The Paris Meridian Line

My strolls do follow an invisible thread in the steps of photograph Atget, comparing old Paris with today.
For these set of new strolls, I have added an other imaginary red thread, walking in the steps of François Arago, along the Paris Meridian Line.
The exercise is not that difficult though. All across Paris, there are bronze medallions, dotted along the precise line between the north and south of Paris. They were originally placed in 1994 by Dutch artist, Jan Dibbetts to honor French scientist François Arago.
Let’s cross Paris, from the south to the north, following these medallions or at least their identified location, since many of them might be gone since 1994.  
But instead of following the itinerary in one go, I have divided it into four strolls:

Map Stroll across Paris along Meridian line

The first stroll starts from the Cité Universitaire and crosses the Parc Montsouris.

The second stroll includes the Paris Observatory, which was built symmetrically on the Meridian line, used for a long time by French sailors, from 1667 to 1911, until its replacement by the Greenwich meridian.
It ends with the Church of Saint Sulpice. Its gnomon became famous with Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, although t is simply an astronomical instrument to calculate the date of Easter.

The third tangents Louvre's pyramid, an other location with occult theories.

The last one goes up to goes to Montmartre where the North obelisk in the garden of the Moulin de la Galette is the counterpart of the South obelisk in the Montsouris park.

Main places

  • Cité Universitaire –Two Arago medallions in front of Cambodia House end behind the House of Canadian Students
  • Boulevard Jourdan - One medallion (Green meridian)
  • Parc Montsouris - South obelisk (Mire Sud)
  • Boulevard Arago – place de l’Ile de Sein - empty pedestal Arago monument - Two Arago medallions Socle statue Arago
  • Corner avenue de l’Observatoire and rue d’Assas - one medallion Green Meridian
  • Gate Jardin du Luxembourg - rue Auguste Comte - one Arago medallion
  • Jardin du Luxembourg - 5 Arago medallions
  • Church of Saint-Sulpice - Gnomon
  • Corner Quai Conti and place de l’Institut - one Arago medallion
  • Louvre – Cour Napoléon – Arago medallion behind the Louvre pyramid
  • Louvre - Passage Richelieu side rue de Rivoli – One Arago medallion
  • Louvre – Wing Denon – Roman Antiquities Hall - One Arago medallion
  • Louvre – Wing Richelieu – French sculpture Hall - 3 Arago medallions
  • Palais Royal - Place Colette - One Arago medaillion
  • Palais Royal - Galerie de Nemours - One Arago medallion
  • Palais Royal - the tiny cannon
  • 24, rue de Richelieu - One Arago medallion
  • 69-71 rue de Pigalle - One Arago medallion
  • 1, avenue Junot - Moulin de la Galette (private) - North obelisk (not visible)

Texte / Photos : Martine Combes

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