Archive for the ‘Paris France’ Category

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Posted: January 29, 2013 in Paris France, Watercolor Photography

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November in Paris

November in Paris


Cold…don’t think so. Paris in November is wonderful. The tourist season is slow. You can sit outside at a cafe with a hot espresso and be warmed with a sidewalk musician and a bowl of French Onion soup.
Paris, anytime, is amazing.

The Pont Neuf Bridge

The Pont Neuf Bridge

The Pont Neuf (French pronunciation: ​[pɔ̃ nœf], New Bridge) is, despite its name, the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris, France. Its name, which was given to distinguish it from older bridges that were lined on both sides with houses, has remained. It stands by the western point of the Île de la Cité, the island in the middle of the river that was the heart of medieval Paris.

The bridge is composed of two separate spans, one of five arches joining the left bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the right bank. Old engraved maps of Paris show how, when the bridge was built, it just grazed the downstream tip of the Île de la Cité; since then, the natural sandbar building of a mid-river island, aided by stone-faced embankments called quais, has extended the island. Today the tip of the island is the location of the Square du Vert-Galant, a park named in honour of Henry IV, nicknamed the “Green Gallant”.

The Seine (French: La Seine, pronounced: [la sɛn]) is a 776 km (482 mi)-long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre (and Honfleur on the left bank).[1] It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 km (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60% of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the Rive Droite and Rive Gauche within the city of Paris.

The Seine (French: La Seine, pronounced: [la sɛn]) is a 776 km (482 mi)-long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre (and Honfleur on the left bank).[1] It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 km (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60% of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the Rive Droite and Rive Gauche within the city of Paris.

The Boulevard Saint-Germain is a major street in Paris on the Left Bank (south side) of the Seine river. It curves in a 3.5 kilometer arc from the Pont de Sully in the east (the bridge at the edge of the Île Saint-Louis) to the Pont de la Concorde (the bridge to the Place de la Concorde) in the west and traverses the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements. At its midpoint, the Boulevard Saint-Germain is traversed by the north-south Boulevard Saint-Michel. The boulevard is most famous for crossing the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter from which it derives its name.

The Boulevard Saint-Germain is a major street in Paris on the Left Bank (south side) of the Seine river. It curves in a 3.5 kilometer arc from the Pont de Sully in the east (the bridge at the edge of the Île Saint-Louis) to the Pont de la Concorde (the bridge to the Place de la Concorde) in the west and traverses the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements. At its midpoint, the Boulevard Saint-Germain is traversed by the north-south Boulevard Saint-Michel. The boulevard is most famous for crossing the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter from which it derives its name.

Rest in Peace- Napolean

View from the tomb holding Napolean’s remains where he finally came to rest on French soil. The tomb is crafted in red porphyry, and placed on a green granite base, it is circled by a crown of laurels with inscriptions, which act as reminders of the empires great victories. In the round gallery is a series of low relief, sculptures by Simart. A statue of the emperor, bearing the imperial emblems, is located at the back of the crypt.

Hardouin-Mansart’s Dôme des Invalides, Paris

On the north front of Les Invalides (illustration, right) Hardouin-Mansart’s chapel dome is large enough to dominate the long façade, yet harmonizes with Bruant’s door under an arched pediment. To the north, the courtyard (cour d’honneur) is extended by a wide public esplanade (Esplanade des Invalides) where the embassies of Austria and Finland are neighbours of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all forming one of the grand open spaces in the heart of Paris. At its far end, the Pont Alexandre III links this grand urbanistic axis with the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. The Pont des Invalides is next, downstream the Seine river. The Hôpital des Invalides spurred William III of England to emulation, in the military Greenwich Hospital of 1694.

Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans (invalides) until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d’artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the musée historique des armées (Historical Museum of the Armies) in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l’armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.