Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011--One More Walking Tour

Worn out from our Strasbourg trip, we decided to take it easy on Saturday, but then relented and went on another Paris Walks tour, this time to Les Halles, the former market district of Paris.  

This had been the market area since the middle ages and then gradually stalls and later pavilions were built there for the wholesale trade.  The pavilions, twelve in all in what became a sprawling market center, were torn down and replaced in the late 1960s with a modern, dreadful, glass monstrosity that covers a huge underground mall.  That structure is destined for the wrecking ball in place of a park.

Forum des halles
We wandered around this neighborhood and went to another covered shopping area, Passage du Grand Cerf.

Passage du Grand Cerf
We saw the oldest Parisian patisserie, Stohrer's, and a famous restaurant known for its escargot.  We also saw the vestiges of old Paris's street signs, iconic images.

Stohrer's bakery

escargot restaurant

bee hive street sign

tree street sign

St Leu-St. Gilles Church

We saw a portion of a medieval wall that enclosed the city as well as a 15th century tower erected by John the Fearless (as opposed to John the Solie) to observe the movements of political opponents who sought to assassinate him.

portion of city wall

John the Fearless's tower
We finally would up at one of my favorite churches, St. Eustache, a beautiful 15th century gothic church built in the market area and dedicated to the various merchants there.

St Eustache church

St Eustache interior
St Eustache organ

city council building

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