One of the advantages of the Journées du patrimoine, the annual heritage weekend, is that doors normally closed are open to the public. Most Parisian courtyards are hard to peek into nowadays unless you happen to be around when someone enters or exits. The magnetic key used is necessary to ensure security. On this special weekend you may find courtyards of other buildings accessible.
The sapeurs pompiers (the fire brigade) for our area opens its doors every September. They are also known for their July 14 (Bastille Day) fireman’s ball. Since 1812, our caserne des pompiers, 7 & 9 rue de Sévigné, is housed in a former prince’s domaine.
The fire station has no pole for the firemen to slide down, but it has a beautifully sculpted wooden frieze in one of the dorm rooms. The TV lounge ceiling is composed of wooden, exposed beams that I would not mind having in my apartment. They would clash, however, with my current decor! The main building is done in the Mansart style from the 1600s.
The Hotel Bouthillier de Chavigny as it is known officially, has been cut up, reshaped, rebuilt and added on to. A large part of the main building is the work of François Mansart, achieved between 1642 and 1643. You recognize his style by the garlands and masks and two levels of relief Doric and ionic columns.
With over 15,000 French sites to visit, I chose the fire house this year because it is close to home and something that we could get into without waiting in line too long. We started late in the day, about 4 p.m. The sites begin to close at 6 p.m.
This gave us time to walk around some of the smaller streets in the Marais after the visit and find that elusive strudel for the evening’s dessert before heading home.
Every year on the third weekend of September since 1984 visitors enter sites and monuments normally closed to the public. In 2009 over 12 million visitors took part in discovering and rediscovering the diverse heritage of France.
Before a September visit to Paris, France or Europe for this event, visit the Journées du patrimoine website for information. Buy the Friday newspaper, le Parisien, for the supplement containing all of the dates, times and locations. Information becomes available on the France Culture website about six weeks before the event.
© 2010 Colleensparis.com
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my BLOG, WEBSITE and NEWSLETTER. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!
© 2012 Colleensparis.com
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my Web site. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!