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Among the various bridges spanning the Seine, the Pont des Arts is without doubt one of the most romantic, its all-metal structure providing a link between the Louvre and the L'Institut de France. This delightful little footbridge, built during the 18th Century, has always been a pedestrian bridge. Originally, a tollgate was installed at each end, ensuring that access was only given to the upper classes. The bridge faced destruction during the world wars, however, in 1981, it was restored to its former glory.
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.
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. Ornate fountains and lush lawns set against the backdrop of a palace look no less than magical. With a truly beautiful layout, the park is popular with students and residents in the city's Latin Quarter. Children can go on the vintage style carousel, play on swings and sail their toy boats on the octagonal pond. This park is a much-loved and popular meeting place.
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 Jardin des Tuileries was commissioned by Queen Catherine de Médicis and created in 1564 as the gardens adorning the Tuileries Palace. After the French Revolution, the park was opened to the public and has been a favorite spot for romantic walks and family outings ever since. The beautiful garden spreads out from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde. A sculpture garden called Le Grand Couvert houses some very famous sculptures nestled between the park's mature trees. With its beautiful flowerbeds and a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the Seine, the garden is an ideal place to take a stroll with your sweetheart or enjoy a picnic with friends.
Le Mur des Je T'aime is a perfect piece of public art for the lovely Montmartre district, subverting the restrictive power of its medium to send a strong international message of togetherness. Designed by Frederick Baron and Claire Kito, this mirrored black wall contains over 300 declarations of love in 250 languages, creating the perfect romantic rendezvous for traveling couples or new-formed flings. An understated attraction in Paris's oldest neighborhood, Le Mur des Je T'aime is a pleasant stop on a romantic stroll.
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!
The geometrical lines of the carrés de la perspective garden greet visitors upon entering the Jardin des Plantes with marvelous effects of perspective created through careful planning and maintenance. In the 65-acre (26-hectare) botanical garden, bejeweled by flowerbeds, you'll find several attractions, including an alpine garden, a greenhouse split between a tropical winter garden, a Mexican desert ecosystem, and a rose and iris garden. Also visit the small zoo and explore one of the museums on site, which include the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution and the Galerie de Paléontologie. The garden was first created in 1635 by Louis XIII's physician Guy de la Brosse to illustrate plants' medicinal properties to medical students. It opened to the public in 1640.