Posts tagged ‘France’

August 19, 2019

Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, Montreuil-Bellay!

Ok so even thus is very closely related in history to the castle (see next post), the church is now stand alone and independant of it. Therefore, having visited it here is a post on it alone. We are still in our road warrior trips in the Pays de la Loire, dept 49 of Maine et Loire and visiting Montreuil-Bellay.

Next to the famous and beautiful castle we have the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, this started as a chapel of the castle but from its size you can tell the importance of it to the daily life in the area. The visit was very nice indeed.

Montreuil Bellay

Montreuil bellay

A bit on the town of Montreuil-Bellay follows

Montreuil-Bellay is located on the Thouet river,  bordering the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the departments of Vienne (town of Pouançay) and Deux-Sèvres (town of Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay). Bathed by the Thouet river , Montreuil-Bellay is located in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, less than 25 km from Saumur (Maine-et-Loire), Thouars (Deux-Sèvres) and Loudun (Vienne).

The Chapel of Notre Dame will become after the French revolution apart from the castle, the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame (collegiate because it teaches canons:chanoines), it was built 1472-1474 and raised as Collegiate in 1475 and a parish Church in 1810. Inside the Church there is the angevine architecture of vaults.  The Chapel of Notre Dame was hand over to the State after the French revolution and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame is now open to all as a parish church.

A bit of official story goes like this

The former chapel of the castle built in the 15C became collegiate served by the canons under the name of Notre-Dame.  It was given to the town and turned into a parish church at the beginning of the 19C following the decommissioning of the old Saint-Pierre church located in the Nobis priory which was falling into ruin.  A bridge over the moat was built in 1863 to give direct access to the church without passing through the castle courtyard. Now there is a stone wall between the castle and the church for privacy.

Montreuil Bellay

Montreuil Bellay

Built between 1472 and 1484 it was commissioned by Guillaume d’Harcourt, lord of Montreuil-Bellay, buried here with his family. It is one of the most prestigious religious buildings of the 15C in Anjou, specific to the Angevin Gothic style. The Collegiate Church of Notre Dame  consists of a large vessel 44 meters long and 12 meters wide whose vault at 18 meters height is faithful to the Plantagenet style then in use in Anjou. There is a small oratory where the lord and his family attended, in all discretion, offices. A liter (black band) runs through the walls of the church, at a height that reflected the importance of the lords of the time. At the French revolution, the paintings of the old churches of the city were grouped in the nave. They reflect the provincial nature of art in Anjou under the Ancien Régime. In 1810, the collegiate church became parish church and main place of worship of the city.

Montreuil Bellay

You have the city in English here: City of Montreuil Bellay on history in English

The Catholic parish of Saumur on the Church in French

There you go a wonderful 1-2 combination to do with the castle and more history, architecture and just beauty of my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as we did and do come by to the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame in Montreuil-Bellay.

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

 

 

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August 19, 2019

Doué-la-Fontaine!

Ok so I am on the run in the Loire, that is Pays de la Loire region and in the department 49 of Maine-et-Loire. Passing by beautiful castles saw this town on the map and decided to give a shot. Well not my best town of my belle France but another pin on my map !

Doué-la-Fontaine (now officially Doué en Anjou) is located in the department of Maine-et-Loire, in the Pay de la Loire region. Since December 30, 2016, the commune has been created with Brigné, Concourson-sur-Layon, Forges, Meigné, Montfort, Saint-Georges-sur-Layon and Les Verchers-sur-Layon, the new town of Doué-en-Anjou. in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, 10 km from Montreuil-Bellay , 14 km from Saumur, 40 km from Cholet and 40 km from Angers.

A bit of history I like

Around the 8C, the territory of Doué is part of Aquitaine. Pépin le Bref received the submission of Waïfre, Duke of Aquitaine, around 760. From the 790s, Louis le Pieux, son of Charlemagne, who was only 13 years old, had already been king of Aquitaine by his father for ten years, settled there. He had been living there regularly since 781 in the villa or palatium of Theotwadum. In 814, Louis learned of his father’s death and became the new emperor. In 832 he also received the submission of Pépin I, King of Aquitaine. There are no remnants of the Carolingian residence.

During the 17-18C, Doué had the honor of seeing Catherine de Medici, Charles IX, Henri de Navarre and Louis XIII pass and stayed. In 1694, Louis XIV formed the city and gave it its coat of arms. But it was under the leadership of Baron Joseph François Foullon that the city enjoyed its most prosperous hours. A restorator at the Château de Doué, he planted 500,000 Italian poplars, introduced alfalfa and sainfoin cultivation, and established nurseries in Soulanger where he built a castle. He built the fountain, the only waterpoint in the city, which fed six mills, a pool for laundry ladies and children ,and a trough.

Joseph François Foullon was one of the first victims of the French revolution. His Château des Basses Minières is destroyed. Today, only the stables and part of the foundations of the perimeter wall remain.   In 1793, 1200 prisoners from Angers were transferred to Doué. They were imprisoned there in the Arenas or St. Peter’s Church until 1794. 184 of them died in prison within two months. Between 350 and 370 additional prisoners are guillotined or shot.

Some things to see here , well not my cup of tea so just passed by it just got a peek at the the Church St Pierre, the current Church was built in the 15C on the site of a former built from 1040. During the French revolution it served as a prison to put the local Vendéens rebels and after was change to a warehouse before returning to the cult in 1810.

doue la fontaine

doue la fontaine

doue la fontaine

doue la fontaine

The other interesting thing to see and surprise for a town in the middle of vineyards is the Municipal Theater. The theater is now call the Philippe Noiret theater right at Place des Fontaines in city center/downtown.

doue la fontaine

The rest of things to see as per their tourist office are the Perrières; Carolingian hill; The Château de Doué-la-Fontaine is an old fortress castle, raised at the beginning of the 10C and remodelled several times at the corner of Blvd  du Dr. Lionet and the Impasse de la Motte, the castle of Soulanger; or Château des Basses Minières looted and destroyed during the French revolution, only the base, the stables (which house the museum aux Anciens Commerces) and an entrance pavilion remain today. the cellar with sarcophagi, former quarry of falun near the village of the former commune of Douces, at 1 rue de la Croix-Mordret. The place contains the ancient quarry of the Merovingian period, an old farmhouse, a cellar and a cave chapel. Not my time to see these but if interested they are here!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

New city of Doue en Anjou things to see in French

Tourist office of Saumur on doue la fontaine or doue en Anjou now

This is one of those town I go by I lost count of how many, this one at least took some pictures . Me thinking is a good base for the nearby castles and wine houses as the area is in wine country of Saumur-Val-de-Loire and côte de Layon. Anyway is a good location town ,the new name Doué en Anjou but I still like the locals prefer Doué la Fontaine!

Hope you enjoy it and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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August 18, 2019

Château de Brézé!

And on my wandering road warrior trips of my belle France I heard about this castle and decided to give it a run; very impressive. This is in what is normally call the Loire or valley of the kings but since France restructured its regions (for lack of history) there are now two parts of the Loire. This one is in the region of Pays de la Loire and the department 49 of Maine et Loire! I will be telling you a bit about the Château de Brézé!

First, there is the little town of Brézé that became on January 1, 2019 a town delegate of the new town of Bellevigne-les-Châteaux. The Castle of Brézé is a monument of which a vast underground gallery was recently discovered a castle under the castle. It also has the deepest dry moat in Europe with their 18 meters. And this is about what is in town really but worth alone the trip.

This is the city page on its heritage: City of Brézé on its heritage in French

There is plenty of free parking outside and you walk in with grandeur to the ticket office with the old stables on your left and the pigeon house right next door before you face on the beautiful castle of Brézé!

Breze

Breze

Breze

The château de Brézé, is a 16C castle located in the town of the same name 10 km south of Saumur. The particularity of the Château de Brézé lies in its troglodyte network located under the castle and in the ditches, comprising both parts of daily life (bakery, stables, silkworm) and military (drawbridge, walkway). The castle of Breze is a private property belonging to Jean de Colbert, son of the late Count Bernard de Colbert and the late Marquise Charlotte de Dreux-Breze. However, it is open to the public.

Breze

Its dry moats are the deepest in Europe at 18 meters. The stone of the construction was taken from the moat digging. It has a drawbridge and an underground network of the 12C, a troglodyte part. Renaissance style, it includes a large gallery, a Renaissance home and a clock tower. The cylindrical dovecote dating from the beginning of the 16C, of 3,700 balls (holes that serve as a nest for pigeons), is capped with a lantern dome. The orangery also has a lantern.

Breze

Breze

In 1448, Gilles de Maillé-Breze obtained from King René permission to strengthen the castle and dig ditches. The renaissance Italian-style castle and outbuildings were rebuilt in the early 16C by Arthur de Maillé. Urbain de Maillé Breze will be the first marquis after Louis XIII erected the estate in marquise in 1615. He marries Nicole du Plessis, sister of Richelieu and they will have two children Armand, grand admiral of France, who dies in Tuscany at the 27 years of age without posterity, and Claire-Clémence who married Louis II of Bourbon-Condé, the Grand Condé and he transmits this heritage in 1650. The Grand Condé takes the head of the Fronde, thus opposes the regency during the minority of the young Louis XIV and, in 1653, the castle is occupied by royal troops. In 1682, Condé will exchange the castle of Breze against La Galissonniere in Bere (Châteaubriant), owned by Thomas de Dreux. In 1685, Thomas de Dreux, advisor to the Parliament of Paris, was confirmed the title of Marquis de Breze by King Louis XIV. Following the marriage of Charlotte de Dreux-Breze with Count Bernard de Colbert in 1959, the property passed to the hands of the Colbert family who still lives there.

The Château de Brézé hosts the time of a weekend a tournament. This medieval joust brings visitors back to the days of armored knight battles. The show is livened up by multiple animations and workshops in the park of the castle, transformed for the occasion into a medieval village. The Château de Brézé is mentioned by Marcel Proust in the second part of “Du Côté de Guermantes”. In the novel, the castle is presented as having been the property of the late wife of the Baron de Charlus, who would then have made a gift to his sister, Madame de Saint-Loup. “Brézé, it’s royal!” says Charlus. This assertion of one of the characters of La Recherche and which appears as a Proustian fiction, is not entirely unfounded if one considers that Breze belonged a time to the Grand Condé who, by their relationship with Louis XIV (they were his cousins ​​first cousins) were what were called “princes of the blood” (of royal blood). Proust’s novel thus presents the castle of Breze as a Royal residence likely to be worth millions.

Breze

Official Chateau de Breze in English

Some remarkable photos you will see here are the ones on Louis XVII the son of king Louis XVI ,that was assassinated by the revolutionaries as well as that of Henri V to be, the late Count of Chambord! There are also of Louis XVI and Louis XVIII in the Grand Galerie!

Breze

King Louis XVII assassinated son of Louis XVI

Breze

Count of Chambord could have been king Henri V

In all it was a nice visit especially walking underground on what it is a castle under a castle with living quarters and even a space for a mini farm all dark lit up but very medieval indeed, worth the trip. There is wine tasting of the property and take home too lol!!

Breze

Breze

Breze

Hope you enjoy the trip on the wonderful Loire ,these places are about less than 3 hrs from my home and should come often even if I do , there is so much to see and castles to spend a lifetime visiting them and maybe not enough time lol! This one is a dandy and really off the beaten path for most, do see the Château de Brézé.

And of course at the end of the day between Fontevraud and coming to Brézé we were hungry on the road not many choices so we settle for the familiar La Boucherie steakhouse chain right at Bd Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny on the beltway D347 outside Saumur for our lunch of burgers, tagliatelles, mince meats with fries, red Saumur wine and expresso coffee for less than 14€ per person!! More on the resto here: La Boucherie at Saumur

And now ready to head back home! another dandy day in the beautiful Loire valley and there is more to come while we still driving around my belle France! Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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August 18, 2019

Fontevraud l’Abbaye!

So finally in the Loire region or regions as today it encompasses several departments and two regions of my  belle France. I am in Pays de la Loire region in the Maine et Loire dept 49 and needed to pay a visit to Fontevraud l’Abbaye or the Notre Dame Abbey of Fontevraud!

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

By now very accustomed to visit abbeys,  but this one was there only for king Richard and the rest well pretty empty.  Nevertheless we made good of the time by visiting two spots, more later.

Let me give you a bit of an introduction on the history and why need to come here. Bear with me please, it will be long.

The town of Fontevraud-l’Abbaye  is situated in the department of Maine-et-Loire ,no 49, in the Pays de la Loire region. just south of Saumur. At the limit of the regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Centre-Val de Loire, it is famous for its abbey Notre-Dame, dynastic necropolis of Plantagenets, one of the most important abbey complexes of Europe, at the crossroads of the departments of Maine-et-Loire, Indre-et-Loire and Vienne, as well as the regions Pays of the Loire, Centre-Val de Loire and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

The foundation of the Abbey goes way back.  In 1096, Robert d’Arbrissel receives from Pope Urban II visiting Angers, a mission of preaching. He settled between 1099 and 1101, with the help of Peter II, bishop of Poitiers, in a valley named Fons Ebaudi and undertakes the foundations of the abbey. The first protector is the lord of Montsoreau, Gautier II de Montsoreau; then Ermengarde d’Anjou, member of the Angevin family. Daughter of Foulque the Réchin, it makes ratify by her brother, Foulque V, her gifts with the abbey of Fontevraud. She retired there around 1112. The foundation meets a great success very quickly. In 1115, Robert d’Arbrissel fixed the statutes of Fontevraud with the nuns. In the same year, he had the first abbess, named after the Angevin nobility, Petronille de Chemille.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

This is a bit of history on the city page itself. City of Fontevraud l’Abbaye on heritage

A bit of history I like on the abbey of Fontevraud

The Royal Abbey Notre-Dame de Fontevraud is an old Benedictine abbey, seat of the order of Fontevraud, founded in 1101 by Robert d’Arbrissel on a 13 hectare site established on the Angevin border of Poitou and Touraine, it is one of the largest monastic cities of Europe.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

The monastic complex today consists of two remaining monasteries of the original four. The most important is the Grand-Moûtier monastery, open to the public, which houses the abbey church, the Romanesque kitchen and the Saint-Benoît chapel of the 12C, as well as the cloister, the conventual buildings, including the chapter house, and infirmaries of the 16C. Some of the buildings today house seminar rooms. The Priory Saint-Lazare, whose church dates from the 12C, was transformed into a hotel residence.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

The transformation of the abbey into a dynasty necropolis Plantagenets greatly contributes to its development. Henri II, married to Aliénor of Aquitaine in 1152, made his first visit in 1154. The couple entrusted to the abbey his two youngest children: Jeanne, born in 1165, and John, future king of England. He left the abbey after five years, while Jeanne did not leave until 1176, for her marriage. In 1180, Henry II financed the construction of the parish church of Fontevraud, the Church of St. Michael, built near the abbey. In 1189, morally and physically exhausted by the war waged by his sons and the King of France, Henry II died in Chinon. No provision had been made to prepare the funeral. Although the former king was able to talk about being buried in Grandmont, Limousin, it is difficult to transport the body in the middle of the summer and nobody wants to take the time to travel. Fontevraud is then chosen for convenience, to prepare for the burial in a hurry.

Richard the Lionheart (known more like this in France while in England more as Richard I) dies in 1199, in Chalus-Chabrol. On the choice of his mother Aliénor, the body whose heart and bowels were removed, is taken to Fontevraud and buried on alongside his father. On the other hand, his heart is buried in the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen and his entrails presumably in the chapel of the ruined castle Chalus-Chabrol today. In 1200, back from Castile, Aliénor decides, at more than 80 years, to withdraw in a virtually final way to Fontevraud. She died four years later, in 1204 in Poitiers, and is buried alongside her husband, her son Richard and her daughter Jeanne. In 1250, Raymond, Count of Toulouse and son of Jeanne, is buried at his request to his mother. In 1254, Henry III, son of Jean, organizes the transfer of the remains of his mother Isabelle d’Angoulême, then buried in Angoumois at the Notre-Dame de la Couronne abbey, as far as Fontevraud. His heart is deposited there at his death.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

The end of the Plantagenet empire puts the abbey in a delicate situation. To the financial difficulties is added the beginning of the Hundred Years War. In 1369, the abbey lost about 60% of its land rents, aggravating an already difficult financial situation. In 1670, the abbey has 230 nuns, 60 religious as well as many lay people in charge of the administration and the 4714 servants. The death of Jeanne-Baptiste will profoundly mark the fate of the abbey: the former abbess having not chosen a coadjutress as was the custom, the new abbess is then appointed by the king himself. In 1670, Louis XIV appointed at the head of the Abbey and Order Mary Magdalene Gabrielle de Rochechouart, sister of Madame de Montespan. In June 1738, the four younger girls of Louis XV arrive at Fontevraud where the king entrusts them to the education of the nuns. A new home is built in the west, the Bourbon home, completed in 1741, expanded new facilities in 1747. The daughters of Louis XV will stay until 1750.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

The French revolution will bring the fatal blow to the abbey and the order of Fontevraud. The coup de grace arrives in 1789: the goods of the clergy are declared national property. In 1793, a troop enters the abbey despite the intervention of the guardian, and begins to loot and ransack the buildings. The sarcophagi and coffins of the vault of the abbesses are broken and the bones left abandoned or thrown away. To avoid further looting, the town rushed to sell the remaining property. The 106 former religious still residing in Fontevraud attend the ultimate dispersion of furniture and hammering blazons and signs of the old regime. In full reign of terror, the atmosphere is heavy and the former occupants of the abbey become suspicious in the eyes of the administration.

In 1804, Napoleon I signed a decree that transformed the abbey into a detention center, as well as those of Clairvaux and Mont Saint-Michel. The first prisoners arrived in 1812. The prison was officially opened in 1814. Most of the six hundred prisoners were evacuated at the closing of the prison, except about forty, employed in the maintenance of green spaces and the demolition of penitentiary facilities. They leave definitively the residual prison,to the La Madeleine, in 1985, date at which the places are returned to civil life.

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

From 1840, thanks to the action of Prosper Mérimée, Inspector General of Historical Monuments, the former Abbey of Fontevraud is listed on the first national list of classification of historical monuments. Gradually, several buildings are released from their assignment: the cloister in 1860, the refectory in 1882, the tower of Evrau and the abbey church, 90 meters long, at the beginning of the 20C, and are gradually restored. From the closing in 1963 to the end of the 20C, the almost uninterrupted restoration projects gave it the appearance that the visitor discovers from now on. The site becomes a permanent place for debates, exhibitions, shows and residencies for artists, particularly in the field of animation cinema. The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, Cultural Center of the West, is a member of the European Network of Cultural Encounter Centers.   You can see today the Le Grand-Moûtier , abbey Church , Cloister, Chapter House and Kitchen. Also , the Chapel of Saint-Benoît , nurseries and the priory of Saint-Lazare. And it is under construction a museum!

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

Fontevraud l'Abbaye

More on the Fontevraud abbey in the following webpages

Official Fontevraud abbey in English

Tourist office of Saumur on Royal Abbey of Fontevraud

Again my main reason for coming here was to see the coffin of king Richard the Lion Heart in addition to the royal story, I always love the movies depicting his story such as ben a Crusader, Robin Hood, and Ivanhoe. He has been depicted in countless movies and books, both in a fiction and non-fiction format. You may recall that Sean Connery played him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Love them all! And of course, the fact that he was born in England, was King of England as Richard I, and buried in France wow!!! And on his French Plantagenet heritage, was Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitiers, Count of Maine and Earl of Anjou!! ok so worth it coming here ok ok!

Hope you enjoy the ride and some representative pictures of Fontevraud l’Abbaye. Enjoy it

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

 

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August 17, 2019

Once again Cathedral St Corentin at Quimper!

And yes once again I have to tell you the latest about the Cathedral Saint Corentin in beautiful Quimper of dept 29 Finistére of my lovely Bretagne! This is a place about an hour from me and love to come but with so much to see sometimes there is a space of time in between.

This time again was not meant to stop by as was in my road warrior campaign in the Finistére visiting new places (see previous posts). And all of a sudden we were ready to go back home, and I say nooo we have more time so on the way back we stop by Quimper, voilà c’est fait!

And of course, the must visit place here is the wonderful beautiful Cathedral Saint Corentin at Place Saint Corentin! As have written on it before and do not want to duplicate things, here is my last post on it in my blog here:

My post on the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Let me tell you a bit more on this jewel that again is a must to see while in France let alone Bretagne! 

Welcome to the magnificent Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper! It is a house where God loves to welcome and gather men. The Cathedral is under the patronage of Notre Dame (Our Lady) and its first Bishop Saint Corentin. Tradition reports that in testimony of faith, he chose the green martyrdom, hermitical loneliness on the uncultivated slopes of Ménez Hom. The Eucharist ensured his sustenance. What symbolically represents the legendary story: every day he took a part of the fish from the fountain and he found it intact the next day. The same Latin life story reports that Gradlon, king of these lands, came to beg him to be the pastor of his city, Kemper (Quimper in French Kemper in Breton) at the confluence of Odet and Steir rivers, making him one of the founders of the dioceses of Brittany between the 5C and the 7C.

Quimper

Quimper

You can see between the arrows, the equestrian statue of the legendary king Gradlon watching over the inhabitants. After fleeing his town of Ys, engulfed by the escapades of his daughter Dahut, he made Quimper his new capital.

Its construction spanned nearly six centuries, with a serious break of almost 400 years. Begun in 1239, it is in the middle of the 19C that it will be definitively completed by the realization of the two striking arrows. One of the peculiarities of Saint-Corentin Cathedral is the difference of orientation between the nave and the choir. Two hypotheses are advanced to explain this particularity: the first says that the choir follows the inclination of Christ’s head on the cross while the other, more prosaic, reports difficulties encountered during the work as the Cathedral being built on the foundations of an old Romanesque cathedral and the soil, in this place, was marshy because of the proximity of the Odet river. The windows, as for them, were put in place between 1417 and 1419.

Quimper

Quimper

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip here are

City of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Tourist office of Quimper on the Cathedral St Corentin

Come and behold its beauty, it will dazzle you for sure. We love it and come several times over the years here. Enjoy once again the Cathedral Saint Corentin of Quimper in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne!

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

 

 

August 17, 2019

Once again Quimper!!!

Indeed, once again Quimper!!! this is a very nice city we love and with so much to see sometimes we take time to come back, but come back we did this week and here are some new photos. Really not much to tell as I have plenty written in my blog on various spots of the city. However, always worth it to come back!

We were riding the road warrior routine in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne and with time decided to stop by Quimper before heading home in my beautiful Morbihan breton dept 56.

For now something on Quimper. One thing we love to do once in town is to walk, indeed walk as much as you can and see more of our beautiful region and country for that matter. One walk that is a must repeat is the one by the Odet river and over and across its passarelle bridges lovely sublime, this is Bretagne and for that matter my belle France!

The passarelles from the theater Max Jacob coming along the Odet river to the Préfecture of Finistére and along the blvd Dupleix and Blvd Amiral de Kerguelen. In my beautiful Quimper. These are

Passarelle Louis Pasteur, Passarelle Canet-Mallejacq (right by old gardens) ; Passarelle Bolloré, (here is the post office and the pont de la poste); Passarelle Guével, Passarelle Max Jacob (by the Bishop’s garden) ; Passarelle de la Phalange d’Arvor, (start again of old gardens) Passarelle Tanguy, Passarelle Traonouez; Passarelle Liot, here you see the Musée Départemental Breton or Breton dept museum, and the pont St Catherine. A wonderful promenade indeed we love to do each time in town!

quimper

While in this walk, even if no time to go in again (you can see my previous post on it) we love the Musée Départemental Breton or the Departemental Breton Museum on the local history of customs and the city lovely historical and an nice architecturally stunning bishop’s palace.  And a peek of the Cathedral St Corentin!!!

quimper

There is the always wonderful Cinéma Arcades facing the Odet river and the passarelles, just perfect for a movie, sublime, or as I said in heavens.

quimper

The always wonderful Place Saint Corentin full of great ambiance, lively and great places to sip , shop , and see the world go by. Right there is the inmense Cathedral St Corentin more of that in later  post. On the right a peek at the fine arts museum musée des beaux-arts

quimper

quimper  19

The always a must Rue Kéreon right off the Place St Corentin and into old Quimper full of restos, shops, and ice cream parlors , our favorite is Georges Larnicol, also with stores in Paris but Breton!

quimper

quimper

quimper

In all, it is always a pleasant visit to Quimper , one of the must cities to visit in Brittany in my opinion; and these days full of tourists especially from UK and Germany. Don’t missed out on it come on over folks, you will love it! we do!!!

As always , the tourist office of Quimper in English: Tourist office of Quimper in English

And the very good City of Quimper on heritage here: City of Quimper on heritage in English

Enjoy Quimper as much as we do,and if in town hollow we will love to meet you in this wonderful city and show you around.

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

 

 

 

 

 

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Chapelle Notre Dame des Portes!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou. Enjoy the off the beaten path gems of my region!

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Bretagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou.

The beauty to see here is the  Notre-Dame des Portes Chapel, combining Neo-Roman and Neo-Gothic styles  dates from 1892. The statue of Notre Dame (Our Lady) was crowned in 1894; the day before the coronation took place the procession of miracles, which took place traditionally every year and ended with an edifying spectacle; the feast of the coronation ended with fireworks and the illumination of the whole city, thirty parishes came with their crosses and their banners the chapel was restored in 1953. The pardon of Notre-Dame- des-Portes, which takes place every penultimate Sunday of August, remains very busy. Paul Sérusier made about 1896 a painting “The pardon of Notre-Dame-des-Portes in Châteauneuf-du-Faou” which is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Quimper.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The Gothic porch of the 15C chapel of Notre Dame des Portes (of doors) is decorated with statuettes, leaves of vines and acanthus, animals and grotesque figures. At the bottom of the right pillar, a magnificent finely carved molded holy water font is found. Lovely and worth the detour.

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual from me are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on Notre Dame chapel

You will do well to visit Châteauneuf du Faou and we had time for lunch just when it started raining and when we finished the rain stop lovely !!! We did had our lunch at  Pizzeria La Voltera wonderful family place full of patrons and a delicious big over the plate Chorizana chorizo pizza with big chunks watch down with Rose pitcher of the house and express coffee to run, all for under 14€ per person! nice.

Chateauneuf du Faou

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

 

August 16, 2019

Châteauneuf du Faou, and Church of St Julien!

So back to the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just an hour from my house and so much to see its overwhelming at times. If Paris is a movable feast then France is …well a huge feast and Bretagne its maiden sister! I like to tell you my latest haunts in my region.

Again, the introduction will be mostly repeated some extra here to tell you about in my opinion the best sights in Châteauneuf du Faou.

Châteauneuf-du-Faou is in department of Finistère 29 region of Brietagne. The town is bathed by the Aulne river, important Breton coastal river. The existence of the city is attested in 1368 in the cartulary of Quimper that reports on this date a tax of 45 pounds of Castrum Novum in Fago in favor of the court of Rome. The canal from Nantes to Brest is no longer navigable and the old narrow-gauge railway of the Breton network going from Carhaix to Châteaulin, opened in 1904 and closed in September 1967 no longer exists. The town is crossed by the national road 164, going from Châteaulin to Montauban-de-Bretagne, towards Rennes.

A bit of history I like

The old castle, built by an unknown family of Poher, stood on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Aulne and Pont-du-Roy, probably on the site of a former Gaullic oppidum commanding the passage of the river, it was established, moreover, on the edge of the old Roman road of Carhaix at the point of Raz. In 1186, the castle was taken by Guyomarch I and Hervé I de Léon and passed into the hands of the viscounts of Leon as attested by two acts of 1239 and 1275. It was already ruined in 1440 when was built at its site the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Portes. Long sections of wall and the base of a corner tower are still visible and being restored.

During the French revolution, the local population was rather hostile to new ideas, supporting for example its refractory priest, L’Haridon. During this time the town temporarily bore the name of Mont-sur-Aulne. In the following years, gatherings of Chouans (rebels against the French revolution) were reported everywhere around Châteauneuf-du-Faou, particularly in Laz. In 1815 again, Châteauneuf-du-Faou suffered a late but formidable attack of Chouans.

The construction of the canal from Nantes to Brest, begun in 1806 and completed in 1836, which borrows locally the course of the channeled Aulne river ; the last barge crosses the lock of Châteauneuf-du-Faou was in 1942. From then on the neighboring section Châteauneuf is open only to a tourist navigation. On August 8, 1896, the president of the French Republic Felix Faure, coming from Brest via Morlaix and Carhaix and heading towards Pleyben, Chateaulin, then Quimper, stopped in Châteauneuf-du-Faou as part of a trip to Brittany. It seems he is the only French head of state to have stopped one day by Chateauneuf! Between the two wars, an emigration to the United States began to develop, which began in Roudouallec and spread throughout the Montagne Noire region around Gourin (see my post on it) and Châteauneuf-du-Faou. The Pont du Roy bridge, whose six arches span the canalized Aulne river (canal from Nantes to Brest), south of the town. It was built in the first half of the 17C.

Chateauneuf du Faou

The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou has the project to create a museum dedicated to Paul Serusier. For this purpose, the painting Autoportrait à la barbe rutilante (self portrait with a gleaming beard) , painted in Châteauneuf-du-Faou, was acquired by the city in 2017. The village of Paul Sérusier, famous nabi with a gleaming beard, a local citizen for nearly 30 years, he left behind wall paintings in the parish church. A circuit through the city is now dedicated to him, an exhibition space “Paul Sérusier” receiving contemporary artists was created at the Tourist Office, the City/Town Hall has a small collection of his works. His house whose walls are covered with frescoes is private and can not be visited. Who is Paul Sérusier ,well he was a friend of Paul Gauguin, and creator of the school of the Nabis, lived more than three decades of his life in Châteauneuf-du-Faou: he built in 1906 his house at No. 27 street who now bears his name and remains there until his death, which occurred at Morlaix in 1927. It is in Brittany, still in Chateauneuf-du-Faou, that, wearing his broad hat, wrapped in his shepherd’s cloak he continues to spend almost all his hours. In Paris, he cannot work . Member of the school of Pont-Aven, nabi painter, his work is worth by his moral qualities as much as by his style. It is persuasive and forces us to recollection and silence; moreover, it has its own radiance . It is said in painting circles that If Cezanne is the bridge between Impressionism and Gauguin, he is the elegant bridge that unites the symbolism of Gauguin synthesizing post-Impressionism a little raw cubists His wife, Marguerite Sérusier (born Marguerite Gabriel-Claude   at Lons-le-Saulnier; Jura), who died in   1950, was also a talented painter The city of Châteauneuf-du-Faou devoted an exhibition to her in 2016.

The one showcase on this post is the Saint-Julien Church dates from the 18-19C. The current church includes a nave with six bays and a choir with a polygonal chevet. The bell tower with its dome and its lantern is from a previous church built in 1737, as well as many statues that adorn it such as those of St. Margaret, St. Michael, St. Maudez, St. Barbara, St. Pierre and a stone Pietà. A statuary group representing St. Anne and the Virgin and Child dates back to 1632. The church is adorned with murals by Paul Sérusier dated from 1914 to 1919 which represent the Annunciation, the Assumption, the Baptism of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Chateauneuf du Faou

 

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Chateauneuf du Faou

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Chateauneuf du Faou on things to see in French

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on the Church of St Julien in French

There you go another jewel in my off the beaten path trails of Bretagne, this one in pretty Finistére dept 29 and nice Chateauneuf du Faou,  and its Church of St Julien! Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

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August 15, 2019

Domaine de Trevarez at St Goazec!

And continuing on my showcase of my lovely Bretagne, we headed north to our neighbor Finistére dept 29 and were in and around the town of St Goazec where we saw marvels as in previous post, this one is on the wonderful Domaine de Trévarez , a castle and park just outside of city center before arriving on the D36 road.

St Goazec

This one I feld needed a post on its own because its wonderfully beautiful and still in renovations, however you can see two of the three floors of the castle and the vast park/gardens. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Domaine de Trévarez ( on site is a Domaine because of the gardens, then also call a castle for the main building).

St Goazec

The Château de Trévarez is located in the limits of the town of Saint-Goazec, but outside no the road D36 that leads you to city center/downtown. Built at the end of the 19C by James de Kerjégu, president of the general council of Finistère to welcome his worldly relations, it is, with its park open to the public, an important monument of Finistère. The castle is both an example of eclectic style, combining Victorian and Neo-Gothic styles with elements of Breton decor, and a prototype of the house equipped with the latest technological advances of the time: elevator, central heating, running water, electricity , etc. Its wrought iron door, was also exhibited and awarded in 1903 at the Grand Palais in Paris before being installed in the castle. Very damaged in 1944 by an Allied bombing, it has since been bought and put in value by the general council of Finistère.

St Goazec

A bit of history I like

The name of Trévarez is of Breton origin. It comes from “Trev”, which means district (or place formerly inhabited. In 1567, the barony is erected in Marquis de la Roche by Henry III, for the benefit of the knight Troilus de Mesgouez, who was page at the court of Catherine de Medici before being the lover. Governor of the city of Morlaix, then viceroy of New France in 1578. It was his niece, Anne de Coëtanezre, Marquise de la Roche and Laz, and wife of Charles de Kernezne, who made the manor of Trévarez their ordinary residence . The mansion was totally rebuilt during the 17C.

It was inherit by Louise de Bot du Grégo, only daughter of Charles-François Jules du Bot and Marquess du Grégo, wife of Viscount Antoine-Henry d’Amphernet of Pontbellanger, who was Chouan (rebel vs the French revolution) and she denounced him to the troops of Gen. Hoche (Gen of the army of the west to crutch the rebellion), which was her lover. Louise du Grégo will succeed, thanks to her relations, to spare Trévarez from revolutionary looting. Widow, she will then marry General Bonté in the chapel of Trévarez. The castle remains today the manor, completely modified and modernized in 1860 by François de Kerjégu, the Chapel Saint-Hubert, formerly dedicated to Notre-Dame, then rebuilt in 1699 and placed under the patronage of Saint Hubert, patron of hunters, and the Fontaine Saint-Hubert, dated 1700, nestled at the foot of the current Castle.

St Goazec

During WWII, the Castle of Trévarez served, from October 1939, to receive the classified objects and collections of museums, from the Pas-de-Calais. In July 1940, the castle will be requisitioned by the Nazi occupation forces and serves as a resting place for kriegsmarine submariners stationed at the port of Brest between two missions at sea and Japanese submariners stationed at the port of Lorient.

In 1968 , it will be bought by the General Council of Finistère, which will start a progressive renovation, starting with the outside of the castle and the gardens. The roof of the castle will be restored in 1993, revealing its metallic structure. However, a chimney will be missing on the new roof, which disappeared during the bombing. Reopened in 1971, the garden, now 85 hectares, is labeled “Remarkable Garden”. There was an impressive colony of bats, protected species, in the attic or basement. Eight different species coexisted in the abandoned castle. They now have a special place at the entrance of the attic. Today, it houses the National Collection of Rhododendron Cultivars, with about 700 varieties, the Certified Collections of Cultivars as well as botanical species of the genus Camellia, some of which are extremely rare, as well as extensive collections of heathergrass ( Camellia, Hydrangea, Pieris …), as well as various trees, such as Japanese maples, oaks, Virginia tulip trees, silver limes, as well as several hundred-year-old conifer species (Monterey pines, Scots pines, Sequoia, Sequoiadendron , Sciadopitys, Thujopsis, Thuja plicata ‘Aurea’).

St Goazec

St Goazec

St Goazec

St Goazec

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual by me are

Finistere heritage on the castle of Trevarez

Tourist office of Chateauneuf du Faou on the Castle of Trevarez

Tourist office of Brittany on the castle in English

Parks and gardens of France on the castle

You have all you need to come enjoy this wonderful property about an hour from me by car. The best entry is to take from front office to the stables and then the chemin des camélias hilly but wonderful trees and takes you right in front of the castle. Good for a whole day if you are into nature , and there is a cafe inside on the stable building as well as a boutique at the left entrance to the castle main. Enjoy the Domaine de Trévarez at St Goazec

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

 

 

 

August 15, 2019

St Goazec in the Finistére breton!

So here I am already in my vacation and before i take off for the Loire and  Spain (more later) I am indulging myself in some new territories of my lovely Bretagne. As said before, so much to see here, and the old saying is know your country before you know the world… I am doing that one at a time.

I decided to travel with the boys to Saint Goazec in the Finistére dept 29 of my lovely Bretagne, just less than an hour from me! And behold, there are beauties to see here. I will try to bring you up to date on the town in a couple posts; bear with me please.

Saint-Goazec  is a town cut off by the Aulne river that splits it from Châteauneuf-du-Faou (more on it later) , and the town is 30 km from Quimper and 58 km from Brest. The  castle of Trévarez is located  just outside (more later).

During the French revolution, the Trévoazec estate passed into the hands of Antoine-Henry d’Amphernet of Pontbellanger, a Chouan chief who died in 1796 in Médréac after being ambushed by soldiers of General Hoche (native of Versailles and gen of the armies of the west) ; he had been denounced by his wife, the Marquise Louise Bot du Grego, who was the mistress of General Hoche. The   Republican revolutionaries blues, in recognition of the services she gave them, razed the church of Trégoazec, but left intact her lands and her manor of Trévarez. The canal from Nantes to Brest with the Voaquer lock and its salmon and trout ladder, which allows them to climb the course of the Aulne to spawn. The parish Church of St. Pierre, built in 1896. The Calvary and his Madonna and Child, alas mutilated, dates from the 15C.

The construction of the Church of Saint-Pierre took place from 1894 to 1896. It is a church in the shape of a Latin cross formed of 3 naves with 3 bays. The shell, in shale rubble, is partially coated. The frames of the bays are cut granite. It is covered with paneling painted blue. The arch is painted in ochre and yellow. The transept has a polygonal choir lit by 3 stained glass windows: The central stained glass dates from 1593 and represents The Passion. The Church St Pierre houses the statues of the Virgin Mother, Saint Goazec, Saint Peter and Saint Herbert.

City of Saint Goazec on the Church

st goazec

st goazec

st goazec

Another curiosity that i can add to this post is the Château de Kervoazec which is a private property but I was able to arrive just to it. It is now rented for special events such as wedding and can be rented as lodging B&B. Very interesting if you like castles like me to see it. The property is just outside of main city center on the road D36 before reaching St Goazec.

st goazec

The Château de Kervoazec was built around 1860, on the site of the ancient village of Tregoazec by Louis Monjaret de Kerjégu, deputy and general counselor of Finistère who practiced there raising horses and creating a farm-school , that allows young girls in the country to work so that they can live in their area. The embroiderers made Breton lace: headdresses, collars, etc. Thirty young girls were working there in 1928 the workshop is annexed to the school. In 1930 the decline in orders led to a decrease in the number of embroiderers and by 1939 only 22 workers were left; in 1946 the workroom was closed. His daughter Anne Monjaret de Kerjégu married Count Eudes de Rouvroy of Saint-Simon, mayor of Saint-Goazec between 1919 and 1929, nephew of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, count of Saint Simon , founder of Saint-Simon, who made him build Ker Maunoir, a pretty house at the end of the park for his daughter. From 1932, after the death of Eudes de Rouvroy of Saint-Simon, the castle, then called castle of Saint-Simon became the property of Pierre de Foucault, Baron de Tournebu, because of his marriage with Genevieve de Rouvroy de Saint-Simon, daughter of Eudes de Rouvroy de Saint-Simon, who opened a lace workstation there between 1916 to 1928. A man of the 19C, a supporter of the French Action ( a French far right monarchist political movement)   which he presides the local group, he organized important political meetings in which participated in particular Leon Daudet and many Camelots of the king. The castle was occupied by the Nazi army from May 1944 and served as a gathering center for the children of Brest. The current park is only 8 ha, the rest having been gradually sold in the 1950s. Since 2014, the Castle of Kervozec offers hotel rentals all year round, dining rooms rentals etc.

Official Chateau de Kervoazec

st goazec

st goazec

This is an introduction to the town of Saint Goazec, another post to follow shortly. Enjoy it ,this is the backwoods of my belle France in lovely Bretagne, off the beaten path and the beauty to be in real French country. Family and friends tells me I am lucky and I am beginning to believe it !!! For now enjoy Saint Goazec in the Finistére breton.

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

 

 

 

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