28.4.11

Avenue de Breteuil

Behind, south of, the Invalides is a long park-like avenue, Avenue de Breteuil. Let’s start from the middle, at Place de Breteuil.

From here we can see the Invalides (see previous post), the Eiffel Tower (see previous posts), the Tour Montparnasse (see previous posts) … and a monument honouring four personalities.
Let’s start with a few words on this monument which stands where - before the area was completely transformed by the end of the 19th century - you could find the Abattoires (slaughter-house) de Grenelle. If we look who were these four personalities, we will also understand why the monument stands here.
Louis-Georges Mulot (1792-1872) drilled here in 1841 the first Paris 547 m (1800 ft) deep artesian well.. The water arrived on this spot, but was directed to the bigger Place de Breteuil outside the slaughter-house where a water sparkling tower was erected. It seems that no water is pouring here anymore. A number of artesian wells were created in Paris during the latter part of the 19th century, to a large extent drilled by L-G Mulot, but today only three remain: Square Lamartine, Place Paul-Verlaine and Square de la Madone (see previous post).
Valentin Haüy (1745-1822) founded the first school for the blind, to become the “Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles”, situated not far from here, where later Louis Braille (1809-52), the inventor of “braille”, was a pupil and later teacher.

Rosa Bonheur (1822-99) was a painter and sculptor, leading feminist, wearing trousers, living with female partners... The painting by her you see here is to be found at MMA in New York.
Eugène Bouchut (1818-91) was a medical doctor, especially linked to the nearby hospital “Necker -Enfants Malades” (sick children).

The water-sparkling tower disappeared and was in 1908 replaced by a monument (by Alexandre Falguière, 1831-1900) in honour of Louis Pasteur (1822-95), whom we have to thank for the pasteurization (safe milk, wine, beer… drinking), vaccine for rabies and anthrax and a lot more. The Institut Louis Pasteur is also quite close.
Before leaving Place de Breteuil, maybe a quick look backwards, in the direction of the metro which here is over ground. Zooming, you may read some old publicity.
Walking in the direction of the Invalides, the avenue is mostly surrounded by some fashionable, typical bourgeois buildings, with a few different ones, including the “Petites Soeurs des Pauvres” home for elderly people, the Paris home of Michelin, where the famous guide is created, and the back side of the Saint-François-Xavier Church (still to be posted about).
From the attitude of people on the middle lawn, you may guess the weather we have had lately.
At last we arrive to Place Vauban and reach the Invalides from what you may consider as the back side.

23 comments:

Cheryl said...

I've seen Bonhour's painting. It's amazing. It fills the entire room. And Paris is simply too stunning. Sigh...

Thérèse said...

"Les beaux quartiers"

Studio at the Farm said...

As always, a wonderful posting. I love the Bonheur painting of the horse fair. It's one of my favorite paintings - so much powerful and untrammelled horseflesh!! I have as yet to get to one of your architectural photos, but my post today does have sketches of the waterfowl at "your" park. And may I say, I am SO jealous of your weather; it still feels like winter here.

Pierre BOYER said...

Great page Peter !
It's a pleasure to visit Paris trough your pictures...
Regards,

Pierre

claude said...

Quel interessant post historique, Peter ! Merci pour cela et que Paris est beau !
Ma Mémé me parlait souvent de l'avenue de Breteuil, je me demande si c'est pas là où elle allait travailler en tant que couturière (avant d'être concierge).

Cergie said...

C'est une rue qui vaut cher au monopoly. Mon fiston a été hébergé là quelques temps (sur la gauche en regardant les Invalides) par un copain dont la soeur était en Australie, avant de se mettre en colocation rue Henner...

Synne said...

Oh, that is a lovely area. I like how city people all over the world throw themselves down on the grass as soon as the sun comes out, and how there are little signs by those lawns saying "jeux de ballon strictement interdits"!

hpy said...

Un beau quartier pour de belles promenades. Ca donne presque envie de faire un petit saut à Paris. Presque.

Ruth said...

Brilliant research and post as I have come to expect from you. How can there be so much more to learn about this city? I am quite happy to see a woman among the quartet.

Adam said...

Excellent work as usual Peter. I thought Rosa Bonheur was just a café in the Buttes Chaumont park!

Cezar and Léia said...

So beautiful sunny Paris,and your post is perfect!Lovely pictures, wonderful collages!
We were visiting Tuscany! And today lots of laundry to do and I'm also trying to visit blogfriends! :) LOL
Thanks for this amazing post!
hugs
Léia

Virginia said...

How is it that I STILL have not visited the Invalides?? So of course I"ve not seen this lovely park. BTW, very clever that aerial map with the photos. That must have taken hours!! I can see April in Paris is all that it's cracked up to be! :)
V

Jeanne said...

Peter, thanks so much for the beautiful walk today! The Invalides is one of my favorite places to explore and the park is beautiful when the daffodils bloom. Have a great day!

starman1695 said...

What is a "water sparkling tower"?

Flartus said...

After an absence of a dozen years, I am finally heading back to Paris in June. Your posts are going to find their way into my list of things to see and do. So many times I've wondered why monuments such as this one were erected, and what the importance was of the people involved.

Catherine said...

another beautiful part of Paris accessed so wonderfully for us...

Julie said...

Mmm ... I thought you were using Google Earth to get this aerial shots of Paris. But I have downloaded it and that's not the one.

GE seems to be part photograph and part artist's impression. I need to go back and look at my shots from Montparness Tower ... which approximate you views ... sort of.

How were you and your friend getting to Mongolia ... by train? Mongolia is a large country ... larger than France, nearly as large as Australia.

Trotter said...

Hi Peter! Finally some time to stop by... And always learning when coming here!! Incredible the way you transformed Avenue de Breteuil in such an interesting spot... One wouldn't find it by just going there... ;)

Blogtrotter Two is still strolling in Amsterdam... Enjoy and have a superb weekend!!

ALAIN said...

Les "jeux pour enfants", c'est bien...mais on ne peut pas dire que cela améliore le paysage.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I must look back over all my photos , sure I have some of this area .. if NOT will just have to go back :-)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Les Invalides has been a stopping place for me for years although I cannot pinpoint why other than it was the pattern for the Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.

I love the courtyard and cannons and the grounds are exquisite as you have shown... I will have to walk along Avenue de Breteuil on my next visit!

Bises,
Genie

ParisBreakfasts said...

Ah Spring in the parc!!!

Emille said...

Oh, your pic of the map of the "roundabout" reminds me on how crazy the traffic was there (we came by car from Amsterdam, since Holland is my country of origin).
You seem to know Paris well! What's the best time to visit? We came in Aug. and it seemed like the people who actually live there were on vacation.