During my walk through part of the 16th arrondissement (see my different posts this week) I thought it was time for a break. I visited a Wine Museum. You can find it at the end of Rue des Eaux, the Water Street. The reason for this inappropriate name is that there used to be a thermal spring here, very much in fashion during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The museum occupies some quarries dating from the Middle Age and in the meantime used as wine cellars by a monastery previously situated on top of the hill, then abandoned. The museum opened in 1984. You can learn everything about wine, how to make it, how to store it, how to drink it… with historical references. A glass of wine is included in the entrance fee. (If you want to make it more seriously, there is even a small restaurant where wine tasting is the important issue.)
For some reason, instead of one glass, I got half a bottle of a saint-émilion grand cru. Furthermore I could taste it in nice company. After this refreshment, I visited a small house, where Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) lived 1840-47 and where he wrote the Human Comedy. The only furniture exposed is his writing table and chair, but there are a lot of manuscripts etc. When I now (it was not my first visit) looked at his writing desk, I realised that it’s a copy (or it may be the other way round) of my “blogging desk”, bought at the flea market some 30 years ago (my chair is different). He was said to write some 16 hours a day, consuming coffee in large volumes. I spend a bit less time at my desk, but I consume a number of espressos.
Balzac always owed money and did not want any unexpected visitors. One reason for the choice of this house was said to be that there was a quick exit possibility also on the back side. It leads to one of the narrowest streets still existing in Paris.
To give you an idea where to find these places, here is again a Google Earth view.
A last thing I want to show before the weekend is how useful it is to have a small car in Paris, if any. Hummers are to be avoided.
So, I wish you a nice weekend!