A Paris that unfolds

The missing places

Dear readers,

Paris is a city marked by its history. Fortunately, over the centuries and different Thewars, this heritage has been preserved so much is the majestuosity of this city is breathtaking. Unfortunately, this has not prevented our capital from losing over time places of exception which I try to remember the existence.

Here, the rhythm of life is unbridled. This city never stops to live, to breathe, to move. Sometimes this rhythm oppresses me, so I need to evacuate this pressure. The best remedy I have discovered is to take a walk along the Seine quays to let my mind revel of the present moment. I walk there often and yet every step remains a discovery. I like to think that thousands of people have walked on this ground before me, leaving a mark of their life...

There are mysteries that Paris hides from us, but if we disregard the world around us then Paris will reveal itself in front of our eyes. The City of Light gave me this privilege on my last walk. I contemplated the details that shaped our sublime capital when I noticed under the Hôtel-Dieu vaults.

An idyllic place

In the evening, when I returned to Le Monna Lisa, I did some research. I learned that these vaults were connected to the hospital, they were used for deliveries but also used to wash during the 17th century, they were called « cagnards ».

Fascinated by what I had just discovered, I continued my research. I learned that these cagnards were not the only ones in the capital. Right bank, under the current quay of Gesvres, was also a place where the Parisians could enjoy from the cagnards canal. An idyllic place for walkers wishing to stroll the day.

Alas, in the second Empire, the Hôtel-Dieu, dirty and dilapidated, was destroyed by Napoleon III. Since this moment, the new organization of the Ile de la Cité saw the disappearance of these particular places. It is an unfortunate disappearance, when we imagine the beauty of this place if it had been preserved. Les cagnards could have offered themselves today as pleasant breaks on the banks of the Seine.

Perhaps this idea will be studied when the future of the banks and especially their pedestrianization is one of the major stakes for the city of Paris. Dear readers, I wish you a delightful evening by quoting Honoré de Balzac « Paris is a veritable ocean. Throw it out, you will never know the depth. »

See you soon!

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