March 10, 2008

Rue de Seine (1)

I thought I had finished with the Quartier Latin, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the 6th arrondissement for a while, but HPY asked me for some news concerning Rue de Seine, so I went back! The street may not have anything very spectacular to show at a first sight, but I would say it’s clearly worth a visit.


Rue de Seine, or at least the part of it close to the Seine, is one of the oldest still existing streets in Paris, dating from at least the 13th century, now and then under different names. You can use it on your way from Saint Germain des Prés to e.g. the Louvre, or the other way, on the way from the Louvre. You cross the pedestrian bridge “Pont des Arts”, which connects the Louvre and the “Institut de France” which is the building where different French academies, including the famous “Académie Française”, meet under the “coupole”. The building dates from 1688.

Rue de Seine starts just behind the “Institut”. (In Paris, the street no. 1 is always for the building closest to the Seine.) This first half of the street (top picture) is the oldest and the historically most interesting part. The upper part was opened only during the 19th century, connecting with rue de Tournon, opening in front of the Palais de Luxembourg, today housing the French senate. (Here, a comparison between 1734 and today.)Just behind the “Institut”, you will first find two small squares with some statues, including the ones of Voltaire and of Montesquieu. This first part of the street was formerly occupied by some castle like buildings (including for Queen Margot, the first wife of Henry IV). The present buildings are mostly from the 17th century and many of them have been inhabited by - at least in France - well known personalities, like Saint Vincent de Paul, d’Artagnan, Armande Béjart (Molière’s widow), Beaudelaire… For our Polish friends I would like to make a special mention for Adam Mickiewicz who lived here when he published his famous” Pan Tadeusz” (1834). During the 17th century you could find not less than ten “jeu de paume” courts along the street. (Maybe a parenthesis to recall some details regarding the “jeu de paume”, the predecessor to lawn tennis and some other ball games: The points were already counted 15, 30, 40 and the word “deuce” comes from the French "à deux", indicating that two points must be won consecutively to win the game. Also the word “love” obviously comes from “l’ouef” – the egg - , the oval shape of the egg being a symbol for "0." Finally, the word “tennis” of course comes from “tenez” = take it, be ready…, which was the word the gentlemen (ladies hardly played those days) used to indicate that they were serving.)

There is more to be said about this street and its today’s life. I will revert to that tomorrow.

Some of the above pictures can be found on my photo blog.

27 comments:

isabella said...

LOL! I played some tennis today...never crossed my mind to call for eggs ;-)
(when only French play, do they say "love" or "l'ouef"?)

Peter, you read Pan Tadeusz? If so, my admiration for you would treble...

SusuPetal said...

That was interesting information about tennis.

Peter, have a photogenic week!!

Cuckoo said...

At last I am here personally. Was traveling and will do so again.
But Peter, I read all your posts thru reader. Isn't it great to have something like that?

Paris is such a large city that it will take years to know it better.

And nice info about tennis there. does that mean France was the introducer of this game ?

delphinium said...

Bonjour peter, toujours plein d'informations chez toi, on se balade dans les rues, on voit des statues, on peut aller acheter des livres d'art et surtout on peut aller faire du tennis. :-)
la semaine passée je suis allée faire du badminton, cela faisait trois ans que je n'en avais plus fait, donc certains muscles ont souffert mais je suis contente car j'ai gagné les trois matchs que j'ai joués. :-)
Comme quoi les bloggeurs peuvent être sportifs. Je te souhaite une très bonne journée, chez nous il pleut, cela va être une journée un peu tristounette, et en plus comme c'est lundi c'est encore plus tristounet. Bises

alice said...

As-tu trouvé de vieux grimoires?

Cergie said...

Ainsi tu fais aussi les messages de commande. Il faut dire qu'il est difficile de refuser quoique ce soit à Hpy...
J'aime ce quartier je te l'ai déjà dit. Je remarque encore ici la facilité avec laquelle à présent tu photographies. Je te sais reporter organisé, tu deviens un vrai pro de l'image. Jusqu'à cette poubelle verte qui, si elle est moins belle que les fontaines Wallace n'en est pas moins à présent un des équipements incontournables de Paris depuis les attentats du métro St Michel et autres en 95...

hpy said...

J'avais hésité entre statue et buste de Voltaire, et j'ai eu tort. C'était bien une statue. Merci de m'avoir montré cette rue de Paris qui est une des premières donnant sur la Seine que j'ai empruntées lorsque je suis arrivée pour ma première visite à Paris en l'an 1969. Peut-être la première, d'ailleurs, mais en tout cas la première que je me rappelle encore. C'est donc un retour en arrière qui me rappelle pas mal de choses. Merci encore.

(Si tu es en court d'idées - ce qui m'étonnerait - ma première promenade avait pris son départ derrière la gare Montparnasse, avait passé le trou de la tour, continué par la route de Rennes jusqu'au boulevard St Germain et ensuite bifurqué vers la Seine en passant par la rue du même non. Tu ne veux pas la suite, je présume, car tu n'es pas à court d'idées.)

oldmanlincoln said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oldmanlincoln said...

Interesting post as usual. I liked the tenez explantion too.

LeenaM said...

And now we are walking in this street, I like that narrow, old street and houses there.
I will show that tennis photo to my grandson,8 years, who has played tennis now two years and is pretty good in it.
Can you again go to your park and take some photos growing buds and green to us, who live in the middle of snow or without snow and without green, please!

Jessica said...

Nice history of tennis. Very interesting. I also love the old picture of the players.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Azer Mantessa said...

one thing for sure, people in france do value historical buildings ... the way i look at it ... the buildings are the pride of the people ... they have the sentimental values ... too valuable.

when i heard the government here in malaysia is planning to demolish Malaya University (the oldest university in the country) ... to give ways to another elite housing area, i was really pissed.

turned on the discovery channel on TV ... same thing is happening in Moscow ... they are currently demolishing their own historical buildings ... i dun understand why ... those are beautiful buildings ... amazing architecture.

Kate said...

More fascinating info, Peter. Thanks!

Ex-Shammickite said...

It seems that every street in Paris has some noteworthy buildings and a fascinating history to be told. And I didn't know about the game of tennis. Thanks for the history lesson. I shall now be able to tell my tennis playing friends all about the history of their sport and they will be SO impressed! No tennis being played here at the moment (except indoor tennis), there's far too much SNOW!

Peter said...

isabella:
Now I feel so ashamed..., no, I haven't read it! Just know about it and a little bit what it is aobut. I came to know about Mickiewicz because he also spent some time in a house near to where I live now and was active in the local parish (where we also have the Polish school of Paris - made a post aobut it some months ago). If I one day report that I have read the Pan Tadeusz, is too late to treble in your esteem?

susupetal:
Thanks, let's see; the weather could be better! It's not cold, but a bit rainy and very windy!

cuckoo:
Have some nice travelling!
No, the British "stole" the "jeu de paume" (also called "real tennis") and invented the "lawn tennis"! The first lawn tennis tournament was played at Wimbledon in 1877.

Peter said...

delphinium:
Bravo pour le badminton!! Alors, tu es (aussi) une vraie sportive!!

Ici, il pleut aussi (un peu) et fait du vent!

... et demain, c'est déjà mardi!, bientôt le week-end! Bises!

alice:
Je ne suis pas rentré dans les librairies! La prochaine fois?

cergie:
Oui, les poubelles étaien sans doute plus élégantes avant!

Si tu as une commande à passer... tu peux, mais tu es si souvent à Paris, à la différence de HPY qui se déplace rarement vers ici!

Peter said...

hpy:
Cergie pense que je suis à tes ordres... Peut-être. Je suppose que la suite était le Louvre? Je n'ai pas encore fait des posts sur le Louvre, sur Notre Dame, sur la Tour Eiffel... - trop évident peut-être?

oldmanlincoln:
I thought that many of you would be more intereted in the paranthesis than the rest!

leenam:
If it's not raining and not too windy tomorrow, I will have a new look in "my" park! A couple of days ago I saw that the tulips were on their way.

Peter said...

jessica:
Nice if you found something interesting and new to you!

azer:
I beliee there is a higher interest to keep the old buildings today than what you experienced a few decades ago. Of course, a lot was demolished during the Haussmann period, but what then was built is actually quite nice!

kate:
My pleasure!

Peter said...

ex-shammickite:
We all learn something new every day, don't we? (... at least we should.)

Middle Ditch said...

It's a long time ago that I visited Paris but to my delight I saw some familiar places on your blog.

Noushy Syah said...

ERRR..was Tennis invented by Parisian? Interesting info that you provided to us re-tennis.

p/s I'm sure you had a gr8 weekend with your family and friends.

lyliane said...

Moi aussi j'arrive un peu tard, mais le temps passe à une vitesse, maman est toujours hospitalisée et je passe toutes les après midi avec elle.Je pensais que tu avais passé le week end en recevant de charmantes jeunes filles, j'ai confondu la date.
Je pensais qu'Hélène avait habité cette rue, mais ça ne devait pas être loin.
Sais tu que Mirabeau a prononcé cette phrase :"Allez dire à ceux qui vous envoient que nous sommes ici par la volonté du peuple et que nous ne quitterons nos places que par la force des baïonnettes ! » au jeu de paume à Versailles, la salle existe toujours.
Encore une bonne leçon d'histoire et de sens des mots. Je vais essayer de me libérer pour visiter un musée ou une église bientôt.

Peter said...

middle ditch:
Welcome back, whenever you feel like it!

noushy:
I believe that similar games were played already by the Egyptians, the Greek... but the "jeu de paume" was French and the rules were to more or less 100% taken over by the tennis!

lyliane:
Pas de charmantes filles ce week-end...!!
Oui, je savais pour Mirabeau, mais c'était en effet dans une autre salle de "jeu de paume" qu'ici, rue de Seine. C'est bien de connaître son histoire!
J'espère que ta maman va vite aller mieux! A bientôt!

Neva said...

I love the things I learn blogging....tennis....or tenez....take it be ready...how fun is that to know? Saint Germain....I was there when I was in Paris...I had forgotten until I looked at you photos!

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
I read this your post yestarday, but I was very busy and tired and didn't write comment.
Thank you so much for that beautiful(not only that)photo about great Polish poet.
I found in French language about A. Mickiewicz residence in Paris, and with Google I translated it in English too.

Here is in French:

Mickiewicz a écrit et publié à Paris (1834) son œuvre sans doute la plus importante: PAN TADEUSZ CZYLI OSTATNI ZAJAZD NA LITWIE. HISTORIA SZLACHECKA Z ROKU 1811 WE DWUNASTU KSIEGACH WIERSZEM / PAN TADEUSZ OU LA DERNIERE INCURSION EN LITUANIE. UNE HISTOIRE DES GENTILSHOMMES DE L’ANNEE 1811 EN VERS DANS DOUZE VOLUMES. Il a créé "un poème national" unique, sans pareil dans la littérature, en utilisant entre autres les traditions du roman historique, de l’épopée, et du poème descriptif. Il a reconstruit le monde de la noblesse lituanienne au lendemain de l’arrivée de l’armée napoléonienne en se servant de différentes conventions, en utilisant le lyrisme, le pathos, l’ironie, et le réalisme. Le cortège pittoresque des sarmates, souvent en querelle et intrigues, s’unit dans le poème grâce aux sentiments patriotiques et à l’espérance de recouvrir bientôt l’indépendance. Un des personnages principaux est le père Robak entouré de mystère, un émissaire napoléonien qui s’avère être dans le passé un gaillard de la noblesse qui cherche la rédemption des ses pêchés de jeunesse dans le service pour la patrie. La conclusion du poème est pleine de joie et de l’espérance que l’histoire – et l’auteur le savait déjà – n’avait pas confirmé. L’œuvre devait servir pour "réconforter les cœurs" dans l’attente pour un avenir meilleur.

krystyna said...

Here is in English:

Mickiewicz wrote and published in Paris (1834) his work and probably the most important: PAN TADEUSZ CZYLI OSTATNI ZAJAZD NA LITWIE. HISTORIA SZLACHECKA Z ROKU 1811 WE DWUNASTU KSIEGACH WIERSZEM / PAN OR THE LAST TADEUSZ INCURSION IN LITHUANIA. GENTRY A HISTORY OF THE YEAR IN 1811 TO IN TWELVE VOLUMES. He created "a poem national" unique, unparalleled in the literature, using among other traditions of the historical novel, the epic, and the narrative poem. He rebuilt the world of Lithuanian nobility in the wake of the arrival of the Napoleonic army using different conventions, using the lyricism, pathos, irony and realism. The procession sarmates picturesque, often quarrel and intrigues, united in the poem through the patriotic feelings and hope to recover soon independence. One of the main characters is the father Robak surrounded by mystery, an emissary Napoleonic found to be in the past forecastle of the nobility who seeks redemption for his sins of youth in the service to the motherland. The conclusion of the poem is full of joy and hope that history - and the author already knew - was not confirmed. The work should serve to "comfort the hearts" while waiting for a better future.

Sorry, if there is something not correct in translations.

Thanks again for your great post!

Peter said...

krystyna:
I'm happy you found my Polish reference; it was for YOU!! Close to here (another street) you can find a very rich Polish library! I MUST read "Pan Tadeusz"!