The Paris Bastille; a testament to history
Published on 9 February 2015, dans Visit Paris
Places of interest close to the Hotel Marais Bastille
Today the Place de la Bastille bears no traces of its violent past, but is a pleasant square in which concerts and events often take place. In the centre is the Colonne de Juillet, bearing the winged figure of Liberty, commemorating the July Revolution of 1830.
The modernistic design of the Opéra Bastille, created by the architect Carlos Ott, is startlingly different from the older buildings around it, and yet somehow harmoniously blends in. Inaugurated in 1989, it is the main facility of the Paris National Opera, but some ballet performances and symphony concerts also take place here.
La Maison Rouge is a contemporary art foundation established by the art collector, Antoine de Galbert. Occupying a former factory building and having an old red farmhouse at its centre – hence the name – it offers three major exhibitions each year. It also boasts an excellent English style café.
A disused railway line links the Place de la Bastille to Varenne-Saint-Maur. In 1988 it became the Promenade Plantée, a delightful pathway amidst areas of wild vegetation and landscaped gardens. A stroll here affords not only verdant loveliness but also unique views of the city.
A place of tranquility amidst the bustle of the city can be found at the Port de l’Arsenal, a former fortification which connects the Seine and the Saint-Martin Canal. Now a boat basin, it is a part of the Navigable Waterways of France system and boasts some fine seafood restaurants.
A superb selection of art galleries and craft shops can be found in the former Viaduc de Bastille. This former railway viaduct was renovated in 1988 to become the Viaduc des Arts, where arts and crafts artisans offer elegant, refined and luxury objects. Here you can find some truly unique items.
Finally, you will most definitely wish to take a pleasant stroll along the famous rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, which links the Place de la Bastille to the Place de la Nation, thereby symbolising the nation’s journey from a monarchy to a republic. This vibrant thoroughfare takes its name from a former abbey once located nearby, and is now a major shopping street, especially if you are looking for fine furniture.
******Opéra National de Paris 120 rue de Lyon, Paris 12e Metro : Bastille, lines 1, 5, 8 Viaduc des Arts (Strip of art galleries), from 1 to 129 avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12e Metro : Bastille, lines 1,5,8 - Gare de Lyon, lines 1,14 - Reuilly Diderot, lines 1,8
~oOo~Picture copyright holder: Tourist Office Paris - Photographer Amélie Dupont
Hotel Marais Bastille, a 3 star Design hotel in the heart of Paris.