Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I = Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis - A to Z Challenge

Île (Fr.) = Island (Eng.)

Pont Neuf (New Bridge), Île de la Cité, Paris - by DG Hudson


Île de la Cité


The Île de la Cité, in the Seine River, is connected to the rest of Paris by bridges to both banks of the river and to the Île Saint-Louis. The oldest surviving bridge in Paris is the Pont Neuf, which lies at the western end of the island.  The Pont Neuf was inaugurated in 1607 and today remains a favourite spot of visitors.  The Prefecture de Police, the Palais de Justice and the Hotel-Dieu hospital are also on this island.


Three medieval buildings remain on the Île de la Cité (east to west):

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, built from 1163 on the site of a church dedicated to Saint Étienne, which in turn occupied a sacred pagan site of Roman times.


Notre Dame, Île de la Cité - by DG Hudson



Louis IX's Sainte-Chapelle (1245), built as a reliquary to house religious artifacts.
La Sainte-Chapelle, The Holy Chapel, is the only surviving building of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France.

La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.  This is the prison where Marie Antoinette awaited execution in 1793.  The Conciergerie had an unpleasant reputation before it became famous as the "antechamber to the guillotine" during the Reign of Terror, in the French Revolution. 

While the building looks like a brooding medieval fortress, this appearance actually only dates from about 1858.

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The Centre


The Île de la Cité remains the heart of Paris. All road distances in France are calculated from the 0 km point located in the Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame, the square facing Notre-Dame's west end-towers.




The Centre of Paris, Notre Dame square - by DG Hudson
 

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Île Saint-Louis


The Île Saint-Louis is named after King Louis IX of France, 25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270, who was commonly called Saint Louis.  The island is connected to the rest of Paris by bridges to both banks of the river and by the Pont Saint Louis to the Île de la Cité.


The island was formerly used for the grazing of market cattle and stocking wood.   There are only narrow one-way streets and no metro station, due to its residential layout.  This is where you'll find small family-owned bistros with great food and a variety of small shops.
 

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On the Île Saint-Louis:

Berthillon, a French maker and retailer of luxury ice cream and sorbet, has its primary store on the Île Saint-Louis.  Some cafes advertise on their menus that they feature  Berthillon products in their dessert line.


Conciergerie overlooking the Seine River by DG Hudson


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Do you like exploring little communities like these two islands?  Do you know of any other river with islands like these?
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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8Ele_Saint-Louis  Île Saint-Louis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_IX_of_France  Louis IX

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8Ele_de_la_Cit%C3%A9  Île de la Cité

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conciergerie Conciergerie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Chapelle Sainte Chapelle




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18 comments:

  1. I had no idea there were islands in Paris. Or near Paris. But I do so love your tour. I am learning so much more than I ever would from a book. I just love your pictures.

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    1. Merci. You've made my morning, Anne. My intent was to show Paris in a more intimate light than the tour books. If you're enjoying the post, that's all a blogger could ask.

      Thanks for the visit, Anne!

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  2. Fascinating stuff, D.G.! I've never been to Paris, but I watched Midnight in Paris last night, and it seems like such a gorgeous city.

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    1. Hi Matt, I loved Midnight in Paris.
      It was very well done. Imagine a limo picking you up for a blast to the past. . .

      We kept saying , "Hey, we were there!". (But I didn't get to meet Hemingway or Dali. . .)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. what wonderful places---i would adore them i am sure---thanks for the tours!

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    1. You're welcome, Lynn. It was great to explore these places, especially in September when we went.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Welcome EmptyNest Insider - thanks for the follow. I've seen you here and there on some blogs we both follow.

    I'll drop by for a visit (virtual, of course)

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  5. I would love to see Notre Dame. I'd probably use up an entire memory stick there alone.

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    1. It does have a lot of interesting angles, Diane, plus the statues and gargoyles. It makes a person pause and consider history.

      Thanks for the visit.

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  6. I didn't know Notre Dame was on an island, cool!

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    1. It is very cool, Rick. And under the square is the Crypt Archeologique (Roman ruins) which will be in a future post (U) this month.

      Thanks for the visit.

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  7. I didn't know it had a designated center!

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    1. A little research turns up interesting things. The centre is a point of measurement, and is close to where we stayed.

      Thanks for stopping by, Alex.

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  8. Beautiful pictures. We have a few bayous runnign through Lake Charles, but not enough to make it an island. I'm enjoying the French lessions.

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    1. Glad you like the photos, and the new French words. I just want to make it easy for the reader.

      Thanks for the visit, Bethie.

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  10. I don't know of any, but it sure would be fun to check them out! How sad that there are only three of the medieval buildings remaining. Cool how they do distances from that one spot.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  11. I had the opportunity to visit Paris in the late 80's...it was just a 2-day stay-over as part of a Contiki tour... it has the most cosy, intimate and quaint "nooks and crannies" ...
    I LOVED the Notre Dame... and the Eiffel Tower... well, to see it up close and personal... I've no words to explain it!

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