Metro Station of the Month: Bastille (line 1)

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!

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B –

La MEP: THE Place in Paris for Photography Lovers

The MEP, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, is THE place in Paris where to see major photography exhibitions… and more. Indeed it also suggests guided tours or activities for kids, workshop courses and projections and shelters a library where a large quantity of books, periodicals and films can be looked at or viewed.

MEP-Paris-The front side rue de Fourcy
MEP-Paris-The front side rue de Fourcy

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The Marais Off the Beaten Track: A walk in the Jewish Area in Paris

Jewish area Marais Paris- Rue des Ecouffes
Jewish area Marais – Paris – Rue des Ecouffes

As well as the Ile Saint Louis, The Jewish area in the Marais is one of my favourite areas where to have a walk in Paris. For more than twenty years I regularly go for a walk there and even if the area has changed, even if I miss the closing of some local stores (such as Goldenberg for instance) and the opening of trendy fashion shops in place of them, I think that the ‘Rue des Rosiers’ and its surroundings are still very authentic and charming, almost as authentic as they used to be.

And this will last as long as some historical flagship stores or buildings remain there as those stores are part of the soul and history of the Jewish area: Finkelsztan, Chez Marianne, Le café des Psaumes, La Boucherie Norbert, … and of course the Jewish school in the Rue Pavée and the Synagogues, whether visible or hidden. The most important of them is in the rue des Tournelles, at the Eastern boundary of the area, and is the second largest synagogue in Paris.

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