Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oct 16, Part 2 - The ancient schools and Notre Dame Cathedral

After breakfast we left Place Maubert and walked down Rue Legrange toward Notre Dame. Our goal was the Louvre - and remind me not to do this next time - we decided to walk. Yes, it's a wonderful walk, both historic and scenic, and there was a particular square I wanted to investigate again. It's not really all that far, either, but unless you're in whopping good shape and don't have sore feet or blisters by now, I recommend getting to the Louvre fresh and doing the walk afterwards. There is something to be said for walking TO the Louvre, I mean approaching it from this distance on foot, seeing the old city and how the Louvre fits into it, but once you've gotten inside and found out how warm it is, and how all you want to do is lie down somewhere, and then you've reached the Italian painting and seen the Mona Lisa and are ready to really start LOOKING at things such as the Egyptian section and the Roman glass, you find that you don't really feel like doing that any more, and that's a shame. So I say remind me to get to the Louvre fresh next time. I've blown it twice in a row now.

So anyway, we were walking down the Rue Lagrange. This narrow building is the intersection of the Rue Lagrange (the pavement you can see) and the one-block Rue Galande feeding into it on the left of the photo. There's a ton of history in these Medieval streets. You can feel it, but I don't have all the notes with me. My favorite place to get a good, fattening quiche is in the narrow building under that awning. I took slices of quiche back to the hotel for dinner a couple of times.

Here are the facades on Rue Galande. It curves, so we're seeing about half of it.

Rue Lagrange ends in the very short Rue du Fouarre - the street of straw. It consists of the three buildings you see here, and that's all. The books say it's named for the straw bales that Medieval students, including Dante, sat on for their outdoor classes. The building on the right has been some sort of educational facility for a long time. It has portraits painted on the outside between the second and third floors, and on the building between the portraits are painted the words, "Arts, Morale, Sciences." I love the blue facade. It's perfect in this composition. The tree to the right of the buildings is in the small park outside of St. Julien le Pauvre, and leading left out of the Rue du Fouarre is the Rue Dante.

A short block further on, we crossed the Pont au Double. You can see the Pont de l'Archeveche beyond. Immediately to our left is:

Notre Dame, the one and only. We're seeing it again on another cloudy morning. Not quite drizzly, I think, but very gray.

Dark. Too much light from the overcast sky in the lens.

In the square in front of Notre Dame is this sculpture of Charlemagne.

So now we're on the Ile de la Cite, still ambling our way toward the Louvre, taking the scenic route. Well, one of the many, many possible scenic routes!

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