A little blogging pause again...

I’m off again, until the end of the month. Back to Italy, but further south – Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. One of the intentions is to climb a number of volcanoes – all of course depending on the weather and the mood of the volcanoes.


Not true...

The above is what can be found on a building, close to « Les Halles ». It indicates that the present building stands on the premises where Molière was born in 1620. Actually, he was born in 1622 … and not here!

What obviously happened is that a tripe-seller once occupied the ground floor and someone made him believe that this was the place Molière was born. Of course it would make nice publicity and the tripe-seller invested in this nice piece of art to decorate the building.

Actually, Molière was born not far from here, in the crossing of Rue Sauval and Rue St. Honoré. Again, the actual building is the result of a reconstruction in the very beginning of the 19th century, but here you can find a more official plate on the front of present building and you can read that he was born here January 15, 1622. His father held a boutique selling tapestry, furniture... on the ground floor. Molière was baptized in the fairly nearby St. Eustache church.

In a previous post I talked about where he died in 1673…. and I also mentioned him in a post about Pézenas in the south of France where he performed.    

Here is a comparison of Paris today and what it looked like in the first half of the 18th century, when his birth house was still there. We can see where the correct and the false birth places were situated.


Square Robert Schumann

They could have cleaned the statue of Rober Schumann (1886-1963), not the composer, the statesman. Yesterday, September 4, was the 50th anniversary of his death.

The statue stands in a little park, Square Robert Schumann, close to his Paris home and close to what used to be the NATO headquarters until 1967, when they moved to Belgium. (President De Gaulle was not quite happy with the NATO organization.)  Today the buildings are occupied by the Paris Dauphine University. If the statue of Robert Schumann stands here it’s probably because he was the one who signed for France, as Foreign Minister, when NATO was created in 1949.

Robert Schumann’s name is however more especially regarded as one of the founders of the European Union. He was French Prime Minister and Foreign Minister at several occasions during the first years after WWII. Already in 1940 he was a minister until the Nazi occupation. He was arrested, prisoner, but escaped in 1942 and joined the French Resistance. He already then spoke about the Franco-German reconciliation. He was a major element in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, which later in different steps have led to what today is the European Union. His European, especially Franco-German, involvement can certainly be explained by the fact that he came from the Lorraine region, where he was born German and became French after WWI. 

The park is rather small, but nice, of course especially a sunny summer day.

The park has an immediate neighbor, another park, named after a French General who was killed during WWI, Ernest Anselin (1861-1916), who also was War Minister for a short while. This park, Jardin du Général Anselin, is quite different, to a large part in shadow even a sunny day. Space to play and especially to sit down… but empty despite the lunch hour.  


What is this?

There is a surprising piece of facade on an ordinary haussmannian building on Boulevard-de-la-Tour-Maubourg. It clearly reminds you of a piece of the Château de Blois, more particularly the part of the castle which was initiated by King Louis XII; Blois was his favourite royal residence. Louis reigned 1498-1515.

The resemblance with this piece of facade and the Château de Blois is even more striking when you look on some details, similar to the ones you can find on the Blois castle. The porcupine was Louis XII’s emblem. One of his (three) wives was Anne de Bretagne (Brittany) and we can read an “A”.

I have tried to find out what this façade may hide, but have no clear answer. The place seems abandoned, empty.  On the net I have found some guesses about a former (antique?) shop. I even asked someone who obviously lived in the building, but he didn’t know. On the net, there are also some hints about the “Order of the Porcupine”, which however only officially existed between 1394 and the beginning of the 16th century when Louis XII dissolved it.   I hope that maybe one of my readers may have a good explanation.