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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:

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:

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:

Le Bon March
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:



Muse International de la Parfumerie
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:

Jardin des Plantes
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:

Place du Tertre
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:

Jardin des Tuileries
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:


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 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:

#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:

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.
Paris's Aquarium
#About the Aquarium

If there are a few advantages in a rainy and wintery Paris, they are the ability to visit places that one wouldn't otherwise get to if the sun was out and shining. Paris's Aquarium (L'Aquarium de Paris), located in the Jardins du Trocadéro, houses thousands of aquatic creatures from all over the world, different species, sizes, colors, that one can see through the clear glass.

The Aquarium, made of 60 separate aquariums, was established to showcase the underwater world of different tropical countries. Today you can find over 5,000 creatures here, of 350 different species. In the aquariums there is a division by species and geographical origins.

For children, this is an exciting experience, and as for adults, this is a pretty relaxed attraction. One of the most fascinating attractions here is the shark tank. Another attraction is the petting tank, where children (and parents) are welcome to put their hands in and pet the colorful fish that are swimming. In addition there are kids of shows here, like pirate doll shows, and screenings of nature movies and art activities.
Holocaust Museum
#About Paris's Holocaust Museum

The world has no small number of museums and memorials for the crimes committed to the Jewish community during the Holocaust. In Paris as well, you will be able to find a memorial for the commemoration of those who perished (Mémorial de la Shoah), and the meticulous documentation of the Jewish communities that lived here before the Holocaust.

In 2005, a site for commemorating the memory of the Holocaust was established, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The place offers a well-rounded experience that is fascinating for anyone seeking more information about the unbelievable and hard to accept Holocaust.

The building is divided to two parts that complement one another. There is an outdoor open area, where you can find a memorial in the memory of the killed with a main motif of light and shadow. Around the monument you will find the "Wall of Names," with written names of the 76,000 Jews that were banished from France (among them are 11,000 children). There is a monument for the "eternal flame," similar to the one at the Arc d'Triumph, and a monument to the anonymous Jewish hero, and the Righteous Among the Nations (there are about 2,700).

In the inner part of the building is the museum, which has taken on itself to make a bridge between the generation that suffered the Holocaust, and future generations. Testimonies, exhibits and informational learning centers - all these are available to visitors as well as the Jewish documentation center, containing all the information about the Jewish history during World War II. Visitors can listen to the chronological order of events that the French Jews suffered during the Holocaust and learn about the atrocities.

There are also temporary exhibits that also focus on this, like the destiny of the Jews of Europe, etc.

Île de la Cité
#About Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité is an island, one of two natural islands located on the Seine River. These islands are the original core of Paris. People have been living on the island for more than 200 years and this one of the oldest residential parts of Paris. It has an ancient and modern history. In the past the island was mainly used for residential and industrial purposed, however today the police headquarters is here, the Paris Hall of Justice, the hospital Hotel de Ville, and more. Only the western and northern parts were cleared of their inhabitants, and you can also find remains of houses from the 16th century.

In front of the Paris Hall of Justice used to stand here a palace where the kings of France lived. When the monarchy cleared this island and moved to live in different palaces, a vast area was opened and many wide square and streets were built, filled with alleyways and bunches of houses. This area then turned into a dense quarter. Île de la Cité is the most western of the two islands and houses big public buildings like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle Church, the magnificent Police headquarters, the Hall of Justice, and more.

#The Island's History

In the year 52 BC a Celtic tribe lived on the island in the name of Parisii, and around it Roman construction slowly began. If we take for example the place where today the Notre Dame is located, in the past this used to be a worship site for the Roman God Jupiter. For the remains, you can do some minimal detective work and visit the old crypt in the Notre Dame.

At a later period, Christians who were fleeing their homes from barbaric tribes settled here. During the Middle Ages this island became an important political and military spot.

The oldest residential area to survive to this day is "Old Monastery."

Within the construction work that went on here in the 19th century by the Baron Haussmann, the face of the island was changed completely. Haussmann cleared 25,000 residents and placed them elsewhere. He destroyed homes, streets and any building that disrupted the view from the Notre Dame. The square in front of the church was destroyed as well. Haussmann's work was stopped in 1869, before he got a change to destroy ancient remains on the island.

Downstream at the edge of the island, you will find the Wille Glenn (The Green Knight) Park, named after King Henry IV.

A Closer Look at the Island:

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 connect 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 sculptors Rodin's lover) 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:

Museum of Art and History of Judaism
#About the Museum

In Europe we can find many Jewish communities, however French Judaism is perhaps the largest and most magnificent. The history of the community includes ups and downs in the attitude of French government and society towards them. The Museum of Art and History of Judaism (Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaism) is very interesting, moving and stimulates thoughts on the question of who is a Jew in general and who is a French Jew in particular. It is located in the Marais district of central Paris, on Temple Street.

In 1986 Jacques Chirac, then mayor of Paris, designated a building that once served as a luxurious private hotel for a museum dedicated to French Judaism. As early as 1948, there was an active museum in Paris dedicated to Jewish art. Many of its collections were transferred to the new museum.

#Content of the Museum

The museum, which opened in 1998 after five years of preperation of the building, contains a dignified and enlightening display of Jewish history in the city. It presents an impressive collection of works of art by the Jews of the city. Among others you can enjoy the works of Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall and Chaim Lifshitz, alongside a collection of Judaica objects and antique Judaica items. There is also a new piece by Christian Boltanski commemorating the Jewish occupants of the building who perished in the Holocaust.

In the 19th century, three floors were added to the building that housed the museum, which were later removed in future renovations. Then they divided it into small apartments where Jewish families from Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine were housed. During the Nazi occupation, the Paris police deported them to the Drancy concentration camp, from which they were transported to extermination. 13 of the residents of the house did not return, and the museum now remembers and mentions them.

From the top of the building to the ground is the installation of Christian Boltanski, known as the "Inhabitants of the Hotel St.-Anien, 1939." This work records the names of the inhabitants of the house, whose commemoration was reconstructed in the form of mourning notices used in Eastern Europe. Sometimes, in addition to the name, the place of birth and profession are also listed, such as marking the tragic amputation of an untold story.

The museum has a large library that focuses on Judaism and the history of the Jewish people in Europe and in Israel.

#About the Dreyfus Affair

This historic affair gets a lot of attention in the museum. The Dreyfus Affair was an anti semitic plot that took place in France in 1895. During that period, Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish artillery officer with the rank of captain, was charged with betraying his country and spying for Germany. This was after the French army intelligence revealed a letter sent to the German Embassy in Paris detailing secret military documents. Although no concrete evidence was found against him, Alfred Dreyfus was suspected of sending the letter and was prosecuted in a military court. Not only was there no evidence against him, in order to reach a verdict in the trial, the prosecution presented false evidence that had not been submitted to the defense. Dreyfus strongly rejected the charge of espionage, but the false evidence convinced the judges of his guilt and they ruled that he was guilty of treason. He was sentenced to life in prison on the Island of Demons off the coast of French Guiana.

After the conviction and imprisonment, there were quite a few people who tried to prove Dreyfus's innocence. The French public was deeply interested in the affair and even divided into two rival camps. With the accumulation of many suspicions about the falsification of evidence, a retrial of Dreyfus was held on August 8, 1899. In view of the harsh conditions in the prison, his physical and mental condition was already difficult and he was again found guilty. Due to "mitigating circumstances," was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ten days later, he received a pardon from President Emil Luba and was released from prison.

It was only in 1906 that the court acquitted him of all charges and cleared his name, finally Dreyfus returned to the army as a major.
Place de la Concorde
#What's in the Square?

The Place de la Concorde is the largest and most impressive square in Paris, measuring at 84,000 square meters. During the Revolution, the guillotine was placed at the center, decapitating more than 1,000 heads, among them nobles and many important people.

Today in the center of the square stands the Egyptian Obelisk of Luxor. It is 23 meters tall and weighs 255 tons. There are also two beautiful fountains in the square, their design was copied from St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in Rome. The theme of the first fountain is sailing in the sea and the other - sailing in rivers. In both of them you will find statues of golden idols and water nymphs.

At the four corners of the square are eight sculptures of female characters, symbolizing the eight important cities of France: Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest, Rouen, Lille, Strasbourg and Lyon.

On the northeastern edge of the square is the United States Embassy (west of the Kryon hotel). You can also find the Madeleine Church here, alongside the International Automobile Federation, which sets the rules for car races around the world, including the Formula 1 race.

The center of the square is a wonderful observation point on the area.

#The Origin of the Square's Name

The name of the square today is the Square of Agreement, but until that name was given to it, the square underwent several incarnations of names.

The first name was "Place Louis the 15th," since it was established in the days of... well yes. Louis the 15th. He wanted to put a statue of himself on a horse in the middle of it. Of course the reason for this was to glorify the king's name and honor.

As soon as the French Revolution broke out, the revolutionaries saw the square as the place to put a guillotine for the decapitation of important people and nobles - kings such as like Louis the 16th, Queen Marie Antoinette, and so on. The statue of Louis the 15th was smashed to pieces and the square became the "Place de la Révolution".

After the period of decapitation ended, the name of the square changed again - this time to the "Square of Agreement." The guillotine was removed and replaced with the Egyptian obelisk.

#About the Egyptian Obelisk in the Heart of the Square

Today, in the center of the square stands the Egyptian Obelisk of Luxor. This is a 3300 year old pillar, that describes the victories of Ramesses II. The pillar is 23 meters high.

The obelisk was given to France as a gift by the Egyptian governor Muhammad Ali and it took five years until it was managed to transfer it from the ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor to the Place de la Concorde. The obelisk was only properly placed in 1836, after a complicated and complex procedure whose description was immortalized on his base - where the many mechanical means used to bring the obelisk to the square, weighing 255 tons, are described.

In 1998 the French government added a small golden pyramid to the head to complete the missing upper part (that was probably stolen in Egypt).

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the obelisk symbolizes the god of sun, because as a result of its height it is the first structure on which the sun falls and attests to the coming of the day.

In 2000 a French climber made history in the square. His name is Alan Robert and he climbed to the top of the obelisk using only with his hands and feet.

A Closer Look at the Square:

Shakespeare and Company
Louvre Museum
Museum of Decorative Arts
d'Orsay Art Museum
Dome Church

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

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אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
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