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Welcome 2 France Newsletter May 2011
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This Months Featured Apartment

Madeleine - Boissy d'Anglas II

Our featured apartment is ideal for a traveling family. Cleanly furnished, with easy elevator access, this two-bedroom/one-bathroom rooftop apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a deep bathtub and a sunny dining area. Housekeeping and linen service are included.

May Newsletter

Triumphant Arch

Rulers come and go, but the Arc de Triomphe is built to last, an iconic landmark in the Parisian skyline. Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821) commissioned the triumphal arch in 1806 to honor of the French Imperial army after their military success in Austerlitz; Rome's Arch of Titus inspired the grand design by Chalgrin.

Then the arch began its slow ascent, so slow that it was only a few feet high at the time of Napoleon's marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810 and a mock arch-facade had to be erected for the wedding processional. In 1814, Napoléon was deposed and the arch remained incomplete.

The Arc de Triomphe finally reached its triumphant height of 162-feet and grand width of 150-feet under the reign of Louis XVIII. The arch was completed in 1836 under the supervision of Blouet who was also responsible for the arch's extensive sculptural adornment. To this end, Blouet worked with skilled sculptors of the period, including Francois Rude, who designed La Marseillaise to the right of the arch when viewed from the Champs-Elysees. The works of James Pradier and Antoine Etex are also featured.

Napoléon got his honorific nod, when in 1840 his ashes were passed under the arch in a funeral cortege, and The Triumph of Napoléon Sculpture by Jean-Pierre Cortot was added to the adornment. The names of soldiers and generals who fought for France are also engraved on the Arc de Triomphe.

The twelve avenues leading up to the arch and around it in a circle--formerly known as the Place de l'Etoile and now as the Place Charles-de-Gaulle--were added in the Haussmann era. Beware of the at-times dangerous traffic encircling the arch, when trying to get across; the tunnel from the Champs-Elysées is the safest bet for easy access to the structure.

After an extensive facelift in 1989, the Arc de Triomphe is once again full of its former splendor. Be sure to visit the small museum half way up the arch, as well as enjoy the spectacular views from the top. And, of course, stop by and pay respect to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the 1914-1918 World War, whose flame is rekindled every evening.

Arc de Triomphe
Pl. Charles-de-Gaulle
Metro: Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile

April-Sept 10:00 AM-11:00 PM
Oct-March 10:00AM-10:30 PM
Cost: €8; Free for kids up to age 17

Musée Nissim de Camondo

Sometimes the story behind a museum is as important as the museum itself. I find this to be the case with the Musée Nissim de Camondo, a hotel particulier next to Parc Monceau and modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles.

Once the private home of Moïse de Camondo--a banker descended from a prominent Sephardic Jewish family dating back to the Ottoman Empire--the mansion was bequeathed to the Arts Decoratifs in honor of Moïse's son and heir, Nissim, who died tragically during a World War I air battle.

Architect René Sergent had been originally commissioned to build the mansion in 1911 as the Camondo family home, and to house Moïse's important collection of eighteenth century French furnishings and European objects d'art.

Among the collection is furniture by renowned Franco cabinetmakers Oeben, Riesener and Jacob of the Royal Furniture Repository, as well as historically significant accessories, such as the Orloff silver dinner service commissioned by Russia's Catherine the Great in 1770 from Roettiers.

The preserved mansion, with its outstanding wood paneling, has all the grace of an older home, with all the modern conveniences of a newer one, including spacious, well-lit kitchens for food preparation.

There are many rooms to explore, including the Grand Bureau, featuring a pair of low chairs known as voyeuses designed for women in full dresses watching men at the gaming tables; the Grand Salon, with its elaborate gold and white paneling; and the library, distinguished by warm wood cabinetry, including built-in shelves filled with antique books. Throughout, Savonnerie carpets and Aubusson tapestries adorn the floors and walls.

The Musée Nissim de Camondo opened to the public the year after Moïse died in 1935. The tragic end to this tale is that World War II claimed what was left of his beloved family--his daughter, Beatrice, son-in-law and two grandchildren--at Auschwitz.

Musée Nissim de Camondo
63 rue de Monceau
Metro: Villiers or Monceau

Let Music be the Food of Love

Whether looking for Edith Piaf, Billy Holiday or Lady Gaga, every visitor to Paris needs a soundtrack, strains of music by which to remember the special moments spent in the City of Lights.

Below are a few suggestions on where to pick up favorite CDs or discover new ones. It doesn't matter what arrondissement you're staying in just open your eyes and follow your ears.

Forum de Halles
1 rue Pierre Lescot
Metro: Les Halles

26/30 ave Ternes
Metro: Ternes

136 rue de Rennes
Metro St. Placide

52/60 ave des Champs-Elysées
Metro: Franklin-D Roosevelt

Carrousel du Louvre
99 rue Rivoli
Metro: Palais-Royal

Calendar of Events, May 2011


La Force de L'Art
Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill, Metro: Franklin D Roosevelt
€5; (not Tues, various dates)
Web: Grand Palais

March 25-July 11
Caillebotte Brothers Exhibition
Musée Jacquemart Andre
158 blvd Haussmann, Metro: Miromesnil
€10; under 7 free (open daily 10:00am-6:00pm, Monday until 9:30pm)

February 9-May 23
Cranach Exhibition
Musée du Luxembourg
19 Rue de Vaugirard, Metro: Odeon, Saint-Sulpice
€11; free under 13's (open daily)

Exhibitions and Other Museums

March 8-July 17
Romantic French Gardens Exhibition (1770-1840)
Musée de la Vie Romantique
16 rue Chaptal, Metro: Blanche or Saint Georges
€7 (Tues-Sun 10am-6pm)
Web: Musee de la Vie Romantique

Paris Model Show (model planes, cars, trains, boats and figures)
Porte de Versailles
€ (Time and cost varies)

Music, Theater and Dance

June 29-July 15
The Anatomy of Sensation
Opèra Bastille
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille

June 16-Jul 16
Cosi Fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Opèra Garnier
Place de l'Opèra, Metro: Opèra

Paris Chopin Festival
Orangerie de Bagatelle
Orangerie de Bagatelle, Metro: Port Maillot, then bus to Bagatelle
€ (time and programs vary)

June 21
Fête de la Musique in the Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay, Metro: Solferino
€ Free

Paris Chopin Festival
Orangerie de Bagatelle, Metro: Porte Maillot, then bus to Bagatelle
€ Unknown at this time

Musiques et Jardins Festival
Les Trois Baudets, Metro: Blanche or Pigale
€ Free-10 (Tues-Sun)

Classique au Vert
Parc Floral de Paris
Rte de la Pyramide, Metro: Chateau de Vincennes
€5 (weekends only)

Festival Ile de France
Different locations
€5-25; some free


International Photographic Flea Market
Bievres, RER C to Bievres
€ Free (weekends only)

Web: Check for times at 06-84-28-29-76

Japan Expo
Parc des Expositions Paris-Nord Villepinte, RER: B3

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

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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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