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.
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.
La Gaîté Lyrique is situated where the former Théâtre de la Gaîté was and has combined the original theater's facade into its new existence. This contemporary music and digital arts center opened in 2010. La Gaîté Lyrique is a seven-storeyed building with the first five available to the public while the last two are private, including artisan shops. This huge space has three performance venues, various exhibition spaces, a resource center, video gaming area and artist rooms. Majority of these areas are adaptable and movable such as the dressing rooms and offices. You'll find concerts, lectures, films, and workshops at La Gaîté Lyrique.
Parc de la Villette is spread over three kilometers (one-and-a-half miles), is first and foremost a park where both children and parents can play and relax. With its wooded glens, a canal winding through the lawns, staircases climbing up the hillsides to lovely views, and flat lots for roller blading, this place is very popular on sunny Sundays. Children of all ages are invited to unleash their imaginations here: dragon gardens, astounding acrobatics, gentle dunes, and rolling fog set the stage. Linger for awhile in the Bamboo Garden to hear the wind blowing through these enormous grasses and imagine you are surrounded by jungle!
Still extremely well preserved thanks to numerous renovations, the Grand Rex (1936) is the last of the grand old movie houses in Paris. Étoiles du Rex (Stars of the Rex) guided tours are a must for all cinephiles. A definite must-visit theater. The theater is designed with art deco style of architecture with intricate detailing, leaving every visitor in awe. It is well-equipped with light and acoustic facilities making sure each show hosted here is a phenomenal one.
After ten years in the Marais area, VU’ Gallery, specialized in photography, settles in an historical site in the ninth arrondissement of Paris: Paul Delaroche Hotel. The gallery has adjustable exhibition rooms, which enable the organization of original settings, meetings and exchanges, with one exhibition every six weeks. The VU’ gallery also sells collectible prints. They have adopted the solution of authentication and traceability developed by ARTtrust for pieces of art and prints. Artists thus protect their work and their rights, and the VU’ gallery guarantees collectors the authenticity of purchased works. Moreover, a bookshop is available on the premises.
The romantic heart of France, one that is home to countless marvels that make a traveling spirit soar, is an eternal piece of iconography that is immediately both recognizable, yet full of surprises. On the banks of the river Seine, Paris is the enchanting home of 2.2 million people who live across its twenty arrondissements. A labyrinthine expanse of inexhaustible culture, architecture and history thrives along the riverside, while indelible symbols and stalwarts of art position themselves in venerated museums and galleries. Dominating Paris' soul-stirring skyline are monumental vestiges and landmarks that feed its charm and beauty – from the deeply iconic spire of the Eiffel Tower and the butter yellow facade of the Arc de Triomphe to the mysterious allure of the Louvre, and the French Gothic splendor of the Notre Dame. Forming part of its periphery, yet sparking instant association with the city are a host of other aspects that make Paris so great in stature; it is an evolved culinary hub, an international center for fashion, a metropolis seething with great artists, and a nexus of entertainment.
Place de l'Hotel de Ville - Esplanade de la Libération was earlier known as the Place de Grève. Records show its existence as far back as the 13th Century. It was initially used for public executions and was an emblem of the medieval regime in France. Gradually over the centuries it became a meeting place for the public. Its new name is an ode to the World War II resistance. The beautiful Hôtel de Ville de Paris (City Hall) is next to this square and the Pont d'Arcole is just a few minutes away.
This splendid neo-Renaissance-style building is just minutes from the Seine and right in the heart of the capital. In 1260, Louis IX decided to endow Paris with the means of organizing its own affairs. Situated in Place de Grève (grève meaning 'strike' the square gets its name from discontented workers who often demonstrated here!), the building was used as the seat of government during the French Revolution, when a guillotine stood imposingly in front of its windows. Burnt to the ground during a working-class uprising in 1871, it was rebuilt 11 years later and became the current Town Hall. Crystal chandeliers, beautiful paintings and vast function rooms are all part of its sumptuous interior.
Hop aboard one of Batostar's electric vessels for a tour of the Seine and its islands. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Paris as you cruise through the city and take in the centuries of architecture and culture. The on-board bar and lounge offers light refreshments and delicious drinks. You can even book a vessel for a private event. Visit the website to find out times and pricing information.