Saturday, November 26, 2011

Discovery of Paris history by running with Felicity

Felicity - The Louvre and the garden of the Tuileries
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7:58 AM -  With Felicity from Melbourne (Australia), we rediscovered the city at a good pace while admiring tracks left by the history on the scene, monuments and buildings of Paris.
We crossed The Louvre which made us go back up to 16th century, period when the king François the 1st replaced the ancient fortress by a luxurious residence. Since, during the centuries, the Louvre grew rich of numerous extensions.

Of the Louvre, we went through the Garden of the Tuileries, Italian-style garden, begun in the same period by Catherine de Medici. It is an ideal place to run.
Look at these trees sized as balls on the photo above. Their shape is created by a probably old technique and still used, as we can see here: 

We then ran on the Alexandre III bridge, who sent us in 1900, year of its creation:

Alexandre III bridge
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Back in the past, at first in Notre-Dame, the construction of which begins in 1163,

Notre Dame (and its new Christmas tree)
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then in "Le Marais" district, where we found the most ancient houses of Paris, two medieval "buildings", doubtless built in the XIVth century and having undergone some renovations (originally, they probably had to possess corbelled constructions as many houses of the Middle Ages):

François Miron street
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Merci Felicity !

The route of the tour :

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In front of the Opéra Garnier with Lourdes

Lourdes - Opéra Garnier Paris
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8:17 AM -  Lourdes, from Mexico, ended its stay in Europe with a short stage in Paris. How to take advantage of Paris when we have not a lot of time? A fast morning run before taking back the plane? Why not?! How lucky! The weather was very beautiful on this Saturday morning.
From the North of Paris, we thus ran to join the Louvre and the Tuileries by benefiting of the Palais Royal, the place Vendôme and the Opera Garnier.

We made a small break to be able to admire the Opera.
If you look on the right of the Opera, in the left of the porch, you perceive a statue, the Dance :

Click on the picture for a larger view

"La Danse ", representing the genius of the Dance, was realized by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux for the Opéra Garnier. It is here a copy. You can see the original statue at the Museum of Orsay.

During its implementation in 1869, the work made scandal! "What?! Naked women enjoying life!"

The architect Charles Garnier, creator of the opera, even received a famous letter: " I have a woman, Sir, and girls fascinated by music who often go to the opera. It will be impossible for them henceforth because I shall never grant to lead them in a monument the sign of which is the one of a bad place. "!

Some even threw ink on the statue:
Under the pressure of the public opinion, Napoleon III was ready to remove the work, but the war of 1870 burst and saved the statue. To find the original statue (cleaned!), go to the Musée d'Orsay. Take advantage of it, the museum was completely renewed in 2011.

Merci Lourdes !

The route of the tour :

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From the Eiffel Tower toward Notre-Dame by the Louvre with Marnie

Marnie - Tour Eiffel - Notre Dame de Paris
7:31 AM -  It is with a good pace that we went through the banks of the Seine with Marnie, who lives in Washington (USA) and who did several marathons (including Boston). We ran westward to take advantage of the morning sight on the Eiffel Tower: nobody on the esplanade of the Trocadéro early in the morning! We then followed the Seine to join Notre-Dame, also for us only.

With no more difficulties, we finished our tour running by the Louvre.

Marnie - Le Louvre
What a pleasure to run in Paris while ways are clear!

The Louvre has a long history: it was at first a watchtower used by the Franks to attack the island of "la cité" in the 5th century, later the fort created by king Philippe Auguste in the 12th century, then the luxurious Royal residence and finally the public museum decided by the Revolution. 

Every period made its contribution to the construction and to the extensions of the Louvre, the quite last creation being the Louvre Pyramid of the architect Ming Pei in 1983 (Pyramid which replaced bushes and parking lot then in the center of the Louvre). We can admire numerous details of the facades of the Louvre and sometimes original ornaments as this small locomotive for example:
Le Louvre
Yes, this part was created during the extension of the railroad in the 19th century! 

Merci Marnie !

The route of the tour :

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