I’m sure everyone has seen the footage of Notre Dame in Paris on fire.
I have spent a lot of time in Paris – much of that time on my own. I used to walk to Notre Dame on many days, and simply sit in the cathedral for a while, occasionally attending a service, even though I’m not religious.
I thought it was terrible when far-right “activists” would go in there and shoot themselves at the altar to protest abortion or whatever. I thought that was as bad as it would get.
There was scaffolding on the part of the building that caught fire. Restoration work is so, so dangerous for historic buildings. Something very similar happened in Belfast when I was there last year.
The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.
As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.
This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.
The world’s first motorsport contest took place on the 22nd of July, 1894 from Paris to Rouen, France.
First, a selection event was held in which sixty-nine cars participated. The main 127 kilometre race had twenty-five contestants.
Count Jules-Albert de Dion circa 1903
Count Jules-Albert de Dion was the first to complete the race, but as cars were also judged on other elements – such as safety – he was not declared the winner. He completed the race in 6 hours and 48 minutes, which averaged 19 kilometres an hour.
1895 poster advertising the opera’s original run. X
Thaïs, a opera by Jules Massenet, had its premiere at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on the 16th of March, 1894.
Sibyl Sanderson in 1891
Massenet wrote the title role for American soprano Sibyl Sanderson, who performed in the premiere.
Jules Massenet in 1895
A famously difficult opera to perform, a revised version was presented at the same theatre four years after the first performance, though the production remains reserved for only the most talented singers.
Boulevard du Temple, Paris, c. 1838. By Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.
“Boulevard du Temple”, taken by Daguerre in 1838 in Paris, includes the earliest known candid photograph of a person. The image shows a street, but because of the over ten-minute exposure time the moving traffic does not appear. At the lower left, however, a man apparently having his boots polished, and the bootblack polishing them, were motionless enough for their images to be captured.