January 11, 2021

The bus in Versailles!!

Well in all the updates, it has helped to seek nice entries that were missed from posting. I have done one post on the bus in Paris which I take rather than the metro for long distances ,however, do not had one for my dear Versailles! Time to remedy that in the city I used to lived, took the bus ,yes! and my kids were wizards of it. Here is my credit to the bus in Versailles!!

Oh yes road warrior in a bus!! Well as said, I have tried all sort of transports in Europe, France etc I still prefer the car but customs oblige the bus is used extensively here and Versailles is not behind.

The Phebus network, the public transport network of Versailles and the surrounding towns, has been putting its know-how and experience at the service of the agglomeration since 1973 (under old name S.V.T.U) . It has 240 buses. 56 bus lines, more than 900 stops and 17 SNCF stations served. There are neighboring towns bus lines 101 to 107. It is now part of the Keolis national network of bus lines which we have it here in the Morbihan breton too.

The history of the Phébus network of Versailles. My sentimental favorite bus lines as my boys learned with me for school etc and then surpassed in knowledge of it. I should have written this post before!

1874:The concession for horse-drawn trams (8 km of track, 24 cars and 100 horses) is granted to the Francq brothers (Société anonyme des tramways de Versailles et extensions). 1883: The concession for horse-drawn trams is awarded to the Compagnie Générale des Omnibus, which already operates many lines in Paris, as well as the Louvre – Versailles line. 1895: The first electric tramways in Versailles, the concession of which is granted to Société Versaillaise de Tramways Electriques et de Distribution d’Energie (S.V.T.E, a subsidiary of Thomson). 1931: The height of the electric tramway: ridership reached 8.2 million annual passengers, to which must be added 465,000 passengers on the Saint-Cyr – Versailles line. 1957: “Burial” of trams. The Compagnie Française de Transports (C.F.T.) takes over the operation of the service with 24 Renault R 4231 type buses, under the name Transports Urbains de Versailles (T.U.V.). 1973: Takeover of the network by Société Versaillaise de Transports Urbains. 1987: Attachment of the S.V.T.U. at the Compagnie Française de Transports de Voyageurs (C.F.T.V.). 1992: Attachment of the C.F.T.V. to the Cariane group. 1995: Launch of the Phébus brand and signature of the quality charter with the eleven towns then served by the network. 1999: Thanks to the takeover of VIA-GTI by SNCF-Participations, SVTU is part of a large Via-Cariane group, which will become Keolis in 2001. 2004: Extension of the Phébus brand to the Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole lines (1 to 6).   2007: On October 12, 2007, on avenue de l’Europe in Versailles, Phébus opened the first Navigo branch of OPTILE member companies with a view to selling “Navigo card” and “full annual card” tickets. 2008: The Keolis Devillairs company acquires the Véolia-Vélizy company, serving in particular the towns of Vélizy-Villacoublay, Chaville and Bièvres. 18 additional lines then join the Phébus network. 2012:   Development of the transport offer in Jouy-en-Josas with the creation of the GHP line (redevelopment of the N and Z lines) and creation of the Phébus de Nuit 3 line between the Satory district and the Gare des Chantiers. 2014: On December 13, 2014, launch of Tramway T6 between “Chatillon – Montrouge” and “Vélizy Villacoublay – Robert Wagner”, accompanied by the establishment of a significantly improved bus network (Phébus lines 30, 34, 40, 42, 45 and 60). 2016: On May 28, 2016, launch of the extension of Tramway T6 to Viroflay Rive Droite station and second phase of redevelopment of the Phébus Vélizy lines (22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33 and 34). 2018: On September 3, 2018, Phébus is moving to Saint-Cyr L’École to facilitate all your trips. A network of 3 simpler lines (52, 53, 54), more regular and better connected to trains, replacing lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.   Departures earlier in the morning and later in the evening ;More frequency on Saturday. The creation of a service on Sundays and public holidays on line 52. Service from Parc Ariane to Guyancourt by line 54. New line numbers to avoid confusion with other lines serving the city of Versailles. We missed the lettering bus lines of Versailles!!!

They are 14 bus lines in Versailles easy no 1 thru 14.   My boys took line 3 the most or before it was A, direction Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt Hôpital A.Mignot Accueil – Versailles Satory. Passing by rive gauche-château RER C train station  (ave du Général de Gaulle)  and rive droite  train station (Ave du Maréchal Foch) very close to the palace/museum. In winter months there is line 14 easy taken in Ave de l’Europe or Place du marché Notre Dame (market). The old line TRI that went to all 3 train stations the castle and into the Trianons has been cancelled as newer lines does the trick now.

Three main lines (1, 2, 3) will run 7 days a week, every 5 to 10 minutes. Their common point: a stop at the three stations of Versailles ( rive droite, rive gauche-château and Chantiers)  and La Celle Saint-Cloud. Montreuil station will be served by four buses, including line 1, which replaces the old B and R buses connecting Parly 2 shopping center (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) to the University of Versailles. No new feature for line 3, the route of which is identical to the old bus A linking Mignot hospital to Versailles Satory. The hospital now benefits from a reinforced service with five buses which mark the stop there (2, 3, 7, 8, 9). And the one my boys took most to go to school!!!

Ah yes from the shopping center Parly II or thêatre Montansier or the train stations Chantiers and rive gauche-château  you can take bus line 1 and 2 to the palace arrêt/stop Château. Further out like the  monument Pershing you can take bus line 10 to rive gauche-château and walk to palace 5 mins.

The new bus numbering system of the Phebus bus network of Versailles.

Bus line 1 University (Versailles) Louis Pelin (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt)
Bus line 2 Porchefontaine Louis XIV (Versailles) La Celle Saint-Cloud SNCF station ( My older boy took this one also at Europe to go Chantiers train station and onwards by train to La Verriére)
Bus line 3 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – André Mignot Hospital – Reception ↔ Versailles – Satory (this my twin boys took it at arrêt or stop Europe near corner with ave de Saint Cloud dir Hôpital A Mignot in then Le Chesnay and now the town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) .
Bus line 5 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Coeur de Bourg ↔ Versailles – Bernard de Jussieu
Bus line 4 Pershing (Versailles) Versailles Chantiers
Bus line 6 Viroflay Rive Gauche Gare SNCF Versailles — Satory Mobilab (weeks) / Versailles Chantiers (Saturday / Sunday / Holidays)
Bus line 7 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Viroflay-Rive-Gauche Station
Bus line 8 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Versailles – Les Grands Chênes
Bus line 9 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Moxouris ↔ Gare de Vaucresson / Gare de Garches (Monday to Fridays at certain times)
Bus line 10 Gare de Vaucresson ↔ Versailles – Lycée Jules-Ferry
Bus line 11 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via Parc de Diane
Bus line 12 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via INRA
Bus line 13 Versailles Chantiers Picardie (Versailles)
Bus line 14 Versailles – Europe ↔ Versailles – Prés aux Bois

I have one memorable picture of bus A going to Hôpital A Mignot:

versailles-phebus-bus-b-cdg-kids-mar13

However, I still nostalgic of the old system so cool with letters! For the nostalgics like me the old network as compare to the new is as follow:  Bus A now line 3 . B is 1,2,3,5, C is 5, D is 6 and 14, E is 10 and 13, F is 10, G is 4, H is 2, F is 9 , K is 6, M is 9, N is 12, O is 8 P is 11, R are 1 ,6 ,13. S is 5, 7,9. U is 7 and W is 6 and X is 6.

The new office for ticketing, information, maps you name , help if get lost in Versailles (what!) is at the new Agence Navigo Phébus Europe at 18 Avenue de l’Europe. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h. Saturdays from 10h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h.  This office is right next to the Monoprix store near intersection with Avenue de Saint Cloud.

The city bus info center is at the new name Agence Phébus les Ménages (old Espace Clients Phébus) located at 12 av. du Général  de Gaulle. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 13h and 14h30 to 17h30; Saturdays, Sundays ,and Holidays is closed. The office is right across the train station rive gauche-château near the Hôtel de Ville.

The city of Versailles on public transports in English: https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/se-deplacer/transports-en-commun/

The greater Grand Parc agglo area of Versailles on public transports in French: https://www.versaillesgrandparc.fr/au-quotidien/se-deplacer/en-transport-en-commun

The Versailles tourist offices for direction ,help, ideas in addition to you asking me ::) in English: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/our-reception-points.html

There are reclamation procedures for any service as well as lost and found items. There is a telephone to call in at +33 (0) 1 39 20 16 20. If more than 15 days passing all items are deposit awaiting reclamation at  Objets Trouvés – 3 bis Passage Pilâtre du Rozier Versailles – Téléphone ++33 (0) 1 30 97 81 60.  This is just near my old home from the Rive Droite train station out turn right and the next street is the Passage Pilâtre du Rozier turn right here and see the house office on your left hand side. We never encounter any problems but some do,hope it helps.

And there you go folks a nice city to walk but if tired from all the seeing around the Domaine de Versailles  , a bus ride should be nice. Also , allows you to go further and see the other wonderful sights of my Versailles, see posts. Hope it helps

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

January 10, 2021

Domaine de Versailles!!!

Oh yes when started my blog way back in 2010 ,I wrote a post on the Versailles property that the world comes there to see. However, in France we make a distinction between the Château or Palace and the Domaine or Domain of Versailles. One is just one building while the latter is the whole property including dependencies. Let me tell you a bit of the history of the Palace and the things in the Domain of Versailles.

One of the grands of our world, a must to visit when in France or even to come just for it!! The domaine de Versailles is the set of lands and buildings of 850 Ha. (8000 Ha before the French revolution) dependent on the Palace of Versailles. You do the math as one hectare is equal to 2.471 acres.

Besides the castle, it includes 93 ha of gardens and 300 ha of forest. You count 20 km of enclosures, 42 km of alleys, and 372 magnificent statues !   However, also, the Petit and Grand Trianon with a park of 80 ha for the Grand and 50 ha for the Petit. Also, the Hameau de la Reine, the Grand and Petit Canal, Orangerie, and the pièce d’eau des 3 Suisses. It has 55 basins! The biggest are the Grand Canal 23 Ha, and 500 000 M3 of water and the Piéce d’Eau des 3 Suisses with 180 000 M3 of water. A total of 35 km of canals and 600 water jets.

The Palace of Versailles also has an Royal Opera house and a Royal Chapel.   The chapel created between 1689 and 1710, the Kings regularly attended daily mass. It has been completely renovated this December 2020! The Opera, inaugurated in 1770, was one of the last buildings of the Palace of Versailles. This museum (palace of Versailles) is the biggest in the world with 18000 m2 of space.

We love the gardens where we walked, jogged, had picnics in the back and enjoy a nice croissant etc at Angelina by the Petit Trianon.  To admire and understand Le Nôtre’s masterpiece, you have to go and discover it from above, from the king’s and queen’s apartments and the Hall of Mirrors.  Then, in the gardens, passing through the steps of the bassin de Latone, the majestic prospect of the reflecting pool leads to the chariot of Apollo. Then, you have to get lost in the plant labyrinth to better savor the effects of surprise that the discovery of the fourteen green rooms has in store. Among these creations, the salle de Bal or ballroom and its rockeries. The days of Musical Fountains, gardens and groves are a visual and sound enchantment.

The park is spread around the Grand Canal, a 23 hectare body of water with a 5.5 km periphery. Its major axis towards the sunset extends the perspective of the garden towards infinity between the hedge of large Italian poplars, the proud silhouettes of which can be seen beyond the water. At the head of the Canal, the buildings of Little Venice are reminiscent of gondoliers and gondolas, yachts and galleys which made up the flotilla and which were used for walks, for concerts or for nautical festivals. The transverse arm of the Grand Canal linked the Menagerie (now destroyed) to Trianon.

On either side of the Grand Canal are forest plots made up of local tree varieties and crisscrossed by large alleys. These are bordered by single or double rows that were once planted with elms and today with tillers and beeches. The trees are rigorously pruned, making up a real plant architecture. Near the Castle,the flowerbeds were designed to be seen from the first floor. The parterre du Midi, boxwood embroidery decorated with flowers; the parterre du Nord, all of boxwood and grass; in the center, the two mirrors of the parterre d’Eau bordered by reclining statues representing the rivers of France, masterpieces of sculpture. At the bend of an alley new points of view are offered, new fountains, new statues, trellis cradles,and   topiaries. Fantasy can be found in the groves , today 9. These groves are rooms of greenery nestled in the small woods located between the alleys; when one goes through these, one cannot suspect the existence of these wonders.

The property goes back way back of the Grand Canal into the towns of St Cyr l’école and its many gates or portes that encircle the old Domain of Versailles for 43 km!!. My favorite here was the Porte de Bailly still visible from the Ferme de Gally on St Cyr l’école. 700 meters from it you can still see the Porte de Noisy with a garden guardian house still there. Much further in the enclosure you have the Porte de Buc (town of Buc) ,Porte de Saint Cyr(town of St Cyr l’école) ,Porte d’Aréne (town of St Nom la Bretêche ) Porte de Jouy et Porte de Loches (town of Jouy en Loches) , Porte de Mérantais (town of St Quentin en Yvelines) , pavillon de Chateaufort (town of Chateaufort) ,Porte de Puissaloup (town of Bois d’Arcy) ,my favorite entrance to the Domaine , porte Saint Antoine or Porte de la Reine ( town of Versailles) ,Porte de Trou Salé (town of Toussus le Noble) ,Porte d’entrées or entering gate (town of St Nom la Bretêche private occupied today). You see my Domaine de Versailles!

A bit of history I like

The first mentioned of Versailles dates from 1038 where monks erect a Church of Saint Julien. By 1472 , the first complete mentioned of the city is as Versailles-aux-Bourg-de-Galie (new French, Versailles in the town of Gally). by 1475 the Lords of Versailles give right to Trianon to the abbey of Sain Germain, first mentioned of Trianon in texts. by 1589 first time king Louis XIII stops by Versailles, which he again will visit in 1604,1607, and 1609 ;while doing his first hunt in 1607. By 1623 ,king Louis XIII has built a modest country manor home in bricks to spent his time hunting and passing by but never sleeps in it.

The first castle type construction was done by what is today the cour de marbre or courtyard of marble, being of 24 meters long and 6 meters wide. On April 18, 1632 king Louis XIII buys the lands and domaine of Versailles to Jean-François de Gondi, bishop of Paris. New lands around it are purchased and a bigger castle is built in 1634. King Louis XIII died on May 14 ,1643.

His son king Louis XIV lived in Paris at the Louvre, and was born in nearby Saint Germain-en-Laye. By 1651 does his first visit to Versailles and on October 25th, 1660 takes there for the first time his wife queen Maria Teresa (Spain). From 1661-1668 renovations and new constructions takes over the life of the domaine. He brings in the crew that built the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte (seine et marne dept 77) as Le Vau, the architect, Errard and Coypel, the decorators, and Le Notre ,the gardener. By 1664 the first parties are done in the castle including plays by Moliére. First statues place in the gardens done in 1665 , the Grand Canal was built in 1667 . The biggest party is thrown on July 18 1668 to make the castle known to the world.

In the period, 1668-1670 the castle is enlarged again with encircling the old building all done by architect Le Vau, and after his death in 1670 by his successor architect d’Orbay. The Trianon de Porcelain (replace by the Grand Trianon) is built in 1670 , and at this time many hôtel particuliéres or manor houses are built of great richness such as the ones of Luxembourg, Noailles,Guise,Bouillon, and Gesvres. Between 1678-1686 the galerie des glaces or the Hall of mirrors (73 meters long) is built with decorations by Le Brun. By 1682 even before all is finished the king Louix XIV comes to live in the castle.

Meanwhile, more construction is going on between 1685-89 . New Orangerie, (see post) Grand Comun (for servants and lesser officials quarters -see post) , the stables  of Petite and Grande Ecuries (see post).  1700 new apartments are done to house the duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, future king of Spain under Felipe V (the Bourbon line is done, ancestors of today’s king of Spain Felipe VI ,his father king Juan Carlos I was fifth in line to the throne of France).

By 1689-1710,  the Royal Chapel is built; upon king Louis XIV death in 1715, Louis XV finally comes to live in Versailles in 1722 at the age of 12 years old, and makes his preference to lived at the Grand Trianon later more so the queen Marie Leszczynska . Meanwhile renovations and constructions continues from 1729 on such as the Salon d’Hercules in 1729-1736, the Royal Opéra 1768-1770, and the Petit Trianon 1761-1768. In 1770 the marriage of the dauphin heir future Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine, archduchess of Austria is held here at the Royal Chapel.

Comes king Louis XVI, he builts the library in 1774 done by Gabriel. Cabinet Dorée or golden cabinet built in 1783 to house the collections of Louis XV, his father. then comes the French revolution.  The Estates Generaux are held here and from October 6, 1789 the castle is never the same again. All traces of kings is taken down, all objects are spread all over France and abroad.  the statues, sculptures and paintings as well as furniture is sold all over Europe. A sad time indeed. Then comes reason in the name of the new monarch of king Louis-Philippe in 1830, he decides for good that the castle can be save if made into a museum !  ” FOR ALL THE GLORIES OF FRANCE”. The museum is open on June 10, 1837, hails greatly by one Victor Hugo.

Here the treaty of Versailles ending  WWI is done on June 28 1919.  The French constitution has it that all changes or amendments to the French constitution as per article 89 needs the National Assembly or Assamblée Générale (house of reps) and the Senate,and the President and his cabinet must move and do those changes debates in Versailles. While here the city of Versailles becomes the de facto Capital of France!!! Like it never has stopped being it !!!!!!!!!!

It has welcome celebraties and events such as in 1972 Queen Elisabeth II of England (UK) 1974 the Shah of Iran, 1985 Mickaïl Gorbachev, 1992 Boris Yeltsin, and 1982  served as reunion site for the G7, amongst many more including serving as office of Pres Charles De Gaulle!

The latest info for ticketing : All these places are to be discovered thanks to the “Passport with hourly reservation” ticket which allows access to the entire estate (the castle with access within half an hour following the chosen schedule, the gardens, the Trianon estate ). This ticket allows access to the gardens on the days of Musical Fountains and Musical Gardens, during which all the groves are open and the pools are filled with water. Tariff is 27€ on Musical Fountains or Musical Gardens days , and 20€ excluding Musical Fountains and Musical Gardens days.

Some webpages for more info and planning for your next visit as soon as possible are

The official Chateau de Versailles:  http://en.chateauversailles.fr/

The city of Versailles on history/heritage info:   https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir/histoire-de-versailles/

The official tourist office of the city of Versailles :https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/

In French but the little city newspaper , Le Petit Versaillais ( the little person of Versailles =versaillais) that you can subscribe for news of the city in general, give all the everyday life of it including tourist updates and information. Webpage: http://www.lepetitversaillais.fr/

If you want to help restore and maintain this wonderful property call the Domaine de Versailles and join millions around the world who do, including me, this is the webpage for Les Amis de Versailles or the friends of Versailles.  https://www.amisdeversailles.com/?lang=en

Of course impossible to name them all, the property is huge, this will give some ideas and history to search. If need any detail information feel free to post a question or contact me on this blog. I lived there for 9 glorious years!!! Hope you enjoy the tidbits of info on the post of my fav Domaine de Versailles! 

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

January 10, 2021

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca !

Ok given on the post title his full name; I have mentioned him briefly in my previous posts but I believe he deserves a post of its own. To me, he is the greatest of Spanish poets/playwrites of all time. You probably know him better by Federico Garcia Lorca or simply Lorca for us. Let me tell you in a black and white series his history and places. Hope you enjoy my another entry into literature.

I like to tell briefly the story of a very famous men and one of my historical favorites of my beloved Spain. The name will tell it to all if into the arts, poetry,theatre, etc one of the giants of the Spanish speaking world. I happened to trace his life on my old visits to Granada, where I am an honorary member of a sport club ,but now the main thing is to tell you about the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. It’s a long history, that I like.

Federico García Lorca (born at Fuente Vaqueros, June 5, 1898- died on the way from Víznar to Alfacar, Granada, August 18, 1936)   was a Spanish poet, playwright and prose writer. Assigned to the generation of 27, he was the most influential and popular poet in 20C Spanish literature. As a playwright, he is considered one of the tops of 20C Spanish theater. He was assassinated by the Nationalists side a month after the coup d’état with which the Spanish Civil War began.

He was born into a family with a comfortable economic position, and was baptized as Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca; his father was the landowner Federico García Rodríguez (1859-1945) and his mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero (1870-1959), second wife of his father.

The term of the Generation 1927 ;starts from the date of December 1927, when several Spanish poets meet in Seville, in an event organized by the Economic Society of Friends of the Country to commemorate the three hundred years since the death of Luis de Góngora. It should be noted that this meeting is the origin of what some call the Generation of ’27, which includes writers such as Jorge Guillén, Pedro Salinas, Rafael Alberti, Dámaso Alonso, Gerardo Diego, Luis Cernuda, Vicente Aleixandre, Manuel Altolaguirre and Emilio Prados. This group is characterized by fusing the forms of traditional poetry (neopopularism) with the avant-garde movements; for treating the same issues in a similar way (death in a tragic sense; love as a force that gives meaning to life; social concerns such as injustice, misery, etc.), for the use of metaphor and image; etc.

Together with Eduardo Ugarte, the writer from Granada, he co-directed La Barraca, a university theater group that represented theatrical works of the Golden Age of Spanish literature such as Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, etc;  through cities and towns in Spain. Financed by the Ministry of Education, it had its own project in its hands for the first time. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War would frustrate the effort.

A personal anecdote we all love him for. In March 1930 he left New York to travel to the city of Havana, Cuba as he is invited by the Hispano-Cuban Institution of Culture to give conferences in Havana and other Cuban cities.   He travels by train to Tampa, Florida, where he boards the steamer Cuba, which docks on March 6 in Havana, where his old friend José María Chacón y Calvo, the Cuban poet Juan Marinello and the journalist Rafael Suárez Solís await him. The Instituto de las Españas (Spain’s institute) offers him a tribute, in which he delivers his lecture The Mechanics of Poetry. He friendship with Antonio Quevedo and María Muñoz, a friend of Manuel de Falla. He gives several lectures at the Principal Theater of Comedy in Havana: The Mechanics of Poetry; Closed paradise for many, open gardens for few; Spanish lullabies; The poetic image of Don Luis de Góngora; The architecture of cante jondo. He works in the play The Public. Friendship with the Loynaz brothers, whose home he visits almost daily and whom he reads The Public. In the company of the writer Lydia Cabrera, whom he had met in Madrid, he attends a “ñáñiga” (black Santeria type) ceremony. Conferences in Caibarién, presented by José María Chacón y Calvo, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. He receives a tribute in Santiago de las Vegas. He writes the “They are of blacks in Cuba”, and the “Ode to Walt Whitman” that will be part of Poeta en Nueva York. His friends García Maroto and Adolfo Salazar arrive in Havana. Friendship with the Guatemalan writer Luis Cardoza Aragón. He knows Nicolás Guillén and José Lezama Lima. He enters a clinic to have warts removed. Farewell meal at the Bristol Hotel organized by the Avance Magazine. On June 12, he embarks on the steamer Manuel Arnús, which, after stopping in New York, arrives in Cádiz on June 30. The Grand theater in Havana has the main room named after him.

A bit of his last steps alive.  He went to the Huerta de San Vicente to meet with his family. He arrived there on July 14, 1936, three days before the military uprising against the Republic broke out in Melilla, leading to the Spanish Civil War. The sequence of his ultimate assassination is related briefly as such:

At Calle Virgen Blanca , then surrounded by fields, linked the García Lorca house with the center of the city. Federico travels through it in a taxi, a Fiat that had been owned by the family, and driven by a former servant. At Plaza de Gracia, headquarters of the Minor Seminary of the city. Lorca passed through the square in the taxi on the evening of August 9 on his way to the Rosales’ house, where he was seeking refuge. Corner of Plaza de Gracia with Calle Jardines, the beginning of the Magdalena neighborhood, where García Lorca passed on the afternoon-night of August 9. By Calle de Gracia, in the Magdalena neighborhood, then bordering the city with the plain. He goes by Plaza de la Trinidad, the square had hosted a convent of Trinitarians Barefooters until the 19C. Nearby was the family home of the Rosales, friends of Federico. The Reina Cristina Hotel is located in the same building as the former Rosales family house, on the corner of Angulo and Tablas streets. Federico was welcomed and hosted. He trusted that the Rosales’ connection with the Falange (Franco’s party) could protect him from the rebels. He doesn’t go outside and spends the day playing the piano. The Reina Cristina Hotel occupies what was the home of the Rosales family, where the poet Federico García Lorca spent his last days. It must be said that the hotel owners have made a great effort to preserve those aspects of the building that go back to the time when the Rosales family lived here. The building, full of Andalusian air, reminds us, between its patios and fountains, the universal figure of the poet in his last days.

The door of the Casa de los Rosales on Calle Angulo, 1. According to a police document drawn up many years after the poet’s death, the building was surrounded with a great apparatus by Militias and Assault Guards who took all the nearby intersections and rooftops. Lorca left through this door on his way to the Civil Government building.   Lorca had taken refuge in the Rosales brothers’ house out of fear. His friends tried to intercede for him to avoid his arrest, without success. Federico is on the second floor of the house at the time of his arrest, on August 16 1936. An illegal detention, “without a written or oral order,” as the poet Luis Rosales declared years later.

His biographer Ian Gibson (Irish-Spanish now living in Madrid) relates the account of a witness: “He wore dark gray pants, a white shirt with a loose tie knot and, on his arm, a blazer.” By the Plaza de Los Lobos, Lorca passed through here when they were taking him prisoner. The square is the central point of the journey, barely 240 meters long, which separated the residence of Los Rosales and the Civil Government of Granada. Despite the short distance, he was stopped and transferred by car. The Puerta del Jardín Botánico, next to the Faculty of Law which, in 1936, was the seat of the Civil Government. The poet remained imprisoned in a dungeon in this building on Calle Duquesa before being taken to Víznar where, according to police documentation, he is “passed over by arms.” (shot dead) Today there is no plaque that recalls what was Federico’s last stay in Granada.

The Puerta or gate of the Faculty of Law was  crossed by Garcia Lorca on the way to Víznar. Some sources believe that the transfer occurred on the same day the 16th, others on the 17th August 1936. Be that as it may, he spent his last hours in a large house on the outskirts of town, La Colonia. At Viznar he spent his last night in a makeshift jail, along with other detainees. It seems definitely established that Federico García Lorca was shot at 4:45 a.m. on August 18, on the road from Víznar to Alfacar. His body, which was never recovered, remains buried in an anonymous mass grave somewhere in those places. One of the most shocking works on the fact of his death is the poem «The crime was in Granada», written by Antonio Machado (another great poet) in 1937. One of the most documented, controversial and popular biographies on Federico García Lorca is the published best-seller in 1989 and entitled Federico García Lorca: A life (Life, passion and death of Federico García Lorca, Spanish edition in 1998), by the Irish-born Spanish Ian Gibson. Calle Duquesa was one of the last images of Granada by Federico Garcia Lorca.

Tracing his places of stayed in a brief description of them to follow:

Fuente Vaqueros located in the western part of the Vega de Granada region of the province of Grenada. In 1767 the colonization of the farm began. In 1777 it returned to the hands of the Crown, then passing to Manuel Godoy (later prime minister). Upon returning to the Crown again, in 1813 the Cortes donated the estate in perpetuity to the Duke of Wellington as a reward for services rendered during the War of Independence against the French. Until 1940, the current town of Fuente Vaqueros belonged to the Duke of Wellington, having its land leased to the settlers and little by little it was sold to them, who populated and gave way to the current town. Internationally it is known for having been the hometown of Federico García Lorca.

Some of the things to see here are: Monument and monoliths to Federico García Lorca Museum , Federico García Lorca’s birthplace. Federico García Lorca Municipal Theater ,and the Royal House of the Duke of Wellington. Hence, in this town there are many references and traces of the universal poet and playwright, with monuments and museums built in the memory of him.

The town of Fuente Vaqueros things to see: http://www.fuente-vaqueros.com/que-visitar.html

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on Fuente Vaqueros in Spanish : https://www.universolorca.com/lugar/museo-casa-natal-en-fuente-vaqueros/

Valderrubio is located in the western part of the Vega de Granada region, in the province of Granada. The town of Valderrubio is one of the thirty-four entities that make up the Metropolitan Area of Granada.

Federico García Lorca lived in this town, when it was still called Asquerosa. The origin of this name seems to be from Latin in Roman times, its meaning was Agua de Rosas or Acuarosa, in Latin Aqua Rosae. Its current name, which, to avoid the name meaning disgusting in Spanish, officially replaced the name on August 15, 1943, to the new name of Valderrubio ,which refers to “valley of blond tobacco”, since it was a majority crop until the middle of the 20C. So much so that it is said that it was the first town in Europe where the blond tobacco brought from America was planted.

It was in this town where Federico García Lorca, considered one of the most important Spanish poets of the 20C, was inspired to create one of his best dramatic works: La casa de Bernarda Alba. Among the places of Lorca, the house of Bernarda Alba stands out, the house on Calle Iglesia where today the House Museum, the Fuente de la Teja and the Daimuz farm are located, two km from Valderrubio, next to the Cubillas river, near the confluence with the Genil river. Valderrubio brings together a landscape and natural environment that still revives the basis of the great work that the poet left behind.

Some things to see here are  the Federico García Lorca House-Museum; Bernarda Alba House and Monument to the Entrepreneurs and Tobacco Workers.

The town of Valderrubio on things to see in Spanish: http://www.ayuntamientovalderrubio.es/rutas-turisticas-e-hitos-de-interes

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on Valderrubio: https://www.universolorca.com/lugar/casa-familiar-de-valderrubio/

The old Café Alameda created in 1909 was known as the Gran Café Granada by most of the people of Granada at the beginning of the 20C, as it was the initial name with which the hospitality establishment was inaugurated, nowadays disappeared as such. It was located in the Plaza del Campillo. In that special corner at the beginning of the 1920s, the Bohemian intellectual gathering known as the Rinconcillo ( a little corner or place) was born, cradle of characters, some of them already prominent artists and others who would come to be recognized in disciplines as diverse as poetry, literature, journalism, the arts, politics, music and diplomacy, both nationally and internationally. In 1922, Manuel de Falla, Federico Garcia Lorca, Ignacio Zuloaga and the Granada City Council organized the first national Cante Jondo competition, which took place on June 13 and 14 in the Plaza de los Aljibes in the Alhambra. These modernizing ideas for renovation of Granada society, were supported at the time through periodic visits to the gathering by characters as diverse as H G Wells, Koichi Nakayama, Rudyard Kipling, and the musicians Wanda Landowska and Arthur Rubinstein Among the usual protagonists were Federico García Lorca and his brother Francisco, Manuel de Falla, politician Antonio Gallego Burín, the doctor and politician Manuel Fernández-Montesinos and his brother José, a philologist, the musician Ángel Barrios, the painter Manuel Ángeles Ortiz , José Acosta Medina, Miguel Pizarro Zambrano, the journalists José Mora Guarnido and Constantino Ruiz Carnero, José María García Carrillo, the politician Fernando de los Ríos, who would be Minister of Justice and Public Instruction, the Arabist José Navarro Pardo, the painter Ismael González de la Serna, Hermenegildo Lanz, the sculptor Juan Cristóbal, Ramón Pérez Roda, Luis Mariscal and the guitarist Andrés Segovia, and as conductor and cultural animator, Francisco Soriano Lapresa! Wow a who is who indeed of my beloved Spain!

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on El Rincocillo or old Alameda café in Spanish: https://www.universolorca.com/lugar/el-rinconcillo/

The Federico García Lorca House-Museum, familiarly known as Huerta de San Vicente, was the summer estate of the García Lorca family from 1926 to 1936, shortly after Federico’s assassination during the first weeks of the Spanish Civil War. The house and the orchards that belonged to him are located in the heart of the Federico García Lorca park, inaugurated in 1995. The farm seems to have its origin in the second half of the 19C and would be known as the Huerta de los Mudos (mute). Later, it became the property of Federico García Rodríguez, father of Federico García Lorca, who signed the purchase on May 27, 1925. The artist’s father, in homage to his wife Vicenta Lorca Romero, changed the name of the farm to Huerta de San Vicente.

Federico García Lorca wrote in this place, in whole or in part, some notable works such as So five years pass (1931), Bodas de Sangre or Blood Wedding (1932), Yerma (1934) or Diván del Tamarit (1931-1936). Among some of the poet’s friends who visited the area are the following personalities: Manuel de Falla, Miguel Pizarro, Antonio Gallego Burín, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Eduardo Blanco Amor, Eduardo Rodríguez Valdivieso, etc. In addition, the artist spent the last days before his arrest and subsequent execution of him on the farm, before moving to the house of his friend Luis Rosales.

On April 6, 1985, it was acquired by the Granada City Council from Isabel García Lorca (younger sister) to turn it into a house museum for the poet Federico García Lorca. In 1995, the only reliable documents that existed on the arrangement of this furniture set were a series of photographs taken in the period 1926-1936, among which the series taken in 1935 by the writer Eduardo Blanco Amor stands out, as well as family photographs taken starting in 1918 in other places where the García Lorca family lived and in which some of the furniture, works of art and objects that can be seen today in the Huerta de San Vicente are collected. These photographs make it possible to delimit with precision the qualifier “original”, applied to the furniture that decorates it: in them we see the poet’s desk, the gramophone, the baby grand piano, the divan, the rocking chairs and the Thonet chairs, the reproduction from Botticelli’s Spring, the mirror with an art deco frame , among other minor items. In addition to the photographs, the testimonies of the people who lived in it were very useful, especially Isabel García Lorca (sister) and the nephews Vicenta and Manuel Fernández Montesinos. The rest of the furniture, as well as the belongings (crockery, ceramics, and household objects such as the coat rack, the tablecloth, or peasants such as the cheese maker, etc.) and other documents and works of art that can be seen today in the House-Museum were either part of the furniture in La Huerta in some of its periods between 1926 and 1936, or they belonged at some point to the Lorca family.

The official house museum Huerta de San Vicente: http://www.huertadesanvicente.com/

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on the Huerta de San Vicente: https://www.universolorca.com/lugar/huerta-de-san-vicente/

Víznar  is located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Alfaguara, in the central part of the Vega de Granada, about 9 km from Granada. In one of the ravines between the towns of Víznar and Alfacar, the Guardia Civil:( Civil Guard) assassinated Federico García Lorca.

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on the ravins of Viznar in Spanish: https://www.universolorca.com/lugar/barranco-de-viznar/

Additional webpages on the Cervantes virtual library on Federico Garcia Lorcahttp://www.cervantesvirtual.com/portales/federico_garcia_lorca/

There you go folks, I feel better. I did as briefly as possible but long enough to give you the complete story on a great men, one of the greatest, still play, spoken and worship of the Spanish literature giants. Federico Garcia Lorca sits at the top.  Hoping the wounds of the Spanish Civil War can one day be completely healed and we just remember,never to let it happened again.

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

January 10, 2021

Toulouse: Cathédrale St Etienne!!!

And again this is a monumental sight to see in my sentimental Toulouse so needed to update links and revise text. Of course, we have come to Toulouse several times over the years and visit the Cathedral, but this time it seems enjoy it more as took more time and pictures. Hope you enjoy the St Stephens Cathedral or Cathédrale St Etienne as much as we do.

And this is the dandy Cathedral St Stephens or Cathédrale St Etienne of Toulouse . A wonderful monument we always stop by and a must to see while in the pink city of Toulouse. So will give you a more historical twist and pictures this time.  

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The oldest parts of the cathedral date from the Romanesque period. These are the south wall of the choir and the north and south walls of the old nave. You can easily see a portion of it from the Place Cardinal Saliège square; it is visible at the level of the current nave, where the wall is in slight relief. It has two oculi, a small door covered with a semicircular arch and two buttresses nested in the Gothic buttresses.

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The Romanesque building was shorter than the current nave. It is estimated that it was 20 meters wide by 85 meters long. In all likelihood, it consisted of a western massif with two towers, a nave with three vessels and a tripartite chevet in extension. The aisles were pierced by oculi to the west, surmounted by a platform and consolidated by buttresses. Its construction probably spans between the episcopate of Bishop Isarn 1071 to 1105, and continues under that of his successor Amiel 1105 to 1139.

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The construction of the cathedral is linked to a policy of recovery of the Church, in the midst of a crisis since the 10C. The papacy encouraged a reform intended to restore discipline among the clergy, change their customs and consolidate their independence from the laity. Bishop Isarn, notably influenced by the action of the Cluny monastery, introduced this reform in Toulouse in 1073. He had a charter drawn up in which it was required: “Let all the clerics eat together, sleep together. May food and clothing be common to all according to the prescription of apostolic tradition. That the freedom to go and move in any place is only granted with the permission of their prior, so that there exists only one spirit, one soul for those who have only one God , one faith, one baptism ”.

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Bishop Isarn had the buildings necessary for this community life constructed. A cloister, a chapter house and a large refectory are built to the south and east of the cathedral. They are added to the group of churches Saint-Etienne and Saint-Jacques. The district, most probably fenced, develops in an area of 2.3 hectares. It is bounded to the east by the city wall. Three vaulted passages, to the north, south and west, open onto the city but are closed after dark. The cathedral is located on the edge of this district to allow people to enter more easily.

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The famous sculptors’ workshops of Moissac and Saint-Sernin participate in the ornamentation of this vast architectural ensemble. Part of their production can still be appreciated despite the almost complete disappearance of Romanesque buildings. The capitals of the nave and five others visible in the gallery come from the old cathedral. They can be compared to those dated 1100-1110 from the Saint-Sernin Basilica. (see post)  The St Augustins Museum (see posts) preserves magnificent sculptures from the cloister and the chapter house, some of which are attributed to Gilabertus, one of the major artists of Romanesque art.

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The history of the St Stephens Cathedral is marked by the revolutionary period. In France, the Constituent Assembly seeks to establish a new Church. The property of the clergy is confiscated, religious orders suppressed and the authority of the pope rejected. New priests must be elected and swear an oath to the Civil Constitution of the clergy. This new constitutional clergy must leave the religious habit for a civil dress and marry its members, under penalty of imprisonment. The Toulouse priests were summoned on March 6, 1791. The session took place in the cathedral. The majority of religious refuse to take an oath to the Constitution and must flee. Father Sermet, favorable to new ideas, was elected bishop on March 27. Constitutional worship is also prohibited. The cathedral was closed in March 1794. The canonical quarter, which no longer had any reason for being, was gradually destroyed. The cloister was demolished in 1799. The church suffered numerous destructions. The portal statues are overturned, the Cardailhac bell is thrown from the bell tower and the furniture is partially destroyed. The choir serves as a warehouse for the furniture of the suppressed churches.

The nave of Saint-Etienne becomes the place of revolutionary celebrations. It is transformed into a temple of the goddess Reason then receives the worship of the Supreme Being. Then take place the decadal worship ceremonies, during which the laws are read and civic spirit glorified. The persecution of religious ends with the Concordat of 1801, an agreement signed between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Papacy. Christianity regained its dominant place in society. After twelve years of unrest, the cathedral is returned to Catholic worship. In a state of ruins, it has lost much of its wealth. And it came back better than ever,Amen!!!

The tourist office of Toulouse on the Cathedral: https://www.toulouse-visit.com/la-cathedrale-saint-etienne/toulouse/pcumid031fs000a2

Official webpage Cathédrale St Etiennehttp://cathedrale.toulouse.free.fr/

And even a revolution could not change the faith. So do come to the Cathédrale St Etienne as it is a wonderful monument testament of enduring faith and beautiful architecture. It is Toulouse so if you are here , you must come to it. Hope you have enjoy the post and thanks for reading me.

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

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January 9, 2021

Toulouse: Church Notre Dame du Taur!!

I like to update links and revise this post for sentimental reasons. As said Toulouse is one of my dear towns of France. I walked by the Church Notre Dame du Taur many times in our trips but for some reason never came inside. Until one day with my boys decided to see it and as usual  is a gem not to be missed. Let me tell you a bit more on this church in my dear Toulouse. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

And why not come back inside to see a great monument of Toulouse. This is the case of the Church Notre Dame du Taur near the Capitole and Basilica St Sernin  exactly at 12bis rue du Taur.  I have written a piece on its history a while back so will concentrate on new pictures.  This is a wonderful historical church which was seen briefly before and more in depth on this trip.

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The stone portal has 6 archivolts and columns decorated with capitals with foliage. The interior of the triangular top is decorated with an 18C statue of the virgin. On both sides, in the niches, two casts replaced the old statues of the 16C ;an apostle and Saint Francis of Assisi. The choir is made up of a small central chapel with a flat apse and two apses with cut sides on both sides.

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Above the central altar, the martyrdom of Saint Saturnin, a 19C painting by Bénézet. The central chapel preserves the statue of Notre-Dame du Rempart or of the Deliverance or the Good Help, of the 16C, entered the church in 1783 after the demolition of the oratory of the gate of Villeneuve.

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On the south wall of the nave are the remains of a 38-figure genealogy of Jacob, arranged in two registers, from the 14C. This very erased painting was discovered in 1872 when the woodwork that adorned the walls was removed. A bull, carved in the oldest part of the church, reminds us of the martyrdom of Saturnin.

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The tourist office of Toulouse on the Church Notre Dame du Taurhttps://www.toulouse-visit.com/notre-dame-du-taur/toulouse/pcumid031fs000a8

There you go  a nice monument to see and close to it all in Toulouse; you must see the Church Notre Dame du Taur. Hope you enjoy the post as we did the visit.

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

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January 9, 2021

Marche Victor Hugo-Toulouse!

Oh yes need to revise this not so old post, a sentimental one as one took for the first in Toulouse without my dear late wife Martine. Her father’s side of the family is from nearby Lavaur (see posts) and we have come to the market and the city often. I have even had business meetings in restos on it! See my foodie posts on Toulouse.

And why not food in Toulouse, wonderful occitan cuisine rich and hearty for the soul of the mountains and the Garonne. This is a place I have been coming in for years for drinks with friends, and family and for lunch and dinners as well as market and nearby stores shopping galore, this is Toulouse.  I like to tell you more on the marché Victor Hugo at Place Victor Hugo in Toulouse.

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The Marché Victor-Hugo market is a covered market located in the center of the Place Victor-Hugo, in the Saint-Georges district, in sector 1 of Toulouse. It is one of the main Toulouse food markets. it once stood under a metal hall, dismantled and replaced by a concrete parking market.

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Before the opening of the rue d’Alsace-Lorraine, the current Place Victor-Hugo was called Place du Marché-au-Bois. There was a wood market, also known as an old-fashioned market. This market was a vast wooden hall, built in 1825 on the site of the old rampart Villeneuve destroyed. The square was completed in 1832. It received the name of Victor Hugo in 1885, on the occasion of a coronation of the poet by the Floral Games. The Victor-Hugo market was inaugurated on March 20, 1892 and opened on July 1, when the works were not completely finished. They were not completed until the following year.

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The Victor Hugo market is in the form of a large rectangular building, it consists of a central nave. The building rests on a basement of vaulted cellars. Four entrances are located on the gables of the central nave. Two canopies run along the side elevations, the building rests on cast iron pillars and is covered with a metal frame. The old metal hall is destroyed and replaced by the current parking market, inaugurated on October 17, 1959. It was then the city’s first parking market. Between 2017 and 2019, new renovation and upgrading work was undertaken, while the Place Victor-Hugo was itself rehabilitated.

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The beauty of it that each time we go by there is some renovations going on but the businesses remain the same for many years! The city of Toulouse show you this grand opening with a video here: https://www.toulouse.fr/web/projet-urbain/-/amenagement-de-la-place-du-marche-et-du-parking-victor-hugo

We did get some goodies for the apartment rental inside but also around the covered market and the great convenience of a Monop grocery store part of the Monoprix group. Location here: https://www.monoprix.fr/monop-marche-toulouse-toulouse-31000-s

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There is an excellent bakery pastry store with branches in other parts of Toulouse. Of course, we got some pastries and baguette here. This is the Le Fournil de Victor Hugo! My reviews fav YELP has more on it here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-fournil-de-victor-hugo-toulouse

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And last we grab our regional wines such as Fronton here at Busquet’s Maison Busquets, and we got some good Fronton local wines here! webpage: https://www.maisonbusquets.com/busquets-et-son-histoire.html

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You will be loaded with goodies of my belle France and lovely Toulouse all the very best. Aah if cheese is your way than see Xavier fromagerie right there, no buy this time but worth the stop anytime. Here is their webpage: https://xavier.fr/#

The Tourist office of Toulouse on the Marché Victor Hugo: https://www.toulouse-visit.com/marche-couvert-victor-hugo/toulouse/commid031v5013x5

Official Marché Victor Hugo webpage: https://www.marche-victor-hugo.fr/

As said, this is heaven territory and we stick to it for years, you will be delighted take it from me, diplomé in wines of France by SOPEXA food and wine from France. And the culinary delights of the Haute Garonne, Occitanie, and France!

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

January 9, 2021

The museum’s of Toulouse!!!

I need to revise and update this one with new text and links as Toulouse is one of my dearest cities in France. The region of my dear late wife Martine family on father’s side. We, of course, have been there several times and we need to be back again when possible. The museums are gorgeous and should be seen by all visitors; I like to tell you a bit more on the museums of  Toulouse! Hope you enjoy it as I did

This time will be recap several museums in the city some of which I have written before in my blog. Never a minute away from them will give you more on them here. Toulouse is the pink city and it also reflects on the architecture of these museums.  Toulouse has some nice museums that are often overlook but should not in my opinion.

I start with the musée Saint Raymond, just across from the Basilica of St Sernin.  The musée Saint-Raymond, former museum of antiquities , is the archeological museum of Toulouse  opened since 1892.  It is located in the walls of the former university college of Saint-Raymond dating from the 16C.

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The Saint-Raymond Museum is quite simply the second largest collection of Roman sculptures in France after that of the Louvre. In the basement of the museum, the visitor can also visit one of the necropolises of Toulouse with in particular the presence of the remains of a large limekiln and an extraordinary collection of sarcophagi from the end of the Antiquity.

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The official St Raylmond museum webpage: https://saintraymond.toulouse.fr/Musee-Saint-Raymond-Toulouse-archaeological-museum_a1081.html

The tourist office of Toulouse on the museum: https://www.toulouse-visit.com/musee-saint-raymond-musee-d-archeologie-de-toulouse/toulouse/pcumid031fs00071

Then , you can move on to the musée des Saint-Augustins .  The musée des Augustins is the fine arts museum of Toulouse.  It was created in 1793 and opened in 1795. As it was during the French revolution period , it was house in the former convent of Augustins housing the important collections of painting and sculptures.

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The Musée des Augustins is one of the oldest museums in France (after Louvre). It brings together in a prestigious setting important collections of painting and sculpture from the early Middle Ages to the early years of the 20C, including a collection of Romanesque capitals and Gothic sculptures. During your visit, do not miss the colony of gargoyles which has taken up residence in the cloister! Various salons are upstairs where sculptures and European schools of painting from the 17C to the 19C are represented, with some great signatures such as Vigée-Lebrun, Murillo or even Delacroix. In addition, many tours and workshops are offered to visitors, children and families.

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It is now closed undergoing a major renovation.  The new museum will have a stone wall several meters high that will rise between the current entrance on rue de Metz and the building which adjoins rue d’Alsace-Lorraine. It will replace the current brick wall. Since last November 16, archaeological excavations have started in front of the museum. Once these excavations are completed at the end of January 2021, the renovation will be able to file the building permit. The work will then start in September 2021 for a period of one year. The goal is to open the new pavilion in October 2022.

First, there is the construction site of the two glass roofs built at the end of the 19C according to plans by the architect Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc. This project should make it possible to increase the luminosity of the Salon Rouge, where the most beautiful works of the museum are exhibited. This work will be completed in February 2021. Major work has also been carried out to improve the accessibility of the site to all audiences and in particular to people with reduced mobility. When the museum reopens, an elevator will take you to the upstairs painting rooms. New fire safety has been put in place to protect the reserves on the top floor. Finally, the cloister is now subject to increased surveillance: The cloister does not manage rainwater and it damages the walls. Arbitrations are underway to find solutions.

The official Saint Augustins museum webpage: https://www.augustins.org/en/home

The tourist office of Toulouse on the museum : http://Tourist office of Toulouse on the St Augustins museum

The Museum of Toulouse located at 35 Allée Jules Guesdes and near the gardens. We need to come back to see more of this one. The Toulouse Museum, bordered by the Jardin des Plantes, (see post) is a museum at the crossroads of the world of science, culture, education, social issues and questions. It invites the visitor to wonder about his relationship to the living world around him.

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In 1796, Philippe Picot, holder of the first chair in natural history in Toulouse and director of the Jardin des Plantes, transferred his cabinet and his collections to an old monastery. It is the birth of the Museum. 200 years later, millions have passed the walls to discover the relationship that man maintains with the nature that surrounds him, through his history and the major challenges he encounters.

It offers visitors the opportunity to discover and deepen their knowledge of the interactions between man, nature and the environment: a journey through the heart of living things (permanent exhibition on the Earth, the history of life, living and biodiversity), understanding contemporary natural heritage through temporary exhibitions, conferences, screenings … Do not miss strolling in the gardens of the Maourine and the Museum, discovering the Ketzal boutique or taking a look on the books of the library.

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The Official museum of Toulouse webpage: https://www.museum.toulouse.fr/accueil

The tourist office of Toulouse on the museum : https://www.toulouse-visit.com/le-museum-de-toulouse/toulouse/pcumid031fs00966

The City of Toulouse on its museums in French: https://www.toulouse.fr/web/cultures/musees#/?_k=viqpli

You should plan half a day for each to see it well, or come back as we do… they are really worth it and need to be known more other than those in Paris. Hope you enjoy the museums of Toulouse!

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

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January 8, 2021

The market at Redon!

Ok so this is a revision of text from an older post of 2019. We love markets and any town we go to we need to visit them and many times shop as well. This one is no different the market at Redon is nice. Let me tell you a bit more on it and hope you like it too.

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So lets bring you back to the markets of my belle France and especially those of my lovely Bretagne. This time is a simple market in the dept 35 Ille et Vilaine and the town of Redon.

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I passed by here sometimes on my train rides to Paris and of course by car several times. As the market was is and will be one of the highlights of our lives in France,we love them all. This one is brief but worth the detour as well. See my previous posts on the town of Redon in my blog.

The Halles de Redon dates from the 19C, the Halles were renovated in 2012 to offer more brightness and friendliness. They now welcome about thirty traders who sell their local or organic products. Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish (from the ports of the mouth of the Vilaine river ), and cold cuts. As it should be in Gallo country, a good market cannot be complete without the inevitable cake-sausage. Opening hours of the halls: Monday, 8H30 to 13H from October to April and 8H to 14H May to September. Fridays and Saturdays in the covered market in the mornings.

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The city of Redon on its market: https://www.redon.fr/economie/r49-halles-et-march.html

The Redon tourist office on market: https://www.tourisme-pays-redon.com/manger/marches-de-pays

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 on markets and this one Redon ,nice pictures: https://www.marches35.fr/item/les-halles-de-redon

Do not miss the galettes de Solange in the market black wheat bio delicious.

There you go short and sassy for you, a wonderful side kick to see the bounties of my lovely Bretagne. Enjoy the market or Halles of Redon.

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

January 8, 2021

Colpo ,and the Bonaparte’s!

I am updating this older post because it needs to be seen more. This is a small town near me with great cider production but a huge historical impact on the area. This is the story of the town of Colpo and the Bonaparte’s empire.

Moving right along in my beautiful Morbihan, let me continue telling you of the wonders near me that needs to be known more and hopefully visited.  The town of Colpo is near my home . Let me tell you a bit on it and hope you enjoy it as we do.

The niece and goddaughter of Emperor Napoleon IPrincess Napoleon Elisa Baciocchi at the instigation of the Emperor Napoleon III, in 1857, made a trip to Brittany and acquired the following year a vast estate of 300 hectares, covered in large part by heathlands and populated by beggars. She built a residence in Korn-er-Houët and decided to make Colpo a new administrative and religious constituency from territories taken from Saint Jean Brévelay, Bignan and Grand-Champ. Pushing the objections and oppositions, she obtained, in 1864, the creation of a new town and in 1866, that of a new parish. She financed the construction of a city/town hall, a church, a presbytery, a school, a rescue house, several dwellings, thus making a village appear on a avenue planted with lime trees. In the center stood a column receiving a statue of the emperor. And starting in june 1866, the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption, finishing it in December 1867.

Princess Baciocchi died on 3 February 1869 in Colpo, where her funeral was celebrated with the utmost solemnity. After a temporary burial, her body was deposited, on February 3, 1870, in a tomb that occupies a chapel of the Notre Dame Church where she used to attend the Mass.

The Church of Notre Dame de L’Assomption is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. Her high silhouette closes the prospect, at the bottom of the avenue. In front of the nave stands the steeple-porch, at the bottom of which the gate fits into a triangular gable fore body supported by twin columns of dark granite with white stone marquee. Three concentric are resting on the legs, and in the tympanum, a Madonna and Child, wrapped in a mandolin, receives the worship of two Angels kneeling. Laterally, two small engaged turrets contain the baptistery and the other a staircase. Higher up, the tower rises in two stages: that of the clock and that of the belfry, confined with corner columns and pierced by high arched windows. The polygonal arrow is in the middle of four pinnacles, loaded with narrow openings under gable and holes of four-leaf bays. Long arched stained glass windows are in the five bays of the nave, while in the north and south, large, semicircular berries illuminate the protruding wings of the transept. The choir extends, at a lower level, into a five-sided apse whose windows, each topped with a small triangular gable, draw a half-crown.

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As it happened often the time of our passing the church was closed see my son at the front door above; we will be back!

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Only the stained glass windows of the middle of the apse are depicted by a crucifixion and images of St. Charles Borromée and St. Augustine. The baptismal basin is adorned with roses and near the main gate, there is a rich, polychrome marble cowl.

The most original piece of furniture is the mausoleum of the Princess Baciocchi who fills a southern chapel. It is a powerful granite cenotaph, shaped like a pyramid trunk, sitting on a rectangular base adorned with antefixes at the top angles. On the anterior side there is an eagle with half-stretched wings and a drapery topped by the Imperial Crown and tied with ribbons, on which the Princess’s lozenge crest is read.

Its remains lie at the foot of the western wall of the chapel where the wall carries a marble cross with the inscription “HIS Ego sum resurrectia and Vita ” (I am the resurrection and the life). The window still displays her arms. This monument is perhaps the last reflection of the imperial power and glory that would sink into the disaster of 1870. Also the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption remains dear to the Napoleonic remembrance and received, in 1976, the visit of the Prince and Princess Napoleon (heirs future Napoleon V).

The town of Colpo and its history/heritage in French: https://www.colpo.fr/le-patrimoine

The town of Colpo on its tourism things to do /see in French: https://www.colpo.fr/le-tourisme-colpo

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Colpohttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/landes-de-lanvaux/colpo/

And there you go ,nice Colpo and nice things to see for a weekend getaway. Need to tell you we supply our house Breton ciders from a traditional cidrerie in Colpo not far from us, welcome to try it when stopping by ::)  You have Colpo in the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Brittany and my belle France. Enjoy the visit and reading.

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

January 8, 2021

Plumelec and the Korrigans!!

Ok this is new for a change after updating many older posts in my blog. I have written on the town of Plumelec before on its church but I need to tell you about a foodie escape as the town is near me. This was done before the virus made our lives a bit harder. Hope you enjoy my little Plumelec and the Korrigans!!!

The town of Plumelec is located in the Morbihan department 56 in the region of Bretagne. In Breton language the town is named Pluveleg. And it is at about 33 km from me, along the road D16, then D115 direction Colpo the Saint Jean-Brévelay and reach Plumelec.

A bit of history I like

It is probable that between 460 and 660, Bretons from the island of Brittany (present-day Great Britain), fleeing their island enslaved by the Anglos and the Saxons, arrived one day from the North on the heights of Lanvaux , along the Roman road coming from Carhaix, which passed south of the current territory of Plumelec. A bloody fight would have taken place between Bretons and Vikings near Kervigo at a place called « Mare au sang » or blood pond in Plumelec around the year 938

The priory of Locmaria, which had a magnificent enclosure surrounded by large walls, was sold as national property in 1792, during the French revolution, and the Sisters driven out, and the buyers subsequently demolished the chapel and the convent. The priory of Saint-Julien de Cadoudal was also sold at the same time , and it has also disappeared since.

As an anecdote , many cycling races pass or arrive at Plumelec via the Cadoudal hill, which has an average gradient of 6.2% and a drop that goes from 43 to 154 meters over 1.8 km. This is why the most prestigious races retain Plumelec as a transit or arrival point such as the Tour de France, the French road cycling championships, etc. The town is also the seat of the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan, a one-day race organized since 1974. An event counting for the French road cycling cup, it has been ranked 1.1 in the UCI Europe Tour since 2005. Cycling fans and I count, will have a field day coming here for the Grand Prix, more info here: http://www.grand-prix-plumelec.com/

Some of the things to see here are the Saint-Maurice Church, (see post). The 17C castle of Callac, located at a place called Callac, part of Plumelec. The 16C manor of La Saudraie, located at a place called La Saudraie, part of Plumelec. The 15C manor of Kerangat: the pleasure garden of the estate was created in 1886. The 17C Cadoudal manor. The Notre-Dame Church in Callac, rebuilt at the end of the 19C, contains a silver chalice, dating from the 17C. And the 16C Touche-Berthelot well, located on the Stations of the Cross in Callac. So close yet so much to see we need to be back for more!!!

The town of Plumelec on its history and heritage in French: http://www.plumelec.org/Un-riche-passe-historique_a_50_c_12.html

The local tourist board of central Morbihan on Plumelec in French : https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/centre-morbihan-communaute/plumelec/

However, the best stopping by on these little traditional towns is the food! and that we love to be here. Let me tell you about a nice lunch experience in Plumelec!

We ate at Plumelec in the Créperie Les Korrigans. In Breton, the korrigans were dwarfs who lived in the forest and perhaps going back to the meaning of Halloween. One site describes them in French, but I give you what is said of them in English: Korrigans are described as druistes who oppose Christianity when the Apostles came to convert Brittany. They hate priests, churches, and  Saints.  They can predict the future, change shape, and move at lightning speed. They sing and comb their long hair, and they haunt fountains and water wells. They have the power of making men fall in love with them, but they then kill the ones who do. In many popular tales, they are eager to deceive the imprudent mortals who see them dancing or looking after a treasure, and fond of stealing human children. On the night of 31 October (All Souls’ Day =Halloween!!), they are said to be lurking near dolmens, waiting for victims! Here is an Arthurian webpage in French on some stories of Korriganshttp://legendes.korrigans.free.fr/?cat=3

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The créperie restaurant Les Korrigans at Plumelec is a country setting full of little figurines or korrigans as well as portraits of them. The food is typical Breton and with many prices from local travel guides like the Le Routard, and name by the Brittany tourist house as part of the designation Créperies Gourmandes. The Brittany tourist board in English on Les Korrigans: https://www.brittanytourism.com/offers/creperie-les-korrigans-plumelec-en-2012369/

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The couple owners are fast and courteous and as the time went by more and more talkative. The food is excellent, we had a bottle of Colpo demi sec cider locally done, and the galette of Teuz with the local andouillette sausage and potatoes, and a crêpe of banana, with coconut ice cream, chocolate syrup and flakes of coconuts, express coffee and all came out to less than 20 euros per person! Les Korrigans webpage: http://creperieplumelec.com/

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And we came back home after another nice encounter in my beautiful Morbihan at traditional Plumelec and enchanting créperie Les Korrigans. Hope you enjoy the post and see the other on the town. Thanks for reading me over these years!!

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

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