I am out of Paris for a couple of days and will be back at the end of April… with news posts about my latest discoveries in Paris to share with you!
Meantime I suggest for those of you who are currently in Paris to rediscover my Top Five Walks as Spring is the ideal season to stroll in the Parisian streets and parks: not too warm, not too busy, and offering beautiful lights. Try them if you have not yet… I am sure that you will love them!
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!
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!