It turned out to be a glorious day today which was a lovely contrast to the very grey day that we arrived on yesterday. It was even warm in the sun, although bitterly cold during the day.
I set out at 0900hrs for a leisurely wander to my first lecture of the day at the Pantheon.
Boulevard Henri IV
I really love the classical design elements on some of the Parisian townhouses. And the ironwork balconies too, of course.
Boulevard Henri IV
Boulevard Henri IV – a garage with petrol pumps on one of the main roads through Paris. Just pull over, mid flow of traffic, and fill up!
Pont de la Tournelle and Notre-Dame.
Pont de la Tournelle – statue of Saint Geneviève (the Paton Saint of Paris).
Notre-Dame again, showing the wall built to create the more solid island.
Townhouse windows – Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.
Window gardens – Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.
Amazing part of the old Monastry that was knocked down to make way for the Pantheon.
The back of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, showing the flying buttresses.
Saint-Etienne-du-Mont – front elevation. Weird mix of classical and gothic architecture.
Saint-Etienne-du-Mont – even more weird combos of classical and gothic architecture. The turrets in particular are interesting – their use was restricted in Paris so they were a status symbol for those allowed to use them on their buildings.
We couldn’t get inside the church because it was Easter Sunday, but I wanted to show you guys what it looks like inside. The decoration is utterly spectacular.
The Pantheon with it’s dome covered in scaffolding while it undergoes restoration.
Rue Valette, looking towards the Seine.
The pediment of the Pantheon. A secular frieze celebrating the great men of the nation.
Front elevation of the neo-classical Pantheon, behind is the more recent 19thC classical university library.
Under the portico of the Pantheon. Notice the heavily ornate neoclassical decoration that goes against what we often think of as a ‘classical’ building. The scenes are secular, but were originally designed to be religious to celebrate the patron saint of Paris.
The dome of the Pantheon is undergoing restoration right now, but instead there is a really cool photo project being exhibited. So the Pantheon has changed in usage so much over time, religious to secular, back again… back again… and now it’s showing contemporary art. Pretty cool.
The frosted windows in the ceiling of the Pantheon. Originally they were clear, but when it was turned into a secular building the windows were frosted in order to make it feel more sombre. All of the windows in the walls were bricked up too.
Showing the windows in context.
The huge secular sculpture that now dominates the ‘altar’ end of the building. Above the painting at the back is a beautiful Christian painting of Christ.
Love locks on the bridge to Notre-Dame.
I find the love locks kind of weird. Like, you’re trying to say that your love will last forever or something and I’m just not sure it works that way. Or that you should put yourself under pressure to try and make that happen. Relationships are better without pressure.
Also – stop breaking the fucking beautiful bridge.
More love locks – including a remarkably beefy one. That couple were optimistic!
The afternoon was given over to a lecture discovering the Hôtel’s in the Marais district. Not hotels as well know them, but private residences.
Hôtel de Sens – that hole above the door was for pouring boiling oil on unwanted visitors. It’s most likely not real though. They’re called apotropaic features – they’re designed to put people off visiting unless they have business.
A 20th century Jewish Synagogue in Marais. Amazingly this is made out of cement cast to look like stone, and is by the designer of the Paris metro entrances.
Double bass busker with trumpet player. \m/
The cloisters in Place des Vosges.
Hôtel de Sully – which I now need to write an essay about.