Polly & Micks

                Grand Adventure 2013  

                                Page 31 

      Sunday August 11th  'Evening'

    Arrived at Certilleux. A very pretty ville in the countryside.       Have stayed before. There is a tap for water but no emptying facilities. There are however several aires around here that provide these.

                Monday August 12th. 

Headed north through Neufchateau  for about 20 Kms then off to the left of the road we were on ( D164) we saw a huge Church which looked interesting so drove to Domremy-la-Pucelle which is the birthplace of Joanne D'Arc, turned left and soon found it. It turned out to be the Basilique Sainte Jeanne d'Arc which on the map below is marked as Basilique du Bois Chenu.

After an eclipse of more than four centuries, there in the middle of the nineteenth century 

to the sudden expansion of patriotic worship in honor of Joan of Arc, in history, literature and the arts.

Wood-Chenu, a centuries-old beech, "May the Beautiful" was near the "Fountain of Feverish" 

where Jeanne claimed to have heard his voice. Remembering what, in the sixteenth century,

 a chapel was erected by Stephen Hordal, canon of the Cathedral of Toul and great-nephew of


In the seventeenth century this temple was in ruins. There was only one keystone and now 

a statue of Joan of Arc at the Birthplace Museum.

This is where, after much hesitation, we had to erect the memorial of Jeanne, the first stone was

 laid in 1881.

Owner of the land, the diocese of Saint-Die appealed to Eudist Fathers to manage work and 

organize pilgrimages.

By 1883, the crypt was built, and the porch forming the base of the tower. In 1891, a vast 

construction site will come up in less than ten years: the tower, the nave and Chaplaincy 

Eudist Fathers.

In 1920 the Bois-Chenu committee undertook to carry out the second plan that would 

double the surface church, by the addition of a large transept and apse, thus giving birth

 to the national church of Sainte-Jeanne Arc, and then in 1939 in the Basilica of Saint Joan of Arc.

The construction work ended in 1943 with the installation of the pipe organ, and in 1945, 

with the completion of the grand staircase, called the "staircase of the peace."

The Basilica of Saint Joan of Arc is a private property, that is why it received no subsidy

  from public authorities. It was built solely by donations from all over France and abroad.


                                                  Copied from a website.

                                              Mum and Dad 

   One last look and on for another 20 Kms to  Vaucouleurs.  A place visited by Joan. Once upon a time a quite imposing town but now it has seen better times, quite run down, but with some nice buildings and worth a stop. There is an aire but hidden behind the high street houses, a little tricky to find. When you approach the town you can find it either off the high street or go around the bye-pass which you take to the next roundabout, turn left and left into the car park. If you go down the high street you will see the sign of the peeing motorhome to your right, down a very narrow but short street which also takes you into the car park. The aire is on your left and is just three parking bays. This is free but you have to pay for your water.You can also empty your blues and greys for free. Stayed the night.

                                                                                                                    47 Kms 



Above is a picture clip taken from Google Earth and shows the entrance to the carpark  on the right and below is an arial view of the two entrances. Red High street.  Yellow Bye-pass

                                       River alongside carpark. 

Wandered around the ville and visited chapel at top of hill. Also the Gateway to France is up there as well. As you walk out of the carpark onto the high street, slightly to your right you will see Joan on 'er 'orse and to your left on the other side of the road you will see the touriste information office. 

Joan, on 'er 'orse without er 'awk in 'er 'and. In front of the Hotel de Ville. opposite the aire/carpark. Up the hill behind this is the Chapel Castrale and the Port de france

A very nice day had by all. Although the aire is in the middle of town it is very quiet. 

                Tuesday 13th August

After a heavy thunderstom last  night it's a nice bright sunny morning. had another wander around the Ville.


If you turn right out of the aire you will come across this sadly neglected but once grand building which is waiting for someone with money to return it to its former glory. 

  After this we then headed off North still on the D964 towards St. Mihiel. Stopped on route for lunch then on to St Mihiel where we called into the tourist info, ( Turn right off D964 and head towards archway and just past where you can see the backend of a motorhome the tourist info is on your right.)

 where we gathered info of the town and they told us of a nice spot to park on the side of the canal. Which we did.


                          'and watched a Heron for a while. 

Wandered down to the town to have a look around, found some interesting buildings but not over impressed. Somebody else might come along and say it's a super place but each to his own. 

On second thoughts I suppose the church was pretty impressive.