RANDOM PHOTOS OF PARIS, FRANCE

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Eiffel Tower

May 22, 2014

Dedicated to all of you happy travelers  who delight in the same addiction as I do…here are my final  photos of my April 2014 trip to  Paris, France.  Such a beautiful city with so much to enjoy.

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 Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel – built in 1806 to commemorate Napoleon’s military victories.  It stands on the sight of the former Tuileries Palace ( yet another palace for the kings).

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Tuileries Garden:  Queen Catherine de Medicis created  the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was  opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the French Revolution

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The Louvre ( a small portion of)  – also a former palace of the kings and now an art museum where the Mona Lisa resides.

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Winston Churchill sighting at the Grand Palais :  The Grand Palais was built for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris  as an exhibition hall. During WWI it was used as an military hospital , than during  the France Occupation by the Nazis, they used it as a truck depot and later  to house propaganda exhibitions. Again, this building is huge, has three separate entrances and this photo only captures a small section of it.

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Les Invalides – Built in 1670 as a  military hospital and  home for war veterans, Les Invalides  is a  now a complex of buildings  with museums, monuments and burial vaults all relating to France’s military history.

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Statue inside Notre Dame Cathedral.

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Bird Watching in Paris –  window shopping in Paris can make you hungry!

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Macaroons are everywhere.

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  WONDERFUL  PATISSERIES  ARE ALSO EASY TO FIND.

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Umbrella Store

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Lastly, neighborhood fruit stands are so Paris!  Love them!!

Jusqu’à ce que je retourne…….

 

THE CONCIERGERIE & MARIE ANTOINETTE, PARIS, FRANCE

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May 21, 2014

Marie Antoinette was beheaded via  the guillotine  on  October 16, 1793, approximately 8 months after her  the execution of her husband, the former King Louis XVI of France.

The reasons behind the  French Revolution and  how  the King and Queen lived  shamelessly  extravagant  makes for  very interesting reading.  Simply put,  in the end, revolutionary forces  captured Louis and Marie-Antoinette during their attempt to flee  the country,  monarchy was abolished, and Louis and Marie-Antoinette were condemned for treason.

The Conciergerie is where Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned during the  final days of her life. The building was originally a royal palace but in 1391 it  became the Parliament of Paris  and  a portion of it used as a prison. 

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The Conciergerie

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If you were imprisoned and had no money,  your accommodations consisted of concrete walls, straw on the floor and a bucket.

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If you had money to pay, you could possibly  have a little nicer stay.

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This was a re-creation of the cell Marie-Antoinette was kept in. She is dressed in black since she was mourning the death of her husband.  She was also had two  guards with her at all times. 

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Lists of the  2780  people who were executed by the guillotine .

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The Hall of Men-at-Arms proves the building is not all doom and gloom.  The architecture inside is beautiful  with the way the light bounces around.  This room used to be the dining room for the guards. 

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  Lastly, this beautiful clock  hangs on the outside of the Conciergerie.  It is the oldest clock  in Paris dating back to 1535.  Granted, it has been restored more than once, but it still works.  Just for grins, check the time against your smart phone……….

 

    

 

 

Musee Carnavalet, Paris, France

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Painting  by Jean Beraud 

May 20, 2014

In the Marais District of Paris is the Carnavalet  Museum which is dedicated to the history of Paris.  It is housed in two  neighboring mansions that were built in the 16th and 17th century.   It has over 600,000 pieces  and 100 rooms.   I enjoyed  wandering through this museum and especially seeing all of the paintings of  Paris from  the “day’s gone by”  era.  Admission is free  but everything is in French.   So, unless you know the language, it is truly a museum of looking and not  necessarily knowing what you are seeing.   Had I had more foresight,  possibly I would have read about the contents before going.   None the less, I enjoyed  walking about  for a couple of hours  exploring  the different rooms and simply absorbing the adventure of being totally language-disconnected.   

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One of the mansions  that houses the museum.

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One of the entrance hallways. 

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Baby cradle of Prince Louis-Napoleon ( nephew of Napoleon I )

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Painting by Gustave Denney  that I liked.  

MUSEE d’ORSAY, PARIS, FRANCE

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May 19, 2014

The Musee d’Orsay  is without a doubt one of my favorite museums.  It was  well worth the hour and a half that I stood in line to get in. ( That was with the Museum Pass.)  Known for  Europe’s greatest collection of Impressionist  pieces, it will not disappoint.  The building used to be  an old train station  built in 1898 and has been transformed with the style you would expect in the city of Paris. Be sure to stop in and say Hello to Whistler’s Mother….

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The original train station clock over looks the Great Hall….

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The Great Hall of the Orsay. 

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Looking from the inside out to the roof and beyond for views of  the city. 

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Young Girls at the Piano –  just a sampling from my favorite artist,  Renoir,  who has 81 paintings at the Orsay.  The Impressionist paintings are on the top floor – see these first.   

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Also, be sure  to take a quick  glance outside the clock tower before you leave. Then stop at the gift shop and buy the post cards or book marks of your favorite paintings since you cannot take photos in the Orsay.  Or buy the book –  its a great way to take home  this  fascinating building of art.  

 

SAINT ETIENNE-DU-MONT CHURCH in PARIS, FRANCE

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May 19, 2014

As I’m looking back through the  photos from my April in Paris trip, I realized I  needed to post about this beautiful  church that, literally, sits in the shadows of the Pantheon.  It could easily be overlooked, but it’s well worth taking the time to look inside.   The building of St. Etienne-du-Mont began in  1492 and was  finished in 1626.   It contains the shrine of St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris.  

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Walking inside will catch you by surprise… ( well, maybe not – now that I have told you).  With the streets of Paris a few steps outside so busy, St.  Etienne is  almost empty, so quiet and peaceful.

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 This Rood Screen,  the double -stair arch that separates the choir from the rest of the church is beautifully carved and unusual, as it is the only  rood screen left in Paris .

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The  wooden pulpit dates from 1651. Sampson is holding up the pulpit and the carvings of  the seven women that  surround the pulpit  symbolize the virtues: Prudence, Justice, Faith,  Hope, Temperance, Fortitude,and Charity.

How humbling to  walk into a  church  this old, yet  so captivating – not only by the  incredible architecture but also because  I know  I can’t begin to imagine all of the history  that took place inside these walls.   Then I light a candle for safe travels…..

 

OPERA GARDIER IN PARIS, FRANCE

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Le Grand Foyer

May 1, 2014

Another sensory overload in Paris is the Palais Garnier ( Opera House in Paris).  There are two Operas in Paris, the newest is a modern building and the original, The Opera Garnier, was built from 1861 – 1875 and it is BEAUTIFUL!  Other than it’s beauty, it is also famous for being  the setting of the Phantom of the Opera book, written by Gaston Leroux in 1910.  I, however, did not see any  Phantom during my visit. 

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This  is the best shot I could get of the front of the Opera Garnier due to…………..this:

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Typical of the streets and traffic of Paris.  Not conducive to getting the best photos  without risking life and limb. 

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Painted ceiling of the Opera Auditorium by Marc Chagall  with a 340 light chandelier that weighs 8 tons. 

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Inside of Auditorium seats almost 2000.

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The Lobby

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Statuary in Le Grand Foyer

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One of the paintings  on the ceiling of Le Grand  Foyer. 

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Doorway of the outside balcony off  Le Grand Foyer (which looks out onto the previous photo of the busy streets of Paris).

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Close up  of “Liberty ” Pegasus roof sculpture.

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Close up of “Apollo, Poetry and Music” roof sculpture.

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Before you leave, in the gift shop, you can buy your very own Opera chair souvenir  for only 1595 Euro. 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

MEANDERING THROUGH PERE LACHAISE CEMETERY IN PARIS, FRANCE

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April, 29, 2014

A cemetery  is many things. It can be  a place of grief or of peacefulness.  A gentle and crowded reminder that none of us are going to get out of this world alive.  The Pere Lachaise Cemetary  was an interesting place to wander aimlessly on a beautiful Paris day during my recent visit.  There are numerous  notables buried among the 70,000 graves, such as Jim Morrison of The Doors, Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, and  Sarah Bernhardt .  The cemetery, established in 1804 by Napoleon, was named after  the Jesuit priest, Pere Francois de la Chaise, who was the confessor for  King Louis  XIV.  Come meander with me a bit………

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Jim Morrison’s Final Resting Place

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Frederic  Chopin’s  Final Resting Place – his fans still bring him flowers…..

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Necropolitaine – city of the dead / cemetery

Le Memoire – the memory

 

 

 

 

 

 

POMPIDOU CENTER in PARIS, FRANCE

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April 22, 2014

Posting from home now.  All wonderful trips must come to an end and I’m now back to reality – not everyday can be  spent in Amsterdam or Paris.  But I do still have a lot to share…..such as the…

Pompidou Center !  A crazy looking place and how fun that can be!  It contains  the Modern Art Museum  ( Musee National  d’Art Moderne) and even if you  are not a fan, you should walk by  and check out the “exoskeletal” building. All the functional parts are on the outside, so they say.  I loved the fountains (free) that are adjacent to the building ” Homage to Stravinsky” .

Btw, Word Press seems to be cutting off some of my photos if you are viewing them on a large screen – please bare with me as I’m trying to find a solution. : )

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Back of the Pompidou Center, or is this the front?

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I’m pretty sure this is the front, but maybe it’s the back? ??

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Close ups of  my favorite pieces of the fountains.

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This church  and the building with the “shhh” mural sits right beside the Center.

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Gotta Love Paris!!!  Hope this made you smile.

Thanks for reading!

MORE WANDERING IN PARIS….

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April 17, 2014

More on my day of wandering in Paris….

I happened upon this huge St. Sulpice Church and snapped this shot just as a flock of birds took off.  You ask, why do I say the church is huge?  Look at the back – it literally took up the whole city block.:

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The “Love Locks Bridge” was another find.  Officially it is called  Pont des Arts Bridge.  Over the last few years a fad has been happening ( all over Europe) where couples attach a padlock with their names written or engraved onto  the railings or grates of the bridge  and then throw the key into the River Seine. There is some concern  about the metal pollution to the river from all of the keys and sometimes  police patrol the bridge to try and stop the keys from being pitched over the side,. Also, obviously, there is  concern about the added weight to the bridge from  all the locks, but  no word on a plan regarding that issue.  How Paris say no to love???? 

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This is a full shot of the  bridge and all of the “gold” color is padlocks, packed full, both sides, all the way down, layer upon layer, some locks locked on to other locks even. 

It’s a booming business for the padlock makers!!!!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

A DAY TO WANDER IN PARIS

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HOTEL  DEVILLE

April 16, 2014

It’s fun  to take a day and wander around, discover places and things you didn’t plan on and  to look for the beauty and humor that might have escaped you otherwise.  That’s what I did today and I found many nooks and crannies that made me smile.

Such as the photo above of the Hotel DeVille – that’s what the Parisians call their City Hall.  

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Paris has a healthy  crop of Gum Drop bushes.

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 Not quite sure what’s going on here……..but don’t think I’d want that job……

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Look at this Gasoline Station – can we call this the definition of “minimalist”?

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You gotta love it !  Oh how I can  expand on this!

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and last but not least….. a typical Paris sight.

Lot’s more to come…..

Thanks for reading……

 

 

 

 

 

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