The furore surrounding Paris Fashion Week can be an overwhelming experience for even the most seasoned fashion aficionado. Take some time away from the crowds to rejuvenate in some of the French capital’s best concealed gems.
Church of Saint-Sulpice, Luxembourg Quarter, 6th Arrondissement
Only slightly smaller than the city’s revered Notre-Dame cathedral, Paris’ Saint-Sulpice is a majestic Romanesque church situated just minutes away from the Jardin du Luxembourg on the Left Bank. Originally considered to be an unsightly church due to its rejection of Baroque architectural values, the church had fallen into disrepair but was restored to its original beauty thanks to a 28 million euro restoration in 2008.
Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture
Laid out in the 1850s to connect Paris’s principal railway stations within the fortified walls of the city, La Petite Ceinture is a picturesque piece of Parisian history. The line is today overrun with greenery and travels through obscure tunnel openings and past graffitied walls, but remains a serene and photogenic space perfect for passing a tranquil afternoon away from the bustling crowds of PFW.
La Musée de la Mode de la Cité, Palais Galliera, 16th Arrondissement
Just a stone’s throw away from the city’s most revered couture boutiques is Paris’s Palais Galliera, a stately Renaissance-inspired building housing the Musée de la Mode de la Ville. Comprising over 243,000 invaluable pieces of clothing, the permanent collection traces the history of fashion from 18th century aristocratic France through to the latest collections by world-renowned fashion designers. A must-visit for fashion fans.
Gaglignani Bookshop, Rue de Rivoli, 4th Arrondissement
Claimed to be the first English language bookshop established on the continent, the Gaglignani bookshop on Rue de Rivoli is an impressive, friendly bookshop offering a huge selection of books on subjects ranging from design to philosophy. Counting a number of celebrities among its clientele including Karl Lagerfeld, the Gaglignani is the perfect pitstop for a calm break while stocking up on the hottest new books in the publishing world.
La Cathédrale Saint Alexandre Nevsky, Rue Daru, 8th Arrondissement
Again in walking distance of the Champs-Élysées on Rue Due in the 8th arrondissement, La Cathédrale Saint Alexandre Nevsky is an authentic Orthodox Russian cathedral situated at the very heart of Paris. Built in the early half of the 20th century to cater for the many Russian émigrésliving in the French capital, the cathedral’s traditional Russian golden spires and gold-foil embellished frescos offer a stunning vista set against the classic Haussmannian architecture symbolic of Paris around the world.
Words by Liam Roberts