Monday, December 26, 2011

In front of the French Senate with Daniel and Wils

Daniel, Wils - Le Sénat
9:06 AM - With Daniel and Wils of New York (USA), we ran largely on the left bank: the garden of plants, the arena of Lutecia, the Pantheon, street Saint Jacques...

On our road, having gone down the Mountain Sainte Geneviève, we crossed the garden of the Luxembourg and met the Senate. The Senate with the National Assembly are the two chambers which represent the French legislative power.
The French Senate is also called Palace of the Luxembourg, place where sit the senators since the revolution. This palace was ordered in 1615 by the regent Marie de Medici, the widow of king Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII.

On our route, we noticed on the ground curious medallions:

These medallions, among 135, were put in Paris in 1994, on the line of the meridian of Paris (today, we use the meridian of Greenwich). They indicate the North-south virtual line of the meridian with letters "N" and "S".
The Dutch artist Jan Dibbets so realized the tribute to François Arago (1786-1853), scientist and French politician.
The meridian of Paris was established to allow the creation of the Astronomical Observatory of Paris created in 1667 (Arago was in particular the director of the Paris Observatory).
Moreover, by running in the garden of the Luxembourg, near the Senate, Daniel pointed out to us the Observatory far off by looking at the South of the garden.

How many "points Arago" will you find going through Paris? Follow the meridian!

Merci Daniel, merci Wils !

The route of the tour:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Near a man of the "Enlightment" with Elisa

Elisa - Thomas Jefferson - Far off, the "Sacré-Coeur"
9:09 AM - Elisa, from Atlanta (USA), takes back the running having ended the New-York Marathon. On this Sunday of December, we chose a tour along the river Seine. On our road, we crossed Thomas Jefferson, a great friend of France, who liked Paris very much. He was in the same way as his French counterparts, a man of the "Enlightment" and succeeded Benjamin Franklin as Ambassador of United States in France.

Thomas Jefferson enjoyed a lot the Architecture. Thomas Jefferson's statue is, besides, situated just next to a building which he admired very much, the hotel of Salm, otherwise known under the name of the Legion of Honor Palace. This palace was often imitated. You can see, for example, a copy in the Lincoln Park, in San Francisco (USA).

If you look closely at the photo with Elisa, quite at the bottom, you will see the "Sacré Coeur", the very visible church because at the top of Montmartre, in the North of Paris.

By running along the river, we may be under the impression to go straight on. By going East by the left bank (for example), at the level of the Bir Hakeim bridge, we can be surprised seeing the "Sacré Coeur" in front of us, while at the another moment, next to Thomas Jefferson for example, we will see it on our left. In Paris, the river Seine is a curve!

Join the right bank by the Bir-Hakeim bridge, the "Sacré Coeur" will be on your right. By the footbridge Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, it will be in front of you. At the level of the towers of Notre-Dame, you will see it on your left. 
In Paris, the Seine is a curve!

A little later, we joined the square of Notre-Dame. Have you already noticed on the ground, the point Zero of the roads of France?

Elisa next to the point Zero of the roads of France

Yes, indeed, Paris is a big city and it is necessary to have a precise point in Paris which serves as reference for the distances with the other cities.
What is the distance between Versailles and Paris by road, for example? Not the one who meets a limit of Paris but the one who finishes in the point Zero:

Between Versailles (the Castle) and the limit of Paris: approximately 14 km (in red), between Versailles (the Castle) and the zero point: approximately 23 km (in yellow)

What about you? Where is the "point zero" of your city?
Merci Elisa !

The route of the tour :

Saturday, December 10, 2011

By way of the bridge of "l'Archevêché" with Ellen

Ellen - Pont de l'Archevêché - Notre Dame
7:58 AM - Ellen, from Antwerp (Belgium), runs regularly very early in the morning. On Saturday, we ran a little later to take advantage of the light which offered us the sun of December. 

Our road led us on the bridge of  "l'Archevêché" which is on the East point of the island of "La Cité", behind Notre-Dame. As on the Pont des Arts, situated in front of the West point of the island, the padlocks prosper in abundance. Padlocks?
Yes, indeed! Padlocks of love! As formerly on trees, the lovers register their both names on a padlock, hang on it to one of the most beautiful places of Paris and throw the key in the river Seine... 

This fashion would have begun in the 80s in Eastern Europe and appeared on the "Pont des Arts" in 2008 (see the photos of the "Pont des Arts" in this blog).
Sometimes, all the padlocks disappear at one go without that we know why, the services of the city of Paris being not at all responsible for these disappearances. Thieves of metals? Padlocks quickly return however. Even the "bouquinistes" (secondhand booksellers along the Seine) adapted themselves and sell, besides the usual books, padlocks!

A little earlier on our route, Montaigne:

Rue des Ecoles - Montaigne

In front of the university of "La Sorbonne", is the statue of Montaigne, philosopher and writer of the Renaissance. Originally, it was a white marble statue, created in 1933 by Paul Landowski and offered to Paris in 1934. The stony sculpture was so manhandled by the students and vandalized that it was replaced in 1989 by a more resistant, bronze version.
Its right foot would give luck. By touching it, the pronounced wish would come true.
In marble, the foot, highly sought, was numerous times broken. In bronze, it resists but loses its patina and becomes golden!

Merci Ellen !

The route of the tour :

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