Exploring More of Paris:
I have written about Paris before in several blogs, and there is still so much more to say.
When a city is over 2000 years old, there is a great deal to look at and think about.
The area that is now Paris was originally settled by a Celtic tribe called the Parisii around 250 BC.
In 52 BC Julius Caesar captured the settlement and renamed it Lutetia (mid-water dwelling).
Eventually the settlement was re-named Paris, expanded to the right and left banks of the Seine River, and became a Christian city.
Canada is only 148 years old as a country...a mere baby compared to European history.
As a Canadian from a small village, I had only read about Paris in dusty history books, or seen the Eiffel Tower on television...that was about it. Because of the illustrious art achievements in France, and particularly in Paris, making it the “art centre of the world”, I had a great desire to go there and see it for myself.
Thanks to the generosity of my friend Joe Plaskett, I was allowed this opportunity.
Visitors to other countries are generally attracted to the familiar icons that have attracted so many in the past. I was staying in the very heart of Paris, just two short blocks north of the Seine in the Marais district in the 3rd. & 4th. Arrondissement. This would have been one of the first areas built upon by the Romans so long ago.
Walking south from where I stayed brought me quickly to the Hotel de Ville...the magnificent City Hall of Paris, first constructed in1357.
Several extensive renovations occurred over the centuries until we have what we see today...a stunning building designed in the French Renaissance style.
There is a large, open, public space in front of the City Hall where people meet to talk, play and eat lunch under the many trees which have been planted there.
The Seine is nearby, and it's a delight to watch the traffic cross both the Pont Neuf and Pont Notre Dame.
Many boats, large and small pass underneath almost nonstop.
At the north end of the Pont Notre Dame sits the Notre-Dame Cathedral, undoubtedly one of the best known churches in the world.
Construction began in 1163 and continued for 182 years!
That's incredible when you think of the speed at which we slap up buildings in the western world.
Of course if ours last 100 years we think they are old.
I often walked down to the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the early evening after having dinner, partly for exercise, but mostly just to admire the Cathedral and see other people relaxing around it.
It was built in the French Gothic style, has many beautiful sculptures, especially around the western facade, and is 96m tall.
The stained glass work is amazing as well.
Behind the main body of the cathedral you can see the huge flying buttresses used in its construction.
Apparently this was the first time this idea had been tried out...and it worked very well.
As the sun slowly set over Paris, I would wander back to 2 Rue Pecquay, ready to enjoy a glass of wine, Chopin, and great memories of what I had seen.
What will tomorrow bring?
© Blair T. Paul, all rights reserved
Edited and posted by: Chris MacFarlane Photography
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Welcome to my blog.
I'll be writing on a regular basis about my experiences as a painter over the last forty years. I hope you'll share your thoughts and comments with me - it's a great way to be connected.
Blair T. Paul