Archive for May 25th, 2020

May 25, 2020

Saint Louis Cathedral, Invalides!!

Ok I admit do not know how to tackle this monument. I past by it many times and my office lately is not far , I even eat my lunch nearby restos; but so far only briefly mention in my blog. I will do my best to tell you a bit more on the Saint Louis Cathedral, Invalides, of course Paris.

The Saint-Louis-des-Invalides Church or Soldiers’ Church attracts many visitors. It is even one of the most frequented churches in Paris. This is due, of course, to the presence, nearby, of the dome of the Invalides, created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, which hosts the tomb of Napoleon I. It is also due to the presence of the Army museum in the buildings that surround the magnificent courtyard. The Church of Saint Louis des Invalides is under the responsibility of the museum, it houses the burial of Napoleon I, his two brothers,Joseph and Jérome; his son (the Aiglon), which in December 1940, the ashes of his son known as the king of Rome or Napoléon II or the Aiglon (English) were transfered from Vienna in a funerary urn by an adviser to Hitler and the govt of Vichy (collaborator) as Paris was in occupied zone. As well as the queen of Westphalia and other members of the Bonaparte family. Marshals of France , Vauban, Turenne, Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, , the generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques, and Henri Giraud, and the admirals Boué de Lapeyrère ,and Gauchet.

Paris

The Saint-Louis des Invalides Church has the most traditional classical style architecture, like many of the churches and buildings erected at that time. The first architect draws up the general plan of the Invalides and ensures the realization of the buildings as well as that of the Saint-Louis Church. In 1676, Jules Hardouin-Mansart designed the famous dome and ensured its construction; the Dome rises to 101 meters The notable feature of the Saint-Louis Church is to have a series of flags, taken from the enemy in the 19-20C, suspended from the cornice, on both sides of the elevation.

The Saint Louis des Invalides Church and the dome, where the tomb of Napoleon rests, in fact constitute a single building with the nave; the dome and the choir. In the Grand Siècle, the high altar was common to attend the service, Louis XIV returned by the dome, the disabled soldiers returned by the nave. Today the separation is ensured by a large glass roof through which we can see, among the reflections, the tomb of Napoleon. Visitors cannot go from one to the other as entry to the church is obviously free, the visit to the dome is with admission. Let me add that all of these imposing buildings created in the 17C, surrounded by green spaces, constitute one of the most chic districts of Paris. There are ministries and many private mansions all over.

Paris

A bit on the construction Architecture I like

The nave is punctuated by semicircular arcades which separate it from the aisles. In keeping with the classical style, the pilasters are topped with Corinthian capitals. On the second level of the elevation, the large grandstands open onto the nave by a series of arcades with basket handles. There is no side chapel. Only two side altars, without projection, break the monotony of the aisles. The choir is surmounted by a triumphal arch which, in the Grand Siècle, gave access to the choir of the old church. Finally, the barrel vault is enriched with fine double arches decorated with royal crowns, fleur-de-lis and rosettes. This beautiful set offers an impression of great artistic coherence.

Paris

And some anecdotes on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church.

The boundaries of the two world wars in the fore-nave and in the right aisle are placed two stone posts. The first dedicates the Sacred Way of War 1914-1918 . You can read the inscription: “In tribute to their sacrifice, there is enclosed in this marker a parcel of sacred land from the battlefields of 1914-1918”. The second stone post consecrates the Way of Freedom in 1944. The inscription at the bottom recalls that it contains plots of land from American cemeteries in France.

The grandstand organ was built between 1679 and 1687, and restored several times since. The buffet dates from 1683. Note that the first representation of Berlioz’s Requiem was given at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides Church in 1837.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must in Paris are

Official Army museum on the Saint Louis des Invalides Churcharmy museum on the St Louis des Invalides Church

The tourist office of Paris on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church : Tourist office of Paris on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church

The official Diocese of the Armed Forces on the Saint Louis des Invalides Church (they recognise as Cathedral of the armed forces) in French: Diocese of the Armed Forces on Saint Louis Cathedral of Paris

Here you can surely have an apero or lunch at Le Vauban just facing the Church/Cathedral. And my favorite hangout in the area Le Café de l’Esplanade just off the side seeing all the canons of the army museum! great service and glorious food.

paris

There you go a wonderful monument in my eternal Paris , that for some reason, left it untold until now. See my previous posts on the army museum and Invalides in general. Hope you enjoy the visit to the Saint Louis des Invalides Church! 

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

Tags: , ,
May 25, 2020

Musée du Louvre, Paris!!!

I decided during this limited period to rev up my blog a bit. One major monument building that I am Friends of the Museum is the Louvre in Paris. I have written a more historical post on it but feel not do a good job. Indeed, the Louvre merits more time and posts.   Oh well my creativity definitively do not belong in the Louvre lol! I like to give you a fresh new update now. As well as photos not published before…

One of the greatest and by many THE greatest museum in the world, including me!. Its a huge fortress that grew up from about 1190 by king Philippe Auguste occupying the south west side of the current Cour Carré. The treasures of France were kept here since 1317   put together from the wealth of the orders of temples and hospitals by king Charles V. The museum was given idea on about 1793 under the French revolutionary government under the name of Museum Centrale des Arts de la Republique. it was later change to Museum Napoleon under the Empire before coming back to its current name. The idea was to centralised all the works in one national museum.

paris

It has about 160 000 square meters of space of which only about 60 000 are use for works open to the public. The idea has long been to expand the space and provide easier and more numerous access to the public. The annex of Lens, Pas de Calais dept 62 of the Hauts de France region , webpage in English here: Louvre museum at Lens

And the newest opened in Abu Dhabi UAE as here:  Louvre at Abu Dhabi

The idea of all these annexes are to done a window of opportunity not only for more revenue but also to display more works of arts instead of piling them in the basement and other depositories I know such as the basement of the Chartres Cathedral. The Louvre is to the world !!!

One must know the museum is closed on Tuesdays, open every other day. Open from 9h to 18h and on Wednesdays and Fridays open to 21h45 . Open until 21h45 the first Saturday of each month, the wing or  aile Richelieu with prior reservation only .Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month and on National Day July 14. The best entrances are on the quai François Mitterrand, passage Richelieu,  99 Rue de Rivoli, and the Porte des Lions at the end of Pavillon Flore next to the Seine river to avoid as much as possible the crowds. The best days to visit are Mondays and Thursdays are these are full days of work in France. Weekends everybody is here, plus Wednesdays afternoons and Fridays are rest period for many workers in France. Be early on opening time for any day or late nights opening days. The metro line 1 and 7 Palais Royale/Musée du Louvre , Tuileries, close by is Pyramides on line 14, and all these bus lines get you here : 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, and 95. Also, on a quaint stop do come by Batobus  stop Louvre at quai François-Mitterrand. Plan ,plan ahead, read ,read ahead, its a huge place, on average visit the museum claims it to be 3h15 but most visitor do not appreciate what is there;  it really needs three days to see all well.  Or as I did , plan your itineraries and come back a second or third or…time. First timers for each new area better get an audioguide, and get a map of the place (as below) , buy your ticket ahead of time, and settled on the areas you want to see first, narrow it down if your time is limited. The Sphinx, Mona Lisa (joconde), Napoleon III apartments, Venus, some of these need to be seen on your first trip. One of every two visitors are first timers. You can advance purchase tickets at many stores in Paris before arriving at the museum such as FNAC, Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps,BHV, Carrefour, Auchan , andLeclerc supermarkets. As well as the official Louvre Museum ticketing : Ticketing in advance for the Louvre Museum

paris

This is a very good pdf file on a map of the Louvre Museum, you are better to print it at home before coming for the visit; it can done in several languages I have it in English: PDF map of the Louvre museum

Paris

Paris

You have sections such as my favorite Egyptian antiquities, then Etruscan/Roman antiquities, Greek antiquities, Oriental antiquities, Oriental relating to the art of Islam, interior and exterior architectures marvels (especially the apartments to Napoleon III), Graphic Arts, First arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, Object d’Arts from all over the world, Paintings of the masters as English, Spanish, Flemish, French, Italians, other Europeans, European sculptures, French sculptures, and Italian sculptures. All marvels too many to mention here.

Paris

Paris

Paris

You have guided tours as well as workshops to participate on, the official site will tell you.  A wonderful auditorium for concerts,   expositions, exhibits, and movies showcasing the arts in all its form as well as temporary exhibits covering many subjects.

Next door you have the wonderful Jardin des Tuileries my lunch hangout for many years. The Musée des arts décoratifs on the pavillon Marsans facing rue de Rivoli will keep you here for weeks ! An splendid boutique store for your shopping even online where you can find luggage bags and coats valet service at  underneath the Pyramide (Hall Napoleon) and the porte des Lions from 9h to 18h45 and to 21h45 on late night openings.

You have several choices for snacking and eating ,drinking inside the complex such as   Goguette, Starbucks, Café Diane, Café Mollien, Comptoir du Louvre, Paul, Denon and Richelieu counters, Terrase de Pomone, and Amorino ice cream, all detail in English here : Official Louvre museum cafes and restaurants

An splendid boutique store for your shopping even online where you can find many nice souvenirs and support for the museum with your purchases. For your shopping even online here : Boutique des Musées on the Louvre

And this is the official site of the Louvre museum in English: Musée du Louvre

As well as the city of Paris tourist office on the Louvre museumParis tourist office on the Louvre museum

Just my touch, the webpage of the Friends of the Louvre museum; many benefits you too can help out: Amis du Louvre

Again, one post,2 3 4 will not do justice to this marvel of our world, I did my small part in sharing it with my readers, firends and family. Hope you enjoy the Louvre museum or Musée du Louvre as we do. Always looking forward to be back!

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

Tags: , ,
May 25, 2020

Church Saint Gervais-Saint Protais , Paris

In walking around my eternal Paris I often wonder how much time will take to catalog it all! I have an extensive library at home on architecture, history, and things to see in Paris in addition to around 100K pictures in cd roms ,external hard drives etc. However, each time I go out amazing things comes to view. A while back , walking the streets around the Hôtel de Ville I saw this church. Mind you, I know what it is but never had the time or effort to stop by. Until then,and now will like to tell you a bit more on the Saint Gervais-Saint Protais Church , briefly….

The Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Church, located opposite the Paris City/Town Hall,across La Poste (post office) would benefit from being better known. It is indeed one of the most beautiful in Paris, with remarkable Renaissance stained glass!. Conceived by the wardens of the parish as a recasting and an extension of a previous consecrated church in 1420, it took almost one hundred and fifty years to build it. The chapels of the choir were first erected to the north, that of the axis, then those to the south. It was then refitted the central vessel of the choir. The western facade, where the three classical orders are imposed, was not completed until 1621. This facade served as a model for other Parisian churches. During the French revolution, Saint-Gervais will remain closed for a few years. It is reopened under the Directory and will suffer little from the turmoil. In 1802, it regained its status as a Catholic parish.It should be added that the church underwent extensive restoration at the start of the 21C.

The architect of Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Church remains unknown. Anyway, the Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais Church has a narrow nave, marked by a very studied slenderness effect. Saint-Gervais is part of the history of Renaissance churches in Paris, in the flamboyant Gothic style. The 19C it has adorned its numerous chapels with murals that the exiguity of the architecture or the reflections of the light do not always allow to appreciate in good conditions. In the choir of the 16C stalls will delight the visitor with their variety of scenes from everyday life and small trades on the mercies. On the second level of the nave and the choir, magnificent and large canopies from the 16C illuminate the church. The stained glass windows of the Chapel of the Virgin and the famous stained glass window of the Wisdom of Solomon in a chapel south of the ambulatory. Note that the old white glasses of the lost canopies have been replaced by creations by modern artists. As for worship, since 1975, the Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais Church is no longer parish, but assigned to the monastic liturgies of the Fraternities of Jerusalem.

paris

The exterior of Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais Church shows the church is almost entirely hidden by so-called perimeter-Saint-Gervais buildings. To the south, a narrow passage runs along the wall without the possibility of retreating. There remains the apse and the facade. Fortunately the facade is worthy of praise. It is the first erected in classical style in Paris. It is 1616 and this facade is an addition to the already built church. The architect therefore attaches its facade to the Gothic nave by creating an additional span. The two ends are closed by a chapel in an ogival quarter circle. The discerning eye immediately sees there the three classic orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The first level accommodates four pairs of columns. These pairs are repeated on the second level, only enriched by two niches housing the statues of the two legendary Saints Gervais and Protais. The Ionic order of the second level is crowned by Saint Matthew and Saint John. The elegance of the facade would only be a word without the beautiful slenderness of the third level. The Corinthian order occupies only the central part. Two pairs of columns surround a large canopy, the whole is surmounted by a curved pediment, hollowed out in its center. The facade of Saint-Gervais, which will serve as a model in France and Europe, heralds the arrival of the Baroque!.

Some details of the interior beautifully architecturally done that I like are.

The baptismal font Chapel dates from the beginning of the 17C. Its existence is due to the creation of the west facade, built from 1616 to 1621 in front of the church. There is a Chapel commemorating the catastrophe of March 29, 1918. At the beginning of 1918, the Brest-Litovsk armistice enabled Germany to launch a vast offensive in the West. The Germans were approaching Paris. Towards Laon, with cannons installed on rail, they began to bomb Paris. On March 29, a large caliber shell fell on the nave of Saint-Gervais. The church, where the Good Friday Mass was to begin, was packed. The shell punctured part of the vault which collapsed on the faithful, killing 89 people and wounding 90 others. The base of the main altar houses a copy of the Dormition of the Virgin. This work, dating from the 13C, is located in the base of the altar in the north side Chapel of Saint-Laurent. On both sides of the altar take place the two wooden statues of Gervais and Protais, carved around 1620.

paris

The stained glass window of the Wisdom of Solomon c.1531; it is one of the most beautiful Renaissance stained glass windows in Paris .The state of conservation of this stained glass window is so exceptional that experts from the 20C took original pieces for 19C restorations. The Judgment is spread over four lancets and consists of only one scene. It is a so-called unified canopy and, in 1531, it was even one of the first unified canopies posed in Paris. The author of the stained glass rest unknown.  The Chapelle de Brégy chapel , apart from three large murals , the Brégy chapel houses the fragment of the funerary monument of Michel Le Tellier, a 17C work designed after the drawings of Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Nearby, you can also admire three prayers: those of the Potier family, husband, wife and son. The two windows are modern. The artist Sylvie Gaudin made a total of five very futuristic representations of the major themes of Christianity (Nativity, Crucifixion, Pentecost, etc.). The Chapelle de la Piéta is on the north side, very well lit by two white glass windows, offers a very beautiful Pieta surrounded by two angels in adoration. also chiseled a beautiful Ecce Homo, rich in draperies. Finally enriched the walls with four beautiful murals including The Works of Mercy and Jesus and the Evangelists showing the Evangelists writing under the inspiration of Christ. One of the two windows has a remnant of Renaissance stained glass in the tympanum. It illustrates the martyrdom of Saint James.

The Chapelle de la Vierge with great depth, the chapel of the axis of Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais Church was completed in 1517. The chapel of the Virgin is an artistic center of the Church of Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais. The Renaissance left the overall architecture and stained glass there, the 19C enriched it with paintings, an altarpiece and a statue of the Virgin. The three axial canopies, dated 1517, year of completion of the chapel, and which illustrate scenes from the life of the Virgin, 19C paintings illustrate scenes from the life of the Virgin as well as virtues. Let me add that the stained glass windows to the north show a remnant of the Tree of Jesse from the 16C with the Virgin and the patriarchs Isaac and Abraham. This Tree was partially completed in the 19C when David, Jacob and Solomon were added. The keystone of the Choir bears the date of 1540. The large canopies therefore had to be put in place after this date, that is to say around the year 1550. The large canopies of Saint-Gervais in the nave and the choir of Saint-Gervais offer, in their upper parts, a magnificent panorama of stained glass windows from the Renaissance period.  The gallery organ of Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais Church is a unique specimen in Paris of organs from the 16C and 17C. First built in the south transept in 1601, the large buffet dates from 1601. It was decorated in 1759.

Some webpages to help you enjoy this wonderful church are

Fraternity of Jerusalem of St Gervais, Paris in French: Fraternity of Jerusalem on the St Gervais St Protais Church

Catholic Paris on Ch St Gervais St Protais in French:  Catholic Paris on St Gervais St Protais Church

The tourist office of Paris on St Gervais St Protais Church in English: Tourist office of Paris on St Gervais St Protais Church

And there you go folks, another wonderful monument to visit while in Paris, the list is endless but I am working on it, hope you enjoy it and follow me along! The St Gervais St Protais Church of Paris is commonly just call the St Gervais. And I know need to work on those pictures ::)

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

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: