Our last day in Paris

IMG_2111

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brassiere Lipp, the Left Bank, Paris

We are headed to London later today on the Eurostar.  After packing, we decided to return to Saint-Germain to have lunch and to see the Abbey Church.  We rode through this area a couple of days ago on the hop-on/hop-off bus.

IMG_2065

Photo ©Jean Janssen

IMG_2063

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Abbey Church of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris, as it is today.

The Saint-Germain district of the city in Paris’ 6th arrondissement was home to existentialist movement in the 40s and 50s and it the current home to the Ecoles des Beaux-Arts, the famous school of fine arts.  We started with a visit to the cultural center of this area of Paris on the Left Bank, the Church at Saint-Germain de Pres.  Founded in the 6th Century, the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, sits just beyond the outskirts of early medieval Paris.  In medieval times, the Left Bank of Paris was prone to flooding from the Seine, so much of the land could not be built upon. The Abbey stood in the middle of meadows, or prés in French.

IMG_2068

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Church at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris

IMG_2074

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Church at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris

The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was the burial place of Merovingian kings of Neustria.  The Abbey has seen its tragedies.   During the French Revolution all the Abbey priests were killed.  “An explosion of saltpeter in storage levelled the Abbey and its cloisters, but the church was spared… in a [later] fire in 1794 the library vanished in smoke.” The church was actually hit by a German artillery cell in 1918 and people inside the church were killed.

IMG_2078

Photo ©Jean Janssen The Church of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2087

Photo ©Jean Janssen The Church of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2092

Photo ©Jean Janssen The Church of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

The abbey church remains as the Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, one of the oldest churches in Paris.  It is exceptionally beautiful.  There are some very remarkable tombs to be seen inside and the glass work and decorated columns and ceiling are particularly lovely.

IMG_2104

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The church at the Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2081

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The church at the Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2075

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The church at the Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2097

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The church at the Abbey of Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

We emerged from the church in time for our lunch reservations.  There are many famous cafes in the area.  Two of Boris’ favorites are Cafe de Flore and Brasserie Lipp, both right next to the church.  On one trip we had lunch in one and then crossed the street to have a drink at the other.  One of the things that made this area of Paris popular were the annual fairs which began in the Middle Ages.  It was at one such fair that the first cafe was started.  When the fair moved on, the proprietor made the establishment permanent.  And so it began.

IMG_2108

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

IMG_2109

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

Today Boris has chosen Brasserie Lipp for his final “timeless” Paris restaurant destination (5 of 5).  One of the oldest brasseries in Paris, Boris loves this place because of the literary connections.  Brasserie Lipp was a favorite of Earnest Hemingway (he along with William Faulkner are Boris’ two favorite authors) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (my favorite author).  One of Boris’ favorite stories about this brasserie is when Faulkner saw James Joyce eating but was too shy to say anything.  Boris wishes the two of them had sat down and had a conversation.

IMG_2113

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

IMG_2110

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

We started with champagne cocktails and added lunch fare and dessert.  We had a noon lunch so we could make our train and it was pretty empty (again we are ahead of most of the locals) while we were there.  I was underwhelmed with our seats, but we had a terrific waiter who had been there a long time.  That along with the wonderful food and drinks made the meal memorable.

IMG_2112

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

IMG_2114

Photo ©Jean Janssen. Boris at the Brasserie Lipp, Saint-Germain de Pres.

We will catch the Eurostar this afternoon and be in London this evening.  Once we arrive there it is mostly work for Boris.  I get to play.  I am going to see quite a few shows.  I have done enough shopping in Paris, so I am cutting myself off in London.  Its been a wonderful birthday trip for Boris.  Glad to have shared this with him.  Until London…Natasha.

IMG_2071

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Abbey Church, Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2106

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Abbey Church, Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

IMG_2088

Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Abbey Church, Saint-Germain de Pres, Paris.

 

 

IMG_2075

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
This entry was posted in international and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s