Jan 30, 2010

A monk-assassin named Silas pays a visit to Saint-Sulpice, based on instructions Saunière revealed to Silas at gunpoint in the Louvre. The monk searches for a keystone believed to unlock the secret of the Holy Grail.( in chapter 19 and 22 of the book of The Da Vinci Code). That day I went to Saint Sulpice Church (Église Saint Sulpice). Located at rue St-Sulpice, 6 th arrondissement, was founded by the Society of St-Sulpice to replace a small gothic church.

The construction began in 1646, the west front was designed by the Florentine architect Giovanni Servandoni until 1766. The north tower was built by Chalgrin in 1778-80, but construction was abandoned before the south tower was completed. The facade is austere for a Baroque edifice and has a slightly lopsided appearance, as the south tower was never finished (the north tower rises to 73m; the south to 68m). The open colonaddes looks like a cut-out from the Roman Colosseum. The most attractions of St-Sulpice are in the Chapelle des Anges (Chapel of the Angels) by Delacroix frescoes (1855-61), on the right inside the entrance. Subjects include Jacob wrestling with the angel, St. Michael defeating the devil, and Heliodorus being driven from the temple. More of the artist's work can be seen at Paris' Musée Delacroix. Another masterpiece of St-Sulpice is Servandoni's Rococo Chapelle de la Madone, with a Pigalle statue of the Virgin.

The interesting thing’s the meridian line or gnomon, a narrow brass strip that the monk uses as a reference point in his quest for the Grail. Look for one end near the middle of the nave on the right side, near a stone statue with a Latin inscription. From there, it runs north across the nave and transept to an obelisk next to the statue of St. Peter. It is a fascinating astronomical instrument of the 18th century, used to study the planets and determine the date of Easter each year. The sun's rays enter the church through a small opening in the south transept and rest on the line at various points throughout the year. On the winter solstice, the rays hit the obelisk; on the spring and autumn equinoxes, the bronze table. The obelisk bears a Latin inscription that doesn't quote Job, but describes the use of the meridian line.

How interesting church!

Station on Paris metro: St Sulpice

Jan 27, 2010

When the summer came, I used to go to the jardin (park) to refreshing my mind, relaxing, and enjoy the beautiful park in Paris. This time I went to the Jardin du Luxembourg. Located at the Place Edmond Rostand, 6 th arrondissement. There’s a palace (Palace du Luxembourg), was a royal residence, but now houses members of French senate. Unfortunately I can admired it from the outside. Statues of royal women of greek and french mythology surround the central pavillion. The fountain provides perpectives of the Palace and surrounding garden. Medicis fountain at the northeast end of the garden.

I was sitting on the green metal chair, reading a book which I bought in Boulevard Saint Germain. Suddenly , a boy sitting beside me ,was crying. His sail boat toys are damaged. Oh, I didn’t know how to fix it. Fortunately, his brother came and helped him. I continue to read a book and enjoy the ambiance of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Many kids can enjoy the puppet theatre and playground at the park southwest end.

Station on Paris metro: Odeon, Cluny la Sorbonne

It’s located at the lower end of Rue Mouffetard. It's Marché ( market) Mouffetard. Many shops sell fruit and vegetables, cheeses, seafood, pâtés, sausages, bread and more, with an occasional exotic touch. Come and feel the colors of the district, the typical street animations and the friendly atmosphere! It opens every day except Monday.

Station on paris metro : Censier-Daubenton.

Crossing the Rue Monge and climbing the elegant staircase to the Rue Rollin, leading me to Place Contrescarpe. Place Contrescarpe is a popular square, surrounded by cafés and featuring a fountain at its center. It’s the starting point to go to the rue Mouffetard, a famous market street.

Station on Paris metro: Censier-Daubenton

Jan 23, 2010

The Arènes de Lutèce is a public park, accessible by entrances on three sides. One is a passageway through the building at 47, rue Monge, the second is a long open corridor (vomitoir) accessible from rue de Navarre through a gate, the third is through the Square Capitan from its entrance at 10, rue des Arènes.The open seating of the arena is backed by banks of grass, shade trees, and a romantic garden. There are lots of tucked-away places to sit with a book or enjoy a picnic. Standing in the center of the arena one can still observe significant remnants of the stage and its nine niches, as well as the grilled cages in the wall. The stepped bleachers are not original, but historians believe that 41 arched openings punctuated the façade.

The Arènes are pleasant to visit during spring and summer, when the amphitheater is taken over by students enjoying an outdoor lunch, children playing soccer, or men engaged in the venerable game of pétanque (boules). Built toward the end of the first century A.D. on the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève outside Lutèce, it used as a theater, circus, and sporting arena. The style of construction is rare for an amphitheater of its period, different from the round or classical oval style.

Station on paris metro : Place monge, Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu

Built in 1938, Le Champo is a favorite cinema among students at the Sorbonne just a block away, has hosted premieres for French directors like Marcel Carné and Jacques Tati. Located at 51, Rue des Ecoles , 5 th arrondissement. It’s well-known for its memorable retrospectives. It has programmed hommages to Woody Allen, Nouvelle Vague cinema of the 60's, Tim Burton, Claude Chabrol, and Stanley Kubrick.

Station on Paris metro: Saint-Michel, Odéon, or Cluny La Sorbonne

Jan 21, 2010

It’s surprising, there’s zoo in Paris down town. It’s La Ménagerie, located at Jardin des Plantes, 57, rue Cuvier, 5 th arrondissement. In 1794 by initiative of Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (professeur de zoologie au Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle). La Ménagerie presents more than 900 animals including 240 mamals (50 species), 400 birds (120 species), 270 reptiles (50 species). By the time, the objectifs of zoo was changed. Now it’s oriented to the conservation of the threatened animals. It’s enjoyable and good for children to learn the species of animal.

Station on Paris metro: Gare d’Austerlitz, Censier-Daubenton, Jussieu, Place Monge

For who like to admire the plants and understand the science behind them, The Jardin des Plantes is the destination in Paris. Located at the Place Valhubert, 5 th arrondissement. For me, it’s very beautiful when the summer comes, when I could see all the flowers. Many kinds of flowers are different to the flowers in my country. I enjoyed seeing the garden. They are tropical garden, alpine garden, rose garden, botanical garden, irises and climbing plants. It’s like freshing my eyes and sometimes my mind. Beautiful!!!! The admission to the garden is free, but there’s an admission fee for the museum.

Station on Paris metro: Gare d’Austerlitz

Jan 18, 2010

One of only two remaining medieval homes in Paris (the other is the Hôtel de Sens in the Marais)is the Musée National du Moyen Age, housed in the Hôtel de Cluny. Located at 6, place Paul Painlevé , 5 th arrondissement, founded by the rich and powerful 15th-century abbot of Clunny Abbey and Jacques d'Amboise constructed his mansion over the ruins of a Roman bath. The exterior of the beautiful Gothic building includes many symbols of the Abbot of Cluny's power, from the crenellated walls to the carved Burgundian grapes. The scallop shells on the façade symbolize the great Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, which once began just around the corner and was overseen by the Abbey of Cluny.

The design of the museum's medieval garden, inspired by the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry and provides a pleasant oasis in the heart of the city. It covers 5000 square meters and includes medicinal plants, a "kitchen garden" of herbs, and a section with a "thousand flowers" (mille fleurs). The most famous attraction is the Lady and the Unicorn (Dame à la Licorne) tapestry, the most acclaimed tapestry of its kind. In room 9 are the ruins of Roman baths, dating from about 200 AD. The best preserved section is the frigidarium (cold water bath), with ribbed vaulting resting on consoles evoking ships' prows.

Station on Paris metro: Cluny- La Sorbonne

Jan 5, 2010

The Panthéon is Neoclassicism building, with a Greek-cross plan and a massive portico of Corinthian columns. Located at the Place Panthéon, 5 th arrondissement. Its ambitious lines called for a vast building 110 meters long by 84 meters wide, and 83 meters high. The crypt is equally vast. The Panthéon's façade is modeled on that of the Pantheon in Rome, surmounted by a small dome that resembles that of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

From the colonnade around the building's dome, I had an excellent view over Paris. It was first designed as a church, but later turned into a civil temple. Among those buried in its necropolis are Voltaire, Rousseau, Mirabeau, Marat, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Soufflot its architect. The remains of Jean Moulin, hero of the French Resistence during the Second World War, were moved here by Charles de Gaulle.

Station on Paris metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Luxembourg

Jan 4, 2010

The Sorbonne University is in the center of the famous Latin Quarter of Paris on the Left Bank. The Sorbonne University IV is located at 1, rue Victor Cousin. It's the student's and artists' quarter, but its also a bohemian area. Founded in the 13th century, The Sorbonne University today houses the Arts and Human Sciences faculties of the University of Paris.

Language courses have been running for more than 60 years.Designed specifically for teaching French to foreign students. The courses are run like university courses with a high practical element which aims to teach the student how to express oneself as well as learn about French life.

The Sorbonne plaza (Place de la Sorbonne) is lined with cafes, but most are occupied by tourists rather than students, who tend to prefer gathering in dim, smoky cafes nearby.

Station on Paris metro: St Michel, Odéon

Get off at St Michel station metro, I directly could see the Place St Michel. The Place St Michel (Fountain St Michel) is located on the Left Bank of Paris, on the borderline between fifth and sixth arrondissement. It’s a public square, where I could find many students and young people sitting and enjoying the ambiance of the Quartier Latin.

It exists at the intersection of several street including Quai Saint Michel, Boulevard St Michel, Quai des Grandes Augustins and Pont St Michel. The construction of Place Saint-Michel, was the result of a grand scheme to create a grande croisee of boulevards through the centre of Paris. This scheme was undertaken by Baron Haussmann, prefect of the Seine, to Napoleon III. Constructed by Gabriell Davioud in 1855-1860. The statue’s an image of Saint Michael, the Arch angel with the two dragons spout water into the fountain.

Station on Paris metro: St Michel

Jan 3, 2010

When my friend called me to meet her in the restaurant in the Quartier Latin. I was so excited, because I have some favourite restaurant in this area. For young people, the quartier is interesting. Many students around this area. I discovered the Quartier Latin on foot by day and night! In summer, many musicians play their song in the street. There are many fast food places and clothing chains along Boulevard St Michel. Looking the Pantheon, Sorbonne, Musee de Cluny, Square Viviani, Arenes de Lutece, and the Mosquee de Paris, where lie in this historic area.

The open air market on rue Mouffetard was a lot of fun for the both of us as was the cafe lined Place de la Contrescarpe. By night , the area around St. Severin becomes loud with restauranteurs trying to lure patrons in with their antics and music from the many clubs.

Station on Paris metro: St Michel