November 24, 2016

A walk around the block

You gotta love living in Paris when you discover a tour that actually takes you around your own block and 90 minutes are not enough to cover all the history that surrounds you.

The weather was typical Parisian and the grey drizzle was in no way tempting Expat hubby and I to venture out on a Sunday afternoon.  However, in view of the artists' open doors of the 16th arrondissement this weekend, I had come across a guided tour not of our neighbourhood but of our block, literally, we are talking about a radius of 200 meters.

The young and energetic guide told us enthusiastically about the origins of the hill of Chaillot and how the foundations for the Trocadero came to be as well as it's evolution over the five Universal expositions of 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889 and 1900.

The original realisation of the old Trocadero Palace designed in 1878 by the architects Gabriel Davioud and Jules Bourdain was destroyed for the Exposition internationale des Arts et des Techniques appliqués à la Vie moderne of 1937 and replaced by the structure as it is seen until today.

Palais du Trocadero built for l'exposition universelle de 1878

We walked around the Palais under the pouring rain listening intently to all the guide's anecdotes. We continued down the road to marvel at August Perret architectural feat who had built the first modern reinforced concrete apartment building in Paris on rue Benjamin Franklin in 1903-04. As the architect himself would have said: "Construction is the architect's mother tongue; the architect is a poet who thinks and speaks in construction."

After a brief wonder into the Passy Cemetery, we ended up admiring the Aga Khan's townhouse on rue Scheffer which had been renovated by René Herbst between 1930 and 1932. The original building dated from 1891 and was realized by the architect E. Barberot on behalf of the painter Guillain.

Who knew what famous celebrities and spiritual leaders lived in the hood. You never know, next time I might bump into royalty at the local supermarket.

Reflection on the esplanade

Trendiest café in town behind those windows

High tea for the tourists while the street vendours are out of business 

Entrance of the Musée de l'Homme

Walked passed this wall thousands of times without noticing that each relief represents a continent.



August Perret's most famous piece of architecture...

... and 50 m down the road another marvellous example of 1930 architecture.

This is a regular Parisian entrance portal!

Cimetière de Passy, no watering needed today.

Splendid Art Deco glass panels ornating the former Aga Khan's residence

Rain, rain go away... come again another day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...