Chateaux de la Loire in France: Spectacular UNESCO Castles in the Loire Valley

“The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments (the châteaux), and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment, primarily the river Loire itself.” UNESCO

UNESCO Justification for Inscription

“Criterion (i): The Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular in its world-famous castles, such as the Château de Chambord.

Criterion (ii): The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape along a major river which bears witness to an interchange of human values and to a harmonious development of interactions between human beings and their environment over two millennia.

Criterion (iv): The landscape of the Loire Valley, and more particularly its many cultural monuments, illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/933

If you plan a trip to the Loire Valley in France between Sully-sur Loire and Chalonnes, you can explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site with majestic castles with spectacular medieval architecture:

1. Villandry was built by the same man that designed much of Chambord (François I Finance Minister Jean Le Breton). Villandry is actually most renowned for what is outside of the castle. However, while Chambord remains Le Breton’s main achievement in construction, it is Villandry where he used all of the Renaissance gardening tricks he had picked up while working as an ambassador in Italy. The castle remained in the Le Breton family until the early 20th century, when it was purchased by Joachim Carvallo, who spent a whole of time, money and devotion to rebuilding, expanding and repairing the beautiful gardens. Today the gardens at Villandry are considered one of the best examples of Renaissance style gardens in the world and boasts a water garden, flower gardens and vegetable gardens laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges—making it a must-see on any castle tour of the Loire.

2. Chambord is one of France’s most recognizable castles known for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, which blends late French Gothic and newer Italian Renaissance motifs. Chambord is also the largest castle in the Loire. Chambord was first built by King Francois I as a hunting lodge (I know you picture a hunting lodge as being more of a log cabin than a magnificent model of French Renaissance architecture, but it was a KING’S hunting lodge, after all).  Chambord has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is most known for its façade, which through more than 800 sculpted columns was designed to look like the skyline of Constantinople, with 11 kinds of different towers and different types of chimneys. Chambord also has a double-helix staircase that serves as the centerpiece to the castle and was rumored to have been designed (or inspired) by Leonardo da Vinci during his time at nearby Clos de Luce.

4. Chenonceau is one of my favorite castles in the Loire Valley. Chennonceau was built in 1513 by Catherine Briçonnet and later embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, the Chateau de Chenonceau contains exquisite interiors and has idyllic gardens that look over River Cher.

Originally a small castle along the banks of the River Cher, the castle got its current design in the 16th century when it was seized by the crown for unpaid debts. In 1547, King Henri II offered the castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. and she had Chenonceau’s  arched bridge built. It spans the river. She is also responsible for the gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens set in buttressed stone terraces.

Upon King Henri II’s death in 1559, his clearly bitter widow and regent Catherine de Medici had Poitiers expelled from the castle and she moved into the scenic spot herself, adding even more extensive gardens. Since then the castle was privately owned for years and even used as a make-shift hospital for soldiers during WWII; its gallery bridge’s southern door provided access to the unoccupied Free Zone while the castle’s main entrance was in the Nazi occupied zone. Chenonceau today is one of the most visited and popular of the Loire castles and its Renaissance architecture and well-lit gallery and beautiful gardens.

5. Amboise is perched up on a strategic point along the Loire River and was originally built as a fort. In 1434, the castle was seized by King Charles VII after its owner (from which the castle got its name), Louis Amboise, was convicted and killed for supposedly plotting against the King. In the 15th century that the castle was lavishly rebuilt and added onto, starting with its late French Gothic architecture, until Italian builders were brought in and the castle’s style changed to Renaissance.While the castle became a favorite retreat for many French Kings (King François I was raised primarily at the castle), Amboise’s most famous guest was Leonardo da Vinci, who came to the castle in 1515 as a guest of the King and stayed in nearby Clos de Luce. What is most notable about Amboise, however, is known for its unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and large formal garden.

6. Blois was always a favorite getaway town for French kings; the castle in this quaint little Loire town is best known as the birthplace of King Louis XII as well as the primary residence for Henri IV’s exiled wife Marie de Medici, and later for the Duke of Orléans (brother of Louis XIII and uncle of Louis XIV). However, the castle has a long and prominent history and its Renaissance architecture and picturesque spot along the banks of the Loire make it a definite worthwhile stop on your Loire castle tour. In fact, the castle was the main resort for the French court during the 16th century and was also the location for the famed States General meetings held by Henri III in 1576 and 1588, where several prominent nobles were sentenced to death. The castle also plays a role in the famous Three Musketeers series by Alexandre Dumas as an important retreat for some of France’s most famous and powerful kings.

7. Cheverny was also given to Diane de Poitiers by her lover, King Henri II. Chenonceau was her favorite and primary residence. Poitiers sold Château de Cheverny to the former owner’s son who had originally built the castle between 1624 and 1630. The castle passed between owners until 1914, when the owner made it the first castle to be opened to the public; the family still owns and operates the castle to this day. The castle is renowned for its beautiful interiors and collection of furniture, tapestries and rare objects d’art. There is also a pack of about 70 dogs that are kept on the grounds and taken out for hunts twice weekly.

8. Clos Lucé is not really a  “Château de la Loire”; it is a large mansion located just 500 meters from  the Château d’Amboise by way of an underground passageway and is notable mostly for its most famous resident, Leonardo da Vinci. In 1515, King François I invited the Italian painter and inventor to Amboise and offered him the manor to use as a home and studio. When Da Vinci arrived in 1516 he came with three paintings, including the famed Mona Lisa, and lived in the mansion for the last three years of his life. Visitors to Amboise should not hesitate to hop on over to Clos Lucé, where you can peruse a museum that includes forty models of various machines designed by Leonardo.

9. Langeais is a perfect example of Medieval French architecture. It is located near the Brittany frontier and had a significant role in the battle between the French and English. The structure dates back to the 10th century and was built on a cliff which offered a strategic location overlooking the Loire River. The castle was actually fortified and expanded under the rule of Richard I of England (when English kings ruled this region of France) until King Philippe II of France recaptured the castle in 1206. The castle was also where Anne of Brittany and King Charles VIII wed, thus uniting France and Brittany. Today, the dark and ominous looking castle is replete with a great collection of Medieval tapestries.

Château de Langeais

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Italy Travel Guides

Witness the Story of Easter in Rome: Buona Pasqua

c. 1580

c. 1580 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl Princeton

Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl Princeton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Tiburtine Sybil, woodcut from the Nurember...

The Tiburtine Sybil, woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle Français : La Sibylle Tiburtine, bois gravé tiré de la Chronique de Nuremberg, feuille 93 verso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 12th Station of the Cross - Jesus dies on ...

Image via Wikipedia

A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cro...

A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cross, from the monastery in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: La Sibilla Tiburtina, 1483, affresco...

Italiano: La Sibilla Tiburtina, 1483, affresco nella Chiesa di S. Giovanni Evangelista a Tivoli (Roma). L’immagine è racchiusa in un tondo e deliminata in un anello bianco con il basso l’espressione SIC AIT riferito alla profezia che viene riportata sotto il ritratto. La profezia inizia all’interno del medaglione per proseguire al di sotto di esso. The Tiburtine Sibyl, 1483. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus i...

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus is a 16th-century chiaroscuro woodcut by Antonio da Trento. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pope Francis and the Vatican gear up for Holy Week Celebrations and ancient traditions in and around Rome. These events commemorate the last week of the life of Jesus Christ before his painful death on the cross and ultimate Resurrection.

The Tiburtine Sybil named Albunea, told Emperor Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) in a mystic meeting, that the first-born of God would one day rule his empire: “Haec est ara primogeniti Dei”-This is the altar of the first-born of God.

Augustus commemorated the spot by erecting an altar. The church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli (altar of Heaven) now crowns the highest point of the Campidoglio in Rome with 124 steps that lead to the entrance of the church. In the church, the figures of Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar.

English: Santa Maria in Aracoeli (façade), Rome.

English: Santa Maria in Aracoeli (façade), Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antonio da Trento, Tiburtine Sibyl and the Emp...

Antonio da Trento, Tiburtine Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inside this church are the relics of St. Helen in a porphyry urn. Saint Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine who ultimately decreed the Christianization of pagan Rome. Inside the church, there is a chapel of the Santo Bambino. The Bambino is carved from olive wood from Jerusalem using wood from the Garden of Gethsemane. It was created by a Franciscan monk in the 15th century.

Furthermore, the Tiburtine Sibyl prophesied a final Emperor named Constan who would “vanquish the foes of Christianity and end paganism.” Michelangelo portrayed the Sibyls in the frescos of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The Tiburtine Sybil's prophecy to the Emperor ...

The Tiburtine Sybil’s prophecy to the Emperor Augustus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Easter story of the “Passion of Christ” is depicted in the 14 “Stations of the Cross.” The “INRI” on the cross is the abbreviation of “King of the Jews” in Hebrew. During his lifetime, Jesus encountered the same type of pain that normal people excounter. He endured physical pain, mental anguish, rejection, abandonment and betrayal. Holy Week allows us to recall the great sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us and signifies new beginnings.

Holy Week is one of the most religious and exciting times of the year to visit Rome and many other towns in Italy and Spain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZl_Ab29id4&NR=1. Holy Week events begin on Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday. On this day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on  a donkey and was welcomed as royalty with the path paved with branches and palms. The ceremonies during the week revolve around the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Palm Sunday,  Holy Week begins with the Pope‘s blessing of the palms in St. Peter’s Square.

The three days before Easter are called the Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNFTNu1I4M. The Easter Vigil is the high point of the Triduum: “The night Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The church empties the Holy Water from the fonts on the days of the Sacred Paschal Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. The Passion is read three times during Holy Week: Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The words of Jesus are always read by a priest.

On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Pope performs a rare morning mass. “The Mass of the Chrism” is held in St. Peter’s Square when the oils are blessed and the Chrism is consecrated.  Chrism is a combination of balsam and oil and is used for annointing for occasions like confirmation and ordinations.

In the evening after sun-down, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles. This event includes a reading of Matthew’s account of the “Passion of Christ”; the narration of Jesus’ capture, suffering and death. It includes the representation of Jesus Christ washing the feet of his Disciples which was carried out by Pope Benedict at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran where he washed the feet of 12 priests http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIUmGhwwqs.

On Good Friday, the day of Christ’s brutal crucufixion in AD33, choirs sing St. John’s version of Christ’s crucifixion. Peter Paul Rubens’ “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) portrays Christ with his “Crown of Thorns” before his Crucifixion. After his crucifixion, he was covered with a shroud http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVQnkKlphY&feature=relmfu.

On this day in Catholic churches around the world, Christians glorify the cross in their individual parishes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubkiKyjo9WU. The cross is venerated as a symbol of our faith by kneeling in front of the cross and kissing it. In this way, we honor the Lord’s Cross as an instrument of our salvation. The cross was the means of Jesus Christ’s execution and as a sign of victory over sin and death. The church does not celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Good Friday, rather the Church commemorates the Lord’s Passion.

In Rome on Good Friday, a solemn “Via Crucis Procession” (The Way of the Cross) involves an evening torch-lit procession that follows the Pope as he traces the Stations of the Cross from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2qwjLTFcwQ. The church in Rome adopted the practice of “Adoration of the Cross” from the Church in Jerusalem where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross has been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fouth century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8eDPyXYv50.

St. Helen, the mother of emperor Constantine, discovered this fragment of wood on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Pope Alexander VII had the top of the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square adorned with his insignia. There is a relic of Christ’s “True Cross” encased in this emblem of Pope Alexander that crowns the Obelisk.

Jesus had 12 disciples. They were pupils or followers of Christ. The Passion of Christ was initiated when the Temple Guards, guided by Judas Iscario, captured Jesus. Judas was a Disciple of Jesus who betrayed him by telling the guards that whomever he kisses, they should arrest. Judas was paid in silver for his betrayal which is portrayed  in “The Kiss of Judas.” The trial and painful crucifixion of Jesus ensued. Judas ended up returning the silver and committing suicide.

On the Joseph Maria Subirachs “Magic Square” on the facade of Gaudi’s Sagada Familia in Barcelona (Quadrato magico di Sagrada Familia) next to “The Kiss of Judas” in the picture below, notice that all colums, diagonals and rows add up to 33, the year of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Judas Betrayed Jesus Christ before his Crucifixion

Judas Kiss and the Magic Square of 33

Pictured above is Caravaggio’s famous portrayal of “The Kiss of Judas.”

On Holy Saturday, Jesus’  lifeless body was cradled in the arms of  Mary, as portrayed in Michelangelo’s “Pieta.”  He was then laid to rest in the borrowed grave of a friend. Churches around the world conduct an Easter Vigil where we celebrate Jesus Christ; our light who drives away the darkness of our lives http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3d9LTi_U2w&feature=relmfu. At the beginning of the Easter Vigil, the church is darkened and gradually springs to life with the Ressurection of the Lord as faithful parishoners light candles inside the church. The Easter Vigil service includes the Service of Light, the Blessing of the Fire and the Preparation of the Paschal Candle and Procession.

The gloomy darkness of Good Friday is followed by the joyful celebration of trumpets at Easter which “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride” (Paschal Praeconium, the Exsultet). Easter Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His Ascension into Heaven is the 40th day after Easter. On Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict delivers his blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and to the world) in St. Peter’s Square http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5axrSsEU_U0&feature=related.

In the picture below, Jesus Christ is ascending into Heaven above the altar of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain. The term apostle came into use after the Ascension of Jesus Christ when the disciples (followers) who had witnessed his resurrection, became apostles (ambassadors of the Gospel: evangelists and teachers). The true apostolic age ended when the last apostle died in about 100AD.

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

The Pope delivers several messages to faithful pilgrims between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBwIefKXY0s.

Here was the 2011 Easter Message in Italian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0mEEVTPU2I

Happy Easter and have a wonderful Vino con Vista celebration with your family and friends!

 

Learn more about Rome  @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

14 Comments

Filed under Ancient Rome, Buona Pasqua, Colonna dell'Immacolata in Rome, Colosseum, Easter in Rome, Holy Week in Rome, Hotels in Rome, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italy Travel Guides, Last Judgment, Papal ceremony in Rome for the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, Peter the Apostle, Rome, Rome History, Rome Italy, Saint Peter, Scavi Tour of Saint Peter's Basilica, St. Peter's Basilica, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

The Easter Story: Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia

Mosaic (Jesus) from Hagia Sophia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Português: Mosaico do Portão Imperial em Hagia...

Português: Mosaico do Portão Imperial em Hagia Sophia. Ajoelhado à direita do Cristo Pantocrator está o imperador bizantino Leão VI. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearin...

English: A 14th-century of Jesus Christ bearing the cross, from the monastery in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beginning of 11th century

Beginning of 11th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bishop John washes the feet of Eleanor, who wa...

Bishop John washes the feet of Eleanor, who walks to St. Giles, Wrexham, in bare feet, on Maundy Thursday 2007. Photograph by Brian Roberts, Wrexham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostl...

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostles. Icon of Pskov school. Русский: Омовение ног (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ icon in Taizé

Christ icon in Taizé (Photo credit: lgambett)

Français : Christ en Croix d'Agnolo Allori, di...

Français : Christ en Croix d’Agnolo Allori, dit Bronzino, vers 1545, huile sur panneau, 145 x 115 cm, Musée des beaux-arts de Nice, France. Italiano: Cristo in croce di Agnolo Allori, detto Bronzino, circa 1545, olio su legno, 145 x 115 cm, Museo di belle-arti di Nizza, Francia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...

English: Jesus Christ – detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The three days before Easter are called the Paschal Triduum of Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNFTNu1I4M.

This is a three day liturgical celebration. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum. This period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday and ends Easter.

The Easter Vigil is the high point of the Triduum: “The night Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The church empties the Holy Water from the fonts on the days of the Sacred Paschal Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. The Passion is read three times during Holy Week: Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The words of Jesus are always read by a priest.

The Holy Seapulchre Church, Jerusalem. Catholi...

The Holy Seapulchre Church, Jerusalem. Catholic Holy Mass on Maundy Thursday / Crkva Svetoga groba u Jeruzalemu. Katolička sveta misa na Veliki četvrtak. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Pope performs a rare morning mass. “The Mass of the Chrism” is held in St. Peter’s Square when the oils are blessed and the Chrism is consecrated.  Chrism is a combination of balsam and oil and is used for annointing for occasions like confirmation and ordinations.

In the evening after sun-down, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles. This event includes a reading of Matthew’s account of the “Passion of Christ“; the narration of Jesus’ capture, suffering and death. It includes the representation of Jesus Christ washing the feet of his Disciples which was carried out by Pope Benedict at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran where he washed the feet of 12 priests http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIUmGhwwqs.

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman...

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman sarcophagi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Good Friday, the day of Christ’s brutal crucufixion in AD 33, choirs sing St. John’s version of Christ’s crucifixion. Peter Paul Rubens’ “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) portrays Christ with his “Crown of Thorns” before his Crucifixion. After his crucifixion, he was covered with a shroud http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVQnkKlphY&feature=relmfu.

English: Mosaic in baptistery of San Marco - &...

English: Mosaic in baptistery of San Marco – “Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” Русский: Мозаика баптистерия базилики Сан Марко – “Распятие Христово” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day in Catholic churches around the world, Christians glorify the cross in their individual parishes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubkiKyjo9WU. The cross is venerated as a symbol of our faith by kneeling in front of the cross and kissing it. In this way, we honor the Lord’s Cross as an instrument of our salvation. The cross was the means of Jesus Christ’s execution and as a sign of victory over sin and death. The church does not celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Good Friday, rather the Church commemorates the Lord’s Passion.

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a ser...

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a series depicting the stations of the Cross. Chapel Nosso Senhor dos Passos, Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Oil on canvas, XIXth century, unknown author. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Rome on Good Friday, a solemn “Via Crucis Procession” (The Way of the Cross) involves an evening torch-lit procession that follows the Pope as he traces the Stations of the Cross from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2qwjLTFcwQ. The church in Rome adopted the practice of “Adoration of the Cross” from the Church in Jerusalem where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross has been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fouth century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8eDPyXYv50.

St. Helen, the mother of emperor Constantine, discovered this fragment of wood on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Pope Alexander VII had the top of the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square adorned with his insignia. There is a relic of Christ’s “True Cross” encased in this emblem of Pope Alexander that crowns the Obelisk.

Jesus had 12 disciples. They were pupils or followers of Christ. The Passion of Christ was initiated when the Temple Guards, guided by Judas Iscario, captured Jesus. Judas was a Disciple of Jesus who betrayed him by telling the guards that whomever he kisses, they should arrest. Judas was paid in silver for his betrayal which is portrayed  in “The Kiss of Judas.” The trial and painful crucifixion of Jesus ensued. Judas ended up returning the silver and committing suicide.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Comments

Filed under Italy Travel Guides

Semana Santa in Seductive Segovia Spain: Holy Week and Easter Traditions

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia (Photo credit: jesuscm)

The present-day Alcázar of Segovia, significan...

Image via Wikipedia

Segovia

Segovia (Photo credit: ferlomu)

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón (Photo credit: ferlomu)

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, ...

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, by Nicolás Pérez. September 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is a seductive

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français :...

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français : L’aqueduc de Ségovie, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain that is imbued with the spirit of an old Castillian town. It was declared a UNESCO site in 1985 and it is protected by the Eresma and Clamores Rivers with and impressive collection of historic monuments.

Aqueduct of Segovia

Aqueduct of Segovia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is less than 50 miles away from Madrid. It is about 3,000 feet above sea level and has an incredibly well-preserved Roman aqueduct that is over 2000 years old. The mortarless Roman Aqueduct is made from granite blocks and was used to carry water from the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains to the city. It is considered to be one of the best civil engineering works in Spain with 166 arches and 120 columns that transported water fro the La Acebeda to the Alcazar, defying the laws of gravity. In 1072, 36 arches were damaged during the attack of Al-Mamun from Toledo. The town also has a fabulous cathedral and historic castle named Alcazar. UNESCO site in Spain

English: Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain Español: A...

Image via Wikipedia

Segovia is a Castilian town in Spain

During Holy Week (Semana Santa), at the base of the Aquaduct, faithful Christians don tunics, capes and pointed hoods for the annual ceremonies. The procession of religious brotherhoods are accompanied by their treasured sacred sculptures of Jesus and Mary.

Semana Santa reaches a climax on Good Friday when faithful adherents of the city’s brotherhoods work their way through the medieval streets to the Cathedral http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scyPexq0DNk&feature=related.

Segovia  houses an impressive Alcazar fortress/castle with a moat and draw-bridge loaded with plenty of art, stained glass windows and military memorabilia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN-YEQX4Ka8.  It was built over the remains of a Roman fortress and became a Royal residence in the 13th century. Climb to the top of the tower to enjoy the magnificent Vino con Vista views of the historic city. The throne room has a beautiful mudejar ceiling www.alcazardesegovia.com.

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

Segovia Spain's Alcazar

Segovia Spain

The 16th century Renaissance-Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria frames Plaza Mayor and marks the border of th Old Jewish Quarter. It was consecrated in 1768. There are 18 chapels with noteworthy art by Spanish artists like Pedro Berruguete and Sanchez Coello. It has a beautiful altarpiece designed by Sabatini.  Segovia is located in the Castilla and Leon region, a short drive from Madrid.

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

In Segovia, enjoy some suckling or roasted pig with some of the local white wines from Nieva or the red wines from Valtiendas. The town is also famous for marzipan made by cloister nuns and bakeries.

Happy Easter from your Travel Buddies  @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Enhanced by Zemanta

9 Comments

Filed under Alcazar in Segovia Spain, ebooks, IPad, Roman Emperors, Rome History, Semana Santa in Segovia, Spanish Art and Architecture, St. Teresa of Avila, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, Wine, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage sites in Segovia Spain

Holy Week in Majestic Madrid Spain: Semana Santa

Plaza Mayor (square) of Madrid (Spain). At the...

Image via Wikipedia

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Es...

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Escorial, en Madrid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basili...

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basilica of the Monastery of El Escorial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : La Cour des Rois et la Basilique du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Right side of East facade of the Mona...

English: Right side of East facade of the Monastery of El Escorial, , San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : Côté droit de la face Est du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy Week  is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Holy Week in Majestic Madrid is a spectacle to behold.In 1561, King Philip II (1556-1598) decided to move his court from Toledo to Madrid. In 1616, King Felipe III ordered the construction of Plaza Mayor to be built upon the former Plaza del Arrabal.

It was designed by Juan Gomez de Mora who used the Madrilenian Baroque Style. The Square contains 136 houses with 437 balconies from which 50,000 people can witness events in the Plaza. In the center, the equestrian statue of Phillip III watches over his masterpiece.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain.

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are interesting UNESCO World Heritage sites near Madrid that you should visit. The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 28 miles northwest of Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum and a school. The Escorial has a royal monastery  and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge. Originally it was a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine.  It is one of several Spanish royal sites and was the residence of the royal family. The palace was designed by King Philip II and architect Juan Bautista de Toledo to serve as a monument to Spain’s central role in the Christian world.

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another interesting UNESCO site is the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The landscape around was developed by the Spanish royal family over a course of three centuries and contains innovative horticultural and design ideas. The area was the exclusive property of the royal family until the 19th century when the modern civilian city developed.

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Escorial.

El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a panoramic view of Plaza Mayor http://www.panorammer.com/panoramas/plazamayormadrid_f.php

Madrid has celebrated the events described in the New Testament including the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ since the 15th century. During Semana Santa ( Holy Week) there are many candle-lit processions in Madrid.

On Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo) at the Colegiata de San Isidro, the Virgin Maria Sanrisima de la Esperanza and Jesus del Gran Poder are brought out of the church through the main entrance by the costaleros http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWi3WxSAhPY.

On Good Friday (Viernes Santo) the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno leaves the Basilica del Cristo de Medinaceli in Plaza de Jesus and parades down the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Cibeles. The Procesion del Silencio starts at the Church of Santisimo.

On Domingo Santo (Easter Saturday), the Holy Burial takes place in Plaza Mayor. The culminating activity takes place in the afternoon on Easter Sunday in Plaza Mayor. The Tamborada del Domingo de Resureccion assembles drums to replicate the tremors that occurred when Christ died on the Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOpQoD9dp4Q&feature=related.

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio ...

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio de El Escorial. Fachada sur. Deutsch: Südfassade der Schloss- und Klosteranlage Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy  Easter from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Comments

Filed under Easter in Madrid Spain, Holy Week in Spain Semana Santa, Semana Santa in Madrid Spain

Chicago Holy Name Cathedral Holy Week and Easter Schedule 2017

English: Roman Catholic monks of the preparing...

English: Roman Catholic monks of the preparing to light the Christ candle prior to mass]] at St. Mary’s Abbey in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostl...

English: Christ washing the feet of the Apostles. Icon of Pskov school. Русский: Омовение ног (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles by Mei...

Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles by Meister des Hausbuches, 1475 (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“During Holy Week the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem.”

Stations of the Cross

April 14 @ 3:00 pm4:00 pm

Good Friday – Lord’s Passion

April 14 @ 5:15 pm6:30 pm

Easter Vigil

April 15 @ 8:00 pm10:30 pm

Cardinal Cupich will be the main celebrant for the Easter Vigil.

Easter Sunday Mass Schedule

Sunday, April 16 – Easter Sunday 6:30 AM – Rev. John Boivin 8:00 AM – Msgr. Michael Boland 9:30 AM – Very Rev. Gregory Sakowicz 9:45 AM – Rev. Louis Cameli (Auditorium) 11:15 AM – Rev. Bradley Zamora 11:30 AM – Rev. William Moriarity (Auditorium) 1:00 PM – Rev. Don Cambe 5:15 PM – Rev. […]

 

 

For more information visit www.holynamecathedral.org

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Italy Travel Guides

Loire Valley Wine Tasting in Chicago at the W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive

French red wine from the Loire Valley region o...

Image via Wikipedia

What a great day for the Loire Valley French Wine Tasting on the 33rd floor of W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was definitely a Vino con Vista opportunity with plenty of French wine and wine-makers. The central part of the  Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire in France was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List  in  2000.

 

The Loire is the longest river in France and it is characterized by elegant historic chateaux and 300 miles of distinctive terroir that supports numerous vineyards along the river banks. This region is the leading producer of white French wines. The region is cloaked  with lovely vineyards and microclimates that produce distinctive varietals and wine styles. It is one of the most diverse wine regions in France with 69 appelations that include red, white, elegant sparkling wines and refreshing rose wines. There are distinct climates and a variety of soil types that divide the Loire Valley into 5 distinct regions.

The first vines were probably planted during Roman occupation 2000 years ago. Afterwards, the Augustinian and Benedictine Brothers enhanced the wine-making practices in this region.

I tasted some interesting Rose wines and plenty of earthy 100% Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is one of the world’s major red grape varieties and was introduced to the region in the 11th century. It  is frequently blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce a Bordeaux style wine. In the Loire region, it is  not blended with other grapes so it is lighter in color than Bordeaux blends. It is used in the development of Chinon and certain roses in the Touraine appelation.

Today I spoke to Philippe Porche, a charming wine-maker from the Saumur-Champigny region in Parnay located on the south bank of the Loire River decreed an AOC in 1957.  Cabernet Franc is the predominant grape in the area.  He and his viticulturist wife founded the estate in 2005 and produce some interesting Cabernet Franc wines. I favored the garnet-colored full-bodied and velvety  “Le Fou du Roi” that was aged in oak.  This lovely couple is looking for an importer @ www.domainederocheville.fr. Feel free to contact them if you are interested in importing  luscious wines from this region. Tell them that Vino con Vista sent you.

There is a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier and Chicago’s Landmark high rises from the former “Pinnacle Room” of the hotel where I spent my Senior Prom.Chicago Illinois It’s always exciting to re-live your youth.

Chicago Architecture

Domaine de Roche Ville Winery

Lake Michigan

It was such a beautiful spring day that I decided to stroll down Ontario Street heading westbound after the wine-tasting. I longingly gazed at the wide array of restaurants on Ontario Street that I patronize. They run the gamut from divine to sublime. Here’s a sampling of my “Chicago Foodie Nation” favorites:

Les Nomades is an outstanding French Restaurant that offers a Prix Fixe menu of four courses for $115 in a swanky turn-of-the-century brownstones mansion on Ontario Street. It is the perfect place to enjoy French cuisine after a Loire Valley wine-tasting event at the W Hotel down the street.

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago French Restaurants

Another one of my favorites is the Capital Grille Steakhouse where I can’t stop eating the crunchy potato chips at the bar. I love the grilled salmon served over a bed of  veggies with a side of creamed spinach. They have an extensive wine list and have won numerous awards for their outstanding burgers!

Chicago RestaurantsOntario and St. Clair in Chicago

Capital Grille ChicagoChicago Restaurants

.

Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago Italian Restaurants

Across the street from the Capital Grille, I enjoy dining on the outdoor patio of the Coco Pazzo Cafe when the weather is nice. They have an outstanding lunch menu and recently won an award from the Italian government for their “Authentic” Italian cuisine. Quartino was another “Authentic” Italian-award winning restaurant. I took cooking lessons with the chef and he taught me to add some water from the pasta to my sauce–what a novel idea!! The Red Head Piano Bar is another one of my favorites night spots. They have great wine-tasintg events.

Authentic Italian Restaurants in ChicagoRestaurants in Chicago

There are plenty of famous classic Chicago  “Steak-Houses” on Ontario. Lawry’s serves an incredible Prime Rib and I love the “Aged Filet Mignon” and mushrooms at David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel. The Chicago Chop House has a wide array of delicious “sizzlin steaks.”

You will never be hungry or thirsty on Ontairo Street in Chicago. This city is a haven for Foodies!

Chicago is a Haven for Foodies

Chicago Steak HouseDavid Burke's Primehouse

Stop in at the the Hard Rock Cafe if you’re up for some live music. There are also some landmark fast food joints on Ontario including “Rock and Roll” McDonalds with a Rock and Roll Museum filled with memorabilia that my guitar-playing son adores.

Portillo’s has a great Italian Beef sandwich and classic Chicago hot dog and the drive-thru is always packed. Make sure you try the decadent chocolate cake . Chicago DestinationsM Burger is another fast food option that people are raving about.

Chicago Hot Dogs and Beef Sandwiches

Burgers in Chicago

Plan a trip to the Loire Valley and explore some of the majestic castles with spectacular medieval architecture: Chambord, Cheverny, Villandry and Chenonceau.

 

1. Villandry was built by the same man that designed much of Chambord (François I Finance Minister Jean Le Breton). Villandry is actually most renowned for what is outside of the castle. However, while Chambord remains Le Breton’s main achievement in construction, it is Villandry where he used all of the Renaissance gardening tricks he had picked up while working as an ambassador in Italy. The castle remained in the Le Breton family until the early 20th century, when it was purchased by Joachim Carvallo, who spent a whole of time, money and devotion to rebuilding, expanding and repairing the beautiful gardens. Today the gardens at Villandry are considered one of the best examples of Renaissance style gardens in the world and boasts a water garden, flower gardens and vegetable gardens laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges—making it a must-see on any castle tour of the Loire.

2. Chambord is one of France’s most recognizable castles known for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, which blends late French Gothic and newer Italian Renaissance motifs. Chambord is also the largest castle in the Loire. Chambord was first built by King Francois I as a hunting lodge (I know you picture a hunting lodge as being more of a log cabin than a magnificent model of French Renaissance architecture, but it was a KING’S hunting lodge, after all).  Chambord has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is most known for its façade, which through more than 800 sculpted columns was designed to look like the skyline of Constantinople, with 11 kinds of different towers and different types of chimneys. Chambord also has a double-helix staircase that serves as the centerpiece to the castle and was rumored to have been designed (or inspired) by Leonardo da Vinci during his time at nearby Clos de Luce.

4. Chenonceau is one of my favorite castles in the Loire Valley. Chennonceau was built in 1513 by Catherine Briçonnet and later embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, the Chateau de Chenonceau contains exquisite interiors and has idyllic gardens that look over River Cher.

Originally a small castle along the banks of the River Cher, the castle got its current design in the 16th century when it was seized by the crown for unpaid debts. In 1547, King Henri II offered the castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. and she had Chenonceau’s  arched bridge built. It spans the river. She is also responsible for the gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens set in buttressed stone terraces.

Upon King Henri II’s death in 1559, his clearly bitter widow and regent Catherine de Medici had Poitiers expelled from the castle and she moved into the scenic spot herself, adding even more extensive gardens. Since then the castle was privately owned for years and even used as a make-shift hospital for soldiers during WWII; its gallery bridge’s southern door provided access to the unoccupied Free Zone while the castle’s main entrance was in the Nazi occupied zone. Chenonceau today is one of the most visited and popular of the Loire castles and its Renaissance architecture and well-lit gallery and beautiful gardens.

5. Amboise is perched up on a strategic point along the Loire River and was originally built as a fort. In 1434, the castle was seized by King Charles VII after its owner (from which the castle got its name), Louis Amboise, was convicted and killed for supposedly plotting against the King. In the 15th century that the castle was lavishly rebuilt and added onto, starting with its late French Gothic architecture, until Italian builders were brought in and the castle’s style changed to Renaissance.While the castle became a favorite retreat for many French Kings (King François I was raised primarily at the castle), Amboise’s most famous guest was Leonardo da Vinci, who came to the castle in 1515 as a guest of the King and stayed in nearby Clos de Luce. What is most notable about Amboise, however, is known for its unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and large formal garden.

6. Blois was always a favorite getaway town for French kings; the castle in this quaint little Loire town is best known as the birthplace of King Louis XII as well as the primary residence for Henri IV’s exiled wife Marie de Medici, and later for the Duke of Orléans (brother of Louis XIII and uncle of Louis XIV). However, the castle has a long and prominent history and its Renaissance architecture and picturesque spot along the banks of the Loire make it a definite worthwhile stop on your Loire castle tour. In fact, the castle was the main resort for the French court during the 16th century and was also the location for the famed States General meetings held by Henri III in 1576 and 1588, where several prominent nobles were sentenced to death. The castle also plays a role in the famous Three Musketeers series by Alexandre Dumas as an important retreat for some of France’s most famous and powerful kings.

7. Cheverny was also given to Diane de Poitiers by her lover, King Henri II. Chenonceau was her favorite and primary residence. Poitiers sold Château de Cheverny to the former owner’s son who had originally built the castle between 1624 and 1630. The castle passed between owners until 1914, when the owner made it the first castle to be opened to the public; the family still owns and operates the castle to this day. The castle is renowned for its beautiful interiors and collection of furniture, tapestries and rare objects d’art. There is also a pack of about 70 dogs that are kept on the grounds and taken out for hunts twice weekly.

 

8. Clos Lucé is not really a  “Château de la Loire”; it is a large mansion located just 500 meters from  the Château d’Amboise by way of an underground passageway and is notable mostly for its most famous resident, Leonardo da Vinci. In 1515, King François I invited the Italian painter and inventor to Amboise and offered him the manor to use as a home and studio. When Da Vinci arrived in 1516 he came with three paintings, including the famed Mona Lisa, and lived in the mansion for the last three years of his life. Visitors to Amboise should not hesitate to hop on over to Clos Lucé, where you can peruse a museum that includes forty models of various machines designed by Leonardo.

9. Langeais is a perfect example of Medieval French architecture. It is located near the Brittany frontier and had a significant role in the battle between the French and English. The structure dates back to the 10th century and was built on a cliff which offered a strategic location overlooking the Loire River. The castle was actually fortified and expanded under the rule of Richard I of England (when English kings ruled this region of France) until King Philippe II of France recaptured the castle in 1206. The castle was also where Anne of Brittany and King Charles VIII wed, thus uniting France and Brittany. Today, the dark and ominous looking castle is replete with a great collection of Medieval tapestries.

Château de Langeais

 

 

Destinations in Chicago

@ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

Happy Spring!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Attractions in Chicago, Authentic Italian Restaurants in Chicago, Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, Chicago, Chicago Architecture, Chicago Hotels, Chicago Restaurants, ebooks, Famous Chicago Restaurants, French Restaurants in Chicago, French Wine from the Loire Valley, History of wine in France, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian restaurants in Chicago, Italian Wine, Loire Valley Wine Tasting in Chicago, michelin guide to chicago restaurants, oenogastronomic, Ontario Street in Rivewr North in Chicago, Ospitalita Italiana Quality Restaurants in Chicago, Pinot Noir Wine, River North in Chicago, Roman occupation of France, Rose from the Loire Valley, Steak in Chicago, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, Vino con Vista Chicago, Where can I get a good Chicago Hot Dog, Where can I get a good Italian Beef Sandwich in Chicago, Where should I eat in Chicago, Wine, Wine Festivals, World Heritage Sites

Vino con Vista Wine Bars and Tasting Events in Bordeaux France for Globe-Trotting Winos

Miroir Place de la Bourse

Miroir Place de la Bourse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The three graces fountain at the Plac...

English: The three graces fountain at the Place De La Bourse, Bordeaux (France) Deutsch: Der Trois-Grâces-Brunnen am Place De La Bourse in Bordeaux, Frankreich Français : Bordeaux (France) place de la Bourse, la fontaine des trois grâces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Map of the wine regions in France. Fr...

English: Map of the wine regions in France. Français : Carte des régions vinicoles de France. {| cellspacing=”0″ style=”min-width:40em; color:#000; background:#ddd; border:1px solid #bbb; margin:.1em;” class=”layouttemplate” | style=”width:1.2em;height:1.2em;padding:.2em” | 20px |link=|center | style=”font-size:.85em; padding:.2em; vertical-align:middle” |This vector image was created with Inkscape. |} Viticulture France.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Images, from top, left to right: Place de la B...

Images, from top, left to right: Place de la Bourse Bordeaux quais 04.jpg by Olivier Aumage. Le tramway Tramway Bordeaux.jpg by Véronique Debord. Tourny/Maison de Vin Bordeaux centre.jpg by Barbarellaa Bordeaux crest Bordeaux Couronne.jpg by Olivier Aumage, CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr Quartier Mériadeck Bordeaux Mériadeck.jpg by timtom.ch Pont de pierre Bordeaux Pont de Pierre.jpg by Olivier Omage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Le pont Bacalan Bastide à Bordeaux

Le pont Bacalan Bastide à Bordeaux (Photo credit: Matthieu Luna)

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bordeaux, place de la bourse with tra...

English: Bordeaux, place de la bourse with tram. In front: miroir d´eau Deutsch: Bordeaux, place de la bourse mit Tram. Im Vordergrund: der Miroir d´eau Français : Bordeaux, place de la bourse avec tram, vue avec le miroir d´eau au premier plan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridge of Pierre over Garonne river in Bordeau...

Bridge of Pierre over Garonne river in Bordeaux, France. Deutsch: Der Pont de Pierre, zentrale Flussquerung aus napoleonischer Zeit Français : Le pont de Pierre sur la Garonne à Bordeaux, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Français : Façade de l'église Sainte-Croix de ...

Français : Façade de l’église Sainte-Croix de Bordeaux, au soleil couchant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Château Margaux, a First Growth from the Borde...

Château Margaux, a First Growth from the Bordeaux region of France, is highly collectible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

France is cloaked with spectacular Vino con Vista sipping and sojourning opportunities from Champagne to Bordeaux. Here’s a Wine Spectator map of all the wine regions in France:

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Francemap.pdf

The undisputed pinnacle of the French premium wine scene is Bordeaux with 60 appellations and about 10,000 wine estates/chateaux. The blending of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes produces elegant wine. The area produces 5 premier cru (first growth) red wines:

The first growths are:

To learn more about Crus Classes visit http://www.crus-classes.com/

The Bordeaux Tourism Office provides the following information about visiting vineyards in distinct districts of Bordeaux:

• “The Médoc has outstanding vineyard soil, and includes prestigious great growths as well as numerous crus bourgeois. Estates often have impressive châteaux, whose architecture is, on occasion, remarkably unusual.

• The Blaye and Bourg regions have beautiful vine-covered slopes overlooking the Gironde estuary and villages with houses of golden-colored stone, Romanesque churches, famous archaeological sites, and typical small ports.

• Located on the right bank of the Dordogne, the medieval town of Saint-Emilion is not only famous for its fine wines, but also for its many historic monuments, and was listed in 1999 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

• The Entre Deux Mers, the largest winegrowing region in Bordeaux, owes its name to the two rivers that mark its borders, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The Entre Deux Mers also features numerous historic landmarks including medieval bastides (fortified villages) and abbeys.

• The Graves region stretches from Bordeaux to Langon, along the west bank of the Garonne, as far south as the immense Landes pin forest.

In the city of Bordeaux, the Chartrons district features majestic residences, cellars, and warehouses that bear witness to a time when this part of town was the historic heart of the wine trade.”

Wine label from the French Bordeaux producer

Wine label from the French Bordeaux producer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Here is a list of interesting wine bars for you to visit in Bordeaux:

BAR A VIN / Maison du Vin de Bordeaux
> Area : Quinconces (centre ville)
> Address : 1 cours du XXX juillet

33 (0)5 56 00 43 47

DIX (LE)
> Area : Saint Pierre (centre ville)
> Address : 10 place de la Bourse

33 (0)5 56 30 00 80
33 (0)5 56 44 63 99
MAX BORDEAUX | WINE GALLERY & CELLAR
> Area : Grands Hommes (centre ville)
> Address : 14 cours de l’Intendance

33 (0)5 57 29 23 81

 

MAX BORDEAUX | WINE GALLERY & CELLAR
> Area : Grands Hommes (centre ville)
> Address : 14 cours de l’Intendance

33 (0)5 57 29 23 81
VICTOR BAR / Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux*****
> Area : Grands Hommes (centre ville)
> Address : 2-5, Place de la Comédie

33 (0)5 57 30 44 44
33 (0)5 57 30 44 45
VINSET
> Area : Saint Pierre (centre ville)
> Address : 27 rue des Bahutiers

33 (0)9 52 19 09 37
¤ ATELIER DE CANDALE (L’)
> Area : ¤ St-Emilion | Pomerol | Fronsac
> Address : Château de Candale 1 Grandes Plantes

33 (0)5 57 24 15 45
33 (0)5 57 50 39 57
¤ TABLE D’HOTES AU CHATEAU SOUTARD
> Area : ¤ St-Emilion | Pomerol | Fronsac

33 (0)5 57 24 71 41
33 (0)5 57 74 42 80

Take a Bordeaux City Tour on the “Touristic Train”
with Audio Headphones:

WHEN: April, every day at 10:30 am – 11:45 am – 2 pm – 3.15 pm – 4.30 pm

Buy Tickets at the Bordeaux Tourist Office
12 cours du XXX-Juillet
Open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm & on Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm
Tel : +33 (0)5 56 00 68 15
no booking online

Departure and return, Allées de Tourny, near the Tourist Office,

Tour Opérator : Le petit train de Bordeaux

Bildbeschreibung: Karte Weinbaugebiet Bordeaux...

Bildbeschreibung: Karte Weinbaugebiet Bordeaux Quelle: selbst erstellt Zeichner: Domenico-de-ga Datum: 24. Mai 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attend the Bordeaux Wine Festival from June 26-29, 2014. The Bordeaux Wine Festival includes a wine trail along the Bordeaux quays, guided tours in the vineyards and wine tastings in mythical châteaux; art exhibitions, concerts, firework displays and a sound & light show every night!
All the details there: http://www.bordeaux-wine-festival.com/

Follow this link for more information: http://www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com/

You can make plans to visit wine chateaux from the Tourist office in Bordeaux:

Daily guided coach tour (French and English) at two wine châteaux* with tastings in the main Bordeaux vineyards
*at Saint-Emilion visit of one wine estate and of the medieval village

Every day from 1st of April to 15th of November
Monday: Blaye & Bourg
Tuesday: Entre-deux-Mers
Wednesday: Saint-Emilion*
Thursday:
Médoc
Friday:
Graves & Sauternes
Saturday:
Medoc
Sunday: Saint-Emilion*

On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays: from 2. January to 31. March and from 16. November to 31. December except 25. December
Wednesday: Graves & Sauternes
Saturday: Medoc
Sunday: Saint-Emilion

Departure from the Bordeaux Tourist Office at 1.30 pm, return at 6.30 pm
Groups limited to 53 people.

For more information visit:

http://www.bordeaux-tourisme.com/pl/visites.pl?lg=uk&id=16

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE

Français : Bordeaux, Gironde, FRANCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some helpful links:

Find your search on the map Find the Bordeaux Tourist Office
See map of Bordeaux
See map of wine regions
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 v...

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Label for the 1999 vintage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

4 Comments

Filed under Bordeaux France

Vino con Vista UNESCO Sites in France

Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles.

Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Walls of the Roman arena in Arles

English: Walls of the Roman arena in Arles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saint-Émilion

Saint-Émilion (Photo credit: quintendusaer)

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

English: Sunset over the bay of Mont Saint-Mic...

English: Sunset over the bay of Mont Saint-Michel Français : Coucher de Soleil sur la baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Le pont du Gard

Le pont du Gard (Photo credit: Antonio Cinotti )

Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandie,...

Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandie, France. The cloister. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pont du Gard in France is a Roman aqueduct bui...

Pont du Gard in France is a Roman aqueduct built in c. 19 BC. It is a World Heritage Site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Put these magnificent French Vino con Vista UNESCO sites on your bucket list:

English: Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy (Manche...

English: Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy (Manche), France at night. Français : Le Mont Saint-Michel dans la Manche (Normandie, France), vu de nuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Here’s my Pinterest Boards showing UNESCO Sites in France

Amphitheater in Arles, France

Amphitheater in Arles, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

http://www.pinterest.com/vinoconvista/france-s-unesco-world-heritage-sites/

Here’s an interactive map of all UNESCO sites in the World:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/interactive-map/

    • vitrail de la cathédrale de Chartres

      vitrail de la cathédrale de Chartres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

7 Comments

Filed under Italy Travel Guides

Pont du Gard is a Vino con Vista UNESCO Site in France

English: Arena in Nîmes (Gard, France).

English: Arena in Nîmes (Gard, France). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exploring Nimes

Exploring Nimes (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

Nimes Coliseum Bullfighter

Geographical map of the aqueduct of the Pont d...

Geographical map of the aqueduct of the Pont du Gard. Map created using data from OpenStreetMap. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in th...

English: The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in the South of France constructed by the Roman Empire, and located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département. Nederlands: De Pont du Gard is een Romeins aquaduct dat later is uitgebreid tot brug. Het bouwwerk ligt iets ten zuiden van het plaatsje Vers-Pont-du-Gard in Frankrijk, niet ver van Nîmes en Uzès, en staat op de Werelderfgoedlijst van UNESCO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pont du Gard is a 31 mile limestone aqueduct built by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Cladius. The Romans built this system of canals to bring fresh water to Nimes ancient citizens from the springs at Uzes. The Romans established a colony in Nimes in 30 B.C. where you can admire the Romam amphitheater and temple. The aqueduct

Nîmes

Nîmes (Photo credit: Wolfgang Staudt)

stretches over the Gard river between Uzes and Nimes. Uze was a famous textile town.

It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard commune in the South of France. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in France. There is a museum that offers a short film about the Romans.

 

The famous aqueduct was constructed by the Roman Empire in the mid first century under Emperor Cladius. , before the dawn of the Christian era. The bridge is almost 164 feet high  and has 3 levels. The the longest level is 902 feet long. The bottom tier of the structure is a walkway. In 1285, the bishop of Uzes mandatated a toll-collection process from all travelers crossing the bridge. The third level carries a water conduit.

The Pont du Gard is currently one of the most visited attractions in all of France. For more information visit: www.pontdugard.fr

Here’s the UNESCO link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344

Here’s a video: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344/video

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard (Photo credit: dkilim)

 

 

 

Pont du Gard / ポン・デュ・ガール

Pont du Gard / ポン・デュ・ガール (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

Filed under Italy Travel Guides, Pont du Gard is a Vino con Vista UNESCO Site in France