Paris Visit Summer 2006

Paris Day 3: May 16

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Today I went to the garden district, Jardin des Plantes Quarter. Then I went to the island in the Seine, the Ile de la Cité and wandered around the Latin Quarter.

I took the Metro 8 to the Metro 10 and exited at Jussieu, in the middle of the Jardin des Plantes Quarter. As the name suggests, this quarter houses the Jardin des Plantes, a public botanical garden opened in 1640. It also houses a school of botany, natural history, and pharmacy, as well as a zoo. Interesting sculptures, like this dragon, line the outside of the park. The tree-lined walkway runs the entire length of the garden.

Statues and ancient trees punctuate the gardens.

A folly sits atop a hill, which you can get to only through a labrynth of strubs. Not too far from here is the hospital where Princess Diana of Wales died following a car crash.

This is the remains of a vast Roman arena from the second century. The Arènes de Lutèce was rediscovered in 1869 during construction. Its restoration began when Victor Hugo and others campaigned to excavate it. Both theatrical performances and gladiator fights occured here, but at this time there was only a soccer game going on.

Rue Mouffetard has been a major thoroughfare since Roman times, but now it holds many open-air markets, like this one on Rue Monge. I saw cheese stores, butchers, sandwich shops, clothiers, and a shop specializing in olives. St-Médard is a nearby church that goes back to the 9th city and is named for the counselor to the Merovingian kings.

I walked to the Seine and headed west through the Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air. It is ofcourse an open air sculpture garden. I got to see many tour boats go back and forth. On the right is the eastern-most part of the Ile St-Louis.

The left is my first view of Notre-Dame cathedral, from the back. The right shows a boat that I didn't (but should have) lunched on.

This is the Square Jean XXIII garden at the rear of Notre-Dame. The archbishop's palace occupied this area until 1831, when rioters demolished it. The garden has a fantastic view of the famous flying butresses. Nearby is a holocaust memorial.

This is the front of Notre-Dame.

A statue of Joan of Arc (St. Jean D'Arc), inside the cathedral.

These are attractions near Notre-Dame. On the left is a poor photograph from inside the Crypte Archéologique, which shows ruins from buildings around the beginning of the common era. The right shows the Marché aux Fleurs, a famous flower market. I also saw Sainte-Chapelle.

This is the entrance to the Conciergerie, an old Capetian palace converted to prison (so the "concierge" is the jailor). The spiral staircase made of stone is magnificient.

The Conciergerie's famous occupants include most who were executed by guillotine during the revolution, including Marie-Antoinette. Her cell is set up as it was then, with mannequins taking the place of her and her guard.

This is the courtyard of the Conciergerie.

Another view of Notre-Dame, showing how close to the Seine it is.

The left shows a neat fountain near Notre-Dame. The right is the famous Shakespeare's book store.

This is the Panthéon, which hold some of France's great men and women, including Voltaire, Pierre and Marie Curie, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Emile Zola. It had just closed when I wandered across it, so I didn't get to go inside.

The Musée National du Moyen Age, formerly called the Musée du Cluny, is a museum of art from the Middle Ages. I go in this tomorrow.

La Sorbonne is a famous building which houses the University opf Paris.

I ate dinner here, right across from St-Séverin. I had a chicken quarter, frîtes, and chocolate mousse.

This is St-Séverin, in the very very Gothic style. Notice the great gargoyles. Also, the first operation for gall stones occured in the garden here in 1474. King Louis XI offered a condemned man, an archer, the chance to undergo the procedure and be free if he survived. The archer agreed and operation was a success, so he was allowed to go free.

I had a crêpe at this crêperie. It was very tasty. Then I went back to my hotel.

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