Archive for June 29th, 2022

June 29, 2022

Again by St Germain en Laye !!

And I come back to my beloved old living area, department Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region just near Paris but not Paris at all. This is Saint Germain en Laye!  The Château de St Germain en Laye is now an archeological museum which is recommended to see. However, for me the architecture and history of the castle is it. Many memorable moments here with the family, as we love to come and shop in the city as well. I have found some pictures not in my blog and they should so here I am again to tell you about the castle of Saint Germain en Laye! 

SGL chateau back mar12

Just 20-25 minutes by RER A from Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile ,Arc de Triomphe, Paris !  As soon as you arrive, the castle faces you. A former royal residence, it stands out in particular for the elegance of its Renaissance silhouette and for its Saint-Louis Chapel, which is a true masterpiece of the radiant Gothic style. In particular, you can admire its permanent archaeological collections, which are among the richest in the world. From the Paleolithic to the First Middle Ages, some 29,000 objects, vestiges of the oldest techniques and arts, are available to you. The museum also offers themed temporary exhibitions and conference visits to learn more about the archeology and history of the castle. Just behind it, in what it was the old castle Louis XIV was born, now covered by the fame restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV.

SGL chateau left side mar12

However, just as wonderful is to walk its domain property and its gardens paths. The national estate and the gardens surrounding the castle welcome you for a stroll on the large terrace, 2.5 km long and 30 meters wide, laid out by André Le Nôtre, gardener to Louis XIV. Overlooking La Défense and the Seine, it is a masterpiece of perspective!

The National Domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye offers 40 ha of preserved areas which adjoin the former royal forest. This popular place for walking allows you to admire the French gardens designed by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV or stroll through the English Garden created in the 19C and home to several rare trees. If today it represents a place of walk and relaxation very frequented by the inhabitants of the region thanks to its many paths and marked paths, it was formerly one of the favorite hunting grounds of the kings of France. Thus, François I, passionate about hunting, had the royal forest laid out for hunting with bridle paths crossing in a star, so that, placed in the center of these crossroads, hunters could see game crossing an alley. These alleys still exist, as does the La Muette hunting lodge, built in the 18C on the site of a first castle built by François I.

The official St Germain en Laye castle museum info :

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the castle/museum

The city of Saint Germain en Laye on its heritage:

There you go folks, seeing it alone is worth the trip, a marvel of our times, I have always enjoyed my visits in St Germain en Laye ,and the castle/museum is tops. Hope you enjoy this memorable post as much as I. The castle/museum of Saint Germain en Laye is superbe!

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

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June 29, 2022

My Rue de la Fédération of Paris !!

I want to tell now that I can, where was my last work office spot in my eternal Paris last there before the pandemic in 2019, This was at the nice Rue de la Fédération which is splendid positioned between the rue Desaix, which you can come by the Bassins de Champ de Mars and the Champ de Mars park which was my break time while visiting there. Further on the other way you have the Quai Branly and beyond port de Suffren (see post) . My regular trips there , I took the bus from Montparnasse no 82 stop Champ de Mars – Suffren (see post) ,which was easy walking distance to the office. Also, sometimes if weather made it better, the metro line 6 Bir-Hakeim.

paris tour eiffel from rue de la federation nov17

The Rue de la Fédération is in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris. The neighborhood of the Champ-de-Mars gave it its current name, in honor of the feast of the first Fête de la Fédération, which was celebrated on July 14, 1790, the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. This street was called Rue Kléber by a decision of September 1 1802 (revolutionary year 14 Fructidor Year X ), Again by decree of 1879,the street takes the name of Rue de la Fédération. Its layout was modified in 1897 to allow for the expansion of the Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel train station.

paris tour eiffel walking from bir hakeim nov17

It was in this street that the Revillon Frères establishments were located, founded in 1839 and whose origins date back to 1723, is the main French company and one of the world’s largest fur traders until 1936.  It was bought in 1982 by the Belgian group Cora, and becomes the Revillon Luxe brand. Today split into various independent companies, the Revillon brand is available in haute couture fur and as a perfumer and cosmetics. My most memorable meal in this area was done at the Le Cassenoix restaurant , 56 rue de la Fédération ,(see post).

paris Eiffle tower from 13 floor Aon ofc may13

The other street I took often as off the bus was the Rue Desaix, 402 meters long, begins at 38, avenue de Suffren and ends at 99, boulevard de Grenelle. This street, which has existed since the 18C, was named “Chemin des Charbonniers” then “Chemin de l’Orme-de-Grenelle” and “Rue Saint-Dominique” in 1798. It took its current name on September 1 1802 (revolutionary calendar 14 Fructidor an X ) Right on this street at no 14 is the very nice Comedie Tour Eiffel theater.,which not been inside yet.  Right on the Champ de Mars parc which again was a nice way to walk off lunch and get back to work you have the nice Bassins du Champ de Mars located at place Jacques Rueff Built since 1908 to 1928. After this I took the sublime Avenue Joseph Bouvard. The avenue connects Avenue de Suffren to the crossroads of Avenue de la Bourdonnais, Avenue Rapp and Rue Saint-Dominique, The route took its current name in 1921. In 1984, the central roundabout of Avenue sur le Champ-de-Mars was detached from it and took the name of Place Jacques-Rueff.

paris invalides from aon office mar14

This is all a sublime walk, and so happy to have know it well ,and worked nearby for several years as was my main company meeting place for the Finance committee, The other huge place here that just barely mentioned was the Champ de Mars Park ! I have several entries on the Tour Eiffel but just brief mentioned of this marvelous park.

The Champ-de-Mars is a large, fully open public garden/park located between the Eiffel Tower and the école Militaire or Military school. With its 24.5 ha, the Champ-de-Mars park is one of of the largest green spaces in Paris. Its name comes from the Roman Field of Mars and therefore from the Roman god of war, Mars, echoing the neighboring Military School. It encompasses the area between Avenue Gustave-Eiffel, which separates the park from the Eiffel Tower and Avenue de La Motte-Picquet, which borders it, The Champ-de-Mars is 780 meters long. In width, there are 220 meters between Allée Thomy-Thierry and Allée Adrienne-Lecouvreur. My Dad below !

Paris champ de mars tour eiffel Pipo resting mar11

Some of the events held here me think were on July 14, 1790 ,the feast of Federation. In the center of the esplanade stood the Altar of the Fatherland. Before the French revolution It was a country space, The construction of the Military School, by Gabriel, led to its destination in 1765 as the choice of the esplanade led to the construction of the noble facade which today closes the Champ- de-Mars and which was a witness and ceremonial setting for some of the greatest celebrations of the French revolution. The ground was leveled, surrounding it with a wide ditch and a long avenue of elm trees, and the esplanade was closed off with a fine gate. The Ile des Cygnes, which was at the location of the foot of the Eiffel Tower, was then attached to the left bank by the Pont des Cygnes.  This is where the Paris World’s Fairs of 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900 and 1937 were held. At the Paris World’s Fair of 1889 ,and to celebrate the centenary of the French revolution, Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower on the Champ-de-Mars esplanade. The Champ-de-Mars also hosted the foil and saber events of the 1900 Summer Olympics. The Champ-de-Mars has become a vast public garden, with central lawn paths. It is the site of many performances and activities, whether concerts, exhibitions or fireworks, all free. This is,also, where the New Year fireworks of lately are held, In the early 2020s, the Grand Palais underwent renovations (see post). A temporary structure is therefore built in the Champ-de-Mars, as an “ephemeral Grand Palais”, which was inaugurated in early 2021 , It will host several events, including certain events of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

The City of Paris on the Champ de Mars park

The Paris tourist office on the Champ de Mars park

There you go folks, a memorable spot for me, again!  Well my travels as many notice are much, and in my eternal Paris ,well worked for 9 years, and lived off of it in Versailles! The best one-two combination one can have, and I am bragging, sorry! The area is awesome for walks, sights, and foodies, and at night over the Seine is sublime. Hope you enjoy the pictures from my office.

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

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June 29, 2022

The Wall of Philippe Auguste in Paris!!!

A while back I did a long post…on medieval Paris! As I am an amateur of architecture and history, and lucky to have travel plenty already I figure it would be interesting to post it. Thanks to you all , it was well received. I, looking at my vault of pictures saw one on an street of rue Clovis and motivated me to write this one. After all, Paris is today thanks to these old pioneers who designed and treated Paris like it is, the most beautiful city in the world!!  Therefore, let me tell you another long post on the Wall of Philippe Auguste in Paris !!!

The rue Clovis , a street in the 5éme arrondissement  or district of Paris located mostly in the Sorbonne quartier or neighborhood. This road connects the Place du Pantheon and the rue du Cardinal-Lemoine located mostly in the Sorbonne but, also the Saint-Victor neighborhoods or quartiers. The breakthrough of the road in the 19C requires the demolition of the Church Abbey Sainte-Geneviève, of which only the bell tower known as the Tour Clovis or Clovis tower  remains in the premises of the Lycée Henri -IV, (a high school) located at No. 23 rue Clovis  Near the 5-7 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, remains a remnant of the wall of Philippe Auguste. The street owes its name to King Clovis I of the Franks. During these works, the rue Clotilde was also created, named after Clotilde, the wife of Clovis, on the back side of the Pantheon. On or near rue Clovis ,you can see the Lycée Henri-IV and its main entrance at no 23 rue Clovis. The Church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (see post) that the street runs along. The presbytery of the church ,the former hotel of Louis d’Orléans dit le Pieux. Near rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, at nos 5-7, remains a remnant of Philippe Auguste’s surrounding wall, which was restored in 2010. See picture.

paris rue clovis old wall philippe auguste feb14

I like to go into a condense story of the  Wall of Philippe Auguste trying to mention current spots only. Bear with me, it is long…..

Over the centuries, the city of Paris was surrounded by seven successive enclosures, punctuating and thus promoting its expansion. These enclosures, which took the appearance of real walls in the city, acted as a system of fortification in times of war and more generally made it possible to delimit the urban heart of the capital.  The construction of the enclosure takes place in the context of the struggles between Philip Augustus and the English Plantagenet dynasty. In order to protect Paris from possible attacks,  the King of France, before leaving for the Third Crusade, ordered the construction of a stone wall to protect the capital in his absence.  The right bank was fortified first, from 1190 to 1209, then the left bank, from 1200 to 1215. Philippe Auguste’s enclosure encompassed an area of ​​253 hectares and was 2,500 meters long on the left bank and 2,600 meters long on the right bank.

Despite the construction in the 14C of the enclosure of Charles V including that of Philippe Auguste on the right bank, the latter was not demolished. However, the enclosure of Charles V concerned only the right bank. The left bank, always much less populated, had to be content with the old enclosure of Philippe Auguste until the 16C.  On the right bank, François I had the gates demolished in 1533 and authorized the rental of the grounds of the enclosure without authorize its demolition. From the second half of the 16C,  these lands were sold to individuals, often causing the dismantling of large portions of the wall. The wall on the left bank side underwent the same evolution under Henry IV; in 1590, it was preferred to dig ditches beyond the outskirts of the city rather than to modernize the enclosure again.

This new enclosure, which was almost round and of which the City was the center, contained 739 arpents and enclosed in Paris several boroughs which had been formed. Philippe Auguste’s enclosure crossed the current 1éme, 4éme, 5éme and 6éme arrondissements or districts of Paris. On the right bank, apart from the small section rue des Jardins-Saint-Paul, its layout has completely disappeared.  On the left bank, its layout can be deduced from that of the streets which run along it on the outside. There were eight gates and the wall began on the other side of the Seine.  Entirely crenellated, and equipped with a walkway along its entire length, the rampart measured 6-8 meters in height, even 9 including the parapet, for a thickness of 4-6 meters at the base. the wall had a walkway about 2 meters wide and battlements. It was accessed by ladders leaning against the wall or by the stairs of the gates.

It was flanked by 77 semi-cylindrical towers that did not project into the interior of the city and were integrated into the curtain wall every 60 meters (39 on the right bank, 38 on the left bank). They were about 6 meters in diameter including the one meter thick walls. Their height reached about 15 meters. Each of the towers had 3 floors. Four strong towers 25 meters high and 10 meters in diameter located at the junction of the enclosure with the Seine made it possible to control river navigation.  During the construction of the enclosure, 11 main gates were fitted out. Four other main gates and many posterns were added to cope with the growth of the city. The main gates were flanked by sloping base towers 15 meters high and 8 meters in diameter.  Originally, the left bank had only five gates opening the city onto the main traffic axes which joined the Paris of that time.  Additional openings were then made , thus 3 other posterns were added on the left bank, from West to East . Additional openings were then made at the end of the 13C.  The right bank was accessible by six main gates when the enclosure was built. In addition, two posterns complete the list. During the 13C other posterns were added; on the right bank, from west to east.

The enclosure or rather I call it, the wall of Philippe Auguste has become almost invisible since the 17C, the remains are often difficult to spot. A large part of them are located on private property, not accessible to the public. However, I will give where to find them thanks to my library, tourist and city of Paris, and wikipedia as I have done my homework, and walked it. Enjoy it as I

In the 1éme arrondissement ,can be seen at 7, 9 rue du Jour, 62 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, 21, 23 rue du Jour, 70 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, 11, 13 rue du Louvre, 20 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau ;  from 9 rue du Louvre, it is possible to see the back of a tower, as well as its base at  metro line 14, and 146, 148, 150 rue Saint-Honoré.

2éme arrondissement , can be seen at 16 rue Étienne-Marcel, 15 rue Tiquetonne,  and 20 rue Étienne-Marcel

3éme arrondissement, can be seen at 69, 71 rue du Temple; nearby the route is still visible on the map of the district or through architectural curiosities such as the blind facade of the courtyard of the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan at no 71 rue du Temple.

4éme arrondissement, can be seen at 15 rue de l’Ave-Maria, 9 to 15 rue Charlemagne, 17, 19, 21 rue des Jardins-Saint-Paul by the corner of rue Charlemagne and rue des Jardins-Saint-Paul is visible the most long portion preserved ,about 60 meters. You can see a quarter of Montgommery Tower, named after the captain of Henry II’s Scottish Guard who is believed to have been imprisoned there after accidentally killing the king during a joust. This tower was to be flanked by another in order to defend the Saint-Paul postern. In the middle of the sports field is another restored tower. A 7 meters high curtain wall connects the two towers.  7 rue de Sévigné: former Hôtel d’Evreux (which also occupied no 9) then Hôtel Poulletier or Hôtel de Chavigny; in the cellars of No. 7, remains of a tower from the enclosure of Philippe Auguste; today fire station. 57, 59 rue des Francs-Bourgeois,  at the level of the narrow entrance located between numbers 57 and 59 overlooking the courtyard of the Crédit municipal de Paris, it is possible to see from the public road a brick tower dating from the 19C whose basis is medieval. Two lines drawn in the paving of the courtyard mark the location of the curtain wall, which has since been razed. A plaque appearing on the premises of the Crédit Municipal takes up the layout of this former enclosure. Nos 8, 10, 14, 16 rue des Rosiers; remains visible in the Jardin de Rosiers – Joseph-Migneret.

5éme arrondissement, can be seen at 9, 11 rue d’Arras, 38, 40, 42 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, 23, 25, 27 rue d’Arras (now rue Jacques-Henri-Lartigue), 48, 50 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine , 17, 19 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, 28 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, 30 bis rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, under the Jussieu post office; remains of the arch that allowed the Bièvre river to cross the enclosure of Philippe-Auguste to enter the city. 45, 47 rue Descartes, 4 rue Thouin, 60 to 68 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, rue Clovis (see above), between 1 and 5 rue Clovis, one of the best preserved parts of the curtain wall is visible. However, the part where the original walkway is passable, inserted into private properties, is not accessible to the public. Remains are also visible at numbers 10, 12 and 16 rue Thouin. An indirect vestige also remains at no 7 bis boulevard Saint-Germain,  a very narrow building built between two buildings of more traditional invoice on the site of the old enclosure.

6éme arrondissement, can be seen at Cour du Commerce-Saint-André, Cour de Rohan, 11 quai de Conti; 34 rue Dauphine, passage Dauphine, 35 rue Mazarine; 13 rue de Nesle, impasse de Nevers, and 27, 29 rue Guénégaud.

The city of Paris on the wall of Philippe Auguste

The city of Paris going out guide on the wall of Philippe Auguste

The Paris tourist office on medieval Paris

There you go folks, Paris will amaze you still of its wonders. The walk around these streets is wonderful and additional architecture and history booth for me and surely will be for you . Hope you enjoy this long post on the wall of Philippe Auguste in Paris!

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

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