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#About the City of Paris

The beauty of Paris is exciting from the first second. In Paris, it is not picturesque like Amsterdam, or restraint like London. If those are quiet city capitals, Paris is the one that stops your heart from beating and takes your breath away. Admirers of Paris have said that even 77 years will not be enough time to soak in its beauty.

The big cathedrals, the fantastic squares, the spectacular streets and the magical gardens, the impressive palaces, the elegant houses, the shopping displays and the warm cafes - everything here lets you know that you have arrived to Paris, the most beautiful and seductive cities in the world.

#Must See
Want to see the most popular destinations? - Click on the tag "Must see in Paris".

#With Children
Family Vacation? - Click on the tag "Attractions for Children in Paris".

Unforgettable meal? - Click on the tag "Must eat in Paris".

In most European countries service fees are already included in the check, so it is customary to give a 2 euro tip, regardless of the price of the check itself.

#Paris Country Code

For public transportation - Buy an free pass for the duration of your trip. The weekly pass Navigo is excellent for a week in the city, and there are longer times available as well. Traveling for less days? -Check the RATP card.
Supermarket - the Monoprix chain is cheap and reliable, it is economical, and the French do a lot of their grocery shopping there.
Museums – many museums have free entrances on the first Sunday of every month. Include the Luvre, d'Orsay, Versailles, Cluny, Orangerie, Rodan, and more. Children under the age of 18 enter museum for free. Students and seniors also have discounts.
Picnics - a wonderful way to save money and eat. Buy fresh are the local markets and eat in the surrounding parks.
Renting an apartment - in Paris staying an apartments saves a considerate amount of money.
Free Wi-fi - Not all over the city, but there are a lot of hotspots spread around. Map: www.paris.fr/wifi

You will be able to find a lot of good things at Primark. If you are looking for really cheap, then the chain TATI is the place, and if offers a big variety of clothing from the East and from third world countries. You need a lot of patience to find good things here and for the long lines, to be like the French, bring your own bags, so when you talk around people won't know you shopped at TATI's.
See below a link for shopping recommendations in Paris.

#Clubs and entertainment
A good club is the Point Ephemere. Another is a techno club, the Rex Club, the underground Social Club, and the electronic music club Le Nouveau Casina.
Tickets for sporting events and concerts can be found at www.fnac.fr

#Electric Outlets
The required type are Type C or Type E. Type F will only work here if there is a third hole in the outlet.

#A Taste of the Upcoming Trip? - Here's a video That Will Show you the City in All its Beauty:


#A Bit From the Local Kitchen:

Palais de Chaillot
Chaillot Palace
#About the Palace

The Chaillot Palace (Palais de Chaillot), that replaced the old Trocadero Palace, is the building that represented France at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris.

The Chaillot Palace, which consists of two separate parts with no connection between them, is characterised by two arms that look like a stretched arch from above. The structure was designed in the Strim Lane style, where the element of curvature is especially prominent. It was built by the architects Louis-Hippolyte Bauleau, Jacques Carlo and Leon Esme. The space between the two arms allows for a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars and the Seine.

The UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Human Rights here on December 10, 1948. The event was commemorated by a large stone monument in the square called the "Human Rights Promenade."

A fire that damaged the east side of the palace in 1997, brought it to a state of decay. However, with the years it became a paradise of architecture and construction. The place was redesigned and opened in March 2007 as the Museum of Architecture and Heritage, that tries to examine French architecture from the Middle Ages to the present.

On the east side of the palace you can find the Museum of French Statues, founded from the idea of the architect Viola-la-Duc. The exhibits are organized according to geographic regions and periods of times. This allows viewers to compare different styles and ideas.

Another institution in this side is the School of Architecture. It has an archive of 20th-century architecture and a place for higher education. You can also find here the National Theater of Chaillot..

#About the Museums Inside the Chaillot Palace

There are many interesting museums you can visit in the Chaillot Palace:

The Marine Museum - dedicated to the marine history of France. Here you can find different models of ships, antique maps and marine navigation equipment. The museum is located inside the Chaillot Palace.

The Museum of Man - a museum with ethnographic exhibits. It was founded in 1937 by Paul Riva for the World Art and Technology Exhibition of the Modern Era. The purpose of the compilation of collections under one roof was to present human development from the prehistoric period and the differences between the different cultures.

The Museum of Monuments - the museum presents the development of French architecture from the Middle Ages until today, you will find two galleries: one dedicated to architecture and the other to wall paintings and stained glass windows. The museum offers models, 3D screenings, stained glass windows, paintings, books and films.

The National Chaillot Palace - here you can find the best theatre performances in Paris. The theatre hosts many of the best and famous plays and contains 3 luxurious theaters of different sizes. It has from an intimate and small space to a huge theater. The entrance of the theater, The Grand Foyer, provides a beautiful view of the gardens, ponds and fountains of the Trocadero Gardens.

#The Trocadero Gardens

The Trocadero gardens contain a variety of statues, some very old. In the center of the gardens you can find the long and beautiful "Warsaw Fountain." They are divided into several levels decorated with sculptures. There are 93,930 square meters. In order to view them from the Eiffel Tower, you can cross the Pont d'Léna bridge, which connects the two banks of the Seine.

The gardens were built as part of the original palace that was here before the Chaillot Palace. The original palace - the Trocadero Palace was named after the battle of Trocadero that took place in France in 1823.

The big gardens are open to the wide public and are suitable for a nice picnic in the summer. On the edge of the big square in the center of the gardens you will find a small café with delicious desserts.

At nightime the statues are illuminated and during the day it is nice to take pictures in the gardens with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

For the residents of Paris the gardens serve as a meeting place for "skateboarders." The square is regularly used for demonstrations, events and celebrations.

A Closer Look:

Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
#About the Park

Champ de Mars is one of the city's most green and beautiful places. The Champ de Mars, the bigger park in the 7th district of Paris, has a very special use - it's a field for parades and training of the École Militaire (military school), named after the Mars Field in Rome. In the past popular holidays and some exhibitions were held here. The park is located between the Seine River and the Ecole Militaire Complex. At the western end of the park is the Eiffel Tower. The park is 780 meters long and 200 meters wide.

Many of the most important and significant events in French history took place there. On July 14, 1790, the "Pieter de la Pedersion" events took place there during the French Revolution, and on July 17, 1791 a massacre was carried out there against French monarchs who called for the overthrow of the King, King Louis 16th.

The park hosted many renowned exhibits, such as: the Paris World Exposition in 1867, the Paris World Exposition in 1889, the Paris World Exposition in 1937 and the colonial exhibitions designed to present the colonies of the French colonial empire.

It's quite amazing that under the nose of one of the world's most famous places, the Eiffel Tower, there are 780 meters of quiet green gardens that allow you to stretch out on their lawns in total peace. The place is used by the Parisians to rest on sunny days and allows tourists to see the tower's strength in the background. Buy yourselves baguettes and croissants, doesn't matter from where, then just lie back on the grass and enjoy the moment.

#The Paris World Exposition

The "Champ de Mars" park you are standing in at this moment has hosted several important expositions in Paris. One of the largest and most important exposition is the Paris World Exposition which took place in 1889. This exposition still servers as a turning point in Parisian history, because the Eiffel Tower was built in its honor.

The exhibition was held in honour of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and was visited by more than 6.3 million visitors. Half of them were French.

The exhibit featured a number of fields to a large audience for the first time: plastic art, music from South America and the Far East. It has revealed modern trends in art such as symbolism and post-impressionism. This exhibition also presented African natives imprisoned in a human zoo, an artistic performance whose purpose is to raise awareness of the differences between people. In addition, the "Machinery Gallery" building was established, which presents inventions and innovations in the field of technology.

The Eiffel Tower served as the exhibitions gate, but since its construction was not over, the visitors were only allowed to climb up to the second floor.

The exhibitions area was about 1 square kilometer and spread across the Champs de Mars, the Trocadéro, the banks of the Seine and the Invalides. In order to travel around the exhibition, the visitors used a small train on a 3 km track, which was set up for transportation.

#Art in the Form of a Human Zoo

In one of the most important exhibitions held in this place, the Paris World Exposition in 1889, an interesting, perhaps even slightly disturbing, artistic performance was presented.

African kids imprisoned in a human zoo were presented to a wide audience. The human zoos displayed human children (ethnic groups defined as natural and primal populations in a particular place). Most of the children were African, Native American, Inuit and Asian. The purpose of the displays was to emphasize the "inferior" nature of the natives and the difference between them and the Europeans from Western culture. Ethnographic zoos were generally based on scientific racism and social Darwinism.

One of the main attractions of the Paris World Exposition was the "Negro Village," which was the human zoo that displayed 400 children in a grand show, presenting their authentic lives to the public. The attraction was visited by 28 million people.

A Closer Look at the Champ de Mars:

Grand Palais
Grand Palais
#About the Grand Palais - The Largest Glass and Metal Structure in the World

The Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, also known as the National Gallery, are located in central Paris close to the Champs Elysées and the Seine.

These buildings were built at the end of the 19th century for the Paris International Exposition in 1900, the same one for which the Eiffel Tower was built. This world exhibition was designed to sum up the 19th century and celebrate the opening of the 20th century in the center of the "Belle Epoque" period (The Golden Age of Europe, that was created thanks to the peace that prevailed at the time between the powerful countries, it brought prosperity and growth in the fields of science, and also for a significant improvement in quality of life). At that time, the exhibition was the largest ever to exist and included 50,000 visitors. The exhibition covered 120,000 square meters.

Within the framework of the magnificent buildings that were created for the exhibition, we can also find the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.

In the beginning, the Museum of French Art was dedicated to the traditional Parisian art galleries - the French Artists' Salon and the Spring Salon. Here the works of Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and others were first exhibited. The first works of cubism were also exhibited in the museums space for the first time. The museum has three different halls, each with its own entrance. The largest art exhibitions in Paris are held here.

In the main gallery you can see exhibitions of modern art, fashion exhibitions of the biggest designers, and exhibitions of antiques. Among the important collections of the place are the famous bronze sculptures, sculptures from the Greek and Roman period and ivory and jewelry from the French Renaissance period.

Today, the museum includes various galleries, displaying alternating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in various fields: art, fashion, photography, music, dance, cinema, theater and even sports. The exhibitions are considered very high quality and present significant works in the world of modern art.

#The Architecture of the Grand Palais

The building is an impressive combination of classic stone work alongside iron and glass work in an Art Nouveau style. Thanks to its magnificent beauty and the title it received as the world's largest glass and iron structure, the Grand Palais is one of the most famous buildings in Paris. At its center you will find its impressive glass dome, built by three different architects.

Alexander the 3rd's Gate is also part of the complex of these buildings and continues their design line.

In 2006 the Grand Palais and its twin palace (Petit Palais) underwent serious renovations. As part of the renovations, the foundations of the showroom, made entirely of steel and glass, were reinforced. If we raised the issue of glass, it is interesting to know that since 1993 the building was closed after a metal screw that fell from the ceiling from a height of 35 meters plunged into the display case. A showcase in the Grand Palais is the dome in Art Nouveau style made up of 9,370 tons of green steel.

#The Grand Palais In Times of War

During the World War I, the Grand Palais served as a military hospital that employed local artists who were concentrated in the front area of the hospital rooms, so that they could create molds for prosthetic limbs for the wounded.

During the World War II and the occupation of France, the Nazis used the Grand Palais - initially as a warehouse for trucks and then as a place of exhibition for Nazi propaganda.

The Parisian Resistance used the Grand Palais as its headquarters during the struggle to liberate Paris. On August 23, 1944, shots were fired from one of its windows at a German row advancing on the next street. The Germans returned fire with tanks to the palace and the shells set fire to a pile of hay from a building set up for a circus show. Thick black smoke had engulfed in the fire that burned for the next 48 hours and caused serious damage to the structure. On August 26, American jeeps parked in the main hall, followed by tanks from the 2nd French Armored Division, marked the completion of the palace's liberation.


Htel des Invalides
Hôtel des Invalides
#About The Compound

One of the most famous places in France is the Hôtel des Invalides. It was built at the initiative of King Louis the 14th as a hospital ("Utel des Invalides"), which was designed to provide shelter and care for his 7,000 soldiers who suffered from disabilities, old age or other defects. This was a rare and admirable act, given that at the same time governments didn't take responsibility for the damage caused to soldiers by the wars they were sent to fight in. At the time 6,000 soldiers who were wounded by the wars of France, lived here. Many don't know that to this day there are some discharged soldiers who stay at this compound and receive dedicated treatment and care. The compound is located in the 7th district of Paris, on the left bank of the city. Today this place is used as a national museum and sometimes it is used for military purposes. In 1789 weapons were stolen from the Invalides cellars and were used to liberate Bastille in the French revolution.

In the plaza of the Invalides, the ranks of Alfred Dreyfus were revoked after he was convicted of espionage, an act that is completely anti-Semitic.. A few years later, after he was exonerated, and his ranks were returned to him here.

The Saint Louis Chapel contains the tombs of Napoleon's brothers and of the French army ministers.


The construction of the Invalid complex was completed within five years from 1671-1676. The Golden Dome, which actually belongs to the Church of San Luis, is made of six kilograms of gold. The architect used a style considered in France to be a typical style of the Jesuits (the members of the Order of Jesus) and derived the the original idea from the first Jesuit church built in Rome. However, the architect also used classical elements which made his style identify with Paris. There are 6 tombs under the golden dome, containing the body of Napoleon which was returned to Paris from St. Helena in 1840. In the year 1861 at an official state funeral in the Dom Church, Napoleon was buried.

#What's in the Compound?

The front of the compound is decorated with statues of the gods of war and wisdom - Mars and Minerva sculpted by Guillaume Coustou. On the gable (the triangle on the facade of the building), you can see another statue of Cousteau the 14th riding on his horse.

You can find 4 museums: the Museum of Contemporary History, Museum of Models, Military Museum (in which you can find the uniform, armour and other belongings of Napoleon) and the Museum of Order and Liberation. Furthermore, it contains two churches: the Church of Saint Louis des Invalides and the Church of the Dom. The compound also has some important national institutions of France: the National Assembly and government offices.

There is a promenade inside the compound, covered with lawns and trees.

#What Happened Here?

One of the events that took place here was in 1894, when the ranks of Alfred Dreyfus were revoked in a humiliating ceremony at the front of the main building. Dreyfus was charged with spying for Germany and after being convicted, without any connection to reality, a ceremony was held here to revoke his ranks.

Years later, after a public struggle for a retrial, after a subsequent conviction and then a pardon and an exoneration in 1906, a different ceremony was held here, in which Dreyfus's ranks were returned to him.

#About the Museums in the Compound

There are several important museums in the Invalides:

The Military Museum (Musée historique de l'Armée) - The museum that was founded in the mid 19th century began as an artillery museum. As the years past, it combined with the Military museum and today it displays historic weapons, uniforms, armors, decorations of the French army and more. The museum is spread over a huge area of about 12 thousand square meters and includes a large and impressive garden. The chronological order enables a comprehensive and profound view of the wars France took part in, using historical information, videos, pictures, paintings and hundreds of thousands of military exhibits that illustrate the nature of the period. The floors about the First and Second World Wars are fascinating and recommended.

The Museum of Models (Musée des Plans-Reliefs) - relief maps and 3D models of French cities, were designed to teach how to attack and defend cities if a war were to break. These models were built for the use of Louis the 14th so he could prepare attack and defence tactics for the army during combat. More than 100 models were built by the best engineers and architects of Paris and they were kept and preserved for hundreds of years. In the 18th century they wanted to get rid of them, but the models were preserved and moved to an area in which they are still kept today. During his reign, Napoleon ordered a few more models. The museum is open to the general public since 1943 and is a historical testimony to the appearance of France in the old days.

The Museum of Order and Liberation (Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération) - "The Order of Liberation" was founded by Charles de Gaulle in the 40's of the 20th century and he led "Free France" and the rebellion of the Nazi occupation. "The Order of Liberation" is the second most important order in France. The museum includes many exhibits from World War II, members of the Orders, weapons, and historic documentation of the actions of "The Order of Liberation."

A Closer Look:


Napoleon's Grave:


An Outside View:

Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge
#About the Club Moulin Rouge

Beside one of Montmartre's wind stations, lies a club with a red windmill emblem. Moulin Rouge has been one of the most important attractions in Paris for many years. This place quickly became known and very important people came to it. The Moulin Rouge is located in the 18th district of Paris and offer circus shows with animals, snakes, dogs and of course impressive and fascinating dances. In this place you can also eat dinner and drink champagne.

The Moulin Rouge was built by two activists who wanted to characterize the place for the upper class population so they could reach the fashionable district in 1889. The place was bold and sexual, offering champagne, food and provocative dancing. This was probably a winning recipe because the place almost immediately became a huge success. Over the years, the Moulin Rouge not only attracted the upper class, but also businessmen, artists, working class, foreigners and impressive women. Everyone came here to see and be seen.

At the time the club was opening, Paris was under the impulse of renewal, change, industrial and social progress, and its opening was a record for it's time.

The outdoor scenery, the famous windmill, has become the inspiration and theme for many painter's creations, pictures and posters, which are popular to this day. The Moulin Rouge became the symbol of Parisian bohemianism.

Before entering the club we would recommend you take a walk around the area, the streets are beautiful and the atmosphere is magical.

#The Can Can Dance

The Moulin Rouge is also known as the birthplace of the Can Can Dance. This is a difficult and demanding dance, originating in France in the early 19th century. It is performed by a number of female dancers who dance next to each other in a line, dressed in long stockings, and skirts with many layers. From time to time, the dancers will lift their skirts in a provocative way, so that part of their leg is exposed. Due to this act, the dance was considered obscene and immoral and was given the name of a prostitute dance.

In the beginning, the Can Can dance was a done in pairs of men and women, however it gradually became a show dance performed to an audience - just like a performance in night clubs and brothels. Over the years, the dancers added elements of acrobatics, shouts and gestures, such as lifting the skirt up to the top of the head, kicks, jumps, and more.

The dance gained a lot of popularity and later gave birth to the cabaret.

A Closer Look:

Muse de la Vie Romantique
Museum of the Romantic Period
#About the Museum of the Romantic Period

The Museum of the Romantic Period (Musée de la Vie Romantique) is located in the ninth district of Paris, not far from the Opera House. It is surrounded by a blooming garden and rose bushes, and exemplifies the Romantic period, using art pieces and many lectures. The Romantic Museum is located near Pigalle Place in the ninth district. The museum is inside a villa built in 1830, where a Dutch artist lived name Ary Scheffer, who was the King of France's favorite painter (the last king, King Louis Philippe).

During the 19th century the villa was used as a meeting place for the elite artists, poets, composers, painters and authors. Among them: the poet Lamartine, the composer Rossini, the painter Delacriox, and the author George Sand with her lover, the composer Frédéric Chopin.After Scheffer passed away, the villa was inherited by family members, and in 1982 it became a museum dedicated to Scheffer's life works and the wild life of George Sand.

the museum's exhibits have to do with the Romantic period. The museum displays Scheffer's work from the years 1795 - 1858, the years he hosted the elite artists of his time. The atmosphere was bohemian and it is as if it froze in time, far back in the 19th century.

The house where the museum is located was built in the 18th century by the student (and family relative) of legendary Ventura Rodriguez. The museum shows a collection of furniture, musical instruments, porcelain, ceramics, different decorative items, the living room where the meetings were held, a long dining table, even the bathroom of King Fernando VII. All these things together bring to life the life styles of that period.

You will also find a magical garden to pass a little time in.

#A Short History

The small house with the garden is dedicated to its owner, Ary Scheffer, and reminds of a whole artistic movement and legendary artists of that time in the ninth district. Scheffer was a Dutch painter that arrived to Paris with his mother. He befriended Louis Philippe before he was made king, and was a teacher to the King's children. Later he was awarded a the title of Duke in the royal court. The house was built in 1830 and Scheffer built a studio for his work and for hosting.

In 1985, the family donated the house to the city, who turned it into a museum showcasing Scheffer's work in his own home. You will also find a library here that has accumulated over 4 generations. The place is also a memorial for George Sand, French author from the 19th century, a neighbor and friend of Scheffer's, who was a leading feminist. Her granddaughter saved many of her belonging, which you can find today in the lounges, which restores her original apartment.

The small museum has temporary and impressive exhibits, it is worthwhile to see when these exhibits are happening and come accordingly.

A Closer Look:

Au Lapin Agile
Au Lapin Agile
#About the Chansons Club in which Toulouse-Lautrec Painted

Lapin Agile is an old and well-known cabaret club. This is where chansons singers and songwriters are hosted, the ones who give Paris in general and the Montmartre in particular, their special sound. In fact, this place has for many years been the meeting place for the bohemian city of lights. Chansons fans and city artists adopted it and made it a unique and beloved meeting place.

Indeed, the design here feels like it's from a different era. This place looks exactly like the old days, before the modernism and designism of the modern era.

Like a French brothel from the old days, the dim "Lapin" is illuminated only by a reddish light, the aroma of erotica and romance surrounds it. The guests sit at long wooden tables, on heavy chairs, with drinks in their hands, singing loudly with the singer that is performing here. The wooden floor of the club is dark and has been used alot. If the walls here could tell us what they had seen, we would certainly be happy to hear...

This is the cabaret where in the 19th century the renowned painter Toulouse Lautrec used to sit and paint his paintings of Paris of that time. Many of the heroes of his paintings and famous posters, are people that used to sit or work here in the club. Among them were, waitresses, singers, dancers and prostitutes of whom he drew so well...

In addition, many paintings created by famous artists who have been inspired by the place, have been hung on the clubs walls. Apart from Toulouse Lautrec, the artist whose name is really associated with the place, Picasso, Modigliani and many others also painted here. The waiters know to say that here Hemingway often met with local intellectuals and that Charlie Chaplin played the violin here.

The club, whose name means "The Quick Rabbit", has been in this place for over 150 years, close to the northern slopes of Montmartre.

#About Picasso's Harlequin

Among the many artists who have documented the club and its performances in their paintings, was young Picasso. One of his most famous paintings, "Bluffin Agil", was painted here in 1905 and Picasso gave it to the clubs owner as a gift.

The owner didn't get the painting with no purpose. In the painting you can see Picasso as an Harlequin, a joker wearing a Napoleon hat. Next to him, you can see Pardo, the owner of the club playing on a guitar.

However, in 1912 when he needed money, Pardo sold the painting for $20. That could have ended its way, but whoever bought it continued to "roll" forward, and its price snowballed. For illustration, in 1989 this painting was sold at auction for $41 million. Today its value in the art market is hundreds of millions of dollars, and it is exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

#The Origin of the Name - The Quick Rabbit

In the beginning the place was called "The Cabaret of Assassins," but in the year 1875, when the place was just 20 years old, an artist named Andre Gill, painted the club a new sign. In Gill's painting was a rabbit that jumped out of a pot. It turns out that in Paris people started to call the club "Gill's Rabbit" (Le Lapin A Gill), but with time the name changed to "The Quick Rabbit" (Cabaret Au lapin Agile).

And, by the way, it's funny, but it seems that this rabbit was a kind of start-up that was ahead of its time... really... Agile in today's startup world is a development method that says that you release the product as quickly as possible to the internet or as an app and check its responses and problems, then fix them quickly, to make improvements almost in real-time... so this rabbit is no longer the only one that is quick...

And by the way - if we have already mentioned this, we would be happy if you would write us comments and reviews in the Contact Us section above so we can develop Guidol faster, so that on your next trip it will be even better!

Pictures from Lapin Agile's History:


A Closer Look:


Muse d'Orsay
d'Orsay Art Museum
#Musée d'Orsay - The Train Station That Became an Art Museum

One of the most impressive art museums in the world is dedicated to art from the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. The d'Orsay Art Museum (Musée d'Orsay) is located on the left bank of the Seine River in the 7th district of the prestigious area of Saint Germain. The museum has an impressive collection of art, including a variety of important and famous works from 1848 to 1914.

The spacious building now used as a museum was no less than a train station and a hotel in the past. During your visit you can still see the huge clocks used by the passengers and the floors remind you a little of the platforms that were once here. The transformation of the station into a museum began in 1977 and opened to the general public in 1986.

The museum also features sculptures, decorative art, photographs and furniture. You can see the works of the most important impressionist artists - Monet with "Women in the Garden", "Heaps of Hay" and "Poppies", Renoir's famous works such as "Dances in the Moulin de la Galette" and "The Bathers", some of Degas's sculptures of famous dancers and Manet most important works, "Breakfast on the Grass" and "Olympia"

Do not miss the works of the amazing realist Krove, which will leave you stunned with your mouth open. Then continue to the Impressionist side - paintings that accurately reflect what the eye sees.

As we continue to wander through the museum's parts, we arrive at the post-Impressionists part - those who rebelled and abandoned Impressionism in favor of establishing a new artistic language. Van Gogh, the father of expressionism, describes not only what exists in nature, but his moods and feelings, which are not only private and personal, and which embrace each other.

#Creations Worth Looking at in the Museum

There are many worthwhile creations in the museum, here are some of them:

#Starry Night over The Rhone (Vincent van Gogh)

Van Gogh's work was painted in 1888. It depicts the banks of the Rhone River in the city of Arles in France. The painting is drawn from a remote perspective, from the eastern bank of the river to the western bank, which allows it to demonstrate the reflections of the street lighting (gas lamps) in the river. In the painting you can see a pair of lovers strolling along the riverbank. The painting shows specific buildings in Arles, such as the church towers of Saint Julien and Saint Tropez.

#Bal du Moulin de la Galette (Pierre Auguste Renoir)

Renoir painted this work twice - once big and ocne small. The large version can be found in the museum and the small one is currently in a private collection. The work depicts a dance of the bourgeois class, which takes place in Montmartre in Le Moulin de la Galette, on Sunday afternoons. The painting includes a large number of figures - some standing, some dancing and some sitting at tables. Above the group are trees that allow rays of sun to pass and illuminate the characters. The characters in the painting are cut off and therefore there is a sense that the scene is part of a larger event that takes place outside the boundaries of the picture.

#Lunch on the Grass (Edouard Manet)

Manet's oil painting depicts a naked woman beside two dressed men, dining in a garden in Paris in 1863. This was the first time female nudity in daily context was introduced in a painting, without any explicit social or political statement.

#The Museum's Building

The Musée d'Orsay, considered one of the most impressive and popular museums in the world, is a magnificent architectural structure of metal and glass, which began its construction in 1898.

The museum was built where a train station used to be. The station was inaugurated in 1900, but due to a lack of compatibility with newer and more modern trains, it was only used for 40 years. The building was used for several decades for different needs, until in the mid-1970's when the entire building was designated for demolition. A modern multi-functional complex was planned to be built there, but due to the stubbornness of the French museum management, which discovered the potential inherent in the special building, a museum dedicated to art from the second half of the 19th century to the early years of the 20th century was created there.

In 1977, the decision was made and the railway station became an artistic lodge while preserving its outer shape. The museum opened to the public in 1986, and to this day, while utilizing the high spaces of the building, it presents neoclassical, romantic, impressionistic, realistic and other creations.

The ground floor is divided into three levels that present painting, sculpture and architecture.

On the second floor of the building are Impressionist works by a variety of painters.

#The Story of the Striping Artist

In 2016, the artist Deborah de Robertis from Luxembourg was arrested after lying naked in a museum, in front of the painting "Olympia" by Edouard Manet. The painting shows a naked woman lying in her full glory looking directly at the viewer's eyes. Behind the woman is a black maid. In those days, the exhibition "Luxury and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910" was presented at the museum, which dealt with the excitement of various artists in the phenomenon of prostitution that grew in the second half of the 19th century. Manet's painting caused turmoil at the time, ever since the first time it was presented in 1865. This is because the painting was very direct and daring for its time. He introduced a real prostitute and not a mythological figure, historical or religious - which was more common in the works of the time.

But the naked appearance of the striping artist, while many people were standing around the painting, awakened the museum guards, who closed the room and asked her to dress. Because she refused, the police were summoned and removed her from the place.

The artist's lawyer explained that she carried a camera in order to document the audience's reactions, and that in fact it was a work of art. Despite the reputation that comes to France as a place that promotes free sex, cases from recent years indicate that there too, they find it difficult to accept such harsh provocations. After her release from prison, the artist said that the French reaction was hypocritical to her.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Sacred Heart Basilica
#About the Sacre Coeur - The Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Ever since the Romans days, Montmartre, which is now a lively entertainment area, is associated with worship. The Gallic Druids saw it as a sacred site and the Romans built there temples dedicated to Mars and Mercury. In the 19th century, during the difficult war between France and Prussia, when Paris was in one of the lowest moments in its history, when the siege and hunger were unbearable, two of the city's residents vowed that if Paris were saved from the German blockade, they would set up a church on the top of the holy hill - dedicated to the holy heart of Jesus. This is also the reason the basilica is called the "national vow."

The construction of the Church in question, Sacred Heart Basilica (Sacre-Coeur Basilica) was the responsibility of Paul Abadi, who won the competition for its construction. The church was built in direct partnership with the government of the Third Republic and was funded by France as part of a national fund. The construction was completed at the beginning of the twentieth century, but because of World War I it was not officially inaugurated until 1919.

The church's impressive dome is the second highest point in Paris. To get to its famous balcony you must climb many stairs or ride a cable car. But despite the effort, the climb is worth it.

#The Architecture of the Sacre-Coeur

The Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which is large and impressive, is seen by many as a huge wedding cake. It was built in a Byzantine-Romanesque style. The basilica was constructed from travertine, which contains a material that ensures that the structure will remain white, will not be affected by the weather and will be noticeable from many points in the city. The basilica has 4 domes, the main one being 80 meters high. It includes a large number of windows that bring lots of natural light into entirety of the church.

The main hall is 100 meters long and 50 meters wide.

The entrance of the basilica is especially impressive. Above the main entrance there are two guards, two horsemen, who are religious and national symbols of France - Joan of Arc and Louis Lepre.

Inside the church, in the choir area, is a huge mosaic describing Jesus and the Sacred Heart. On his left side stand Michael and the Virgin from Orleans and on the right, King Louis the 16th and his family. The interior of the basilica is built in the shape of a Greek cross and is decorated with amazing mosaics, which are located on the roof of the apse, the semicircular niche on the eastern wall of the classical basilicas. The largest mosaic in France is located there, covering 475 square meters.

Other unique points in the church include France's largest bell and one of the largest in the world (18.5 tons). The bell is located in the square tower. The church also has a very impressive organ, which sounds great.

#Detective Mission

Try to find the decorated mosaic of the Star of David in the basilica.

#Religion and Tourism in the Basilica

The basilica was built in 1870, after the hard war between the French and the Prussians. After France's defeat in the war, the political upheavals from within and from the outside drove the nation into a terrible depression. Groups of Catholic believers fed up with the atheist spirit of France set themselves the goal of building a spectacular church on Montmartre Hill, which would be a symbol of renewed hope and repentance.

Despite the declaration of construction as a "public benefit" taking place in 1873, the construction itself only began three years later, and out of the 78 plans submitted to the committee, the one chosen belonged to architect Paul Abadi. The construction wasn't fast enough, was filled with problems and difficulties that caused the whole project to be delayed.

In 1919 the church was opened to the faithful, that saw it as a place of religious and patriotic identification as one.

The church is a focal point for many tourist to this day, especially in the spring and summer months. These tourists sit on the wide stairs leading to the church and use them to view the magnificent view of Paris, that opens in front of them from the hilltops.

#Joan of Arc

At the entrance of the basilica stands a statue of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), the French general who was executed when she was only 19 years old. Joan of Arc was the one who led the resistance for the liberation of France from the English occupation during the Hundred Years War, in the 15th century. In a heroic struggle she led the French army to war against mighty England.

The devout Catholic girl was hearing voices in her head since her childhood. In order to convince her that she, a villager, has been chosen by God to lead France, she came for a meeting with King Charles, went straight to his room, and in a series of quick tests proved her supernormal abilities and "her connection with God." King Charles gave her the army and in a series of brilliant battles, dressed in male clothing, she broke the blockade on the city of Orleans and brought about the surrender of the English. She conquered the city Reims and formally crowned Charles as the rightful king of France, also under the law.

The young maiden proved to be a brilliant general when she realized that the English were always victorious because of the great battles they fought. Therefore, she replaced the French army's poor war tactics with superior guerilla warfare tactics and repeatedly defeated the British with her soldiers. However, after being injured 3 times, she was captured and sent to the English. After a long trial conducted by the church she was declared guilty of witchcraft, of connections with Satan, and of other offenses.

Joan of Arc was sentenced to death by fire. Legend has it that an English soldier who was present at the execution cried in horror, "Oh the holiness we burned!"

In 1456, a couple years after the execution, a retrial was made for Joan of Arc. The verdict of the trial was a total acquittal and "Miss Orleans" became an official national heroin of France. In 1920, the Catholic Church also declared her as a saint and finally recognized the greatness of the young girl.

#About the Basilica

The Sacred Heart Basilica was built at the end of the 19th century in an attempt to atone for the sins of France, which led, according to popular belief, to the defeat of the French against the Prussians in 1871.

Because of the style of the basilica, a combination of Neo-Romanesque influences with neo-Byzantine elements, not many Parisians will say that the structure is refined and beautiful in their eyes. However, over the years the basilica became a wanted and popular sight in the French capital skyline.

If you stand in front of the church, you will see the whole center of Paris spread in front of you. On a bright day you can even notice statues and other points of interests in the city. You will probably find the Montparnasse Tower with its 56 floors, that much before its establishment, bohemian and avant-garde people would walk there in the Montparnasse district. They did so after abandoning Montmartre, in the post-World War I period.

If you agree to climb more that 230 stairs to the dome of Sacre Coeur, you get to enjoy a spectacular view. You may buy the entry tickets to the dome in the entrance to the chapel.

A staircase leads from the basilica to the bottom of the hill. You can also go down through a Funicular - a tiny cable train.

A Closer Look:

Tuileries Gardens
#Some History

The Tuileries Gardens (Jardin des Tuileries), or the beautiful Tuileries, are a large public park, located between the Place de la Concorde to its west and the Louvre on its east. The gardens were planted by Caterina de Medici (the wife of Henri II of France) starting in 1564. Their main purpose was to decorate the Tuileries Palace, whose construction began simultaneously that year. The whole area is named after them - the Tuileries area. In the garden you will also find a big fountain, a zoo and a cave. The Musée de l'Orangerie was added in the early 17th century.

In 1664 Jean-Baptiste Colbert ordered the redesign of the gardens by André Le Nôtre, a French landscape architect and gardener of Louis XIV. Le Nôtre gave the garden its wonderfully symmetrical shape, with its clear lines, which can be seen to this day.

Le Nôtre built a central avenue on the Palace's axis, on the east a pool of rounded water, on the west an octagonal pool. He built two terraces-one by the water's edge, along the quay, and the other along Rivoli Street; In addition, he built two terraces along the current border of the Place de la Concorde.

In 1871, the Tuileries Palace was set on fire by the Paris collective. After the arson, some of the building remained in its place, and it was only more than 10 years later that it was decided to completely destroy the remains, and the palace was never restored.

The garden has sculptures of various statues spread around the park, including Rodin, Alberto Giacometti, Maillol and others. From the 19th century, the gardens became the Parisians' leisure and recreation spot, and were mentioned in many works of art.

#About the Gardens

The Tuileries were once the gardens of the royal palace of the Tuileries. In the past, the kings and queens of France used to calmly stroll through these gardens. They became a public park in 1667, after the French Revolution. From the 19th century, the gardens became the Parisians' leisure and recreation place, and were mentioned in many works of art.

If you wondered about the origin of the name, it is named for the tile factory that was located on this spot (tiles in French at called 'tuiles').

The gardens have many cute corners where you can read and relax, as well as attractions and amusement facilities for children. Sculptures of various statues are scattered throughout the garden, including Rodin, Alberto Giacometti, Maillol and others. In recent years, modern sculptures have also been placed in the gardens to give an atmosphere of renewal. In 1988, a statue of Alfred Dreyfus was also added. You can walk around the two big fountains, sit on one of the chairs scattered around them and watch the miniature boats floating on them. On both sides of the central avenue, you can sit down and breathe the air on the benches in the shade of the trees and watch the Parisians playing on the grass surfaces with ball games. Children can play in the playgrounds, go horseback riding, watch a puppet theater, or sail small sailboats in the water pools. The gardens have cafes and ice cream parlors with drinks.

#The Gardens Throughout History

The garden's story begins in 1564, when Caterina de Medici decided to build herself a palace, and a garden to accompany it and be in her favorite Italian style. But the person who is responsible for the great change that the garden has undergone is actually a family member of de Medici, Marie, the mother of Louis XIII. She decided to plant a line of elm trees that formed a promenade, between the southern border of the Tuileries and the Seine. The ultimate goal was to allow the aristocracy of the city (at first it even blocked entry to the commoners) to travel in the new carriages and showoff their wealth to everyone.

This was a great success, and thousands came to watch the noble's carriages. Within a short time, peddlers began walking around offering fruit and sweets between the carriages. Afterwards, the Parisians arrived in the neighborhood and began to provide the aristocratic dynasties matchmaking services, and pass lover notes between prospective grooms and brides.

The success of the garden led Louis XIV to transform the Tuileries gardens into a larger and impressive garden, appropriate for a royal garden. The architect André Le Nôtre redesigned the gardens and gave them their current appearance - the style of the traditional French gardens, landscaped gardens, cuttings of geometrical shapes and organized flower clusters. All arranged in symmetrical and precise areas.

Some interesting events took place in these gardens. In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers chose the gardens for their first hot-air balloon flight. A few years later, in 1792, during the reign of Louis XVI, a revolutionary mob burst into the Tuileries Palace and slaughtered the bodyguards. Two years later Maximilien Robespierre celebrated the "Feast of Reason" in a lavish ceremony held by the pool.

#The History of the Gardens

The subject of taking a stroll, especially when it comes to such pleasant and calm gardens, is almost self-evident for us. Although the main avenue of the Tuileries was wide and adapted for carriage travel, the nobles decided to do something they had not done before - to walk. In Paris in the 17th century it was a tremendous innovation, because there were no sidewalks in the city that made it possible to walk comfortably without getting your feet muddy, or risking being trampled by passing carriages. When the residents of Paris began walking, the Tuileries became the first public park in Europe. It is therefore inevitable that in 1678 the first public benches, made of wood, would be created on which young lovers and leisurely travelers could sit.

The gardens had different uses during that period. Couples who were lovers could come around in the afternoon and meet in one of the side alleys of the garden. A trip on the main boulevard is still a meeting point for all the Parisian residents, where they can chat and drink cool lemonade together.

During the 19th century, the garden underwent changes as a result of the paving of Rivoli Street by Napoleon I. Napoleon III, who was his nephew, added the building of the Orangerie which became a very successful museum in the 20th century. Shortly afterwards, a fire destroyed the Tuileries Palace started by a mob in Paris.

Since the end of World War II the Tuileries Gardens have become more beautiful and inviting than ever, especially because of the impressive statues and green chairs that invite visitors to sit and enjoy all of this beauty.

#Tuileries Fashion

From the moment the Parisians started walking around in public gardens on foot, they discovered that their clothes were a source of attention. In a moment, the Tuileries became a model for the aristocracy to display the most interesting clothes and fashion trends. The rumor spread, and thousands of foreigners would come to the gardens to catch up with the passing fashion to try to imitate it in their country. As a result, at that time the first fashion magazines were created.

Despite the prosperity of the fashion industry those days, there were some less pleasant cases. The women of Paris, who saw the attire of the royals throughout the garden, wanted their tailors to sew them exactly the same clothes. In so doing, they tried to blur the lines between them and the nobles. During this period, professionals began to teach the French how to behave politely in society (basic rules, like how during a French meal it is accustomed to spit only to the right side). This helped women succeeded quite quickly in their goal, and it soon became almost impossible to distinguish between the classes.

Surprisingly, there were equally the same stories about noblewomen who wanted to pose as simple peasants. For example, the story of 1698, in which a Marquise (a title for a European aristocrat) decided to dress up as someone who had just arrived in Paris, began to speak to a Baron she had met at the Tuileries Gardens. After a conversation of more than an hour, she stunned him by saying "goodbye" and went to her luxurious carriage that took her to her Parisian palace.

A 360-Degree View of the Gardens:

Pont des Arts
#About the Bridge of Locks of Love

How much do we love romance? Especially when it is expressed in a lock that is eternal.

The Art Bridge has become the most well known bridge with love locks whose keys have been tossed into the flowing river to symbolize eternal love. This is a pedestrian bridge in Paris. It crosses the Seine River and is located between the Louvre Museum and the Court House. The bridge sidings are made out of steel, and today are almost completely covered with locks that have the couples names or initials written on them.

This tradition began in 2008, when couples began attaching locks to the bridge above the Seine. Some say that these small additions are not a pretty sight, and enhance the likelihood that the bridge will collapse from the weight. There is also threat of the river being polluted by the all the rust from the tossed keys.

In the summer of 2013 the Parisian municipality came to a stance about this issue, having to do with the weight these locks were putting on the bridge. The city decided to take down the locks, and stop this tradition from continuing. Two glass panels have been added to cover the steel edges, and stop any more locks from being added.

#The History of the Bridge

Between the years 1801 - 1804 9 metal arches formed the first metal bridge in Paris - the Bridge of the Arts. The interesting invention came from Napoleon, who was inspired by an English design. At first, designers Louis-Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Dillon Conçoivent wanted the bridge to give a sense of a garden with green trees, flowering flowers and benches. To this day, the bridge is a pleasant walking area, allowing only for pedestrian crossing.

Since 1803 the bridge has been renovated several times.

In 2014, after years of apprehension, part of the railings of the fence collapsed due to the weight of the locks placed on it by hundreds of loving couples. In June 2015, the locks were removed from the bridge.

On the pleasant summer evenings you will find street musicians here, a wonderful view and perfect corners for romantic and family picnics.
Luxembourg Gardens
#Tourists in the Gardens

The beautiful Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), located in the heart of Paris, are open to the general public and attract not only tourists but also locals.

In the gardens you can find scattered statues of prominent figures from French history: female figures of French queens and figures of writers and poets.
There is plenty of room to relax, eat ice cream or drink coffee from the many stands in the area. You can enjoy the warm and relaxing sun, rest and gain energy for the trip in the Latin Quarter.
In the center of the garden there is a large pool surrounded by dozens of green chairs ment for tourists and they provide the perfect atmosphere for a moment of comfort and relaxation.

The gardens are not only an attractive destination for the Parisian population, but also for tourists:

You can rent a boat and let kids push it with a long bamboo stick from bank to bank on the big lake.

When you go up, to the center of the garden, you can ride around on ponies or if you a are with younger children you can ride the local carriage.
Deeper in the park, you can find a carousel and a puppet theater that has shows almost every day and in the southwestern corner you can find beehives, and courses on how to raise them.

You can find places to read and play petanca (bowling) for adults, a romantic trip for couples or a lunch break for students, who usually come from the Sorbonne - the famous University of Paris, located right next to the gardens.

It is one of the most beautiful green pieces in Paris, with a proper blend of light and shade, trees and lawns, hidden corners and public spaces for both children and adults. Take a basket with a little food and a blanket - and go for a picnic.

#The History of the Gardens

The construction of the gardens began after the assassination of King Henry the 4th in 1610.

The widow of the king, Marie de Medici, could not bear to live in the Louvre filled with her shared memories with her husband and moved to the Luxembourg Palace.

In 1624 the construction of the Luxembourg Palace was completed for the widow, who ordered the architect, Salomon de Bruce, to build a Palazzo Pitti style palace, like the palace she left behind in her hometown, Florence. The gardens around it were designed to remind her of the landscape of her childhood.

The truth is, that although the Queen planned to spend the rest of her life in the palace, fate must have wanted something else, and in practice the royal widow had not lived in the palace for more than five years. She was exiled to Cologne in 1630 by the order of the new king. During the revolution, the palace was confiscated and for two years served as a prison; It was then designated as the location of the Assembly of Representatives. The monastery next to it was destroyed.

By the way, another historical anecdote - about the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, it is told that as a young man he was hungry for bread and used to go out to the gardens to hunt pigeons for consumption.

#The Luxembourg Palace as Parliament

In the heart of the symmetrical and impressive gardens is the Luxembourg Palace. The palace was originally built according to the design of the French architect Solomon de Bruce, to serve as the royal residence of Marie de Medici, the mother of King Louis the 13th.

After the French Revolution it was re-designed by Jean Chalgrin and was converted into a parliament. The main staircase was destroyed and replaced by the Senate Hall on the first floor. Chalgrin also destroyed the Chapel de Medici. Chalgrin closed the terraces and turned them into a library. At the same time he built a staircase in the western wing, which was surrounded by iconic columns. The construction ended with the destruction of the gallery.

In early 1835, architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden aisle. The new Senate Hall was located in what was then the courtyard area between the gardens. The new aisle included a library with paintings by Eugene Delacroix. In 1850 by the request of Napoleon the 3rd, Gisors created a conference hall.

During the occupation of France by Nazi Germany in 1944, the palace became the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, and in general the palace was a strategic place for the German forces that defended the city.

During the year 1946, the palace was used as a venue for the Paris Peace Conference.

#The Architecture of the Luxembourg Gardens

The park and its beautiful gardens manage to put nature in the heart of the Parisian urban fabric and makes travelers rest and feel embraced by nature.

Not only do the visitors get to experience the nature and space, the garden also has a magical atmosphere, it is beautifully maintained and the garden beds are designed in a meticulous French style. Self-pruning and chestnuts attract Parisians and tourists of all ages.

In the center, you can see an octagonal pool with a fountain, where you can rent and sail on models of ancient sailboats. This part of the garden is decorated in a classic French style - with straight and symmetrical lines. While later, from the center to the edge, the style becomes like an English garden style, in a less formal way of curving paths and random clusters of trees.

The current design of the gardens was given to them in the 19th century by architect Chalgrin.

#The Luxembourg Gardens Fountain

The Luxembourg Gardens, spread across 57,000 square meters, attract many tourists and locals, because of the well-tended gardens, the wonderful sculptures and the relaxed and Parisian atmosphere.

But one of the true charms of the garden, which is not visited too much by tourists, is the spectacular Medici fountain.

The fountain was built in 1630 and has deep routes in the rich French history. Because of location, in an isolated corner of the garden and because the boulevard of tall trees hides it a little, many visitors are unaware of its existence. The fountain was also commissioned by Marie de Medici in 1624. She wanted to give it typical Italian mannerism features: a complex fountain, an artificial cave decorated with statues, just like the one she knew from the Beauntanti Cave in the Boboli Gardens.

The architect Tommaso Francini, who was in charge of the fountains and water, in the gardens of the Medici villas in Prinza and Rome, was chosen for the construction and planning of the fountain.

He created a large water basin leading to a huge sculpted fountain, topped by two statues of nymphs spilling water from their hands and a gable bearing the Medici emblem.

The fountain was located on the left bank of Paris, where free water flowed and the groundwater was quite deep, and therefore considered one of the wonders of that period.

After Medici's death, in the mid 18th century, the fountain needed serious repairs due to poor maintenance. The neglect was so severe that the statues on the fountain disappeared (to this day they do not know when exactly they were stolen) and the supporting wall collapsed. In 1811 Napoleon appointed architect Jean Chalgrin to renovate the fountain, the same architect who created the Arc de Triomphe.

During the reign of Napoleon the 3rd, it underwent another incarnation (by architect Alphonse de Gizur), which shifted its position by 28 meters to make way for the construction of a street behind it. In the empty space left behind, another fountain was built, the "Leda and the Swan," which stood in one of the adjacent streets and the two matched each other like a glove. To the sorrow of the original Medici fountain, most visitors focus on her new sister.

Another change was the addition of two new sculptures representing the Seine and Heron rivers at the top of the fountain, where the nymphs once stood. He reconstructed the Medici emblem that had been damaged in the French Revolution and set up a sculpture set by the sculptor August Otten.

A Closer Look of the Gardens:

Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain
#About the Cartier Foundation Gallery

The Cartier Foundation is located in a unique building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The architecture of the building is characterized mainly by transparencies. The facade of the transparent structure, surrounded by Lebanon cedar, surrounds a huge glass fence. In its gallery, the foundation presents more or less familiar contemporary artists, from all fields of art and design.

The building consists of six floors of offices, the first two floors make up a space of 1,200 square meters dedicated for displays.

It is recommended to go outside in the direction of the botanical garden and sit on the grass behind the building. From here you can see the gallery as if it was a spectacular glass showcase.

To know which exhibition is displayed on the days you visit the gallery, you may want to visit the foundation's website.
Antiq-Photo Gallery
#About the Gallery

To the lovers of art in general and specifically photography the Antiq-Photo is a must. This is a store which is also a museum for the history of photography. Here you can see vintage objects from old photographs, such as stills from old models, movie cameras used for films in the 1930's, and more.

Photography lovers can not resist the unique and aesthetic atmosphere of the place. Aside of the vintage photography equipment, the Antiq Photo Gallery has a collection of antique photographs, taken with various types of technologies. Furthermore, stereoscopic images are shown here, double images that present whatever is being pictured at the same angle as the two human eyes, and provide three-dimensional vision.

There are also Autochrome Lumière photos, a technology of color photography that uses natural colors developed by the Lumiere brothers in 1903.

Daguerreotypes from the 19th century are also displayed in the store. Daguerreotypes are ancient photos, from the beginning of photography. The daguerreotypes that you will see here are rare and special items. These are polished silver plates laid behind the "Camera Obscura", an antique photo box. They were the film and the picture. The photographed image was directly embedded in them by rays of light, which passed through the camera obscura, for many minutes, until they were stamped in the daguerreotype and became a picture.

The atmosphere here is romantic and historic. Even if you do not purchase anything you will not leave the gallery-store empty handed, you will leave with an experience that will stay with you for many years.
#About the Place - The Ancient Prison of Paris

On the banks of the Seine, as part of the justice complex, on the Ile de la Cité, you will find the Conciergerie, the oldest remnant of the Sitta Palace, the first palace built in Paris in the 10th century.

At various other times a chilling prison stood here, where some of the greatest criminals in French history were imprisoned.

The word concierge means the place where the doorman lives, in the broader context - the prison where the prisoners are held. This is also the reason why the place is called like this. The doorman was in charge of the royal palace and its candles. Even today, many apartment buildings have a concierge who is responsible for maintaining the place.

The place is now used as a museum and a historic tourist site. Although you can visit only some of the areas within the historical building, you can touch and feel the history of the city of Paris. The building is maintained and preserved by the National Center for Monuments.

#About its History
In the past, where the Conciergerie stands, stood the Palais de la Cité. The palace was the seat of the French throne from the 10th century to the 14th century.

During the French Revolution, part of the palace became a prison on the ground floor of the building. During the reign of terror, the Conciergerie prison was considered a waiting place until the expected execution. Only a few managed to get released. Queen Marie Antoinette (known to you for her famous "If there is no bread - eat cake") was arrested in 1793 before being executed. Remember the guillotine we mentioned in the Place de la Concorde? To this day you can see tens of thousands of French people coming to honor the Queen's memory.

After the palace was destroyed, the Paris Hall of Justice was built in its place

#What to See During Your Visit
There are two fascinating places to visit:

The first one is the view of the remains of the ancient Cité Palace. The entrance hall to this day remains one of Europe's largest surviving medieval halls. Its area is about 70 by 27.5 meters. Pay particular attention to the Gothic style and stone arches supporting the ceiling. Some of the great stories about the knights, kings and courtiers of those years took place in this hall. The entrance is via a small gate on the northern side of the Hall of Justice.

The second place is the prison of the sentenced to death, which also allows you to touch Paris after the French Revolution. At that time, when terror was in control and the famous decapitation guillotine was established at the Place de la Concorde, this was a place where you waited for the execution that is yet to come. Take note of the women's courtyard, Marie Antoinette's cell and the other death row cells.

Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.

A Closer Look at the Concierge:

#The Seine River

The Seine River that crosses Paris is an ideal place for a pleasant stroll, where you can soak up the Parisian landscape and atmosphere. But this special river is much more than a travel route and a tourist attraction. It divides the city into two - Upper Paris (the "right bank"), which is the center of commerce, and Lower Paris ("the left bank"), which has created for itself a chic and intellectual image. The river is 780 kilometers long.

The river flows from northern France and is one of the country's main commercial transportation routes. In addition to Paris, it flows through the cities of Trois, Rouen and Le Havre.

While walking on the banks of the river, you can see some of the city's most important sites, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Bourbon Palace, the Orsay Museum, the Arab World Institute and more.

38 bridges decorate the Seine River, including the Pont Neuf. You can climb and cross the bridges to reach the opposite bank. The "young" and last bridge built is the Charles de Gaulle bridge. At dusk and evening, you should go to the Arts Bridge near the Louvre, which attracts many artists who come to photograph the landscape at this magical hour. The Seine River is not that wide, however, the bridges that cross it reserve themselves a respected place in the world of architecture and public construction.

While France was a Roman province, the Seine was known in Latin as "Sequana", i.e. "originating from the river of Hyun."

#The "Old Bridge" of the Seine

The Pont Neuf, commonly known as the "old bridge", is the oldest bridge in Paris. It was built in 1578. There are bridges built on the foundations of the previous ones and kept their name, but the Pont Neuf stands for more than 400 years, which makes it the oldest of the 38 bridges on the river. In 1986, the bridge attracted the attention of Christo, the environmental artist who was known for wrapping landscape pieces in large fabrics took upon himself the wrapping of the bridge.

The Pont Neuf was built as a solution to an age-old problem: Traffic. Yes, just like on roads. In its neighboring bridges - the Moneychangers' Bridge and the Notre Dame Bridge, there was traffic and crowds of too many people. This required another crossing between the two banks of the Seine.

King Henry the 3rd arrived at this bridge after the funeral of his two small children. Due to the heavy mourning that prevailed in the city during this period, the bridge was called "the bridge of tears." It was later nicknamed the "drunkards bridge" because of the wine tax levied on ships sailing under it. This nickname has also been lost in the course of time and the name ended up being the official and uninspired name - Pont Neuf.

On the archways of the bridge are frozen faces with frowns. Legend has it, that Henry the 3rd's men were the inspiration of the statues. The niches, suitable for romantic couples, were used for commerce and shady business. In addition, in the first years after its construction, the new bridge became a lively prostitution center, due to the concept of the bridges area as a "twilight zone." In the 17th century, the Paris police decided to clean up the plague of prostitution from the new bridge and take significant actions against it.

#The Division of the City in Two

The Seine divides the city of Paris into two - Upper Paris (the "right bank") and Lower Paris ("the left bank").

The right bank is identified with elegant and luxurious areas such as Vendome Square or Place de Vouz.
The most famous street in the right bank is the Champs-Elysées, but there are other important streets such as Rue Rivoli, the Rue de la Paix, Saint Honoré and others.
The population on the right bank is complex. There are rich, affluent neighborhoods in the west alongside workers and immigrants and gradually poorer neighborhoods. This bank is hectic, commercial, functional and has a large population density. Most of the leading companies, banks and business activity are concentrated here.

The left bank is identified as more bohemian. It is quiet, green and more historic. The most prominent district is the Latin district.

The main streets on the left bank are Saint-Germain Boulevard and Saint-Michel Boulevard. But beyond the geographical difference between it and the right bank, the name refers to cultural and social characteristics of the population itself. In addition, most institutions, such as universities, research institutes and hospitals, are concentrated in the Left Bank.

#The Seine's Islands

There seems to be no river without an island. The two small islands in the center of the Seine are pieces of land smaller than one square kilometer. The islands, Ile Saint-Louis (the smallest of the two) and Ile de la Cité, look like little pearls within the local Parisian landscape. They are busy tourist centers that are a combination of medieval architecture with modern attractions.

Ile Saint-Louis was named after Louis the 9th of France. It is connected to the rest of Paris by a system of bridges - the Saint-Louis Bridge (linking the island to Il de la Cité), the La Tournelle bridge (connecting the island to the left bank), the Louis Philippe bridge (connecting the island to the right bank), the Marie Bridge (connecting the island to the right bank as well) and the Solly Bridge (which crosses the island from the right bank to the left). The islands are used primarily for residential purposes, but in the past they were two uninhabited islands that served as cattle grazing grounds and as a place to store trees.

A palace from the Roman period is located in the western side of Ile de la Cité, the larger island of the two, while the eastern side has been devoted since that period to religious affairs. Among other things you can find Notre Dame Cathedral on it. The area between the islands was intended, until the 1850's, for residential and commercial purposes. Since then it has been developed with police offices, the Paris Hall of Justice, the Hospital Hôtel-Dieuu and more. Today, only the western and northern parts of the island are used for residential purposes and among them you will even find some remains of houses from the 16th century.

#The Seine River for Tourists

In almost every city located near water, the water is like a mirror in which the city sees its own reflection. For hundreds of years, poets, painters, philosophers, writers, architects, lovers, suicidal people and even tourists - felt a strong attraction to the water. It is no coincidence that the city developed around this huge avenue, or that the early Parisian tribes were attacked here by the Romans. By the way, the river is still the main commercial waterway of Paris.

Tourists are often confused between the two banks - the right and left, they waste hours looking in maps and try to find on which side they are on. The trick is to remember that when you are standing at the bottom of the river (In the direction of the slope of the river), the left bank is to your left and the right bank is to your right. If you can't figure out which direction the water is flowing, find a piece of floating debris and observe which way it is floating.

There are 32 bridges on the Seine river, some more impressive than the others. The most ancient bridge is the Pont Neuf, which was immortalized by artists and poets and is even mentioned in 20th-century movies.
The bridge crosses a small island from which guided tours on small boats begin. In the spring or summer it is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon on bench under the willow trees, sunbathe a bit and stroll through the gardens in the center. If you're a person who likes to look at boats, this is an excellent spot. In fact, this is one of the nicest places to go around in Paris.

Another popular bridge is the Von des Arts, built out of metal and designed entirely for pedestrians. It has an amazing view, perhaps one of the most beautiful in Paris. People bring bottles of wine with them and have a picnic, others bring guitars and the atmosphere is always light and festive. Under the bridge, at both side of the docks you can see lots of sunbathers, cyclists and runners.

#Tragedies in the Seine River

The Seine is a romantic and astounding tourist area, that allows you to see the city from different angles, but in the winter, especially at night, the river may become a dark and even frightening site. We do not even want to imagine the stories that happened in this river. The figures show 10 murders in the river each year and 120 people trying to commit suicide. About 70 bodies are drawn from the water annually.

One of the familiar people is Paul Celan. The tormented poet of the Holocaust, who for years identified with the existential experience of his people. When he felt that he could no longer live the terrible past, he went through periods of mental crisis, depressions, hospitalizations and finally - dived to his death in this river.

There is also the story of "the unknown woman from the Seine River." At the end of 1880 the body of a young woman was found in the river. There were no signs of violence on the body, and it could be assumed that she had committed suicide. The pathologist, who was shown her body in the morgue, was amazed at the beauty of the young woman who seemed to smile at her death and wanted to make a mask of her face. The masks began to sell quickly in the markets and it became popular among the French bohemians of the time. The mask can be found in the houses of many writers, painters and poets.

In the 60's the unknown woman from Seine's mask was used as the face of the first resuscitation doll, and it is claimed that it made her the most kissed face of all time. The real identity of the unknown woman, has never been discovered.

The great tragedies that took place near the river are the most fascinating stories, those less familiar with tourists. This does not mean that the Seine River represents death, but it is interesting to think of it as part of the life cycle.

A Closer Look:


#About the Pantheon

The Pantheon in Paris is a burial site and an official monument of the distinguished French people, the people who took a significant part in the history of this important country and of Paris in particular. Pantheon means "all gods." But what does that have to do with the people immortalize in it? - great question... It was originally built in the 18th century as a church. But at the time when France tried to avoid religious symbols and sought more national symbols, so it became the national Pantheon.

In 1744, King Louis the 15th, who was seriously ill, vowed that if he recovered, he would replace the ruins of the holy church of Saint Genevieve with a luxurious building worthy of the patron saint of Paris. The foundations of the building that was soon to be built in a neoclassical style were dug in 1758 and Louis himself laid the first stone in 1764. The construction was delayed due to financial difficulties. Later, in light of the death of the architect Soufflot (in 1780), it was completed, but it happened a few years later, in 1790, after the outbreak of the French Revolution. It was completed it by two of Soufflots students.

Although in a later period, the building returned to its first purpose as a church, not long afterwards it returned to serve as a burial site. The changing purpose of the building and the decorations on it, the dedications engraved on its walls and symbols, allow us to examine the construction of the French nation because of the great writers, philosophers, and intellectuals buried here, which were worthy of recognition by the French nation.


The length of the impressive cross structure stands at 110 meters long and is 84 meters wide. It was designed by the architect Jacques Germain Soufflot and its construction took 26 years. Soufflot planned to combine Classical elements with Gothic motifs in the design of the building, but because he died before he completed construction, he did not fully implement the plan. The plan included a church with a Greek cross-shaped dome, with four short sides of equal length and width. The building is 83 meters tall. This building is mainly built in a Gothic style - a central ship with arches above the side passageways. There are also references to other architectural styles. Byzantine architecture - because of the use of the cover domes. Classical architecture seen in the drum dome and the gallery of the outer pillars. Ancient Greek architecture through the six-pillar gallery. Lastly, the triangular gable (an architectural element in front of the building) that we mentioned earlier and the corinthian pillars (pillars whose upper part is made of leaves). Despite the combination of all styles, the Pantheon is classified as a neoclassical structure, mainly because of the period in which it was built.

#Interesting Facts

The issue of burial in the Pantheon was the source of many debates and sometimes even extreme acts such as the removal of people who had already been buried there, such as Mara (a French revolutionary) and Mirabeau (a French statesman). At the time of the Third Republic, the ministers were the ones who proposed candidates for burial and transfer of several personalities from other cemeteries. There were proposals that provoked violent arguments such as the proposal to transfer Emil Zola in 1908. In 2007, the government decided on 76 people to be buried in the Pantheon, including Victor Hugo, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, Emil Zola, Louis Pasteur, Louis Braille and Marie Curie. Beyond the physical burial, the French nation respects its sons through the etching of names on the walls of the Republican temple, which has already been engraved over 1,000 names. Today the president of the republic has the choice and there is no law or document that defines the criteria for election.

In January 2007, French President Jacques Chirac unveiled a plaque in honor of 2,600 people who were recognized by Yad Vashem in Israel as Righteous Among the Nations thanks to their contribution to saving Jews from deportation to concentration camps.

#What Can You See in the Pantheon?

The beautiful Pantheon was built in spirit of the classic Pantheon in Rome and its dome was inspired by St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Throughout the lower part of the Pantheon you can visit the graves of distinguished French people - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emil Zola, Walter, Marie Curie and many others.

Inside the building you can see wall paintings depicting the life of Saint Geneviève. In the center of the building are four ships that together form a Greek cross (which reminds us of the original purpose of the building as a church). Above them is the dome of the Pantheon - decorated with an iron frame. In the gallery surrounding the Pantheon’s Dome you can enjoy a panoramic view over Paris.

Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.

A Closer Look at the Pantheon of Paris:

Hôtel de ville de Paris
#About Paris's Town Hall, Hôtel de Ville de Paris

The town hall of Paris is located in the fourth district and has been there since 1357. In the year 1871, during the days of the Paris Commune, the building was burned down, after France surrendered to Germany that same year. The archives, municipal library and the important document collections had a similar fate.

Even today, being a site of power and luxury, where the council of Paris sits, and where the mayors guests are welcomed, part of it is open for exhibitions.

The town square in the west front of the building, turned into a pedestrian space in the year 1982. Throughout history, this was a place of gatherings for rebels, insurgents and protestors. Some of the greatest criminals in French history met their maker here by means of hanging, decapitation and fire.

This site is recommended for lovers of history, art and architecture. A guided tour can be organized with the municipality. Visitors can visit the conference room, which was designed with inspiration of the halls of Versailles. Free art exhibits are on display and are very popular amongst tourists and locals.


After it was destroyed in a fire during the Paris Commune in 1871, the building was rebuilt between the years 1874 and 1882, according to the plan of the architects Theodore Boulou and Ediard Deporte. The front of the building was designed in a neo-Renaissance style, imitating the look of the burned building.

On the front side of the decorated building you can find gothic style windows and figures of 146 famous Parisian figures that have contributed to the city's art, science and politics.

The building is characterized by windows that tell a story and by many sculpted niches. The interior is filled with decorative furniture and wall hangings.

The main facade is decorated with figures that define Paris - including artists, scientists, politicians and industrialists.

In the inner courtyard, there are two bronze statues. One symbolizes art and the other, science. The main staircase leads to a ballroom and to other halls designed in a mixed "Renaissance" and "Belle Epoch" style (The beautiful era, a period of modernization and vast improvement in quality of life).

#Hotel de Ville Restaurant

One of the most expensive restaurants in the world is located right here. This Michelin three-star restaurant was managed by the couple Bridget and Benoit Valiard not too long ago. Both of them come from families with a rich culinary history. The restaurant uses fresh, high quality ingredients and the design of the place is very similar to the visuals of the food served there. Each serving at the restaurant looks just like a work of art and provides a multi-sensory experience.

In spite of the Pastoralism, a tragic story accompanies this place. In 2016, a few hours before Benoit's participation in the Michelin awards ceremony in Paris, he was found shot near his house with his hunting rifle next to him. The chef's death shocked the global culinary world. Two days after the incident, his wife, Bridget, who runs the restaurant, decided that the show had to go on and opened the restaurant to the general public. In the morning, she convened the restaurant staff and shared her plans for the future according to her husband's vision.

In December 2016, the restaurant won the "Best Restaurant in the World" title from the French Foreign Ministry's ranking the 1,000 restaurants in the world. The restaurant has a waiting list of 3 months.

#Days of the Paris Commune

This period of time, when the original Hotel de Ville was burned, was a period of innovation conducted by Napoleon the third. Napoleon appoints Baron Osman to make changes that will help Paris reach the 20th century and help it cope with its growth and with the industrial revolution.

Osman does some very dramatic things: he destroys the small alleys and builds large boulevards and new buildings instead. These are also years of architectural breakthroughs, an era of culture and intellectualism, in which artists such as Victor Hugo create. The city full is full of creation, thought and art.

In the early 70s of the 19th century, Paris once again suffered from the war between France and Germany. During the war Paris is under siege. The Persians even manage to conquer it and impose harsh taxes on France. The instability of the French government created an internal struggle and Paris suffered a revolutionary-anarchist outbreak as the Paris communes operated and controlled the city. These communes did take care of the masses and the values of equality, but damaged quite a few symbols of culture, especially those identified with the monarchy and the church which caused killings and the rule of terror. This situation put Paris in a difficult civil war.

In May of 1871 there was a "Bloody Week" - the Versailles army attacked Paris, killing tens of thousands of citizens and supporters of the communes and executed some of the leaders of the communes. The peace and quiet returns to France for a couple of decades until the beginning of the twentieth century.

#Fires and Politics

During the Franco-Prussian War the building played a central role in several political events.

On the 30th of October 1870, revolutionaries broke into the building and took over the government of the National Defence, with repeated demands for the establishment of the commune government. The current government was saved by soldiers who broke into the Hotel de Ville through an underground tunnel that connected the building with the nearby barracks.

On the 18th of January 1871, crowds gathered outside the building to protest against surrendering to the Prussians. They were dispersed by soldiers who fired from nearby buildings and even hit several of them.

The Paris Commune was a Municipal authority established in Paris with the fall of the Bastille. The first mayor was Jean-Sylvain Beau and he chose the Hotel de Ville as the town hall. In 1871, when the members of the commune saw opposing forces approaching the building, they set fire to the building in order to destroy all existing public records. The building, the archives, the municipal library and the important collections of documents were burned down. The enormous flames burned the whole building from the inside, leaving only an empty shell.

Reconstruction of the town hall began in 1873 and ended in 1892 (19 years).

A Closer Look:

Cognacq-Jay Museum
#About the Museum

The Cognacq-Jay Museum (Musée Cognacq-Jay) is a museum of decorative art items.

The museum was once a private collection of the couple Marie-Louise and Ernest Cognacq. Ernest Cognacq has founded many shops and commercial centers in the city, including La Samaritan, which is characterized by the metal architecture of the new Art Deco wave. They carefully collected the furniture and artifacts from 1900 till 1925. After their death, the collection was handed over to the Paris municipality who presents it to the general public.

The museum is located in the Dunoon House - one of the Mare district villas. The district was built in the late 16th century and was specially renovated for the museum. Hotel Dunoon, impressive in itself is added to the long list of houses and places worth visiting in "Mara" in particular, and Paris in general.

The museum contains an extraordinary collection of decorative art items, about 1,200 items in total, with an emphasis on 18th century France, from European and Chinese ceramics, jewelry and snuff boxes, through paintings by Louis-Leopold Baui, Francois Boucher and sculptures and furniture. The 17th century is also represented, especially in Rembrandt's paintings. The 19th century is represented by the works of Camille Coro, Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas.

The paintings of Mila are especially exciting, which are displayed on the second floor. They accurately describe the life of the Parisian bourgeoisie in the days of King Louis the 16th and the gardens in which the bourgeoisie spent much of their time. You can also see the furniture and artifacts used by the bourgeoisie during the Age of Enlightenment.

The museum manages to recreate the spirit of the times and that's what makes the visit so special.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Saint-Louis Island
#About the Island

The two natural islands on the Seine River in Paris - The Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis, belong to the fourth district of the city. The smaller of the two is Ile Saint-Louis, a small jewel in the Parisian landscape, is where you are now.

It is connected to Paris via the Saint-Louis Bridge. You can walk around the island using the street Quai de Bourbon on the Seine banks and enjoy the views on the old homes. Pay attention to the special gardens as well. You should be sure to visit Louis Aragon Square, at the house of the famous sculptor Camille Claudel (the lover of the sculptor Rodin) and at the house of the chemist Marie Curie.

Today you will find here mainly residential buildings, but in the past the island was divided into two, with the agricultural section being used as grazing fields for cattle and a wood storage area. Many of the buildings you see here were built in the 17th century (between 1613 -1664) by the architectural brothers of the Le Vau family. The island became a quiet and serene place in the heart of the lively city.

A Closer Look at the Island:

Père Lachaise Cemetery
Edith Piaf Museum
Galeries Lafayette
Cluny Museum
Rodin Museum

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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