Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Cool Stuff article: Fake doorway on Rue Chapon


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Awesome view in a Louvre bathroom

Haha, oh man, check out this awesome view that reader Zelda Greenstein found in a Louvre bathroom.
Zelda says, "Manning- I got so much great stuff from your blog I wanted to share this quirky picture that I took. Thought you might appreciate it. I was in a bathroom on - I think - the second floor of the Louvre. It is a single room toilet in between the painting galleries. And these are the pictures I took. enjoy."

I don't know art, but I know what I like! Thanks, Zelda!

Pixel monster hunting in Paris — part 6

If, in your Paris wanderings, you've perhaps glanced up once or twice, you've probably seen a few pixel art mosaics, usually in the form of little low-res aliens, like something out of a 1980s arcade game. I've always really enjoyed spotting these things, mentally cataloguing my favorites, pointing them out to friends, et cetera, so a couple years ago I started taking pictures of them whenever I happened to notice one... Read more

Part 6 of 6. (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Cool Stuff article: Paris' coat of arms

Did you know the symbol of Paris is a boat? Weird, huh? The explanation I've read in a million places and heard from a million people is almost too simple to be true: they say the Île de la Cité, which is the center of Paris and where the city was founded, is generally boat-shaped, and it's sitting on the Seine, so, boom, the boat is the symbol of Paris. Good enough for me! This boat symbol mixed with some other imagery makes up the coat of arms of Paris, which is on buildings all over town... Read more

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sainte Geneviève statue on the Pont de la Tournelle

In all my years in Paris, I'd noticed this very impressive statue on the Pont de la Tournelle many times but never knew what it was all about. After taking these two pictures a while back, I finally just now remembered to look it up, and I learned that this is a statue of Sainte Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. The statue was constructed in the 20th century, and when you get a good look you can see how relatively new and clean it is, but despite the fact that it's visibly a recent work I've always thought it had very somber, heavy, almost ancient look about it. Now I realize this may be owing at least partly to the fact that it's a monument to a 6th-century saint. I've always really liked this statue and I'm glad to have finally found out what the heck it is.

I took these pictures from the Pont de Sully, facing west toward the Pont de la Tournelle. Pont de la Tournelle connects l'Île Saint-Louis with the left bank. And that's (obviously!) Notre Dame in the background there.

I wish I had a better camera that could really zoom in close! You can click the photo at right to see a somewhat zoomed-in view of the statue.

Incidentally, the statue was made by Paul Maximilien Landowski, a Polish-French monument sculptor whose best-known work is that big ol' Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

If you're interested, Sainte Geneviève's tomb is in a church called Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, near the Panthéon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Medieval houses on Rue François-Miron

While wandering around the Marais, make sure to take a detour over to Rue François-Miron to get a glimpse of these two gorgeous medieval houses. They really stand out when you see them in the context of all the plain gray/white 19th-century buildings that run up and down that street.

Here, I translated the Histoire de Paris sign for ya:

Houses from the Middle Ages

Medieval houses are very rare in Paris. These two on Rue François-Miron, with the sign of the Reaper for number 11 and the sign of the Sheep for number 13, are recorded in the early sixteenth century and could date, in their original state, from the fourteenth century. Since 1508, royal decrees prohibited new construction with projecting parts that might collapse and cause accidents in the street. Therefore the protruding gable of number 13 was shortened in the seventeenth century. It was rebuilt in 1967 during the restoration of both houses.

In 1607, an order was issued to cover the exposed wooden framework of the buildings with plaster in order to prevent fire hazards. The architect removed the wooden beams and then put them back according to the houses' original design.

(If you're into this kind of thing, there are a couple other medieval houses up on Rue Volta, near the Musée des Arts et Métiers.)

Danger de mort

"Glass roof; access forbidden. Danger of death." This glass roof is just behind the weird fountain near the Centre Pompidou with all the big ugly colorful sculptures in it. It's not often you see a skull used to denote, like, actual death. 99% of skulls you see these days are on t-shirts or other fashionable items. Two hundred years ago, 99% of the skulls you saw meant either poison or pirates. I don’t know why I find that so interesting.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Cobra Snake!

Hooboy, don't ask me. (But, like, we're in agreement that's an alligator, right?)

Copyright 2013 Cool Stuff in Paris. All rights reserved.
Home | Contact | Privacy Policy