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Full text of "Pocket guide to Paris and the cities of northern France"

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WAR DEPARTMENT • WASHINGTON, D. C. 



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POC/CfT GUIDE TO 

PARIS 

AND THE CITIES OF NORTHERN FRANCE 



Pot use of Military Personmel onfy. Not to he 
republished, in whole or in part, without the 
'nt of the War Department. 



Prepared hy 

ARMT IMTOPMATIOK BRANCH 

INFORMATION AND EDUCATION DIViaiON, . 
UNITED 8TATE9 ARMT 



J 



ATTENTION 

About the only thing in this booklet tliat can be giiiiranteed is the 
terrain. The rest of it is up to the fortunes or misfortunes of war. 
Many of the towns and cities described here have been bombed and 
shelled by us as we approached, and shelled by the enemy as he 
I'etreated. And many of them will still show the marks of the 
destruction visited upon them when these lands were being con- 
quered and occupied by the Grermans. 

The short historical notes and city plans concerning most of the 
towns are correct as of the outbreak of the war. But. the changes 
of war were still happening in many places when this pocket guide 
went to press. 

You may find that art treasures described and located in the.se 
pages have been looted or destroyed, and it may be years before 
those that can be restored are sights to see again. On the other 
hand, some of them, by a stroke of good fortune, may be left intact 
and you will be able to enjoy tliem. 



_ And another thing : if some of thewe towns should l>e declared off 
limits, you'll bypass them, of course. Perhaps later, they may be 
open to you. 

Food and drink are discussed hei-e, so that as tiinesgrtidually 
return to normal, you may be guided in the tastes and customs of 
the country. But be sure that you are not encouraging a black 
market or bringing hardship to the native civilian population if 
you take advantage of what the town or region has to offer. You 
will I'eceive direction from the proper authority in tliis matter. 

Anyhow, so far as your military duties permit, see as much as 
you can. You've got a gi-eat chance to do now, major expenses 
paid, what would cost you a lot of your own monev after the war. 
Take advantage of it. 




CONTENTS 




Amjanche .... 


20 


Le Mans 


.... 51 


Brest 


23 


Orleans 

Reims 

Rennes 

RoDEN 

St.Malo 


.... 58 
.... 65 
.... 61 
.... fif) 


Calais 


■2J 


Cherbourg . . . 
Deauville .... 

Dreux 

dunkerque . . . 

L 


37 

45 

43 

35 


Str.\sbodrg .... 








PARIS 

Somebody once said tJiat to study Paris is to gain a window tliat 
opens out onto the history oi Europe. Even us early as the 12th 
centuiy Paris was a center of Western culture. It was the seat 
of a univei'sity and students from all over Europe came there to 
seek furthei' knowledge. 

Officially, you are in Paris as a soldier. It may be difficult for 
you to find time to see Paris or the many other French cities and 
towns. Nevertheless, let us assume tlint you will get a leave or a 
fiii'lough. The question then arises, "What is it that I want to 
see in Pans?" 

One of the first ideas that you should get out of your head is 
that Paris is a city of wicked and frivolous people. There's an old 
Frencli proverb. "Oherc/ies la fem.m.e" wliieh in GI language 
means "Find the woman." Well, maybe you will find the woman, 
but chances are you may not. At any rat«, you'll find that the 
real Paris is not the Paris of night life and wild women. Instead, 
you will probably find it a city of gi-eat beauty and culture. You 
may be going there to find knowledge of the history of a great city. 



^L 



even as did the studeiits of the 12tli century. But don't let us 
frighten you. If you're the type who wants to have a gay time, 
you will undoubtedly find plenty of interesting cafes, restaurants, 
and places of amusement. Fii-st, however, let's go into the general 
history of this city so that you can have a better idea what to expect 
once you arrive there. 

History of Paris 

One of the first mentions of Paris can be found in the Commen- 
taries of Caesai'. Labienus, one of the old boy's generals, once 
occupied a number of mud huts on an island in the Seine. In tbis 
settlement was the residence of the Parissi, one of tlie numerous 
Gallic tribes conquered by the Koiuans. 

In the third century, Paris was known as Lutetia and in the year 
of 506 Ciovis made it the capital of his kingdom after he defeated 
the Germans at Soissons. Still later, in the tenth century, Hugh 
Capet made it the capital of all of France. During that time 
Paris was divided into three parts, the Ville on the right bank, 
the Latin Quarter on the left, and La Cite on the islanck. 

The histoiy of Paris is a history of conquests and wars. During 
the reigns of Henry V and Henry VI the English occupied the 



city. The progress of the city was liailed during the various 
wars. But Henry of Navarre, crowned King of France in 1589, 
spent enormous amounts of money to beauti^ Paris. His plans 
were later carried out by his son, Louis XIII, and still later by 
Louis XIV. 

When the first Kapoleon came into power he decorated tlie city 
with art treasures fiom neighboring countries. But Paris once 
again fell into a period of recession insofar as beautification of 
the city was concerned. This happened after the defeat of 
Napoleon, 

Wlien Louis Pliillipe came into power he built many strong 
fortifications and improved on the existing ones. At that time 
the city was still a place of narrow and crooked streets. During 
the reign of Napoleon III many public buildings were constructed 
and at the time of the international exhibition in 1897 Paris was 
acclaimed as the most beautiful city in Europe. 

Some damage was caused to the city by the Germans v.'\\en they 
attacked it in 1870 and 1871. And in May 1871, part of the city 
was destroyed by fire when Government troops advancetl into 
Paris to destroy the rebel administration of the Ciunmunards. 



The city became gay again two years later. But during tlie 
first World War Gernuin plaues bombed Paris and enemy artillery 
shelled it by using long distance gims. one of which was the famous 
"Big Bertha." 

In 1931 a census of Paris.showed a population of 2.871.429. The 
city itself covers an area of 30 square miles, more than 1.700 aci-es 
are occupied by the Seine which flows tJirough Paris from South- 
east to Southwest. The populatioil of "Greater Paris" which in- 
chides the adjacent suburbs and towns, was reported at 4,887.464 
by the same census. Actually, Paris is the most densely populated 
city in the world. 

Although Paris has always been noted for being the most cos- 
mopolitan city in Europe— a city of artists, scholars, and mer- 
chants, and of travellers in pursuit of pleasure— it is also the center 
of French industry and commerce. 

But right now you are mostly interested in the sights. There 
are so many tilings to see in this gi-eat city (hat it is almost impos- 
sible to give you a complete story on all of thera. You will want, 
of course, to visit the Pakc dtj Tr(x;adero from where vou can get a 
beautiful view of the famous Eiffel Tower. You will marvel at 
the beauty of the bridges spanning the Seine, like, for instance, the 



Pont Alexandre III which liajs a single arch of steel on either end 
of which are artistic gilded figures of Fame and Pegasus. 

You will certainly want to see the Arc de TRniMpiiE, beneath 
which rests the French Unknown Soldier of World War I, and 
such other historical buildings and monuments as the Concierghiie 
whei'e Marie Antoinette and many other famous aristocrats spent 
their last days. Then there is the July Column in the center of the 
Place de la Bastille which commemorates the victims of the 1830 
revolution. 

Food and Drink 

One common interest that every Joe has is food. So. let us begin 
with Parisian restaurants. Again, however, let us caution you 
that you may not find the same abundance of food in Paris res- 
taurants that you could have found in peacetime. One thing is 
very definite, though, you will find that Parisian chefs are among 
the best in the world. If food is scarce, leave it for the civilians. 
Don't encourage black markets, they make tilings more expensive 
for you. 

Perhaps the best foods can be eaten in « la carte restaurants 
with their many special dishes. The food at hotels and expensive 



restaurants is usually excellent, but it is not prepared in the indi- 
vidual style that you will find at the a la. carte places. But you 
don't have to patronize luxury places only. The second-class res- 
■ taurants may be less pretentious, but you will 6nd many of them 
very good. 

There is a usual charge of 1.5 francs for "convert" in the a la 
carte restaurants and some of the first -class places may charge more. 
When you are ready to leave merely call for the waiter — Gargon, 
Vaddition, sHl vous plait/ — and he'll bring you a written bill. 
Unless your tip is included in the bill you are expected to leave any- 
where from 10 to 15 percent of the total. The French refer to this 
as a pourhoire. 

The drinking water in Paris is not too good, so you will probably 
follow the native custom by calling the wine waiter {somTtielier) , 
who, by the way, is tipped separately. You'll find that the vhi 
ordinaire is usually of good quality. 

If it's still hot in Paris when you get there you'll probably like 
vi?i frappe which is wine in ice. 

In peacetime there were a great nimiber of foreign restaurants 
in Paris for tliose tourists who wanted a taste of "home cooking." 



If yon want American food you may still be able to get some at a 
number of places which specialize in them. You used to be able 
to get a fairly good dinner at any of these restaurants for from 20 
to 30 francs. 

There are also Chinese. Russian, Jewish, Spanish, and many 
other restaurants sei'ving foreign dishes. 

The center of all Paiisian night life is in the Montmartre. It 
used to be a fairly expensive district although Baedeker's hand- 
book to Paris says that the general public there is not too refined. 
Supper in the places in the Montmartre are quite expensive and so 
is the champagne. Usually, people are quite content to get sand- 
wiches or cold refreshments. Before sitting down at a table you 
might ask for the price of food and liquors. Then, if you feel it is 
too exorbitant, do not feel embarrassed to walk out — the natives 
are quite used to doing so in the Montmartre. You'll find most of 
the establishments packed from 5 p. m. to midnight. 

You will probably enjoy the cafes of Paris. As a rule, the 
natives fi-equent them for an aperitif before lunch and dinner 
When the weather is fine you may sit at a table outdoors and watch 
the life around you. If you should get the urge to write the little 
woman back home simply ask the waiter for paper, pen and ink. 



He'll be glad to get il foi-you, providing, of cuiirae, tlie siippUes are 
still there. AH Ittters. however, niiist be written inside the cafe.- 
It's a pretty grand feeling to sit in one of these cafes with a bottle 
of wine on the table, a pen in your hand and an orchestra playing 
gay music within a few feet of you. Be sure to tip the waiter for 
this little service. 

The coffee in Paris cafes used to be very good. In the morning, 
the natives drink their cotfee black, but you can get "white" coffee 
by asking for cafe creme. 

You can usually get cold snacks ut the cafes. You can almost 
always find billiard tables at most cafes, but they are an exception 
at cafes on the boulevards. 

Some of the finest cafes are along the boulevards. On a warm 
day yon see thousands of people sitting outside the cafes. 

Various cafes are noted for a distinctive feature. One, for 
instance, is the hangout of chess players, another a resort for men 
of literature, others for the quality of their wines. 

Eiffel Tower 

One of the world's outstanding "city trademarks" is the Eiffel 
Tower in Paris. Among towers it is the loftiest, rising 984 feet, 



and among man's structures, it is exceeded in height only by the 
Empire State and the Chrysler Buildings in New York City. 

The great Tower was completed in 1889 as a sort of glorified 
country-fair attraction for the International Exposition that 
opened in the French capital that year. It was the first huge 
structure, other than bridges, to be built entirely of iron and steel, 
and is credited by many engineers with having blazed the trail for 
the great era of steel construction which has marked the growth 
of great cities in the past half -century. 

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer and bridge 
builder who designed and created the tower, was berated by some 
of the most prominent Parisians of the day for raising in the 
beautiful city a mass of iron which they called a "vulgar monstros- 
ity." One sensitive writer considered it such a blot oji his beloved 
Paris sky line that he voluntarily exiled himself from the city. 

Yet as the years passed Parisians came to be fond of the lace- 
like shaft that soared into the sky, and in the eyes of the world 
it became the undisputed trade-mark of the French capital. The 
structure was a financial as well as an architectural success. Its 
cost of nearly eight million francs was ijaid off .in less than two 



years; and the coiiipiiiiy wlik'h Eiffel organized to construct and 
operate it continued in peace time to receive a substantial income. 

The Tower is now owned by the city of Paris. Nearly 20 million 
visitors had ascended the Tower before the outbi'eak of the present 
war, many of them eating in the restaurant on a platform at the 
190-foot level or regaling iheniseh-es at the bar 381 feet above the 
ground. 

You can ascend the Tower eitliei' by steps or elevators. Above 
the second floor sightseers depend on a slow-moving elevator to lift 
tliem to near the Tower's top where there is a glass-inclosed obser- 
vation room. From there on a clear day one can see 50 miles or 
more into the surroimding country. Under favorable conditions 
the Tower itself can be seen from points 23 miles or more away. 

The Eiffel Tower has played a spectacularly useful role. Its 
hnge clock faces, far aloft, have told Parisians the time, day and 
night. A meteorological station near its top has made continual 
weather studies. And a radio station at its very pinnacle has 
poured out signals to all the world. It was between the Eiffel 
Tower and the former radio towei-s at Arlington, Va., during the 
last war that the first voice radio signals crossed the Atlantic. 



Places of Interest 

By all means visit the Place de l'Etoile, from which 12 wide 
avenues radiate. There you will also find the famous Arc de Tri- 
OMPHE. The Arc was begim by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate 
his victories. It was finally completed 30 years later by Louis 
Phillipe at a cost of nearly two million dollars. 

The Arc is 164 feet high and 147 feet wide, measuring 95 feet 
under the keystone of the great archway. The names of the prin- 
cipal victories of the First Republic and the Empire are on the 
panels over the I'oof, Inscribed also are the names of the generals 
who participated in the battles. 

By ascending the .spiral stairway leading to the platform at the 
top of the Akc de Triomphe you can get a magniiicent view of the 
Champs Sltsees, the Avence de la Grantee Armke, the Towers 
OF Notre-Dame, the Seine and heights of Montmartre. 

When the summer evening sun begins to slip away, twUight shad- 
ows form over tlie earth and, from atop the Arc, you witness a 
romantic and mysterious Paris. 

You can also see the Bois de Boulogne, the great park and gar- 
den, from above the Ai-c. Liside the park are two lakes called 



SnPEHiEUK and Infebiedr. There is aisci a zoo in the park, Le 
jARDiir d'AcclemAtation, and numerous open-air restaurants. 

Notre-Dame is the cathedral of the Aichbisliop of Pai-is. The 
present structure stands on the site of the church by the same name 
that existed in 365. The structure you will see was built in 1163 
and Pope Alexander III laid the firet stone. 

Notre-Dame's history is almost parallel to that of the city. Li 
1186, Geoffrey Plantagenet, son of Henry II of England, was 
buried beneath the high altar. Later, in 1430,Henry VI of Eng- 
land, was buried beneath the high altar. Latei', in 1430, Henry 

VI of England was crowned there as king of France. Napoleon I 
and Josephine de Beauharnais were crowned there by Pope Pins 

VII in 1804. In 1853 the marriage of Napoleon III to Countess 
Eugenie de Montijo took place there amidst great ceremony. 

The stained-glass windows and majestic architecture of Notre- 
Dame are the boast of the people of Paris. The western front 
of this famous cathedral dates back to the first quarter of the 13th 
century. It has served as a model for the facades of many 
churches in Northern France. 

If you want one of the finest views of the city you should go 
to the belfry, or the north or south towers of Notre-Dame. The 



famous BotiBnON-DE-NciTRE-DAME, the ciithednil bell which weighs 
nearly 29,000 pounds, hangs in tlie belfiy. It is one of the largest 
bells in the world and its sweet tone is known the world over. The 
clapper alone weighs nearly one-half a ton and it takes eight strong 
men to swing it against the bell itself. This bell has been ringing 
out news of French victories for hundreds of years. Yon will 
no doubt hear its chimes on many occasions durmg your stay in 
Paris. 

You will be impressed with the towers, both of which ascend to 
220 feet. The steeple is 147 feet high and was constructed in 1859. 
According to legend, the ball supporting the cross on the steeple 
contains relics of the original cross and fragmems from the crown 
of thorns which encircled the head of Jesus Christ, 

You will find in Notre-Dame 37 chapels that contain the tombs 
of many famous prelates of Paris. 

One of the best known spots in Paris is the Pl.\ce de la 
CoNcoRnE. From the Place, which is a huge paved rectangle a 
little northwest of the exact center of Paris, radiate world famous 
boulevards. Within plain view from the base of the Egyptian 
Obelisk in the center of the Place are the Chamber of Depdties, 
the new American Embasst, the Chcbch or the Madeleine, the 



TuiLERiEs GABDKNa. the LoTrntE, tlie Rivkr Seine, and the Akc db 
Triomphe. 

There is probably no other part of Paris that looks so nearly as 
it was one hundred years ago as the Place de la Concorde. Except 
for the asphalt i>aviiig, subway entrances and modem motor 
traffic, the broad vistas frojn the Place are substantially unchanged 
since the days of the French Revolution, when the guillotine in 
the Square reaped its grisly harvest of heads. 

The aspects of the Square itself have been altered greatly since 
the Revolutionary period when it was known as the Place de la 
Revolution. The exact location of the guillotine that executed 
nearly 3.000 persor^ during 1793 and 1795 is not known. Some 
people say it's in the very spot where now stands a bronze fountain. 
Among those executed here were King Louis XVI. Marie An- 
toinette, Mine. Roland, Danton, and Robespierre. 

As you look on you will recall the scenes in the movie version of 
"A Tale of Two Cities" which sliowed some of the housewives 
knitting while heads dropped into the bloody basket beside the 
sharp knife of "Madame Guillotine," as the Parisians called the 
head-clipping machine. 

The most noted statues in the Square, however, are eight stone 



figures symbolizing French cities — Lille, Strasbourg, Bordeau, 
Nantes, Rouen, Brest, Marseille, and Lyons. From 1870 until 1918 
the Strasbourg statue was di'aped with mourning garlands and 
crepe, a reminder of the lost province of Alsace. On a shield was 
the single word, "Wlien?" 

The Place de la Concoi-de has known many exciting, tragic, and 
momentous events in addition to those of the Revolution, In 1770, 
during the celebration of the marriage of the Dauphin and Marie 
Antoinette, rockets fell among a densely packed crowd of specta- 
tors in the Square, and during the panic that followed 1,200 persons 
were killed and 2,000 injured. 

A large crowd of British soldiers used the Square in 1815 as a 
camping ground. The Germans pitciied their tents there in 1871, 
too. It was the scene of street fighting during the Revolution of 
1830, and again in 1848 when mobs poured through it to sack and 
pillage the Tuileries Palace. Napoleon reviewed his triumphant 
troops many times on the Place de la Concorde. 

One of the chief entrances to the sewers, a principal tourist site 
in Paris, is near the Lille statue. Three subway lines pass under 
the paved area of the Place. In peacetime there was a stream of 
honking taxi, bus, and other vehicular traffic pouring into it every 



lioiir uf the day ii-um the Champs fii,Y8KE8, Rue de Ei\'Oli, Eue 

ROTALE, QuAI DE8 TtJILEEIES, CoDRS LA ReIXE, illlll the PONT 

DE LA Concorde, The obelisk and fountains used to be floodlighted. 

There is no square like it anywliere back home. It is said that if 
Madison Square in New York were paved and bustling with traffic, 
if Capital Plaza and Union Station Plaza in Washington were 
lumped into one square, if a great area were cleared in Chicago 
where Michigan Boulevard reaches the river — each would suggest 
faintly the great open space on the bank of the Seine where beats 
the pulse of Paris. 

You should try to visit the Nissm de Camondo Museum on the 
Rue de Monceau in the northwest section of the city. See the 
architecture, furniture and art objects, ail of the 18th century. 

After having enjoyed looking at these treasures it would be nice 
to stroll into the nearby elegant little Parc Monctau to rest in the 
shade and watch the French children sail their toy boats on a 
niiniature lake. 

From the LomiiE it is only a short distance to the restful benches, 
flownr beds and playing fountains of the Tuileries Gardens. 
Froji. the Luxembourg one can stroll into the leafy Luxembourg 
Gardens where fruit trees are trained flat on espaliers. 



Between the Clunt Muhettm and the Seine blooms a garden in 
which you can rest amidst suiToundings of medieval sculptures 
and vine-covered gray ruins of ancient Roman baths. The 
Cerhuschi Museum of oriental art is, like the new Nissim de 
Camondo, near Pakc Monh^au. Located near the Jardin des 
Plantes are several collections pertaining to Comparative Anat- 
omy, Botany. Geology and Mineralogy. If you become depressed 
by viewing tile many skeletons and bones in the Anatomical Mu- 
seum you can park yourself on a bencli in the shady zoo and be 
amused by the antics of the kids and monkeys. 

The most famous nmseum in Paris is the Louveb which was once 
a royal palace. It is an immense age-bliickened building in the 
shape of a squared letter "A" with the open base facing the 
Tuileries Gardens. The Louvre partly encloses the Place de 
Carrousel. This peaceful, sunny conrt, with its formal red and 
lavender flower beds, was the scene of bloody riots and guillotine 
executions during the Revolution. 

The Louvre is so vast that unless you have a guide you'll be 
strolling through miles of galleries without finding the type of 
art you are interested in. You'll come across au abundance of 
paintings and sculptures — Whistler's "Mother," Millet's "Ange- 



his," the Vemis of Milo, the Diiina of the Chtu«e. t!ie Winged 
Victory, and the Mona Lisa — always assuming the enemy has left 
them behind. 

Parts of the Louvre used to be open iov two evenings a week. 

You will probably like to visit the Ltjxembouhg Mcseum which 
houses a government-owned collection of eonteinporaLy French 
art. The art pieces in the Luxembourg that prove to have per- 
manent value usually find their way into the Louvre or nmseums 
of other French citie.s ten years after the artist's death. 

The Cluny Museum, a Gothic maison bu'ilt by the Abbots of 
Cluiiy in the 15th century, provides an appropriate setting for a 
valuable collection of medieval ob]'eets. Light shining through 
mullioned windows enhances the appeal of mellow old wood- 
carvings and Frendi and Flemish tapestries. Complicated strong 
boxes, armor, brocaded mantles and jewels enable one vividly 
to reconstruct life of the Middle Ages. Spiral stone stairs in a 
turret lead to the second floor exhibits. Hfre, in an interesting 
collection of old footgear are pattens on which Venetian ladies 
hobbled about during the 16th century. To raise their feet above 
the wet or mud. these heelless overshoes were mounted on supports 
from five to eighteen inches high. 



Unlike the Louvre and the Cluny Museum, which used to be 
swarmed with sightseers, the Cahnavai-et was always deserted. 
You could hike alone through echoing rooms followed only by 
eyes of guides. In the Carnavalet you can contemplate in silence 
the death mask of Napoleon with itis thin lips and fine nose, and 
that of his son, the Didte of Reichstadt. 

The Carnavalet illustrates the history of the city of Paris, and 
of the Revolution. Here are intimate souvenirs of France's 
illustrious sons and daughters; Balzac's suspenders embroidered 
with red roses; the tragedienne Rachel's little red shoes, a gray 
silk dress worn by George Sand, and a model of her small rounded 
ann and hand. More quickening than any history book are the 
relics of the Revolution and the Siege of Paris. 

Before leaving Paris you should by all means try to enjoy its 
theatres. In peacetime there were about 50 theatres there. The 
two most popular were the Fran^ais and the Opera, The Fran- 
(;ais is noted world over for its productions and its gi-owth is con- 
nected with the names of Mohere, father of French comedy. The 
Opera once presented opera exclusively. Both the Fran^ais and 
Opera used to show four performances a week, although most of 
the other theatres in Paris had shows daily. 



AVRANCHES 

At the very base of the Xuniianily iioniiisiila on the western 
side is the enchanting town of Avraneliey. The town is situated 
at the apex of the right aiigle where the iiorth-sonth Xormandy 
const joins the east-west Brittany slioreline. It is 85 miles soutli 
of Clierbourg on the west Normandy raihoad. 

Although it is not a port, A\Tancliefi overlooks the Bay of Mont 
St. Michel. The Abbey-crowned Mont St. Michel I'ises majestically 
from the tidal flats west of Avranclies. A city of 7,000 population, 
it is one of France's greatest peacetime travel attractions. When 
the tide comes in, it does not inch along, but rushes faster thali a 
horse can gallop, thus making an island of the Mont. 

The beautiful views from its hilltop made Avianches a resort 
objective in its own right. Avranches once possessed Normandy's 
most beautiful cathedral, but it was dismantled in 179',) to prevent 
it from falling down. The cathedral occupied the very top of the 
hill, now an open square. Henry II of England received absolu- 
tion in this cathedral in 1172 for killing Thomas a. liecket, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 



Primarily a market town for the surrounding productive coun- 
try, Avraiichea traded in grain, butter, cider luul fruit. Other 
industries included leather-working, lace-making and bleaching. 
Fishuig and commercial flower-raising kept many of the towns- 
people busy. 




BREST 

Brest, population 68,000, situated at the -western end of thp Bril- 
tany peninsula, has one of the finest natural hiirbors in Europe. 
It has always been a nnval port rather than a commercial terminus- 
The French Navy had its chief base there (many of its streets 
are named after Fi-ench Admirals). During World War I. it was 
a big supply port ; of the one million American soldiers who sailed 
direct to France, 791.000 disembarked at Brest. A monument 145 
feet high was built to commemorate the American achievements 
of 1917-18. 

Kain falls on Brest about 200 days in the year— every day, ac- 
cording to the recollection of veterans of the last war. Its poor 
climate has not encouraged visitors. Unlike other French coastal 
cities, it was not a popular seaside resort. 

You won't draw a blank, however, if you get a chance to wander 
about. From the Pi^CE Anatole-Fbattce where the main road 
enters the town you can stroll down the Kub Louis-Pasteur or 
the Rue de Siasi (named in honor of the Siamese embassy sent 
to Louis XIV). These are the two busiest thoroughfares of 



Breht. Just off (he Km Lou is- Pasteur, in the Rue de La ^L\IR1E. 
you might visit the cliurch of St. Lotus, begun in 169S. This 
church is the most interesting in Brest. 

At the end of the Kne Pastenr is the Pout Militaire. or naval 
dockyard, occupying both sides of the valley of the Penfeld, and 
employing thousands of ivorkmen. The river is bridged by tlte 
Pont Touhnant, a bridge which turns to allow the passage of 
ships. It is characteristic of the modern engineering structures 
fur which Brest in modern times has been famous. Beneath it is 
a pontoon bridge for foot-passengers, and on the north bank of 
the rirer is the district called Recouvrance. This neighborhood 
is famous for its taverns and saloons. 

The finest view of Brest may be had from the towers of the 
old Chateau, built in the 13th centuiy. This rugged fortress was 
captured by Edward III of England in 1342; Richard II sold it 
back to the French for 12000 crowns in 1397. It is now used as a 
military headquarters and barracks. Before the war, tourists 
were not allowed to see all its towers and dungeons. 

The tree-planted Coubs Dajot offers a good view of the com- 
mercial harbor with its long jetties, and of the "roads of Brest." 



This is a vast haven for ships, almost Lmdlooked. and you will 
understand why Brest is a natural harbor when you see it. 

A well-known saying about Brest dates back to the 14th century. 
when it was said by Duke John the IV, "he is not duke of Brittany 
who is not lord of Brest." The town's history contains many 
stories of battles and sieges, not only among the French themselves, 
but also between the English and French. 

Perhaps the moat famous event took place in 1694, when an 
Anglo-Dutch force under Admiral Berkeley tried to take Brest 
but failed, thanks in large part to the fortifications erected by the 
famous French engineer, Vauban. 

Louis XIV, the most colorful of French kings, and Cardinal 
Richelien were both interested in Brest, Louis commissioned his 
engineers to build up the port and fortify it. Richelieu started the 
building of the first dockyard. 

But the significance of Brest in French history centers on its 
naval establishment. Here the French "Annapolis" was located. 

When the Germans over-ran France in 1940. they immediately 
put the harbor to use as a submarine base. The German warships 
Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen were from time to time 



hidden there. Xnturally. Allied-bombers have dn.pped thmisaiuls 
of tons of bombs in attempts to knoc^ them out. 

If anything is undamaged, it is more likely to be fomid iip-town 
around the Place Anatole-France, or in the suburbs beyond. 

Perhaps tlie best side trip from Brest is to the seaside town of 
Le Cdnqdet about 16 miles west. Leaving from the Recouvrance 
district is the quickest way to get there. You may be interested 
in Le Conquet because it is just about the nearest French town 
to the United States. .South from Le Conquet, about Si/g miles 
away, is the roek-y St. MATrHE\v's point where the head of St. 
Matthew, brought from Ethiopia by Breton sailors, is said to have 
been landed. A legend like tJiis means a lot to Bretons. The story 
of St. Matthew is one of them. If you happen to visit Cape St. 
Matthew near Le Conquet, get the "padre" in the old abbey 
(dating from the 6th century) to tell yoti about it. 

Le Conquet is only one interestiiifr old village, among dozens. 
which you can visit in the neighl.oi'hnod (,f Brest. In ail these 
places of Brittany, you Jiave the opportunity to observe Bretons 
and their picturesque pay>i, chock full of history and legend. 



CALAIS 

Calais, about 22 miles from Dover, is the nearest French town to 
(he British coast. Most of the traffic between London and Paris 
used to come through this port. . 

With a i>oj)iilati<m of about 70,000, fortified Calais is a seaport 
and aianufafturing lown. Its leading industry in normal times, 
is the making of lace. Cod, herring, and mackerel fishing is also 
an activity which provides a livelihood for many of its citizens. 

New and Old 

The town is divided into two main pai-ts, old Calais and a new 
section, St. Pierre, which is the center of the industrial life. The 
two areas are separated by canals linked with the harbor. The 
neighboring flat countryside may be put under water if emergency 
defense re<|uire.s. Surrounding the entire city are ramparts, in- 
cluding seven forts and batteries, with a strongly fortified citadel, 
dating from the 16th century. 

Calais started off as a fisliing village centuries ago. By 1303, 
it belonged to the powerful F-uropean trade alliance known as the 



iiiJlHif! 







Hanseatic League. At the same time, French and English kings 
found themselves frequently at war. Many of the battles took 
place in the Calais neighborhood, including the very famous battle 
of Crecy, won by the English in 1396. In 1347, Edward III of 
England captured the place after a siege of eleven moiiths. It re- 
mained for 200 years under EiigHah rule. In 1558, the Due de 
Guise finally expelled the small English garrison. 

During the siege of 1347, six of the leading citizens of Calais, led 
by Eustache de Saint Pierre, offered their lives to Edward III in 
order to ransom the town from deslruction. Thanks to the inter- 
cession of Queen Philippa of England, both their lives and the 
town were spared. To this day, the names of St. Pierre and the 
burghers of Calais are among the most honored in all France, The 
Due de Guise, who finally liberated the town, is also recalled with 
reverence and pride. 

During World War I, Calais endured many German bombing 
raids. At that time it was an active supply base behind the Brit- 
ish sector of the Allied front. Likewise in World War II, Calais 
has been the target of bombers : tliis time, our own on the prowl 
after Germans. 



Aviation and Calais 

Aviation over Calais, as a niattei- of fact, has a long history 
dating back to the days wlien inventors and pilots were struggling 
with the new science. 

In 1785, a French balloonist named Blanchard, with an Ameri- 
can passenger, landed near Calais after u flight hailed as tie 
first across the English Channel, and the first from one country 
to another. This crossing took two hours. 

This same patch of northeast France's coast saw the first 
human victims of aii' traveL The fii-st man to make a recorded 
balloon flight, a Frenchman named De Eozier, planned a balloon 
crossing of the Cliannel from France to England, six months 
after Blanchard's feat. Shortly after he took off, his balloon 
caught fire and dropped De Rozier to tlie earth in flames. De 
Rozier is buried in the cemetery of Wimille on the coast, about 
■20 miles southwest of Calais. 

Pioneer flyers also chose the Calais neighborhood for their 
earliest international heavier-than-air flights. The summer of 
1909 saw three would-be Channel flyers poised on the French 
coast. The first attempt was a failure: the plane crashed in the 



Channel and the pilot had to be fished out. The second attempt 
was made by the Frenchman Louis Bleriot, who took off just west 
of Calais without a compass and in 37 minutes reached England. 

Since that day, July 25, 1909, writei-s and statesmen have pointed 
out that no international frontier, no water barrier, has been unas- 
sailable from the air. A monument connnemorating Bleriot's 
boundary-breaking flight was erected near Calais, where almost 
daily attacks of bombere based in England — now only 5i/^ or 6 
mijiutes away — demonstrate as a grim fact the war uses of aviation 
which Bleriot's espei'iments foreshadowed. 

Gerinan flying bombs aimed at England, were launched from 
positions in the neighborhood of Calais. 

Things to See 

Within Calais itself, if you get a chance to prowl about, you will 
be able to see many relics of the old days. 

Just north of the Blvd. dks Aujes is the district known as the 
, CouRGAiN, notable for the narrowness of its streets, and the cos- 
tumes and dialects of its fishing population. Nearby is the Mond- 
MBNT DE8 SAttVETEUBS, Commemorating the courage of Eustache de 
Saint Pierre and his five comrades of 1347. 



Another monument in their honor may be seen in the Place 
d'Akmes. Tliis work is by the famous French sculptor, Aiiguste 
Rodin. It was tinishetl in 1895. (A replica may also be seen in 
London ) , 

To the north, reached by a series of bridges, is the bathing- 
beach, known as Sableitllb or Calais-Plage. Here is located the 
Casino characteristic of most French seaside towns. 

Calais, like every other French town, must have its city hall, or 
Hotel de Ville- In Calais, there are two city halls ; one in the Plaw 
d'Armes in the old towit. and the new one opposite Pare St. Pierre 
on the Kue Jacquard. 

Jacquard, incidentally, was a smart lace-maker who figured out 
a better way to make lace by macliine-loom, instead of by hand. 
The street bearing liis name leads from the old town into St. Pierre, 
the new section wliere lac« manufacture is the main occupation. 

The most famous churcli in Calais is Notre Dame. This build- 
ing and the Hotel de Guise a few blocks away, are probably the 
only buildings in all France in which the English Gothic style of 
architecture is noticeable. By contrast, other buildings, like the 
new Hotel de Ville, are in tlie Flemish style. 



English influence in Calais is stronger perliaps than it is in any 
other French town. In the 19th century. Englishmen from the 
town of Nottingham, also a lace town, came to Calais to work at 
their trade and settle there. 

Most of the siglits are to be seen in Calais-nord, the old town. 
The main street is the Rde Royau:, rmining south from the main 
square, known as the Place d'Armes. 

At the Place d'Armes, for example, you might notice the belfry 
on the old Hotel de Ville. The bells in this tower play a tune 
called "Gentille Annette" every liour on the hour. Below the clock. 
are two mechanical men in bronze who come out every hour as the 
clock strikes and fight each other. 

Beliind the Hotel de Ville rises the square and massive Toweb of- 
Gdbt. built originally by Philip of Boulogne in 1224, used now as a 
lighthouse and observatory. This is a reminder of the days long 
ago when Calais was under control of i\\ii counts of Boulogne. 

Boulogne 

If you have a chance to visit Boulogne, 26 miles southwest of 
Calais, you will pass several fine beaches on the way, at Wissant 
and at Wimereux. 



Boulogne, a town of about 50,(K10 population, is the chief fishing 
port of Frniice. It is also a popular resort spot; formerly many 
English people spent vacations there. Boulogne also has its in- 
dustries, one of which, the manufacture of steel pens, was intro- 
duced from England in 1846. 

It has an interesting history. From here, in 43 A. D. the Romans 
sailed to begin the conquest of England. From ISOl to 1805 the 
Camp de Boulogne was the center of Napoleon's gigantic prep- 
arations for the invasion of England, which never panned out: 
Lord Nelson's naval victory at Trafalgar in 1805 was decisive. 

Among the famous natives of Boulogne are Godfrey of Bouillon 
and his brother Baldwin, kings of Jerusalem (12tli century) ; Sau- 
ynge (19th Century), who applied the principle of the screw to 
steamers; Saint«-Beiive (19th century), critic; and the famous 
French actor who bore the name Coquelin. All of these names 
are recalled in the names of streets or jilazas in the town. 

Like Calais, Boulogne has its Casino, its Botel d-e ViUe, its 
church of Notre Dame. The Haute Ville, on high ground and 
visible from the sea, is the ancient stronghold of Count Philippe 
Hurepal, built in 1231, and still enclosed by ramparts in good 
condition, 



Dunlcerque 

DuNKERQUE, 29 miles east of Calais along the coast, is a town of 
30,000 people, mainly Flemish. It is the northernmost town in 
France, eight miles from the Belgian border. Like Calais it has 
been exposed to warfare because of its geographical position, and 
in 1940, it witnessed the evacuation of 320,000 British and French 
troops to England. Across the Cliannel to Dover is a distance 
of 48 miles. 

Dunkerque itself means "church among the dunes", but this qniet 
title does not fully describe the commercial activity of the place 
any better than it describes ils lively history in wars of the past 
and present. Dunkerque's five-mile dock-system, the fact that it 
ranks with Marseille and Bordeaux as one of the top shipping 
centers of France should be sufficient to indicate that Dnnkerque is 
not a sleepy, nnimportant town. 

Nations have fouglit for it. At various times it belonged to 
Austria, Spain, and England, as well as to France. During the 
first World War, the Germans reached within 20 miles of the town, 
punislied it severely by artillery and airplane bombardments, but 
failed to take it. 



T 



Duiikei-que's chief claims to fsime are found in I'ecent history. 
It is more modern than Calais, and has few very old buildings or 
monuments. Its industries are more varied than those of Calais 
for example, where luce manufacture was the chief enterprise. 
Dunkei-que went in for the big shipping trade, and to this it 
owes its modern fame. 

But twice a year, Diiukerque customarily forgets international 
connnerce. In the spiking, there is a gala farewell to the cod-fishing 
fleet bdiiiid fur Iceland waters. When the fleet returns in the fall, 
it signally a htcallioliday. 



CHERBOURG 

Back in the good old days, as we like to refer to peacetime, most 
Americans visited Cherboufo tlirough the water entrance, often 
coming in on the Nonnandie from New York. Youj of course, 
will more than likely pay your visit via one of the higliways or rail- 
roads that converge on the town from tlie base of the peninsula, 

Thei'e ai-e five main routes leading into the city, Begimiing 
in the east and listing them clockwise they are: the railway and 
road leading from Barfleur, a little port on the northeastern tip 
of the peninsula; the important Cherbourg-Paris railroad and 
highway which pass through Valogues, 10 air miles soutlieast of 
Cherbourg; a branch of the main west coast highway which runs 
by way of Bricquebec and 11 miles north to the port; a second 
branch of the western road wliich leads through Barneville and 
Les Pieux, the latter being an excellent little town, by the way ; 
and finally a coastal road from Auderville on Cap de la Hague, 
at tlie northwesteni point of the peninsula. 

Normally, a city of 36,000 people, Cherbourg is divided into two 
parts, an old commercial town and a military area, each with its 




harbor facilities. Development of Cherbourg as an iinpcntiuit 
naval station was hefrun by Napoleon. The extensive fortifica- 
tions and iipprovements, completed a little less than a hundred 
years ago, cost tens of millions of dollars. 

As you walk through the town you see streets and buildings 
that very much resemble some of our own smuller port centers, 
although many of the streets ai-e more naiTow. It used to be 
tliat you could take a train from Cherbourg and arrive in Paiis 
two hours later. Many people, the professional tourists, used to 
arrive here with their cai-s and drive off to Paris. Of coui'se, there 
wasn't much room on the LST for you to have taken along your 
super-dooper flivver, so you'll probably have to get around the 
town on foot and leave it by rail, or jeep. 

You'll see a few restaurants and cafes bearing American names 
and signs, but the service cannot be compared to what it used to be. 
So if you find that the waiter is a little slow on the pick-up, or if 
he can't meet your requests, don't walk off pi-ejudiced. Many of 
the local people are now helping on important work to mop up 
the enemy, so there aren't enough of them left to give you the 
service you'd like. 

You'll probably leave Cherboui'g with the idea that it is a very 



dirty city. You'll be right, too. It's because the Germans never 
paid much attention to the needs of the people there. So most 
of tlie buildingii will appear very shabby. Anyway, most harbor 
towns aren't too clean, even our own. 

Generally speakiiig, there isn't much in the way of amusement 
in Cherbourg. The Red Cross club there, which, by the way, was 
a German club until the Yanks drove them out, is just about one 
of the best place's in town. Y((u can see an American movie in 
one of the theatei-s almost any day. But before beginning to 
cxploi-e the town see the people in the Red Cross club. They will 
give you advice on the interesting spots. 

You'll look on with amaaement at the port of the military area 
where three main sJiip basins have been carved out of solid rock. 
Li places they are more than 50 feet deep. The outer or largest 
basin could once accommodate the biggest warsliips at any tide. 
The conimereial port with two basins was capable of handling the 
largest passenger and trading vessels. 

In the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries Cherbourg was an objective 
of British fighting men from across (he Channel and in the middle 
of the 1700's it was temporarily occupied by the British who re- 
mained until a ransom was paid. 



The local jjeople are very friendly and without the slightest 
encouragement will talk to you for an endless time about the 
Yanks who came through the port in 1918, and about the battle 
for Cherbourg in 1944. 

The local cafes are quite busy these days, but wine is not as 
abundant as you would have found it back in peace days. You'll 
be luckier when requesting Calvados or cider. The local men don't 
gulp Calvados down in one swig. They sip it down and — a word 
of advice — they don't sip too much of the stuff. It's dynamite. 

People here dress in their best on Sundays and whole familie.s 
leave the town for a walk to the country. You'll see hundreds of 
men, women and children on the roads on Sunday aftenioons. 
It's not a bad idea, too, as tlie country (iHtslde of Cherbourg is 
vei-y pretty with its orchards and hedgerows. 



CHARTRES 

Betlcr knciwn than many larger Fieiicii towns is Chartkes, on the 
line from Le Mans to Paris. Clmrtrey is the capital of Eure-et- 
LoiEt;. one of the 90 deparlinents into which Fnuu-e is divided. It 
is the market center of the great "granary of France," the wheats 
growing Beauce region. 

Settlement of the Cliartres site goes back to 600 B. C. It was 
Autncmn of the Eoman era, and was frequently a siege center in 
Europe's succession of wars. Henry IV of Navarre was crownet! 
King of France at Chartres iii 1594, and it served as a German 
military center in 1870. 

Principal reason for the fame of this historic town nt 23,tK)0 
people, however, is its tall (413 feet ) twin-spired Gothic cathedral. 
Notre Damk de Chartres is one of the most magnificent in a 
countiy of catliedi'als. 

With war clouds giilhering, citizens of Chartres early in 1939 
arranged to remove the beautiful stained glass from the linndreds 
of windows of the cathedral. The cathedral has three very large 
i-ose-pattern windows and fifty other roses, comprising what is 



probably the world's best collection of 12th century stained glass. 

The spires of the Chartres Cathedral — one severely plain and 
the other ornate — dominate the fertile, grain plain of the Beauce 
and the valley of the Eiire River for miles. They are just about 
fifty ai_r miles from ihe Eiffel Tower in Paris. From high within 
(he api^res, you could look down on endless fields of wheat, on the 
airfield, on the three branches and many bridges of the Eore, on 
the winding streets and ancient, gabled buildings of the old town, 
and the broad avenues and slate roofs of the newer sections. 

In addition to cathedral, airport, and farm market activities. 
Cliartres built up industries that included flour-milling, iron 
founding, leather processing, dyeing, and making stained glass. 

DREUX 

Approximately 40 miles west of Paris you will find the interesting 
Utile town of Dreux. It is a town of some 10,000 inhabitants and 
is situated on the River Blaise, just above its meeting point with 
the Eure. 

AVars are an old story to the people here. Dreux was captured 
and burned by the English in 1188, and served in 1562 as tlie first 



r 



battlefield of the Huguenot wars. In 1593, Henry IV destroyed 
its castle during a siege, and the Germans took it in 1870, and, of 
course, once again in this war. 

You will find Dreux cut into numerous small islands by the 
branching arms of the Blaise, supplemented by canals in which 
the women of the town do their laundry under sheltering' sheds. 
In peacetime, most of the menfolk were employed in the local fac- 
tories producing cloth, glass, boots and electric fitlings. Also in 
Di-eus are foundries and nurseries. 

You may reach this city by train from Paris, if train service 
is resumed while you are there. It is an important higliway aiid 
railroad center, connecting with Paris, Cherbourg and Brest. 

Tlie very heart of Dreux is the Place JMetezcau, a roughly semi- 
circular plaza within a curve of the river. The church which faces 
the Place has a lopsided appearance because one of its towers was 
never finished. 

On a hill doniinaliug the town are the ruins of the old castle of 
the counts of Dreux, who flourished in the Middle Ages, and the 
CHAPiUj,].: RoYALE St. Louis, built in the 19th century as a burial 
place for the Orleans family. A museum is in the ruined keep of 
the castle. 



LE HAVRE AND DEAUVILLE 

The BouLEVABD Francoiw PitEMiEri, one of the broad, straight 
and tree-lined avenues of Le Havre, is named after the French 
king, Francis the First, who fomided this gi'eat seajiort in 1516. 

In 1562, tlie French Huguenots, at war with French Catholics, 
turned the city over to Queen Elizabeth. It was recaptured the 
following year by Charles IX. Anglo-Fi'onch wars, however, con- 
tinued to flare up frequently in llio-c days, and as a general rule, 
seaport towns like Le Havre found lhi>ni-i'lvcs licing .shelled pei'i- 
odically. Later, when Napoleon wa^ at the ht'lghi of his power, he 
built Le Havre to rank as a first-class naval base. 

With the outbreak of war in 1914, part of the first British Expe- 
ditionary Forces landed there, and during the remaining four 
years, it grew to be one of the busiest and biggest ports of entry 
for both British and American troops and supplies. 

In peacetime, great transatlantic liners stopped at Le Havre, 
but tourists usually went directly on to Paris. Although it is a 
modern city, with a population of 160,000 in noimal times, it is of 
more interest as a teeming conmiereial center. You'll get some idea 




of this when you see the waterfront areas, especially' the Bassin db 
l'Eure, and the Basbin Bellot, each 52 acres iu area. 

Hardly a tiiwn in France would he complete without its Notre- 
Dame, and in Le Havre, sure enough, tliere is a church by this 
name on the Koe de Paris. Its tower dates back to 1539 but its 
old age does not make it sm object of arehilet^tural beauty. Experts 
are said to regret its niixed-up Gothic and Renaissance designs. 

At the foot of Rue de Paris is the Musee, a museum which con- 
tained notable paintings by Van Dyke, Millet, Forain, Pissarro, 
and Monet. 

Riuining north, the Rue de Paris crosses the Pl.\ce GAMBEi-rA 
and two blocks beyond, comes to an end at the Place de l'Hotel 
DE Ville. Li these neighborhoods, there are many interesting 
places to visit, among them the theater, in the Place Gambetta, 
and the Public Gardens opposite tlie Hi'itel de Ville (city hall). 

Along the broad, tree-lined Rue de Strasbodrg would make a 
good trip by cab, if you have the francs to spare. Toward the 
waterfront is the residential district. Here, too, is the Casino 
without which no French seaside town is complete. There is some- 
thing of a beach here too, but for stylish bathing, in the best 
French tradititiu, you'd best leave Le Havre, cross the Seine and 







travel south toward Caen along the coast. Every ti.wn along the 
15 miles between Hoiifleiir nnd Cabouig is a seaside resort. Tlie 
most famous places are the twins Tbouville nnd Deauviixe; and 
of these two, Deanville is (or used to be) the most ultra-fasliion- 
abie and aristocratic. 

Both towns are noted for their beaches, baths, and gambling 
casinos. Horseracing, liowever, used to be the chief attraction. 
The Trouville race,s took place the first two weeks in August ; dur- 
ing the last fortnight, the Hti'FODBOme in Deauville held the spot- 
light. The Grand Prix de Deauville was the big race of the year, 
paying 100,000 francs. 

In contrast to Troucille, the mure elegant Deauville has wide, 
straight avenues and an atmosphere of quiet exclusiveness. Deau- 
ville's magnificent .tiandy beach extends for nearly two miles 
toward Benekville, 

The famous Terrasse db Dbauvii-le. one mile long, corresponds 
to what you know as a lioardwalk. Between the Terrasse and the 
beach, there are flowev gardens and tennis courts. With the influx 
of Germans in 1940 Deauville's beach lost its glamour. 




LE MANS 

Le Mans marks the spot where Eiiroiw first learned that tlie age 
of flight had arrived, and as an American you will be interested to 
know that it was Wilbur Wright who did the teiiching. On 8 
August 1808, after lit tie- publicized experiments in tlie United 
States, be came to Le Mans and startled the world by flying a dis- 
tance of a mile and a quarter in one minute, 47 seconds. 

Le Mans is veiy ancient. It existed in the time of tlie Romans 
when it was known as Cenomani, after a tribe who inhabited that 
district. 

One of the interesting things to see in Le Mans are vestiges of 
Roman structures, subterranean aqueducts, walls and so forth 
which ai-e stiU standing. 

Le Mans' history is tiie story of the gradual development of the 
art of siege: since Roman days the city has been besieged more 
than a scoi-e of times by various peoples. The Romans defended 
It with encii-cling walls in the third century, and Clovis besieged 
It in the 6th century. William the Conqueror took the city in the 
mil century. It was long in English possession. King Heury II 



II 

1 of England, first of the Plaiitagenets, was born there in 1133. It 
■was taken by the Huguenots in the 16th Century. It was five 

( times the object of siege iu the Hundred Years' War. Tlie Prus- 
sians attacked it in the past century. 

1 Le Miins has taken quite a kicking around, and nntil the twen- 
tieth century, never got much chance between rounds to develop. 
Toward the close of the past century, it was still little more than 
a market town fed by the fertile fields of its valleys, with some 
textile mills and agricultural implement works. But before the 
IJresent war Le Mans was a fast growing city; a 60-per-cent in- 
crease in population in the present century had raised the figure 
to 85,000. This development was largely the resnlt of industrial 
gi'owth, its chief manufacture being metal works, railway cars, 

j tobacco, canned goods, chemicals, cordage, leather, and woolen 
and lijien goods. 

Le Mans is 115 miles southwest of Paris. It is built on an eleva- 
tion commanding the converging valleys of the Sarthe and 
HuisNE river. The highest point in the town is the Place des 
Jacobins faced by the fine Gothic Cathedral with 12th century 
stained glass windows. The Cathedral is well worth seeing. 

■ 

53 


Fiom the open plaza you can get a fine view of tliis ancient 
and picturesque town. The view drops down to the Sarthe River, 
over a jumble of blue roofs, covered with slate from the extensive 
quarries to the south. And the gable-windowed houses, many of 
stucco, the narrow alleys and crooked little streets are quite an 
unusual sight. 

53 



Metz. Luxembow g .Bruxelles 




Neufchateau Oi|on Epinal Belfort Lunevillef 



NANCY 

Nanct began its lonff. eventful history as the site of the palace 
of the Dukes of Lorraine in tlie 12th century. But you will not. 
be theve vei-y long before you aie awiire that Stanislas Leczinski, 
former king of Poland and fntlier-in-law of Louis XV, was the 
moving spirit in developing: the city. The taxicabs used to swins 
from tlie railroad station into the Ktie Stanislas, ii wide thorough- 
fare which nearly bisects Nancy. Near the center of the city the 
tlioroiijLihfare passes under the Porte Stanislas, nn old orchard 
{gateway, and, several blocks beyond, terminates at Stanislas 
Square where a bronze statue of the Duke reposes. 

The natives and some of the travelers say that the Square is one 
of the most beautiful in Europe. In two cornel's monumental 
fountains play while here and there are gateways and balconies of 
grill work by artists of the ISth century. The square is surrounded 
by a theater building, a military club, the Grand Hotel and the 
lioTEL DE ViLLE. The latter now is a comljiuation nuiaeum and 
art gallery. Its hallways are hung with paintings by leading 
European artists, and in some of its rooms are displayed tapestries, 



furniture, glass work and statues that have figured in Nancy's 
history. 

Within a stone's throw of the Square, the traveller passes 
through the Nancy Arc de Triomphe and into a maze o£ narrow 
winding streets which pass buildings that were old when James- 
town, Va,. was first settled. This portion of the city was once 
surrounded by a high wall, of which only a few gates remain. At 
one of these gates Charles the Bold perished when he attempted 
to fake the city. 

Near the site of the old northeast wall, the PuiCE de l.\ C/Vsiokre 
is one of the old town's few open spacer;. The Place is entered 
through the Nancy Arc de Triomphe. Just inside on the right 
is the Paucb of Justice. At the other end of the opening are the 
Government Palace and the Ducal Palace, the latter dating 
three years before the discovery of America. 

The PitttMENADE DE LA Pepinieke, a large parkway bordering the 
old town on the northeast, is another feature of the city that owes 
its exi.stence to Stanislas, and is one of many shaded spots where 
the pet>ple of Nancy spend their summer evenings. 

The Botanical Gardens can he reached in a few minutes walk 
from the Projnenade, while the Courb Leopold, a narrow parkway 



on the southwest of the old city, runs the length of the old wall 
site. 

Nancy is a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants. It ls an nn- 
portant junction point of railroads running from Paris east- 
ward and from northern Europe to the Mediterranean. It lies 
approximately 200 miles due east of Paris, just about the same drive 
as from New York to Washington. Nancy owes much of its de- 
velopment to the raih-oad "junction, but throughout the city there 
are tobacco factories and tejctile and weaving mills. Each year 
the Untversitt and numerous schools of the city, as well as the 
Nancy Thermal, whose waters are sought by sufferers from rheu- 
matism, gout and arthritis, draw many visitors. 

Wherever you may find youiself in Nancy, you will be seldom 
out of sight of a church tower or steeple. People there will point 
out one edifice as the place where Marie Antoinette once prayed 
at the altar. The same edifice, they will tell you, is the place of 
burial of au important member of a. European royal family, and 
they will point out the St. Epyrb Church in the old town as the 
site of a church, in the tower of whicli 100 Burgundian officers were 
hanged in 1477 because they took the life of a Chamberlain of 
Lorraine. 



During the last war Xaiicy fared soniewhal likp Metz wliose 
diurcli spires can be seen from tlio liills about Naiu-y, sukI St. 
MiHiEL, wliere the doughboys defeated a German army in that war. 
Nancy reMideiits were so accustomed to hearing siiells and wit- 
nessing the devastation of their city by enemy gun fire that within 
a few minutes after the city tocsins wiirned that the enemy had 
ceased bombardment, childi'en emerged from their underground 
sheltei's and had tlieir kites in the air. 

ORLEANS 

Okleans may he considei'ed the souihern gateway to Paris 70 
miles away, in fact French armies attacked German held Paris 
from there during the Francii-Prussian War. It is a city of 7S.(X)0 
on the LoiEE Riveh in the famous chateau country. Foundeil by 
the Romans its name was Aurelianum. 

Orleans has l>een the object of sieges from the day of the 
Caesars, through the era of Jeanne d'Arc down to the Franco- 
Prussian war of 1870. 

Tlie memory of Jeanne d'Are, the Maid of Orleans, dominates 
the city. Her bronze equestrain statue rises in the Place dtj 



Maktrhin, and a crotis marks the site of the fort she took. Houses 
wluch marked different events in Jeanne's life were preserved. 
The street leading to the cathedral bears her name, and cathedral 
windows picture her life. Even the barracks on the left bank 
was called the Casebne Jeanne d'Arc. Her raising of the siege 
was annually celebrated with a fair along the tree-shaded boule- 
vard. 

The Orleans of today with quays along both baidcs of its thrice- 
bridged river, had its start on the right bank. Its buildings, many 
of the 16th century were constracted mostly of stone, and were 
kept in excellent repair. 

Orleans' well-groomed streets and open squares formed a fairly 
regular pattern despite the cramping confines of the city walls. 
Later the walls gave place to boulevards. The core of Orleans 
has long been the Place ntr Martboi, cafe-boi'dered and sur- 
rounded by public buildings. 

Orleans has been more active in commerce than in manufactur- 
ing, with railways, highways, and canal competing for freight. 
Its industries scattered about the outskirts included cotton and 
hosiery mills, sugar refineries, farm-implement and tobacco fac- 
tories, machine shops, potteries, breweries and vinegar works. 




RENNES 

lu Brittany all roads lead to Kknnes. The dty is a funnel for 
nearly all surface traffic to and from tlie large Brittany Peninsula 
with its important Port of Brest. Reimes is the capital of the 
department of 1li^-et Vilaine and is situated at the junction of 
the Ille and Vh^ine rivers. 

Tlie Vilaine river cuts the town in two forming two sections, 
the High Town and the Low Town. 

It might interest you to know that Vilaine means ugly. Wlien 
you see this pretty stream you may wonder why it was given such 
a. name. The answer is that it was bestowed in Iiomely affection, 
nnich as the Breton farmer tenderly calls his wife "my little 
cabbage." 

The High Town is a very fine and elegant place on the right 
bank of the rivei', but the Low Town is not so prepossessing in 
appearance and is much older ; in fact it dates back to the 11th- 
latli .century. Also if you hit the Old Town in a rainy season 
you're apt to get your feet wet because it suffera fiequent floods. 

About 1,000 years ago Reimes was the capital of Brittany, then 



ail independent dukedom like Normandy. For ceiituiies after the 
freedom loving Bretons accepted Frencli nJe, Rennes was tlie de- 
fender and champion of their minority riglits. The city has been 
recognized as an important military point since ancient times. It 
was the stronghold of the Redones. Then the Romans came and 
made it the hub of a network of roads. 

Unfortunately, a gi-eat fire that raged for seven days in 1720 
destroyed nearly every vestige of llie gi-eat medieval capital city. 
About all that reniams of tlie old place is a gate in the old city 
wall, an llth-13th century Abbey, and a few houses on imri-ow 
crooked streets. 

Rennes was rebuilt in dark granite on a simple, geometric plan 
that spoiled its individuality. Its great museums, university, ca- 
^edral, lyceum (where the famous second trial of Captain 
Dreyfus was heard ]n 1899) and academies are not the exciting 
arclutectural monuments found in other French provincial capi- 
tals, but its art galleries and museums are among tJie richest and 
most interesting in provincial France. 

The Hotel de Ville for instance contains or did contain splendid 
scientific collections, important arcliives, a large library and fine 



picture gallery with works by Veronese, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, 
Van Dyck, Eembiandt, and Eubens. 

If the art works of these all-time greats have not been looted 
by the Gei'iuans' you've got a real treat in store for you. Even 
the man who says "Aw, nuts !" to a .suggested trip to an art gallery 
will change his attitude when he gets a look at the works of these 
real masters. 

Buildings worth seeing are the Catuedral, in pseudo-Ionic 
style; the Archiepiscopal Palace ; and thesumptnously furnished 
PaIuMs de Justice, a building in the Breton style which was begun 
in 1618 and used as the local "Parlement." 

The city's industries are small and varied. Trade is local, con- 
cerned largely with the agricultural crops from the rich surround- 
ing area. 




REIMS 

The ancient city of Reims iy a conimiinjcntion hub 80 miles north- 
east of Paris by air, 97 miles by train, and is a threefold cross- 
roads — for raih'oads, highways, and canals. All of which may 
not be as interesting to you as the fact that it is the champagne 
center of the world. 

Reims is literally honeycombed with extensive "champagne 
subways" — subterranean corridors hollowed in the chalky soil for 
the storage and slow aging of chiyiipagne at an even temperature. 
During the World War, citizens lived and worked in the many 
miles -of champagne cellars, and timnels from the front lines 
brought soldiera into undergi'ound Reims for a rest. 

A visit to these cellars will give you an interesting insight into 
the wine trade of Reims and the methods of turning out this most 
famous of wines. The biggest cellars are the Ca^-es Pommebt. 
They are two stories high, or rather low. Another is the Caves 
RuRNART of three stories. 

Reims is situated in a bowl of vine-clad hills on the flat Cham- 
pagne plain. It has had a long and troublous history. It occu- 



pies the site of DuTocortorwm mentioned by Julius Caesar as the 
capital of the Remi, the least violent of the Belgian tribes It 

was chnstianized in the third century. The Vandals and Attila 
fheHiin were among the first to give it the works, but for all 
their thoroughness at rape and pillage Reims never ceased to be 
of importance The tradition of crowning France's kings in its ca- 
thedral made the city m past centuries the objective of any invaders 
who would rule the country. The English took a crack at it in 
f ^Al^^ Edward III who wanted the crown. I>ut were repulsed. 
in 1420 they tried it again and succeeded under Henry V Nine 
years later Joan of Are threw, them out and Charles VII was 
crowned. In 1870 tl.e Prussians took over. During the World 
War the town t^ok a severe beating by German artillery and was 
occupied for a short while by the Germans. 
In clearing the ruins after World War I some very mterestintr 
T" "rilf"^ ^^^^ unearthed consisting of foi-unis. baths and cata- 
combs. They are located near the Hotel de Ville or city hall, and 
are worth a visit. ^ ' 

Reims has considerable industry, which, besides champagne, in- 
cludes the manufactiii-es of textiles, dye works, breweries and dis- 
tilleries. It also deals extensively in raw wool and its woolen 



goods, fabrics of wool and silk and merinos are famous in trade as 
articles de Reims. 

Reims' chief claim to fume remains the ancient tradition of 
crowning there the kings of France. This trallition started in 
1179 when Philip Augustus was crowned and ended with the 
coronation of Chai'Ies X. Only three sovei'eigns in the long series 
Henry IV, Napoleon I, and Louis XVIII, were not crowned in 
Reims. 

During the French Revolution mobs attacked the Cathedral, site 
of coronations, and in 1830 the ceremony at Reims was abolished. 

The Cathedral remains one of the finest si^ecimeiis of Gothic art 
in all the world and if you get a chance you ought to see it. A beau- 
tiful feature is the west fa^;ade, a masterpiece of the Middle Ages. 

Other places of interest are the Mtjsee des Beaux Arts and the 
large Abbet-Chubch of St. Remt built in the 11th centui'y. The 
Mu9i« des Beaux Ai'ts contains paintings of the French school, 
some old masters, and also archaeological collections. 

In the Place de la Repdbltqde stands a Roman triumphal arch 
which dates back to the beginning of the 3rd century. 




ROUEN 

RouEK was the objective of the fii-st all-American air offensive 
against the Axis because of its importance to the Axis as a shipping 
and manufacturing center. Its radiating rail lines, bridges, canal 
locks and harbor equipment, including a floating drydock, ship- 
Itiiilding yards, and marine machine shops make it vital to military 
opfrations. A city like this in enemy hands must unfortunately 
be subjected to bombings. It is hoped, however, that its Iwauties 
will have escaped destruction and when things settle down again 
you will be able to enjoy a trip there, as toui-isls for years have done, 
for it is one of the most attractive of the French provincial towns. 
Rouen is the chief town of the department of Seine-Infebieube 
and is located on the Seine river. 87 miles northwest of Paris. The 
greater part of the city lies on the Seine's north bank, sheltered in 
an amphitheater of hills. Industry is largely concentrated on the 
south bank of the river. Two bridges link the two shores. Cotton- 
weaving mills dominate indiistry of Rouen and suburban towns 
surrounding it. Chief of these are Sotteville and Elbeuf, south 
(if Rouen, and Darnet.\l, to the east. Eouen is 60 miles up the 



Seme nver and freight for Paris, fart}ier od. is liere transferred 
to rirer steamers, barges and railroads to complete its jonrnev On 

TUfn TtrTf# *'"' °' '"'"' 1"- •" ^^ '■">' *''*1 »" -lock 
at Konen although the nver narrow, there to onlj abont 426 feet. 
Some Idea of the tortnons windings of the Seine may be had 
from the fact that Eone,,, 40 air miles from Le Havre, is twice as 
far bj river steamer. The distance by highway, which foUows a 

while the „r line distance from Eonen to Paris is 60 miles, the river 

distance is 150 miles. ,..Moiivei 

Koiien normally is the chief French port for coal and oil. Fring- 

coal pile . giam elevators and many warehouses for storing cargoes 
of iron, dried fish, timber and cotton. 

cialized as to be known as rmennerie,, is one of the city's leading 
industries. Its plants also tnrns ont macbineiT, soap, brash"? 

Eonen Itself has a popnlntion of abont 125,000 but the industrial 
oommnnities which surround it bring lie total of the elose-paS 



region to about 300,000, and in peace time, this figure is swelled 
by very heavy tourist travel. 

Joan of Arc 

The old Eouen which antedates industry is a shrine. For 500 
years the name of Joan of Arc liaf been held in reverence. In tlie 
old market place. Place de l.\ Pucelle, she wa.s burned at the 
stake. The spot is marked by a simple monument portraying the 
Maid of Orleans in prayer as flames writhe about her body. 
Green shrubs and fresh flowei-s sunound its base. Near by is the 
donjon of the castle where Joan was imprisoned. Tablets in the 
vicinity mark sites closely associated with the patron saint of 
France in the tragic weeks leading to Iier execution. 

An Ancient Town 

Roman eonqueiors found a settlement in the Kouen site nearly 
two thousand years ago. Gabled houses centuries old. with 
bishops and beasts carved on their weathered timber, survive in 
the city's dim. twisting streets. 

Pillaging armies have sacked the city a half-dozen times since 
the Viking invasion. In Rouen insurgents fought English armies 
of occupation. Huguenots and Catholics massacred each other, and 



JPrencIiRevoIutioMries (oUowed their example. Geimnn forces 
teiTorized and occupied the city for the first time in 1871 

So, yon see Rouen is ricli in history and if you lilte that sort 
s ot. ' " '^ "'" ° '^'""^ ™' ""' '"""^ Uslmioal 

Things To See and Do 

Eoucii is famous for its ahnost perfect specimens of Gothic 
architect,™. A soldier who contemplates a career in eng Leer ug 
architecture or des.gnmg is getting a tremendous breal; if h£ 
duties permit him to visit Rouen. 

Damu It literally toolt centuries to build this yenerable edifice 
I was begun i„ 1220 mider Philippe Anguste and its im,K,»i it 
facade, soarmg towei-s, beautiful wood earrings, fine sculpture 
and Mqmsite rose windows make it a most reraartable and artistic 
(jbristian monument. 

ri^"" 'T'^ Christian temple, also Gothic, is the Abbet axu 
Chubch op Sai»t Qpis. Its aerial tower ends in a crown .of 
1lmT.-de-l«. Then there is the CHxmcH of S™,t IMaci^ °n • 



florid Gothic, the Touu de la GROssE-HuRLoiiK. the l.'ith century 
Palais de Justice and the Hotel de BriTiRfiTHEiioiTLDE also 15th 
century, the Abchiepiscopal Palace, the Musee or picture gallery 
with its fine collection of paintings by the great French masters, 
and the ancient Halles or market buildings. 

When things get back to normal in Rouen you'll find it a great 
place to eat. It is particularly famous for its duck f&te and for 
sugar candy made of apples. 

If there are cabs available in Rouen the price in ordinary times 
was 2 francs for the fii-st 500 metres, then 2 francs for each addi- 
tional kilometre. The tramways travel the principal street and 
connect the four principal stations. Buses went from the station 
to Beauvais, Evi'eus, Caudebec, Yainville, Honfleur, and TrouviUe. 

If you like steamboat rides mid service is open, try a trip on the 
Seine to Le Havre, via Caudebec, 

You can enjoy a show at several good theaters and if the Ger- 
mans haven't stolen the ponies there may still be a chance to go 
to the Races held in May, July, and October at Les Brdterem. 
Then there is the Fak of St. Romain for horses and cattle whicli 
should interest you especially if you're a farmer. It takes place 
on October 2Z in the Grand Corns. 



ST. MALO 

You will probably find it a little different now, but in the davs 
before the war the on], land entrance to St. iUu> was tLLugh .,ld 
.ron-barred gateways. The t»wn is still as much of . walled cy 
as ,t w.,s back m the days of the 16th century when kings held coirt 
b.'^wt,®"'"," °* *!?"'" ^ '""'"""S walls were beguS as early 
T.^J,, ",?■ ^l ^'""^ """■" "• " ''"" 'oeether that when 
SThui °w Th' '"■ *"?• *»--P-g"''I.d roofs look like tee™ 
matter m bt M„lo. xhis is so because the pattern of the own was 
laXa"jiJ'g! " "'° '""^ °^° ""''"^ ""' neceity „1 

St. Malo is an ancient Brittany seaport and home of the power^ 
M cor,a„, (prate., as we know then,) of the 18,h centu^ 1 
Iltho^S of Avranches at the JJormandyBrittanj c»ne.' 

s™i tf ." °™'' ''P""'*^ 'te town from its twin city St 
SmyAs, the two are considered as one. With their more than tm 
njJes of dock facilities they maintained, in pre-war days, a profc 
able trade w.lh England and the Channel Islands, expoiting^ain, 



fruits, and wiiits. T!ie town also maniifacliirod sail c-lotli. nets, 
and coidage. 

With its modern hotel, profusion of small shops and absence 
of automobile traffic (.you'll probably find a lot of jeeps now) . you 
might, at first glance, classify Si. Malo as a typical resort town. 

AUhough the elaborately furnished homes of the pirates have 
long since been replaced by ufflce imd apartment buildings, two old 
lamliuarks still remain — the Cathedral and the tomb of the poet 
C'huteiuibriand, who is buried at the top of Great Bay, a rugged 
reef completely surrounded by water at high tide. 

The cathedral spire and the cross snrmounting Great Bay once 
were beacons that guided the returning fishermen of St. Malo, 



1 




iielestat. Mulhouse Boofeheim 



STRASBOURG 

HISTORY 

Ever since ancient tinier, endi new conqueror of Strasbourg^ — from 
' the Romans to the French and Germans — has rebuilt and strength- 
ened its defences. For Strasbourg has known conflict from the 
earliest days of its existence. There the original Celts met defeat 
at the hands of the Romans, who set up their own military station. 
Near this spot was fought the famous 4th century battle between 
the Emperor Julian and the Teutonic Alamanni. Losing this eii- 
gagement, the German tribes later returned to win the entire dis- 
trict — only to give way within a few decades to the Franks. 

A German city from tlie 10th century, Strasbourg (known by 
the Germans as Stransburg) was seized in 1681 by Louis XIV of 
France, whose engineer-architect, Mai-shal Vauban. built still 
greater fortifications tliere. As a military post of the French 
during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the city was held for 
nearly two months against German siege. Soon after that war, 
the German victors retained possession of the city and repaired 
and expanded its defenses. 



Eventually, after the Allied victory in the World War, Stras- 
bourg, along with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, became French 
territory once more. 

_ As a result of its location and variegated history, Strasbourg 
IS a mixture of French and German influence. Like Alsace- 
Lorraine, of which it was formerly the capital, this city has 
changed color with each new shift, both German and French claim- 
ing historic and national associations. 

After the Franco-Prussian war, the banning of the French 
language, dramatized in "The Last Chance" by the French novelist 
liaudet, continued to remind France of her lost territory, as did 
the draped statue to Strasbourg in the Place de la Concorde in 
Pans. 

Indusfiy 

_ Despite a picturesque medieval atmosphere. Strasbourg is a busy 
industrial center, with a production range from beer and arti- 
facial flowers to locomotives. It is particularly well known for 
Its fine goose-hver products. It was always an important transit 
City for goods from France, Germany and Switzerland because 



of its central location. Last reports estimated that the popula- 
tion of Strasbourg was close to 200,000. 

Getting Around 

In normal times you would have found that the transportation 
system in Strasbourg fared better than many other progressive 
European cities. The city was well serviced by street cars and 
tasis, the latter charging very reasonable rates compared to our 
home standards. Nevertheless, you will probably enjoy the beauty 
of the city much more if you walk. As you stroll through the 
streets you will enjoy the great combination of a coniiuunity that 
has both ancient and modern arcliitecture. 

Broad boulevards and huge squai-es are laid out in the more 
modem sections of the city. Even in the older sections, however, 
you will find that the sanitary conditions are better than those 
you've seen in some other French cities. 

Things of Interest 

As you go through the quai'ter named Le Petite France you 
will find many canals and narrow streets and medieval alleys. 
You can actually lean out of windows of some of the houses and 
shake hands with your neighbor across the street. 



t.J.™ T "^^ Cathedhal is a mastei^iece of Gothic archi- 
^ZZV }^'"^''''^^ to kziow that the Gemmns „sed 
«^HI? \ i 1 S" 'P'"^ "' " registration point when tlieir 
artJlery bombed the city m 1870, and as you climb the 625 steps 
to the sunnnit of the tower, on which the spire stands, you wSl 

MnSn/t,''p^r/^' ^^^^'^^-^^ ^"tf«^^ during th^tVriod. 
Much of the Cathedrars exterior suffered from fire during that' 
^ar but It was subsequently repaired. You will see for yourself 
that It still stands as one of the world's most beautiful pieces of 
ecclesiastical architecture. 

From the top of the platform in the tower you will witness a 
most beautiful panorama of WissE.moTn.G to the north^ From 
there yon can see the Bi..ck Fohe^t and the Rhine to the east : the 

to Ste Odile to the south. The ascension to the tower is danger- 

^Meyou ^''"""' * ^"'' ^^" """^ P^°P'^ ^^'''^ ^■•^o^'^" 

a Jh« 7^^ ■""'^ ^i *^^ ^ ■*'^' ""^ '^" Cathedral as enchanting 
noml«l ? t "v T, ■ T^^ "^t*re^i"g object there is the astro 
vrSl u^ ■' ^,''^""' ^^^ ^''^''^ ''^«''' E^^^ 15 minutes 

you will see mechanical figures marclaing out of the face of the 



clock to strike a tone, and at various intervals you will hear the 
crowing of a cock. Other moving discs on the clock show the day 
of the month, eclipses of the sun and the course of the planets. 

You will be interested to know tliat the clock was made in 1842 
to replace the original made by Isaac Harbrect. 
I At one time there were very many storks in Strasbourg, but 

many of the niaishes in the district have now been drained, so the 
famous bird has become almost extinct here. 

Although Strasboiu'g is Iwated hundreds of miles from the 
coast, you may be surprised that it ranks as the sixth biggest port 
in France. Even as far back as 1924 the port handled over tliree 
million tons of cargo. During peacetime you would have seen 
many barges and boats along the docks, gathei-ed there from many 
European ports. 

You can see some of the world's most magnificent examples of 
ironwork in the museum. For centuries, the Alsatians have been 
noted for their cleverness in producing artistic ironwork. In the 
same museum you can also see a collection of clocks that cannot 
be rivalled by any other museum in all of France. 

You will learn that the average citizen of this great city is a 
very independent fellow. For many hundreds of years the people 



oj btrusboiirg useil to gatlier nn,Hi„Hv i„ f,.„„, „f ,]„ Ctheilr,! 
to Jieiir their constitution re.d aloud. Then they ivould unani- 
mously raise their hands above their heads and soieinnly swear to 
abide by the constitution. 

Frlnce"'" ''"'"'''^ "'"' *"' Strasbourg is the cleanest city in 
Walliing through the streets of Strasbourg is like leafing 
through the pages of a history book. The roads leading to tht 
beautiful OEiMERiB PiHK from the railroad station are named 
BODLEVASD un Pbesidbst Wiuxa,, tlie BoniEYAan no Pansromi 

i^OmCARE, the BonX-BV.™ OLEMINCBAtT, the BoUlEVARn GaMBEITA, 

Ule KCE nti GENEaAI. DuCRCtr and the Kde no GnsEnAL Ulbich 
Itore are also many other streets named after great musical 
pei-sonalities, such as the Ede Beethoven, Rob Hichajui Waoner 
and Kite Johannes Brahms. 

You will probably be amazed at the number of people there »-h.) 
will be able to understand English. However, it will also be -i 
great sui-prise perhaps to find the number of older people who 
speak neither English, French or German but only the Alsatian 
patois. "" 



r 



VERSAriLES 

Although it is a city wirli a few industries and a popular subur- 
ban residence of Parisians, Versailles is best known by the world 
for its historic Palace and the less imposing Grand Petit Tru- 
NON, a nearby royal chateau. 

Versailles was originally built for reasous of state, but it soon 
became the setting of a court so dazzling that many of the French 
nobility closed their great chateaux in the country and came up to 
take quarters in a Palace that could accommodate 10,000 persons. 

So that he could retire from the ceremonies and crowds with 
which he was afflicted, Louis XIV built the Grand Trianon, 
the most glorified marble bungalow in the world, 

Versailles was left to ruin after Francfe became a Eepublic, but 
it was partially restoi-ed by Napoleon I five years after he had 
installed 2.000 of his veterans in the central wing of the palace. 

Louis Phillippe did the great part of the work in transforming 
Versailles into a museum which was completed in_1837. Housed 
in the great central wing, which is nearly a half mile in length, is 
a unique collection of paintings, sculptures, carvings and other 



[ 



object, of art. Tl.e pakce itself »-ns built pfincipally by M.iisarJ 
around the huutiug lodge of Louis XIIL Latfr, Ute^i;™,™ 
bu.lt aroujiij the palace until now there is a population of 70,000 

Some of the most dramatic chapters of Trench history have been 
written at Versailles. The palace itself, with its vast, fouutai," 
playing gardens, has been called the most complete and nionu- 
Md" n m'or'°'!>o' '" ''''»>'|'"»,n">""chy. it took sq.OOO men 
and 6,000 horses 20 years to level and shape the ground for the 
palace and gardens, to build a road from Paris and to install the 
complex irrigation system that brought water from miles away 
It IS estimated that the cost amounted to 500,000,000 gold francs 
■ ',™ "''«">P' '"."Massinate Louis XV occurred at Versailles and 
m 1774 he died (here. A mob of Parisian women stormed the 
Pa aee dimng the Revolution and killed many guards and forced 

« / ,. "" ""'y '" """'" "i^ prisoners to Paris 

After the tall of Napoleon the Palace again became the residence 
of kings. Queen Victoria of England was received there with 
honoi-s by Napoleon III, and there, in 1871, the Prussian occitpa- 
tion was unposcd during the Pranco-Prussian War. 

Wilhehn I was proclaimed Emperor of Germany in the Hall of 
Mirrors, a place very familiar to thousands of American tourists 



The last war's peace treaty was signed in the same glittering 
gallery after the Allies defeated German.y — the date was 28 June 
1919, and the peace became known as the "Treaty of Versailles." 

Versailles has always been somewhat of a military town. It had 
a school of military engineering and artillery, as well as a military 
hospital. 

In one of the Palace exliibit rooms, you will find a number of 
relics of the American Revolution which were .placed on display 
in 1919. 

There used to be two curious customs that took place in King 
Louis' bedroom. The king used to hold special audiences every 
evening before retiring and every morning upon rising. The 
French dramatist Moliere, known as the father of Prench comedy, 
found the opportunity to ask the King's permission to stage his 
comedies at the court when he accepted the duty of making the 
sovereign's bed. 

The royal bedroom used to be so chilly that Limis XV refused to 
sleep there. After going through the usual ceremony of holding 
an audience, he would retire into a smaller bedroom. 

The Palace grounds are a favorite place for picnics. Thousands 
of Parisian workers come there on Sundays with their families. 



The GuiUD ClKii is full of TOwboats, and many couples are seen 
everywhere lying on the grass, reatlinp; the Sunday newspapers or 
just chatting. ' 




MEMORANDA 



MEMORANDA 



MEMORANDA