Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

January 5, 2019

La Pièce d’Eau des Suisses , Versailles of course!

Coming along on my tour of Versailles to the public in general but especially those that only come to the castle/museum, you know my sermon, it has a lot more things to see than the castle/museum. I like to show an area off castle property but very much link to it in history as of today.

I will tell you a bit about the Piéce d’Eau des Suisses or the Swiss water pond right off the Orangerie area on the road D10 to St Cyr l’école. Many afternoons on weekends picnicking there with the family on the shadows of the only statue to king Louis XVI in Versailles and one of only five in France still standing. Even thus controversy arises as this was Louis XIV, in the best political interest it was somehow change after the original artist Benini did it. The others are in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique dept 44) , at the Esplanade du Maréchal Foch , it is still today , for most of the people of Nantes,the Place Louis XVI.  Also,  In Bécherel (Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35 Brittany), in the park of the Château de Caradeuc; at the Loroe-Bottereau (Loire-Atlantique dept 44), near the Church; in Sorèze, in the park of the Royal School; And in Nant (Aveyron dept 12), in the entrance to the city/town hall , even if here very much damaged and hardly recognisable.

La pièce d’eau des Suisses or sort of the Swiss water room in English (sp help) is a part of the Château de Versailles , built between 1679 and 1682. It owes its name to having been dug by a regiment of Swiss guards. It was created to drain the Potager du Roi or King’s vegetable garden.

This 682 meters long, by 234 meters wide water pond with a surface of 15 hectares has an average depth of 1.70 meters ( the park is about 25 ha). It is located at the south end of the north-south axis of the gardens of Versailles. This axis includes from north to south the basin of Neptune, the allée d’eau and the parterre du nord, the parterre d’eau , parterre du midi (situated above the Orangerie) ,and the parterre de l’Orangerie ,and finally the pièce d’eau des Suisses who is in fact outside the present perimeter of the castle, of which it is separated by the road of Saint-Cyr l’école (D10).


It was an octagonal shape, it was enlarged towards 1678 by the Swiss Guards in the service of King Louis XIV. A final enlargement in 1682 that gives it its rounded ends. At its southern extremity an equestrian statue had been installed by Bernini, representing Louis XIV, later transformed into Marcus Curtius (replaced by a copy, the original is in the Orangerie). The Piéce d’eau des Suisses runs along the Potager du Roi or king’s vegetable garden, which it could be access on this side by the Royal Grill gate. It is bordered by a double aisle of two-century plane trees, many of which suffered damage during the storm of 1999. Under the old regime, this piece d’eau was often the scene of nautical festivals. Nowadays it is free to all and has become a Sunday family picnic place. And it was our family place to on many Sundays.

Some webpages I could find to help you plan your trip here are

Official tourist office of Versailles on the Suisses

Michelin Travel in Europe on the Suisses

It is a nice park full of history and wonderful for the whole family to walk , take a break from the long tours of the castle and even do try a picnic; its awesome. Hope you enjoy as we did/do.

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


January 5, 2019

Parc Balbi, Versailles of course!!!

As you can tell, I am on a roll for my beloved Versailles. There is so much to see here, pity folks only come for the castle,nice as it is itself, get out into the town and see wonderful sights. Versailles is my former home for those new to my blog.

I like to tell you a bit about a nice park which again been there with the family on picnics and just hanging around and so little pictures, found one of the front panel going into the park lol! sorry I like to tell you about the Parc Balbi !

Parc Balbi is an English-style park, located next to the Potager du Roi or King’s Garden in the Saint Louis district of Versailles, dept 78 Yvelines of the ïle de France region. It is part of the historical heritage of the city and very often overlook by visitors, but a wonderful park to visit as well.  You will go to very narrow old streets of old Versailles, the park itselt is 2,6 hectares ( 6.4 acres) and you access it by 12 rue  du Maréchal Joffre. One of my family’s favorite is the Parc Balbi, and as usual when living there not enough pictures lol! I hate to write a post with so little photos but is a must to tell you about it first.


In 1785 the Count of Provence (brother of king Louis XVI , and future king Louis XVIII) and the countess of Balbi (Anne de Caumont -La Force) buys the land here; to use as enjoyment for the countess Balbi. The garden is done in 1786 by gardener/architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin. In 1791 in the French revolution they had to leave, and in 1792 the plants and vegetables, trees of it are taken and transfer to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The new garden had a winding stream, islands, and a belvedere atop an artificial grotto, in the picturesque style of the time. In 1798, the pavillon and garden features were demolished, but traces of the alleys and the lake are still visible, the park is still free.

After the French revolution, many owners pass by the park until finally in 1828 it is sold to the State.  In 1907 the school Jules Ferry is located here and a door had access to the Potager du roi. In 1914 the park is given to the horticulture school., and with the coming of WWI the park is left abandoned, until 1930 again it is renovated.  During WWII the park is again abandoned until 1960 a new plan of renovation takes effect.  Finally in 1982 the park is open to the public all done. It has a cave original from its creation in 1786 deep in the forest of the park, to reach it from the Potager du roi only. Very nice area.  It is open during the school holidays in the area, and normally Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays from 9h to 17h, sometimes later in summer.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Versailles on parc Balbi

Tourist office Yvelines 78 on parc Balbi

Hope you enjoy , it is in a nice area next to the Potager du Roi and by the Cathedral Saint Louis area. Enjoy it with the family on your walks on the marvelous streets of Versailles.

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

January 4, 2019

Our snow ski experience in France!

And now let me go into something new to me sort of. The short story of my life is that while living in Madrid by the year 1972, a group of friends took me to ski at Navacerrada ski port just north of Madrid. It was a horrible experience ,and I rolled down the mountain for a scary while until finally somehow stop with the help of some passerbys (if you can call that in the mountains). That was the end of my snow ski experience, once a beach bum always a beach bum I guess lol!

Rolled over several years, and it was my boys turn to try snow skiing! This time in France! We went with school trips into the Northern Alps on the French side. For the boys it was a memorable trip and really enjoyed!! Me and wife ,stay on the sidelines just enjoying the before and after ski crowds, hanging around and trying all those mountain cheeses or say wines.

I like to give you a bried introduction to these two sites; they are tops in France for skiing at all levels. Abondance and Val Cenis, with the latter been more pro specialists.

I rather give an overall look at the history and the facilities with webpages and let you do the reading further. Its a subject of an experience but far from me to handle. However, I wanted it to have a “history” in my blog for family’s sake. Hope you enjoy it too.

Abondance is a town in the Haute-Savoie department no 74 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is located in the French Chablais, and is the capital of the canton of Abondance. It is more precisely in the upper valley of the Dranse, southern and mountainous region of the Savoyard Chablais with notably the Mont de Grange (2 432 meters) and the Mont Chauffé (2 093 meters) mountains.




The beginnings of the skiing practice were early as by the year 1930 there was already a ski club for holidaymakers. The club then published the first publications related to local tourism. The telecabin was inaugurated in 1964. Abondance is a tourist town and has on its territory a northern area of the valley of Abondance, as well as a winter sports station, the Essert (20 km of generously arranged slopes) which is part of the domaine des Portes du Soleil ( gates of the sun).

Things to see in Abondance:

The Abbey of Abondance founded in 1108 by regular canons who were settled in the Abondance Valley since 1080. First a priory, it became an abbey in 1140. The decline of the abbey was rapid since the mid-15C due to the Commende system (Someone who was not required to observe the obligations inherent in his or her charge) . The Feuillants relaunched it from 1607 to 1761, the date of its final closure. From 1836, it the town who managed it. The terrace between the city/town hall, the school, the road and the way to the square of the church, with the degrees of access, the retaining wall of the land and the plantations are all protected.

The Notre-Dame-d’Abondance Church was built around 1275. It is the only Church in Savoy to possess an ambulatory and absidiales chapels; Gothic cloister of the 14C presenting a set of murals depicting the Marian cycle, among them the Annunciation, the Nativity, the flight to Egypt or the wedding of Cana. These paintings probably date from the first half of the 15C and illustrate the current art style, but also by many details the local environment. The iconography is part of a late Gothic style reminiscent of the Florentine school. The House of the Val of Abondance: a tour presenting the pastoral, cheese, geographical and historical richness of the valley.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Abondance

Official area Savoie tourist office on Abondance

My fav site for ski info Skiinfo in English on Abondance

City of Abondance on heritage

Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis is a former town in the Savoie department no 73 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It merged on January 2017 with the municipalities of Bramans, Lanslevillard, Sollières-Sardières and Termignon to form the new town of Val-Cenis (even thus it was already like this way before locally). Lanslebourg is located in the Maurienne Valley, at the foot of the Col du Mont-Cenis. It is 23 km from Modane and 128 km from Chambéry.

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

 Val Cenis Lanslebourg

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

A bit more of history I like here

During the annexation of the Duchy of Savoy by the French Revolutionary troops in 1792, the Maurienne Valley belongs to the department of Mont-Blanc. The municipality of Lanslebourg is administratively attached to the canton of Lanslebourg, of which it is the capital city, within the district of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. During the administrative reform of 1798 and the creation of the new Department of Lake Geneva, the situation of administrative attachment of Lanslebourg does not change

The emperor erected a new town, ephemeral, Mont-Cenis, in 1807, from the villages of the Hospice (also parish), Grand Croix and the Ramasse, reducing by the same two thirds the town of Lanslebourg.

On June 24, 1940, France signed the Armistice of Villa Incisa with the fascist government of Italy, after only a few days of battle in the Alps, and precarious victories for the Italian Army. Lanslebourg, like eight other villages of Haute-Maurienne (Termignon, Lanslevillard, Bessans, Bramans, Sollière-Sardière, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Aussois, Avrieux) and three of Haute-Tarentaise (Séez, Montvalezan, Ste-Foy), is now under the Italian rule, with locals appointed by the Italian command. The Bando del Duce of 31 July 1940 had indeed passed the eight villages occupied under a regime of annexation. From November 11, 1942, the Italians occupied the whole of Savoy. On September 8, 1943, the Italian occupation ends in Lanslebourg as in the rest of the department, the Nazis replacing the Italians. After , WWII, the Col du Mont-Cenis was ceded by Italy to France in 1947 by the Treaty of Paris.

Some of the things to see here are

The Domaine de Val Cenis Vanoise Winter Sports Resort is located on the town and that of Lanslevillard. The Church of the Assumption-of-the-Virgin, now a baroque space, is a permanent exhibition place created in an ancient church. It is designed to give the keys to reading the Savoyard Baroque Art. It also presents temporary exhibitions on the history and heritage of the valley. The Assumption Church, built between 1828 and 1830 , has a neoclassical-style painted décor. Also, Fort of Bramble near the Col du Mont-Cenis.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Haute Maurienne on Val Cenis

My fav Skiinfo webpage on ski on Val Cenis

Tourist office of Savoie on Val Cenis

City of Lanslebourg mont Cenis on Val Cenis

There you go if you want to ski these are nice areas of my belle France. Very family oriented and frequent by the French youth a lot. Just be carefull don’t fall off a mountain lol!!!

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





January 4, 2019

The galerie des Carrosses, Versailles of course!

Ok maybe I am cheating as this is part of the Chateau de Versailles but apart in a separate building across the street so maybe you go for the nice horse show and by pass this beauty just back open to the public not far back. I was here before they renovated it as Versailles has so much more to see than the castle. I told you so!

The new galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of Coaches/carriages is a wonderful place indeed ,and I am glad is back on, will look forward to visit now renovated. And to take more photos the one below is from my photo copy on photo believe is from 1991-92. It is in the Grande Ecurie or Great stables of the king across from the castle.

The galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of coaches-formerly Museum of Carriages (until 2006)-is a museum located in Versailles , dept 78 Yvelines, in the ïle de France region of France, which presents a collection of coaches mainly from the 19C. It is attached to the public establishment of the castle, the museum and the National Estate of Versailles and housed in the Grand Ecurie across from the castle.


A bit of history I like

After the carriages were dispersed during the revolutionary period, and selling at the end of the French Revolution, this museum was created by King Louis-Philippe I in 1833 when he decided to transform Versailles into a museum of All the glories of France (and therefore saving the castle from demolition!!!). It is then installed in the Grand Trianon, in a small building. The first museum of the Trianon opened its doors to the public in 1851.

Both Museum of the history of France and Salon of Automobile of the 18-19C, the gallery of coaches presents the most beautiful prototypes and the latest advances of the French bodywork in terms of comfort, performance and technique as well as traction, suspension, and first cut convertible.

The collection consists mainly as said of 19C vehicles with sedan and gala cars of the imperial Court of Napoleon I, the funeral chariot of Louis XVIII; and the carriage of the coronation of Charles X. The museum has only a few vehicles dating from the old regime with the sedan of the Dauphin Louis de France chairs with carriers and six sleds. The coaches of the gallery are the creations of the best artists and artisans of luxury of the court: architects, carpenter, saddler-bodywork, shimmerer, locksmith, bronzier, chaser, gilder, melter, painter, plasterer, trimmers, and knitters.etc.

In 1978, the collection at the Museum of the Carriages or wagons of Trianon, built in 1851, was moved to the Grande Ecurie. In 1985, the Museum of Carriages was opened to the public. In 2007, the Museum of Carriages closed its doors for the expansion work. In 2016, the museum is open again to the public. the Gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie is the new name.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the gallery

Tourist office of Versailles on the Gallery of Coaches

Hope you enjoy it with the family lots of nice wagon/coaches and even more history in them. And Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


January 3, 2019

Gare Chantiers, Versailles of course!

Ok this time will venture into something new ,ohh yes even Versailles has places not been too much or nothing at all. This one is in another land, the district of Chantiers and it even has a train station! I will tell you a bit more on the Gare Chantiers of Versailles.

The only thing that brings me here is that my sons took it to go to Montparnasse area for video games competitions and one of their girlfriends came in and out by here to their high school where they met. I just sometimes will bring them over by car that is all. However, it is a major train station of Versailles and worthty of its mention. Especially if you are in the Montparnasse area of Paris, take the train there to Chantiers and then the TRI phebus bus to the Castle between April and October. Or just walk is not far either.

The Gare de Versailles-Chantiers is on the line of Paris-Montparnasse to Brest and of the line of the Grande Ceinture or grand belt of Paris, located in Versailles, district of Chantiers, in the Department of Yvelines no 78 , in the Île-de-France region.


picking up boys at Chantiers

It is in the center of a seven-branched railway star layout connecting it: towards Paris: At the Gare Montparnasse (Transilien N and Direct Line Montparnasse-Chartres), at the Gare d’ Austerlitz by Pont du Garigliano in the north-south direction and by Massy-Palaiseau in the south-north direction on line RER C, at the station of Gare Saint-Lazare via la Défense (line Transilien U), by the connection of Viroflay which joins the line of Saint-Lazare at Versailles-Rive-Droite; towards the southwest, in Rambouillet, Chartres, and beyond to the west of France; To the West: in Granville (line of Saint-Cyr to Surdon) and Mantes-la-Jolie by the line of Plaisirs-Grignon in Épône-Mézières; and towards the east, in Massy-Palaiseau and Valenton of the Grande Ceinture.


passing by Chantiers

A bit of history I like

The history of the gare Chantiers of Versailles has already begun when the opening of the station of Versailles-Chantiers was done on 12 July 1849. Its name of “Chantiers” work construction area ,comes from the fact that during the construction of the Castle in the 17C, the district in which it is located was composed essentially of constructions dedicated to the size of the stones.

This new station is characterized by a convex façade, which is part of the classical architectural tradition with curved bays, pilasters and cornices. A few touches of modernity are read in the low wings that flank the central building body symmetrically. The buildings located at the back are treated in the style of the 1930’s.   A bridge crosses the tracks to reach the observation post. It contains the stairs that serve the quays.   At the inauguration of the buildings, in 1932, the press bursts with enthusiasm, journalists wrote: It is the most modern and daring of all the major stations of France by its conception.

It is a train station which has a passenger building with counters adapted for disabled people, automatons Transilien, automatons, the information system on the traffic of real-time trains, elevators, Device for controlling expanded notes and magnetic loops for hearing impaired persons. A free Wi-Fi network is available since 2016.   It is equipped with four central platforms framing eight lanes. A passenger hall overlooking the tracks transversely allows access to the various quays. The train station is served by the bus lines ARC, B, BAK, G, H, H Express, I-LFA, K, L, P, R, T Express, TRI, W, X, Z, 22 and 24 of the Phebus bus network of Versailles, as well as bus lines 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 39.12 and 39.37 H of the SAVAC transport Company and , at night, by the lines N-1 and N-3 of the Phebus bus network, and N145 of the Noctilien network. Parking for vehicles and bicycles is available.

A new footbridge with a length of 65 meters for a width of 10 meters was inaugurated on April 5, 2016 to a hundred meters to the west of the existing bridge, this gateway is accessible by a new hall, connected itself to the existing hall by a large gallery on the front of the current station. The designers chose to maintain an architectural style of the 1930’s in harmony with the existing building and to use the natural light for the lighting in a maximum way, with large windows and a rectangular dome above the New Hall.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and ride the trains by here are

Official SNCF train info on the Chantiers station

Official Ile de France region Transilien transport webpage on Chantiers

Official grand Versailles transport changes to come at Chantiers

It is a station still in constant renovation but the trains continue to come. It is as said easly reach from Paris with good link up transportation to the Castle and the city. However, the best is to walk it. From the Chantiers station in front of Place Raymond Poincaré you come into Rue des Etats Généraux and turn left.  Continue straight into Avenue de Paris and turn left. Continue straight into the Chateau de Versailles. I never measured it of course but google tells me is about 1 km or 13 minutes walking.

Hope you enjoy it, and really come out to see Versailles. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 3, 2019

Osmothéque of Versailles!

Ok so again back to my beloved Versailles. This one is so off the beaten path things to see in the city that you need reservation from the city tourist office or the Osmothéque itself. It is not open any time you need to make prior reservation ok. Just to show you Versailles has some unique places, a lot more than most think of only the castle/museum!

This a perfum museum sort of or a historical reservoir of scents going back milleniums, and is call the Osmothéque of Versailles. They claim to be the World’s only frangrance archives! I have been once out of curiosity taken advantage of my boys school trip here. But if you are into perfums well forget the others come to the roots of it at Versailles!

The Osmothéque museum , archives as you like is located at  36 Rue du Parc de Clagny,  inside the school ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l’aromatique alimentaire). You can reach it from Paris Saint Lazare to Rive Droite train station in Versailles (was the closest to my house too) end of terminus. Once at train station go out and turn right on Rue du Maréchal Foch , bear right and turn right at Avenue du Général Mangin and continue on same street later name Avenue de Villeneuve l’Etang ,take a quick left into 36 Rue du Parc de Clagny, the Osmothéque is on your right hand side of the street. I never measure it but google says is 1,2 km or 16 minutes walking , and I tell you doing this into nice residencial neighborhood.  Or if like to take the wonderful Phebus bus network ,take at Rive Droite train station the lines H or A (my boys line to school!) and get off at stop or arrêt ,Place La Boulaye , that get you within  4 minutes on foot from it taken left Avenue Jean Jaurés to Rue du Parc de Clagny right again and the Osmothéque is on your lefthand side. For the rdv or reservation to see it you can ,also,call +33 (0) 1 39 55 46 99 English spoken. 


original building of the Osmothéque in the ISIPCA campus in Versailles

In brief! The Osmothèque, is the only conservatory tracing the history of perfumery. Founded in 1990 by Jean Kerléo and other confirmed perfumers, such as Jean-Claude Ellena and Guy Robert, the Osmothèque is responsible at the international level for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation and reproduction of fragrances, all archived in their original formulation at the Osmothèque depot and viewable by the public. There are a large number of masterpieces of perfumery, including some rare fragrances (because they are no longer produced elsewhere or according to the same formula) as the Cyprus of François Coty, the Eau de Cologne extra old by Jean-Marie Farina or even the Royal Fern of Paul Parquet. Many historical fragrances are also available, such as those of Elisabeth of Poland, Napoleon 1er or Eugénie de Montijo (wife Napoleon III).

A bit of history I like

The creation of this first conservatory of perfume was initially proposed to the French Society of Perfumers in 1976 by Jean Kerléo, perfumer at Jean Patou, in order to record and preserve the history of perfumery. When in 1988, the project received the support of both the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Versailles-Val-d’Oise-Yvelines and the French Perfume Committee, a storage facility was provided at the premises of the Higher International Institute of Perfume, Cosmetics and aromatic food (English version of ISIPCA). The Osmothèque was officially founded on April 26, 1990 with a first collection of 400 fragrances including reproductions of the Osmothèque and products supplied by perfume houses such as Chanel, Guerlain or Lanvin.

The Osmothèque represents the largest perfume archive in the world, storing more than 4 000 fragrances of the present and past (including 800 extinct), mostly in their original formulation and preserved at a constant temperature under argon atmosphere. The fragrances present in the collection are either reconstituted from the formulas archived by the Osmothèque’s internal perfumers (known as osmothécaires) or supplied by external perfume houses, analysed and authenticated by the Osmothécaires archivists. As legal deposit archives, the Osmothèque receives a supply of all the new perfumes produced in France and a large part of the world, in addition to those obtained by its program of acquisition of compositions. The institution also collects a library of materials used in perfumery, both natural and synthetic, historical and contemporary. A vault, inaccessible to the public, finally contains the historical fragrance formulas, unfortunately largely unusable because of the raw materials not found today.

In the rarities contained in the Osmothèque are included elements of ancient perfumery, as the Royal scent of the Parthian kings described by Pliny the Elder in the 1C, medieval eau de cologne of the 14C as the water of Elisabeth of Poland’s Hungary and powders of the 18C as the powder of Cyprus The collection also counts 19C perfumes of houses such as Farina, Guerlain, Houbigant, Lubin, F. Mayo, L.T. Piver and Roger & Gallet, including the Eau de Cologne extra old by Jean-Marie Farina of 1806 and the Imperial Eau de Cologne of Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain created for Eugénie de Montijo in 1853. In the same period there is also the Eau de Cologne made for Napoleon in 1815 during his exile on the island of St. Helena.

Most of the archives of the Osmothèque is devoted to modern perfumery (beginning at the end of the 19C), presenting countless original masterpieces now extinct or reformulated, as the forbidden Fruit of Rosine fragrances created by Henri Alméras, the Cyprus and Emerald of François Coty, Le Tabac blondde Caron by Ernest Daltroff, Jicky of Aimé Guerlain, Royal Fern of Paul Parquet for Houbigant or even Parfum Idéal by Houbigant. Countless bestsellers are also present in their original formulas such as Chanel No. 5 created by Ernest Beaux, Shalimar by Jacques Guerlain and the Eau Savage of Christian Dior by Edmond Roudnitska.

The Osmothèque also publishes books on the theme of perfumes, in addition to a bilingual periodical entitled The News of the Osmothèque, available online and at the bookshop of the Osmothèque.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Osmothéque of Versailles

Tourist office of Yvelines dept 78 on the Osmothéque in French

An official youtube video from the Osmothéque in French with English subtitles

Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path visit to my wonderful Versailles. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!








January 2, 2019

Musée Lambinet museum of Versailles!

And here I am again to tell you about the off the beaten paths sites of my beloved Versailles. Again, step away from the castle/museum and see the “other” museums of Versailles. I admit , believe been here once, but is a treasure throve of historical facts about Versailles and the events on this Royal city. Enjoy the Lambinet museum.

The City of Versailles has a museum dedicated mainly to the arts of the 18C, but also to religious art, to the French revolution and to the history of Versailles. Installed in a mansion built in 1750 and bequeathed to the city in 1929, the Lambinet Museum has no fewer than thirty-five rooms. Some are arranged as in the great century, with woodwork, paintings, furniture, sculptures, precious objects, porcelain, etc.


The Lambinet museum being a former place of habitation, the rooms are quite small. A room is reserved for Charlotte Corday and Marat. In 2010, conservation had a charming apartment, typical of the18C mansions. The museum is located on the boulevard de la Reine, Notre Dame district of Versailles. Do not miss the visit of this nice museum if you go to Versailles.

The museum is installed since 1932 in the Hotel Lambinet, built in the 2nd half of the 18C. This mansion was built in 1750 in a parcel of the pond of Clagny dried up in 1737 . Victor Lambinet , former lawyer, then judge at the Court of Versailles, son of a mayor of the city, buys it in 1852. He occupies it in 1859, using one of the hotel’s wings as a reporting building.


In 1921, the building was bequeathed to Mr. Dagincourt and Dénériaz by Nathalie Lambinet, stepdaughter of Victor Lambinet and last owner of the hotel; with the hope that they turned it into a museum. The city decided to transfer the previously preserved works to the Municipal library, the former Ministry of Marine and Foreign Affairs of Louis XV and Louis XVI to it.

The museum has 35 rooms, some of which have preserved their period panels. There are collections that evoke the history of Versailles: stamped furniture, ceramics or art objects, as well as old portraits and works by Versailles artists, sculptures (notably by Jean-Antoine Houdon who lents his name to the museum in 1932), paintings and also copper plates that were used to print the paintings of Jouy.The collections of the Musée Lambinet are divided into three departments: History of France, History of the city and parts related to the French revolution, the reconstruction of an apartment of the 18C, and the Department of Fine Arts.

To find your way around it, it’s simple: the Department of Fine Arts is located on the ground floor (1st US) , and on the first floor (2nd US). It is also on the first floor that we visit the famous Apartment, which plunges you into the atmosphere of a mansion in the 18C. Finally, the third floor (4th US) concentrates the collections on the French revolution, including a room dedicated to Charlotte Corday and Marat, and the history of the Royal city, with a series of small paintings painted in 1890 by Auguste-Alexandre Baudran, witness of a bygone Versailles.


In 2010, the conservators of the Lambinet museum recreated an apartment of the late 18C as could have been seen in Versailles, towards the end of the day. With the aim of recreating the ambiance and décor of the time. The choice of the end of the day explains the very pronounced twilight of some rooms. This small apartment was of course furnished with period furniture. The dining room table is represented in the middle of the meal, with a porcelain service. A harp comes to brighten the living room.

Lambinet Museum , 54, boulevard de la Reine. (closest from Montparnasse to rive droite train station out turn left into bd Maréchal Foch to bd de la Reine turn right into the museum on left hand sidewalk). Check the site for latest update but last it was open daily from 14h to 18h, except Fridays, Holidays and annual closing in the summer. Permanent Collections: full price admission is 4€. Temporary exhibits: full price admission is 6€. All worth it.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to my post are

City of Versailles on the Lambinet museum

Tourist office of dept 78 Yvelines on the Lambinet museum in French

Hope you enjoy the visit half a day will do and as said Versailles is a lot more than the castle. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!





January 2, 2019

Rue des Reservoirs, Versailles of course!

And to continue on the streets of my beautiful and beloved Versailles, I take you to one very near the Castle but still in my old Notre Dame district. This is a very historical street, famous for its aqueducts which you can still see today if now all is underground. I am talking about the street of Rue des Reservoirs.

Notre-Dame is my old district of Versailles,department 78 of   Yvelines, in the Ïle de France region. The district is located north of the axis of the Château by the Avenue de Paris, and takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame the old parish of the castle. This is the first district, built during the creation of the new city under Louis XIV. It includes the theater Montansier opened in 1777, the museum Lambinet, the hotel of the Bailif which housed the local court under the old regime-today the heart of the picturesque district of antique dealers-and still has the most commercial streets in Versailles; like the Rue des Reservoirs. Really, here I got all my living needs with the market Notre Dame nearby so it was very sedentary life in the beautiful city.

The city of Versailles tourist office on the Notre Dame district is here: Tourist office of Versailles on the Notre Dame district

Close to the castle, and having a south-north axis from it, the Rue des Reservoirs is located as well in the Notre-Dame district, north of the castle and is on a section of the road RN 186, from the crossing of rue Carnot to the place Gambetta. It takes its name from the large reservoirs built to power the basins and water games of the Domaine de Versailles, reservoirs now extinct. The current reservoirs of the opera that were along the street were built after the creation of the rue des reservoirs and further below.


On the apparent wall of these reservoirs were backed by 3 houses (at no 3, 5 and 7) which were demolished in the first half of the 19C. At no 11, where the Hotel du Garde-Meuble was then built, were initially wells which communicated by aqueducts with the Clagny pond located at the bottom of the rue des Reservoirs. Four covered pumps then lifted the water from the sumps to the reservoirs and fed the basins of the domaine. Later, a bit higher on the street, at the location of the Hotel des Reservoirs was built a hexagonal tower to house a new sump surmounted by a strong hydraulic pump called the Pump or the water tower. This was intended to feed the reservoir of the Tethys Cave built above it and thus higher than the 3 initial reservoirs fed by the other 4 sumps.   The cave was destroyed a few years later, in 1686 to give way to the new Chapel of the castle.


Later, in 1752 , king Louis XV built for Madame de Pompadour on this site a particular hotel, called Hôtel de Pompadour or Hotel des Reservoirs, connected to the castle by a covered corridor along the wall of the reservoir beside the park. In 1765, it was to house the Governor of Versailles. During the 19C this hotel became a luxury hotel that will house one of the most famous restaurants in the city. It saw itself adding two floors at the beginning of the 20C. Now extinct.

In 1774, the land located at present No. 11, formerly occupied by the 4 pumps and houses of caretakers, was given by Monsieur, (Louis XVIII) the brother of King Louis XVI, to Thierry de D’Avray, Commissioner-General of the House of the King responsible for the storage/stocks of the Crown. This was then Hotel de Conti, judged too far from the castle and too narrow (today the City/town Hall of Versailles); the works began in 1780 and the hotel of the storage was completed in 1783. It also had the advantage of being able to use the covered corridor connecting the castle to the Hôtel de Pompadour, located just next door.

In 1778, Heurtier built, at present No 2, the large buildings that surround the body of the middle. At this location was under king Louis XIV, the Hotel de Louvois, a hotel occupied under king Louis XV by the Governor of Versailles which earned him his name as a government hotel. Under the Empire, the military staff of Versailles and the engineering administration settled there, in 1816, the building became a dependency of the castle before being re-used by the army in 1830. In 1855, the municipality built sidewalks and planted two rows of trees in what was then, off avenues, one of the widest streets of Versailles, between 32 and 38 meters. It then had a length of 481 meters.

In the Rue des Reservoirs, the numbering starts south of the street, the pairs number are to the east, the odd numbers to the West. The remarkable buildings here are

Reservoirs of the castle, at no 2-4, Hotel du government, former hotel of Louvois built in 1672, renovated by Heurtier in 1778; At no 6, hotel Ecquevilly; at no. 7-9, Hotel des Reservoirs or Hôtel de Pompadour; at no 8, Hotel de Serent, at no 11, Hotel du Garde-meuble which served as a storage of the castle and then housed the prefecture of Seine-et-Oise (current Yvelines) from 1800 to 186. At no 15, Théâter of Montansier, present Municipal Theater of Versailles. At no 19 (at the intersection with the rue de la Paroisse ),the building where Ferdinand de Lesseps was born in 1805. At no 21, the house where Blaise de Jouvencel lived , former mayor of Versailles. At no 22, Hôtel de Condé, built in 1679 and raised in the 19C, where lived and died Jean de La Bruyère, and was born the General Gaspard Gourgaud , Napoléon’s biographer, and lived a few years from 1950 the writer Maurice Martin du Gard. And at no 27 (at the intersection with the Boulevard de la Reine), a building where the painter Henri-Eugène le Sidaner lived.




There you go something to spent your good times in marvelous Versailles, a must I say to get a picture of France, Paris is not enough,and Versailles is a must. Hope you enjoy it

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


January 1, 2019

Rue de la Paroisse, Versailles of course!!

So if done it for Paris ,why not Versailles. A bit on some of the more personal and remarkable streets of the city of Versailles. A genuine effort to bring you out of the castle to the off the beaten paths of the city and fully enjoy this royal magnificent city.

I will tell you a bit on my main street where I drove/walked and spent most of my time in the city, this is the rue de la Paroisse. Other than been a hugely commercial street with all commodities walking distance from me and near the marvelous Notre Dame market; well there is the hugely historical ,royal and magnificent district Church, Notre Dame Collegiate Church of Versailles.


I will tell you a bit of the street and some pictures I have ok. The rest is in previous posts in my blog.

Notre-Dame is my old district of Versailles,department 78 of Yvelines, in the Ïle de France region of France. The district is located north of the axis of the Château by the Avenue de Paris, and takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame the old parish of the castle. This is the first district, built during the creation of the new city under Louis XIV. It includes the theater Montansier opened in 1777, the museum Lambinet, the hotel of the Bailif which housed the local court under the old regime-today the heart of the picturesque district of antique dealers-and still has the most commercial streets in Versailles; like the Rue de la Paroisse.   Really, here I got all my living needs with the market Notre Dame nearby so it was very sedentary life in the beautiful city.

The city tourist office of Versailles on the Notre Dame district: Tourist office of Versailles on Notre Dame District


The Rue de la Paroisse is an old street from the east to the west, from Paris, Saint-Como and the Princess. tt takes its name from the Notre-Dame parish from 1686 to 1793, then again from 1806. Filled with the sandy terrains of the hill of Montbauron under king Louis XIV.


The remarkable buildings on the odd numbers side are at no 1 the location of the trough removed with the drying of the pond of Clagny from 1770, then land acquired by Soufflot architect of the Pantheon. At no 7a the House of the lawyer Albert Joly in 1869. at no 11 the Hotel Pièche from the beginning of the 18C with facade ornaments of the late 19C (Jean-Joseph Pièche was a musician from the King’s chamber. See the dogs seated and the garlands of flowers carved between the windows. He would have seen Rameau and Boucher passed). It was restored between the two wars. At nos 3-5-7-7 bis-11-21 are facades of houses established in the 18C. At no 15 there is a house with the sign of the royal mark in the 18C; at no 32 there is a 19C cast-iron balcony guardrail, at no 35, this is it the Notre-Dame Collegiale Church created in 1686. at no 37-39-41 lies the former House of the mission of Notre-Dame from 1686; Order founded by Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. At no 43 the House of Dionis surgeon of king Louis XIV, at no 49 the house of Félix de Tassy, surgeon of king Louis XIV ; at no 53 the Hotel de Bretagne, house of Guy Fagon, surgeon of king Louis XIV , at no 63 the House at the Grande Fontaine, by the name of Fontaine the public works contractor who lived there under king Louis XIV, at no 79 the building at the sign of the Rising sun, the birth House of the poet Jean-François Ducis.

On the even numbers side the remarkable buildings are at no 2 and 4 the House of the Caretakers built under king Louis XVI. At no. 4 lived Joseph-Adrien Le Roi, head of Clinic at the hospice and historian of the Streets of Versailles in 1860. At no 6-6 bis 8-10, the Hôtel de Soissons stable of the Dauphine mother of Louis XVI, then Hotel de Berry belonging to the Count of Provence. At no 28 the Restaurant of the Count of Toulouse. At no 32 by 1811, owned by the wife of Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , zoologist at the Natural History Museum. At no 14 or 15 the charitable home of Madame de Maintenon, rebuilt in 1772. At no 108 ,the former property of Jean-Baptiste Faugeron, geographer of the Ministry of War who had the two balconies built in 1783, bearing his initials and the motto “Fidem Fortuna Coronat”. At no 110, a 19C cast iron balcony guardrail. At no 112 it was in 1734 the Auberge Au Roi Charlemagne; a cabaret.


Really a lovely street not to lived on it but just side of it was a wonderful experience indeed, and great memories. I hope you enjoy it , and provide some curiosity to come over and walk it when in town, the beautiful Versailles.

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

January 1, 2019

Church Sainte Elizabeth of Hungary, Versailles!

So we starting 2019 and here I am as usual trying to tell you a bit more than the castle of Versailles in Versailles of course! The off the beaten paths found in my beloved city are numerous and merits a longer visit to see these wonders of France, Europe ,and the world. Therefore, let me bring on a bit long, sorry, post on a venerable building; the Church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary very much linked to Madame Elizabeth.

Eglise Sainte-Elisabeth de Hongrie (French) is located at 25 rue des Chantiers very closed to another train station of Versailles, Chantiers, this one takes you to gare Montparnasse in Paris! Here is an old photo, recently it has gone big renovations.


The layout of the Church of Ste Elizabeth of Hungary in Versailles is of a basilical without transept visible from the exterior. Three aisles nave ending in a flat bedside. The exterior main façade is advanced from an ancient porch surmounted by a triangular pediment. The steeple wall is pierced by a bay with giblets and topped by a clock and capped with a cross. The roof is double-sloped. Two lateral wings flank this main façade. While the interior is a building on two levels. The central nave is covered with a coffered ceiling. The high windows are in a full-hanger arch. The aisles are separated from the central nave by square pillars. All done in the Neo Classic style from the 19C.

The main construction stages were taken as first a chapel built in 1850 which corresponds to the present central nave (20 meters by 8 meters). Then we add the two aisles. The chapel became a parish church in 1863 and as early as 1864, the choir was enlarged. In 1890, the decorations were finished with the choir enlarged by embellishing it with a armature adorned with rinses, the whole dominated by the monogram of St. Elisabeth. Finished the decoration by painting a large canvas depicting the Miracle of roses. There was restoration work carried out in 2009-2010 which have brought to life a hidden backdrop. Now, with its belt panelling , its azure-blue coffered ceiling decorated with gilded motifs, with its superb choir and historico canopy in the aisles, St. Elizabeth’s Church has an undeniable artistic cachet.



A bit of history I like

The district of Montreuil in Versailles has its church: Saint-Symphorien (see previous post), which is in fact located in the Grand Montreuil. The so-called Petit Montreuil had no place of worship in the 18C, although this area was the subject of all the attention of the younger sister of King Louis XVI, Madame Elisabeth (see previous post on her). The Royal Princess lived on the level of the current Avenue de Paris,(Domaine de Montreuil) which separates the Grand from Petit Montreuil. In the 19C, the district enjoyed a legacy of the former Princess who died on the scaffold (guillotine) during the reign of terror of the French revolution. The construction of a worship building was then started. It was “Saint Elizabeth of Hungary” in homage to Princess Elizabeth.

Elisabeth of Hungary (b.Pressburg,1207- d. Marburg,1231) was a sovereign of Thuringia, a member of the Franciscan Third Order and recognized Holy by the Catholic Church. Her day is celebrated on the day of her death ,November 17. The Teutonic Order built a Gothic church destined to receive her relics. These attract large crowds making Marburg a large pilgrimage center of the Christian West. She was the daughter of King Andre II of Hungary (Árpád dynasty) and Gertrude of Andechs-Meran (Babenberg dynasty). Betrothed at four years old and married at fourteen years old to the Landgrave Louis IV of Thuringia, she was acquainted with the movement founded in Italy by Francis of Assisi, to which she adhered from the bottom of her soul. The couple is very united and had three children, Elizabeth dies at 24 years old.

She can be represented either as a princess or as a Franciscan tertiary. When she is portrayed as a princess, she wears a crown on her head and in her hands a book where two crowns are laid. These can represent her royal birth, her austere piety and her abstinence, or be understood as the three knots of the Franciscan cord representing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She holds by hand a alms, a jug, a basket of bread, fruit and fish; It can also have an apron with roses. She is one of the main characters of the opera by Richard Wagner Tannhäuser (Dresden 1845); as well there is an oratorio by Franz Liszt about the legend of Elisabeth of Hungary.

A bit on the religious significance of this Church of Ste Elizabeth of Hungary and Madame Elizabeth. Madame Elisabeth died in the smell of holiness. According to Madame de Genlis, a rose smell spread over the Place de la Concorde after her exécution. Her cause for beatification was officially introduced on December 23, 1953 by Cardinal Maurice Feltin, Archbishop of Paris, after being declared, the same year, Servant of God by Pope Pius XII, acknowledging by decree the heroic of her virtues, of the only made her martyrdom. Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, reactivates the cause of his beatification in 2016, Abbé Xavier Snoëk, parish priest of the Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Hungary, being appointed postulator of the Cause, and recognises in May 2017 the Association of the faithful promoters of her cause. On November 15, 2017, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, after the opinion of the Conference of the Bishops of France and the Nihil obstat of the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints, in Rome, hopes that the trial will lead to the canonization of Madame Elisabeth, sister of king Louis XVI.

With Saint Elisabeth of Hungary the Christian hagiography has built a character of a perfection rarely reached. In the golden legend , one reads that, daughter of an illustrious king of Hungary, she had been raised in the veneration of God and disdained children’s games. At the age of five, she had so much pleasure in praying in the Church that her companions were unable to get her out. When she was playing, she was always seen running next to a Chapel to be sure to get into it more easily. Of all that was given to her, she reserved the tenth part to the poor.

When she arrived at the age of marriage, she married the Landgrave of Thuringia. Which was pretty good dough, tells us the legend, to all endure the mania of his wife: incessant devotions, fasting, mortifications, offerings of her clothes, preferring the dry bread to the sumptuous dishes of her husband’s table, etc. The legend still adds to the altruism: she fed the poor, dressed those who went naked, burying herself the beggars and pilgrims, wore the children on the baptismal fonts, sewed their swaddling clothes, spun the wool with her maids, sold her ornaments to feed the poor when the wheat was missing; She built a large house at the foot of the castle to greet the sick, coming to visit them every day, distributing gifts, care and holy words. All called him the mother of the poor!.

However, the Landgrave of Thuringia went on a crusade and died there. Having become a widow, Elisabeth was expelled from the castle by the parents of the deceased who accused her of being dissipating and prodigal. After wandering, depressed, in the countryside, she was received by her uncle, the Bishop of Bamberg… who wanted to remarry her. She did not have the time: the body of her deceased husband came back from the Holy Land and the bishop had to let her go. Elizabeth wore the religious habit, lived like a poor, even refusing to return to the castle of the King of Hungary. Her life of humility continued. Serving the poor. She received two thousand marks in dowry, distributed some to the indigent and built a large hospital in Marburg with the rest, dedicating all its activity to the sick.   The life of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary-in her absolute altruism-is one of the most incredible ever written.

The official webpage of the Church here: Church of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Versailles

Yelp on Church St Elizabeth of Hungary

Hope it gives you the desire ,the curiosity to come this way and enjoy this wonderful Church of my beloved Versailles.

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


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