We purchased our Navigo Decouverte transport card for the week (E23.75 including the E5 cost of the card). This means we need to make about 22 trips on public transport to better the cost of buying a carnet of tickets at E1.10 each. We shall see.
The chateau is quite a fortress with a tall donjon and encircling walls, a pretty chapel and some renaissance wings that were not open to visit. E8.00 to see the donjon and chapel with a small printed leaflet included. Nothing is furnished but there are explanatory signs in many of the rooms about their past uses, including as both castle and prison.
The donjon and walls
The rose and tracery
The soaring chapel based on Sainte Chapelle in Paris
The vaulting and boss, beautifully restored
The chapel is empty. It has six nave windows that were destroyed by a storm and they have just been replaced with a formal patterned stained glass. The magnificent apse windows are of the Apocalypse and will be restored shortly. The stonework and vaulting inside has also been restored and is plain except around the peak of the vaulting where the bosses are elaborated with painting. Very lovely indeed.
The donjon was a challenge as the stairs spiral up and up and up, but we took it slowly and visited all the rooms. The room the king used as his study was quite tiny and plain, just a fireplace and a niche for his books and some treasure. He was a learned man and had books copied, reading each day and taking counsel from experts as required.
Back into town and we visited the Palais Royal again. I had not seen the pretty gardens which were very restful with their arcades of trees, fountain and gardens for sitting in, plus a nice cafe on the edges that looked very Parisienne. I suggested lunch at Angelinas, famed for its chocolate, but when we got there (further than I thought) the queues were long. We grabbed a bite nearby but returned later just to buy something, both choosing a rather decadent chocolate sweet.
Courtyard, Palais Royal
The beautiful colonnade
A very Parisienne cafe in the garden
Goodies at Angelinas
One of the fountains at Concorde
Grand vista down the Champs Elysees
The Luxor obelisk and instructions on how to transport an obelisk should you need
The Paris Meridian and the marker at the obelisk
In particular we finally saw the small Statue of Liberty, given to France by America as a thank-you for the original, the tethered balloon which rises from the site of the old Citroen factory and the church of St Christopher, built by the parish and assisted by Citroen, from iron and pre-cast concrete panels, beautifully and very softly lit inside and with walls covered with paintings done in coloured wax on fabric.
The Paris Greeter program allowed us to see an area we would not have otherwise experienced from someone who was passionate about “her” Paris. Very worthwhile.
The softly glowing St Christopher’s church
Later, we revisited the Marmottan Museum, famed for its Impressionist paintings. I enjoy the feel of being in a sumptuous house here and the paintings upstairs were beautifully displayed but the Impressionists usually in the huge basement rooms had given way to an exhibition about the Dufy brothers, Jean and Raoul. It was unexpected but we made the most of it. I enjoyed particularly the seaside ones in joyful shades of blues and the parallels that were drawn by the curator between their works even though they were often estranged. No pictures of course.
Still to come: Visiting the covered passageways and dinner at Guy Savoy.