Week 3- le vent et la pluie et le Panthéon

Looking back on this week I think about the rain (ughh another week of rain) and the wind! It’s been crazy (mad- for all you PA people) windy the last couple days. And cold. I’m missing my 100 degrees! The weather is supposed to be better after tomorrow. Finally…

Wednesday I went to the Cluny museum with my Art History class. It’s located in the 5th Arrondissement which is the Latin Quarter. It’s officially called Le Musée du Moyens-Ages (Middle Ages museum) and part of the building is a Roman Bath still standing from the 2nd/3rd centuries AD. It’s literally just kind of ruined stone structure surrounded by a fence. There’s an open air kind of lobby as you enter the museum between the old and new buildings and the architecture is just amazing. Going to this museum was a nice change from the Louvre since it was quiet and less populated. We saw a lot of Christian themed art. I particularly like the stained glass room; the stained glass windows are all in one room on display on a lit background (like an x-ray light thing) so, while you can’t see the pieces in their original place with the architecture, you can see the details of each piece of glass and each scene depicted.
After class, some friends and I walked around to find a place to eat. While walking, we ran into La Sorbonne!

We ended up eating lunch at a very modern pasta/salad restaurant which was very well priced! We all decided to make our own pasta (type of pasta, sauce, 3 ingredients) and there was an option of a set menu of the make your own pasta, 2 desserts, and coffee…all for 16 euros! We went for it; too much food. I was sooo full afterwards. For dessert I ordered this fruit-crumble thing (sooo good) and a profiterole (kinda dissapointing). Scrumdidilyumptous!

I had planned on going to Le Panthéon since it’s just down the street so after lunch I left the group and went that direction. I ran into La Place de La Sorbonne. So pretty! There was also a whole row of people giving massages in lawn chairs…

I wanted to inside the Sorbonne and look around…see the classrooms ya know? But there were guards at every entrance. So I just kept trekking through the streets to get to the Panthéon (there were deff some sketchy side streets) and just when I was getting concerned that I was lost and I would need to pull out my map…Voilà I turned the corner and saw this ginormous building!

So the Panthéon was built by Louis XV as a way to honor St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, and who he attributed his recovery from a serious illness. The architect, Jacques-Germain Soufflot, was trying to outshine the church of St. Peter in Rome and constructed the building in a neo-classical style. There was so much history involving this building in France; it was turned into the national Panthéon in 1791 and then for two perios in the 19th century it was used as a church, and then it finally became a secular monument with the funeral of Victor Hugo. Essentially, it’s a giant, pretty, cross-shaped, building to house “the great men of France”. I’ve come to learn that the French love their dead people. There is a crypt underground which houses Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Emile Zola, Marie Curie, Alexendre Dumas, and Jean Moulin, among others. Also underground is a wing devoted to the building’s history, which as I’ve mentioned, is extensive. On the main floor, there a huge murals on the walls of all 4 wings. In the center, a pendulum hangs from the very top of the dome. It was installed by phsycist Léon Foucault in 1851 to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. It was removed when the monument was used religiously and then restored in 1905 with the passing of the law that separates Church from State. Also in the center, there are 4 statues depicting different values or war scenes/generals. You can also go up to the top level of the Panthéon and see a 360 degree view of Paris. It was so pretty and quant up there. And windy. But I went on the one nice day we had so I was grateful for the sunshine as I looked upon the streets of Paris. Next door to the Panthéon is the Church of St. Genviève, so she is not completely forgotton! And at the front of the monument is a round about which houses the Mayor’s office and the Sorbonne Law School. Such pretty big buildings!! So much grandiosity in one place!

Thursday I was back at the Louvre for class. It was a continuation of Medieval Art and it is such a secluded area of the museum!! We first started by learning about the history of the Louvre building itself. Quite interesting. And you can walk through part of the original building built wayyy long ago. After class I met up with Jake who was in Paris with his friends from Italy for the weekend! Yay for Greenhill alums! We had lunch on the Champs-Elysées and then hung out around Campuséa. For dinner, Indra and I went to Le Relais Entrecôte, a steak restaurant, in Montparnasse. It was amazing! Soooo good. It is also right across the street from Le Select and La Coupole which is where Hemingway and Fitzgerald hung out etc. Very touristy nowadays.

Friday for French class we went to a fromagerie and learned about cheese! We got some samples. I enjoy goat cheese. I do not enjoy blue cheese…

Unfortunately, due to the cheeses I would say, I left my camera and notebook there 😦 luckily I retrieved it the next day but it was a bit stressful.
Saturday, I slept in a little and then left to get my cam in Montparnasse before heading back to the Jardin Des Tuileries to meet Jake for lunch. This route required me to head west and then back up north but with the metro system I was like passing the Jardin and then turning around. Anyways, it was a lot of metro time. I got to the fromagerie at 2:00…it was closed. Turns out it’s closed from 1:00-4:00. So I went back and met Jake at the garden. We had lunch at the same café I had lunch at before. It was nice and pretty but kinda rainy and cold. After lunch we went back to Montparnasse to get my camera. Success! We then walked around till we got to the street where my prof. pointed out were the best crepes. We deciced to eat at a restaurant called Les Crepes de Bretonne. Since crepes come from Brittany (Bretagne) my prof said this restaurant was the best! Nothing beats a chocolate and banana crepe with an orangina!
Jake and I parted ways for a little bit as we met up with friends but then he joined Jessica, Indra, and I at an oyster bar near St. Germain-des-Près in the 6th arrondissement. It was probably the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been in…14 seats! We got there right as it opened so that we could get a table. And I had oysters for the first time! Yummy! And very fancy. We then walked around searching for dessert. We stopped in a chocolatier and bought some macaroons and then found a creperie.
Jess and me with our oysters and shrimp!

Greenhill in Paris!

We ended up walking to the Jardin de Luxembourg as it was closing. So we said goodbye to Jake and right before we got on the metro…boom! The Panthéon made another appearance!

Today I stayed in and did homework. I was (and still am) far behind so it was necessary.
Tomorrow I have class at Notre-Dame and Ste. Chappelle so I’ll be hanging out in the Latin Quarter!

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