Walking in Paris. Part of 2

In this part we will talk about the royal (and imperial) residences of Paris and its immediate surroundings. And we begin, of course, with the story of the castle, built to protect the north-western approaches to the Cité. You probably already guessed that it will be about the Louvre, which got its name from the Saxon word "Leovar" - "fortified building." The modern ensemble of the Louvre was formed in the second half of the XVI century, when Francis I, who chose the castle as a residence, ordered to rebuild the fortress, which turned into a palace in the Renaissance style.

Currently, the Louvre forms a single palace and park complex with another royal palace - Tuileries. It was in the Tuileries that Louis XVI was forced to move from Versailles, then the palace became the seat of the revolutionary Convention, and finally Napoleon Bonaparte chose him for living. The central part of this palace was burned during the 1871 revolution of the year, there are two side pavilions in which the art galleries of the Louvre are located.

But back to the actual Louvre. In 1675, in connection with the relocation of the royal family to Versailles, the palace was abandoned and abandoned. From 1725, its buildings began to be used as workshops and vaults of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, in 1793 it was turned into a museum, and in 1989 a famous glass pyramid appeared in the square in front of the Louvre, which became the main entrance to the museum. The guides of the Louvre joke that the main task of the visitors of this museum is to see “three women”: Nick of Samothrace, Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa. Tourists usually literally run past most of the other exhibits. And this is very sad, because when you visit the Louvre, you will certainly have a rare feeling of meeting with old acquaintances - paintings and sculptures that you remember from childhood.

In addition to generally accepted masterpieces, in the Louvre each will find something interesting for him. Mayakovsky, for example, most liked the “crack on the table of Marie Antoinette” (trail from the bayonet). Eugene Delacroix during the revolution 1830 rushed to the Louvre to protect the paintings of Rubens, and his eternal opponent Ingres at this time was on duty at the paintings of Raphael. No, the Louvre can not run. Of course, time is terribly short, but at least a day will have to be spent. Saving time is better at Disney Land.
Opposite the north wing of the Louvre is another palace - the Palais Royal, which was built for Richelieu and was originally called the Cardinal. The architectural ensemble of Palais Royal includes a palace, a square and a park.

Прогулки по Парижу. Часть 2

After the death of the famous Cardinal, the palace served as the residence of Anna of Austria, the mother of Louis XIV, Mazarin, Philip II of Orleans - Prince Regent with the minor Louis XV. In 1784, on the site of a part of the palace, the building of the Comedie Francaise theater was built. On the eve of the revolution, the new owner of the palace, Duke Louis Philippe of Orleans (known as "Philip Egalite") opened the palace gardens for public visits and erected in the square a colonnade with benches, while the circus tent was placed in the garden. This place has become extremely popular among Parisians, its institutions brought a good income to the Duke-Democrat, Nikolai Karamzin even called the Palais Royal the capital of Paris in 1790. However, in 1793, Mr. Louis Philippe was executed, his palace was nationalized, places of entertainment were closed, and never opened. For visits, the Palace Palais Royal is closed, but you can walk in the garden.

In the courtyard, by the way, you can see one of the most controversial and criticized art objects in Paris - the striped columns of Buren.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning the Luxembourg Palace, built for Marie de Medici (wife of Henry IV and mother of Louis XIII) in the style of the Florentine palazzo Pitti.

After the revolution, the palace served as a prison, in which at various times Josephine Beauharnais, Desmoulins and Danton found themselves. Then it housed the First Directory, for some time it even became the seat of Napoleon Bonaparte. During World War II, it housed the headquarters of the Nazi German Air Force. But in 1958, the building was transferred to the Senate of France. Around the palace is a park, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

And now - something, really, very special, which many do not expect to see in Paris: perfectly preserved medieval castle, a real fortress, whose walls reach 6 meters in height and 3's in thickness, and the donjon rises up to 52 meters. And you can get to it by the Paris metro: it is located in 300 meters from the metro station Chateau de Vincennes (Chateau de Vincennes is the terminal station of the first line). We are talking now about Vincennes Castle.

Vincennes Castle

It was from here that Saint Louis went on the Crusade, from which he did not return. Many French kings of the Valois dynasty were born and died here, and Charles V even wanted to make Vincennes the second capital, and therefore the chapel-reliquary Saint-Chapelle was built in the castle, which looks very similar to Parisian.

Under Louis XIV, the fortress became a prison for people of noble origin. In 1804, the Duke of Engensky was shot at the fortress’s moat, and in 1917, the ill-fated Mata Hari. Currently, in the castle, in addition to the museum, historical service of the Ministry of Defense of France, the Research Center for the History of National Defense and the inter-ministerial commission in charge of restoration work.

Now we will go outside Paris and first talk about the Saint-Germain Palace, which was built a hundred years earlier than Versailles. This place was especially loved by Louis XIII, it was here that his son was born - the future king Louis XIV, at which Saint-Germain Palace was used mainly for rest on the way to Versailles. Later, the palace became the residence of King James II (Stuart) expelled from England. Napoleon placed a cavalry school here, and his nephew Napoleon III transferred the building to the museum of national archeology.

In 1919, the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed here, terminating the existence of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire. Getting to the city of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is most convenient by train from Lyon station.

Lyon Station

But the real gem among all the palaces of France, of course, is Versailles - the palace and park complex, which became the royal residence in 1675, and from 1682 to 1789. actually was the capital of the state.

Palace of Versailles, marble courtyard

A characteristic feature of Versailles is an unusual combination of classicism, in which buildings were planned and the facades were made, with baroque decor and interior decoration of palaces.

Palace of Versailles, Queen's Bedroom

Created by the famous architect and gardener Lenotrom, the park of Versailles served as a model for park ensembles in many European countries, the most beautiful of them is considered to be the Peterhof Park. All the fountains of Versailles are magnificent, but the fountain “The Chariot of Apollo” attracts particular attention, the central jet of which rises to 25 m, and the lateral jets, 15 meters in height, draw a lily flower.

Fountain of the Chariot of Apollo, Versailles

When planning your excursions, you should keep in mind that the Versailles fountains work only two days a week, on special days called Grandes Eaux Musicales or Jardins Musicaux - in the summer, usually on Tuesday and Friday, you need to buy a separate ticket. On other days 1-2 fountains take turns working on the whole park.

To the right of the Grand Canal are the Grand and Lesser Trianon Palaces, the first of which has been the residence since de Gaulle

Grand Trianon

Lesser Trianon (built by Louis XV for the Marquise de Pompadour, however, the favorite did not manage to settle in it) from 1774, became the residence of Marie Antoinette, here without invitation they were not allowed to enter not only the dukes and cardinals, but even her husband - the king of France Louis XVI. The queen actually left Versailles, thus avoiding the fulfillment of her court duties, and social life moved into the salons of the frontier aristocrats, who were glad of any failure of the monarchs who neglected them.

Small Trianon

And in the northern part of the Versailles Park there are houses built on the whim of Marie Antoinette of the “toy” village of Amo (Hamo de la Ren). At the request of the queen, Amo’s buildings should have reminded her of Austria: she even sometimes called her “Little Vienna”.

Here are located farm, dovecote, cheese factory, barn and mill. In the dairy, the floor was made of white and blue marble, and the desk was also marble. Vineyards were broken around and trees were planted from different countries of the world, including from India, Africa, China, Mexico, the islands of the Caribbean Sea and North America. As they would say now, this was the place of role-playing games: the queen and her court ladies portrayed the peasant women - just as they imagined them, of course. Marie Antoinette, for example, milked cows and collected chicken eggs.

Amo village farm supplied Marie Antoinette with fresh produce, even when the queen was in custody.

To get to Versailles, which is 20 km from Paris, you can take the RER C commuter train - train to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. In Paris, trains in this direction leave from the Austerlitz train station and stations located near the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Musée d'Orsy, the Alma bridge and some others.

The manor in Fontainebleau, which is located in 56 km from modern Paris, has long been the hunting residence of the French kings. It is curious that here, in the forest chosen by the French kings, a variety of rowan grows, which is not found anywhere else in the world (endemic) - the so-called “Fontainebleau tree”.

Fontainebleau tree

Fontainebleau tree berries

Philippe IV the Beautiful, Henry III Valois and Louis XIII were born here. The legend says that in Fontainebleau there is a ghost who loves to walk in the garden from midnight to one in the morning, but only persons of royal origin can see it.

Fontainebleau, the White Horse's courtyard (a plaster copy of the Roman equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius once stood here) and the main entrance in the shape of a horseshoe

Under Louis VII, the residence resembled a fortress, but Francis I completely "changed the concept", leaving only one tower from the old palace. The palace built by the Italian masters did not wear defensive functions, which was absolutely new in Europe in those years.

Fontainebleau, Diana Gallery, this globe was commissioned by Napoleon for the Tuileries Palace

Under Henry IV, the 1200-meter channel was dug in Fontainebleau - the fish that this king liked to fish was bred in it. But Louis XIV preferred Versailles, and the palace at Fontainebleau fell into disrepair. It was here in 1685 that Louis XIV signed the notorious “Edict of Fontainebleau”, which canceled the Nantes edict of 1598. This residence received a new development under Napoleon Bonaparte, and is now associated with the name of this emperor among most travelers.

In Fontainebleau, Napoleon signed the act of abdicating the throne, in the yard of the White Horse his farewell to the veteran guardsmen took place. Since then, this place is called the "Farewell yard".

Horace Vernet. "Farewell of Napoleon with his guard at Fontainebleau 20 on April 1814."

In Fontainebleau, Napoleon also signed an agreement according to which he received the island of Elba and the right to the imperial title.

The story of another manor located in 20 km from Paris is connected with Napoleon and his first wife Josephine. It is called Malmaison, according to one of the versions, this name comes from the words mal maison - “bad house”. According to legend, in the 10th century, it was here that the Normans brought booty, stolen in cities along the Seine River. Malmaison was never a royal residence, Josephine acquired it as a private property, but Bonaparte himself paid for the purchase, and she was so terrified of the waste of her wife that she ordered an article in the Civil Code that prohibited women from buying property (this situation lasted until 1858) .).

From 1800 to 1802. here even sometimes held cabinet meetings. After the divorce from Napoleon, this palace became the official residence of Empress Josephine, who retained the title. After her death, Eugene Beauharnais sold to Alexander I paintings of the palace, statues and the famous Gonzaga cameo. In 1861, the new emperor of France, Napoleon III, becomes the master of the palace. And in 1896, the estate was acquired by the historian Daniel Ifla, who in 1904 was bequeathed to Malmaison and his collection of Napoleonic era artifacts to the state.

Malmaison, the interior of the palace

Among other things, here are presented: the throne from Fontainebleau, the bed on which the emperor died and his death mask.

Well, here, perhaps, that's all. As always, when you leave the big beautiful city, you will certainly feel that you didn’t manage to do almost anything and didn’t get anywhere. You should not get upset in such cases: it is impossible to grasp the immensity. Perhaps in a few years you will be able to come here again and see Paris with very different eyes.
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  1. +2
    10 August 2018 07: 00
    The Small Trianon ... since 1774 became the residence of Marie Antoinette, not only dukes and cardinals did not have the right to enter here without invitation, but even her husband, King of France Louis XVI.

    In my inexperienced view, a resident of Mordor greatly spoils the overall picture of the French craving for picnics on the lawns nearby to this palace - there is an entrance to the fence and spontaneous parking nearby. And since in a particular addiction to cleanliness (we look at the center of Paris - what, it’s the tourists laid a heap right at the shop on the Champs Elysees and spoiled in the Le Al quarter?) you can’t blame the locals, it looks so-so ...
    But should I judge the descendants of Balzac and Monet?

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