16.5.11

Grenelle (2)

Referring to the previous post about Grenelle, my intention was not really to show a church again, but this one is so different. It is called Saint-Léon and was built 1924-33, in concrete, covered by brick. Both the exterior and the interior are in a for those days typical art deco style.
The original Grenelle 19th century buildings have to some extent been replaced and completed by more modern ones. During the first years of thye 20th century, some architects have excelled in art nouveau style, perhaps here more visible by the decoration of the buildings than by the architecture itself, so maybe more due to the sculptors.
Please notice the roots of the vines covering this building.
The Grenelle area is also known for having hosted the Paris winter cycling stadium – Vélodrome d’Hiver – best known as “Vel d’Hiv”. The building was destroyed in 1959. Unfortunately the name is especially linked to an event in 1942, during the Nazi occupation. Some 8000 Jews, where of 4115 children, spent five days here in terrible conditions before most of them ended up in Auschwitz.
In 1995, Jacques Chirac, soon after he became President, said: “Yes, the criminal madness of the occupier was seconded by the French, by the French State, everyone knows it. That day, France accomplished something irreparable.”

Close to where the "Vel d’Hiv" stood, on the Seine bank, is today a “Place des Martyrs-Juifs”, opened in 1986. The monument is there since 1994 and was created by Walter Spitzer, born in Poland, who managed to come back alive from the ghetto, Auschwitz, Buchenwald…).


21 comments:

Starman said...

Whatever the architecture is called, I like it. Once again, great pictures with great history. Merci, Monsieur.

Studio at the Farm said...

Thank you, Peter - some beautiful examples of art deco. and, as always, some fascinating information.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Peter, thank you for the story and the photos of the monument and the old photos of Vel d'Hiv. Quite a contrast to the beauty of the art nouveau of Grenelle's buildings.

Bises,
Genie

Thérèse said...

Une eglise art deco! Il ne doit pas y en avoir tant que cela.
Un billet de valeur comme toujours.

Pierre BOYER said...

Merci...

Pierre

Suzane Weck said...

Continuo seguindo seu blog e gostando cada vez mais.Lindas fotos e muito bom texto sobre Grenelle.Nao conhecia,e adorei viajar um tempo por ali.Grande abraço Suze.Weck.

Cezar and Léia said...

Wonderful set of pictures!
I like a lot the charming facade with all balconies!
Léia

Adam said...

Interestingly, isn't that the building of the French interior ministry behind the 'Vel d'Hiv' memorial? They have a big counter-intelligence unit there, but it must be a good thing that the state's secret services have a constant reminder in front of them of what can happen if they use their powers in the wrong way.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

merci Peter , another very interesting post .. and another area I have not seen.. :-) wonderful photos on both Grenelle posts. e

Maria O. Russell said...

I can tell by your breathtaking photos that your camera is back to normal again.

My country is "de gran fiesta." Yersterday, we celebrated 200 years of Independence. Seven French Senators came to celebrate with us.

Thank you so much for your beautiful posts!

Trotter said...

Great places you're showing here!! The Art Nouveau are true masterpieces!! And the story of the Vel d'Hiv deserves to be remembered...

ALAIN said...

Un quartier qui est rentré dans l'histoire par ses accords.

claude said...

Beau post, Peter, comme d'hab' !
L'Eglise Saint-Léon est peut-être plus belle à l'intérieur qu'à l'estérieur. Les immeubles sont magnifiques et il est plus que cetain qu'on a pas la derrière propre dans l'affaire des rafles des Juifs pendant la guerre.
Le moment de Walter Spitzer est très beau.

Ruth said...

Vel d'Hiv reminds me of the Astrodome in Texas where the victims of Katrina went to live in terrible conditions. But they did not face quite what these Jews faced. How horrible.

Blu said...

Wonderful to view the marvelous architecture that you capture so well. Interesting and so sad to read about another piece of WWII history. Thanks for educating me Best wishes Blu.

Ash said...

Wonderful post, Peter. Stunning images, as always.

Virginia said...

This part of history for France is very sad. Thank you for posting this.
V

J Bar said...

Fantastic.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

M said...

Peter, Thank you for this post -- I just finished reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay -- it is about what happened in 1942 at Vel d'Hiv -- You have helped me picture the surroundings. Your photos are beautiful -- Love the vine!!

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Didn't know such places existed in Paris at all...seems so much like India :)

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