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33 Ways to Explore Magnificent Paris

por: Caroline Marongiu
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1771

Explore Paris and its culture.


Torre Eiffel

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.

Paris, França
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Cemitério de Père-Lachaise

O mais famoso cemitério de Paris leva o nome do conselheiro religioso de Luís XIV que foi o proprietário do local. Em 1804, a cidade decidiu transformar as terras num cemitério. Algumas pessoas famosas estão enterradas aqui tais como: Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Honoré de Balzac, e os cantores, Edith Piaf e Jim Morisson (que é um dos mais visitados) Entre as diversas esculturas e monumentos do século 19 está o Mur des Fédérés, que foi colocado em memória dos 147 rebeldes mortos aqui em 1871 durante a comuna de Paris. A entrada é gratuita.

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Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité's is one of two natural islands located within the city of Paris. This island is entirely shaped by the Seine River and located in the heart of the city. Many historians believe that the first group of people, a small Gallic tribe, settled on the island in 52 BC. It has been inhabited ever since by the likes of Romans, Merovingians, and contemporary French citizens. Visitors will find some of the city's most recognizable monument on the isle, including Notre-Dame, La Place Dauphine and Sainte Chapelle, to name only a few. These structures on Île de la Cité serve as an excellent representation of the beauty and architecture for which Paris is famous.

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Palais de Justice

Located in the heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité, the law courts occupy more than four hectares (9.8 acres) of land. The building contains around 24 kilometers (15 miles) of hallways, 7000 doors and more than 3150 windows. Four thousand magistrates and civil servants work there everyday, but if you count all of the legal officers, lawyers, police officers and gendarmes, defendants, tourists and spectators who come to the law courts on a given day, the building welcomes an average of 15,000 people daily.

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Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf is one of the oldest bridges which stretches across the river Seine. Ironically Pont Neuf, translated into English means 'new bridge'. Standing at the western point of the Île de la Cité, (island of the city), the Pont Neuf bridge connects the left and right banks of the city. The bridge was officially inaugurated in 1607, by King Henry IV. The attraction and specialty of Pont Neuf is that, it was one of the first to have pavements. Parisians love to socialize and hang out here, and hence there is no doubt that the bridge is one of the most visited spots in the city.

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Foucault's Pendulum

The Panthéon is a must on tourist itineraries to the City of Light. One of its highlights is Foucault's Pendulum. Physicist Léon Foucault proved the rotation of the Earth with an experiment using a giant bob swinging from the dome. A replica of this model, named after the revolutionary scientist, operates under the same theory since 1995, and is one of the most visited features of the building.

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Pont des Arts

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.

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Luxembourg Palace

The Palais' construction was commissioned in 1615 by princess regent Marie de Médicis, who bought the Duke of Luxembourg's private mansion and entrusted architect Salomon de Brosse with its transformation into a royal palace. The inspiration for its Renaissance style came from Tuscany, Marie de Médicis' birthplace; it remained royal property under the reign of Louis XIV (who raised his children here) and then became a prison under the 18th Century Convention (France's short-term, post-Revolution government). During the Second World War it was used by the German Luftwaffe (Air Force) as their headquarters. Today, it is home to the Sénat (upper house of the French parliament) and its garden (Jardin du Luxembourg) is one of Paris' favorites. The Musée du Luxembourg is nearby.

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Museu do Louvre

Apenas algumas pessoas sabem que o terceiro maior museu do mundo servia como a principal residência dos reis franceses e imperadores por seis séculos. A velha fortaleza foi erguida em 1190 sob o reinado de Filipe Augusto para proteger o reino da invasão das tribos do norte (os Vikings). Durante o século XIV, o palácio foi estendido pelo Charles V e tornou-se pela primeira vez a sede da residência real. As maiores mudanças no palácio original foram efetuadas sob as ordens do rei François I. A medieval Grosse Tour foi destruída e substituída por um sumptuoso palácio, ainda considerado uma obra-prima da arquitectura renascentista. Em 1594, Henri IV decidiu construir uma passagem entre o Palácio do Louvre e o Palácio Tuileries, ainda conhecido como o "Grande Galeria". O "Cour Carrée" foi parte de um vasto programa conduzido sob Luís XIII e Luís XIV para embelezar a residência do rei e é um símbolo do período clássico. Depois da mudança de Luís XIV para Versailles, o Louvre teve um período estático. A mais recente construcção é a pirâmide de vidro erguido por Leoh Ming Pei sob as ordens do então presidente Mitterrand, que hoje serve como a principal entrada para o museu. Com 35.000 peças e uma superfície de cerca de 69.000 metros quadrados, o Louvre não pode ser visitado num só dia. O museu compreende oito departamentos. Além da famosa Mona Lisa de Leonardo da Vinci e da Festa de casamento em Caná do Veronese, ainda pode ver as pinturas do renacimento italiano tais como (Tiziano, Rafael, etc.), ou as obras dos pintores holandeses como Rubens, Van Eyck, bem como a Lacemaker do Vermeer. Dicas importantes: Seja paciente e compre os seus ingresos pela Internet, evitando as longas filas. Venha também à noite para ver as pirâmides iluminadas.

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Louvre Pyramid

Completed in 1989, Louvre Pyramid marks the entrance to the world-famous Louvre Museum. The stunning architectural monument was dreamed up by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei who is also famous for designing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the east building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Miho Museum in Japan. The pyramid reached a height of 21.6 meters (71 feet) and is flanked by other, smaller pyramids. Built completely out of glass panes held together by metallic poles, the pyramid has become one of the most recognizable and iconic structures not only in Paris, but also globally. A gateway to one of the biggest art museums, the Louvre Pyramid is thronged by tourists.

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Place Vendôme

Follow the Rues de Castiglione and de la Paix to one of the most famous squares in Paris. Intricately linked with the history of France, since its creation in 1685, this architectural jewel was commissioned by King Louis XIV and designed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart. The arcades of the exquisitely fronted mansions that surround the square form a sort of intimate salon in the heart of the capital. Not surprisingly, it was adopted by Paris' aristocracy. Prestigious banks and the emblems of French elegance still cluster around the Austerlitz column that Napoléon erected. Labels of luxury such as Chaumet, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Guerlain, Chanel rule the roost. While you're here, stop at the Ritz hotel or the Palais de l'Élysée (the President's residence). Yes, this really is the home of luxury, elegance and power. Call the tourist information bureau at +33 8 3668 3112, for more information.

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Dôme de l'Hôtel des Invalides

Esta igreja gigante, famosa pela sua maravilhosa cúpula, é um exemplo tipico da arquitectura barroca. Construída entre 1679 e 1706 no período do reinado de Luís XIV e para seu uso pessoal, foi dedicado a glória de Napoleão em 1840 e tornou-se o lugar onde foi enterrado. Seu corpo hoje está num imponente caixão de pórfiro vermelho. Em homenagem a todos os exércitos franceses, uns troféus militares adornam o tecto e recordam os heróis das batalhas campais, como os marechais do campo Foch e Lyautey estão enterrados aqui .A cúpula exterior foi dourado em 1715. Preste atenção ao tecto da mesma que está decorada com um afresco que representa São Luís e Cristo. A igreja está localizada no Hôtel des Invalides.

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