Place : Paris - d'Austerlitz Re-make
Date: Friday- Nov 8th/2019
To be honest, after very intensive touring for the past 6 weeks, we have been making less ambitious daily plans, the closer our departure date got.
We stuck today, to the east-end of the Left bank, exploring by foot
the area along the Seine, from d'Austerlitz square and Gare- Train Station, to right of the charming "Jarden de Plantes" and in between the Charles de Goal bridge and the Bercy bridge.
This area bordering by the Seine and sandwiched in between the railway tracks of Gare d'Austerlitz has been going through major "face lift", with new development construction starting in 1995, as part of the "Paris Rive Gauche neighborhood development" of the 13 district
The most striking large-scale structures coexisting in the area which dictated the grand scale future complex development, and its diverse uses while accommodating the needs of the local as well as those of long-distance travels and daily migrations are :
*The facade of the "Pitie Salpêtrière" hospital, (215 m long)
A teaching hospital (90 buildings) part of the Sorbonne University, and Assistance Publique , is France's largest hospital. and one of Europe's largest,
Was originally a gunpowder factory , converted into a hospice for the poor women of Paris in 1656, served as a prison for prostitutes, and a holding place for women who were learning disabled, mentally ill or epileptic, as well as poor. The Hôpital de la Pitié, founded about 1612, was moved next to the Salpêtrière in 1911 and fused with it in 1964
focusing on most major medical specialties..
in 2008 Former president Jacques Chirac had a pacemaker fitted at the Salpêtrière and celebrities including the singer Josephine Baker in 1975, following a cerebral hemorrhage and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 were treated here.
*The Grande Halle d’Austerlitz, (300 m long)
The Austerlitz Railway Station Built from 1838, is one of the six large main train stations of Paris. and once of Paris-Orléans (PO) company thus was originally called the Gare d'Orléans station.
Now it is named after the Czech town once known as Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna). Napoleon I defeated the superior numbers of the Third Coalition there on 1805 what is known as the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1997, the station was listed as a historical monument for its facades and glass roofs.
Since the introduction of the TGV Atlantique – using Gare Montparnasse – Austerlitz has lost most of its long-distance southwestern services.
The "Elipsos Train Hotels" (Trenhotel) operated jointly by RENFE and SNCF operated from here to Madrid and Barcelona from 2001 to 2013
Renovation of all areas of the station began in 2011 and will finish in 2020.
And a new office space was created within the railway station hall
Former railway tracks, warehouses, and industrial decrepit businesses yards, bloomed into the wide renovated Ave Pierre Mendes along which special routs - pedestrian-friendly, cyclist-friendly, and public transport rich, as well as resurfaced or brand new beautiful modern architecturally interesting glass and still buildings, are now set.
Meetings and conventions spaces, shopping, dining and cafes, local activities were all developed.
The development accommodates approximately 15,000 residents, 30,000 students and university staff and 50,000 employees
Innovative building's ventilation piping systems in a dinosaurs shape
large halls of most modern new restaurants and cafe with famous old brand names, and a lot of office space occupied now by known firms, are the new most appealing look , just few minutes walk away from the old Gar d'Austerliz.
* Pierre Isaac Isidore Mendès (1907-1982)
A descended from a Portuguese Jewish family that settled in France in the 16th century and a lawyer educated in the Sorbon, graduating with a doctorate and becoming the youngest member of the Paris Bar association in 1928, and a French politician who served as President of the Council of Ministers (equivalent in the French Fourth Republic to Prime Minister) for eight months from 1954 to 1955
He represented the Radical Party, and his government had the support of the Communist part and put his main efforts in ending the bloody war in Indochina
The resurfacing of an old structure with green glass panels, gave it a major face lift, and better fitting into the newer added building.
On the way back home on the walked through from the Seine side through the Jardin Des Plantes
We were first greetedat the entrance to the gardens by the somber sculpture of Jean Batiste Lamarck (1744 –1829) which excited David .
Lamarck - the French naturalist, biologist, and academic, known as an early proponent of the evolutionist idea that:
biological evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws, claiming that acquired traits can be passed on.
Fortunately, the statue was not removed when 50 years after Lamarck’s death Darwin developed his random mutation theory because with today’s recognition of epigenetics, Lamarck would have been vindicated . A riveting novel (booklet ) written by Arthur Koestler “ the case of the midwife toad “ describes the tragedy of Lamarckism through the suicide of Paul Kammerer ( Recommended reading before a Galapagos trip)
Jardin des Plantes
Further up we were surprised to be welcomed by pink Flamingos, brown Turtles, blue corals, black lubster and yellow shells.
A fabulous open air sculpture exhibit of psychedelic colorful Tropical Ocean Marine Creatures was "planted" among the garden's natural vegetation and paths.
Apparently this exhibit is part of festival of lights.
Océan en voie d'Illumination, le festival des lumières du Jardin des Plantes 2019
Our dear friends Hans and Betty (yes.. the ones from the "Menten Affair" film) drove especially from Belgium to see us and we had most lovely dinner at the beautiful opulent Art deco restaurant and hotel
"La Collectiobbeur" 57 rue de Courcelles
To be continued...