Paris is Europe’s city of culture. It is known throughout the world for its iconic structures that have featured in some of the biggest moments in world history and culture. In today’s blog post I will look at five structures that define this great city and some interesting facts about them.
The Eiffel Tower
Lets start with one of the most celebrated structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, is 324 metres tall and weighs 10,100 tonnes. An interesting fact from The Telegraph is that when it is cold the tower shrinks by six inches. They also state that the man who designed the tower, Gustave Eiffel, also designed elements of the Statue of Liberty and died while listening to Beethoven. The tower offers unparalleled views of Paris.
The Louvre is arguably the most famous museum in the world. The museum opened in 1793 and is home to some of the world’s most famous pieces of art. Visitors from across the globe flock every year to see the most famous painting of all: the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It is also the world’s most visited museum according to Travel and Leisure. Aside from the Mona Lisa, the Louvre has over 35,000 different works from world history and from some of the finest work in the history of art.
Stade de France
The national stadium of France has held some of the most important competitions and moments in sport. In 1998 France made history by winning the World Cup at the stadium. It is the only stadium in the world to hold both the football World Cup and rugby World Cup finals. Last year France hosted the UEFA European Championships where European football news and betting website Betfair reported that the French team lost to Portugal in the final at the Stade de France. The stadium can hold 80,000 spectators, and during international games and concerts it is usually packed to the rafters.
Arc de Triomphe
Standing in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle is the Arc de Triomphe. Originally commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 it took 30 years to complete and, unfortunately he never got to see the finished product. The Arc was intended by Napoleon as a celebration of French victories. Fact site Mental Floss state that an unknown solider lies under the Arc with an inscription that reads “here lies a French solider who died for his fatherland 1914-1918″. Today the Arc is in the centre of the world’s most famous roundabout and visitors can not only get a taste of French history but also French driving.
Forbor’s Travel believes that nothing says Paris like the Luxembourg Gardens, which is situated behind the Luxembourg Palace. The garden was commissioned in 1612 by Maris de’ Medici who was the widow of King Henry IV of France. Today the garden is a place that Parisians use to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors come to this beautiful garden in the centre of Paris to see the statues, monuments and fountains scattered around the 23 hectares.
What are your favourite iconic sights in Paris? Have you visited some or all of the above? Let me know in the comments!
*Please note I do not own the copyright of the images in this post. They are courtesy of Wikipedia!