La Trappe Abbey in Normandy

4 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Giogo/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Giogo/cc-by-sa-4.0

La Trappe Abbey, also known as La Grande Trappe, is a monastery in Soligny-la-Trappe, Orne, France. It is known for being the house of origin of the Trappists, to whom it gave its name. The site of the famous La Trappe Abbey was for centuries isolated in a valley surrounded by forests, streams and lakes, 9 miles from Mortagne and 84 miles from Paris, in the Diocese of Séez and the former province of Normandy. It began as a small oratory chapel to the Virgin Mary, built in 1122 by Rotrou III, Count of Perche, as a memorial to his wife Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche. (An illegitimate daughter of Henry I, she drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120.) A few years later Rotrou built a monastery adjoining, which he offered to the monks of Le Breuil-Benoît Abbey near Dreux, a house of the Order of Savigny. The order was highly respected at that time for its fervour and holiness. In 1140 the monastery of La Trappe was raised to the status of abbey. In 1147 Savigny Abbey, with all its affiliated monasteries, was united to the Cistercian Order. From that time onwards, La Trappe was a Cistercian abbey, immediately subordinate to the abbot of Clairvaux.   read more…

Château des Milandes in the Dordogne region

10 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Bthv/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bthv/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Château des Milandes is a manor house in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle in the Dordogne département (Périgord) of France. Built by François de Caumont around 1489, it was, until 1535, the main house of the lords of Caumont, who preferred to live in this manor house instead of the large, uncomfortable medieval castle of Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.   read more…

La Cigale in Nantes

9 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  3 minutes

© Selbymay/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Selbymay/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Cigale is a brasserie located in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France, on the same city square as the Théâtre Graslin. The locale has been classified as a historic monument since 1964.   read more…

Hôtel de Crillon in Paris

14 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  9 minutes

© flickr.com - Julien Ricard/cc-by-3.0

© flickr.com – Julien Ricard/cc-by-3.0

The Hôtel de Crillon is a historic luxury hotel in Paris which opened in 1909 in a building dating to 1758. Located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, the Crillon along with the Hôtel de la Marine is one of two identical stone palaces on the Place de la Concorde. It has been listed since 1900 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.   read more…

Cordouan Lighthouse

12 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Lighthouse of Cordouan © Yann Gwilhoù/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lighthouse of Cordouan © Yann Gwilhoù/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cordouan lighthouse is an active lighthouse located 7 km at sea, near the mouth of the Gironde estuary in France. At a height of 223 feet (68 m) it is the tenth tallest “traditional lighthouse” in the world. The Tour de Cordouan, the ‘Patriarch of Lighthouses’, is by far the oldest lighthouse in France. It was designed by leading Paris architect Louis de Foix, and is something of a Renaissance masterpiece, an amalgam of royal palace, cathedral and fort. Started in 1584 and finished in 1611, it still stands today. Small beacon towers had existed on the islet since 880, but the first proper structure was implemented by Edward, the Black Prince, as Guienne was then an English province. It was 48 feet (15 m) high, with a platform on top where a wood fire could be kept burning, and manned by a religious hermit. Passing ships paid two groats to pass – the first known instance of lighthouse dues. In addition to the tower, a small chapel was built on the islet. By the second half of the 16th century the tower had fallen into disrepair and the hazard to navigation threatened the Bordeaux wine trade. This led to the construction of the current Tour de Cordouan.   read more…

The Eiffel Tower

1 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Tognopop

© Tognopop

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is generally only accessible by lift.   read more…

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