Just a walk...

I had some reasons to be in this part of Paris and took the opportunity to look around. Nothing very special… just a “normal” part of Paris. I first found this tiny street, Cité Industrielle, one of many that were created in the middle of the 19th century, with a mixture of small industries (as the street name indicates) and housing. There are actually two parts of the same street, one more austere and another one, after having crossed another small street, more “welcoming”.

There is a little square where you cross the street. It seems that the inhabitants (or some of them) are really strongly opposed to any kind of decoration of the walls.

So, in the greener part of the little street (see also top picture) there is even a very tiny theatre… and a little piece of street art, a cat by the famous Miss.Tic!  

I decided to walk down the Boulevard Voltaire from Place Léon Blum to Place de la Nation (see previous posts). If I had gone in the other direction I would have reached Place de la République (see previous posts). This quite Haussmannian boulevard which was opened in 1857, and in the beginning was named Boulevard du Prince Eugène, was (of course) renamed in 1870 to its present name.  This boulevard is one of the most used itineraries for all kinds of political demonstrations.

Talking politics, very close to the boulevard, you will find the Jupy Gymnasium, originally built as a market place in 1870, but in 1894 transformed to a gymnasium, used for sports events, but also very often for political meetings. You can somehow say that this is where - during a 1899 meeting - it was decided to create the French Socialist party. But the place has later been used by all political “colours” not only by the left, still for sports events and even for fashion shows. Unfortunately, the Gymnasium is however especially well-known for having been a place where Jews were assembled during the Nazi occupation, before being transferred to Drancy… and to Auschwitz…

One of the political speakers at the Jupy Gymnasium was of course Léon Blum, several times prime minister, considered as moderate left and linked to what is referred to as the “Popular Front”. It seems quite logical that he has got his statue nearby, on a place now also wearing his name.

There are a number of interesting facades, portals, side-streets... along the boulevard.

One building has a bust of Alexandre Dumas (père) and a long list of his works on the facade. This is on the corner of Rue Alexandre Dumas where he had his home for a while – the building is gone.

There is one industrial building from 1901 where one once used to manufacture all kinds of equipment for games, billiards… the inscriptions are still there but not the manufacturing.

At the end, getting close to Place de la Nation, it was time for a drink. This café is where one of the men who participated in the restaurant and bar shootings November 13, 2015 (Bataclan etc.), placed an order before detonating his suicide vest, killing himself and injuring several people.


Maria Russell said...

Un hermoso tour lleno de historia, y como siempre, muy interesante.
Muchas gracias Peter!

claude said...

Très beau reportage Peter ! Et j'ai bien aimé ta précédente publication.
Belle journée !

martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

Une belle escapade avec toi... De belles découvertes.
J'étais à Paris mardi dernier pour 2 jours... Un peu court pour te faire signe.

Gros bisous

Jeanie said...

Thanks for a very interesting walk, Peter. It's always fun to see things not quite on the regular path!

Shammickite said...

A lovely walk with you today Peter. Let's go again tomorrow!