Magical Splendours of Paris and France
Pictures of Chateau of Chantilly
I often wonder what it is which draws me back
to France, as a beautiful drawing on the other side
of the world.
One time in Paris I remember thinking I had forgotten
how beautiful France really is, as it had been seven years since
I had last been in Paris. This was as the sun was setting over the banks
of the River Seine. It was a beautiful scene. A golden delight with the reflecting
light glimmering in the distance over the architectural landscape of Paris;
I remember often watching the pigeons by Notre Dame, watching by the river bank,
wandering around the narrow streets, noticing cobbles and unusual signs, lamposts
enhancing the scenery. I loved the little book stalls selling water colour prints of images
of Paris, the River Seine and Notre Dame. I have seen the artists drawings at Montparnasse and the colourful scenes of Montmartre, the windmill a land mark picture post card scene. Little restaurants and tables and chairs,
it is all a flowery theme. Very beautiful in many ways. There are also sellers of flowers
on the streets, also selling orchids.
There were also colourful scarves being sold on a street corner for only one euro. This stall seemed to attract many customers.
Charming, exotic, different. I loved the waffles in the park of
the Luxembourg Palace and gardens, the way the leaves would fall to the ground,
loved the colour of the trees in autumn, golden and scarlet, painting colours on the scene.
The autumn colours of the leaves of the trees and the fresh breezes by the banks of the River Seine are quite beautiful. This setting is quite magical, beautiful to look at from the windows of a bus,
driving along the banks of the river Seine.
Louis XVI mentioned the leaves when the royal family was held in captivity,
and they were walking amongst the colourful leaves in a park one day.
The Palace of Luxembourg gardens was a favourite place, families and people
would enjoy the day. Would go in grace and sail their boats upon the
little pond. A Sunday afternoon was a busy time.
On a recent visit to Paris last year I remember so clearly the moon shining over the hotel and
buildings at night in a narrow street. I could see this from my window and it looked
so magical shining its luminous orb, looking down on Paris from the night sky.
The left Bank of Saint-Germain
des Pres is also interesting to wander around. It was at a palace of St Germaine-en-Laye
that Louis XIV was born, and apparently now is a restaurant, as I was once informed on Louis XIV
The Metro helps in getting from place to place and often is not too far away, distinctive
with a colourful Metro sign.
The shops of delicacies of fruit sweets and also mystical themes, as with crystals
and playing cards appealed also.
Paris, a city of light, a city of splendour. There is a saying that if one becomes bored with London,
they are tired of life. Paris is just as exciting. Many places of interest to visit.
The Louvre, which was once a palace, now a marvellous museum,
holds people in thrall with the famous painting of “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci.
It is here also that there is a portrait of the three dogs, Nonne, Pomme and Bonne, in a gilded frame. The artist, Desportes, was commissioned by the king, Louis XIV, to paint the portraits of the dogs,
often with a rustic beautiful background showing the beauties of nature.
It is nice to wander around the streets and along the banks of the River Seine. These are pleasures
not forgot. Timeless wonder with stories of the past, I recall The Thirty Nine Steps, which was
filmed in Paris.
The colours of the leaves, so sweet and fine, splendour of a marvellous time.
Autumn in Paris a thrilling time, the beauty and magic all around!
As I recall more thoughts and memories of Paris, I will write them down.
I once caught a train to Fontainebleau, a magical place with a garden view;
Trees shimmering in the distance, all clipped to a triangular shape, the tops of the trees a differing colour, of rusts and greens, from memory they seemed;
Fontainebleau is beautiful to see and I must return to this place again,
as on the day which I visited, the palace was not open. A palace which was given its name from a hunting dog named Bleu where he was found at a stream and also was seen the Nymph of Fontainebleau; This is the place where
Napoleon said farewell, the royal party, Queen Anne of Austria, Louis XIV, Princess Henriette, (Madame and
the king's brother, Monsieur) and the court set
out to visit Vaux-le-Vicomte; Nicholas Fouquet hosting his fantasy show
of magical enchantments at his new chateau; Creating amusements and setting the
scenes for an ultimate downfall; visions of wonder, but not a king,
he lived for beauty and a dream; A Minister of Finance, came to see the very best;
Did he also like La Valliere? This a question not really determined, but the king
may have seen him as competition. (Nicholas Fouquet's emblem was a squirrel and his motto was to what heights could he not ascend? His wife also had mirrors in her room, which would have been unusual for the time. )
In Margaret Irwin's book of “Royal Flush” Monsieur, the king's brother in the carriage
with the royal party returning to Fontainebleau taunted the king that Louise de la Vallierre's face appeared in
the decorations of the murals at the chateau!
The Prince de Conde also had a wonderful Chateau of Chantilly,
where the king visited and marvelled at the fountain displays, which he would imitate, though
Chantilly was different with the ability to acquire water more easily; Vatel, a famous chef,
was also resident at this chateau and there was a film made “Vatel.” This film was a splendour
for the magnificent decorative visual effects.
The seventeenth century, a Splendid century, full of hope and promise with
a new and vibrant king; the magnificence and splendour of the gardens
seemed to match the spirit of the times.
With plays and entertainments,
literature, the arts and tapestries , perhaps these were the best years of the king's
reign. The vibrant flowers of yesterday, today and tomorrow blossom still,
giving forth a radiant glow of what was past and is still hope for the future.
The world has moved on from the time of Louis XIV, but still the beauty of the time
lingers still, the Hallway of Mirrors, a showpiece resplendent with candlelabra,
glittering candle light overlooking a magnificent garden setting would have been quite magical,
a palace of dreams, a beautiful landscape of gardens
designed by Le Notre and decorative art works of the times.
Goodness about the king in all of his ways,
was beauty seen. He admired Nature and fell under its timely spell.
After the king's visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte, it did not take long for the king to start work on his own marvellous
vision of Versailles.
I will return to Versailles, in another post
and also Carcassonne, Lourdes and Nice,
which I have also enjoyed visiting.
Something magical about France in the air.
It seems to me to be a kaleidosope of colours,
especially in the magic season of autumn.
Poetry seems only natural to describe some of the wonderful beauties to be seen
in Paris and France.
I think of the beautiful poetry of the early poets, the times of Eleanor of Aquitaine,
the colours and splendours of her court, the ancient rolls of the kings, the beauty of the arts and Book of Hours of the Duke de Berry,
and all manner of things.
My best wishes,
These pictures are from wikipedia of Notre Dame and of the Luxembourg Palace and
gardens. Also Notre Dame illuminated by night.