Paris Journals

Paris, S'il Vous Plait

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An April 2008 trip to Paris by barbara

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: We spent the weekend with our teenager in Paris.

The Paris Museum Pass

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Attraction

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Paris is the City of Lights. It is also a city of incrediable culture. It offers a feast of art and history for those who wish to see the beauty (and horror) visited upon the world by humankind. Who hasn't heard of The Mona Lisa with her half smile and wandering eyes? The towers of Notre Dame once inhabited by a love-sick hunchback? The Arc de Triomphe erected by Napoleon to the glory of his army? Masters of paint and light like Monet? Masters of sculpture like Rodin? If going to Paris for the weekend, you can't possibly see everything there is on offer. However, you can save yourself some money---and better plan your trip---by laying out the cas...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2008

Maison de Victor Hugo

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Attraction | "Maison de Victor Hugo (La)"

Maison de Victor Hugo Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Walking through the Marais section of Paris, we were thrilled to discover Victor Hugo's old house in the Place des Vosges. First, let me touch upon this lovely square. Once a neighborhood for the rich and royally connected, all that changed after the French Revolution. By the time Napoleon was in charge, even the square's name of "Square Royal" was no longer acceptable. Sooo, Napoleon cleverly had a "naming contest" of sorts. Whatever region of France coughed up their taxes first would be honored with having the square named after it for ever more. It was like a pizza party for the class of students that turned in all its library fines quickest. The Vosges regio...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2008

Maison de Victor Hugo
6, place des Vosges
Paris, France 75004
+33 1 42 72 10 16

Musée Carnavalet

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Attraction | "Musee Carnavalet"

Musée Carnavalet Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Musee Carnavalet is in the heart of the Marais district in Paris, near the Jewish Quarter. Whether you have the Paris Museum Pass or not, it has great appeal to a person on a budget because... it's free. It's also a wonderful museum. While we only had a short amount of time to devote to the many rooms it has housed in two mansions, we decided to check it out, and we were glad we did. How was our visit? The first thing we saw when we passed the sign for the museum was a generous courtyard---suitable for carriages---with a statue of Louis the Sun King in the center. Apparently this was cast before the French Revolution when many such statues were destroyed. (Pe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 29, 2008

Musée Carnavalet
23, rue de Sévigné
Paris, France 75003
+33 1 44 59 58 58

Centre Pompidou

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Attraction | "Centre Pompidou (Modern Art)"

Centre Pompidou Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
One of the most interesting things about the Centre Pompidou is the building in which it is housed. Erected as an exo-skeleton structure with all its pipes, ducts, etc. exposed (and colour coded) for the visitor to see, it has a playful exterior that invites a childlike wonderment. As our son said, "It doesn't look stuffy at all." We had lunch at a corner cafe across the street from the museum, sipping on wine, staring up at the various pipes and air conditioning ducts, talking about various movements in modern art. While not exactly an art lover, our teenager's curiosity was piqued. Armed with our Paris Museum Passes, which cover admission into this museum, we made the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2008

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
Paris 75004
+33 (1) 44 78 12 33

The Paris Ossuary

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Attraction

Denfert-Rochereau Ossuary Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Millions of people have lived and died in Paris. Some of their deaths were helped along by the French Revolution, which presented a problem for the government. When you've got a pile of headless aristocrats, they've still got to be buried somewhere, right? To be fair, even before the "Cult of Reason" started lopping off people's heads, the cemeteries were becoming overcrowded. To use an old quarry as a new resting place seemed the perfect solution... thus the Paris Ossuary was born. While consecrated ground, this collection of bones has now mutated into a macabre tourist attraction. With a teenager in tow, we thought it would be worth a look. At the least, we were curio...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2008

Napoleon's Tomb

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Attraction

Napoleon's Tomb Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
When I was younger, my father had a picture of Napoleon in a gold frame at the end of our hallway. You know the one. The dashing Emperor in ribbon-bedecked uniform is on a rearing horse, his face a visage of confidence, his finger pointing in the air as if rallying his soldiers around him.... This was a man in the midst of his glory, the leader who has reached such heights in history that he has grown partially into a mythical figure, a hero still in France. The fact that Napoleon also tried to dominate the rest of Europe is forgiven by those who admire him because he was a man of military genius who transformed European armies into meritocracies---who introduced the Napoleonic ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2008

Napoleon's Tomb
Esplanade des Invalides
Paris, France
+45 55 92 30

Arc de Triomphe

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Attraction

Arc de Triomphe Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Easier, quicker, and cheaper to access than the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon's "arch of victory" erected to the glory of his army was on our list of must-see things to show our son because my husband's grandfather has often told us that he put a bullet hole in it when shooting at a German during World War II. Without this personal connection, the Arc de Triomphe has long served as a symbol of France's greatness, and it is worth the time to visit. It was, after all, conceived by their greatest general. The modest entrance fee is covered by the Paris Museum Pass, and, since we already had this, we didn't have to wait in line. The first thing for us to no...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2008

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

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

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Attraction

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
On a small island in the River Seine, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame is the very center of France. Erected in the 12th century to the glory of Mary, the mother of Christ, Notre-Dame translates into Our Lady. While I was able to visit here on an earlier trip to Paris, I took longer to linger in this Gothic church the second time around. Entrance to the cathedral itself is free. In the winter, I remember not having to wait to go inside, but this was a beautiful spring day, and the queue spilled out into the courtyard. Having just visited Aachen, Germany where he has his tomb, I took greater interest in the statue of Charlamagne, the "father of Europe", who ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 4, 2008

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