Posts tagged ‘Paris’

February 15, 2019

Avenue de Paris and the ND10 Versailles!

So going over my blog, did some daring posts on streets of Paris and some in Versailles, but I believe left out the main one, and my favorite way to drive to Paris on a weekend family visit. On a cool sunny day in France, and no rains, let me tell you about the road by telling you a bit more on my beloved Versailles.

And what way to tell you is about a historic road and street, the Avenue de Paris in Versailles aka N10 national road today. The old way Castle to fortress, Versailles to the Louvre when kings were around.

Versailles

The Avenue de Paris is one of three lanes that radiate in a fan from the Place d’Armes, in front of the Château de Versailles, with the Avenue de Saint-Cloud in the north and the Avenue de Sceaux in the south. The Avenue de Paris, in the center, is located in the axis of the castle. It heads southeast for about 1 500 meters, before oblique eastward for 1 km to place Louis-XIV where it ends. It is extended, on the other side of the square, by the Avenue du General-Léclerc. With 90 meters wide, the avenue is one of the widest in France. It takes its name from the fact that it leads towards Paris, passing through Sèvres. It is also the old Royal route to the Louvre that still can be done today! This is my beloved Versailles!

Versailles

The Avenue de Paris coincides with the national D 10 road for most of its course.  In Versailles, the Avenue de Paris borders the following buildings of simply my preference:

Grand Ecurie , including the facades on the Cour d’Honneur and on the avenues of Paris and Saint-Cloud, the facades of the two pavilions and the grids bordering on the place d’Armes; the Petite Ecurie, between Ave de Paris and Avenue de Sceaux. At no. 6: Pavilion of the Constables, at no. 19: former stables of Madame Du Barry, built from 1773 by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux for the last favorite of King Louis XV; she wanted to shelter the staff and to store the crews of her teams in this building adjoining the pavilion it had acquired in 1772 (see No. 21, below). The works were suspended at the death of the King in1774 and completed according to the plans of Ledoux by Jean-François Chalgrin for the Comte de Provence, brother of King Louis XVI, then titled Monsieur (future king Louis XVIII), owner of the stables from 1775, and at no 21: former Madame du Barry Pavilion, at no. 22: Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs,here having welcomed the meeting of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the Estate General of 1789, the last of the former regime. At no. 57: laiterie de Madame (old Dairy of Madame). At no. 111: Former music Pavilion of Madame, the Pavilion of Music of the Countess of Provence, which is located at Avenue Chauchard (at the level of no 111, avenue de Paris) , the government regional of the Prefecture of Yvelines; Domaine de Montreuil aka Domaine de Madame Elizabeth, (sister of Louis XVI).

Versailles

Entering Versailles from Paris on this road N/D10 you will see upon arriving at the city two enclosures houses or gates. There were the fees/taxes generators for allowing you to enter the royal city, there are still there! These two pavilions framing the Avenue de Paris symbolically sign the entrance into Versailles, located there since 1787, the date of annexation to Versailles of the towns of Montreuil and Porchefontaine. The two existing grant pavilions were built in 1824, and connected by iron Gates that closed the avenue. Real treat to drive by now for free!

But this old road has a lot more history outside the limits of Versailles. This is a leasure driving trip from Paris (used to be from the Louvre) anywhere you can link up with it to the Chateau de Versailles.

 With the transfer of the court and political power to Versailles in 1684 by king Louis XIV, the road between the Louvre and the new castle was experiencing intense activity. Previously a part of the national road No. 10, called Route de Versailles or Route de la Reine (queen’s road), an order of 1877 gave it its present name of Avenue de Versailles. All along the Seine and then some; you can see some interesting buildings before you leave Paris such as No 123 Avenue de Versailles now occupies the location of the hotel of Hortense Schneider , famous interpreter of  Offenbach. At no 142-Jassedé Building, in Art nouveau style, by Hector Guimard with a remarkable staircase. And at no 211bis ,the painter Albert Marquez lived here in 1903-1904. He painted the Avenue de Versailles and the district of the Point-du-Jour.

Interesting to know that leaving Paris is called Avenue de Versailles and entering Versailles is call Avenue de Paris! But go on read more and continue our leasure drive of France’s best two cities combination of course I can say so !

In Paris, the route of Versailles runs along the right bank of the Seine river, crosses the neighborhoods of Passy and Auteuil in the 16éme arrondissement; before arriving in Boulogne-Billancourt. Much later, in 1860, the limits of Paris are now fixed to the location of the old ramparts and doors(portes) that allowed to enter the capital. In 1877, the Route de Versailles was renamed Avenue de Versailles before it uncorked to the site of the former Porte-de-Saint-Cloud. It is after crossing the Porte-Saint-Cloud that the RN 10 actually starts on entering Boulogne-Billancourt in the form of a long avenue that bears the name of General Leclerc since 1945.

The avenue leads to the Sèvres bridge that crosses the Seine river. Originally built of wood in 1685 with the first route of the road to Versailles, the bridge is rebuilt under the Empire first in stone before giving way to a vast metal work in 1963. Just before embarking on the bridge, a stele recalls the memory of General Leclerc and the 2nd Armoured Division whose squadron commanded by Captain Morel-Deville crosses the Seine here before entering Paris on August 25, 1944; for its liberation of WWII.

On the west bank of the Seine, the national 10 enters Sèvres by road km 11 by taking the route of the royal road opened in 1686 at the bottom of the valley of Marivel brook. About this period, it was through this still embryonic route that the materials needed for the construction of Versailles were transported from the port of Saint Cloud. On the right, you can see the national porcelain Manufactory installed here by the Marquise de Pompadour in 1756. This vast building is still home to a school, workshops and an important ceramics museum of Sévres.

The main street crosses Sèvres by climbing along the Parc de Saint-Cloud. The initial royal road of 1686 was enlarged under Louis XV. This street was the scene of many historical events such as the march of the Parisians on Versailles on October 5, 1789 and the passage of the royal family back to Paris the next day. The Grande Rue de Sèvres is still in its 18C configuration, more really adapted to the growth of traffic. It will be considerably enlarged in the 1970’s at the cost of the demolition of many buildings.

The road, in fact a long commuter road, continues towards Chaville at road km 15 (a nice picturesque train station here always love to see it), the last town of Hauts-de-Seine dept 92 crossed by the national road 10 (these sections call D910 same road). The royal road, then national, first crossed the Bas Chaville under the name of Grande Rue before becoming rue Roger Salengro, in memory of the minister of the popular Front tragically disappeared in 1936. The main street, which became Rue Salengro, in 1960. On leaving the city, at La Pointe de Chaville , sharp turn, there is still the junction between the royal road and the route du Pavé des Gardes. This route linking Paris to Versailles by the Forest of Meudon had the advantage of being the shortest way between the two cities but at the cost of steep passages particularly dreaded in winter. Essentially used by the royal army, to whom it owes its name, the pavement of the guards was impracticable by the drawn cars forced to take the royal road in the valley of the Marivel.

The road continues towards Viroflay at road km 18 and enters the Yvelines (dept 78 !). The national road 10 crosses this department created in 1964 on more than 60 km, Versailles and Rambouillet are the main cities crossed.

Becoming Avenue Leclerc since the liberation, the national road10 passes under the imposing railway viaduct also called the arcades because of the height of its arches. The work of art inaugurated in 1852 supports the extension to Chartres of the railline Versailles-Rive Droite (my old train route) connecting Versailles to Paris. The Viroflay railway viaduct straddles the national road 10 since its inauguration in 1852. Leaving Viroflay, the national road D10 abruptly changes its physiognomy to the approach of Versailles at road km 20!. The modest road is then transformed into the majestic Avenue of Paris leading directly to the Château museum’s Place d’Armes. In the place d’Armes, it converges with the other two avenues, that of Saint-Cloud and that of Sceaux. Until the French revolution, it was here that the Great Royal Road ended, which still put Versailles at nearly three hours of the Louvre..!!! And yes we can do it in less than an hour today!

Of course, if like me you have to drive around here all the time, you can continue once facing the Chateau to your left going around the castle direction Saint Cyr l’école along the Orangerie and the Piéce d’eau des Suisses pond all the way to Saint Cyr l’école and Les Quatre-Pavés-du-Roi in Montigny-le-Bretonneux.And sightseeing galores! just to reaching Yvelines 78 dept territory Moving on to Rambouillet and even Chartres!

And you can drive today and do a fairy tail trip by Royals while by passing some wonderful historical and stunning architecture monuments of many periods,not to mention mingle up a bit with the locals! Enjoy the roads of my belle France! My eternal Paris, and my royally sublime Versailles! Many of the buildings mentioned here have already post on them in my blog before.

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

February 15, 2019

Some news from France, CCXX

So this is a special edition of my Some news from France episodes which is now to its 220th edition with Roman numerals. I have said many times the beauty of my belle France and the attraction it has in the world. Yes there are many wonderful beautiful places in our World.

However, when it comes to numbers and favorites, France and Paris is at the top with Versailles right behind ok. No wonders some of the visitors here claim of overcrowded and long lines etc, well we are the best in the world of showing you the beauty of our landscape, architecture, history and struggles of mankind. Nobody does it better.

We have some new figures from the tourists authorities coming out yesterday and I wanted to share them here fresh and hot off the press. France is a movable feast!!! And just step out a bit from Paris and you will see what I mean.

In my beloved Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris, and another state/province/department sits the Royal Mansion…………

The Royal mansion has made a place in the sun. The Château de Versailles surpassed for the first time the bar of 8 million visitors in 2018, in the line of a record tourist year for the Ile de France region monuments, which saw the passing of 50 million visitors last year. It is the third most visited monument in the region, behind the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Now you know why crowded, the world wants to come here!!!!

Even if it remains the second most visited monument of the Yvelines dept 78 with its 105K visitors, the National Bergerie of Rambouillet loses 10 000 visitors. In its aftermath, the Museum of National Archaeology of Saint-Germain-en-Laye holds its course, surpassing just the 100K visitors. The Château de Rambouillet also gives off good figures with more than 43K visitors, for its first full year since its reopening in September 2017 after two and a half years of work. The Villa Savoye, in Poissy, which accounts for more than 38K visitors, hopes to inflate its attendance quickly. At the 6th place in the Yvelines department 78, the Château de Maisons-Laffitte welcomed 25K visitors, 15% more than the previous year. 2017 had been marked by heavy work on the facade of the castle, until the beginning of  2018.

Paris

See the photo above ,credit Le Parisien newspaper, and the regional committee on tourism of ïle de France.

Regional wise as in Ile de France, (Paris, Versailles Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte etc etc) we have 50 million tourists welcomed in 2018, the Ile-de-France beat, for the second consecutive year, a record of attendance. The Ile-de-France is the locomotive of tourism in our country which attracted a total of 90 million people last year (2018). For the first time in 2018, hotels welcomed more foreigners (17.6 million, + 8.7%) than, French from other regions (17.5 million,-1.1%). In the Nationalities, the Americans arrived in the lead with 2.8 million, followed by the British with 2 million, the Germans with 1,220,000, almost equal with the Chinese at 1,190,000 ,and the Spaniards at 1,140,000. To welcome visitors, the region is deploying this year 700 tourism volunteers, students in BTS or languages in 75 places (train stations..etc.).

A famous international travel forum which won’t mention has shown the favorite past time of its users is the promenade on the pedestrian banks of the Seine river  in the Top 10 favorite activities of tourists in Paris!

And the ongoing improvements are continuing all over and the Eiffel tower is definitively not behind to anyone ! For the Eiffel Tower and its 6 million annual visitors, as many potential mouths to feed from a simple sandwich or gourmet meal, a lollipop or a brownie, the producer’s Guild (Guilde des Artisans) will therefore be a guarantee of quality whatever the product. The entry “contest” will be renewed twice a year, and 5 categories of products are open to selection: Bakery (bread, pastries, sandwiches…), Sweets (chocolate, cakes, jams and other confectionery), Savoury tastes ( Charcuterie, cheese, cannery etc), Beverages, and unprocessing plant products, i.e. fruit, vegetables and cereals. Season, always in season. Applications are now accepted for registration on the website: https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/fr/guilde-artisans.html

And last news but not least, a wonderful royal place that needs to be seen more. The national Domaine of Saint-Cloud (Hauts de Seine dept 92) records an annual increase of 2-3% of its attendance. The fifth most visited site in Île-de-France in 2018 outside Paris and Disney, the estate welcomes walkers, joggers and festival-goers throughout the year. With 148K visitors last year, the national domaine of Saint-Cloud does not have to blush at its attendance. This figure allows it to position itself in the fifteenth position of the ranking of the most visited sites in Île-de-France, and fifth position outside Paris and Disney, according to the regional figures of tourism unveiled this Thursday. More on it here: http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/en/

There you go just a bit of news on some attendance records on tourism in my belle France. Allez les Bleus et Vive la France!!!

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

 

 

 

February 13, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIIII

So a bit late on my writings of my belle France, but so much to do, what to do, n’est pas la vie est belle dans ma belle France! So catching up on the latest tidbits here they are. Oh nice weather in my Breton woods sunny no rain not cold just wonderful weather at 10C or about 50F.

The 27th edition of the Paris Manga Sci-fi show awaits you at Porte de Versailles ,15éme on February 16 and 17, 2019. The 27th Paris Manga & Sci-Fi Show celebrates the 80 years of Batman by inviting comedians (Cory Michael Smith, aka The Mystery Man, and Robin Lord Taylor says the Penguin), costumed cosplayers and superhero designers, like Tyler Kirkham. Two actors from the Buffy Slayer series are also highly anticipated, Anthony Head and James Marsters. Saturday, February 16 from 9h30 to 19h, Sunday, February 17 from 9h30 to 18h. Exhibition Park, Porte de Versailles , Hall 7.2.  More here: https://www.parismanga.fr/

The 39th exhibition, Book Fair renamed “Livre Paris”, will celebrate the writers of the old Continent from 15 to 18 March at the Porte de Versailles. Have delivered the outlines of a show that will host 1 200 exhibitors, about as many journalists from around the world, and the Sultanate of Oman and the city of Bratislava, Slovakia, are the guests of honor. More here:  https://www.livreparis.com/

The world championships of tattooing will be held from 15 to 17 February 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette ,19éme. This is the time if you wish to pass under the needle of one of the 400 tattooists present, among the best in the world. Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 av. Jean-Jaurès . Friday, 15 and Saturday, February 16 from 12h30 to Midnight, Sunday, February 17, 2019 from 11h30 to 19h. More here:    http://www.mondialdutatouage.com/2019/index.php

The biggest parade in Europe will cross the 13éme arrondissement of Paris Sunday, February 17, 2019 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It is in the 13éme arrondissement of Paris that the largest Chinese community in Europe lives, with its approximately 170 000 inhabitants. No wonder that in this area of the capital, we see things in XXL to celebrate the New Year that coincides with the Spring Festival. The festivities of the Year of the pig of Earth have started for a week in Ile-de-France, but this weekend of 15, 16 and 17 February 209 is the real apotheosis. Saturday, in the same place, do not miss “13th feast”. This evening, scheduled at 20h, will make the general public discover all the Chinese cultural news and its flagship disciplines. There will be jazz, current, urban and pop rock music, but also stand up or magic. On the physical side, K-pop dance (coming from Korea) and hip-hop are on display, as well as demonstrations of martial arts. The famous awakening of the Lion and the Dragon will take place at 14h30. Thousands of participants form the procession, whose course starts at 44, Avenue d’Ivry, before taking the Avenue de Choisy and Boulevard Masséna before returning to the starting point. More here:https://chine.in/actualite/nouvel-paris-programme-defiles_114925.html

At the end of December, Marie-Laure and Ollivia launched their charming ensign Fruttini by MO in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. They offer frosted fruit to take away or to enjoy on the spot. Open since December 22nd, you can taste “Fruttini”. Sorbets with water, fruit and sugar. “We use the pulp and put it back inside the skin,” the owners explained. Fruttini by MO, 24, rue Saint-Placide , 6éme. From 10h30 to 19h. from Monday to Saturday. From 4 to 49€. Tel +33 (0) 1-43-20-47-31. More here : https://fruttinibymo.fr/

The Escape games invades Paris, here are some i think should be very good darn interesting, must see:

The mission entrusted by the Palais Garnier is of the utmost importance: to end the Curse of the Phantom of the Opera. The famous ghost that regularly haunts the places stole a few notes of the score that must be played the same evening. Without your help, the performance will be cancelled. By visiting the emblematic places of the building (the foyer, the Grand Staircase, the gallery and the Glacier Lounge…), you solve the puzzles that will reveal the missing notes. Throughout the course of the actors in period attire you silently help to navigate between false tracks and illusions to fill the musical reach. Palais Garnier. Place de l’opéra , 2éme.  Rates: Adult 28€, Child (ages 4 to 14) 22€. Reservation and info here : www.inside-infos.fr

During WWII, some of the works that were hidden did not regain their place in the halls of the Louvre. We whisper that we have to go to the gate of time to get them back. By exploring the Richelieu wing and especially the Flemish and Dutch painting rooms of the 17C and then the Department of Oriental Antiquities, you have to collect the clues to advance in the puzzles. Documents are given to you at the beginning of the game and a comedian remains at your side to refer you if necessary. Louvre Museum. Rue de Rivoli ,1éme.  From 2 to 6 players. Price: 110€ from 3 to 6 participants, duo package at 80€. More here:     www.anima-agentludique.com

The dungeon of the Bastille. A few steps from the pl de la République, a dive into a oblivion of royalty. The principle. At the beginning of the 18C, it is not good to rise up against the absolute monarch at the risk of being charged with a crime of damage to the majesty, sent over and sentenced to death. In sixty minutes, you will swing at the end of a rope. Unless… Gamescape. 17, rue de la Pierre-Levée , 11éme. From 19 to 29€ per person.More info here :  www.gamescape.fr

One old dandy, have stayed is coming back better than ever!

The Hotel du Louvre will reopen in the spring of 2019, after two years of renovation, and will welcome the first Parisian address of the Paul Bocuse house. Closed for renovations for two years, the five-star style Second Empire operated by the Hyatt Group is expected to reopen in April 2019. The Brasserie du Louvre. Place André Malraux , 1éme. Tel. +33 (0) 1 44 58 37 21. Open every day. More here :  https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/france/hotel-du-louvre/paraz

Old traditions never die out they just fade away !

Closed for a month for a full renovation, the wax establishment of the Grands boulevards reveals itself to visitors from February 9th. The Grévin Museum undertook a major restructuring operation of its building. In all these are almost 3000 m² of visiting spaces that have been redesigned, rearranged and refreshed with a musical scenography and immersive decorations. The museum now has 10 different worlds. The literature is rediscovered with a space filled with open books where children immerse themselves. Of the 250 wax statues, 30 new personalities integrate the museum; among them, Marcel Proust. Musée Grévin . 10, Boulevard Montmartre 9éme. Open daily from 9h30 to 19h. Rates: from 17€. More info here: https://www.grevin-paris.com/

After restaurants, hotels, cooking school, cookbook publishing or chocolate making, the world’s most star chef launches into a new field: coffee. Alain Ducasse (from Monaco) has sniffed out the potential of quality artisanal coffee. Last week, opened a coffee factory in the Bastille 11éme, not far from the one it has already dedicated to chocolate. A beautiful space in the look of New York loft (glazed windows, apparent pipes, scratched stone), where Veda Viraswami, double French roasting champion (2017 and 2018), is responsible for roasting in the back-shop (visible to the public) of the coffee served on the spot by Award-winning baristas, but also in all the group’s restaurants in France, and soon abroad-where another coffee factory could be born. La Manufacture de café. 12, rue Saint-Sabin 11éme. Tel. +33 (0) 1 40 02 76 90. Daily except Mondays. From  Tuesdays to Fridays 8h30 to 19h, Saturdays from 9h to 19h30 and Sundays 9h to 18h. Espresso: 2.50 to 4.50€. Filter: From 3.50 to 15€. Cappuccinos: from 5 to 7.50€. More here :  https://www.ducasse-paris.com/fr/les-adresses/cafe-alain-ducasse-manufacture-paris

it’s magic, it’s Paris!

The Grande Surface – Galerie Festive will take its quarters near Opéra as early as March. In the program, a new concept all indoors, 1500 m2 on three floors, several atmospheres. This “uninhibited art gallery” announces the entry color, since it will last less than a year with a planned closure at the beginning of 2020. Expect to discover incredible works of art in a sumptuous gallery, all sprinkled with several bars to party until the end of the night, a stage to host concerts, animations. Grande Surface – Galerie Festive, Boulevard des Italiens 9 opening March 2019. More info here:  https://www.sortiraparis.com/actualites/a-paris/articles/185154-ouverture-de-la-grande-surface-galerie-festive-a-paris-en-mars-2019

Are we really, the city of Love, you betcha!!! Happy Valentine to those celebrating,not me unfortunately.

The artist Joana Vasconcélos decided to materialize a heart beating at the Porte de Clignancourt, between Paris and the Saint-Ouen flea market. The monumental creation the heart of Paris is already installed but will be inaugurated by the artist in person this February 14th, Valentine’s Day, starting at 18h30 inauguration of the “Heart of Paris” and Grand Bal Populaire. Porte de Clignancourt ,tramway line T3 .Free entrance. More in French at the city of Paris webpage : https://www.paris.fr/actualites/un-gigantesque-c-ur-palpitera-porte-de-clignancourt-6456

And there you go some of the latest from my vault of goodies to you all. Enjoy it

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

 

February 12, 2019

Retirement time in France! opinions!!!

Ok so today I come to you on a non travel related subject ,really; it could be too lol! Well , my dear readers and travel buddies, I am getting to that age, yes the golden egg or whatever, and its time to think about retirement!!

I am in in what could could be my last full year of my working life per se. Not that I would not continue to dabble in consulting work later on, but to finally get my retirement benefits and start enjoing time and travel even better or at least I hope.

So let me give some light into the subject in my belle France. As the minimum retirement age is 62 years, it is important to anticipate and wonder which French cities are the most accessible or offer the most enjoyable living environment. The cities of the west of France and especially of the southwest have achieved better scores than their eastern municipalities, in particular thanks to air quality, safety and overall lower fixed expenditure. Limoges exceeds with one head all its sisters thanks in particular to its security and its pleasant living environment. It has therefore distinguished itself as the ideal destination to retire. Le Mans and Nice close the podium .

Some of the most mention areas of my France for retiremet heavens are the Var department as one of the most adored places of the elderly who wish to enjoy the Mediterranean climate that bathes this department of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur. The Charente-Maritime is also a destination that pleases seniors, interested in its vast seaside and the beauty of its landscapes. New retirees who don’t like big cities will enjoy it. This department is appreciated for the quality of its living environment and for the dynamism of its cities (Montpellier, Agde, Béziers, etc.), but also for the charm of its small communes located on the periphery. The Hérault is endowed with many infrastructures specially set up for the elderly. The Alpes-Maritimes is the ideal place to spend a peaceful retreat in the sun. This department houses large cities like Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Menton,

And of course, my own neck of the woods is showing up right up there, hint hint!! The Morbihan (Brittany) is also interested in a large number of retirees who appreciate the authenticity and beauty of its typically armoricaines landscapes. With vibrant, human-sized cities such as Lorient and Vannes, this is the ideal destination for those who no longer want to live in the big cities. Its rich history and cultural life are suitable for many seniors. The map below show in red the most wanted places to retire and in blue places people are leaving elsewhere!

France

Security, access to care, Estimation of the cost of living;  Estimated from 4 weighted sub-criteria: The average price of m², the housing tax, the water price, the garbage disposal fee.  The quality of public transport ,Cultural offer with criterion: The number of museums, the number of theatres and places of culture, the number of active cinema screens, the number of festivals; Potential access to an active social life, the living environment. According to these criteria the best are: Limoges, le Mans, Nice, Bordeaux, Perpignan, Saint-Étienne, Caen, Nancy, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble;  Dijon Marseille Aix-en-Provence; Metz Towers Toulouse Reims Brest Rouen Lyon Montpellier Nîmes Nantes Rennes.

And if even want to spread our wings and go retire at a pleasant place here the scores are high on Portugal, Morocco… and Florida(USA) lol!!! it is retirement USA heavens for sure. But Spain, Malta or Italy can be an interesting options to retire abroad as well of course.

So there, gave you some thoughts now is your turn to give me yours please. I like this post to be more than just glitter photos and travel anecdotes but a working post where you can help me decide. Its your only chance to there take it and go for it. And I thank you.

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

February 1, 2019

Church of St John the Baptist of Grenelle in Paris!

So here we arrive at another cold day in winter, and forecast calls for colder days ahead, but no snow, and that is fine with me! Rather nice in the distance but not chez vous! Now is about 7C and cloudy.

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 ask 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 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 there is going up an Au Bureau bistro there). While walking around before the meeting I came upon this buildind 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 of Saint John the Baptist of Grenelle, 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris!

The Church of 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.

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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.

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The Church of 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 of 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.

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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 of 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.

Official Catholic parish site for Saint John Baptist of Grenelle

Mayor’s office of Paris 15éme district on Religious monuments

Mayor’s office 15éme district on origins of the district in French

There you for the lovers of things to see in Paris off the beaten path, Church of St John the Baptist of Grenelle,and  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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January 29, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIII

So let me put a pause on my posting on wonderful travel places to come to you on the latest in my belle France. It is light raining in my neck of the breton woods Morbihan but hardly any winds and definitively no snow. I believe the weather might get worse as the day go by with storm Gabriel around Europe. The Paris region will be hit worse because of the snow. Be careful if driving around here visiting from those other European countries!

UPDATE !!!!

February 1 2 3 2019. The 8th edition of Paris Face Cachée or Paris hidden face with the city of Paris and RATP transport network to go and discover the off the beaten paths of the Grand Paris area.  The metro station Porte de Lilas, not in use but only for films.! This was the metro abbesses in the film Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.  The station was called Haxo done in 1921 but never used. In a building of 6 floors not far from the train station Gare du Nord where you do not see nothing from the exterior but in the interior is an air space for the RER trains extraction of air!  There is an anti-aircraft bunker under the Monnaie de Paris in the 6éme. On the other side of the BP =boulevard périphérique or beltway of Paris in Montreuil (Seine-et-Denis 93) there is a studio for doubling voices and to do it for real with recordings and all. Over 100 experiences will be serve this year with hoping of reaching 10000 curious visitors. The only holdup the places are hard to come by as the demand is big and only done on the online site. The official site in French: Paris Face Cachée 2019

The entire programming for reservation online here: Paris Face Cachée reservations online a must

The Weather Channel  has placed 33 departments on alert Orange(next to highest) such as the Ariège,  Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques for avalanche hazards; The Charente-Maritime,  Gironde and  Vendée  for violent winds; The Aisne,  Ardennes,  Aube,  Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Marne, Haut-Marne,  Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Paris,  Seine-Maritime,  Yvelines , Seine-et-Marne,  Somme, Yonne,  Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and the Val-d’Oise for snow.  From the morning, this Atlantic disturbance will bring rain between Brittany (it did but not much chez moi)  and Aquitaine. The winds became violent on the southern coasts of Finistère and Morbihan (not inland just the coasts) with gusts between 90 and 110 km/h. This afternoon, the wind will strengthen near the ocean with gusts up to 130 km/h on the south coast of Finistère and up to 110 km/h on the coasts of Vendée and Charente. In the east, ice can affect the pavement in the morning between the east and the north of the Alps.  Tonight and in the night, the disturbance will collide with cold air. When contacted, the first flakes will appear in the northwest before winning the central regions to the north in the evening. These snowfalls, sometimes strong, will be directed in the night to the Grand-Est and the Rhône-Alpes region. At the same time, winds will increase on the Vendée and Charente coasts with gusts of up to 130 km/h (115 km/h in the land).  Normandy, Paris region, Hauts-de-France and Champagne and Ardennes for snow with an average of 3 to 8 cm, locally between 10 and 15 cm and to a lesser extent peripheral regions with 2 to 5 cm on average. In prevention, the road N 118, which connects Pont-de-Sevres (Hauts-de-Seine) to the Ulis (Essonne) via the Yvelines, will thus be closed to all traffic, in both directions, finally starting at 15h  on Tuesday. Have it on F degrees but can be change to C on top right. https://weather.com/fr-FR/temps/10jours/l/FRXX0076:1:FR

Salvador Dali, who died just 30 years ago, said: “The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not crazy.” Yet his face and that of the misunderstood genius Vincent Van Gogh appear on the poster of the event “The madness of the artist.” And  “at the edge of the Abyss” at the Library des Batignolles 17éme, 30th January at 19H. The Georges Brassens Library 14éme, organizes a writing workshop “Madness in All States” (19 January and 2 February from 10h30 to 12h30 pm), inspired by excerpts from Antonin Artaud, Marguerite Duras and others. Then, an evening of reading the texts of the participants by two actresses will take place (February 2 from 19h to 21h). The  exhibition of the Museum of Art and History of the Hospital, ” The art of the fools at the Art psychopathological/the collection Sainte-Anne around 1960» at the library André Malraux  6éme. It will be followed by a guided tour of the latter (February 9th at 13h).

“Dice-integrated” (Feb. 14 from 19h  to 21h) is a dramatized reading of Albert London’s madmen, his investigation and immersion in insane asylums. It will be held at the Bibliothèque François Villon  10éme. One of the members, Alex Adarjan, will host a 14h30 workshop (February 21 from 17h  to 19h30) where participants take possession of a plateau of the Valeyre Library 11éme to feel what the incarnation of a crazy character is. How to interpret a disturbed personality with accuracy and fragility? At the Library Andrée Chedid  15éme, the troupe revived Camille Claudel, interned during the last thirty years of her life, through archives and letters (7 February from 19h to 20h). The Library of Police Literature  5éme will deal with the relationship between madness and crime. The first French serial killer, the Ripper Vacher will be at the heart of this subject that defies reason (February 2 from 16h to 17h. More in link below

https://bibliotheques.paris.fr/les-frontieres-de-la-folie.aspx?_lg=fr-FR#

The Festival Jazz a Saint Germain des Prés ,Paris unveils the first names of the programming of its 19th edition, including Richard Galliano on May 17 or the Biréli Lagrène Trio on May 23rd. To not miss these concerts events, the passes are already on sale for a very jazzy spring. More here:   http://festivaljazzsaintgermainparis.com/accueil/

I love these anywhere but these orangettes, are delicious at the Sous les Amandiers,  65, rue de Maubeuge  9éme. Tél.: 09 86 08 19 40.Metro line 7 Poissonniére. They have a facebook page no web.

The story Un Regard Moderne à rue Gît-le-Cœur is an Ali Baba cavern full of books everywhere by a great enthuastic owner . Philippe le Libraire. 32, rue des Vinaigriers 10éme. Tél.: 01 40 38 11 39. https://www.petitscommerces.fr/page/philippelelibraire/

Wonderful Cinema which we have enjoyed and the boys love it is the MK2 Quai de Seine. 14, quai de la Seine  19éme. More here : https://www.mk2.com/salles/mk2-quai-seine-quai-loire

It is an Australian who has settled in a large warehouse and who produces his own beer, with a restaurant menu inviting ; it is very nice in the summer. Paname Brewing Company. 41 bis, quai de la Loire 19éme. Tél.: 01 40 36 43 55  http://www.panamebrewingcompany.com/

The Charles. If only the bar of the Burgundy Hotel in the Saint-Honoré neighborhood, (great area my walking rounds to go to work in Paris by there for 2,5 yrs!) freshly revamped, is much more chic than Bohemian. A monumental fresco on the ceiling of the bar around the collection of Baudelaire. On the bar side, Marco Del Re’s wall collages have been preserved, making a vibrant homage to Matisse. Where the cocktails are re invented for 17-18€ inspired by music, from Walt Disney’s film and history, naming his cocktails by key dates like 1492, 1515, 1789..And big names such as Oscar Wilde, who, like Rimbaud, Joyce, Hemingway, Poe and Baudelaire frequented this muse to the excesses. In homage to these illustrious characters, the  Barman has listed a selection of absinthes on his card, accompanied by a menu of light tapas from 9€. Le Charles (Hôtel Burgundy). 6-8, rue Duphot, 1éme. Tél.: 01 42 60 34 12. Hours every day from 18h to 0h30. More here : https://www.leburgundy.com/restaurant-le-baudelaire

News of the street ! While the Oscar de la Renta brand was about to settle in its new Parisian boutique, but it is a majestic 17C oil painting that was discovered behind a wall.. The old Reed Krakoff shop, located in the 8 rue Marignan, dates back to the 19C. The family that owned it demolished its walls to connect two floors, when a piece of wall broke loose, unveiling the work of art. The oil on the discovery canvas dates from 1674 and would be signed by the painter  Arnould de Vuez, close to the court of king Louis XIV. It shows to recount the adventures of the Marquis de Nointel, Ambassador of Louis XIV to the Ottoman court, when he arrives in Jerusalem with a procession and meets Oriental characters. ! http://madame.lefigaro.fr/style/une-peinture-mystere-retrouvee-dans-la-boutique-oscar-de-la-renta-230119-163277

Every Thursday from February 7, the restaurant everyone talks about organizes an open raclette (with or without pork) from 19h to 23h, with open white and red wine as well as open softdrinks. On the program, a raclette dinner will be from 19h to 21h, followed by a clubbing atmosphere with the best of general sounds to eliminate the raclette smoothly. The rooftop  of the Tout le Monde en Parle,  above the Galeries Lafayette and the C&A, at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, 4, rue du Départ – 15. Reservations : https://www.weezevent.com/chalet-d-hiver-sur-les-toits-de-paris-all-inclusive-open-raclette-tlmp

After the Place de la Bastille, Pantheon , and  Nation, it is the turn of the Place Gambetta to be refurbished, within the framework of the program Reinvent our squares in Paris; which concerns 7 squares of the capital. It’s the beginning of seven months of work. The configuration of the Gambetta sector will not be transformed, and only one small section of the rue du Cambodge will become pedestrian, while on the square, the traffic will continue to be done in the roundabout around the main Fontaine Jean Dismier. The terminus of  bus lines 60, 69 and 102 will be transferred to the rue du Japon, behind the City/Town Hall. https://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/urbanisme-et-architecture/projets-urbains-et-architecturaux/reinventons-nos-places-2540

With 2 217 new cars sold in 2018 in Paris intramuros (Paris city only 1-20 arrondissements or districts) where 14 383 vehicles were sold in total in the region, Peugeot, according to the figures of the AAA Data study that we publish this past  Monday, arrives at the top of the sales in the automobile market in the capital. In front of Renault which has sold 1 860 cars, Volkswagen 1 261, Toyota 1 099 and Citroën 960. https://www.aaa-data.fr/actualites/

There you my latest tidbits from the most visited country in the World ,again. 90M in 2018 and we say merci beaucoup! And of course, Paris, 32M!! in 2018 and we say Paris ça fête or a movable feast! And 2019 is looking great! thank you all merci à tous et toutes!

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

January 21, 2019

Some news from France CCXVII

And here I am direct at you again on the tidbits of my belle France, which thanks to you all have become as popular as I wanted to be over the years. This is in Roman numerals the but is the 218th post!! Thank you.

It is cold and sunny today -1C or about 31F today and even colder in Paris this morning. As I write , it is 3C  (about 38F) in my neck of the woods and the same in Paris, still morning. But hey nothing to stop me or you to enjoy the beautiful France; 90 millions this past year wow its awesome! and expecting 100M in 2019!!!!!

In 2018, the Louvre was the most popular museum in the world, with 10.2 million visitors, 25% more than in 2017. With a bonus for the Louvre, which combines the advantages: its collections cover several centuries of history within a majestic historical monument; It houses masterpieces including the most iconic, the Mona Lisa; It is located in Paris, the world’s number one destination. In fact, three quarters of its visitors are foreign. The permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou recorded an increase of 18% of their attendance; the Museum of the Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac saw its growth of 7%, Versailles of 6%, Orsay of 3%. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, received incredible media coverage for its opening in November 2017 and attracted for more than a million visitors, valuing the Louvre in the Middle East, Africans, and Asian region. The museum currently has 70 international collaborations: Exhibitions, research, excavations, various exchanges. The Centre Pompidou has installed antennas in Malaga, Brussels and is going to establish itself in Shanghai… The French regional metropolises, which have invested a great deal to equip themselves with attractive museums, are thus able to drain several hundred thousand visitors a year. On the other hand, the Paris Opera receives 97 million euros of state subsidies (from happy French taxpayers like me), compared to 28.5 million for the twenty operas in the regions combined, to which 18 million euros came from private patrons in addition. Compile from various newspapers.

In Marseille, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), for which it is necessary to book and justify its identity as a conservation and resource Centre, a 800 m² “control apartment” presents a rotating sample of the funds Preserved by the museum, pieces from all eras, provenances and dimensions. The Marseille institution now retains the collections. Georges Henri Rivière , his founder, to whom the MuCEM is currently dedicating an exhibition, had imagined, from 1937, to show the gallery of studies to the general public.  The artists ,also take up the reserves is to expose anonymous artists whose creations are taken from the reserves of the museums where he intervenes, for example the Museum of Arts of Nantes, the MuCEM, and until February 3, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. In Paris, the Museum of the Quai de Branly-Jacques Chirac has long been the example of the reservations visible with its tower of instruments, 27 meters high and which exhibits 10 000 musical instruments. These reserves are not  visited but an application gives elements of information and the walls diffuse the sounds of the instruments that are kept there. The Louvre-Lens goes even further in this logic. The reservations, visible from the lobby, are visited by groups on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Visitors were able to benefit from a guide in the food shop to see the reserves. News from various newspapers in France.

Imagine a health course of 40 km that meanders between the marshes and the boulevard périphérique of Paris, along a vegetated weft dotted with sports challenges. This dream for aspiring marathoners and sportsmen of Sundays may become reality by 2024. At the request of the City/Town Hall of Paris, the Parisian planning workshop Apur has just made a long study on a project of “Urban Sports Walk” along the green belt. Specifically, the course, already equipped with seven sports challenges sites, would be equipped with ten new challenge sites for bodybuilding or cardio-training work. Many recreational facilities such as children’s games, petanque, table tennis, foosball, climbing walls, board games, etc are also provided on 17 points along the route as well as convivial spaces such as picnic tables, fountains, Superloos etc. According to Apur, 600 new alignment trees will have to be planted, sidewalks widened for 9 km, a band of 42 000 m2 cleared of bitumen from the trees, 6 km of vegetated walls and about 15 pedestrian crossings created in the most perilous zones. See attached map. More info here: https://www.apur.org/fr/nos-travaux/parcours-sportif-ceinture-verte-plans-programme-2024

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credit Le Parisien newspaper

400 years is a celebration! To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the departmental estate of Sceaux  (Hauts de Seine 92) where he lived, inaugurates an exhibition of family portraits of this minister of Louis XIV. Until April 21, 2019. Château de Sceaux stables.Every day except Monday from 13h. to 17h. until 28 February and from 14h  to 18h30  starting March 1st. Admission is 3-4€. More here:

http://www.hauts-de-seine.fr/actualite/tourisme-patrimoine/la-ville-de-sceaux-et-le-departement-celebrent-lannee-colbert-en-2019-3295/

http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.fr/les-expositions/who-is-who-chez-les-colbert/

This is the year of the 7th art in the Yvelines dept 78. In 2019, no less than 31 new cinemas should be opened. In total, the department will count 6 780 new armchairs. The most important will be located at the Vélizy 2 shopping center,(Vélizy-Villacoublay) (nice shopping and cinema we like) which is to open in February 2019 ,a complex of 3 800 armchairs in total in 18 rooms on two levels. More here: https://www.velizy2.com/cinema

At Plaisir, UGC also invests in pleasure, where the opening at the end of 2019 of a multiplex cinema Cité of 9 rooms and 1 280 armchairs to play the role of Open Sky locomotive, the shopping center whose work continues along the road D11. The developer also builds the Open Sky shopping mall, for fun. The signs Primark, Zara, H & M or Undiz will be the locomotives of the center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. More here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/plaisir_78490/yvelines-plaisir-multiplexe-ugc-9-salles-futur-centre-commercial_18088098.html

In Maurepas, the multiplex, the first stone of which was laid at the end of November, will have eight projection rooms and 1 700 seats on 5 000 m² and two levels in the area of the Leisure Village. A parking space of 500 is planned to accommodate the 400 000 annual visitors expected per year. To achieve this attendance, the complex will be equipped with the latest technologies with an ICE room (immersive Cinema Experience) and a MX4D room with seats that move according to the action of the film. The establishment is expected to be opened by October 2019. More info here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/maurepas_78383/maurepas-futur-multiplexede-8-salles-attendu-2019_14429803.html

And it’s not over: next year, 12 rooms should open at the Parly 2 shopping center, at Le Chesnay next to Versailles! This is great our favorite cinema is improving! More here in French: https://www.parly-2.com/projetcinema

And after all the above you might be hungry , really hungry, so heads for…aka for serious meat lovers only.

Is meat consumption down? For the-good-restaurateurs, this may be a godsend. As long as you don’t just push a trivial rib steak on the plate but offers an “experience”, a moment. Its Beefbar, just open last October in the former Marbeuf farmhouse in Paris, a few steps from the prestigious Avenue George V, is already filled. A few days ago, walking between carpet rolls and plasterboard, we were struggling to believe that the deadlines would be kept. He never doubted.  The place, magnified the Art nouveau room. Beefbar , created in Monaco in 2005 and present since then in Monaco, Mexico City, Cannes, Budapest , and Hong Kong, and now Paris. The meats served will be chosen and worked with the utmost care, including a limousine of Auvergne refined 60 days and of course Kobe beef. More info here: http://paris.beefbar.com/

There you go happy Monday lol! always a drag I know, but hey there is always going to be a first day of the week! Enjoy your week wherever you are!

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

 

 

 

January 21, 2019

The Opéra Theaters of Paris!!

So here we are in full winter, today sunny -1C or about 31F morning a bit colder in Paris and some call it possible snow , will see, do not think so. Anyhow, let me touch another amateur subject of mine, operas. Paris has plenty and some of the best in the world. I have touch on them back years in my blog, you can do search.

However, I like to bring them back due to some nice anniversaries coming up. Here is the latest with some touches of history from yours truly.

Opera National de Paris celebrates in 2019, a double anniversary: The 350 anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music and the 30 years anniversary of the Opéra Bastille.  The Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse or Royal Academy of Music and Dance, in 1663, the King Louis XIV founded the Royal Academy of Dance, with the mission of training the artists and codifying the choreographic art. In 1669, the Royal Academy of Music was founded at the instigation of Colbert. Under royal tutelage, this institution brings together a troupe of singers, the first professional orchestra of France and the Ballet Corps of the Royal Dance Academy.

The Palais Garnier was built between 1861 and 1875 by the architect Charles Garnier on the order of Napoleon III. It is a building which was affirmed to be the best symbol of the Second Empire’s “contentment of oneself.” The hall was inaugurated on January 5, 1875. Napoleon III, who died two years before, will never see the opera he ordered.  The electricity was installed in the room and on the stage between 1881 and 1887. In 1932 the first radio broadcast of a live show was held.   At the request of André Malraux, the painter Marc Chagall creates a new ceiling for the grand Hall of the Palais Garnier. Inaugurated on 23 September 1964, this monumental canvas of 220 m² required a year of work with three assistant painters.

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In 1987, the l’Ecole de Danse or School of Dance, built and inaugurated in Nanterre (Hauts de Seine dept 92).  While President François Mitterrand launches the work of a large popular opera in the Bastille, it is without counting on the patronage of the Maison Yves Saint-Laurent, and Pierre Berge, who was eyeing the presidency of the institution.

On 13 July 1989, the Opéra Bastille, built and inaugurated as part of the bicentennial events of the French revolution.  Having arrived at the helm of the Paris opera in the summer of 2014, Stéphane Lissner created in September 2015 the Academy, which welcomes singers, instrumentalists, directors and artisans of Art (costumers, wigmakers, carpenters…) to ensure the succession.

On September 15, 2015, the Opéra de Paris opened its “3rd scene” on the Internet. After the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille, the institution has a third digital space dedicated to original creations.

A third room at the Opéra Bastille,  the Opéra de Paris will regroup the activities of the Berthier workshops (manufacturing, renovation, storage of decorations, reserve of costumes) and create a new modular room in a space of the Opéra Bastille empty for 30 years. and supposed to start work in the spring of 2020, the opening of this third room is scheduled for January 2023.

The Opéra National de Paris is the French opera and ballet company that has succeeded those gathered from 1669 in the Royal Academy of Music in Paris. The opera has produced lyrical works in the various halls that it has occupied in the course of his history, sung by lyric artists formerly attached to it permanently but now invited, and ballets, danced by the members of this company of ballet, and accompanied by the musicians of the Symphony orchestra.

Since the end of the 20C, the Opéra National de Paris activity has been organized between the two theaters of the Opéra Garnier (inaugurated in 1875) and the Opéra Bastille (inaugurated in 1990). In common talk, the term “Opéra de Paris” often refers to the Palais Garnier in the architectural sense of the word. Between 1939 and 1990, the company was united with the Opéra-Comique (Favart Hall) under the name of the National United  Lyric Theaters. The Opéra National de Paris is a member of the United Operas of France (ROF), RESEO (European Network for the Awareness of Opera and Dance) and Opera Europa.

A bit of history I like, brief on these wonderful institutions of Paris, France, Europe, and the World!

First steps from the activity of operas in Paris: On December 14, 1645, Cardinal Mazarin represented in the room of the Petit-Bourbon of the Palais du Louvre, for the entertainment of the young Louis XIV, La finta pazza by Francesco Sacrati. Forerunner of the Opéra-Ballet, this is the first opera given in Paris. The hall is demolished on October 11, 1660 to make way for the colonnade of the Louvre. The Salle des Machines (engine room)  that follows it is installed at the Palais des Tuileries (now gone too) and inaugurated on February 7, 1662 with the Ercole Amante by Francesco Cavalli, commanded by Mazarin for the marriage of Louis XIV but whose representation is delayed. Apart from the creation on January 17, 1671 of the tragedy-ballet Psyche of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault, it is however no longer used.

The Royal Dance Academy was founded on the initiative of Louis XIV in 1661. The thirteen “Academists” are part of the entourage of the King and the court. They are, for the most part, both dancers and musicians and have the mission to train dance artists and to codify choreographic art.  The Opera academy in charge of broadcasting the French opera to the public, not only in Paris but also in other cities of the kingdom, was founded on June 28, 1669 at the instigation of Jean-Baptiste Colbert.  The Academy obtains the privilege of blackmailing in public  operas or performances in music and French verses’, with no one to do the same without obtaining permission from the holders. The first to benefit from the privilege granted by the letter patent of King Louis XIV is the poet Pierre Perrin. On March 3, 1671, Pomone, considered the first French opera, composed by Robert Cambert on a libretto by Pierre Perrin, is created under the aegis of the Opera Academy in the salle du Jeu de paume de la Bouteille. Or room of the palm game of the bottle(sp?)

The Dance School of the Opéra National de Paris trains the future dancers of the ballet of the National Opera of Paris, one of the most prestigious classical dance companies in the world. Founded in 1713 by Louis XIV, the school is now considered the best in the world. The school moved to 1987 in the new building located in Nanterre, near the Parc André Malraux.

More on the Dance School here: Official Opera de Paris on the Dance School

The Opéra Bastille is a modern opera house located on the Place de la Bastille. It was inaugurated in 1989 on the occasion of the festivities of the bicentennial of the Revolution as part of the major works for Paris. It is with the opera Garnier one of the two halls constituting the Opéra de Paris. With its 2 703 seats, the Grand Salle of the Opéra Bastille is one of the most important in the world in terms of capacity.

More on the Opéra Bastille here: Official Opera de Paris on the Bastille

The Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier, is a national theater with a lyrical and choreographic vocation and a major element of the heritage of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. It is located at the Place de l’Opéra , at the north end of the Avenue de l’Opéra ,and at the crossroads of many lanes. The building is a monument that is particularly representative of the eclectic architecture and the historicist style of the second half of the 19C. On a design by the architect Charles Garnier retained following a competition, his construction, decided by Napoleon III in the context of the transformations of Paris led by the prefect Haussmann and interrupted by the war of 1870, was taken up at the beginning of the Third Republic, after the fire destruction of the Opera Le Peletier in 1873. The building was inaugurated on January 5, 1875 by President Mac Mahon under the Third Republic.

More on the Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier here: Official Opera de Paris on the Palais Garnier

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So in brief there you have it, wonderful places to come to them when visiting Paris. I admit been once to the Opéra Bastille but several times to the Opéra Garnier who was next to my previous employer and I love it. And of course, is Paris, plenty to see close by to the two. Never been to the Opéra-Comique or the School of Dance in Nanterre. So , therefore, plenty still to see in my eternal Paris!

Enjoy the tour and see you soon by Paris! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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January 19, 2019

Francis I gallery at Fontainebleau!

So I am staying in Fontainebleau, yes lovely town and wonderful immense castle on the entire history of France, well almost we are very old indeed. As said, my first castle ever on the region of my dear late wife Martine, so therefore, a personal favorite and friends of the castle!

The Castle is huge and many things to see, I have already told you of my favorite on previous post, however, there are more. The Galerie François I or Francis I gallery is another not to be missed under any cirscumtances. I like to tell you a bit more on it.

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The Francis I gallery  or Galerie François I is a large ceremonial gallery located on the first floor of the Royal Castle of Fontainebleau , dept 77 Seine-et-Marne ,in the ïle de France region. The intervention in the 1530’s of Italian artists Rosso Fiorentino and the Primaticcio, makes this gallery the most representative decorative ensemble of the first school of Fontainebleau, and reflects the infatuation of François I for Italian art.

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In 1689, a door was pierced in the west wall to gain access to the horseshoe vestibule. Then, some stuccos are remodeled . In 1701, king Louis XIV replaced some subjects too daring with new compositions (now extinct), including Zephyr and Flore, and in the central room Minerva and the Arts. It was in 1710 that they would have realized the door top of the vestibule, with scenes illustrating the victory of François I, and the story writing his actions on the wings of time. From 1730 to 1731, a restoration is conducted and again the end of the gallery is refresh in 1757 with the restoration of the frescoes.

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King Louis XVI split the wing in 1786 by adding apartments, depriving it of the opening on Diane’s garden, but making false windows to keep a symmetrical appearance.  Napoleon I transformed the gallery into a gallery of illustrious by placing busts of generals and drawings of his military campaigns. In 1846, a new restoration, quite heavy, is undertaken. The creation of a cardboard frieze was done while the paintings were restored. The chimney is removed and the gallery receives a new parquet. The renovations continue by repainting entirely the frescoes with the encaustic, and adding new paintings, including a view of the Fontainebleau pond and an argument of Minerva and Neptune.  The gallery draws a set of spans, punctuated by symmetrical openings and large painted panels. The coffered ceiling plays a rather secondary role in the decorative ensemble and displays a rather classic style. The King’s monogramme is found everywhere.

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A bit of history I like

Built between 1528 and 1530, it is approximately 64 meters long and 6 meters wide, and was formerly a covered bridge with openings on both sides. King Francis I made it built and decorates, in order to connect his apartments to the Trinity Chapel (see other post). He kept the keys and made it visited by his chosen guests. The gallery was entrusted to the Italians Rosso Fiorentino and the Primaticcio who decorated it in an original way with paintings, paneling, frescoes and stuccoes. The works were done from March 1535 to May 1537 for the stuccos, starting from 1536 for the frescoes, and were completed just before the visit of Charles Quint at Christmas 1539.  The carved walnut woodwork realized from 1535 with rare essences, but turned almost exclusively to walnut wood from 1539, when the floor of the gallery is executed and the paneling.

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A bit on the decorations, and what is to see fully here! A must!!!

The paintings, divided into two groups of six frescoes separated by a central span, represent stories of Greco-Roman mythology and allegories whose meaning eludes us today.

In the first northern span is painted the so-called Sacrifice fresco, in which a mired priest dressed in black stands near an inflamed altar, surrounded by old men, women holding children and vase holders. The represented priest could be Saint Francis of Paula, or King Francis I himself, the fresco evoking the king’s religious role and his priestly skills, which he exercises as his sovereign function. The stuccoes around the fresco represent the sacrifice of a ram and that of a bull, always in the religious theme expressed by the central fresco.

In the second northern span, is the famous fresco of the Royal elephant , also known as the elephant at the flank (symbol of strength, sagacity, and durability of royalty) depicted in a square, bearing the royal figure on the forehead ,a salamander  and the fleurs-de-lis on the flank, thus representing King Francis I himself. At his feet are three allegories of the air, the Earth and the water (the man with lightning represents Jupiter, the man at the Trident Neptune, and the one accompanied by Cerberus Pluto, in reference to the three spaces on which reigns Francis I), as well as a stork who symbolize the loyal love , the latter representing the mother of the king, Louise of Savoy. On the sides are painted two frescoes on the theme of mythological abductions: right Saturn disguised as a horse removing Philyre, and left Jupiter, changed to Taurus, removing Europe. The stuccoes slightly illustrate the story of Alexander the Great, including Alexander cutting the Gordian knot, under the fresco.

In the third northern span is painted the fresco of the Fire in which two young men carry their fathers on their shoulders. It could be an evocation of the twins of Catania, or the myth of Aeneas leaving Trojan in flames and carrying his father Anchises on the shoulders. The stuccoes represent on the left a bearded man dressed in brays and on the right a young man wearing a loin cloth, these two characters evoking loyal love, while the fresco could refer to the dedication of the two sons of Francis I, the latter indulging in the Spanish enemy in exchange for the then prisoner king in Madrid.

In the fifth northern span is visible the Vengeance of Nauplii (also known as the shipwreck, or Destruction of the Greek Fleet), in which Nauplii, in the foreground, kills the panicked Greek sailors. The frescoes of the frames illustrate Neptune and Ammon, while the frescoes of the empty niches are arranged on both sides. The central fresco could symbolize the misfortunes caused by treachery and vengeance, punished by divine wrath. This fresco would thus be a direct evocation of the treachery of the constable of Bourbon, the latter having rallied to the Spanish enemies.

In the sixth northern span is painted a fresco dedicated to the education of Achilles by the Centaur Chiron, in which we observe the young Greek hero performing a series of exercises (fencing, swimming, hunting etc.) with to the left of prisoners locked in a cage. This fresco would illustrate the education of Francis I and thus the ideal education of a Prince, while the prisoners illustrate the form of slavery  that would constitute the lack of education. The side frescoes represent giants attached to trees.

In the seventh northern span is visible the scene of Venus and Love at the edge of a basin , while Mars is gone to war. Three loves wear a shield, a helmet, and a spear. The stuccoes represent a young man on the left and a young woman on the right. Low reliefs depict a naval battle on the left and a cavalry battery on the right. This ensemble could evoke the military chief king, and his sadness at the idea of leaving his house of Fontainebleau (symbolized by Venus). Under the fresco is installed a tableau tin made in 1540, and representing a view of the Château de Fontainebleau with the gallery François-Ier and the Golden Gate.

The central span is painted by two oval scenes: in the north, the nymph of Fontainebleau,  made in 1860-1861, and in the south, Danae, with stuccoes representing female figures bearing fruit baskets. The side frescoes depict the chariots of Apollo and Diane.

In the first southern span is painted the fresco of ignorance hunted, with on the right the representation of Francis I as Roman Emperor, crowned with a laurel, holding a sword and a book. Ignorance, represented by blindfolded characters, is driven away. The stucco framing the fresco depicts two male and female satyrs and their children. This fresco could evoke the cultural policy of Francis I, as it helps to keep away the ignorance and thus places the king as a guarantor of knowledge. The two satyrs illustrate the result of ignorance, leading to vice.

In the second southern span a fresco illustrates Francis I as emperor, holding in his hand a grenade, while a child kneels to him with other similar fruits. The king is surrounded by military, bourgeois and peasants, dressed in Roman and Gallo-Roman costumes. This scene would evoke the king as a defender of the unity of the State. He holds a grenade, reputed to contain many glitches, that the king thus gathered. The diversity of the social classes represented in his entourage would be a reference to the universal character of his government, applying to all his subjects, while the ancient costumes would place Francis I as a new Caesar. The stuccos represent two entwined couples.

In the third southern span is painted the fresco of Cléobis and Biton, in which the two young men carry their mother and lead her to a temple. Stucco reliefs represent on the left Side in the middle of the plague, on the right the death of Cléobis and Biton, and at the center Pera nourishing Simon. All these scenes symbolised the love of Francis I and Marguerite of Angoulême for their mother Louise of Savoy.

In the fifth southern span is painted  the fresco of the death of Adonis. Adonis is figured in the foreground. Love escapes with his clothes. Venus is depicted on his chariot in the midst of a cloud. In the vicinity are the allegories of Fortune, Love (Eros) and adversity. The stuccoes represent on the left Cybele on its chariot with lions and a lioness, on the right an orgy scene, and in the center a chariot race. This central fresco symbolizing death and misfortune, as well as a violent passion, could refer to the death of the Dauphin François in 1536. The framing frescoes illustrate two entwined couples.

In the sixth southern span is painted  a scene drawn from a fable of Nicander of Colophon and illustrating the perpetual youth lost by men. You can see in the top left the god Mercury coming in front of men announces that Jupiter agrees to give them eternal youth. On the left are a group of young people, in the center the donkey bearing the youth is being watered while the snake removes the youth represented by the traits of a young girl. To the right finally are represented old men. To the framing of the fresco are shown on the left: young people entering a temple, and to the right: allegories including the backbiting, a woman with three heads surrounded by bees.

In the seventh southern span is a fresco illustrating the Battle of the Centaurs and the Lapiths. The stuccos represent young men blowing in trumpets. To the east, on the side of the bust of Francis I are painted violent scenes: Defeat of Pavia, captivity of the king in Madrid.

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There you go a splendid gallery for all the glory of France, well it was another castle dear to me too but this one can fit in too. A must when visiting France, go to Fontainebleau.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Fontainebleau on the Castle

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the Castle

Tourist office Seine et Marne dept 77 on the Castle

Official castle of Fontainebleau on the Francis I gallery

Official Govt culture site on the Francis I gallery

Again , hope you enjoy the tour; it is a must I repeat… And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 19, 2019

Trinity Chapel at Fontainebleau!

So going to the origins, the roots of my encounter with France, here at Fontainebleau. You need to read about the place in my blog, several posts over the years. However, I believe this place deserves a post on its own, been my favorite. The memories of my dear late wife Martine taking me to show off her region still is strong even more so today.

Fontainebleau is a small town really, and the castle property takes a big shunk of it. Its forest, theater, St Louis Church and the castle. The Château de Fontainebleau is huge in French history and a must to visit all of it.  The city is in the Seine et  Marne dept 77 of the Ïle de France region ,east of Paris.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Trinity Chapel or la Chapelle de la Trinité inside the castle of Fontainebleau. Enjoy the tour.

Ancient Church Convent of Trinitarian clerics settled here by Saint Louis in 1259, this one was attached to the castle under king François Ier. Rebuilt from this reign and under Henry II, the Chapel received the present vault under Henri IV and was finished by Louis XIII and then enriched by Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. This chapel is a masterpiece of classicism!

A bit on the construction style of it.

The Trinity Chapel is rectangular in shape. It is placed in the east wing of the Cour d’honneur ,to the left of the Great horseshoe staircase. The roof is double-sloped. The Interior is on two levels, the Chapel hosts the Royal Tribune in the background above the entrance. It is illuminated by high rectangular windows placed on the second level, alternating with oval cartridges decorated with paints. The first level is composed of side chapels closed by ornate wooden grates alternating with the batteries decorated with double Corinthian pilasters.

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On the north side, the monumental altar is composed of a triumphant arch altarpiece decorated with bronze incense bearer statues of angels and adorned in its center a painting depicting the deposition of the Cross. Behind this altarpiece was located the choir of religious Trinitarian. The arched vaulted ceiling is richly decorated with paintings framed in cartridges, frames and floral decorations in stucco. The balconies were destined for the king’s music.

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A bit on the history I like

The scenes of the mystery of the Redemption of Man (the Trinitarians being a redeeming order): The Apparition of God to Noah above the rostrum, the Annunciation behind the high altar, the Christ of the Last Judgement surrounded by Seven first intelligences in the center, as well as characters of the Old Testament (kings of Judah, prophets, virtues), painted on the vault between 1608 and 1619.

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The master altar, realized in 1633, which the paving of multicoloured marble of the soil, is surrounded by statues of sovereigns (Saint Louis to the right of the altar with the traits of Louis XIII, and Charlemagne to the left with the traits of Henri IV). The altar and the original tabernacle are located at the parish Church of Fontainebleau, where they were transferred at the French revolution.

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The altar painted in 1642 and represents the Holy Trinity at the time of the deposition of the Cross. The tribune, carried by marble columns, as well as the closing of the choir dating from 1554. The bishop presided over the creation of two oratories: one for Henri II, directed in 1557, the other for Diane de Poitiers. The two were destroyed in 1605. The panelling and grids of the chapels are from 1629. The decorative paintings, finished the last decorative paintings performed in the chapel are the oval paintings made under Louis XVI.

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The organ of François-Henry Clicquot, still in place, was made in 1774.   The main event that took place in this chapel was the marriage of Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska in 1725; the Chapel was also the scene of the marriage of Marie-Louise d’Orléans with Charles II of Spain (represented by the Prince of Conti) and the baptism of the Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (future Napoleon III) in 1810 with 24 other children and the marriage of Ferdinand-Philippe d’Orléans with Hélène of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1837.

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IT is just gorgeous and one cannot come here without seeing it. I am friend of the castle for years and enjoyed even alone which is moving and grand. You can see it too and behold of its beauty. I do not have more words to describe it, it is just a masterpiece of our times. See it at Fontainebleau, the Trinity Chapel.

These webpages will help a bit more: Official Fontainebleau castle on the Trinity Chapel

City of Fontainebleau on Fontainebleau castle in French

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on Fontainebleau in English

The Friends of the Castle in French has a flyer very good on the Trinity Chapel, in French has more information you may want to translated it.

Friends of Fontainebleau on Trinity Chapel in pdf

For info, the Friends of the castle has a page in French: Friends of the Castle of Fontainebleau in French

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

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