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France, Paris IX. – Royal Walk to the River

Published: 23.7.2014
Rue de Rivoli, a busy street left us with several interesting experiences. Touch of history represented by the St Jacob’s tower or beautiful architecture of an Art Deco shopping mall. Full of energy we headed to the streets of Paris full of sights, this time we visited the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois.

The Symbol of St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre
The church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois we saw on the left side of Rue de Rivoli street. Or more exactly on Place du Louvre square, opposite to the back side of the monumental Louvre museum. Beautiful building with elements of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture attracted us from afar. So we turned Rivoli street, we enjoyed a remarkable and this sacred building. The guidebook told us that it is a Roman Catholic Church , which was dedicated to St. German of Auxerre. Its origins date back to the 7th century. The church served as worship place for the royal family that once lived in the palace standing opposite the Louvre. Interestingly, since 1862, the church is protected as a historical monument.
Kostel Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois
Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois found itself on a brink of destruction for many times. Throughout history, it faced threat of demolition due to unaesthetic appearance or because of the expansion of the Louvre palace. Thanks to symbolism of St. Bartholomew's Night , just when the bells of the church gave the signal to commence the murder of Huguenots (followers of Calvinism), the demolition did not happen and today we can enjoy this beauty in its fullest.
Kostel Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois   Palác Louvre
Police and library
From the church we went to the Louvre next to the banks of the River Seine. Since it was 6 pm, traffic jam peaked, which supplied the city with a kind of spark of life. To our great surprise we have in this tangle of cars saw a police car with lights flashing, that is quite a forward push through without success. The policemen sitting inside (there were 7 of them) respectfully thanked drivers that are trying to avoid. We saw something as this for the first time and maybe the last time. Marked by this experience, we switched to the sidewalk bordering the river. On the other side we could see the view of the historic building with a dome. Only later we learned that it was a Bibliothèque Mazarine which is the oldest public library in France.
Mazarinova knihovna (Bibliothèque Mazarine)
The library was founded from the personal collections of Cardinal Mazarin. During its early years its collection included a whopping 40,000 volumes of books. Over time, of course, the collection expanded and currently the collection consists of 600,000 books . Of this amount, 200,000 books are encyclopedias. Since 1805 the library is part of the French Institute. From its beginning until today it has been opened to the public and can be found here, including the issue of Guttenberg Bible , or pamphlets "Mazarinades". Of course, these and other rare books are available to meet special conditions.
Dopravní zácpa   Paříž – pohled z nábřeží
Our journey concluded with a walk along the river. Our plan for the next daythe National Museum d'Orsay , as well as a cruise on the Seina. There we enjoy a view of Paris little bit differently. We will learn about the beauty of Parisian bridges, and there are many of them.

Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút



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