Since the last Tuesday Teaser that was posted here, I am happy to say that I have been having a very enjoyable time reading Parisians : An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb. The book has managed to weave its historical facts together into what reads like a highly engaging (& entertaining) collection of narrative fiction. While I was reading the book, I came across something which I wanted to make a cross reference to, and recalled having caught a glimpse of it before in my copy of Metrostop Paris : History from the City’s Heart by Gregor Dallas. I had started the book about two years ago perhaps, and had not made it past the first chapter, always thinking of and waiting for the right time to pick it up again.

Now is the time.

The best time to visit Metro stop No.1, Denfert-Rochereau, is in the morning of Paris’s first day at work, which for most people in Paris is on a Tuesday. Except for bankers, nobody in Paris works on Mondays because its citizens have been too busy enjoying themselves over the weekend. Throughout the provinces of France bankers work on Saturdays, but Paris has for the last thousand years always wanted to be different from the provinces – which is why bankers in Paris work on Mondays instead of Saturdays. Civil servants, on the other hand, do not like to work on the first day of the week – which is why all the National Museums, to the annoyance of foreign travellers, are always closed on Tuesdays. So pick a Wednesday. Everything will be open at Denfert-Rochereau on Wednesday.

A visit to the Catacombs of Paris awaits; that is, if you do not get lost. The map in the underground is based on a terror-control theory designed to mislead an enemy alien; following those directions will lead you to two locked green doors marked ‘prive’. The two oldest buildings in the square date back to mid-1780s, just when everything happened here at Place Denfert-Rochereau. The only piece of decor is in the architraves below the roof, full of dancing Greek maidens, save the central figure. Who is that? An allegory of Life or Death? This place was once called Hell.


11 thoughts on “Tuesday Teaser : Metrostop Paris

    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for dropping by! I must confess that your enquiry had posed abit of a difficulty for this low tech blogger here. :p But thankfully, after much online research and studying, I think I finally got something up and running! You can now find a link right below my ‘Hello’ gravatar whereby you can use to subscribe via email. Let me know if it works. 😉


  1. That looks like a fun read! I like books about Paris and less conventional popular histories like that. (And it looks like it has one of the best book covers I’ve ever seen, which appeals on a shallow level.) From the sample, I wonder if it covers the city and the history of the metro through sort of case studies of individual stops?


    1. The cover really is quite a beauty isn’t it? 🙂 And it is a fun read! I have only read the first chapter so far on the first Metro stop at Denfert-Rochereau which covered mainly about the Catacombs and how it came about. I think the book covers more on the history and events relating to the different parts of Paris with the location of the Metro stops as the starting points of the stories, and not so much about the history of the Metro. Anyhow, I think it makes for quite an engaging read for anyone who is interested in Paris and its history.
      You can click on the photo of the book cover on my post and it will link you to Amazon’s page whereby you can also click to have a look inside the book. The contents and intro will give you a better idea and feel of the book. 🙂


  2. Great review… and Welcome to Paris in July 2012. Already off to a great start. This book sounds like it reveals many secrets of Paris. Thanks for the review.


    1. Thanks for dropping by, Tamara! And for co-hosting Paris in July 2012. Looking forward to a month of all things Parisian with you and the rest who have signed up! 🙂


  3. This looks really good. I’m having mixed feelings about the book of short stories about paris metro stops that I found and that looked so promising. The first two left me feeling a little ‘meh’ but maybe if I hop around and just read what sounds good rather than trying to read the stories in order.


    1. I’ve just read the first chapter and am glad to say it’s good so far. Hopefully it can keep up throughout the book. Your Paris Metro Stops sounded very promising too, and I would have also expected much from it. Too bad that it has left you feeling ‘meh’. Yeah, maybe it’s a good idea to hop around and pick what catches your fancy rather than to read in order.


  4. Metrostop Paris sounds quite intriguing. I have Parisians in the mount TBR. Probably won’t get to it this year, but it’s great to hear someone enjoying it.


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