le “Canelé”: Another pastry made by nuns!

This time theses Canelés comes from Gironde and its invention dates back to the 18th century.

The nuns used flour found in the holds of boats to make their little cakes.

They made their thin dough and fried it in lard, wrapped around a sugarcane rod.

A few decades later, this recipe was revived and renamed Millasson.

These pastries were baked in fluted bronze molds.

This delicacy was constantly improved to become a small cake with a rum and vanilla flavored pastry coated with a caramelized crust, an emblematic recipe of Bordeaux.

LIBERATION OF PARIS : such a French injustice, the NUEVE

LIBERATION of PARIS: such a French injustice, The Nueve. Indeed, if I tell you: ……. “La Nueve” if I name you Amado Grannel, Firmin Pujol, Martin Bernal, Rafael Gomez…. who will be able to tell me who they are or what “la nueve” is.

In France, after our conflicts, we are used to remembering our fighters who were born in the metropolis. And to forget a little our Spahis, Zouaves, Senegalese, Indochinese or Malagasy riflemen, and so many others. Yet they shed their blood on all our fronts, to save “the mother country”. La Nueve is a little bit the same. Here I am going to ask you some questions and if you don’t know how to answer them then read my article.

  • Which is the first unit of the 2nd DB of Leclerc which entered by the Italian gate for the liberation of Paris?
  • What is the name of the small garden between the Paris City Hall and the Seine?
  • To which unit belonged the first officer to enter the Paris City Hall in August 44?
  • Were there Spanish fighters in the French army during the Second World War, and if so, in which unit?
  • To which unit was General de Gaulle entrusted with the security of the parade on the Champs Elysée on 26th August 1944?

You have understood the answer is the same: the Nueve

What is the origin of the Nueve?

Republican fighters had to flee Spain after Franco’s seizure of power. Many took refuge in France, in the south. After the German invasion, the Vichy government gave them 3 choices. Go back to Spain (death at the end). Work in Germany (collaboration). Join the foreign legion. This is what most of them did, and they went to Africa.

As soon as they could, they joined the army of the Free France, led by Leclerc. After the victory in Africa in 1943, they will join the 2nd AD. And among them 146 were to be grouped together in what was to become an elite unit. The 9th company of the Chadian marching regiment. “Nueve” means “new” in Spanish. The command will be given to Captain Dronne. He will be nicknamed “el patron”.

The Role of the Nueve in the Liberation of Paris

Paris has risen up, Leclerc is ready to take on the capital. The American command was less enthusiastic about the idea. However, the resistance weakened. Leclerc sends his first units to attack, for him it is crucial that Paris is liberated by … of the French . It is the Nueve, which will be the first entry into Paris. On August 24th at 8 p.m., the first halftracks enter the capital. Their armoured vehicles are named after the battles of the Spanish War, such as Teruel, Guadalajara and other more amusing ones. The penguins, a self-mockery given the nickname that the French gave to the Spaniards: the “espingouins”.

Lieutenant Amado Granell’s platoon reaches City Hall first at 9:30 pm. And after a quick fight they take possession of it. The next day, they capture the military governor of Paris, General von Choltitz, and hand him over to the Allies.

And who was Leclerc going to ask to ensure the safety of de Gaulle, at the head of the parade on 26th August 1944? At La Nueve of course. We can see an honour in it, but in fact it is pragmatism, because La Nueve was one of the best units.

What about the rest of the war?

They will continue the fighting, and participate in the Liberation of Strasbourg on 23rd November 1944. Leclerc thus fulfilled the oath he had taken after his victory at Koufra in Libya on 2 March 1941:

“Nous jurons de ne déposer les armes que lorsque nos couleurs, nos belles couleurs, flotteront sur la cathédrale de Strasbourg.” “We swear not to lay down our arms until our colours, our beautiful colours, float over the cathedral of Strasbourg.”


They are not going to stop and will be from Hitler’s eagle’s nest to Berchtesgaden. Of the 160 men in the column, only 14 will remain fit to fight in 1945.

Will they be recognised as heroes?

If the title of my article is: LIBERATION DE PARIS: such a French injustice, La Nueve. You can imagine that we are not going to give them the expected recognition. Whose fault is it? and why.

De Gaulle first

In his speech “Paris martyred but Paris liberated, by itself and by eternal France.” He doesn’t talk about allies or foreign troops. It was to remain for posterity a French victory won by French people. Moreover, there is an internal conflict between the communists (FTP, Rol Tanguy) and Gaullists (FFI, FFL).

To their political inclination

Most of them are anarchists. They did not fight for the liberation of France but for freedom as such, against facism. Leclerc had orally promised them that after defeating Mussolini and Hitler, they would be helped to overthrow Franco in Spain. However, international politics had other interests as a result of the Cold War.


Yes, but on an individual basis, the Nueve as such will not be distinguished.

What about today? LIBERATION OF PARIS: an injustice “so French”, La Nueve it was in 44

It was not until 2002 that a dozen commemorative medallions were affixed along the route taken by the Nueve between the Porte d’Italie and the Town Hall.

2012 for a French President (François Hollande) to pay tribute to them.

2015 And a socialist mayor (Bertrand Delanoë) and a deputy mayor of Spanish origin who is now mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo). A garden bordering the town hall has been given the name La Nueve.

2017 in Spain, in Madrid they also give the name to a garden.

Books, a song, a game

That’s enough to extend this article a little bit. with 2 books, including 1 comic book, dedicated to these soldiers, a song composed for them and a video game where we talk about it 🙂

Please close your eyes and listen.

n the game Steel Division: Normandy 1944 from Eugen Systems. The Nueve is present, heavily equipped, it is formidable in the game.


Is our Eiffel tower unique ?

This is a good question. Are there any other EIFFEL TOWER all around the world. You’ve already seen it under many lines.

  • As a key holder,
  • or as a decorativ light
  • as a candle ….

But is our Eiffel Tower UNIQUE or some other EIFFEL TOWER all around the world? The answer will not surprise you: NO. But the number of Eiffel Towers and the number of countries that have one in various forms will surely surprise you. Nearly 100 Eiffel Towers have been listed, with nearly 30 countries represented.

Let’s go and discover them. I’ve given you the grace of too many bad lines. As well as the too small ones. In the same way I have removed all the ephemera (you know, lemon, corn, brick …) that were celebrating an event. I didn’t put the ones that have disappeared either, because they were made of wood for example.
Of course, between the time I write these lines and the day you read them, it is possible that some news have come out, or that others have disappeared, so if you have any information, please let me know by contacting me and I will update the article.

Some facts about the Eiffel tower

Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, it was 312 metres long and red. Today it measures 324 metres (antennas have been added).

Why more than 300 meters, in order to surpass the mythical bar of the 1000 feet in English measure, because we were competing with them to build the highest tower in the world.


But before we start our round-the-world tour is this ours the highest?

Again, I may disappoint you, but …. NO. The highest is based in Tokyo, Japan. Built in 1958, it measures 332.5 metres. Its name: the Tokyo tower. It is a telecommunication tower.

It is followed by the EIFFEL Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, which measures 165m. The 3rd is in Blackpool in England, but I also put here the 4th highest Macau in China with 150m because it is placed like the one in Las Vegas in a hotel and commercial complex.

Which are the countries where you can find the most of Eiffel towers?

Let’s start our journey in France

  • APACH: Located in the department of Moselle in the Lorraine region, has the rare distinction of being on the border of three countries: France, Luxembourg and Germany.
  • SOING CUBRY CHARENTENAIS 16 m : Located in Burgundy, built in 1992.
  • BUISSIERES LES BELMONT A town in the east of France, offers us a 30m high Eiffel Tower made entirely of wicker.
  • LYON Fourvière 85,90 m / This tower is really similar to the one in Paris. It has only one floor and serves as a telecommunication antenna. Built in 1894, a republican impulse wanted to erect a “lay” monument as a counterpart to the basilica, a Catholic high place.
  • ELANCOURT : 10m high, located in the park of France Miniature.
  • CAPENAC GARE : In the Aveyron, it will be completed for the 2024 Olympics and will be 24m high.

What are the other Eiffel Towers in the world that are red, like ours was originally?

Of course the one in Tokyo which we just saw as the biggest. But it is not the only one:

  • AUSTIN – TEXAS – USA 7.5 m
  • FES – MOROCCO 30m
  • BLACKPOOL -ANGLETERRE 158m, it is also the oldest of the copies, built in 1894, and the 3rd highest.

Are there other Eiffel Towers in Paris?

There is no other Eiffel Tower in Paris France. Certainly, but in Paris elsewhere in the world, if … Some Paris in the United States don’t have their own, like in Idaho or Kentuky. However the others do. Let’s discover these Paris of the world

  • TEXAS – PARIS – USA 20m, the Texans were competing with Tennessee for the highest of the 2. Here we don’t ask ourselves the question of kitsch, we added a good Stetson and hop 2m more.

There are also other Eiffel Towers around the world in cities connected by name to France or Paris.

  • HANGZOU – CHINA 108m, a district of Paris has been rebuilt there, with its Haussmannian buildings.
  • SANTOS DUMONT – BRAZIL 7m city named after the famous French-Brazilian aviator.

The Eiffel Towers in amusement parks

In addition to being the emblem of France, it is also a pleasant place to relax or to take a step up. You will therefore find it in amusement parks as a merry-go-round or in smaller monument parks

  • CHINA – SHENZEN one of the largest parks in the world
  • FLORIDE – EPOCT a Disney theme park (by country) 23m
  • OKLAHOMA – KING ISLAND 410 steps, 100m
  • VIRGINIA – DOMINION is the “old sister” of King Island 101m

To conclude, an anthology of EIFFEL towers around the world.

  • VIETNAM – DA LAT 53m


You can also find a video report on the secrets of the Eiffel Tower on our YOU TUBE channel

The ghosts of Pere Lachaise

Welcome to this 3rd article on Père Lachaise, if you want to find the other articles on Père Lachaise click on these links: “the history of Père Lachaise“, “incredible tombs“. Today we are going to talk about ghosts and supernatural or even satanic events.

If you question the guards they will of course tell you about Edith Piaf’s ghost or Sarah Bernard’s ghost. How many masses or satanic rituals were performed after closing time? Would you like to spend the night in the middle of 70000 graves?

and when you come across a crow or a cat? is it an animal? or …… ?

Miss Clarion and her lover

In the alley of dragons, we are told about the ghost of a man whose heart is broken by a beautiful actress. By a disturbing coincidence, an actress, Mademoiselle Clairon, has been buried in this same alley since August 29, 1937. She, harassed by a man madly in love with her, is said to have turned him away and driven him to suicide……

Countess Demidoff, the lady in white

Let’s continue in this alley and we will find a gigantic funerary monument, that of Baroness Stroganoff, wife of Count Demidoff . Exiled in Paris, separated from her husband, she died at the age of 40 at the head of an imposing fortune. She would have deposited a will, which according to the terms would bequeath her fortune to the man who would stay next to her body, in the grave, for 365 days and 366 nights. There were 3 attempts but the unfortunate ones went mad. Nevertheless, the white lady, as she was known, would continue to walk through the cemetery to attract candidates to her. One of the photos is a candidate’s letter dated 1893 from the small town of Monmouth, Illinois.

Another strange fact that would appeal to Dracula’s lovers. The Countess might have been a vampire. Look at the date of her death 18/1818 … Three 8: the symbolism of vampires and the four wolf heads that surround the mausoleum, again a vampire symbolism.

The body and the heart of Chopin

This beautiful tomb is that of Frederic Chopin, a Polish-French composer. He loved his two countries so much, but above all he was so afraid of being buried alive that he had his body buried in Paris and his heart in Warsaw.

Allan Kardec, the master of spiritism

We are now going to be in touch with the supernatural, by evoking the master of spiritualism: Hippolyte Rivail born in 1804, in Lyon. This name doesn’t mean anything to you? normal because he changed it to Allan Kardec. Which would correspond to his identity in a previous life, when he was a Druid. He was going to take part in communication sessions with the deceased. He was then 51 years old and he was going to study and develop this practice coming from the United States.

He will become the reference, and will enact a true spiritualist doctrine and will draw from it 5 books which remain today the reference on the subject. His “clients” were very famous people, such as Victor Hugo or Sherlock Holmes’ father: Sir Conan Doyle. He is known to have said : ” After my death, if you come to see me, put your hand on the neck of the statue overlooking my grave, then make a wish. If your wish is granted, come back with flowers. ». Well look at the photos and you will see that his tomb is one of the most flowered, so …..

The ghost of Jim Morrison

The most famous international ghost is undoubtedly the co-founder of the Doors group: Jim Morrison. In 1997 during a trip to Paris, Brett Meisner, a rock historian, visited his grave and asked a friend to take a photo of him in front of his idol’s grave. But when he presents the photo to one of his assistants, he makes a stunning discovery. In the photograph, behind Brett Meisner, a white-clad figure appears who looks very much like Jim Morrison. This photograph was studied and re-studied and no suspicious editing or special effects could be discovered. It is therefore clear that this image is more than disturbing.

the cursed lovers of the Middle Ages

Let’s talk about the most famous cursed lover’s couple in the cemetery. For that we have to go back to the Middle Ages. A young woman, Heloise, falls in love and also pregnant with Abelard. Up to this point nothing very abnormal. Except that Abelard was Heloise’s teacher … In this case, indeed, we are going beyond the acceptable and if we know that in the Middle Ages teachers were mostly religious … Then we understand that we have crossed the limit. The two lovers ran away, but Heloise’s father sent two henchmen to find them.

Heloise was locked up with their son in a convent for the rest of his life, and Abelard was cut off so that he would never be able to repeat his crime again (I think you get what they cut). However, love was the strongest, and they continued to write to each other. When they died, they were buried side by side in Heloise father’s house on the Ile de la Cité in Paris, right next to Notre Dame. Legend has it that the lifeless body of Abelard opened his arms to welcome his beloved. Their remains were transferred to Père Lachaise in a magnificent mausoleum.

ADDAMS family

And to conclude this article on Père Lachaise, a nod to a famous American series. One of the last graves leaving the cemetery is that of the family … Adam, would he have removed a D to reduce our vigilance?

We offer guided tours of the Père Lachaise cemetery, on foot in small groups or privately, as well as virtual tours. Discover all our tours by clicking on this link.

Incredible graves in Pere Lachaise

For this second article on Père Lachaise: I have selected 6 out of thousands, as well as the columbarium and crematorium. You can also read the one on the history of the cemetery, and the one on the ghosts of Père Lachaise by clicking on the links),

Columbarium and crématorium

The crematorium-columbarium complex consists of a neo-Byzantine style chapel and four wings. The roof consists of a large brick and sandstone dome, three small half-domes and two chimneys. In the 1920s, the main dome was decorated with stained glass windows by Carl Mauméjean. The final columbarium consists of four levels: two in the basement and two outside and can hold 40,800 boxes. In the columbarium are many celebrities including the director Max Ophüls, the comedian Pierre Dac and the cenotaph of Maria Callas.

Oscar Wilde and ladies kisses

Oscar Wilde’s tomb: it is surrounded by glass, because since the 1990s a ritual had been taking place there – admirers would come and kiss it, leaving a trace of lipstick. Cosmetics were damaging the stone, so the glass wall was erected ……. So today they put the kiss … on the glass.

Edith Piaf and her young’s lovers

Grave of Edith Piaf: one of the biggest and most famous French singer, immortalized in the film “la môme”. She had a life far from a long quiet river, especially from a love point of view. Here she is not alone, as 3 of her young lovers lie close to her grave.

Felix Faure, the french Bill Clinton

Tomb of Félix Faure: here is a politician who knew how to leave with panache. He was in the company of his mistress, at the Elysée Palace, as he was President of the French Republic in 1899. Well, he gave us an early “Bill Clinton” with Monica Lewinski, except that he had a cardiac arrest during the act, and died as a result.

Listen this so french song : “le temps des cerises”

Tomb of Jean Baptiste Clément : the name doesn’t mean anything to you? but the song you probably know : ” le temps des cerises “, interpreted among others by Yves Montand. Lets listen it, click here.

The grave for the fertility

Tomb of Victor Noir : What an incredible story. This journalist had written a very critical article on Prince Pierre Bonaparte, (nephew of Napoleon I and cousin of Napoleon III). He was just 22 years old, he went with a friend to the home of the prince who killed him with a pistol. This triggered popular riots, and further precipitated the fall of the Second Empire, which was faltering following the defeat of Sedan. Buried with a “gisant” (lying statue) on his grave showing him in the position where he died. You will find it strange that some parts of the statue are shiny. Indeed, visitors do come to rub parts of the statue, but which ones and why? First of all the feet, this is common. The place where the bullet is lodged in the chest is less common but understandable,

On the other hand … the mouth and the male part of his anatomy … this is stranger. In fact To show all the vigour of the deceased at the moment of his death, Jules Dalou (the sculptor) endowed his work with a virility well moulded by the trousers. From this sculptural irregularity is said to have originated a legend. According to which certain touches on the virile part of the Victor Noir statue, would bring fertility to young women. Here are the détails.

We offer guided tours of the Père Lachaise cemetery, on foot in small groups or privately, as well as virtual tours. Discover all our tours by clicking on this link.

The cemetery of Père Lachaise

When we talk about places to visit in Paris, of course we think: Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysées …etc. In the first 10 answers we always find: Father Lachaise. Incredible, isn’t it ? that in the City of Lights one of the top 10 visits is a cemetery.

This article is part of a series, you can find the one on “incredible graves” or the one on “the ghosts of Père Lachaise” by clicking on the links.

Who are you Père Lachaise ?

Let’s start by introducing Pere Lachaise. In the XVIIth century there was a Jesuit estate on the site of the cemetery: Mont-Louis. A Jesuit priest and confessor of Louis XIV lived there: François d’Aix de la Chaize. He was borned in 1624 at the chateau of AIX in the Loire. His name was to be re-spelled to become Lachaise, and he was going to give it to the cemetery.

When was the cemetery built?

The cemetery itself opened in 1804. The land had been bought by the Paris City Council and was to be used for the inhabitants of the right bank. But it was a total failure, the Parisians did not appreciate this place: too steep and outside the walls of the capital…. the suburbs! As a result, at the end of the year there were only 13 tombs. 8 years later there hasn’t been much progress: 833 tombs. Then in 1817, a stroke of genius from the town hall: to put VIPs in them. They transferred there immediately presto Molière and La Fontaine as well as the cursed lovers Heloise and Abelard. It was a success in 1830 and there were 33,000 tombs.

A few figures about this extraordinary cemetery:

  • Every year it receives more than 3.5 million visitors, making it the most visited cemetery in the world.
  • Covering an area of 43 hectares, it is currently the largest intramural green space in the capital.
  • Among the 70,000 concessions it houses are not only the graves of VIPs but also those of thousands of anonymous people, and more than 3,000 funeral operations are carried out there every year.

The cimetery and the Wars

The cemetery is also intimately linked to the last 3 conflicts that ravaged France: the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, WWI and WWII.

Franco-Prussian War and the commune of Paris: in May 1871, Père-Lachaise was the scene of a veritable civil war due to its strategic location on the hill. The Federates set up their artillery in the heart of the cemetery, but were soon surrounded by the Versaillais of Thiers on one side and the Prussians on the other. The 147 survivors were shot on 28th May 1871 in front of the wall, which later took the name of the Federated Wall, to the south of the cemetery.

WWI: on 11 November 2018, on the occasion of the commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice, the City of Paris inaugurated its Monument to the 94,415 Parisian dead and 8,000 missing from the Great War of 1914-1918. It is installed horizontally on the surrounding wall of the Père Lachaise cemetery, along the Boulevard de Ménilmontant.

WWII: in the southern part of the cemetery you will find many monuments to the victims of the camps, to the international fighters and to the FFI and FFL.

We offer guided tours of the Père Lachaise cemetery, on foot in small groups or privately, as well as virtual tours. Discover all our tours by clicking on this link.


Perfume, and perfumers, a love story with Paris. How can we not associate fashion and haute couture with perfume. Chanel yes, but Chanel n°5, Hermès yes, but Terre d’Hermès.

Long before Paris, perfume, for more than four millennia, has been present in the most unexpected places. Its history belongs to that of
cultures from all over the world, the art of blending scents, originating in the
Near East, penetrates further west, into Greece and Rome, before reaching Asia through the Arab herb merchants. In Europe, the first centre of perfumery was Renaissance Italy, before France took precedence in the 18th century.

The term comes from the Latin “per fumum” which literally means through smoke, because the first perfumes consisted of aromatics burned like incense for the gods and ancestors.

But did you know that perfumers and glove-makers have long shared a common passion?

Gant parfumé en peau et satin brodé.
Gants parfumés XVI°-XVII°, dessin d’après les originaux du Victoria et Albert Muséum, Londres, copyright by Potterton Books Ltd.

As early as the 12th century, tanners settled in the Provençal town of Grasse to tan the skins, it was necessary to purge the bad smells. However, the smell of the hides, despite their quality, remained nauseating. The nobility’s infatuation for gloves therefore diminished sharply while the perfume was a resounding success. The profession of perfumer was born from there. `

Tannerie travail de la peau

At the end of the 15th century, the Marquis Pompeo Frangipani is said to have invented an almond-based perfume to conceal the strong odour given off by his leather gloves. This is how the idea of perfuming his gloves was born… Later, Catherine de Medici imported the fashion of the perfumed glove from Italy.

As a result, the glove industry developed considerably in France and abroad.
abroad. Leather gloves were perfumed by two processes: either by soaking with an aromatic solution or by rubbing with a paste scented or wax, inside and out. The manufacturers accessories could then be distinguished by the intensity of the perfume used.
In France, for example, the aromas were sweet with a base of
violet, iris or orange blossom.

The links remain so close that in the 18th century, glove-makers and perfumers
are part of the same corporation. From 1759 onwards, leather becomes
highly taxed and master glove-makers and perfumers have to face a new competition installed in Nice. At the same time, perfume becomes for the French a real beauty ritual: perfume is no longer a used for convenience to camouflage unpleasant odours. In this context, the tanners and perfumers trades are separating and a real perfume trade is developing. The guild of glove-makers and perfumers isfinally dissolved in 1791 after the French Revolution by the law of Le
Hatter who proscribes all trade groupings.

Until in the middle of the 19th century, scented gloves were considered to be
luxury accessories as they required a production processrelatively complex.

Tannerie travail de la peau au XIXème

In short, it was a luxury that only the very rich could afford. Nowadays, great perfumers have tried to revive the tradition. In 2012, the house of Causse launched a limited edition pair of gloves, flavored with a floral and fruity scent, Mûre et Musc Extrême. This is also the case for Guerlain, in 2014, which has released two models of scented gloves: Le Gant La Petite Robe Noire (with the house Agnelle) and Le Gant du Parfumeur. Or the House of Fabre who created the scented gloves

You can find this history of the glove and the perfume through one of our visits. Either a global approach to French chic during our tour of Paris on the right bank, or by delving deeper into the subject of perfume and gloves during a visit devoted to this subject or through a perfume creation workshop with one of our perfumer partners.