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Travel: Bastille and Bercy Sites Oct 27/2019

Place : Paris - Bastille and Bercy Sites

Date: - Sunday Oct. 27th /2019

A very unpredictable cold rainy dreary weather, in total opposite to Saturday's one, had kept us indoors half of the day.

But then the nagging inner voice whispering "it is Paris and you can't miss on anything" ejected us into the streets, around Place de la Bastille neighborhood.

As we got off across the Seine at the Sully-Morland Metro station (named after the Pont de Sully and the Boulevard Morland,) the beautiful building of the Arsenal Library came into the frame.

Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal - Arsenal Library


Founded in 1757 it is rich in medieval manuscripts and prints and has been part of the "Bibliothèque Nationale de France" since 1934.

A small metal footbridge, helped us cross the St Martin canal,

Passerelle Mornay Bridge


This pedestrian bridge from the 1800, offers beautiful views of a the Port de l’Arsenal. The bridge was designed just for only pedestrians in order to cross from the eastern bank where the Jardin du Port de l’Arsenal is located, over to the western bank. And the name chosen was because it passes over Rue Mornay Street.

Less is known about this quint pedestrian bridge that actually crosses a canal rather than the River Seine.

There are only a handful of dedicated pedestrian bridges crossing the Seine.

Nearly 40 bridges for crossing the seine stretch from the Left Bank to the Right Bank. Nearly a third of the bridges are found at the Paris islands.


Jardin du Port de l'Arsenal


Once off the bridge, a public quint garden is revealed, situated next to about 200 pleasure boats, moored all year around, alongside the only marina of the city.

The historic Port de l’Arsenal at the end of the Canal Saint-Martin was a major commercial place for merchant ships since the 15th c.

It turned into a parking marina for only pleasure boats and tourist cruises in 1983 .

Once on the Right Bank the Bastille square came into view.

Place de La Bastille


The square where the Bastille prison stood until the storming of the Bastille and its subsequent physical destruction between 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution.

The monumental July Column (Colonne de Juillet) in the center of the square commemorates the 1830 revolution events of the July revolution and is an elaboration of a Corinthian column. It was designed by the architect Jean-Antoine Alavoine,


And right off the square, the modern dull, imposing building of the the Bastille Opera , stands out


Inaugurated in 1989 during the festivities of the bicentenary of the French Revolution, as part of President François Mitterrand's Grands Travaux, it became the main facility of the Paris National Opera.

Operas, Ballet and Symphony Concerts are all performed at the building's main theater, concert hall or studio theater, designed by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, . It can seat 2,723 people in total.


Heading on Ave Daumensil the steps from the street got us up on

"Coulee Verte Rene- Dumont" or Promenade plantée and then down back to the street to peek at "Viduc des Artes"


Coulee Verte Rene- Dumont - An alleviated old railway walkway.


Above the red brick arches along a former old Vincennes railway track line,( (linked from 1859 Place de la Bastille to Varenne-Saint-Maur) which begins behind the Bastille opera house, and runs for 4.7km above avenue Daumesnil , this roof top was revised into a hidden landscape garden and walkway promenade, popular by many joggers.

It was created in 1988 by Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely

Under the walkway, at the street level inside the vaults of the brick railway arches, stretches the Le Viaduc des Arts shops and galleries.

These elegant shops, we enjoyed passing by, feature high quality and expensive arts and crafts by specialized artisans and professional designers of clothing, home decor, and other accessories.

Unique jewellery, everlasting flowers, theater sets, robotic and antique dolls, restoration of tapestries and contemporary furniture, pieces of art, painting on porcelain, lights, bronzes, can all be on display there

#24 bus ride took us pass Gar Leon station and into Bercy

Gare de Léon station


It is one of the six large mainline railway station terminals, located in the northern part of the city. The majestic station building was erected for the World Exposition of 1900, a classic example of the architecture of its time. Most notable is the large clock tower atop one corner of the station, similar in style to the clock tower of the UK Houses of Parliament, home to Big Ben.It is third busiest station of France and one of the busiest of Europe


The Bercy Niegborhood - 12th District


Former a warehousing area, particularly for wine Bercy was for 200 years, the thriving center of the Paris wine trade, then the most affluent wholesale wine market of France and Europe as well as a place with a unique life and culture. However territorial reform of 1860 put an end to that era. It is now home to the La Cinémathèque française, Bercy Arena, and a surprise Garden


La Cinimatheque Francaise -51, rue de Bercy

https://www.cinematheque.fr/

Since the cinematek building was designed by the famed American architect Frank Gehry, built in a postmodern style, I was intrigued to see it , and thus ended in the Bercy neighborhood.

Founded in 1936 the cinemathek houses the world’s foremost film history museum, containing the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects. It regularly screens classic films,


Another imposing structure close by is the:

Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy -indoor sports arena and concert hall also known as AccorHotels Arena- 8 boulevard de Bercy

Recently renovated the Bercy Arena is the largest concert venue to host several sporting events including: Judo, basketball, and handball championships as well as concerts from some of the world’s biggest touring acts.

Designed by the architectural firm Andrault-Parat, Jean Prouvé and Aydin Guvan, the arena has a piramidal shape, and walls covered with a sloping lawn. It has a seating capacity ranging from 7,000 to 20,300, depending on the event


To our surprise we discovered that the public garden next to the cinemateck is called:

Jardin Itzak Rabin

The garden is part of Parc de Bercy- which was the former site of wine warehouses.

A fantastic public park, Bercy park was created in 1994-1997 as one of the major architectural projects of French President François Mitterrand. Composed of three different gardens on different themes, connected by foot bridges, it is the tenth largest park in the city, one of the most successful contemporary urban rehabilitation projects .


The Rabin's park is full of lovely trees and roses, and was named in Rabin's honor in 1999, four years after his death, by then mayor Jean Tiberi. It was inaugurated on November 5, 2000 in the presence of Shimon Peres.

Many European travelers dragging their luggage on the stone paved paths, were hurrying through the park to get in and out of the Gar Bercy Bourgogne railway Train Station from where over 207 train and coach companies in and across 44 countries came and went.

The French railway station is administered by the French national railway company (SNCF) which was opened initially in the Paris-Bercy as it was transporting merchandise, mainly wine to this area in Paris which was the main wine trading centre.


At the end of the park close to the Seine side, steps next to a running water cascade fountain, leads to a pedestrian gorgeous bridge across the Seine, connecting to the Left Bank.

On the elevated walkway promenade by the riverbank framing the footbridge's entrance, there are 21 contemporary sculptures,

Children of the World. Rachid Khimoune the sculpture.

Placed there permanently in 2001 in order to symbolize the Rights of the Child of the World at the dawn of the 21st century.

Bercy to Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir - Mitterrand Library

A foot bridge to the National Library of France on the other side of the river.

This stunning single span newest, and most modern, crisscrossing curves wood paved pedestrian bridge, facilitates a walkable connection between this Left Bank revival, and the Parc de Bercy quartier on the Right Bank.

Food Bites

On the way to dinner, near where we rent, and halfway between the "Pantheon" and the "Echole Polytechnique", Rue Montangne St Genevieve, leads down through a village-like enchanting vibrant area, which was full of students and small but quaint neighborhood's restaurants, cafes and bars. They all nest in the shadow of the imposing Saint-Étienne-du-Mont historical Church. It is from the end of the 15th c with a history dating back to the 6th con and situated on Place Sainte-Geneviève,

"La Table De Genevieve" Restaurant- 8 Rue Descartes

Good menu and good value for money

To be continued...