France Virtuelle

France Virtuelle May 2022

For our monthly virtual visit to France, we have a mélange of the historical, the modern, and a whimsical combination of the two!

First, a little a behind-the-scenes peek: To create France Virtuelle, I keep a list of videos that catch my eye each month and select my favorites from that list. Sometimes the videos are more of a “maybe.” And sometimes they are pushed forward, like one from this month that you’ll probably see for our Revolutionary July feature.

And some I can’t wait to share because they have that certain je ne sais quoi that you need to see! Our first video falls into that category. Modern animation and several centuries of history all in one!

Once Upon a Time at Versailles

The Château de Versailles has been getting more and more creative with their social media presence. Including this quirky animated history of the château. It’s entertaining, informative, and highly sanitized, except for the very grim guillotine sounds!

It is in French, but the English subtitles popped up automatically for me. If they don’t pop up, turn them on in your app.

I can’t decide which of the “character” drawings I like best. I think it may be Emo Bonaparte. 😂 Which is your favorite?

Paris In The 1920s

As you know, I love old film footage of Paris! Here is one from the early 1920’s (or maybe late teens?), with monuments, a WWI soldier’s parade, and some hair-raising traffic scenes. If you thought driving in Paris today was scary, imagine doing so then!

The “poilus” is a term of endearment for the French soldiers, especially of WWI. It’s a reference to their prominent facial hair (poilu is “hairy” in French). They did have impressive ‘staches!

Do you agree parc Monceau is the prettiest park in Paris? If not, which is your favorite?

Tour of the Église Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet

As tourism returns, the intrepid tour guide and YouTuber French Frye in Paris, aka Corey Frye, has been bringing us a new style of video. The content is pre-recorded and not live as they usually were. However, what we loose in serendipity, we gain in higher quality and less glitchy video while keeping his usual charm and low-key humor. I’m grateful that even as his business returns, Corey is still bringing us regular videos!

Last weekend, he gave us an intimate look at a lesser known church: l’Église Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet in the 5th. It’s gorgeous and has ties to Versailles (yes, I can find a theme in anything). I was completely unfamiliar and had to look up where it is! It’s only two blocks from the river. If you take the Pont de l’Archevêché from behind Notre Dame to the left bank and just keep walking straight, voilà!

This is why we love Paris, right? All of the beauty hidden within her many, many layers.

Dreaming Of The Seine

I know that as one of the people who are holding off a bit longer on travel, I’m constantly day-dreaming of when I can return to Paris! Thankfully we live in the 21st century and we can live vicariously through the magic of video!

The intrepid person behind ART VISION TV took a Seine boat ride this weekend so we could all enjoy the view. He’s on the lesser-known Vedettes du Pont Neuf. They have have smaller boats and live guides, as compared to the large Bateaux Mouches.

Enjoy the ride!

Intergalactic Sightseeing

For those who may be visiting from a galaxy far, far away, the Orsay gave us a candid shot of a storm trooper doing a little sightseeing. Does the Empire give vacation days?


Which of these was your favorite this month? Would you rather go on a boat cruise or tour Versailles? Or maybe time travel to the 1920s? Let me know below!

À bientôt and may the Force be with you!


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