Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Miscellany of History

You can barely walk down the street in these parts without encountering a piece of history.  Little memorials, plaques stuck to the side of buildings, brass markers seem to be everywhere, almost as ubiquitous as that other stuff on the sidewalk (although I think I've already said quite enough about that) and absolutely more welcome.  Here are a just a few of the little bits of history I've encountered lately.

In Parc Monceau, the spot where in October 1797, Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the world's first parachute jump.

On my monthly hike outside of Paris, a small plaque noting the residence of the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in the charming little town of Samois sur Seine.

Carved inscription on a building of no particular importance today indicating the spot where the young Louis XIII was made king after the assassination of Henri IV.  He was only eight at the time; his mother Marie de Medici served as regent until he reached majority at the age of 13.

A marker designating a building on rue des Colonnes, one of the few buildings constructed in Paris during the Revolution. This arcade preceded, but surely inspired, the one now present on the rue de Rivoli.  The decorative work on the capitals is unlike anything else you'll find in Paris.


JoeinVegas said...

Thank you for finding these - interesting things to look for when walking around.

Starman said...

Love Django Reinhardt. I got a great deal on a couple of his CDs last time I was there.

Melissa said...

I love this aspect of French cities! Since we don't have much history in America I think we really appreciate it in Europe, way more than the Europeans who take it for granted.

Anonymous said...

I love the little bits of history around - there's always something to read while you're waiting for a lunch date or even the metro. :)

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