Posts tagged ‘France’

April 20, 2019

The Haras National of Hennebont!

So bringing you closer to home in my delightful Morbihan 56 Breton in beautiful Brittany. There are towns here galore that stay on the off the beaten path do not know why. They are loaded with good sights and wonderful small town ambiance of my belle France. I am trying to make them discover for you.

This is the case of Hennebont a fortified city, more of that later. For now, enjoy the Horse Stud Farm or Haras National d’Hennebont!  Various activities are carried out such as  reproduction of stallion, Equestrian Club, dressage, discovery space of the horse, guided visits etc. It is a historical place and very nicely done; worth the detour near me!

hennebont

A bit of history I like

The deposit of stallions created at Langonnet Abbey in 1806 for the south of Brittany, poorly served by narrow and unpassable roads, was transferred in 1857 to Hennebont in the enclosure of the Abbey de La Joie. The Abbaye de la Joie Notre-Dame or Abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Joy is a former Cistercian Abbey. Nowadays, it is on the site of the national stud farms.  The Abbey of Joy Notre-Dame, founded in 1953 in Campénéac, takes over the tradition now of the abbey of old.

From its inception, the Haras National or national stud farm of Hennebont  became the capital of the Breton horse breeding.  The Haras  comprises seven stables arranged around two courtyards as well as an infirmary, a forge, a saddlery and the dwellings of the Director and staff. Since 2007, the Joint Union of the national stud farm of Hennebont manages the property, outside the Abbey of Joy and the Pavilion of the Porterie.

hennebont

In April 2016, the city of Hennebont and Lorient agglomeration officially announced that it had negotiated an agreement with the IFCE to become owners of the entire site comprising the 32 buildings, including the Abbey of Joy, spread over 23 hectares,  provided that the partners of the mixed Union are committed to helping to ensure the management of the site.  The envisaged project plans to perpetuate the activity around the horse to make the stud farm a tourist hub of the Lorient basin. Which they did!

An integral part of the history of Hennebont for over 150 years, the Haras National or national stud farm is a unique and prestigious place. The wooded park, located between the city and the countryside, houses the historic buildings of the Napoleonic stables. The birthplace of the Breton draught horse, the stud was originally bred for war horses.  If the activity of the place has evolved over time, it is always dense with reproduction of stallions, Equestrian Club, dressage, carriage rides, sightseeing, and saddlery. A discovery area of the horse is located in its enclosure.

hennebont

In the great period of the stud farm, more than 200 stallions were in operation. At the beginning of the 2000’s, a total of 50 horses, including 35 traits and 15 horses of blood that live permanently at the Hennebont stud farm. In 2016, there are only a dozen horses in the stud farm.

hennebont

hennebont

It was after WWII,  the decline of breeds line began with the progress of mechanization. The Breton breed, by its qualities, nevertheless resists thanks to the meat market in the French and Italian markets.  The techniques evolve and the Haras now transport the stallions by truck to mount bars installed near the farms. The incentive premiums allocated during the breeding competitions encourage the continuation of the activity and allow the Haras National d’Hennebont to maintain its influence.  It also opens up to other uses of the horse, through equestrian sports by hosting the national equestrian society. The number of sports and racing horses goes up to 12 stallions in 1973.  The decline in the line workforce is thus compensated by a progress in the blood workforce.  The number of stations decreases and the techniques become sharper with the emergence of artificial insemination in 1981 to the Haras d’Hennebont,  then the techniques of freezing of semen that allow today to serve the mares without moving the stallions .

Plenty for the entire family to spent an afternoon here ;worth the detour I say. The Haras National  site offers you a two-time tour combining a free and guided course. In an old stable renovated, discover through a beautiful exhibition space with films, computer terminals, panels, the history of relations between man and horse, the activity of the Haras and its trades. Then, accompanied by a guide, you go to meet the horses in the stable n ° 1 through the saddlery of honor and the collection of horse-drawn carriages. The most for us was the animations and Equestrian shows done !

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Haras National of Hennebont

Tourist office of Morbihan on the Haras

Tourist office of Brittany on the Haras

Again lovely place worth the detour. Enjoy the Haras National d’Hennebont in my gorgeous Morbihan 56.

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

April 20, 2019

Basilica of Notre Dame du Paradis at Hennebont!

And I need to take you back to my beloved home dept 56 of Morbihan in my beautiful adopted Brittany. There is so much to see and I feel I just touch the top, there is so much to see and see in depth, hopefully will have life to see them all. Hoping and praying, help me too. I thank you for reading my blog for the last 9,5 years and my almost 9th in the Morbihan!! time flies when having fun they said.

There is a nice fortified town near me that is just a gem and seldom visited even on tourist offices , sort of like an off the beaten path find. I will tell you a bit more of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradise Basilica in Hennebont.

hennebont

The Basilica of Our Lady of Paradise located in Hennebont dept 56 of the Morbihan in the region of Brittany; it has the status of minor Basilica.

hennebont

The project of a chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame is presented by François Michart, an ironworker, in 1513, on the place du Paradis. The first stone is laid in 1514 and the unfinished Church is consecrated in 1524. The chapel serves as a parish church from 1590. The Church is of flamboyant Gothic style, and is noticed by the boldness of its porch and the richness of its ornamentation.  The Church was elevated to the rank of minor Basilica by Pope Pius X on January 17, 1913. The Basilica Church Notre Dame du Paradis was miraculously spared by the Nazis bombing of1944, when a large part of the city was destroyed.

hennebont

The imposing Bell Tower. high of nearly 65 meters, its location on one of the high points of the city makes it a real sight. Moreover, when folks came on a pilgrimage from the west, the first point that could be seen was baptized because of that “mountain of salvation”. As soon as they saw her for the first time, the pilgrims were already saved.   The tower is divided into three parts. The base that opens with a vast porch whose elevation is made even more vertiginous by the carved decoration that adorns it. The massive buttresses are lighted by the presence of niches which may have housed statues   and small vegetal sculptures; at the first Gallery level. From the first balustrade, here is the drum that is enclosed the Bell-room, the only room in the building with a chimney, and the belfry with the bells. And finally, all of lace, the arrow itself that will know many times and restorations. Attached to the Bell Tower, the two turrets of stairs   one of which no longer exist   allow access to the upper parts and still visually lighten the mass of the Bell Tower. The particular color of the granite drawn from the old quarries of Locoyarne gives the Bell Tower a beautiful blond hue especially in the end of the day.

hennebont

Among the architectural features of the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis or Our Lady of Paradis, you will noticed as soon as you penetrated into its walls the vast nave formed by the dark nave and the aisles pierced by large bays to bring the light in. This rather dark nave allows to highlight the most important part of a it; the choir. This polygonal choir receives a flood of light from the five stained glass windows that open into its walls. These stained glass windows are so vast that the walls that surround them seem, in the light, almost non-existent. Now masked by the organ, a canopy opens above the western gates; way to add light to the bottom of the nave. This emphasis on light is one of the characteristics of Gothic architecture. The oldest organ in the Morbihan which dates from 1652.

hennebont

In 1652 an epidemic ravaged the region, and nothing seemed to be able to stop it that the intervention of the Virgin to whom the inhabitants promised a silver statue that would be carried out in procession each year. Hennebont was spared and offered to the Church a silver statue in 1700, which unfortunately was melted in the Mint of Nantes in 1792 ,during the French revolution.. Since a new silver bronze statue made in 1818 replaces it. There is a painting evoking this episode: the vow of 1699, work of 1807 by François-Henri Mulard.. See inside the stained glass by Max Ingrand retracing the great events of the history of Hennebont.

hennebont

hennebont

An imposing Basilica Church on the now name Place du Maréchal Foch of Hennebont. Another gem of a monument to visit here and walking in town is glorious. We parked by the river basin just behind the ramparts or up behind the Basilica each time in town. We are just 28 km or about 17 miles from it along the expressway N165 direction Brest.

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

City of Hennebont on the Basilica ND du Paradis

Tourist office of Lorient Brittany south on Hennebont

Tourist office of Brittany on Hennebont

et Voilà you have it all on the Basilica Notre Dame du Paradis and a great part of the city of Hennebont history. A welcome stop easy on and off the N165 expressway and train service abound. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

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

 

April 20, 2019

The Memorial of the Great war of Sainte Anne d’Auray!

Of course, this is not a tourist site but a travel site it must be for all concern with our freedoms and the effort that some heroes did for us and our future generations. I am always thankful to them. I am lucky to be on the side of areas that remember our fallen for a just cause and have one very near me. So on a nice Palm Sunday in my beautiful Morbihan let me go back and present you with a memorial to the fallen and a resting place of our heroes.

The town is Sainte Anne d’Auray, many posts on it in my blog, the site of one of the Patron Saints of Brittany, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus according to the Christian bible. One of the biggest pilgrimage sites in France but has a lot more. I like to tell you a bit more on it and maybe in your travels thru the area you too can come and pay your respects.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray, built from 1922 to 1932 by the five dioceses of Brittany to keep the memory of the 240 000 Bretons victims of WWI; is a monument of 52 meters high and 12 meters in diameter. Catholic capture of a monument that wanted a Republican commemoration, it was aiming to bring together the names of all the dead Bretons, but only 8 000 are engraved on the wall in the form of horseshoe that encircles   the monument, on marble plaques that accompany a path of the Cross.   A huge crowd of about 150 000 people pressed for the blessing of the Memorial in 1932.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

The Memorial of the Great War of Sainte Anne d’Auray with its fence wall and plate the rotunde, which supports the eight arches, is crowned with a sarazinese helmet roof dominated by an opened cross. The dome houses a monolithic altar in pink granite of Ploumanac’h. The gate is framed by two large granite bas-reliefs representing the protective arms of the allegories of victory and peace. The funeral crypt is organized into 5 apsidioles arranged in chapels for the 5 dioceses of Brittany. With new conflicts that have grieving the country since 1932, a mausoleum has been placed in the center of the crypt, dedicated to all the dead of all wars. The symbolic tombs of the sailor and the missing infantryman, are guarded by Saint Michael, a patron Saint of France, and Saint Yves, a patron Saint of Brittany.

Sainte Anne d'Auray

Nearby you can see the cemetery on the D102 road that leads to my current town.

The National Necropolis of Sainte Anne d’Auray is a French military cemetery located on the territory of the town in the dept 56 of Morbihan, near the Memorial of the Great War. There are graves of fallen soldiers during the war of 1870, WWI, WWII and the Indochina war. There are also many Belgians who felled in France and the land belongs to the people of Belgium. The webpage is here: Roads of Glory French govt site on the Necropolis of Sainte Anne d’Auray

Sainte Anne d'Auray

Some additional webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Sanctuary of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the Memorial to the Fallen

City of Sainte Anne d’Auray on the Memorial and heritage

Tourist office of Auray on Sainte Anne d’Auray

Hope you have the chance to stop by on your runs for travel sites in my area of Morbihan. Respect

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

 

April 19, 2019

The Alignments of Carnac!

Ok on a cloudy cool rainy day I am writing again about the stones of Carnac oh its megalithes or line up or alignments an Unesco world site indeed. The folks come all over here to see the stones.  You have to see them at least once and even thus written bits and pieces on them before in my blog, I would like to dedicate one post just on them. Hope you enjoy it. Do need to tell you ,it is in dept 56 of Morbihan in the region of Brittany!

Then, they are just south of me about 31 km or 19 miles, and we past by the famous megalithes or stones, as well as stopping by once for the formal knowledge about them. Indeed they have been here for centuries, and very popular now. I am not much into stones, mind you,  but its very historical and folks all over come to see it. The locals have a predilection for stones even decorating their homes with it on the facades. Which we of course ,have copy for our house! Carnac is nice for the ambiance of its restos bars and beaches in summer; its a place to go eat seafood, fish, and the great Breton galettes/crêpes with the cider or the white wine of muscadet/loire or the Breton beers.

Let’s go into the technical, historical, architecture of it shall we!

The alignments of Carnac  are an exceptional megalithic  alignments located in the town’s limits of Carnac and La Trinité-sur-Mer. The area around Carnac bringing together the highest concentration of megaliths in the World, and consists of alignments of menhirs (stones), dolmens (tomb like covering of stone) and aisles covered and spread over 4 km. The alignments of Carnac are the most famous and most impressive megalithic ensembles of this period with nearly 4 000 stones lifted around 4500 years BC. The alignments are however accessible to the public in high season through the visits conferences with a guide proposed by the Maison des Mégalithes,  and are on open access in winter period. Crowd control can be assessed.

Carnac

The alignments of Carnac follow about 4 km between the bay of Plouharnel and the rivermouth of  La Trinité-sur-Mer. They mark the junction of two different territories, one coastline to the south and the other continental to the north. They include 2 733 menhirs, probably largely below what existed in the Neolithic era. It is possible that the alignments have reached the Crac’h river by spreading over 8 km. The  Kermario’s alignment, presumably contemporary of Kerlescan, appears to be built on the mound of Manio which is dated 4000-3500 BC. The construction of the alignments seems slightly posterior, so these would date from the middle of the 4C BC (end of the middle Neolithic).

The main alignments of the menhirs of Carnac  are from West to East : Le Ménec, Kermario, Kerlescan and Le Petit Ménec. The ensemble has a general direction southwest northeast . In each alignment, the menhirs are placed in ascending order in the direction of the west. A dolmen (cromlech) precedes the Menec’s alignment, 240 meters away from Kermario’s alignment, preceded by a dolmen. Kerlescan’s 390 meters  alignment is, like the Ménec, preceded by a semicircular cromlech. The menhirs are exclusively formed of local granite, a granite of anataxis with two heterogeneous micas, comprising of porphyria zones.

carnac

carnac

carnac

Carnac

The alignments of the Ménec, these alignments constitute the most representative set of menhirs with 1 165 meters long over 100 meters wide for 1099 menhirs spread over 11 files. The highest stones that compose them reach 4 meters. The alignments of the Ménec begin in the southwest by a cromlech comprising still of 71 surviving blocks some of which sneak between the buildings of the village of Ménec. A very ruined cromlech still exists in the east.

The alignment of Kermario and the Manio, these alignment are the best known and most frequented of the alignments of Carnac. Indeed, it is here that we find the biggest menhirs. It has 10 lines representing a total of 982 menhirs. This alignment is marked by the existence of the Kermaux mill which offers a point of view on the alignments. Finally, the Kerloquet  pond dug in the 19C destroyed some of the alignments. It separates in two the alignment with the Kermario on one side and the Manio on the other. The Kerloquet site, composed of 82 menhirs. Not far from this alignment is the quadrilateral of Manio which consists of several blocks of granite of 1 meter in height placed jointly. They were delimiting a tumuli mound. There is also the giant of Manio which rises at a height of 6 meters.

Carnac

The alignment of Kerlescan and the petit Ménec, these alignment contains 540 menhirs spread over 13 lines and on 3.50 hectares of surface. At its extremity is a cromlech of 39 menhirs. This is the best-preserved alignment. The alignment of Kerlescan extends into a wooded area located beyond the road leading to La Trinité sur Mer with the little Ménec, now restored.

It is only from 1750 that folks began to be  interested in the alignments of Carnac and that the first assumptions were issued. The Count of Caylus in 1764 believed that the megaliths date back to the time of the Gauls and the Romans. It is notice and mentioned of improper restoration, noting that now only 36% of menhirs are in their strict place and original situation. As any megalithic alignment the explanations for attempting to justify the constructions are brought by the many theories of megalithism. If the mystery persists, the alignments, forms of non-jointed stones of increasing size essentially from east to west, corresponding in any case to a theatricalisation of the space.

Near or around Carnac, many other monuments of this period are distinguished such as  La Table des Marchand de Locmariaquer, Le Dolmen de Mané-Kerioned, Les dolmens de Kermario, Les dolmens de Cruz-Moquen,  Les dolmens de Kériaval, Le dolmen de Clud-er-Yer, Le dolmen de Nautério, Les dolmens de Kerlescan, Le cairn de Kercado,  Le dolmen de Kerluir, Les tertres du Manio, Les tertres de Moustoir, Le tumulus de Saint-Michel and the Le menhir de Kerdeff. All very nice and mostly visited already but not all.

I will put several webpages that will help you further understand these stones and plan your visit to this wonderful area of Carnac.

Official page of Carnac menhirs stones

Tourist office of Carnac on the megalithes

City of Carnac capital of the megalithes

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on Carnac things to do

Tourist office of Brittany on Carnac megalithes

France National Monuments Cultural site on the Carnac megalithes

There you go now you are loaded to come and see them. Worth the visit and let me know when in town. Carnac is special for the stones and more! Hope you have enjoy the tour.

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

April 19, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIII

Ok so back to my channel lol! thank you for reading me, its always a pleasure. If you like the world, travel, good food, sports , the good life than you are in the right spot Paris1972-Versailles2003.com  Going strong thanks to you all since November 2010! and already 2025 posts!

Now, let me tell you a bit on what is going on that I like in my belle France!

Ok so the bus routes in Paris change from this April 20th so be aware, love the bus, is above ground and see more of beautiful Paris! Some examples of my old routes are Gare St Lazare to Gare Montparnasse on bus 94 30 minutes; Gare St Lazare to Opera Garnier bus 27 7 minutes; Gare St Lazare to place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) bus 22 15 minutes. Gare Montparnasse to Rue de la Féderation on bus 82 30 min still intact my current line. However, an example of the changes are on the rue d’Estrées,loses its bus stop of line 28 . The rue d’Estrées , behind the école militaire, is preparing to lose its line 28. From tomorrow Saturday in fact, in favor of the new bus network in Paris, the line slightly modifies its route. It will always leaves Saint-Lazare but will stop now in Montparnasse, and no longer Porte D’Orléans. The bus 28 will no longer make the little hook by Avenue de Lowendal, place de Fontenoy and Rue d’Estrées, but will draw straight on Avenue de Duquesne. A stop actually lost: Fontenoy-UNESCO.! More info at RATP here: Official RATP bus transports Paris

Something I have told you before is now finally here! Eataly the immense Italian food court opens its doors this past April 12 at noon in the Marais, in Paris. It is organized around a central square, the “Piazza”, closed by a glass roof. The grocery part responds to the Platonic idea of a good transalpine supermarket: foison pasta, olive oil galore, dried mushrooms, Genoese pestos and Trapanese..etc.. Nearby, there are counters where you can buy takeout cheese, cold cuts, fresh pasta, and a bakery open from 7h (7 am).

Of course, most of the food comes from Italian producers. But  the mozzarella is made with milk from Auvergne!  And 50% of the meat comes from Burgundy or Normandy. The meat counter is also held by a Parisian butcher. To tackle the hexagonal market, the restaurant chain founded in Turin in 2007 saw the big things: 2 500 square meters, seven restaurants, 3 000 products referenced in the grocery department. With BHV and Galeries Lafayette, with whom the chain of restoration has signed the exclusivity of its franchises in France. Eataly Marais Paris more info here: https://www.eataly.net/fr_fr/magasins/paris-marais/

It’s already been three years since the transalpine restoration explodes in Paris, and eleven months that big Mamma inaugurated its Felicita, (also mention in my previous news posts) a huge restaurant area 100% Italian in the 13éme arrondissement.  More on Felicita here:  https://www.lafelicita.fr/#1

One of the classic recipes of my belle France. I share with you the ones from my family and many others here!  Paris-Brest, you know it! Ok your difficult part will be to convert the metric system into the Anglo types sorry, you can do it!!

Preparation time: 40 min; Cooking time: 50 min; a bit difficult but with these recipe you can do it too!  Ingredients for 6 to 8 cakes: for cabbage dough, 100 grams of mild butter, 10 g of sugar, 200 g of flour, 5 or 6 eggs, 20 g of crushed almonds, for custard: 1/2 liter of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 g of sugar; 50 g of flour. For Italian meringue: 3 egg whites, 120 g of semolina sugar, water. For Praline cream: 3 egg yolks, 50 g sugar, 150 g pomade butter, 60 g Praline paste (or powdered Praline).:

Step 1: cabbage paste: place 3 decaliters of water (ok American friends this is about 0,2 quarts or less than a quarter of it) , butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, pour the flour at once, and mix with the wooden spoon. Stir the eggs one by one, stirring vigorously. With a socket pocket, the bed in the shape of crowns (10-12 cm in diameter) on a baking sheet. Brown egg and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake at 180 °C (ok ok ,350 degrees F) for 30 to 40 min, then let cool on fire, open door. Leave the oven and let cool. Slice the crowns in half.

Step 2: custard: whiten the eggs vigorously with the sugar. Add the sifted flour and a pinch of salt. Boil the milk and stir-fry the boiling milk on the pan. Pour into the Pan without stirring until the cream thickens.

Step 3: the Italian meringue: pour the whites into the robot’s tank. Heat 3 tbsp. of water with 100 g of sugar on low heat. When the temperature reaches 110 °C (230F), beat the whites with 20 g of sugar, at maximum speed. When the syrup is at 118 °C (244F), pour it into a net on the tank wall, and let it rotate with the whites at medium speed for about 10 minutes. Keep it in reserve.

Step 4: Praline cream: heat 1 tbsp. of water and the sugar in the Pan up to 115 °C (. Whisk the yolks to the drummer. Pour the sirloin syrup over the robot tank wall and beat at high speed until the mixture blends. Add the butter in pieces, and then stir in the Praline. Assemble the three devices to the spatula. With a fluted sleeve, garnish the lower parts of the crowns. Add the covers. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Ok easy piece of cake we did with the boys so you can do it too. Let me know ok lol!

Who will save the Beaujolais? In the absence of investments, the vineyard lost 40% of its surface area and 50% of its turnover in 15 years. Moreover, if consumers often place them first in Burgundy, is wrongly associated with the Rhone Valley. Most folks dislikes Beaujolais but loves Morgon. Except that Morgon is a Beaujolais!.  One of the ten vintages that counts the vineyard, and probably the best known with the Saint-Amour.

The problems are two: First, the vineyard is in poor condition. In the absence of investments and means, the vine is wasting. Second, it is the oldest in France, which is not a blessing, since replacing it is expensive. The cellars and the winery are no better. It will take a good decade to make the Beaujolais pimping. But to do so, the difficulty should be  to seduce consumers again.  Let’s see the good side; the Beaujolais is the second most famous wine appellation after  Champagne. The bad? Its fame does not come from its quality but from the operation “Beaujolais Nouveau”, to the global success. Yet there is no shortage of assets, between vintages with excellent value for money, delightful landscapes, iconic winegrowers.

In the beginning, the Beaujolais was great. In 1936, when the first AOC wines were born in the country, the Beaujolais Crus were like Chénas or Moulin-à-Vent made prized custody wines, which are sold at the same price as those of Pommard, Corton or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Then, in the 1980’s, operation “Beaujolais Nouveau” spreads like wildfire: to market a wine produced in September from the third Thursday of November, so very young and without waiting for the following spring. And everything changes.  The event was built up by Parisian bistros, the English, party enthusiasts and the media. It has become a global event that has not been mastered. We were not able to keep the counterweight of the terroirs. There was a tsunami of unique thought, everyone rushed into it.  To be follow its course because it does not look good….Official site on Beaujolais more info on them here: https://www.beaujolais.com/en

In the never ending saga of the yellow vest or gilets jaunes will be difficult to know  where these yellow vests will manifest in Paris. Some events evoke the Champs-Élysées, others the area of Notre-Dame. But the big Avenue will be forbidden to access for the fifth consecutive Saturday, while the ïle de la Cité, and the outskirts of the capital will this time also be  inaccessible to the demonstrators, as has already indicated the Prefecture of police. Even if the yellow vests call to converge on Paris this Saturday , rallies are also advertised in other cities, as in Lille, Lyon, or even Bordeaux. The fear of new actions of the black blocks that is a mysterious group The Black blocks Paris called on Facebook to make it a black Saturday on the Champs-Élysées…Stay out.

On a better note, they fought the flames all night. They saved works of art. This past Thursday, a huge tribute, full of emotion, was rendered to them. This past Thursday afternoon, the firefighters of Paris were celebrated and honored by the Parisians and tourists present on the parvis of the City/Town Hall during a ceremony organized for “those who saved Our Lady”. “I want to tell you our infinite gratitude, our eternal recognition and I will propose to the next Council of Paris (next June) that you be granted the honorary citizenship of the city of Paris, to honor this Act of bravery and your commitment on a daily basis” announced Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris addressing the fire brigade. A distinction that will undoubtedly be unanimous with politicians and Parisians alike.Amén!! More on the City of Paris webpage: https://www.paris.fr/actualites/notre-dame-ceremonie-d-hommage-jeudi-devant-l-hotel-de-ville-6713

And of course, my Versailles could not be left behind and on one of its action very unique was this  The Château de Versailles  proceeds of an auction of 25 cabinets of Château Mouton Rothschild which was to be devoted to the restoration of the Château de Versailles will eventually be assigned to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Go Versailles! More info here in French at the Le Parisien newspaper: http://www.leparisien.fr/yvelines-78/versailles-se-sacrifie-pour-notre-dame-17-04-2019-8055375.php

And to close out on my beloved Versailles. A campus “as in Harvard” for the trades of the Chateau of Versailles, the Minister of National Education announced this past Thursday the creation of a place of life and training dedicated to professional sectors in the heart of the Royal Stables (ecuries). The project to create a campus of excellence in the Royal Stables, dedicated to the trades of the castle: gastronomy, green spaces, crafts and building trade on heritage properties.Go Versailles! These are the Royal Stables: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables

And to close out the latest news post on something near me ; Ïle de Groix,by the coast of  Lorient in my lovely Morbihan, go fishing for  the day and a maze of streets in Locmaria on the wild coast, facing the ocean, this small port and its maze of alleys form an ideal setting for a stroll. The dundees, these old tuna boats (Groix having once been the first port of tuna in France), have disappeared. But at low tide, the bay remains a good spot for fishing on foot (shrimp, abalone and crab for the lucky). Around the lighthouse, the beach and its rocks belong to the geological nature reserve François Le Bail, due in particular to the presence of blue cellophane, a rare rock. Nearby, the trail leads to the plage des Sables rouges (red sands beach) , whose minerals have earned Groix its nickname of île aux grenats (garnets island). It is one of the only convex beaches in Europe, that of the great sands advances in the sea. Another peculiarity: it moved several hundred meters in the second half of the 20C. Still as immense, it offers, with its white sand, its water in fifty shades of blues and its wooded cliffs, a breathtaking spectacle, worthy of an exotic island.Indeed crowded in Summer but worth the visit. More info here: http://www.groix.fr/

And there you something for everyone lol! Well I take them all! I am working on Good Friday in France but will have Monday off as Easter Monday and so a 3 days weekend. Do not know where as with us its always last minute. Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Feliz Pascua!!!

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

 

 

April 19, 2019

Church of Saint-Cornély, Carnac!

So moving from the beaches of Carnac (Carnac plages)  to the bourg or city center of Carnac (Carnac bourg) . In a way there are separated and looks like two towns apart but both are under the jurisdiction of the city of Carnac.  The beach is move laidback and grand houses commerce directed at tourism. The bourg or city center is more residential except around the center where the Church of Saint-Cornély and the museum are.

Again, written several general posts on Carnac just south of me about 31 km but would like to expand on a nice monument there, seen by all comers, the Church of Saint Cornély.

The Church of Saint-Cornély dates from the 17-18C , and done in the Renaissance style. It is located in Carnac, city center or bourg in the dept 56 of Morbihan, region of Brittany.  The Church celebrates the patronage of Cornelius, Pope martyr, became Cornély, the patron of the breeders of horned beasts.

carnac

As you entered the town from the expressway N165 direction Carnac on the D768 the first thing you see its the bell tower of this Church, you know you have reach Carnac!

The Church of Saint-Cornély is built on a rectangular plane with three naves. The pediment of the west façade is equipped with a niche housing a statue of Saint Cornély. The porch of the north façade is carved and dates from 1792; it is a Doric architecture with columns in cut panels, is topped by a canopy with ailerons, a crown and a cross.  The Bell tower, 40 meters high, dates from 1639. It consists of a square tower with a platform with railing and pinnacles at the corners, topped by a long arrow in the shape of a pyramid.

carnac

The vaults of the naves are in polychrome paneling with paintings about the life of Saint Cornély. The Chapel of the Rosary and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament are dated 1732.  The porch of the north flank is topped by a granite canopy in the form of a crown of which no other copy is known in Brittany. The interior also contains exceptional pieces such as an 18C organ, but above all the 750 m² of paintings on paneled vaults, the pulpit and wrought iron grille of the choir, the lateral altars and the retables. Paintings that represent the life of Saint Cornély, Saint John the Baptist and Christ.

carnac

carnac

carnac

carnac

The pardon, (repentance forgiveness) which takes place on the second Sunday of September, is very popular since 1909, it is still organized nowadays, with in particular the blessing of horses

It’s all in the bourg where you have the museum, the city/town hall, the tourist office, and many shops and restaurants all around it. Enjoy Carnac and the Church of Saint Cornély.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of Carnac on the Church Saint Cornély

Tourist office of Carnac on the Church Saint Cornély

There you go a nice monument to visit while in the area, and different from the beachside. Enjoy it.

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

 

April 18, 2019

The beaches of Carnac!

Ok so the world knows this town and Unesco recognised because of the megalith stones that abound here and more on another post. However, we come here literally for the beaches and the ambiance in good weather. Sometimes even in bad weather for the ambiance in the restos/bars. The town is great and well known in France and Europe especially UK who in summer months are all over.

I like to tell you a bit more than on my other posts on Carnac that were of a general nature and specifically tell you about the beaches here. Enjoy it , good season is coming soon. Therefore, a break from the wonderful monuments of my belle France!

It’s a splendid beach area just 32 km or so (about 19 miles) from my home. Carnac is known for its megalithes stones, however, the things that attacts me here is the beach life, and restos with terraces along the beaches ,and the nightlife well at least to mingle in the restos but my sons love it ::).  The drive is very nice along quaint villages ,and the main entry from my side of Auray is the Carnac bourg, this is what is considered the city center , usually where the church (more on this one on another post too) and mayor’s office is located. It has a nice central plaza with restos all around it ,and an escape from the more bustle at the beach or Carnac plage. You follow the signs for Les Plages, and you reach the area of beaches known as Carnac plage.  Here is  one beach after the other, my favorites are Ty Bihan, Légenèse, and the Grande Plage (main central beach). There is also, St Colomban,Beaumer , Pô, and Men Du.

carnac

carnac

carnac

There is the Grand Plage, here its just a big semi circle of wooded secluded beaches great for surfing and families. For info the tourist season here is from first weekend  in July to last weekend of August included. Every day from 13h- 19h there is lifeguard on duty. You have dressing, showers and WC available. Plage St Colomban, further west  and the best place for surfing ,and belly planchers.  Plages de Beaumer , Pô, and Men Dù,  these are in the small ilots of île de Stuhan and link by a narrow sand dune in the water at high sea ,where we can discover a natural alley at sea. The beaches of Légénes and Ty Bihan are very nice too,  there are west of the Yacht Club, small beaches in comparison  but very nice indeed. In between all there is Port du Pô, a nice harbor where you can attained the beaches and have some good food looking at the sea.   Kids activities including learn to swim (special inflatable mini pools )  is available and supervise by certified instructors.

carnac

carnac

carnac

carnac

The food is plenty and would be unfair to just name a few, however, for something different head for the Kreiz An Avel, at 1 ave de la Chapelle, in the port du Pô area of Carnac, great seafood and pizzeria in two different legal entities , resto with Kreiz An Avel and pizzas with Pizza Baia. Same owners , they are in roundabout facing the harbor. We try for lunch the pizzas with canard, chorizos, and hams, with banana splits, ice cream, and creme brulée à coconut; with pints of beers pelforths. The price is right for a tourist area, the food was great, good company as we found British tourists who had come there the day before and like it a lot. The resto was full but always rotating with tables available and 3 servers. For a first impression , bit slow , but again very popular with locals and tourists alike.

carnac

It was time to eat again, and we came back to our favorite at the Memes Tra,(now under new ownership as the Lulu à la plage brasserie) just as good and across the beach at Grande Plage, and very close to the shopping area behind it , the food is delicious, we gang up on mussels is the season, curry and garlic sauces combination with delicious homemade fries, grimbergen beers, and more banana splits, Breizh gourmand (coffee with small breton cakes like far breton etc), and Quebec cup of ice cream different flavors.

carnac

We hit Saint Colombard beach early  to avoid traffic and potential bad weather as can change quickly here ,we never know even with local forecasts its not a perfect science.

carnac

We did walk into the bunker (St Colombard beach)  that I wanted to do last time so this is a remnant from WWII, and still there rusting away but still there.  We again saw the kids activities early on with learning to swim and all in an inflatable pool! The rocks or reefs onto the beach is a sight to see, and the white sandy beach was a delight.

Carnac

The official tourist office for Carnac is at webpage  Tourist office of Carnac on beaches

There is a petit train or little train service, that takes you around the city and into nearby La Trinité sur Mer. More here: The Petit Train of Carnac

carnac

For a great ice cream go to L’Igloo just a block from the Grande Plage or big beach, superb , our family would come here just for that! More here: Tourist office of Carnac on the L’Igloo ice creams

For a quick coffee, the lotto tickets, magazines, newspaper, and the must stamp, we had the opportunity to visit it especially for the lottery and newspaper this friendly Bar Tabac Le Marigny, very close to the beach, more here: Tourist office of Morbihan on le Marigny bar tabac in French

If staying longer periods and need grocery shopping there is on Super U right by the beaches area more info here: Super U Carnac ave des Druides

Like I said, the beaches of Carnac are glorious, the time of the year to be out every day, unfortunately we work here (really we do ::)) but on weekend is fantastic. Hope you enjoy it too.

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

April 18, 2019

Monument to Chambord, Ste. Anne d’Auray!

Let me take you to an off the beaten path site in a very popular town of my Morbihan breton in Brittany. This is in the city of Sainte Anne d’Auray near me where I past by several times a week. I have written briefly on it in several posts but feel deserves a post of its own, therefore ,here it is for you.  Enjoy it for the history of it, usually only written by the victors.

I will tell you a bit more on the Monument to the Count of Chambord!

The monument statue to the Count of Chambord, Duke of Bordeaux   . This is in honor of the support the count of Chambord had for Brittany.  The monument to the Count of Chambord was erected in 1891 in Sainte Anne d’Auray , in memory of Henri d’Artois, claiming the Crown of France as Henri V.

Saint Anne d'auray

A bit of history I like

During the attempt to restore Henri V, a pilgrimage was organized by the royalists of western France at Sainte Anne d’Auray to pray for the King’s return to the throne. The latter is maintained every year on 29 September, the anniversary of the birth of the Prince, until his death in 1883. As a result of this, a subscription is launched and allows to acquire the land as well as built the  five statues. On 20 February 1889, a civil society, known as the “Société de Saint-Henri”, was created for the purpose of the erection and maintenance of a Memorial of Monsieur Le Comte de Chambord. This group buys the land destined for the monument which is finally realized in 1891. A wall and a grid are installed in 1897, but the originally planned garden does not see the day, due to lack of sufficient funding until 2012.

The annual pilgrimage, more or less abandoned after WWI, was revived in 1983 at the initiative of the Union of Legitimized Circles of France. In 2012, the monument was restored and the garden finally realized. On 31 May 2015, Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and Burgundy (heir king as Louis XX) and his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite went there during a ceremony organized in their tribute, on the occasion of their official visit to the Morbihan. And I follow up!

saint auray d'auray

The monument is located in near of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne d’Auray, about 700 meters to the west,direction Brech,  the monument consists of a summary statue in cast iron of the Count of Chambord, depicted on his knees and in Sacred outfit, placed on a granite pedestal. At its four faces it has the two saint patrons of France and Paris; Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in front and Sainte Geneviève in the back, as well as the two great heroes of the French chevalry, Bayard to the left and Du Guesclin to the right, all four standing.

A bit on who was the Count of Chambord as he is generally known.

Henri (born 29 September 1820) is the son of the Duke of Berry, murdered on 13 February 1820 by Louvel and the grandson of king Charles X. On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in his favor, but Henri followed his grandfather in exile in England. His mother, Marie Caroline de Bourbon, attempted to raise an army in battle in the west of France in 1832 , her attempt fails. In 1833, Henri V was 13 years old and considered a adult. He followed king Charles X in exile in Prague after England. After the fall of the Empire in 1870, the legitimists Royals tried to impose the restoration of the Bourbons on the throne of France. This restoration failed because Henri categorically refused the Tricolor flag, prefering the White flag (Royal) to be use. With him disappears the eldest branch of the Bourbon.

As he is very much connected to the Castle of Chambord that was his once, there is a whole room on him there including his letter refusing the king’s title on the flag issue. I reproduce those photos here as it relates, the museum piece on the Count and the letter display. You can see my blog posts on Chambord here too. You can see his story there in remarkable personages page in English here: Chateau de Chambord

Chambord

Chambord

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and know more of it are

Official Count of Chambord site in French

Official Union of Legitimized Circles of France

Official Royal site on Prince Louis heir to be Louis XX king of France

There you go an interesting history of France that even today still has conversation talksin this neck of the woods, still Catholic and Royal. Hope you enjoy it, the monument to the Count of Chambord at Sainte Anne d’Auray.

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

 

 

April 18, 2019

Church of Saint Gildas at Auray!

And why not staying in lovely Auray! in gorgeous Morbihan breton of the beautiful region of Brittany!  Again, this was my first town in Brittany so have plenty written on it in my blog. However, as usual need to tell you in specifics about the main things to see and the Church of St Gildas is one of them. 

Auray

The Sunday is sunny cool and windy so a perfect time to write about these beauties near me now.  The town has a lot to offer on history and architecture that is worth a detour.

Let me go into the Church of St Gildas, the main church in Auray.

The Church of St Gildas owes its name to a 12C priory which depends on the Benedictine abbey of the Rhuys Peninsula. It was conceived at the site of the old priory of which combines medieval and baroque styles. The work started in 1623 ,it bears the date of 1636 on the three gables and was consecrated in 1641 ,but is only completed in 1663. The steeple of the three-story square tower was however only completed in 1701, and rebuilt in 1832.

auray ch st gildas front jan19

The Church is built saddle an elongated plan, with non-protruding transept. The nave consists of three aisles. The western facade consists of a three-level steeple tower surmounted by an octagonal lantern. The south façade is remarkable for its Renaissance-style porch, with three levels with twin columns on the first two levels and a triangular pediment in which the saint’s niche is located. The nave has a level of large arcades resting on columns that rise up to the coffered vault whose double arches are resting on carved bases. The aisles are vaulted in cradle, separated by double arches. The crossing of the transept also receives a vouûte with a cross-box of warheads. The flat choir, vaulted also with caissons, is adorned with a large altarpiece. It dominates the whole city, and will serve as a model in the region.   This Church is a sober building, except for the two porches of Renaissance and Baroque style.

Auray

Inside you can admire a recently restored 16C Christ-recumbent. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.   The vault is adorned with painted boxes and at the bottom, in the Tribune, the organ of Waltrin dates from 1761.   The whole dates from the 17C 18C, 19C and Baroque style .Located at Place Gabriel Deshayes in the upper town.

auray ch st gildas altar far jan19

auray

Santa Barbara ou Sainte Barbe

auray

Auray ch st gildas tombeau de Christ aug12

auray

 

Again not much said in the tourist office on it as they concentrate on the heavily touristic lower town of St Goustan. The Auray tourist office in general is here: Tourist office of Auray

Tourist office of Brittany on Auray

Enjoy the upper town tour of Auray and the Church of Saint Gildas. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 17, 2019

Church Charles de Blois at Auray!

Here I am on a nice cool sunny Sunday afternoon and just did a round of my area again. So much to see and sometimes spaces in between makes you forget what you see lol! Well I like to bring you back to lovely historical Auray (historical from the point of view of France, Canada, and the USA) ,and its wonderful monuments on the off the beaten path routine.

The town is basically divided into upper and lower towns and the most popular from a tourist point of view is the lower town and the port of St Goustan. However, in the upper town there are marvels to be seen, a lot more shops and quant architecturally nice buildings. One of them would tell you a bit more now is the Church of Charles de Blois near the train station of Auray!

Auray ch charles de blois front oct12

The Church of Charles de Blois  began to be built in 1929, and consecrated in 1939. Built according to a centered plan, the Church consists of a first nave that opens onto a wider square space where the cult takes place. The wrong side is adjacent to the west.   Access to the Church is done in the east. It is a gabled façade adorned with Lombard strips.

Auray

It consists of a portal in full hanger topped with a rose, and has to its left a small steeple. The main steeple is to the west of the building, it is a Cornish steeple. The roof of the building is polygonal on its central part and double slope for the remainder. The side walls are pierced with berries. The district of the train station quickly populated at the beginning of the 20C, a Church of Charles de Blois became necessary. Léon Chevassu, rector of the parish, decides to built it with private donations. And it is done very nice you can see from the train station of Auray. Located at Place Léon Chevassu.

Auray ch charles de blois side oct12

The Christian community of the Auray area includes three parish Churches such as Charles de Blois , St Gildas, and St Pierre et Paul.

Auray

So who was  Charles de Blois, and a name like that in Brittany!

Charles of Blois was the son of Marguerite de Valois, sister of the king of France Philip VI, great-granddaughter, therefore, of Saint Louis (Louis IX), who had just been placed on the altars. His father, Guy de Châtillon, Count of Blois, was as good a Christian as a brave Knight. The old chronicles point out that everything was serious, almost severe in his castle. One could have believed in a monastery rather than in the abode of a lord. The right of representation was law in Brittany, Jeanne de Penthièvre, daughter of the elder brother of Jean III, inherited from her uncle by him, Charles of Blois was Duke of Brittany!!! The opposing Jean de Montfort did not wish to submit to this sentence, and the war was declared and lasted for more than twenty years!.

The death in combat at the Battle of Auray of Charles de Blois ended it. He is buried at the Church Notre Dame de Grâces near Guingamp. On December 14, 1904, Pope Pius X solemnly recognized that the cult of blessed Charles of Blois had been maintained throughout the centuries. He was beatified then. To commemorate this battle, a high cross was erected on a rounded pedestal bearing the inscription “in memory of the battle of Jean de Montfort and Charles de Blois in 1364”. This was done in 1842. Carrefour des 5 chemins, lieu-dit Toulbahadeu, Brech.

Brech

There you go so if passing by train, it is easy couple minutes walk to the Church and why not include it and day visit to lovely Auray lower and upper town! Enjoy the Church of Charles de Blois that almost tilded the story as he favored the union with France meaning Brittany could  have been early in the kingdom and no story for Anne ! Maybe why there is not much written on this Church and not on the tourist office!!! Call ahead to them for entering inside.

So there you have a nice off the beaten path trip and very nice history. Enjoy it

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

 

 

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