Winter                     2014
VOL. 18                   NO. 1


  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

       This newsletter is viewed best on a large screen.  It is not formatted for printing.
   " Paris, they say, is the city that changes least.  After an absence of 20 or 30 years, one still recognizes Paris. "
                                                                               - Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) French writer, director and actress


The Oldest House in Paris?
   by Arthur Gillette

Twisted Tongues
     ~  Challenging French phrases 

Ici et Là 

Lifestyle Feature:
   Our Life in the Bucolic Allier
   by Audrey Semple

Two Anglo-French Sports Mysteries
   by Arthur Gillette

Musée de l'Annonciade - St Tropez
   by Anita Rieu-Sicart

France 2014
      ~ Events in Normandy and the Northeast

D-Day Banner. Photo credit Normandy Tourist Board

                                                                                                         by Arthur Gillette

Many, many Parisians and non-Parisian tourists visit such ancient buildings as the 3rd century Roman Bath vestiges at the Cluny Museum and, of course, the 12th-14th century Notre Dame Cathedral, not to forget other venerably aged churches as the 12th century Saint Pierre de Montmartre and its contemporary Saint Julien Le Pauvre in the Latin Quarter.  Then there are the Medieval military buildings such as Fearless John's Tower (see our December 2006 issue). 

Dwelling on rue François Miron.  Photo credit: Wikimedia

Yet, how many may wonder what and where is the oldest dwelling house in the French capital?

Until recently, apparently not all that many.  The general accepted answers were a bit unsure - even fairly hotly disputed.  One candidate was two side-by-side half-timbered buildings on rue François Miron in the Marais district, which you can see here.

This candidacy was perhaps the more attractive since it is situated just across the street from the headquarters of the Historical Paris Association.  You can visit its web site here (in French).

The problem was that, although the cellars and ground floors of these buildings date most probably from the 14th century, the rest was remodeled in a Medieval style during the 1970s!

A Runner Up Takes Over

Next candidate?  On the following page you can see it at 3 rue Volta, still in the Marais district.  Strongly in its favor was the fact that, after many fires caused by the wood infrastructure of half-timbered houses, Queen Catherine de Medicis had that type of construction forbidden in 1560.  So, 3 rue Volta had to have been built well before then.
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Look inside. . .

     with a click 

>  to read our Lifestyle Feature about one lucky couple who found their perfect corner of France in Our Life in the Bucolic Allier.


>  if you are off to the Côte d'Azur, here's a preview of a museum you won't want to miss in St. Tropez.  Join Anita Rieu-Sicart at Musée de l'Annonciade.


>  to catch up on what's going on in France and French-related events in the U.S. with our Ici et Là column.


>  if you think Rugby originated in England, Two Anglo-French Sports Mysteries may change your mind!


>  for our FRANCE 2014 article with more about anniversary events in Normandy and the Northeast.

Coming in our Spring issue:

   Paris Plage  -   beaches on the Seine

 L' Hermione - sailing to America 2015

                                                                                                                                             by Arthur Gillette

Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play.  See if you can come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question.  You may be quite surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.

Answer from our Autumn issue:  Chercher midi à quatorze heures = "to look for noon at 2 PM?"  It means to be very confused, lost.

Phrase:  Être un ours mal léché. = "to be a badly licked bear?" Oh, no.  Do you know the answer?

Look for the correct translation in our Spring newsletter.  Have fun!

Contact Arthur Gillette to take advantage of his amazing knowledge of Paris
by enjoying one or more of his Paris Through the Ages Strolls. 
Visit our Marketplace page for a complete list of strolls and information about Arthur.


Pool and Orangerie at Château de Détilly

Where will you spend one or two perfect weeks in France this year?

Head for the Loire Valley to Château de Détilly, offering en suite rooms in the château
for 19 guests and a Coach House that can accommodate 8 more.  Rented by the week,
Château de Détilly has a tennis court, volleyball court, the magnificent pool and
 Orangerie in this photo - even a wedding chapel!  Wine tastings and cooking classes
can be arranged. Click on their link or the photo for all the details.

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Recommendations are not guarantees of satisfaction and are made only
to assist travelers with suggestions and web sites that we have found very useful.