Sally and I Visit Paris – The City of Lights
A wave of nostalgia has swept over me these past few weeks. I find my mind wandering back to a year ago when Sally and I spent several weeks in Paris and Bruges. While I did make daily Facebook posts while traveling, we have been so busy since then that I haven’t had/made time to write any blog posts about our trip. I thought it was time to change that. During our stay in Paris, we stayed at Hotel Josephine on Rue Blanche in the 9th Arrondissement. Modern/funky appointments, small comfortable rooms and a terrific breakfasts.
Breakfast room in the basement. Loved the exposed stone and the sweep of the wrought iron stair rail/balustrade. Such a tease…
Our room. Closet space consisted of a coat rod behind the small screen on the right side of the picture. (Pack light…)
Fortunately, it was a corner room on the 4th floor with a terrific street view.
On our first morning we took a walking tour of the Marais District. Hi-lights included a visit to Eglise Saint Gervais and Place des Vosges as well as seeing some of the oldest structures in Paris, dating back to the early 1300’s. I love how the building exterior corbels out over the street and then angles back.
Eglise Saint Gervais was the first of several churches we visited during our stay. Completed in 1657, it’s exterior is considered to be the first example of Baroque style in Paris, while it’s interior is more Gothic in character. For you trivia freaks, in 1918 a German shell fell on the church killing 88 people, including the niece and favorite model of the painter John Singer Sargent.
Our morning walking tour concluded in Place des Vosges. Built by Henry IV in the early 1600’s, it is considered to be the prototype of residential city squares found throughout Europe today. We went back and hung out there later in the week.
Having been told by a friend of the small luxury hotel Pavillion de la Reine we decided to do little exploring. Tucked in a small courtyard, just off the square, it was amazing!!!
We enjoyed the sculpture in the courtyard as much as the hotel’s interior.
At the conclusion of the tour, our guide suggested we visit the Carnavalet Museum nearby saying, “You can see it all in an hour or two.” (Unless you’re an interior designer interested in studying classical French style as it turned out. We scheduled another extended visit later in the week.) The front door hinted as to the treasures that would follow. I’ll show only a few pictures, as the Museum deserves a post unto itself. It is a treasure trove of the architectural history of Paris.
The interior court yard.
One of several interior stairs. Virtually all the components of the French Style foyer are in this photo. Curved wrought iron stair with a curb detail, big lantern, large window, wall sconce, etc. What you don’t see is the black and white check marble floor.
This door and jamb was where I began to confirm my notions about the differences between French and English architectural styles of the same Periods. I was SO excited!!! French interior architecture is so sensuous! I also noticed much more color in the floor tile patterns. I was never able to figure out when the quintessential black and white marble floor we know today became the norm.
Each day (mostly…) included a nap before dinner. This evening, we had made dinner reservations on a small river boat Calife. What could be better? A romantic dinner on the Seine with jazz playing in the background as we watched dusk and nightfall steal in over the City of Lights.
The boat cruise was the perfect way to end our first day in Paris. We saw the skyline, got a sense of the lay of the land while having a wonderful dinner. In fact, if this is all you do, your trip will have been worthwhile!
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