Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Palm tree fountain

When he returned from Egypt that he conquered at the very end of the 18th century, Napoleon was really into Pyramids, obelisks and... sphinxes. That is why he had this fountain built, right in the middle of the place du Chatelet. It's composed of 4 sphinxes around a massive palm tree (well a sculpture of a palm tree). Unexpected in Paris, but nice though.


  1. j'suis encore la premiere!

    hmm...franchement, the fountain isn't that attractive...the head looks like he got sick...!

  2. Nahal: ewww!!! lol I actually agree with you, though, Place du Chatelet never did much for me either. It's a good picture, though. When you see it close up, like that, it's really perfect, isn't it?

    Actually, I was wondering myself if Eric has a really good zoom or if he almost got soaked in water while taking the picture for us?!

  3. hm...i agree with Nahal.
    the head really looks like he got sick!

  4. OH my how I love the comments! When I saw the photo I thought...eww...but now I am just laughing my head off! Yes he looks odd, could have just as easily had the water shooting from his nostril or ears! Fantastic post Eric!

  5. I much prefer the water spewing out of the sphinx's mouth than one of the other sphinx's mouth which had but a malfunctioning copper pipe sticking out of his mouth this past August. Better water-spewing relief than copper-tube gagging.

    I don't know, I just really like this fountain, and, as usual, Eric's photo has great impact.

    The Ancient-Egypt theme could be continued with the Fontaine du Fellah which is very near Vaneau Metro Station.

    (Thanks for teaching us how to do HTML links Michael!)

  6. Ok, maybe you'll think this is kinda freaky, but I think the sphinx looks like Linda Blair's "Regan" in The Exorcist movie... Yes, the sphinx is vomiting, but look the fury in his eyes... He's doing it on purpose... Naughty Sphinx!!!

  7. I couldn't figure out the title of this post until reading the text. And now a grammar question for you out there (and not a criticism Eric...I really do not know).

    If 1 sphinx is "a sphinx"
    Are 2 sphinx "sphinxes" or "sphinx" ?????????

    I sphinx a sphinx is a sphinx whether or not there are 1 or 2. What do you sphinx?

    You're welcome Percy.

  8. Merci, Eric. That's the thing I love about your photos. You have the exceptional eye for things we ([ex]Parisians) pass by a thousand times a year and never really notice. And yes, Napoleon was BIG on the "oriental" theme. It even created an entire fashion, design and architecture style.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Nice capture of the water in motion. Actually I disagree with the consensus. Looks to me like his brother just told him a funny joke and he's spewed his milk out laughing. Lucky it didn't come out his nose! (crude american school kid jokes. . .sorry Eric!)

  11. LOL! You guys are toooooooooo much!
    Funny shot Eric...and I guess I have to get on the ewwwwwwww/gross/gag/hurling bandwagon too! And Michael has a point...sphinx or sphinx? Good one! Maybe this sphinx was jinxed? ;-)

  12. Just read Percy's post that Michael explained how to insert links....but I have gone back and read every one of Michael's post...cannot find it. I just went back to the post where I asked him how to insert further.

    Where are the instructions?

    I insert links all the time....but I don't have the same options here for some reason.

  13. Michael... the answer is obvious .... sphinxters

  14. pendant la canicule en Juillet, il fallait voir le monde autour de cette fontaine et le nombre impressionnant de pigeons.

  15. I added this photo to my collection but I would have liked it better sans the spew. The fountain is now on my "must see list" Dumb question follows, remember I am from Kentucky. Where is Place du Chatelet? Are there more things of interest in the area? How about a good restaurant?

  16. Eric, the great thing for me about this photo is that it reminds me of my own strolls in this area, and fills me with nostalgia (and a little longing).

    Johnny, if memory serves, Place du Chatelet is not far from the Hotel de Ville and the Rue de Rivoli. The area is jam-packed with sites and places to stroll. I'd defer to my Parisian friends on restaurants.

  17. "the large brasserie at the NW corner" :
    could be le Café Zimmer ( The déco has been redone a few years ago. Kind of posh-Napoleon III… just as I like !

  18. > tomate : désarmant, navrant, affligeant…


  19. Johnny Parson: The Chatelet is very central and from there you can walk to many, many, many interesting places in Paris, in fact so many I don't know if I can name them all here...

    On the same side as Chatelet and in addition to the theaters, you can walk back up to Les Halles, Georges Pompidou Center, Le Marais, l'Hotel de Ville, les bouquinistes, les marchands d'animaux...

    If you walk away from that side and you cross the Seine, you should see La Conciergerie, Le Marche aux Fleurs, l'Ile de la Cite, the Palais de Justice (Superior Court) Notre Dame, of course, is not far, St. Michel, the Quartier Latin ... somebody please stop me...

    Honestly, around these parts of Paris, there are so many things to see, you could spend a week trying to see everything in detail.

    (Harris is right, Chateley is probably the metro station with the longest underground tunnels. It is also a RER station which means you can access it from many other places around Paris, including CDG)

  20. lol! Oh ham, you're such a....ham!

    I think they'd look much better with the water spewing out of their noses!!!

  21. I'm still laughing! Sphinxter and Tomate's statue are way too much. Only this crowd could go from Napoleon's conquests to the Manneken Pis and bodily functions! Very clever you all are.

    Susan, I'll look for my original reply and try to post it here. I'm sure someone else has the answer too, so feel free topost it.

  22. From Michael's comment on the September 17 "Big green man" post:

    (insert open bracket)a href="INSERT THE LINK YOU WANT HERE">insert the word(s) you want to underline as a link here(insert open bracket)/a(insert closed bracket)

    brackets being these guys: open < or closed >

    My Webster's Dictionary says that the plural of sphinx can be sphinxes or sphinges! Much like the plurals of phalanx: phalanxes or phalanges.

  23. Wow Percy, even I looked all over for my original post but could not find it. Thanks!

    Now, sphinges and phalanges surprises me! I never would have sphunx that was the plural! You learn something every day.

  24. If I may, in french (and so not in the Webster's), "sphinge" is the female of sphinx. Now Michael, a game, after sphinxes, let's look out for sphinges in Paris ! I immediatly think to 2 of them : one in the Tuileries at the angle of avenue du Général Lemonnier, another at Ecole Massillon (near Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal).

  25. Tomate,
    Love your comments. My Partenaire remembered all from the summer before last including the covered up tour. He is much younger than I and with a much higher I.Q. and mnemonic ability. Thanks again for your help.

  26. Johnny Parsons: Thanks for the compliment! I found a site you might be interested in:

    You can see a little map of Paris and if you click on the icons they give you more details. They don't have Chatelet, but they do have Le Louvres (a little bit to the left of the Chatelet).

    Also, something you might want to do when you get there is simply walk along the Seine as far as you can. There is much to see between the Ile de la Cite and the Eiffel Tower.

    Yesterday I forgot to mention, of course, that if you keep walking, you'd see the Louvres, Pont Neuf ...

    Enjoy your next promenade in Paris!

    (It's great that you think so highly of your Partenaire, and I hope he says all kinds of nice things about you, too! :)

  27. "Le Louvre" without an "s" is more like it. Oops.

  28. gg...I'll have to look out for the sphinges in Paris. Maybe Eric should do it for us and take a photo!

  29. naoplean stole the obelisk which the egyptians are still waiting to be returned from the friendly french :)