THE REMARKABLE STORIES OF THE THREE PARIS PAGODAS – Part 2

La Pagoda Paris is unmissable on its prominent street corner. Photo, wikimedia

This story continues on from my previous post about one of the three Paris pagodas, the Japanese-style pagoda, known as La Pagode, which was converted to a much-loved cinema.  The other two are equally fascinating, with their own surprising stories to tell.

The three Paris Pagodas are as visually startling, unexpected delights today as they were when first created.

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THE REMARKABLE PARIS PAGODAS – Part 1

When the cinema was known as LaPagode de Babylone. Photo, utube

Paris has three remarkable and unusual pagodas.  Curiously, only one of them was built as a shrine.  Of the other two, one is bold and conspicuous, while the other is discreet and hidden within a dense bamboo and ginko garden.  What the three have in common is that their histories are fascinating, with just a hint of mystery.

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REJUVENATING THE CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES

The Champs Elysees. Photo, aparisguide

The Champs Élysées is surely the iconic avenue in Paris.  It conjures up images of a wide, tree-lined boulevard lined with magnificent Beaux-Art style buildings occupied by elegant designer boutiques, discreet luxury hotels, the famous Lido cabaret, and like a giant exclamation mark, the Arc de Triomphe marking the summit.  The reality though is that over the last few years the street was in danger of becoming just another retail strip full of banal chain stores and more than a few fast food outlets.  Two recent spectacular renovations have heralded a rejuvenation of the world’s most beautiful avenue.

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MORE GREAT DESTINATIONS IN PROVENCE!

‘A Wheat Field with Cypresses’ by Van Gogh. Photo, vincentvangogh.org

The very name ‘Provence’ conjures up images of brilliant blue skies, ancient golden stone villages with terracotta tiled roofs, and dazzling colours thrown into sharp relief as depicted in a Van Gogh painting.  It’s a land of languid, hot sunny days, leisurely outdoor dining on wonderful food that tastes of sunshine, with the air fragrant from fields of lavender.  It’s also a region whose architectural riches of its ancient past are evident at every turn.

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FAVOURITE VILLAGES OF THE LUBERON

Roussillon and the richly coloured ochre cliffs. Photo, hotelticati

There would be few travellers nowadays who, when they hear or read ‘Luberon’, don’t immediately conjure up the delightful memoirs by the late Peter Mayle.  His first book, ‘A Year in Provence’ published in 1989 became the model for a new travel genre and spawned any number of imitators on the theme of an outsider taking up residence in a town or region somewhere picturesque such as Provence or Tuscany.  Until then, the Luberon region of Provence was barely known outside France, and then mostly for its typical Provencal produce.

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