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Travel: Paris Nearby Museums and Parks 24-25/2019

Place : Paris - Near-By Museums and Parks

Date: - Oct. 24-25th /2019

To shed off the calories, we for sure, have gained with all this most tasty but rich French food, we decided to take a break off public transportation, and visit sites in a walking distance in our neighborhood.

30 minutes walk from rue Monge toward the Seine got us to:

"Institut du Monde Arabe" -The Arab World Museum

1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard

Founded in Paris in 1980 by 18 Arab countries and France to serve as a cultural bridge between France and the Arab world.

It seeks to provide a secular location for the promotion of Arab civilization, art, knowledge, and aesthetics, to research and disseminate information about the Arab World and its cultural and spiritual values, as well as to promote cooperation and exchanges between France and the Arab nations, particularly in the areas of politics, economics, social, science and technology .

Libya joined the institute in 1984.

The Institute was established as a result of a perceived lack of representation for the Arab world in France, Originally, a project conceived in 1973 by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. The museum was constructed between 1981 and 1987 under the presidency of French President Francois Mitterrand as part of his urban development series entitled, the "Grand Projets."

The building with its 8 floors displays exhibits only in 2 of them, and the objects shown, in my opinion, are not worth the visit.

Jewish artifacts shown at the museum

Across from the museum's building, between it and the Seine river, there is a quint Park Rossi-Jardin Tino Rossi - not to be missed

It stretches along the waterfront by the riverbanks, from the Institut du Monde Arabe to the Jardin des Plantes, and in addition to the beautiful river scenes, great vegetation and children playgrounds there is a display in the open-air, of works by known contemporary sculptures : Brancusi, César, Ipoustéguy, Rougemont, Zadkine, Schoffer, Stahly and others.

View from Park Rossi

A walking distance from were we rented, where rue de Monge turns into rue Gobelins , a beautiful royal structure comes into full sight.

If you are into tapestries, goblins and stone inlays, don't miss this

small but stunning royal tapestry work on display, and building complex, which gave the street its name, and which, usually is not on tourists radar.

Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins -a historic tapestry/Gobelins factory in Paris - 42 avenue des Gobelins

The name “Gobelins” comes from Jehan Goblin, who settled in the 15thc in the banks of the Bièvre river, known for the quality of its water, to create dyeing workshop. The Gobelins were a family of dyers who established themselves in the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, .

In 1602, Henry IV of France decided to develop a French factory to limit imports of products like carpets and tapestries, which the Royal Court was a big consumer of. Thus he rented a factory space from the Gobelins for his Flemish tapestry makers: Marc de Comans and François de la Planche, on the current location of the Gobelins Manufactory, adjacent to the Bièvre river. It became the “Crown’s Royal Factory of furniture and tapestries”, once it was also bought. The royal factory became the main supplying outlet to the court of the French monarchs, since Louis XIV, whose ambition, was great as the one of "Alexander the Great" with whom he identified.

He planned to turn France into Europe's dominant power, together with his court painter Colbert who executed this plan, through building and upgrading the architecture, furniture and decor of the royal palaces, with in-house artistic/artisan work.

The Mobilier National, a former furniture storage unit for the monarchy was created in 1663 and became in charge of the supply for official palaces of the Republic.

The buildings on the current site are from the 17th and 18th centuries, including the house of the first director Charles le Brun, the manufacturing/workshop buildings, housing accommodation for 300 workers , and the old chapel built in 1723, which gave access to only the inhabitants of this little professional working village complex.

From the 18th century until today the Goblins weavers still weave contemporary masterpieces, tapestries on the premises, according to the origins of this old institution to decorate public buildings.

Goblin Tapestry aggrandizing King Louis XiV

The collections consist of around 200,000 pieces Beauvais (tapestries) and Savonnerie (carpets) and have exceptional value in the Galerie des Gobelins (1914) where temporary exhibitions are also held including both ancient and contemporary creations.

Stone inlay work by team of Florentine Lapidaries brought by Colbert

The historic royal complex is now run by the Administration générale du Mobilier national et des Manufactures nationales de tapis et patisseries of the French Ministry of Culture.

Visits on these 3 days per week ( Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) allows an access to the weaving manufacturing quarters

You can book guided tour in advance with 33 (0)825054405 (make sure it is in English)

Walking further up on Goblins street and through Rue Croulebarbe we stumbled upon a lovely and flowery Garden:

Square Rene Le Gall - Public Garden

known as Jardin des Gobelins, it was built over the underground River Bièvre. It was designed in neo-classical style by architect Jean-Charles Moreux (1889-1956) in 1937-38, and built on grounds, formerly owned by the Gobelins furniture and tapestry works.

It is considered as finest example of a neoclassical art deco garden, with square parterres of lawn, an obelisk and a geometric rose garden with four mini concrete pavilions. The most distinctive part of the square, however, is the ramp up to the park’s entrance on rue Croulebarbe: decorated by the sculptor Garnier, the wall caricatures a baroque grotto, with stone faces that peer out of the walls like a fruit-filled Arcimboldo painting.

Place d' Italy

Known for its metro station and is a transportation busy intersection.

The station is situated at the crossing of five large Parisian streets.

The Grand Ecran Italie- "Big Screen Building," by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, which includes offices, movie theaters, and shops, is the noticeable landmark.

Place d'Italie was the site of the Barrière d'Italie, a gate of in the Wall of the Farmers-General, built to enforce tax collections on goods entering Paris between 1784 and 1791, where the old Roman road towards Lyon and Rome began.

There is nothing else attractive in this large busy traffic roundabout.

Taking up on the suggestion of my dear friend Anat, once we crossed Palace de Italy where rue Goblines spills into, we headed toward:

A hilly village-like small hidden authentic neighborhood -“quail hill” actually was named after Pierre Caille who bought the hill in 1543. The village was an industrial center in the 17c, known particularly for its limestone mines. It became part of Paris in 1860, but maintained its village charm in part because the underground lime quarries made it impossible to build large, heavy buildings on much of the land.

Thus the low brick houses, art deco architecture, street painted graffiti, independent shops, quirky restaurants and cafes, and few book stores, and surprisingly hip nightlife. It reminded us of a smaller version feel of Soho NYC, but with much less tourists

It is enclosed between boulevard Auguste-Blanqui in the north, the rue Bobillot in the east, the rue Tolbiac in the south, and the rue Vergniaud in the west.

At the bottom of the hill a beautiful red brick building from 1924 is

Historic in/out door art Nuvo public swimming pool -

5 Place Paul Verlaine

The water is a temptingly warm 28°C, thanks to the natural sulphurous spring.

Food Bites

After all this walking we earned the right fot dinner at this restaurant was recommended, also by my friend Anat

"Prosper et Fortune" - 50 Rue Broca,(10 minutes walking distance from us)

A recommended culinary fix menu experience.

It is run by Eric Levy most dedicated sympatico chef, also also worked in Israel in 1986 on Rothschild St.

We “surrendered “ to the chef for a 7 courses meal .

The Parisian restaurant, which seats only 10 people at a time, is quite an experience .

Guide Milau ( the leading guide with Michelin) rates it 5/5 .

We rated it 4 - for the ingredients served, and the high chairs by the high tables, that were very uncomfortable for a 3 hours length of dining. Yet, worthwhile spending an evening if you like creative cooking experience

To be Continued..


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