12 days in Spain & 4 days in Paris- 9/12/14- 9/9/28/14

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Arrival-Dinner at Afaria

Breakfast/Notre Dame/Le Marais

Lunch at La Régalade

Père Lachaise/Shopping/Dinner at Pho 14

Le jardin du Luxembourg

Paris Day 2- Breakfast at Le petit Lux - 9/25/2014

Le petit Lux is a small bakery/Salon de Thé located in the Montparnasse neighborhood that served the best pain au raisins.

Our hotel is within distance from Le Petit Lux and we found ourselves going back each morning to have breakfast there.


 The place is cozy and their coffee is really good.  All the pastries & breads are baked fresh every day and they are so delicious!

We loved it here so much that we came back 3 days in a row for breakfast and the owner started to get to know us but then we had to leave again...


French butter is also delicious with a piece of freshly baked piece of bread... Heaven!

They just finished baking a batch of bread freshly out of the oven (look at the right corner of the picture). 


All the paintings on the wall are for sale and they from an American couple leaving in Paris.


Touring Paris-5th Arrondissement

After breakfast we walked all the way to the 5th arrondissement and we stopped by Rue du Clos Bruneau.

Just showing Minh and Loan the apartment that my mom and I we used to live on the 2nd floor in a tiny studio from 1975 to 1976. 

It looks like they re-paved the alley and they also fixed the facade of the building.


Then we walked to Notre Dame de Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral is arguably the most stunning and famous gothic cathedral in the world.  Conceived in the 12th century and completed in the 14th, Notre Dame Cathedral was the very heartbeat of medieval Paris. After a period of neglect, it recaptured the popular imagination when 19th-century writer Victor Hugo immortalized it in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".


Above the 3 arched porticos you can see a line of small individually crafted statues serving as column supports and water spouts.

Check out the famous gargoyles designed for water run-off.  They are indeed very scary looking.


Le Marais

Le Marais is one of the most historic sections located in the third and fourth arrondissements of Paris on the right bank of the Seine. Le Marais is also known for its museums, art galleries, synagogues, among other things. Le Marais is a former swamp area occupied as of the twelfth century by religious orders (the Templars), who set up institutions. In the early seventeenth century, following the construction of the Place des Vosges, became the residence of the Parisian nobility. Many mansions were built such as the hotel de Sully (which you will see later on) and many of them remain today. The mid-eighteenth century the area was deserted by the Paris elite in favor of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Faubourg Saint-Germain that offer more room.  Today Le Marais has become a fashionable district, home to many trendy restaurants, fashion houses, and hip galleries.

Saint-Paul Village: Antique Shopping and History

 The Village Saint-Paul is a series of four connecting courtyards that run parallel to the rue Saint-Paul.

The covered passageways will bring you into a series of quiet, interconnected courtyards known as the Saint-Paul Village.


In 1970, much of the village was still without running water, and serious hygiene problems led to major renovations.

The village of Saint Paul has a wonderful mix of ancient building and we felt like we are going back in time.


Art galleries, fine antiques, food shops, and artisan boutiques selling unique home decorations can be found here.

Today, antique dealers and collectors count the Village Saint-Paul as one of the best spots in Paris for finding treasures of historical importance.

Even if you are not interested in buying antiques you should look around. 

Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church

 St. Paul-St.-Louis Church located at 99 Rue Saint-Antoine which is one of the old Roman roads in Paris and a main artery in the Marais.    St. Paul-St.-Louis Church was built from 1627 to 1641 by the Jesuit architects on the orders of Louis XIII of France.

The church Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis was originally dedicated to just one saint, St. Louis. In 1797 the church of Saint-Paul, located nearby in the rue St. Paul, was demolished and the two parishes were amalgamated. In 1802 the clock of the St. Paul church was placed into the facade of the St. Louis church, which was subsequently renamed in honor of both St. Paul and St. Louis.

The Church is one of the oldest examples of Jesuit architecture in Paris. The Jesuit style features classical elements such as corinthian pillars and heavy ornamentation.

 The church was pillaged and damaged during the 1789 Revolution. St.-Paul-Saint-Louis briefly served as a "Temple of Reason" under the Revolutionary government, which banned traditional religion. Though many artifacts were stolen from the church during the Revolution, some important works were spared.

Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine

The Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine was built in the 13th century in honor of Saint Catherine. The French had made a vow to Sainte Catherine to erect a church here if they won the Battle of Bouvines. King Louis IX placed the first stone in what was known then as the Valley of the Ecoliers. The convent of Sainte Catherine of the Val-des-Ecoliers was destroyed in the 18th century and replaced by the market in the year 1777.

The Square

The square is small (about 350 feet) is surrounded on three sides by restaurants, with lots of restaurant tables on the sidewalks facing the square. 

The square was made pedestrian-only last century and it  is really charming!  I can only image how fun this place must be in the summer.

With its cafes and trees offering shade, this quiet square in Marais is reminiscent of the tranquil market squares in provincial towns in the south of France.


Hôtel de Béthune-Sully

The Hôtel de Béthune-Sully was a Hotel Particulier (private Mansion) and it is also one of the most beautiful private mansions in Paris. 

Located at the heart of the Marais, this 17th century monument was home to Henry IV's minister, Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully who gave the building its name.

In 1862 the Hôtel de Béthune-Sully was listed as a historic monument. In 1944 it was purchased by the State, restoration began right away, and it was completed in 1973.

In 2000 it became the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (Center for National Monuments), which manages over a hundred national monuments and publishes books on national heritage.

Entering from rue Saint Antoine - Renaissance neo-classic and early baroque architecture.

There are two courtyards, the first of these courtyards is paved with cobble stones, and the second has a nice quiet grassy area and garden, and the great news is that both of these are open to the public. This is the first one with twin sphinxes face each other at the foot of the staircase.


Here you can see the through the second courtyard leading to the Orangerie garden (you will see details later).


Entering the 2nd court yard facing Rue Saint Antoine ( in front of the building is the garden) -Magnificent cobblestone-paved front courtyard with beautiful sculptures.


On top is a series features a celebrated series of sculptures representing the four elements (water, fire, earth, wind) and the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall).


This the Orangerie garden located on the 2nd courtyard features a classical formal garden.

The four lawns are ornately hedged and there are several benches here for resting and to enjoy this 17th century courtyard.

The buildings form a square around the courtyard, with the side facing the street known as the court side (housing the servants, kitchen, etc) and the side farthest away from the street known as the garden side house the master and mistress of the house (on different floors), with a view of the garden and it is farthest away form the noisy streets.


Look on the right-side there is a small door with people entering and exiting is a passage leading to  Place des Vosges.


Hoa and I checking out how to get from here to our next stop which is rue des Vosges.


 Walking under the covered galleries leading out from the Hôtel de Sully.


Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges is the oldest square and it is considered by many to be the most beautifully built square in Paris.  Originally known as "The royal palace" was built by Henry IV, extending the work from 1605 to 1612. 

The square was renamed after the French Revolution in tribute to the north-east region of Vosges, bordering Germany and Luxembourg, which was the first to pay taxes imposed by the new government Place des Vosges epitomizes the classic French style and is a unique example of seventeenth century architecture.

Place des Vosges is structured around two pavilions, that of the Queen at the north part of the square, and that of the King at the south part. They are not open to the public.


The small park in the center of the square is one of the few places in Paris where you can sit on the grass.  Yes it is not like in the U.S., Lawn are protected and people are not supposed to walk on it.

A statue of Louis XIII was erected in the square, then destroyed in 1792 after the fall of the monarchy and it was replaced by an octagonal fountain.


Close look at the fountain.


Next... Metro/Lunch at La Régalade



Our house


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 Mon  petit coin