A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about street photography

A morning in the Marais

Another anniversary in Paris day five


View Another anniversary trip to Paris on ToonSarah's travel map.

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Metro station Temple

After a decent night's sleep I woke up feeling a lot better and in need of caffeine! Our train home wasn't until mid-afternoon so we had a final morning to enjoy Paris and make up for yesterday's lost time. After breakfast at a cafe near Mabillon Metro station we walked along the Boulevard Saint Germain and caught a train from Saint Germain des Pres to Temple in the Marais.

There we had a lovely morning, wandering the streets, lots of photos and enjoying a leisurely drink at a neighbourhood pavement cafe - Paris at its best.

Église Sainte-Élisabeth de Hongrie

I had never heard of this neighbourhood church but it proved an unexpected delight, albeit difficult to do justice to in photos. There’s a beautiful fresco in the dome and some striking stained glass.

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The Église Sainte-Élisabeth de Hongrie

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Adam and Eve

But most fascinating of all, to me, were the hundred carved oak bas-reliefs tucked away in semi-darkness in the ambulatory (behind the altar). These were originally commissioned in 1623 for the Abbey of Saint-Vaast in Arras and moved here in the 18th century. They depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Unfortunately it was nearly as difficult to make these out as it was to photograph them, but I did spot Jonah and the Whale and the Garden of Eden. Here’s a very poor photo of the latter, which was right at one end and therefore slightly easier to see. Maybe the church could consider some sort of temporary light switch such as I’ve seen in Italian churches by their greatest works of art?

Square du Temple-Elie Wiesel

This pretty little square is dedicated to a Nobel Peace Prize winner and clearly beloved of locals. We saw a yoga class in progress, games of ping-pong and a group of (I think) Chinese elders sitting on the benches for a chat.

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In the Square du Temple - Elie Wiesel, Paris

Rue des Archives

Leaving the square we had time to kill, as we were heading to the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson which doesn’t open until 11.00. So that’s where the aforementioned café came in handy, on a busy corner near the square. It offered lots of people watching and a friendly dog.

Once the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson opened we strolled along the Rue des Archives to see a great exhibition showcasing some of his landscapes from around the world. I’d seen a poster for the exhibition a few days before on the Metro and we were both so glad we’d heard about it as we’re great admirers of his work and the photos here were ones we’d never seen. The gallery has changing exhibitions, so we’ll be back again for sure.

Meanwhile the Rue des Archives itself was a really fruitful street for our own photography. There were some beautiful building details and some fun street art on the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.

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In the Rue des Archives

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Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

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Café in the Marais

The Jewish quarter

The narrow streets around the Rue du Marché des Blancs Manteaux and Rue des Rosiers, part of the former Jewish quarter, are dotted with sad memorials to deported families. I noted with interest that these acknowledge the complicit Vichy government.

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Near the Rue Blancs Manteaux

These memorials sit alongside present-day happier scenes of queues outside the most popular falafel vendors. There were shoppers browsing the mainly independent boutiques and others just out for a stroll, as we were. There was also a good selection of street art for me to photograph.

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Street art and street signs

Time to go home

We finished our walk near Saint Paul and took the Metro back to Saint Germain des Pres to have a light lunch of galettes in a creperie near the hotel. There was time for an ice cream too before collecting our bags from the hotel and heading to the Gare du Nord, and home. See you again soon, Paris!

Posted by ToonSarah 18:09 Archived in France Tagged paris history church street_art street_photography Comments (6)

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