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Few things symbolize Paris and France like this monument.
It’s therefore used as a symbol of France. In fact, the
Eiffel Tower is the best-known monument in all Europe. The Tower is 324
meters high and has 1665 stairs. The Elevator is normally open all day
from 9:30 AM to 23:45 PM. The stairs are open between 9:30 AM to 18:30
PM, even if the opening hour is earlier in the summer. To get to the
top costs about €11 as adult and half the price as children.
The stairs will bring you half-way for about €4. You will have
to be prepared to stand in queue, especially in the summer months or at
the bigger weekends. If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, be sure you
take the lift to the top for a spectacular view of the city. A good
advice to avoid the crowd is by going in the mornings, especially on
Commissioned in 1806 by
Napoleon, shortly after his
victory at Austerlitz, it was not finished until 1836. There are four
huge relief sculptures at the bases of the four pillars. These
commemorate The Triumph of 1810 (Cortot); Resistance, and Peace (both
by Etex); and The Departure of the Volunteers, more commonly known by
the name La Marseillaise (Rude). Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier, and eternal flame commemorating the dead of the two
The Champs-Elysées in city is known as the
world’s most beautiful avenue. The Champs-Elysées
stretches from Concorde square to Arc de Triomphe. It is 1910m long and
70m wide. It has been nicely renovated with large granite sidewalks and
La Conciergerie and
Sainte-Chapelle include the
remains of the oldest Parisian royal palace the Palais de la
Cité, which was converted into a prison in the 15th
site, which was the residence of the Roman governors and later of
the first Capetians, was chosen by Philippe le Bel in the early 14th
Century as the place where he would build a palace to symbolize his
power, described at the time as one of the most impressive palaces of
the Middle Ages.
Notre-Dame has had an
eventful history over the
centuries. Crusaders prayed here before leaving on their holy wars, and
polyphonic music developed in the cathedral. Notre-Dame was pillaged
during the French revolution, as were a number of other cathedrals
throughout France (witness the beheaded saints at the
Cathédrale St-Etienne in Bourges, for example): Citizens
mistook statues of saints above the portals on the west front for
representations of their kings, and, in the midst of their
revolutionary fervor, took them down. Some of these statues were found
in the 1970s, almost two hundred years later, in the Latin Quarter
One of the largest and most visited museums in the world, and possibly
the most famous of them all, the Louvre is one of city's many
must-visits. Situated in the 1st arrondissement in the heart of city,
this palace is both from an architectural point of view as from an arts
perspective one of the must see sights in city. It displays about
35,000 works of art, among them some world-famous like the Mona Lisa
from Leonardo da Vinci, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. Open 9:30am -
6:00pm, closed Tuesday
de la Concorde
Not far from the Louvre museum is the largest square in city, and
although it was constructed between 1757 and 1777, it has a long
history. In this square the infamous guillotine was used to kill more
than 1,300 heads of members of the 'antique' regime. After the
revolution the square received its current name: 'Place de la Concorde'
The Palais Royal began as a small and private theatre in the residence
of Cardinal Richelieu. Following Richelieu's death, the palace became
royal property. It was then used for courtly entertainment. In 1660,
Moliere and his troupe used the theater for their productions until the
death of Moliere in 1673. After Moliere's death, Jean-Baptiste Lully
used the Palais Royal for his Academy of Music and their opera
Louis XV started work on this building, originally intended to be a
church dedicated to Saint Geneviève, to fulfill a vow he
made while fallen ill. In charge of the project was Soufflot. Work
began in 1757, but Soufflot died before the building's completion in
1789. In the form of a Greek Cross and crowned by a grand dome, the
building measures 130 meters long, 82 meters wide, and 83 meters tall.
The Pantheon's neoclassic styling, evidenced by the peristyle
Corinthian columns evoking the Pantheon in Rome, show the grandeur of
that era's architecture.
In the past, it was here that the French kings liked to organize
sumptuous parties. Since the fire which gutted the Tuileries Palace,
this place has lost its charm but don't hesitate to cross this historic
garden, walking to the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde. Special
classes are held on Wednesdays and during school holidays,
9:30AM-5:30PM. Schools and groups from Monday to Friday on appointment.
PLACES OF ATTRACTION
Versailles is a tourist hot spot so be careful to get there early in
the morning if you actually want to see the palace. The 70m long Hall
of Mirrors is where the 1919 Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending
World War I. After the palace tour, head for the gardens complete with
marble fountains, formal gardens and the Grand Canal which was built
for Louis XIV's boating parties.
de la Bastille
The Place de la Bastille (Bastille Square) was the location of the
notorious Bastille stronghold, which was stormed on July 14, 1789,
triggering the start of the French Revolution and the overthrow of
Queen Marie Antoinette. .
The Basilique Sacré-Coeur was designed by the architect Paul
Abadie in a Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style. Its foundation
stone was laid in 1875. The basilica was not completed until 1914 and
not officially opened for worship until 1919, after the end of the
First World War.
The large building is actually a church, dedicated to St. Mary
Magdalene. In French, Magdalene is known as Madeleine, hence the name
of the building. Construction halted during the French Revolution until
1806 when Napoleon decided to build a temple in honor of his army. He
appointed Pierre-Alexandre Vignon who razed the structure yet again and
started with the construction of a temple based on the 'Maison
Carrée', an ancient Roman temple in Nîmes.
Set on a hill 130 meters high, the area of Montmartre looks grandly out
over all of city. The name "Montmartre" comes from "Mont des Martyrs"
(the bishop St. Denis, the priest Rustique, and the archdeacon
Eleuthère were all decapitated there around the year 250).
In the 12th century, Benedictine monks built a monastery near Rue des
Abesses. It later became the seat of a powerful abbey.
Probably one of the most famous cemeteries in the world,
Cimetière du Père-Lachaise is one of
city’ most popular tourist attractions and reputed to be the
most visited cemetery anywhere.
de la Découverte
Situated in the center of city, close to the
Champs-Elysées, the Palais de la Découverte is
original science museum, housing works and designs from Leonardo
da Vinci's extraordinary inventions onwards. Replicas, models,
audio-visual material and real apparatus are used to bring the displays
to life. A permanent display covers man and his biology, light, and the
principles of thermo-dynamism. Also offered are scientific experiments
for budding genetic engineers, lectures, planetarium shows, scientific
films, as well as a number of temporary exhibitions and children's
This museum covers the history of city from the pre-Roman era up to
the modern times. The museum is often overlooked but definitely worth a
The Musée d'Orsay is a museum housed in a grand railway
station built in 1900. Home to many sculptures and impressionist
paintings, it has become one of city's most popular museums.
The Centre Pompidou is home to one of the world's most important
museums of modern art, the MNAM, but it also contains a very popular
library, a bookshop, a movie theater and a panoramic terrace. The
Public Information Library or BPI boasts a collection of 450,000 books,
2,600 magazines and a large number of new media items.
Musée Rodin (The Rodin Museum) is located in an 18th century
mansion where the artist once lived and worked, tucked behind a walled
garden away from the hubbub of the city. The building is located next
to the Invalides, the location of the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The
mansion was originally built for a city wigmaker but also belonged to
the Catholic Church and eventually, to this city.
Museum (Musée de
l’Armée) is considered one of the finest military
museums in the World.
The Place de l'Étoile is a large Place in city, France, the
meeting point of twelve straight avenues (hence the name "Star Square")
including the Champs-Élysées which continues to
the east. It was renamed Place Charles de Gaulle in 1970 in honor of
President de Gaulle, but is still largely referred to by its original
name. The square lies in the middle of the Axe historique and at its
centre stands the Arc de Triomphe. The Place and the avenues leading to
it were extensively redesigned as part of Baron Haussmann's urban
The Catacombs (the “municipal Ossuary”)
were created at the end of the 18th century. The cemetery of Innocent
(close to Saint-Eustace, in the district of the "Halles") had been used
during nearly ten centuries and had become the origin of infection for
all the inhabitants of the district. After multiple complaints, the
Council of State, by decision of November 9, 1785, pronounced the
removal and the evacuation of the cemetery of the Innocent ones. From
the first day of their creation, the Catacombs caused curiosity. In
1787, Lord of d' Artois, who would become Charles X, went down there,
in company of ladies from the Court. In 1814, François 1st,
emperor of Austria, residing as a winner in city visited them. In
1860, Napoleon III went down there with his son. The
Catacombs reopened on June 14, 2005 after several months of
closing for work.
Lighting was revised, the arches were consolidated and the walls of
de la musique
Situated in la Villette park, in the North-East of city, the
cité de la musique was one of President
Mitterrand’s last great projects. Inaugurated in January
1995, it is a place where music and its many facets can be discovered.
A place of teaching (educational activities for adults, children and
young people) and practice, of information and heritage, the
cité de la musique is open to the public at large:
music-lovers, the young, artists present and future.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is probably the most popular park in city. It
is located in the 6th arrondissement, near the Sorbonne University. The
park, 22,45 hectare large (about 55 acres), was designed in 1612 in
French style. In the 19th century, the private park was opened to the
de la cite is usually
referred to as the epicenter of
city, as well as the original site of the Parisi tribes of the Sequana
river, now known as the Seine. This was possibly the earliest
settlement in city-a muddy town on the banks of a muddy river that
grew to be known as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Considered the heart of city, Île de la Cité is
one of two natural islands that sits in the middle of the Seine. All
distances in city are measured from the center of the island.
You enter from the Jardin de Plantes (which is in itself worth a visit:
a fine park dating bach to 1626). The most distinctive exhibit is now
slightly to your left: it is the so-called Microzoo, where you can
study insects and other small animals in a very pedagogical setting.
Absolutely worth seeing, especially if you know some French. A lovely
place for visitors to stroll on a sunny day, Jardin
des Plantes has a long and noble history.
The Grand Palais is one of city’ most recognizable landmarks
thanks to its magnificent glass-domed roof. It was the work of three
different architects but the project was overseen by famed French
architect Charles Girault, who was then given carte blanche to design
the Petit Palais. The building is a beautiful combination of a
classicist stone facade, art-nouveau ironwork and glass.
Tourism Guide Paris
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