Archive for ‘Versailles’

July 11, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXI

And on a nice sunny day in my beautiful Morbihan Breton I will bring you another episode of my Some news from France, with the latest chosen by yours truly of the most remarkable coming up in my belle France. Hope you enjoy and plan ahead.

Unsurprisingly as told by the media, Ariel Weil was elected first mayor of the all-new district this Saturday in Paris , merging the arrondissement or districts of the 1éme, 2éme, 3éme and 4éme. So Paris Center now exists! The new administrative entity has nearly 100,000 inhabitants (who keep their postal address) and covers almost 550 hectares. The city/town hall of the new district Centre is that of the 3éme. The city/town hall of the 2éme will become the house of social services in the new district. That of the 4éme is intended to host the Climate Academy and that of the 1éme could accommodate the homeless reception systems and the teams responsible for preparing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More in French from the city of Paris: City of Paris on Paris Centre

The company Charge has installed the first four charging stations for self-service electric scooters or trottinette. Self-service service that allows you to borrow and redeposit anywhere or almost a self-service electric scooter. In any case, the first fixed stations for these machines made their appearance this week in Paris Centre. Charge, a Franco-American start-up, has just installed its first four charging stations, which can accommodate twelve scooters each, in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris, with the support of the City. These stations, equipped with a battery that can last three to four days without being recharged, are easily installed on public space, without the need for civil works.

Here we go again. For the 6th consecutive year, as of this Saturday, the RER A begins the continuation of the renewal of its tracks and ballast. A campaign to change the rails, the large stones on which they rest and the switches. Since 2015, 17 km of tracks have already been treated out of the 24 km of the project. This year, 3 km will be renewed again. Similarly, 17 points have already been changed, four will be changed in 2020 and 28 in total will be changed at the end of the campaign. From this Saturday until August 7, RER A will be cut every weekend and every evening from 21h in the east, between Auber and Vincennes. Then all week from August 8 to 14, 2020.

The image has crossed the centuries. A row of lime trees bordering the étangs de Corot or Corot ponds, along a bucolic alley. Camille Corot painted it in the 19C . The inhabitants of Ville-d’Avray have always wandered there. But now, time has got the better of the solidity of the dike on which the hardwoods sit. Work is underway to consolidate it. And in the fall, these hundred-year-old trees, plus seven others below, must disappear. Sadly another view of France that will be gone.

The Disneyland-Paris park will once again welcome the public on July 15 with compulsory online booking. The two theme parks, Disney village and Disneyland Paris resort, will reopen on July 15 with a route adapted to health rules with the wearing of a mandatory mask and space limited. In terms of catering, the park has also revised its offer. Buffet establishments will serve meals while the 50 restaurants will all offer take-out meals. Some terraces, such as that of Casey’s Corner, now spread their umbrellas over tens of meters spacing!

Notre-Dame Cathédrale de Paris has already reopened its doors to the general public … virtually!. Near the Opéra Garnier, you have to go through the “Flyview” door to live the experience and enter a hall with the air of an airport. For its reopening, from Saturday, the company specializing in virtual reality, presents this new film dedicated to Notre-Dame, so far only available on the Internet. See the youtube video preview here:

As part of the « C’est mon patrimoine » or it’s my heritage operation, young and old have been able to (re) discover the Château de Fontainebleau by practicing a Renaissance dance. It’s a funny masked ball. At the Château de Fontainebleau, a group of visitors learn a few dance steps, very fashionable during the Renaissance. Nice indeed

And Champs-sur-Marne invite yourselves to the Garden Party in the castle grounds Usually scheduled for early October, the Open Gardens operation takes place this year during the school holidays, from July 4 to August 30 inclusive. The Château de Champs takes part. Current property of the Center des monuments nationaux, the Champs-sur-Marne estate and its castle are characteristic of 18C pleasure houses. From 1935, the castle became an official residence of the Presidency of the Republic. From 1959, foreign heads of state stayed there, at the invitation of General de Gaulle. Its 85 hectares of gardens inspired by Le Nôtre are labelled « Jardin remarquable » or remarkable garden. Nice indeed!

In Paris, the musée Picasso museum reopens its doors in the third week of July 2020. The opportunity to find the exhibitions “Picasso et la bande dessinée” or Picasso and the comic strip and “ Picasso poète” or Picasso poet which are extended to the delight of lovers of the Spanish painter.

After four months of forced closure, the musée Rodin museum reopened on July 7 at 10h. its director, Catherine Chevillot “Before the health crisis, all our lights were green. We were hoping to make a profit of 1.4 million this year, it will be a loss of 3 million, ”she says. Usually, the museum receives around 550,000 visitors a year. Among them, 75% of foreigners cross the doors of the Mansion of the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. The institution on rue de Varenne therefore launched several calls for online donations in order to continue its activities, but also launched an exceptional sale: before the crisis, around forty bronzes were sold each year, either to collectors or to institutions. Since the crisis, around 130 works, then considered original, have been sold, with a wider distribution channel: art galleries. With nearly 6,800 sculptures, 800 drawings, 10,000 old photographs and 8,000 objects, the Rodin museum has an exceptional collection that allows it, for the moment, to hold. Indeed, 30% of its budget comes from its status as a beneficiary; it simply means that the institution is responsible for managing the work of the sculptor and has the right to cast it. So the museum can sell original editions of the artist’s bronzes. Normally, they are sold according to a quota set in 1919 by Rodin in person and a maximum of 12 copies can be made for each statue. The maximum is already reached for this year, so we must hope that the difficulties do not last too long … In the meantime, do not hesitate to take a tour in this superb museum! The Rodin museum is in trouble a pity it needs to be supported more it’s a classic of Paris.

To pay tribute to the nursing staff, the Opéra Bastille displayed no less than 500 portraits on its building. A fresco as impressive as it is moving. Are displayed on the facade of the monument, from July 10 to 29, 2020, no less than 500 large black and white portraits of caregivers. A tribute in collaboration with the artist JR and Inside Out Project and on the initiative of ProtègeTonSoignant, a citizen collective, To achieve this gigantic fresco, three photographers, David Hugonot Petit, Adrien Lachappelle and Nathalie Naffzger, went to the four corners of France and therefore immortalized the faces of these doctors, emergency doctors, maintenance workers, caregivers, vigilantes…Well done!

To spend the Summer away from tourists and away from the crowds, I suggest you visit Versailles off the beaten track. Embark on a 12 km walk from the Versailles-Chantiers train station to discover the Cité des Rois (Versailles city of kings) “nature side”, and more exactly along the water, between the former Étangs Gobert located opposite the train station (or end of ave de Sceaux), the Pièce d’eau des Suisses and the Bièvre . The opportunity to discover the charming Saint-Louis district and its cathedral, the potager du roi garden, the banks of the Bièvre and its various ponds. A marvellous walk I am telling you, and easy from Paris Montparnasse train station!

The landscapes of the Seine river have long attracted princes, who established their places of stay there. In the 19C, this mythical place even inspired impressionist painters. This escapade will immerse you in the Seine of the princes by making you skirt the Château de Madame du Barry at Louveciennes . You will be able to discover there the Machine of Marly, a pump and a gigantic pipe which make it possible to send the water of the Seine in the canals of the Palace of Versailles. The l’île de la Loge at Bougival which inspired Sisley and Renoir, but also the painter Berthe Morisot. Finally, you will follow the Marly aqueduct and then picnic in the Domaine national de Marly. From Paris Saint-Lazare train station to the Marly-le-Roi train station thanks to the L line.Nice even by train, and up my alley!

Wonderful Rouen, from its majestic cathedral, accomplice of Claude Monet’s work to the terraces of the quays of the Seine where its inhabitants are now crowded, the walks are wonderful, the architecture and history monumental, a must. Bruised during WWII, Rouen has nevertheless managed to preserve its exceptional historical heritage, from the spire of its incomparable cathedral, immortalized multiple times by Claude Monet, to its 2,000 half-timbered houses still standing, it is classified among the most beautiful cities and counties of art and history. Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen is surely one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. By the richness of its architecture and its slender arrow towards the sky which culminates at 151 meters, but especially by the thirty paintings which Claude Monet devoted to it. For two years, between 1892 and 1893, from his workshop located opposite the cathedral, on the site of the current tourist office, the famous impressionist painter will realize 28 views of the portal, painting up to 14 paintings at the same time, passing from one table to another to play on the variations of light according to the hours of the day. A must to visit!

And you go quickly to the brown inks, blood and paintings: the Condé Museum in Chantilly celebrates Raphaël and his disciples. On the 500th anniversary of his death, this exhibition pays tribute to one of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance. The Italian artist Raffaello Sanzio, better known by the name of Raphael (born April 6, 1483 in Urbino and died on April 6, 1520 in Rome). Five hundred years later, the Condé Museum in Chantilly had to celebrate through fifty drawings and three paintings who is among the most talented painters and designers of the Italian Renaissance. Wonderful place indeed the musée Condé at Chantilly!

Mount Fuji in majesty at the musée Guimet museum in Paris. For its reopening after the confinement period, the Asian art museum Guimet drew from its very rich collection of 11,000 prints to present an exhibition centered on Mount Fuji. The highest point of Honshu, visible from many places on the main island of the Japanese archipelago, this mountain has always been a source of inspiration for writers, poets, and also artists. The museum presents some seventy prints on which this perfect volcanic cone stands, covered at its summit with eternal snow, a major subject in the most famous series of engravings of the Edo period. Katsushika Hokusai thus represented it in different seasons in his series of prints “The 36 views of Mount Fuji” or that retracing the various stages of the Tokaido route. We find a selection in this exhibition, alongside works by his contemporaries Yashima Gakutei or Utagawa Hiroshige. Photographs, old or recent, as well as decorative objects complete this presentation. Visitors can take advantage of their visit to discover the new terrace, on the third floor of the establishment, which offers a panoramic view of the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. « Fuji, pays de neige » or Fuji, land of snow at the musée des arts asiatiques Guimet , 6, place d´Iéna, 16éme. Open every day except Tuesday from 10h to 18h , exhibition on until October 12 2020. More info here: Musée Guimet Paris

When Pompeii rises from the ashes at the Grand Palais. The immersive exhibition offers a true digital experience through the site and its ruins. It also allows you to refine your knowledge of the city and its inhabitants. the archaeological site of Pompeii located in Campania, in the south of Italy is the subject of a spectacular staging as part of the exhibition offered by the Grand Palais in Paris, until September 27 2020. Particularly the reconstruction of the impressive eruption of Vesuvius (which buried the ancient city on August 24, or as suggested by recent discoveries, in October of the year 79).The public can also discover around sixty objects from the excavations and murals of the villas, a complete and living testimony to the way of life of society and the daily life of the beginnings of the Roman Empire. Here is a visit in images of the ancient city of Pompeii, between emotions and representations of the famous Pompeiian frescoes.

Appointment should be made all summer until August 30 on the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq canal near the Bassin de la Villette to take a dip from 11h to 21h. swimming is 100% free . Swimming at Villette Quai de Loire 19éme. Take a splash safe waters and with lifeguards.

And last but not least finish with news on wines of my belle France.

From July 9 to August 27, 2020. Jeudis du Vin or wine Thursdays at the Fortress of Chinon: families do not always have time to go and discover the wine estates of the AOC Chinon! So, the winegrowers had the good idea to invest the royal fortress of the city, every Thursday of the summer, to make discover the appellation and taste their wines! Great I will be there! More in English here: Fortress of Chinon on wine Thursdays

And the rise of the Occitanie on the pink planet. In ten years, the region has gone from 10% of its production devoted to this color to 16%. And it has even surpassed Provence! in terms of volumes produced. The grape varieties differ from those of Provence, the dresses of rosés are generally more sustained. Grenache and Cinsault are more common than Syrah and Mourvèdre from Provence. Yes indeed nice region coming up with the joneses in wine as well. More on the Occitanie region wines in French here: Vignobles of Occitanie wines

And there you go a nice tour of my belle France on the latest news chosen by yours truly. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading! And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!


July 9, 2020

Wines news of France IIII !!

Well here I am again on one of my hobbies wines! And getting the habit of it, this might be the beginning of a new series already on its 4th version without counting the many others not numbered over my blog. Hope you enjoy the posts, with moderation but en vino veritas!!

A fun and above all free activity for young holidaymakers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The Cité du Vin de Bordeaux has decided to offer to people under 18 free until August 31.

In compliance with the sanitary rules provided for by the coronavirus – including the wearing of a mask from 11 years old , the establishment has announced the possibility for juniors accompanying their parents, upon request at reception, to come and discover its permanent route as well as the Belvedere.

With 3,000 m², the Permanent Route includes nearly ten hours of content from twenty different interactive themes relating to culture and heritage around the theme of the vine in the region and its many vineyards, accompanied by a digital guide to discover the different stories. The terroir table, a tactile table with 50 winemakers from ten regions of the world trusting in their work and anecdotes, the “e-vine” area to learn how professionals select grape varieties, prune vines, take care of their grapes and their harvests or “around the world of vineyards” with the representation of many landscapes are part of the different spaces making up the route. Everything is in place to put yourself in the shoes of a winemaker or a wine merchant. Finally, head to the 8th floor of the establishment to go to the Belvedere which, 35 meters high, offers a 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings and sip organic reason juice. For health reasons, adults are invited to book their tickets online.

More info at La Cité du Vin – 134 Quai de Bacalan 33300 Bordeaux . Open every day from 10h to 19h. More info here: La Cité du Vin Bordeaux

Worth mentioning, the surges of solidarity towards the nursing staff multiplied during confinement and continue beyond. Thus, the Maison Ruinart announced last Friday that it was joining the united and unifying operation “A table, les soignants !” or at the table, the carers!, Launched by chef Arnaud Donckele, chef of the triple-star restaurant La Vague d’Or, at the Hôtel Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez, supported in particular by LVMH, Cheval Blanc, and the Michelin Guide. Created out of generosity and as a sign of recognition by restaurateurs, this national initiative consists of an invitation to an establishment for each caregiver, accompanied by the person of their choice. During the summer season, the champagne house founded in 1729 offers professionals in the medical world, twenty tables for two , after registering the dedicated platform for two professionals per week to taste the brunch made by Valérie Radou, chef en residence, at Maison Ruinart in Reims. As a sign of recognition, Ruinart has also decided to make a case of bottles of Ruinart’s cuvée R available to partner establishments of the house and participants in the operation to offer a cup to the caregivers present on the premises. More info here: A Table les Soignants info site

The French are crazy about gin. The proof again with Thomas and Charlotte Jourdan, founders of the young brand Malouin’s. They are found in Brittany. In their 4×4 with camouflage interior, they take us to the ramparts of Saint-Malo. Facing a turquoise sea we go, wicker basket in the bend of the elbow, picnic of crustaceans and a loaf of fresh bread. Following star chef Roellinger’s recipe, Thomas pours a centiliter of his gin into an oyster, accompanied by a round of pepper mill and a few drops of lemon. They use juniper, of course, coriander and their flagship ingredient, seaweed, kombu, kelp and sea spaghetti, which is collect by hand on the beach at Rochebonne. Add to that yuzu and orange for balance, and that’s it. A heady iodized scent that makes it a strong alcohol and pure seafood! In 2018, after seven years together at the head of the Bistrot de Louise et Manon and a whole life anchored in Neuilly-sur-Seine (92), near Paris, the duo, as a couple in the city as on the scene, decided to sell the establishment and change of life, the frantic pace becoming difficult to reconcile with two children to raise Among them, the upcoming release of their apple gin, based on apple alcohol, or the opening of the first distillery in Saint-Malo intra- muros. And then, finally, they think about growing their own junipers, and making Malouin’s gin a real product of local crafts. Malouins gin Breton more info here: Malouins Gin St Malo

In the Basque Country, the 39 winegrowers on 50 hectares of the Irouleguy appellation have suffered from the health crisis. Indeed as many but I am drinking Irouleguy right now, so help is on its way! “50% of our activity is based on cafes and restaurants. It therefore found itself nullified for two months due to covid19. We also had a very noticeable drop in mass distribution because people went to entry-level products. Even there, we lost 70% of market share”. From now on, the Irouleguy winery, which produces 500,000 bottles per year and represents 60% of the AOC, focuses on the return of French and even foreign tourists. “The Nordic populations, from Belgium and even higher, are big fans of our wines,” says the director general. Christophe Mazaud, directeur général de la cave coopérative Irouleguy at Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). More on the cellars in English here : Cave Irouleguy

Another region hurting even if less is Burgundy. Burgundy wines expect a “decent” decline in sales in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of April, sales posted a decline of only 2% in volume, and 8% in value. At the end of May, they should have fallen by 12% in exports but by 25 to 30% in France. More than half (56%) of Burgundy wines are exported, the first market being the United States (20% of total exports). Exports came close to a billion euros in 2019. Over the whole year, the drop in sales in value should be between 10% and “15-20%”. Burgundy, with 3,659 estates, represents 4% of the French vineyard but almost 9% of the turnover of French AOCs and 20% of their exports. explains Monday June 29 the president of the Interprofessional Office of Burgundy wines (BIVB), Louis-Fabrice Latour. More info in English here: Burgundy Wines

The first to announce their Fall Wine fairs! At supermarkets Système U, Hyper U and magasin U stores take place from September 29 to October 10, 2020. Système U , which includes Hyper U, Super U, and Magasin U stores offers a 2020 wine fair made up of 752 references, including 60 organic, biodynamic or HVE (High Environmental Value) wines. The offer is thus much narrower than last year (around 1,000 references) the range of wines available remains considerable and can cover 14 French wine regions, with a rich diversity of appellations. Bordeaux wines are in the majority among this 2020 wine fair catalog of U stores. The average price of a bottle on the brand’s catalog is 10.98€, which positions System U in a wine fair that tends to towards the middle range. The heart of the selection is displayed at prices between 5 and 10 euros.

Despite health constraints, the 1st edition of the Festival Vallée du Rhône en musique or the Rhône Valley Music Festival will be organized from July 31 to August 19, 2020. Under the artistic direction of Grégory Girard, cellist, and under the patronage of Frédéric Lodéon, it will be punctuated by eight concerts by songs or classical music in different sites or wine-growing areas: at the Château du Barroux (84, Mont ventoux), at the Domaine de la Palud (Orange), at the Château de la Croix Chabrières (Bollène), or at the Château de Suze-la-Rousse , where the festival will end on August 19. More info here: Vallée du Rhône en musique

To wrap up this post some overall information: The French vineyard produces 3,240 different wines for 1,313 different names in 80 departments and 16 major vineyards. The 16 French vineyards, with 3245 labeled wines (2959 AOC-AOP, 286 IGP), and the 25,000 French wine-growing towns!. La vie est belle; en vino veritas!

Some webpages that I have used over the years and never a faute are:

Hachette vins here :

The online Vinatis when not able to go direct you can have it in French, German, Italian and I have it in English; the prices are for delivery in France:

And my all time favorite, cannot even remember when I started shopping here for wines, liquors, porto etc and present in many towns in France lucky to have it here in Vannes and Lorient nearby. Nicolas wine stores more info in English, also in French and deliveries ok in Europe.

Even thus my first priority is to visit on site the vineyards and come back for more. Only in need time do I ordered online and sometimes stop by the store like the Nicolas. Hope It helps

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

July 3, 2020

Some news from France, CCCX!

And there is time to tell you what is going on in my dear belle France according to me ! We have cloudy skies and mild temps in 18C or about 66F and we did gardening !!! Now for the news from France 310! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

How about that city call Paris!

And here we are afte the latest municipal elections in France and especially in my eternal Paris. The Spaniard/French Ana (Anne) Hidalgo was officially re-elected this past Friday by the Paris Council. She was a labor inspector and also deputy director of the National Institute of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training (INTEFP). Anne Hidalgo then represented the cabinet of Martine Aubry, (now mayor of Lille and signed my French citizenship certificate!!) Minister of Labor of Lionel Jospin, within the National Agency for Professional Training of Adults (AFPA), the first portrait in Le Monde newspaper of this 41-year-old socialist, novice in politics then ,who succeeded in an unexpected breakthrough in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris, stronghold of the former Prime Minister Édouard Balladur, and who was about to join the team of Bertrand Delanoë, new elected to the City/Town Hall of Paris. This for a bit of historical background. Now elected to a second term there is the process, naming the advisers of Paris also proceeded to the election of the new Parisian executive. It is made up of 37 deputies, 18 women and 19 men. At the head of this executive, Emmanuel Grégoire (environmentalist). Already the first deputy, he filled for a new mandate and was entrusted with the portfolio of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs.

The environmentalist David Belliard joins the executive. EELV candidate for mayor, rallied to Anne Hidalgo between the two towers, he inherits the role of assistant in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Therefore , more changes to Paris coming already claimed by many opposition the end of Paris as we know it. Audrey Pulvar who takes the portfolio of sustainable food, agriculture and short circuits. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, a figure in the fight against AIDS and elected in the 12éme arrondissement, also joins the municipal team and will be in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. The communist Jacques Baudrier takes on his side the portfolio of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordination of works, a key mission while Anne Hidalgo was targeted for having multiplied construction sites in the capital. Among the new assistants also, we can quote Anouch Toranian, candidate in the 15éme, she was at 28 years the youngest of the head of the list of Anne Hidalgo. For her part, she will be in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. The many members of the previous municipal team remain in this new executive. We can cite Ian Brossat who stays in the accommodation. Olivia Polski keeps the trade and craft portfolio, as does Christophe Girard for culture and Patrice Bloche for education. Some elected deputies already change positions: Nicolas Nordman previously in charge of people with disabilities inherits the post of assistant in charge of prevention and security, he will be in charge for the establishment of the municipal police. Colombe Brossel goes from security to cleanliness, a position previously occupied by Paul Simondon who takes care of the finances and the budget. In this game of musical chairs, Pénélope Komitès sees herself in charge of innovation and attractiveness, leaving her post of assistant to green spaces to Christophe Najdovski, previously in transport.

The team according to BFMTV are

Emmanuel Grégoire, First deputy, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs . Hélène Bidard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of gender equality and youth. Pierre Aidenbaum, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the Seine. Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Paris 2030 foresight and resilience. Jacques Baudrier, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordinating works on public space and the ecological transition of buildings. Anne-Claire Boux, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of city policy.   David Belliard, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Colombe Brossel, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the cleanliness of public space, sorting and reduction of waste, recycling and reuse.   Patrick Bloche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of education, early childhood, families and new learning, in charge of the Paris Council. Sandrine Charnoz, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of mixed economy companies and local public companies. Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and refugee protection. Léa Filoche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity, the fight against inequality and against exclusion. Jacques Galvani, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of universal accessibility and people with disabilities.  Afaf Gabelotaud, Assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of businesses, employment and economic development. Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of culture. Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of innovation and attractiveness. Antoine Guillou, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human resources, social dialogue and the quality of public service.   Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of higher education, research and student life.   Fréderic Hocquard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism and nightlife. Véronique Levieux, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of seniors and solidarity between generations. Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition, climate plan, water and energy. Laurence Patrice, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of memory and the combatant world.   Florentin Letissier, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the social and solidarity economy, the circular economy and the contribution to the zero waste strategy. Olivia Polski, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of commerce, crafts, liberal professions and art and fashion trades. Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the greening of public space, green spaces, biodiversity and animal condition. Audrey Pulvar, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sustainable food, agriculture and short supply chains. Arnaud NGatcha, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of international relations and the French-speaking world. Carine Rolland, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the quarter-hour city.   Nicolas Nordman, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of prevention, security and municipal police. Anne Souyris, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of public health and relations with the APHP, environmental health and the fight against pollution, risk reduction and the fight against obesity. Pierre Rabadan, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Karen Taieb, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of heritage, Paris history and relations with religions. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. Anouch Toranian, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. Hermano Sanchez-Ruivo, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Europe. Dominique Versini, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of children’s rights and child protection. And Paul Simondon, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of finance, budget and green finance.

A team made up of mostly Socialists or center left and environmentalists coalition, already mention dangerous. For the record, Paris now has 2 187 526 inhabitants with an unemployment rate of 6,6% Local taxes are 1 150;65€ per inhabitant and there is 20% of green space in the city!

Located in the 14éme arrondissement, the Place de la Catalogne is emblematic of the district. Since June 24, it has had a two-way cycle path. However, in the neighborhood, some consider the tracks dangerous. They find that it does not change anything in terms of safety, whether for bikes or cars. In addition, some traders believe that the place is distorted by these facilities. The rivalries between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists do not help at all. And the beat goes on, as said cannot made changes without alternative solutions before implementing re routings and changes.

One good news finally!  Up to thirty months in prison for the pickpockets plaguing the Louvre and Versailles. The six men were suspected of having robbed 110 tourists who came to visit the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles between October 2017 and July 2018. Bravo !!

And if the mayor of Paris is on the changing mood, the President of the French Republic is already planning his reelection by asking Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to step down after winning the later the mayor’s office of Le Havre. The new prime minister will be announce today at 17h30 Paris time for a men of the center right (I guess for balance in winning!).   Senior civil servant, local elected official and former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy: Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister on Friday July 3 to replace Edouard Philippe, had become a personality of choice for the majority since his mission of strategic advice on deconfinement. This 55-year-old man, who has never been a minister, cumulates, in the eyes of the president, the advantages to carry the second phase of the quinquennium: enarque, but in contact with the territories; still labeled Les Républicains (center right party), but reputed to be a man of dialogue and a perfect connoisseur of the mysteries of power since his visit to the Elysee as deputy secretary general, at the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate. Jean Castex, who has kept a slight accent of his native Gers (he was born on June 25, 1965 in Vic-Fezensac), has been mayor Les Républicains of Prades since 2008, when he snatched the town from the left. He was re-elected in this small town in the Pyrénées-Orientales at 75% in the first round, on last March 15.”Politically, I am on the right and I assume it perfectly,” he said in the early 2000s. This father of four supports the candidacy of François Fillon for the presidency of the UMP at the 2012 autumn congress. Time will tell but this is just a strategy to stay in power after all the major failures of the current administration. And bien sûr he quits the Les Républicains party so to be more team player with M Macron lol!!! They area ll on the same boat and not roaming as we are. The rentrée or re-entry in September will be tough.

And for more lighter news of my belle France, we have

The Théâtre de la Ville or city theater has been able to reopen. In the evening of June 22, it offered “la Veillée”, two nights “Planches” until the early hours of poetry, theater and music at Espace Cardin, near US embassy (see post) all for free. Then a week of shows, free again. And since this week, it’s a month of shows for all audiences combining gravity and humor, sometimes dreamlike, which starts on its two sites, Espace Cardin and the Abbesses theater. Again, free of charge, at least for those under 14 and the nursing staff. It will be 10 euros for the others.

Closed for three and a half months, Beaubourg (as we call it) reopened this Wednesday with the Christo exhibition. Please note that online reservations are compulsory for exhibitions, the modern art museum and the library. The first visitors made their entrance to the Centre Pompidou (as it is known) 4éme arrondissement this Wednesday morning at 11h. Beaubourg reopens with a very nice tribute to the artist Christo, who died last May 31. Entitled “ Christo and Jeanne-Claude Paris!” This ghost exhibition which was to open on last March 18, closed on the opening day. Dedicated to Paris and the packaging of Pont-Neuf in 1985, this event heralds the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in the fall of 2021.

New rules came into effect last Wednesday, July 1st as part of the implementation of the rent framework in Paris. Clearly: a lessor does not have the right to rent an apartment in the capital above the maximum ceiling without justifying it … otherwise the tenant can force him to stick to it. These new ceilings relate to leases signed from July 1, 2020. For leases signed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, the old ceilings apply (slightly below the new ones). Leases signed before this date are not affected by the rental framework. Be careful what you rent!

The île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise or leisure island reopens its beach this Saturday.(tomorrow). Access will be limited and the slides will not be accessible to avoid contact points. More info in French here: ïle de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise

It’s the return of cinema screenings under the stars. If those planned this weekend in the courtyard of the castle, in Vincennes, are complete, there are others, scheduled in Saint-Maur, Nogent sur Marne ,it is on the Terrasses de la Marne that the outdoor cinema screen, not in the park of the Maisons des Artistes. and Champigny sur Marne which should already be noted in his diary. Drive in cinemas that is, the Summer is here!

The Château de Rosa Bonheur castle in Thomery will have theater and concerts in Rosa Bonheur gardens. Marivaux’s “L’Equête” inaugurates an open-air festival to be held all summer in the park of the residence of this 19C painter. More info here in French: Château Rosa Bonheur

At Beauvais airport, the return of Ryanair and the concern of local residents. The Irish company returned to the Beauvais tarmac this past Wednesday, July 1st with 35 to 40% of its usual traffic. Local residents who oppose noise pollution fear a rise in noise power !!! Well cannot have it all lol!

The French are refocusing on essential goods, wine toast, the market plummets, minus 6% for all wine sales, up to minus 60% on champagne. In the fields, orders no longer go, wine tourism is at a standstill. However, rosé is doing well. It totals a plus 7.5% increase in sales during the two months of confinement! Well we did online purchases a couple times and the merchants appreciated.   Some of the unique opportunity were the Bordeaux Rollan de By, (visited), 2019 . Generous, this rosé breaks the codes of its region with a tall Italian-style bottle, in a feminine adornment. That said, this wine is for everyone, thanks to its roundness and delicacy, especially due to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And Champagne Pannier, brut (visited). It is its touching delicacy that makes you want these bubbles of rosé. And then also its lightness, in the healthy sense of the term. In short, a champagne that feels good with a salad, vegetables or fruit.

Travel along the Touques, the river made in Normandy. Upstream of Pont-l’Evêque, from green hills to cheese dairies and apple orchards to castles, this coastal river and its valley conceal all the Norman treasures. The source is Champ-Haut, in the Orne. The mouth is Deauville, in Calvados, its crowd and its boards. In just over 100 km, La Touques connects two worlds that have only Normandy in common. Let’s voluntarily skip the last part of the river, between Pont-l’Evêque and La Manche, to discover the part of the valley that gives pride of place to castles and local products. The cider route, between the Dives and the Touques, attests to this. Gorgeous terrain and great foodies , enjoy it.

Perched at a height of 60 meters, a magnificent view of all of Paris, this is what the new rooftop promises, born of the collaboration between Passage Enchanté and Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events, high promises. A cocoon of greenery close to the Gare de Lyon, which invites you to enjoy the marvelous Parisian sunsets. From July 3, Laho opens its doors. An elegant green space on the 18th floor of a business center, accessible by a private elevator. Once at the top, the panoramic view of Paris is dazzling. A magical moment, where the sky changes from blue to purple, and where the sun is reflected on the monuments of the capital. Paris of course! 5-9 Rue Van Gogh, 12éme more info here: Laho roofstop

The “50 Top Pizza” classification, in Europe published by the experts of the Identità Golose committee, gives pride of place to Neapolitan pizza whose very thick dough has been making foodies around the world salivate for many years . And that’s Kalò di Ciro Salvo who comes first, a London restaurant located in Westminster and whose Neapolitan pizza signed by the pizza maker Ciro Salvo are recognized worldwide. Behind him, the first Parisian restaurant, Bijou, Abbesses pizzeria at high prices but with an absolutely delicious menu,10 Rue Dancourt 18éme, followed by 6 other Parisian addresses: Ober Mamma in 4th position , 107 Bd Richard Lenoir 11éme;   Louie Louie in 18th, 78 Rue de Charonne 11éme; Manhattan Terrazza in 19th,108 Avenue de Villiers 17éme Tripletta in 33th, 88 Bd de Belleville 20éme ,Popolare in 34th,111 Rue Réamur, 2éme; and Guillaume Grasso in 49th 45 Rue Brancion 15éme. Perfect for traveling without leaving Paris!

And one and last but not least for the memories of old Paris.

The old “Refoulons” line, 3 km long between Enghien-les-Bains train station and the former Montmorency train station, which is now gone, was in service from 1866 until July 4, 1954. It was very popular at the beginning of the 20C. It was with this line that the future Mistinguett took the train for the first time. If the cities still keep some vestiges of its activity, in particular the hall of the Enghien train station built in 1879 and which today houses the bus station, it remains especially in the memory of many inhabitants to whom it made life easier. On July 4, 1956, an official decree definitively ended the existence of the Refoulons.

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


July 3, 2020

Count of Chambord!

The story is hardly mention in France today unless you go to history circles like me. However, it is a huge personality in the history of France that was not to be but left an ever lasting royal influence. I have touch base before in my blog , but let me tell you a bit more on the men better known as the Count of Chambord, yes in that castle! (see posts) Bear with me as history is always long even if i try to condense as much as possible.

Henri d’Artois, grandson of France, Duke of Bordeaux, is a prince of the royal family of France, head of the Capetian house of Bourbon, better known by his title of courtesy of Count of Chambord, born September 29, 1820 at the Palais des Tuileries palace (now gone but see post) in Paris, and died on August 24, 1883 at Frohsdorf Castle (now part of hotel group) in Lanzenkirchen,  Austria. Grandson of King Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder and French branch of the House of Bourbon, he was a pretender to the Crown of France from 1844 to his death in 1883 under the name of Henri V.


Henri d’Artois bore the title of Duke of Bordeaux, which king Louis XVIII gave him in homage to the first city which joined the Bourbons in 1814. Designated as king in 1830, at the age of nine, in the act of abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and renunciation of his uncle, the dauphin ,and pretender Louis XIX, will not exercise this function because of the rise of the Duke of Orleans on the throne (not with title of king of France but a minor king of the French). He then went into exile with all his family in England. From 1830 to his death in 1883, he bore the title of courtesy of Count de Chambord , from the name of the castle (see post) which had been offered to him by a national subscription. His supporters considered him to be King Henri V and the continuation of the Bourbons. He is the last legitimate male online descendant of king Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His childless death in 1883 marks the extinction of the Artois branch of the Capetian house of Bourbon and the start of a quarrel ,still on going between the Bourbon houses of Spain and Orleans of France to find out which one has the more legitimacy to the Crown of France. Bearing in mind France do not like kings born elsewhere but queens yes….

Henri, duke of Bordeaux, was the grand-nephew of the king of France Louis XVIII. At birth, he was third in succession after his grandfather, the Count of Artois – future Charles X (widower of Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoie) and his uncle Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême . He is the posthumous son of Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, younger son of the Count of Artois, and his wife Marie-Caroline des Deux-Siciles. The Duke of Berry was assassinated, in 1820, by Bonapartist Louis-Pierre Louvel who wanted to destroy the line of the Bourbons. Already the mother of a daughter, the Duchess of Berry, pregnant at the time of the tragedy, gave birth seven and a half months later to a son, the long-awaited heir to the throne!. As soon as he was born, between three and four in the morning of September 29, by his first chaplain Marc Marie de Bombelles bishop of Amiens, under the name of Henri, Charles, Ferdinand, Marie, Dieu-Donné d’Artois, Duke de Bordeaux , Henri was baptized on May 1, 1821 at Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris; his godfather and godmother were his uncle and aunt, the duke and duchess of Angoulême. On October 11, 1820, a national subscription made it possible to give to the prince the Château de Chambord. He was first placed, like his older sister Louise, under the responsibility of the Duchess of Gontaut. In 1828, his grandfather, who became king in 1824 under the name of Charles X, entrusted his education to the Baron of Damas.


On July 25, 1830, Charles X promulgated ordinances which brought about the 1830 revolution, also known as the Trois Glorieuses or three glorious days. On July 30, 1830, a group of Parisian politicians launched the candidacy for the throne of Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans (not by heritage). On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson Henri d’Artois. The order of succession, however, gave the throne to the king’s eldest son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine de France, who was called to reign under the name of Louis XIX. But the latter is forced to countersign his father’s abdication. Thus, the Crown would pass to the young Henri, duke of Bordeaux, who would become Henri V.   Louis-Philippe d’Orléans did not stand for regent and he was content to register the abdication of Charles X and the renunciation of his son, without proclaiming Henri V. On August 7,1830   the Chamber of Deputies and then the Chamber of Peers (again politicians not heritage) called the Duke of Orleans to the throne, who was sworn in August 9, under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier as king of the French (not king of France). However, from August 2, some legitimists begin to designate the young Henry, nine years old, under the name of Henry V. The royal family went into exile in England on August 16, 1830 as a consequence of this political purge.

The fallen Royal family moved to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. In October 1832, the family of Charles X left the United Kingdom to settle at the royal palace in Prague, in Bohemia. The first act that the Duke of Bordeaux accomplishes on the occasion of his majority is that of a solemn protest against the usurpation of Louis-Philippe. In October 1836, the old Royal family must leave Prague for Goritz, where Charles X dies on November 6. His son, the Dauphin, who bears the title of courtesy of Count de Marnes, becomes Louis XIX, in the eyes of Carlist legitimists or by heritage. In October 1843, he went to London, where he received legitimists from France at Belgrave Square, including Chateaubriand. The death of the Dauphin Louis XIX, which occurred on June 3, 1844, led his supporters to rally to the Count of Chambord, who became the eldest of the house of France and is now recognized under the name of king Henri V by all legitimists, who remain in opposition under the July monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire.

In 1844, the Count of Chambord and his aunt, the Dauphine, settled in the castle of Frohsdorf, located near Vienna. On November 15, 1846, Prince Henri married Marie-Thérèse de Modène, with whom he was to form a united couple. The Duchess, born Princess Marie-Beatrice of Savoy, was the heir of the Stuarts to reign over Great Britain, but excluded from the succession because of the Anti-Catholic Establishment Act of 1701. In February 1848, the revolution of February broke out; Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th; the third Republic (keep counting) is proclaimed. The Count of Chambord sees the fall of Orleans as a just punishment, but refrains from any public manifestation of joy. Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president of the Republic in December 1848. However, in May 1849, the elections carried a monarchist majority in the National Assembly. The prince-president soon came into conflict with it. By the coup d’état of December 2, 1851, he retained power and, in October 1852, hinted at the next restoration of the Empire (therefore a dictatorship) under Napoléon III (just like under Napoleon I).

The Count of Chambord in 1851, inherited the castle of Frohsdorf, from his aunt the dauphine. He settled there definitively and kept memories of royalty there: portraits of the royal family; white flags given to Charles X in August 1830; gifts offered by legitimists. He had two schools built on the Frohsdorf estate for the children of the staff of the chateau and the parish.

Some of the ideas of the Count of Chambord looks very modern and democratic. He wishes that the king be accessible without distinction of social rank and make compete all the talents, all the high characters, all the intellectual forces of all the French. The grandson of Charles X intends that this declaration of principle finds its concretization in the Constitution of the kingdom by the affirmation of the equality of rights between all the French citizens and the equal access of all to the offices and public responsibilities as well as to social advantages The role of the parliament is a role of control which does not go so far as to overthrow the government: it consists in the annual vote of the taxes and the budget and in the participation in the drafting of the laws. Count of Chambord fears that ministerial responsibility before the chambers is a source of chronic instability. He is also in favor of bicameralism. On the other hand, the king would have the right to dissolve the chamber without limit. Regarding universal suffrage, the Count of Chambord is favorable. The question of suffrage seems to him inseparable from that of decentralization insofar as he advocates the creation of territorial communities whose representatives would come from universal suffrage. The Count of Chambord holds religious freedom as inviolable and sacred, he intends to guarantee it but does not hear that the bishops meddle in temporal affairs, which would be no less contrary to the dignity and interests of religion itself than to the good of the state.   According to him, public authorities must keep their distance from education which must remain free. He does not see in what name the State would prohibit religious congregations from fulfilling their educational mission. He wishes to orient France’s foreign policy in the direction of a fight against the Islamists, both within the framework of the French strategy in the south and in the East. From his trip in the Ottoman Empire, he retained the idea that the Muslim world must be pushed back as far as possible. French exception, he is an heir to the throne with a real program, slowly drawn up: his work will deeply inspire the monarchists who will revive social Catholicism in France, such as by Albert de Mun and, above all, by René de la Tour du Pin.

In August 1870, when the France of Napoleon III experienced serious defeats in the war against Prussia, Henri d’Artois left Frohsdorf with the intention of enlisting; on September 1, 1870, he appealed to repel the invasion, save at all costs the honor of France and the integrity of its territory. In February 1871; the new Assembly had 240 republican deputies against 400 monarchists, divided between legitimists and Orleanists. On May 8, 1871, the Count of Chambord published a letter in response to one of his supporters, Carayon-Latour, in which he condemned political intrigue, placed events in the context of French history, affirmed his faith in eternal France and calls for rallying. The letter accelerates the process of union of the royalists and the princes of Orleans enjoin the Count of Paris to step aside before the grandson of Charles X! However, the legitimist pretender,Count of Chambord refuses to give up the white flag (this is the reason France did not continue with a King). For him, this is a question of principle, which concerns the very idea that he has of the monarchy. In a letter of May 24, 1871, Prince Henri affirms that he does not want to abandon the flag of his fathers which for him means respect for religion, protection of all that is just, of all that is good, of all that is right, united with all that demands of our time, while the tricolor flag represents the flag of the revolution in all its aspects and that in addition it fills the arsenals of the foreigner victories. If he compromised with the heritage of the revolution, he would be powerless to do good. On June 8, 1871, the Assembly abolished the laws banishing the Bourbons from France. In July 1871, Count of Chambord/ Henri d’Artois returned for a few days to his France which he had to leave in 1830.

He receives on July 5 a delegation of royalist deputies bringing together the heirs of three of the largest houses of the monarchy who try to convince him to adopt the tricolor flag; and he responded: I can not forget that monarchical law is the heritage of the nation, nor decline the duties he imposes on me. I will fulfill these duties, believe my word as an honest man and a king.I am ready to do anything to raise my country from its ruins and to regain its rank in the world; the only sacrifice I cannot make for her is that of my honor. I will not allow the banner of Henri IV, François I and Jeanne d’Arc to be torn from my hands.I received it as a sacred deposit from the old king my ancestor, dying in exile; for me it has always been inseparable from the memory of the absent country; it floated on my cradle, I want it to shade my grave. (Brave but it ended the monarchy as no support to go back to old ways). Even if still very much monarchist support! In May 1873, the President of the Republic, Adolphe Thiers, declared that monarchy is impossible and that the Republic is preferable. The royalist majority of the Assembly then puts him in the minority, causing his resignation on May 24, 1873. He was immediately replaced by Marshal Mac Mahon, favorable to the restoration of royalty. The death in January of Napoleon III whose only son and dynastic heir was exiled with his mother to Great Britain , the departure of the Republican Thiers in May, the evacuation of German troops in September created a climate conducive to restoration. At the end of October 1873, one begins to prepare the return of the king to France. On the night of November 20, the Assembly, which ignores that Prince Henri is in France, (and not told by Mac Mahon to keep the power for himself) votes the presidential mandate of seven years, thus extending the powers of Mac Mahon.


Learning of the vote for the seven-year term, the Count of Chambord returns to Frohsdorf so as not to be a subject of unrest. He did not lose hope, but the news which came to him from France only indicated to him that the decline and then the disappearance of the royalist majority, faced with the successive victories of the Republicans. The Third Republic was established in January 1875 by the Wallon amendment, and the constitutional laws of February and then of July organized its functioning. In 1879, with the resignation of President Mac Mahon, all powers belong to the Republicans. In June 1883, Henri d’Artois suffered from a disease of the digestive tract, of which he died in exile in Frohsdorf on August 24, 1883, the eve of Saint-Louis. The funeral of Henri V takes place on September 3 in the Cathedral of Gorizia (became Italian since 1918), and he is buried near his sister Louise and Charles X, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, outside the city, at the convent of Kostanjevica (in Slovenia), located since 1947 two hundred meters behind the Italian-Slovenian border. There have been efforts to repatriate but it needs the demand by France which still not done it…….

According to some legitimists, the crown was to go to the Bourbons of Spain, who were descended from a grandson of Louis XIV; the latter, mounted on the throne of Spain in 1700, under the name of Felipe V,(who built a little Versailles where he was born at La Granja de Idelfonso near Segovia see post); had indeed renounced his rights on the throne of France, for him and all his descendants, during the Treaties of Utrecht in 1713,(coerse to avoid a war he could not win), but all waiver would be void according to the principle of unavailability of the Crown (heritage by Salian laws). On the death of the prince, a minority of legitimists, supported by his widow, the Countess of Chambord, recognized as the king by right Juan de Bourbon, Count of Montizón (brother-in-law of the Countess of Chambord), descendant of the grandson of Louis XIV, now the elder of the Capetians, and former Carlist contender for the crown of Spain. The current monarchy in Spain follows this line. The current legitimist king of France Alfonso was born in Madrid and would be Louis XX.

The Château de Chambord, which belongs now to France, includes a museum where several rooms evoke the Count of Chambord; they notably contain souvenirs and furniture from Frohsdorf; There are also four cars and a coach that the Count of Damas, representative in France of Prince Henri, had acquired from the Binder house, in the early 1870s, for the entry into Paris of “Henri V”, in case he was called to the throne. At the end of the 19C, French legitimists erected a monument to Sainte-Anne-d’Auray to Henri d’Artois; a stone pedestal, decorated with statues of Joan of Arc, Bayard, Saint Geneviève and du Guesclin, carries the statue of the pretender while praying, in coronation costume. (very near my home, see post).



The graphic arts cabinet of the musée Carnavalet museum and its cabinet Numismatics keep several hundred prints and medals of legitimist propaganda to the glory of the Duke of Bordeaux and then Count of Chambord, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée Carnavalet Paris collections

The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux or museum of decorative arts and design of Bordeaux has one of the most important legitimist collections in France. A living room dedicated to the Duke of Bordeaux evokes his life, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design of Bordeaux

You can see his story there in the Château de Chambord on the remarkable personages page in English here: Château de Chambord on Henri

The official webpage of the Count of ChambordComte de Chambord

The official webpage of the royal reunification of France, futur king Louis XX in French: Futur royal family of France Louis XX

The official webpage of the futur Louis XX personal page: Royal family of France under Louis XX

And there you go, now you have a wonderful piece of French history seldom mention in government control media. The one to be Henri V and the possible but unlikely future Louis XX. Hope you enjoy the post on the Count of Chambord, Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux.

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

July 1, 2020

La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay!!

So here I am caught up in nostalgia, not big tourist attractions but more of the every day life of a family in France . We tend to deal with glorious spots on travels and many times forget what we have at home. Well , my home back then was Versailles... not a shabby place ,but around it were many towns of little tourist attractions that were very memorable for our family. Therefore, I like to mention for the record in my blog the towns of La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay.

La Verrière is located in the Yvelines department 78 in the Île-de-France region. The town is located 26 km from Paris. The neighboring towns are Élancourt to the northeast, Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis to the southeast, Coignières to the west and Maurepas to the northwest.

The town of La Verriére area is bordered to the north by national road N10 (which becomes the A10) and to the east by departmental road D58 which leads, to the north, to Élancourt and, to the south, to Mesnil-Saint-Denis and Dampierre-en-Yvelines. The departmental road D13 crosses the western part of the town leading, towards the north then the northwest, to Montfort-l’Amaury and, towards the south, also to Mesnil-Saint-Denis then to Chevreuse. La Verrière is part of the arrondissement or district of Rambouillet in the Yvelines. This district also includes Chevreuse, Maurepas, Montfort l’Amaury, Saint Arnoult en Yvelines and Rambouillet.

The bus network is by sqybus or Saint Quentin en Yvelines, never taken bus here. There is the webpage and shows a pdf file with the lines passing by La Verrière. SQYBUS here:

The town has its own train station called La Verrière. The station is served by line N Rambouillet – Paris Montparnasse and by line U La Verrière – La Défense. This line U is the one my oldest son took to go to college from Versailles Chantiers. The line is here from the transilien regional transports site:

A bit of history I like

The land on which the town of La Verriére is located belonged to the lords of La Verrière, also owners of a castle which dates from 1507. The parish of La Verrière was created in 1739 by the merger of three hamlets, La Petite-Verrière, Grande- Verrière and l’Agiot, detached the same year from the parish of Mesnil-Saint-Denis at the request of the lord of the time, Jacques Cordier de Launay, advisor to the king and treasurer general of wars. Became a town during the French revolution, it remained during the 19C a small village, although its location on the main road from Paris to Chartres (the current RN10) encouraged migrants to settle there.

The one thing to see from a tourist point of view even if it is not visited at least you don’t want to go there…is the Château de la Verriére. Today owned by the Mutual General of National Education (MGEN), the castle of La Verrière and its magnificent park are also witnesses of history. From 26 hectares at the start, the estate expanded to reach 838 hectares in 1830. In 1920, Mr. Moulton, a wealthy American, bought the place. When he died in 1951, his heirs resold it to the MGEN, which restored the site of 174 hectares, and transformed it into a psychiatric center at the end of the 1950s. A garden with a superb alley, symmetries and elegance , the castle grounds constitute a precious historical heritage. It is said without a doubt   owed to André Le Nôtre, the gardener of Louis XIV, also behind the Tuileries, Luxembourg, Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles gardens.

The town of La Verriére on its heritage in French: city of la Verriere on its heritage

However, what I did came here was because my oldest son spent time for his Hotelerie/Restaurant degree at the CFA AFFIDA of La Verriére. And of course, time to have some lunches here spending it with him. The school is at 4 rue Louis Lormand ,from the back you can come straight from the train station just crossing the track on a pedestrian lane. The school gave him the Baccalauréat Professionnel Métiers du Commerce et de la Vente or sort of a pro commercial sales degree ,which wen well with his resto/hotel degree. Since 1997, the CFA AFFIDA L’Ecole Commerciale offers apprenticeship candidates (work-study contracts) and professional training contracts a quality training offer, from CAP to Bachelor (in partnership with CNAM) for the trades Commerce, Sales, Management and Management. Their webpage in French is here: CFA AFFIDA school of Commerce La Verriere

La Verriere

The town of Vélizy-Villacoublay  is located in the department of Yvelines 78 in the Île-de-France region, Since January 1, 2016, it is part of Versailles Grand Parc (VGP), a French intermunicipal structure located in the departments of Yvelines and Essonne (91), in the Île- de-France. The town is located 15 km from Paris and 3.5 km from Versailles. Vélizy-Villacoublay is about 15 minutes by car via the N 118. The town is served by the A86, the RN 118 and the RN 12 roads. From by 2021, the town should be served by a new A 86 interchange at Vélizy 2 shopping center.

The town of Vélizy-Villacoublay is served by: RER C trains at Chaville – Vélizy station, in the town of Viroflay; Tramway T6, with 7 stations in the town; the Phébus bus network organized by Île-de-France Mobilités and operated by the Keolis Vélizy group for the Vélizy-Villacoublay buslines.

A bit of history I like

Formerly Vélizy was only a simple hamlet in the village of Ursine, a village which was in the middle of the woods. Ursine, or Ursines, was erected as a parish in the 13C. The territory was made up of three distinct lordships, Vélizy, Villacoublay and Ursine, mentioned from the 11C, which, in the Middle Ages, were the properties of the Hôtel-Dieu de Notre Dame de Paris. It was then the Louvois family, already the owners of the lordships of Chaville and Meudon, who gradually acquired these territories. In 1674, when Louvois had bought the lordship of Chaville, he had the church, which was at Versailles, transported to Vélizy with the ok of the Pope. The Ursine traffic circle is the memory of the village at the origin of Vélizy-Villacoublay. These domains gradually entered the royal domain from the 17C and at the end of the 18C for that of Vélizy.

It was at Vélizy, on July 1, 1815, that General Exelmans, at the head of the dragons, knocked down two regiments of Prussian hussars which he drove to Rocquencourt, where they were completely destroyed by detachments of the French army. . Following these combats, the national guards of the country having taken up arms and shot at the Prussian horsemen, the next day the Prussian troops, in reprisals, almost completely burned the village and pillaged it, which gave it the nickname of Little Moscow. In 1937 , the aerodrome of Villacoublay has become so important at the international level that the town council of Vélizy decides, on May 29, 1937, that the name of Villacoublay should be joined to that of Vélizy and that the town takes the name of Vélizy-Villacoublay. On July 18, 1937, the “Fête de l’air” or air show took place, a large air meeting that foreshadowed the Paris Air Show after WWII. Today it hold an important French air force station with duties of protecting Paris and the Palais de l’Elysées home of the President of the French Republic. The town does not contain any building or object listed in the general inventory of the cultural heritage of France.

The city of Vélizy-Villacoublay on its heritage in French: City of Vélizy Villacoublay on its heritage

What we came here and know the town was for shopping from our beloved Versailles. The Velizy II or now Westfield Velizy 2 has 156 stores which are favorites were Auchan, Boulanger, C&A, Comtesse du Barry, FNAC, H&M ,Jeff de Bruges,Lacoste, Louis Pion, Micromania, Montre Service, Orange, Pharmacie du Centre, Printemps, UGC Cinemas, Yves Rocher, and restaurant Big Fernand, Brioche Dorée, Burger King, Old Wild West, and Paul. However, our favorite was El Rancho now gone. The shopping center is at 2 Avenue de l’Europe and you can get there as we did by car from the palace/museum on avenue de Paris go up towards rue des Etats Generaux direction gare de Chantiers becoming rue des Chantiers, same road name Rue du Pont Colbert and get on the road N12 direction Meudon to become the A86 exit/sortie 4.1 ZA Villacoublay to get on the road N118 direction Paris; take exit/sortie 3, just follow the signs to Centre Comercial Vélizy II.

And as usual, our main stop there was El Rancho tex mex restaurant who also had a branch in Versailles by the rive gauche château station,(in Versailles they went out  of business first and then Vélizy). We had some fun family times there and remember it well, just for the memories that will never go away, this post is dedicated to all families.

velizy villacoublay

The official Westfiel Vélizy II shopping center in French: Westfield Velizy 2 shopping center

Info on Vélizy for the CC Vélizy II in French: Velizy info on the Velizy 2 shopping center

Hope you enjoy this most personal post and family values which we need more than ever today. We are kept together by these memories first with my mother Gladys and then with my dear wife Martine. La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay are two precious spot in our world.

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

June 30, 2020


Ok so back to nostalgia lane for me. I was looking for something different to write in my blog other than the usual tourist famous destination. I was looking at some of pictures in my vault of almost 100K and came up with one little picture that means a lot to us so decided to write about it and keep it for memories’ sake in my blog.

Therefore, here is my take on Orgeval!!

Orgeval is located in the department 78 of the Yvelines in the Île-de-France region. It is very close to Poissy and Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and not far from Paris only 31 km, Mantes-la-Jolie 23 km, Pontoise 22 km and the capital of the dept Versailles at 22 km. The town is bordered by Crespières and Feucherolles to the south, Villennes-sur-Seine and Médan to the north, Poissy to the east, Les Alluets-le-Roi and Morainvilliers to the west. 

Orgeval is traverse by the departmental road D113 (known as the Route de Quarante Sous ), formerly the N13 just below it, the Autoroute de Normandie A13. In the north of the town there is the interchange which links the A13 and the D113, and also gives access to the A14, a toll road which leads directly to La Défense. Of course, all these roads are very familiar to me.You can go from the D113 or Route de Quarante Sous on the D45 to city center along the rue de la Gare.

The town of Orgeval is served by 10 bus lines which connect Orgeval to the poles of Les Mureaux, Plaisir – Grignon and to the towns of Poissy, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, La Défense, Verneuil sur Seine and Versailles. The most common lines I recalled were the Line 14: Maule <> Orgeval <> Poissy Gare Sud (bus and train station to Paris) .Line 20: Poissy Gare Sud. The Express line 19: Les Mureaux bus/train station <> Orgeval Art de Vivre <> Versailles Europe (very close to the castle) .Line Express A14: Vernouillet-Verneuil train station <> Orgeval “Conforama / Art de Vivre” <> La Défense Terminal Jules Verne (believe me took this one on business trip from Verneuil sur Seine to La Défense!) . The nearest train station to Orgeval as it has none is in Villennes-sur-Seine, then Poissy and St Germain en Laye as far as distance. The Villennes sur Seine takes to Paris too.

The transdev bus network for Orgeval is here:

For the Express line 14 to La Défense is here:

For the Express line 19 to Versailles Europe , which also stops at shopping center Parly II and very walkable to the Hameau and Trianons of Versailles both ways , line here:

A bit of history I like

The first mention in history of Orgeval was the foundation of the Notre-Dame d’Abbecourt abbey in 1180 by Gasce de Poissy, suzerain of Orgeval. This men’s abbey, which belonged to the diocese of Chartres, located near the Hôtel du Moulin d’Orgeval, was destroyed around the beginning of the 19C. Orgeval nowadays has a church of Romanesque architecture from the 11C with an spire and an octagonal tower. The nave is from the 16C. Joan of Arc went there to deliver Poissy and gold was searched there in the early 17C.

More on things to see here: Parc de la Brunetterie . The demolition of the castle of Brunetterie in 2017 and the restoration of the park on the domaine de Brunetterie. The Church of Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul. The Royal Abbey of Notre-Dame d’Abbecourt was closed during the French revolution of 1789 and then used as a stone quarry. Only the toponym remains, “Allée d’Abbecourt”. The current study, carried out thanks to donations from members, individuals, the participation of the town of Ogeval , Heritage associations, already allows them to have a good overview of what was the Abbey of Abbecourt. Also, the Chapel of Saint-Jean.

The city of Orgeval in French, on its heritage: City of Orgeval on its heritage

The city of Orgeval history webpage on its heritage in French: City of Orgeval history site

We love to come shopping and eating here just to get out of Versailles and see our new surroundings; as if Versailles was not enough, lol!.

The 40 Quarante Sous business zone in Orgeval is one of the largest in Ile de France with about 160 establishments spread out along the road. However, one of the reason we came here often was the Centre Commercial Art de Vivre, this indoor and two-stories shopping mall was an essential shopping stop for many inhabitants of the region. Several times redesigned, it had as much as 42 stores with a very diverse target: furniture, decorations, leisure, games, perfumery; and large brands known such as Darty, Animalis, Casa, Maisons du monde, Nature and discovery, Game, l’Univers du livre, and Bricorama. There were also several dining areas, including a Japanese restaurant. And even if the car park has nearly 1,000 parking spaces, it was sometimes difficult to find a place to park. Yes indeed!! Very popular!!! However, sad to read in the press, the place is in free fall. In fact, of the 25 brands that composed it when it was created in the 1970s, and after more as above, by last read in 2018, there are only six remaining. The Gilbert Joseph bookstore (who took over from the L’Universe du Livre) and the video game specialist Micromania (who took over from Game) have just lowered their curtain. Now it is the Guy Degrenne tableware store which had stopped its activity. A new complex composed of shops and housing could be created by 2025 at the Art de Vivre site. Still in discussion with the town folks. There is a Facebook page still with some reminicents of what it was , FB on the CC Art de Vivre here: Facebook page on the old Centre Comercial Art de Vivre Orgeval

However, the main reason we found out about Orgeval, was that my twin boys first job was at the restaurant and kitchen of the Ibis Budget Hotel right next to the shopping center Art de Vivre. And voilà , we saw the shopping so therefore, wife and the gang attack it!!! The experience for the boys was very nice with very friendly staff at the hotel , one for the memories even if by then photos were not important. And one reason we came to Orgeval to shop at the Centre Commercial Art de Vivre. And as memories goes never to be forgotten and one reason to put it in my blog. The Ibis hotel still there, ver good stop on your rounds Paris to Normandy. Webpage in English: Accor Ibis Budget Hotel Orgeval


And there you, I feel better now, to give credit to another nice spot in my world. Orgeval, as others all appreciative of knowing them and remember well. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by on your rounds of Paris to/from Normandy on the Autoroute de Normandie A13!

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

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Saint Cloud!!!

And here I am again on my beloved Versailles. Oh yes wonderful to walk its architecturally and historical stunning streets. Versailles is the capital of the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. However, for a capital city is very managable and even with a great bus network , walking would do the trick. Especially if you lived central in Notre Dame district like we did for almost 10 years, and one nice big avenue that separate us from the rest.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Avenue de Saint Cloud in Versailles, of course.

The Avenue de Saint Cloud (road D185) is in the Montreuil district bordering Notre-Dame district of Versailles. It was created in 1804. Former Avenue de Paris in 1665. Named after the town of Saint-Cloud (see post) whose avenue was the road to go to. At the time of Louis XIV the north of the avenue, in place of the Lycée Hoche, was occupied by a menagerie and stables, and behind these installations by the park of the former Château de Clagny (done for Madame de Montespan, mistress of king Louis XIV).  It has remarkable plane trees malls with bike paths on each side of the avenue.


At 33 Avenue de Saint Cloud about corner with Avenue de l’Europe parking Indigo, convenient for those daring to enjoy the thrill of coming by car, is right next to the flower market or Marché aux fleurs (see post). The Flower market is between rue Clémenceau and Avenue de l’Europe, under the plane tree mall, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, from 8h to 19h30(see post). Easy spot in and out of Versailles and central for walking all over too.


Some of the remarkable buildings to see in Versailles, and of course now many under different ownership but I put the old history here are:

At No. 3: Former Hôtel de Langlée; at No 5 and 7: Former Hôtel d’ Estrée; No 6 to 16: Houses demolished in 1848 to build the Borgnis-Desbordes barracks, destroyed in 1944 again and see follow up. No 9: First building used for the Israelite worship during the French revolution; at No 10 to 16: Current General Treasury (DDFIP) ; No 18 to 20: Entrance of the Avenue de l’Europe constructed in 1963. At the corner of the Avenue de Saint Cloud ,and rue Carnot: the Café Amaury was in 1789 the meeting place for the Jacobins club. Today the BNP Paribas Bank. No 22: Former Salon de Flore hall a dance hall. No 25: Purchased in 1897 by La Ville stores in Paris, then in 1924 Printemps de Paris, Le Printemps in 1960, and Eurodif since 1991, then Bouchara at the corner of Rue du Maréchal Foch. At No 31 it was the building of Protestant worship from 1828 to 1836. No 34: Former Hôtel de Richelieu built in 1738. At No 35, the picturesque Passage Saladin ,named after the family who owned neighboring properties in the 18C. No 36: Former Synagogue until 1886. At No 38 former Hôtel Saint Simon b. 1686 not much left than some pieces of the cellar.   No 52 and 52 bis: Former Hôtel Dutoit, named after the head of the King’s goblet and small voyages, completed in 1785. Beautiful facade and neoclassical interior courtyard with horizontal lines and interior staircase with canopy. Former Protestant school: the Bertrand Institution (precursor of the Lycée Jules-Ferry high school) operated there until 1923. No. 56: Old gardens, today the City’s technical services and administrative court.

Further at No 71: Land bought and built by the architect of King Louis XV, Richard Mique. No 73: Lycée Hoche. Created in 1803 as an imperial high school. The name was given in 1888 by a government decree. In the center of the current school is located the old convent where the canonesses of Saint Augustin (Carmelite convent) settled in 1772. It was built by Richard Mique for Queen Marie Lesczynska, daughter of the King of Poland and wife of Louis XV, between 1767 and 1772 ,next to the destroyed Château de Clagny . Its neoclassical chapel, completed in 1773, is comparable to the Pantheon in Paris (1757 see post) ) and the Saint-Symphorien Church in Versailles (1764 see post) There is a museum inside worth the detour . In 1792, despite the presence of 500 pupils (poor young girls), the nuns were expelled. Restored, the chapel was inaugurated in 2012.

More in French on the museum Hoche  here:

Moving right along ,at No 83: Facade with porch, balcony and pediment. Built by Jean-Baptiste Brucker, butler of the Count de Noailles, in the 1770s. Madame Babois’ literary salon (Ducis, Talma, De Saint-Pierre) in the 1790s. No 85: House built around 1780. No 87: House built in 1787. No. 89: The pavillon de l’équipage du cerf   or aka green dog kennel. Acquired in 1868 by the farmer Louis-Emile Bertin.

The city of Versailles on its heritage in French: City of Versailles on its heritage

The Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district in French for more info: Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district

And there you go, another wonderful spot in my beloved Versailles, a lot more than a Palace/museum I said. Hope you enjoy the walk on Avenue de Saint Cloud, and recognise these buildings as you do, great fun indeed and very educational.

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

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Sceaux!!

Let me tell you about a dandy in my beloved Versailles. This is one of those streets you find by chance even if lived in the city. While ,there we walk, but then we had visitors and took them on a car ride into the palace and others and needed parking. Therefore, there is an excellent parking at the end of Avenue de Sceaux and voilà. We walked further around it and got to know the street. After later visits, we parked here to do our walking and its great.

Let me tell you a bit about the Avenue de Sceaux in Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux is a very much used traffic street in Versailles, one of the three streets which radiate in a fan from the place d’Armes, in front of the Palace/museum of Versailles, with the Avenue de Paris (see post) and the Avenue de Saint-Cloud (see post). Avenue de Sceaux is the most southerly of the three. It goes south-east for about 700 meters and ends at the place des Francine. Part of the avenue is currently occupied by a paid above ground car park managed by the city of Versailles. There are also parking spaces on a niche or on the cob, paid for by parking meters, along the entire length of the track. Very nice place to park and start you walks around the city. Our favorite.

versailles avenue de sceaux 2007


Initially it was planned that the Avenue de Sceaux would extends in a south-eastern direction, in order to be able to reach the Château de Fontainebleau passing through the town of Sceaux. But the project was aborted and ultimately the avenue will remain in its current state and will end in a dead end. The project will notably be thwarted by the installation of two immense reservoirs on the heights of the Bois Saint Martin forest by the engineer Gobert to receive the water from the Buc aqueduct. Located at the end of the avenue, they close it permanently.

The Avenue de Sceaux borders the following buildings, the  Petite Écurie, Court of Scents, the Square des Francine, also called Louis XIV abreuvoir or watering place, at no. 10: Hôtel de la Marine et des Galères; and Jardin des étangs Gobert or pond garden of Gobert.  You can, also, walk from the parking above on Avenue de Sceaux directly into the left hand side of the palace/museum or commonly call the Château de Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux in the district of Saint-Louis created in 1710. Former allée des Bois and avenue du Parc-aux-Cerfs. Named after the town of Sceaux south of Paris to which the avenue and then a road lead. Access to the Jardin des étangs Gobert, the Palace second hydraulic system which brought water from the Rambouillet ponds, from the Saclay plateau, via the Buc aqueduct, to the Gobert garden ponds (Thomas Gobert was  intendant of buildings for King Louis XIV).

One of the ponds is abandoned (filled with reeds and willows, it was regrooved in late 2014) and the other was fitted out by the city of Versailles in 2013 as a public park as part of the construction of the transport hub multimodal of the city. An alley built in 2013 joins the rue Edouard-Charton and the gare des Chantiers.  These areas will be linked to Avenue de Sceaux by a new route drawn between the two old reservoirs. In the northern part, the avenue was limited under the old Regime by the gardens of the Hôtel du Grand Maître (current city/town hall or hôtel de Conti), then by the Hôtel de Limoges, replaced in 1854 by the barracks of same name, then by the current buildings. A residential access to the Étangs Gobert gardens via Place des Francine. Do not miss the outdoor exhibition on the walls to the east of the garden, telling the story of hydraulics in Versailles.

Further on this Avenue de Sceaux you have at no 2ter  Former brasserie du Nord; no 4, 6 and 8: Former barracks, then Hôtel des Chevau-Légers and printing works; rented to Edouard Aubert at no 6, Bains Saint-Louis or baths until 1918, and cinema of the Alhambra in 1970. The Guards pavilion on the avenue has been restored. At no 6, rehabilitated, the former hôtel des Gabelles 17C, became at the beginning of 2016 the Hotel de Beauté. No  10: Barracks of the Coches, Major seminary from 1808 to 1833, then barracks of CRS (special riot police) .No 12: Part of the old Cheval Blanc inn courtyard at rue Royale. No 14 Former restaurant with the Coing d’or, then café de la Bourse (gone) opposite the café de la Réunion on the other side (gone in the 1990s).

At no 1 to 46: Former Hôtel des Gardes du roi in 1740. There remains a monumental door where the Decroy residence was installed (derived from the name of the Croÿ barracks). No 30: Former stables of the King’s Guards, which became a barracks in 1730, the Duke of Noailles being Governor of Versailles. The barracks, which accommodated the 32nd regiment of Dragons until 1919, became then the military circle of Croÿ. The other monumental entrance on rue Royale was built after 1778. Creation at this level of La Rotonde new annex of the Saint-Louis district house in 2015. Place des Francine at the top of the Avenue de Sceaux, an old drinking trough for horses, fitted out at the end of the 18C and refitted in 1812, with the current hemicycle wall, was replaced in 1954 by the Square des Francine (named after a family of fountains men in charge of water stewardship and royal fountains from 1623 to 1784 or from King Henri IV to Louis XV), which included a pool surrounded by four play areas. at the former Étangs Gobert reservoir converted into a public park and at the Chantiers train station. A small sports field has replaced the square and the hemicycle wall has been rehabilitated. A new playground for kiddies accompanied by ‘a 345 m2 plant labyrinth and an esplanade with water jets was inaugurated in June 2016. The fountain with two lion heads has been put back into service.

Sublime my Versailles, full of history on every turn. And of course , Architecture to dream on. Hope you enjoy the walk of this wonderful Avenue de Sceaux in my beloved Versailles.

Just for reference, the city of Versailles on its heritage: City of Versailles on heritage

And with more info, the Versailles tourist office on the district of Saint Louis in French: Versailles tourist office on Saint Louis district

Again be at Versailles, breath Versailles and enjoy Versailles. Hope it helps you enjoy the Avenue de Sceaux.

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

June 23, 2020

Le Parnasse Français ,Palace of Versailles!!!

And I have to come back to my beloved Versailles and the wonderful magnificent Palace/museum of Versailles. I have given you so many articles on it and so many stories, general and personal ,that I rather go straight to the matter on this post.

As a friend of the Domaine de Versailles I walk around, in and out. However, my most vivid memories are the walking and jogging in the gardens and especially stopping by the Petit Trianon. Nevertheless, there are many curiosities anecdotes especially in the Palace of Versailles. I like to tell you about the French Parnassus! or Le Parnasse Français!!! I like to describe it from personal brochures.

Le Parnasse Français or the French Parnassus in the apotheosis of the poets and musicians of king Louis XIV. a bronze and wood model, completed in 1718 is kept at the Palace of Versailles in the aile du nord or north wing, ground floor (1fl US). Its measures are: 260 cm high, 235 cm wide and 235 cm deep.


The monument was to be a personification of Mount Parnassus with ornaments of laurels, myrtles, palm trees, surrounding and emphasizing the climb to the summit where a statue of Louis XIV was to triumph, in Apollo at the lyre. On the floor immediately below, the three graces embodied by Antoinette Deshoulières, Henriette de la Suze, and Madeleine de Scudéry, the best known of the three. Still below, on a sort of terrace crossing the mountain, Pierre Corneille surrounded by   Molière,Racine and Lully who wears a medallion. La Fontaine, Boileau, and other lesser-known characters completing the empty spaces of the muses. In various places were to be hung on the laurels medallions of poets and less famous musicians.

All is on a formidable wooden base, very worked with its marked rocks, its waterfalls from which the water flows and its many plant species easily recognizable by a good gardener, appears bronze with its swarming of various characters. They are all of very fine carving, well taken up. On the upper level you see a young Apollo enthroned at the lyre, behind him are a child blowing in his trumpet and a winged horse about to fly away. At her feet, three women wear long garlands of flowers, preparing to crown the god as soon as he stops playing. Beside them, little loves wear medallions where the heads of very chiselled men are seen. On the level below the previous one are many standing figures, standing or seated, in costumes and wig hairstyles typical of the Sun King era. Going down, the mound widens and, still below, you see some effigies, located at the corners, of men known to the time.

In the second plan, in height, an energetic olives branch, with reinforced masculinity, indicates to the serious Monsieur Pertinent and to the crowned Lion the direction that the small troop should take. Just behind them, the ruffle great step, master of fantasy and the joy of living in dreams, the land of all happiness. Above the trees with massive trunks in the midst of which the scarecrow of the olive branch took place. Set back, at the level of olive and relevant master, the tamer, the chimney sweep, the dwarf with the wheelbarrow containing an Easter egg, the dancer in tutu, the gendarme, the animated bell, etc. All members of the brilliant community of Hallucinaville. They are looking for their way out. Oh yeah those feerie artists of my belle France!

 All this beautiful world is situated on the sides of a mound of green grass, with blooming flowers of all colors, the top of which is crowned by two grandiose trees in which small birds fly. In the background, hills on the right, one of which carries a fairytale castle with a floating banner. Everywhere else a wonderful azure blue sky without the slightest cloud. The perfection of the illustration is total, the painting is a masterpiece of a unique balance between drawing and colors, truly a moment of classic eternity.

This is not in the official public Domaine of Versailles webpage nor the tourist office of Versailles. You can read up my post on the Italian musicians of Louis XIV on their former house in Versailles and their performances back them as the closest to what this statue represent. Hope you enjoy the novelty Le Parnasse Français of Versailles!

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

June 22, 2020

Shopping in the Domaine of Versailles!

Well, I think its time I tell you about the shopping inside the properties of the Domaine de Versailles, which includes the palace, trianons, hameau, etc in the city of Versailles, capital of the department 78 Yvelines and in the region of Ïle de France. Happy to say it again, my old home.

I have told you plenty on the palace and also, that Versailles is a lot more than it. However, it is true 98% (according to survey by City of Versailles) come here for the palace alone. Therefore, feel it is the time to tell you a bit about the shopping available inside the properties of the Domaine de Versailles! Here is my brief introduction as the subject can be long….

However, first, let me tell you some practical information base on many sources and my own experiences.

Some ideas to ease your visit to the Domaine de Versailles is to schedule your visit from Wednesday to Friday. Buying a ticket online allows you to go directly to entrance A, without going through the ticket office! Arrive early and start with the visit of the Palace, then go to the Trianon which opens at 12h30. The rest of the day, enjoy the gardens and the park.

The Passport ticket, for one day or two consecutive days, is the sesame that opens with a single ticket all the gates of Versailles: Palace, Trianon estate, temporary exhibitions, gardens, park, Galerie des Carrosses or carriage wagons gallery museum, not to mention events like the Musical Fountains or the Musical Gardens.


To visit the entire Estate in peace, the petit train or little train in the Parc de Versailles is the ideal ally for families. Trains run between the palace and the Trianon estate. The palace gardens are free to access, every day, from 8h to 20h30 however, the gardens close at 17h30 during the evening Fountains water Show.

The Domaine de Versailles is easily accessible by train or RER from Paris, from Saint-Lazare or Montparnasse stations and by RER C from Les Invalides. Arrived at one of the stations of Versailles (rive droite from St Lazare), (rive gauche château from several or les invalids on RER C ) and (Chantiers from Montparnasse), a few minutes on foot are enough to reach the palace.

The palace of Versailles practical information in English: Palace of Versailles practical information

And now ,that you are here, let me tell you about the shopping!

The Cabinet des médailles du roi or the king’s medal cabinet. The museum’s stores house many medals that testify to the history of Versailles over the centuries. To publicize these collections, the Palace invited Maison Arthus-Bertrand to delve into its numismatic archives. The workshops thus created 17 medals reproduced identically or reinterpreted after old engravings. Freely accessible via the Palace’s main courtyard.

The Librairie des Princes or princes’ bookstore. Located on the left in the courtyard of the Palace of Versailles, this space offers walkers and art enthusiasts the opportunity to make purchases outside the Château tour circuit. Freely accessible via the Palace’s main courtyard.

The Comptoir de la Chapelle or the chapel counter. Located opposite the Royal Chapel in the upper vestibule, this shop offers a selection of derivative items around the Palace of Versailles. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique du pavillon Dufour or the Dufour pavilion shop. Located at the end of the Château tours, this new store occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the Bouche du Roi, under the courtyard of the Princes. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique cour de Marbre or the Marble courtyard boutique. Located at the foot of the Queen’s staircase, at the end of your visit to the Grands Appartements, the boutique offers a wide choice of gifts and merchandise around the Palace of Versailles. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique des jardins or Garden boutique. Come and discover the Garden Boutique located in an old farmhouse in the parc of the Palace of Versailles, a place with authentic decor made up of old wooden feeders. The garden shop offers a selection of quality products around Versailles and its great figures, but also on plants and gardens. Freely accessible through the Parc.

The Boutique du Grand Trianon or the boutique of the Grand Trianon. The boutique of the Grand Trianon, located at the exit at the end of the visit, offers a selection of books and gifts linked to the collections and history of this place, nicknamed the “little Palace of marble” by its architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Accessible by small train or on foot, 15 min walk from the Palace.

Ladurée – Versailles .The taste for sweet treats at the court of France foreshadows the success of Maison Ladurée a few decades later. The story of Macaron Ladurée begins with Pierre Desfontaines, little cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who in the middle of the 19C had the good fortune to pair the macaroon shells two by two and garnish them with a tasty ganache. The shop is accessible with an entrance ticket to the Palace, from the cour Royale or at the end of the Grands Appartements circuit, at the bottom of the Queen’s staircase.

Angelina – Versailles . Renowned for its hot chocolate, the favorite drink of queens and kings of France since its establishment at the court in 1615, Maison Angelina has perpetuated the tradition of chocolate makers from the 17-18C. Founded in 1903, the tea room has established itself as a gourmet and refined place from its opening, an unmissable event for the Parisian aristocracy. at the Palace and the Petit Trianon. The two shops offer the possibility to eat on site with a wide choice of pastries and chocolates, but also to buy many delicatessen products from Maison Angélina, including the famous hot chocolate in the bottle, as well as products around brown, a sure bet for the house. At the Palace, the restaurant is accessible with an entrance ticket, from the cour Royale or at the end of the Grand Apartments circuit. At the Petit trianon ,the take-out counter and the terrace are accessible without an entry ticket. Yes!!

The shops at the Palace of Versailles in English: Shops at the Palace of Versailles

Well, can’t find a photo on these shops ,and the ones i have already did a post on the Petit Trianon and Angelina as this is where I gather after a walk or jog in the garden when lived in Versailles; wont repeat them here.

Nevertheless, hope you enjoy the post on the wonderful shopping inside the Domaine de Versailles. I leave you above with one photo of the entrance to the ticket office once past security.  Enjoy the shopping at the Domaine of Versailles.

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

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