Hard to believe we’d reached our last full day in Paris – How to spend it was the topic at Breakfast –
Along with Harold and Ruth we sought out the Place de la Bastille where a Paris mob captured the huge prison July 14, 1789 & began the French Revolution The modern Square we saw today was built by Napoloen in 1803 – The “Colonne de Juillet” in the centre was erected in the 1830’s in memory of Parisians killed in the 1830 Revolution. On top of the 170′ high column is the God of Liberty. The floor plan of the Bastille is traced by a line of white stones.
While here we were very near the very famous Hotel Sully on Rue St Antoine – It was built in the years between 1624 and 1634 – Very elaborate in decorations –
Between here and the metro station we saw two Parisian institutions: 2 sewer workers and the policeman on his little stand at the street intersection –
We boarded the metro & rode to the outskirts of the city where with much gesturing we were able to learn that Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres was just a brisk walk over the Seine – There we saw some of the most beautiful objects of porcelain I’d every seen –
In 1738 a small workshop for the manufacture of Porcelain was established in Vincennes King Louis XV became interested – provided subsidies and in 1753 entitled it Royal Manufacture. It was Mme de Pompadour who suggested the place of its present location – after 120 years Napoleon[III] had a new building built in 1876 as the development became a growing success. Since 1804 only hard porcelain has been manufactured here – We each bought a small piece of the delicate work done here for 220 years – Mine a delicate bust of Mme Pompadour in a red velvet setting –
Now we traveled the 5 kilometers back into the City and the section of the Paris that is the home of The Sorbonne – The University was founded by the confessor of Saint Louis whose name was Robert de Sorbon in the year 1253. To walk in this area was interesting Thousands of young people “milling” around – We had lunch at a side walk cafe & Malissa and I each had a hot dog that was 2 weiners long – melted cheese made it both unique & delicious – As w stood on the corner we saw the riot police with full protection coming down the street & moving toward the University where a riot was reported developing – To see several hundred of these well armed police gave me a feeling of excitement as well as fear.
As we watched a Red-bearded young man walked over to us & asked if we weren’t Americans – said he thought so – He was in Paris on a Holiday from England where he was a Rhodes Scholar & he too was American & was happy to hear our voices –
Our target was the Pantheon so we moved in that direction –
Up there found hundreds’ more police & vehicles with wire screening for protection all lined up in front of the domed monument – Inside the building we found the guide was unconcerned about the police activity so we joined his next tour –
Our next “metro” ride took us under the River Seine to the famous department store Au Printemps where we did a lot more looking than buying –
On the metro again – this time to the Pont de L’Alma for our view of Paris from the River
Back to the Hotel & a return to the Doucet at 4 Rue Marbeuf for another wonderful dinner – Sort of hated to say “Good-bye” to this spot – As a matter of fact now that we’d gotten on to the value of the franc & the metro system another day or two would have been nice –
One has to be impressed with the metro system –
Volume labeled “The Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Diary 1971”, used as travel journal by Elizabeth W. Ruffner, for a trip taken in March-April 1971; held by Malissa Ruffner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Baltimore, MD; 2011.
For background information on this series of posts, see Spring Break, 1971.