Ajaccio in Corsica

October 22nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Koudkeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Koudkeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ajaccio is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud, and head office of the Collectivité territoriale de Corse (capital city of Corsica). It is also the largest settlement on the island. Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, 210 nautical miles (390 km) southeast of Marseille. The original city went into decline in the Middle Ages, but began to prosper again after the Genoese built a citadel in 1492 to the south of the earlier settlement. After the Corsican Republic was declared in 1755 the Genoese continued to hold several citadels, including Ajaccio, until the French took control of the island.   read more…

Portrait: Marie Curie, physicist and chemist

September 26th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Marie Curie

Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie, born Maria Salomea Skłodowska was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.   read more…

The Sorbonne in Paris

September 24th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Paris, Universities, Colleges, Academies

© François Trazzi/cc-by-sa-3.0

© François Trazzi/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement), in Paris, which was the historical house of the former University of Paris. Today, it houses part or all of several higher education and research institutions such as Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris Descartes University, École pratique des hautes études, and Sorbonne University. Despite being a highly valued brand, the Sorbonne universities did not register their names as trademarks until the 1990s. Over the following years, they established partnerships, merging projects and associated institutions with the name Sorbonne, sometimes triggering conflicts over the usage and ownership of the name.   read more…

Portrait: Albert Schweitzer, a French-German theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician

June 27th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

© Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bundesarchiv/cc-by-sa-3.0

Albert Schweitzer, OM, was a French-German (Schweitzer was born in the province of Kaysersberg, which changed hands between France and Germany near and during his lifetime. Schweitzer considered himself French and wrote mostly in German. His mother-tongue was Alsatian) theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul‘s mysticism of “being in Christ” as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ Reform Movement (Orgelbewegung).   read more…

Belleville in Paris

June 18th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris

Street art by Ben Vautier in Belleville © Cadaverexquisito/cc-by-sa-3.0

Street art by Ben Vautier in Belleville © Cadaverexquisito/cc-by-sa-3.0

Belleville is a neighbourhood of Paris, parts of which lie in four different arrondissements. The major portion of Belleville straddles the borderline between the 20th arrondissement and the 19th along its main street, the Rue de Belleville. The remainder lies in the 10th and 11th arrondissements. It was once the independent commune (municipality) of Belleville which was annexed by the City of Paris in 1860 and divided between two arrondissements Geographically, the neighborhood is situated on and around a hill which vies with Montmartre as the highest in Paris. The name Belleville literally means “beautiful town”.   read more…

Musée des Confluences in Lyon

June 6th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions

© Tibidibtibo/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Tibidibtibo/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Musée des Confluences is a science centre and anthropology museum which opened on 20 December 2014 in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon, (Rhône department). It is located at the southern tip of the Presqu’île at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, adjacent to Autoroute A7, and comprises part of a larger redevelopment project of the Confluence quarter of Lyon. The deconstructivist architectural design, said to resemble a floating crystal cloud of stainless steel and glass, was created by the Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au.   read more…

Le Mans in the Pays de la Loire

May 18th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Palais du Grabatoire © Fafner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palais du Grabatoire © Fafner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Le Mans is a city on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region. Its inhabitants are called Manceaux and Mancelles.   read more…

Les Invalides in Paris

March 14th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris

Hôtel des Invalides, as seen from the Tour Montparnasse © Jens Peter Clausen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hôtel des Invalides, as seen from the Tour Montparnasse © Jens Peter Clausen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Les Invalides, commonly known as Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building’s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l’Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church with the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte.   read more…

The UNESCO

March 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© UNESCO.org

© UNESCO.org

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of NationsInternational Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 195 member states and ten associate members, including Cook Islands and Niue. Most of its field offices are “cluster” offices covering three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist. In October 2017, the United States and Israel have declared that they will leave UNESCO on 31 December 2018. Efforts to keep the United States in the UNESCO promptly started on the diplomatic floor.   read more…

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