Tag Archives: sightseeing

Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris – Part Two

In this second part of our visit to the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris, today we’ll take a peek at some of the LARGE items that are displayed within the converted medieval priory portion of this extraordinary museum.

Designed to mimic the shape of a bat’s wings, this very early airplane by Clement Ader was designed between 1893 and 1897. The very fragile piece of engineering is suspended from the rather ornate ceiling inside the stairwell.

 

Very early aeroplane (airplane) designed by Clement Ader between 1893-1897

Very early aeroplane (airplane) designed by Clement Ader between 1893-1897


 
Ornate staircase in the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.

Ornate staircase in the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.


 
The high vaulted ceilings and ornate arches of the old church create the most impressive of the exhibition spaces. It’s quite stunning to walk into this vast area and look up to see several vintage airplaces hanging from the ceiling. On the floor below are old steam engines in a variety of sizes.
 
Planes above, trains below, automobiles in tiered racks on the side.

Planes above, trains below, automobiles in tiered racks on the side.


 
On the side of the large chapel are several levels of metal platforms, reached by stairs, which contain a variety of vintage automobiles — all perched high above the ground floor below. It could be a bit of a challenge for anyone with vertigo!
 
Vintage cars on suspended racks high above the floor below.

Vintage cars on suspended racks high above the floor below.


 
A timeless glimpse into the past.

A timeless glimpse into the past.


 
Hope you have enjoyed a peek at this wonderful museum which should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list when they visit Paris.

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Totally Terrific Toulouse — Part 2

Today’s highlights are a walk through the streets of the ‘Pink City’ of Toulouse in the Midi-Pyrenees. It was a cold and wintery 3 days there, so you’ll notice that there is very little in the way of blue skies!

Today’s post shows you a few glimpses of the Rue du Taur area with its charming pink brick buildings, narrow streets, wrought iron details, and medieval history.

The origins of the Rue du Taur are actually rather grim! This was the street where St Saturnin, first Bishop of Toulouse, was tied by the ankles to a charging bull and then dragged to his death at the instigation of the pagan priests who were headquartered at the site of the current Capitole plaza.

The basilica of St. Sernin (St. Saturnin) is the large cluster of buildings at the top of the Rue du Taur and it is all that remains of a formerly vast abbey complex.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site Basilica of St. Sernin (St. Saturnin) in Toulouse, France.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Basilica of St. Sernin (St. Saturnin) in Toulouse, France.


 

Shoppers on Rue du Saur in Toulouse, France.

Shoppers on Rue du Saur in Toulouse, France.


 

A slight curve in a narrow road filled with soft pink-coloured brick buildings in Toulouse, France.

A slight curve in a narrow road filled with soft pink-coloured brick buildings in Toulouse, France.


 

Man sitting on a bollard in front of the Notre Dame du Taur church entry reading a guidebook.

Man sitting on a bollard in front of the Notre Dame du Taur church entry reading a guidebook.

 

Clad in a full fur coat and fur hat, a woman bustles through the shopping district on Rue du Taur in Toulouse, France.

Clad in a full fur coat and fur hat, a woman bustles through the shopping district on Rue du Taur in Toulouse, France.


 

Our journey down the Rue du Taur ends as the street opens up into the vast plaza in front of the the Capitole de Toulouse, a government and arts complex covering over 2 hectares (4.4 acres) right in the heart of Toulouse and rebuilt in the 1700s-1800s in the same spot as the original Roman Capitolium.

 

Rue du Taur terminates at the vast plaza containing the Capitole in Toulouse, France.

Rue du Taur terminates at the vast plaza containing the Capitole in Toulouse, France.

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The plaza in front of the Capitole building in Toulouse is frequently crowded with both tourists and local residents.

The plaza in front of the Capitole building in Toulouse is frequently crowded with both tourists and local residents.

 

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Totally Terrific Toulouse — Part 1

 
Stepping into the time machine a bit, here’s a bit of reporting on the lovely city of Toulouse in the Midi-Pyrenees of France. We spent several days there this year to celebrate my birthday and I thought I’d share some images from that trip over the next few posts.

The Musee des Augustins is housed in a large former Augustinian monastery built in 1309. The former home of 200 monks during the Middle Ages, this is a truly beautiful conversion of a set of buildings into museum space. Cloistered walkways surround a central courtyard and sweeping stairways take you to galleries on two levels. These contain architectural remnants dating back to medieval times, elegant sculpture, and several large rooms of paintings.

 

Entry to the Musee Des Augustins, the fine arts museum in Toulouse.

Entry to the Musee des Augustins, the fine arts museum in Toulouse.

 

Medieval tower of the former Augustinian monastery.

Medieval tower of the former Augustinian monastery.

 

The small but elegant courtyard garden of the Musee des Augustins.

The small but elegant courtyard garden of the Musee Des Augustins.

 

Cloistered walkways surround the garden courtyard.

Cloistered walkways surround the garden courtyard.

 

Historic gargoyles on display along the cloister walk.

Historic gargoyles on display along the cloister walk.

 

The wonderful collection of gargoyles seen above was salvaged from another convent/monastery from the 1300s, the Couvent des Cordeliers, prior to its destruction and preserved here in Toulouse. These gargoyles are now displayed on pedestals beneath the covered roofline of the cloister walkways.

Did you note the distinctly pinkish tones of the bricks that the monastery is constructed of? Toulouse has long been known as the ‘Pink City’ for just that reason.

Part 2 coming soon!

 

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©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
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