Across the Seine from Notre Dame

This week we already visited some medieval sites, the Collège des Bernardins and the Hôtel Cluny. Within a very short distance, there are some more.

Just crossing the Seine from Notre Dame (of course also medieval, built 1163-1345), there is a small nice little park called Square René Viviani. (Actually, from there you have one of the best possible views of the cathedral.) This square actually used to be a Merovingian (5th – 7th century) cemetery and later there were some monastic buildings.

On the square can find what may be the oldest tree in Paris (1601-02?). The tree is tired and now supported by a concrete column. When I passed, it was slightly raining and the tree served as shelter for four gentlemen who had just finished their wine bottle.

There is a kind of platform which actually is built by remains from the 19th century renovation of Notre Dame. Part of a dwell from the 12th century is also to be seen.
The area is full of old houses, probably not medieval, but you have a clear feeling of being a few centuries back, when walking around in some of the streets.

Just behind this square, you can find what may be the oldest church in Paris, Saint Julien le Pauvre, built between 1170 and 1240 on the ruins of a 6th century church (destroyed by the Normans). It was originally closely connected to the Paris University. Today the church is used by the Melkites (Arab and Middle East Greek Catholics). The church has been modified during the centuries and is today much smaller than the original plans (you can see an old wall on the right front).

Another church, which may compete with Saint Julien le Pauvre to be the oldest one in Paris, is Saint Séverin. The construction of the current church (which again replaced another one destroyed by the Vikings) started probably already during the 11th century, but the church is basically late Gothic from the 15th century. The portal is 13th century (brought from another church.) Some ruins of and adjacent cloister and charnel-houses can still be seen.

As a last item on this short medieval tour we can see the chapel, which is all that rests of another college, le Collège de Beauvais. The college was for centuries one of the leading ones and had pupils like Jean Racine, Charles Perrault (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood...), de Bougainville, Cyrano de Bergerac... The chapel which dates from 1375 is today a Rumanian orthodox church (not open for visits). The octagonal gothic spire is the only one of this type remaining in Paris.

Time again to wish you a nice weekend!


Mona said...

Cinderella & Little red riding hood were tales written by a French Author Charles Perrault?

WoW! I had no idea!

Beautiful pictures again!

The tree seems to be termite ridden. I hope they treated it accordingly!

hpy said...

The vikings and the normans together (or one after another) have done much. Aren't you a viking, by the way?

alice said...

Je crois que désormais pour moi, Notre-Dame et la chaleur seront indissociables: début juillet 2006, j'accompagnais ma fille qui passait un concours tout près de là, il faisait une chaleur étouffante, j'avais cherché refuge dans la cathédrale mais il y faisait à peine frais...
Sinon, Peter, ne te moque pas de moi, mon anglais manque de subtilité...;-)

Olivier said...

tu prépares la venue du Pape ;o))
j'avoue n'être jamais monté dans les tours de Notre Dame, pourtant on doit avoir une superbe vue et toi ?

Thérèse said...

Sans oublier les orgues de St Séverin qui ont une si belle sonorité!
Et puis pour ceux qui se cachent sous l'arbre: "Quand le vin est tiré il faut le boire"
Have a nice week-end!

Nathalie H.D. said...

Peter,ta transformation des benauts en beanuts m'a fait hurler de rire. Intentionnel?

Bon week-end a toi!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the trip in Paris! After babysitting it felt very good!

Happy weekend to you too!

SusuPetal said...

Thanks for the walk. I think I'll rest for a while in the park and enjoy the scenery.

Have a nice weekend, Peter!

Anonymous said...

You manage to find something new - er, old - in all the nooks and crannies. It's fascinating.

I didn't know Perrault wrote those stories either.

Anonymous said...

Have a nice weekend, Peter. I hope you get out and about or sit and watch a cricket match or do something that is not related to what you normally do. Take a friend to lunch. LOL

You do put in a great effort to bring us these testimonies about your adopted fair city.

This one about churches interested me because when you go back in time beyond the Civil War (middle 1800s) I am already out of my element and thought processes dwindle down to next to nothing because I have no memories of those times. Except that two of my grandfathers, were in it.

I certainly have no memories of churches built in 1100 to 1300, because we have none so your's are amazing to me.

That, to me, is interesting that a bunch of civilized people decided to let those places stand until this very day.

That kind of mindset is unique to Europe I guess because around here, where I live, anything close to 100 years of age is demolished and the parts and pieces end up being buried in a lake or landfill.

You are the greatest, Peter. I hope your government recognizes your efforts and awards you something.

Shammickite said...

Wonderful ancient area, I'd love to take a walk in that small park. Do you know what kind of tree it is? And what kind of wine were the gentlemen drinking? I hope it was good french wine!!!!

Jay Taber said...

My next visit to your city will be so much more rich thanks to your marvelous tours.

Neva said...

such stunning architecture!...I love churches....have a great weekend.

marie6 said...

Feels just like we're there to take the tour with you, and Paris is so beautiful and rich in history too. Well done!

Virginia said...

You give me soooo many choices. Could you narrow them down to a week's worth of must sees? I will email you as well. Merci,

Anonymous said...

It'll take more than a month to see some places that you've mentioned. There are so many of them !

Dina said...

beautiful photos. When we visited Notre Dame last year we were in the main square infront of it but the shot you took of the cathedral from that park is fantastic.

Deepak Gopi said...

Paris is beautiful,Peter's Paris is still more beautiful.
How are you sir?

HZDP said...

Peter, nice weekend too and..I have posted sth about my college as we have talked about.

Again, this is indeed beautiful, the more I look at your photos, the more I want to visit your city..

Alain said...

Je passe souvent le long de ce square, c'est un petit oasis dans ce quartier si fréquenté par les touristes.
le ciel était bien gris.

PeterParis said...

So much has been created and invented by French!

The tree is "under control", but it's of course quite old.

A viking? I don't wear a helmet, I don't drink "mjöd", I don't...

Le jour que j'ai pris mes photos, je n'ai pas souffrt de chaleur!

PeterParis said...

Moi non plus!

Je n'ai pas parlé de l'orgue; la photo était ratée et mon post était déjà trop long!

Non, un lapsus!

PeterParis said...

Baby sitting is nice; sometimes after baby sitting is also nice!

Welcome to sit down for a while!

We learn every day, you, me...!

PeterParis said...

Of course there are more old things in Europe (and in Asia ad elsewhere), however not all the nice things have been saved; wars, revolutions... sometime city planners!

Once more thanks for you very kind comments!

The tree: A "robinier acacia".
The wine: Certainly French, not necessarily the best! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thank for your visit here ... and your kind words!

Churches are nice to visit for architecture etc... !

It would be even better if you were really here!

PeterParis said...

I will mail you soonest! I hope we can make a nice programme - together!

So, you will have to spend quite some time here! Nice!!

Next time you cross the bridge!

PeterParis said...

I'm fine, thanks! ... and you?

Nice of you to keep your promises! So, one day you will come here, I hope!

En effet, c'est calme!

Chuckeroon said...

Tks for reminding me about that lovely central spike in N Dame. Very special...and it's stone!!

By the way....did you get approval from Asterix before letting out the fact that the Romans actually managed to enter Paris? (What wld we do without Gosciny and Uderzo...and you?)

PeterParis said...

History can be written in mmany ways! Where is the truth? :-)