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Degas Paris Walks: Notre Dame & Ile St-Louis (Revised)

Degas Paris Walks: Notre Dame & Ile St-Louis (Revised)

Jan 5th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Degas Paris Walks: Notre Dame & Ile St-Louis (Revised)

Here is an updated walk - still a work in progress.

Would appreciate feedback on other places to see, things to do, and places eat and drink.

Notre Dame and Ile St-Louis

START AT

THE SEINE

From Dijon to the English Channel, the Seine meanders 500 miles, cutting through the center of Paris. The river is shallow and slow here, but requires steep stone embankments (built 1910) to prevent floods. Tourist boats (Bateaux-Mouches) and commercial barges cycle up and down the river.

The waters of the River Seine have always been the heart and soul of Paris, dating back to the days when the Parisii tribe first established a fishing village on the island now known as Ile de la Cité — between 250 and 200 B.C. Prized for its position as a major inland port, Paris has been invaded, occupied, and conquered by its share of foreigners over the course of two millennia, many of whom arrived by this waterway.

www.ibiblio.org/wm/paris/hist/river.html

comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~ssi.../seine.htm

PONT NEUF. Oldest bridge in Paris (1604).

Very romantic. Great spot for photos. It has always been a place to see and be seen. In the 17C, the police would place an undercover agent there and look for a wanted man. If not spotted in three days, they assumed he had fled Paris.

The first stone was laid in 1578, but the work was completed only in 1604. It is now the most famous bridge in Paris. For its time it was quite wide, constructed to house rows of shops, but in the the end Henri IV granted permission for transient commerce only. In early times (1775-1854) the supports were topped by shops. Unique to the this bridge are the 384 bizarre sculptured faces on the cornices.

www.pariswater.com/ponts/

WALK SOUTH AND CROSS BRIDGE TO

SQUARE DU VERT-GALANT - Equestrian statue of Henry VI

The square marks the very tip of Ile de Cite and there is a weeping willow tree in the small park below that is said to be the first tree to burst into leaves each year in Paris. In the middle Ages, they burned witches and Jews here.

NOTE: Steps lead down to the water and Vedette boats depart here on river tours. Twlight rides are the best for sunset and night lights along the river.

www.atkielski.com/inlink....Large.html

www.paris-views.com/cat_t...Cat_90.htm

TURN LEFT OFF THE BRIDGE AND AWAY FROM THE STATUE TO ENTER

PLACE DAUPHINE

Triangle-shaped area lined with attractive 17C houses. Great place to grab a bench and soak up some atmosphere or picnic. It is a quiet leafy place and a favorite of lovers. It is the second most important Parisian royal square of the 17th century after "Place des Vosges".

NOTE: nearby lunch options include: A casual lunch with the regulars at the Taverne Henri IV,(the open-faced sandwiches--tartines--and wine selections are famous), or a hearty sit-down meal at Restaurant Paul which serves authentic food in an ancient room.

WALK ALONG QUAI DES ORFEVRES TO PONT ST.MICHEL AND TURN LEFT ON BD DU PALAIS

SAINTE-CHAPELLE (Holy Chapel). 4 bd du Palais. Daily. 1000-1700. Museum Card.

Gothic - one of the most dazzling creations of the Middle Ages. Candle-lit concerts held here. Bright, sunny days best for viewing stained glass. Its glory is hidden from casual observation by its set back position in a courtyard of the Palais de Justice. A narrow spiral staircase leads you to the upper royal chapel where a stunning visual shock awaits - over 700 sq yards of oldest stained glass in Paris.

NOTE: Try to take in an evening concert at St. Chapelle - simply magical.
www.ampconcerts.com for concert schedule

If you go to a concert in the spring or fall, dress warmly, it's cold sitting in there in the evening. Other groups perform besides the ones listed at ampconcerts.com. There are posters all advertising the concerts.

PALAIS DE JUSTICE (Law Courts). bd du Palais. Neoclassical style (1860).

You can wander around the complex. Each year on the first of May, a young oak tree was uprooted from the forest at Vincennes and brought in a procession by the palace staff to be planted in the May Courtyard. It symbolized the union of heaven and earth, God's justice and the justice of men, and therefore royal sovereign justice. Parliamentary decrees were proclaimed and carried out here.

CONCIERGERIE. 1 quai de l'Horloge. M: Cite. Daily. 0930 to 1700. Museum Card.

14C fortress like building with a history of imprisonment, Marie Antoinette was a prisoner and her cell is now a chapel to her memory.

WALK BACK TOWARDS THE PALIAS DE JUSTICE AND TURN LEFT INTO RUE DE LUTECE

CITE METROPOLITAIN STOP

One of the few remaining original early-20th-century subway entrances, it is now preserved as a national art treasure. The curvy, plantlike ironwork is a textbook example of Art Nouveau. In Paris, only the stations at Abbesses and Porte Dauphine survive with their canopies.

FLOWER MARKET - Rue de Lutece

Held year-round and daily, the Flower Market, one of the last in Paris and maybe the best in France. On Sundays, thousands of caged birds (and an occasional ferret) replace the flowers.

TURN RIGHT ON RUE DE LA CITE AND CONTINUE TO

PL DU PARVIS. Regarded as kilometer zero, spot from which all distances to and from the city are measured.

NOTE: Find the bronze plaque on the ground. It’s sealed in a stone, about twenty meters from the cathedral. Tourists just trample on it, pass by, don’t notice it without ever seeing it. It is true that nothing announces its presence; only that discreet inscription: ”Point zero des routes de France”. But this milestone is important: it materializes the zero point of France, since several centuries, from where distances are calculated between Paris and other French or foreign cities.

NOTRE DAME. Place du Parvis. M: Cite. Daily. Free. 0800 - 1830.

A gothic masterpiece. Notre Dame, conceived by Maurice de Sully, was built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries (1163-1345). Napoleon was crowned here and the kings and queens exchanged marriage vows before its great alter. English tours normally Wed & Thur at 1200 & Sat at 1430.

www.cathedraledeparis.com

NOTE: Tower climb is 400 steps, but has good views.

WALK TO THE LEFT BUTTRESSES OF CATHEDRAL TO AN AREA NORTH OF THE CATHEDRAL TOWARDS THE SEINE CALLED

ANCIENT CLOITRE: Few people venture here. Has medieval mansions spared by Baron Haussmann.

HEAD NORTH TOWARDS THE SEINE AND RUE CHANOINESSE

TWO ATTRACTIVE HOUSES at #10 and 24

WALK JUST PAST THEM AND FIND RUE DE COLUMBE - MAKE A RIGHT TO TURN ON RUE DES URSINS

NOTE: Will take you to a lovely flower garden by steps leading up to the riverside quai aux Fleurs.

VIEWS ON CLOSE BY RUE DES CHANTRES OF NOTRE DAME IN THE DISTANCE

HEAD THROUGH THE GARDENS TO

SQUARE JEANXXIII. Great view of the east side of Notre Dame

WALK NORTH TO PONT ST-LOUIS AND LEAVE ILE DE LA CITE FOR

ILE ST. LOUIS

Smaller of the two Paris islands and linked to ile de la cite by pont St-louis. Discreet residential area with a small village feel. Noted for architectural unity. The quays have some of the prettiest plane and poplars in Paris.

WALK ALONG QUAI D'ORLEANS PAST SOME MIGNIFICANT 17C TOWNHOMES

TURN LEFT AT RUE DEAU PONTS

Turn right into the rue St-Louis-en-I'Ile

BERTHILLON 31 rue St-Louis-en-I'Ile

HOTEL LAMBERT. 2 rue st-louis-en-l'Ile. Provided inspiration for the building of vaux-le-vicomte


ST. LOUIS en l'ILE CHURCH

Dates to 1664 and is beautifully decorated in the Jesuit style; it was designed by Le Vau who designed parts of the Chateau of Versailles. There are also free concerts from time to time.

www.insecula.com/salle/MS01897.html

At 24 rue St-Louis en l’Ile is La Charlotte de l’Ile, a café known for, among other things, its hot chocolate.
Metro Pont-Marie, or Cite.

Berthillon has a branch called La Flore en Ile, 2 rue Jean du Bellay, also on the Ile. At #47 on the same street is an excellent gelato place, Amorino.

TURN LEFT ALONG THE QUAID-ANJOU UNTIL YOU COME TO

HOTEL DE LAUZEN. 17 quai d'Anjou.

WALK BACK TO THE WESTERN TIP OF THE ISLAND AND THE ILE-DE-LA-CITE.

NOTE: Pont de l'Archeveche has some great views of Notre Dame


Possible Lunch Stops

From Pont Archeveche, continue over to the left bank. At the foot of the bridge, look across the quay and a little to the right...you'll see a little Italian restaurant called Ponte Vecchio. Reserve one of the window tables and you'll be looking out on Notre Dame. Have the aubergine appetizer, the veal picatta, and the italian wines.

Brasserie de I'llE St-Louis. 55 quai de Bourbon. Closed wed. Cozy outpost of Alsatian cuisine.

ADDITIONAL SITES:

MUSIC LOVERS

The Adam Mickliewicz museum is within the Polish Library at 5 Quai d'Orleans. The Quai is on the south side of Ile St. Louis, that is, the side facing the left bank. Adam Mickiewicz was a Polish patriot and poet and a contemporary of Chopin. The first floor of the museum is devoted to Chopin memorabilia including a death mask, music and autographs of Chopin. From October to June the museum is open on Thursday afternoons; in July and August it's open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. It's closed for a week or so around Christmas and Easter. Check these hours.

www.paris.org/Musees/Mickiewicz/

The Deportation Memorial behind Notre Dame at the very tip of Ile de la Cite is stark and moving, silent and below ground level.
Deportation Memorial also closes mid-day for a long lunch period, check hours that it is open.

degas is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for this excellent excursion, Degas. I've been looking for things to do that don't, unlike museums, involve a lot of standing, and this walk is just the ticket.
Underhill is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Bravo degas! Now I want to go back to Paris to see what I missed! I'll print it and keep it preciously.
cocofromdijon is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Restaurant Paul would be at the bottom of any restaurant recommendation I would make. We were there two weeks ago and had a horrible meal-my chicken was all bones, my husband's meat was very tough. There was only one other couple there that night at 8pm. In addition, they couldn't figure out how to charge my husband's credit card and had to use two cards. On the third try, and 20 minutes later, they figured it out. The worst restaurant I've eaten in in six trips to Paris.
pennez is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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I had no idea Restaurant Paul was that bad.
degas is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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ira
 
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Hi degas,

Nice walk,

Opposite Amorino, which I would rank far higher than Berthillon, is a small shop where a family sells foie gras de canard and other duck products that they make from their own birds.

Well worth a stop.

There is a New Orleans Jazz Band (complete with soprano sax) that hangs out on the Pont St. Louis. Worth stopping for a few songs.

ira is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Hi ira, thanks for the tip.

Interesting article about Amorino and the ice cream wars.

http://www.movable-feast.com/2005/08/amorino.html
degas is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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I had no idea Paul was that bad either, having read so many positive comments here and elsewhere. Maybe the key is not to order chicken lol.
But maybe, they just had a bad night and not recently.

We love La Charlotte de l’Ile !
I have had many a jet lagged brunch there, quiche is always wonderful, melt in your mouth. I enjoy stopping in on a dreary afternoon for chocolate and a pastry ( never too many sweets for me) !
The atmosphere is quite cozy.
This is so pleasant, degas, reading through these walks
Scarlett is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I think Amorino is better than Berthillon's also. You can buy Berthillon ice cream in a lot of cafes, anyway, there isn't any reason to stand in line there.

Degas, re your item on the willow tree
<<SQUARE DU VERT-GALANT - Equestrian statue of Henry VI
The square marks the very tip of Ile de Cite and there is a weeping willow tree in the small park below that is said to be the first tree to burst into leaves each year in Paris.>>

That tree was removed a couple years ago (2002-2003). The 1st arr. govt. was planning to replace it from a committee report I read a couple years ago, but I haven't been there in a while and don't know if they ever have. That report noted that no other work was planned for that site and that it is a protected site. If you read French, this is the report that talks about it and other public works in that area, sort of interesting (well, maybe as much as your local city council meetings)
http://www.mairie1.paris.fr/mairie1/...d_article=3313

Speaking of that square and your comment on witches, there is a plaque there dedicated to the execution (burning at stake) in 1314 of Jacques de Molay, the last grand master of the Knights Templar. There is actually a URL showing this plaque and giving the details
http://www.ordotempli.org/plaque_com...s_de_molay.htm

As for places to eat, I do know of a good Lebanese restaurant on Ile St Louis (rue Regrattier). It is good and moderately priced. They do have a website http://lataverne.free.fr/

I notice the prices are still in francs, but that gives you an idea. The prix fixe menu is around 25-30 euro. Folks rate it the top 5* out of Parisian Lebanese restaurants on this French restaurant website which gives more info
http://www.oubouffer.com/restaurant.php/wa3564







QUESTION DE MME ELISABETH BOURGUINAT, SECRÉTAIRE DE L’ASSOCIATION " ACCOMPLIR ".

" Question hors thème

Que se passe-t-il actuellement dans le square du Vert-Galant ? Quels sont les travaux prévus ? Y a-t-il eu concertation, et avec qui ? "

M. Jean-François LEGARET indique ne pas avoir connaissance de travaux destinés à modifier l’aspect ou la configuration de ce square, d’autant plus qu’il s’agit d’un lieu inscrit dans un site à protéger en totalité, sous le contrôle des architectes des Bâtiments de France.

Les seuls travaux menés concernent l’entretien du stabilisé des allées et il restera le remplacement du saule, situé à la pointe du square, compte tenu de son état phytosanitaire.

Le square du Vert-Galant est, cependant, situé en zone totalement inondable, ce qui lui arrive régulièrement et abîme d’autant l’état des allées, les plantations et les grilles.

Christina is online now  
Jan 6th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I'm very sorry, I did not mean to include those last paragraphs in French which are tedious, I had some text "stuck" inside my browser that I didn't notice I put down on here.
Christina is online now  
Jan 6th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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A great spot for a snack or lunch is Le Sarrasin et le Froment Creperie, 84-86, Rue St. Louis en l'Isle. Crepes galore for your Ile St. Louis stroll. Very informal with Mena, the proprietress, serving and entertaining.

Cheers,

Jinx Hoover
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Hello jinx!
Haven't seen you here in a while.. Happy New Year!

I am not a big ice cream lover to begin with, my preferences veer towards hot fudge etc..but I found the flavors at Berthillon the factor in recommending it. I never tasted fig ice cream before .. I forget the other flavors but I enjoyed the exploration of ice cream tastes that were unusual, even though I would probably not have them again.
Scarlett is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback. This one was a bit old and needed an update.

degas is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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And,frankly, Scarlett---Happy New Year to you!!!

Jinx
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Bookmarking. Thank you all for taking the time to document this!
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