Archive for October 13th, 2019

October 13, 2019

Looking through the windows to the gardens of Versailles!

Ok again my limited creativity I just came up with this title to tell you about something wonderful. On a sunny day in my neck of the woods perfect for a walk in the gardens and if in Versailles , sublime!

One of the wonders of this magnificent palace/museum done from 1837 to all the glories of France by king of the French Louis-Philippe are the gardens. I know the rush to see the wonderful inside, but the gardens are all on its own. Do not want to go into details on this post as have many on Versailles in my blog having lived there. The gardens are free entry even on musical water fountain days if you go way back after the Grand Canal from the entrance by the Porte Saint Antoine, and we jogged walked and just had our lunch at Angelina at the Petit Trianon for many years; we love and we still do !

I like to give two perpective on the gardens as view from inside the Palace/museum of Versailles, the Domaine de Versailles includes all the buildings while the Château de Versailles is call just the main castle.  It is a lot smaller today than what it was under the Louis’s if you can believe that due to the size it has even today.

The great gardener of France , André Le Nôtre organized the gardens of Versailles around two axes, north-south and east-west. The first part of the bassin de Neptune, goes up by the allée de l’eau and continues until the Orangerie and the piéce d’eau  des Suisses. The second, called Grande Perspective, crosses the gardens like an axis of symmetry, beyond the Bassin de Latone, it follows the allée royale to the Grand Canal.


And from the Salon de la Paix come the picture. This salon is ​​a lounge located south of the Galerie des Glaces.  Above the green Campan marble fireplace stands Louis XV offering his two daughters in testimony of peace to Europe painted in 1729. The young ruler, aged nineteen, holds out an olive branch and receives his two twin daughters, Louise-Elizabeth and Anne-Henriette, from the hands of Fecundity and Piety . In the end, the Discord vainly tries to reopen the doors of the temple of Janus. In the time of Marie Antoinette, the Salon de la Paix was an integral part of the king’s apartment. It was a bit like his games room. The Salon de la Paix was restored in 2017, thanks to the patronage of Renault (car maker).

The Allée Royale is the major east-west axis of the garden. It is drawn from the first garden of the time of Louis XIII. It is at the beginning of an alley about fifteen meters wide, showing a steep slope, ending in a basin dug in the early 1660s, the piéce d’ Eau des Cygnes, future bassin d’Apollon. Around 1665, the alley is widened (it is now about 45 meters wide) and its slope considerably softened. Under Louis XVI, an alignment of chestnut trees is added to its border with yew and hornbeam. On the side of the Parterre de Latone, the entrance to the alley is marked by two admirable groups of Louis XIV, Milon of Crotone  in 1682 and Perseus delivering Andromeda  in 1684. Today, these are casts, the originals being kept in the Louvre museum of Paris.

See the parterre d’eau from the Salon de la Paix


And from the Salon de  Mars is the picture. The salon part of the Great King’s apartment, this room decorated on the theme of Mars, god of Roman mythology, served as the guard room of the time of Louis XIV. The Salon de Mars served as a guardroom. It marked the true entrance of the Grand Apartment of the King, giving access to the salon de Mercure. During the evenings of apartment introduced by Louis XIV, the Salon de Mars was first devoted to a gameroom. There were several tables for card games and other games of chance. Around 1685, the king made pierce the two walls on both sides of the chimney to arrange two stands supported by columns and intended for the musicians. The salon is then dedicated to music and dance. Louis XV removed these stands in 1750. As the function of the salon requires, the iconography of the ceiling is dedicated to the god Mars and war work. A golden cornice is supported by helmets of all models such as Roman, Turkish, etc.

See the avenue du Sud  section from the Salon de Mars window.


There are many objects such as fountain, statues , busts in the gardens and a walk here is sublime, again. One of the highlights of coming to Versailles, enjoy the gardens!

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


October 13, 2019

More streets of Paris!

So lets get into the streets of Paris!  Ok so you all come here and eagerly get into the metro lol! Never understood why… with so much beauty above ground why go underground? Of course, there is the RER B from CDG airport but there are also buses Air France and Direct Line so much comfortable. And believe me I have tried them all over the years.

There is also the bus in Paris, above ground: and like me the road warrior there is always the first choice for the car; even with all the contraints of doing so in Paris nowdays. Bottom line, once you get to Paris proper (districts or arrondissement 1-20), the ultime best way is to walk its streets. And this is the idea of this post, stretch your legs and have your feet well dressed and do some awesome walking above ground in the most beautiful city in the world, Paris!

One of the streets I entered my eternal Paris the most is by the rue d’Auteuil in that quartier or neighborhood in district or arrondissement 16 of Paris. I usually come in to Paris by car on this street! Lets go on…

The rue d’Auteuil was the main street in the old village of  Auteuil. Founded aound the year  600, this village was located near the vast forest of Rouvray, part of which is the Bois de Boulogne today.  In 1860, the village is annexed by Paris  and the street is name for it.  This street previously in 1813 was designated as the D30 road as the  rue du village d’Auteuil. The part between the streets  rue La Fontaine ,and bd  Murat and bd Suchet were incorporated into the D29 road in 1847.

Some interesting building along this street of rue d’Auteuil are: At no 4 Chapelle Sainte-Bernadette. 11 bis entrance to high school or lycée Jean-Baptiste-Say. No 16 Hôtel de Puscher, 17C, redone in 1806,you can admire the facade on the street rue des Perchamps. No 40, it was for a long time the lodging or Auberge du Mouton Blanc  where Molière, Racine , and La Fontaine were regular vistiors, there is a plaque on the wall. At the end of the 17C it was the LIPP of the times. At No 43-47, there is pretty mansion of the 18C more precisely 1715, known as the Hôtel Antier or Hôtel de Verrières. Moving on at No 43-47  John Adams 2nd President of the USA and one of the founding  fathers of the USA lived here with his wife and two children from September 1784 to May  1785! At No 59 was the site of a mansion from the 18C that hosted many known figures of the time. From  1750 to 1772,it belonged to the painter Maurice Quentin de La Tour. In  1788, was sold to Madame Helvetius  or Anne-Catherine de Ligniville Helvétius.  It was here which was known as the Our Lady of Auteuil or Notre-Dame d’Auteuil or simply Minette gathering the brightest from the time. It was here as well the site of the Condorcet, shock by a demonstration where for the first time came the red flag ,writing the treaty on the prevost justice.  A few years later we find Napoléon  Bonaparte before he was emperor and after 1854, one of this nephews the Prince Pierre Bonaparte, that made famous in January 1870 for the murder of the newspaper men  Victor Noir, real name Yvan Salmon. Finally at no 63-73 was the place of the Château du Coq that in 1717,belonged to  Samuel Bernard  that left it to one of his mistresses  Madame de Fontaine. In 1767, king Louis XV became proprietor  to use it as a fun lover meeting place.


Another street I have used a lot is the Avenue du Maine by Montparnasse.  It includes the neighborhoods of Necker, Montparnasse Plaisance, and Petit Montrouge in the districts of 14éme and 15éme of Paris. Another of my work offices was by here and really walk and eaten around there a lot.

The Avenue du Maine owes its name to the presence of the Château de Maine, which was, according to a legend, an old hunting appointment of the Duke of Maine at the northern tip of the domain of Sceaux. In fact, this castle whose entrance was located at 142 rue du Château was very far from Sceaux and never belonged to the duke of Maine but had several owners including the literary critic Élie Catherine Fréron. The origin of this avenue is due to Auguste de Bourbon, Duke of Maine. His main residence, located on the site of the future hotel Biron, was located rue de Varenne and his country residence was in Sceaux where his wife, Louise-Bénédicte de Bourbon, received the beautiful spirits of the time as Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu, Stanislas of Boufflers, Voltaire, Bernard Bouyer de Fontenelle, etc…

To go from one house to another, you had to take the little streets of Paris that led to the site of the old Saint-Michel gate and then take rue d’Enfer. In order to shorten the route, the Duke of Maine made a path through the countryside of the Montrouge plateau, which ran around the outlets of the rue de Sèvres, rue de Vaugirard and rue du Cherche-Midi, and which joined the  Route d’Orléans ( current avenue du Général-Leclerc) at a place called “Le Petit-Montrouge” in the parish of Montrouge by extending the rue d’Enfer. The avenue seems to have been opened in the late 1730s.  This road bore the names of chemin d’Orléans around 1760,  Nouvelle route d’Orléans around 1763, Chemin du Petit-Montrouge  around 1777, Route du Maine around 1791, before taking, from 1821, that of chaussée du Maine  and eventually avenue du Maine.

Some of the interesting things to see in the Avenue du Maine that I  like are at No 13 house shop of the organ builder  Aristide Cavaillé-Coll!  No. 14 lived the painter Fernand Léger and the Lebanese-American poet Gibran Khalil Gibran  from 1908 to 1910 , there is a plaque. The young Jean Mermoz  future legendary figure of  Aéropostale lived there with his mother, born Gabrielle Gillet a nurse at the Laennec hospital  from 1917-1918 and until his departure for the Aviation School of Istres in October 1920. No 21 the Montparnasse museum, former Grande-Masse workshop of the National School of Fine Arts, At this address was also the studio of the Russian painter, Marie Vassilieff, who opened there in 1915 the  Cantine des artistes , she welcomed there among others: Guillaume Apollinaire, Braque, Cendrars, Chagall, Jean Dannet, Max Jacob, Léger, Matisse, Modigliani, Radiguet, Soutine, Zadkine, etc. At no  33 lived Piet Mondrian from 1912 to 1913 , and left for 26, rue du Départ, nearby. Since 1973, it has been the official address of the Montparnasse tower. At No 44: the Douanier Rousseau lived  here from 1893 to 1895.  No. 79 in front of this number, on May 12, 1902, the Pax airship with its two occupants, aeronaut Augusto Severo de Albuquerque Maranhão and his mechanic, Georges Saché, felled. There is also the  Maine-Montparnasse buildings including the Paris-Montparnasse train station, the Montparnasse tower, and the Atlantic garden. The Church Saint-Pierre-de-Montrouge is also here.


In another area of Paris ,another popular street of mine is the rue Royale near the Madeleine. Where not only by car but walk a lot as one of previous jobs was not far from it.

The rue Royale is a lane of the 8éme arrondissement of Paris. 282 meters long, the street starts from Place de la Concorde and ends at Place de la Madeleine. It measures about 23 meters wide between Place de la Concorde and rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré and 43 meters elsewhere. Its name comes from the fact that this way was opened to give access to the place Louis-XV, current Place de la Concorde.

This rue Royale street replaced the Porte Saint-Honoré, which was at the corner of Rue Saint-Honore, built under Louis XIII and destroyed in 1733 and the rampart that extended to the Jardin des Tuileries. The rue Royale  Tuileries was built from 1758 on a uniform facade design given by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Around 1792, the rue Royale was renamed rue de la Revolution. It then became the rue Royale Saint-Honoré then, in 1795, the rue de la Concorde. It resumed its current name in 1814. After the Restoration, the rue Royale gradually lost its residential character and became one of the high places of luxury Parisian trade, especially from the late 19C.

Some interesting buildings I like are: At No.1 Hotel on the corner of Place de la Concorde where, on February 6, 1778, Conrad Alexandre Gerard in the name of King Louis XVI, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, Arthur Lee signed the treaties by which France was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States of America!!!.  At No 2 Hôtel de la marine, also known as the hôtel des Garde-Meuble . Today headquarters of the staff of the French Navy.

At No 3 Hôtel Richelieu. The Maxim’s restaurant, established at this address since 1893, is remarkable for its storefront and its Art Nouveau interior of 1899 . No 6: Hôtel Le Roy de Senneville. Built in 1769 by Louis Le Tellier for Jean-François Roy de Senneville , secretary of the king from 1752 to 1780 and farmer general from 1772 to 1789.

To the right of the porte-cochère, the jeweler Fouquet commissioned in 1901 for his shop a remarkable decoration of 1900 style designed by Alfons Mucha and realized with the help of the Maison Jansen. On the noble floor, two lounges have retained their original decor of the 1770s. The passage checker has retained its flat vault. The staircase of honor remains with its railing wrought iron Louis XV. At No 11 a hotel built by Louis Le Tellier, after 1781. The large half-timbered salon was reassembled in Paris at the Nissim-de-Camondo Museum and the bedroom at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Buenos Aires. Queen Nathalie of Serbia lived there.

No 14, at the corner of rue Saint-Honoré at the location of the Credit Lyonnais agency, established at this location since at least 1910, was at the end of the 19C a cabaret with the sign of La Porte Saint-Honoré recalling the old door of the enclosure of Louis XIII who was at this location and was demolished in 1733. The physiologist Claude Bernard lived in this house in 1859.  In April 1939, the building becomes the head office of L’Oréal, the company’s premises also occupy all the buildings belonging to this number and run up to rue Saint-Florentin, parallel to it.  At No 16: the Ladurée bakery founded in 1862. In 1871, while Baron Haussmann gave a new face to Paris, a fire allowed the transformation of the bakery into pastry. Ernest Ladurée has the idea to mix  Parisian coffee and pastry, and thus gives birth to one of the first tea rooms in the capital. Ladurée remained a pastry famous for its macaroons.

At No 21 ,the famous Weber brewery was installed in this building from 1899 to 1961. Before 1914, it was the rendezvous of writers, journalists and artists, frequented by designers Forain and Caran d’Ache, writers Paul- Jean Toulet, Léon Daudet, Marcel Proust, the writings of Time and Figaro, and  comedians like Marguerite Deval. At No 25: entrance to Cité Berryer, which extends to 24 rue Boissy-d’Anglas; location of the old Aguesseau market, inaugurated in July 1746.  At No. 27 and No. 3 Place de la Madeleine building that housed the Austrian Brewery, heavily damaged by projectiles fired during the Commune, in the second half of May 1871; Larue restaurant, opened at the same location in 1886, welcomed Proust in the early 1900s, and from 1924 the monthly meeting called Bixio Dinner.

It was at this street that the nice movie Le Château de verre  or the Glass Castle (1950), by René Clément was filmed.


Some of the wonderful streets of Paris. Well I could write a book on them but really lazy to do so, these few will do. Anyway , I think it gives a flavor of the architecture and history of  the streets of Paris, eternal, sublime, one can easily get lost on them and be glad . Enjoy some streets of Paris.

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

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