Metro Station of the Month: Liège (line 13)

Our Metro Station of the Month, Liège, is not as central or as easy to reach as the previous ones. Indeed it is located on the metro line 13 which is reputed to be the most crowded and the most irregular metro line in Paris. I recommend you to go there at off peak hours!

Yet Liège is one of the most beautiful and original metro stations in Paris. For several reasons… Firstly it is one of the two Parisian stations whose platforms are not lying opposite one another but one after the other. This happens quite often in the London underground while in Paris only two stations were built in that way: the second one is Commerce, located in 15th arrondissement on metro line 8. Regarding Liège this is due to the narrowness of the street where the station was created.

Secondly the metro station Liège has got for many years limited opening hours. I remember that when I started to run Good Morning Paris I had a B&B very close to that station. Nevertheless I did not mention to my guests the metro station Liège but Place Clichy, which was a little further but always open, while Liège was closed from 8pm and on Sundays! Fortunately this changed in December 2006… further to a demonstration of the inhabitants inside the station.

And above all the station Liège is beautifully decorated with ceramics from Welkenraedt (a Belgian town located in the province of Liège) which show monuments and landscapes of the city of Liège and its surroundings. Those works were added in 1982 to cover the white walls facing the passengers in each half-station. One does not know why the ceramics are in colour on the platform towards south while they are in Blue and White only on the platform towards north. No matters! Each of them (eighteen in total) is remarkable and mention the name of the place represented.

Unusual opening hours, unusual platforms… The metro station Liège is unique and charming with its ceramics and its traditional white, blue and brown glazed tiles, so typical of the Parisian metro.

Back to earth: Do not miss the New Athens area where many painters and writers used to live in the 19th century. It is located only a few minutes walk towards the east and is really peaceful and romantic.

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris The Blog

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Metro Station of the Month: Gare de Lyon (line 14)

The line 14 is the most recent line of the Parisian Metro and the only one to be fully automated. It was inaugurated and put into operation less than twenty years ago, in 1998, which is about a century later than the first lines of the Metro.

This is the reason why the stations on metro line 14 are very different from all the other metro stations in Paris. They are much more spacious and airy and their architecture is based on large volumes offering a lot of space and light.

The platform of the station Gare de Lyon is my favourite. Indeed it offers an unsual view on a tropical garden on the right side of the trains towards Olympiades when they enter the station. This tropical garden is located on the basement of the ‘Maison de la RATP’ at the foot of which the station was built. It is really amazing to see such a green space underground and one wonder for a while whether one is still in the metro.

Another specificity of the station Gare de Lyon is its central platform: It was in fact the only layout possible because of the numerous other rails already existing there when the new metro line was built.

Back to earth: The train station ‘Gare de Lyon’ of course and nearby the Place de la Bastille and the Viaduc des Arts. And if you wish to enjoy more greenery I suggest you a walk on the ‘Promenade plantée‘, which starts from there : See my post about it!

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr

Metro Station of the Month: Cité (line 4)

The Metro station Cité on line 4 is for sure one of the most surprising metro stations in Paris. It has taken its name from the Ile de la Cité and is the only metro station on the island. The railway tunnel goes under the Seine and the platforms are located under the river: for that reason the station is very deep, more than 20 meters underground!

The depth of the station, its metallic structure, its never-ending stairs and its lighting with elegant globes give it a very special atmosphere one cannot find in any other metro station in Paris: a little strange, almost worrying! But do not be afraid and admire the beautiful architecture. And if you are not in really good shape, you can still take the elevator to get to the way out!

Back to earth: Notre Dame of course! But also the ‘Palais de Justice’, the ‘Sainte Chapelle’ and the lovely flower market. The metro entrance located next to it is the work of Hector Guimard and a beautiful example of the Art Nouveau.

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr