Gros Harloge. Rouen, France. Photos by Amber Maitrejean
1. The Belfry dates from the late 14th century.
2, 3, 4. The underside of the arch depicts Christ the Good Shephard
5. The west side includes a Louis XV fountain, depicting the loves of the river Alpheus and the nymph Arethusa , symbolized by the figure of a Cupid flying above them.
6. The clock mechanism is one of the oldest in France, made in 1389. The facade of the clock was added in 1529 and it was moved to its current location. The mechanism was electrified in the 1920’s and restored in 1997.
The grave of Hubertine Auclert. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Paris. Photo by Amber Maitrejean
I was really excited to see the grave of Hubertine Auclert, a French feminist and suffragette! I have much to say about women/girls and the fact that of all people in the world no group is more discriminated against and abused than half of the world’s population- the female gender. But that’s for another day and another blog.
Hubertine Auclert (April 10, 1848 – August 4, 1914) was a militant anticlerical. While the main focus of the French feminist movement was directed towards changes to the laws, Auclert pushed further, demanding that women be given the right to run for public office, claiming that the unfair laws would never have been passed had the views of female legislators been heard. In 1876 she founded the Société le droit des femmes (The Rights of Women) that supported women’s suffrage and in 1883, the organization formally changed its name to the Société le suffrage des femmes (Women’s Suffrage Society). Beginning in 1880, Auclert launched a tax revolt, arguing that without representation women should not be subjected to taxation. In 1884, the French government finally legalized divorce but Auclert denounced it because of the law’s blatant bias against women that still did not allow a woman to keep her wages. Auclert proposed the then radical idea that there should be a marriage contract between spouses with separation of property.
In 1908 married women in France were finally given control over their own salaries but the 60-year-old Auclert continued her push for total equality. That year, she symbolically smashed a ballot box during municipal elections in Paris and in 1910 she and Marguerite Durand defied authorities and presented themselves as candidates in the elections for members of the legislative assembly.
Considered one of the central figures in the history of the French women’s rights movement, Hubertine Auclert continued her activism until her death in 1914 at age 65.
La maison de Victor Hugo. Paris. Photos by Amber Maitrejean (unless otherwise noted).
Senlis, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean
Coming up on my blog, a visit to the ancient city of Senlis. The city was settled by the Sulbanectes, an agricultural Gallic tribe. Around the year III the city was occupied by the Romans who renamed it Augustomagus and then later, Civitas Silvanectium. In the 3rd century, in response to attacks by the Franks, the Gallo-Romans protected the city with a fortified wall, 7m high and 4m thick with 30 watch towers. The wall remained in use into the 13th century. In 1153 the first stones of Cathédrale Notre-Dame were set, then later consecrated in 1191. In later centuries the city was a royal attraction because of its close proximity to the forest of Chantilly, rich with venison. All of the kings of France from Hugh Capet (who was elected king in Senlis in 987) to Charles X lived there. In the 12th century as the city expanded, a second, higher rampart was built by Philippe Auguste that enclosed 40 hectares. The wall still remains today as a rich historical and architectural heritage in this amazing ancient city.
The Île de la Cité in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry,circa 1410. The scene takes place on the River Seine, in a field at the location of the Hotel de Nesle, Paris home of the Duke of Berry. On the other side of the river stretches the entire length of the City Palace, with successively king’s garden, the room on the water, the three towers Bonbec, Silver and Caesar, then turn the Clock. Behind the Galerie Saint-Louis in the center, the two pinions of the Great Hall, the Home of the king and the rook Montgomery. Right, the Sainte-Chapelle.
1609 map of Ile de la Cité, Paris, France.
The Craenenburg House in Markt Square once served as a prison for Archduke Maiximiliaan of Austria. He was captured in 1488 by townspeople, angry about high taxes and held at Craenenburg for four months. After witnessing the execution of Pieter Lanchals, his loyal servant and counselor, the Archduke gave in to the rebel’s demands.
Margaret of York would stay at Craenenburg House and watch tournaments and the festivities in the square below.
Craenenburg House, Bruges, Belgium. Photo by Amber Maitrejean
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet 1627-1704, court preacher to Louis XIV, tutor to his son the Grand Dauphin from 1670-1681 and Bishop of Meaux from 1681-1704.
19th century statue of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet 1627-1704, court preacher to Louis XIV, tutor to his son the Grand Dauphin from 1670-1681 and Bishop of Meaux from 1681-1704. St. Etienne Cathedral, Meaux, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean
Tomb of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet 1627-1704, court preacher to Louis XIV, tutor to his son the Grand Dauphin from 1670-1681 and Bishop of Meaux from 1681-1704. St. Etienne Cathedral, Meaux, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean
Louise de Lorraine (1553-1601) queen consort of France from 1575 -1589, wife of Henry III of France.
Alexandre Lenoir by Marie Genevieve Bouliard.
Alexandre Lenoir (27 December 1761, Paris – 11 June 1839) was a French archaeologist. Self-taught and devoted to saving France’s historic monuments, sculptures and tombs from the ravages of the French Revolution, notably those of Saint-Denis and Sainte-Geneviève.
On 1 August 1793, the National Convention decreed that the tombs of “former kings” should be destroyed. Alexandre Lenoir witnessed the destruction of the royal tombs, with the bones thrown into a ditch. He struggled against revolutionary vandalism and managed to save statues and loot which he stored at the couvent des Petits-Augustins.
In 1795, he opened the Musée des monuments français to the public — he was its administrator for 30 years.
Alexandre Lenoir opposing the destruction of the royal necroplois in the Basilica of Saint Denis during the Reign of Terror, 1793. Painting by Pierre Joseph Lafontaine.
The Execution of Brunehilde de Casibus. Workshop of Maitre FrancoisParis, circa 1475.
A bitter feud between queen Frédégonde and Brunehilde lasted for more than 40 years. Although she did not live to see it, Frédégonde’s son, Clotaire, carried out the exectution of Brunhilda which bore the mark of Fredegund’s hatred. Clotaire accused Brunhilda of the death of ten kings of the Franks. The identity of the ten kings comes from the Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar. It is usually said to include Sigebert I, Chilperic I, Theudebert II, Theuderic II, Sigebert II, Merovech (Chilperic’s son), Merovech (Theuderic’s son), Corbo (Theuderic’s son), and Childebert (Theuderic’s son) and the sons of Theudebert; along with many churchmen, including Desiderius. According to the Liber Historiae Francorum:
“Then the army of the Franks and Burgundians joined into one, all shouted together that death would be most fitting for the very wicked Brunhilda. Then King Clotaire ordered that she be lifted on to a camel and led through the entire army. Then she was tied to the feet of wild horses and torn apart limb from limb. Finally she died. Her final grave was the fire. Her bones were burnt.”
Frédégonde (545-597) queen of Soissons and wife of Chilperic I. Engraving by Henriette De Witt (née Guizot):Vieilles Histoires de La Patrie. Paris, 1887
Fredegund has been proposed as one of many sources for the folk tale known as Cinderella. In Cinderella: A Casebook, folklorist Alan Dundes, cites the following excerpt from Gregory’s History of the Franks:
She was jealous of her own daughter, Rigunth, who continually declared that she should be mistressin her place. Fredegund waited her opportunity and under the pretense of magnanimity took her to the treasure-room and showed her the King’s jewels in a large chest. Feigning fatigue, she exclaimed “I am weary; put thou in thy hand, and take out what thou mayest find.” The mother thereupon forced down the lid on her neck and would have killed her had not the servants finally rushed to her aid.