Travel Guide For Life; M.A.C.

What I See From Mountain To Sea

A church in Paris. I just walked past this church while exploring the streets of Paris (I fancied myself a Flâneur while in Paris but I was not strictly so). It is Notre Dame de Lorette. The address is 18 bis Rue de Châteadun. It does look more like a Roman temple than a church and not very inviting but it is very lovely and cozy inside. This church is about 1 mile north of L'île de la Cité. When I first explored l'îl de la Cité, I wondered how such a small island would be chosen to contain a major population center. The Seine River definitely was a lot wider during the Roman occupation (no cement quais yet) but I do not know if the island was any larger.

If I remember correctly,  the first historical record of Paris was written by Julius Caesar. He wrote about his battles in Gaul and the island where Paris started was significant because he met with chiefs of Gauls' tribes here in 53 BCE because he wanted to see what kind of support he can get from them.  Also, there was a complicated battle here between Julius  Caesar's general, Titius Labienus, and the rebellious Parisii tribe which lived on the island. This battle occurred approximately 1 year after the meeting in 53 BCE.  Of course, the village on the island was not yet known as Paris. It was called Lutetia by Julius Caesar, Lucotocia in Strabos' writings, and Louchetia in the description by Julian. Strabo was a Greek geographer who was working during the rule of the first Roman emperor Augustus. Julian was a Roman emperor, 14th or 15th emperor in the Constantine dynasty of emperors. Lutetia is the most common name of the village on the island where Paris began. Before Julius Caesar, it was called Leucotecia by the Celtic tribes who were nomadic but started to settle down in the area around 4,500 BCE. Eventually, they started to grow crops, trade with other communities, and build a city. They also built the first wall to be erected on L'ile de la Cité. Also,there was the Gaul village of Nemetodorum just north west of the island approximately where the business district of Paris called La Dèfense is now located. It is known as the Natarre district now. 

This sculpture can be found in the Louvre Museum. It is a metaphorical depiction of the Tiber River.

Once Julius Caesar subdued the Celtic Parisii, the Romans built a fine city that they called Lutetia. There are remains of the Roman city of Lutetia underneath the Parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. Everyone can see them by visiting the Archeological Crypt Museum near ground zero in front of the cathedral. After  the Roman takeover of the region, they called the island "Lutetia Parisiurum". This name meant "Marsh of the Parisii People." About 400 years after these events with Julius Ceasar fighting against the Gaul tribes for control of the area, we now find Julian becoming Caesar, emperor of Rome, right here in Lutetia. So if he called the village (by now a full fledged Roman city) Louchetia, then all the above possible names are probably correct at one time or another. The sojourn and actions of Emperor Julian are actually the major part of the corroborated history with evidence that we have for the first 500 years or so concerning Lutetia. There is little else. Emperor Julian would reside in Lutetia for the winter months during the military campaigns he was conducting around France. He wrote a book or journal called the Misopogon and he called Lutetia, "the little darling city" where one will see the "old virtues" still being practiced. 

There is another important event that has been recorded from Lutetia during this time which Hilaire Belloc wrote about. He wrote; "Here he kept for a few months his quasi-pagan court, and from that circle produced the first book ever published in Paris-- a shorter edition of Galen, by one Oribasius, a doctor." Much happened in Lutetia after the reign of emperor Julian because other emperors followed him, such as Valentinan and Gratian.

The best evidence we have of these years of Roman rule on L'île de la Cité are the things they made that still exist. Around the year 20 CE, the Sailors Guild erected a limestone monument outside of a temple. On it were carvings of Gallic and Roman gods. It was discovered by construction workers underneath Notre Dame Cathedral in 1710. It can now be seen in the Musée de Cluny. This museum is very appropriate for the monument because it is in a medieval building. I imagine that this is one of the oldest buildings in Paris because it a medieval building that is still standing. Rue Saint-Jacques is even older. I do not know what the Romans called it but it was their main road leading south. By 200 CE, they had built their Forum, the Arénes de Lutèce, and their viaduct called Thermes de Cluny both of which still exist in part. The museum is in a former Abbey of the Cluny monks and the Thermes de Cluny are connected to it with a huge frigidorium that was also built by the Romans. It seems we have the first suburb of Lutetia Parisiurum being built up around these grand edifices. 

Another sculpture that is displayed in the Louvre Museum. This is a Roman copy of the original Greek sculpture that was made with bronze. This is Athena Velletri and it was discovered in 1797 at the ruins of a Roman villa near Velletri. The Romans created many copies of Athena Velletri but this Louvre Museum example is special because it stands taller than other copies at 10 feet. Athena is a war goddess but she is in her peaceful mode here.

Before Paris became Christian,  there were several saints and emperors (besides Julius Ceaser) who stayed there. There were; Bishop Saint Denis,  Sainte Genevieve, Julien the Apostate who later became Roman Emperor, Roman Emperor Valentinian I, and Saint Martin of Tours that I know about. Then around 250 CE, Lutetia Parisiurum began to become Christian. There are a few important people and events from the next century or 2 but there is much legend and hagiography mixed with the history. Saint Denis, Saint Genevieve, and Clovis are a few of the main characters of this period.

Saint Denis was in  Lutetia Parisiurum by 225 CE (I surmise) although the year of his birth is not known. He was martyred in the year 250. He sought to bring Christianity to the region and hagiography states that he was decapitated (for his faith and preaching) on the hill that became known as martyrs' hill (Montmartre) and he then picked up his head and walked with it in his arms for about 6 miles while his head continued to preach about repentance. There are many depictions of this throughout Paris, even on Notre Dame Cathedrals' facade. 

Saint Genevieve was born in Nanterre which is about 9 miles to the north west of the island about where La Défense business district now stands. She was born in 419 and died in 512. She is greatly revered by the French and she was actually made the Patron Saint of Paris. Her gravesite is in another of the very first buildings (that still exist more or less intact) that had been constructed in that first suburb of L'îl de Cité, Saint Etienne du Mont. The bridges of the main Roman road that crossed the island had fortifications on the banks on either side of the Seine River which were an integral part of Lutetia Parisiurum but the homes that were being built around Saint Etienne du Mont and Thermes de Cluny were like a village. With the rise of Christianity, there arose other such villages around the island; Saint Germain des Prés (originally called Saint-Vincent until after  the first bishop of Paris, Saint-Germain was interred there), Saint-Germain L'Auxerrois, Saint Paul, and Saint Marcel. Around these churches rose communities that were like satellite communities to L'île de la Cité. The most ancient would have been the Basilique des Apôtres and St. Etienne du Mont. Basilique des Apôtres would become Basilica of Saint Genevieve. This became the Pantheon after the French Revolution of 1789.

Germanic tribes started invading the Roman communities along the Seine River and the population decided to retreat back onto L'île de la Cité. They decided to build a wall around a good part of the island and the Roman amphitheater suffered greatly from it because a large portion of the amphitheater was taken apart so its stones could be used for the wall. Moving back onto L'île de la Cité, the people destroyed the bridges and built the wall mostly enclosing the eastern side of the island. 

Besides the Germanic tribes attacking Lutetia Parisiurum, there were also the Vikings and the Franks. It was the Franks who eventually subdued all of what is now France. Clovis I was the first to become king of this new kingdom.  He was born in Belgium and his father was Childeric I (the king who founded Saint-Vincent church in 453). In 486 CE  he defeated all of Roman Gaul. In 511, he makes Lutetia Parisiurum his capital city and renamed it simply "Paris ".  His dynasty is known as the Merovingian Dynasty. Clovis I died shortly after he made Lutetia Parisiurum his capital city and renamed it Paris. After his death, his 4 sons divided his kingdom into Austrasia, Neustria, Burgandy, and Aquitaine. Paris, along with Orléans and Tours, were major cities of Neustria. Their Merovingian dynasty lasted until 751 when Pepin the Short deposed Childeric III. The new dynasty of Pepin the Short is known as the Carolingian Dynasty. 

The most famous king of the Carolingian dynasty is well known even to me 😄, Charlemagne which is the French version of Charles the Great. He was the son of Pepin the Younger. He united a good portion of Europe and even became Holy Roman Emperor. He ruled France from 768 until 771 as co-ruler with his younger brother until his younger brother (Carloman) died. Pope Leo III crowned him as Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas day in the year 800. Did they already celebrate Christmas by the year 800? I guess that would be interesting to research. Anyway, Charlemagne is also called the Father of Europe and he became devoted to the Catholic church, helping to spread Christianity throughout Europe forcing tribes to convert to Christianity. Louis the Pious became Holy Roman Emperor after his father, Charlemagne, died of old age. The Vikings started rising up and attacking his territory in great numbers because of how Charlemagne had subdivided their Saxon territory that made up what is now called Scandinavia. During this time, the Parisians built another wall on the north bank of the Seine River around what is now Rue de Rivoli and Rue de l'Arbre-Sec. Rue de Rivoli passes along the north side of where the Louvre Museum is now. Rue de l'Arbre-Sec (dry tree street😄) runs along the east side of the ancient Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois church which is just east of the Louvre Museum. Finally, Charles the Simple (Charles III who ruled from 893-923) made a treaty with the Viking chieftain Rollo who later became Rollo of Normandy after becoming Christian, marrying into a noble French family, and showing loyalty to the defense of Paris. These events are actually depicted in the not 100% accurate TV series "Vikings ". Another interesting event in Paris at this time was the creation of a Fun Fair that still exists. It was created in 957 by King Lothair ( or Lothaire) and is now called Foire du Trône.

Between 870 and 990, under the leadership of Charles the Bald, Bishop Gozlin, and Hugh Capet, the bridges Grand Pont and Petit Pont were built and rebuilt and reinforced, defenses strengthened, sieges by the Vikings were repelled, and a siege by Roman Emperor Otto II was also repelled. By the year 1000, the city of Paris was stronger and had hope for the future again.

 

Around 970, there was the dynasty of Hugh the Great and Hugh Capet. Hugh the Great was the son of Robert  the  Strong who dominated over a weak and eroding Paris after many years of attacks and sieges. Hilaire Belloc wrote of Paris at this time; "The Norman invasions left behind them confusion and wreckage. Men wondered in the worst of the siege whether the order of things had not changed forever; they doubted whether the empire and the Christian name would stand. As the tide of the sea-men ebbed northward again, the city looked around at desolation only. The mark of the flood was on the ruin of burnt abbeys and on the broken walls; dead men were still unburied in the fields, but the town still stood." It was a Paris in this condition that a military leader of unknown origin like Robert the Strong could create a new dynasty of rulers over Paris. 

Hugh Capet was elected king in 987 and lived in a castle built where the Palais de Justice now stands. It is now part of the complex that includes the Concierge fortress and Saint Chapelle today, but he and the other Capetian kings spent more time in Orleans and Vincennes. Robert the Pious ruled from 996 to 1031 and he remained in Paris much longer than did his predecessors. He had the palace rebuilt and also had chapel Saint Nicholas built where Saint Chappelle is now located. 

Reconstruction of several churches like Saint Germain des Prés and Saint Martin des Champs Priory began. In 1014, they began building a new nave for Saint-Germain des Prés and King Henry I commissioned the reconstruction of Saint-Martin des Champs in 1060. The 2 buildings of this complex that still exist  today were the nave and  the priory refectory. This is where the last trial by combat was held. I wrote about this trial by combat in more detail earlier. It was between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris. These 2 buildings that still exist are now the Musée des Arts et Métiers and they are  very Gothic and very impressive.

Work also begins on some of the most well known buildings of Paris.  And the new architectural style that originated in northern France, the Gothic, is in vouge. We have the Basilica Royal de Saint Denis, which was completed around 1144, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, (replacing  Èglise Etienne which stood in its location previously), begun in 1163 and completed in 1345, and the Louvre which was begun in 1190 and  completed many times 😃😃😃.

Students began to arrive into Paris to study at the Episcopal school of Notre Dame church around 1010. Paris also acquired more importance in France because, in 1112, King Louis VI raised the status of the Basilica of Saint Denis resulting in Paris becoming the De facto Capital of the Capetians Kings,  overshadowing Orleáns. I guess that is why so many royal personalities have been interred there. Also , in 1113. Petit Pont was rebuilt and Grand Pont was completed. Grand Pont is now known as Pont au Change.

Around 1120, many teachers and their students moved from the cloister of the first Notre Dame Cathedral, which was becoming too crowded, to the area around Saint Etienne du Mont church on Montagne Saint Genevieve, where the Roman Forum used to be located. Their gathering there for academics began what would eventually become known as the Latin Quarter of Paris where many colleges and universities,  some non existing and others still going strong today, were created. 

In 1137, Champeaux (little fields) is created as a market place to replace the market area of Place de Grève which surrounded Hôtel de Ville area. This area was the location of Maison aux Piliers before Hôtel de Ville. In 1183, 2 market buildings were built at Champeaux and this market place would latter become the famous Les Halles. The Holy Innocents Cemetery was also established in this area. In fact, the modern Les Halles shopping mall and Place Joachim-du-Belly are located there now . It was first used for individual sepulchers but eventually contained mass graves with pits that could hold about 1,500 corpses. When the pits were no longer sufficient to hold any more bodies, there were charnel houses built along the wall of the cemetery. The skeletons would be excavated then placed into the charnel houses. Then the pits could be used again. There was also a mural painted on the back wall of the cemetery that was called the Danse Macabre. It endured until 1669 when the wall it was on was destroyed because the street behind it was widened. Because of overuse, the skeletons had to be removed and reburied  below ground in what are now the much visited Paris Catacombs . There was also a fountain in the midst of this cemetery called the Fountain of the Innocents and it still exists. 

In 1180, The first official college of Paris was founded by an English expatriate named Messire Josse de Londre for 18 impoverished clerical students located in the Hôtel Dieu. The college was called Dix Huit (the College of the 18).

 

The next major defensive wall that was built for Paris was that of King Philip Augustus. Many remnants of this wall can still be seen throughout Paris. It took approximately 20 years to build it. Paris was one of the last northern European cities to build such a major wall like this one. Hilaire Belloc wrote that "If Paris had never since the Romans given herself a new defense, it was because a kind of doubt hung over the nature of the city." He also wrote that "...by its building a certain kind of seal and termination was put upon the first stage in the development of the city." The commission to build this wall was made around 1190 and Philip Augustus did not stay in Paris to oversee the construction of it. He had departed Paris for a crusade. He also commissioned the building of the Louvre Fortress. So a good portion of Philip Augustus' plans were being executed while he was out fighting during the third crusade. The right bank portion of the wall was completed in 1208. The left bank portion of the wall was completed in 1213. Hilaire Belloc wrote, "Starting from the river, just where the Rue du Louvre joins the quay, it went northward to the site of the Oratoire; thence a long curve east and north took it in a slant across what are now the streets north of St. Eustache; it ran east and west for a little way, about on the line of the Rue de l'Ours, then curved down southward to the river, just within the site of the present Rue St. Paul and excluding the church of that name. It thus reached the river about opposite the middle of the Isle St. Louis."

Philip Augustus was known to have commissioned other works like the rebuilding of the palace that later became the Concierge prison where Queen Marie Antoinette was imprisoned, paving many of the main streets (with  cobblestone) that had not been improved since the Romans created them, enclosing the Cemetery of the Innocents, and arranging for the Les Halles to become an official  city market rather than just a swamp surrounded farmers market that it was before . 

Former Saint-Martin des Champs Priory and now the Museum of Arts and Meters. Here is one of the few remaining clear examples of medieval gothic architecture that still exists in Paris. .

After 1200

Around 1200, the rise of the University as a legal institution occured. At this time, houses were being built for the students in the clos Garlande area that the abbot of Saint Genevieve had purchased. Clos de Garlande is the area along the ancient Roman road  Rue Garlande that borders on Place Maubert. The name of Quai des l'Ecoles and Place des l'Ecoles recall the time when students gathered around their teachers in the cloisters of monastic halls near churches like Saint Germain l'Auxerrois and Saint-Germain. Quai des l'Ecoles partly became Rue du Petit-Bourbon and then in 1868 Quai des l'Ecoles, Quai de Petit-Bourbon, and Quai du Louvre were all merged together with the name Quai du Louvre. One of the most important Universities was that of Abby Saint Genevieve. Many clerks and clerics were trained here; clerks for the government administration and clerics for the church. One scholar here was Pierre Abelard who lived from 1079-1142. It seems he had quite an illustrious career having  instructed some 5,000 students but he got himself embroiled in a scandal by having a romantic relationship with the nun, Héloise. The church punished Pierre Abelard by castrating and exiling him. Saint Genevieve does not exist anymore but the church it was built adjacent to DOES still  stand. It is Saint Etienne du Mont. This church contains the shrine of the patron saint of Paris, Saint Genevieve. It also has the shrines of Blaise Pascal, Jean Racine, and Jean-Paul Marat. In the chapter about the later middle ages of his book "Paris ", Hilaire Belloc wrote; "The College Montaigu lay just south-west of Saint Etienne du Mont, so that I must in passing  mention this church and its neighbor, the Abbey of Saint Genevieve. Saint Etienne was rebuilt during the Renaissance and it is difficult to define the character of this earlier church. It was presumably designed - as Saint Genevieve had been- during the thirteenth century, and both replaced the primitive Merovingian Basilica that had suffered or perhaps been destroyed in the sieges of the ninth century. It ought, one would imagine, to have rendered insignificant by the presence of so great a neighbor as the shrine of the Patron Saint of Paris, but for some reason or other, though the 2 churches actually touched,the less known one maintained a certain importance of its own. At present, of course, since the destruction of Saint Genevieve and the secularization of the Pantheon, it takes a special place in Paris, and serves a kind of combination of it's old purpose and that of the Metropolitan Abbey."

By 1200, Montagne Saint-Genevieve was quite crowded with the teachers and their students. Many students were from poor families and were being housed in collegia pauperum magistrorum where they slept and ate. There were conflicts between the students and the townspeople of the surrounding neighborhoods. Eventually, King Philip II became involved and began the process of organizing the teachers and students into a formal and legal corporation that Pope Innocent III recognized as a university. Pope Innocent III actually studied here himself. Because they used Latin for the studies, the neighborhood became known as the Latin Quarter and it is still called that. In 1257, Robert de Sorbon opened a part of the university that became the most famous college of the university system. He was the chaplain to King Louis IX and the college bears his name to this day; Sorbonne University. Many well known people taught and studied here such as  Roger Bacon, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Bonaventure, and Cardinal Richelieu (who became the headmaster there in 1622).

Between 1242 and 1248 the Sainte-Chapelle was built on the site of the previous chapel. Louis IX (Saint Louis) wanted an elaborate Royal chapel where holy relics like the crown of thorns could be kept. King Philip IV (1285-1314) reconstructed the adjacent fortress into a palace with a private walled garden at the end of Îl de la Cité. He had a dock built there so he could travel by boat between the newly reconstructed palace with the Royal Sainte-Chappelle, the  Louvre fortress, and the Tour Nesle which stood next to where the Paris Institute is now located. The Palace that stood adjacent to the Royal Sainte-Chappelle is the enormous Concierge today.

"Louvre" may come from the meaning of "block house" which makes sense because it served the purpose of standing with a defensive tower just outside the south wall of Paris and as a safe residence for the royal family. The present phase of construction on the Louvre fortress was being completed at the kings' own expense around 1200. In his book (published in 1900) "Paris ", Hilaire Belloc wrote about the tower; "The first of these designs is especially evident in the high Tower built over the river ("the corner tower " as they call it in the middle ages), with a chain stretched right across the stream to the Tour de Nesle on the far side..."

This is a photo of the Painting that León Lhermitte was commissioned to paint for Paris city hall around 1888. He chose Les Halles as the subject. This painting is now in the Petite Palais Museum. The artist depicted a delivery of products to a very crowded and lively market. Les Halles shopping center and Place Joachim-du-Belly are just the opposite of this scene now. Les Halles shopping center is really modern and beautiful. None of the buildings depicted around the original Les Halles in this painting exist today.

After leaving the Louvre Museum, walking a straight course toward Place de Concorde, we first passed the lovely Arch de Carrousel and then entered the Jardine Tuileries. Queen Catherine di Medici had the Palais Tuileries built here around 1564. Tuileries indicates that tile factories previously were located here. One hundred years later, around 1664, the gardner of King Louis XIV created a formal French style garden much like what we see today. Unfortunately, the Palais Tuileries was destroyed by the fighters of the Paris Commune who had taken over the palace during a revolution around 1870. The place where the palace stood is now just an extended part of the huge garden. .

The lovely fountain in the midst of Jardine Tuileries surrounded by the iconic green chairs that are found in several parks of Paris. Jardine Tuileries is more than 500 years old, created as the royal garden of Queen Catherine di Medicis' Palais Tuileries, but it was opened to the public in 1667. It became a public park of Paris after the French Revolution of 1789.

After leaving the Jardine Tuileries, we arrived at Place de Concorde. This is one of the most famous (you can say infamous) and largest squares of Paris. This is where the guillotine that was used to behead King Louis XVI had been set up. It was first named Place Louis XV but was renamed Place de la Revolution during the revolution and reign of terror that resulted in the beheading of King Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, and thousands of others. There are 2 fountains very similar to this one as well as an Egyptian obelisk from Luxor that stands between them. One of the fountains is the Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation and the other is the Fountain of Maritime Navigation. One influence on the theme of water for the fountains is the fact that the Ministry of Navy is located at the Place de Concorde. The fountains were completed in 1840 during the reign of King Louis-Philip. So the obelisk was here before the fountains because it was brought to Paris in 1833 and set up in the center of Place de Concorde in 1836.

This is what the obelisk looks like and the other fountain can be seen just beyond it.

After we left Place de Concorde, I wanted to bring my family to Petit Palais but I led them south across the Seine River via Pont de la Concorde. We slowly walked along Quai d'Orsay and then came to Pont Alexander III. We VERY slowly crossed Pont Alexander III towards Grande Palais and Petit Palais. This is one photo taken while we walked across the bridge.

Another photo taken on Pont Alexander III. This is looking down the Seine River toward the south. The barges on the river could very well include a restaurant barge because they are quite common.

After we crossed Pont Alexander III and passed the Grand Palais on our left, we crossed Avenue Winston Churchill to enter Petit Palais (always free admission). Voila. The first sculpture here is called The Defense of Paris. .

Another photo from the Petit Palais. I do not know the name of this sculpture is though 😔 sorry.

Grand Payson was created around 1900 by Jules Dalou and it is being displayed in Petit Palais Museum. Payson means peasant.

This is The Winners of The Bastille in front of the Town Hall and it was painted by Paul Delaroche around 1835. It is being displayed in the Petit Palais Museum.

A painting that depicts the original Les Halles market place (many years after the area was first dedicated as a market place because Paris was not built up then as it is in this painting), before it was turned into a modern shopping mall. Les Halles was created just north of the Seine River to provide L'île de la Cité with everything the island population needed. It was an ancient market place but now there is a huge, very modern building with typical shops that are national and international. This painting is displayed in the Petit Palais. .

Saint Germain des Prés. This is one of the oldest churches built in what was a field out side the walls of Paris but eventually became center of one of the earliest suburbs of Paris. In this modern era with motor vehicles, it is located within what is now considered central Paris.

Interior shot of Saint Germain des Prés.

Another interior shot of Saint Germain des Prés.

Arch de Carrousel, North end of Grand Gallerie of the Louvre, and Jardine Tuileries beyond.

Arch de Triomphe Carousel. It is located just west of the Louvre Museum where the Palais Tuileries used to be located before it was destroyed during the French revolution of 1871, during the Commune. It stands in line with the Jardine Tuileries, Place de Concorde, Blvd. Champs Elysée, and the Arch de Triomphe ( the big one 😃).

Liberty Leading The People is in the Louvre Museum. It was painted by Eugene Delacroix in 1830. He was a leader of the Romantic School of painting and he lived from 1798-1863. The subject of the painting is Lady Liberty leading the people past the fallen fighters who were uprising in July 1830 to depose King Charles X who was the last Boubon King of France. He was replaced by Louis Philippe who was the very last king of France. I guess the French got tired of making revolutions to get rid of bad kings. 😄😄

The Sun King Louis XIV. This painting is in the Louvre Museum. On the other hand, this king was NOT deposed by revolution. He died of old age. In this painting, he is wearing the robe that he wore for his coronation. He was king of France from 14 May 1643 until 5 September 1715. 5th of September is the day he passed away because of gangrene. He died at Versailles Palace because that is where he lived and held court. He was probably a good king for France. He did take his reign very seriously. His monarchy was absolute throughout France. His foreign policy was very aggressive and his France was a truly great France. During his reign, France was the dominant power in Europe. Art and other cultural aspects of French life became very important and much cultivated at this time. Thus, his long 72 year reign (one of the longest in the history of monarchies) can be considered as a golden age for France. He kept his court at Versailles which was like a den of opulence (a very large den to be sure). The nobility from around France would have to travel there to take care of business and spend a few days or weeks in a rather decadent life style. Any resolve that any nobles had to complain about or plot against the king would have been diminished this way. The sun King was also able to distance himself and his court some ways from the population of Paris. Holding his court in Versailles, the center of government was in France, not just Paris. I do not believe Versailles could have been considered a suburb of Paris as I think it is today. Thus, his court represented the power of a strong France rather than a strong Paris. He said;" It is legal because I wish it." He also said; " Has God forgotten all I have done for him?" . This painting, created by Hyacinthe Riqaud in 1701, was commissioned as a gift for King Philip of Spain but they liked the painting too much at Versailles so they never sent it to Spain. 🙄...

I know that this is not from Paris. It is actually from Egypt. But NOW it IS in Paris. If you want to see it, Go to the Ancient Egyptian antiquities section of the Louvre Museum.

I know that this elaborate column is not from Paris. It is actually from the Palace of Darius the Great which was in Susa which was on the south west side of the Persian empire. But NOW it IS in Paris. If you want to see it, go to the Near Eastern antiquities section of the Louvre Museum.

Cyrus the Great conquered the area of Susa around 540 BCE. and created a metropolis there that was made the capital of the Persian empire by Cambyses II around 520 BCE. and Darius the Great created his monumental palace there because he favored Susa over Persepolis. His palace had 36 columns like the one pictured here.

This fountain will be found in the center of Place Vosges. This is a very nice place to relax with a gourmet ice cream. That is what I did. There is also a beautiful museum where Victor Hugo lived. It was free entrance when I arrived. I just signed a guest book or something like that.

As displayed in the Victor Hugo Museum.

Victor Hugo's home did not have a wide, expansive floor plan but it was quite tall. I went all the way to the top floor because there is a bathroom up there. This photo shows the view from the floor just below the highest level. Victor Hugo had his living quarters on the second floor of 6 Place Vosges from 1832-1848. The architecture is a Louis XIII style. The museum opens at 1000 and I believe the permanent exhibits at the museum are always free.

Here are a couple of books Victor Hugo had in his library (I think). He was quite a famous author and many people will already know that he wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a major impetus to start renovating the Great Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame which was suffering from many years of neglect. .

I am climbing up to the second floor of Victor Hugo's home (well, the museum that they made of his home), and thought that this frieze on the wall between 2 flights of stairs should be photographed. I think it is rather lovely

I also thought that I should photograph this painting in the Victor Hugo Museum because of how dramatic this painting is.

I took this photo during one of my early morning photo walks. This location is at 20 Boulevard Saint Martin. This theater has Cabaret shows sometimes. The building was built around 1675. When we were traveling in Scandinavia, we kept our largest suitcase at Fanny Bag Couriers which is a few doors to the east of this theater.

A very interesting display that covers one of the walls on an upper floor of Victor Hugo's home. I believe this is on the 3rd floor.

Unfortunately, this is the last photo I took inside Victor Hugo Museum. This is a portrait of him in his later years. He seems to have been a very regal man at this time.

Finally, one last photo I took at Place Vosges. This sculpture is located near the fountain that is posted at the beginning of this section.

Earnest Hemmingway mentioned this sculpture in his novel The Sun Also Rises. He saw this statue a lot because it stands just outside one of his favorite restaurants, La Closerie des Lilas. It is just behind the trees behind the statue. This is just north of the Montparnasse neighborhood and south of the Observatorie area.

Fontaine de l'Observatorie stands just north of the Marachal Ney sculpture outside of Closerie des Lilas, south of Jardine Luxembourg. It is also called the Four Parts of the World Fountain. It was created by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.

Also in the Jardine de l'Observatorie area. This sculpture is of a French officer who explored Vietnam, a greater portion of the Mekong River valley and the Yangtze River in China.

Another view of Les Closerie des Lilas. The Marachal Ney sculpture is just to the right of the restaurant. I wanted to eat breakfast here but it was not yet open so I went to Les Doux Magots and had omelet natural with coffee creme.

We walked about 15 minutes east from Les Halles shopping center and metro stop, past Musée des Arts et Métiers, to arrive at Place Georges Pompidou. This menu board lured us in. There is a shopping center and art museum in the pipe and scaffold style building on the other side of the square. Center Pompidou is surrounded by pipes and scaffolding like structures but they are not temporary. They are part of the avant-garde architecture of the building.

On the other side of the menu board is the restaurant and a place to eat 😀

A look at the restaurant itself. We did not go into Center Pompidou to eat because the list of pizzas on the menu board was interesting and also because we were on the way to Orly Express Bus station and this was the closest, thus quickest option for lunch.

The Orly Express Bus Station is located here. Denfert Richereu is the metro station that is located in the building behind the ticket kiosk here. This metro station serves line 4 and line 6. Place Denfert-Rochereau is here too. It is named after Pierre Philippe Denfert-Rochereau who was a general during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-1871. The sculpture called Lion of Belfort is located in the middle of this very large square. Belfort was the location of a siege during the Franco-Prussian war and General Pierre Philippe Denfert-Rochereau led the siege. 2 buildings that comprised part of the Barrière d'Enfer still exist here. The Barrière d'Enfer (Barrier of hell) was created in 1784-1791 as part of the Walls and gates of the Farmers General which was a tollhouse system to enforce payments of tolls on goods entering Paris. Originally there were 62 such tollhouses surrounding Paris but most were taken down by 1860 with the abolishment of the toll and the great expansion of the city. The only portions of the walls tollhouses and gates that still exist are the Rotunda of Barrière de la Villette at Place de Stalingrad, Barrière du Trône at Place de la Nation, Barrière d'Enfer at Place Denfert-Rochereau, and the Rotunda at Parc Monceau..

On one of my early morning photo walks I took this photo of a tailor's shop. The walk was just south of the Avenir Montmartre Hotel where we were staying. The name of the shop seems to indicate that the tailor is Italian This Street is Rue Meslay. .

On this photo walk, I also took this photo of a vegan shop. This is on Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth. Paris has been seeing a growing vegetarian and vegan scene with several restaurants and shops like this one for a few years now.