Thursday, February 15, 2007

Paris - Top 5 Attractions

There is an old saying which states that Paris is the place where all good people go to die. It is the combination of historical charm, modernism, and a heady underworld which makes Paris a fantasy tourist destination. It is the top 5 Paris attractions which draw people to this great city, again and again. Beyond the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre there are attractions which take visitors by surprise and in doing so create memories that last a life time. Below are a few of the hottest destinations in Paris. If you visit Europe, for work or pleasure, be sure to find the time to explore these attractions.

Paris is an old city and with history comes a great deal of memories. It is within France that these memories are replicated in stone. Paris is the capital of France and the city of monuments. This beautiful city is home to hundreds of monuments and intricately carved structures which dominate the cityscape. The Eiffel Tower embodies the essence of the city of lights. It is the most famous and visited of all the cities attractions. The tower was built in 1889, as a physical and tangible representation of all things French. It was created only to be a temporary structure and was to be taken down after the world's fair. It remains today as one of the most recognizable and most visited (6+ million visitors per year) monuments in the world.

One of the most photographed places in the top 5 Paris attractions is the Louvre. This small castle is now home to a number of paintings and sculptures by famous artists. Arguably the world's most famous art museum, the Louvre's most popular piece is Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa". It was established in 1793, and is one of the oldest museums in Europe. Its art collection spans from the birth of great civilizations up to the 19th century. An amazing 5,000,000+ million tourists visited the museum in 2002.

Another attraction is the Centre Pompidou. This is actually the museum which houses all of France's greatest masterpieces by modern artists. The Museum has large collections of paintings spanning the 20th century and including works by the most famous artists (Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst, Magritte, Chagall, Matisse, Delaunay, Kandinsky, Klee and many others). The Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou was the brainchild of French President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation, where the visual arts would rub shoulders with theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word. Some 6 million people pass through the Centre Pompidou's doors each year, a total of over 150 million visitors in its 25 years or so of existence.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is an attraction that can not be overlooked. This is the most breath taking and spiritual structure of Paris. It is here that the world's first true basilicas can be found. Some would assert that they are the best in the entire world. The Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the 12th century and has since remained a solid structure and representation of French gothic architecture.

In 1870, the Sacre Couer or Sacred Heart church started being built. The structure is preceded by an exerting 237 step stone staircase. Inside the church you will find one of the worlds largest mosaics "Christ in Majesty" that depicts Christ with outstretched arms. From the top of the dome, you have a stunning view of Paris extending over 30 kilometers. With a long tradition of culture and art, Paris should always be on your list of European destinations.

No comments: