Angels of Paris Walking Tour No. 1

Rosemary beginning the Angels of Paris #1 tour, along the edges of the sixth, first and fourth arrondisements

Rosemary beginning the Angels of Paris tour No. 1, along the edges of the sixth, first and fourth arrondisements

On a February Friday, intrepid sightseers met under the Battling Angels in the Latin Quarter of Paris. In Antiquity, some deities, like Nike and the Winged Victory of Samothrace had wings. We set out, however, to learn about the modern angels, decorating Paris since the twelfth century, and their meanings on a walk with Rosemary Flannery.

In Paris, winged cherubs and figures decorate the arches of Notre-Dame, blow trumpets from the Sainte-Chapelle, wrap their arms around a lightening rod on the Théâtre du Châtelet, hover over Saint Anne’s door at Notre-Dame. Others mischievously pose around the seal of Paris across from Hôtel de Ville.

During a two-hour walking tour with Rosemary, author of Angels of Paris: An Architectural Tour through the History of Paris, we touched only the top of the angel cake. Full of architectural and Parisian history, each sculpture on the tour has a fascinating tale of double meanings to tell. We could not physically cover all of the stories from her book in one tour. The tour begins at the Saint-Michel fountain and ends at Notre-Dame de Paris, following a course along the edges of the sixth, first and fourth arrondissements.

Hôtel de Laffémas and the Executioner's Angel. Marie de Medicis brought this Mannerist style to France

Hôtel de Laffémas and the Executioner’s Angel. Marie de Medicis brought this Mannerist style to France

Rosemary told us the tales you find in her book. What better way to hear the tales but from the mouth of the author herself. She has books for purchase after the tour to reference the sights. If all of the details escape you or you miss some of the names or dates, the stories on the page remind you of the tour.

When we began our walk, Rosemary told us about the origins of angels and why the battling angels are there and not Napoléon Bonaparte. Rosemary shed light on the origination of the fleur-de-lys, which I shall not give away. Ask her yourself when you study the Executioner’s Angel on the Hôtel de Laffémas and look in the hand of Justice.

Presbytery of the Church of St. Merry (legendary abbot 7th century)

Presbytery of the Church of St. Merry (legendary abbot 7th century)

This tour is the first of upcoming Angels of Paris walking tours. Find out more information and contact Rosemary on the Angels of Paris website or Rosemary’s Passport to Paris website. Read reviews of her tours on TripAdvisor (Passport to Paris Tours).

Be prepared to walk and you will have time to talk to photos. And even if the sky is grey, angels still have their own special shine.

Battling Angels 0687 Battling Angels Rosemary 0691 Saint Michel Fountain 8113 Executioners Angels 0693 Angels Sainte Chapelle 0696 Angels Sainte Chapelle 0695 Chatelet Lightening Rod Angels 0700 Sq de Tour StJacques Angels_8118 Saint Jacques Angel 00112 Rococo Angels Saint Merry 0705 Saint Merry Masses 8127 Saint Merry Concerts 8126 Hotel de Ville Seal Angels 0707 Hotel de Ville Seal Angels 0708 Notre Dame Angels 0720 Notre Dame Angels 0722 Notre Dame Angels 0713 Notre Dame Angels 0714 Rosemary signing books 8132
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Angels displaying the seal of Paris; the boat has been the symbol of Paris since the early Middle Ages; what appears as a crown is the city wall