Paris Opera Quiz

Just for fun, test yourself on your knowledge of the Paris Opera Garnier...

1. The Paris Opera Garnier has 1900 seatsA. trueB. false

2. The crystal chandelier weighsA. 4 tonsB. 8 tonsC. 10 tons

3. The Opera Garnier is the...A. 1stB. 10thC. 13th...opera house in Paris

4. The Opera Garnier was constructed under which leaderA. Napoléon IIIB. Louis XIVC. Napoléon 1er

5. Charles Garnier, whose name is still attached to the building was the architect who won the contest to design the opera. He wasA. 55 years oldB. 40 years oldC. 35 years old

6. The French opera and ballet were founded in 1669 by Louis XIVA. TrueB. False

7. The Grand staircase is made ofA. alabasterB. several kinds of marbleC. granite

8. The Opera Garnier offers guided tours daily.A. TrueB. False

9. The other Opera in Paris is called the Opéra Bastille. In what year was it built?

A. 1989

B. 1969

10.  The official name of the Paris O…

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Historic, lovely and delicious Parisian Bread and Pastry

The idea of Parisian Bread and Pastry is obvious, but these are exceptional and historical. Important for their history and longevity, these Bread and Pastry places, that one must visit, also have invented their special iconic pastry, loaf or decor.

© Paris Tourist Office - Photographe : Amélie Dupont Stohrer

Nicolas Stohrer, as the story goes, learned his trade as pastry chef in the kitchens of King Stanislas I of Poland who was in exile in the East of France. When the King’s daughter, Marie Leszczynska, married King Louis XV of France, she brought her favorite pâtissier with her to Versailles. Five years later, in 1730, Stohrer opened his own Parisian Bread and Pastry shop on rue Montorgueil where it still is today. The creations at Stohrer are classic, reflecting centuries of French tradition. One of its most celebrated is the Puit d’Amour, or Well of Love, where a base of puff pastry gets topped with bourbon vanilla pastry cream and caramel glaze. “It’…

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SOME OTHER PARIS – A totally different look at the City of Lights (Streaming on YouTube)

An unconventional look at current life in the City of Light, Some Other Parisexamines everything from the Yellow Vest protests to the Parisian art scene through the eyes of expats, immigrants and French citizens. The documentary takes viewers far beyond the Eiffel Tower, past the fancy fashion houses and the haute cuisine. It is an immersive journey through the Paris of artists and intellectuals; inhabitants of a densely populated, expensive city, dodging around the cost of living, tightly packed public transportation, pollution and dog poop on the sidewalk.Directed by James H. Jewell III and executive produced by Kara Jewell, thisdocumentary film features twenty interviews with artists, musicians, poets,novelists, playwrights, radio personalities, a journalist, a real estate broker, a gamer, a charity worker, a costume designer/refugee worker, a sign language tour guide, and a rabbi. Residing in Paris is perhaps the only common denominator this diverse cast of c…

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Les Maréchaux?

Why are the boulevards on the edge of Paris (where the Tramway and PC bus run) referred to as “Les maréchaux“? This ring of roads, which totals 33 kilometres and connects the portes de Paris, has different sections each named after a French field marshal. Lannes, Brune, Kellerman... Les boulevards des Maréchaux were originally the military route that gave access to the ramparts, built by Thiers in 1840, which circled Paris protecting it from invaders and sieges. In 1860 Paris annexed the towns on the periphery as well as the ramparts and glacis (A glacis is the open grassy slope on the outside of the ramparts – As with many military terms we use the same word in English, but it comes from Old French glacier ‘to slip’, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies) which created a wide gap in the urban landscape. The gap was gradually filled in by the ramshackle housing of the less fortunate. In the 1920s the ramparts were removed and the area since called «la zone» was rebuilt with …
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To Mask or not to Mask that is the question

We used to wear masks over our eyes for theatre, play, to sleep or perfidity, now we've got them on our mouths and noses for... protection. Whether the throw-away kind or reuseable cloth, bought or homemade, white or bright colors, solid colored or print masks are here to stay for a while. By desire or force they have become part of our everyday accessories, as important to pick up when going out as your phone. You'll always remember the year that those vacation pictures were taken. 2020 is clearly discernible. Here are 3 different mask experiences, thoughts and analyses from Italy, Canada and Paris. It's interesting to have perspective from a variety of places. (PS: If you would like a free homemade washable mask, just stop by Bill & Rosa's Book Room!)

Basilica San Vitale Ravenna, Italy Italy

Our "cousin" website and magazine Easy Milano, which serves English speakers in the Milan, Italy area, has recently published an article titled English Speakers Di…

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The Saints on the map of Paris

Whether you walk across Paris or look at the metro or street map, you often see places named after a Saint. Such familiar names as St Genevieve, St Denis, St Vincent de Paul etc... Have you ever wondered who were these saints on the map of Paris and what their history was? We did! Here is a bit of history on the Saints on the map of Paris.

Sainte Geneviève

Logically the patron saint of Paris, St. Geneviève, is the one you come across most often. Her statue by Paul Landowski graces the Pont de La Tournelle in the 4th district. There is also one in Jardin du Luxembourg. She is on the front of Notre Dame as well. The Catholic church is celebrating the 1600th anniversary of Genevieve this year. A relic, her index finger, and her sarcophagus is in a chapel dedicated to her in the church of St Etienne du Mont a church in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte Geneviève where she lived and prayed.

Genevieve-Paris,-Notre-Dame-cathedral,-portal-of-the-…
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PARIS/FRANCE and…the Five Food Groups

PARIS/FRANCE and…the Five Food Groups

Per our December 2, 2019, post, “Paris/France and…” is a series wherein “and” leads us to categories whose subcategories link to the city/country we know and love. Having explored Paris/France and Body Parts, Paris/France and Colors and Paris/France and the Classical Elements, we move on to Paris/France and the Five Food Groups. Bon appétit!

#1 VEGETABLES – A story

On a roadtrip through France in the early 1970s, a friend and her husband came upon a restaurant in a litttttle litttttle square in a litttttle litttttle village in the deep center of the nation. Having decided several months earlier to give up meat, they ordered plates of vegetables then chatted away about the next stop on their itinerary as they waited for their meals. Suddenly, their waiter reappeared, a grim look on his face. He told them they had to order meat. They told him they didn’t eat meat. He told them they had to order it. Their faces l…

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Le Musée de la Vie Romantique

Article by Iasmina Iordache who loves to discover the quiet contemplative spots of Paris.

The Musée de la Vie Romantique in the 9th arrondissement of Paris is one of those little-known yet fascinating places that played an important part in the history of Paris.

The museum is set in romantic painter Ary Scheffer's former house and workshop, a beautiful and quaint Restoration-style residence in a neighborhood that used to be known as the “New Athens”, home of many of Paris’s romantic artists during the 19th century.

The 1820s, when the neighborhood was built, were a time of great population growth in Paris. Many of those who wanted to get away from the crowded and unsafe center of Paris made for the slopes of Montmartre, previously occupied by orchards and guinguettes (open-air drinking establishments).

“New Athens” refers to the classical architecture that inspired the…

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How a Paris Bus Ride Became a History Lesson

A free woman in Paris in search of alone time, to calm my thoughts and clear my mind, with an hour or two to spare, I would hop a Paris bus, traveling from one terminus to the other, always sitting on the right to watch the crowds from the window. As the bus moved through traffic, I would observe the grace, refinement and ugliness, glimpsing the mundane drama of sidewalk cafés and storefronts. The old RATP buses had open back platforms, and when the warm weather came in spring, I would 'ride through Paris with the warm wind in my hair.'

I was a stranger to Paris then. I had barely ventured beyond the Latin Quarter since my arrival. Too busy settling in, dealing with the bureaucracy, and struggling with a language I had thought I knew sometimes left me feeling overwhelmed. My sense of discovery had dwindled.

Through the dusty windows or from the open back, I saw the history of France in the social fabric of Paris neighborhoods. I crossed wards and wond…

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