Paris Journals

Exploring Paris

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2007 trip to Paris by rufusni

old and new Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Quite the city - there is no lack of beautiful and interesting things to see and do.

Exploring Paris

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

old and new Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Paris is such a vibrant city that it is a pleasure to be in. I love visiting Paris as there is no limit to the new experiences to be had in the city.The city has a long history right back to a Celtic tribe, the Parisii, to the Romans, the influence of the monarchy, the Revolution, the World Wars, all have left their mark on the city. The architecture of the city is varied and rich from the Gothic splendour of Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle to the Pompidou Centre and La Defense, from narrow medieval streets, to grand square to wide avenues of Haussmann's schemes. The city is full of museums and galleries from the famed Louvre to the Cite des Sciences, bursting with art work from medieval to...Read More

Citea La Defense Place Charras

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
The main reason I booked this place was a special offer, and as I was travelling alone an apartment seemed a good idea. I booked to stay only for a few nights but I think many people live here on short term leases, not that this posed any problems. However, this means that there are few facilities in the hotel. I arrived to find I had been upgraded for free to a larger apartment which is was good. It consisted of a largish room with a double and single bed, a table and kitchen chairs. There was a small kitchenette off the room with a fridge, small cooker and some simple crockery, pots and pans, designed to allow for simple meals. The bathroom was adequate but quite small, but the extraction system was...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 7, 2007

Citea La Defense Place Charras
1, rue de Bitche
La Defense, France 92400
+33 (1) 56 37 72 00

Hotel Moulin Vert

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Hotel

Quote:
This is a small 2 star hotel on a quiet side street in the 14 arrondissement. I very much enjoyed my stay here. My hotel room could have done with a little updating, especially the small bathroom. But the room was clean and pleasant enough for a small hotel in Paris. The room was at the back of the hotel and with a small courtyard and surrounding buildings - so the room was slightly less light than the rooms at the front. The hotel has a small lift which is useful, but during most of my stay I tended to use the stairs. My booking included breakfast in the hotel, in the small breakfast room in the basement. The room tended to get quite busy, and you may have to share a table with another guest....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 8, 2007

Hotel Moulin Vert
74 rue du Moulin Vert
Paris, France 75014
+33 (1) 45 43 65 38

Sainte-Chapelle

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Attraction | "Sainte-Chapelle (La)"

Sainte-Chapelle Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Tucked into the Palais de Justice on Ile de la Cite, this 13th century church is a gem that many people miss. It was built as a royal chapel for Louis IX to hold various relics he had acquired including Christ's crown of thorns. The chapel has two levels - the lower level was to serve as a parish church for the palace but the upper level was reserved for the royal family. The unknown architect of this Gothic building in the rayonnant style designed the structure as to maximise the size of the windows. The upper chapel seems to have walls of stained glass held up by fine pillars. The rich colour of the stained glass is magnificent and photos cannot convey its splendour as the colour of l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 17, 2007

Sainte-Chapelle
4 boulevard du Palais
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 5340 6080

Défense

Attraction | "La Defense"

Défense Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
La Defense has become the financial district in Paris, as the city planners refused any more tall buildings in the city centre. However, it's an interesting place to catch the metro out as there are fewer tourists out here and less crowds. The open space is a pleasant change from the famed narrow streets in the centre, and there are lots of sculptures spotted across the main plaza. The most distinctive element is the Grande Arche de la Defense which is twice the height of the Arc de Triomphe and four times that of the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel which lie in a line that create the grand axis of Paris. It is possible to go up the arch, however, the views of Paris are good at its base so save y...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2007

Défense
Parvis de la Defense
Paris, France 92800

Basilica du Sacre Coeur

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Attraction | "Sacre-Coeur"

Basilica du Sacre Coeur Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This white basilica is visible from its hill perch across Paris and has become a distinctive element of the Paris skyline. Its construction was the result of a private agreement of two businessmen during the Prussian war, that if France was spared they would build a church. Work began in 1875 and was completed in 1914 but the Great War delayed its consecration until 1919. There is a continual adoration of the blessed sacrament in Sacre Coeur that has been going on for over a hundred years. Entrance into the basilica is free, but they are very strict on dress code, so be careful of what you wear or you maybe refused admission. Equally as there is prayer going on continuously silence is enfor...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2007

Basilica du Sacre Coeur
35, Rue Du Chevalier-de-la-barre Rue De La Bonne
Paris, France 75018
+33 (1) 53 41 89 00

Montmartre

Attraction | "Place des Abbesses"

Montmartre Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This square is easily reached as it has its own metro stop. The square itself is quite pleasant with several cafes where to sit and sip and enjoy the surroundings. Having just been up to Sacre-Coeur, which is a steep walk from here, I thought a cup of coffee was necessary, as well as a nice place to sit and rest my weary feet. It was a good place to people watch without too many tourists hanging around. There is a church on the square St-Jean de Montmartre, which was built at the start of the 20th century using reinforced concrete. The church is a beautiful red-brick building in an art noveau style, with beautiful detailing on the building including some lovely mosaics around the door. Its a beautiful...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

Montmartre

Paris, France

Musée du Louvre

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

old and new Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Famed across the world, this museum housed in the former royal palace is incredible - you could spend weeks wandering around this place and still not see everything. Never mind that the building itself is beautiful and some of the rooms that have been restored to their former glories are so elaborate and rich. There was a fortress built here in 1200 by Philippe-Auguste, with some of the walls now visible in the underground part of the Louvre, but the palace was started in mid-15th century by Francois I, and was enlarged many times after this. After the revolution, in 1793, part of the building was opened as a museum exhibiting art work that the royal family had accumulated, including La Giocanda (t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

Musée du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 40 20 51 51

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

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Attraction

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This Gothic cathedral is built on Ile de la Cite, on the site of an earlier cathedral. It was started in 1160 and was completed in 1345. It was badly damaged in the Revolution with the Kings Gallery above the doors being mistaken for kings of France rather than kings of the Old Testament. It had major restoration work started in the 1820s after a campaign involving Victor Hugo. The Gothic design is evident in the flying buttress at the far end of the cathedral, as these allowed larger stained glass windows and the high vaulted ceilings. There are two beautiful rose windows - with the Mary at the centre and Jesus in the other. There is also an intricately carved and painted Chanc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10

Arc de Triomphe

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Attraction

Arc de Triomphe Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This arch lies at the centre of the east-west axis from Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel to Grande Arche de la Defense. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 but problems ensued and Napoleon's demise delayed its completion until 1836. The arch is 50m tall and is covered with bas-relief and statues depicting victories. High up is a row of shields which bare the names of victories that Napoleon had in Europe and Africa. Napoleon after the victory in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 had promised that his soldiers would return home under triumphal arches - but this was only realised after WW1. And then in 1920 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was placed at the base of the arch an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles-de-gaulle
Paris, France 75008
+33 (1) 55 37 73 77

Institut du Monde arabe

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Institut du Monde arabe Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
On the bank of the Seine is an incredible modern building that houses the Institut du Monde Arabe. The Institut was founded in 1980 by France and 20 Arab countries to foster cultural links between the Islamic world and the West. The building itself was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, and one of the aims of its design was to combine the spirit of traditional Arab architecture with modern materials and technology. One element of this is one side of the building which has an intricate geometrical design of Islamic influence based on moucharabiyahs - carved wooden screens found on the exterior of buildings in many Islamic countries. However, this geometric metal wall is actually made up...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 31, 2007

Institut du Monde arabe
1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard
Paris, France 75236
+33 (1) 4051-3838

Pantheon

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Panthéon"

Pantheon Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This is a huge grand building in a neo-classical style that was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. It was intended as the Church of Ste-Genevieve, who is the patron saint of Paris. It was built by Louis XV after he prayed to Sainte Genevieve while ill then he recovered and wished to honour the saint. Work began in 1764, but when it was completed in 1790, the revolution was in full swing and consequently it was named the Pantheon and became the burial place for the great men of Paris. Napoleon did return the building to the Church in 1806, and was handed back and forth several times, until it was finally settled as a civic building in 1885. The usage of this building is clear from the inscrip...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 31, 2007

Pantheon
Place Du Panthéon
Paris 75005
+33 (1) 44 32 18 00

Musee d'Orsay

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Musee d'Orsay Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Musee d'Orsay is housed in a former train station which had to close in 1937 as the platforms were too short for newer trains. It remained empty and was saved from demolish threats after the outcries over Les Halles destruction. So in 1986 this museum opened dedicated to artwork from between 1848 and 1914.The building itself is quite beautiful and is a perfect backdrop for the stunning artwork inside. What was previous the platforms area is an incredible light and airy space that soars upwards. The gallery is housed over three floors. The platform area on the ground floor is the late 19th century, middle floor is Art Nouveau and painting from late 9th and the top floor. The Impressionist g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2007

Musee d'Orsay
62, Rue De Lille
Paris, France 75343
+33 (1) 4049-4994

Musee Rodin

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Musée Rodin"

Musee Rodin Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I very much enjoyed visiting Musee Rodin the last time I was in Paris. The museum is made up of a house - Hotel Biron and the surrounding gardens. Rodin lived here from 1908 to 1917, and in return for having a state-owned apartment and studio here, he left all his works to the state. Rodin is acknowledged as the great 19th century French sculpture. The house exhibits work by Rodin in a chronological order but also work by Camille Claudel, who was his pupil and mistress. The house also exhibits works that Rodin collected such as paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir, as well as some pictures by Rodin himself. The collection in the house itself is interesting, but I actually en...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2007

Musee Rodin
77, Rue De Varenne
Paris 75007
+33 (1) 44 18 61 10

Jardin du Luxembourg

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Jardin du Luxembourg (Le)"

Jardin du Luxembourg Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Jardin du Luxembourg is a large park and garden on the Left Bank that is a popular place to come and relax in Paris. The gardens belong to the Palais du Luxembourg which was built between 1620 and 1631. The palace was built for Marie de Medicis, the widow of Henri IV, influenced by the Palazzo Pitti in her native Florence. However, she never lived here, as by its completion she had been banished, but it remained a royal palace until the revolution. Since the revolution it has been used in many ways including as a prison, and in World War II it was headquarters for the Luftwaffe. Now the palace is home to the French Senate, and not open to the public. It does, however, present a stunn...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2007

Jardin du Luxembourg
Boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris, France 75006
33 (1) 42 34 20 00