Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oct 15, Part 6 - From Notre Dame to the bird and flower market

As we left the Cathedral of Notre Dame, it was still drizzly and wet. This square in front of the cathedral is called the Parvis du Notre Dame. It's hard for me to remember that only about 200 years ago it was still clogged with medieval houses and other buildings. We tend to think that old buildings and settings have always been the way they are today. The beautiful vista of Notre Dame was only made possible when the medieval buildings (which today would probably have been saved) were bulldozed out. You lose one thing and gain something else. Today I suppose they might be taken apart and resurrected in a historic park of some kind, which would have been very cool, but in those days they were simply razed. Across the Parvis is the Prefecture de Police.

Leaving Notre Dame and turning right, we can see the corner of the cathedral and part of the Rue du Cloitre Notre Dame. Today we were not going that direction, but did a 180, and walked along the edge of the square.

On our left is the square in front of Notre Dame, and on the right is the Hotel Dieu (House of God), or hospital. There has been a hospital somewhere on this square since the Middle Ages.

Here's the front entrance to the Hotel Dieu. Over the arch is the legendary "Liberte Egalite Fraternite" from the Revolution.

At the far end of the cathedral square, we turned right along the Rue de la Cite. We've gone about half a block, and are looking across the street down the walking street, Rue de Lutece, to the Palais du Justice where the amazing Gothic Sainte Chapelle is located. You can't see any of it in this photo. On the left is the Prefecture de Police, and on the right is an area called the Place Luis Lepine, but is better known as the bird and flower market. The large building on the right is the Tribunal de Commerce.

This is the bird and flower market from the outside. We were on a mission, and didn't wander through it. The dome in the background is that of the Tribunal de Commerce.

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