A big Parisienne web

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paris is an enormous, decorous web of interlaced literary, historical and artistic strands... and it's a complete pleasure to get tangled in it. We've been over, under, around and through a mere fraction of the place and made all sorts of threaded connections.

Connection 1:
For example, in the Paris sewers we learned how Napolean thought one of his greatest accomplishments was bringing clean water to pestilent Paris, though he's not known for that feat...

...and then we saw Napolean's tomb at the National Army Museum...

...and visited the Napoleonic chambers in the Louvre, which were literally dripping with decadence.

Connection 2:  
We stopped at the Petit Palais and saw the Art Nouveau furniture of Hector Guimard...

...then passed numerous iconic Parisienne metro signs that Guimard designed in Art Nouveau style...

...and then crossed the Art Nouveau Bridge Ponte Alexander on our way to a farmers' market.

Connection 3:
We walked 2km through Paris's catacombs, which were originally limestone quarries that had to be filled with bones in the 18th and 19th centuries not only to keep the ground from collapsing but also to handle the bones of unsanitary burial sites in the city...

...and we had an espresso in one of Ernest Hemingway's haunts above the catacombs...

...and then we strolled past the Cathedral of Notre Dame and surrounding neighborhood buildings that were built from the stones extracted from the now-catacombs.

So many more to point out... but our heads might explode!

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