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Welcome 2 France Newsletter December 2010
Hello !

This Month's Featured Apartments:

Marais - Perche

In the heart of the trendy and fashionable Marais district, this one-bedroom/one-bathroom gem is perfect for a couple looking to experience life in a chic Parisian neighborhood. The Picasso museum is steps away, as are the charming boutiques of the Rue des Francs Bourgeois.

Champs Elysees - Washington

Location, location, location says it all. Though only 538 sq ft, this one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment is a block away from the famous Champs Elysees and its attractions. On the fourth floor of a townhouse, the warm cozy place is ideal for a romantic getaway.

This apartment is also for sale!! Please contact us here for more info

December Newsletter

At no other time of the year is the City of Lights so splendidly lit up and so completely true to its descriptive namesake than during the festive holiday season. The switch has been officially flipped and the resulting lights are bedazzling more than a hundred of the capital's streets and squares, and up to thirty-three of the city's bridges.

It's a wonderful time of year to visit!

In addition to the twinkling monuments and churches, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Notre Dame, be sure to look at the bright lights and ornate decorations adorning the larger department stores, such as Printemps and Galleries Lafayette, as well as those in the windows of the smaller boutiques.

All are guaranteed to make you beam.

Christmas Chalets:

Paris during winter comes alive, not just with lights, but with Parisian Christmas markets, catering specifically to the holidays. The marches de Noel originated in the northern Alsace region, bordering-and at different times part of-Germany. They draw direct inspiration from the German Christmas markets that began in the Middle Ages.

Usually housed in clusters of temporary, yet charming, wood chalets, the Parisian Christmas markets offer an array of seasonal treats, like mulled wine and spiced gingerbread, and a plethora of gift items, from handmade wooden toys to wool-knit scarves to glass-blown Christmas ornaments. Artwork is available too. In keeping with French regional pride, certain chalets offer unique regional food specialties: linked sausages, gourmet cheeses or fine wines.

A good place to start when looking to experience this fun Parisian holiday tradition is on the famous Champs-Elysees itself, where the largest Christmas market in central Paris stretches the length of the one-mile avenue from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. This market has close to two hundred erected stalls. While browsing and shopping, be sure to stop at the Maison de L'Alsace (39 avenue des Champs-Elysees), which specializes in edible delicacies and other goods from the Alsace.
Paris-based marches de Noel to explore over the holidays:

Christmas Market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees
Open: November 19-December 28
Location: Avenue des Champs-Elysees
Metro: Champs Elysees-Clemenceau or Concorde

Christmas Market at La Defense
Open: November 24-December 27
Location: Parvis de la Defense
Metro/RER: La Defense

Christmas Market and Ice Rink at Trocadero
Open: December 9-January 2, 2011
Location: Place de la Trocadero
Metro: Trocadero

Christmas Market and Santa's Village at Saint-Sulpice
Open: December
Location: Place Saint-Sulpice
Metro: Saint-Sulpice

Christmas Market and Santa's Village at Saint Germain des Pres
Open: December 3-January 2, 2011
Location: Place Saint Germain des Pres
Metro: Saint Germain des Pres

Christmas Market at Montparnasse Tower
Open: December 10-January 2, 2011
Location: In front of Gare Montparnasse
Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenue

Christmas Market at Place de la Nation
Open: December
Location: Place de la Nation
Metro/RER: Nation

Christmas Market at Place des Abbesses
Open: December
Location: Place des Abbesses
Metro: Abbesses

Christmas Market at Gare de L'Est
Open: December 3-18
Location: Gare de L'Est
Metro: Gare De L'Est

Christmas Market at Disney Village
Open: December 10-January 2, 2011
Location: Disneyland Resort Paris
RER: Marne la Vallee

Gothic Gem:

In Paris there are many Catholic churches-and there is the St. Denis Basilica located in the nearby Parisian suburb of St. Denis.

Built between 1136 and 1286 under the guidance of Abbot Suger, this church is one of the finest examples of early Gothic architecture in Paris, with sharp arches, ribbed vaults and stained glasswork, including the distinctive rose pattern.

Stained glass was not new in churches at the time, but the design and form of Gothic architecture allowed a far greater canvas for the fine craftsmanship and vibrant materials that combine to create stained glasswork. Abbot Suger was so taken by the splendor of St. Denis's finished stained glass product that he wrote of it as metaphorically transformative, as "that which is material to that which is immaterial."

Needless to say, it is not surprising that the kings of France soon chose the church as their final resting place. From the 10th century through the late 18th century, kings were laid to rest in St. Denis Basilica, which became known as the "royal necropolis of France." Though during the French Revolution, the royal remains were removed from the ornate tombs and buried in a local mass grave, they were later retrieved and now rest back in the Basilique de St-Denis in an ossuary behind marble plaques identifying them by name. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are interred here as well.

Guided tours are available.

Basilique de St-Denis,
1 Rue Legion d'Honneur
Metro: St. Denis-Basilique


For particular parents who like to play Papa Noel at exclusive stores-boutique-y versions of say FAO Schwartz-Paris has several charming toyshops for big and little kids. Professional store workers, who know both their tony merchandise and young clientele, will guide you through a veritable wonderland of handmade and well-crafted toys, from puppets and marionettes, to teddy bears and fresh-faced dolls, to wooden train sets and jigsaw puzzles. The only plastic you're likely to see around is your credit card when they swipe it at the checkout.

Au Nain Bleu
5 Boulevard Malesherbes

Si Tu Veux
68 Galerie Vivienne

Arche de Noe
70 Rue St-Louis-en-L'lle

Safe travels and to all a Joyeux Noel!

Calendar of Events, December, 2010


October 13-January 10, 2011
Nancy Spero Retrospective
Pompidou Centre, Metro: Hotel de Ville or Rambuteau
€10-12; free under 26 (Wednesday-Monday)

September 10, 2010-February 6, 2011
Inca's Gold
La Pinacothéque de Paris
28 Place de la Madeleine, Metro: Madeleine
€12 (dates vary)

September 22, 2010-January 24, 2011
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926)
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro: Champs Elysées Clemenceau
€12 (closed Tuesday)

October 6, 2010-February 20, 2011
Monet: Son Musee
Musee Marmottan-Monet
2 Rue Louis-Boilly, Metro: La Muette
€9 (open daily)

September 24, 2010-January 24, 2011
Rubens, Poussin and 17th Century Artists
Musée Jacquemart André
158 Blvd Haussmann, Metro Miromesnil or St. Philippe du Roule
€10 (open daily)

April 27-May 1, 2011
La Bastille Modern Art Fair
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille
€8 (open daily)

Exhibitions and Other Museums

November 5-February 20, 2011
Writers' Portrait Exhibit
Maison de Victor Hugo
6 Place des Vosges, Metro: Saint Paul or Bastille
Free (Tuesday-Sunday)

March, 2011
Art Paris
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Grande Palais
3 Avenue du General Eisenhower, Metro: Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau
€11 (dates vary)

March 2011
Printemps du Cinema
Locations vary
€3.50 per screening

Feb 5-6, 2011
Paris Manga
Porte de Versailles
Place de la Porte de Versailles, Metro: Porte de Versailles
€10 1-day pass, €18 2-day pass (daily 9:30am-7pm)

Music, Theater and Dance

January 27-30, 2011
International Circus Festival of Tomorrow
Pelouse de Reuilly, Bois de Vincennes, Metro: Porte Doree

November 16-December 6
Mathis Le Peintre
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille

October 26-June 7, 2011
Les Noces de Figaro
Opera Garnier
Palais Garnier, Place de l'Opera, Metro: Opera

June-July, 2011
Musiques et Jardins Festival
Les Trois Baudets
64 Bd de Clichy, Metro: Blanche or Pigalle
Free-€10 (Tuesday-Sunday)

December 9-January 2, 2011
My Fair Lady
Theatre du Chatelet
1 Place du Chatelet, Metro: Chatelet-Les Halles


September 9-December 31, 2010
Festival d'Automne
Locations vary
€8-36 (open daily)

December 10-11, 2010
Great Wines Fair
Carrousel du Louvre
99 Rue de Rivoli, Metro: Palais Royal Musee du Louvre
€20 1-day pass, €25 2-day pass

February 4-13, 2011
Paris Antiques Book Fair
Halle Freyssinet
55 Boulevard Vincent Auriol, Metro: Quai de la Gare or Chevaleret
€6 (open 11am-7pm)

December 17-February 17, 2011
Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville
Place de l'Hotel de Ville, Metro: Hotel de Ville
Free, €5 skate hire (open Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm; Sun 9am-10pm)

Note: the information in the newsletter and calendar are accurate when we publish, but things do change, so it's always a good idea to check before you go.

We highly appreciate our readers help in making this newsletter as interesting and helpful as possible.
If you have any comments or suggestions, they are quite welcome on our

Comments and Suggestions Page

Thank you for your interest and best regards,

The Welcome 2 France team
Tel. 1 (650) 267-4328
(free local call number in U.S. or Canada)

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