Archive for December 29th, 2021

December 29, 2021

The Banque de France in Paris!

This is a classic building of gorgeous architecture and wonderful history I passed by it several times. See my other posts on what is on the square or Place du Général-Catroux in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. However, let me tell you a bit of an off the beaten path monument , the banque de France in Paris!

A bit on its history I like

The Banque de France is the central bank of France. It is a bicentennial institution, with private capital when it was created on January 18, 1800 under the Consulate (Napoléon), then became the property of the French State on January 1, 1946 when it was nationalized by Charles de Gaulle. Independent since 1994, the Banque de France became a member of the Eurosystem and of the European System of Central Banks in 1999. Its three main missions are monetary strategy, financial stability and services to the economy. However, since the creation of the Eurosystem, the European Central Bank has taken on much more importance in matters of monetary strategy.

On February 13, 1800, the first General Meeting of the Bank’s shareholders was held, including the First Consul (Napoléon ), his mother, the Beauharnais and the Murats. It acquires a clientele by merging with the Caisse des comptes sociaux (social savings bank), Napoléon Bonaparte was its first shareholder, In 1811, the Banque de France set up its headquarters in the Hôtel de Toulouse, the former private mansion of the Count of Toulouse, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, rue de la Vrillière, in the 1éme arrondissement of Paris, However, since 1997, the Banque de France can no longer be legally qualified. Indeed, it is no longer under the supervision of a French administrative authority, but of the European Central Bank, at least as regards to the metropolitan territory as well as the overseas departments and territories having the European statute of the outermost regions of the European Union.

In order to protect the gold reserves from the Nazis during WWII, they were transferred out of the headquarters in 1933, a few tons were sent to branches located near the coast, to Brest and to Toulon, then in 1938, 600 tons were transported by cruisers of the French Navy to the Federal Reserve of the United States. Finally, between May 17 and June 23, 1940, the transfer of the remaining gold which was transported by 35 convoys of 300 trucks then by ships in more than 20,000 packages and crates, mainly to Dakar, the West Indies and the Americas, The transfer of 400 tons to Canada is carried out aboard the liner SS Pasteur ,and the same ship transported to Halifax in Canada, 213 tons of the reserves of the Bank of France which are sheltered at the Royal Bank of Canada at Ottawa , Also, in June 18, 1940, 736 tons of gold reserves of the Bank of France leave from Brest towards Dakar in AOF. 275 tons of gold from the National Bank of Belgium and the Bank of Poland will join the trip aboard the auxiliary cruiser Victor-Schœlcher , The gold reserves will be repatriated to France in 1946,

Head office in Paris 39, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs 75001 with postal address: 31, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs 75049 Paris Cedex 01, Opening hours Monday to Tuesday: from 9h to 12h30 ; only for transactions on banknotes and collection of coins and Thursday: from 9h to 12h30 p.m, only for transactions on banknotes and collection of collector coins.

The official Banque de France

However, the most interesting thing about this post and building is the creation of the Le Cité de l’Économie or Citéco , a museum dedicated to the economy . it was open to the public on June 14, 2019 ,This educational venue, aimed at explaining the concepts and mechanisms of the economy, is funded by sponsorship from the Banque de France. It is housed in the Hotel Gaillard, located at 1, place du Général-Catroux, a historic neo-Renaissance monument, located in the 17éme arrondissement in Paris .This neo-Renaissance mansion, whose construction was completed in 1882 , The hôtel Gaillard was sold to the Banque de France in 1919 , and was the most beautiful branch of the Banque de France. I passed by it several times before the museum was open so the picture.

paris banque de france old 17eme 1 pl du gen cartroux feb20

The Cité de l’Economie is the first museum in Europe devoted to economic mechanisms. It allows you to discover the concepts and economic issues in an interactive and fun way, through a scenographic space of 2,400 m2. This place of life and exchanges also offers thematic meetings, shows and temporary exhibitions to approach the economy differently and make it accessible to all.  The spaces that can be privatized are :

Les Toits Malesherbes or roofstop of Malesherbes, located at the top of the monument, the Toits Malesherbes consist of an interior and an exterior: a modern room divided into two zones (240 m2 + 95 m2), unfolding around a 200 m2 terrace. m2 with a view out of the ordinary.

The Salle des Coffres or vault room: thousands of safes line the walls of this room, which once housed the most valuable goods of bank branch customers. Today, it has become one of the museum’s must-see rooms, thanks to its fascinating numismatic collections. Protected by a moat and a modern drawbridge, this prestigious room is full of surprises.

The Tourelle Space or tower space: this old courtyard has been transformed into a warm interior space thanks to a contemporary glass roof. Adorned with a sublime historic turret, this room has a vast overhead light.

The Monceau Auditorium: equipped with 95 places (+ 3 places for people in wheelchairs), this modern auditorium is equipped with a video protection and sound system.

The meeting rooms ,the Chopin lounge, and the North or South workshop can be rented in combination with the other spaces. Good to know, for lovers of cultural heritage, Citéco offers tours on the history of the place and its architecture.

The official Citeco economic museum

There you go folks, a unique monument in my eternal Paris and now open to the public with guided tours on the economic working of the European Union, educational and on a historic building to boot. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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December 29, 2021

Admiral de Coligny of Paris!

Many folks passed by the monument and try to figure who it is in Paris! There were even guessing post in a popular travel forum as to who it was! Well I happened to passed by there quite often while working in Paris, and have a picture. Enough to write this post and tell you a bit more on who was Admiral de Coligny of Paris! Oh this is in rue de Rivoli corner with rue de l’Oratoire ,1ér arrondissement, across the street from the Louvre.

And of course, as I am an amateur of history and we have plenty in our belle France; let me tell briefly on the Admiral. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Gaspard de Coligny was born in Châtillon-sur-Loing (today Châtillon-Coligny) and died in Paris, assassinated during the Saint-Barthélemy massacre. Count of Coligny, baron of Beaupont and Beauvoir, Montjuif, Roissiat, Chevignat and other places, lord of Châtillon, admiral of France, he is one of the best known members of the house of Coligny, which extincts in 1694. He is the son of Gaspard Ier de Coligny, Marshal of France under François Ier, and his wife Louise de Montmorency. He is the brother of Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon and François d’Andelot.

In 1533, the year of the schism between Rome and England, Francis I married his son Henry, the Dauphin, to Pope Clement VII’s niece, Catherine de Medici. Grateful, the Pope offered France seven cardinal positions, of which Odet de Coligny, who was barely 16, was one of the beneficiaries. During this time, Coligny continued his studies in the company of the king’s children. In 1542, the Colignys were going to make their debut. The war declared against Charles Quint, Gaspard campaigned in Luxembourg, in the County of Flanders, and in Italy where he participated in the victory without a day after Cerisoles. Peace signed with the emperor in 1544, he took part in the naval offensive commanded by Claude d’Annebault against the English. Several times wounded in these combats, he distinguished himself by his daring. Peace was signed with Henry VIII of England in 1546 leaving Coligny discharge of duties,

King Henri II had as one of his first acts to recall the uncle of Gaspard, the constable of Montmorency. Gaspard, for his part, was appointed ordinary gentleman of the king’s chamber and decorated with the Order of Saint-Michel. England was then eyeing the throne of Scotland, which Mary Stuart had inherited on the death of King James V of Scotland in 1542. A marriage with Edward VI of England, who had just succeeded Henry VIII who died in 1547, would have united the crowns of England and Scotland, which the Guises, in particular François, uncle of Marie Stuart by his sister Marie, wanted at no cost. Coligny was part of the delegation that went to London to negotiate peace. On returning to Paris, judging himself poorly rewarded for the efforts he had made in the service of the king, Coligny retired to his land and took advantage of his free time to write a very rigorous military code which aimed to moralize the behavior of the troops.  The king soon recalled him and Coligny set out again on the campaign. Removed from the siege of Metz by François de Guise, he contributed to Renty’s victory, notably seizing the Spanish artillery. He was appointed admiral of France in 1552 and governor of Picardy.  In 1557, after the breaking of the truce of Vaucelles passed with Charles Quint, the imperial army, led by the duke Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy, besieged the city of Saint-Quentin, defended by Coligny. After long resistance, he had to surrender on September 27. The battle of Saint-Quentin was a very heavy defeat for France: it led to the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.

At court, he urged Catherine de Medici to adopt a policy of conciliation with regard to the Reformation. Originally, very moderate in his adherence to the Protestant Reformation, he refused, out of loyalty to the king, the path of violence and condemned the conspiracy of Amboise. But, weary of court intrigues and removed from power by the Guises, he retired regularly to his home in Châtillon-sur-Loing; in this retreat, reading the books of the innovators changed his religious opinions, and at the instigation of his wife and his brother Andelot, he converted to Protestantism.

In 1562, when war broke out between the Protestant party and the Catholic party, Coligny joined forces with the Prince de Condé. Having difficulty maintaining an army, he negotiated financial aid with Queen Elizabeth I of England and was led to cede the port of Le Havre to her in the Treaty of Hampton Court. He took part in the Battle of Dreux which marked the defeat of the Protestant army against the royal army. With the authorization of King Charles IX, he chose the Huguenot captain Jean Ribault in 1562 to establish a colony in Fort Caroline, Florida (today Jacksonville) with 150 of his co-religionists. French Florida, after two unsuccessful attempts, only lived from 1562 to 1565.

And with Louis I of Condé, François de Coligny and Guyonne de Rieux, he was considered one of the instigators of the surprise of Meaux in 1567, an attempt by the Protestants to seize King Charles IX of France and the queen’s mother Catherine de Medici. The third religious war saw the defeats accumulate: first Jarnac (March 13, 1569), where Condé was assassinated. Then, despite the victory of La Roche-l’Abeille, he wasted time at the siege of Poitiers because his unpaid mercenaries wanted booty, and he had to lift the siege before being beaten and wounded at Moncontour (October 3 1569), where he was defeated by the Duke of Anjou, the future Henri III.  Coligny then fled south with his troops, escaped Monluc and Montmorency-Damville, and joined the army of viscounts in Languedoc. He was then able to regain the initiative, raised troops, plundered the Catholic villages, took Saint-Étienne, won the victory of Arnay-le-Duc and went back in 1570 to La Charité-sur-Loire, thus threatening Paris. The king yielded, and it was then the peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (August 8, 1570).

On August 22, 1572, shortly after the marriage of Henri de Navarre (future Henri IV), Charles de Louviers, Lord of Maurevert, who had killed the Calvinist leader Vaudrez de Mouy in 1569, shot and wounded Coligny from a house belonging to a faithful des Guise, the canon of Villemur, former tutor to the Duke of Guise (an assassination attempt). Having previously sent his surgeon Ambroise Paré, Charles IX, accompanied by his mother and his brother, went to the bedside of the injured, promising him justice. But the assassination of all the Protestant leaders was then decided and, on the night of August 23-24, 1572, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre took place. Three lords ,the Duke of Guise, the Duke of Aumale and the half-brother of King Henri, Grand Prior of France were responsible for organizing the assassination of the admiral at his home, at 144 rue de Béthisy. Coligny was finished off in his bed, with a dagger, by Charles Danowitz dit Besme, a captain from Bohemia; his body was thrown out the window, gutted, emasculated and beheaded in the courtyard, again by Besme. The body was then carried to the Seine river, before being dragged through the streets by children and then hanged from the gallows of Montfaucon, place of ordinary executions, where it was exhibited, hanged by the feet.

The axis of the Louvre Oratory passes through the center of the square courtyard. At the beginning of the 17C, Louis XIII realized that the Louvre, under construction, did not have a chapel. He then came up with the idea of ​​having this role play in the church that Jacques Lemercier was building for the Order of the Oratory. The church and the palace were ultimately never reunited. Under Napoleon I, the chapel will become a Protestant temple, but its name, Temple of the Oratory and its orientation recalls its historical link with the Louvre. One of the best known members of the illustrious house of Coligny. Gaspard Ier de Coligny, Marshal of France under François Ier, and his wife Louise de Montmorency. He is the brother of Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon and François d’Andelot. In his honor was inaugurated, on July 24, 1889, the statue of the Admiral, erected, rue de Rivoli, at the bedside of the Oratory of the Louvre, a former Roman Catholic church made available to the Reformation cult. by Napoleon I on February 23, 1811.

paris gaston d orleans rue de rivoli c2009

Gaspard first married, in 1547, Charlotte de Laval, daughter of Count Guy XVI of Laval, in the chapel of the castle of Montmuran in Ille-et-Vilaine (dept35). Charlotte de Laval died in 1568. They had eight children including: Louise de Coligny, wife of Charles de Téligny, then William I of Orange-Nassau, stadtholder of Holland, mother of Frédéric-Henri of Orange-Nassau; François de Coligny, Charles de Coligny, who became Catholic and joined the League camp. In his second marriage, on March 25, 1571 in La Rochelle, he married Jacqueline de Montbel, Countess of Entremont and of Nottage. He died assassinated in 1572, while Jacqueline was pregnant with Béatrice, who was born 4 months after the death of her father.

The Oratory of the Louvre on monument to Coligny :

The Musée d’Orsay to our great men, on Coligny

The Paris tourist office on the oratory of the Louvre

There you go folks, a dandy in my Paris,and now you know the story. I love these spots all over Paris; they are just so many will need time and space! Hope you enjoy the post on the monument to Coligny, and do stop by it while in Paris; its a great area!

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

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December 29, 2021

Memories of shopping in Paris!

I found two new pictures not in my blog, and felled they need to be here. This blog is the story of my life and its all here if you look… It takes a lot of travels, already 81 countries, working in 4 citizen of 4, and other things. Some of the nice things happening to me was to work in Paris while living in Versailles in my early entry into France, a citizen since 2000.

I like to tell you briefly on two unique stores found all over France ,but these in Paris dear to my memories. Hope you enjoy my story on the Orange and Monoprix stores of which I am a client.

The Orange telephone, internet etc store at Place de la Madeleine was unique because for a couple of years passed by it every day to work and back. So very handy to do all my telecom needs there. Over the years , I have suggested the store to many visitors looking to hook up cellular/mobile phones to use while in France. The staff there was very knowledgeable and spoked English/Spanish!

paris orange store madeleine mar13

Orange is a telecommunications chain providing Internet and telephone services and portable devices. My fav store while working in Paris was at 16 place de la madeleine,it was the biggest in the city and easily connection right there with metro lines 8, 12, and 14. Just walking by or up from the metro station the store was on your back. Now the store is gone, here for the memories, and in its place there is a Café Pouchkine but also read it is under renovations until May 29 2022. The faces of Paris are changing…

The Orange store locator for Paris

Another mythical store of mine in Paris was Monoprix. I have already a historical account of the stores in my other post on the store in Vannes. Briefly, they have been around for more than 80 years, and has maintained its ambition to make the good and the beautiful accessible to all. It shows a wide choice of quality products: food, drinks, beauty, hygiene. Also find an exclusive fashion collection.

I have passed by this particular store at 51 Rue Réaumur, however news made me come back for it while still working in Paris. The Monoprix -Réaumur-Sébastopol, in the 2éme arrondissement, which is located on the site of the old medieval hospital of the Trinity, made it possible to discover in 2015 many pits and human bones linked to the hospital cemetery ! This became news all over Paris so obviously was there so took a peek to where it was allowed, far away, A bit of history on the building is interesting for the architecture and history of it that I like.

paris monoprix front by reaumur sebastopol burials below found sept15

The Monoprix Réaumur-Sébastopol store, is in a former Félix-Potin building, and was built on the site of the former Trinité hospital, founded in the 12C and destroyed at the end of the 18C during the French revolution. In 2015, they have found eight mass graves, Seven of them received between five and twenty-five individuals. The eighth, much larger, counts one hundred and fifty deceased who seem to have died on the same date and bear witness to a crisis of mortality whose cause will have to be found. Many diseases going on in Paris at the time.

The building itself is with a polychrome corner rotunda, decorative elements in the round: garlands of fruit, caduceus, attributes of Hermes. Former headquarters of Félix Potin chain stores. Félix Potin opened his first store in Paris in 1844. In 1860, he inaugurated the first large store on two levels, boulevard de Sébastopol in Paris. After the death of Félix Potin in 1871, his heirs registered the Félix Potin brand in 1886. Everything followed and success grew. A Félix Potin factory is built in La Villette. It will be enlarged in 1864 and will include a distillery and a chocolate factory. The store on boulevard Malesherbes will open in 1864 and the home delivery service will be put into service in 1870 , Currently the ground floor (1 fl US) and the first floor (2nd fl US) are occupied by the Monoprix store.The store can be reach on Metro Réaumur-Sébastopol of lines 3 and 4 as well as bus lines 38/39/47 Réaumur-Sébastopol stop/arrêt.

The Monoprix store Réamur-Sébastopol:

There you go folks, a dandy memory lane reminder of two nice stores in Paris , that I still shop elsewhere. One more reason to come to Paris, shopping is a delight!! Hope you enjoy this nostalgic post from me, and thanks for reading me since November 2010!

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

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