A stroll to the hilltop villages of Belleville and Ménilmontant will allow you to discover an other side of the city. On the medieval tracks of the old springs supplying the center of Paris, through the folies (1) , the vineyards and the guinguettes (2) , up to the mythic sites of the Commune de Paris, where were the last barricades to fall , break free into hidden courtyards, artists’workshops and see the house where was filmed “Casque d’Or” (by Jacques Becker with Simone Signoret…)
(1) folies : cosy countryside mansions belonging to famous parisian noblesmen at the time of the monarchy, in the outskirts of the city
(2) guinguettes : in the outskirts of Paris, vast establishments where hundreds of revellers came to eat, drink and dance
The Triangle of Choisy, in the XIIIth district of Paris, is not the only chinese quarter of Paris but definitively the most famous one and actually the place where is living the largest asian community in Europe, with its traditions, dialectes, beliefs and rituels – Visit of the Chaozhou pagoda, the seat of a cultural chinese association, the buddhist temple, rue du Disque… Let yourself go for a touch of zen – beyond the usual clichés about China, allow yourself to a deeper approach to chinese way of life
La Défense, Europe’s largest purpose-built business district, an other Paris, half a century of architectural dreams (72 glass and steel slick buildings), modern and contemporary art sculptures (Cesar, Calder, Mirò…) displayed all over the Esplanade, the Grande Arche (the new arch of Paris built to celebrate the bicentenary of the French Revolution) and a unique view on Paris 6 km long historical axis.
Les Halles ‘area was known as “the Belly of Paris” as it was coined by Emile Zola in his novel “Le ventre de Paris” and by Patrick Süskind in his best-seller “Perfume”. It was named for the oldest central wholesale market of Paris. Nearby, hidden in this huge pedestrian area, visit the 16th c. Church of Saint-Eustache, the largest one of the capital, the circular Halle aux Blés, a 18th & 19 th c. building, la Fontaine des Innocents, a Renaissance’s style fountain, St-Denis street & St-Martin, the oldest axis in Paris, Beaubourg with the Pompidou Center, Stravinsky Square and Fountain + the sculptures by Tinguely & Nicki de Saint-Phalle….
L'Ile de la Cité
La Cité is not only the largest island in the river Seine, but it has also been known for centuries, as the dwelling place of the capital where , a tribe in Gaul, the Parisii, settled here in the 3rd century BC ; don’t miss Notre-Dame cathedral, the Conciergerie, the Sainte Chapelle, (>> monuments ), l’Hôtel-Dieu, the Prefecture, the Flower Market, the Court of Justice, Dauphine’s Square, the park of the Vert Galant, the banks of the Seine….
St-Louis Island is one of the two natural islands on the Seine river ; it is one of France’s first examples of urban planning, mapped and built from end to end during the 17th century : a peaceful oasis of calm in the busy Paris centre, on the way of Chopin, Mickiewicz, Baudelaire, Breton, Apollinaire… This island has no metro stations and 2 bus stops. Most of the island is residential but there are several restaurants, shops, cafés and ice cream parlours at street level, as well as one large church, St-Louis-en-l’île church
Saint-Julien le Pauvre, Saint-Séverin, La Huchette, la Place Saint-Michel, les thermes gallo-romains et l’Hôtel de Cluny, la Sorbonne, le Collège de France, la Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, le Panthéon, l’ancienne abbaye Ste-Geneviève, St-Etienne du Mont, l’ancienne Ecole Polytechnique…An area in the 5th and parts of the 6th arrondissements of Paris -on the left bank of the Seine, around the Sorbonne. Known for its student life, lively atmosphere and bistros, the Latin Quarter is home to a number of higher education establisments besides the university itself, such as the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Ecole des Mines de Paris (a ParisTech institute),the Scola Cantorum, the Jussieu University…..
Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Sully, St-Paul St-Louis, Hôtel de Sens, Hôtel d’Aumont, Mémorial de la Shoah, Hôtel de Beauvais, St-Gervais St-Protais, Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, Hôtel de Soubise, Hôtel de Rohan, Hôtel Carnavalet, Hôtel Le Pellertier de St-Fargeau, Hôtel Salé, Hôtel Libéral Bruant, Hôtel Guénégaud, Place de la Bastille…
The basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, St-Pierre Church , the remains of the former abbey, la rue du Chevalier de la Barre, le Panorama, la Place du Tertre, La Maison Rose, the vineyard of Montmartre, le Lapin Agile, oldest cabaret in Paris, the staircases, les moulins de la Butte, the 3 windmills of the Hill, la rue Norvins, la rue Lepic, la Place des Abbesses….
Les Passages Couverts
From the lively passageways of Verdeau, Jouffroy, des Panoramas, Sainte-Anne and Choiseul to the elegant and refined galleries Vivienne, Colbert, des Deux Pavillons, Palais-Royal, Véro-Dodat… take a stroll full of nostalgy through these picturesque public spots of modernity, exchanges and entertainement… dating back from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century
Saint-Germain des Prés
A small village nestled around the abbey of S Germain des Prés which neighborhood became a haunt of intellectuals since the 17th century. There met the Encyclopedists, lived the future revolutionaries Marat, Danton, Guillotin. After World War II, St-Germain became the center of intellectuals and philosophers, actors and musicians. Existentialism co-existed with jazz in the cellars of St Germain des Prés. J.P Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Juliette Greco, J.L Godard, Boris Vian, or François Truffaut were all at home there. See the Carrefour de Buci, le Procope, Le Théâtre de l’Odéon, le Sénat, les Jardins du Luxembourg, l’église Saint-Sulpice, le Flore, les 2 Magots, la Brasserie Lipp, la Place Furstenberg, l’église St-Germain-des-Prés, l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, le Pont des Arts, la Monnaie, l’Institut…
Construit pour le Cardinal de Richelieu, le palais est légué au roi avant de devenir le Palais des Orléans.
Durant la Révolution et l’Empire, il devient le coeur battant de la capitale, où l’on afflue de l’Europe entière ; commerce et divertissement s’y confondent. Quand la République y loge ses institutions – Conseil d’Etat, Conseil Constitutionnel et Ministère de la Culture, sa caractéristique demeure : l’alliance, autour d’un jardin clos et public, de lieux dévolus les uns au pouvoir les autres aux plaisirs.