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Monuments in Paris Way of St James 4

5 Mars 2014, 23:06pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

A stone palm grove ?



From Saint Julien to Saint Séverin Photo J F F


You can't miss it : the church is on St James st., rue Saint Jacques 100 feet from the Seine river on the south bank.   


Pilgrim, enter the church. Find that twisted pillar. Similar to stems a plant, the lines end up with 14 ribs of vault. The column looks like a tree, a palm tree, that invites you to go on south...



Saint Séverin   Photo J F F


A guide would indicate you where the church also has traces


of the jacobean route...


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Twisted bell towers on the Paris Way of Saint James 2

2 Mars 2014, 17:26pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Twist again and again


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Copenhague x 2, Rome, Boukhara, etc.

After Reugny, you'll reach Tours, the main town of Touraine, by the Loire River.

In the City Center, you may visit the Musée du Compagnonnage. It shows collections of masterpieces made by hand by the best craftsmen in France who gather in families in a brotherhood ambiance. They used to travel on foot just like the pilgrims and on the same routes. 




There you'll understand that the twisted spires didn't come out from any devil's desire but from the human imagination and skill. 


PHOTOS A CLASSER encore plus 207     

Ph. J F F

PHOTOS A CLASSER encore plus 206

Ph. J F F


Have a look at a twisted column in Paris in St Séverin church ! 


Thanks to Aspirant Angevin for his support.


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Twisted bell towers on the Paris Way of St James

1 Mars 2014, 22:01pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

An enigma ?



Jodoigne in Belgium :  Sainte Marie  church 


France has the biggest number of twisted towers in Europe : 35 out of 79.


The Paris Way has two of them. The first one is at Jodoigne, in Belgium, about 330 km (200 miles) from Paris. The town with its 13000 inhabitants is on the via Gallia Belgica, that links Hélécine near Brussels to the capital town of France.




The second one is at Reugny, a charming village south of Chartres, before Tours.


Wikipedia : « A 38 metres (114 feet) high bell tower built that way in order to resist to the winds. It has an octogonal spire twisted on itself from left to right by 1/16th, covered with slate on a square tower.»



Reugny, the bell tower Ph J F F 

What is your opinion ? Why do we have these twisted bell towers in Europe ? Is it to : 


- Resist to the winds as Wikipedia says ?


- Follow the wood that twisted in the wrong way when it dried ?


- Please to the eye of the passersby with the help of the skill of our craftsmen ?


- Or is it because of the nasty will of the devil, too unhappy to see more and more worshippers enter the churches when the shrines were built ?


Have a guess, and leave a comment !



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Invite to meditate on the Paris Way of St James

28 Février 2014, 21:30pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Hush !

 P1010217 comm il faut

Jef Aérosol Ph. J F F 




Hiking on a long distance means meditate on foot. That's what you experiment in Paris.


The way goes through a pedestrian zone. The only noise comes from the people around.


Silence helps meditation. 120 feet from the camino, rue Saint Martin, close to the church St Merri, that mural recalls it.


In the Paris City Center : 







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Glorious spots on the Way of St James 2

10 Février 2014, 18:22pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Monuments in Paris



Time to go, Pont Notre-Dame    Ph J F F 





The previous post was about 2 monuments that are on the Way of Saint James when you walk through the Paris region.


Imagine you've stayed overnight in the City of Light, and the next day you resume your walk from the point where you stopped, i.e. the St Jacques Tower most probably.


Pont Notre-Dame and Petit Pont are the two bridges that enable you to go to the Left Bank of the Seine. 


The sky and the River are blue, it's a beautiful day. The tower on your right, with a gilded top, was part of the kings of France's Palace where they resided until the 14th century.


You are walking on the footsteps of the Middle Age pilgrims. They saw the same tower, the same cathedral of Notre Dame you may have seen the day before. It is still standing and is visited by 12 million visitors a year.






The camino is almost straight ahead. St Jacques (St James) street is calm in the morning.


In less than 2 hours you'll be out of town, in a peaceful and landscaped walkway.  


Buen camino, peregrino !




Top to bottom :




 St Denis Gate


St Jacques Tower

The City Island,


St Jacques st.








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Glorious spots on the Way of St James

9 Février 2014, 21:44pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The "Great Way"


When you walk through Paris and its region you discover places that belong to the French history and at the same time to the history of Europe.

Two examples taken from a catalogue of old books on sale at Ormara, a bookshop in Versailles :



 The Ecouen chateau, 300 feet from the Way of St James

drawn by Baltard and described here 



Porte St Denis by Blondel,

close to St Martin Gate shown here


There are many more major monuments on the way.


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A Dutch starting point to Santiago

8 Février 2014, 18:42pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The Way of St James is everywhere.


Many pilgrims believe the camino starts at St Jean Pied de Port, at Conques or at Poitiers. Would you see a film and miss the beginning on purpose ?             



The camino begins at the airport or if you live in Europe, at your doorstep. Our friend Claire recently discovered a village in Zealand (Netherlands). Renesse is by the North See. Dunes, bike rides, well-kept houses.


PLACE DE L EGLISE 651495144883039 833745498 n

The  Renesse Church   Ph. J R 



A : Renesse    B : Antwerpen    C : Lille     D : Compiègne   E, F : Paris  

G : Tours   H : Bordeaux   I : Santiago



The church is dedicated to St James the Major, just like the one at Montrouge south of Paris or the one at Sint Jacobiparochie far north in Friesland. It is the same Way that goes through Antwerpen, the Flanders, Lille, Picardy, reaches Compiègne and takes you to Paris.



As usual, an East-oriented church. Ph. J R

No monument here, but a sign which is self-explanatory.


Walking the camino is such a pleasure...

The longer the better.


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Longpont an unusual church on the Way of St James

7 Février 2014, 19:59pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Holy relics 


Instead of Chartres, its pleasant scenery, a beautiful labyrinth and famous stained-glass windows, you may decide to walk to Tours, Bordeaux, Saint Jean Pied de Port and eventually Santiago via Orléans. If so, your first night may be in Massy (A), where the Tourist Office has a list of welcoming families... 


The next possible stop is at the maison du Mesnil, circa 18 km (11 miles), at Longpont (F).


Capture plein écran CARTE BIS 215911

A southbound route...


At Longpont the pilgrims used to worship the Virgin's Veil. Beforehands, in pre-christian times a small statue of a woman with child was adored. It had an inscription : "Virgini pariturae". The statuette had been found in the trunk af an oak tree...


Later so many kings of France went there to ask for healing... or victories.


PHOTOS HIER 2013 004

Longpont yesterday


Longpont today Ph. J F F 



Today Notre Dame de Bonne Garde is shown in a well lit chapel where the walls are covered with plaques to say thank you.



The Chapel of the Virgin Mary   Ph. J F F 

The amazing thing about that church is its collection of relics.  On their way to Santiago the pilgrims used to walk from one relic to another one, but here, there are no less than 1400 of them ! It's a conservatory, well exposed in bright showcases. 



The relics Ph. J F F 


Ask for more info via  Ecrire un commentaire below or Contact last line of the blog.



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Dampierre on the Paris Way of Saint James

30 Janvier 2014, 21:22pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


A must



Hard to find the time to visit castles and chateaux on the way to Santiago...



Chateau de Dampierre, how's that ?  Ph. J F F

At least you can see them from the path. And very often they are worth a visit.


When you leave Paris, Sceaux is on your left. The following day after Vauhallan and its monastery (accomodation) the pilgrim towards Chartres and Tours and Bordeaux and Spain goes on near the castle of la Madeleine, and the Coubertin manor (Pierre de Coubertin is the man of the awakening of the Olympic Games). 


Dampierre was built by the architect of Versailles. The gardens were designed by Le Nôtre, the gardener of Versailles... 


For a short break or a nap, that's the ideal place. If you had time to go inside, you'd see a solid silver statue of Louis the XIVth, a very large fresco by Ingres, and a 9 feet tall statue of Minerva...


Go on, pilgrim ! It's a long way to Santiago ! From Dampierre, you have a choice :


- Either to walk up the hill (almost an aerial view). At the top of it you'll stay overnight at the Maison de Fer (a future article).



A bird's eye view from the hill.  Ph. J F F

- Or to carry on through the woods and reach another "gîte" via the Vaux de Cernay Abbey. You'll sleep in a nice country house


in the middle of the Forest of Rambouillet.


Would you like a map ? Ask for one !  (comments in Ecrire un commentaire)

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Screenings in France about the Way of St James

23 Janvier 2014, 14:14pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The film


One of the posters 

A well known US film could be seen in the French movie theatres last year, long after the Spaniards and the Germans : The Way, starring Martin Sheen directed by his son Emilio Estevez. 

It gathered 120 000 spectators, out of 60 million people in France.



Emilio Estevez, and the arrow !

            A figure to be compared with the number of copies sold by Jean Christophe Rufin's Immortelle randonnée, Compostelle malgré moi personal camino : 300 000 copies ! 


Does that mean the French are better readers than film spectators ?


Hard to beleive. Rufin is an "Academicien", a former ambassador, the writer of best sellers. An equivalent of Paolo Coelho for France.



The main regret about both works is that they start the camino on the French-Spanish border whereas it begins in the Netherlands, in Danmark, in Germany, in Poland, in Hungary, in Italy, etc.




At least they both advertise for the Way of St James.  The future will tell us which one leaves


the best memory...





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