Les Journees du Patrimoine is an annual weekend event in September throughout France where many private and government buildings are open to the public. In Paris the Elysee Palace, the Hotel de Ville, and many foreign embassies are among a list of over 100 buildings one can visit for free.
One year I was lucky enough to get into the Hotel de Ville but in later years the crowds have taken over and there are long waits to get into the popular sites. I was giving a St. Germain tour with three sisters from the U.S. on the Saturday of Les Journees du Patrimoine. After we strolled through Luxembourg Gardens we passed the Luxembourg Palace and I noticed there wasn’t a line to get in. Curious to see why, we walked towards the end of the two block barricade and discovered there really was no line. Feeling as though it was my lucky day and I had won the jackpot, we walked right into the palace, with minimal wait time because of the high security. I was also happy that my clients were game like I was and realized what a rare treat this was.
The Luxembourg Palace started construction 1615 and was built for the widow of King Henry IV, Marie de Medici. It was completed in 1625 but Maria de Medici only lived in the palace till 1631. Today the former palace is the French Senat.
The visit encompassed a series of buildings including L’Hotel de la Presidence/Le Petit Luxembourg. The smaller buildings had the private offices of some of the senators including the sumptuously decorated office of Gerard Larcher, President of the Senat plus the Queen’s chapel. We were in awe with our mouths gaping open as we passed through the main libraries, the sweeping marble staircases, the Queen’s former bedroom, Salon Victor Hugo, and the gold encrusted conference hall.
The highlight of the visit was the main conference hall, a stunning theater like room designed by Alphonse de Gisors, constructed between 1836 and 1841. The side paintings by Merry-Joseph Blondell represent the crowning of Philippe le Long and Louis XIII and also Charlemagne and Saint Louis.
After being completely dazzled by the splendor and opulence of the Luxembourg Palace we took a nice lunch break at a café on St. Sulpice Square.
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
Each 6” X 4.25” traditional size postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image.
Only $60 for a 6 month subscription (plus shipping)or
$110 for a 12-month subscription (plus shipping)
My offer of a 12-month subscription with an extra month free is good until October 11, so remember to order now before the offer ends.
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $210)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.