March 14, 2008

Rue des Francs-Bourgeois (2)

Before we are leaving rue des Francs-Bourgeois, there are two other buildings to which I would like to draw some attention.

One of them is the Crédit Municipal de Paris (no. 55). This is one of the oldest financial institutions in France, created in 1777, which among other things acts as a pawnshop – it will (possibly) lend you money in exchange for a deposit of some more or less valuable merchandise, and when you (possibly) can pay back, they will return your belongings. This kind of institution has several nick names, like “Mont-de-Piété” (after a charitable Italian institution, “Monte-de-Pietà”). Another name for it is “Chez ma Tante” (“At my Auntie”); normally you would not too openly admit that you had to borrow from this institution, you would more easily pretend that you got some money from your auntie. Another version for this expression is that one of the royal princes did not want his mother to find out that he had pawned his watch, so he just said that he had forgotten it at his aunt’s house. The place has still 600 visitors per day and a lot of famous personalities have passed the gate – in the past even Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Claude Monet... When the not reclaimed belongings are later auctioned, you can make some good business here.
An additional interesting thing can be found in the court yard: The trace of the 13th century Philippe-Auguste city wall (which we have already followed in a number of posts). The other building I wanted to mention is the “Hôtel de Soubise” (no. 60), built in the beginning of the 18th century (top picture). It replaced another mansion built during the 13th century and which during the 15th century became the residence of the Guise family, fervent Catholics, and this was where e.g. the Saint Bartholomew”s Day massacre was planned (1572), leading to the death of thousands of Huguenots. You can still see the old entrance to the previous building on the back side (bottom right picture on the below patchwork). The present building was in 1808 (Napoleon again) taken over by the French state and is since the place for (today, part of) the National Archives and also a museum. Only here – and in adjacent buildings - are today stored some 100 km (60 miles) of documents, the oldest form the 7th century. When walking along this street at lunch time together with a friend on our way from Place des Vosges, we made a small deviation, turned to the left at rue Vieille du Temple and found (at no. 30) a small restaurant, "Au Petit Fer à Cheval" (the Small Horse Shoe). The menu and the place looked nice, so we decided to give it a try. I can now say that it was nice. The restaurant dates from 1903, the marble-topped bar in the entrance has the shape of a horse shoe and behind the bar there is room for maybe twenty guests. The restaurant has obviously at a certain moment been restored with some type of 1925 decoration, but it all gives a very authentic impression, the waiters look like the waiters used to look like, the place got full and I believe only with more or less regular guests! Traditional dishes, nice atmosphere and reasonable prices! Some of these pictures can be found on my photo blog.

Before “closing” for the weekend, I wished to show some more details from the Paris spring development (photos from yesterday). Have a nice weekend!


lyliane said...

Voilà les commentaires j'étais sur le blog photos avant car je n'avais rien vu de nouveau sur celui ci.

isabella said...

LOL! "Chez ma Tante" it!

Reminds me of the young lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte who left his hat at Café Procope (the oldest restaurant in Paris) as a pledge to pay his tab.

Enjoy your springlike weekend, Peter!

alice said...

On peut aussi dire qu'on met ses affaires "au clou"...Ce système n'existe pas dans les autres pays?
Quelques bonnes âmes pourraient d'ailleurs leur prêter quelques sous pour repeindre la porte!
Bon week end , Peter!

hpy said...

Nice post, Peter! (Je vais me faire tirer les oreilles si je dis ça!)

Le resto a l'air sympa, tel que je les aime (aussi).

Azer Mantessa said...

"Another version for this expression is that one of the royal princes did not want his mother to find out that he had pawned his watch, so he just said that he had forgotten it at his aunt’s house."

hilarious ... hehehehe

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post today and some of the comments are interesting too.

Nathalie said...

Such a typically Parisian establishment. Isn't it amazing that they look like they will never change?

Glad you had a nice lunch out, I know you enjoy that and its saves you doing any cooking!

Ah, and Paris is becoming greener, even if the skies remain gray.

Nathalie said...

Bon week-end à toi Peter. Bises ensoleillées de Provence !


Ça y est ça sent le printemps aussi du côté de la capitale ?! Je te souhaite un très bon week-end.

delphinium said...

Bon peter, j'aurai besoin de 300'000 francs suisses pour m'acheter un petit chalet à la montagne? tu pourrais me les prêter? si tu me demandes ce que ça fait en euro, j'en sais rien... :-))
il y a l'air vraiment bien ton petit restaurant, cela me fait envie d'y aller. Et puis je vois que Montmartre est toujours aussi beau, mais alors chez nous pas autan de fleurs sur les arbres. Même pas en plaine, ça commence juste. C'est pas juste...
Bises et bon WE!

Alex said...

Very interesting post !!
I learned a lot of things...

Cergie said...

AH ! La picture du Sacré Coeur sacré Peter ! Je reconaissois la rue d'où elle a été prise (mais je ne mettrais pas ma main au feu, ni ne parierai un repas "Au Petit Fer à Cheval") not far from the railway station Rome, isn't ?

Je passerais bien sans honte la gate de ma tante pour emmener des objets de valeur qui m'encombrent fort
Parait que certains mènent leurs manteaux de fourrure en été ou des choses pour les mettre en sûreté pendt leurs vacances, je ne sais si ce sont des idées colportées faussement

Jessica said...

I like the photos from inside the restaurant. These are details we don't usually get to see (because it's difficult to take pictures inside a restaurant without looking suspicious or creepy). Thanks for braving it!

Have a great weekend!

Peter said...

Tu étais encore trop rapide; j'étais en train de faire mon post!

I talke about le Procope in a recent post. Have you been there often?

Tu as raison pour la porte! Pour les autres pays, je ne sais pas, mais je suis persuadé que ça existe. On utilise peut-être d'autres expressions?

Peter said...

Nice comment, hpy! :-)

These people used to play cards for fortunes!

Not ALL the comments?

Peter said...

Maybe cooking saving, not really money saving (although this one was not too expensive)!

bleeding orange:
Oui ça commence à sentir - bon!

Tu dis que tu commences à me connaitre ... et tu ne sais pas que je ne suis pas un homme riche! Presque 200 000 €!!!

Mais avec mes moyens modestes je peux (avec plaisir) t'inviter au restaurant si ça te consoles!

Bises et bon week-end à toi aussi. (Je vais sans doute surveiller ton blog aussi pendant le week-end ... ça bouge beacoup chez toi!)

Peter said...

Welcome here! You have made a good start with your blog!

Tu as bien raison, c'est tout près de "Rome"!

Tu as vu - encore 600 vistes par jour, bientôt 601!

Sometimes you have to be brave!

delphinium said...

tu es un homme riche de coeur, le reste on s'en fout! ;-) bisous

Maxime said...

On doit la belle façade classique de l'hôtel de Soubise au jeune architecte Pierre-Alexis Delamair, qui réalisera également l'hôtel de Rohan, rue vieille du temple,et, moins connu, l'hôtel Chanac de Pompadour (rue de Grenelle).
Les quatre saisons qui ornent la façade sont de Robert Le Lorrain. (il s'agit en fait de copies, trois des originaux ayant été "décapitées" à la révolution, seul Cérès ayant gardé sa tête - il fréquenterait aujourd'hui les jardins de l'hôtel d'Assy, toujours rue des Francs-Bourgeois. L'as-tu croisé ?)

noushy syah said...

The Paris spring development pics surely so attractive! More mood for lovey dovey!! hehhehe..

..a good read, definitely!

Have agr8 weekend to you too.Take care.

ruth said...

Hôtel de Soubise is stunningly beautiful, and substantial.

What a lovely view of Sacre Coeur with the tree just leafed out.

Oh dear, I'm feeling it again, Peter. Gotta go!

claude said...

Quand je pense que cela existe encore les prêts sur gages, à notre époque ! En tous le cas le bâtiment est magnifique.

Peter said...

Merci!! Tu es très gentille de dire ça! Bises!

Tu m'impressiones! J'aurai pu ajouter quelques détails supplémentaires, mais je crois que fais déjà trôp long...

When I write this, the weekend is gone...; it was nice, thanks!

Peter said...

Got to come!

Oui, encore 600 visiteurs par jour!