The inner gates or portes of Paris!

Let me tell you Paris does not only had old gates around its walls but also it had gates inside city limits. I like to update this memorable post on the inner gates of Paris. Paris was surrounded by them and more or less the gates of today which are name in the boulevard périphérique are from this a reminder. However, there are still two gates in city proper Paris that are worth a detour to see them,enjoy the area and more. Well how about in a Monday talk about archways or gates in Paris, yes the city has two still standing in excellent condition. Lets talk a bit about them, and you should glazed at them as you walk by,and do walk in Paris its glorious. The portes de Saint Martin and Saint Denis. Another wonderful symbols of Paris.

The porte de Saint Martin ,was built in 1674 on orders of king Louis XIV to honor his victories at the Rhine and Franche Comté . It is found at the crossing of rue Saint Martin and rue du Faubourg Saint Martin in the 10éme arrondissement or district of Paris and the Grands Boulevards (blvd Saint Denis and Saint Martin), done ordered by Colbert to open up these boulevard while taking away some fortifications there. It is easily reachable on metro Strasbourg-Saint Denis ,line 4. The archway or gate or porte, is like an arc de triomphe of 18 meters high ( 59 feet) built with calcaric stone and marble. At the northern extremes you have sculpture on it the taking of Limbourg in 1675 as a woman seating near a resting lion. Then the defeat of the Germans , Louis XIV in Mars! wearing the emblem of France and resting on a germanic eagle to protect the family and an old man. At the extreme south ,you have the breaking up of the Triple Alliance, Louis XIV  as Hercules semi nude wearing its hairpiece and extending his body to fall at the feet of Acheloos and Géryon., The taking of Besançon  and again Louis XIV mounted  on a tree standing to a palmier and olive tree while receiving the keys from a woman having the knees to the floor.


The porte de Saint Denis, was done in 1672 ordered by king Louis XIV. It is best serve by the metro Strasbourg-Saint Denis, line 4. It is found at the crossing of the axis rue Saint Denis with rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, and the Grands Boulevards  (blvd Bonne Nouvelle and Saint Denis).  The gate archway or porte was also done to honor the victories at the Rhine and Franche-Comté under king Louis XIV, on the site of previous fortifications that were replace to allow the boulevards to be built by Colbert.  The dimensions are 24,65 meters wide( 81 ft)  by 25 meters high (82.5 ft) , and 5 meters thick (16.5 ft), the arch is 15,35 meters under to the top ( 50.7 ft)  and 8 meters to the bottom of the arch ( 26.4 ft). The small portes or gates have  3,30 by 1,70 meters (10.9 x 5.6 ft). The porte is a arc de triomphe modeled after that of the arc de Titus in Rome (see post). The description is of a great arch and two small doors link to footing glue to right footed bolders. On the extreme south it is at the same height the pedestals and the arch,you have the obelisks loaded with trophies at their feet  you see two sculptures seating representing the united provinces.  On top of the archway you see bas-reliefs decorative figures such as the Passage of the Rhine with allegoric figures of the Rhine and the defeated Holland on the trails of a sad woman. At the extreme north, you have Louis XIV in the path of the city of Maastricht. In the front of the archway you see the inscription in bronze as « Ludovico magno » (To Louis the Great alluring to Louis XIV).


Both of these gates were renovated last in 1998 ,and they look fabulous. The area in between is very bohemian ,nice, great to walk.  Some of the nice places to eat in this area, one of first ones visited in Paris back in 1990 was Les Comptoir des Artistes (then chez les artistes), 25 rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, for its lamb chops. Now unfortunately like many, closed; here for the memories , and Resto Da Mimmo, just Italian great at 39 blvd Magenta, tiramisu and girasole at tartufo is great stuff, (giant raviolis stuff with truffes), still open! Webpage:

By the Porte Saint Martin, you are well worth the trip to the theater of Saint Martin a wonderfully historical theater in Paris (see post). Further on the history of Paris in French but worth the effort to translate on the gates of Saint Martin and Saint Denis.

The history of Paris on Porte Saint Denis:

The history of Paris on Porte Saint Martin:

The Paris tourist office on the Porte Saint Martin

There you go folks, gorgeous Paris and another dandy monuments to indulge yourselves in your walks in the city of lights. Enjoy the Porte Saint Denis and Porte Saint Martin of Paris!

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

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