Archive for ‘France’

May 20, 2022

The Ramparts of Vannes !!!

So you know Vannes is my capital city and administrative center for us. It was as well for 9 years my place of work, just outside city limits, and we go there every week at least once! Therefore, I have written plenty about Vannes in my blog; but as often the case there are some missing parts.. I like to remedy that in writing again on the ramparts of the old town a wonderful place to visit while in Vannes, I say a must. And see my other posts on the ramparts of Vannes!

The first enclosure of Vannes (ramparts) was built in the 3C, the small ancient Roman town, then called Daroritum protected itself behind its walls from the Germanic threat. It was on the hill of Mené, surrounded by swamps, that the town found the best site to fortify. The ancient enclosure surrounds about 5 hectares. The perimeter of these first ramparts was less than 1 km. The Château de la Motte (the castle is partially demolished in 1867 and this will allow the construction of a new street to the train station, the rue Billault) was built on the northern wall between the 5C and 6C. Throughout history, it was successively the home of the counts of Vannes and then of the kings and dukes of Brittany. In the 12C, the ramparts underwent major repairs because they were badly damaged during the repeated assaults of the Plantagenets. In the 13C, the Château de la Motte was partly destroyed by an earthquake and ceded to the bishop of the town. Restored, it will become the episcopal mansion of La Motte. It will be necessary to wait until the 14C for the ancient walls of Vannes to be enlarged ; the walled city then integrates the southern suburbs to go from 5 to 13 hectares. Duke Jean IV of Brittany had the Château de l’Hermine (see post) built at the same time. Despite the integration of Brittany into the Kingdom of France during the 16C, the ramparts of Vannes continued to be maintained until the 17C. They were even reinforced during the religious wars of the 16C and then during the first decades of the 17C, because Vannes remained a city in a strategic geographical position for the kingdom. At the end of the 17C, the search for circulation is privileged, and two additional gates are pierced in the ramparts.

Vannes ramparts walls of Vannes Aug12

The ramparts of Vannes remain, despite these late destructions, among the best preserved in Brittany; more than three quarters of the fortified enclosure still remains. A policy of conservation and enhancement of the city’s ramparts and gates has been in place since the beginning of the 20C. The entire eastern part of the ramparts is enhanced by a pleasant French landscaped public garden. The Jardin des Remparts (see post) is a must when visiting Vannes. Indeed, this French-style garden , open since the 1950s, largely contributes to the enhancement of the fortified heritage of the city. Each year, 30,000 flowers would be needed to decorate the garden of the ramparts, You can see a wonderful carrousel here by the Avenue de Lattre de Tassigny.

vannes courtine de la juliette to garenne garden and tour connetable dec19

vannes old carrousel tour connetable back dec11

For several centuries, the layout of the ramparts remained the same. Five gates then give access to the intramural, these were Saint-Patern, but also Saint-Jean, du Bali, Saint-Salomon, and Mariolle. Then, from 1370 to 1395, the enclosure was extended to the south by decision of Duke Jean IV. In particular, he planned the expansion and construction of the Château de l’Hermine. The work ended with the construction of the western walls near the Cordeliers convent. The new enclosure opens to the south of two gates, the Calmont and Gréguennic. Later, around the middle of the 15C, the enclosure was equipped with towers such as the Tower of the Executioner, but also the Powder Tower, and the Joliette Tower. Then, at the time of the wars of religion, the city reinforced its enclosure with several bastions: Gréguennic, Brozillay, Haute-Folie then La Garenne. At the same time, the future Saint-Vincent gate was created. This additional opening to the south is strategic, it makes it possible to serve the port district. Then, the city evolves again with in particular the installation of the Parliament of Brittany between 1675 and 1689. As a result, from 1650 to the French revolution, new developments are planned. Poterne gate, but also Saint-Jean gate , as well as a restoration of the Saint-Vincent gate. It was also during this period that certain parts of the ramparts were considered obsolete. Thus, the moats are filled in and the fragmented fortifications are broken up to be sold to individuals. At the end of the 18C and during the 19C, some sections of walls and doors were demolished, (look up several of these gates in my posts).

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A walk around the fortified city allows you to discover many magnificently preserved elements: the Constable’s tower , first half of the 15C, originally, the tower was to serve as accommodation for the constable, commander of the armies of the Duke of Brittany , the Hermine castle or Lagorce hotel,located between the port and the garden of the ramparts, the castle is integrated into the ramparts which border the closed city. This vast building built at the end of the 18C is at the heart of a new cultural project.The tower and the prison gate, the Garenne spur, the bastions of Haute -Folie and Gréguennic, or the Poudrière, Joliette, Bourreau and Saint-Vincent towers. The lavoirs or washhouses of La Garenne are a former public washhouse , Le Marle, “the river of Vannes” ensures its water supply before mixing with the waters of the gulf. In the heyday, the washerwomen used to come here to wash their clothes. (again look up my posts on many of these).

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The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the jardin des remparts of Vannes:https://golfedumorbihan56.com/le-jardin-des-remparts-de-vannes-ses-fleurs/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on things to do/see in Vannes: https://www.golfedumorbihan.co.uk/explore/meet-the-exceptionnal/visit-vannes/

The city of Vannes on its ramparts walls: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/les-remparts

There you go folks, two wonderful gates/towers along the beautiful ramparts of Vannes a must to visit when in town. Hope you enjoy this more detail post on the ramparts marvelous architectural/historical gems.

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

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May 20, 2022

More streets of Vannes!!!

As I have mentioned several times, have many posts on my capital city of Vannes in my blog, A cornupia of wonderful places to see and things to do, feel free to browse, This time will do a new post with older pictures on the streets of Vannes,it is superbe to walk its medieval streets, and we love it, going km after km sightseeing on foot. We by now know Vannes by heart but it never amazes me to see so much beauty in its architecture and history untouched by the times. Let me tell you again more streets of Vannes.  Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place du Général de Gaulle is the street of the préfecture government building where the main body of employees are but not the one the public go to, This is just opposite the ramparts where I have several posts, The préfecture building is exactly at 10, Place du Général de Gaulle. The square was created during the construction of the Hôtel de Préfecture in 1863. It was formed according to old plans on the site of part of the gendarmerie barracks, formerly the Jacobins convent, and rue du Roulage, street opened in 1776. It is concomitant with the opening in 1863 of the rue Alain Le Grand, its outlet on the Garenne. Archaeological excavations, undertaken in 1999, during the renovation of the square, have brought to light vestiges of the Gallo-Roman era. By 15, place du General de Gaulle you have a nice above ground parking,

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An anecdote here is that Charles de Gaulle came here from a day visit to Rennes in 1944, when Brittany was not yet completely liberated from the Nazis who still held the pockets of Lorient and Saint-Nazaire, Charles de Gaulle, head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic made another trip to Brittany from July 20 to 23, 1945. This trip included the following stops: Saint-Brieuc, Morlaix, Brest, Quimper, Lorient, Auray, Vannes and finally Saint-Nazaire, a little over two months after the definitive liberation of the Morbihan. He was accompanied by four ministers: Raoul Dautry, Minister of Reconstruction and Urban Planning, René Mayer, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Louis Jacquinot, Minister of the Navy, and finally René Pléven, Minister of Finance.

Some spots we have been and nice enough to post here are the bagel local specialists,Le Bagel Ouest at 15 Place du Général de Gaulle , and nice quant bookstore of Archipel des Mots, at 21 Place du Général de Gaulle.

The rue Alain le Grand created through the former garden of the Saint-Nicolas hospital, now the Claret garden, according to the plan of Marius Charier drawn up in 1861, to open up the new préfecture. Connecting street between the prefecture and the Garenne gardens.  One nice example here is at 5 Rue Alain le Grand, This building was built between 1894 and 1906. It has a metal frame (Baltard type construction) and a T-shaped plan. of limestone (tuffeau), bricks, cast iron. Beautiful illustration of industrial art.(see post).

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The rue de la Monnaie is a very old street where the mint was located from 1237 to 1488 and which from the cathedral descends to Place Lucien Laroche, Some interesting half timbered houses here are :

At 5 rue de la Monnaie house rebuilt in the first part of the 20C on the site of an old half-timbered house of which there is a declaration made in 1677 for Guillaume Guitton, Sieur de Sourville and Dame Marguerite Billy, his wife, acquired by his parents in 1661. The house was built in alignment with the street on an old plot, and forms an L-shaped plan.

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At 3 rue de la Monnaie house built in the 16C. There is a declaration made in 1677 for Paul de Tredazo, knight, lord of Keriscouet and where it is mentioned that it was formerly called Maison Gueho, probably from the name of its previous owners. On the second square floor, the elements of old framework , crossbowman, leg and blocket are still visible indicating that the building had only one square floor originally and that it was raised in ancient times. , perhaps in the 17C, during the exile of the Parliament of Brittany to Vannes, caused great housing needs. In addition, the simple and modest fireplace on this same floor is a type of 15-16C attic floor fireplace as well as the wood used for the realization of this second square floor are of less strong section; which tends to prove an elevation of the house. The staircase has been redone on the site of the old staircase which was screw according to an oral information. The house was plastered in the 19C. The building is the subject of an enlargement at the rear in the rear courtyard on the first floor only. The ground floor has been modified. The exterior entrance steps to the house bear a date of 1889 which is not yet explained: it may be a reused stone. The main half-timbered body, gabled and corbelled, is double in depth, consisting of two rooms per level. Single-span house on a masonry base with 2 square floors and an attic floor with basement. The frame has regular posts with side reliefs and a spandrel cross of Saint-André. The front door of the house is on the side and gives access to a corridor in place on about half of the building and at the bottom of which the staircase starts.

At 10 rue de la Monnaie house built at the beginning of the 20C (dated by the current cadastre as 1920) on the site of a garden or passage visible on the cadastre of 1844 and adjoining the house erected at the bottom of a much older plot. The reform of 1677 attached to this file corresponds to the building which was built in the rue de la Monnaie and which was demolished during its enlargement.

Some of the nice business we have stop by are the coffee grounder Brûlerie D’Alré at 11 rue de la Monnaie, and the always reliable L’Occitane en Provence, at 10 rue de la Monnaie.

The rue du Port was mentioned from the 14C, whose houses then housed merchants in the activity linked to the port. In the second half of the 17C, the arrival of the Parliament of Brittany in Vannes led to the reconstruction, for the nobility, but also for wealthy merchants, of some of the old houses. The irregular layout of this street in its southern part is rectified during the alignment plan of 1840 ; it will only be applied to two houses in the center of the street and to the house located at the southern end. The houses occupy the west side of the street, the east side being bordered by the Promenade de la Rabine. Most of the houses are established on crossing plots of medieval origin between rue du Port and rue du Drézen.

vannes rue du port 14C houses feb15

There is a nice example at 28 rue du Port,house built at the end of the 16C or the beginning of the 17C, Originally with a single corbelled floor, it was raised by one floor in the 17C, then by a third in the 18C. Half-timbered house originally gabled on the street, with a deep plan, with one room per floor. The wooden spiral staircase remains laterally on the north side. It forms together with its neighbors, n° 30 and 32, which have not been raised.

Some of my favorites here at the La Créperie du Port at 32 rue du Port, (see above) ,This pretty creperie is located in a house of four centuries of existence with original decoration. One of the two rooms, upstairs, has a period fireplace. Exposed stones and original beams complete the picture. and my in town favorite pizzeria Don Camilo Pizzeria, at 20 rue du Port, There is a nice underground parking at 9 rue du Port my favorite in the Le Port area(see posts).

The city of Vannes on its heritagehttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/decouvrir-le-patrimoine-vannetais

A nice phone book of streets of Vannes, very useful indeed :https://www.annuaire-mairie.fr/rue-vannes.html

There you go folks, I told you walking is best anywhere and in Vannes city of older days it is heavens.  The streets of the city are full of history and with great looking architecture as evidence by my many posts on Vannes in my blog. Hope you enjoy these streets as I

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

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May 20, 2022

Le Port area of Vannes!!!

Looking at my vault of pictures found several not in my blog yet on this beautiful lively area of my capital city. I took it upon getting you some basic information as plenty already in my other posts on Le Port area of Vannes with new blog pictures and tell you more about this magical area. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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By now, you have read several posts on Vannes, or Gwened (Breton language) capital city of my beautiful Morbihan (Breton language for petite mer or small sea) dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne or Breizh (Breton language) of my belle France (Bro C’hall in Breton). However, take a look at the pictures, they are new in my blog and tell more of the story of this wonderful Le Port area we come every week.

As said, have plenty of history elsewhere in my blog on Vannes, and Le Port area so this is for the pictorial of this pretty area of my capital city.

The Le Port is a lively and urban district of Vannes, covering an area of 1.5 km². It has many corners of greenery such as the Parc de la Garenne, the Butte de Kérino and the Jardin de Limur.(see posts). The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent.

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The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a Marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1 200 meters channel that leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert to the afloat basin at the foot of the Porte Saint-Vincent, entrance gate of the old town of Vannes.  

vannes le port canal boats marina jun19

The Marina has a capacity to host 280 boats on pontoons. It can accommodate 34 boats on dead body. The port of Vannes has a visitor area for your stopovers with 60 places available.

Vannes le port city center from passage n canal 31mar12

The passeport escales port of call on Vanneshttps://www.passeportescales.com/fr/acces-vannes

The city of Vannes on its heritagehttps://www.mairie-vannes.fr/lieux-remarquables

The Gulf of Morbihan Tourist Office on Vanneshttps://www.golfedumorbihan.co.uk/explore/meet-the-exceptionnal/visit-vannes/

There you go folks, a dandy in my Vannes. The Le Port area is the happening place day or night and you would do well to stop by. Hope you enjoy the post as I telling you about my wonderful spots.

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

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May 19, 2022

The streets of Auray!!!

I give you my wonderful take on the streets of Auray ,a favorite city of ours , and our first administrative town upon moving to the Morbihan in 2011, I have many posts on Auray in my blog but never enough to see these wonderful streets of it for its wonderful architecture and amazing history. Sometimes even more than the history of France but also, the USA and Canada. I will show you more about Auray or An Alre in the Breton language.

The Place de la République, formerly called “grand placître”, sometimes “place du Martray”, has been the economic and political center of Auray since the Middle Ages. Markets take place outside the halls: the wheat market, the cake market and the millet market. In the 17th century, the square was entirely lined with gabled houses, the ground floor of which was sometimes rented to a merchant. They are home to well-known families at the time: Autheuil, Henry, Boulle, Geffroy, Cadio, Le Livec, Gillouard… At no. 48 (pharmacy today), stands the birthplace of Pierre Le Gouvello de Kériolet , famous penitent. During the French revolution, this square took the name of Place de la Liberté.

Auray pl de la republique jan12

Some houses dating from the very beginning of the 19C have a dressed stone facade. These stones would come from the ruins of the Notre-Dame chapel, demolished in 1803. This was located on the Plain, opposite the Saint-Gildas Church (see posts). Three inns were, also present on the square: “les Trois Pas”, “Le Dauphin Couronné” and “Le Pavillon Royal” later called “Pavillon d’en haut” or “Hôtel du Pavillon”. They were razed in 1980 and replaced by a contemporary construction. At the Place de la République were concentrated the political power with the city/town hall, the commercial power with the medieval wooden halls (market) and the judicial power housed in a building (1908) attached to the halls (gone in 1905) . Upstairs there was a small Italian-style theater from 1903. The city/town hall was completed in 1782, On its pediment the town’s coat of arms features the Duke’s ermine and the three Royal lilies .

auray pl de la republique towards st goustan nov18

Some of the things to see here are : The City/Town Hall ,facade on the square, roof and belfry 18C Freestone houses at nos, 27, 29 and 31 , The 19C Half-timbered house , no 5 Facade and roof 16C, Half-timbered house at no,1 rue du Belzic corner with place de la République. Facade and roof 16C. The Hôtel de Trévégat (17C), located at n° 21. We see the coat of arms of the Plessis de Génédan family. At nos 23, 25 facade on the square and corresponding roof 1st quarter 19C.

Some businesses we have patronise over the years here are : The Pharmacie les Halles (Ardouin) 48 Pl de la République (my twins just got covic 3rd vaccine here), The City Hall of Auray 100 Pl de la République (my first French passport renewal was done here!) ,La Mie Câline,bakery at 12 Pl de la République ,MBA Mutuelle, (Dad health insurance) 32 Pl de la République ,La Trinitaine, 2 pl de la République (favorite store all over), Photo Le Guernevel Kodak Express, 21 Pl de la République (my first photos taken locally ,and partner friend of my photo shop in Versailles !!, of course I was recommended, small world !!).

The rue du Lait is located in the city center of the pretty town of Auray, a busy shopping street, leads to the Saint-Gildas Church (see post). Nearby, below the Place Notre-Dame, one can discover the imposing building of the 13C of the Commandery of the Holy Spirit, (see post) which, successively from the 18C, was a general hospital, infantry barracks and fire station.Now a cultural center and exposition spot, The Chapel of the Congregation of Men: 20, rue du Lait. Now the Tourist Office ! (see post). You see the house at no 25 with nice fireplace bearing the date 1587 with 4th quarter 16C medallion redone at the end of the 17C containing a portrait in bas-relief.

Auray

Some businesses we have patronise here over the years are the Bessec, shoe store, 19 rue du Lait; Auréole bookstore, 16 rue du Lai; and A L’Aise Breizh, 26 rue du Lait,local clothing store.

The rue du château was before proceeding with the sale of the ruins of the château, a rue Neuve created on September 6, 1560 on the northern moat. This road connects the main entrance of the castle (destroyed in 1558 by order of Henri II, and stones taken to the Belle Ïle sur Mer to build the Citadel) and the bridge of Saint-Goustan. On both sides, lots of land are sold in auction in 1560. Some are abandoned and find buyers a few years later. A century later, rue Neuve is entirely lined with houses and is now called rue du Château. During the French revolution, it temporarily took the name of Rue de la Montagne. The top of rue du Château is not affected by this sale in the 16C. This stretch of road connects the grand placître to the château. The Maison Gareau house (1608) was built on the edge of the moat, near the old main entrance to the castle. On the other side of the street, at no, 17, was the Auberge de la Croix-Blanche. In addition to a few half-timbered houses, the street is lined with beautiful residences using limestone, a noble material in vogue in the 17C and 18C, The houses built for the most part during the 17C. A half-timbered house bears the date 1608. Stone houses of 1640, 1643, and 1817 survived.

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Some of the businesses patronise here over the years are the Librairie Vent du Soleil, 17 rue du Château, La Fromentine resto, 10 rue du Château, and the L’Igloo ice cream 60 rue du Château.

The Rue Jean Marie Barre, The benefactor is Joseph-Marie Barré, and not Jean Marie Barre, Joseph was a lawyer who had inherited a considerable fortune. Very close to the priest of Auray, Gabriel Deshayes, he made many donations and financed, in particular, the purchase of the property of La Chartreuse en Brec’h, (see post) in 1808, then of the enclosure of the Carmes in Sainte-Anne-d’Auray,(see post) in 1810.

Auray rue jean marie Barre et keriolet aug12

Some of the businesses patronise here over the years are : Yves Rocher, 9 rue Jean Marie Barre, Jewelry Guérineau, 31 rue Jean Marie Barre, Charcuterie Eveno (caterer) 28 rue Jean Marie Barre, Optic 2000 3 rue Joseph Marie Barre, (our initial opticians now in Pluvigner).

The rue du Belzic is an old street that goes from the place de la République to the Place Aux Roues , The street is completely full of shops, restos, bars and trafic controlled with days only pedestrian, A wonderful little street to walk and see fantastic stuff.

auray

Some things to see here are the house at no 21 rue du Belzic 1st half of the 17C In-work staircase and winding staircase with daylight returns, and wooden staircase with cut-out balusters. The house facade and roof at no, 1 Rue du Belzic/Pl de la République. The houses at 26 and no 30 rue du Belzic.

Some businesses we have patronise here over the years are : The La Quincaillerie du Belzic, 21 rue Belzic, Crêperie Saint Michel, 33 rue Belzic ,Arts Ménagers du Belzic ,5 rue Belzic , and La Ferme Fromagère, 1 rue Belzic.

The city of Auray and its historyhttps://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Histoire

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Aurayhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/auray

There you go folks, a wonderful world indeed, and one I cherish every day feeling lucky to be here and thanking every day my dear late wife Martine my mamie blue forever. Enjoy the streets of Auray as I

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

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May 19, 2022

The Île aux Moines at Port Blanc!

This is another jewel in my beautiful Morbihan,dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. I like to update this older post and provide you with more info as feel not written enough on it so here I go again. Let me tell you a bit more on the island of Monks oops that is Île aux Moines even thus there are no monks , and sailing there from Port Blanc in the town of Baden.You can see my other posts on Baden in my blog. We go by car to Port-Blanc a village part of the town of Baden, and this is the boarding point by boat to the Île aux Moines.

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A bit of history I like on Port Blanc. Since the end of the 19C, it has been the site of a pier for Île-aux-Moines. The village occupies the tip of a point advancing in the Gulf of Morbihan and less than 400 meters from the Ïle aux Moines. The Port-Blanc passenger port handles most of the passenger traffic with Île-aux-Moines. The marina is grouped with that of Île-aux-Moines. The group offers 416 berths, including 120 pontoons and two launching stalls.

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The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Port Blanc : https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/fiche/port-blanc-baden/

The passeport escale port of call on Port Blanc : https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-blanc-ile-aux-moines/1396-port-blanc-ile-aux-moines-2

The Ïle aux Moines is the largest island in the Gulf of Morbihan, Creizic Island, the island of Holavre, and the two islands of Brouël. It is 7 km long and 3.5 km wide with an area of ​​310 ha. Its shape is that of a cross and no point of the island is located more than 450 m from the sea. It can be reached in five minutes from Port-Blanc or about 400 meters at sea! 

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Some of the things to see here are typical of the island and the Morbihan in general. Several megalithic vestiges (dolmens and cromlech in particular) remain on the southern point: the Kergenan Cromlech, in the middle of the island, with a radius of more than 70 meters is one of the largest in Europe, the dolmen of Penhap, located in the south 5 km of the borough, is the best preserved of the island.  There are some crucifixes at the points of Trec’h, Brouël and Toulindac (Bois d’Amour) as well as in Penhap and Croix de Kerno. The Saint-Michel Church, located at the exit of the village, present some ex-votos to Sainte Anne. The Chapel Notre-Dame d’Esperance  19C, in the rue de la Mairie, also the Chapelle Sainte-Anne  17C in the bay of Guéric.

Of course, the main thing are the beautiful beaches, they have several but the very best is the Grande Plage or big beach. The Grande Plage is located next to the Bois d’Amour and Pointe de Toulindac near the port of Lério (ferry landing stage). My favorite beach site plages tv tells you more: https://www.plages.tv/detail/grande-plage-ile-aux-moines-56780

A bit of history I like on the monks’ island.  In 854, the king of Brittany Erispoë donated it to the abbey of Saint-Sauveur de Redon (created by his father, Nominoë).  After the Norman invasions of the 10C, the island is attached to the parish of Arradon. In 1543 she was elevated to parish status. In 1792, it became a town under the French name Isle-aux-Moines. During the French revolution, the town temporarily bore the name of Isle-du-Morbihan.

The town of Île aux Moines on heritage : https://www.mairie-ileauxmoines.fr/histoire-patrimoine/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the Île aux Moineshttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/iles/ile-aux-moines/

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the Île aux Moineshttps://www.morbihan.com/ile-aux-moines/l-ile-aux-moines/tabid/12565/offreid/220c2c71-08c5-42b5-aab8-48d832e3d686

There you go folks, another jewel in the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan just south of me, heaven on earth indeed! You ought to yourselves to check it out the Morbihan! Hope you have enjoy the introduction the ïle aux Moines and Port Blanc!

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

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May 18, 2022

Saint Armel and Ïle Tascon!!

Right off the bat this is a wonderful secluded off the beaten path of my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. I like to update this older post on the town of Saint Armel which the Ïle Tascon island belongs to, Hope you enjoy the post and the natural beauty as I.

I have come many times to the Rhuys peninsula or Presqu’île de Rhuys and past by on the D780 road always, never mind going there. Then, talking with collegues at work on what to do on weekends , decided to take a look at the map and found there is another island you can go to in low tide from the mainland and it is off the D780! The town of Saint Armel now finally discovered with the nice Île Tascon!!

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The mainland town of Saint Armel, is the name of the founder of the town’s Church. The name of the territory of Saint-Armel is first Prozat or Prorozat. From 1247, it depends on the Abbey of Saint Gildas of Rhuys (see post). At the French revolution, Prorozat is a simple brotherhood or chapel of Sarzeau (see post) . Formerly of Sarzeau, Saint-Armel was erected as a parish in 1849 and town in 1858-1859. The territory of Saint-Armel encompasses Bailleron island and Tascon island.

The Church of Saint-Armel   destroyed in 1855 , its immediately rebuilt until 1859. The Church is a banal form that has replaced the old Brotherhood Chapel. The square and pseudo-Romanesque Tower has three floors and a Bell Tower surrounded by a guard. The Church houses a statue of the Virgin and the Child, in cardboard molded pulp, dated from the beginning of the 19C.

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Tascon island  is in the Gulf of Morbihan , part of the town of Saint-Armel. The Île Tascon is generally rectangular in shape; its longest diagonal stretch does not exceed 1.5 km, and with 55 hectares, it is the third island of the Gulf of Morbihan by its surface.

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The Île Tascon is connected to the mainland by the rade of Tascon which is located on the coast of the town of Saint Armel. This submersible road connects the island of Tascon to the mainland parts of the town. The passage is only possible at low tide, about five hours per tidal cycle, for automobiles and pedestrians. The passage road is approximately 400 meters long, and the pavement is rudimentary and is pierced by three large pipes to allow the upstream basin to empty sea side and vice versa.

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At the junction of the main rade and the southern tip of the island, a second, more modest about 200 meters road  ,and sand-struck, is joined to the Enézy islet. The  Ïle Tascon has the particularity of being one of the last cultivated islands of the Gulf of Morbihan. The farm of Tascon Island, 18C. The barn is dated 1784. The presence of the Alaneaux family is reported in the village of Tascon in 1427; today about 3 persons lived there in winter a bit more in summer. 

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The east cove of Tascon island is home to the second largest eelgrass herbarium in the Gulf of Morbihan, representing an area of approximately 130 hectares. The Tascon cove is numerically the second site of bird reception in the Gulf. Associated with Sarzeau Bay, these two sites accounts for an average of more than 40% of the winter population counted in the Gulf, for only 4% of its area.

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Île de Tascon is connected to the mainland by the rade of Tascon which is located on the coast of the town of Saint Armel. This submersible road connects the island of Tascon to the mainland parts of the town. The passage is only possible at low tide, about five hours per tidal cycle, for automobiles and pedestrians. The passage road is approximately 400 meters long, and the pavement is rudimentary and is pierced by three large pipes to allow the upstream basin to empty sea side and vice versa. At the junction of the main rade and the southern tip of the island, a second, more modest about 200 meters road  ,and sand-struck, is joined to the Enézy islet.

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The Île Tascon has the particularity of being one of the last cultivated islands of the Gulf. The farm of Tascon Island, 18C. The barn is dated 1784. The presence of the Alaneaux family is reported in the village of Tascon in 1427; today about 3 persons lived there in winter a bit more in summer. We did not visit. The Facebook page of the farm of Tascon: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057121583819 

The east cove of Tascon island is home to the second largest eelgrass herbarium in the Gulf of Morbihan, representing an area of approximately 130 hectares. The Tascon cove is numerically the second site of bird reception in the Gulf. Associated with Sarzeau Bay, these two sites accounts for an average of more than 40% of the winter population counted in the Gulf of Morbihan, for only 4% of its area. On the other side of the Salt Marsh Road the seawater which enters through airlocks and stretches is particularly salty and leaves on the edges its snow. At low tide the sea is far, hardly if seen.

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However, on the way back we were hungry lol! and again another gem found. We passed by bt this restaurant several times, never stopping by as it on the run of the course to do things here. This time as nothing found in secluded Tascon island, and not much to eat in St Armel city center (only two bars!) looking to come into Vannes, well we saw Theix’as Bar in the town of Theix-Noyalo , and finally stop in to a nice surprise. Fixed menu at 12,80€ all you can eat buffet entrée, main dish (mine was fish), dessert (mine créme brulée) , wash down with a nice cold Leffe blonde Belgian beer, nice price , good food, great friendly family service, will be back. This is lovely country resto and plenty of free parking and picnic tables too, camping cars are allowed on the parking. My boys ahead on picture! Le Theix’as Bar, their webpage : https://theixas.wixsite.com/theixas

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Last but not least, a bit of history I like

One of the famous in Brittany was born here Marie le Franc which while study here went to Montreal Canada to teach French as well as newspaper reporter from 1906 to 1929. She later made several trips between France and Canada from 1929 to 1958 , where she start to published novels such as Grand Louis l’Innocent ,won prize Fémina 1927; Du pays Canadien , chosen by the Académie Française (French Academy)! ; Enfance Marine, that traces her life in the Rhuys peninsula here. A lake in the Laurents (near Montreal) of Canada bears her name since 1934. She received the order of the Legion of Honor of France and knight and then Officer of the legion in 1953 . From 1957 she lived in Sarzeau or at the retirement home of the Legion of Honor in Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines dept 78), where she passed away in 1964. Buried at the cemetary of Sarzeau in 1965 , her tomb is near the memorial to the Canadians soldiers perished in the Rhuys Peninsula during WWII.

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the sea salt of Tascon island in St Armelhttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/nature/le-sel-marin-de-saint-armel/

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the passage of St Armelhttps://www.morbihan.com/st-armel/le-passage-de-st-armel/tabid/12565/offreid/6b780272-e50a-42c4-97a5-7c24430b0c93

There you go folks, another gem in my world and so close to me, will definitively check it out again ,worth the detour! This was a nice off the beaten path trip to Saint Armel and the Île Tascon, Hope you enjoy as I

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

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May 18, 2022

Piazza di Spagna of Rome !!

And this is Rome as could not do justice to it without writing of another of my favorite squares. If you want to know Rome and its most modern look then by no means come to the squares. I have written several posts on Rome as my favorite Italian city, but feel that I need to tell you a bit more on the Piazza di Spagna or Spain’s square of Rome!

The Piazza di Spagna is one of my favorite squares in Rome, located in the luxury shopping district with via Condotti, Via del Corso, via Borgognona, via Frattina and Via del Babuino all around it! This is a very nice area to do your walks and very chic we love it! I will be doing an update on text and links using same older pictures ; my son on the left ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

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A bit of history I like

In 1620 Spain took possession of this square renamed Spain’s square or piazza di Spagna to establish at No. 63 its embassy to the Holy See in a renaissance building. In 1629 the Barcaccia fountain was created at the request of Pope Urbain VIII. Between 1644 the Palace di Propaganda Fide was built south of the square. Since 1622 it has been the seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples of the Roman Curia. At the beginning of the 18C there are many hotels and inns: The District is entirely dedicated to the accommodation of foreigners. And according to the parish registers of all the inhabitants of the city, the area of Piazza di Spagna can be considered one of the most cosmopolitan of Europe.

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Between 1723 and 1726 the French cardinal Pierre Guérin de Tencin ordered built by France La Scalinata , monumental staircase in marbre of late Baroque style of 138 marches on three levels which was inaugurated by the Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee (Holy Year) of 1725.  In 1854 Pope Pius IX erected the ancient column of the Immaculate Conception in front of the Spanish Embassy on Mignanelli square, which extended the piazza di Spagna. Every 8th December, the statue of the Virgin is the subject of an annual Marian pilgrimage with the presence of the Pope.

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In the 19C the British poet John Keats spent the last days of his life at No. 26 in the Casina Rossa where he disappeared in 1821 (to the right of the monumental staircase. In the same house, the Swedish writer Axel Munthe, author of the Book of San Michele, opened his medical practice at the end of the 19C. The house is now a museum dedicated to its two famous inhabitants. In 1834 the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta installed its international headquarters in a palace of 68 via Condotti with an extraterritorial status granted by the Italian state.

The Rome tourist office on the Piazza di Spagnahttps://www.turismoroma.it/fr/places/piazza-di-spagna

There you go folks, an unique square to be visited while in Rome. For us the walk, the architecture ,history was top we stop by a few times while in Rome. You will love the walks around the Piazza di Spagna, just lovely. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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May 18, 2022

The churches of Rome, part III

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy, I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome !

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo is located on the hill of Celio, ( Piazza Dei SS. Giovanni e Paolo ) ,The construction of the basilica began in 398, on the order of the Byzantine senator Pammachius. At this place an ancient building was used by a Christian community and tradition says that it was the residence of the two holy brothers, John and Paul, who were martyred in 362 under the reign of Julian the Apostate. The place became their burial place. The original church was damaged by the Visigoths of Alaric during the sack of Rome in 410, then by an earthquake in 442, and in 1084 the Normans sacked it. Pope Paschal II undertook major works, with the addition of the campanile, the portico and an adjoining monastery. The church was thus called the Titulus Pammachii and is recorded as such in the acts of the synod held by Pope Symmachus in 499. It is home to the Passionists and is the burial place of St Paul of the Cross. Additionally, it is the station Church of the first Friday in Lent. At the base of the bell tower, we notice the remains of the Temple of Claude. On part of the latter, a convent adjoining the church was built. We can also see the foundations of the nearby temple, in the ancient rue du Clivus Scauri.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santi-giovanni-e-paolo-al-celio

The Church of Saint Louis of the French (Piazza di S. Luigi de’ Francesi, ) has been the French national church in Rome since 1589. It is located between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, its style is essentially Baroque. It is famous for preserving three canvases by Caravaggio dedicated to Saint Matthew and for the frescoes of Dominicino. after a project by Giacomo della Porta, to be completed in 1589. It was financed among others by the Valois kings of France, Catherine de Medici, or the Duke of Lorraine. It was built to be a parish for the French residents of the city. From an artistic point of view, the church is an exaltation of France through the representation of its saints and its greatest historical figures. On the facade, there are statues made by Pierre de l’Estache: Charlemagne, St Louis, Sainte-Clotilde, and Sainte Jeanne de Valois. In addition, the salamander of François I is present at the ends.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/san-luigi-dei-francesi-st-louis-french

The Church Santa Maria in Traspontina (Via della Concilazione,14c) ,this is the wide avenue leading to St. Peter’s Basilica. trajectory of cannonballs launched from Castel Sant’Angelo. This is also why the current dome of the church is very crushed. On its site there was an ancient Roman pyramidal tomb. Its construction began in 1566 ,and was completed in 1637. It has long been the seat of the Carmelite parish of Santa Maria del Carmelo in Traspontina, already existing in the High Middle Ages. The church was established as a cardinalatial titulus by Pope Sixtus V in 1587. The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Carmel. the Chapel of St Knud (king Canute IV) is the National Shrine of Denmark. The large facade has two levels, divided into bays by projecting colonnades. Above the central portal, a niche houses an 18C stucco group of the Madonna and Child.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/chiesa-di-santa-maria-traspontina

The Basilica of Saint Mary of the People (Piazza del Popolo, 12 ) is one of the most important buildings of the Roman Renaissance, not only for its architectural features, but also for the paintings and sculptures that make it a valuable museum of Renaissance art.  It is located in People’s Square, near the Porta del Popolo. A first small church was built by Pope Pascal II, on the tombs of Domizi to hunt, according to legend, the spirit of Nero who was buried there. More likely, it would have been built to celebrate the conquest of Jerusalem, at the end of the first crusade. The current church was founded in the 15C under Sixtus IV, giving it its beautiful Renaissance appearance. It was modified in the 17C by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Le Bernini) under Alexander VII, to give it a more lively, typically Baroque appearance. Its simple, Latin cross layout with three naves corresponds to the model of Cistercian churches. Its pretty 15C bell tower is of a style originating in northern Italy. Many famous artists worked there, such as Bramante, Sansovino, Pinturicchio, Mino da Fiesole, Raphael, Bernini and Caravaggio.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-maria-del-popolo

The Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Via del Corso, 529 ) is located on Piazza del Popolo , located north of the ancient Champ de Mars. Its “twin”, Santa Maria in Montesanto, is opposite, just on the other side of Via del Corso. In the twin churches are found the remains of two pyramidal tombs, similar to that of Caius Cestius. They would date from the time of Augustus and probably formed a monumental entrance to the Champ de Mars. The two churches are on their sites. According to one tradition, a miraculous rescue of a baby who fell into the Tiber on June 20, 1325, after his mother summoned a painted image of the Virgin, led to the construction of a chapel dedicated to Mary, near the Tiber, towards the current Margherita bridge, and where the image was installed. The facade is characterized by the presence of a rectangular portico crowned with a pediment, on which we can read the name of the benefactor of the church, Cardinal Gastaldi. The columns of the pronaos were originally intended for the bell towers of Saint-Pierre designed by Bernini, but which were never made. The octagonal cupola, covered with slate tiles, was built by Carlo Fontana.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://turismoroma.it/en/places/church-santa-maria-dei-miracoli

The Basilica Church Santa Maria in Cosmedin (Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18 ) is a rare and fine example of medieval architecture in Rome. It was built in the 7C on the remains of ancient buildings on the edge of the Forum Boarium, the ancient food market near the Tiber. Specifically, there are remains of the tuff walls of the unconquered altar of Hercules, and columns of the portico added in the 4C are incorporated into the current walls. The church was enlarged by Pope Hadrian I in the 8C, and entrusted to Byzantine monks who settled in the neighborhood after fleeing iconoclastic persecution in the East. The name “Cosmedin” (ornament in Greek) comes from the many decorations they made there. It has been modified several times over time, with a substantial reconstruction in the 12C, including the addition of the campanile. In the 17C and 18C, important Baroque restorations were carried out, such as a Rococo facade. But at the end of the 19C, work was done to restore the medieval aspect of the building. Its harmonious seven-stories Romanesque bell tower with its triple openings is one of the most beautiful in this style in Rome, erected in the 12C. It rises 34 meters and retains a Pisan bell from 1283. The portico with its semicircular arches which precedes the facade is a realization of the Cosmati of the 12C. It houses the famous Bocca della Verità, (“Mouth of Truth” ), an ancient manhole that was installed here in the 12tC. Folk tradition has it that it would bite the hand of anyone who utters a lie.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-maria-cosmedin

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore) was erected after the Council of Ephesus in 431 under Pope Sixtus III, this was the first Roman church dedicated to the cult of the divine motherhood of Mary, sanctioned during this ecumenical council. The history of the building also includes many legends, the best known of which is that of the “miracle of the snow”: on the night of August 4 to 5, 356, the Virgin appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius indicating the place where to build a church. At this place, that night it would have miraculously snowed. The most important of the Roman churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary thus stands at the top of Mount Cispio (the highest of the three mountains that make up the Esquiline hill), erected on the remains of a building dating from Augustus. The original church, with three naves and a narthex, without transept, was therefore founded between 432 and 440 by Sixtus III. In the second half of the 14C, the bell tower was built. The basilica is a mixture of architecture from several periods: the nave and its ancient Ionic columns, the early Christian sanctuary from the 5C, the Romanesque campanile from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance ceilings, the Baroque domes, etc. Having retained its medieval character for a long time, the basilica was considerably transformed from the end of the 16C by Popes Sixtus V and Paul V. The two large side chapels (Sistine and Pauline) were built, as well as the building to the right of the facade. .Between 1670 and 1676, Carlo Rainaldi redesigned the apse. The last major construction is the facade in the first half of the 18C, and the building located on its left. This facade is superimposed on the older ones. In the loggia of the blessing, accessible by a ladder under the porch, the mosaics of the decoration are preserved. These were made at the end of the 13C. The upper part represents Christ blessing, between the symbols of  the evangelists, the Virgin, angels and saints. In the lower register are depicted episodes from the life of Pope Liberius.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:  https://turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-maria-maggiore

The Church Santa Maria di Loreto (Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, 26) is an early 16C church, built by the bakers’ guild of Rome, on the corner of Trajan’s Forum. After the Jubilee of 1500, the association of bakers (Sodalizio dei Fornai) received permission from Pope Alexander VI  to built a church at this site. The church was inaugurated by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1507. It was completed by Iacopo del Duca in 1576. The sacristy was rebuilt in the 19C. The base of the church is built of brick covered with travertine. On the tympanum of the portal there is a marble sculpted by Andrea Sansovino (1550) which represents the Madonna with Child and the house of Loreto. The octagonal dome is surmounted by a lantern.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/church-santa-maria-di-loreto-al-foro-traiano

The current Basilica of Saint Agnes outside the Walls (Via Nomentana, 349 ) was built by Pope Honorius I in the first half of the 7C, above the venerated tomb of the saint. There was previously a church built in 324 at the request of Constantius, Constantine’s daughter, above a cemetery and the catacombs. It is one of the best examples of early Christian basilicas, and one of the best preserved. The old church was half-buried, and its now high door was walled up. The ground was at the level of the tomb of Saint Agnes. The bell tower was erected under Julius II in the 15C and the current appearance of the church dates from several restorations, in the 17C and 19C, including the construction of chapels. On January 21 of each year, two lambs are blessed in the church and a pallium is sewn with their wool, then entrusted by the pope to the new archbishops. The exterior of the building has two levels. The upper brick part was the only one visible until the 17C, the lower part being underground. The old door giving access to the grandstand has been walled up. The lower part is covered in plaster, with a magnificent Renaissance oak door. A narthex precedes the entrance, where a marble slab bears the original inscription of Pope Damasus dedicated to the martyrdom of Saint Agnes, from the 4C.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santagnese-outside-walls-and-mausoleum-santa-costanza

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post http://www.romeartlover.it/Churches.html

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

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May 17, 2022

The churches of Rome, part II

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy. I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome, part II

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Basilica Church of Saint Sabina (Piazza Pietro D’Illiria, 1, ) is probably the finest surviving early Christian church in Rome. It was erected by Peter of Illyria, priest of Dalmatia, from 422 to 432, near an ancient temple of Juno and the site of the legendary house of the Roman Sabina, who later became a saint. Dedicated to Saint Sabina of the Aventine, it is the seat of the Curia of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) since 1219. The building was restored several times, disfigured in the 16C by the closing of twenty of its windows. Restorations at the start of the 20C restored it to its former glory. As can be seen from some inscriptions found near the basilica there was the temple of Juno Regina, of which 24 columns were used for the construction of the church. In the 9C, the church was incorporated into the imperial bastions and interior changed dramatically during restorations in 1587, and 1643. Again, in the first half of the 20C, restored the original structure. The bell tower dates from the 10C. Saint Dominic would have planted an orange tree in the cloister, coming from Spain, his native country. It is said to be miraculous. It is visible through a hole in the wall of the church. The Lapis Diaboli, a round black stone placed on a spiral column to the left of the entrance, or “stone of the devil”, is said to have been thrown by the devil against Dominic as he prayed on the marble slab covering the bones of martyrs, breaking it into pieces. This slab, actually broken by the architect Domenico Fontana during the restoration of 1527, was reconstituted and is now visible in the center of the choir. In 1287, a conclave was held there to elect a successor to Honorius IV. But Rome was hit by a serious epidemic of malaria and six cardinals died during the conclave. All the others fled, except one, Girolamo Masci, who on his return from the conclave was elected Pope Nicholas IV on February 22, 1288. The church has no facade, this being integrated into the narthex, in one of the four arms of the old portico which is currently in the Dominican monastery. The smooth walls and especially the large windows , characterize the first Christian constructions, the art of making windows of this size having been lost in the centuries following the fall of the empire. The old tower was replaced by a Baroque bell tower.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica : https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-saint-sabina-allaventino

The Church Santa Maria in Montesanto located in Campo Marzio, in Piazza del Popolo, between Via del Corso and Via del Babuino, also known as the Church of the Artists. It is commonly known as the Twin Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, although it has significant differences especially in the layout. The name of the church comes from the fact that it replaced a small church that belonged to the Carmelite friars from the province of Monte Santo in Sicily. It was built in 1662, initiative Pope Alexander VII, by Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi that he was later buried. The work was interrupted on the death of the pontiff in 1667; resumed in 1673 and completed in 1679. The church is planted in an elliptical shape, while its so-called “twin” Santa Maria of the Miracles is circular; six are the side chapels, against four of its “twin”.in July 1825 papa Leone XII raised it to the dignity of minor basilica. From 1953 the church became the seat of the “Artists’ Mass”, a unique initiative created in 1941 by Ennio Francia; after changing several places of worship, liturgical event was housed in Piazza del Popolo in the church where every Sunday for over fifty years is celebrated this Eucharistic celebration that take representatives part of the world of culture and the arts, It is also in this church that the funerals of people linked to the world of culture and television are often celebrated. For these reasons it is also known as the “Church of the Artists”. Beneath the twin churches are the remains of two pyramid tombs, very similar in size and shape to Pyramid of Caius Cestius and the Vatican pyramid ; these two tombs were traced and Augustan age were placed monumental entrance to campus Martius, precisely the function that the two churches today. In this church, on August 10, 1904, he was ordained priest Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope Giovanni XXIII , an event commemorated by a plaque affixed during his pontificate. And my oldest son shown below!

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The Rome tourist office on the churchhttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-di-santa-maria-montesanto-church-artists

Located on the Aventine Hill near the Basilica of Saint Sabina, the Church of Saint Alexis (piazza Sant’Alessio, 23. ) was dedicated to Saint Boniface until 1217. It is believed to have been founded around the beginning of the 4C, rebuilt in 1216 by Pope Honorius III .Its very beautiful campanile is Romanesque. The entire interior dates mostly from a 1750 reconstruction by Tommaso de Marchis, although older elements such as cosmatesque paving remain. There are elements from all periods, such as the Romanesque bell tower, columns from the 13C church in the eastern apse, the medieval portico and a Romanesque crypt. The 16C façade was reworked by de Marchis, who also designed the high altar.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica Church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-ss-bonifacio-e-alessio-allaventino

The 17C Church of San Rocco is located on the Campo Marzio, near the Tiber. It is next to the Mausoleum of Augustus, exactly at Largo S. Rocco, 1 , It was built in 1499 thanks to the initiative of the Confraternity of San Rocco and Pope Alexander VI  ,and dedicated to San Rocco of Montpellier. It was originally a chapel connected to the hospital near the ancient church of San Martino. The one was built to help the plague sufferers on the initiative of the Confraternity of hosts and boatmen, who lived near the Tiber. Nearby was the ancient river port of Ripetta. It was largely rebuilt in 1657 on a project by Giovanni Antonio de Rossi. Valadier’s neoclassical facade dates from the first half of the 19C. A new, Palladio influenced façade  was built in 1832. The surroundings were transformed in 1890 with the demolition of the port of Ripetta due to the canalization of the Tiber and the construction of the Ponte Cavour. Then the neighborhood was radically renovated between 1934 and 1938, including the demolition of the hospital.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/church-san-rocco-allaugusteo

The Church Saint Andrew of the Quirinal (Via del Quirinale, 30) is a Jesuit church. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Italian Baroque, often referred to as the most beautiful of the churches designed by Bernini. Its construction, from 1658 to 1670, was led by his pupil, De Rossi. It was Pope Alexander VII who commissioned it to replace an old 16C. The facade is preceded by two concave wings that frame the entrance to which a small semicircular staircase leads. This contour, concave-convex-concave, is characteristic of Bernini’s creations. The entrance portal bears the arms of Camillo Pamphili, who contributed financially to the construction of the building. The nave is elliptical, the shortest axis being that between the entrance and the high altar, the chapels are placed oblique in such a way that they recall the cross of Saint Andrew.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/church-santandrea-al-quirinale

The Church of Saint Bosco or Giavanni Bosco; a minor basilica located at Viale dei Salesiani, 9; the main entrance is on the Piazza San Giovanni Bosco. The basilica is on a monumental axis overlooking a large square (piazza San Giovanni Bosco) which is continued by the wide Viale San Giovanni Bosco to another large square, piazza dei Consoli. The Church was under the care of the Salesians of which St John Bosco was the founder. The Basilica was built in the early 1950s on behalf of the Salesians. On 12 September 1952 the first stone of the new building was laid by the cardinal vicar Clemente Micara, but the actual work began about a year later; the church was inaugurated on 2 May 1959 with solemn consecration by Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella, protector of the Salesian Congregation; most of the interior, however, was still to be built, and it was only in 1964 that the building was completed according to the original plans. The day after the consecration, May 3, Pope John XXIII visited the new church to pray in front of the tomb of the Turin saint to whom the sacred building was named and whose urn, for the occasion, had been transferred from Turin. in Rome. The church was entrusted to the Salesian Fathers, who are the owners of the church. Pope Paul VI, elevated it to cardinal deaconry, with the name of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana and, follows promoting it to the dignity of minor basilica.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/san-giovanni-bosco

The Basilica di Santa Croce en Gerusalemme or Holy Cross in Jerusalem ( Piazza di S. Croce in Gerusalemme ) is one of the “seven churches of Rome”, the stopovers of pilgrims during holy years. The church is said to have been founded in the 4C, referred to as the Basilica Sessoriana, within a large building from the beginning of the 3C, dedicated to Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine. According to tradition, a relic of the True Cross, brought from Jerusalem by Saint Helena, is kept there. At the time, the Basilica’s floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross which is in Jerusalem, but the Basilica itself is “in Jerusalem” in the sense that a piece  of Jerusalem was moved to Rome for its foundation. The facade, original with its oval vestibule, dates from a reconstruction of 1744.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-croce-gerusalemme

The Church of San Franseco d’Assisi a Ripa was built around 1231 in place of a building dependent on a neighboring Benedictine monastery, which would have housed Saint Francis of Assisi in 1219. You can see the cell where he slept and the rock he used as a pillow in 1219 as well as his crucifix. The current 17C building is renowned for retaining an ecstasy sculpted by Bernini. Some mentions already evoke a church in the 11C, where a building was built near Ripa Grande, the “great shore”, which depended on a nearby hospital. It was restored and entrusted to the Franciscans in 1229. It is still the seat of a Franciscan parish. After works at the beginning of the 16C, it was substantially rebuilt from 1680, with a simple Latin cross interior divided into three naves and three chapels on each side, decorated with numerous Baroque sculptures. In the square opposite the church, an Ionic column surmounted by an iron cross was erected in 1847 by Pius IX. The 18C façade, designed by Mattia de Rossi, is wider than the interior of the church.

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The Rome tourist office on the church: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/sanctuary-san-francesco-ripa-grande

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post http://www.romeartlover.it/Churches.html

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

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May 17, 2022

The churches of Rome, part I

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy, I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome !

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Oratory of the Holy Sacrament al Tritone ( Via del Tritone), located in Piazza Poli, is also known as the “Oratory of the Guardian Angel” , but in essence it is the oratory of the church of Santa Maria in Via , built for the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament between 1576 and 1596. In 1681 it was restructured in a fully Baroque style; in the 18C the building was completely rebuilt. In the second half of the 19C or about 1875 the interior was decorated. Particularly elegant and lively is the façade ,the lower order has a beautiful portal framed by two pilasters and surmounted by two heads of winged angels; on the sides two pairs of semi-columns, with precious Ionic capitals, support a high broken tympanum, above which there are two marble statues,depicting “Faith” and “Hope”. 

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The Rome tourist office on the oratory : https://turismoroma.it/en/places/oratorio-del-santissimo-sacramento-al-tritone

The Basilica of Santi Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (via del Corso ,437) is a minor basilica, and traditionally the church of the Lombards of Rome, including Milanese. Its construction began in 1612, on a 10C building. The title of cardinal of this church traditionally belongs to the Archbishop of Milan. On August 29, 1471, Pope Sixtus IV approved the founding of the Brotherhood of Lombards, who were numerous in Rome, and ceded to them the Church of Saint Nicholas of Toffo on the Champ de Mars. It was renamed Saint Ambrose, then also dedicated to Saint Charles, after the canonization of Charles Borromeo in 1610. The church was rebuilt by the brotherhood. It was originally designed in 1612 , then built the dome and the apse. The third largest dome in Rome. The vast interior is divided into three naves with a barrel vault and three chapels on each side. It is very bright, decorated with stucco, faux marble and frescoes. It is one of the best examples of late Roman Baroque theatrical pageantry. The church includes a large ambulatory behind the altar, the only one in Rome, which was inspired by Milan Cathedral. In a niche behind the altar is the precious relic of the heart of Saint Charles.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santi-ambrogio-e-carlo-al-corso

The Basilica of the Holy Apostles ( Piazza Santi Apostoli, 51 ) was founded in the Byzantine era, in the 6C by Pope Pelagius I. It houses the relics of the apostles Philip and James. It is the only basilica in Rome that was not built over pre-existing Roman buildings. The architectural model of the early church was that of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles of Constantinople. This large church decorated with mosaics was destroyed in 1348 by an earthquake. It was not restored until the 15C by Martin V of the Colonna family. The porch in front of the facade was erected and the apse of the basilica decorated with a magnificent fresco of the Ascension, and whose perspectives are remarkable. After reconstruction in the 18C, the fragments of this fresco were distributed between the Vatican and the Quirinal Palace. Adjacent to Palazzo Colonna, in front of the unadorned neoclassical façade by Valadier (1827), the late 15C porch spans nine arches on two different orders. The first with its octagonal pillars bears the coat of arms of the Della Rovere family on the capitals. The second with its Ionic columns framing the openings formed a loggia. It was closed by Carlo Rainaldi in 1681, with baroque windows and the balustrade bearing the statues of Christ and the twelve apostles.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-twelve-holy-apostles 

The official name of the Basilica is Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs or Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, ( Piazza della Repubblica ) It was Pope Pio IV who decided to install this church in the imposing Tepidarium and in the central hall of the Baths of Diocletian in 1561. It was Michelangelo who was in charge of designing this conversion. Modifications were made in the 17C by Vanvitelli, including the rich interior decoration. The facade corresponds to the former exedra of the Calidarium. The grand and harmonious interior is in the shape of a Greek cross, the arms corresponding to the central body of the ancient baths. The entrance vestibule is on the site of the Tepidarium. The transept approaches 100 meters in length, 27 meters in width and 28 meters in height. Eight imposing red granite columns are original, they are 14 meters high and have a diameter of 1.5 meters. Others, in bricks, have been added.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-maria-degli-angeli-e-dei-martiri

On the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere,  the current Basilica Church of Saint Mary of Trastevere was built in the 12C under Innocent II. Its foundations rest on the ruins of a 3C Christian building, one of the oldest domestic churches in Rome, known as the Titus Callisti. Legend has it that an oil spring would have sprung up here in 38 BC. J.-C., announcing the coming of the messiah for the Jews of the district. Another story indicates that Pope Callistus I installed a Christian community in a tavern, which took the name of Titulus Callisti. In 340, Pope Julius I built a larger building, then designated as Titulus Iulii, one of the first twenty-five parishes in Rome. It would have been the second church dedicated to the Virgin, after Sainte-Marie Majeure, during the 5C. In the 8C and 9C, it was enlarged with side naves, then Gregory IV remodeled the choir, added the chancel, the ciborium, and a crypt which housed the relics of Calixte I. The church was rebuilt from 1140 to 1143 by Pope Innocent II, adding a transept, the mosaics of the apse, and architectural elements which were recovered from the baths of the Caracalla and in the temple of Isis on the Gianicolo hill. The facade features a 13C mosaic of the nursing Virgin, surrounded by ten women carrying lamps. At the top of the charming 12C Romanesque bell tower, a niche houses a mosaic of the Virgin and Child. The portico was rebuilt at the beginning of the 18C during the restoration of the facade. On its parapet, stand the sculptures of the popes Calixte I, Corneille, Jules I, and the martyr Calépode.  The interior of the portico preserves Christian frescoes and fragments of sarcophagi from the 3C.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-santa-maria-trastevere

The Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano ( Via dei Fori Imperiali, 1 ) is dedicated to the two Greek brothers, doctors and martyrs. It is located in the ancient Forum of Vespasian, on the site of the Temple of Peace. The temple with the library of Peace were given to Pope Felix IV by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great in 527. These two buildings were then transformed into a basilica. It was accessed from the Roman Forum, through an entrance hall with a circular plan (known as the Temple of Romulus). In 1632, Pope Urban VIII redesigned the building, in particular by raising the ground level by 7 meters and by fitting out seven chapels. The old floor of the old basilica is still visible on the lower level. In 1947, the old entrance by the Temple of Romulus was closed and replaced by a new entrance built on Via dei Fori Imperiali. Near the new entrance, on the walls of two rooms of the Peace Forum were the 150 marble slabs that make up the Forma Urbis Romae. (Antique map of Rome, engraved under Septimius Severus).

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-ss-cosma-and-damiano

The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano , Constantine built the first basilica in 320. It is the oldest church, the mother of all churches, which inspired and still inspires Christian buildings. San Giovanni in Laterano is the cathedral of Rome, the seat of the bishop of Rome, who is the Pope himself (San Pietro is the church of the Vatican). The church was then rebuilt several times over the course of history, due to earthquakes, looting and fires. From its original version, it has only kept its proportions and a large part of the Baptistery. Rebuilt by Nicholas IV at the end of the 13C, it was burned shortly afterwards in 1308. Rebuilt and decorated by Giotto, the fire hit it again in 1360. In the mid-17C, reconstruction with the addition embellishement of the interior with twelve niches that house the large statues of the apostles. The facade dates back to 1734, the apse and the mosaics were renovated in the late 19C. The interior is 130 meters long. Various relics relating to Christ are preserved there. A small portion of a fresco by Giotto remains, depicting Boniface VIII in the Jubilee of 1300. There is the beautiful cloister, and the Lateran Baptistery near the basilica, which preserves some beautiful early Christian remains. On the piazza del Laterano square stands the high Egyptian obelisk of the 15C BC, coming from Karnak, which at 36 meters, it is the tallest Egyptian obelisk.

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The Rome tourist office on the Basilicahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/basilica-st-john-lateran

The Scala Santa or Holy Stairs are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roma Catholic Relics located in an edifice on extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome near the Archbasilica of St John in Laterano (St Giovanni).   Officially, the edifice is titled the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs (Pontificio Santuario della Scala Santa). The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St Lawrence in  simply the  Sancta Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, which was the personal chapel of the early Popes. Thousands of pilgrims climb the 28 steps of La Scala Santa, each year, while praying and meditating on the passion of Christ. These steps would indeed have been trodden by Jesus while he was going to the Praetorium of Jerusalem to be judged there by Pontius Pilate. Only small portholes allow to see the red spots that tradition attributes to the blood of Christ. According to tradition , the Scala Santa, or Sacla Pilati is said to have been transported from Jerusalem to Rome at the beginning of the 4C by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. It is now installed near the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran, in a sanctuary desired by Pope Sixtus V.

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The Rome tourist office on the Sanctuaryhttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/pontifical-sanctuary-holy-stairs

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post: http://www.romeartlover.it/Churches.html

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

Tags: ,
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