Paris or paʁi as the French call it is a dream destination for anyone who has grown up reading about the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte or the World Wars. The city retains its external architecture and old world charm while modernizing the interiors of the structure. The French capital is known by different names like ‘City of Lights’ or ‘Fashion capital’ and is the headquarters of some of the biggest fashion and cosmetic brands of the world. If you plan a trip to Europe, make sure you a keep 1/3rd of your time for Paris, as there are lots of places to see and experience while you are here.
The Louvre’ or the Louvre Museum, one of the largest museum’s in the world. It was first inaugurated on 10 August 1793, with mostly royal paintings and confiscated church property. It went through many alterations in its building design. Today, it contains over 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments namely Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings. The museum has always been popular with tourists who wanted to relive history with the exhibits, objects d’art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. However, when The Pyramid, which stands at the entrance in the main court was the point of interest in the movie Da Vinci Code in 2006,the number of tourists have doubled since then. Some of the most interesting sections are the Egyptian Antiquities, the sculptures and the most famous painting of the Louvre – The Mona Lisa. To cover the 60,600 sq meters of the museum you definitely need more than a day or at least a marathon day.
Champs Élysées is dubbed ‘The most beautiful avenue’ has so much history behind it that one can spend a lot of time just reading about its origin in 1667, where it was just fields and kitchen garden to its current form where it houses theatres, cafés and upscale shopping brands. If you are in Paris in July, you will be able to see the French army march down this boulevard to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14th.
The Arc de Triomphe Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal arches, was built between 1806 and 1836. The triumphal arch is in honour of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site. A long flight of stairs takes you to the terrace where you can soak up the unique panoramic view over the Champs Élysées.
To be continued…