Archive for March 14th, 2022

March 14, 2022

Curiosities of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris !!

I have decided to do these black and white series, no pictures and tell you about my stumping grounds while working in Paris for 9 years, I will continue with the curiosities of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris !!

You can go inside the Société Générale bank at 29 boulevard Haussmann founded in 1864 this bank has 7 buildings typical of the Second Empire that they acquired in 1904. The building were renovated in 1912 with basement for the safes. The main room has a cupola of 24 meters in diameter, Just be discreet as it is a working place.

You have several glass enclosures in the Opéra neighborhood such as at the Grand Hôtel 2 rue Scribe (1861) today the Intercontinental Le Grand Hôtel (location of my former employer see post) ), Galeries Lafayette 40 bd Haussmann and Printemps, 64 bd Haussmann,

The Musée de la Parfumerie Fragonard, 9 rue Scribe created in 1983 tracing the history of perfums from the Egyptians to the 20C.

The streets around the Opéra Garnier were name after opera composers of the 19C such as rue d’Auber, rue Mayerbeer, Rue Halévy, and rue Gluck, Scribe also was the author of books on the opera and also the square Diaghliev that was a choreographer,

You can see the vineyards of the firefighers at 22-28 rue Blanche , The Chasselas grapes around their building provides a white wine that is bottled under Château Blanche since 1926, The rue Blanche has its origins in the quarries of Montmartre very near, The plaster recovered from here was taken by boats on the Seine to be mounted on bigger boats elsewhere,

At 84 rue de Clichy you have the Cercle de Jeu Clichy-Montmartre since 1947 pool place par excellence in Paris with 16 tables 8 American and 5 French as well as one snooker, and two billard tables, See around the 82 rue Blanche a building with two hands on each side of the number as mine to hold hands,

The Church de la Trinité , 3 Rue de la Trinité has the figure 3 as a symbol, It has 3 arches in its principal porch, the great basin has 3 fountains with 3 vases on each, the main central fountain has a sculpture of a women symbol of hope that has 3 children in her arms, each children has 3 bronce jars at their feet,

See the staircase in the Musée Gustave Moreau, 14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, It has the particularity of been done on the same building where the painter lived,The museum retraces the real life of a painter and to follow the artistic progress of a painter, Nearby on the Square Orléans that you enter by the 80 rue Taibout you see the high place of the New Athens romantic era, Here are build 46 apartments and 5 shops of artists, It house the ballerina Marie Taglioni, the musician Marmontel and the couple of George Sand (house in first floor no 5) and Chopin (at aprt no 9),

We go on with the Musée de la Vie Romantique at 16 rue Chaptal, It was the property of painter Ary Scheffer and his nephew the writer Ernest Ronan, A place of romanticism held by Chopin, Lamartine, George Sand, and Delacroix, A nice place to visit,

See at 27 Place Saint Georges the Hôtel Dosne-Thiers or Library Thiers, Of the modern history of France belongs to the Institut de France, and the room of Adolphe Thiers, and has a nice garden, Not easy to go in but you can go with a group with reservation, A bit further at 28 Place Saint Georges see the Hôtel de la Païva, it belonged to Thérése Lachmann , marquise de la Païva troubador style mix with Renaissance and Néo Gothic dating from 1840.

Even if private, you can see throught the grille the wonderful Avenue Fronchot, nearest Metro Pigalle, Created in 1830 with beautiful mansions of the 19C, A varied architecture from Neo Gothic, Flamand, medieval, palladian, or neo antique that attraced many famous such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas,father, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Victor Massé, More recent you had Django Reinhardt and François Truffaut with a sequence of his film « Les Quatre Cents Coups », The house at no 1 has a mysterious history as the director of the Folie Bergére buys it and bequested to his cleaning lady that was brutally assassinated in it ; inhabitable for more than 30 years, the house is purchase by Sylvie Vartan that leaves quickly after moving in ! The art critic Mathieu Galev who purchase it died in it oh well see it but do no live in it !

How about the Cité Malesherbes access by 59 rue des Martyrs, the attorney Malesherbes guillotine in 1794 was the owner, Some interesting building especially the no 11 with nice decoration in ceramics ,lava and terracotta work of architect Jal on the account of painter Jollivet, At No 17, the rotonde of the Hôtel of Architecture Amoudru, and the balcony with as ornamentation a female mask and medallion, Follow this up at 41-47 rue des Martyrs with the garden, not seen from the street but plenty of roses, great for a pause.

At 10 rue Lallier see the private collection of the phonogallery store, guided visit in groups only,A collection of talking machines ! Going back to 1877 It is a museum boutique and the store located between the cabarets of Montmartre and the artists of the New Athens. Around here, see the Le Hibou at 68 rue Condorcet an owl sculpture on the facade celebrating the architect Viollet le Duc as he ordered built this building in 1862-63, and place the owl on the window of his shop, See, also, the unique Cité Napoléon by 58 rue Rochechouart , not seen from the street , is a good example of the familistery done in 1853,It was to house modest families with a free doctor visits in exchange for keeping high morals as an inspector will visit to verify the morality of the inhabitants, The Familistery is an utopian socialist model of Charles Fourier applicable in his theory of phalanstery or community living and it welcome only families,

Moving on see at 16 rue Cadet, the Musée du Grand Orient de France, Installed since 1840 in the Hôtel Cadet,It presented more than 10k collection pieces that retraces the history of the order in France,(Masons).

Perpendicular to the rue Richer, and rue Bleue and created in 1840 you have the Cité de Trévise, with nice buildings of neo Renaissance style surrounding a square with three cariatides that gives hand forming a pretty fountain, Further south at 19-20 rue Bergére you have the office of the bank BNP Paribas, long house the national discount counter with a staircase in cages with the market room and its pretty glass worth a look, The facade has three scuptures of Millet such as Prudence, Commerce, and Finance,

And to end this walk on the 9th, I bring you to the Church Saint Eugéne Sainte Cécile, 6 rue Sainte Cécile, Dedicated to two Saints, Ste Eugéne in honor of Eugénie the wife of Napoléon III, and Ste Cécile, the Patron Saint of Musicians as it was close to the former national conservatory of music, The church has no belltower as to not bother the musicians, It was built in 1854-55 with an 13C inspired architecture. A characteristic of the church is that it function as biritualism , the offices are celebrated with the rite of Paul VI and Pie V (in Latin), until 1998, Today one priest does the two rites, So on one day you have a priest giving Mass in French facing the faithful, and two hours later ,the same priest giving Mass in Latin dressed golden and purple with his back to the faithful while the Gregorian chants are sang, For info, for the most part the ritual of Paul VI is considered as a modernisation and adaptation of the church in the 20C,,,

There you go folks, a dandy walk around wonderful eternal Paris and its 9th district where I once worked, and visit often the area. Hope you enjoy the trivia and do come to the most beautiful city in the world:Paris!

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

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March 14, 2022

Curiosities of the 8éme arrondissement of Paris !!

I have decided to do these black and white series, no pictures and tell you about my stumping grounds while working in Paris for 9 years, I will continue with the curiosities of the 8éme arrondissement of Paris !!

Why not start with the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde offered by Mehmet Ali in the name of Egypt in 1831,and put in the Place de la Concorde on October 26 1836 in the presence of Louis Philippe, The obelisk is one of two built by Ramses II at the entrance to the temple of Luxor. Since 1999 it has become the biggest solar cadran in the world. Proposed by the astronomer Camille Flammarion in 1913 interrupted by the Great War or WWI and continue in 1938 by Daniel Roguet, worked began in 1939 and interrupted by WWII, again on June 21 1999 under Philippe de La Cotardiére and Denis Savoie. You can see traces of it on the side of the Rue Royale five lines crossed in the ground with one still keeping its metallic structure. At the far end of the square you see in Roman numerals going from VI to XVII marking the solar hour.

In the Place de la Concorde there is still a plaque on Louis XVI ,it is in the corner with rue Boissy-d’Anglas, This was the name of the square from 1826 to 1828 and reminds of the decapitation of Louis XVI on January 21 1793. At the other extreme, you have the pont de la Concorde finished in 1792 with stones from the Bastille prison.

You can see the facade of 40 Cours Albert 1er a construction by Lalique done in 1911 as home and workshop of the master glass maker Lalique, The door is made of glass sculpted with the branches of trees ! By 3 rue Royale you see the Musée Pierre Cardin by the double doors of the restaurant, The Maxim’s of Pierre Cardin. Built in 1758 and renovated in 1899 on the same Art Nouveau style ,nice place to visit. By 1 Rue Royale you can see a panel telling you of the general mobilisation of August 2 1914 for the WWI, By here at 25 rue Royale, passage de la Madeleine village Royal a plaque mention the home of Alphonse Allais across at 24 rue Royale.

You can admire the facade of the building on 30 Avenue Marceau done by André Granet son in law of Gustave Eiffel, Building in the Art Nouveau style with facade sculpted in branches and pine cone, On the other side 34 avenue Wagram you see the Hôtel Elysées Céramic Art Nouveau style built in 1904 covered with sandstone of Bigot, Today is a 3 star hotel.

Moving to my fav Place de la Madeleine you have the public toilets ! 50 cents mind you ! Created in 1904 with a nice ceramic staircase wooden doors, and glass decoration in floral style , lavabo in each cabinet, worthy of an Art Nouveau museum ! The Church de la Madeleine ordered built by Napoléon I in 1806 and finished after his death in 1842. Done with 52 columns on its forecourt one for each year of life of the emperor.

Many times mentioned the prettiest metro station in Paris is that of line 13, Liége aka Berlin it was rename before WWI, Closed for several years it was reopened in 1968 with ceramic decorations that tell of scenes and monuments of the province of Liége in Belgium.

You can admire the borne or terminals limit of 4 Rue de Laborde, that were the frontiers of Paris in the 18C, There is a panel there describing the nature of the bornes, They were done for control of the population and supply of goods and marking the limit of which Parisian could build,It was very little respected ! A total of 294 bornes were fixed in the walls of Paris in the 18C, In another the neighborhood of Europe just behind the gare Saint Lazare was name after many cities in Europe, However, after the Great War or WWI, some were changed. The rue de Berlin was now the rue de Liége, and the rue de Hambourg changed to the rue de Bucarest, After WWII, the avenue de Tokyo in the 16éme was changed to avenue de New York as well, At least the Palais de Tokyo still there,,,,

There is a wonderful building here, mentioned in a post in my blog the Chapelle Expiatoire or Expiatory Chapel at square Louis XVI,(see post), By the heights of 34 Rue Pasquier see the reliefs of sharks and camels on the facade of the building done in 1930, building done in 1927. By 48 Avenue Gabriel see the Petit Musée Puiforcat, with a collection of Alphonse Puiforcat and older from the 18C, the collection was later purchase by Niarchos a Greek shipbuilder and given to the Louvre as a loan.

On this district, Republican France keeps lots of reminders of its Royal past, You have a rue Clovis, Ruelle Charlemagne, Henri IV has a lycée or high school, boulevard, quay, passarelle , and port ! Louis Philippe has a bridge, and Louis XIII has an indirect street as the rue Dauphine that he was until 1607,Also the Rue Louis le Grand and high school of same name in reference to Louis XIV,The rue François I , Cours de la Reine for Marie de Médicis , rue Sainte Anne in reference to Anne of Austria and rue Thérése for the queen Maria Teresa, In others, you have the Rue du Berry, rue de Provence, Rue Monsieur, rue Madame, rue Mademoiselle, rue d’Artois, rue Monsieur le Prince, rue Mazarin, rue Richelieu, and rue Colbert, And as above the Chapelle Expiatoire is on the square Louis XVI !, but also rue Tronchet, rue de Séze , boulevard Malesherbes for the defenders of Louis XVI.

In the parc Monceau, you the pyramide with two Egyptian heads, and of course the Parc Monceau (see post), Around it you see the Musée Nissim de Camondo, 63 rue de Monceau built between 1911 and 1913 with works of art from the 18C, And the Cité Odiot at 26 rue de Washington, built on the former mansion of the jewerler Jean Baptiste Odiot that made the shrine of Saint Vincent de Paul and the sword and scepter of Napoléon Ier.

Also, the Galerie C.T. Loo & Cie at 48 rue de Courcelles, Created in 1926 for the antiques dealer Ching Tsai Loo, Today the oldest gallery of Asian art in Paris and the only real Chinese house in Paris, An unique decoration of 600 m2 of Asian arts, Outside it is like a Chinese pagoda and can be rented on several rooms for cocktails, conferences and fashion passarelles, Yes you bet you been here !!!

I have mentioned the Cathédrale Alexandre Nevski 12 rue Daru, It was opened on September 12 1861 with funds from the tsar Alexandre II, and the Russian community in Europe , It was under Istanbul from 1931 and now under the jurisdiction of Moscow since 2019, Pablo Picasso was married here with Olga Koklova with witness by Jean Cocteau, Max Jacobs, and Guillaume Apollinaire,

There you go folks, a dandy walk around wonderful eternal Paris and its 8th district where I once worked, and visit often the area. Hope you enjoy the trivia and do come to the most beautiful city in the world:Paris!

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

Tags: ,
March 14, 2022

Curiosities of the 1éme arrondissement of Paris !!

I have decided to do these black and white series, no pictures and tell you about my stumping grounds while working in Paris for 9 years, I will start with the curiosities of the 1éme arrondissement of Paris !!

It has been told that the human heart mix with oils produces an organic matter call munie that allows to give paintings an unique glassy look. After the 17C the members of the royal family of Anne of Austria had the habit of depositing their hearts in the Chapel of Val de Grâce. During the French revolution the sans culottes (friends of the revolution) disperse the royal properties including the hearts, and they found buyers in the artists painters. The painter Drolling acquired the hearts of Anne of Austria, Marie Thérese and the duchesse of Montpensier. His portrait « Intérieur de cuisine » now in the Louvre has still royal blood spread out on the portrait. Of course, this has not been proving scientifically and remained for many a legend,,,

Early on in the 17C Louis XIII notice the Louvre does not have a chapel, He gives the rôle to the church that Jacques Lemercier was building for the Order of the Oratory. The church and the palace were never join, Under Napoléon I the chapel became a Protestant temple under the name of Temple de l’Oratoire, at 145 Rue St Honoré to give memory to this chapel to be.

The Louvre is not in line with the Champs Elysées and the Grande Arche de la Défense going to Cergy-Pontoise, The Louvre parallel to the Seine river is away from the center of the axis, To have a perfect straight line, you need to be by the pyramide by the statue of Louis XIV as he was the initiator of this axis.

There are royal monograms hidden in the cour carrée du Louvre, Just go one evening by the fountain of the cour Carrée where on each wing of the cours you see written the initials of the monarchs that helped construct the Louvre. On the side of the pyramide left of the pavillon de l’Horloge you see Henri II with an H H cross by a double C for the queen Catherine de Médicis, We can easily confuse with the D of Diane de Poitiers ,his mistress, On the side of the Seine right side you see the K for Charles IX, H for Henri III, HDB for Henri de Bourbon, Henri IV or HG for Henri IV and Gabrielle d’Estrées, his mistress,

On the Pavillon de l’Horloge on its right you see the L and LA for Louis XIII and his wife Anne of Austria, In the other wings built by Louis XIV you can read LMT for Louis and Marie Theresa the queen, and LB for Louis de Bourbon. Outside the cour Carrée you can find these monograms on the facades. On the floor of the cour Carrée you can see the grilles in a rounded design marking the limits of the donjon of Charles V ; and the visit to the Sully wing will allow you to discover the base of the donjon and salle des Maquettes (model room) open on weekends retracing the different stages of the construction of the Louvre.

Facing the Louvre, under the big gargouille of the facade of the Church St Germain l’Auxerrois giving to the cour to the left of the church you see an enigmatic rat ball or boule aux rats, Meaning what ? That the church is the only remedy for the bad of our world,, Church St Germain l’Auxerrois was the royal parish of the kings of France going back to the 7C. There are other rat balls in France, in the Cathedral St Siffrein in Carpentras, Cathedral of Le Mans, and the Church Saint Jacques in Meulan (Yvelines 78). As an anecdote, my father was treated for four days at the Clinique du Louvre, across the street from the church.

In a discreet plaque opposed to the sixth pylon right of the Church St Germain l’Auxerrois there is an inscription that tell us that the ashes of the artists are given and pray for those coming, this is since 1926 and still is done,Right next to the church you see a belltower many times attributed to the church but actually belongs to the mayor’s office of the 1éme arrondissement next door. Built in 1858 ,high of 38 meters ,one of the better and complete of France, and open to the public, The belltower has 38 bells done in 1862, the oldest in Paris. The former belltower of the church offered in 1527 by François I has the reputation of being sound to start the massacre of St Barthélemy of Protestants on August 24 1572, the saint day of St Barthélemy.

By the Place Colette, you see the library museum of the Comédie Française, that allows you to see the private parts of this institution. By the entrance Talma immortalise by David d’Angers welcome visitors that takes you on a staircase to the administrative offices where the busts of Moliére, Corneille, and Racine are located. Here you can see the sofa that Moliére rented from his sick uncle and where he died in 1673 while playing Argan. As a commemoration, the Salle Richelieu built between 1786 and 1790 is commonly call the Maison de Moliére (house), By here you see the metro station Palais-Royal (lines 1 and 7) known as the kiosque des Noctambules or night owls kiosk, it is done with glass pearls of Murano in an aluminum structure following a tradition of Héctor Guimard and his Art Nouveau metro entrances.

If you come by 2 rue Radziwill you see the galerie dorée of the Banque de France. You can visit with prior reservation. This is the galerie dorée of the Hôtel de Toulouse hq of the bank of France, This was done in 1635 with dimensions of 40 meters long, 6,50 meters wide to host an exposition hall for its excellent collection of Italian paintings,In 1713, the Count of Toulouse acquired the mansion , therefore its name, He was the legimitate son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, In 1793 during the French revolution, these work of arts were disperse into several museums some in the Louvre. The Bank of France buys the mansion in 1808.

See at the Rue de Viarmes, the colonne Médicis 28 meters high that is leaned on the bourse de commerce building, It was done on orders of queen Catherine de Médicis in 1575, Inside there is a staircase of 147 steps that could reach the apartment of the queen. You can see the monograms of Henri II and Catherine de Médicis H and C. It is a miracle that this column still here after the destruction of the palace in 1748 and the building of the new bourse du commerce. Nearby at 45 rue Berger you see the small Musée Compagnonnique, where accompany by a master artist you will understand better their profession.

There are discrepancies in the plaque commemorating the birth of Molière. One at 31 rue du Pont Neuf says he was born in 1620, and the second at 98 rue Saint Honoré tell us he was born January 15 1622, It seems the experts go for the second one, There is also the fontaine Molière at 37 rue Richelieu the first Parisian statue to honor a person other than a monarch.

One that I know very well because been in it and in several events is the Cercle Suédois at 242 rue de Rivoli, The club was founded in 1891 and has a historic room, It is here that Alfred Nobel write the famous testament on November 27 1895 that will become the Nobel prize, The office is still there and can be visited the Wednesdays evenings two times per month, You can have a glass in the beautiful rooms of the Circle that gives to the Jardin des Tuileries, It has several portraits of Swedish painters on its walls,

The Standard Meter of 13 Place Vendôme to the left of the justice minister building allow the French to become familiar with this measure on the French revolution, Also, on the corner of my memorable street rue de Castiglione (my worked street) and the Place Vendôme , there is a plaque that reminds us of the Embassy of Texas opened in Paris in the 19C, Texas gained its independance from Mexico in 1836 and was independant until 1845 when it was annexed to the United States,

The balconies in the Place Vendôme are an hommage to Louis XIV, With an allegory of the Sun with golden leaves reminding us of him, The square was called the Place des Conquêtes or Place Louis-le-Grand always in honor of Louis XIV, It had an equestrian statue of Louis XIV in the center opening in 1699 that was destroyed during the French revolution.

In the restaurant Le Cochon à l’Oreille, 15 rue Montmartre you have a beautiful decorated room of ceramic tiles from 1914 done on the theme of the Halles, which are nearby, There is also a nice Medallion in the crypt of Sainte Agnés, 1 rue Montmartre, The medallion is in the form of a fish marked the entrance to the crypt of Sainte Agnés, remembering a Jean Allais that made fortune thanks to the business of fishiries, In the 13C, a church was built of which only the crypt exist today,It is open during expositions, check on the Church St Eustache for opening days/times,

The Pont Neuf built in 1604 as the oldest bridge in Paris has 3 characteristics to note, It had sidewalks ! (that were not usual until the 19C) that is was decorated with 384 masks , and that it had no houses built on it except some boutiques done in the half moons that are still today

Around you have the Musée du Barreau de Paris, Hôtel de la Porte, 25 rue du Jour ; it has a collection showing the evolution of justice (as museum of lawyers) from the 17C, There is a plaque at 11 rue de la Ferronnerie showing the spot of the assassination of Henri IV in 1610 by Ravaillac. And finally, see the elephant at 3 rue de la Cossonnerie with the head of an elephant in its facade of origin islamic-indian,

There you go folks, a dandy walk around wonderful eternal Paris and its 1st district where I once worked, and visit often the area. Hope you enjoy the trivia and do come to the most beautiful city in the world:Paris!

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

Tags: ,
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