You would think that most people go to Paris to see the main attractions like the Eiffel Tower (see my blog on it here), Notre-Dame, the Louvre to name but a few. However, there are lots of other thinks that make Paris a must see city, and for me one of the main things to enjoy besides the obvious attractions are the wrought iron balconies.
Everywhere you go in Paris you can see them on the apartments; you just have to gaze upwards. There are endless different designs and colour variations to be enjoyed, and they are not just in Paris; you find them in almost any small village/town in France.
It might seem strange to wander the streets and take photos of what is in essence somebody’s home, but don’t let that put you off. Many of them are ornamental only, not being an actual balcony to step out onto. Paris has lots that are real balconies and many of them sport some plants, a bistro style table and chair ensemble, with the occasional clothes horse thrown in for good measure, but I never actually saw anybody using them. This might have something to do with the fact that we were in Paris during a normal working week and most people would have most probably been out at work – making the photo taking less weird.
Coming from Germany, where flats and balconies are the norm I can only wish that we would have had such beautiful balustrades. In Germany, as most things, the balcony is very functional and usually consists of the normal straight metal bars or even concrete walls. In the UK, my adopted home nation and where I spent most of my adult life up till 5 years ago, has not much better offerings for its flats; which actually goes for Canada as well (which is where we currently reside). All very unimaginative and uninspiring. The French, yet again, show the world how it is done with tons of style and va va voom.
So, if I should ever build anything that requires a balcony I will insist on something as beautiful as the balconies we found in Paris.