Friday, October 18, 2013

Paris Part II

Gentle Friends today's Post will wrap up my trip to France.  I have really enjoyed reliving the trip and writing about the things I saw.  At some point I may even pull out these posts and have them printed into some sort of book form, sort of souvenir travelogue.
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Before I left SF for Paris I made a list of churches I hadn't seen,  it was not a long list so I knew it would be doable, and I even added a couple once I got there and started to get around the city on foot and riding Metro.  So, today let me start off with one of the oldest churches I visited.... Abbey Saint Germain de Pres, on the left bank.....

....the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, just beyond the outskirts of early medieval Paris was the burial place of Merovingian kings.  At that time, the Left Bank of Paris was prone to flooding from the Seine, so much of the land could not be built upon and the Abbey stood in the middle of fields, or prés in French, thereby explaining its appellation.  Built and rebuilt over the centuries the church is an amalgamation of styles -  the massively buttressed bell tower (c. 990) is the oldest still standing in France.....


... the interior is really dark, but the fresco's are lovely and you get such a great feeling of history here.....I also got some great shots of some of statues,,,,,


..... I loved the look of this piece and found this info on line....." This statue of the virgin with child is reassembled from three pieces of carved rock discovered in an archaeological dig near the church on the Rue de Furstenberg in 1999.  The sculpture, most likely intended to adorn the entrance to the old Chapelle de la Vierge, was probably left unfinished due to an error in its size, and the stones were reused in the foundation of a wall.  The simplified style of the crown and the lines of the virgin's face, and the slight incline of the virgin's head toward the child make this work a moving testimony to the great quality of Parisian sculpture in the 13th century."  It is amazing that this was just thrown in a pit to become part of the foundations...... carefully made by some anonymous artist, it was abandoned and ended up buried, helping hold up the building for the last eight centuries.....

another lovely statue.....

...and this much later one.....

... I thought this looked really pretty with the stained glass light filtering across the front and the candles flickering.
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Saint-Etienne du Mont was at the top of my list of churches to get to this trip.....

......there was lot of construction going on around this Church and at the Pantheon across the street (which I had been into before) so I couldn't get a decent shot of the front - this one I lifted from the net.....  a little history..."The successive stages of construction are evident in the mixture of Renaissance and Gothic architectural styles in this most unusual of Paris Churches.  The vaults of the apse were built in 1491, the chancel in 1537, the gallery in 1545 and the vaults of the nave and the transept were finished in 1580. The portal was built in 1610 and the bell tower in 1624.  The interior of the church is 223 feet long. The nave contains five bays containing dedicated chapels.The chancel is surrounded by an ambulatory. The pillars dividing the nave from the aisles are encircled halfway up by a stone railing."

 Two of the more important features of this church are the shrine of  St Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris - and - The beautiful Rood Screen........

First the shrine........(The majority of the relics of St. Genevieve were publicly burnt and dumped into the sewer during the French Revolution, but some small surviving pieces escaped as well as the rock her tomb rested, these are enshrined at St-Etienne-du-Mont)

 ... this is the rock that Sainte-Genevieve's tomb rested on before the desecration of 1793.....

....... the relics of Sainte-Genevieve......

...... the gorgeous Chapel of Sainte-Genevieve....

...... and the stained glass window from the chapel of the Saint showing the procession of the relics through the streets of Paris......

Secondly the Rood Screen.........

 ......."One of the most unusual features of Saint Etienne du Mont and probably its most beautiful element is the Rood Screen.  The Rood Screen is a double-stair arch that separates the choir, where the monks or canons sat, from the body of the church where the parishioners sat.  A reader would mount the screen by way of the intricately carved stone steps to do the readings for the day.  This Rood Screen is the only one left in Paris. It is a tremendous work of craftsmanship which adds a commanding elegance to the interior.

 ..... the main aisle with "The Pulpit - Another great treasure of the church is the wooden pulpit which dates from 1651. It is beautifully carved and has at it's base, holding the pulpit upon his shoulders, a sculpture of Sampson.  Ringing the pulpit are carvings of seven women who symbolize the virtues: Prudence, holding a book; Justice, a sword; Faith, a cross; Hope, an anchor; Temperance, pouring wine from a jug; Fortitude, holding a club and Charity, surrounded by children."
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 I got to visit two museums I hadn't been to before - The Musee des Arts Decoratifs - located in the Palais du Louvre's western wing, known as the Pavillon de Marsan.  There is a strict "no photographs" rule so I have no snaps.  I really enjoyed this museum - however, the layout (chronological, sort of) and map that I was given to follow was on the verge on incomprehensible.  It is one of the hardest museums I have ever tried to navigate - and I come from a museum education background.  The exhibits are beautiful and pieces are top notch, but if you go, and you should, throw the map away and just wander through the exhibits and enjoy what you are seeing.  The didactics are all in French, but you can get the gist of what You are looking at from the pieces themselves.

The other Museum I visited was the Carnavelet Museum -  Housed within the walls of two Renaissance-era mansions, the Hotel de Carnavalet and the Hotel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau (built in the 16th and 17th centuries, respectively), the Carnavalet Museum's permanent collection traces the history of Paris across  100 rooms. This Museum is free of charge to all visitors and tops my list of free places in Paris to visit!!  Photography was allowed, without flash, so I have some snaps to share.....

In the courtyard the first thing you see before going in is le Roi Soleil......

...... Louis XIV - (1638-1715)..... in Roman garb.....

 there are a ton of paintings.....  one of the most beautiful, IMHO......

.... Portrait of Juliette Recamier (1777-1848) painted by Francois Gerard in 1805 - it has always been one of my favorite paintings - and I had no idea was hanging in the Carnavalet.....

.... and of course a great portrait of Napoleon...


.......there are also room installations.... like this one of the Empire period.....and...


..... historic ones, like Marcel Proust's bedroom....  a very yellow room...... and again I can't stress it enough, there are lots of paintings, historical moments from Paris' past and lots of beautiful paintings of Pairs..........one that struck me as a typically lovely Parisian piece.....

....Louis-Abel Truchet - "Le Boulevard du Clichy"
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As I mentioned before I had a list of Churches and things to do while in Paris, but in just walking around I ran into other churches not on the list to visit!!  Like the Jesuit Church of Saint Peter and Saint Louis.....

 ......"In the Rue Saint-Antoineis the old church of the Jesuits, gorgeous in marbles, gilding and stucco, as is the wont of the architects employed by those wary fathers. It was built from the designs of Francois Derraud from 1627-41.  The expenses of the building were defrayed by King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, who celebrated his maiden mass there. It has the second cupola erected in Paris......"



..... and of all the large oil paintings hanging inside -  this is probably the most important
( it was hard to get a good snap)..........

"Christ in the Garden of Olives" Eugene Delacroix, 1824
It was a great addition to my itinerary as was this surprise ........

........The Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, "On December 8, 1629 the foundations were blessed by the Archbishop of Paris, Jean-Francois de Gondi.  The next day, King Louis XIII himself laid the cornerstone in the presence of the Court's 'seigneurs' and the city's officials. The construction was funded by King Louis on the condition that it be dedicated to his victory over the Protestants at La Rochelle, which he attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother."  Here are some interior shots of this lovely little church.....




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Walking back to the Metro station I stumbled upon this..... the Fontaine Moliere......

.... and found this info at Wikipedia...."The Fontaine Molière is at the junction of rue Moliere and rue de Richelieu.  Its site was occupied by a fountain known as the fontaine Richelieu until 1838, when it was demolished due to interfering with traffic flow. Joseph Régnier, a member of the Comedie-Francaise, suggested a new fountain set back slightly from the previous fountain's site as a monument to the playwright Moliere. This was France's first national public subscription for a commemorative monument dedicated to a non-military figure. Built in 1844, the fountain was designed by several sculptors, headed by the architect Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti.
The main bronze sculpture, showing Moliere seated under a portico under an imposing arch, is by Bernard-Gabriel Seurre (1795–1875) and cast by the fonderie Eck et Durand. Under him is an inscription flanked by two marble female sculptures by Jean-Jacques Pradier (1792–1852), 'Serious Comedy'(L) and 'Light Comedy'(R) - each holds a scroll listing Moliere's works."
..... just walking around I got some snaps....I especially loved this sign...........
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That wraps up my trip to France, 2013.  Thank you all so much for putting up with all these Posts, I hope that you have enjoyed them as much as I have in recounting the trip. 

I am not much of a shopper so I usually don't buy too much when I travel, I already showed what I got at Des Fills une Aiguille, let me show what else I brought home......

...... I'm a nut for big coffee cups, so I picked up the Starbucks "Paris" cup, and I do love my honey, I loved my trip to Provence...and think this lavender honey would be tasty.... and I had seen lots of Saint0-Georges and the dragon in Brittany and in Paris so this icon will be a fitting reminder of my trip, I picked it up at the Church shop across the street from Notre-Dame-des-Victories, its certified  - and - made in France!!
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Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!
Take care,
edgar

14 comments:

diamondc said...

Dearest Edgar: I am so jealous of you how lucky you are to have been able to expierence such a beautiful vacation, the pictures are breautiful, a book sounds so pleasein with your photos.
I love the Church pictures they are lovely and Juliette is stunning and Napolean is so handsom.
Is St Georges your Saint name? just curious.
Love the mug the hiney looks yummy, honey is so good for your body and mind.

Blessings
Catherine

Kielrain said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. Your photos have been so beautiful.

Mary said...

That was a great trip...I am a bit tired though and my neck is stiff from all the looking up at church ceilings . Thank you for letting me tag along.

cucki said...

Wow .. I love them all x

Margaret said...

I'm so glad you have shared your trip with us. I've so enjoyed seeing all the pictures and learning about all the places you went. Just wonderful! Thank you for sharing! Love your souvenirs too.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

fin merveilleuse!

I adore this post so much. It is filled with lovely pictures and information about the history...and mostly I just sat and looked at each church and could not stop thinking of all the prayers that have been said in each of them...of the thousands of lives that have come and gone over time...it's truly humbling.

Thank you for taking us along on your awesome adventures!

Blessings always

Barb said...

The only word I can think of is amazing!!!!Thanks you so much for sharing this trip with us!

Sandye said...

My daughter collects Starbucks mugs - I guess she and I need to plan a trip to Paris now!

Erica said...

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed all your photos!
I felt like I was right there with you!

thegreytail said...

more wonderful places, I really have to go back to Paris.
I adore those stairs.

Catherine said...

So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing ~ I can only imagine what it was like in person...

Julie said...

The Rood Screen is breathtakingly beautiful, I've never seen anything like it before.

Loraine said...

Fabulous wrap up! I have enjoyed your travel log very much. Thanks for taking the time to show us all of the wonderful things that you saw.

Chris said...

What amazing pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your souvenirs!