Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 18, 2022

The Collége de Juilly, the oldest college of France !!

I was watching a program on TV and saw an article about this institution that I remembered passing close to read the panels, And as my series black and white, no pictures, fit well into it decided to write a post on its history been so close to my dear city of Meaux, This is my rendition homage to the Collége de Juilly, the oldest college of France !! Hope you enjoy it as I. The material taken from my records, the below webpages and wikipedia.

The town of Juilly is located in the Seine-et-Marne department 77, in the Île-de-France region. It is only 13 km from Meaux and about 30+ km from Paris. You can come to the town by bus line 711: Meaux – Moussy-le-Neuf, I have driven the road D27 from Meaux passing by Juilly on my way taking the Francilienne N104 road around Roissy CDG airport and home, From Paris you can take the BP at Porte de Bercy direction Saint Mande and get on the A3 by Bagnolet direction Rosny sur Bois to the exit/sortie 1 of the La Francilienne here name A104 continue on the N2 same road really,,, direction Saint Mard where you get off on the D404 direction Juilly bear right on the road D9E into city center Juilly, about one hour, By public transports take about 1h30 taking train at Gare de l’Est to Meaux and there the above bus 711 to Juilly.

The Collége de Juilly institution and its park laid out in the 18C, famous for its boarding school created in 1638 and closed in 2012. In the 1960s, it was among the pioneers of teaching English by total immersion on the south coast of England, a method immortalized in Michel Lang’s film: À nous les petits Anglaises.(To us little English girls), The College of Juilly is an educational institution, placed under the supervision of the Oratory of France, which operates almost continuously from 1638 to 2012. It included a kindergarten, a primary school, a college and a high school. Reserved for boys, it had become mixed in the 1980s and then welcomed students, boys and girls, in boarding, half-board and day schools. It is unused abandon ! but still standing as the oldest college of France !! Read on………………..

A bit long history I like

In 470, Saint Geneviève accompanied by Saint Celine stopped in the village of Juilly. According to legend, she kneels there to pray, thus revealing a spring whose water gave them the strength to go to Paris. This spring quickly became a place of pilgrimage to which many sick people flocked. It is still in the center of the college, at the foot of the statue of Saint Geneviève.

Around the spring, the Counts of Dammartin created a domain which they gave as a fief to the Garlandes at the beginning of the 12C. In 1251, Blanche de Castille, mother of Saint Louis, (Louis IX) decided to set up an orphanage there for the children of the dead knights on crusades. It was in 1429 or 1430 that Joan of Arc would have stayed there. Nicolas Dangu, was appointed Abbot of Juilly when he was a simple cleric of the diocese of Chartres. He would later become adviser, master of requests and chancellor to the King of Navarre Antoine de Bourbon, father of Henri IV in 1555. This is how Antoine de Bourbon probably often came to meet Nicolas Dangu in Juilly. Dangu undertook to restore the abbey from 1552 to 1561, thanks to the munificence of Henri II d’Albret (grandfather of Henri IV), whose heart is still preserved today in the chapel of the college. In this chapel there is also still a kneeling statue of Nicolas Dangu erected in 1561. In 1637, the last abbot of Juilly resigned his decadent and dilapidated Abbey in favor of the Oratorians.

The Fathers of the Oratory then founded the college in 1638. During this same period, Louis XIII wanted to found a college that he could visit regularly for the education of the sons of the French nobility, who fell on the battlefields but did not according to him, was not always sufficiently attached to the king. The college therefore received, presumably through letters patent, the title of Royal Academy. Thus, even today, the coat of arms of the College of Juilly associates the arms of France (fleurs de lys) with those of the Oratory (Jesus Maria surrounded by a crown of thorns). Bossuet, then bishop of Meaux, stays at the College in 1689, 1692, 1696 and 1697.

The French revolution brings to the life of the college a certain number of difficulties. The obligation of the oath of the clergy, voted by the Assembly on July 12 and November 27, 1790, is the first of them. Then comes the law of August 18, 1792, which abolishes secular congregations. The Oratory therefore no longer exists. In August 1792, a crowd entered the college under the orders of a commissioner from the Directory of Meaux, broke down the doors of the chapel, mutilated its cross, its vases, its torches, piled up its ornaments, its paintings and the carved wood of the old stalls in the large courtyard and turns it into a bonfire, around which the students are forced to sing the Carmagnole (revolutionary song). These were the only excesses that took place at Juilly. The corridors, which bore the names of Bérulle, Condren, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Bossuet, were renamed Robespierre, Marat, Saint-Just, Billaud and Couthon. In 1793, the college served for the first time as a hospital for the wounded of the armies of the North and of the Rhine. The few remaining students, notably those from the American colonies, were dismissed following the food shortage of 1794. After the thermidorian reaction, the college was put up for sale as national property.

The buildings, meanwhile, were not too affected and from 1796, the students were brought back. Moreover, the benevolence of the First Consul, (Napoleon I) who had visited his brother Jérôme at the college when the latter was a student there, helped to restore Juilly’s fortunes. The college thus became the Institution of Juilly in 1809. A decree signed by Napoléon I on August 29, 1813 in Dresden made it a real high school (lycée). In 1814, the Cossacks plundered the college. The fall of the Empire also marks the end of the use of any designation other than institution. The Royal Academy and Royal College designations, therefore no longer apply. The name maison de Juilly will be printed until 1828 on circulars, then, from 1829, the name Collège de Juilly is taken over.

On January 6, 1815, three priests, former Oratorians, bought the college but not too long after the dead priests, the difficulties in raising the college and reviving the oratory had repercussions on the life of the college , It was therefore necessary to give up the college The college was sold on July 12, 1828. It was then sought to transfer the college to a teaching congregation to ensure, once again, the long-term future of the college. But at that time, the Jesuits were expelled and the other congregations were still subject to revolutionary laws. Therefore , it was decided to turn it a congregation in the process of formation, the Congregation of Saint-Pierre, founded in 1828, But on August 15, 1832, the abolition of the Avenir (future), the disappearance of the agency and the dissolution of the Congregation of Saint -Pierre, came to stop the college.

The Oratory was reborn in 1852. Surprisingly, however, the new Oratory showed no rush to take possession of the most beautiful jewel of its heritage, which it nevertheless did on May 13, 1867. The fathers of the Oratory took over the direction of Juilly. Six Oratorian fathers, successively ensured the direction of the establishment until 1903. It is particularly important to remember from this period the construction, from 1887 to 1889, of the current chapel and, just below it, of the hall of Busts. In 1903, the religious congregations responsible for Catholic education were dissolved in France.(law of separation of State and Church), The Oratorians dispersed, and the management of the college was successively taken over by two priests from the diocese of Meaux. In fact, from 1913 to 1930 the college experienced a period of recovery and vigor.

During the Great War or WWI, on Father Sabatier’s proposal, a large hospital room was opened in the halle de Bustes or hall of busts, while the teachers’ refectory, whitewashed with ripolin, became an operating room. Then three dormitories, other operating rooms and an x-ray room were opened, making the college a branch of the American Red Cross (doctors from New York arrived to practice there). Almost normal school activity continued until 1918. In June, the entire college was made available to the American Red Cross, which set up fifteen tents and a thousand beds there and treated victims of the Battle of Belleau Wood.(the first engagement of American troops of the American Expeditionary Force, Lafayette we are here !)

When the war was over, the interior of most of the college buildings had to be restored, as well as many roof tiles. In the chapel, the side chapels of the transept had stained glass windows evoking the two patron saints of Juilly: Saint Geneviève and Joan of Arc . A Cavaillé-Coll parlor organ, coming from a castle in Sologne, was also purchased in 1925 and placed in the gallery. The other major improvement of this period was the construction of the library in 1928.

In the years 1980-1990, the college educated a thousand students, including 600 boys in boarding school. After several years of financial difficulties, the establishment was placed in receivership in March 2012. On May 16, 2012, the High Court instance of Meaux pronounces the judicial liquidation of the establishment. The Collége de Juilly closes its doors on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. In 2018, the buildings are in an advanced state of disrepair, the main courtyard is fallow, the library housing thousands of books is vandalized. The college bell, recast in its original form in 1849 ,and the clock dated 1596 are still save inside, The college has a very fine library which includes a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, which was offered to La Fayette, as well as the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert in its original edition. In 2018, it was vandalized and thousands of works disappeared. The chapel threatens to fall into ruin. The college park It has not been maintained since 2012 and has returned to the wild state.

Many illustrious names in the history of France were students or visited the college/lycee de Juilly such as Joan of Arc, Bossuet, Jean de la Fontaine, Charles de Montesquieu, Paul Marmottan, Alexandre de Beauharnais, Jérôme Bonaparte, Vaucanson, Jean-Dominique Cassini, Auguste Marseille Barthélemy, François-Joseph-Marie Fayolle, Philippe Noiret, and Michel Polnareff to name just a few.

The town of Juilly on public transports : 

A bit more on the national archives of France on Juilly college :–mxp7s2ieog5j

One of the sites I read, Histoire et Patrimoine or history and heritage of France on juilly college :

There you go folks, another wonderful historical and architectural gem of my belle France. There is so much here, many are preserve and kept open for the pleasure of all. Many more are not, and cannot be visited as the place is under surveillance, but worth the detour to see it, eventually. The Collége de Juilly is part of the history of France as still the oldest school in France ! Again, hope you have enjoy it as I

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

April 3, 2022

Former Colegio de los Jesuitas of Cuenca!

Well if you have been reading my blog, for which I thank you; you know my sentimental attachment to Cuenca and many family vacations. I ,also, have, several posts on the city and surrounding areas in Castilla La Mancha autonomous community. However, there was one older post crammed with several churches of great architectural and historical value that I have decided to spin off into individual posts giving them the credit they deserve in my blog. Hope you enjoy each of them as we did!

Walking down Calle Trabuco, you come into the Colegio de los Jesuitas from the 16C (jesuit college), precisely at 30, Calle de San Pedro in Cuenca.  The portal of the Jesuit College faces Calle San Pedro street. The Jesuits founded the college in Cuenca in 1554, in a house donated to them by Canon Pedro del Pozo, which was located on Calle de San Pedro. This portal is the last vestige of what was the first Jesuit college in Cuenca. In it, the semicircular arch is shown, between a plastic and linear decoration of a clear Renaissance sign, framed between Ionic pilasters, which rise on very high bases and far exceed the key of the arch. They thus form a space of respectable proportions between it and the cornice; so that, in the Baroque era, a large shield belonging to the order of the Jesuits could be fitted.


The front of the building is the last vestige that is preserved today, of this Jesuit school. The school had its own church known as Church of the Circumcision, of which we know nothing today, it takes its name from the theme represented in the altarpiece and paintings inside, the latter made by Cincinato, a Florentine painter, who worked in the Court of Felipe II. After the expulsion of the Order of the Jesuits from Spanish territory, by the law decreed by Carlos III, the building began to house the Foundation for the Memory of Foundlings of San Julián.

The first news that appears about the founding of the College of Foundlings is from 1664, with the creation of the Memory of Foundlings of “San Julián” of the Cathedral of Cuenca. This pious memory was endowed with farms and rents in towns like Moncalvillo, where orphans between the ages of 8 and 13 were educated. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the king Carlos III ceded the school to the foundlings, and from that time they were raised and educated in the aforementioned school until approximately 1836, when by order of the Political Government of the Province of Cuenca , they moved to the Casa de Misericordia or Mercy House, losing its ecclesiastical character by remaining under the supervision and control of the Municipal Charity Board of Cuenca.

The current center for the elderly dependent on the Social Services of the province of Cuenca, which began in the summer of 1967, built on the land of the old Casa de Beneficencia or Casa de Misericordia, of which only its façade remained standing, dismantled and set back at No 2 Calle de Colón.

The Ministry of Culture of Spain has more info on the Colegio de Jesuits of Cuenca

There you go folks, a dandy nice Portal of the Colegio Jesuita in in wonderful Cuenca; we love it. There is so much to see in this Unesco World Heritage Site indeed. Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 18, 2022

Curiosities of my road warrior western campaign!!

Well, I have been saying road warrior in my posts. The reason is I love to travel by car and lucky to be in belle France , both central north and west areas that allowed me to do these trips. I have passed by many many small towns that seems obscure at first but pack a wonderful history and heritage of their own. Therefore, let me use this post to tell you about Etauliers, St Jean de Beugné, and Mouzillon.

The town of Saint-Jean-de-Beugné is located in the Vendée department 85 of the Pays de la Loire region. The St John the Baptist Church built from the 12C to the 15C. It has three altarpieces, and a portrait oil on canvas of St John the Baptist. It is right on the road D137.

Saint jean de Beugné

You can see precious remains of its heritage with the Chapel Sainte Catherine des Mottes, 12-13C near the communal hall in the village of Les Mottes, dating from the Carolingian period or about 751 to 987. An important period in the history of Saint Jean de Beugné, explains the name of St Jean arose from the 8C with the evangelization and the establishment of a priory in the current town depending on the monastery of Luçon. The dominant lord belonged to the Chateaubriand family With the Hundred Years War everything was destroyed and became English possession, The writings tell us that the parish belongs to 2 owners, one to the Marquis de Dangeau and the other to the Chapter of Luçon, A note that during the revolutionary period, the town was called Beugné en Plaine.

The city of Saint Jean de Beugné on its heritage

The town of Mouzillon is located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region. Mouzillon is located in the Muscadet vineyard, 2 km from Vallet, 6 km from Clisson, and 28 km from Nantes.

The tourist attraction of Mouzillon is undoubtedly its Gallo-Roman bridge of four unequal arches which spans the Sanguèze. It would be the vestige of a Celtic road which linked Rouen to Bordeaux and of which Mouzillon would have been a stage. Nearby, the Saint-Julien fountain, said to be miraculous for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. The Saint-Martin Church, rebuilt in the 19C in neo-Gothic style, The church is dedicated to Saint Martin de Vertou, abbot, evangelizer of the region in the 6C.


The city of Mouzillon on its heritage

The vineyards of Nantes on the muscadet grape and Mouzillon

The town of Étauliers is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is located on the D137 road 60 km from Bordeaux.  By the A10 highway/motorway, Bordeaux is 35 minutes away. The highway junction is 3 minutes from the center of the town,

It is a station on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, a town of history, it owes its prosperity to its geographical location. The ancient Roman road, which links Saintes to Blaye, was used for fourteen centuries. In the 12-13C, it was used by pilgrims to Saint-Santiago de Compostela. A hospital, located near the road, run by religious, was intended for the rest of travelers. The D137 road was known under the name of “royal road” (imperial road under the Empire) and dates from the reign of Charles VIII. Its creation involves the establishment of hotels, inns and stagecoach services which are established by the roadside.

The parish Church Sainte Marie Madeleine rebuilt in 1853, neo-Gothic style, of great purity. It was consecrated on July 22, 1857 and is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. The richly decorated tympanum of the facade houses God the Father surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists: a lion, an eagle, a bull and a young man. Stone draperies hide false doors. Many stained-glass windows illuminate the interior of the building. Among the saints represented on these stained glass windows, figure Saint Romain, priest and apostle of Blayais,

On August 3, 1808, Napoleon I, the Empress Joséphine and their retinue made a short stop at Étauliers on their return from Bayonne. Another stopover for the emperor took place on October 29, 1808 while he was on his way to Spain. They were accommodated at the Dezage hotel. During its transformation into city/town hall, a Renaissance style fireplace was left in 1903-1904, which is still in the town council chamber. It is shown to visitors as having been part of Napoleon I’s bedroom.


The city of Etauliers info

The private tourism site Caruso33 on the marvels of the Gironde dept 33 on Etauliers

There you go folks, wonderful road warrior trips in my belle France. Beauty, architecture, history is all around us and I am enjoying every minute of it. Hope you do like the post and venture out into the off the beaten path of my France, you will be even more amazed. For now enjoy Mouzillon, St Jean de Beugné, and Etauliers.

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

November 30, 2021

The story of an American in Paris, Baker!

I have to remind you all that at this moment Josephine Baker is entering the Panthéon of Paris France! For her artistic and even more her resistance efforts for a free France in WWII. Honor where credit is due. Welcome Baker we are all proud of you!

More news! The metro station Gaîté, in the 14éme arrondissement and on the line 13 has a new name: Gaîté-Joséphine Baker!


On a rainy cloudy and cool humid what have you Sunday evening, and my game already , something in my blog. From a story by fame French presenter on the history secrets that I like, Stéphane Bern. Let me tell you a story about a lady not so much mentioned now but worth it in gold.

The story goes from Cabaret to Resistant fighter, as she was, let me tell you a bit about Josephine Baker. She was born very poor in Saint Louis ,Missouri on June 3rd 1906, her mother a laundry lady and her father never knew him, some says he was white. Her mother Carrie put her to work in rich families who mistreated her and exploited her. However, by 13 yrs old she gets into the spectacle virus and gets her first job in a small theatre., where she makes a sensational impression.

View original post 1,808 more words

June 25, 2021

Villa Borghese, heaven in Rome!!!

I arrived in Rome with the family, finally. After several business trips and telling them of the opportunities to see here , they wanted to come. Therefore, I obliged and took them all here by airplane Nantes, Roissy CDG, and  Rome’s Fiumicino. It was a very nice family trip and we packed a lot of sights into it. However, one of the best if not the best was the visit to Villa Borgnese a heaven in Rome!! Let me tell you a bit about it and hope you enjoy it as I.

I am back nostalgia sets in on our family trip to Rome ,Italy.  We walked a lot and came by airport bus right into our rental apartment by Nomentano, near metro Bologna. One of the most pleasant trips was to the Villa Borghese park a wonderful ,and a must visit while in Rome for all

The Villa Borghèse  is a municipal park of 80 hectares or about 198 acres in Rome.  It has a large group of buildings on the cultural nature as well as museums i The gardens of Villa Borghese were done following the plans of Cardinal Scipione Borghese to enhance the town and to house his art collection. In 1605 he ordered transformed a vineyard into luxurious gardens fed by several fountainsL This is the most important park in Rome since the Antique period.   The whole of the Villa Borghese was finished in 1633 . The current gardens dates from the 19C and done in the English style. The park was purchased by the Italian government in 1901 and given to the city of Rome in 1903 to be open to the public.




As it is a long story as I go along will post the relevant webpages. First, the area we stayed Nomentana

It houses numerous institutions of great renown and value such as the French Academy of Rome since 1803 and known as Villa Médicis The Villa Médicis was done around 1564 replacing the old gardens of Luculius . The villa is acquired in 1576 by the Cardinal Ferdinand de Médicis that until 1587  (when he becomes the Grand Duke of Tuscany) had done  to house his collection of antique arts, several bronces and several portraits. webpage:



Other important building and center , to me the main one is the Galeria Borghese, a museum exposing great work of art going back in time from the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The casino ,the main building of the villa, has lost most of the stucco decoration which framed ancient statues and reliefs. In 1807, Prince Camillo Borghese sold or was invited to sell to Napoleon I his brother in law, the collection of antiquities which decorated the interior and exterior of the building. webpage:

You have, also, the National Etruscan Museum of the Villa Giulia , you guessed works of arts before Roman times or Etruscans. ; the Villa Giulia adjoining the Villa Borghese gardens was built in 1551 – 1555 as a summer residence for Pope Julius III now it contains the Etruscan Museum. webpage:

The National Gallery of contemporary and modern arts, the largest of its kind in Italy. webpage:

Animal biodiversity in a zoological civic museum .webpage:

Pietro Canonica Museum , sculptor and composer, housing his collection. webpage:

The Carlo Bilotti Museum , an Italian American collector who gave his collections to the city of Rome and is house in the Orangery of the Villa Borghese. webpage:

The Bioparco, one of the oldest zoo in Europe inside Villa Borghese. webpage:

Villa Lubin inside Villa Borghese at Via di Villa Lubin, 2 it open in 1908 and until 1945 was the seat of the international institute of agriculture that is now FAO or the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation ; Since 1959 is the seat of the National Council on Economy and Labor or CNEL. Rome tourist office on Villa Lubin

The Silvano Toti  Globe Theater  was built identical to Globe theatre of London  the most famous of the Elizabethian period, the theatre here was built in 2003. webpage:

The Church Santa Maria Immacolata at the piazza di Siena inside  Villa Borghese . Built end of 18C for orders of Prince Marcantonio Borghese. Part of the complex of Casina di Raffaello; renovation were done in 1826. webpage:

The Casina di Raffaello with lots of kids activities in a renovated old mansion. webpage:


You see the wonderful Pincio Water clock , still going strong from 19C engineering. The Pincio is a hill on the north of the Quirinal that dominates the Campo di Martes with several villas including Villa Borghese where you have the clock.  The clock has four quadrants ideally recalling the trunk of a tree and allowing it to show the time in four different directions, to note his hands in the shape of tree branches to make this structure an architectural element almost natural in perfect harmony with Villa Borghese.



The temple of Diane is a small circular kiosk in the neo classic style and built in 1789 upon orders of prince Marcantonio IV Borghese. By Viale della Casina di Raffaello. All over the park you find wonderful creeks, and flower decoration, . Some of the more remarkable in my opinion are the one honouring Umberto I, son of king Victor Emmanuel II the first king of an unified Italy. King Emmanuel III succeeded but abdicated in 1946 and was follow by Umberto II but he abdicates a month later so becoming the last king of Italy. There is a monument to Goethe, the poet novelist and drama writer , and politician of Germany. Also a statue to George Gordon Byron or lord Byron done in the 19C. OF course, not all on pictures.  From the French Academy on the viale del Belvedere you have a wonderful view of Rome on the Campo Marzio, and perpendicular to the viale della Magnolia with a nice park for children and a magnificent restaurant I had tried on a business trip to dream in Rome , La Casina Valadier. Resto webpage




The Rome tourist office on La Casina Valadier restaurant in English:

The Rome Tourist Office on Villa Borghese park:

There you go folks as said a wonderful park in a huge historically renown city of Rome. I told you, it is huge we could not walked all and came back twice to it while there, so many monuments and buildings to see. My next trip will stay close to it and go at it again.  Enjoy it and do visit when in Rome.

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



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