Paris – Marais to the Left Bank and don’t forget your walking shoes!

A friend of mine is heading to Paris in a few days, so I thought I should write another post on this iconic city.

This time the outing started in Marais –  on the Right Bank of the Seine River. It is the historic heart of Paris and is a stunning example of the French Renaissance. Our excursion got underway along rue St Antoine, by the Eglise St Paul St Louis.

 

A bit further down rue St Antoine was the beautiful mansion, Hotel Sully.

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We continued down to Place de la Bastille. Not sure what I was expecting, but where there once had stood a grand fortress, was now just a traffic roundabout and pillar that marked the spot. The fortress had been knocked down during the French Revolution.

The Opera House is in this area if your interested….

Next time, I’ll save the extra steps and head straight to Place des Vosges from Hotel Sully.

Place des Vosges is said to be one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe. It was stunning and very peaceful.

We are not into a lot of museums, but if we were, there were plenty to look at here. From the Musee Picasso, Carnavalet, de Histoire de France, ending at the postmodern Centre Georges Pompidou; with its unmistakable ekoskeletal design. It has all of its plumbing, electrical, etc, exposed on the exterior of the building. You’ll know it, when you see it!

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From here it was a straight shot down Renard Beaubourg to Hotel De Ville. We were back at the banks of the Seine River. We crossed to Île de la Cite, where Notre Dame is located. Then over another bridge behind Notre Dame to the Left Bank.

The bridge behind Notre Dame is called Pont de I’Archeveche, but it is better known as Lovers Bridge. There are 1,000s of padlocks hanging from its railings.

Right on the corner of the bridge we enjoyed the nice music of some local musicians.

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So far we had walked about 2 miles, it seemed a perfect time to stop and enjoy a cup of Parisian coffee and lunch before continuing on our walk into the Left Bank.

 

 

I found the Latin Quarter, on the Left Bank, to have a totally different vibe than the rest of the city. I really loved the maze of tight pedestrian streets. Lots of little restaurants, bars and shops.

We walked up St Michel, past Sorbonne University, the Pantheon and towards Jardin du Luxembourg.

Jardin du Luxembourg’s formal French gardens were spectacular, along with its beautiful Palace. Even though there were tons of people, we found a quite bench and relaxed.

We had been walking for hours so far.  We set our eyes on the Eiffel Tower and headed off, walking through the posh neighborhood of St Germain des Pres. Passing the church with its namesake and Place St. Sulpice  along the way.

 

We could see the massive Hotel des Invalides, up ahead. It was originally built as a hospital for disabled soldiers in the 1600s, it now houses a huge military museum and Napoleon’s Tomb. It has the second tallest dome in Paris and can be spotted far away.

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We had made it! We crossed the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

IIMG_9715We had walked about 5 miles through quaint streets, and years of history, ending our day at the base of the Eiffel Tower. As the evening approached, we sat at one of the many brassieres and waited to see the twinkling of the lights on the tower.

Enjoying a nice glass of wine, we reflected on the numerous sites we had seen; from Baroque to Gothic to Post Modern Architecture. We had walked through time, starting in the 6th century with St Germain, Notre Dame in the 12th century, Hotel de Invaldies in the 17th century, the Eiffel Tower in the 19th century, and the Centre Georges Pompidou Museum in the 20th century; just to name a few….What a diverse city!

We had decided to walk the streets of this historic city to make sure nothing was missed.

But, there were many metro stops along the route that we could have jumped on and off.

My previous post shared information along the west side of the Seine River. From the Eiffel Tower, up Champs-Elysee, the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Notre Dame and back to the Eiffel Tower.

 

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2 thoughts on “Paris – Marais to the Left Bank and don’t forget your walking shoes!

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