Paris the City of Dreams, Love, and Lights

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Eiffel Tower Symbol of Paris

Paris, dream of every person living on Earth who has heard about it. The city has a magical power which attracts human being in some way whether it is the historical background or the other facts which makes it worth to visit. Being the largest city in Europe is Paris the most visited city in 2016 with a figure of around 16 million.

Paris is the capital of France Since 508 A.D and is a member of the European Union. It is the largest country of Western Europe and the second biggest country in population after Germany with 66 millions inhabitants. The city has 2,25 million inhabitants where as the core of the Grand Paris metropolitan area 6,8 million and "Ile de France" region (12,01 million people).

Paris is a very dynamic city and is continiously upgrading itself and therefore there is always something new to discover. The city is offering 6 million job places, an educational opportunity for 325.000 students studying at Paris University (La Sorbonne) and other educational institutions, 140 theaters, more than 100 nightclubs, 96 extraordinary cabarets, 3 opera houses, 90 movie theaters, and a lots of shopping venues which are more than 60.000.

Brief History of Paris / France

Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil)

Paris has a rich history of 2000 years. Romans conquered the city in 52 BC and since that date it became an important center to rule the rest of the continent and even the world though the capital of France was Lyon during that time.

Paris became the capital of France in 508 under kingdom of King Clovis. The city remained the capital of France until today, with only a four year interruption of the German occupation in WW2 , 1940-1944, where the capital city of France was Vichy.

The French Kings, who governed France, from 448 to 1848, built many famous monuments in the city such as the Louvre Palace, the Invalides and Versailles Palace. In the 13 th century Parisians built beautiful Paris churches, Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte Chapelle and Sacre Coeur in 19th century.

Picture (above) : Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715.

Paris the center of the French Revolution (Bastille Prison)

French Revoultion, The Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789

The Bastille Prison a former fortress in Paris that was built between 1370-1383. Was in use as a prison and became a focal point in the French Revolution. The Storming of the Bastille, which is pictured in the above painting, started on 14 July 1789 as the French Revolution.

French Revolution, also called Revolution of 1789, the revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there in 1789. Hence the conventional term “Revolution of 1789,” denoting the end of the ancien régime in France and serving also to distinguish that event from the later French revolutions of 1830 and 1848. (Britanica)

After the french revoluiton the monarchy was removed from power, the king and queen executed, and new forms of government tried in an attempt to find stability. As a result this movement effected the whole world.

Places to visit in Paris

Paris is divided in to twenty districts as seen in the picutures above. In each district there are important monuments and places to see. We are going to introduce not all of them one by one in this article. Others which are not here will be introduced in different articles on this web page.

  • Le Louvre (museum)

Louvre, the main square

The Louvre was originally a fortress built in 1190 to protect the city of Paris. In 1364, Raymond du Temple, which was the architect to King Charles V, undertook a transformation of the fortress into a royal palace which served for the French Kings. Louvre Palace which was built in the 12th century and opened as museum in August 1793. It houses over 100.000 pieces of artworks on an area of 60.600 square meter.

Le Louvre is one of the world's most visited art museum and surely the largest. Louvre is becaming every year more than 9 million visitors every year. The museum hosts the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, which is attracting millions of visitors. It has many other first class european paintings from Italy, France, Netherlands and United Kingdom. It also displays marvelous collections of ancient Arabic, Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. Each gallerie of Le Louvre is a museum by itself of different eras.

  • Notre Dame

Notre Dame on the banks of River Sein

The counstruction of the "Notre Dame Cathedral" begun in 1163 and a big part was completed in 1250. Notre Dame is an important example of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.

Due to its religous importance (Catholic Church and place of pilgrimage) the Notre Dame is the most popular monument in Paris, even visitor wise it is exceeding the visitors of the Eiffel Tower with 13 million visitors each year.

The cathedral is located in one of the oldest districts of Paris, Ile de la Cité, district 4. In addition to Notre Dame, the Sainte Chapelle, la Conciergerie, the flower market, the Vert Galant gardens are some of the highlights of this small and picturesque Seine river island.

  • Champs Elysees and Arc Triumph

Champs Elysees and Arc de Triumph

The Champs Elysees are one of the most famous avenues in the world. Fashion flagship stores, car showrooms, movie theaters, restaurants, and clubs are attracting by day and by night parisians and tourists. The main avenue is 70 meters wide, and is about 2000 m (1910 m exactly) long starting from Place de la Concorde to up to hill to Arc de Triomphe monument.

Napoleon gave the order to his architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrinon on 18th February1806 to start to build the Arch which should commemorate his victories at the Austerlitz War, but construction stopped when Napoleon was in war with Russia in 1810. The Arch was finished in 1836 during the reign of Louis-Philippe. The Arch de Triomphe is engraved with names of generals who commanded French troops during Napoleon's regime.

  • The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tour is the symbol of Paris and is known by every person on Earth. The monument is the world's most recognizable construction and is the icon of the city which can be seen from almost every where.

History of the Tower

World's Fair (Exposition Universelle) was going to be held in 1889 which was the same year for the 100th Anniversary of French Revolution. Therefore a competition was launched in the Journal Officiel to construct a more

  • Sacre - Coeur

Sacre Coer

The Sacre-Coeur basilica which is a Roman Catholic Church was built between 1873-1919 by architect Paul Abadie in Romanesque-Byzatine style. The church is built on of the highest places in Paris, the Montmartre hill. The largest bell of France is installed in the campanile which has a diameter of 3 metres and weighs 18.835 kg. It can be heard 10 km away. The church is the second most visited monument in Paris after Notre Dame Cathedral. Estimated number of visitors are about 10 million each year.

  • Palais Garnier (Opera Garnier)

THe Opera House

Napoleon III was the one who commissioned the Opera house. Architect Charles Garnier, built it between 1862-1875 in a neoclassic style. Its facade, monumental and astonishing stairs and Italian type hall. The ceiling of the hall is painted with Chagall's master pieces which makes it one of the world most beautiful opera houses.

It took 15 years to build the world’s one of the famous opera houses in Paris. With a general seating of 1.979 seats, Palais Garnier has a stage where 450 artists can show up at a time. This facts is making it Europe’s largest stage.

  • Grand Palais

The Grand Palais is the second symbolic monument of Paris. It was built for the World Fair of 1900. The huge space of the construction can accept exhibitions on a big scale, while the national galleries, more classical in style, display the work of great artists in temporary exhibitions.

The exhibition hall and museum complex is built between the Champs-Elysees and the Seine River. It is a masterpiece of Classicism and Art Nouveau. this Beaux Arts structure (built 1897–1900), with its large stone colonnades and enormous conservatory-style glass roof, is a major tourist attraction and a Parisian landmark.

The Grand Palais’s stone facades, columns, and friezes shows features of Classical design, while the metalwork inside is in the style of classic Art Nouveau. The construction is divided in to three major areas: the Galeries Nationales, the Palais de la Decouverte, and the Nave.

  • Orsay Museum

Orsay Mueseum by evening

Victor Laloux, planned and constructed it in the house of the train station building, for the 1900 World Fair. The Orsay museum is a national museum devoted to all the arts between 1848-1914. Many artistic movements are represented here in Orsay which includes Realism, Symbolism, Academism, Impressionism, Art nouveau, and more.

Among the featured artists are Bonnard, Carpeaux, Cézanne, Courbet, Daumier, Degas, Gallé, Gauguin, Guimard, Maillol, Manet, Millet, Monet, Pissarro, Redon, Renoir, Rodin, Seurat, Sisley, van Gogh, and more.

  • Les Invalides

Les Invadiles

Les Invalides known as Hotel national des Invalides is a complex of buildings near to Eiffel Tower and Orsay Museum in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is a military complex containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France.

The Hotel des Invalides was commissioned in 1670 by Louis XIV in order to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers from the wars. In 1815, after Napoleon's abdication, over 5.000 survivors of the Great Army were listed there. The chapel of the Invalides, the Eglise du Dome, was built at the end of the 17th century by Jules-Hardouin Mansart. The Dome currently contains Napoleon's tomb. With the law of the 'Return of the Ashes', in 1840, Adolphe Thiers and King Louis-Philippe took the initiative to return the mortal remains of Napoleon from the island of St.Helena.

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