Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Snapshots of a first visit in Paris, with Melinda

Melinda - On the bridge of Austerlitz. In the distance, Notre-Dame and Saint Louis Island beautiful houses

Monday 27th May - 12:51 PM, Wednesday 29th May - 6:57 PM - First time in Paris for Melinda from Miami (USA) ! 
What better choice than to start a first stay in Paris doing a visit by running (with Paris Running Tour)? A good way of unwinding legs after a long travel by plane and a first discovery of Paris getting directly into the life of the city.

And why not begin again two days later to discover new paths through Paris?
We thus ran by following two routes which mainly crossed the disctrict of "Le Marais", the Left bank, the island of "La Cité" and the center of Paris around the Seine.

Here is the route (numbers indicate where the photos of this article were taken):

We took numerous photos during our running:

1) "La rue des Barres" (Street of Bars). This name comes because formerly, in the 10th century, on the location of the street, a wall, a fence of wooden bars, constituted a wall protecting Paris:

Melinda - "Rue des Barres"

2) "L'Hôtel de Sully" (The Hotel of Sully)The Duke of Sully, Minister of Finance of king Henri IV, lived in this noble mansion at the end of his life. By crossing the Hotel of Sully, we passed directly from the street Saint Antoine to the "place des Vosges".

Melinda - "Hôtel de Sully"

3) The "bassin de l'Arsenal". Having crossed the place of the Bastille, we met the Basin of the Arsenal, port and canal connecting the river Seine with the Saint Martin canal and which, formerly, was a ditch which filled the moats of the castle of the Bastille.

Melinda - "Port de l'Arsenal"

4) "Pont d'Austerlitz" (Bridge of Austerlitz). See the picture at the beginning of the article.

5) "Cour du Commerce Saint André". Another place which is situated on the plan of the former surrounding wall of Paris, the wall of king Philippe Auguste. This passage, opened in 1776, allows to reach the Café Procope (1686), one of the oldest cafés in the world.

Melinda - "Cour du Commerce Saint André"

Second tour :

6) "Le Tribunal de Commerce de Paris" (Commercial court). This building presents the peculiarity to have a dome placed not in the center, but on the side, in a way that the dome is visible from the Boulevard Sevastopol. The dome closes the perspective of the Boulevard by the South.

Melinda - On the bridge Notre Dame. We can see, on the island of "La Cité", successively,
the Hôtel-Dieu (Hospital), the "Tribunal du Commerce de Paris" and the Conciergerie.

7) On the "Pont Neuf" ("New" Bridge). 

Melinda - Pont Neuf. On left, the "Institut de France", the Eiffel tower and, on right,the "Musée d'Orsay"

8) Colonnade of the Louvre. Summit of the French classicism, the Colonnade of the Louvre was realized at the request of king Louis XIV. The Colonnade of the Louvre served as model to numerous famous buildings, in particular, the Capitol of the United States in Washington, Metropolitan Museum of art in New York and San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.

Melinda - The "Colonnade du Louvre"

9) Alexandre III bridge. The widest bridge in Paris. Built with the "Grand" and "Petit Palais" for the World Fair of 1900. The bridge offers a direct link between the "Invalides" and the Champs-Elysées.

Melinda - the Alexandre III bridge - In the distance, the "Invalides"

10) The Champs Elysées.

Melinda - Champs Elysées, at the end, the "Arc de Triomphe" and far off, the "Grande Arche" of "la Défense"

11) The equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, place of the Pyramids. She is situated not far from the Gate Saint Honoré, where Joan of Arc tried to cross Charles V's surrounding wall to reconquer Paris, occupied at the time by the English. She was hurt by an arrow in the thigh there.

Melinda - Equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, of Frémiet and inaugurated in 1874

12) The Puget courtyard in the Louvre.

Melinda - Puget Courtyard, situated with the Marly Courtyard on both sides of the passage
which connects the Louvre Pyramid to the street of Rivoli

13) Stravinsky fountain. This fountain, fountain Stravinsky or fountain of automatons, was created by the couple of artist Nikki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely in 1983 and evokes the work of the composer Stravinsky.

Melinda - the "Fontaine Stravinsky", on the right George Pompidou Center

Interesting and beautiful discoveries, isn't it?
Merci Melinda !

The route of the tours:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

London came to run with Paris ! ................................... With Hope from City Jogging Tours of London

Hope de City Jogging Tour of London with Paris Running Tour - Louvre Pyramid

10:35 AM - Hope from London (United Kingdom) is the creator of City Jogging Tours of London, one of the first "Sightjogging Tours" in the world.

What is better than a visit of Paris while running to share our running tour guides experiences?

We thus left Montmartre to make a beautiful stroll...

Hope - Montmartre, in the background, the whole of Paris! coming down to the South and by way of nice Parisian covered passages...

Hope - Passage Jouffroy - Galerie Vivienne being amazed by the famous padlocks on the "Pont des Arts", more and more numerous...

Hope - "Pont des Arts" - In the distance, the Orsay Museum and the Eiffel tower making a break in the garden of the Tuileries...

Hope - Tuileries Garden crossing the "Champs- Elysées"...

Hope - Champs Elysées - Far off, the Arc of Triumph greet Winston Churchill...

Hope - Winston Churchill, near the "Petit Palais"

... And finally join the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire (Military school).

City Jogging Tours of London and Paris Running Tour

If you pass by London, go run a Jogging Tour with Hope and her team! A wonderful stroll in London!
One day, Paris will be happy to go running with London...
Merci Hope !

The route of the tour:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Running under the bridge Saint-Michel with Antje

Antje - Under Saint-Michel bridge - In the background, "Notre-Dame de Paris"
7h57 - Antje comes from another great and beautiful European capital, Berlin. She already ran several times the Berlin marathon, one of the fastest world marathons (the last four world records were realized in Berlin). 
Antje knows well Paris and that is with pleasure and while running that we rediscovered its most beautiful "paths". A beautiful route of more than 14 km also passing under bridges of Paris as we can see on the photo above.

Our running led us of the Eiffel Tower up to Notre-Dame, then up to the Arc of Triumph. This Friday was making the "bridge" between two holidays, May 8th&9th and the weekend so Paris was very quiet, even the Eiffel Tower seemed deserted (at least at 8 am in the morning).

Antje - "Champs de Mars" and Eiffel tower

Notice the scaffolds which leave the ground towards the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. These temporary elements are of use to the renovation of the first floor. The objective of this modernization project is to make this floor a more attractive place => Click here.

Back from Notre-Dame, this time, it is ON the "Pont Neuf", the New Bridge, that we ran:

Antje - "Pont Neuf" - In the background, the "Pont des Arts" (bridge of the Arts)

As its name does not indicate it, the "Pont Neuf", literally "New Bridge", is the oldest bridge of Paris. As you can read it on the photo, the bridge was built at the end of the 16th century.
Yes, "neuf" means "new" (and not "9"). Is the oldest bridge the new bridge?
Indeed, at the time of its construction, this bridge was very modern: all in stone, without houses on its edges (at last, we could know that we were really on a bridge while crossing it, impossible with houses!), and with sidewalks!
These sidewalks were really new because very rare in Paris at that time... The "Pont Neuf", already at that time, a beautiful place to stroll, to appreciate the sight and Paris!

Farther, we pursued our route along the historic axis of Paris (see here), the Louvre, the Louvre Pyramid and the garden of the Tuileries :

Antje - "Cour carrée du Louvre"

Antje - Small break near the Louvre Pyramid

Antje - In the garden of the Tuileries

We then continued our road along the Champs-Elysées to go uphill towards the Arc of Triumph. Uphill? Yes indeed, do you know that the Arc of Triumph is put on what we called formerly the "colline du Roule" (The hill of the Roule). In 1768, this hill was leveled to have a more regular slope towards the Gate of Neuilly. The top of the hill was then 5 meters higher.
Paris as flat as Berlin? Hem, not completely...
So remember, when you will take the departure of the Paris marathon and will start with the Champs-Elysées, do not run too fast: if it is so easy, it is because you are in descent!

Merci Antje !

The route of the tour:

Friday, May 3, 2013

In front of the rotunda of La Villette with Felicity

Felicity - Rotunda of la Villette
7:51 AM - Do you remember Felicity from Melbourne, Australia ? (See the post here.)
Two years ago, we ran along the river Seine. This time, our route led us to the North East of Paris, since Montmartre up to the Ourcq canal, then to the Saint-Martin canal and to the Grand boulevards.

First of all, we followed the former plan of the Wall of the Farmers Generals. 
Paris grew as an onion, protected successively by various surrounding walls (as for example, Philippe Auguste's surrounding wall, see the post here). All these walls had a protective function except one: the Wall of the Farmers Generals.

The different city walls of Paris

The Wall of the Farmers Generals served to collect the tax on all the goods entering Paris (the "Octroi"). Its construction began before the Revolution in 1784, it was destroyed in 1860.
At the time, we thus entered Paris by passages, barriers. Most of these barriers contained buildings called "bureaux d'octroi" ("offices of granting"). 61 "bureaux d'octroi" were created by the architect Nicolas Ledoux.
There remains of these constructions among which the beautiful rotundas of the Parc Monceau and of the Villette. We can see the Rotunda of the Villette at the beginning of this article.

We then followed the Saint-Martin canal, which construction was decided by Napoleon the 1st.

Felicity - Saint-Martin Canal

A little later, we joined the Grand boulevards and admired the Arc de Triomphe of the Saint-Denis gate, arc created by king Louis XIV, arc dedicated to the consecration of his glory (" Ludovico Magno "!). You will find the history of this Arc de Triomphe and the Grand boulevards in an article of the blog=> here.

Felicity - "Porte Saint-Denis"

Finally, back to Montmartre, we crossed the Moulin Rouge.

Felicity - The "Moulin Rouge"

Contrary to the "Moulin de la Galette" (see the picture here), 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.

Merci Felicity !

The route of the tour :

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