Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saints Alive!

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Saints Alive! ~

Saints Alive!, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.
BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Anyone familiar with the delightful Rue André des Arts? Or maybe you know the Rue Benoït or are fond of the long and historic Rues Jacques and Martin? Well at least you must have met up with friends at the famous Place Michel once or twice if you've ever visited the city. And as for the curious Rue des Pères (which has more than one secret, by the way), well, charming, just charming.

Or maybe not. Maybe these Paris street and place names, while seeming somewhat familiar, strike you as somehow... strange.

You wouldn't be wrong because - saints alive! - these streets really do still exist in Paris today! Yes, still exist because, at one time, they were called exactly as given above!

Revolutionaries, you see, generally want to change things; shake things up; turn things on their head (or just chop them off). Kings and creeds didn't fare too well during French revolutionary times, it has to be said.

What generally happened was that the up-enders went around looking for anything which represented the old ways, and destroyed them. Thanks a lot guys! But in destroying what would doubtless have made some interesting Paris curiosities, they inadvertently created others. As shown above.

One of their favourite irreverent acts was to chisel out any references to saints, as well as smashing up their statues too of course.

As with everything, what goes around comes around, as the word revolution itself would suggest, and in due course, there was some other revolutionary reactionary up a ladder plastering and pasting back in all the missing 'Saint' and 'St' references. Hilarious or ridiculous really, depending on your point of view, or perhaps just tellingly ironic, but there it is, still on the walls of Paris for us all to see and reflect upon. Thank godness.
© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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