Paris March Mélange, Part 1 of 3: Walking and water and Wallace fountains

Entry to the exhibit L’eau à Paris du XIXe au XXIe siècle (Water in Paris from the 19th to the 21st century)

As mentioned in my prior post, Clive and I promised each other we would really make an effort on this short trip to moderate our pace in Paris, in hopes of keeping healthy and avoiding any silly injuries.

With the exception of one or two long days (and one or two bus dramas), we managed more or less to stick to the plan. Naturally this involved multiple pauses for rest and refreshment at various cafés, along with a mélange (medley) of other activities.

I’m grateful for this guy’s willingness to squeeze in a quick visit to Paris before a medical procedure and our upcoming trip to Australia

Strolling and sightseeing and sampling local delicacies

Clive and others outside ‘Servant’ chocolatier, Paris

On a relaxed weekend stroll, instead of seeing the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, we admired the church, the butcher and the candy-maker in the Auteuil quartier of western Paris. Yum!

Interior of ‘Servant’ chocolatier, Paris

L’église d’Auteuil, the quartier’s village church

Line outside the butcher shop, Paris

On Saturday afternoon, we avoided a few central areas (and weekend protesters) and instead visited a small exhibit we happened to read about in a local magazine.

L’eau dans la ville: Paris’s water supply and Sir Richard Wallace, the British philanthropist who financed the city’s iconic fountains

Exhibition photo, l’eau de Paris

To mark the bicentennial of the birth of Sir Richard Wallace (1818-1890), a British philanthropist and longstanding resident of Paris, the city presents the exhibit L’eau à Paris du XIXe au XXIe siècle, Water in Paris from the 19th to the 21st century.

The exhibition venue is the Pavillon de l’eau, once a pumping station on the Seine and now a museum devoted to water. It’s managed by Eau de Paris, the municipal agency responsible for the city’s water supply.

le Pavillon de l’eau, Ave de Versailles, Paris

While the exhibit recognises the life and work of Richard Wallace, it also offers a comprehensive look at the history and current architecture and processes involved in the delivery of clean water to Paris.

Building the waterworks of Paris

After the Franco-Prussian war and the siege of Paris in 1870-1871, when many aqueducts had been destroyed, Richard Wallace envisioned fountains that would be both useful and beautiful to deliver clean drinking water to all citizens. He conceived the initial models, then called upon French sculptor Charles-Auguste Lebourg, who completed their design.

Exhibition photos

The exhibition seems mainly aimed at locals. It includes hands-on displays, many designed for school-age children. Big kids like them, too.

Clive at a light board revealing different water sources for different areas of Paris

A short film about Sir Richard Wallace and the history of the fountains that bear his name is presented only in French, but is understandable in the main thanks to its numerous photos.

[from the film] Merci, monsieur Wallace

[from the film] Sir Richard Wallace (whose art collection in London also has a Wallace fountain on its grounds)

Wallace remained a resident of France until his death. He is buried in Paris at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

[from the film] Anatomy of a fountain

Many historic photos are on display throughout the exhibit, along with more recent ones showcasing many of the city’s fountains.

Exhibition photo

We really enjoyed this exhibit. It’s one of countless small, quality (and free) ‘expositions’ the French do so well – interesting, educational and thought-provoking. This one also promotes the work of Eau de Paris with many informative displays sharing past events and future plans. You can also pick up free maps showing the location of every water fountain (Wallace and otherwise) in the city.

Poster for the exhibit, L’eau à Paris du XIXe au XXIe siècle – extended to 31 August 2019

A recent photo I took through a bus window of a woman with a galah on her shoulder also shows a Wallace fountain behind the galah.

Paris sight: a woman, a galah and a Wallace fountain

Another view of the same Wallace fountain

Even when the weather is less than perfect, you can find something interesting to see and experience in Paris.

Moi on a rainy day, admiring another Wallace fountain in Paris

Next to come: Paris March Mélange, Part 2 of 3: A noix de coco (coconut) delight, bookshop browsing, a beloved museum and an ancient church.

Merci for reading and à la prochaine, until next time.

5 Responses

  1. I think that numerous cafe stops for rest and revival are just the cure for what ever ails you! Thanks for posting and our best to you and Clive. Martha and John

  2. I’m a big fan of the Wallace Fountains, so I’m glad to hear the exposition has been extended. I thought I had missed it, but now I’ll be able to see it after all.

  3. I love the pictures of the old neighborhood! I miss Auteuil!!

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