Posts tagged ‘Paris’

January 18, 2019

Toys Museum of Poissy!

So now bring you back to childhood, I think we all have in us forever. I told you this was a nice town easily reach from Paris on the RER A once out of station turn right go up the hilly road past the Collegiale Church and you see the panel indicating the Toy Museum of Poissy or the Musée du Jouet Pierre Pinel of Poissy.

This is a magical children place and young adults who remember playing with some of these toys in years past. I brought my boys here and they were eye open all the time at the marvels here. Of course, this is for young children especially I would say less than 14, generally. But,did I said, adults young at heart can enjoy it too, lol; then bring on all the family. It is fun and worth the detour in nice Poissy.

The Musée du Jouet Pierre Pinel or the Pierre Pinel Toy Museum, named after the mayor in place at the time, is located in Poissy, Yvelines, dept 78 not far from the Collegiale Church (see other post) and dedicated to toys and children’s games. It is housed in the 14C poterie of the old abbey of Poissy, the former Royal Priory of Saint Louis, dismantled after the French revolution. It presents about 800 games and toys dated between 1850 and 1950, demonstrating a way of playing sometimes gone, but mostly timeless, beyond fashion and technology. They are industrial toys, mostly French and German, widely distributed from the middle of the 19C.


Created and opened in 1974 by Pierre Pinel from where the name of the complete museum is the Toy Museum Pierre Pinel, which during the period of construction and inauguration was the mayor of the city of Poissy. In July 2016 the Toy Museum closes its doors for modernization, reopening scheduled for May 11, 2019!


On the first floor, a room that reminds the granaries of our grandparents, restores full of treasures: Electric train networks, doll after experiencing a hectic life. We discover, for the joy of the little ones as the greatest:p orcelain dolls, shop, Teddy bear, rocking horses, cars, electric trains and many other surprises. The presentation of the collections is regularly renewed around thematic exhibitions which allow to evoke slices of the history of the city.

Playgrounds are arranged throughout the course for a playful and interactive visit and numerous animations, workshops and shows are offered throughout the year to the family public.  An interactive kiosk shows ancient magic tricks.  Animations and temporary exhibitions with workshops, magic and puppet shows help to animate this already pleasant visit. Games courses are offered according to the ages.  Art workshops and the traditional egg hunt during the Easter holidays. During the summer holidays, open-air workshops. Collections evolve and new objects are regularly presented to the public.




Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Poissy on Toy Museum

Tourist office of Poissy on Toy Museum

Tourist office of dept 78 Yvelines on Toy Museum

There you go something light and fun with the whole family and so close yet so far from Paris it is not well known to visitors. It should be another shot if coming with young children is a must , I say. The Toy Museum of Poissy!

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



January 18, 2019

Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy!

So I am back to familiar territory in the region of Ile de France! and department 78 of the Yvelines!! Well ,I have written a lot on the city of Poissy in my blog but glancing over it seems was all very general . I need to start remedying that now.

I like to start by telling you a bit more of the Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy. First of all, very easy to get to from Paris on the RER A line and once there go out station turn right and walk up the street ,you will see the big Gothic Church in front of you! Never time it ,but should be less than 10 minutes walking. This will be a long post sorry, but the place merits it, and I even cut a lot, so its the best possible condensed post I can do. Enjoy it, it is very nice indeed.

Notre-Dame Collegiale Church  is a parish Catholic Church located in Poissy, department no 78, Yvelines,of the Ïle de France region. It was founded by King Robert the Pious around 1016, but from the 11C church, only the western steeple-porch survives. Indeed, the Collegiate Church was rebuilt from the beginning of the 12C, in particular between 1130 and 1160, in the late Romanesque style, and later in the primitive Gothic style, which manifests itself in the eastern parts. The future king Louis IX (Saint Louis) was baptized, a few days after his birth in Poissy, on April 25, 1214. This event is the celebrity of the Church, and the baptismal fonts of that time are still preserved there. Although it has undergone numerous transformations and restorations since its construction in the 12C, this Church is not only the richest monument of the city’s heritage, but also remains one of the few witnesses to the development of Romanesque art and its transition to Gothic art. The Church bears the name of Collegiale because it housed a college of canons until the French revolution. It was the object of several restoration campaigns in the 19C, notably by Viollet-le-Duc.



A bit of history I like

The Church may be a successor to a first Merovingian cult Site, of which they  have found numerous fragments of stone cutters, capitals and bases at 60 cm below the paving. However, the base seems rather Roman, but the base could actually go back to the 7C. The Church had in any case been founded by King Robert the Pious around 1016.  Few episodes of the history of the Collegiate Church are known, the most important of which is the baptism of St. Louis, a few days after his birth on April 25, 1214, in Poissy. The baptismal fonts used at this Christening took the status of a relic after the canonization of Saint Louis in 1297. They have always been respected, but the numerous samplings of fragments to provide relics necessitated a profound restoration in 1630, an occasion to which they were brought back to the Saint-Louis Chapel, where they see themselves behind a grid. Saint-Louis never forgot the Church where he had been baptized, and founded a Mass for the birthday of his parents in 1238, then a Chapel in 1250. The first priest was installed , it was Mathurin Giquerel, Doctor of Theology of the Sorbonne, a dignified and virtuous man of Breton origin. The chapter experienced only an important reform during its long existence, and continued until the French revolution. Under the whole of the old regime (royals) , Poissy was the seat of the archdeaconry of the Pincers’ of the Diocese of Chartres, and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame its spiritual center. The Church was reportedly burned during the Hundred Years ‘ War, and was partly rebuilt and enlarged in the late 15C and 16C. During the second War of Religion, in 1567, the Church was ravaged by the Huguenots, and to escape, inhabitants were forced to take refuge in the attic for more than two weeks. Some changes have been made to the classical period, but little is left. On the eve of the French revolution, the chapter was abolished and the Church soon closed to worship, and the Church of the Saint-Louis Priory  became the only parish Church in the city, except during the prohibition of worship under the reign of terror in the French revolution. With the Concordat (ending the terrors of the French revolution) of 1801, Poissy was integrated into the new diocese of Versailles, corresponding to the old department of Seine-et-Oise (now Yvelines mostly).



A bit brief on the construction of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame. It is irregularly oriented towards the southwest on the side of the façade, the Church consists mainly of a central vessel of six long bar spans, accompanied by aisles and Chapels or other annexes; Of a five-pans apse; there is the  ambulatory; a square-planar axis Chapel dating from the 1860’s; and two Chapels oriented flanking the first and last span of the ambulatory, each with a straight span and an apse in the hemicycle. The nave is preceded by one of the two steeples, the ground floor of which was initially an open porch on three sides. Two stair turrets flank the bell tower, one to the north and one to the south. The Chapel of the Baptismal font occupies the angle between the steeple and the north side, and like all the spans of this aisle, it is flanked by a Chapel on the north side. This row of seven Chapels does not form a second aisle, because all the bays are enclosed. The rest of the Church is hunched over with simple warheads. A second steeple rises above the last span of the nave.

A bit more longer description of the interior of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame.  The nave is particularly heterogeneous. After the Hundred Years War, at the end of the 15C  and early 16C, the only changes were the  north elevation, except the sixth span. This reshuffle uses the flamboyant Gothic style. The second reshuffle occurred around the middle of the 16C, and concerns the first three bays on the south side, as well as the vaults of the first three bays. But everything that seems to date from the beginning of the 12C and displays the Romanesque style, is in reality in very large part the result of the reconstruction. The Organ tribune, which appears to be very archaic, and the 12C reconstruction is characterized by an elevation on three levels, with the floor of the large arcades, the triforium floor and the upper windows. The large arcades, the triforium, the triforium bays, the high windows, the double arches and the warheads are in full hanger. The vault keys are not decorated and show a small aperture. Apart from certain details, the nave of the Collegiate Church can be brought closer to the other large Romanesque Churches of the region built at the beginning of the vaulting of warheads styles.

The north side with its row of Chapels represents the most homogeneous part of the Church, but apart from the supports of the large arcades, all dates from the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C. The chapels of the fourth and fifth spans are particularly distinguished by Baroque woodwork of great quality.  The last three spans of the south aisle are the last ones that still exhibit, at least in large part, their 12C provisions. The sacristy had been abandoned in the 18C and arranged in the Chapel facing south of the apse, but its location is the original.  The choir or chorus is oriented in the direction of the sun rising on August 15 (Assomption), is not in the axis of the nave. This is a very common observation that can be made in most Churches built successively at the site of an older church. Although in the case of a collegiate church and therefore of an ecclesiastical chapel where the liturgy involved a whole college of canons, the choir is small and is reduced to the apse. In the absence of a transept whose crusader often houses the high altar, it must be assumed that the last two bays of the nave were originally attached to the liturgical choir, and separated from the rest of the nave by a grate. The apse has two roughly straight sections and a bedside in the hemicycle, composed of only three pans. Thus, the apse communicates with the ambulatory by five large arcades.

The ambulatory represents, the most interesting part of the Church. This applies to the arrangement of the exterior walls, for the vaulting of original edges and for the very particular plane. It has no radiant Chapels, but primitively an alternation between square Chapels, including the first and last completed by an apse in the hemicycle, and walls facing the outside. The north-facing Chapel had been rebuilt in the flamboyant period with a prism-ribbed vault. The apsidal of the Chapel is in large part authentic. Quite spacious, it has a decoration consistent with that of the ambulatory. The vault of warheads is four-pointed, and the profile seems authentic: it is the same as in the apse, namely a net between two torus. The south-facing chapel, dedicated to St. Louis, has never been altered, and its plan is quite regular. As for the axe Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin, it was once an admirable construction of the second half of the 13C or the beginning of the 14C, in a radiant style reminiscent of the Sainte-Chapelle (Paris). Destroyed everything in the 1860’s, the demolition of the Chapel is regrettable, especially since it was not detrimental to the homogeneity of the Church, and that its state would have allowed a restoration, still envisaged by the Viollet -le-Duc in 1844. The present Chapel is inspired by the apsidials, but larger, with five pans and three windows.

The oldest capitals are naturally found in the base of the western steeple, which dates back to the late 11C, especially on the east side. In the nave, there are curiously more recent capitals under the fifth and sixth largest arcade in the north. It can be dated from the beginning of the 12C, while the construction of the nave progressed from west to east, and the last spans were only started around 1130. At the back of the façade, at the beginning of the big arcades of the South, appears the first marquee of a second type, evoking, as also the bedside in the big lines. In the apse, the only capitals that were not redone in the 19C are those to the east of the sixth pile of the north, as well as those of the four free columns of the apse roundabout. The sculpture of their large baskets is remarkable, and they are decorated with two registers of ribbed leaves, palmettos of a large drawing, long rods linked two by two in the center or under the angles of the stone cutter. The design and composition are of great originality, and the style is of uncommon vigor. The bay capitals of the central steeple are also remarkable.

The tribune Organ was commissioned in 1903. Its instrumental part was made by Charles Mutin, successor of Aristide Cavaillon-Coll. Its Gothic buffet was designed by the architect of historical monuments, Camille Formigé, who had been responsible for the last restoration campaign of the Church between 1884 and 1896. The columns of stone supporting the tribune were carved by Geoffroy.

And why not a bit more on the exterior of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame de Poissy.  The western steeple, originally a steeple-porch, is one of the oldest steeples in the region among those of a certain size. The steeple is square and flanked by two orthogonal buttresses at each angle, which are strictly vertical and punctuated by the same drip present on the walls. Between two buttresses, the salient angles of the steeple remain free, which is not common. The ground floor only has small rectangular openings, and the first floor is also very discreet, with a unique rectangular window off the west side. The second floor is located at the same level as the upper windows of the nave, and originally had two rectangular bays, regularly spread over the three free sides. To the north and south, they are partly clogged by the two stair turrets.


A nave with three levels of elevation requires buttresses, which were not yet developed at the end of the Romanesque period, and appear only in the mid-12C. To the north, the wall of the nave ends with a frieze of foliage similar to that found inside, under a cornice formed by a succession of prismatic moldings. In the south, the first three bays were given a new cornice in the classical period. On the outside, the authenticity of the various elements is therefore not more assured than inside, and this also applies to the flamboyant architecture of the chapels of the north aisle and the sacristy in front of the last two bays of the south aisle. At the top, God the Father (beheaded during the French revolution) emerges from a cloud holding a globe in one hand. Rays of light descend from all sides, and reach a vase with two handles, from which a long leafy stem that carries three fleurs de Lys springs. A dove in the middle of the rays illustrates the Holy Spirit, and the rays themselves are the grace of God that he sends from the top of heaven. The flower that is the recipient is an allegory of purity and virginity, and symbolizes the Virgin Mary. The ensemble is therefore a symbolic representation of the Annunciation

The second Louis XII-style portal is wider and has two doors in a basket cove separated from a thomas whose jagged foliage and flamboyant-style monsters, overlapped already on the lower legs of the underside, at pilasters Italianate announcing the first Renaissance. Three niches with statues flank the doors, and still sheltered the Virgin and two angels in 1805. They were repainted same  year, but have disappeared since. The central steeple is, without a doubt, the most beautiful element of Poissy’s architecture.  Its north face was uplifted this time with respect for the authenticity of the monument, as between 1844 and 1850 during the restoration of the large arcades. The octagonal stump of the bell tower is pierced with a single undecorated, North and south window, which inwardly opens under a broken discharge arch. Between two modillions, a palmettos décor in bas-relief appears. Two seats above open the bays of the belfry floor. They are in the full hanger and number of two on the faces facing the cardinal points. The other faces are narrower and leave room for only one bay. The choir, the style is allegedly that of the 13C. As for the oriented Chapels, the windows of the square span were initially placed at the same height as the windows of the Apsidials, they had only one buttress instead of two, and the angles of the buttresses were not filled with balusters.


Some of the nice things to notice at the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame at best me think other than the Baptismal font of Saint Louis are:

The stone Altar adorned with eight characters under arches lobed and hooks, 94 cm high and 245 cm wide, dating from the first half of the 14C and apparently coming from the church Priorale Saint-Louis. The group carved in limestone representing the burial, also known as Holy Sepulchre, 140 cm high and 180 cm wide, mentioned for the first time in 1522.  The group carved in polychrome walnut wood representing the education of the Virgin by St. Anne, high of 137 cm and dating from the near end 15C to 16C. The stone statue of St. John the Baptist, 186 cm high and dating from the 14C, the stone statue of St. Barbara, 140 cm high and dating from the first half of the 16C; the tower on the left is its attribute, the palm in her left hand is the symbol of the Martyrs. The stone statue of Isabelle of France, daughter of St. Louis, high of 130 cm and dating from around 1300, comes from the rood of the Church of the Priory Saint-Louis de Poissy. The stone statue of St. Peter , high of 160 cm and probably dating from the 17C. The stone statue of Saint Louis teenager, high of 170 cm, dating from 1932. It bears the coat of arms of the city of Poissy.  The painted wooden statue of the Virgin, 130 cm high and probably dating from the first quarter of the 16C, was distorted by a smooth polychrome that makes it seem like a statue of the 19C, but the stylistic closeness with the statue of St. Barbara indicates the actual age of the statue, which remains to be confirmed during a restoration. The stone statue of the Ecce Homo or Christ with links, high of 185 cm and dating from the 17C. The statue of the Virgin and the Seated Child called Notre-Dame de Poissy, inspired by the seal of the Collegiate chapter, work of Manuela, her real name Anne de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duchess of Uzès, high of 140 cm and dating from 1892. The stone statuette of a praying, perhaps a donor, with a inscription of dedication in Latin, high of 50 cm and dating from 1553. Most of the burial slabs were sealed in the Western Wall. Most of the paintings are hung in the Chapels, and poorly visible in these dark spaces.

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

City of Poissy on the Church in French

Tourist office of Poissy on the Church in French

Tourist office dept 78 Yvelines on the Church at Poissy in French

Note the sites above are in French, nowdays easily translated for a fuller enjoyment and more information. This is a nice Notre Dame Collegiale Church and the area around it is very nice and more things to see in Poissy.

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






January 17, 2019

Schoolboys in France, our take!

So on a cold night in the Morbihan Breton, I like to be a bit nostalgic of my previous home in France. This is my 16th year living here and 19th as citizen of France. Basically, broken down evenly now between the Yvelines 78 (ïle de France), and the Morbihan 56 (Bretagne).

One subject dear to me and the family I have not touch in my blog yet, and its about time, is the question of schooling for the kids. I have 3 boys now young men. When I first had the idea from my dear late wife Martine (French native of Meaux ,Seine-et-Marne 77, ïle de France), the first thing we thought was the schooling for the boys. Back in the previous old home of Florida there were in A rated schools by the School system there so we wanted to stay the same in France.

We went out and spoked with the French family on the schooling and was a bit surprise of the strict ruling as compare to what we knew. Also, the easy school days as they are no substitute teachers here, and kids are sent home. The homework was constant every day! In all subjects!

We found out it was true. We ,also, got in touch with the American community in Paris which is numerous and we are acquainted. They refered us to the AAWE organisation or tha Association of American Women in Europe. They published a book detailing the differences and equalities of the US and French educational systems that was invaluable.

The landing was easy ,soft and we found out our boys were getting good notes from the start. Due in fact for the training at home with the mother, an import/export custom agent who was very good of grammar , an important subject in French schools.

We got in and found out the schools ;free public schools were better in the smaller towns in Yvelines. I do not want to give away all the addresses but will put some pictures here of younger days.

verneuil sur seine

The schooling in towns like Verneuil-sur-Seine on the college John Zay was super and the staff always gave us compliments of our boys. It was a nice trip for them fully enjoyed with the bus and train as it is usual here. It gives you freedom. Here all 3 boys came together the college is like a middle school back in the USA; they spent all here in France.

les mureaux

Then, came the Lycée or high school Blanche de Castille in the nearer town of Le Chesnay It was fantastic! We really enjoy it and the nearby Bel Air complex with many friends meeting on the park, and a miniature statue of the Eiffel tower! The bus system was the same as the one in Versailles so very convenient and the boys love it.

le chesnay


Then came big decisions. The university system here as compare to the USA is very weak, but practically free. The ones we saw near us were about 500 euros per year! Most of the best jobs are had in the Grande Ecoles and they are like Ivy league schools ,very expensive. I had experience with universities and my skills were home grown , not too positive about universities; I think they are just business. My opinion of course.

Therefore, I told my boys to choose: univ or special technical schools that provide a skill and a job. They chose the later one.

My boys were split with my twins going into specialized schools in gardening:building: plumbing, and wood work which gave them job experiences . France does not have a system of funnelling the students into jobs so the youth unemployment is very high unofficially at 25% .The yound spent a lot of time in interim, training jobs for long periods and unemployment until finally with lots of work experience they can land a permanent job. They are now on the right track and getting paid for it.


My oldest boy, went to commercial business school , very good CFA Affida at La Verriére 78 Yvelines. Here he got his commerce training as he wanted to go into Sales and did had the chance to work at the Chateau de Versailles and the gift stores across from the rive gauche train station in Versailles. Moving over to Bretagne, he went to the IBEP Vannes. Now getting his driving license and search for a permanent job in the meantime he gets support income from the mission locale who puts him into training program by working alongside local businesses for more time on the job and training for eventually getting a permanent job. The CFA Affida:

The IBEP Vannes:

la verriere


The life here is nice and friendly but the will to excel is a bit behind. If you have experience then coming will be no problems I found mine before arriving for a big CAC 40 company in management and have not stopped.   For the young, its an uphill battle.


le roc saint andre

So this is nothing compare to what we get here ,however, as free persons, we know the job market in France is not the best and needs a lot of improvements. Maybe the yellow vests (jilets jaunes) can do something about it!

The Great Debate  or Grand Débat is on in France at the mayor’s office level and creating lots of suggestions in a truly democratic way where the citizens participate. The online site is to be functional by January 21st so they said.

Hope it gives you another look on France from a worldly person and experiences on both sides of the pond! I lived 31 years in the USA between NJ and FL!

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




January 17, 2019

Some news from France CCXVI

And I am back on my regular news coverage of France , my take, my opinion, my tastes. Today is sunny!!! temp 6C or about 45F no rain of course just lovely in my beautiful Morbihan breton 56. In eternal Paris is about the same at 43F as well as in my beloved Versailles.

Let me tell you the latest news on my belle France.

There are three weeks of filming in Paris for the production of Roman Polanski’s film, “J’Accuse or I Accuse”, a feature film devoted to the Dreyfus affair with the principal actors Jean-Dujardin and Louis Garrel. The shooting started last November 26th to end on March 7, 2019 for allow a release in early December 2019. The Church of Saint-Germain L’ Auxerrois, was in the spotlight. Inside, while a huge luminous veil occupies the top of the church, an ambient mist creates an atmosphere of the end of the 19C. J’ accuse, the tribune of Emile Zola, denouncing one of the largest anti-Semitic cases in France, starring Louis Garrel in the role of Captain Dreyfus, accused of espionage. Jean-Dujardin is Colonel Marie-Georges Picquart, head of counter-espionage, who will eventually discover that the evidence against Dreyfus was false. More here in Allôcine:

In this period of Epiphany (I am a bit late sorry), the galette de Rois is in the spotlight on all the displays of our bakeries. This winter pastry, more commonly known as Parisienne, makes the happiness of the 7 to 77 years old. Glazed, caramelized or creamy, these artisans of the capital revisit in their own way this traditional dessert, of the New Year. At Douceurs et Traditions, 85, rue Saint-Dominique, 7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg. At Karamel Paris, 67, rue Saint-Dominique ,7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg.  And  Un Glace à Paris, 15, rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie , 4éme, Metro Hôtel de Ville.

Webpages for above pâtisseries :

Beans and patties of kings are the inseparable of the pastry. Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Château de Chambord ( dept Loir-et-Cher), slips in his patties, beans with the effigies of historical figures, such as François I and Louis XIV, who contributed to the fame of the castle. Gluttony, the beans of the houses Hugo and Victor ,7éme and Karamel Paris, 7éme celebrate the desserts with unpublished pieces. More sporting, the 11 winning and red beans of the boutique Un Glace à Paris 4éme, will make you meet Emmanuel Petit, world Champion 98 and Emmanuel Ryon, best worker of France, to celebrate together the Epiphany. The wine of course will be white, and sweet enough to embrace the sweetness of the dessert. A semi-dry Champagne; or a muted Muscat ,whose fermentation was brutally halted by adding pure alcohol are in order.

A story of France and the people that belongs as French. 1954,the cold envelops France, at Saint-Denis, Smaïl, a worker, is sleeping outside, at minus 13 °C, on the site where he works. A few steps away from the location of the future Stade de France, where 44 years later, his son, help gave the football World Cup for France in 1998; his son Zinedine Zidane. Histoire d’Une Nation or Stories of a nation,will be projected this Thursday evening today 20h15  at the cinema L’Ecran  in Saint-Denis. This series in four episodes was aired in September and October last on France 2 TV. It interweaves the little stories and the great, drawing the portrait of a France that was built, sometimes in pain, according to successive waves of immigration, from 1870 to 2005. This suburb, where the generations of immigrants from Spain, Italy, Algerians, Malians mingled, inevitably fed the work. The film also gives the floor to immigrants and children of immigrants from Marseille, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand… There is a common history, a French history that has not been told. And from this point of view, the Seine-Saint-Denis is not atypical, Free entrance.More here in French:

During the night of 12 or 13 October 1973, five wooden sculptures dating from the 16C and 18C were stolen. Only Sainte-Anne and the Virgin could be found. Forty-six years after being stolen from Houdan, a statue representing St. Anne and the Virgin will return to her place in  the Church of St. James (St Jacques) the Major of Houdan. The statue of Sainte-Anne and the Virgin, with a height of 94 cm in polychrome wood, was to be auctioned  last December 8th by a sales hall which has a street-corner in Heidelberg (Germany) for a starting price of 6 000€. Luckily it was found before the sale by Eurojust an European service tracking these stolen goods. In a similar story, a statue of St. Christopher in Wood, stolen from the church of Cergy-Village in Cergy (Val-d’oise 95) in November 1973, resurfaced last October. The work was spotted in Frankfurt (Germany) when it was to be sold. Be aware of what you buy in these markets in Europe.

A WWII bomb was discovered on the site of the future Tramway line 13. The bomb discovered in St Cyr l’Ecole, right next to the train station. It’s an English bomb dating back to WWII, weighing 500 pounds or about 250 kg and 115 kg of explosives, this bomb, in the event of an explosion, could cause a crater 4 meters wide and 3 meters deep by projecting splinters within a radius of 300 meters. This kind of discoveries remains rather common in this area.More from the agglo area here in French:

A chemical transformation, more accurately, carried out by micro-organisms, bacteria, yeast or mold on the sugar in the absence of oxygen. And now it gives us the three pillars of French gastronomy: bread, cheese and wine. Moreover, two of them (hint: not the cheese) symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The fermentation holds the divine. When it is controlled by the human hand, fermentation gives a more complex taste to the food and keeps it longer. It’s useful. Enjoy it the tip.More in French from the La Revue du Vin de France:,fermentation-definition-dictionnaire-du-vin-vocabulaire-lexique,10355,4025490.asp

In the opinion of professional buyers like designers, Paris offers this season the most beautiful stage for the fashion of men. The American, British and Japanese labels feast on the public. Fashion Weeks, from last Tuesday night, first day of parades in the city.  56 shows (10 more compared to the previous edition) , and 26 presentations, 15 nationalities are on the program until  this coming Sunday evening, making once again (and even more than ever) Paris the great capital of men’s fashion; definitively, Paris is a springboard to fame and fashion for the youngest but especially for the most adventurous. The LVMH brand is set up under the dome of the Opéra Garnier; where the men’s fashion has never paraded. The company eco-friendly Lime will make available to the small world of fashion, a fleet of electric scooters, in partnership with Paris Fashion Week. More here in French on the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode:

The first 12 cars sold in France are indeed produced by one of the two French car groups,no surprise very local mindset. The top 3 is made up of the Renault Clio, followed by the Peugeot 208 and the compact SUV Peugeot 3008. In fourth position , the first model of the Citroën C3. Next comes the entry-level model of the low-cost Dacia manufacturer, the Sandero. In sixth place is the Renault  Captur, followed by  the Peugeot 2008 and the compact 308. Dacia Duster in 9th, Renault Twingo ,10th, Renault Megane ,11th and Citroën C3 Aircross 12th. The first foreign car on the list is German. This is the Volkswagen Polo, which is followed by a Japanese: the Toyota Yaris produced in France in Valenciennes! . Follow again by locals Peugeot 5008 and the Renault Kadjar. A second Volkswagen, the Golf, slips to 17th place, been the most sold car in Europe, and due for a generation change this year. The 18th place is occupied by the Opel Corsa which will also change generation this year. It will be developed on the platform of DS3 Crossback and Peugeot 208, Opel being passed into the lap of PSA. In the penultimate position is the small Fiat 500. The Ford Fiesta manages to climb to 20th place.Of course, I am a Ford lover, but not the Fiesta, mine  done in Saarbruken and Valencia!  According to the French Automobile Manufacturers Assoc or CCFA:

My Ford dealer has invited me to a party this coming Saturday with food and drinks and maybe can get another deal from my salesperson lol!! Always out you never know…Stay tune ::)

The company Novaxia is planning to reallocate the phantom metro station Croix Rouge into a culinary space. Located in the 6éme arrondissement, the station will be transformed into a Halle halfway between an underground market and a restaurant with a cocktail bar on long quays of 75 meters. Another project is the Le Chai subaquatique or the underwater cellar; here not only can you have a drink (or two) but you can dive! Led by Winereef , the project includes a diving pit, a food market and urban agriculture garden. Réservoirs de Passy 16éme arrondissement. These and more new to paris at Reinventer Paris webpage :

Do not recall if told you before but a classic is coming nearer me at Montparnasse (my entry point to Paris for the last few years).

It’s the Bouillon, the real, the only, the first in the matter.At the bottom of a small courtyard, the Bouillon Chartier captivated by its beauty preserved since 1896. Here is all the traditional French cuisine that is in the spotlight with low prices that make the house proud. And this, the group Joulie (owner of the Bouillon Chartier) understood it well, since a second  Bouillon  will open its doors at 59, boulevard de Montparnasse. More here:

The Le Chalet des îles on an island in the Bois de Boulogne, is since its creation under Napoleon III,  been a high-level spot for meetings. In the evening for  the social evenings and the day to sink into one of those armchairs by the fireside. As a country house that you would never want to leave, you can stay for hours to enjoy the quiet, yet so close to Paris. Le Chalet des ïles; 14, Chemin de Ceinture du Lac Inférieur 16éme arrondissement, open very day from noon to 22h30.  Webpage here:

We are painting you think of period furniture, grand piano and monumental chimney. You want some more? At the bar of the hotel Aubusson you can spend the evening enjoying the Jazz concerts (from Wednesday to Saturday evening) sipping a whisky by the fire. For the workers (or the most connected) the WiFi is free. Café Laurent, 33, rue Dauphine 6éme arrondissement, open daily from 12h to Midnight. Webpage here:

On a non tourist news, I close out this news bulletin,  but me think worth telling you.  On Saturday 12 January at 9h (9am), a violent explosion caused by a gas leak erupted in the Boulangerie Hubert at rue de Trévise in the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. Since then, the city Hall of Paris has indicated that 6 Parisian buildings are at risk of collapse. Nine buildings are temporarily banned from occupancy, six of which threaten to collapse. The city of Paris remains fully mobilized in support of the victims. At the request of the mayor of Paris, they will all benefit from an accompaniment in their rehousing. They will also do everything they could to facilitate their efforts, particularly with regard to insurance. The commitment is clear: they will be at their side in this very difficult moment and we will not leave anyone without accommodation solution, City of Paris, the eternal city. A tribute was given this Thursday to Simon Cartannaz and Nathanael Josselin, the two firefighters killed in the explosion of the rue de Trévise in Paris. The Barracks Champerret,(HQ of firefighers brigades of Paris)  in the 17éme arrondissement of  Sergeant Simon Cartannaz and Corporal Nathanael Josselin had a farewell emotional tribute to these under 30 men who risk all to save, according to police more than 20 lives here. RIP

Enjoy your visit to our eternal Paris  you are in good hands here. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




January 17, 2019

One personal touch ,Au Trappiste!

So on a cold wintery day in my neck of the Breton woods I like to come back to Paris again as I am lucky to do. If new to the blog, well worked for almost 10 years in Paris(75) while living in Versailles(78)…I now, live in the Morbihan (56) near Vannes, in Brittany for the last 8 years.

I used to hang out a lot in the city and written several pieces on shopping, eating, and drinking there. However, I sometimes become inspired or nostalgic about some spots very personal. I have been here to eat, drink, meet collegues and friends and participate in group organisations in Paris for many years at least since 2004. So let me tell you a bit more on the Au Trappiste. Too many to choose from in Paris but we all have our favorite even if just visiting.

First ,a bit on the history I like on this corner of Paris.

The rue Saint-Denis, located in the 1éme and 2éme arrondissements of Paris, is one of the oldest streets of Paris. Its axis is drawn from the 1C by the Romans, and it was the triumphant way of the Royals entrance in the capital. It is 1334 meters long, and was named because it is the road that leads directly from the Pont au Change bridge to the city of Saint-Denis, where is located the Basilica St Denis, necropolis of the kings of France.. This old road of Saint-Denis, was really named in honor of Saint Denis , who came from Italy around 250 or 270 A.D. with six companions to evangelize France. He was said to have been the first bishop of Paris (Lutèce), the Apostle of Gauls.

The street is line up parallel to the boulevard of Sébastopol and the rue Saint-Martin, and is part of the 1éme arrondissement or district in the quartier or neighborhood of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois, for the part between the Avenue Victoria and the Rue de Rivoli, neighborhood of Les Halles for the part between the rue de Rivoli and the rue Étienne-Marcel and from the 2éme arrondissement, rue Étienne-Marcel in the Bonne-Nouvelle neighborhood of bd Saint-Denis. During the French revolution, it was called Rue de Franciade.

The brewery bar is closer to Place du Châtelet to the Seine river.  Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis, open from 11h to 02h Monday thru Sunday and from 11h to 04h on Fridays and Saturdays. Here you are in Belgium with the monks; lots of good beer, simple good portions of food, moules or mussels and fries,and grill sausages. The first or ground floor is more noisy ,the second or upper floor more calm and better views!of Chatelet. no web but its just by the metro exit and rue de Rivoli. Best way is the metro ,the RER is too crowded to get here. OF course, I came by car and lovely parking at Châtelet too. One of my showcase hangouts in Paris. You , also, can get here on RER B and RER D Châtelet-Les Halles, as well as Metro lines 1 ,4, 7, 11, and 14 and your nice above ground bus line 21,70,72,4,74,75,and 85 stop Châtelet.


Dedicated mainly to Belgian beers, the Au Trappiste, of course offers many beverages from all over the world. No less than 120 bottled beers (including the majority of Trappist beers that are brewed in the world) and twenty drafts beers. Rare beers are found here too. On the plate side, they work on classic but well made dishes such as choucroutte (saukraut), french fries, steaks, burgers, croque monsieurs (ham and cheese sandwiches), mussels,sausages, etc.


dear memories of Au Trappiste with my dear late wife Martine my mamie blue!

The brewery bar resto Au Trappiste is on the south end of the street (near the river Seine) and is one of the most attractive beer bars in the city. There is breezy outdoor seating during the warm months of the year and beautiful light wooden decor inside with matching beams, walls, and tables. It has a nice clean modern yet traditional decor and has to be one of the best French styled bars for beer in Paris. The place is alive all day, until late at night, and a room in the upper floor allows to organize private events. Which I have been too ::)


Some of my favorite webpages found bottom of my main page in my blog roll give you plenty of more on the Au Trappiste.

Yelp on Au Trappiste Paris

The Fork on Au Trappiste Paris

Hope it helps your tracking here, lovely place, great service and great views from upper tfloor. Not to mention simple classic dishes with great selection of beers. Love it, at Au Trappiste, and many memories here.

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




January 9, 2019

Winter Sales are on in France!!!

So usually post this on a Some News regular postings but this year is different. Different because the laws are in the process of probably change by the time Summer 2019 is here and this could be the last. Different because all the upheavals going on in France now with the yellow vests/jackets and what’s not , the streets will be different. Sales already are down 25% according to several news media here.

So let me give you a quick rundown and if in France do take advantage of them. One rule know the prices for the items you want, then you would know is the sales is worth it.

Today January 9 2019 starts the Winter Sales in France! These sales will last during all of January and will end on February 19.  These sales are very regulated such as the articles for sale needed to be offered for sales at least one month before sales can be allowed.  The shops could bring the prices down to empty their stock during this period and only on the period of sales as before mentioned. The shops can even bring the price down to a loss to sale the article.  The online sales are also to respect the same rules as in the shops without distinction of site or brand.

All this is regulated by the  DGCCRF=Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes. Something like the General Direction of the competition consumers and repression of frauds and it is dependant on the Ministry of the Economy… here

It is important to tell you all that the project call PACTE  or Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises; something like the plan of action for the growth and transformation of the entreprises is currently in discussion in the Parliament to reduce the sales period from the current 6 weeks to 4 weeks hoping for better impact on sales.  This law even if pass will not include the current Winter Sales but will take effect in the Summer Sales of 2019. The general public will be inform if the new law is passed;

Some of the nice centers in my area to go for these sales in addition to individual stores are:

Centre Commercial Carrefour of Vannes


Centre Commercial Leclerc of Vannes


The Center La Galerie Geant of Lanester:

The Centre Commercial Atlantis of Nantes:


and my old reliable Parly II of Le Chesnay (next to Versailles 78):

le chesnay

Going to the big plaza of Paris we have the department stores such as :

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann : open normally will have exceptional opening hours today until 20h .


Galerie Lafayette Montparnasse  another often visited store has normal hours , and for the winter sales will open today from 8h to 21h and Thursday to Saturday next from 10h to 21h Sunday next from 11h to 19h

Printemps Haussmann : open Mondays to Saturdays  9h35 to 20h, Sunday 11h to 19h, night opening Thursday until  20h45


Bon Marché : open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, night opening Thursday and Fridays until 20h45 with an exceptional opening today from 9h to 21h

BHV Marais : open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h30 to 20h, Sundays from  11h to 19h30


Citadium Caumartin : open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 20h, night opening Thursday until  21h

The shopping centers of Paris will be open as such :

Carrousel du Louvre normal every day from 10h to 20h ;  Forum des Halles normal every day from  10h to 20h;  Passage du Havre by gare Saint Lazare open Mondays to Saturdays from  9h30 to 20h,Sundays from 11h to 19h ; Bercy Village normal open every day from  11h to 21h;  Italie 2  open normal Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, Sundays from 11h to 19h;  Montparnasse Rive Gauche  normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 19h30;  Beaugrenelle  normal open Mondays to Saturdays from  10h to 20h30, Sundays from  10h to 19h;  Passy Plaza  normal open from Mondays to Saturdays  10h to 19h30;   Les boutiques du Palais normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30 to 19h30, Sundays from  11h to 19h.


Then, some of my favorites in Seine et Marne dept 77 is near Disneyland  Val d’Europe (Marne la Vallée) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h,Sundays  10h to 20h, and  La Vallée Village (Marne la Vallée) normal open every day from  10h to 19h, Sundays  10h to 18h.

In my beloved Yvelines 78 my favorites webpage posted above are the Parly 2 (Le Chesnay) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h ;   Vélizy 2 (Vélizy-Villacoublay) normal open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 21h, Sundays from  10h to 19h;  L’Usine Mode et Maison (Vélizy Villacoublay) normal open Tuesdays to Fridays from  11h to 20h, Saturdays and Sundays from  10h to 20h.

And in my old work area and neighbor Hauts de Seine 92, my favorie is  4 Temps – CNIT (La Défense) open every day from 10h to 20h30.

Another old working area and neighbor is  Val d’Oise 95 at  Quai des Marques (Franconville) open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 20h, and Art de Vivre (Eragny) open every day from  10h to 20h.


Voilà , and it even get me the opportunity to put up some old nice memorable photos of these places that I had handy in my hard drive. Enjoy the shopping thus, I will be out this weekend lol!

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


January 9, 2019

Church of Saint Vincent of Paul, Blois!

Moving right along in wonderful Blois. Not to repeat the previous introduction, you know what I mean! To move out into the deep France and the wonderful valley of the kings or present Centre-Val de Loire region is to submerge in pure beauty. And again, a lot more than castles.

This is the case of the town of Blois, one of my favorites in the region, and lovely always. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Vincent of Paul in Blois.

Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church in Blois, department of Loir-et-Cher no 41,in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. The former St. Louis Chapel of the Jesuit College of Blois, it was built in the 17C but only became a parish church in the 19C, under the name Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.


A bit of history I like

In 1581, King Henry III ordered the construction of a Chapel for the college which he had just decided to establish in Blois. In 1622, the Jesuits took the direction of the establishment, at the request of the city’s notables. So it was finally in 1634 that the construction of a Chapel began. In 1660, Gaston d’Orléans, exiled in Blois, decided to finance the construction of the Church, making it possible to speed up the project. The Church of St. Vincent de Paul is in fact the former Chapel of St. Louis of the Royal College of the city that Louis XIII gave to the Jesuits in 1622 and that these made restore and decorate thanks to the largesse of Gaston d’Orléans (brother of the King), then of Anne-Marie of Montpensier (The Great Mademoiselle), his daughter. From 1670, the Chapel was transformed into a monument to the glory of the prince and his family. Finally, the Church is completed in 1678 thanks to the donations of Gaston d’Orléans.


In 1773, the Jesuits were expelled from France and thus lost the direction of the Royal College and its Chapel. During the French revolution, the establishment was abandoned and its Chapel was transformed into a temple of liberty. In 1793, the department’s executive Board ordered the destruction of all the marks which recalled the former regime. The building then served as a local for the raising of the contingent of volunteers for the army during the reign of terror. Transformed into a forage store shortly thereafter, the chapel became a place of worship again in 1826, when it was established as the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church, before being renamed Notre-Dame Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1856 with the new restoration of the Church ending in 1873, and the change back to Saint Vincent de Paul Church.

The Church is constructed with a northern orientation as the Jesuit tradition wants it. Reflects the architectural principles enacted by the Council of Trent and the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17C. The Church is characteristic of the French religious art of the first half of the 17C as well.The latter comprises a nave of three bays comprising each of the chapels as well as a single-span choir completed by a five-pans apse. The three-level facade underlined by a very salient enlayerment is punctuated by powerful pilasters with overlapping order. The two upper levels are accosted by large fins and vases on the first floor, from pyramids to the second. A large triangular pediment crowning the center span completes the composition. The large, full-hanging windows of the chapels and that of the nave above the table reinforce the magnitude and simplicity of the interior elevation. In 1634, to establish an arch of stone warheads without dome or dome on the crusader. The monument that sheltered the heart of Gaston d’Orléans has two figures in half relief framing a high pedestal bearing a statue in round-hump. The Church enjoys a rich interior decor: statues, paintings, altarpieces, sculptures.


On the left is the altarpiece originally, there was, in its center, a painted canvas. It was replaced by an apparition of the Virgin after the French revolution. On the left is the mausoleum of Gaston d’Orléans; On the right, the monument of Mademoiselle de Montpensier.


Under the monarchies, the Chapel had beautiful stained glass windows. During the fighting of WWII, they were blown away by the explosions of the bombs dropped nearby. Only the stained glass of the vow of Louis XIII remains and the perimeter of the stained glass of the Saint-Joseph Chapel. It is called the vow of Louis XIII, the consecration of France to the Virgin Mary by King Louis XIII on February 10, 1638. All the other stained glass windows are contemporary.



Not surprisingly been a more Royal pantheon visited even today by French nobility, there is not much written on the Church; but it has a spot in the tourist office  of the Blois region as such: Tourist office of Blois on the Church St Vincent of Paul

Hope you enjoy the tour, and do visit once in Blois, like I said so much to see and always a lot more than castles… not that they are shabby especially the one in Blois!

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



January 9, 2019

Church of Saint Nicolas, Blois!

So let me bring you out of the Paris/Versailles wonderful combination and my Brittany. The country is awesome, no wonder is No 1 visited country in the world since 1949 according to the WTO-UN studies. I like to bring you to an area of much fanfare and visits very popular and one of its most emblematic castle.

Oh did I say castle, well that was another post. The city of Blois is loaded with goodies to see and do, and I like to bring you up to date with the Church of Saint Nicolas of Blois.

Saint-Nicolas-Saint-Laumer Church is located in Blois, department of Loir-et-Cher no 41 ,in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It was originally the abbey church of a monastery built in the 12C. It takes the name of the founder of this abbey, Saint Laumer. Its construction began in the 12C. The choir, the transept and the first span of the nave are built from 1138 to 1186. The Church is finished at the beginning of the 13C. The Church is in the Middle Ages an important place of pilgrimage. It is indeed home to several relics: Saint Lubin, Saint Laumer, Holy Mary the Egyptian and a fragment of the Cross of Christ.

A bit of history I like


The Church of St. Nicolas as said dates back to the 12C. Fleeing the Vikings, Benedictine monks from the monastery of Corbion in the Perche area, find refuge in Blois in 924. In the 12C, they built a monastery there. Their abbey church will be the Church of Saint-Laumer, the name of the founder of their first monastery. And from this founder, they took away the relics. The real name of St. Nicholas is thus Saint-Laumer. From 1138 to 1186, the first part of Saint-Laumer was built: choir, transept and first span of the nave. The remainder was completed at the beginning of the next century. With the wars of Religion, the church was damaged by the Protestants and the abbey destroyed. The latter was rebuilt in the 17-18C. At the French revolution, Saint-Laumer became the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital).


In the Middle Ages, the Church was an important place of pilgrimage to the relics it houses: Saint Lubin, Saint Laumer, Holy Mary the Egyptian and a fragment of the Cross of Christ. The pilgrimage to Saint Marcou will take shape in the French revolution. The Church of Saint-Nicolas is a magnificent Romanesque church: the three levels of elevation of the nave are of flawless purity, the interior architecture of the transepts is very harmonious. In the ambulatory and the radiant chapels, the contemporary stained-glass windows create a unique atmosphere, bathed in a yellow or blue light, peculiar to meditation.  When you see the Church from the left bank of the Loire river , it is almost taken for a building of the 19C with two towers on the façade, a steeple above the crossroads of the transept, the sober walls, combining rigour and robustness as thus worked the Benedictines monks.

At the front façade to the right you see on the main gate built between 1186 and 1120. The archivolt consists of three character covings. Originally, the gate was surrounded by six statues, now extinct. On the left, the majestic nave gives an impression of grandeur. That the narrowness of the spans still accentuates. Everything is coordinated so that the prayers rise to the sky without hindrance.  The western façade is like no other: The three gates are dissimilar and surmounted by an elegant gallery of arches that stretches over the entire width of the façade.


The choir of St. Nicolas in all its Romanesque purity. The semi-circular apse is supported by six pillars with marquees. The second level consists of blind arches in broken arc, while the third one receives five windows of Max Ingrand in large openings. The stained glass windows at the Abbey Saint-Nicolas , in the aftermath WWII, the stained glass windows of St. Nicholas Church are to be rebuilt. From 1947, the iconographic programme of the new canopies was established with the agreement of the Religious Art commission of the Diocese of Blois. It will pay homage to the patron Saints of the Church/abbey, to those who had relics, without forgetting the coats of arms of the abbots of the Blésoises abbeys. In 1968, the nave was completed.



The Chapel of Saint-Laumer is the chapel of the baptismal font. The Chapel of the Virgin replaced, in the 14C by an ancient Romanesque chapel. The beautiful sculpture of the Assumption dating from 1672, which stands out in a very happy way on the unfigurative stained glass of the Chevalier, and the Dome of St. Nicholas is an architectural curiosity. It is adorned with niches housing-in theory-statues of Saints or Bishops. Its eight warheads converge towards the central Oculus. Since it has only four openings, it is quite dark.




Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Blois on St Nicholas Church

Tourist office of the Loire Valley on St Nicholas Church

Hope you enjoy this Church, other than the Cathedral and another (see next post) are the best religious buildings in town me think. Fully enjoyable Blois.

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


January 8, 2019

Spiritual birth house of Saint Theresa of Lisieux at Alençon!!!

And I come to the end of my journey in Alençon and the most simple and beautiful of it all, alone worth the trip to the city. Alençon is in the Orne dept 61 of Normandy region. It was little known that it is actually the native town of Saint Théresa. I have passed by it several times, and stop in it without really looking forward to its sights until this past weekend with the boys.

She is better known as where she created her convents and followers flock to Lisieux ,Calvados dept 14 of Normandy. However, she was born at Alénçon and made her first pass towards the life that will carry her in her little 24 years of life. IN Alençon she spent the first 5 years of her life. I like to tell you a bit more on her here, bear with me please.

A bit on her and the family i will put pictures of the house of course and the hallway pictorial, the inside of the house and chapel no pictures are allow.

Louis, Joseph, Stanislas Martin (b. Bordeaux, 1823- d.Lisieux, Calvados, 1894), watchmaker, and his wife born Azélie-Marie Guérin called “Zélie ” (b. Gandelain, near Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, 1831- d Alençon, 1877) Lacemaker, belong to the small Bourgeoisie of Alençon. They were beatified on 19 October 2008 in Lisieux, for the exemplary of their life as a couple, and canonized in Rome on 18 October 2015 by Pope Francis. They are the parents of Thérèse of Lisieux, in religion Sister Therese of the Child-Jesus and the Holy Face and of her four sisters, all religious.   In 1858, on the Pont de Sarthe in Alençon, their looks intersect, they immediately understand that they are made for each other. Here begins your pilgrimage in the footsteps of these Saints who are so close to us by time and space.

From 1860 to 1873, Louis and Zélie Martin had nine children (seven daughters and two boys), four of whom died at an early age. Their five daughters become all religious: Marie (b. 22 February 1860-d. 19 January 1940), in religion Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart, Carmelite at Lisieux; Pauline (b. September 7, 1861- d. July 28, 1951), in Religion Mother Agnes of Jesus, Carmelite at Lisieux; Léonie (b. June 3, 1863- d. June 16, 1941), in religion Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Visitandine in Caen, buried in the crypt of the Chapel of the Monastery of the Visitandines of Caen. (beatification trial is open);   Céline (b. April 28, 1869-d. February 25, 1959), in religion Sister Geneviève de la Sainte-Face, Carmelite in Lisieux; and Thérèse, (b. January 2, 1873- d. September 30, 1897), in religion Sister Thérèse of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, Carmelite in Lisieux, canonized in 1925. Françoise Marie Thérèse Martin is the last of a family of nine children the Martin family. Very often the family spends their holidays in Lisieux with Isidore Guérin, the brother of Zélie, pharmacist, and his wife Céline. Zélie also has a sister, Elise, Sister Marie-Dosithée, Visitandine at the Monastery of the Visitation at Le Mans. The elders Marie and Pauline will be boarders. Therese loses her mother at 4 and a half years and remains very marked. Marie and Pauline, the two eldest daughters will then take over the three youngest; until they entered the Carmel of Lisieux.


Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, Doctor of the Catholic Church known as Thérèse Martin, daughter of Louis and Zélie Martin, marked the Norman religious history, Ornaise and more precisely alençonnaise. It is in this same Church Notre-Dame (now Basilica minor see previous post and picture below) that St. Theresa will be baptized. Her baptismal dress is still on display. You can admire a contemporary stained glass window that represents the ceremony and the baptistery. The funeral of Zélie (her mother) will also be celebrated in 1877 at Notre Dame Church. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, better known as Saint Theresa of Lisieux or Saint Theresa of the Child-Jesus was canonized in 1925. She will also return to the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of 15 and remain there until she is struck by tuberculosis. The disease will take off on September 30, 1897 in her 24 yrs of life.


Saint Theresa will be considered one of the greatest nuns of the 20C, following the enthusiasm aroused by her posthumous publications. Pope Pius XI saw in her the star of her pontificate. In 1997, Pope John Paul II made her the 33rd Doctor of the Catholic Church. It is at the origin of a new theology called the “Little Voice” which consists in carrying out trivial acts of everyday life for the sake of God. In 1877, her father moved to Lisieux in the House of the Buissonnets with his 5 daughters. It is a retired home, where the Martin family lives in solitude away from the city. In 1887, Louis Martin took his daughters Céline and Thérèse to the diocesan pilgrimage to Rome, and she claimed Ah! … these beauties of nature… I didn’t have enough eyes to look at. Standing at the door I almost lost my breath; I wanted to be on both sides of the wagon. During this stay, Theresa has the audacity to ask the Pope for permission to enter the Carmel at age of 15 despite the opposition of the superiors. The bishop finally gives her their permission. Thérèse pronounces her final vows on September 8, 1890, at the age of 17 and a half, in the hands of Mother Mary of Gonzaga, her protector Mother.


In 1894, Thérèse wrote her first pious recreations or small plays, played on the days of big parties by some sisters for the rest of the community. She also writes spiritual poems.   On July 29, 1894, Louis Martin, her father died. Her sister Céline enters the Carmel of Lisieux on September 14, 1894. In August 1895, the four Martin sisters were joined by their cousin, Marie Guérin. At the end of 1894, Thérèse discovers her little path and experiences it more and more, to offer herself to the merciful Love. On June 9, 1895 at the request of her Sister Pauline, Mother Agnes of Jesus, she undertakes the writing of her childhood memories, which will become a part of the book of memories Histoire d’une âme (History of a Soul).


On the night of Thursday to Friday Saint 1896, Therese spits blood.. A few days later, she is plunged into the thickest spiritual darkness of which she will no longer come out. On 30 May, Mother Mary of Gonzaga entrusted her with a second missionary after Abbé Bellière, Father Rathod, of the Foreign Missions of Paris, who was about to leave for China. He will be a true soul brother to her. Therese’s health is deteriorating quickly, she suffers a lot. She is located in the infirmary of the monastery. Mother Agnes and sister Geneviève begin to note the words of their sister. In June, at the suggestion of Mother Agnes, mother Mary of Gonzaga asks Therese to note her Carmelite memories. What she does during this month of June, using her last forces. It will end the manuscript with the word Amour (love), as each of all her autobiographical manuscripts. On September 30, 1897 at night, she died at the age of 24. She says “I’m not dying, I’m entering life.” Built in her honor, the Basilica of Lisieux is the second largest pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes.


And the place still under the ownership of the Bishop diocese of Sees, and religious folks is very moving with a touching personal tour. Hope you enjoy it and do visit is also part of the history of France,and many French do follow it. In been there ,there were mothers with little girls been told how to pray and follow up the tour,then they ask to go back to the Chapel alone.. Alençon is  nice indeed



Passing quickly on the sidewalk, it is difficult to locate the chapel dedicated to St. Teresa of Lisieux. It is nestled between two houses, one of the two being the house of the Martin family, the parents of St. Theresa, a house that is possible to visit. It is also the birthplace of the Future Saint . The Chapel is built between 1925 and 1928. It obviously gives access to the house of Martin. We see a room from the chapel. The place is obviously dedicated to the Holy One, died of tuberculosis at 24 years old! . One of the walls is covered with an impressive cloak of ex-voto. The altar and its beautiful altarpiece are contemporary creations. The Chapel was built on an annex house purchase by the Bishop of Sees to created it next to the house where she was born. 52 rue Blaize is her native house, next the Chapel is at 54 Rue Blaize.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and more info are

tourist office of Alencon on Sainte Theresa

official parents site on jubilee 160 yrs

Tourist office of Alencon on the native home of St Theresa

Tourist office dept Orne 61 on native house of St Theresa

Official Religious site on St Theresa of Lisieux

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





January 7, 2019

Notre Dame Basilica, Alençon!

And I am staying in Alençon a often by passed town on my road warrior trips along the N12 but worth a vist on its own, and I finally did. This is Alençon, in the Orne department 61 of the Normandy region.

I like to tell you a bit about a monumental basilica that is a must to visit of all the wonderful things to visit in my belle France. I will tell you a bit on the Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon. No need to dwell on it if the significance of the place is enough for me. One of the shrines of my France.


The Basilica of Notre-Dame of Alençon is a Gothic architecture Church located in the Place de la Magdelaine in city center of Alençon in the pedestrian area. Its construction was begun by Charles III, Duke of Alençon at the time of the Hundred Years War in 1356 to end in the 19C ,it is a basilica since August 10, 2009. Many memorable moments for the Catholic faith were held here and is a must for all to learn about good and be good and do good.




For all this is worth the detour. Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of Saint Teresa of Lisieux, married on 13 July 1858 at the Basilica of Notre-Dame.   Saint Teresa of Lisieux received the sacrament of Baptism here on 6 January 4, 1873 (pity her life only lasted 24 yrs) , two days after her birth. The dress of this ceremony is displayed in the Church. One can also see a contemporary stained glass representing the ceremony. The funeral of Zélie Martin ,her mother was celebrated in 1877. After the beatification of the Martin couple on 19 October 2008 in Lisieux, more and more pilgrims come to this Church. Thus, the Church of Notre-Dame of Alençon was officially erected in a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on August 10, 2009. As for Louis and Zélie Martin, they were canonized on 18 October 2015 by Pope Francis.




Another local Blessed martyr was Marcel Denis, often went here with his family. He celebrated a last mass in Alençon in March 1946 before leaving France for Laos in the Chapel of the Baptistery to mark his devotion to St. Teresa of the Child-Jesus, patron of the missions.

A bit on the Basilica and the other history I like

This gothic building has a 15C nave with five bays of flamboyant Gothic style, from the early 16C. Following a fire, the choir and bell tower were rebuilt in the mid-18C. The lantern is from about 1736). And it has a triple portal. The Church has one of the most beautiful flamboyant Gothic portals in Normandy: A real stone lace, populated by statues illustrating the theme of transfiguration, rarely depicted. This façade contrasts with the very massive choir and steeple, rebuilt in the 18C after the monument was struck by lightning. The collection of stained glass, the elegance of the 15C nave and the fully restored organ are worth a visit indeed.



Well there you have it, one country and one soul, a very nice story. We need more of it today. I encourage you to visit even if not religious as the architecture and the surrounding neighborhood are superb with lots of quant shops and eating places.

Some webpage to help you in your visit plans and to know more are

Tourist office of Alencon on Notre Dame

tourist office on Normandy region on Notre Dame

The Parish office on Notre Dame

The tourist office of Orne dept 61 on Notre Dame

Official Saint Teresa of Lisieux on Notre Dame Basilica

The beautiful organ of Notre Dame Basilica on youtube video





And I hope you do come, a memorable beautiful Church on a very nice pleasant town. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!


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