Located in the centre of the city within the Palais de Justice complex on the Île de la Cite, the Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) is a small Gothic chapel constructed in the Rayonnant style. Built by King Louis IX from 1238-1244, the chapel housed holy relics from the Passion believed to be Jesus' Crown of Thorns and a piece of the True Cross. These items were purchased from the Byzantine emperor Baldwin II in 1239 for a huge sum of 135,000 Livres (the church cost 40,000 livres to build) due to the King's desire to elevate France as the leader of Western Christianity. The Sainte-Chapelle provides visitors with a spectacular visual experience since the entire upper tier of the chapel is surrounded by enormous stained glass windows.
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.
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.
O terreno onde o jardim de Luxemburgo e o Palais du Luxembourg ficam era originalmente um acampamento romano. Em 1927 o Chartreux ordem religiosa comprou o terreno para construir um monastério, e posteriormente a princesa Marie de Médicis construiu o paço em 1615. Este é um dos favoritos jardins parisienses, sensível e muito popular entre estudantes e moradores do quartier latin em Paris. As crianças podem andar nos pôneis, brincar e navegar com barquinhos no lago octogonal. É um lugar muito querido e utilizado como ponto de encontros.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Situated in a part of the Palais de Justice (Law courts), the Conciergerie became Paris' first prison in 1391. Behind its medieval façade are reconstructions of cells, the 14th-century Salle des Gardes (Guardroom), the Salle des Gens d'Armes (Arms room), which is a fine example of Gothic architecture, the Cour des Femmes, where the prisoners took their daily walk, and the Bonbec Tower in which they were interrogated. During the French Revolution, almost 3000 people were locked up in these dungeons; one of them is a reconstruction of the cell in which Queen Marie-Antoinette awaited her fate at the guillotine. Several other famous prisoners were entertained here, including Charlotte Corday (politician Jean-Paul Marat's assassin in 1793), chemist Antoine de Lavoisier and poet André Chénier.
Located opposite the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Crypte Archéologique du Parvis Notre-Dame is a treasure trove of important and priceless ruins from Gallo-Roman to the 19th Century. The crypt is made with the intention to preserve some of the masterpieces of an age and period, which will never return. The traces which were discovered during the excavation of 1965 were converted into a preservation space in 1980. As this place is open to the public, don't miss an opportunity to visit, when in Paris.