MAY 19,2017 - MAY 19,2017 (1 DAYS)
The Left Bank: From Tour Eiffel to Notre-Dame de Paris:
Tip 1: From Tour Eiffel to Place Saint-Sulpice.
Tip 2: From Place Saint-Sulpice to La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
Tip 1 Main Attractions: Park du Champ de Mars, Statue Marechal Joffre, École Militaire, Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni, Esplanade des Invalides, Quai d’Orsay, Pont Alexandre III, Port des Champs-Élysées, Assemblée Nationale du Palais Bourbon, Pont de la Concorde, Quai Anatole-France, Musée d'Orsay (we did NOT enter the museum), Hôtel Matignon, Hôtel de Boisgelin, Rue du Bac, Musée Maillol, Cafe de Flore, Cafe Les Deux Magots, Place Saint-Germain des Prés, Place Saint-Sulpice.
Tip 2 Main Attractions: Place Saint-Sulpice, Church of Saint-Sulpice, Luxembourg Gardens, Place du Panthéon, The Panthéon, Place Sainte-Geneviève, Eglise Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, La Sorbonne, Promenade Maurice Carême, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Île de la Cité.
Start: Park Champ de Mars. End: La station de métro "Cité". Distance: 15 km. Orientation: Only bright days. We walk a lot along many interesting streets in Paris (mostly in the left bank). We do NOT enter the main museums. We do enter the Notre-Dame Cathedral but NOT entering Orsay Museum.
Our Itinerary starts east to our Eiffel in Park du Champ de Mars. If you come to the Eiffel Tower, you will pass through this huge park which is lived with upper class residences. Lots of greenery, and some benches for sitting. Watch out for Africans trying, desperately, to sell small figurines of Tour Eiffel or gypsies running scams on tourists. Opened in 1780, the Parc du Champ-de-Mars extends from the École Militaire in the east to the Eiffel Tower in the west. A focal point for national events, it can be accessed freely and offers the most beautiful view of the capital’s landmark monument. Parisians and tourists gather on its lawns to picnic, play music, and watch the Eiffel Tower’s twinkling lights at nightfall. BUT, this legendary site is losing its glamour from year to year. The first change are the black sellers filling the park. The next change happened when the park was surrounded with fences and guards. The increased security under the Eiffel Tower squeezes the huge masses into narrow channels at the base of Eiffel Tower. As is the case everywhere n Paris there is a serious lack of public toilets. Signs lead nowhere and it's not surprising that sadly there is a pervading smell of wee everywhere you go in the park. Keep your eyes open for pickpockets. Anyway, nice views of the Eiffel Tower from here. It’s worth a stop if you’re going to see the tower in the day or at night. During the mornings - the park is empty and it gets packed the more we advance till the dusk hours. During the spring everything is green, but, the park may look exhausted after a long, dry summer. Be warned: no toilets in Champ de marks. The only one besides the Eiffel Tower is closed.
One of the pleasant surprises you will find in the park is the Mur pour la Paix (Wall for Peace), built in March 2000, in front of the École Militaire. It is situated along the most eastern fence of the park.
The Statue Marechal Joffre stands in Place Joffre - between the eastern fence of Park du Champ de Mars (west to the square) and l'Ecole Militaire (the Military School). Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre, often known just as Jacques Joffre, was a French General during World War I. He is most well known for regrouping the retreating allied armies in order to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne, which happened in 1914. And with this triumph, plus other strategies that Joffre put in place, he gained further popularity and became referred to with a nickname of Papa Joffre. Because of these triumphs, even before World War I had ended, Josephe Joffre had been awarded the title of Marshal of France, or in French this would be Marachel de France, and he was the first person to receive this title and rank under the Third Republic, even though he also received other honours including knighthood. The bronze statue depicts Joseph Joffre wearing a long coat, riding his horse, and the horse has, like many equestrian poses, its front foot raised, and is positioned looking onto the Champ de Mars Park with the front facade of the Ecole Militaire behind him.
The École Militaire is a vast complex of buildings housing various military training facilities southeast of the Champ de Mars. It now hosts: The École de guerre ("war school"), and the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale("institute of advanced studies in national defense"). t was founded in 1750, after the War of the Austrian Succession, by Louis XV on the basis of a proposal of Marshal Maurice de Saxe and with the support of Madame de Pompadour and the financier Joseph Paris Duverney, with the aim of creating an academic college for cadet officers from poor noble families. It was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, and construction began in 1752 on the grounds of the farm of Grenelle, but the school did not open until 1760. The Comte de Saint-Germain reorganised it in 1777 under the name of the École des Cadets-gentilshommes (School of Young Gentlemen), which accepted the young Napoleon Bonaparte in 1784. He graduated from this school in only one year instead of two.
When École Militaire is on our right and our face to north-east we walk from Place Joffre toward Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 240 m. Continue straight onto Place de l'École Militaire, 35 m. Continue onto Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 60 m. Turn right toward Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. The Metro station of École Militaire is on our right. Continue onto Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 170 m. Turn right to stay on Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 45 m. Slight left onto Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, 90 m. The Metro station La Tour-Maubourg (Line 8) is on our right. Head north on Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg toward Rue Saint-Dominique, 210 m. Turn right onto Rue Saint-Dominique, 100 m. Here we turn LEFT (NORTH) to Rue Fabert or, further, east, gain to the left (north) into Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni. Hotel des Invalides is on your right (see below). The Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni is a very wide avenue, charming in a sunny day, that connects Rond-Point du Bleuet de France in the south and Quai d'Orsay in the north. Nothing special in itself but with great views over its surroundings. Green spaces on both of our sides. It is nicely maintained and is pleasing for a stroll through it, but there are very nice parks very close to here where one can relax if one is so inclined. with our faces to the north - we, first, cross Esplanade des Invalides. Turn back to see the Hotel des Invalides. It is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. In 1670, no foundation existed to house wounded and homeless veterans who had fought for France. Louis XIV, who was anxious about what would happen to soldiers that had served during his numerous campaigns, decided to build the Hôtel Royal des Invalides. Constructed from 1671 to 1676 by Libéral Bruant, then by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte, it is one the most prestigious monuments in Paris. it comprises the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération as two churches: the Eglise du Dôme, which houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte designed by Visconti in 1843, and the Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides. During the second half of the 20th century, the entire site of the Hôtel National des Invalides was opened up to the public after small buildings were knocked down and a ditch created around the site. In 1981, a huge restoration project was undertaken at the Hôtel National des Invalides under the instigation of an interdepartmental commission co-directed by the Ministries of Defence and Culture to restore this exceptional site to its former glory. Opening hours:
1 November-31 March: 10.00 - 17.00. 1 April-31 October: 10.00 - 18.00. On Tuesdays, from April to September, the Dome is open until 21.00. In July and August, the Dome is open until 19.00. The Invalides site is open every day from 7.30 to 19.00 (21.00 on Tuesday from April to September). Prices:
Independent (non-guided) tour - Single ticket for : Musée de l'Armée, Tomb of Napoléon, Historial Charles de Gaulle, Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération, Musée des plans-reliefs: €12 (full price) / €10 (reduced rate). FREE entry for under 26s from within the European Union. Free for disabled visitors and an accompanying person. Free for young people and children Under 18 years:
Court of honour:
The Church of St-Louis des Invalides is Hardouin-Mansart's work and many flags stolen from the enemy were hung here as decoration:
Musee de l'Armee:
The tomb of Louis Hubert Lyautey (1854-1934), designed by Albert Laprade, was placed in the Saint-Gregory Chapel of the Hôtel des Invalides' Église du Dôme in 1963. Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey was a French general, the first Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and Marshal of France from 1921:
Napoleon died in 1821 on the remote island of Saint Helena, where he spent the last six years of his life as an exile under British rule. He was repatriated to France in 1840, and interred here in 1861 once this tomb was completed. Napoleon's Tomb. 40 years after his passing, Napoleon was finally laid to rest near the altar under the Dôme des Invalides (see below). It's such a gorgeous monument and it is, absolutely, one of the highlights - visiting Paris:
Marshal Foch's tomb glows blue, as light streams through the chamber's tinted windows. Marshal Foch's blue-tinted tomb. Foch was the Allied Commander-in-Chief whose strategy of coordination and attrition led to Germany's defeat and the end of World War I. Foch advocated harsher terms for Germany's surrender, but was overruled by the French Prime Minister. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, he proclaimed: "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years". World War II began 20 years, 64 days later:
The high altar and canopy in the Dôme des Invalides , bathed in golden light from the tinted windows that flank it:
We walk along Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni from south to north. In the northern end of the wide avenue - we cross Quai d'Orsay and enter Pont Alexandre III. The Quai d’Orsay is a quay, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The Quai becomes the Quai Anatole-France east of the Palais Bourbon, and the Quai Branly west of the Pont de l'Alma. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located on the Quai d'Orsay, and thus the ministry is often called the Quai d'Orsay. The Quai has historically played an important role in French art as a location to which many artists came to paint along the banks of the river Seine. The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (110 m. east from Pont Alexandre II) was developed between 1844 and 1855 by Jacques Lacornée. The statues of the facade were created by the sculptor Henri de Triqueti (1870). The Pont Alexandre III is an arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter in the north with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower in the south. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris. It is classified as a French Monument historique since 1975. The Beaux-Arts style bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank. The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 6 metres (20 ft) high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was constrained by the need to keep the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides. The bridge was built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée d'Alby. It was inaugurated in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition) World's Fair, as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896:
View from Pont Alexandre III to the Petit Palais:
After crossing the Seine over Pont Alexandre II - we turn RIGHT (east) to Port de la Conférence which continues as Cours la Reine or (closer to the river) as Port des Champs-Élysées. This port is managed by VNF (Voies Navigable de France, the French national waterway authority) rather than by the city of Paris as at the other moorings. his way takes its name from its neighborhood with the gardens of the Champs-Elysees:
It is 550 m. walk from Pont Alexandre II eastward to Pont de la Concorde. The Pont de la Concorde is connecting the Quai des Tuileries at the Place de la Concorde (on the Right Bank) and the Quai d'Orsay (on the Left Bank). It has formerly been known as the "Pont Louis XVI", "Pont de la Révolution", "Pont de la Concorde", "Pont Louis XVI" again during the Bourbon Restoration (1814), and again in 1830, Pont de la Concorde, the name it has retained to this day. It is served by the Metro stations Assemblée nationale and Concorde. Pont de la Concorde is one of the most congested points in Paris:
Arriving to Pont de la Concorde - we see, on our right, the Assemblée Nationale du Palais Bourbon. The Palais Bourbon, finished in 1728, was built for the Duchess of Bourbon by architects Giardini, Aubert, and Gabriel. The structure therefore evokes that of the Grand Trianon de Versailles. It was then updated by the Prince of Condé between 1765 and 1789. Declared as ‘property of the people’ in 1791, the Palais Bourbon had many different uses and had a national representation from 1795 with the Council of Five Hundred. The colonnade on the façade dates back to the Napoleonic era. The building’s transformation continued throughout the 19th century, particularly with the help of painter, Delacroix. Today, the Palais also displays numerous works of contemporary art. This is the French National Assembly, which is the lower house of French Parliament. Most of the tourist just see this gorgeous building from the outside. Make the effort to enter inside. The entrance is from 126 rue de l'Université or 33 Quai d’Orsay. You must register in advance with identification information to enter the parliament building. The Palais Bourbon is open every week to individual visitors. Guided tours take place on Saturday (during Assembly) or open visits are available Monday to Saturday (during periods of adjournment). Due to security reasons, visitors that have booked their visit in advance should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour. If not, their place can be offered to another visitor. Those who have not booked in advance may also arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour: they will be offered any available spaces on the tour. Proper code of clothing is mandatory (long sleeves in particular).The building has well-kept and lovely gardens like Versailles, but far smaller. You see the classical library and many other beautiful historic rooms. There is a gift shop at the end.
We continue walking eastward and cross Rue de Solferino on our left. On our left Pont Solferino, a relatively new foot bridge over the River Seine that was renamed the Passarelle Leopold Sedar Senghor in 2006 to honour the African poet, politician (PM of Senegal).
The Thomas Jefferson Statue is next to the Pont Solferino:
The street continues as Quai Anatole-France which is the eastern part of the Quai d'Orsay. It took the name of the writer Anatole France in 1947.
Anatole France lived at 15 Quai Malaquais and his father had a bookstore 9 Quai Voltaire. The buildings along this street are from the nineteenth century, with Louis XV style. The current constructions are dated 1890-1896 and attributed to Eudes, sometimes dated 1902-1903 and attributed to Pierre-Félix Julien. In the courtyard of #3, the Caisse des dépôts had been installed a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet, Réséda (designed in 1972, made in 1988).
The Collot Hotel #25: Designed by Louis Visconti in neoclassical style and built in 1840-1841 by Antoine Vivenel, for Jean-Pierre Collot (1764-1852), supplier to the armed forces and director of the Monnaie de Paris from 1821 to 1842. The facade, adorned with superimposed columns, is built in a slight retreat on a base with bosses, creating a terrace where stand two statues imitated from the Antique. The hotel stands on the site of the gardens of the former Maine hotel, built for the Duke of Maine by Antoine Mazin, Robert de Cotte and Armand-Claude Mollet between 1716 and 1726. From year 2004, the building became the property of antique dealers Nicolas and Alexis Kugel who have had carefully restored it with the architect Laurent Bourgois and the decorator François-Joseph Graf:
#27. Art Nouveau building, built in 1905 by Richard Bouwens van der Boijen:
On our right we see the Musée d'Orsay. Opening Hours: Tuesday: 9.30-18.00, Wednesday: 9.30-18.00, Thursday: 9.30-21.45, Friday: 9.30-18.00, Saturday: 9.30-18.00, Sunday: 9.30-18.00. Closed: Mondays, 1 May and 25 December. Full price (no concessions): €14. Only suitcases, travel bags and backpacks smaller than 60 x 40 cm are allowed. They may be left in the cloakroom subject to space.
From Musée d'Orsay facade - we change direction and head southwest on Rue de la Légion d'Honneur toward Rue de Lille, 45 m. We continue onto Rue de Bellechasse and walk southward, 650 m. When you arrive to Rue de Varenne, on your left (east) - you see Hôtel Matignon, 57 Rue de Varenn, residence of France PM. The park of the Hôtel comprises three hectares, in comparison with the two hectares of the gardens of the Elysee Palace, and is considered to be the largest non-public garden in Paris:
We turned LEFT (east) to Rue Varenne. The Hôtel de Boisgelin is a hôtel particulier and houses the Italian embassy in Paris. It has been listed since 1926 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture, 47 Rue de Varen:
In 36 rue de Varenne - we find Cafe Varenne. Very recommended, typical Parisian brasserie with delicious food and fantastic service and atmosphere:
From the cafe Varenne - we change direction again and turn LEFT (north) to Rue du Bac. Rue du Bac is a LONG street, 1150. m long. It begins at the junction of the quais Voltaire and Anatole-France, in the north, and ends at the rue de Sèvres, in the south. The street used to be in the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Germain. Rue du Bac is also the name of a station on line 12 of the Paris Métro, although its entrance is actually located on the boulevard Raspail at the point where it is joined by the rue du Bac.
Rue du Bac x Rue Grenelle:
Before turning right to Rue de Grenelle - note the buildings at this WONDERFUL SQUARE:
A door at 91 Rue du Bac:
and 91 Rue du Bac:Rue du Bac 79:
Rue du Bac 77:
and... La Pâtisserie des Rêves, 93 Rue du Bac:
We turn RIGHT (east) to Rue de Grenelle to find (on our right) Musée Maillol, 59-61 Rue de Grenelle. The museum was established in 1995 by Dina Vierny, a model for the famous sculptor Aristide Maillol. It presents the works of Maillol (drawings, engravings, paintings, sculptures, decorative art, original plaster and terracotta work) along with other works from Vierny's private collection. Inside, you can find paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Paul Gauguin, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Wassily Kandinsk, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Serge Poliakoff, Suzanne Valadon, and Tsuguharu Foujita and sculptures by Auguste Rodin. Public transportation: By metro: Line 12, station Rue du Bac
By bus: Lines 63, 68, 69, 83, 84, 94 and 95. Opening hours: The museum is open from 10.30 to 18.30 (Friday - until 20.30). Prices: Full price: € 13.5, Senior price : € 12.5 (65+), concessions: € 11.5 students with student card, € 9.5 for youngsters (7-25 years old), family price : € 40 (for 2 adults and 2 young people from 7 to 25 years old). FREE for children under 7 years old. Many people admire Maillol. His sculptures can be seen in Tuileries Gardens and most of them are figurative. Allow 1-2 hours for this charming museum. Note: NO LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED INSIDE. No place to deposit your luggage ! Frequently there are valuable temporary exhibition in this small museum. Check in advance:
From Rue de Grenelle turn left (north) onto Boulevard Raspail, 25 m. Turn right to stay on Boulevard Raspail, 15 m. Turn left onto Rue de Luynes, 120 m. Turn right onto Boulevard Saint-Germain and after 130 m. walking east along Blvd. Saint-Germain you arrive to 191 Boulevard Saint-Germain:
350 m. further east and we arrive to Cafe de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain. The Café de Flore is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris, celebrated for its famous clientele, which in the past included high-profile writers and philosophers. It is located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît. The nearest underground station is Saint-Germain-des-Prés, served by line 4 of Paris Métro. The coffeehouse still remains a popular hang-out spot for celebrities and its history magnets numerous tourists. The café was opened in the 1880s, during the Third Republic. The name is taken from a sculpture of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring in Roman mythology, located on the opposite side of the boulevard. The Café de Flore became a popular hub of famous writers and philosophers. Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau, Pablo Picasso, to mention but a few, were frequent visitors. The classic Art Deco interior of all red seating, mahogany and mirrors has changed little since World War II:
Nearby, its main rival, Les Deux Magots, 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, has been frequented by numerous French intellectuals during the post-war years. In his essay "A Tale of Two Cafes" and his book Paris to the Moon, American writer Adam Gopnik mused over the possible explanations of why the Flore had become, by the late 1990s, much more fashionable and popular than Les Deux Magots, despite the fact that the latter café was associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and other famous thinkers of the 1940s and 1950s:
Onour left (north) is Place Saint-Germain des Prés. It is bordered on the west by the Deux Magots café and the Saint-Germain-des-Prés cinema, and on the east by the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church and Laurent-Prache square . It is part of the rue Bonaparte located between rue de l'Abbaye in the north and boulevard Saint-Germain in the south. It is actually a rectangular courtyard forming forecourt in front of the church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés:
This sculpture, Prometheus, made by Ossip Zadkine , dates from 1956 - stands in the Place Saint-Germain des Prés:
The church Paroisse St. Germain des Pres - was under consturuction in summer 2017 and was NOT so interesting. We continue south along Rue Bonaparte - passing the Metro station of Saint-Germain des Pres on our left (our face to the south).
52 Rue Bonaparte:
110 m. further south - and we arrive to Place Saint-Sulpice. Skip to Tip 2 below.
Tip 2: From Place Saint-Sulpice to La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
Tip 2 Main Attractions: Place Saint-Sulpice, Church of Saint-Sulpice, Luxembourg Gardens, Place du Panthéon, The Panthéon, Place Sainte-Geneviève, Eglise Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, La Sorbonne, Promenade Maurice Carême, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Île de la Cité.
Walking south from Église de Saint Germain des Prés - we arrived to Place Saint-Sulpice. The large public space at the Place Saint Sulpice is dominated on its eastern side by the church of Saint-Sulpice. The square was built in 1754 as a tranquil garden in the Latin Quarter of the 6th arrondissement of Paris. During a sunny day - this square is one of the most beautiful places in Paris. In addition to the church, the square includes the Fountain Saint-Sulpice (Fontaine Saint-Sulpice) or Fountain of the Four Bishops (Fontaine des Quatre Evêques). The fountain was built in the center of the square between 1844 and 1848 and was designed by the architect Joachim Visconti. This monumental fountain is called also the fontaine des quatre points cardinaux (the "Fountain of the Four Cardinal Points"). The square includes also the Café de la Mairie (Cafe of the City Hall), a rendezvous for writers and students. The café was featured in the 1990 film, La Discrète ("The Discreet"), directed by Christian Vincent, starring Fabrice Luchini and Judith Henry.
This neighbourhood was for many years the religious epic centre of Paris. The present Hôtel des Impôts was formerly the celebrated St Sulpice seminary. Religion is now confined to the Church of Saint-Sulpice itself (among the largest and most beautiful in Paris). The artwork inside this church is just as beautiful but not as well preserved. The building is impressive, and with a length of 119 meters and a width of 57 meters. It is the second largest church in Paris after the Notre-Dame. The imposing front facade was built after a 1732 Baroque design by Giovanni Servandoni. It is defined by two large colonnades with Doric and Ionic columns. The colonnades are flanked by two asymmetrical towers, possibly a result of the long construction period. The south tower, which was never completed, is five meters shorter than the north tower and has a slightly different design. Servandoni's plan also included a large ornamented pediment and tower cupolas, but these were never implemented. Construction started in 1646 at the site of a thirteenth century church. Twenty years later a lack of funds halted construction work. It would last until the early eighteenth century before construction resumed and finally in 1780 the church was mostly completed. Definitely worth a visit !
The Saint-Sulpice church has one of the world's largest organs, built between 1776 and 1781 after a design by Jean Chalgrin, who is best known as the architect of the Arc de Triomphe. The gilded pulpit of the Saint-Sulpice was designed in 1788 by Charles de Wailly. Another highlight can be found in the Chapelle des Anges (Angel Chapel), where Eugène Delacroix created impressive wall paintings, entitled 'Jacob Wrestling with the Angel' and 'Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple'.
Murals of Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Jacob wrestling with the Angel:
Heliodorus driven from the Temple:
Another impressive feature are the giant chestnut trees populating the square. Among the guilty pleasures to be enjoyed in the neighbourhood on a Sunday morning are the hot-from-the-oven croissants at the Mulot bakery on the corner of Seine-Lobineau. Public transportation: Métro stations: Mabillon and Saint-Sulpice (lines: 4 and 10).
From Église Saint-Sulpice, 2 Rue Palatine we head east on Rue Palatine toward Rue Garancière, 50 m. We turn right onto Rue Garancière, 170 m. We turn left onto Rue de Vaugirard, 100 m.
and enter Luxembourg Gardens. The large park of Luxemburg Gardens can get pretty crowded when the sun comes out. Students come here to rehearse their courses, neighbors come here for a stroll and like with all great places in Paris, there are always plenty of tourists. This is also one of the parks where you can simply get hold of one of the many chairs and take it to the exact spot where you want to sit. The park is also popular with chess players and jeu de boules players. But despite its popularity, the Jardin du Luxembourg is plenty enjoyable and a welcome relief from the crowded Parisian streets. There's also a tennis court, a music pavilion and an orangery in the park. Right behind the orangery is the Musée du Luxembourg, a museum that is only open for temporary exhibitions.
In the middle of the park is a large octagonal pond, known as the Grand Bassin. Here, children can rent small boats. The Jardin du Luxembourg boasts many other attractions for children such as a puppet theater, pony rides, a merry-go-round and a large playground.
Around the pond are nice lawns, paths, and some of Paris's most beautiful flower beds, all laid out in a geometrical pattern and enclosed by a balustrade. Numerous statues adorn the park.
The Palace: The palace was built for Marie de' Medici, who was nostalgic about her youth at the Pitti Palace in Florence, so she asked the architect, Salomon de Brosse, to look at the Pitti Palace for inspiration, hence the Florentine style of the palace. The widowed queen did not get the time to enjoy her new palace and gardens for long as she was banished by Richelieu in 1625, before the palace was completed. In 1794, during the French Revolution, the palace served as a prison. It also served as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. The building currently houses the French Senate.
The Jardin du Luxembourg features several noteworthy fountains. The most famous one is the Fontaine Médicis, a romantic Baroque fountain designed in the early seventeenth century. It is located at the end of a small pond at the northeast side of the park. A central sculpture group shows the Greek mythological figure of Polyphemus who observes the lovers Acis and Galatea. It is flanked by allegorical figures depicting the rivers Seine and Rhône. With our face to central museum building - Medici Fountain is on our right, in the most lower level of the gardens:
Very few people realize that there's another fountain, the Fontaine de Léda, at the back of the Fontaine Médicis. This fountain was created in 1806. A relief shows a mythical scene with Leda and Zeus disguised as a swan.
There's a third fountain on the other, west side of the palace. It honors the French painter Eugène Delacroix and consists of a rectangular basin with six jets. At the center is a tall pedestal with a bust of the painter. Sensual allegorical statues of Time, Glory and Genius stretch from a plinth towards the bust.
At the southern end of the park, in an extension known as the Jardins de l'Observatoire, is yet another fountain, the. The monumental fountain was created in 1873 by Davioud, Carpaux and Frémiet. The centerpiece of the fountain shows a globe supported by four women, each representing a continent:
There are almost seventy statues and monuments scattered around the park. Among them are twenty statues of French Queens, including Marie de' Medici. The patroness of Paris, Sainte-Geneviève, is another woman whose effigy you can find here. Many of the statues in the Jardin du Luxembourg honor famous (mostly French) people, from politicians and scientists over sculptors and painters to poets and composers like Chopin and Beethoven. Other statues depict animals or are inspired by mythology, such as the Dancing Faun (in the northern entrance of the gardens).
Many visitors will be surprised to see La Liberté, a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty created by Auguste-Bartholdi himself.
And there's also a bit of Rome in the Jardin du Luxembourg thanks to the Bocca della Verità monument, which depicts a woman who puts her hand in the Mouth of Truth.
From Luxembourg Gardens we head east toward Boulevard Saint-Michel and turn right onto Boulevard Saint-Michel, 15 m (Place Rostand):
Take the crosswalk, 75 m. At Place Edmond Rostand, take the 1st exit onto Rue Soufflot, 150 m. At 16 Rue Soufflot we find Cafe Soufflot:
Head east on Rue Soufflot toward Rue Paillet, 140 m. Slight right onto Place du Panthéon, 75 m. Turn left to stay on Place du Panthéon, 55 m.Place du Panthéon. With the Pantheon, architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot met Louis XV’s wish to glorify the monarchy in the form of a church dedicated to Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. The edifice was deconsecrated during the Revolution in 1791 and renamed the Panthéon. It is secular monument to the greatest of post-Revolution citizens of France. During the turbulent years of the 19th century, as regimes changed, it alternated in its role as a religious and patriotic monument. Since 1885, the year of Victor Hugo’s death and burial in the Pantheon, it has been the last resting place for the great writers, scientists, generals, churchmen and politicians who have made the history of France. The crypt houses the tombs of more than 70 historical and heroic figures including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Pierre and Marie Curie, Louis Braille etc. Opening hours: 1st April to 30th September: from 10.00 to 18.30, 1st October to 31st March: from 10.00 to 18.00. Last admission 45 minutes before closing time. Closed: 1st January, 1st May and 25th December. Prices: Adults : 8,5€, concessions (18 to 25) : 5,50 €. FREE admission: minors under 18:
The Pantheon is lovely with paintings,murals,statues and fantastic architecture both interior and exterior. Inside (almost no queue) there are free paper guides when you walk in and large monitors where you can read all about different parts of the pantheon. The crypt is a little circular maze like and you have to use the directory to identify the various busts. The pendulum in the middle is very interesting. The infinite swing of the pendulum that is suspended from the dome center is mesmerizing. Allow 1 hour to stroll around with the herds of tourists around. There is a really beautiful and interesting pendulum clock in the centre of the floor.
Go on the top floor and see the beautiful panorama. You can see the Eiffel tower from up there. Great views of the city from another perspective:
From Place du Panthéon we head east toward Rue d'Ulm, 60 m. We turn left toward Rue Clotilde, 55 m. Turn left onto Rue Clotilde, 110 m. Turn right onto Rue Clovis, 60 m. to enter Place Sainte-Geneviève. It takes its name from the former Sainte-Geneviève abbey of Paris hosting the relics of Sainte-Geneviève and integrated into the Lycée Henri-IV. The first houses were built around 1355, but its real realization and the beginning of the alignment date back to 1770 . It then takes the name of "Sainte-Geneviève square".
In the northern side of the square stands Eglise Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. It contains the shrine of St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. Visitors come to admire this church dating back to the end of the 15th century, with a history dating back to the 6th century. Be sure not to miss the rood screen (1545), the last existing one in Paris, the Saint-Geneviève shrine, and the huge balcony organ. The church is listed as a historical monument. The church also contains the tombs of Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine. Jean-Paul Marat is buried in the church's cemetery. The sculpted tympanum, The Stoning of Saint Stephen, is the work of French sculptor Gabriel-Jules Thomas. Renowned organist, composer, and improviser Maurice Duruflé held the post of Titular Organist at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont from 1929 until his death in 1986. Opening hours: dURING TERMS: Tuesday-Friday: 8.00m-19.45; Saturday: 8.45-12.00 and 14.00-197.45; Sunday: 8.45-12.15 and 14.00-19.45. During school holidays: Tuesday-Sunday: 10.0-12.00 and 16.00-19.45m. FREE:
Inside, the rood screen (tribune that separates the nave from the choir), completed in 1545, is the last visible in Paris:
Since 1803, the church contains the shrine of Sainte-Genevieve. The original one, which was in the old church of Sainte-Geneviève (now the Pantheon), was covered with gold, silver, diamonds and precious stones. In 1793, the decoration were melted by the revolutionists, and the remains of the saint burnt on the Place de Greve. The sarcophagus where she had rested until the 9th century and various relics are now enclosed in the reliquary that you can see in a lateral chapel:
From Saint-Étienne-du-Mont - head west on Rue Saint-Etienne du Mont toward Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, 30 m. Turn right onto Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, 75 m. Turn left onto Rue de l'École Polytechnique, 130 m. Continue onto Rue de Lanneau, 80 m. Turn right onto Impasse Chartière/Rue Jean de Beauvais, 65 m. Turn left onto Rue des Écoles, 140 m to arrive to the Sorbonne. La Sorbonne was named for its founder, Robert de Sorbon, chaplain and confessor of Louis IX. The history of the institution has always been closely linked with that of the University of Paris, one of the most important medieval universities of the French capital. Throughout the centuries, la Sorbonne became and remained a prestigious symbol of the university, training and teaching many of the great philosophers and masters of theology and history. The University of Paris opened its doors in the 13th century. It was formed from a conglomeration of all of the colleges of the city's left bank. It was here that training occurred for all of Paris' clergy, administrators of royal institutions (courts of audit, courts, parliament, the council of state), as well as agents of ecclesiastical institutions ((bishops, abbots, education and hospital agents). Young students of the Four Nations at the time (French, Normandy, Picardy and English) came there to study law, medicine, theology and the arts. Thus, the University enjoyed unmatched prestige and international renown. In 1253, Robert de Sorbon opened his school on the Parisian Mountain, Sainte-Geneviève. The institution was primarily meant to train the poorest students (like many other colleges on the hill), but soon the Collège de Sorbon acquired a reputation, gradually becoming the famous theological faculty La Sorbonne. The 17th century brought change. In an effort to bring new life to the old buildings, Cardinal Duc de Richelieu appointed architect Jacques Lemercier to undertake updates to the Sorbonne's structures. Cardinal Richelieu was very involved in the life of the Sorbonne and would go on to become headmaster in 1622. The turmoil of the French Revolution would force the doors of the Sorbonne to close for a time. Starting in 1801 the Sorbonne housed simple artist workshops. During the Restoration, Louis XVIII decided to restore the buildings of the Sorbonne to their original purpose: education. In 1821, the Paris Academy and the École des Chartes (which trained students in archival conservation and preserving written heritage) took possession of the Sorbonne. The building you can admire today dates back to 1901 and was built at the request of Jules Ferry, former Minister of Education. The building's architect, Henri-Paul Nénot, wanted to give the university a complex and eclectic façade. Although the building combines the architectural styles of the neo-renaissance with antique and classical styles, the overall look of the building is harmonious and well regarded. The Sorbonne is also decorated with different plaques on which are engraved the names of all the academies of France and the coats of arms of the cities that the original colleges called home. The Sorbonne has enjoyed an excellent international reputation since its construction in the 13th century and is still considered to be in the upper echelons of learning institutions dedicated to culture, science and art. In spite of its democratic beginnings, the Sorbonne's reputation is now that of a prestigious and somewhat elitist school. The Sorbonne is synonymous with excellence, and eight centuries after its founding, the university has held its place within international academia, as an example of the rigour of French education and the sharp intellect of French minds. The University now hosts the headquarters of the Academy Rector and Chancellor of the Universities of Paris, as well as research laboratories and higher education institutions with international standing. What was once the headquarters of the French protest movement of May 1968, is currently composed of four autonomous universities: Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris III Sorbonne-Nouvelle, as well as Paris IV Paris-Sorbonne and Paris V René Descartes:
Head north on Rue Saint-Jacques toward Rue du Sommerard, 300 m. Continue onto Rue du Petit Pont, 70 m. Continue onto Place du Petit Pont, 35 m. Continue onto Petit Pont - Cardinal Lustiger, 50 m. Turn right onto Prom. Maurice Carême and take the stairs, 85 m. We've arrived to Promenade Maurice Carême. A beautiful pedestrian public way near Notre-Dame Cathedral. Named after Maurice Carême (1899 - 1978), a French poet and novelist:
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is probably best known for its relation to the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, made famous by the numerous cartoons and movies inspired by it. But it is the French Gothic Architecture that remains the biggest draw for visitors from around the world, an unrivaled, perfect example to this day. The Notre Dame Cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.. The name Notre Dame means “Our Lady” in French, and is frequently used in the names of Catholic church buildings in Francophone countries.The Notre Dame Cathedral is the actual cathedral of the Catholic archdiocese of Paris: which is to say, it is the church which contains the official chair (“cathedra”) of the Archbishop of Paris. Building work began on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris way back in the 12th century, it was not until some 300 years later construction finally came to an end. It is now one of the most prominent cathedrals in France and one of the oldest ones too. The length of time it took to build is evident through the various styles of architecture that run through the building. Although it is predominantly French Gothic ,there are areas that demonstrate the Renaissance and the Naturalism era of construction. These varying styles add to the outstanding yet quirky beauty of the building. The Notre Dame Cathedral with its sculptures and stained glass windows show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture. It was one of the very first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction took place throughout the Gothic period. The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris didn’t originally have flying buttresses included in its design. But after the construction of the cathedral began, the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. The cathedral’s architects, in an effort to fix the problem, built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). Over its vast history the Cathedral has suffered considerable damage, not least during the French Revolution in 1786. Fortunately it was sympathetically restored and continued to attract attention from around the world. The Cathedral has played host to many religious ceremonies and historical events and despite their own religious beliefs people of all different faiths and nationalities still marvel at it’s unique grandeur. Notre-Dame lies at the eastern end of the Île de la Cité and was built on the ruins of two earlier churches, which were themselves predated by a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. The cathedral was initiated by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, who about 1160 conceived the idea of converting into a single building, on a larger scale, the ruins of the two earlier basilicas. The foundation stone was laid by Pope Alexander III in 1163, and the high altar was consecrated in 1189. The choir, the western facade, and the nave were completed by 1250, and porches, chapels, and other embellishments were added over the next 100 years. Notre-Dame Cathedral suffered damage and deterioration through the centuries, and after the French Revolution it was rescued from possible destruction by Napoleon, who crowned himself emperor of the French in the cathedral in 1804. Notre-Dame underwent major restorations by the French architect E.-E. Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-19th century. The cathedral is the setting for Victor Hugo’s historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831). In 1909 Joan of Arc (Jean d'Arc) was famously beatified in the Notre Dame Cathedral by Pope Pius X. The brave young girl who told all she had experienced visions from God, went on to assist the French in conflicts with English soldiers. The French trusted her word and ultimately won many battles against England. As a big fan of the royals she also played a part in the crowning of Charles Vll. However not everyone was convinced by her religious visions and beliefs and she was later killed by Burundians’ who accused her of heresy and burned her at the stake. It was not until 1456 that her name was cleared and she became known as an innocent martyr.
Notre-Dame Cathedral consists of a choir and apse, a short transept, and a nave flanked by double aisles and square chapels. Its central spire was added during restoration in the 19th century. The interior of the cathedral is 427 by 157 feet (130 by 48 metres) in plan, and the roof is 115 feet (35 metres) high. Two massive early Gothic towers (1210–50) crown the western facade, which is divided into three stories and has its doors adorned with fine early Gothic carvings and surmounted by a row of figures of Old Testament kings. The two towers are 223 feet (68 metres) high; the spires with which they were to be crowned were never added. At the cathedral’s east end, the apse has large clerestory windows (added 1235–70) and is supported by single-arch flying buttresses of the more daring Rayonnant Gothic style, especially notable for their boldness and grace. The cathedral’s three great rose windows alone retain their 13th-century glass.
Notre-Dame Cathedral - west facade:
Notre-Dame Cathedral - west side gardens:
Notre-Dame Cathedral - South facade:
With the sculpture of Pope Paul II:
Notre-Dame Gardens in the East side:
Jean d'Arc sculpture:
Opening hours: The cathedral is open 365 days a year from 8.00 to 18.45 (19.15 on Saturdays and Sundays). You can visit the cathedral's treasury everyday from 9.30m to 18.00 (these times may change during special occasions). FREE. A long queue. Allow 15 minutes to enter and allow 1 hour for the visit inside:
Acrobats near the Cathedral:
Before we return to the Metro station - we take two photos of Paris - Île Saint-Louis:
The closest Metro station is Cité in Île de la Cité. From Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II - head north, 15 m. Turn left toward Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 95 m. Turn left toward Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 20 m. further. Turn right toward Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 15 m. Slight left onto Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 30 m. Turn right onto Rue de la Cité, 200 m. Turn left toward Allée Célestin Hennion, 50 m. Turn left onto Allée Célestin Hennion, 40 m. We arrived to the Cité Metro station. The metro entrance located next to it is the work of Hector Guimard and a beautiful example of the Art Nouveau. The Metro station Cité on line 4 is for sure one of the most surprising metro stations in Paris. It has taken its name from the Ile de la Cité and is the only metro station on the island. The railway tunnel goes under the Seine and the platforms are located under the river: for that reason the station is very deep, more than 20 meters underground ! The depth of the station, its metallic structure, its never-ending stairs and its lighting with elegant globes give it a very special atmosphere one cannot find in any other metro station in Paris.