Dec 30, 2009

I was stuck on the queue in the Shoah Memorial and Museum. Located at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4 th arrondissement, opened in 2005. The first installation of the Shoah Memorial and Museum is the deeply moving Wall of Names, tall plinths honoring the 76,000 French Jews deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps and only 2,500 survived.

I walked in through tight airport security, and the first thing I saw, are long walls inscribed with the names of those who were lost. In the courtyard there’s a bronze cylinder, symbolizing the chimneys of the death camps that bears the names of the Warsaw Ghetto. There are lots of interactive displays, and much of the text is presented in both French and English. I was interested in seeing the films clips and photography of everyday life before the war, and of the deportations and life and death in the camps. On a lower floor is an eternal flame, sits across from the door of a barrack from one of the camps. The memorial also contains the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation. There are reading rooms, an excellent bookstore and a café.

Station on Paris metro: Saint Paul, Hôtel de Ville, Pont Marie

Dec 28, 2009

Visiting Hôtel de Ville was enchanting. Located at 29, rue de Rivoli , 4th arrondissement, housing city's administration. It inspired by Châteaux de Loire Valley, french renaissance.
In 1246 the first municipality was created when the Parisian trade guilds elected aldermen as representatives towards the King. There was no municipal building until 1357 when one of the aldermen, a water merchant, bought a house near the place de Grève. The two-storied building featured two towers and arcades. Known as the House of Pillars, served as a meeting place for the aldermen.
A revolting Commune which had occupied the Hôtel de Ville for months set the building on fire in May 1871, destroying the building as well as the valuable city archives. The architects who reconstructed the Hôtel de Ville : Ballu, Deperthes. The lounge's artisitc and certainly beautiful. Funded by a national subscription the construction started in 1873. Nine years later, the new Hôtel de Ville was officially inaugurated.
Station on Paris metro: Hôtel de Ville

Dec 27, 2009

From Saint Paul metro station, walking up and turned left on Rue de Turenne. Wondering why many designers held fashion show in the Place des Vosges. It's a nice central park surrounded by arcades with shops and cafes. It straddles the dividing line between 3 rd and 4 th arrondissement.

Originally known as Place Royale, the building is a pure early 17 th century architecture.Inside the square, the splendid fountains still have the name of King Louis XIII who was in power when the square was completed in the 1600s.

The Place des Vosges has two major houses. In the middle of the north side is the Queen Pavillon, dedicated to the former queen of France. On the south side is the King Pavillon, Le Pavillon du Roi. These houses are not open to visitors. But I visited the home of Victor Hugo, the famous author of “Les Miserables.” It is now a city run museum, open to the public free of charge.

Many tourists stay in the Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, located just north of Place des Vosges, accessible through the arches beside the great Gallery Vivendi. The gallery is well known for the famous artists shown in their exhibitions. Besides Gallery Vivendi, many other art galleries have chosen this most prestigious address. Their windows look out over the square, a tempting invitation to the many people passing by. On the southwest corner of the square, a secret door open only during the day, entry to the beautiful Hotel de Sully Gardens. The building is now a photography museum. Cross through another passage and I found a courtyard with enchanting statues representing the four seasons.

Station on Paris metro: Saint Paul, Chemin Vert

Dec 25, 2009

Get off at Metro Pont-Marie (line 7), then turn left, there's Hôtel de Sens, located at 1, rue du Figuier, 4 th arrondissement. Without realizing, I stopped and admiring this medieval residence's elegant formal gardens and dramatic design.

Built between 1474-1519 as a residence for Tristan de Salazar, the archbishop of Sens. The architecture of Hotel de Sens features elements of defense. There are turrets built for surveillance; a square tower served as a dungeon; the arched entryway has chutes built into it enabling defenders to pour boiling water on invaders. The Council of Paris decided to create a library specializing in art and art techniques in 1883. The Council wished to create a place where people could draw, use models and borrow books. At that time Samuel Fornay, an industrialist, donated to the City 200,000 francs to be used for the education of young artists. It is in honor of this man that the Bibliothèque Fornay gets its name. 1961, the Bibliothèque Fornay was established in the Hôtel de Sens. The library has a collection of 200,000 books, 2,580 periodicals, 23,000 posters, 1,110,000 postcards, 325,000 reproductions, 28,000 commercial catalogues and 50,000 slides.

Station on Paris metro: Pont Marie

The Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme, established in 1948 by a private association to pay homage to a culture that had been destroyed by the Holocaust. Located at 71, rue du Temple, 3d arrondissement, certainly in marais neighborhood. The first collections of this museum comprised religious objects handed back in 1951 by the American Jewish Restitution Organisation, commissioned to redistribute Jewish cultural goods looted by the Nazis. Thank's to Léon Frenkiel, the museum's founder, a collection of documents on European synagogue architecture was built up.

In the early years, acquisitions consisted of European religious objects and sought to represent North African Judaism. The museum's first curator, Marie Chabchay, embarked on building up a narrow but comprehensive collection of graphic works by Russian and German Jewish artists. There followed works by artists from the Paris school, and various gifts. The other core collection comes from the Musée national du Moyen Âge. In 1988, the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme has endeavoured to add to the original collections, focusing on France, the history of the Jews, religious art, ethnography and works by Jewish artists.

When I was there, the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme was organizing a special “gastronomical” tour of its expositions. It's interesting taste and culture.

Station on Paris metro: Châtelet , Châtelet - Les Halles , Hôtel de Ville, Les Halles, Rambuteau

The Centre Culturel Suedois (Swedish Cultural Center in Paris), located across from the Square Georges Cain on 11,Rue Payenne, 3 rd arrondissement. The center is housed in an ornate Renaissance-style building, build in 1560. Modified many times, in 1965 to present, become Centre Culturel Suedois.The Centre Culturel Suedois schedules film screenings, concerts, exhibits, and other cultural events.

Station on Paris metro: St Paul, Chemin-Vert

Passage de Retz, 9 rue Charlot, 3 rd arrondisement
Centre of art contemporain and photographies

Dec 23, 2009

About Nitrate and cellulose. Nitrocellulose. We can find nitrocellulose in the manufacturing celluloid, collodion, etc. When I thought celluloid, I thought dolls. Celluloid is a plastique. Invented by J.W. Hyatt from nitrate de cellulose and camphre. It's always interesting to know how to make dolls. So I decided to visit the Musée de la Poupée to see the collections of dolls.

Musée de la Poupée (Dolls Museum), located at Impasse Berthaud, near 22, Rue Beaubourg, 3 th arrondissement. In this charming cul-de-sac, about 500 charming dolls from 1800 to this year, produced by using porcelaine, paper, fabric, composition, celluloid or plastique material. We can find in the presentation of dolls like the miniature of houses, accessories, toys, etc.

It's a good way to discover the toy world differently in the musée de la poupée. Many interesting activities in this museum, especially for children and adults. I followed the tours, begun by handling dolls' parts from various periods and continued with the visit of the permanent rooms of the museum, then I visited the exhibit on my own. Unfortunately, I couldn't follow the interesting workshop for making fake miniature food, especially for children from 6 to 12 years old. They will discover how to create miniatures with colored paste and by recycling every day material.

Next time, I'll go to the Musée de la Poupée with my children, I said to myself. I really want my children know how to make the toys. It motivates them to learn science and be creative in their life.

Station on Paris metro: rambuteau

Dec 22, 2009

Hôtel de Soubise was built for Prince and Princess Soubise. Located at 60 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3rd arrondissement, still in marais neighborhood. Now it houses the Musée de l'Histoire de France (National Archives).

The Hôtel de Soubise was decorated by some of the most important artists and craftsmen of their time. Including : Chambre du Prince, Salon ovale prince, Chambre d’apparat de la princesse, the very beautiful Salon ovale de la princesse that glided carvings, mirror-glass embedded in the boiserie and ceiling canvases and overdoors by Francois Boucher, Charles-Jean Natoire and Carle Van Loo.

Station on Paris metro: Rambuteau , Hotel-de-Ville

Dec 1, 2009

I was wondering what kind of collections in the musée des Arts et Métiers (museum of arts and occupations). Still in 3 rd arrondissement, 60, rue Réaumur, the exterior of the musée des Arts et Métiers is beautiful. Created in1794, there are seven sections including scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, energy, engineering and transports. Many collections of the master piece devices invented by people, such as Volta's first invention of the battery to name a few, Watt's steam engine, the cinematograph device by the Lumière brothers, etc

The stylish early airplane made me imagining the song “ Sous Le Vent” by Céline Dion and Garou. I thought the airplane’s very perfect to describe the song. It’s very beautiful and original. Made of trenchcoat fabric and exquisitely detailed with feather propellers it resembles a bat. Designed by Clément Ader . He flew an earlier version of this plane thirteen years before the Wright Brothers and described the concept of an aircraft carrier in 1909.

I enjoyed seeing a treadle sewing machine very much. Thank to the inventor, we can sew our clothes faster than using our finger.

Station on Paris metro: Réaumur-Sebastopol