Thursday, 30 November 2017

Something for the Tours


From Friday 1st to Saturday, December 30th 2017 
Monday to Thursday from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm 
Friday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm 
Closed Monday, December 25th 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tuesday for towns in the Loire Valley - Chedigny

Today we feature the beautiful village of Chedigny which is just 15 minutes north of Loches in Southern Touraine. Famous for its annual 'Rose festival' but a delightful walk at any time of year. 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Monday's Loire Valley chateau - Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau from the gardens

What can we say about Chateau de Chenonceau that we have not already said, yes it is the 'must see' chateau when visiting the Loire Valley but it is probably the best visit out of season visit as well.

The gardeners of the chateau continue to keep the rooms alive with their seasonal flower arrangements...

and excel themselves at Christmas when we think the chateau is at its best!

The chapel at Chateau de Chenonceau dressed up for Christmas

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Loire Valley church on Sunday...Notre-Dame-la-Riche

The church of Notre-Dame-la-Riche in Tours has obviously seen a turn in its fortune as its origins date back to a 10th century church on the site called Notre-Dame-la-Pauvre! The original church was formed to bury the poor of the parish but was replaced by a new church in the 12th century. The new church attracted pilgrims who had come to the city to pray to St. Gatien, among them Louis XI,who came to pray here on his way to his chateau at Plessis. Perhaps this is when the name-change occurred.

The portal on the west facing facade was part of some 19th century restoration work. The church has had quite a history, like many others, having been rebuilt completely during the 15th/16th centuries following the hundred year war only to be ransacked during the wars of religion. It did not suffer so much during the revolution as it apparently became a factory producing saltpetre!

Due to its location, hemmed in by buildings on three sides, the inside of the church has a rather sombre appearance with light filtering through where it can among the many stained glass windows (*our photos don't do them justice). These windows contain examples from almost every century of its existence.

The church is said to contain the relics of 'Saint Francis of Paola'.

It has a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary...

plus these splendid figures depicting the 'marriage of the Virgin' by the sculptor Charpentier dating from 1650 and other impressive works of art.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Something for the weekend...

BOUM, Blois’ free comic book festival, continues to celebrate its 34th edition this weekend Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November. It is one of the most important events of the comic 'industry' in France.
Every year the festival welcomes nearly 200 authors plus there are 70 exhibitors and 13 exhibitions. There are also art / drawing workshops to keep the kids amused.
Halle aux Grains, Abbé Grégoire Library, Chapiteau: Place Jean Jaurès 41000 BLOIS
Cinema Lobis: 12 avenue Maréchal Maunoury 41000 BLOIS
House of the comic: 3 rue des Jacobins 41000 BLOIS
Yurt (conferences): Place Jacques Lob 41000 BLOIS (next to the Maison de la bd)

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Surprising the Loire Valley

Many visitors to Tours here in the Loire Valley will probably never catch a glimpse of 'Parc du Lac de la Bergeonnerie' unless perhaps they head down Ave de Grammont and over the river Cher to the Aquatic centre. If you are basing yourself in the city and have a fitness regime then this may well be the place to exercise it!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A touch of art-deco in Tours

If you visit the indoor market (Les Halles) in Tours you should make your way to rue Jules Charpentier and seek out numbers 42 to 50.

Completed around 1910,the 'Duthoo buildings' were commissioned by the owner of the 'Grand Bazaar' store on Rue Nationale (Arthur Duthoo) as affordable rented accommodation for his workers, how lucky were they?They were built by the architect Jean-Frédéric Wielhorski who has left us his legacy in the form of these delightful houses.

You can see some more (better) photographs here.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Monday, 20 November 2017

Monday's Loire Valley chateau...Chateau de Villandry

External view of Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley

Chateau de Villandry is is famous for its beautiful gardens and it's what draws us back for a visit year after year. We try and visit the gardens at different times of the year as they change with seasonal planing, with springtime probably our favourite. Gardens aside, over time we have also come to appreciate the delights of the chateau itself something we have in the past tended to promote less than the gardens,which can be visited alone.

table set out in the dining room at Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley

The interior should be part of you visit as it is beautifully furnished...

a rather pink  bedroom at Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley including canopied bed

and contains some unique features like the ceiling of the oriental drawing room.

fine detail of the ornate ceiling in the oriental drawing room of Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley

Kitchens of Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley with many kitchen utensils on display

One of the major benefits of a visit inside is the climb to the top of the tower where the best views over the gardens are to be had.

elevated view of the gardens at Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley

It is worth noting that during their winter season (6/11/17 to 31/03/18) they offer reduced rates of : chateau and gardens : 8.5 euros and gardens only : 4.5 euros

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Loire Valley church on Sunday Saint Julien Tours

The church of Saint Julien in Tours is the former abbey church of an old Benedictine abbey on the site, Its origin dates back to the 6th century with the church you see today mainly from the 13th century. It is a church that we have never found open over the many years of visiting Tours. 

It had been closed for many years due to its dangerous condition but even though we think that has been resolved we still always seemed to find it locked. I think at one time it would open on patrimoine day with a limited number of people allowed in. Anyway, on our last visit we found workmen leaving the building and asked for a quick look inside and they obliged!  

Inside,the church is cathedral-like with its beautiful stained glass windows, imposing pillars and ceiling.