Marcus Travel Journal
2023 - Paris
The first week ofour travels in France will be in Paris. Oh, it will be good to return to one of our favourite cities.
We are close to - a three minute walk - to the Strasbourg Sant-Denis Metro (Lines 4, 8 & 9) and a 10 minute walk to Le Républic (Lines 3, 5, 8. 9 & 11) or eight minutes to Réaumur-Sébastopol (lines 3 & 4). So lots of option to link up with plenty of metro lines.
Our street, rue du Faubourg Saint Denhis, is named for the fact it is an extension of the Rue Saint Dehnis to faubgourg, and area that was outside the walls of Paris. Today, the Porte Saint-Denis marks the transition. It was a street of the upper class such as jewellers and textile merchants and it was the street for the King to use as a route to the Basilica of Saint Denis.
This year we have to change apartments but found a previous printing site converted into apartments. Looks great! New area, well located.
We are about a 15 minute walk away from the location of our previous apartment (Rue Bachaumont), and I would take walks up to the Porte Saint-Denis often, so I do not feel like our location will be totally foreign. But the new area does open up easy access to different restaurants and sights.
There are many churches in Paris, some to note include:
- La Madeleine - built in the style of a Greco-Roman Temple.
- Sacré-Coeur - massive basilica, the chancel vault decorasted with a vast mosaic.
- St. Eustasche - considered one of the fines churches in Paris with a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Modeled after Notre-Dame, it took 105 years to build the church.
- St-Séverin - go through the impressive west door into a beautiful medieval church.
- Sainte-Chapelle - built in 1248, you will never forget the 15 stained glass windows with the narrow stone columns that soar over 50 feet to the vaulted ceiling.
- Panthéon - inspired by St Paul's Catherdral in London.
- Alas, Notre-Dame is still in reconstruction.
Other points of interest incude:
- Cloître de Billets - 24 rue des Archives, 65004 (Marais) - the only remaining medieval cloister in Paris. Built in 1427. Three of its four original galleries remain. The adjoining church is considered to be a simple classical building which replaced the original church in 1756. The cloisters are open 2 - 5 pm daily.
- Bourse du Commerce - 2 rue de Viarmes. Metro: Les Halls. It had been closed for years but now has reopened and we are looking forward to visiting this location.
Restaurants to Try
Brasserie Dubillot, 222 Rue Saint-Denis - this popular and noted brasserie is about six minutes away. Noted in videos by Paris in my Pocket, it is a popular brasserie with classic dishes.
Bouillon République, 39 Boulevard du Temple - is another popular and noted brasserie that is just over a ten minuyte walk just off the Place de la République.
Boullion Julien, 16 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis. About a half a block up the street from the Porte Saint-Denis. Beautiful inside and noted in a number of videos about places to eat in Paris. An old Bouillon, snackbar, has become a fashionable brasserie, Bouillon Julien, well-known across Paris for its profiteroles.
Bouillon Chartier, rue du Faubourg Montmarte, 7 - located in a former rail station, it is a 15 minute walk or we can just take the metro to the Grands Boulevards stop.
Frenchie to Go, 9, rue du Nil - this is ten minutes away and is the take out option for the Michelin restaurant next door, Frenchie.
Les Philosophes, 28 Rue Vieille-du-Temple - this restaurant is a must for us on every trip. Not in our neighbourhood, located in the Maris. Line 11, from Républic will get us to the Hôtel de Ville stop and then it is just a few blocks.
While the 10th Arrondissement today is an authentic work and live area of Paris, at one time it was an area for the upper class. The grand Hôtel de Ville Finally, built on the former barracks of the Municipal Guard, on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin. At the time the construction was one of the most expensive projects in Paris.
For many years we have stayed in the 2nd Arrondissement, this year we are just across Boulevard Saint-Martin, which is the divide betweeen the 2nd and 10 Arrondissement. Our apartmnent is located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. On previous trips we have visited this area. Some of the key sights include:
- Four areas: Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Porte Saint Denis, Porte Saint Martin and Hôpital Saint Louis.
- Porte Saint-Denis - used to be an entrance to Paris. Now it leads you from the 2nd into the 10th Arrondissement. One of the gates of the Wall of Charles V, which were one of the former city walls around Paris. There was an original gateway, built 1356 and 1383. The walls came down for stronger walls, and then because the city expanded so much. Louis XIV had the monumental archway built to honor the capture of Franche-Comté in 1668. The monument was built in 1672. It is inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome. Restoration took place in 1988. It is one of the four triumphal arches in paris: arc de Triomphe due Carrousel (1808), Port Saint-Martin (1674) and the Arch de Triomphe (1836).
- Porte Saint-Martin - built where a medieval gate once stood. Constructed in 1674 and restored in 1988.
- Place Republique
- Canal-Saint Martin - connects the Canal de l'Ourcq to the river Sein. Half of it, between Rue du Faubourg du Temple and the Place de la Bastille is covered. A 19th century project to make wide boulevards and public space. Built between 1802 and 1825 funded by a tax on wine.
- Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est - two of the busiest train stations in Europe.
- Passage Brady, an 1828 iron and glass covered arcades between Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis and Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin. Known for its Indian and Pakistani restaurants.
- Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul - 1824-1844 - built in an area that was once a Leper Colony in a marshy area of the road between Paris and the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
- Church of Saint-Laurent - 119 rue du Faubourg Saint Martin.
- Passage Prado, known for its Art déco decoration.
- Passage de l'Industrie
- Marché Saint-Quentin - 85 bis, Boulevard Magenta - one of the handful of covered markets that still live on in Paris. This is the largest and busiest. Built in 1960 with beautiful iron and glass construction. Closes at 1:30 on Sundays.
- Marché Saint-Martin - 31-33 Rue du Château d'Eau - the seonc covered market, 1859, it is a bit more modern than Saint-Quentin. Open Tuesday to Saturdays, and Sunday morning.
- Hôpital Saint-Louis - Rue Bichat at Avenue Richerand - built by Jenry IV in 1600s. A similar feel to Place de Vosges. Beautiful inner park courtyard and warm coloured stones.
We visited the impressive Basilica Saint-Denis in May 2014 - almost ten years ago. It is a large, former medieval abbey, church which was a place of pilgrimage. It also contains the tombs of the Kings of France, almost every king from the 10th Century to that of Louis XVIII in the 19th Century. The Queens of France were crowned at this church.
It is remarkable that the church stills stands today. Many monastic buildings were damaged or destroyed in the French Revolution (1792). Saint-Denis was looted. The government removed and melted the lead tiles from the roof to make bullets! But Napoléon reconsecrated the church in 1806 and designated it as a future site for his own tomb.
There is a ticket required to visit the Royal Necropolis (tombs of the Kings).
10 Avenue Piettre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris
Over in the 16th Arrondisement, the Palais Galliera is the fashion museum. While we are in Paris there is a special exhbition for the fashion of 1997, which, according to the write-ups was as big year in fashion. Tickets in advance are needed, by on-line. Metro to Iéna (Line 9). Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 - 6. Thursdays and Friday evenings open until 9 pm. Closed Mondays and May 1st. Tickets available on-line at the Paris Musée Billetterie. Little did I know, but the final scene of The Devil Wears Prada used the Palais Galliera - Miranda Priestly and her assistant Andrea attend a prestigious reception organized during Paris Fashion week.
Passage Brady, named after merchant who financed construction, is one of two iron-and-glass passages - Passages couverts de Paris, remaining in the 10th arrondissement. Built in 1828, it is located between Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis and Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin. The section linking 46 due du Faubourg St Denis to 22/23 Boulevard de Strasbourg has its glass roof. The section between Boulevard de Strasbourg to 43, rue du Faubourg St Martin is open-air. It was originally an arcade with second-hand clothes, reading rooms and public baths. In the 1970s, with low rent, Indian and Pakistani business moved in. If I need a haircut, I remember this is one of the places I could go!
The 10th Arrondissement has an authentic feel, more everyday life than tourist sights. Businesses were busy, even early in the morning, when I walked by Le Verger Saint-Denis, one of the many markets in the area.
Passage du Desire
On my 2022 visit to Paris I could not get through the gate. I thought it may have just been locked on the day I was in the area. But as I found out, this passage is an old private road running from 89 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin and ending at 84 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis.
Canal Saint Martin
For a different Paris experience, walk along the Canal Saint-Martin. The streets along the canal have cafes for you to stop and relax. There is always some canal traffic to watch.
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