Archive for November 11th, 2018

November 11, 2018

The squares and street around Montparnasse!

Well lack of creativity for the post title lol! Its just me ok. These are just a new thingy that I am into streets of Paris. Well no place better than to write about the streets of Paris than on places where you have spent a good part of your life.

I used to work for several years in this part of my eternal Paris and have many merchants friends still there, no opportunity is enough when coming now to Paris by Montparnasse to stop by for a meal or drink or even a last minute item for a shop before heading back to the Morbihan Breton!

I like to tell you about the Place du 18 juin 1940, Place Raoul Dautry,and the rue du Départ.

The place du 18 juin 1940  is a square  located in the Notre-Dame-des-Champs neighborhood or quartier of the 6éme arrondissement or district, and also,  in the Necker neighborhood of the 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris. It is in front of the Gare Montparnasse. This square was named in commemoration of the appeal launched by General de Gaulle to the French in WWII. The square is crossed by Boulevard Montparnasse. The Rue de Rennes, beginning at Saint Germain des Prés, ends here. Other avenues overlooking the square: rue du Départ, and rue de l’Arrivée and the rue d’Odessa which extends through the Rue de la Gaîté.

The place du 18 juin 1940 is served by the metro lines  4, 6, 12 and 13 at the station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe, as well as by the bus lines RATP 28, 58, 82, 91, 92,  95 and 96. The metro station taken them all and the buses did the 82, 91, and  95 very nicely.

This is at the heart of Montparnasse where you will find cinemas, restaurants, and shops. Several that I already gave you in my previous posts in my blog. .

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The square was formerly part of the Rue de Rennes became Place de Rennes towards 1880 during the work of the old Gare Montparnasse (which adjoins the south of the square until its destruction in the 1960’s), a new  Gare Montparnasse station was built further south on the edge of the Avenue du Maine.  It finally ,takes in 1951 the name Place du 18-Juin-1940.

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Places of interest here in my opinion! :  The cinema of Bretagne/Brittany, almost on the square. The real estate ensemble buildings include the  tour Maine-Montparnasse, including the Montparnasse Tower, the building C often designated by the acronym CIT (for International textile Center) and the building D or tour Express, all three built on the site of the old train station Montparnasse. Located at the base of the building complex in the  tour Maine-Montparnasse, the shopping center Montparnasse Rive Gauche and, within it, the department store Galeries Lafayette Montparnasse.  One of the Wallace fountains in the neighborhood. At No. 3 there is a plaque in homage to the resistant Georges Paulin.

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As I am in my old work neighborhood here as well there are interesting streets ,squares that I enjoyed for long time and still do when visiting the city. These are:

The place Raoul-Dautry is a small square of the 15éme arrondissement. The square serves as a terminus for three bus lines  92, 94 and 96, and a breakpoint for two others lines 91 and 95. This square was created in 1965 during the reconstruction of the new Gare Montparnasse. It is located on the odd numbers side of the Boulevard de Vaugirard with the even numbers side on the  Avenue du Maine. The rue du Départ ,and the rue de l’Arrivée also lead to this square. This fully paved square is located at the foot of the Montparnasse tower and in front of the main entrance Porte Océane of the new  Gare Montparnasse. And my favorite entrance to the train station. Its name comes from Raoul Dautry , a railway engineer who lived in the first half of the 20C and who held several ministerial posts before and after WWII.

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Last but not least, the very street where I had my office for several years doing various consulting works on CAC 40 (like Dow Jones) companies in France. My office was in the 3rd floor of 1 Rue du Départ.

The Rue du Départ is in the 14éme arrondissement  on the odd numbers side, and the 15éme arrondissement on the even numbers side, respectively in the neighborhoods of Montparnasse and Necker. It bears this name because it skirted the old Gare Montparnasse next to the departure platforms.

The rue du Départ runs along a shopping center and the Montparnasse Tower, located on the side of the street belonging to the Necker neighborhood.  It complement the rue de l’Arrivée, located on the other side of the Montparnasse tower.

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The Rue du Départ is served Metro lines 4, 6, 12, and 13 at the station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. Also, Bus lines RATP 28 58 82 89 91 92 94 95 and 96;  Noctilien night buses N01, N02, N12 N13 N61 N62 N63 N66 and  N145;  Direct bus  1 and 4; and the Transilien line N  of  Paris-Montparnasse train station.

A first part of the street was opened in 1849, during the construction of the second Montparnasse station and was originally directly at the level of the starting docks of the latter. The second part of this route was opened in 1906.

Some interesting things to see here are:

No. 22: Since the destruction of the old Gare Montparnasse and the construction in its location, within the operation of urban renovation Maine-Montparnasse, of the of the buildings of the tour Maine-Montparnasse  including the Montparnasse Tower and two other more modest towers, is located at the base of this ensemble, along the street, a shopping center, first named Shopping Center Montparnasse then, since 2015, Montparnasse Rive-Gauche. The department store Galeries Lafayette Montparnasse is one of the main stores located here.  At  No. 31: a Monoprix convenient store. At  No. 34: the Redlight, nightclub. And at  No. 36: Brasil Tropical, another trendy bar in the capital. The biggest Brazilian cabaret in Paris! Yes indeed!.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit to this wonderful old world artistic area of my eternal Paris;

Tourist office of Paris on Montparnasse

Of course the train station, my station last few years: SNCF gare de Montparnasse

And the Tour: Official Tour Montparnasse

From the city of Paris an Urban renovation is in the works including the train station , tour, and Maine Montparnasse buildings, more to come of this wonderful ever changing neighborhood and the different district that bordered it. City of Paris on renovation of Montparnasse in French

There you a nice open area of Paris seldom visited and needs to be visited more. My Montparnasse by the train station of same name. Many nice souvenirs and still lucky to be able to pass by once in a while. Hope you enjoy the walks around here, my part of eternal Paris.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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November 11, 2018

And we go to Séné in my Morbihan!

So this is a weekend and as such we try to find places to go as home no way, Morbihan is too beautiful to stay home, and so is Brittany and even more so France. So, therefore, on the road we go.

We had to do our normal errands of a family in France but took a side step to another area which even if very close do not recall visited before. This is Port Anna in Séné near our capital of Vannes.

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Port Anna on the tip left hand side of map. In yellow territory of Séné

We went to the Saturday morning market in Vannes, just wonderful, where we buy the essential, cheeses, eggs, fruits and vegetables, take out food ,wines etc It is open until 13h (1pm) but we like to go by the end and get better prices ….During the week there is a covered market at pl des Lices where you can buy too but not as good as the morning market in my opinion.

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We had to have lunch, so we try to check a wonderful bay in the Port Anna in the town of Séné. This is what makes this area so nice, so many of these beautiful places to spent a day. The boats on the harbor and the sea road into the La Marle river into the ocean passing on one side Conleau peninsula and on the other side Arradon, and the islands of Boêdic across and further out Arz island . This river ocean La Marle takes you in to the canal and harbor of Vannes and right into city center! Just gorgeous!!!

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We came back to have finally our lunch, at one of our favorites Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay which is the road D199 up the hill towards Séné. We had our gourmand burgers, and great local Breton beer Duchesse Anne 6%. All this overlooking the wonderful canal harbor of Vannes, capacity for 3000 boat berth! Across the street is the harbormaster of Vannes. Oh yes the bill was 25€ per person nice.

Vannes

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Finally, on the way home we did our groceries for the misc things we buy here mostly personal care, and household items at our favorite E Leclerc hypermarket and the nice underground free parking.

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And we headed home for the rugby match France vs South Africa, too bad we had a good game but as lately in the last few minutes almost ending time this time we lost 26-29. It stayed a good effort once again. This was a friendly game, next is Argentina and then Fiji islands.

So , enjoy your Sunday now watching the commemoration of the Great War (WWI) the speech by President Macron, a bit long but with all the main participants present including the USA with Trump and Melanie.

I leave you the Sunday, and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

November 11, 2018

Place de la République, Paris!

So back to my eternal Paris again, yes again. Paris is eternal there is no time limit or enough writing on it. We just keep on ticking on Paris forever. This is a spot dear to me as one of the properties that reported to me sits here still, and when in Paris visiting on personal time, always stayed in hotels around it.

It is a magical place and one you need to know the schedule or news so not be squeezed in with crowds, you know what I mean. I am going to tell you a bit more on the Place de la République or Republic square of Paris. Enough has been written on it, this is my take more on the history part I like.

The Place de la République, formerly known as Place du Château d’Eau, was designed by Baron Haussmann in 1854. In its midst stands the Statue of the Republic of 10 meters high on a space of 3.4 ha ,and located bordering the 3éme, 10éme, and 11éme arrondissements of Paris. The streets coming off of it are in a clockwise direction: Boulevard de Magenta, rue Beaurepaire, rue Léon-Jouhaux, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, Avenue de la Republique, Boulevard Voltaire, Boulevard du Temple, rue du Temple, Boulevard Saint-Martin, and rue René-Boulanger. The place de la République was the subject of a complete redevelopment in order to leave more room for pedestrians,since 2013. The year 1904 saw the end of the construction of Line 3 of the Metro and the inauguration of the metro station République under the square. Metro Lines 5, 8 , and 9 will later be built and also serve the square. The last, the line 11 is inaugurated in 1935.

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The north side of the square is occupied by buildings on the site of what was the Diorama founded in 1822 by Daguerre. The shops together, the barracks of the Place de la République, built in 1854, originally named Prince Eugene Barracks, it takes the name of Vérines.

The Statue of the Republic in bronze, 10 meters high, rests on a pedestal of 15.50 meters was installed from 1880 to 1883. The three large stone statues of the pedestal represent freedom, equality and brotherhood. The stone pedestal is surrounded by twelve bronze bas-reliefs which represent the major events at the origin of the birth of the French Republic, between 1789 and 1880. A green bronze lion, 3 meters high, is lying at the foot of the monument.

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Initially it was in its center, the fountain of the Nubian Lions which became too small when the square was widened ,and place instead in front of the Grand Halle de la Villette. It was then replaced by the Fontaine aux Lions in 1875, which was itself transferred at present place Félix Eboué following the installation in 1880 of the current Statue of the Republic.

A bit of history I like

In the years 1670-1680, the enclosure of Charles V, built in the 14C, is razed and a course is laid out in its location. A small triangular square is located at the site of the bastion of the Temple gate the square was slightly further west than the present square. It was located above the Rue des Fosses-Saint-Martin (later known as Rue Bondy, then Rue René-Boulanger). This street marks the northwestern limit of the old square it is originally only part of Boulevard Saint-Martin But it takes in the 19C the name of Place du Château d’Eau in reference to a fountain called   Château d’Eau (watertower), installed on the square in 1811.

The place takes its present physiognomy in the context of the transformations of Paris under the Second Empire. The Prince Eugene Barracks, later called Château d’Eau barracks and later still Vérines barracks at the site of the former summer Vauxhall and the diorama by Louis Daguerre or Jacques Daguerre, one of the inventors of photography, as he   gave representations of fifteen minutes here. Subsequently, several boulevards are projected: piercing of the Boulevard du Prince-Eugène (current boulevard Voltaire) and the beginning of the present Avenue de la République, declared public utility in 1857 and extension of the Boulevard du Nord (current Boulevard de Magenta) between Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin and the Château l’Eau, declared public utility in 1859. The administration of Baron Haussmann produces a large rectangular square of 280 meters long by 120 meters wide. A large part of the theaters of the Boulevard du Temple are then razed; notably the theatre-history or theatre-lyric founded by Alexandre Dumas in 1847, and disappeared by 1850. In 1866 it was built on all the north side of the square the magasins réunies (stores combined).

The square takes its present name in 1879 the monument consists of a colossal statue of Marianne (representing the French Republic)  in bronze of 10 meters high on a stone base of 15 meters high where are seated allegories of freedom, equality and brotherhood. The fountain of the Château d’Eau of Davioud was resettled in 1880 to the Place Daumesnil (present place Félix-Éboué), in the 12éme arrondissement. On 1 July 2013 the Terrace Emilian-Moreau-Évrard, the Esplanade André-Tollet, and the terrace of the commander-Jacques-Blasquez were inaugurated, in homage to their acts of resistance during WWII.

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Sometimes, because of its name and the symbolism linked to it, but mainly because of its accessibility and its location at the crossroads of great avenues, this is one of the usual places of the Parisian demonstrations, most often at the initiative of Political organizations of the left or trade unions. But the place de la République was also the framework chosen in 1958 by General de Gaulle for a demonstration, on September 4, in favour of the yes to the referendum establishing the Constitution of the fifth Républic as it rules France today.

Some building of note according to me are at No. 1: Passage Vendôme, No. 10: Magasins Réunis and Hotel Crowne Plaza; (One old work property reported to me while working in Paris! ) , and No. 12: Vérines Barracks; It has been hosting the Republican Guard since 1947.

A bit more on it from the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris on the place de la République

It is really one of the squares to be in, and many nice places to eat around it as well as close to many sights and great transportation hub. Place de la République, enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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