Passy, Paris

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Passy: Villa Mozart

    by Nemorino Updated Jul 23, 2013

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    Villa Mozart in Passy
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    Here's another elegant cul-de-sac in Passy. This one is named after the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).

    Mozart never lived in Passy, which in fact it was really only a tiny village with six streets during his lifetime, but he did spend some time in Paris in the years 1763-64 -- when he was touring Europe giving concerts as an eight-year-old child prodigy, in the company of his father and sister -- and again in the spring of 1766, two years older but on the same tour.

    As an adult, age 22, he spent six months in Paris in the year 1778, but this visit was a sad one. He didn't get any of the jobs or commissions he was hoping for. His mother, Anna Maria Mozart, who was with him on this trip, fell ill and died in Paris on July 3, 1778 at the age of 57. She was buried the next day in the churchyard of the parish of Saint-Eustache, near what is now the Forum Les Halles.

    Second photo: A building near Villa Mozart in Passy.

    Vélib' 16027
    Location of Villa Mozart on the Vélib' map
    Métro Jasmin, Ranelagh
    GPS 48°51'12.53" North; 2°16'7.91" East

    Related tips:
    • Passy: Rue de la Tour
    • Passy: Rue Berton
    • Passy: Benjamin Franklin lived here
    • Passy: The House of Balzac
    • Rossini lived here (I think)
    • Hôtel de la Princesse de Lamballe
    • Concerts at Radio France

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Historical Travel

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Passy: Rue de la Tour

    by Nemorino Updated Jul 23, 2013

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    Since it was the middle of February I was prepared for snow, slush, sleet, gale-force winds and freezing temperatures, but in fact it was dry and frost-free the entire time, and on my last day we had brilliant sunshine and temperature readings from 17° C. at noon up to 20° C. a couple hours later, as shown on the green-cross signs of the pharmacies.

    So I kept changing Vélib' bikes and did a lot of riding around in Passy, in the 16th arrondissement, which is where I happened to be.

    At Place Tattegrain I found that by looking back down Rue de la Tour, where I had just been cycling, I could see the Eiffel Tower framed between the buildings. Of course it wasn't planned that way, because the street was there long before the tower was built.

    Vélib' 16018
    RER Avenue Henri Martin
    GPS 48°51'49.11" North; 2°16'21.19" East

    Related tips:
    • Passy: Rue Berton
    • Passy: Benjamin Franklin lived here
    • Passy: The House of Balzac
    • Rossini lived here (I think)
    • Passy: Villa Mozart
    • Hôtel de la Princesse de Lamballe
    • Concerts at Radio France

    Related to:
    • Cycling

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Passy: Benjamin Franklin lived here

    by Nemorino Updated Jul 23, 2013

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    Site of the H��tel de Valentinois in Passy
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    In Passy, at the corner of Rue Raynouard and rue Singer, is the site of a house that once stood here called the "Hôtel de Valentinois" -- hôtel in the old sense of the word, meaning mansion. This was where the American diplomat, writer, scientist and inventor Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) lived for nearly ten years while he was the American "plenipotentiary" (and later ambassador) to France.

    All you loyal readers of my Halle tips (thanks again to both of you) may recall that I mentioned Benjamin Franklin as the inventor of a musical instrument called the glass armonica in 1762.

    Fifteen years later, when he arrived in Paris, Franklin was seventy-one years old and his mission was to secure French assistance for the American War of Independence against the British. He was very successful in this, and he was also successful in negotiating the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783, which officially ended the war and established the United States as an independent country.

    Second photo: The historical plaque at the site of the Hôtel de Valentinois says that in the early eighteenth century it had one of the best views of any building in Passy, because in 1711 the owner bought the house on the opposite side of the street, had it torn down and prohibited any further construction there, so he had an unencumbered view of the river.

    (In the three centuries since then there has been quite a bit of construction between here and the river, so the view of the river is no longer as good as it once was. But now from just up the road you can see the Eiffel Tower, which of course didn't exist in 1711.)

    From 1736 to 1774 the house was used as a theater and was the site of wild parties hosted by the Countess de Valentinois. Later the house was bought by a merchant named Le Ray de Chaumont, a friend of Benjamin Franklin's who invited him to stay there from 1777 to 1785.

    68 rue Raynouard, 75016 Paris
    Vélib' 16024
    RER Avenue du Président Kennedy
    GPS 48°51'16.29" North; 2°16'43.90" East

    Related tips:
    • Passy: Rue de la Tour
    • Passy: Rue Berton
    • Passy: The House of Balzac
    • Rossini lived here (I think)
    • Passy: Villa Mozart
    • Hôtel de la Princesse de Lamballe
    • Concerts at Radio France

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Passy: Rue Berton

    by Nemorino Updated Jul 23, 2013

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    1. The Eiffel Tower from Rue Berton
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    Rue Berton is a narrow street in Passy which is best known for the fact that its upper end points directly towards the Eiffel Tower, which is a coincidence since the street was there long before the tower was built.

    Also on this street is the back door of a house that used to belong to the author Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850). Tradition has it that Balzac made use of the back door on Rue Berton to escape from his creditors when they were knocking at the front door on Rue Raynouard.

    Rue Berton, formerly Rue du Roc, is named after two composers: Pierre Montan-Berton (1727-1780), director of the Paris Opera, and his son Henri Montan-Berton (1767-1844), who composed no less than 48 operas during his lifetime. (I used to know an opera singer named Cassandre Berthon, who sang in Frankfurt in the 1990s, but I don't know if she is any relation.)

    Second photo: The lower end of Rue Berton is probably one of the narrowest streets in Paris.

    Third photo: Looking down rue Berton towards the Eiffel Tower, from rue Raynouard, February 2011.

    Vélib' 16112
    Métro Passy
    GPS 48°51'17.68" North; 2°16'49.90" East

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Music

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Rossini lived here (I think)

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 28, 2012

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    1. Villa Beaus��jour
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    As I mentioned on my Wildbad im Schwarzwald page, one of the mysteries of operatic history is why the composer Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) abruptly stopped composing in 1829 at the age of 37, when he was at the height of his powers and had just scored a huge success with his opera Wilhelm Tell. Since he was a prolific composer who churned out two or more operas a year with little apparent effort, nobody expected him to just stop. But that's exactly what he did.

    Since he had made a considerable fortune from his many operas, he was able to buy a large house in Passy, which at that time was a village on the outskirts of Paris, and devote the rest of his life (he was to live for thirty-nine more years) to his two favorite hobbies, gourmet cooking and gourmet dining.

    One afternoon I rode around Passy on a Vélib' bike looking for the place where Rossini used to live -- and I think this is it, more or less.

    Rossini's house was called Villa Beau Séjour and this fenced-in cul-de-sac in the photo is called Villa Beauséjour. The street going past is Boulevard de Beauséjour, and the next street over is Avenue Ingres (named after the painter), which I have also seen listed as Rossini's address.

    Second photo: Houses at Villa Beuséjour.

    Third photo: There is a plaque on one of the houses, but it has nothing to do with Rossini. It says "Here lived and died Adolphe Alphand 1817-1891 creator of the Boulogne Forest and the gardens of the Second Empire, Director of Public Works of Paris."

    Vélib' 16021
    Métro La Muette
    GPS 48°51'27.12" North; 2°16'19.25" East

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Historical Travel

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Cemetery of Passy, 16th.

    by pfsmalo Updated Dec 11, 2011

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    Not far off the beaten path is the cemetery of Passy, as it sits just across the place du Trocadero from the Palais de Chaillot and 5 mins walk from the Eiffel Tower. Not as well known as some of the other Parisian cemeteries, nonetheless it has its lot of celebrities.

    No 1) - Bao Dai, last Empereur of Vietnam. Forced to abdicate by Ho Chi Minh in 1945, and then finally exiled in 1955 after Dien Bien Phu and the end of the first part of the Vietnam war. He died here in Paris in 1997.

    No 2) - Edouard Manet, Instigator of modernisme and one of its most famous exponents towards the end of the 19th c, died in Paris in 1883 after long bouts of sickness and contracting syphilis resulting in gangrene.

    No 3) - Marcel Dassault,née Bloch, creator of Dassault Aviation, the most famous of French aviation companies. Changed his name to Dassault in 1949 to commemorate the pseudo of his brother in the Resistance during WWII.

    No 4) - Fernandel, well known actor and cabaret artist. Died in Paris after a cancer in 1971.

    No 5) - Leila Pahlavi, last daughter of the Shah of Iran and Farah Diba, died in London in 2001. Suffering from depression and anorexia her death is still unexplained.

    Among others are Haroun Tazieff, volcanologue - Marcel Renault, of Renault cars - Berthe Morisot, sister in law of Manet and featuring in some of his works and also Pearl White, American actrice of the silent film era.

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  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo

    Passy, Very Calm, Very Upscale

    by ForestqueenNYC Written Sep 23, 2011

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    Rue de Passy
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    Passy is a very lovely upscale quartier in the 16th arrondissement. It's within walking distance of Place Trocadero. Some people find it boring, but I find it quite peaceful and like to go there from time to time.

    What really stands out is that the people who live there look so different from those in central Paris including the 6th and 7th arrondissements which are actually wealthier than the 16th. It would be hard to tell them from many of the people you would find on the Mainline in Philadelphia or the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

    Former residents were Benjamin Franklin, William Vanderbilt, Honoré Balzac, and the composer, Gioachino Rossini.

    There is a small, but nice park called Jardin du Ranelagh. Though it doesn't compare to Luxembourg Gardens, Butte Chaumont, or Park Montsouris, it is a nice place to sit with a book away from the hustle bustle of the city parks and gardens.

    On the other side of the park is the Musée Marmottan which is an impressionist museum dedicated to Monet. http://www.marmottan.com/

    Take line 6 to metro stop Passy. Take line 9 to Musée Marmottan and get off at La Muette.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Women's Travel

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  • Brehone's Profile Photo

    Cimetiere de Passy

    by Brehone Written May 14, 2004

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    This is small cemetary is located near the Eiffel tower, which you can see from almost every part of it's 2.5 acres. Manet and Debussy were both laid to rest here. The tomb and striking sculptures are worth a quick visit.

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