Sunday, June 17, 2012

In front of the renewed Conciergerie with Greg

Greg - The Conciergerie
7:01 AM - Greg lives not far from Chicago. At this rather rainy end of spring in Paris, we were lucky to have a pleasant sun on this Sunday morning. We ran by crossing a circuit which led us of the Discovery Palace to the Pantheon, by way of the Conciergerie.

Important works, which lasted more than one year, allowed to renew completely the Conciergerie. Until recently, the Conciergerie was covered with scaffolds that hid gigantic advertisements.

We were thus able to discover the beautiful Conciergerie, with clean and clear walls. The roof of the "Tour de l'Horloge" (Clock tower) was redone, it is now golden:

Tour de l'Horloge - Conciergerie

The Conciergerie belonged to the Palace of "la Cité", residence of kings of France in the Middle Ages, palace which succeeded to the Roman Emperors palaces in Paris. 
The palace was abandoned by kings at the end of the fourteenth century, the Conciergerie became then a prison, the most famous prisoner being queen Marie-Antoinette.

Conciergerie? Concierge? Yes, the word comes from there. The Concierge was an important person appointed by the king to maintain the order, manage the police, take care of prisoners, do the justice... He lived in the Conciergerie. 
The word Concierge comes from the Latin word Conservius, "companion of slavery", the one who serves the Palace.
Nowadays, we use now the term "Conciergerie" to name the whole palace.

On the way, we noticed the numerous flags on public buildings, as we can see on the photo of the Pantheon below:

Greg - The Panthéon

Yes, Sunday, June 17th, 2012 was day of elections in France, the second ballot of the general election.

Visit the Pantheon, this temple dedicated to the persons celebrated by the Nation. In the crypt, we find, among others, the graves of Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie. The ground floor exposes the paintings which describe the life of Geneviève, protector of Paris. Do not miss to rise to the dome which offers a magnificent view on Paris.

Look at the pediment, so allegorical. In the center, the Nation, with on its right, the Freedom and on its left, the History.
On the side of the Freedom, the heroes of the civil order celebrated by the Revolution. Among them, you can find Voltaire and Rousseau, sat.
On the side of the History, is the military order. We can see the young Bonaparte, future Napoleon 1st.

A beautiful running before the opening of polling stations!

Merci Greg !

The route of the tour:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Round trip Montmartre-La Seine with Agnieszka

Agnieszka - Pont des Arts
6:50 AM - Agnieszka lives in Manchester (United Kingdom). During her stay in Paris, Agnieszka chose to live near Montmartre. For this morning tour, we decided to go southward to join the river Seine and return to Montmartre by finishing by a sports ascent towards the basilica of the "Sacré Cœur".

On our way back, we crossed several mills: the "Moulin-Rouge" and the two mills which constitute the "Moulin de la Galette" (the "Blute-fin" and the "Radet").
Contrary to the "Moulin de la Galette", the "Moulin Rouge" was never a real windmill, but from the beginning, a cabaret, this famous cabaret which saw the birth of the "French cancan" and which is always in service.

These two windmills served to grind wheat but also to press grape to make wine. Formerly, Montmartre possessed numerous windmills. These two mills are the only remaining ones.

Agnieszka - Moulin de la Galette (here the "Radet") - Montmartre

Gradually, the "Moulin de la Galette" was transformed into a cabaret. The ball of the "Moulin de la Galette" was famous and attracted numerous artists. Among them, Auguste Renoir, as witnesses his pictures: "Le bal du Moulin de la Galette".

Bal du moulin de la Galette, Auguste Renoir, 1876, Musée d'Orsay

In Paris, works of art are not only in museums: the "Street Art" can be seen almost everywhere. See the one-way street sign behind Agnieszka on the photo near the Mill.Had you noticed this man who takes the white bar?

Merci Agnieszka !

The route of the tour:

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