Archive for ‘Versailles’

December 6, 2018

Some news from France CCXII

And I am coming back to my belle France rather quickly not just for new thoughts but also on the latest events going on here. We have strikes all over ,more will come, and some like the yellow vest/jackets will be seriously damaging, so if in main town read the news and stay inside as much as possible. The rest is up to you!!!

Disturbances are expected on the RER B this Friday Dec 7th . A social movement is planned on the line, after the aggression of a driver. On the Saint-Rémy/Robinson and Denfert-Rochereau axis, plan 2 out of 3 trains at peak times and 1 train on 2 in off-hours. On the center of Denfert Rochereau and Charles-de-Gaulle/Mitry Airport, plan 1 train on 2 all day long . https://www.rerb-leblog.fr/travaux/

While a call to the general mobilization is launched this Thursday in (Lycées) high schools, about 100 establishments are disturbed in Ile-de-France. In detail, the Académie de Versailles is the most affected by the high school movement with 55 disturbed establishments of which 11 are blocked. Urban violence in the vicinity of some high schools has been reported. In the Académie de Créteil, 22 high schools are disturbed, 3 of which are blocked. In Paris, the situation is calmer but 17 establishments are still disturbed, of which 2 are blocked (the lycées Charlemagne and Monod). In parallel, some forty young people tried to invest the Sorbonne early this morning but were prevented from doing so. As a result of this intrusion attempt, the Sorbonne’s historic building was closed  “As a security measure”, reports AFP. Other university sites are disturbed. After an intrusion of demonstrators on the site of Censier Paris-3, the management of the university decided to close preventively since Tuesday. The site of Tolbiac-Paris-1 is also disturbed.

More than 400 arrests, hundreds of fires, barricades, shops looted, degradation at the Arc de Triomphe, 133 wounded in Paris (263 in France) and nearly 10,000 grenades (tear, GLI-F4 and discircling types)  were fired by CRS police on  the mobilization of the  gilets jaunes or yellow vests or jackets on Saturday December 1st was marked by severe violence in some parts of the capital, in the margins of peaceful protest. The Elysée palace (site of President)  is worried according to information of a hard core of several thousand people  who would come to Paris to break and kill. Is the situation too alarmist or really is to be worried?  Which does not prevent them from worrying also about a dramatic turn of events on Saturday December 8th! Stay tune France is on fire, the Bastille was not enough!!!

In other more peaceful front, life goes on and preparation are in order to end 2018 with a bang,(do not which kind!).

Some 250 exceptional artisans of art, gathered in the prestigious Carrousel du Louvre to expose and sell their creations. This 10th biennial brings to light the richness and quality of the work of all these magical and expert hands. Some 20 training schools will be present, as well as art craftsmen from Japan, Quebec, Italy, Germany and Denmark. The Carousel of Crafts and Creation.  Until Sunday, December 9, 2018, every day from 10h to 20h.  Carrousel du Louvre, 99, rue de Rivoli , 1éme.  It’s free. More info here:   www.carrousel-metiers-art.com/

My favorite Flea markets to end the year:  13th Salon of  Record, this Sunday at  323, rue de Charenton, 12éme;  admission 2€ .  Antiques and Secondhand Boulevard Montparnasse, 14éme Saturday and Sunday, Metro Vavin, 80 stands.  Crumbs, small flea market and sale of the foyer of Grenelle,15éme  Saturday and Sunday from 15h to 17h at  17, rue de Avre, Metro La Motte Piquet.

To mention Vaux-le-Vicomte  has been adorned with a thousand lights, with 4 km of light garlands, thousands of decorative objects and rooms of the castle that smell the festive fragrances of cinnamon, chocolate, honey, orange… In the garden are also illuminated a long alley of fir trees, a squirrel of 5 meters (symbol of Nicolas Fouquet), a path of more than 60 toys-lanterns cloth. The carriage ride, with a coachman in costumes, finishes to sublime fairy. Its call the Le-Vicomte celebrates Christmas. Until January 6 from Wednesday to Sunday. Open on weekends from 11h 18h45. Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle, Maincy dept 77. Admission 19.50€ reduce for children, extra 3€ for the carriage ride. More info : http://vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-le-vicomte-celebrate-christmas/

The Bergerie National (sheep-herd)  of Rambouillet goes into Christmas mode from December 5 until January 6  2019. Cows, sheep, lambs, hens waiting for families. Don’t miss the illuminated Christmas crib in the barn. and a guest of renown  will be passing, too, every opening day. Santa Claus in person will come and meet the children who wish it in the nursery. To warm up, we head to the Merino Café where we enjoy a good organic hot chocolate and homemade pastries.  La bergerie fête Noël .  Bergerie National of Rambouillet (Yvelines 78) From 14h. to 17h. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Every day during the school holidays.  From 4-6€. Free for children under the age of three. More here : http://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/ferme/evenements-et-animations/grandes-manifestations/

Monumental projections of Enghien-les-Bains. On the theme of travel and onirism. The multimedia scenography’s will be projected every evening on three facades: the Church of St. Joseph, the city/town hall and the Casino.More here: https://www.enghienlesbains.fr/fr/agenda/les-projections-monumentales

One of my favorite dishes in France, the Onion Soup, and many places to have good these are my latest finds over the last few months.  Very good at this time of the year indeed! Enjoy it

That we eat well on the charming place of the Le Marché Sainte-Catherine! But for the onion soup, it is a particularly warm place that respects the traditions. It is enough to find a small table on the heated terrace to taste this tasty version of one of the most comforting dishes of French cuisine. Le Marché  2, Place-Sainte-Catherine 4éme  More info : http://www.restaurantlemarcheparis.com/

The Au Pied de Cochon is not only the cliché of the tourist restaurant, it is really a good table in the kitchen is generous and tasty. Moreover, their  Onion soup au gratin is a best seller: Golden in the oven and perfectly seasoned, it is to fall for it! Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Au Pied de Cochon 6, rue Coquillière , 1éme. More info : https://www.pieddecochon.com/

The rue Montorgeuil,. Summer as Winter is always lively and we love her neighborhood life. For the onion soup, our little heart is at n ° 78. Adorable boss, layer of cheese XXL, and impeccable service, we love to savor it while  watching people passed by . Au Rocher de Cancale  78, rue Montorgeuil, 2éme.  More info : http://www.aurocherdecancale.fr/

A few steps from the Place des Vosges, the reputation of this Aveyronnaise brewery  is no longer to be done: it is said that it is simply one of the best Onion soups of Paris, have no issue with this statement. Bistrot des Vosges , 31, boulevard Beaumarchais, 4éme. More info : http://www.bistrotdesvosges.com/

There you go , enjoy France nevertheless, there is always something exciting going on, not always pleasant for the visitor but even less for the resident. Cheers

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

 

December 4, 2018

Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs , Versailles!

And back I take you to my beloved dear Versailles.  The de facto Capital of France! The royal and imperial city of France, my home for almost 10 glorious years! I like to take you into another off the beaten path site in my beloved city.

If you move out of the castle and come to know the city a bit more, you will learn not only world history but French history as well. I like to enlighten you into known a bit more on the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.

Paris

The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs is located at 22 Avenue de Paris in Versailles (Yvelines 78). It remained famous in the history of France for having welcomed the Assembly of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the General Estates of 1789, the last that the former regime had experienced. It is an integral part of the history of France, and a must to visit even if today has other functions.

Versailles

A bit of history I like

This hotel was built on orders of king Louis XV around 1745, in order to house the decoration workshops and the equipment of the games related to the festivities of the King and the Court called “Menus-plaisirs”. It will include sports accessories (especially for jeu de paume play), theater sets, musical instruments.etc.. There are also workshops for models, costumes, paintings and other sculptures In 1759, the hotel also contains a physics office installed by Abbé Nollet for the instruction of the children of France, starting with the future Louis XVI. The architectural ensemble then revolves around two courses located at different levels. The lower court opens on No. 22, avenue de Paris, while the High Court is located at the level of No. 19 rue des Etats Géneraux. It was at the site of the latter court that a provisional room hosted a meeting of notables in 1787, then end 1788. On the inside, the sovereign is then installed under a canopy, located in front of the covered staircase which currently provides communication between the two courtyards. The three orders (nobles laymen ,and clerby) are seated separately in the stands arranged in horseshoes, while high grandstands greet the public.

It was in this room that the abolition of privileges was voted in 1789 and the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights was made. The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs includes the election of Maximilian Robespierre as president of the District Court. The judges of the Criminal court settled there in 1792, waiting for the former bailiwick to be transformed into a house of justice. Thereafter, the hotel serves as a food store for the army, although many theater props are still kept on reserve, which also stirs up the lust of directors of Parisian halls who regularly come to used them.

Paris

Transformed into a barracks for the volunteers of the Gendarmerie (police) Corps, it became a center of distribution of bread for the troops before being finally sold to a certain   Dubusc in 1800. However, the prefect ordered the cancellation of the sale a year later, but already the damage is done: In the meantime, the buyer has unfortunately already demolished a large part of the historic premises including the famous room of the general Estates! . The hotel would then become a cavalry barracks, then be abandoned for more than a century until the city of Versailles installed its technical services in 1942. The State will restore these places as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the French revolution in 1989.

Napoleon turned the place into a conservatory of music. Under the restoration, it was tried to return to its first assignment, but without regaining the glow of the pre-revolution festivities. After the revolution of 1830, the Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs became a conservatory of music under the name of Royal School of Music and Declamation. Since 1996, part of the hotel is now home to the Baroque music Center of Versailles.

The remains of the Hall of the General Estates remain in the high courtyard used for the recess of the students of the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles. The pavements of the ground expose the layout of the hall, with the Royal Tribune at the bottom, the grandstands for the nobility and the clergy on the sides, the Great Tribune for the third-state in front which can be seen today.

Indeed a must for the lovers of architecture and history of France and the world really a must to see. Just come out of the palace on avenue de Paris and walk up the hotel is on the right hand side of the street and just a few minutes easily accessable. Enjoy it

A webpage to help you plan your trip and more info is here

Baroque music center on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs Versailles

Centre de Musique Baroque at the Chateau de Versailles webpage

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

December 2, 2018

Maison des Musiciens Italiens , Versailles!

So back to my beloved and former home of Versailles. In my new neck of the woods of the Morbihan breton it is sunny mild 9C or about 50F and not raining so nice to be like that for the weekend.  In my eternal Paris is a bit more cloudy with about the same 10C or 51F roughly.

As I indulge myself in my beautiful royal town of Versailles and try my best to take you away from the palace/museum (hard to do I know) but there in a smallish town there are so much punch as far as history, architecture and traditions to account for a lot more than what the general visiting public give to the town. Let me tell you about the house of the Italian musicians in a nice area of Versailles.

The Maison des Musiciens Italiens or House of the Italians musicians in Versailles,  is a house of rocaille rock  style, erected in 1752 at No 15 rue Champ-Lagarde in Versailles by Jacques Hardouin-Mansart , for the Countess of Argenson  separate wife of the count of Argenson. It is since 1986 the seat of the Union Compagnonnique des Compagnons du tour de France des devoirs unis (or something like the  Union of the Companions of the United Tour de France , that restores ancient buildings according to tradition) It is open all year round but for visits is on previous reservation only.

Versailles

Versailles

A bit of history I like

Unlike a legend conveyed since the 19C, the present house is not the house originally created by the Italian castrates of Louis XIV. It is indeed the pleasure House of the Countess of Argenson erected at the site of the primitive house of the castrati, as evidenced by various deeds of property as well as documents recently discovered. Anyway, it is a wonderful house and museum to visit in the off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles.

The house in the period under king Louis XIV tells us that between 1686-1691 , the Italian castrato of the Chapel of the King, acquired several pieces of land in Montreuil, village located then near Versailles (today one of its districts, and where many nobles lived to be away from the hassles of the court near the Palace including many who later were kings like Louis XVIII(count of Artois) and Charles X( count of Provence). In 1691, an ordinary officer of the King’s music chamber, gave as gift his nearby music pavilion, a pavilion that served as an embryo for the future house. This pavilion was then composed of a circular lounge covered, inside, a dome and tiles on the outside, open of 3 crossing and a window-door.  In 1708, this pavilion was increased by two lateral wings while the estate was fenced with walls. That same year, the property was bequeath  to the brothers and friends of the music guild, who had participated in its constitution.

The house under the reign of king Louis XV ,after the main owners of the music guild passed away in 1726, 1733 and 1740, the house  remained in the hands of the last two members Carli and Ridolfi, the last to come. They ceded the property in 1748 and again the house was ceded in 1751 to Anne Larcher, Countess of Argenson, the wife of Louis XV’s minister of war. The Countess of Argenson decided to have the pavilion fully rebuilt to her liking. For this purpose, it designated the architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne, who erected the parish of Saint-Louis de Versailles (completed in 1754). Above all, he erected for the son of the Countess, the Marquis de Voyer, the château of Asnières, located on the edge of the Seine river in the town of Asniéres.. It was on the advice of the marquis, a man of taste, that the Countess made a choice of Mansart. You will also observe that the staples arranged above the bays of the house are the conforming copies of another contemporary realization of Mansart: The Château de Jossigny (1753, in town of Jossigny dept 77 Seine-et-Marne). This House was for the Countess, her residence in Versailles at the same time as her play house, according to the expression of the time, i.e. her party house . Indeed, she sheltered her love with the Marquis de Valfons, here. The Count of Argenson also had a gallant house in the village of Montreuil, on the side of Avenue de Saint-Cloud, where the Countess d’Estrades lived as his lover. The Countess de Marsan remained there from 1759 to 1776.

The house under the reign of king Louis XVI tells us that by 1776, the countess of Marsan gave the house to Louis-Guillaume Lemmonier, the first ordinary Doctor of the King and a professor of botany at the jardin des plantes in Paris, which made it one of the high places of the French botanical gardens of the 18C. Besides the various species of trees planted in the garden of the house, Lemmonier had a greenhouse at the end of it which he will constantly modify to accommodate his many varieties of plants, as evidenced by the inventory after the death of his wife in 1793. It is here that Lemmonier will trained several travelling botanists, especially André Michaux, who had first been plowing the farm of Satory (by rue de Satory off ave de Sceaux) in Versailles. The garden of Lemmonier will remain, until its dismantlement in the middle of the 19C, the botanical garden of the city of Versailles. It gave birth to the horticultural vocation of the village of Montreuil, which will remain until the mid-1960’s. Lemmonier, who also made the house, his residence in Versailles, established on the left flank of the courtyard, the buildings now visible whose extension on the side of the garden. Extension that contained the new dining room of the house today.

The house after the fall of king Louis XVI; by the time of the death of Lemmonier in 1799, the house passed on to his three nieces. The beautiful garden of their uncle was gradually dismantled from the 1800’s. The heirs of the latter, began the fragmentation of the estate so dearly constituted by Lemmonier;  it then encompassed almost the entire triangle formed by the streets rue Champs-Lagarde, rue Pasteur and rue des Condamines (very nice area in Versailles for a walk). The point of the triangle on the side of the current high school or lycée Rameau passed to the municipality in 1881 which establishes in the old greenhouses of Lemmonier, a school, greenhouses that will disappear in the 1950’s during the reconstruction of it.

The house of the musicians  nowadays passed from hand to hand until its acquisition by the City of Versailles in December 1978; then house  passed on in May 1986 to the Union Compagnonnique des Compagnons du tour de France des devoirs unis as it stands today. Another off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles.

And to show you once again, my Versailles is a lot more than the palace/museum 98% of your come to see when in Versailles. You need to spend more time and see more of glorious royal Versailles!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Versailles on the house ,in French

City of Versailles on the house, in English

As the main sites are in French and for the benefit of those reading who do not speak French, I will tell you how to get the house from the palace/museum. Well ready! walk! the best way to see a city, go up from the place d’Armes in front of the palace/museum onwards on avenue de Paris, for about 24 minutes (guiding by google as me never counted) turn by the University of Versailles-Saint Quentin building on your left hand side is the beginning of rue Champ Lagarde a bit more on your left is the house at no 15. There is a bus 171 direction Pont de Sévres from in front of the palace/museum but at the end you will need to walk too. Another option if not a walker is to go over left from pl d’armes to place Hoche (there is a statue of gen hoche there) on the circle take local bus Phebus line C to stop Artois at rue du Refuge walk same street is rue Pasteur and the house is on the corner with rue Champ Lagarde. So better go all the way on foot, see more , enjoy Versailles more!

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

November 30, 2018

Some news from France CCXI

And back with the latest news from my belle France. Times are going fast and the season to be most merrier is coming upon us. There are plenty of good cheers around us and lots of hope for those on the recovery hill. Let me tell you some good news for a change!

Ten million!!! The Louvre is guaranteed to beat, by the end of December 2018, its annual record, for the time set at 9.7 million visitors in 2012, foreign tourists have returned. Massively, Americans (about 1 million) and Chinese (800 000) in the lead. From January 5th, 2019 ,the Louvre will launch a free Nocturne (night opening) on the first Saturday of each month, from 18h to 22h. These twelve Saturday evenings in 2019 will replace the current gratuity of six Sundays a year, whose studies show that they do not benefit the family public that the Louvre wants to attract. Another innovation of these Saturday Nocturnes: if the wings Sully and Denon will be in free access, it will be necessary to book online-free (registrations from December 10 2018) to visit the Richelieu Wing, which houses the antiquities of Mesopotamia, the Art objects or French paintings.  More here: Official Louvre Museum Paris

The traditional Christmas market of the magic of Auteuil (16éme arrondissement or district of Paris) comes from December 1st to 9th, 2018. Shopping, terroir, shows and exhibition for the whole family. This Christmas market offers you both traditional gastronomy (foie gras, wines, champagne, macaroons…), Christmas decoration (fir trees, Santas de Provence) and creations in a creative space (leather goods, jewelers, confectionery, soaps…) ! Ideal for those who are looking for their Christmas gifts. An oyster bar for the most greedy!  An exhibition of about thirty crèches carried out by the young apprentices of Auteuil.  Concerts, fanfares, children’s shows, pony rides, organized on weekends for the enjoyment of all.  Antique rides, flea market, but also a magic show on Wednesdays.  Gourmet Cottages held by young apprentices in catering, to warm us up with specialties of festivities. More here:  https://www.sortiraparis.com/actualites/noel-et-fetes/articles/34937-les-feeries-d-auteuil-2018

In my dear beloved Versailles, since this past Thursday night. For the first time, the Place d’Armes and the three avenues constituting the famous trident are illuminated. Avenue de Paris, Avenue de Sceaux, and Avenue de Saint Cloud.

This Saturday and Sunday December 1-2  2018, the Domaine of Madame Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI), 73 Avenue de Paris in Versailles will welcome the Christmas counter with, on the program, a nice selection of animations.  Local creators and producers, original and refined gifts, tastings and onsite dining, children’s Animations: Christmas carols, Merry-go-round, magician, Photo Studio… Creative workshops for young and old, staging showing the rooms of the Domaine, and illuminations. Note that the Christmas counter will be open on Saturdays from 14h to 22h30 and Sunday from 10h to 18h. More here: City of Versailles on Christmas 2018

At Cergy (Val d’Oise dept 95). In the city center you will enjoy for Christmas the show Noël O’Merveilles from December 15-16 2018. One of the towns of my crossing in the Paris region very fond of it with nice memories.More here:  http://www.cergy.fr/se-divertir/temps-forts/il-etait-une-fois-noel/noel-omerveilles-1479/

Sadly, in Maisons-Laffitte, France Galop announces the closing of the racecourse at the end of 2019. Which is distinguished by the longest straight line (2,000 meters) in Europe.  While it is now designed so that 1,500 horses can train at the same time, less than 500 are there today with a deficit of 119 million euros.  France Gallop, has other racecourses such at Longchamp, Auteil, Saint-Cloud, Chantilly ,and Deauville. http://www.france-galop.com/fr/hippodromemaisonslaffitte

The Grandes Écuries du domaine de Chantilly are launching this weekend December 1-2 2018 their new equestrian creation for the winter « Le songe d’une nuit d’hiver ». midwinter nights dreams until January 6 2019. More here: http://www.domainedechantilly.com/en/event/a-midwinter-nights-dream/

The current floating guinguette of the Invalides will be replaced by the end of the year by her sister, Rosa 2. The boat will continue its festive life in the west, at the Rosa Bonheur in Asnières-sur-Seine, the last smaller inaugurated this summer. We look forward to discovering the improved version of one of our favorite Parisian guinguettes! A building that is rounded, with a metal structure carrying a glass envelope to remind the canopy of the Grand Palais, and in grey tones to integrate with the mineral framework of the banks of the Seine. A superior bridge to enjoy the summer evenings in  the winds. Bright Spring! Rosa Bonheur sur Seine port des Invalides, Quai d’orsay 7éme arrondissement. More here :   http://rosabonheur.fr/

Carsten Höller did it. Candidate to reinvent Paris II, the Ymagis group and the famous artist offer you a visual art center accessible by giant slides in the place of the old parking lot of the Grenier Saint-Lazare. Want to move quickly, surely and efficiently. Oh, it is not a leisure park but a work signed by the German artist Carsten Höller. Located in the place of the old parking lot of the Grenier-Saint-Lazare, this 72-seat underground parking lot has not welcomed any cars since 2014. The city of Paris has therefore decided to redevelop the 6 levels of 2 200 m2 (just that). The program therefore: two giant interlaced slides that plunge into the guts of Paris 18 meters deep! The venue houses 600 m2 of work and post-production spaces for feature films and series as well as 300 m2 of contemporary art exhibition spaces. And bonus: elevator/lifts and metal staircases are designed to rise to the surface. To be continue see photo rendition and credit.

Paris

parking-du-Grenier-Saint-Lazare credit Chastang-Trouilleux France-Lanord Architectes

 

New appointment, the Ciné Gaumont les Fauvettes offers you every first Sunday of the month a Ciné-Brunch. Starting Sunday, December 2nd. Brunch is a must for weekends, as is the movies. So to feast on all the plans, we found you a ciné-brunch at Gaumont les Fauvettes. The program: A surprise movie to discover in preview followed by a delicious brunch! The recipe in sum ups  a perfect Sunday. Ciné-Brunch Gaumont Les Fauvettes, 58, avenue des Gobelins  13éme arrondissement of Paris from 10h30  to 13h30 . More info here: https://www.facebook.com/GaumontLesFauvettes/

Boulogne-Billancourt, visual of the île de Seguin. In the center of the island, the Vivendi group will settle between the Seine Musicale  and the future cultural and artistic pole carried by the Emerige group. After several years of litigation, Mayor’s office and associations negotiated a protocol paving the way for future developments of the old Renault site . http://www.ileseguin-rivesdeseine.fr/en

There you go , now come on over, eternal Paris has patient it is waiting for you and yours. Bienvenue!

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

November 29, 2018

Galeries Lafayette, Paris of course!

Now, let me tell you about a store , a story , history and chic beauty of what France is all about. You have come here I am sure one time or another, we all have. I came here way back in my first encounter with Paris in 1972,and been back ever since, even a cardholder.

I like to tell a bit on the Galeries Lafayette, that beacon of French fashion and department store à la Française.

Galeries Lafayette is a brand of department stores belonging to the Galeries Lafayette Group. The flagship store is at Bd Haussmann in Paris.

The description and style is a must to visit and enjoy it. It was my first dept store visit in Paris even back in 1972 and has been our favorite, I am a card carrying member and do shop even online! Paris chic at its best ,even if some tells you tourists are many but that is because they go to the main store in bd Haussmann, and you go elsewhere you will tell the French do shop there too ::)

The ramp style of the main staircase is directly inspired by that of the Opéra de Paris. Overlooking the store at 43 meters in height, the huge dome built in 1912 of the main hall becomes the emblem of Galeries Lafayette. Its neo-Byzantine-style stained glass windows allow the rays of the sun to pass through the Great Hall in a warm light. The first vocation of Galeries Lafayette has always been the alliance of fashion and novelty. To do this, it acquires production units in order to create its own brand of clothing. It later made sewing pieces at the forefront of fashion in order to sell them at prices much more affordable than its chic competitors. It democratized the access to fashion and made its stores the indispensable address not only of the bourgeoises of Paris, but also of the sewing workers. The aisles such as “men’s clothing”, “interior decoration”, “Toys” and “Table art” are added to the classic aisles dedicated to women’s clothing. And for maximum loyalty, annual appointments are established with customers, such as the famous “3d”, created in 1958 and allowing to acquire current and good quality items at unusually low prices for three days. The department store subsequently hosts prestigious events by presenting creators or major artists of our time. In order to strengthen its link with fashion but also with the creation of all kinds, the store opens the gallery of galleries, a space located on the first floor and free of access to all that highlights the intrinsic links that exist between the fashion , art and design. In 1951, Edith Piaf gave a concert in front of the galleries of Boulevard Haussmann where is inaugurated the highest escalator in Europe!

paris

And the story I like is….

Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn joined in 1893 to take over a new store and open their first store in 1894 at 1, rue La Fayette in a room of 70 m2 which they call les Galeries. Both are Alsatian Jewish traders coming from the world of confection, while their competitors Boucicaut, creator of the Bon Marché, or Jaluzot, founder of Au Printemps, were previously sellers in stores. Their store (now the “Galeries Lafayette Haussmann”) initially 70 m² grew as it went along with the purchase of the entire building three years after its opening. The store is then renamed Galeries Lafayette. In 1905, the buildings of 38, 40 and 42 Boulevard Haussmann, as well as the 15 rue de la Chaussée D’Antin, are also acquired.

After the 1940 debacle, Galeries Lafayette underwent a “aryanisation” treatment: Théophile Bader, Raoul Meyer, Max Heilbronn, the store’s administrators and 129 Jewish employees were forced to resign. The Bader, Meyer and Heilbronn families are dispossessed of their property. Protected by the Nazis, the Swiss Aubert and the French industrialist Harlachol led the whole group Les Galeries Lafayette. Heilbronn and Meyer then engage in the French resistance and they were arrested by the Gestapo, then deported to Buchenwald, Max Heilbronn returned to France in April 1945. After many clandestine activities, Raoul Meyer took an important part in the liberation of Paris in 1944. As a result, a special board of Directors of Galeries Lafayette meets on September 20, 1944, Aubert and Harlachol are returned and Galeries Lafayette handed over to Raoul Meyer, hoping for the return of Max Heilbronn. In the meantime, Théophile Bader had died in Paris in 1942, paralyzed and despoiled of his property. Today, the Galeries Lafayette are the last French department store led by the direct descendants of its founder!!!

A bit of the spread of the group: Since 2014, Galeries Lafayette have been developing an offer of destocking with Galeries Lafayette Outlet stores, which today number eight in France. There is a total of 54 stores in France. The next project is for the 52-60, avenue des Champs-Elysées, which houses a monoprix and until 2013 a Virgin Megastore, was bought in 2012 by Qatar and Groupama. It is renovated from 2016 in order to welcome in 2018 a store of Galeries Lafayette in place of the Virgin. Outside of France you have stores in Berlin, opened in 1996, the first abroad. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Open in 2009. Jakarta, Indonesia: Opened in June 2013. Beijing, People’s Republic of China: opened in 2013, Istanbul, Turkey and forthcoming openings in Doha, Qatar; Luxembourg, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China, Kuwait City, in Kuwait. and Milan, Italy.

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And the future is bright!

The Galeries Lafayette are preparing to hire. And not just a little. The group of department stores launches a large recruitment campaign in this month of September 2018 to hire 700 people in permanent jobs, reveals Le Parisien.newspaper. The group will indeed in the next few months open two department stores in Paris. First a point of sale of 6500 m² under the Galeries Lafayette on the Champs Elysées (see above) in lieu of the former Virgin Megastore for which she seeks 400 people. Then a large Italian specialty store called Eataly. Located in the Marais district, this store for which Galeries lafayette are looking for 300 people is the first of its kind in France. It is an Italian brand that the French group will exploit in France. Eataly will offer a large restoration area that should serve 2500 covered per day. Both stores are to be opened between the first and second quarter 2019.

Paris

my boys on Virgin, the future Galeries Lafayette on C-E

Some webpages to help you visit and enjoy this icon of Paris are

Official Galeries Lafayette

Official Galeries Lafayette Group

Tourist office of Paris on Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

In all , a wonderful experience that I have not even gone into the top floor terrace and restaurant and the soon to come Christmas 2018 celebrations. Awesome a must to visit, Galeries Lafayette.

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

 

 

November 26, 2018

Some news from France CCX

So here we are and back to my blog after a while it begins to be missed, just a rest day from my last trip (vive la France!) and back to work this week to finish November. Until my next trip to Asia in December to close out 2018 and awaits my Christmas break!

Some of the latest on the season to be the best of all seasons; Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all. Joyeux Nôel et Bonne Année!

Christmas in Paris : City/ Town Hall of Paris parvis de l’hotel de Ville from December 14th to January 6th 2019.

Sport on the quays ,from December 22 to January 2, 2019   all along the 4éme quais with light images on the banks. From the banks of the Seine, between the Notre-Dame Cathedral 4éme to the Pont au Change, from 17h to midnight, pictures on Paris and Christmas. The opportunity to immerse yourself fully in the magic of Christmas on this natural screen of 140 meters long by 8 meters high.

A ball at Place de La Concorde from December 28th to the 30th and from 19h to midnight Sounds and lights on the Arc de Triomphe projected on the Arc de Triomphe at 23h30, a sound and light some 150 streets and 70 neighborhoods or quartiers of Paris will also be illuminated from the end of November to the beginning of January 2019..

The Jardin des Plantes reveals its facilities for the holiday season. And this time since November 16th, it treats us with species in the process of illumination, missing animals version XXL. Species in the process of enlightenment at the jardin des Plantes 2 place Valhubert 5éme until January 15 2019, adult ticket 15€. Every year, the jardin des Plantes this year has a mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger or even a Tasmanian wolf. As if to fire the alarm of a planet that is getting worse, here we enlighten the consciences, we remind that we must preserve the fauna and the flora, at least what is left of it. Spectacular lanterns represent extinct creatures more than 60 million years ago, but not only a 30-meter-long white shark, accompanied by other endangered species, is also installed in the garden. The course is done at night, to enjoy the light installations of course, and will delight the adults with live shows on the theme of nature, but also the children with workshops to build his own lantern. A nice trip plan!

Right now and until January 6 2019, run to the giant ice rink set in the heart of the Tuileries garden, a few steps from the Christmas market. A few slips followed by a pancake and a hot wine, it is atmosphere cocooning enchanting assured! 1200 m2 of surface for 100 meters long, there is enough to do for the young and the young at heart! Jardin des Tuileries ;   from 11h to midnight.

Find the above and more at the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris Christmas 2018

Away but in the region back to my dear late wife Martine home ground in Seine-et-Marne 77.

From November 24th, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte illuminates thousands of decorations for you to discover the magic of the Christmas of yesteryear, for its 13th edition. A true fairy tale come true with its splendid Christmas showcases of the Museum of Crews, its trains, sledges and wooden trucks sublimated by garlands and golden fir, its authentic small trains of the 1900’s   exposed on a course of 20 m2, its kiosk Gourmet with Christmas specialties in the courtyard of the museum, its toy palace and its puppet theatre, its snowy firs and teddy bears and even its sumptuous banquets, not to mention its large living room, centerpiece of the castle, and its hot air balloon decorative 10 meters high floating over a fairy forest. The Festival of Lights arrives in Paris for the first time, and here is a good introduction to the magic of Christmas. Beautiful Chinese lanterns and other illuminations of all kinds will warm your heart and put you in full view until 2019! Vaux-le-Vicomte fête Noël. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte  . Until January 6 2019. tickets from 13-19€. More info here: Christmas 2018 at the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte

And in my old lovely gorgeous Versailles, Christmas is in the air at the Castle/museum. The hours days are all Saturdays from December 1-29, Fridays on December 21 and 28.The hours on all days above will be 18h, 18h20, 18h45, 19h10, and 19h35. More info here still in French: Christmas 2018 at the Chateau de Versailles

And all the plays at the Royal Chapel during December 2018,info here still in French: Royal Chapel plays at Versailles in Dec 2018

The city of Versailles will have shows in horse wagons with illuminations on December 26 17-18h, December 29 17-18h ,and January 5 2019 17-18h. Rides are at 23€. More info at the tourist office in English: Tourist office of Versailles on Christmas 2018

The wonderful Waldorf Trianon de Versailles hotel has many Christmas activities, more in French at their site here: Trianon Palace Christmas 2018

Saving heritage is all worth it, it is our DNA. Through the windows of the Château de Bagatelle 16C when they can open (which is no longer the case for those in the dining room) the park’s joggers are happy to take pictures of the music room, of the playroom or the small boudoirs of the 18C. But you mustn’t raise your head. above, on the cornice, protective nets were placed this summer to prevent the fall of plasters victims of severe infiltration of water. This madness was finished by  1777 by the count of Artois in 67 days. The construction of this small castle, which passed the French revolution, which was bought by the English and where Richard Wallace lived and where he died. Before being taken over by the city of Paris. A petition has been launched.no less than 737 signatures were collected, including of course Stéphane Bern, for the Heritage Foundation, Yves Cana, curator general of the Château de Versailles or Xavier Bray, director of the Wallace Collection in London. All worth it kudos to them. More info here: Tourist office of Paris on the Chateau de Bagatelle

It is here!, after several years of work, the new section of the T3 tramway from the Porte de la Chapelle to the porte d’Asnières enters into service this past Saturday 24 November 2018!  Official site here: Tramway of Paris official webpage in French

Paris

Well you can see that beneath our feet is the first Cathedral of Paris and its crypt, the ancient Church of St. Mary of the Champs destroyed during the French revolution. It resurfaces today because it may well become accessible to the public! The keeper of the building of 14 bis, rue Pierre Nicole in the 5éme arrondissement no longer authorizes the curious and/or historians to cross the doors that separate them from this jewel of yesteryear. 14 Rue Pierre Nicole soon open to the public one of the secret jewels of Paris until now. Stay tune ! For now a site on the history of Paris monuments in French: History of Paris on Church of Sainte Marie des Champs

All we can do with a 10€ bill in Paris! Yes it can be done folks stop reading those fancy books. 10 euros that is can get you !

A pack of cigarettes 8€. A bottle of wine (if drinking the sting well does not bother you, you can even find bottles for 3€. A pack of beers 6 or 7€. Nice clothes in thrift, you can find at all prices! Beauty products from small brands like a varnish to 2€, a lipstick for 5€ for your galleys of last minute. A disposable camera 6€. A pint of beer in a bar 7-10€, not to mention Happy hours in the moonlight with pints between 3.50-4.70€, at Clair du Lune or at the Cordonnerie bar with the pint at 2.80€.   A cocktail (you can find at 5€, after you do not guarantee anything about its quality at Syphax for example .Go to the cinema as if you are under 26 years old it is 4.90€ at the MK2, 6.50€ at the UGC. If you’re older, forget it!!!. Go to the Museum such as the Musée d’Orsay 9€ The first rate, the IMA 4€ for under 26 years and 8€ the full price, Museum of modern Art at reduced rate, the Jeu de Paume 7.50€ reduced rate and 10€ full price, the Grand Palais 9€ in reduced rate. Moreover, you should also know that all museums are free on the first Sundays of the month from November 1st to March 1st. Go to the Cinémathèque ,the entrance to the cinema, the museum or the lectures between 3-6.50€. A nice stroll in the sewers of Paris, this is atypical! Discover this gigantic underground network for 4.20€. Go one hour before a performing theater to catch the last places that are still sold at 10€. Get acquainted with the Quidditch au bois de Vincennes, 5€ for 3hrs with a maximum of 4 persons. Make a game of track in Paris to better know your city while having fun with your buddies, for 9.50€.Rent a boat in the Bois de Boulogne or the Bois de Vincennes for an unusual stroll at 10€. Eternal Paris indeed!!!

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

 

 

 

November 16, 2018

Some streets of Versailles!!!

So in my ongoing efforts to bring you to Versailles as a destination and to help the recent survey of the city of Versailles that claims that 98% of visitors to the city only come to see the castle,pity; let me tell you a bit more about some streets in my beloved Versailles!

The city is a treasure vault of historical, architectural wonders and the best way is to walk it; the city is not big, easily walkable. It might be a bit long but I think is worth telling you about my old home town. So, here are some of the ones I like the most, just the most as all are worth the detour. VERSAILLES! Hint below my neighborhood of old.

Versailles

Rue Colbert. Named after Jean-Baptiste Colbert who was one of the principal ministers of king Louis XIV . He developed the French colonial factories and companies. At  N 1: Hotel de Grammont until 1809.  N  5, Hotel de Villacerf, property at the end of the 19C of Prince Roland Bonaparte.  N 7 former Hotel of Choiseul, then of Villeroy, which housed in 1870-71 the Prussian minister of War and his services.  N 13: Current EDF, (electricity company in France) location of the former hotel of Aumont under the old regime and home of Charles-Frédéric Nepveu, architect of the château under Louis-Philippe, at the end of his life. One of the streets very close to the Castle across from the Royal Chapel.

Versailles

Rue Georges Clemenceau ;  Old rue Saint-Pierre et du  Vermandois in 1684 until the kennel. There was a fountain there.  The name of the French politician , nicknamed “The Tiger” and the “Father of the Victory”, who was president of the Council from 1906 to 1909 and from 1917 to 1920.  The street extends through the place André-Mignot, former Place de la Vénérie-Royale , then the Tribunaux. N  2: Hotel disappeared from the Louveterie (under the reign of Louis XIV).  No. 5 and No. 7: Current Monoprix convenient dept store. At the entrance to the wonderful  passage Saint-Pierre at N 19: Former property of the Lambinet family, (Jean-François was mayor of Versailles in 1848) who gave his name to the museum of the same name and city of Versailles museum located on Avenue de la Reine. This disect the Avenue de Paris and the Avenue de Saint Cloud, and great for shopping at Monoprix! and the Post Office but as you can see nice buildings even here too.

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And closer to home base, this is the Rue Carnot , the former Rue de la Pompe  (pump) name due to the water tower, built in 1665 to No. 7 house which fed at the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV the reservoir of the Cave of Tethys from the pond of Clagny. The pumping was done with a horse wagon ride.  It was later named after the President of the French Republic Sadi Carnot. He was assassinated by the Italian anarchist Santa Geronimo Caserio. At  N  1: Carnot Elementary School. Former Hotel de Noailles, owned by the family of the Marquis de La Fayette’s wife who stayed there. Acquired by the city in 1867. N  2 a false Cellar door with a bird (a magpie).  N  2a  Neoclassical facade. Former property of Antoine Gibus, a hat maker ,from 1862 to 1870 (his name designates a top hat), then more recently René Aubert President of the Académie de Versailles.  No. 5: Stables of King Louis XIV in 1672, then of the Queen and the Dauphine; Prison in the French revolution, then barracks of the Queen’s Quarter and today Court of Appeal of Justice. N  6: Former hotel of the Duc de Bouillon,  N 10: Entrance of the stables of Monsieur, Duke of Orléans (brother of King Louis XIV).  N° 11: Facade of the Pavilion of the Springs (House of the caretakers) built in 1683 with drinking water reservoir for the city. The water was derived from the sources of the towns of Rocquencourt and Chesnay. N  12: Old hotel of Duras and Montmorency, then Bath spa Hotel.  N 40: Former Hôtel de la Roche or Royal Pavilion (family whose members were caretakers of the menagerie).  N 44: Former Café Amaury at the corner of the Avenue de Saint-Cloud, in 1789 place of meeting of the Breton Club (the third State) from where the Club des Jacobins of Paris came out. Find me one, from rue Carnot entering the passage antiques of the rue des Deux Portes!

Versailles rue Carnot to rue de deux portes 2013

Back closer to the castle and one of my favorite street that loved to walked many times is the Rue des Reservoirs . Created in 1672, the old street of the trough located at the entrance of the Rue de la Paroisse. The name of the reservoirs of the castle built in 1685 and now extinct due to the construction of the north wing of the castle. They were located above Madame de Pompadour’s hotel.  At  N  2-4: Hotel of the government (of the Governor of Versailles), former Hotel of Louvois built in 1672, renovated in 1778. Attributed to the Ministry of War in 1834. In 2015, rehabilitation of public offices in private housing.  N 6: Hôtel Ecquevilly  named after the captains of the Hunters of Saint-Germain.  N  7 Hotel of Reservoirs built  at the beginning of the 20C. It replaced the private mansion of Madame de Pompadour and the one in the king’s storage room. The aerial pump of water from the reservoirs was located before 1750 here. It was the Government Hotel from 1765 to 1789 before knowing several owners and being bought by the State in 1934 and assigned to the castle. N  8 former Hotel de Sérent rebuilt.  N 9-11 Hotel du Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (or wardrobe of the Crown) built in 1784 . It housed the prefecture of Seine-et-Oise from 1800 to 1867. Rehabilitation in 2015 in apartments of standing with underground parking. N  13 Théâtre Montansier,(gorgeous a must to see), current Theater Municipal de Versailles, built in 1776 by Mademoiselle de Montansier, founder and director of numerous Parisian theatres (including those of the Palais-Royal and the Variétés).  This courtyard and City Theater was created by Marguerite Brunet, known as “De Montansier” who was the director of performances in the aftermath of the court. It was inaugurated in the presence of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 1777. It is distinguished by its entirely round room and its blue and gold decor.  N  16: Hotel of the family of the Trémoïlle (duke of Thouars) put on sale after the French revolution now not well kept. N 19: (at the intersection with the Rue de la Paroisse), building where Ferdinand de Lesseps was born in 1852.  N 21 house where Blaise de Jouvencel lived  former mayor of Versailles.  N  22 Hôtel de Condé where lived and died Jean de La Bruyère  and was born General Gaspard Gourgaud, a memorialist of Napoleon. Now Seventh-day Adventist Church.  N  27: (at the intersection with the Boulevard de la Reine), a building where the painter Henri-Eugène le Sidaner lived .  N 36: Former Hotel Vatel, one of the best restaurants of Versailles in 1900, disappeared in the 1980’s.

Versailles

And this one is hotter still , very close to my home. And a must to walk by as it is close to the Castle but also the Notre Dame market! As well as the historical significant Notre Dame Church (back was my home area!). The Rue de la Paroisse; this one is the one I cross most often at home. Filled with the sandy lands of the summit of the Butte de Montbauron under Louis XIV. At  N 1: Location of the trough removed with the drying of the pond of Clagny from 1770, then land acquired by Soufflot architect of the Pantheon and now the Notre Dame market. N  7a: House of the lawyer Albert Joly in 1869.  N  11: Hotel Pièche from the beginning of the 18C with facade ornaments of the late 19C. Jean-Joseph Pièche was a musician from the King’s chamber. See the dogs seated and the garlands of flowers carved between the windows. He would have seen Rameau and Boucher pass. It was restored between the two wars.  N  3-5-7-7bis-11-21,facades of houses established in the 18C.  N  15 House with the sign of the royal mark in the 18C.  N  32:19C cast-iron balcony guardrail. N  35: Notre-Dame Church created in 1686.  N  37-39-41 former House of the mission of Notre-Dame (1686); Order founded by Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.  N 43: Supposedly the house of Dionis surgeon of Louis XIV.  N 49: House of Félix de Tassy, surgeon of Louis XIV .N  53 Hotel de Bretagne, house of Guy Fagon, surgeon of Louis XIV (or the name of Saint-Côme patron of Surgeons, formerly attributed to this portion of street).  N 63: House at the Grande Fontaine, by the name of Fontaine, the public works contractor who resided there under Louis XIV.  N  79 building with the sign of the Rising Sun. Birth House of the poet Jean-François Ducis.  N  2 and 4 House of the caretakers built under Louis XVI.  At No. 4 lived Joseph-Adrien Le Roi, head of Clinic at the hospice and historian of the Streets of Versailles (1860).  N  6-6 bis 8-10  Hôtel de Saxena: stable of the Dauphine mother of Louis XVI, then Hotel de Berry belonging to the Comte de Provence. N  28: Restaurant of the Comte de Toulouse.  N  32 In 1811, owned by the wife of Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , zoologist at the Natural History Museum.. No.14 or 15 Location of Madame de Maintenon  charitable home, rebuilt in 1772. N 108: Former property of Jean-Baptiste Farrugia, geographer of the Ministry of War who had the two balconies built in 1783, bearing his initials and the motto “Fidem Fortuna Coronat” or Fortune Rewards Fidelity   N  110, 19C cast iron balcony guardrail.  N  112, in 1734 Auberge Au roi Charlemagne  cabaret in Versailles.

Versailles

And one very popular , we all cross it  walk it and things to do , the grand the beautiful and read some tidbits of it that it will worth your time to pass by and see or go into.  Avenue de Paris, because it went from the castle to the Louvre entering Paris by the Avenue de Versailles approprialy ::)

Avenue de Paris created in 1682, the central axis of the Trident set up by Jules Hardouin-Mansart (Sceaux, Paris, Saint Cloud). One of the widest avenues of France (97 meters). The avenue was planted with a double mail of elms then replaced by sycamore trees due to elm disease.

Versailles

you see at No. 1: Grande Ecurie (stables)  of the king.  Now houses the city’s Archives  open (Consultation room) from Tuesday to Friday from 14h to 17h45 amongst many others see other post.  The reason why it is shown in the Avenue de Paris, as the Petite Ecurie done to the Place d’Armes. N 2 bis: Old Porch (Pullman Hotel) remains of the artillery barracks created by Napoleon III (see the N of Napoleon on the entrance door and the Napoleonic Eagle on the entrance to the  Avenue du General-de-Gaulle). The barracks was destroyed in 1988 to make way for the shopping district of the Les Ménages (where you can buy tickets for the Château).Also, around the  tourist office of Versailles , open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9h to 18h, on Sundays and Mondays from 11h to 17h.  N  3: central Post Office building .  N ° 4 Hôtel de Ville  (city/town hall)  of Versailles, ( a must to visit you can) former hotel of the Princess of Conti (Marie-Anne de Bourbon, daughter of Louis XIV and the Marquise de Lavaliere), and then of the Grand masters of the castle. The lower part overlooking the avenue of General de Gaulle dates from the reign of Louis XIV and was the first city/town hall. The more imposing part, Neo Louis XIII style and overlooking the Avenue de Paris, dated 1897-1900.  The gardens of the city/town hall perpetuate and renew the tradition of the mosaiculture.  N  6: Carved portal of the Hotel des gendarmerie de la garde de Louis XV, built in 1737 , barracks until 1908 and current departmental department of Tax Services restored in 2014. Concentrate in its upper part, mainly around the bull’s eye, the carved decor is made up of military trophy falls (with armour and helmets of wars), garlands of flowers, fins and shells, whose finesse and richness make it a masterpiece of  rocaille stone art. It bears the motto of the gendarmes of the guard of the King: “Quo Jubet iratus Jupiter” or where Jupiter furiously orders.  N 11-13 Prefecture of Versailles (dept government of Yvelines). Succeeding in 1792 at the Vénerie (the King’s hunting kennel) and at the narrow rue des Reservoirs, the former hotel of the department, then prefecture in 1800,  was inaugurated in 1867. The prefecture was occupied in 1870 by the King of Prussia and his staff, then by Adolphe Thiers, Mac-Mahon and Jules Grevy as hotel of the Presidency of the French Republic until 1879. The prefecture and the Yvelines General Council have been occupying the premises since 1880.  N  15: School of Music founded by Emile Cousin in 1878 (then transferred to Rue de Jouvencel).  N 19: Police hotel in place of the old monumental stables of the Countess du Barry mistress of Louis XV, built in 1772, then owned by the Comte de Provence brother of Louis XVI , and himself later Louis XVIII, who changed them with the architect J. Chalgrin . The buildings housed the lancers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard who were killed in Waterloo, then the Montbauron barracks. They are now home to the police station. N  21: The old hotel of the Countess du Barry, built in 1751, and today Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Val d’Oise (95) and Yvelines(78) since 1937.

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N ° 22 the hotel Menus Plaisirs. This hotel was raised by Louis XV and occupied by the administration of the Menus-Plaisirs between 1739 and 1745. It housed the workshops of sets and the material of the Games and shows related to the festivities of the King and the court. A provisional room hosted the assembly of Notables in 1787-88, and finally the deputies summoned to the States General on May 5, 1789 by the King. It was in this room that the abolition of privileges and the declaration of Human and Citizen Rights were voted on. It was bought and demolished in 1800. The hotel became a cavalry barracks, then the technical services of the city were lodged from 1942 to 1988. Since 1987, it houses the Center of Baroque Music of Versailles which produces concerts and shows in France and abroad and brings together a research center and a singing school.  Go up the stairs to the bottom of the courtyard to discover the location of the room of the General States. On the right pillar of the entrance Avenue de Paris the elevation of the place at 130 meters is carved into the stone.  No. 28: Prison for women. It was installed in 1789 at the site of a former boarding school built in 1750. Then the state bought it in 1857 and enlarged the place in 1860.  The prison for men is located in Bois D’Arcy since 1980.   N  31: Lycée Jean-de-la-Bruyère, (high school) named after the moralistic writer who died in Versailles in 1696. It was named in 1962.  In 1880, Miss Arnaud created a secular school for girls at this site (on land formerly belonging to the Countess du Barry), which became municipal and then owned by the state in 1906.  N 38-40: Chamber of Notaries. Hotel of the time of Louis XVI.  N 63 Pavillon de Provence, former residence of Monsieur, brother of the king and king Louis XVIII was born here. From 1922 to 1940, the abode housed the eastern Normal School of Daughters of the Universal Israelite Alliance. From 1946 to 1962, it was taken over by the children’s relief work and welcomed Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.  N 68: Convent of Solitude belonging to the Sisters of Notre-Dame du Cénacle. This building associated with an English park of the late 17C, reworked in the 19C, belonged to the Earl of Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Louis XVI from 1775 to 1787.  N  70: Lycée Marie Curie, (high school) named after the French physicist and chemist, of Polish origin, who received twice the Nobel Prize for her research on radiation and radium in 1903 and 1911. N  73 Domaine de Madame Elizabeth. Owned by the community of Célestins monks, having been redeemed and built by the Prince and Princess of Rohan-Guéméné, then by Louis XVI, it was given as a gift to his sister who was later guillotined in 1792. Manufacture of watchmaking at the French revolution.  The Yvelines General Council bought it in 1983 as well as the Orangerie in 1997.  In 2016, the park designed in the English way before the revolution, allows to appreciate a remarkable collection of native and exotic forest species such as American oak, purple beech, lime tree, sycamore trees etc, a garden of aromatic plants and demonstrations of permaculture and a pet park. N  89 Reliefs above the door of the Vauban School, made in 1957; They represent Le Nôtre and Vauban.  N 90 bis: Old ponds where the stream of Madame Elisabeth’s English park was poured. Then replaced by a rose garden in the Truffaut nurseries, then by the residence of the Roseraie.

Versailles

Versailles

At N 93: Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac , one of the personalities of the Literary and Social Society of the late 19C, was a tenant from 1894. In particular, he received Marcel Proust and Sarah Bernhardt.  N  107: Maison Saint-Joseph.  N  109-109 bis: Congregation of the Servant Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  N  111 Parc Chauchard with the picturesque and vast music pavilion of Madame, Countess of Provence, sister-in-law of Louis XVI and wife of Louis XVIII, built around 1780. This pavilion is associated with a small enclosed rectangular garden at the end of which is the statue of Alfred Chauchard. Madame’s park was cut in two in the French revolution, one that later became the Lycée Sainte-Geneviève (1913 high school), the other for several successive owners, including the last Alfred Chauchard, founder of the department stores of the Louvre in Paris, which was the place for his most deserving workers who became owners in 1902.  At the entrance to the street you have two pavilions of the Grille d’Octroi or passage of taxes  of neoclassical architecture, set up in 1824 and  were closed in 1943. The right-hand building on the way to Paris was reserved for the caretakers and the left to collect the rights to the goods brought into the city. Around it you have the square or Place Louis XIV, and here finishes the Avenue de Paris on the edge of the town of Viroflay.

Versailles

So here is a little bit of my beloved Versailles, a town full of history of France and the world, that needs more personal and up close attention by you all. Like I said, Versailles is a lot more than the castle!

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

ps. And I say goodbye for a week on business assignment in Asia: cheers!

 

 

November 16, 2018

La Ferme de Gally or farm of Gally!

Ok so now in a gloomy foggy day of 15C in my beautiful Morbihan, and Paris not much different, i will dwell into my beloved area of Versailles ; many things to see and seldom bypassed.

When my boys were younger we came here often , it was a nice way to get away from Versailles into the countryside. We had petting farm, gardening, collect of fruits, and history all around with the still standing gate of Gally that went into the back of the Castle of Versailles (if you are inside the castle property this is way back beyond the Grand Canal you can do walks there still just far back)  ,where we used to do our jogging and playing with the boys as well. Oh those wonderful younger days..! I still found one personal photo

Saint Cyr l'ecole

I like to tell you a bit on this wonderful Ferme de Gally or Gally’s farm in Saint Cyr l’Ecole just off Versailles.

The farm of Gally is located at the western end of the park of the Château de Versailles. It is about  3 km from the castle. The farm of  Gally is located between the l’Etoile Royale (in the north), the Allée Royal de  Villepreux, and the Porte de Maintenon  at Bailly (south).

You can come here better with a car but if in Versailles bus line 17 of Transdev  takes you close, Ligne 17 in about 17 minutes from the Versailles Rive Droite train station (closest to my neighborhood) on Maréchal Foch direction Grille de Maintenon you get off here and walk just a couple minutes to the farm entrance on Route de Saint-Cyr. By car take the Route de Versailles,  D10 along the Orangerie on your right and the pièce d’eau des Suisses on your left, and continue direction Saint Cyr l’Ecole until the junction with the D7 road still direction St Cyr l’Ecole and you will see the panels for the farm on your right hand side in 6 km! from in front of the Castle.

There are 3 boutiques now and many more but I will concentrate on the original and my fav place to go egg hunting in Easter with the boys or just shopping there and collecting fruits and vegetables by hand ! As well as a small petting farm with domestic animals! The one in Saint-Cyr-l’École  is at Route de Bailly (D7).  Open from Monday to Sunday without interruption from 9h30 to 19h. Open during school holidays and holidays at regular times. And the nice Café gally entrance at Rue du Doctor Vaillant (D7) . This is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region.

Saint cyr l'ecole

A bit of history I like

Gally is first of all the history of the Laureau family, a farmer here  since 1746. And at this time purveyors to the kings at Versailles. Today, brothers Dominique and Xavier Laureau, the custodians of the transmitted know-how, have diversified their traditional activities and bring their expertise in the field of plants in the service of individuals and companies.

The name of Gally would refer to the quality of the soils in the vicinity of the brook now the stream of Gally and the marshy area that was Versailles before the clearing for the castle.  The brook which takes its source in the Grand Canal of Versailles and which runs off to the west of the Plain of Versailles.

Gally’s farm was first a priory, attached to the abbey of Sainte-Geneviève in Paris. The earliest written record recorded to date on the existence of the Priory of Gally comes from a bull of Pope Alexander III, written in 1163. In 1663 and 1675, king  Louis XIV, residing at the Château de Versailles, encompassed the lands of Trianon and Musseloue, redeemed from the Abbaye de Sainte-Geneviève. Gally’s Farm then entered the royal estate while the king arranged the surroundings of the small park. The entire land of the Gally farm became the property of the king in 1684, when Abbé Emanuel de Sainte-Geneviève sold the remaining 319 ares.

In 1806, Napoleon I , bought the estate of Gally, after having set up the conservation of the Royal estate. As a result, Gally’s farm experiencing a revival in its agricultural operation, especially since the royal hunting no longer prevented agricultural work.

New buildings have appeared over the centuries, depending on the needs of the time and the wishes of the different owners. According to the experts’ estimates some buttresses and columns could date from the 10C. The shepherd’s house dates from the 11C.  The west façade of the farmhouse corresponds to the priory and dates from the late 11C or early 12C. The skylights and some buttresses date back to the 13C.  The sheep herd dates from the 15C. The old barn dates back to the 17C.  Gally’s farm remains to this day one of the oldest built ensembles, still active in this part of the west of Paris.

Today, the farm is divided into 4 sectors of activity: self-service harvesting of more than 40 ha composed of an orchard and a vegetable garden; The “Open Farm”, an educational farm allowing children to approach and familiarize themselves with animals (cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, goats) and discover nature through fun and practical workshops (making juice of apples, bread and butter, extraction of honey from the hive, work around animal footprints, gardening sessions); Finally a garden center. You can also buy fresh products at the shop, where you find a coffee, which of course only cooks products from the farm. One can finally participate in cooking courses, or for the younger ones to organize there its birthday. An original address very popular in the beautiful days.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Ferme de Gally

Official Gally’s group more on Gardening

Official La Cueillette or fruit veggies picking at Gally

Tourist office of Paris on Ferme de Gally

There you go a nice side trip from Versailles and you thought it is only the castle right ! There is a whole world to discover in Versailles and surrounding royal areas indeed. Hope you enjoy it ,good for the entire family.

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

 

 

November 16, 2018

Place Hoche, Versailles!

So here we are in another week moving right along in November and waiting for another long trip to Asia. I have to come back to my gorgeous historical Royal and Imperial Versailles. Not enough credit living on the shadows of Paris and tourism mayhem. However, is better i say so huh! And no, it is not a thing to do from Paris, it is on its own thank you.

Ok ok, I am biased, even thus work in Paris for several years and visit often, I used to Lived in VERSAILLES for almost 10 glorious years! It will always be in my mind. One more reason why I think buddy papa Hemingway was short as he should had written a second volume on France is a movable feast !

Ok so enough of my propaganda lol! Let me tell you up close and personal about a square, street very close to me where I spent all those wonderful years. Bear with me!

The Place Hoche sits in the middle of the street of the same name that has a direct view from the Notre Dame Collegiate Church pass the square and pass Avenue Nepvue then into Avenue Rockefeller and  into the Place d’Armes in front of the Castle/Museum of Versailles. One of the most pleasant walks to do in my Versailles and plenty of architectural and tidbits historical facts along the way.  Welcome to my Versailles, the Royal and Imperial city of France. A fact, if the French constitution needs to be modified, change, altered in any way, the entire French government needs to deliberate here including the President, making Versailles the de facto capital of France by Constitutional rights.

Versailles

Located in the heart of the Notre-Dame district, the place Hoche is marked by history, and part of these squares of Versailles laden with history and ignored wrongly by visitors/tourists. As said in previous posts, the city of Versailles conducted a survey on visitors and found that 98% only come here for the Castle/museum only!!!  Located in the perspective of the Notre-Dame Church, it was drawn up in 1671 and was at the time called Place Dauphine. It was the first in France to adopt an octagonal shape. It shows well as to the trio of Avenues  Sceaux, Paris and Saint-Cloud  that linen up from the Castle into the city, for the appeal of the king for a thoughtful planning.

You will find looking carefully at the square at No 4 a former hotel Jacques Bénigne Bossuet , Bishop of Meaux and preceptor of the Grand Dauphin in 1674 as well as advisor that became known as the Eagle of Meaux  (dept Seine et Marne 77 my dear late wife Martine birthplace). And it was the building of the local  Chamber of Notaries in 1832.  At No 6 you see the Hotellerie de la Belle Image (beautiful Image), where in 1783 or 85 , the Countess of La Motte had an appointment with the Cardinal de Rohan to be handed over the necklace of Queen Marie Antoinette who had never ordered the jewel. The scam was discovered shortly thereafter, under the restoration of the Café des Gondoles. At No 7 you will see the residence of the architect who created the Théâtre Montansier, Jean-François Heurtier. The northeast corner of the square accommodates a hotel built in 1769, whose façade with the mention “to the Queen of France” is one of the most remarkable of the square. It was the home of Jean-François Heurtier also inspector General of the buildings of the king. At No 9: house of Jacques Rayer, Cook to the General Common, then in 1869  to the chief medical officer of the Hospital of Versailles and his son-in-law the historian Emile Bourgeois, member of the Institute de France.

Another peculiarity of the square, it allows Versailles to find shade under its large chestnut trees, identified among the remarkable tree of the town alongside the sycamores of the city/town hall.

At the center of this square is the statue of Lazare Hoche, General at the age of 25 and famous citizen of Versailles. Louis Lazare Hoche, born June 24, 1768, at 18 ,rue de Satory. He died on 19 September 1797 in Wetzlar,Hesse (Germany). He is buried in Weißenthurm, a small town near Koblenz.  The place of the monument General Hoche there is called  “Auf dem Frauenberg”. Which the help of a dictionary tells me means Pilgrimage Church of Frauenberg. German speakers can correct me ,welcome.

VErsailles

One of his sad actions concerning the region where I now lived in Brittany and the Morbihan dept 56 in particular is that he not only  repressed the British landings, but also, of the immigrant Bretons entering by the Quiberon Peninsula, commanded by de Puisaye, Hervilly and Sombreuil, from 23 June to 21 July 1795, and defeated the Chouans (rebels peasants against the French revolution). He was,  then obtained command of all the armies of the West, including those in the Vendée. More in French here:  The Vendéen history on Hoche

VErsailles

The place Hoche was the place of public access to the wheelbarrows and blue chairs in the 18C and the capital executions during the French revolution .  The guillotine made seven victims here. The statue to Gen Hoche was erected in 1836 and a public garden in 1853.. Finally, during WWII, the place Hoche was marked by the arrest and deportation of seven resistance fighters aged 22 to 50. A plaque hung on a wall reminds us of their sacrifice.

My Versailles ,le quartier Notre-Dame, my neighborhood where I lived. Terrible in describing things but this is gorgeous place to live in. The neighborhood or district here is the new place after the Church and it grew quickly between the avenues leading to Saint-Cloud and the Clagny lake (now the market of Notre Dame). Destined to welcome the population in the service of the Court and the King, it is drawn by the architect Louis Le Vau and his partner François Orbay. The place Hoche (former place Dauphine) connects it, in 1674, to the castle, according to a device that will be permanently established as a model of urbanism. A bit later, in 1686, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart was responsible for the construction of the Notre-Dame Church, which would be held as a Royal parish (where the birth and baptismal and some marriages records of the Kings descendants are still kept in the crypt in the basement!.

My neighborhood in French : https://www.versailles-tourisme.com/quartier-notre-dame.html

Across the square cutting it thru it is the Rue Hoche , before known as Place Dauphine, Place de la République, Place de la Loi, Place de la Colonne, Place Napoleon,and finally Place Hoche under  Louis-Philippe in 1832. Some interesting things to see are at No 5 , the temple or Protestant Church since 1820 ,with a renovation done 1880-1882  at 3, Rue Hoche. Also the Ancient Chapel of the Reposoir of the Procession of the Holy Sacrament under the former regime, and a high place of the Theophilanthropists’  under the Revolution.  At No 16 the house ordered built by André Le Nôtre, master gardener of  Louis XIV. We have difficulty proven he lived here but know he sold it in 1686, and before Mirabeau lodge here in 1789.

Versailles

Along the street, well sorry but my most frequent place was the pharmacy at 6 Place Hoche lol! However, there are nice restaurants here such as the Au Chapeu Gris, Bagelstein bagels place and delicious, as well as the nice Le Sévigné resto. fyi

In all a wonderful city , and do come walk it is a lot more than the castle, history of France before your eyes. Enjoy it as much as I did/do. Crowds of course, we lived with it for 10 years I am sure you can live for a day! And it gives life and stamina to the city, we welcome all especially those seeking history and architecture wonders. VERSAILLES!

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

November 16, 2018

Grande and Petite Ecuries of Versailles!

So on a quiet Friday, bit cool and cloudy foggy in my neck of the woods, I remember Autumns there in my old home of Versailles. And yes indeed, its been a while not written anything on my wonderful Royal and Imperial city of Versailles.

The city of Versailles once did a survey on visitor and found out that to their surprise not me, 98% of visitor only see the Palace/Museum of Versailles. Pity when the Domaine of Versailles outside its walls of the palace, hameau, trianons, orangerie etc is much larger and with wonderful things to see. The fault is that on many sites they have Versailles as a thing to do in Paris lol! Well , first the only similarity is that it is in the same region of ïle de France. Then, it is not in the same department, county area as Paris has a proper one as 75 sort of like been DF in Mexico or DC in the USA; and Versailles has a department 78 Yvelines all apart. Then, for history, Versailles is classic France while Paris is for the world.You get it right, cheers ::)

I like to tell you a bit more on two classic buildings that are outside the Domaine physical location but administratevely part of it. The Royal Stables are the Great and Small Stable or in French, the Grande Ecuries and the Petite Ecuries.

The Grand Ecuries (stables) are located in Versailles , Department 78 of Yvelines in the region of ïle de France. It is right in the Place d’Armes, in front of the castle, between the avenues of Saint-Cloud and Paris. Constituting with the Petite Ecuries , the Royal stables that gave work to over 1000 persons under king Louis XIV. They were built under the direction of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart and completed in 1682. With a merry-go-round, it sheltered the king’s hunting and war horses.

Versailles

Same as the Petite ecuries, which is separated by the Avenue de Paris, under the former regime, it was under the command of the Great squire of France and housed the school of the pages of the King, reserved for the sons of the families of the military nobility until 1550 . It also welcomed in its walls, between 1680 and 1830, the cradle of French horse riding: the School of Versailles. Between 1793 and 1794, the emblem at the pediment was removed. From 1854, the stable was occupied by the Army.

In 1978, the collection at the Museum of the Carriages or wagons of Trianon, built in 1851, was moved to the Grande Ecuries. In 1985, the Museum of carriages was opened to the public. In 2007, the Museum of carriages closed its doors for the expansion work. In 2016, the museum is open again to the public.

In 2002, the Château de Versailles returned to these places their initial function by choosing Bartabas, squire and founder of the equestrian show Zingaro. In 2003, the National Equestrian Academy of the Domaine de Versailles was inaugurated.

Equestrian Academy in official Bartabas site

La voie de l’écuyer Opus 2018 (the way of the Opus squire) is the new show going on now, more here: https://www.versailles-tourisme.com/la-voie-de-l-ecuyer-opus-2018.html

Versailles

Establishments located at the Grande Ecuries are: Gallery museum of Carriages or wagons, Equestrian Show Academy of Bartabas, and the city Archives of Versailles.

The buildings are organized around five courses: The large courtyard bordered by a colonnade in the hemicycle and two symmetrical wings;the two middle courses framed at the rear; the two small lateral courses say les manages.

Versailles

Behind the large gate, there was a rectangular carousel, which is now the theater of the National Equestrian Academy of the Domaine de Versailles, the galleries are simple to the Grande Ecuries while the Petite Ecuries has double galleries separated by the Colonnades. The ceilings of the galleries are vaulted. The visible walls of the castle are of stone, the other less visible are red brick with stone siding. The rectangular crusaders upstairs and skylights at the attic; The sculptures are presented at the pediment, eardrum and jambs of the Grand portal. The side entrances are on the Avenue de Saint-Cloud and the Avenue de Paris. In 2016, on the occasion of the opening of the gallery/museum of carriages, the sign Ecuries du Roi or King’s stables was installed on the wrough iron grille gate.

Versailles

The Petite ecuries on the Place d’Armes, in front of the castle, between the avenues of Paris and Sceaux. Constituting with the Grande Ecuries the royal stables and completed in 1681. It now houses the National School of Architecture of Versailles. Identical to the Grande Ecuries, which it is separated by the Avenue de Paris, under the former regime, it was under the orders of the first squire.

Official National School of Architecture of Versailles

Versailles

The Petite Ecuries has the care of ordinary mounts, hitch horses and wagons as well as fancy vehicles, sleighs of gondolas. From 1683 to 1685, the blacksmith was built behind the small stable. This property complements the activities of two stables.. In 2004, the La Maréchalerie   (blacksmiting) became a center of contemporary art at the National Higher School of Architecture of Versailles. It organizes several exhibitions a year. In 1787, to make economies, the activities of the Petite Ecuries were abolished and attached to the Grande Ecuries. From 1935 to 1939, it was the barracks of the Air school, with the air Base 134 Versailles. Since 1969, it has been home to the National Higher School of Architecture of Versailles. Since 1999, it also houses the restoration workshops of the Center for Research and Restoration of the museums of France.

Official Center for Restoration of the museums of France

Since 2012, the Petite Ecuries has presented to the public a gypsothèque containing a collection of about 5000 sculptures and casts according to the ancient times, especially Roman, since it was only in the 18C that archaeologists were interested in an advanced way to Greece. It is the casting collection of the Louvre Museum, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Sorbonne Institute of Art and Archaeology; Under the direction of Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Colbert had indeed imposed on the residents of the Académie de France in Rome to copy old pieces so that they would serve as inspiration to the sculptors of Versailles.

Gypsothéque Sculptures and Mouldings gallery of Versailles

Since 2008, as part of the castle’s rescue campaign, several statues are housed in the sculpture gallery and replaced with copies. -The statue of Latone of the basin of the Latone in 2015 or the-groups of sculptures in the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon in 2010.

Versailles

Some webpages to help you further your discovered of the many things to do in Versailles are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Stables

Official Chateau de Versailles on Events at the Grande ecuries

Official Yvelines dept 78 tourism on Equestrian events

Another fascinating page on my beautiful and good city of Versailles , you ought to spent more time here. Even if crowds , of course, it is very popular place after all for the castle:museum but do walk out and see much more in royal and imperial Versailles.

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

 

 

 

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