7-day trip to Paris
Visiting the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, Palais Bourbon, National Assembly, Opera Garnier, Musée d’Orsay, Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Palais Royal, Musée du Louvre, Hotel de Ville, Sacre Coeur, La Fayette, Beaubourg, Les Halles, Ile de la Cité, Notre-Dame, Sainte -Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche de la Défense, the Villette, Place Stravinsky, Centre Pompidou, Trocadero.
Paris, a beautiful city, must be lived intensely in order to seize its most peculiar elements through a thorough visit even if in a short time.
So do not think it is possible to describe it.
I try, through my images, even if sometimes repetitive, to make it enjoyable by my readers.
De Gaulle’s proclamation to the French
I start my presentation with a picture of General de Gaulle’s proclamation which stroke me for its high intensity because the words used were meant to touch deeply the heart of the French.
We entered the City.
I believe that there was no better way than to start our visit from the Eiffel Tower and the nearby monumental area where Napoleon is celebrated, Les Invalides.
Eiffel Tower, work of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel
Palace of the Trocadéro, Buildings of la Défense and Field of Mars
On the other side, beyond the Seine, the large pool and gardens in front of the Palais de Chaillot (Chaillot palace) built for the International Exhibition of 1937. The Palais de Chaillot is positioned where was the Palace of the Trocadéro, from which the beautiful gardens and illuminated fountains take their name.
Going further with the view you can see the Bois de Boulogne , the magnificent park of the Parisians.
You can also see the tall buildings of La Défense.
We went down from the Tower, crossed the Champs de Mars and, passing along the left side of the Military School, we arrived at Les Invalides.
Buildings of Les Invalides, Dome des Invalides, Napoleon’s statue and tomb
The huge complex of seventeenth-century buildings of Les Invalides is enclosed by a beautiful gate.
In the middle of the complex, the Dome des Invalides dominates everything with its majesty.
On one side, in a niche, the statue of Napoleon.
The interior is simple but imposing and hosts, in the various chapels, the tombs of Napoleon’s marshals and relatives.
In the center, there is the crypt with the tomb of Napoleon placed inside a large red granite sarcophagus.
National Assembly, Opera and the interior of the Museum d’Orsay
In Paris, whatever you do and wherever you go, you can only see monuments, all of them important.
I wanted to show the National Assembly, the Opera and the interior of the Museum d’Orsay.
The Musée d’Orsay is one of the most important ones of Paris. It has been gotten out of the train station Gare d’ Orsay, closed in 1945 and turned into a museum in 1986, maintaining the main part of the original architecture .
Place de la Concorde, Palais Royale and Musée du Louvre
In less than three hundred meters here it is the Town Hall Square and watching up to Montmartre, you can see the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
City Hall (Hotel de Ville)
Hotel de Ville, that is the City Hall, is a beautiful monumental building characterized by a picturesque appearance thanks to the central tower and its high domes. In addition, its façade is filled with a multitude of statues.
It is enough to say that only the statues representing celebrities are 136.
There are numerous allegorical figures placed around the clock.
It is romantic an evening walk with the lighting of street-lamps and the bright fountains.
Montmartre is not so close but, among the buildings , you can already see the silhouette of the white Sacré-Cœur Basilica on the summit of the hill.
Getting up to the top through the several flights of stairs is exhausting but very romantic.
The Basilica is much more beautiful when it is seen from a long distance than when it is seen nearby.
I wanted to catch a suggestive picture of the interior where the colourful stained glass windows tinged the inner columns.
Metro Station and La Fayette department stores
I wanted to represent the interior of La Fayette department stores with a photo taken with “fish-eye technique”.
Walking around in Paris is wonderful, along the wide tree-lined avenues with large sidewalks.
The city never stops to be amazing.
We continued our visit and we arrived to the Beaubourg and Les Halles.
Pompidou Centre by Renzo Piano
So that, escalators, elevators, air conditioning hoses, water pipes and anything else are put outside.
Igor Stravinsky square
From the Pompidou Centre we could admire the square below named after Igor Stravinsky which is dominated by the first modern fountain in Paris, designed by the architects Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely.
Modern art doesn’t always meet the taste of aged people like the writer himself.
Yet this fountain fascinated me.
A few hundred meters further there is another example of modernism.
Les Halles (wholesale marketplace)
Until the end of the 1960s the area was occupied by the huge iron pavilions of the wholesale marketplace and was known by the name of Les Halles, the heart of the edible Paris since the end of the eleventh century.
Everything was destroyed to give rise to the modern Forum with shops, restaurants, swimming pool, gardens, fountains and the largest underground station of Paris.
Church of St Eustace (Saint Eustache)
Beyond the square the magnificent Église Saint-Eustache (Church of St Eustace) which is considered the most beautiful church in Paris after Notre Dame.
In the square in front of the church there is another juxtaposition with the modern art: the sculpture of Henri de Miller, the “Ecoute”.
Notre Dame cathedral on the Ile de la Cité
In the middle of the river Seine, there is the “Île de la Cité” where the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame stands.
In the island , almost in front of Notre Dame, there is also the Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel).
It is so beautiful that in the Middle Ages the believers gave it the name of “the gateway to Paradise”.
There are two chapels: the upper one, once reserved for the royal family, and the lower one, reserved to the common people.
The French always want to impress and, with La Défense, they succeeded again to do it .
The emblem of the neighborhood is the modern Arc de Triomphe, La Grande Arche.
Inside the Grande Arche they placed some sails connected by wires, but suspended in the air, which symbolize the fluctuation of imaginary ”clouds ” created to animate the central space of the arc.
The name “La Defence” originates from the statue, dated 1883, called ” La Défense de Paris ”.
The monuments in this area are very peculiar. They can also be under discussion for their modernity however they represent a courageous example of novelty which should be presented to the new generations’ opinion.
La Villette, city of Science and Technology
Monumental cemeteries (tombs of Ive Montand, Simone Signoret and Jim Morrison (leader of the Doors)
In Paris there are various monumental cemeteries.
They deserve to be visited because many tombs are true works of art .
For my part, I wanted to remember three myths :
– Ive Montand and Simone Signoret for their great love
– Jim Morrison, leader of The Doors, for the young.
Paris is a city of such a beauty that you can come back many times and seize always more and new details.
I would not mind living there.