The 20 best places to visit in Paris

 

Completed in 2014 on the edge of the Bois De Boulogne public park in the far west of the city, is the Louis Vuitton Foundation. This giant glass building was designed to look like that of a sailboat's sail inflated by the wind, supposedly enveloping an iceberg. It truly is one of the cities most unusual and unique architectural designs.

20. Fondation Louis-Vuitton

 

Given to the city in 1989 is the Flame Of Liberty, a full sized gold leaf covered replica of the torch carried in the hand of the Statue Of Liberty in New York. Standing approximately 3.5 metres (11.5 ft) high, the monument became the unofficial memorial for Princess Diana, who died in the tunnel beneath the Pont De l'Alma where the flame stands.

19. Flamme De La Liberté

 

The Palais Mazarin, a former Royal Library now part of the French National Library is one of the most complete libraries in the world. Within it is probably the most astounding reading room in any library on Earth, a vast open room with a high enormous windowed ceiling, books stacked up to the ornate arches. Known as the Reading Room Of Richelieu, it's shape has led many to simply call it, the Oval Room.

18. Bibliothèque Nationale De France

 

Created in 1612 are the Gardens Of Luxembourg, a 23 hectare beauty spot right in the centre of the city, known for it's manicured lawns, tree lined promenades, flowerbeds and Medici Fountain. The gardens were created in preparation for the Luxembourg Palace, a grand Italian style Renaissance residence completed in 1645. 

17. Palais & Jardin Du Luxembourg 

 

Completed in 1868 is the enormous Church Of Saint Augustine, combining Tuscan Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. With a height of 61 metres (200 ft) the huge frieze facade beneath the churches giant dome depicts Jesus and the twelve apostles. It's interior is immaculately decorated with stained glass windows, cast iron columns, paintings and sculptures from some of the most revered artists during the second French Empire.

16. Église Saint-Augustin De Paris

 

Completed in 1900, connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter with Invalides is the Pont Alexandre III, with it's Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses it is regarded the most ornate and extravagant bridge in Paris. Named after the Tsar Alexander III, Emperor Of Russia, King Of Poland and Grand Duke Of Finland, the bridge is regarded a marvel of 19th century engineering and has been declared a French historical monument.

15. Pont Alexandre III

 

Created around 1774 when the cities graves were at their limit, the remains from most of Paris' cemeteries were transferred to a mine shaft which is now commonly known as the Catacombs Of Paris. This underground ossuary holds the remains of more than 6 million people, and has been a macabre tourist attraction for over 200 years.

14. Catacombes De Paris

 

Built in the 16th century at the entrance to the cities ancient markets, the Church Of St. Eustache is a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. Exquisitely decorated and detailed inside and out, visitors should enter the church to witness the Chapel Of The Virgin, where the chapel vault still holds three large 17th century paintings as well as a host of delicately detailed stained glass windows from the same period.

13. L’église Saint-Eustache

 

Created in 1827, the Isle Of The Swans artificial island is the third largest island in Paris. Crossed by three bridges, the islands most notable feature is a quarter scale replica of Liberty Enlightening The World, more commonly and famously known as the Statue Of Liberty. Inaugurated in 1889, just 3 years after the original in New York, it stands at 22 metres (72 ft) high and makes for one of the most unusual sights in the city.

12. Île Aux Cygnes

 

Completed in 1676 is The National Residence Of The invalids, a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans. At the centre of this ornate architectural complex is the Dome Des Invalides, a large Baroque former church inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, designed with the purpose of being Napoleon's final resting place. Though Napoleon died on the island of St. Helena in 1821, it was arranged that his remains returned to France in 1840 where they now reside within a red quartzite sarcophagus within Napoleon's Tomb.

Pictured is the Dome Des Invalides.

11. Hôtel National Des Invalide

 

Meaning, 'Red Mill', the Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of dance, the can-can, and is undoubtedly the most famous cabaret in the world. Though the original building burnt down in 1915, it was re-built in 1953 along with the famous red windmill on it's roof. Today it still offers musical dance for visitors from around the world.

10. Moulin Rouge

 

King Louis XV (15th) declared that if he were to recover from his illness he would construct a building worthy of the patron saint Of Paris.

Completed in 1790 in the Latin quarter of the city is the Pantheon, from the Greek word meaning, 'Temple To All Gods'. It's facade, modelled on the Pantheon in Rome is considered the finest example of neo-classic architecture in Paris, and one of the cities most iconic buildings. Visitors should make a point to enter this incredible mausoleum, with it's many columns, murals and marble decorations under it's enormous dome, the interior of this astonishing building is even more impressive than it's exterior.

9. Pantheon

 

Completed in 1989 to the north west of the city centre in the business district of La Defense is the monument and building simply known as the Grand Arch. An almost perfect cube, it stands 110 metres (361 ft) high with a viewing deck that offers one of the finest views over Paris. Sitting at one end of the Avenue Charles De Gaulle the arch mirrors the Arc De Triomphe, it's earlier 19th century counterpart.

8. La Grande Arche De La Défense

 

Completed in 1772, covering some 21 acres in the centre of Paris is the Place De La Concorde, the largest and most famous square in the city. Sitting between the Champs-Elysees, the Tuileries Gardens, the Rue Royale and the River Seine, the square usually hosts events and temporary artistic structures. Few permanent monuments include two 19th century fountains and the Luxor Obelisk. A gift to France, this historical monument stands 23 metres (75 ft) high, weighs 250 tons and dates back 3,300 years where it once marked the entrance to the Temple Of Luxor.

7. Place De La Concorde

 

Completed in 1973, with a height of 210 metres (689 ft) the Montparnasse Tower was the tallest skyscraper in Paris for 38 years, until it was surpassed in 2011 by the First Tower. A rather severe looking building in itself, for around 15 Euros visitors can make their way to the panoramic observatory on the 52nd floor for what is deemed the best view in Paris.

6. Tour Montparnasse

 

Completed in 1914 in the north of the city, built at the summit of Butte Montmarte, the highest point in Paris, is the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Paris, better known simply as the Sacré-Cœur. This wonderful white travertine stone church of Romano-Byzantine architecture has become one of the cities most stand out iconic monuments. It's beautiful exterior is matched by it's impressive interior. Visitors should make their way inside to witness the Savoyarde Bell, at 19 tons it is one of the heaviest in the world, and the mosaic known as Christ In Majesty, one of the largest mosaics ever constructed. From it's elevated position high up on Butte Montmarte it also offers visitors a fine view over the city.

5. Basilique Du Sacré-Cœur

 

First constructed in 1202 AD as a fortress, it became a Palace in the mid 16th century, and since 1793 it has grown into the largest and most well known museum on the planet, The Louvre. Having evolved through the centuries the palace is a vast complex of wings, pavilions and courtyards making for one of the finest architectural ensembles in the city. Holding some of the worlds most famous artworks, it's collection includes the Venus De Milo and Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.

4. Palais Du Louvre

 

Completed in 1345 AD is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France, 'Our Lady of Paris', known around the world as Notre Dame Cathedral. Standing 90 metres (300 ft) to the top of it's spire, covered in exquisitely detailed statues and stained glass windows, the cathedral has become one of the most famous church buildings on the planet. Enormously iconic from it's exterior, it's treasury is no less impressive housing some of Catholicism's most important relics, which supposedly include the Crown Of Thorns, a fragment of the Cross and one of the Holy Nails. The cathedrals viewing platform offers visitors one of the finest views in all of Paris.

3. Cathédrale Notre-Dame De Paris

 

Completed in 1836 at the western end of the Champs-Élysées is one of the cities most famous monuments, the Arc De Triomphe De l'Etoile, 'The Triumphal Arch Of The Star'. Inspired by the Roman Arch Of Titus, it honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Standing 50 metres (164 ft) high at the centre of a road junction where 12 avenues meet, it is one of the most symbolic and iconic monuments in all of France.

2. Arc De Triomphe De l'Étoile

 

Completed in 1889 for the entrance to the World Fair, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world and has become the ultimate symbol of France. Made from wrought iron it stands a whopping 324 metres (1,063 ft) high and was the tallest man made structure on Earth until 1930. With a viewing deck at 276 metres (906 ft) above ground level it holds the record as the highest public observation deck in Europe. A truly global cultural icon of France, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable man made structures on the planet.

1. Tour Eiffel

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