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April 11, 2018

The Mayenne, old Maine in Pays de la Loire!

Now, lets continue with some exotic destination, that folks need to know more about my belle France. Here is my humble contribution to the Mayenne, department 53 and city of Mayenne in the region of Pays de la Loire.

Mayenne in department Mayenne no 53 on region Pays de la Loire at about 250 km west of Paris .Dominating the banks of the Mayenne river between Le Mans and the littoral of the Manche. Mayenne is located north of the department of the Mayenne between Laval and Domfront, Aleçon, and Fougéres. Before the French revolution it was part of the province of Maine and after split into the Mayenne and Sarthe both in Pays de la Loire.

There are three bridges over the Mayenne river. The pont Mac-Racken from the 19C today is the route I take the N12 to drive into Paris toll free; the bridge was done in 1834 first naming itself Ambroise de Loré, then Orléans ,Caisse d’Epargne and finally Mac Racken honouring the sacrifice of this American soldier that allow the passage of the Weaver group 90th division to cross the river in WWII to free the left bank in June 5 1944; there is a commemorating plaque there. You have the viaduc en aval for trains on the local line Landivy-Mayenne; also call locally the viaduc Eiffel done between 1901 and 1903; it has a central arch in metal of 54 meters high with a 17 meters arrow, and later renovated into  a road viaduc in concrete done in 1970. Next to it is the old bridge of the railroad that is now pedestrian connecting the town of Saint Beaudelle to the route Mayenne to Laval.

 

Mayenne

pont Mac Racken at Mayenne

The transports well this is my usual route now by car to Paris,toll free. The city is crossed by the N12 that links Paris to Brest passing by Alençon, and also connecting to Pré en Pail, Ernée, and Fougéres where you can connect to the A84 connecting Caen to Rennes (and also Vannes) and the autoroute A28 connecting Tours to Abbeville.  You, also have the D23 that follows the course of the Mayenne river going north to south in the department and allows you to connect to Laval, Chateau Gontier and Angers on the south direction, and Domfront and Caen on the north direction. This road ,also allows you to connect with the autoroute A81 north of Laval that goes into Le Mans and Rennes. Amazing ,there is no train station here the one existant was closed long ago.  The region Pays de la Loire has not decided to re open it, in the meantime there are buses on the network Pégase of Mayenne that connects to Laval and other cities in the department.

I have written before a blog post on nice Mayenne. Here it is: My blog post on Mayenne

A bit of history I like.

The city of Mayenne first appeared in the Middle Ages on a Roman road connecting Jublains to Vieux near Caen and it was here that you can crossed the Mayenne river. From the Gauls time, the people of Aulerques Diablintes had their capital at Moulay south of the city ,later this was abandoned after the Roman conquest and a new town was built at Jublains. After much fiscal pressure, the territory was attached to the Cénomans of which capital and bishop was at Le Mans; this union of lower maine and upper maine allows the union of the province of Maine.

The castle of Mayenne was founded in the 7C and mentioned for the first time in 778AD while Charlemagna gives it to the bishop of Le Mans. It is a noble residence in wood surrounded by a moat, this has disappeared only visible by some holes in the poles. It was attacked several times between 840 and 870 by the Bretons that carried wars against the Franks. The castle bridges are demolished with the exception of the Caisse d’Epargne ; an American soldier J.D Mac Racken sacrifices himself to stop its destruction and later allowed the Allied to force the nazis to run over the Mayenne river,and now carries Mac Racken name.

Things to see here if anything come to see the Castle of Mayenne.

The castle dominating over the city has most of its elements from the 12C especially the logis and circular donjon, and the appearance is definitively Middle Ages. More on the castle museum here: Castle of Mayenne

Mayenne

castle of Mayenne

Cardinal Mazarin did a lot of urban renewal here especially on the squares or place Hercé, place Cheverus, and Place Saint Vincent. All on the same axis from northwest to the Mayenne river. This axis is located in the road between the Normandy and Brittany on one side and the Le Mans on the other, being the main road of the city You have the space between the Place Hercé and Place Cheverus a building called the Barre Ducale ,this is where the administration lived and was used as the city hall and justice palace ,built between 1660 and 1669. Cardinal Mazarin died in it in 1661 even if did not lived to see it finished.In the Place de Hercé there is a fountain from 1683 with a basin and an obelisk, another fountain is at the Place Saint Vincent and the Place de Cheverus has a statue of Cardinal de Cheverus done in 1844 by David d’Angers.

At the Place de Cheverus there are several mansions worth noting such as the oldest Hotel Chappedalaine built in the 16C and the Hotel de Hercé at no 10 from the second half of the 17C, hotel Chasteloger at no 14 debut 17C and Hotel Montpinçon at no 22 from 1666 finished in the 18C. At the Place de Hercé you have the Hotel Baglion at no 6 built in 1660, Hotel Brossard at no 10 built in 1770, Hotel Le Forestier as well as Hotel Clinchamp at no 16 from the 16C that hosted a literary room under king Louis XVI

The religious building here ,best is the Basilica Notre Dame des Miracles on the right bank renovated and facade from the 12C. on the left bank, the Church of Saint Martin, Chapelle of the former convent of Calvairiennes and Chapel of Saint Leonard.

Mayenne

Church Notre Dame des Miracles from pont Mac Racken in Mayenne

Here are some webpages that will help you plan your trip to the nice city between the famous Paris region and the less famous west coast of France down in country France deep deep in traditions.

City of Mayenne on tourism in French : http://www.mairie-mayenne.fr/53_mayenne_decouvrir-la-ville_presentation-generale.phtml

Tourist office Mayenne dept ! http://www.mayenne-tourisme.com/en/Discover/Towns-and-villages-of-character/Mayenne

Pays de la loire tourism on Mayenne in English: https://www.paysdelaloire.co.uk/suggestions/mayenne

There you go another gem of my belle France, you all need to hop on and see it. Hope it helps your planning and do come it is quaint old France all around you. Happy travels, good health and many many cheers!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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March 27, 2018

Revisit the Panthéon de Paris!

I have passed it many times and seldom been in it, one of the things in life when one lives so close to so much beauty and architecture. I finally went in once and it was stunning, well like everything in Paris in my opinion.

I like to briefly bring you back to the Panthéon de Paris and re post my blog story on it a while back.  This is the previous blog post

Panthéon de Paris

It is located in a superb location near the jardin du Luxembourg ; in fact if you stand by the blvd Saint Mchel right out of the gate from the fountain of Marie de Médici you can look straight up Rue Soufflot into it.  Right in front of the Place du Panthéon.  Very appropiate nearby is the library or Bibliothéque Saint Geneviéve as well as the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. RER B Luxembourg can easily take you in this direction and coming from the back you can get there on metro line 10 Cardinal Lemoine. And if like me ,you come by car, there is excellent underground parking Soufflot at 22 Rue Soufflot just in front of the Panthéon.

The previous post has lots of information me think, so will give something more lecturing like University level social studies lol!

There are recognised four stages in the life of the Panthéon existance, the first one and oldest is that was there before the Panthéon, in effect, the Church of Sainte Geneviève (1744-1 emper790); which of course, was demolished during the French revolution.

The second period is that of the transformation of monuments to use the scholar choice, meaning the used of these monument to enhance the Republic from the initial years such as (1791-1885). This is when the French revolution welcomes its heroes to the Panthéon with first Mirabeau (1749-1791),one of the great speakers of the revolution. In 1806, emperor  Napoléon Ier (1769-1821)  gives the nave of the Panthéon back to the Catholic Church while the crypts stayed for the cult of personalities.  Under the period of the Restauration (1815-1830), meaning back of the monarchy, king of the French Louis-Philippe 1st (reign of 1830-1848) gave it all back to the Catholic Church .  Finally, in 1851, emperor  Napoléon III (1808-1873)  change the Panthéon to a Church for the last time in its history.

The third period is that of the French Republic laique from 1885-1964 upon the death of  the writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), a huge crowd follows the funeral car to the Panthéon.  The monument becomes laïque . This period extends all along the IIIe République (1870-1940) , and the IVe République (1947-1958)

The fourth and final period we can call it the Panthéon under the Ve République (since 1958) , when it was open to transfer the ashes of  Resistant hero  Jean Moulin (1899-1943),in 1964.  At the end of this ceremony the funeral speech done by the Minister of cultural affairs André Malraux , the Panthéon  gain little by little its position of all consensus of all the political families. The surveys conducted led to name M. Philippe Bélaval, President of the center for national monuments , manager of the Panthéon under the French Republic.  This report , indicates to allow the admission of ordinary people to better represent the French society by given honors in the future. The ceremony of May 27 2015 when entered into the Panthéon of Pierre Brossolette (1903-1944), Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz (1920-2002), Germaine Tillion (1907-2008) ,and Jean Zay (1904-1944) falls into this doctrine.

So it is a recommended detour when in Paris to see it. It is the very best of France.  For easy reference I put the offical webpage in English here: site of the Panthéon de Paris

Paris

front side of Panthéon de Paris

Enjoy it ,its Paris where else! happy travels, good health and good cheers to all.

 

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February 12, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXIIII

And the week 7 has started and so it’s time to tell you about things happening in my belle France. the weather has been ok early morning -3C coming home in the evening 3C no rain and cloudy as winter. life goes on, heading for another weekend, but first Valentin’s Day…. in France.

Soirée love February 14 from 19h to 23h at the Musée Rodin, with red carpet, and lights as well as rose petals jazz musicians will play different tunes in different rooms as well as will be shown a book showing the exchanges between Rodin and his muse Camille Claudel. The museum Rodin is at 77 rue de Varennes 7éme arrondissement.  Admission 20€ adults reservations a must at www.musee-rodin.fr

Following the trails of La Forme de l’Eau or the water form trails of the new work of Guillermo del Toro in the Aquarium of Paris. Two glasses of Champagne will be offered one upon arrival and another in half time of your night walks in the basins . By 20h Claire the sirene will await you in the big pool where sharks and rays co exist ; later two guides will tak about the secret love amongst the fish and a love book will be given on the subject  Saint Valentin à l’Aquarium de Paris, located at 5 avenue Albert de Mun 16éme arrondissement from 19h to 22h admission 37,90€ per person. More in French here: http://www.cineaqua.com/index.php/fr/saint-valentin-2018

And something would have love to be in Paris is the PSG vs Real Madrid Champions league match of the Valentin’s day. The hotel Le Royal Monceau  will show the 8th final game on its projections rooms private and during the match the love birds of the sport will have pop corn of Pierre Hermé , and beers. The projection room is a giant screen tv in leather chairs like you were in a cinema. At half time, 2 hot dogs with truffe will help keep up the exctiing game. Le Royal Monceau, 37 avenue Hoche 8éme arrondissement, tel +33 (0) 1 42 99 98 50. starting at 20h Feb 14, admission 48€ per person. More here: https://www.leroyalmonceau.com/en/offers/a-royal-valentines-day/

A choice of restaurants if not a football/soccer lover than head the Grand Cœur 41 rue du Temple 4éme arrondissement tel +33 (0) 1 58 28 18 90, open every day except Sundays evenings and Mondays. Menus from 23 to 30€ lunch For the St Valentin the chef starred Mauro Colagreco ( Le Mirazur , Menton) will have a special menu of   Burnt cauliflower, cauda bagna sauce, olive, candied lemon and anchovies; Cod, clams, coconut stew of paimpol and chorizo; Creamy white chocolate, yogurt and ice cream to the fruit of passion. More here:  https://www.grandcoeur.paris/

If a theater play is for you then my choice would be the Merchant of Venice or Le Marchand de Venice at the Lucernaire 6éme arrondissement. And going on until April 1 2018. You can reserve places on http://www.ticketac.com/ 

And the theater site here:  http://www.lucernaire.fr/theatre/2097-le-marchand-de-venise-.html

Of course, anything in Paris is love eternal more than Valentin. George Gershwin said “ There are only two possible subjects for a song ; love and  Paris”

In other front the Ground control  has open its doors with passionate food stalls with six offering a coffee shop and a grocery store. The food you can eat on the stand on lunch or on the big wooden tables inside  This is all happening at the Halle Charolais with 4500 m2 of covered space and 1500 m2 exterior terraces . La Halle charolais, 81 rue de charolais 12éme arrondissement  open Wednesdays to Fridays from 12h to midnight, Saturdays 11h to midnight, and Sundays from 11h to 22h. More here: https://www.groundcontrolparis.com/

The cabaret Crazy Horse opens up to the youngs, spectacles of Young & Crazy.The under 26 yrs old will be able to discover the temple of  sublime and assume and the girls every Wednesday evenings for 25€ only. Crazy Horse, 12 avenue George V 8éme arrondissement Reservations tel +33(1) 47 23 32 32 or email reservation@lecrazyhorseparis.com or https://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/en/young-and-crazy-offer-2018/

The Louvre is open up to find the nazi stolen work of arts during WWII from the Jewish community. The MNR or  “Musées Nationaux Récupération”  are works of arts recovered from the nazis stolen from the original owners, they were given for safekeeping to the national museums and provincial ones as well.  They were supposed to be given back to the rightful owners if found or identified  It is estimated that 100K works were stolen from the Jewish in France and transferred to nazi Germany; at the end of the war, the European and American museums were able to recover about 47K of them. The orphanage works in the Louvre museum numbered about 1752 with 807 paintings and some loan to other museums in France. Only 31 will be exposed in the Louvre to the public for the moment still hoping to find the rightful owner descendants. This already creating waves in internatinal medias. https://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission

This is the site where they managed these the MNR or the recuperation national museums site name after Rose-Valland who helped track this down at one time. here in French: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/documentation/mnr/MnR-pres.htm

Between the plain of Buren with its columns in marbre and the palace garden of the Palais Royal, you will see wooden planches covering the floor , this is just to allow the workers to go underneath and fix the humidity below by the plains of Bury, between the columns and the galerie d’Orléans. The name Bury comes from the Belgian artist who did the nice fountains there in 1985. The French government or the taxpayers are helping to renovate it and will last until next Sept 18. More here: http://www.domaine-palais-royal.fr/en/

A peniche boat done by Le Corbusier anchored in the port d’Austerlitz on the Seine river has sunk Saturday last. The boat Louise-Catherine, un boat in cement of 70 meters long and 8 meters wide was in plan renovation to be a cultural museum according to the owner. It was tried to bring it up water but in 15 minutes it sank. Le Parisien newspaper in French here: http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75/nous-allons-renflouer-la-peniche-de-le-corbusier-11-02-2018-7553700.php

And La Défense is coming to life again….at the foot of the hotel Melia with the towers First and Allianz One offering a splendid view over the bridge or pont de Neuilly and the Arc de Triomphe. However, the best is inside , name Oxygen, where the star chef Michel Rostang is opening a new restaurant. This is coming after last Sept17 the bar-exposition gallery and concert hall opened as L’Alternatif under the parvis (underground),  Another underground entity call Table Square is on schedule to open in front of the Agam fountain with two firms of fast food such as Bioburger, 100% bio , and the salad bar Prairie.  You will find a Pizzeria call Marco Polo, and finally a share work space call Icône , dedicated to the start-uppers and other nomad workers. More here in French: http://defense-92.fr/projets/coups-denvoi-des-projets-table-square-et-oxygen-a-la-defense-54909

Stay tune here on bioburger: http://bioburger.fr/restaurant.html#section-4

The Grand Paris Express, I have written on it several times in the blog and it is big news, more to come to change the landscape of the Paris region hopefully for the best for you and me ::) You can imagine crossing the region of Île-de-France in a metro going up to 120 KPH or about 75 MPH without passing by Paris ! and automatic !  Going from Boulogne to Champs-sur-Marne in 37 minutes vs one hour today or from Issy  to Cachan  in nine minutes instead of 46 today, or going from Villejuif to Champigny  in 18 minutes instead of 67 min today ! All will be possible starting in 2024 thanks to the project of the Grand Paris Express . It will be part of the landscape from 2030-2040.  Even the SeaBubbles flying water taxi will be tested this year over the Seine river . More on this here in English: http://www.seabubbles.fr/en/products

All because by 2030, Paris will have 12,8 millions inhabitants (not counting the visitors lol!!) Well more here in French,  and see the photo  https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/

Paris

credit: Le Parisien

More improvements galore Paris here we go. A fiber optic enters in the train stations of Paris. The council of Ile de France Mobilité has voted for it and should be official by Wednesday. It will installed fiber in the 387 stations where 112 do not have anything today.  This again in today’s Le Parisien newspaper.

A nice small museum in my Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris is the musée de la toile de Jouy  at  Jouy sous Josas.  Here cloths in cotton printed and teint from the  18C from a firm founded by  Oberkampf in 1760. Now nothing is left but in the courtyard of the city hall, a bell ringing and a museum installed in an old merchant house tell the story today.  Many financiers come to do this as it is the chic of the times to wear one but nobody in France mastered it. Here comes Oberkampf, coming from a tanners family in Germany . Jouy-en-Josas has it all, the Bièvre river runs below it to bath the teintures and rinse, vast fields to spread the cloths to whiting it under the sun and the water, the geographical situation at the door of Versailles and Paris a sure clientele. Oberkampf enlarge the business and when the company went bankrupt in 1843, more than 30 years after his death , almost 30K motifs have come out of the factory, and some continue to inspired the world of fashion. The  Musée de la Toile de Jouy, château de l’Eglantine, 54, rue Charles-de-Gaulle, Jouy-en-Josas (78). Open Tuesdays from 14h to 18H and from Wednesdays to Sundays from 11h to 18h ; guided visits each second Sunday of each month; closed from February 9 to March 8 2018. Admission  7 € adults. info at +33 (0) 1 39 56 48 64  or more here:  www.museedelatoiledejouy.fr

For info, this is a nice town and visited as friends at the fame Grand école HEC base here too. http://www.hec.edu/Masters-programs

And last but not least, do not forget the Chinese New Year on February 16, the year of the Dog !  The oldest parade in Paris! Done in the 13éme arrondissement or district.  This year will start from the avenue de Choisy and will finish at the avenue d’Ivry passing by the avenue de Choisy, avenue d’Italie, rue de Tolbiac, and blvd Massena.  The parade will be held on February 25 from 14h to 17h and the city hall of the district will hold spectacles, expositions, concerts and conferences from February 19 to March 3rd. More info at the city hall office in French , and you can print a program of activities too. https://www.mairie13.paris.fr/actualites/nouvel-an-chinois-fete-du-printemps-annee-du-chien-du-19-fevrier-au-3-mars-2018-268

And we are calling for crossed border Labrador puppy and hopefully if the owner is right we will get it for at vaccinations costs only. We are crossing our fingers!!! Enjoy your week, Cheers!!

 

 

January 27, 2018

Chaumont sur Loire, the castle by the Loire!

Of course, where else would you find so many castles and so many beautiful ones than if not in the Valley of the Kings, now this is the region of Centre-Val de Loire; not to be confused with the other with castles too Pays de la Loire.

I like to post my old story on the castle of Chaumont sur Loire here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/12/26/chaumont-sur-loirethe-castle-one-more-in-the-loire/

Again for clarity, the official site for the castle is here: http://www.domaine-chaumont.fr/en/home

Chaumont sur Loire is in department 41 Loir et Cher (which are also two rivers tributaries of the Loire. Nicely located between Amboise and Blois.Only 185 km from Paris or about 115 miles.

Some of the activities going on here in addition to offering a wonderful view over the royal river =Loire, the castle and its 32 ha of space includes stables from the 19C one of the most avant garde in Europe, a landscape park/garden and the Festival International des Jardins (international gardens festival from April to November. More on the Festival here: http://www.domaine-chaumont.fr/en/international-garden-festival

It is, also, a center of Arts and Nature, with contemporary artists and expositions of the best photographers . During the high season it showcase the garden of lights or «Jardins de Lumière» with an invitation of a nocturnal walk to discover the festival of gardens; there is a nice restaurant in the castle with an inventive cuisine.

I do my runs by car here so if coming from Paris the best is the A10 direction Bordeaux, and come out in exit or sortie 17 Blois then direction Tours. By train you go out of the Paris gare d’Austerlitz direction to arrive at gare d’Onzain / Chaumont-sur-Loire.

The city has information on the castle,activites, eat outs and coming to it in French here: http://www.chaumontsurloire.fr/le-chateau.html

a very nice castle in a nice area to drive by, bicycles are fine here too, see the Loire à Vélo organization here: http://www.cycling-loire.com/sights-itinerary/chateaux-loire/domaine-chaumont-sur-loire

Enjoy it and see you again over the weekend lots of old reliables that need to bring back to life such as Chaumont. Happy weekend, Cheers!
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