Wednesday 25 September 2013

The Tunnel de Napoléon

The last thing you expect to see when visiting a site during the annual Journées du Patrimoine is a dead rat, but then the Tunnel de Napoléon is not a typical heritage site. 

The tunnel is the second place linked to Napoléon III I visited during the weekend, but it has very few similarities with the Cité Napoléon. Whereas that site, an experiment in social housing, was concerned largely with the hygienist ideals of light and air, this storage tunnel near the Parc de Bercy is tenebrous and fetid. But it is also apparently worth preserving.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

The Cité Napoléon

The recent Journées du Patrimoine (heritage days) event gave me the opportunity to explore two places usually closed to the public - both of which are linked to Napoléon III.

The first, the Cité Napoléon is the better-known of the two. Situated on the Rue Rochechouart in the 9th arrondissement, it was the first attempt to create decent housing for the working classes in Paris. 

Friday 6 September 2013

Place Fréhel: the Missing Tooth on the Rue de Belleville

The Place Fréhel, I recently discovered, is an excellent example of a 'dent creuse.' The Place is a mysterious little parcel of land with some interesting stories to tell, but this additional piece of poetry is both pleasing and apt.
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