Posts tagged ‘France’

May 4, 2021

Church St John the Baptist of Grenelle in Paris!

And let me update this memorable visit of an older post. I was by here visiting some friends and got to the area earlier in order to do some walking sightseeing. While doing this came upon this Church St John the Baptist of Grenelle, a nice offering once again in my eternal Paris. Hope you enjoy it as I.

I will talk about something off the beaten path in Paris if you can believe it.  I was asked once in a travel forum now extinct from someone who had visited Paris 20 times according to him, and asked me for any places in Paris with no tourists!!! Haa well for a city that is No 1 in the World with more than 32 million visitors according to the WTO-UN statistics (2018) this is hard to do. Sure there are places less seen but never, do not believe it. And you know me about Paris already!


I came here to meet a group of friends that decided to come to the place Etienne Pernet in the 15éme arrondissement for some drinks at the resto chain of Charlie Birdy( now gone but an Au Bureau bistro is replacing it). While walking around before the meeting I came upon this church took some photos and decided to learn about it. It is indeed a nice story on a surely off the beaten path of my eternal Paris.  So let me tell you a bit more on something just little touch in my previous posts; the Church Saint John the Baptist of Grenelle, 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris!


The Church Saint-John the Baptist of Grenelle is in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris. The steeple above the Church, of medieval neo-Gothic style, contrasts with the ancient inspiration of the rest of the Church and gives it its singular allure. The Church is located at the end of the Rue du Commerce, and  corner with the Rue des Entrepreneurs at 23, place Étienne-Pernet. Closest Metro Commerce or Félix Faure line 8.


A bit of history I like

At the beginning of the 19C, the Church that preceded was the Church of St. Lambert proving to be too small in view of the increase in the population in the neighbourhood. A new place of worship was built nearby between 1828 and 1831. It was Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Grenelle. It was located in the plain of Grenelle and the donor of the land was named Léonard-Jean-Baptiste, hence the dedication of the Church. It is in the heart of the new village of Grenelle. The first stone was laid in 1827 by “Mademoiselle”, granddaughter of King Charles X.

The Church St John the Baptist of Grenelle or l’église Saint Jean  Baptiste de Grenelle is adorned with four murals: in the transept, the vault of the crusader and the arch of the axial chapel. Unfortunately it is quite difficult to admire them in good conditions because the interior is dark: All the windows have pretty opaque yellow stained glass, done in 1930. The yellow colour, which spreads in the nave, is the symbol of the resurrection. The lack of light obscures the painting of the vault, and almost completely the two paintings of the transept.

The architecture of the Church St John the Baptist is reminiscent of the Roman basilicas, with a nave chanted with arches in full hanger, circular pillars surmounted by a rather fine stone tailor. The cradle vault is pierced with glasses. Finally, one will notice the protruding cornice which surrounds the Church and which clearly separates the two levels of the elevation, thus breaking the height view. Stained-glass windows with a strong opaque yellow allow little light to pass through. The façade is opened by a full-hanger gate topped by a statue-shaped niche and a triangular pediment. A square-plane steeple topped by an arrow is placed above this façade on the top of the roof. The side walls are pierced with windows in full size.

The murals paintings were started in 1928, during the expansion of the église Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Grenelle, the embellishment of the Church were given to do by the painter Henri Nozais. It used oil painting supported by a thick waterproof coating for the decorations of the dome, choir and transept. These paintings illustrate episodes of the Life of John the Baptist: The mystical lamb, the birth of John the Baptist, his preaching, his ascent to heaven and, finally, Salome bringing to his mother the leader of the precursor. These paintings date from the years 1928 and 1930. The Church is on two levels of elevation with large arcades and high windows, and is covered with a semicircular vault resting on columns with Doric marquees.  The Church is raised on a Crypt, the present Saint-Etienne Chapel.

The Choir of the Church Saint-John the Baptist of Grenelle has an apse, illuminated by artificial light,that lets you see the two of Henri Nozais’s mural paintings, dated 1928:   There are the medallion on stained glass of Saint John, in the Choir ; the medallion of Saint Leo , and the medallion of the Holy Bishop all from 1930. The marble altar in accordance with tradition, this altar was executed with fragments of an ancient altar of Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris. The   medallion of a stained glass of the choir also from 1930 of the parents of Saint Teresa of the Child-Jesus one reads above the medallion the quotation: “We get of Christ just as much as we hope”. The modern organ is from 1988, and was renovated last in 2003-04.

There are no tourist spots for it so will tell you a bit on the parish Church site and the mayor’s office of the 15éme arrondissement of Paris.

The official parish Church St John the Baptiste of Grenelle

The city of Paris 15éme arrondissement or district on religious buildings such as the church:

The city of Paris 15éme arrondissement on its history/heritage

There you go only for the lovers of things to see in Paris off the beaten path, Church St John the Baptist of Grenelle, and its lovely area to walk. I had even a get together with a group from Australia from the travel forum VT now defunct at the nearby Café du Commerce! And show them around the area including passing by this Church. Enjoy my eternal Paris and it can be yours too!

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

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May 3, 2021

Notre Dame Church of Dinard!

And why not staying in beautiful Dinard in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my lovely Bretagne ! This is a town worth your time, plenty to see here as shown by my many posts on it in my blog. I like to update this nice older post on the Notre Dame Church of Dinard! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Moving right along showcasing the best and even the off the beaten path trails of my belle France I bring you back to my Bretagne! The region alone is a treasure chest of beauties to be seen and discovered by most visitors to my belle France. The town of Dinard, is fully loaded for things to see as in my previous posts. However, decided to tell you more about the Notre Dame Church.


We were sightseeing the city and as always did our usual walking around, walk long and my team was beginning to be tired, but I kept pushing as I have read about a Church in a section of the city along the big bay. We walked we arrived and were pleasantly surprise to what we saw. The Notre Dame Church is on a hill overlooking the wide boulevard des Maréchaux.


Of course, finding information on the Church is another matter, it is so off the beaten path and little information is published even in the city tourist office or city/town hall. From scratching from several religious sites I was able to find bits of information.  This is my translation of the city of Dinard writing on the Church of Notre Dame

“Poullain du Reposoir, the owner of the Belle Issue, the priory of the Trinitarians and numerous land in this area, graciously offered to the town a plot of 77 ares near the baie du Prieuré (bay of priory) for the construction of a new church, after the destruction caused by the storm of April 1853 on the church of Saint Enogat. This construction, far from unanimity of the population, was consecrated by a great Mass celebrated on January 10, 1858 which marked the transfer of the cult of Saint Enogat to Dinard. The building was built by architect Linley Lacroix. The interior fittings include a master altar ordered in 1866 to the sculptor Rennais Valentin. After the Second World War several reshuffles were planned: The sculptor Armel Barat designs a project of decorative frieze for the façade that remained in the project state (1949-1950). An arrow crowning the bell tower replaced the campanile and the stained glass windows of Max Ingrand replaced the 19C canopies.”


The construction of the Notre Dame Church dates from the middle of the 19C. It was done on a single plane of three naves. The Church has stained glass windows, some old paintings and statues.



The organ was built in 1986 in a style inspired by the French Baroque era. This organ replaces a previous instrument built in 1926 by the manufacture Convers-Cavaillon-Coll, inaugurated by Louis Viere. The current organ buffet is inspired by the St. Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva!

If you are like me curious about the sights and love to walk the beat then this one is worth the detour indeed. It is as said around a big boulevard opening to a nice bay pretty area and great for romantic pose as well! Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path offering of Dinard.

The city of Dinard on its religious heritage including the church:

The Dinard Emerald Coast tourist board on Dinard

There you go folks ,another dandy in pretty Dinard, and worth the detour to the Notre Dame Church!! We love the visit and looking forward to be back when possible. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction to a nice monument of the city.

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

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May 3, 2021

Saint Enogat Church of Dinard!

And now staying in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine of my lovely Bretagne and my belle France! We have come here and love it and came back for more. One of the monument to see in this wonderful city of Dinard is the Saint Enogat Church. Let me update this older post for you and me ,and hope you enjoy it as I.

So here I am back at you with another off the beaten path jewel of glorious Dinard.  As our insatiable thirst for the curiosities of our world and the richness of our belle France have taken us to many small villages and even famous ones as Dinard is, but rather to seek the humble and simple kept apart from the noises of visitors to show us the real city and its past.  I like to tell you about the Saint Enogat Church of Dinard, again not much written on it officially.


We like to arrive at a city by car and in Europe that is very doable and easy and for large families cheaper. Once settle in to our city, the real thrill begins with walks, yes inside a city in Europe the best is to walk. Not easy to tell my dear friends and family from America but walking a couple of km in a city is a piece of cake here and all do it, we love it!! There is so much to see, and reminds me of a fellow blogger jot down and marked it right away because with so much to see , easily forgets later.  But onwards with the find at fashionable Dinard!

In 1858, the capital of the old parish of Saint-Enogat was transferred from the village of this name to the town of Dinard. The Church that was Renaissance style Latin cross form, was demolished except the tower. In 1867, a new parish was created in Saint-Enogat and a new church was built between 1872 and 1874, reusing the tower of the steeple-porch dated 1761.


The organ built at the beginning of the 20C, by Charles Mutin, for an English family. It was transferred to the Church of St-Enogat around 1950, it is completely redesigned and modified in its composition in 1970.

And once again, need to translate from the city as not much info on these off the beaten path jewels!

“At the beginning of the 17C, the primitive Church was already located at the site of the present Church; in Renaissance style, it included a nave and three altars. Only the steeple-porch built in 1761 survives today. Indeed, a violent storm destroyed in April 1853 the roof and the nave of the Church. The inhabitants of the village began the reconstruction themselves before obtaining satisfaction when the Imperial decree of 19 June 1867 recognized their Church as a separate branch from that of Dinard founded in 1858. On 27 June, a episcopal ordinance created a new parish, including Saint-Enogat and various neighbouring villages. . The first stone of the new place of worship was laid on January 7, 1872. The construction of the Church was completed only in June 1874, the presbytery in 1877. On June 27, 1880, the parish, affirming its individuality, was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The interior now retains pieces of liturgical furniture from the late 19C and 20C.”



The walk around the neighborhood is super, with beautiful Enogat beach, lovely grand, chic very classic as the city is known to be.

The city of Dinard on its religious heritage including the church:

The Dinard Emerald Coast tourist board on Dinard

Hope you enjoy these off the beaten path tours on popular places to visit in my lovely Bretagne. There is a whole world out there to be seen and yet, my long journey to see as much as possible of this most visited country which I proudly call mine! Dinard and the St Enogat Church are worth the detour.

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

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May 3, 2021

Cathédrale Saint Pierre de Rennes!!

And again updating my older posts in my blog I come to my lovely Bretagne. This time one of the nicest monument of Rennes in Ïlle et Vilaine dept 35, its St Peter’s Cathedral! or Cathédrale Saint Pierre! Let me tell you a bit more on it and hope you enjoy it as I. And thanks for reading me since 2010!!

Well of course Rennes has a Cathedral! I had written briefly on it in my previous blog posts but looking back definitively needs a post of its own. The Cathérale Saint Pierre de Rennes is worth a detour indeed.  The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre or St Peter’s Cathedral is located in the heart of the city of Rennes. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Rennes, Dol and Saint-Malo. Classically styled, it is one of the nine historic Cathedrals of Brittany.


A bit of history I like

The current site of the Cathédrale St Pierre, has been used as the seat of a bishopric since the 6C. It is likely that it was built instead of an older sanctuary. The old Church was completely replaced by a Gothic Church in the 12C. It is within its walls that on December 25, 1483, Henri Tudor, future Henry VII of England, then in exile in Brittany promises to marry Elizabeth of York to join the army that remained loyal to the late Edward IV of England. This effective marriage in 1486 sealed the end of the war of the Roses and initiated the Tudor dynasty, which would give five sovereigns to England, including the first two reigning queens, successively Mary I of England and Elizabeth I of England.


In 1490, the tower and the western façade of the Gothic Church collapsed. A long-term reconstruction of the western massif, which lasted 163 years, culminated in the granite façade we know today, which is largely classical in style. It appeared then that to avoid a total collapse, it was necessary to rebuild the entire building, with the exception of the facade of recent and solid construction was approved by king Louis XV in Council meeting of 1762.  The demolition took place from 1756 to 1768. The reconstruction began in 1787, but the French Revolution stopped the work. These resumed in 1816. The now neoclassical Cathédrale St Pierre with classic façade was completed in 1845. During the works, from 1803 and 1844, the former abbey Church of Saint-Melaine (see other churches of Rennes post) was the pro-Cathedral of Rennes.

A bit more on the construction and architecture features I like

The facade and its two classical granite towers of 48 meters high were built in several stages throughout the 16C and 17C.  The towers have four levels. The first level was built from 1541 to 1543, the second as well as the third from 1640 to 1654 and the fourth and last from 1654 to 1678. Finally the coronation of the towers between 1679 and 1704, bearing them at their present height of 48 meters and added on the pediment to the top of the façade the motto of Louis XIV.

Besides the front, the façade has five coats of arms of tufa , showing from top to bottom, from right to left we have that of the Beaumanoir, that of Charles Albert of d’Ailly, 3rd Duke of Chaulnes, governor of Brittany, that of Jean-Baptiste de Beaumanoir de Lavardin, Bishop of Rennes from 1676 to 1711. that of Henri de La Mothe-Houdancourt, Bishop of Rennes from 1642 to 1662.  And that of Duke Charles de la Porte. To underline the strength and solidity of the new ensemble as opposed to the fragility of the previous construction, the architects have endowed the facade with 22 granite columns.  The pediment is to the arms of Louis XIV.

The nave has forty-four ionic columns. It was the most austere part of the Church. In order to alleviate this austerity, in the 19C, the columns and part of the walls (this is a mixture of marble dust, lime and chalk) were made into stucco, giving the building a greater brightness. The vault on the other hand is decorated with gold leaves. The vault contains crests to the arms of Brittany and the dioceses of the Archdiocese of Rennes.



The floor covering of the Choir is made up of austere slabs of granite. These offer a violent contrast to the high altar made with marbles offered by Pope Pius IX and from the Roman Forum (Rome). The cul-de-furnace of the apse is adorned with a painting depicting the giving by Christ of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Saint Peter, made circa 1871 by the 19C painter Alphonse le Hénaff. The Choir is surrounded by an ambulatory whose walls are decorated with representations of the various Saints of Brittany grouped according to their diocese (Rennes, Dol-de-Bretagne, Saint-Malo, Saint-Brieuc, Tréguier, Saint-Pol-de-Leon, Quimper, Vannes). They are also due to Alphonse Le Hénaff.

The two crosses of the transept each have a sumptuous chapel adorned with remarkable frescoes. Those of the southern Chapel are consecrated to Sainte Anne, patron Saint of Brittany. There is also the painting of Saint Peter by the painter Henri-Joseph de Forestier given by king Charles X. The work dates from 1827 and represents Saint Peter delivered from his prison by an angel. The northern Chapel has a series of frescoes dedicated to Mary. They thus participate in the Marian cult widespread in Brittany.

Above the crossing of the transept, an artistic project for the development of the four pendants was chosen; consisting in the installation of four statues of three meters in height each, in the four pendants under the dome which will represent the symbolic tetramorphous of the four Evangelists, associated with scenes from the Gospels, such as the Man for Saint Matthew, the Lion for St. Mark, the Bull for St. Luke, and the Eagle for Saint John. The crypt entrance is under the heavy slab engraved with the names of the buried bishops, in the middle of the Cathedral’s central aisle. This crypt is only open during burials. You can go down only upon the burial of a bishop or archbishop.

The Cathédrale St Pierre, houses a great Flemish Altarpiece masterpiece from the 16C adorned with 80 characters, which was restored in 1984. In the Chapel dedicated to Saint Malo is the painting of Sainte Marguerite, dating from the 17C. This painting is a copy of that of Raphael who is currently in the Department of paintings of the Louvre museum. In the Saint-Michel Chapel, you can admire the statue of Sainte Anne, a copy of a 15C work.

The towers of the Cathédrale Saint Pierre house a ringing of five bells. The bourdon, named Godefroy, is housed in the North tower and weighs about 7 900 kg. Its beating of 240 kg was changed on December 12, 2011. The other four bells, located in the South Tower, bear the names of Mary, Pierre, Amand and Melaine. They weigh 3 950 kg, 1 467 kg, 1 155 kg and 475 kg. Pierre is the only preserved bell of 1843, which had three sound vases. The bourdon, named after the first Cardinal-Archbishop of Rennes, Mgr. Brossay-Saint-Marc, is the biggest hidden bell in Brittany. The names of its sisters evoke the holy patron of the cathedral, Peter, that of the Archdiocese of Rennes, Dol and Saint-Malo, Melaine, and his predecessor on the Episcopal throne, Amand.



The Grand organs of the Cathédrale St Pierre date from 1874 and is housed in a buffet, rebuilt in 1970 in a neo-classical style. A dorsal is then added, the pipes finding place in a buffet. Today, the main organs of the Cathedral constitute the most important instrument of the Department 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine.  The Choir organ, it is housed in a neo-classical oak buffet and occupies the central section of the ambulatory , at the bottom of the apse of the Cathedral. Carried by a high base, partially in corbelled, its piping is masked by false pipes in painted and gilded wood. Grouped by seven, in two platforms framed by pilasters summoned by Corinthian capitals for the lateral facades, these canons are numbered twenty-nine for the main façade, two plates-faces of seven false pipes framing a central section of fifteen. Dating back to 1867, the instrument will only be installed current 1869.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it should be a must are:

The Rennes musique webpage on the organ of the Cathedral in French:

The parish of the St Peter’s Cathedral

The Rennes tourist office on the Cathedral

The Upper Brittany dept 35 Ille et Vilaine on the Cathedral

There you go folks ,another jewel in my lovely Bretagne and wonderful capital city of Rennes. The St Peter’s Cathedral is worth the detour and lovely area for walks and sightseeing in the city too. Hope you have enjoy it as I.

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

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May 2, 2021

Goya museum of Castres!!!

And again looking at revising updating older posts found some surprises again. I am sure there will be more as my vault of travels is huge…. I have mentioned this beauty in previous posts but feels it deserve a brand new post of its own. This is the Goya museum of Castres!!! Hope you enjoy it as I.  

For orientation, Castres is a town in the Tarn department 81 in the region of Occitanie. My nostalgic part of my belle France. It is  42 km from Albi ,15 km of Mazamet, and 72 km from Toulouse. The town is cross by the Agout river a tributary of the Tarn river that joins here with the Durenque and the Thorate rivers.

The Goya museum is located in a former episcopal palace of classical 17C architecture whose plans were drawn by Jules-Hardouin Mansart, one of the architects of Versailles. The Goya museum is a museum of Hispanic art unique in France, presenting the creation in Spain from Antiquity to the 20C. The Goya museum has the second biggest collection of Hispanic art in France after that of the Louvre.

castres hotel de ville and musee goya jul10

A bit of history I like

In 1894 when Pierre Briguiboul, son of a painter and collector from Castres, bequeaths the private collection of his father Marcel to the city of Castres, he donated in particular three works by Goya, “Self-portrait with glasses”, “Portrait of Francisco del Mazo ”and“ the Philippine junta ”. At the same time entered the museum in the company of seventy-two objects including sixteen paintings, furniture, weapons. and tapestries. This bequest is at the origin of the Hispanic vocation of the museum. From Goya, the museum also preserves all four engraved series: Caprices, Bullfighting, Proverbs and the Disasters of War, regularly presented in temporary exhibitions. In 1947, in agreement with the authorities of the State and the City, the museum of Castres then took the name of “Goya Museum” and oriented its collections around Hispanic art.

 In 1949, prestigious deposits from the Louvre confirm the Hispanic orientation of this museum.  Since then, the acquisition policy pursued by the City of Castres and the museum has made it possible to regularly enrich this remarkable collection. The purchase of the Gaudí series by Joan Miró fulfills the desire to strengthen the estate linked to the 20C. The Goya Museum also keeps in its collections, the four engraved series of Goya. However, these are only presented to the public on an ad hoc basis during temporary exhibitions for conservation reasons.  Other artists are also present, such as Juan Rexach, Velasquez, Murillo, Ribera, Valdés Leal, Alonso Cano, Pacheco, Zurbaran, and Picasso. Among these deposits, we find two essential paintings: the Portrait of Philip IV by Velázquez and the Virgin with the Rosary by Murillo. The galerie du Siècle d’Or or golden age gallery dedicated to 17C works was opened to the public in 1956. More recently, following on from salle Goya or Goya room, a 19-20C room has been fitted out, bringing together major artists of this period. that some historians have called the Silver Age such as: Anglada-Camarasa, Rusiñol, Sorolla… and Picasso.

The building on which museum is located began its construction in 1665 under the direction of Jules Hardouin Mansart , intendant of the buildings of King Louis XIV and architect of Versailles, it ended in 1673. In 1676, the building was decorated with French garden designed by André Le Nôtre, architect of the royal gardens under Louis XIV. Requisitioned as national property following the French revolution, the building was acquired by the town in 1794. It initially housed the Sub-prefecture then the City/Town Hall and in 1840, the first floor accommodated at its creation, the Castres museum, then the library and archives.

Castres hotel de ville and musee Goya ent jul10

There is a large-scale project that began the summer of 2020 at the Goya Museum. Expansion of exhibition halls, redevelopment of spaces, improvement of accessibility etc. This in-depth modernization will breathe new life into the museum and renovated it from top to bottom and for 18 months, this cultural establishment steeped in history. Due to the pandemic the renovations are ongoings and its expected to reopen in July 2022.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and its worth the detour are:

The City of Castres on the Goya Museum:

The Castres-Mazamet Tourist office on the Goya museum:

The Tarn dept 81 tourists office on Castres:

The museums of the Occitanie region on the Goya Museum of Castres :

And there you go folks, a wonderful historical museum in a wonderful historical architecturally nice building in central Castres. You won’t have to go to Spain to see Goya at his best, just come to the Goya Museum of Castres! And my nostalgic Tarn dept 81 of my belle France.

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

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May 2, 2021

The ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse !!

Well well, one thing looking at this older posts is well a thrill! However, one great thing out of it is that I find sights to tell that have overlooked over the years. This was a wonderful trip with the whole family! many years back, the pictures are personal but all that is left. I like to relive and tell tell about the ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse in the Château de Bresse! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me bring you in into this east of France beauty slowly… The town of Pierre-de-Bresse is located in the department 71 of Saône-et-Loire in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. By the road is halfway between Chalon-sur-Saône (40 km) from where we came in sort of , and Dole (40 km).  The village would take its name from a megalithic monument similar to the stone of Couhard (near Autun). Pierre was on the border of Bresse then Burgundy after 1477. The village was burnt down in 1638 by Spanish troops under the orders of Baron de Watteville. The fortified château de Pierre was defended by Captain de Chanteret for the crown of France. Other interesting thing here are the Saint-Marcel Church, and the Château de Terrans  that is in the former village of Terrans, merged with Pierre-de-Bresse in 1973. The castle is a private property, cannot be visited, but worth seeing from outside.

The way to get there on public transports for information as never taken them are:  The Dijon – Bourg-en-Bresse line serves Seurre Station (21) located 18 km from Pierre de Bresse webpage:

Also, Bus Line 716 of the MobiGo network connects Pierre de Bresse to Chalon sur Saône. Webpage pdf file:

The property of this post is the Château de Pierre de Bresse. A bit on its construction includes two very distinct parts: on the one hand the outbuildings, and on the other hand the manor house. Each of these parts is surrounded by ditches filled with water. The outbuildings are accessed by a stone bridge connecting the park to them, and to the house by another stone bridge ensuring communication between the two. The outbuildings are formed, on either side of a large rectangular courtyard, of two oblong buildings, each preceded by a small pavilion. There is a nice park with grand tree lined entrance!

The castle is built in brick,and a rectangular shape, made up of three U-shaped bodies topped with a broken slate roof and surrounded by towers. The two wings in return of square have the same external elevation as the main building. Finally, if the twelve windows on the second floor correspond exactly to the twelve windows on the ground floor, the roof dormers are only six in number and their wider intervals help to lighten the two facades. A sundial is placed at the north wing. The castle is also characterized by the presence of four towers at the corners of the stately home. The better tower has four gun outlets, two downstairs, two on the first floor, the other towers none, the  remaining two towers, are on the ground floor. Likewise, only the two towers are crowned with machicolations. They are all four covered with bulbous domes surmounted by a campanile.   The castle is the property of the department of Saône-et-Loire.

The ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse is an ecomuseum of the history of Burgundy Bresse, founded in 1981 at the Château de Pierre de Bresse. In 1956, the castle was bought by the general council of Saône-et-Loire. It was restored and founded this eco-museum there in 1981.  The museum exhibits the history of Burgundian Bresse (one of the three parts of Bresse with Jura Bresse and Pays Dolois and Savoyard Bresse), with its natural environment, its heritage, its history, its habitat and its architecture, its farms bressane, furniture, old trades (mulching of chairs, breeding of Bresse chickens, tile making, pottery, clog makers , popular arts and traditions (costumes, pottery, music), the life of the Thiard family in Château de Pierre de Bresse as well as temporary exhibitions of local art, shop, sale of local specialties and tea room etc.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official ecomuseum of Burgundy Bresse

The region tourist office of Burgundy Bresse on the ecomuseum

The town of Pierre de Bresse on ecomuseum

Pierre de Bresse

Now last but not least , you might be wandering what was the family wonderful trip of above… Well the oldest brother of the Nord and my dear late wife Martine figure it out that since we were vacationing together in Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise of Burgundy in a house take some side trips away from wines lol! So the bro decided to take us here and we were following in our car. Well the trip was about an hour but I was getting a bit upset seeing just cows and mountains on the N73 road and then the D73 road until we got to the town of Pierre de Bresse and I say geepy now a pint! Well he ahead of me turn left and voilà this wonderfu gorgeous castle that in order to save it the regional council has turn it into an ecomuseum. A very nice experience, we like it and stay as a memorable family trip. Do not know why left it out ,maybe because all I had were a couple of personal pictures from it!

Pierre de Bresse

Hope you like the story and do come over the Château de Pierre de Bresse and its ecomuseum are wonderful. One more reason to love my belle France!

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

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May 2, 2021

Encore Sainte Anne d’Auray!!!

And yes encore Sainte Anne d’Auray, again and again; I passed by it almost every day and have several posts in my blog on it or its surrounding monuments. This is awesome regardless of your beliefs and the town of Sainte Anne d’ Auray is totally devoted to the wonderful Basilica.

Needless, to repeat the many text on its description and history so I will be brief and add new pictures taken yesterday morning on our Labor Day 1st May road warrior trip. Hope you enjoy it; I think the pictures came out better than ever ::)

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne altar left side may21

Taken some parts of previous texts on older posts let me tell you that I have written on this religious town often as it is just 20 minutes from my house I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ!

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne fountain ste anne may21

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne altar may21

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel Ste Marie may21

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica  By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of Ste. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic , the man who saw Ste. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent.

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel back right may21

You will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary).

Ste Anne d Auray Bas Ste Anne chapel ste anne et mary may21

Again, some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and a must if want to get into the Breton/French psyche with its huge history and beautiful architecture. Of course, try not to come on July 24-26 if you don’t want to see yourselves in half a million to a million pilgrims from all over the world.

The official Sanctuary of Sainte Anne:

The long webpage of the Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on the Sanctuary of Ste Anne

The Bay of Quiberon local tourist office on Sainte Anne d’Auray:

Hope you enjoy the short post and do read my many others on Sainte Anne d’Auray and its wonderful monuments. A small town but packs a lot of power….The history is nice and the architecture is beautiful, a must to see in my Morbihan breton.

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

May 1, 2021

Thabor park of Rennes!

This is it, the best park of Rennes in my opinion. I have been here  and love it. This is again an older post update that have allowed me to come back to these beautiful spots in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. The Thabor park of Rennes is nice indeed. Hope you enjoy the post and thanks again for reading me over these wonderful years of blogging!

Ok so now lets get ecological nature lover in me and tell you about a wonderful park right in the middle of a large city. This is Rennes, dept 35 of Ille et Vilaine in the region of Bretagne ! Having taking on monuments and museums, let me tell you about a nature lovers paradise.  I have several posts on Rennes but would like to tell you about the wonderful Thabor park or Parc du Thabor of Rennes!


Parc du Thabor park, is close to the city center, a public park with more than ten hectares, the characteristic of which is to mix a French garden, an English garden and an important botanical garden. Since its private origin, vegetable garden and pleasure of the monks of Saint-Melaine Abbey long outside the walls of the city, the park has become, by successive developments and enlargements, one of the emblematic places of the city and of the most popular.

Thabor Park is in the district of Thabor-Saint-Helier-Alphonse Guérin. It is framed by rue Martenot and Rue de Paris to the south, the boulevard de la Duchess Anne to the east and the Rue de la Palestine to the north. The west of the park is clearly tightened between Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine in the north and middle school Anne de Bretagne in the south; You can access it by the place Saint-Melaine, the entrance closest to the center of the city. Access to the park is made by six open entrances on the above mentioned streets. It is served by lines C3 and 44, Thabor stop; The nearest metro station is Sainte-Anne. The park is open all year round. Just to say I always come here by car as on trains is only a transfer station for me.

A bit of history and description I like

Originally, the park was only a hill culminating at 56 meters above sea level, i.e. it dominated a large part of Rennes, the altitude of which ranges from 20 to 74 meters. The first mentions of the Thabor date from 1610. The lands of Thabor have long been a dependency of the abbey of Saint-Melaine, where they were mainly used as an orchard. In the 17C, Benedictine monks opened their gardens, but they were reserved for men only. The Thabor was accessed by a passage that communicated between the abbey’s interior cloister and its vegetable garden, and then through a door that was set in the wake of the Great Fire of 1720, the Thabor became the seat of the bishopric. The Palace of the bishopric was built there and part of the gardens became those of the bishopric.

In the French revolution, all ecclesiastical domains are attached to the State. On May 10, 1793, Rennes became the owner of these lands following an exchange with the State. A public promenade was opened on the rest of the bishopric and Benedictine lands; the Court of the bishopric is the main entrance. In 1826, the demolition of the Church of Saint John, located next to Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine, abandoned since the French revolution, opened the current entrance to Saint-Melaine.

Besides the French gardens expressly requested by the mayor, Denis Bühler proposed to create the first landscaped garden of Rennes and to move the garden of plants, then to the west of the Orangerie, to the east of the park. The greenhouses, the aviary, the grates, the Orangerie and the bandstand are made on the plans of the local architect Jean-Baptiste Martenot. The last expansions took place at the end of the 19C with the transfer of the Office of the Catherinettes in 1891, then the acquisition of the parcel Perrigault. During the 20C, some minor developments were carried out, such as the addition of wrought iron gratings at the entrance to Rue de Paris, in 1912 and Avenue de Grignan in 1926, but also the creation of a menagerie in 1930 following the success of the park of Maurepas created essentially as a playground and relaxation in 1936, the Thabor park, also receives this type of equipment. The Duchess Anne’s greenhouses were demolished at the beginning of 2005 to liberate the settlement area of the social housing, as well as a neighborhood library and a new entrance towards the square Lucien Rose.

A bit of a description of Thabor park!

The 10 ha of the Thabor public garden consists of two walks-the square of the Guesclin and the L’Enfer (hell) to the west-of the French garden in front of the Orangerie in the north, a large landscaped garden in the center and the south, and finally a botanical garden and a rosary to the east. The Guesclin square was laid out in bowling lawn in 1825, it is a trapezoidal lawn with a promenade lined with chestnut trees. On the small side, a stone arch highlighting a column of July allows to overlook the bowling, of this observatory, the impression that the Guesclin square is of parallelepiped form.. The demolition of the Church of Saint John allowed to create an entrance leading directly to the Guesclin square in 1826 overlooking the Place Saint Melaine, ancient forecourt of the abbey, the entrance is marked by a monumental portal, bearing the arms of Rennes. A small wall was spread on either side of the pillars, punctuated by six low-protrusion pilasters adorned with cast iron vases. The construction of the new grid, is a miniature version of that of Parc Monceau, Paris began in 1873 and ended only 3 years later.

The terraces, along Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine, are lined with mosaics of flowers. From 1950, these mosaics were thematic and could represent comic characters (Asterix, Smurfs…) or the Fables of Fontaine. This demanded substantial financial support for the city of Rennes, and since 1975, the flower beds have been a simpler motif. During the early 20C, L’Enfer (hell) was a holiday place with the installation of a green theater. In front of L’Enfer, a very treed square houses a children’s carousel. An overhanging promenade is located on the edge of the Espachien. It includes a foosball table, a stones table and two sculptures made between 1889 and 1895 by the students of the Beaux-Arts of Rennes who face on the east side of the promenade.  Between L’Enfer and the French gardens, a bar-restaurant is located along the Rue de la Palestine. The Thabor’s snack bar becomes the La Terrace du Thabor Restaurant. webpage:


The French gardens were designed by Denis Bühler at the explicit request of the mayor of the city. This is the only French garden created by this landscaper, and the only 19C park to own a French garden. The French garden respects the precepts of Le Nôtre: we find gendarme hats, embroidery beds and basins. In addition to the Floral Park, the French garden also stands out by its decoration and its development by factories, statues and by the urban furniture. The bandstand, strategically placed in the alignment of the massif of the French garden, on its eastern part, is built by Martenot in 1875. He took trips before designing the kiosk, including advice on acoustics, and was very much inspired by the Bois de Boulogne kiosk. The statues were added at the end of the 19C. In 1807, the Orangerie and two greenhouses were built, but the latter were replaced almost sixty years later (in 1862 and 1863) by the greenhouses designed by Martenot. The glass and steel greenhouses are largely inspired by the greenhouses of the Bordeaux Botanical Garden. Three cut-out pavilions called palmerium, surmounted by a balcony and a dome crowned with a lantern are connected by small galleries.


The greenhouses of Martenot are affected by the bombardment of WWII; more classic integrated into the buildings of the Orangerie were built after the war. The Orangerie consists of two buildings that frame the greenhouses in the east and west. The Orangerie, pierced by windows on all sides except in the north, is decorated with bas-reliefs and inscriptions commemorating the great names of botany and horticulture: The pediment is adorned with names of botanists such as Linné and De Jussieu are represented on the western part and the Quintinie and Le Nôtre on the eastern part. Today, the 85 m2 of the west Orangery serves as a showroom.


The Botanical Garden which was located west of the Orangerie and moved to the east of the park. The botanical Garden is organized circularly in eleven flowerbeds where more than 3 000 species grow to understand this organization, the visitor should browse the botanical garden starting from the acotylédones (mushrooms, mosses and ferns) , then going up to the center of the circle by turning clockwise until the flowering. So the plants become more and more imposing, and we pass herbs to shrubs. Between the Rosary, the botanical gardens and the French garden, a space of 300 m2 is isolated from the public by means of grills. It is the site of   experimentation of the Ecorurb research program, the objective of which is to understand the effects of urbanization on biodiversity. The grid plot must primarily be used to understand the process of recolonization of plants on pristine terrain with or without seed input. For this, the land was sterilized and then isolated from the rest of the park.


The Rosary garden is rich in many varieties of rose stem, half-stalk, climbing or bush. A large part of the climbing roses are presented on the north wall separating the garden from the Rue de la Palestine, but also on arbours and pergolas. In the square of the novelties, an exhibition of roses that has been created during the previous ten years is located around the statue La Pensée( thought), a copy of the Louvre or Versailles. The side of the wall bordering the Rue de la Palestine is a place of observation where the adaptation of the roses created less than five years ago to the climatic and soil conditions is tested for two to three years by the National Society of Horticulture of France in order to compete in the Grand Prix de la Rose SNHF. A square of the old Roses inaugurated in 1990 to the south of the botanical garden allows to discover the first varieties of tea roses and their hybrids of the Japanese steps allowing to access the young Savoyard mourning his groundhog, but also to enter the heart of the ancient Rosary. To the northeast of the Botanical Garden is an exhibition of dahlias.

The landscaped garden is summarily divided into two areas: first of all the garden imagined by Denis Bühler, offering larger spaces grassy and creating openings allowing the creation of picturesque landscapes. However, the landscape garden remains the place of the idealization of nature. The landscaped garden is home to many species of trees, including redwoods that are in some way the signature of the Bühler brothers. The most elaborate part of the landscape park is the mosaiculture representing the coat of arms of Rennes surrounded by two ermines. This is the only part of the park enclosure that is wide open outside, thanks to a long grid, so that passersby and motorists browsing the Rue de Paris can enjoy it. The monumental fountain of 1829 for the development of the Square de la Motte is dismantled and installed at the entrance of Rue de Paris in 1901. The waterfall is lined with rocks from the forest of Saint-Aubin, although during the construction of the Catherinettes, picturesque-shaped rocks were made using cement. The waterfall is a miniature copy of that of the Bois de Boulogne.


The menagerie was arranged in 1930 to the southeast of the Catherinettes. It originally housed deer, sheep and some birds such as ducks and guinea geese, but several complaints from the vicinity, vandalism and also inadequate food for the species present led to the transformation of the Menagerie in simple duck pens in 1978. In 1968, the children’s playground is located in the southeast of the landscape park. It currently contains several slides and swings highlighted by large circular stone surrounds. A lawn adjacent to the playground is allowed to the public. Many captive birds are found at the Thabor park. Many species of surface duck and parakeets are exposed to the public in the duck enclosure and aviary. Wooden panels representing each bird installed in the vicinity of these facilities make it possible to inform the public of the different species presented. The park allows to observe several wild birds, passers and raptors mainly (Owl Tawny, European hawk). The red squirrel is also present.


The Thabor park consists of 52 000 m2 of turf, 5 800 m2 of shrubs and 700 trees of which 200 conifers. The park, and in particular the landscaped park, is embellished with many species of trees: redwoods, Lebanese cedar, tricolor beech, Tulip tree of Virginia, Cork Oak, magnolias, silver bell trees, pyramidal oak, Algerian fir, Colorado blue fir, Etc. The Thabor Park represents 59 000 annual plants, 54 000 biennial plants, 18 500 plants bulbous, 500 chrysanthemum, 1 000 dahlias of 78 different varieties and 2 100 roses of 980 different varieties. The Botanical Garden Houses 3 120 different plants, of which 800 are planted each year; The most represented family is that of daisies. It is also a place of exhibition, especially thanks to the orangery where different artists were exposed.

Ok so I believe you get the picture , this is a big Thabor park and a wonderful place to do your walks and or relax after a long day of sightseeing in Rennes, in dept 35 Ïlle et Vilaine,  capital of the region of Bretagne!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Rennes tourist office on Thabor park

The Rennes metro area on the 150 anniversary (2018) of Thabor park

The Bretagne 35 Ïle et Vilaine on Thabor Park

Enjoy Thabor park ,its wonderful with the whole family, we even go there while walking around the city, lately to eat out. Its an off the beaten path site that needs to be visited more. Beautiful Rennes!

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

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May 1, 2021

The Château de Vitré!!

a wonderful castle in my lovely Bretagne just at the entrance of it. In our road warrior trips we have been to Vitré and have several posts on it in my blog. This time will just love to update for you and me the entry of The Château de Vitré!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I like to come back to my region of Bretagne. Again, written general posts on the city of Vitré and its wonders, but feel once again a single post on the castle is merited and worth the visit by all those passing by. In our quest to take advantage of living here and with so much history and architecture around we took it upon ourselves to see as much as possible of my new region and it has been a blast! Let me tell you a bit more on the Castle of Vitré!


The Vitré castle is a powerful castle located at the western end of the fortified town of Vitré, in Ille-et-Vilaine,dept 35 of Bretagne and on the marches of Bretagne. The Vitré castle occupies the end of a schist spur overlooking the north of the Valley of the Vilaine and to the south a swampy brook, disappeared in the 18C to make way for the royal road from Paris to Rennes. The renovation of the castle c. 1420,  had another purpose, the affirmation of the lords’s power, shaken by the arrival of the English in Maine ,because the castle then was the refuge of the counts of Laval, especially when the English took Laval in 1427.


A bit of history I like

Around the year 1000, a first wooden castle mentioned between 1066 and 1076 was built on a clod castrale by Baron Riwallon of Vitré at the present site of the Church of St. Croix. This castle whose shape is unknown was burned on many occasions. It was abandoned for the benefit of a new stone castle built by Baron Robert I of Vitré at the end of the 11C on a new defensive site, a vast rocky headland of schist that dominates about thirty meters above the Vilaine river. This castle still has a Romanesque-style porch. The reconstruction of the castle in its current, triangular form and the fortification of the city in the first half of the 13C was traditionally attributed to Baron Andre III.

The Parliament of Brittany took refuge on three occasions (1564, 1582 and 1583) during the plague epidemics in Rennes. With the families of the Rieux and Coligny, owners of the castle between 1547 and 1605, Vitré houses the Protestant cult and became for a few years a Huguenot bastion. One of the major elements of the French revolution in Vitré was the accidental fire that destroyed the Seigneurial house in 1795. At the beginning of the 19C, a departmental prison was built in the place of the Seigneurial house and occupied the entire northern part, including the Madeleine tower. The prison became garrisoned upon the arrival of the 70th Infantry Regiment from 1867 to 1877. The castle was bought by the State in the 19C. Today, the Vitré City/town Hall is installed inside the castle enclosure, in a building rebuilt in 1912 according to the plans of the medieval Logis.

A bit on the architecture details I like

The entrance facade to the east is preceded by a large esplanade called Place du Château (castle square). The entrance Châtelet dating from the 15C is composed of two towers in pepper-pots ,the north tower in rubble and south tower paired, topped by a gallery of machicolations Breton Sandstone and a double fortified floor.


The tower of the Oratory, also called the Chapel Tower, takes its name from the Renaissance apsidiole which adorns its facade the coat of arms of the Comte de Laval surrounded by the collar of the Order of St. Michael appear intertwined with those of his wives, Charlotte of Aragon, Anne de Montmorency and Antoinette de Daillon. Around the inner courtyard are distributed the seigneurial buildings, which became those of the City/Town Hall. The tower of the Oratory exhibits a triptych altarpiece consisting of 32 enamel plates of Limoges tracing the life of Christ and the Virgin.



The St. Lawrence Tower was the home of the governor. The four floors of this imposing tower are such that it acts as a dungeon. Built in the 15C on the site of a 13C tower, it collapsed in 1835 and was rebuilt around 1870.  The museum presents a collection of paintings depicting the history of Vitré and the evolution of French religious goldsmith from the 17C to the 20C. The Saint-Laurent tower houses, among others, sculptures from the 15-16C from Vitré’s houses, a Renaissance fireplace dating back to 1583, tapestries from Flanders from the 16C and Aubusson from the 17C, and the tomb of Guy X of Laval.


There, and now some webpages to help you plan your trip here which I say is a must to see in Vitré and Bretagne!

The official Castle of Vitré:

The city of Vitré on its heritage

The Vitré tourist office on the castle

Now you are all set to visit this enchanting castle right in city center Vitré on the frontiers of my lovely Bretagne, and worth the detour. It was a very nice visit by us there, and sure worth a return.

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

May 1, 2021

Castle museum of the Navy, Brest!!

And here I go to the extreme northwest of my lovely Bretagne and the great seamen city of Brest. Of course, many posts on it but this one would like to update for you and me. I love castles and when they house a naval museum even more, and this is the case of this post, the castle museum of the Navy in Brest! Hope you enjoy it as I.


In maritime Brest, let me bring you into something more historical , older, and with great architecture. Just what I like to see. I have come to Brest several times with the family, and we have stop here each time with each trip more in depth visits. The diversity of things to see here allows for the opportunity to come back again and again to see these jewels of my lovely Bretagne and belle France. One of the sights that rigtht away comes to your eyes upon entering the city is the Castle , a wonderfully preserved one indeed. However, the best of it is what is inside! A naval museum of France! It is a must to see indeed and good for the whole family!


Within the recently renovated Brest Castle, rich in 17 centuries of history, the National Museum of the Navy, traces the history of the arsenal and large sea fleets from Primauguet and Richelieu until today, and confirms the close ties between the city of Brest and this maritime history. By browsing the different rooms of the castle, the historic heart of the city, and one of the few vestiges of its past, you will enjoy a superb collection of models of ships, paintings, sculptures, the pocket submarine, the evocation of the old Brest, The memories of the prison… all in connection with the great naval adventure. Alone or in the company of a speaker, discover this exceptional site that offers a superb panorama of the harbor, the Penfeld and the city.


Heir to the historical halls of the arsenals, the great collections of Paris, Versailles and the practical Works Hall of the School of Engineering Builders, the National Museum of the Navy is both museum of art and history, science and technical, human adventures and popular traditions, a center of maritime culture open to the widest public. It is intended to be the showcase and the Heritage Conservatory of all Marines. With the Museum of the St. Petersburg (Russia), it shares the privilege of being one of the two oldest maritime museums in the world by the importance and diversity of its collections.  Around its permanent collections, large models of arsenals, paintings including the series of the ports of Vernet, of objects witnessing maritime activities, and by its temporary exhibitions, the National Museum of the Navy sensitizes the public to the maritime fact. It offers to the visitor not only a permanent collection but also temporary exhibitions as well as numerous animations, workshops and visits with family or for the younger ones.



Some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and you must, are:

The official marine museum of Brest

The Brest tourist office on the marine museum

There is a great parking area just in front of the castle ,where we always parked and from there is easy walking all over the city center. A wonderful time well spent with the family and highly recommended as one of the best maritime museums in the world! Enjoy it

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

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