Archive for ‘Paris’

April 12, 2021

Church Notre-Dame-des-Champs of Paris!

This is again another dandy monument in my eternal Paris. I have done quite a bit of walking in Paris, and public transports and by car and always amazes me of the wonderful monuments that not only are known but also unknown to most. This is another beauty in the Church Notre Dame des Champs of Paris; hope you enjoy it as I

Going along in my updates of beautiful monuments of  Paris, and seeing its many monument will do wonders to your senses. Walking is like stepping into an outdoor museum , all beautiful. Some of the things we see sometimes does not bring the couriosity in us, after all so many to choose from indeed. However, once we decided to go in, we see why Paris is call the most beautiful city in the world, inside and outside! I worked here,not far, and do come by Montparnasse in the last few years quite often, almost once a month or more.  The monument is a Church ,but there is more to a Church in France than religion, many things in history do happened in them.

The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs , located at 91, boulevard du Montparnasse, in the 6éme district of Paris (out of 20 in Paris).  It gives its name to the Notre-Dame-des-Champs neighborhood, in the southern part of which the church is located, and which is the 23rd neighborhood of Paris (out of 80 in Paris). The church is bordered on one side by the square Ozanam, opposite lies the restaurant La Coupole.


A bit of history I like

The remnants of a Roman temple dedicated to the cult of the God Mercury have been found some distance from the present church. After the conversion of the Parisian region to Christianity, the temple was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was baptized Notre-Dame-des-Vignes,(vineyards) the place being surrounded by vineyards. Thereafter, King Robert the Pious enlarged Notre-Dame-des-Vignes to honor the place where Saint-Denis would have celebrated the Holy Mysteries. The tradition reports that, arriving at Lutècia, had first settled in this place. The Benedictines of Marmoutier Abbey soon transformed the Church into a priory; they tore out the surrounding vines and renamed the Church “Notre-Dame-des-Champs”. This sanctuary, a crypt in the basements of the building at 14bis Rue Pierre-Nicole became a place of pilgrimage to which you could go in by the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, which bypassed the paddock of the monks from the south. In 1604, the Benedictines ceded Notre-Dame-des-Champs to the Duchess of Orléans-Longueville, who installed Carmelite nuns from Spain who made their monastery one of the most famous in the 17C. It was there that successively withdrew Mademoiselle de La Valliére and Madame de Montespan.

At the French revolution, the Convent was closed and the Church destroyed. In 1802 the nuns bought a small part of their old estate, and built a small chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Champs at currently 25 Rue Henri-Barbusse and a new cloister surmounted by their living quarters. This second Carmel was abolished in 1906, and there remained only the memory, perpetuated by rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. In 1858, a parish was created for the district, which naturally received the name of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, with a wooden chapel located at 153 and 155 Rue de Rennes. The architecture of the present church is of Romanesque inspiration. The first stone was laid in 1867 and, eight years later,in 1876, the Church received its blessing. In 1912 the Church was consecrated by Cardinal Léon-Adolphe Amete, Archbishop of Paris.

The law of separation of Church and state from 1905 on Notre-Dame-des-Champs. It should be recalled that the law of 1905 asked the parishes to create each a worship association to which the property of the state-owned, newly-crowned public institutions would be attributed. To mark his opposition to the law, the Church of France refused these associations (which are nevertheless commonplace today). The law of 1905 stipulated that, without attribution to an association, these assets were to be placed under receivership-which, of course, went through a prior inventory. And this inventory was in the eyes of the religious and the faithful the infamous imprint of the Republic on religious life. So a casus belli. In other words nationalisation as in many revolutions.

Obviously, in order to establish the inventories, the officers of the state demanded the collaboration of the religious… and they refused in protest. In December 1905, Cardinal Richard put his instructions to the Parisian parishes: to follow the inventory operations, without directing them, and to make all the useful reservations when the interests of the priests and Churches appear compromised. In Notre Dame des Champs, the priest and the members of the Church displayed, in an official letter, their refusal to lend their hand to the authorities.  When the officers of the State arrived in front of the Church square on January 31, 1906 at  14h or 2pm, a stormy crowd awaited them. There were two blocks there. The first, the “people of the barriers”, guided by former communards and socialist leaders, cried: “Down with the cap!” The other, a defender of the parish priest, was made up of Bretons whose arrival in the capital for some decades had helped to radically change the social face of the neighbourhood. As belligerent as the other, the two groups came to the hands. On the Breton side, we heard shouting: “Down with thieves!” and “Go to the Grand Orient!”, putting the law of separation on the account of Freemasonry.  After two hours of confrontation, in accordance with the instructions they had received, the officers of the State withdrew empty handed. When the demonstrators left, the priest of the Church recited the Rosary in public. Notre Dame des Champs Church was classified in the parishes of the refusal. The Historical context above are translated by me from the book “Brève histoire de la paroisse Notre-Dame-des-Champs” (Brief history of the parish of Our Lady of the Fields) by Bernard Plongeron, Honorary Professor of the Institut Catholique de Paris( Catholic Institute of Paris) . Edited on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Church 1858-2008.

Some on the architecture. Like many Churches built in Paris under the Second Empire, the building has a metal frame made by Gustave Eiffel. This allows it to benefit from a high vault and an important space. The nave is chanted with arched arcades supported by pillars. Beyond the ionic capitals emerge from the columns engaged to the arches.  The Church Notre-Dame-des-Champs boasts a double series of canopies, on the aisles and the second level of the elevation. The stained glass windows bring to the nave and chorus all the light necessary to admire the paintings.

paris church notre dame des champs mar13

And a bit on the interiors.

The statue of the Madonna is above the altar of the Virgin and represents the Blessed Virgin carrying the child Jesus, holding in his hands a crown of thorns. It is one of the most beautiful virgins to the child of Paris. The 14 paintings of the way of the cross, the murals of the church are all splendid and esoteric.


The Chapel of Saint Joseph located in the north transept has a painting representing the rest of the Holy Family. This work has the peculiarity of showing Saint Joseph hug the child Jesus surrounded by the Virgin Mary and by the four main archangels: Michel, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.  The Sacred Heart Chapel in the south transept has a painting, dating from 1885, representing the Sacred Heart.

The 22 paintings located at the second level of the elevation in the nave and the choirs of the Church were made on strengthened canvas, i.e. a canvas glued to the wall.  Built between 1891 and 1907 and represent the life of the Virgin Mary.  The paintings by Joseph Aubert ,of Breton origin, devoted 18 years of his life to the artistic work of the Notre-Dame-des-Champs Church. He made all the paintings with the exception of both the chapels of the Sacré-Coeur and Saint-Joseph. The artist uses the technique of the strengthened canvas: a canvas fixed on a wall using glue pressed against it. For his 22 paintings of the Life of the Virgin, Aubert has documented himself by making several trips to Palestine to observe the costume of the people, and more specifically, the daily life of women. Moreover, many places visited are found on his paintings. Let us note that the paintings of the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs highlight the two natures of the Virgin, the triumphant in the sky above the earthly creatures as seen in the vault in the furnace; that of the nave and where it appears in its earthly life, as a woman of Galilee who is clad in the embroidered robe which is still worn, today.  These painting gained notoriety abroad as four paintings of the Church were purchased by American religious art lovers (the works exhibited are replicas). Innovative in decorations and costumes, also in the interpretation made of “the Last Supper”. The artist did not represent a meal, but a communion. Jesus stands up, a chalice in his hands. The apostles are standing on their knees or leaning towards him. Those who sit at the table will have to leave it to commune, too, with divine blood. In this very beautiful painting, it is necessary to underline the meticulous work of the artist and his search for realism in the painting of the room, the costumes and the accessories of the meal.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended are:

The Parish webpage of the Church of Notre Dame des Champs

The Paris tourist office on the Church Notre Dame des Champs

This is hugely wonderful and a must see while in Paris, you are missing something else if not by here. It is really wonderful to see, and I finf myself looking at something that is not much mention but really a gem of Paris.  Do come to see the Church Notre Dame des Champs. Hope it helps your discover more of Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 12, 2021

Church of St François de Sales of Paris!!!

And here is another dandy of my eternal Paris. I have done many walks in the city and always find amazing monuments , some known , and some less known or not known at all. As I was walking I stumbled into the Church Saint François de Sales and will love to tell you about it. Hope you enjoy the story.

In my wandering days in Paris, never stop amazing me the multitude of sights and places, monuments etc that abound in this beautiful city. No doubt it is worthy call the most beautiful city in the world.  There is enough in Paris to write books, I know one famous who wrote and published posthume called A Mouvable Feast; but Hemingway was short way short, there is so much more even in Paris.  I came upon these monument and particularly this Church walking, and of course who says going underground is fun! Walking in Paris is like been in a museum 24 hrs 7/7 and you can come across amazing places. One of them is the Church Saint François de Sales.

The Catholic parish of Saint-François-de-Sales in the 17éme district of Paris officially at 70 Rue Jouffroy d’Abbans. It  comprises two separate churches built  head-butting and connected by a corridor. It is dedicated to Saint François de Sales. The oldest of the two Churches has its main entrance to  6  Rue Brémontier. At the beginning of the 20C is decided the building of a new church. This is built from 1911 to 1913 with entrance by 15 Rue Ampére with a long corridor allowing direct access to the old church.

Once the events of the commune have passed, it was decided to raise a new place of worship in a rather stripped Romanesque style. The building, dedicated to Saint François of Sales, is blessed in 1873. It is called today “Ancient Church”. Indeed, as early as 1912, with the population growing again, another larger building, always dedicated to François de Sales and always of Romanesque style, is built, adjoining the first. It is called “New Church”. The “Ancient church” of Saint-François-de-Sales, presents some interesting sculptures, two absidiales Chapels fully painted and a canopy of the late 19C. It is devoted to the life of François de Sales, canonized in 1665 and declared Doctor of the Church in 1877 by Pope Pius IX.

The story of the Saint is very interesting even from a historical point of view.  Saint François de Sales and the Counter-Reformation. François de Sales was born in 1567 in the Duchy of Savoy (so he is not French born). A noble family, he studied at the colleges of Annecy and Paris. Drawn very early by the priesthood, he shows a passionate soul about theology. 16 to 20 years old he was in Paris, studying Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. The theories of grace and predestination, brought to the liking of the day by Protestaniesm, mark it to such an extent that it believes itself destined to hell. To overcome his anguish, he prays in the Dominican Church of Saint-Germain-des-Près, in front of a statue of the Virgin. And this for ten weeks (end 1586-beginning 1587). He is not yet 20 years old and already reveals a very mystical spirit.  François de Sales deepened theology at the University of Padua and became a priest in 1593, at the age of 26. He was a member of the Bishopric of Geneva, but lived in Annecy because the Calvinists expelled the Catholics from the city. He was immediately remarked by his preaching skills and the very content of his preaching. At a time when the clergy dreamed of reconquering the regions won by reform, his way of converting souls seduced: no compulsion, no violence; Everything must rest in the reasoning and persuasion of the verb. And especially in a life of virtue that must serve as an example. His bishop, Claude de Graner, sent him as a missionary in the Protestant Chablais, especially his capital, Thonon-les-Bains. The task will be rough, will take years, but came to fruition ,thanks to the persuation of St François de Sales.  Charles Borromée and François de Sales were the two great figures who applied the principles of the Council of Trent on the ground, and had them translated, at the level of objects and images, by Baroque art.  The altarpiece is conceived as a digest of the theological truths affirmed by the Council of Trent. François de Sales had the opportunity to monitor, control, reframe if necessary, the artistic creations of his region. The Counter-Reformation implanted there with powerful weapons, that of faith through the beauty in art, to well mark its difference with Protestantism which refused any form of objects of piety, except the cross.

From the outside , the Church of Saint François de Sales looks like less than it is ,however, inside there are wonders to behold. The stained glass of the choir. The church of Saint-François-de-Sales chose an original iconography to illuminate its choir. In fact, the stained glass windows illustrate three themes represented by the great figures of the Catholic Church: Tradition, the people of God and Scripture (from left to right).



On the left, the parabole of Tradition; in a central Mandorla, Saint Peter, on his throne and wearing the papal tiara, is accompanied, in the upper rows, by Doctors of the Church (St. Athanasius, St. John’s, St. Gregory of Nazarene and Saint Basil), and, downstairs, the Fathers of the Church (Saint Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. Ambrose).  In the center, the people of God are represented by Saints.  We see, in the lower part, Saint François de Sales and Saint Jeanne de Chantal; above, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus. In the upper part, the fourth row starting from the bottom shows Saint Denis and Sainte Geneviève; above, Saint Peter and Mary, Queen of Heaven. Finally, the upper row is entirely original; the Christ blessing, on the left, carries on His head a royal crown and, in the left hand, the Cross of his torment. On the right, the heavenly Father, as a bearded old man, is endowed with the royal attributes,  he carries crown, Sceptre, royal Orb and neck the cordon and the Medal of an order of chivalry.  On the right, the Parable of Scripture; the Virgin to the Child, also in a mandorla, is surrounded, above, by the four Evangelists and, at the bottom, by Prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremiah).




Really a find in Paris, off the beaten path of the more popular ones of its kind but worth a detour. Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful Church are:

The Parish Church of St François de Sales

The Churches heritage of Paris on St François de Sales

A different beautiful Paris awaits you, do come and see , the Church Saint François de Sales. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 11, 2021

Basilica of Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Paris!

Ok so this is a landmark and just around the corner celebrating the Paris uprising of 1871 or the Commune makes it clear to update this post to me. After all, the Basilica of Sacre Coeur was done as a reason for that conflict. I have been in it and well all around Montmartre or Paris or is it Montmartre in Paris! Let me update for you and me ,an introductory older post on it; hope you enjoy it as I.

What can I say about Sacre Coeur, it is a very popular Basilica Church of Paris. One of the most see and must stop on your way to Paris. The historical center of a wonderful district ,a city in its right call Montmartre.   The hill of martyrs as in English, no heroes of any sort, but those earlier Christians who gave it all for the faith. Here Saint Denis was beheaded by pagans lords, but He continue to preach all the way to Saint Denis where now is his Basilica de Saint Denis (most French kings are resting there now) see post ,and all begun at Montmartre.

Here in Montmartre, you have the wine harvest the only one left in Paris, with the vinyards celebration every year with a nice festival. Here is the nightclubs all beamings like Moulin Rouge, and Lapin Agile. The hilly streets full of nostalgia, and the impressive Church of Saint Pierre (12C). But all is small when we compare it to Sacre Coeur, the holy cross ,the church on the hill of martyrs=Montmartre.


This is my humble take on it, a bit of history I like

Ordered built by a National cry in 1873 , to help pay for its construction by a National call of reconciliation and the French gave , a lot. The Church was finally completed in 1914 but not consacrated then on 1919 after the end of WWI. It was not really totally finished until 1923. The style is Greek cross  (neo byzantine)  with a huge dome of 83 meters ( 274 ft). Inside  in the ceiling the back of altar is decorated with the biggest mosaic in France covering a surface of  474 sq meters (5100 sq ft) . Built  representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus glorified by the Catholic Church and France. At the base, there is an inscription « Au Cœur très saint de Jésus, la France fervente, pénitente et reconnaissante » or At the heart of the very saints of Jesus, France passionate, penitent and acknowledge. It has ,also, the heaviest bell in France call the Savoyarde, weighting almost 19K kgs with 3 meters in diameter ! The organ is one of the most historical significance as well  having been transferred to the Basilica in 1919.

You can see the wide of Paris by standing in the parvis in front of the Basilica Sacre Coeur, high of 200 meters above sea level given a panoramic view as far as 50 kms (31 miles). The inspiration for Sacré Cœur’s design originated on 4 September 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier attributing the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War to a divine punishment after “a century of moral decline” since the French revolution, in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following that revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and  social democrats, secularists, socialists, and radicals on the other. This schism in the French social order became particularly pronounced after the 1870 withdrawal of the French military garrison protecting the Vatican in Rome to the front of the Franco-Prussian War by Napoléon III; the secular uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870-1871, and the subsequent 1871 defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War.

To get there, the easiest are the Funiculaire de Montmartre or the Montmartrebus (stop Place du Tertre) , by metro the stations closest are Anvers line 2 and Abbesses line 12. You can ,also, walk up the stairs , nice to do if you can. The admission is free.  I have come by metro and then walk up and by car at nearby parking Anvers (Saemes) walk up; once with my young boys too the cable car or funiculaire!

Once by the hill plenty to eat and will take the opportunity to tell you my favorites over the years. My favorites are the Le Moulin de la Galette , La  Bonne Franquette , and brasserie Chez Eugene .  Just walk as much as you can here, the whole area if full of charm,many movies,and history that keeps bringing folks to Paris emerge from here. Like the great movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Amélie Poulain made famous at the Cafe des deux Moulin, 15 rue Lepic , and the great ateliers or shops of Painters like the Halles Saint Pierre ,and the museum of Montmartre. The Clos Montmartre at rue des Saules with its vinyards, and the great Fete des Vendages de Montmartre. The old moulin de la galette at rue Lepic and the moulin Radet at rue Girardon, the remaining windmills of Montmartre. And just by 22 rue des Saules my old time favorite French cabaret Lapin Agile.


The official Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmartre in Paris:

The Paris tourist office on the Basilica Sacre Coeur of Montmatre ,Paris

Hope you get your highs while looking the beautiful scenes of Paris from the hill=butte, at night is sublime,and if clear day awesome. Do visit the wonderful Basilica Sacre Coeur!

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

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April 11, 2021

Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris!

Well here is an important church of my eternal Paris yet shamefully will tell you not been in it. I have many but then again there are so many. As said, these are monument of architecture and history that tells the story better than anything ,and I love to visit them. As I update my posts, come to realise that there can be sites like this where I need to be back when possible. Anyway, I did passed by it several times and will update this older post on the history description of this wonderful Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris. Hope you enjoy the story.

This is to know Paris at its best, no where else you will find so much history than on them.  I have come by here, but never a post solely on it. The Church of Saint Sulpice has a lot history on it if not on my top 3 it is certainly in my top 10. Let me tell you a bit about it and keep in mind to come back to see it when possible.


The Saint Sulpice Church is in the Odeon neighborhood of the 6éme district of Paris. It is located in place Saint-Sulpice with an official address of 2 rue Palatine. It is dedicated to Sulpice the pious, Archbishop of Bourges in the 7C.  Saint-Sulpice is not a frequent dedication in the churches of France. Yet it is a French Saint born at the end of the 6C in the Diocese of Bourges and of Noble ancestry. He would have been raised at the Royal palace, which would have initiated him into business. Dubbed the good or the pious, known for his austerity, fasting, his affability, but also for his healing gifts on the sick, indulging in prayer and serving the poor, he was said to enjoy a gift of persuasion through his voice that led people to invite to conversion . The Bishop of Bourges would have conferred on him the orders to make his preaching official. In 624, he was appointed Bishop of Bourges. Pursuing his role as missionary, he focuses on the conversion of the Jews, many in his diocese, and participates in the training of the campaigns. After 17 years of Episcopate, he chose a coadjutor to devote himself entirely to the service of the poor. He died in Bourges in January 646 or 647. More than 340 churches are dedicated to him in France, which is little in a country that has about 45 000 religious buildings.

The present Church of Saint-Sulpice took the place of a small sanctuary dedicated to Saint-Sulpice-des-Champs, which would go up in the 12C. Rebuilt, then enlarged in the 14C and 16C, it eventually proves to be insufficient for the population of the parish. It was the priest Jean-Jacques Olier , who arrived in his duties in 1642, who set in motion what was going to be the very long journey of the construction of the new church. The plans were approved in 1645. The first stone was laid by the Regent Anne of Austria in February 1646. The plans are to build the largest church in Paris (119 meters long and 57 meters wide). The old church will be totally encompassed (it was at the level of the present choir, the Cross of the transept and two bays of the nave). Nothing prevents the building ,but for the sanctuary, the choir and the nave, the old church will have to be broken up gradually.  The selected style is Classicism with abundance of Corinthians elements, the carved decorations (capitals, cherubs, and vases of flames) made the body with stone giving a very neat architectural look.  As said, for all those visiting Paris coming here is a necessary step; its architecture is the epitome of Classicism, the decorations, the murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve careful look. You see the giant clams and its Virgin and Children, reliefs and sumptuous mausoleum offer the Church artistic masterpieces in Paris.  Forty years will pass. It is the energetic priest Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy  who will restart the construction in 1719 thanks to a lottery.

The Chapel of the Virgin, future Axial Chapel, is the first element that will be built. The young king Louis XIV (he was seven years old), in the presence of the Regent Queen, signed letters Patent authorizing the mastery of work to receive legacies, foundations and donations.  In 1660, after ten years of interruption, the work resumed. The choir and the nine chapels of the ambulatory are erected, then, in 1674, these are the four large piles of the Crusaders. In 1676, the north arm of the transept came out of the ground. The choir of the Old Church (which hinders the construction) is then destroyed. But in 1678, the funding dried up, the crates were empty. In addition, a huge passive is discovered. It is important to be clear: legacies, foundations and donations are not enough for such a large construction. The financial situation is even disastrous forty years will pass. Nothing is more built. The new church will use the nave of the ancient… with a difference of four meters (because the old church dates from the 12C and the natural level of the soil was ascended during the ages-in addition the plans of the new building envisaged a first raised level). The transept is not finished, the South arm does not exist. The aspect of the neighborhood is the one given by a interrupted construction site, with the inevitable nuisances for the residents and a deformed cult house, prey to the bad weather.

In 1714, an energetic abbot was appointed to the priesthood, Jean-Baptiste Languet de Cergy Above all he organizes a lottery that will fill the crates and assure, from 1719, the continuation of the construction site. The construction site will end around 1745 (facade excluded). Nevertheless, in September 1718 with a small bequest, he buys stones that he has deposited at the corner of the streets. Then he distributes a leaflet where the unfinished church, open to all the winds, is drawn. In the foreground is Saint Sulpice in person, accompanied by prelates, who exhorts the wealthy parishioners (and all others) to give.  And from 1719, the work resumed. Languet de Cergy died in 1750,the factory, thankful and then enjoying sound finances, ordered the magnificent mausoleum that can be seen today in the Chapel of St. John the Baptist.  After twenty-five years, in 1746, the Council of State demanded the sharing of profits: a half for Saint-Sulpice (whose façade still remained to be built).

The sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle rested the two giant tridacnes (offered by the Republic of Venice) on marble supports reproducing a marine décor. Above, the Holy One with the famous octopus.  The architecture of the nave, of very classical style.  As for stained glass windows, remember that in the 18C fashion was clear. We can see that the second floor of the nave includes a series of large white glass windows. Saint-Sulpice is a church that enjoys a very high brightness.  The decorations were highly evolved from the 18C to the 19C. The murals and frescoes of the chapels deserve a careful glance. Each chapel has its own dedicated painter. The sculptures of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle with his two blessed and his Virgin of the Child in the axial Chapel, finally the  Bas-reliefs and a sumptuous mausoleum, offer to the church some masterpieces of the art of Paris.  The façade of Saint-Sulpice. the construction of the Church began with the axial Chapel, the ambulatory, then the choir, the transept and the nave. Came the necessity in 1726 to choose a façade a Classic styled with two superposed Pedestal, bordered by two lateral towers. Each pedestal supports a series of lintels, the whole is crowned with a wide pediment. But this kind of façade is conceived only preceded by a grand forecourt: they must therefore clear the space and, for this, buy back the buildings that are there… to demolish them.  In 1766 the architect dies. The towers are barely begun. In the face of the novelty of the project, the King asked the academy to decide. The project a  low square floor and no more polygonal, with pilasters, as well as a triangular pediment, above, a rotunda tower and not the campanile. The construction of the North Tower resumed in 1775 and ended in 1780. The South tower, because of the French revolution, was never completed.

After the Concordat of 1802, the church was in a bad state. Work was done to put it back afloat, especially in the re furnitures. Paintings and various objects which were purchased , and even the woodwork of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.  But it was only from the restoration, and especially from 1824, with the rise on the throne of king Charles X and the arrival of the ultras, that the Church could hope to regain its former splendor.  The Church of Saint-Sulpice is rich in multiple murals and frescoes.  One owes the initiative of these artistic creations to the city of Paris. Between 1820 and 1875, the latter commissioned renowned painters to decorate all the lateral and radiant chapels, not forgetting four large canvases in the transept.  Some great names were sought, such as Eugène Delacroix  for the Chapel of the Saints-Anges and whose paintings obviously aroused controversy. In 1824, Jean-Dominique Ingres  was asked to take over the Chapel of the Souls of Purgatory (at that time, dedicated to Ste. Anne and located next door), but he declined the offer. Refusal that deprived the posterity of a promising artistic comparison.

Chapel of the Holy Angels. This side chapel (the first on the right when entering the church) is one of the most interesting by Eugène Delacroix.  The artist took six years, from 1855 to 1861 (and with the help of an assistant), to create the two large oil and wax paints, as well as the vault that is a strengthened canvas. The spandrels receive large paintings of angels in grey. Jacob’s struggle with the Angel, the subject of one of the two great murals, is the only theme in the Bible where one sees a mortal fight with a celestial being. Jacob fights all night long for the angel to bless him. In response, the Angel tells him that he will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, that is, “strong in front of God.” So it will be the name of the Jewish people, descendant of Jacob. Shows celestial beings throwing ashore the envoy of King Seleucus V, who came to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the Temple. He is beset by a fiery horse mounted by an angel in the Golden armour and whipped by another angel who descends from heaven. Eugène Delacroix in Saint-Sulpice ,at the time he painted the Chapel of the Holy Angels, the priest of the church had forbidden the artist to work on Sundays. Delacroix was very upset because the music of the offices threw him in such a state of exaltation that he worked twice as many times on Sundays of sung masses. With his assistant, he decided to play a trick on the guard responsible for monitoring the application of the instructions. The chapel, during the works, was closed by a palisade and a door. On a Saturday night, the two compadres set up a mannequin, dressed like the painter, sitting on a chair. On Sunday morning, the caretaker went to check that no one was working. Applying his eye to the keyhole, he saw the dummy, took it for Delacroix and knocked on the door to expel this disrespectful. No answer, he thrust the door. Delacroix and his accomplice come out of their hiding place and surprised our man… in flagrante of breaking and entering. And Delacroix was finally able to work on Sundays!!!

The Chapel of the Virgin is one of the oldest places of the monument. In 1774, enriched with an open dome, very original, responsible for plunging the assumption into a sort of celestial light. You can also see two paintings by Carl Van Loo , about the life of the Virgin, and the Angels of the Slodtz brothers adorned with garlands.  Finally, the most majestic element is undoubtedly the white marble statue, the Madonna with the Child, by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle  in a niche created by Louis-Philippe Mouchy, his nephew and pupil. In this chapel, the Classical and the Baroque come together in a happy way, but in general, the darkness prevents to admire it fully.

Having been restored, the Chapel Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle is one of the most beautiful in the church. The fresco paintings trace two episodes of the Life of Saint Roch, as well as an allegory of his apotheosis on the vault.  There are many chapels dedicated to Jean-Baptiste de la Salle in the churches of France. This presence is justified because this Saint, a contemporary of king Louis XIV, devoted his life to the education and training of the young children of the popular classes, an activity which the Jesuits ensured for the affluent classes. At Saint-Sulpice, he was all the more entitled to his chapel that he was trained in the priesthood at the Sorbonne and at the Séminary de Saint-Sulpice. Here in the Chapel Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle , in illustrations of the Life of Saint Roch. The same was done in the Chapel of Saint-Maurice and in the Chapel of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. Finally,  see the two masterful frescoes in the Chapelle Saint-Martin.  The fresco of Saint Martin sharing his coat is very nice. The Chapelle Saint-Jean-Baptiste does not shine by the beauty of its paintings, but by its two magnificent works of art in marble: a Saint Jean-Baptiste preaching  and the funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy.

The funeral monument of the parish priest of Cergy represents the struggle of immortality against death. An angel raises the funeral veil which covered the prelate. Immediately, to the right, death flees, frightened by the hope of eternal life and resurrection, which humbly awaits the prelate, both hands strained. A work with a very strong symbol, made from 1756 to 1758.  In 1777, Chalgrin receives the charge of finishing the façade, in particular-and according to his own plan-the towers. Once the North tower was completed in 1780, Chalgrin addressed the sculptors for the large statues of the four evangelists on the upper floor. Unfortunately, the state of the archives does not allow us to know who did what. Chalgrin also commanded sculptors to do the three large stone statues, which remained unfinished, located in the gallery of the first floor of the Portal. Again, we don’t know who did what. The sculpted decoration of the baptismal font chapel under the Tower. Small reliefs, statues and great bas-relief of the Baptism of Jesus Christ are still in place, but in plaster.  The pulpit to preach of Saint-Sulpice, made in 1788, is an architectural piece as original as it is magnificent. It gives the impression of being suspended in the air.  The project, in a very classical style, was innovative for the time  with a great sense of balance in both shapes and colors. The allegories of the theological virtues (Faith and Hope), frozen on the pedestals, seem to weigh with all their weight to stabilize this elegant construction that its apparent lightness seems to threaten to collapse. On the lampshade, Charity  was carved into the wood.

The marble statue of Saint Vincent de Paul holding small children was very successful during its creation. It was exposed to the Salon of 1857 and received a medal.   The Choir of Saint-Sulpice. for the reception of the seminarians, it was decided to expand the sanctuary of the Church by advancing the altar to the nave, and to enrich the choir with a decoration worthy of the greatest Parisian cult places after the Cathedral. In 1825, thanks to a sumptuous tabernacle adorned with four palms created for Saint-Sulpice, the order of the altar pads for the coronation of king Charles X.  The Golden bronze bedrock of the high altar Jesus in the midst of the Doctors of the Church is of the same maker of the choir.  The stained glass windows of Saint-Sulpice. At the end of the 17C, the Church still had only the sanctuary, the Chapels of the ambulatory and the south transept before the work was interrupted for forty years. But this did not prevent the filling the apse and the radiant chapels in stained glass. It is a time when we demand light, and it will be even more true in the 18C.  In the 16C, the Council of Trent opposed the historiated stained-glass windows, which were dear to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and kept the churches in darkness. At the time of the Counter-Reformation, the faithful were to be able to read the missal inside the church. So, it was settle for a beautiful medallion in the center of a white glass window, often enriched with a floral-themed garland around the edges. In Saint-Sulpice, the large windows of the second level of the nave are even filled with white glass. Only the rectangular mesh in lead ensures the decor.

The restoration of the ancient stained glass of Saint-Sulpice began in the 19C. Unfortunately, the explosion of the Luxembourg magazine in 1871 destroyed or damaged many of the stained-glass windows in place. The general restoration of the canopy was done from 1872. The face of Christ in the resurrection has been redone. Perhaps also the face of the Virgin in the Annunciation, although the sources consulted do not mention it. The stained glass window showing Saint Sulpice  in adoration before the Sacred Heart is a creation of 1885 to replace the original stained glass window destroyed during the War of 1870.  Nevertheless, it is at the Church of Saint-Sulpice that one can admire the most important collection of stained glass windows made during the reign of king Louis XIV. More precisely, their creation is part of the decade 1670. During the visit of the church, you must not miss to have an eye on the floral decorations of the borders.  The organ of Saint-Sulpice has an international reputation. Built by Cliquot in 1781 (with 5 keyboards and 64 games), it was already looked at at the time as one of the best in the kingdom. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll rebuilt it from 1857 to 1861. He reused many of the elements created by Cliquot to link classical tradition with romance. The 20C has respected this illustrious instrument; it has retained all its original characteristics. And many wonderful concerts are played here indeed today.

There you go a historical big Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris, a must to visit indeed and one I myself need to come for it too . Hope you enjoy the reading the long history of it and description on architecture but the history I like is long here (I had even condensed it!). 

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Church of Saint Sulpice

The Association friends of Aristide Cavaillon Coll on organs

The Paris tourist office on the Church Saint Sulpice

There you go folks, an wonderful monument of eternal Paris, the most beautiful city in the world and monuments like this definitively makes it so. Enjoy the Church of Saint Sulpice of Paris.

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

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April 11, 2021

The Grand Palais of Paris!

Ok time to update this jewel of my eternal Paris. Granted for the record the petit for me is more romantic than the giant grand but nevertheless a wonderful monument of Paris indeed. Let me update for you and me this wonderful monument, the Grand Palais of Paris!

Let me tell you about another wonder of my beloved Paris. This is a huge building and sometimes on the spot that it is it goes unnotice somehow. In addition to the wonderful architecture it hosts a variety of events second to none in Paris. I like to tell you a bit on the history of the Grand Palais de Paris.


The Grand Palais is located on the edge of the Champs-Elysées, facing the Petit Palais, which is separated by the Avenue Winston Churchill in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The Grand Palais des Beaux-Arts was built  from 1897, for the Universal exhibition scheduled from April 15 to November 12, 1900, instead of the vast but uncomfortable Palais de l’Industrie of 1855. It was a monument consecrated by the French Republic to the glory of French art. As the pediment of the West Wing (Palais d’Antin) indicates, its original vocation is to welcome the major official artistic events of the capital. The ceremony was held on May 1, 1900 for the grand opening. The Grand Palais is served nearby by the Metro lines 1 and 13  at the Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau station, and Metro lines 1 and 9 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Station, as well as the RATP  bus lines 42 and  73.

The main building, with a length of nearly 240 meters, consists of an imposing space surmounted by a large canopy. The slightly lowered cradle vault of the North and South Naves and the transverse nave (paddock), the dome on pendants weigh about 8 500 tons of steel, iron and glass. The total weight of metal used reaches 9 057 tons. The summit of this set culminates at an altitude of 45 meters. The colonnade of Deglane, inspired by the one in the Louvre, but without the grace, conceals cautiously the splendid innovation of the metal structure. The Grand Palais is, on its own, a summary of the tastes of the Belle Epoque, but at the same time marks the end of a certain conception of architecture where the masterpiece, both an artist and a technician, occupies a prominent role.  The communication between the large nave and the other parts of the palace (Salon d’honneur, central wing and  Palais dAntin) is done by a wide iron staircase of classic inspiration tinted with Art nouveau.

The sculptures the copper Quadrigas crown the two entrances and their pediment, to the new avenue. These allegorical works, imposing on the passerbys at an altitude of 40 meters, represent,  on the side of the Champs-Elysées,  Immortality ahead of time and on the side of the Seine river  the triumphant harmony of discord.  The mosaics inside, the pavements of the elliptical hall are mosaic of ceramic sandstone. There is a large floral motif in a central symmetry, consisting of tesserae with poorly supported colors (beige, brown and green), but detaching well on a white background. The outer friezes, located under the Peristyle de Deglane (facade on Avenue Winston Churchill ), consist of a long band with brightly enhanced gold colors using the traditional mosaic technique.


The game of the tesserae is animated by very regular opuses and underlined by marked contours as well as subtle gradients. It includes representations of the great civilizations of history as perceived at the end of the 19C, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Rome of Augustus to the Greece of the century of Pericles, the Italian and French Renaissance in the Middle Ages, Europe Industrious to that of the classical and Baroque arts. The more distant civilizations are not forgotten, glorifying in passing the period then at its apogee of the great colonizing nations in the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa, the East and the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Indochina With the Khmers and temples of Angkor, the Cochinchina and the Vietnamese landscapes around the city of Hue, the Far East with representations of mysterious China and Japan , and  evocations of the two Americas.


From 1947, the building loses its function as a palace of fine Arts, for which it was built.  Several events are held on the artistic side such as French and independent artists, painting and sculptures etc. etc. from the years 1960 the technical shows are done here such as automobiles, agricultural and horticultural machines, etc. etc. Commercial events such as living and decorations, etc. and various makes such stamps, concerts etc. etc. All too numerous to mention in a simple blog post.

During the 20C, the Grand Palais is sometimes a witness of the tragedies of history, sometimes an object of unexpected uses. At the beginning of  WWI, the Grand Palais was used as barracks for colonial troops preparing to go to the front. It quickly became a makeshift hospital for the wounded in the Navy who could not find a place in the crowded hospitals of the capital.  During , WWII and the Nazi occupation, the palace was commandeered by the Nazis to house military vehicles there. In August 1944, the nave was bombarded and a fire was declared, without major consequences, in part of the building; the firefighters are however hampered in their work by rescuing animals from a circus that has elected home under the large canopy. They must also protect the works sent for an exhibition by working artists or prisoners.

In 1964, part of the north wing of the Grand Palais, at the request of André Malraux then Minister of Cultural Affairs, became a National Gallery destined to receive large temporary exhibitions. Presented in 1966, a retrospective of the painter Pablo Picasso and an important presentation of African art.  Numerous exhibitions of classical painters, impressionistic (Renoir), and modern (Zao Wou-Ki, Prassinos, Mušič, Manesser) are organized thereafter. and other uses followed of diverse splendor and magnitude. And this has continue today. Since 2009, hives have been installed on the roof of the Grand Palais to promote biodiversity and make the life of bees in urban areas known.

Since January 2011, the public establishment of the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées has merged with the National Museums . On February 12  2018, it was  announced the forthcoming closure of the Grand Palais, from December 2020 to the spring of 2023, in order to carry out a larger renovation by 2024, the date on which the games of Fencing are to take place during the  2024 Olympic Games. The Grand Palais will reopen to the public in 2025.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must while in Paris are:

The Official Grand Palais of Paris:

The Paris tourist office on the Grand Palais:

There you go another grand piece of architecture and history in my beloved Paris. Did i tell you I can keep writing on Paris and will never finish? YES! Hope you enjoy the Grand Palais of course!

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

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April 10, 2021

Wine news of France XII !!!

Well here coming back to my a bit regular posts on wines! of France, of course. The very best and again had tasted and/or visit all the major producing countries in our world ! I like to tell you the latest buzz on my favorite subject chosen by yours truly from various French wine pro publications that I received online or on paper.

We do not really know if Christmas was on the balcony, but Easter was indeed in the fire. Since last Monday, temperatures have fallen below zero in several northern wine regions. The nocturnal efforts of winegrowers to limit frost damage were not enough: crops are severely affected in several regions of France. According to the Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), it is “already certain that this spring frost will severely impact the volume of the 2021 harvest”: the frost has “hit hard” on large areas of the Bordeaux vineyard. In the Rhone Valley, the first land rise in temp let fear the worst. Last Friday, according to Météo France, it will still be cold in the early morning in the lands north of the Loire, over a large north-eastern quarter, in the Massif Central and in the interior of Provence, with frequent frosts reaching locally – 4 to -2 degrees on the Grand Est.

Last Monday evening, on the Champagne side, there was still hope to pass between the drops. The Champagne Salon said “we experience disasters every day, at all levels. It is important to stay positive.” Overall, Champagne is doing quite well. A calm behind which hides cellars much less empty than in previous years, the health crisis having led to a significant drop in sales in France and abroad. At Drouhin-Laroze, in Burgundy, the candles have nevertheless succeeded in limiting breakage. But the Burgundy vineyard will undoubtedly be one of the most impacted. There is talk about black jelly, with buds literally roasted by the cold. However, some estates are reluctant to use candles, which are very expensive, preferring the traditional straw fires prohibited in Burgundy such as at the Breton estates, in Touraine, whose plots of Vouvray have been protected, to the detriment of those located in Bourgueil. At Château Coutet, 43 hectares in the town of Barsac, in the Bordeaux region, it was a disaster, with temperatures dropping to -3.9 ° C. Despite straw fires lit every 80 meters, it is estimated that more than 90% of the vineyard has been affected. Even if since 2017, they have been used to this kind of events. April 2021 has a strong chance of staying in the memories of many.

SJB, the Bollinger family holding company, acquires Ponzi Vineyards, a historic estate in the Willamette Valley, in the United States. Domaine Ponzi Vineyards, was created in the late 1970s by Dick and Nancy Ponzi. For its part, the Ponzi family remains the owner of 40 hectares under a supply contract with the estate. The total needs of the winery represent in all and for all 140 hectares of vines. Production hovers around 480,000 bottles, at prices ranging from 25 to 120 US Dollars. SJB which brings together the brands Bollinger, Ayala, Chanson, Langlois-Chateau and Delamain.

These vines largely dominated by Pinot Noir, but Pozzi also produces Pinot Gris and Chardonnay located in Laurelwood. Last June 2020 they joined the AVI (American Culture Area, equivalent of the French AOC) of the Willamette Valley which brings together the terroirs of Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. The strategy is to get closer to the American consumer who is especially fond of local wines, as well as to the zone where the consumption of high-end wine is the most important. The acquisition of this property forms the basis of Bollinger’s new US strategy. Bollinger is not, far from it, the first Champagne house to attempt an adventure in Oregon. Four years ago, under the leadership of Gilles de Larouzière, the Maisons & Domaines Henriot group became the majority shareholder of the Beaux Frères estate, owned by Michael Etzel, Robert Parker and Robert Troy, in the historic Willamette Valley. Long before that, at the end of the 1980s, the region had been brought to light by the Burgundians Robert Drouhin and his daughter Véronique, true pioneers. Since then, the Jadots, Meo Camuzets and others have joined them. With success…. Now how the wine will be best if all is from France lol !

Soon the rebirth of a forgotten vineyard? Chef Yannick Alléno and the prestigious Domaine Marquis d´Angerville have just replanted 30 acres of biodynamic vines … about thirty km from Paris. It was on the initiative of chef Yannick Alléno that an astonishing adventure two years ago began, that of replanting vines in the town of Conflans- Ste-Honorine (Yvelines 78) . And decided to plant two thirds of pinot noir and one third of gamay, intended to produce a wine that I like, the passetoutgrain. The vines will be cultivated biodynamically, with the help of the teams from the Domaine de Volnay, present to advise and support Laurent Berrurier in his new role as winegrower. In four years, if all goes well, we will be able to taste the first cuvée of Clos Bellevue, and drink to the health of a still confidential vineyard, which we would be wrong not to keep an eye. To be continue…

While canned wine has enjoyed tremendous success across the world, the French still seem reluctant to taste their national drink in an aluminum container. And I hope they don’t follow this!!! Jean-Pierre Robinot ; the Angevin winegrower is about to launch his 25cl cans (conditioned by the Winestar brand) containing a Cabernet-Franc in red and a Chenin in white. Juices in conversion to organic, vinified in nature, intended to be consumed quickly … as we would a soda lol!!!. However, although the French are large consumers of cans, they remain difficult to associate with wine, as if this traditional product could only tolerate a noble glass case. Of course, the canned wine is already enjoying enormous success in the United States. The research firm WICResearch analyzes the phenomenon from all angles and the figures are striking: the supply of wine in cans has tripled since 2018, with some 900 references available today on the US market. Followers of cans for all kinds of beverage, the United States are much more receptive to wine in a metal ring and favor this product, which has become trendy thanks to its multiplied marketing possibilities. Better stay over there!!!

The film star director Francis Ford Coppola (why can he stay with films) understood this well, he who launched several cuvées of his wines sold in packs of four cans (pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon) and even a very glam rosé wine called “Sofia”, named after his daughter, also a famous filmmaker. Among the myriad of brands, we can also mention Bev, Love & Exile or Backpack, which focus on fresh, fruity and light wines, with ultra-graphic packaging (and industrially made). Because if this method of conservation does not lend itself to all grape varieties or all vinifications , it makes it possible to broaden the opportunities for consuming wine (picnics , outdoor events, transport) and to rejuvenate its target by targeting 18-25 year olds as a priority to then bring them to more demanding bottles? What if the can formed the fine tasters of the future? . So anything is possible. The only snag in this beautiful story: Robinot cans are priced at 8 euros for 25cl… A high price that seems to contradict the purchasing power of its target. Of course, innovation has its costs but really better stay with sodas!

In the category of nature wines, it seems that the Drappier family is one step ahead of many Champagne winemakers. Brut Zero, a wine without sugar, filtration and sulfur, was released in 1998. An oenological success. The rosé will follow. The first draw comes from the 2004 and 2005 harvests. This wine is claimed to be unfiltered, not discolored, not dose. It feels like a field of strawberries on a beautiful end of summer day. On the palate, some tangy notes, peppery hints and over-controlled acidity. What sounds I like about Drappier: the total mastery of the wine which remains very balanced even when it comes to the most cutting-edge products. It is recommended to serve this rosé at 8 ° C. At the table, it will be the ideal companion for langoustines, shrimps, crabs and other sushi.

In a context of tension between the various candidates for the takeover, Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse, premier grand cru classé B of Saint-Emilion, will be sold for 75 million euros to the cosmetics group Clarins, associated with Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Cosmetics and wine well I guess that is diversification. To note , Clarins cosmetics were the first gift of my dear late wife Martine to my dear late mother Gladys!

The recent owner of Château Fourcas Dupré, Gérard Gicquel, confirmed his thirst for Médoc by purchasing Château d’Agassac from Groupama. It was after many commas, parentheses and dashes that the sale was finalized with a signature, bottom right. Thus, Groupama, which owned Château d’Agassac since 1996, was promoted to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel last year. This project responds to the development of the family group with ambitious investments in business services, around “hospitality” carried by the Beautiful Life Hotels group with already 10 high-end hotel establishments and in the wine sector with the acquisition of Château Fourcas Dupré indicates the press release. Beautiful Life Group thus consolidates its presence in the Médoc vineyards with a volume of 500,000 bottles. One of my favorite wines of the Médoc, track since 1990.

What to drink with … a sea bream? (Daurade, Fr.) Its flesh is tender, its skin tasty and salty; with a lemon juice seasoning, it gains a tangy touch; roasted in the oven with a little fennel, it is enriched with anise-flavored flavors. It will obviously need an aromatic, fruity, young white wine, not too complicated on the palate. The Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes côtes de Nuit a fruity and herbaceous nose, a round and charming mouth with a fat that will round off the salty and iodized character of the fish, here is a great label with ease. More unexpected, but just as appropriate, a Roussette de Savoie signed Guy Justin. Still little known until 1993, its wine was only sold in bulk ; this very pretty estate has another particularity, since the vineyard occupies only a small place there, and the rest of the activity is divided between market gardening and breeding. Its Marestel cru will match sea bream exactly, with a blooming bouquet, hints of dill, citrus fruits (orange) and white pepper. The palate has a roundness very softened by the fat, with a lively finish. Its silky side will rebalance the iodized character of the fish, itself underlined by the minerality of the wine. Nice meal to be had we get ours from a traiteur or ready made take out gourmet place in town! The wines webpage are

Domaine Méo-Camuzet

Domaine Guy Justin

And there you folks, en vino veritas; with moderation but do enjoy the wonderful wines of France and the world. We drank it every day with meals…and we love it. The only French way!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

April 6, 2021

The Grand Lady ,Tour Eiffel!!

Ok so even if other posts, let me update this one showing the extra security measures now around the Tour Eiffel. I have my world HQ office just around the corner and need to walk in front of it every month in better times. Hope you enjoy the post.


This is the icon/symbol of Paris for whatever you think of it. Even trying to persuade folks to go elsewhere, they keep coming back here. Even with security barriers that looks like a war zone, people keeps coming back. It is Paris after all, it is the Eiffel tower!! As a disclaimer, the last time I was up was in 2005 when I went with an association of my profession that celebrated its 35th  anniversary there. Before that, yes of course even with the family. However, never again, I believe that Paris has a lot more than the Eiffel tower, but , anyway, I will tell you about it for the diehards lol!!!


I like to tell you now a bit of history I like.

The tour Eiffel is a steel tower of 324 meters high with antennas at the extreme northwest of the parc du Champ-de-Mars bordering the Seine river in the 7éme arrondissement/district.It was built by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1889.  It had originally 312 meters high and remained the tallest building in the world for forty years.  The second level of the third platform sometimes call the 4th level at 279 meters is the highest observation deck in the European Union and second highest in all of Europe.  The tower is set on a square of 125 meters on the side and a height of 324 meters with its 120 antennas and 33,5 meters above sea level. The two pylons on the side of the école militaire rest on a cement base of 2 meters that itself rest on a bed of gravel with a well of 7 meters deep. The two pylons on the side of the Seine river are below the level of the river. The base with its four pylons are house in subterranean squares of 25 meters on each side and 4 meters high with a steel bed and compressed cement stones. There are arches between each pylon at 39 meters high above the floor with a diameter of 74 meters.



On the first level located at 57 meters high with 4200 square meters of surface with a circular gallery that allows you a 360 degree view of Paris. This first level has the restaurant 58 tour Eiffel that extends on two levels with a view on one side of Paris and the other on the interior of the tower. This is where we had our lunch ,but I ate lunch here even before when it was called Altitude 95!!.

The second level is at 125 meters with an area of 1650 square meters. Here in 1986 was created the restaurant Jules Verne  (which I booked dinner for my boss while in Fl USA way back) It was handled by Alain Ducasse and now you have Frédéric Anton as chef. You go up exclusively on the south pilar elevator/lift.


The third level is at 276 meters with an area of 350 square meters. The access is done by elevator/lift and gives to an enclosed space with orientation tables. You climb a few steps you arrived at an exterior platform sometimes call the 4th level arriving at 279 meters.  There is the Champagne Bar!

The upper level has sort of a wax museum showing Gustave Eiffel welcoming Thomas Edison that made think this was the work office of Gustave Eiffel but the historical reality is that it was a meteorological laboratory  and then a testing room. The wax museum can be seen from the outside. Also on the upper level floor there is a model of the top of the tower from 1889, made at a scale of 1 / 50th. Painted in the original color of the tower, “red brown”, it allows everyone to rediscover the initial architecture of the period.

You can discover the gardens around the Tour Eiffel, these have been walked by them almost every month as my world HQ is very near. You can discover the belvedere on the side of allée Jean Paulhan, follow the paths that will lead you there (from the paths coming from entrance 2 to the east or from exit 2 to the north). Also, perched on a rock near the basin, its design melts it into nature and offers you an ideal space to admire and photograph the Eiffel Tower. There is a cave in the west garden on the Allée des Refuzniks side. Adorned with a small waterfall that flows into the basin, it guarantees you a bucolic atmosphere! Just above, in addition to the unique perspective on the tower, the belvedere of the hill offers a refreshing break in the shade in the event of high heat. Among the many trees in the garden, don’t miss the superb bicentennial plane tree, planted in 1814 and 20 meters high! You can contemplate it near exit 2 (West) to end your visit to the Eiffel Tower.


You can see the names of the 72 scientists arranged on the frieze of the four facades of the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel as a tribute inscribed these 72 scientists men of science. Disappeared during a painting campaign at the turn of the century, they were restored in 1986 and 1987.  The new antenna culminates the Eiffel Tower at a height of 320.75 meters. In 2000, a new UHF (Ultra High Frequency) antenna led to a modification of the height of the Tower, which rose to 324 meters. There are a total of 120 antennas up with 45 TV Channels and 32 radio stations. To our days , all TV from here is numeric. The management of the tour Eiffel is handle by the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) webpage:

The official site for the Eiffel tower

The Paris tourist office on Eiffel tower

And there you got the wrap up on the Tour Eiffel, nevertheless a symbol of Paris and France for that matter or whatever… Hope you enjoy the post as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 5, 2021

The Panthéon of Paris!!

Ok so let me update this popular spot in my eternal Paris. Actually , I have to admit was always going to the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg (see posts) , and look at this building and told me ahh that must be the Panthéon so went for a peek. It is an awesome building and worth the visit at least once me think. The Dome was been renovated on this trip as shown in pictures. Hope you enjoy the update on the Panthéon of Paris!!

I have passed it many times and seldom been in it, one of the things in life when one lives so close to so much beauty and architecture. I finally went in, and it was stunning, well like everything in Paris in my opinion. This is the Panthéon de Paris!  It is located in a superb location near the jardin du Luxembourg ; in fact if you stand by the blvd Saint Mchel right out of the gate from the fountain of Marie de Médici you can look straight up Rue Soufflot into it.  Right in front of the Place du Panthéon.

paris pantheon cupola work feb14

Very appropiate nearby is the library or Bibliothéque Saint Geneviéve as well as the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. RER B Luxembourg can easily take you in this direction and coming from the back you can get there on metro line 10 Cardinal Lemoine. And if like me ,you come by car, there is excellent underground parking Soufflot at 22 Rue Soufflot just in front of the Panthéon. Later , for business trip I took the bus line 82 which stops right next to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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At the Panthéon, they have organised it into four stages in the life of the Panthéon existance, the first one and oldest is that was there before the Panthéon, in effect, the Church of Sainte Geneviève (1744-1790); which of course, was demolished during the French revolution.

paris pantheon ceilings front feb14

The second period is that of the transformation of monuments to use the scholar choice, meaning the used of these monument to enhance the French Republic from the initial years such as (1791-1885). This is when the French revolution welcomes its heroes to the Panthéon with first Mirabeau ,one of the great speakers of the revolution. In 1806, Emperor  Napoléon Ier gave the nave of the Panthéon back to the Catholic Church while the crypts stayed for the cult of personalities.  Under the period of the Restauration, meaning back of the monarchy, king of the French Louis-Philippe 1st (reign of 1830-1848) gave it all back to the Catholic Church. Finally, in 1851, Emperor  Napoléon III change the Panthéon to a Church for the last time in its history.

The third period is that of the French Republic laique from 1885-1964 upon the death of  the writer Victor Hugo , a huge crowd follows the funeral car to the Panthéon.  The monument becomes laïque. This period extends all along the IIIe République (1870-1940) , and the IVe République (1947-1958).

The fourth and final period we can call it the Panthéon under the Ve République (since 1958), when it was open to transfer the ashes of  Resistant hero  Jean Moulin ,in 1964.  At the end of this ceremony the funeral speech done by the Minister of cultural affairs André Malraux , the Panthéon  gain little by little its position of all consensus of all the political families. The surveys conducted ,indicated how to allow the admission of ordinary people to better represent the French society by given honors in the future. The ceremony of May 27 2015 when entered into the Panthéon of Pierre Brossolette , Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz , Germaine Tillion ,and Jean Zay ( my boys middle school was name after this resistance fighter) falls into this doctrine.

However, to give you a rough tour of it inside , we will continue on the first level or principal ground level, and continue around the bearing along the wall to our right and coming across to the right side now, you will see Sainte Geneviéve encouraging the Parisiens to fight against Attila the Hun. Continuing along the right wall, you wil come to Jeanne d’Arc and Saint Louis completing the Christian heroes that are the history of France.  Coming along the right wall as if you were going out of the building now you will see the marches of Attila the Hun and Sainte Geneviéve showing calm to the Parisiens.  And just before the door on the right side wall , you will see the life of Saint Denis, evangelist of the Gauls and first bishop of Paris.

You will go back now to the stairs and go down to the Crypt. First tomb is that of the heart of Léon Gambetta  with an urn in glass, the III Republic transfer it here in Nov 11 1920 in honor of its founder.  In the lobby the first part of the crypt welcomes face to face the tombs of Voltaire, with beforehand by his statue in stone by Houdon(sculptor) and Rousseau with a look of rustic temple simulating his theories on nature. The tomb of Soufflot joined them in 1829.  In the west wing to the right you will see the 41 great men of the Empire at the other side of the rotonda, they were put here beginning in 1806 by Imperial decree, amongst them, Portalis, and Tronchet, the writer of the Civil Code of France. In the same west wing but to the left, you see Victor Schoelcher marking the aboliton of slavery, and next to Jéan Jaurés, father of French socialism killed in 1914, as well as Félix Eboué, first French resistant fighter from the territories.  You will see here too, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola, two writers of renown who fought for the liberties of all.  In 2002, the ashes of Alexandre Dumas, were deposited here too.  The personalities transfer here for the centenary of the French revolution comes before the tomb of Maréchal Lannes. In the north wing, you will see the tombs of Jean Moulin, hero of the Resistance movement in WWII and André Malraux, writer and  alongside Jean Monnet (created the European Union), as well as René Cassin, spiritual father of the universal declaration of the rights of man and citizens adopted by the UN in 1948. In the cellars that follows rest the personalities deposited during the bicentennial of the French revolution and a bit further away those of Pierre and Marie Curie, Nobel prize in physics on radium.

You can go to the high exterior columns to the base of the dome or coupola for a magnificent view of Paris, go there !  So it is a recommended detour when in Paris to see it. It is the very best of France.

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The offical Panthéon of Paris webpage in English:

The Paris tourist office on the Panthéon

Enjoy it as I do; after all Paris is eternal as they are! The Panthéon of Paris see it. And remember, happy travels, good health and good cheers to all!!!

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April 5, 2021

Hôtel de Ville de Paris!

A while back I did a series on government buildings in my belle France. These are wonderful monuments to architecture and history me think. The city/town hall of Paris or the  Hôtel de Ville de Paris is one of the best. I like to update this bit of an older post with different pictures than on my other post on it and hope you enjoy it as I.

Well seldom we write about our city/town hall but I do. Happened to come with roots in the oldest continuously in activity city hall in USA. That of the city of Perth Amboy NJ since 1789 (see post) . Coming to Paris was a natural for me to seek info on the Hôtel de Ville de Paris.  

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The Hôtel de Ville goes way back actually. The first evidence points to 1357 when the Provost of merchants Etienne Marcel ( a metro stop is name for him!) built to symbolized the municipal liberties acquired against the power of king Charles V. It was done again in 1553 but this one was burned down as many other buildings including the Palais des Tuileries by the uprising of the commune in 1871. Again, worked started on the current one at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville between 1873-1892 in Renaissance style with identical layout as the one from 1553.


It is located on the north by the rue de Rivoli, and the south by the Seine river, pont d’Arcole allows access to the Ïle de la Cité. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville  (took current name in 1803) known at the beginning of the 13C as Place de Gréve (and the word did stuck to mean strikes) was renamed Place de la Maison Commune during the French revolution Today the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville is a pedestrian street since 1982.

The first Paris government was created around 1260,  managing the flow of merchandise in the Seine river and others in addition to taxing the commodities and citizen coming in.  Before the French revolution there was a prevost, four elderman, 36 advisors, and 16 chiefs of neighborhoods. After the French revolution, by october 19 1795 Paris becomes divided into 12 arrondissements or districts. February 17 1800 Napoleon I , eliminates the arrondissements. June 16 1859 the arrondissement come back, with the modifications such as the Chief of State names always the representatives of each district , a mayor and two assistants  chosen amongst the citizen the more influential for a period of 3 years .  After the creation of the department of Paris No 75 in July 10 1964 the city has a council where are represented the elected officials of each district but the city still has no mayor only a president of the council. On December 31 1975 after passage of a new law, the city finally has a Mayor of Paris so now it has a city and department as Paris no 75 in the region of Ile de France.  The law of February 27 2002, given in to the democracy of proximity evoque to divide Paris for each 80K inhabitant into a quartier or neighborhood  so given birth to the Council of neighborhoods  that is taken from the council of districts.

The election to the council of Paris numbering 517 is done by vote of each district to eventually elect the council of district elects the mayor of each district thereafter.  The city elections of 1977, the mayor was elected by popular vote was Jacques Chirac , the first mayor elected as such, that later became President of France.  The voters of the 20 arrondissement/districts vote in two turns the counselors of each district that in turn name the mayors of each district and they elect later the Mayor of Paris. Later, as of early 2020 ,it was created the Paris Centre with districts 1-4 so really only 17 arrondissements are today , even if for normal day lives and postal regulation the 20 are still in use.

You have the wonderful dept store BHV nearby at the corner of rue de Rivoli ,and the metro line 1 and 11 takes you to the Hôtel de Ville. By car you have the wonderful underground parking Saemes Hôtel de Ville at 6 Quai de Gesvres not far from Pont Notre Dame.

The city of Paris:

The Paris tourist office on the Hôtel de Ville:

Enjoy Paris ,run ,quick, it’s all worth it; we will always have Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 2, 2021

The 3 Dumas, only in Paris!!!

Glad to update this older post on a popular figure of my belle France. And of course, it is Paris where it is showcase for all in a wonderful square. I like to tell you a bit more on the 3 Dumas of France and only shown in Paris! Hope you enjoy it as I

There was a guy who published a book after passing unfortunately they call it A Mouvable Feast (for Paris) but I always tell folks he was short on travels, if he had done more out of Paris, he would have left some writing on the second volume, France is a mouvable feast; thank you E Hemingway.  However, let’s stay with just Paris for the moment shall we! There is a simple square I passed by now less often, that has the particularity of showcasing the history anecdote of the 3 Dumas; and I like to bring that to life in a humble way in my post now.

The story is told on the square or place Général-Catroux on the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. This rectangular square is crossed by Boulevard Malesherbes and Avenue de Villiers; It receives the rue Henri-Rochefort, rue de Phalsbourg, rue de Thann, rue Georges-Berger, rue Legendre and rue Jacques-Bingen. This site is served by metro line 3 at the Malesherbes station as well even thus I always been by here with my car.

Opened in 1862 on the site of a park, this square retained for a long time the nickname “Place des Trois Dumas”, (square of the 3 Dumas) because of the three statues of the Dumas, which adorned the center of this square. It was actually called “Place Malesherbes” and was renamed in 1977. And as my travels goes my pictures of only of Dumas of D’Artagnan , one of my all time favorite with the family spirit of All for One and One for All!

The nice building architecture around the square can be summarize as follows:

At No. 1: Hôtel Gaillard, built for Émile Gaillard, regent of the Banque de France, collector of art, to house his collections of furniture, trinkets, paintings, etc. The red brick building inspired by the architecture of the castles of Blois and Gien was built from 1878 to 1882. After the death of Émile Gaillard in 1902, his collections were dispersed and the hotel was bought by the Banque de France in 1919 to become a branch. An entry exists by No. 11ter, rue Georges-Berger, where the building is referred to as Hôtel Berger. It is something very noticeable and I love it!  At No. 6: the building here was built in 1907, in return on No. 31 Avenue de Villiers. At No. 12: Embassy of Liberia. This building was the headquarters of the propaganda service of the French Legion of Volunteers against the Bolshevism (LVF) under the occupation of Paris, whose head office was 19, rue Saint-Georges. At No. 14: Russian news agency RIA Novosti (now Rossiya Sevodnya). At No. 20: a mansion where the composer Charles Gounod lived from 1878 to his death in 1893.



Some of the monument/statues to see here are:

The Monument to General Thomas Alexandre Dumas, erected in 1912. It is represented taking over a rifle. It was sent to the cast under the Vichy regime in 1942. The city of Paris replaced it with Irons, made in 2008, representing a monumental broken chain in memory of General Dumas, born a slave in Haïti.

The Monument to Alexandre Dumas (father) It was inaugurated on 4 November 1883 in the presence of a huge crowd. A statue of d’Artagnan cantoned the rear face of the pedestal.

The Monument to Alexandre Dumas (son) was erected in 1906. Alexandre Dumas (son). is one of the first writers to live in the plain of Monceau, place of painters, actors and musicians. He resided at No. 98 Avenue de Villiers.

The Monument to Sarah Bernhardt, 1926, represents the actress in the title role of Phaedra de Racine. It had a hotel at the end of the square, at the corner of Avenue de Villiers and rue Fortuny.

One of the architectural delights of walking, or driving thru Paris or at least a bus where you can see the marvels of the city; there is so much to Paris, I say  ,will need a lifetime and more to see it all.  

Enjoy walking it, very nice indeed and of course see the 3 Dumas of Paris!. Hope you enjoy the post on the architecture and history it bring out to all.

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

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