official here but not yet the 2019 just keep an eye on this webpage: Comite of St Germain on the Christmas Market

The Christmas Market of Notre Dame!! This year more than ever be there if possible. It will be from December 14 to December 23, 2019.   Nearly 40 artisans will welcome you for this Christmas Market located on the square René Viviani. You will find artisans, fashion designers and accessories sellers. More info in French here: Official Notre Dame Christmas market

The Christmas Market of Abbesses, Montmartre. From the end of December 2019 to the beginning of January 2020 and 10h to 17h. The Place des Abbesses 18éme arrondissement of Paris, organizes its traditional Christmas market. This is the place to go for the hunt for gifts and local products: all to experience the magic of Christmas family. No web yet available but stay tune for it as awaiting official dates.

And the Paris tourist office on many more here : https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/major-events/christmas-in-paris/christmas-markets-in-paris/christmas-markets-in-paris

There you go be here or be square a magical moment to be in my belle France. Hope you do your planning well and have a wonderful time with family and dear friends wherever you are in the wonderful Earth. Merry Christmas to all!

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

October 15, 2019

Church of Notre Dame, Versailles!!!

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

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

Versailles

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

versailles

A bit of history I like

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

Versailles

versailles

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

versailles

versailles

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

Versailles

Versailles

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

versailles

versailles

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

Official Church of Notre Dame in French

Tourist office of Versailles on Church of Notre Dame in French

City of Versailles on monuments and heritage see Notre Dame bottom

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

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

 

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