• All About Paris

    The Wonderful Louvre in A Nutshell

    All about the Louvre museum in Paris Though the Eiffel Tower represents the very spirit of Paris, the Louvre Museum is all about the story of France.  After all, it began as a fortress (by Philip the II in the 12th century ), was converted to a palace (by Francis the I), and became  a storage place for the crown’s treasures when Louis XIV moved the Royal household to Versailles after Paris got too built-up and, as European cities were in those days, disease-ridden.   Versailles became a symbol of all that had to change during the French Revolution in 1789.  It was liberated by the people,  the Royals were…

  • All About Paris

    Arc de Triomphe

    History of the Arc De Triomphe Shortly after his victory at Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon commissioned the Arc de Triomphe’s construction; it was completed in 1836. There are four huge relief sculptures at the bases of the four pillars that make up the structure. These commemorate The Triumph of 1810 (Cortot); Resistance, and Peace (both by Etex); and The Departure of the Volunteers, more commonly known by the name La Marseillaise (Rude). Engraved around the top of the Arch are the names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The names of lesser victories, as well as those of 558 French generals, are found on the inside walls of the arc. The names of generals…

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    The Eiffel Tower

    Eiffel Tower History and Visitor Information When the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, it was the tallest building in the world at just over 300 meters high. The tower was originally built as a temporary structure to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution for the 1889 World’s Fair exposition.  What was once a temporary exhibit became permanent and now the Eiffel Tower is the enduring symbol of the city of Paris and France itself. Back in the 1880’s, the Eiffel Tower’s steel construction defied all traditional rules of architecture.  Gustave Eiffel’s design was considered quite bold at the time. Today the tower is the main television transmitter for the city of Paris and the…

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    Beautiful Champs Elysees and Trocadero

    The Champs Elysees, the grand boulevard of Paris. The river Seine divides this grand section of Paris, stretching from the imposing 18th century buildings of Les Invalides to the Art Nouveau Avenues surrounding the Eiffel Tower. Two of Paris’s most impressive thoroughfares dominate the neighborhood to the north of the Seine: the ultra chic Champs Elysees, and the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. St. Honoré is where you’ll find the well-guarded Palais de l’Elysee. It’s hard to believe this classy part of Paris was once a village (Chaillot), albeit a posh one, absorbed into the city in the 19th century. Not surprisingly, many of its opulent Second Empire mansions are…

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    French Savoir Faire

    Why not spend a week or two in France?  Or more?  There is a lot to see. It’s the biggest country in Europe, besides Russia and Ukraine of course.   With mountains (the Alps), amazing coastlines (the Mediterranean and the Atlantic), rivers (the Seine and Saone among many) and rolling hills of picturesque castles, farmland and adorable villages, it is a jewel on earth. And it has been kept that way by the people themselves, who cared about their crops, their way of life and their customs long before national preservation led the way in creating UNESCO sites and the like.  Did French history preserve art and wine or vice versa? …