Paris: Day 2

_MG_5379web

Bastile

So, the photo tour of Paris continues.

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.

_MG_5383web

Boulevard Henri IV

I really love the classical design elements on some of the Parisian townhouses. And the ironwork balconies too, of course.

_MG_5386web

Boulevard Henri IV

_MG_5389web

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!

_MG_5392web

Pont de la Tournelle and Notre-Dame.

_MG_5396web

Pont de la Tournelle – statue of Saint Geneviève (the Paton Saint of Paris).

_MG_5398web

Notre-Dame again, showing the wall built to create the more solid island.

_MG_5399web

Townhouse windows – Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.

_MG_5401web

Window gardens – Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.

_MG_5404web

Amazing part of the old Monastry that was knocked down to make way for the Pantheon.

_MG_5406web

The back of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, showing the flying buttresses.

_MG_5408web

Saint-Etienne-du-Mont – front elevation. Weird mix of classical and gothic architecture.

 

_MG_5410web

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.

_MG_5411web The Pantheon with it’s dome covered in scaffolding while it undergoes restoration.

_MG_5412web

Rue Valette, looking towards the Seine.

_MG_5415web

The pediment of the Pantheon. A secular frieze celebrating the great men of the nation.

_MG_5416web

Front elevation of the neo-classical Pantheon, behind is the more recent 19thC classical university library.

_MG_5417web

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.

_MG_5423web

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.

_MG_5425web

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.

_MG_5428web

Showing the windows in context.

_MG_5433web

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.

_MG_5441web

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.

_MG_5443web

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.

_MG_5456web

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.

_MG_5466web

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.

_MG_5473web

Double bass busker with trumpet player. \m/

_MG_5480web

The cloisters in Place des Vosges.

_MG_5483web

Hôtel de Sully – which I now need to write an essay about.

 

Series Navigation<< Paris: Day 1Paris: Day 3 >>