Travel Guide For Life;

Travelers' Trifles or What I See From Mountain To Sea by M.A.C.


Also known as the City Of Haute Culture, La Dame de Fer, Lutèce,  

Photo taken from far right side of Place Trocadéro while facing towards the south, Basilica Sacré Cœur can be seen in the background towards the left of Tour Eiffel.

Coucher de soleil sur Tour Montparnasse depuis la Tour Eiffel.

Place Trocadéro is located between where this statue stands and where the Eiffel Tower stands. Ferdinand Foch was a French general and Supreme Military Commander during WWI. He is interred at Les Invalides along with such personages like Napoleon Bonaparte and other notable members of the Napoleon family and military.

Audrey Hepburn said:


This is a photo of Apollo located at Place Trocadéro

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 Île de la Cité, I wondered how such a small island would be chosen to contain a major population center by the Romans. Seine River definitely was a lot wider during the Roman occupation (no cement quais yet) and the island may have been a bit smaller. It did not take many years for the population of Paris to grow to the point where this church is located. It is not well known by visitors to Paris but it does have some renown for Parisians. Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Georges Bizet were all baptized here. The funeral mass for Théodore Géricault was held here also. If you walk around this church, you will come to the south end of Rue des Martyrs which is one of the streets of Paris that I most want to live on for 3-4 weeks. Why this street? I have a book called The Only Street In Paris. The author is Elaine Sciolino. The book also has a subtitle; Life On The Rue Des Martyrs. This book is a very convincing case for a nice, long, sojourn on this street

Very short dictionary.

Right bank = Paris North of the Seine River. Rive Droit

Left bank = Paris South of the Seine River. Rive Gauche

Arrondissement = The divisions of Paris. There are 20 and they all have distinct characteristics. These sections of Paris start at the most ancient neighborhood of Paris (Île de la Cité) and spiral out and around this island and Île Saint-Louis. 

Marie = Administration building that is found in each arrondissement. They are like city hall except that they are responsible only for the arrondissement where they are located. 

Flâner = To loaf about, to stroll around aimlessly.

Flâneur = A man who is a loafer, a man who strolls with no other motivation besides walking around.

Flâneuse = A woman who is a loafer, a woman who strolls with no other motivation besides walking around.

Napoléon I = Napoléon Bonaparte


You have your plane reservations completed? Now get your event reservations taken care of. This link is one good way to do that with ease: 

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 the 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 is 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. 

A theory expounded by Rabelais:

Rabelais wrote a fantastical and satiracle story called Gargantua. There is an episode in the story that gives a possible etymology of Paris' name. Gargantua is a giant who climbs to the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. After he noticed a crowd of people gathered around the cathedral, he commenced to urinate on them, drowning " 280,018 of them without women and children." The survivors  ran off cursing:

"By Saint Futin the apostle"

"By Saint Vital Parts!"

"By our Lady, woe is me:

We are all awash in pee, per ris."

(Per ris meaning out of laughter or mirth). 

"And that is why that town is now called Paree.

Before that it was called Leukecia, which, as Strabo says ( in Book 4) means nice and white - on account of the white thighs of the ladies in the aforesaid place."


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'île 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. The wall that they built was about 22 feet or 8 meters high about 8 feet or 2.7 meters wide. No portions of that wall exists today but its location where rue de la Colombe exists can be seen with the double row of cobblestones in the street. The width of the wall can easily be seen in front of 6 rue de la Colombe.

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. 


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 " 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." The wall was at least 25 feet or 8 meters high and 9 feet or 3 meters wide. It had 70 guard towers with especially large towers at the Seine River. With the chains that they stretched across the river in the evenings, the defense of the city appeared to be quite formable. These would be the main defense of Paris for about 150 years. Many portions of the wall and many of the towers have been incorporated into the building of homes or shops. There are maps showing the perimeter of the wall so I hope to follow the walls' path next time in Paris. There are some really interesting portions of this wall and evidence of a few towers to take photos of. I especially would love to take a photo of the Tour de Jean-Sans-Peur. It was built in 1409 and has a visible portion of the wall supporting it. The tower is at 16 rue Étienne Marcel and is very photogenic. I have a book called Curiosities Of Paris. The author is Dominique Lesbros. The third chapter of the book is; On The Trail Of The City Walls. Included in this chapter is a good map that shows the perimeter of Paris that the creation of this wall provided. The whole chapter is actually a clear, easy to follow walk along the former path of the wall. It is suggested that one might prefer to use a bicycle (en vélo) than walk but a walker and hiker like me will walk. I did  see the portion of the foundation of the original Louvre fortress in the basement of the museum but I  do not remember if I made a photo of it. 

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. .

Around Rue des Poirées

Rue des Poirěes was surrounded by Petit Sorbonne on the north, Collège of Rethel on the south side, Collège des Dix-Huit, and Collège du Cluny. In 1180,the first official college of Paris was founded by an English teacher named Messier Josse de Londre. It started in the Hôtel Dieu but eventually was housed in a building on the south side of Rue des Poirées. This was the Collège Dix-Huit. It was created for 18 impoverished clerical students. (Dix-Huit means eighteen). This college no longer exists. Because this college no longer exists, neither does the Petite Sorbonne, also called Collège de Calvi, because both were merged together. These two colleges and Rue des Poirées are gone now because of the expansive renovations made on the property of Sorbonne University. I am sorry that Rue des Poirées no longer exists because I would love to be able to take photos of the place where the first official college of Paris was located as well as taking a photo of the building where Blaise Pascal lived because he lived there for a time. 

I intend to photograph all medieval elements that still exist in Paris. The huge Concierge is on the top of my list. As for the walk as described in Curiosities Of Paris, chapter 3, I will start at the basement of the Louvre Museum to make sure I have photos of the original fortress foundation there. The walk given by Dominique Lesbros also start at the Louvre Museum. The walk goes as far east as Rue Pavée then south to the Left Bank of the Seine River via Pont Marie and Pont de la Tournelle. It goes as far south as Rue Thouin then back towards the west ending at Quai de Conti where Tour de Nesle used to stand, providing an attachment for one of the chains that were extended across the river each night.

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 (dedicated to Saint Nicholas). 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..." 😀 He refers to the Seine River on the south side of Île de la Cité as a stream even though the island was a bit smaller and the river was wider during Roman occupation. 

King Philip IV (1285-1314) is the one who first had the Louvre reconstructed from a fortress into a royal residence. By 1254, several aristocrats started to build townhouses and mansions in a neighborhood near the Louvre. I believe that one of the first to do this was Alphonse de Poitiers who was a brother of King Louis IX.

About to enter Château de Vincennes. This castle and Bois de Vincennes are southeast of Paris. I guess that Vincennes is considered to be a suburb of Paris..

Originally a hunting lodge in what was the Bois de Vincennes was located here. It was used by King Louis VII around 1150.  King Philip Augustus and King Louis IX both expanded the buildings of the hunting lodge around 1250.. Their activities paved the way for the commission of King Charles V that created the castle we see today.

In 1274, King Philippe III (Philip the Bold) was married at this castle . In 1284, King Philippe IV (Philip the Fair) was married here also. King Louis X died here in 1316. King Philippe V died at this castle in 1322. King Charles IV died here in 1328.

Pass through the huge gate of Château de Vincennes, walk a while, turn around, and you will see this view. The brown door on the left is where the ticket office and souvenir shop is.

Further into the massive inner courtyard, this view shows the keep, or Donjon.

This tower stands about 155 feet tall (52 meters) so it is the tallest fortified medieval tower in Europe. It was commissioned to be built by King Philippe VI around 1338. The royal family lived in these buildings for some time and King Charles V had his library and study here. Louis XV lived here when he was a child, before he became king. There was also a prison for some years at the lower level and one of the prisoners was King Henry V of England who died here in 1422. Wow, I guess he had a life sentence. 🤔 Other famous people who were prisoners here were the Marquis de Sade, Diderot, and Mirabeau.

A close up of the Donjon as we start to enter. This entails walking over a moat that is now dry. All the moats are now dry. In 1940, General Maurice Gamelin unsuccessfully defended France at this castle because it was the military headquarters at the time. Today, there is a museum of Defense historical service at the Tower here. .

A view of the dry moats at Vincennes Castle. I love looking at the walls of the moats and around this area because it is easy to see the ancient character of the place.

Taking a photo with Reno. The Royal Chapel is behind him. This is the only building that requires an extra entrance fee at Château de Vincennes and the fee is very small. We did not hesitate to get the tickets and we are quite miserly.

Château de Vincennes used to be in a forest east of Paris (bois de Vincennes) but is now in an eastern suburb of Paris. King Charles V originally commissioned the building of this castle in 1340.

The tomb inside the royal chapel at Château de Vincennes. This tomb has two persons interred here. Bernardin Gigault, who died here in 1694 and Louis Antoine Duke of Enghien, who was executed here at one of the moats in 1804, are both commemorated in this small room.

Ground floor view of the Château de Vincennes Royal chapel. It is more a museum now than a place of worship. All the seats are gone and so are the religious paraphernalia. The architecture is obviously Gothic and, thinking of other chapels or churches that I posted photos of, you can be reminded of one of them because (compare both this interior and the exterior) this is like the sibling to Sainte-Chappelle on Île de la Cité. There is a photo of the Doors' former lead singer Jim Morrison walking near that altar place near those stained glass windows. Jim Morrison was probably walking from the sepulcure at the left.

Looking at the chapel from an upper floor of the Donjon keep.

Population in Paris was estimated at between 200,000 to around 270,000 people with 61,098 households in 1328. The population suffered and dropped considerately because of the first outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1348 and because of the Armagnac-Bungundian Civil War in 1407. The bubonic plague even drove the Royal Council of Paris to leave the city to hide from the disease. The first open sewers of Paris were created around this time. A large sewer lead from Place Baudoyer down to the moat of the Bastille Fort. Many streets, such as those that ran down the hills of Montmartre, had narrow sewer canals that lead to the larger canals.I guess this is one of the main reasons medieval writers often wrote about the stench of the city. There was also a sewer canal on Île de la Cité that led past the Hôtel Dieu which drained into the Seine River. It was called the Bishop's Canal. 

In 1357 Etienne Marcel, Provost of the Paris Merchant Traders, decided to buy a house at Place de Grève. This was the location of the first city hall for Paris. Place de Grève was known as a gathering point for those who had no permanent job and wanted to find a temporary job, like an employment agency. It was also an early site for public executions. A gallows for hangings stood here as well as a pillory (stocks where a prisoners head and arms would be placed in the grooves carved in a board and a similarly carved board was closed down upon the bottom board locking the prisoners' head and arms in place.) The first guillotine executions also took place here. There was also at least one burning at the stake. Although Place de Grève would later become a site of many executions, it remains the location of Paris' city hall. It is known as Hôtel de Ville now and the Paris Tourist and Convention office is on the north side of the building. 

Between 1358 and 1371 a new wall was built on the right bank of the Seine River and the old wall of Philip Augustus on the left bank was repaired. This work was commissioned by king Charles V. It was built as far east as porte Saint-Antoine, including a fortress called the Bastille. The city wall on the right bank now enclosed the Marais neighborhood and the Knights Templar complex. 

Paris is now known as the city of lights but around 1300, it was very dark at night. There is a record of only 3 official lampposts in the city's streets in the early 1300s. There were candles used as lights in the streets for about 200 years until oil made from tripe fish provided for more consistently reliable lighting with 1,200 street lamps around 1780. Lighting now was much brighter in the streets of Paris.

When King Charles VI (the Mad King) reigned between 1380 and 1422, townhouses were being built throughout Paris. Wealthy families of Europe built large townhouses that can often still be visited. Many are located in the Marais neighborhood. They usually have high walls around them. Many had lovely courtyards and gardens. One such townhouse that has only one of its walls still standing was the Hôtel de Saint-Pol. There are depictions of it so its architectural style is known. It was commissioned to be built by King Charles V in 1360. In 1393, the Bal de Ardents took place here and it ended in disaster as a huge fire occurred. Four of the noble dancers died from the fire and the others, including the King (Charles VI), who was also dancing, barely escaped. After Hôtel Saint-Pol was abandoned by the royal family, King Francis I ordered it to be sold. Furnishings were sold but the mansion itself was demolished. What can be seen today is a wall that belonged to the church that was connected to the mansion (Èglise Saint-Pol). The location of the former mansion was within the boundaries of Quai des Celestine, Rue Saint-Antoine, Rue Saint-Paul, and Rue du Petit-Musc, a huge area. To see that remaining wall, look behind Gebs Linge de Maison at 23 Neuve Saint Pierre. This location is at the eastern border of the 4th arrondissement. 

Some of the townhouses are now museums. These hôtel particular first started as residences for wealthy noble families and officials of the royal court who needed residences in Paris. Later, many of the hôtel particular were sold to such wealthy families of bankers and lawyers. Then again, there are examples of those mansions that were built for religious orders. 

One example of such a townhouse (hôtel particular), is Hôtel de Sens. It was built for the archbishops of Sens. It still stands looking much like it did in 1841, after it underwent a reconstruction. It was first built around 1345 but that building was destroyed then rebuilt in 1475, also as a residence for the archbishops of Sens. Many prelates lived there and one, Nicolas de Pellevé, even died there. It is now a French National Heritage site, since 1862, and is now owned by the city of Paris with the Forney Art Library located there. Definitely visit this location to make a photo of its facade because of a cannonball that is lodged in the wall above the entrance...🙂 The address is 7 Rue des Nonnmains d'Hyères in the 4th arrondissement. 

I thought that it would be nice to stay in a hotel that is located in a hôtel particular of the 14th century but the only possible location I found  is Le Temple de Jeanne at 125 Rue Saint Antoine in the 4th arrondissement. It looks like a really beautiful, newer hotel but I can not find any information about how much of the original building of this location actually still exists . I will probably stay at this hotel when I want to live in the Marais neighborhood because it does look like a great place to stay with reasonable prices. It is the area of Rue Saint Paul and Rue Charles V. It has a theme from Queen Jeanne de Bourbon inspiration by architect Pascal Reynaud and Sarah Lauferon who created a really lovely space. 


My page called Travel Photos has a couple of photos of the Domaine National du Palais-Royal. This photo has some of the famous stripe columns of Daniel Buren which are in the courtyard. There are about 260 columns of various heights. The Palace itself was constructed between 1633 and 1639. These columns were added to the courtyard in 1986.

The "ornamental garden" complex north of the striped columns of Daniel Buren is said to be among the most beautiful of Paris. This garden complex is classified as a "Remarkable Garden" by the French Ministry of Culture. I think this is the only garden with that classification.🤔 Marie Louise d'Orleans was the first to commission gardens to be located here. There are benches for relaxing in the shade of several species of trees (some 500 trees in fact). This garden complex was redesigned by Claude Desgot in 1633. Tree species include Lime Trees and Red Chestnut Trees. The landscape architect André Le Nôtre and the Duchess Henrietta also added their touches. This statue is at the southern side of the gardens just north of the striped columns of Daniel Buren.

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. The Seine River was a lively route for bringing merchandise into Paris. The landing at Les Halles was a major delivery point for meat products,vegetables, and all sorts of other food items. Les Halles shopping center and Place Joachim-du-Belly are just the opposite character 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 is another fountain like 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. The lamppost in the background is an example of several very unique lampposts in Paris. This lamppost was erected around 1900 so it probably has always been electric rather than converted to electric from gas.

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 what 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.

Photo of the Eiffel Tower from Place Trocadéro. There is the added benefit of a view of Tour Montparnasse in the far background. Also, the water canons are shooting water onto the people wading in the reflecting pool. Here is a joke: What is the one good thing about the Tour Montparnasse ? You can not see it from there..😄😄.

Rayhend and Reno can be seen down at the wading pool. Rayhend has a blue shirt on and Reno has no shirt on. Rayhend spent lots of time in the wading pool when the water cannons were shooting water into the pool. Reno did not enter the pool. We spent lots of time at and around the Tour Eiffel because there is a lot to see and do besides just the iconic structure itself.

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.

I know that this sarcophagus 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.

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 with Jardine Tuileries beyond.

One project of Napoleon Bonaparte. 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. 🙄...

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

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.

I had come across several of these Wallace Fountains while walking around Paris and often wondered if the water flowing through them was potable water. Then, while I was standing here thinking about my next destination, this man walked up to this Wallace Fountain and started to drink the water . 😀 Voila, the water is safe to drink 👍. I still did not drink any because I was afraid it might be safe only for the residents who would be used to the water. Since then, though, I have read that the water IS safe to drink so I will drink some Wallace Fountain water next time in Paris.

Next to La Renaissance Theater is this Theater de Port Saint Martin. It is 1 or 2 doors west of Fanny Bag Couriers where I left my largest suitcase for 9 days while I was traveling in Scandinavia. This theater is considered a venerable theater that was opened in 1781. When it was first built, it was the location of the Paris Opera because the original Paris Opera building burnt down. Theater de Port Saint Martin was renovated in 1873 because it was heavily damaged during the destructive Paris Commune which was a radical socialist revolution that lasted a couple of months.


Palais de l'Elysée is now the official residence of the French president (at this time, one Emmanuel Macron). Construction of this palace started in 1718. The building was completed in 1722. Henri Louis de la Tour d'Auvergne (Count of Evreux). commissioned its construction. Armand Claude Mollet was the architect. Built in the French Classical Style, it was originally an hôtel particulier known as Hôtel d'Évreux.

The Count of Evreux died in 1753. His mansion was one of the most admired homes in Paris. Therefore, it is no surprise that King Louis XV bought it. Much to the chagrin of the populace, he gave the mansion to his mistress,the Marquise de Pompadour. When she died, the property reverted back to the royal family. Nicolas Beaujon bought Palais Elysée around 1773 and he lived there until 1786. He was a banker for the royal court and was one of the richest men in France.



Bathilde d'Orléans, who was the Duchess of Bourbon at the time, bought the palace from Nicolas Beaujon in 1787. She is the one who renamed the palace; Palais Elysées. She lived here until the big French révolution of 1789. She went into exhile and the revolutionaries took over the palace who allowed it to become a place of entertainment much like a casino. It was called the Hameau de Chantilly at this time.

Joachim Murat bought the palace in 1803. He was Marshall of France and Marshall of the Empire for the French military. He was also the brother in law of Napoleon I having married Caroline Bonaparte. He was also made the King of Napoli for a few years. He is buried in Père Lachaise so I guess I have another gravesite to photograph. 😄 He does have a very interesting history.

12th December 1848 the Palais Elysée became the Presidential Office, Presidents' Residence, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers is a weekly meeting with the president of France presiding.

















At the time of Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), Paris was still suffering from neighborhoods with narrow and dark streets, open sewers, a lack of potable water, smoke, and vaporous, toxic air. So he spent a lot of time advocating for a civic tax and state subsidies for urban improvment. Unfortunatly, King Louis XIV was interested only in  creating a powerful government and elaborate palaces. Even more unfortunate was how King Louis XV treated Paris. This king, the great-grandson of King Louis XIV, kept himself protected in his fortress of a palace, Versailles, with little regard for the dismal living conditions in the medieval neigborhoods of Paris.

 Where King Louis XIV contributed such grand works like Les Invalides and Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, King Louis XV contributed affairs of state for maintaining the kingdom which included lands well beyond the borders of France and his sexual escapades with many young girls. Then King Louis XVI came into the picture. Not for long though, because his reign was rudely interupted by the big revolution of 1789.  Although King Louis XVI also showed little regard for the urban blight in Paris, he did at least finally decide to establish a fund of 30,000,000 francs to beautify Paris. The implimenting of this project was also interupted by the 1789 revolution which also resulted in the beheading of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and so many more royals and their supporters. After this revolution many of the grand palaces became part of the public domain as museums. Napoleon Bonaparte became First Counsel of France from 1799-1804 then Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 along with a three month reign in 1815. He did a lot for Paris that had been neglected for many years. He widened many streets.  He also connected the Ourcq River to the Seine river with a canal that could bring materials and harvests into the city. ONE TIP FOR LOCALS AND VISITORS ALIKE; It is an inexpensive boat ride up this Canal Saint-Martin which passes underneath Place Bastille before reaching the nine locks that raise the boats to higher levels as they approach Bassin de la Villette. It is a serene three mile ride (4.6 kilometers). A tax on wine funded the canal so I imagine the canal was paid for in no time at all. Napoleon Bonaparte also had many of the Quais built along the Seine River  which replaced the muddy banks of the river. He also had five new bridges built. He expanded the Palais du Louvre and built the two arches that stand at the northwestern end of Champs Elysées and near the Jardin de Tuilleries which is pictured above.

Another major player in the development of Paris out of its medieval conditions into a world class metropolis was the aristocrat Count Claude Barthelot de Rambuteau. When Louis-Philippe was king, he became the prefect of the Seine. I do not know why the position is named after the river because it seems that his responsibilities covered all of Paris. Rambuteau, as did Voltaire before him, had great love and ambitions for Paris. The wealthy families were fleeing the squalor of the old core of the city and they built up new neighborhoods like Passy and Opéra. New, wider streets were to be one of the improvments made to bring all of Paris into modernity. Today, Rue Rambuteau is a most obvious result of this policy. At the time, this was the widest street to run through the city center. It ends at Rue des Archives at the east side and ends at Rue du Jour at the west. It is a really long street. Rambuteau had many more streets built around the city as well as rebuiding the Grands Boulevards. Sidewalks and gas street lights were also added. Parks were created, Place de la Concord was renovated. The Egyptian obelisk and the two fountains (also pictured above) were added, and modern streets to accomodate travelers who were going to arrive at the new rail stations were also created. Rambuteau also made sure that trees were planted along many of these streets and around buildings.

Enter stage droit; Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the grandson of Joséphine de Beauharnais who was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte. He was also the son of Louis Bonaparte who was the younger brother of Napoléon Bonaparte. He had an older brother, Napoléon-Louis, but he died in a battle against the Austrian occupation of Italy so this made Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte the next in line as heir to the Bonaparte dynasty. Since he lived in London, as an exile for a few years, he was inspired by this already great and beautiful city to return to Paris to carry on the great civic works pursued by Napoléon I. Louis-Napoléon soon won an election after he returned from exile. He was the underdog, even to the extent of being mocked as politically naive, but he was greatly underestimated. He was able to surprise everyone with his politcal prowess and he became president of France in 1848. 

After Louis-Napoléon became president, he still had to overcome the fact that French constitutional law allowed a president to serve only four years and then step down. Another problem is that those already in power, who underestimated and mocked him before the 1848 election, fully intended to prevent him from exercising any real presidential power so he would basically be a lame duck sort of president. They underestimated him again because he worked behind the scenes building up a good reputation with the people of France, including the military. He also designated Jean-Jacques Berger as prefect de la Seine who continued the works started by the previous prefect de la Seine, Rambuteau. Rue de Rivoli was further extended, Les Halles Market was renovated, the Louvre was renovated and Boulevard de Strasbourg,  leading from Gare de l'Est to Boulevard Saint-Denis. In the meantime Louis-Napoléon was working on a way to extend his presidency so his vision for Paris would not die after just four years. He first tried to change the constitution but that failed so he had to consider a coup d'etat. 

While Louis-Napoléon was at a First of December 1851 reception at the Palais de l'Elysée (which I describe above), the coup d'etat unfolded. Members of the National Assembly and their loyal military officers were imprisoned. The National Assembly was then eliminated and President Louis-Napoléon took over all powers of the government. At first he was granted a ten year term by public ballot. The constitution was soon changed and his loyalists were established in government positions. While on a tour of France meant to gauge his popularity with the public, he met a public servant of Bordeaux named Georges-Eugène Haussmann. While Louis-Napoléon was in Bordeaux, this public servent arranged for an elaborate celebration and Louis-Napoléon gave a speech that expressed the fact that the county would again become a Napoleonic Empire. After about one year, another public vote took place and Louis-Napoléon was celebrated as Emperor Napoléon III in a parade past the Arc de Triomphe down Champs-Elysée. 

The new emperor already had a long thought out plan for some new developments in Paris. It was known as the "Colored Plan" because he had a huge map of Paris in his Palais des Tuileries office with several lines of different colors drawn all over it to indicate the various projects he wanted quickly accomplished. Unfortunately, his present prefect of the Seine, Jean-Jacques Berger, was less than enthusiastic to carry out the projects at the speed that Napoléon III needed because he was very conservative with the expenses. Even Count Victor de Persigny, who was the minister of the interior at the time, could not convince Berger to speed things up and to maintain a high quality of construction. Eventually, Napoléon III decided that he just had to be replaced with someone who would be as enthusiastic about developing Paris as he was. Baron Georges-Eugéne Haussmann was selected. When Berger and Haussmann spoke to each other, they could not see eye to eye. Berger continued to insist that all projects for the development of Paris had to be taken on slowly with the funds already in place for the most part. Haussmann was concerned  with acquiring enough money through fund reallocations and investments to increase the pace and scale of construction works as quickly as possible.

The first priority was to complete the projects that had already been started like the extension of Rue Rivoli, the rebuilding of Les Halles, and the development of Bois de Boulogne which was a pet project of Napoléon III. It took more than a year for Haussmann to get the projects rolling like he wanted them to roll because he had to overcome the objections of staunch financial conservatives but he did overcome and the razing of old, dark  neighborhoods was finally underway. Also, because the traditional system of family owned banks was too limited in scope, Haussmann went to Emile and Isaac Pereire for larger investment sources because of their greater ability to raise funds through the newly created Crédit Mobilier. Through this Crédit Mobilier, created in late 1852 and headquartered at Place Vendôme where Hôtel de Ville is now located, Haussmann was able to receive commitments from the Pereire brothers to develop the newly completed Rue de Rivoli as well as The Grand Hôtel du Louvre.

While projects were getting completed and new neighborhoods were being torn down for new streets and buildings, Napoléon III contracted with a few other experts besides Haussmann and Jean-Jacques Berger for various projects.  Auguste Mille, an engineer, was instrumental in modernizing the sewer system of Paris and he traveled through England and Scotland for his inspiration. Eugène Belgrand was brought on board to study the water supply problem and he, working closely with Haussmann, developed a plan for an aquaduct bringing water into Paris from three reservoirs into all homes of the city. This plan was finally implemented in 1865. 

Haussmann was also instrumental in the establishment of a public transportation system for Paris. For over one hundred years, the public transportation was handled by many companies who had their own routes and colors of horse drawn carriages or omnibuses. It was really chaotic and a person would have to be familiar with what companies took people on certain routes almost like in Asia where there are hundreds of vehicles bringing people throughout many different neighborhoods. In 1855, with the financial help of the Crédit Mobilier of the Pereire brothers, the routes were consolidated under the Compangnie Générale des Omnibus. This system continued until it became part of RATP which is what you will use in Paris today.

By the end of their collaboraton, Napoléon III and Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann commissioned more than 80 miles of new streets which were something like three times the width of any old streets in central Paris. More than 400 linear miles of sidewalks were also built and they had gutters that regulated the flow of rain water and drains allowed the water to flow into sewers that were now under ground, and around 350,000 people had been displaced to live in newer areas of Paris. Trees planted along the roads now numbered more than 90,000 and gas street lamps were numbered as many as 32,000 + (thus Paris became a marvelous city to visit and has continued to develop this image until today).The scaffolding that had been covering the Palais du Louvre for many years also came down. Exactly 100 years and five months before I was born (15th of August 1857), the completion of an extensive and elaborate renovation project on the Palais du Louvre could finally be celebrated. 



Synagogue Nazareth at 15 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth is one of the oldest synagogues in Paris. It is located in the Marais neighborhood. It has an Orthodox Jewish community. The architecture is of Moorish Revival style. It was built between 1850 and 1852. Baron James de Rothschild funded a major portion of the construction.

Arthur Rimbaud

He was a young poet who was a bit of a rebel, much like the actor James Dean. He had a relationship with Paul Verlaine. In 1873, Verlaine shot Rimbaud but it was not fatal. Verlaine spent a couple of years in jail and Rimbaud lived for 37 years before his death.

Rimbaud to Verlaine:

I promise you, if your wife comes back, I will not compromise you by writing. I'll never write again.

5th July 1873.

From the poem "Paris":

...With Graces! L'Hérissé!

Elegant shoes to shine!

Displays of bread and wine!

Blind men! But who's to say?

Policeman, Merchant, Brother!

Let's all love one another!

Walking around Paris is wonderful because you can find treasures like this in so many neighborhoods. I discovered this statue of Strauss while waiting for Fanny Bag Couriers to open so I can pick up the large suitcase I left there while traveling in Scandinavia. This statue is in a small plaza on Boulevard Saint-Martin about 1/4 mile east of Fanny Bag Couriers.

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. Marshal Michel Ney was one of the most important military officers for Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon called him "the bravest of the brave" and Ernest Hemingway mentioned that this statue of him looked "very fine" with Marshall Ney gesturing with his sword above the leaves of the chestnut trees. The military leader was executed by firing squad against a wall that no longer exists but was located within view of where this statue stands and opposite the square from Closerie des Lilas

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.

Farida can be seen here while we were shopping at Galleries Lafayette. The high class shops are here so shopping is expensive. All I bought were some macaroons 🙂

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.

The menu board had a lot of delicious sounding pizzas on it. 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.

Rudolph Christian Karl Diesel invented the Diesel engine. Although he was a German inventor, he lived in this building in the Marais neighborhood of Paris. The plaque says that he was born here, he invented the engine that bears his name, that he was a recognized social reformer, and that he disappeared at sea. His disappearance was a mystery.

This restaurant is in Vincennes France which is a south eastern suburb of Paris. It is just down the street from Vincennes Castle at 9 Avenue de Nogent. I would rate the service at 5 stars and the food at 4 stars. My food was good and Farida had good food too. Rayhend and Reno ate steaks and they said that they were OK but they were not as good as the steaks in USA.

Exquisite interior decor of Terminus Chateau restaurant.

Our meal at Terminus Château restaurant. Rayhend and Reno ate the same thing because they wanted to try the steak in France. They agreed that the steaks were not as good as the steaks in USA. We can agree, though, that the french fries in most restaurants of France are top notch and excellent.

One of the best Mediterranean restaurants in Paris.


Deep within the neighborhood of Marais.

Within the 3rd and 4th arrondissemont

Wandering the narrow cobblestone streets

Medieval looking synagogues

Grand Hôtels Particulares

Place Vosges, Museums,

Dance clubs, Art galleries

Within the old world charm of Marais

Is l'As du Fallafel

Where we have found the best

Darn mediteranean food

We ever have had 😀😋😋😋😋



This is what I ate at l'As du Falafel. It was huge and delicious. It took me two days to eat it.

IMPORTANT WEBSITES: also known @Terrance-Your American Friend In Paris. Terrance gives culture and food tours. (In case you are wondering, Claudine is related to Ernest Hemingway and she gives tours of several neighborhoods in Paris). She is an extremely knowledgable historian of Paris and Parisians.