Archive for ‘France’

August 23, 2019

And one more time in Auray!

As said, come here often and never tired of seeing this lovely town of Auray in the Morbihan breton of my Bretagne. The town itself is smallish and all can be done on foot, but it is full of wonderful architecture and history of three countries France, Canada ,and the USA. Just need to read my post on Auray to realise this.

This week is my last week here as will be going to my beloved and dear Madrid so no more posts for a while. Once back will be the rentrée or the re-entry period for French summer vacation to end and we all go back to the regular routine in September. One more year and will be retirement time in France for me yuppééé!!!

In my last walk around Auray before leaving I like to post some pictures taken this week on a beautiful small city with a huge history of the world that needs to be known better.

Auray

les halles covered market Auray

auray

early inside covered market Auray

auray

ciyt/town hall Auray

auray

place de la République Auray

auray

Place aux Roues Auray

auray

rue jean marie barre to Keriolet parking! Auray

auray

Rue du Belzic arts ménagers du Belzic Breton architecture

auray

rue du Belzic quincaillerie or hardware store our favorite in town

auray

Rue du Pére Eternel and the toilets can’t be far from them lol!

And there you go , another nice walking adventure in the lovely city of Auray in my Morbihan breton dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! You can easily spent a day here walking, shopping and eating good ! Love it!! Hope you enjoy it! Until soon on my blog , thank you for visiting.

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

 

 

 

 

August 23, 2019

Soccer/Football/Balompie!!!

Ok so let me go into something more personal , that is my playing career in soccer/football/balompie covering my time in New Jersey and Florida. I skip my time in Madrid as been a poor boy have no photos or news clips from that time while learning the sport in the Real Madrid organisation.

pluvigner

Hala Madrid!!!!

I am sure this will bring some memories to those that play or played the game, as to me it is just a way to keep my history in my blog for future generations. Hope you enjoy as much as I to write about it now.

I have posted in my blog my earlier history but let me shorten here for the sport’s sake. I came from Madrid Spain to Perth Amboy New Jersey USA in May 1972. I then, became an American ,learned English, got my driving license and graduated from high school.

While at Perth Amboy High School, i hook up with the latin american community there as well as the Portuguese. I played varsity soccer for Perth Amboy with ranking as high as No 1 in Middlesex County as per the News Tribune newspaper of New Brunswick, and No 6 in New Jersey as per the newspaper Star-Ledger of Newark. My position was central or libero defender at the varsity level, having been put there by the coach after playing mid midfielder in the Junior Varsity team for one year.

Perth Amboy

That was our Perth Amboy high school stadium main entrance

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

The Perth Amboy soccer program has been on a downhill ever since and today they lose more than win. The current team is feature here: Perth Amboy Public Schools on the soccer team

Perth Amboy

Yearbook picture soccer Varsity team I am in there ::)

I did read up that the amateur team of Perth Amboy Portuguese club of which I played way back has re started the team as mention in the local Portuguese American newspaper El Lusoamericano. More in Portuguese here: Perth Amboy Portuguese soccer

I , then, went on to college/university in Daytona Beach, Florida with ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (founder in 1934 of American Airlines and in WWII train American and British pilots becoming a leading aviation university in the world). My dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away ,this was back in Augusut 1977 ::)

While hanging around a field that look like a soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and ask me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower kids divisions (alevin) , played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately sign me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

Daytona beach

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran,Portugal, Venezuela, Spain,etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played NCAA div 1 and 2 teams on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools.  The soccer/football continues at the club level in 1981  playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in FLorida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.

I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida ;Univ of Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!!

Playing with the Daytona Beach Eagles team in the amateur league in Central Florida as well. I became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed  (unisex men and women) indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986. I had girls playing for the University of Central Florida which in those years went to be rank no 10 in the NCAA division 1.

Daytona Beach

The current soccer program at ERAU has excellent modern facilities and great support.  The intercollegiate soccer stadium, located behind the ICI Center, is a meticulously maintained soccer facility that has hosted nationally televised playing events. The official webpage is here: ERAU Eagles on soccer

Hope it brings back memories to some, it does enormously for me and now feel good about leaving the legacy here in my blog for my sons and onwards. The football season has started in Europe and I will be soon in Madrid to get first hand news of my Real Madrid!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

August 22, 2019

The Big Wheel at Brussels!

So looking back I guess have not told you about the Big Wheel in Brussels during Christmas time. It is a magical place and one of my family’s favorite spot. Therefore, it is time to render the credit it deserves and write a bit on it ok.

Brussels

This is an awesome time to be in Brussels and its shows by its Christmas market been rank right up there with the best in Europe. The European Best Christmas Market organization voted Plaisirs d’Hiver the seventh best Christmas market in Europe! More here: European Best Destinations best Christmas markets

Brussels

Winter Wonders or Plaisirs d’Hiver ,the big holiday market, done in the center of the City of Brussels. No less than 270 stands make up this magnificent market, which crosses most of the historic center for more than 2.5 km. The event is organized around the Grand Place of Brussels and around the Bourse, on the Place de la Monnaie, Place Sainte-Catherine and Place du Marché aux Pisissons. It’s a very nice family festive environment which we have enjoyed for several years while the boys were younger!!

Brussels

Brussels

However, as the boys grew the attractions became a bit more daring and I had to climb the big wheel or Ferris wheel or Grande roue  to watch all these animations and all this high agitation. And even if the hulls are largely glazed, it is better to take your scarf and  hat, and a lot of courage lol!

Brussels

Do you know the Paris Ferris wheel was inaugurated on the Boulevard du Midi in Brussels, in the extension of the pedestrian area?. It will be accessible from 27 November 2019 and will then go to Ghent.

The Ferris wheel is 55 meters in diameter and 60 meters high. It has 42 cabins that can hold up to six people, for a total capacity of 252 people. In comparison, the Ferris wheel of the Foire du Midi rises to 44 meters, while that of the Plaisirs d’hiver rises to 50 meters in height. The latter will be accessible from November 27, shortly after the disassembly of the Paris Ferris wheel on the Boulevard du Midi. The Ferris wheel was purchase by a forain duo from  Place de la Concorde in Paris for 3.5 million euros. A wheel 70 meters high will soon be installed on the Parisian square. Stay tune for that.

Brussels

A wonderful place to be at Christmas and even if far away we all need to plan right? Go there. Enjoy the Ferris wheel or Grand Roue at the Plaisirs d’Hiver Christmas market in Brussels Belgium.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

Official Plaisirs d’Hiver in English

Tourist office of Brussels on the plaisirs d’Hiver event

The text is all new, the photos are from 2015. Enjoy them and be there, I will try to be there again even if my boys are now men!  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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August 22, 2019

Going south to Chetumal in Mexico!

Let me bring you across the ocean to a place very familiar to me not only for the many trips over the years there, and good friends ,but with locals coming into my family hailing from DF and Merida to boot.

I have gone down Mexico way to the beautiful Quintana Roo State and the wonderful city of Chetumal near the border with Belize.  Let me tell you a bit on Chetumal ok. Chetumal is the state capital of Quintana Roo and is located at the extreme south of the Yucatán Peninsula, this city is bathed by the Caribbean Sea at Chetumal Bay.

A bit of history i like

In the pre-Columbian period, it was the port of an ancient Mayan state that stretched north of Belize. The revolt of the Maya peoples against Mexican rule, known as the Yucatan Caste War in the 1840s, drove all Hispanic people from that region; many settled in the city of Corozal, today Belize. The modern city was founded in 1898 under the name of Payo Obispo. The city was populated by settlers from Belize ,including refugees from the Caste War and English nationals.

The city is on the border with Belize. Every weekend, residents of neighboring Belize come massively to the Chetumal markets, because in Belize life is much more expensive than in Mexico so they tell me. Chetumal is especially the point of arrival of many buses or planes coming from other regions. It is also from Chetumal that one can go to northern Guatemala and Belize.

chetumal

Some things to see here are

Cultural Center of the Fine Arts (Centro Cultural de las Bellas Artes), located in the center of the city. The building is housed in what was the school Belisario Domínguez, which was the first school of Quintana Roo.

Museum of the Mayan Culture (Museo de la Cultura Maya), considered the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state dedicated to the Mayan culture. It has an important collection of authentic and reproductions of classical works, and tells the development of Mayan culture, its origins, as well as various aspects of their daily life. The museum is very well designed to understand the traditions, beliefs and way of life of the Mayans. More from the Cultural ministry here: Mexico Culture Ministry on the Museum

chetumal

Museum of the City. Tied to the Cultural Center of the Fine Arts, dedicated to the exhibition of photographs, tools and documents that tell the story of the founding of the city.

There are various monuments around the city such as the monument to Renacimiento or rebirth of the city (after the hurricanes) , and the lighthouse monument by the beachside.

chetumal

chetumal

While at it we ate and enjoy it at the great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and outside a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS Insurgentes Km. 5-025  which we use for our lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo here:   VIPS Quintana Roo Chetumal

The Centro Comercial Las Americas shopping center more info here: Facebook page of Plaza Las Americas Chetumal

chetumal

chetumal

Oh yes important how I got here lol! I took a flight on Interjet Airlines ( a nice low cost in Mexico) from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, about 2 km from the city and a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to  Chetumal. More info here: Chetumal Airport

chetumal

And I stayed here! City Express a nice down to earth chain of hotels already in various countries in Latin America. Once the night arrive we stayed  at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city.  More info here: City Express Quintana Roo Chetumal

Some webpages to help you plan further your trip here are

Grand Mayan coast Mexican Caribbean on Chetumal

Zona Turistica site on sights to see in Chetumal

Mayan Beach Garden site on things to see in Chetumal

Belize ‘s take on Chetumal

There you go a wonderful paradise still not so much touch by the hordes of tourists and extreme sublime beauty all around. Hope you enjoy the post on Chetumal, me looking forward to a repeat!

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

 

August 22, 2019

The streets of Nantes!

So  ,after writing so much on the monuments of the city of Nantes, need to tell you a bit about its streets all a natural architecture delight for the eyes. This is my departure city with an airport out west and friends there and so much to see , several posts in my blog.

Nantes is in the department Loire-Atlantique No 44, and the region of Pays de la Loire , its a wonderful airy and open city. The air here is that they like to belongs to Bretagne region and not Pays de la Loire, a debate is ongoing. The Breton language is taught in schools since 2007.

There is an airport Nantes-Atlantique of growing use of passengers, and my base airport. The webpage is at http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/ANA/Page/

Nantes

I have taken the local train here TER Pays de la Loire as well as Bretagne especially to come to the airport with an express bus service. The schedules for the region TER is at   TER Pays de la Loire Nantes . The train station in Nantes is at Blvd Stalingrad,very close to the castle. From Nantes you can take the TER to Rennes and then connect with the TGV to Paris Montparnasse in about 2h25. And if going further into Paris to Denfert-Rochereau take the train to Massy TGV, and there take the RER B direction CDG airport and descend at Denfert-Rochereau in 3h or continue to the airport CDG Roissy in 3h24 total trip.  Of course, you can do the same in the opposite direction.

nantes

The navette bus or airport shuttle runs from the train station in Nantes to the airport Nantes-Atlantique and vice versa almost every 20 minutes I take it regularly and is very punctual and nice ride; more here: Airport shuttle bus Nantes

Nantes

In Nantes have taken a couple times the tramway and bus just for the gôut or taste of it because I walk if not drive into it on pleasure trip. The above train/shuttle bus is when going on business trips.  Use bus 54 or tramway 1 for a nice ride on major points of interests. The local network is TAN, more info go here to itinéraires :  Nantes bus tram network TAN

Driving you know me by now its heavens for the road warrior ,and Nantes is great if at rush hours of work time can be hectic with traffic jams. It has a boulevard periphérique or beltway just like Paris or Bordeaux, but its the second biggest with 43 kms only behind Bordeaux. This is due to the estatuaries of the river Loire which has a huge port and the traffic had to be directed around it. It has given two numbers to this road in the north it is the A844 and on the south portion is the N844, you take autoroute A811 that connects with the bigger autoroute A11 at exit/sortie 22 with the exit/sortie 42 of the linking road A811. It really is lot easier than explained as I always drive around. Plenty of parkings under and over ground, my is by the castle of the dukes of Bretagne or Gasclin or the train station. My best rides into the region of Pays de la Loire is to connect with the boulevard periphérique into the countryside, quick and easy. This Fandom is in French but gives you a good map and exit/portes information: Beltway around Nantes information

I leave the history and monuments to my other posts , which can be found by doing search Nantes on the right hand column in my blog front page.

Nantes is very nice around the Loire river and main sights streets which has an abundance of beautiful architecture on many buildings and a pleasant walk me think. Streets such as the quai de la Fosse, cours Saint Pierre, and Saint André including the Castle, Cathedral area , and the district of Bouffay, the island Ile Feydeau, and the district Graslin. The district of Bouffay is the old quarters around the Cathedral that includes a wonderful Théatre around the Place Graslin; the Place Royale where the fountain represent the Loire river, the palais de la Bourse where it is now the tourist office, at the place St Pierre you will find the Cathedrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul,  You cannot miss the Passage Pommeraye a commercial gallery of exquisite architecture inside.

 

The cours Cambronne is wonderful with about 180 meters long by 50 meters wide and many mansions. as is the cours des 50 Otages, with about 800 meters long and 65 meters wide, where you can see the wonderful Hôtel de la Pelouse and the the tour de haut pas ,what’s left of the gate or Porte Sauvetout. And do walk across the Pont Anne de Bretagne a bridge with two piers spanning the arm of the Madeleine, and arm of the Loire separating the city center of Nantes from the island of Nantes. The Anne-de-Bretagne bridge has 4 lanes entirely dedicated to vehicles as well as two bike paths and two sidewalks. There is talk of redoing it with an esplanade.

nantes

Nantes

nantes

On the wonderful Rue Voltaire started in 1777 , you have the wonderful History and Debrée museums. A bit more off the beaten path comes to see Haussmannien architecture at Place du Général Millinet located in the neighborhood Dervallières – Zola. It is since 1894 name in honor of General Émile Mellinet, a Nantes officer who distinguished himself notably during the conquest of Algeria. It was built on the site of the castle of Launay-Godetière and its park, which received the Siam’s Ambassadors in 1686. The Count of Artois ;future King Charles X welcomed the Emperor of Austria Joseph II in 1777.

Nantes

The  rue de la Barillerie around the market ,pedestrian street in the district of Bouffay. The street connects the allées Jean-Bart and Penthièvre to the Place du Change. It is joined by the rue Haute-Casserie and by the rue de la Bléterie. It is rectilinear, paved, and is part of the pedestrian area of Bouffay. It is name Barillerie because coopers have established their activity there. The Rue de la Barillerie resumes the layout of the Gallo-Roman roadway of Antiquity . See the reliefs of the Enfants Nantais at the corner with rue de la Paix.

Nantes

The rue de Verdun, almost rectilinear, it connects the place de Pilori to the Place St. Pierre and is about  210 meters long, it crosses the rue de Strasbourg half way. See the half-timbered house at No 15.  The rue St Denis is a paved road, open to vehicular traffic. Rectilinear, it connects rue de Verdun to Place Dumoustier, a little west of the cathedral. It crosses rue du Général-Leclerc-de-Hauteclocque.The street is cut in two after the opening of the rue de Châteaudun, renamed rue du General-Leclerc-de-Hauteclocque, around 1870.The church Saint-Denis is probably built in the 7C, and rebuilt in the 18C. It was a 20-by-18-meter on the No. 9 of the current street. The church was sold as national property during the French revolution, and converted into a dwelling and business house. The inner courtyard retains certain elements of the church such as the bedside leaning on three columns, a staircase leaning on another column, and the cellars that are ancient crypts.

Nantes

Nantes

Hope you enjoy the walks it is a large territory but we are used to walking here, you might need to adjust your timing. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to walk Nantes, city of Dukes of Bretagne today in another region but historically and sentimentally still in Bretagne. Walking is great!!! Nantes too!!!

The tourist office of Nantes in English: Tourist office of Nantes in English

Tourist office of Loire Atlantique dept 44 on Nantes in English: Tourist office of dept 44 Loire Atlantique on Nantes

Pays de la Loire on Nantes in English: Tourist office region Pays de la Loire on Nantes

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

August 21, 2019

Once again Auray !

Once again Auray! yes this is a former home when first entered Brittany and still only 14 km from my house so many times here and huge times passing by it on my way to Vannes. It is a historical town and lovely architecture, just browse in my previous posts on Auray in my blog.

You know for the newbies, Auray is in the Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne ,right on the ria of Auray river that continues flowing into the Gulf of Morbihan and then into the Atlantic Ocean! It has a wonderful port in St Goustan or lower town of Auray.

I happened to be there again with my oldest son and took some additional pictures would like to share it with you all. Hope you enjoy it.

I like to tell you a pictorial of Auray.

auray

market day on pl de la Republique , city hall afar

auray

rue du chateau going from upper town to lower town St Goustan

auray

upper town to lower town st Goustan. Pl St Sauveur below

auray

lower town St Goustan by quai Franklin in honor of Benjamin Franklin

auray

ruins of castle in St Goustan port from the war of succession of Brittany

auray

St Goustan port coming down rue du chateau to pl St Sauveur

I hope you enjoy it and come to see this marvelous historical town with stunning architecture by the Auray river at the mouth of the Gulf of Morbihan!

Some webpages as usual maybe repeat but handy on this post on Auray

Tourist office of the region Bay of Quiberon on Auray in English

Tourist office of Brittany on Auray in English

The town was packed today due to cloudy weather the beach folks comes to town in addition to be market day in Auray. We enjoy it anyway, fun Auray you will like it.

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

 

August 21, 2019

Beuzec-Conq now Concarneau!

Ok so while visiting a castle of Keriolet in the old village of Beuzec-Conq now part of Concarneau since 1945, we came by a Church, so as a monument and little time we did some scoop and will return for more as the area is full of these gems off the beaten path we love.

I will briefly tell the history of the Church of Saint Budoc.  The Church of Saint-Budoc is located in Beuzec-Conq now part of Concarneau since 1945. in the dept 29 of Finistére in the region of Bretagne. Now the best way to get here is by car coming off the express way N165 and taken direction centre ville Concarneau connect right on the D783 , and turn right at Rue de Stang ar Lin straight into the city center of Beuzec-Conq where the church is located at place de l’église.

The Church of Saint Budoc is built in the 17C by the lords of Coatconq on the heights of Beuzec-Conq and the Moros river. At the end of the 18C, it lost its steeple which served as a landmark for sailors to locate the port entrance. The church continues to deteriorate during the 19C and it was not until 1890 that the restoration work began.

concarneau

Only a few elements of the original structure remain, such as the holy water font. The church is dedicated to Saint Budoc but has never been officially consecrated.   Saint Budoc is the son of Azenor, who has a statue in the church; he is represented accompanied by a barrel in which, according to legend, he was thrown into the sea.

The Church of Saint Budoc is built of granite on the basis of a three-naves in a Latin Cross   style. It comprises, preceded by a steeple to a room without a gallery, a nave of five spans with aisles and a choir of a span with aisles and right chevet. At the right of the fourth and fifth bays of the nave, there are double aisles forming two small side chapels. The font dates from the 17C. The baptismal font dates from the 17C. The high altar of Toularc’hoat dates from 1892. The altarpiece of Ste. Anne,dates from 1917-1921. An old sepulchre of Our Lord was placed formerly in the arm of the transept forming a chapel dedicated to Saint John the Baptist: it was framed in a 15C crib, having columns with large capitals which served as supports for the statues of Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian. On the altar was a statue of the Forerunner, with two pretty Renaissance panels. There are the statues of Saint Budoc, Saint John the Baptist, the Virgin Mother and Saint Azenor inside.

concarneau

 

Not much written on it as the information above was from a panel in the Church entrance for the most part. However, it is mention in these webpages

City of Concarneau on the Church Saint Budoc

See the walking tour of Le Moros (5,8 km) at the tourist office of Concarneau: http://tourismeconcarneau.fr/decouvrir/balades-randonnees/a-pied/

Indeed the village is very quant and not only has this Church but the castle (see my post on it) , great history and architecture above from the Close Ville of Concarneau, however, this is really Beuzec-Conq as its Breton best. Enjoy it

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

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August 21, 2019

The Château de Kériolet at Concarneau!

And I am back seeking castles again, this time up the alley from my house lol! You won’t believe it but I have been to Concarneau with the family in several occassions, just browse search in my blog. Each time I made reference to this castle to go see it just outside of town, and never did! until today! Goes without saying there is so much beauty to see in my belle France I am afraid won’t have time to see it all, and why see something else.

I like to present to you the Château de Kériolet and its unique architecture and history.  The Château de Kériolet is a neo-Gothic and part Renaissance castle located near Beuzec-Conq in the town of Concarneau, in dept 29 of Finistère in my lovely Bretagne. It is less than an hour from my house!

Concarneau ug19

A bit of history I like

Kériolet appears in the texts for the first time in 1481. There resides Jean Trévaré, ducal accountant at Concarneau during the restoration work on the ramparts. In the 17C, Jean de Kerguen, notary at the Conq court, succeeded him, and in 1752, the former mayor Jean-Pierre Billette. In the late 1850s, under the Second Empire, the Champenois Charles Chauveau in of territorial artillery and diplomatic courier, responsible for transporting suitcases and dispatches between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy of France in St. Petersburg, met the Russian princess Zinaïda Ivanovna Ioussoupova; born Naryshkin, immensely rich and widowed. She falls in love with him and wants to marry her; in the face of scandal, Tsar Alexander II consents, but exiles the princess and lays down conditions; Chauveau is made a Roman Count and becomes Count Chauveau; later he appropriated or purchase the names and coats of arms such as the blue of a a leopard of gold laden with three stars of gargouilles of an extinct family from the Nantes region, that of Chauveau de La Mulonnière, ennobled in 1663 ; he is made Marquis de Serres. In order to stand for election, in the new Brittany, the young candidate must acquire a residence in the constituency he covets, which makes him look for a property; elected in 1860 and bought personally in 1861 the estate of Kériolet, in Beuzec-Conq , later the town will be attached to Concarneau in 1945.

concarneau

The new Château de Kériolet has copies or similarities to the castle of Blois (equestrian statue in bas-relief of Louis XII on the facade), the castle of Rustéphan (turret-staircase), the priory of Locamand (portal entrance) in its decorations. On the south wing, carved crowns of count and marquis, fleurs-de-lis, hermines of Brittany, Russian-inspired stars, scallops, letters A (for Anne de Bretagne) and L (for Louis XII) are contiguous.

concarneau

The park is decorated with statues: a Velléda, a copy of that of Hippolyte Maindron exposed to the Louvre of Paris; a Vercingetorix, a Charles VIII, and an Anne de Bretagne statues, the good duchess so dear to the heart of the princess, a Joan of Arc, a Bertrand Du Guesclin. The park also includes, in the immediate vicinity of the castle, the guard tower, and the Marie-Jeanne Tower ;named after the Count’s cook!.

concarneau

concarneau

The 57-year-old Count de Chauveau died in October 1882 in Kériolet. Charles de Chauveau had left the estate to his sister, Madame Prieur. His widow Zénaïde bought Kériolet and decided to donate it, with the land and its collections, to the department of Finistère, provided to leave everything as is. She spent a few more summers in her residence in Concarneau, before dying in turn in 1893. Her remains were repatriated to Russia.

concarneau

concarneau

The great-grandson of Princess Zénaïde, Prince Félix Youssoupoff and his wife, Princess Irina Alexandrovna (the niece of Tsar Nicholas II), left Russia on April 11, 1919, aboard a battleship of the Royal Navy, the HMS Marlborough sent to Yalta, Crimea by King George V of the UK , to rescue his Russian cousins, members of the imperial family. Much later, in the 1950s, Youssoupoff brought a lawsuit in restitution of the castle for non-compliance with the testamentary provisions of her great grandmother, After years of proceedings, the prince won his trial in 1956; Youssoupoff enters into possession of Kériolet, which does not please him, and very quickly the collections are scattered and the land fragmented; he proposes to the city of Concarneau to acquire the castle, the talks drag on. He offers the wells of the kitchens, which was reassembled in the closed city of Concarneau (where you can see it today at the entrance to the right). The estate is reduced to skin of sorrows and is finally sold and resold. In 1971 the chapel is destroyed and its stones recovered to build a house. The castle is deteriorating inexorably; some elements of interior decoration and the park disappear during thefts. The storm of 1987 carries away the roof. Then,   Christophe Lévèque, buys the castle, restores it and opens it again to the public as is today , still in renovation on the upper floors who are also his living quarters and not visited.

concarneau

The visit of the Château de Kériolet is by guided tour and a very good one too. They come for you in the garden by the front door and take you to the big salon, main entrance lobby. It follows the guards’s room but was really an entertainment salon, then the living room, hunting room, the kitchen and the cellars. All with anecdotes of the periods of the castle from the 15C to the 19C ,and the fact that most of the furniture is not original but put it to give it a resemblance of living castle (the furniture was sold all over) , some still goes back to the 15C.  The personage of Charles is unique as not been Breton he incarnate all of it in his architecture demands and decorations even trying to be a knight himself of royal blood which was not true. All a fascinating walk thru a beautiful castle very close to me! Done!

concarneau

concarneau

concarneau

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and should be side visit from the ville close fortified town of Concarneau are

Official Château de Kériolet

Tourist office of Concarneau on the Keriolet castle

Tourist office of Brittany on the Keriolet castle

And there you go another dandy castle in the dukedom of Bretagne indeed, plenty of all kinds abound in my lovely Brittany and belle France. I am just starting lol! Enjoy the Castle of Keriolet in Concarneau!

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

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2019

The Château de Brissac !!

Hi there, its me back with castles!!! I love castles seen so many in my belle France but each new ones is just more beautiful lol except one…hehehe you know if you read my blog.  I was with the boys on our road warrior trip in the Pays de la Loire, Maine-et-Loire dept 49 and visited on the way home the town of Brissac-Quincé. Of course, there is a beautiful gorgeous castle here.

Brissac-Quincé is a town located in the department of Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire region. The town was born in 1964 from the grouping of two old neighboring towns of Brissac and Quincé. It is then consolidated in 2016 in the new town of Brissac Loire Aubance. Brissac-Quincé as the best known name still is located on the D 748 road, 16 km south of Angers, 29 km from Saumur, 46 km from Cholet, 85 km from Nantes and 266 km from Paris.

The new town heritage info is here: City of Brissac Loire Aubance on heritage

However, the main here is the Castle of course and our wonderful stop for lunch in town!

The Château de Brissac  is located in new town of Brissac Loire Aubance. With seven floors and more than two hundred rooms, this castle is one of the highest in France (it claims to be the highest). Cradle of the family of Cossé-Brissac since 1502 that still live in it as private property open to the public. Its medieval towers, remains of its fortress of origin of the 15C, shelter perfectly the main facade. It is in this castle that in 1620, took place the reconciliation of Louis XIII with his mother, Marie de Medici, widow of Henry IV. Many plantations adorn the park with beeches, tulip trees, maples, willows, cedars, as well as liquidambars trees as well as a nice farm with donkeys!!!. Its architecture makes it so they tell me the highest castle in France, it has seven floors in total, as well as two hundred rooms, and its facade reflects the baroque influences of the time. Home of the dukes of Brissac, the castle raises its monumental facades from its large landscaped park. Since the beginning of the 16C, it is the property and residence of the dukes of Brissac.

Brissac

Brissac

 

A bit of history I like

It was originally a castle built by Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou,(who built so the story about 35 castles in the region)  in the 11C. After the defeat of the English by Philippe Auguste, this one yields it to Guillaume des Roches. The castle was acquired in 1435 and rebuilt in 1455 by Pierre de Breze, a rich minister of Charles VII. At the death of the latter, occurred at the Battle of Montlhéry saving the king, it is his son, Jacques, who inherits and moved to the castle. He settled there with his wife Charlotte de Valois (daughter of Charles VII and Agnès Sorel). When Jacques discovers that his wife has an affair with his friend Pierre de Lavergne, he pierces her with his sword in 1462; today a legend claims that it appears in the form of a white lady on stormy nights. During the reign of Francis I, the property was bought in 1502 by René de Cossé whom the king named governor of Maine and Anjou. The castle thus enters the family of Cossé which then adopts the name of Brissac.

Brissac

The Cossé-Brissac retain the castle until 1792. During the French revolution, it is requisitioned and turned into quartering for the Bleus (republican revolutionaries) of   Vendée. Sacked by the revolutionaries, it remains in this state until 1844, where a program of restoration is undertaken and pursued by the Cossé-Brissac, to whom the castle is restored after the revolution, and whose members are there since. In 1890 is inaugurated its theater, created on two floors by its owner, Jeanne-Marie Say granddaughter of the famous sugar refiner Louis Say, widow in first wedding of Roland de Cossé, marquess of Brissac in 1871, then viscountess of Trédern .

Brissac

Brissac

 

The theater of the Marquise de Brissac , born Jeanne-Marie Say heritage of the sugar Say empire, had a passion for the opera and singing. As her status won’t allow showing in public she decided to built a theater in the castle so she could play to a select public. The theater open in 1890 and until her death in 1916 she organized events here. She created the festival in September called Les Séries d’Automme du Château de Brissac. She plays with her performing friends works of Wagner, Gounoc, Massenet, Saint Saëns, Donizetti, and Offenbach. The theater was abandoned for more than a century until reopen in 1983 thanks to a volunteer association of the Friends of the castle of Brissac.

Brissac

The Duke of Brissac proposed his castle to house works of art, it received in 1939-1940 during WWII such as the furniture of Versailles ! kept on site until 1946 by the wife of Gaston Brière, it former curator, and works of museums Gustave Moreau, Nissim de Camondo, Decorative Arts, Châlons sur-Marne, the Elysée and Senate palaces, the Comédie Française, the Swiss legation, the embassies of Argentina and Great Britain and among 65 private collections such as the ones of André Lhote, Maurice Denis, Paul Valery and the treasure of the cathedral of Angers. In 1950, Jean Morin, then prefect of the department, had the idea of ​​organizing a theatrical performance at the castle. This spectacular open to the public, the castle is home to a Christmas market, an Easter egg hunt and the Fashion Flower Festival. It also regularly hosts events related to hot air balloons, as departures of the Championship of France and   inaugurates what will become the Festival d’ Anjou.

Brissac

Brissac

Brissac

It is a wonderful beautiful castle with as said so many rooms difficult to post in one time but will hopefully give you the flavor of what to expect, photos are allowed! Again beautiful castle worth the visit.

Some webpages to help you plan your must trip here are

Official Chateau de Brissac in English

Tourist office of Loire layon aubance on the castle

And on the way back we had our lunch/dinner here in city center Brissac and voilà another gem of the wonderful French gastronomy.  So good hard to missed one.  The restaurant for the late lunch/dinner was the L’Ardoise-Brissac with apértifs or apéros entries of 200g terrine de godet(canard), assorted cold cuts and ham terrine platter chicken with curry paste, goat cheese with nuts moelleux au chocolat with strawberry ice scoop, dame blanche , 3 scoops of ice cream and a bottle of red La Source du Ruault Saumur Champigny 2016 all for less than 21€ per person Divine we went to the shop purchase more for home ! the staff very attentive and friendly welcome and service, only families and found out dogs allowed for our next trip over lol!!! Lovely recommended at Place Clemenceau Brissac Quincé tel +33 (0) 2 41 66 54 22 More on web here: Restaurant salon de thé bar à vins L’Ardoise-Brissac

Brissac quince

Brissac quince

There you won’t go wrong at Brissac-Quincé and its castle and wonderful eateries, a lovely trip indeed, more to come of course I am just half way on my vacation time in my belle France! In the meantime , enjoy the Château de Brissac!

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

 

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August 20, 2019

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay !

And back on the road in another day we decided to hit two whammies and visit two chateaux of the Loire. On the road warrior team we set out again for the region of Pays de la Loire and the dept 49 of Maine-et-Loire to visit Montreuil-Bellay! And visit we did wonderful place indeed. Just to show you, we have castles to create a new country lol! Old France never died it just faded away a bit but still plenty of stones around!!! We had great weather and no traffic going the alternative routes avoiding toll roads! Oh yes pictures are not allowed inside just in the kitchen and cellars.

A bit on the town of Montreuil-Bellay first.

Montreuil-Bellay is located on the Thouet river,  bordering the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the departments of Vienne (town of Pouançay) and Deux-Sèvres (town of Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay). Bathed by the Thouet river , Montreuil-Bellay is located in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, less than 25 km from Saumur (Maine-et-Loire), Thouars (Deux-Sèvres) and Loudun (Vienne).

A small monastic establishment, probably at the origin of the present name of the city (from montreuil is root of old monastery and bellay is the lords of the town)  is attested as early as the 11C near a ford of Thouet (future lower town). The parish church of St. Peter is built shortly thereafter, near the priory of St. Nicholas called “The Nobis” founded between 1097 and 1103. Around 1026, Foulques Nerra establishes a keep, on the heights, and a fief entrusted to his vassal Berlai (which by distortion will become Bellay), first fruits of the future upper city. Montreuil-Bellay is one of the 32 closed cities of Anjou. The intramural city, still very homogeneous today, evolves only very shortly after the 15C.  The displacement of the administrative center in Saumur, during the French revolution, completed to reduce the commercial, economic and administrative importance of the city of Montreuil-Bellay, simple chief town of canton since 1790.

A bit on the city monuments here: City of Montreuil-Bellay on heritage in French

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is a vast medieval castle, several times remodeled and standing in the heart of the old town close of Montreuil-Bellay. It is the Duke of Anjou Foulque Nerra who built the first citadel on a Roman oppidum in the 11C. He entrusted custody to his vassal Giraud Berlay, now Giraud Bellay, and the city takes the name of Montreuil-Bellay. The attachment of the Berlay family to the crown of France leads King Philippe Auguste in 1208 and King Louis VIII in 1224 to hold their court at the Château de Montreuil-Bellay. The Donjon from the 15C is no longer visible as the new castle was built in its place. It was 30 meters high , it was demolished in 1865.

Montreuil Bellay

Montreuil Bellay

The castle of Montreuil-Bellay goes to the family of the House of Melun and the House of Tancarville during the Hundred Years War. Subsequently, it is enlarged with the addition of several towers and an enclosure, 650 meters of defense and 13 defense towers, protect the castle, with an entrance to the fortified building, flanked by round towers and massive barbican and drawbridge. During the 15C, the Renaissance period allows the castle to be modernized and airy, new buildings, new rooms, new kitchen (the term barbe au cul was when animals were roasted entirely in the huge kitchen and the term barbecue comes from it! ), dining room, large living room, small living room, bedroom, monumental staircase and construction of a chapel of Notre Dame. This later will be hand over to the State and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame is now open to all as a parish church (see next post). Then the castle belongs to the House of Harcourt. During the French revolution, the Lord of Montreuil-Bellay, Jean-Bretagne de La Trémoille, remains faithful to King Louis XVI. His castle is requisitioned and transformed into a prison for royalist women. After the revolutionary period, the castle becomes by marriage the property of the Grandmaison family, some of whose members were mayors of the city or senator.  The Grandmaison’s are still living in the castle. The castle of Montreuil-Bellay is remodeled in the 11C, 13C, 14C and 17C.

Montreuil Bellay

Montreuil Bellay

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

Official Chateau of Montreuil Bellay in English

Official tourist office Saumur on Montreuil Bellay

It is a beautiful castle and great wine tasting and purchase at the end to finish a wonderful day which was not over by any meants, we continue our road warrior trips in the Pays de la Loire! Do come to the Château de Montreuil-Bellay you will be glad you did.

Montreuil Bellay

Montreuil Bellay

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

 

 

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