Posts tagged ‘France’

June 10, 2023

Again, the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix of Orléans !!!

Again, I found me some pictures not yet in my blog from this magnificent cathedral and feel deserves more, We have been here before several times and each time was great to be in the city.  The Cathédrale Sainte Croix d’Orléans or Holy Cross Cathedral,is located at  place Sainte-Croix, and is the cathedral of the diocese of Orleans; Gothic style with baroque ornamentation of which partly rebuilt in the 17C, it is dedicated to the Holy Cross (Sainte Croix)  (see posts).

orleans cat ste croix side sep21

I have written so much in my other two posts on it that really hard to tell more of it me think, Therefore, this post will be mostly a pictorial of the new pictures found in my vault,

One of the 5 largest Gothic cathedrals in France with 140 meters long, 53 meters wide with a spire culminating at 114 meters, Sainte-Croix was begun in 1287 and officially inaugurated on May 8, 1829.  on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the deliverance of Orléans by Joan of Arc. It has a long history: Joan of Arc prayed there, Henri IV launched its reconstruction in 1601, Louis XIV financed the transepts which pay homage to him by displaying his motto and his sun. The magnificently sculpted woodwork of the choir, the stained glass windows telling the story of Joan of Arc are among its treasures, as are the 11 richly endowed 13C chapels which form its chevet.

orleans cat ste croix chapelle St Aignan sep21

The two towers rise to 88 meters in height while the central spire rises to 114 meters. The great organ is a Cavaillé-Coll. It includes 4 manuals and 1 pedalboard for a total of 54 stops and over 3700 pipes. The five bells are located in the north tower. The stained glass windows are modern.

orleans cat ste croix chapelle ste theresa d'Avila sep21

The Sainte-Croix Cathedral is one of the rare churches, and perhaps the only one in the world, whose pillars do not carry a cross, which recalls the consecration of any church. Indeed tradition reports that Saint Euverte, bishop of Orleans in the 4C, had a vision while celebrating the rite of consecration: he saw the hand of God blessing the cathedral. He then stopped the celebration by saying: “this cathedral was blessed by the hand of God, it will not be blessed by the hand of man!”. The bedside keystone recalls this story.

orleans cat ste croix confessional benches sep21

orleans cat ste croix pulpit sep21

The official Cathédrale Ste Croix of Orléans:

The city of Orléans on the cathedral

There you folks, a beautiful must see Holy Cross Cathedral of Orleans! It represent well the history of France as it was written by the elders, get to know the soul of France a bit better coming here. There is no words and pictures are not enough, you need to see it in person. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 9, 2023

My curiosities of Crac’h and a bit of nostalgia of Grand Champ !!!

These are towns close to mine and of course passed by here ,visit many times, Plenty in my blog on them, but went by today to see something new ;always a find in my beautiful Morbihan. I went out to see some sites on the Heritage Foundation of France list on renovations and could not get on this one but did find out on something new to show in my blog, In continuing my road warrior trip went by anoter nostalgic spot and glad got me an update too, Let me tell you about my curiosities of Crac’h and a bit of nostalgia of Grand Champ !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

With its 57 hectares (about 141 acres) spread over 3 km of coastline, the Domaine du Plessis Kaër benefits from a breathtaking site with a plunging view of the Auray River. It is located by the site of Poulbenn in the town of Crac’h, in my beautiful Morbihan , lovely Bretagne, and belle France, I could not get close as this is under heavy renovation and a private property, One to check further later on with ok from the Heritage Foundation of France.

Crach domaine du Plessis Kaer entr private jun23

You will find many more magnificent spaces there such as a 15C castle, a manor entirely renovated, a forest, green moors, sea lanes, a farmhouse, former 19C stables, an orangery, a dovecote, a fountain and a washhouse. The history of the Domaine du Plessis Kaër begins in 1105, when the land of Kaër was established as a lordship with the right of justice over the parishes of Crac’h and Locmariaquer. The first buildings were built from the 12C, while the Château was built by François de Malestroit in the 15C. The castle was acquired in 1727 by Christophe-Paul de Robien, president of the Parliament of Brittany, famous collector and pioneer of archeology in Brittany, who contributed to its interior design by installing a study there. Of course, it was sold as national property in the French revolution.

In 1872, the Parisian engineer Jules Caillot bought the site to make it his second home. He undertook a profound overhaul of the castle on the basis of the old structures to adapt it to the comfort and taste of his time. The castle then underwent its last major renovation with the addition of a majestic neo-Gothic decor and the use of modern techniques and materials, such as the metal beams of the floors. The new rehabilitation project of the Château du Plessis Kaër, winner of the Mission Stéphane Bern 2022, is today in an alarming state of degradation and constitutes the priority for intervention on the entire estate. The restoration work is substantial given the current state of the castle ,End of work estimated for 2024,

I must say at the entrance to the above you have the Antiquité Brocante Décoration store On the site of a former tide mill of Poulbenn,in Crac’h, Very nice folks and worth the detour to check their wonderful items out, webpage :

You will pass the old tide mill located on the edge of the Etang de Poulbenn pond in Crac’h, this former tide mill was used to grind grain using the energy of the sea present in the Gulf of Morbihan. For this, the mills were built at the end of a dyke, thus creating a sea pond which filled during the rising tide. Then, it emptied through the mill during the ebb tide to activate the cogs and produce flour. Today, the mill is in ruins but you can still see its pond as well as the lock that blocked the water. A calm and clean natural site, ideal for family walks and picnics. Here you have the small river Reclus long of almost 5 km coming into the Etang de Poulbenn ,and later goes out into the Auray river, continues to the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Bay of Quiberon before joining finally the Atlantic Ocean !!!

Crach domaine du Plessis Kaer poulben sea jun23

The official Domaine du Plessis-Kaër :

While looking for another site that could not be seen at all, I stumbled passed the old baseball field of the Gregam Griffons (Gregam is Breton for Grand Champ , French), It was just behind the collége Saint Joseph (middle school) on the road D133, The City have build a wonderful sports complex Le Queneah Guen there and the baseball has since move with a representative office in the mayor’s office , and the playing field at the Route de Queneah Guen near the water tower. Have it as once I participated a bit on the training of the youngster little time make me leave but nice memories of always, And they are doing good.

Grand Champ old baseball field jun23

The official Gregam Griffons:

The city of Crac’h on its heritage/history:,5.html

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Crac’h

There you go folks, dandy little towns ,nice clean with lots of real living in deep beautiful Morbihan. Never a dull moment at home with so much to see and explore around me alone ! Again, hope you enjoy the post on my curiosities of Crac’h and a bit of nostalgia on Grand Champ as I.

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

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June 9, 2023

The Centre Spirituel de Penboc’h of Arradon !!

And again on my local road warrior mode in my beautiful Morbihan  and lovely Bretagne  of my belle France, I have written several posts on this wonderful coastal town of Arradon, and I stopped by it today again. This is a new sight as got info from the Heritage Foundation of France on renovations ongoing in my area, and it was a must to go, It is private propery but was lucky to be allowed in and took some wonderful pictures of the Centre Spirituel de Penboc’h of Arradon !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h entrance jun23

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h Virgin Mary and Child statue jun23

The Spiritual Center of Penboc’h is a Jesuit spiritual center, a place of meditation and prayer which welcomes for a few days people wishing to deepen their faith in the spirit of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. It is located in the place of Penboc’h part of the town of Arradon.

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h buildings jun23

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h to bay jun23

The origin of the site of Penboch was endow in the tradition of the colleges of the Society of Jesus,in 1854 ,by 1864, acquired the Penboch farm and undertook the construction of the neo-gothic St Joseph Chapel. These primitive plans were slightly modified so that the chapel was visible from the Gulf. The spire of the bell tower is surmounted by a statue of Saint Joseph carrying the Child Jesus, the work of Carado, a sculptor from Vannes. The beautiful stained glass windows come from the famous Carmel workshop in Le Mans. After its construction, the chapel, blessed on Saint Joseph’s Day in 1865, was to become a place of pilgrimage for sailors. It house twenty paintings of biblical scenes which have just been installed on the walls of the chapel.

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h chapel St Joseph side jun23
Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h chapel St Joseph altar jun23

Arradon Centre Spirituel de Penboc'h chapel St Joseph back inside jun23

The site of Penboc’h has been a Jesuit spiritual center since 1975. Apart from the Chapel of Saint Joseph, the typically Breton buildings had not been subject to substantial work for 150 years! To preserve the area of heritage interest, a restoration in the rules of the art and respect for the environment was essential. In close collaboration with the Architect of the Buildings of France, and the Heritage Foundation of France, the restoration of the facades, the frames and the roofs then the replacement of the door frames could be carried out. In addition, two elevators make all the buildings accessible to people with reduced mobility.

The Company of Jesus is a Catholic religious order, founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. It brings together nearly 17,000 Jesuits worldwide, including 4,650 in Europe and 530 within the Province of Francophone Western Europe (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Reunion Islands and Mauritius). Living in communities, they fulfill a wide variety of missions (educational, social, pastoral, etc.) by striving to integrate reflection, prayer and action. Their fifteen-year training aims to make them, following Christ, men of encounter and reconciliation. Since 1850, this site has been used to accommodate students from the Collège de Vannes. In 1854, the Jesuits acquired this land to make it the country house of the students of the College Saint François-Xavier de Vannes.(middle school). In France, the first centers created by the Company of Jesus, a religious Order of the Catholic Church, were created in the 1660s. Several “retirement homes” were to follow them in the 17-18C. Disappeared with the suppression of the Jesuit Order in 1762, Jesuit spiritual centers reappeared in France and Belgium in the second half of the 19C. Almost every Jesuit province has its spiritual center. In France and French-speaking Belgium (province of French-speaking Western Europe) there are five: Le Châtelard (Francheville/Lyon), Les Coteaux Païs (Toulouse), Manrèse (Clamart/Paris), Penboc’h (Arradon) and La Pairelle (Wépion/Namur).

The official Le Centre spirituel de Penboc’h:

The city of Arradon on its heritage

There you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful coastal Morbihan. This is nice Arradon, and a new find in the Centre Spirituel de Penboc’h, Arradon !! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

June 8, 2023

Curiosities of Auray !!! Part IV

Again, in my road warrior trips around my beautiful Morbihan, I had to visit one of my former admin homes that is now very close to my current home. I have many posts on Auray in my blog, and this one was just visiting again today, and new pictures that should be in my blog. Therefore, here is my take on the curiosities of Auray !!! Part IV Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Halles, a covered market selling all the goodies of the land and sea, It is located at the Place de la République, right next to the Hôtel de Ville where they are home to about twenty traders who offer fresh produce all year long. Open every day from 8h to 13h. This is really our favorite here.

Auray Halles covered market front jun23

Auray Halles covered market back NF jun23

The Photo studio Ronan Le Guernevel, 21 Pl de la République is still there !! My first photos taken locally back in 2011 was here as was recommended by our photo studio in Versailles who is a cousin !! small world indeed !!

Auray Ronan photo studio pl de la republique photo phox jun23

The Place de la République, formerly called “grand placître”, sometimes “place du Martray”, has been the economic and political center of Auray since the Middle Ages, This is the City hall spot and several restos we patronize over the years as well as the covered market and bakeries and well everything until we moved to Pluvigner !

Auray PL de la Republique jun23

The rue du Belzic is an old street that goes from the place de la République to the Place Aux Roues , The street is completely full of shops, restos, bars and trafic controlled with days only pedestrian, A wonderful little street to walk and see fantastic stuff. at no,1 rue du Belzic corner with place de la République see a house facade and roof from the 16C.

Auray rue du Belzic jun23

The rue du Lait is located in the city center of the pretty town of Auray, a busy shopping street, leads to the Saint-Gildas Church  This is an old favorite walking street in Auray and shopping in quant shops, we love it.

Auray rue du lait to cv jun23

The Athéna Cultural Center is a performance hall with theatre, music, dance, circus, young audiences etc. The Méliscènes Festival, organized every year in March, is dedicated to puppetry and object theatre. Cultural mediation actions, the edges of the stage, are organized throughout the season. I have used the convenient above ground parking here walks all over town.

Auray mediatheque athena front jun23

The rue du château was before proceeding with the sale of the ruins of the château, a rue Neuve created on September 6, 1560 on the northern moat. This road connects the main entrance of the castle (destroyed in 1558 by order of Henri II, and stones taken to the Belle Ïle sur Mer to build the Citadel) and the bridge of Saint-Goustan, In addition to a few half-timbered houses, the street is lined with beautiful residences using limestone, a noble material in vogue in the 17C and 18C, The houses built for the most part during the 17C. A half-timbered house bears the date 1608. Stone houses of 1640, 1643, and 1817 survived. Also, several artists shops are here and a very hilly street be prepare but worth the adventure !!!

Auray rue du Chateau to st goustan jun23

I always felled in love with this tower living quarter in a vast park by Venelle du Foresto street in the upper town overlooking Saint Goustan It belongs to a private house,and I see each time very picturesque me think.

Auray upper town tower house overlooking St Goustan jun23

The Rue Philippe-Vannier, known in the history of Auray as rue du Pavé, has long been a privileged axis to connect Saint-Goustan. Today, having become calmer, it was by mistake that rue du Pavé took the name of Philippe Vannier in 1924. The city council at the time thought he was born in Auray !! Volunteered in the Royal Navy at 16, he left for Cochinchina (southern Vietnam) and spent 36 years there, alongside King Gia Long, founder of the imperial Nguyen dynasty which reigned until 1945 , It was Gia Long who appointed him captain, then first class mandarin in reward for his services which helped to establish his power. Louis XVIII awarded him the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1819. François Vannier returned to France in 1825 and died on June 6, 1842 in Lorient, at the age of 80. He is buried in the Carmel cemetery.

Auray Rue Philippe Vannier lavoir jun23

The Place Joffre is one of our favorite parking spots. There is still one grocery store there founded in 1949, its current owners, behind their counter for 35 years, witness the changes in Place Joffre, which has become peaceful A quant spot in Auray, and still the closest office for the social security administration or CPAM du Morbihan which we used for our personal needs as well as the nice grocery store for fruits and veggies !

Auray Pl Joffre parking jun23

At the Place Notre-Dame, nice small parking spot we like and the spot of the markets day and night time. It is right in front of the Church Saint Gildas and easy walking all over town, we have used the parking many times and shop in its markets.

Auray pl Notre Dame parking jun23

And last but not least as the saying goes, the La Poste or post office of Auray main building is at 31 Avenue Président Wilson, The Wilson Avenue post office belonged to someone who was a city councillor. It was only in the 1930s that this building had the vocation that we know today, It is my alternative post office if in my town is closed for been a smaller town.

Auray post office main jun23

The city of Auray on its heritage:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks, a dandy spot often overlook in the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Morbihan and historical AurayAgain , hope you enjoy this post on the curiosities of Auray as I

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

June 8, 2023

Curiosities of Auray !!! Part III

Again, in my road warrior trips around my beautiful Morbihan, I had to visit one of my former admin homes that is now very close to my current home. I have many posts on Auray in my blog, and this one was just visiting again today, and new pictures that should be in my blog. Therefore, here is my take on the curiosities of Auray !!! Part III Hope you enjoy it as I

The Chapelle Saint Esprit was one of the most important chapel in the commanderies of the order of Saint Esprit, the members defended and protected the poor, orphans and the sick. It was first built here by the Duke Jean II (John) of Brittany , The Chapel lost its religious vocation in 1790 during the French revolution (as usual). It served as safe heaven for the population during WWII , later housed School children, firefigthers, and local associations. Today, it still holds cultural events and plays of many diverse nature. The chapel found its original aspect after the renovation in 1994. It houses today each year a exposition of comptemporary arts. Also, the place for the Christmas market. Wonderful place indeed especially at Christmas.

Auray chapelle st Esprit front jun23

Right across from the Chapel was from 1794 it served as a military outpost, the famous Caserne Dugueslin barracks where from 1831 welcome soldiers until the 20C. HQ 2nd Battalion 4th Regiment of air infantery from Loir et Cher, The 4th Regiment were volunteers numbering about 1070 who fought the Nazis in the pocket of Lorient during WWII ,and participated with the 19th division of infantery of Brittany in the liberation of the south of Brittany, On the first floor (2nd fl US), on December 19 1944 was killed by an errant soldier the coronel Henri Valin de la Vaissiére , regiment commander and Charles Verrier 2nd Battalion chief

Auray caserne Duguesclin front by st esprit jun23

The Chapelle du pére Eternel, given to Franciscan friars in the 17C to established a school for girls today its richly preserved. The Franciscans order arrived in town, then the Cordeliers, and finally the Sisters of the Charity of St Louis in 1807, you can visit it from July 7 to September 3rd for free.

Auray chapelle du pere eternel side jun23

The former chapelle  de la Congregation ,  The full name is Chapel of the Brothers of the Congregation of Men of the Immaculate Conception . It’s dated from 1672. Only the front is original. Pious craftsmen gathered there to pray to the Virgin. Before going out, observe the tribune and its central panel. You will see the Rapture of Saint Paul , a work performed around 1672-1678 by Antoine de Bray a Parisian decorator who adorned several halls of the parliament of Brittany in Rennes. It was restored in 1890, Today it welcomes the tourist office, at 20 rue du Lait.

Auray chapelle de la congregation tourist office jun23

The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall was completed in 1782, On its pediment the town’s coat of arms features the Duke’s ermine and the three Royal lilies . facade on the square, roof and belfry 18C , Located at the Place de la République. This was the first mayor’s office I was service to renewed my French passport and my French identity card in the Morbihan breton 56 !!!

Auray hotel de ville front jun23

Auray hotel de ville back jun23

Overlooking the port, the foothills of the former castle of Auray (see post)  offers a beautiful point of view, Suggested in your visit, taking the Ramps du Loch which overlooks the river, built on the foothills of the old castle of Auray, this pedestrian path offers a very beautiful view of the port of Saint Goustan and allows you to descend there by passing by a belvedere, made up of stepped square courtyards, erected in 1727 on the remains of the fortified castle of which some ruins can still be seen ,See beyond the Auray river flowing into the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually the Atlantic Ocean, Sublime !

Auray upper town to St Goustan and gulf jun23

The city of Auray on its heritage:

he local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks, a dandy spot often overlook in the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Morbihan and historical Auray. Again , hope you enjoy this post on the curiosities of Auray as I

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

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June 7, 2023

One more time by the Church Saint Gildas of Auray !!!

This is a must each time and town and one of its must visit monuments, , The main church of Auray is a historical and architecturally stunning Church of Saint Gildas ! I was again by the upper town so new pictures and need to be in my blog, Therefore, hope you enjoy the post one more time by the Church Saint Gildas of Auray !!! as I

Auray ch Saint Gildas belltower main entr jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas from Pl Notre Dame jun23

As have several posts on it will concentrate on showing the new pictures and condence text hoping not to repeat, The  magnificent Church of Saint Gildas, is worth the extra post as this is a wonderful smallish church really but beautifully maintained and very active in town.  In the 12C, the Duchess of Brittany Constance donated to the abbey of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys (see post) land she owned in Auray. The monks set up a priory there, the chapel of which gradually became the parish church of the town. In a state of advanced dilapidation, the church was razed in 1620 to be replaced by the current church, completed in 1663.

Auray ch Saint Gildas altar jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas nave to altar jun23

The Church of Saint Gildas houses a Laval stone and marble altarpiece from 1664, a 19C organ and baptismal font with carved canopy. From the 18C, it retains woodwork in the side chapels, and an elegant organ case. In the 20C, more precisely in the 1930s, the large windows of the transepts received stained glass windows evoking the life of Saint GildasThe 19C was a source of renewal for the church. The baptismal font, confessionals and side altars date from this period.

Auray ch Saint Gildas St gildas history statue jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas priere Sainte Anne jun23

It also has a resurrection tomb of Christ that was completely renovated and shown proudly upon entering the church on the left aisle.  It dates from the beginning of the 16C. Due to its age and polychromy, it is unique in Brittany. It was originally surrounded by human-sized characters. The whole thing certainly represented the descent from the Cross. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.  It has a set of nine windows on the life of Saint Gildas done from 1812 to 1874.  The bell tower of the three-story square tower, however, was not completed until 1701. It dominates the whole town and will serve as a model for the region. Work on the bell tower of the Church of Saint-Gildas will begin in December 2023 for twelve months. The church will continue to be open.

Auray ch Saint Gildas mise au tombeau Christ jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas Ste Therese de Lisieux jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas chapel altar Sainte Marie jun23

From 1701 ,the Church of Saint Gildas owned a small organ of which no trace has been preserved. This instrument was dismantled in 1760 and transferred to a chapel which no longer exists. The new organ dates from 1761. In 1795, it would seem that the organ was damaged by prisoners locked up in the church… In 1833, lightning struck the church ,and damaged the organ.  In 1860, the instrument was rebuilt in the German romantic style by organ builder Carl Ewald Julius Heyer (known as Jules Heyer). This postman, originally from the Breslau region in Poland, had come to Quimper since 1847 where he first worked for Cavaille-Coll, and then set up on his own. In 1946, the organ was restored in the Parisian workshops of the Pleyel/Cavaille-Coll house in a more neo-classical style.  In 1979, the Beuchet/Debierre house in Nantes carried out a restoration, and the sideboard has regained its original color. 

Auray ch Saint Gildas organ back jun23 

The city of Auray on its heritage:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks ,like I said a smallish church, but very nicely maintained, said beautiful. A must to visit while in the area and worth the detour. Again, hope you have enjoy my new post on the Church of Saint Gildas of Auray !!as I

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

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June 7, 2023

The Musée des Confréries Européennes of Montrichard !

I was on my road warrior mode and came to see the wonderful town of Montrichard  located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle France. Since 2016 after the mergers of Montrichard and Bourré it became Montrichard Val de Cher. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , and only about 389 km ( about 241 miles) from my house, The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I came here after a long car trip and from Amboise on the road D61/115.

There is something unique here that feel deserve a post of its own, Therefore, here is my take on the Musée des Confréries Européennes at the bottom of the rock dungeon by 4 Rue Porte au Roi , this Museum of European Brotherhoods, Better call the tourist office ahead to make sure its open. Hope you enjoy it as I.

As said at the foot of the monumental staircase ,. 400 statuettes about 60 cm high and all bearing the image of the famous brotherhoods statuettes of more than 700 European brotherhoods, but not only that, you will also find documents and objects there. The of Musuem of European Brotherhoods is to make known, to promote with all the brotherhoods, those existing and to come, both on the French and European level, to defend, promote, animate and make recognize the museum of European brotherhoods. Finally, there from the efforts of one man. 

Montrichard mus des confreries européens 4 Rue Prte au Roi jan22

Exceptional medieval site in the heart of the Renaissance castle, discover the Donjon de Montrichard built on a natural rocky outcrop which dominates the town and offers an exceptional view of the Cher valley. Its majestic Tour Carrée, built in the 12C was built to watch over the valley. In the 15C, at the foot of the keep, King Louis XI had very large royal dwellings built overlooking the Sainte Croix Church, which was then the castle chapel.

The Montrichard Val de Cher tourist office on the donjon and its museums :

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Again, hope you enjoy the Musée des Confréries Européennes  in Montrichard Val de Cher as I.

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

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June 7, 2023

The Hôtel and Chapel of Effiat in Montrichard !!

The town of Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle FranceMontrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115.

My road warrior tours took me here even if was not intended glad to stop by ! I went into Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France I will like to show you this time this beautiful mansion/chapel in City center Montrichard Val de Cher !! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Hôtel d’Effiat at place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, built by Jean de Beaune for the Gothic part, and by his son, Guillaume de Beaune for the Renaissance part. The story goes that at the beginning of the 16C, Jacques de Beaune , superintendent and governor general of royal finances, became lord of Montrichard and baron of Semblançay. The castle having become uninhabitable, he had the “Grand Maison” built to the west of the castle, between rue Porte aux Rois and the current rue Carnot. During the reign of Louis XIV, Martin de Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, inherited the Montrichard estate, then in 1677 gave it to his eldest son Antoine, first squire to the Duke of Orléans. The Marquis d’Effiat bequeathed the “Grande Maison” to the city in a will of 1714 to set up a hospice there. It was a hospital-hospice from 1727 to 1977. During the 19C, the current chapel and the rooms that extend it replaced the rampart on the edge of the mail soudée currently boulevard Philippe-Auguste. In 1978, the former hospice took the name of Hôtel d’Effiat and became a socio-cultural centre. The hotel was restored in 2007.


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat right side jan22

The wonderful Chapelle d’Effiat is the church of the Hôtel d’Effiat at 8 Rue Porte au Roi. The chapel is located on the foundations of the city walls on the base of a building that housed packs and horses maintained for hunting. It is accessed by rue Porte aux Rois. Held by a mother superior and sisters of the order of Saint Paul de Chartres, the local hospital operated until 1977. Inside are the arms of the Le Normand de Champhlé family had donated 10,000 books of the 17C for the operation of the hospital usually financed by the sale of wood. There is a letter from King Louis XIV on maintaining a hospital in Montrichard.


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat altar jan22


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat back inside jan22

The parish churches of Montrichard:

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on the hôtel d’Effiat:

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its history :

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichard :

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Again, hope you enjoy the Hôtel d’Effiat and Chapel in Montrichard Val de Cher as I.

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

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June 6, 2023

The Blois-Chambord train station !

I will be telling you about a train station odd, but indeed I have been to a few if only ridden in fewer. We were visiting Blois, (see posts) and staying at a hotel nearby and decided to walked by it. The idea is that you can go from Paris to Blois by train same day! Therefore, here is my take on the Gare de Blois-Chambord ! Hope you enjoy the post as I

The Blois – Chambord train station is on the Paris-Austerlitz line to Bordeaux-Saint-Jean, located in Blois, about 20 km from Chambord, in the department of Loir-et-Cher, dept 41 in the region Centre-Val de Loire, and in my belle France. Until December 14, 2013, it bore the name of Gare de Blois train station. The new station was built slightly downstream from the old line of 1846. The works lasted from 1890 to 1893 and the new station then cut the avenue de l’Embarcadère (now avenue du Docteur-Jean-Laigret).  On June 12, 2015 a footbridge over the tracks was inaugurated in order to allow users to cross conveniently to the train station and access to passenger platforms. The train station is about 5 min walking from City center.

This Gare Blois-Chambord train station, has a passenger building, with counters, open every day. It is equipped with automatic machines for the purchase of tickets. The two main tracks (1 and 2) of the line from Paris to Bordeaux are bordered by platforms. To these are added two other platform tracks, one of which is bordered by two platforms (tracks 3 and 4). An underground passage connects platforms 1 and 2. The third platform (for tracks 3 and 4) is connected to platform 2 by a underground passage. The platform tracks are partially covered by a steel roof.  They offer service of the regional trains from the TER Center-Val de Loire network. The offer of the latter consists of omnibus or almost omnibus missions to Orléans and Tours, semi-direct missions between Orléans and Tours, semi-direct missions circulating between Paris-Austerlitz and Tours, and the Interloire between Orléans and Nantes, Saint-Nazaire or Le Croisic. So is not a train station of great use due to this connections and bus service instead of trains. On the line connecting the towns of Orléans and Le Croisic, the train station is located between the Beaugency and Amboise stops. From there, travelers can, for example, reach St-Pierre-des-Corps (just outside of Tours)  in less than forty minutes or Langeais in barely an hour and a half, according to train timetables.


The Blois train station is five minutes from the Medici roundabout, and the Royal Castle, the Gare district extends the project of Carré Saint-Vincent and the ACVL to form, as far as the Vienne river, the backbone of the urban development underway in the heart of the city.   In addition to the Ducoux block, the first stage of the project was the design and installation of the footbridge and its rotunda the forecourt of the station, which will be completely redesigned to offer a beautiful space open to the new district, of which it will be the heart. The flow of cars will be limited in front of the station, in order to give back their place to people on foot and by bicycle, with clearer routes. Drop-offs and a car park managed by Effia with 200 spaces are also planned. Finally, the station being a privileged interface between urban and interurban coach lines, a real bus station will be created making the square an intermodal exchange hub (railways, bus station, public transport, etc. taxis and bikes traffic). The temporary car park on the station side will soon be shifted by a few meters to the space freed up by the SNCF on rue Germaine-Tillion. As of April 11, 2023, the Halou car park, located on the west side under the footbridge, will be closed to allow the SNCF to carry out, by the summer, access work to the tracks for people with reduced mobility. Then and until the end of 2024, the car park will be used for the construction site of the Insa gymnasium, The temporary car park on the forecourt side will be made free until August 4, 2023. The cycle lane, the staircase and the elevator of the rotunda are therefore inaccessible. However, the footbridge remains open and connects rue Alfred-Halou to the platforms of the railway tracks, and vice versa. People who used the rotunda and then the footbridge to connect the West and East of the station are invited to take Avenue Gambetta during the works. Finally, the station being a privileged interface between the lines of urban and interurban coaches, a real bus station has been created, making the forecourt an intermodal hub (railways, bus station, public transport, taxis and soft traffic ).

All of the above in continues work so check ahead for eventualities if coming by train to Blois, The City of Blois has updated info here :

The Gare de Blois district, located in the heart of the city, is one of the major gateways to Blois. In the time of the Kings, long paths crossed this meadow which linked the castle to the forest of Blois. After the industrial revolution and the arrival of the railway in 1846, a district was structured around new axes, leading in particular to the opening of Avenue Gambetta. Soon, the Poulain chocolate factory took advantage of a space that was still little used to model the district in its image, then named La Villette. Since the departure of the factory in the 1980s, the people of Blois have taken over the station as a reference for the name of the district.

The SNCF Gare et Connexions on the Blois Chambord train station:

The TER Centre Val de Loire on the Blois Chambord train station

There you go folks, a pretty train station or gare de Blois Chambord, really!  we parked just in front in square Pasteur and corner of avenue du Docteur-Jean-Laigret for free! Always nice to visit Blois even if we have come by car, the train station is quant pretty nice should be worth the trip. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 6, 2023

Let’s bring back my memories of Fontainebleau !!!

I like to have memories and nowdays even more. I remember Fontainebleau castle as it was the property in Seine et Marne dept 77 that my late wife Martine, took me first to show me her department/region back in 1990. We have come here ever since,and it is one of my favorite castles been friend of the association that helps protect its heritage since 2004. Their office is on your left once entering the main entrance to the castle.  It is always a memorable castle and always will be , Let me update this older post on my black and white series, no pictures, and tell you about my memories of Fontainebleau, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

To speak a bit more on this wonderful castle will take me a whole blog ,even if many posts already in my blog, I will use this post for some general info or introduction and some personal anecdotes, The castle or Château de Fontainebleau is the City of the same name ,really;sitting in the department 77 or Seine-et-Marne, part of the region of Île de France, of my belle France, It is only about 57 km (about 35 miles) from Paris, 83 km (about 52 miles) from my nostalgic Meaux. It is the most extensive city of the region and mostly covered by a forest; the city itself not counting the castle is 232 hectares or about 573 acres. The Seine river passes by it as well as the smaller river and tributary of the Seine , the Ru de la Mare aux Evées (actually a stream of water).

Some of the main streets in town are the rue Grande long of almost 3 km and the most the visitor will like to walk on. Others are the Place Solférino, Place Denecourt opening to the grill door of the garden or Jardin de Diane, the famous Place d’Armes , Place François Ier, place de l’Hôtel de Ville, place de l’Etape aux vins and the Place de la République.  There is a train station in the nearby town of Avon , attach to Fontainebleau and get you to the castle by local bus or taxi easily.  Gare de Fontainebleau-Avon on the line Paris gare de Lyon trains R direction Montargis/Sens;but never use it always there by car, You can take a taxi outside the station to the castle or pre booked better on Radio-Taxi Fontainebleau Avon or Taxi Fontainebleau Avon,

By the road ,which how I always go there from Paris you take the A6 at porte d’Orléans or Porte d’Italie and get off at exit for Fontainebleau. Rather than drive around for a parking spot, I have become used to park at the same parking each time and never a problem.  Parking Château on Rue Ferrare just on the other side of the main entrance to the castle ,next street over; open 7/7 24hrs and free on evenings from 19h to 9h every day; daytime is a modest price where I never paid more than 5 euros.

Another route I take from family and could be useful for those coming from Disneyland is to get on the A4 direction Paris and get off at exit/sortie 15 on the N36 direction Melun and there take the D606 direction Fontainebleau right into the rue Grande or from the D606 right after Melun get on the D142 by the carrefour du roi traffic circle follow it thru the forest and entered once past another traffic circle or La Croix du Grand Veneur you will be on the D607 straight into Fontainebleau by the Rue de France; take a left on rue Denecourt and then a right to parking at Rue Ferrare.

An anecdote which I like to tell is that upon meeting my then girlfriend Martine in September 1990, she was eager to take me on her VW Golf to visit the castle as she drove, Well the recollection of the roads escapes me now but the bottom line was, she got lost !!! Not to much driven as she took the trains to go to work and the car to see her older brother in the Nord (59) dept, So I say let me see the map (no gps!) and which town we are in now, She told me, took the map got myself the route and hit it right on Fontainebleau !! I joke then that me the rookie road warrior in France show her how to drive lol ! Of course, she was grumpy about it and I let it cool off, Years later it was one of our funny moments,I am still the road warrior in France !!

The main things to see here are the Fontainebleau castle, and its Napoléon and Chinese museums inside as well as the gardens and the forest of Fontainebleau.  Others are the cimetery and the Saint Louis Church dated from the 17C and restored and enlarged in 1868(had a recent fire inside but currently been restored) . Other mainly horse related event are the CSEM or military equestrian sports center, and the Grand parquet on the field of Salamandre, that hold trainers and breeders of horses , the racecours of Fontainebleau at La Solle, and history tell us that at Bois-le-Roi a small village close to Fontainbleau  was held in 1776, the first English style racehorse at the hamlet of Sermaise. There is also, a nice theater or théatre Municipale built from 1905 in the louis XIII style in brick and stone, the theater opened in 1912. It was closed during WWI and again for restoration from 1999 to 2006.

Some of the mansions or architecturally interesting in my opinion here are: The Hôtel de Bellune at 4 rue Saint Honoré, Hôtel de Polignac at 23 rue Saint Honoré, Hôtel de Conti at 27 rue Saint Honoré , Hôtel de Pompadour, at the small street rue de l’Arbr-Sec this was built for the mistress of king Louis XV,it had a small botanical garden and a petting zoo.  There is an obelisk at the crossing or carrefour de l’Obélisque built in 1786 in honor of queen Marie Antoinette and her children. The curious will go to the forest and see the Priory Notre Dame de Franchard dating from early 411 and rebuilt in 1626 now run by the order of the Trinitarians following the rule of Saint Augustin. 

A bit of history I like.

This spot was a hamlet and a stop for hunters and a chapel built by king Louis VII. Later Saint Louis (king Louis IX) who loves Fontainebleau  had built a mansion and a hospital here . Nevertheless, Fontainebleau was nothing than a hamlet until 1528 when king François Ier returning to France after spending a year in prison in Spain after the defeat at Pavia in 1525 had decided to built a castle inspired by the Italians styles. In the 17C, many mansions were built here office tourism says about 30 to house the princes and the lords of the court (one was the Ferrare palace now only the front door arch remains and is the entrance to the parking I used and mentioned above). It had great parties especially by the Madame sister in law of the king, the Princess Palatine. In 1685, king Louis XIV signed the edit of Fontainebleau that cancelled the edit of Nantes that cause many protestants (hugeunots) to leave France. In 1725, king Louix XV marries here. The French revolution did not cause too much damage here due to the richness of the inhabitants. The empire of Napoléon Ier came to the castle and had it renovated as well as many mansions some turned into hotels like the current luxury  Aigle Noir.

On October 29 1807, Manuel Godoy the minister of the Spanish king Carlos IV and Napoléon Ier signed the treaty of Fontainebleau allowing French troops to passed by Spain to invade Portugal; they decided to stay in Spain too lol. By June 1812, the Pope Pie VII arrived at Fontainebleau and stayed as house prison from that date to 1814 without leaving his apartment. On April 20 1814, Napoléon Ier shortly after his first abdication says farewell to his troops from the courtyard of the Cheval Blanc (later courtyard of goodbye or cour des adieux). In all , there were 34 monarchs from Louis VI le Fat to Napoléon III who stayed at Fontainebleau during 7 centuries. From the 16C to the 18C all the kings from François Ier to Louis XV had done renovations, demolitions, enlargements, rebuilts more or less homogeneous to the architecture of the castle. In August 1946, Fontainebleau held the Franco-Vietnamien conference to find a solution to the conflict in Indochina and was a failure as later history can attest. The military tradition of the city kept it for a long time link to the army barracks such as the headquarters of the allied armies of Central Europe or AFCENT, the land forces LANDCENT, and the air forces AIRCENT of NATO  from 1949 to 1967(when France pull out of NATO ) Today the city host a grand école a famous business school wiht international recognition such as INSEAD.

The official Château de Fontainebleau

The Friends of Fontainebleau castle ,if you want to help preserve this wonder of our world.

The national forest of France on Fontainebleau :

The city of Fontainebleau on its heritage :

The Fountainebleau tourist office on the castle

The Seine et Marne dept 77 Tourist office on the Fontainebleau castle :

The Île de France Tourist office on Fontainebleau:

There you go folks, I believe you have a full spectrum of choices in this wonderful castle City of many memories in my family ,and I hope if you do come will bring you many memories to you and yours too. Again, hope you enjoy this post on Fontainebleau as I

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

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