My Metro Station of the Month is Bastille which is a very busy station as it is on three different metro lines: 1, 5 and 8. The remarkable platforms which I suggest that you should see are on line 1 in both directions: Château de Vincennes and La Défense. The easiest way to reach them if you are coming from the outside world and do not want to walk for a long time underground is to use the Metro entrance located on the Boulevard Bourdon. Indeed there are about ten exits in total, located on all sides of the Place de la Bastille and the underground corridors are very long!
The platforms of the Metro Bastille are worth seeing for several reasons. Firstly they are located below the road level but above the Bassin de l’Arsenal and the greater part of them is outside. The eastbound platform, direction Château de Vincennes, offers great views on the boats and quays of the Bassin de l’Arsenal: Not to be missed! Secondly the platforms are curved and even have the sharpest curve used by the subway trains in Paris.
And finally the walls, especially on the westbound platform in the direction of La Défense, are decorated with a beautiful colourful mural painting which represents the various steps of the storming of the Bastille. This work of art was designed and made by two painters of the ‘Ateliers des Carrelages de la Bussière’ in 1989 so as to celebrate the bicentenary of the French Revolution.
Back to earth: Have a look at the Place de la Bastille with its central column and the Paris Opera. From there there is much to do! You can walk westerly towards the Place des Vosges and Marais area, stroll along the Bassin de l’Arsenal in the south, easily reach the Promenade Plantée on the Viaduc des Arts easterly or enjoy the trendy cafés and fashion shops in the streets between the rue de la Roquette and the rue de Charonne in the north-east. The choice is yours!
On a beautiful fall day nothing is more pleasant than strolling along the streets and gardens in Paris so as to enjoy the beautiful lights and the fall colours at their best. At this time of year I love the colours of trees in the parks and gardens and the displays of autumn flavours on the Parisian food markets. That is the reason why I am taking you for a walk in my area of Paris, the fifth arrondissement around the so cute Place de la Contrescarpe: from one garden to another, up and down the Montagne Sainte Geneviève, and through the Parisian food market of the Place Monge and the permanent food market of the famous rue Mouffetard. I hope that you will enjoy this 2-hour walk!
An exceptional exhibition dedicated to Osiris, the most fascinating God in Ancient Egypt, has just started in the IMA –Institut du Monde Arabe- in Paris. I had the opportunity to visit it with a guided tour by Franck Goddio in person, who is in the same time the French archeologist who conducted the submarine excavations in Egypt and the curator of the exhibition: really exciting!
The full name of the exhibition is: ‘Osiris, Egypt’s sunken mysteries’. It reveals the outstanding remains of the temples of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, two cities in Lower Egypt which had sunk in the Nile delta in the 8th century. Those remains have been discovered during the past twenty years thanks to impressive submarine excavations which started in 1996.
About 250 objects among the 500 found during the excavations are exhibited today in the IMA complemented with about fourty masterpieces lent by the Museums of Cairo and Alexandria. Most of them can be seen out of Egypt for the first time; if you have never been to Egypt, take advantage of this opportunity to admire them. And even if you have ever visited the Museum of Cairo, so rich in masterpieces but so dark and dusty, you will be delighted to see the same objects much better highlighted by a good display and lighting!
I am not a fan of Ancient Egypt. However I have been fascinated by the legend of Osiris and by the ritual of the mysteries. Those ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom of Osiris and glorifying its rescucitation were practised in temples throughout Egypt and lasted 18 days between the 12th and the 30th of the month of Khoiak. The recent submarine excavations have revealed many sites and objects relative to those mysteries: the remains of Amon Gereb temple in Thonis-Heracleion, of the sanctuary of Canopus… and even the vestiges of a boat some ten meters long used for the nautical procession of the God between both places.
IMA-Paris-Stela from Thonis heracleion in Osiris exhibition
IMA-Paris-Apis at Osiris exhibition
IMA-Paris-Statue of a queen- Osiris exhibition
IMA-Paris-Sculptures inside Osiris exhibition
IMA-Paris-Osiris and Isis
It is this exciting history that is told us in the beautiful exhibition of the IMA. It has just started and should not be too crowded yet. One can make advanced bookings on the Osiris exhibition‘s website. I highly recommend it if one can afford. Indeed my only restriction is the admission price… rather high: 17,30€!