When going up the rue de la Paix, the Opera National de Paris (Opéra Garnier Palace), one of the best things that you can do in the city, greets strollers. A true masterpiece of theatre architecture of the XIXth century, the “Palais Garnier”, built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875, is the thirteenth opera house in the city since the creation of this institution by Louis XIV in 1669. The construction of Opera National was initiated by Napoleon III among other important renovation projects in the capital, successfully conducted under his reign by Baron Haussmann. This historical monument is open to visitors who can namely admire the famous ceiling of the Opera Room by Chagall. The Opéra Garnier also features remarkable Lyrical and choreographic performances.more
If you are a tourist in Paris, it is easy to miss the fact that Notre Dame is built upon an island. Île de la Cité is actually the original heart of the city. Before there was a globally celebrated city with a thriving art culture and amazing historical buildings, this city used to be a simple settlement in muddy waters. The Île de la Cité is also home to the Palais de Justice, and Place Dauphine among other important buildings. It is also, technically, the center of France, and there is a bronze plaque at the point calculated to be the center. According to scholars, the majority opinion is that the Parisii, a small Gallic tribe lived on this island in 52 BC. The island has always been of importance in civic, military, and government matters. Even the distances are usually calculated from Île de la Cité. This is also one of those places where you realize its true beauty. The island is small and of a peculiar shape, and the buildings are made with this in mind. The buildings (aside from the obvious ones) aren’t too grandiose. This is Paris as it is to the people who live there, and it is beautiful.more
Paris isn’t known only for its history but also because of its culture. When you are visiting any place, it is necessary to not just visit its monuments but also its culture. Quartier Latin is one of the most happening places in the city for students. Due to a history of educational institutes around the Quartier the place has become the main place for students to hang out and discuss things. It is also one of the best places to see French culture. You will find many intimate bistros and shops selling cheeses and local items. Since this is a student area, you will not just see old Paris here but will also get an idea about how the Parisian youth live today. You will see a lot of fast food places. You will also see a lot of foreign food (middle eastern mostly) being sold, and you will see how different cultures are being infused into Paris. Visiting the Quartier Latin will make you realize something; Paris isn’t great because it adheres to its traditions. The opposite is true. The true tradition of Paris is to stand against tradition and to defy and rebel and to be free. Paris isn’t just a city, it is an idea and that becomes apparent in the Quartier Latin.more
The Jardin du Luxembourg (also known as the Luxembourg Garden) is one of the most serene places in Paris. It was started in 1612 by the widow of King Henry IV of France, Marie de' Medici. She wanted to build a residence and thought that a beautiful garden needed to be around it. The garden is known for its impressive greenery and views. Jardin du Luxembourg is very well designed and maintained. It mostly consists of a flat bed of gravel and greenery. The interesting features in this garden are the statues and the basin of water in between. There are more than a 100 statues here, all of them of prominent people from French history. Children can sail model sail boats in the octagonal water basin. It is a great fun activity for the whole family. If you are alone, this garden is a great place to just sit in and feel the atmosphere. The fountain of discovery is also a great sight. It was finished in 1874. It shows 4 women holding the world up and is considered a great work of art. If you are on a romantic trip then Jardin du Luxembourg is a place you cannot miss, as the calm and beautiful atmosphere is the perfect place to be with loved ones.more
Not far off, one of the top things to do in Paris, the Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) houses the Sénat (Senate) which is the French parliament’s supreme chamber since 1958. The site that embraces today the Gardens and the Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) was originally a Roman camp. In 1257, when the Chartreux family settled in, this lavish place was a disreputable spot to a point where it was considered as cursed. The Chartreux family transformed it into a flourishing convent. In 1612, Marie de Medicis buys the hotel owned by the Duc de Luxembourg and builds, in 1615, her own palace designed by Salomon de Brosse in a Renaissance style, reminding her of her native Tuscany. Although she was sent into exile, the Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) remained the property of the royal family until the Revolution. The gardens are extended over the Chartreux family land and offer today a splendid panorama for walkers.more
Situated on the place de l’Hôtel de Ville in the 4th arrondissement, this hotel is home to the City Council since 1357. It was burned by the Paris Commune and rebuilt by Théodore Ballu and Edouard Deperthes in1871. It has a neo-renaissance architecture style and is considered as a very important touristic place. Tourists can find guided tours to the Hôtel de Ville where they can visit the town hall, the function room and many interesting places there. Once there, don’t hesitate to visit the great Hôtel de Ville.more
The Pantheon, is at first, very confusing. You will be wondering what a building from Rome was doing in Paris, and you wouldn't be wrong. This building is openly inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, and was made in 1791. It was built on the instructions of King Louis XV, and was intended as a church of St. Genevieve. The Revolution changed plans for the Pantheon, and it was converted to a mausoleum. Some of the greatest French thinkers of the era were buried here. After that it has become a church and reverted twice. It was also the home of The Thinker, one of the most famous sculptures for 16 years. The Pantheon also has historical importance in the field of science. This is the place where Foucault conducted the experiment which demonstrated the rotation of Earth in 1851. The building is still an awe inspiring and sobering visit, and is a popular place for tourists to visit. The size of the dome and the building itself is great, and evokes a very grand feeling. This is a place for people who love French history. We wouldn't really recommend this for a family visit, but if you are an explorer out to discover and connect with history you cannot miss this place.more
The Georges Pompidou Center is visually the most unique building in Paris. Built in 1977, it stands out of the crowd. Its modern design is unlike anywhere else in the world, and it becomes doubly jarring due to the historical sites one is used to seeing in Paris.However this is precisely why the building is so well respected; art isn't about conforming to standards. Some of the most famous pieces of art were ground breaking in their times, and started trends which makes them seem normal to us today. You probably will not have to look out for this building, it will appear to you if you're discovering Paris, and it will have your curiosity. However the architecture is not the only reason to visit Georges Pompidou Center. It also houses a vast public library, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, both of which are worth a visit themselves. The Musée National d'Art Moderne is perfectly placed in this building, as it is an important piece of modern art itself. There are often exhibitions in the centre, most of them concerning modern art.more
Sacré-Cœur, also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is easily one of the most famous churches of the city. Construction was completed in 1914, and in this comparatively short history, the place has managed to gain political and religious importance. It is located on the highest point in the city and thus is worth a visit for the view alone. You can view the skyline from here, and get a feel for the whole city. It was built after France had lost the Franco-Prussian war. Believing that defeat was due to spiritual weakness, and not military or strategic weakness, the church was built as a penance. If you are a religious person then you need to visit this place. Silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been going here uninterrupted since 1 August 1885, before even the construction was completed. Doors close at 10:30 pm and only designated people are allowed to continue the night adoration. The night adoration is one of the most magical religious experiences possible; you stay in the Sacré-Cœur for the night and continue adoration. It is important to register for this adoration beforehand. Even if you are not religious, you will be awed by the amazing architecture and views from Sacré-Cœur.more
A 130 meters high hill located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, Montmartre was originally named “Mons Martis” which means “Mount of Mars”. On top of this hill, the famous Basilica of Sacre-Coeur is situated which is a very famous touristic attraction in Paris. Montmartre is also home to many interesting museums and artistic places like “La Place du Tertre”, “Le Musée d’Art Naïf Max Fourny” ... Once you visit the great Montmartre don’t forget to go to the famous cabaret “The Moulin Rouge”.more
With every bend, The River Seine is dotted with splendid bridges! From times immemorial, Kings, Emperors, and Presidents have been embellishing the glorious capital of the Realm and of the Republic with magnificent bridges. A grandiose museum of bridge structures in broad daylight!
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