Springtime in Paris – Day 3

We headed to the right bank to tour the covered passages of Paris.

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Passages provided warm and dry places for the wealthy to shop in bad weather.  In the mid-19th century there were more than 150 passages.  With development of department stores around 1850, the galleries began to decline.  There are 18 passages today.

The first passage we came to was Galerie Vero-Dodat.  It was built by two charcutiers (sellers of hams, sausages, and pates) in 1826.  Vero-Dodat was restored in 1997, complete with shops and restaurants.

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This unassuming doorway to the Palais-Royal doesn’t prepare you for the lovely garden inside.

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There is an arcade here but it really is a palace.  Originally called the Palais-Cardinal, it was the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu.  It was completed in 1639.  When Richelieu died the palace became the property of the King and was renamed Palais-Royal.  It was the center of Paris’s social scene.

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These striped columns are an art installation called “Les Deux Plateau”.

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Over the years the palace was passed down through the royalty.  In 1661 the palace became the main residence of the House of Orleans.  The ornamental gardens were developed at this time.

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In 1786, the gardens and surrounding structures of the Palais-Royal opened to the public as a shopping and entertainment complex – the first indoor gallery in Paris.

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Next was the Galerie Vivienne, built in 1826.  It attracted many visitors with its popular shops.  Eventually the shops moved to the Champs-Elysees and the gallery lost some of its appeal.  Since 1960 businesses have moved back to the gallery and it is popular again.

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Galerie Colbert, also built in 1826, has a huge rotunda.

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The Paris Opera House was colorful even on this gray day.

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Place Vendome

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Passage Choiseul was built in 1824.  In 1907 the glass roof was replaced.  It is the longest covered passage in the city.

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The French Stock Exchange, La Bourse

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Opened in 1800, Passage des Panoramas is the oldest covered arcade in Paris and one of the first covered commercial passageways in Europe.  It was also the first to have gas lights, added in 1817.  It got its name from the panoramic paintings of famous cities in the rotunda of the original building, the mansion of the Duke of Luxembourg.

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Passage Jouffroy was built in 1847.  It is the first Parisian passage built entirely of metal and glass.  Only the decorative elements are wooden.  It is also the first passage heated by the ground.  The passage was completely renovated in 1987.

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This is where Toulouse-Lautrec bought his walking sticks. 

I have no idea what this stuffed winged wolf is about!

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Springtime in Paris – Day 1 & 2

Last spring, after our time in northern Spain, we took a train to Paris. 

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We rented an apartment in the 13th arrondissement.  Place d’Italie is in the center of this neighborhood.  Three metro lines cross here so it was easy to get around the city.

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Behind the red door on this residential street was a little cobblestone path back to our apartment.

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Just around the corner was a mall with a grocery store.   This was about the only place we saw armed police and guards.  They checked everyone’s bags as we went in.

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On our first day we left the apartment and walked north toward the Seine.  We passed the Gobelin factory, known for supplying the French court with tapestries since Louis XIV.

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The Rue Mouffetard is lined with specialty markets and bistros.

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St. Etienne du Mont church was featured in Midnight in Paris.

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Across the street is the Pantheon.  Originally a church, now a mausoleum, it has contained the remains of distinguished French citizens since 1791.

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We stopped for lunch off the Rue des Ecoles.

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Left Bank booksellers.

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We crossed the Tournelle Marie Bridge to Ile Saint-Louis, then walked to Notre Dame.

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A peek-a-boo view of Sainte Chapelle

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We left the Ile de la Cite and continued north.

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Tour St. Jacques is all that remains of a 16th century church which was demolished during the French Revolution.

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Love this cow on the roof of a cheese shop. 

We peeked inside a fancy chocolate shop.

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Les Halles market was demolished in 1971 and an underground shopping mall replaced it.  That was a mistake and La Canopée is the new fix.  It’s both a shopping center and underground transit center.  It had just opened when we were there but was not totally finished.  It has potential.  The expansive atrium will open into a large garden that was under construction.

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Day 2  

Market day near our apartment…..

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This day we explored the Canal Saint Martin near the Place de la Republique.  The canal is almost 3 miles long and connects the Seine to the Canal de l’Ourcq, farther north.  Parts of the canal run underground.  It was built in 1802 to supply Paris with fresh water.  There are several locks and many iron bridges.

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We dodged several rain showers with well-timed pastry, coffee, and tea breaks!

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From the canal we walked to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.  It is a huge park in the 19th arrondissement.  In the1700s and early 1800s it was a refuse dump and quarry, named Chauve-mont (the bare hill).  It was reclaimed for the park and completed 1867. 

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Pumps lift water from the lake for this waterfall.

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The suspension bridge was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

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Walking south we came to Parc de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement.  It is the highest park in Paris, on the hill of Belleville.  At the top of the park is a terrace with panoramic views of the city.

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We finished by walking west to the Place de la Republique and catching the metro back to our neighborhood.

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My next blogs will be days 3 and 4 of our springtime in Paris.

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