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Ten things to do in Paris - Attractions in Paris, France - Part 3
- Ten things to do in Paris - Attractions in Paris, France - Part 1
Go back to the first of three hubs about the ten things you should see in Paris
- Ten things to do in Paris - Attractions in Paris, France - Part 2
Go back to the previous hub about the ten things you should see in Paris
Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
In a straight line across from the Louvre Museum lay the Jardin de Tuilleries, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and ultimately L’Arche de la Défence (La Défense being the business district of Paris). This straight line is known as the Axe Historique (Historical Axe) and it is about eight kilometers (five miles) long.
The part of the Axe Historique you’ll want to visit is the part between the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. This is a walk of about 3.25 kilometers (2 miles) and takes you mostly via the Champs-Élysées, one of the most well-known shopping streets of the world and also one of the most expensive strips of real-estate. At the end of the Champs-Élysées lies the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly Place d’Etoile), with the Arc de Triomphe on top of it. This 50 meters (164 feet) high monument honors all those who fought and died for France, specifically in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic War. It was also used for military triumph parades. Beneath the Arc de Triomphe lies La tombe du Soldat Inconnu, the grave of the Unknown Soldier, which has an eternal flame next to it.
Parks in Paris
There are many parks in Paris where people can enjoy being outside in the sunshine. The largest by far is the Bois de Boulogne (Woodlands of Boulogne), measuring 2.5 times the size of Central Park in New York City. It is used for walking, running and cycling, and it also includes an amusement park for children, two lakes and two hippodromes. At night, the Bois de Boulogne becomes a prominent red-light district, though the government tries to eliminate prostitution in the woodlands.
Other public green areas in Paris include the Champ de Mars (beneath the Eiffel Tower), the Jardins du Trocadéro (across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower), the Esplanade des Invalides (in front of Les Invalides), and the Jardin des Tuilleries(between the Louvre and the Champs-Élysées).
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France, located between the Quartier Latin and the Gare d’Austerlitz (Austerlitz Station). It was founded in 1626, and is nowadays a department of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) and the Jardin des Plantes includes four galleries of the museum.
The second largest park in Paris is the Jardin du Luxembourg, located just west of Quartier Latin. The Palais du Luxembourg takes a prominent place in the park, as the park used to be the gardens belonging to the palace. In the present day, the French Senate houses in the Palais du Luxembourg. In my opinion, the Jardin du Luxembourg is the nicest park in Paris, as it is less an open field such as the Champ de Mars is, but also not as much a forest as parts of the Bois de Boulogne are.
The Château de Versailles (Castle of Versailles) lies in the commune of Versailles, about 19 kilometers (12 miles) south of Paris. First established in 1624, the palace was extended during four building campaigns. From 1682, when Louis XIV moved in, until the French Revolution in 1789, Château de Versailles was the political centre of Paris.
During the reign of Louis XIV, almost 10,000 people lived and worked in the Palace of Versailles. The gardens of Versailles are the largest French garden in the world; the entire domain of Versailles being larger than Manhattan (New York). Almost everything in the gardens has remained the same since the Sun King (Louis XIV) lived there.
Buildings on the domain of Versailles include 2 large stables, 2 smaller chateaus where the King and Queen could retreat, ‘la Hameau de la Reine’ (the Queen’s Village), and an orangery.
Other Notable Places
Of course, these ten buildings and places don’t even nearly cover all of Paris. Other buildings you should see include the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and the Centre Georges Pompidou. The Hôtel de Ville was first built between 1533 and 1628, severely damaged in a fire in 1871 and later rebuilt in its original style.
The Pompidou Centre is a high-tech architecture building which houses a vast public library and the Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Museum for Modern Art), the largest modern art museum in Europe. It is named after Georges Pompidou, who was the French President between 1969 and 1974 and decided for the creation of the centre.
Two squares in Paris you might want to pay a quick visit are Place de la République and Place de la Bastille. The first commemorates the founding of the French Republic and the latter is the location where once stood the Bastille, a prison that was stormed as start of the French Revolution in 1789.
The Moulin Rouge (The Red Mill) is a cabaret nightclub in Pigalle, the red-light district of Paris close to Montmartre. It was built in 1889 and it is known as the origin of the modern form of the can-can dance. In the present day, the Moulin Rouge offers musical dance entertainment and is a tourist attraction because of the turn-of-the-century French romance that is still present in the decor.
One last thing that may not miss out in a visit to Paris is Paris at night. Indeed, it is not for nothing that it is called the City of Light. To many people, Paris is even more beautiful at night than during the day.
If you’ll be visiting the Paris sometime soon, be sure to think of these ten buildings and places. Have a great stay!
If you weren't planning to visit the French capital, thanks for reading my hubs and I hope I have inspired you to visit Paris sometime!