While certainly I wanted to show off the beauty of Dutchtown for two weeks, that was also cover for the fact I was traveling in Europe for over a week, specifically in Paris and throughout northern France. I took over 1,000 photos, which is slacking off a bit considering I took over 2,400 photos back in 2009 when I went to Rome, but I suppose I am not as zealous as I once was. Long story short, it’s taking a bit longer to process all the photos I took, but over the next couple of weeks, I will be featuring various monuments of French architecture that have influenced the St. Louis built environment. It will not be some droll recounting of Chris’s vacation, but rather a look at how there is an intrinsic link between France, just like there is between Italy, and our city and the buildings that have been built here over the last two hundred years.
I will look at the royal palaces of Paris for example, such as the Louvre, as well as other less famous buildings, and how the city was one of the first major examples of urban renewal in the Nineteenth Century.
I will also examine the influence of the Gothic style of architecture, which originated in France in an abbey to the northeast of Paris. I visited six cathedrals during my trip.
Also, the influence of the châteaux of the Ile de France and Loire Valley on the houses of the wealthy in St. Louis cannot be overstated. I’ll look at five or six of them that I visited, and we’ll see how they influenced homes in our city.
And of course, the Eiffel Tower is famous, but did you know it fits in with the development of skyscrapers and the use of structural wrought iron and steel, a story whose path wends its way through St. Louis? We’ll talk about this all soon.