Archive for November 28th, 2019

November 28, 2019

Some news from France, CCXCII

Rapid fire news from France and especially Paris. If visiting next month be ready for strikes and big time. I drive but if using public transport it will be a battle, well even the roads will be more saturated as the French takes alternative routes. Just saying…

Be on alert if visiting Paris in Decembe 2019. Because, on December 5, and probably also the following days, rare will be the means of transportation. Traffic could be virtually zero on the RATP network. Automated metro lines – the 1 and the 14 – should thus work, unless the massive influx of users forces the RATP, as a security measure, to close the stations.  On December 5th and 6th, it will be chaos. People have anticipated, they are more or less organized. It remains to be seen what will happen on Monday 9th. It is announce massive so be ready and trace alternative routes. If doubts , questions, let me know here. Or in French info on the strikes here :

And for the shoppers be aware of Black Friday yes it happened in France too and Paris is ready!!!

The parking tickets for annoying or abusive parking are not reserved for motorists. Some drivers of buses/coaches have experienced this from today Thursday afternoon, near the Opera Garnier. Parking is only allowed on reserved and paying places by purchasing a bus/coach pass at the rate of 90€ for 6 hours of parking in the central area and 50€ for 24 hours in the rest of the city. According to estimates by the city/town hall, 1200 buses criss-cross the city daily in high season. To park, they have only 467 dedicated places of which less than half in the center area !.Easy to pass laws without the solutions that is Paris today. Source Le Parisien newspaper

In the project to extend the by 2024, a giant step has been taken with the completion of the civil works of the future RER E to Mantes La Jolie (Yvelines 78) .At the Nanterre station. The first rails will be ready for commissioning by the end of 2022, with the promise of a new generation line for travelers. The extension of the RER E towards the West takes shape with the end of the civil engineering works of the future station of Nanterre, one of the three new stations of the line with those of Porte Maillot and La Défense. In its central part, the future line RER E will be the most interconnected line in the region of Île-de-France. It will be with all the RER A, B, C and D, 10 of the 14 metro lines, 7 train lines, 5 tramway lines, the future lines 15 and 16 of the Grand Paris Express, a hundred lines of buses including those serving the three Paris airports. In concrete terms, the RER E, which starts today from Chelles-Gournay and Tournan, east of Paris, and ends at Haussmann Saint-Lazare station, will see its extended line of 55 km to Mantes La Jolie in 2024. An extension that requires digging 35 meters deep tunnel 8 km in dense urban area, between Saint-Lazare and Nanterre. Ok so this should help indeed ! Info in French here :

In their hands, a red, green and golden banner stamped Seine-et-Oise. Set by five passersby to a mahogany stick, the banner of the Amicale, a former fanfare of the town, offered in 1868 to the music company of Roissy-en-France by Emperatrice Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. It had mysteriously disappeared in June 1979. In 1870, the war is raging but it is saved from the flames that ravage the city/town hall. The hour, however, is the French Republic. The reference to the emperor is thus erased and replaced by the mention Seine-et-Oise, still visible today. The Seine et Oise is the old region today Yvelines (78). More in French at the Le Parisien newspaper.

The pavilion of Russia presented at the 1878 World Fair had then joined Nogent-sur-Marne (Val de Marne dept 94). Its current owners have created two extensions respecting the building. More in French at the tourist office of Nogent sur Marne :

The latest photos of the 4,000 archival projects from the 1950s to the 1980s are posted on signs. Visitors are invited to tag them to identify places and projects. The rooms where the documents are kept, some of which are over 1,000 years old. A departmental archives reading room welcomes a thousand people a year, who consult nearly ten thousand documents in total. But via the website, eight million documents are consulted by 600,000 visitors. The building in Montigny-le-Bretonneux (Yvelines 78) houses the equivalent of 32 km of paper archives, among which are some exceptional documents. For example, there are plans for fortified places ordered by the intelligence service of Louis XIV and a beautiful watercolor plan of the city of Marseille or the story of Madame du Barry, part of England to find the diamond river that had been fly, specifies a guide. There is also the route of the first railway, which connected Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on which occurred the first train accident that almost put a stop to its development. It contains the minutes of the trial of Landru, who killed eleven women, in his house in Vernouillet (78), then in that of Gambais, guillotined in 1922 in the courtyard of the prison of Versailles. But also those of the former militiaman Paul Touvier, tried in 1994 by the Court of Yvelines for complicity in crimes against humanity or those of the last death row in the history of France executed in public. It was Eugene Weidmann, born in 1908 in Frankfurt am Main, a German serial killer who acted in the 1930s in France. Nicknamed the “killer with velvet eyes”, the man who recognized six crimes was guillotined on June 17, 1939 in Versailles, on the current place André-Mignot, in a festive atmosphere so shocking that the authorities decided after that to abolished public capital executions. Departmental Archives of Yvelines and the old Seine-et-Oise, open from Tuesday to Thursday, from 9h to 17h30 and one Saturday per month, from 9h30 to 17h30 (only on reservation of documents 48h in advance, next opening Saturday, December 7), located at 2, avenue de Lunca , Montigny-le-Bretonneux. Information tel +33 (0) or on webpage :

In the family room of the palace of Compiégne, wedged between the seats in Louis XV style gilded wood, the Fiat Stanguellini seems ready to put the gas to the allée des Beaux-Monts that faces it. In another wing of the castle, under the tapestries and gilded moldings of the anthapel, the experimental motorcycle Moto Major of 1948 triumphantly sits on its ivory white podium.  Further on, at the top of the staircase of honor, is the roar of the Mercedes Benz 3 liters of the racer Rudolf Caracciola who buzzes in the ear of the visitor. Welcome to the exhibition “Concept car, pure beauty”, which opens this coming Friday in the rooms of the Château de  Compiègne. An event dedicated, for the first time in France, to these record or experimental vehicles of which there is often only one single copy. Until March 23, 2020,  twenty-eight vehicles, record cars or motorcycles, will be exhibited between the hall of the columns, the guard room and the various lounges. A sign of this renewed ambition, the kitchen court, closed to the public since 1998, has been reopened especially for the launch of the exhibition, after renovation works. Until March 23, at the castle of Compiègne. Every day, except Tuesday, from 10h to  16h30 (last access at 16h). Rates (including permanent collections): from 7.50€  to 9,50€. More info at castle webpage :

This is the good news of the day, the exhibition of Van Gogh that hits hard since February is extended until January 5, 2020! This first in the world of art is the subject of a great sound and visual creation at L’Atelier des Lumières for many months. An immersion retracing the intense life of the painter through his greatest masterpieces.

 In the fall of 2020, the magic of Disney will stop at the Palais des Sports during an exceptionnel cinema-concert that will delight young and old Parisians as well as visitors. On the program: a musical and visual experience out of the ordinary. In front of a giant screen of 20 meters in ultra HD, a symphony orchestra accompanied by talented singers Emily Pello, Dan Menasche, Judith Derouin, Igor Bouin and even Cerise Calixte, the French voice of the heroine of the film Vaïana: The Legend of the End of World, will punctuate this enchanted trip. The Disney show in concert – Magical Music from the Movies will go through the Palais des Sports in Paris on October 24 and 25, 2020, it will cross France with nearly 30 other performances in Bordeaux, Caen, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Limoges, or Lyon. We dreamed about it, they did it! In the fall of 2020, the magic of Disney will stop at the Palais des Sports with a program, a musical and visual experience out of the ordinary.  We all know them by heart! Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Snow Queen or The Lion King, all represent the soundtrack of our childhood. Ready to rediscover the pleasure of screaming?  Whether nostalgic, small singer or dreamer, this unusual film-concert is the show of the year not to be missed! Disney in concert – Magical Music from the Movies,  At the Palais des Sports, Dome of Paris, 34, boulevard Victor, 15éme arrondissement. Tickets like my favorite FNAC here: FNAC ticket for the Disney show

 And if not enough, another nice  museum in a memorable place for me. My first working train station where I learned the art of public transports lol ! Art Ludique or Fun Art – The Museum is the first museum in the world devoted entirely to the arts and culture industries. It brings together under the same roof video game, animated film, comic strip, manga and cinema design.  The museum will also be the first museum in the world installed in a train station in activity. Having signed an agreement with SNCF Gare & Connexions, the Art Ludique museum moved to Gare Saint-Lazare in 2020 and will open its doors in 2021. With an exhibition area of more than 1300 m2, the museum will present a permanent collection and evolutionary and temporary exhibitions. Formerly located at 34, Quai d’Austerlitz in the 13éme arrondissement, in Les Docks, city of fashion and design. More info here :

There you go plenty to do in my belle France and especially in my eternal Paris, the most beautiful city in the world witness by millions over the years especially that Bogart and we will always have Paris!!!!

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

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November 28, 2019

Paris and Tour St Jacques!

So on a nice Sunday braving the demonstrations I took my car into Paris, glorious!!! Easy once again ride on the A3 getting around Porte de Bagnolet into inner Paris and easy parking at Place Saint Michel!! And for diversity the way back I took out by the Porte de la Chapelle as easy as well!

As to minimize my word count I said once into Paris the best way is to walk, and walk I did all over, many posts to come. However this time will tell you a bit more on the St James’s Tower in Paris, Tour St Jacques.


Here is the must read from the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris on the tour St Jacques

For admission ticket information and visits official site is here: Official site for visits to the Tour St Jacques in French

Actually  ,do not recall having a post on it alone. So credit is due,here is my take on it

The Saint-James tower or Tour St Jacques is the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, whose new bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523, this bell-tower is erected in the middle of the first Parisian square, which bears its name , in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris.


While resuming certain elements of the contemporary Louis XII style, this building shows how much Parisian and particularly religious architecture is reluctant to the innovations brought from Italy and remains as in the hotel Cluny, faithful to the essential style 15C flamboyant Gothic. While the general architecture of the building remains essentially faithful to the flamboyant Gothic style of the 15C, it does not take less certain novelties induced by the new Louis XII style that triumphs then marking a transition between art Gothic and the Early Renaissance.


A bit of history I like

The Tour Saint-Jacques is an old Bell tower constituting the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, dedicated to Saint Jacques le Majeur (St James the Major). This sanctuary was home to a relic of Saint James and was a famous place of pilgrimage and the place of worship of the merchants of the neighborhood.

This bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523. It measures 54 meters up to the balustrade. The church was destroyed in 1793 and closed by the French revolution and became a national stone quarry site. It is said that the tower was not demolished because of the Church Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas on the hill of  Sainte-Geneviève . A statue, installed at the base of the tower, reminds us. It is true that the later buyer of the church had a condition of not demolishing the tower. It was at the time one of the tallest monuments in Paris.

In 1824, an industrialist buys the tower to install a foundry of lead shots, turning it into a plumb bob. In 1836, after two fires, the tower was bought by the City of Paris. In 1852 the work undertaken on the occasion of the piercing of the rue de Rivoli and its decided of the restoration of the belfry. The statue of St. James, destroyed during the French revolution, is replaced by another, 3.80 meters high. The Church of Saint-Jacques d’Illiers-Combray, dear to Marcel Proust, retains the lead, made in 1858 to serve as a model for the sculptor. It was offered by Napoleon III to the municipal council of Paris which had made the request.

At the foot of the tower, was created in 1856 the first square of Paris (now place tour Saint-Jacques). At the foot of the tower, at the end of the 19C, the hiring of the workers takes place in the open air, the meeting place of the latter, as was the Place de Grève (current Place de l’Hôtel de Ville) is closed.

Since 1965, a plaque offered by Spain to the city of Paris, on the initiative of the Society of Friends of Saint Jacques, makes it a starting point for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. On the platform is installed a small weather station since 1891. It depends on the Montsouris Observatory. The carved symbols of the four Evangelists, the lion (Mark), the bull (Luke), the eagle (John) and the angel (Matthew), appear in the corners. The current statues date back to the beginning of the 20C, like gargoyles and eighteen statues of saints decorating the walls of the tower. The sculptures date from two eras. Some are from the origin of construction in the 16C, others were created in the 19C and 20C.


Visits are again possible. They are organized by an association authorized by the City of Paris and are limited to 17 people per hour, especially because of the narrowness of the stairs, 85 cm (about 33 inches)! Going up 54 meters or about 16 floors! Enjoy it

There now have another monument mentioned of my eternal Paris so good to be near it again and taking full advantage lol! Enjoy the Tour Saint Jacques! And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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November 28, 2019

Again by the Hôtel de Ville de Paris!

So here I am again walking my glorious eternal Paris! Its a great feeling to be back in the area even if already used to the countryside, coming to the big city such as Paris is always welcome by yours truly!  Paris is a movable feast indeed!

As usual I walk many streets and by many monuments already visited or walk by again is a must such as now. I like to bring you another post on the Hôtel de Ville de Paris or Paris’ City Hall. My last entry on it was back on March 28 2018!

The Hôtel de Ville de Paris or city hall is the building that houses the municipal institutions of Paris. The first hotel was built in 1357 by the Prévost of Merchants Etienne Marcel, It symbolized the municipal freedoms acquired against the power of King Charles V. It is located at Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville, in the 4éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The Hôtel de Ville, was re built from 1873 to 1892, in Renaissance style, as itw as burned at the time of the Commune uprising in 1871 ; it was extensively decorated almost identically reproducing the old city hall building of 1553.


The Hôtel de Ville  is bordered  by the Rue de Rivoli and south by the Seine river, the Pont d’ Arcole provides access to the Ïle de la Cité. I do not want to repeat my previous post as these are new pictures but will give you a brief description and some nice walks you can take from it ok


In the 16C, king François I rebuilt the city hall in the Renaissance style. The central pediment is adorned with a clock accosted by the figures of Work and Instruction, the Seine and the Marne rivers ,lying down, and surmounted by the City of Paris symbol. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, known at the beginning of the 12C as Place de Grève (name now commonly call the famous French demonstrations or strikes), will be renamed Place de la Maison Commune during the French revolution. The Place de Gréve was renamed Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in 1803 and it is a pedestrian area since 1982.

In 1977 a mayor was elected by universal suffrage, Jacques Chirac, (see my post in his honor) who would later become president of the French Republic (France). The voters from the 20 districts (arrondissements) of Paris elect, in a two-round listed election, the borough councilors ,who will designate the borough mayors and then the mayor of Paris.  As of today.

Since 1967, the expressway on left bank located on the old port forms a 13km highway linking Saint-Cloud to Bercy (voie Georges Pompidou). Every summer, stands Paris-Plage or beach along the banks of the Seine. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville served as a setting for parties organized by the city such as the Saint Jean (st John) fireworks festival on June 23 or to celebrate the births and marriages of the Royal family, but also was the place where the executions from 1310 to 1830 were held such as those of Ravaillac, La Brinvilliers, etc. Today, the Place de l’Hotel de Ville is a major attraction point for discovering the Marais and is still the favorite place for festive gatherings of all kinds.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and yes it can be visit with prior reservation.

City of Paris on the Hotel de Ville

Tourist office of Paris on the Hotel de Ville


Now read this and do some wonderful walks in my eternal Paris from the beautiful Hôtel de Ville de Paris !

After admiring the Hôtel de Ville, continue your walk towardsthe Rue François Miron past the Saint Gervais Church, whose origins date back to the 6C but which was built in a 17C style combining orders Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.  Note in passing the elm located Place Saint Gervais in memory of a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. It was under the elm that justice was done. The Rue François Miron, of Roman origin, led to the time of the High Roman Empire in Melun. Remnants of this period were discovered during the course of track leveling work in the course of the 19C. The other streets around, such as rue des Barres, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville and rue de Brosse, were formed in the Middle Ages and have retained their layout.

At 2 -12 Rue François Miron there were medieval dwellings of a single unhealthy floor. They were destroyed in 1733 to allow the construction of houses for the Saint Gervais factory. Note the motif of wrought iron guards, still visible today, representing the parish’s weapons, namely the elm of Saint Gervais. The Couperins, famous 17C musicians lived at this address. On No. 10 Rue François Miron was born Alexandre Ledru-Rollin in 1807, who in 1848 entered the Hôtel de Ville to proclaim the French Republic. Appointed Minister of the Interior, he re-establishes universal suffrage. At No. 16 -22 Rue François Miron would be the location of the first Baudoyer door, opened in the 11C, at the intersection of Rue François Miron and rue des Barres.

The rue Grenier-sur-l’Eau has retained the original features with its cobblestones, its axial stream animated with shops and craftsmen. It is, in some places, very narrow because of the corbelling of the houses facing each other. In the background stands the bell tower of the Church of Saint Gervais. The rue de l’Hotel de Ville, dating back to the Middle Ages, was formerly called mortellerie, whose ethology derives from a mortelier, meaning mason, because many masons reside there. It’s no coincidence that the Maison des Compagnons du devoir de Paris or Paris Companions of Duty House is located at No. 80-86 . Its origins date back to the 13C when the cathedrals and the great cities of Europe were built.

On the odd side of the Rue de l’Hotel de Ville, at Nos. 89, 91, 95, 103, 107 and 109, the street has kept some tall and narrow houses of the 17-18C. Rue des Barres has preserved some houses built from the 16C to the 18C and some traces of older remains, including No. 12 , the hotel of the abbey of Maubuisson dating back to the 13C remodeled in the 19C. At the time, many religious congregations had their Parisian feet on the ground to settle business in the city.

After strolling through the meandering winding streets of rue Monceau Saint Germain neighborhood, join the banks of the Seine river to enjoy the many taverns and terraces there. Why not try a traditional dish at Trumilou, quai de l’Hôtel de Ville or Chez Julien, at the corner of rue des Barres and Pont Louis Philippe, unless a Burgundy dish tempts you to Bourguignon du Marais, rue François Miron, before continuing towards the Ile de la Cité by taking the Pont de l’Arcole to join the Marché aux Fleurs (flower market), nestled between the Prefecture and the Commercial Courthouse and the Hotel Dieu. This flower market, installed since 1808 at Place Lepine, is a refreshing bubble to discover plants, shrubs and orchids of all kinds. Birds and Sunday artists like to meet the weekend.(see my post on the market).

There you I told you many times Paris is a movable feast, eternal, light and beauty to behold all around you. It’s one of those cities you can fall in love with without been human being but just a city of monuments and ambiance chic and beautiful. For me Paris is eternal! Hope you enjoy the tour

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

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