Archive for January 19th, 2022

January 19, 2022

Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve of Paris!

Well back to the lonely period we are cruising thru and decided to look back deep into my blog to update some older posts that needs it. After several years, some of these posts gets very updated and the links fade away. Therefore, here is my updated post on the Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve of Paris!

And this is Paris !!! Updating this post as was in Paris and got to do it a while back,  And as it goes there is so much to see here time is not enough! I have passed by this garden several times but never took a picture of it, and it goes on and on of the many places in my belle France that did the same.. However, this is it as walking is sublime and Paris is eternal, walking made me passed by it and voilà this time there is a picture so will tell you about it. The Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve is a special place in Paris , even on a very popular spot it stays an off the beaten path place to visit.   

The Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve or Garden of the fighting me of the Nine is a garden  located in the 4éme arrondissement in the neighborhood of Saint-Merri. The site is accessible by 2, Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville ; Esplanade of la Liberation. To the right on the Seine river side of the Paris city hall.  Covering an area of ​​1,394 m2, it is composed of a central lawn crossed by gravel paths and surrounded by rosebushes; at its ends are groves of trees. There is also a play area for children enrolled at the City Hall nursery, as well as a henhouse and rabbit cages. An equestrian statue, depicts Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants of Paris in the 14C and founding figure of the Paris administration. It was inaugurated in 1888.


This garden honors the fighters of the Nueve, or 9th company, unit of shock of the 2nd armored division of General Leclerc, first arrived at the city hall at the Liberation on August 24, 1944. It was mostly composed of Spanish Republicans who continued their fight in France after the victory of Franco in Spain.

A bit of the history of it I like !

Historically called garden of the City Hall, it is a green space backed by the south facade of the Hôtel de Ville de Paris or  City Hall, along the quai de l’Hôtel de Ville between the rue de Lobau and the forecourt.  It was built on the site of the former rue des Haudriettes. It was formerly the private garden of the prefect of the Seine and the mayor of Paris.

Closed originally to the public, it is now open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, from 9h to the end of the day, since January 24, 2015. In March of the same year, after deliberation of the Paris Council, the King and Queen of Spain Felipe VI and Letizia and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (from Cadiz) ,inaugurated the garden renamed  Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve or Garden of the Fighters of the Nueve (nueve is nine in Spanish), to pay tribute to the Spanish Republicans who participated, within La Nueve division in the Liberation of Paris in August 1944, one of them being the first military officer received by the Resistance fighters at the Hôtel de Ville. Due to train accident in Spain, the inauguration ceremony was postponed until June 3, 2015.  The City of Madrid inaugurated in April 2017 a garden of the same name. The ceremony was chaired by then Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena and the current still Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.  An official ceremony is held every August 24 in memory of the Nueve in the garden, on the occasion of the celebrations of the Liberation of Paris.


Ok so a bit on the Nueve and who were they , worth remembering at least for history lessons sake. As well as to tell the truth on the Liberation of Paris. 

The 9th Company of the March Regiment of Chad, which was itself part of the 2nd Armored Division or Leclerc Division, was nicknamed the Nueve (number nine in Spanish). This company recruited 160 men, including 146 Spanish republicans often anarchists, but also French soldiers, under French command. All had fought during the Liberation of North Africa, then participated in the liberation of France.

Its best known feat is the participation in the liberation of Paris, since the men of the Nueve, preceded by 3 tanks of the 501st RCC, were the first to enter the French capital, the evening of August 24, 1944 with halftracks trucks,  bearing the names of city battles of the Spanish Civil War, Teruel, Guadalajara,  and Belchite, accompanied by 3 tanks of the 501st RCC,  with French city names such as Montmirail, Champaubert and Romilly, and elements of engineering. Most Spaniards joined the Leclerc units. It had 16,000 men, including 2,000 Spaniards at the beginning of 1943. They were particularly numerous in the 1st company, 3rd Battalion and the 9th company, which earned it the name of Nueve or La Española (the Spaniards). The Spaniards of La Nueve  as said were 146 when they landed in Normandy, there were only 16 on their arrival at Hitler’s bunker in Berlin. 

he city of Paris and the garden or Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve:

And now you know a bit of history which many people do not know. In fact, when years back Le Figaro newspaper in celebrating the liberation of Paris put up a photo of a blinded vehicule with soldiers on it claiming Leclerc French armored division entering Paris, it was indeed the Nueve of the Spanish republicans who were coming in first! And they asked to be put up first all the way to Berlin!

There you go folks, a dandy of a story and a nice garden in a grand space of my eternal Paris, the Hôtel de Ville. Worth the detour for the true history,  you stop by ,and see it , very cosy place nicely done and great statue of Martel. Hope you enjoy the story of the Jardin des Combattants de la Nueve!

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

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January 19, 2022

rue des Petits Carreaux of Paris!

Well back to the lonely period we are cruising thru and decided to look back deep into my blog to update some older posts that needs it. After several years, some of these posts gets very updated and the links fade away. Therefore, here is my updated post on the rue des Petits Carreaux of Paris!

Why not start with another nice walk in my eternal Paris and one its streets. We will always have Paris. And I have been lucky enough to have worked in it for almost 10 years and still visit every month current conditions allowed. 

The rue des Petits Carreaux is located in the 2éme arrondissement.  It begins at the 2, rue Léopold-Bellan and 36, rue Saint-Sauveur and ends in the 44, rue de Cléry. It is extended by rue Montorgueil, and by rue Poissonnière. .The rue des Petits-Carreaux is joined or crossed by several more or less perpendicular streets; no.16-30 and no. 23-33: large cut into rue Réaumur, lined on the right side of allée Pierre-Lazareff; no. 32-34 rue du Nil; no 39-41 and no 38-40: rue d’Aboukir with the plant wall oasis d’Aboukir. The street is serve by the line 3 Sentier metro station.


A bit of history I like

The street is named after a group of houses which were north of rue Montorgueil and which were called “Petits Carreaux”. The rue des Petits-Carreaux dates back to the 13C. Originally part of the rue Montorgueil, it became a full-fledged street in the 17C.. It is cited under the name of rue des Petitz Carneaulx in a manuscript of 1636 then the form rue du Petit Carreau appears on many official acts of the 18-19C.

Some interesting buildings here on rue des Petits-Carreaux are: No. 6: building from the end of the 19C, with the marble front of a former delicatessen on the ground floor, nos 10-12: building from the 19C, decorated on two levels by wooden formwork; old sign of the coffee merchant Au Planteur, and the Cul de sac du Crucifix: Sieur Goüel received a housing ticket from the quartermaster of the Compagnie des Cents-Suisses to house a Swiss guard in a house of his own in this street in 1714-1722.

Some stops here in the past by yours truly have been to La Grappe d’Or French resto; the Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidien (Belgian chain),and of course, the Créperie le Comptoir du Commerce. Also, the bakery of Eric Kayser or Boulangerie Petits Carreaux. 16 rue des Petits carreaux. By Rue Réamur you see a picturesque arch entrance to the rue des Petits Carreaux! It is overall a very nice quant street in the center of old ParisIf you are by this area one more place I can recom for it is the Brasserie les Petits Carreaux at no 17; webpage:

Of course no webpage for the street but will leave you with the city of Paris, what to do

There you go folks, another wonderful street in my eternal Paris. Indeed, so many are nice, I can only tell you the ones I have driven or walked on, and this one is one of them. Hope you enjoy the rue des Petits Carreaux of Paris!!!

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

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January 19, 2022

Chocolateria San Ginés of Madrid !!!!

I am on a nostalgic run , for that, needed to be in Madrid. We say, from Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! yes! As I told you about my youthful days , teens, in my Madrid and lucky to visit it every year now! Of course, updating this older post and waiting to come when the virus allows it fully,

I told you a bit about the chocolateria San Ginés! But bits is not enough me think, This is an institution in Madrid!! I have many souvenirs of this place coming with my dear late mom Gladys and then my dear late wife Martine, and my boys and family and friends all taken here. For me is more than just a churros and chocolate place. I came as a teen ,first to teatro Eslava (now joy eslava) to do community dances for youths, and while leaving late, we hop over to San Ginés to recompose the body and soul; it was a ritual of younger years even before the movida !!! San Gines was more familiar then, nice talks great fun, It has become very touristic lately ,but for me still a nostalgic spot that need to come and try those churros with chocolates again.


I have come here each time in Madrid since 1970 , with some years of absent has been pretty consistant until 2019, Then, the virus well will see when the new world order is arrange, The chocolateria San Ginés is a must when in Madrid. You too can make it your own mark stop in Madrid and delight yourselves with it, To boot is in a charming old area off the Puerta del Sol.


The Chocolatería San Ginés is one of the most famous churrería in Madrid. It is located in Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5 off Calle Arenal in the heart of the city near the Puerta del Sol. This is one of the most popular places to take a chocolate with churros, and this since it was founded in 1894. Today it is a tourist place where visitors and locals gather to taste these delights of our world. Some claim too touristic but to me is more than that name, nostalgia wins all the time.



San Ginés is also known as Buñolería Modernista, name given by the writer Valle-Inclán in his novel Bohemian Lights. As you can read on the plaque hanging on the facade of the bar: “ This bar served as inspiration to D. Ramón María Valle-Inclán for his literary work Bohemian lights in 1929 “. But Valle-Inclán was not the only one, the location of the bar was halfway between the Teatro Real and Puerta del Sol, so it became a bar frequently visited by artists and intellectuals of the time.

The Churrería is located next to the Teatro Eslava and its fame began when at the exit of the theater, people got used to go there to take a chocolate with churros.  Later, its opening until late hours, made people who were leaving the night club of Joy Eslava late at night or early in the morning could have breakfast before returning home. It has become a meeting place for the night owls. Many souvenirs myself doing this in my younger days lol!


The bar was built in 1890 to make it a hostel but it was converted into Churrería in 1894. It is a bar reminiscent of the cafes of the late 19C. It has two floors where there are traditional white marble tables and a counter paved with tiled and where you can take the traditional chocolate with churros or any other refreshment or a coffee accompanied by pastries. In general the churrería is open every day of the year.  During the Spanish Second Republic it was known as the La Escondida”, (the hidden) as many intellectuals and folks hided there when in trouble, and had their meetings.

In 2010, a Chocolatería San Ginés opened in Tokyo, in the Shibuya district, adapting its products to the tastes of the Japanese. Later they opened in 2013 in Bogotá, Colombia.  In Madrid ,there is already another outlet at the market or Mercado de Prosperidad, in Calle López de Hoyos ,81. Unlike the local at San Ginés , it won’t open 24 hours every day of the year, but it will adapt to the timetable of the rest of the market hours from 6h to 22h  uninterrupted. The Mercado on San Ginés webpage :

And after all the above, you may ask what are Churros? Well not a cooker even less a chef but this tells it like it is. The Churros are long sticks of dough created from water, salt and flour. Typically, dough is for a vat of hot oil, deep-fried and stirred with a very long stick, which helps the dough form into long spiral sticks, similar to a donut, but not round. The sticks are then cut down and a bit of sugar may be added on top. The hot chocolate is served the authentic Spanish way: thick and steaming, perfect for dipping churros into. If you’ve already tried churros, Porras are a thicker, more doughy version and well worth a try.

The official Chocolateria San Ginés

The Madrid tourist office on San Ginés

The YELP reviews on the San Ginés:

There you go folks, an institution in Madrid, a must stop, ok go the sights the museums the parks but do come here lunch or dinner late night better again is a must stop in Madrid at the Chocolateria San Ginés. Hope you get the idea, is a must!

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

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