Paris, is the capital and the most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 km² and a population in 2013 of 2,229,621 within the city limits. Paris is both a commune and department, and forms the centre and headquarters of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an area of 12,012 square kilometers and a population in 2014 of 12,005,077, comprising 18.2 percent of the population of France. Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the oldest universities in history. At 17th century is the capital of Europe's major power. In the 18th century, it was the centre stage of the French Revolution, and was an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today.

Attractions in Paris

The Louvre

The Louvre Museum or Musee du Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world due to its rich collection of historical artifacts and antiquities bearing the fruits of human civilization in the past centuries. What makes the museum particularly interesting to visit is its vast size; the objects exhibited at the museum cover an area of 60,600 square meters. This former Tuileries palace was converted into a public museum in 1793; during that time, the museum had a collection of 2,500 paintings. Today, the museum is home to more than 30,000 paintings. The museum is located on the Right Bank of Seine River which is in the 1st Andissement district at the very heart of Paris. In the year 2012, the museum received more about 10 million visitors from France and internationally, making the Louvre Museum, the most visited museum in the world. Louvre is open every week day from 9:00am to 6:00pm except on Tuesdays. During the night, the museum opens until 9:45pm every Wednesday and Friday.

Visitors can use the Paris Museum Pass to get access to the museum. The most famous works on display at the museum include; the Jewels of Ramses II, The Seated Scribe and the armless duo of Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. The famous renaissance works on display include paintings such as “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci, “Slaves” by Michelangelo alongside other famous French masterpieces by Gericault’s such as the “Raft of Medusa” and “Ingres La Grande Odalisque” which were all created in the 19th century. Louvre has three grand entrances; an entrance at the Carrousel du Louvre, the Pyramid entry and an entrance near the western end of the Denom Wing at the Porte des Lions. The collections at Louvre are also divided into three storage wings namely; Richelieu wing, the Denom Wing and Sully Wing. Each of the three wings focuses on a particular area of interest.

The state of the art, glass built Louvre Pyramid built in 1989 functions as the museums main entrance. The museum provides an information map regarding Museum Louvre; this information is available in 12 different languages including; English, French, Spanish, Arabic and German. The museum also offers a 3-month calendar of cultural events; this information is also available online at the museum’s official website. Visitors can use a dedicated app by the museum to keep a souvenir of their trip using a smartphone. The museum permits the use of video recorders and cameras; however the use of flash is forbidden. In the spring of 2014, the museum unveiled a new exhibition at the Tactile Gallery where visitors can explore some of the famous French works from the 17th and 19th centuries. The selected works touch on wide variety of subjects from heroic nudity to divine masterpieces. The materials used in these artworks are made up of earthenware, bronze and stone.

The Panthéon

The Pantheon Paris was originally designated to be the final resting place for Ste-Genevieve. Today, the museum also acts as a tribute to the French Jews who survived World War II and as a non-denominational museum for top writers and artists from France such as Zola, Voltaire and Rousseau. The word ‘Pantheon’ is derived from a Greek word meaning “Every god”. The construction of the pantheon was completed in the year 1790; the vaulted structure remains one of the best examples of Neoclassical architectural masterpiece of France. Visitors to the Pantheon can take a moment to glance at the stairs to get a stunning look at the famous Eiffel Tower. The Pantheon is located in the 5th Arrondissement on Montagne Sainte-Genevieve at the Place du Pantheon which is also the Latin Quarter of Paris. Visitors can use the Cardinal Lemoine Metro to connect to The Pantheon. The museum is opened daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm; the last entrants are allowed in 45 minutes before the doors are closed.

Pantheon was designed by Jacques Soufflot who was one of the most famous architects of his time. The instruction to construct The Pantheon was issued by King Louis XV to Marquis of Marigny; although the building was commissioned in 1755, construction work on the building ensued in 1957. The architect’s primary intention for constructing this building was partly informed by the need to combine the lightness of the centuries old gothic cathedrals with some of the outstanding classical architectural principles. Although Soufflot died before he could realize all his dreams concerning this magnificent building, his architectural masterpiece stands out as one of the greatest Neoclassical monuments. Some of the stupendous compartments and architectural marvels of the Pantheon include; the Crypt, the colonnade's surrounding the building such as Tympanum and the Columned Portico and Foucault’s Pendulum. The other attractions include marble inlay floors, vast open interiors and classical wall paintings depicting epic scenes from the life of St. Genevieve, the triple dome alongside memorabilia of significant events that have always defined French History.

The Crypt is located on the subterranean chamber of the Pantheon; the chamber is a burial ground of some of France’s popular and historical figures who include scientists, writers and poets. Some of the outstanding figures laid to rest at the Pantheon include; Soufflot, Voltaire, Marie Curie, Marat, Rousseau, Louis Braille and Emile Zola. The Domes in the Building look similar to that of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, although Iron reinforcements have recently been added to strengthen the structure. The Pantheon is a must see architectural marvel in Paris for all visitors because of the many faces it represents in terms of architecture and artifact. A self-guided tour of the magnificent Pantheon Paris can take up to 1 hour; one can also opt to download a PDF format guide that is available from the Monuments-Nationaux website. Visitors with the Paris Museum Pass can get in the Pantheon free of charge, the adult admission rates is 7.50€, 4.50€ for individuals aged 18 to 25 and free for kids of age 17 and under.

The Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier is one of the most outstanding buildings in Paris. This beloved National Opera building was completed in 1875 under the able hands of architect Charles Garnier as the Academie Nationale de Musique. Ever since the year 1875, Palais Garnier has been the home of ballet and Opera de Paris in the City of Light. Palais Garnier is also easily the most famous opera house in the world; the Opera National is located at the corner of rue Auber and rue Scribe in the 9th arrondissement which is above the Opera stop of Metro lines 8, 7 and 3. The stunning and incredibly ornate Neo-baroque style Opera Garnier building stands out as one of the crowning attractions of Paris in one of the most coveted shopping districts. Some of the largest exclusive stores that dot the shopping district include shops like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Opera Garnier is opened daily from 10:00am to 5:30pm. Entry concessions are issued to all students; as of 2010, all children under the age of 10 are allowed a free entry. On the other hand, adults are required to pay an 8€ entry fee.

The architectural style of this famous building is the Beaux-Arts design; this is because of the use of axial symmetry and exterior ornamentation. The building’s interior features alcoves, interweaving corridors, landings and stairwells, which can are designed to allow free movement of many people. The building also features elaborate colored marble-friezes decorations as well as several lavish statuary that portray famous Greek mythologies and columns. Some of the most outstanding pieces of sculpture include an 1895 gilt copper electrolyte structure known as Gumery’s L’Harmonie that stands at 25 ft. The sculptural set of Poetry, Apollo and by Aime Millet. The two bronze Pegasus on both ends of the south gable were created by Eugene Louis Lequesne. Another famous sculptural façade on display is the Lyrical Drama by Jean-Joseph Perraud.

Palais Garnier also houses the Paris Opera Library Museum and recently a restaurant called L’Opera which was opened on the eastern side of the opera house. The restaurant offers great quality cuisines for both breakfast and dinner to visiting patrons. The restaurant has a large exterior terrace and three different spaces that are all accessible to the general public. Visitors to Palais Garnier can climb the staircase to study the past history of this great Paris attraction and also to see the world famous phantom chandelier hanging from Chagall painted ceiling. The grand organ is normally used when lyrical works are on offer, the organ was built by Aristide Cavaille but it is no longer in service today. Palaise Garnier has inspired many other buildings across the world; some of the most famous include; the Amazon Theatre in Manaus - Brazil, National Opera House of Kiev - Ukraine and the Thomas Jefferson Building which houses the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Direct access to the main auditorium at Palais Garnier is sometimes excluded from organized tours, as such it is important to make inquiries before purchasing a ticket.

Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral or Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris is located at the very heart of the city. The masterpiece exudes all the elements of the French Gothic architecture; the interior of the building is often regarded as the epitome of medieval engineering. The huge cathedral has a sitting capacity of over 6,000 people; it stands today as one of the most visited places in France. Work on the cathedral began in the 13th century, but it was not completed until the 15th century. The cathedral was restored by architect Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century after it was seriously damaged during the French Revolution. Many visitors to the cathedral are enthralled by the buildings rose and stained glass windows, literature, furniture, jewelry, paintings as well as the gargoyles, towers and the steeple. Visitors can also climb up the top floor to get a panoramic view of the City of Light. The cathedral is opened daily from 9:00pm to 6:00pm from Monday to Saturday and Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm.

Notre Dame de Paris, is located on the island of Ile de la Cite in the middle of Seine River. The cathedral has three entries that are all shaped differently as a result of a century’s old intervention. The interior of the building is covered by about 8,000 pipe organs that are yet to be fully restored. Some of the recent restoration works at the cathedral include the addition of 8 new bells. A bronze star on the cathedrals parvis has the inscriptions ‘Zero kilometer’ to indicate that, it is at the center of the country in as far as the road network is concerned. The cathedrals treasury is located at the sacristy, which has many liturgical items presented in gold. The cathedral’s towers are one of its major attractions; the towers offer a breathtaking view of the Paris spire, the cathedrals largest bell Emanuel and the roof top. There is also an archeological Crypt that is located below the cathedral parvis; the crypt contains many ruins of ancient Paris.

This Roman Catholic cathedral is happy to welcome Christians, pilgrims, and visitors from all over the world. Visitors who want to attend the services can take any seat available at the nave during mass. Visitors who want to participate in the liturgical celebrations can do so free of charge and there is no requirement for reservations. As a devoted religious building, the cathedral features a reception chapel and the Holy Sacrament chapel as well as religious iconoclast of Virgin with the Child and Christ on the Cross. Some of the services available at the cathedral include car parking, coach parking lot and audio guide. Audio guides are available at the cathedral’s entry point, the 35-minute audio-guides are offered in 8 languages including English, French, Chinese and German. Visitors to the cathedral are allowed to take photos but flash is not allowed. The admission is free except for visitors who intend to visit the towers.

Les Invalides

Les Invalides started as a dedicated army hospital for wounded and homeless soldiers of different wars; the construction was initiated in 1670 by Louis XIV and completed in 1676. With its famous French Baroque architecture, Les Invalides has 15 courtyards and is one of the largest monuments of Paris. The famous individuals tasked with the construct of the building were Robert de Cote, Liberal Bruant and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. The name Les Invalides is derived from the shortened form of the word “Hopital des Invalides” which means the ‘Hospital of Invalids’. The military hospital is located on the south-eastern part of the complex building. The building can also be reached from Champs Elysees after crossing over the Alexander III bridge and the expansive Esplanade des Invalides. the large church at Les Invalides has a 107 meters golden dome erected on top; the dome has greatly contributed in making the building a masterpiece of the French classical architecture. Les Invalides is opened daily from 10:00am to 5;00pm. Visitors aged 18 and below are allowed free entry, the charges for adults range from 6.50€ and 8.50€.

Les Invalides houses three museums, these are the Liberation museum, Army museum and the Plan-Relief museum as well as two churches. The dedicated army museum at Les Invalides was opened in the year 1905; it stands today as one of the largest and most famous military museums in the world. The museums have a large collection of armor from the middle ages alongside numerous war antiques. The two churches and tomb at Les Invalides are; Saint-Louis des Invalides church and the Dome Church and Napoleons first Tomb. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the famous war heroes of France. Many historians consider Napoleon a war genius due to his many conquests. The other French military heroes buried at the Les Invalides tombs include; Comte Bertrand, Geraud Duroc and Jean de Lattre de Tassigigny.

Some of the buildings in the world that have been inspired by Les Invalides include; San Francisco City Hall which was built in 1914, US Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis MD in 1904 to 1908 and Panteon de los Heroes built from 1864 and 1936 in Asuncion, Paraguay. To reach Les Invalides, visitors can take Metro line 13 to Saint Francoise - Xavier or Varenne or 8 to Invalides. The northern entrance of Les Invalides has a beautiful gate with inscriptions reading “Louis the Great” written in Latin. Both sides of the northern gate are adorned with large statues of the Roman wisdom goddess, Minerva and the Roman warrior goddess as well as the Roman God of War called Mars. The largest Courtyard in Les Invalides is known as Coo d’honneur, it was traditionally used for performing military parades. The numerous attractions at Les Invalides and its vast acreage have made it one of the greatest tourist attractions for visitors coming to Paris.

The Eiffel Tower

Feel Tower is a must-see, must-visit monument in Paris, because it is the symbol of the French capital. The tower stands 324m tall and weighs more than 10,000 tons. The tower was built to celebrate the French Revolution commemoration of 1889; it took about 2 years to construct the iconic towers. For a long time, the tower stood out as the tallest structure in the world until the Chrysler building in Manhattan was completed. Eiffel tower can be explored using either the lift or steps. The 1st floor features shops while the second floor is home to the famous Jules Verne restaurant that offers an array of gastronomical treat. The restaurant is situated 125 meters above the ground. The 3rd floor of the tower offers visitors an exceptional 360 view of the city of Paris. Eiffel Tower is open to visitors every day of the year from 9:00am to midnight beginning mid-June to early September and from 9:30am to 11:00pm for the rest of the year. Access to the tower can periodically be interrupted due to adverse weather conditions and human traffic congestion.

Eiffel Tower was almost brought down in 1909 after literary elites and artist of the time opposed its erection. However, because the tower formed an ideal platform for setting up a new science od radiotelegraphy antenna, it was spared. To the south eastern area of The Eiffel Tower is a vast grassy expansive garden called Champ de Mars. The ‘grassland’ immensely is popular with teens who usually perform skateboarding activities. The site was previously a launching pad for the world’s first balloon flights in the city. Some of the recent developments at the Eiffel tower include the demolition and reconstruction of the pagodas and Pavilion Ferne and the replacement of the central railings as well as floor renovations. For more than 120 years, the tower has staged a number of sporting, historical and cultural events that includes the history of the structure itself and the history of France and Paris in particular. Some of the outstanding architectural and historical collections at the Eiffel Tower are monumental arts and a number of industrial and architectural collections.

Visitors can take photos as well as do shopping at the numerous gift shops in the building. The official Eiffel Tower shop has a large collection of souvenir and cultural items that are that bear the theme of the tower and the city. The other items on offer include clothing’s, post cards and tableware’s among other in all inclusive items. The tower has a meeting room as well as several rooms for visitors who want to rent. To reach the towers, visitors can take Metro lines 9 or 6 and stop at Trocadero or Bir Hakeim. Some of the biggest attractions around the Eiffel Tower include The Palais Garnier, Notre Dame de Paris, Champ Elyse’s, the Louvre Pyramid and Arc de Tramphe among other major attractions. Bookings for visitors can be made via the official Eiffel Tower website There is also an official telephone number for visitors who want to make group or individual reservations. Admission to the tower costs 11.90€ to 15€ for adults.


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