Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct 17, Part 4 - Paris: River, bridges, Right Bank

Paris After leaving the area of Notre Dame and the narrow streets to the north of it, we were on our way to Cafe Zimmer on the Right Bank for brunch. This is the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) from the Ile de la Cite, just before we started across Pont d'Arcole.

Paris Crossing the Seine on the Pont d'Arcole, you get a gorgeous and romantic view in both directions. This is the Ile St-Louis. It still surprises me to see blue sky and fluffy clouds in this city! I'm so used to gray skies in Paris.

Paris Here's the magnificent view looking the other direction toward theTribunal de Commerce and the remarkable Conciergerie on the left.

Paris Same general view from the Right Bank. The two bridges are the Pont Notre Dame in front and the Pont au Change behind it.

Paris The Tribunal de Commerce is on the left and the Conciergiergerie (the old palace) beyond it with the two conical towers on the far right. We weren't trying to see everything today. We'd been walking a lot, and this morning we were just ambling, enjoying the magic.

Paris Here we are on the right bank at the end of the bridge. This is a poor photo of the Hotel de Ville, but it's magnificent and imposing from any angle.

Paris A glance up the Rue du Renard shows us the corner of the Centre George Pompidou and some impending weather. It's funny the notions you get about places. I always thought the Pompidou was much further from the river. I must have gotten there the long way around on another trip.

Paris Another glace into the streets of the Right Bank, but our path is along the river.

Paris The Tour St-Jacque has captured my interest from the first time I saw it almost 40 years ago. It stands on its own in a small park, all that's left of a church dedicated to the butcher's guild. It was built between 1508 and 1522, and was one of the major starting points for the pilgramage made by so many during Medieval times to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The church sold during the Revolutin and then pulled down in 1802 due to restructuring of the streets so the Rue de Rivoli could cut through the ancient warren of buildings.

Paris Naturally, I couldn't stop after one photo, so here are several.

Paris The tower is now a meteorological station. Can you imagine a more beautiful one?

Paris I just love the flamboyant Gothic. The stones have been cleaned in recent years. I think it was almost black when I first saw it. It's amazing to me to think that it's real and it's really that old.

Paris There's a statue of Pascal here somewhere. It is said that the physicist/philosopher condicted experiments into the weight of the air first at another location, then here in 1648. Actually, I ran across a note in a book that said his experiments may not have been conducted here, but in the Tour St-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas, which still stands on the Left Bank.

Paris I love this structure at the back of the Theatre de la Ville on Rue Adolphe Adam at the corner of Avenue Victoria. The building is by the architect Davioud. It was rented and used by Sarah Bernhardt in 1899, and her name stayed on as the name of the building until 1968. Isadora Duncan danced here in 1903, supported by her whole family, but ridiculed by many critics. The building is now a cultural center. Near the stage in what was once the Rue de la Vieille Lanterne, the troubled poet and essayist Gerard de Nerval hanged himself in 1855.

Paris Here's Lee walking across the Place du Chatelet. We're nearly to the Cafe Zimmer now. It faces the square.

Paris The metro sign in the Place du Chatelet is one of several old-style signs with character. Brunch, here we come!

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