Posts tagged ‘Europe’

July 23, 2021

Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro of Madrid!!!

And this one is a dandy to update for you and me me me! It reminds me of so much of good memories from a boy to a men and marriage ,and fatherhood. It is impossible for me to visit Madrid without stopping here, and it is very difficult for me to visit Spain ,and not Madrid! Madrid to heaven and a hole on the sky to look down on it everyday!!! Let me tell you a bit more on the Crystal Palace of Madrid or the Palacio de Cristal de Madrid en el Parque del Buen Retiro!!!

madrid retiro park palacio de cristal arriving may16

So why not tell of the other palace in the Retiro park of my beloved Madrid! There is so much on this park alone to make a couple days in my Madrid! We love it, family love it ,and I am in love since teen years living there; a must for me to visit and of course will be yours too if see it.  I have written a lot of posts on my Madrid in my blog, but seldom a single post on this Crystal Palace ,done similar to the one in London. It deserves a single entry on its owns merits. Therefore, here is my contribution to the Palacio de Cristal of Madrid!

madrid retiro park palacio de cristal front may16

The Palacio de Cristal  is a metal and crystal structure located in the Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park) of Madrid. It was built in 1887 on the occasion of the exhibition of the Philippine Islands, held that same year. The majestic structure of 22 meters high opened its doors!. It was the first non industrial building of its genre that saw the day in Spain. Nowdays, contemporary art exhibitions are currently held.

madrid retiro park palacio de cristal inside main hall may16

It was built inspired by the Crystal Palace, erected in London in 1851.  The structure is metal, and is completely covered by glass plates, hence its name. The ceramic decoration used in small friezes and finials highlight the figures of grotesques with heads of mallards. The Palacio de Cristal, in the shape of a Greek cross, is made almost entirely of glass set in an iron framework on a brick base, which is decorated with ceramics. Its domed roofs makes the structure over 22 meters high.

At its feet is an artificial lake and there is a staircase that is immersed inside it, where you can find several specimens of Cypress marsh trees, whose main characteristic is that part of its trunk and its roots are under water. The building is surrounded by  chestnuts trees. The Lake contains ducks. geese, black swans and terrapins, who will swim close to the steps, or you can hire boats on the lake for a closer view. It has a surface area of 2,900 m2 and a water volume of 3,480 m3. The spout reaches a height of 17 meters.

madrid retiro park palacio de cristal lake frt may16

On May 10, 1936, the Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro park was the scene in which Manuel Azaña was elected as President of the Republic. The courts had remained small to host the mixed assembly of Deputies and Commissioners and the Crystal Palace was chosen for voting and inauguration of  Azaña, the only candidate! Nowadays, it is part of the Reina Sofía Museum, and in its interior there are exhibitions of contemporary art.

madrid retiro park palacio de cristal boat may16

Located at the Paseo Républica de Cuba ,inside the Retiro park. Go there by Metro lines 1 Atocha, Line 9 Ibiza, and line 2 Retiro. Also , Renfe-Atocha trains and bus lines 2, 20, 26 , 61. Check for schedules as after the pandemic things might have change.

The Madrid tourist office on the Palacio de Cristalhttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/palacio-de-cristal

The Reina Sofia Museum on outbuildings such as the Palacio de Cristal: https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/museum/venues

There you go folks, the enormous beautiful Retiro park of my beloved Madrid.  And the gorgeous Palacio de Cristal, can’t beat this combination ! Enjoy it as we always do!

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

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July 22, 2021

Port du Crouesty, a personal note!!!

I have written on the Port du Crouesty , part of the town of Arzon in the Rhuys peninsula on several previous posts in my blog. I have come here since moving into the area back in 2011, and had great family time over the years. Now coming back missing my dear late wife Martine is sad all nice memories that are worth reliving them again and again.

The reason I am writing again on the Port du Crouesty is because one of my former boss (CFO) from Paris had purchase a boat (30 meters! )and has it base here. He is kind enough for old times sake that each time in the area he calls me up to the boat.  This is an experience I could not refuse as grew up around boats and beaches when young boy and always nice memories. Therefore, I took responsibilities at home with my boys and came to the boat!! It was better than expected!

Port du Crouesty passerelle to J22 prom shops left jul21

Normally, we just had a lunch in the boat and get the ride around the marina from a boat owners preferable entries. However, this time he took me out to sea into the wonderful sublime Gulf of Morbihan. I really should not tell you about Port du Crouesty because several posts on it with all kind of information, just do search in my blog. This experience will be mostly visual with new pictures taken on the day; hope you enjoy them as I!

Port du Crouesty blue lagoon boat arriv back marina jul21

Port du Crouesty blue lagoon boat out marina to gulf jul21

However, could not resist, some sights previously mentioned in my blog but now new pictures. The first you notice when you enter the marina area before the boats is our favorite local store La Trinitaine branch here.

Port du Crouesty prom shops la trinitaine jul21

You can head over a bit and see our favorite ice cream parlor L’Igloo, branch here and in other beach towns in the area.

Port du Crouesty prom shops l igloo ice cream jul21

Not to missed the Capitainerie or harbormaster house which has a beautiful restaurant le Cargo we had enjoyed.

Port du Crouesty capitainerie from chanel BL boat jul21

Port du Crouesty capitainerie from chanel BL boat back jul21

You can really enjoy the Miramar La Cigale  Thalasso and Spa  a wonderful oasis of tranquility and well being, You see it on the right of the picture next to Fogeo beach!

Port du Crouesty blue lagoon boat to fogeo beach sailing club jul21

You should not leave the area without visiting the Cairns du Petit Mont, or the megaliths stones tumulus found here dating thousands of years!! This time saw from the channel going in to the marina! The stone of the little mound!

Port du Crouesty blue lagoon boat to cairn de petit mont jul21

And do come around the marina to see the Chapelle Notre Dame de Crouesty  (it was here in 565 that it was found the intact body of Saint Gildas). I saw this time from the channel to the marina! right side of picture.

Port du Crouesty chapelle ND de Crouesty ent marina jul21

I cannot leave this post without given credit and showing the work of the lifesavers volunteer corps of the SNSM all over France’s coasts/beaches,and at sea. They have taken the ashes of my mother Gladys and wife Martine out to sea burial from Honfleur, Normandie as we all will be. As the braves did!

Port du Crouesty SNSM boat at marina jul21

OF course, my usual webpages for a quick informative round into the marina of Port du Crouesty!

The city of Arzon on Port du Crouesty: https://www.arzon.fr/port-du-crouesty-compagnie-des-ports-du-morbihan/

The passeportescales or passport stops on the Port du Crouesty ,harbor information: https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-du-crouesty

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Port du Crouesty in French: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/presquile-rhuys/arzon/port-crouesty/

There you go folks, a nice time spent with good friend in a beautiful setting, Port du Crouesty. Of course, the boating need contact/friend but the rest is open to the public and it is very popular with locals and visitors alike so come early. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

July 22, 2021

Other churches of Toledo!

And continuing my wonderful tour of updating older memorable posts in my blog, i come to Toledo. This is the world city of old and new, we came here often too as family just between Toledo and Madrid until recently the last one passed away. Looking forward to be back and ride my road warrior thrills on these wonderful spots and remember the good old times. Let me tell you about the other churches of Toledo in one post would do. Toledo invites you in always.

I come to you for a world historical city ,very popular and many times visited by me and many over the years. This is known to all me think. However, Toledo has in such a small space treasure throves of jewels to be seen. Time is still here ,and me think must go to the best known touristic wise. There are so many wonderful places to see here, and written briefly on many already. However, I feel need to tell you a bit more on the Churches of Toledo in my beloved Spain. I will be brief, just an introduction as they are all needed to be seen while in town!

The Church of the Savior or Iglesia del Salvador was at the time of the Muslim presence, a mosque, whose date is to be determined, although some researchers date it in 1041 or possibly earlier. Previous remains of Visigoth ecclesial occupation and even a late Roman period of the 2C have been found.  It is one of the Churches named in the guide of Tormes and in it were baptized Juana I de Castilla (“La Loca”=crazy) and the playwright Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla.  The present Church is built on an old Muslim mosque, so it is oriented towards the southeast, towards Mecca. For whose construction, as usual, different architectural elements were reused Visigoths, thanks to which has retained a horseshoe arches supported on Visigoths pilasters with sculpted decoration of figurative themes. The Pilaster of El Salvador presents in one of its faces various miraculous scenes of the life of Jesus, in overlapping records: The healing of the blind, the resurrection of Lazarus, the Samaritan and the Hemorroísa, as well as other themes of Eucharistic nuance that allude to Christ  as a salvation and whose iconography seems to be taken from some Paleo-Christian sarcophagus that  served as a model. The conversion to Christian worship in 1159 made it undergo various modifications, especially the construction of the Gothic Chapel of Santa Catalina, at the end of the 15C. The minaret, converted into a tower, would later be added to a brick steeple. Again in 1822 a new fire had it badly destroyed and only the Chapel of Santa Catalina was saved.

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The Castilla La Mancha autonomous community tourist office on the churchhttp://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/iglesia-de-el-salvador-de-toledo-12864/descripcion/

The Toledo monumental city info on the churchhttps://toledomonumental.com/salvador

The Church (Iglesia) of San Ildefonso is a baroque-style Church located in the center of the historical city of Toledo, is also known as the Church of the Jesuits and is consecrated to San Ildefonso of Toledo, patron of the city and father of the Church. Its construction, which lasted for more than a hundred years, began in the year 1629, on a land acquired by the Jesuits of Toledo in 1569 where were the houses of Juan Hurtado de Mendoza Rojas and Guzmán, Conde de Orgaz,  and that had also been the birthplace of San Ildefonso. Located between the Calle San Román and Calle Alfonso XII , the Church has a northwest-southwest orientation, so that its frontal facade is directed towards the Cathedral of Toledo. The interior of the Church, with its main nave in the form of a Latin cross plant, is large and white in color. On this nave stands the high dome over the transept. In the transept there are two large baroque altarpieces. The Chapels on the northeast side of the building, in order from the transept, are dedicated to the Virgin of Fatima, to San Francisco Javier, to the Blessed Christ Crucified and to San Francisco de Borja. On the southwest side are those dedicated to the Immaculate, Dolorosa or painful, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Christ of the Martyrs. In one corner of the Church lies the Chapel of the Ochavada in which the relics of the Church are kept and venerated. The outside of the dome, due to its dimensions and the location of the Church, is one of the highest points of Toledo, next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Alcázar, to which has notable views, just like the towers, which can be visited.

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The Toledo tourist office on the churchhttps://turismo.toledo.es/museo-monumento-expo/iglesia-los-jesuitas-san-ildefonso/

The Church (Iglesia) of San Román  was built in Mudejar style in the 13C in the place where once there was an ancient Visigoth basilica and probably an ancient Roman building. Nowadays it is the seat of the Museum of the Councils and the Visigoth Culture. It is located in one of the highest and privileged places of the city, in the second of the Twelve Hills that form it. There is already news of the parish in the 12C and the Church would be consecrated in 1221 by Archbishop Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada. The tradition points out that here  was crowned king Alfonso VIII of Castile in  1166. The Church has a basilica plant with three naves, separated by horseshoe arches with alfas that support on pillars with Visigoth and Roman columns attached with capitals reused of Visigoth origin in some cases, distinguishing by its Corinthian leaves. The frescoes are divided into two areas separated by inscriptions. The four winged evangelists and the representations of Archbishops, the Saints Esteban and Lorenzo, angels or the Final judgement stand out. In the 16C, Alonso de Covarrubias designed the plateresque domed apse of coffers in the main chapel; And the paintings were subsequently covered, thus losing their trail until the first third of the 20C in which they were rediscovered. It was not until the  1940’s when they were recovered as much as possible.

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The Castilla La Mancha autonomous community tourist office on the churchhttp://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/iglesia-de-san-roman-13464/descripcion/

The Church (Igleisa) of Santo Tome or Saint Thomas the Apostle is located in the historical center of Toledo, and was founded after the reconquest of this city by King Alfonso VI of León. as quoted in the 12C , as built on the site of an old 11C mosque. This mosque along with others of the city were used as Christian churches without major changes, since in the making of the city there was no destruction of buildings. However, at the beginning of the 14C, being in a dilapidated state was completely rebuilt by Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo, Lord of Orgaz and transformed the old minaret of the mosque into a belfry in Mudéjar style. Its fame is mainly due to house inside, the painting the Burial of the Count de Orgaz by El Greco, (El entierro del Conde de Orgaz de El Greco) which can be seen by accessing the back of the Church. The Church consists of three naves with transept, covered by barrel vaults and polygonal apse. It has the Church in its chapels, two Baroque altarpieces, one plateresque and a baptismal font from the 16C. They include an image of the Virgin Mary of marble from the 12C, and the altarpiece with ionic elements of the main chapel of the 19C.

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The Castilla La Mancha autonomous community tourist office on the churchhttp://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/iglesia-de-santo-tome-7564/descripcion/

The Toledo Monumental city info on the church: https://toledomonumental.com/santo-tome

The Convent of San Pedro Martyr, through its successive extensions and modifications, became one of the richest and most important convents of the city. The convent, large, is organized around three courtyards: the closest to the entrance is called Real or Royal; The smallest is called Silencio or silence/quiet, and the Naranjos or Orangery  or Procesiones or processions  is located on the side of the epistle of the Church. The cloister called the Silence  is the oldest of all and possibly corresponds to a civil construction that, later, was included in the convent ensemble. It consists of three floors.  The second floor is made up of lowered arches resting on columns very similar to the lower ones. The cloister of the silence contrasts with the Real, of much larger size, which began to be built with traces of Covarrubias, in 1541, by his disciple Hernán González de Lara. It consists of three floors entirely built in stone. The low floor is composed of half-point arches resting on columns. The new church and the sacristy. It began to be built in 1587 and consists of two spaces: the largest, rectangular, is the one that really serves as a sacristy, and another, square, houses a small Chapel. The main space is covered with a flat Cistercian vault, bands and with eyelids. The most direct access from the Church to the sacristy is made by a door located at one end of the main side. There is the Chapel of Santa Inés, whose architecture is Gothic, with vault of edges, which contains several interesting graves. The works of the current church began in 1605. As a curiosity, in this monastery, was a member, the Dominican friar Juan Bautista Maíno in 1613. It is a renowned painter whose works include the “Adoration of the Shepherds ” of the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Since 1991 the building serves as university headquarters of the Faculty of Juridical and Social Sciences of Toledo, belonging to the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

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The Castilla La Mancha autonomous community tourist office on the church: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/convento-de-san-pedro-martir-17164/

And last ,but not least, the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Star (Ermita Nuestra Senora  de la  Estrella)  was founded by the Brotherhood of the same name, which was based in the neighboring Church of Santiago del Arrabal (see post). Its construction was carried out in 1611, it presents a plant close to a Greek cross. However, in extending the nave and presbytery, with respect to the arms of the broad transept, the axially of the building is strengthened, in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the bedhead. This makes it possible to lose the idea of a centralized plant, especially in addition, after the presbytery and the aforementioned axis, the dressing room of the Virgin. The present cover of the Hermitage is of late realization than the building; It was built around the middle of the 17C.

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The official webpage of the hermitagehttps://www.hermandadestrella.es/historia

The parrish of Santiago de Arrabal in which the hermitage belongshttps://santiagoelmayor.org/estrella/

These are some of my favorite curiosity in the city of Toledo. There are plenty more to browse while in town. I have several entries on Toledo in my blog for more information on visiting. Well already well known no need to tell you further, is a must. The churches are beautiful architecture and a huge amount of history of Toledo, Spain, and Europe.

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

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July 21, 2021

Other churches of Valencia!!!

And here my update of this older post showing some of the religious monuments we saw while walking the pavement of nice Valencia, Spain. I have several posts on the city but rather than make several small ones I put together these churches in one post. Hope you enjoy the other churches of Valencia!!!

And why not come down the Mediterranean coast to a lovely town often overlook for the bigger two others but worth a detour indeed.  I have come since teens years as my aunt used to lived just south of it at El Saler. Then visited with the family and always nice souvenirs of our visits.  I have written several posts on it before but feel deserves to tell you about the other Churches architecture and historical jewels of Valencia, capital of Comunitat Valenciana in my beloved Spain.  Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on some of the other wonderful other Churches of Valencia.

The Church of San Juan de la Cruz, formerly Parish Church of San Andrés, located in Calle Poeta Querol N º 6 in the city of Valencia, was one of the first to be founded after the conquest of Jaime I of Aragon, on an old mosque. Its current configuration date, however, between 1602 and 1615 .  It is a single-nave church with chapels between the buttresses and polygonal headboard. In its facade the decorative elements are concentrated especially on the door, while the rest is a smooth brick wall on a stone plinth topped by a balustrade with balls. At the sides were opened two small chapels one of whose acropolis is still visible today. The cover is already from the end of the 17C and is notable for the use of spiral columns and side corbels on which two female figures seem to slide. The upper Aedicule was presided over by a statue of St. Andrew of which today only the traces of its cross with its characteristic shape of blade remain.  The highlight is, however, the rococo decoration of the interior, done in the second half of the 18C. Made in stucco, but worked with exceptional quality, the reloaded full forms of angels, fabrics and vegetation seem to climb the walls.

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The city of Valencia on the churchhttps://www.valencia.es/-/infociudad-iglesia-de-san-juan-de-la-cruz

The Valencia tourist office on the main sights to seehttps://www.visitvalencia.com/que-hacer-valencia/cultura-valenciana/monumentos-en-valencia

The Church of San Martín Obispo and San Antonio Abad, located in Calle San Vicente 11 martyr of the city of Valencia , was built in the 14C with reforms of the later centuries 15-16-17C being its styles Gothic Valencian and Baroque , retracing its antiquity to the time of the conquest of the city of Valencia by the troops of Jaime I, the Conqueror. It would not be until the year 1902, when the temple was definitively consecrated with the complete dedication of San Martín Obispo and San Antonio Abad. Its current design, with subsequent extensions and reconstructions, corresponds to the works of 1372 to 1401, in which it was used for the enlargement of the temple the space occupied by an old building,   graciously given to the parish by the General Council of the City in 1372. The Gothic construction presents a type of longitudinal plant, of a single nave, without cruising, with the peculiarity of its irregularity, in trapezoidal form, because only the wall of the gospel parallels the axis of the temple, being at an angle the western and southern one that it was adapted the layout of the streets that border them, especially to the west, Calle San Vicente, whose antiquity exceeds that of the church, being an old Roman way on the side where the parish building appears.

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The official webpage of the St Martin Church: https://sanmartinvalencia.es/

The Valencia tourist office on things to see: https://www.visitvalencia.com/que-ver-valencia/que-visitar-en-valencia

The Church of Santa Catalina the Martyr is one of the Gothic temples of the city of Valencia. It was erected in the Cathedral district, in the current Plaza Lope de Vega, on a previous mosque. In the 13C it acquired the rank of parish. It consists of three naves, with lateral buttresses, between which the chapels were installed, and girolas. Its baroque tower is very emblematic. In the 16C the Church was covered with classicist decoration to the Renaissance taste. After a awesome fire suffered in 1548, it was partially rebuilt. In 1785, following the prevailing fashion, it was given a baroque look.  The belfry was built between 1688 and 1705 . Masterpiece of the Valencian Baroque, is of hexagonal plant and its elevation is divided into four floors separated by mouldings, plus the body of bells and the upper crown. In its origin it was called Bells Salomonic by the helical columns that adorn that high part. It also stands out for the highlights as pilasters that adorn its angles and the decoration of its windows, where the decorative style of the ephemeral Baroque was moved with mastery. It reaches 56 meters high. The bells melted in London in 1729 and later, in 1914, the clock was added. During the restoration carried out in 2012, when going to repair the clock they realized that the machinery was relatively modern and had no value, so it was decided to remove it and replace the old bell that had been removed in 1902.  In 1936 the Church Santa Catalina the Martyr was assaulted by Republican militiamen and burned, demolished it completely. In the 1950’s works of Repristina were carried out, to give back its original gothic physiognomy, for which it was stripped to the walls of the remains of baroque and neoclassical decoration. It is a temple of Eucharistic reparation for more than 50 years, ruled by the Brotherhood of Diocesan operative priests. It has a nice museum inside.

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The city of Valencia on the churchhttps://www.valencia.es/-/infociudad-iglesia-de-santa-catalina

The Valencia tourist office on the churchhttps://www.visitvalencia.com/que-hacer-valencia/cultura-valenciana/monumentos-en-valencia/iglesia-torre-santa-catalina

The parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro martyr is a parish church located in Calle Caballeros No. 35, in the historical center, specifically between the neighborhoods of La Seu, El Carme and El Mercat. It is one of the best examples of coexistence of a 15C Gothic Church with a spectacular 17C baroque decor. After its restoration in 2016 it is popularly known as the Valencian Sistine Chapel. It has its usual worship schedule and also a timetable for sightseeing or cultural visits. The temple is located next to the Calle Caballeros, which was the old Decumano of the Valentia Edetanorum founded by the Romans in the year 138 BC, and in the vicinity of the Plaza de San Nicolás have been found funerary remains belonging to an ancient Roman temple. Then it was briefly a temple Paleocristian- Visigoth until the arrival of the Muslims in the 8C, when in its place a mosque was erected towards the east, towards Mecca. With the conquest of Valencia by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1238 this ancient mosque was consecrated as a Christian parish and donated to the Order of preachers or Dominicans, who baptized it in honor of St. Nicholas of Bari. Years later the same order added another titular Saint to the parish, St. Pedro el Martyr, who was the first martyr of the Dominican Order.  It was in the 15C when the temple was rebuilt and expanded acquiring its current physiognomy of the Valencian Gothic with a single nave, polygonal apse and six bays, in which there are so many vaults of simple crossing and six chapels to each side located between the buttresses of the nave’s pointed arches. Another gothic element that is preserved is the outer cover at the foot of the temple, built in the second half of the 15C, with archivolts in pointed arches, with a Baroque relief added later in the tympanum and with a meat dish carved in the key alluding to a miracle of St. Nicholas of Bari. On this cover there is a large neo-góthic rosette inspired by the star of David, which was an extension of the original Gothic rosette that had in the same place but smaller dimensions.

To the right of this cover is the only Chapel outside the temple, closed with a gate and call of the Christ of the Fossar, since in this place was the old parish cemetery before its 15C Gothic enlargement.   The taste for Baroque decoration opens its way inside the Christian temples within the atmosphere of the Reformation and the idea of modernizing the Gothic. For this reason at the end of the 17C, between 1690 and 1693, the Baroque recovered the interior with engravings, stuccoes and reliefs that were rather sculptures, like the plaster putti sculpted on each pilaster. It was, also the work of the arches of half point on the chapels that hide the original gothic pointed arches. The south facade, which falls to the pedestrian Plaza de San Nicolás, is all neo-Gothic style due to the urban renovation of the Plaza de San Nicolás promoted by the city/town hall in the 19C.

To the left of its cover is a ceramic panel of 1957 in memory of the premonition that the Dominican Valencian San Vicente Ferrer ( and came preaching in my current area of Morbihan and is buried in the Cathedral St Peter in Vannes! ) did to a young Alfonso de Borja, predicting that someday the young man would be named Pope, as it happened years later as Pope Callixtus III (He was also responsible for the retrial of Joan of Arc  that saw her vindicated) . Visits are only accessed by the door located in Calle Caballeros, No 35, which leads to a hallway through which access to the interior of the temple as cultural or tourist visits are not allowed on Mondays or during the worship hours. They can be made from Tuesday to Friday from 10h30 to 19h30, Saturdays from 10h30 to 18h30   and Sundays from 13h to 20h. The timetables may undergo modifications for specific liturgical celebrations, so it is recommended to consult the agenda of the Church.

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The official parish of San Nicolas on the churchhttps://www.sannicolasvalencia.com/

The Valencia tourist office on the churchhttps://www.visitvalencia.com/en/what-to-do-valencia/valencian-culture/monuments-in-valencia/iglesia-san-nicolas-bari-san-pedro-martir-valencia

The Church of Santo Tomás and San Felipe Neri is located in the Plaza of San Vicente Ferrer and is a temple built in the 18C in Baroque style. This Church is also called the congregation’s Church, because it was part of the convent house erected by the congregation of the Oratory of San Felipe Neri on the former parish of St. Thomas. After the disentitlement the rest of the convent complex was demolished and only the temple remained. The Church was built between 1727 and 1736 , and was inspired by Baroque models of Rome, recognizable especially in the broad façade. Constructed of red brick with elements of stone , it follows the form of the Roman Church of the Gesu and consists of two bodies: a wider inferior one crowned by a entablature and with a lowered arch on the door, and another more narrow upper , which corresponds only to the central nave, is topped by a triangular pediment and has two large volutes on its sides. Pilasters, corbels and statues compose a very classical image that is completed with the bell tower and its curious eighteenth sundial. If we enter, we will observe a Latin cross style temple, with a short nave covered with a barrel vault with lunettes between side chapels crowned by small domes. It also has a large transept on which stands a large dome and contains rich pictorial backgrounds.

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The city of Valencia on the churchhttps://www.valencia.es/-/infociudad-iglesia-parroquial-de-santo-tom%C3%81s-ap%C3%93stol-y-san-felipe-neri

Also, the regional comunitat de Valenciana tourist office: https://www.comunitatvalenciana.com/en/home

There you go folks, a small tour of some of the nice monument churches of Valencia a very nice city to walk as well, beautiful architecture is all around and history to boot. We always have come here by car, the most scenic route. Therefore, hope you have enjoyed the Other Churches of Valencia.

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

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July 21, 2021

Constantin’s Basilica of Trier!

This is another memorable town of many family vacations to Trier, the oldest town in Germany they claim. It is too much to tell the good times we had here over the years and highly recommend those coming to Germany to visit Trier. We love it!! In our wandering ways in town we came upon this imposing building and came in for a peek. Hope you enjoy the Constantin’s Basilica of Trier: it is awesome!

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This is Trier or we French call it Tréves. I have written several posts on the city’s sightseeing but in general pose, and I decided there are some that needs a post all of their own.  This is the case of the Constantin’s Basilica a wonderful impressive building part of the Protestant community in Catholic Trier.  This is an impressive building basilica and a must to visit while in town. We were walking looking for it, and then all of a sudden there it was huge solid, from another era like telling us behold I am strong but good come inside, and we did each time in town.

The Basilica of Constantine of Trier, originally an aula or covered gallery in Roman style, houses the reconstruction of the largest room that came to us from antiquity. The interior space of the building is 67 meters(220 feet) long, 27.20 (90 feet) meters wide and high of 33 meters (108 feet). The building was redesigned several times before it was rediscovered in the 19C to its original appearance. In 1856, it was consecrated to Protestantism and made since the Protestant church in use.   This depth is magnified by an optical illusion; both the windows of the apse as well as the niches underneath become progressively smaller towards the middle, thus enhancing the impression of length. Since the middle of the 19C, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.

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The Aula, built between the 3C and 4C, served as the throne room for Emperor Constantine. It was dressed internally with marble siding, with niches containing marble effigies. The floor and the walls were heated. It is impossible to accurately date the construction of the basilica. What is certain is that it was built with the stones of older buildings, and that it was not an isolated building, but that at the time of the Late Antiquity it was part of the enclosure of the Imperial Palace: The remains of the buildings were brought to light in the 1980’s and are now visible. The bricks were covered with a plaster. Some traces of this original plaster as well as some ancient features have been preserved at the height of the bays. The heating of the room was ensured by a system of hypocaust consisting of a double floor fed by five boilers, with heat ducts evacuating the hot air in the thickness of the walls.  Later the walls were converted into a strong castle. Then the complex served as a princely residence for the Archbishop of Trier. The apse was converted into a tower house, flanked by turrets at the junction with the facade, and the walls carved with niches. This aspect prevailed until around the year 1600. On the initiative of the Prussian king Frederick William IV, the basilica was restored to its original Roman architecture, the building burned entirely in 1944. The post-war reconstruction was done voluntarily with great caution. During the reconstruction, only the apparent siding bricks were used for the interior walls, reconstructed with a historical concern in the 19C.

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The Trier tourist office on the Basilica: https://www.trier-info.de/en/places-of-interest/the-basilica

The protestant parish of Trier on the Basilica in German: https://ekkt.ekir.de/index.php?id=2493

The Rhineland Pfalz tourist office on the Basilica of Trier: https://www.rlp-tourismus.com/fr/excursion/infosystem/Konstantin-Basilika-UNESCO-Welterbe_Trier-Sta/infosystem.html

There you go folks,, another historical wonder in wonderful Trier, Germany ,and not far from France. Go see it.

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

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July 21, 2021

Church St Alphonse of Luxembourg ville!

Ahh this is an anecdote of our another visit to Luxembourg Ville/city… We love to visit here over the years. In our walking rounds we passed by this church several times and finally we pay a visit. A nice church and great memories of hurry up to go eat lunch afterward! Nice family anecdotes of always!! Let me update this pretty Church St Alphonse of Luxembourg ville for you and I.

We have come here many times can’t count them , making the trip even for lunch from our beloved Versailles! And we have continue to stop by from our lovely Bretagne. It is a small country but full of charm, history and good things to see. Some of them unique!  Of course, I am talking about  Luxembourg. The city by the same name is awesome we fell in love with it in 1990 and it has not stop; do not know why, don’t ask me why it is just that magical when we set in at the Place d’Armes. I like to tell you a bit more on some of the off the beaten paths of it such as the Church St Alphonse!

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First of all, the Church Saint Alphonse embraces the English speaking community there and Mass is held in English. It has a wonderful organ with great music concerts as well. It is located in a nice area at Rue Beaumont, corner with rue des Capucins, by the Place du Théatre. 

The Church Saint-Alphonse is interesting from an external point of view. Inside, a great sobriety reigns… Nevertheless, the impressive height of the nave is worth the peek! Note in passing the monumental organ as well as the various sculptures at the bottom of the right aisle. Saint Alphonse is easily remarkable for its great size, its lacrosse and his gesture of blessing with his left hand. He is accompanied by several saints: Clément, Gérard, Neumann and Onders. The stained-glass windows adorning the collateral, embedded in trefoil arches, are distinguished by their vivid colour. Finally, coming out on your left, do not miss to admire the icon of the Madonna with the child of Byzantine inspiration.

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The official webpage of the Church St Alphonse in English: https://catholic.lu/history/

The city of Luxembourg on other religious monuments: https://www.luxembourg-city.com/en/things-to-do/sights/churches-and-cemeteries

The Luxembourg tourist office on Luxembourg ville/city: https://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/where-to-go/luxembourg-the-capital-city

It is a nice area to walk and we love to do that, wonderful architecture, quant shops and restos, and always something unique to see like this Church Saint Alphonse and the English speaking community of Luxembourg Ville. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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July 20, 2021

Château de Langeais, the castle!!!

And we went back to the valley of the kings and the wonderful castles of my belle France. We have been to them when even visiting France but has taken me many years to be back; this was as good as any time to do this. We first went to the Château de Villandry and then the Château de Langeais! Let’s end this tour of several posts, and finish with a bang at the Château de Langeais! Hope you enjoy it as we!

This is a wonderful castle which I like all anyway, but this one rang right up there as one of the best display and furnished.  The 15C Château de Langeais and its park. The castle replaces a first fortified castle built at the end of the 10C by Foulques Nerra. The castle is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Loire Valley on the right bank. The castle is preceded by a castrum with a keep on a motte built in stone and not in wood, associated with a domicilium. This fortified work was built at the instigation of Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou after 994. It would be, with its main building immediately provided with defensive means, one of the first stone dungeons, having vestiges that have subsisted.

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Under the domination of the English Plantagenets dynasty, the castle was enlarged by the King of England Richard the Lionheart, also, Count of Maine and Anjou from 1189 to 1199.  King Philippe Auguste re-conquered it in 1206, then it was destroyed by the English during the Hundred Years War. A facade of the main tower remains of the building from this period, known as the Donjon de Foulques Nerra. In 1465, Louis XI ordered the reconstruction of the castle, below the remains of the old building.The new castle of Langeais was completed in 1469.

Until the reign of Louis XIII, the Château de Langeais remained the property of the crown of France, which sometimes gave it as compensation or reward. It then belongs to different families. Looted and abandoned during the French revolution and at the beginning of the 19C, the buildings were rehabilitated from 1833.

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The Langeais castle found a taker in the person of M. Baron in April 1839. The castle of Langeais was in poor condition. The town, a partial tenant, has transformed the large downstairs room into a stable for the horses of the gendarmes (police). Another part is assigned to the audience of the justice of the peace and the cantonal prison. The neighbors occupy the cellars and common areas as they wish. The park is divided into about sixty plots devoted to fruit trees and vines. A Mulhouse businessman Jacques Siegfried, who for 20 years restored and refurnished it before donating it to the Institut de France on March 22, 1904 (Colin-Langeais deed) with reserve of usufruct for his heirs.

A bit of a description I like

For some historians, the two angled walls which stand behind the castle of Louis XI would be the remains of a domicilium transformed into a dungeon This one is equipped with a medieval wooden scaffolding with its lifting devices, in the style of the time.  Very well preserved and little altered, the Château de Langeais is a fine example of architecture from the end of the medieval period, characterized by its drawbridge, its high roofs, its machicolations, its rampart walk and its monumental finely carved chimneys., unique throughout France . Langeais is in fact built at the crossroads between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, its west facade, on the garden side, offering a completely different face, marked by Renaissance-type decorations.

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This set includes fifteen rooms furnished and decorated, including the “Salle des Preux”(hall of valiants) and its unique collection of 15-16C tapestries, seven pieces (out of nine) from the famous hanging or suite of the Preux (Aubusson or Felletin, which would have been carried out between 1525 and 1540 for Pierre Paien Protestant lord of Chauray in Poitou.   Jacques Siefgried acquired it in 1892.   This collection of seven out of nine tapestries, with only two missing (those of Charlemagne and Judas Macchabée, disappeared or destroyed), is the most complete in the world.

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The castle is animated by a scenography representing the daily life of a noble family of the late Middle Ages and the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, (which we saw the act led by Stéphane Bern!) as well as by a collection of major works from this period. Its park now offers several playgrounds and a cabin perched in a majestic cedar, as well as a promenade leading to the Loire belvedere.

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The most significant event in the life of the Langeais castle was the royal wedding of Charles VIII with Anne of Brittany, celebrated on December 6, 1491 at 7h. Early and in secret to avoid rambling of the Hapburgs! The young duchess was then only 14 years old.

The official Château de Langeaishttps://chateau-de-langeais.com/

The town of Langeais  on its heritage see right column: https://langeais.fr/fr/rb/432499/patrimoine-et-monuments

The Touraine Val de Loire tourist site on the Château de Langeaishttps://www.touraineloirevalley.com/patrimoine-culturel/chateau-et-parc-de-langeais-langeais/

Now let me give you our tour as we did it individually and it was a blast especially walking around the top head of the donjon tower!

First, we went in to the Salon des Boiseries Peintes or painted woods room with armories, and all decorated in wood even the walls! You go on to the Salon des Mille Fleurs or thousand flowers room, with tapistries in flower motifs from Flemish shops and more period furniture. Moving right along to the Salle de la Devise or emblems room, with souvenirs of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne such as her ermine. You entered the big Salle du Banquet or dining room with all arranged in the lordship showcase and a beautiful decorated chimney with 13 personages as well as more Flemish tapestries. Go to the Chambre de Parement,here as in the middle ages we sleep and we work; see the tapestry of the Crucifixion of Christ done by Van der Weyden. You entered the chambre de la Dame or ladies bedroom; as in the middle ages the lord sleeps on the first stage and the lady and children on the second. You see the lions of Luxembourg for the widow of the governor of Luxembourg! Then you have arrive at the Chambre des Enfants or children’s bedroom with items from children from the king and duchess and see the Flemish tapestry for reference on child bearing women of the times. You reach the Cabinet d’Art Sacré or sacre art room with paintings of Sainte Agnés, a relicary coffre and miracles of bees , the Jewish Easter etc. I was impressed by the sculpture statues of the 3 Saints of the Spanish school of the 16C showing Saint Bernardin de Siena, Sainte Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Louis of Anjou who refuse the throne of Naples to become a Franciscan monk,and was bishop of Toulouse! You, also, see a sculpture statue of the Virgin and the Child from 1480, and Sainte Anne in polychrome wood showing a book teaching to read her daughter Virgin Mary! As explained better above I reached the salle des preux or valiant room pics above but here in this room you see tapestries of Josué, David, Judas Maccabeo, Hector, Alexander the Great, Cesar, Arthur and the round table, Godefroy de Bouillon who took Jerusalem on the first crusade, and Charlemagne! Awesome room!!!You get to the salle de Luini or room of Luini dedicated to the Renaissance period with frescoes and tapestries, and furniture. The mariage of Charles VIII and Anne of Bretagne was told by image on the walls by Stéphane Bern ,really superbe showing each personage and their role in the wedding of 1491! And of course, leaving from the donjon top circular motion all the way down and out; really a must to see!!!

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There you go folks a wonderful entry into beautiful Château de Langeais! All about 3 hrs from our home which can be done in a day!! We got the hang of it and will be back for more castles which we love in natural setting with great food and wines of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you about it.

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

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July 20, 2021

Church St John the Baptist of Langeais!

And we went back to the valley of the kings and the wonderful castles of my belle France. We have been to them when even visiting France but has taken me many years to be back; this was as good as any time to do this. We first went to the Château de Villandry and then the Château de Langeais! Let’s continue the tour with several posts,and now let me get off castles to tell you about the unique Church St John the Baptiste of Langeais! Hope you enjoy it as we!

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The Church of Saint John the Baptist or Saint-Jean-Baptiste was built in the 11-12C, with the nave dates back to the 15C and the transept dates from the 19C.

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The site was consecrated from the 4C by Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours who founded a first church in Langeais. The trace has disappeared. In the 10C, Foulques Nerra built a second church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist at the same time as its keep. This church has undergone many transformations over the centuries such as its apse was modified in the 11C, then the bell tower in the 12C. What to see well there is a 15C baptismal font, 17C Burgundian terracotta virgin, 10C crypt, monumental cast-iron Stations of the Cross from the “Barbezot” workshops.

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The Church Saint John the Baptist consists of a single nave preceded by a bell tower, all from the 11-12C, and a choir with aisles ending in a main apse and two secondary apses from the same period. A transept was added in the second half of the 19C. On the north side, a 15C sacristy flanks the apsidiole and the aisle bay that precedes it. A small barrel vaulted crypt is located under the main apse.

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The city of Langeais on the churchhttps://langeais.fr/fr/rb/448970/eglise-saint-jean-baptiste

The Touraine Loire valley tourist board on the Langeais churchhttps://www.touraineloirevalley.com/patrimoine-culturel/eglise-saint-jean-baptiste-langeais/

The official Saint Martin de Tours on the routes of the Saint on the churchhttps://saint-martindetours.com/eglise-saint-jean-baptiste-langeais/

There you go folks a wonderful and beautiful Langeais and its Church Saint John the Baptist! All about 3 hrs from our home which can be done in a day!! We got the hang of it and will be back for more castles which we love in natural setting with great food and wines of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you about it.

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

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July 19, 2021

A visit to Langeais ,and its castle!!!

And we went back to the valley of the kings and the wonderful castles of my belle France. We have been to them when even visiting France but has taken me many years to be back; this was as good as any time to do this. We first went to the Château de Villandry and then the Château de Langeais! Let’s continue the tour with several posts,and now the a bit on Langeais town! Hope you enjoy it as we!

We had time from Villandry so after lunch we headed our way home passing by several castles and settled for Langeais as do not recall ever been here! lol! yes it happens in my belle France so many beautiful places!!! Here is a bit of my take on Langeais, say it first enjoy it more than Villandry ,well not into gardening.

The city of Langeais is located in the Indre-et-Loire department 37 , in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The town was re-born on January 1, 2017 under the administrative status of new town from the merger of the former town of Langeais and the town of Essards which then took the status of delegated town!

The first mentions of the old town are in the writings of Grégoire de Tours (Histoire des Francs, X) where Langeais, under the name of Alingavia, is cited as one of the first rural parishes founded in Touraine by St Martin de Tours in the last quarter of the 4C!

You can reach Langeais from the autoroute A10 highway, coming from Paris, take exit/sortie 20 Tours Sainte Radegonde, then direction Saumur. From the A10, coming from Bordeaux, near Tours, take the A85 highway, direction Angers-Saumur. From the A85 highway, coming from Tours or Saumur, take exit/sortie n ° 7 Langeais. We took along the D7 and D57 from Villandry. Langeais is located on the SNCF Tours-Nantes line stop Langeais station. There are bus 2 lines of the Touraine Fil Vert bus network serving Langeais. Line N2 round trip Langeais-Bourgueil (only operates during school periods).. And the TF line Chinon-Azay-le-Rideau-Langeais (operates all year round).

Let me tell you here about the pont suspendu as one of the things to see here well driving over it as we did!

A first suspension bridge, with a flexible deck, was built between 1846 and 1849. In 1846, King of the French Louis Philippe authorized the construction of a wire bridge – this is what the technique was called at the time. It was opened in 1849 but, after ten years … A summer storm … lightning fell on the bridge, it broke a column, the deck and the suspension system collapsed in the Loire. Two years to the day after the disaster, on July 21, 1861, the bridge was again open to passage and tolls. But, in 1870, France was at war with Prussia … the advance of the enemy had to be slowed down. And the French army blew it up, ignoring the opposition of the authorities and the local population. When peace returned, a third bridge was completed in 1874. It is more solid than the previous ones, with an independent suspension system. . At the same location, a new bridge, also suspended but with a more rigid deck, was built from 1935 and inaugurated in 1937. June 1940, WWII, the Nazis were heading south. They had to slow them down its progress! The French army blew up the bridge deck. It was not until 1949 after having used ferries and then a temporary footbridge for the bridge to cross the Loire river again. Since then, the bridge has been doing well. It is still today, apart from that of the A85 highway, the only 45 km crossing point over the Loire, between Tours and Port Boulet. More on the city of Langeais here: https://langeais.fr/en/rb/448541/pont-suspendu

Langeais

A bit of history I like

At the end of the 10C, Foulques Nerra conquered the site of Langeais, not far from Tours. A castle was then founded on the promontory, in order to defend the eastern limits of Anjou. All that remains of this set are the remains of the dungeon. In 1044, Langeais passed, with all of Touraine, into the hands of the Plantagenets, then into that of the kings of England, their heirs. It was in 1206 that Langeais entered the French royal domain, following the victories of Philippe Auguste over John landless.. From this period, the stronghold of Langeais was granted to various great lords close to royal power.

Very important for my new region of Bretagne is that here at the Château de Langeais that took place the wedding of Duchess Anne of Brittany and King Charles VIII of France secretly celebrated on December 6, 1491, the first step in the attachment of the Duchy of Brittany to the Kingdom of France. Eventually Brittany was annexed in 1532.

Some of the things to see here , my favorites of course are the Château de Langeais (see post), Pont Suspendu and Saint John the Baptist Church (see post), and the Maison des trois rois,(house of the 3 kings) at the foot of the Castle. One of the oldest houses in Langeais, undoubtedly built at the same time as the Château 15C. Close to the castle, three 16C houses, including the Rabelais house.

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We parked right by the halle or covered market which was easy minutes to the castle off rue Gambetta. Did I tell you we love markets? well our nose just found them easily and nice free parking!

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Some interesting literary gem on the Langeais castle with a title La Duchesse de Langeais or the Duchess of Langeais , a novel by Honoré de Balzac, first published in March 1834 under the title Ne touchez pas la hache or do not touch the ax.

The town of Langeais  on its heritage see right column: https://langeais.fr/fr/rb/432499/patrimoine-et-monuments

There you go folks a wonderful entry into beautiful Langeais. All about 3 hrs from our home which can be done in a day!! We got the hang of it and will be back for more castles which we love in natural setting with great food and wines of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you about it.

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

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July 19, 2021

St Stephens’ Church of Villandry!

And we went back to the valley of the kings and the wonderful castles of my belle France. We have been to them when even visiting France but has taken me many years to be back; this was as good as any time to do this. We first went to the Château de Villandry and then the Château de Langeais! Let’s continue the tour with several posts,and now the St Stephens’ Church of Villandry or St Etienne! Hope you enjoy it as we!

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As you can read the previous posts, we went for Villandry castle first ,but got in time for lunch and we had ours at the épicerie gourmande. However, just a bit up we saw the church and of course why not include it in this trip. A good idea indeed as the Church of St Etienne is worth the detour me think. Let me tell you a bit on it ok

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The Saint-Etienne Church is the church of Villandry and is dedicated to Saint Etienne (Saint Stephens), the first martyr. The first chapel called Saint Roch dates from the 5C , and was destroyed around 1844. It was built halfway up the hill, and more than 300 meters from the castle. It had a rectangular chapel measuring 9 by 18 meters was built in the 11C. At the end of the 12C, the transept and the choir were added. The original chapel then becomes the nave of the new church.

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In the 19C, Stéphanie Oudinot, wife of Baron Georges Tom Hainguerlot, then owner of the Château de Villandry, offered a tribune organ, the stained glass windows of the choir, the altars and two bells. A vast dome 6 meters in diameter is an architectural rarity in Touraine. A large Gothic window was built thanks to Jean le Breton (another Villandry castle owner and first) in 1532. A stained glass window was installed in 1543. It is in this same church that Joachim Carvallo was buried in 1936. He is the last owner and was a doctor and patron of Spanish origin, known for his restoration of the gardens and the Château de Villandry. The current owners of the castle are his descendents. To the right of the front gate, at the entrance, is a small platform, called an ambon, where public announcements were made in the Middle Ages.

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Not much is written on the church, the above is translated from the French wikipedia site. Here is more of the same from the town of Villandry on the churchhttps://www.villandry.fr/tourisme.html#patrimoine-de-villandry-leglise-saint-etienne

The Catholic parish of the Cher on its churches including in Villandryhttps://paroissenotredameducher.fr/les-eglises

There you go folks a wonderful and beautiful Villandry and its St Etienne Church! All about 3 hrs from our home which can be done in a day!! We got the hang of it and will be back for more castles which we love in natural setting with great food and wines of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you about it.

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

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