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Village Suisse & the Fields of Mars

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Improbable Walks, Season 2, Episode #6: Today's episode walks into the strange history of the Village Suisse, on the Left Bank in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. We'll talk about the great battle on the Champs de Mars, between the Romans and the Gauls (spoiler alert: the Parisi lost); remember Napoleon Bonaparte when he was just a scared teenager, reading to avoid bullies; and talk about antiques--because the Village Suisse is an amazing place to browse through historical objects. Some photos to accompany your stroll: first, a statue of CAMULOGENE, who fought the Romans--this statue is a beautiful 19th-century work by E-L Lequesne. Plus a moustache close-up: the Gauls are often portrayed with extraordinary moustaches, possibly because the Romans were famously clean-shaven. Next, a floorplan for the Ecole Militaire as designed by Anges-Jacque Gabriel, architect to King Louis XV. Then a dramatic portrait of Napoleon, painted by David--I love his sash in this painting. To be honest, I want the whole outfit. Next, a colorized photograph from the 1900 Exposition Universelle--this view from the Eiffel Tower gives us a glimpse of the huge ferris wheel, over to the right. This is close to where you'll find the Village Suisse, today--and the last photo is me, walking past a shop in the Village. Thanks to Heather at Secrets of Paris for the photo!

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