Get your sword ready, it’s time for a history lesson!
Statues make me curious. What do we see? A man (perhaps a general) with a defiant attitude and his sword raised, as if he is going to start a battle. It looks dominating and even the horse has a arrogant look in his eyes. Maybe it’s a man of nobility?
This time, we’re talking about Simón Bolívar. He was an South-American freedom fighter. The reason Paris has a statue of him is because Paris was an important source of inspiration for Bolivar. He witnessed in 1804 the coronation of Napoleon as emperor of France. Besides the fact that Simon Bolivar lost his respects to Napoleon because he had betrayed the republican ideas, he still was impressed by the grand ceremony.
Bolivar decided from that moment that he would spend the rest of his life to the liberation of South America (from Spanish domination in South America)
The internet is full of interesting articles about him. I know the average interest in reading long blogposts so to make a long story short. Today Simon Bolivar is still seen as the greatest leader of Latin America’s independence movement :)
For more information you may always contact me or leave a comment below.
Sweet dreams everyone or a really good morning ♡
Time for foodies and goodies
Sweet, colored and it tastes heavenly. I think we all know what I’m talking about…macarons! I’m crazy about them and I’ve tried them almost everywhere in Paris. It’s so cool to experience all those little artworks at different bakeries or at the famous pastry stores. The Parisians sure know how to make great combinations and how to take care of a big variety. I’ve had lots of crazy flavors. They got olive, lavender, cheese, pistachio, chili, honey…I can go on for hours but I think you got my point ;)
I’ve once wrote a post about Ladurée, a famous pastry store in Paris. They invented the French macaron we eat today. A fun fact is that the beginning of the macaron starts in Italy. Yeah, I was a bit shocked too, but the meringue-based pastry is named after the Italian word for pasta ‘Maccarone’. The Italian monasteries made biscuits from a mixture of ground almonds with sugar and protein, similar to our macaroons. Catherine di Medici (Queen of France from 1547 to 1559) introduced this cake in France. It was mentioned there Maccherone. After many, many years, the French bakery Ladurée in Paris got the idea to combine two macarons with a filling, and that my dear followers, was the beginning of the macaron we know today.
The macaron is so popular in French that they got their own special day, ‘Le Jour du Macaron’. I haven’t experienced it myself, but it’s on my bucket list. The proceeds of all the macarons go to a good charity. During ‘Le Jour du Macaron’ there are different routes trough Paris to pass unique locations where you can taste some good macarons!
Note: A delicious recipe of my own macarons (and many other fun recipes) can soon be found on the new website www.worldofparis.com.
I hesitated for a moment, but it’s really the Grand Palais in Paris. The people who are familiar with the work of Escher, will maybe understand my comparison.
I visit Paris regularly, but I always skip this building. Not intentionally, but subconsciously.That´s why I decided to take the first step during my last trip to Paris. I have immersed myself in the history of the building and the outside. I wasn’t disappointed at all. There are more than 40 events each year. Next time I’m going to visit an exhibition!
Because of the name ´´Grand Palais´´ I thought it was a former palace, but that´s not true. Grand Palais is a large exhibition hall (with an immense roof of glass) that was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris. It was build at the same time as the Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III. The Grand Palais has been closed for 12 years because a part of the glass ceiling had collapsed. With the technology of today, we don’t have to be afraid that it will happen again!
A little fun fact is that the Grand Palais has more steel than the whole Eiffel Tower! Through this link you can learn more interesting things about the Grand Palais. Enjoy it!
Paris is full of statues. You got really big ones but also smaller. Did you know that there are even three ‘Statues of Liberty in Paris?’ Just like the one in New York City, but then a bit smaller ;)
I always have a soft spot for statues, I don’t know exactly why but they just interest me. Take the statues of Liberty as an example, why are they there? Why three? But I also have questions about the normal statues of people. Who is so special to get his/her own statue in the most magical city in the world? I just have to figure those things out, to discover if there’s an interesting story behind it. Usually it is, sometimes not.
I´ll give you a short summary of the statue. On the picture above you see Gaspard de Coligny. He was lord of Chatillon, admiral of France and a Protestant leader. He studied literature, but dropped it when he went into the army. After his army lost a battle, he was put in prison. On payment of a ransom of 50.000 crowns he recovered his liberty. He went back to France and became, through the influence of his brother, a Protestant leader. To make a long story short…The bond between Catholics and Protestants were not so close at that time and he had to pay that with his life during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. I found a really interesting article about this biography, click here if you want to read more about Gaspard de Coligny. Definitely worth it if you love a bit of French history!
For enthusiasts, you can find this beautiful statue at the Temple Protestant de l’Oratoire du Louvre. Get off at subway station ‘Louvre-Rivoli’ and walk towards Rue Saint Honoré, voila you can’t miss it!
Bonne nuit ♥
Le Marais is a popular district in Paris and definitely worth to see.The Eiffel tower is nice but the hidden treasures of the Marais are much more special. Don’t look for big sights or department stores. But, take a look at the local people and surrounding. You will notice that there are many falafel restaurants, craft shops and Jewish people. Not surprising because Le Marais was previously known as the Jewish Quarter. Characterized by wholesalers and leather goods. The pace of life is slower than average district in Paris. Quiet and peaceful. The old doors, narrow streets and the smell of traditional food, give you a sense of how it has been before. Yes, been before. Times are changing…the expensive brands want to settle here, housing prices are very high and today it’s also a popular district for the gay scene of Paris ;)
Gladly, the history of the Marais returns everyday. So we can still enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing district.
Take a look at the photo and judge for yourself ♡
Le Marais, Paris
Note: have you read my post about the oldest park in Paris yet? Click here to read more about Place des Vosges in the Marais.
Do you guys remember my previous blog-post (November 2013) about the Wallace Fountains in Paris? If you haven’t read it yet, no problem! You’re never too old to learn ;)
It was about the fountains that prevent the Parisians from drinking too much wine. Someone in the comment section asked me ”did it curtail the excessive drinking of wine?’‘ Well, I thought they did (because they made many more of them) but after finding this shopping cart in the streets of Montmartre… I’m not so sure anymore!
We have to admit that wine belongs to the French culture. So, that sounds like reasonable excuse for an extra glass of wine on this Saturday night!
~ Bon weekend ♥ ~
Maybe you recognize these beautiful fountains from the streets of Paris? These green fountains, also known as the Wallace Fountains, celebrate this year their 135th birthday! The idea of the fountains came from Richard Wallace during the French-German war from 1870 till 1871. After the war, clean drinking water was rare in Paris and also very expensive. Richard Wallace was a rich man, an art lover an a philanthropist (which means that you have a big heart for people and give big money to the charities) To prevent diseases, he donated 50 of these fountains to Paris! Richard was an art lover and he designed the fountains together with the French sculptor Auguste Charles Le Bourg. The need for clean drinking water was really necessary and Paris doubled the number of fountains to 100!
Another reason of the fountains was that wine was cheaper than clean water. Yeah, I know.. sounds perfect right? But, it was a serious problem which cause many Parisian alcoholics. Thanks to Wallace, the Parisians were able to drink water instead of wine during breakfast.
The fountains of Wallace are still working but only from 15th March till 15th November, to prevent the water from freezing in the winter. There are 4 models, I think the one on the picture is the prettiest!
Looking for some history at Paris? Than you should definitely check out Café le Procope. It’s the oldest cafe in Paris. Unfortunately not the cheapest. In 1686 Francesco Procopio dei Coltell (what a mouthful) opened here a coffee house. Franceco was one of first ice cream sellers in Paris, even before Bertillon! It was a novelty that did well at the court of Versailles. The royal families were real trendsetters in that time. First the tea, now the ice cream. Not very surprising.. they had more than enough money for delicacy.
The cafe got more popular cause the opening of Académie Française. Académie Française is an official institution in the French language. Along with four other academies they form the Institut de France. Café le Procope became a popular theater bar. The restaurant proudly hang some pictures of celebrities who had visited the restaurant in their window. Celebrities like Napoleon, Robespierre, Balzac, Dalton and Victor Hugo. The best stories are being told about this cafe. I don’t know if it’s true but, there seems to hang a hat of Napoleon (one of the many). He has ever left it behind as a deposit.
The place where the cafe is located is called ”Cour de Commerce St. André” (see photo). At number 12 is the guillotine invented.
You can find the entrance to this legendary place at Boulevard St. Germain, across the statue of Danton and metro Odeon.
A historic place in Paris. What for kind of interesting conversations took place here? What do you think?
It was on top of my ‘to-go-list’ this year and I made it! The 14th of July in Paris. In French also known as Quatorze Juillet and in English known as Bastille Day. I got one word for this experience, AMAZING. The Parisians certainly know how to organize a national holiday. Let me tell you about my experiences of Quatorze Juillet.
First, Paris kicked the day off with a military procession on the Champs Élysées. The military and all police forces were present. President Hollande placed a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe and then he drove towards to Place the la Concorde. Then we had to wait for a long time and just when I almost lost my patience, the magic happens! Here I was waiting for… the French Air force!! Nine fighter jets flew above the Champs Élysées with the colors of the French flag (see picture). After that many other aircraft’s and helicopters followed. There also was a privet jet, I wonder who was inside?
Then all police forces went their own direction. We were lucky and saw an impressive helicopter demonstration near the Air France building. There were fun activities everywhere. During this holiday, many local stores were open, it wasn’t a problem to score something to eat.
At night there was a concert with many famous French names. I remember that I was in my hotel room for a while and watched the French news. I saw some live TV about the Eiffel Tower and some information about the upcoming firework. It was a funny thought that I was not so far away from that tower. I was ready for some firework!
The firework was truly amazing, they did a really good job. The only dark side for me, were all those people! The reason they all came to see this firework is because, the Parisians don’t have any firework during New Year’s Eve. So, everyone is there at the 14th of July. It became too overcrowded and for a good spot at Trocadero, you had to stand there before dark. Firework at Trocadero won’t be a problem if you tolerate big crowds, don’t mind a bit of eye poking and love to get squished like a banana in a smoothie! Normally, I try to avoid big crowds and hide myself somewhere quiet. But this time, I just had to be there. And believe me, it was worth it!
Last thing: I just wan’t to give you the advice of leaving the firework a bit earlier. This because all metro-stations that are near by, are closed. The nearest metro-station is the one at the Champs Élysées. So, if you want to avoid all those people in your metro, make sure you leave a bit earlier. That’s the only way to increase your chances for a relaxed ride back to your hotel. That or rent a bike!
Traveling by subway is more than normal to us all. It’s a fun place to watch people, read the newspaper or listen to some street musicians. While you’re using the metro, did you know the following facts about the metro in Paris?
1. The first metro line was opened in 1900 just after the Paris World Exposition.
2. Paris has the sixth most used Metro in the world. The Paris metro transports more than 1.5 billion people each year!
3. The Paris metro runs more than 600,000 miles per day. That’s circa 10 times around the earth.
4. One metro ticket can be used in all metro lines. As long as you stay underground you can travel all day long in the Parisian metro. Fun for a day, you will discover a lot of things!
5. Big dogs aren’t allowed in the subway, only small dogs are tolerated.
6. The Paris metro is after London, Glasgow and Budapest the forth oldest metro in Europe.
7. There is only one metro station named after a woman, named Louise Michel, who was a socialist.
8. Each metro stop in Paris has a theme. Mostly these are some historical figures. If you pay attention and Google all those metro stations, you will learn a lot about the Parisian history.
9. There is one metro station that looks like a submarine!
10. Metro station ”Abbesses” lies 40 meters underground and is the deepest metro station in Paris. And Louis Vuitton has a messenger style bag in the Monogram Canvas line named after this station.