Walking Around, Paris
St Martin door was built in 1674 to replace a medieval gate, and restored in 1988. It is close to the avenues of the great malls, and it is almost a frontier with... the other Paris.
In my last visit, I heard a sound that looked like pistol shots, but everybody was so calm, that... I kept walking without concern.
The next day, by the arch, I noticed that the window of the next shop presented signals of... bullets.
Coincidence? Of course... Paris is nice! So let's look at the arch, inspired in Titus arch, in Rome, and built by François Blondel by command of Louis XIV, to celebrate his military victories.
One of the narrowest streets in Paris is called ‘Street of fishing cat’. It’s not very long and leads you to the bank of Seine. So if you aren’t so thin, better not try going there :). Also near here there is a restaurant with the same name.
Nearest Metro station - Saint-Michel.
GPS coordinates: 48.852937,2.346037
I don't much care for Pigalle etc.
but I like the area south of it.
Between Metro Pigalle & Blanche (it's actually in the upper 9th arr. as opposed to the Montmartre 18th) and south of Pigalle / Clichy madness is an area filled with older houses, some parks and pawnshops, mostly around rue de Douai / rue Victor Masse, rue du Fontaine, etc.
It's a relief to escape the "disneyland" of Montmarte & hectic inner arrondisements once in a while.
I used to crawl pawnshops in skid row parts of town looking for used guitars when I was a kid so I liked this area.
Lots of places selling used instruments (some were cool, unique foreign instruments you don't find in the states), bars, actual sex shops (not like the sleazy traps on Pigalle). The area has more personality (good & bad) than a lot of other parts of the city. And as always, beautiful squares / parks in the middle of it all (Sq. Berlioz).
There appeared to be lots of Algerian & Moroccan-lineage french hanging out, and some little african and south-asian places to eat.
Not so many cafes as little shops, as there didn't seem to be many tourists there. Quiet pedestrian traffic, mostly locals... you'll stick out as a tourist and draw a little attention on the street but that can sometimes lead to a new experience or interesting conversation.
Not a large area, but lots of character and very interesting.
see if you can get a peek or sneak into the mysterious, historic & private
(or rent Toulouse-Lautrec's last workshop if you have 1600-2000 Euros / week to spend) on an apartment.*
I initially wrote this (above) almost 10 years ago - sad to say - this area, once one of my faves, is now in the process of being RUINED / gentrified / "bobo-ized" by plastic so-called "hipsters." Prices are going up, chi-chi "hipster" (gag) bars and bistros are taking over what was once a quarter with character. Even the brothels and whores are abandoning once-entertaining crawls along Frochot and rue Jean-Baptiste-Pigalle. The hipster bloggers have even given the area a new cute, Manhattanized moniker "So-pi" (south of pigalle ... get it?) :P
Is nothing sacred? Is Paris doomed to a fate similar to Manhattan?
Death to "hipsters" (really!)
Sq. Berlioz history
the Church Saint-Jacques-Saint-Christophe de la Villette (st james and st Christopher) built between 1841 and 1844. One of the jewels of the 19éme arrondissement de Paris near the Canal de l'ourcq
an area seldom visited but now becoming more trendy and more lively action and resto, cruises, theater on the canal very chic moving up.
a bit of history on this Church
Mentioned as early as the 11C as a uncertain, La Villette is an agricultural town situated in a fertile plain of Northeastern Paris where are cultivated cereals, fruit trees, vegetable crops and vineyards; It stretches along an old Roman road used by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, linking the French capital to Flanders, via Senlis and Germany. Over the centuries, the town changed its name. In 1198, a Charter the mentions as city neuve Saint-Lazare in Paris and then, in 1374, an act of Charles V, it is called La Villette-Saint-Ladre-Lez-Paris, reference to a small house or villette built by leprosy-Saint-Lazare in Paris, owner of the land and for the rest of his religious. At the end of the 14C, a church, dedicated to saint James and saint Christopher, is built in the current avenue of Flanders.
The considerable increase of the population justifies the construction of a new Church and a royal order on November 17, 1837 allows the municipality to acquire land for this purpose. The choice is a parcel along the Ourcq canal .
The Church is of neoclassical style, designed according to the model of the early Christian basilicas. The façade is dominated by a porch, Italianate double-decker between which is engraved the Latin inscription "Domus dei porta coeli venite adoremus". The first level consists of pilasters of Corinthian order, and share and entry, two niches are home to the statue of the two patron saints of the Church, due to Antoine Laurent Dantan. The second level is pierced in its Center, three bays arched and decorated with pilasters of a composite nature. The whole is crowned with a pediment triangular and flanked by two towers, added during work performed in 1930 and topped each with a copper dome .The nave is separated from the aisles by alignment of Doric columns, fluted in their upper part, supporting a row of clerestory windows. The central ship is covered by a painted wood coffered ceiling. The choir, expanded during the 1930, is lit by stained-glass windows due to master glassmaker Charles Champigneulle, representing Christ, saint Peter, saint Paul and the two patron saints of the Church.
the main things to see Inside are
Baptismal font of Renaissance style, located in the centre of the nave.
Chair in marble with a bas-relief dated 1844, on the Presentation of Christ to the nations of the Earth of Dantan elder.
Way of the cross in painting on glass, directed in 1988 by Arnault Ménettrier, former Vicar of the parish.
The consecration stone, in the right aisle, on which are inscribed the names of the Mayor of the time, Dominique Sommier and architect, Zainab and Bishop Denys Affre, Archbishop of Paris, killed on a barricade of the faubourg Saint-Antoine where he came to advocate mediation, during the insurrection of June 1848.
another nice curiosity of Paris
It is located at the 16éme in the quartier de Muette at 2 Rue André Pascal, 75016 one of my favorite areas of Paris ;told many times here.
It turns 50 years old the institution of cooperation amongst nations in economic and developement issues. I have come here, and you can with prior reservation for a visit, better if you are part of a group.
The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established in 1948 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a continent ravaged by war. By making individual governments recognise the interdependence of their economies, it paved the way for a new era of cooperation that was to change the face of Europe. Encouraged by its success and the prospect of carrying its work forward on a global stage, Canada and the US joined OEEC members in signing the new OECD Convention on 14 December 1960. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was officially born on 30 September 1961, when the Convention entered into force.
The building is the Château de la Muette; it was a royal hunting-lodge, the birthplace of princes of France, the residence of a succession of royal mistresses, the park where Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette walked "as man and wife" without guards among their people. This ancient hunting-lodge was transformed into a small château for Marguerite de Valois, the first wife of Henri IV, who was popularly known as "Reine Margot". Marguerite bequeathed her château to the little Dauphin, later Louis XIII. Thus from 1606 to 1792, the property remained part of the royal estates. In 1716 the Château de la Muette became the home of the Duchesse de Berry, daughter of the Duc d'Orléans, Regent of France; here she received the Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. On her death, the Regent offered the château to the young King Louis XV; ten royal children were born here between 1724 and 1734. Later, however, the King seems to have preferred to entertain his mistresses at the Muette rather than his own family; these included the three de Nesle sisters, Mme de Pompadour and Mme Dubarry.
During this period, the château was rebuilt by the architect Gabriel in the form in which it survived until the early 1920's. The King's successor, Louis XVI, spent the happiest days of his life at the château with his young bride, Marie-Antoinette. It was a period of honeymoon, not only with his wife, but also with his people. Louis abolished certain royal taxes; he opened the gates of the Bois de Boulogne to the populace; he received notables and the common people alike at the château. Here Louis XVI entertained the Emperor Joseph II, Marie-Antoinette's brother, to dinner, and here he granted a small area of sandy ground to a certain Parmentier for the growing of potatoes unknown in France. It was, too, in the park of the château that, in November, 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes made the first successful flight in a hot-air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers, thus becoming the first humans to break loose from the earth's gravity. Among the crowd who observed this feat were the royal family and Benjamin Franklin.
At the Revolution, the estate became state property. It is recorded that a dinner originally intended for deputies, but at which so much food remained that five or six hundred poor people were afterwards fed, M. de La Fayette appeared on his white horse and was received with much enthusiasm. Château de la Muette were over; the National Assembly decided to sell the estate to the highest bidder.
The construction of the present château was started. Interrupted by the first World War, it was completed in 1922 and became the Paris home of Baron Henri de Rothschild, whose arms appear above the main entrance and who is remembered in the name of the street outside, "André Pascal", his pen name. Between the two wars, the Château de la Muette - the old building having completely disappeared to make room for some of the finest houses in Paris - was the scene of magnificent receptions where the famous Rothschild collections were displayed in a series of great rooms of which the oak-panelled OECD Council room and the white and gold Executive Committee room ("Room Roger Ockrent") are fine examples. Like many other great houses the château was put to more prosaic a use during World War II. After having served as military headquarters, it was taken over by the United States Army after the liberation of France. In 1949 it became the headquarters of the OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Co-operation), and the Organisation has since built several Annexes which flank the château.
History surrounded by wonderful mansions, and cachet , what Paris is all about folks.
This is a great area that I stops by often. It has been overrun by tourists been part of the famous Marais (marshes), but still keeps some of its old flair of Paris, Village Saint Paul that is.
History tells us that the Royal square (current place des Vosges) created on the order of Henry IV, became the heart of the Marais. It becomes a place of elegance and festivities. It is through her that princes and ambassadors made their way into Paris.The great lords and courtiers built surrounding splendid mansions that adorn the best artists of the Grand Siècle.Marshes develops at this time the type of the mansion in the French, classic and discreet building between Court and garden away from the street and its inconveniences. The storming of the Bastille marks the end of the residential Marshes.The hotels were often abandoned, sold or seized; their owners emigrated in the province or outside the Kingdom, some arrested, died on the guillotine. The lovely hotels leased, sub-let, sold, worsened gradually: the apartments were divided, ceilings destroyed, the courses transformed into workshops for artisans, the facades received additions of all kinds. Only the need to install some jurisdictions laws allowed the rescue of some monuments that suffered however their new assignments (Hotels of Soubise / Rohan / Carnavalet / Le Peletier). The old Paris commission, established in 1897 advised the city on the choice of monuments to preserve. It assisted the State has thus been able to buy hotels to assign them to a worthy destination, this time from their past (hotel Aubert de Fontenay says "Salé" today musée Picasso). In 1962, under the leadership of André Malraux Act "Preservation district" provides grants to restore the mansions. This new situation brought a social transformation in the neighborhood: craftsmen are gone replaced by more affluent environments. Today some blame across the Marshes lost his people's life and be more than a "Museum District" visited by tourists.The Marshes found so little by little, since the beginning of the 20th century, its luster, its grandeur of the 17th and 18th century, whom the Parisians had forgotten, it seems too quickly after the Revolution.
The website is in French ,but it has all the information on the area, maybe you can translate it with google or bing, its worth it. Mérés et Filles restaurant is very typical and nicely French.
http://meresetfilles.fr/ , and the great wines at the enoteca at http://www.enoteca.fr/
and the wonderful gallery of Hélène Dalloz-Bourguignon . The inmense hôtel de Sens, and wonderful library Forney.
You will enjoy even walking as I do often, and by the Forney library, even bringing my visiting friends here. Enjoy still a Paris corner
This is my neighborhood. I have lived here off and on since 2005. I love it. It is named after General Pierre Denfert-Rochereau of the 19th century, who, during the Franco-Prussian war, led the resistance of Belfort against the seige. Prior to the present name, it was, coincidentally, called Place d'Enfer. The place is easily recognizable by the giant Lion of Belfort in the center, a copy of the one in Belfort.
A friend, who has lived in this quartier for many years, told me that it was at one time a working class neighborhood, but now it is being elevated and the rent for a five bedroom apartment in a Hausemann style building goes for about $4000 a month and that's without a doorman.
Though it seems out of the way, it really is not. It is directly out Blvd St. Michele past Jardin du Luxembourg and Porte Royal. You can actually walk there from Notre Dame. I have done it many times. But if you don't feel like walking, take the RER B, or subway lines 4 and 6. You can also get bus #38 or #68. It would be a very lovely place to stay for your time in Paris. It is away from the hordes of tourists in an actual neighborhood. You will be able to mingle peacefully among the Parisians. It is quiet at night and lively during the day. There is a wonderful street called Rue Daguerre with fromageries, wine caves, boucheries, as well as quite a few brasseries, cafés and restaurants. And then of course there is MacDonalds.
When you see the Lion you will know you are there
The canal de l'Ourcq was built from Paris, from downstream to upstream. It provides a water supply of Paris, while allowing navigation of cargo. It is based on 1813 between Claye-souilly and Paris through the waters of the Beuvronne.Directed two-thirds during the final fall of the first Empire, this channel has been completed only in 1821.
For entering Paris around the villette it has a routing of more than ten kilometres without lock, this part of the canal, apart from the bassin de la Villette in full evolution, has an industrial character marked with four ports in cargo: the port Sérurier, the port of Pantin, of Bondy and of Pavillons-sous-Bois. Commercial navigation is active.
It is connected by several quais or docks and many attractions such as bar live music, theater on peniche boat, cinema,hotels and hostels, and an up and coming area of Paris.
Ending and going around it is the Canal Saint Martin, The construction of the canal Saint-Martin began in 1805 by both ends, but was completed in 1825 due to the difficulty to insert a breakwall into a site already very urbanized. The oldest parts are located under the boulevard Morland bridge, the vaults the Bastille and the rue La Fayette. The canal is punctuated by nine locks.
It is 4.5 Km long, with more than 2 km underground. It links the bassin de la Villette in the upstream Seine with an altitude difference of twenty-five meters. Inaugurated in 1825 the canal Saint-Martin features 9 locks and 2 swing bridges. It is open to navigation 363 days per year.Commercial traffic dropped significantly to make room for a very important tourism activity mainly linked to vessels carrying passengers but also to the individual craft.Its particular "atmosphere", its mysterious underground vaults, poetry by this waterway lined with chestnut trees and plane more than trees, punctuated by romantic gateways, make the canal Saint-Martin a highlight of tourism in Paris.
A lovely area of Paris that needs more visiting , I leave in French with the city of Paris water section, for more information.
On the small place at the crossroads of rue de l'Arbre-Sec and rue St. Antoine, there is a fountain dating from 1606 replacing an earlier one from 1527 that was itself rebuilt by Soufflot in 1775. The name "Croix du Trahoir" comes from the fact that on this place was a cross that allowed prisoners to kneel for their last prayers, as this was also a place where executions took place until 1690. Other tortures were also practiced, notably indelicate servants had their ears cut off and there was also a torture wheel where one was stretched and dismembered. The cross, being a symbol of the church was broken and removed in 1789. Strange then that the revolutionaries left the fountain with Louis XVI's name and the "fleur de lys".
A little further down rue de l'Arbre-Sec, on the corner of rue Bailleul, you'll find another example of a "missed fleur de lys". Engraved on the wall are another couple of fleur de lys, either side of the S.G.
The SG meaning "St Germain l'Auxerrois" and that there had been a census conducted. Funny that on the other side of the street the fleur de lys have been cemented over by the revolutionaries.
Louvre-Rivoli is the nearest metro.
A tiny street giving onto rue de Rivoli opposite the Jardin des Tuileries has a couple of things to look at. At no 2 there is a beautiful piece of stonework on the keystone. Even more interesting is on the other side of the street at no. 5, where you can still see traces of bullet holes in the stonework dating from the street combats for the Liberation of Paris in August 1944.
Nearest metro is Concorde.
A year ago I passed by here, unfortunately without camera. I decided to return this time and.... a new digicode, impossible to enter. So the pretty villa can only be seen through the grilled gates. The villa used to be full of artists studios and workshops, but like most places in Paris that have kept their charm and country flavour have been turned over to the ultra-rich, the only ones that can afford these apartments.
Nearest metro is La Fourche
Not to be confused with the Hotel de Rohan-Guémené, which is the house of Victor Hugo on the place des Vosges, this Hotel is part of the National Archives along with the Hotel de Soubise. Built in 1705, the house was lived in first by Arman-Gaston-Maximilien de Rohan and upon his death a further threee archbishops, including one that was implicated in the fraud "of the queen's necklace".
After the revolution the buildings were acquired by Napoleon in 1808 and turned into the National Printing works a year later. It stayed that way for 120 years but expanding to the point where it was no longer possible. It was at this point, in 1927 , that the buildings were almost demolished and except for the tenacity of C-V Langlois, the director of the Archives, this would have happened. The buildings are now part of the National Historic Monuments, so the future is assured. The gardens of both Hotel Soubise and Rohan can be visited during the day, entering from rue des Quatre-Fils. Try also to get a look at the bas-relief of Le Lorrain, "les Chevaux du Soleil" sculpted in 1737. In the courtyard turn right through the arch into the stables courtyard, and its on the right.
Closest metro is St. Paul or Rambuteau.
During many years this building was thought to be the oldest in Paris, theory upheld by the well-known Parisian historian Jacques Hillairet. Unfortunately for him (and others) the National Archive has papers that date the house at being between 1644 and 1654, dates where a certain Dally bought the garden where the building now is and date when he sold the house after his wife died. So it is confirmed that the house of Nicholas Flamel at 51 rue de Montmorency only a couple of streets away, and built in 1407 is still the oldest. That said, this one with its half-timbers is still a fine example. It is now a Vietnamese soup kitchen.
Arts et Metiers is the closest metro.
Behind the rather austere facade of the Maison de l'Europe at 35/37 rue des Francs-Bourgeois is a garden open to the public that cannot be seen from the street, so you've got to know it is there. The garden holds a small treasure, that once again if you don't know it is there..... Still visible are parts of Philippe-Auguste's wall dating from around 1190 to 1210, with other buildings being constructed either using the wall or sitting directly on top of it. Over the top of one wall can be seen the chimney of next doors "Societé des Cendres", a factory that used to wash and treat the waste scrapings of jewellers to recuperate the gold and silver that was left. The jewellers used to bring their bags of waste here to be treated, burnt and melted down to be used again. Very soon this garden may not be as quiet as now. Being land owned by the city, there are plans to run a path through to the rue des Rosiers, making a complete thoroughfare of it. The house and gardens date from around 1600 and Mme de Sevigné lived here for a while before her marriage. The city aquired the buildings in 1972 and after much renovation were turned over to the Maison de l'Europe de Paris in 1978.
Please NOTE : Until the path through is finished, the garden is only open in the afternoon.
St Paul is the nearest metro.
Just a short walk from the metro down rue Oberkampf, one of the new "in" streets in Paris is this beautiful courtyard, some 150 metres long, full of artisans, kids playing and a joyful general bric-a-brac. Since 2008 the cité is under siege from promotors with menaces issued and some (for the moment) banter from obvious strong-arm men. The people who live and work here, one lady over 80 yo has lived here all her life, own their apartments but unfortunately not the ground they are built on. Talking to people in the passage I got the impression that the battle seemed won, as a judge had ruled on the abuse and strong-arm tactics, and nothing had moved since 18 months. Hopefully they can preserve their little corner of Paris and the social mixity of its inhabitants, be they painters, graphists, metalworker and even a photgraphers studio right down at the end.
Menilmontant is the closest metro.