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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.


March 1 2012 5 01 /03 /March /2012 17:53

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7058/6944119797_a7133a1a8e_b.jpgSo in my art class this week we all tried to copy this painting by Kay Gallwey of a naked lady wearing a hat.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7207/6944120203_bb80932b76_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7044/6944120583_5350ba5f2a_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/6798010202_a8199a1167_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7202/6798009910_90970ce735_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7201/6944124389_171747ebec_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7197/6798011228_fb799ed0e6_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7060/6944124669_2aba33632f_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7210/6798011626_b2ac1dd153_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7069/6798011974_d5d7f4a626_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7207/6944123469_2195a90f26_b.jpgI think if I had to try doing it again, I would perhaps choose a different subject and I would probably do a much better job.  Acrylic on paper.  Here are some samples from everyone in class.  What do you think ?

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Published by The Baguette - in Art
February 22 2012 4 22 /02 /February /2012 15:29

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7043/6920463829_844175c76f_b.jpgI went to the town of Pontivy over the weekend with some friends of mine.  We had such a wonderful time visiting the town as well as the Breton countryside.  Pontivy is the old capital of the Rohan family and gets its name from a 7th century monk named St-Ivy who built a bridge (pont) over the River Blavet.  Walking around the old town, one of the first places we visited was the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Joie located in the medieval town center.  The original church, dedicated to St-Ivy was totally rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries.  West of the building is the big square church tower, dated by an inscription between the two doors “1533”, and whose spire was rebuilt in the 19th century.  Before the 19th century restorations, the building, in the form of a Latin cross, was composed of a four-bay nave with side aisles, a transept and a chancel with a flat chevet.  Only the square of the transept was vaulted with diagonal ribs.  In 1866, the whole church was vaulted and the chancel was flanked by side aisles to extend the existing ones.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7197/6920387731_2a6998ca4e_b.jpgThe church was consecrated to Our Lady of Joy in 1696 in acknowledgement of the intervention of the Virgin Mary to stop a plague epidemic.  The votive statue is made out of one single piece of oak wood leafed in gold.  Pope Jean XXIII consecrated the church into a basilica in 1959.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7202/6920466397_00bd5b3eb8_b.jpgThe crafted altarpiece of the high altar was erected in 1782 around the notion of “family”: divine, with the Holy Trinity (in the center the Child Jesus, surmounted by a dove, standing for the Holy Spirit, is pointing to God the Father above), holy human family with Mary and Joseph surrounding Him, and His grandparents, Anne and Joachim, testifying to His roots in the Old Testament; and in the upper register, the Christian family with St-Peter and St-Paul, who founded the Church, St-Ivy in the center, representing the local Church surrounded with the donors, the duke and duchess of Rohan in medallion.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7206/6774281122_18db8b2bef_b.jpgIn 1790, towns in Brittany and Anjou united in their struggle against the enemies of the Revolution.  They became known as the “federates” and it was on this altar that they signed their act of union.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7204/6774357902_a926843c19_b.jpgThere are a great number of statues placed throughout the church which come from the Récollets convent that was burned in 1795.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6774355666_2acffcc4a3_b.jpgAlong the aisles are two plaster gisants.  One has been smashed to pieces while the other is in pretty good condition and rests in a niche of the wall.  I am assuming it is a likeness of the duchess of Rohan.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7199/6774360956_0a285038b0_b.jpgThe organ dates from 1836 and was created by famous organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7191/6920389871_143379a9b1_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7206/6920391941_17c1560ee4_b.jpgThe stained glass windows are the work of E. Laumonnier, from Vannes and date back to the 19th century.  This was my favorite window.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7042/6774353550_295c1abe48_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7178/6774362782_739e8a536d_b.jpgThe stained glass tells the story of Christ’s Passion, Resurrection and Ascension and is meant to be read from bottom to top and from left to right.  The nine small windows at the top of the arch depict symbols of Christ’s Passion known as the “Arma Christi”.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7052/6774271094_9bab1c3716_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7210/6774279004_edc51ecc7b_b.jpgIn the square beside the church are a reflecting pool and a monument  to the Breton-Angevin Federation  Mounted on a pedestal decorated with bas-reliefs and inscriptions, this monumental column commemorates the decision taken in January and February 1790 by towns in Brittany and Anjou to unite in their struggle against the enemies of the Revolution.  The monument was erected between 1890 and 1892, based on plans drawn up by the architects Edouard and Jules Deperthes.  The shaft of the column was originally decorated with a bronze figure depicting the spirit of liberty.  This feature was destroyed in 1938 when the monument was attacked by members of the “Gwenn ha Du”, the Breton independence movement.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7064/6920397603_1c405d476e_b.jpgFurther down the road is the most popular destination in Pontivy, the Château des Rohan built by Jean II de Rohan during the 15th and 16th centuries.  The façade is flanked by two large machicolated towers with pepper-pot roofs, all that remains of the four towers of the perimeter wall.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7184/6774284672_035ef33c17_b.jpgThe walls are 20 meters high and surrounded completely by a moat which never held water.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7053/6774290566_0c6e2311f3_b.jpgAs one continues to walk around the castle, notice the tall stone gabled windows decorated with gargoyles, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7062/6920401551_892497dc0a_b.jpgthe outdoor fountain and lavoir, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7067/6774288326_70cfa784be_b.jpgthe exterior of the ducal chapel and finally the entrance which used to have a drawbridge.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7045/6774292792_169161398f_b.jpgAbove the door is the family crest.  Sadly, the castle was not open when I was there so I could not visit the interior.  The castle is classified as a historical monument and still belongs to the Duke of Rohan who allows the town of Pontivy to use the structure as a tourist attraction.  Other places of interest in town are the old half-timbered and corbelled houses of the 16th and 17th centuries.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7061/6920411569_b5b3af989c_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7196/6774298562_6f27c9f725_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7205/6920443889_62a138fd2d_b.jpgOne in particular is named la maison des Trois Piliers (the house with three pillars) located at place du Martrat.  It is the only porched house remaining in Morbihan and bears the hallmark of the second half of the 16th century.  Numerous in Brittany at that time, the porched houses sheltered a boutique on the ground floor and the porch enabled trade to be carried on undercover, whatever the weather.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7057/6920446405_3181dbfdfb_b.jpgTheir disappearance is mainly due to the demand for modernization and a reduced fire risk, which characterized the urbanization of the 18th century: the numerous plans drawn up at the time for realignment and widening of roads carried the fatal blow to such architecture.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7185/6920441797_8e6deb7ae1_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7194/6774294988_8c75970457_b.jpgJust across the street from place du Martrat is the Hôtel de Roscoët, a house with a corbelled turret.  The home is also characterized by its pavilion roof with dormer windows.  On the façade, a cartouche with the inscription reads : "Subtilus Iani Roscoet et Jaq Bourdin Colig et Amico 1578" (At the expense of Jean Roscoët and Jacques Bourdain his colleague and friend 1578).  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7189/6920426027_2663c1a421_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7188/6920431201_a63188ae2e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7068/6774313562_7124d112b0_b.jpgOther interesting stone and half-timbered buildings can be found along the rue du Fil.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7056/6920417527_b678f97bbf_b.jpgWalking along the banks of the River Blavet one can see the old hospital.  There has been a hospital in Pontivy since the middle of the 12th century.  According to tradition, it was founded by the Viscount of Rohan, but its exact location is unknown.  The oldest written reference dates from the middle of the 16th century.  Gradually enlarged and restored over the course of time, the current buildings still have two external vestiges from the start of the 18th century: the Carhaix Gate, originally independent from the hospital buildings, and the chapel, credited to the architect Ollivier Delourme.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7199/6920419287_bc201cee7f_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7191/6920421395_9b893aba84_b.jpgAnother unique feature along the river is the remains of the Nantes to Brest Canal.  In 1806, Napoleon I decided to have a canal built between the two ports for strategic reasons.  The sea being under English control, the canal would make the Breton naval dockyards and the center of Brittany less isolated.  They started digging the canal in 1811 and it was completed in 1842.  It boosted the local economy with the transportation of imported goods such as spices, wine, fertilizer, lime and sand from the Loire and also exporting wood, cereals, potatoes, etc.  However in 1923, the building of a dam at Guerlédan was a severe blow to the canal trade and in the 1970s this activity came to a halt.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7182/6920423577_e04e21dfa0_b.jpgTrade has now been replaced by leisure boating.  The Hilvern channel (rigole d’Hilvern), 63 km long was completed in 1836 and still joins the canal between Pontivy and Rohan.  It used to supply the canal with water.  The 71 km long canal runs through three smaller districts of the Pays de Rohan.  There are more than 100 locks, twelve of which are submerged under the water of the Guerlédan dam.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7192/6920415397_8761c45ea9_b.jpgDon’t forget to stop by the unique Chapel of St-Ivy located between the river and place Anne-de-Bretagne.  Tradition claims that it is here that the Breton monk Ivy, founder of the town, had his first oratory built at the end of the 7th century.  Dating from 1770, the current chapel replaced a 17th century oratory which had fallen into ruins.  Inside the original feature of this chapel is the split-level gallery, which allowed a privileged few to attend services without mixing with the crowd.  It was completely restored between 1984 and 1989.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7201/6920439813_41d98c72fd_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7207/6920438149_eed7a381be_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7045/6774317930_64e451b7bc_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7178/6920436217_c41ae2bb7a_b.jpgOn Saturday and Sunday morning, my friends and I warmed ourselves up after strolling the town by drinking tea, eating cake and tasting the traditional Breton pastry called Kouign-amann at the Patisserie Cartron on 16 Rue Nationale.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7068/6920434729_9e28965d3e_b.jpgThe Kouign-amann was delicious but it was made of butter and caramelized sugar—much too heavy for my taste.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7196/6920448609_54d0ace522_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7201/6774335606_a9d17e5951_b.jpgOn Saturday night we treated ourselves to a delicious meal of traditional Breton galette and crêpe from a popular crêperie called La Petite Bretonne at number 20 rue du Fil.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7196/6920452915_ba22aafc44_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7177/6774340420_78d803ff1c_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7180/6920460995_c3a34db4e7_b.jpgWe all had something different as you can see.  Our host was very kind and spoke English and French.  At one time he burst into song and regaled us with stories from the days he used to be a captain aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  I recommend anyone visiting Pontivy to consider eating here as the price was moderate and the atmosphere comfortable and quiet.  Thank you Pierrot for your kindness!http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7196/6774342986_77f9242096_b.jpg  

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Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage
February 15 2012 4 15 /02 /February /2012 08:00


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Published by The Baguette - in Cherbourg
January 28 2012 7 28 /01 /January /2012 15:53

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6755132857_3927f5f1dc_b.jpgThree weeks ago we worked with encre "colored ink" and water to create these winter scenes.  It was somewhat difficult since no one in the class had ever attempted to create such a picture.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6755129293_beeae0d942_b.jpgWe followed the directions from a book the teacher had and I have to say that for the most part, all of our work turned out pretty good despite the fact we all had to use a little white acrylic to get the effect of trees and snow.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6755131927_64eca49700_b.jpgTwo weeks ago, once again we used encre and water to imitate a painting of flowers in a vase.  We used two differrent types of paper and this made all the difference !  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7015/6755130369_6233104269_b.jpgThe first sort of paper soaked up color and spread rapidly even when the paper was dry.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6755133335_8c800868dc_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6755135523_3f2b8c78c7_b.jpgThe second type of paper was what a person uses to do watercolors.  It worked a lot better for our purposes however, my first try turned out much better than my successive efforts.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6755134007_dced00824c_b.jpgLast week, we once again used watercolors in order to imitate an existing work of an old barn covered by snow.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7010/6755129781_0a14a07dfc_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7175/6755131291_153d88f4c3_b.jpgWe all tried to follow our teacher but as you can see, some students did better than others.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7151/6755136193_c5d2066eb8_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7154/6755137063_a03526ae21_b.jpgTo get the bright white spots, one has to add an adhesive to the paper.  After you've finished painting and the paper is dry, just rub off the adhesive and the white paper shows through.  I thought it was pretty cool.  My finished product is the one in the center of the bottom row.  That one is mine.http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7018/6755134955_130814d458_b.jpg    

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Published by The Baguette - in Art
January 27 2012 6 27 /01 /January /2012 00:32

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7159/6731305077_254684003a_b.jpgThere are so many wonderful places to visit in our region that do not appear in most guidebooks.  However, with a little bit of research, one can find the most extraordinary of buildings in some of the smallest of towns.  Such is the case with Montfarville.  While reading other blogs about La Manche, I came across several articles about the Montfarville Church of Notre Dame.  If you are coming to Cherbourg to see the sites, this is one excursion outside of town that you simply should not miss.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7029/6731294849_ab3304acbe_b.jpgMontfarville is a charming village of about 800 people in the north-eastern part of the Cotentin.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6731312989_c3f093dd36_b.jpgIt is famous for its beautiful church interior which, in its present form, dates from 1763 – see the inscription engraved above the portal that reads : « 1763 Messire C.Caillet, curé de ce lieu a fait bâtir cette église à ses frais. Priez pour lui » (1763 C. Caillet, the pastor, had this church built at his own expense.  Pray for him).  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7014/6731323989_f667215fde_b.jpgIt was built on the site of an earlier Gothic building of which only the 13th century Bell Chapel remains.  The building was blessed on February 12, 1764.  After his visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the priest of Montfarville called upon a local artist Guillaume Fouace, born in nearby Réville, to paint the ceiling and arches of the church.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7175/6731319029_ca409942f9_b.jpgThe commission was carried out between 1879 and 1881.  The church is also known for its exceptional artistic statues of several saints beginning with the 12th century Virgin and Child in painted stone.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6731299943_d82d72cb2f_b.jpgShe is greatly revered by the local community as “Our Lady of Consolation.”  Tradition has it that in 1793 the statue was buried not far from the shore at Keiry or Landemer to protect it during the French Revolution.  Once things returned to normal, it was returned to the church and placed in Chapel of the Holy Virgin.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7149/6731319617_58decb7b6f_b.jpgOther statues of note are those of Ste-Anne, also in painted stone from the 16th century and an anonymous female saint of the 15th century in plain white stone.  There are four large, carved wooden statues of St-Paul, St-Charles, St-Maur (St-Maurus) and St­-John the Baptist as a young man.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6731310961_d2d9cccdb1_b.jpgThe latter is part of an ornate woodcarving used to cover to the baptismal font.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6731299539_0884e22d2a_b.jpgThe high altar is sumptuously carved, painted and gilded in the purest Louis XV style as are the Communion rail and the magnificent Rood Beam “perque” bearing a 17th century crucifix.  Again, the most interesting parts of a visit to this church are the 19 different paintings by Guillaume Fouace.  It took two years for Fouace to paint the canvases depicting the life of Christ and that of His mother, drawing upon Leonardo da Vinci and Murillo for inspiration.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6731324633_e5865333df_b.jpgMany visitors consider The Magi to be the finest of the paintings.  I must agree as it caught my eye immediately after I entered the side door.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7165/6731292759_0dffb58d1a_b.jpgIf one enters the church from the west door you will admire in succession on the organ side of the church the first of the paintings as well as the stained glass windows created in the early 1920s by master glass maker, Charles Lorin whose father Nicolas Lorin founded the famous glass works of Chartres in 1869.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6731322643_449615ba15_b.jpgThe first three paintings by Fouace are The Presentation of Mary in the Temple, The Annunciation, and The Visitation.  Between each painting is a stained glass window.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6731304359_c2e249ec14_b.jpgThe first three are of St-John the Evangelist, Blessed Nicolas Cléret who was vicar of Montfarville for 25 years and was martyred in 1792 for refusing to take the constitutional oath at the start of the French Revolution, and finally, St-Mark the Evangelist.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6731313609_8712abcb03_b.jpgThe next four paintings are The Nativity (above the organ), The Flight into Egypt, Joseph and Mary Finding Jesus in the Temple, and The Dormition of the Virgin.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7170/6731293505_fd06c811cc_b.jpgWithin the southern transept is the organ as well as the stained glass window depicting St-Maur in the year 524 at age 12 with his father entrusting him to the care of St-Benedict who spread the Benedictine order throughout France.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6731317421_d0dd6bb434_b.jpgThe next three stained glass windows depict St-Augustine of Hippo and his mother Ste-Monica, Ste-Elizabeth of Hungary, and St-Isidore the Laborer.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7174/6731305521_c90a114a34_b.jpgAbove the high altar dedicated to the Virgin is Fouace’s admirable reproduction of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.  On either side of the altar are statues of St-Peter and St-Paul.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7166/6731298337_efcc235439_b.jpgThe next two stained glass windows depict Jesus Welcomed by Mary and Martha in Bethany, and Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6731298817_43ebe6cfba_b.jpgAlong the northern arches are the paintings of Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem, St-Peter Receiving the Keys to Heaven, and the Second Miraculous Draught of Fishes.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7160/6731308565_19b861232e_b.jpgUnderneath the arches are the next three stained glass windows of St-Aloysius of Gonzaga receiving his First Communion at age 12 from St-Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, the window of Ste-Cecilia patroness of musicians, and the window depicting St-Paul’s Conversion to Christianity on the Road to Damascus.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7145/6731314035_d29074f88d_b.jpgAbove the Chapel to Our Lady of Consolation is the painting of Jesus Healing the Paralysed Man.  Inside this chapel are several statues including the 12th century Virgin and Child, St-Marcouf, Ste-Anne, and the wooden baptismal sculpture of St-John the Baptist.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6731318305_6d55711de0_b.jpgThe stained glass window here honors Our Lady of the Rosary and features St-Dominic and Ste-Catherine of Siena receiving the Rosary from the Blessed Virgin.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7018/6731312041_996ed9c97d_b.jpgThe next sets of paintings along the aisle are of Jesus Healing the Blind Man from Birth, Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, and finally Christ’s Baptism.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6731322197_4b469b8f11_b.jpgThe last three windows depict St-Mark the Evangelist, St-Jean Eudes preaching in Montfarville in 1668, and finally the Evangelist, St-Matthew.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6731300235_7043daa743_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6731311633_c0a95f9504_b.jpgAlong the ceiling of the nave are four larger paintings of The Magi Following the Star, St-Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, The Sermon on the Mount and The Ascension of Our Lord.  All of the paintings are listed in the Inventory of Historical Monuments (IMH).http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7025/6731301015_381747e317_b.jpg

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Published by The Baguette - in Le Val de Saire
January 27 2012 6 27 /01 /January /2012 00:13

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6731325877_2b9cb0e504_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6731330371_215d1a8fb2_b.jpgAfter visiting the beautiful church in Montfarville, my friend and I ate lunch at Restaurant t'cheu Suzanne.  It is a warm and comfortable place with several large dining areas complete with fireplaces and authentic Normandy charm.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6731327863_53d6c35346_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6731331165_c1e6d6fae9_b.jpgThe hosts, Marianne and Serge Debrix were especially kind and waited on our every need.  Serge realized right away that I was not French and tried his English with me.  I was flattered but I told him that I needed to practice my French.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7148/6731325261_c7e2ef5ef0_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7028/6731327099_24190b27e4_b.jpgBefore the meal I had an apéritif of Kir Normand and a small plate of feuilletés aux saucisses.  The restaurant is famous for its specialty of beech wood smoked salmon garnished with capers and candied onions prepared on the premises as an entrée.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7150/6731329379_605ffbccdf_b.jpgIt was exceptional and I would recommend it to anyone !  My friend and I had different dishes for the main course—I had the ham while my friend ate skate, a type of ray fish.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6731328537_e9e711330d_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7170/6731326497_cffe7dd957_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6731332555_2209af2c24_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6731331917_30de039876_b.jpgWe washed it all down with a nice bottle of cider and finished the meal with a crème brûlée and a tarte aux pommes for dessert.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7152/6731333221_bdf95b9ac4_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7018/6731333791_c003fed3b9_b.jpgBefore leaving, I bought some postcards and promised Marianne and Serge that I would mention their restaurant in my blog.  If you are interested in visiting them or you are planning a large gathering for a special occasion, please visit their website to see what they have to offer.  You will not be disappointed.

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Published by The Baguette - in Le Val de Saire
January 27 2012 6 27 /01 /January /2012 00:01

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6731283257_981053c4e8_b.jpgOn the top of a small hill overlooking the château and the village of Réville is the church of Saint Martin.  A tall bell tower of three floors stands on the north side of the church—its upper levels perforated on each side by twin bays topped by an oculus.  It is crowned with a balustrade of corbels that supports the surrounding platform on which stands a tall spire with arrow slits from the 15th and 16th centuries.  It is clearly inspired by the spire at Notre Dame de Carentan.  The church consists of a nave from the 12th century and a choir of two bays, built in the 13th century without collateral damage to the interior.  It was enlarged in the 15th century by the addition of an aisle to the south and another to the north during the modern era.  Massive stones support the walls of the nave flanked by Romanesque columns.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7163/6731288355_71df50b2d8_b.jpgThe capitals of the columns display a variety of motifs that are typical of the Cotentin region—personages of warriors, angels, bearded Vikings and monsters.  The columns also offer support to the barrel vaulted ceiling in the shape of a ship’s hull now covered in wood panelling and entirely whitewashed.  The nave and the choir are separated by an 18th century wooden arch called a “perque” with a 16th century Christ at the center.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7008/6731289811_d210f3ebf2_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7030/6731290233_a6ea3afc27_b.jpgWithin the St-Jacques Chapel is the marble tomb of Béatrix Fouace (1874 - 1888) created by Guillaume Fouace between 1888 and 1889.  Fouace was an artist born and raised in Réville and is perhaps best known for his large 19 religious paintings that were commissioned for church in Montfarville.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6731286313_45e6c19f79_b.jpgThe altar of St-Jacques is made of wood and dates from the late 18th to mid-19th century.  The faux red, green and gray marbling is quite realistic even from close up.  From left to right are 19th century plaster statues of martyr St-Sébastien, in the center St-Jacques and to the right St-Benoît.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6736051701_9a54b61a18_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6736051721_c4649f0abb_b.jpgThe altar itself is adorned with six large candelabras and five small bronze reliquaries.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6731288935_1bc5d8ac18_b.jpgAt the center of the choir is the high altar dating from the mid-19th century.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6731287101_747e23cba7_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7160/6731288075_d16cfe54be_b.jpgTo the left and right are statues of St-Martin and of St-Michael defeating the dragon.  The painting above the tabernacle shows the Ascension of Jesus.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6736088383_183ddb7e00_b.jpgIn the chapel dedicated to the Virgin is an enormous wood altar painted in trompe l'oeil.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6731284929_36e2988377_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7012/6731284325_0dc2372bf2_b.jpgIt features motifs of Christ’s Passion as well as eight exquisite round miniatures depicting episodes from His life and that of His mother.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7035/6731285413_c2ab36fa34_b.jpgThe statue on the left is of the Blessed Thomas Hélye from the 19th century, in the center is the Virgin with Child also from the 19th century and to the right a late-17th century wood statue of Saint Joseph.  Hanging from the vaulting inside the chapel is a model of a ship called “Étoile de la Mer”.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6731285829_19bfd755b7_b.jpgIt is an “ex-voto” placed here by mariners expressing their gratitude for rescue from a shipwreck.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7015/6731286745_daf5086f13_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6731287551_e71f57db44_b.jpgWithin the baptismal chapel are the limestone font, a statue to St-Eloi, and a painting from 1880 by Guillaume Fouace depicting a baptism at the church.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7015/6731283859_0752bb75f5_b.jpgWritten in old French, one of the columns has a limestone epitaph from 1519 for an Olivier Roussel.  Due to a restoration effort in 2009, the church is in excellent condition however, I personally don’t approve of the seemingly endless whitewashing of nearly every stone inside.  It looks cheap and it takes away the unique history of natural stone masonry.

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Published by The Baguette - in Le Val de Saire
January 26 2012 5 26 /01 /January /2012 00:01

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6731281585_29eec48d48_b.jpgLe Manoir de la Crasvillerie near Réville is a granite mansion dating from the late 15th to early 16th centuries.  Its two octagonal towers and its mullioned windows guarded with iron bars gives it an aspect of being stern and contemptuous.  It was built by François Le Clerc who made his reputation in the 16th century as a pirate for the king of France.  He was better known by his nickname, “Jambe de bois” because one of his legs was made of wood.  In English we would call him peg leg.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6731282405_c6b7f48d2b_b.jpgIt is said his ghost still haunts the lookout tower where he once watched the return of ships loaded with spices and precious treasures.  He was knighted by François I.  Today, the Crasvillerie is home to a center for artificial insemination of dairy cows.http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6731282853_60e0cd5958_b.jpg

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Published by The Baguette - in Le Val de Saire
January 25 2012 4 25 /01 /January /2012 00:01

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6731277703_4636ee816b_b.jpgThe present château was rebuilt in 1695 by Sir André Fouquet de Glatigny who bought the fief of Réville from Madeleine Quetil.  The first floor is raised one level and is accessed by a double flight of stairs.  The small attic windows are surmounted by two triangular pediments.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6731278091_e94d14d8a7_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6731279427_886ff17d50_b.jpgThe previous château on this site was looted and burned in 1591 during the Wars of Religion by François de la Cour.  Its landlord, Christophe des Iles, was besieged and killed in 1594 by the son of François de la Cour in the fort at Tatihou which he commanded for the king.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6731278675_a954b3d28a_b.jpgAfter the Wars of Religion, the medieval château was abandoned.  The pavilion on the right was built in 1793.  The château suffered during World War II.  Its occupation by troops of French, Germans (Marshal Rommel slept here), British and Americans as well as five separate fires destroyed the wooden floors of the living room and dining room.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6731280087_7c2b8c7b2b_b.jpgThese days, one can stay in the château out buildings now used as gîtes.  In 1832, writer Pierre Le Fillastre collected stories from residents living in the Val de Saire and he left us this fanciful gem about a greedy monk.  The story goes as follows:  Once upon a time there was a monk who lived with his father at the château at Réville.  Everyone knew this particular monk was greedy.  One day, a farmer from the fief came to the château to pay his rent for the year of 500 to 600 francs to the father, lord of the fief.  When the farmer arrived, he found that the father was not at home.  He gave the money to his son, the greedy monk and made him promise to give it to the lord when he returned.  Sadly, the bad monk hid the money and told his father that he never received it from the farmer.  Later, in the presence of the father, the farmer asked the monk to swear to his honesty on the Holy Bible.  The father even warned his son that swearing on the Bible was something to take very seriously—especially since he was a monk.  Nevertheless, the monk swore to his father, the farmer and to God that he did not know anything about the money.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7008/6735361263_7c4887e997_b.jpgImmediately, a demon from the sea appeared and took the lying monk to his death.  No one is sure if the monk was drowned by the demon but one thing is for sure, his pleas for mercy and forgiveness can sometimes be heard by people passing by the sea.  The frightening sounds remind them of what awaits them should they steal and then lie about it.  I have several questions about this legend.  For example, why was the monk living at home with his father and not in a monastery ?  Why was he even ordained as a monk in the first place if he was known to be a liar and cheat ?  Finally, if he was known to be a greedy and deceitful person, why would anyone give him money ?  I guess we will never know all of the details.http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6731280819_1eb0c08a7d_b.jpg

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Published by The Baguette - in Le Val de Saire
January 22 2012 1 22 /01 /January /2012 15:19
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6741803905_a4a0f37305_b.jpgUn repas près de chez vous pour explorer et échanger sur le sens de la vie.  Une occasion de découvrir la foi chrétienne.
It is a meal near you to explore and discuss the meaning of life as well as an opportunity to explore the Christian faith.
Le parcours Alpha Classic une façon simple et conviviale de réfléchir au sens de la vie.
The Alpha Course a simple and easy way to reflect on the meaning of life.
C’est pour qui ?  Ce parcours est ouvert à tous.  Chacun peut être accueilli de manière décontractée pour échanger, discuter, découvrir quels que soient ses opinions, son âge, sa confession.  Aucune question n’est considérée comme trop simple ou taboue.
Who is it for?  The Alpha Course is open to ALL.  Everyone will be accepted in a casual atmosphere to exchange, discuss and discover no matter what their opinions, their age or their beliefs.  No question is too simple or considered taboo.
C’est quoi ?  Ce sont des repas pour parler de Dieu et de ses questions sur le sens de la vie.  C’est une opportunité de découvrir ou redécouvrir les bases de la foi chrétienne dans une ambiance conviviale.  C’est informel et sans engagement.
What is it?  After the meals, it is an opportunity to talk about God and ask questions about the meaning of life.  It is a time to discover or rediscover the foundations of the Christian faith in a friendly atmosphere that is informal and has no strings attached.
Comment ça se passe ?  Chaque rencontre débute par un repas, suivi d’un court exposé sur un thème.  Le parcours propose 10 soirées de ce type et un week-end à ceux qui le souhaitent.
How does it work?  Each meeting begins with a meal, followed by a short presentation on a specific topic.  There are ten nights of this type and a weekend of meditation for those who want to participate.
Combien ça coute ?  Le parcours Alpha est totalement gratuit.  La participation aux frais de repas est libre.
How much does it cost ?  The Alpha Course is totally FREE.  This includes the meal as well as your participation in the discussions afterward. 
Ça se passe où ?  Plus de 700 parcours Alpha Classic sont proposés dans toute la France par les églises catholiques, réformées, évangéliques, pentecôtistes, luthériennes… A ce jour, près de 17 millions de personnes ont suivi ce même parcours Alpha dans plus de 165 pays.   
Where does it take place ?  Over 700 Alpha Courses are offered throughout France by many faiths and organizations including Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Lutherans.  To date, nearly 17 million people participated in the Alpha Course in over 165 countries.
Qui organise ?  En France, les parcours Alpha sont organisés par plus de 6 000 bénévoles laïcs dans les paroisses, églises et aumôneries.  L’Association Alpha France, loi 1901, est principalement financée par des dons.  En 2011, elle est partenaire de la Grande Cause Nationale : la lutte contre la solitude.
Who organizes it ?  In France, the Alpha Course is organized by more than 6,000 lay volunteers in parishes, churches and other secular groups.  Alpha France Association, Law 1901, is funded primarily by donations.  In 2011, the Alpha Course in France became a partner in the national cause to fight against loneliness.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7174/6741806427_dbfa5b3b0d_b.jpgNous vous invitons à nous rejoindre au parcours Alpha qui débute le mardi 24 janvier 2010.  Horaire : 19h45 à 22h15.  Ce parcours comprend un week-end à l’extérieur sur l’Esprit Saint : c’est un moment clé qui est aussi un vrai temps de détente.  Alors réservez dès maintenant la date !  Le parcours est organisé par une équipe de bénévoles de la paroisse Jean XXIII.
We invite you to join us for the Alpha Course, which begins Tuesday, January 24, 2012.  Hours: 19h45 to 22h15.  The Alpha Course includes a weekend retreat which focuses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It is a key moment for self-discovery and affords a relaxing time for participants without all the stress of everyday life.  Mark your calendar now!  The Alpha Course is organized by a team of volunteers from the parish of John XXIII.
Les rencontres ont lieu le mardi soir au Centre Jean XXIII, 15 bis rue du Maupas 50100 Cherbourg-Octeville de 19h45 à 22h15.  (Alpha meetings are held every Tuesday night at the above address.)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6741807719_4e060832e1_b.jpgNous nous réjouissons de vous rencontrer bientôt.
We look forward to meeting you soon.
Voici les dates des prochaines rencontres :
Here are the dates of future meetings :
·        24 JAN : Repas d’introduction au cours Alpha—« Le Christianisme, faux, ennuyeux, dépassé ? »  Dinner and introduction to the Alpha Course—« Christianity, Fake, Boring, Outdated ? »
·        31 JAN : « Qui est Jésus ? » « Who is Jesus ? »
·        07 FEV : « Pourquoi Jésus est-il mort ? » « Why did Jesus die ?
·        21 FEV : « Comment être certain de sa foi ? » « How can we have faith ? »
·        28 FEV : « Prier : pourquoi et comment ? » « Why and how do I pray ? »
·        06 MAR : « Lire la Bible : pourquoi et comment ? » « Why and how should I read the Bible ? »
·        13 MAR : « Comment Dieu nous guide-t-il ? » « How does God guide us ?  »  
·        23 et 24 MAR : « Week-end sur l’Esprit Saint » « Weekend of the Holy Spirit »
·        27 MAR : « Comment résister au mal ? » « How can I resist evil ? »
·        03 AVR : « Dieu guérit-il encore aujourd’hui ? » « Does God heal today ? »
·        17 AVR : « En parler aux autres : pourquoi et comment ? » « Why and how should I tell others ? »
·        24 AVR : « Qu’en est-il de l’Église ? » « What about the church ? »
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6741809239_bfa0cab19f_b.jpgAidez-nous à préparer ces rencontres en nous prévenant de votre présence aux prochaines dates :
Help us to prepare for these meetings by letting us know ahead of time on which dates you will come:
Par tél :
Patrick et Edwige :
Francoise : 
Ou mail :
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6741808703_de6d6eb083_b.jpg« Alpha réunit un certain nombre d’éléments qui correspondent aux attentes de beaucoup de personnes d’aujourd’hui : la convivialité, l’accueil, l’enseignement, l’échange. » « Alpha brings together a number of elements that match the expectations of many people today : friendliness, hospitality, education, exchange. » -- Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archevêque de Paris, Président de la Conférence des Evêques de France
« Il est fini le temps où les gens acceptaient de croire sans comprendre.  Les rencontres Alpha offrent la souplesse, la convivialité et la liberté de parole qui correspondent aux attentes modernes. » « Gone are the days when people were willing to believe without understanding.  Alpha meetings provide flexibility, usability and freedom of speech that corresponds to a modern lifestyle. » -- Pasteur Christian Bonnet, Église Réformée de France
« Il faut accueillir Alpha comme une grâce.  Tout ce qu’Alpha communique et donne en partage renouvelle la vie de l’Église. » « Alpha must be welcomed as a blessing.  Everything discussed and shared during the Alpha Course renews the life of the Church. » -- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archevêque de Lyon
« Alpha permet de rencontrer d’autres personnes et de partager leur expérience de vie dans une atmosphère de confiance. » « The Alpha Course allows others to meet and share their life experiences in an atmosphere of trust. » -- Pasteur Claude Baty, Président de la Fédération Protestante de Francehttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7001/6741804691_0ee0afd5a5_b.jpg
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Published by The Baguette - in Cherbourg