Posts tagged ‘France’

April 14, 2021

Chic Trouville sur Mer!!

This another of the Norman riviera town very chic nice and great beaches for a nice summer resort. We came here first on our road warrior trips between Honfleur and Deauville and found Trouville sur Mer very nice. Let me tell you a bit more on chic Trouville sur Mer!

We had some extra time in the area , and decided to come to the nearby town of Trouville sur Mer in dept Calvados 14 region of Normandy. I have passed by it several times but never really got into it as heard was a bit glitzy. This time we went in with the extra time and marvel of another jewel of Normandy and France even if still glitzy.


A bit of history I like

The rise of the seaside resort of Trouville sur Mer , began in the 19C with the fashion of sea bathing, is surely due to its attendance by a small group of painters: Charles Mozin; The “discoverer of Trouville” in 1825 , Paul Huet, A. G. Decamps and his pupil Louis Godefroy Jadin, Eugène Isabey, Corot, whose Musée d’Orsay provides at least one proof  Trouville fishing boats stranded in the channel and also Eugene Boudin. The writer Alphonse Karr also contributed to his fame. King of the French, Louis-Philippe also helped the launch of Trouville, which he opposed to Dieppe the legitimate side of monarchy, and it was from this station that he tried to leave for England during the revolution of 1848. Gustave Flaubert met with Elisa Schlésinger during the summer of 1836. Dubbed the “Queen of Beaches”, this grand bourse resort according to a ranking of guides Joanne is soon challenged by Deauville (see post). Alexandre Dumas talked about it in his memoirs.


Some of the things to see here  other than the beach are:

The Hôtel des Roches Noires (Black Rocks Hotel). Former palace inaugurated in 1866, whose entrance hall was decorated by Robert Mallet-Stevens. The hotel was painted by Claude Monet in 1870 and was the resort of Marcel Proust and Marguerite Duras.  The Villa Montebello built in 1865; now hosts the museum of the city. The Church Notre Dame du Bon-Secours. The Casino with the Lousiana theme ,first casino with this décor in Europe, build in 1912.


However, for us , the beach was it, large extensive white sandy beach with huge assortment of fun things to do for all the family and a beautiful swimming pool complex right on the beach.  It is recommended for all families even if a bit glitzy, upper scale beach town is really open to all pricewise I meant.



I figure the best combination is to be here at daytime for the beach, and then go about 14 km down along the D513 road to Honfleur (see posts)  for the evening dining and sightseeing activities. Food for thought…..There is so much to see in my belle France!! My friends and family asked me but I tell them not enough time in my lifetime to see it all, just enjoy the bit I have so far, which is not too shabby ok ::)  We are even thinking of coming back in quieter times and just marvel of the scenery.


The Trouville sur Mer tourist office

The city of Trouville sur Mer on tourism

My fav beach webpage in France, plages tv on the beach of Trouville sur Mer:

Enjoy the short post and introduction on Trouville sur Mer together with me. And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 13, 2021

Classic Deauville!!

I will update this one a classic Deauville one of the most chic of French cities and is not in theh south riviera! This is Normandy at its best , and we like it. Hope you enjoy the revise post on Deauville a dandy amongt the dandies. This is glitzy and old charm town but it is very famous with the upper class and under….

Deauville in the Department 14 of Calvados in the region of Normandy. It is considered, with its casino, its palaces, its classic villas, its racing fields, its marinas, its convention center, its American film Festival, its golfs and its discotheques, as one of the most prestigious city in France. It attracts thousands of tourists each year, especially Parisians because of its relative proximity (about 200 km), which is worth being dubbed the “21st arrondissement of Paris” (21st district of Paris) thanks to the A13 highway  ,and the A132 connector as well as the Deauville Train station.  Of course, we have , also come from Bretagne on the same A13 but getting around Caen to the coast along the road D513.


At the mouth of the Touques river which separates it from Trouville-sur-Mer, (see post) and stretches partly along the river. A bridge connects the two town. From a traditional point of view, it is in the north of the Pays d’Auge  and from a tourist point of view, it is located on the Côte Fleurie. Adjacent to Trouville-sur-Mer, the agglomeration is 13 km L’évêque, 16 km from Honfleur, 17 km Dives-sur-Mer and 42 km  Caen.

The name Deauville is attested in the Latinized form  Auevilla in 1060, then Deauvilla later on. The original village was built on the height of Mount Canisy, belonging to the Bishopric of Lisieux during the old regime ( monarchy).

A bit of history I like

There is still little, of ruins of the castle of Lassay, which  was believed still practically intact in 1830. This castle was built in 1676 by Armand de Madaillan, Count of  Lesparre, Marquis of Lassay. Well known in the court at Versailles, while he was wooing the Duchess of Montpensier,  Countess of Auge, staying  in Honfleur. It was a little embellish reality, the castle was only a simple mansion, it was in this faithful to its gascons origins. It was his son, Count and Marquis of Lassay, who had the Hôtel de Lassay built in Paris, now residence of the President of the National Assembly of France.  King  Louis XIV made parishes of Benerville, Tourgéville, Saint-Aja and Deauville a lordship under the name of Montcanisy. The Domaine de Montcanisy becomes by inheritance of his granddaughter, and then the  Duke of Brancas-Lauraguais. The Duke gave sumptuous feasts in favour of Madame du Barry, favorite of Louis XV, but also later for Sophie Arnoult,a  singer at the Opéra de Paris and his mistress. The castle was sold in 1824 to a Parisian named Auger who let it degrade.

It is Dieppe that inaugurates in France the Sea Baths in 1812, it achieved success with the Duchess of Berry who passes the seasons. The relay is taken by Trouville-sur-Mer, which is still a village, and will develop with the new French bourgeoisie, but also with the aristocracy of the Second Empire (Napoléon III). In 1847, Trouville, to establish a regular correspondence with the Paris trains which now arrive in Le Havre, built a long jetty at the mouth of the Touques river  to facilitate the berthing of the big ships. This disrupts the sea currents and the sand now accumulates along the marshes and the warrens of Deauville, pushing the ocean and creating a large sandy beach

The realization of the plan of planning, designed by  Architect Desle-François Breney,  sharing the space in four zones: by the sea, the permits to the avenue Impériale, the luxury residential area with the casino, behind a popular urban area, at the foot of the Hill a worldly area with the Hippodrome and along the Touques river  a zone of activity with the port and the wharf of the railroad. The space is enshrined in a quadrilateral, structured around a cardo with an avenue connecting the casino by the sea at the Hippodrome and the Imperial Avenue, former “customs Road”, parallel to the sea, connecting the other bank of the Touques by a bridge, and shared by a grid of broad streets. Excluded from the urban plan, the old village remains exiled to the top of the hill, around the church of St. Lawrence, in connection with the popular area by the extension of its paths vicinal classic plan is inspired to Breney by the Parisian principles of the Baron Haussmann.

At the beginning of the 20C, Deauville remained in the shadow of Trouville-sur-Mer, a station more famous for Parisian clientele. Grand Hotel du Casino and has a new casino built in its place inaugurated  in 1912. In 1912 is also opened the Hotel Normandy and in 1913, a second palace, the Hotel Royal, is built at the location of the Villa Louisiana of Baron Erlanger  and that of the Duke of Morny, thus turning a page of the history of Deauville. During ,WWI, the Royal, like many other Norman hotels, was transformed into a complementary military hospital to receive the wounded directly from the front through the railway line. The villa de Flots built by Botele, prefect of Police of the Second Empire, bought in 1867 by Count Roger de Gontaut-Biron, is demolished in 1911 to make way for the Normandy-hotel.

The city of Deauville builds the tennis club Lawn-Tennis  in 1913; In 1911, Count Le Marois built the grandstands of the Hippodrome de la Touques, inspired by those of Longchamp in Paris. In 1912 and in 1913, it is conceived, at the back of the casino, a set of luxury boutiques for, among others, the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels and the stylist Coco Chanel. It incorporates the Café de la Potinière. These stores of spring open their first shop outside of Paris, it is in 1924 that are opened the Pompeian baths  with the famous “plates” and in 1929 that is created the Yacht club

During  WWII, Deauville was occupied by the Nazi army. On 19 August 1944, Kommandant Major Rimmer summoned the municipal authorities, tob the city/town Hall, for a farewell party before leaving the city to settle on the heights of Trouville and Now everyone is waiting for the liberators. It was the units of the 6th Airborne Division of Major-General Richard Gale, the parachutists of the night from June 5 to 6, 1944 on the Orne channel that was entrusted with the liberation of the country of Auge (pays d’Auge) . The Belgian units of the Piron Brigade, who have passed Gale’s orders, are entrusted with the liberation of the coast, and after Cabourg, Dives-sur-Mer, Houlgate, Villers-sur-Mer, they arrive in sight of Deauville and Trouville. From August  20, contacts were made between the envoys of Deauville and the Allied troops who now know that the Germans evacuated the West Bank of the Touques including Mount Canisy. It was only on Thursday 24 August at 8h15 that the Belgian troops crossed the Touques river on a makeshift footbridge thrown on the ruins of the bridge between Deauville and Trouville. Allied forces chase the Nazis  in their retreat to Belgium and the Netherlands. It is in remembrance of their liberators that the bridge rebuilt between the two cities bears the name of “Bridge of the Belgians”.

Some things to see and do here, of course ,the Beach is it really for my opinion.

Tourism develops around the casino and the two luxury hotels of the Groupe Barriére, prestigious shops (Hermes, Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Prada, Armani, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tod, Weston, Pardha Jewellery…) and the Centre International de Deauville (CID), which hosts throughout the year numerous festivals, concerts, shows, congresses and seminars and every season the horse races. The Golfs Barriere of Deauville, the Admiralty, and Saint-Ganesh, scattered in the hinterland  of Deauville, the tennis-club on the waterfront, the Yacht club, the nautical center, the slopes of karting..The horse sector is particularly present through regular sales of thoroughbred horses at the Elie-de-Brignac establishment, including the sale of yearlings in August, of international renown; The organization of Grand Prix races on the Hippodrome of the Touques and on the Hippodrome of Clairefontaine as well as the organization of the “Deauville Polo Cup” every year, in the month of August.

The Saint-Laurent Chapel a former parish church of the 12C and 13C, where Yves Saint Laurent contributed to its restoration. Villa Strassburger, on the grounds of the  Ferme du Couteau  built at the beginning of the 20C  it is called Strassburger because it became, in the 1920’s, the Deauville  residence of the American billionaire Ralph-Beaver Strassburger. His descendants have donated the villa to the city of Deauville which has been providing it since its management and maintenance. The Trouville-Deauville train station, rebuilt in neo-Normand style in 1931 and which inspired that of Dalat (Vietnam) and Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo) . The Villa Breloque is the dwelling in which the painter Eugene Boudin  lived the last year of his life and died in  August 8, 1898. The promenade de la plage,  The board and its  Pompeian Baths,  the place Morny, its jets of water and its covered market;  the arcades  of the Avenue du General-de-Gaulle.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The Deauville tourist office

The City of Deauville on the beaches :

The Calvados tourist office on Deauville beaches

The Normandy Tourist Board on Deauville

There you , if refinement is your taste ,this Deauville is for you, even more than Paris. This is old money here ,even if lately some well to do families do come and some curious ones too. Like I said is an alternative to vacations in France for anyone. Enjoy it.

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

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April 13, 2021

Church Saint Leonard of Honfleur!!

This is a beautiful church in pretty Honfleur many missed as is away from the old port but I say it is worth the detour. We have been many many times here, and walk all over, ride even further, and we rented apartment once very close to it. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church Saint Leonard of Honfleur!

Once again coming back to Honfleur. You can read my blog and will understand more.  Honfleur is special and its Churches are the soul that rings with history, traditions, architecture ,and just quant neighborhoods of old and today. Just lovely for a walk, see ,do eat, drink and be merrier for life’s given. I have done many posts on Honfleur over the years in my blog, today will pick just one the Church Saint Leonard.


First , the Saint-Léonard district overlooks the library and the Tourist office and stands out in particular by the presence of its imposing Church Saint Leonard, dedicated to Saint-Léonard . The fountains and laundry or lavoir of Saint-Léonard, which borders the Church, belong also to history. Their existence has been attested since the 15C. It is in the heart of the Faubourg Saint Léonard, that the recently arranged garden of Tripot  is located. You will discover the Claire River, crossing Honfleur, and the old Tanners ‘ district.


The Church Saint-Léonard of Honfleur, was there already a sanctuary in 1186 at the site of the present Church as evidenced by a charter of the abbey of Grestain. Leonard, young man of the Court of king Clovis and patron Saint of the prisoners , died near Limoges in 559.


The Church Saint Leonard consists of a large nave with two aisles and a choir completed by a three-sided bedside. The façade is of flamboyant Gothic style and only surviving part of the old Gothic Church. The main gate is considered one of the most beautiful expressions of flamboyant Gothic. There are also some rebirth elements. The majority of the Church was burned by the Huguenots (protestants) at the time of the wars of Religion in the 16C. Most of the Church was rebuilt in the 17C and 18C, which explains the peculiar shape of the dome tower, rare in Normandy, but which evokes those that are encountered in eastern France. The large octagonal bell tower dates from 1760. It is decorated in its upper part of elegant bas-reliefs representing instruments of Music.


The interior is fully decorated with murals, as well as the wood vault with apparent framing. The stained glass windows date from the 19C, in the apse, in the center, the life of Saint Leonard. The stained glass windows of the lower sides represent the stations of the Cross. The Organ of the Tribune is by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll ;however by 1901, Charles Mutin, successor to Cavaile-Coll, rebuilt the instrument in its present layout. He reused some of the old piping and rebuilt box springs, mechanics, blower and console.


Some webpages to help your visit to this nice Church Saint Leonard are:

The City of Honfleur on Church of Saint Leonard

The parish of Honfleur on the Church Saint Leonard in French:

There you go a bit of walking past the old basin and you reach this wonderful Church Saint Leonard in a very quant old neighborhood of Saint Leonard in Honfleur.

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

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April 13, 2021

Basilica Saint Martin of Tours!!

This is an update of an older post on a wonderful monument that must be seen more and an a beautiful city of the Loire, Tours! Initially, we came by here practically passing by city center and as time went by we started to stop in the city with nice memorable moment for my family. However, on this post , I like to tell you more about the Basilica Saint Martin of Tours! Hope you enjoy it as I, even if the pictures were dark fault of a phone camera!

And while at wonderful historical Tours in the Indre et Loire dept 37 of the Centre Val de la Loire region, we come to another beauty of my belle France. This is the Basilica Saint Martin of Tours.  A major work of art and a very intense religious building indeed. I have written several posts on Tours and what to see inside but really need to do justice to this basilica and write a post just on it.


The Basilica Saint Martin of Tours is a former collegiate Church of St. Martin de Tours, which was essentially from the 11C, was decommissioned, vandalized and transformed into a stable in 1793, during the French revolution, then demolished following the collapse of the vaults in 1797, only two towers being kept. The present Basilica, much more modest, was built between 1886 and 1902 in the Neo-Byzantine style it is a basilica in limestone, granite and marble, covered with slates. It was consecrated as a Basilica in 1925. The statue of Saint Martin, which crowns the dome, weakened by the storms of early 2014, was deposited to be restored; Its base was consolidated and the statue was re-established on top in 2016, in anticipation of the Saint Martin day, celebrated every year on November 11th.


A bit of history I like

The body of Saint Martin, who died in Candes, was transported to Tours and modestly buried on 11 November 397, three days after his death, in a Christian cemetery outside the city, on the verge of the Roman road to the west. According to Gregory of Tours, Bishop Brice built a wooden building in 437 to house the tomb and the Mantle of Saint Martin, called for this reason a Chapel. Instead the first Basilica of Saint Martin’s Tomb, whose dedication took place in 470, Martin’s body was buried in a sarcophagus behind the altar of the new Basilica. A large block of marble overlooking the tomb, marking its place. In 508, it was in the Church of Bishop Saint Perpet that Clovis, in the aftermath of his victory over the Visigoths at the Battle of Vouillé, he received the insignia of consul from the ambassadors of Emperor Anastase, following which he rode the distance between the Basilica and the Cathedral of Tours by throwing money at the people.


From the reforms of Pepin the Writ, which wanted to impose the rule of Saint Benedict to all the monasteries of the Franks’ Kingdom at 741. Finally a council held in Aix-la-Chapelle in 817. Imperatively imposed the Benedictine rule on all the communities entitled Monasteries; The clerics of Saint-Martin had to choose between the status of monks and that of canons and adopted the second. From that date, the sanctuary of St. Martin is no longer considered a monastery, but as a Collegiate Church served by canons. The head of the community is still called “Abbot of St. Martin”, but from 844 it is a layman (in 860, it is Prince Louis, heir of Charles the bald; in 866, it is Robert the Fort, count of Tours and ancestor of the Capetian).. This was the main place of Christian pilgrimage in the 5C (Saint Martin was in any case the Holy protector of Gaul). The Council of Chalon-sur-Saône in 813 gives this pilgrimage the same importance as that of Rome.  It was then an important step on the Via Turonensis of the Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. The sanctuary was one of the five major pilgrimage Churches. In the 15C, the Basilica benefited from the munificence of King Louis XI, who lived in the Royal castle of Plessis-du-Parc-lèz-Tours, and his funeral were held there in 1483.



During the war of religion of 1562, the shrine of Saint Martin was burned by the Protestants and only a piece of the skull and an arm bone were kept. The old church survived until the French revolution, but in conditions of great decay due to lack of maintenance since well before 1789. In 1793, the Basilica was transformed into a stable to house a hundred horses and for 4 years it was the Martin’s stable. In 1797, a report found that the chaining that maintained the Basilica were partly stolen; The vaults of the ambulatory collapse in November and, as a safeguard for the inhabitants, the town ordered the complete demolition of the Basilica. The monumental organ of Lefevre (5 keyboards, double 32 games), also disappeared at that time. Of all this, only the Charlemagne tower (see post), restored in 1963, the clock tower and the canonical houses in the neighborhood of Saint-Martin cloister, a gallery of the Renaissance cloister, remains. Announcing the rediscovery of the tomb of Saint Martin de Tours in 1860 which allowed to restore the Martinien cult and revive a project of restitution of the grandiose site the new Basilica, smaller than the old one, would be perpendicular (oriented north-south ) and would share with it only the location of the former bedside, above the tomb of Saint Martin. The work began in 1886, the crypt with the tomb was inaugurated in 1889, the church in 1890, and the whole of the masonry was completed in 1902, allowing the Basilica to be opened to worship the following year. Cardinal Maurin consecrated the building as a basilica on July 4, 1925, and the layout of the forecourt was completed in 1928.


Built in 1843 for the Hospital of the Good Savior in Caen, in an 18C buffet, the current organ is bought by the city of Tours in 1956, and has undergone several restoration campaigns. It has two keyboards and a crankset for 17 games: In all, these are more than 1,800 pipes. It was restored and modified in 1977. Stéphane Béchy, was co-holder of 1984 to 1991 had made a recording in 1984 with works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Jehan Alain


The tradition ended as to the last abbot Robert, Count of Paris, elected King of the Franks in 922, and a lay abbot after him, the title of lay abbot of Saint-Martin was transmitted from father to son in the Robertiens, then Capetian, and was carried by the kings of France from Hugues Capet until 1789. Good to say: a religious institution, the petit Clercs of Saint-Martin de Tours, was founded in the years 1920 by Canon Rutard, diocesan priest. Seminarians from other French regions rich in vocation for the diocese of Tours, they also ensured daily religious service at St. Martin’s Basilica. Boarders, the little clerics of Saint-Martin followed their education on the spot, then followed their courses in various colleges of Tours (Collège Saint Grégoire, college Notre-Dame La Riche). The institution, living in particular of the generosity of the Touraine people, settled in the shadow of the Basilica at 3 Rue Baleschoux until 1970, the date of their disappearance. The little clerics of Saint Martin gave about 300 priests to the Diocese of Tours.

Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful city of Tours and its basilica are:

The Official Basilica Saint Martin:

The Tours tourist office on Saint Martin:

The Central Loire Valley tourist office on Tours:

The Touraine Loire Valley regional tourist office on the Basilica:

There you go hope it helps you enjoy this magnificent Basilica Saint Martin of Tours. The city is linked very easily to Paris by train with good parking and even connection to the TGV station outside in St Pierre des Corps. Wonderful road takes you there easy too like we take the D952 along the Loire river. We like to park by Nationale underground parking. You can take from Paris the A10 or the A11 to Le Mans and then the A28 down to Tours.

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

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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!


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!


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.


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.


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.



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 Torlonia

The Rome tourist office on the museum of Villa Torlonia

The Rome tourist office on the museum Casina delle Civette of Villa Torlonia:

The Rome tourist office on the museum Casino Nobilie of Villa Torlonia

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.


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.


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.



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

More from the city of Rome  culture in Italian:

The city of Rome, Region of Lazio on Villa Paganini in Italian:

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….)

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.


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.

paris church notre dame des champs mar13

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.


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 Champs

The Paris tourist office on the Church 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).



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).




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 Sales

The Churches heritage of Paris on St François de Sales

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.


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.


The official Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmartre in Paris:

The Paris tourist office on the Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmatre ,Paris

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.


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 Sulpice

The Association friends of Aristide Cavaillon Coll on organs

The Paris tourist office on the Church 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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