Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2011
From journal My Paris Top Five
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
July 28, 2010
From journal The most popular tourist destinations in the world.
by wanderer 2005
January 27, 2005
From journal Right or Left Bank?
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
May 25, 2004
By The NumbersIn the early morning I left in search of adventure, leaving Karen to write her own story in the local Bastille food markets. An overcast sky cast muted light over the pedestrianised streets south of place St-Michel. The narrow alleys date back to Roman times(1) but I was content to explore the elegant ironwork of retired 17th and 18th century grandeur.
These houses have hosted authors, politicians and scholars – even Napoleon lived here in 1795 for the exorbitant rent of 3F a week. On St-Severin I was awestruck by a collection of 13th century facades now almost absorbed by encroaching 21st century progress.
A small fluffy dog with a red coat trotted past with its proud looking owner, then stopped, and a dark-haired man in white overalls emerged from a boulangerie, both apparently curious about this guy with pink glasses taking pictures of walls.
Half-timber facades added an air of prestige to nearby rue Galande and several tiny shops showcased unique decorative homewares, art and antiques, their extraordinary designs screaming exclusivity and overdraft. I thanked myself for leaving Karen to explore the local food markets. My arrival at square Rene-Viviani(2) was rewarded with views across the Seine to Notre Dame and a lovely shady park containing Paris’s oldest tree, an acacia planted in 1601.
Adjacent the park at 39 rue de la Bucherie is Paris’s smallest house. Built in the 16th century, it looked right at home next to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore now run by Walt Whitman’s grandson. An impatient looking black cat waited outside the closed store. I offered it a pastry morsel leftover from breakfast but it spat at me and skulked away.
At place Maubert(3) the small square overflowed with the smells, colour and cacophony of one of Paris’s finest local outdoor food markets. A reconnaissance revealed disgusting pastries, fat flavourful olives and delicate luminescent roses. I bought samples of all three, a café amercano, and relaxed for a while before journeying down arcaded avenues to the neo-classical Pantheon(4).
Inside the magnificent former church are entombed many of France’s great men but outside there was more commotion as a wedding ceremony concluded and the participants spilled into the square.
The bride was beautiful but appeared depressed, a fashionable look I was told by one of her friends. I managed to talk them both into a picture so I’d at least have some evidence that I’d experienced high culture in Europe’s sophisticated capital. I gave them both a red rose, but the bride’s scowl endured.
The Musee de Cluny(5) was my last stop, offering an unparalleled collection of medieval art on a site more than 1700 years old -- an amazing shrine to culture, wealth and prestige in a city that oozes the 21st century equivalent.
From journal Zen and the art of discovering Paris
June 14, 2003
Rue Galande was laid out in 1202 and still features some 16th and 17th C houses; the most picturesque part of the street is between rue Dante and rue Lagrange. Constructed in 1772, rue de Poissy was laid through the gardens of the former Bernardins College (now at No 18 – 24) which was founded in 1246 to educate monks. After it was closed down at the Revolution, the building served as a staging point for prisoners condemned as galley slaves. At 12, rue De Bièvre, a statue of St-Michel, slaying the dragon surmounts entrance of the former St-Michel college.
From journal Paris in May
Rue de la Huchette, which starts here, is one of Paris’ oldest streets, dating back to 1284. Its name means "street of the little through". The street was already famous in the 17th century for its roasts and for its cutpurses. Rue de la Huchette remained disreputable into the 20th century and in the 1920s boasted three brothels, the most famous of which, Le Panier Fleuri, was on the south-eastern corner of rue Xavier-Privas. Rue de la Huchette also has a famous jazz club, le Caveau de la Huchette, at number 5. It was once a meeting place of the Templars of the Rose Croix, complete with an underground passage to the Petit Châtelet dungeons. Then it was taken over in 1772 by the Freemasons, who turned it into a secret lodge and added another passage running under the cloister of Saint-Séverin. During the Revolution the building was requisitioned by the Convention and used as a court of justice and prison.
No. 10 was a hotel in 1795 where Bonaparte lived for several months. The little theater at No 23 still produces Eugene Ionesco’s "La Cantarice Chanve" and "La Leçon" premiered here in 1957 (tickets 12 - 15€). If rue de la Huchette seems a squeeze, look at rue du Chat-qui-Péche (the Fishing Cat street) – the smallest street in Paris (length 20m, and 1.5 m wide). Now turn right. Xavier Privas (1863-1927) whose name the street (on your left) bears, was a popular French songwriter of the 1890s. Eighty meters down the road and you reached Rue St-Severin; famous church is just around the corner. Abbot Prévost d’Exiles lived at 12, rue St-Severin (the narrowest building in town) and wrote "Manon Lescaut", the only one of his 100+ novels remembered today. Rue de la Parcheminorie owes its name to the presence until the late 15th C of many parchment makers. At No 29, Claude Dubission Hôtel (1736) is a fine example of the Lois XV style.
May 11, 2003
From journal National Museum of Picasso
October 3, 2001
From journal Paris - first touch
Northern Va Suburbs of DC, Virginia
March 27, 2001
From journal "Secrets of the Louvre"