Jardin du Tuileries
The Jardin du Tuileries,
left, seen from the Carrousel just outside the Louvre
looking towards the obelisk in Place de la Concorde in the 8th and onwards to the Arc du Triomphe.
This formal French-style
garden covers 25 hectares, and was first laid out in 1564 in front of the then Tuileries Palace. Later it was redesigned by Le Nôtre, one of France's most famous
gardeners in the 17th century, for Louis XIV.
It has always been a very popular public
garden. Children still come here to sail boats on the ponds, and the locals and
tourists make good use of the numerous chairs.
The Tuileries get their name
from the two tile (tuile in French) factories that were previously located
The gates of the Tuileries (right) leading from Place de la Concorde are beautiful in their own right, and
match the splendour of the Place.
The rue de Rivoli runs along the outside of
the Tuileries and is home to two good English-language
bookshops, W. H. Smith's at no. 248 and
Gaglinani at 224.
Just out of shot, to the left
in the photograph on the left, there is a stand where you can buy sandwiches and
crepes. The crepes are inexpensive and delicious on a cold day after a long
The best hot chocolate in the world
If you feel in need of something more substantial then you should take
yourself off to Angelina's tea room
for the best hot chocolate in the world. Angelina's is at 226 rue de Rivoli,
next door to the Hotel Meurice.
"Is Paris burning?"
This hotel was used by General Dietrich von
Choltitz as his HQ during the German occupation in WW2. Though the
general was descended from generations of Prussian military men, and had been chosen for the job of commanding Paris by Hitler because Hitler felt Choltitz would obey orders to the letter and with alacrity, as he had done in the past. Choltitz, for once, prevaricated.
He did give the order for all buildings, bridges, and monuments to be planted with explosive devices ready to be detonated, but he made sure the order to detonate was never given. And so the Allies reached and liberated an intact Paris. It is said that an incesced Hitler telephoned him and shouted, "Well, is Paris burning?".
So as you stroll around Paris remember to whom you owe all this to.
That Paris did not have her heart blown up like poor old London was due to a
German general disobeying a direct order from Hitler.
Choltitz died in Germany in 1966, and his funeral was attended by a few high-ranking French army officers, so at least some of them remembered.
And speaking of burning, the
normally peaceful Tuileries hosted a burning German Tiger tank complete with
charred bodies on the 26 of August 1944. It was during this week that the
resistance members fought to liberate Paris. In the time that followed the
number of people claiming to be in the resistance multiplied hugely, however
the names of those who fell that week are remembered by little plaques all over
Paris bearing their names and the date. And thankfully these are covered in
flowers every August, so they are still remembered today.
Right is the column
in the Place Vendome. Place Vendome is the home of all the top jewellers in
Paris, as well as the Ritz Hotel. Originally there was a statue of Louis XIV in the middle of the Place,
but this was destroyed during the revolution. Then Napoleon had this bronze
covered column put up.
The statue on the top of the column has been changed
many times, there have been two of Napoleon, one of Henri IV, and a huge fleur
de lys, the current statue of Napoleon has been there for over 100 years, so
perhaps will stay for a while longer.
The statue of Joan of Arc (above left) in Places des Pyramides outside the Louvre. The
statue by Fremiet has become a shrine for the extreme right.
Left is St. Germain l'Auxerrois, it faces the back of the
Louvre, and is truly beautiful, but often overlooked
because all the attention falls on its much larger and more well-known
Grand Admiral Gaspard Coligny
On the right is a statue of Grand Admiral Gaspard Coligny, a war veteran, leading Hugenot, statesman, and one of the most prominent Protestants in France. He was murdered in the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572.
Then his dead body was mutilated and castrated by a mob of children. If that were not enough what was left of him was strung up and left to rot.
When King Charles IX and his entourage rode past the body some weeks later it smelled so bad that the courtiers covered their face with handkercheifs, however Charles said, "The body of a dead enemy never smells bad."
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