Go, Kristi!!!

My travels through life and the world.

Arches and Archives April 15, 2012

Filed under: Daily Life,France,Research,Tourist attractions — Kristi @ 12:10 pm

Sorry for the lack of posts, but in all honesty, not much has been going on around here.


Starting this past Wednesday, I have been at the archives each day (with Sundays off, of course). I walk the 2.5 miles to the archives and then walk the same back. I do try to vary my route, which brings us to arches. As I was walking to the archives on Wednesday I decided to go down Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis. It looks like a normal side-ish street in Paris until… BAM! Arch.




I, honestly, had no idea this thing existed. On the top it says “Ludovico Magno” or Louis the Great, and I couldn’t figure out if it meant Louis XIV (Versailles king) or Louis XVI (French Revolution king). Well, thanks go google, it seems that it was built in 1671-4 to commemorate the military victories of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Apparently in the 17th century, this was the entrance through which the kings passed after religious services. It is on the site of the old toll-gate into Paris from the north. Anyway, the thing is huge and I first saw it as in the picture on the left, which meant that it looked like a giant wall, and it is taller than the 6-7 story buildings on the street, basically it is freaking huge (I may have even gasped). This is why I prefer to walk in Paris; I never know what I will find.


Either way, I made it to the archives and got my documents. As many of you may have read on facebook, I made a small breakthrough and may have made a HUGE breakthrough.  Basically, I discovered that the writing in the margin of my page might actually be useful. It’s one of those things where we assume medieval people are stupid. Of COURSE a medieval scribe would make searching easier! Why did I think he wouldn’t. So here is a picture of the reading room that I spend 5-6 hours a day in, the amazing coffee machine in the archives that gives me a 0.50 euro espresso (or two each day, why don’t we have these in the US?!?), and also a picture of a very useful marginal note. Can you read what it says?




Give up? Well, it looks to me like it says “Sinam in causa divorcii,” which roughly translates as “I will permit in the case of divorce.”


So there you go,  part of my breakthrough.


The archives close at 4:45 so I head out and trek the 2.5 miles back to my apartment, the only difference being that going back is all up hill (as I live right near Sacre Coeur). Now, on Wednesday, as I was walking back I decided to go up rue Faubourg Saint-Martin (2 blocks east of rue Faub. Saint-Denis) when suddenly… BAM! Another arch!



This arch wasn’t as big or as impressive as the first, actually it was a bit *yawn* after the first one that morning, but I had no idea THIS one existed either. It was also commissioned by Louis XIV in 1674, right after the completion of the other one and served a similar purpose. So there you go, arches and archives.


I will leave you with your Church du Jour: Eglise Sainte-Elisabeth. Built in 1648 it sits on rue du Temple not too far from the Place de la République.




By the way, I did not end up going to church this morning. I decided to have lunch with a friend instead. We’ll see how next Sunday goes. 🙂 Au revoir


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