For the prior entry in this series, please see To the Café de la Paix
After my lovely friend, K, and I finished our coffee and wrapped up the leftover breads (for the kiddos), we walked from Café de la Paix, across Place de l’Opera, and down Boulevard des Capucines, which turns quickly into Boulevard des Italiens.
At the junction with Rue Laffitte, look left for a gorgeous view of Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre, one of Paris’s most iconic landmarks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture as my phone opted to not actually record the photo. I’m pretty sure K caught one thought.
From Boulevard des Italiens, we emerged onto Boulevard Haussmann at Rue Drouot, right where Haussmann turns into Boulevard Montmartre. This stretch of road—which becomes, in turn, Boulevard Poissonnière, Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, and Boulevard St Denis—feature a few vintage and clothing shops, but it’s mostly populated with restaurants, bars, and cafes (including Starbucks).
At a few intersections, you can glimpse some lovely views. For example, at Rue Rougemont, you have an excellent shot of the 19th century façade of the former bank Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (it’s now a PNB Paribas) on Rue Bergère. A bit further down, at Rue d’Hauteville, you can see the Neoclassical Église Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (1844).
Where Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle meets Boulevard St Denis, there’s the magnificent, monumental Porte Saint-Denis; the gate is a 17th century replacement of a 14th century gate in the city walls built by Charles V (Charles the Wise). Louis XIV, the Sun King, had the gate rebuilt to celebrate his military victories.
A similar, but smaller, gate stands just a few blocks away at the intersection of Boulevard Saint-Martin and Rue Saint-Martin. Porte Saint-Martin. Like the Porte Saint-Denis, this gate was built by Louis XIV to replace one erected by Charles V. At this point, after admiring the bas reliefs, we turned onto Rue Saint-Martin and, from there, to our lodging. We had to collect the rest of our group before heading to the Seine for a boat trip to the Eiffel Tower.
It was a perfect morning with one of the people most precious to me, and I am grateful we spent it together.