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Top Rated Attractions in Champagne & Brie Region

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Château de Vaux le Vicomte

This château has two significantly inspired events. One was the tragic downfall of Fouquet, a minister who paid the price of life imprisonment because King Louis XIV was jealous of his beautiful château. And under the influence of Fouquet, Vaux-le-Vicomte became a haven for French artists, writers and sculptors who gave their all for the glory of the residence. Check the website for information on the different visits. There is a candlelight visit that is going to be apt for all the lovebirds. Hours vary throughout the year and you can buy passes for more than one day; see the website or call for more information.

Eiffel Tower

Underneath the glaze of the Parisian sky, the Eiffel Tower captures the dazzling spirit of its French capital. A magnificent wrought iron lattice tower that was originally built as an entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, the tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel after his inspiration was fueled by the pyramidal form of Egypt's historic landmarks. This comparison was met with ardent disapproval from several eminent Frenchmen before the tower came to be the celebrated global icon that it is known as today. At a stunning height of 324 meters (1,063 feet), the Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline as the city's tallest, and the country's second-tallest freestanding structure. Its majestic form sports three shades – darkest at the lowest level and colored in a light contrast as the tower ambles up to the top – an illusory mechanism adopted so as to complement its surroundings. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most winning sights in all of France, and even after more than a century, people continue to extol this monumental symbol of architectural beauty.

Musée d'Orsay

Nearly 2.5 million visitors each year come to see Musée d'Orsay's mammoth collection of French art The building itself, called the Gare d'Orsay, was built as a railway station in 1900; the principal gallery of the ground floor, 138 meters long (453 feet) and 32 meters tall (105 feet), is a reminder of the building's history. Among the masterpieces in this gallery are the scandalous Enterrement à Ornans by Gustave Courbet and the glaneuses by Jean-François Millet. Fans of impressionism should head directly up to the fifth floor, where works by the greatest masters of this genre can be found.

Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum houses one of the largest collections of artwork and antiquities in the world. The museum is located inside the Louvre Palace, which was constructed in the 12th Century as a fortress by Philip II. After Louis XIV decided to move his court to Versailles, the palace was occupied by a variety of institutions related to the arts. The museum was first opened under the National Assembly in 1793. The establishment is separated into sections, including drawing, painting and sculpture, and houses antiquities from Egypt, Rome, Greece, and several other cultures. Visitors to the museum can explore its many wings and see famous works like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Liberty Leading the People.

Musée de l'Orangerie

Take a trip to the beautiful gardens of Tuileries, where the Orangerie Museum is located. The museum stocks a host of famous and fabulous artists such as Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso and Henri Rousseau. All the artwork in the museum was handed over by Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume, two art fanatics who have ensured that all these works are exhibited together. There is a surprise in the basement: the Oval Room, which houses some of Monet's Water-Lily paintings on permanent display. Another surprise awaiting you is the La Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, which is a twin tower of the Orangerie.

Paris Catacombs

Hidden beneath "The City of Light" is a dark underworld, the final resting place of more than six million Parisians. The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries formed of a network of tunnels, caves, and quarries filled with mortal remains, where the former citizens of Paris now form a part of its foundation. As Paris went on its way to becoming an important hub, thousands flocked to the city. This spurred justified concerns about the limited cemetery space, leading to the creation of the catacombs in 1810 at the site of the old Montrouge stone quarries. Although in use as an ossuary as early as the 1780s, it was not until this time that the catacombs were organized. The bones were arranged as per the cemeteries they were taken from, creating a subterranean skeletal world, where the last of the lot were brought down in 1860. During World War II, this network of galleries was used as a hideaway for the Résistance movement; its vastness and the discretion of its entrances were great assets indeed. These ossuaries, illustrated by texts, create a chilling atmosphere and describe some of the defining events in the history of Paris, giving visitors substance for meditation. It is also occasionally used as a macabre venue for concerts, parties and other events.

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