Walks in Paris and in the Loire valley

2015-2016 programme of my Paris visits

, 05:58am

Posted by Jean-Charles Prévost

Grande Galerie du Louvre
Grande Galerie du Louvre

This coming year we will discover unusual aspects of posh areas of central Paris and of the popular districts of the periphery, some museums and two particularly promising exhibitions.

Les Halles Saint Eustache Church

The “Belly of Paris”, as Zola called, is gone but the picturesque rue Montorgueil remains where restaurants, and luxury food stores are still there: “L’escargot Montorgueil” for snails, “Le Rocher de Cancale” for oysters, Pharamond, specialist in tripe, Stohrer, the oldest pastry shop in Paris attended by Queen Marie Leszczynska wife of Louis XV, etc. Dominating the district, Saint Eustache church is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance, built in the early 16th century instead of a small chapel to accommodate an ever increasing population.

Exhibition at the Musee Marmottan

The museum of collectors par excellence, the Marmottan Monet Museum aims to discover masterpieces from the most prestigious private collections. It is between 1906 and 1936 that the couple Hedy and Arthur Hahnloser gathered a unique collection of major Impressionist painters to decorate their home, Villa Flora in Zurich. From 10 September 2015 to 14 February 2016, the Marmottan Monet Museum presents the collection for the first time in France.

Les Invalides and relief maps

A visit under the sign of military grandeur to the discovery of Les Invalides Napoleon's grave, and the Cathedral in the French Saint Louis des Invalides which displaying a hundred trophies taken from the enemy, punctuating the history of French armies from 1805 to the twentieth century. We will continue with the visit of relief maps, a unique collection of historical models of fortified cities and their surrounding countryside, carried out between the reigns of Louis XIV and Napoleon III and presenting the fortifications built on the French coast from Cherbourg to Antibes and Calvi and mountain forts ensuring the defense of the Pyrenees.

Louvre Museum paintings

This is to discover the richness of this museum which allows for a real European tour of painting from medieval age to 1848 thanks to efforts such illustrious collectors as king Francis the 1st acquiring masterpieces of great Italian masters and invite some to his court. The collections of the Crown was constantly enriched by the French kings according to the tastes and fashions of the time by significant acquisitions of Italian paintings (Louis XV), the Spanish northern schools and works of French series (Louis XVI ).

In 1793, this set will be the starting point of the collection of the Museum in the Louvre. During the nineteenth century, the revolutionary seizures, the conquests of Bonaparte, as well as purchases to individuals contribute to the enrichment of the museum.

Charles Gleyre exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay

The illusions of academicism. France has so far never organised an exhibition of Charles Gleyre’s paintings . Yet he occupies an important place in academic painting in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. The smooth perfection of his manner and his liking for mythological subjects led historians to view him as a cold esthete, conventional and blind to the revolutions of his time. The research in art history, however, have raised awareness on the important role of his studio, from where painters such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, Claude Monet and Frédéric Bazille emerged. In addition, recent reinterpretations made appear the contradictions of the artist and his work under the sign of the spleen and the ideal,.

The thirteenth district of Butte Aux Cailles and place de l’abbé Hénocque

The 13th arrondissement south of the Place d'Italie until the Périphérique ring road, the place de l’abbé Hénocque and the Butte Aux Cailles were originally devoted to housing estates where worker families, attracted to cheap rent close to their factories like Panhard et Levassor Porte d'Ivry, have found accommodation in the 19th and 20th. The area was a hotbed of the Paris Commune and the battle that took place there gave the Versailles army the control over the whole of Paris left bank. Following the closure of factories and the rise of real estate prices the neighborhood has gentrified. At present the district displays the charming aspect of a village in Paris but continues to assert its libertarian tradition in its trendy cafes and restaurants and on the walls making it a high place of the Parisian street art.

The 7th arrondissement, district of catholic missions with a visit to the hotel de Gallifet

With its many hotels and beautiful gardens, often belonging to religious congregations the 7th district is a place to discover provided you have the keys. A good example is the Gallifet Hotel, built between 1776 and 1792 for the Marquis de Gallifet President to Parliament in Provence, which exterior and interior decoration sports the neoclassical style in vogue at the time. Seized as property of emigrated nobility in 1792, the place was assigned in 1794 to the Ministry of External Relations. Talleyrand, its most illustrious guest, received there a certain Bonaparte. Domicile of Eugene Delacroix's father this house that is not usually open to visit hosted other illustrious figures such Benjamin Constant, Madame de Staël. It now houses the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian delegation to the OECD.

The Basilica of Saint Denis and the Legion of Honor

The place of burial of the kings of France, but also a remarkable architecture, prototype of our Gothic cathedrals. We shall conclude this escapade into the 93 department “no-go zone” by a visit to another elitist place : the boarding house of young ladies of the Legion of Honour.

Place des Fêtes” to Buttes Chaumont (with picnic)

An amazing district associating Haussmann-style buildings around the park, quiet villas and high rise concrete buildings of the 70s near the “Place des Fêtes”. Worth discovering is the Buttes Chaumont park where former quarries were transformed into mountains during the Second Empire so that Mr. Perrichon can continue to dream of the Mer de Glace ...

Rue Montorgueil, hôtel de Gallifet, Place de l'Abbé Hénocque, Buttes Chaumont
Rue Montorgueil, hôtel de Gallifet, Place de l'Abbé Hénocque, Buttes Chaumont
Rue Montorgueil, hôtel de Gallifet, Place de l'Abbé Hénocque, Buttes Chaumont
Rue Montorgueil, hôtel de Gallifet, Place de l'Abbé Hénocque, Buttes Chaumont

Rue Montorgueil, hôtel de Gallifet, Place de l'Abbé Hénocque, Buttes Chaumont