Posts tagged ‘Paris’

May 26, 2023

Some news from France , CCCLXXXVII

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are into Spring, and today sunny 23C about 73F. However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12+ years , And for those non Roman CCCLXXXVII is 387 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We have done quite a bit of house work and waiting for less rain to continue, Spring is in the air ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Cannes Film Festival had already announced an “exceptional tribute” for Harrison Ford. The Hollywood legend, who came to present the world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on the Croisette, received an honorary Palme d’Or on Thursday evening May 18 2023 before the screening of the film. This year, another big name in American cinema, Michael Douglas, received the same distinction on Tuesday, May 16 2023 during the opening ceremony of the Festival.

Renovation of Place de la Concorde, The central fountains and allegorical statues of Strasbourg and Lille are being restored. A meticulous job carried out more than 5 meters high, from the second floor of one of the scaffoldings installed on Place de la Concorde, 8éme de Paris.

Part of the Champs-Elysées garden will bear the name of Line Renaud, a French actresse, The inauguration will take place this summer , the name of Line Renaud in the garden of the ambassadors, around the Gabriel pavilion and the Pierre-Cardin space, not far from place de la Concorde, will be voted on by the borough council on Monday, May 22. Before being in June at the Council of Paris. Another modernity of the mayor of Paris taking away from the eternal City.

The rise in air traffic in Île-de-France region now officials looking at a cap on flights for airports soon to be studied to examine a cap on flights at Roissy, Orly and Le Bourget. Very heavey in my in laws community the airplanes from Roissy are constant imagine at night folks can’t sleep !! Of course this is deep countryside but anyway always the problems with airports, Stay tune on this issue!

According to a study conducted by Lynk & Co and Ipsos. In Paris, for example, 51% of respondents believe that green spaces should replace parking spaces. Well get out the helicopters lol!! Wider sidewalks or cycle paths are also mentioned. This is the case in Paris, with the “Re-enchanting the Champs Élysées” project, which aims in particular to convert the Place de la Concorde into a walkway !!! According to the 2022 study by ADEME, a shared car can replace between five and eight personal cars. In addition, car sharing makes it possible to no longer depend on the often substantial purchase of a vehicle in order to get around. This transition from the economy of ownership to that of use is increasingly popular with young people: according to the Lynk & Co study, 34% of Parisians aged 18 to 34 have a very positive image of it. Lynk & Co has made it the heart of its offer. The brand, founded in 2016 by Alain Visser and resulting from the joint venture between the Chinese group Geely and the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, aims to revolutionize the model of private car ownership. How ? Thanks to an ultra-flexible subscription system in which the user only pays for the use he makes of it. Present in seven European countries, the first 100% digital automotive company already has a community of 170,000 members. It should accelerate its development in France, with the upcoming opening of the first Lynk & Co club. Another gadget to offer and the trafic jams continue and the braking of public transport delays continues ,, Paris is not the same, I was just by it around it and the trafic is horrendous already ,Webpage:

On the A13, carpooling, coaches and taxis will soon have priority at rush hour, although this last section is still under consideration. The Société des Autoroutes Paris-Normandie (SAPN, a subsidiary of Sanef) is working on the creation of a lane specially dedicated to carpoolers and public transport on the A13. The autoroute de Normandie concessionaire recently obtained the green light from the State services to build this 14-km route in the Yvelines (78) between Épône, very close to Mantes-la-Jolie, and Orgeval in the direction of Paris. Very heavy trafic area now just went by it but of course less lanes will do lol !! It should see the light of day by 2026-2027, according to the SAPN.

Have a nice ride starting at 9h38 from the Gare du Nord train station. The line of Impressionists sets sail for one of the cutest villages in France, home of Van Gogh, Auvers-sur-Oise. In 40 minutes and until September 3, 2023 the special line set up by Transilien offers to reach the village thanks to one trip per day, every weekend and public holidays, with a return at 18h15, to escape the one day time. Ten minutes from the train station and 30 km from Paris, the castle of Auvers-sur-Oise, but also the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church, visible in the works of Van Gogh, the Maison-Atelier de Charles-François Daubigny or the Castel Val, house of Doctor Gachet, Webpage info :

Come and rediscover the English garden of the Château de Fontainebleau thanks to contemporary art, The castle in the Seine-et-Marne dept 77 goes green with “Grandeur nature” the English garden is transformed into the setting for a contemporary art exhibition. About forty works, which evoke nature and the threat of climate change, are on display until September 17, 2023, some forty works of contemporary art disseminated by 18 artists.webpage:

The Sequana association, specializing in the restoration of boats with heritage value, will soon have a pier in the immediate vicinity of its workshops located on the island of the Impressionists Chatou.(Yvelines 78) Within two weeks, a pier will be erected in front of their premises located in the Hameau Fournaise, on the island of the Impressionists . Inevitably, the subject is on everyone’s lips, Yes nice folks worth to keep traditions. Webpage city of Chatou:

At the Ecouen Renaissance Museum, Antoine Caron depicts the court and history. In the 16C, the Mannerist painter put his fertile imagination at the service of five kings of France, showing their power or mythological scenes. Antoine Caron is not the most famous of 16C artists. Yet during his long life he worked for five kings of France and a regent, Catherine de Medici. The exhibition, the first to be dedicated to him, at the National Museum of the Renaissance in Ecouen. Rich in more than 90 works – paintings, tapestries, drawings or engravings , it is subtitled “The theater of history”, and to visit the five rooms one understands why. His most famous painting and the only one he signed, The Massacres of the Triumvirate, he was able to perfectly restore the image that the authorities wanted to leave. Thus, the tapestry entitled The Court of France leaving the castle of Anet (Le Voyage), if it symbolizes more the whole of the peregrinations of the kings than this grand tour in particular, testifies to the magnitude of the thing. webpage:

Famous for its cathedral, Amiens is often called “the little Venice of the North”, a nickname that the Picardy city owes to its hortillonnages, an interlacing of islets of 300 hectares founded by man eight centuries ago. Ancient marshes, peat land conquered from the marshes of the Somme, cleaned up in Roman times, and became the largest place of market gardening in northern France in the Middle Ages. Festival des hortillonnages exhibits each summer since its foundation in 2010 about fifteen works, some of which have become permanent, of landscape design, architecture and art Festival, which is held this year from May 27 to October 15 2023. The Amiens tourist office for info:

In Lille, cobblestones in memory of the deportees, a memorial approach refused by other cities, the “Stolpersteine”, stones sealed in the ground in front of the last home of the deportees, are multiplying in Europe and in France. A form of commemoration to which not all the town halls subscribe, in particular that of Paris ! These small cobblestones of cement and brass. Ten centimeters by ten, and a few words. A name, a date of birth, that of their arrest and the supposed date of their assassination in Auschwitz. They are called Stolpersteine: literally “stones on which one stumbles”, imagined by the German artist Gunter Demnig to whom we owe the idea of this open-air memorial.webpage info:

The CAPC − Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and the Carré d’art de Nîmes in search of greater local roots , meaning more support, In Bordeaux in 1973, in Nîmes in 1993, two atypical mayors, from the right, wanted their museum to contemporary art. One opened before the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the other follows on from the decentralization of the 1980s. In this spring of celebrations, the CAPC − Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and the Carré d’art de Nîmes blow out their fifty and thirty candles respectively with the pride of having gone through the ordeals of political alternations, not without now questioning their local roots. webpage Bordeaux: webpage Nîmes:

How about having a session at the Plaza Athénée? For five evenings, the giant canvas of the Plaza Cinéma Club will see quality films screened under the stars, but not only. Like the previous year, the chef will offer a dinner in keeping with the day’s work, such as ratatouille in front of Ratatouille, the carnivorous menu during Jurassic Park or seafood in front of Jaws. A magical and masterful evening that will has a price: 250€ . Plaza Cinéma Club, Plaza Athénée, 26, avenue Montaigne 8éme , From June 26 to 30, 2023, webpage info :

Fancy a getaway in the heart of Latin America? Mexico ? Recommended by local friends looking forward to visit eventually, Go to the 2éme arrondissement and the La Esquinita, Created almost 6 years ago by Nicolas and Fernando, the small grocery store promises to take you on a journey with its muy picante products. In Spanish, “esquinita” means “little corner”. If the two owners chose this name, it is because before living in the rue de la Lune, the small shop was a few meters further, rue Notre-Dame-de-Recouvrance, at the corner of a building . A true concentrate of Mexico in the heart of Paris, the grocery store imports most of its products directly from Latin America. A real Ali Baba’s cave, but Mexican version. Fernando is a former restaurant chef. The forty-something from Puebla came to France a little over 20 years ago to attend a gastronomy school. Nicolas, meanwhile, is a former journalist from Morelos, landed in Paris 35 years ago after meeting a Frenchwoman, to whom he has since married. La Esquinita 36, rue de la Lune 2éme Open Monday to Saturday, 11h to 19h, Webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care ,enjoy we are now in Spring, great, even if a bit rainy, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 25, 2023

Always more on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux !!!

Oh this is wonderful unique Gothic in France. I am thrill to tell you it is in my beloved city of Meaux and a place never missed when in town, and we have been there so many times as it is the native town of my dear late wife Martine. I have written several posts , but this new text and pictures from this week so therefore, here is my take again on the cathedral . Always more on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux !!!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The current Cathédrale Saint Etienne was built on the site of an old Romanesque cathedral. It is now impossible to date precisely the beginnings of the reconstruction of the cathedral, following the destruction of the archives of the bishopric in 1793-94 (during the French revolution). However, it can estimate that it began around 1175.  The construction of the Cathédrale Saint Etienne began in the 12C and was completed three centuries later with the construction of the north tower at 60 meters high. The cathedral thus combines the different phases of Gothic, from the classical style of the end of the 12C to the flamboyant style of the 15C.

Meaux Cat St Etienne nave to altar may23

The south tower, also nicknamed the Tour Noire or black tower, is intriguing. The 60-meter-high north tower is the last completed architectural element. A second tower should have been erected on the south side. Pending the work, a tower made of wood had been installed to temporarily install the bells.  Five centuries later, the one nicknamed the black tower is still in place and has become definitive.  It has many things to see but the most remarkable are the stained glass of the Crucifixion (14C), the grand Rosary window (15C), a wonderful organ (17C) The original organ dates from the 17C and the buffet is from 1627 and was one of the most important of its time. The Saint Stephens Cathedral has dimensions of 85 meters on the interior. The height of the North tower: 60 meters, (against 69 for Paris). The height under the vault of the nave: 31 meters.

Meaux Cat St Etienne nord tower may23

Meaux Cat St Etienne back from garden may23

The interior of the St Stephens’ Cathedral is remarkable for its luminosity and the delicacy of its sculpted ornamentation. One of the most important characteristics of the sanctuary, which is found nowhere else in another Gothic cathedral, is the height of the vaults of the aisles which reach more or less 15 meters, half that of the main nave. T hese being equipped with high bays, the light penetrates in abundance in the heart of the cathedral and thus reveals the color of the stone of Varreddes, used in the construction.

Meaux Cat St Etienne side altar may23

The nave and the choir have 5 nerfs, as in ND de Paris. The central nave is bordered on either side by 2 aisles or collaterals. It is only at the level of the apse that the ambulatory is reduced to a single nerf in a semicircle, which follows the internal ambulatory of the rectangular part of the choir, the external part of the latter being replaced by the radiant chapels 5 in number. The reverses of the facades of the transept are particularly remarkable and of great beauty, especially in the southern transept. They are richly decorated and feature real fabrics or stone embroidery. They are partly inspired by Paris, but the style here is more refined and the ornamentation is richer.

Meaux Cat St Etienne altar bishops chair left may23

Meaux Cat St Etienne altar bishops chair right may23

The height under the vaults, at the place of the choir, reaches up to 33 meters. Saint Etienne, to whom the cathedral is dedicated, is represented on the portals of the south and north transepts. Other themes are also illustrated: Last Judgment on the tympanum of the central portal, Life of the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist on the south portal. A single 13C glass roof adorns the high window of the apse and represents Christ on the Cross, the martyrdom of Saint Etienne and the beheading of Saint Denis. .

The cathedrals of Meldoise (locals Meaux) and Paris maintain close relations. The southern gate of that of Meaux is a copy of the southern gate of that of Paris. Construction of the Parisienne only began twelve years before that of the Meldoise, in 1163 and 1175 respectively. The framework is original, as was that of Notre-Dame de Paris. These are two closely related cathedrals. The frame, in old oak, is particularly watched , The firefighters of Meaux pay great attention to the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux. They make four to six visits per year and one maneuver per year to train, in the event of a disaster.

The Meaux Marne Ourcq tourist office on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne

The Diocese of Meaux on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne (St Stephens):

The city of Meaux on the cathedral

There you go folks, again,more of the always more wonderful Cathédrale Saint Etienne of Meaux ; the beautiful cathedral is a marvel of France and a must visit. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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May 24, 2023

The eagle of Meaux, Bishop Bossuet !!

Oh this is wonderful unique Gothic in France. I am thrill to tell you it is in my beloved city of Meaux and a place never missed when in town, and we have been there so many times as it is the native town of my dear late wife Martine. I have written posts before on the cathedral per se , but this is new on given credit to a beloved personality of the city the Bishop Bossuet and the  Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux!!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Saint Stephens Cathedral has dimensions of 85 meters on the interior. The height of the North tower: 60 meters, (against 69 for Paris). The height under the vault of the nave: 31 meters. The most famous, the Eagle of Meaux Jacques Bénigne Bossuet name bishop of Meaux by king Louis XIV in 1681, The Brilliant eagle of Meaux, according to Voltaire gives sermons that shook the Cathedral on several occasions, During his 22 years of office he criss cross the countryside to speak the gospel to all while given a solid administration in Meaux.  The Bishop Bossuet, the eagle of Meaux and confesseur to king Louis XIV. He lived on what is today the museum from 1682 to 1704 as Bishop of Meaux , A room is dedicated to portraits representing Bossuet.

Meaux Cat St Etienne front may23

 Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) was the most famous of the bishops of Meaux. Particularly renowned for his eloquence, he preached repeatedly before the king and the court and was even instructed to instruct the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, for ten years. In 1681, he obtained the Siege of Meaux, which had the advantage of being close enough to Paris and of Versailles to allow it to maintain its ties with the court, while ensuring the direction of his diocese. It was also dubbed the Eagle of Meaux as opposed to Fénelon, the “Swan of Cambrai”, whose style was more suave. The two prelates are fought on the question of “quietism”, a mystical approach to the divinity of which Bossuet obtained the condemnation. He was one of the most ardent proponents of the conversion of Protestants, imposed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In the context of the administration of his diocese, Bossuet sought to combat anything which, in his view, threatened the greetings from the faithful. He was fiercely hostile to the puppets and the dance that distracted his flock.   Comparing his condemnation with the position of the Church towards the actors like what happened to Molière’s death at the same time.

Meaux Cat St Etienne statue bishop Bossuet may23

After a slow and painful agony, Bossuet dies in a house currently located at 46 Rue Bossuet in Paris on April 12, 1704 of the formation of kidney stone disease. The funeral services were done at the Church of Saint Roch in Paris.  The Cathedral of Meaux houses the tomb of Bossuet, located near the high altar, as well as two monuments in white marble erected in memory of the famous bishop. The most imposing of these sculptures, installed in 1911 in the north side of the nave, at the top of a pedestal flanked by four characters: Henriette de France, for which Bossuet did the funeral prayers of the Dauphin of which he was the Bossuet teacher , Louise de La Valliere, mistress of Louis XIV who entered the convent of Carmel on the advice of Bossuet and Turenne; converted by Bossuet . On the reverse is also carved a bust in medallion, with the inscription Rocroi ;   showing the event of the Prince of Condé who won the Battle of Rocroi in 1643 under the influence of Bossuet.

Meaux Cat St Etienne tomb bishop Bossuet eagle of Meaux may23

Jacques-Bénigne BOSSUET men of the Church, predicator, and writer; bishop of  Meaux  from 1682-1704.  He participated in the writing of the  Déclaration des Quatre Articles (1682) about the liberties of the Church and author of  Sermons sur la mort(1662), Oraisons funèbres(1669, 1670, 1683, 1685 and 1687, the most famous of speeches about death), Histoire des variations des Églises protestantes (1688), and Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681) , and Politique tirée de l’Écriture sainte (posthumously in 1709).

The city of Meaux on the museum Bossuet

The Seine et Marne dept 77 archives on Bossuet

The Diocese of Meaux on the Cathedral

There you go folks, again,more of the wonderful Cathedral Saint Etienne of Meaux ; the beautiful cathedral is a marvel of France and a must visit.  The Bishop Bossuet is an integral part of the history of the city , France and at least Europe. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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May 6, 2023

Le Pecq !!

Again looking at my travel ,history books in my library I came upon this time that we visited several times while in living in the area you know where. I am shock that could only find one picture of something near it, but when you live in Versailles , hard to take pictures elsewhere ,,,,,nevertheless, need to have Le Pecq in my blog for the memories of always. Let me tell you about Le Pecq , and hope you enjoy the post as I.

Le Pecq is located in the Yvelines department 78 ,of the Île-de-France region, and my belle France, It is 19 km from Paris, at the foot of the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The town of Le Pecq borders the towns of Mesnil-le-Roi, Montesson, Vésinet, Croissy-sur-Seine, Port-Marly, Marly-le-Roi, Mareil-Marly and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

From Paris, the RER A towards Saint-Germain-en-Laye, get off at Le Vésinet-Le Pecq station,(see post le Vésinet)  turn left after the gates , Also, from the Gare Saint Lazare, take the Train towards Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche – Forêt de Marly, get off at Marly-le-Roi then take local bus 21 towards Le Vésinet – Le Pecq – RER.station, I have dwell by here many times always by car of course, From Paris Porte Maillot, take RN13, cross Le Port-Marly then turn right into the road D186. Connect with the A13 autoroute de Normandie, take exit/sortie n°6 (Versailles Centre, Le Chesnay – Marly-le-Roi), follow direction Louveciennes – Marly-le-Roi, cross Le Port-Marly then turn right D186. From Versailles the D186 is it, Coming from the north or CDG get on A1 highway and take the A86 road exit for Aubervilliers, Nanterre, Stade de France, continue the A86 to Rueil Malmaison, turn right RN13, cross Le Port-Marly then turn right into the D186 to Le Pecq, The main roads here are the departmental road 186 (D186) which allows, on the left bank, to join the national road 13 and the national road 186 at Port-Marly and which, in the direction of the east, Vésinet and Chatou, crosses the Seine river at the Pont du Pecq bridge. The other important routes are the departmental road 190 which begins at the Pecq bridge and provides access to Saint-Germain-en-Laye to the west as well as the departmental road 159 towards Le Mesnil-le-Roi to the north and departmental road 7 towards Marly-le-Roi to the south.

Some of the things to see here are:

The royal residence of Château-Neuf built in 1557 for Henri II was remodeled by Henri IV, who created pavilions, royal apartments on the banks of the Seine. The Pavillon de Sully was occupied by the gardener of the King named Lavechef, known as “Duparcq. The gardens surrounding this private residence have regained their charm of yesteryear as well as their view of the historic valley so appreciated and admired by the kings. The Château Neuf was offered by Louis XIV to the Comte d’Artois, his brother and later king Charles X (1824-1830), . The building was demolished in 1784 for reconstruction. All that remains of the Château-Neuf is the King’s Chapel, the cave ramp and the Sully Pavilion. Many caves were arranged in these terraces such as the caves of Neptune, Hercules, Perseus and Andromeda, etc. Check out the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine or European Heritage Days, when in some years it is open to the public,


The Church Saint-Wandrille stands on the site of a priory founded in the 11C and overlooks the historic heart of Le Pecq. The superb view from the terrace is worth a detour! A charter drawn up in the year 704 records that King Childebert III donated the royal land of Aupec, rich in vines, to the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille at Saint-Wandrille in Normandy. The history of Pecq is linked for eight centuries (from 709 to 1570) to that of the abbey of Saint-Wandrille and to the kings of France. A second church built at the beginning of the 16C collapsed in 1723. The first stone of the current church was laid in 1739 by the Duke of Noailles, then governor of the royal domain of Saint-Germain , and inaugurated six years later, it was only consecrated on May 28, 1995 by Mgr Jean-Charles Thomas, Bishop of Versailles, in the presence of the Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille de Fontenelle.

You see remnants of the Le Pecq railway viaduct: work dating from the end of the 19C. Comprising about twenty stone arches and extended by an iron bridge over the Seine and by two tunnels, it is laid out in curves and in unevenness to allow the line whose terminus was initially at Pecq to reach the Saint-Germain-en-Laye train station. The Pont du Pecq, officially called “Pont Georges-Pompidou”, is a road bridge that spans the Seine in the town whose territory extends on both banks of the river. This bridge is located between the Ile de la Loge bridge (upstream) and the Pecq railway viaduct (downstream).   In 2002, to maintain the cultural heritage left by the Impressionists in the Yvelines, Le Pecq, with eight other towns bordering the Seine river,such as Carrières-sur-Seine, Chatou, Croissy-sur-Seine, Bougival, Louveciennes, Marly-le -Roi, Le Port-Marly and Noisy-le-Roi, creates the label and the structure Pays des Impressionnistes or Country of the Impressionists, More on the Yvelines dept 78 tourist office in French:

A bit of history I like

The last Merovingian kings had a royal home at the Abbey of Aupec (Le Pecq). Childebert III gave the monks of this abbey, in 704, the land of Aupec and its outbuildings. They are mentioned for the first time in a charter of Childebert III, king of France, in 704. That year, the king responds, rather belatedly, to a request from Wandrille, formulated in 666 to Clotaire III and confirms to Abbey of Fontenelle a donation made to him by the family of Érembert who became a monk of this abbey. In 1595, Henri IV asked the inhabitants of Le Pecq to cede to him 18 to 20 arpents (0.342 ha/arpent) of land, necessary to extend the gardens of the Château Neuf to the Seine. In compensation, he exempted the local Alpicois from the size and various taxes, a privilege which they retained until the French revolution.

In 1837, the first passenger railway line was inaugurated between Paris and Le Pecq: it is the line from Paris-Saint-Lazare to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. At the time, the terminus of the line was at Port du Pecq, on the right bank of the Seine. In early 2017, the remains of this first station, whose exact location was no longer known, were discovered at the foot of the Georges-Pompidou bridge (known as Pont du Pecq) during work for the construction of a housing complex !

During WWII, on March 3, 1942, Le Pecq was hit hard by a Royal Air Force bombardment. It was long believed that it was a mistake, the English bombers who the same night were to bomb the Renault factories of Boulogne-Billancourt, Le Pecq will undergo three more bombardments. On April 30, 1944, from 23h50, the Cité district was again bombarded for about twenty minutes. On May 28, 1944, this time twelve American Mustangs of the IX USAAF again attacked the Cité and Mexico district. Finally, on June 5, 1944 around 20h45 as a prelude to the Normandy landing, it was the Le Pecq bridge that was targeted.

The town of Le Pecq on its history :

The Seine Saint Germain en Laye tourist office on Le Pecq :

There you go folks, a nice chic very residential town with a nice history and beautiful architecture all over, worth the detour. Le Pecq is one to know, and glad now fully in my blog. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 5, 2023

Again Saint Germain en Laye !!!

I used to lived not far from it and came to do market shopping as well as sightseeing on weekends just to see something different, I like to tell you a bit more of royal Saint Germain en Laye, a wonderful town that should be visited more, easy from Paris on the RER A trains, A great historical and architecturally stunning town with an old castle ,beautiful museum ,and nice church. I found me ,again, some pics not in my blog and they should. Therefore, here is my take on my again Saint Germain en Laye !!!, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I have several posts on it so will keep it short and sassy ! The Château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a former residence of the kings of France. The current castle was built under François Ierfrom 1539. Enlarged several times by his successors, it was a royal residence until 1682, when Louis XIV left it definitively for Versailles. On March 8, 1862, an imperial decree acts the creation in the castle of a Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities ,later renamed Museum of National Antiquities, then recently , and still today the Museum of National Archaeology.

SGL chateau back road jun12

However, the during the French revolution, the castle is seized as national property and sold to the former manager who demolishes it, subdivides the land and sells the materials. Today, only the Henri IV Pavilion (a nice restaurant today see post) , the Garden Pavilion, the Sully Pavilion at nearby Le Pecq, a terrace and its two ramps at the end of rue Thiers which overlooks the avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and some vestiges in the cellars of the district ,one at 3 rue des Arcades remained. Pic from Pavillon Henri IV to castle back.


There is a nice Saint-Germain Church  was called at the beginning of the 18C Saint-Germain-de-Paris. Located in front of the castle, this current Church built in 1824, in a neo-classical style inspired by the Paleo basilicas, was restored from 1848 to 1854. The present Church is however closer to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule in Paris. The present Church is the fourth built on the site.It houses the Mausoleum of the King of England, James II (Stuart), exiled to France and greeted by his cousin king Louis XIV. He resided and died at the Château de Saint-Germain,across the street.

SGL ch St Germain right side ext mar12

SGL ch St Germain ceiling ab altar mar12

The Castle/Museum of National Antiquities:

The Seine Saint Germain en Laye tourist office on the castle/museum:

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the Church :

There you go folks, do not miss it next time, worth your time there. Wonderful Saint Germain en Laye, many memories especially from the sights just to come to the market for goodies with the family. The royal town is part of the history of the city and my belle France, Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I

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


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May 5, 2023

The Axe Majeur of Cergy Saint Christophe !!

Let me take you once again out of Paris, and update this older post for me and you, This is not far just over the Val d’Oise dept 95 in the Île de France region west of Paris. I have come by here on my routine road warrior trips with the family and found gems off the beaten path sites ! One of them is the reason of this post, the Axe Majeur ! Hope you enjoy it as I

A true international reference for Urban Art and the “signature” of Cergy-Saint Christophe, the Axe Majeur or Major Axis is an architectural route of more than 3 km. The site reveals the landscape from the Axe Majeur district to the Ham crossroads by offering 12 landscape sequences materialized by symbolic elements. It is an essential walk, a landscape sculpted between mineral and vegetal. Without forgetting the pleasure of the eyes offered by the immense point of view that one discovers from the Twelve Columns before plunging by hundreds of steps towards the Oise river which one crosses by the red footbridge leading to the Leisure center and its ponds. An enchantment… Going down to the left of the Human Rights Gardens, an arboretum is designed as a botanical garden made up of different listed species , about 110 trees of 80 species. Neat visitor paths are drawn to follow either the trail of the bees or a discovery circuit where the trees are classified geographically. About fifty are equipped with explanatory terminals.


This is the creation of artist sculptor Dani Karavan. You have several architectural points here,first is the Tour Belvédere, 36 meters high ( 119 ft) inside there is a stair to the top for magnificent views towards Paris main attractions. Then, you have the Place des Colonnes Hubert Renaud, its circular rounded plaza at 360° angle ,and you go here by passing apartment buildings done by architect Ricardo Bofil.  Follow this with Le Verger, parcs des Impressionists de Camille Pissaro, the painters place, with gardens and fruit trees that in the summer are just delicious to even look. You reach the Esplanade de Paris, the place for gathering and people watching, the stones on the floor are from the Cours Napoléon in the Louvre! ,and the 12 columns are a link to the companies that sponsor this and the Arche du Carrousel by the Louvre. You come to the Terrace, you come to see the Valley of the Seine, and the natural beauty of the area from above with Paris and La Defense just ahead.  Next, the jardins des  Droits de l’Homme Pierre-Mendès-France  or the Human Rights garden, it has trees including an olive tree from Italy representing peace. My Dad right of pic below !!!


Next ,the Amphithéatre Gérard Philipe or amphitheater for events that brings the locals and visitors together. Then comes the Bassin,86 meters wide and 1.20 meters deep link directly to the Oise river, allowed to hold water events in conjunction with the amphitheater.  Now you are in the Passarelle now 251 meters long, that link the amphitheater with the ile Astronomique or astronomic isle and eventually reaching the base de loisirs Cergy-Pontoise (a popular playground park with swim,horse,team sport complexes).  Now you see the ile Astronomique, site of an old sand dunes now itself with scuptures from the world.  The Pyramide, done so that the wind and sun plays a part in its lights, you can only go by boat and navigate inside of it! And you have reach the extreme point in the Carrefour de Ham; about 1,5 km from the Ile Astronomique, The twelfth station guarantees the unity of the Axis by overlooking it throughout its route. The rayon laser vert or green laser beam has a range of 3.2 km and is emitted from the Belvedere Tower, the first station of the Axis, will allow you to see the work and the laser lights ending in a crossroad of routes coming into the City of Cergy-Pointoise.


You don’t even need a car to come here, and its wonderful to view, if you like architectural wonders and natural views this is it for you. The Axe Majeur, is about 30 km from Paris on the A15 road out of porte de Clichy. You can get here from gare Saint Lazare train station direction Cergy-Pontoise and stop at Cergy-St Christophe. Out of station turn left and follow rue de l’abondance for about one km to the Axe Majeur with signs. The Axe Majeur is in the quartier or neightborhood of Saint-Christophe not far from my first job in France, On its upper levels the Place Hubert-Renaud is close to Cergy-Saint-Christophe train station, which is also served by many road public transport lines. Closer to the square and the Esplanade de Paris, several STIVO network bus stops also serve the Axis such as Mondétour on line 40, Rond-Point du Tilleul on lines 40 and 36, Martelet on lines 45 and 3639. A VélO2 self-service bike station, named Axe Majeur, is located on the side of the Esplanade de Paris. The Axis is crossed by rue de Vauréal at the bottom of the stairs, at the end of the Passerelle. However, there is no parking lot nearby. Rue de Vauréal is taken by STIVO bus line 38; no stop serves the Axis directly but the Gency stop is located a little further east. The Passerelle makes it possible in particular to reach a cycle and pedestrian path which runs along the loop of the Oise river on its left bank.Mind you check before coming as above is information only I always come here by car

The official Axe Majeur ;

The city of Cergy its heritage and the Axe Majeur:

The Cergy-Pontoise tourist office on the Axe Majeur :

There you go folks, something different off the beaten path to see outside but near Paris, The Axe Majeur is unique and worth a detour, me think. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all !!!

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May 3, 2023

A stair for a goodbye of an emperor in the Château de Fontainebleau !

I am coming back at you in my fable Fontainebleau to update this older post on a memory of France, The Château de Fontainebleau is a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it. Therefore, let me tell you on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region of my belle France. This post is on the famous Cour du Cheval Blanc and the escalier Fer-à-Cheval.

The Cour du Cheval Blanc, (courtyard of the white horse) also known as the Cour des Adieux (courtyard of the goodbye) or Cour d’Honneur (courtyard of honor) is in a rectangular form, was an old poultry yard then a service courtyard, which very early became a parade court. It acquired its name thanks to a plaster cast of the equestrian statue of Marc Aurèle at the Capitol, installed between 1560 and 1570, disappeared in 1626, and of which a small slab, in the central alley, recalls the location. This courtyard was originally closed by four wings of the castle, the west wing of which, known as the aile de Ferrare or Ferrara wing, was destroyed and replaced by an honor grid with Napoleonic decor such as golden lead eagles, ornaments around the entrance portal , etc made in 1808.

Fontainebleau main entrance PF nov08

The buildings at the back of the courtyard of the white horse retain, from the reign of François I, the sandstone and coated rubble stone constructions, adorned with pilasters and dormers with triangular pediments. From left to right: the pavillon des Armes or   Arms pavilion where the Royal armory was found, the tour de l’Horloge or Clock tower, pavillon des Orgues or the Organs pavilion, the three neighboring spans, and the fourth pavilion. At the level of the pavillon de l’Horloge or Clock pavilion, we can see the Chapelle de la Trinité or Trinity Chapel. The North wing, built around 1530, known as the aile des Ministres or Ministers’ wing, was greatly restored in the 19C. The central pavilion is decorated with  a salamander , a 1878 reconstruction,  and the fireplaces bear the figure of François I. Opposite,  the l’aile Louis XV  or Louis XV  wing which  replaces, in the 18C, the sumptuous gallery of Ulysses designed  by Primatice, the ground floor of which housed shops rented to the privileged merchants who followed the Court. At the southern corner of the entrance gate remains the pavilion which shelters, on the garden side, the grotte des Pins or the cave of Pines. The pillars consist of four rustic Atlanta’s as captives of the rock, put out of harm’s way, and its three arcades sketch triangular pediments.

The famous escalier Fer-à-cheval (horseshoe stair) was built in 1550 by Philibert Delorme, but was redone between 1632 and 1634 by Jean Androuet du Cerceau. It has an appearance comparable to that of the Château d’ Anet (see post), also created by Delorme.


Built at the request of Louis XIII between 1632 and 1634 ,the Fer-à-cheval staircase, with atypical shapes, allows to stage the access to the François I gallery and at the Grands Appartements of the castle. From the reign of king Louis XIV, the staircase served as a grandiose setting to welcome princesses coming to marry a son of France such as the Duchess of Burgundy in 1697, Marie Leszczynska in 1725, Helène de Mecklenburg-Schwerinen in 1837. On April 1814 that the Horseshoe stair becomes legendary and is definitively inscribed as the emblem of Fontainebleau by becoming the theater of the famous farewells of Napoleon I to his guard.

The Cour d’Honneur, closed on three sides and facing west towards the town since the fourth wing was demolished and a gate was created in 1809-1810. This vast courtyard with a uniform layout from the 16C gradually became the main courtyard at the château. Known as “White Horse Courtyard” since it was built, after a horse statue at its center, it is bordered to the east by the iconic Horseshoe staircase wing punctuated by five pavilions which were built between the 16C and 19C. In the north, the Ministers’ wing, built in the 1530s bears the initials of Francis I and his salamander. Facing it, the Louis XV wing, which is taller and boasts brick and stone façades maintains the harmonious colour palette of the courtyard. Construction of the Louis XV wing started in 1739 on the ruins of the Ulysses gallery to house accommodation for the court, and it was only completed in 1773-1774. Since Napoleon I bid farewell to his Old Guard, on 20 April 1814, this courtyard which became the most famous view of the Château de Fontainebleau, was also known as the “Cour des adieux” or goodbye courtyard. See me on top of stairs !


The castle of Fontainebleau on the horseshoe stair:

The Fontainebleau tourist office on the castle’s history and heritage:

For info Friends of the castle or Amis du Château de Fontainebleau:

There you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle since 2003 !! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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May 3, 2023

The bedroom of Anne of Austria of the Château de Fontainebleau !!!

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 of Seine et Marne 77, and becoming Friends of the Castle since 2008. However, I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. This is new text using older pictures from my vault, This time is on a special bedroom , the one of Anne of Austria ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.


The Château de Fontainebleau, a major place in the history of France and an essential monument of French heritage. This royal, then imperial residence, extends its history over more than 8 centuries, and has hosted all the French sovereigns from the Renaissance to the Second Empire, The bedroom/room of Queen Anne of Austria, which is located on the 1st floor of the castle , in the apartment known as the Queens Mothers. This apartment is located in a wing built under François 1er to connect 2 buildings between the Cour d’Honneur and the Cour Ovale. Henri II will convert it into an apartment which will be occupied by his widow Catherine de Médicis , then by the second wife of Henri IV and Queen of France, Marie de Médicis , and finally by Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII and mother of the future King Louis XIV.  It will then welcome the Dauphin under Louis XIV, then distinguished guests, to then be occupied by Mesdames Henriette, Adélaïde and Victoire, the daughters of Louis XV. Split in two under Louis XVI, these apartments will house the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI and future Louis XVIII. In 1804, before his coronation on December 2 of the same year, Napoleon I had them fitted out for Pope Pius VII. Then, King Louis-Philippe of the 1st July Monarchy lodged his son there, while Napoleon III welcomed his cousin there. This is an older picture …you can see the same as the newer above.

Fontainebleau bed of Anne of Austria 15dec07

It is a piece that I find above all impressive. It is very well preserved in its original version from 1660, decorated by Charles Errard and Jean Cotelle for the Queen. It shows what a royal apartment of the 17C was like, with a lot of very beautiful furniture and decors loaded, yes, but really sumptuous. Above the door, notice the portrait of Marie-Thérèse of Austria, wife of Louis XIV and Queen of France, which faces that of Anne of Austria, her mother-in-law done by Gilbert de Séve around 1660. This former bedroom of Anne of Austria has a ceiling and paneling painted with polychrome grotesques by Jean Cotelle. On the walls, two tapestries by the Gobelins of the Triumph of the Gods series: The Triumph of Mars and The Triumph of Religion, on cartoons by Noel Coypel after Jules Romain. The furniture consists of a carved walnut set: a four-poster bed, two bedside tables, two chests of drawers, a console, a sofa, six armchairs, six chairs, two foot stools, delivered in 1860 by the Fourdinois house. The pedestal table ,the work of the Italian marble worker Pietro Martinori in the center of the room, was offered by Pius IX to the Prince Imperial, his godson, and was presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1867. The circular top is covered with a mosaic of marbles found on Palatine Hill (Rome) . In the center of the composition are the arms of the pope. Under the Second Empire, this room was used as a living room. The carved oak bed and seats date from this period and reflect the Renaissance style, while the carpet, also from the 19C, is in the Louis XVI style. The tapestries of the “Triumphs of the Gods” after Noël Coypel were woven at the Gobelins royal factory around 1700.


The official Château de Fontainebleau on the royal apartments:

There you go folks, this is special, a must to visit while in Francethe Château de Fontainebleau that is. So much history of France and Europe , and the World is here, as well as loving architecture. For me is sublime and the bedroom of Anne of Austria is awesome !!! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 2, 2023

The Municipal Theater of Fontainebleau!

I am still around familial and sentimental territory, and I like to update this older post on a curiosity really but worth the detour me think, I tell you a bit on the Municipal Theater ,a nice property very near the famous Château de Fontainebleau. This is the nice Italian style Municipal Theater, which written bits before, but really needs a post of its own. Therefore, here is my take on the Municipal Theater of Fontainebleau. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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 Île 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.

The Fontainebleau tourist office on the Municipal Theater :

The City of Fontainebleau on the Municipal Theater

There you go folks, this is a nice architectural and historical Municipal theater of Fontainebleau, This one is worth a detour away from the castle. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 2, 2023

The Royal Abbey of Longchamp in Paris !

I have found an older picture of something briefly mentioned in my blog that is full of history I like, No, this is something no longer in existance but an important architectural and historical monument of the kingdom of France, I like to tell you anyway about the former Royal Abbey of Longchamp once belonging to Paris 75 in the Île de France region of my belle France. Even if no longer there it has its place in history and my blog, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Royal Abbey of Longchamp, also called Convent or Abbaye de l’Humilité Notre-Dame, is a former monastery founded in 1255 by Isabelle of France, sister of Saint Louis, in the parish of Auteuil on the northern limits of Longchamp, the communal field of the hamlet of Menus lès Saint-Cloud which then stretches between the right bank of the Seine and the forest of Rouvray, present day Paris, Symbol of the disruption of convents that have become worldly and of the confinement of rebel daughters to their fathers, it was destroyed during the French revolution. Its site is occupied today by the Hippodrome de Longchamp and the Château de Longchamp.

The monastery of Longchamp was completed in 1259. It welcomed the first Poor Clares of the obedience of Saint-Damien, who came from the Abbey of the Daughters-of-Saint-Damien-d’Assise in Reims, on June 23, 1260. Inspired by the rule written by Saint Clare, Isabelle herself composed a rule, a little less severe, approved by Pope Alexander IV on February 2, 1259. Saint Bonaventure, Minister General of the Franciscans and other friars preached several times at Longchamp and wrote a treatise on spiritual life dedicated to Isabelle , From 1260, Isabelle came to settle in a small house, built for her in the enclosure of the monastery, to share the life and prayer of the sisters , Isabelle died on February 23, 1270. She was buried in the monastery church. After the death of Saint Louis in Tunis the same year, Charles of Anjou, brother of the king and Isabelle, asked a lady-in-waiting of Isabelle to write her life, in view of her canonization. Agnès d’Harcourt published this hagiographic account around 1280, but Isabelle was not beatified until 1521 by Pope Leo X, In February 1319, King Philippe V le Long, whose sister received the first name of Isabelle, built the foundation stone of the nearby church of Notre Dame de Boulogne. He died at Longchamp on January 3, 1322, In November 1461, by his letters patent, Louis XI renewed the royal protection granted by his predecessors to the monastery,

In the 18C, the abbey of Longchamp was a very popular place to stroll , On February 26, 1790, the nuns received an expulsion order; on September 17, 1792 the precious objects and sacred ornaments of the chapel were removed, and on October 10-12, 1792 the nuns left the monastery. The abbey was put up for sale in 1794 and then, having found no buyer, was demolished , Part of the ruins were used to build the staircase known as the hundred steps, to access the calvary of Mont Valérien (see post) , In the 1850s the current Bois de Boulogne was created, which in 1856 annexed the Longchamp estate. The following year, the farm buildings of the old abbey and the remains of the surrounding wall were demolished. All that remains of the abbey is ultimately a mill, located north of the Longchamp racecourse, the former dovecote, integrated into the domain of the Château de Longchamp, and a small tower in ruins, hidden in the undergrowth, near Route des Moulins , Near the historical site of the abbey, the name of Chemin de l’Abbaye brings to mind its memory. This path led from the abbey to the Seine, from where the ferry from Suresnes led to the rue du Bac in Suresnes. Fallen into disuse, it disappeared in 1837 in favor of the pont de Suresnes bridge,(see post) built further south in the following century.


The mill or moulin (see pic) was built around 1312 in wood and later in stone in the 19C, It is used today to pump water to the Cascade de Boulogne (see post) inside the land of the racecourse almost exactly where originally build, And more, there are many others buried in the abbey such as Marie de Beaujeu, Blanche de France, daughter of king Philippe V, and first French princess to join an monarchail order, Madeleine de Bretagne ,sister of Francis II duke of Bretagne/Brittany, Agnés de Harcourt II daugher of Jean I companion of Saint Louis, Jean II de Dreux aka the Good,son of Robert IV de Dreux , and Jeanne de Navarre, daughter of Count of Evreux Philippe III after his death assumes the throne of Navarre,amongst others.

The Paris tourist office on the mill of Longchamp :

The Paris tourist office on the racecourse of Longchamp

The Paris tourist office on the Bois de Boulogne :

There you go folks, a wonderful memory of my belle France, I used to drive by every day when working in Suresnes, The Royal Abbey of Longchamp is part of the history of France and I like it, Again ,hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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