Wednesday
May152019

What is the "Disneyfication of Paris"? 

The actual Disneyland Paris

I've been pondering this question for the past few months and thought I'd put it to the Secrets of Paris community. "The Disneyfication of Paris" is a phrase that's thrown around a lot, especially after the French film Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (aka Amélie) became one of the biggest hits of 2001 despite the angry critics who said the director showed a fairy-tale version of Paris, not the "real" city. 

The topic has come up again when the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet announced last week that he was going to make a "mockumentary" about the making of the film for its 20th anniversary, but that he was never going to make a sequel because, among other logical reasons, "Paris est moche maintenant" (Paris is ugly now). That got the critics all riled up once again, of course.

But Amélie and Disneyland itself aside (both which I love, by the way), I'm genuinely curious what it means to all of you when you hear the phrase "Disneyfication of Paris". Clearly this is never used without a negative connotation, so let's go with that as the basis. And although this phenomenon applies to other locations around the world, let's just stick to Paris. 

Let me know what you think in the comments below, including any examples of what you might consider to be "Disneyfication" in general or specifically. All opinions welcome to open the conversation. There are no correct answers!

Wednesday
May152019

Free Arts Expositions in a 15th-Century Parisian Mansion

The 15th-century Hôtel de Sens is one of the few remaining examples of medieval civil architecture in Paris. It was originally built by a bishop, but its most illustrious resident was the first wife of Henri IV, Reine Margot de Valois. After the 1789 Revolution it was sold off and used to house different businesses over the years, which slowly degraded it until it was finally declared a historic monument in 1862 and became home to a library, the Bibliothèque Forney. It was purchased by the City of Paris in 1911 and slowly restored to its former glory.

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Wednesday
Apr172019

Sounds of Notre Dame Cathedral


Pentecost bells, May 23, 2010




Christmas Eve Midnight Mass Procession, Dec 24, 2012


Memorial bells after the Charlie Hebdo attack, January 8, 2015

Friday
Mar082019

Le Matrimoine Parisien - Discover the City's Female Cultural Heritage

Le Matrimoine Parisien is a student project that lists women's cultural creations in the city of Paris on an interactive map. I thought this was such a great project that I wanted to be able to share it with all of the Secrets of Paris readers! As the background information, instructions on using the map, and information about the creators is just as important as the map itself, I have translated the entirely of the text into English here as a reference for those of you who can’t easily translate the French yourselves. The links are all direct to the original website. Enjoy, and please share, like and follow these wonderful artists on the Matrimoine Parisien FB and Twitter accounts! - Heather

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Tuesday
Feb052019

Chantilly’s Private Princely Apartments Reopening

Updated on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

There are many things that make the Domaine de Chantilly unique (and, in my opinion, much more interesting to visit than Versailles). Its last resident was Henri d’Orléans, Duke d'Aumale, and son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. His family’s princely apartments, the only remaining examples from the Monarchie de Juillet in France, will be reopened this month after several years of careful renovations.

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Monday
Feb042019

Inexpensive Houseplants by Plantes Pour Tous

If the title of this article has you wondering what the big deal is, move along, this isn't for you. For the rest of us -- plant addicts (or repeat offender houseplant murderers) who can't seem to go a week without bringing home a new green leafy friend -- Plantes Pour Tous just might be the best thing to hit Paris since the Métro extended its weekend hours. 

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