Posts tagged ‘Paris’

June 12, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXIIII

So back to my regular series and the latest I can pick as interesting from my belle France. Always something going on in France and hard to keep up but I try my best to tell you. Thank you for reading me, and now the news!

To start off firing hot. ..! The mayor (PS) of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wants to put a boost to turn the BP (boulevard périphérique)  into an urban boulevard. It wants to quickly implement the lowering of the speed of 70 to 50 km / h and the establishment of a lane reserved for clean vehicles and carpooling, two emblematic recommendations of the report of the information mission and evaluation (MIE) put on debate this past Tuesday at the Paris Council. This axis used by more than 1.2 million vehicles per day for an average daytime speed of 39.7 km / h. Ok so again, no solution is a great solution, Paris needs vehicules to survive and she is destroying, their own records show the number of usages and the speed limit even below what they are recommending!! And how they are going to replace all this driving, the land is expensive, and the public transport is also saturated.  Anyway I do not take the BP too crowded lol! Go into the portes ,gates of Paris in the side streets you advance better lol! Ana should do what Manuel did go back to Spain!!!

Now , this is something good done by the region and Valérie Pécresse is right on !  The cardboard metro ticket, which has been part of the Parisian landscape for nearly 120 years, is destined to disappear by 2021. To replace it, users will have the choice between smart cards or contactless solutions via their smartphone. . Starting this Wednesday, transport users in Ile-de-France can buy a new pass called Navigo Easy (cost 2€) in the counters. The Navigo Easy, inspired by the Osyter Card, of London, (yes use it good deal!!), is for casual travelers and tourists, who consume a few dozen trips a month. The Navigo Easy pass is sold in shops and ticket offices at the region of Ile-de-France stations and stations. It must then be charged by purchasing dematerialized tickets, at the counter or on a terminal. The Navigo Easy badge is not nominative, the buyer can give it or lend it. But beware, it cannot be used by more than one traveler at a time.And for those traveling outside Paris? Ile-de-France Mobilités (the body that govern this by Mme Pécresse) is preparing the Navigo Liberté +, which will be marketed in November. This pass will be billed monthly for all trips actually made, on all bus networks, tram, trains and metro Ile-de-France. The Navigo Liberté + will be for travelers for whom the subscription to Navigo is not justified, or who seek a certain flexibility. Real solutions that will work!

And more on the Paris transport front lol!  Of the three new stations built on the occasion of the extension to the west of the RER E (Eole project), that of Nanterre – La Folie (the name is not final) is the least complex to build. Unlike those of La Défense and Porte Maillot, this station is completely on the surface. It is on the ground floor of this building, in a porch 12 meters deep and 8 meters high, without doors, that travelers can buy tickets and receive information on their trip. An almost station, but not a station. In the same way, the connections with the  RER A line  and the future line 15 of the metro will be made from the street and not via underground passages. There will also be no connection from the station to Paris La Défense Arena: the preferred access point to the enclosure must remain the station La Defense. In addition to being entirely open, Nanterre station will also be a station turnaround, which will mark a break in the flow of trains along the line. Thus, to go to Mantes-la-Jolie one of the terminus of the RER line E to the east (Chelles or Tournan-en-Brie), it will be necessary to change the platform at Nanterre. by the end of the year 2019, the station should be finished with regard to structural work. Its commissioning is however planned for 2022. Improvement to come indeed as I know la Defense /Nanterre is a maze lol! The Eole project in French here:

For an even nicer news. The good news was announced this past Tuesday afternoon at the Ministry of Culture. The “Ruche”  or hive of the 15éme arrondissement is among the 120 or so sites in France that will benefit from the next Heritage Lotto drawing!. In addition with the will of the Stéphane Bern mission to preserve bees or biodiversity. La Ruche is the nickname that Alfred Boucher, an acknowledged sculptor of the early 20C and patron, had given to the incredible cité d’artistes or city of artists he had built in 1902, on the southern edge of Paris in what has now become the Passage de Danzig. Alfred Boucher rented them, at a low price, to his fellow artists , often forgetting to ask rent to the less fortunate of them. The greatest names of the Parisian art scene of the time succeeded one another, from Fernand Léger to Chagall, passing by  Fujita or Soutine. More on this wonderful site here in French:

This is the only site retained in the Val-d’Oise dept 95  but it is also the first. The theater hidden under the castle of La Roche Guyon will benefit from the fallout of the Heritage Lotto as well!. The project will be long, probably five years, because there is a lot of studies to do. The Lotto would be a big boost; in two years it could be done. Designed in the late 18C, this troglodyte theater would have worked for two centuries before being abandoned. it will be necessary to wait until the year 2020 because  it depends on the sale of the tickets of the lotto, specifies the Heritage Foundation. After their sale on June 15, a first draw with a jackpot of € 13 million will be made on July 14. From September lotto grids at 3€ and 15€  will also be on sale (buy it if in France). The sums collected will then be divided among the selected projects according to the financing needs expressed. This time, 121 monuments will be renovated thanks to this lottery!! Great news indeed!! More in French from the Heritage Foundation:

Something wonderful is happening in Paris this coming weekend and of course I will miss it ! The pastries festival where the great patisseries of France compete will be held ! Salon de la pâtisserie, From Friday June 14 to Monday June 17 2019, and from 10h to 19H,only until 18h Monday. Where, well of course at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, 15éme, hall 5.1. admission for the crowds are from 7-14€ (1€ will be given as donation to the association of the Les Bonnes fées for the sales of tickets onlinne.  More info here in

Always a grand event ! Some 3,500 drawings and 650 paintings from the end of the 16C to the beginning of the 20C. But also a documentary fund of great wealth and a complete library. The exceptional private collection of Pierre Rosenberg, former president and director of the Louvre Museum and member of the French Academy, is now in the hands of the department of Hauts-de-Seine (92). And will be partly highlighted in a Musée du Grand-Siècle (great century museum), in  the 17éme arrondissement. The heart of the Rosenberg collection,  which will be born in Saint-Cloud, on the site of the Caserne Sully barracks!  This museum project is a complete rewrite of the copy planned until then for the future of the Sully barracks. Because the site of 1.8 ha, located at the entrance of the park of Saint-Cloud, was supposed to accommodate the departmental archives on 13 000 m² in the building Charles X and a student residence of 7 700 m². The news told here in French:

Auvers-sur-Oise, “really, it’s gravely beautiful,” wrote the painter Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo on May 21, 1890. Nearly 130 years later, the impression remains the same, indeed it is a must to visit. Even more with the myth surrounding now the Dutch artist.  As soon as you leave the station, Vincent Van Gogh’s imprint is obvious. You just have to cross the rue du Général-de-Gaulle to go back in time with the Daubigny garden. Next door, in the park with his name, the author of “The starry night” stands, the look on the horizon, his equipment on the back. The gardens (some open to visit) accompany you  to the rue de Paris, at the top of which stands the Church Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, Romanesque-Gothic building, now known worldwide through the exposed painting at the Musée d’Orsay. At the top of the hill, overlooking the valley of the Oise, the agitation of the city leaves room for the appeasement of the fields. Gateway to the Vexin Regional Nature Park, cutting through the fields, the path of the Montier takes us into a small wood, leading to the house workshop Daubigny and its garden. Small turn into rue Léry, to the castle, guardian of the history of landscape painting. Its park, very French style, and its benches, offer a pleasant breathing. At the end of rue Gachet, still on the hillside, the gates of Dr. Gachet’s house open onto an intriguing garden. Just before finding the rue du General-de-Gaulle, Van Gogh leaves us there, at the Ravoux Inn, his last home. He died there on July 29, 1890, surrounded by Dr. Gachet and his brother Theo. The latter rests next to the famous painter in the cemetery located at the top of the hill, surrounded by fields.Van Gogh’s house shows on  the first floor of the Auberge Ravoux, a room of 7 m2 remained in the still of the time. Only a chair is lit by light from a small skylight. It is in this room n ° 5 that Van Gogh lived his last days. The place is at 52, rue du General-de-Gaulle. Admission is  6€. More info on the house of Van Gogh here :

And she will be back better than ever and traditionally done!  Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris: a first mass could be celebrated on this coming Saturday!. The festival of Dedication, however, would be a great occasion for the anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral. The date that was chosen is symbolic. It represents the consecration of the altar. It is very important to be able to signify to the world that the role of the Cathedral is to show the glory of God. Celebrating the Eucharist that day, even in a very small group, will be the sign of this glory and grace. Every year, this festival brings together a hundred Parisian priests during a solemn celebration, on June 16 exactly. This year, given the circumstances, this office would be celebrated this Saturday, at 18h, in very small group, with five or six priests (hard hat on the head) and in the axial chapel, at the bottom of the building. A space preserved by flames and rubble, behind the large golden cross that appeared from the first images of the drama, as miraculously preserved.

As for the ephemeral wooden cathedral that the diocese wanted to install on the Ile de la Cité?  It has been planned to do a little Marian sanctuary. A place of prayer. A symbolic place where people can meet in front of the Virgin of Notre-Dame de Paris This dedicated place will house a copy of the Virgin with the pillar, the most famous of the thirty-seven representations of the Virgin of the Cathedral. It will be sheltered under the sanctuary and the pilgrims will be able to contemplate and pray to the Virgin. It will also be a welcoming place where a priest will be . Candles and flowers can be placed there. Official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral:

And the Seine river is re-inventing itself at least they are trying and worth the effort me think. Bodies of water, buildings, land, structures, the “Reinventing the Seine” call for projects consists in proposing sites all along the Seine river axis, to occupy, animate, rent or buy through the setting of  innovative projects. This multi-site approach must contribute to revealing and concretizing the Seine axis with communities and ports are launching the challenge to architects, entrepreneurs, artists, … to invent new ways of living, work, to move on and at the water’s edge, relying on these different sites. Innovation and the river thus become the two red threads for inventing the twenty-first century metropolis, from Paris to Le Havre, via Rouen. Lots of things going on in the coming years and it is all here for you to know as it goes and ready when here! More here in English at Reinventer la Seine:

And this is it for now, France has always something to come see it, indulge in the French cachet and see it for yourselves. La vie en Rose and a movable feast are just the tip of the iceberg! Enjoy it!

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


June 10, 2019

The Church Saint Nicolas at Maisons Laffitte!

And I bring you to my old dept Yvelines no 78 west of Paris in the same region of Ïle de France. This was a gem that I saw more for the wonderful gourmand store in Longueil that I have written before in my blog. After getting to the town, I found out the wonderful castle and the church. Again , the castle I told you before. I figure need to do justice and tell you about the Church of Saint Nicolas.

A bit about the town itself.

Maisons-Laffitte is located 10 km from Saint-Germain-en-Laye and 18 km from Paris. Maisons-Laffitte is on the left bank of the Seine river, and adjacent to the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The territory, also encompasses part of an island of the Seine, l’île de la Commune. The town borders the towns of Saint-Germain-en-Laye as well as about 800 meters bordering Achères-and the Mesnil-Le-Roi. It is separated by the Seine river from Sartrouville and Cormeilles-en-Parisis. The train line of Paris-Saint-Lazare to Le Havre get you here, as well as the RER A Transilien line L trains.

Saint Nicolas Church, rue de la Muette was built from 1867 to 1872 on the grounds of one of the old cemeteries, offered by the city. This church was built in the 12C as evidenced by the base of the bell tower, it will be renovated in the 13C and then enlarged in the 15C when a side-aisle addition to the south. It is disaffected in 1897 and the use is granted to firefighters who will serve as their barracks. They will do the drilling and modification of certain bays. Restored nowadays it now serves as a show room entertainment. Among the curiosity of this church is a vault vaulted in a cradle accessible by a door located below the Church.

Maisons laffitte

Maisons laffitte

A bit more of history I like

The first Lords of Maisons built a church dedicated to St. Nicolas. Around 1087, Geoffroy 1er gave the Church of Maisons to the Abbey of Coulombs located in Chartres territory. The latter installed a Benedictine Priory in the vicinity under the term Saint-Germain. The Romanesque style bell tower is probably from the 12C. At the end of the Hundred Years War the village and the Church were burned by the English. The nave was rebuilt and enlarged from a low-side whose style is characteristic of the 15C. In 1630, Vincent de Paul came to preach at Maisons. He erected a charity for the relief of the poor. The gallery and the work bench that we see on the engraving were only built in 1749. The two stained glass windows that illuminate the nave possessed stained glass from the early 16C depicting a crowned Virgin carrying the child Jesus and a Saint Nicolas. The altarpiece of the master altar is now in the sacristy of the Church of St. Nicholas. The Church was decommissioned in 1897.

Maisons laffitte

So therefore even if we still call it a church,it is not now used for religious services but rather as a cultural center to house temporary exhibits and events for the city of Maisons Laffitte. It is interesting to see this transformation. Hope you enjoy it as easy to reach from Paris.

Couple of webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Maisons Laffitte on heritage

Tourist office of Maisons Laffitte on the Church

There you go another dandy and for a change, it is not a real functioning Church! Nevertheless, equally important for its architecture in a very nice upscale city of the west of Paris. Enjoy the so call St Nicolas Church in Maisons Laffitte.

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


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June 10, 2019

Notre Dame market of Versailles!

Now let me bring you back to my beloved Versailles, so much written on it and so many visitors if only to the palace/museum. However, as always tells you, shh! There is a lot more to see than the castle/palace/museum here. If only visitors to Versailles on a city survey found out that 98% of them only come for the castle, its really a pity. Easy transport from that other famous city nearby, you have no excuses.  Versailles is it!

Let me tell you a bit more on the Notre Dame market or marché Notre Dame right in the historical neighborhood of Notre Dame, my own will gladly tell you , a wholesome place!


A bit of history I like a lot

In November 1634, King Louis XIII instituted the Versailles market at this site, presumably succeeding an older market. From 1671, king Louis XIV developed the market, with the aim of securing a good supply to the new city of Versailles, then a new town. The pavilions, detached from the domain of Clagny, were established in 1665, before the castle was built!

In 1725 the Notre-Dame market is refurbished; Louis Blouin builds the Flour Hall (halle à la farine). The market already comprises four squares, specialized food commercial spaces: the square with calves and poultry; the square with butter and tide, also with oats and grains; the herb square, that is, fruit and vegetables; the square from weight to flour, originally called the weight-of the king. In this hall there was a room for the verification of weights and measures used by traders. At the French revolution, the market was diminishing. It was gradually deteriorating. In 1835, the market was purchased by the city of Versailles and it ceases to belong to the Royal domain. Traders are expropriated and weakly compensated.





The old pavilions are destroyed to be replaced in 1841 by the current covered halls.  The new covered market was inaugurated on 15 September 1842. In 1871, with the installation of the provisional French Government in Versailles (due to the Franco-Prussian war), the market is one of the most active in France. From 1985 to 1991, the halls are again completely renovated. They are home to 35 businesses. Some 60 stands complement them on market days outside  on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Notre Dame market is at the intersection of two main streets: Rue de la Paroisse  and Rue du Maréchal Foch , former Rue Duplessis. Approximately on an east-west axis, the rue de la Paroisse begins at the grille entrance to the Neptune basin and ends after the Place du marché (market square),at the Avenue de Saint-Cloud. It was historically the street of goldsmiths, upholsterers and tailors. The rue du Maréchal Foch, almost north-south, crosses the city, prolongs the Avenue de l’Europe, to continue to place Édouard Laboulaye. This route links the Gare de Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (closest to the palace/museum)  to the Rive-Droite train station(the one closest to my old home).


This place is reputed to be one of the most beautiful markets in France, especially at the food level! It attracts a clientele of all horizons, both local and regional and touristic, which makes its peculiarity. The market place is one of the most important trade points of Versailles; it concentrates 52% of the traditional trade of the city! The district presents a wide food offer thanks to the presence of merchants of the halls, open 6 days a week, and those of the market, present 3 days a week. Non-food markets offer a variety of products: clothing, makeup, furniture, flowers, etc., on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays afternoons. The market cleverly combines fresh produce, flowers and trinkets to be, according to the most admired, one of the finest in the trades. It is both a historic place (as here before the palace/museum, and that the halls that surround it are 360 years old!) and both are a prestigious place by its attendance and structure.


This whole square is lined with charming little cafés and restaurants on the terrace that invite you to take a little break! Two steps away, in the cobbled alleys that surround the geometric shape on four sides, the boutiques are pretext for a small stroll that allows to pass from the storefronts of antique shops to passages that seem to come straight from the Latin quarter  A parking lot managed by Vinci Park is located under the market place Notre Dame; It has a capacity of approximately 700 places. Pedestrian access is at the center of each square of the market by elevators/lifts and stairs. Since 2014, trompes-l’œil have been included in the parking access; they represent riders of the carrousel and recall the equestrian history of the city, still very present activity with the Academy of Equestrian Spectacle. It is a realization of the School of Mural Art of Versailles. The Place du Marché or market square is close to the Passage des antiquaries  (antique dealers).  The pedestrian crossing of the rue des deux portes (st of the two doors)  leads from the market square to Rue Carnot, near the Avenue de Saint-Cloud and the place d’Armes, in front of the façade and the main entrance of the Château de Versailles. In February 2018, the Versailles Notre Dame market was voted “the most beautiful market in Ile-de-France”! See the article in French at the Le Parisien newspaper:



This is the tourist office of Versailles on the Notre Dame marketTourist office of Versailles on the ND Market

Ok wait a minute, not far at the other end at the corner of  Avenue de l’Europe and Avenue de Saint Cloud you have a wonderful flower market  or marché aux fleurs and it is recommended by yours truly, something very nice to boot. A bit more on it

On the pavement on the sidewalks of the Avenue de Saint-Cloud, between the Avenue de l’Europe and the rue Georges-Clemenceau, the pavements of Versailles are flowed all year round! This is the address you need to know, whether you want to offer a bouquet, flower your living room, your terrace, for unbeatable prices, or just stroll among roses and camellias. There are some cut flowers and bouquets, and mostly potted plants, indoors or to plant, as well as shrubs. Christmas trees set you up in the magic of the holidays, in spring the pollen tickles your nose: every season it’s a botanical wonderland! Choose a color, know a flowering period, the merchants will advise you what you need without  hesitation! And then, even without buying, a walk here will be widely good feeling.

More on the flower market here: Tourist office of Versailles on the Flower market



And now you cover all the angles of a great shopping day in royal magical beautiful Versailles! And shopping here with all these monumental buildings is a must and a great uplifting experience especially if like me you are into architecture and history.

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


June 5, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXIII

Hey, its time for another round of news on my belle France! Well the weather has turn cooler and cloudier and rain call for the rest of the week. Today we have no sun and temps of 15C in my neck of the woods and tomorrow more of the same. By the city of lights we have 16C and will go to 20C tomorrow so they said.  Let’s get some news of my latest roundup ok

The dept store Printemps, meanwhile, began to reinstall the gates that closed the historic building located at the corner of Boulevard Haussmann and Rue du Havre (coming out from the Gare St Lazare !). The grilles were installed in 1881 during the rebuilding of the store created in 1864 by Jules Jaluzot and his wife Augustine, and ravaged by a violent fire. They were then abandoned in 1930. Visible until now by the agents in charge of the maintenance of the department store or the groups during the guided visits, these works will be able to be admired by the customers and the walkers as soon as the doors of the store are closed, at 20h, starting in October 2019. More on the store at Haussmann here:

All along the Ourcq canal there are nice changes. The Pouchard halls are an old tube factory built in the late 1940s. The building along the stream, which houses the municipal theater, is rented by the city/town hall to a private owner. “The Great Greenhouses of Pantin”. An 80,000 m2 complex comprising offices, a hotel, a restaurant and public spaces … At the request of the city/town hall, the developer will keep a hall and a half to keep track of the site’s industrial past. New buildings will be contiguous and a footbridge will be built in the extension of the Rue du Cheval Blanc. Opening, its website evokes 2021. A marina in New-Port. Having your own boat moored at the Ourcq canal!  By the end of 2019, some 40 rings should be set up to allow boaters to park between BETC and the Elis plant where the watercourse is expanding.  Since December 2012, a bridge allows the T3B tramway to cross the canal. This new line has improved the service of the district with the creation of the Ella-Fitzgerald station, at the foot of the Grands Moulins. Its users can go to the gate of Asnieres (Hauts-de-Seine) or Vincennes (Val-de-Marne). More info on the Ourcq Canal here:

And on the Great Greenhouses of Pantin in French here:

They will soon roam the soft grass of the valleys of Azerbaijan. Freely!. Three European bisons, born in Thoiry Zoological Park (Yvelines dept 78) , were selected as part of a reintroduction program in Azerbaijan led by WWF, almost a century after the official disappearance of the species in the wild. Present throughout Europe, including in France until the 18C, this direct cousin, even if  smaller of the American bison, had undergone the full whip the extension of the agricultural zones and the reduction of its natural habitat. They will definitely be left free on the wooded slopes of the Shahdag Nature Park, not far from the borders of Russia and Georgia. Thoiry zoo had already participated in four reintroduction operations in Europe during the last ten years: three in Romania in 2009 and 2015 and one in the Bialowieza forest in Poland in 2009. After the three animals had left Azerbaijan, the zoo still has nine individuals in its enclosures. Wonderful zoo! More on the zoo castle here:

Notre-Dame Cathedral, an American passion. Americans, who had long supported the maintenance of the cathedral, have been particularly busy since the fire. But on April 26, 2019 some 2,500 Americans, of all ages and faiths, gathered under the Byzantine-inspired mosaic cupolas of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, all feeling a little French. The success of this evening of support, hastily organized by the French Embassy and several associations, including the Friends of Notre-Dame and the French-American Cultural Foundation, confirmed the intense emotion aroused on this side of the Atlantic by the disaster. Oh yes we will rebuilt, thank you USA!!! More info here:

And the French American Cultural Foundation known for years, more info here:

Go and taste the “Chirac”, a burger bearing the name of a former president and a lover of calf’s head. We find this same transatlanticism almost paradoxical in Big Fernand, who sells hamburgers with names well known such as  the Paulin, Basil, or Lucien. Great place the Big Fernand. And yes alas, while proud of its culinary heritage, France is the second country consuming hamburgers and fries, behind the United States, ahead of all its European neighbors. The round meat loaf has dethroned ham-butter sandwich since 2016. It even came out of fast-food, to impose on the menu of classic restaurants. More on the resto here :

All is told in the book “Une histoire de hamburger-frites  “ Pub Robert Laffont, 172 p., 12€. But the craze is not new even if most visitors think that it’s because of its famous fast food chain. It was Jacques Borel ,who launched the first fast-food in Paris, in May 1961: a franchise of the Wimpy chain at rue du 4-september,2eme.. A bit info from Wikipedia tells us that Wimpy was a British international restaurant chain created in Chicago in the United States in the 1930s by Eddie Gold. The name “Wimpy” comes from the famous friend of Popeye J. Wellington Wimpy (“Gontran” in French version), great lover of hamburgers, created in 1931 by E. C. Segar. The first country to take a license for this brand was England in 1954. There were up to 20 restaurants in France 15 in Paris and 5 in Province ), The Wimpy will disappear in the late 1960s because of a disagreement between the new franchisee and the British parent company. In 1975, the Wimpy de Lyon, during the works of the metro at rue de la République, was open. The Wimpy of Toulouse was also opened at the beginning of the 1970s, before being replaced then, on the same site, by a McDonald’s, place du Capitole. More on the book here:

The National Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Center and the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris practice the temporary exhibition of the permanent, playing with the abundance and variety of their collections. Old adage indeed,  the museums presented so-called permanent collections on the one hand, and temporary exhibitions on the other. A museum which, today, sticks to this management risks seeing its visitors neglect what it proposes to them every day for the benefit of what it shows a few weeks. Since 2015, the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris practices the temporary exhibition of the permanent, playing with the abundance and variety of its collections, indeed just a thought here!. These institution are well know, their webpages to follow

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci , the Condé Museum in the Domaine de Chantilly presents an unpublished exhibition entitled “The Mona Lisa naked”, until 6 October 2019. It is around this unknown and iconic work, true archetype of universal beauty and ideal in its time a cardboard (or a quilted drawing used to postpone a composition on a panel, 74.8 cm high and 56 cm of width), which is part of the permanent collection of the Condé Museum. “Leonardo da Vinci or his workshop: “The Mona Lisa”, circa 1510-1515 – charcoal and white lead on paper” This drawing is a rare and fragile board preparatory to a painting. It represents a model, probably ideal (between the feminine and the masculine) borrowing the pose of the Mona Lisa of the Louvre. Recent scientific analyzes have shown that this work was performed by a leading artist in Leonardo da Vinci’s studio: there is also a good chance that it will be the artist himself.  This drawing is the most enigmatic work in the Condé Museum’s collection. At the time of its acquisition at a price of gold in 1862 by Henry of Orleans, the Duke of Aumale, it passed for a preparatory drawing of the painter for the execution of the painting of the Hermitage, in Saint Petersburg, also given for a Leonard Da Vinci at the time. Then both were disallowed, relegated to the rank of workshop copies. Friends of the castle we are and its wonderful: more info castle museum here:

For info, the Friends of the Domaine of Chantilly webpage is here: Friends of the Domaine of Chantilly in English

During  this coming  weekend, from 8 to 9 June, NATURALIA takes up residence in La Rotonde, for a weekend under the sign of food, greenery and music! Naturalia Bio Market resumes service for a second season. It will transport you to a green bubble where you can enjoy animations that will make you want to consume better, to consume organic. After the food, place for the animations! Yoga, naturopathy consultations, relaxation area with reading and games, alone or in groups, with or without children. Radio Nova will be present both days to take care of the musical programming, while you discover the band Miel de Montagne live Saturday from 18h to 19h. The Bio Market NATURALIA From 8 to 9 June 2019 at Lat Rotonde  6-8 Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 19éme. More info on the market here:

And do go eat even if not bio at La Rotonde right there with wonderful views, great food, and great ambiance; more here:

And last something visitors may not notice but they do as it comes up with prices of overblown Paris, thanks to visitors and foreign investors! In Paris, it is hard work to find permanent lodging more so than elsewhere in France, we know it. Between the exorbitant price, the bad insulation, the 6th floor without elevator, the 10 m2 room or the bad location, difficult to find a correct accommodation. Yet, a neighborhood remains affordable. And it is precisely in the 13éme arrondissement or district of Paris that the price per square meter has only slightly increased  by + 4% since 2014!  The Gare (station) neighborhood is one of the cheapest and most extensive in the capital. This quartier or neighborhood is as such , it is the 50th neighborhood (see my posts on arrondissements and quartiers of Paris) , limited to the north by the Boulevard Vincent-Auriol, to the east by the Seine river , to the south by the towns of Ivry-sur-Seine and the Kremlin-Bicêtre and to the west by Avenue de Choisy. In this area we find in particular the Asian quarter and the south part of Paris Rive Gauche.  According to Le Parisien journal from which the article was taken the square meter is only 8 158 € against 15 254 €  for example in the Saint-Thomas d’Aquin 7éme arrondissement. You now know where to look!!

And now enjoy France, a movable feast to be written ! And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 30, 2019

The streets of Meaux!!!

Here I am in my sentimental mood again, on my belle France where else.  I have written on the city of Meaux, in dept 77 Seine-et-Marne, region of Ïle de France before on several posts. However, it is never enough on Meaux!

I was very much French influence since youth, and maybe it was the reason end up marrying a French women , native of Meaux which I visited several times while dating, got her to marry me in Florida USA and then convince me already French citizen to come to live in France. It was, and is the best decision of my life to have found her, and Meaux, and coming to France, all wonderful. If only I lost my dear late Martine to cancer last year. Meaux still is very sentimental.

There are other more beautiful towns in France I guess, and some with major works of arts, and monuments to boot, but little Meaux will remain the biggest of them all. Let me tell you a bit of some of the streets dear to me there. Bear with me ok

Meaux is a small beautiful town, sitting on the Marne river, wrote Michel de Montaigne in 1580 in his diary of travel. On one side the city and the suburbs, on the other the market, sheltered in a meander of the river. Since the Celtic era, it has been an important religious pole; its name remains associated with the tutelary figure of Bossuet, “the Eagle of Meaux “, and its status as an Episcopal seat has earned it its most remarkable monuments: the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, the Episcopal Palace (now Bossuet Museum) and the  ” Vieux Chapitre” (old chapter).


A sentimental big street for me is the rue Noëfort, this is where I first met what was to be my wife, my dear late wife Martine at no 36. The main here is that at 3 rue Noéfort  there is the Gendarmerie Nationale. The national military police sort of a State trooper or National Guard. It is also, on the next section of historical Meaux. There are so many walks by here ,and pushing the baby stroller with 3 boys of close ages, and shopping the local nearby shops and eateries, so many memories….


The Faubourg Saint-Nicolas extends to the east of the city, along the great eponymous artery, formerly known as the route d’Allemagne (road of Germany). It is circumscribed by the avenues of  Maréchal Foch, du Maréchal Joffre, de la République, du président Salvador Allende,and the streets of rue des Béguines and rue des Cordeliers , and of course rue Noëfort. It was built at the foot of the promontory housing the Cathedral and the old town, along the rue du Faubourg Saint-Nicolas which brings together the most important buildings of the District such as the former General Hospital, the Church of St. Nicholas, the Protestant Temple. It was separated from the District of the Cathedral by the Brasset, a small arm of the Marne river, now underground.


In the 5C, it was buried Saint Céline, a friend of Saint Genevieve; on her tomb, placed Extra Muros in the ancient Celtic tradition, arose a church that was to endure until the French revolution, the Church of Saint Céline. The suburb also welcomed in the 13C another religious establishment, that of the Franciscans or Cordeliers; their arrival in Meaux is part of the development of the communities of beggars monks in all the cities of Europe. In the 17C, two new establishments settled in the Faubourg Saint-Nicolas: the Priory of Noëfort (on rue Noëfort ) and the General Hospital, founded in 1667 to interne the poor and the vagabonds  in application of the great enclosures  decided by the Royal Ordinance of 1662. The old parish church is indeed moved to the site of the Convent of the Cordeliers, and the primitive Church disappears from the urban fabric from the 19C. Not far from its location is then built the Protestant Temple, 1847. As for the Priory of Noëfort, it is converted into a military building; today is the modern Gendarmerie Natinale (police HQ at 3 rue Noëfort), which no longer has any old vestige. The only pre-19C monuments still present in the Faubourg Saint-Nicolas are the present Parish Church St Nicolas (former convent of the Cordeliers) and the House of the Augustines (former General Hospital).

Another wonderful artery we walked and walked a lot over the years is the one call the boulevard des Anciens fossés (old wells), currently Boulevard Jean Rose, the boulevard that is running along the Gallo-Roman walls of Meaux (ramparts!) and great parking area now. The black plague spread over the territory and in Meaux  a third of the population died in 1348. This terrible epidemic upset Jean Rose a local rich merchant, who turned to help the poor and the sick and became the benefactor of the city of Meaux. His wealth, in fact, allowed him to create various pious foundations. In 1356 he built the l’hôpital de la Passion (passion hospital) to accommodate 25 blind and 12 poor, as well as a school for 10 children. It changed its name between the 15C and the 16C. It was gradually called the hospital Jean Rose. It was only in 1647 that the Bishop decided to close the hospital and set up a seminar there. The buildings that housed the Grand Seminary were completely rebuilt in the 18C. Only the Chapel of the Hospital Jean Rose survives today. There is always the crest of the benefactor made up of three roses. It is under the construction date of the building at the top of the door. Jean Rose is buried alongside his wife Jeanne Rose in a Chapel of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (St Etienne). It is a side chapel dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament that our benefactor built, at his expense in 1331 following the death of his wife. In 1848 the town of Meaux decided to honor the memory of Jean Rose by giving its name to an artery of the city: the present Boulevard Jean Rose. Well done!


Up against the ramparts at Boulevard Jean Rose there is a very active market right over the parking area on Tuesday mornings. More info here: Tourist office of the Meaux country on the market

Another venerable street is the  Cours Raoult, this is where the old Ford dealership was in town and where I purchase my first car in France !  Now there is Monop convenience store there as the dealer has move to outer limits of the city. This is a short street taking you to the Place Henri IV, and along the Rue du Général Leclerc on one way and across the Quai Jacques Prévert (road D603) to the banks of the Marne river. Indeed a very nice place to walk and shop; there is an even bigger market across the river. Here each Saturday, under the historic metal covered cheese market of Meaux built in the second half of the 19C you can have the real cheese Brie de Meaux amongt other things! Magical and nominated for one of the best markets in France!  This is an article on it in the Le Parisien Paris newspaper: Le Parisien newspaper on the market at Meaux


Moving right along, you come to the  Rue du Général Leclerc which is pedestrian from the Cours Raoult or Pl Henri IV to the Cathedral at Parvis St Etienne. The Rue du Général Leclerc was call before the rue de la Savaterie, and was well known for commerce from the Middle Ages when it was cut into two section one the rue des Pâtissiers (pastry makers st) and the rue de l’Epicerie( groceries st).


The place Charles-de-Gaulle (square), is at the foot of the Cathedral of St Stephen (St Etienne) where it was also very animated in the Middle Ages when it was called the place des Quatre-Vents, before becoming the Parvis Saint-Etienne, and now the Gen de Gaulle. Very quant pedestrian area with many shops and restos/bars a must to walk it in town. The Cathedral a monument of Gothic France! The Rue St Etienne goes into Rue St Pierre all around the Cathedral. On one side there is Rue Bossuet that takes you to the ramparts and bd Jean Rose (see above). All worth the walks into medieval France and great for shops and restos/bars too.


The place Henri IV, is another memorable place as here we went to the movies for the first time in France at the Majestic cinema. It is now part of the cinema group UGC and has a great auto parking above and below ground. Also, at Christmas time there is a nice market here with ice skating ring. The square is name as such because it was to mark the coming of king Henri IV in 1599 when the city was in the middle of the 30 years war of Religions,and decided to rally in favor of the king. King Henri IV was a Protestant, and the city of Meaux , Catholic, and when the king converts to Catholicism, the locals (who are call by their celtic name, the Meldois) decided to signed the peace accords.

Couple of webpages to help you plan your visit to Meaux, well worth it and direct from Gare de l’Est in Paris. The streets of Meaux are eternal!


City of Meaux on things to see

Tourist office of the Meaux country on the Must see in town

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

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May 29, 2019

The Municipal Theater of Fontainebleau!

So sticking around familial and sentimental territory I like to tell you a bit more on a nice property very near the famous Château de Fontainebleau. This is the nice Italian style Municipal Theater.  I as usual have written bits on it in my previous posts on Fontainebleau but feel that it merits a post of its own. Therefore, here it goes briefly.

The Municipal Theater or Théatre Municipal is located at 6, rue Denecourt, corner of rue de Richelieu in Fontainebleau very near the Castle.


Built from 1905 in a Louis XIII style combining brick and stone, the theater is inaugurated in 1912. Outside of Paris, it is one of the few Italian theaters and one of the most beautiful in the whole  Ile de France region. The building consists of a foyer, a curvilinear theater room, a reception hall with possibilities for organizing specific cultural events, a home and ancillary rooms. The Municipal theater has a 650-seat capacity Concert Hall and a Ballroom. Classical and imposing, strongly integrated in the urban landscape, the theater is a major pole of attraction and cultural and artistic identity within the city. Indeed is very nice, something different and cultural to see while in Fontainebleau.

Some webpages to help you enjoy the visit here are

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the Theater

City of Fontainebleau on the theater’s agenda

And there you go , I am not a huge fan of theaters, only for the architectural or historical point of view of them. This one is tops of the list, all worth a visit while in Fontainebleau, dept 77 of the Seine-et-Marne, in the Ïle de France region. Hope you can enjoy it.

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



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May 29, 2019

La Salle de la Belle Cheminée, Fontainebleau!

I am back now in sentimental area and property. This is difficult to write as many wonderful moments with my dear late wife Martine visiting the castle and town of Fontainebleau in her region and becoming Friends of the Castle. However, drawing on my photos I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. Hope you enjoy them and do visit the castle is a must while in France. Several post about it in my blog.

Let me tell you about a part not open to the public but had several meetings there and as the castle is renovated maybe will be open one day. The piece in question is the room of the beautiful chimney and its relations or in French la Salle de la Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau!

The Salle de la Belle Cheminée (or the beautiful chimney room) is one of the works commissioned by king Henri IV. Above the Belle Cheminée, lies a bas-relief of Henri IV on horseback representing the King on his illustrious white steed.

The wing of the Belle Cheminée, also known as the aile(wing)  de l’Ancienne Comédie or wing of the old comedy, built between 1565 and 1570 in stone of Saint-Leu, derives its name from the chimney that occupied the great hall in the 18C. It was taken down and her sculptures were scattered. The name of old comedy comes from the theater that king Louis XV had made. First known as the Salle de la Belle Cheminée from 1597 to 1601, it was called a theater from 1725, on the occasion of the marriage of king Louis XV; It was destroyed in 1856 by a fire.  The monumental exterior staircase has two Italian ramps. It makes the connection with the cour de la Fontaine (courtyard of the fountain).



La salle de la belle cheminée et moi!

Commissioned by king Henri IV in 1597 and finished in 1601, the Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau was dismembered in 1725 (see above the theater). The fragments were taken in the 19C into two other chimneys in the castle. Other fragments are in reserve at Fontainebleau. The Louvre museum presents the central frieze which separated the upper part forming mantle from the fireplace.

It is now in a theater setup for meetings and the chimney still there , still call the beautiful chimney room and one that hoping to be shown to the public if not already ::)

Other rooms in relation to the Belle Cheminée are worth mentioning on this post.

In the Salle des Gardes (room of the guards) you will notice two great figures that surround the chimney coming from the famous Belle Cheminée by then disappeared, sumptuous carved monument. to the glory of the victorious king of 7 meters high,by  6 meters wide. On the left is the allegorical figure of Peace; it lowers, to smother it, the torch of war, reminding us that by the edit of Nantes (1598), king Henri IV had put an end to the civil religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. On the right, the allegory seems to be Obedience;  a young woman is about to pass a harness to a lion. The good King Henri was indeed, against any golden legend, an autocratic sovereign, reinforcing the Royal authority and announcing the absolute monarchy of his grandson, Louis XIV. The remainder of the chimney, of a more grey hue, was carved in 19C.

And to continue the circuit of king Henri IV born at the Château de Fontainebleau.

In the Chapel of Saint Saturnin, you will see in the décor of the coffered vault, the figure of king Henri IV and that of queen Marie de Medicis. In the first room of Saint Louis, in the upper part of the paneling, paintings by Ambroise Dubois from the Cabinet of the King and that of the Queen. In the second room of Saint Louis, an equestrian portrait of the King, coming from the Belle-Cheminée. In the Salon Louis XIII (room), in which he was born, you will see bouquets painted by Jean Dhoey. In the Chapel of the Trinity, above the galleries, the arms of France are attached to those of Navarre. The décor of the chapel was commissioned by king Henri IV. In the Galerie aux Cerfs (deers), the bronze reproduction of the Diane Huntress who adorns the fountain of the Jardin de Diane that runs along this gallery (the original marble is in the Louvre museum), a bronze reproduction of the Lacoon (the original marble is in the Vatican Museum.)

The Jeu de Paume room, whose entrance is to the right of the Jardin de Diane, was rebuilt after a fire, according to the plans of the hall intended by king Henri IV. In the Henri IV part of the Castle, the Cour des Offices are under the porch, on the ceiling the figures of the King Henri IV and Catherine of Médicis.

Some webpages to help you further plan your trip here are

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the salle de la Belle Cheminée

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the reign of Henri IV

Again, this is special, a must to visit while in France. So much history of France and Europe is here, as well as loving architecture details as above. You ought it to yourselves to visit the Château de Fontainebleau!

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



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May 28, 2019

The Royal Library at Fontainebleau!

So let me turn your attention to a wonderful room in a gorgeous castle full of history of France and Europe. One of my favorites and the first one ever visited in France with my dear late wife Martine. Let me tell you briefly of the Royal Library of Fontainebleau castle in Fontainebleau , dept 77 Seine-et-Marne, east of Paris.

As said, this castle brings lots of memories for me and my family and we love it every minute we can be here, as Friends of the castle I keep up with its walls.  The Royal Library grew and it became a major one of France and the world.

It all started as usually old with a King, this time was François I. One of the lasting visitor resident of the Château de Fontainebleau.


On May 22, 1544, king François I ordered an inventory of the library at Blois to prepare them for a move to the nearby Chateau de Fontainebleau.   The 1,896 items were soon on the move, arriving at their new home by June 12 under the supervision of his private librarian. From 1537 it received a copy of every French publication. By 1546, the English ambassador toured the new Royal library at Fontainebleau as François I proudly showed his new library to them. It was remarked during the tour that he had commissioned French   translations of the Greek books he had purchased through his agents in Greece. During his reign, fine bindings became the craze and many of the books added by him and Henry II are masterpieces of the binder’s art.


The Royal library at Fontainebleau grew steadily, even after François’ death. By 1567, it held 3,650 books. Scholars were so eager to get their hands on the books that they petitioned Catherine de Medici to move the Royal library closer to a building in Paris. The library was moved to Paris between 1567 and 1593, and the first real catalog of its holdings was compiled in 1622. First opened to the public in 1692, the library was moved to the Mazarin Palace in the rue de Richelieu in 1721 and underwent successive expansions thereafter. The library was renamed the Bibliothèque National de France  in 1795, and it benefited by the revolutionary confiscations of church and parish book collections and later by Napoleon’s acquisitions. Most of them are still there, very well organized. Now located at Quai François Mauriac 13éme Paris.

The official webpage: Official webpage of the National LIbrary of France

Tourist office of Paris on the National LIbrary of France

Official Chateau de Fontainebleau on Francois I

Enjoy it  ,open to the public and by the Seine river, nice.  However, do go to Fontainebleau and see the old library still there waiting with its wonders, a joy! The photos are from Fontainebleau. Hope you enjoy it

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

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May 28, 2019

The bedrooms of Fontainebleu!

So after taking some rounds in my lovely Brittany where I live ,and even stepping into the nice Normandy nearby, I have to come back to my first region of France, the Ïle de France.  I guess region here could be like a province, or state in many other countries. Then , we have like those previous regions posted/visited the Morbihan dept 56 or the Calvados dept 14 or now back to Seine-et-Marne dept 77; and these could be like counties or municipalities , me think. I like to tell you a bit more on the bedrooms of the Castle of Fontainebleau!

If you have read my blog before, you know that Fontainebleau was the first castle I ever visited in France as it is from my dear late wife Martine region in dept 77.  As that other castle , this is not a thing to do of Paris (city and dept 75) but a different administrative legal region that need to be visit on its merits which are huge. It has become very attach to us over the years and we are of course members of its friends association.  By the way let me give you that webpage now as it might interest you as me an amateur  lover of architecture and history.  The Friends of the Castle of Fontainebleau


Horse shoe stair symbol of Fontainebleau

And now let me tell you a bit about its bedrooms, lol written many posts on the castle but never on the famous bedrooms, who wants to sleep there? me!!! With a bit of history first , of course

The Château de Fontainebleau is a Royal castle of predominantly Renaissance and Classical styles, near the city center of the city of Fontainebleau in dept 77 Seine-et-Marne, about 60 km (about 37 mi) from Paris. The first traces of a castle in Fontainebleau date back to the 12C. The last work was done in the 19C. A high place in the history of France, the Château de Fontainebleau was one of the mansions of French sovereigns since François I, who made it his favorite home, until Napoleon III.

The Royal apartments consist of a double strand of rooms. Their service, as well as their guard is ensured by an external walkway along the façade on the oval courtyard.. With access to the oval courtyard, located near the entrance Chatelet (Golden Gate), the King’s apartment sees its staircase rebuilt under Louis XV at the location of the Duchess of Etampes ‘ bedroom. This staircase gives access to the succession of the anti-chambers, chambers, salons and cabinets. The Queen’s apartment is its counterpart and enjoys a roughly analogous distribution, from the staircase laid out beyond the Serlio portico. It also takes on the side of the garden reserved for the Queen (current garden of Diane). The interior decorations are largely taken up in the 17C, and it is on the eve of the French revolution that the interior apartment of Louis XVI (current interior apartment of Napoleon) is part of the suite of the large apartment with the doubling of the wing of the gallery François Ier.  The small apartments have been two separate apartments for Napoleon and Josephine and Marie-Louise since the first Empire. The Emperor’s Office includes the offices of his Secretaries. Stairs and inner passages allow them to be connected to the great apartments of the sovereigns, on the first floor.



The bedroom of the Pope ,the bed of this room, enlarged for the Duchess of Orléans, was made in 1787 for Louis XVI at the Château de Saint-Cloud and served Napoleon at the Palais des Tuileries (both gone).


The Apparat bedroom was the former room of Anne of Austria has a ceiling and painted paneling of polychromatic grotesque on the top-of-doors are the portrait of Anne of Austria in Minerva and that of Marie-Thérèse of Spain in Abundance done in 1660.


Napoleon’s bedroom kept the essentials of Louis XVI décor such as woodwork, fireplace, top-of-door decorations, etc. In fact, it served in the 18C, from a powder cabinet (toilet). The décor was enriched for the Emperor of his victories, bees, Imperial figure, and paintings in golden grilles, made in 1811. Furnished in 1808-1809 in the Empire style, including two armchairs called “paumier” (with unequal armrests) the room has a carpet adorned with military trophies woven in Aubusson in 1809.


The small sleeping bedroom former office of Louis XVI of which the chimney, the top-of-doors and the woodwork remain, the small bedroom of the apartments of the Emperor was in fact the work of Napoleon, where he had installed in 1811 a gilded iron camp resting bed.

The Emperor’s antichamber constituted the first and second antichamber of Madame de Pompadour, before becoming the first antichamber of Madame Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI).

The bedroom of Méneval is of modest appearance and low ceiling, was arranged at the location of the Cabinet of the game of the King (from 1769 to 1782), then Salon of the Princess of Lamballe (from 1782 to 1787) then room used by the servants of Madame Elisabeth (in 1791) , then home of the geographer Louis Albert Guislain Bacler d’Albe (in 1807), before becoming the Chamber of the Secretary of Napoleon I, Claude François de Méneval, from which it preserves the name today.

The Emperor’s bedroom was the billiard room of the Princess of Lamballe in 1786, before becoming the room of Madame Elisabeth in 1791, then the room of Cardinal Fesch in 1804. The alcove was abolished in 1810, while the brocatelle fireplace was installed. Woodwork dates back to the late 18C.

 The bedroom of the Empress has the furniture consisting notably of a bed with a singular coronation, enlarged in 1843 for one of the daughters of Louis-Philippe and her husband, in silk of Lyon white and blue Lapis papered gold.


The Empress’s bedroom has been home to the Queen’s bedroom since the 16C, and this is where the Grand Dauphin, son of Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse, was born in 1661. This piece is nicknamed the bedroom of six Mary’s in reference to the various sovereigns who used it ,such as Marie de Médicis, Marie-Thérèse of Spain, Marie Leszczyńska, Marie-Antoinette, Marie-Louise de Habsburg, and Marie-Amélie. The room was rearranged for Josephine between 1805 and 1807, before being inhabited for the last time by the Empress Eugenie (wife of Napoleon III).


The bedroom for sleeping, made in 1725, were enhanced under Louis-Philippe. The furniture has kept its state Louis-Philippe, consisting of a bed in gilded wood made for Madame Élisabeth in 1787, two armchairs and a stool with spur from the Interior Cabinet of Marie-Antoinette in Saint – Cloud . The furniture was covered in 1837 in white satin with green lozenges and bouquets of flowers, woven between 1812 and 1814, with borders made in 1809-1810.

There you have a brief description and maybe tempt you to come and see them up close and personal, best… I love it can’t say enough, a must see while in France. Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

Official Château de Fontainebleau

City of Fontainebleau on the Castle

Tourist office of Seine et Marne dept 77 on the Castle

Now go to Fontainebleau and enjoy it as we always do. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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May 26, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXII

And here I am on my CCXXXII post on news of my France. It has been an incredible journey for me to come closer to what is going on in my belle France; hoping that it has giving you more insights into my beautiful adopted country. Oh it is No 232 for the rest ::)

I like to tell you a bit more on the news of France today Sunday 26 May on European Elections Day and Mother’s Day in France!

Ok so let’t start off with a bang on the results of the just finished Cannes Film Festival. Discover below the complete list of this 72nd Festival of Cannes winners

Palme d’Or: “Parasite ” by Bong Joon-Ho.  Grand Prix: “Atlantic” by Mati Diop. Jury prize: “Les Misérables ” by Ladj LY and “Bacurau ” by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles.  Directing award: Jean-Pierre and Luc and Dardenne for “the young Ahmed”. Prize of the screenplay: “Portrait of the girl on fire” by Céline Sciamma. Award for feminine interpretation: Emily Beecham in   “little Joe “.  Award for male interpretation: Antonio Banderas in   “Pain and Glory “. Special mention: Elia Suleiman for “It must be heaven”.  Caméra d’Or: “Nuestras Madres ” (our mothers) by César Díaz. Palme d’Or short film: “The distance between the sky and us” by Vasilis Kekatos.  Special mention of the short film jury:   “Monster God ” by Agustina San Martín.

The attractions with thrills, the fairground stalls, the encounters with animals will be at the Jardin d’Acclimatation ,Paris. But the most beautiful sensation, today Sunday, will undoubtedly be that of the joy of moms shared with children. For the Mother’s day, the park with 47 the most modern rides, after a vast restoration, do not forget its traditions. The direction of the garden has planned to offer at the entrance, a rose to each mom and a relabelled of free workshops, once the entrance fee is paid. Jardin d’Acclimatation, 45 Mahatma Gandhi Avenue (16 éme). Métro Les Sablons. This Sunday from 10h to 19h. Entrance fee at 5€ for adults, free for children under 3 years old. Free animations and workshops. Hurry up if still in Paris! More info here:

As I told you on an earlier post ,today is European election day and as usual France is been a bit slow but much better than last elections. The media is reporting quite a few French voters went to the polls this Sunday morning (And I did my civic duty already) to elect their European deputies. A figure, however, up from 2014. European elections 2019:19.26% participation level by noon today May 26th. The polling stations opened at 8h in France on Sunday, as in 20 other countries for the European elections. 47.1 million French are called to vote to renew, as every five years, their 74 deputies in the European Parliament; 79 if the UK is forced to leave the European Union( working on Brexit seems to be hard and long). More info from the European Parliament here:

The departmental Stadium Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes (Hauts de Seine Dept 92). will host the women’s selection trainings next month for the United States. United States-Chile on 16 June will be the first official game at the Parc des Princes,Paris 16éme. The World Soccer/football women championships will be held in France starting from next June 7 with a France vs South Korea game. The USA is in group F, my other love France is in group A, and lastly my other love Spain is in group B; plenty of choices lol!!   More info here:

Imagine Victor Hugo’s “Notre-Dame de Paris”, whose autograph manuscript is exhibited by the National Library this weekend, exceptionally, on the occasion of its Festival. There is only one version, these 455 flying slips written in four months. The writing is also heritage. Thanks to Hugo. “I give all my manuscripts, and all that will be found written or drawn by me, to the National Library of Paris, which will one day be the library of the United States of Europe,” adds the writer to his testament in 1881. The little story in the big news. Like the last words of queen Marie-Antoinette before her execution: “my eyes no longer have tears to weep for you my poor children; Farewell, Farewell! ». The semicolon perfectly traced, a few hours from the end point of the guillotine. The exhibit “Manuscripts of the extreme”, until 7 July 2019 at the BNF in Paris (13 éme). Every day except Monday from 10h to 19h, Sunday 13h to 18h. price:9€. Information at

In 1853 the name of Adolph Alphand is much less known than that of Haussmann, but the capital owes him, largely as well, his present physiognomy. Squares, parks, wood…   The passage from Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower will be vegetated by the time of the Olympic Games of Paris 2024, it is suggested another name: the “promenade Alphand”. Towards the end of 1853, the landscaping of the Bois de Boulogne, which was entrusted to him by Napoleon III, on April 15, 1854, Napoleon and Eugénie inaugurated in great pomp the first phase of the work of the old forest of Rouvray, where François Ier used to hunt for game. On that day, in front of the big waterfall (grand cascade) totally artificial and fuelled by an ingenious hydraulic system, the Imperial couple suddenly sees, at the given signal, the water gushing from the rocks!

For Adolph Alphand, it is the first day of a long career paved with glory. For thirty-seven years, the engineer of the bridges-and-roads will shape the new face of Paris, as an accomplished ace of urban surgery. To his credit, an impressive list: two immense forests Boulogne and Vincennes, arranged on either side of the city; 24 squares accessible in half an hour on foot for all Parisians, rich or poor, as demanded by Napoleon III. We must include as well the Square de Batignolles, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Rond-Point des Champs Elysées, Bois de Boulonge, Parc Monceau, boulevard Voltaire, Serres d’Auteuil, Square Montholon,Square du Temple, Jardins du Trocadéro, Parc Montsouris, and the Bois de Vincennes. More on the area here: Tourist office of Paris on areas of pedestrian idea

City of Paris webpage on info on the Grand site tour Eiffel: City of Paris on the project Grand Site Tour Eiffel

At Bazoches-sur-Guyonne (Yvelines dept 78) you can come to see the House of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, it is in his home, which we can now visit, that Jean Monnet drafted the text which, in 1950, laid the foundations of the European Union. The reception, which also serves as a small souvenir shop, offers umbrellas, flags, stickers and other pens in the colours of the European flag. For it is here, in the hamlet of Houjarray in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, that the idea of a Union between the countries of the old continent was born. An idea that he had for several years by Jean Monnet and that he will end up dreaming black on white in 1950, in this house which he had acquired in 1945. This text, made public by Robert Schuman, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, remains considered as a founding document of the EU. A visit that is freely realized, and free of charge. Inside, the public can discover the salon where Jean Monnet expressed his projects to the decision makers of the time. The bedroom, the dining room complete the ground floor while upstairs, a projection room and interactive tables installed there since the month of January allow to know more about the life and work of man in a more playful way. More info here:

It was after several rewritings of La Recherche that he imagined that a Madeleine cake could bring the past to a resurgence. In the salons of the literary Hotel Le Swann, in Paris, the madeleines are pass before going to the Proustien spring, nine days of festivities in Eure-et-Loir celebrating the centenary of the awarding of the Goncourt prize to À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, (in the shade of the young girls in bloom) on December 10, 1919. Also, Illiers, his inspiration, became Illiers-Combray in 1971 in homage to the Romanced village of the writer. The Proust Museum is installed in the la maison de Tante Léonie or aunt Leonie’s house. The museum page in English:

Official on Marcel Proust achievements and the aunt Léonie house here in French:

The actress Isabelle Carré is to see, until June 30th, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance,20 boulevard Saint-Martin 10éme, Paris, where she plays in the La Dégustation (tasting), a romantic comedy that explores the world of wine. She interprets a bachelor whose life changes after the meeting with her wine merchant, incarnated by actor Bernard Campan. One emerges from this story with the urge to tighten the others in its arms. We’re getting happier. The character is perhaps a little amateur, but his humor is not bold. We are in a humor that mixes everything, that does not separate. More info here:

This Museum of Air and Space is located in Le Bourget (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93), ten minutes from Paris. The number of birthdays it celebrates in 2019 alone justifies you to venture beyond the city. The Bourget airport celebrates its centenary this year. It was here, in 1919, that the first French civil airport was created. Although the number of passengers in that year was limited to 740, but twenty years later, on the eve of WWII, this figure had risen to 45 000. The growth of air transport will make that from 1961 onwards, the Bourget will be abandoned to the benefit of Orly (Val-de-Marne dept 94) then Roissy-en-France (Val d’Oise dept 95) in 1977. The 50 years of the first flight of the Concorde, the famous supersonic, as well as the 50 years of the mission that saw the first man walking on the moon on July 21, 1969, an opportunity to revive the seventeen Apollo missions through some emblematic objects. In addition, as every two years, Le Bourget welcomes this year the 53rd International exhibition of Aeronautics and Space (Paris Air Show) open to the general public from June 21 to 23rd. Finally, this anniversary year will end in apotheosis with the reopening of the great Gallery in the historic terminal, a nugget of the art deco architecture, conceived and realised in 1937. With one of the richest collections of aircraft, aerostats, mock-ups, uniforms, photographs, prints, posters and art objects in the world. More Information in French here:

To all dreamers and lovers of sweet moments, the Les Heures Bleues or blue hours are made for you. Halfway between the end of the day and the beginning of the night, it is a perfect time for a chill party to share with friends, a white 1664 in hand. Neither too hot nor too cold, the air is ideal for an original afterwork or happy hour evening, to relax and especially to enjoy full animations. Every Wednesday and Friday, you will be able to fill up with animations. And you’ll have a choice! You can take part in a plant music workshop, and test your musical talents by making a few notes with citrus. Plus, a super DJ set of 16 pineapples. The group that usually plays with pineapples, will blackmail oranges and lemons for the occasion. Workshop 1664-the Les Heures Bleues at 47, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine 5éme Every Wednesdays and Fridays from 18h30 to 22h30. More info here:

For the resumption of the tour, the Freix Baravane selected the hottest spots of the summer: from Faust in Paris to the marvellous Island of Torcy, from Pete the monkey to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer to Scopitone in Nantes, the evenings and festivals are chained to the delight of Holidaymakers! In the program there will be: Festival, Mölkky games and of course cocktails, including the inescapable Sangria Blancaby Freixenet, and poptails with Freixenet ice ! La Freix Baravane to September 23 2019. More info here !

There you as always plenty to see in my belle France! Enjoy it to the limits!

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





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