Paris,it’s Paris, and with company better!

And I am updating this post for the memories and the friendships one can make in travel forums. I was heavily involved in the forum of many from less known to the world known and over the years I gather some virtual friends and sometimes met them in Paris or Vannes or Versailles. I like to bring one memorable encounter to life in my blog today.

I was to meet a couple from the state of  Georgia USA in Paris that have met thru the travel forums of Virtual Tourist (now part of Tripadvisor) way back in June 2015!

And already by Paris myself with my dear late wife Martine we took advantage to meet the couple. We arrive by car at Gare Saint Lazare and left our car there, we met our friends by the valises statue. If you buy in advance the tariffs is half price from 28€ per day to 14,20€!!! I do it all the time all over at Neoparking ; this has become parking AI now and the Saint Lazare parking is part of the network EFFIA new webpage:

Paris gare saint lazare front 2 apr12

I first took them to Mount Valerien to see the monument to the fallen and the American cemetery there, in addition to the wonderful views all over Paris, the best site to see in Paris! We walked a lot and they were a bit surprise of how much walking we did! I have this souvenir photo

We first, walked out into Paris with the Georgia couple in tow by going to one of my favorite off the hidden path places in Paris. The Chapelle Expiatoire,(see post) at rue Pasquier just walking down from Saint Lazare cross Haussmann and there it is. Encircle by a nice small park garden this is the old cementary of Madeleine, where during the French revolution many were literally dumped here such as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette!

The cementary was open already since 1721, but more fame if any from the French revolution period of 1792-1794. Others dumped here were Charlotte Corday and the Girondins deputies. Also, Duchess d’Angoulême oldest daughter of Louis XVI.

During the the end of 1814 once the revolution losses some of its grips, the monarchy tried one more time to come back. this is what happened when a descendent brother still alive (after the oldest son of Louis XVI was mysteriously disappear and never to be found again,Louis XVII) , the brother came back as Louis XVIII, and order the remains of his brother and M-A removed from here and buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis where most of the kings/queens of France are buried now.

Louis XVIII decided to erect a chapel as the same spot where his brother and sister in law were dumped. The first stone for this chapel was put on January 21 1815, the anniversary of the death of Louis XVI;and the building was done in 1826 under the reign of Charles X. It was a controversial spot for many many years, lots of politics and hassle , many times decided to demolished it.  Finally , ironically it was declared a National Monument of France just at the beginning of 1914….

You entered through a large pavilion that takes you to the center of the chapel showing the wishes of Louis XVIII to erect this monument. Once in the vestibule you go through some steps then take you to the inside garden. Here you have the campo santo or saintly field, a garden where it was the execution point of the place during the French revolution, now a sacred spot. You have huge stones as a symbol of souvenir of the courageous Swiss guards executed in 1792 while the arrestation of the king and queen at the Palais des Tuileries (today destroyed but a cause is on to rebuild it, I was on it, but lots of problems raising money). The old site has now been disconnected really a pity.

You enter the Chapelle with a wonderful inmense dome with religious connotations such as the passion of Christ, Eucharism, trinity, and the tables of the law or commandments. At the entry it shows the transition of the bones from here to the basilica of Saint Denis. You have statues in white marbre representing Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.The will of Louis XVI is written on the black pedestal of the statue. Also, the last letter written to the sister of Louis XVI, madame Elizabeth is written on the marbre (sister also guillotine in 1794, just for being the sister),you can see here house in Versailles 73 rue de Paris). The crypt is reach by stairs at the end of the chapel the black marble altar is where the exact location the bones of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were found. There is a confessional sacristy and lateral galleries of columns. The whole place small park and chapel is what today it is call square Louis XVI created in 1862.

The official webpage of the Chapelle Expiatoire

From here I had promise my friends will take them to another of old job hunts, where we spent many years of good cheers and many family vacation, The Le Grand Hotel intercontinental next to the marvelous Café de la Paix and Opéra Garnier.  I was met there by my old boss!, who as usual took my family and friends on a mini tour of the salon Opéra of the hotel ,historical monument of France, and done by Charles Garnier, the same as the Opéra Garnier, and many others. Also, into the Café de la Paix another historical monument of France where it was reminded the ceilings are worth more than those in the salon inside the hotel. And I worked here in finance management!!!

In all, a wonderful day in Paris, once again ! You are never far from grandeur ,beauty, and good cheers while in Paris. Thanks for the good company of my friends from Georgia USA, and from my old boss who still is as gentle as when worked under him. Merci beaucoup JC.

We departed at the Gare Saint Lazare, and we took our car back home. My friends continue their vacation in Paris. Nice memories indeed and looking forward to more, even at wordpress. Hope you enjoy the post!

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

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