Explore alternative culture in the heart of Paris

59 Rivoli

I discovered something fun and creative this weekend and it’s even free!  This atelier to over 30 artists is open 6 days a week and offers 6 ample floors of splattering art displays that range from the graphic to the kitschy, impressionist, modern, and mixed media. Every floor is bright & vibrant with plentiful decor resembling an artist squatters heaven. Some may consider this place an artists hoard but don’t mind the disarray because this building is fun, fun, fun to explore! We were so lucky to come across it whilst on a spur of the moment tromp through the 1st arrondissement.

59, Rue de Rivoli

75001 Paris France

Free Admission

www.59rivoli.org

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

59 Rivoli

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The Maid of Orleans

 

Loire River also known as The Royal River because royalty would sail to Paris along this route.

The Loire River is known as The Royal River because royalty would sail to Paris along its banks.

Located about an hour and half south of Paris, is an old royal town named Orléans. Situated on the northernmost arc of the Loire River, Orléans is a historically royal city still holding its medieval and renaissance facades. At every turn, you’ll discover half-timbered houses from the medieval times in the historic centre of the city.

EAT HERE! La Petite Folie Restaurant et tres bien!

EAT HERE! La Petite Folie Restaurant.

Painted to help rehabilitate the historic centre of Orleans.

Painted to help rehabilitate the historic centre of Orléans.

Like walking? Enjoy a long scenic walk along the Loire River. For those who love history, take in the stained glass beauty in the Sainte Croix Cathedral where every window tells a story of The Maid of Orléans

Sainte Croix Cathedral, 13th Century

Sainte Croix Cathedral, 13th Century

Once home to The Maid of Orléans or the famously named Jeanne de Arc (Joan of Arc)  Jeanne proclaimed to have heard a voice from God advising her to meet with Charles VII when the English laid siege to Orléans in October 1428. There she helped fight against the English before her capture and subsequent trial where she was found guilty of heresy and immediately burned at the stake at the age of 19 years old.

Jeanne de Arc in front of the Office de Toursim.

Jeanne de Arc in front of the Office de tourism.

Orléans pays tribute to the memory of Jeanne de Arc because of the bravery of her character.  In 1920 Joan of Arc was canonised and proclaimed the second patron saint of France in 1922. Joan of Arc would come to represent a symbol of resistance to occupying forces.

Take in City Centre.

Take in City Centre.

This city pays homage to her life with a yearly festival and keeping several statutes depicting Jeanne de Arc around the city and also turning her previous residence into a museum despite the original house being burnt down during the 1940 bombings. The house was eventually rebuilt between in 1961 and 1965 and is widely visited today.

Maison de Joan de Arc

Maison de Joan de Arc

The town of Orléans was in part, a perfect quick get-a-away this past weekend from Paris, easily discoverable and enjoyed within a day. Stay tuned and I’ll relay some must-knows about the charming city of Blois!

Visit a French Poet at Place des Vosges

Meet Victor Hugo, sort of. One of the most celebrated authors of the 19th century and one of France most highly acclaimed poet, novelist and artist. He’s known by most for such works as Notre-Dame de Paris, (Hunchback of Notre-Dame) more notably; Les Misérables and Les Travailleurs de la Mer, just to name a few.

Touring the Red Drawing Room.

Touring the Red Drawing Room.

If your planning a trip to Paris, why not check out The Victor Hugo Museum (French; Maison de Victor Hugo ) who lived here for 16 years from 1832–1848. Even though it’s one of the cities lesser known museums, nicely tucked away on a corner of one of Paris’ beautifully arched passageways, it’s far less crowded and you can easily spend an hour rambling through the museums 7 rooms. I visited Hugo’s home this past Saturday for the first time..

 

For those on a budget, you’ll love the museums FREE entry, like I did! If you’d like an audio guide, the museum offers one in 6 different languages (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese) for a nominal fee of 5€. Instead, I bought the Maison de Victor Hugo Museum Guide book for just 10€. The book provides detailed information about every room, displays colorful photography and devotes sections of writings and genealogy of Victor Hugo himself.  The book is definitely worth buying because you’ll find condensed information within the book and not having to research his life through different websites for information about to Victor Hugo.

The original architectural layout isn’t true to his past while living there, and that’s only because the building had been renovated to accommodate an academic setting. Many of Hugo’s furnishings and paintings from his former residences, before, during and after exile were donated to help bring back to life, his former apartment. You can read in detail about each room and see the evolving changes throughout the Maison de Victor Hugo Museum Guide or opt for the audio guide instead.

Wether you studied Victor Hugo, enjoyed his writings, seen any of his plays or made for cinema movies, then make Maison de Victor Hugo a sight-seeing to-do list while in Paris.

Maison de Victor Hugo
6 place des Vosges
75004 Paris
(33) 01 42 72 10 16

Map

Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays

 

Free Admission

Place Des Vosges Square, The museum is on the corner left ahead.

Place Des Vosges Square, The museum is on the corner left ahead.

Oui! Aix Marks The Spot

Aix sounds like ex, as in “X marks the spot.” Aix is considered the city of art, light, activity and is famous for its many fountains! Aix is also a home of art schools and several universities, including some American where my friend attended college for a time. Truly a beautiful and ancient atmosphere which dates back to 123 BC when the name given by the Romans and comes from the Latin word Aquae Sextiae. Well, Aix is famously dubbed as “the city of 1000 fountains.”

Aix-en-Province is a provencal town with artisan flare, a noticably different french (southern)  accent. A place where people appear to give off more of a lax attitude. Makes sense? With so much water around like natural springs and the Mediterranian sea a short drive away, I can see why someone would want to spend the rest of their lives here. Located just 30 minutes from the busy port city of Marseille, which is the second largest city in France next to Paris, one could feel that Aix would be the perfect get-away from a busier life.

I hope you visit! I know I’d like to go back… find the other fountains…and maybe settle one day…

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One of the many fountains…

Fontaine des Neuf Canons constructed in 1691

Fontaine des Neuf Canons constructed in 1691

Jardin d'Albert

Jardin d’Albert