Let's take advantage of the start of the new school year, which is just around the corner, to put things straight: the tourism figures are skyrocketing (cocorico), and our monuments continue to fascinate tourists from all over the world... In addition to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, what are the most famous monuments in the capital?
◊ OUR LADY OF PARIS, the medieval jewel
JA gem of French medieval art, Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is a gothic masterpiece. Its construction took almost 200 years (from 1163 to 1334). Inside, 29 chapels are grouped around five naves. The portals are surmounted by the famous Gallery of Kings composed of 28 statues representing the kings of Judah and Israel. Above, the rose window 10 meters in diameter is unique. The top of the towers, culminating at 69 meters, allows you to enjoy a superb view of the capital (paying access). The archaeological crypt under the square has Gallo-Roman foundations. Behind the cathedral, the Square de l'Île-de-France offers a beautiful view of the Île Saint-Louis.
◊ THE ARCH OF TRIUMPH, the absolute star
Aith its 50 meters in height, the Arc de Triomphe imposes itself on passers-by along the entire length of the Champs-Élysées and well beyond. Enthroned in the center of Place Charles-de-Gaulle or Place de l'Étoile (12 avenues radiate from this epicenter), this monument, at the foot of which lie the ashes of the Unknown Soldier, is a tribute to the French armies. Built in 1806 by Napoleon to celebrate the victory of the "Grande Armée" at the Battle of Austerlitz, it was not completed until 1836. The friezes and sculptures that can be admired on its facades represent various Napoleonic campaigns. From its terrace, the Arc offers an unobstructed view of the capital, in particular the Champs-Élysées, the Place de la Concorde and further afield, the Louvre pyramid.
◊ THE CHURCH OF LAMADELEINE, imperial elegance
À a few strides from the place de la Concorde, the church of the Madeleine raises its imposing stature. Its construction, started in 1764, was interrupted during the Revolution. Then designed by Napoleon I as a temple to the glory of his Grande Armée in 1806, it was almost transformed in 1837 into a railway station, the first in Paris, before becoming a church again in 1845, when its construction was completed. Its massive sculpted bronze doors open onto a sumptuous uniform interior. You can admire in the vestibule “The Baptism of Christ” by François Rude, and the organ by Cavaillé-Coll.
◊ THE ED'ORSAY MUSEUM, masterpieces of impressionism
Created during the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Gare d'Orsay played the role of the head of the south-west line of France from 1900 to 1939. Since then, its buildings have been completely rehabilitated to house the Musée d'Orsay , one of the most beautiful and exciting museums in the capital. Classified as a historical monument since 1978, the Museum opened its doors in 1986, offering visitors more than 80 spaces of different volumes, thus responding to the excessive volume of the old station. The Musée d'Orsay is dedicated to the artistic creation of the Western world from the second half of the XNUMXth century.e century (1848-1914), thus making the link between the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art. Paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, works of art, but also collections of furniture, architecture and photographs, the Musée d'Orsay celebrates art as a whole, even if it is the Impressionist works that have established its reputation. . Today it even extends its acquisitions to the presentation of artists' studios, testimonies allowing us to penetrate to the very heart of creation.
◊ THE CENTER – GEORGESPOMPIDOU, the vision of contemporary art
Beaubourg, Center national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, was inaugurated in 1977. It is a block of metal and glass 160 meters long, 60 meters wide and 42 meters high, on which hundreds of architects from all over the world worked before Piano and Rogers, Italian and English architects, won the project. Nowadays, Beaubourg is one of the busiest places in Paris. With more than 56 works, its National Museum of Modern Art proudly rivals all the major cultural sites in the world. The show is held indoors, but also outdoors, facing the terraces of trendy cafes, ethnic shops and art galleries with eclectic works to say the least.