Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paris Tourist

While in Paris, we decided to check out the popular touristy spots. Here are some images with a little info on each.

We took the subway to the beautiful Montmarte area to check out the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.

-Located at the summit of the butte Montmarte, the highest point in the city.
-Architect Paul Abadie designed the basilica after winning a competition over 77 other architects.
-The groundbreaking was in 1875 and it was completed in 1914.

The Louvre Museum. We didn't spend much time in the museum, there is just too much to see and it's easy to get overwhelmed. We highly recommend getting a tour or at least an audio tour, so you at least know what that painting of the lady staring at you is and some other info about it, otherwise it's just walking around and after awhile after just blends together. 

-Original selling price of the Mona Lisa - $105,000, current estimated insured value of Mona Lisa - $670,000,000
-380,000 works of art in the Louvre inventory
-The Louvre is the most famous museum in Paris today, but before the French Revolution it was a royal palace. 

Notre Dame Cathedral. We didn't have a chance to see it during the day or to go inside but maybe it was even better to see a gothic cathedral at night. 

-180 years to build the Notre-Dame.
-Most popular tourist site in Paris, 13 million people visit annually.
-5000 stone gargoyles, gremlins, and demons in and around the cathedral.

Arc de Triomphe. We made a quick stop here while biking around the city. 

-After his victory over Russia and Austria at Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon promised his troops that he would take them back to France, where they would "pass under arches of triumph' on their way to their homes. He kept his word; construction of the Arc de Triomphe began the following year.
-128 Napoleonic battle victories inscribed on the walls of the Arc.
-The height of the Arc is 164 feet.

The Eiffel Tower. We packed a little picnic and took a long walk to the Eiffel tower, unfortunately it started raining a bit, though it didn't stop us from enjoying our picnic with the beautiful Eiffel Tower in view. 

-20,000 bulbs currently illuminating the Eiffel Tower.
-On a clear day, you can see 42 miles in every direction from the top of the Tower.
-It was built for Paris World's Fair and the original intention of the city was to knock it down after 20 years and sell it for scrap.
-In order to give it an even greater illusion of height, the Eiffel Tower is painted in three shades of a color, with the lightest shade at the top and the darkest at the bottom.