En route for Heritage Days!

I clearly love taking you for a walk! For this year’s Heritage Days, I have cobbled together a little promenade, so grab your student’s cap and your French Academy garb…. Rendez-vous at the Ecole des Beaux–Arts, rue Bonaparte, a village in and of itself, two hectares at the heart of Saint-Germain des Près! Let’s start with something spectacular, the Petits-Augustins Chapel, the school’s oldest building, vestige of the convent founded by Marguerite de Valois, the famous Queen Margot… The edifice is a secretive one, rarely open to the public and we find there, in an Olympian calm, immense sculptures, many originals but also mouldings made from masterpieces reigning over squares in Florence, Venice… Once we catch our breath, and visit the Palais des Etudes, we will take our seats – no squirming! – on benches in the school’s main amphitheatre…. Then, a quick stop under the arcades of the delightful Muriers Courtyard, before discovering the splendour of the Hôtel de Chimay, nestled half-hidden beneath the enormous chestnut trees… Turn your head, look down quai Conti, and – majestic! – the most beautiful cupola in Paris patiently awaits our visit…  Don’t forget, the Academie Française demands a certain demeanour, eyeglasses, even a ceremonial sword, I’ll see you there Sunday at the Mazarine Library…

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