Posts tagged ‘France’

April 12, 2021

Villa Torlonia in Rome!

This was another wonderful find off the beaten path in Rome! Yes we were renting not far from it and on our walks we stumbled into it and glad we did. Let me update for you and me my post on the Villa Torlonia in Rome!

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Once in a while it is good to go off the beaten path and find new things to see and do while visiting. I went to Italy several times on a regular basis repeating the same sites . However, once with the family we decided to explore. We set out in an apartment away from tourist central Rome and went out on long walks all over.  These long walks led us to a wonderful place with no tourists but local Roman families.  Let me tell you a bit about the Villa Torlonia in Rome!

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Villa Torlonia is an old villa of the Torlonia family built in the early 19C. It is located in the Nomentana district of Rome (where we stayed )  and has become in 1978 a municipal park which houses three small museums: the Museum of the villa in the Casino Nobile, the Museum of the Casina delle Civet, and the Casino dei Principi.

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A bit of history I like

We went there walking from our apartment and walk we did, until we found this beautitful Villa Torlonia by chance. Located on the street , Via Nomentana, the land was owned by the Pamphilii who used it as farmland in the 17C. Purchased by the Colonna family, the land retained their agricultural vocation until their purchased  in 1797 by the Torlonia family. The Villa Torlonia was built from 1806 for the banker Giovanni Torlonia.  He ordered built an imposing villa in the neoclassical style, surrounded by an English garden. It was completed by Alessandro Torlonia, who notably arranged the gardens in the southern part, built in the area of Capanna Svizzera la Casina delle civet (1840) and built two obelisks (an Egyptian and an honor of his parents in 1842.

From 1920, it was rented for a symbolic gesture to the Torlonia family by Benito Mussolini, who made it his state residence until 1943.  In June 1944, the property was all occupied by the Allied High Command which remains there until 1947. There was  a shelter against aerial bombardment, which allowed to discover a 3C Hebrew cemetery with many acropolis in the under-holding catacombs. After the war, the villa was abandoned until the restructuring project started in 1978. The villa was acquired by the municipality of Rome which transformed it into a public park and its buildings in museums.

These are the Casino Nobile or main casino, imposing building of Villa Torlonia. The Casina delle Civet (built in 1840, rebuilt in 1908-1916 , restored entirely from 1992 to 1997 following a fire in 1991), which houses a museum of stained glass.  The Casino dei Principi ( Princes Casino), neoclassical construction of 1840 which houses temporary exhibitions.

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There is a theater (Teatro Torlonia) of the people, as a Temple of Saturn, hellénic style (1838) with its columns and triangular pediment representing Saturn , and the Moorish greenhouse as well as the false ruins ( False Ruderi), and the Fountains Gallery. The park gardens has over 13 Hectares, with several small artificial lakes. Jewish catacombs dating from the 2C/3C have been discovered in the field in 1918.

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All for a wonderful family day in antique Rome. La Dolce Vita at its best indeed.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and all worth it are:

The museums in Villa Torloniahttp://www.museivillatorlonia.it/en

The Rome tourist office on the museum of Villa Torloniahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/musei-di-villa-torlonia

The Rome tourist office on the museum Casina delle Civette of Villa Torlonia: https://www.turismoroma.it/it/luoghi/musei-di-villa-torlonia-casina-delle-civette

The Rome tourist office on the museum Casino Nobilie of Villa Torloniahttps://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/musei-di-villa-torlonia-casino-nobile

There you do come over its really a nice place with lots to see for the day if includes visiting the museums. The area is very residential and lots of local Roman families in the park. A spot to spend a day at Villa Torlonia in Rome!!

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

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April 12, 2021

Villa Paganini in Rome!

And came across this old post from one of our family trips to Rome. It brings back lots of memories and some time passed I need to update for you and me! Let me tell you about the Villa Paganini in Rome!

Going on my usual walks in any city and why not in nice Rome, we stumbled upon a nice park and curious as ever we took a peek. It was again another find away from the tourist hordes of Roma, and been with normal Italian families enjoying a day in the park, but not just any park.  This is Villa Paganini at official address Vicolo della Fontana 38 on the lake or Largo di Villa Paganini . It is across from Villa Torlonia ,( see post). This is a small street off the main Via Nomentana, and the neighborhood where we rented our apartment away from the crowded center. It is nice to walk amongst history as I like it, and something genuinely local, now that’s Italian.

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A bit of history I like

The present little public park was arranged in the 1930’s, as what remains of the ancient Villa of the mighty Cardinal Alberoni, who bought it in 1721 and ordered built a richly decorated mansion in the middle of the park. Few traces of the original accommodation and some furnishings. is located in front of the Villa Torlonia in whose entrance is placed the monument to the fallen.

The visitors can stroll along the avenues shaded by tall pines and stand on the shores of a pond crossed by a bridge fed by the water descending from an artificial grotto rustic style. In the park there are also two monumental fountains and a historic fountain , which has been dedicated an inland route. Among the valuable plants present in the park is worth remembering an American Sequoia tree  and some yew plants and Caki. It is indeed an oasis in Rome and worth the trip especially if with small children but my mine were teens and like it too.

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The origins of the Villa are linked to Cardinal Mariano Pierbenedetti da Camerino, who bought the vineyard in 1585 to transform it into a prestigious residence. Of this period remains as the only testimony the marble fountain today located at the corner of Via Nomentana and Via de la Fontana. In 1722 the estate was purchased by Cardinal Giulio Alberoni who undertook important work in the arrangement of the buildings and the garden of which remains visible today only the wall fountain leaning against the small building adjacent to the Casino Nobile. The park then passed into the hands of numerous other owners who transformed the Villa and the park according to the 19C romantic taste with sinuous and irregular road paths, a rustic pond and several fountains. When in 1890 the property was bought by Senator Paganini, all the vast countryside surrounding the Casino Nobile, cultivated in the vineyard and reed beds, was gradually disappeared under the pressure of the growing building expansion, and the park was divided and fractionated in numerous cottages. In 1934 the municipality of Rome bought the complex for public use, using the Casino Nobile as a Montessori school. The Villa was opened to the public on April 21, 1934 in the presence of dictator Benito Mussolini. In 1938, on the side of Via Nomentana, was placed the monument to the fallen of WWI. In the years 1950’s, in an internal portion of the park, a series of prefabricated houses were built that house schools and service rooms.

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Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

More from the city of Rome  culture in Italian: http://www.sovraintendenzaroma.it/i_luoghi/ville_e_parchi_storici/ville_dei_nobili/villa_alberoni_paganini

The city of Rome, Region of Lazio on Villa Paganini in Italian: https://www.comune.roma.it/web/it/scheda-servizi.page?contentId=INF75635

There are beautiful restaurant Villa Paganini which we did not go in as we were just walking around on a two weeks vacation to Rome with the family. Also, there a very nice B&B lodging features prominently in all the major bookings sites, we of course had our own full apartment. However, it looks very nice for a family to be here, the area is superb. As well as access to the villa .

For references, the villa B&B and restaurant webpages are (check for updates as with the times….)

https://www.villapaganinibb.it/home-eng

http://www.ristorantevillapaganini.it/en/

There you go, another dandy in old but dandy Roma, and the pretty Villa Paganini. Hope you have enjoy the post as I and we are looking forward to be back when possible.

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

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April 12, 2021

Church Notre-Dame-des-Champs of Paris!

This is again another dandy monument in my eternal Paris. I have done quite a bit of walking in Paris, and public transports and by car and always amazes me of the wonderful monuments that not only are known but also unknown to most. This is another beauty in the Church Notre Dame des Champs of Paris; hope you enjoy it as I

Going along in my updates of beautiful monuments of  Paris, and seeing its many monument will do wonders to your senses. Walking is like stepping into an outdoor museum , all beautiful. Some of the things we see sometimes does not bring the couriosity in us, after all so many to choose from indeed. However, once we decided to go in, we see why Paris is call the most beautiful city in the world, inside and outside! I worked here,not far, and do come by Montparnasse in the last few years quite often, almost once a month or more.  The monument is a Church ,but there is more to a Church in France than religion, many things in history do happened in them.

The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs , located at 91, boulevard du Montparnasse, in the 6éme district of Paris (out of 20 in Paris).  It gives its name to the Notre-Dame-des-Champs neighborhood, in the southern part of which the church is located, and which is the 23rd neighborhood of Paris (out of 80 in Paris). The church is bordered on one side by the square Ozanam, opposite lies the restaurant La Coupole.

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A bit of history I like

The remnants of a Roman temple dedicated to the cult of the God Mercury have been found some distance from the present church. After the conversion of the Parisian region to Christianity, the temple was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was baptized Notre-Dame-des-Vignes,(vineyards) the place being surrounded by vineyards. Thereafter, King Robert the Pious enlarged Notre-Dame-des-Vignes to honor the place where Saint-Denis would have celebrated the Holy Mysteries. The tradition reports that, arriving at Lutècia, had first settled in this place. The Benedictines of Marmoutier Abbey soon transformed the Church into a priory; they tore out the surrounding vines and renamed the Church “Notre-Dame-des-Champs”. This sanctuary, a crypt in the basements of the building at 14bis Rue Pierre-Nicole became a place of pilgrimage to which you could go in by the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, which bypassed the paddock of the monks from the south. In 1604, the Benedictines ceded Notre-Dame-des-Champs to the Duchess of Orléans-Longueville, who installed Carmelite nuns from Spain who made their monastery one of the most famous in the 17C. It was there that successively withdrew Mademoiselle de La Valliére and Madame de Montespan.

At the French revolution, the Convent was closed and the Church destroyed. In 1802 the nuns bought a small part of their old estate, and built a small chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Champs at currently 25 Rue Henri-Barbusse and a new cloister surmounted by their living quarters. This second Carmel was abolished in 1906, and there remained only the memory, perpetuated by rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. In 1858, a parish was created for the district, which naturally received the name of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, with a wooden chapel located at 153 and 155 Rue de Rennes. The architecture of the present church is of Romanesque inspiration. The first stone was laid in 1867 and, eight years later,in 1876, the Church received its blessing. In 1912 the Church was consecrated by Cardinal Léon-Adolphe Amete, Archbishop of Paris.

The law of separation of Church and state from 1905 on Notre-Dame-des-Champs. It should be recalled that the law of 1905 asked the parishes to create each a worship association to which the property of the state-owned, newly-crowned public institutions would be attributed. To mark his opposition to the law, the Church of France refused these associations (which are nevertheless commonplace today). The law of 1905 stipulated that, without attribution to an association, these assets were to be placed under receivership-which, of course, went through a prior inventory. And this inventory was in the eyes of the religious and the faithful the infamous imprint of the Republic on religious life. So a casus belli. In other words nationalisation as in many revolutions.

Obviously, in order to establish the inventories, the officers of the state demanded the collaboration of the religious… and they refused in protest. In December 1905, Cardinal Richard put his instructions to the Parisian parishes: to follow the inventory operations, without directing them, and to make all the useful reservations when the interests of the priests and Churches appear compromised. In Notre Dame des Champs, the priest and the members of the Church displayed, in an official letter, their refusal to lend their hand to the authorities.  When the officers of the State arrived in front of the Church square on January 31, 1906 at  14h or 2pm, a stormy crowd awaited them. There were two blocks there. The first, the “people of the barriers”, guided by former communards and socialist leaders, cried: “Down with the cap!” The other, a defender of the parish priest, was made up of Bretons whose arrival in the capital for some decades had helped to radically change the social face of the neighbourhood. As belligerent as the other, the two groups came to the hands. On the Breton side, we heard shouting: “Down with thieves!” and “Go to the Grand Orient!”, putting the law of separation on the account of Freemasonry.  After two hours of confrontation, in accordance with the instructions they had received, the officers of the State withdrew empty handed. When the demonstrators left, the priest of the Church recited the Rosary in public. Notre Dame des Champs Church was classified in the parishes of the refusal. The Historical context above are translated by me from the book “Brève histoire de la paroisse Notre-Dame-des-Champs” (Brief history of the parish of Our Lady of the Fields) by Bernard Plongeron, Honorary Professor of the Institut Catholique de Paris( Catholic Institute of Paris) . Edited on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Church 1858-2008.

Some on the architecture. Like many Churches built in Paris under the Second Empire, the building has a metal frame made by Gustave Eiffel. This allows it to benefit from a high vault and an important space. The nave is chanted with arched arcades supported by pillars. Beyond the ionic capitals emerge from the columns engaged to the arches.  The Church Notre-Dame-des-Champs boasts a double series of canopies, on the aisles and the second level of the elevation. The stained glass windows bring to the nave and chorus all the light necessary to admire the paintings.

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And a bit on the interiors.

The statue of the Madonna is above the altar of the Virgin and represents the Blessed Virgin carrying the child Jesus, holding in his hands a crown of thorns. It is one of the most beautiful virgins to the child of Paris. The 14 paintings of the way of the cross, the murals of the church are all splendid and esoteric.

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The Chapel of Saint Joseph located in the north transept has a painting representing the rest of the Holy Family. This work has the peculiarity of showing Saint Joseph hug the child Jesus surrounded by the Virgin Mary and by the four main archangels: Michel, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.  The Sacred Heart Chapel in the south transept has a painting, dating from 1885, representing the Sacred Heart.

The 22 paintings located at the second level of the elevation in the nave and the choirs of the Church were made on strengthened canvas, i.e. a canvas glued to the wall.  Built between 1891 and 1907 and represent the life of the Virgin Mary.  The paintings by Joseph Aubert ,of Breton origin, devoted 18 years of his life to the artistic work of the Notre-Dame-des-Champs Church. He made all the paintings with the exception of both the chapels of the Sacré-Coeur and Saint-Joseph. The artist uses the technique of the strengthened canvas: a canvas fixed on a wall using glue pressed against it. For his 22 paintings of the Life of the Virgin, Aubert has documented himself by making several trips to Palestine to observe the costume of the people, and more specifically, the daily life of women. Moreover, many places visited are found on his paintings. Let us note that the paintings of the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs highlight the two natures of the Virgin, the triumphant in the sky above the earthly creatures as seen in the vault in the furnace; that of the nave and where it appears in its earthly life, as a woman of Galilee who is clad in the embroidered robe which is still worn, today.  These painting gained notoriety abroad as four paintings of the Church were purchased by American religious art lovers (the works exhibited are replicas). Innovative in decorations and costumes, also in the interpretation made of “the Last Supper”. The artist did not represent a meal, but a communion. Jesus stands up, a chalice in his hands. The apostles are standing on their knees or leaning towards him. Those who sit at the table will have to leave it to commune, too, with divine blood. In this very beautiful painting, it is necessary to underline the meticulous work of the artist and his search for realism in the painting of the room, the costumes and the accessories of the meal.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended are:

The Parish webpage of the Church of Notre Dame des Champshttps://notredamedeschamps.fr/

The Paris tourist office on the Church Notre Dame des Champshttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71955/Eglise-Notre-Dame-des-Champs

This is hugely wonderful and a must see while in Paris, you are missing something else if not by here. It is really wonderful to see, and I finf myself looking at something that is not much mention but really a gem of Paris.  Do come to see the Church Notre Dame des Champs. Hope it helps your discover more of Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 12, 2021

Church of St François de Sales of Paris!!!

And here is another dandy of my eternal Paris. I have done many walks in the city and always find amazing monuments , some known , and some less known or not known at all. As I was walking I stumbled into the Church Saint François de Sales and will love to tell you about it. Hope you enjoy the story.

In my wandering days in Paris, never stop amazing me the multitude of sights and places, monuments etc that abound in this beautiful city. No doubt it is worthy call the most beautiful city in the world.  There is enough in Paris to write books, I know one famous who wrote and published posthume called A Mouvable Feast; but Hemingway was short way short, there is so much more even in Paris.  I came upon these monument and particularly this Church walking, and of course who says going underground is fun! Walking in Paris is like been in a museum 24 hrs 7/7 and you can come across amazing places. One of them is the Church Saint François de Sales.

The Catholic parish of Saint-François-de-Sales in the 17éme district of Paris officially at 70 Rue Jouffroy d’Abbans. It  comprises two separate churches built  head-butting and connected by a corridor. It is dedicated to Saint François de Sales. The oldest of the two Churches has its main entrance to  6  Rue Brémontier. At the beginning of the 20C is decided the building of a new church. This is built from 1911 to 1913 with entrance by 15 Rue Ampére with a long corridor allowing direct access to the old church.

Once the events of the commune have passed, it was decided to raise a new place of worship in a rather stripped Romanesque style. The building, dedicated to Saint François of Sales, is blessed in 1873. It is called today “Ancient Church”. Indeed, as early as 1912, with the population growing again, another larger building, always dedicated to François de Sales and always of Romanesque style, is built, adjoining the first. It is called “New Church”. The “Ancient church” of Saint-François-de-Sales, presents some interesting sculptures, two absidiales Chapels fully painted and a canopy of the late 19C. It is devoted to the life of François de Sales, canonized in 1665 and declared Doctor of the Church in 1877 by Pope Pius IX.

The story of the Saint is very interesting even from a historical point of view.  Saint François de Sales and the Counter-Reformation. François de Sales was born in 1567 in the Duchy of Savoy (so he is not French born). A noble family, he studied at the colleges of Annecy and Paris. Drawn very early by the priesthood, he shows a passionate soul about theology. 16 to 20 years old he was in Paris, studying Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. The theories of grace and predestination, brought to the liking of the day by Protestaniesm, mark it to such an extent that it believes itself destined to hell. To overcome his anguish, he prays in the Dominican Church of Saint-Germain-des-Près, in front of a statue of the Virgin. And this for ten weeks (end 1586-beginning 1587). He is not yet 20 years old and already reveals a very mystical spirit.  François de Sales deepened theology at the University of Padua and became a priest in 1593, at the age of 26. He was a member of the Bishopric of Geneva, but lived in Annecy because the Calvinists expelled the Catholics from the city. He was immediately remarked by his preaching skills and the very content of his preaching. At a time when the clergy dreamed of reconquering the regions won by reform, his way of converting souls seduced: no compulsion, no violence; Everything must rest in the reasoning and persuasion of the verb. And especially in a life of virtue that must serve as an example. His bishop, Claude de Graner, sent him as a missionary in the Protestant Chablais, especially his capital, Thonon-les-Bains. The task will be rough, will take years, but came to fruition ,thanks to the persuation of St François de Sales.  Charles Borromée and François de Sales were the two great figures who applied the principles of the Council of Trent on the ground, and had them translated, at the level of objects and images, by Baroque art.  The altarpiece is conceived as a digest of the theological truths affirmed by the Council of Trent. François de Sales had the opportunity to monitor, control, reframe if necessary, the artistic creations of his region. The Counter-Reformation implanted there with powerful weapons, that of faith through the beauty in art, to well mark its difference with Protestantism which refused any form of objects of piety, except the cross.

From the outside , the Church of Saint François de Sales looks like less than it is ,however, inside there are wonders to behold. The stained glass of the choir. The church of Saint-François-de-Sales chose an original iconography to illuminate its choir. In fact, the stained glass windows illustrate three themes represented by the great figures of the Catholic Church: Tradition, the people of God and Scripture (from left to right).

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On the left, the parabole of Tradition; in a central Mandorla, Saint Peter, on his throne and wearing the papal tiara, is accompanied, in the upper rows, by Doctors of the Church (St. Athanasius, St. John’s, St. Gregory of Nazarene and Saint Basil), and, downstairs, the Fathers of the Church (Saint Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. Ambrose).  In the center, the people of God are represented by Saints.  We see, in the lower part, Saint François de Sales and Saint Jeanne de Chantal; above, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus. In the upper part, the fourth row starting from the bottom shows Saint Denis and Sainte Geneviève; above, Saint Peter and Mary, Queen of Heaven. Finally, the upper row is entirely original; the Christ blessing, on the left, carries on His head a royal crown and, in the left hand, the Cross of his torment. On the right, the heavenly Father, as a bearded old man, is endowed with the royal attributes,  he carries crown, Sceptre, royal Orb and neck the cordon and the Medal of an order of chivalry.  On the right, the Parable of Scripture; the Virgin to the Child, also in a mandorla, is surrounded, above, by the four Evangelists and, at the bottom, by Prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremiah).

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Really a find in Paris, off the beaten path of the more popular ones of its kind but worth a detour. Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful Church are:

The Parish Church of St François de Saleshttps://saintfrancoisdesales.net/

The Churches heritage of Paris on St François de Saleshttp://patrimoine-eglises-paris.fr/?page_id=1035

A different beautiful Paris awaits you, do come and see , the Church Saint François de Sales. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 11, 2021

Basilica of Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Paris!

Ok so this is a landmark and just around the corner celebrating the Paris uprising of 1871 or the Commune makes it clear to update this post to me. After all, the Basilica of Sacre Coeur was done as a reason for that conflict. I have been in it and well all around Montmartre or Paris or is it Montmartre in Paris! Let me update for you and me ,an introductory older post on it; hope you enjoy it as I.

What can I say about Sacre Coeur, it is a very popular Basilica Church of Paris. One of the most see and must stop on your way to Paris. The historical center of a wonderful district ,a city in its right call Montmartre.   The hill of martyrs as in English, no heroes of any sort, but those earlier Christians who gave it all for the faith. Here Saint Denis was beheaded by pagans lords, but He continue to preach all the way to Saint Denis where now is his Basilica de Saint Denis (most French kings are resting there now) see post ,and all begun at Montmartre.

Here in Montmartre, you have the wine harvest the only one left in Paris, with the vinyards celebration every year with a nice festival. Here is the nightclubs all beamings like Moulin Rouge, and Lapin Agile. The hilly streets full of nostalgia, and the impressive Church of Saint Pierre (12C). But all is small when we compare it to Sacre Coeur, the holy cross ,the church on the hill of martyrs=Montmartre.

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This is my humble take on it, a bit of history I like

Ordered built by a National cry in 1873 , to help pay for its construction by a National call of reconciliation and the French gave , a lot. The Church was finally completed in 1914 but not consacrated then on 1919 after the end of WWI. It was not really totally finished until 1923. The style is Greek cross  (neo byzantine)  with a huge dome of 83 meters ( 274 ft). Inside  in the ceiling the back of altar is decorated with the biggest mosaic in France covering a surface of  474 sq meters (5100 sq ft) . Built  representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus glorified by the Catholic Church and France. At the base, there is an inscription « Au Cœur très saint de Jésus, la France fervente, pénitente et reconnaissante » or At the heart of the very saints of Jesus, France passionate, penitent and acknowledge. It has ,also, the heaviest bell in France call the Savoyarde, weighting almost 19K kgs with 3 meters in diameter ! The organ is one of the most historical significance as well  having been transferred to the Basilica in 1919.

You can see the wide of Paris by standing in the parvis in front of the Basilica Sacre Coeur, high of 200 meters above sea level given a panoramic view as far as 50 kms (31 miles). The inspiration for Sacré Cœur’s design originated on 4 September 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier attributing the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War to a divine punishment after “a century of moral decline” since the French revolution, in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following that revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and  social democrats, secularists, socialists, and radicals on the other. This schism in the French social order became particularly pronounced after the 1870 withdrawal of the French military garrison protecting the Vatican in Rome to the front of the Franco-Prussian War by Napoléon III; the secular uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870-1871, and the subsequent 1871 defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War.

To get there, the easiest are the Funiculaire de Montmartre or the Montmartrebus (stop Place du Tertre) , by metro the stations closest are Anvers line 2 and Abbesses line 12. You can ,also, walk up the stairs , nice to do if you can. The admission is free.  I have come by metro and then walk up and by car at nearby parking Anvers (Saemes) walk up; once with my young boys too the cable car or funiculaire!

Once by the hill plenty to eat and will take the opportunity to tell you my favorites over the years. My favorites are the Le Moulin de la Galette , La  Bonne Franquette , and brasserie Chez Eugene .  Just walk as much as you can here, the whole area if full of charm,many movies,and history that keeps bringing folks to Paris emerge from here. Like the great movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Amélie Poulain made famous at the Cafe des deux Moulin, 15 rue Lepic , and the great ateliers or shops of Painters like the Halles Saint Pierre ,and the museum of Montmartre. The Clos Montmartre at rue des Saules with its vinyards, and the great Fete des Vendages de Montmartre. The old moulin de la galette at rue Lepic and the moulin Radet at rue Girardon, the remaining windmills of Montmartre. And just by 22 rue des Saules my old time favorite French cabaret Lapin Agile.

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The official Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmartre in Paris: http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/

The Paris tourist office on the Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmatre ,Parishttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71192/Basilique-du-Sacre-Coeur-de-Montmartre

Hope you get your highs while looking the beautiful scenes of Paris from the hill=butte, at night is sublime,and if clear day awesome. Do visit the wonderful Basilica Sacre Coeur!

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

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April 11, 2021

Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris!

Well here is an important church of my eternal Paris yet shamefully will tell you not been in it. I have many but then again there are so many. As said, these are monument of architecture and history that tells the story better than anything ,and I love to visit them. As I update my posts, come to realise that there can be sites like this where I need to be back when possible. Anyway, I did passed by it several times and will update this older post on the history description of this wonderful Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris. Hope you enjoy the story.

This is to know Paris at its best, no where else you will find so much history than on them.  I have come by here, but never a post solely on it. The Church of Saint Sulpice has a lot history on it if not on my top 3 it is certainly in my top 10. Let me tell you a bit about it and keep in mind to come back to see it when possible.

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The Saint Sulpice Church is in the Odeon neighborhood of the 6éme district of Paris. It is located in place Saint-Sulpice with an official address of 2 rue Palatine. It is dedicated to Sulpice the pious, Archbishop of Bourges in the 7C.  Saint-Sulpice is not a frequent dedication in the churches of France. Yet it is a French Saint born at the end of the 6C in the Diocese of Bourges and of Noble ancestry. He would have been raised at the Royal palace, which would have initiated him into business. Dubbed the good or the pious, known for his austerity, fasting, his affability, but also for his healing gifts on the sick, indulging in prayer and serving the poor, he was said to enjoy a gift of persuasion through his voice that led people to invite to conversion . The Bishop of Bourges would have conferred on him the orders to make his preaching official. In 624, he was appointed Bishop of Bourges. Pursuing his role as missionary, he focuses on the conversion of the Jews, many in his diocese, and participates in the training of the campaigns. After 17 years of Episcopate, he chose a coadjutor to devote himself entirely to the service of the poor. He died in Bourges in January 646 or 647. More than 340 churches are dedicated to him in France, which is little in a country that has about 45 000 religious buildings.

The present Church of Saint-Sulpice took the place of a small sanctuary dedicated to Saint-Sulpice-des-Champs, which would go up in the 12C. Rebuilt, then enlarged in the 14C and 16C, it eventually proves to be insufficient for the population of the parish. It was the priest Jean-Jacques Olier , who arrived in his duties in 1642, who set in motion what was going to be the very long journey of the construction of the new church. The plans were approved in 1645. The first stone was laid by the Regent Anne of Austria in February 1646. The plans are to build the largest church in Paris (119 meters long and 57 meters wide). The old church will be totally encompassed (it was at the level of the present choir, the Cross of the transept and two bays of the nave). Nothing prevents the building ,but for the sanctuary, the choir and the nave, the old church will have to be broken up gradually.  The selected style is Classicism with abundance of Corinthians elements, the carved decorations (capitals, cherubs, and vases of flames) made the body with stone giving a very neat architectural look.  As said, for all those visiting Paris coming here is a necessary step; its architecture is the epitome of Classicism, the decorations, the murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve careful look. You see the giant clams and its Virgin and Children, reliefs and sumptuous mausoleum offer the Church artistic masterpieces in Paris.  Forty years will pass. It is the energetic priest Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy  who will restart the construction in 1719 thanks to a lottery.

The Chapel of the Virgin, future Axial Chapel, is the first element that will be built. The young king Louis XIV (he was seven years old), in the presence of the Regent Queen, signed letters Patent authorizing the mastery of work to receive legacies, foundations and donations.  In 1660, after ten years of interruption, the work resumed. The choir and the nine chapels of the ambulatory are erected, then, in 1674, these are the four large piles of the Crusaders. In 1676, the north arm of the transept came out of the ground. The choir of the Old Church (which hinders the construction) is then destroyed. But in 1678, the funding dried up, the crates were empty. In addition, a huge passive is discovered. It is important to be clear: legacies, foundations and donations are not enough for such a large construction. The financial situation is even disastrous forty years will pass. Nothing is more built. The new church will use the nave of the ancient… with a difference of four meters (because the old church dates from the 12C and the natural level of the soil was ascended during the ages-in addition the plans of the new building envisaged a first raised level). The transept is not finished, the South arm does not exist. The aspect of the neighborhood is the one given by a interrupted construction site, with the inevitable nuisances for the residents and a deformed cult house, prey to the bad weather.

In 1714, an energetic abbot was appointed to the priesthood, Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy Above all he organizes a lottery that will fill the crates and assure, from 1719, the continuation of the construction site. The construction site will end around 1745 (facade excluded). Nevertheless, in September 1718 with a small bequest, he buys stones that he has deposited at the corner of the streets. Then he distributes a leaflet where the unfinished church, open to all the winds, is drawn. In the foreground is Saint Sulpice in person, accompanied by prelates, who exhorts the wealthy parishioners (and all others) to give.  And from 1719, the work resumed. Languet de Cergy died in 1750,the factory, thankful and then enjoying sound finances, ordered the magnificent mausoleum that can be seen today in the Chapel of St. John the Baptist.  After twenty-five years, in 1746, the Council of State demanded the sharing of profits: a half for Saint-Sulpice (whose façade still remained to be built).

The sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle rested the two giant tridacnes (offered by the Republic of Venice) on marble supports reproducing a marine décor. Above, the Holy One with the famous octopus.  The architecture of the nave, of very classical style.  As for stained glass windows, remember that in the 18C fashion was clear. We can see that the second floor of the nave includes a series of large white glass windows. Saint-Sulpice is a church that enjoys a very high brightness.  The decorations were highly evolved from the 18C to the 19C. The murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve a careful glance. Each chapel has its own dedicated painter. The sculptures of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle with his two blessed and his Virgin of the Child in the axial Chapel, finally the  Bas-reliefs and a sumptuous mausoleum, offer to the church some masterpieces of the art of Paris.  The façade of Saint-Sulpice. the construction of the Church began with the axial Chapel, the ambulatory, then the choir, the transept and the nave. Came the necessity in 1726 to choose a façade a Classic styled with two superposed Pedestal, bordered by two lateral towers. Each pedestal supports a series of lintels, the whole is crowned with a wide pediment. But this kind of façade is conceived only preceded by a grand forecourt: they must therefore clear the space and, for this, buy back the buildings that are there… to demolish them.  In 1766 the architect dies. The towers are barely begun. In the face of the novelty of the project, the King asked the academy to decide. The project a  low square floor and no more polygonal, with pilasters, as well as a triangular pediment, above, a rotunda tower and not the campanile. The construction of the North Tower resumed in 1775 and ended in 1780. The South tower, because of the French revolution, was never completed.

After the Concordat of 1802, the church was in a bad state. Work was done to put it back afloat, especially in the re furnitures. Paintings and various objects which were purchased , and even the woodwork of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.  But it was only from the restoration, and especially from 1824, with the rise on the throne of king Charles X and the arrival of the ultras, that the Church could hope to regain its former splendor.  The Church of Saint-Sulpice is rich in multiple murals and frescoes.  One owes the initiative of these artistic creations to the city of Paris. Between 1820 and 1875, the latter commissioned renowned painters to decorate all the lateral and radiant chapels, not forgetting four large canvases in the transept.  Some great names were sought, such as Eugène Delacroix  for the Chapel of the Saints-Anges and whose paintings obviously aroused controversy. In 1824, Jean-Dominique Ingres  was asked to take over the Chapel of the Souls of Purgatory (at that time, dedicated to Ste. Anne and located next door), but he declined the offer. Refusal that deprived the posterity of a promising artistic comparison.

Chapel of the Holy Angels. This side chapel (the first on the right when entering the church) is one of the most interesting by Eugène Delacroix.  The artist took six years, from 1855 to 1861 (and with the help of an assistant), to create the two large oil and wax paints, as well as the vault that is a strengthened canvas. The spandrels receive large paintings of angels in grey. Jacob’s struggle with the Angel, the subject of one of the two great murals, is the only theme in the Bible where one sees a mortal fight with a celestial being. Jacob fights all night long for the angel to bless him. In response, the Angel tells him that he will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, that is, “strong in front of God.” So it will be the name of the Jewish people, descendant of Jacob. Shows celestial beings throwing ashore the envoy of King Seleucus V, who came to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the Temple. He is beset by a fiery horse mounted by an angel in the Golden armour and whipped by another angel who descends from heaven. Eugène Delacroix in Saint-Sulpice ,at the time he painted the Chapel of the Holy Angels, the priest of the church had forbidden the artist to work on Sundays. Delacroix was very upset because the music of the offices threw him in such a state of exaltation that he worked twice as many times on Sundays of sung masses. With his assistant, he decided to play a trick on the guard responsible for monitoring the application of the instructions. The chapel, during the works, was closed by a palisade and a door. On a Saturday night, the two compadres set up a mannequin, dressed like the painter, sitting on a chair. On Sunday morning, the caretaker went to check that no one was working. Applying his eye to the keyhole, he saw the dummy, took it for Delacroix and knocked on the door to expel this disrespectful. No answer, he thrust the door. Delacroix and his accomplice come out of their hiding place and surprised our man… in flagrante of breaking and entering. And Delacroix was finally able to work on Sundays!!!

The Chapel of the Virgin is one of the oldest places of the monument. In 1774, enriched with an open dome, very original, responsible for plunging the assumption into a sort of celestial light. You can also see two paintings by Carl Van Loo , about the life of the Virgin, and the Angels of the Slodtz brothers adorned with garlands.  Finally, the most majestic element is undoubtedly the white marble statue, the Madonna with the Child, by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle  in a niche created by Louis-Philippe Mouchy, his nephew and pupil. In this chapel, the Classical and the Baroque come together in a happy way, but in general, the darkness prevents to admire it fully.

Having been restored, the Chapel Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle is one of the most beautiful in the church. The fresco paintings trace two episodes of the Life of Saint Roch, as well as an allegory of his apotheosis on the vault.  There are many chapels dedicated to Jean-Baptiste de la Salle in the churches of France. This presence is justified because this Saint, a contemporary of king Louis XIV, devoted his life to the education and training of the young children of the popular classes, an activity which the Jesuits ensured for the affluent classes. At Saint-Sulpice, he was all the more entitled to his chapel that he was trained in the priesthood at the Sorbonne and at the Séminary de Saint-Sulpice. Here in the Chapel Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle , in illustrations of the Life of Saint Roch. The same was done in the Chapel of Saint-Maurice and in the Chapel of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. Finally,  see the two masterful frescoes in the Chapelle Saint-Martin.  The fresco of Saint Martin sharing his coat is very nice. The Chapelle Saint-Jean-Baptiste does not shine by the beauty of its paintings, but by its two magnificent works of art in marble: a Saint Jean-Baptiste preaching  and the funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy.

The funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy represents the struggle of immortality against death. An angel raises the funeral veil which covered the prelate. Immediately, to the right, death flees, frightened by the hope of eternal life and resurrection, which humbly awaits the prelate, both hands strained. A work with a very strong symbol, made from 1756 to 1758.  In 1777, Chalgrin receives the charge of finishing the façade, in particular-and according to his own plan-the towers. Once the North tower was completed in 1780, Chalgrin addressed the sculptors for the large statues of the four evangelists on the upper floor. Unfortunately, the state of the archives does not allow us to know who did what. Chalgrin also commanded sculptors to do the three large stone statues, which remained unfinished, located in the gallery of the first floor of the Portal. Again, we don’t know who did what. The sculpted decoration of the baptismal font chapel under the Tower. Small reliefs, statues and great bas-relief of the Baptism of Jesus Christ are still in place, but in plaster.  The pulpit to preach of Saint-Sulpice, made in 1788, is an architectural piece as original as it is magnificent. It gives the impression of being suspended in the air.  The project, in a very classical style, was innovative for the time  with a great sense of balance in both shapes and colors. The allegories of the theological virtues (Faith and Hope), frozen on the pedestals, seem to weigh with all their weight to stabilize this elegant construction that its apparent lightness seems to threaten to collapse. On the lampshade, Charity  was carved into the wood.

The marble statue of Saint Vincent de Paul holding small children was very successful during its creation. It was exposed to the Salon of 1857 and received a medal.   The Choir of Saint-Sulpice. for the reception of the seminarians, it was decided to expand the sanctuary of the Church by advancing the altar to the nave, and to enrich the choir with a decoration worthy of the greatest Parisian cult places after the Cathedral. In 1825, thanks to a sumptuous tabernacle adorned with four palms created for Saint-Sulpice, the order of the altar pads for the coronation of king Charles X.  The Golden bronze bedrock of the high altar Jesus in the midst of the Doctors of the Church is of the same maker of the choir.  The stained glass windows of Saint-Sulpice. At the end of the 17C, the Church still had only the sanctuary, the Chapels of the ambulatory and the south transept before the work was interrupted for forty years. But this did not prevent the filling the apse and the radiant chapels in stained glass. It is a time when we demand light, and it will be even more true in the 18C.  In the 16C, the Council of Trent opposed the historiated stained-glass windows, which were dear to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and kept the churches in darkness. At the time of the Counter-Reformation, the faithful were to be able to read the missal inside the church. So, it was settle for a beautiful medallion in the center of a white glass window, often enriched with a floral-themed garland around the edges. In Saint-Sulpice, the large windows of the second level of the nave are even filled with white glass. Only the rectangular mesh in lead ensures the decor.

The restoration of the ancient stained glass of Saint-Sulpice began in the 19C. Unfortunately, the explosion of the Luxembourg magazine in 1871 destroyed or damaged many of the stained-glass windows in place. The general restoration of the canopy was done from 1872. The face of Christ in the resurrection has been redone. Perhaps also the face of the Virgin in the Annunciation, although the sources consulted do not mention it. The stained glass window showing Saint Sulpice  in adoration before the Sacred Heart is a creation of 1885 to replace the original stained glass window destroyed during the War of 1870.  Nevertheless, it is at the Church of Saint-Sulpice that one can admire the most important collection of stained glass windows made during the reign of king Louis XIV. More precisely, their creation is part of the decade 1670. During the visit of the church, you must not miss to have an eye on the floral decorations of the borders.  The organ of Saint-Sulpice has an international reputation. Built by Cliquot in 1781 (with 5 keyboards and 64 games), it was already looked at at the time as one of the best in the kingdom. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll rebuilt it from 1857 to 1861. He reused many of the elements created by Cliquot to link classical tradition with romance. The 20C has respected this illustrious instrument; it has retained all its original characteristics. And many wonderful concerts are played here indeed today.

There you go a historical big Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris, a must to visit indeed and one I myself need to come for it too . Hope you enjoy the reading the long history of it and description on architecture but the history I like is long here (I had even condensed it!). 

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Church of Saint Sulpicehttps://www.paroissesaintsulpice.paris/visiter-et-decouvrir/

The Association friends of Aristide Cavaillon Coll on organshttp://www.cavaille-coll.fr/

The Paris tourist office on the Church Saint Sulpicehttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/93215/Eglise-Saint-Sulpice

There you go folks, an wonderful monument of eternal Paris, the most beautiful city in the world and monuments like this definitively makes it so. Enjoy the Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris.

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

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April 11, 2021

The Grand Palais of Paris!

Ok time to update this jewel of my eternal Paris. Granted for the record the petit for me is more romantic than the giant grand but nevertheless a wonderful monument of Paris indeed. Let me update for you and me this wonderful monument, the Grand Palais of Paris!

Let me tell you about another wonder of my beloved Paris. This is a huge building and sometimes on the spot that it is it goes unnotice somehow. In addition to the wonderful architecture it hosts a variety of events second to none in Paris. I like to tell you a bit on the history of the Grand Palais de Paris.

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The Grand Palais is located on the edge of the Champs-Elysées, facing the Petit Palais, which is separated by the Avenue Winston Churchill in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The Grand Palais des Beaux-Arts was built  from 1897, for the Universal exhibition scheduled from April 15 to November 12, 1900, instead of the vast but uncomfortable Palais de l’Industrie of 1855. It was a monument consecrated by the French Republic to the glory of French art. As the pediment of the West Wing (Palais d’Antin) indicates, its original vocation is to welcome the major official artistic events of the capital. The ceremony was held on May 1, 1900 for the grand opening. The Grand Palais is served nearby by the Metro lines 1 and 13  at the Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau station, and Metro lines 1 and 9 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Station, as well as the RATP  bus lines 42 and  73.

The main building, with a length of nearly 240 meters, consists of an imposing space surmounted by a large canopy. The slightly lowered cradle vault of the North and South Naves and the transverse nave (paddock), the dome on pendants weigh about 8 500 tons of steel, iron and glass. The total weight of metal used reaches 9 057 tons. The summit of this set culminates at an altitude of 45 meters. The colonnade of Deglane, inspired by the one in the Louvre, but without the grace, conceals cautiously the splendid innovation of the metal structure. The Grand Palais is, on its own, a summary of the tastes of the Belle Epoque, but at the same time marks the end of a certain conception of architecture where the masterpiece, both an artist and a technician, occupies a prominent role.  The communication between the large nave and the other parts of the palace (Salon d’honneur, central wing and  Palais dAntin) is done by a wide iron staircase of classic inspiration tinted with Art nouveau.

The sculptures the copper Quadrigas crown the two entrances and their pediment, to the new avenue. These allegorical works, imposing on the passerbys at an altitude of 40 meters, represent,  on the side of the Champs-Elysées,  Immortality ahead of time and on the side of the Seine river  the triumphant harmony of discord.  The mosaics inside, the pavements of the elliptical hall are mosaic of ceramic sandstone. There is a large floral motif in a central symmetry, consisting of tesserae with poorly supported colors (beige, brown and green), but detaching well on a white background. The outer friezes, located under the Peristyle de Deglane (facade on Avenue Winston Churchill ), consist of a long band with brightly enhanced gold colors using the traditional mosaic technique.

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The game of the tesserae is animated by very regular opuses and underlined by marked contours as well as subtle gradients. It includes representations of the great civilizations of history as perceived at the end of the 19C, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Rome of Augustus to the Greece of the century of Pericles, the Italian and French Renaissance in the Middle Ages, Europe Industrious to that of the classical and Baroque arts. The more distant civilizations are not forgotten, glorifying in passing the period then at its apogee of the great colonizing nations in the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa, the East and the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Indochina With the Khmers and temples of Angkor, the Cochinchina and the Vietnamese landscapes around the city of Hue, the Far East with representations of mysterious China and Japan , and  evocations of the two Americas.

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From 1947, the building loses its function as a palace of fine Arts, for which it was built.  Several events are held on the artistic side such as French and independent artists, painting and sculptures etc. etc. from the years 1960 the technical shows are done here such as automobiles, agricultural and horticultural machines, etc. etc. Commercial events such as living and decorations, etc. and various makes such stamps, concerts etc. etc. All too numerous to mention in a simple blog post.

During the 20C, the Grand Palais is sometimes a witness of the tragedies of history, sometimes an object of unexpected uses. At the beginning of  WWI, the Grand Palais was used as barracks for colonial troops preparing to go to the front. It quickly became a makeshift hospital for the wounded in the Navy who could not find a place in the crowded hospitals of the capital.  During , WWII and the Nazi occupation, the palace was commandeered by the Nazis to house military vehicles there. In August 1944, the nave was bombarded and a fire was declared, without major consequences, in part of the building; the firefighters are however hampered in their work by rescuing animals from a circus that has elected home under the large canopy. They must also protect the works sent for an exhibition by working artists or prisoners.

In 1964, part of the north wing of the Grand Palais, at the request of André Malraux then Minister of Cultural Affairs, became a National Gallery destined to receive large temporary exhibitions. Presented in 1966, a retrospective of the painter Pablo Picasso and an important presentation of African art.  Numerous exhibitions of classical painters, impressionistic (Renoir), and modern (Zao Wou-Ki, Prassinos, Mušič, Manesser) are organized thereafter. and other uses followed of diverse splendor and magnitude. And this has continue today. Since 2009, hives have been installed on the roof of the Grand Palais to promote biodiversity and make the life of bees in urban areas known.

Since January 2011, the public establishment of the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées has merged with the National Museums . On February 12  2018, it was  announced the forthcoming closure of the Grand Palais, from December 2020 to the spring of 2023, in order to carry out a larger renovation by 2024, the date on which the games of Fencing are to take place during the  2024 Olympic Games. The Grand Palais will reopen to the public in 2025.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must while in Paris are:

The Official Grand Palais of Paris:  https://www.grandpalais.fr/en

The Paris tourist office on the Grand Palais: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71080/Grand-Palais

There you go another grand piece of architecture and history in my beloved Paris. Did i tell you I can keep writing on Paris and will never finish? YES! Hope you enjoy the Grand Palais of course!

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

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April 10, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan XC

And back again to my latest escapades in my beautiful Morbihan, dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France! Under current conditions, hard to move about but we are timing the 10 km right and going out, amazing finding new places!!!yes!!! We took a ride yesterday with the family just to get some air and it was nice again. Sit back and enjoy the story;hoping you like as we did.

I have told you about the town of Baud, very near me, just making the 10 km mark, and we went there again !

Baud has a bit more than 6K inhabitants very near me up the road D768 direction Pontivy. We have come here often as one of my son’s job was routed by here to go/come to/from work. Also, we shop in city center for essentials like the baguette. I have several posts on Baud in my blog so will be brief on this one. One of my latest road warrior side trips.

As with the virus still going around and only now allow to go 10 km from home, we took it nice and easy at Baud. The town is part of the Centre Morbihan Communauté sort of a metro area which combine about 18 towns. I try to give you some history and explanation on this phenomenon below

France has a very large number of towns, over 36,000 of which 10,000 have fewer than 200 inhabitants and 32,000 have fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. From the end of the 19C, the first forms of intermunicipal co-operation were created in the form of inter-municipal unions to enable towns to meet the equipment needs of the territory (electrification, water supply, sanitation, roads, etc.). As of January 1, 2014, there were 12,159 public inter-municipal cooperation establishments (EPCIs) (including 2,145 with their own tax system and 10,014 municipal unions) and 3,182 mixed unions (including 2,216 open mixed unions and 966 closed mixed unions) and 9 metropolitan centers. Promulgated on August 7, 2015, the law on the New Territorial Organization of the French Republic (NOTRe) confers new powers on the regions and clearly redefines the powers attributed to each local authority. This law strengthens intermunicipal co-operation by setting the new demographic threshold at 15,000 inhabitants, forcing certain communities to merge.

The Centre Morbihan Communauté or the Central Morbihan Community towns are Baud, Guénin, Melrand, Pluméliau-Bieuzy, Saint Barthélémy. Locminé Community of the villages of Evellys, La Chapelle Neuve, Plumelin, Locminé, Moustoir-Ac and Saint-Jean Community of the towns of Saint Jean Brévelay, Billio, Bignan, Buléon, Guéhenno, Moréac, Plumelec, and Saint Allouestre.

The Centre Morbihan Communauté tourist board on Baudhttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/centre-morbihan-communaute/baud/

I have feature in another post but took a shot from the hill of the below castle for a nice shot of the town of Baud and the belltower of its Church St Peter’s (St Pierre) from the 14C renovated in the 20C.

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The city of Baud on culture and heritage: https://www.mairie-baud.fr/culture-et-patrimoine/

And one that caught my attention and never had taken pictures here as it is a private property, I dare take some from outside today is the Château de la Villeneuve or new town. I will tell you its history from a panel outside and the Bretagne heritage site.

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The Château de la Villeneuve (17C), restored in the 20C. The Lordship of Villeneuve belonged successively to several families. The castle was built on the site of an old building attested in 1448. A first reconstruction probably dates from the 17C. The current castle would have been rebuilt or restored around 1930 by the Le Crom family.

The origins of the Château de la Villeneuve go back to the 15C however, with the Guido family. From this time there are no remains. The castle was rebuilt in the 18C, perhaps under the La Coudrais family, then dismantled in 1930 to be rebuilt set back from the road. A building with a sequenced elevation on the raised ground floor was accessible by a central right outside staircase. Two forward side pavilions framed this central body. The well located to the south of the current castle dates from 1723. In 1907, and for only a few years, this castle was the seat of a beekeeping school which produced melcao, a product made from honey and cocoa.

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The Château de la Villeneuve has a double plan in depth and two elevations arranged in five spans: to the north the two lateral spans are protruding and covered with a pavilion roof; to the south, the projection is on the ground floor on the terrace. On each facade, straight exterior stairs lead to the raised ground floor. An in-work staircase turning back, located in the eastern part of the castle, serves the square floor and the attic floor. The pleasure garden to the north is doubled by a vegetable garden to the south arranged in the axis of the castle, extended by an orchard. A retaining wall with stairs and a well mark the boundary between the latter two. A farm attached to the castle is to the east.

It is currently a private property, cannot be visited, visible from the outside, located at the exit of Baud on the edge of the road D724 towards Locminé and Josselin.

Lastly, I leave with the news that the French Republic (France) has voted to allow regional languages as per the constitution a great victory for Brittany and its Breton language. Earlier, I have told you in my Some news from France series, the permission in the Nantes city/town hall to fly the Breton flag, black and white with the hermine symbol of Anne de Bretagne. The flag is raised. And this is former Brittany in what is now since 1961 loire-atlantique dept 44 in pays de la loire region. The decision is known as the Loi Morlac for the congressman of the Morbihan!!! More in French here from France Ouest journal: https://www.ouest-france.fr/education/enseignement/langues-regionales-la-proposition-de-loi-molac-definitivement-adoptee-9ae0f46c-9875-11eb-ba1d-f4b880206b36

And my twin boys have cut the front garden in our house trim all the shrubs and trees and cut the bad grass from the brick trail path to the house. Nice job, appreciated and to worth showing it here with a picture!

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And all, hope you enjoy the post , a rather personal one with private property and all. This is my beautiful Morbihan at its best.. Enjoy as we do!!

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

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April 10, 2021

Wine news of France XII !!!

Well here coming back to my a bit regular posts on wines! of France, of course. The very best and again had tasted and/or visit all the major producing countries in our world ! I like to tell you the latest buzz on my favorite subject chosen by yours truly from various French wine pro publications that I received online or on paper.

We do not really know if Christmas was on the balcony, but Easter was indeed in the fire. Since last Monday, temperatures have fallen below zero in several northern wine regions. The nocturnal efforts of winegrowers to limit frost damage were not enough: crops are severely affected in several regions of France. According to the Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), it is “already certain that this spring frost will severely impact the volume of the 2021 harvest”: the frost has “hit hard” on large areas of the Bordeaux vineyard. In the Rhone Valley, the first land rise in temp let fear the worst. Last Friday, according to Météo France, it will still be cold in the early morning in the lands north of the Loire, over a large north-eastern quarter, in the Massif Central and in the interior of Provence, with frequent frosts reaching locally – 4 to -2 degrees on the Grand Est.

Last Monday evening, on the Champagne side, there was still hope to pass between the drops. The Champagne Salon said “we experience disasters every day, at all levels. It is important to stay positive.” Overall, Champagne is doing quite well. A calm behind which hides cellars much less empty than in previous years, the health crisis having led to a significant drop in sales in France and abroad. At Drouhin-Laroze, in Burgundy, the candles have nevertheless succeeded in limiting breakage. But the Burgundy vineyard will undoubtedly be one of the most impacted. There is talk about black jelly, with buds literally roasted by the cold. However, some estates are reluctant to use candles, which are very expensive, preferring the traditional straw fires prohibited in Burgundy such as at the Breton estates, in Touraine, whose plots of Vouvray have been protected, to the detriment of those located in Bourgueil. At Château Coutet, 43 hectares in the town of Barsac, in the Bordeaux region, it was a disaster, with temperatures dropping to -3.9 ° C. Despite straw fires lit every 80 meters, it is estimated that more than 90% of the vineyard has been affected. Even if since 2017, they have been used to this kind of events. April 2021 has a strong chance of staying in the memories of many.

SJB, the Bollinger family holding company, acquires Ponzi Vineyards, a historic estate in the Willamette Valley, in the United States. Domaine Ponzi Vineyards, was created in the late 1970s by Dick and Nancy Ponzi. For its part, the Ponzi family remains the owner of 40 hectares under a supply contract with the estate. The total needs of the winery represent in all and for all 140 hectares of vines. Production hovers around 480,000 bottles, at prices ranging from 25 to 120 US Dollars. SJB which brings together the brands Bollinger, Ayala, Chanson, Langlois-Chateau and Delamain.

These vines largely dominated by Pinot Noir, but Pozzi also produces Pinot Gris and Chardonnay located in Laurelwood. Last June 2020 they joined the AVI (American Culture Area, equivalent of the French AOC) of the Willamette Valley which brings together the terroirs of Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. The strategy is to get closer to the American consumer who is especially fond of local wines, as well as to the zone where the consumption of high-end wine is the most important. The acquisition of this property forms the basis of Bollinger’s new US strategy. Bollinger is not, far from it, the first Champagne house to attempt an adventure in Oregon. Four years ago, under the leadership of Gilles de Larouzière, the Maisons & Domaines Henriot group became the majority shareholder of the Beaux Frères estate, owned by Michael Etzel, Robert Parker and Robert Troy, in the historic Willamette Valley. Long before that, at the end of the 1980s, the region had been brought to light by the Burgundians Robert Drouhin and his daughter Véronique, true pioneers. Since then, the Jadots, Meo Camuzets and others have joined them. With success…. Now how the wine will be best if all is from France lol !

Soon the rebirth of a forgotten vineyard? Chef Yannick Alléno and the prestigious Domaine Marquis d´Angerville have just replanted 30 acres of biodynamic vines … about thirty km from Paris. It was on the initiative of chef Yannick Alléno that an astonishing adventure two years ago began, that of replanting vines in the town of Conflans- Ste-Honorine (Yvelines 78) . And decided to plant two thirds of pinot noir and one third of gamay, intended to produce a wine that I like, the passetoutgrain. The vines will be cultivated biodynamically, with the help of the teams from the Domaine de Volnay, present to advise and support Laurent Berrurier in his new role as winegrower. In four years, if all goes well, we will be able to taste the first cuvée of Clos Bellevue, and drink to the health of a still confidential vineyard, which we would be wrong not to keep an eye. To be continue…

While canned wine has enjoyed tremendous success across the world, the French still seem reluctant to taste their national drink in an aluminum container. And I hope they don’t follow this!!! Jean-Pierre Robinot ; the Angevin winegrower is about to launch his 25cl cans (conditioned by the Winestar brand) containing a Cabernet-Franc in red and a Chenin in white. Juices in conversion to organic, vinified in nature, intended to be consumed quickly … as we would a soda lol!!!. However, although the French are large consumers of cans, they remain difficult to associate with wine, as if this traditional product could only tolerate a noble glass case. Of course, the canned wine is already enjoying enormous success in the United States. The research firm WICResearch analyzes the phenomenon from all angles and the figures are striking: the supply of wine in cans has tripled since 2018, with some 900 references available today on the US market. Followers of cans for all kinds of beverage, the United States are much more receptive to wine in a metal ring and favor this product, which has become trendy thanks to its multiplied marketing possibilities. Better stay over there!!!

The film star director Francis Ford Coppola (why can he stay with films) understood this well, he who launched several cuvées of his wines sold in packs of four cans (pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon) and even a very glam rosé wine called “Sofia”, named after his daughter, also a famous filmmaker. Among the myriad of brands, we can also mention Bev, Love & Exile or Backpack, which focus on fresh, fruity and light wines, with ultra-graphic packaging (and industrially made). Because if this method of conservation does not lend itself to all grape varieties or all vinifications , it makes it possible to broaden the opportunities for consuming wine (picnics , outdoor events, transport) and to rejuvenate its target by targeting 18-25 year olds as a priority to then bring them to more demanding bottles? What if the can formed the fine tasters of the future? . So anything is possible. The only snag in this beautiful story: Robinot cans are priced at 8 euros for 25cl… A high price that seems to contradict the purchasing power of its target. Of course, innovation has its costs but really better stay with sodas!

In the category of nature wines, it seems that the Drappier family is one step ahead of many Champagne winemakers. Brut Zero, a wine without sugar, filtration and sulfur, was released in 1998. An oenological success. The rosé will follow. The first draw comes from the 2004 and 2005 harvests. This wine is claimed to be unfiltered, not discolored, not dose. It feels like a field of strawberries on a beautiful end of summer day. On the palate, some tangy notes, peppery hints and over-controlled acidity. What sounds I like about Drappier: the total mastery of the wine which remains very balanced even when it comes to the most cutting-edge products. It is recommended to serve this rosé at 8 ° C. At the table, it will be the ideal companion for langoustines, shrimps, crabs and other sushi.

In a context of tension between the various candidates for the takeover, Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse, premier grand cru classé B of Saint-Emilion, will be sold for 75 million euros to the cosmetics group Clarins, associated with Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Cosmetics and wine well I guess that is diversification. To note , Clarins cosmetics were the first gift of my dear late wife Martine to my dear late mother Gladys!

The recent owner of Château Fourcas Dupré, Gérard Gicquel, confirmed his thirst for Médoc by purchasing Château d’Agassac from Groupama. It was after many commas, parentheses and dashes that the sale was finalized with a signature, bottom right. Thus, Groupama, which owned Château d’Agassac since 1996, was promoted to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel last year. This project responds to the development of the family group with ambitious investments in business services, around “hospitality” carried by the Beautiful Life Hotels group with already 10 high-end hotel establishments and in the wine sector with the acquisition of Château Fourcas Dupré indicates the press release. Beautiful Life Group thus consolidates its presence in the Médoc vineyards with a volume of 500,000 bottles. One of my favorite wines of the Médoc, track since 1990.

What to drink with … a sea bream? (Daurade, Fr.) Its flesh is tender, its skin tasty and salty; with a lemon juice seasoning, it gains a tangy touch; roasted in the oven with a little fennel, it is enriched with anise-flavored flavors. It will obviously need an aromatic, fruity, young white wine, not too complicated on the palate. The Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes côtes de Nuit a fruity and herbaceous nose, a round and charming mouth with a fat that will round off the salty and iodized character of the fish, here is a great label with ease. More unexpected, but just as appropriate, a Roussette de Savoie signed Guy Justin. Still little known until 1993, its wine was only sold in bulk ; this very pretty estate has another particularity, since the vineyard occupies only a small place there, and the rest of the activity is divided between market gardening and breeding. Its Marestel cru will match sea bream exactly, with a blooming bouquet, hints of dill, citrus fruits (orange) and white pepper. The palate has a roundness very softened by the fat, with a lively finish. Its silky side will rebalance the iodized character of the fish, itself underlined by the minerality of the wine. Nice meal to be had we get ours from a traiteur or ready made take out gourmet place in town! The wines webpage are

Domaine Méo-Camuzethttps://www.meo-camuzet.com/fr/les-vins/17/clos-saint-philibert

Domaine Guy Justinhttps://vins-de-savoie-justin.fr/la-roussette-de-savoie/

And there you folks, en vino veritas; with moderation but do enjoy the wonderful wines of France and the world. We drank it every day with meals…and we love it. The only French way!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

April 10, 2021

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History ,Brussels!!!

And another dandy in a wonderful area of Brussels, the parc Cinquantenaire we love to walk to. And voilà we find out about two wonderful museums  Autoworld (see post) and this Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History!!! I like to update the post for you and me, and great memories with the family. Oh yes I know about this part of my university studies (see post).  Hope you enjoy it as I!

Another trip to one of my favorite cities in Europe. This is Brussels at its best and we love the museums especially those dealing with history. Brussels has a beauty that should be seen by all history buffs.  I was there with the family and they love it, especially my boys!  The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History or the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire,is a military museum that occupies the two northernmost halls of the historic complex in Cinquantenaire park. And it is wonderful, highly recommended for the history and military buffs.

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We actually got there on the tram 25 stop at Montgomery and came into it from outside into the park on a glorious walk in town which we love to do once in a city. We got to Brussels by car from France on the N2 and in Belgium on the N6 coming in the RO or rocade(beltway) road to our hotel (see post) and then on foot all over, great I am telling you!

The museum has a peculiar time schedule that it closes at noon, and speaks out on public announcement that you can stay in the Aviation hall or the restaurant (very convenient). We didn’t want it cafeteria style food in the resto,and don’t like to wait an hour doing nothing. So decided to come out, boy that took some times, there are no signs to let you out and all door into the museum were closed!!! When we finally asked at the resto they told us there is an exit hallway by the WC lol!! this is the rest room! Never would figure in my life the exit door was by going thru a bathroom /rest room first, but here it is. Oh well we got out,and lesson learned not to get caught at lunch time here. The rest was nice historical ,wonderful ,full of great airplanes, tanks, military heavy equipment, uniforms, and swords, rifles etc from the Napoleonics times to the present. There are presentation of historical events with the equipment use all the time.

The idea came in the Brussels exhibition of 1910 when a section on military history was presented to the public and met with great success. The museum was originally installed on the site of the Abbaye de la Cambre and moved to the Cinquantenaire Park in 1923. The park is set on the continuation of the Rue de la Loi which starts at the end of the  Brussels Park before the Royal Palace .(see posts).

All is house by the parc du cinquentanaire, monumental building, first pushed by King Leopold II idea of bringing Belgium to the forefront of nations. For the 1910 World Exhibition, Louis Leconte collected about nine hundred objects and called his compilation Musée de l’Armée / Museum van het Leger (Museum of the Army). These objects were to give the visitor an idea of the history of Belgian armed forces in the 19C. The exhibition was a big success.

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After WWI, things moved very quickly. The collection grew considerably because of numerous contributions by private persons and through the support of several foreign governments. After 1919, the building bulged with so many items that new housing was necessary. A new home for these items was found in the northern wing of the Jubilee site. On June 28, 1923, King Albert I officially opened the Military Museum. Louis Leconte had been dismissed from active military service and was appointed head curator. During World War II, the occupying forces closed the Museum down. After the war, the collections once again opened to the public. Where it continue today to marvel the world of its wonderful displays.

You have theme spaces coming from main entrance,going thru a Dutch gallery, then the Belgian war of 1830, a technical area of weaponry and armaments, medieval, Napoleonic era, 1914-1918 WWI era, the Russian gallery , the Tanks (many American tanks here) display in a patio open area in the middle of the building, you have a huge Aviation dept with planes from many countries including Mig soviet era, Navy gallery area, upper level hall Bordieu with light machine guns,a contemporary European conflicts gallery and Belgium during occupation.

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in addition, the museum offers a trace of most if not all airplanes lost over Belgium in WWII. Today this record includes 4281 losses from Air Forces of the following nations: Belgium 98, France 100, Britain and Commonwealth 1515, United States 732, Italy 17 and Germany 1819. Research is conducted on over 1000 aircraft losses for which detailed information is still missing.

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There is a museum boutique shop open every day exept Mondays 9h to 12h and then 13h to 16h45. The Skycafé resto is open from Tuesday through Sunday between 10h30 to 16h20 ,kitchen is open Kitchen 11h30 to 14h ADMISSION IS FREE Closed On Mondays, January 1, May 1, November 1, December 25, and election days . The north wing, has been occupied by the aviation hall since 1972 when the Air and Space gallery was inaugurated.  The collection includes various types of aircraft, both military and civilian, some dating back to the early 20C.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military Historyhttps://www.klm-mra.be/D7t/

The Brussels tourist office on the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military Historyhttps://visit.brussels/en/place/Royal-Military-Museum-War-Heritage-Institute

The museums of Brussels webpage on the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History: https://www.brusselsmuseums.be/en/museums/war-heritage-institute-royal-museum-of-the-armed-forces-and-of-military-history

Hope you enjoy it, it is history of all phases of our events over the years. Very well set up , and good welcome. For me is going back to my old dreams and still in touch with the world of aviation, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History is a must in Brussels!

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

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