Boulevard Péreire

I have already at a few occasions (I refer e.g. to my post about Gare du Nord) talked about the circular railroad, “La Petite Ceinture” (The Small Belt), created during the latter half of the 19th century, just inside the then relatively new Thiers Wall (see previous post) which surrounded the city still for a few decades. This was before the opening of the metro and there was a need to connect especially the more important railway stations.

With the time, now and then, I may bring you on a complete tour of the “La Petite Ceinture”, progressing slowly; although it’s basically not more in operation since the 30’s, the traces are there, parts of the rail tracks are still used for the rapid metro lines (RER) and some stations are still in use, sometimes as shops, sometimes as restaurants .... sometimes as metro stations.

Today I would like to take you along for a little part of the “Ceinture”, the Boulevard Péreire. It has got its name from the brothers Péreire, of Portuguese origin (Pereira), financiers involved in banking, steamship lines, insurance, newspapers... railways and the local transport systems. They owned the railway line which used to pass here.

You can follow the boulevard from Porte Maillot, its large hotels, congress building, restaurants....
In the beginning, the space between the buildings on both sides of the boulevard is today covered by a park with a still working quick metro line (RER) below. (See top picture. Some of these photos were taken last year – under the sun, absent during my walk this week.)

On our way, we will cross Place du Maréchal Juin and pass by the station Courcelles-Levallois (covered by tennis courts). As from here the metro takes another direction and the old “Petite Ceinture” rail tracks, not used any more, become visible (see the pictures with the plan above) although largely hidden by growing trees. We will cross Place Wagram and end up close to the tracks that lead to Gare Saint Lazare.
On both sides of the boulevard most of the buildings are from around the shift of the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of them can be described as of high standard.
Many of the buildings have artist studios on the top; I guess that few artists today can afford to live here.

I wish you all a nice weekend!



(My first day back from Sweden; I had nothing in reserve and had to go out “hunting” despite the rain.)

Between the Eiffel Tower (see previous posts) and the 18th century Military School (Ecole Militaire) you will find the Champ-de-Mars (“Campus Martius”, “Field of Mars”). From being vegetable gardens, later used for horse races and especially as a military training camp and after having hosted some Universal Exhibitions (1867, 1878, 1895 – when the Eiffel Tower was erected – and 1900) it’s today of course quite park like. (The photo from the top of the Tower was taken another day.)

It’s surrounded by some nice apartment buildings. (It seems that the prices in the neighbourhood dropped when the Eiffel Tower was built... they have risen since.)

The flowers had somehow suffered from thunderstorms and heavy rain during the preceding night. Fortunately there are some places to sit down for refreshments and to hide from the rain.

I could draw your special attention to two monuments to be found here. They are both recent; the first one is the “Human Rights Monument” from 1989 (by Ivan Theimer) , celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Revolution and especially of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen”. It has some Egyptian influence with its two bronze pylons, which, as the door on the backside, are covered with illustrations, signs, symbols and texts referring to Human Rights.
Several events took place on the Champ-de-Mars during the Revolutionary years, including the “Fête de la Fédération” on July 14th 1790, one year after the Bastille, to celebrate the establishment of the short-lived constitutional monarchy - a constitution grudgingly accepted by King Louis XVI -, which some then expected to be the “happy end” of the French Revolution.

The other monument is the “Monument to Peace” (see also top picture) by Clara Halter and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It dates from 2000. The word “peace” is written in 32 languages. You are supposed to be able to leave your personal peace message electronically or by slipping your notes of prayers into some openings on the wall. The monument has of course a perfect place here on the old “battle field”.

I met a Japanese married couple and some workers on their way to climb painting the Eiffel Tower.



During my temporary absence, here is another preprogrammed post from our marvelous weekend on the Côte d’Azur on the invitation of Jilly, this time from the little village Gorbio, situated on the top of a hill a few kilometers from the coastline (see map on my Menton-post), hardly visited by tourists, easily reachable from Jilly’s house by car or on feet, following the old donkey road, the choice we made (a bit climbing of course).

There was a baptising ceremony in the 17th century church. The little girl was more interested in picking up the rose petals than by the ceremony.

We had a most enjoyable lunch at “Beauséjour” on the small central place, starting with some sparkling aperitifs, Kir variations, with flavours of lavender, poppy, rose and violet.

You can find these photos in full and a slideshow on Ipernity.


To conclude my series of preprogrammed posts from Menton and surroundings, here is again the view from Jilly's terrace where we enjoyed a very nice lunch. Her garden is full of flowers of all sorts.

I take the opportunity to once more express my great thanks to Jilly for these wondeful days in her company, together with Nathalie, Richard and Stuart (Chuckeroon).

I hope to be back "in direct" on Wednesday and also to have the time to again make the tour of the blogs I have missed for a week or so.


Monte Carlo

So, in the preprogrammed posting during my absence, here is a new episode from our wonderful stay on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) on the invitation by Jilly; this time with some shots from Monte Carlo. Please note that Jilly also has a special Monte Carlo blog!

It’s difficult to imagine the present economic crises when you visit a place like this. We also somehow behaved as if there is no crisis and had some champagne at the “Bar Américain” of the Hôtel de Paris, followed by dinner at the Café de Paris. Fortunately there are days like these!

Most of the buildings around the “Place du Casino”, the Casino, the Opera and the Grand Hôtel, were designed by Charles Garnier, the creator of the Paris “Opera Garnier” (see previous post).

The place was in full preparation for the Formula 1 race next weekend with stands and a lot of protections built up which made it difficult to get any larger nice views for photos.

If you want to have a closer look on some of these photos, please go to Ipernity.

Time to wish you a nice weekend!



So, in my absence, here continues the posting about our wonderful weekend at Menton and surroundings on the invitation by Jilly. (See previous post.)

This one is about Roquebrune (see map on the previous post), like Menton part of France since 1860. Roquebrune is situated on a hill with some fabulous views. You can distinguish Monaco in the background on my photos. There is a cemetery on the top of the hill - with the grave of Le Corbusier (see previous posts). Close to the cemetery you can admire a 2000 years old olive tree (part of the trunk on one of my photos).

Some of the surrounding villages including the posh Cap Martin are now part of a commune with the official name Roquebrune-Cap Martin.

You can find these photos in full and as slideshow on Ipernity.


Fight against leuchaemia

When you read this I’m off to Sweden for a week or so. I had already preprogrammed some posts from our blogger meeting on the French Riviera a week ago, but yesterday I attended a yearly manifestation in the memory of Laurette Fugain - the daughter of a famous French author and singer - who died in leuchaemia... organised by her mother and of course especially with the purpose to draw the attention to the need for blood, platelets and bone marrow in order to save and cure those who suffer.
It took place on the Champs de Mars. A number of artist friends - TV presenters, singers... participated.
After the release of balloons, a very peaceful and friendly march took place ... no need for police forces.

I dedicate this post to our blogger friend Krystyna and her grandson Kevin!

So, as from Wedenesday, the Riviera posts will hopefully appear.


Mid-month theme - subways

Time again for the mid-month theme “subways” and once more I have the privilege to have a “guest star”. This time it’s “Sparkle Mirror” with the real name David Lorell Hoskins. He has a studio upstate New York and specialises in a very artistic way in ceramic tiles of which you can often find examples on his blog.

This one represents obviously the Porte Dauphine metro station, designed by Hector Guimard. Together with the Abbesses station they are the only remaining ones with entrance roofs. If you wish to check how well David has captured this specific design, you could go to some of my previous posts about Guimard (G1, G2) and the metro stations Porte Dauphine and Abbesses.

The subway theme is shared by bloggers from New York, Stockholm, London, Budapest and Sydney. You can find today’s and other related posts by using the following links:

(You can also find some other related older posts on my previous blog via this link: PHO.)

Once more, time to wish you a nice weekend!

I will be off to Sweden again for a bit more than a week. I have prepared some posts from our last blogger meeting on the French Riviera. So next week there will be some photos from Monaco-Monte Carlo, Roquebrune and Gorbio. I hope you will have a look, although I may not be there to visit your blogs. Next post “in direct” should be only on Wednesday the following week.


Meeting bloggers at Menton

Together with Nathalie (Avignon in Photos), Richard (Neue Zürcher Blog) and Stuart (“Chuckeroon” –Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo) , we had the privilege to meet for a long weekend at one of the nicest places in France (on the globe?), Menton, and to be welcomed by Jilly (Menton Daily Photo), who is fortunate enough to live there.

Jilly had organised our visit in the most wonderful way. We visited not only Menton, but she took us also to some other close-by places like Roquebrune, Gorbio and Monaco – Monte Carlo.

Below you will find some illustrations which hopefully well reflect what a nice time we had. We didn’t talk only photography! One of our lunches we had on the charming terrace of Jilly’s house, overlooking the fantastic landscape with the Mediterranean in the background.

I will be back with some (shorter) posts about our weekend, but will today start with some impressions from Menton, very close to the Italian border and after different reigns (including the Monaco Grimaldi family) part of France since 1860 (with some short interludes during the more recent wars).

The old city is perhaps the most charming part of the place (see also the top photo)...
... with a cemetery at the top of the hill, offering spectacular views in all directions, but...
... we must not forget that the city of course developed to tourism during the 19th century with some impressive palaces, a casino...
... and of course not the water front!
I made this post a bit earlier than my "normal" Wednesday posts. I will again be quite busy the coming days... and please accept my appologies for not having time to visit your posts the way I normally like to do it.
... and if you wonder: The moon on the night shot from Menton is not quite at its place. It's a seperate photo.
You can find some of my Menton photos also on Ipernity.