Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paris: Tuesday 23rd February Musee Jacquemart, Library

We walked down to Musee Jacquemart Andre. A private home of 2 art collectors built in the 19th century. There was an extensive collection of early Italian art as well as some Rembrandts and other great paintings. There were also some huge tapestries, a range of interesting stone items and furniture in beautifully decorated rooms.
Outside the Jacquemart Andre museum
We had intended to visit Les Gobelins but we had only emailed the factory the night and today we found that the factory tour was full. Les Gobelins is the Tapestry factory from the 17th century that now repairs all the French state artefacts and in doing so maintains the skill set of tapestry weavers. It would have been very interesting, but maybe next time we are in Paris Instead we went to look at the National Library of France. A new building associated with Francois Mitterand, opened in 1996. It was built with 4 towers around a central square and the towers were each an “L” shape representing an open book. These towers are above ground and there are research rooms below and in the middle a forest of trees has been transplanted in which 40 metres below the ground level..

National Library

We visited the Musee de Monnaie opposite the Louvre which had sounded like an interesting history and an interesting building. But to be honest unless lots of similar coins and numerous really similar looking coin presses excite you it’s probably not on the must see list! Perhaps the guided tours at the weekend are 100% better? Andrew spotted a potentially good option for dinner in a restaurant off Rue de Montorgueil called “Pigz” He saw the owner come out as we were looking at the menu and asked for a reservation for 7:15 and was told 8 would be better. So we returned as instructed and found we were the only people in the entire restaurant. It was a fixed preice menu €26 for an entrĂ©e and main with about 5 in each section to choose from. The meal was excellent and highly recommended. Escargot & Champignons for starter and Duck for a main. The owner said as we were leaving that during the week things had become very quiet, but weekends were still good business.
Andrew told him he was an international traveller and would recommend his restaurant in his blog :-)
Daily images from Paris

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