The triumphal gate Porte Saint Denis is in a wide place on the Boulevard Saint-Denis, on the border between the 2nd and 10th districts (arrondissements) of Paris.
In the 14th century this was the site of a gate in the wall of Charles V. The current gate was built in 1672 on orders of King Louis XIV, to celebrate his victories on the Rhine and in the Franche-Comté.
Louis XIV was a big fan of victories. He was not overly fussy about where and why wars were fought, as long as they produced a few victories for him to boast about.
With his customary endearing modesty, Louis ordered the Latin words LUDOVICO MAGNO to be installed in golden letters across the top of the gate, meaning “To Louis the Great”.
One of the streets going off from the Porte Saint Denis is the Rue de la Lune (Street of the Moon) in the 2nd district (2e arrondissement).
On the Rue de la Lune I came across one of the many “Ride in Peace” sculptures that were installed all over Paris in 2014 by an anonymous street artist.
A prominent feature of Rue de la Lune is the church of Notre Dame de Bonne-Nouvelle, a neo-classical church dating from 1823-1830. The name means “Our Lady of Good News”. Across from the church, on the left side of the photo, is the Square Jacques-Bidault, one of only two public squares in the 2nd arrondissement that have room for a bit of greenery (the other being Square Louvois).
Another little touch of greenery is provided by this private forest in somebody’s back yard. The secret of making a private forest like this is just to leave your garden alone for a few years and see what happens. (I have done this in Germany sometimes, but my German neighbors were not impressed.)
Location and aerial view of Porte Saint Denis on monumentum.fr.
My photos in this post are from 2014. I revised the text in 2021.
See also: The Oasis of Aboukir.