return to Jack travel            A unique experience!!!

You’ve never visited the French capital, but are planning to ? Already know it somewhat, but  want to delve deeper and more intimately into its history on a second or third visit ? Here’s your chance to...

  ...discover  PARIS THROUGH THE AGES in the very best way possible :  on foot with your own personal guide!

  -« Paris Through the Ages » is  a series of eleven  strolls one or more of which will let you discover part of the history of the « City of Light », including fascinating facets little- or unknown to most native-born Parisians.

  -Each stroll :    lasts  two to two and one-half hours at a leisurely pace,   and focuses – for the sake of clarity (and memory !) - on the vestiges of a singl historical period, in some cases even a single monument.

  -Groups are kept small, unlike most other  tours, generally ranging from one to not more than four or five people (usually a party of family and/or friends),  so there is ample opportunity to ask questions and exchange impressions and information. 

  -Commentary is factually correct, but includes  anecdotal material culled from ancient records. The Los Angeles Times (« Travel » section of 7 May 2000) called it « witty, incisive... », and the organizers of a world medical congress in Paris, September 2000) pointed to « the difference between a well-documented lecturer and a cultivated and smiling host who wants to share his ‘flame’. »The magazine Paris Centre (October-November 2000) termed the commentary « alert and impertinent. » and the December 2000 issue of the official municipal monthly Paris le Journal : « sometimes a real laugh /with/ often little-known information. » The US-based Franceonyourown Website (Autumn 2000) called the strolls « delightful and easy. »

  Themed strolls currently on offer  include :

  1.      Lutetia : Roman Paris – its arena, baths, arrow-straight thoroughfares, and the early-first-century « ID card of Paris».

2.      A Medieval Sampler – including inter alia St. Germain des Prés church (built, destroyed and rebuilt several times between the 6th and 13th centuries), the 13th century Cordeliers monastery refectory and the luxurious 15th century Cluny abbots’ « townhouse ».  

3.      Learning in Paris – focusses on university and student life in the Latin Quarter between the 12th and 16th centuries.

4.      The Wall Route Right Bank – follows the 12th century city rampart’s remains through streets and lanes from the Louvre, whose earliest construction was part of the wall, to the eastern extremity of the Medieval city ending with an impressive stretch of the rampart 150 metres long with two towers.

5.      The Wall Route Left Bank – here the rampart, built in the early 13th century, wends its way through courtyards, mews and even one underground parking lot.

6.      Notre Dame Cathedral – a « reading » of the « stone comic strip » carvings, and a look at some very curious and still-unresolved mysteries surrounding the Grand Old Lady, whose construction began in 1163.

7.      Cradle of the Capital : Ile de la Cité – a sampling of the vestiges and major events that have shaped and marked Parisian history through 2,300 years of uninterrupted habitation.

8.      The « Grand Century » on the Ile St. Louis – an intimate round-island look at the architecture and (hi)stories of some of Paris’s grandest 17th century mansions, not forgetting the one where From Here to Eternity author James Jones lived for many years.

9.      The Naughty Marais – feats of derring-do, plus some hanky panky, whose ghosts haunt what was once THE place to live in the French capital.

10.  Smiling Architecture :  Parisian Art Nouveau -  an on-the-spot review of some of the most original masterpieces of Hector Guimard, Georges Chédanne, Henri  Sauvage and other  Belle Epoque builders, considered « kinky » because of their lack of symmetry and  recourse to materials (ceramics, steel) thought to be vulgar at the time, but who certainly were rich in humor.

11.  19-25 August 1944 : The Liberation of Paris – a walk-through of that « glorious week »’s military and political highlights and anecdotes - some grave, others humorous -, and pinpointing aspects of American involvement

     Your guide is Arthur Gillette, a 63-year-old American Harvard graduate (high honors in French language and literature), with a
doctorate in comparative education from the University of Masssachusetts,  based mainly in Paris since 1958. For many years an
official at the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), for which he edited Museum International magazine,
Gillette has written numerous articles on the cultural monuments and heritage of Paris, and is the author of the Paris Through the Ages series of pocket map-guides you can view (and order safely) ,small walking maps of 9 thematic strolls through Paris. Just mail or phone him at
Telephone : + (33.1) 45.34.51.67 Email : [email protected] evocating my name : Jack.


He has been featured  in major French periodicals including Le Monde,  L’Express, Le Point, Télérama,  Le Figaro, Paris Match, Vogue, Pariscope and  Libération, as well as  on  radio networks such as  France-Culture, France-Inter, and Radio Notre-Dame. In October 2000 he served as adviser and guide for the shoot of a Discovery Channel and BBC co-produced programme on  Paris : the Top Ten.

He also works with organizations to preserve Parisian cultural heritage sites,  and make them better known, including the Association pour la Sauvegarde et la Mise en Valeur du Paris Historique, for which he is an official guide/lecturer.
His small-group strolls are available in French, Spanish and Russian as well as English.

Interested ?  If so, contact Arthur Gillette now for more information or to reserve:

Telephone : + (33.1) 45.34.51.67

Email : [email protected] evocating my name : Jack.