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In-Depth Look at Paris on Foot

May 07, 2000|JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG, Times Staff Writer

PARIS — In 1958, Harvard student Arthur Gillette arrived here for a junior year abroad--and basically never left.

Over the decades, the former UNESCO executive's trove of Paris lore grew, and now a publisher has brought out a series of pocket-size maps that let the visitor's feet be guided by the 61-year-old New York native.

The mini walking tours of Paris, with witty, incisive commentaries written by Gillette, explore Gallo-Roman Paris, medieval Paris, the Sorbonne from its creation to the 16th century, Notre Dame cathedral and the defensive wall that was built around the city in the 12th and 13th centuries. Three new maps cover the Ile St.-Louis; the Marais quarter, a former Jewish ghetto that's become one of the trendiest places on the Right Bank; and examples of art nouveau in the 16th arrondissement.

The map series, called "Paris Through the Ages," is printed on special plasticized paper to resist water and tearing. Published in English and French by Media Cartes, a Paris map maker, the maps cost about $3. Some bookstores in France carry the maps, or you can order them from Media Cartes, 62 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris, France; telephone 011-33-1-4233-2448, fax 011-33-1-4233-2444, Internet http://www.media-cartes.fr. Gillette also gives tours (for about $6 adults, $3 students). He can be reached at tel. 011-33-1-4887-7431, fax 011-33-1-4887-7471 or via e-mail at the Internet site http://www.chez.com/parishistorique (site is in French only).

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