Posts tagged ‘Europe’

May 28, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXIIII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it seems we will have a wonderful summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

And tonight is the Champions league final , in Stade de France, near Paris, My Real Madrid vs Liverpool, two great teams and a grand finale. If in Madrid, where to see it ,these new finds will do, Of course, you have to be a Real Madrid fan ! Real Madrid fans know this well, a team that Saturday May 28th will play its 17th Champions League final, Of them, it has lost three and won 13 ! See it at Bareto with its opening at the end of 2021, it was possible to recover the mythical Cervecería Correos (where the Generation of 27 was conceived) with a proposal of cañi tavern, bar, cold beer and tapas very Madrid. My memorable Calle de Alcalà, 55.webpage :

And why not with entertainment at ZIELOU Madrid, A cooking concept that adds spicy touches and mixes from around the world accompanied by live music and cocktails wrapped in red Nike Air. The party can also continue in the LAB room, also in the Chamartín penthouse facilities. Chamartín Station, s/n, Attic Floor. Webpage :

The La Feria del Libro de Madrid ,81st edition, kicks off with the hope of sustaining the growth in sales of the Retiro Park booths, which will remain open until June 12, 2022. The 378 book sales booths will be acting up as usual, In addition to the stalls at the Cervantes y Compañía, Remo, Desnivel and Polifemo bookstores, one has been added at Graduados, a Parla book store that makes its debut at this edition of the fair. The tour around should include the different pavilions, the Portugal booth, which celebrates the centenary of José Saramago, and the meeting with the Greek writer Theodor Kallifatides, who dedicated his novel Timandra to him at the publishing house and bookstore Desnivel, which maintains the oldest book store in Madrid in Plaza de Matute, they had prepared Cuerdas rebels, a volume on women climbers, by Arantza López Marugán, and she also picked up Yoga and Climbing, by Elieen Jubes, The figures of the book sector in Spain they continue to rise in this 2022. According to data from the GFK consultancy, sales have risen 5.7% so far this year compared to the same period in 2021, with especially marked increases in comics, graphic novels and manga (22%) and children and youth (9%). While in the book fair to protect yourselves from the sun and take your time, and highlights the activities that, beyond the 3,223 signatures of authors scheduled will dot the calendar with tributes, talks and debates. Without a public address system or printed maps, a mobile application and orange-clad fair staff will offer information, but perhaps this is a good opportunity to get lost among the books and booths. Indeed, a wonderful event in my Retiro Park, webpage :

At 270 years old, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando is committed to the renovation of its spaces and a new museography of its impressive collections of more than 1,400 paintings, 1,300 sculptures, 22,000 architectural drawings and plans, 40,000 prints and around 9,000 engraving plates, which will be carried out progressively,and has allowed it to double the exhibition space dedicated to Goya, which now occupies the two main rooms on the first floor of the Academy museum. The first is articulated around the commissions received by Goya with official portraits such as those of Godoy, ‘Fernando VII on horseback’ and ‘La Tirana’. In addition, they hang his ‘Self-portrait at the easel’, which has a new frame; the ‘View of Calle de Alcalá’, by Antonio Joli, and a gallery of sculptural busts of characters portrayed by the artist. The second room brings together five splendid small-format panels, considered cabinet paintings (‘House of Fools’, ‘Bullfight’, ‘Inquisition Scene’, ‘Procession of Disciplinants’ and ‘The Burial of the Sardine’), portraits of his friends (Moratín, Juan de Villanueva and José Luis Munárriz), a bust self-portrait, as well as a copy of the portrait made by Vicente López, signed by Rosario Weiss. The room is completed with his mausoleum in Bordeaux, painted by Antonio de Brugada, and what, according to Federico de Madrazo, was the last palette of the painter from Fuendetodos. The world of Goya, in the house of Goya. This museographic renovation is included in the first phase of an ambitious restoration and conservation plan for the Academy’s collections, Webpage :

The Hotel Wellington ,the emblematic five-star Madrid hotel has 70 years of bullfighting vocation. Nobody knows better the liturgies, superstitions and moments of waiting for the matador before heading towards the square. 90% of the great figures of Las Ventas dress here !. In times of pandemic, some things have changed at No 8 Calle Velázquez. The former Gabana nightclub has been converted into a glamorous spa. The reception has been completely remodeled, the Bar Inglés or English bar is the only space that continues exactly as it was conceived in 1952. Some of the great names of bullfighters such as Curro Romero, who lived in the hotel in the 1950s as a promising novillero, is a good example. Along with him, bullfighting icons from before and now such as Paco Camino, Jaime Ostos, Rafael de Paula, El Niño de la Capea, Ortega Cano, El Cordobés, Manuel Caballero, Finito de Córdoba, Fran Rivera, Diego Urdiales, Sebastián Castella, and Alexander Talavant have stayed here. The renovations covers the Hall good for a ‘Photo call’ for tourists, liturgy for bullfighters, Bar Inglés, Wood, dark leather… the mythical bar has remained the same as when this hotel was opened, by the way, with the quality seal of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The roofstop top floor hides the only urban vineyard in Madrid. The Spa Suites attached rooms feature a private terrace and pool access. The Art , well see ,Verónica the cow, bullfighting queen of Calle Velázquez, designed by Pilar Oñate, the XXL-sized sculpture at the hotel door attracts all eyes, Webpage :

Campo de Criptana , is the destination of the Tren de los Molinos, which connects Madrid with the town of La Mancha, in the middle of the land of the wine mills, The proposed new tourist train will ride the next few days June 11 and 18, September 10 and 24 and 8 and October 22, 2022. An hour and a half journey enlivened by a group of actors who will give life, among others, to Miguel de Cervantes himself, who will explain to travelers the magic of the destination that inspired him to write chapter VIII of his universal novel. Castilla-La Mancha is home to the largest area of ​​vineyards in the world. For this reason, at mid-morning, a stop is made at the Castiblanque winery for a wine tasting accompanied by bites of traditional La Mancha cuisine. From there it is possible to see the Pozo de Nieve, an example of popular architecture from the 18C that was used to store and preserve ice for distribution and sale. Up to 190 tons of ice and frost, obtained from the snow that fell on this plateau, were housed in this construction in order to better preserve food. The Sanctuary of the Christ of Villajos, patron saint of Campo de Criptana, La Sierra de los Molinos is the third stage of the trip plan. It is the image that puts this La Mancha town on the world map, because this is where the ingenious hidalgo fought against the giants. The Interpretation Center of the Manchego Mill, where the traveler can learn about its history, the different types that exist, the machinery used to grind the grain, its elements, the importance they had for the economy of La Mancha and its link with Don Quixote, The town of Campo de Criptana on the train :

Spain leads the world ranking in number of sandbanks with the blue flag in the world with 621, six more than last year and 18 that premiere the seal. We must add the 103 marinas in which the Blue Flag will also wave this summer (seven more than 2021) and five in the case of tourist boats (three more than last year). The Valencian Community is the region that has the most blue flags: 139, two more than last year , follow by Andalucia reaching 122, seven more than in 2021 ,Blue flags in Spain webpage :

In Spain there are nearly 10 million people who have a dog in the family and more than a thousand hotels that allow pets. The three Basque capitals ,Bilbao, San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gazteiz are among the most dog-friendly Spanish cities. In San Sebastián, for example, there are up to three urban beaches (La Concha, Ondarreta and Zurriola) open to canine pets from October 1 to May 31. Stately manor houses, leafy gardens with camellias, beaches like those of O Grove (Pontevedra), charming stone towns and cities, small villages full of charm… the Rías Baixas are another destination where you can enjoy a lot. Walking through its towns and natural landscapes with the dog is free, but there are places like the Cíes Islands where it is not allowed to go with pets. On the other hand, you can navigate the estuary and enjoy the landscape on the boats between Vigo and Moaña, as long as the animals are tied up and calm. Malaga is one of the best destinations in Andalucia to travel with dogs: there are cafes, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions that accept pets. At Gijón (Asturias) was one of the first Spanish cities to welcome tourists with dogs with open arms . Many bars, cider houses, cafes and shops allow well-behaved pets to enter. In Oviedo, on the other hand, the possibilities are more limited, both on beaches and in establishments. Barcelona is one of the Spanish cities that has many of its parks , do not allow access (or tethering) to animals, and others prohibit them from running loose. In compensation, there are tourist places that do allow them, such as Poble Espanyol, Casa Batlló or the Fran Daurel Foundation. Dogs can travel on the metro or tram with a short leash and muzzle, and even in Rodalies (Cercanías de Catalunya) but respecting certain rules. In Spain there are 110 dog beaches, a fairly small percentage ! Of the 16 Spanish national parks, only nine can be visited with dogs (on a leash) such as Picos de Europa (in Asturias, León and Cantabria), Teide (Tenerife), Garajonay (La Gomera), Sierra Nevada (Granada and Almería) , Cabañeros (Ciudad Real and Toledo), Monfragüe (Cáceres), Sierra de Guadarrama (Segovia and Community of Madrid), and Ordesa and Monte Perdido (Huesca). I will just have the Madrid tourist office on dog friendly places :

Some beautiful gardens near the sea, some I like are : The Ciudad de Flores or city of flowers Jardines de la Marquesa and municipal park, Arucas (Gran Canaria), Here you have 8 hectares owned by the descendants of the Marquisate of Arucas. Anyone who walks at the foot of the mountain of the same name will have the retina crowded with 500 species of palm trees; botany from Southeast Asia, with the extremely rare breadfruit tree; black bamboos; Araucarias that double the height of the 1880 mansion, erected in the characteristic blue stone from Araucanía. The meandering impression, with a romantic flavor, comes off passing through the bougainvillea tunnel and photographing peacocks. Webpage :

Jardín Botánico-Histórico de La Concepción or Botanical-Historical Garden of La Concepción, Málaga (Andalusia), Tropicalist and luxuriant, with plant tradition and historical experience. This is how this forest from 170 years ago manifests itself, the fruit of the botanical desires of the Marquises of Casa Loring. It is a miracle that this 19C English romantic landscape garden has been preserved intact. And its easy access next to the A-45 highway/motorway is appreciated. From the historic garden, wisterias are preserved, which, not content with upholstering the iron gazebo (from 1860), climb through the trees to reach 25 meters in height. Nearby is the Museo Loringiano, an imposing Doric temple that served as an archaeological museum for its owners and that today houses copies of the Lex Flavia Malacitana and the mosaic of Hercules. The historic garden is embraced by the botanist, in which hyperbole prevails ; the tunnel of giant bamboos, corpulent palm trees, the largest aquatic plant in the world ,the Victoria cruziana amazónica, when not the tallest tree in the province from Malaga, a 48 meter high monkey puzzle tree. Webpage :

My beautiful natural Spain and nice seen in Cantabria, The most beautiful view that can be obtained from the promenade of Santander, the Pier, on the horizon you can clearly see the snow-capped Picos de Europa, even as far as the western massifs of Asturias, and, in the opposite direction, the seven km of beach that range from El Puntal to Somo and Loredo. from the peninsula of La Magdalena, or circumnavigate it in a boat, to find the impressive succession of beaches of El Camello, the great sandbank formed by the three beaches of Sardinero or the hidden one of Mataleñas, under a cliff, On the coastline of the Jardines de Pereda to enjoy the beautiful views of El Puntal, the Bay of Santander and the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains. At the Los Reginas pier, you can choose from a good number of short excursions to different points in the bay, sailing between 20 minutes and two hours. the excursion that borders the Magdalena and reaches Mataleñas, beyond the Sardinero. Other options available all year round lead to El Puntal, the town of Somo or Pedreña. Santander, in the heart of the city, is home to one of the best collections of Upper Palaeolithic remains in the world at the Museum of Prehistory and Archeology of Cantabria ,Calle Hernán Cortés, 4, next to the Mercado del Este, The Santander tourist office :

The mythical soul of the Camino of Santiago de Compostela. The marking history is recent, since it was devised in 1984 by a priest from O Cebreiro, Elías Valiña, who marked the entire Camino Francés or French Way with it from Roncesvalles to Santiago. And its popularity is maximum: the yellow arrow is today one of the most international symbols of the Camino de Santiago. We cannot forget that welcoming pilgrims is one of the founding characteristics of the Camino de Santiago and also a reflection of the spirit of solidarity that has traditionally prevailed in Galicia. Such great hospitality takes shape, today, in 70 centers and more than 3,000 public places that make up the 22h Public Hostel Network. And you must leave them before 8h the next day and leave the space clean and tidy. Of course, to access the hostels you will need your pilgrim credential. You must not forget your pilgrim credential, which has its origin in the document that, during the Middle Ages, was given to pilgrims as a safe-conduct. You can get it at the International Pilgrim Reception Center, the headquarters of pilgrims’ brotherhoods, shelters and parishes. It is a kind of passport that must be stamped at each stage of the route, at least twice a day in the last 100 km (for pilgrims on foot or on horseback), in the last 200 km (for cycling pilgrims) or for 100 nautical miles sailed, completing the last kilometers of the Way on foot from O Monte do Gozo. Only then can you request, at the end of your pilgrimage, the Compostela. Where? At the Pilgrim’s Office, located in the International Pilgrim Reception Center, at no 33 Calle Carretas , a few meters from Praza do Obradoiro. To get it, you do not need to have walked the Camino continuously over time, but you do need to have done it geographically. In other words, you can plan your route, for example, on weekends, but you should always return to the place where you left off, since skipping a section of the Camino would invalidate the achievement of the Camino de Santiago certificate , In Galicia. they open at 13h and close at 22h are the Jacobean routes that reach the cathedral of Santiago: coastal or inland, longer or shorter, and with different entrances to Galicia from the Peninsula. The Camino Francés or French Way enters Galicia through the Bierzo region and begins in Ocebreiro, a village of pre-Roman origin that belongs to the City Council of Pedrafita do Cebreiro and to the province of Lugo. The Camino of Fisterra and Muxia ; this Jacobean route has its origin in the city of Santiago and its goal in Cape Fisterra and the Sanctuary of the Virxe da Barca de Muxía. If you comefrom Andalusia and Extremadura, enters Galicia through the Portelas do Padornelo and A Canda ,where it begins, and passes through the northern sector of the Monterrei valley and A Limia until it reaches Ourense. This is the Camino or Via de la Plata. Very little known, this Jacobean route was followed by Icelanders and Scandinavians who made a pilgrimage to Santiago. The Camino Inglés or English Way has two alternatives in Galicia: the itinerary from A Coruña is shorter (73 km) than the one starting from Ferrol (112.5 km), The Camino Primitivo or Primitive Way, links Oviedo with Santiago de Compostela and runs largely along Roman roads. It is 166.9 km through San Xoán de Padrón and 168.1 km through A Proba de Burón ; and is UNESCO, World Heritage Site. The Camino del Norte or the Northern Way , runs along the Asturian coast and, after Castropol , the last town in Asturias ,enters Galicia by crossing the Cantabrian Sea through the beautiful Ribadeo estuary. That is why its starting point in Galician lands is Ribadeo, in the province of Lugo, Also, Unesco, World Heritage Site. The Pilgrims webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is practically even if officially is June 21st. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 24, 2022

Church San Antonio of Aranjuez!

So I am taking you back in my beloved Spain and one of my favorite spots in all the country. This is royal princely Aranjuez, in the Comunidad of Madrid and only 44 km from Madrid, and we like it. So many nice places to see in addition to the top Palace here (see posts), I like to come back to something more urban and walkable with beautiful sights and historicall nice too, We walked all over and came in to see up close the Church of San Antonio done as a royal chapel in Aranjuez. Let me tell you more of it as it really needs a post of its own and deservingly so,

The Church of San Antonio was designed as a royal chapel. Moreover, it was originally an oratory of Felipe IV. It was made in the 18C. The space is arranged according to a system of arcades, using a set of curves and counter-curves. It is circular in plan and has a beautiful dome. It was strongly marked by Italian art.


King Felipe IV ordered to set up as provisional due to the limited capacity of the Royal Chapel, which only had two altars. It was also used as a barracks by the Napoleonic troops. It is integrated into the formation of the Plaza de San Antonio, the nerve center of Aranjuez and traditionally known as the Plaza de la Mariblanca, the first of the initiatives of the urban expansion of the Royal Site. It is occupying the vanishing point of the square and assimilating to a system of arches that articulate the great space, through a game of curves and against curves. It is part of a courtly urbanism where the Italian influence is evident, of a centralized circular plan, underlined by the dome, responds to this influence.

The Church of San Antonio is a temple of baroque conception. King Fernando VI ordered the construction of a chapel dedicated to San Antonio de Padua on the south side of the main square that gives entrance to the Royal Site to replace the Oratory of the time of Felipe IV. This chapel would serve for the people and the Monarchy. Construction began in 1752 ,king Carlos III ordered the chapel to be enlarged, incorporating a large square piece with a gabled roof.


The temple is formed by a central floor with circular geometry embraced on the outside by a porticoed gallery with five semicircular arches decorated with Tuscan pilasters and grandstands, as a finishing façade facing south from the square of the same name. The galleries of arches that connect this chapel with the Casa de Infantes on one side and on the other with the Casa de Caballeros y Oficios, were built in 1767 . The construction is of brick factory, except in holes and cornices that are made of Colmenar stone and lead roofs.

The city of Aranjuez on its heritage:

The Cultural site of Spain on the Church San Antonio

There you go folks, a short and sassy introduction to the nice royal Church of San Antonio or St Anthony of the princely city of  Aranjuez. Hope you enjoy this post and see my other posts on Aranjuez, worth the detour.

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

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May 24, 2022

Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena of Alcalà de Henares!

I come back to do a post on a forgotten monument by me ! I have an older post of the heritage of Alcalà de Henares but left this important one out for some reason, Looking at my vault of pictures realised was not included and its time I give it credit it deserves. We took a leisure time to walk all over and see these magnificent architecture buildings full of history we love. I like to tell you a bit more on Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena of Alcalà de Henares!

I used to lived in Madrid and visit Spain often to say the least thereafter , however, one of my favorite towns and written on it on several posts in a general sense is Alcalà de Henares in the Comunidad de Madrid region. I hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena or the Augustinian Monastery Convent of Santa Maria Magdalena, located at Calle Escritorio ,1 at the end of Calle Santa Úrsula. It was originally founded in 1580 as a shelter for women. Later it becomes a cloister for Augustinian nuns. The church was completed in 1762. Its perspective from Calle de Santa Úrsula is one of the most beautiful in baroque Alcalá de Henares.


The Augustinian Convent of Santa María Magdalena was initially founded by brother Francisco del Niño Jesús as a shelter to fight against the prostitution that came to Alcalá de Henares attracted by the student population. Later, at the request of Cardinal Quiroga, it was converted into a convent for nuns of the Augustinian order. As usual in Complutense conventual institutions, the building that houses the congregation is much later than the foundation. The church, attributed to the Augustinian Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolás and completed in 1672, has a Latin cross floor plan with a highly developed dome over a drum and an airy lantern. On the façade, strategically located at the end of Calle de Santa Úrsula, there is an atrium and stone niche with a modern image of San Agustín, all on a brick wall with a triangular pediment.

Inside, we find a church centered with a half-orange dome on pendentives. The portico is located under the choir like its Madrid model. Its elevation is Doric and it is decorated with a large entablature of paired corbels. It housed important works of art; paintings by Antolinez, Carreño and Ricci; Escalante or Murillo tables; pre-churrigeresque sculptures and altarpieces.  The contrast with the slate of the dome and the symmetry broken by the belfry constitutes one of the most beautiful and characteristic urban perspectives of Alcalá de Henares.  The complex, much restored today, suffered serious damage during the Spanish Civil War, a period during which many important works of art were lost. The current convent is of modern construction, although the original Renaissance façade on Calle Gallo is preserved.

The Alcalà de Henares tourist office on the convent:

The city of Alcalà de Henares  things to see

There you go folks, Alcalà de Henares is truly a city to come back again, lots to see and the Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena is  one of them for sure. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 24, 2022

One more time Ranelagh!!!

And back at you on my eternal Paris. So much to see and enjoy in the most beautiful city in the world!!! I have many posts on Paris and this is one of the nicest simply because it is in my favorite part of the city away from the crowds. We love it here with the boys just walking after visiting nearby monument that have written before and eating at my old favorite restaurant, Therefore, let me tell you again with new pictures to the blog about the Jardins de Ranelagh garden in the 16éme arrondissement of Paris.

paris jardin ranelagh petit train apr12

As told before, before taking the form of the leafy and provided public garden that we know today, the land belonged to the now former Château de la Muette estate. A bit of anecdote has it that Queen Marie-Antoinette, a dance lover, liked to go to the ballroom dances at Ranelagh, It became one of the most popular dancefloors of the late 18C! Even after the French revolution, the garden continues to be a place of celebration, it is in particular there that will be celebrated, on June 20, 1790, the first anniversary of the oath of the Jeu de Paume ( to never leave until a constitution was adopted). By 1860, the Ranelagh ballroom dances had disappeared,

It was in the second half of the 19C that the Jardins de Ranelagh (gardens) was redesigned, at the instigation of Baron Hausmann, and became one of the most renowned parks in the capital! With an area of ​​more than 60,000 m2, the garden will adopt the triangular shape that we know today. The desired style is that of an English garden, that is to say adopting aesthetic canons centered around the enhancement of the wild, of the forest.  Among one of the many other nuggets of the garden, we can mention, up to the Porte d’Auteuilla (petite ceinture (small belt). old railway route active from 1853 to 1990. The track was decommissioned in 1993, which left the field free for the reconquest of this space by fauna and flora: here, nature takes back its rights, and gives a view of a wooded area quite dense. This small belt is today a confidential walk, in the form of an “ecological path”, more than 1km long, sheltered from traffic and punctuated by six educational stages to learn more about the fauna and Parisian flora. This small ecological corridor is here a refuge, away from pollution, for birds, butterflies and climbing plants! And simply us !!!

The Ranelagh gardens has several statues that we have enjoy looking each time by the gardens these are ,the Cain stone group (1871) by Joseph-Michel Caillé , Monument to La Fontaine by Charles Corréia with, in bronze, the statue of the poet has at his feet, the fox and the crow (1984). Meditation, 1882 marble statue by Tony Noël, Fisherman Bringing in the Head of Orpheus in his Nets, 1883 Marble Statue by Louis Eugène Longepied, and The Poet’s Vision, tall high- marble relief by Georges Bareau commissioned in 1902, set up in 1985.

Paris jardin du Ranelagh La Fontaine statue apr09

You can get to it on Métro stops Ranelagh,or  La Muette of line 9. By bus , stop Ranelagh by 33 Avenue Mozart on lines 22 (gare st lazare), 32, and 52.(opéra garnier). Of course walking to it from the Trocadéro is sublime!

The city of Paris on the Ranelagh:

The Paris tourist office on the Ranelagh:

Paris is a lot more than monuments , all is a beautiful thing to see, walk ,smell and enjoy it. Hope you do in  your next trip to the city of lights. Paris is indeed a Moveable Feast  !

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

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May 23, 2022

Again Sainte Anne d’Auray!!

I passed by it again today so many times it seems I live here… This is historically, architecturally stunning Sainte Anne d’Auray! I will be telling you again about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne (sse posts); with new pictures to my blog.  The town only has about 2738 inhabitants !

sainte anne d auray bas ste anne back apr12

In the 17C, Sainte-Anne-d’Auray or Ker Anna was a small hamlet in the former primitive parish of Pluneret. It was in 1623 that Sainte Anne appeared to Yves Nicolazic and Sainte-Anne-d’Auray became, from that moment on, the parish where the greatest pardon in Brittany took place. The saint venerated at Sainte-Anne-d’Auray “Santez Anna beniget” is the wife of Saint Joachim, that is to say the mother of the Blessed Virgin and the grandmother of Jesus. Hence, the Breton here call it the grandmother!

sainte anne d auray bas ste anne right side up jun13

I have written on this religious town often as it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 each year  will be the pardon holy day of Sainte Anne  in the town,. The town was full on all these days with more than half a million folks. It reminds me of my Spanish brotherhood processions in Holy Week.

sainte anne d auray bas ste anne passing may17

This fascinating place brings together thousands of pilgrims from all over the world every year. Sainte-Anne, the patron saint of Brittany is celebrated here every July 26 with a grand procession. Did you know ? Le Pardon, a typically Breton pilgrimage, is here called Grand Pardon. No doubt because this unifying moment made Sainte-Anne-d’Auray the second place of pilgrimage in France (after Lourdes) and the rank of the largest pilgrimage in Brittany.

sainte Anne d Auray bas ste anne Ste Anne and rosary jun12

The next Grand Pardon will be held from Monday July 25, 2022 to Tuesday July 26, 2022. Le Grand Pardon is a remarkable expression of the Breton soul. Imbued with culture, faith and popular traditions, this summer pilgrimage celebrates Sainte Anne, the patron saint of Brittany, who appeared in Sainte-Anne-d’Auray in 1624. Programme: Sunday July 25 18h: first vespers 19h: start of confessions 20h: vigil Mass 21h30: vigil at the Memorial ,All night long: adoration in the basilica Monday, July 26 8h: lauds 9h: Mass in Breton 10h30 : pontifical Mass at the Memorial 14h30: musical moment 15h: rosary 15h30: pontifical vespers : wearing a mask and sanitary pass are mandatory,

sainte anne d auray bas ste anne nave right side jun12

Take the time to stroll through the wooded park, a small haven of peace in this authentic site which will take you to the gates of the Basilica. Rich in history, this majestic building in the neo-Gothic style, Once inside, take a tour and let yourself be impressed by the beauty of the stained glass windows, the height of the vaults and the finesse of the sculptures. As you leave, take a short break in front of the miraculous fountain: it is here that the first appearance of Sainte Anne to Yvon Nicolazic is said to have taken place in 1624. Continue the discovery of this bewitching heritage by stopping at the foot of the Scala Santa , then in front of the monumental statue in the park. (see posts).

sainte anne d auray bas ste anne organ side wall jun12

The official Sanctuary of Sainte Anne:

The city of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the religious heritage :

The Bay of Quiberon local tourist office on Sainte Anne d’Auray::

There you go folks, again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  It is worth it to understand the history of Brittany as well as  France, and the beautiful architecture if not the religious fervor that it attracts. The Basilica of Sainte Anne is worth the detour.

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

May 22, 2022

American Naval Monument at Brest!

This is what I meant when I say Bretagne/Brittany in general ,it has a lot of off the beaten path sites not visited by most. Brest is a great city with plenty to see and heck one of the best Chrismas markets in Brittany and we are often here, see my posts. And lots of sights better known as monuments too. However, if you come by car like we do, upon entering the city by the wharfs you will see a huge tower on the hill. This is the American Naval Monument or Naval Monument of Brest. I like to update this post and tell you more about it; hope you enjoy it as I.

The American Naval Monument, more commonly called the Pink Tower, is an American Memorial erected at the Cours Dajot in Brest, dept 29 of the Finistére in my lovely Bretagne; to recall the action of the American Navy in Europe during WWI. Destroyed by the Nazis during the occupation, it was rebuilt identically in 1958.  The Pink Tower was designed from 1930 to 1932, and inaugurated in 1937. Located roughly in the middle of the Cours Dajot, resting on the side of the rampart dominating the port of Commerce, the Memorial consists of a square tower in pink granite of 44 meters high or 30.5 meters (100 feet) from the cours Dajot. In front there is an esplanade and a public garden. The whole is owned by the Government of the United States but does not benefit from extraterritoriality as commonly the case in American cemeteries in Europe ,due to the fact there is no one buried at it.

Brest mon americain aide wws nov12

At its base, on its north-west side (Esplanade side) and south-east side ( Avenue Salaun Penquer) is inscribed, “Erected by the United States of America to commemorate the achievements of the naval forces of the United States and France during WWI”.


Inside the Pink Tower, not open to the public, a staircase allows access to a small platform about 30 meters in height. The interior It is said of no particular interest except a letter from President Eisenhower, written while he was President of the United States at the time of the inauguration of its reconstruction, which was deposited there. The monument is owned by the American government and managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission and it is the American military cemetery of St. James (in the South of the Manche Dept 50) which is responsible for its maintenance.


The US Navy has been active in the conflict since the United States entered the war on 6 April 1917 and the creation of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), the American Expeditionary Corps which it conveyed in Europe until the repatriation of the last American soldiers in 1919, several months after the Armistice.  The American Battle Monuments Commission therefore decided to erect a memorial to commemorate this action of the American Navy in European waters. Brest was chosen because the Breton port was the headquarters of the American naval forces in Europe during the war and the main place of landing and re boarding of the American troops. Of the 2 million members of the AEF, more than 700 000 arrived by Brest. It was also via Brest that the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, arrived in Europe in 1919.


The Pink Tower was destroyed by the Nazis during the occupation on July 4 1941 and they built a bunker at its location. The purpose of this destruction could be to deprive the British aviators who used the tower and the Portzic lighthouse as an alignment for their bombing. After the war, in 1958, the tower was rebuilt identically, on the bunker, slightly shifted in relation to its original location, and inaugurated on July 16, 1960.

The American Battle Monuments Commission on the Naval monument of Brest

The Brest tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, a nice memorable monument overlooking the great port of Brest. Just across from the castle museum which is a great one two combination to visit. Enjoy Brest , the off the beaten path city of Brittany.

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

May 18, 2022

Piazza di Spagna of Rome !!

And this is Rome as could not do justice to it without writing of another of my favorite squares. If you want to know Rome and its most modern look then by no means come to the squares. I have written several posts on Rome as my favorite Italian city, but feel that I need to tell you a bit more on the Piazza di Spagna or Spain’s square of Rome!

The Piazza di Spagna is one of my favorite squares in Rome, located in the luxury shopping district with via Condotti, Via del Corso, via Borgognona, via Frattina and Via del Babuino all around it! This is a very nice area to do your walks and very chic we love it! I will be doing an update on text and links using same older pictures ; my son on the left ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

roma-piazza-di-spagna-steps- RF aug13

A bit of history I like

In 1620 Spain took possession of this square renamed Spain’s square or piazza di Spagna to establish at No. 63 its embassy to the Holy See in a renaissance building. In 1629 the Barcaccia fountain was created at the request of Pope Urbain VIII. Between 1644 the Palace di Propaganda Fide was built south of the square. Since 1622 it has been the seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples of the Roman Curia. At the beginning of the 18C there are many hotels and inns: The District is entirely dedicated to the accommodation of foreigners. And according to the parish registers of all the inhabitants of the city, the area of Piazza di Spagna can be considered one of the most cosmopolitan of Europe.

roma city view to piazza spagna from church trinite des monts aug13

Between 1723 and 1726 the French cardinal Pierre Guérin de Tencin ordered built by France La Scalinata , monumental staircase in marbre of late Baroque style of 138 marches on three levels which was inaugurated by the Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee (Holy Year) of 1725.  In 1854 Pope Pius IX erected the ancient column of the Immaculate Conception in front of the Spanish Embassy on Mignanelli square, which extended the piazza di Spagna. Every 8th December, the statue of the Virgin is the subject of an annual Marian pilgrimage with the presence of the Pope.


In the 19C the British poet John Keats spent the last days of his life at No. 26 in the Casina Rossa where he disappeared in 1821 (to the right of the monumental staircase. In the same house, the Swedish writer Axel Munthe, author of the Book of San Michele, opened his medical practice at the end of the 19C. The house is now a museum dedicated to its two famous inhabitants. In 1834 the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta installed its international headquarters in a palace of 68 via Condotti with an extraterritorial status granted by the Italian state.

The Rome tourist office on the Piazza di Spagna

There you go folks, an unique square to be visited while in Rome. For us the walk, the architecture ,history was top we stop by a few times while in Rome. You will love the walks around the Piazza di Spagna, just lovely. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

Tags: ,
May 18, 2022

The churches of Rome, part III

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy, I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome !

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo is located on the hill of Celio, ( Piazza Dei SS. Giovanni e Paolo ) ,The construction of the basilica began in 398, on the order of the Byzantine senator Pammachius. At this place an ancient building was used by a Christian community and tradition says that it was the residence of the two holy brothers, John and Paul, who were martyred in 362 under the reign of Julian the Apostate. The place became their burial place. The original church was damaged by the Visigoths of Alaric during the sack of Rome in 410, then by an earthquake in 442, and in 1084 the Normans sacked it. Pope Paschal II undertook major works, with the addition of the campanile, the portico and an adjoining monastery. The church was thus called the Titulus Pammachii and is recorded as such in the acts of the synod held by Pope Symmachus in 499. It is home to the Passionists and is the burial place of St Paul of the Cross. Additionally, it is the station Church of the first Friday in Lent. At the base of the bell tower, we notice the remains of the Temple of Claude. On part of the latter, a convent adjoining the church was built. We can also see the foundations of the nearby temple, in the ancient rue du Clivus Scauri.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica

The Church of Saint Louis of the French (Piazza di S. Luigi de’ Francesi, ) has been the French national church in Rome since 1589. It is located between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, its style is essentially Baroque. It is famous for preserving three canvases by Caravaggio dedicated to Saint Matthew and for the frescoes of Dominicino. after a project by Giacomo della Porta, to be completed in 1589. It was financed among others by the Valois kings of France, Catherine de Medici, or the Duke of Lorraine. It was built to be a parish for the French residents of the city. From an artistic point of view, the church is an exaltation of France through the representation of its saints and its greatest historical figures. On the facade, there are statues made by Pierre de l’Estache: Charlemagne, St Louis, Sainte-Clotilde, and Sainte Jeanne de Valois. In addition, the salamander of François I is present at the ends.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Church Santa Maria in Traspontina (Via della Concilazione,14c) ,this is the wide avenue leading to St. Peter’s Basilica. trajectory of cannonballs launched from Castel Sant’Angelo. This is also why the current dome of the church is very crushed. On its site there was an ancient Roman pyramidal tomb. Its construction began in 1566 ,and was completed in 1637. It has long been the seat of the Carmelite parish of Santa Maria del Carmelo in Traspontina, already existing in the High Middle Ages. The church was established as a cardinalatial titulus by Pope Sixtus V in 1587. The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Carmel. the Chapel of St Knud (king Canute IV) is the National Shrine of Denmark. The large facade has two levels, divided into bays by projecting colonnades. Above the central portal, a niche houses an 18C stucco group of the Madonna and Child.

roma-church-st-maria-del-carmelo-concializione-tranportina aug13

The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Basilica of Saint Mary of the People (Piazza del Popolo, 12 ) is one of the most important buildings of the Roman Renaissance, not only for its architectural features, but also for the paintings and sculptures that make it a valuable museum of Renaissance art.  It is located in People’s Square, near the Porta del Popolo. A first small church was built by Pope Pascal II, on the tombs of Domizi to hunt, according to legend, the spirit of Nero who was buried there. More likely, it would have been built to celebrate the conquest of Jerusalem, at the end of the first crusade. The current church was founded in the 15C under Sixtus IV, giving it its beautiful Renaissance appearance. It was modified in the 17C by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Le Bernini) under Alexander VII, to give it a more lively, typically Baroque appearance. Its simple, Latin cross layout with three naves corresponds to the model of Cistercian churches. Its pretty 15C bell tower is of a style originating in northern Italy. Many famous artists worked there, such as Bramante, Sansovino, Pinturicchio, Mino da Fiesole, Raphael, Bernini and Caravaggio.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

The Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Via del Corso, 529 ) is located on Piazza del Popolo , located north of the ancient Champ de Mars. Its “twin”, Santa Maria in Montesanto, is opposite, just on the other side of Via del Corso. In the twin churches are found the remains of two pyramidal tombs, similar to that of Caius Cestius. They would date from the time of Augustus and probably formed a monumental entrance to the Champ de Mars. The two churches are on their sites. According to one tradition, a miraculous rescue of a baby who fell into the Tiber on June 20, 1325, after his mother summoned a painted image of the Virgin, led to the construction of a chapel dedicated to Mary, near the Tiber, towards the current Margherita bridge, and where the image was installed. The facade is characterized by the presence of a rectangular portico crowned with a pediment, on which we can read the name of the benefactor of the church, Cardinal Gastaldi. The columns of the pronaos were originally intended for the bell towers of Saint-Pierre designed by Bernini, but which were never made. The octagonal cupola, covered with slate tiles, was built by Carlo Fontana.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Basilica Church Santa Maria in Cosmedin (Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18 ) is a rare and fine example of medieval architecture in Rome. It was built in the 7C on the remains of ancient buildings on the edge of the Forum Boarium, the ancient food market near the Tiber. Specifically, there are remains of the tuff walls of the unconquered altar of Hercules, and columns of the portico added in the 4C are incorporated into the current walls. The church was enlarged by Pope Hadrian I in the 8C, and entrusted to Byzantine monks who settled in the neighborhood after fleeing iconoclastic persecution in the East. The name “Cosmedin” (ornament in Greek) comes from the many decorations they made there. It has been modified several times over time, with a substantial reconstruction in the 12C, including the addition of the campanile. In the 17C and 18C, important Baroque restorations were carried out, such as a Rococo facade. But at the end of the 19C, work was done to restore the medieval aspect of the building. Its harmonious seven-stories Romanesque bell tower with its triple openings is one of the most beautiful in this style in Rome, erected in the 12C. It rises 34 meters and retains a Pisan bell from 1283. The portico with its semicircular arches which precedes the facade is a realization of the Cosmati of the 12C. It houses the famous Bocca della Verità, (“Mouth of Truth” ), an ancient manhole that was installed here in the 12tC. Folk tradition has it that it would bite the hand of anyone who utters a lie.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore) was erected after the Council of Ephesus in 431 under Pope Sixtus III, this was the first Roman church dedicated to the cult of the divine motherhood of Mary, sanctioned during this ecumenical council. The history of the building also includes many legends, the best known of which is that of the “miracle of the snow”: on the night of August 4 to 5, 356, the Virgin appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius indicating the place where to build a church. At this place, that night it would have miraculously snowed. The most important of the Roman churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary thus stands at the top of Mount Cispio (the highest of the three mountains that make up the Esquiline hill), erected on the remains of a building dating from Augustus. The original church, with three naves and a narthex, without transept, was therefore founded between 432 and 440 by Sixtus III. In the second half of the 14C, the bell tower was built. The basilica is a mixture of architecture from several periods: the nave and its ancient Ionic columns, the early Christian sanctuary from the 5C, the Romanesque campanile from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance ceilings, the Baroque domes, etc. Having retained its medieval character for a long time, the basilica was considerably transformed from the end of the 16C by Popes Sixtus V and Paul V. The two large side chapels (Sistine and Pauline) were built, as well as the building to the right of the facade. .Between 1670 and 1676, Carlo Rainaldi redesigned the apse. The last major construction is the facade in the first half of the 18C, and the building located on its left. This facade is superimposed on the older ones. In the loggia of the blessing, accessible by a ladder under the porch, the mosaics of the decoration are preserved. These were made at the end of the 13C. The upper part represents Christ blessing, between the symbols of  the evangelists, the Virgin, angels and saints. In the lower register are depicted episodes from the life of Pope Liberius.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

The Church Santa Maria di Loreto (Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, 26) is an early 16C church, built by the bakers’ guild of Rome, on the corner of Trajan’s Forum. After the Jubilee of 1500, the association of bakers (Sodalizio dei Fornai) received permission from Pope Alexander VI  to built a church at this site. The church was inaugurated by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1507. It was completed by Iacopo del Duca in 1576. The sacristy was rebuilt in the 19C. The base of the church is built of brick covered with travertine. On the tympanum of the portal there is a marble sculpted by Andrea Sansovino (1550) which represents the Madonna with Child and the house of Loreto. The octagonal dome is surmounted by a lantern.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The current Basilica of Saint Agnes outside the Walls (Via Nomentana, 349 ) was built by Pope Honorius I in the first half of the 7C, above the venerated tomb of the saint. There was previously a church built in 324 at the request of Constantius, Constantine’s daughter, above a cemetery and the catacombs. It is one of the best examples of early Christian basilicas, and one of the best preserved. The old church was half-buried, and its now high door was walled up. The ground was at the level of the tomb of Saint Agnes. The bell tower was erected under Julius II in the 15C and the current appearance of the church dates from several restorations, in the 17C and 19C, including the construction of chapels. On January 21 of each year, two lambs are blessed in the church and a pallium is sewn with their wool, then entrusted by the pope to the new archbishops. The exterior of the building has two levels. The upper brick part was the only one visible until the 17C, the lower part being underground. The old door giving access to the grandstand has been walled up. The lower part is covered in plaster, with a magnificent Renaissance oak door. A narthex precedes the entrance, where a marble slab bears the original inscription of Pope Damasus dedicated to the martyrdom of Saint Agnes, from the 4C.

roma church st agnese via agnese via nomentana belltower aug13

The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post

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

Tags: ,
May 17, 2022

The churches of Rome, part II

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy. I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome, part II

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Basilica Church of Saint Sabina (Piazza Pietro D’Illiria, 1, ) is probably the finest surviving early Christian church in Rome. It was erected by Peter of Illyria, priest of Dalmatia, from 422 to 432, near an ancient temple of Juno and the site of the legendary house of the Roman Sabina, who later became a saint. Dedicated to Saint Sabina of the Aventine, it is the seat of the Curia of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) since 1219. The building was restored several times, disfigured in the 16C by the closing of twenty of its windows. Restorations at the start of the 20C restored it to its former glory. As can be seen from some inscriptions found near the basilica there was the temple of Juno Regina, of which 24 columns were used for the construction of the church. In the 9C, the church was incorporated into the imperial bastions and interior changed dramatically during restorations in 1587, and 1643. Again, in the first half of the 20C, restored the original structure. The bell tower dates from the 10C. Saint Dominic would have planted an orange tree in the cloister, coming from Spain, his native country. It is said to be miraculous. It is visible through a hole in the wall of the church. The Lapis Diaboli, a round black stone placed on a spiral column to the left of the entrance, or “stone of the devil”, is said to have been thrown by the devil against Dominic as he prayed on the marble slab covering the bones of martyrs, breaking it into pieces. This slab, actually broken by the architect Domenico Fontana during the restoration of 1527, was reconstituted and is now visible in the center of the choir. In 1287, a conclave was held there to elect a successor to Honorius IV. But Rome was hit by a serious epidemic of malaria and six cardinals died during the conclave. All the others fled, except one, Girolamo Masci, who on his return from the conclave was elected Pope Nicholas IV on February 22, 1288. The church has no facade, this being integrated into the narthex, in one of the four arms of the old portico which is currently in the Dominican monastery. The smooth walls and especially the large windows , characterize the first Christian constructions, the art of making windows of this size having been lost in the centuries following the fall of the empire. The old tower was replaced by a Baroque bell tower.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica :

The Church Santa Maria in Montesanto located in Campo Marzio, in Piazza del Popolo, between Via del Corso and Via del Babuino, also known as the Church of the Artists. It is commonly known as the Twin Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, although it has significant differences especially in the layout. The name of the church comes from the fact that it replaced a small church that belonged to the Carmelite friars from the province of Monte Santo in Sicily. It was built in 1662, initiative Pope Alexander VII, by Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi that he was later buried. The work was interrupted on the death of the pontiff in 1667; resumed in 1673 and completed in 1679. The church is planted in an elliptical shape, while its so-called “twin” Santa Maria of the Miracles is circular; six are the side chapels, against four of its “twin”.in July 1825 papa Leone XII raised it to the dignity of minor basilica. From 1953 the church became the seat of the “Artists’ Mass”, a unique initiative created in 1941 by Ennio Francia; after changing several places of worship, liturgical event was housed in Piazza del Popolo in the church where every Sunday for over fifty years is celebrated this Eucharistic celebration that take representatives part of the world of culture and the arts, It is also in this church that the funerals of people linked to the world of culture and television are often celebrated. For these reasons it is also known as the “Church of the Artists”. Beneath the twin churches are the remains of two pyramid tombs, very similar in size and shape to Pyramid of Caius Cestius and the Vatican pyramid ; these two tombs were traced and Augustan age were placed monumental entrance to campus Martius, precisely the function that the two churches today. In this church, on August 10, 1904, he was ordained priest Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope Giovanni XXIII , an event commemorated by a plaque affixed during his pontificate. And my oldest son shown below!

roma-church-santa-maria-montesanto-piazza-popolo-NF aug13

The Rome tourist office on the church

Located on the Aventine Hill near the Basilica of Saint Sabina, the Church of Saint Alexis (piazza Sant’Alessio, 23. ) was dedicated to Saint Boniface until 1217. It is believed to have been founded around the beginning of the 4C, rebuilt in 1216 by Pope Honorius III .Its very beautiful campanile is Romanesque. The entire interior dates mostly from a 1750 reconstruction by Tommaso de Marchis, although older elements such as cosmatesque paving remain. There are elements from all periods, such as the Romanesque bell tower, columns from the 13C church in the eastern apse, the medieval portico and a Romanesque crypt. The 16C façade was reworked by de Marchis, who also designed the high altar.

roma-basilica church-st-alessio-aug13

The Rome tourist office on the Basilica Church:

The 17C Church of San Rocco is located on the Campo Marzio, near the Tiber. It is next to the Mausoleum of Augustus, exactly at Largo S. Rocco, 1 , It was built in 1499 thanks to the initiative of the Confraternity of San Rocco and Pope Alexander VI  ,and dedicated to San Rocco of Montpellier. It was originally a chapel connected to the hospital near the ancient church of San Martino. The one was built to help the plague sufferers on the initiative of the Confraternity of hosts and boatmen, who lived near the Tiber. Nearby was the ancient river port of Ripetta. It was largely rebuilt in 1657 on a project by Giovanni Antonio de Rossi. Valadier’s neoclassical facade dates from the first half of the 19C. A new, Palladio influenced façade  was built in 1832. The surroundings were transformed in 1890 with the demolition of the port of Ripetta due to the canalization of the Tiber and the construction of the Ponte Cavour. Then the neighborhood was radically renovated between 1934 and 1938, including the demolition of the hospital.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Church Saint Andrew of the Quirinal (Via del Quirinale, 30) is a Jesuit church. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Italian Baroque, often referred to as the most beautiful of the churches designed by Bernini. Its construction, from 1658 to 1670, was led by his pupil, De Rossi. It was Pope Alexander VII who commissioned it to replace an old 16C. The facade is preceded by two concave wings that frame the entrance to which a small semicircular staircase leads. This contour, concave-convex-concave, is characteristic of Bernini’s creations. The entrance portal bears the arms of Camillo Pamphili, who contributed financially to the construction of the building. The nave is elliptical, the shortest axis being that between the entrance and the high altar, the chapels are placed oblique in such a way that they recall the cross of Saint Andrew.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Church of Saint Bosco or Giavanni Bosco; a minor basilica located at Viale dei Salesiani, 9; the main entrance is on the Piazza San Giovanni Bosco. The basilica is on a monumental axis overlooking a large square (piazza San Giovanni Bosco) which is continued by the wide Viale San Giovanni Bosco to another large square, piazza dei Consoli. The Church was under the care of the Salesians of which St John Bosco was the founder. The Basilica was built in the early 1950s on behalf of the Salesians. On 12 September 1952 the first stone of the new building was laid by the cardinal vicar Clemente Micara, but the actual work began about a year later; the church was inaugurated on 2 May 1959 with solemn consecration by Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella, protector of the Salesian Congregation; most of the interior, however, was still to be built, and it was only in 1964 that the building was completed according to the original plans. The day after the consecration, May 3, Pope John XXIII visited the new church to pray in front of the tomb of the Turin saint to whom the sacred building was named and whose urn, for the occasion, had been transferred from Turin. in Rome. The church was entrusted to the Salesian Fathers, who are the owners of the church. Pope Paul VI, elevated it to cardinal deaconry, with the name of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana and, follows promoting it to the dignity of minor basilica.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

The Basilica di Santa Croce en Gerusalemme or Holy Cross in Jerusalem ( Piazza di S. Croce in Gerusalemme ) is one of the “seven churches of Rome”, the stopovers of pilgrims during holy years. The church is said to have been founded in the 4C, referred to as the Basilica Sessoriana, within a large building from the beginning of the 3C, dedicated to Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine. According to tradition, a relic of the True Cross, brought from Jerusalem by Saint Helena, is kept there. At the time, the Basilica’s floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross which is in Jerusalem, but the Basilica itself is “in Jerusalem” in the sense that a piece  of Jerusalem was moved to Rome for its foundation. The facade, original with its oval vestibule, dates from a reconstruction of 1744.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

The Church of San Franseco d’Assisi a Ripa was built around 1231 in place of a building dependent on a neighboring Benedictine monastery, which would have housed Saint Francis of Assisi in 1219. You can see the cell where he slept and the rock he used as a pillow in 1219 as well as his crucifix. The current 17C building is renowned for retaining an ecstasy sculpted by Bernini. Some mentions already evoke a church in the 11C, where a building was built near Ripa Grande, the “great shore”, which depended on a nearby hospital. It was restored and entrusted to the Franciscans in 1229. It is still the seat of a Franciscan parish. After works at the beginning of the 16C, it was substantially rebuilt from 1680, with a simple Latin cross interior divided into three naves and three chapels on each side, decorated with numerous Baroque sculptures. In the square opposite the church, an Ionic column surmounted by an iron cross was erected in 1847 by Pius IX. The 18C façade, designed by Mattia de Rossi, is wider than the interior of the church.


The Rome tourist office on the church:

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post

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

Tags: ,
May 17, 2022

The churches of Rome, part I

We thought about where to do our family vacation different,and the vote came to Rome , Italy, I was a very memorable family visit looking back it was even better. I have several posts on Rome in my blog, and had one with so many churches in it that decided to split into 3 posts with more text using the older pictures, Hope you enjoy my churches of Rome !

I found the most unique element the churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! It seems more churches than bars lol ! I would like to tell you our favorites.

The Oratory of the Holy Sacrament al Tritone ( Via del Tritone), located in Piazza Poli, is also known as the “Oratory of the Guardian Angel” , but in essence it is the oratory of the church of Santa Maria in Via , built for the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament between 1576 and 1596. In 1681 it was restructured in a fully Baroque style; in the 18C the building was completely rebuilt. In the second half of the 19C or about 1875 the interior was decorated. Particularly elegant and lively is the façade ,the lower order has a beautiful portal framed by two pilasters and surmounted by two heads of winged angels; on the sides two pairs of semi-columns, with precious Ionic capitals, support a high broken tympanum, above which there are two marble statues,depicting “Faith” and “Hope”. 

roma-church oratory-angel-in-custody-aug13

The Rome tourist office on the oratory :

The Basilica of Santi Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (via del Corso ,437) is a minor basilica, and traditionally the church of the Lombards of Rome, including Milanese. Its construction began in 1612, on a 10C building. The title of cardinal of this church traditionally belongs to the Archbishop of Milan. On August 29, 1471, Pope Sixtus IV approved the founding of the Brotherhood of Lombards, who were numerous in Rome, and ceded to them the Church of Saint Nicholas of Toffo on the Champ de Mars. It was renamed Saint Ambrose, then also dedicated to Saint Charles, after the canonization of Charles Borromeo in 1610. The church was rebuilt by the brotherhood. It was originally designed in 1612 , then built the dome and the apse. The third largest dome in Rome. The vast interior is divided into three naves with a barrel vault and three chapels on each side. It is very bright, decorated with stucco, faux marble and frescoes. It is one of the best examples of late Roman Baroque theatrical pageantry. The church includes a large ambulatory behind the altar, the only one in Rome, which was inspired by Milan Cathedral. In a niche behind the altar is the precious relic of the heart of Saint Charles.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica:

The Basilica of the Holy Apostles ( Piazza Santi Apostoli, 51 ) was founded in the Byzantine era, in the 6C by Pope Pelagius I. It houses the relics of the apostles Philip and James. It is the only basilica in Rome that was not built over pre-existing Roman buildings. The architectural model of the early church was that of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles of Constantinople. This large church decorated with mosaics was destroyed in 1348 by an earthquake. It was not restored until the 15C by Martin V of the Colonna family. The porch in front of the facade was erected and the apse of the basilica decorated with a magnificent fresco of the Ascension, and whose perspectives are remarkable. After reconstruction in the 18C, the fragments of this fresco were distributed between the Vatican and the Quirinal Palace. Adjacent to Palazzo Colonna, in front of the unadorned neoclassical façade by Valadier (1827), the late 15C porch spans nine arches on two different orders. The first with its octagonal pillars bears the coat of arms of the Della Rovere family on the capitals. The second with its Ionic columns framing the openings formed a loggia. It was closed by Carlo Rainaldi in 1681, with baroque windows and the balustrade bearing the statues of Christ and the twelve apostles.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica 

The official name of the Basilica is Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs or Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, ( Piazza della Repubblica ) It was Pope Pio IV who decided to install this church in the imposing Tepidarium and in the central hall of the Baths of Diocletian in 1561. It was Michelangelo who was in charge of designing this conversion. Modifications were made in the 17C by Vanvitelli, including the rich interior decoration. The facade corresponds to the former exedra of the Calidarium. The grand and harmonious interior is in the shape of a Greek cross, the arms corresponding to the central body of the ancient baths. The entrance vestibule is on the site of the Tepidarium. The transept approaches 100 meters in length, 27 meters in width and 28 meters in height. Eight imposing red granite columns are original, they are 14 meters high and have a diameter of 1.5 meters. Others, in bricks, have been added.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica

On the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere,  the current Basilica Church of Saint Mary of Trastevere was built in the 12C under Innocent II. Its foundations rest on the ruins of a 3C Christian building, one of the oldest domestic churches in Rome, known as the Titus Callisti. Legend has it that an oil spring would have sprung up here in 38 BC. J.-C., announcing the coming of the messiah for the Jews of the district. Another story indicates that Pope Callistus I installed a Christian community in a tavern, which took the name of Titulus Callisti. In 340, Pope Julius I built a larger building, then designated as Titulus Iulii, one of the first twenty-five parishes in Rome. It would have been the second church dedicated to the Virgin, after Sainte-Marie Majeure, during the 5C. In the 8C and 9C, it was enlarged with side naves, then Gregory IV remodeled the choir, added the chancel, the ciborium, and a crypt which housed the relics of Calixte I. The church was rebuilt from 1140 to 1143 by Pope Innocent II, adding a transept, the mosaics of the apse, and architectural elements which were recovered from the baths of the Caracalla and in the temple of Isis on the Gianicolo hill. The facade features a 13C mosaic of the nursing Virgin, surrounded by ten women carrying lamps. At the top of the charming 12C Romanesque bell tower, a niche houses a mosaic of the Virgin and Child. The portico was rebuilt at the beginning of the 18C during the restoration of the facade. On its parapet, stand the sculptures of the popes Calixte I, Corneille, Jules I, and the martyr Calépode.  The interior of the portico preserves Christian frescoes and fragments of sarcophagi from the 3C.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica

The Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano ( Via dei Fori Imperiali, 1 ) is dedicated to the two Greek brothers, doctors and martyrs. It is located in the ancient Forum of Vespasian, on the site of the Temple of Peace. The temple with the library of Peace were given to Pope Felix IV by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great in 527. These two buildings were then transformed into a basilica. It was accessed from the Roman Forum, through an entrance hall with a circular plan (known as the Temple of Romulus). In 1632, Pope Urban VIII redesigned the building, in particular by raising the ground level by 7 meters and by fitting out seven chapels. The old floor of the old basilica is still visible on the lower level. In 1947, the old entrance by the Temple of Romulus was closed and replaced by a new entrance built on Via dei Fori Imperiali. Near the new entrance, on the walls of two rooms of the Peace Forum were the 150 marble slabs that make up the Forma Urbis Romae. (Antique map of Rome, engraved under Septimius Severus).


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica

The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano , Constantine built the first basilica in 320. It is the oldest church, the mother of all churches, which inspired and still inspires Christian buildings. San Giovanni in Laterano is the cathedral of Rome, the seat of the bishop of Rome, who is the Pope himself (San Pietro is the church of the Vatican). The church was then rebuilt several times over the course of history, due to earthquakes, looting and fires. From its original version, it has only kept its proportions and a large part of the Baptistery. Rebuilt by Nicholas IV at the end of the 13C, it was burned shortly afterwards in 1308. Rebuilt and decorated by Giotto, the fire hit it again in 1360. In the mid-17C, reconstruction with the addition embellishement of the interior with twelve niches that house the large statues of the apostles. The facade dates back to 1734, the apse and the mosaics were renovated in the late 19C. The interior is 130 meters long. Various relics relating to Christ are preserved there. A small portion of a fresco by Giotto remains, depicting Boniface VIII in the Jubilee of 1300. There is the beautiful cloister, and the Lateran Baptistery near the basilica, which preserves some beautiful early Christian remains. On the piazza del Laterano square stands the high Egyptian obelisk of the 15C BC, coming from Karnak, which at 36 meters, it is the tallest Egyptian obelisk.


The Rome tourist office on the Basilica

The Scala Santa or Holy Stairs are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roma Catholic Relics located in an edifice on extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome near the Archbasilica of St John in Laterano (St Giovanni).   Officially, the edifice is titled the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs (Pontificio Santuario della Scala Santa). The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St Lawrence in  simply the  Sancta Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, which was the personal chapel of the early Popes. Thousands of pilgrims climb the 28 steps of La Scala Santa, each year, while praying and meditating on the passion of Christ. These steps would indeed have been trodden by Jesus while he was going to the Praetorium of Jerusalem to be judged there by Pontius Pilate. Only small portholes allow to see the red spots that tradition attributes to the blood of Christ. According to tradition , the Scala Santa, or Sacla Pilati is said to have been transported from Jerusalem to Rome at the beginning of the 4C by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. It is now installed near the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran, in a sanctuary desired by Pope Sixtus V.


The Rome tourist office on the Sanctuary

There you go folks,, and this is just my favorites and able to see; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Rome! Hope you have enjoy the posts as I. And see my many other posts on Rome in my blog.

This Rome Art Lover site tells them all churches, too numerous for me to post:

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

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