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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Discover or Rediscover the secrets of Montmartre

By Patricia Killeen

Discover or Rediscover the secrets of Montmartre on the tour even Paris Expatriate “Lifers” and real Parisians take!

Eileen Grison has been living in Paris for two decades and has made Montmartre her home. Passionate about her neighbourhood, and initially showing her family and friends her favourite and often secret Montmartre corners, Eileen was encouraged by them to organize professional tours. At home in Ireland, after graduating with a degree in Italian and Cultural studies she subsequently worked as a tour guide for CIE, one of the country’s largest tour companies. In 2012, she created her company“Lingo Immersions”, offering Walking Tours of Montmartre. As someone who “loves all things culture and travel related” and having completely immersed herself in the culture of Montmartre, she was ideal for the job. I recently took one of her tours: “My Famous Artists of Montmartre” with some Parisian friends, and we had a fantas…

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The Statue of Liberty in France

The Statue of Liberty, whose full name is Liberty Enlightening the World was one of the greatest gifts ever given. The original was given by the people of France to the United States in 1886 and was installed in New York's harbor but did you know there are lots of Lady Libertys in France today? There are at least 25 in France and even more throughout the world.

In Paris alone there are quite a few. The one you need to know about is the one on the Allée des Cygnes which was a gift from the American community of Paris to Paris to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. On her tablet is the dates July 14, 1789, as well as July 4, 1776. Oliver Gee of the Earful Tower has covered five of the Parisian statues.

In addition there is another one on the roof of a peniche near the Eiffel Tower and one in the Musée d'Orsay. Yet another is very tiny and hard to see; it is incrusted in the torso of César's Cenataure (place Michel Debré Paris 6th) near hi…

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New Arrivals at Bill & Rosa’s Book Room – English Books Paris

Each week in the Book Room online, we recommend newly published English books we love. We also present some in French or bilingual, for kids or adults, fiction or non. Many are books about France of course, but there are many different subjects. To discover all our titles come visit Bill & Rosa's Book Room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdoODVrfv4c This week's theme in the Book Room: Halloween

HALLOWEEN COLORING BOOK. This book comes with a brush and needs only water to make the magic paint appear. 16 Halloween-esque scenes are full of bright color and rich detail once simply wet with the brush. There's a haunted house, trick or treat, witches and more. On the practical side the cover folds over to prevent splashy painters from getting the whole book soaked at once! The same publisher has many other subjects in this same format and series: Christmas, nature,…

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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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Villepreux a microcosm of French history

During the confinement we had a lot of time to walk around our town, Villepreux, 11,000 people situated in the Yvelines department west of Paris. A usually quiet, non-descript town, we hadn’t thought too much about it before but there were a couple of spots that intrigued us while out walking within one kilometer of the house. One of them was the path that we walked called the Chemin entre Deux Murs or the path between two walls. What two walls? what was that all about? Then there’s the old village with a couple of houses that look pretty old including one with visible half timbers. There’s a chateau, in fact there are two, plus centuries-old farms and a neighborhood called the Prieuré or priory. The new center of town is a 1960s construction out of cement. Town houses and a shopping area that hasn’t worn very well over the years. The first impression is that Villepreux is a rather ordinary suburban bedroom community of Paris or closer Versailles. But once you start looking…

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Robert Leroy, Priest and cyclist

French Father Robert Leroy has an interesting way to relax and to connect with his parishioners. He's a priest and cyclist, and has a lovely a sense of humor. He has ridden 600,000km. That's the equivalent of 200 Tours de France, although he doesn't often compete since amateur races are most often scheduled... on Sunday mornings!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9rsfCXijd4

One competition he does participate in every year is the Clergy Championship which he has won more than once. Each year on the first of May this fraternal competition brings together anyone who is ordained for a short race of about 60km. About 50 clergy gathered in Brittany for the the 20th edition in 2019. Father Leroy is the only one to have competed in all 20 races.

Father Leroy has been riding his bike for most of his life. He owns 7 or 8 bicycles. It was while riding one day in 1983 that he made the decision to go to seminary.

Le jour où j'ai pris la décision de r…

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