Is THIS the perfect Post? It definitely meets Becky’s criteria of a squared circle. It has been such fun searching through my archives for these photos and I have started seeing squares and circles everywhere. Thanks to Becky I have become somewhat addicted to the square format and even altered my camera settings to 1:1 so you will be seeing a lot more squares on my blogs.
Thank you Becky for a fun month 🙂
And thanks to everyone who has kindly liked and commented on all my posts. It is very much appreciated.
A city where it is impossible not to look at what is beneath your feet is Lisbon, Portugal. The endless intricate patterns of the cream and black cobbles automatically draw your eyes down. Known as calçada (Portuguese Pavements) some, like the wave pattern above and below in Praca Dom Pedro IV Square (Rossio), can even interfere with your balance and make people look as though they are floating above the pavement.
Arch to Praca do Comércio
Belem Wave pattern
Belem Astrological Sign – Gemini
In Belém coloured marble is used with the flat cobbles to create patterns and pictures including a map of the world depicting the voyages that Portuguese explorers made during the Age of Discovery.
I had come across references to “Les Passages” in a Paris guidebook and decided to take a closer look at them during my last visit to “The City of Light”. So on a very wet and chilly spring day I set off on my Passages Walk. Between the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Right Bank included a network of 140 covered passageways – the fashionable shopping arcades of the time. In a city without sewers, pavements or sheltered walkways, these arcades allowed shoppers to stroll from one boutique to another protected from the filth of the city streets. Today there are fewer than 30 left, some well-preserved with their original mosaic floors and neoclassical decoration. It was time to check them out and find out what it was like living in 19th century Paris.
Starting from the Metro station Palais-Royal I headed east on Rue Saint-Honoré towards Place Colette and then turned left into Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau to enter the Galerie du Passage Véro Dodat. This is one of the prettiest and oldest passages, built in 1823. It has mahogany panelling and an old-fashioned floor of chequered black and white tiles, Corinthian columns and gas globe fittings (which have been converted to electricity). There are 38 identical boutiques with narrow arched windows surrounded by gilt edging including the beautiful window display of musical instruments in Luthier. Don’t forget to look up at the ceiling either as you will be rewarded with beautiful gilt framed 19th century murals.
Retracing my steps towards the Louvre I took a detour through the Louvre des Antiquaires as it had started to rain heavily. It is a most extraordinary store of antiquities on three levels, with goods ranging from Eastern carpets to Baccarat crystal and delicate Sevres tea sets to incredibly ornate porcelain decorated grand pianos. A very interesting complex to while a way a few rainy hours, but definitely not a place to take children! Being a little too expensive for my pockets (and anyway, where would I put that enormous baby grand?) I exited onto Place Colette and retraced my steps towards the Comedie-Francaise (interesting metro design) next to the Palais-Royal with its Revolutionary history (another story entirely) and entered the Jardin du Palais Royal where elegant 18th century arcades (1786) surround a very peaceful garden. Although not strictly passageways they are considered to be the prototype of what was to come. Continue reading Walking the Right Bank Passages in Paris