Secret Paris The Sorbonne District

From The Good Life France:

There is a secret part of Paris in the 5th Arrondissement that many visitors don’t know about…

In the Parisian neighbourhood known as the Sorbonne district, you’ll find some picturesque roads and houses that are reminders of a Paris that existed many years ago. Take rue Galande (pictured above). There’s been a road here since Roman times but its name comes from the famille Galande, wine makers who were favoured by King Louis VI (1081-1137).

There are records of shops and businesses here since the 13th Century. In and around this road you’ll see some timber framed medieval houses and remains going back several centuries. Just look above the doorway of the cinema at No. 42 and you’ll see a sculpture of Saint Julien the Pauper carved into the stone that dates back to at least 1380.

When this photo was shared on The Good Life France Facebook page I was fairly sure it would be popular and with almost 4,500 LIKES and more than 71,000 views in just 3 days, I was right.

Odette, featured in the photo is an old boulangerie (no. 77), in a 17th Century building. You’ll find it opposite the Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, one of the oldest in Paris, and the Square René Viviani-Montebello home to the oldest tree in Paris, a locust tree planted in 1601.

Mont Saint-Michel in Northern France Transformed by Supertide


Thousands of people have gathered at Mont Saint-Michel in northern France to watch what has been billed as the high tide of the century wash around the picturesque landmark.

The exceptionally high spring tide, swollen by a so-called supermoon effect linked to the solar eclipse on Friday, was predicted to cut off the island from the mainland with a wall of water as high as a four-storey building.

But the tidal surge was not as high as the 14.15 metres expected, and a tiny sliver of causeway no more than a few metres wide resisted the surge of water pushed by the Moon’s gravitational pull on the sea.

Saturday’s tide on the long, sloping estuary of the River Couesnon could, however, go higher, although scientists said low air pressure might have lessened the phenomenon.

The bay on the coast of Normandy has some of the strongest tides in the world.

A Tourist Map of Occupied Paris, Issued to German Soldiers During WWII

From Slate:

This map, published in October 1940, was used by German troops on leave in occupied Paris. The city, under German control since June of that year, served as a relatively calm location for soldiers to take R&R. Distributed by the city’s military governor, the map directed visiting troops to take in the traditional sights of Paris: “Eiffelturm,” “Notre-Dame,” “Luxembourg Palast.”

Writing in their book A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Maps, Tim Bryars and Tom Harper point out that “no sites associated by the occupation are marked” on the straightforward tourist map. Bryars and Harper see the Gothic script—a style of font associated with Germany—as “a sufficient statement of control.” One of the landmarks included on the map is a memorial to a past French military victory over Prussia, and Bryars and Harper suggest that troops whose fathers and grandfathers were veterans of that conflict might have visited the site in celebration: “The defeats of the past had been expunged by the decisive victory in the present.”

(via Kottke)