Saturday, 13 July 2013

Rive Gauche

Today we will have a walk on the left bank of the Seine, known as Rive Gauche, the artistic district ruled by la bohème. In the first place we will start by the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It was founded in 6th century and comemmoratas one of the early bishops of Paris.

Inside you will find the tombs of many famous people. Since my human family lives in Poland I was most interested in the burial place of king John II Casimir. He used to be the king of Poland and Lithuania. When he has abdicated he became the abbot in this Abbey.

Otherwise, the church is quite dark and modest in style.

Let's move forward. First we pass by the famous Odeon theater. It was inaugurated by queen Marie-Antoinette in 1782.

Close to it we will find my favourite public garden in Paris - Jardin du Luxembourg. It is full of beautiful flowers forming living carpets of vibrant colours.

Here you can see another one.

The garden surrounds the Luxembourg Palace, seat of the upper chamber of the French parliament, the Senate. The palace was built as a royal residence for Marie de Médicis, the same who has created the Tuileries gardens.

The garden is full of nice statues and fountains. The Medici Fountain is probably the best known amoung them.

Let's move out of the garden. Have you noticed the fence - impressive, isn't it?

First we will take a walk in the direction of the Observatory of Paris. The first part of the lane was called in 2006 esplanade Gaston-Monnerville. Again, it is embellished by flowers.

The next part of the parc is called Jardin des Grands Explorateurs. It is best known for the fountain called Fontaine des Quatre-Parties-du-Monde or Fountain of Four Parts of the World. It includes four women. And some horses of course.

Let's now turn left in the direction of the Latin District. I must admit I liked a lot the architechture of the residential buildings.

The astonishing building with the huge dome is called Panthéon. It is not a real temple but a mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. To be burried there you would need not only to do something amazing but also to get an approval by a formal act of the French Parliament.

And here comes the heart of the district, the University of Paris, the famous Sorbonne. It was founded in the middle of the 12th century and as such is one of the oldest universities in Europe.

Just next to it we will find Thermes de Cluny, ruins of Gallo-Roman thermal baths.

Unfortunately you can no longer bathe there, it is turned into a museum of the Middle Ages.

Finally, on our way out of the Left Bank we will have to turn back to admire the fountain of Saint Michael. The amazing thing about it is that it is not a stand-alone monument - it is located on a side of a residential building, covering one of its walls.

This is my last story from this trip to Paris. I did not manage to see all that I wanted so I am sure to be back again!

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