15.3.12

Close to Notre Dame



If you visit Notre Dame (see previous posts), I have already recommended that you take a look from the back side, which I feel offers a much better view of the once criticized, today mostly admired, gothic architecture. (The description of “gothic” was given as a pejorative description of this type of architecture during the Renaissance; referring to “Goths”, East Germanic “vandals” with Scandinavian origins - my birth town is called Gothenburg / Göteborg - who played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire.)


Thanks to the arriving spring, I could yesterday see the Notre Dame spire behind the first out bursting magnolias.


But, the real purpose with this post is to recommend a walk in the little adjacent area on “Ile de la Cité”, where a lot has been rebuilt, but where you still find some old buildings, some narrow streets, some nice back yards, some old attractive looking restaurants …

If we compare the plan from 1739 with today, we can see that a lot of buildings, especially those in front of the Notre Dame have disappeared, some already by Napoleon during the preparations for his coronation as Emperor. The old hospital, Hôtel Dieu, to the right of Notre Dame has been demolished and is replaced by a new one to the left (see previous post)


On this view from 1550 we can see the great number of churches… Now only Notre Dame remains.

Referring to the top picture, where we can read “Rue de la Colombe”, maybe a short story about the origin of this name. Where we now see a restaurant, possibly one of the oldest eating place in Paris (which in the 1950’s / 60’s was famous cabaret and later for some years could announce 3 Michelin stars / macaroons) a couple of doves had built their nest in a building which collapsed in 1223. The female dove and her brood were trapped under the stones, but the male escaped and for several weeks he fed them. The people living in the area were very touched, managed to free all the birds and this became a place of worship… until forbidden by the Archbishop as “pagan”.


In the same street a different cobble stone design indicates where once stood a 4th century Gallo-Roman wall.

No doubt that we are close to Notre Dame.

Some of the streets are still narrow.

A mixture of really old and some a bit more recent; the really old looking one has been “arranged” in the 1960’s. The little green sign indicates the level the flood of the Seine reached in 1910.




Pushing some doors…



One of Paris’ smallest “parks” (jardinet).


Some restaurants, shops…


At the extreme end of the island, Ile de la Cité, you can find a Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation – photos of the interior not allowed.











... and also in "my" park (Square des Batignolles) there are some nice spring signs.


28 comments:

Ma Vie Francaise - My French Life said...

Stunning photos - Paris is just absolutely beautiful.

Your comments on the history of the architecture of Paris are particularly interesting.

One of our contributors wrote a fantastic article on the history of architecture of Paris in 'Architects of the State: Rise and Fall of the Beaux Arts -1', a two piece series on the development of architecture in Paris!

Take a look: http://myfrenchlife.org/2011/10/24/architects-of-the-state-rise-and-fall-of-the-beaux-arts-1/


Ma Vie Francaise - My French Life
http://myfrenchlife.org
'My French Life™ is a global community & online magazine providing engaging commentary on French society, culture, business, and current affairs'.

Vagabonde said...

Such an informative and fun post, Peter, about Notre Dame.
Well, not all of it is fun. We saw the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation last May. I did not know that there were other stars that had to be worn apart from the yellow star worn by the Jewish people. The Memorial showed that the gypsies had to wear a brown triangle, the non-conformist and vagabonds a black triangle, a pink triangle for homosexuals and so forth. It is a somber memorial, but the public garden close to it was full of roses.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Brings back memories Peter. On my most recent trip to Paris I stayed at the Hotel des grands Degres, just across the river from Notre Dame on the edge of the Latin Quarter. Best stay yet.

Denise

Olivier said...

une superbe visite de l'ile de la cité, j'aime bien ce panneau sur la crue de 1910, chaque année on nous la rappelle en disant que bientôt ça sera pire ;)

ALAIN said...

Maintenant, les rues de la Cité, c'est plutôt celles des pigeons. (au sens propre et au sens figuré)

SusuPetal said...

Magnolias, lucky you!

You've found such intimate and charming places, oh I long for a travel!

Ola said...

I would love to take this walk with the blooming magnolia around...


Life and travelling
Cooking

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Peter,
Thanks for these Spring signs!Adorable collages, I like a lot the street lamps, and the charming houses!
Here it's a beautiful sunny day, but also cold ( 2C this morning).I hope the Sun can stay a little bit...it's almost weekend! :)
I need to go out and take some pictures as well,
hugs
Léia

Adam said...

A lovely subject for a spring day! Some nice observations here, and great photos, of what - as you say - remains quite an overlooked part of the city.

You mention the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation, but what I find interesting here is that it was previously the city morgue, with large windows where people could observe the fresh corpses (ostensibly to identify them, but really for titillation).

hpy said...

J'ai mangé une fois à la Colombe - des fraises au dessert. Pour le reste je ne p'en souviens plus, c'est si loin. Le quartier est sympa et vaut bien plus d'une promenade.

Synne said...

What a lovely introduction to a lovely area!

Cergie said...

Elle est très très lourde à charger cette page, Peter, beaucoup de photos, tu as été intarissable !
De ND je préfère les arrières, plus intimes. J'aime dans les environs les glaces Berthillon, il faut donc "passer le pont".
1910 année de la grande crue, celle du passage de la comète de Halley qui est depuis revenue...

This is Belgium said...

your posts are always unbelievably impressive ! so much attention to the story, the history, the photography, the collage;.
it is truly much appreciated and I always adore learning something new about the city which I like so much

Anonymous said...

¡Como de costumbre, un artículo maravilloso, interesantísimo!

Me alegra mucho ver las flores volviendo a Paris...

Me gustan esas divinas sillas de acrílico en el restaurante.

¡Mil gracias Peter!

Maria

Owen said...

Lovely posting about a lovely area of Paris, right in the heart. Brings back lots of memories for me too. After our wedding took place in December 1992 at St Merri, not far away, the reception party was in la rue Chanoinesse, in a beautiful old place which could be rented for parties like that at the time. We later learned that the Aga Khan had an appartment in another part of that building, a pied à terre in Paris...

Thérèse said...

De bien interessantes vues. Pourvu que tous ces lieux restent avec leur histoire mis a part les graffitis sur les murs bien sur. Un Paris intime.

Virginia said...

Oh I love the area around ND. One of my fondest memories is Eva and Davis on the seesaw in that little playground adjacent to the church, and the lovely little park around behind with the fabulous pink roses climbing all over the fence!

"Your" park is on my list now! :)
V

Honest Abe said...

I enjoyed my visit to Paris via your blog post.

Octavian-Andrei Brezean said...

Springtime has arrived in Paris to, it must be a great show out there in the parks :)

Very interesting article, and beautiful blog !

claude said...

Comme Abe a raison !
Jolie visite de l'île de la Cité.
Tu es vraiment le dénicheur des petites rues de Paris. la Reine du Monde.

Ruby said...

Very beautiful pictures. Loved the last one. Xheers, Ruby

Catherine said...

beautiful sequence of shots of Spring and the little back streets behind Notre Dame... I am looking forward to my trip to Paris - thanks for the email - will be in touch the week before but is there any day which suits you best that week - either wednes, Thurs or Fri?? I have contacted Owen too to see if he is interested in meeting up...

Shammickite said...

On my trip to Paris 5 years ago, I visited the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation. I found it very informative, and very chilling.
Thank you for your attention to detail in all your posts about the beautiful City of Paris. I always look forward to learning something new. Enjoy your spring sunshine. Here, too, we have spring sunshine, and warm temperatures, very unusual for March in Canada!

arabesque said...

too bad we haven't got enough time to wander around this neighborhood.
i'd be sure to remember this.^0^
esp like the narrow alleys and the resto with the Starck inspired chair. ^0^

Nathalie said...

J'aime bien le fait que des variations dans le pavage indique l'emplacement d'anciens édifice. Un détail réservé aux connaisseurs certes, mais ceux qui s'y intéressent peuvent retrouver les traces de l'histoire. Tu nous y invites bien sûr. Crues, martyrs de la déportation, mais aussi bourgeons, restaurants, colombes et lecture au soleil, la vie est une éternelle succession de hauts et de bas, de tragédies et de joies.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Outstanding -- Paul was right! (So yes, he read it but did not comment here, yet.)

I think most of all I loved that story of the doves (too bad it was deemed "pagan" to worship there!) and holy cow!! There were 11 churches besides the Notre Dame in 1550? Seriously? Hmmm, seems like a bit of overkill to me, lol. I guess those were the rather show-offy times of religion, though, what with relics and pilgrimages and showing people just how religious you were. I am so glad I did not live then. LOL. But, I am glad for the glimpse back in time on your research. I would love to have a time machine to see these things as they really were. As it is, I have your posts. You always do such a great job of setting a context for the history of places, and I appreciate it so much. Thank you for making this a good story for us to read!

lyliane said...

Et le bananier de ton jardin? as t il tenu le coup face aux longues gelées de cet hiver? Ici j'ai beaucoup de petits arbustes gelés, nous avons eu jusqu’à -15°.

Jeanie said...

Catching up and getting so excited about our visit next month. I spent a lot of time on Ile de la Citie when I was there before, including some of the streets in your photos I recognize, but missed seeing the Memorial of Deportation, which is high on my list. Oh, your spring is looking quite lovely! So very excited!