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.
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.
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.
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.
Famous for housing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Arc de Triomphe is a site of memories, current events, and celebrations. Construction of the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806 and was completed thirty years later. Standing in a direct line between the Louvre and the Grande Arche de la Défense, the monument links the past with the present and offers amazing views of the city from atop the arch. Many of France's famous leaders, dictators, writers, and artists have passed under its arch on the way to their final resting place, including Napoleon and Victor Hugo. A closer look at the arc reveals six evocative reliefs carved into its historic facade, portraying key highlights and events that transpired during the French Revolution and Napoleon's reign.
The Romano-Byzantine Sacre Coeur Basilica overlooks Montmartre, one of Paris's most picturesque districts. Its distinctive travertine stone dome rises up over the rooftops, allowing visitors to the basilica the perfect vantage point from which to survey the city. Within Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, often called Sacré-Cœur, visitors will find several interesting sites, including a mosaic of Christ, an elegant organ constructed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and a crypt. Commissioned by the Catholic Church, construction began in 1875 under the watchful eye of architect Paul Abadie, and was finally completed in 1914.
Located in the small commune of Lognes is the Église Saint-Martin de Lognes where once Catholics attended pray services and celebrated holy festivals. This structure was established in the year 1903 in Romanesque Revival style of architecture. The church has a steeple-like most of the churches in Europe. At the turn of the Millennium, it underwent restoration where the stained glass showcasing the twelve saints were installed. A few of the historic monuments that are contained in the church is the statue of Saint Martin and a bronze bell.
This was once the residence of Jacques-Benigne Bossuet during his time serving as a French Bishop in Meaux. The building was constructed in the 12th Century, long before Bossuet actually lived there, however visitors can still see his tombstone on the grounds. There are tours that operate around the palace, including the cathedral and the gardens, that give background to the difference architectural styles that dominate the building. The residence was in constant construction from the 12th Century all the way up until the 17th Century with the completion of major changes on the lower level. In 1927, the building was listed as a historic landmark and has since housed the Bossuet Museum.
Located in Meaux, a small town just outside of Paris, Meaux Cathedral stands against the test of time. After over three centuries of construction, the cathedral was finally completed in the 16th Century. Due to its lengthy span of construction, visitors can see multiple periods of Gothic architecture under one roof. The spacious interior rises nearly 30 feet (9 meters) and also features an organ dating back to the 17th Century. Meaux Cathedral is truly a sight to see.