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Flanked by iconic French landmarks like the majestic Notre Dame and the Conciergerie, Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux has been in operation since 1808, making it the oldest and lone surviving floral market in Paris. Located in the heart of Ile de la Cité, the avenue sees an array of shops featuring exotic flowers, plants and shrubs. From primroses and orchids to violets and myrtles, the seasonal blooms paint a beautiful and tranquil picture in the tourist-dominated area. Open throughout the week, Sundays see bird traders set up shop with rare species of parrots, macaws, doves and budgies, as well as cages, seeds and accessories.
Named after King Louis IX, this island in the Seine River is known to be the birthplace of Parisian civilization. Connected by many bridges to Paris, Île Saint-Louis is a sanctuary from the bustle of the city. Untouched by modernization, this small wonder has many markets, bakeries, cafes, boutiques and historic attractions. One of the most significant monuments is the St Louis en l'Ile Church, an ethereal chapel built in 1662. Indulge your palate for fine food at the numerous restaurants around the island. Suitable for all budgets whether it is dining, shopping or just sight seeing, Île Saint-Louis will charm you with its centuries-old splendor.
Apart from being a famous landmark in Paris, Le Marais also functions as a major events venue in Paris. Located in the bosom of historical Paris, this district is the ideal place to take a walk either alone, or with a friend. Stride on the clean cobblestone roads while you breathe in the fresh Paris air and gaze at the fine architectural designs of the city at the Le Marais. Check the website or contact +33 8 3668 3112 for more information.
Surrounded by shady arcades that shelter beautiful boutiques, this square, situated in the heart of the Marais, is one of Paris' unmissable sights. Place des Vosges is perfectly symmetrical, measuring 140 meters (459 feet) by 127 meters (416 feet). Stone and brick houses, whose almost identical facades are all crowned by steep slate roofs, border its quasi-rectangular shape. Designed by Henri IV, it used to be the favored sight for duels. Famous people also lived in the area, including the Cardinal de Richelieu and the writer Victor Hugo.
The Marché Couvert Saint-Germain resides in a historical building that has been restored to retain the spirit of its original architecture. This covered market features stalls offering fresh produce, meat, fish and gourmet products from throughout France, in addition to upscale clothing and accessories from international designer labels. Shoppers can also sample specialties at local cafes located indoors. Whether crossing items off your weekly grocery list or perusing the finest handbags, Marché Couvert has something for everyone.
The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, signaled the beginning of the French Revolution. It was a highly symbolic event: the prison only held seven prisoners. Once the building had been demolished, the stones were used to build the Pont de la Concorde (Concorde bridge). The signs of this turbulent part of history are engraved on the square. The paving stones of the Boulevard Henri-IV follow the former walls of the prison, and the July Column in the center commemorates the Parisians killed during the uprisings of 1830 and 1848. Formerly a place of violence and crime, this area is now home to trendy bars and cafes, and a modern opera house. A ball, held on the night before July 14's public holiday, marks the anniversary of the Revolution.
The ground on which the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Palais du Luxembourg stand was originally the site of a Roman camp. In 1257, the Chartreux religious order bought the land and built a monastery here, while the princess regent Marie de Médicis had the palace built in 1615. This is one of Paris' favorite gardens. With a truly beautiful layout, the park is popular with students and residents in the city's Latin Quarter. Children can go on pony rides, play on swings and sail their toy boats on the octagonal pond. This park is a much-loved and popular meeting place.
Starting from the intersection at Sant-Augustin metro and running all the way to rue Drouot, Boulevard Haussmann, opened in 1864 to help ease Paris' transition from a medieval city to a modern capitol. Planned by Georges Haussman as part of an extravagant series of reforms, this boulevard is famous for infusing the then cluttered city-scape of Paris with refinement. Here you will find the immaculate Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, two must-see shopping hot spots for quality Parisian couture, home accessories and more.
Originally known as Place Louis-XV, this square was constructed between 1755 and 1775 based on the design of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Renamed Place de la Révolution in 1792, a guillotine was installed and 2800 executions took place including that of King Louis XVI. Louis-Philippe christened it Place de la Concorde in 1830. The Louqsor obelisk, a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France, has been standing in the center of the square since 1840. The 19th-Century also saw the addition of eight statues representing France's largest cities and the two fountains. The square is home to one of Paris' most prestigious hotels, the Hôtel Crillon.
Many remarkable art galleries and boutiques are found on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, an avenue of upscale commerce in Paris. For art enthusiasts, a walk down this avenue becomes a truly memorable experience. The galleries, which are mostly concentrated between Place St-Phillipe-du-Roule and Avenue de Marigny, offer some of the most exceptional work by contemporary artists and beautiful French furniture. This avenue also supports Paris' reputation as a world center for fashion as many famous designers such as Givenchy and Chanel maintain boutiques here. A walk along the avenue of Faubourg Saint-Honoré, filled with impressionist art and pulsating fashion, is guaranteed to leave an impression.
Stretching for two kilometers (one mile) and lined with trees, les Champs-Élysées has become the center for festivities and official parades in Paris. The avenue was originally created in 1667 by André Le Nôtre, Louis XIV's gardener, in order to improve the view from the Jardin des Tuileries and its palace. The avenue was lengthened at the end of the 18th Century to run from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Today, this famous boulevard is a magnet for tourists and for the multitudes who enjoy evenings spent strolling along the broad and picturesque street. The many cinemas, cafés, and restaurants tempt visitors to rest their legs for a few hours, tired from walking by the designer boutiques, banks, and embassies also situated in this chic neighborhood.
Opened in 1867, this park was built by Jean-Charles Alphand who designed a number of parks during the reign of Napoleon III. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is spread over 24.7 hectares (61.03 acres) and features an artificial lake, a rocky island, exotic trees, bridges, waterfalls and a grotto. The most significant part of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle which is a scaled-down replica of the iconic Roman Temple of Vesta. The public park also has restaurants, puppet theaters and other facilities making it very popular among locals and tourists alike. A stroll through the historic Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is definitely worthwhile.