Eiffel Tower - colours

The Eiffel Tower is of course one of the symbols of Paris, one of its landmarks. When things “happen”, fortunate or (much) less fortunate, the night colours may change. The day of the Brussels killings, the colours became Belgian and I published the above photo on my Facebook site.

With the Paris events last year, the colours became blue, white and red. Well, the Tower never took the colours of other countries recently attacked, like Nigeria, Tunisia, Denmark, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Pakistan... Finally, I think I would prefer to see the Tower without any specific colours, or possibly as when it was illuminated to celebrate the European Union.

I will be off and not be posting for a week or two. In the meantime I thought you could have a look at a little collection of my Eiffel Tower pictures.   


The Saint-Sulpice Fountain

In front of the Saint-Sulpice Church (see here)  you can find the impressive Saint-Sulpice Fountain, designed by Louis Visconti (1791-1853), who for a while, under Napoleon III, was the official architect of the Louvre, but also is known for the Molière Fountain (see here) and especially for the tomb of Napoleon I (see here).

The fountain was finished in 1848 and is the place for four eminent religious figures of the 17th century, all known for their eloquence. They are facing, respectively north, east, south and west – the points of the compass, the cardinal points. This has led to a play on words (which works in French): The fountain is often referred to as that of the “quatre point(s) cardinaux”, which with the “s” simply refers to the points of the compass, but without the “s” indicates that the four never became cardinals. The pronunciation is the same.

Here are the four non-cardinals:
North: Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704), bishop (of Meaux), court preacher, by many considered to be one of the most brilliant orators of all time. (Statue by Jean-Jacques Feuchère (1807-52).)

East: François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715), commonly known as François Fénelon, archbishop, royal tutor, poet and writer (The Adventures of Telemachus). (Statue by François Lanno (1800-71).)  

South: Jean-Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), bishop (of Clermont), preacher. (Statue by Jacques-Auguste Fauginet (1809-47).) 

West: Esprit Flechier (1632-1710), bishop (of Nîmes), preacher and author. (Statue by Louis Deprez (1799-1870).)


Work in progress.

I may be repeating myself, but living close to what once was planned to be the Olympic village – if Paris had been chosen for the 2012 games – I’m so impressed by what’s now going on, how the old shunt yard has been transformed into a park (already very popular) and how the buildings around the park, a mixture of housing and offices, are sprouting up quite quickly. This is why I once more wish to show a bit of the ongoing activity around what’s named Parc Clichy-Batignolles – Martin-Luther-King. (See previous posts e.g. here and here.)

I guess that the pictures are self-explanatory,…

 … but maybe a few comments:

A special look at the future Palace of Justice, designed by Renzo Piano (also the architect of the Centre Pompidou, the Shard in London…), supposed to be in operation in 2017.

A wish not to cut "La Petite Ceinture", the railway, abandoned since the 1930's, that was created around Paris in the middle of the 19th century to interconnect the then newly created major railway stations (see previous posts) has led to newly created tracks and a need to interconnect the northern and the southern part of the park by a bridge for the pedestrians. (Will there ever be any traffic on these tracks?)

The only old buildings in the area which will remain are the warehouses of the Paris Opera for their scenic equipment, designed by Charles Garnier (see here), who of course made something more spectacular with the “Opera Garnier” (see here and here).

This newly created very populous area will clearly need – and get - some new local transport connections, metro line 14 being prolonged with stations in both extremes of the park (opening in 2019 – see here) and also the prolongation of the circular tram line (opening in 2018). 


Luxembourg Gardens - statues

The Statue of Liberty is back in the Luxembourg Gardens. Actually it’s a new copy. The previous original one (offered by the creator, F.A. Bartholdi) stood here until 2012, when it was transferred to the Orsay Museum (see also previous post).
This is not the first time I have posted (see here) about the Luxembourg Gardens, but I wanted to make a more complete post on all (?) the sculptures you may find in this great park. Originally the park was initiated, in the beginning of the 17th century, by Marie de’ Medici, widow of King Henry IV, mother of Louis XIII and grandmother of Louis XIV. It surrounds the Luxembourg Palace (see previous posts here), now housing the French Senate.

But… maybe first some general pictures taken a rather cold day, early morning, with rather few people around.

Here is a view of the palace, the pond in front of it and some statues. 

This part of the park is surrounded by statues of a number of French Queens and some allegorical, symbolic figures. 

According to this detailed site created by the Senate, there are 106 statues around. I believe I found almost all of them. So, let's start with some more, the first one is called “Triomphe de Silène” by Jules Dalou (1838-1902) (see previous post) . We can also find a lion by Auguste Cain (1822-94) – a sculptor who is very present in the Tuileries Gardens (see here) -, an homage to the poet Paul Eluard by Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)....  

I will not repeat what I previously wrote about the “Medici Fountain” (see here), which already has a number of decorative sculptures.
Many statues are dedicated to authors, composers, scientists, statesmen…

If you want to know more about these personalities, here are the links: Verlaine, Zweig, Baudelaire, Fabre, LePlay

De Heredia, Sainte Beuve, Mendes-France, Delacroix (another statue by Dalou)…

Many other personalities are portrayed on the facade of the Orangery.

Before leaving the park, maybe a look on what has been done for the future of the plants, the bees and other insects…

… and for the visually impaired.

At last, in the park you can also find a number of “Arago plates”, indicating the Paris meridian. (See previous post on the Paris Observatory.) 



Pigalle refers for most of us to an area just south of Montmartre, on the border between the 18th and 9th arrondissements in Paris, and we think rather of something like this.

We should however remember that this area (more or less corresponding to the yellow dotted lines) somehow informally got its name from Place Pigalle and the street rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, in 1803 already named after the sculptor who lived in this street and who is one of the few buried at the little Calvaire cemetery on top of Montmartre.  

Jean Baptiste Pigalle (1714-85) was a successful sculptor. One chance to see his works without visiting museums is at the Saint-Sulpice church, where you can admire the statue of Saint Mary in the Lady Chapel – top picture.

On either side of the entrance in the same church there are two halves of an enormous shell (given to King Francis I by the Venetian Republic), resting on rock-like bases sculpted by Pigalle.  Here we can also see his portrait (by Marie-Suzanne Roslin, married to the Swedish painter Alexandre Roslin) and some samples of Pigalle’s other works, including statues and busts of Madame de Pompadour, (a naked) Voltaire (ordered officially during his lifetime), Diderot, a self-portrait…

Once at the Saint-Sulpice church, maybe we should also remember the Visconti-fountain in front of it, the pulpit, the brass line on the floor (often mistaken as part of the Da Vinci Code “Rose Line”), the Cavaillé-Coll / Clicquot organ – considered as one of the best in the world with a concert offered every Sunday…

… and - however invisible for the moment being under a much needed restoration – the mural paintings by Delacroix.