30.10.09

Avenue Victor Hugo


Today I propose a walk along one of the 12 avenues leaving from La Place de l’Etoile (Place Charles de Gaulle), Avenue Victor Hugo. The walk is relatively long, some 1.8 km (1.2 miles) and may take a while, depending on curiosity, wish to shop, to eat or drink....

It’s a typical Parisian avenue with trees all along, with a lot of Haussmannian buildings, but some smaller “hôtels paritculiers” (private mansions) remain. It crosses the Place Victor Hugo.
One of the private mansions that have disappeared is where Victor Hugo spent his last years. It’s now replaced by an apartment building from the beginning of the 20th century, decorated, over the entrance door, with a sculpture of Victor’s face. The avenue got its present name already when Victor lived here and he could receive mail addressed ” Mr. Victor Hugo, In his avenue, Paris”. Very popular and appreciated, when he died in 1885 it was decided to reinvent the Pantheon (see previous post) as a place for homage to great French citizens. The funeral procession from his home to the Pantheon was followed by some 1,5 million people.
I’m not going to tell the life story of Victor Hugo here, but everybody may not be aware that in addition to being a great novelist, poet and politician, he was also a surprising and talented painter. Consider that these paintings were made in the mid 19th century, well before the impressionism.

An original bronze monument to Victor’s honour at Place Victor Hugo disappeared during the Nazi occupation, as many other Paris statues; the material was needed for the war. There is now a water fountain. A statue made by Auguste Rodin (he made several of Victor) has later been placed at the extreme end of the avenue (see also top picture).

Place Victor Hugo is surrounded by some nice bars and restaurants, shops, a church...

Here and there you can find some openings, to the left or to the right. One of them is the Square Lamartine, where is also situated one of the three remaining Paris spring water sources (see previous posts).
There is also a gallery (at no. 111), “Cité l’Argentine”, created by Henri Sauvage, a remarkable architect with some interesting buildings also elsewhere in Paris (I will revert) – Adam / “Paris Invisble” wrote about one of them.
All along the avenue you will be tented by a large number of elegant fashion, antique, jewellery, cigar, gourmet shops and patisseries, bars, restaurants.... The avenue is very “chic”.

I wish you a nice weekend!

48 comments:

James said...

A masterpiece of a post. I wish you a nice weekend too.

krystyna said...

I spent a nice time with you walking down the Avenue Victor Hugo.
Thanks!!!
Have a good, relaxing weekend!

Catherine said...

looks a great place to stroll... and I agree that those paintings by Hugo are very strong..

Polly said...

Peter, thanks for the stroll. As many times as I have been to Pl. Victor Hugo, I've never walked the length of the blvd. When I return next spring, I'll make it a point to go look for this sculpture. Thanks for bringing another little piece of Paris to light!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Wonderful post! Paris surely is a hub of culture!

Do have a great weekend!

hpy said...

Ton blog est tellement pratique. QUand on a envie de fare un tour à Paris, on vient te voir! Ca va plus vite.

alice said...

Je ne savais pas que Victor Hugo était aussi peintre... Joli quartier, propre, calme et bien rangé ;-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

An amazing post Peter, thank you. I will be doing that walk on my return, really would like to see the gallery.

I walk into my small town quite a bit, that is 1 mile and a bit, but oh how so boring. I think that is why when over in Paris, walking is not a problem, you just forget :-)

Wonderful photos too!!

Adam said...

In amongst your always very rich posts, this one is a millionaire! I didn't know that Victor Hugo lived in his own street! How different that must have felt for him after his years of exile outside of France. I didn't know about Sauvage's Cité l'Argentine either, but I definitely want to go and have a look at that now!

claude said...

Pas le temps ce matin pour cette superbe balade, je repasse ce tantôt.

Karen said...

Wonderful post. I love his paintings and now will need to read about Victor Hugo and learn how much I don't know.
I haven't left yet and already will be making a list of places to see the next time I come to Paris.

Virginia said...

What a great tour and interesting text you gave us today Peter. I'm thinking this will be on my "new list". Sorry too I missed all the chic shops. You know how I love to "look"! I'm pretty sure I didn't see you sitting outside of Starbucks! grrrr :)
Bon weekend to you as well!
V

Thérèse said...

A profusion of images here and I love it.
It's interesting how I notice things now that I absolutely did not notice years ago... I learned a few more things about Victor Hugo, thanks.
Have a nice weekend!

Nathalie said...

Intéressant de voir que dans l'avenue qui porte son nom, la maison de Victor Hugo n'a pas été préservée...

Tu nous emmènes dans les quartiers chics cette fois-ci, les noms en vitrine en disent quelque chose, l'allure bourgeoise de l'avenue aussi. Les couleurs d'automne sont magnifiques, un beau jaune doré, mmmmh on en mangerait ! Profite bien du soleil, il parait que dès demain ce sera fini.
Bon week-end à toi !

claude said...

C'est sans nul doute une des plus belles avenues de Paris, et photographiée à cette époque et par toi, c'est somptueux.

tunisian said...

Un joli blog bravo j'adore voici mon lien j'attends votre visite: http://jardinpotager-tigre.blogspot.com/
à bientôt

Cezar and Léia said...

Adorable pictures and collages.
It's a pity those important statues and the original bronze monument to Victor Hugo desappeared for the reason of Nazis.
You took perfect and wonderful shots from there.
*** I have a problem, I mix many words in English and French when I'm speaking...I hope it's normal for now! Otherwise I'm getting crazy! LOL
Happy weekend dear friend!
Léia

Starman said...

You've certainly piqued my interest.

Margarida said...

You know I truly believe the french government should give you a medal!! You do so much for Paris, for France!
We just feel like there's no other paradise on earth (so we're byass).
But, Peter, every day I found new things that make Sweden a wonderful country with marvellous culture... ;)
New dots on 'our' swedish connection... :))

Cheryl said...

What a lovely street! A part of Paris I've never been to before. Thanks for the tour.

Cergie said...

J'étais à Paris cet AM et j'en suis rentrée sur les rotules. Alors arpenter en images ça va, si tu ne me demandes pas de déambuler en vrai. Cette statue d'Hugo par Rodin est plus harmonieuse que son Balzac qui a été conspué ! N'empêche, j'aime bien les deux.

Ruth said...

Very nice, beautiful shots, Peter.

I thoroughly enjoyed touring his apartment on Place des Vosges.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

So much to see. So little time. How do you do what you do?

The link is fixed. Thanks for telling me.

Leena said...

Victor Hugo had talents also for painting, thank you for letting us to know also that!And those Avenues of Paris, what many stories they can tell us thanksto you - again :)
I hope, your weekend is happy.

lasiate said...

l'automne semble tardif cette année. Tu uses et peut-être abuse d'un effet brume qui donne un bel effet aux images. J'aime beaucoup le cadrage et l'effet de la 1ere

ALAIN said...

Il y a pire, comme quartier...Mais ta première photo c'est : "Victor Hugo à poil sur Internet", non ?

le banc moussu said...

I wish you also a nice week end. Je ne connaissais pas ce passage en verrière.
christian

ParisBreakfasts said...

HA!
Avenue Victor Hugo's patisseries as an afterthought..?
We will re-walk that route and you will be forced to eat a pastry from each one...ahem
I LOVE Victor Hugo's watercolors!!!
And I love his museum on 6, Place des Vosges 75004

sonia a. mascaro said...

What a great tour with beautiful photos, Peter! You really did a good job here... you took many photos! Thanks for sharing your lovely Paris.

JM said...

His paintings are amazing! Glad you have show us as I don't remember any of them...

☼ FRANCE ☼ said...

Bonsoir et merci encore. je pense que tu vas bien c'est donc le principal. Superbe encore ces photos. Je ne connais pas ce quartier. Bonne soirée

Peter said...

James:
"A masterpeice", thanks!!! :-)

Krystyna:
It was so nice walking with you! :-)

Catherine:
There are some writers who are or were also great painters; another one is Strindberg! :-)

Peter said...

Polly:
I used to live not too far from the statue, so... I knew about it :-)

Rakesh:
Yes, still a lot to explore! :-)

hpy:
Le but est pourtant aussi de faire venir les gens, y compris les fécampois! :-)

Peter said...

Alice:
Je suis bien content d'avoir pu t'apprendre quelque chose! :-)

Anne:
Hope to see you walking around here soon then - again! :-)

Adam:
I knew about Sauvage, but just learnt, when making the post, that he was the architect of this gallery! :-)

Peter said...

Claude:
On t'attend! :-)

Karen:
Whe I write this, I suppose you are safely home ... preparing a list! :-)

Virginia:
You are right about the Starbuck! (Have nothing against as such, but there too many!) :-)

Peter said...

Thérèse:
I believe that with our bloggin eyes, we discover things we didn't always notice before! :-)

Nathalie:
Eh oui, aujourd'hui - dimanche - il pleut! :-)

Claude:
Merci d'être revenue, comme promis! :-)

Peter said...

Tunisian:
Merci de ton passage! Je vais passer voir "ton jardin"! :-)

Léia:
I'm so happy that you are learning / improving your French; good for a coming visit! :-)

Starman:
I'm pleased! :-)

Peter said...

Margarida:
I saw on your blog! I suppose you refer to Stieg Larsson! :-)

Cheryl:
Paris is waiting for your next visit! :-)

Cergie:
Son Balzac est en effet un peu bizarre, avec sa draperie... :-)

Peter said...

Ruth:
Yes, the one at Place des Vosges is interesting, one of the many apartments he used in Paris (without counting the unofficial ones he shared with his mistress)! :-)

Abraham:
You are right; it takes time and sometimes I'm a bot too busy, but I try... :-)

Leena:
Nice to see you back here... and that you obviously learnt something! :-)

Peter said...

L'asiate:
Aucun "effet" ici, que de l'automatique ... et un peu de cadrage! :-)

Alain:
Si tu veux de nue sur l'Internet, il y a mieux! :-)

le banc moussu:
POurtant, tu connais Paris! :-)

Peter said...

ParisBreakfasts:
No problem, I will do it, and so will you! :-)

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

JM:
So, now you know! Good! :-)

Peter said...

France:
Merci, ça va! ... et maintenant tu connais un peu le quartier! :-)

arabesque said...

hi peter!
the walk tour is fantastic.
who would've thought hugo can be an artist! but in those days...
i think people are more well-verse, talented...^-^
btw, forgive my ignorance but what is a haussman? i remember i read a novel before about "haussman or the distinction"...something like that,but don;t really know or remember if this was a writer or an architect...
thanx!

Peter said...

Arabesque:
Haussmann was a "prefet", some kind of "boss" of Paris during part of the 19th century. He executed a lot of demolishing of the old quarters in Paris, arranged for wide and straight streets... and the buildings that then were built are said to be in a Haussmannian style.

GMG said...

I miss walkinfg from le Chateau de la Muette, where I used to have many meetings, down to the Etoile... But it's amazing that, except for many phasrmacies, I don't remember seeing so many shops!!

Peter said...

GMG:
Maybe you didn't have your blogger eyes wide open? :-)

Lud said...

I´m a fan of Victor Hugo. Thanks for tell us a little of his history. Your blog is very interesting! Congrats! I´ll be here for the next post!

Peter said...

Lud:
Happy that you found "me" ... and welcome back! :-)