VIII. POST OFFICE.
the sacristan or 'Suisse' is seldom necessary; the usual gratuity
is V2 fr. Many of thèse buildings are under the spécial protection
of Government as 'Monuments Historiques', and the Ministère des
Beaux-Arts has caused most oi thèse to be carefully restored. It is
perhaps not altogether superfluous to remind visitors that they
should move about in churches as noiselessly as possible to avoid
disturbing those engaged in private dévotion, and that they should
keep aloof from altars where the clergy are officiating. Other inter-
esting buildings, such as palaces, châteaux, and castles often belong
to the municipalities and are open to the public with little or no
formality. Foreigners will seldom find any difficulty in obtaining
access to private houses of historié or artistic interest or to the parks
attached to the mansions of the noblesse.
Most of the larger provincial towns of France contain a Musi'e,
generally coinprising a picture-gallery and collections of varions
kinds. Thèse are generally open to the public on Sun., and often
on Thurs. also, from 10 or 12 to 4; but strangers are readily admitted
on other days also for a small pourboire. The accounts of the col¬
lections given in the Handbook generally follow the order in which
the rooms are numbered, but changes are of very fréquent occur¬
VIII. Post and Telegraph Offices.
Post Office. Letters (whether 'poste restante' or to the traveller's
hôtel) should be addressed very distinctly, and the name of the
department should be added after that of the town. The offices are
usually open from 7 a.m. in summer, and 8 a.m. in winter, to 9 p.m.
Poste Restante letters may be addressed to any of the provincial
offices. In applying for letters, the written or printed name, and in
the case of registered letters, the passport of the addressee should
always be presented. It is, however, préférable to désire letters to
be addressed to the hôtel or boarding-house where the visitor intends
re^iding. Letter-boxes (Boîtes aux Lettres) are also to be found at
the railway-stations and at many public buildings, and stamps
(timbres-poste) may be purchased in ail tobacconists' shops. An ex¬
tract from the postal tariff is given below; more extensive détails
will be found in the Almanach des Postes et Télégraphes.
Ordinary Letters within France, including Corsica and Algeria, 15 c.
per 15 grammes prepaid; for countries of the Postal Union 25 c. (The
silver franc and the bronze sou each weigh 5 grammes ; 15 grammes, or
three of thèse coins, are equal to 72 o2-- English.) — Registered Letters
(lettres recommandées) 25 c. extra.
Post Cards 10 c. each, with card for reply attached, 20 c.
Post Office Orders (mandats de poste) are issued for most countries in
the Postal Union at a charge of 25 c. for every 25 fr. or fraction of 25 fr.
the maximum sum for which au order is obtainable being 500 fr. ; for
Great Britain, 20 c. per 10 fr., maximum 252 fr.
Printed Papers (imprimés sous bande): 1 c. per 5 grammes up to the
weight of 20 gr. ; 5 c. between 20 and 60 gr. ; above 50 gr. 5 c. for each
50 gr. or fraction of 50 gr. ; to foreign countries 5 c. per 50 gr. The