Back from Sweden...

A very short stay in Gothenburg. It was cold, but the sky was blue and nice most of the time. 

One major reason for my short visit was to go to the concert hall and listen to Marja Inkinen-Engström, a personal friend and who has a number of Paris friends after several visits here. She was the soloist in the Prokofiev violin concerto no. 2. 

I also paid a visit to the local art museum (see also top picture) and could admire some paintings which rather recently have been exposed at the Petit Palais in Paris ... and a lot more including some Rembrandts... 

Well, here are just a number of photos which I'm not commenting. I have already posted several times on Gothenburg, my birth town....

... and some extra pictures with a French touch. 


Off... for a couple of days

I'm off for a couple of days, back to my Swedish birth town, Gothenburg, to see friends, listen to music... Soon back! 😉


The Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois Church

The Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois Church got its name from a man who was a bishop at Auxerre during the 5th century. A previous church was destroyed by the Vikings during the 9th century, a second one from the 11th century was replaced by the present one during the 12th and 13th centuries – of course with a number of additions and modifications during the following centuries.

The church is situated very close to the Louvre and has always been some kind of a royal church. It became known in history because of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572, when the bell, named “Marie” – still there – rang at midnight to announce the beginning of the killing of thousands of Huguenots, Protestants. The 12th century tower a spire in those days, which disappeared in 1754.

Here we can see how and where the church appears on a map from the Saint Bartholomew Massacre year. We can see that the Louvre didn’t look at all like it does today.

A few years later, the now oldest still existing Paris bridge, Le Pont Neuf, had been constructed, the Louvre had got an aisle and part of the Tuileries Palace had been built.   

A picture from the 17th century shows the church with the tower spire. In 1834 there were still a number of buildings between the Louvre and the church. The Haussmann modifications of the city plan led also to the idea of opening space in front of the Louvre. In 1858 we can see the church standing a bit alone (also painted by Monet in 1867), but around 1858-63 the Town Hall of the 1st arrondissement, with an architectural front very similar to that of the church, and the Tower / Bellfry were added.

Here are some pictures from the exterior...

... and some from the interior.

I actually found the fading colours and decoration in the side chapels – they have not been renovated since the 19th century (at least) - quite attractive – see also the top picture.  


Pavillon Marsan restored.

I sometimes report on things around Paris which would need repairs, restoration, refurbishing… With all historical landmarks, it’s obvious that it’s not an easy task to keep everything in perfect shape. Sometimes some donators are around, but in most cases we also talk about tax money. So, some kind of indulgence must be there, but also admiration when you look on the results of some restoration work. I just recently reported about the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church (see post here) and here we can admire the recently restored outside of the Louvre “Pavillon Marsan”.

The “Pavillon Marsan” has some origins from the time of Louis XIV and was actually more or less part of the Tuileries Palace which stood between the “Pavillon de Flore” and the “Pavillon de Marsan”,  which was set on fire by the “Commune” in 1871 and then was demolished. (Some “pieces” from the demolished Palace were saved and can be found here and there, one example is in the Tuileries Gardens.) I talked briefly about the Palace in a post 11 years ago - in my previous blog.) Below we can see what the “Pavillon de Marsan” looked like after the fire… It was rebuilt after 1874 and it was then slightly remodeled to look like its “sister”, the “Pavillon de Flore”.   

So… let us just admire…


Mosaic pavements

Especially the arcades along Rue de Rivoli and Rue de Castiglione, but also the ones around the Palais Royal gardens, offer some mosaic pavements. They are not all over the place, some are in good shape, some not…

For how long have the mosaics been here? I have no clear answer. I found the names "Gentil and Bourdet" behind a pillar. This corresponds to a ceramic company with activities during the first half of the 20th century. They worked together with leading architects and have left a number of decorations on (and inside) buildings in Paris and elsewhere. Here is just an example, the cinema Louxor, but I haven’t found any indication about Rue de Rivoli, Palais Royal…. "Gentil and Bourdet" also manufactured decorative vases and other pieces at their little factory in the Paris suburbs. This seems to indicate that most of the mosaics may not have been there when the arcades opened during the18th century - Palais Royal - and the 19th century – Rue de Rivoli, Rue de Castiglione.... or that they have been replaced.  

Some of the mosaics seem actually to be quite recent, the perfume shop Annick Goutal is fairly new, the Harold clothes shop may have been there since the 1950’s …  whereas the Swann pharmacy has been there since 1850.

In front of the hotels (and “Angelina”) you find mosaics in good shape, probably renewed.

But if this was the original idea...most of the names do not correspond anymore to any shop or other activity.

At 206, Rue de Rivoli, there is a very nice mosaic in front of a beautiful door (and a plate indicating that Leon Tolstoy stayed here for a little while, in 1857).

Some mosaics from the Palais Royal galleries.

The names on the ground indicate Palais Royal shops which in most cases are not there anymore, but some auction houses still offer some of the items which used to be manufactured and sold here.

It seems to me that certain recent modifications lack some kind of respect.


Something missing (2)

When leaving the Tuileries Gardens (see preceding post) I noticed that something else was missing. 

Well, some of the beautiful lamp posts, candelabras, on Place de la Concorde (several posts here and here) have suffered. We should remember that they have been here since the 1830’s when the present look of the Place was created by the architect Jacques Ignace Hittorf (I talked about him several times, e.g. here).

Most of candelabras look fine….

… but a few are in in need of repairs.

I also noted that many of the simple ones are differently painted. Are there some intentions to repaint them all?  Will they try to make these simpler ones colour wise to look like the more elaborated ones?