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Top Rated Attractions in Paris

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Musée d'Orsay

Millions of visitors come to see Musée d'Orsay's mammoth collection of French art every year. The building itself, called the Gare d'Orsay, was built as a railway station in 1900, is a striking Beaux-Arts edifice. At 138 meters long (453 feet) and 32 meters tall (105 feet), the opulent principal gallery of the ground floor is a reminder of the building's history. Among the masterpieces in this gallery are the Burial at Ornans by Gustave Courbet and the Gleaners 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 artworks and antiquities in the world. The museum is located inside the Louvre Palace, which was built in the 12th Century as a fortress by Philip II. After Louis XIV, he 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 divided 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 some of the most famous works like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Liberty Leading the People.

La Gaîté Lyrique

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.

Le Grand Rex

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.

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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