TCD Tidbit #19 ~ Paris Locales

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

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TCD Tidbit #19 ~ Paris Locales

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:38 am

Pg. 186: Lucas Corso ordered a second gin and settled back comfortably in the wicker chair. It was pleasant in the sun. He was sitting on the terrace of the Café Atlas on the Rue de Buci, in a rectangle of light that framed the tables.

Pg. 187: He saw her at the end of the Rue Mazarin, turning the corner toward the café where he waited.

Pg. 251: By the narrow passageway of the Rue Mazarin he hailed a taxi but it didn’t stop. He walked on to the Rue Guénégaud, intending to cross the Pont Neuf to the Louvre.

Pg. 252: “the plot thickens, d’Artagnan saw Constance Bonacieux emerge from the Rue Dauphine, also on her way toward the Louvre and the same bridge. She was accompanied by a gentleman who turned out to be the Duke of Buckingham, whose nocturnal adventure almost earned him a thrust of d’Artagnan’s sword through his body: I loved her, Milord, and I was jealous….


Note the areas circled on the map. One is of the Louvre, the other Pont Neuf, and the final one is of the area containing Rue Mazarin, Rue de Buci and Rue Guénégaud.

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L'Atlas Brasserie

10, Rue Buci
75006 Paris, France

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A Review:


L'Atlas Brasserie is easy to find, just a block off Boulevard St. Germain on the corner of rue Buci and rue de Seine. They have a full menu with plenty of outdoor tables (heaters are turned on in cooler weather) and, of course, indoor seating, too.

I would love to be able to tell you about all of the wonderful menu offerings, but the fact of the matter is that I stopped for one thing and one thing only: les moules (mussels). I love them and this is the place to get them. L'Atlas offers a couple of options -- a light, traditional creme sauce and a bleu cheese sauce (also light; not overpowering by any means). Both of them are outstanding; you can't possibly lose. A bucket of them will run you about 11 Euros. (A beer will run you another $7.50). Sure, it might seem a little weird to just do the one-course thing, but if you go in the middle of the afternoon, you won't be taking up more than your share of space and you can people watch, sip your white wine and satiate yourself with those fabulous mussels and baguettes to your heart's content. They'll give you a bucket to put the empty shells in and for the pile of les moules that you will receive, it will still be empty all too soon. (Check out the other fresh seafood on the iced bar that is streetside; they pride themselves in having it fresh and doing it right.)


Pont Neuf:


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The Louvre

A summary of Louvre history from the official website :


http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en

The Louvre, in its successive architectural metamorphoses, has dominated central Paris since the late 12th century. Built on the city's western edge, the original structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV.

The Middle Ages

During the forty-three-year reign of Philippe Auguste (1180–1223), the power and influence of the French monarchy grew considerably, both inside and outside the kingdom. In 1190, a rampart was built around Paris, which was Europe’s biggest city at the time. To protect the capital from the Anglo-Norman threat, the king decided to reinforce its defenses with a fortress, which came to be known as the Louvre. It was built to the west of the city, on the banks of the Seine.

From the Louvre to the Tuileries

The demolition of the Grosse Tour marked the beginning of a new phase of building work that would continue through to the reign of Louis XIV. The transformation of François I’s château continued under Henri II and his sons. However, the construction of the Tuileries palace some 500 meters to the west led to a rethinking of the site. Ambitious royal plans to link the two buildings culminated in the creation of the Grande Galerie (1595-1610)

The Classical Period

The reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV had a major impact on the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. The extension of the west wing of the Cour Carrée under Louis XIII marked the beginning of an ambitious program of work that would be completed by Louis XIV and added to by Louis XV, resulting in the Louvre that we see today. However, following the completion of Versailles, royal interest in the palace waned, plunging the Louvre into a new period of dormancy.

From Palace to Museum

With the Revolution, the Louvre entered a phase of intensive transformation. For three years, Louis XVI lived in the Tuileries palace, alongside the Convention Nationale. In 1793 the Museum Central des Arts opened to the public in the Grande Galerie and the Salon Carré, from where the collections gradually spread to take over the building. Anne of Austria’s apartments housed the antique sculpture galleries, and further rooms and exhibition spaces were opened under Charles X.

The Grand Louvre

The demolition of the Tuileries in 1882 marked the birth of the modern Louvre. The palace ceased to be the seat of power and was devoted almost entirely to culture. Only the Finance Ministry, provisionally installed in the Richelieu wing after the Commune, remained. Slowly but surely, the museum began to take over the whole of the vast complex of buildings.

The opening of the first Islamic gallery

The museum's holdings in Islamic art were originally scattered throughout the rooms devoted to the decorative arts. The collection was considerably enriched in 1912 by the bequest of Baroness Delort de Gléon. Plans for a single display led, in 1922, to the opening of a gallery devoted to the Islamic East in the dome of the Pavillon de l’Horloge.

World War II: Evacuation and closure of the museum

At the outbreak of war in September 1939 the museum's collections were evacuated, with the exception of the heaviest pieces, which were protected with sandbags. The works were initially deposited at the Château de Chambord in the Loire valley, before being dispersed to numerous other sites, mostly châteaus. For safety reasons, many works were moved several times during the war. Although mostly empty but for plaster casts, the Louvre reopened under the Occupation, in September 1940.

The launch of the Grand Louvre project

The need to improve the museum’s displays and provide better amenities for visitors became increasingly pressing. On September 26, 1981, President François Mitterrand announced a plan to restore the Louvre palace in its entirety to its function as a museum. The Finance Ministry, which still occupied the Richelieu wing, was transferred to new premises, and the Grand Louvre project, which would entail a complete reorganization of the museum, was launched.

The EPGL and the appointment of I. M. Pei

On November 2, 1983, the Etablissement Public du Grand Louvre (EPGL) was given overall control of the project. The extension and modernization of the Louvre were entrusted to the Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, whose many buildings included the new wing of the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Archaeological excavations were undertaken before work began on the new spaces beneath the Cour Napoléon and the construction of the Pyramid.

The opening of the Pyramid

The glass Pyramid built by I. M. Pei was inaugurated on March 30, 1989. Rising from the center of the Cour Napoléon, it is the focal point of the museum's main axes of circulation and also serves as an entrance to the large reception hall beneath. From here, visitors can also reach the temporary exhibition areas, displays on the history of the palace and museum, Charles V's original moat, an auditorium, and public amenities (coat check, bookshop, cafeteria, restaurant).

New exhibition spaces are opened

On January 1, 1993, the Louvre became an Etablissement Public linked to the Ministry of Culture, thereby acquiring greater autonomy. The same year, the renovated Richelieu wing was opened, representing the biggest single expansion in the museum's history. Glazed roofs over three inner courtyards created new spaces for the display of monumental sculpture, the departments of paintings and decorative arts expanded their exhibition space, and rooms were set aside for the collection of Islamic art. The Galeries du Carrousel (a new underground shopping mall and parking garage) opened soon afterward.

Phase two of the Grand Louvre project

In 1997, major new developments continued around the Cour Carrée, with the inauguration of the Sackler wing (Near Eastern antiquities) and, most importantly, the opening of two completely refurbished floors housing the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, which doubled its exhibition space. Work also began on a scheme to refurbish the Salle des Etats and to create three new galleries of antique art (the “salles des trois antiques”) beneath the Cour Visconti.

The opening of the Pavillon des Sessions

In 1996, the French president, Jacques Chirac, announced the creation of a national museum of tribal and aboriginal art. In addition, selected masterpieces from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas were to be shown at the Louvre. These were installed on the ground floor of the former Pavillon des Sessions, in galleries refurbished by the architect J. M. Wilmotte. Inaugurated in April 2000, these galleries are a satellite of the future Musée du Quai Branly, scheduled to open in 2006.


(LIZ NOTE: This is the only portion of the history that is displayed in French. It is loosely translated below)

Le Département des Arts de l'Islam

L'aménagement du département des Arts de l'Islam connaît une étape décisive avec l'annonce le mardi 26 juillet 2005, par le Président de la République, du projet architectural lauréat des salles du 8ème département du Louvre. Il s'agit de celui des architectes Rudy Ricciotti et Mario Bellini. Le département des Arts de l'Islam s'installera en 2009 dans les nouveaux espaces de la cour Visconti.


Translation: An announcement was made on July 26th, 2005 by the President de la République that there is an architectural plan (drawn up by Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini) to build the rooms of the 8th Department of the Louvre….the Department of Islam. It will become established in 2009 in the new areas of the courtyard Visconti.


If you are wondering why the name Richelieu Wing…… According to History.com, the Louvre holdings were significantly enriched by acquisitions made for the monarchy by Cardinal Richelieu. I’m assuming that it is named after the good(?) cardinal.

The Richelieu Wing:

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The Pyramid:

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Sources:

http://community.iexplore.com/planning/ ... +Brasserie

http://www.igougo.com/dining-reviews-b1 ... serie.html

http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en
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Unread postby Endora » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:26 pm

Liz, the area around the restaurant is a mass of old streets and narrow cobbled pavements. The Rue Jacob is full of lovely places to eat, and just a block to the south on St Germain you will find the famous Deux Maggots cafe of the existentialists. Head to the end of St Germain and you will see Blvd Raspail, where some of the outside the hotel shots in Ninth Gate were filmed (where it joins Rue du Bac) Although I am not sure, I think the scenes outside the burning house with the old lady (can't remember her name right now) were actually on the Isle de la Cite looking South towards Quai de Grandes...? where the river is narrow. The bookstores he walks past are there on that south bank anyway, incidentally just east of the Paris branch of City Lights books near Institute de France.

Brings it back. I must go there again I think!
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Unread postby gemini » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:06 pm

Wow that photo of the bridge is breath taking. No wonder Paris is called the city of love.

If that little thing is the The Richelieu Wing, I wonder what the rest of it looks like?
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Unread postby Kittycat88 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:49 pm

When I stayed near the Louvre I looked contantly in that area for anywhere along the river that reminded me of the scenes where the bad guy beats Corso up.

A beautiful city...I am sure Johnny enjoyed filming there.

Maybe that is why I love that city so much? Because it is a city of lovers...and the movie, always reminds me of the many changes that happened in Johnny's real life while he was filming that movie. Nice things.

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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:29 pm

'I love Paris in the springtime, I love Paris in the fall...' :sing:

Naturally, this amazing city will be at the top of the list for the Zoner Tour of Europe, oui? So much to see; so many happy Johnny-connections. Sign me up! :frenchie:

Every time I see pics of the Louvre or visit that magnificent place I have a hard time imagining it as a private residence. Makes the French Revolution make total sense, IMO. And now, every time I see the glass Pyramid in the courtyard I can't help thinking of the DaVinci Code...for better or worse. I'd love to go and visit again when the new Islam wing is complete. Hopefully the dollar will buy a few more Euros then than it does now.

Thanks for the great reports, Liz (and Endora and Kittycat88)! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:15 am

I’d love to lead that ONBC Tour de France. Maybe some day. Oui, merci to Endora, KittyCat et al. Endora, if you have any pics of these areas you mention, please share. I also have to mention that I found that there appear to be 2 L’Atlas restaurants in the same area, the other a Moroccan restaurant at 12, Boulevard Saint-Germain. I found it rather confusing that there would be two. Are you familiar with them, Endora?

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Unread postby Endora » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:17 am

Liz, no I'm not familiar with the restaurant. The west end of St Germain isn't really restaurantish, it is all interior design shops so it must be towards the east.

I may have a few pics but it would take awhile, they are on the other computer.

However, here is Corso outside the hotel in Blvd Raspeil

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and the hotel

http://www.splendia.com/en/k-k-hotel-cayre-paris.html
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Unread postby Parlez » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:47 am

Mondieu! Seeing the latest pics of the Moroccan restaurant and the hotel makes me SO up for going to France! With Liz to lead the way through Paris and beyond, it would be - fantastique!
Come on 'Mantras, let's see if we can get this organized for 2009! :frenchie:
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:39 am

Is that a Shell Gas Station next door, Endora? :lol:

The Blvd. Raspail was mentioned in TDB&TB. Jean-do would ask for sausage when he visited his grandfather’s apartment there. There is an open air market located there.
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Unread postby suec » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:15 pm

I'd certainly sign up for the tour. I have been to Paris only once, in a fleeting weekend years ago. I have been meaning to go back ever since. Beautiful sights.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:25 pm

I was there many years ago as well, long enough that it was before that pyramid was up at the Louvre which I still think is weird. :blush: All my pictures are before computers and I think might even be slides so I can't scan them. It is a beautiful, vibrant city and I would love to go back some day!
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