Paris is the most glamorous city in Europe. It is at once deeply traditional - a village-like metropolis whose inhabitants continue to be notorious for their hauteur - and famously cosmopolitan. While such contradictions and contrasts may be the reality of any city, they are the makings of Paris: consider the tiny lanes and alleyways of the Quartier Latin or Montmartre against the monumental vistas from the Louvre to La Défense; the multiplicity of street markets and old-fashioned pedestrian arcades against the giant underground commercial complexes of Montparnasse and Les Halles; or the aristocratic wealth of the grand quarters against the vibrant chaos of the poorer districts. At times, Paris can feel inhumanly magnificent, the arrogance of its monuments encompassing the chilly pomp of the Panthéon, the industrial chic of the Eiffel Tower and the almost spiritual glasswork of the Louvre pyramid.
Yet it also operates on a very human scale, with exquisite, secretive little nooks tucked away from the Grands Boulevards and very definite little communities revolving around games of boules and the local boulangerie and café. And even as Paris's culture is transformed by its large immigrant and gay populations, even as extravagant new buildings are commissioned and erected, many of the city's streets, cafés and restaurants remain remarkably, defiantly unchanged.
In the great local tradition of the flâneur, or thoughtful boulevard-stroller, Paris is a wonderful city for aimless wandering. Relaxed quarters such as the vibrant Marais, elegant St-Germain and romantic Montmartre are ideal for street-browsing, shopping and café-sitting, and the city's lack of open space is redeemed by beautiful formal gardens, by the pathways and pavements that run beside the River Seine, and by endless hidden or unexpected havens. And everywhere you go, historic landmark buildings and contemporary architectural wonders remind you of the city's pride and grandeur - and stop you getting lost. Paris was created some 2,000 years ago and began at the Cité Island (Ile de la Cité). With emphasis on the history and art of the capital this tour concentrates on two main visits. It includes: a drive through the Marais district and the Latin Quarter, a guided visit to Notre Dame Cathedral and to the Louvre (Winged Victory and Mona Lisa). At the end of the Louvre visit, clients have the option of spending the rest of the day at the museum.
Most Romantic City in The World
Paris - said to be the most romantic city in the world and certainly one of the most beautiful. The Eiffel Tower may have been seen as an eyesore when it was first built but today it is an icon for the city. Most first time visitors will be surprised at how many images of the city they have absorbed already - Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and of course the Sacré Coeur. Romantic Paris is best at night by the Seine. But historic buildings and monuments make walking at any time a culture blitz. A trip on the métro should be included, not least to admire the Art Nouveau details. A carnet of 10 tickets makes travel cheap. Plan your trip according to your time. A barge trip adds ambiance. The extravagant shops of Rue du Faubourg St Honoré and Boulevard Haussmann, the museums, the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, are all a stone's throw away from each other.
The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel's was unanimously chosen. However it was not accepted by all at first, and a petition of 300 names - including those of Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier (architect of the Opéra Garnier), and Dumas the Younger - protested its construction. At 300 metres (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Other
2.5 million rivets.
300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it.
Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds.
Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets).
40 tons of paint.
1652 steps to the top.
It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna - used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became part of the International Time Service. French radio (since 1918), and French television (since 1957) have also made use of its stature.
During its lifetime, the Eiffel Tower has also witnessed a few strange scenes, including being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and parachuted off of in 1984 by two Englishmen. In 1923 a journalist rode a bicycle down from the first level. Some accounts say he rode down the stairs, other accounts suggest the exterior of one of the tower's four legs which slope outward. However, if its birth was difficult, it is now completely accepted and must be listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself. more..