May 21, 2020

Port Vell, Barcelona!

So lets go back to Barcelona, Spain shall we. This is a city actually my oldest son visited first, way back in elementary school and spent a month with a local family as a student exchange from France. Then, I came on a business conference and then well the family came aboard as usually it is with us. Pleasant experiences and again missed telling you about Port Vell or old port of Barcelona. This is my makeup post.

The Port Vell,is Catalan meaning old port, is the historic port of Barcelona. It separates the Gothic quarter from La Barceloneta. It is reached either by La Rambla or by Via Laietana.

Currently the facilities of the Port Vell are destined for sports boats such as the tank dock and the La Barceloneta dock. There is a part of the port also reserved for cruises. More info on cruises which not taken is here: Port Vell bcn cruising and ferries

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Also in the central part you can find an area dedicated to commercial use, known as the Maremagnum a mall containing shops, a multiplex cinema, bars and restaurants, IMAX Port Vell and Europe’s largest aquarium. I really enjoy the shopping here and the walks in the area, nice. Webpage here : Maremagnum shopping and entertainment complex

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You get there as we did on Metro Line 3 the “Drassanes” stop, it goes directly to the ferry terminal area, also, there are bus lines 59, 14, 91, 57, 157  allow access to the port. La Rambla in its vast sea communicates with the city’s port at Plaza del Portal de la Pau, where the Columbus Monument is located. It also has a shuttle bus service for cruises, and direct access to the coastal road (B-10) for access by car. You never know me but will mark this parking: World Trade Center parking

The Colon or Columbus Monument is a sculptural ensemble located in the Plaza del Portal de la Paz in the Ciutat Vella district. Built in homage to the discoverer Christopher Columbus, it is erected at the junction between the Ramblas and the Paseo de Colón, opposite the Port Vell. The monument was built on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Barcelona in 1888. Opened on June 1, 1888, in full exhibition, it quickly became one of the most characteristic icons of the city. Inside the column there is an elevator that allows you to go up to the hemisphere located under the feet of the statue, from where you can see the city.

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The monument measures a total of 57 meters in height, and is divided into three sections: a circular base, with four flights of stairs 6 meters wide, decorated with eight lion statues and eight bas-reliefs with the shields of the Spanish provinces and the main acts carried out by Colón; an eight-sided polygon, four of them arranged as buttresses, in the shape of a cross, with allegorical statues from Catalonia, Aragon, Castile and León, as well as figures of characters from different origins who helped Columbus, such as the Aragonese Bernat Boïl , the Catalans Pere de Margarit, Jaume Ferrer de Blanes and the Valencian Luis de Santángel; then stands the iron column, of the Corinthian order, with a base with several groups of caravels with two taps that hold the Barcelona shield, as well as winged Famas, the fluted shaft with a central relief alluding to the Navy and the inscription Barcelona to Columbus, the capital with representations of Europe, Africa, Asia and America, a county crown for the County of Barcelona   and a hemisphere for the newly discovered part of the globe; finally the statue of Columbus.

An attractive way to see the port as a whole and from above is the Barcelona Air Shuttle, which crosses the air from the San Sebastián Tower in La Barceloneta, passing by the Jaime I Tower next to the World Trade Center, communicating the port with the Montjuic mountain.

Finally, for the looks::)  Marina Port Vell is a world-class home port for superyachts. Originally built for the 1992 Olympic Games, the marina recently completed its transformation to a 151-berth luxury facility, creating the ultimate destination for yachts up to 190 metres. Webpage here: Marina Port Vell

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The Port Vell webpage has a map you can magnify and tell all the points of interest nearby, it is here in English: Port Vell on points of interests or things to see

The tourist office of Barcelona on the maritime heritage in English: Tourist office of Barcelona on maritime heritage

And as customs and port goes hand in hand this is the customs (aduanas) building in Barcelona! Very near the Columbus monument for info.

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This is a nice area for walks, shopping, eating ,and the beach ; there is very nice night activities there too with lots of clubbing. All in one spot or neighborhood. Enjoy Port Vell Barcelona.

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

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May 21, 2020

Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens,Paris!

And here is one, not really looking for it, just arriving and parking at the Indigo Pont Marie , walking along on rue de l’Hôtel de Ville got myself looking at this building, now i have heard about but never look into it, as said so much to see in my beautiful Paris of my belle France. I was actually going to the jardin Saint Paul for a rest stop and looking at the ramparts remains of Philippe Auguste and lunch at Chez Mademoiselle resto. As you can see by the photo sign ,it is a great artery for bikes as well.

All change once hitting the building of the Bishop’s hotel of Sens now Forney library. The  The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a wonderful architecturally stunning building with a nice history to it. I like to tell you a bit more on it, hope you enjoy it and keep in your to do list while in Paris.

The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a 15C mansion located in the 4éme arrondissement at 1 rue du Figuier. It now houses the Bibliothéque Forney.

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The wonderful history of this building and Paris that I like

Paris did not become archbishopric until 1622. Before that date, the city depended on the archbishopric of Sens (dept 89 Yonne ,Bourgogne-Franche-Comté). The Archbishop of Sens Guillaume de Melun, Primate of Gauls and Germania, on which depended seven suffragan bishoprics, among which there were Paris, was then personal adviser to the kings of France and, his offices often calling him to Paris, he acquired  Jean d’Hestomesnil’s hotel built in 1345.

Later King Charles V wishing to stay outside the ramparts of Philippe Auguste, to overcome the nuisances of the city and be able to easily reach the castle of Vincennes and finding the Louvre too narrow and sinister. He then, requested and acquired between 1361 and 1366, four residences in the Marais neighborhood or most of the block between rue Saint-Antoine, rue Saint-Paul, quai des Célestins and rue du Petit-Musc to make his great royal residence, the Hotel Saint-Pol. This set included the hotel that the Archbishop of Sens had built in place of a house and gardens. This first hotel of the Archbishops of Sens was located on the site of the current nos. 2 bis to 8 of the Quai des Célestins.

Again later, Tristan de Salazar, archbishop of Sens from 1474 to 1519, had this hotel rebuilt from 1498 to 1519 for a new, more sumptuous residence which is the current building you see. The Hôtel de Sens later lost its splendor as from 1622, the bishopric of Paris was erected as an archdiocese, and the archbishops of Sens, stripped of their authority over the Parisian clergy, gradually ceased to reside in the city. From 1622, the hotel was rented to bourgeois then from 1689 to 1743 the Messageries, Coches, Carrosses de Lyon, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté settled there before being occupied by noble knights during the rest of the 17C.

Before the French revolution, it belonged to the Archbishopric of Paris then it become national property in 1790. it is sold in 1797 occupied in turn by a rolling business, a laundry, a factory of canned food, a hare cutter, an optician, the Saint-James jam shop and at the beginning of the 20C it is used as a warehouse for Haroux glassworks and is partially destroyed by fire in 1911. It was then bought by the city of Paris, in 1911, to serve as a room for the labor tribunals.It was restored in the 1930s, and since 1961, this building has housed the Forney library, devoted to the fine arts, the arts and crafts and their techniques, the applied arts as well as the decorative arts.

As an anecdote: In 1830, during the Trois Glorieuses, many cannonballs were fired. One of them, never having been able to be extracted from the wall of the facade of the Hôtel de Sens where it had been stuck, has become a concrete testimony of these revolutionary days. Now still sealed in the wall, it is visible with the date engraved below it.

The Bibliothéque Forney library is part of the network of specialized libraries of the City of Paris, its collections having developed around the decorative arts, crafts and their techniques, fine and graphic arts. It regularly organizes exhibitions. It takes its name from Samuel Aimé Forney, a businessman of Swiss origin particularly interested in vocational training and the arts and crafts who proposed by will to the City of Paris to create an institution to promote the education of artisans.

A wonderful architecturally stunning building for all to see and as a library to visit now. More information to help plan  your trip here and understand further is found here

The city of Paris on the Forney library in French: City of Paris on Forney LIbrary

The tourist office of Paris on the Forney Library in English: Tourist office of Paris on the Forney library

An important site in French on the Friends of the Forney Library and their effort to maintain history in Paris: Friends of the Forney library on its history

And there you go, never know where you are going to end up in Paris if you let your legs do the walking, always amazing my movable feast Paris of always. There is another movable feast outside and awaiting you too… Hope you enjoy the brief tour of the Forney library of Paris ,a bishop’s palace!

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

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May 20, 2020

Jardin du Luxembourg: Fontaine Médicis!

Ok folks lets go into higher gears in my eternal Paris. As said, a blog on its own should be more fitting but will give briefs on the wonderful things to see and do here, already with many many posts on Paris, the city I have great memories of working there while living nearby and now still visiting.

One of the places that is a must to go in Paris is the Jardin du  Luxembourg  , wonderful spots spent many afternoons with my boys there. Therefore, let me tell you about what we found best there, and I meant just the best for us. And why not start with the Fontaine Médicis.

Now, this one is world popular and heavily visited even in visited Jardin du Luxembourg; however, it is worth a look as we walk this wonderful garden. The Medicis fountain is unique in the garden.

The Fontaine Médicis fountain as the world knows is in the Jardin du Luxembourg garden. It was earlier called the cave de Luxembourg! Its construction, around 1630, was commissioned by Queen Marie de Médicis, widow of Henri IV, around the Luxembourg Palace which she had it built. Marie de Médicis wanted to install numerous caves, fountains, pools and terraces with games of water, in order to rediscover the architectural atmosphere of the nymphs of her childhood, such as the cave of Buontalenti in Florence. This fountain is the only vestige of this type of construction ordered by the Queen.

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More than a cave, it is a facade 14 meters high and 12 meters wide, intended to hide the buildings on Rue d’Enfer, near which it was located. It includes three niches, separated by four columns of Tuscan style. A pediment decorated with the arms of France and the Medicis overhangs it, and framed by two lying allegorical figures, the Rhone and the Seine rivers. From the 17C to the beginning of the 19C, the pool located in front of the central cave does not include water games The cave is initially installed to the east of the Luxembourg garden, in the perspective of the alley between the Porte des Carmes and the Rue d’Enfer, thus skirting the south facade of the palace.

Like the Luxembourg Palace, the garden was rearranged after the Senate was installed in its walls in 1799. The arms of Henri IV and the Medicis were removed and, in the central niche, a small marble statue of Venus was placed. Finally, the small pool is now fed by a waterfall located under the statue. What was then only an Italian style portico becomes a fountain. In the 1850s, the walls that extended the cave on each side were demolish In the early 1860s, the fountain was moved, following the drilling of the rue de Médicis, carried out as part of the urban planning work of the prefect Haussmann in Paris ,the Medicis fountain was dismantled stone by stone in 1862 and brought closer to the palace by around thirty meters. The arms of France re-established, and built a basin fifty meters long, the railing of which is decorated with basins; two rows of plane trees line the basin. The statuary is also renovated in the central niche, the statue of Venus is replaced by a group of three mythological characters entitled Polyphemus surprising Galatea in the arms of Acis, Polyphemus, legendary cyclops, is in love with Galatea, young and beautiful sea nymph. Crouching on a rock, an animal skin on its back, it observes Galatea in the arms of Acis, ready to kill its rival with a rock The couple is languidly lying at the edge of the water. The contrast is striking between the enormous and dark mass of the cyclops and the whiteness of the pair of two young people. In addition, the very shape of the basin provides the illusion that the body of water is tilted. In the side niches are placed two statues of fauna and hunting. The rear facade of the fountain is also redeveloped alongside the Léda fountain, formerly located at the corner of rue du Regard and rue du Vaugirard, removed by the drilling of rue de Rennes. This second fountain includes a bas-relief made in 1807; and it is surmounted by a half-couple and a pediment, on which are lying two statues of naiads.

Ok so that is the description from an architecture point of view that I like. Like said, the Médicis fountain is very popular. The quickest entrance to it is by the Place Edmond Rostang  off rue de Médicis  with the water fountain on your back and can see the Panthéon. The legend of these unfortunate lovers was very famous in the 17C. In 1686, Jean-Baptiste Lully composed the opera Acis et Galatée. This grandiose pastoral was performed for the first time in front of the Grand Dauphin, son of Louis XIV. In many mythologies, the fountain is linked to the cult of trees, mysterious waters and sacred stones. A territory domesticated by man, it is also a door to the invisible. The Medici Fountain is a place of rest and romantic stroll appreciated by all. Everything seems magic: the plane trees with green gold foliage which are reflected in the water, the colorful fish, the shimmers and shadows, the voluptuous gestures of lovers whose marble skin is sometimes so alive ; it can be magical!

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The Senate of France on the Fontaine Médicis in French: Senat de France on Fontaine Médicis

The tourist office of Paris on the jardin du Luxembourg in English: Tourist office of Paris on the Jardin du Luxembourg

Near the porte Edmond Rostang we have enjoyed coffees ices at Amorino Soufflot on way to the Panthéon (see post). Also, the Columbus Café a nice spot by rue Soufflot. For a full meal we had Le Choupinet on bd St Michel very nice. Enjoy it!

This is the magic of Paris, always Paris. The Jardin du Luxembourg is an integral part of this dream city, the most beautiful in the world. In the center of it all, we have the Medici fountain;: hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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May 20, 2020

Jardin du Luxembourg : Delacroix!

Ok folks lets go into higher gears in my eternal Paris. As said, a blog on its own should be more fitting but will give briefs on the wonderful things to see and do here, already with many many posts on Paris, the city I have great memories of working there while living nearby and now still visiting.

One of the places that is a must to go in Paris is the Jardin du  Luxembourg  , wonderful spots spent many afternoons with my boys there. Therefore, let me tell you about what we found best there, and I meant just the best for us. And why not my favorite statue fountain of Eugéne Delacroix. One of favorite personage in the history of France and a painter’s delight.

In the Jardin du Luxembourg there is one monument dedicated to Eugéne Delacroix, the painter A complex monument comprising a fountain, a bust and decorative characters. This monument was inaugurated on October 5, 1890.  Eugène Delacroix is a French painter born in 1798 in Charenton-Saint-Maurice and died in 1863 in Paris. The times raises glory to the left, so that she lays a crown and a palm in front of the bust, on the right, Apollo, genius of the Arts, applauds this late recognition. The total height of the monument is 4.50 meters. Sculptor Dalou used a photograph of the painter by Nadar to carved his features. On the pedestal you can read  ” A /Eugéne Delacroix / 1798 – 1863 / Ses Admirateurs”  or To / Eugéne Delacroix / 1798 – 1863 / His Admirers. It is located between the Luxembourg Palace and the Orangerie behind the Luxembourg Museum.

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It consists of a rectangular basin in white marble into which six water jets are poured by masks fixed on the wall of the water buffet which decorate the background. The bronze and marble monument is 4.5 meter  high and the bust of Delacroix is ​​one meter high. On a base surmounted by three steps is placed a stele, on which is fixed the bronze bust of Eugène Delacroix  who participated in the painted decoration of the Senate Palace and Saint-Sulpice Church,  a particularly abundant work and whose merits are universally known. The face of the painter marked by fatigue and illness in the last years of his life is severe and a little discouraged.

The artist is accompanied by allegories of bronze whose figures evoke Time, Glory and the Genius of the arts. Time is on the left side, it is obviously a somewhat shoddy, bearded and bald god; however, he carries in his arms a pleasant and sensual young woman, as the sculptor Jules Dalou loved them, raising him to the bust of Delacroix, to whom it offers a palm that honors and symbolizes the many merits of the painter. On the right side is the Genie of the Arts in the form of a crowned god who claps in his hands to applaud the triumph of Delacroix. At the foot of the monumental sculptures are quivers with their arrows, a Franc helmet, characters and bucranes. An inscription on the stele recalls that this monument was erected thanks to the subscription of his friends and admirers in 1890.

Ok so these are the webpages to give more info on this monument.

The Senate of France on sculptures such as Delacroix: Senat de France on sculpture such as Delacroix

I take my bus 82 by Rue Auguste Comté almost corner with Bd St Michel to do some walks around here before moving onward home by train. If come by car stop by Rue Guynemer off street parking on the other side. On the bus the nearb Le Bac St Michel is a nice place to unwind, Friends restaurant for quick snacks burgers and such is ok. My fav is on the other side Le Guynemer.

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Of course I need to tell you on this post a bit on the man Eugéne Delacroix, one of my favorite painters of France. RIP

When he was born, his father, Charles Delacroix, held important positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs, then as Ambassador to Holland. He was then appointed prefect in Marseille, then in Bordeaux, where he died when the young Eugène was six years old. His mother, Victoire Delacroix, was the daughter of one of the greatest cabinetmakers of his time, Jean-François Oeben, in the service of King Louis XV.  Thanks to the support of his uncle, the painter Henri-François Riesener, Eugène Delacroix entered the studio of the painter Pierre-Narcisse Guérin in 1815. It was then one of the largest workshops in Paris, frequented by many artists.

And the rest is beautiful painting history such as at  the Salon of 1822, he was only twenty-four years old, Delacroix presented at the Salon a first large canvas, inspired by literary history, Dante and Virgil in Hell (now at the Louvre museum). He presented at the Salon of 1824 a large painting, inspired by the events of the Greek War of Independence, Scene of the Massacres of Scio (now at the Louvre museum). In 1827, Delacroix exhibited, with several other paintings, a masterful Death of Sardanapalus (now at the Louvre museum). Linked to a play by the English poet Lord Byron, the work shows the oriental sovereign seated at the top of a pyre, surrounded by his horses, his riches, his wives, whom he wished had disappeared with him, condemned for treason.  He presented at the Salon of 1831 his Freedom guiding the people, a masterful work linking ancient allegory and contemporary representation. The work is acquired by the State and exhibited now at the Luxembourg Museum.

In 1826, he had already received an order from Christ in the Jardin des Oliviers for the Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church in the Marais. In 1834, thanks to the support of Adolphe Thiers, Delacroix was commissioned to produce the sets for the Salon du Roi at the Palais Bourbon, in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1837, he received the order for the ceiling of the library of this same in the Chamber of Deputies, devoted to the arts and sciences. In the mid-1840s, he also painted the decor of the Luxembourg Palace library, the current Senate. In the early 1850s, Delacroix was honored with the commission for the central decor of the Galerie d’Apollon, designed in the 17C by the painter Charles Le Brun, and remained unfinished. It represents the god Apollo, winner of the serpent Python. It’s the victory of light over darkness, a victory of color.

Delacroix paints a very moving Pietà in the Saint-Denis-du-Saint-Sacrement Church, in what is now rue Turenne. In 1849, he received the order for the decorations of a chapel of the very large Saint-Sulpice Church, the Chapel of the Holy Angels. This masterful work occupied him until 1861. He produced two large facing murals, The Struggle of Jacob with the Angel and Heliodorus expelled from the temple, as well as the ceiling, Saint Michael defeating the demon.

in January 1857, at the seventh attempt, the painter was finally accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts. The loyal Jenny Le Guillou, his housekeeper who joined him in 1835, was the only one to live by his side, sparing him the hassles of everyday life. Eugène Delacroix died on August 13, 1863 in his apartment on the rue de Fürstenberg ; his atelier and today museum in his honor at no. 6-8. Jenny Le Guillou takes his last breath, in the early hours of the morning.

A wonderful and well merit monument to a great painter of our modern times, one we may never see the likes again. Hope you enjoy the Jardin du Luxembourg and especially the monument of Eugéne Delacroix; always a must stop for me.

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

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May 20, 2020

Jardin du Luxembourg :Grand Bassin!!

Ok folks lets go into higher gears in my eternal Paris. As said, a blog on its own should be more fitting but will give briefs on the wonderful things to see and do here, already with many many posts on Paris, the city I have great memories of working there while living nearby and now still visiting.

One of the places that is a must to go in Paris is the Jardin du  Luxembourg  , wonderful spots spent many afternoons with my boys there. Therefore, let me tell you about what we found best there, and I meant just the best for us. And why not start with the Grand Bassin or great basin or big pool.

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The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the favorite green spaces for Parisians and tourists. It covers twenty-three hectares, twenty-one of which are open to the public. The fun part which my boys did enjoyed when came over to walks in Paris  was the rental of remotely operated boats that they maneuver on the Grand Bassin!! The majestic piece of water, octagonal in shape, was installed under the First Empire by Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin , Architect of king Louis XVI, ordering public holidays under the Consulate and designer-among other wonders of the Arc de Triomphe at Place de l’Etoile!

In front of the Senate of France in golden light, around the Grand Bassin nestles at the crossroads of two axes around which the powerful scenography of the premises revolves. At its center, it houses a fountain made up of three half-naked, half-draped cherubs, which emerge from a small landscape of stylised reeds and support a vase. From the basin a medium-sized central jet takes off and the water is poured out by two flow edges, spit out by chimeric heads. The work, anonymous, is simple and graceful. We don’t know much about it except where it comes from: the Domaine of Chantilly. The Senate would have acquired it in 1801 or 1802.

All around, on the shimmering water, the famous little sailboats frolic, childhood dreams and not only as adults enjoy it too..The Grand Bassin is also an exhibition space for majestic Canary date palms and a gallery of open-air sculptures .These date palms have long belonged to the botanical heritage of the Jardin du Luxembourg. During the winter, they are kept in the Orangerie, a building decorated with busts of great artists of the 19C. Such as Calliope, muse of epic poetry and eloquence. Calliope, mother of the poet Orpheus whose lyre she wears, wife of Apollo, god of the sun and light . The poets of Antiquity particularly liked to evoke it. The year of creation of this beautiful marble is unknown. Calliope would have been brought back to France after the siege of Sébastopol, in 1855 or 1856, by the Marshal Aimable Pélissier .She is represented in a fantastic way, the dolphin, faithful companion of the goddess of love and beauty, is associated with the fluids of life, with luxuriance but also with death and the ambivalence of water. Venus embody life but she is also, let us not forget, a psychopump goddess. Spring overlord, Flore brandishes the crown of poetic inspiration, an emblem of joy and fertility associated with the Floralies, celebrations of the renewal of nature which take place around April 15. As with Venus with the Dolphin, the author of the work is not identified. The creation date is unknown. This marble made according to the antique was visible in the Jardin du Luxembourg under the First Empire. There are two Flore marbles in Luxembourg, one located to the west and the other installed to the east of the Grand Bassin.

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There is a wonderful explanation of it at the Senate of France webpage in French of course, this is a government own place. Senate of France on the jardin du Luxembourg heritage

The tourist office of Paris has some info in English: Paris tourist office on the jardin du luxembourg

In all this is a wonderful time spent with families and a great rest stop while visiting. As I go by the Rue Guynemer for off street parking and the porte de Fleurus corner with Rue de Fleurus passing by the replica of the statue of LIberty which of course did not took a photo ::) .. this takes you straight to the Grand Bassin! And on my left the statue of Anne de Bretagne! Outside there is the nice Café Fleurus we enjoyed  as well as a bit further Le Guynemer! 

Hope you enjoy the Grand Bassin of the Jardin du Luxembourg of Paris of course. And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 19, 2020

Le Louxor in Paris!!!

Actually walking around Paris you find many good interesting monument/buildings that otherwise you would miss. I just happened to walked all around the Montmartre area and without having to climb the hill came upon this cinema for the first time that was in renovations. The building struck me and came back later by car to see what was of it, and find out it turn out very nice indeed. Another historical building save in my eternal Paris. I like to tell you about it  the Luoxor cinema or cinema palace of Paris!

Le Louxor was inaugurated in 1921, its appearance lives up to its name; a neo-Egyptian façade highlighted by colorful mosaics with floral/exotic animal motifs greets filmgoers as they enter the renovated theater. At the time, it was one of the largest cinemas in Paris with just over 1,000 seats. While it originally screened French and American movies, the 1970s saw the cinema turn toward Indian and Arab films in keeping with the population of the neighborhood.  It was bought by the city of Paris in 2003, and reopened in April 2013, proof that the projection camera is not about to be shut off on the city’s film scene just yet.  

The Le Luoxor is a cinema located at no 170, boulevard de Magenta in the 10éme arrondissement, at the corner of bd de la Chapelle and bd de Magenta initially inaugurated on October 6, 1921. it was transformed into a nightclub in 1983. Closed in 1988 and abandoned, it finally reopened on 17 April 2013, completely renovated with three showing rooms. It was built on the site of the department store Sacré Coeur Nouveautés.   A rare survivor of pre-war cinemas, the Luoxor is a remarkable example of ancient architecture from the 1920s. The neo-Egyptian facade from which it takes its name in reference to the city of Luoxor and the multicolored mosaics on the facade were carried out in the 1920s. In addition to the floral motifs, beetles, cobras and, above the small terrace, a large winged disc. The room with its two balconies then offers 1,195 seats.

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After the cinema closed there were first a Caribbean nightclub called La Dérobade, it became in August 1987 the largest gay nightclub in Paris under the name of Megatown, it closed in 1988. From then on the building was abandoned. The Luoxor Palace of cinema then experienced a long eclipse.

Group association and the city renovated and brought it back after attempts for a Tati discount store failed and it reopened as a cinema on April 17, 2013. The partial restitution of the large room, bearing the name of Youssef Chahine, and its decor, the creation of two new rooms in the basement, room no 2, baptized Juliet Berto-Jean-Henri Roger evokes with its starry ceiling the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and room no 3 has a basket handle vault in red tones; A bar with Art Deco lights has also been installed. The Luoxor has returned to its original vocation as a cinema. An exhibition space and a café-club complete this building now.

And yes dedication by a determine group of city dwellers lovers of cinema and architectural history made it possible, Le Luoxor is back and I am glad for them. You have many ways to get here, first you got the usual Metro lines 2 and 4 at station Barbès-Rochechouart. My RATP bus lines 30, 31, 54, 56, and 85. The RER express trains D,E and B with stations at  Magenta, and Gare du Nord. The bike network VélibStation n° 9003 – Carrefour Barbès. For those road warriors like me there is a nice parking Goutte d’or, at 10-12 rue de la Goutte d’or 18éme.

Last September 2019 they showcase the films of the  l’ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) from the Festival de Cannes!   However,  I was there when it re opened in 2013! the picture is from that time. Nice indeed.

The official webpage for Le Luoxor is here in French: Cinema Le Luoxor

And the story on the friends of the Le Luoxor who worked for its survival Les Amis du Luoxor in French:  Friends of Luoxor on its history

So hopefully you can come at a time films are showing again and do try this one, worth the detour for its decoration. Hope you like the off the beaten path post on Paris,of course.

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

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May 19, 2020

Paris: Avenue de New York!

Well as a never ending end… I came back with another memorable street of my eternal Paris. I am amazed of the material in my vault of so many years hanging around my belle France. And surprise ,not written before on a street so dear to me and which spent many times in it. Oh well ,time to remedy all that on the Avenue de New York, Paris of course!

The Avenue de New-York located in the 16éme arrondissement. Its one of my fav avenue and surprise have not even posted anything on it so far. It is served by metro line 9 at Alma and Iéna stations some distance away and by the RATP bus line 72 stop at the Musée d’Art moderne – Palais de Tokyo. It is named after the city of New York in the United States.

A street I take several times by car coming from Versailles and entering Paris by the Porte Saint Cloud, the D910 or (D10 opposite is the Avenue de Paris in Versailles!) Continuing onto Ave de Versailles, and the crossing the Seine at places like the Pont Mirabeau ; Pont de Grenelle, Pont de Bir-Hakeim (see post), Pont d’Iéna, and passing passarelle Delbilly, and the Pont de l´Alma. This is part of the old Royal road from the Palace of Versailles to the Fortress of the Louvre.

A bit of history I like

The Avenue de New York has been named successively quai des Bonshommes because it bordered the convent of Bonshommes, then quai de la Conférence, quai de Chaillot and quai de la Savonnerie   because it ran alongside the Savonnerie soap factory established at the he location of the current Palais de Tokyo in an old soap factory in 1631 and transferred in 1825 to the Gobelins district, it took the name of quai de Billy and quai Debilly in 1807. In 1918, the quai Debilly was renamed avenue de Tokio, named after the capital of Japan whose spelling Tokio was the norm at the beginning of the century. Then on February 26, 1945, by decree, the avenue de Tokio took the name of Avenue de New-York. Recall that Japan was an ally of France during the Great War (WWI) , however, during WWII, this same Japan was the ally of Nazi Germany so replaced the capital of the enemy country with the city of New York from the United States who had just liberated France!. In addition, in 1964, the Quai de Passy, which extends the avenue de New-York downstream of the Seine, took the name avenue du Président-Kennedy which also refers to the United States. The palace of Tokyo, built for the 1937 Exposition, kept its name with its new spelling after 1945.

A bit on the configuration of this avenue and surroundings is useful to know from a historical and architectural basis I like

The Quai de Chaillot then Debilly stretched between the old Conference barrier, at the end of Cours la Reine, the fiscal limit for the rights for taxes of Paris from the mid-18C to the Passy barrier opened in 1788 in the wall of the Farmers General. From this date, the quay is included in the city of Paris with the whole of the old village of Chaillot up to the quay of Passy, current Avenue du Président-Kennedy, which was on the territory of the town of Passy until its annexation by the city of Paris in 1860 downstream of the Passy barrier, which was removed at that time. The part between rue de la Manutention and avenue Albert-de-Mun remains a little-built space until the middle of the 19C where a large Cail locomotive construction factory was set up, destroyed by a fire in 1865 which was not rebuilt. The land between avenue d’Iéna and the quay which belonged to the City of Paris in 1877 was then sold and subdivided with an easement limiting the height of the buildings on the quay of No 32 to 42 to 14.30 meters to preserve the view at the rear of the buildings on avenue d’Iéna. From Avenue Albert de Mun to rue Le Nôtre, the quay runs alongside a space that was part of the Visitation de Chaillot convent until 1790. Land sold as national property after 1790, purchased by the State from 1811 to 1813 for the abandoned project of the Palace of the King of Rome and sat   vacant until the Trocadero gardens were laid out in 1878. From rue Le Nôtre to rue Beethoven, the quay ran alongside the Couvent des Minimes or Bonshommes domain, at the bottom of which was built in 1788 the wall granting tax rights the corner of rue de la Montagne, now rue Beethoven, where was established the barrier of Passy, beyond the location of the current rue Le Nôtre to then follow, in the space of the current Trocadéro gardens, a direction perpendicular to the Seine river to the top of the hill of Chaillot. The wall was destroyed in 1860 and the land sold to the City of Paris which levelled it and then subdivided it in 1877 to create the rue Chardin and rue Le Nôtre, the southern part of the Trocadéro gardens and allow the construction of buildings on the quay at nos. 60 to 66, the existing ones dating from 1925 and the 1950s.

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Below this old quai Debilly or quay, the bank of the Seine still constitutes the Port Debilly and there is also a Passarelle Debilly footbridge allowing pedestrians to cross the river. The Avenue de New York   was crossed from 1855 by the American railroad, the first urban tramway line in France whose vehicles were towed by horses, which linked the Place de la Concorde to the Pont de Sèvres, then extended until Versailles. The Avenue de New York is not continuously bordered by a low quay because the passage between the relatively narrow Port Debilly and the upstream Port   de la Conferénce is interrupted under the Pont de l’Alma bridge. The Avenue de New York has two central level tracks with underground passages at the mouth of the bridges but also pedestrian crossings. This busy road, which does not however have a highway/motorway character on this section, is part of the Georges-Pompidou river banks connection road. The avenue has side streets with heavy traffic including fairly narrow bus-bicycle lanes and also narrow sidewalks, the one on the river side comprising a narrow one-way cycle path which cyclists can access, after a section of rue Le Nôtre at rue Beethoven and a crossing at the pedestrian crossing at this level, to the two-way cycle path that runs along the Voie Georges-Pompidou on the low quay or port de Passy to the limit of Boulogne-Billancourt.

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Nice buildings I like here are the No 4: home of Ambassador Pamela Harriman (USA but born in London), while she is in a relationship with the businessman Giovanni Agnelli (FIAT). It shows the presence of a History of Paris sign reminiscent of Chaillot’s fire pump. At No 10: home of landscape architects father and son Henri Duchêne and Achille Duchêne and of the latter’s wife, feminist and peace activist Gabrielle Duchêne. No 32: French Federation of Motor Sports. And No 34: Mona Bismarck American Arts Center, where the American socialite Mona Bismarck lived. French-American Foundation.( see post ,love the place).

My lunch needs were done at the Le New York 48 avenue de New York when in the area as frequent visitor to the American Arts Center, Mona Bismarck Foundation, old hanging out of the Franco-American community here.

The tourist office of Paris on the American Arts Center(see post ) : TOurist office of Paris on the American Arts Center

The tourist office of Paris on the Passarelle DebillyTourist office of Paris on Passarelle Debilly

A wonderful part of Paris to walk and even drive a car! as evidence by my many trips there. Walking of course, let you see more and we love it by there, so much to see as evidence by been in museum center in the rive droite of Paris. Hope you enjoy the walk in the Avenue de New York even if cannot be done totally as no sidewalks.

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

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May 19, 2020

Church Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou ,Paris!

And now in Paris, walking it and seeing many wonderful monuments off the beaten path. This is another dear area of mine and not enough pictures; I walked with the family several times, and voilà saw this one and why not, still need to see more but a wonderful souvenir of my walks with the family here.

The Church Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou is located at 92, rue Saint-Dominique in the 7éme arrondissement. A way of many walks by yours truly coming from the port de Suffren where we always went for events and gastronomy on the Seine river , Maxim’s boat. We then decided to take a walk and found ourselves passing this church.

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A bit of history I like

The Church of Saint-Pierre du Gros-Caillou, is a parish church in the quartier Gros Caillou . The story goes that when Gros-Caillou had become a fairly large neighborhood, they felt the need to build a branch there of the Church Saint-Sulpice , which was the parish of this neighborhood at the times. They took care of this project in 1652, but countless obstacles successively came to stop the works. Finally, in 1733, the foundation stone of this church was laid. Which was blessed under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and named by the inhabitants , Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Délivrance; it is however designated in the registers of the archbishopric under the name of Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou, branch of Saint-Sulpice. It was not entirely finished when the French revolution broke out and was then demolished. In 1822, a new church was erected on the same site and under the same name, which is beautifully simple with the first stone of the present church, was laid during the reign of king Louis XVIII and completed in 1826 on a plan inspired by the Roman basilicas. This antique style has been in vogue for the last decades of the Ancien Régime The Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou Church was enlarged with a side wing in 1905, then the axial chapel known as the Virgin in 1971.

There was an organ here circa 1850 nothing attest of one before and this one was sold in 1926. The organ was sadly in bad shape. A second organ was done circa 1925, but it too was demolished. The current organ was built in 1976, of neoclassical aesthetic.   There is a second organ in the Chapel built in 1972. The bell-tower shelters a ringing of 4 bells done in 1993; they were baptized on May 16, 1993. The names given are Clémence – 800 kilos; Constance- 445 kilos , Patience- 340 kilos and Prudence- 275 kilos. In the church is placed, on the ground, the old bell: Louise-Sophie 320 kilos done in 1826 and baptized on April 17, 1827.

The interior style of the Church of Saint Pierre du Gros Caillou is quite simple. You will see , however, the presence of some interesting paintings such as the Christ holding a child on his knees, 1840. Saint Pierre released from prison, 1834. and the most prominent done by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, Saint François meditating in solitude, Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Finally, the Chapel of the Virgin has a rarity: a Stations of the Cross made up of a long series of tangled branches and twigs which stretches along the walls and dates from 1953.

Again no tourist webpage as this is really off the beaten path of Paris, the church has its own page in French here: Church St Pierre du Gros Caillou

And again, Paris Catholic parishes webpage including St Pierre du Gros Caillou in French: Catholic Paris on parishes including St Pierre du Gros Caillou

This is the wonderful way to walk Paris and see these off the beaten path monuments here, and they are many.  This is a nice area off the Avenue Bosquet (see post) ,the picturesque rue Cler, and walking straigh on Rue St Dominique you reach the marvelous lawns behind the Invalides, sublime walk.Hope you enjoy the Church Saint Pierre du Gros Caillou in my eternal Paris.

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

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May 18, 2020

The Church of Saint François Xavier des Missions étrangères ,Paris!

Oh well figure plenty of streets for now ::) Paris has so much to offer will need a blog just for it and some do… It is very attaching by all sometimes so much neglicting the rest of France. Oh well , anyway after my rant, I am back in Paris but for some monument off the beaten path!

The Church of Saint François Xavier des Missions étrangères is one of them and even if briefly by there ,it is nevertheless a wonderful monument to see in your walks in Paris! Which of course, is recommended to do, walk it!

The Church of Saint François Xavier des Missions étrangères or Saint Francis Xavier of the Foreign Missions, one of the largest churches in Paris, is very representative of the architecture of the end of the 19C. The Saint-François-Xavier Church is located place du Président-Mithouard in the 7éme arrondissement and along Boulevard des Invalides, at Place du Président-Mithouard and Place André-Tardieu. It is surrounded by square Pierre-de-Gaulle and square de l’Abbé-Esquerré. It is served by metro line 13 at Saint-François-Xavier station and by lines 82 (my usual one lately) and 87 of RATP bus network.

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A bit on the construction: Work begins in 1861 ,and the fine-grained and tight stones used in the construction come from the underground quarries of Bagneux. The church was completed in 1873, with the exception of its interior decoration; and opened for worship in 1874 and then consecrated on May 23, 1894.. The pediment,has Saint-François Xavier baptizing the inhabitants of India and Japan. The Church of Saint François Xavier for short is in the Neo-Renaissance style, the central part of the facade is flanked by two square towers. From a classical plan, the church has a metal frame allowing the vault to rest directly on the side walls. There are therefore no aisles or flying buttresses. Side chapels punctuate the sides, while the axial chapel houses a statue of the Virgin.

The Church of Saint François Xavier is the place of worship of the parish of Saint-François-Xavier-des-Missions-Étrangères since 1842; before the construction of the church, its place of worship was the current Chapelle de l’Épiphanie des Missions étrangères de Paris or the Chapel of the Epiphany of the Missions Paris foreign offices located at 128, rue du Bac.

The wonderful thing here is the shrine containing the body of Saint Madeleine-Sophie Barat, founder in 1800 of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart) which was transferred to this church in 2009,on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The direction of the congregation had indeed decided to install the shrine in this church which is next to the buildings where Madeleine-Sophie lived, such as the seat of the congregation ; today the Rodin museum, and the educational establishment for young girls, today lycée Victor-Duruy (high school).

The Church Saint François Xavier contains many beautiful works of art,not to be photograh , including: The Last Supper, by Le Tintoret ; The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Geneviève,by Lubin Baugin , La Communion, by Henry Lerolle , Christ in the shroud, by Alfred-Charles Lenoir , and Le Miracle of Saint Francis Xavier, by Benedetto Gennari the Younger. The organs were built in 1878, revised by Cavaillé-Coll in 1890, then by the Ephrem and Gonzalez builders in 1923. Bernard Dargassies completely restored them in 1993. The restored organs were inaugurated on April 10 1996.

The webpage site of Church of Saint-François-Xavier-des-Missions-Étrangères in French: Parish webpage of Church St François Xavier

The Catholic parishes of Paris in French includes ST François Xavier: Catholic parishes of Paris includes St François Xavier

There is no tourist related webpage for it as it is off the beaten path but worth seeing while walking in its wonderful neighborhood of the garden of Avenue de Breteuil just behind the church all the way to the Invalides. Hope you enjoy the Church of Saint-François-Xavier-des-Missions-Étrangères!

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

 

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May 18, 2020

And after the virus at Pluvigner!

So now its about time I do my minutes on the current or past depending when you read this of the covid19, coronavirus, or wuhan virus your choice.  My town ,Pluvigner, as you have read before in my blog is a small town of about 7K folks inland Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne on the west of France. We are up the alley between the south and north coasts with beaches closer on the south side.

You probably should have read all the commotion about the virus , well me took it philosophical as had some bad mishaps losing mother and wife and nothing is bigger than that, well almost. We were totally excluded from this hectic period and passed it quietly and easy in our home. We obey the stay at home procedures!

Of course, it all helps that all the wage earners in my home got our pay 100% at home! We were able to go out as we have parks nearby and our house has a 1000 sq meters patio or almost 11K sq feet…It took time to get some maintenance and cleaning on the house. We were able to order food, and either pickup or delivered. We ordered all our needs including books, video games, dvd and food (wines, cheeses sausages etc ) all online and home delivered. So what can i say easy.

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keolis atlantique bus line 5 stop move heck almost see my house!

The biggest impact will be once going back to work as I am doing telework now and my oldest son started working on the drive in at his job only still with full pay::) The impact will be on many small businesses as recession is estimated to be in France at -8,2% for this year and an increase in bankruptcies of 20%; this is my job so I know. There are still many businesses not fully open and with lower sales; especially the hotel/restaurant sector, badly hit.

My intended trip to Honfleur, Normandy was cancelled due to the 100 km limit and the gendarmerie did not allow us to go even if for visiting the spots in the ocean of my Mom and Wife. Therefore, we need to wait for maybe after june 2nd or in the summer for the release of distances and then plan again the trip with our jobs.

I had jobs on my missions to do in Eindhoven Holland and  Toulouse that have been postponned until further notice…which probably will be cancelled all together.

As went out today walking in town, I can see things will never be the same again anywhere. I saw bread lines again, with a sad memory of my youth! Road work that needed to be postponned, and several businesses still closed and others partially open. Again, even if out completely soon it will take at least until the end of 2020 to be back to some normalcy. As someone blogger has put 2020 is out get it all for 2021!

Pluvigner

bread lines

pluvigner

city hall given out free masks to residents

Wishing all my readers went thru ok and are positive about the future; its the only way out. I took some pictures of Pluvigner today that reflect the mood, hope you enjoy them. Best wishes!

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

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