The Pre-Christmas Program III

photo: gare st lazare, marche
The Christmas market in the gare Saint-Lazare
is open, but not in the official program.

'Paris des Quartiers' - Extra,
Bonus, Free Show

Paris:- Friday, 20. November 1998:- The city hall's reception area on the rue be Rivoli is at it again, with a neat little show about Paris, called 'Paris, Ici et Là - Le Paris des Quartiers' for short.

This reception office is for residents who can't find their way into the city hall proper to complain about something, and they end up here and get a delightful show about themselves for free - possibly forgetting to go away angry.

Don't worry about the two police guards outside. It is perfectly okay to give them a cheery 'Bonjour' and push on past them, through the strange doorway to thephoto: xmas goodies window interior. The exhibition starts immediately, and has nothing except Parisian views of Paris and all of its quarters. Taking a good look will take at least an hour.

If you like to look at food in windows, there will be plenty to see in Paris during the season.

If you turn left after entering, you will end up at an information desk. This does not have all of the services available at the Paris Tourist Office, but a lot of brochures are available, and the ladies working there are used to giving advice to anyone who asks for it.

The 'Paris des Quartiers' exhibition continues until Saturday, 16. January and is open from 9:30 to 18:30 except on Sundays and holidays. At 29. rue de Rivoli, Paris 4. No entry charge. The poster for this exhibition is on the first poster page in this issue.

Toymania - This is not the spirit of the thing at all! On the other hand it is supposed to be for collectors; especially for those older people who have never grown up. Besides antique toys and dolls, there are supposed to be cards and posters too - and maybe vintage Barbie dolls with beehive hairdos like Blanche.

At the Salle Equinoxe, at Aquaboulevard, 4. rue Louis-Armand, Paris 15. Métro: Balard. Two days only: Saturday, 5. December and Sunday, 6. December; from 10:00 to 19:00. Leave your kids at home; the entry costs 55 francs.

Le Musée de la Poupée - is open all year except on Mondays, and there may be an entry fee, but there is no selling, buying or trading - just a collection of dolls. Until 28. February, the 1/12th-scale collection of Ingeborg Riesser will be on display. Something different to see and worth a detour to the Impasse Berthaud, which is near 22. rue Beaubourg, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Open from 10:00 to 18:00.

This year's Christmas program is below, and below it are the references to Metropole's own past seasonal features.

Events, Displays

Christmas Lights - Paris' Quarters:

From mid-November to January 1999:

Rue Royal - Opéra Quarter
Avenue Montaigne - from 15. November to 5. January
Champs-Elysées - from 26. November to 11. January
Avenue Vendôme - from 30. November to 5. January
Rue de la Paix - from 30. November to 5. January
Faubourg Saint-Honoré - from 1. December to 3. January

Hôtel de Ville Skating Rink - Patinoire - Eisbahn:

Place de la Hôtel de Ville: Christmas decor, with two merry-go-rounds at either end of ice-skating rink. No charge. Ice-skate rentals. From Tuesday, 15. December until 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Giant Ferris Wheel - Grande Roue - Riesenrad:

Place de la Concorde, Tuileries side. Panoramic view from the top. From 19. December until 3. January. Daily from 10:30 until 19:30.

Merry-go-rounds - Les Maneges de Noël - Karussel:

Two at the Hôtel de Ville, from 19. December to 3. January; daily from 10:30 to 19:30. No charge. Others located in most other Paris arrondissements.

Christmas Windows - Vitrines de Noël - Schaufenstern:

Bon Marché, Rive Gauche, 'Peau d'Ane;' at Galeries Lafayette, 'Le Ciel de Noël de Christian Lacroix;' La Samaritaine, 'Le Chocolat dans tous ses Eclats' and at Printemps, 'Basile, Jouet 'Fetische.'' From November to January 1999.

Christmas Mangers - Crèches - Krippen:

Noêl aux 5 Continents:

From the four corners of the world, 120 crèches representing voyages full of fantasy. At the Forum des Halles, 1 and 3, Grand Balcon, level -1. From 10:00 to 19:30 daily. Closed Sundays except for 6, 13 and 20. December. Open from 28. November to 2. January.

La Crèche du Vieux Paris:

Find yourself in the Christmas of medieval Paris as if it were 1491. Notre Dame is finally finished, shops and houses on the bridges; apothecaries, barrel makers -with more than 400 actors, some of them robots, in period costumes to animate this replica of another time. With narration by Jean-Pierre Coffe. In a heated circus tent at the place du Palais-Royal; daily from 10:00 to 20:00. Starts Friday 4. December and continues until 4. January. Reservations possible: Info. Tel.: 01 40 21 40 21.

La Crèche de Notre-Dame de Paris:photo: creche at notre dame

Inside a big tent, errected on the place in front of the church; entry from the church side. Daily from 10:00 to 19:30; on Tuesdays until 22:30. Daily from 5. December to 3. January. Entry charge: 35 francs; under 12 years, 25 francs.

Christmas Markets - Marchés de Noël - Weihnachtsmarkt:

La Foire Saint-Nicolas:

'L'Atelier du Père-Noël en 40 Chalets' - From all of France and all the continents, the Christmas decorations of artisans from around the world. Place de la Bourse, Paris 2. Starts Tuesday, 17. November, until Sunday, 6. December. From 10:00 to 19:30, on Thursdays until 21:00.

Marché de Noël - Champs-Elysées:

Exhibition - market organized with traditional handcrafted items and products from Alsace, including decorations, breads and spices. 'Avent crowns.' From 28. November to 24. December; daily from 11:00 to 19:00; until 17:00 on 24. December. Maison d'Alsace, 39. avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8.

Christmas Markets - continued:

Marché de Noël - Parc Floral:

Also from all of France and all the continents, 250 stands with thousands of gifts on offer; 'living' crèche with panorama of animals, musicians, and with a children's choir performing carols. 'Pagno' miniature Noël village with dozens of houses; populated by over 100 'santons' from Provence. With clowns and mimes.

Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. On Friday, 4. December, from 14:00 to 22:00; Saturday, 5. December, from 10:00 to 22:00; and Sunday, 6. December, from 10:00 to 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 43 43 92 95.

Alsatian Noël At Gare de l'Est:

Reconstitution of two Alsatian villages, with timbered houses. Specialty food products from the region along with typical Christmas decorations, and Christmas trees crowned with stars; plus music boxes and Alsatian Chrristmas books. Saint-Nicolas gives goodies to the kids on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 19:00.

Gare de l'Est, suburban and long-distance train halls, Paris 10. From Tuesday, 6. December until Saturday, 19. December; daily from 9:00 to 20:00.

Gare Saint-Lazare:

There is a 'Marché de Noël' situated in ticket hall of this major train station, at the same level as the train quais. At this time, no details of dates or times are available for it - only the photo at the top of the page.

Christmas Concerts:

Ensemble Olivier Opdebeeck with the vocal ensemble of Cori Spezzati, directed by Olivier Opdebeeck: Legrenzi's 'Christmas Vespers of Venice,' featuring original works. At the Saint-Louis des Invalides church, 2. avenue de Tourville, Paris 7. On Thursday, 10. December, at 20:30.

The Children's Choir of L'Ecole Sainte-Marie d'Antony, sing Noël under the direction of Père Giraud, with Georges Bassonnet on the organ. At the Saint- Germain-des-Prés church, 6. place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris 6. Performance on Tuesday, 22. December at 20:30.

Concertsolo - by the Choir of the Russian Patriarch. 'Un Noël à Moscou' features ancient orthodox chants, liturgical choir and traditional Russian chants. Direction by Anatoly Grindenko. At the Saint-Louis-en-L'Ile church, 19 bis, rue Saint-Louis-en-L'Ile, Paris 4. On 25, 27. December and 1. January at 17:00 and on 26, 28. and 31. December at 20:45.

Candlelight Christmas Concert - featuring the Alegria Ensemble, performing 'Les Plus Beaux Noël au Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance.' At the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church, 23. quai de Montbello, Paris 5. On Sunday, 26. December, at 21:00.

Christmas Masses

Midnight Mass - with the participation of artists from the world of showbusiness; the 'Masters of Paris,' under the direction of Patrick Marco. At the Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. On Thursday, 24. December, at 23:30. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10.

Christmas Mass at Notre Dame - Thursday, 24. December, Mass of the Vigil at 18:30, 'Eve of Noël' about 21:00 and Midnight Mass at 24:00. On Christmas Day, 25. December, there will be masses at 8:00, 8:45, 10:00, 11:30, and possibly one at 12:30, and at 18:30.

Festival d'Art Sacré: - 'Les Femmes et le Sacré' is the subtitle of this series of concerts with singers, which begins Thursday, 19. November and continues to a midnight mass on Thursday, 24. December, with the Moscow Ice Circus, at their location on the Pelouse de Reuilly. Métro: Porte Dorée.

Reservations can be made by writing to the 'Festival d'Art Sacré,' 14. rue de Madrid, 75008 Paris. Tickets are also available at fnac and the Virgin Megastore. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10. The program is a big one, and you might find details for it on Metropole's links page, at the official Paris Web sites.

Metropole's Christmas Past in Paris:

Past Christmas' Season Features in Metropole at a Glance:

Anno 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.49 - 8. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.50 - 15. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.51 - 22. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.52 - 29. December 1997:

Anno 1996:

Metropole Issue 1.43 - 16. December 1996

  • Features: 'Shopping' on the Rue Saint Honoré,' 'Standing Around Waiting for Food' and 'Best Christmas Window Contest.'

Metropole Issue 1.44 - 23. December 1996

  • Feature: 'The Eating Season'

Metropole Issue 1.45 - 30. December 1996

  • Feature: 'New Year's in Paris'

Even if you didn't find many screaming howlers of typos in last week's Christmas Events program, you'll find fewer in this week's.

Some Japanese visitors must have complained about the original photocopy not actually being in Japanese, and the Ville de Paris made up a new, readable one - in French. No big surprises in this new version; but I've added a couple of items that aren't on the official list - which do fall into this holiday category.

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