June 4, 2014- Upon finding that the rain had stopped, I set out from my hotel room for Trocadero, the near west Parisian neighbourhood with exquisite views of Le Tour Eiffel, and a smaller, but no less tantalizing garden, replete with fountains. There is a National Theatre here, and some important museums. One, the Museum of Man, is under renovation, though, and will not reopen until next year. Trocadero is so named, in commemoration of the restoration of the Spanish Bourbon King Ferdinand VII to his throne, with French help, in the 1830’s. The present Palais de Chaillot was built in the 1930’s, to replace the demolished Palais du Trocadero, as a concert hall.
Here are some scenes of Trocadero, taken while I was waiting for my Baha’i friends. This is La Theatre Nationale, or Palais de Chaillot, a large concert hall.
Anne de Bretagne, inspired this sculpture, entitled “The Midas Touch”.
This is an eastward view of Le Tour Eiffel, from the top of Trocadero’s hill.
As is evident, the sweep of Trocadero’s canals, fountains and gardens makes it the perfect place to while away an evening, and many Parisiens do.
The rural origins of Chaillot are not forgotten here, and busts of animals grace two of the fountains. This is “Chevaux et Chien”, or “Two Horses and a Dog.”
Several of the statues are risque. This one is called “The Naked Musicians”. French people today can get quite saucy with one another, but they were demure and modest around visitors like me.
At 6 PM sharp, my Baha’i escorts arrived to take me to the apartment where our Exemplar, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Who was Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and immediate successor, stayed during the first of His three visits to Paris, in 1911.
To get to this apartment, on the north side of Trocadero, we went through a peaceful garden, some of it arranged in Japanese style. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, to Whom we refer sometimes as the Master, enjoyed taking walks in this garden, each day.
We also relished this garden walk, then came to the likeness of Luis do Camoes, the Bard of Portugal, for whom the street, on which the apartment is located, is named.
The apartment is viewed as a sacred place for Baha’is, and is open by appointment, a couple of days per week. I feel very honoured to have visited and prayed there.
My younger host was not putting up his hand to stop the photo, but was engaged in making a point of information.
These two thumbnail photos of ‘Abdu’l-Baha came out more dignified than the others I took of His full countenance, which had a glare to them.
After prayers and delicious tea and cookies, we left the same way we came, through the lovely garden.
My time in Paris was growing short, and this visit was one of the most perfect ways to end it. The following morning, I would visit the National Center of the Baha’is of France, then catch a train to Rouen, home of my paternal ancestors on the grandpaternal side.