Posts tagged ‘Paris’

January 18, 2021

Well Paris ,you never get tired of seeing it!!!

Well I like to update/revise this post from 2016. By now do not know if repeating titles lol! So many posts on Paris in my blog and titles are beginning to be hard for this humble blogger. Hope you enjoy this particular visit to my eternal Paris done already from my lovely little Pluvigner!

Yeah hard to come up with a title heck, Paris is eternal, I am Lucky to have worked there for almost 10 years and now visit at least once a month. This past Thursday was no difference a walk on it is sublime. What can I say millions have not said it already….

I started my day early from my closest train station in Auray, Morbihan, 56, Bretagne where the parking is free. Took a TER Bretagne train to Rennes, brand new wagons and nice ride. At Rennes the TGV to Paris Montparnasse was just waiting on the other side of the wharf, easy picking and there I was on top row 1 class! I arrive at Paris Montparnasse and already with metro tickets purchased hop on the line 13 to Saint Lazare ; my old train station and glad to see it again completely remodeled and great shopping. There is many metro lines there, RER, buses , taxis you name it and walking distance to the great department stores, and Madeleine!! Opéra!!! Got back in to take line 3 to Levallois-Perret , in Hauts de Seine dept 92, my final destination.

Levallois-Perret (see post) is one of the adjacent cities to Paris petite couronne in zone 2 and departément 92 Hauts-de-Seine. However, so attach to Paris you won’t even notice is not Paris.  I had my lunch here at a wonderful new find  Restaurant A Table , right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Here I had the menu for 21,95€ terrine de saumon or salmon with veau roti dish roasted veal rondelles, potatoes, and green salad; had a nice Fouilly Fume blanc for apero and an Irancy of Burgundy for the meal, expresso coffee finish the day in grand style. Service was wonderful and so was the company.  Here for the memories as it has already closed! Sadly ….

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I had  my walks as used to do lots of business around here and the place is as grand as before, chic and nice, just next to Paris of course!

On the way back, had a great time walking the streets of Paris, anybody coming here takes to the metro right away , big mistake. This gorgeous city is made to be seen above ground, do it and enjoy it. Walking along Avenue de Villiers and into avenue Jouffroy d’Abbans and into Rue de Rocher and coming behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station and near the Church of Saint Augustin (see post) was a fresh of life into me again. These were my work area coming in and out and walking to the office all the way by rue de Castiglione ,yes!!! And not forget the wonderful Carrusel at Villiers!

Off metro Wagram, off Avenue de Villiers and at  6 Rue Brémontier, you see the wonderful Church of Saint François de Sales! (see post) They are two link by a hallway, and the organ is from 1900, and the new Church built between 1911 and 1913 done with entrance at 15-17 Rue Ampére. The old Church on Rue Brémontier from where I entered was done in 1873. The Church has a neo roman style, and you will see the chapels of the Virgin and the Sacred Child as well as the Holy Cross, and  St Teresa.

Of course, could not be by this area without stopping in my favorite Spanish grocery store Cap Hispania (see post) at 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, metro Wagram, line 3, and gather my manchego cheese, serrano ham, pork rinds, olive oïl , Duero red wine, and nougats of many varieties;;;;here since 1998! Webpage: http://www.caphispania.fr/

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I have been coming  to Cap Hispania since 2004! and always the best of Spain with friendly service and speaking Spanish !More than 180 products and knowledge on them to offer you!

It was a short trip indeed, but it seems long, always Paris ; it’s eternal I said. You will never be tired of seeing it. I mean it ! Hope you enjoy the post and do visit when possible.

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

January 18, 2021

Times and travels in Paris!

Again in my black and white series with pictures in individual posts and updating this one with links and text. Times and travels in Paris, hope you enjoy as I looking back of these posts. In essence, allowing me to remember many wonderful bloggers who gave me “like” or comments on them over the years since 2010. This post was from 2013.

I just came back from an incredible journey and ready to go out again, but did not want lapse several days before telling my readers, friends ,and family about it.  I was to go to Brazil last week, and as usual took my AF flight out of Nantes, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 area. We pretty much always passed by CDG airport at Roissy in Val d’Oise dept 95 (what is normally refer to as the Paris airport).  Little did I know of the incoming snow in Paris and north France area.

Upon my return, my flight was cancelled by AF due to the snow in Roissy CDG, luckily I have sms telephone and email warning procedures so I was alerted right away. Quickly the staff I was visiting, change my flight to a later time. An hour later, this new flight was,also, cancelled. I had no choice because I needed to come back to Paris for a big meeting on the 15 March by the tour Eiffel area.

The one webex conference I had for the 14 March afternoon needed to be done by staff as I was still in Brazil, finally came back from there on TAM arriving very late in Paris. My staff had reserve a hotel for me in Paris so stay at Hôtel Delos Vaugirard on 7 rue Gén Beuret, near rue Cambronne area. Today this hotel is name Hôtel Ami, webpage: https://www.hotelamiparis.com/fr/

This allow for my meeting in Paris the next morning to be done as usual, of course, I came in without any documentation and did it all by memory lol!! I am good yeah!! In the evening near the hotel, I wondered out to eat and without any one in particular just the open minded Parisien sense, came upon the La Bodega de Cambronne, 37 Rue Cambronne 15éme. The place has been open for a little over a year, by Parisien born Asturias descend Spaniards with the chefs and staff from Spain. All wonderful tapas and raciones with the wines and beers of Spain, I had my chorizo omelette, pulpo do feira or octopus in semihot sauce, Mahou beers, and expresso coffee for 30€ with a complimentary shot of liquor of pears for a digestif! The service and chat was great, very talkative and from hearing the local guests the place will last…Webpage: https://labodegacambronne.fr/

The 15 march was wonderful with great company and I tasted a new wonderful resto like there are so many in Paris, this one is the Le Cassenoix or the nutcracker at 56 Rue de la Fédération 15éme. I had a wonderful basque dish of pork and choucroute, with perle de japon fruit cocktail dessert, and expresso coffee, all wash down by a nice Bordeaux chosen by the hosts for the occasion. The place is nicely decorated with antiques of Paris, and all wallpaper very nice. One more nice address in Paris, webpage : https://www.le-cassenoix.fr/

I did needed to extend my stay in Paris !!! and this time took up possession of the Le Meridien for one night just to soak in the Parisien life at Porte Maillot and was close to the dinner with friends at Bistro Saint Ferdinand. The Le Meridien webpage: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parmd-le-meridien-etoile/

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire.  The concept is simple a fixe menu of 42€ per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris but the food I thought was salty and bland no way for that price. I had avocado salad, coquilles saint-jacques,creme brulée, coffee expresso and the wine. I was glad not pay for it as the company paid. Webpage: https://www.restaurant-paris-17eme.com/

Then , I took my usual stroll thru Paris, the walk was from the porte Maillot to Concorde by metro then walk from there to gare St Lazare . Came by my wonderful place de la MadeleineConcorde, department stores, and the Church of the Madeleine, my old neighborhood where I once worked.  Wonderful to walk Paris again, a walkers’ paradise indeed. Do it…..!!!!

On my flight back, my car was waiting for me at the Nantes airport, and there was no flight there as mine was cancelled so I could stay in Paris for the meeting. The alternative was to take a TGV to Gare de Nantes. This I did reserve, however, upon arriving two minutes late missed my train ,very on time here!!. As usual  ,I am not very good with trains ::)  Luckily the next train was 30 mins later,and got on it at no additional charge.

Upon arriving at the Nantes train station, took for the first time the navette bus from train station to airport, very nice ,and puntual, for 7,50€ (today is 9€) one way coming out from the gare de Nantes sud door ,across the street is the stop, you past by the Mercure hotel on your right hand side. The ride was smooth and nice. Finally arriving at the airport took my car and went home which is another 1h30 drive home, arriving late for today’s  family duties to do,and did.

Now  I am preparing tomorrow morning for my trip to South Africa in the evening with AF again, back by wednesday, then out Thursday on my own vacation to Paris/Versailles for the weeekend lol:::) This is a totally different trip. Not only will I be going back to my old area as a tourist now for the first time in 10 years, but will do the trip by TGV train,and rent hotel in Paris by the Galeries Lafayette area. So will see the tourist in me how I will do, gave a challenge to do the metro, bus and walk as a visitor.

And there you go ,Paris, enough said; live it love it enjoy it as we do always. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 18, 2021

Paris transport bits and pieces!!

Here I am again, updating and revising old posts which me think needs to be done!  I though about this post when the rest of the family was getting to move from the Yvelines dept 78 to the Morbihan dept 56 back in 2012 after my house closed! Hope you enjoy the Paris transports bits and pieces!

Lets go around about transports in Paris, we all know the sites, for metro ,bus, tram is the RATP. And for the region of Paris Ïle de France is the Transilien. And then you have an overall public transport site now for the region call Mobilités so will give you the webpage: https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/

You have the airports at Roissy CDG, Orly as parisaéroport webpage: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/ 

And they even have a name for the buses that runs at nights, the Noctilien! 

Well here are some tidbits of my eternal Paris!

Do you know Paris was flooded before? worse was back in 1910, but all the lands bordering the Seine river are floods areas even going back to gare du nord and gare de l’est!!!  You know Paris has 20 arrondissements or neighborhoods, but do you know these are further broken down into quartiers or districts that numbered 80! With for example my fav area of Muette is the neighborhood or quartier and the  district or arrondissement 16éme. The other quartiers or neighborhoods in it are Auteuil, Porte Dauphine, and Chaillot. See my posts on quartiers and arrondissements of Paris.

The pricier arrondissements are the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 16. The cheapest are the 13,19,and 20 in terms euros per square meter of real estate value. Paris has 37 bridges covering the river Seine, these are Grenelle, Rouelle, Bir-Hakeim, Iéna,Debilly,Alma, Invalides, Alexandre III, Concorde, Léopold Sédar Senghor, pont Royal, Carrousel, Pont des Arts, pont au Change,Notre Dame, Arcole, Louis-Philippe,Marie,Sully, Austerlitz,Viaduc d’Austerlitz ,National, Tolbiac,Bercy, Charles de Gaulle,Tournélle, Saint Louis,Archévéche,Pont au Double,petit Pont,St Michel, Pont Neuf,Mirabeau, pont Amont, Passarelle Simone Beauvoir,  Pont Aval,and Garigliano. See my post on the bridges of Paris.

Paris has 16 metro lines known to many, but there are some closed and some never open. These are, Arsenal (closed sept 1939),Croix Rouge (closed sept 1939), Saint-Martin (closed sept 1939 ,it was the biggest station,  but it was decided too close to other two stations) , Champ-de-Mars (closed sept 1939), Martin Nadaud ( cancelled in august 1969 and merge with Gambetta on line 3, and creation of line 3bis) , Haxo ( was done to do the connection between lines 3bis and 7bis but the linkage never done ,and access was never completed), Porte Molitor ( access was never finished, it was to connect lines 9 and 10 to access Parc des Princes), Porte des Lilas-Cinéma ( old station in the 19éme now serve as filming spot for Paris metro). See my posts on the Metro lines of Paris.

A site to mark your bicycle paths in Paris, (and elsewhere) plenty to do it, lovely in the parks and gardens but very good alone the Seine river, this is mapmyride. Even if me only done it in Parc Monceau! Webpage:  https://www.mapmyride.com/fr/paris-ile-de-france/

You have a great stadium in Stade de France, not just for football/soccer but other sports such as Rugby and for concerts , art shows etc. Even if not officially in Paris but Saint Denis dept 93. Webpage: https://www.stadefrance.com/fr/infos-pratiques/acces-transports

And of course, my favorite pasttime is driving in Paris, plenty of easy parking payable at Vinci parks, Effia, Q-Park, and Saemes  parking garages all over the city, I have found on street parking too, even surprising some visiting friends and folks from the now defunct VT travel forum!  You pay half if booking online sites of the above names. Along the Seine river is always plenty of opportunities to park, and always close on foot to where I am going.  Driving in the bd periphérique is at 70 km per hour and they have speed radars to catch you, inside the city maximum is about 50 km per hour but it depends on the day and time, sometimes I have gone 80 inside and sometimes 30. You make yourself aware of where the Seine river is ,and use the cardinal points, plus the many signs available for all the major sites and you will be cruising in the city! Lately, the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo who hails from Cadiz Spain, impose restriction on roads like closing them to vehicular traffic and lowering speeds to 30 kph, this was evidence by me back in November 2019 before the virus where the traffic has actually gone up and even more traffic jams all over. The idea was to persuade motorists but did not realise, many in Paris depends on the car and deliveries and buses and now tramways take space lol! To know as much as possible traffic in advance in the region but especially helpful for Paris, see Systadin, webpage: http://www.sytadin.fr/

Another private site I use often too is Infotrafic; which is good for Europe too.  webpage: https://www.infotrafic.com/home?region=IDF

If you ever in Paris and need car repairs or help and do not have your auto insurance to bail you out then use ID Garages to find a reliable one. Webpage: https://www.idgarages.com/fr-fr/ville/garage-paris

Its really easy, I will be driving again as usual always in my eternal Paris as well as my town and soon former town of Versailles. However, I WILL BE BACK!!! Hope you enjoy the thrill of the road, and traveling is one heck of an adventure!

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

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January 17, 2021

The trip: Poland and Brazil, Europe and America!

Now this was a round trip ! times were tight and needed to make the run Poland to Brazil and back to France! I like to update this post from 2017 in my blog with updated links and text same pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I did.

To say the least, it has been my worse logistically incredible trip ever. To say, been traveling for over 40 years since very young, and to all kinds of continents and countries, cities etc.  This one tops it all. Ok, I have read of others similar situations and maybe mine is not too bad after all, but for me, individual experience it was horrible.

The going was easy, my father took me to the train station in Auray and took there the TER train to Nantes changing trains in Redon for Nantes. At the train station of Nantes took the navette airport bus to the airport of Nantes.  This service I have to say taken it many times and it is wonderful at only 8,50€ the transfer (now is 9€). Arriving a day earlier to catch my very early flight to Krakow, Poland, I stayed in a familiar hotel the Escales Oceania hotel at Nantes airport ,very good deal and done it before nice place. It just across from airport nice easy walking.

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At Nantes Atlantique airport (NTE) took an Air France flight to Roissy CDG (Paris). The connection at CDG was done ok,and took my flight on Easyjet to Krakow Poland; all ok. This taking the easy CDGVAL train that goes from T1 to T3 at CDG and parking spaces as Roissypole train/bus  hub. Once in Krakow took a taxi to my hotel the Sheraton Grand Krakow.(part of the Marriott group)

For reference the Krakow airporthttp://www.krakowairport.pl/en/

And the Sheraton Grand Hotel Krakowhttps://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/krksi-sheraton-grand-krakow/

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As needed to go on towards Brazil, the flight at Krakow on an  Easyjet flight back to Roissy CDG ok. Then, took the LATAM airline flight to Sao Paulo airport at Guarulhos in Brazil. All ok so far.

The rides in familiar territory like Sao Paulo State was wonderful and the visit to some old and new places great again in pretty Brazil in country better indeed. The people,the food ,the natural sites are wonderful and even a lake beach; very popular with locals. I did venture again into the Minas Gerais State as well and the same wonderful experiences in old territories. See my many posts in the blog.

The problem was on the return home from Brazil.  I was to take a flight on LATAM from Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport to Roissy CDG (Paris) at 22h35 or 10:35 pm. This flight for operational reasons not well explained was postponed to leaving from 03h00 or 3am!!! I needed to wait at the Sao Paulo airport for 6 hrs!! too long for my tastes.

As this initial flight was delayed operationally as said, all other flights had to be postponed as well. I arrive at Roissy CDG airport at Saturday 19h10 or 7:10 pm; here had change of flights from the original leaving of 17h to one leaving at 21h35 or 9:35pm arriving at Nantes on Air France by 22h45 or 10:45pm.

A car rental on Europcar was to be waited for me with the keys at the train station of Nantes Mercure centre gare hotel as the normal hours of Europcar closed at 18h15!! A great service for a train station car rental agency!!! The hotel is next door literally attach to the train station!

Once all the paperwork was done with my travel agency.  Still at the Roissy CDG airport trying to get the flight to Nantes I received a call from an Europcar agent that they did not received a copy of my driving license for the car , therefore, could not be protected!!! Apparently, my travel agency did not confirm the copy of my driving license was sent or Europcar decided to rent out the car more profitably to someone else!!!

At that time, already almost 23h or 11 pm, calling the night service of my travel agency FMC, got a hold of an agent who told me all cars were taken as it was the Ascension weekend in France as well as Sunday been Mother’s Day here!!! (Sunday May 28th) lol!  The very same scenario tried to beat out on my taken earlier flights!

I took upon myself to stayed the night in Nantes and asked for a train ride back home on Sunday! So I booked myself the Hotel du Grand Monarque in Nantes right across from the Church of Saint Clément. Written several post on Nantes and its monument on my blog.

I took the hotel because saw it quant and small cozy in a nice good ambiance street of rue Maréchal Joffre. However it has not AC, no elevators/lifts and the room available was in the 4th floor which actually was the attic of the hotel! small don’t ask!!! Not recommended! The hotel has change ownership and is now the Hotel The Originals du Grand Monarque; webpage: http://inter-du-grand-monarque.findhotelnantes.com/en/

At least, I had time in the morning to go for lunch to my fix hub across the train station of Nantes in the Café des Plantes for a nice Andouille steak, café gourmand and nice cold grimbergen blonde beer. This is a busy place at lunch always but never a problem sitting down for lunch, see my post: and as many are closed now due to the virus the webpage is not working well, give you their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cafedesplantes/

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My return home was finally booked at the next available train Sunday 15h20 or 3:20pm from the train station of Nantes to Auray where again my old reliable father was waiting with my oldest son. I arrive at Auray at 16h44 and home by 17h30 Sunday May 28th!!! Mother’s Day restaurant had to wait for Monday….!

So there you have the adventures of  pedmar10 one of a kind for me; as the consolation, there is always a first lol!!! And then more! Enjoy the trip me tomorrow back to work ; but then another 3 day weekend forthcoming…..on my belle France!!!

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

January 7, 2021

Wines news of France VIIII !!

And bringing back my series on my other hobby other than travel which actually are complimentary. The wines are in me since 8 yrs old !! and that is a long time folks , believe me. To be brief as plenty in my blog and especially for newcomers, welcome all; I am certified wine expert by France (Sopexa) and Spain (ICEX) and have visited many vineyards all over the world. Of course, after all this experience I too can to believe the best were, are and will be for the forseeable future from France ! Hope you enjoy the post as I do.

Starting with a bang! It is a Champagne that is drunk late at night in Saint-Tropez or Miami, it is a wine for gourmets that knows how to accompany the best meals, from appetizers to dessert, it is a juice created by a Benedictine monk who never tastes better than in the cloister of the Abbey of Hautvillers, where he was born!  The production of Dom Pérignon, both great wine and supermarket, obeys principles that the successive cellar masters of the abbey have refined and applied. One of the first pillars of the house is blending, that is to say the choice of grapes from different plots that will go into the composition of the wine.  Dom Pérignon is releasing the 2010 vintage this year, a very open wine, with notes of pineapple, intense jasmine, a glorious champagne and broad shoulder, almost massive, which stands out from its predecessors. A wine with horses under the hood, sharper than the 2006, which turned out to be fat and nicely viscous. Much less toasted than the 2004, voluminous, airy. 2010 does not have the depth either, the gravitas of 2003. Each vintage finds its audience, and reveals a little of the personality of the one who loves it. YES it is out go for it!!! See my posts on Champagne.

The Roederer wine library, set up in 1999, is for those who have not had the patience to keep their wine in the cellar to enjoy it at the best time. This year, gourmets will discover the 1999 vintage. The vinothéque is between 300 and 500 bottles of rosé and between 700 and 900 bottles of white put on the market each year.  Today, of their 242 ha, 120 ha are certified organic. 122 ha are HVE (high environmental value) certified, of which 10 ha are biodynamic. the first edition of Brut Nature Rosé is breathtaking. The tension of this “bone” wine is even more noticeable on the rosé than on the white. This 100% organic vintage, made from a biodynamic vineyard, with no added sulfur or sugar, co-signed by designer Philippe Starck, has been a great success, especially in Italy.  The Roederer Group is preparing the production of a still red wine and a still white wine. The white will be made from a Chardonnay from Mesnil-sur-Oger. The red will come from a Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. These two wines, vintage 2018, will be released next February 2021.

It is now possible to produce vintage wines, that is to say that the use of reserve wines is no longer mandatory. This is a great opportunity for Champagne to express its uniqueness and to show once again that these are great wines and a great region. Here is a Champagne with pretty tension, straight in its boots but without stiffness. On the nose, this wine with fine bubbles is an orchard at the end of summer, it scents pear and mirabelle plum, while the palate, of the creamy type, gives way to red fruits. The glacier coast, exposed to the south, as its name does not indicate, and the parcel of Meurtet, exposed south-east. Two unique expressions of Aÿ pinot noir. Barely 6,000 bottles are sold each year. Served as an aperitif, it awakens the taste buds with immense sweetness. Gourmets will keep it at the table where it will happily accompany foie gras, scallops, langoustines, lobster and cheeses. Let us add that this Champagne lends itself to a long guard. Those less in a hurry can wait until 2040.

Already consultant in the wine and spirits sector in New York, Hongkong, and Zurich, and later in charge of exports for a great domaine in the Rhône, Jean-Baptiste Ancelot finished to accomplished his dream as a student. That is, the culmination of a census of each country wine producers in pretty bottles, a project that took him eleven years of worrk. From this adventure, he took out the work of the Wine Explorers. The opening of an e-shop is the next logical step. Already six countries are highlighted in its catalog. In Austria, in the region of Burgenland, they discover the cuvées of the domain Silvia Heinrich and the red grape variety Blaufränkish. Then passing through Bosnia-Herzegovina to taste the wines of the Brkic estate made from the zilavka (white) and blatina (red) grape varieties. Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic are part of the trip, like Malta, with the Meridiana estate. The proposal should quickly be enriched with Greek, Lebanese, Moroccan, Italian, Slovenian vintages ..They want to quadruple the supply on the French market from the first half of 2021. The book and concept here:  Wine ExplorersLe 1er tour du monde du vin, (the first world tour of wines) by Jean-Baptiste Ancelot, ed. Omniscience, 234 pgs, here at 35€.

King Louis XIV loved the delicate rosé wine produced in Les Riceys, a small village of 1,500 inhabitants located in the south of Champagne, in the Côte des Bars. The production of rosé is a heroic act, because the village also has the right to produce, from the same grapes, Coteaux-Champenois and especially Champagne. The appellation of origin Rosé-des-Riceys occurs in three communes, Riceys-Haut, Riceys-Haute-Rive and Riceys-Bas, on specific plots, from a short maceration of the skins of the pinot noir grapes with its juice. Maceration is stopped as soon as the famous “taste of Riceys” appears. The wine then passes from the vat into oak barrels where it matures for a year or more.  This rosé is rare. Of the 320 million bottles produced, still wines called Coteaux-Champenois represent less than a million and Rosé-des-Riceys a few tens of thousands. In other  words, nothing for a global market. But it is one of the best rosés in France and its very original taste, more Burgundy than Champagne, is sought after, especially since it can be kept without problem between three and ten years. This rosé is eaten locally on pig’s trotters in Sainte-Ménehould or on a soufflé pie with chaource cheese. Among the fifteen producers, it must be mention Alexandre Bonnet, always very consistent, Olivier Horiot, with a good density, Defrance, quite rustic, and Veuve Devaux, always very elegant. Four interpretations for a unique wine. Indeed to taste!!!

Today, some winegrowers proclaim it loud and clear: they are proud to belong to one of the 580 cellars or unions of French cellars (cooperatives). Out of 75,000 harvest declarations in 2019, 43,300 are cooperative members who own small structures of around seven hectares. The geographical development of my selection begins in Alsace where the Cave de Ribeauvillé, created in 1895, is considered to be the oldest of the cooperatives. The Champagne is the region which offers the most beautiful list of enterprising cellars, since the beginning of the century to moment when the Champagne economic network is united between the trade and the winegrowers following the revolts of 1911. In Burgundy, the producers of crémants are efficient, while in still wines, La Chablisienne has long proved its worth, followed by the cellars from the Mâconnais and the Côte Chalonnaise such as Lugny, Buxy and the Vignerons des Terres Secrètes. In the Jura, the village fruit farms have a voice, particularly that of Arbois. In the Rhône Valley, the Cave de Tain-Hermitage is playing in the big league, while some cellars in southern villages are on the rise, with cuvées based on often organic and / or “natural” fruit. The Midi offers a nice group of dynamic cellars. It is true that cooperation has its roots in Hérault, thanks to the alliance in 1901 of a small group of winegrowers from the village of Maraussan, Les Vignerons Libres, whose cellar inaugurated in 1905 during Jaurès’ speech founded the system. 31% of cooperation is concentrated in Languedoc and Roussillon. Finally, on the western front, two large groups dominate the southwest: the dynamic Cave de Plaimont and Vinovalie, the Bordeaux entity Tutiac, which has taken over the marketing of a large part of the region. The Loire, for its part, remains slightly behind …too small to join forces as cooperatives.

The AOP Listrac-Médoc is, with its cousin Moulis, the most “continental” of the town’s appellations of the Médoc. They doesn’t “look” at the estuary like the others. Thus, even if the climate is temperate oceanic, the temperature minima are lower here than in the other communal areas of the peninsula. The Listrac and Moulis area is one of the latest in the Bordeaux vineyards. Listrac is also distinguished by its terroir. The soils of the Médoc depend largely on the six ancient terraces of the Garonne. The wine-growing soils are generally more clayey than in the other Médoc town’s appellations. Hence a higher proportion of Merlot (63%). But there are significant variations between sites …! This was a find for us way back and enjoying ever since.

The French wine and spirits sector is sacrificed for a dispute over aeronautics,yes. The Federation of FEVS exporters denounced  last Thursday, December 31, 2020 after the announcement of extended customs duties by Washington (USA). Three weeks from the end of its mandate, the Trump administration announced on the night of Wednesday, December 30 to Thursday that it was preparing to impose additional customs duties on European products, in particular wines (excluding sparkling wines like champagne) and cognacs. Washington is authorized to do so by the World Trade Organization in the context of its dispute with the EU on aid to aeronautical giants. Since October 2019, the United States has imposed a 25% customs duty on still wines below 14 degrees, sold in containers of less than two liters!! According to information from the FEVS, this 25% tax will now extend to all still wines, including in bulk, as well as to wine-based spirits, such as cognac. The FEVS calls on the EU to take action to finally resolve this conflict between Airbus and Boeing and to compensate the French and European companies which are the collateral damage of this interminable conflict. Indeed trade wars are not good and do not resolve anything.

The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) Wine Bar is located on the ground floor of the Hotel Gobineau, a magnificent 18C building reminiscent of the famous Flatiron in New York. The place which also  houses the headquarters of the CIVB is atypical with its neoclassical architecture and its stained glass windows dedicated to the wine world. Lovers of Bordeaux wines flock to it, the queue often overflows into the street! Here, they only serve bordeaux! The menu is regularly updated, and you can permanently taste around thirty wines carefully selected and served by the glass. The prices are between 2 and 8 €. The tasting can be accompanied by platters of cheese, cold cuts, or chocolates. Note on sunny days: the place has a pretty terrace, with a breathtaking view of the Grand Théâtre. Indeed we always stop by when in Bordeaux since 1991!!  Le Bar à Vin du CIVB, 3, cours du 30-juillet, 33000 Bordeaux. Tél. : 05 56 00 43 47. webpage : https://baravin.bordeaux.com/

And last, left for last as it is a sad news indeed, my Lavinia is gone.

It is with great sadness , really no words for it that I read in the LRVF magazine ,the Lavinia wine shops are closing this January 9 2021! This is certainly bad news, which shows the fragility of the wine professions in these times of the Covid19 virus , and which will make a big splash. The Lavinia store, the emblematic wine merchant on Boulevard de la Madeleine, will close its doors on Saturday January 9 in the evening.  One of the most beautiful wine windows in Paris draws the curtain, after twenty years of ambitious work to raise the reputation of the best French and foreign wines in the capital. It rose to nearly 40 million euros in sales in 2015, including 17 million for the Madeleine store alone, its flagship. Opening of a restaurant where you could drink any bottle of the store without corkage duty (yes wonderful after work), development of a very profitable spirits department, distribution of wines to restaurants via the Vins du Monde subsidiary, corporate gifts, gift boxes for individuals, online sales, home deliveries in the West of Paris, store openings in Madrid, (visit here too!!) Barcelona, franchises in Ukraine to Kiev and Odessa, subsidiaries in Hong Kong, establishment in La Défense, specialized distribution with the takeover of the Augé boulevard Haussmann cellar. …The brand innovated every year, with some success. And the high rent in the Madeleine district (more than 1.2 million euros per year! Yes Paris is expensive!) weighs too much when the demonstrations of yellow vests erupt in the beautiful districts then the Covid19 virus, which plummets the attendance of the store. The Covid19  virus , in fact, also cut the taps of foreign tourists visiting Paris and fond of iconic bottles, which represented nearly 5% of turnover. Barcelona have closed, Ukraine has not responded since the Orange Revolution and the situation is tense within the group. Last April, Lavinia sold its Vins du Monde subsidiary and its allocations to prestigious foreign domains such as Vega Sicilia, Harlan Estate or Pingus. After the closure of the Lavinia La Défense store, a business district that has been deserted since the rise of teleworking, here is the turn of Lavinia La Madeleine. Again, sad very sad if there was one I thought this one will survive but I guess was wrong, the virus did it but it has been a downward fall for a while. Oh well , need to find me another one now! Lavinia will be irreplaceable!

And there go folks , gladly reporting from the world of wine and my belle France. Hope you enjoy reading as Id writing it. En vino veritas!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!! And to add drink wine even if in moderation lol!!!

January 7, 2021

Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy!!

I need to revise and refresh the text on this older post in my blog. It is dear to me as been to Poissy several times and was sometimes my passing to work or kids school with trains. I happened to stumbled into the Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy because of the history and events there so walked I did to see it and did come back. I did a post on it long yes, maybe tiring to read by many but I believe history is the foundation of any travels, passing by with a picture is not enough to enjoy our world. So, therefore, here is my update on the Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy!!

Of course, Poissy a royal town of France is in royal Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region.  Well ,I have written a lot on the city of Poissy in my blog which plenty to offer the visitor as well. First of all, very easy to get to from Paris on the RER A line and once there go out station turn right and walk up the street ,you will see the big Gothic Church in front of you! Never time it ,but should be less than 10 minutes walking.

The Collegiale Church of Notre-Dame is a parish Catholic Church located in Poissy. It was founded by King Robert the Pious around 1016, but from the 11C church, only the western steeple-porch survives. Indeed, the Collegiate Church was rebuilt from the beginning of the 12C, in particular between 1130 and 1160, in the late Romanesque style, and later in the primitive Gothic style, which manifests itself in the eastern parts. The future king Louis IX (Saint Louis) was baptized, a few days after his birth in Poissy, on April 25, 1214. This event is the celebrity of the Church, and the baptismal fonts of that time are still preserved there. Although it has undergone numerous transformations and restorations since its construction in the 12C, this Church is not only the richest monument of the city’s heritage, but also remains one of the few witnesses to the development of Romanesque art and its transition to Gothic art. The Church bears the name of Collegiale because it housed a college of canons until the French revolution. It was the object of several restoration campaigns in the 19C, notably by Viollet-le-Duc.

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A long history I like!

The Notre Dame Church may be a successor to a first Merovingian cult Site, of which they  have found numerous fragments of stone cutters, capitals and bases at 60 cm below the paving. However, the base seems rather Roman, but the base could actually go back to the 7C. Saint-Louis never forgot the Church where he had been baptized, and founded a Mass for the birthday of his parents in 1238, then a Chapel in 1250. The first priest was installed , it was Mathurin Giquerel, Doctor of Theology of the Sorbonne, a dignified and virtuous man of Breton origin. Under the whole of the old regime (royals) , Poissy was the seat of the archdeaconry of the Pincers’ of the Diocese of Chartres, and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame its spiritual center. The Church was reportedly burned during the Hundred Years ‘ War, and was partly rebuilt and enlarged in the late 15C and 16C. During the second War of Religion, in 1567, the Church was ravaged by the Huguenots, and to escape, inhabitants were forced to take refuge in the attic for more than two weeks. On the eve of the French revolution, the chapter was abolished and the Church soon closed to worship, and the Church of the Saint-Louis Priory  became the only parish Church in the city, except during the prohibition of worship under the reign of terror in the French revolution. With the Concordat (ending the terrors of the French revolution) of 1801, Poissy was integrated into the new diocese of Versailles, corresponding to the old department of Seine-et-Oise (now mostly Yvelines).

A bit brief on the architecture of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame Church consists mainly of a central vessel of six long bar spans, accompanied by aisles and Chapels or other annexes; Of a five-pans apse; there is the  ambulatory; a square-planar axis Chapel dating from the 1860’s; and two Chapels flanking the first and last span of the ambulatory, each with a straight span and an apse in the hemicycle. The nave is preceded by one of the two steeples, the ground floor of which was initially an open porch on three sides. Two stair turrets flank the bell tower, one to the north and one to the south. The Chapel of the Baptismal font occupies the angle between the steeple and the north side, and like all the spans of this aisle, it is flanked by a Chapel on the north side. This row of seven Chapels does not form a second aisle, because all the bays are enclosed. The rest of the Church is hunched over with simple warheads. A second steeple rises above the last span of the nave.

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The western steeple, originally a steeple-porch, is one of the oldest steeples in the region among those of a certain size. The steeple is square and flanked by two orthogonal buttresses at each angle, which are strictly vertical and punctuated by the same drip present on the walls.The ground floor only has small rectangular openings, and the first floor is also very discreet, with a unique rectangular window off the west side. The second floor is located at the same level as the upper windows of the nave, and originally had two rectangular bays, regularly spread over the three free sides. To the north and south, they are partly clogged by the two stair turrets.

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At the top, God the Father (beheaded during the French revolution) emerges from a cloud holding a globe in one hand. Rays of light descend from all sides, and reach a vase with two handles, from which a long leafy stem that carries three fleurs de Lys springs. A dove in the middle of the rays illustrates the Holy Spirit, and the rays themselves are the grace of God that he sends from the top of heaven. The flower that is the recipient is an allegory of purity and virginity, and symbolizes the Virgin Mary. The ensemble is therefore a symbolic representation of the Annunciation.

The second Louis XII-style portal is wider and has two doors in a basket cove separated from a thomas whose jagged foliage and flamboyant-style monsters, overlapped already on the lower legs of the underside, at pilasters Italianate announcing the first Renaissance. Three niches with statues flank the doors, and still sheltered the Virgin and two angels in 1805. They were repainted same  year, but have disappeared since. The central steeple is, without a doubt, the most beautiful element of Poissy’s architecture.  Its north face was uplifted this time with respect for the authenticity of the monument, as between 1844 and 1850 during the restoration of the large arcades. Between two modillions, a palmettos décor in bas-relief appears. Two seats above open the bays of the belfry floor. They are in the full hanger and number of two on the faces facing the cardinal points.

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A longer description of the interior of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame.

The nave is particularly heterogeneous. The first renovation uses the flamboyant Gothic style. The second renovation occurred around the middle of the 16C, and concerns the first three bays on the south side, as well as the vaults of the first three bays. But everything that seems to date from the beginning of the 12C and displays the Romanesque style, is in reality in very large part the result of the reconstruction. Apart from certain details, the nave of the Notre Dame Collegiate Church can be brought closer to the other large Romanesque Churches of the region built at the beginning of the vaulting of warheads styles.

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The row of Chapels represents the most homogeneous part of the Church, but apart from the supports of the large arcades, all dates from the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C. The chapels of the fourth and fifth spans are particularly distinguished by Baroque woodwork of great quality.  The last three spans of the south aisle are the last ones that still exhibit, at least in large part, their 12C provisions. The sacristy had been abandoned in the 18C and arranged in the Chapel facing south of the apse, but its location is the original.  The choir or chorus is oriented in the direction of the sun rising on August 15 (Assomption), is not in the axis of the nave. The choir is small and is reduced to the apse. In the absence of a transept whose crusader often houses the high altar, it must be assumed that the last two bays of the nave were originally attached to the liturgical choir, and separated from the rest of the nave by a grate. The apse communicates with the ambulatory by five large arcades.

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The ambulatory represents, the most interesting part of the Church.It has no radiant Chapels, but primitively an alternation between square Chapels, including the first and last completed by an apse in the hemicycle, and walls facing the outside. The apsidal of the Chapel is in large part authentic. Quite spacious, it has a decoration consistent with that of the ambulatory. The south-facing chapel, dedicated to St. Louis, has never been altered, and its plan is quite regular. As for the axe Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin, it was once an admirable construction of the second half of the 13C or the beginning of the 14C, in a radiant style reminiscent of the Sainte-Chapelle (Paris). Destroyed everything in the 1860’s, the demolition of the Chapel is regrettable, especially since it was not detrimental to the homogeneity of the Church, and that its state would have allowed a restoration, still envisaged by the Viollet -le-Duc in 1844. The present Chapel is inspired by the apsidials, but larger, with five pans and three windows.

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In the nave, there are curiously more recent capitals under the fifth and sixth largest arcade in the north. It can be dated from the beginning of the 12C, while the construction of the nave progressed from west to east, and the last spans were only started around 1130. At the back of the façade, at the beginning of the big arcades of the South, appears the first marquee of a second type, evoking, as also the bedside in the big lines. In the apse, the only capitals that were not redone in the 19C are those to the east of the sixth pile of the north, as well as those of the four free columns of the apse roundabout. The sculpture of their large baskets is remarkable, and they are decorated with two registers of ribbed leaves, palmettos of a large drawing, long rods linked two by two in the center or under the angles of the stone cutter. The bay capitals of the central steeple are also remarkable.

The tribune Organ was commissioned in 1903. Its instrumental part was made by Charles Mutin, successor of Aristide Cavaillon-Coll. Its Gothic buffet was designed by the architect of historical monuments, Camille Formigé, who had been responsible for the last restoration campaign of the Church between 1884 and 1896. The columns of stone supporting the tribune were carved by Geoffroy.

Some of the nice things to notice at the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame at best me think other than the Baptismal font of Saint Louis are:

The stone Altar adorned with eight characters under arches lobed and hooks, dating from the first half of the 14C and apparently coming from the church Priorale Saint-Louis. The group carved in limestone representing the burial, also known as Holy Sepulchre, mentioned for the first time in 1522.  The group carved in polychrome walnut wood representing the education of the Virgin by Ste. Anne, dating from the near end 15C to 16C. The stone statue of St. John the Baptist, dating from the 14C, the stone statue of Ste. Barbara, dating from the first half of the 16C; the tower on the left is its attribute, the palm in her left hand is the symbol of the Martyrs. The stone statue of Isabelle of France, daughter of St. Louis, dating from around 1300, comes from the rood of the Church of the Priory Saint-Louis de Poissy. The stone statue of St. Peter , probably dating from the 17C. The stone statue of Saint Louis teenager, dating from 1932. It bears the coat of arms of the city of Poissy.  The painted wooden statue of the Virgin, probably dating from the first quarter of the 16C, was distorted by a smooth polychrome that makes it seem like a statue of the 19C, but the stylistic closeness with the statue of Ste. Barbara indicates the actual age of the statue, which remains to be confirmed during a restoration. The stone statue of the Ecce Homo or Christ with links, dating from the 17C. The statue of the Virgin and the Seated Child called Notre-Dame de Poissy, inspired by the seal of the Collegiate chapter, work of Manuela, her real name Anne de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duchess of Uzès, dating from 1892. The stone statuette of a praying, perhaps a donor, with a inscription of dedication in Latin, dating from 1553. Most of the burial slabs were sealed in the Western Wall. Most of the paintings are hung in the Chapels, and poorly visible in these dark spaces.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

The city of Poissy on the Notre Dame Church in French: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/vivre-a-poissy/cadre-de-vie/patrimoine-et-sites/la-collegiale-notre-dame.html

The Poissy tourist office on the Notre Dame Church in French: https://www.poissy-tourisme.fr/annuaire/fiche/collegiale-notre-dame

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist board on the Notre Dame Church of Poissy in French: http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/collegiale-notre-dame-poissy

This is a nice Notre Dame Collegiale Church and the area around it is very nice and more things to see in Poissy. So close to Paris surprise not many visitors when is a major site in French history, I hope I have encourage to see it when possible.

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

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January 5, 2021

Gare Saint Lazare, Paris!

Now excuse me but I have to update and revise this one. For several years it was my job entry point to Paris from my beloved rive droite train station in Versailles. The neighborhood became mine for ins and outs, lunch, sightseeing, and shopping. I have seen the transformation from an old train station to a modern one with a great shopping gallery. Let me tell you more of the Gare Saint Lazare of Paris!

It was a very nice and cool at 20C or about 71F day when writing this post initially and having with me a nice Porto red . Life goes on , always with memories never forgotten, but I need to move on for the rest.  I like to tell you today about the Gare Saint Lazare train station so dear to me. Not your fan of public transport if you followed me but sometimes for one reason or another they are needed.  Great memories even if some late arrivals due to technical problems on the tracks lol!  Upon arriving at Saint Lazare I walked 18 minutes to the office same time as taking the public transport but you see Paris, glorious grand department stores, Madeleine, rue Saint Honoré, passing by rue de Rivoli , like I said once in Paris, walk. If this is not possible, than use the Bus, see Paris above ground, much better ::)

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Anyway this is my rendition on history of this wonderful old train station. 

The Gare Saint-Lazare,  is one of the seven main stations of the SNCF network in Paris. Located in the 8éme arrondissement or neighborhood/quartier of Europe, it is one of the former heads of line of the West network. First station built in Île-de-France region from 1837 and affected mainly since by the commuter traffic, it is the second station of Paris and France by its traffic and the second in Europe, last I look up. The station is 32 meters above sea level, in a very dense urban environment. It serve most of Normandy and the western suburbs of Paris, thanks to a wide range of lines extending from Pontoise and Ermont to the north , in Versailles to the south, assuring it a particularly high passenger traffic. The first breakpoint encountered when leaving the Gare Saint Lazare is the Pont-Cardinet station, in  the Paris-Saint-Lazare line at Le Havre served by the trains of the L line of the Transilien. As well as been one of my favorite parking spots on street in Paris! As well as the covered market of Batignolles (see post) 

The history of Gare Saint-Lazare began during the reign of King of the French, Louis-Philippe I in 1837 with the opening of the Paris track to Saint-Germain at that time, a temporary wooden station, the Pier of the West, was built on the Place de l’Europe, in the out of the Batignolles Tunnel, located at the former Tivoli Gardens Park. The line serves then for travelers the current stations of Pont-Cardinet, Clichy-Levallois, Asnières, La Garenne-Colombes, Nanterre-Ville and Le Vésinet-Le Pecq. In 1841, a second temporary station, in masonry covered with a yellow coating, is built on rue de Stockholm, right in front of the Place de l’Europe . The intention of developers Pereire brothers, promoters of this railroad, is to extend the line to the center of Paris until the rue Tronchet!  that leads to the Church of the Madeleine (and my walking beat to work for several years). However,  opposition of the city and the owners concerned, the project of the station of La Madeleine is abandoned in 1841. The third station is built  at the corner of  rue d’Amsterdam and Rue Saint-Lazare, which the station takes its name. The work spans a long period of 1842 to 1853.

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In 1867, becoming the most important in Paris, Gare Saint-Lazare receives such extensions that one can speak of a fourth station, inaugurated moreover on 2 June, 1867 on the occasion of the Universal exhibition held in Paris, by the Emperor Napoleon III, accompanied by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Emperor Alexander II of Russia. In the same year, the Europe tunnel was abolished and replaced by a double metal bridge , reconstructed in concrete in 1931. From 1885 to 1889, a major expansion saw the construction of the current façade with two lateral wings at the tracks forming a “U”, and gave the Saint-Lazare station its present physiognomy. In 1885, a decree declares the extension of rue Saint-Lazare to 30 meters on the even numbers side between  rue d’Amsterdam and rue de Londres of public utility. The houses are destroyed and the Hotel Terminus is erected in their place. There are also the two squares that frame it, right in front of the main façade of the station to which it is connected by a walkway covered (now abandoned).  In 1919, the courier’s hall is extended by a second hall going to Boulevard des Batignolles (current parking lot of the Pont de l’Europe).

Although the station is mainly dedicated to commuter traffic, its international vocation has been marked by the existence of transatlantic trains to Le Havre-Maritime and Cherbourg-Maritime, in correspondence with the ships for New York. If the New-York-Express of the transatlantic General company circulated until the withdrawal of France in 1974, the Transatlantique-Express of the Cunard Line (for passengers of Queen Elizabeth 2, later Queen Mary 2), continues to circulate, even if the station Maritime (now called the Cite de la Mer) is no longer directly served. As for the Paris-Saint-Lazare-Dieppe-Maritime boat trains, in liaison with the ships to England, they circulated until 1994, replaced by the Eurostar service. Passengers to Ireland by boat continue to take the Paris-Le Havre trains.

A shopping arcade is created in 1974 in the basement of the Galerie des Pas Perdu , the general Tele display is installed, and escalators are set up towards the road to facilitate the correspondence with the Metro, in particular with the line 13 extended in 1976 to the south of Paris . In 1972, the line of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, integrated in the RER A line is transferred to the RATP and leads to the new underground station of  rue Auber  in the neighborhood  of  Chaussée d’Antin, located about 500 meters. Still with the Connection of the Cergy line, opened in March 1979, the RER A on  May 1988, followed by the Poissy line in 1989. The Gare Saint-Lazare has 27 lanes and is in correspondence with several urban transport lines (Metro, bus and RER).

The 27 tracks of the station are assigned in the following way:

1-4 (group II): Versailles-Rive-Droite and Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche;

5 to 8 (group III): Nanterre-University, Maisons-Laffitte and Cergy-le-Haut;

9 to 12 (groups IV and VI): Ermont-Eaubonne, Cormeilles-en-Parisis;

13 to 17 (group V): Mantes (by Poissy), Evreux, Vernon;

18 to 27: Departures and arrivals outlines, tracks 26 and 27 also used for the trains of group VI towards Mantes (by Conflans-St. Honorine), Pontoise and Gisors.  

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From 2003 to 2007, the station’s work concentrated on the space of the Transverse wharf, a waiting area which gives access to the 27 tracks of the station. The work of the sector passage and cours d’Amsterdam, initiated in 2006 and completed in 2008, consisted of a widening of the existing passage towards the cours d’Amsterdam, leading to the rue d’Amsterdam, with the creation of a real secondary entrance on this axis. From 2009 to 2012, the most important phase of the work is underway; it has as its object the modernization of the heart of the station with the transformation of the old Galerie des pas Perdu (Hall of lost steps) in a shopping center Saint Lazare on three levels along the 194 meters long hall (213 meters in front), the creation of an underground parking lot and the creation of simpler connections with the metro. End of 2009, the bunker of WWII, implanted in the first basement facing the tracks 4 and 5 at the back of the old shopping arcade was destroyed, because its presence was incompatible with the facilities retained. The new Saint-Lazare train station was inaugurated on March 21, 2012. The Galerie des pas Perdu  has now become a skylight thanks to the development of the canopy and the arrangement of the new eighty boutiques spread over three levels; It is equipped with 20 escalators, 300 information screens and a new acoustic comfort. Thus, the passenger traffic was fluidized and a waiting room was opened. The final component of the Saint-Lazare project is the renovation from May 2013 until the beginning of 2014 of the two courtyards Rome and Havre (cour de Rome and cour du Havre), and that of the inner street, between the main building and the Hilton Paris Opéra Hotel.

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Some of the goodies here in addtion to many other is the opening last September 2013 of the Restaurant Lazare by star Chef  Éric Fréchon  that you can access from the shopping center and the inner street (rue Intérieure). Super good!!! webpage: https://lazare-paris.fr/  

The new great shopping center  Saint Lazare in the train station, superb, we went from Morbihan there just to see the opening! The webpage: https://st-lazare-paris.klepierre.fr/

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Some of the artsy things that happened here were :

In 1877, Claude Monet left Argenteuil for Paris, and the painter asked for permission to work in the Gare Saint-Lazare, close to his home. He finds inspiration in the modernity and mobility of the subject, its changing brightness, and the vapor clouds. He produced a series of twelve paintings from various viewpoints, including views of the vast hall, where he focused more on light and color effects than on a detailed description of the railway universe.

Since 1985, two works of art “accumulations” of the French painter and sculptor Arman, five-meters highs, were placed in the two courtyards of the station: Consigne à vie ( a life-time deposit), representing a stack of suitcases, in the cour de Rome and the time for all, representing a stacking of pendulums(clocks), in the cour du Havre.

In the cinema, La Bête humaine (the Human Beast), a French film of 1938 adapted from the eponymous novel by Émile Zola and directed by Jean Renoir, takes place in part in the Gare de Paris-Saint-Lazare and its surroundings.

The station also appears in the songs: at Gare Saint-Lazare (lyrics by Pierre Delanoë, music by Renard Jean, new editions Meridian, released at Polydor in 1962), which is interpreted by Colette Deréal, it is practically entirely dedicated, to the station even it is only fleetingly quoted in the song. Vesoul, written, composed and performed by Jacques Brel in 1968. We can also cite Snack-bar Gare Saint-Lazare, which dates from 1956 (lyrics by Boris Vian and Geo Dorlis, music by Louiguy).

What are the transports here, plenty.

The Gare Saint-Lazare is served by the RER E line on the RER A in case of a breakdown of interconnection in Nanterre-prefecture, the trains destined for Cergy-le-Haut were terminus and origin Paris-Saint-Lazare, joining the normal route from Houilles-Carriéres-sur-Seine.

The Saint-Lazare metro station is on Lines 3, 12, 13 and 14. A corridor connects Saint-Augustin station from line 9 to Saint-Lazare station on line 14 and, as a result, to Gare Saint-Lazare. It is possible to reach the Opéra station from Saint-Augustin and Saint-Lazare by going to the RER E quays and then taking the corridors leading to the Metro lines 7 and 8 at the Opéra station and at the Auber station of the RER A.

The station is served by Bus lines 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 43, 53, 66, 80, 81, 94, 95 and 528 of the RATP bus network and, at night, by the lines N01, N02, 15, 16, 51, N52, N53, N150, N151, N152 , N153 and N154 of the Noctilien network.  Buses 95,81,and 27 are great sightseeing too and cheaper than the tourist buses….They are at terminus in the .cour de Rome, place Gabriel Péri and rue St-Lazare.

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The Paris tourist office on Saint Lazare: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73404/Gare-Saint-Lazare

The Transilien line on Saint Lazare: https://www.transilien.com/fr/gare/gare-de-paris-saint-lazare-8738400

the SNCF information on the Saint Lazare train station: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frpsl/paris-saint-lazare

The TER Regional lines on Saint Lazare : https://www.ter.sncf.com/normandie/gares/87384008/Paris-Saint-Lazare/prochains-departs

There you go folks, a memorable Saint Lazare train station indeed, full of nice souvenirs and good cheers. Enjoy Paris but do check ahead for strikes, yikes!!

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

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January 4, 2021

Paris: Sainte Trinité Church!!

Bear with me as this is another memorable spot in my eternal Paris. I am updating the post from 2018 in my blog. I used to come to work to Paris by gare Saint Lazare and as time allow , walked around the area. Finally, heard about this church and walk to it, saw it briefly and then came back with the family. Memories of Paris at the Church de la Sainte Trinité.

In my continuing saga to present to you places of history, and architecture and religion very close to the membrane of Paris, I present to you the Holy Trinity Church or église de La Sainte Trinité very near the gare Saint Lazare train station along rue Saint Lazare  This is a very popular area with visitors and locals alike as the train station Gare Saint Lazare is very near and good transports on RER, Metro, and Bus abound. It is very central to see all of Paris.

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The église de la Sainte Trinité, was built between 1861 and 1867 in a Second Empire period. It is an imposing renaissance building to impress the crowds with 90 meters long and 34 meters wide and 30 meters high with an imposing 17 meters wide nave. It has a metal frame and the aisles were done as not to disturb the faithful during Mass. It has excellent illumination by having the stained glass windows in simple white glass. The side chapels have paintings from the 19C with a look of theatrical interiors.

So here is my story on the église de la Sainte Trinité de Paris.

The Holy Trinity Church is at the square or Place d’Estienne-d’Orves in the 9éme district or arrondissement and taken the space of the quartiers or neighborhoods of the Chaussée d’Antin and Saint Georges at the crossing of rue Blanche , rue de Clichy, rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, rue Saint Lazare, and rue de Châteaudun. It gives the name to the metro station of line 12 Trinité-d’Estienne d’Orves.

As like many other Churches of Paris the Church of the Holy Trinity was built during the Second Empire (Napoléon III) the architect was Théodore Ballu who also did the Basilica of Sainte Clotilde. The Church of the Holy Trinity was finished in 1867,in an imposing neo renaissance half Italian half French style that created an attraction in the neighborhood. The style was done as well mentioned by many as a basilical type as the Church of Saint François-Xavier (see post) with a metallic backbone as only one block of iron could allow such proportions ,and the sides were kept narrow as not to bothered the visitors during Mass.  The Church has a wonderful lighted clear view thanks to the stained glass windows in white with only the abside using colored windows with history. The lateral Chapels have a series of religious paintings from the 19C. The theatrical look at is vastness inside has given contemporaries now to call a masterful construction.

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The choir is raise to follow the declination of the land surrounded by two tribunes with columns ;this space was hoping the visit of the Emperor Napoléon III but he never came. The nerf is long of 17 meters decorated with sculptures , statues, and vases all below a vaulted ceiling of floral and arabesque paintings. The monumental painting on the arch that falls on the choir was consecrated to the Holy Trinity. Many specialists call it audacious because the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are holding hand. The Church remained loyal to the practices of the times such as the proclamation of the Church’s dogma, and apparitions of the Virgin to reinforce the beliefs.

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The bell tower of the Church of the Holy Trinity is at 65 meters high, the bells are in octagonal form finish by a dome in the French renaissance style. The façade in front of the Place Etienne d’Orves has a heterocyclic style typical of the Second Empire period as many train stations done at the time. The three statues in the front illustrate the Holy Trinity, and four statues in the extremes of the façade represent the four cardinal virtues; below is the Force with a sword on her right side.

During the French revolution the pulpit of the Church of the Holy Trinity served as a revolutionary tribunal of very dreadful decisions. In the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 the Church becomes a hospital. The nave is big and covered in wood, gave a good hospital during the siege of Paris. In the winter of 1870-71 the heating system of the Church was not enough so temporary heating chimneys were installed that stained the ceiling. The parishioners are squat on the floor attending the wounded with everybody in the vicinity helping out even a kitchen and laundry was set up in the Crypt.

In March 11 1869 the funeral of Hector Berlioz was held here. The parish Church was consecrated in 1913 and it was the first one in France to be given to the community of Emmanuel in 1986 to help out the clergy there and still does today. The webpage for the community of Emmanuel is here : http://emmanuel.info/

The organ was built in 1869 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll a renown organ maker, very badly damaged during the events after 1870 it was completely rebuilt by Cavaillé-Coll and Alexander Guilmant.  This later composer created most of the works performed in the organ and the Church is a site to listen to very good concerts even today.

Some further webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Church of the Holy Trinity official webpage: https://latriniteparis.com/arts-culture/

the Paris tourist office on the Church of the Holy Trinityhttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71806/Paroisse-de-la-Trinite

The Catholic churches of Paris webpage on the église de la Sainte Trinité:  https://www.paris.catholique.fr/-sainte-trinite-1272-.html

You will have a blast visiting and walking the area very lively and visited part of Paris with many things to see nearby such as the Opéra Garnier and the department stores on bd Haussmann. Of course, the Church of the Holy Trinity is superbe, my old neighborhood! Hope you have enjoy the post.

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

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January 4, 2021

The magnificent Arc de Triomphe!

And if I gave you the Champs-Elysées why not the Arc de Triomphe. Updating this post as well with new text. One of the symbols of Paris and a wonderful view from the top, however, my biggest thrill is to drive it around lol!! 12 avenues in a traffic circle and no accidents seen by yours truly over the years! A wonderful experience !!! I know I see your eyebrows already but is a piece of cake!! Hope you enjoy the post on the magnificent Arc de Triomphe!

Now let me bring you to the history of a wonderful symbol of France and especially Paris. I go by here often, walking underneath and especially with my car love it! I come from ave Foch into the circle and it is always a thrill; not for the small town drivers ok… I like to tell you a bit more about the Arc de Triomphe, the area is in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris in the quartier or neighborhood Champs-Elysées.

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The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is the official name but popularly known as simply the Arc de Triomphe. The construction of it was decided by emperor Napoléon Ier, and started early in 1806  finishing it in 1836 under Louis-Philippe, king of the French. It is raise in the center of the Place Charles-de-Gaulle square (formerly the Place de l’Étoile), at  2,2 km from the Place de la Concorde. Its height is at 49,54 meters, wide of  44,82 meters, and deep of  22,21 meters, under the arch the height is at 29,19 meter and its width at 14,62 meters.  The small arch has 18,68 meters high by 8,44 meters wide.  The monument weights in at 50 000 tons and 100 000 tons, if taking into account the foundations that are reinforced 8,37 meters deep.

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The former Place de l’Étoile created a huge traffic circle of 12 avenues in the 19C under the direction of the city planning of Baron Haussmann, these avenues came in as a star around the square especially Avenue Kléber, Avenue de la Grande-Armée, Avenue de Wagram , and the best known Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The station metro line 1 Charles de Gaulle – Étoile as well as RER A is there.

a bit of history I like

Emperor Napoléon Ier, after the battle of Austerlitz made a declaration to his soldiers that will only return to Paris under an triumphant arch ,and with an imperial decree ordered the building of the Arc de Triomphe to perpetuate the souvenirs of the French army victories.  The first stone was placed with an inscription on August 15 1806 and covered with a bronze plaque.

King Louis XVIII restarted construction in 1824 after a period of neglect on previous regimes. By 1830, Louis-Philippe king of the French (not King of France) took over the construction with now a spirit of reconciliation  putting together the armies that fought between 1792 and 1815.  It was then Louis-Philippe and Adolphe Thiers (president of the III republic) that decided the themes choices and the sculptors such as the Le départ des Volontaires, or commonly called the  La Marseillaise, of François Rude , and the Le Triomphe de Napoléon by  Jean-Pierre Cortot.  More spectacular is the frise on top of the summit divided into two parts ; on one,  Le départ des Armées (departure of the armies) and the  Le Retour des Armées (return of the armies) with a large central scene on the glory of the nation. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile opened on July 29 1836 on the 6th anniversary of the event known as the  Trois Glorieuses. The revolution of July after that of 1789 bringing on a new king Louis-Philippe Ier,king of the French or the monarchy of July succeeding that of the Second Restauration. This revolution took place in three days so therefore known as the Trois Glorieuses or Three Glorious days. There was more than one revolution in republican France! and 5 Republics so far.

At the bottom level you find the tomb of the unknown soldier of WWI  with an eternal flame that houses the flag of the fatherland like at Rome the first since the one in Vestales in 391.  It commemorates the memory of the soliders dead in combat for never  off; it is replenish each evening at 18h30  by the Association of Veterans or victims of war. There is a renewal of an exposition from the 1930’s in a museographic style museum in a multimedia showing entitled Between wars and peace, with a history lesson of the monument and its evolution to present day.

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A bit more on the description/architecture I like

It has four high walls put in sockets filled with stones and 18 meters high on each side,these are: Le Départ des volontaires  of 1792 ( La Marseillaise). Representing the union of all French to defend the Nation and leaving in combat with a diversity of soldiers such as revolutionaries, Bonapartists, and Royals , young and older. Below ,there is Victory guiding them in its wings. The architecture is mix such as Antique, and Romanesque. The victory or Le Triomphe de 1810; the Resistance or La Résistance of 1814, by Antoine Étex, and the Peace or La Paix of 1815, by Antoine Étex as well.  There are six lower level sockets with more significances such as retracing the scenes of the Revolution and Empire. They are below the arch and on the sides. These are: Les funérailles du général Marceau  September 20 1796, by H. Lamaire (facing right south view), La bataille d’Aboukir July 25 juillet 1799, by Seurre aîné (facing left south view),La bataille de Jemappes November 6  1792, by Carlo Marochetti (facing east), Le passage du pont d’Arcole November 15 1796,by Jean-Jacques Feuchère (facing right north view), La prise d’Alexandrie July 3  1798, by John-Étienne Chaponnière (facing left north view), La bataille d’Austerlitz  December 2 1805, by Jean-François-Théodore Gechter (facing west view), and the Mariage de Napoléon and Marie-Louise (1810).

Some of the events happening here that I like are

The occasion of the marriage of archduchess  Marie-Louise and the entering to Paris by Emperor Napoléon Ier with a model to give it a more artistic smaller size  by which the emperatrice will past under it. During the transfer of ashes of Napoléon, December 15 1840 with the funeral procession under the Arc de Triomphe. The body of Victor Hugo in funeral watch over the night of May 22 1885, before burrial at the Panthéon. In August 7 1919 an airplane of Charles Godefroy, passed in between the arches with a Nieuport 17 biplane.

There are curiosities such as two time per year the Sun is hidden in the axe of the Champs-Elysées, a person on the Avenue des Champs Elysées the solar ring is also visible for a few minutes  under the Arc de Triomphe.  And on the opposite way from the Porte Maillot, the Sun is rising two times per year as well . The timings changes with the year but you can catch up in the tourist office for the dates;next usually around November.

So, therefore, this is a unique visit, you can walk underneath the Arc de Triomphe, and visit the museographic, and also go to the top level for wonderful views of Paris especially that towards the Place de la Concorde and beyond.  A special treat visiting Paris, for me the thrill of getting around that circle yeah!! in a car!!!

Some web pages to help you plan your visit to the Arc de Triomphe are here:

The official webpage of the Arc de Triomphe monument: http://www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/#

The Paris tourist office on the Arc de Triomphe: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71396/Arc-de-Triomphe

Official site of the Eternal Flame under the Arc de Triomphe in French : https://www.laflammesouslarcdetriomphe.org/

Another merry go around tour of a vastly popular monument of the most beautiful city in the world, Paris. No more words are needed just come over.

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

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January 4, 2021

The most beautiful avenue in the world, Champs-Elysées!

Of course, I need to revise this one, it is a needed element in my blog in my eternal Paris. I did the post couple years back or more but now is the time to updated. Indeed, the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées! Of course, I have other posts and pictures of sights on it in my blog!

Ok so this one has been beaten around the corners a lot. Everyone comes here need to visit it and they do in hordes of visitors, not to mention the poor souls who need to work here. So rather than tell you about how wonderful the stores are, the restos around it and the monuments , I will just concentrate on the history I like mostly, which is one reason to love Paris. History is in every stone, brick, glass, around you. And my dear late wife Martine first went out here when girlfriend!!!She worked in the 10éme.

The most beautiful avenue in the world is a lot. OF course, its the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.  It was once call that and more ,however, many businessess come and gone and the highest price street in the world as well has taken some of the glitter from it. Too touristic ,but hey that is why Paris is so popular; the most visited city in the world again! by the official UN WTO (United Nations, World Tourism Organisation) ,where all country tourist board reports to.

Let me give some basic transportation stuff.  I love the bus because you stay above ground to see all the beauty of Paris, and the 27 and 73 especially are a tourist paradise; the buses passing by the avenue are the   22, 28, 42, 72 and 73.  Then, you have the metro  with stations  Concorde, Champs élysée – Clémenceau, Franklin Roosevelt, George V,  and Charles de Gaulle – étoile on lines  1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, and 13. Right there is an RER A transilien station too, that can even connects to Disneyland Paris!

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (locals call it simply Champs-Élysées, and even shorter for Champs) is almost 2 km long linking the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles-de-Gaulle in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. It is very visible and spectacular in the view of the Jardin des Tuileries. It takes this name from the place of hell where the souls rest in the Greek mythology, so they tell me….

A bit of history I like

The origins of the Champs-Élysées are simply a swampy area and not inhabited in ancient times; then came Marie de Médicis and decided to fix this even away from the former Palais des Tuileries, along the Seine river, with an area bordering on trees. This road was call the cours de la Reine (or road of the queen) taken inspiration from the promenade des Cascine in Florence opening in 1616.  Later king Louis XIV, around 1670, ordered André Le Nôtre, the gardener of the Château de Versailles and  the jardin des Tuileries, to continue the arrangement of lands there tracing an axis from the main central body of the Palais des Tuileries,from the current Place de la Concorde all to the current rond-point des Champs-Élysées-Marcel-Dassault, in the direction of the mountain or montagne du Roule that was at the current Place de l’Étoile (Charles de Gaulle).  It was called the Grand Cours or big road  to distinguished it from the cours de  la Reine, or even the big alley of the Roule or  grande allée du Roule , or the avenue de la Grille Royale  (1678), or avenue du Palais des Tuileries  (1680), and the Champs-Élysées, name that show up for the first time in 1694 but that it was given official name by 1709  as told in the Royal accounts.

By the 18C the new avenue went out further than that of the ramparts of king Louis XIII and reached the level of the current rue Marbeuf. The big sewer that followed this trace into a small stream going down to Ménilmontant and into the Seine river by the current Pont de l’Alma.  This continue until what was called the étoile de Chaillot or the star of Chaillot finished in 1724.  By 1774, it was time to enlarged the avenue to the west until the Seine river by the level of the Pont de Neuilly, on the current avenue de la Grande-Armée in Paris ,and avenue Charles-de-Gaulle in Neuilly-sur-Seine. To improve the security on the Champs-Élysées, a post of Swiss guards was set up in the barrier of Chaillot in  1777.

There are four fountains almost identical at the entrance  such as the fontaine des Quatre Saisons, aka fontaine du Cirque, done in 1839. Decorated with a group of four children, symbolizing the seasons.  The  fontaine de Dianefontaine de Vénus aka fontaine des Ambassadeurs, both done in 1840, and the  fontaine de la Grille du coq, without sculptures done also in 1840.  Marly’s two horses, a pair of wild horses on wheels, are held  by naked men. Ordered from 1739 by  king Louis XIV done  from 1743 to 1745 located at Place de la Concorde, at the entrance of the Avenue des Champs Elysées. Two other groups of horses held by men and gods are at the entrance of the Tuileries, ordered by king Louis XIV for the entrance to the watering-water of Marly, represent the fame and mercury straddling a winged horse, Pegasus. The original marble models have been replaced by cement statues in the Louvre museum.

It was here on the  Champs-Élysées that the carriage was sent to bring the Royal family to Paris on October 5 1789. It was here also, that the Royal family was brought into Paris on June 25 1791 after trying to escape by Varennes.  During the reign of terror ,the Place de la Concorde was the scene of executions by the unfamous guillotine.

There are other more gentle fame to the Champs-Elysées , when dotted with elegant cafés such as the old Café des Ambassadeurs,of which plans drawing was done by none other than Jean-Jacques Rousseau, rebuilt in  1841,  this cafe developped to welcome from 1897  spectacles reviews until finally demolished in 1929 to be replaced by the Theater or  Théâtre des Ambassadeurs , and the restaurant of same name;; today the Espace Cardin (theatre de la ville de Paris) ,(see post).

There were others like the  traiteur Dupe, opened in  1800 atracting all the celebraties of the day starting by Paul de Barras,located in a pretty white house with green awnings that todayis the famous itself Ledoyen.  The  Champs-Élysées becomes an elegant street , passage point to take some air in the country towards Longchamp (bois de Boulogne). Emperatrice Marie Louise d’Austria, makes her entry by here in 1810 and also her exit in 1814.  The parade on allied troops have the visits thereafter of the Tzar of Russia Alexandre Ier, king of Prussia, Frédérick-Guillaume III ,and the Prince of  Schwarzenberg  near the Palais de l’Élysée.  It was king Louis XVIII that renovated this area and opened the Avenue Gabriel; where the USA embassy is today.

In 1848 a great banquet is held at the Champs-Élysées, that would the start of the 1848 revolution. During the Universal Exposition of 1855, the Champs-Élysées became a model and during the Second Empire a period of great events and splendor.  The avenue bordered with luxury mansions, becomes the high of the Parisian elegance. To prepare for the Universal Exposition of 1900, the Palais de l’Industrie, destroyed in 1896 to leave the space to built the Petit and Grand Palais. This allows the linkage of the Hôtel des Invalides to Palais de l’Élysée by the pont Alexandre-III. On August 26 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Gen Charles de Gaulle comes here followed by the tanks and armored vehicules of the 2nd Armored Division of Leclerc.

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This is the beauty and brief history of this wonderful magnificent avenue to the world. I like to get some readings and tell you some of the most elegant and historical buildings found here. My list of favorites

At No. 25, Hotel de la Païva. This particular hotel, was built between 1856 and 1866 for Esther Lachmann, marquise de Païva, called La Païva , famous courtesan of the Second Empire. The hotel, famous for its interior decoration, is one of the best preserved examples of private architecture of the Second Empire. After the death of the Païva, the hotel was sold to a banker in Berlin and then, in 1895, to the restaurateur Pierre Cubat. Since 1904, it houses a private circle, the Travellers.  No. 30: Home of the Earl of Monte Cristo in the novel by Alexandre Dumas. No. 37 (corner of  rue Marbeuf): Residence of Beatrice Charlotte Antoinette Denis de Kérédern de Trobriand . She was the daughter of the Count Régis de Trobriand , a naturalized French aristocrat and general of the Union armies during the American Civil War, and Mary Jones, wealthy heiress, daughter of Mary Mason Jones, Grand-aunt of Edith Wharton. While her husband lived in New York, the Countess of Trobriand resided most of the time in Paris.  The Countess lived separate from her husband after an episode of theft and corruption. This episode inspired Maurice Leblanc to do a chapter on the novel  entitled “The Blue Diamond” of  Arsène Lupin against Sherlock Holmes (1908).

At Nos. 52-60: Originally built (1933) in the place of the Hotel de Massa for the American bank Citybank of New York, this building subsequently hosts a Virgin Megastore store (from 1988 to 2013), as well as a Monoprix. It is renovated from 2016 after the closure of the Virgin Megastore in order to host in March 2019 a store of Galleries Lafayette. Great spot was able to see it before the virus, webpage: https://www.galerieslafayettechampselysees.com/

At No. 70: Vuitton Building (now the Marriott Hotel). Facade of late Art nouveau style built in 1914. At no 76-78; Arcades of the Lido. The building raised at this address has on the ground floor a shopping arcade which gives on one side on the Champs-Elysées and on the other on the rue Ponthieu. The arcades of the Champs-Elysées,of  luxury shops, were built in 1925.  The arcades were inaugurated in  1926. Some marble columns, coming from the old Hotel Dufayel, are used in the realization. The basement of the passage housed the Lido until 1976. Inaugurated in 1928, it was originally a beauty salon with a worldly swimming pool. Transformed into a cabaret in 1946, they were the origin of the current name of the passage, the “arcades of the Lido”.  At No. 79: The Queen night Club, between 1992 and 2015. No. 92: During the Nazis occupation, the seat of the magazine Der Deutsche Wegleiter für Paris, intended for occupation troops. The building houses on the ground floor the famous brasserie Fouquet and, on the upper floors, the hotel Fouquet Barrière, inaugurated in 2006.

At No. 103: Élysée-Palace. Hotel de Voyageurs built in 1898 for the company of sleeping wagons. This was the first of the great Hotels of travelers built on the Champs-Elysées. It was soon followed by the Hotel Astoria (1904) and the Hotel Claridge (1912). Th original decor was destroyed by the Crédit commercial de France, which acquired the building in 1919 to install its headquarters. At No. 114: Alberto Santos-Dumont , an aviation pioneer, inhabited this building in front of which he landed in 1903 his airship.

At No 116 bis-118 was the seat of Radio-Paris under the Nazi occupation, in the building of the post office. In 1977 , it became the Cabaret Lido (that was before at No 78).  At No 119 : Hôtel Carlton, built in  1907. In 1988 it was the HQ of Air France. At No 120 , James Gordon Bennett jr, owner of the New York Herald  lived here.  At No 122 , the Count Henry de La Vaulx  a pioneer of Aviation lived here from 1898 to 1909. At No 124 (corner of  2, rue Balzac) mansion built before 1858 for Santiago Drake del Castillo, one of the rare examples of Second Empire mansions bordering the avenue. At No 133, the  drugstore Publicis , was the first drugstore to open in Europe on October 16 1958 in a building from early 20C.  It was destroyed by fire in 1972 and rebuilt in glass and steel. At No 136 (and 1, rue Balzac) mansion from 1910, today is the car dealer Peugeot ;keeping the deco in the rooms of the first floor (2nd US). At No 144  entrance to the Tunnel or tunnel de l’Étoile, connects the avenue de la Grande-Armée passing underneath the Arc de triomphe de l’Étoile. At No 152 (corner with rue Arsène-Houssaye), here is the site where the Hôtel Musard, Mme de Loynes had her literary meeting early in the 20C  with the critic Jules Lemaitre. And onwards on the avenue….!

I hope I gave you a good glimpse of this Avenue des Champs-Elysées , the very essence of Paris and recently a push to bring it back to its glory days from the noise and elements at night. Hope you enjoy the post and of course a must to walk it in Paris!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Paris tourist office on the Champs-Elysées: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73130/Avenue-des-Champs-Elysees

The Paris tourist office on what is around the Champs-Elysées:  https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/paris-and-its-neighbourhoods/paris-eiffel-tower/On-and-around-the-Champs-Elys%C3%A9es

The Committee on the Champs-Elysées to showcase and support businesses of all sorts in French: https://www.comite-champs-elysees.com/

A private webpage on Information on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées on businesses and events even if the info can be outdated: http://www.xn--avenue-des-champs-lyses-sccd.com/

There you have it a bit more on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées! A must at least once to get the frenzy feel of Paris.

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

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