Le Tour 2004 - A Virtual Cultural Trip

Rick d Israeli
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 01:57 pm
C'est trés bon Walter.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 02:01 pm
Merçi beaucoup, Monsieur de Pays Bas!
0 Replies
Rick d Israeli
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 02:10 pm
De rien Cool
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 02:39 pm
Today, the tour passes one of my favoutite regions, the Vexin:

It is mainly agricultural, with some industry in the valleys. By the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (911), the northernmost part (Vexin Normand) was assigned to Rollo of Normandy; the rest (Vexin Français) remained with the French crown. Pontoise, Gisors, and Les Andelys are the chief towns.

Lots of information here:
Regional Nature Park of the French Vexin

And of course, the most outstanding village in the normandy part of Vexin is Giverny:

... in the heart of Impression

Many towns and villages in Vexin end with "-en-Vexin".

One, however, has a very peculiar name: "Wy-dit-Joli-village" ('Wy-said-to-be-a-nice-village).

About 1590, Henri IV, accompanied by his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées, is said to have strayed into Wy, during a hunt, and they say that he asked: "But what is this pretty village (joli village)?" And the people answered: "You have just named it, Sire!"
Canton de Magny-en-Vexin. 307 habitants.
Mairie de Wy-dit-Joli-Village
rue de la Mairie
95420 Wy-dit-Joli-Village
Ouverture : Mercredi : 14h00 - 17h00 Samedi : 9h30 - 10h30
Tarifs :
Téléphone : 01 34 67 41 72
Fax : 01 34 67 48 40

Actually, it's just a village like others.

Personally, I like this one very much: Cherence (I stayed there twice in a b&b):
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 12:38 pm
Stage 6 Friday, July 9th
Bonneval > Angers


O fond Affection,
wounder of my heart,
When wilt thou cease
to breed my restless pain?
When comes the end
of this my cruel smart?
When shall my force
beat back thy force again?
When shall I say
this restless rage of mine,
By reason ruled,
is banished quite away,
And I escaped
these cruel bonds of thine,
O flaming fiend,
that seekest my decay?
Safe thinking I,
Charybdis' rage to fly
On Scylla rock
in Bonneval I die.

At Bonneval in France, Barnabe Googe : Barnabe Googe was born in 1540 and lived until 1594. In 1555 he entered Cambridge, and two years later became a ward of the court when his father died. He was a kinsman to the influential Sir William Cecil, the Queen's secretary, and therefore had an "in" among the more famous literary members of the Court. "At Bonneval in France" appeared in print for the first time in Googe's Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets(1563).
The name Bonneval probably comes from the French for good valley, fertile valley.
This mediaeval township, in the Upper Loir Valley between the La Beauce and Le Perche regions, is also known as the "Venice of La Beauce".
A fortified town since the Middle Ages, when the Benedictine abbey of Saint Florentin was founded here, the Loir flows into its defensive ditches, which you can explore by electric boat.

The wealth of a heritage in Bonneval:
- Ancient Saint Florentin abbey
- XVth century abbey dwelling
- XIIIth and XVth century fortifications with their defensive ditches filled with water
- XIIIth and XVth century ancient houses
- XIIth and XIIIth century church
- XIXth century washing-places
- Megaliths


city, capital of Maine-et-Loire département, Pays de la Loire région, western France. Angers is the former capital of Anjou and lies along the Maine River 5 miles (8 km) above the latter's junction with the Loire River, northeast of Nantes. http://www.mandmdigital.com/janets_castles/images/2883Angers.jpgThe old city is on the river's left bank, with three bridges crossing to Doutre. Capital of the Andecavi, a Gallic tribe of the state of Andes, the ancient town became Juliomagus under the Romans. The succession of counts of Anjou began in the 9th century, and the rule of the Plantagenets was marked in Angers by the construction of magnificent monuments, of which the French Hôpital Saint-Jean (now housing an archaeological museum) is the most striking. http://www.mandmdigital.com/janets_castles/images/2934Angers.jpgThe city's massive, moated château, whose 17 towers are from 130 to 190 feet (40 to 58 m) high, was built in 1230 on the site of earlier castles; it houses the late 14th-century Apocalypse series of tapestries (woven by Nicholas Bataille). Despite the damage of past wars, particularly World War II, Angers is still rich in medieval architecture. The 12th-13th-century Cathedral of Saint-Maurice retains its original stained glass. The 15th-century Barrault House contains the public library, an art museum, and the complete works of the sculptor Pierre-Jean-David d'Angers, who was born in the city. http://www.jcraymond.freesurf.fr/Histoire/HistLieux/Angers/Images/AngersPTT.jpgThe prefecture is in the former Saint-Aubin Abbey (11th century), which has Roman arcades. The medieval Universitas Andegavensis was refounded in 1876 as the Catholic Faculty of the West.
The city's traditional industries such as slate quarrying, distilling, rope and cable manufacture, and weaving have been supplemented by electronics, photographic equipment, and elevators.

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 01:48 pm
Not far away from Angers ...

the Gardens of Chambiers Castle/Jardins du château de Chambiers

a castle, which is a really nice hotel today


Website <click>

But now; I'd like you to invite you to tour through Anjou by yourselves via this website

http://www.devignewines.co.uk/dw/images/celler01.jpg Enjoy! http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~anjou/img-wine/w-mutenka.jpg



There's something more
to "discover in Anvers" :wink: .
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 12:49 pm
Saturday, July 10th

Stage 7
Châteaubraint > Saint-Brieuc

is one of the fortified towns of the Marches of Brittany, on the border of Brittany and Anjou. This gastronomic town still has its medieval castle which is evidence of its prestigious past.
Châteaubriant was built in the 11th C, in the centre of the Pays de la Mée (Mée country), when Brient, a envoy from the county of Rennes built a fortress and a priory there. The town developed and town walls were built around it in the 13th C. The castle became the seat of the powerful Breton barony of the Châteaubrients. It was the subject of many assaults during its history. Following the hand over to Dinan in the 14th C, the barony became very prosperous during the 15th century. Françoise of Dinan, Anne de Bretagne's governess and wife to Guy XIV of Laval, betrayed her husband the duke and delivered Brittany to the king of France. The town and castle were partially destroyed in 1488. Jean de Laval, her grandson, restored the image of the town and built the Rennaissance part of this dwelling. A legend surrounds the death of his wife Françoise de Foix, who was mistress to François I, who he assassinated out of jealousy.

Despite the fact that the ramparts have long gone, the castle still displays the rich history of Châteaubriant. The medieval fortress overlooks the town and the Etang de la Torche (small lake). The Renaissance dwelling has beautiful sculpted dormer windows following the style of the Loire Châteaux. Its south hall displays fine brick and schist archways. Several halls can be visited. In addition to this, the French gardens are open to visitors. You can obtain information at the Tourist Office if you wish to go on the interesting guided tours.

The town centre has kept the outlines of the old wall and some of the old dwellings can be discovered while strolling through the streets. A number of the have their own history or an anecdote attached to them.

The Béré church is one of the oldest Roman buildings of the department (county). It has is a very interesting baroque reredos inside.

The stunning fair hall in Châteaubriant holds a cattle market every Wednesday with some 2,


town, capital of Côtes d'Armor département, Brittany région, northwestern France. It is situated on a promontory between the ravines of the Gouët River and its tributary the Gouëdic, near Saint-Brieuc Bay on the English Channel. Saint-Brieuc is named after a Welsh monk, St. Briocus, who evangelized the region in the 6th century and established an oratory there. In 1375 the town was defended against the Duke of Brittany by Olivier de Clisson, who in 1394 attacked it himself; in both sieges the massive fortified Cathedral of Saint-Étienne (which dates from the 13th century) was much damaged. http://www.der-dachs.de/berichte/gifs/2saint_brieuc.jpgIt has been reconstructed several times. In 1592 Saint-Brieuc was pillaged by the Spaniards and in 1601 ravaged by the plague.

A panoramic view of the Gouët estuary and valley is obtained from the Tertre Aubé, a hillock in the north of the town. The town has pleasant parks and gardens; points of vantage on the boulevards bordering the ravines overlook its commercial and fishing port, Le Légué, in the Gouët estuary, the ruined 14th-century tower that dominates the estuary mouth, and Saint-Brieuc Bay. There are many picturesque old houses in the town.
Saint-Brieuc, which is a centre of tourism for northern Brittany, is also an important market town. Its industries include metallurgy and brush manufacture.

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 01:09 pm
The Tour is in Britanny today and passes quite some attractic places, like

town, northwestern France, in Côtes-d'Armor département, Bretagne région, dominating the upper Rance Estuary. It stands on a height above the left bank of the river 14 miles (22 km) south of the coast at Dinard. It has preserved many medieval timbered houses, as well as its fine 18th-century granite buildings, its Gothic bridge, and its 15th-century belfry, the Tour de l'Horloge. The walls of the town, dating from the 11th century, survived two 14th-century attacks by the English. An imposing granite castle, known as the Château de la Duchesse Anne, was built by the dukes of Brittany in the 14th and 15th centuries. Dinan is a market town and a tourist centre.

While we are there,
we shouldn't forget to make a side trip to


city, capital of Ille-et-Vilaine département, Bretagne région, western France. It is situated at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers. The town was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1720 and was rebuilt from a plan that gave it wide, regular streets and a main axis running east and west along the canalized Vilaine. The few surviving buildings from before the fire, on the northern side of the Vilaine, include the imposing Palais de Justice, which was the House of Parliament of Brittany from 1618 to 1655. Its Grand Chambre, where the Parliament sat, was a magnificent hall with fine decorations, but the building was heavily damaged by fire in 1994. The railway and most of the modern districts are on the south side of the Vilaine.
Rennes's cathedral, which was completed in 1844, has two towers belonging to an earlier edifice destroyed in the 1720 fire. The 18th-century town hall was designed by Jacques V Gabriel in typical Louis XV style. The Jardin du Thabor, a pleasant park, has a French classical garden, a rose garden, and a botanical garden. The museum, largely destroyed during World War II, has been rebuilt and has a substantial collection of paintings (16th-20th century).
The city's name is derived from the Redones, a Celtic tribe that established its capital there. Under Roman occupation the town became the centre of communications of the province of Armorica. In the Middle Ages it vied with Nantes as capital of the dukes of Brittany. The rivalry continued when a Parliament of Brittany was created in 1551; the Parliament finally settled at Rennes 10 years later. During the French Revolution, the town became the headquarters of the republican army in the fighting with the Vendéens (royalist insurgents). Rennes was bombed and partly destroyed in World War II.

Rennes is the seat of an archbishopric, and the Universities of Rennes I and II have made it the intellectual centre of Brittany. The city is an important road and rail junction that connects Brittany with Paris. Traditionally an important market town, Rennes developed industrially after World War II, with plants manufacturing railway equipment, automobiles, agricultural machinery, and chemicals. There is also some food processing and printing and, more recently, electronics. A petroleum refinery is located at nearby Vern-sur-Seiche.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2004 01:16 pm
Well, and after all that culture, we need a rest, in one of the finest restaurants of Britanny, of course:


Hotel - Restaurant Ecrin in Plancoët<cick>

And for the rest of the day:


Welcome at Baie de Saint Brieuc!<click>
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 10 Jul, 2004 01:07 pm
Sunday, July 11th

Stage 8
Lamballe > Quimper



is a small town west of St. Malo and a town with a love of sport, with 57 sporting clubs and associations and 4,200 members. It also boasts modern facilities able to host school or federal competitions, at regional or national level. Cycling has 392 enthusiasts and is thriving in all sectors, from competition to leisure tourism, and has a promising future thanks to its school, one of the most active in Brittany. The sportsmen of Lamballe are big-hearted, and this is proven by the most important sporting events held by the town for humanitarian causes: the "Jean-François Rault" (cycling race in support of paralysis and leukaemia) and the cycling Criterium race.




[is the town, where I stuck for half an hour in the morning traffic jam 3 weeks ago]

Breton Kemper town, capital of Finistère département, Bretagne region, France, and a port at the estuarine confluence of the Odet and Steir rivers. Once the ancient capital of the countship Cornouaille, it is associated with the legendary (5th century) king Gradlon, who came from Cornwall in Britain. The countship was united with the duchy of Brittany in the 11th century; but the town suffered in local wars of succession and, in 1344, was sacked by Charles de Blois. After the defeat of Charles at Auray (1364), the duchy passed to the House of Montfort.


The city's Gothic cathedral (13th-16th centuries) was named for the first bishop, St. Corentin of the 5th century. There are two museums, one of fine art, the other conserving local Breton tradition. At the Great Festival of Cornouaille held each July all the costumes of Bretagne are displayed.


Quimper, a commercial town and tourist centre, is known for its pottery, a faience that has been produced there since the 17th century. There are also some metal, dairying, clothing, and paper industries.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 10 Jul, 2004 01:38 pm
Being now in the center of the "touristic Britanny", it's hard to decide, what to present as an "aside the route".

Les calvaires is something, you really shouldn't miss:


The calvary, which has a form particular to this region shows Christ crucified, flanked by the Virgin and the Saint John and surrounded by scenes from the Passion. The base of the cross, decorated with a number of scenes from the life of Christ or the Virgin, may take on monumental proportions.

The finistérian calvaries of Guimiliau (more than 200 figures depicted on two levels) (1581-1588), Saint-Thégonnec (1610), Pleyben (28 episodes of the life of Christ) (1555) and of Plougonven (1554) are the most spectacular.
The calvary of Tronoën (Finistère), the oldest in Brittany (1450), is rectangular and has two levels.
The finistérian calvaries of Quilinen (1547) and of Saint-Venec (16th century), similar in style, introduce a triangular form. On the back of the statue of the crucified Christ is the resurrected Christ.
The calvary (18th - 19th century) of Pontchâteau (Loire-Atlantique) is a curiosity because of its life-size statues.
The calvary of Louisfert (Loire-Atlantique).
The calvary of Guéhenno (1550) is the only group of this type in the department of Morbihan.


Being outsite of the churches, let's mention the
the ossuary as well:
Since the parish enclosures are small and space for burials restricted, the remains of the dead were regularly disinterred to make room for more. The bones were then placed in ossuaries built for the purpose. Ossuaries or reliquaries usually have a colonnaded wall. Some are self-contained, within the parish close or built against its outer wall ; others are built against the church and form part of its fabric. The detached ossuaries were sometimes used as funeral chapels.
-The ossuary of Pleyben (Finistère) is one of the most remarkable ones (1550) and in addition to that its architecture is very refined.
-The ossuary (17th century) of La Roche-Maurice (Finistère) is one of the biggest in Brittany.
-The ossuary of Plouzélambre (Côtes d'Armor)


Brittany and crêpes go hand in hand. They are made for Candlemas, and later they become the queens of the festival at Gourin in the third week of July. "Les Anciens" beat the rye with a flail as in olden times while the women's tall headpieces hover above hot stoves.
Wheat flour crêpes in lower Brittany (the western part of the peninsula) or buckwheat galettes in upper Brittany were once eaten by country folk with salted butter or just an egg. Today crêpes and galettes are eaten with eggs, ham, sausage or cheese… or simply with sugar and jam.

These delicious pancakes can be accompanied by a bowl of cider or "lait ribot," a slightly fermented milk drink typical of Brittany.


500 g (3 1/2 c.) flour
250 g (1 c.) sugar
100 g (6 - 7 tbsp.) butter
100 ml (6- 7 tbsp.) water
5 eggs
A pinch of salt
1 litre (4 c.) milk

Making the batter

Melt the butter.
Place the flour in a large bowl and form a well in the centre; add in the eggs, sugar and salt;
mix the ingredients, adding the flour in a little at a time to prevent lumps.
Pour in the melted butter and milk and combine; the batter should be almost liquid. Let rest for an hour or two.

Cooking the crêpes
Don't worry: the first one is rarely successful!

Take a half ladleful of batter with your right hand and hold the pan in your left. Pour the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan with your left hand to spread the batter evenly over the whole surface.
Leave over the heat until the crêpe is set enough to be turned.
Cook for a few seconds on the other side and then slide onto a plate. Keep warm until all the crêpes are cooked.

How to make a crêpe - method 1: flipping

Hold the pan off the heat; shake it horizontally with short jerks until the crêpe no longer sticks to the bottom.
With a snap of the wrist, slide the crêpe to the curved edge of the pan and then give the pan another flick of the wrist to flip the crêpe: because of the curved shape of the rim, the crêpe will usually flip over naturally.
Be careful not to flick too hard or you may end up decorating your ceiling!

Simple Method

Holding the pan off the heat, shake it horizontally with short jerks until the crêpe no longer sticks to the bottom.
Turn the crêpe out onto a plate (cooked side down).
Place the pan upside down over the plate; firmly hold the two together and turn over - be careful: use oven mitts or a towel to prevent burning yourself.
You can also practice with small crêpes, in which case you need only slide a spatula underneath and flip them over.

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 10 Jul, 2004 01:57 pm
One of the nicest small medieval towns in Britanny is Locronan, formerly a wealthy centre for weaving sailcloth, nowadays a "picture book village" without car traffic.


Notice the fine granite houses in the Town's main square and the church with the chapel.

In nearby Douanenez,

there's a really interesting boat/ship museum, worth viting not only for naval enthusiasts.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 11 Jul, 2004 02:54 pm
Monday, July 12th

Rest day in Limoges

<Wondering, if someone notices>
0 Replies
Reply Sun 11 Jul, 2004 03:33 pm
I really liked that Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, back in Saint-Brieuc. Well, I like the whole tour so far. Thanks again, Walter.
0 Replies
drom et reve
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 10:09 am
I can't thank you enough for telling me about this thread that you have made, Walter. You have taken us through the tour so well-organizedly that it seems as though you have been in all the places many times. I look forward to reading more.

(By the way; were you going up to Belgium or somewhere when you were stuck in Quimper?)

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 10:18 am
Well, Drom, I've really been to all these places - at the until now described at least a couple of times :wink:

When I drive from my place to France (via Paris or to "in and around Paris"), I usually try to avoid the autoroute and take my way along the Meuse valley (the ancient 'route Napoléon').

Eh, and I stayed a few days in Douarnez,

here: http://www.auberge-kerveoch.com/images/hdrTitle.gif

just for a break, and to be somehow "centred" in Britanny.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 11:07 am
Before we go, I want to thank all those numerous photographers, authors etc on various websites and printed books - especially britannica and Michelin - from where I've stolen (and will go doing so :wink: ) most of the material here.

[To be honest: I really had thought of using at least my own photos: but searching them, bringing them in correct order AND scanning ... :wink: ]

So thanks to all the known and unknown distributors!
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 11:38 am
Tuesday, July 13th

Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat > Guéret



http://www.ville-saint-leonard.com/images/logo_VilleArtHistoire.gif [that's easy to translate :wink: ] http://www.ville-saint-leonard.com/images/logo_PlusBeauxDetour.gif [sign for the "best detour places in France]

is a medieval pilgrim town, preserving the remnants of its religious and historic past.

Its Roman collegiate church, famous for its magnificent bell, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage historic monument.
This Limousin town has 4,800 inhabitants, known as the Miaulétous, and is ridged by small valleys. In a bid to pass on and protect its traditions, the commune renovated a former mill, transforming it into a living museum of printing and paper. The town of Saint-Léonard de Noblat, the department's second porcelain-producing centre, the birthplace of limousine cattle, and the place where Raymond Poulidor trained, invites you to "Chabatz d'entrar"… Come on in, in the local dialect.


Massif des Monedieres

Pont Vieux Nuit



town and capital of Creuse département, Limousin région, central France. It lies about 45 miles (73 km) northeast of Limoges. The feudal capital of the ancient French province of La Marche, Guéret grew up around a 7th-century abbey situated in an area of foothills at an elevation of 1,440 feet (440 m). It was only a small market town until the coming of the railway, after which it became the centre of local agricultural cooperatives. The municipal museum has a fine collection of 12th- to 15th-century enamels. The Hôtel de Money-roux, a 15th-century mansion that houses local archives, is the finest building in the town.
In terms of education, health, culture, sport and infrastructure, this small town has nothing to envy the big ones. The balance achieved between environment and modernity gives Guéret its real asset: quality of life.


0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 12:52 pm
There are a lot of places worth mentioning

- BTW: for further informations about the departure and arrival towns, always mentioned in the day's first response, please do use the given link)(s) for further information! -

Mauriac is one of those,


with the famous romanic church Notre-Dame-des-Miracles

http://www.art-roman.net/mauriac/mauriac9.jpg - http://www.art-roman.net/mauriac/mauriac1.jpg
http://www.art-roman.net/mauriac/mauriac8.jpg - http://www.art-roman.net/mauriac/mauriac11.jpg

Salers http://www.pays-de-salers.com/images/index2/salers.jpg is a picturesque example of what the French with http://www.pays-de-salers.com/images/index/plubovillfr.gif mean:


Saler is famous as well for the brown Saler cows

http://www.pays-de-salers.com/images/phototec/h2.jpg and the Saler cheese http://www.pays-de-salers.com/images/race/from.jpg


The Auvergne is a lovely regoin - as it the next village, Murat


http://www.ville-de-murat.com/tourisme/images/odt_patrimoine_07.jpg - http://www.ville-de-murat.com/tourisme/images/odt_patrimoine_08.jpg
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2004 02:26 pm
Walter, You are one of the jewels on A2K. Thanks for all the effort you have put into this thread. As an experienced traveler and photographer (amateur ratings), I can attest to the excellent rating of Le Tour 2004. c.i.
0 Replies

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