Archive for February 13th, 2012

February 13, 2012

Stories of line 1, metro de Paris

After having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. The first line was done and started on July 19 1900 to be exact on 3 wagons from Porte Maillot to Porte de Vincennes. This line is almost all underground;  except at  Bastille stop, in 1934 it was extended to Chateau de Vincennes, and by 1937 to Neuilly-sur-Seine. Very soon this line will be automated without driver that is computer controlled.

The stops are Les Sablons, began in 1937; It is here that Louis XVI bring a plant which he brought from Prussia, it was the beginning of what we call potatoes in France or pomme de terre. The best to see here is the jardin d’acclimatation where a zoo was done under Napoleon III,and still is,you can take the petit train or small train at by the parking Vinci in the palais de congres building and the porte maillot to get into the park in grand style. For lively and nice ambiance to eat try the Le Petit Maillot, 269 blvd Pereire. Another great stop is at Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile,  you can actually see the silhouette of the star shape street from top of the Arc de Triomphe at 54 meters high and 284 steps;;;for nice drinks try Le Cristal, 6 avenue de la Grande Armée, or the chain Bistro Romain at the other side of the Arc on C-E. Moving on to Georges V, after the English king done while alive on May 27 1920 for his efforts to help the French in WWI, the only king so name in Paris metro.  Many nice boutiques here, and Hotel Georges V, the building of Louis Vuitton,the Café Georges V,Crazy Horse,Ladurée, Fouquet’s ,Lido just the names;;;We arrive at a nice roundabout station name Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau, where the tiles are done by portuguese master azulejos in exchange for a arch entry of Guimard for the Lisbon metro. Nearby you have the French white house or palais de l’Elysée, 55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Palais de la decouverte or discovery of sciences museum, ,the wonderful Virgin Megastore (my kids love it!!) Pavillon Ledoyen, ,the nice cafe mini palais inside the Grand Palais. Then we have Concorde, at the old place Louis XV from 1772, the guillotine was installed here in 1792 during a year. Afterward became pl de la revolution and then pl de la concorde. You see wonderful hotel Crillon, USA Embassy,and hotel de la marine, obelisk de Louxor 280 tons of granite put there in 1835: you have the museums Jeu de Paume, and Orangerie,as well as the solar cadran.  We continue towards Tuileries, where from the 13C rooftiles were done here so tuiles in French, the palais des tuileries (destroyed in 1871 razed by city of Paris 1883) and now looking to rebuilt it as it was done in 1579 by order of Catherine des Medicis. Le Notre creates the jardin des tuileries in 1664 with 23 hectares of wonders.One of my favorite parks in the city,worked nearby ::) Dont missed the Le Welcome bar, 210 rue Rivoli or Cafe l’Imperiale, librarie Galignani oldest English bookstore in the continent since 1520!!!, the Angelina cafe. We reach Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre; the palace done by Cardinal Richelieu, and of course the Musée du Louvre, the musée des arts decoratifs at 107 rue de Rivoli by the marsans wing of the Louvre; comedie française since 1786, the colonnes or columns of Buren and spheres of Pol Bury, the gardens of the palais royal from the 17C by 2 pl Colette. shop at the Le Louvre des Antiquaires, Hotel du Louvre done by Napoleon III enjoyment, have a glass or coffee at Cafe Marly, Le Saut du Loup, and if any money left try the le Grand Véfour from 1784, when it opened as the Cafe de Chartres.

Go over to the Louvre-Rivoli stop, just renamed in 1989.a beautiful church , and one of my favorites, St Germain l’Auxerrois from the 12C, here the bell sound when the massacre of St Barthelemy. Try to eat here Le Fumoir, touristic now but still grand at 6 rue de l’Amiral de Coligny. You find here the Poste Centrale or main post office open until midnight by 55 rue Louvre. We are at the mega station Chatelet, one I always ask the visitors to avoid on their first run or try it for fun with plenty of time.  open on August 6 1900 with the  name of Pont-au-change, then in 1926 it became Pont Notre Dame, and from 1934 it is Chatelet. The first station equipped with running walkways at 3kph. The pl du Chatelet, tour St Jacques(the only remains of the old church St Jacques de la Boucherie detroyed after the revolution); see the nearby streets such as Quai de la Mégisserie where the tanners were,and now birds are sold as well as flowers; pl Louis Lépine a nice flower market. Come here for Au Trappiste, 4 rue St Denis, or Brasserie Sarah-Bernhard, théatre de la Ville, and the nice jazz joint Le Duc des Lombards, 42 rue des Lombards; another nice resto is Le Zimmer. We are at the Hôtel de Ville, previously call here pl de la Gréve, where folks looking for work came, where negotiations took place for a job ,so the expression in French ” faire la gréve” is to do a  labor strike. The building of the Hôtel de Ville was burned down in 1871 as well but later rebuilt in 1883. Here De Gaulle proclaimed in 1944, “Paris, Paris outragé, Paris brisé, Paris martyrisé, mais Paris libéré” You ,also find the dept store BHV or Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville done in 1856; still here. Have a drink at le Majesty, 35 rue de Rivoli, shop mariage Frères, and the musée de la poupée or dolls museum at Impasse Berthaud. Behind the Hôtel de Ville check out La Perla tex mex brasserie at 26 François Miron. Now we are at Saint Paul, From the old hotel of Saint Pol, where a preacher prays just to the Orient, here lived Charles V,and Charles VI, it still visible a wall at the angle of rue Saint-PAul, and rue Neuve Saint Pierre. Here you find the super touristic rue des Rosiers the old jewish quarters and the musée d’Art et d’histoire du Judaisme, 71 rue du Temple,and the synagogue at 10 rue Pavée. You find here the wonderful place des Vosges where each sides measure 108 meters with a statue of Louis XIII, melted at the revolution, now name after the department of the Vosges the first in the Republic to pay taxes from 1800. A nice walk go to the pl Saint Catherine, and see around the area wonderful architecture such as Hotel de ‘Angouleme Lamoignan from 1584! built for Diane de France at 24 rue Pavée. Hotel de Béthune-Sully from 1625 at 62 rue Saint Antoine. Hotel de Marle (centre cultural suedoise_swedish cultural center) 11 rue Payenne, Hotel de Beauvais,  same year at 68 rue François Miron.Continue on to rue des Francs-Bourgeois,see no 31; rue Pavée the first pave road in Paris from the 15C, musée de la magie et de la curiosité, magic and curiosity at 11 rue Saint-Paul. I have my favorites here such as Colette at pl des vosges, Au vin des Pyrénées, 25 rue Beautreillis.

We are headed for Bastille, a middle age fortress with 8 towers of 20 meters high built between 1370-1383 under Charles V. Became a prison under Cardinal Richelieu one of its most famous occupant Voltaire. It was this prison in July 14 1789 that the official French revolution began.  You can still see some remnants of it before leaving the metro station on the line 5 direction bobigny. See the huge colonne or column call of July or Juillet marking the Troios Glorieuses revolution of July 1830 with 47 meters high. Port de l’Arsenal,  around here wood was brought into Paris and still see the carpenters and furniture makers at nearby rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine. We reach Nation,  before call Place du Trône in honor of Louis XIV, the guillotine was place here too; from 1880 it is name the place de la Nation in honoring the National Day of Bastille. At the other side on the line 9 the plaza is call Place des Antilles for the many immigrants from the Caribbean dept of Martinique and Guadaloupe. At the center of place de la Nation from 1879 lies the statue of Le Triomphe de la République. You can see two towers call colonnes d’Otroi here since 1788 signifying the barrier to enter Paris and pay taxes, it is at place de Philippe Auguste et Saint Louis.

We are at Chateau de Vincennes, line done in 1934. with 6 exits or sorties. at no 2 you go out to the Chateau de Vincennes. The donjon tower is the highest in Europe at 50 meters at the time ,ramparts of 378 meters by 175 meters. You have here the famous hippodrome de Vincennes, as well as the parc floral. Have a nice pizza at Don Bartolomeo, 22 avenue de paris.

Enjoy line 1 of the Paris metro.

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