Archive for December 30th, 2021

December 30, 2021

AFP ,Agence France Presse in Paris!

Well here is another of my off the beaten path road/or foot warrior thrills of my eternal Paris. I have been by here lots of time as had many functions in the across the street Palais Brongniart (see post) and saw the building. Weird at first, need to look again , as have heard of AFP but never figure where they were! my gosh they were just across the street from my management conventions !!! So, let me tell you a bit about AFP or Agence France Presse; it that can be had guided visits.

AFP is a global news agency, providing rapid, comprehensive and verified coverage of current events and issues that shape our daily lives. With an unrivaled network of journalists, deployed in 151 countries, AFP is also a world leader in digital investigation. It has, they say 2,400 employees, of 100 different nationalities, cover the world in six languages, with a unique quality of multimedia production in video, text, photo and computer graphics. Cross-checking and disseminating information, in a neutral, reliable form that can be used directly by all types of media (radio , television, written press, websites) as well as with large companies and administrations.

Paris AFP agence France Presse bdlg 13 pl de la bourse sep15

AFP took over the premises and customers of the Havas company founded in 1836 by Charles-Louis Havas, son of the royal inspector of the Librairie de Rouen (76)  and who became a cotton merchant after the French revolution. The agency moved to 111-15 place de la Bourse, in the Champeaux restaurant building, then faced competition from American agencies, before taking advantage in the 1920s of the financial advertising boom.

It was only under the Nazis occupation that a change took place: the agency’s advertising sector became a mixed company with German participation and kept the name Havas; the information branch is nationalized and is now called the French Information Office (OFI).  During the Liberation of Paris, August 20, 1944, journalists members of the Resistance seize the OFI, five days before the arrival of Gen Leclerc’s tanks, They issued the first dispatch of a free agency which would take the name of Agence France-Presse (AFP) on September 30, 1944. For its part, the Havas advertising agency is nationalised.

AFP takes over the OFI building, created by Vichy from the Havas agency, which the occupier had transformed into a propaganda center, in defiance of a history dating back to 1835. AFP also inherited structures born under the occupation: the French Information Agency (AFI) launched in London in 1940, the France-Africa Agency in Algiers in 1942, and the Information and Documentation Agency (AID), created in 1944.

AFP wanted to become autonomous, rather than a semi-governmental agency. This wish was granted on January 10, 1957, thanks to the unanimous vote by parliament of a specific law on its status. The former resistant Jean Marin, first president elected according to this law, directs AFP until 1975, developing the network, the technical means and an ever wider clientele. AFP is one of the four world news agencies with the American Bloomberg, Associated Press (AP) and the British Reuters.

It is located at 11-15 Place de la Bourse, 2éme arrondissement of Paris across from the Palais Brongniart (see post), You can reach it on metro line 3 Bourse, and on bus lines 20/29/39/74/85 arrêt/stop Bourse.

The official AFP webpage in English :

There you go folks, another dandy off the beaten path monument that is right smack in a wonderful neighborhood of Paris with plenty to see, shop, and eat! Hope you enjoy the post on AFP as I. Nice to have found it indeed

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

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December 30, 2021

Musée National de la Legion d’Honneur et Ordres de Chevalerie of Paris!

And as the wintery weather continues chez nous ;I like to update and bring you back into my eternal Paris. There are no words to describe the city, why bothered , millions have tried and there is always something new.  And , there is always something old seldom seen or off the beaten path of Paris. This is the case of the Musée National de la Legion d’Honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, something like the National Museum of the legion of honor and the orders of chivalry. Let me tell you something about it ok.

I have to admit, never thought of coming here until my oldest son got a training job on his restaurant degree at the Maison des Polytechniciens , a very presitigious school nearby , which students often call the X , and even after trips to the Musée d’Orsay right across it, never had ventured here before. Well so much to see even if living here ,there is always more and more, more lots more to see. For info the X webpage :

The National Museum of the Legion of Honour and orders of Chivalry , a national Museum of Art and History dedicated to the orders of chivalry and merit, decorations and medals, both French and foreign. It is located in the Hotel de Salm in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris, right across from the Orsay Museum ,and school,

The museum was created on the initiative of General Dubail, Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour, and financed by an open subscription among the legionaries and military medalists, whose success was particularly keen in the United States. It was inaugurated in 1925. The initial nucleus of the collections, composed of the Grand Chancellery Fund, of National Museum deposits, have been added, over time, to numerous donations of collectors , but also donations made by foreign States in order to complete the existing collections , finally prestigious purchases and items.

The museum occupies a modern wing built between 1922 and 1925 on the site of the former stables of the Hotel de Salm, overlooking the forecourt of the Musée d’Orsay. The museum presents its permanent collections on several levels, in thematic areas dedicated to: the history of the palace and the creation of the museum, the chivalrous and religious orders, the French royal orders,  the Legion of Honor, Imperial orders and memories of the first Empire, foreign orders, and  the French orders, decorations and medals of 1789 to the present day.

It is to this day, the only museum dedicated to the Phaleristics ( an auxiliary science of history which studies orders, fraternities, and award items such as medals and other decorations).  The museum regularly organizes large-scale exhibitions, as well as exhibits of interest in orders, decorations and medals. The Phaleristics on the Legion of Honor of France:

Some webpages to help you plan and understand your visit here are:

The official legion of honor museum

The Paris tourist office on the museum :

The Society of Friends of the National Museum of the Legion of Honor and orders of Chivalry was founded in 1970 :

The Association of Ancient Hereditary Honors (AHH), is a non profit association created in 1967 that brings together in a friendly circle families of which at least three consecutive generations were received in the Order of the Legion of Honor.

And one very much on the museum and all over France, Napoleon’s official family webpage

There you go folks ,another nice spot to visit while in Paris, and it should be given more recognition indeed, and more it is so close to the Orsay museum , it should be a 1-2 punch with the National Legion of Honor and Chivalry museum. Hope you enjoy it as I !

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

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December 30, 2021

The old archieves of Paris!!

Now I thought had this one in my blog but after searching could not find anything, pity. It deserves to be in my blog for the memories of family walking in the Marais of Paris. The story is fascinating from the resident of a Duke , to the archieves of Paris to a Jewish museum, this is my eternal Paris. I like to tell you a bit on the old and new archieves of Paris!!

The new archives of Paris are a service of the city of Paris. They are located at 18 boulevard Sérurier, at the end of allée Marius-Barroux, in the 19éme arrondissement of Paris and have an annex ,not open to the public in Villemoisson-sur-Orge. (Essonne 91) This site is served by the metro station Porte des Lilas line 11.

The new archieves building was built in 1989, with two archive silos placed at the rear, marking the verticality, are a landmark in the landscape. Their facade is compact, in washed gravel, punctuated with small holes. To the front are several rooms accessible to the public (including a reading room) with complex geometry. This building holds the territorial archives of the city and the department of Paris (75), the archives of decentralized state services in Paris and Ile-de-France region, as well as private archives. Reading room opening hours: Monday 13h30 to 17h30, Tuesday to Friday 9h30 to 17h30, Saturday 9h30 to 17h

The official archives of Paris how to reach it

The interesting part here is where they were before, right in the Marais of Paris and the building I am familiar with as walked by several times, No need yet to see the archives !! On this old building at 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois 3éme arrondissement, the history tells us that part of the Paris archives disappeared during the fires during the Paris Commune in May 1871, in particular most of the parish and civil status registers ranging from the 16C to 1860. After the renovation of the Hôtel de Saint -Aignan in 1978, the archives of Paris are installed there. They left it at the end of the 1990s for Boulevard Sérurier.See above.

Paris grand archieves de France 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois 3eme

The Hôtel de Saint-Aignan was built in 1644-1650 for Claude de Mesmes, count of Avaux, superintendent of finances of Mazarin, outside the enclosure wall of Philippe-Auguste. In 1688, the hotel was bought by Paul de Beauvilliers, Duke of Saint-Aignan,(therefore the name) who undertook a campaign of renovation and modernization. He converted the first floor into apartments and called on André Le Nôtre to redesign a French garden.

In 1792, during the French revolution, the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan was seized and placed under sequestration. It became the seat of the seventh municipality in 1795, then of the seventh arrondissement until 1823, before being divided into commercial premises of all kinds. By 1842, the hotel was devoted to commerce and small industry, where Jewish artisans who had immigrated from Poland, Romania and Ukraine then lived.  The Hôtel de Saint-Aignan was bought by the City of Paris in 1962 , and assigned to the archives of Paris (see above). A second hotel restoration campaign started in 1991. In 1998, following an initiative by Jacques Chirac when he was the mayor of Paris, the Saint-Aignan hotel was assigned to the installation of a museum dedicated to Jewish civilization: the Museum of Art and History of Judaism. For info, the official Jewish art and history museum of Paris :

The Hôtel de Saint-Aignan had he usual plan of large aristocratic mansions, main building set back from the street, at the end of a large, slightly rectangular courtyard and a single wing back to the right with a large gallery upstairs. On the ground floor of the right wing were the kitchens, refurbished today to accommodate workshops, as well as the dining room, now attached to the MAHJ bookstore (the Jewish museum) , which has an exceptional fresco decor. On the left, a trompe-l’oeil facade, known as a “fox”, which in fact hides a wall resting on the outline of the enclosure wall of Philippe Auguste. On the same principle of continuity, the four facades which frame the courtyard are identical, not particularly distinguishing the main building, contrary to custom. A passage leads to the small farmyard, where sheds and stables had a direct exit onto the street.

There you go folks, a dandy story of my eternal Paris me think. One of the glorious benefits of walking the streets of the most beautiful city in the world!!! The building is nice, architecture and history galore, and the museum educational. Hope you enjoy this small tour of the off the beaten paths of my Paris.

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

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