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Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars, Paris 75007
Tel : +33 1 44 11 23 45
Tel : +33 1 44 11 23 22
courrier@tour-eiffel.fr
Métro: Bir-Hakeim.
RER: Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel
Jan 1-Jun 13: 9:30am-11pm daily (stairs: 9:30am-6pm); Jan 14-Aug 31: 9am-midnight daily;


This towering edifice was built for the World Fair of 1889, held to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, it stands 320m (1050ft) high and held the record as the world's tallest structure until 1930. Initially opposed by the city's artistic and literary elite - who were only affirming their right to disagree with everything - the tower was almost torn down in 1909. Salvation came when it proved an ideal platform for the antennas needed for the new science of radiotelegraphy. When you're done peering upwards through the girders, you can visit any of the three public levels, which can be accessed by lift or stairs. Just south-east of the tower is a grassy expanse that was once the site of the world's first balloon flights and is now used by teens as a skateboarding arena or by activists bad-mouthing Chirac.
Not everyone was happy when it was first built; many considered it an eyesore and wanted it pulled down, but today it is one of the world's most visited monuments. The first and second floors can be reached using the stairs, and lifts take visitors to the magnificent view at the top.
Admission (elevator to the top): EUR9.90 Adults; EUR5.30 Children under 12.

www.tour-eiffel.fr

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

6, Place du Parvis de Notre Dame - 75004 Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 34 56 10
Tel: +33 1 40 51 70 98
Métro: Cité.
RER: Saint-Michel Notre-Dame
Open: 8am-6.45pm daily.
Towers: 9.30am-6.45pm daily
Masses: 8am,9am,midday,6.45


The city's cathedral ranks as one of the greatest achievements of Gothic architecture. Notre Dame was begun in 1163 and completed around 1345; the massive interior can accommodate over 6000 worshippers. Although Notre Dame is regarded as a sublime architectural achievement, there are all sorts of minor anomalies as the French love nothing better than to mess with things. These include a trio of main entrances that are each shaped differently, and which are accompanied by statues that were once coloured to make them more effective as Bible lessons for the hoi polloi. The interior is dominated by spectacular and enormous rose windows, and a 7800-pipe organ that was recently restored but has not been working properly since. From the base of the north tower, visitors with ramrod straight spines can climb to the top of the west facade and decide how much aesthetic pleasure they derive from looking out at the cathedral's many gargoyles - alternatively they can just enjoy the view of a decent swathe of Paris. Under the square in front of the cathedral, an archaeological crypt displays in situ the remains of structures from the Gallo-Roman and later periods.
The cathedral is busy at the best of times; especially on Sundays, when much of the building is closed to visitors.
Admission: (cathedral) free; (towers) around EUR6.

http://www.elore.com/Gothic/History/Overview/paris.htm

The Arc de Triomphe

Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Paris 75008
Tel : +33 1 55 37 73 77
Tel : +33 1 44 95 02 13
métro/ RER: Charles de
Gaulle Etoile
April-Oct: 9.30am-11pm daily; Nov-March: 10am-11pm daily.


Commissioned by Napoléon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at the battle of Austerlitz and the glory of French armies, the arch was not finished until 1836 by Louis-Phillipe and cost ten million francs. The construction was entrusted to Chalgrin, who built a model of the arch on the real site in 1810 for Napoléon's wedding to Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian ambassador. The Emperor did not pass through the completed, real version until his funeral procession in 1840. Forty-five years later Victor Hugo's wake took place under the arch. Today you can see the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, killed in the First World War, and his flame, lit as a memorial to all those killed in action. The Arch is a site both of memories and current events and celebrations. The lists of the dead will move you. The cars that drive around the monument will terrify you! Standing in a direct line between the Louvre and the Grande Arche de la Défense, the monument links the past with the present and offers amazing views. A truly impressive landmark, 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, Paris would not be Paris without it!
Admission: adults 40F (EUR 6.09); 12-25 32F (EUR 4.87); under 12s free.

http://www.monuments.fr


A popular promenade for the ostentatious aristos of old, the Avenue des Champs-Elysees has long symbolised the style and joie de vivre of Paris. Encroaching fast-food joints, car showrooms and cinemas have somewhat dulled the sheen, but the 2km (1mi) long, 70m (235ft) wide stretch is still an ideal place for evening walks and relishing the food at overpriced restaurants.
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
35, rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre, Paris 75018
Tel : +33 1 53 41 89 00
Métro: Anvers.


This Romano-Byzantine basilica overlooks Montmartre, one of Paris's most picturesque districts. Its distinctive dome rising up over the rooftops, the basilica offers the perfect vantage point from which to survey the city. Inside, the mosaic of Christ and the crypt are of particular interest. Commissioned by the Catholic Church, building began in 1875 under the watchful eye of architect Paul Abadie, and was finally completed in 1914. Admission: (basilica) free; (crypt and dome) around EUR 4.50.

http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com

Church of the Invalides
Esplanade des Invalides
75007 Paris
Tel. : 01.44.42.37.72
Metro : Invalides


This church is part of a large establishment built to house disabled veterans. Although it is generally classical in style, particularly in the rectilinearity of the lower facade, the church does have some Baroque elements. There is a dynamic movement toward the center, which culminates in the central pediment. In addition, the dome has some surprises. Unlike St. Peter's dome, its loose model, it arranges the windows in an unusual way--with pairs and single windows alternating instead of a continuous row of windows separated by buttresses or piers. Normally a window would mark the main axis; here the main axis has a pair of columns that separates the paired windows. The lantern is a square in plan but it is rotated so that its corner marks the main axis.
Sainte Chapelle

4, boulevard du Palais,
75001 Paris
Tel. : 01.53.73.78.51
Metro: Cite, Saint-Michel


Lying inside the Palais de Justice (law courts), Sainte Chapelle was consecrated in 1248 and built to house what was reputedly Jesus' crown of thorns and other relics purchased by King Louis IX earlier in the 13th century. The gem-like chapel, illuminated by a veritable curtain of 13th-century stained glass (the oldest and finest in Paris), is best viewed from the law courts' main entrance - a magnificently gilded, 18th-century gate. Once past the airport-like security, you can wander around the long hallways of the Palais de Justice and, if you can find a court in session, observe the proceedings. Civil cases are heard in the morning, while criminal trials - usually reserved for larceny or that French speciality crimes passionnel - begin after lunch.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/chapelle.html

Cimetiere du Père Lachaise

16, rue du Repos 75020
Tel. : +33 1 55 25 82 10
Tel. : +33 1 43 70 42 16
métro: Père-Lachaise,
Philippe Auguste


Established in 1805, this necropolis attracts more visitors than any similar structure in the world. Within the manicured, evergreen enclosure are the tombs of over one million people including such luminaries as the composer Chopin; the writers Moliere, Apollinaire, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Marcel Proust and Gertrude Stein; the artists David, Delacroix, Pissarro, Seurat and Modigliani; the actors Sarah Bernhardt, Simone Signoret and Yves Montand; the singer Edith Piaf; and the dancer Isadora Duncan. The most visited tomb, however, is that of The Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison, who died in Paris in 1971. One hundred years earlier, the cemetery was the site of a fierce battle between Communard insurgents and government troops. The rebels were eventually rounded up against a wall and shot, and were buried where they fell in a mass grave.
Admission: free

http://northstargallery.com/pages/PereHist.htm

Bibliothèque Nationale de France-Cardinal de Richelieu

58, rue de Richelieu
Paris 75002
Tel : +33 1 53 79 59 59
métro: Bourse
10am-7pm Mon-Sat


This is one of the largest buildings in Paris - and one of the largest libraries in all of Europe. Most of its contents were moved to the new site (the Bibliothèque François Mitterand or Très Grande Bibliothèque [Very Large Library]) in 1998. Currently the old site holds several special collections including manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and music. In addition, they have a museum of coins, metals and antiquities as well as a collection from the performing arts.
Formerly known as the Bibliothèque Royale (Royal Library), then the Bibliothèque Impériale (Imperial Library), the library holds the private collections of the French royalty. It has moved five times within the past 500 years, being largely dispersed after the Hundred Years' War. The current buildings consist of several private hotels from the 17th Century.
The department of music contains two million works including collections of manuscripts, books on music, and musical scores (among them Mozart's "Don Giovanni"). The manuscripts department also carries a daunting collection (more than 530,000 documents) ranging from the oldest book, an Egyptian manuscript (c. 2000BC), to manuscripts by modern French authors such as Marcel Proust and Jean-Paul Sartre.

http://www.bnf.fr

Halles (Les)

Paris 75001
Métro: Les Halles, Réaumur-Sébastopol
RER: Châtelet-Les Halles


The Halles used to be a huge fruit and meat market, and was called the "belly of Paris" by Emile Zola. Today, it has become one of the biggest underground (the Forum des Halles) and outdoor clothes shopping areas in the French capital, attracting a young and mixed clientele. A few streets away lies the Centre Georges Pompidou (Georges Pompidou Centre) cultural center, renovated and better than ever for the new millenium.
Highlights of this area include the picturesque Rue Quincampoix, Place Igor Stravinsky with Niki de St Phalle's amazing and colourful fountain sculptures, the pleasant Café Beaubourg serving coffee and tasty light meals and the rooftop of La Samaritaine department store with its great views of Paris.
Tour Montparnasse
33, avenue du Maine,Paris 75015
métro:Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
Tel: +33 1 45 38 52 56


Even for locals, the Montparnasse tower offers a fairytale view of the city - accessible thanks to Europe's fastest lift that whisks you to the top in just 38 seconds. From here, 200m up, or from the bar/restaurant on the 56th floor, the panorama extends for miles. Situated above Montparnasse station, which serves the west of France, the tower is home to offices and businesses. Just by the restaurant is an exhibition that traces the history of Paris since 1858.
Admission: around EUR7.62

http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com

Catacombes


In the late 18th century, Paris decided it had a problem with its cemeteries, namely that they were full, if not overflowing. Faced with potential outbreaks of disease, not to mention aesthetic concerns, the city authorities decided to exhume the bones of the buried and relocate them in the tunnels of several disused quarries. The decision to do this was made in 1785 and led to the creation of the Catacombes. Visitors to this disturbing 'attraction' will find themselves 20m (65ft) underground, working their way along corridors stacked with bones. People over 60 can get in for free, which says a lot about the French sense of humour. The tunnels, which were used by the Resistance during WWII as a headquarters, are south of the Seine.

http://gratacombes.free.fr/lossofi.htm

Palais de Chaillot (Le)
17, place du Trocadéro
Paris 75016
métro: Trocadéro


Situated almost at the foot of the Tour Eiffel, the Palais de Chaillot was built on the hill of Chaillot by the architects Azéma, Louis-Auguste Boileau and Jacques Carlu for the Great Exhibition of 1937. This Neo-Classical monument, shaped like a banana cut in two, is composed of four pavilions and two wings, each measuring 195m in length. It is adorned with sculptures and bas-reliefs from the Thirties, as well as gold inscriptions by the writer, Paul Valéry.
It houses the Musée de l'Homme, the Musée de la Marine, the Musée du cinéma Henri Langlois, the Musée des Monuments français, Chaillots National Theatre and the Cinémathèque française. In front of its façades lie the Jardins du Trocadéro.
Place Vendôme (La)

Paris 75001
métro: Tuileries, Opéra


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. Whilst you're here, stop at the Ritz hotel or the Palais de l'Elysée (the President's residence). Yes, this really is the home of luxury, elegance and power.

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/vendome/vendome.html

Place des Vosges

Paris 75004
métro: Bastille, Saint-Paul


The Marais district spent a long time as a swamp and then as agricultural land, until in 1605 King Henry IV decided to transform it into a residential area for Parisian aristocrats. He did this by building Place des Vosges and arraying 36 symmetrical houses around its square perimeter. The houses, each with arcades on the ground floor, large dormer windows, and the requisite creepers on the walls, were initially built of brick but were subsequently constructed using timber with a plaster covering, which was then painted to look like brick. Duels, fought with strictly observed formality, were once staged in the elegant park in the middle. From 1832-48 Victor Hugo lived at a house at No 6, which has now been turned into a municipal museum. Today, the arcades around the place are occupied by expensive galleries and shops, and cafes filled with people drinking little cups of coffee and air-kissing immaculate passersby.

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/vosges/vosges.html

Place de la Concorde
Paris 75008
métro: Concorde


Originally known as place Louis-XV, this square was created between 1755 and 1775 by the architect, Gabriel. Renamed Place de la Révolution in 1792, a guillotine was installed and 2800 executions took place including that of King Louis XVI. Louis-Philippe christened it Place de la Concorde in 1830.
The Louqsor obelisk, a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France, has been standing in the centre of the square since 1840. The eight statues representing France's largest cities and the two fountains were also added at this time. The square is home to one of Paris' most prestigious hotels, the Hôtel Crillon.
Place du Tertre

Paris 75018
métro: Anvers,
Funiculaire de Montmartre

Why does the Place du Tertre swarm with mediocre artists clamoring to paint your portrait? As is often the case in Paris, it's Baron Haussmann's fault! But for once, the good baron did some good along with the damage when, by razing many working-class neighbourhoods in central Paris, he unwittingly encouraged the development of Montmartre (which had been annexed to Paris in 1860). Around 1880 began the transformation of the Butte (Hill) from a country village into the home of hordes of artists and other marginalized folk who no longer had a place in Haussmann's grandiose central Paris. At the foot of Montmartre cabarets thrived - up top on the Place du Tertre, an unimaginably (to us) intense period of artistic activity took hold. The Place saw movements from Impressionism to Cubism to Fauvism to Surrealism come and go; right up to the eve of World War I, such greats as Renoir, Picasso, Braque, Dufy, Cézanne, Manet, and Toulouse-Lautrec painted here and, often, kept studios and living quarters in the adjacent streets. These days, despite the oppressive, constant tourist crush on the square, one can still discover that old-time Paris feeling here - not to mention the fact that some of the current painters aren't too bad at all!
Défense (La)

Puteaux 92800
Neighborhood:Western Suburbs
métro/RER: La Défense Grande Arche

With buildings such as the CNIT (Centre National des Industries et Techniques) or the Grande Arche, the architecture of the La Défense complex is definitely futuristic. Over 1000 major blue chip companies -and 15 out of 50 of the world's largest- have chosen to set up their head offices here. No less than 15000 people 20000 residents and 13000 employees) walk through this gigantic area of scurrying activity (over 160 hectares) every day. La Défense also houses one of the largest shopping centres in Europe: the Quatre-Temps counts over 250 shops. The promenade on the square (a vast concrete slab which makes up its base) exhibits contemporary sculptures by famous artists such as Calder, Miro, César, Takis, etc.
Beaubourg - Centre Georges Pompidou

Place Georges Pompidou,
Paris 75004
Tel : +33 1 44 78 12 33
Tel : +33 1 44 78 13 03
Open: 11am-10pm Wed-Mon;
individual attractions have different hours
Métro: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville. RER: Châtelet Les Halles

Commonly known as the Beaubourg, this distinctive building was commissioned in 1968 by then President Georges Pompidou, and opened in 1977. Most Parisians were initially shocked by its unconventional "inside out" architectural style: air conditioning, escalators and lifts are all on the outside, giving the interior unparalleled freedom. Extensively refurbished in the late 1990s, the centre is home to the Musée National d'Art Moderne and the Bibliothèque Publique d'Information (BPI) as well as temporary exhibitions, cinemas, and other attractions. All-inclusive museum admission: EUR10 Adults; EUR8 Reduced.

http://www.centrepompidou.fr

Lion de Denfert (Le)

Place Denfert-Rochereau,
Paris 75014
Denfert-Rochereau

Place Denfert-Rochereau, located at the intersection of Avenue du Général Leclerc, Boulevard Raspail, Boulevard Arago and Boulevard Saint-Jacques, is named after a colonel who led French troops in defending the city of Belfort against Prussian attacks during the War of 1870.
In the middle of the square sits a big bronze lion, a replica of the huge Lion de Belfort (Lion of Belfort) sculpted in 1880 by Auguste Bartholdi, father of the Statue of Liberty. The original work - a tribute to the French troops' courage - was carved directly into a mountainside in Belfort. The artist himself did the replica. A medallion representing Colonel Denfert-Rochereau was added to the lion's pedestal in the 1970s.

Observatoire de Paris (L')

61, avenue de l'Observatoire
Paris 75014
Tel : +33 1 40 51 21 74
RER: Port-Royal

Founded by Colbert in 1667 and completed in 1672, this is the oldest observatory still in use in the world. Among the institution's achievements has been the establishment of the dimensions of the solar system (1672) and the drawing the first map of the moon. The observatory is located right on the Paris Meridian, calculated in 1667 - the reference used before Greenwich took over in 1884. It is not open to the public, except for guided tours that only take place on the first Saturday of each month. Reservations -months in advance - are required. To reserve, write to Le Service des Visites at the above address. On the visit, one can view large telescopes, the dome and a collection of old instruments.
Bois de Boulogne

The modestly sized Bois de Boulogne, on the western edge of the city, is endowed with forested areas, meandering paths, belle epoque cafes and little wells of naughtiness. Each night, pockets of the Bois de Boulogne are taken over by prostitutes and lurkers with predacious sexual tastes. In recent years, the police have cracked down on the area's sex trade, but locals still advise against walking through the area alone at night.
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie

30, avenue Corentin-Cariou
Paris 75019
Tel : +33 1 40 05 80 00
Tel : +33 1 40 05 72 22
métro: Porte de la Villette
10am-6pm Tue-Sat;
10am-7pm Sun

Parc de la Villette is the setting for this huge science museum best known for its Géode dome and impressive 180-degree cinema. Natural and scientific phenomena are explained with the help of exhibitions in an area specially designed with kids in mind. Children aged three and over can visit a real submarine, the Argonaute, and find out how it works; temporary exhibitions are organized in Espace Explora. There's also La Cité des Métiers resource centre and a children's multimedia library (to which admission is free).
Admission: Cité des enfants around EUR 3.81, Argonaute/ Espace Explora around EUR 7.62, Géode around EUR 7.62

http://www.cite-sciences.fr

Arènes de Lutèce (Les)

47, rue Monge
Paris 75005
métro: Monge
8 am-sunset daily

Discretely situated in the 5th arrondissement, these Roman ruins are easy to miss. They're a great place to come, however, if you're looking for a bit of greenery and a breath of fresh air in a friendly neighborhood setting. The ruins were first unearthed in 1869, and have since been excavated and landscaped. Parts of the Roman amphitheatre are clearly visible - a testament to the Romans who founded the city of Lutetia, as Paris was first called. On weekends, expect to find families and loads of children running around. Or bring a book and a sandwich on a sunny weekday, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Stade de France

ZAC Cornillon Nord
Accès visite porte H
Saint-Denis 93216 cedex
Tel : +33 1 55 93 00 00
Tel : +33 1 55 93 00 49
métro: Saint-Denis Porte de Paris;
RER: La Plaine-Stade de France
when no event is on: 10am-6pm daily

Symbol of the French victory in the 1998 World Cup, this stadium has become as famous as the other great Parisian monuments. Any tourist will be stunned by the beauty of this 80,000-seat stadium, which is home not only to football matches but also to other sporting events, and concerts, thanks to its fantastic acoustics.
Warning: when an event is on, expect traffic jams. It's probably better to take the RER train line D.
Admission: Premiers Regards (First insight) guided tour: adults 38F (EUR 5.79), 6-17yrs & students with ID cards 30F (EUR 4.57); Les Coulisses du Stade (backstage) guided tour: adults 90F (EUR 13.72), children & students 65F (EUR 9.91). Under-6s free.

http://www.stadefrance.com








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