The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Saint-Omer theatre

Saint-Omer theatre 30 | The Good Life France

The Jesuit Chapel Next door to the library, the Jesuit Chapel was built from 1615 to 1640 by Jean du Blocq (1583-1656), a Jesuit architect who also designed the Cathedral of Luxembourg. He was inspired by Gesù, the Jesuit church in Rome, combined with Gothic style. It’s here that Founding Fathers Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Daniel Carroll, one of the Constitution’s two authors, and John Carroll who became America’s first Catholic Bishop and founder of Georgetown University, spent many years studying. It’s now used as a performance and cultural venue, though is currently undergoing a restoration. Abbey of Saint-Bertin By the neo-classical train station of Saint- Omer, one of the most beautiful in France and a listed historic monument, you’ll find the remains of Saint Bertin’s Abbey. Sadly destroyed during the French Revolution, it was at this location on the edge of the marsh that a Swiss monk called Omer, sent to become Bishop of nearby Thérouanne in 637, founded an abbey in what was known then as Sitiu. It became the Abbey of Saint Bertin, named after one of Omer’s helpers, while the town that grew up around it became Saint-Omer. The abbey was expanded over the years and was updated to the Gothic style now evident in the ruins. It was here in 1165 that Thomas Beckett who became a Saint, sought refuge from Henry II. The abbey became so important that a prince’s quarters was built for visiting Kings and Queens. Francis 1 came here on his way to the Field of the Cloth of Gold Summit with Henry VIII in nearby Guînes. Historians believe that Anne Boleyn may also have been there in the retinue of Queen Claude, wife of King France, though no one knows if she met Henry VIII at this time. Coincidentially, it was from Saint-Omer that Henry VIII later sought a swordsman to lop off poor Anne’s head. Louis XIV also came here in 1677 when Saint- Omer, which had been under Spanish rule, was taken back by the French. He visited the floating islands of the marshes that surround the town, famous even then. In fact he was so impressed he returned three years later with the entire royal family and the court and stayed at the Governor’s Hotel at the spot where the Sandelin Museum now is. The people of Saint-Omer marked his first visit with an inscription on the grand doors to the Cathedral, which is still there. Louis rewarded the town by having his engineer Vauban reinforce the rampart walls which now encircle a beautiful park. The Good Life France | 31

Copied successfully!