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Foreign Correspondence

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Adjoining the north side of the Champs Elysees is the Palais de 1' Elysees, soraewhat noted as Jhe residence of Madame de Pompadour in the time of Louis XV., and the last of Napoleon's imperial life was spent there, after which the Duke of Wellington and Eraperor of Russia occupied it, then the Duchess du Berry, and later still the last Napoleon, and is now occupied by the President of the Republic (?). Upon the opposite side and near the Seine is the Palace of Industry, usei in 1855 for the first great " Exhibition " at Paris. It is of immense size, covered with glass and devoied at present to the exhibition of manufactures, agrioultural products, etc, as well as to other less permanent purposes, such as art and picture displays. In the siege of 1870 it was used as a hospital and magazine. We visited the Annual Exhibition of the pictures of Modern Prench Artists hel'd in this building, and were quite surprisod at its vastness and substantial construction. The round point constitutes the western extremity of the Champs Elysees, but fcr a half mile further the grand avenue with its border of shade trees extends to the Arch of Triumph, beyond which continúes, with a slight descent, the avenue of the Grand Arme, reaching to the Kois de Boulougne a half mile further. Crossing the open space of the Place du Concord going eastward we entered the enolosed garded of the Tuüeiies, which, though surrounded by a high picket fence of iron with gilded, opearshaped tops, is yet as free to the public by its several entráñeos aa the unenclosed Champs Elysees, and the lirger portion of which is thickly covered with large trees, perfectly free fiom grass underneath, with nnmerous seats and chairs but without the booths and shows and carriage drives of the latter. An extensive basin, like a niiniature lake, gives the boys a fine chance to sail their tiny ships ; beautiful groups of statuary and fine fountains diversify the scène ; and nearer the now empty exterior walls of the burned palace is a considerable space allotted to choice shrubbery and flowers, the whole formingin connection with the Place du Concord and Champa Elysees, one of the grandest parks in the center of this great eity of which any European capital can boast. The Palace of the Tuileries, so rich in exterior decoration and histori cally so memorable, is now but the shadow of its former splendor, it being one of the great public buildings which the Commune succeeded in almost completely destroying. The whole interior of the north wing and of that part facing the garden, and of a small portion of that next the quai have been burned out, leaving the walls still standing quite entire, but defaced and injured to such an extent as probably to require re-construction for the most part. A work of such inexcusable barbarity that all respect for the authors is swallowed up in our indignation. The palace was founded by Catharine de Medecis and subsequently enlarged, until it was over 1,000 f eet long and 112 feet wide, and its wings extending eastward and met by the more recently extended wings of the new Louvre, enclosed a vast quadrangle about one-third of a mile in length - the portion nearest the Tuileries being called the Place du Carousel, where Louis XIV. in 1662 held a tournament, and where Napoleon in 180G caused the erection of the Arch of Triumph, upon'which he placed the celebrated bronze studs brought froin St. Mark's, Veuice, afterwards restored to he latter city and replaced by the exact copies which now surmount the Arch - the narrower portion of the quadrangle is called the Place Napoleon III., and adjoins the Louvre. The late Emperor having completed this portion of the Louvre, after the original design of his " uncle," caused it to be named after himself. A more splendid line of palaces than those surrounding this immense court is not elsewhere to be found. The interior facades, particularly those of the Louvre, are cxtremely rich in architectural decoration, the niches being filled with copies of the most celebrated ancient statues, and fine reliëfs. The exterior presents a fine effect as seen from the opposite bank oí the Seine, the material boing of a dark limestono, and while inassive and long, is so lar relieved by projections and gables, corner towers and other architectural devices, as to prevent either heaviness or monotony. Well executed statues of the great uien of Prance occupy niches along the the northern facades ; and just now the great catch-words of France, Liberty, etc., are preceded by those words of duubtful signiílcance as yet, " Republique Francaise," in very large capitals upon the facade of the Louvre. In our wanderings about the city notwithstanding the frequent sights of ruin ed buildings, destroyed in nearly every case by the terrible Commune, we have been surprised that they obtrude upon the attention comparitively so little The ruins are generally single buildings the walls of which reiuain quite perfect and in the multiplicity of other edifices just as conspicuouB and of other sight constantly claiming attention these ruin are made less prominent and startling than they really are when doliboratel; surveyed. Besides this, the work of res toration is incessant and in niany case quito complete. Nothing as yet has been done to the Tuileries, and the celebratec Hotel de Ville - about half a mile fur thor up the river - is so far ruined by fir and exploaions as to be quite beyond res toration without utter demolition, anc is by far the saddest spectacle that meet the eye and so conspicuous as to compe attention to its blackened and broken I walls with their once rich entablatur and frieze to its calcined statues and lofty tottering chimneys. The present building of the old Louvre was priucipally constructed undor Francis 1., and the first occupants were Uatharino de Medecis and her son, Charles IX. Since the time of Louis XIV., about 160 years since, it has not been much in use by the various sovereigns, and after being made the depository of the Art treasures acquired during the Italian campaigns of Napoleon L, becarae a permanent museum of the various collections, and its picture galleries are world-renowned. That portion called the old Louvre surrounds to large interior court - the new Louvre being the north and south wings erected by the Napoleons to meet the corresponding wings of the Tuileries. Scarcely an important event in the history of France for neai-ly 400 yeara but has some relation to these noted palaces, and many are the unwritten scènes that have transpirad within their walls duiing this chequered period. Opposite the colonnade of the Louvre, on the east, is the Church St. Germain l'Auxerrois, froni which the signal was given for themassacreof St. Bartholomew night, 1572, and whose bells kept up their solenin death-knell while that terrible work was being done. The west facade is modern and somewhat gaudy with frescoes of scènes from the life of our Saviour. The basin in the south transept, surmounted by a beautiful group ot' angels around a cro3S, was designed by Madame de Lamartine. Passing up the north side of the river, along the always pleasant quai occupied by dealers in flowers and seeds, birds, cats, dogs, etc, we come to the Place Chatelet, as it is called, sometiines known as the Place des Victoiies, Napoleon having here erected a fine fountain and column, in 1807, in comtnenioration of the Victories which are inscribed upon the shaft. Upon its suramit stands a guilt bronze figure of Victory, with hands upraised aa if about to place the wreath she holds upon France. Just in the rear and adjoining this Place is the small garden in which stands the Tower of St. James. It is Gothio in style, 175 feét high, and erected in 1508 as the Campanile to a church which has since been entirely removed. Beneath the arches of the base stands a statue of Pascol. In the garden, so beautiful with flowers and joyous with thelaugh of childhood, many of the victims of the revolution of '71 were interred. Here we generally cross the river upon the Pont au Change to the island " La Cite." The first 'building upon the right s we cross is the" celebrated Conciergerie, O inthnately associated with the terrible evolution of '89, whose dark and gloomy ooking walls and towers look very well dapted to the purposes for which it has lways been used. The room in which Marie Antoinette was confined after the xecution of her husband, and from which she was taken to the guilotine, ïas been converted into the the sacristy f a Chapel, and a black marble tablet is nscribed to her memory with some acount of her imprisonment for 7G days. 'he Palace of Justice adjoins the prison. Of the ancient edifice tüe four towers only remain all else is modern having jeen several times destroyed by fire and s now but just being completely restored after its destruction by the Commune wo years ago. The soveral courts oi íassation, Appeal, Assizes, Tribunal o! irst instance, and of the Municipal 'olice, all hold their sessions ia various jarts of the extensivo building, and the cene is usually quite animated about its ïalls with all that pertains to the daily operation of so many courts. Especially s au observer intorested in the scènes within the large " Salie des pas Perdus," which is 230 feet long by 90 wide, and where lawyers, judges, clients, writers, and the populace ai-e all to be aeon in;ermingled. Upon the right side of this ïall is a monument to Malesherbes who defended Louis XVI. before the revolu;ionary tribunal, and was afterward himself beheaded. A relief boneath represents his defense, and emblematic figures represent Prance and Fidelity standing at each side. lt was in this building that Raoul Iligault and Dacosta, his associate established themselves in the memorable ten days of May, 1871, and with inock tribunals condemned to death many who were arrested by the orders of the self-constituted central committee, and finally ordered the fire to be kindled with petroleum for its destruction. In one of the courts of this building stands the small but most beautiful Gothic edifice in Paris, an ancient chapel ereeted in 1248, for the reception of those precious relies which the famous crusader and relio hunter, St. Louis, King of Prance, brought back with him from the Holy Land - portions of the crown of thorns, of the cross, of the spear, and of the parment worn by our Saviour : at least, we know he hiinself secured them as such and paid a round price for them. Beiug constructed so as to form two chapéis - one for the court and the other í'or the inferior worshipers - and at the same time closely surrounded by the palace buildings, it presents a very lofty appearance, well suited to the pointed style, and its pinnacles and slender spire richly gilded, add nauch to the fine eft'eot, It is riohly deoorated in the interior, but has not been used as a church since the old French revolution and is only opened to those who apply apecially for the purpose. A fine building, the Tribunal of Comnierce, occupits the opposite side of the etreet. Crossing the Island we pass. over the bridge St. Michael, and directly ficing us is the fine fountain of St. Michael, very elabórate and representing the Angel's triumph over Satan, in colossal size, emblematic of Napoleon III. putting down the revolution. üther figures represent that sovereign's aupposed virtues, and various spouting figures with the tour seini-circular basinsmake up the imposing structure. But enough has been said of our excursión through this great city and so good by. Ever yours, J. M. WHEELER.


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Michigan Argus