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A few snippets from our French Holiday.....Part One!


This year we went to the Gironde and spent three weeks amongst the vines , on the way there we stopped
overnight in Le Mans….the history lesson now lol
Le Mans is found about 80 kilometres north of Tours, and south of Alencon. To many of course, Le Mans means nothing apart from a 24 hour racing spectacle once a year. If you are not interested in cars and car racing, it is best to avoid visiting Le Mans in the middle of June.

We stayed in a delightful B&B just opposite the Cathedral, of St Julien……more history!

The splendid Saint-Julien Cathedral, located in the heart of the town, is a magnificent example of the lengths and efforts put to build up such buildings in the middle ages. With its reversed rounded arches, it is one of the most impressive religious monuments in the area, and one of the largest cathedral in France. Its building started in the 11th century and took over 500 years. Techniques and styles evolved throughout its history, as a result the cathedral is a mix between various architectural styles. The nave is pure Romanesque, but the choir is in flamboyant Gothic. The stained glass inside the cathedral should not be missed. One of the panes, dating back from the twelve century, is actually the oldest stained glass still standing in the world.

It was so large it was impossible to get the whole building in, so this is what it looks like…..we did not have the time to go inside, next year hopefully!

However Le Mans also has a fantastic old town and is well worth the visit. Known as the Citรฉ Plantagenet, this is where in 1129 Geoffrey Plantagenet married Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England and gave birth to Henry II.

Unlike the medieval quarters of most towns and cities in France that of Le Mans is completely separate to the modern day town. It lies high above the town and is almost spookily quiet after the noise of the thriving city below.

The old town has lovely narrow streets, stone houses, many with intricate details, colombage (timbered buildings) and the lovely slate rooves common to this area of France, we would not have seen,had we not stayed in the old part of Le Mans….

We loved the massive installation outside the Town Hall…. and the planters with the lovely Cannas….

Now something very dear to my heart………French cakes Oh La La!!

I thought the last picture would cheer you all up, before the next blog and history lesson lol thanks for your time….

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French patisserie makes the custard slice that I bought look very inadequate!!! The cakes look so dainty and perfect.

I love those timbered buildings and the narrow streets. Lovely to see France on here, I am looking forward to the next bit!

17 Oct, 2015


Oooh, custard favourite!

17 Oct, 2015


Thanks Wildrose, France is a fascinating country, we love it...
Karen any cake is my favourite...

18 Oct, 2015


Wonderful photos, thank you! What minds, imagination, and talents (as well as muscle) there were long ago to create such art. Do we still have them today? Of course we do, though they are creating software instead of cathedrals. Now, I am going out for an Chocolate Eclaire and a cup of coffee.

18 Oct, 2015


Loosestrife talent and imagination indeed and perseverance 500 years to build a Cathedral! I hope you enjoyed you coffee and cake.....

18 Oct, 2015


I did thank you, my regret is that you both couldn't join me. Another thought about these large architectural structures built in a plan as you go fashion long ago from the Coliseum to St Paul's Catherdral (I'm aware that St Pauls is as I recollect, the fourth version of this cathedral but all built on the same site) and that is with little knowledge of geology and no core samples taken, how did they choose just the right building site and how did they ascertain how much building base support to use to sustain the tremendous weight of these stone structures, let alone the pressure of wind and the weight of snow and water remaining on them even after making all design attempts to shed it off? For all intents and purposes they should have sunken into the earth and cracked and crumbled away as being built or shortly thereafter. Otherwise, after 500 years of construction, the last pebble placed should have caused St. Julien to fall apart like a child's house of wooden blocks. I find that the art of sustaining as well as construction truly amazing also. I am really looking forward to Part Two of your Blog!

18 Oct, 2015


Agree with all the above, but what really surprised me was how quiet the streets are - hardly anyone about at all!
They must all be indoors eating cake...

19 Oct, 2015


I'll have the strawberry tart, please.
Very interesting blog Dd. Old buildings are amazing especially when you consider the tools & equipment that they managed with compared to today. Can you just imagine the outcry if a project was to last thru 5 generations.
What was the giant watering can to do with the town hall, did it have a plaque on it?

19 Oct, 2015


Oooh ! Lovely photos and those cakes !!!

19 Oct, 2015


The cakes look wonderful......Thanks for sharing such an interesting place. The cathedral is very impressive and love the old buildings and cobbled road.

20 Oct, 2015


Glad you enjoyed your French trip, Dd.

20 Oct, 2015


Thanks for reading my blog Siris, Lindak, Kidsgran, GF there wasn't a plaque re the giant watering can etc, the French have a unique way of just displaying bits and bobs!!
Stera..... considering it was August it was so quiet....
Loosestrife I couldn't agree more with your comments, it is very humbling at times....I am afraid my following blog will not be as interesting lol

22 Oct, 2015

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