Archive for ‘France’

March 11, 2021

Church of Saint Martin at Trédion!

So bringing you back to my beautiful Morbihan and its small picturesques towns on the off the beaten path. I have written on Trédion before for its castle resort and now need to tell you about its church, which have not. So much for updating older posts which ,also, allows me to find these missing gems. Hope you enjoy the post on the Church of Saint Martin at Trédion!(picture from castle)


This is one of those small towns which we have plenty but full of nice things to see. The posts will be short but the things to see can last a day. Let me tell you a bit about Trédion.

The town of Trédion attested in the form Treduchum in 1121, Tréduihon in the 12C. Trédion is an ancient truce of the parish of Elven, of which it was detached in 1136.  At this truce was added the one of Aguénéac to create a new parish in 1820.  In 1833, the former trier of Trédion and Aguénéac were separated from the town of Elven to form the new town of Trédion from 1836. The town of Trédion is 7 km from Elven and 23 km from Vannes. And as you can see relatively young for France!

A bit more on the Church Saint Martin!

The Church of St. Martin new church b. 1870-1873. It was entrusted from the year 1000 to the Benedictines of the Mont-Saint-Michel. The Romanesque building was largely rebuilt during the second half of the 16C. The sand pits and pillar of the pulpit bear the dates of 1562, 1573 and 1577. The Church consisted in 1860 of a nave and two collateral in large plains and three Romanesque apses; the main apse was vaulted with stones and illuminated by stained glass windows in loopholes, it was preceded by a triumphal arch. An elegant bell tower built in two bells stood between the nave and the choir. The nave of the 2nd half of the 16C preserves in the south a door and a stained glass window of the 15C. The new bell tower was erected between 1869 and 1872. The current Choir is probably contemporary from the bell tower steeple in 1869. The vault of the new choir, joins that of the nave in 1895. Two additional stained glass windows are installed in 1910. The Church Saint Martin is of an elongated plan with a lateral bell-tower and a bedside with cut-out. The bell tower is in neo-Gothic style built in 1892. The nave is separated from the aisles by four arches resting on octagonal pillars. The choir built in 1860 is in Romanesque style, the tower is raised in the same style with stone Spire and pinnacles. It preserves a beautiful chalice in silver from the 16C.



The city of Trédion on its religious monuments including the church:

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Trédion in French:

And now I feel better showcasing sights from these small towns such as Trédion worth a detour for the curious visitor off the beaten path ways of my beautiful Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the bit of introduction to the Church Saint Martin.

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

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March 11, 2021

Pretty nice Surzur!!!

Again, going over older posts with updates and revisions which have been an enormous uplifting experience for me, there are always some. Yet, some do get away and seldom mention or written on it; this is the case of pretty nice Surzur. I have to admit it has been my oversight as this is the town we came for homeopathic care for my dear late wife Martine. Memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Surzur is located in the Morbihan department 56 in the region of Bretagne. The town is located between the Rhuys peninsula with the town of Sarzeau; the Pénerf river, with the towns of Tour-du-Parc, Damgan and Ambon; the Gulf of Morbihan with the towns of Saint-Armel, Le Hézo and Theix-Noyalo; finally, La Trinité-Surzur and Lauzach. All very nice and several posts in my blog. The town is  located 16 km from Vannes.

The town of Surzur is crossed from east to west by the D 20, the town’s main road. It divides the town into two distinct parts: The D 195, which links Noyalo to Le Tour-du-Parc via the town of Surzur. The D 183, which connects the expressway from Vannes to Nantes, the N 165, but also the connection with the villages located inland, such as La Trinité-Surzur, Sulniac or Le Gorvello. by Kicéo, Vannes transport company line 22 Vannes Liberation – Surzur centre.

Surzur seems to have come from the Latin Sartor or Sartorius.. Surzur, in Breton is Surhur. It is a former primitive parish which once encomwent the territories of the La Trinité  , Le Hézo and the small parish of Noyalo. The parish of Surzur depended on the temporal fief of the Bishop of Vannes. In the 8C, it was the Bretons’ turn to settle. . In the middle ages, the territory of Surzur had several small Lordships  In 1790, Surzur loses Noyalo, the Le Hézo and the Trinity-Surzur. It is the capital of the canton from 1790 to 1801.  During WWII, the Nazis occupied the manor of Pérénes, owned by the Garaby de Pierrepon family. The Pénerf river has allowed the installation of many oyster farming sites. These are located at the points of Port-Groix and Pentès and face those of Pen Cadénic (town of Tour-du-Parc) and Pénerf.

The General Count Henri du Fresne de Virel, a Châtelain in Surzur at the Château du Grégo, is a hero of the resistance. Born in 1897, he was decorated with the Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 and that of 1939-1945. He undertook in 1940 to the ORA under the orders of General Frére. Tortured in August 1944, he died on 5 March 1945 and was buried in Surzur cemetery. A section of the road D 183 bears his name. Xavier de Langlais , owner-and restorer in 1962 of the Kohanno Kozh Manor, was a painter, church decorator, writer, Breton and regionalist. He is best known today for the technique of oil painting, which is still authoritative today in this field. If he is buried in Sarzeau, he lived in Surzur and realized in the Church of Saint Symphorien several paintings including a stained glass in honor of General Count Henri du Fresne de Virel. A square of the town bears his name.

The Church of Saint-Symphorien ,11-12C, redesigned in the 16C on the sacristy,and 19C the stained glass windows, doors, stands and paneling, and in the 20C. It is in the shape of a Latin cross. It comprises a nave of four bays with aisles, a transept and a flat bedside choir flanked by a chapel in the south. The nave and the square of the transept are Romanesque: the nave communicates with the aisles by large arched arches laid on cylindrical piles. Above the large arcades are small semicircular windows. The triumphal arched arch is carried by columns committed to capitals decorated with stylized foliage, oven and volutes. The choir and the cross-braces, redone in the 16C, have again been retouched since. The southern Chapel of the Choir presents a beautiful flamboyant decoration. The western gate, consisting of a simple arched arch between two high flat buttresses, is from the 12C. The Romanesque tower which stood on the square was demolished at the end of the 19C and replaced by a large Romanesque-style bell tower that rises on a porch at the southern entrance of the south cross brace. The bell tower, dates from 1904-1905. The altarpiece of the bedside, dates from 1751, it sees Saint Symphorien, Saint Isidore and the Virgin in the central niche. The painting depicting the Virgin of the Harvest and located in the lateral Chapel of the Rosary closed by a grid of 1821 dates from 1937. The lateral chapels are under the vocations of the Sacred Heart, the Holy Virgin and Ste. Anne. One of them, located on the north side, belonged to the Lord of Grégo.



The city of Surzur on the church:

The Chapel of St. Helena , 17C, located in the village of Brarun, town of Surzur. Its façade is pierced by a door in a semicircular, dating from the 17C, and surmounted by a stone steeple. It was restored between 1992 and 1995. The stained glass windows evoke the Gothic era with the use of elements of the 15C.  The Chapel houses the statues of Saint Helena, the Virgin, Saint Margaret, St Teresa and Saint Mathurin.



The city of Surzur on its chapels including the above:

Other things to see in Surzur are :

Chapel of Notre-Dame de Recouvrance. Also called Notre-Dame du Bas-bourg, it has lost its northern chapel. There are superb stained glass windows by Laumonier in the apse. The chapel dates back to the 14C, but only the foundations remain from this period, the whole dating back to the 16C. The steeple is from the 19C. From 1874 to the post-war period, it was the seat of the “Congregation of the Blessed Virgin”. It is being restored. Chapelle Sainte-Anne-Grappon ‘(or Graz au Pont): 17C altarpiece and painting, unique in Brittany. It was rebuilt in 1690. Blue paneled vault studded with stars. Very beautiful fountain, from 1690, decorated with two rows of three balls with enigmatic significance. Manoir de Cohanno This estate dates from 1427 and was originally owned by the Francheville family before being purchased by the Lord of Kerguisé. In particular, it subsequently belonged to Xavier de Langlais. Private domain. The artist’s paintings on the mansion’s ceiling were restored in 2006.  Castle of Grégo: it was also occupied by the Nazi army which seized the paintings which were there. Private property. The origin dates back to the 15C, but the current castle was rebuilt for the du Bot around 1750. Pembulzo manor or castle: dating back to the Middle Ages, rebuilt in the 19C following a fire. Chapel 1777 and old outbuildings. It was blessed on November 4, 1777: it was Nicolas Charles Huchet de la Bédoyère, viscount de la Benneraye, knight of Saint-Louis, who had it built. Only the chapel therefore remains old today. Property of the Kermel family.

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Surzur:

And there you go folks, indeed a nice pretty Surzur off the beaten path but as many times in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France gems are everywhere waiting to be found. You will be wonderful here in Surzur; hope you enjoy the post.

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

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March 11, 2021

Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye at Rochefort en Terre!

This a memorable spot for us in our lovely Bretagne and several posts on the town in my blog. However, need to do justice to its main church in a single post, updated. Hope you enjoy this whimsical town and its Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye at Rochefort en Terre!

Often buildings tells the story of its people and how preserved they are, it is no surprise that in France, they are respected and much effort to preserve them is done by all including our benevolent visitors who falls in love with them. I have come to medieval wonderful beautiful Rochefort en Terre in my dept 56 of Morbihan several times and it is our favorite Christmas market (see posts) each year we are home. Therefore, it is time to tell you a bit more on the wonderful nice Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye ! Enjoy it as we do, and again thanks for stopping by. The Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye is located in Rochefort-en-TerreMorbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne.

rochefort et ch notre-dame de la tronchaye mai12

A bit of history I like,

The fortified bell tower of the transept junction dates from the Romanesque chapel built in 1125. In 1533, the north façade was rebuilt in flamboyant Gothic style, as evidenced by the inscription of the front of the Portal. In 1610, a large polychrome stone altarpiece which is now at the bottom of the choir. In 1865, the south side is restored. In 1887, the north façade is also restored. In 1898, the west gable was repaired and the grandstand was built. In 1922, the stone altarpiece found its present place whereas before it replaced the old rood screen separating the nave from the choir. The stained glass of the sacred heart is set up on the east gable, and the stained-glass window of the statue’s discovery is installed on the south side.


According to the legend, the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye was built on the site where a statue of the Virgin, breastfeeding the infant Jesus, was discovered in the 12C . It is claimed that the statue was hidden in the trunk of a tree two centuries before, while the Vikings attacked the area. A stained glass of 1927 recalls this legend. Therefore, Notre-Dame de la Tronchaye is the name of an ancient and venerable wooden statue of the most Blessed Virgin, preserved in the church. This name of Tronchaye seems to say that the statue was originally exposed or found in the trunk of a tree.


In the 15-16C, under the authority of the family of Rieux, it was erected as a collegiate church and, thereafter, experienced some beautification works. Under the French revolution the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye serves as depot and store. Then in the 19C, other transformations altered the Church and its surroundings. It does not have its present appearance until 1924. It was naturally done in Roman style and had the form of a Latin cross, with a square turret on the middle of the inter-transept. This plan is still that of the Church of the beginning of the 20C, because the substitution of the new Church to the former was only gradually made.


Besides the beautiful mansions of the 16-17-18C perfectly preserved, Rochefort-en-Terre has one of the most beautiful churches in the region, dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye. From the Romanesque period only the steeple with fortified towers remains, while the main façade reveals the delicacy of a flamboyant Gothic. As for the Calvary, it presents three magnificent stages of sculptures illustrating scenes from the life of Christ.

You will do well coming here at least in Christmas time!!!. The Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye should a hightligh of the visit! And as usual some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the Church:

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on Christmas time:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Church:

The Bretagne region tourist board on Rochefort en Terre:

Do enjoy the town, the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye, everything here is magical. Of course best by car but come from Paris Montparnasse to Vannes pl de la Liberation bus terminal (gare routiére) and there get the Maury transports bus line 9 to Rochefort en Terre!

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

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March 10, 2021

Nice Pluneret and the Chapel!!

So here I go , having a great time updating my older posts in my blog as a great past time nowdays I had my surprises. One of these was Pluneret a town passed by every day really, and with many nice things to see. I like to tell you all about this wonderful town in my beloved Morbihan 56. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Pluneret is located in the Morbihan department 56 of the Bretagne region. The town is a town on the Morbihan coast, bounded on the west by the river Auray or Le Loch (see post), and on the east by the Rivière du Bono or Le Sal river, extensions of the Gulf of Morbihan. 15 km from Vannes, capital of the department, and 5 km from Auray.

The old primitive parish of Pluneret formerly included Saint-Anne d’Auray, which was detached from it when the castle parishes were established, probably in the 12C, and of course Sainte-Anne-d’Auray or better Keranna, erected in town after the last war. The foundation of the parish of Pluneret was formalized by a document signed on May 6, 1259.

The expressway or voie express ,N165 / E60, allow rapid connections to Vannes and Lorient. The SNCF Quimper-Paris line (with passage of the TGV which stops at Auray, that is to say 5 minutes from Pluneret). The Sainte-Anne de Pluneret train station was for a long time the arrival station for pilgrims to Sainte-Anne d’Auray, hence the statue that surmounts it . It is served for travelers by the TER Bretagne, line 12 between Lorient and Vannes. The Sainte-Anne train station, whose architecture is unique in Bretagne. It is one of the few train stations in France to be surmounted by a religious statue. The station was built in 1862 .

I have another post on this town and its church, however, the main thing to see here left it out lol. Let me go into it ok

The Chapelle de Sainte-Avoye is located in the village of Sainte-Avoye, part of the town of Pluneret.  The chapel of Sainte-Avoye was raised in the 16C by the Lestrelin family, whose crest overcomes the southern gate, owner of the castle of Kerisper which is close to the village. It is a seigneurial Chapel financed by the Comte de Lestrelin (or Lesterlin). On the lordship armchair are the coats of arms of the family. They represented four ducks that were crudely removed by knives during the French revolution.


In 1727 the upper parts were replaced by the roof in the current frame, which is topped by an arrow. In 1987, a storm weakened the steeple again; It was rehabilitated in 1988. In 1746, a hurricane breaks the stained glass windows, during the renovation of 2004 to 2006, they will be redone in the same way as the originals. The interior flooring is in clay. It is an almost unique disposition of a mixture of lime and earth. The arch of the nave in the shape of a ship’s hull, reversed is limed to the old four farms for the nave; the three main farms for the choir, engoulants, carved sand pits dating from 1557.


The Chapel of Sainte Avoye houses a Renaissance rood screen in polychrome oak wood. Executed between 1554 and 1557 by a Carpenter, it separates the choir from the nave and  is carved on both sides. The visible face of the nave presents the twelve apostles, the visible face of the choir presents the seven Catholic (or theological) virtues, and five Saints including Saint Yves. The chancel is made up of four panels including a double leaf door. The chapel also houses a statue of Sainte Avoye  in polychrome wood dating from the 16C.


The rood screen is a separation between the nave where the faithful stood, and the choir reserved for the Lord of the place and where the religious officiated. It consists of 3 parts:-the fence called chancel,-above the Tribune ,the real pulpit, to which one accessed to preach or sing, by a staircase located sometimes in an outside turret, and the whole being dominated by a group of Crucifixion (Calvary). You will notice that these crucifixion groups often remained in place after dismantling the pulpits in the 19C, thus becoming beams of glory. Sometimes the big cross was hung on a wall. Here, the chancel consists of a double door framed on either side of a fixed panel. At the top, the flanks of the Tribune are carved of 12 characters on each side:-from the nave, one can admire the 12 Apostles,while from the choir one can recognize 7 allegorical statues representing the virtues (the 3 theological virtues that are Faith, Hope and Charity, and the 4 cardinal virtues of Righteousness, Prudence, Strength and Temperance. Saint Fiacre, Saint Laurent and Saint Yves placed between the rich and the poor complete the frieze.

The city of Pluneret on the Chapelle Sainte Avoye in French:

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Chapelle Sainte Avoye in English:

Other things to see in Pluneret are:  The town of Pluneret saw the birth of Yves Nicolazic, the seer of Sainte-Anne! The castle of Treulan (19C); the castle or manor of Kerzo (1427); the castle of Kermadio (18-19C) transformed into a holiday center; and the manor or castle of Kerisper (15C), located in Kerisper. Modernized at the start of the 20C, it now houses the Théâtre de l’Ecume.

So as often the case in my belle France, this Pluneret is another small town but packing a wallops of nice monuments to spend a day in it. We of course living so close need to come more often and see more, and will do when possible. For now, enjoy Pluneret and its Chapelle Sainte Avoye!

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

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March 10, 2021

Cathedral St Corentin at Quimper!

And why not come back to one of my favorites cities in my lovely Bretagne! This is Quimper at its best and the gorgeous Cathedral St Corentin! I have this older post which I will update text and links for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

And why not tell you about a jewel of a monument in beautiful celtic Quimper. We love to come here and it is always grand; however, I have not tell you enough about the Cathedral Saint Corentin ,and this post will hopefully remedy that missing information. This is a must to visit.  The Cathedral Saint Corentin is another matter, much revered by all ; it is a masterpiece so much impossible for me to concentrate on every detail but I give you some here and you are welcome to come!

On the site of previous worship place of the 9C and 11C, its construction was decided in 1239 by Bishop Radwan, the ducal chancellor of Pierre de Dreux, who came from Ile de France. It is the time of the radiant Gothic, where Chartres, Reims or Amiens are built. It is necessary to wait for the advent of the Duke Jean V so that at the beginning of the 15C ends the first part of the work, the choir which is covered with a cross vault of warheads and colored with painted ribs and stained glass with silver yellow. In the second quarter of the 15C only are undertaken, from the west end, first the towers and the porch, then the nave. After 1460 this is grafted onto the choir via the transept, which is surmounted by a 16 meters central steeple. At the end of the century, the builders covered it with a stone vault, coated with ochre and traced to the imitation of a brick assemblage; They chiseled the window mullions and, in the time of Duchess and Queen Anne of Brittany/France, filled them with stained-glass windows. The French revolution and the terror of 1793 put an end to it, transforming the Cathedral into factory stalls hanging on the sides of the cathedral liquors flows and, inside, making a clear place to the cult of reason, by a great burning of furniture, reliquary and statues of polychrome wood are consumed. With the Concordat (the accord between the Church and the French Republic) , the church heals its wounds and restores its Cathedral.

Entrance is done through the West portal with its covings populated with angels, the bearer of a statue of Christ; We must go through the one who said, “I am the Door”.  You will see an infusion of stained glass windows all gorgeous amongst them the stained glass windows of the high nave north and south ,and then those of the transept arms to the north and south as well ; these are works from the 16C , representing on the knees of the Lords and Ladies of Cornouaille and standing on their side their patron saints, the Virgin, St. Anne, John the Baptist, the Apostles, Peter, Paul, John, James, Andrews to the Saints and holy ones particularly honoured in the 15C, the Archangel Michael, Catherine, Marguerite, Francis of Assisi, Christophe and some Breton Saints , especially Corentin, etc.


Around the crucifixion of the Christ, the stained glass of the choir is reserved for the personalities concerned by the completion of this construction: the ducal family of John V. Then, Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and the canon of Quenquis , and their holy presenters and the eminent families, such as those of the Lords of Juch, then captains of Quimper. These works are from the 15C, with the gothic dominated by grey and yellow silver, are past almost a century to those of the nave, at least those which have not been restored.


The altar, in the center where the eyes converge, brings together the prayers of the faithful. He recalls both by his table the Supper of the Holy Thursday and by the glorious cross associated with the death of Good Friday and the resurrection of the tomb. It is for the church Christ himself and the cult that surrounds this altar goes to his person. In front of the sanctuary, the ancient pulpit to preach, of polychrome and gilded wood, is a baroque work of 1679, , who evokes in his medallions the life of Saint Corentin. The former master altar under a canopy at Seraphim, presented at the Universal Exposition of 1867 . The closing of the wrought Iron Choir is nice too.


Then you have the Chapels all gorgeous I just took some, the Cathedral is immense full of chapels and stained glass and statues lovely worth a detour indeed. These are some of the Chapels

.Chapel of the baptismal font. John the Baptist presides over the fountain baptismal.


Chapel of the three drops of blood, the blood collected on the tablecloth of the altar is preserved with the head of Christ Roman, beheaded by the revolutionaries. The stained glass represents the scene of perjury.


Chapel of the transept with the altar of the Holy Cross. Statues of Saint Guénolé and Saint Conogan (2nd Bishop of Quimper).


Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Onyx Altar, the author of the former master altar (19C). And Chapel of Devotion to Notre Dame de Lourdes, appearing the apparition of Notre-Dame to Bernadette in the Cave of Massabielle.



Replica of the setting at the tomb of Bourges. This sculpted group of the eight-character tomb is a unique cast made from the 16C tomb which adorns the crypt of the Cathedral of Bourges. It was installed at the Cathedral of Quimper in 1868 at the request of the Bishop of the time. From left to right: Joseph Arimathea, Saint John the Evangelist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Marie Madeleine, Marie Salomé, Marie Mother of John, and Nicodemus.


The large organs, built by Dallam in 1643, several times or even remade in 1848 by Cavaillon-Coll. They were restored in 2000 by Giroud.


Other Chapels of importance me think but no pictures are

The Chapel of Saint-Pierre evokes on its walls the collation of powers to bind and untie in Saint Peter. His window of 1856 reminds of the construction of the arrows; presented by Saint Joseph, the bishop offers them to the Virgin and to Saint Corentin. A limestone statue, indicates its burial (+- 1855).  Chapel of Saint-Frédéric. The stained glass and murals trace the life and martyrdom of this Saint, originally from Utrecht, Bishop of Wallachia, in the time of Louis the good-natured.  Chapel of Saint-Roch. It illustrates the life of this Saint, Pilgrim of Rome and devoted to the plague; Reached himself of this evil, he dies abandoned, except of his companions, an angel and his dog.  Chapel of Saint-Corentin. The stained glass and murals report the legend of the cathedral’s patron, his ties with King Gradlon, Guénolé and Tudy. The episode of his fish symbolizes both the multiplication of the breads and fish of the Gospel and the Ichthys (anagram of Christ) Eucharistic that invites to feed daily of his imperishable flesh. On the altar, a reliquary recalls its memory.   

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and visiting is a must are:

The city of Quimper on the Cathedral:

The Quimper tourist office on the Cathedral:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on Quimper

The Bretagne region tourist board on Quimper

There you go another gem in my lovely BretagneFinistere dept 29 and gorgeous Quimper. Enjoy the Cathedral of Saint Corentin a jewel.

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

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March 10, 2021

Church of St Mathieu ,Quimper!

So I must say from the start, this is one of my favorite cities in all of Bretagne. The post is older from 2018 and needs update on text and links so is a pleasure to do so for the wonderful Church of St Mathieu in beautiful Quimper! Let me tell you a bit more about it; and hope you enjoy it as I.


Here we are in beautiful Quimper to show another nice church in a very nice quant neighborhood of Saint Mathieu. We always park nearby and walk into the city center from here. I have written briefly before, but feel deserve a post of its own, worth the detour to see the Church of Saint Mathieu in Quimper, dept 29 of Finistére in my lovely region of Bretagne.  I would tell you about the church, right in the quartier or neighborhood of same name. It is a historical church as was the center of opposition by the Priests/Bishops to the French revolution idea of swearing the Constitution when they were only to swear to God. The differences for most of them were settle in the Concordat of  April 8, 1802 in France ,and this Concordat in turn was updated by the Law of Separation of State and Church of 1905 except the departments of the East of France that were part of Germany at the time.(a bit of history of France thrown in here for you)


It is reason to believe that the first church erected in Quimper, under the word of Saint-Mathieu (apostle of Ethiopia martyred there and his body is now at the Church of Salerno, Italy), was at the time when, following a respectable tradition the new Churches were named after Saints.. The new Church, was saved the portal and the steeple of 1844. The current steeple is 52 meters above the pavement of the street: it is 10 meters more than the old; And the total length of the church, outside, is 54 meters, 47,5 meters inside. Its interior width is 20 meters, and its height, under the ceilings is about 15 meters. The arms of the transept have, each, only 2 meters deep. The new Church Saint Mathieu as we see today was completed in December 13 ,1896.


The two new canopies of the apse and the old restored. The canopy of the left represents scenes of the life of our Lord before his passion, that of the middle, the passion, and that of the right, scenes of his life after his resurrection, together with the stained glass of Saint-Charles, stained glass of Sainte-Elisabeth , stained glass of Saint-Georges, stained glass of St. Martin.


The parish of Saint-Mathieu was abolished by the new French revolution Constitution, which brought together all the parishes of the Episcopal city under the Government of the bishop, administering with the help of Episcopal Vicars. The old bishop before the French revolution fought hard to keep it without constitutional constraints and wrote many articles again the revolution.  Eventually most of them fleed to England until 1796. Afterward,  Msgr François-Guillaume Coroller  returned to Quimper, and died rector of Saint-Mathieu in 1807.


Not much on it in the city or tourist office probably due to the meaning of counter revolution it has.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Quimper, and it is a must to see are:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on Quimper

The Bretagne region tourist board on Quimper

The city of Quimper tourist office on its heritage, see the “fiche inventaire de l’église Saint Mathieu” for more info in French on the church:

The city of Quimper on its heritage:

There you go another nice monument right at the beginning of a very old quant neighborhood of St Mathieu that takes you walking all the way to the Cathedral (see post). The area is full of nice shops and restos good for a detour as well. Enjoy the Church of Saint Mathieu in lovely Quimper.

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

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March 10, 2021

Chambord at Christmas!

And yes I know is not Christmas time yet, but to us every day is and besides , this is an update from 2019! on the wonderful castle of Chambord Christmas time. It is always a great moment to visit the castles of the Loire and this one particularly as the final home of the Count of Chambord (Duke of Bordeaux heir to the throne of France as Henri V). Let me tell you a bit more on the period of Christmas as for me is any period of the year, and have several posts on the castle in my blog.


Another place that we love to come for Christmas over the years was not far from us and still is like that. We love the region and have come here several times, castles are it but so many will take you a lifetime to see them all. Again, the most famous are in the region known as Centre-Val-de-Loire but there just as famous and good ones in the neighboring region of Pays de la Loire.  However, for Christmas believe deserves a post on its own. This is my take on Chambord at Christmas! Future planning is a must.  Chambord is located in the Loir-et-Cher department no 41, in the Centre-Val de Loire region.   The town is famous for its castle and its fully enclosed park, a national hunting reserve where the presidential hunts take place. The town and the whole territory of the municipality of Chambord are the property of the French Republic administered in the form of a public establishment of industrial and commercial nature name the Domaine de Chambord.

Do come and celebrate Christmas here is really magical and gorgeous place to be at. Celebrate the end of year celebrations in the largest of the Loire castles. Enjoy a magical Christmas at the Château de Chambord . Many animations await you, and I will tell you some.  Before celebrating its fifth centenary, the Château de Chambord has many surprises for you during the holidays.  As each year, the Château de Chambord has concocted a program rich in animations to wait until Christmas and prolong the feast during the holidays. For more than a month, the castle is transformed and wears its winter clothes. Firs trees and decorations come to the castle, from the ground floor to the second floor, passing through the grand staircase with double revolution and the chapel!

On the outside, the magic of Christmas seizes the French gardens with splendid illuminations that accompany the lighting of the facade of the castle. The walkways leading to the entrance will also be transformed with a hundred fir trees that will illuminate at dusk.  In the castle, do not miss the perambulations of the musicians who will punctuate a visit dotted by costumed characters in the style of the 16C. Singing, dancing, and period music. Enjoy an artistic Christmas in the heart of the Sologne. Story tellers readers will come to tell fun and amusing stories for the enjoyment of the youngest. In the warm atmosphere of the rooms on the ground floor, at the fireside, comfortably seated on cushions, they will travel in the fairy tale universe! The children will leave to discover King François I through an exciting exhibition.


Finally, who says Christmas meets Santa Claus! The children can be photographed with the man in red and exchange a few words with him. The external walkways of Chambord are adorned with a hundred illuminated fir trees, which amaze the little ones and families all together. The interior is also dressed in majestic fir trees and a sumptuous decoration. From the ground floor to the first floor, through the entrance porch and the chapel, the visit path is sublimated by the magic of Christmas. The lighting of the French gardens and highlight of the north facade of the castle.


Presentation of firs trees made by prestigious brands on the second floor: elect the most beautiful fir tree among the 20 presented! Traditional wooden games (billiards Louis XIV, Hole-Madame…) and board games. Dance and Song of the Renaissance, wandering of characters in costume, nature animations, coloring, reading tales, meeting with Santa Claus and many other surprises… Except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January.


Great new show: “Beauty and the Beast, a new story “. The spectators are transported in the adventures of Princess Laideronnette, cursed by a witch, in search of her beloved. A baroque and wonderful spectacle for young and old in 16C costumes, created especially for the occasion. On stage, actors and musicians to transcribe this fabulous story. The program: Plots, travels, special effect of period, artistic fencing, old music and many other surprises!! Indeed magical in the Castle surroundings!!


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Château de Chambord on its Christmas celebrations:

The official Château de Chambord on its events to come:

You will enchanted here at Chambord, and the gardens are recently renovated in 2019. It is gorgeous, and already plenty of events there including an outdoor concert we were. I do buy some wines here especially from nearby Cheverny nice crisp and good value for house wines.

Hope you enjoy the post. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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March 9, 2021

The SNSM of Honfleur!!

So let me update a memorable spot for my family ,plenty written in my blog about it. One of the best organisations in France that we follow with care. This is not your typical travel post, but recognition to those that deserve it, and hopefully you can get to see them at their base. Let me tell you about the SNSM of Honfleur!

Ok so this should be hard but need to post it and keep as memory of always in my family. if you read my blog you have come to notice we are DNA of island folks both in America and Europe, and we love the sea. I was born with the sea as my patio and have lived near or on it all my life with the exception of the time in Madrid… Honfleur is special for me in more ways than a tourist spot.  Remember they do handle all the lifesaver on the beaches of France!

With the anniversay of my dear late wife Martine passing due to cancer, I like to once again take the task to write something about it as she loved coming here too. We first brought my dear late mom Gladys and she love it too.! And the boat rides were a must of course. A lot better than on a lifeboat as I had to do twice. Anyway, this is the story of the SNSM or Société National de Sauvetages en Mer or something like the National Society of Rescues at Sea.


First class rescue (vedette) star SNS 131 Notre-Dame-du-Port is the boat at Honfleur. Very emotional for me to pass by it as it took the ashes of my mother and wife out to sea burial in 2007 and 2018. Of course, I am a donor since 2007, and the folks at the station of Honfleur are great folks all volunteers ex fisherman, marines, navy etc who does an admirable jobs protecting lives and helping those in deuil. Chapeau!!!


The SNSM station in Honfleur

Sea tides Marée webpage to go out safe at Honfleur

These boats are first-class Star (vedettes) (V1) are unsinkable and self-right able, allowing it to sail away from the coasts and under extreme conditions. It has an average of 2 diesel engines of 330 HP allowing it to reach the speed of 25 knots. They have length in meters: from 13.3 to 16; Width in meters: from 4 to 4.6; Draught in meters: from 1.15 to 1.35; Displacements in tons: from 12 to 20;; Knot speed: 15 to 26;; Motor power in CH: from 225 to 500; The star V1 costs about 800 000 € for a lifespan of 30 years. This lifetime allows this investment to be recover in the long term.

Today, the SNSM has 41 all-weather canoes (CTT), 31 1st class vedettes (V1), 69 2nd class (V2), 4 3rd class (V3), 400 pneumatic, 60 semi-rigid and Jet Ski. In 2018, were delivered a new generation V1 NG for Bandol and Nouméa. The new all-weather canoes recently emerged for the Ile de Sein, Les Sables D’Olonne and Sète. Part of the fleet will be renewed in the coming years because of the end of life of a part of the canoes and the vedettes.  The SNSM rescue boats are located on 218 stations along the metropolitan and overseas coasts and operate under the authority and at the request of the regional operational surveillance and rescue centres (CROSS) which in France are the centers of emergency coordination at sea and which depend on the direction of Maritime Affairs of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.


A bit of history I like

A British-majority aristocratic committee established the first rescue company in Boulogne-sur-Mer, under the name “Human Society of the Shipwrecks”. Then, were created the human societies of Dunkerque, Calais, Rouen and Bayonne in 1834, of Dieppe in 1839, and finally Montreuil-sur-Mer in 1841. The beginning of centralization was only apparent in France in 1865, when the Central Shipwreck Rescue Society (SCSN) was founded under the chairmanship of Admiral de Genouilly. As a result of the WWII, everything was to be rebuilt, with most of the shelters and nautical means of the SCSN and the Breton Hospital Rescuers (HSB) being destroyed. The two companies with similar goals can no longer meet the needs of the entire French coastline, particularly because of the developing sea crafts and nautical recreation. The SNSM was born in 1967 of the merger of the Central Shipwrecked Rescue Society (SCSN) and the Breton Hospital Rescuers (HSB), a union raised by Admiral Maurice Amman, former maritime prefect of the 2nd region in Brest, which will become the President of the new company.

The SNSM has three types of activities, the offshore rescue, the training of seasonal lifeguards and the prevention of nautical hazards. In the phocean city of Marseille the vedettes of the 1st class V1 NG La Bonne Mère de Marseille (the good mother of Marseille) SNS 152 is armed by soldiers of the battalion of Marines-firefighters of Marseille and not by volunteers like all the other French and overseas stations. Given the size of the city, it was impossible to rally a crew of volunteer rescuers to sail within the 15-minute period ,which is the target for the average time limit for the overall SNSM.

The official SNSM webpage in French:

There you go a nice history , a wonderful job, and I love them. You too can visit them and they will show you their boats on many events program throughout the year. And of course, if you can donate, as these folks are all volunteers doing a human heck of a job me think. Another plus for Honfleur!

Every year when possible they hold fund raising sea activities all over with the biggest one on the Seine river in Paris. This event is call the Mille SNSM and Le Figaro newspaper has more on it from last year available here:

There you go enjoy it as we do, the SNSM ,and always memorable at Honfleur, Calvados 14 in the region of Normandie.

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

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March 9, 2021

The Chouans of Auray and Bretagne!!!

I like to update this older post in my blog about an important event in the history of France often overlooked by the victors. I came to live in the Morbihan breton in June 2011 if you have been reading my blog coming from Versailles. While here , well , I have heard but never really into it as reading official publications. Here talking with natives and having these monuments close by came to learn about the other history hidden from the general public by the French Republic=France. This is an episode that could have change the history of France and maybe even Europe. Let me tell you a bit about the Chouans of Auray , Morbihan, and Bretagne.

Let’s be a bit historical on our travels. I like to mentioned a bit about the Chouans, the folks of the country of Brittany in France. These folks were not in agreement to go the way of the French revolution,and were Royals and Catholics. They were led amongst others by General Cadoudal, a native son of Auray, where I lived nearby in Brec’h when move into this region on a village next door.

The Chouannerie was in effect a civil war between Republicans (those for the French revolution) and Loyalists troops in the areas of the west of France such as Brittany, but also by others in Maine, Anjou, and Normandy.  It was linked to the war of the Vendée ,and many times the two are known as the Wars of the West. Wars rage from 1791 until 1800, from guerrilla warfare to frontal attacks all over the region. Uprisings took effect in 1815 and 1832 all subdued by the Republicans.

In Brittany by 1791, the Marquis de La Rouerie (already distinguished in the American Revolution as Colonel Armand with Gen Washington) with the support of the count of Artois ( king Louis XVI  brother and later King Charles X)  created the clandestine Breton association or Association Bretonne that puts together a group having the Catholic dioceses as the principal objective the defense of the Monarchy, against Republicanism, the conservation of property ,and the establishement of laws and customs belonging to Brittany.  The war had in the Royal and Catholic army of Vannes led by General Cadoudal  that dominates in the Morbihan (today dept 56 of Brittany where I live), was formed of peasants for the most part,and after much battles and fronts led by many, the 25 February of 1795 Gen Georges Cadoudal goes to Paris and meets with Napoleon I  on March 4th (Palais de Tuileries), Cadoudal was offered many goodies but he refuse them all and decides to continue the fight first from exile in London. On May 10, Cadoudal is received by the Count of Artois in London ; that names him General in charge of the Catholic and Royal army of Brittany; ten days later he is met by William Pitt (prime minister) that offered to land 30000 men at Calais and Brittany and 30000 more if he raises an army of 60K men .Cadoudal comes over by May 10th and lands in the Morbihan. The victory of Napoleon at Morango stops William Pitt to send the troops may even if peace is signed between England and France the war of the Chouans do not. In 1803 Cadoudal lands in Dieppe after gaining Paris to try to capture Napoleon he is betrayed and captured ,  and he finally is executed in 1804 at the place de Gréves (today pl Hotel de Ville) refusing all honors or pardons. Ironically the men to chase these chouans was Lazare Hoche, the general of the king and later Napoleon who is a native of Versailles, now buried there, and the famous Pl Hoche named after him in the city.

The family home in the village of  Kerleano next to Auray, is still hold by descendants of the General, and he is buried in a Chapel next to it, now entoured by a wonderful tree park,it is a place of pilgrimages by all Bretons. Yes heroes last for the people, Georges Cadoudal, was born in Kerleano commune de Brech January 1 1771 and died guillotined on June 25 1804 in Paris, a chouan General. Later he was posthumously name Marshal of France. If he had suceed in taken down Napoleon history would have been a lot different! and me think better. To visit his tomb and park you need a car from the Auray train station that you arrive from Paris Montparnasse. The house is in private hands of the family and is not visited but you can see fairly well from outside. Today the Breton language is taught in schools as an elective and already taken by more than 700K students.




The city of Auray on heritage trails see the Mausolée de Cadoudal in French with more information :

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Cadoudal history:

A Royalist webpage Vendéen and Chouans on the anniversary of Gen Cadoudal with video:

This area is close to my home, and I past by it everyday to work, I am sure more stories will surface.  You can make it by car off N165 direction sortie 34 go by two round abouts circles and you will see the sign on your right, the site is well posted after that on each turn.  Enjoy this bit of history very hidden from the main stream of France but real and must be known if you are into history as I. Remember, Cadoudal of Auray at Kerleano! 

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

March 9, 2021

Basilica minor Saint Sauveur of Dinan!

And here I am going back to a very nice city of the north of my lovely Bretagne. I like to update this older post of one of our visits to the city of Dinan and its  Basilica minor Saint Sauveur! Hope you enjoy the post as I do!

I finished my tour of Dinan in the wonderful Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved region of Brittany. It is an area worth seeing indeed, and one reason is very popular to visitors to Brittany.  As said, have written several posts on Dinan, but this time will pick one monument that needs special attention for a visit. This is the Basilica Church of Saint Sauveur.


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


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


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


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

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


A bit of the description and architecture , my best.

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

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


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


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

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

The Dinan Cap Fréhel tourist office on Dinan

The Brittany tourist board on Dinan’s heritage

A webpage Val de Rance or valley of the Rance river on the Basilica minor Saint Sauveur in French:

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

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

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