One of the oldest Carousels in Paris is located on the tiny Place St.-Pierre in Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement on the Rive Droite (Right Bank), near the Eiffel Tower.
When I was in high school, I went on a class trip to France and Switzerland (and drove through the Italian border on the bus so we could say we were in Italy). I remember vividly the tour of Sacré-Coeur and sitting on the steps of the Basilique. We also rode the Carousel at the foot of Sacré-Coeur. Imagine my surprise today when I came across this photo of the Carousel in the winter, with snow falling from Pinterest, it transported me right back to Paris, exploring.
Somehow, the snow in the image just makes it so much more magical, and intensifies the beauty. Hard to believe that Paris can be more magical, but to me, it just is.
Untapped Cities tells us the history of the Carousel:
Carousels were born from tragedy: A jousting accident killed King Henri II, Catherine de Medici’s husband, in 1559, driving knights to practise a safer alternative to these tournaments, such as spearing suspended rings with their lances. For the birth of the Dauphin, Louis XVI held a carousel festival in 1662 in front of the Tuileries. In true Sun King fashion, it was all pomp and fanfare: 15,000 guests watched knights on their horses participate in jeu de bagues compétitions. The celebration which took three months to organise lasted only three days, but the Sun King did himself proud because the memory of this grandiose fête still lives on: the location where it was held is known today as Place du Carrousel.
Map of Montmartre:
Have you been to Paris? Did you ride the Carousel? Have you visited Sacré-Coeur and sat on the steps of the Basilique? What’s your favorite architecture in Paris? What other architectural tours would you like me to write about? Tell me in the comments, or on Twitter @bookdoctordara.
For more about other carousels in Paris, check out Carrousels – Merry-go-rounds around Paris by Travel France Online.
“Auf dem Karussell, on the Carousel: dreaming about : Montmartre, Sacré-Cœur ,”basilique du Sacré-Cœur ” , Amélie auf dem Karussell” by eagle1effi taken May 2008. https://www.flickr.com/photos/eagle1effi/2465636575