Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Shopping in Paris

We are happy to be back in Paris. Today we walked from our apartment in the 6th arrondisement to the 2nd arr, 9th arr, and 1st arr. What a fun day of discovery. We were on a quest to go window shopping and discover Belle Epoque covered shopping galleries or passages. These historic shopping arcades were the precursor to our modern shopping malls. 

The Galerie Vero Dodat (1st arr) was built in 1826 and may be one of the most beautiful passages in the city.
The covered passages were developed between the late 18th century and the mid-19th century. Each passage has its own special character. Of the 140 covered passages that were built, twenty or so remain. We discovered five of them today. 

This is the galerie to go to for some really swanky shoes and high end purchases.

Dale checks to see that we are headed the right direction.

The passage du Grand-Cerf (1825) has high ceilings and a glass roof with unique shops.

Eric et Lydie has several  jewellery designers who were originally discovered by Christian Lacroix. Oo la la!
"Pour Vos Beaux Yeux" specializes in vintage eyewear.

The Galerie Vivienne  (1823). The architecture, mosaics and grand statues are truly beautiful. The  shops and restaurants are tres chic.

Mosaic floor is well preserved. Just think, this has been a nice place to shop and pass time on a rainy day in Paris for 192 years!

The Grand Colbert restaurant was close to the stock market (Bourse) and was a lovely place for lunch after several hours of walking and window shopping. 
The name "Le Grand Colbert" was taken from the name of King Louis XIV's famous minister. The building dates from 1637 but was renovated in 1985 to it's former grand Belle Epoque style. 

The Palais Royal is a hidden gem, the gardens, fountain and statues are surrounded by galleries and shops.  A delightful place to sit and read the paper or watch the world go by.

Walking under the trees, into a colonade and out into the entrance of the Comedie Francaise, across the Rue St. Honore and into the Louvre courtyard.

Napoleon built triumphant arches everywhere he went, including this one just in front of the main entrance to the worlds greatest museum, the Louvre.

The Champs Élysées from the Tuileries Gardens to the Arc de Triomphe on a beautiful September day.

Another great day, a long, long walk, and time to call it a wrap!
We have one last day to enjoy Paris. We decided to visit the Decorative Arts Museum housed in the west wing of the Louvre. It contains furniture, interior design, altar pieces, religious paintings, tapestries, wallpaper, ceramics, glassware and objects of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. 
 Complete rooms with original furniture from many historical periods provide a glimpse into how certain people lived.

Chairs were beautiful but are more comfortable today.

The craftsmanship and woodworking skills are fantastic.

Many different artforms from paintings,sculpture,metal work,glass work and fabrics are on display. 

The fine gold and silver, containers and clocks are exquisite and the detail is amazing.

Well, did I say the modern chairs are more comfortable? Maybe not. They are certainly not as beautiful as the three hundred year old armchairs we saw.

After leaving the museum we walked to the Place Vendome to look at the modern day jewels in the windows.  This diamond necklace would be expensive even to an oil sheik, and we saw many ladies, some with bodyguards, who looked like they were on mega shopping trips with petro dollars to spend.

great last day in Paris.  Now, where do we eat our last meal?

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