05 October 2007

Walking around Opéra

After lunch, J, J, and I walked down the Boulevard des Italiens toward La Madeleine. We had a couple of errands to do in that neighborhood. Janice wanted to go look around in an optical shop called Lafont that she had seen on the web. Joanna wanted to find a parfumerie, a perfume shop, on the Rue Saint-Honoré. And there was that outlet store to see about.

One of my favorite view spots in Paris is the corner of the Boulevard des Italiens and the Rue Lafitte. When you're walking down the boulevard, you come to the Rue Lafitte and look left. This is what you see.

L'Eglise Notre Dame de Lorette
with Sacré Coeur floating above it

Since it's one of my favorite views, I'll put in a second picture, this one zoomed in a little more. I just looked in all my guidebooks — Michelin, Cadogan, Baedecker's, and Eyewitness — and none of them has an index entry for Notre Dame de Lorette. The church is in the 9th arrondissement, at the bottom of the Rue des Martyres, a famous market street (think Rue Montorgueil, Rue Mouffetard). A friend of mine lived up there many years ago.

Sacré Coeur seen from the boulevards

We walked on, past café terraces full of people sitting out in the sun down, to the Place de l'Opéra. I looked up and noticed the statues on top of the opera house. It was a good chance to see if my camera could capture them.

La Poésie, a sculpture by
Charles-Alphonse-Achille Gumery

The architect of the grand opera house, Charles Garnier, commissioned these sculptures in the 1860s and 1870s. The Opéra opened in 1875. Many of Paris's great buildings and monuments were put up in the 19th century.

Apollon, la Poésie et la Musique,
a sculpture by Aimé Millet

We walked on down the Boulevard des Capucines toward La Madeleine and we stopped in the so-called outlet store we had seen earlier from the window of the 42 bus. It turned out to be sparsely stocked with highly over-priced merchandise (who's surprised?).


  1. Your new camera took some fine photos, Ken.
    I don't remember ever seeing Sacre Coeur from that viewpoint. I love little glimpses of the Eiffel tower and SC from various places around town.

  2. When you are a Parisian, as I have been for 45 years, you take everything for granted. I had seen these statues on top of the Opera many times, but never gave them a second look. Thanks to Ken, his art and technology I can now appreciate Paris and rural France in a faraway land as never before through his loving eye. Thank you Ken. CHM

  3. Oh, CHM ... what a wonderful post! Your eye is just as good... I would love someday to "frappe la rue" in Paris with you and your incredible knowledge of la plus belle ville du monde!


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