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Paris
Paris
#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".


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


#Tip
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
+33


#Saving
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


#Shopping
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:

https://youtu.be/EJ3CdqDx8fQ


#A Bit From the Local Kitchen:

https://youtu.be/-XurLMYaNtk
Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette
#About the Complex

Galerie Lafayette is one of the famous and impressive department stores in France. Many visitors come to this complex to see the 9 stories, rounded and designed. On each floor you will find fashion sections and different luxury restaurants, and fast food chains as well. Be sure to notice the dome at the top of the building.

Home appliances, furniture, cosmetics, jewelry and clothing -in the Galeries Lafayette complex you will find designers and big named-brands.

On the 6th floor of the building you will find restaurants from where you can look over the beautiful Parisian landscape. Prices in the store are usually high, but walking around is always free. It is fun to walk around and see the fashion and the designs.


A Closer Look at the Galeries Lafayette:

https://youtu.be/zJBF2SKGl1c

A Visit:

https://youtu.be/f9Wfswz8vxE


Bloggers:

https://youtu.be/cOvgmJT9WxU
Pantheon
Pantheon
#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.



#Architecture

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.


#Tips
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW0PV464mzg
Conciergerie
Conciergerie
#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 wait 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.


#Tips
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYsA1MKjPsc

Paris

Muse de Cluny
Cluny Museum
#About the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages

The best example of Middle Age architecture in Paris is the the National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée de Cluny), which is located in the fifth district of paris. In 1843 Alexander Di Sommerard, a collector of Middle Age art, purchased the building, housed his collections in it and turned it into a Museum. After his death, the collection was purchased by the country and his son became the museum's first curator. The museum became public in 1833.

In the museum you can find art and furniture from the Middle Ages as well as golden jewelry and ivory artifacts. The museum has a rich collection of sculptures, ceramics, carvings, carpets, various artifacts in gold and bronze, glass works, metal, wood and ivory, weapons, jewelry and everyday medieval objects. The most notable exhibits are the outstanding wall hangings that display the well known piece now known as "The Lady and the Unicorn" - a series of 6 beautiful wall hangings from the 15th century, displaying a female character next to a unicorn.



#Archaeological Exhibits

The importance of the museum is not only in its rich and impressive collection, but also in the combination of authentic archaeological exhibits displayed in it from the ancient times until today. Remains of Roman baths were discovered beneath the building from the 13th century called "Cluny Baths." In the baths you can find items from the Roman period such as "Pillars of the Descendants" also known as "The Sailors Pillar." Carvings from the first century of mythological Roman gods were found on the limestone pillar. It is thought that the pillar stood in the Gallic-Roman temple that was in Paris before. It was originally 5.24 meters high, however, only broken pieces of it are left today. Some of the ancient baths were preserved very well. Such as the 'cooling hall' in which the walls are about 2 meters thick, and the ceiling is 15 meters tall.

In the next hall there are 21 statue heads on display, some of them broken, and they are treated as the kings of Judah and Israel. The truth is that the statues don't belong to that place - they were discovered by accident in an ancient building in Paris, and an examination revealed that the heads were removed from statues that stood on the facade of Notre Dame Cathedral. During the revolution, the revolutionaries mistakenly thought that these were statues of French kings, and in a fury against the royal house, shattered them without knowing that these were all statues of the kings of Judah and Israel who had done them no harm.

In the museum's garden you should pay attention to the ancient well, that was used by the monks at the time, it is no longer in use however, but it still full of water.



#About the Lady and the Unicorn

At the Cluny Museum you will find the renowned piece "Lady and Unicorn", a medieval creation of six wall hangings woven in Flanders in the 16th century.

Five of the carpets describe the five senses: taste, hearing, sight, smell and touch. The last carpet is called "my only passion."

Please note that the carpets are very large and impressive. Come closer and see the colors in which they were painted with. These are natural pigments created at the time by using ancient techniques. Sit with your back to the biggest rug of them all, the one with the blue tent. Now look at your left side. To the first carpet.

In the carpet that describes the sense of taste, the lady is shown taking a candy from a tray held by a servant. The lion and the unicorn stand on either side and hold banner flags.

In the carpet that describes the sense of hearing, the lady plays on an organ that is on a table covered with a Turkish rug. The maid in this case holds the organ. Here too, the lion and the unicorn stand on both sides of the Lady holding banner flags, however, unlike in the other carpets they turn in opposite directions.

In the carpet that describes her sense of vision, the Lady sits and holds a mirror, a unicorn kneels at her feet and looks at his reflection in the mirror. The lion stands on her left side and holds a banner flag.

In the carpet that describes the sense of smell, the lady stands holding a bouquet of flowers. Her maid stands holding a basket full of flowers. On both sides of the Lady stand the lion and the unicorn holding banner flags.

In the carpet that describes the sense of touch, the lady stands and touches the horn of the unicorn. In the other hand she holds the banner flag. The lion looks at her.

In the last rug, called "my only passion," the lady stands in the middle of a the carpet and her servant stands to her right and holds a box. The Lady puts the necklace she's wearing in the box. To her left you can see a bag with coins. The lion and the unicorn are also here on either side of the Lady, holding the banner flags.


#Tips
Free entry of the first Sunday of the month.

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


A Closer Look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiHf79fbidQ
Muse Rodin
Rodin Museum
#Rodin Museums History

The Rodin Museum (Musée Rodin) is housed in a beautiful 18th century palace called Hotel Biron. The palace was built in 1731 as a luxurious residence of a wealthy barber and sought to establish for himself the most beautiful house in Paris of that time. After the death of the original owner, the palace changed several ownerships until, in 1905, the palace was purchased by the French government and divided into several luxury and expensive housing units.

The unique design of the palace and the magnificent gardens surrounding it attracted various artists such as Henri Matisse, and in 1908 the sculptor Auguste Rodin rented part of the ground floor of the palace to store his works. In the rooms he rented he used as a studio, where he worked and entertained his many friends. At the same time, Rodin began talking to the French government to fulfil his life's goal: to turn the palace into a museum dedicated to his works.

In 1916, as part of an agreement to establish the museum, Rodin donated all his works, sculptures and paintings, photographs and archives, as well as the private collections he had accumulated over the years. But Rodin did not live to see his dream come true - he died in 1917, while the museum opened its doors to the general public only two years later.



#What's at the Museum
In the 17 galleries of the palace, and in the nearby sculpture garden, you can see the famous works of Auguste Rodin, among them also those that have earned him great fame such as "The Thinker", "The Bourgeois of Calais" and more. Alongside Rodin's works are the works of Camille Claudel, who was his student and his beloved and a gifted sculptor, and works by other artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Monk.

One of Rodin's famous sculptures, the "Bronze Age", caused great rage when it was first shown in 1877. It was a statue of a naked man who looked so natural and real that the artist was accused of casting him on a living model. After it became clear that the accusations had no basis, the rage was replaced with great admiration, and Rodin was regarded as one of the greatest sculptors in the world.

Another famous sculpture, perhaps the artist's most famous sculpture, is the statue of "The Thinker" - a self contained human figure, who rests his head on his hand in a 'thinking' pose. This sculpture was part of a comprehensive work by Rodin. "The Gates of the Underworld" inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, was also presented as an independent sculpture. In 1906 "The Thinker" was placed at the front of the Pantheon in Paris, thus becoming the first sculpture of the artist to be exhibited in a public place in Paris. After the opening of the Rodin Museum, the sculpture was copied to the sculpture garden of the Biron Palace, where it stands to this day.


#Auguste Rodin
The Rodin Museum is named after the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, who is known for his realistic style and for his famous sculpture "The Thinker."

Rodin was born in Paris to a poor family and despite his talent, at the beginning of his artistic career, he could not take off. For twenty years he made a living by carving, his application was rejected three times by the "Ecole des Beaux-Arts" (National High School of Fine Arts).

The turning point began in the mid 1870's, when he toured Italy and saw Michelangelo's works, from which he drew inspiration for his creation, "The Bronze Age." Rodin's characters were so realistic and distant from what was customary at the time that they accused him of casting with the bodies of living models. After it became clear that the charges against him had no basis, he received tremendous admiration for his impressive achievement and he was recognized as one of the greatest sculptors in the whole world.



#The Rodin Museum for Tourists
The house, cafe and garden of the Rodin Museum are dedicated to the work of the genius sculptor, Rodin, who lived and sculpted here during his last years. This is a small museum and one of the most unique and beautiful in the city. Many choose this museum as a favorite for them in Paris because of its beauty and pleasant and artistic atmosphere, along with the magnificent sculptures that make Rodin the successor of the Classical period sculptors.

The museum opened in 1919 and is located in the Hotel Biron, which was built in 1727 and where Rodin lived since 1908.

If you come here with children and the museum is not able to intrigue them enough, you can stroll through the museums garden and look at Rodin's sculptures. You can also sit in the museum's café, because it is open to the garden and while your sitting, the adults, can let the kids go wild in the lawns and learn about Rodin's works through the sculptures.

Hotel Biron underwent a three year and 16 million euro renovation, it reopened in November 2015. It also revealed 600 items that were never displayed before.



#Rodin's Most Prominent Works

At the museum you can find some of Rodin's familiar sculptures:


#The Gates of Hell

This is a huge sculpture project commissioned by the French government - a large bronze gate called "The Gates of Hell." The gate was to be the entrance of a decorative art museum, but it was not executed because it was never finished and the gate itself was not completed for 37 years until the sculptor's death.

#The Thinker

One of Rodin's most famous sculptures. It describes a bronze man immersed in his own thoughts. It's construction was completed in 1902 and two years later the statue was released to the public. The truth is that Rodin called it "Dante, the Thinker," but the more common and known name is "The Thinker."

#Les Bourgeois de Calais

The sculpture was completed in 1888 and describes the surrender of the city of Calais in 1347 to Edward III, after a siege that lasted over a year, during the Hundred Years War. Edward III offered not to destroy the city, provided all six of the most important dignitaries of the city came and sacrificed their lives. After the six dignitaries agreed and were persuaded by Queen of England, Philippa of Hainault, Edward III agreed not to carry out the execution. The sculpture presents the different characteristics of each of the six figures. The statue was controversial because Rodin chose to present the city's representatives as broken people rather than heroes.

#The Bronze Age

This is one of Rodin's most famous statues, and it sparked a great rage when it was first shown in 1877. The reason was because the statue of the naked man seemed so natural and real that the artist was accused of casting him from a live human model. After it became clear that the accusations had no basis, they recognized him as a genius and he was admired and appreciated as one of the greatest sculptors in the world. Many have since regarded him as the successor to the great sculptors of the classical period.



#Rodin Gardens

The Rodin Gardens are a magical wonder, like a gem inside a museum. There's a lot of beauty in them. Not luxurious, but a combination of simple, comforting and relaxing beauty at the same time. Classical symmetry and classical sculptures. You can not say that the sculptures scattered in the garden are only beautiful, but also arouse quite a bit of thought. From time to time tourists can be seen trying to imitate the more or less complicated poses of the statues.

The gardens spreads over 3,000 square meters and are divided into a rose garden and a large ornamental garden.

Between the two main buildings of the museum is a charming garden where passerby can see "The Thinker" and the famous roses of the gardens. But in order to really discover the large and wide gardens, one has to go through the wide structure.

To reach another magical garden, smaller than the previous ones, go all the way to the large pool surrounded by sculptures. When the garden seems to be over - continue beyond the big arches. There you will see a small garden, with an English ambience and dimness.


#Tips
Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from October to end of March.

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


A Closer Look at the Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wItu0e07KNk
Muse national Picasso
Picasso National Museum
#About the Museum

The Picasso National Museum (Musée National Picasso) is relatively new in the Parisian landscape and has become one of the flagship museums of Paris. The museum is dedicated to the works of an artist known as Pablo Picasso, probably the most famous artist of the 20th century, and it includes more than 3,000 works of art: paintings, drawings, illustrations, sculptures and pictures of the artist's own life. The works were created between the years 1894-1973.

The museum is built in such a way that while you wander through it, you go through the original and chronological creations of Picasso himself and are exposed to informational items and relevant events from his time, year after year. Thanks to this form of presentation, you can understand Picasso's complex artistic development process and the points of reference in his artistic history and historical events during the creative process - the blue, pink, Cubist and surreal period. For example, you can see, along with pictures of Picasso from the 50's, cartoons depicting the attitude of the people of the period to his works. The museum also tries to show the influence of Picasso's granddaughter on his works, which have become much less abstract ever since she was born.

The museum is located in the Marais area in the third district of Paris.

In the museum you will also find works by other famous artists of his time - Matisse, Cezanne, Degas and others, and you can take note of the mutual influences of the artists on each other's works. On the second floor of the museum there is an area with temporary displays and on the third floor are the museum offices and the library.



#The Museum's Building

The building where the museum is located was originally built for Pierre Aubert, the lord of Fontenay. Aubert's great wealth came in the wake of his role as a "salt taxer," which is where the building got the name "The Salt Building".

The buildings architect was Jean Boullier and is considered one of the most beautiful historical buildings in the Marais district.

Over the years, the ownership of the building has changed and its uses have been replaced. In 1671 the building was under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Venice. During the French Revolution the building was confiscated and became property of the authorities and in 1815 it became an urban school of art. The building was purchased by the city of Paris in 1964 and received the status of a building for preservation.

After a competition in which they tried to decide what the purpose would be, it was chosen to serve as a museum showing the works of the artist Pablo Picasso.



#The Items in the Museum

In 1968, a law was passed which allows heirs to pay the inheritance tax through art objects considered part of France's cultural heritage. Picasso, who used to say "I am the greatest collector of Picasso in the world" - has accumulated thousands of his own works, several works by other artists and a large number of primitive sculptures from around the world. Thus, after the death of Picasso in 1973, his heirs were persuaded to donate his works, in order to avoid a huge estate tax they could not pay. This collection, which included about 5,000 items, became a museum. Over time, another 1,000 items were added to the museum.

The museum has four works that deserve special attention:

"Self Portrait" - a painting painted during a hard and lonely winter in 1901 in one of the most difficult periods in Picasso's life.

"Two Brothers" - a painting drawn in 1906 in Spain.

"Two Women Running on the Beach" - a painting that served as a Decorative curtain for the ballet "The Blue Train".

And "The Kiss" - a painting drawn in 1969. This picture was drawn a few years after he married his wife Jacqueline and began to paint also familiar subjects such as love life.


#Tips
Free entry of the first Sunday of the month.

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


A Closer Look at the Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x1ej90l_IE
Palace de Versailles
Palace and Gardens of Versailles
#The History of the Palace

In the city of Versailles, which is located 25 km south-west of Paris, stand the Palace and Gardens of Versailles (Palace de Versailles), astounding relics of the royal times. If you thought to yourself, why would the kings of Paris want to distance themselves from the Parisian masses? The answer is that the transfer of the official royal residence from the Louvre Palace in Paris to the Versailles region was a calculated political move by Louis the 14th. The entire French aristocracy lived in Paris, and the palace in Versailles forced the nobles who wanted to approach the king and the government, to reach him, all the way in Versailles. To leave their businesses, their home and live in the kings house. King Louis basically wanted to move the place of power from Paris to Versailles.

Louis the 14th decided that he wanted to distance himself a little from crowded Paris and find himself a place outside the city. A few years prior, in 1624, a hunting hut was built for his father Louis the 13th in Versailles. Louis the 14th decided to hire an architect that would transform the hunting hut into a luxurious palace. The architect was Louis Le Vaux, who managed the Palace for 7 years through the manpower of thousands of workers who constructed the castle and gardens. In 1682, King Louis the 14th moved to the castle, a few years before it was completely finished.

However, the king did not settle only for his own move, he also invited the aristocrats and court officials to accompany him on his way to Versailles and gave them plots around the castle for free. Every aristocrat and court official had to follow two conditions: 1. They had to pay an annual tax to the king. 2. They could not leave their plot empty, and had to build a house on it according to plans prepared by the king's architect. The construction created a wonderfully planned city - built symmetrically and harmoniously. And of course, the rooftops of the new houses should not rise beyond the central height of the palace...



#The Abandoning of Versailles Palace

During the French Revolution, an angry mob from Paris attacked the Palace of Versailles and forced the royal family to leave and return to Paris. Thus began the mass abandonment of the city. The magnificent palace, many of whose furniture and decorations were destroyed or stolen, was abandoned and deserted. In 1837, King Louis Philippe saved the lousy palace, as he turned it into a national museum dedicated to "the glory of France."



#What is so Special about the Palace of Versailles?

The Palace of Versailles was the most luxurious palace, built by the French King Louis the 14th. He probably had big needs, considering that this palace, which is one kilometer long, has 700 rooms!

The palace showed all of Europe the power of the king and it was so fancy that all the European royal houses imitated the look of it. This did not prevent any king of the French line from adding another part to the palace, including an entire village built for Queen Marie Antoinette, to enjoy the country's rural quietness.

Life at the Palace of Versailles included ceremonies, the changing of clothes, and feasts. The king's nobles would come to the palace for a long time and most of it was devoted to fun, parties, banquets, concerts and sexual debauchery. Signs of this flamboyant lifestyle can be seen in the magnificent and ornate palace illustrating the lavish approach of the French kings in the 17th and 18th centuries. The palace is the clearest symbol of the gap between the magnificence and wealth of the monarchy in the face of the depression and poverty of the lower class. The fact that this luxurious palace is located outside of Paris symbolizes the detachment of the monarchy at the time and ultimately brought about the French Revolution.

The compound includes the main palace, the Trianon palaces, the Marie Antoinette mansion and beautiful gardens. The gardens feature stylish balconies, cut-out beds in classic French style, sculptures, fountains and a large canal where gondolas and boats sail.

Many important historic event were held in the Palace of Versailles such as the peace agreement at the end of World War I, an agreement called "The Treaty of Versailles." As revenge, Hitler insisted, during the World War II to return to the Palace, and sign a new agreement declaring the surrender of France to Nazi Germany.



#The Gardens of Versailles

French King Louis the 14th wanted in his most decorated palace beautiful gardens. The architect Andre La Notre, the most important landscape architect of France was hired for the job. Thousands of workers, gardeners and builders worked to create the extraordinary garden. Vast amounts of dirt and plants were brought for the job from all over Europe. That's how the Gardens of Versailles were designed in the 17th century and they became the most beautiful gardens in Europe.

The gardens founded on the east side of palace, spread over 8,000 acres of land. They contain an impressive combination of flower designs, plants cut in interesting shapes and sculptures, water canals, trees, pools with ornamental fish, magical water fountains, hundreds of art sculptures and more.

About 200,000 trees are planted in the Gardens of Versailles, with 210,000 flowers being planted annually. In the entrance of the garden you can rent a golf cart or buy tickets for a small train that take you around the garden. In order to see all the gardens and the more distant castles (the great Trianon, the small house and Marie Antoinette's village house) you must walk a very long distance, so there are also transportation solutions for those who desire. To whoever decides to walk in the gardens, you will occasionally find coffee and ice creams stands.

Naturally, during the winter the gardens do not bloom as much - many of the sculptures are covered by the rain, there are almost no flowers and the whole place has an atmosphere of renovation and maintenance. You can still enjoy the palaces and the special winter atmosphere, but of course the experience is not perfect.

Today, the Versailles Gardens are among the most famous gardens in the world. They are also popular tourist destinations in France and are considered a must-visit site for millions of tourists who visit France each year.



#The Palace of Versailles for Tourists

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most luxurious and beautiful places, and visiting in is a unique experience. It consists of four main sections: the main building, which is a classic structure with many elegant sides, two separate palaces and the fourth part, contains spacious gardens designed by a special garden architect - it is spectacular, with water fountains, ponds, meadows, trees, flowers, everything is green and astonishing.

In the summer, there are extremely long line in the entrance to the palace, after visiting several rooms, you will be stunned by the amount of wealth displayed. Try not to miss the stunning "Hall of Mirrors" where the famous Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919 and the separate bedrooms of the King and Queen.

At the entrance to the palace take a map, because it is huge and includes a wide variety of buildings.



#Versailles Stories

If you take a guided tour in the palace, you will be told by the guides interesting stories. One of them is the story about the King's waking ceremony. Every morning the dignitaries of the court were invited to watch the king wake from his sleep. The room would fill with people, sometimes up to 100, and everyone would stand waiting for his eyes to open. If the king had not woken up by himself, one of his servants would wake him up as all the people around him watch his yawning, stretching, bathing and dressing. It was a prestigious ceremony to be invited to was considered a tremendous privilege to invitees.



#The Treaty of Versailles

Sometimes when you want peace, you might get war. This historic lesson was taught by the World War II. This war, which would soon be the biggest and most deadly war in the history of mankind, broke out partially because of the Treaty of Versailles, the peace treaty that did not bring peace.

The Treaty of Versailles, which was signed in the palace you are standing in right now, in the impressive Hall of Mirrors, was a treaty that was signed after the world war I, by the three sides that fought in it. It was no coincidence that this place was chosen, since this was the place where the coronation of the united German emperor took place in 1871.

The Treaty of Versailles laid the blame of "The Big War." World War I, on Germany and its allies. The treaty declared that responsibility for "all losses caused to the Allies and their friends, in the wake of the war imposed on them by the attack of Germany and its allies.”

Among the clauses of the treaty were huge compensation payments to the enemies of Germany, the transfer of many factories and territories from Germany to the victorious countries, the limitation of the strength of the German army, the dismantling of fortifications and the prohibition on building new ones, the destruction of weapons and submarines, and more.

The Treaty of Versailles and its harsh clauses against Germany are considered to be the most significant elements in the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany and later in the outbreak of World War II. One of the reasons was the chaos in Germany caused by the German economic collapse as a result of the heavy compensation payments Germany was required to pay. The improved fighting tactics developed by the German army due to the restrictions imposed on it by the agreement and the release of many of the worse officers in favor of the best officers who remained. But first and foremost, the feeling of humiliation that the Germans felt, caused them to believe that the people in the Nazi party will restore the honor lost in Versailles.

#Tips
If you want to wander in the gardens, try coming here on days that are not so hot. There is not a lot of shade, and usually long lines for the tours on the miniature train.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETmC3jkDAwY&t=25s


Place de la Bastille
Bastille Square
#About the Square Where the Bastille Stood

The Bastille Square (Place de la Bastille), is a major square in Paris, and was built on the spot where, before the French Revolution, stood the Bastille Fortress. This prison, whose exact name is Bastille Saint-Antoine, became a symbol after being destroyed in the Revolutionary war. An outline is drawn today on the sidewalks where the building once stood.

The Bastille Square in Paris, is located exactly where the Bastille Fortress stood, symbolizing France's freedom as a people, after the monarchy was overthrown. It is located at a meeting point of three of the city's districts - the 4th, 11th and 12th. Locals refer to all the surrounding areas "Besti," for Bastille.

At the center of the Bastille Square is the July Column (Colonne de Juillet), a monument for remembrance of the July day during the Revolutionary War in 1830. From the square you can also see the Bastille Opera House, located where in the past the Bastille train station was located, the metro station "Bastille," and where the Canal Saint-Martin passes.

The North-Western part of the square is a big area for nightlife and there are often concerts, parades, and performances. The symbolic square often also hosts political demonstrations by trade unions and socialist movements, all praising the historical and symbolic significance of the Bastille.

Each Sunday a twenty kilometer roller skating tour departs from the Bastille. Only in extreme weather conditions this trip is canceled.

At this spot, on July 14, 1790, France's independence celebrations traditions began. It all started when someone erected a dancing tented area at the center of the Bastille ruins. This is how the 14th of July celebrations began.

Four years later, on 1794, a guillotine was placed in the center of the Antoine Square, the original name of the square. As per the resident's requests, the guillotine was removed pretty quickly, however this tradition continued - 73 people were beheaded here, during the revolution and afterwards as well.

#About the Bastille Fortress that Was Destroyed in the Revolution

This happened on July 14, 1789, when the Bastille Fortress was rundown by the masses, who demanded ammunition from the officer in charge of the prison. When the officer refused the masses storming the Bastille, he was killed, along with other officers working at the prison at the time.

After the ruins were cleared up, they were spread across France, as a symbol of the destruction of the Bastille and the monarchy it symbolized, that oppressed its people.

Years before that the Bastille Fortress was built in order to defend Paris. In the days of Louis the 14th it became a prison, where prisoners were held in rooms built around the 8 towers of the fortress. The prisoners were criminals, and also political opponents. For the people of France, this fortress became the symbol of cruelty and fear and oppression by the monarchy of France.


A Closer Look at the Square:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6cndAxJTZs&t=30s
Le Bon Marché
#About the Department Store

The luxurious department store, Le Bon Marché, is located in the sixth district of Paris, and is proud of selling the best French products. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel (name sounds familiar?).

Le Bon Marché was built in 1852, by the couple Aristide and Margarite Boucicaut, who came to work in Paris in their youth from the suburbs. The business methods at the department store was considered revolutionary at the time, especially in the way products were offered to costumers. The innovation began when the couple understood that the Parisian market is looking for a new type of shopping experience. Therefore, the store offered a wide variety of items, all by self-service, with no vendor to find every item you request. Today every store operates this way - back then it was life changing!

Later, Le Bon Marché offered delivery services, exchanges, sales, free concerts and even an artist gallery to attract a high quality crowd. This business model was then imitated by stores all over Paris.

The department store is spread across two buildings next to one another. You can find designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior, and more. There are watches and jewelry, cosmetics, baby and children clothes, and a whole floor dedicated to the fashion world. The space is elegant and decorated all over the walls, mostly with modern art.



A Closer Look at the Department Store:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMgc0Zsb4Vw
Musée International de la Parfumerie
#About the Museum that Showcases the Perfume World

In the heart of Paris, near the Opera Garnier, is the Perfume Museum. In the past this museum was used as a theater, and the house of a British merchant.

The Perfume Museum reveals the secrets of the trade, the history and production of perfumes. You will also be able to see an amazing collection of expensive items that explain perfume history - from ancient times up to today. There are descriptions about natural ingredients and how they are combined with fats and other products to create modern perfumes. If you ever wondered why good perfumes are so expensive, at the museums you will clearly understand why: 200 kilos of lavenders are needed to produce one kilo of lavender scent for perfumes.

Visitors can discover the worlds of scents and smells with ancient artifacts, magazines and short videos.

On the second floor of the museum you will find a small museum dedicated completely to perfumes. You will be able to follow the 5,000 year long history of perfume making, through different displays and ancient perfume containers, photos, documents and tools. The museum is located in a building from the 19th century, whose design has been kept to its original architecture.

After touring the museum, on your way out you will pass a small perfume boutique shop. You can spray some of the scents on small pieces of paper. You can also purchase yourself or others a bottle of perfume or two.



A Closer Look at the Fregrance Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyfpranCSBY
Jardin des Plantes
#About the French Botanical Garden

The central French botanical garden will provide you a relaxed atmosphere and an important learning experience. This is mainly because it is part of the country's national nature museum. The gardens were planted in 1626 by Guy de La Brosse, who was King Louis XIII's physician. The primary purpose of the gardens was to grow medicinal plants. They were called the "King's Gardens" at that time. They were opened to the general public in 1640.

The stunning garden is decorated in a classic French style. It has elements of straight lines, precise gardening and exemplary order.

The botanical garden area is 280,000 square meters, with about 4,500 plants arranged by species, covering an area of ​​10,000 square meters. 30,000 square meters of gardens are dedicated to formal French gardens.

Entrance to the gardens is free, but if you want to visit the museum you will have to pay.



#What About the Garden and Museum of Natural History?

The botanical garden is divided into plant beds with thousands of species; tropical species, roses, irises and a large botanical garden. You will also find plants growing on high plains, tropical plants and medicinal plants. A particularly enjoyable experience is to rotate through a convoluted maze, and in the center a building. If you climb this building, you will be impressed by the view of the garden surrounding the maze.

At the edge of the park you will find the Natural History Museum where you can see realistic models of animal species. On the eastern side of the park is a small zoo, the oldest in the world, where you will find rare animals.

More in the garden - a greenhouse for plants from Mexico and another greenhouse for plants from Australia and a rose garden. There is also a botany school, which operates programs for the conservation and exchange of seeds with other botanical gardens in the world.

In the gardens are four wings belonging to the Natural History Museum, including the Great Gallery of Evolution, the Museum of Minerals, the Paleontology Museum and the Museum of Entomology.



A Closer Look at the Botanical Gardens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKkw0O8CAUo
Place du Tertre
#About the Square

Place du Tertre is a square located in the 18th district of Paris, near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. At the square you will see many different artists - some painting Parisian landscape, some painting portraits. It is interesting to see each individual artist's style - some more realistic, some abstract, some draw caricatures, some draw simple lines, and others will shock you with their talent.

At the Place du Tertre you will find stalls selling souvenirs, many at a pretty high price. The square is 120 meters about sea leve and is one of the main tourist destinations in Paris.



A Closer Look at the Square:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdVtNBLcEic
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, Mayllol 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, Mayllol 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 noble women 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 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NSlrxxL3xI
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 is 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:

https://youtu.be/AXh7hWSAERk
Champs-Élysées
#The Birth and Renewal of the Most Famous Avenue in the World

The Avenue des Champs Elysées, also known as the "Avenue of the Fields" is one of Paris's main avenues, and one of the most famous streets in the world.

This avenue is one of the most prominent symbols of Paris. It is 2 kilometers long, and here you can find a lot of luxury and glamor. This is because of the palaces and luxury buildings that are built along the avenue. The street begins at the Arc de Triomphe, and ends at the Place de la Concorde and is part of the "historic axis."

Although the avenue is very expensive, it is vibrant and full of tourists, who tour the area throughout the day. The avenue has been appointed a task force whose purpose is to maintain the area's prestige. Among the people who live here, the most famous tenant is the president of France, who lives in the Elysee Palace.

Champs-Elysées was not always as bright as today. During the 1980's the boulevard was neglected and abandoned by both business owners and tourists. Jacques Chirac, who was the mayor of Paris in the early 1990's, decided to do something and invested 36 million Euros in the dying boulevard. The architect Bernard Huatt and the designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte were brought in and asked to rebuild what was needed.

So what was actually done? The sidewalks extending from the Arc de Triomphe to the square in the middle of the avenue were re-paved with elegant granite stone. 55 benches were built especially for the boulevard, and placed down the street alongside matching designed lamps. New parking arrangements that made it easier for tourists to reach the area, and renovations for the metro, all contributed to the renewed atmosphere.

During the hard days of the avenue, criminal activities and violence were felt everywhere. During the years of rehabilitation, a reinforced police unit was placed on the avenue. The pickpockets and the bag grabbers were treated badly and the results were not long in coming - since 2000 the perpetrators have left the area and made room for tourists.

The biggest measure of the rehabilitation of the boulevard is the cost of rent per square meter in its real estate, which climbed to the second highest place in the world - 7,219 euros per square meter.



#The Avenue's Prestige

Properties around the famous boulevard have increased in value over the years. The real and inconceivable measure of this is the high cost of rent per square meter that climbed to the second place in the world - 7,219 euros per square meter. This huge tariff causes businesses that cannot survive these prices to give up their spot in the prestigious location. In recent decades, 10 theaters have closed, the old travel agency of Air France has also given way. In their place, a huge Louis Vuitton shop, Zara, Benton and a Cartier jewelry store leased a 650 square meter property at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe.

The legendary Publicis drug store underwent a massive renovation and a new luxury hotel came into the picture. The old Phuket Restaurant (1901) acquired the four buildings around it to build the hotel - the new palace of Paris, right in the center of the avenue.



#Shopping at the Champs-Elysées

The famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées is one of Paris's largest shopping areas. It offers dozens of beautiful luxury shops, brand stores and high fashion alongside more popular chains, souvenir shops and more. It is one of the most important avenues to visit during a visit to Paris, along with dozens of restaurants and cafes that will enhance your Parisian feeling.

You will find exclusive stores of important fashion designers, names like Cartier, Hugo Boss or Louis Vuitton. The prices of these luxury stores are particularly high, but you also have more affordable and accessible options in the well-known clothing chains around the world, such as the famous H & M. At the boulevard you will also find the flagship store of Paris, known as Sephora.

On the boulevard you will also find Disney's famous toy store and you can jump to the fabulous dessert store "Laduree." We recommend you to taste the wonderful macarons they make and even pack some home as a gift.



A Closer Look at the Avenue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4idGwtdhIgI
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.


Edith Piaf Museum
#About the Museum Dedicated to the Music Legend from France

On Crespin du Gast Street in Paris you will find an emotional spot for music lovers. At school number 5 is the Edith Piaf Museum (Musée Édith Piaf).

The meseum is located inside a normal apartment, the same one Edith lived in when she was 18 years old. It was founded by her fans, and for many years did not charge for entry.

The museum, whose background music consists of Piaf's voice, is a sort of temple to the singer. It has an impressive collection of photos, shoes, bags, and gloves that belonged to the diva, alongside her famous black dress, and endless fan letters written to her throughout her lifetime. These letters are full of love, that filled people's hearts with warmth and love in very tough times.
Sewers Museum
#About the Museum

It may sound like a joke, but the Sewer Museum (Musee des Egouts de Paris) in Paris really exists and you are really standing at its entrance! This interesting museum is located in the seventh district, on the left bank of Paris, near the Pont de l'Alma bridge and across Pier D'Orsay number 93, which is the building that exemplifies the complex sewer system in Paris. Visiting the museum is an adventurous and unique way to get to know Paris through the underground sewer system, it is a sort of underground city underneath Paris's magnificent sites. This famous sewer system was also mentioned in Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables."

As you enter the museum, you descend into the sewer system itself, you get to learn about the different sewer levels around and how this system is upheld, while walking closely to the sewer pipes. The tour intermixes walking around pipes that are used today, and older pipes that are outdated and are abandoned. Above these is the history of the Parisian sewer system, from different view points, including drawings from different time periods. Though today the sewers are updated, the tours include a few alleyways of the older systems, that are located down there just for display.

Beyond the tour, you can see photos from the history of the sewage of Paris, and get exposed to different maintenance methods that these difficult logistical pipes require.

Visitors on this tour are asked not to bring food, and at the end of the tour are requires to wash their hands.



#The Sewer System

Until the Middle Ages, drinking water in Paris was taken directly from the Seine River, where used water was drained to fields or unpaved streets. For an unclear reason, the water was able to return to the river, which lead to many health issues for the residents. This unusual museum is dedicated to the real underground city in Paris - the sewer system.

The divided sewage system is something of an achievement for the capital's residents from the 13th century, when King Philip August gave the order to build the drainage channels. At a certain point Napoleon ordered to have these channels moved underground, and in 1850 began the building of the sewage system that today reaches more than 2,100 kilometers of tunnels.

Until the 1970's, the sewage system was a fascinating tourist destinations that rode around in carriages, and later by walking tours. Today tourists are satisfied by visiting the museum, which has managed to turn this stinky topic into a chic place to visit. Here you can learn all about the Parisian sewage system.

The museum is located under the Pier d'Orsay, on the left bank of the Seine.

If you go on one of the hour long tours, you will be able to see the photos exhibited about the materials that were developed over the years to maintain and repair the sewage pipes. Massive wooden balls that were used for cleaning the pipes, maps that show the expansion of the tunnels by the architect Eugène Belgrand, and dolls dressed in uniforms of sanitations from different time periods.
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 a 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.
Opera Garnier
#About the Garnier Opera

The National Open House of Paris, Opera Garnier, is a big and impressive building locating in the ninth district, north of the tuilerie area. This is one of the most famous opera buildings in the world, for its prime feature of being the setting of the novel "The Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Leroux, whose story line has been the basis of many movies

During its earlier years the building was called "The Paris Opera House," but after the opening of the Opera Bastille in 1989, the building's name changed to "Opera Garnier."

The building's area is 11,000 square meters, and has 1,979 seats. The large stage holds up to 450 people. It is possible to go into the building not during show times for a fee.

Today you can listen to the National Opera and see the ballet company.



#Opera Garnier Architecture

In 1858, while Napoleon III was visiting the official opera building with his wife, there was an assasintation attempt against his life. Following this incident, Napoleon decided to build the new opera building, bigger and more impressive then the one where the attempt happened. Charles Garnier won the bid to design the building, and was comparitively young and did not have much experience, not much, that this was actually the first building he designed. Back to our story, to avoid future attempts, a safe passageway was built to allow the leader to descend straight to his carriage. The building began in 1862 and was finished in 1875.

Garnier managed to create a beautiful archictual design, advanced and modern. The building began in in 1861 and was finalized only 14 years later. The reasons for the delays was the Prussian-French War, the fall of the second empire and the conquoring of Paris by the Prussians. Another reason for the delays was an underground lake located under the contruction, an inspiration for the "Phantom of the Opera." The building was completed on January 15th, 1875.

The impressive building is decorated accordingly: marble friezes, gold and velvet walls, and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs. In 1964, the painter Marc Chagall was invited to decorate the ceiling of the opera.

The Opera Garnier is the most expensive building to be built during the second empire. The building is in the Neo-Baroque style, mixed with classical. It is considered an architectual wonder among the theater styles of the 19th century.



#Opera for the Subscribers

The opera building had very particular purposes- serving the opera subscribers. Subscribers had an annual subscription, and strictly came five days a week to the opera. They were less interested in the music, which served as background music for them, but more in the presence - to see and be seen. This is also why the architect Garnier built the building in this manner - the public areas comprise half of the building, the hall itself occupies only a quarter of it and the remaining quarters are rehearsal areas and offices.

The entrance hall is covered with mirrors, so visitors can check themselves out, and from here go up the wide marble stairs leading to the large and spacious waiting rooms. From the steps and the balconies, you can see everyone who enters the hall. What is absurd, is that the hall itself was built so that visitors can easily observe the other boxes, and with a little less of a view of the stage.

An interesting fact about the Opera Garnier is about the velvety red color of the chairs in the hall. Today it looked like a routine color, but back when the opera opened, the use of red fabrics was new. Garnier said that he decided to use this color because the women who come to the opera are like jewelry and therefore they should sit in a jewelry box (which was cushioned at that time). The bold idea succeeded, and today most of the concert halls, cinema and opera are lined with the color velvety red.

In order to provide an attraction to the public, Garnier installed a clock that shows the days of the week and the days of the month and built a "sunset room" with optical illusions. If you stand in the center of the room you can see the sun setting.



#Phantom of the Opera

The Opera Garnier was also the setting for the Phantom of the Opera, a Gothic-detective horror novel that became famous through many films, musicals and other versions over the years, originally written by the French writer Gaston Leroux and first published in 1909. It was serialized in the French press.

The story, some of which is real and some fictional, deals with the tragic love of a twisted genius for a talented young opera singer. According to the novel, the phantom is a twisted musical genius who was involved in the construction of an opera house, where he secretly built a network of tunnels and secret passages that allow him to move around the building like a ghost and impose his authority over the structure. The story is structured as a detective investigation and includes conversations with the various characters who survived and tell the story from their point of view.

The phantom story has become a cult legend and today it is surrounded by sworn fans who invented even a nickname: Phantom Phans. From the complex figure of the phantom Erik, through the music created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, to the design elements associated with the character: the huge organ, candles and candlesticks, masks, black velvet robes, chandeliers and so on. Many of the fans wrote their own versions of the story, some wrote their sequels - they publish their works across the Internet on various fan sites, and some even went so far as to print their versions.

To this day, one fan is known to love the phantom legend so much that she changed her legal name to Christine Daae, like the singer she loved from the novel.
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