5.10.09

Avenue de l'Observatoire


The Luxembourg Gardens (see previous posts) are somehow extended towards the south. There is a green park like stripe leading to the Paris Observatory (Observatoire) (see previous post). The green space is surrounded by streets and it all is rather referred to as Avenue de l’Observatoire, but the green space goes also under the names of the Marco Polo and the Robert Cavelier de la Salle Gardens.

I have several times referred to the French Prime Meridian (the “Rose Line”), preceding the Greenwich one, and in 1884, after some international negotiations, abandoned - with a promised compensation that the metric system should be the universal way of measuring. During our walk here we can follow this historic line.



Placed on the “line” are also a large number of statues. A major one - from 1874 – (ten years before the Paris Meridian was abandoned) represents the globe being turned by four personalities of different sexes and races. One statue represents Michel Ney, one of Napoleon’s Marshals, who we executed here in 1815.
The park and avenue is surrounded by a number of interesting buildings, one in a Moresque style, built in the 20’s, and which houses university activities under the name of the Institute for Art and Archaeology. Another one was previously a Colonial School or Institute, known under the name of “Colo”. It replaced a Cambodian school, which can somehow be recognised in its architecture. Today it’s occupied by some activities of ENA, the National School of Administration, where most of the leading French personalities have been students. There is also a Faculty of Pharmacy.
On the way, where the Avenue de l’Observatoire is crossed by the Boulevard Montparnasse, you will also find one of the more famous Paris restaurants, “La Closerie des Lilas”, which was a second home for Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as for Baudelaire, Verlaine, Apollinaire... Here you can also see a different type of metro (RER) station.

Among the nice buildings, during the 60’s someone decided and an architect (?) managed to introduce a building, a residence for university students with restaurants and sports facilities.

This weekend we got an opportunity to watch the Luxembourg Palace by night. There is annual event called “Nuit Blanche”, translated to White Night, but the expression means also in French a night without sleep ... and there were obviously 1,5 million people strolling around Paris the whole night. The “Nuit Blanche” offers the opportunity for contemporary artists to create something related to the light and the night. Walking around together with Karen from Kissimmee in Florida, who also has a Paris blog, we went into the Luxembourg Gardens to watch the world’s largest disco ball, spreading reflected lights.

54 comments:

Karen said...

Another wonderful post. The places outside of the gardens I am not familiar with and will try to find on a walk one day.
Your photo of the Luxembourg Palace is lovely. All that leaning on the wobbly fence paid off. I didn't capture that one.

Claudia said...

Sometimes I could just burst with envy! ;-)

I have to book my next trip to Paris soon!!!

Starman said...

Fantastic pictures as we've come to expect from you.

Capy89 said...

oh, I think the idea of a green line and a historic line is really great!
and thank you for the photos of many statues in Paris... so happy to be in Paris and enjoy the masterpieces everyday!

Catherine said...

sounds good..a night without sleep once in a while..great shots..

Catherine said...

sounds good..a night without sleep once in a while..great shots..

Carole said...

Bonjour Peter, toujours de jolis reportages....
Bonne journée !

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Awesome pictures! The second one on the left can well be mistaken for the far side of the White house, Washington!

Olivier said...

dire que j'ai encore rate la nuit blanche sur Paris...cela devait être super

SusuPetal said...

The colors of autumn have also reached some trees there, I see.

Nevertheless, beautiful photos.

Bleeding Orange said...

Je n'avais jamais vu ces bâtiments de style mauresque, heureusement que tu es là une fois de plus pour nous faire découvrir tout ça !

Concernant mon expo et paris : qui sait en effet ? L'avenir nous le dira !
Je vends aussi et je posterai des photos de l'expo et du vernissage par ici pour ceux qui sont loin, pas de souci !

Adam said...

I'm not very often in that part of Paris but I love the Institute for Art and Archaeology building - it's in brick!

alice said...

Je sais maintenant quel est ce bâtiment qui m'a souvent intriguée par son architecture et sa couleur orientales...
Et je note que tu deviens un vrai oiseau de nuit! Mais la météo va peut-être contrarier tes futures escapades...

Maya said...

It's fun to see some buildings I recognize in there! I still think Paris at night is amazing. What a fun idea. I wish I could have seen that disco ball! Was anyone disco dancing underneath it?

Ruth said...

I'll come with Claudia! Nuit Blanche must have been magical.

I still can't believe what I've missed by not going further south of the Luxembourg. Shame on me. But can you blame me for missing it when there is so much to see in other places?

designslinger.com said...

Paris just has too much to offer.
A great post with wonderful pictures!
Makes us want to leave Chicago and get to the Gardens pronto.:)

Ash said...

Stunning statues and architecture!

Virginia said...

Ah I recognized the brick Natl. School of Administration from a walk that Maya, Janet and I made their last day in Paris! Very nice photos of Luxembourg Peter!
V

Nathalie said...

As-tu vraiment tenu la nuit entière pour ta nuit blanche? Si oui, bravo! Autrefois on tenait grâce à la soupe à l'oignon prise à 5h du mat' aux Halles. Comment fait-on aujourd'hui ?

En tout cas ça devait être sympa d'avoir une compagnie blogueuse pour cette virée dans Paris by night.

J'avais entendu parler de cette boule géante à la radio, je suis ravie de trouver une photo chez toi.

Bises,
Nathalie

Shammickite said...

Toronto also had "Nuit Blanche" last weekend but I was unable to go.
But I am definitely going next year!!!!

AndyEWilliams said...

I enjoyed hearing about Nuit Blanche in France. Toronto has its own Nuit Blanche as well:

http://andyewilliams.com/blog/?p=1600

amatamari© said...

That your post is much better than a tour guide: I look at the beautiful photos, I read the information I know the history of the city ...
Ah, very interesting: some details
of buildings are truly spectacular!
Thanks!

GMG said...

Hi Peter! Profiting from today’s holiday – the 99th anniversary of the Republic in Portugal - I’m happy to have some more time to surf the net and enjoy your blog!
We had the first rain here and so it's lovely to see the sun shinning at the Luxembourg. And you were not far from La Closerie des Lilas, a great place to have a drink or a meal and remember the early years of the 20th century... I had lots of nuits blanches in Paris, but never a "Nuit Blanche"... ;)
Have a great week!

Cezar and Léia said...

Splendid pictures! Very nice perspective on all of them!
God bless you!
Cezar

Catherine said...

I have never heard about the Paris meridian...how interesting..great shots...i suppose coming from greenwich I will stick with my Meridian!!

James said...

Hi Peter, This is another great post. I have only passed by but never entered the Luxembourg Gardens. Your pictures always make me long for Paris.
We almost decided to go to Paris for a second time this year but we chose a part of Europe where we have not been yet instead.
So your photos are my link to Paris. :)

Marie-Noyale said...

Moi qui suis une grande fan de Scott Fitzgerald il va falloir que j'aille diner a la Closerie!
Tu as une de ces peches pour tenir le coup tout une nuit!!!

rauf said...

We are going to have our own 'white night' this month, Diwali, festival of lights. Most of the shopping complexes during the Diwali shopping month are floodlit (though the country cannot afford such wastage of power) and open till late in the nights.

As usual a visual treat on your page Peter. An artist's paradise is presented so beautifully in your pictures. i really envy how the old buildings are so well maintained, speaks volumes about the importance given to art and architecture in your city.

le banc moussu said...

Hello Peter, thank you for being in your favorites. I'm very proud now. I already came here and learn much about Paris. Paris lovers from all over the world are now meeting through blogs.I love internet!
see you some day with our cameras.
Christian

Starman said...

RYN: Oh, now I see what you guys mean about being confused about the dates. While I was still in Canada recovering, I thought I might like to try to finish the European trip. But then I realized it would not be the best idea, and decided to come home to recuperate. As much as I love Paris, the REAL prize of this trip was to have been Barcelona. I guess it will have to wait a while longer.

claude said...

Je connais bien cet endroit et cela me fait plaisir de le revoir.
Moi aussi je pratique la nuit blanche, presque toutes les nuits!!!

Starman said...

Further clarification on the dates of the disaster. I only just tonight realized that I had written 16 Octobre instead of 16 Septembre. No wonder everyone is confused. Sorry about that.

hpy said...

Je passerai à Paris samedi prochain, un neveu à qui rendre visite. CE serait sympa de pouvoir se promener dans tos les endroits que tu montres, mais je pense que j'aurai du mal à le faire en une seule petite journée! Il en faudrait des nuts blanches pour y arriver.

Catherine said...

En lisant ton post, je me disais que Karen avait trouvé le guide parfait pour visiter la capitale. Je suis certaine qu'à force d'arpenter les rues de Paris, tu connais tous les raccourcis, les lieux à ne pas manquer, mieux que moi, parisienne de naissance, à n'en pas douter.

ParisBreakfasts said...

WOW again!
No one does it better. I can not stop looking at this first picture.
and the 2nd and 3rd, 4th,5th..
The ambience of Paris captured so well.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Your presentation is always mindblowing!

Photos from Kas Plateau

Cergie said...

C'est un coin que je fréquente pas mal quartier étudiant oblige ; mais tu as réussi à me surprendre avec ta top picture, la façon dont la statue les colonnes les marronniers ela façade et les réverbères se répondent, c'est une great compo.
(Du jardin du Luxembourg au 14ème il n'est que quelques -grandes- enjambées... Tu es déjà allé manger à la Closerie des Lilas ?)

from cali said...

The Institute for A&A made me stop in my tracks when I stumbled upon it as so many things in Paris do.

Did you shake your booty under the world's largest disco ball? ;-)

(Regarding Friday's post: I would like to have been one of those people sitting on the banks of the Seine enjoying the "summer" night. Since I'm not your beautiful photos will have to suffice!)

JM said...

I find the brick colour building so unique! Love it! The perspective of the first shot is wonderful! Great post!

Peter said...

Karen:
You have a lot of time... just hope that the clouds and the rain will disappear! :-)

Claudia:
Do it!! Soon!! :-)

Starman:
Thanks and welcome back here! Read your incredible story ... Hope that you feel fine now! :-)

Peter said...

Capy89:
Also happy to see you here again; you had disappeared for a while! :-)

Catherine:
I'm not a big sleeper, so a late night is not a big problem! :-)

Carole:
Bonjour à toi aussi... et merci! :-)

Peter said...

Rakesh:
Thanks! Some pillars less maybe? :-)

Oliver:
C'était bien, mais je m'attendais peut-être plus. Énormément de monde et un temps assez agréable! :-)

SusuPetal:
September has been very dry, hardly a drop of rain (now we have it)! :-)

Peter said...

Bleeding Orange:
Si tu exposes à Paris, je pense que tu auras du monde! :-)

Adam:
I almost made a remark about the bricks, with a link to your blog! :-)

Alice:
En effet, les nuages sont arrivés (de Bretagne) :-)

Peter said...

Designlinger:
Thanks for "finding" me! Checked your very interesting site! :-)

Ash:
Yes! :-)

Virginia:
A building that you easily notice! :-)

Peter said...

(Sorry, not in order...)

Maya:
Yes, I know from Virginia that you passed by! Unfortunately, nobody was dancing... at least not while we were there! :-)

Ruth:
No blame of course, but yes please come back soonest, joining Claudia maybe? :-)

Nathalie:
J'ai tenu relativement tard (sans soupe, mais après un bon dîner avec Karen). Mon arrivée à la maison était retardée par beaucoup de marche; le métro (gratuit) marchait sur certaines lignes, pas toutes! :-)

Peter said...

Andy:
Happy to find you here! Yes, I noted that Toronto organised the "White Night"! :-)

Anantamari:
Thanks, then I have accomplished part of what I wanted! :-)

GMG:
When can we have a meal together at the "Closerie", or elsewhere? Or a nuit blanche? :-)

Peter said...

Cezar:
So, it your turn! Congratulations to you as well! ... and thanks for your comments! :-)

Catherine:
Of course, you can stay with Greenwich, but maybe you could do something about the metric system? :-)

James:
There is so much to see in Europe ... and elsewhere! :-)

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Je t'invite à la Closerie! :-)

Rauf:
Yes, Paris has its special style and efforts are made to keep most of the interesting buildings in shape. But, of course nothing is "perfect"! Is anything? :-)

Le blanc moussu:
Yes, I found your very interesting blog thanks to Carol. It's certainly worth visiting! Yes, hope we can meet one day! :-)

Starman:
I can see that you made a comment also below ... which better answers our questions! :-)

Peter said...

Claude:
Les nuit blanches; je me couche aussi tard, mais après je dors bien - en général! :-)

Starman:
That's what I thought! :-)

hpy:
Dommage, mais je ne serai pas là! :-)

Peter said...

Catherine:
Tellement content de te retrouver ici, enfin! On pourrait se voir pour une promenade ... on est presque voisin je crois? :-)

ParisBreakfasts:
"Noone does it better...". Each of us has his or her style! Yours is fantastic! :-)

Bhavesh:
Thanks! :-)

Peter said...

Cergie:
Merci pour te compliments! Oui, j'ai mangé à la Closerie. On y retourne - ensemble? :-)

From Cali:
No dancing, unfortunately! :-)

JM:
Glad you like it! :-)

ALAIN said...

Tu n'as pas croisé le fantome de François Mitterand ?

sonia a. mascaro said...

I am always amazed with your photos.... just beautiful!

Peter said...

Alain:
Non... mais j'ai bien sur pensé à lui! :-)

Sonia:
Thanks again for your kind words! :-)