Last weekend I got a visit from my sister and we decided to take a little trip to a castle outside of Paris. We were debating on Friday evening and we finally picked the Château d’Auvers-sur-Oise which is 1h30 from Paris. Since we are both interested in castles, we saw this visit as a great opportunity to have a walk in someone’s chambers and admire the interior design of the XVII century.
We arrived at the castle which was rather small. We were thinking of spending at least the same amount of time as our journey to this place. I was still an optimist and suggested a walk in the park that was advertised on the website. My first disappointment was when they told us that the whole place is renovated and there are some art installations showing us works from the Impressionism. If I wanted to watch a documentary, I would have stayed home. My sister was in a good mood and cheered me up but I still have more or less negative feelings about the castle.
The art installations were mostly big screens that displayed the above-mentioned docu movie. It was somewhat interesting but looking and pictures of the painting are not nearly as satisfying as seeing the real deal. I was impressed by 2 of the 8 rooms. One of them was a recreation of an artist atelier. I was preoccupied with taking pictures so I’m not sure whose atelier they recreated but I think it was Monet. Anyway, the impressionists preferred painting in nature, so this room was not that important.
The next room was also arranged in an interesting way. In comparison to the other rooms with simple flat screens, this one was more 3D and every small screen was painted in different colors which made the whole ambiance more interesting.
We then went to the garden which was as small as the castle. It was somewhat our fault that we made a poor choice. In the summer, one can enjoy the maze which is not a lot of fun during the winter when you can see through the branches.
The Brassens market
On Sunday we started the day with a book market. The Brassens market was originally a place where they butchered animals before selling the meat. Nowadays you can browse through some second-hand books and maybe find a treasure. I have lived in Nice and the market there was incredible. Every day of the week it had a different theme and books were one of them. This one was not so impressive although it’s named the most famous market for old books in Paris. It’s in the 15th arrondissements aka in the southwest of the city. To go there, one needs to ride the line 13 of the subway. I was unease the whole time because I have heard some bad things about it. It turned out not so criminal but I wouldn’t recommend this place if you like to display your gold jewelry and other expensive accessories.
Carnival de Paris
The 23rd of February was also the Carnival de Paris. It’s an annual event dating from the XVI century. People disguise and put masks on before starting a procession from the Père Lachaise Cemetery. The procession ended at Place de la Republique where everyone gathered and started celebrating the Carnival. Music and dancing in the streets is something that has always fascinated me and we walked next to the processions for some time so that we can check out all the participants.
We ended our very cultural weekend in one of the museums with the longest working hours. Centre Pompidou is famous for its unusual modern architecture. The whole façade of the building is made out of pipes. The construction is very geometrical and pleasing for people who like Sheldon don’t like chaos.
The view of this building is breathtaking. There is a cute restaurant worth visiting especially during the summer. One can see all the important buildings from up here – the Eifel Tower, Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame. The pipes that can be seen on the façade are actually the escalators that take visitors up to the last floor.
The temporary collection was a mystic experience. I was happy that we did it after dark. It was like walking into a cemetery. Some rooms were full of black and white pictures of people from the beginning of the last century. One room was covered with white sheets that gave the illusion that ghosts were floating through it. In another one could observe rectangular objects covered with black sheets so it looked like coffins. Some light bulbs were hanging from the ceiling and those that were directly over a “coffin” were turned off. The whole exposition was accompanied by a quiet heartbeat as the music background.