Sunday, December 23, 2012

A sports and cultural tour of Paris with Ingrid at Christmas

Ingrid - Gallery Vivienne
8:32 AM - Ingrid lives in Uberaba, Brazil. To begin her stay in Paris, Ingrid chose to make a Paris Running Tour. On Sunday morning, two days before Christmas, Paris is quite decorated for the holidays. As we can see above, the beautiful Gallery Vivienne (1823) also respects the tradition.

Our run, in this very quiet Paris of a Sunday morning before Christmas, allowed us to see a highly varied Paris: passages (Gallery Vivienne, passage of the "Grand Cerf", passage of Bourg-L'abbé), the Paris of Napoleon the 1st with the Arc of the Carousel, the modern Paris with the Pompidou Center or the very old Paris with Nicolas Flamel's house.

Ingrid - House of Nicolas Flamel

Nicolas Flamel's house, which dates 1407, is the oldest of Paris (older than those of the street François Miron). Nicolas Flamel was a rich "Bourgeois" who, with his wife Pernelle, made build houses to welcome the poor people. This one, street of Montmorency, is the last existing one. An inscription indicates the prayers that the inhabitants of the place had to make : "We, ploughmen and women living at the porch of this house, which was made in 1407, are requested to say every day an 'Our Father' and an 'Ave Maria' praying God that His grace forgive poor and dead sinners Amen".
It is at present an inn.

Some strides farther, it is the modern Paris which we discover.

Ingrid - Centre Pompidou - "The Zinedine Zidane's headbutt" Piece of Adel Abdessemed

Effectively, we find the Pompidou Center, one of the biggest world Contemporary Arts Centers. It welcomes at present a temporary exhibition of the artist Adel Abdessemed. We can see on the square a (provocative?) sculpture representing the headbutt given by the famous football player Zinedine Zidane to an opponent having a little moved words...

Ingrid - Arc du Carrousel

We have already spoken about the Arc of the Carrousel during a tour with Kristy
Had you noticed the quadriga at the top of the Arc? 
In fact, the sculpture is a copy.
Napoleon 1st had taken the original statue to the Venetians who themselves had stolen it during the sack of Constantinople in 1204 (The quadriga were ordered by Emperor Constantin in 330).
With Napoleon's fall, the original horses were returned to Venice where you can admire them place Saint Marc. 

To finish, here is a small postcard with other beautiful places seen during our visit:

Merry christmas to all!
Merci Ingrid !

The route of the tour:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

By running with Tove and Charlotte on the Ourcq Canal

Charlotte and Tove - "City of Sciences and of Industry" - "La Géode"
9:55 AM - Tove lives in Norway; The time of a short stay, Tove came to see her daughter Charlotte who studies in Paris. They know well Paris but wished to discover the Parisian canals. We thus began our visit by running street Lafayette, continued along the Ourcq Canal and the Saint-Martin canal and ended our visit with the "Grand boulevards" and "passages Jouffroy" and "Verdeau".

First amazing discovery, the building at 145, Lafayette street:

145 Lafayette Street

Windows, balcony, a door, a roof... A building like any other? No, an artificial building intended to hide a huge air vent of the Parisian subway!

Not far, still "rue Lafayette", a mural painting proposes an original representation of Paris:

"Coup de chapeau à Paris" - François Boisrond - 2001

Having left the long Lafayette street, we exceeded the limit of the general farmers' old wall and the barrier of the Villette with its magnificent rotunda built by Claude Nicolas Ledoux, to find the Ourcq canal.

Tove and Charlotte - "Canal de l'Ourcq" - South-West view

The construction of the Canal of the Ourcq was decided by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The Ourcq canal insures a supply of Paris in water by connecting the river Ourcq (more than hundred of kilometers with ten locks). 

The neighborhoods of the Canal and the district of the Villette were completely renewed from the years 1970-1980, in particular by the destruction of the gigantic slaughterhouses of the Villette in 1974 and by the creation of the "Cité des Sciences" opened in 1986, of the Géode (a huge cinema) opened in 1985 and of the "parc de la Villette".

View of the canal inside Paris from "place Stalingrad" to the "Parc de la Villette"

Charlotte and Tove - Ourcq canal - North-East view

Having turned back, we ran along a part of the Saint-Martin canal, the other beautiful canal, which joined the Seine.

Merci Tove et Charlotte !

The route of the tour :

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Running with Pedro and Juliana on the historic axis of Paris

Pedro and Juliana - On the historic axis of Paris, in the garden of the Tuileries
9:10 AM - Juliana and Pedro are well trained runners from Campinas, near Sao Paulo in Brazil.

We ran all along the river the Seine and for a good part, on the historic axis of Paris.
Historic axis? Yes, it is the name given to the axis which leaves the center of Paris and goes westward.

The history of this axis began when the Capetian kings took the habit to leave the Louvre to go hunting in the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, drawing then a way in straight line to the West.
In 1599, king Henri IV created a road on this axis leading of the Louvre to Saint Germain's castle.

This axis is successively fitted out and embellished, by the extension of the Louvre, the garden of the Tuileries, the place de la Concorde, the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and now, the Business center of the La Defense with the "Grande Arche".

Discover in detail the historic axis of Paris. Click on the following image. On the obtained page, you can again enlarge the image (a new click on it). Then, take place on the right of the image and with the horizontal-scroll, move on the left (Have a good trip!)

Do you remember the previous article, which speaks about the Baron Haussman who had wished to enlarge the axis eastward?
Do you also remember this running with Amywhere we had made a buckle on the West part of the axis by leaving from "La Defense"?

Pedro and Juliana - Quai d'Orsay

Juliana and Pedro - Champ de Mars and Esplanade du Trocadéro

Merci Juliana et Pedro !

The route of the tour:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Running in Paris at the sunrise, with Denise

Denise - "Quai de l'Horloge" (Pier of the Clock)
6:58 AM - With Denise from Porto Allegre (Brazil), we start running early. We took advantage of the morning light to admire streets and monuments and see the city waking up. While staying near the Seine, we visited the center of Paris by alternating the right bank and the left bank: the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Près, the "place de la Concorde", the Louvre, without forgetting the Island of the City (as shown on the photo above, Quay of the Clock, at the foot of the Horloge of the Conciergerie, recently  renovated).

We made a small detour on the "Pont des Arts" to appreciate the rays of the sun enlightening the West of Paris:

Denise - Pont des Arts

A little later, we found the Garnier Opera, quite enlightened by the daylight:

Denise, avenue de l'Opéra

The avenue of the Opera, created during the works of Hausmann, had initially been planned with trees. Charles Garnier, the architect, did not want these trees. He had wished that the sight of his Opera was completely unobstructed. Without trees, the Opera is indeed very visible since the place André Malraux near the Louvre. 

Denise - Mairie of the 1st arrondissement (1st district city hall) and the church Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois

A little farther, we met two buildings. They are alike, right? 
If they have the same architecture, they have nevertheless very different uses. One is a public building: the City hall of the 1st district and the other one, a religious building: the church Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois.
This group owes its existence to a particular history:
August 24th, 1572, in full religious war, bells of this very old church gave the order to eliminate all the Protestants of Paris. This signal was the beginning of the horrible Saint-Bartholomew's massacre.
In the 19th century, town planners made the project to extend eastward the historic axis Louvre-Tuileries-Concorde-Champs Elysées. It should cause the destruction of the church.
The baron Haussman, in charge of the big Parisian works, refused.
Indeed, as he was Protestant, he did not wish that people can interpret the destruction of the church as a personal vengeance. 

He also asked for the construction of a city hall, completely similar to the church, by concern of harmony. He made raise between both buildings a tower-bell to strongly separate the "religion" and the "republic".
Parisians, derisive, called the group "L'huilier et ses deux burettes" (the hand oiler and the two cruets).

We finished our running by way of the Island of the City and the Latin Quarter.
About 11 km, sports and instructive!

Merci Denise !

The route of the tour :

Friday, October 26, 2012

At the "Champ de Mars" with Sylvie

Sylvie - Eiffel tower
8:00 AM - Sylvie from Montreal (Canada) came to Paris for a short stay. We took advantage of this morning run to do a nice visit of Paris. On this Friday morning, the cold weather arrived to Paris. Having dressed our winter runners' clothes, we ran along a buckle of 10 kilometers by way of the "esplanade of the Invalides", the Tuileries, the Champs Elysées.  

At the end of the tour, we passed by the "esplanade of the Palais de Chaillot", one of the best viewpoints to contemplate the Eiffel Tower. After a small break to make a "photo-souvenir", we joined the "Champ de Mars" by way of the Iéna bridge.

In the Champ de Mars, we were welcomed by very nice bears:

Sylvie and the Buddy Bears - Champ de Mars

Bears? The Buddy bears
Yes, after Berlin, Kitzbühel, Hong-Kong, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, Vienna, Cairo, Jerusalem, Warsaw, Stuttgart, Pyongyang, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Astana, Helsinki, Sofia, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi and Saint-Petersburg, among others, "United Buddy Bears" settled down in Paris this October. They will stay there until November 18th, 2012.

These 140 Buddy Bears represent the 140 countries recognized by United Nations. They wish to present the art of the tolerance and symbolize the idea of a world in peace in the future.

Sylvie with the Buddy Bear of Canada - Sylvie between the Bear of Georgia and the one of France

Come to Paris to admire these works of Art and Peace united!

Merci Sylvie !

The route of the tour :

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Running in October in Paris

Right bank - Far off the Pont Royal (Royal Bridge), Notre-Dame and the dome of the Institute of France

Garden of the Tuileries - Far off, the Louvre

The bridge of "la Concorde" then the place of "la Concorde" and its obelisk, with, far off, on the left, the "Hôtel de Crillon", the "Hôtel de la Marine" on the right and in the center, "La Madeleine"

The "esplanade des Invalides" - The "Hôtel des Invalides"

No matter what month we are, it is always a pleasure to run in Paris!
Come and do a tour, a nice visit while running with Paris Running Tour!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

By running in the parks of Paris with Scott and Kelly

Kelly and Scott - Luxembourg gardens
8:59 AM - Kelly and Scott live in New York (USA) and usually run in the magnificent park of Central Park. Today, we discovered some of the superb parks of the center of Paris, the Luxembourg gardens, Tuileries gardens and the Palais Royal gardens.

The name of "Luxembourg" for the gardens and the Palace (the current Senate) comes from the Duke of Luxembourg, François de Piney who possessed a hotel in this place, in the 16th century. Marie of Medici, the Regent of France, acquired the hotel and built the current Palace in 1615.
Did you notice in the background of the above photo, a small dome far off? It is the Paris Observatory, the oldest observatory of the world still in function. It was created in 1667 by king Louis XIV.

The Paris Observatory in the continuation of the Luxembourg gardens

With the American "Center for Astrophysics", it is the most important research center in astrophysics and in astronomy of the world.
Very soon, the Observatory will open again its doors to the Public, from Thursday, 11 till Sunday, October 14th, 2012 on the occasion of the "fête de la Science".

Of the three parks, which is the most beautiful one? The Garden of the Luxembourg, the discreet Garden of the Palais Royal, or the Garden of the Tuileries, placed on the historic axis of Paris?
Impossible to say, they are splendid all three! 

Let us find the Garden of the Tuileries, a good place to run:

Scott and Kelly - the Tuileries gardens

and the small garden of the "Palais Royal", well isolated by the "Palais Royal" palace and the adjacent Galleries:

Scott and Kelly - Garden of the Palais Royal

On our road, when we discovered a part of Philippe Auguste's outer wall, a nice runner proposed to take a picture of us:

Paris Running Tour, Scott, Kelly - Philippe Auguste's outer wall (13th century)

Thanks to him. A good souvenir!

Good runs in Central Park then!
Merci Kelly ! Merci Scott !

The route of the tour :

Friday, September 14, 2012

A touristic half-marathon with Eva and Christian

Christian and Eva - Bridge of Sully
10:04 AM - Eva and Christian are fast marathon runners who live near Copenhagen (Denmark). They are also triathletes who have already participated in Iron Man Triathlons (swimming 3.8 km, bike 180 km, Running 42.195 kilometers or 26.2 miles).

On this Friday morning, without any performance objectives, we chose to quietly visit Paris while running, however on a good distance to be able to admire as much places as possible. 
We finally ran 21 km, the distance of a half-marathon.

Do you remember Lady Geneviève, the protector of Paris, whom we evoked recently during our Paris visit with Jennifer. You can see her to the left of the photo above, she looks to the east of Paris, the east where from came Attila and his Huns at the 5th century and Geneviève did not let them get into the City.

Of the bridge of Sully, we went place of the Trocadéro, to join the Palais de Chaillot, palace built on the hill of the same name for the 1937 World fair. It is one of the best points of view on the Eiffel Tower. 
"To deserve the view", we took a "small ascent" which leads to the (no so high) top of the hill... However with a small break to have a little bit different souvenir of the big tower:

Eva and Christian - Avenue of the President Wilson

Back to the east, in full Latin Quarter, here is the Sorbonne, the famous and very old university of which the history begins in the 13th century. The chapel of the Sorbonne which we see on the photo below was created during the 17th century.

Christian and Eva - Sorbonne Chapel

Along the way, following the river, we wondered if it was possible to swim in the Seine. Yes! Of course! On the occasion of the Triathlon of Paris! Look at these videos:

Your next triathlon in Paris, Eva and Christian?
Next edition: July 2013...

Merci Eva ! Merci Christian !

The route of the tour :

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Center of Paris, right bank with Liz and Curt

Curt and Liz - The "Bourse de Paris"
9:12 AM - Curt and Liz are regular runners who live near Boston (USA). We left the Opera to make a big visit, more than 10 miles (16 km) to discover Paris center, on the Right bank side (a good training for the half marathon Curt prepares).

Not far from the Opera, we found the "Bourse de Paris". Ordered by Napoleon the 1st and created by Alexandre Théodore Brongniart, the building called Palais Brongniart (Brongniart Palace), served for a long time as stock exchange, the Paris Stock Exchange, before the transactions were dematerialized since the 1980s.

Now everything is computerized!
The "Bourse de Paris" serves now as a conference, receptions, fashion shows, showroom or exhibitions center.

Later, we crossed "Le Marais" quarter (Marais=swamp), very quiet on this Sunday morning. No cars! The street belongs to the runners!

Curt and Liz - The Marais

Sunday morning, ideal moment to run in Paris! How many discoveries by running, the old Paris, the modern Paris, the fashion shops, the museums, the passages...

The Marais, the "Passage des Panoramas", The "Pont des Arts", The Pyramide of the Louvre
The first shop of a very fashionable shoes 
manufacturer, The Louvre, The river Seine

On our way, a couple of tourists asked Liz to photograph them. It fell well, Liz is, among others, a professional photographer!

Liz - Louvre and the Arc of the Carousel

Merci Liz ! Merci Curt !

The route of the tour :

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two running tours to discover Paris with Jennifer

Jennifer - Louis-Philippe's bridge
7:02 AM - Jennifer, of San Francisco, runs very regularly. We were able to discover the center of Paris by making two running tours early in the morning: the right bank, the left bank, the shores of the Seine and of course, the Parisian islands, the Island of "La Cité" and the Saint Louis Island.

On the photo above, we can see on the left, in the foreground, the Saint Louis Island then, at the bottom, the Island of "La Cité".

Did you know that Paris counted ten islands at the end of the XVIth century?

The river Seine - 1550

During our two races, we were able to...

  • Find the Palace of the Legion of Honor:
Jennifer - "Palais de la Légion d'Honneur" Paris | "California Palace of the Legion of Honor" San Francisco
The museum "California Palace of the Legion of Honor" in San Francisco is a replica of the "Palais de la Légion d'Honneur" of Paris. The facade of the Palace in San Francisco is very visible and highlighted by the very beautiful "Lincoln Park". 
We can admire the original Palace in Paris since a more narrow street, the "rue de Lille".

  • greet Genevièvenoble Parisian Lady who made Attila and his Huns run away in the 5th century and since became the protector of Paris:
Jennifer - Geneviève "Eglise Saint Etienne du Mont", "Jardin du Luxembourg", "Pont de la Tournelle"
Geneviève is always represented with long plaits. Recent artistic style? No, it seems that effectively, during the Medieval period which begins in 5th century, the fashion was with long hair, frequently braided. 
If you want to discover Geneviève's life, go on the "Mountain" of the same name in Paris and visit the "Panthéon", all her life is painted on walls there.

  • visit the Paris of the Middle Ages by going through the "Marais":
Jennifer - "Rue François Miron" - "Rue des Barres"

Merci Jennifer !

The routes of the tours :
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