When I saw this horse-drawn coach of the 19th century at the Carnavalet Museum (photo 1), I regretted having to plunge under ground at the Madeleine Metro station to take to the line 12 towards Concorde and walk over the long corridors of this station to take line 1 towards la Bastille.
It was certainly slower with the horse-drawn "omnibus" coach but certainly quieter if I believe the painting of Maurice Delondre called "On the Omnibus" (1880) (photo 2).
En voyant cet omnibus hippomobile à impériale du 19e siècle au Musée Carnavalet (photo 1), j'ai regretté de devoir plonger sous terre à la station Madeleine pour y prendre la ligne 12 vers Concorde et parcourir les longs couloirs de cette station pour prendre la ligne 1 vers la Bastille.
C'était certainement plus lent à cheval mais plus tranquille si j'en crois la tableau de Maurice Delondre "Dans l'omnibus" (1880) (photo 2).
It is well known, French policemen have blue bikes, abbots have black bikes, but did you know abbesses have pink bikes (main picture)? Here you see pink bikes at the Abbesses Metro station, but I was not there at right time to see them biking. . . . . ;) They just left their bikes here to go for their spiritual occupations.
Metro station Abbesses is the deepest station of Paris, located at the feet of Montmartre Hill, in the 18th district; two lifts and two staircases serve it to reach the tracks at 36 m depth.
This station is worth a visit, and if you go to Montmartre, and Sacré Choeur, walk down from the gardens at the feet of the Sacré Choeur, along rue Tardieu and rue Le Tac, you will reach the small Place des Abbesses. You will see there one of the last Art Nouveau kiosks, designed by H. Guimard, at the entrance of a metro station, with its typical cast iron frame and glass roof (picture 2). Of course, don’t use the lift, but walk down the stairs which are painted all the way long, and it is a strange feeling to walk down in the spiral staircase with paintings on the side, representing places (pictures 3 and 4) you just have visited!
The name of abbesses comes from the abbesses which were in the convent of Montmartre during the Middle Age; nothing is apparently left from that time.
The entrance of the station is still in old style, but the station itself, on the platforms is in old style, with the tiles, and the direction indications (picture 5). Some metro stations are worth a visit!
Sunday. We arrived about 6:10pm. Got our luggage right away and headed to the Metro (RER). First you board a bus and take a 10 minute ride to the Metro station. It was a $10 ticket per person, one way to Paris (Les Halles).
We got to the apartment about 7:30. We checked-in with our liaison and did a walk-thru and inventory (very thorough) of the apartment. We dropped our bags and barely unpacked. Famished, we were out the door searching for a place to eat at about 8:30pm. Fortunately, the owner of the apartment gave us a list of restaurants and cafes in the area before we left. I took some time to look them up online several days before leaving. Nothing worse than arriving in a strange town, hungry and not knowing where to go or where to eat. We found a lovely restaurant and settled into a good hearty meal of steak and frites. 10:00pm and we went for a stroll and headed back to the apartment to 'try' and get some sleep.
70+ years ago when I was a teen-ager in NYC, standing at the window in the front car of the train and peering out into the dark tunnel with the white lights dimly sketching the walls was a thrill of which I never tired. I have over the generations tried to introduce my children and then grandchildren to this experience wherever it presented itself. (None of them live near any "undergrounds".) The Paris Metro is an ideal first experience. The trains run right->forward, so finding the first car is easy. Before the age of 10 most children do not immediately recognize the dynamics and cannot put themselves in the place of the driver
Coming from New York, the Metro stations in Paris were a revelation. Not only were they clean and bright, but many stations had wall decor reflecting the particular stop. For the Bastille, a rendition of the fall. For Varenne, Rodin copies including The Kiss. And for the Louvre copied antiquities.
One of the most memorable feature of Paris are the Hector Guimard designs for Metro entrances. 141 entrances were built (1900-1904), all made of prefabricated cast-iron elements and 86 of them still remain . Of the canopied ones, only two examples of this design survive in Paris." One on the Porte Dauphine side of Avenue Foch and the other one accesses the Abbesses metro station in the 18th Arrondisement.
I use it on every visit ... The MAIN train stations, Gare du Nord, Gare du San Lazarre, Gare du ??? Those trains take you to suburban areas (Versailles included).
The METRO is the local city subway. It is super easy to navigate, clean and actually entertaining. I always love the musicians and buskers who ride playing their accordian.
Try learn IN FRENCH how to BUY tickets on the METRO. The clerks in the booth are NOT friendly. As a matter of fact, my friend and I purchased packets of 10 tickets and 1/2 of them were BAD! Thank goodness I could speak enough French to fight with the clerk and get the BAD one's replaced.
I enjoy all the wild, creative posters the french use for promotion in the metro and on the street.
This poster was the hot one in fall 2005.
It was everywhere, even on the big angle / streetfront of Gallerie Lafayette. When you get an upclose look at the message and the models it is in my opinion easy to see why. (l'arf ! )
Maybe it is just because the culture is a change from what I see everyday or maybe also the more natural and relaxed attitude the french have about sex and using it in advertising,
but part of the fun for me everytime I go to Paris is simply some of the advertising on the street.
I kept my old hogs-head one from 2003 just for nostalgia.
Find the last Art Deco Metro entrances in Paris!
They are disappearing, being substituted by more modern ones.
The one in the picture was in Place Pigalle, don't know whether it's still there or not.
When in Paris see all the things that every tourist sees. Paris is a beautiful city and even if you're not 'touristy" take the metro to every major sight you possibly can because 1)when will you be there again? and 2) the metro is so well connected in the city that you can see virtually everything in a day if you wanted to really rush it!!
It was amazing to see the Arc De Triomphe in lights at night as well as the Eiffel Tower. You can't go to Paris and not see the obvious!! When you're in the city you can see the Eiffel Tower pretty much at every turn in the distance...we didn't go up the tower but we did go to it.....the line-ups can get pretty bad!!
This is something that you cannot avoid seeing - but I think that you should hold your steps for a few minutes and really LOOK.
Many of the old Art Noveau/Jugend barriers and lamp posts still exist. The picture shows the one at Montmartre station Anvers.
This is as much Art Noveau as you can get! The flower stems, the red buds (lamps), the organic frame holding the Metro sign. It is 100 percent. Look at the barrier that surrounds the stairs as well - also total Art Noveau. And very good craftsmanship at that!
When in Paris you must make an effort to track down the beautiful Art Nouveau metro stops designed by Hector Guimard. I'll come back later to list them.
A few years ago, pre 9-11, early 2001 as a matter of fact, the National Gallery of Art here in Washington DC had an Art Nouveau exhibit. I have attached the link below because it really is a great synopsis of the whole movement.
as I walked through the exhibit I stopped in my tracks. Hey! I know what that is! They had a Guimard metro stop. I need to figure out if it is real or a replica, and I will post back. I believe it's now part of their permanent exhibit.
There are numerous art deco Metro stations throughout Paris, but only two original Guimard Art Nouveau Metro Stations are left. One at place Dauphine and another at Abesses in Montmarte (moved from Hotel de Ville in 1974). Most of the original Guimard stations were destroyed until preservationist saved these in the 1970's. Built circa 1900, they were constructed with cast iron and bronze. Designed by famed architect Hector Guimard, these ornate entrances were opened to coincide with the 1900 World Fair in Paris.
Hmm... this is somewhat manipulative but it's a :"tip" nevertheless.... haha
In a nutshell, when the parisians go on strike, the poor backpackers get free metro rides.... :*) ie, the gates will usually be left open following the counter/metro staff being somewhat distracted with strikes or worst, in the strike... :*)
You really should pay some attention to the metro entrances in Paris. Some are just beautiful. Many entrance from the 19th century are made in Art Nouveau style, but you will also find some modern or artistic styles.