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Montmartre/Sacre Coeur - Paris


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1. Montmartre/Sacre Coeur - Paris

Pairs City is divided into 20 arrondisssement and most tourist destinations fall in one of central eight arrondisssements. Located in a hill which has a height of 427 feet to the North of Paris, this tourist spot could be found in the 18th arrondissement and it contains characteristics of a premier artist's enclave. The word means 'mountain of the martyr' and the martyrdom refers to Saint Denis, the Bishop of Paris who was beheaded atop this hill in 250AD. That apart, due to quirky acts of Napoleon III, it became a dwelling unit for many of the displaced populace from inside the city and also became a popular drinking area accompanied by entertainment establishment as Moulin Rouge that popularized cabarets. Artists beginning with Pissarro, Jongkind and followed by Pablo Picasso, Hnril Matisse, and Edgar Degas Renoir and composers like Erik Satie made it their home. As a historic village, it is a treat for the tourists if they take a walking tour, but, who want more can take a cultural tour to Musee de Montmartre where Maurice Utrillo lived and painted and drop into the mansion behind it which was then occupied by Renoir.

2. Picasso Museum - Paris

The Picasso Museum is closed for public for a period two years since August 2009 to facilitate renovation at an estimated cost of US$43 million. Located in Maris quarter in a 17th century mansion and opened in 1985 this world’s major gallery contains about 5000 works of the Spanish-born Master, Picasso. They range from paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and photographs to documents and yet constitute only a fraction of his works because more could not be displayed due to space constraints, but still the Museum has tried to do justice by keeping the work from every period. Prior to its temporary closure, it has seen tourist footfalls of over half a million each year out of which 65% are international tourists and after the opening it is estimated to increase to 6 million a year. It may be of interest for the tourists to know that his estate was given to the government to settle his death taxes.

3. Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame has a history of 1300 years because of its being situated in the island Ile de la Cite, a natural island where the first settlers landed. Notre Dame is considered to be the 'Moses Basket" and the religious center of the city. The Celts, i.e. the Pre-Romans, the Romans and the Christian seat of the Bishop, the Basilica were all the earlier constructed earlier before the Notre-Dame, the Romanesque Church, construction had begun. Cathedral's construction had begun by Bishop Maurice in 1163, but completed in 1365, built in a new Gothic style by which it was implied the architecture is as simple and open as the austere and pure manner in which the monists carried out their lives spreading spiritual ideals. It is a massive monumental construction measuring 420 ft long, with two 226 ft tall towers with multiple large rose windows with a largest diameter of 13.1 meters. There is a Gallery that holds 28 statues of Judean Kings above which is a grotesquely carved figure of a creature.A tall pointed roof of tower that has a height of 295 ft was added by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century.

4. Versailles - Paris

Versailles is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Paris which figures in history since 1038 as a country village comprising of a castle and a Church of Saint Jullien remaining prosperous until the 13th century which was disrupted due to the Hundred Year War which reduced its populace to handful. It regained its honor ever since King Louis XIII got enamored with it, purchased it and put a small stone lodge in 1622. Until his death in 1643, he moderately expanded it. It was the Louis XIV, also referred, as Sun King, who showered his interests in developing the place with a motive to shift his Royal Residence away from Louvre Palace due to political reasons. The Versailles Palace that came into being symbolized the extravaganza of the Sun King and along with its magnificent garden became the ultimate model for future constructions in Europe. The original architects Louis Le Vau and Charles Le Brun built the palace in a Baroque style whereas the Garden was built by Andre le Notre. The Place was tripled in size thanks to the contribution of Jules Hardouin-Mansart. All in all, for the tourists, it is a delightful place to visit and survey the monumental structures.

5. Champs Elysees - Paris

Touted to be the world's top most Avenue, Champs Elysees walk way stretches from the Palace the la Concorde to Palace Charles de Gaulle which is also the site of Arc de Triomph, a great ache in history. Its western end is bordered by multiplexes, cafeterias and luxury shops. Adjacent to the Palace de la Concorde, Jarding des Champ Elysees gardens that are crowned by fountains and some grandiose structures as the Grand and Petit Palais are situated. Petit Palais is the traditional residence of the French Presidents since 1873. The Parisians New Year Eve, the military parades held on 14th July are all celebrated in the Champs-Elysees which has also witnessed other historic events like the Liberation celebration concluding the Second World War and victory of World Cup Football. Bernet Huet in 1994 carried out changes in its design. The side lanes were converted into pedestrian zones, underground parking created and new trees planted. Parking can now occupy only half the width of this beautiful tourist attraction.

6. Latin Quarter/Left Bank - Paris

Latin Quarter reflects the quintessence of Parisians intellectual leanings. It is situated in Paris's Left Bank and falls both in arrondisements five and six and houses the University Sorbonne, one of the ancient seats of highest education in the world. It is a place where intellectualism is combined with nightlife which serves the purpose of a refuge in the night after heavy doses of discussion of politics and philosophy in the day. In order to maximize the value for money, tourists are advised not to miss a visit to the Shakespeare and Company, Rue de la Huchette Street known for its line of restaurants and bars,( but do not miss the Les Deux Magots, the most famous Cafe), St-Germain-de-Pres Church and Jardin du Luxemburg, an outdoor space created during the 17th century. It is taken for granted that the visitors would not miss Sorbonne either by taking a stroll in its vast campus or those intellectually incline to spend time in the library and even sitting in a class provided you are fit and intend an intellectual pursuit.

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