Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 10 of Paris

Today I had a history lesson on Paris. First I took the train to Notre-Dame to check out the Archaeological Crypt under the Notre-Dame square. There were excavations in the the 1960s and 1970s that found remains of the urban and architectural development of Paris. The tour was not in chronological order.
The tour started with some information about the Gallo-Roman town of Lutetia (27 BC - 14 AD) and when the Ile de la Cite was developed because it was easier to defend. There were rampart stone blocks used for the foundation of a wall to protect this part of the city. This would have been around the 4th century. There was also an old quay for a port which was found. There were also Gallo-Roman houses and a bath house from ancient times.
In the middle ages, the rue Neuve Notre-Dame was built with houses on either side. A part of one of those houses was found. One of the pillars led to the former Hotel-Dieu hospital. bits of shops from the middle ages were also found.
From the 18th century, a piece of the Hospice des Enfants-Troves was found.
I don't remember the order for any of these:

I then walked around and saw the Conciergerie, which used to be a palace for kings before becoming the palace of justice and a prison. This was inside:

Many famous people were tried and executed there, including royalty, painters, poets and Girondins. King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette are some of the most famous prisoners of the Conciergerie. This was the chapel where they would have been in:

This was the garden:

And remembering Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI (even though they killed them):

There was a model of Marie-Antoinette's cell before execution but the lighting was terrible (it was supposed to be dim and scary, I suppose).
I walked around some more until I caught sight of a fancy looking building and found myself on the square of the Mairie de Paris (town hall).

In the square there was this huge screen showing the London Olympics. People made themselves very comfortable.

After that, I headed east (or at least the right side of the map) and ended up at the Musee Carnavalet. I went there because a few of the original paintings I liked in the Conciergerie were kept in this museum.
This place was basically the outline of a rectangle cut in four. It was a hotel, so there were smaller rooms nicely decorated with furniture from the old days and some that just had lots of paintings. The paintings included the renovation of the Louvre, bits from the revolution, a fire, paintings of prominent guests at the hotel including royalty, painters and philosophers. King Louis XV had a few rooms, as did Louis XIV (this man was everywhere omg). Every item in each room had a label, which made me wonder how long it took to get this place open to the public, especially since it was free.

The middle of the place had some grounds. We were only allowed in part of the museum due to some 'technical difficulties' (I kept thinking some hooligan stole the labels or rearranged them or something) so we only saw some of the grounds. It was pretty, of course.

Then I grabbed dinner and I'm getting everything packed and ready for tomorrow. I'm going home! (fist pump and yeah!)

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