Saturday, November 11, 2006

Marquis de Lafayette

This French soldier was a passionate joiner in the American Revolution against Britain. He became lifelong friends with George Washington, even naming a son George Washington Lafayette.

This statue near Quai de Albert I and the Champs-Élysées was erected by the “schoolchildren of the U.S.”

"A small subscription magazine booklet: The Mentor, Lafayette by Albert Bushnell Hart published in January 1918. It has a photograph of Paul Wayland Bartlett's statue. The statue is of the identical design to that which was placed at Metz by the Knights of Columbus in 1920. The caption with this photograph reads:

'The Childrens Statue of Lafayette. This statue, designed by the sculptor, Paul Wayland Barlett, was a gift to France in 1908, from five million American school children. It stands in a court of the Louvre, Paris.'

However, the statue was removed a few years back to make space for a modern pyramid of steel and glass cover to a staircase leading to a lower level entrance to the museum. The new location of this statue is along the Cours Albert 1er [right bank of the Seine], between the Pont de l'Alma and the Pont des Invalids, not far from the statue of Bolivar. It served as the focus of one of the 2004 Alliance Day Commemorations in Paris.”

Monday, November 06, 2006

Liberty Enlightening the World (La liberté éclairant le monde)

Tensions between France and the U.S. have not always existed. For one, there's the help with the American War of Independence.
For another, there is the Statue of Liberty. I have seen two Statues of Liberty in Paris. The top image is the one in the Luxembourg Gardens. The other is a figurehead on a boat in the Seine. Perhaps there are many more?

I did not see the most famous one in Paris, which is mounted next to the Pont de Grenelle, a bridge crossing the Seine, 1.5 km south of the Eiffel Tower.

The Statue of Liberty Revisited edited by Wilton S. Dillon, 1994, page 155 (as quoted here):

"On July 4, 1889 the American community in Paris offered the French people a gift of a bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty; it still stands now, on an island in the Seine River, downstream from the Eiffel Tower. In a symbolic sense, this recently restored American gift closes the circle of gift giving that was launched by the French in the 1860's with the gift of Miss Liberty. In a deeper sense, though, the American replica in Paris serves to extend and strenthen the chain of reciprocity between the two peoples that has existed since before the founding of the American Republic and that promises to continue well into the future.

This magnificent exchange of gifts illustrates a declaration delivered by French ambassador Jule J. Jusserand on the occasion of the 1916 ceremony at which Liberty's torch was first lighted with electricity: 'Not to a man, not to a nation, the statue was raised. It was raised to an idea - an idea greater than France or the United States: the idea of Liberty.'"

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Place Dauphine

If you click on the photo you can see a surprise painted on the roof of the apartment building.

Place Dauphine is a small "square" (more like a triangle) almost at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité, the island on which the Notre Dame cathedral sits, at the opposite end. It is lined with 17th c. houses. There is a wonderful tavern called Henry IV at the opening. Henry IV had this place built and named for the "dauphin" - - Louis XIII. Have you seen "Marie Antoinette" yet?

Place Dauphine by Michel Delacroix

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tour d'Argent restaurant

I have never eaten at this restaurant. I love how it looks. It is one of the finest restaurants in Paris, sits on the Seine, and from its windows on an upper floor you can look at the sun setting behind the Notre Dame. Enter its web site, and you will experience the extravagance shown in the movie Marie Antoinette that I saw last week. I have been fortunate enough to eat at some fine restaurants in Paris, a once in a lifetime experience for most of us. If you ask me, almost anywhere you eat in Paris is wonderful, even the humblest café. The food is better than anywhere I've been. I have a theory that the omelettes are better in Paris because they do not refrigerate the eggs as we do in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Le pont du Carroussel

I couldn't stay away.

Here are a variety of views of Le pont du Carroussel, the bridge that crosses the Seine from the Left Bank to the Right where the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre meet.

Click on images for larger views.

Looking north toward the Louvre and Tuileries

Looking northwest
Looking northeast

Looking southwest toward the Left Bank and the top of the Eiffel Tower

Looking west on the walkway down by the Seine

Looking at the Louvre