Archive for December 4th, 2018

December 4, 2018

Palais de Chaillot, Paris of course!

And to take you into another area that is somewhat popular I think,but it has so much to offer folks do not take advantage of all it is there. The weather has become rainy and mild temps signs of Autumn and mr Winter is coming fast.

Let me tell you an overview on historical terms of the wonderful Chaillot palace or Palais de Chaillot in my eternal Paris.

The Palais de Chaillot is located on the hill of Chaillot in the 16éme arrondissement or district of Paris. Right in the location of the Place du Trocadéro- and Place 11 novembre. It was realized at the Universal Exhibition of 1937 by the architects and Grand Prix of Rome Léon Azéma, Jacques Carlu and Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, at the site of the old Palais du Trocadéro. It is a great spot to see full view of the Eiffel tower!


A bit of history I like and Paris has plenty.

Several buildings and architectural projects have succeeded in the site where the Palais du Trocadéro rose. A building, the Hermitage or Maison de Beauregard, was acquired in 1583 by Catherine de Medici who plans to build a pleasure house that was to be inspired by the ancient villas. The castle was acquired in 1651 by the nuns of the Convent of the Visitation Sainte-Marie on the initiative of Henriette d’Angleterre, and will be buried there. This convent abandoned at the beginning of the French revolution was destroyed in 1794 by the explosion of the powdery of Grenelle.


In 1811, Emperor Napoleon Ier decided to build on the site a palace of the King of Rome, a building designed to be the residence of his son (a month before the birth of the latter). It was to be the center of an administrative and military imperial City. The name Trocadéro originates from the Fort of Trocadéro, which defended the Spanish port of Cadiz. Indeed, in 1823, it was captured by the French Expeditionary Corps commanded by the Duke of Angoulême, who had been sent by his uncle, the king of France Louis XVIII to reinstate King Fernando VII on the Spanish throne. Therefore, the site of the Trocadéro referred to a French military victory.

Several projects became to be propose including on the hill of Chaillot a military school and obelisk by 1824. Under the July Monarchy, it was proposed to erect in here the tomb of the Emperor, before the ashes found their way to the Invalides. This time by 1839 and again in 1841 with a colossal statue. In 1848 they thought a monument to Liberty. By 1858 another project on a lighthouse or monumental fountain in the center of a circular place hosting the Imperial Palace and the hotels of the ministeries. Also in 1868, a new project envisaging a colossal statue of the intelligent France illuminating the world but none of this was ever realized.   After doing a 3-meters flush and leveling of the hill of Chaillot for the Universal Exhibition of 1867 and then creation of a square and a staircase, the sunken grounds at the site of the current Trocadéro gardens remained unused until 1876.

The place which is then again called Place du roi de Rome is connected to the Pont d’Iéna by a granite staircase. The Palais du Trocadéro is built for the Universal Exhibition of 1878 on the plans of Moorish and neo-Byzantine inspirations. During its existence, it hosted the French Museum of monuments created in 1879 and the first Parisian Museum of ethnography ancestor of the Musée de l’homme. The gardens of the Trocadéro were designed by Jean-Charles Alphand. From 1880, a popular observatory, was installed.


The Palais du Trocadéro will finally destroyed, replaced by the Palais de Chaillot built for the specialized exhibition of 1937, which will take over the backbone of the old building, in particular the wings and the canopies and the foundation of colonnades which retained part of the frame and the configuration of two wings in half-circles. Also preserved are the curvilinear metal trusses in the frame, visible in the gallery of the castings of the museum although the general structure becomes in reinforced concrete, the carrying piles being doubled with casting molded stones, the walls being erected in stone rubble, concrete blocks, solid or hollow bricks while they are then covered with plates of Burgundy stone and reconstituted stone (note that behind these plates are still the stone walls of the former Palais du Trocadéro); the floors are made of reinforced concrete slabs while the carpentry is metal. The new project is representative of a sleek and neoclassical style called between the two wars, contrasting with the old building, judged too eclectic or even indefinable.


In choosing to dress the wings of the old palace by doubling them by a new gallery on the Seine river side, but to destroy the theater and the two towers to replace them with a simple esplanade, in the Eiffel Tower-military school axis while a new theater room was set up under this square. The style of the new palace is neo-classical monumental. The area of the new palace is increased to 41 000 m2, compared to 17 000 before; the new esplanade is open on 125 meters by 60 meters wide.

On 23 June 1940, after the nazis invasion, the führer Adolf Hitler and his military entourage roam the esplanade of the Trocadéro. An anti-aircraft gun is installed by the Allied troops the day after the liberation of Paris in the great basin of the fountain of the Jardin du Trocadéro. The United Nations, which had just been established in 1946, held two sessions in the Palais de Chaillot at its General Assembly, the 3rd (September-December 1948) and the 6th (November 1951-February 1952), as almost all UN institutions had no definitive sites yet. The General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. The palace also welcomes, between 1952 and 1959, the NATO headquarters, which is then moved to the Nato Palace (current centre universitaire Dauphine). In 1954 takes place at the Palace the signing of the Protocol of Accession of West Germany to NATO; On this occasion is created the Union of Western Europe, installed in part of the building, opposite the Paris wing. Which later got the name European Union.

The Palais de Chaillot houses several museums including the Museum of Man, Museum of the Marine/Navy(closed for renovation until 2021) in its West Wing, the National Theater of Chaillot, as well as the City of Architecture and Heritage in its east Wing (French Museum of Monuments, School of Chaillot and Institute of French architecture). The restructuring of the Paris wing was accompanied by the definitive move of the Cinémathèque française to Bercy housed in the palace between 1963 and 2005. Many museums are located in the vicinity such as the National Museum of Asian Arts-Guimet, Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris, Palais Gallia, Fashion Museum of the city of Paris, and Musée Clemenceau.

This site is served by the metro station Trocadéro line 6 and 9. Bus lines no 22,30,32,63,72, and 82 passes by here too. The 72 and 82 are great recommended and see Paris above ground.


my blog main page picture from Chaillot over the Seine to the Eiffel and ecole militaire and tour montparnasse!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and a whole day at least is the minimum.

Tourist office of Paris on the Palais de Chaillot

Official Theater of Chaillot

Official city of Architecture and Heritage museum

Official museum of men

Official Marine Museum

Hope you enjoy your day visiting this wonderful part of Paris, the 16éme is my favorite really. And the Palais de Chaillot  has many good spots and this area is tops for many others.

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


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December 4, 2018

Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs , Versailles!

And back I take you to my beloved dear Versailles.  The de facto Capital of France! The royal and imperial city of France, my home for almost 10 glorious years! I like to take you into another off the beaten path site in my beloved city.

If you move out of the castle and come to know the city a bit more, you will learn not only world history but French history as well. I like to enlighten you into known a bit more on the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.


The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs is located at 22 Avenue de Paris in Versailles (Yvelines 78). It remained famous in the history of France for having welcomed the Assembly of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the General Estates of 1789, the last that the former regime had experienced. It is an integral part of the history of France, and a must to visit even if today has other functions.


A bit of history I like

This hotel was built on orders of king Louis XV around 1745, in order to house the decoration workshops and the equipment of the games related to the festivities of the King and the Court called “Menus-plaisirs”. It will include sports accessories (especially for jeu de paume play), theater sets, musical instruments.etc.. There are also workshops for models, costumes, paintings and other sculptures In 1759, the hotel also contains a physics office installed by Abbé Nollet for the instruction of the children of France, starting with the future Louis XVI. The architectural ensemble then revolves around two courses located at different levels. The lower court opens on No. 22, avenue de Paris, while the High Court is located at the level of No. 19 rue des Etats Géneraux. It was at the site of the latter court that a provisional room hosted a meeting of notables in 1787, then end 1788. On the inside, the sovereign is then installed under a canopy, located in front of the covered staircase which currently provides communication between the two courtyards. The three orders (nobles laymen ,and clerby) are seated separately in the stands arranged in horseshoes, while high grandstands greet the public.

It was in this room that the abolition of privileges was voted in 1789 and the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights was made. The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs includes the election of Maximilian Robespierre as president of the District Court. The judges of the Criminal court settled there in 1792, waiting for the former bailiwick to be transformed into a house of justice. Thereafter, the hotel serves as a food store for the army, although many theater props are still kept on reserve, which also stirs up the lust of directors of Parisian halls who regularly come to used them.


Transformed into a barracks for the volunteers of the Gendarmerie (police) Corps, it became a center of distribution of bread for the troops before being finally sold to a certain   Dubusc in 1800. However, the prefect ordered the cancellation of the sale a year later, but already the damage is done: In the meantime, the buyer has unfortunately already demolished a large part of the historic premises including the famous room of the general Estates! . The hotel would then become a cavalry barracks, then be abandoned for more than a century until the city of Versailles installed its technical services in 1942. The State will restore these places as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the French revolution in 1989.

Napoleon turned the place into a conservatory of music. Under the restoration, it was tried to return to its first assignment, but without regaining the glow of the pre-revolution festivities. After the revolution of 1830, the Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs became a conservatory of music under the name of Royal School of Music and Declamation. Since 1996, part of the hotel is now home to the Baroque music Center of Versailles.

The remains of the Hall of the General Estates remain in the high courtyard used for the recess of the students of the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles. The pavements of the ground expose the layout of the hall, with the Royal Tribune at the bottom, the grandstands for the nobility and the clergy on the sides, the Great Tribune for the third-state in front which can be seen today.

Indeed a must for the lovers of architecture and history of France and the world really a must to see. Just come out of the palace on avenue de Paris and walk up the hotel is on the right hand side of the street and just a few minutes easily accessable. Enjoy it

A webpage to help you plan your trip and more info is here

Baroque music center on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs Versailles

Centre de Musique Baroque at the Chateau de Versailles webpage

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

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