Posts tagged ‘Paris’

December 18, 2018

The Castle/Museum at St Germain en Laye!

And now that I am in the neighborhood of St Germain en Laye, a wonderful town near my old home, why not tell you again about a wonderful castle of great historical significance and a beautiful museum today. It is a must see while here and very easy to get to from Paris.

The town of St Germain en Laye is located in department 78, call Yvelines , west of Paris. It was very near me and I did shopping and eating out there often with the family. It is ,also, the birthplace of king Louis XIV with a beautiful castle now a wonderful museum. To come best on the RER A from many points in Paris, or the train  station Grand  Ceinture ,just at entry to the city from the west, train from Paris gare St Lazare, the official site for the local trains is http://www.transilien.com/web/site/lang/en

The most obvious parkings  is by the RER station, two call RER and Chateau parking in two levels. The other is to go underneath the Vieux Marché or market area on ave de la République, or the parking Pologne at rue de Pologne or the Monoprix store parking. The city of SGL has a good explanation on parkings and public transport even in French can easily be understood, here http://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/cadre-de-vie/venir-circuler-et-stationner-a-saint-germain/rer-bus-voiture-taxis-liaisons-avec-les-aeroports/

The town offers many sightseeing choices and it is very easy to get to from Paris.  The town grew because of the castle and the forest that surround it which are magnificent with a wonderful view of Paris in the distance and its monuments at the park done by Le Notre. The name is old possibly from 972 AD when king of the French Robert I had built a monastery in honor of St Germain ,probably St Germain des Prés. The name of the town can be translated as Saint Germain of the forest in new French.

St Germain en Laye

In 1777, King Louis XVI donated the New Castle, in bad condition, to his brother Charles, Count of Artois, the future Charles X. He had it demolished with the intention of rebuilding it.  Under the Empire, the Château-Vieux was repaired to form a cavalry school. It hosts the Special Military School of Cavalry, opened in 1809 and merged, in 1914, with the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr. From 1836 to 1855, the castle was transformed into a military penitentiary. It was extensively restored under Napoleon III . On March 8, 1862, an imperial decree acts the creation in the castle of a Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities (later renamed Museum of National Antiquities, then recently , and still today the Museum of National Archaeology).

St Germain en laye

The castle revolves around an inner courtyard in the shape of a trapezoid, taking the primitive route of Charles V Castle. The wings that frame this courtyard traditionally bear the following names: King’s Wing (north wing), Queen’s Wing (east Wing), King’s Children’s wing (southeast wing), Chapel Wing (southwest Wing), and the Feast Hall Wing (West Wing).

St Germain en laye

St Germain en laye

The ballroom is located in the West Wing. Unfinished at the death of François I, it was inaugurated by his son Henri II at a grand banquet in 1549 to celebrate the baptism of his son. It is more than 500 m2 and has a monumental chimney with a stone motif, which features the salamander; the emblem of François I. Louis XIV transformed it into a comedy room, and the team of formidable instruments. More than one hundred and forty representations of all kinds were given in this room considered the largest of the whole kingdom. Lully and Molière knew their hours of glory here. In 1666, king Louis XIV performed himself in the Ballet des Muses. This room now houses the comparative archaeology room.

The castle museum are well kept with a beautiful chapel of  St. Louis, located in the Gothic castle, is a vestige of the ancient fortress. It was built by Saint Louis in 1238. Louis XIV, although born in the Château Neuf, was baptized there. An inner courtyard, floors of antiquities artifacts from the region very nicely display, and the adjoining park design by Le Notre overlooking Paris. Behind the castle in what is now the restaurant Pavillon Henri IV, a marker displays the fact that king Louis XIV was born there.

St germain en laye

St Germain en laye

Of course, the castle now the museum of antiquities or musée national des antiquites it covers in three floors wonders of the old days found in the surrounding areas, and it is considered one of the best in its genre.  Behind you see an archdoor leading to the Pavillon Henri IV restaurant (great dining) an enblem showing this is where Louis XIV was born. The parc and gardens were done from  1668 to 1675 by the great gardener Le Nôtre, and it has an expansive view over Paris and the vineyards of Le Pecq that after doing so from antiquity are now back in form from 2000 onward producicng pinot noir base wines.  The museum page is here,  Museum of National Antiquities SGL

St Germain en laye

The tourist office of SGL for more info is here  http://www.ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/

Some of the stories and personalities of the Castle and the city of Saint Germain en Laye were:

king François I married Claude de France in the Chapel of the old castle in 1514 , and became its favorite living property. Henri II is also born here, and he became king in 1547!  Charles IX established a glass making trade in 1561, and  Henri IV exempt the inhabitants of all taxes in 1599 priviledge that lasted until 1789! king Louis XIII spent his youth at the old castle, and it was while hunting from here that he discovered another place to later build his hunting lodge-Versailles. He later died here in 1643, while his son Louis XIV was born here in 1638. As king Louis XIV spent a great deal of his time here from 1661  to 1682 afterward the castle decline as the new other property was been built at Versailles. The king of England Edward II came here in exile from 1689 to his death in 1701 at the old castle, and is buried across the street at the church of St Germain (see that post).

A town that saw the birth of  (year following name) :Henri II, 1518; Marguerite de France, Queen Margot, 1553 ; Jeanne d’Albret, (mother of Henri IV and great figure of the Reformist era) ,1528;Charles IX , 1550 ; Louis de Buade count de Frontenac,( Governor of New France (Canada)),1622; King Louis XIV, 1638 ; Philippe de France, duke of Orléans,1640 ; Philippe de France, duke of Anjou, (oldest son of Louis XIV), 1660; Marie-Louise  of England , (daughter of king James II of England exile in the city and buried at the Church of St Germain across from castle), 1692;  Claude Debussy ,1862 ; Edouard Bourdet, 1887;  Jehan Alain, 1911 ;  Christian Fouchet, 1911,(ambassador and previous minister and follower from the first hour of Gen de Gaulle); José Artur, 1927; Michel Pericard (1929-1999), (previous mayor of Saint-Germain- en-Laye (1977-1999),deputy of the Yvelines  (1978-1999) , and Vice President of the National Assembly of France (1997-1999); Jean-Edern Hallier, 1936;  and Pierre Douglas, 1941…

A town that saw the passing of figures such as (year of death following name) : Louis XIII,1643 ; James II king of England, 1701; The knight  Ramsay  1743 ; François de Beauharnais, (father in law of Joséphine first wife of Napoléon), 1800 ; prince de Polignac, 1847 ; Adolphe Thiers, President of the IIIe Républic, 1877; the Poet Catulle Mendès, 1909 ; Henri Cochet, Tennis champion 6 times winner of the Davis Cup, 1987; Suzanne Chantal, roman writer, 1994.

And who have passed by in the city, some of the famous are : Molière, alias Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; Mozart for a day in 1778 ; Benjamin Franklin also in 1778; Alexandre Dumas father and son. The father wrote  “Les Trois mousquetaires” and “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” in the city while commander of the national guard in town as well as directs the theater.  The son wrote  “La Dame aux camélias” in the city. The musician Claude Debussy, and the painter Maurice Denis , that have a museum in the city as well. And of course, many many others too numerous to mention.

So therefore, is it worth a detour out of Paris glitz! come on over the Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France; the first , history , architecture, marvels of my belle France. Enjoy SGL wholly!

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

December 18, 2018

Church St Germain, St Germain en Laye!

Let me tell you in one post about a nice Church many times overlook even if right smack in a historical part of Royal and historical Saint Germain en Laye, Yvelines dept 78 region of Ïle de France. Near my old home.

Often folks go to the castle and museum across the street, take their RER A and zoom back to Paris. However, this is a historical Church right in there and a must to see in my opinion. Behind the Church you start on city center and loads of shops and restaurants and a wonderful outdoor market. I am talking here about the Church of St Germain, time to give it a bit more credit that so much deserves.

St Germain en laye

St Germain en Laye

Saint-Germain Church. It was called at the beginning of the 18C Saint-Germain-de-Paris. Located in front of the castle, this current Church built in 1824, in a neo-classical style inspired by the Paleo basilicas, was restored from 1848 to 1854. Its facade has a triangular pediment supported by six Tuscan columns, four of which are aligned in front and two in return. The present Church is however closer to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule in Paris.

St GErmain en laye

The present Church is the fourth built on the site. It was built on the site of an ancient Church built in 1683 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and became too small, which replaced a first church of the 14C. The first stone laid on November 20 1766 by the Duke of Noailles: the works were quickly stopped but taken over by the order of Louis XVI at the request of the municipal assembly. The French Revolution provoked the abandonment of the works until 1823, when the construction was restarted, and proceeded to the completion of it in 1827. The new Church was blessed on December 2, 1827 by Jean-François-Étienne Borderies, Bishop of Versailles.

St Germain en laye

Some of the nice things to see inside are:

Benedetto Antelami, Descent of the Cross, 1178, identical to that preserved in the Cathedral of Parma. It was offered to the Church by a family of the city in 1994. Its origin is disputed: It would be a second version made by the artist or a later copy…

Notre-Dame du Bon Retour (Our Lady of the Good Return), 14C, Virgin and the Child discovered in the 19C during the construction work of the Church.

Christ on the Cross, 17C in Baroque style, unknown origin.

Baroque pulpit chair given by king Louis XIV, from the third chapel of the Château de Versailles, abandoned in 1710 to make way for the present chapel of Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte.

Charles-Joseph Natoire, the Baptism of Christ c.1750, originally painted for the chapel of the castle of Machaud d’Arnouville, Minister of king Louis XV. Very close to a first version made in 1747 (now at Museum of Fine Arts of Arras). This painting is the last work painted in France by Natoire, then at the height of its fame, before its definitive departure for Rome.

Honoré Icard, the Hereafter, 1913, grouping in marble.

The Mausoleum of the King of England, James II (Stuart), exiled to France and greeted by his cousin king Louis XIV. He resided and died at the Château de Saint-Germain, where Louis XIV had lived a few decades before.

St Germain en laye

The walls of the nave and the apse are adorned with frescoes by Amaury-Duval, a pupil of Ingres, on the theme of the New Testament. They were completed in 1857.

St Germain en laye

The Grand Organ was commissioned by king Louis XIV to Alexandre Thierry in 1698. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll rebuilt the organ keeping the old part that could be saved. In 1903, Charles Mutin remade the instrument (forty four games), the largest part of the piping of the 18C disappeared. In 1967, the company Haerpfer-Erman performed a restoration and reinstalled the back positive by Mutin. Buffet in 1930 and instrumental part in 1975. The Choir organ was built by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll in 1889.

st germain en laye

A great personality and local boy was Claude Debussy ,French musician born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on August 22, 1862, was baptized at the Église Saint-Germain on July 31, 1864.

Some webpages to fully appreciate this Church of St Germain  and help plan your trip here are

Tourist office of St Germain en Laye

City of St Germain en Laye on heritage

Tourist office of SGL on St Germain Church

The Catholic Parish of SGL on the Church

The Chorus of St Germain Church

The Friends of Old Saint Germain en Laye in French

There you go , do not miss it next time, worth your time there. Wonderful Saint Germain en Laye, many memories especially from the sights just to come to the market for goodies with the family.

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

 

 

 

 

December 17, 2018

Madame Elizabeth, Versailles of course!

And I am back in my routine preparting end of year and new year’s things with the boys. The sad part will be the first one without my dear late wife Martine; we will hang tough.

I like to bring back a wonderful piece I wrote in 2017 of a great personage of my beloved Versailles. This is again Madame Elizabeth, the sister of Louis XVI and also guillotine in 1794 simply for defending her brother!

I can’t help been a lover of travel fares to indulge on history. It is rather condense and long, but writing about a wonderful personage of my Versailles merits an effort. I will tell the story of Madame Elizabeth. One of my favorite personalities of the history of Versailles and France and have visited her places several times. This is post in 2017 for a refresher.

Versailles

Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France, dite Madame Élisabeth, was born May 3 1764 in Versailles and baptised at the Royal Chapel in the castle in the presence of her grandfather king Louis XV, and her grandmother the queen Marie Lesczynska  ; as well as the godparents the princess and her uncle Felipe I of Spain duke of Parma and her godmother the great aunt Elizabeth Farnese, princess of Parma that gives her the name and represented there as well by Marie-Adelaide de France daughter of Louis XV. She is registered in the Church collegiale of Notre Dame. She died under the abusive guillotine on May 10 1794 in the revolution square today Place de la Concorde. She was the 8th and last children of the dauphin Louis Ferdinand and Marie Josephe de Saxe, and sister of king Louis XVI.

Versailles

She was imprisoned in 1792 same time as the king and ask to present in front of the revolutionary tribunal under the terror and ordered to be executed ,simply for defending her brother. Recognised by her piety and acts of charity as well as her death associated as a martyr she was declared a Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1953.

Early on she is left orphan after the death of her father from tuberculosis and the two years after the mother. Both of them only 36 years old leaving five children including the oldest at 13 the future king Louis XVI. Madame Elizabeth received an excellent education and is interested in the arts. Where she is introduce to the arts by her nanny The countess de Marsan along with her older sister Madame Clotilde (by 6 yrs). With great influence from her Aunts she follows a Catholic course of great piety and devotion while at the same time certain liberties.

On May 10 1774 the king Louis XV died and Louis-Auguste at the age of 19 yrs old becomes king Louis XVI. The education of Madame Elizabeth changed to a new nanny that of Baroness de Mackau that gains her confidence as well as her own daughter. Shortly, after the coronation, the older sister Madame Clotilde is married to the Prince of Piemont ,leaving for Turin, and the young Elizabeth finds herself alone in Versailles at the age of 11. At age 15, she obtained the ok to have her own house and proper revenues from the court.

In 1783, the king offered her the Domaine de Montreuil, purchased from the Rohan-Guéméné and located in the village of Montreuil not far from the Château de Versailles. Now it is a district of Versailles well praise and the home sits in a lovely park still named the Domaine de Montreuil. From 1784 to the revolution, major reconstruction and development work was undertaken. The buildings are rebuilt in the neo-classical taste and the gardens in the Anglo-Chinese taste then in vogue (dummy cave, streams, waterfall, etc.). Some of the cabinetry work in the house is now display in the  Louvre Museum and the Nissim-de-Camondo museum of Paris.

Versailles

Madame Elisabeth will be close to her sister-in-law Queen Marie Antoinette. Favorable to smallpox, which allows to guard against smallpox, a deadly and frequent contagious disease, which affects all the layers of the population, leaving the best of horrible scars on the face, she calls her doctor. The latter is surprised to find her surrounded by her ladies, but also by the peasants of her land, who can thus gracefully benefit from the progress of medicine. She, also deprived herself for four years of the gifts which the king gave him so that one of his ladies in her entouraged, Mademoiselle de Causans, could constitute the dowry necessary for her marriage with the Marquis of Raigecourt, a gentleman from Lorraine, of whom she was in love.

On May 3, 1789, Madame Elisabeth  reached the legal age majority. The next day she attends the Church of Saint Louis de Versailles at the opening of the general states.  On 4 June 1789, the dauphin (heir to the throne) died at the age of 7 years at the Château de Meudon.  Madame Elisabeth  approached the Queen, her sister-in-law, to support the king. On October 6, 1789 , the Royal family is forcibly brought back by the people to Paris.  While, she could easily withdrawed to the Bellevue Castlenear Meudon, she chose to share the fate of her brother. The princess (Madame Elizabeth)  adopted an ultra position, without any concession to the supporters of a constitutional monarchy.  As early as 1790, she supported the principle of an alliance of emigrants with the foreign powers which it awaited salvation. Through the Count of Virieu, among others, she regularly corresponded with the count of Artois, his brother, who emigrated to Turin and then to Koblenz, whose ideas she shared.

Versailles

One of her letters to the Count of Artois  (Louis XVI brother; and later Louis XVIII) was discovered one day on an officer who carried it, and the missive was given for examination at the National Assembly. Princess Elisabeth said of the king that he was allowed to be led by his ministers sold to the Assembly, and that there was nothing to be hoped for without outside help. She recommended to the Count of Artois to act by himself, committing him to put the other sovereigns of Europe in their interests, for, she said, Louis XVI is so weak that he would sign his own condemnation if required of him.  She also objected to the civil constitution of the clergy and to any measure that diminished the royal prerogatives or those of the Church. The Aunts and nannies ladies went for the papal states in 1791 and offer the niece to accompany them; however, Madame Elizabeth once again choose to stay with the Royal couple. She followed her brother and sister-in-law on the foiled flight to Montmédy on June 20, 1791.

When the king was suspended by the legislature on August 10, 1792 and dethroned a month later, the assembly decreed that  Louis Capet (Louis XVI), his wife(Marie-Antoinette)  and children (Louis-Charles and Marie-Thérèse), as well as Elisabeth, would be detained until further notice at the Temple prison.  A letter from the Marquise de Bombelles  informed by her daughter, Madame Alissa de Chazt, who secretly communicates with the prisoners , gives this news to the Marquis de Raigecourt, husband of her best friend:

“I had as you the same information about our unfortunate princess, her thinness is, it is said, scary, but religion supports her, and she is the consoling angel of the Queen, of her children;” Let us hope that she and hers will not succumb to so many evils. How could one complain by having the imagination filled with the painful picture of the inhabitants of the temple »

The king was executed on 21 January 1793. Early July, in order to avoid any attempt to escape, the young Louis-Charles,then 8 yrs old (would have been Louis XVII but strangely disappeared without trace), was separated from his mother and aunt, then Marie-Antoinette, on the decree of Barère, Reporter of the Public Salvation Committee, was sent back to the Revolutionary Court and sent on August 1st to the Conciergerie.  In the winter of 1793, Madame Elisabeth, ignoring the execution of her sister-in-law, shared her cell with her 15-year-old niece on which she saw after the execution of her parents and the separation of her brother the little “Louis XVII”.  The “sister of the tyrant” gave the political police an opportunity to hold a trial after which Elizabeth was sentenced to death. To the public accuser who treats her as “the sister of a tyrant”, she would have replied: “If my brother had been what you say, you would not be where you are, nor me, where I am!”

On May 10 1794 , she was driven by cart in the place of the revolution(Place de la Concorde), the last of a batch of 25 persons. It is at this moment that she learns from her companions of misfortune the fate of Marie-Antoinette. Before she was executed, she unsuccessfully claimed the help of a priest that Fonseca-Tinville refused with derision.  After her  guillotine altar, she continues to comfort her companions and companions of misfortune. She saves the life of one of them, Madame de Sérilly, convincing her to reveal a possible early pregnancy.

Her truncated and stripped body was thrown into one of the common graves of the Errancis cemetery. After the revolution, the remains could not be identified despite the testimony of a gravedigger who located the common grave. The bones exhumed during the work of piercing avenues are placed in the catacombs of Paris with those of the other people.  A medallion represents her in the Basilica of  Saint-Denis.

In the continuing process of beatification, as Madame Elisabeth died in the smell of holiness. According to Madame de Genlis, a rose smell spread over the Place de la revolution (now Concorde) after her execution. Her cause in beatification was officially introduced on December 23rd 1953 by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris Maurice Feltin. She was thus declared Servant of God. As the procedure did not start, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois  proceeded to reopen her cause of beatification in 2016. It was then Abbé Xavier Snoëk, parish priest of Sainte-Élisabeth of Hungary Church in Versailles, who was appointed postulator of the cause. In May 2017, the Archdiocese of Paris recognized as the private association of the faithful the actors of its cause of beatification!!!

Versailles

The domaine de Montreuil is a park of 7,2 hectares of beautiful trees, and nice clean gardens, in which the house where she lived after a gift from her brother king Louis XVI in 1783. There was already a fortress here in the 1375 and was later acquired by the  Prince de Rohan-Guéméné (of Brittany!) and his wife Madame de Guéméné in 1772.

The house is a two level building in stone streaked with horizontal slitting and surmounted by broken attics. The ensemble included a chapel on a circular plane and zenithal lighting, as well as a Turkish boudoir. The fence wall, along the avenue of Paris, crowned by a balustrade, it served as a terrace from which one could admire the park and the garden ; the drawings are preserved in the National Library, the Musée Carnavalt and the Musée Latha,to keep the memory of this building domaine.

Madame Elisabeth establishes a small health center in Montreuil in a room in the house for the poor in the vicinity. These are cared for by the doctor and botanist Louis Guillaume Le McCann, who brought rare plants into the garden of the estate. The revolution ends these occupations.

Having escaped the fragmentation of properties during the French Revolution, the Clausse family became owners in the early 19C, Charles Louis Clausse, Mayor of Versailles died on September 10, 1831. Between the WW important restorations are done by the next owner Jean-Baptiste Chantrell. In 1955 his daughter Lydie sells the property to a real estate company. The maison de Madame Élisabeth belongs since 1984 to the General Council of the Yvelines dept 78. The Orangerie, acquired byt the deparment of Yvelines 78 since 1997 serves as a temporary exposition center.  There was a milking barn and cows now gone.  What remains of the original building are just 3 rooms: the apartment bedroom of Madame Élisabeth (never used as under aged she needed to sleep in the castle); the Turkish doudoir and the Harpsichord Room

The link here is of the current owners, the General Council of the Yvelines, the regional government entity. It has nevertheless a nice Video of it! In French:   Council of the Yvelines on Madame Elizabeth

The Catholic site on her beautification process and more history in French: http://www.paris.catholique.fr/madame-elisabeth-princesse-et.html

Versailles tourist office in English with nice photos: http://en.versailles-tourisme.com/cultural-heritage/le-domaine-de-madame-elisabeth-943152

And more in English at the Chateau de Versailles official page here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/history/madame-Elisabeth

Truly remarkable and so sorry so many comes to Versailles and just don’t walk the 10 minutes to go her house at 73 Avenue de Paris (road D10) up straight from the castle/museum. Go for it, it’s a beautiful walk in Royal Versailles.

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

 

December 17, 2018

Some news from France CCXIII

Getting back at you after a few days in Asia (see that post earlier) and right from Paris CDG airport here is a catch up post on the latest from my belle France , especially Paris. Temps at landing here was 1C but of course no sweat this is Paris right!

Some of the latest tidbits while passing by my eternal Paris were

There is Monte Cristo hotel rightfully so, to honor Alexandre Dumas! all done with faîence mural textures, oriental arts, and details to tell you about his trips all in 50 rooms, a pool and sauna as well as the first rum bar of Paris! A cigar humidor and massages in room!  Give it a shot while in Paris of course! More here: Hôtel Monte Cristo

you a bar with vinyl records and not bottles , need to try the Fernando Sancho (mezcal,aquavit,, orange syrup and lime) with cassava chips. All at Bar Fréquence, 20 rue Keller, 11éme. More here: Bar Fréquence

Le Danton carrefour de l’Odéon, get a coffee here and see the world at 103 bd Saint-Germain, 6éme: more here: Yelp on Le Danton

And one of my old hangouts and friends for a drink at the bar, now totally renovated is the Le Bristol hotel  classic at 112 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. Opened in 1925 and keeps on going great.  More at the Oetker collection members; Le Bristol at Oetkercollection

Continue on chic Paris, the Le Meurice hotel has opened a take out pastry corner!! Right at wonderful 6 rue de Castiglione, 1éme. Right across my old job, and done by pastry maker Cédric Grolet. More here: Dorchester collection Le Meurice pastries

Until January 27 2019 go to the Musée d’Orsay to see Les Renoir, genius by heritage! See the work of Auguste Renoir, the impressioinist painter: Jean Renoir and his films; see the exhibition entitled Renoir father and son. 1 rue de l Légion d’honneur, 7éme. More here: Musée d’Orsay on Renoir :father and son

How about that other department store of Paris, BHV Marais, 52 rue de Rivoli next to the Hôtel de Ville of Paris, and on a wonderful street. Over 2000 fashion and homemade brands, the wonderful Café Marlette, and the roofstop bar le Perchoir lovely. More in French at BHV Le Marais

A nice private theater at Théâtre de l’Atelier, 1 place Charles-Dullin 8éme.  very nice cozy, quant, and just another off the beaten path suggestions; more here: Theatre de l’Atélier Paris

For something nice above ground and enjoy immediately the beauty of Paris try the Le Bus Direct. A lot better and no Air France confusion.  6 stops inside Paris and can get you from CDG to Orly as well. More here: Tourist office of Paris on the Bus Direct

Official webpage of Le bus Direct is: Le Bus Direct

Remember you have ways to come into Paris from the airports. Le bus Direct, RER B, Roissybus all wonderful and use them; I take them to go into the city for news and done calling night service such as CDGVAL airport shuttle train to all terminals . You have access using RER express regional trains most.

Now in T2 E of CDG Paris airport you can try the Café Eiffel , relax just improve;more here: Pairs airports on Cafe Eiffel

Orly airport is linking its two terminal South and West by April 2019. more here on the shuttle service. Orly airport shuttle to CDG

And for now enough, enjoy Paris is eternal flame in our hearts. And remember cheers for travel, no excuses to sit and do nothing, and do talked to the kid enoug birds.

And this is it for today on my eternal city. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!

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December 16, 2018

Paris CDG airport, museum!!!

So back from my latest and final 2018 abroad trip , this time was Vietnam. Now back to my belle France. I went by my second “home” CDG at Roissy-en-France or Paris airport and voilà always hearing about the museum, walk by it several times, and now finally went in. I am like that , it takes extra time and energy to wandered in an airport…

So where is this museum? Well, it is terminal 2 section E Satellite M right next of the Air France lounge I so lazely go to and again never went inside the museum,sorry. Of course, this had to be done right, so the Musée d’Orsay is responsable for setting it up.

paris

paris cdg T2 E M museum space Seraphine de Senlis or Louis dec18

Right now and until March 2019 there is an exhibition of the work of Dina Vierny, the model of sculptor Aristide Maillol. More on the Espaces museum is here: Espace Musées at CDG airport Paris

Dina Vierny came to Paris at age 15 escaping the Soviet Stalin’s gulag. She arrived in Paris and immediately work for Aristide Maillol. In 1947 she opened  a painting gallery in Paris welcoming all the Russian emigres of the times.  She creates a foundation that is part of the Eiffel tower. Then the fondation that will host the musée Malliol.

The connections are very easy and a snap just read the signs really.  T2E Sat M is connected by transit train.  The transit train connects the main building (hall K) with hall L & hall M.

Espace Museums organizes two new and free temporary exhibitions every year. The space is an architectural setting of 250 square meters of Museum area. It exhibits at the airport Paris-Charles de Gaulle art works from the largest museums in Paris and thus offers to travellers an exceptional and original cultural experience.

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An exhibition now going on that illustrates the life and the collection of an unusual personality, actress and witness of the great history of Art of the 20C, and to whom Paris owes the creation of the museum Maillol. Ten years after her disappearance, Paris Aéroport pays homage to her by presenting 21 works at the Espace Musées, coming from the special collection of her sons, Olivier and Bertrand Lorquin, allowing to trace her history in a new way in partnership with the Fondation Dina Vierny An unprecedented exhibition, which offers you a pleasant moment and an original look behind the scenes of the world of Parisian art of the 20C.

paris cdg T2 E M museum entering in dec18

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Some further webpages to help you understand this work.

Musée Maillol Paris

Galerie Dina Vierny Paris

A bit more visual from youtube on Maillol museum

Indeed a wonderful experience and free to all with a boarding pass and on trips to Asia and the Americas. Enjoy it, and one more reason Paris is eternal, the city of lights!

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

 

 

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December 8, 2018

Alma, has a name in Paris, Pont de l’Alma and Place de l’Alma!

And here I come to you with another street, bridge ,square of my eternal Paris. Well, I told you there are so many, impossible to name them all,and all beautiful in their own way… However, to me , there are only a few all around the 16éme, most of them.

Let me tell you about the gorgeous combination of the bridge or Pont de l’Alma,and the square or Place de l’Alma. Paris of course!!! I have given metro and bus connections but the best is to walk it from wherever you are, Paris is walkable indeed,and once inside is the best way to see the city of lights!

The Pont de l’Alma is a bridge that connects the Quay Branly (7éme arrondissement, on the left bank) to Avenue de New York (in the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements, on the right bank). On the right bank, it separates the ports of the Conference and Debilly, and on the left bank, those of the Gros-Caillou and the La Bourbonnais ,connecting the Quai d’Orsay with the end of Avenue Bosquet and Avenue Rapp , in place de l’Alma.  Its name commemorates the Battle of  Alma (1854) during the Crimean War. Its name recalls the victory of the French and English won over the Russians on September 20, 1854, on the banks of the River Alma (Crimea).  The north end of the bridge is served by the Alma-Marceau metro line 9 and the south end, by the train station of the RER C pont de l’Alma as well as bus lines  42, 63, 72, 80 and 92.

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A bit of history I like

The bridge was built from 1854 to 1856 and was inaugurated by Napoleon III on 2 April 1856. For the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the bridge was doubled upstream by a footbridge, known as the Passarelle de l’Alma . From 1970 to 1974, the bridge is completely replaced, due to its narrowness and compaction.

The Pont de l’Alma is located near the tunnel where the Princess of Wales (Lady Diana) was mortally wounded in August 1997. This tunnel, often referred to as the pont de l’Alma tunnel, is actually between the bridge and the Place de l’Alma. At the overhang of this tunnel stands the flame of freedom, a real size replica of the flame of the Statue of Liberty. This monument, offered by the International Herald Tribune in 1989, commemorates the Franco-American friendship and thanks France for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It was diverted from its initial function and spontaneously became a place of contemplation for the admirers of the deceased princess.

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On the old bridge, each of the two piers was decorated, upstream and downstream, by a statue representing one of the four regiments that had bravely fought during the Crimean War: a Zouave and a grenadier, a hunter on foot and a gunner.  The bridge rebuilt between 1970 and 1974 with only one pile, 142 meters long for a 42 meters wide, only the Zouave was retained (but not on the same side), and the other three statues were moved.

The Hunter on foot is visible from the A4 highway against the south wall of Gravelle in the Bois de Vincennes; the Grenadier is in Dijon, birthplace of its sculptor, on the avenue du Premier-Consul,, facing Lake Kir; the Gunner was offered and transferred to the La Fére (Department of Aisne 02),  dear to the heart of the Gunners, where, until 1993, the 41st Naval Artillery Regiment was based.

The statue of the Zouave serves as a popular instrument for measuring the floods of the Seine river. When the level of the Seine reaches the feet of this Zouave, the lanes on the banks are usually closed. When the water rises to the thighs of the Zouave, the Seine is no longer navigable. During the historic flood of 1910, the water rose to the shoulders. As a result of its replacement in 1970, the Zouave now appears to be lower than originally, contrary to what is commonly accepted. At the same point, the floods it reports are less severe. The administration measures the level of the floods at the pont de la Tournelle.

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There is some additional info on the tourist office of Paris below for the bridge

Tourist office of Paris on the Pont de l’Alma

The place de l’Alma is a square of the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements or district of Paris. It is about 110 meters long and is located at the meeting of Avenue de New York and ,Avenue du Président-Wilson, Avenue George-V, Avenue Montaigne and the cours Albert-Ier.  It takes its name from its vicinity with the pont de l’Alma(see above), which commemorates the Battle of Alma (1854) during the Crimean War. This site is served by the Alma-Marceau Metro station  line 9  and the pont de l’Alma RER C station  as well as by the Alma-Marceau bus Lines 42, 63, 72, 80 and 92.

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shot from the pont de l’Alma

The square was created by the decree of March 6, 1858 and aligned, between the avenues of New York and President-Wilson, by a decree of March 9, 1897.

The square is famous for its flame of freedom, replica of the flame of the Statue of liberty. This flame, offered by the International Herald Tribune in 1989, is installed between the square and the beginning of the bridge, overhanging the tunnel where Princess Diana died on 31 August 1997 in a car accident. It serves as a monument to the memory for many admirers of the princess.

Some of the things to see here are :

At No. 3 by the corner of the Avenue du  President-Wilson was the Café le Yacht Club Français, held by the photographer Eugène Druet and which he abandoned in 1903 to open an art gallery at 114, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré.

At the west entrance of the Cours Albert 1er , the Polish poet and patriot Adam Mickiewicz was sculpted by Antoine Bourdelle.

The Place de la Reine-Astrid is located at the corner of Avenue Montaigne and Rue Jean Goujon. The Monument of the recognition of Belgium to France was inaugurated in 1923. A sculpture representing the Seine  was placed in 1962.

Beautiful area on the side of Avenue Bosquet and Avenue Rapp,near the Tour Eiffel. Where I have spent many times and love it. Hope you do too when visiting the eternal Paris.

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shot from avenue Rapp

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avenue Bosquets

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

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December 7, 2018

Avenue de Suffren ,Paris of course!

No,no ,no do not think I am beginning to recite all the streets of Paris; no way. It would be a monumental task, there are books about it and they do not tell you all either, trust me. However, I like to dare tell you about some streets, squares and whatnot that are special to me.

These are streets that I and my family spent many times and in some I still do. So they have become sort of like a second home to me each time I visit Paris; again will be next week and so on…

Let me tell you about Avenue de Suffren.  This one is right along the Eiffel tower, Champ de Mars and école militaire fame with wonderful architecture finds in it and some nice history to it. Let me start shall we…

The Avenue de Suffren is an avenue that delimits the 7éme and 15éme arrondissements of Paris. It goes this way, numbers 1-143bis are in the 7éme and numbers 145-to end and even are in the 15éme; get it…Because of the vicinity of the military school (école militaire), this avenue has since 1867 the name of the Bailiff and Vice-Admiral Pierre André de Suffren .

The Avenue de Suffren begins at the Quai Branly and continues to the boulevard Garibaldi at the level of the place de la République de Panama. It crosses the Avenue de La Motte-Picquet, avenue de Lowendal, Avenue de Ségur and Rue Perignon. Also, the Rue de Buenos-Aires, Avenue Octave-Gréard, rue Jean-Rey, rue du General-Lambert, Rue Desaix, Avenue Joseph-Bouvard, rue Jean-Pierre-Bloch, rue Champfleury, rue de Presles, avenue du General-Detrie, rue de la Fédération (near one of my current offices), rue Jean-Carriès, Rue Dupleix, the Avenue de Champaubert, the Rue du Laos, the rue de Abbé-Roger-Derry, the rue Mario-Nikis, the rue Chasseloup-Laubat, the rue Valentin-Haüy, the Rue Bellart, the rue Rosa-Bonheur, rue Barthélemy begin or end the Avenue de Suffren.

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A bit of history

The Avenue de Suffren was formed between the current Quai Branly and Avenue de Lowendal during the formation of the Champs-de-Mars around 1770. In 1867, the extension of the avenue until the meeting of rue Barthélémy and Boulevard de Grenelle (current boulevard Garibaldi) is declared to be of public utility. However, the avenue comes to end at the slaughterhouses of Grenelle. After the destruction of this property, it is extended beyond no 155 between rue Bellart and boulevard Garibaldi.

Some things you will surely would like to see in my opinion are at No 78, the Village Suisse!

Here from the end of WWI, the Village Suisse was already a distant memory. After dismantling the 103 meters Big wheel that adjoined it, some tailoring dealers set up their shops in their wagons. Until the mid-50’s of the last century, clothing and leather merchants predominated. Then, little by little, antique dealers supplanted them. The Village Suisse consists in our days in up to 100 shops of antiques, objects of art and decoration. It can be reached by 4 Avenue Paul Déroulède, the 78 Avenue de Suffren or the 54 Avenue de la Motte Picquet. You can reach here on the   Metro: La Motte-Piquet Grenelle, line 6, 8, and 10. The Village is open from Thursdays to Mondays inclusive from 10h30 to 19h. More info. Official Village Suisse

No 106 : Formerly, the address of a brothel. frequented under the occupation by the nazis military, the establishment was ravaged in 1942 by a bomb attack, committed under the direction of Pierre Georges (future “Colonel Fabien”), with Georges Tondelier,   Gaultier and another member of the Youth Battalions which is known only under the pseudonym of Paul. The location of this brothel is now occupied by a modern building.

No 125  Entrance to the Conference center of the UNESCO House, where the UNESCO General conferences are held.

One of the delights of this area near the école militaire on this side of it is to have a drink and see the world at the Brasserie Suffren at no 84: lovely place here is more on comments on it from my blog roll site Yelp. https://www.yelp.com/biz/suffren-paris

And parking above ground as I do each time there is at Parc Joffre-Suffren facing 2 place Joffre. More on it here: https://fr.parkindigo.com/parkings/2-place-joffre-paris-france

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The closest metro station is Ségur on the line 10 located right on the Avenue de Suffren corner with rue Pérignon.

Well here the webpages do not work. This is a wonderful area of Paris , great architecture work all around to walk it fully. I do, and do take bus 82 a lovely ride from Montparnasse here right in front of the  park and rue Desaix. Indeed eternal Paris!

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

 

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December 6, 2018

Some news from France CCXII

And I am coming back to my belle France rather quickly not just for new thoughts but also on the latest events going on here. We have strikes all over ,more will come, and some like the yellow vest/jackets will be seriously damaging, so if in main town read the news and stay inside as much as possible. The rest is up to you!!!

Disturbances are expected on the RER B this Friday Dec 7th . A social movement is planned on the line, after the aggression of a driver. On the Saint-Rémy/Robinson and Denfert-Rochereau axis, plan 2 out of 3 trains at peak times and 1 train on 2 in off-hours. On the center of Denfert Rochereau and Charles-de-Gaulle/Mitry Airport, plan 1 train on 2 all day long . https://www.rerb-leblog.fr/travaux/

While a call to the general mobilization is launched this Thursday in (Lycées) high schools, about 100 establishments are disturbed in Ile-de-France. In detail, the Académie de Versailles is the most affected by the high school movement with 55 disturbed establishments of which 11 are blocked. Urban violence in the vicinity of some high schools has been reported. In the Académie de Créteil, 22 high schools are disturbed, 3 of which are blocked. In Paris, the situation is calmer but 17 establishments are still disturbed, of which 2 are blocked (the lycées Charlemagne and Monod). In parallel, some forty young people tried to invest the Sorbonne early this morning but were prevented from doing so. As a result of this intrusion attempt, the Sorbonne’s historic building was closed  “As a security measure”, reports AFP. Other university sites are disturbed. After an intrusion of demonstrators on the site of Censier Paris-3, the management of the university decided to close preventively since Tuesday. The site of Tolbiac-Paris-1 is also disturbed.

More than 400 arrests, hundreds of fires, barricades, shops looted, degradation at the Arc de Triomphe, 133 wounded in Paris (263 in France) and nearly 10,000 grenades (tear, GLI-F4 and discircling types)  were fired by CRS police on  the mobilization of the  gilets jaunes or yellow vests or jackets on Saturday December 1st was marked by severe violence in some parts of the capital, in the margins of peaceful protest. The Elysée palace (site of President)  is worried according to information of a hard core of several thousand people  who would come to Paris to break and kill. Is the situation too alarmist or really is to be worried?  Which does not prevent them from worrying also about a dramatic turn of events on Saturday December 8th! Stay tune France is on fire, the Bastille was not enough!!!

In other more peaceful front, life goes on and preparation are in order to end 2018 with a bang,(do not which kind!).

Some 250 exceptional artisans of art, gathered in the prestigious Carrousel du Louvre to expose and sell their creations. This 10th biennial brings to light the richness and quality of the work of all these magical and expert hands. Some 20 training schools will be present, as well as art craftsmen from Japan, Quebec, Italy, Germany and Denmark. The Carousel of Crafts and Creation.  Until Sunday, December 9, 2018, every day from 10h to 20h.  Carrousel du Louvre, 99, rue de Rivoli , 1éme.  It’s free. More info here:   www.carrousel-metiers-art.com/

My favorite Flea markets to end the year:  13th Salon of  Record, this Sunday at  323, rue de Charenton, 12éme;  admission 2€ .  Antiques and Secondhand Boulevard Montparnasse, 14éme Saturday and Sunday, Metro Vavin, 80 stands.  Crumbs, small flea market and sale of the foyer of Grenelle,15éme  Saturday and Sunday from 15h to 17h at  17, rue de Avre, Metro La Motte Piquet.

To mention Vaux-le-Vicomte  has been adorned with a thousand lights, with 4 km of light garlands, thousands of decorative objects and rooms of the castle that smell the festive fragrances of cinnamon, chocolate, honey, orange… In the garden are also illuminated a long alley of fir trees, a squirrel of 5 meters (symbol of Nicolas Fouquet), a path of more than 60 toys-lanterns cloth. The carriage ride, with a coachman in costumes, finishes to sublime fairy. Its call the Le-Vicomte celebrates Christmas. Until January 6 from Wednesday to Sunday. Open on weekends from 11h 18h45. Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle, Maincy dept 77. Admission 19.50€ reduce for children, extra 3€ for the carriage ride. More info : http://vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-le-vicomte-celebrate-christmas/

The Bergerie National (sheep-herd)  of Rambouillet goes into Christmas mode from December 5 until January 6  2019. Cows, sheep, lambs, hens waiting for families. Don’t miss the illuminated Christmas crib in the barn. and a guest of renown  will be passing, too, every opening day. Santa Claus in person will come and meet the children who wish it in the nursery. To warm up, we head to the Merino Café where we enjoy a good organic hot chocolate and homemade pastries.  La bergerie fête Noël .  Bergerie National of Rambouillet (Yvelines 78) From 14h. to 17h. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Every day during the school holidays.  From 4-6€. Free for children under the age of three. More here : http://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/ferme/evenements-et-animations/grandes-manifestations/

Monumental projections of Enghien-les-Bains. On the theme of travel and onirism. The multimedia scenography’s will be projected every evening on three facades: the Church of St. Joseph, the city/town hall and the Casino.More here: https://www.enghienlesbains.fr/fr/agenda/les-projections-monumentales

One of my favorite dishes in France, the Onion Soup, and many places to have good these are my latest finds over the last few months.  Very good at this time of the year indeed! Enjoy it

That we eat well on the charming place of the Le Marché Sainte-Catherine! But for the onion soup, it is a particularly warm place that respects the traditions. It is enough to find a small table on the heated terrace to taste this tasty version of one of the most comforting dishes of French cuisine. Le Marché  2, Place-Sainte-Catherine 4éme  More info : http://www.restaurantlemarcheparis.com/

The Au Pied de Cochon is not only the cliché of the tourist restaurant, it is really a good table in the kitchen is generous and tasty. Moreover, their  Onion soup au gratin is a best seller: Golden in the oven and perfectly seasoned, it is to fall for it! Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Au Pied de Cochon 6, rue Coquillière , 1éme. More info : https://www.pieddecochon.com/

The rue Montorgeuil,. Summer as Winter is always lively and we love her neighborhood life. For the onion soup, our little heart is at n ° 78. Adorable boss, layer of cheese XXL, and impeccable service, we love to savor it while  watching people passed by . Au Rocher de Cancale  78, rue Montorgeuil, 2éme.  More info : http://www.aurocherdecancale.fr/

A few steps from the Place des Vosges, the reputation of this Aveyronnaise brewery  is no longer to be done: it is said that it is simply one of the best Onion soups of Paris, have no issue with this statement. Bistrot des Vosges , 31, boulevard Beaumarchais, 4éme. More info : http://www.bistrotdesvosges.com/

There you go , enjoy France nevertheless, there is always something exciting going on, not always pleasant for the visitor but even less for the resident. Cheers

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

 

December 6, 2018

Mona Bismarck, an American in Paris!

Back to my off the beaten paths sites in my eternal Paris. One building went several times on private function as an American in Paris was the Fondation Mona Bismarck where many American clubs and institution held their home thanks to the generosity of the foundation. Beautiful surrounding, and marvelous terrace garden and many souvenirs of friendship for many years. The Fondation decided to turn all its efforts towards the arts ,and the clubs/Institutions there left elsewhere in Paris. I left too out to Brittany so several years not there, but still the memories. Time to have it paste to my blog for old time’s sake. Hope you enjoy it and do come and see the exhibitions.

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Let me tell you a bit on the now Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris.

The Mona Bismarck American Center, founded by Mona Bismarck, aims to offer the public a wide variety of American artistic and cultural experiences through innovative programming choices, in the heart of Paris. The new Mona Bismarck American Center was launched in 2011, building on the foundations of the former Mona Bismarck Foundation whose public activities began in 1986 following the death of its founder and patron. Philanthropist Mona Bismarck has made many donations, including the Bismarck Sapphire Necklace. In order to perpetuate her work, she bequeathed her mansion and the majority of her property to the Mona Bismarck Foundation, with the aim of reinforcing the Franco-American friendship and understanding through art and culture. It is located at 34 Avenue de New-York in the 16éme arrondissement or district of Paris, overlooking the Seine river. You get there on the metro Iéna or Alma-Marceau of line 9. Also, bus lines 72, 63, 92, 32, and  82. I do came here by car so parked at  Alma George V entrance by avenue George V.

Located on the banks of the Seine river, opposite the Eiffel Tower, the mansion was built at the end of the 19C. At the end of the 1950’s, the house was adapted to the needs of the Bismarck couple. The hotel was featured in an edition of Vogue fashion magazine in 1928. The hotel was built in 1890 by the architect Jules Guichard. It is inspired by the classical French architecture. On the avenue, the stone façade is punctuated by ionic pilasters. At the back, the house overlooks a terrace and a pleasant private garden. Inside, the hotel retains beautiful lounges decorated with antique woodwork or rooms decorated with Chinese wallpapers with colorful and intricate motifs, with its chandeliers and terrace opening onto a private garden, the estate welcomes the cultural events offered by the Center.

The Mona Bismarck American Center usually organizes an exhibition annually, in collaboration with renowned cultural institutions, be they French, American or world . The exhibitions focus on a particular artist or theme, and cover a wide spectrum of contemporary artistic styles and movements.

Who was this lady well a bit more on just her.

Mona von Bismarck (also known as Mona Bismarck), was born Margaret Edmona Travis Strader on February 5, 1897 in Louisville, Kentucky and died on July 10, 1983 in Paris, is an American socialite, fashion icon and member of the Cafe Society. In 1933, she was voted “the most elegant woman in the World” by Chanel, Molineux, Vionnet, Lelong and Lanvin. Throughout her life, Mona Bismarck maintained privileged relationships with large public figures such as President Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, the Duke of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco, and personalities of the Arts such as Greta Garbo, Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Paul Newman, etc. As a philanthropist and patron, she founded the Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris.  Mona von Bismarck bears the name of the fourth of her five husbands, Count Édouard von Bismarck, grandson of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Germany. She is sometimes dubbed the “Countess of Kentucky”. In the field of art history, she is known as “Mrs. Harrison Williams”, named after her third husband, because of the portrait that Salvador Dalí made of her under this title in 1943.  She became Countess Mona von Bismarck. The couple lived mainly in Paris in their apartment at the Hôtel Lambert and later in the mansion of 34, New York Avenue and in Capri, Italy.

Some webpages to plan your trip here and for the arts concious and the views on the Seine is a must.

Official Mona Bismarck American Center

Tourist office of Paris on heritage of Mona Bismarck

There you a lovely walk from Trocadéro down Avenue de New York facing the Seine river,love it. Hope you can enjoy it too. Mona Bismarck American Center of Paris.

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

 

 

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December 5, 2018

Palais de Tokyo, Paris of course!

So to continue with the mood to showcase seldom asked place of Paris or as once site once said, off the beaten path venues; let me bring you to my fav 16éme arrondissement again. The weather here is the same cloudy rainy cool 13C and calm at least until next weekend! I will be off to Asia again ::)

Let me tell you about a nice museum palace of great grandeur and beauty that I passed many times by it,and seen it before the renovation. It is a nice place to see indeed. Of course I will be telling you a bit about the Palais de Tokyo!

The Palais de Tokyo, whose original name is “Palais des Musées d’art Moderne” or the palace of modern arts museum, designates a building dedicated to modern and contemporary art. It is located at 13, Avenue du President-Wilson in the 16éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The building in question is referred to as the “Palais de Tokyo”, the name of the quai de Tokio (the present Avenue de New York) with its southern façade, a wharf on the edge of the Seine river. Composed of two wings, the palace houses in the west wing a center of contemporary art, the Palais de Tokyo, while the east wing, owned by the city of Paris, houses the Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris. The outer shell of the building is completely built in marble. The exhibition area is one of the greatest for contemporary art on the international stage.   You can reach it by metro stations Alma – Marceau and Iéna on line 9. Also, Bus lines 32, 42, 63, 72, 80, 82, and 92 as well as RER C Station Pont de l’Alma.

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A bit of history I like

In 1932, faced with the smallness of the Luxembourg Museum, and after the abandonment of the project for a city of museums at the site of the Trocadéro, the idea of building a museum of modern Art of the city of Paris was thought of. In 1934, the State decided to build a museum of modern art as well. The city of Paris, owner of the land, committed to guarantee the loan for the financing of the International Exhibition of 1937, in return, the State finally accepts to assume the construction of two museums of modern art, while committing to hand over one of them to the city of Paris to relieve the Museum of the Petit Palais . Therefore,  that of the State to the west and that of the city of Paris to the east.

The land chosen includes part of the site of the former carpet factory of the Savonnerie so named because it had settled in 1627 in an orphanage whose residents made soap. The factory was transferred in 1826 in the premises of the Gobelins factory and the site was used by military handling or depot of military supplies in buildings rebuilt in 1836. These buildings burned down in 1855 and during WWI were rebuilt on two occasions.

On 24 May 1937, President Lebrun inaugurated the “Palais des Museums d’art Moderne”, replacing the Luxembourg Museum, which was then closed. During the exhibition, the palace houses a retrospective of French art since the Middle Ages, bringing together more than 1300 works from provincial and foreign museums. The collections of the city of Paris are presented tentatively in the East Wing from 1940, while the National Museum of Modern Art opens its doors for a few months in the West Wing on August 6, 1942, with a third of the collection brought back from the deposits of the occupied area, the real inauguration taking place however only on June 9th, 1947. The building later took the name “Palais de Tokyo” in reference to the wharf of the same name.

In 1948, it was inaugurated a monument in memory of the fighters of free France on the forecourt of the Palais de Tokyo. This one consists of a bronze statue, work of Antoine Bourdelle, representing “France”, at the foot of which is engraved a verse of Charles Péguy “Mother behold your sons who fought so much” and lower, on the cross of Lorraine the dedication “To the volunteers of the Free French Forces dead/for the honor and freedom of France/June 18, 1940-May 8, 1945”.

During, WWII, the basements were used to store Jewish assets under receivership. In the 1950’s, the East wing was the object of important works which allowed the opening in 1961 of the Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris, made up of works of the Petit Palais. In 1977, with the inauguration of the Centre Georges-Pompidou, the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art leave the West wing of the Palais de Tokyo, leaving on the spot the post-impressionist works of the artists born before 1870, who will join in 1986 the Musée d’Orsay.

A bit of description from my amateur view.

Among the 128 proposals of the architectural competition, attended by the most renowned architects of the time.The laureates firm built a building of sober and monumental style, consisting of two symmetrical wings linked together by a large peristyle, on either side of an axis perpendicular to the Seine river, on which is located the mirror of water. This one takes place on the terrace dominating the river, below the monumental staircase leaning on the hill, which is decorated with bas-reliefs entitled “Allegory to the glory of the Arts” by Alfred Janniot and summoned to the statue representing “France” of Antoine Bourdelle. The building opens with high windows giving to the south on the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. The glass ceilings allow to illuminate most parts in a overhead way with natural light. The important exterior decoration of Art Deco style is complemented by the metopes Centaur and Eros of Marcel Gaumont on the west side, Sirens and Hercules of Leon Baudry  on the east side, the bronze doors of the ironworker Szabo with reliefs of Andre Bizette-Lindet  on the side of the Avenue du président Wilson, by Raymond Subes with reliefs by Louis Dideron on the Avenue de New York side. Many isolated statues were placed on the terraces of the water mirror of which only the lying nymphs of Louis Dejean, Léon-Ernest Drivier and Auguste Guénot are left.

And a bit on today’s look

The Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris or MAMVP, opened in 1961 in the eastern wing of the palace, presents the municipal collection of modern and contemporary art since the fauvism, rich of more than 10 000 works, mainly focused on the movements related to the capital and more recently on the European art scene.  In 1999, it was decided to partially reopen the West wing of the building by setting up a Center for Contemporary Art, with an emphasis on the emerging stage, notably French and European. The Palais de Tokyo/Site of contemporary creation, was inaugurated on January 21, 2002 and opened on January 22, 2002, to the general public, and enlarged  in 2012 to 22 000 m2. It is an interdisciplinary place dedicated to contemporary creation in all its forms: painting, sculpture, design, fashion, video, cinema, literature, and dance.

The building has a very nice library open every day except Tuesdays. The wonderful restaurants Les Grands Verres , Le Readymade, and Monsieur Bleu are open every day.  Walther König & Cahiers d’art, two flagship brands in the art world, unite to create in the Palais de Tokyo one of the largest art bookstores in Paris.  On 450 m2, the bookstore of the Palais de Tokyo offers an international selection of books and magazines, as well as stationery, gift articles and objects related to the exhibitions of the Palais de Tokyo. I have tried couple months back the Monsieur Bleu and it is great with good food and wonderful views: see more here: Restaurant Monsieur Bleu at the Palais de Tokyo

And here are some webpages as usual to help you plan your visit here, and I say it is worth the detour.

Official Palais de Tokyo

Tourist office of Paris on the Palais de Tokyo

Official museum of modern art of Paris

There you go , you are set to go. And a lovely area of Paris for walks and wonderful Haussmannien architecture. Enjoy the whole complex of the Palais de Tokyo.

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

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