Archive for ‘France’

August 1, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXL

And here we are folks already August 2021 and still with this madness of the pandemic which government have us continue in it seems a perpetual scary rollercoaster without telling you exactly what is going on……….. Already big demonstrations all over France against the pass. Now we are into the health pass soon to show at just about any place you want to go in or travel! Sort of like a second passport! Oh well enough of my rant on sad news. Let me bring you back to my series Some news from France already in its 340th edition thanks to my readers over the years.

Since parking in the streets of Paris is free on Sundays and on public holidays, it is this past Monday at 9h that the price increase will take effect. In zone 1 (from the 1st to the 11th arrondissement), parking per hour will now cost you 6€ compared to 4€ until now (an increase of 50%!). In zone 2 (from the 12th to the 20th arrondissement), you will have to pay  4€ for one hour compared to  2.40€ currently. In the first 11 arrondissements, the fines increased from 50 to 75 € (i.e. an increase of 50%!) and from 35 to 50 € in zone 2! Oh well it seems Paris will be alone soon.

No change for the “greens” but increases to be expected for the “blues”. The new price list aims to rebalance the uses between the different Vélib ‘models. In detail, the new rental prices will therefore remain unchanged for green bicycles ‚with a first free period of use then a flat rate of 1 euro per additional half hour. For Vélib’bleus, on the other hand, the cost of the first period of use (extended to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes in the previous formula to take into account the expansion of the service now available in Paris and in 56 outlying towns ) goes from 2 to 3 € for the V-free package and from 1 to 2 € for the V-Plus package. The price of the additional half hour (2 € for these two packages) is also doubled compared to the previous grid. Before the summer, Vélib ‘electric bikes constituted only” 35% of the fleet of the 19,000 two-wheelers in circulation, but carried out … 50 to 60% of the courses recorded. Smovengo, which is due to take delivery of 3,000 new Vélib’ Électriques in September 2021, hopes to be able to improve the reliability of its VAE (electrically assisted bicycles) before that date. So all transport prices goes up, soon horses will move in but would they pay parking and cleaning?

In the Île-de-France region , the unconceded national road network managed by state services stretches over 1,300 km (almost the distance from Paris to Rome). It has 300 interchanges, 25 tunnels, more than 1,200 bridges and viaducts … And these infrastructures are deteriorating faster than elsewhere due to their very high use. With 4 million daily users, excluding weekends and holiday periods, the Ile-de-France road network is in fact the busiest in France. Of course, also more populated too! The Dirif gov network thus identifies 26 areas where work will take place by September 2021, against 35 in 2020 … and only 21 a year earlier. Some will only result in nightly shutdowns. But other sites, carried out continuously, will require the total closure to the circulation of sections on certain major axes. This will be the case on the A6 and A3 highways in Essonne (91)  and Seine-Saint-Denis (93), the national 10 in Trappes (Yvelines 78) or the national  104 closed throughout the Mesnil-Amelot (Seine-et-Marne 77) crossing. to allow the construction of the eastern bypass of Roissy CDG airport. Yes catch up or we will be needing helicopter pads soon!!

In the 17éme arrondissement, the small square of Batignolles, glued to the tracks that leave from the Saint-Lazare train station, tells the story of Paris of the Belle Epoque. Its neighbor, Martin-Luther-King Park, opened in 2007, plays the card of modernity and space. The singer Barbara was born a stone’s throw away, at number 6 rue Brochant.  And we know that as a child, she came to play at the Square des Batignolles. She evokes it in her song “Perlimpinpin”. It is therefore quite naturally that the main alley of this Parisian garden was named after the artist. Great place parked free around it and visit the market on that street also shop nearby for my  Spanish grocery store in Paris (see posts).

Salvador Dali and Pink Floyd, a hovering wedding at the Atelier des Lumières. The digital art center based in Paris 11éme district devotes its summer show to the genius, whose works are screened with music by the flagship group of the 1970s to accompany it. Packing. Dali, the endless enigma at the Atelier des Lumières, 38, rue Saint-Maur , until January 2022, from 10h to 20h every day. Prices: from 12 to 15 euros. Reservations webpage: https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/fr/dali-lenigme-sans-fin

The most famous of Spanish architects will soon be honored in a gigantic exhibition in Paris, at the Musée d´Orsay. Gaudi, that’s the name of the exhibition, will first be on view at the end of 2021 at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona before moving to Paris. This is the first major exhibition dedicated to Antoni Gaudi in France for more than 50 years! his workshop, his working techniques, his drawings, models, sketches of his numerous creations of palaces, hotels, churches… Gaudí From April 11 to 24 July 2022 Musée d’Orsay – 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7éme. Webpage: https://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/expositions/gaudi-498

Imagine: sleeping on the 27th floor of a giant bulding facing a dizzying view that overlooks the entire city of Paris. This will soon be possible since within a few months, a 4-star hotel will open in the sky of Paris. The hotel will invest the top 10 floors of the Tour Duo 2, which has 27 of them. Composed of 139 rooms and suites, a restaurant and a bar with a terrace perched in the sky of Paris, the establishment was designed by Philippe Starck in association with Pascal Donat and under the MGallery brand. Hotel des Tours Duo. 51 rue Bruneseau, 13éme. Estimated opening Sept 2022 ; more in Starck webpage: https://www.starck.fr/un-hotel-survolte-suspendu-au-sommet-des-tours-duo-p4030

In mid-July, Christo’s teams embarked on the pharaonic posthumous project of the plastic artist, who died in May 2020. Thirty-five years after the Pont Neuf, the Arc de Triomphe will be carefully packaged.  A work  visible from September 18 to October 3 2021. The Arc de Triomphe will soon be covered with 25,000 m2 of recyclable bluish silver polypropylene fabric! Webpage: https://christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/arc-de-triomphe-wrapped/

Van Gogh’s painted roots found in a 1907 photo of Auvers-sur-Oise. The site that inspired Van Gogh’s final painting was found last year, thanks to an old postcard. But this previous photo, found by a resident of Auvers, provides irrefutable proof. Yeah! More in museum webpage: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0195V1962

In Cergy, the new attraction of the regional leisure island throws in the towel for this year. The Aquapark closed its doors this Sunday and until next year. Visitors are too rare because of the weather and especially sanitary restrictions because the sanitary pass is required at the entrance to the leisure island. There you go enough of hard times by these places and lost of jobs seldom mentioned in the media! Since this Sunday, it is no longer possible to access the Aquapark, this set of inflatable structures located on 2,500 m2 near the swimming area. Webpage: https://cergy-pontoise.iledeloisirs.fr/activite/aquajump/

The Trianon Palace, a famous hotel nestled in the heart of Versailles, offers to enjoy a country picnic in its gardens, for a unique experience, worthy of the most beautiful fairy tales.  Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace 1, boulevard de la Reine – Versailles (78)  webpage : https://www.waldorfastoriaversailles.fr/restaurants-et-bar/pique-nique-detox/

On the occasion of the third edition of the Top 50 of the best pizzerias in Europe (outside of Italy), the first place was awarded to the Peppe Pizzeria in Paris! There are 5 Parisian addresses in the Top 50 2021 of the best European pizzerias. These are 1) Peppe Pizzeria, 20eme. 16) Dalmata,  2éme. 23)  Faggio Pizzeria, 9éme. 25) Guillaume Grasso La vera pizza Napolitana, 15éme and 33) Bijou, 18éme.

The pastrami sandwich recipe of chef Simon Horwitz. Delicious one of favorite all time sandwich we did it at home great ! He is at Elmer 3éme near Pl de la République. webpage: https://www.elmer-restaurant.fr/elmer-restaurant

 For 2 sandwiches! ingredients: 4 slices of white bread, 1 or 2 ripe avocados (depending on the size), 1 bunch of coriander, 1 lime, ½ red cabbage, 25 grams mustard seeds, 25 ml of Banyuls vinegar, 4 slices of old cheddar, 200 g of very thinly sliced pastrami, Salt, freshly ground pepper, 50 g of melted butter.  For the mustard seeds in pickles: ½ cup of mustard seeds, ¾ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup white vinegar, ½ vs. to s. coarse salt, and 1 tbsp of sugar.

Preparation:  Rinse the mustard seeds with water. Soak them with apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar for 3 hours, bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and let cool in the open air. Once cold, add the white vinegar. Prepare the avocado puree: mash the avocado flesh with the lime juice and half a bunch of coriander, season with salt and pepper. Strip the other half of the bunch of cilantro. Reserve in the fridge. Prepare the red cabbage salad: very finely slice (with a knife or mandolin) the red cabbage. Add the mustard seeds in pickles and the Banyuls vinegar. Leave to marinate for 5 to 10 minutes, add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust seasoning. Add the rest of the finely chopped cilantro at the last moment, before assembling your sandwiches.

Spread avocado puree on each slice of sandwich bread spread out on the counter. Place 1 slice of old cheddar on top. Divide the pastrami on half of the slices, add a dollop of red coleslaw, then close with the other part of the sandwich. Spread each side of the sandwiches with the melted butter. On the very hot grill, toast 2 to 3 minutes on each side,and voilà. A family affairs! Bon Appétit!!

There you go folks,another wonderful things to do and see in my belle France! And do enjoy your time as much as allow nowdays. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 1, 2021

Church of Saint Melaine of Morlaix!

And now lovely Morlaix by the bay. It has several monuments and you can read on them in my posts, however, feel that the best monuments needs a post on their own. Therefore, here is the Church of Saint Melaine. This is an update of an older post, hope you enjoy it as I.

The Church of Saint Melaine is of flamboyant Gothic style (15C) dedicated to Melaine de Rennes. The Priory of Sainte-Mélaine  was founded between 1149 and 1157 following a donation of Guyomarc’h III, Lord of Morlaix. The Church was built at the end of the 15C. In 1879, the Church lantern was replaced by a zinc-coated wooden arrow. The Church houses beautiful paintings and scultptures from the 15C to 19C, as well as a Dallam organ restored in 1971.

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In the second half of the 15C, the population of the parish grew very fast. The Church of Saint Melaine is declared by the parishioners too small and obsolete. They decide to demolished it and build a new Church without interrupting the exercise of worship. At the entrance to this porch, two Angels hold a banner on which one can read: “the year one thousand four hundred and eighty nine was started this Church of God”. From 1511 to 1516, the construction of the bell tower, the last installment of the big work was started. A clock is set up in 1564. The bell tower is only completed in 1574. the Church will be completed in the 1570’s with the Bell Tower. It is covered with a Renaissance dome in lead, topped with a lantern. In 1610 and 1611, the paneled vault of the south porch and the inner tympanum are painted.

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Under the French revolution, the parish of Saint-Melaine was abolished. The Church of Saint Melaine is closed to worship, and it became a food store. The parish of Saint-Melaine was restored in 1856. In 1879, the Renaissance dome of the tower is destroyed. It is replaced by an arrow of wood covered with molded zinc. In 1943, a bomb fell into the garden of the presbytery, causing considerable damage to the north sides. Reconstruction work is underway. A larger sacristy is built. In 1956, the organs are deposited and transported for restoration in Nantes. On this occasion, the Rector wishes to modify the provisions of the Choir, of the altar in particular. Long debates engage and conclude the displacement of the altar to the west, a modification made in many buildings.

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What about Saint Melaine a local hero! Saint Melaine was a monk in the region of Redon (Morbihan dept 56), and was elected Bishop of Rennes in 491. A church man and diplomat, he became adviser to king Clovis and worked on the rapprochement of the Armorica church with Rome. His tomb in Rennes quickly became a place of worship. An Abbey dedicated to the Saint was built in Rennes in the 11C (see my post other churches of Rennes); the radiance of this abbey was very great , and at the end of the 12C, the monks of Saint-Melaine held a hundred churches, radiating all the way to England.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to lovely Morlaix and enjoy these gems are:

The city of Morlaix on its heritage: https://www.ville.morlaix.fr/VIVRE-A-MORLAIX/Tourisme/A-la-decouverte-de-la-Ville/La-balade-patrimoniale

The Bay of Morlaix tourist office on its heritage: https://www.baiedemorlaix.bzh/fr/s-inspirer/morlaix-vibrez-avec-cette-cite-singuliere-de-bretagne/

The Finistére dept 29 Tourist office on Morlaix: https://www.toutcommenceenfinistere.com/article/morlaix

The Bretagne region tourist office on Morlaix: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/morlaix/

And there you go folks, a nice and  lovely thing to see in Morlaix and easy ride with train station. One of the gems of the off the beaten path of my belle France. Enjoy it here the Church of Saint Melaine, nice indeed.

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

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August 1, 2021

The Jardin du Parc of Vitré!

So I am moving a bit inland now into the wonderful dept 35 of Ille et Vilaine still in my lovely Bretagne. Again, I have been here several times and passed by it even more, there is so much to see in lovely Vitré, see my previous posts on it. However, I again believe this park deserves to be known more, because its beautiful and historical at the time. A perfect excuse to walk it and indulges in its beauty and nature right in the middle of the city. I will tell a bit more on the Jardin du Parc , also serving as the Jardin des Plantes or garden of the park or floral park, all of it!

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The Jardin du Parc or Garden of the Park is an English garden located in the heart of the city of Vitré.  The Park was created in 1867 by the French architect Georges Aumont and is referenced by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of France.

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The Jardin des Plantes or Jardin du Parc of Vitré covers 7 hectares at an altitude of about 100 meters. It was built on a stream, making it possible to create the pond, in the heart of the park. The land would have been acquired by the city of Vitré in 1867 to the widow of the Baron Henri Charles de la Trémoille and constitutes part of the park of Château Marie., a 17C castle.

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The Jardin du Parc includes a Glaciére or ice machine, dating from the 17C, whose inner well allowed to conserve the ice naturally, transformed into fish farming, for nursery in 1904, and renovated in 1989. There is a nice music kiosk, from 1897, destined for the municipal harmony and the music of the 70th infantry regiment. It has the particularity of being in the form of decagon.  A rain gauge from 1885, an Aviary from 1907, a deer enclosure dating from 1887, a statue of Madame de Sévigné from 1911, a garden of aromatic, edible and medicinal plants; and ,also, different games for children are available.

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This Jardin du Parc contains a wide variety of trees, including a ginkgo biloba, a cedar of Lebanon, a cedar of the Atlas, a cedar of the Himalayas, a tulip tree of Virginia, a green oak, a Metasequoia, bald Cypress with their  pneumatophores  and a giant cedar of 44 meters in diameter, appearing in the inventory of remarkable trees of Bretagne (Brittany) and the list of remarkable trees of France since 2012. The park is populated by many species of birds. On the pond you will see  water hens, and mallards ducks.

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The entrance to the Jardin du Parc can be done by the Boulevard Châteaubriant, to the West. From Boulevard des Rochers, to the East. Through the Allée Verte or green alley, to the North. By the Avenue des Fonderies, to the South. The entrance to the park is free, all year round and at any time.

Some webpages to help you plan and visit this pretty park are:

The city of Vitré on gardens: https://www.mairie-vitre.com/Jardins-et-nature.html

The Vitré tourist office on its gardens : https://en.bretagne-vitre.com/natural-heritage/

The Ile et Vilaine dept 36 tourist office on the jardin du parc : https://www.bretagne35.com/offres/le-jardin-du-parc-de-vitre-vitre-fr-2724018/

And to add the Parks and Gardens of France  on the Jardin du Parc of Vitré: https://www.parcsetjardins.fr/jardins/597-jardin-du-parc-de-vitre

There you go now you have it all to visit this nice off the beaten path Jardin du Parc as most folks here go for the castles of Vitré and its ND Church (see posts); this is a nice family alternative. Enjoy it in nature!

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

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July 31, 2021

The Abbeys of Plouharnel !!

Let me tell you a bit more about Plouharnel. I have other posts mostly on the surfing beaches here ,but this is the off the beaten path gem I like to tell you more. An update of an older post, hope you enjoy it as much I.

As you know Plouharnel is just south of my town say about 25 km or 15 miles. It is in the beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. And it has two wonderful abbeys that looks like only one! Let me tell you a bit about these two that can be visited, the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan and the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Michel.

The Abbey of Sainte-Anne de Kergonan is a Benedictine Abbey and is part of the Solesmes congregation.The jewel of neo-roman art, the Abbey is built in grey granite. The monks ‘ Church was built in 1968 , and comprises a set of non-figurative stained glass.

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The Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan little story  started in 1897  when  10 monks who came from Solesmes, under the guidance of dom Paulin Joumier are welcomed at Kergonan . In 1901 the religious buildings are not allowed (sep state and church ) and the monks leave for Belgium, the property is turn into a school; in 1914 the community becomes autonomous; and the monks come back from exile in 1920.  In 1942, the monastery, close to the « Atlantic Wall » of WWII, and  is commandeered by the Nazis. The monks seek refuge in the Chartreuse of Brec (see post) . By 1943, the community settles at the castle of  Nétumières, near Vitré. By  1946, the monks come back from exile. In 1968 the construction of the abbey Church is began.

In Sainte-Anne de Kergonan, the day of the monks is punctuated by the Vigil, the first Office that gathers the community in the Church for a prayer of Psalms and readings. The laudes, the great Office of praise in the morning. After breakfast, grooming and cleaning, the monks continue in cell their Lectio Divina (reading things that speak of God). The Mass sung, introduced by the Psalms of third. The Office of Sexte precedes the 14h meal in the refectory. With a quiet lunch, the monks listen to a reading, then go directly to the Office of None, followed by recreation. The afternoon is devoted to manual work for outdoor maintenance, crafts…   The Vespers: great Office of the evening to say thank you and forgiveness to God for the past day. Then, several times a week, the community meets to hear a spiritual teaching of the Father Abbot. After dinner 19h30, the Office of Compline is the prayer that gathers the monks before dark. And the offices and the Mass are sung in Gregorian, according to the tradition of the Congregation of Solesmes.

The handicraft occupies an important place in the daily life of the Benedictine. The monastery shop offers artisanal products such as apples, compotes, ceramics and earthenware, Gregorian chant CDs made by the monks of Sainte-Anne, as well as products from other monasteries and local handicrafts.

The official webpage of the Abbey Sainte Anne de Kergonan : https://www.kergonan.org/sainte-anne-2020-homelie/

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Plouharnel heritage: https://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/plouharnel

Adjacent there is the Abbey benedictine of Saint Michel , at the end of WWI it was house by US troops. The Abbey of Saint-Michel de Kergonan is a Benedictine monastery, depending on the Solesmes congregation and located next to the above abbey. It was founded in 1898 by the Abbaye Sainte-Cécile de Solesmes and has several nuns.

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This Abbey of Saint Michel de Kergonan , possesses not only a long history of the tradition of Gregorian chant but also that of its precious audience for this tradition. The Abbey still supports Gregorian chant, not only in favor of its offices but also by participating in publications. Thus, it helped write the Gregorian Hours released in 2008. Moreover, the   choir sister Marie-Emmanuel Pierre, published a book on Gregorian chant in 2005: Cantabo Domino. Five Abbesses have succeeded Saint-Michel de Kergonan.

The official abbey Saint Michel de Kergonan: https://www.saintmicheldekergonan.org/

The Bay of  Quiberon tourist office on Plouharnel heritage: https://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/plouharnel

You need to come here by car from the express way N165 ,along the D768/781 direction Quiberon, once at Plouharnel bear left on the circle and slow down will read the panels. In summer you can take the train tire bouchon from Auray with a stop at Plouharnel.

There you go foks, hope you enjoy the post it is very nice historical , greatly done archictecturally and very nicely done biscuits by the monks! This is the abbeys of Plouharnel!

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

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July 31, 2021

Church of St. Joseph of Pontivy!

Here I am again back to my wonderful beautiful Morbihan  in my lovely Bretagne. Again, I have written several posts on Pontivy and mentioned this Church but feel it deserves a post of its own and more details. I am updating this post from the original stormy cloudy day , let me tell you a bit more on the Imperial Church of St Joseph.

The Church of St. Joseph is located on Rue Nationale, it was built in the heart of the Napoleonic district of the city (city was known as Napoleonville) between 1863 and 1867, thanks to an imperial grant granted by self name Emperor Napoleon III during a visit to the city. As the Imperial subsidy was exhausted on that date, the work was interrupted and the Church remained unfinished. This Church is open in summer, so check schedules with the tourist office for opening dates and hours. Inside photos are not allowed.

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The Church of St Joseph features a belltower-porch that has implemented large-grain granite in big facade, with monolithic balusters, granite stone from the area. In neo-Gothic style, the Church remained outwardly unfinished (no spire of the Bell Tower). One notices the gargoyle overcoming the porch, left side, which represents the Empress Eugenie and, inside, the stained glass with imperial weapons. The final reception of the works takes place as is in 1869. The Church was officially handed over to the bishopric in 1873 as the auxiliary chapel of the parish church and consecrated on April 12, 1876 as in Saint-Joseph.

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The Church of St. Joseph is built on a three-tiered Latin cross plan: large arcades, triforium and tall windows. It has the choir facing south, contrary to the religious architectural norms that require an orientation of the choir towards the east. The Emperor also wanted the Church to finance a Finnish-style Bell Tower, but the Church of St. Joseph nevertheless had no reference to the Breton Gothic. It was the French Gothic of the 13C that inspired the Parisian master of the Church.

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The bell tower could not receive an arrow because the Imperial financial contribution was not enough to complete the construction site, as well as other elements of the Church such as the stones sometimes carved sometimes simply spliced with architectural sculpture are a good examples. The Sacristy, indispensable to the good conduct of the cult, could not be built. In 1869, fixed furniture such as altars, pulpit, stalls and organ were non-existent.  In the 1870s, in Neo Gothic style, the panels that closed the Choir, as well as the stalls and the pulpit to preach, carved the dove of the Holy Spirit which decorate the lampshade of the pulpit to preach and the reliefs of the four Evangelists accompanied by their symbol on its cube, Saint Mathieu and the Angel, Saint Mark and the Lion, Saint Luke and the Bull, and Saint John and the Eagle.

The organ that is in the choir today dates from the early 20C. In 1972, the restored organ was installed in the Benedictine Abbey of the Sisters Saint-Michel de Kergonan in Plouharnel (see post). In the early 1990’s, the nuns preferred to separate from this instrument and was acquired by the Intercommunal Union for the Tourist Development of the canton of Pontivy. This is how the organ was installed in the Church of St. Joseph where it has remains.

The arms of the self name Emperor Napoleon III are inlaid on the stained glass of the eastern arm of the transept, on the keystone of the apse of the Choir and under the railing of the bell tower-steeple outside. The elements that form the coats of arms are: the Crown, the Imperial mantle, and the signs of the sovereign authority such as the scepter and the hand of righteousness; the Eagle is still present because it symbolizes the military victories and the necklace of the Legion of honour. The “E” of the Empress Eugenie (of Spain) and the “N” of Napoleon III are located in the center of the stained glass of the west arm of the transept and on the floor of the Choir, topped by the Imperial Crown and surrounded by bees, as well as in the center of the west arm of the transept. The bee symbolizes immortality and resurrection and creates a bond also between the Empire and the origins of France. It was in 1653 that, on the tomb of Childeric I, father of Clovis, small bees in gold and garnet were discovered in Tournai ,Belgium. The bee figures are present on the two rosettes of the transept where they surround the central motif with stars. They are also found on the floor of the choir, framing the Imperial Eagle or the figure of Napoleon and on some keystone of the aisles of the nave and the Chapel and the Choir. The bees surround the figure of the Emperor and the Imperial Crown on the pavement of the Choir and the figures of the Emperor and the Empress in the center of the rose of the west arm of the transept.

The Bell Tower, the triforium and the rosettes of the transept; before being restored in 1991, the Church’s bays were once closed by stained white glass windows, most of them surrounded by a blue border. the Church of St. Joseph of Pontivy is today among the major French historical monuments that have participated in the renewal of the art of contemporary stained glass from the 1980’s.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it is worth a detour are:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on St Joseph Church in Pontivy: https://www.morbihan.com/pontivy/eglise-et-square-saint-joseph/tabid/12562/offreid/1dfaec4e-e6b9-4643-8abc-fd0e29a5f4c7

The city of Pontivy on heritagehttps://ville-pontivy.bzh/decouvrir/histoire-patrimoine/pontivy-le-saviez-vous/

The Pontivy tourist office on Napoleonic heritage see flyerhttps://en.tourisme-pontivycommunaute.com/Discover/Region-of-art-and-history

There you go folks, another nice stop in your route of Bretagne ,and especially my dear home dept 56 of Morbihan. The Imperial Church of St Joseph at Pontivy is worth waiting to see it.

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

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July 31, 2021

Monument to Chambord in Sainte Anne d’Auray!

Let me take you to an off the beaten path site in a very popular town of my beautiful Morbihan , and lovely Bretagne. This is in the city of Sainte Anne d’Auray near me where I past by several times a week. I have written briefly on it in several posts but feel deserves a post of its own, therefore ,here it is for you.  Enjoy it for the history of it, usually only written by the victors. I will tell you a bit more on the Monument to the Count of Chambord!

The monument statue to the Count of ChambordDuke of Bordeaux  . This is in honor of the support the count of Chambord had for Bretagne.  The monument to the Count of Chambord was erected in 1891 in Sainte Anne d’Auray , in memory of Henri d’Artois, claiming the Crown of France as Henri V.

A bit of history I like

During the attempt to restore Henri V, a pilgrimage was organized by the royalists of western France at Sainte Anne d’Auray to pray for the King’s return to the throne. The latter is maintained every year on 29 September, the anniversary of the birth of the Prince, until his death in 1883. As a result of this, a subscription was launched and allowed to acquire the land as well as built the  five statues. On 20 February 1889, a civil society, known as the “Société de Saint-Henri”, was created for the purpose of the erection and maintenance of a Memorial of Monsieur Le Comte de Chambord. This group buys the land destined for the monument which is finally realized in 1891. A wall and a grid are installed in 1897, but the originally planned garden does not see the day, due to lack of sufficient funding until 2012.

The annual pilgrimage, more or less abandoned after WWI, was revived in 1983 at the initiative of the Union of Legitimized Circles of France. In 2012, the monument was restored and the garden finally realized. On 31 May 2015, Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and Burgundy (heir king as Louis XX) and his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite went there during a ceremony organized in their tribute, on the occasion of their official visit to the Morbihan. And I follow up!

The monument is located in near of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne d’Auray, about 700 meters to the west,direction Brech,  the monument consists of a summary statue in cast iron of the Count of Chambord, depicted on his knees and in Sacred outfit, placed on a granite pedestal. At its four faces it has the two saint patrons of France and Paris; Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in front and Sainte Geneviève in the back, as well as the two great heroes of the French chevalry, Bayard to the left and Du Guesclin to the right, all four standing.

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A bit on who was the Count of Chambord as he is generally known.

Henri (born 29 September 1820) is the son of the Duke of Berry, murdered on 13 February 1820 by Louvel and the grandson of king Charles X. On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in his favor, but Henri followed his grandfather in exile in England. His mother, Marie Caroline de Bourbon, attempted to raise an army in battle in the west of France in 1832 , her attempt fails. In 1833, Henri V was 13 years old and considered a adult. He followed king Charles X in exile in Prague after England. After the fall of the Empire in 1870, the legitimists Royals tried to impose the restoration of the Bourbons on the throne of France. This restoration failed because Henri categorically refused the Tricolor flag (French revolutionaries and current flag of France), prefering the White flag (Royal) to be use. With him disappears the eldest branch of the Bourbon.

As he is very much connected to the Castle of Chambord (see post) that was his once, there is a whole room on him there including his letter refusing the king’s title on the flag issue. The museum piece on the Count and the letter display. You can see my blog posts on Chambord. You can see his story there in remarkable personages page in English: https://www.chambord.org/en/history/the-chateau/major-historical-figures/

Some further webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The official Count of Chambord webpage in French: http://www.comtedechambord.fr/homme/memorial/

The official Union of Legitimized Circles of France (Royals) on Chambordhttp://uclf.org/bicentenaire-de-la-naissance-du-comte-de-chambord-sainte-anne-dauray-message-mgr-le-duc-danjou/

The official Royal Prince Louis heir to be Louis XX king of Francehttps://www.royaute.info/louis-xx

There you go folks, an interesting other history of France that even today still has conversation talks in my neck of the woods, still Catholic and Royal. Hope you enjoy it, the monument to the Count of Chambord in Sainte Anne d’Auray. A great excuse to stop by the Basilica Ste Anne (see post).

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

July 30, 2021

The Alignments of Carnac!

I am writing again about the stones of Carnac oh its megalithes or line up or alignments an Unesco world site indeed. The folks come all over here to see the stones.  You have to see them at least once and even thus written bits and pieces on them before in my blog, I would like to dedicate one post just on them. Hope you enjoy it. Do need to tell you ,it is in dept 56 of Morbihan in the region of Bretagne and in my belle France!

Then, they are just south of me about 31 km or 19 miles, and we past by the famous megalithes or stones, as well as stopping by once for the formal knowledge about them. Indeed they have been here for centuries, and very popular now. I am not much into stones, mind you,  but its very historical and folks all over come to see it. The locals have a predilection for stones even decorating their homes with it on the facades. Which we of course , have copy for our house! Carnac is nice for the ambiance of its restos bars and beaches in summer; its a place to go eat seafood, fish, and the great Breton galettes/crêpes with the cider or the white wine of muscadet/Loire or the Breton beers ,the works!!

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Let’s go into the technical, historical, architecture of it shall we!

The alignments of Carnac  are an exceptional megalithic  alignments located in the town’s limits of Carnac and La Trinité-sur-Mer. The area around Carnac bringing together the highest concentration of megaliths in the World, and consists of alignments of menhirs (stones), dolmens (tomb like covering of stone) and aisles covered and spread over 4 km. The alignments of Carnac are the most famous and most impressive megalithic ensembles of this period with nearly 4 000 stones lifted around 4500 years BC. The alignments are however accessible to the public in high season through the visits conferences with a guide proposed by the Maison des Mégalithes,  and are on open access in winter period.

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The alignments of Carnac follow about 4 km between the bay of Plouharnel and the rivermouth of  La Trinité-sur-Mer. They mark the junction of two different territories, one coastline to the south and the other continental to the north. They include 2 733 menhirs, probably largely below what existed in the Neolithic era. It is possible that the alignments have reached the Crac’h river by spreading over 8 km. The  Kermario’s alignment, presumably contemporary of Kerlescan, appears to be built on the mound of Manio which is dated 4000-3500 BC. The construction of the alignments seems slightly posterior, so these would date from the middle of the 4C BC (end of the middle Neolithic).

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The main alignments of the menhirs of Carnac  are from West to East : Le Ménec, Kermario, Kerlescan and Le Petit Ménec. The ensemble has a general direction southwest northeast . In each alignment, the menhirs are placed in ascending order in the direction of the west. A dolmen (cromlech) precedes the Menec’s alignment, 240 meters away from  Kermario’s alignment,  preceded by a dolmen.  Kerlescan’s 390 meters  alignment is, like the Ménec, preceded by a semicircular cromlech. The menhirs are exclusively formed of local granite, a granite of anataxis with two heterogeneous micas, comprising of porphyria zones.

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The alignments of the Ménec, these alignments constitute the most representative set of menhirs with 1 165 meters long over 100 meters wide for 1099 menhirs spread over 11 files. The highest stones that compose them reach 4 meters. The alignments of the Ménec begin in the southwest by a cromlech comprising still of 71 surviving blocks some of which sneak between the buildings of the village of Ménec. A very ruined cromlech still exists in the east.

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The alignment of Kermario and the Manio, these alignment are the best known and most frequented of the alignments of Carnac. Indeed, it is here that we find the biggest menhirs. It has 10 lines representing a total of 982 menhirs. This alignment is marked by the existence of the Kermaux mill which offers a point of view on the alignments. Finally, the Kerloquet  pond dug in the 19C destroyed some of the alignments. It separates in two the alignment with the Kermario on one side and the Manio on the other. The Kerloquet site, composed of 82 menhirs. Not far from this alignment is the quadrilateral of Manio which consists of several blocks of granite of 1 meter in height placed jointly. They were delimiting a tumuli mound. There is also the giant of Manio which rises at a height of 6 meters.

The alignment of Kerlescan and the petit Ménec, these alignment contains 540 menhirs spread over 13 lines and on 3.50 hectares of surface. At its extremity is a cromlech of 39 menhirs. This is the best-preserved alignment. The alignment of Kerlescan extends into a wooded area located beyond the road leading to La Trinité sur Mer with the little Ménec, now restored.

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It is only from 1750 that folks began to be interested in the alignments of Carnac and that the first assumptions were issued. The Count of Caylus in 1764 believed that the megaliths date back to the time of the Gauls and the Romans. It is notice and mentioned of improper restoration, noting that now only 36% of menhirs are in their strict place and original situation. Near or around Carnac, many other monuments of this period are distinguished such as  La Table des Marchand of Locmariaquer, Le Dolmen de Mané-Kerioned, Les dolmens de Kermario, Les dolmens de Cruz-Moquen,  Les dolmens de Kériaval, Le dolmen de Clud-er-Yer, Le dolmen de Nautério, Les dolmens de Kerlescan, Le cairn de Kercado,  Le dolmen de Kerluir, Les tertres du Manio, Les tertres de Moustoir, Le tumulus de Saint-Michel and the Le menhir de Kerdeff. All very nice and mostly visited already but not all.

I will put several webpages that will help you further understand these stones and plan your visit to this wonderful area of Carnac.

The official menhirs of Carnac webpage: http://www.menhirs-carnac.fr/en/

The Carnac tourist office on the stones: https://www.carnactourism.co.uk/discover/menhirs-and-heritage/carnac-stones

The city of Carnac on the stones: https://www.carnac.fr/Territoire-d-exception/Capitale-des-Megalithes

The ministry of Culture of France on the stones of Carnac: http://www2.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/

There you go folks,now you are loaded to come and see them. Worth the visit and let me know when in town. Carnac is special for the stones and more! Hope you have enjoy the tour.

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

July 30, 2021

Church Notre Dame de Locmaria of Quiberon!

Well if you have read my blog, you know this is my favorite area to spent my time. The peninsula of Quiberon is gorgeous and full of interesting spots. I have written widely on it in different posts before, but feel obligated to tell you a bit more on some of our interests that might be of yours too.  Quiberon, been a peninsula has beautiful beaches very much sought out by other Europeans as well. However, it has some interesting monuments located in quant nice city center full of shops, restos,and bars in the bourg or as well call here city center of the administration part of a town.

Therefore,  let me tell you a bit  more of the  Church of Notre Dame de Locmaria  in the bourg  of Quiberon!  The  Église Notre-Dame-de-Locmaria is at the entrance to the old section towards the beaches in city center Quiberon, we were just there for the first time several years back just before a wedding was to take place, very nice, no photos.  It is our walks now when we go in the main road into the town and parked for free by the train station or gare de  Quiberon, and then walk into the beach area minutes away. It is located in city center bourg at Place du Repos.

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The Church of Notre Dame de Locmaria was built in the 15C when the parish seat was transferred from the prieural Chapel of St Clement to the town, entirely redone in 1654, it will be wearing a Lantern Tower only in the 19C. Ransacked by the English of Admiral Lestock’s army in 1746, it would even serve as a hospital for the Chouans and the emigrants in 1795 (fight against the French revolution). But it was in 1900 that a storm damaged the Bell Tower destroying much of the roof. The Church in its present form dates from 1906.

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All in beige granite, sober, it occupies the highest point of the town. To see, when open, the Altar of the emigrants Breton in granite and bronze of the 20C ,and a painting of Pierre Roux of 1884, the baptism of Christ. The bells date from 1871 and come from the old church and carry inscriptions to identify them and to know their donors. The first Bell is called “Louise-Marie” and the second Bell is called “Joséphine-Félicité “. There is an ex-voto , a model of the Melpomène, a frigate dated from the 19C.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must to Quiberon and why not stop by the Church of Our Lady of the Assomption.

The city of Quiberon on its heritagehttps://www.ville-quiberon.fr/le-patrimoine/

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Quiberon: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/quiberon

There you go folks, another nice gem to see in beautiful Quiberon. And to add around the Church you have the city center admin area with plenty of shops to spent your day shopping away as well!

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

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July 30, 2021

Port Haliguen in Quiberon !!

In this time of the year the place is pack with visitors and locals alike and the weather is great of course.  What I am talking about Quiberon, the peninsula south of me, my backyard. And more specifically Port Haliguen; which not had written much about yet. This is an update of an older post ,hope you enjoy it as I.

There is a nice lighthouse done in 1856 and the marina was done from 1968; it is now on its way to be improve and enlarge from its current 1200 moorings. The governing body is on a plan right now such as a large renovation project at Port Haliguen is now underway. It involves: The large-scale dredging of the west dock (Bassin de Castero), which will be followed by the east basin (Bassin du Porigo).The complete re-planning of the quays, pontoons and commercial premises.The creation of a lively centre around the basin. This will improve the services for boat owners, develop the port and strengthen its identity. A sensible extension of the number of moorings. and you can read more on the city of Quiberon port haliguen: http://www.quiberon-port-haliguen.com/en/developments/

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There are beaches in between very nice, the wild and secluded plage de Castéro  and Kermorvan to the left facing the harbor and plage de Porigo to the right all the way to the plage du Fort Neuf.  Several fishing, boating, beach shops have opened up here as well as créperies, restos and bistro à vins. Very nice indeed.

My favorite beaches here are Castero and Porigo  ,and see more info on the webpage of Plages TV:

https://en.plages.tv/detail/castero-beach-quiberon-56170

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https://en.plages.tv/detail/porigo-beach-quiberon-56170

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You can, also, see the expositions in the Maison du Phare a sort of events place for the area . The Bay of Quiberon on the lighthouse house:   https://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/a-voir-a-faire/culture-et-patrimoine/ateliers-et-galeries-d-art/la-maison-du-phare

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You find all kinds of boats here from cruisers to dingy zodiac types, from motor to sails, combine, and catamarans. It is really a gorgeous spot to be in. We parked behind the Port Haliguen hotel right facing the harbor on a side street for free! Plenty of this type of parking if you come early.

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The lighthouses are always a pretty sight, and the bigger one from 1856 or phare de Port Haliguen can be seen for 10 miles with a height of 12 meters and no more in operation. Two smaller red phares or lighthouses are on the causeway out to see; the one on the left has 11 miles vision at 8 meters high; the one on the right has 8 miles vision of a high of 7 meters. On the north dam, there is another lighthouse,this one green with a vision of 6 miles and  9 meters high.

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Then, there is the Maison du Port or house of the harbor where the Yacht Club de Quiberon is house with a full program and plenty of boats in its yard. Official webpage of they YCQ: http://www.ycquiberon.com/index.html

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Then, you have the Capitainerie or harbormaster in Port Haliguen, VHF Chanel 9. Contact on right hand column of this harbors webpage: https://www.passeportescales.com/en/port-haliguen-quiberon

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You have a nice train station where you can walk to the Grande Plage and all the rest is not far, we parked and walk all over… the train station has a special service from Auray on the Tire-Bouchon  train or screwpull train in Summers only. You can, also, come on Keolis bus line 1 from the Auray train station in Summers.

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Driving out of town it is great to do so on rue du Port Haliguen where the Casino (betting) is on, and you past just in front of the Church of Notre Dame de Locmaria in city center.  You ,also, drive on the causeway in and out, one road two lanes in and out, and past the historic Fort of Penthievre, still a military installation but a site of firing squads assassination during the Nazi occupation. I have written on these several times before.

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Another dandy spot in my beautiful Quiberon peninsulaPort Haliguen is kind of secluded nice and great for the whole family. Enjoy it as I.

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

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July 29, 2021

Hôtel de Ville of Vannes!

As I did with my other two city halls in Paris and Versailles, the one now mine in Vannes is almost a replica, confirm with that of Paris. This is something, again, has written in bits and pieces before but feel needs a post of its own. Let me update this post for you and me ok. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more of the Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall of Vannes!

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The Hôtel de Ville de Vannes is located on the Place Maurice Marchais, and was built between 1880 and 1886. The other part of the administrtive part is at rue Joseph le Brix coming out of old to your left.

The City/Town Hall of Vannes was built to replace an old city/town hall in poor condition and not reflecting the ambitions of a prefecture city. Located at the place des Lices, the old city/town hall was a typical Breton-style building. Rescued from destruction, the staircase of the old city/town hall was installed in the 1960’s  in the courtyard of the Hotel de Limur. (see post).

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In 1878, the Municipal Council of Vannes fixed the location of the City/Town Hall on the place Napoléon, present day place Maurice Marchais and former place du Marché. This building wanted by the Republicans (revolutionaries) after their victory over the Monarchists in 1878 was the triumph of Republican ideas. The City/Town Hall is of Italian Renaissance style  and a copy, on the scale of Vannes, of the City/Town Hall of Paris(Hôtel de Ville).

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The main 4-story building is framed by 2 pavilions. On the main façade, the frontispiece is equipped with a clock and topped by the crest of the city. Reminiscent of the former belfry, the steeple located at 36 meters in height dominates the ensemble. The columns engaged in Corinthian capitals and pilasters. A monumental flight of stairs guarded by 2 Lions in cast iron leads to the entrance where 4 busts welcome you with Lesage, Descartes, Thiers and Mirabeau. The interior is the image of the outside;   including statues and stained glass depicting the marriage of Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII in 1491 at the level of the magnificent staircase of honor.

The city of Vannes on the Hôtel de Villehttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/hotel-de-ville-en-detail/

There you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful capital city of Vannes. Hope you enjoy the post as I. Remind you it can be visited and with a guide to go into the details of it. The Hôtel de Ville of Vannes is on the rue Thiers on the edge of the old town where you can walk into the middle ages and beauty behold you!

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

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