Paris 15

The “quinzième arrondissement” of Paris is not the most visited place of the capital but there are some tourists who take a first look at the district, unlike its own inhabitants. The visitors make pictures of cakes in pâtisserie windows, they ooh when the metro crosses the river Seine and reveals a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower…
Sometimes I take my camera, I put myself in a tourist’s shoes and I walk in search of photogenic places in my neighbourhood. I come back with a photo mosaic. Click on the picture to view my Parisian tourist’s photo album.


Paris 15 pictures

pictures from left to right and from top to bottom:
1. BirHakeim, 2. Paris coat of arms, 3. bandstand, 4. chimney, 5. Art Nouveau building, 6. île aux Cygnes, 7. la Ruche, 8. Eiffel Tower, 9. Mirabeau bridge, 10. liberty2, 11. inscription on the Mirabeau bridge, 12. barge, 13. liberty3, 14. BirHakeim2, 15. tent, 16. barges


Version française

Metro entrances in Paris

The metro entrances are typical part of Paris street furniture (like Wallace fountains).

In 1899, the Compagnie du Métropolitain de Paris asks Hector Guimard to design different entrances to the metro : small stations, enclosed entrances (called “édicules”) and open entrances (called “entourages”). Hector Guimard is an architect who belongs to the Art Nouveau movement. His cast iron gates indicate the entrances to the new Paris metro. They are criticized for their innovating shapes.

Entourage Guimard (Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station)
Entourage Guimard (Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station)

Edicule Guimard (Abbesse station)
Edicule Guimard (Abbesse station)

After Guimard, metro entrances are less avant-garde. Open entrances are made of stone or wrought iron. Entrances are signposted by masts.



a Val d'Osne mast

a Val d’Osne mast

a Dervaux mast
a Dervaux mast


Later, they are replaced by signs simply saying “metro” or “M” (those signs are not worth taking a picture of) to signpost the stairs (only stairs no lift, Paris metro is not wheelchair-accessible).  
In 2000 at last, a new metro entrance is bold. The “kiosque des noctambules” (kiosk of the night-birds) is designed by the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel for the Palais Royal station.



kiosque des Noctambules (Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station)
kiosque des Noctambules (Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station)


I like this kiosk surmounted by two domes made of glass bubbles because it’s kitsch and fairy. The criticism I would make of this work of art is that it doesn’t help you to find the metro entrance because there is no sign. I am afraid it has forgotten its main function.


Différent metro entrances (in French)

Guimard metro entrances (in French)

Some works of art by Jean-Michel Othoniel

Other articles about Paris street furniture on this blog:

Version française

Good shops in Paris and in Paris Region

If you plan to go to Paris, here is a list of stores selling organic products and all sorts of good shops (ecological products, Fair trade products, natural cosmetics, honey…). This list was made by people living in Ile de France who wish to share their good shops. You can open this rtf document in a word processor (like Microsoft Word).
Click on the address book picture to download the list.


address book

This document is under a Creative Commons license. You are free:
* to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
* to Remix — to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
* Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
The original document is here :


Version française

Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris

I visited the Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris during Heritage Days. The surroundings are nice and look like the Louvre Museum (it is normal because the museum is in a wing of the Louvre Palace). The museum is a maze of corridors and I had to ask several times how to get to my destination.

Decorative Arts, it is when daily objects become works of art. The museum presents some furniture, chests, chairs, tableware, jewellery etc. I liked the period rooms: there are for example a Renaissance bedroom, an 18th Century living room and the apartment of the fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin. I was only disappointed with the Jean-Paul Gautier exhibition in the Fashion department. I found that the clothes were a little worn.

Some restorers were present on the occasion of Heritage Days. A tapestry-maker explained how he repaired old tapestries. I heard that the wall hangings in the Jeanne Lanvin’s apartment were restored in India. I didn’t know that offshoring concerned culture too 🙁 .

Here are the pictures of my favourite works of art: 

Louis Quinze canapé

A magnificent eighteenth century canapé. The style of this sofa is called Louis Quinze. I was not allowed to sit on it but it looks comfortable and is very long.

the Nénuphar guéridon

An Art Nouveau guéridon designed and manufactured by the furniture designer Louis Majorelle around 1902. The top is in the form of a water lily leaf.

tea set

And a tea set made around 1785.

With this furniture I could furnish a living room to my liking.

Version française

Wallace fountains

A city is characterized by its architecture but also by its street furniture. Wallace fountains for example are so associated with the city of Paris that the passers-by don’t notice them any more.


The first fountains were given to the Parisians by a wealthy Englishman, Richard Wallace, after the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). In those days, the French Capital was lacking drinking water.


This art lover (he has his museum in London) wanted his fountains to be beautiful. He made real cast-iron sculptures. Water flows between four caryatids supporting the dome-shaped roof of the fountain.

Wallace fountain


There are still about a hundred fountains that provide drinking water. They don’t work in winter, but in summer when it’s warm, I quench my thirst and I drink in honor of Sir Wallace.


Wallace fountain (detail)

For more information:
You can download the list of the Wallace fountains (in PDF format) on Paris website

Other articles about Paris street furniture on this blog:

Version française