The streets of Paris, a museum to the world!!!

Who would not want to walk in Paris? The question might make you think a bit…but really should be a go; as the streets of Paris are an open air museum, a grand museum at that. I have done some traveling in France and Paris specifically as working in the city for 10 years while living in Versailles and now visiting often again next month. However, walking the streets is a must, a dire hard must for all.

And yes, that means forget about that wonderful metro experience you have heard or the bus or the tramway or the RER trains, nothing compares to walking in Paris. Oh yes I drive in Paris too, but even that is second to the thrill of walking the streets of Paris. That is the title of my post; The streets of Paris!

How about start with a nice youtube video taken by Bahador Alast which I don’t even know him but the video is nice and makes a good point on my post.

 

Moving on in my Paris, and will put some photos at the end to show a bit more of what I mean. Paris is a movable feast well it happens all in the street. A bit of a story. When I started working in Paris I came by train from Versailles to Gare Saint Lazare and took metro line 12 to Concorde near my office.  The walking in the underground passage ways was horrible and the folks walk very fast taken me about 18 minutes to get to the office. One day I ask one of  my colleagues for a way to come walking if possible. The colleague told oh yes this is what you do. Go out of gare Saint lazare past rue Saint Lazare and bear slightly left into rue du Havre; past blvd Haussmann by the great department stores, Au Printemps; and continue into rue Tronchet right into the place de la Madeleine; bear left on the Madeleine church and continue on the back on rue Duphot, cross Rue Saint Honoré and bear left than a quick right into rue Cambon; then left on rue du Mont Thabor , then right into rue Rouget de Lisle into my job; time 18 minutes!! The end of public transports in Paris ended, this was back in 2004.

From that moment on, I can go by car into Paris, parked and walk all over even kilometers, miles ; it is an open museum I tell you. Really! and free!!! Many have said it but some picturesques street routes are the rue des Barres by the Church Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais around 15C houses! Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre;  Cour du Commerce-Saint André right by parallel to the rue de l’ancienne comedie and before reaching blvd Saint-Germain; Rue Montorgueil crossing rue Etienne Marcel; Rue Cremieux by the gare de Lyon, falling into rue de Bercy;Rue des Rosiers in the old jewish quarter ; rue de Lepic into Montmartre again; Rue Saint Antoine from the Bastille area into Saint Paul passing by the place des Vosges nearby; Avenue Winston Churchill ending in the Pont Alexandre III and bisecting the Grand and Petit Palais; and the Quai de Jemmapes along the Canal Saint Martin ; just to give some starting points as they are many many more in Paris.

Another site I would share is the one I even use myself when in doubt about a street of Paris; this is Parisrues, in French of course but the names are universal! Parisrues

Of course , speaking of streets , there are many hidden passagesways some private and other historical passages that connect you underneath some buildings from one street to the other, great! They are here in English from the Paris tourist office: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/Paris-a-fabulous-heritage/visiting-parisian-outdoor-heritage/the-unique-charm-of-parisian-covered-passages

Another site I use for my research is the Paris Balades also in French but plenty of information if you can translate or undertand it; full of historical facts on each district and street of Paris. http://www.parisbalades.com/default.htm

Another site in French I use is Le Paris Pittoresque , full of old historical facts on the streets and more of Paris. https://www.paris-pittoresque.com/rues/index.htm

Another site I use and my kids used it for even schoolwork help is the Internaute, in French of course but an alphabet A-Z and listing all the streets of Paris with some info on each and a map showing where it is. Cool!! http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/rue-paris/index/rues

Now, I like to tell you about some of my nicest walks in Paris over time.

I like to walk between the Pont d’Austerlitz and the Pont Saint Michel!  You start on the pont d’Austerlitz (b. 1885 en cement)  by place Valhubert  and walk along the Seine river and continue along the quai Saint-Bernard and go down the stairs to the port Saint Bernard where the 5eme arrondissement starts and the neighborhood or quartier of Jardin des Plantes; right here you have the musée des sculptures en Plein Air de la Ville de Paris! More on it here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71487/Musee-de-la-Sculpture-en-plein-air

You continue along the Seine and pass the Pont de Sully (b 1876) rapidly you arrive at the Pont de la Tournelle (b 1928)  , where you will see the statue to Sainte Geneviévre (saint patron of Paris) and right by here you see the building of the Tour d’Argent well known restaurant done in 1582!!! and on a terrace since 1937 on the 6the floor.  This bridge or pont de la tournelle finish at the pont de l’Archevêché, the narrowest bridge in Paris for traffic with only 11 meters wide;  from here continue to the port de Montebello where you can see the the re routing of the Biévre river windmills that gave the name to the rue de la Biévre (where had to go many times on business runs to office there); from here you can be at  the square Jean XXIII and see the Cathedral Notre Dame back ; continue your walk along the Seine without crossing over the bridge and you find by the pont au Double (b 1883)  ;you can walk on it by the square Jean XXIII and continue in rive gauche or left bank side to the rue de la Bûcherie and rue de la Huchette.  You see the Petit pont (b 1853)  only bridge done in molded stones and the oldest passage of the  Seine river that were done since Roman times, and also the shortest bridge in Paris with only 32 meters long!  It was by here the last fire of Paris in 1718 determine forever not to built homes on the bridges.  After this bridge there is no more harbor or port area but continue walking along the Seine to the Pont Saint Michel with the big N of Napoléon III the bridge built in 1857 in cement. Here was the last houses on the bridge in Paris lasting until 1808. The quai Saint Michel was not done until 1816 while the follow up wharfs that of quai des Grands Augustins was already built since 1313!  Go over the bridge or pont Saint Michel to leave the 5éme arrondissement and enters into the 6éme arrondissement of Paris and the quartier Monnaie (Info/ Paris is divided into 20 arrondissement or districts and each district is divided into four neighborhoods or a total of 80 neighborhoods or quartiers where Parisiens really live::))  Here you go up by the Place Saint Michel to see the monumental fountain of 26 meters !!! Lovely !!!

Another great walking trip along the Seine river is that one from the Pont de la Concorde to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.  Right along my old working area of Paris you start at the wonderful pont de la Concorde (just off the place de la Concorde go down by the ramps into the Seine river by the port des Champs-Elysées done in 1938 in a pleasure harbor and today housing péniches or boats on the Seine.  You see on the rive gauche side the beautiful mansions of the Palais Bourbon, hotel de Lassay (later the petit bourbon) and now houses the resident of the president of the house of representatives of France or the Assamblée Nationale. Later you see the building of the ministry of foreign affairs done in 1854 and now locally known as the quai d’Orsay, and just before the esplanade des Invalides you see the building with columns and balustres that was from 1900-1946 the train station of the line Invalides-Versailles and today the line RER C underground. There is a stairs giving you access to the cours La Reine at the angle of the bridge or pont Alexandre III (b 1900) ; the bridge is a bit lower to not hide the view of the Invalides; the first stone was laid by czar Nicolas II of Russia in 1896 and becoming the most prestigious bridge of Paris. You continue on the port des Champs-Elysées by an oval stair with great views of the Tour Montparnasse, left the Invalides and high up the equestrian statue of La Fayette was later transferred to the cour Napoléon in the Louvre museum!

You go up to find the Place du Canada (by cours La Reine and cours Albert Ier) to continue your wlak along the Seine river. You will arrive at the Pont des Invalides (b 1856) ;you can continue on the port de la Conférence by the pont de l’Alma going up the ramp at the end into cours Albert Ier where you arrive at the traffic circle or place de l’Alma.  Here you see the wonderful pont de l’Alma (b 1974) after several renovations since the original of 1856.  Here the 8éme arrondissement gives to the 16 arrondissement of Paris in the quartier Chaillot.  Continue along the Seine river into the avenue de New York (quai des Bonshommes in 1572, then quai de la conference 1769, quai de Tokyo 1918-1945 and finally New York since 1945); many meetings in this avenue de New York wonderful Mona Bismarck foundation ;more here: https://www.monabismarck.org/?lang=fr

You have the corner angle of the Palais de Tokyo leave the sidewalks of the avenue NY by a stair that descend on the Seine river ,as the port Debilly and the nice walkway or passerelle Debilly (b 1900); done to link the two portions of the Universal Exhibition of 1900;now it is at the rue de la Manutention.  Leaving the rive droite we come into the port de La Bourdonnais (from the rue de l’Université to the rue Jean-Nicot in the Champ-de-Mars); going up you reach the quai Branly just before the pont de l’Alma now in the 7éme arrondissement , quartier Gros Caillou!  Go right into quai Branly until the ramp coming from the port with a stair, many parking spaces here ::) you see the Tour Eiffel and the Palais de Chaillot, before reaching up the pont d’Iéna (b 1814)  and continue below on the port de Sufffren (of many wine and gourmand tastings in the Pierre Cardin boat Maxim!!!)  many cruising boats here, batobus including good parking yes! and see the pont de Bir-Hakeim ! (b 1905) viaduct metro line 6 above ground as it was known viaduct de passy until 1949. It is the longest of all the bridges in Paris with 237 meters long. Before 1860 you come out from here as Paris to go the town of Grenelle! now part of Paris thanks to Baron Haussmann and Napoléon III! Very nice indeed!

Well you get the idea and so many more wonderful walks, again believe me when I said Paris is an open air museum and meant to be preserve as such. We all have our favorites but I keep saying my favorite every time I write a post lol!!! IN essence ,they are all my favorites.  I will post some photos now.

Enjoy your weekend and happy travels. Cheers!

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