S: Travels 2011
BC: Daniel R Cleveland copyright 2011
FC: Paris Butte Chaumont Pere Lachaise Canal St-Martin Basilique Saint-Denis Vaux le Vicomte Chantilly Pierrefonds Compiegne Beauvais Amiens Saint Leu Arras Lille Brugge Leuven Brussels | Travels 2011 Daniel R Cleveland
1: Paris Fountain of the Observatory in the Jardin Marco Polo near RER B Port Royal; sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. (below) Palais du Luxembourg In 1611, Marie de Medicis, the widow of Henry IV and the regent for the King Louis XIII decided to build a palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in her native Florence | All photos herein copyright 2011 Daniel R Cleveland
2: Parc des Buttes Chaumont The park is the third largest of its kind in Paris encompassing over 5 kilometres of trails and paths. The main feature of the park is the Belvedere (or Temple) of Sybil which sits at the top of an island in the middle of a lake. Refreshments from the local grocery Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise Grave of James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors.
3: The Palais Garnier is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris
5: Canal Saint-Martin connects the Canal de l'Ourcq to the river Seine. Construction of the canal was ordered by Napoleon I in 1802, in order to create an artificial waterway for supplying Paris with fresh water to support a growing population and to help avoid diseases such as dysentery and cholera.
7: Basilique Saint-Denis A large medieval Gothic church in the commune of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris | The abbey is where the kings of France and their families were buried for centuries and is therefore often referred to as the "royal necropolis of France". All but three of the monarchs of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their remains here
9: Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte Located in Maincy, near Melun. Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte was built from 1658 to 1661 by Nicolas Fouquet the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV. Fouquet purchased and demolished three villages. The displaced villagers were then employed in the upkeep and maintenance of the gardens. It was said to have employed eighteen thousand workers to build. The king was led to believe that his minister's magnificence was funded by the misappropriation of public funds and had Fouquet arrested shortly after a famous fete in 1661
10: In 1875, after thirty years of neglect, the estate was sold to Alfred Sommier in a public auction. The châateau was empty, some of the outbuildings had fallen into ruin, and the famous gardens were totally overgrown. The huge task of restoration began and was completed in 1908 Opposite : The 1st Saturday of the month is highlighted by a concert, luminaires, and a firework display. | Chemin du Chateau
12: Chateau de Chantilly was the home of the princes of Conde cousins of the king of France. It is also known for its horse racing. (below) The pastures on the extensive grounds of the Chateau.
13: Grounds of the Chateau de Chantilly
15: The Chateau de Pierrefonds is a medieval castle situated in the village of Pierrefonds in the Oise département (Picardy) of France. It is on the southeast edge of the Forest of Compiegne, north of Paris. The castle has often been used as a location for filming including les Visiteurs, and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
16: Compiegne In 1430, during the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while attempting to free Compiegne. She was later sold to the English. 11 November 1918 - The Armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage near Compiegne, ending the fighting of World War I. On 22 June 1940 France capitulated to Nazi Germany in the same railroad car. | Place de l'hotel deville Compiegne
17: (top) Chateau de Compiegne, the royal residence built for Louis XV and restored by Napoleon (above) The postman delivering mail by bicycle (right) Hotel de Ville de Compiegne
18: Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais is located in Beauvais, in northern France. Work was begun in 1225 and was interrupted in 1284 by the collapse of some of the vaulting of the recently completed choir. The choir was rebuilt at the same height, with more columns. The transept was built from 1500 to 1548. In 1573, the fall of a too-ambitious 153-m central tower stopped work again. The tower would have made the church the second highest structure in the world at the time | Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens (below and side opposite) is the tallest complete cathedral in France, its stone-vaulted nave reaching a height of 42.30 metres (138.8 ft) (surpassed only by the incomplete Beauvais Cathedral)
19: The cathedral was built between 1220 and c.1270, and contains the alleged head of John the Baptist, a relic brought from Constantinople by Wallon de Sarton as he was returning from the Fourth Crusade.
20: Saint-Leu (Amiens)
21: From the top of the Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial. A World War I memorial, located near the village of Villers-Bretonneux, in the Somme region (Picardy) The memorial lists 10,773 names. A cold, raw, windy day contributed to an overall sense of sadness. Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial (below) is a memorial site in France dedicated to the commemoration of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I.
22: Arras the most Flemish of French cities During the First World War, Arras was near the front and a long series of battles fought nearby are known as the Battle of Arras. The city was heavily damaged and had to be rebuilt after the war. (opposite top) The Citadel in Lille (opposite bottom) bicycle sculpture in "t Zand market square" Brugge Belgium
24: Brugge got its city charter in1128 Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, is sometimes referred to as "The Venice of the North". Brugge has most of its medieval architecture intact. Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady, whose brick spire reaches 122.3 m (401.25 ft). The most famous landmark is its 13th-century belfry, housing a municipal carillon comprising 48 bells. The city still employs a full-time carillonneur, who gives free concerts. We were fortunate to be on hand during one of these concerts
26: Pampered Pooch | City Hall
28: Huidevetters Plein by Night and by Day
30: And then there are the beers such as Brugse Zot, Delirium Tremors, Westmalle, Orval and Duvel and the markets, bicycles, windmills, canals, narrow streets, and chocolate.
31: Leuven Located about 30 kilometers east of Brussels. Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium (lleft) St. Peter's Church construction began in 1425 and continued for an addition half century. (below left) Saint Michael's Church (below center) The Town Hall; built between 1439 and 1463
32: The university library was deliberately destroyed by the German army on August 25, 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts were lost. The world was outraged over this and the library was completely rebuilt after World War I with American charity funds and German war indemnities. After World War II, the burnt down building had to be restored again. It still stands as a symbol of the wars and of Allied solidarity.
33: (right) The best way to maneuver busy Brusselsestraat (street) is on a bicycle. (far right) An ancient window at the Groot Begijnhof a well preserved and completely restored historical quarter containing a dozen of streets in the south of downtown Leuven. (below) The Grote Markt where there are many pubs, taverns, and eateries. (below center) The best place to stay when visiting Brussels is Leuven, here at the B&B De Kapel
34: Bruxelles Place Royale is the official palace of the King of the Belgians in the center of the nation's capital Brussels. However it is not used as a royal residence. The king and his family live in the Royal Castle of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. (below) GRAND PLACE Bruxelles - GROTE MARKT Brussel is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse
35: (above) Saint-Hubert Gallery opened in 1847 (left) Le Carillon du Mont des Arts is a Jacquemart Carillion clock with 24 bells
36: Manneken Pis is a famous Brussels landmark. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin. It was put in place in 1618 or 1619 The statue is dressed in costume several times each week. | Relaxing at the "Cafe Ethnic", the pigeons enjoy as well. | German visitors in costume
37: And all the rest