Stories of Line 13, 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 metroand 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. Tonite I will talk about line 13 of the Metro de Paris.

This line came about from the union of line B of the north south network company and the old line 14 of the CMP. It links the cities of the suburbs, and it is the longest line in the Paris metro with 22,5 kms of tracks. The year 2009 the traffic here was of 61OK passengers! Very saturated indeed.

We start our journey at Saint Denis-Porte de Paris, it link the town of Saint Denis with Paris; open in 1976. Here you have in a working class neighborhood, another wonder of France, the Basilique Saint Denis, the art gothic at its best it is a necropole of French royalty. It was here that in the 5C the tomb of Saint Denis was laid. The first king put here was Dagobert in 693AD! and was name the official resting place of all French kings in 1122AD after efforts by the abbey Suger.  Very much damaged during the French revolution,it was Louis XVIII that gave it dimension by tranfering the remains of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette,and renovated by Napoleon I continue under Napoleon III. see it a 1 place de la Légion d’Honneur. You come into the main sport stadium in France, the Stade de France at Rue Francis de Pressensé; 81K spectators seated for sports and concerts as well.

We continue to Garibaldi, opened in 1952 after one of the founding fathers of the Italian nation. The access to the flea market of Paris at St Ouen where every weekend 150K persons walk by 2500 stands. The marché des puces see the wonderful markets within a market such as marché Vernaison, 99 rue des Rosiers or 136 ave Michelet, marché Antica next to it, the marché Malassis by 142 rue des Rosiers, Marché Dauphine by 132-140 rue des Rosiers, marché Biron by 85 rue des Rosiers or 118 rue Michelet ,Marché Serpette by 110 rue des Rosiers, Marche Paul Bert by 96 rue des Rosiers or 18 rue Paul Bert ,and Marché des Rosiers by 3 rue Paul Bert. YOu can have a drink at Le Louis XV, 94 avenue Gabriel Péri.

We stop by now at Guy Môquet, opened in 1911 under the name of Marcadet,then named Marcadet-Balagny, a year later, then after WWII on 1946 it change in honor of Guy Môquet a young French communist shot dead by the nazis in firing squad at the age of 17. You see here the Village des Epinettes, that you can access by rue Félix Pécaut at the north or rue Maria Deraismes to the east, rue Gallette to the south or rue Jean Leclaire to the west. It was part of the village of Batignoles annex to Paris in 1860, a very nice old Paris area to walk by. see the Cité des Fleurs, access by avenue de Clichy at the level of metro Brochant or by the rue de la Jonquiére. Created in 1847 is a village inside a village, here Catherine Deneuve and sister Françoise Dorléac were born in 1943. YOu come to see the cimetiére des Batignolles or cementary, at 8 rue Saint Just; done in 1833, here between 900 trees lies André Breton, Paul Verlaine, and Ray Ventura amongst others. You grab a glass at Le Christophe Colomb, 265 rue Marcadet, do your shopping at the Marché de l’avenue de Saint Ouen. and get a nice French meal at Le Refuge des Moines at 85 rue des Moines. www.baravinlerefugedesmoines.com

Now we arrive at the area where I do my Spanish groceries by car of course: this is Brochant, opened in 1912, you can walk in the park parc Clichy-Batignolles Martin Luther King, by rue Cardinet; done in 1970,by the old train station of Cardinet with 100k sq meters.The nice square des Batignolles, at place Charles Fillon, ,and the village des Batignolles, very nice traditional Paris streets away from the crowds. Have a glass and meal at Les Puces des Batignolles, 110 rue Legendre, and do your Spanish shopping  at Cap HIspania ,23 Rue Jouffroy d’Abbans  75017 .www.caphispania.fr . We move in to Miromesnil, opened in 1923 on the line 9 and since 1973 on the line 13. The first of line 13 to be equipped with protection doors in the platform. Here you see the magnificent church eglise Saint Augustin, 8 avenue César Caire, built between 1860-1871 with a dome of 50 meters, the first to be done in metal and glass, wonderful. Here you can walk too to the Chapelle Expiatoire et square Louis XVI; at the spot where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were found and later transfer to basilique de Saint Denis. You ,also, worthwhile to see the church of eglise Saint Philippe-du-Roule, 154 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, built between 1774-1784. Have a glass at Cafe Le MIro, 29 rue de la Boétie, see the wonderful Musée Jacquemart-André, 158 blvd Haussmann, treasure of Italian paintings and great cafe Jacquemart-André inside. See, also the famous concert hall Salle Gaveau, 45 rue La Boétie done in 1908, high ground of classical music in Paris. Move over to my hangout favorite Charles Birdy, 124 rue La Boétie after the parrot of Winston Churchill, great ambiance and drinks, the Hotel Bristol at 112 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré,and another of my hangouts at L’Evasion, 7 pl Saint Augustin to have a drink light meal and see the world go by you.

You arrive now at Varenne, opened in 1923,on the line 10,then in 1937 to line 14,and then finally in 1976 to line 13. During the WWII this station was closed while the French government was at Vichy, the station reopen in 1962. See the Hotel Matignon, 57 rue de Varenne ,one of the most beautiful mansions of Paris, and from 1937 houses the chief of State, and built in 1720. The owners were the count or comte de Matignon, then Princes of Monaco, then Talleyrand, Napoleon Ier,and finaly in 1922 France buys it. See the wonderful walks at rue de Grenelle, around the Invalides, the building of the national French Education is at no 110 angle with rue de Bellechasse.See the hotel de Chatelet at no 127, hotel de Villars at no 118,that house the shop of Delacroix,and the grand hotel Villars where the present mayor’s office of the 7éme arrondissement is located. Go on to No 85 for the Hotel d’Avaray and next the Hotel d’Estrées that houses the Russian embassy. Move over to Rue de Varenne, and continue the wonderful architecture with at no 47 hotel de Boisgelin, and hotel Gallifet at no 50, that houses the services of the Italian embassy. Continue on rue de Breteuil, from the place Vauban along the hotel des INvalides, there you see a tea tree as one of the oldest in Paris,and it is here that the most rich families of Paris live. You can see the wonderful Musée Rodin, 79 rue de Varenne, done in 1730 the hotel Biron, and by 1919 the museum is opened. The great sculptor Rodin. See the unique Cinema La Pagode at 57bis rue Babylone, a wonderful Japonese room, the cinema built in 1896. In 1931 the cinema opens to the public,and shows films of Jean Cocteau like the Testament d’Orphée in 1959. You have a very nice cafe as Cafe du Musée Rodin inside the museum, and Le Basilic, 2 rue Casimir Perier for real beef lovers.

Now we reach Gaité,  open on line 14 in 1937 ,and then to line 13 in 1976. YOu see the church Eglise Notre Dame du Travail, 36 rue Guillemnot, done between 1899-1901 to house the working class of the district. Here lies the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson at 2 impasse Lebois, a temple of photography in Paris! built in 1912 and the fondation here since 2003. See wonderful rue de la Gaité, a different area than Montparnasse where you find the théatre Bobino done in 1867, to house great music idols such as Leo Ferré,and Georges Brassens.Théatre du Montparnasse at no 31 and finally enjoy the Comedie Italienne at no 17 and the théatre de la Gaité montparnasse at no 26. You can drink and food with great ambiance at the western the l’Indiana Club, 77 avenue du Maine, late opening and cards games right on the tables for fun.

We end up our tour at the Porte de Vanves, opened in 1937 for over 40 years the terminus of line 14, enlarge in 1976 and taken by line 13. You see here the nice Parc Georges Brassens, at the old village of Vaugirard annexed to Paris in 1860, He rends hommage to the singer that lives a great part of his life nearby at 9 impasse Florimont then at 42 rue Santos-Dumont, entrance to park by rue des Morillons.You have a great market here at Puces de la porte de Vanves, entrance on Avenue Marc Sangnier, and the old books market at Marché du livre ancien et d’occasion, 104 rue Brancion. Have a glass and meal at Le Grand Pan where Georges Brassens still can be sense, at 20 rue Rosenwald.

Enjoy Paris,and its metro.

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