Thursday, May 15, 2014

In front of the Embassy of Texas in Paris with Kristina

Kristina - Alexandre III bridge - "La fillette à la coquille" (the girl with the shell), sculpted by Léopold Morice
9:55 AM - Kristina lives just in front of Manhattan (New York). We ran and discovered Paris on a beautiful morning of May.
The magnificent Alexandre III bridge presents numerous groups of statues. Some evoke diverse representations of the Fame, others, France in various periods of its history.
The girl with the shell, which we can see on the photo above, is a member of numerous statues bound to the marine world (the Nereid, the child and the fantastic fish, dolphins and other shells).
It is a pity people hung on to it padlocks (look at the hands of the statue by enlarging the photo)..

Very close to the place where we started our running, Place Vendôme, we met the Embassy of Texas!

Kristina - "Embassy of Texas"

Embassy of Texas?
Yes, read the plaque which we can see on the building behind Kristina:

It is written:
"Embassy of Texas. In 1842-1843 this building was the seat of the Embassy of the Republic of Texas in Paris. With the Franco-Texan Treaty of 29 September 1839 France became the first nation to recognize the Republic of Texas, an independant state between 1836 and 1845."

A little farther, after having run in the magnificent Garden of the Tuileries,

Kristina - Jardin des Tuileries

It is in front of another place of political representation that we stop:

Kristina - Palais de l'Elysée - "La Grille du Coq"

The Palace of "Elysée", official residence of the President of the French Republic.
Look at the railing which closes the garden of the Palace south side: it is the Railing of the Gallic cockerel. Remember, we had spoken about this cock here.
By continuing our road towards the Eiffel Tower, we pass by a street the name of which evokes a city well known by Kristina:

Kristina - Avenue de New-York

In 1918, this way is named Avenue of Tokio (with one "i" as it was the custom at the beginning of the 20th century). At the end of the World War I, the avenue receives this name because Japan was an ally of France.
In 1945, the avenue of Tokio is renamed avenue of New York, the most populated city of the United States, the country which participated in the France liberation (Japan having become an enemy during the World War II).
The Palace of Tokyo, very close, built for the World Fair of 1937, kept its name.

We were lucky! By going to the Eiffel Tower, the cannons of the garden of Trocadéro throw their powerful water jets:

Kristina - Jardin du Trocadéro

Merci Kristina !

The route of the tour:

Monday, May 12, 2014

In front of the Commercial court of Paris with Dave

Dave - Bridge Notre Dame - In the background, on the left, the Commerce Court of Paris and on the right, the Conciergerie
Thursday 1st May - 8:03 AM, Monday 12th May - 8:01 AM - Dave comes from the beautiful city of Ottawa in Canada. 
Two mornings to discover Paris in a sports way. A dive through the different layers of history which offers Paris.
Paris is a city which was never destroyed contrary to Berlin (at the end of the war in 1945), Lisbon (earthquake of 1755) or London (fire of 1666), other leading cities. 
Paris can thus present as well Roman vestiges as buildings of the Middle Age either the numerous royal creations (among others!). Succession of architectural fashions, urbanistic traditions and most of the time a research for urban harmony.

See, for example, above, the Commercial court ("Tribunal de Commerce"), in front of which we stopped. Let us look at it just in front:

"Tribunal de Commerce" of Paris

Something bizarre, no? 
The dome is not in the center of the building but on the right side!
Architect's whim? No, will of urban harmony. The dome is so placed to close on the South side the perspective of the Boulevard Sevastopol (perspective ended in the North by the train station of "Gare de l'Est").
The Commercial court is finished in 1864 while the Boulevard is inaugurated in 1858.

Look at the precise alignment of the boulevard and the court:

"Tribunal de Commerce de Paris" and Boulevard Sébastopol

Let us pursue our running in the Middle Age Paris, with the magnificent Abbey of Cluny, now the National Museum of the Middle Age (and its Lady and the Unicorn famous tapestries):

Dave - "Abbaye de Cluny"

and the two old houses of the street François Miron:

Dave - "Rue François Miron"

Look at the wooden beams of the facade. These facades are rare in Paris. In fact, some old Parisian Middle age houses are hidden by renovations of facade.
In 1967, The timber framings which we see here were cleared of the plaster which recovered them.
Look at the buildings at the beginning of the 20th century:

Indeed, in 1607, protective measures against the fires were decreed, in particular the obligation to cover with plaster timber framings (these measures were strengthened in 1667 because of the big fire of London in 1666!)

Now, let us admire the beautiful perspective offered by the Soufflot street:

Dave, "Rue Soufflot" (in the background, the Senate and the Eiffel Tower far off) - At the top of the Soufflot street, the Pantheon (The street name is the one of Jacques-Germain Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon)

Merci Dave !

The routes of the tours:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chestnut trees in flowers, place Dauphine, with Lena

Lena - Place Dauphine
11:03 AM - Lena comes from Sweden. While running, we discovered a Paris colored by the spring.
Look at the photo above where the Place Dauphine shows proudly its chestnut trees in flower.
Created shortly after the "Place des Vosges" (at that time, Place Royale), the Place Dauphine owes its name to the son of king, the "Dauphin", future Louis XIII, son of Henri IV whose we can see the statue on the west of the Place.
Beautiful small quiet square, opened on the Justice Palace, it was until 1874 a square closed by a third side of buildings. The Place was then a complete triangle.

Before and after

Here are the buildings which constituted the basis of the triangle:

Place Dauphine before 1874 - East side - No trees at the time!

Other beautiful trees and vegetables accompanied our route:

The oldest tree in Paris

Lena - Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) planted in 1602 (Square René Viviani)

The plant wall which covers a part of the buildings of the Quai Branly Museum

Lena - Plant wall created in 2004 by Patrick Blanc (Administrative buildings of the Quai Branly Museum)

The trees which follow the new banks of the Seine

Lena - Banks of the river Seine (left bank) - In the background, the Eiffel Tower

Merci Lena !

The route of the tour :

Friday, April 11, 2014

Some small secrets of the Parisian landscapes, with Kara

Kara - Bridge of the Carrousel
8:01 AM - With Kara, who comes from Atlanta (USA), we ran on an attractive route of more than 9 km and took advantage of the magnificent landscapes offered by Paris, emphasized by the sun which accompanied us this morning: splendid urban landscapes of Paris, buildings and monuments which revealed us small secrets during our running.

For example on this photo of the Louvre taken since the bridge of the Carousel: do you see the lantern stands of the Pavilion of Lesdiguières which is at the right of the photo above?
Let us look closer:

Lantern of the Pavilion of Lesdiguières

Golden "N" decorate the balcony of the lantern as on the one of the pavilion which faces it, the pavilion of Rohan. These "N" placed in the end of the Second Empire in the middle of the 19th century, honor the Emperor Napoleon III.
But here, on the pavilion of Lesdiguières, these "N" are back to front! We think that the worker who put them, would have inverted them because of his hostility to Napoleon III!
This small secret was discovered during the restoration of the Louvre museum in 1985, more than one hundred years after their installation!

On the left, the lantern of the Pavilion of Rohan - On the right, the one of the Pavilion of Lesdiguières

Not far from there, the famous Bridge of the Arts. Some tourists call it henceforth the "Love Padlocks" bridge*1...

Kara - Footbridge of the Arts

It is true that it is about one of the most romantic places of Paris, it would be only by its sight on the Island of the "Cité". But what do we see if we get closer to the Island, behind the place Dauphine? A bird...

A bird...
It is one of the Imperial Eagles of the Justice Palace of Paris (Imperial Eagles dear to Napoléon the 1st, notice the "N" under the Eagle...):

By pursuing our running in the Louvre, we decide to make a photo in the very beautiful squared courtyard ("Cour carrée du Louvre"):

Kara - Cour carrée du Louvre

Under our feet you can find the first Louvre, the Medieval Louvre, a fort protecting the West of Paris by strengthening the Outer wall of king Philippe Auguste. If you visit the basements of the Louvre, you can see the foundations of the medieval castle. Here is its representation and a photo of its foundations:

Medieval Louvre - Foundations

By leaving the Louvre, we go through the garden of Tuileries and its numerous statues:

Kara - Garden of the Tuileries

Notice for example, on the right-hand side of the photo above, the Statue of the Oath of Spartacus:

By continuing along the historical axis of Paris, we arrive Place of La Concorde, magnificent place which really deserves a stop.

Kara, "place de la Concorde" - In the axis, the Champs-Elysées with the "Arc de Triomphe"

To the right, in the entrance of the Champs-Elysées, a rearing horse: one of the Horses of Marly. A copy of which the original is in the Louvre, original now protected from the vibrations provoked by the heavy machines of the National day military parade. 
Remember this article: Passing in front of the horses of Marly with Mary

If we take a close look, we distinguish green flags. They are the flags of the Paris Marathon that took place five days earlier!

Merci Kara !

The route of the tour:

*1 The City hall of Paris recently decided to forbid the pose of these padlocks on buildings or bridges of Paris because they threaten and damage these Parisian heritage. Artists are requested to find a respectful replacement to these wild poses (Article France 3 - in French).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Discovery of the symbols of Paris with Emily

Emily - Alexandre III bridge
9:03 AM - With Emily, from Ohio (USA), our sports route crossed the seventh and eighth districts of Paris, known in particular for the big works and monuments we can find there. It is here that we shall meet the constructions which stayed after the 19th and 20th centuries World Fairs: the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Chaillot, the Palace of Iena, the Palace of Tokyo, "Petit" and "Grand Palais" and of course, the Alexandre III Bridge.

Had you noticed that on the Alexandre III Bridge are the symbols of France and Paris?

Alexandre III bridge - France and Paris Symbols

On the basis of most of the candelabras surrounding the bridge, you will find various representations of the symbols of France and Paris:

  • On the left photo above, you can read "RF", which means French Republic. All the public buildings in France show these letters RF. A little farther, for example, on the left bank, at the east of the bridge, you will find these letters on the blazons of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
  • In the middle, the Gallic cockerel ("Coq Gaulois") which is the national symbol of France, even if it is not as formalized as the bald eagle, national bird of the United States..
  • Finally, on the right photo, you will find the blazon of Paris, the ship of the powerful Gallic corporation of the Nautes. The motto of Paris is bound to this blazon: "Fluctuat nec mergitur", Latin expression which means "It floats but does not sink". You can see this blazon on most of the public buildings of Paris. Moreover, we find it in big on the bridge again:

Alexandre III bridge - West side

We thus left the area of the Champ de Mars to go around the Invalides :

Emily - "Hôtel des Invalides" - South side

Emily - "Hôtel des Invalides" - North side

Meanwhile, we were able to admire, since the street, the Rodin museum and its beautiful garden:

Emily - Rodin museum : the garden, the museum and the The Burghers of Calais statue

To go on the right bank, we crossed the footbridge Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, with, by leaving the bridge, a beautiful point of view on the "Musée d'Orsay":

Emily - Orsay museum

By going back up the Champs-Elysées, we made a small detour to find again our symbols, the Gallic Cock and the letters RF:

Elysée palace - "Grille du Coq" (Railing of the Gallic cockerel)

If there is a place where we have to see these symbols, it is the Elysée Palace ("Palais de l'Elysée"), the residence of the President of the French Republic (equivalent to the White House for the USA), here on the Railing of the Cock which is in the South of the Palace garden.

By crossing the "Petit Palais", very Parisian monument, it is, this time, the Ship that we found again:

Emily - "Petit Palais" - Blazon of the Nautes

By entering the "Petit Palais", by raising the head towards the ceiling, we find once more the blazon, where we can even read it the motto " Fluctuat nec mergitur ":

Ceiling of the entrance of the "Petit Palais"

By leaving the "Petit Palais", here is again the Alexandre III 
Bridge and in the background the "Hôtel des Invalides" (in fact, the bridge was created to connect the Champs-Elysées to the "Invalides"):

Emily - Alexandre III bridge (right bank side) and left bank, in the background, the Invalides

By the way, do you know what represents this other symbol, a double-headed eagle, that we can also see at the bottom of the Alexandre III bridge lampposts? ; )

Merci Emily !

The route of the tour:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

In Paris, under the pink morning light with Amy

Amy - Pont du Carrousel (Bridge of the Carrousel)
7:03 AM - Amy, from Florida, chose to make an early morning Paris Running Tour in this beautiful day of March 9th. The light was magnificent, giving a beautiful pink aspect to the landscape. At this hour, on Sunday morning, nobody in streets, very few cars, Paris for us alone and some other morning runners.

Look at the first picture above, from the "Pont du Carousel", look at the pink gradation which goes with the sunrise and shines on the river Seine and the buildings of the Louvre.

Admire the sight from the "Pont de la Concorde", on the east side:

Amy - Pont de la Concorde - In the background, from left to right : the Tuileries, the Sainte-Chapelle,
Notre-Dame, the Institute of France and the "Musée d'Orsay"

then, on the west side :

Amy - Pont de la Concorde - In the background, a big iron tower ;), the new banks
and the "Pont Alexandre III"

On Sunday morning, we can even stop in the middle of the road in front of the Champs-Elysées to take a photo without being afraid of cars:

Amy - "Place de la Concorde" - The Champs-Elysées, in the background, the "Arc de Triomphe"
and far, the "Grande Arche" of "la Défense"

While going back to the east, we stop at the entrance of the garden of the Tuileries, to make a small salute to the "Statue of the Fame" which sounds the triumph of the sun in Paris!

Amy - Garden of the Tuileries with in the background, from left to right, the copy of the Statue of the Fame, the "Grand Palais", the Obelisk of Louxor in the center of the "place de la Concorde"

A perfect weather, a beautiful light, ideal to run in Paris!

Merci Amy !

The route of the tour:

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