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In Paris

#1
Can anyone tell me something about the route in Paris itself. I am going there on New Years Day for a few days and would like to follow the start of the route. It's a bit late to get a guide. The Confraternity have temporarily sold out of their Paris Pilgrim booklets which I gather are a tour of places of interest. I am told that the start is at the Tours St Jacques near the river and Les Halles. There are yellow arrows in various places in Paris, including Montmartre - are these for the Way of St James or something else? Any help greatly appreciated.
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
Hi Charles,
I have a copy of the CSJ's Paris to the Pyrenees as well as the Paris Pilgrim booklet. If you would care to email me off the forum I will scan the relevant pages and forward them to you. As they are out of print, I'm sure they won't mind!
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#3
Charles said:
There are yellow arrows in various places in Paris,
Yep - I spent three nights in Paris after the Camino, and it was the last place I saw a yellow arrow - a nice send-off before returning to the States... :arrow:
 
#4
I'm not aware of any yellow arrows in Paris, and Montmartre isn't on any Jacobean route that I know of, so if you saw some they're probably for something else. The historic road came from St Denis in the north via the Porte de la Chapelle, heading south, bending right to the rue St Martin which leads to the Square de la Tour St Jacques which is where the 'butchery' church was, of which the tower is all that remains. Keep right on past Notre Dame de Paris, and over the river you join the rue St Jacques, and basically just keep on going until you get to the Porte d'Orleans. You can follow it easily enough on a modern street map, even if the old road layout was largely obliterated by Haussmann and co (and the railways).

The tower is being renovated, and is wreathed in plastic sheeting (when I was last there, it took me quite a while to find it - until I realised it was the thing covered with tarpaulins :) ). See the city's page on the restoration, with links to old photos.

The modern GR655, marked red/white, roughly follows the old road, though in the north it uses the canal, which is much more pleasant walking than the busy main road. There's an overview map in the Paris à Pied topoguide which you can look at at http://www.ffrandonnee.fr/topos/topoGui ... &t=reg&v=8
(marked in orange).

There's an overview of the route(s) from the tower on my page http://peterrobins.co.uk/camino/caminos_channel.html

I believe the FFRP are publishing a topoguide to the whole thing next year. The CSJ's Paris-Pyrenees guide is very much out-of-date now, and I wouldn't recommend it apart for background info. As you say, they also produce a guide to places connected with the cult of St James; this was updated recently, though I've not seen the updated version.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#5
Peter is right. The Paris to the Pyrenees is outdated and besides, it does not have any info on walking from Paris - only from Chartres and from Orleans. However, there are up-dates in the bookshop which suggest that you leave Paris by Porte d'ltalie. Then Villeneuve Saint-Georges, Evry, Mennecy, Ballancourt-sur-Essone, Boutigny, Maisse, Boigneville, Malesherbes, Pithiviers, Neuville aux Bois, Orléans.
It is also possible to take a route through Etampes which lies on the 'historic' route. It is understood it is possible to walk along the Seine through much of the Paris suburbs. After 30k is Juvisy (cafés with rooms). You can then take local footpaths, PR's or GR variants the 30k to Etampes.
http://www.csj.org.uk/update-parisroute-2005.htm
 

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vinotinto

Active Member
#6
Peter Robins said:
so if you saw some they're probably for something else.
Man, why you wanna mess with an aging pilgrim's illusions? :wink:

And you never know - it might be for the Camino. Heck, that English chap started his Camino TV series in Paris - mebbe he painted it there... :arrow:
 
#7
P.S. for anyone arriving in Paris by train from the north, you can simply start at the Gare du Nord, using either the rue St Martin, or the rue St Denis - both were main thoroughfares in medieval times. There's a series of maps of medieval Paris on wikipedia - the roads are particularly obvious on the 1422 one.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#8
I will be arriving from the Antipodes into CDG thoroughly jetlagged, and am spending a few days in Paris to un-jetlag. I have walked on some of these streets/roads before, but might walk some of them again, plus some of the new ones you have listed. I tend to stumble upon things by accident when I am wandering in Paris, and I did see the Tour St Jacques last year (in August), but it was closed, though not wreathed in plastic sheeting.
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#9
Hi Charles,
After reading your post, I emailed my Pilgrim friend who works for the La Société Française des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle in Paris. http://www.compostelle.asso.fr/ . He concurred that the yellow arrows in Paris have nothing to do with Santiago! (sorry, VT!) He also offered to give you any assistance you would like and told me that I could give you his email if you wish. He is extremely knowledgeable about the Camino in general, and France in particular! And his English is excellent - since my French is non-existent! Let me know and I'll send it to you as a private message.
Buen Camino,
 
#11
Thank you to Sil, Peter and Deirdre for all that information, which was very helpful.

We found the Tour Saint Jacques, still covered with plastic and closed, but the top was peeking out in glorious newness, showing its late Gothic delicate beauty. When it's finished, in two years time and at a cost of over 7 million euros, it will be a site to behold and a fitting landmark to begin a journey.

Notre Dame was busy with tourists at New Year so we gave it a miss - got in easily last February and had an interesting time. I think you've chosen a good time to go next week, Deirdre.

We found your friend Alex, the secretary of the Association Francaise, in his office in Rue des Canettes, not far from the Rue Saint Jacques. He was entertaining another of your pilgrim party, Finn. Apparently the French association was set up in 1950 and is the oldest of the modern confraternities. He was very helpful with information. He selected four main points of interest, the two I've mentioned, the medieval Hotel de Cluny, just along the street, which has scallop shells all over the walls, and the area around St Jacques du Haut Pas which formed a very large hospital in medieval times, none of which remains, so we did not explore it. It was easy to imagine the old route through the relatively narrow straight roads of St Martin and St Jacques and up the hill past what is now the Sorbonne to the ridge above the river valley (Haut Pas).

It seems Paris was a great meeting place for pilgrims from all over northern Europe and they had a major impact on the city in medieval times.

He also had his own outlook on some recent discussions. He said that the modern pilgrimage is now just like the medieval one in that you get all sorts of people involved for all sorts of reasons, including theft and sexual gratification. He had some graphic photographs of sexual organs depicted in hat pin camino badges of medieval times. He said lonely people from isolated Spanish villages go partly just to meet other people. The only difference is that now you're not likely to get murdered on the Camino. I said, It's life, and he agreed.

So thanks again.
Charles
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#12
Hi Charles,

You're very welcome! Alex told me that you stopped by - I guess I didn't realize that you were going to Paris so soon! He is a wealth of information! Yes, I am going next week - my first trip to Paris - and I'm very excited to see the "Camino connection" there!

Alex connected his vidiocamera in his office so that Finn and I could chat. It was great to see and talk to him again! The wonders of modern technology!

It never ceases to amaze me the friendly relationships that are forged on the Camino. Although we are of vastly different ages, have such different lives and live in various parts of the world we have the commonality of this shared experience which permanently links us one to the other.

Buen Camino,
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#13
Deirdre said:
Yes, I am going next week - my first trip to Paris - and I'm very excited to see the "Camino connection" there!
Deirdre (& others going to Paree):

If you have time, you might want to check out this cafe/restaurant:

Le Morland
6, Boulevard Morland, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 48 87 64 54

On my first trip to Europe in 2003, the owners and their daughter were very kind to me. I was with two other gals trying to find the Notre Dame cathedral (Le Morland is close by there). While we were standing at a curb watching a strike parade and looking at our maps, the twentysomething daughter happened to walk up next to us. So, I asked her directions. She showed us on our maps, and then asked us to come to the restaurant for a bit. When we got there, she gave us water and soda on the house - and then offered to give us a tour of Notre Dame! So, we left our gear in her apartment (above the restaurant), and she did just that. She then asked us to dinner a couple of days later, and they opened the restaurant up just for us. I had one of the best meals I've ever had that afternoon.

I stopped by there after my Camino this summer to say hi and have some coffee and vin, but they had "outsourced" the restaurant to a husband/wife management team. However, the husband spoke English, so I asked him to pass on my regards to the owners. I grabbed a business card off the counter for a souvenier, and saw an odd thing - my name on the bottom left corner! I pointed it out to him so that he would remember my name when he spoke with them (he said, "ah, that is also your name..."). So of course, it wasn't based on me, but it was still a cool coincidence, and made the cards (I took 2) an even nicer memento. :arrow:
 
#14
Charles said:
Apparently the French association was set up in 1950 and is the oldest of the modern confraternities
yes. In the early days, British people too joined this org; in the early 80s it was suggested they form their own assoc and the British CSJ was born. There is another assoc in Paris http://www.compostelle2000.com/ who have a reception office for pilgrims; at one time, they were planning to open a gite there, but I can't see any mention of that on their website, so perhaps they've abandoned the idea. They do a lot of work organising pilgrimages for people with mobility problems.
Charles said:
the area around St Jacques du Haut Pas which formed a very large hospital in medieval times, none of which remains
unfortunately there's hardly anything left of medieval Paris apart from a couple of iconic churches like Notre Dame. If you want medieval remains, forget Paris!
 
#15
I'm asking about inexpensive accommodations in Paris.

As part of a pre-Camino warm-up, we will be in Paris for a night or two near the end of April. We are planning to see some pilgrin-related sights and Syl has sent me some information via PM (thanks Syl!).

Does anyone have a recomendation for accommodation in Paris? We will be arriving and departing by train at Gare du Nord so something near that station would be great although we would like any suggestions you have.
 
#16
Hi there!

I have tried to gather info. on the route from Paris to St. Jean..
Not much on the route I heard, so I gave up this option.

Change to Le Puy route, seems like it is more well-paved(??) but still not that popular like Camino France..
Well, I want to see the beauty of France..so, Le Puy could be the option!

Bien Camino!!
Sukinseoul
Korea
 
#17
I would like to walk from Paris this time - Is it Notre Dame the start?
Where wd one stay on the way from Paris and how does one find the pilgrim's route as it is tarmac --
And how far would that be too St Jean Pied du Port?
Also how far would Le Puy be as my mother might do tht and we cd then meet at St Jean
Thank you
Katy
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#18
The Via Turonensis is one of four routes through France to Santiago described by Aimery Picaud in the 12th Century Latin manuscript known as the Codex Calixtinus or Liber Sancti Jacobi. In the middle ages it was the busiest pilgrim route in France but, compared to the other three routes in France today, is one of the least travelled. Statistics issued by the Santiago pilgrim office show that only 44 pilgrims out of over 150 000 who received the Compostela in 2003, started their pilgrimage in Paris.

The CSJ-UK offers a 1998 Paris Pilgrim City Guide and Pilgrim Guide from Paris to the Pyrenees. I bought the book ‘Walking to Santiago’ by Dr. Mary E Wilkie who walked from Paris to Santiago in 1998. I also downloaded the walking schedule of Philippe Du N’goc from his website on the Internet. (Beware - he is a fast walker who walked marathon distances!)

As we intended walking ± 28kms each day I pre-booked most of our accommodation. We booked five Youth Hostels that cost ± €9 each. I did ‘Google.com’ searches for hotels and used the LOGIS and Federal Hotels web sites to book online. The average cost of a double room in France was €40 - €50 and in Spain €30 - €40. We only managed to stay in one refuge in France, a charming little gité in St Martin Lacaussade outside Blaye which we had all to ourselves. There is an up-date on the CSJ website with recommendations for accommodation and campsites.

The route from Paris to Spain is nothing like the Camino Frances. Until we reached Aulnay – about 300km from Orleans – there were no pilgrim signs and no places of refuge. We did not see another backpacking pilgrim until we reached Ostabat on our 26th day.
Much of our route was done on tarred roads, some frighteningly busy but we did try to take the petit rues suggested to us by locals. St James is evident in churches and cathedrals all along the route, especially in the church of St Jacques in Chatellerault which displays one of the most familiar, brightly coloured effigies of the saint with his hat and cape encrusted with scallop shells.

Between Aulnay and Mirambeau we followed the ‘Les Chemins de St Jacques’ path with scallop shell steles for about 115km. We found it overgrown, indistinct in places and often difficult to follow. From DAX we did a side trip to Lourdes and spent a few hours there before returning to Peyrehorade to continue our walk. Four days later we reached Roncesvalles.

We used:

1. The Pilgrim’s Guide. Translated from the Latin by James Hogarth. ©
2. Paris City Guide and Paris to the Pyrenees. Available from the CSJ-UK. http://www.csj.org.uk
3. cranleigh@northnet.com.au Mary Wilkie’s Book
4. http://www.philippe@doph.net Philippe Du Ngoc
5. http://www.federal-hotel.com Federal Hotels
6. http://www.logis-de-france.fr Logis hotels

A later blog: http://parispilgrim.squarespace.com/paris/

The "starting point" is the Tour St Jacques. From the XIth century pilgrims coming from Britain and countries from the north of France met here and started walking from the church Saint Jacques de la Boucherie (St James near the butcher. Once they had heard the mass and received the blessings for their packs and staffs they would walk past the old abbey of Port Royal, founded in 1204 by Matthieu de Montmorency. They then walked along Rue St Jacques towards the St Jacques gate before heading in the direction of Etampes:
Philppe du Ngoc's directions:
CROSS THE SEINE BY THE PONT NOTRE DAME.
CARRY ON SOUTH BY THE RUE DE LA CITÉ.
CROSS AGAIN THE SEINE BY THE PETIT PONT
CARRY ON SOUTH BY THE RUE SAINT JACQUES, WHICH CONTINUES BY THE RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT JACQUES, THEN BY THE RUE DE LA TOMBE ISSOIRE
AT THE JUNCTION WITH THE RUE D'ALÉSIA, TAKE THE RUE SARRETTE
CARRY ON ON THE AVENUE DU GÉNÉRAL LECLERC
PLACE DU 25 AOUT 1944 TAKE THE AVENUE DE LA PORTE D'ORLÉANS TO JOIN

A fun way to see Paris is to book a Segway bike evening tour.
 

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#19
Thank you so much! I do not like tarmac as I wd feel caged in.. maybe will bicy until le Puy and then. go to the wonderful places you have suggested and .. then walk the Camino..
I l would walk Camino Frances always -- and am not inclined to the other routes

Katy
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#22
mspath said:
See more photos and info regarding the newly and temporarily opened Tour St Jacques in Paris at this English web >> http://www.france24.com/en/20130803-tou ... ons-summer.

Mounting the 300 steps to the top is good practice for crossing the Pyrennees or going up O Cebreiro!

Happy climbing!

MM

I have completed my Camino, but I am in Paris for a few days so that is something I may go to see.

I am still seeing yellow arrows
 

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ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#25
Got my reservation for a Tour today at 1300:)

Reading the info on the Tower of St James, this use to be the French start point for their pilgrimage to Santiago .

I wonder if I can get a stamp on my credential?

Frank
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#26
If you plan to visit for the tour numbers are very limited, each group is about 15 people, and each tour takes 50 minutes, at a rat of 1 tour an hour , about 90 people a day, reservations are made on site starting at 930 AM, by 9AM the line was at least 100 long!

Got my stamp , available from the guard at the small blue guardhouse :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#28
Frank,

What a wonderful last stamp to acquire!

Now that you have visited the Tour St Jacques of the original church of St Jacques de la Boucherie you might finish your stay in Paris with a pleasant meal in the Auberge Nicolas Flamel Restaurant at 51 rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris, tele 01 42 71 77 78. As you will have heard during your visit to the tour Nicolas Flamel was a medieval bookseller who dabbled in the occult and was long associated with the Confraternity of St Jacques at the original church. See more restaurant info here >> http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRevi ... rance.html

Bon appetite and Ultreia!

Margaret Meredith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#29
Frank,
Thank you SO much for the information on getting the stamp at the Tour St Jacques!! I won't arrive in Paris (on my way to SJPP) until 19 Sept, so I'll miss out on the tour of the Tour, alas. But it will sooth the senses if I can get a sello! I've even put in an order for my passport from the American Pilgrims on the Camino, just so I'll have it to accommodate THAT sello! I would rather have waited and gotten the credencial from the Pilgrim Office in SJPP, but ~ ~ whatever works!! I will camp at the blue guard hut until someone takes pity on this white-haired, 68 year old woman! ;-)

All the best as you begin your "new" Camino ~
Terry
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#30
I will camp at the blue guard hut until someone takes pity on this white-haired, 68 year old woman!
The last time I was near the Tour St Jacques was back in 2011, but even though the tower itself wasn't open at all, the guard house opened and closed and opened again without any discernible reason while I was wandering around the little park, so hopefully you won't have to do much camping.
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#31
mspath said:
Frank,

What a wonderful last stamp to acquire!

Now that you have visited the Tour St Jacques of the original church of St Jacques de la Boucherie you might finish your stay in Paris with a pleasant meal in the Auberge Nicolas Flamel Restaurant at 51 rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris, tele 01 42 71 77 78. As you will have heard during your visit to the tour Nicolas Flamel was a medieval bookseller who dabbled in the occult and was long associated with the Confraternity of St Jacques at the original church. See more restaurant info here >> http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRevi ... rance.html

Bon appetite and Ultreia!

Margaret Meredith
I have 0 French language skills, so if any mention was made I did not hear it, thanks for the Tip, I am very interested to dine in the oldest house in Paris, especially given its links to the Camino !

With thanks

Frank
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#32
I had lunch at the oldest house in Paris, and the experience of my visit to the tower and the links to Nicholas Flamel has engaged my curiosity .

Thanks for the tip
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis Sept-Oct 2016
#33
Hi everyone,
Does anybody out there know where I can actually purchase a credential in Paris? I've found some info, but when I go to the site, it's all in French.
Any and all help appreciated!
Thanks
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#34
8, rue des Canettes, in the 6th arrondissement, near metro Saint-Germain des prés, the Jardin du Luxembourg or the church of Saint-Sulpice. Open weekdays, 2 to 6:30 pm.
 

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