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The Bercy Village


bercy-1.jpgAn area full of contrasts. One of the newest parts of Paris and at the same time maintaining its village atmosphere. Low stone houses, the cobblestone pavement, leisure atmosphere of a pedestrian area, ending by a modern cinema building, being with its 18 movies rooms the second biggest cinema in Europe. Entrances to the stone houses, taking us back to the past of this Parisian district, are scattered with tables and chairs. Terasse of each restaurant has its specific mood. On the tables of one of the restaurants there are colourful ketchup and mayonaise bottles and a big advertisement calling you for the best habercy-2.jpgmburger you have ever eaten and the most tasteful cheesecake you can imagine. In the restaurant "La Compagnie des Crêpes" you know what you will get, the French Birttany crêpes and the cider will not deceive. With our desire to sweeten our coffee with something different than white sugar and our question if they have "café gourmand" with our cup of nicely smelling coffee we get the plate of four small pancakes, each of them with its sweet secret: chocolate, marmelade, chestnut cream and "confiture au lait" (the specialty that can be translated as a milk jam).bercy-3.jpg

By the wooden chairs on the terasse of the restaurant "Partie de Campagne" drawings of chubby bees animate the menu offer with the choice of meals from various regions of France. Italian cooking under the name "Buffet d‘Italie" or a British pub with the name "The Frog" will take you behind the boundaries of Paris.
Cour St Emilion in Eastern part of Paris, close to the modern building of the Ministry of Economy is a nice and successful creation of modern Paris. And as the Frenbercy-5.jpgch know in a sensitive and original way to connect the past with the present, also the Bercy Village is a proof of this "know-how". A metamorphosis of the past to the present, keeping the spirit of old Paris.
Over one century, till 1960 the Bercy area was a huge vineyard market, which is still witnessed by old wine stocks buildings from white stone in Cour Saint-Emilion, registered in the list of the Historical monuments. The architects Valode and Pistre restaured them at the end of the 90-ies of the last century and since then they accommodate this relaxing shopping and restaurants area.
On the metro line number 14, which runs without the driver, on the banks of the Seine river, with large greenery spaces, the pedestrian district from white stone is a pleasant place for a lunch break or finishing a Parisian evening in the cinema and a bar.
On the website of Bercy Village you can read that Paris begins in Bercy in 4500 before J.C., the proof of what is the archaeological founding in 1990 of a Neolithic village. Thousands of objects of everyday life, and especially three oak wood boats (exhibited in the Museum Musée Carnavalet), witness that people were present at this place more than 6500 years ago.
Not surprising that the Parisians say that each area of Paris can be compared to a village.
Maria Danthine, Paristep