Friday, October 14, 2011

Bien dressé entre la nuit et la journée

There are a few places in Paris that can make you a bit nervous if you're driving a car. This is one of them: Place de la Concorde. This is the place where King Louis XVI lost his head. I suppose he got cut off. Rim shot.

The center of the Place de la Concorde. Click to concordinate.

In the center of the place is l'obélisque, a gift to France from Egypt in 1836. It is one of a pair of obelisks originally placed together in the city of Luxor and is well over three thousand years old. In its current setting, it supposedly serves as a sundial with lines marked in the pavement around it; I've never noticed the lines. The obelisk is flanked by two large fountains: the Fountain of the Seas and the Fountain of the Rivers, each meant to celebrate France's naval prowess. If you're brave enough to make your way on foot to the middle of the place, you can see engravings on the base of the obelisk that depict its transport from Egypt to France.

The two impressive buildings on either side of this picture are, on the left, the Hotel de Crillon, a classy high-end hotel, and on the right, the headquarters of the French Navy. Between them, at the top of the rue Royale, you can see the classical façade of the Madeleine Church.

The Hotel de Crillon is getting a face lift. That façade on the left (with the red ribbon) is actually a painting on the screens that hide the workmen's scaffolding. Just to the left, out of the photo, is the Embassy of the United States.

About a half-hour before I was to meet Mark and Julie at the Rodin museum, I noticed that my camera battery was losing power. My second battery was back at the hotel room. I decided I had enough time to get to a subway station, go to the hotel and get the battery, then take the subway back to the museum. I was on my way to the subway when I took these photos.


  1. 1998... the 2CV's 50th birthday,,, the Place de la Concorde was blocked by 3,500 2CVs, other A-Series Citröens and H-Vans... plus locals who had decided to bring out their Célestines [Traction Avants], Simcas, Panhards, etc. It was mid-afternoon on a Friday and brought Paris to a standstill. I think someone missed a zero of the possible number when they asked for permission. The gendames just gave their usual shrug at other road users and waved us on in! And after half-an-hour... back out again.
    Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  2. Walking through Paris with you and seeing the city with your eyes while being in the desert of Southern California is something else!

    If you think 88°F is hot what would you think of the 103°F we had on Wednesday! LOL I love it. But you already know that.

  3. Walking through Paris with you and seeing the city with your eyes while being here in the desert of SoCal is something else!

    BTW, twice in the last few days I posted a comment and both times they disappeared. What's going on? Is Blogger being selective?

  4. Had the same problem as CHM with
    no-show comments. Wonder if this
    one will go through.

  5. I love all your Paris photos. I imagine myself being there too.

  6. We were just talking about the Obelisk in french class on Wednesday.
    It had come up when "Ours" had asked about where the guillotine had been located. I can't wait to repeat your joke about the traffic and that " Louie was probably cut off!" LOL

    Mary in Oregon

  7. I never can remember the names of those two buildings. I never saw the sun-dial lines either. Nor can I see them in your photo. I'll bet there's a picture somewhere that shows them. I'm going to look.

  8. what happened to the head?

  9. tim, that must have been a sight to see!

    chm & sheila, I didn't know there was any problem, and there's nothing in the Blogger Buzz about it. I hope whatever it was is fixed by now!

    nadege, I'm having fun with it.

    mary, hehehehe...

    starman, let me know if you find a photo of them!

    michael, after it was paraded around on a stick for a while, I don't know. Good research project.


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