February 20, 2020

Bordeaux and Saint Michel!

Well how about that I have written several posts on the wines of the region of Bordeaux but not much on its monuments! sacre bleu!!! This is one of my favorite cities in my belle France and candidate for my retirement years!!! We have spent several family trips here over the years.

The whole huge area around Bordeaux is connected by a beltway road, the “rocade” or the A630 that takes you into the city or out into the other areas and into Spain. My best is to go into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central Bordeaux or exit /sortie in French to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Medoc.

Its time for me to correct the unnaming and tell you about some of the monuments of the city of Bordeaux.

Bordeaux is in the Gironde dept 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France and I like to tell you a bit on the Basilica of St Michel.


The Basilica of Saint-Michel is one of the main Catholic places of worship in the city of Bordeaux. Built from the 14C to the 16C, it is characteristic of the flamboyant Gothic style. The church gave its name to the neighbourhood in which it is located.

The basilica shares with Saint-André Cathedral (see posts) the particularity of having a bell tower 15C independent of the sanctuary or campanile. Rising to a height of 114 meters (378 feet), it is the highest in the South of France and the second tallest in France.

In 1466, a college of canons was installed in the church, still under construction. The latter becomes an important stage on the way to Saint-James of Compostela, as evidenced by the Saint-James Chapel. In 1791, the departmental directory ordered the removal of the old parish cemetery surrounding the church, the current Place Meynard. The bones are piled up in the crypt located under the bell tower, then covered with earth. It was during this work that dozens of mummified bodies were discovered, the “mummies of Saint Michael”. The latter are placed in the crypt, which is open to visitors until 1979. On this date, the bodies are again buried, this time in the Chartreuse cemetery.


The Basilica of St Michel measures 75 meters long from the Choir at the entrance to the nave and 38 meters wide from one cross to the other, the basilica is one of the largest places of worship in Bordeaux.

Here, curiously, its spire tower was built in the 15C on an old mass grave where were installed at the end of the 18C mummies exhumed from the cemetery formerly located around it. With their tense figures, these dry bodies will haunt the Saint-Michel Crypt for a long time. Thus these mummies (they were nearly 70) attracted thousands of visitors including some famous writers like, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Théophile Gautier or closer to us Ferdinand Céline. You could see “L’Enterré Vivant” (the living buried), “the family poisoned by mushrooms”, “L’africaine” (the African), a general killed in a duel, etc. This macabre round ended in 1990. Today an audiovisual reconstructs the origins of this exhibition of which many Bordeaux residents have kept a memory. The spire tower of Saint-Michel and its Crypt are open every day in season.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and its a must are

City of Bordeaux on the Basilica St Michel

Tourist office of Bordeaux on the Basilica St Michel

Tourist office of Bordeaux on the spiral tower of the Basilica of St Michel

And there you go folks another wonderful monument of my belle France in a splendid city like Bordeaux where the sights mix well with the smells…. Enjoy this time the Basilica of Saint Michel and its spiral tower.

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




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February 20, 2020

Saint Germain en Laye, the gardens!

And back to old familar stumping grounds that while living in Versailles was also a very much visited place with the family for the shopping, the museum and the gardens. Oh yes this is Saint Germain en Laye in my old Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region.

I have written about the castle, museum and city before, so let me complete by telling you a bit about the gardens of the Château de Saint Germain en Laye.

First, a bit on the castle , briefly as have several posts on it already in my blog.

The Château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a former residence of the kings of France. The current castle was built under François Ier by Pierre de Chambiges, from 1539. Enlarged to several times by his successors, it was a royal residence until 1682, when Louis XIV left it definitively for Versailles. The chapel of the castle, in Gothic style, is a vestige of the old fortified castle built by Louis VI le Gros. It was built by Saint Louis (Louis IX) in 1238. Louis XIV was baptized there. The castle was transformed into a cavalry school under Napoleon I, it later housed a military penitentiary. It was restored under Napoleon III. Since 1867, it has housed the National Archeology Museum.

King Louis XIV was born at the Château Neuf now gone, the one you see is the Château Vieux that is the museum. Worth a bit of history here I like

In January 19, 1777, the dilapidated Château Neuf was given by King Louis XVI to his younger brother the Comte d’Artois (later king Charles X grandson of Louis XV) to carry out the work. Demolition and reconstruction projects are established. However, the French revolution arrives, the castle is seized as national property and sold to the former manager who demolishes it, subdivides the land and sells the materials. Today, only the Henri IV Pavilion (a nice restaurant today) , the Garden Pavilion, the Sully Pavilion at nearby Le Pecq, a terrace and its two ramps at the end of rue Thiers which overlooks the avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and some vestiges in the cellars of the district ,one at 3 rue des Arcades remains.

The gardener Claude Mollet, creates the terraced gardens on the east facade of the Château Neuf for king Henri IV. These gardens, designed at the border of the 16C and 17C, were then adorned with caves, water games and hydraulic automata.

Saint Germain en Laye

On the north facade of Château Vieux, the regular gardens were created under the direction of André Le Nôtre, between 1663 and 1673. This one, much appreciated by king Louis XIV, redesigned the green spaces of the two castles, the Château Vieux by François I and the Château-Neuf of Henri IV; by creating three separate gardens, namely a large flowerbed, a slanting flowerbed and the Dauphine garden.

Saint Germain en Laye

In addition, Le Nôtre imposes here the genius of perspective. Its large terrace, built between 1669 and 1674, 2 km long, is a true masterpiece of perspective. It offers an exceptional panoramic view over the entire Seine valley, extending to the edge of the forest. Beautiful walks in the heart of lush greenery await you. An orientation table will allow you to identify the main landscape and architectural elements of the panorama. You can go free to the park and the large terrace of the Domaine de Saint-Germain-en-Laye every day.

Saint Germain en laye

Saint Germain en Laye

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your visit here , and it is a must! are

City of St Germain en Laye on parks and gardens in French

Official Antiquities museum on the gardens in English

City of St Germain en Laye on shops with the gardens info in French

And there you a wonderful city, much to see ,architecturally stunning and full of history near Paris easy on public transports with the RER A; no excuses a must to see. The gardens of the Château de Saint Germain en Laye.

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



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February 19, 2020

A pub ,a district in Dublin!

So let me take a 360 degrees turn and come out of my belle France into the luck of the Irish in Dublin, Ireland. One of the nice things of living in Europe is that the countries are so close and easy to get to and if in the European Union so much the better!

I came to Dublin and of course was by one of if not the best district of it all, Temple Bar

Temple Bar is a district in the historic center of Dublin. Let’s start with a bit of history. Temple Bar has always been a popular place. From 795 AD, the Vikings set up camp there. The remains of this settlement are also visible today at Dublin Castle. A few centuries later, a British diplomat by the name of Sir William Temple; later rector of Trinity College, built a splendid mansion and gardens there. The name stayed with him and thus Temple Bar was born.

It is made up of small streets, often pedestrian, where restaurants, bars and small shops abound. One can in particular find musicians there either in the street or in bars. Highly frequented in the evening and on weekends, this ultra-touristy and trendy district lives especially at night, and offers its visitors a good overview of Dublin’s cultural life … The place is clearly pleasant, although a little expensive and a little too touristy… Anyway, Temple Bar is a must! The Temple Bar district is close to Dame Street and Aston Quay in Dublin city center. Lined with Pubs, restaurants and shops, the area also includes a cinema, an art gallery, cultural centers as well as local craft workshops. Everything to make it a fashionable place where culture reigns supreme! At the intersection of Essex St E and the North West Corner of Meeting House Square is the Rory Gallagher Corner in tribute to Rory Gallagher.

Be aware that the Brazen Head, which stands at 20 Bridge Street, is one of the oldest Irish pub in Dublin ;it dates from 1613 .The Temple Bar, dates from 1840 but has been repeatedly renovated. Inside, it’s guaranteed atmosphere in this authentic place all in raw wood. You can come here to drink a beer or an Irish coffee at any time of the day. In summer, the pub is so crowded that people eat on the street. In winter, the bar has a small heated patio for smokers. Every day, customers especially tourists swerve to traditional music from 17h. For connoisseurs, the Temple Bar offers a superb selection of 180 whiskeys! Others will taste the famous combo: oysters – Guinness. A legend.

If you want to get deeper into the neighborhood, don’t miss the Meeting House Square, which has up to 3 different cultural centers such as the Irish Film Center, the Gallery of Photography and the Ark. There are many films by authors screened in their original version with subtitles, as well as artistic exhibitions. Finally, for fans of Thin Lizzy, do not miss the statue of Phil Lynott, former bassist of the group. This bronze statue is one of the symbols of Temple Bar!

At the bottom of Fleet Street is the Porterhouse Bar and pubbrewery. A bastion of Irish craft beer, the Porterhouse only serves its own beers and contains bottled wonders from around the world.

However, of all the above my favorite there was the time spent at The Auld Dubliner pub . It is easy to spot with its mural painting of a dock worker and a dog adorning the exterior wall of the building. The place is very warm, with beams and woodwork, and attracts a crowd especially at the end of the day when live music is in full swing. Large room upstairs indeed and the best seats in the house with crowded rowdy good cheers and good fun group. A must in Temple Bar with its concerts every day. More info here: Official auld Dubliner Pub


And of course, I give you the tourist office of Dublin for well find your way here… Tourist office of Dublin

And there you go a great weekend spent away from home in lovely picturesque Dublin and a hell of a bunch of pints and oh well oysters too. You will enjoy Temple Bar district of Dublin.

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

February 19, 2020

Sea, ports, monuments, all Vannes!!!

Ok so of course, I need to write again about Vannes. If you have read my blog you know that I have done a load of posts on the city, and for good reasons. It is the capital of my department 56 Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne. And you ,also, should have read that Vannes is Gwened in the Breton language; that Bretagne/Brittany is Breizh and that the Morbihan is the only department (state/province etc) of France which the  name is not French ; it is Breton as Mor=sea bihan=small or should be Petite Mer but no way it is Morbihan here.


You, also, would have read I work here and live not far at about 35 km or 22 miles. Ok now for the new stuff lol!! The city of Vannes is a port, a pleasure marina and the out ins of the Gulf of Morbihan;one of the world’s best bays and beautiful I must add. So let me tell you a bit on the sea, ports, and even monuments side of the water in Vannes.


We had the old bridge that took us from Vannes to Séné easy and now we have the tunnel ,easier! The Pont de Kérino is a swing bridge crossing the channel of the port of Vannes downstream of a lock gate. The city of Vannes decided to replace it with a tunnel; the Tunnel de Kérino. The bridge was inaugurated in 1988 to allows the passage of road traffic from one bank to the other and constitutes the only east-west link of the southern part of the city of Vannes.


The Tunnel de Kerino or Kérino underpass is an underwater road, cycling and pedestrian tunnel This structure, intended to cross the Marle river, is located at the mouth of the channel connecting the town’s marina to the Gulf of Morbihan. It is intended to smooth the road traffic between the two banks of the Marle to the south and to relieve the Place Gambetta located at the north end of the channel, junction between the marina at Le Port , and the historic center. The tunnel of Kérino was opened to motor vehicles on June 24, 2016. On July 26, 2016, the tunnel is open to pedestrians and cyclists. The tunnel is dug a few meters downstream from the current Kérino bridge. It has a length of 250 meters and has two passages separated by a partition, one for motor traffic in both directions, the other for gentle travel modes (cycle track and sidewalk).


The Calvary of Kerino is a religious monument of granite and kersantite erected at the entrance to the port of Vannes It is located on the Butte de Kérino or hill, an elevation of the left bank of the channel of the marina, 150 meters upstream from the Pont de Kérino. The monument looks like a cross calvary, erected on a rectangular base, the central part of which represents an altar. On the cross, on either side of the square barrel, are the statues of Saint Patern and Saint Vincent Ferrier, the Patron Saints of the city of Vannes. The center of the cross features the coat of arms of Vannes. The cross that crowns the barrel is decorated with a Christ on the Cross at the front, and a Virgin and Child at the back. The monument is 6.25 meters high. The Calvary of Kerino was inaugurated on December 7, 1913. It was the subject of important pilgrimages in favor of peace and the return of prisoners during WWI or the Great War.



The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1,200 meters channel in a south-north direction, which leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert in the floating basin, at the foot of the Porte de Saint-Vincent gate, gateway to the old town section of Vannes.



The attested presence of a port in its current location dates back to the end of the 14C although research has demonstrated the existence of a port from the 1C AD at the foot of the first city during the Roman occupation: Darioritum, civitas of the Vénètes; now Vannes or Gwened (Breton).

 The current look of the port of Vannes and its district dates from the end of the 2000s when new equipment and renovations were done with the set up of a harbor office, cultural kiosk, tourist office, underground parking; and the beautification of the place with the creation of an esplanade on the right bank and the planting of paths of trees along the two banks.

 The Commercial Port is located just upstream of the Pont de Kérino swing bridge, infrastructure that allows vehicles to reach the east of the city towards the commercial innovation park of Bretagne Sud and the city of Séné in order to relieve traffic in the center. The quays of the commercial port welcome the goods which arrive in Vannes after having crossed the Gulf of Morbihan. Due to a complex topography, a weak tidal range and the presence of strong currents in the Gulf, it It is difficult for large ships to venture to a town like Vannes, located more than 15 km from the Atlantic coast.

At the exit of the marina, the Parc du Golfe is the starting point for boat cruises trips. At Place Gambetta, a hemispherical square, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent gate. Located on the right bank of the port, the promenade de la Rabine is made up of a long avenue of trees which stretches for almost 800 meters between the port esplanade to the north and the quays of the commercial port to the south.



Some webpages as usual from me to help you plan your visit here

City of Vannes on the Pont de Kérino

Ports of call on the port of Vannes

City of Vannes on cruise tours and boat crossing in English

Tourist office of the Golfe du Morbihan on boat cruising in French

The Chapelle de la Manoir de Larmor is on the edge of Avenue René de Kerviler just coming out of the Tunnel de Kérino direction Séné. This half-cut chapel dates from the 16C and, long abandoned, was recently restored. It occupies a corner of the manor of Larmor whose enclosure of the domain is fully walled. The stone pinnacle dates from the 17C. The chapel has 2 entries. One access by the gable under the pinnacle from the manor and a lateral access for the neighbors, used even during the French revolution. At the back, we can see the stele to Gérard Verdeau , founder of the Association Breiz Santel which aims to save and protect the religious heritage of Bretagne or Breizh.


We walked all of the above so its very easy… and you get to see these monuments and views that are just awesome. Hope you have enjoy the post and maybe see you around Vannes someday!! The sea is all around us here one way or the other and we like it

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





February 19, 2020

Sainte-Anne d’Auray!!!

It has been a while not written in my blog about the city of Sainte-Anne d’Auray been only about 17 km from our house and passing by it many times in the week, it surprise me but then again here the reason to be is one thing. And its huge! if you know the history of Bretagne.

I can only put the name of the town on the title because it is everything here. I like to tell you a bit more, mostly new pictures on the Basilica Sainte Anne. I am a non-practicing Catholic and been around here always move me and give me strentgh to go on in life. Best wishes to all.

sainte anne d'auray

Since I have written so much on it in the my past posts, let me give some glimpses of what this is. It is the third most visited pèlerinage in France after Lourdes, and St Thérese de Lisieux with sometimes almost 500K persons in this small town, huge.

What you must see here are the Basilica and its Cloister, but also the Scala Santa (holy stair), the miraculous fountain, the Memorial to the fallen Bretons, the stele of the sailors, the statue of Saint Anne and Mary (daughter and mother); and the message park upon the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1996 with the message , “transmitting the faith”.

sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

A few meters from the Basilica you can visit the house of Yvon and Guillemette Nicolazic. Yvon was the farmer who found a figure doll of a Virgin in the fields and who heard telling him to built the temple.

This is Sainte Anne that which the Bretons consider as their grandmother is sometimes confidential or protective. It dries tears and comforts without judging or betraying. In the basilica, opposite the ermine-shaped reliquary containing bones of Sainte Anne offered by king Louis XIII in thanks for the birth of Louis Dieudonné, future Louis XIV, we pray to the grandmother of Jesus in the hope of founding a family.

Some of the highlight dates to keep in mind when visiting are.

Beginning of May: Pilgrimage of Singles. June: Pilgrimage of mother’s. July: Pilgrimage of father’s of families. July 25-26: Grand Pardon of Sainte Anne. This is huge event overflowing the little town. End of July – Beginning of August: Festival of Families; August 15 – Feast of the Assumption. September: Pilgrimage of Couples wanting children. December: Christmas holidays with a living nativity scene.

Some webpages as usual from me to help you plan your trip here and even if not a believer the festivities and the architectural historical complex is huge, so me think is a must to come to Sainte Anne d’Auray.

Official Sanctuary of Sainte Anne in English

Official Sanctuary cities on Sainte Anne d’Auray in French

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


February 18, 2020

Sentimental Jardin Bossuet, Meaux!

And I bring you back to a garden in somewhat off the beaten path town near Paris and even closer to Disneyland. This is my sentimental favorite city of Meaux, in Seine et Marne dept 77 of the ïle de France region. This is my dear late wife Martine native town.

I can tell you more but rather let you come and see it. I have written several posts on Meaux but none on the garden of the Bishop Bossuet, the Eagle of Meaux Royal confessor to king Louis XIV. There is a museum here too in the Episcopal palace behind the Cathedral of St Stephens or St Etienne in French.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Jardin Bossuet, the first out of the house encounter with what would be my wife back in Sept. 1990. The picture below was taken later on.



Meaux is a City of Art and History! This label was awarded to the city since it has an important heritage and is committed to enhancing it. The Episcopal complex of Meaux stretched from the Cathedral St Stephens to the city walls. As its name suggests, this district was reserved for the bishop, in the chapter of the canons of the Cathedral and their lay or ecclesiastical entourage. In its current state, the Episcopal City largely presents the physiognomy that it offered to the 18C.

It was in 1911 that the garden of the Bishopric took the name of the illustrious prelate, when it was opened to the public , so Jardin Bossuet. Created in the 17C, it has the singularity of being in the shape of a mitre and having very respectable dimensions like an area of 8,500 m², length 90 meters, width 75 meters. In line with French gardens, there are boxwood borders, geometric shapes but also pretty flower beds in season like 17,500 plants for flowering!, A vegetable patch always in season, and plants very ancient medicinal products thanks to the contribution of a good microclimate. Local tradition has it that the famous André Le Nôtre is the author, but no document confirms this. Some contemporary adaptations have transformed it, adding the rock of the basin called “Sweating Rock”, covered with plants or the roses that line the central aisle, but the spirit is respected. Bishop Dominique Siguier had the garden extended to the Gallo-Roman ramparts dating from the end of the 3C. At the end of the garden, you reach, by a staircase, a terrace which is none other than the upper part of the rampart. The latter only opens during guided tours. You can then see the Bossuet house, a small hermitage on a remarkable site. A stroll in fine weather is to be preferred, giving an obvious bucolic appeal to the whole.


For several years now, in fine weather, the perimeters of the main flowerbeds of the Bossuet Garden have been transformed into the Simples’ garden. Visitors can discover rare plants, ancient medicinal plants and exotic vegetable plants or local varieties ;such as mustard or carrot from Meaux.

Open daily from 10h to 17h (low season) and from 9h to 19h (high season).

More info on these webpages to help you plan your trip and its worth the detour here

City of Meaux on the Jardin Bossuet in French

Tourist office of Meaux on the Jardin Bossuet

Tourist office of Seine et Marne on the Jardin Bossuet

There you go a nice semi hidden garden in a wonderful historical and architectural corner of Meaux. The Jardin Bossuet is nice, romantic, beautiful and quiet. A perfect getaway from it all in the middle of history of France. Enjoy it as I always do and will.

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





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February 18, 2020

Le Guerno and its marvels!

And I stay in my Morbihan Breton dept 56 of the region of Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh. There is so much off the beaten path here as many come for the popular spots but France can be written another volume of a movable feast!

In my road warrior trips in my area , about 50 minutes from home, let me take you this time to a new town for us, Le Guerno. Right up the beaches of the Rhuys peninsula but in another world altogether.

Let me give you a brief description as old towns do here

The Le Guerno originally was a truce for the parish of Noyal-Muzillac, Le Guerno became a town in 1790 during the French revolution and an autonomous parish in 1802 after the Concordat. The Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem founded a chaplaincy here, mentioned in a charter in 1160 under the name of “Eleemosina de Guernou”, as well as a chapel which shelters a fragment of the True Cross. This chaplaincy, which possessed fief and right of justice, is joined thereafter to the commandery of Carentoir.

The city of Le Guerno has nfo on its monuments in French here: City of Le Guerno on its heritage in French

I like to tell you briefly on what is there to see me thinking that we saw and like on our trip here

The Church of Notre Dame de la Vrai Croix or Our Lady of the True Cross , founded in the 12C by the order of the Hospitallers of Saint-Jean-de-Jerusalem. It is then dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. In 1312, after the suppression of the order, the chapel takes the name of the Temple of Guernou, because of its attachment to the commandery of Carentoir.  From the 12C Chapel, only the foundations and stones used in the construction of the current church, dating from the 15C and 16C, remain.

le guerno

le guerno

The tower was erected in 1580 and renovated in 1706. Its conical roof earned it to be called pepper tower. In a chapel built in 1682, called from the Tomb, was the Christ Lying, today in the north transept. The sacristy was built in 1920. The nave, covered with a structured vault, with wood dated 1580.

le guerno

le guerno

The balustrade abundantly decorated. The baptismal font is located under the rostrum. The Choir semicircular apse, quite unusual in the 15C. In masonry, terracotta pots and vases for acoustics, openings facing the choir. 16C stained glass, restored in 1975. It has an amazing exterior pulpit c. 1575, granite stelae, an altar in the open air, which comes from the altar of a Roman temple, which was in Branféré and which was razed by the Templars, a Calvary which surmounts the altar and which is formed of a granite monolith 5 meters high, two beautiful tombstones, from the old cemetery of the town, moved in 1946.

le guerno

le guerno

There is also nice fountains such as

The Sainte-Anne fountain c.1784. It would have been built on a very old place of worship. It is a small quadrangular building, which opens to the South and East by arched and molded arches. The northern wall shelters a niche in which is a statuette of Saint Anne. The whole is surmounted by a stone canopy, supported by four columns and crowned with a cross.

le guerno

The Sainte-Marie fountain c. 1787, is located at rue du Pont-Vivier, in Branféré . Just over the city limits and as we saw the panel followed !. It is a small quadrangular building, which opens on three sides. One of the walls houses a niche. The whole is crowned by a curved dome carrying at its top a stone cross

le guerno

And a picturesque nice washhouse.

The Lavoir or washhouse c. 18C, located not far from the Sainte-Anne fountain. it is in the form of a large jacketed stone basin. You can always observe the demarcated locations of the washerwomen.

le guerno

The one decent tourist info in English is on the local tourist office of Damgan-La Roche BernardTourist office of Damgan-LA Roche Bernard on Le Guerno in English

And there you go folks , a new visited town of Le Gourno for us another dot in our world map and counting heck no way too many already!!! This is one of those places you can make a architecturally and historical stop on your way back the beaches of the Rhuys Peninsula just south of here. Hope you enjoy the post of a real off the beaten path area

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



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February 18, 2020

A revisit to Noyal Muzillac!

So here I am again on the road warrior routine in my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne and my belle France! There is never a dull moment when you have so much to see around you and the Hexagone…

This time is a quick trip as we have been here before but went a bit more to a new place (more later). I have written on Noyal-Muzillac before and on its main monuments this time I like to tell you about a unique Chapelle de Benqué.

The town of Noyal-Muzillac is  also part of the 12 towns of the Arc Sud Bretagne intermunicipal association and the district of Vannes. About 50 minutes from my house.

A bit of history I like repeat is that after the fall of the Roman Empire, during Breton migrations, the first parishes appeared. It was probably at this time that the parish was born with patron Saint Martin de Tours. The feudal period will see many lords settle on the land.

The French revolutionary period will soon lead the local Noyalais to support the White party and more particularly the Chouannerie.(those fighting against the French republic)

In 1802 was born in Noyal-Muzillac Julien Daniélo, literary man who became known in the Parisian literary circles. He will be the last secretary of François-René de Chateaubriand . Julien Daniélo died in Paris in 1869.

And now the feature presentation….for this post of Noyal-Muzillac.

The Chapelle de Benguë was designated in the 18C as Notre-Dame-de-la-Bénédiction. This rectangular chapel is decorated with a three-part sacristy attached to the south and dated 1768. In 1793, the chapel was burnt down by the republican Le Batteux during a punitive expedition against acts of chouannerie. The chapel preserves an altarpiece in white stone characteristic of the 18C.

noyal muzillac

It is a simple chapel in city center and not far from the main church which have written before on it in my blog so spare the repetition. The town of Noyal-Muzillac is very Breton and has been designated as countryside heritage of Brittany/Bretagne. Lots of nice Renaissance homes here with beautiful architecture of course.

noyal muzillac

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Noyal Muzillac on Religious heritage in French

Tourist office of Damgan, la Roche Bernard on Noyal Muzillac

This will be a nice side off the beaten path trip from when coming back from the beaches just south in the Rhuys peninsula. Hope you enjoy the post

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


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February 17, 2020

The Tour Maclou at MLJ!

And even thus I used to lived not far from it and did visit several times and my sons studied in higher education training for Chef here, it has been a while not written on it. So, looking back at my blog, I realise not written on an important element of the city of MLJ or Mantes La Jolie in the department 78 of the Yvelines in the region of the Ïle de France, very near Paris but sub prefecture of the dept 78 of which the prefecture and capital is Versailles.

So let me tell you about a popular monument that must be seen while in town the Tour Maclou of MLJ!

The Saint-Maclou church was one of the parish churches of the city of Mantes-la-Jolie, and was dedicated to Saint Maclou. The early church was Romanesque.

Mantes la Jolie

Originally built around the beginning of the 11C, around 1015, the Saint-Maclou Church was, according to the local tradition, the Hôtel Dieu of the city. Burned by William the Conqueror in 1087 along with the rest of the city, it was rebuilt nearby towards the end of the 11C or the beginning of the 12C.

The French revolution arrived and the parish was abolished in 1791 to establish the Temple of Reason and, in order to finance the work to be done, sold the materials from the demolition of the choir and the tower. If the choir was effectively demolished, the tower, whose demolition was already scheduled, was only saved in extremis thanks to the action of the Arts Commission. The church was closed again and never served as a temple. It was sold to private individuals. In 1806, when it was no longer known what to do with the church, the walls of the nave began to collapse, so the owners were ordered to demolish all the walls until three meters above the ground, leaving only the tower and one end of the elevation facade.

Mantes la Jolie

Many restorations of the tower were carried out in the second half of the 19C, accelerating until the beginning of the 20C. It was shaken by the bombings of 1944 and required numerous restorations until the 1980s before being considered restored, when it was cleaned of the pollution film that covered it.

Today there remains the 16C tower, as well as a section of the Romanesque wall, along two arcades, with the pillars of the aisle which correspond to it. The facade, although greatly altered, still has original elements. Of the primitive church, there remains the crypt. In addition, it will be noted that one of the corners of the Maclou Tower is made up of a turret surmounted by a dome which rises to the top: it is here that the spiral staircase gives access to the the top of the tower, from where the view over the Seine valley is impressive. Exceptionally, visitors have access to this part of the building, need to confirm now with the tourist office. The tower is left for immortality and very beautiful in city center Mantes La Jolie.

Mantes la Jolie

Here is a bit more on it from the city of Mantes La Jolie in French: City of Mantes la Jolie on the Tour Maclou

The Saint Maclou Tower is not far from the Seine river and the Collegiale Notre Dame and the Hôtel-Dieu other nice monuments here that I had already written about. Hope you enjoy the post and I thank you for reading it.

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

February 17, 2020

Way south in the French riviera!

So I came up with this pretty town nestle between two countries in PACA or simply put the French Riviera. I seldom come down here unless is business, or winemakers’s visits but is so well known and hordes of tourists go there that has never been my fancy. However, I did go and was impressive by the scenary and the driving lol!

I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco! and stayed at the Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco. I ate all over but the most memorable was Amici Miei.

We were recommended the Restaurant Amici Miei at the harbor of Fontvieille facing the cliffs and on top the Prince of Monaco’s castle; lovely.  This is an Italian restaurant cook by mamma herself and husband serves you with all the dishes explanation. The top is the son who is also a server comes to pick us up from the hotel and back, style chic this is after all the French Riviera.  The official restaurant webpage and highly recommended is here: Official restaurant Amici Miei

This is Fontvieille in French on its heritage, something to be back for.  City of Fontvieille on things to see

I have done a couple of entries on this area so will be brief and show you couple of pictures of the wonderful natural setting of the area I like.

Cap d’Ail, was until 1860, attached to the County of Nice. It was in 1908 that Cap d’Ail, which depended on La Turbie, became a fully-fledged town. The area around is bordered today on the north by the La Turbie. / Isola 2000, 105 km. Grenoble, 340 km.  Lyon, 492 km. and Paris, 954 km away.  To the east: border with the Fontvieille district of Monaco.  Menton, 16 km.  Ventimiglia (Italy), 29 km away. Sanremo (Italy), 59 km. Genoa (Italy), 183 km. /Rome (Italy), 694 km away. Towards the west: border with Èze. / Beaulieu-sur-Mer, 9 km. Nice, 18 km away.  Toulon, 170 km. and Marseille, 226 km. So literally all closer to Italy

cap d'ail

The roads are breathtaking here and I love it for it. I had a car so the driving was awesome. The best roads are the RD 6098 (basse corniche) and RD 6007 (formerly RN7 – called moyenne corniche and also called avenue Prince-Rainier-III-de-Monaco on its northern periphery. By the sea, the coastal path is an old, redeveloped course of 3,600 m joining the Mala and Marquet beaches via the Pointe des Douaniers. The train station and airport are all at Nice. The path is wonderful and explain better here in English from Cap tourist office: Tourist office of Cap d’Ail on the seashore walks

cap d'ail

There are wonderful layback harbors even an artificial one at  Cap-d’Ail on the extreme south and its northern quay is the frontier with  Monaco at Fontvieille as well as the eastern part of the town. An interesting phenomena that many times could not tell the difference whether I was in France or Monaco lol! 

There are, also, the Port Hercule or Port of Monaco. The port of Monaco consists of two ports, one natural, the Hercule port having been the subject of an extension by a floating concrete dam, the other artificial, the port of Fontvieille built in at the same time as the extension of the Fontvieille district on the sea. Its webpage in English is here: Ports of Monaco

cap d'ail

And Port Lympia or Port de Nice. Today it is the main port facility in Nice. There is also a small port in the Carras district. The port of Nice is divided into the Commercial port at the entrance and the marina at the bottom. More info here in English: Port of Nice

The Cap d’Ail tourist info is here in English: Tourist office of Cap d’Ail

The town also has several villas. I mentioned my favorites with nice architectural features I like:

 Villa du Roc Fleuri  and its botanical park and garden. Villa Perles Blanches  or  Villa Lumière  of the Lumière Brothers at 8 avenue Chales Blanc. Villa Les Funambules and the park Sacha Guitry. Villa Les Camélias at 17 avenue Raymond Gramaglia. . Villa Paloma at 16 avenue Raymond Gramaglia. Villa Les Violettes at 15 avenue François-de-May. Villa Les Mouettes at 6 avenue Raymond Gramaglia.. Villa Mirasol at 5 avenue Charles Blanc. Villa Primavera at the Moyenne Corniche road.

Other monuments to see are the Église Notre-Dame-du-Cap-Fleuri at 68 avenue du 3 septembre. Château de l’Hermitage at 37 avenue du 3 septembre Château des Terrasses at 89 avenue du 3 septembre. And the Tour Abeille and Villa Sarrasine.at 51 avenue du 3 septembre.

Some famous spent time here or lived are

Winston Churchill    was the honorary mayor of  Cap d’Ail Didier Deschamps  born at  Bayonne World Cup Champion football/soccer live in  Cap d’Ail. Sacha Guitry in 1927 acquired the Villa Les Funambules. The Lumière  Brothers Auguste and Louis. They owned the villa Perles Blanches at  avenue Charles Blanc. And André Malraux  He and Josiane Clotis lived in the  villa Les Camélias .

Again, the place is very chic upscale and nice. The kind of place you can dream of retiring too lol! A bit slow pace for me, too up the ladder but worth a visit in my belle France.

Hope you have enjoy the post, and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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