The quays of Paris!!!

Now I have mentioned many of them in previous posts, but not a post of their own. It’s about time to tell you about my favorite quays or quais of my eternal Paris! I will do this post on my black and white series, no pictures. I have walked and driven on them many times and of the many, these are my favorites. They are the quintessential Paris we all like to read and visit about. Hope you enjoy the quays of Paris as I!!

The Quai Saint-Bernard is a road located along the Seine, in the 5éme arrondissement. It owes its name to the proximity of the former convent of the Bernardins and the Porte Saint-Bernard, once located at the end from the Sully bridge. The Quai Saint-Bernard was formerly called “old path of Ivry”. From the 16C to the 18C, these banks of the Seine were a very popular bathing place. King Henry IV even came there with his son, the future Louis XIII. People bathing naked at that time and the Church wanting to put more shame in it, the first establishments of closed floating baths saw the light of day there around 1680, In the 18C, there was also a river port specializing in transit wine that was stored in the wine halls, now replaced by the Jussieu Univ campus, The Quai Saint-Bernard begins at the Pont d’Austerlitz and ends at the Pont de Sully. This two-way traffic lane, which runs along the Quai de la Seine, has the particularity of being subdivided only on the odd-numbered side. On the undeveloped side is the Quai de Seine itself. There is also the stopover Jardin des Plantes of the Batobus network , A famous scene from the film La Traversée de Paris released in 1956 was shot there: we see Bourvil and Jean Gabin as clandestine transporters of butcher’s meat during the Occupation, confronted at night by the howls of the wolves of the Menagerie excited by the smell of their load. (A great movie for Paris lovers) ,The quay also runs alongside the Institut du monde arabe and the Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University. At the exit of the metro, Place Valhubert, the Jardin des Plantes faces the Quai Saint-Bernard. This green setting near the banks of the Seine is home to the National Museum of Natural History, the famous Grande Galerie de l’Evolution as well as tropical greenhouses and a menagerie.

The Quai de la Seine is a thoroughfare in the 19éme arrondissement , The Quai de la Seine runs along the Bassin de la Villette between the Rotonde de la Villette and the Rue de Crimée lift bridge. It starts at 2, avenue de Flandre and 10, place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad and ends at 161, rue de Crimée at place de Bitche, after crossing rue de Soissons, passage de Flandre, rue de Rouen , rue Riquet and rue Duvergier. It is 850 meters long and 12 meters wide. This road, which in 1829 was the D75, was formed as a quay after the construction of the Ourcq canal and the impoundment of the Villette basin. It took its current name in 1857, In front of no 53 quai de la Seine, there is a small Wallace fountain.

The Quai de la Rapée is a road located along the Seine in the 12éme arrondissement. Where a commissioner general of the troops, Monsieur de la Rapée, had his hotel built along the rue de Bercy. This path along the Seine was called in the 18C “path along the River”. Its access by following the bank of the Seine passing on the culvert which spanned the ditches of the Bastille (current basin of the Arsenal) was paying toll. Since 1978, it has been one of the portions forming the Voie Georges-Pompidou . In 1994, this place inspired the novelist Michel Gastine, for the thriller Quai de la Rapée, which won the Quai des Orfèvres prize. It is in this same quadrangle that the Port-au-Plâtre cemetery was located, open from 1725 to the French revolution.

The Quai de la Mégisserie is a road located in the 1éme arrondissement, The quay begins at Pont au Change and 1, place du Châtelet and ends at Pont Neuf and 2, rue du Pont-Neuf and is located in the quartier or neighborhood of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. The quay that runs alongside the Théâtre du Châtelet is the starting point for rue Édouard-Colonne, rue Bertin-Poirée and rue des Bourdonnais. The front on the wharf of the two blocks formed by these three streets has been occupied by pet shops and nurseries for a long time. The quay ends along the former annex of La Samaritaine which now houses a Conforama store. Below the quay, on the bank, is the Voie Georges-Pompidou, whose exit ramp leads to the tannery. On the parapet which overhangs the way and the Seine line the boxes of the booksellers. It was transformed into a quay in 1369, under the reign of Charles V under the name “Quai de la Saunerie” because of the proximity of the salt port and the salt cellar , Rebuilt around 1520, the quay was extended to the castle du Louvre and in 1532 it was named “Quai de la Saunerie” for its entire length , Quai de la Mégisserie takes its name from the tanners, tanners specializing in sheep and goat skins, who settled there in the 17C. Widened in 1769, it was then named “Quai de la Ferraille” and “Quai de la Ferronnerie” because of the merchants who spread their scrap along the supporting wall, before returning to its previous name. In 1816, this quay began at Pont au Change and Place du Châtelet and ended at Pont Neuf and Place des Trois-Maries. It was then located in the former 4éme arrondissement in the Louvre neighborhood, At that time, the numbers on the quai were red, there was no odd number, and the last even number was No. 84.

The Quai François-Mitterrand is a road located along the Seine, in the 1éme arrondissement. at the foot of the Louvre Palace and above the Port du Louvre, runs along the Seine and meets 3 bridges: the Pont Royal, the Pont du Carrousel and the Pont des Arts. Vehicles travel in one direction from west to east. It was created by municipal decree of July 8, 2003, by joining part of the Quai des Tuileries and part of the Quai du Louvre.

The Quai des Tuileries is a road located along the right bank of the Seine, in the 1éme arrondissement, which begins at the Passarelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge and ends at the Place de la Concorde. Vehicles circulate in one direction from Place de la Concorde to the east. A funnel allows vehicles to access the Tuileries tunnel, an underground leading to the right bank lane of the Seine. It bears its name because of the vicinity of the former Tuileries Palace. Until 1730, there was a narrow path here between the Seine and the ditches of the Tuileries Garden. In 1731, the king ordered the demolition of the Porte de la Conférence and the formation of a wider path. In 1806 Napoleon had a quay wall built. Part of the Quai des Tuileries, located east of the Avenue du Général-Lemonnier, was joined in 2003 to part of the Quai du Louvre to form the Quai François-Mitterrand.

The Quai du Louvre is a road located along the Seine, in the 1éme arrondissement, The Quai du Louvre begins at Pont Neuf and 1, rue de la Monnaie and ends at rue de l’Amiral-de-Coligny and quai François-Mitterrand. Vehicles travel in one direction from west to east. The Voie Georges-Pompidou, today (2022) closed to car traffic, passes below this quay. The quay is so named because it runs alongside the Louvre Palace. During the French revolution, it was the “Quai du Muséum” , In 1868, the Quai du Louvre was formed by the union of three quays, Quai de l’École between Pont Neuf and Rue de l’Amiral-de-Coligny;
the quai de Bourbon between rue de l’Amiral-de-Coligny and the colonnade of the Louvre; and the Quai du Louvre between the Louvre colonnade and the Pont du Carrousel. In January 1964, the first bus corridor was put into service on the Quai du Louvre and the Quai de la Mégisserie, Part of the Quai du Louvre, located west of Rue de l’Amiral-de-Coligny, was joined in 2003 with part of the Quai des Tuileries to form the Quai François-Mitterrand, reducing it to a length less than a hundred meters. This part corresponds to the old quays of Bourbon and the Louvre from before 1868. You see here the dept store Samaritaine, There is a great portrait of it by Claude Monet, Quai du Louvre (1867),at the museum Mauritshuis (The Hague).

The Quai des Célestins is a road located along the Seine, in the 4éme arrondissement. The Quai des Célestins is an almost straight boulevard of about 400 meters that runs along the northern part of the Seine overlooking it. It is located on the right bank of the river. It is extended upstream by Quai Henri-IV and downstream by Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville. There is only one dwelling on the side with the odd numbers: the Maison des Célestins, built on the Port des Célestins below and which has an entrance at the level of the quay. The wharf is named after the Célestins convent which was established there In 1352, which is now replaced by the Célestins barracks of the Republican Guard , At this location was the Port Saint- Paul, a former port of Paris, present on the maps of Paris from 1760 to 1771. This port Saint-Paul, at the end of rue Saint-Paul, is sometimes indicated quai Saint-Paul, or quai and port Saint-Paul. We find it quoted in Emile Zola in the Rougon-Macquart (For example at the baptism of the son of Napoleon III, Louis-Napoleon, Prince Imperial, June 14, 1856 in His Excellency Eugène Rougon, Chapter IV). At the level of boulevard Henri-IV is the square Henri-Galli which contains in particular (displaced) vestiges of one of the eight towers of the prison of the Bastille.

The Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville is a quay located along the Seine, in the 4éme arrondissement. The Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville is 535 meters long and 24 to 32 meters wide, in the Saint-Gervais and Saint-Merri neighborhoods or quartiers, and begins at the Pont Marie bridge and Rue des Nonnains-d’Hyères and ends at Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville – Esplanade de la Liberation. It gives access to two green spaces: on the south side, below, the Federico-García-Lorca garden, located within the Rives-de-Seine park, and on the north side, at the Combattants-de-la-Nueve garden, which adjoins the City Hall. From the 15C, deeds refer to it as the “Quai de la Grève”, or “Quai de Grève”. Or Gréve or (today Strikes) means a level place, covered with gravel, on the shore of a sea or a river. Before Place de Grève, now Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville – Esplanade de la Liberation, was raised and the quay was paved. Several overflows of the Seine were marked on the facade of a house which was in 1817 at no.52 between Rue des Nonnains-d’Hyères and Rue Geoffroy-l’Asnier with the part of the Quai de Grève located between the latter street and the Pont d’Arcole In the 19C, the Quai de la Grève, with a length of 252 meters, which was located in the former 9éme arrondissement, Hôtel-de-Ville neighborhood or quartier began at 1, rue Geoffroy-l’Asnier and Quai des Ormes and ended at Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, The street numbers were red. There were no odd numbers and the last even number was no, 88. At the corner with rue de Lobau: homage to the Nueve.(see post)

The Quai de Gesvres is a road located on the right bank of the Seine, in the Saint-Merri neighborhood or quartier of the 4éme arrondissement or district. It is extended upstream by the quai de l’Hôtel de Ville and downstream by the quai de la Mégisserie. The old wharf of Gesvres, built on land granted by King Louis XIII to René Potier de Tresmes, who became duke and peer, and whose son had the name changed from Tresmes to Gesvres, was built between rue Saint-Martin and Place du Châtelet, under letters patent of February 1642 and August 30, 1642 between Pont Notre-Dame and Pont au Change. The destruction of the houses which separated it from the rue de Gesvres, in 1786, made it possible to widen it. The metro line 7 passes through the old gallery, the remains of which were found during its construction in the 1920s. The quai Le Pelletier and the old quai de Gesvres will be united by a decree of April 2, 1868. The administration of the City Theater, which it borders.

The Quai de Conti, or more commonly “quai Conti”, is a quay located along the Seine, in the 6éme arrondissement. It is 307 meters long, it begins at 2, rue Dauphine and ends at Place de l’Institut. It is one-way, in an east-west direction. This road bears this name because the Hôtel de Conti had its main entrance there. It is on its site that one began, in 1771, to build the hotel of the Mints. This quay, first named “quai de Nesle”, because of the Nesle tower which occupied its entire width, then took the name of quai Guénégaud because of the hotel de Guénégaud which was next to it, before taking the name of quai Conti. You see at No 11: the Hôtel des Monnaies (mint) which houses the Monnaie de Paris, a public establishment ensuring, among other things, the management of the museum of the Monnaie de Paris, in the former Hôtel de Conti. At No 23: the former Collège des Quatre- Nations hosting the Institut de France. On its site stood the tower of Nesle, part of the enclosure of Philippe-Auguste.

The Quai Anatole-France is located in the 7éme arrondissement , It is 585 meters long, it begins after Quai Voltaire, at Rue du Bac, and continues via Quai d’Orsay, from Boulevard Saint-Germain and at the Bourbon Palace. The lane provides access to the Musée d’Orsay and the Passarelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge. The Quai Anatole-France is just the eastern part of the Quai d’Orsay, bounded by the Pont Royal and the Pont de la Concorde. It took on the current name in 1947. Anatole France was familiar with the quays of the Left Bank: he had lived at 15, quai Malaquais and his father had run a bookstore at 9, quai Voltaire. You see by here at Nos 7-9: Musée d’Orsay. The Palace of the Legion of Honor s/n. In front of the passarelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge is a statue of US President Thomas Jefferson. It is located near the Hôtel de Salm, which inspired him to build his residence in Monticello. The statue was Inaugurated in 2006.

The Quai d’Orsay is a quay located on the left bank of the Seine in the 7éme arrondissement, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nicknamed “the Quai d’Orsay”, and the Palais Bourbon are located. which houses the National Assembly, This quay begins at the Pont de la Concorde and Rue Aristide-Briand and ends at the Pont de l’Alma and Place de la Résistance. It gives access to the Gisèle-Halimi promenade, located on the banks of the Seine, and to the Habib-Bourguiba esplanade, located on the high quays. The Quai d’Orsay owes its name to Charles Boucher, lord of Orsay, adviser to the Parliament of Paris, who was provost of the merchants of Paris when work on the quay began in 1707. The quay was opened from 1808 as an extension of the quay built in 1708, starting from the Pont Royal bridge, and which bore the name of Quai d’Orsay. In 1947, another part of the Quai d’Orsay (from No. 1 to No. 31 inclusive) took the name of “Quai Anatole-France”. As a result, the first address on the Quai d’Orsay happens to be at No. 33, which is the National Assembly. No. 37: Foreign Office No. 65: The American Church in Paris was the first American church located outside the United States; the construction of the current building, which replaced the one on rue de Berri dating from 1857, was completed in 1931. At No 93: Musée des Égouts de Paris(sewers of Paris museum).

The Quai Branly is a road located along the Seine (left bank) in the 7éme arrondissement. It begins in the east in the extension of the Quai d’Orsay, at the level of the Alma bridge and the of the Resistance and ends at the Quai Jacques-Chirac, at the level of the David Ben Gurion esplanade and the Passarelle Debilly footbridge. On the Seine side, it serves the port of La Bourdonnais. Quai Branly bears the name of Édouard Branly, French physicist born in Amiens, one of the precursors of the TSF On April 14, 2021, the Council of Paris voted to rename most of Quai Branly (the portion located in front of the museum from Quai Branly to Place des Martyrs-Juifs-du-Vélodrome-d’Hiver, in the 7éme and 15éme arrondissements) Quai Jacques-Chirac, in honor of the former President of the French Republic, You can see the Pont de l’Alma, one of whose pillars is decorated with the Zouave which serves as an indicator of the rising waters of the Seine. At the site of the former headquarters of Météo-France, at No. 1, at the corner of Avenue Rapp and facing the Pont de l’Alma. The buildings ,now destroyed, were bought in February 2010 by the Russian State to build a cathedral on their land, the new seat of the Russian Orthodox Bishopric of Chersonese and a cultural center of the Russian Orthodox Church ended in 2016. At No 11, the Alma Palace, residence of the Republic and former seat of the High Council of the Judiciary (CSM). At no 37 ,the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques-Chirac, museum of arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas with its plant wall overlooking the quay. It occupies the place of the former Ministry of Foreign Trade. The Eiffel Tower, on the Champ-de-Mars near the Pont d’Iéna.

The Quai Voltaire is located in the 7éme arrondissement or district. It is 308 meters long, located between the Quai Malaquais and the Quai Anatole-France which extends it. It begins at Rue des Saints-Pères and Pont du Carrousel and ends at Rue du Bac and Pont Royal. This quay bears the name Quai Voltaire in homage to the writer who died there in 1778, in the hotel of the Marquis de Villette. In 1791, the quay took its present name. Since Honoré de Balzac, who located the mysterious antique shop La Peau de Chagrin there, the Quai Voltaire has been home to many antique dealers, now more specialized in the very high end. At the beginning of the 19C, the first booksellers of Paris appeared there.

Some of the buildings to see by the Quai Voltaire me think are :

No 1: Hôtel de Bouillon, circa 1630, then Hôtel de Tessé (also known as “de Sassenage”) built in 1768. The decor of the Grand Salon is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Leaping from the roof of this hotel (at the corner of Rue des Saints-Pères) on March 19, 1742, Jean-François Boyvin de Bonnetot, Marquis de Bacqueville, attempted one of the first attempts at human flight. Equipped with a kind of wings attached to his arms and legs, he hovered 300 meters above the Seine before falling on a washhouse, breaking his thigh. At Nos 3 and 5: Hôtel Le Barbier, now Hôtel Perrault, then Hôtel de La Briffe. Until 1733, there was only one set there, connected by an underground passage with the other side of the rue de Bourbon, which served as a barnyard. The writer Maurice Joly lived in a small apartment until his death in 1878. The Sennelier color shop Les Couleurs du quai was established in 1887 by Gustave Sennelier. He had clients such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro, Chaïm Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, Vassily Kandinsky, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, among others. In May 2007, after leaving the Élysée Palace, former President Jacques Chirac and his wife Bernadette moved there, in a large apartment. He leaves this apartment in December 2015.
At No 7: Hôtel Glucq, later Hôtel Choiseul-Beaupré, then Hôtel d’Aumont-Mazarin. Jean-Baptiste Glucq (known as Glucq de Saint Port) lived there twice and died there in 1748. This hotel formed with No. 3 and No. 5 the “big house” bought by his parents on March 3, 1713. Karl Lagerfeld, designer, photographer and publisher lived, during his first years as a designer, on the ground floor and first floor of the private mansion which is in the courtyard. At the end of his career, he lived, among other places, in an apartment on no 17 Quai Voltaire. At Nos 9-11 Nicolas Boulleau built two hotels on this plot, between 1663 and 1666. Number 9 successively became Hôtel de Beuvron, Hôtel de Chamlay, Hôtel Saint-Séverin, Hôtel de Vaubécourt. And Number 11 was successively Hôtel de Bérulle, Hôtel de Bauffremont, then Hôtel Nigon de Berty, The painters Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (who died there in 1867 and where a plaque pays homage to him) and Camille Corot had their studio there. At No 15: Hôtel de Sainctot, Hôtel de Chamousset, Hôtel d’Ambleville. The artist Eugène Delacroix occupied a studio there in January 1829 to 1838. He also maintained a residence there until 1835. Horace Vernet was a tenant there in 1831 and Camille Corot between 1843 and 1848.At No 17: The great couturier Karl Lagerfeld lived there for several years until his death in Paris in February 2019, in a very large futuristic apartment completely redesigned by him. At No 19: the Hotel du Quai Voltaire has existed since the 19C. Charles Baudelaire wrote The Flowers of Evil there. Richard Wagner completed The Meistersinger of Nuremberg there. He also welcomed Jean Sibelius, Oscar Wilde, Camille Pissarro. A plaque pays tribute to them. At No 23: home of the star dancer and director of dance of the Paris Opera, Rudolf Nureyev. A plaque honors him
At No 27 (corner of rue de Beaune): Hôtel de Villette. . Then owned by the Marquis de Villette, Voltaire lived there in February 1778 until his death on May 30. He died in a second-floor room overlooking the courtyard. At Nos 29-31: Hôtel de Mailly-Nesle. Its owner, Augustin-Joseph de Mailly, Marshal of France, defender of the Tuileries Palace on August 10, 1792, was arrested there during the French revolution. The 18C mansion now houses the Direction of French Documentation, a service of the Prime Minister. Deeply distorted and rendered almost unrecognizable, it nevertheless retains some quality interior decorations.

The Paris tourist office on riverside walks: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/paris-river-seine

The city of Paris entertainement side sortir à Paris on the quais in French: https://www.sortiraparis.com/loisirs/articles/9251-les-quais-de-seine

There you go folks, a wonderful small contribution to the magic and romantic allure of the quays of Paris, the quais de Paris are sublime. A must to walk them and even a thrill to drive by them as this road warrior have done both several times.Hope you enjoy the post and do walk/drive on them in your future visits, it is recommended by yours truly.

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

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2 Comments to “The quays of Paris!!!”

  1. Walking along the quays of Paris, probably my favourite walk. And if the Seine is the most beautiful avenue in Paris, the quays are its pavements.

    Liked by 1 person

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