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Ernest Hemingway once said: “Paris is a holiday that is always with you.” Anxious waiting, pleasant chores, and then, finally, it is a dream city, where life is art, dance and, of course, love.
First, go to the French cafe where you can drink a cup of coffee with a crisp yet warm croissant for breakfast or enjoy a glass of fine red wine at lunch, enjoying the spontaneity and charm of French cuisine. At the next table you will see the couple in love, the writer waiting for his muse, enjoying the motley crowd of cheerful tourists. There are colleagues and friends communicating and having fun and just enjoying life – it’s the atmosphere of Paris, serene, noisy, always happy. Love is in the air of this city.
- Place to visit number 1: Versailles
- Place to visit number 2: Disneyland Resort Paris
- Place to visit number 3: Hotel Les Invalides
- Place to visit number 4: Champs Elysees
- Place to visit number 5: Latin Quartier
- Place to visit number 6: Louvre
- Place to visit number 7: Luxembourg Garden
- Place to visit number 8: Montmartre
- Place to visit number 9: Pont Alexandre III
- Place to visit number 10: Rodin Museum
More than a century the small town of Versailles was the actual capital of France. Of course, the main tourist attraction of Versailles is the Royal Palace. It is this place attracts crowds of visitors from around the world. Talking about the Palace people mean a palace complex, in addition to the main building there are 800 hectares of parks and gardens, a few kilometers of canals, the Grand and Petit Trianon, decorative ‘village of the Queen “, as well as several dozen less important buildings. Thoughtful and planned visit is able to take a whole day to explore the city and sights.
5 things to do in Versailles:
- Climb on the wooded hill top of Satori and evaluate urban design.
- Go through the old quarters of the Notre-Dame and Saint-Louis, slowly looking at the former mansions of the nobility and wealthy citizens.
- Buy some trinket at a local flea market.
- Marvel at the luxury and pomp of gilded carriages on display in the Great Stables.
- Drink a cup of chocolate in one of the local cafes.
Don’t forget to visit the church of Notre-Dame that has the status of the cathedral, and it is not surprising: it was built for the noble court could attend Mass not too far from the palace. The building was erected in the strict traditions of the classical era, but the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart was able to pay tribute to the Gothic as well. In a revolutionary epoch utensils and items of
furniture were saved, so the modern tourist can fully enjoy the authentic atmosphere of the church court of Louis XIV.
St. Louis Cathedral temple erected during the reign of Louis XV, when the church of Notre Dame could not cope with the increased number of worshipers is one of attractions, which you should definitely see. The construction was entrusted to the architect, Jacques Hardouin-Mansart (grandson of the court architect of Louis XIV). The building turned out to be great but not cumbersome due to the bright colors and elegantly decorated facades in the fashionable style of “Rococo”.
Interesting: In addition to numerous souvenirs depicting the royal palace and a large number of well-released albums, in Versailles you can buy antiques and furnishings, paintings, magnificent gilded picture frames in the spirit of Versailles moldings as well as food – cheese, chocolate, confectionery and sweets, wine and spices.
Disneyland in Paris is located in the town of Marne-la-Vallee Chessy that is just 32 kilometers east of Paris. On the territory of Disneyland, founded in 1992, there are:
- Disneyland Park,
- Walt Disney Studios Park,
- Disney Village,
- Golf Disneyland,
- as well as hotels, business and residential neighborhoods.
In Disney Village, which is a huge city with the size of 20 football fields, you will find a huge number of restaurants, shops and a cinema complex. There is the chain of stores Dismey where there are practically all souvenirs that can be purchased on the territory of the park.
Disneyland Park is considered the oldest part of the park. It includes five theme parks:
- Adventureland: In Adventureland you will see the Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventure Isle, and in the branches of a huge tree there is the Swiss Family Robinson. The most popular attraction is a slide of Indiana Jones, which attracts fans of extreme sports with its triple “dead loop” back row.
- Frontierland: In Frontierland the most popular roller coaster is Big Thunder Mountain and a haunted house Phantom Manor. The country’s border hovers the spirit of the Wild West, and everyone can meet cowboys and Indians here.
- Main Street USA: In the Main Street USA or main road USA, built in the style of the American city of the late 19th -the beginning of the 20th century there are numerous restaurants and shops, and the end point of the road there is the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where you can get to the rest of Disneyland Park.
- Discoveryland: the most popular attraction here is a roller coaster Space Mountain, located in the center of the park, and visit the show “The Legend of the Lion King”, which is a 30-minute musical.
- Fantasyland: all the rides are adapted to the plots of fairy tales: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan’s Flight, a maze of Alice, Pinocchio Travel. This country is designed primarily to young visitors.
All of parks are grouped around the castle of the Sleeping Beauty.
Interesting: In the heart of a ride Pirates of the Caribbean there is a restaurant Blue Lagoon, offering visitors to enjoy fish dishes and other specialties of Creole cuisine under the tropical moonlight.
Hotel Les Invalides is the famous architectural monument, which has become a haven for those who have returned from the war: wounded soldiers and honored war veterans.
The works were started in February 1670 by order of Louis XIV. Built in 1677, Les Invalides, Paris became one of the first in Europe. Responsible for the execution of the project the minister of state and adviser on military matters Louvois was appointed. The court architect Liberal Bruant designed the first five yards, the center of which was named “royal”. Three years after the work began, the first guests – 4000 pensioners came found themselves in Invalides.
Today on the territory of the complex there are several museums, including:
- the famous Army Museum,
Its walls keep the migrated collection from the Louvre relief plans. In the crypt of the cathedral in the territory of the Invalides there is a sarcophagus that holds the remains of the Emperor Napoleon.
Interesting: Nowadays the Les Invalides is a home to several hundred veterans of the Resistance and the Second World War.
Champs Elysees is one of the main streets of Paris, where the most number of the parades are held. It stretches almost two kilometers, taking the beginning of the Concorde and finishes around the Arc de Triomphe.
Its history is not as long as it might seem. The place where today you can see the Champs Elysées did not attract anyone’s attention until 1616, when Marie de Medici ordered to ennoble it. A few decades later, the court landscape architect Le Nôtre designed the famous promenade Grand-Cours. Houses began to appear only hundred years later, in the middle of the XVIII century. Although at the time of the Champs Elysees were pretty deserted and not particularly safe, even the guards post was built on the street. Over time, the Elysees began gaining prestige and a little later became home to many famous people, such as:
- the third US president Thomas Jefferson,
- French President Raymond Poincare,
- actress Sarah Bernhardt.
Interesting: Now the Champs Elysees, perhaps, can be called the center of Parisian glamor. The name they got from the Elysium, the ancient island of the blessed, where saints and heroes live having the immortality presented by the gods.
Latin Quartier is the old district of Paris, located in the city center on the left bank of the Seine around the famous Sorbonne University. Quartier got its name due to
the fact that at the Sorbonne Latin was taught, and many students lived in the neighborhood who spoke it.
Today, the beautiful Latin Quartier ceased to be a place where students settle in, and turned into a tourist “corner” of Paris (landmark – the Boulevard Saint-Germain). Guests of the French capital are attracted by:
- the best restaurants,
- coffee shops,
- exquisite narrow streets, keeping the charm of the old architecture.
In the Latin Quartier there are a few University buildings, and not only of the Sorbonne but also the Paris Higher School of Mining, Universidad Curie, Paris II University, and so on.
Interesting: Tourists should visit the Pantheon in the Latin Quartier, the Museum of the Middle Ages with the famous ruins of the Thermes de Cluny, Luxembourg Gardens and other attractions.
The most famous museum of the world, a symbol of Paris and France pride … you are right – it’s the Louvre. Imagine 22 football fields at once; fill this space with tens of thousands of sculptures, paintings, jewelry, ceramics and decor designs – in short everything that humanity has produced over the past 5 thousand years. Imagine that every day on this territory there are two infantry divisions march (25-30 thousand. people). This is also the Louvre.
Why should you visit the Louvre? Nearly 10 million people every year seek the Louvre is not just for the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. The museum offers to explore:
- 35,000 paintings,
And this is only a small part: just a third of a million of museum collections. If you are strong, hardy and are willing to spend up to 10 hours – each exhibit will get no more than a second of your time. Of course, a trip to the museum is not a polar
expedition, but careful preparation is still very desirable. And it starts with the selection of goals.
Here there are the main sections of the museum:
- Ancient East (art and culture of Iran, Mesopotamia and the Levant in this collection is a stele carved with the laws of Hammurabi – the oldest monument to the legal state);
- Ancient Egypt (including the Hellenistic and Roman periods);
- Ancient Greece and Rome (collection of unique Etruscan monuments);
- Islamic Art (relatively new collection, it was opened to the public only in 2003);
- Sculptures (almost boundless collection of French and Italian statues – from 6 to mid-19th centuries);
- Arts and crafts (kitchenware, furniture, tapestries, jewelry and sculpture again – for example, the famous equestrian statue of Charlemagne);
- Graphic Arts: drawings, engravings, prints … in short, everything that is not written with oil or watercolor on canvas (the most extensive collection of the museum);
Interesting: In addition to the well- known Mona Lisa there are 4 more paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, Titian, Correggio, El Greco, Goya, Delacroix, and hundreds of other 6 thousand exhibits.
This palace is a park complex, one of the main attractions of the Latin Quartier. The garden is located at the end of a beautiful boulevard Saint-Michel. You can also get to the Jardin du Luxembourg on the subway, going to the station “Luxembourg”. The garden has the Luxembourg Palace – one of the best architectural monuments throughout France. In front of the palace there are a lot of beautiful fountains, in which the waters can even run a model of a sailboat. A little aside there is the atmosphere of the 17th century where you will see the marble Medici fountain overgrown with moss.
Near the main entrance to the Luxembourg Garden there is a music pavilion – an open stage where there are constant concerts of both amateurs and professionals. There are many:
- sports fields.
This is not surprising because its total area is 26 hectares. Luxembourg Gardens – a favorite vacation spot of the Parisians. Here you can have a great time, enjoy the architecture, see famous people of France and from around the world!
Interesting: And by the way, it is here, in the Luxembourg Gardens Akhmatova and Modigliani met in 1910-1911.
The origin of the name Montmartre is not known:
- Some believe that it comes from the mountains of Mons Mercuri,
- others say that it is from the Latin Mons Martis or from the mountain Mons Martirium.
- The Jacobins during the French Revolution argued that in fact “Montmartre “means the mountain of Marat, ignoring the fact that this title is several centuries older than Marat.
In the early 20th century, Montmartre was called the cradle of bohemian and due to the fact that the hill hosted a lot of unusual visitors. This is here a lot of strange events happened.
For example, the famous abstract landscape “Sunset over the Adriatic sea” is written in Montmartre and caused a terrible scandal then. The landscape was exhibited in the Salon des Independants and had considerable success there exactly as long as the author became known and turned out to be a donkey named Lolo. Roland Dorzhele decided to make fun of abstract painters, Lolo putting his back to the canvas near the basins of paint, and giving him a cookie to a donkey waving tail, getting it into the paint, then on canvas.
Admire the work of the artist in the Montmartre museum. In addition, you can see the place where the picture was created. Cabaret “Nimble Rabbit”, which owner Lolo belonged to still operates and maintains the old traditions. You may meet there French writers and poets, and participate in the concerts singing songs that did not changed over the last century.
Love to their own traditions and history – another hallmark of Montmartre. Half plastered on the walls of the tiny cafes and cabarets posters alerted about the
events that have passed long before the birth of the current owners, all the pictures on the walls are carefully preserved for decades.
Interesting: If you see the musicians playing and singing here you will never hear anything but the traditional French songs.
This bridge is connecting the two banks of the Seine, often referred to as one of the finest in France. Numerous figures of angels, nymphs and Pegasus are striking in their extraordinary beauty.
The famous bridge was built by Nicholas II in 1896 and named after the father of the emperor – Alexander III. Building marked the long-awaited Franco-Russian alliance. Inauguration of Alexander III took place on the eve of the World Expo 1900. Under state protection bridge was taken only in 1975. To find the Pont Alexandre III, you should walk to Invalides. It can be reached by car or subway to Invalides station.
- In St. Petersburg, there is a “twin brother” of the legendary bridge – Trinity Bridge across the Neva.
- According to legend, a passionate kiss on the bridge of Alexander III is capable to fix the union of two hearts forever.
- It is this bridge was in the film of Luc Besson’s “Angel A”.
Interesting: Today, it reaches a length of 160 meters, the height of the building is no more than 6 meters, allowing a beautiful building rise above the river, it does not hide panorama of Champs Elysées.
Rodin Museum is the most popular and visited museum of Paris after the Louvre. This elegant mansion with a magnificent and unique exhibition is surrounded by a lush park. Rodin Museum is located at the corner of the Boulevard des Invalides and the streets of Varennes.
Rodin Museum was built in the late XVII century. Within the walls of this mansion in the style of Rococo there were:
- famous artists,
- musicians, such as, the poet Jacques Cocteau or artist Henri Matisse.
The great French sculptor Auguste Rodin entered the house in 1908 and lived there until 1917. He subsequently donated his entire collection of French sculptures (along with the acquisition of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir), provided that the house will be turned into a museum dedicated to his works. In 1919, Rodin Museum was opened here.
The park mansion set almost all the best works by Rodin:
- a sculpture “The Thinker”,
- “Burghers of Calais”, one of the most famous works of the artist,
- “The Gates of Hell,”
- and others.
So, in the halls of the first floor you can enjoy the masterpieces of the brilliant sculptor, such as “The Kiss”, “Eve”, “Walking Man”. On the second floor you will see a small sculpture of the master, as well as his collection of prints, paintings, applied art, including and enjoy such great films as “Landscape in Belle Ile” Claude Manet and “Papa Tango” by Van Gogh.
Interesting: In the back yard of the museum there is a picturesque lake and a family restaurant, which culinary traditions will surprise you as much as the great exhibition.