The Wonders of Paris, France
March 31, 2012
The most Prominent landmark in Paris would have to be the Eiffel Tower. More the seven million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year. For a small fee you can ride the elevator to the top. The view from the top is spectacular. If you want some exercise you can take the stairs that go from the ground to the second platform. Many People like to go to the Eiffel Tower at night because it is all light up.
At night when it is lit up it looks an attractive golden color, instead if the dark brown it is painted. The Eiffel Tower took two years to build; it was finished on March 31, 1889. The Eiffel Tower was originally built for the world exhibition in 1889, but today it is used as a radio transmission tower and a tourist attraction. The Eiffel Tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, the main contractor and architect.
The Arc De Triomphe and Versailles are some of Paris’ other famous landmarks. The Arc De Triomphe is a 164 ft. arch. It honors all the soldiers who have fought for France, particularly during Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign. Under the Arch lies the Tomb of an Unknown Soldier, which honors all of France’s soldiers of have never been identified. Beside the Tomb is the Flame of Remembrance, which is rekindled every morning at 6:30 am. Versailles is one of the most extravagant buildings in the world. It is a humongous palace with over 700 rooms, 67 staircases, 2000 windows, and 1250 fireplaces. The whole property is 19,262 acres.
There are tons of museums in Paris. Some of the well known ones are the Louvre and Musee de L’Air et de L’espace. The Louvre was originally a royal palace but became a museum in 1793. Outside the museum is a substantial glass pyramid. Inside there are heaps exhibits including artifacts from Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is also displayed there. Musee de L’Air et de L’espace is France’s museum of air and space. Some of the exhibits include air force combat planes the 50’s, the Ariane missiles, and two concords. It was established in 1919 making it the world’s oldest aeronautics museum.
Paris also has many art galleries. Musee de L’orangerie, the Pompidou center, and the Orsay museum are just a few. Musee de L’orangerie’s exhibits are mostly by impressionist including Heri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet. By far the most famous works there are a few paintings from Clade Monet’s series ‘Water Lilies’. The Orsay museum was opened in 1986. It is located in an old railroad station. The museum displays art from 1848 through 1914. Many of the paintings are by impressionists. The Pompidou Center was opened in 1977. It is named after French president, Georeges Pompidou, who was in power from 1969 to 1974. The center has a bold design with plastic tubes running up and down it’s glass walls. It contains paintings by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse among others.
Paris is the culinary capital of the world and is known worldwide for its gourmet cuisine Some of the best places to eat in Paris include Le Cinq, Taillevent, Restruant Pierre Gagnaire, and L’Astrance. Le Cinq serves classic and contemporary dishes. Restruant Pierre Gagnaire is famous for their innovative dishes that will please both your eyes and your taste buds. L’Astrance is well known in the culinary world for their surprise menu. The chef, Pascal Barbot, cooks meals for his guests according their preferences.
Parisians celebrate many holidays. The most important being Bastille day, which is on July 14. It celebrates the French revolution. If you are lucky enough to be visiting during Bastille day then will get to see the military bands, parades, bonfires, and firework shows. Parisians don’t only celebrate French holidays, for example they also celebrate Chinese New Year. For it people gather in the Chinese district to celebrate. There are Parades with bright and colorful dragons, fish, and flags embossed with Chinese symbols. Chinese restaurants are usually backed to the brim with tourists and locals. Sometimes there are also special plays or musicals or even film festivals.
In conclusion visiting Paris, France truly a memorable experience. Paris one of the most beautiful cities in the world you can visit. There are so many phenomenal things to see and do you will never get bored.
I have long dreamt of going to Paris, never having had the chance to go because living on the other side of the world meant awfully costly plane tickets. Living in St Andrews, this situation has finally changed. Upon seeing how reasonable the price of traveling to Paris was, I decided to join two friends on a five-day trip to Paris during Spring Break.
Paris was beautiful. From the neat rows of trees planted along the road, to the little cafes by the street, from colourful stacks of macaroons in display windows, to the aroma of bread wafting out from bakeries. The city was exactly as expected: Parisian.
We managed to visit most of the places I wended to see, none of which disappointed me in the slightest. Nothing could compare to the instant I first saw the Eiffel Tower with all the anticipation in the world. The incredible view of the city from the top of the Tower left me in awe, though it would have been nicer if only it wouldn’t have been cold! Walking away from the Eiffel Tower, we saw locals jogging in a park nearby, not once glancing at the Tower. It is fascinating to think how normal it is for these people to carry on with their normal life doing normal things being right next to THE Eiffel Tower. Maybe what makes visiting a monument so special comes from not usually having a chance to see it. When you do, it simply becomes a part of the mundane backdrop of your daily life, which is quite a pity, really.
My favourite part of the trip was going up to the top of Arc de Triomphe at night. The view was breath-taking. The multi coloured lights from cars, buildings, and landmarks lit up the streets of Paris, sketching out the city in glowing patches of light in the darkness. The top of the Arc was high enough for a good view without being so high that you have to appreciate it in freezing cold and insane wind. The view also comprised of an iconic landmark impossible to see from the top of the Eiffel Tower – the Eiffel Tower itself. Adorned with golden lights, it looked amazing at a distance. Plus, climbing 284 steps up a narrow spiral staircase really does make you appreciate the view at the top more.
What I did not expect though was the sheer difficulty in navigating the winding streets of Paris. Perhaps living in a town with essentially only three parallel streets has caused our inherent sense of direction to deteriorate significantly, or perhaps we could’ve done better than simply rely on the somewhat simplified free map from the airport tourist information centre. Either way, we more often than not finding ourselves standing confused at crossroads, trying to figure out which street we were on and why on earth it wasn’t on the map. If you visit Paris without knowing where you are going, I would advise you to arm yourself with a good map.
It was definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever had and I would very much love to visit Paris again. There was so much to see and barely enough time to rush through them all. Grasp your chances to travel. You won’t regret it, because I certainly did not!
Photo credit: Kelsey Swintek