Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Paris - Place Des Vosges

Wandering Around The Cottage - February Edition - 1 -

Three years ago, a new family tradition began. At Christmas, my father told me how he was disappointed that he didn't even know his way anymore in Paris where he grew up as a little boy. I, on the other hand, studied for three years in Paris, so my memories aren't so distant. So I decided one of the best present I could give him was the gift of time, that allows for memories to be formed.

Il y a trois ans,  une nouvelle tradition familiale est née. A Noël, mon papa m'a avoué combien il était déçu de ne plus aller à Paris, la ville de son enfance. Depuis, chaque année, nous passons tous les deux une journée dans la capitale entre Noël et le jour de l'an. Cette année, j'ai pris non seulement des photos pour nous deux, mais aussi quelques unes pour vous!

So, since then, we spend a day in Paris together every year between Christmas and New Year's Eve. This year, I took with me my new camera and take pictures both for my dad and I and pictures for the blog. So are you ready to visit a little part of Paris with me?

We are going to spend a few posts in the area shown by the aqua arrow. Why did I select that precise area this year? It's where Mme de Sévigné was born and lived parts of her life. Do you remember her? We visited the castle where she died in Southern France here.

Je vous emmène dans le Marais. Pourquoi avais-je sélectionné ce quartier cette année? Vous souvenez vous de Mme de Sévigné que nous avions suivie dans le château de Grignan dans la Drôme le mois dernier? Eh bien, figurez-vous qu'à Paris, elle vivait dans le quartier de ce que l'on appelait alors la Place Royale.

I know the above picture shows absolutely nothing Mme de Sévigné could have seen when she lived in Paris: she lived in the 17th century and the column is from 1840, the Bastille opera, that is the round building you can see, was inaugurated in 1989 and of course the cars are not drawn by horses!

Je sais, Mme de Sévigné, qui a vécu au XVIIe siècle, n'a rien connu de cette place: ni la colonne construite en 1840, ni l'Opéra inauguré en 1989, ni évidemment les voitures. Mais je ne pouvais pas traverser le quartier sans passer devant l'Opéra Bastille où j'ai souvenir d'avoir vu de  formidables spectacles à jamais gravés dans mon esprit.

But I couldn't walk in that area and not having a look at the Bastille Opera, where I have so many wonderful memories of watching ballets and even an opera.

On our way from Bastille to the Place Royale, where Mme de Sévigné was born, my father and I discovered two treasures: the kind of things that is not in the tourist handbook, but is so nice to stumble upon. 

First was a private alley: once you step behind those gates, it's like you're back to the Paris of the forties and nothing has changed. The buildings are mostly used by artists, but everything was closed since it was Dec. 31st!

En chemin, entre Bastille et la Place Royale, mon Papa et moi avons eu la chance de faire deux trouvailles adorables: le genre d'endroits pleins de magie, mais non indiqués par les guides touristiques.

Il y eut d'abord cette allée privée, occupée essentiellement par des artistes et dans laquelle le temps semble s'être figé.

Then, I fell in love with that shop that sold silver items... I could have stayed hours watching their window...

Thanks to my Dad for taking this picture!

Puis, nous sommes tombés sur une boutique d'argenterie avec une devanture à faire pâlir d'envie toute vendeuse de vaisselle. 

The Place Royale, which is now know as Place Des Vosges, where we were heading, was built in the 17th century and during Louis XIV's reign, it was very fashionable to live there. Mme de Sévigné was born in one of those buildings. Numerous famous people have lived there since, Victor Hugo, for example, was one of them.

La Place des Vosges, anciennement Place Royale, qui était le but premier de notre promenade, a été inaugurée au XVIIe siècle et Mme de Sévigné est née dans l'un de ces immeubles. De nombreuses personnalités politiques et artistiques ont vécu là, Victor Hugo, par exemple.

All around the garden that is in the middle, at the bottom of the buildings are arcades where today there are mostly art galleries and restaurants.

If you walk through what looks like a normal door on the Place Des Vosges, you come into the gardens of a wonderful mansion, called Hôtel de Sully.

En passant une porte située sur la Place des Vosges, vous pouvez vous retrouver comme par magie dans un jardin intérieur, celui de l'Hôtel de Sully.

When we arrived there, it began raining unfortunately and so we decided it was time to find shelter in Mme de Sévigné's home, which is located only a street away. If you promise to be on your best behaviour and to wear you pearls, maybe we can have a cup of hot chocolate with her in a next post!

Quand nous sommes arrivés là, malheureusement il a commencé à pleuvoir et nous avons décidé d'aller nous abriter chez la Marquise, la demeure qu'elle a occupée un moment ne se situant qu'à une rue de là. Si vous êtes bien sage et que vous mettez toutes vos perles comme la Marquise sur son portrait, nous pourrons peut-être boire une tasse de chocolat chaud avec elle dans un prochain article!

Now, before I leave you, I wanted to thank all of you for your nice comments about my vintage sink: it was so nice to read each of them after school!

See you soon,

A bientôt,

I'm sharing with:

Rooted In Thyme            Join me on Fridays and see where we've all been!            Travel Photo Monday 



  1. I loved the little walk around Paris. Your little walk down the "secret" alley brought back wonderful memories of my only visit to Paris. My sister spends lots of time working in Paris and knows fun little out of the way spots. I loved the little alleys and shops she took us to.

    I also love the tradition you and your father have begun.

  2. Boy was that ever fun! Love the journey!

  3. I love the tradition that you and your dad have started. It was fun walking around Paris with you -- that secret alley was so charming! I really want to get back to Paris. I've only been there once. And finally, how nice to get a glimpse of you - if only from behind! You have gorgeous hair!

  4. Oh, your hair is lovely! You look so chic from the back with your sweet hat.

  5. beautiful. I have only visited Paris once...the tourist thing. Love the pictures you showed us

  6. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing Paris! My dream to visit one day soon!!!

  7. Les lieux sont magnifiques et ton article super intéressant... la boutique d'argenterie me fait rêver. Et dire que moi non plus je ne connais pas... Il faudra que tu m'y accompagnes !

  8. Dear Magali,

    that was nice, making a trip to Paris with your charming post, a café au lait besides me at the breakfast table (no crispy croissant, unfortunately). I like the way, you keep your privacy, but was amazed to see lots of fair fairies hair. Hm, could you do something magic for me? Nothing big, just the smell of fresh baguette and croissants? Ah, thank you, your photo of that café did the trick... Before I might get gready and ask for something bigger (silverware?! That gready attitude never ends well in fairy tales.), I will start to work.Perhaps earn me a silver spoon...


  9. You brought back memories of a happy weekend, during which we went to the Bastille opera house for a marvellous opera evening.

  10. Hi Magali!!!

    What a very beautiful and special time you must have had with your father!!!

    I love history and when you show historical buildings with stories behind them is so great!!!
    I hope you had the best of time with your dad!! Cherish these moments and memories!!!

    Enjoy the rest of the week!!!!


  11. I am definitely up for a cup of hot chocolate! I am going to find my pearls right now!!

  12. How wonderful it would be to visit that 'Paris of the 1940s.' sigh. Just beautiful. Thanks for taking us there!

  13. What a wonderful tradition and again, a marvelous tour for us! Thank you Magali!

  14. What a beautiful tradition that you began with your father.

    I love your hat. My daughter loves hats too. They look great with long hair.

    I loved the tour. It makes me want to visit again, but with my daughter this time.

  15. It's so nice to see Paris through your eyes Magali. I've only been once many years ago, but it remains dear to my heart.

    (You have such lovely hair!)

  16. I love your tradition with your Dad! Thank you again for taking me to Paris. I promise to be on my best behavior and wear my Momma's pearl and will look forward to having hot chocolate with all of you!

    1. Well, if you have your pearls on, I'm off to get the chocolate ready!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your tour of Paris with us, Magali--I loved it! I think that is a lovely tradition to have started with your father. I am just in love with the area on the street that has the pretty plants in containers, and the trees espaliered up on the side of the building around the windows--that is just perfect. I love silver, too, so I would have had my nose pressed to the window right beside you if I had been there!

  18. Great pictures and a lovely new tradition! After having studied in Antwerp, I took my children to all the places I loved there: Streets so narrow, that when you spread your arms you almost touch both opposite houses, little squares, cobble stones and minuscule shops!! I love it and so do they now : I am all in favour of good traditions! You had a good idea! Marcy

  19. A perfect gift for both you and your father! I’m always ready to visit Paris and I’m enjoying the tour here through Place Des Vosges. My husband and I have walked through here when we visited Paris on several occasions. Love your photos, brings back memories of wonderful trips. Love your beautiful hair!


  20. What a wonderful tour!! IS THAT YOUR HAIR??? Jealous. ;)


  21. What a great tradition and a great walk around.AriadnefromGreece!

  22. AMAZING ! Truly AMAZING trip ! I can understand why you fell in love with that shop...
    I also love your hair, and your clothing style. :D
    (((Magali))), Izabella.

  23. P.S. What a great family tradition. :)

  24. Wonderful tour and history, I enjoyed visiting, thanks

  25. What a lovely thing to do with your Dad, it's a lovely tradition! Thanks for the visit! By the way, love the picture taken of you by your Dad, it reminds me of a little girl looking through the window of a sweet shop! Amazing hair!!

  26. I enjoyed walking around Paris with you. We visited the city last summer but never made it to this area. I would have loved to discover a secret alley, too.

    1. It's my job to take you off the main track! Thanks for coming along!

  27. I feel I'm missing out on London sometimes, the same way your father felt about Paris, so your idea for a yearly day trip seems perfect. Thank you for showing us all the glorious buildings especially that lovely little alley.

  28. Seeing Paris through your eyes made it a lot more interesting than when we were there. It just wasn't our favorite destination.

  29. What a wonderful tradition to now have. I love it.

  30. That little side street/alley is dreamy...that's just the kind of place we look for when traveling.

  31. What a sweet tradition! I love your photos!

  32. Loved the tour and love your new tradition.

    Great to have you at "Oh, the PLACES I've been!"

    - The Tablescaper

  33. Oh Magali, this one made me cry. A day through the streets of Paris with you dad. Sigh...how very perfect. What a lovely tradition. Keep enjoying it, my friend. Life is so very short. It's simply a series of moments, moments that pass in the blink of an eye. Savor every bit of it.
    Thank you for sharing this with us. It was my favorite today.


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