- Attractions and Sightseeing
Sightseeing in Paris is like dipping into
ancient history. The sights are truly embodiments
of remarkable artistic and cultural treasures.
You'll see the internationally-renowned collections
of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts,
grand medieval abbeys, classical architecture,
remains of the old Roman Lutetia, gothic masterpieces,
collections from Napoleonic times, and many
more! All of these truly make Paris a capital
of the arts, both past and present.
PARIS LANDMARKS AND ATTRACTIONS
Eiffel Tower: Built in 1889 and almost
torn down in 1909, the Tour Eiffel was the
world's tallest structure at 320m (1050ft)
until Manhattan's Chrysler Building was completed.
This is one of the world's most recognizable
monuments and is truly breathtaking to behold.
The Eiffel Tower drew 6.2 million visitors
in 2002, according to Paris Office of Tourism
Take the lift to the top for a spectacular
view of the city. Three levels of this monumental
attraction are open to the public. There are
elevators to the top but they have long queues.
You can avoid the queues by walking up the
stairs in the south pillar to the 1st or 2nd
platforms. Guided visits are also available.
Notre Dame (Cathedrale de Notre-Dame-de-Paris):
Notre Dame de Paris is a magnificent masterpiece
of French Gothic architecture which can hold
over 6000 people. This famous home of the
hunchback is well worth the effort of climbing
the 387 steps of the north tower. This will
bring you to the top of the west facade and
face to face with many of the cathedral's
gargoyles. Enjoy the beautiful stained glass
and flying buttresses, if not the spectacular
view of Paris.
Sainte-Chapelle: Sainte-Chapelle was
consecrated in 1248 and lies within the walls
of the Palais de Justice. The chapel is illuminated
by the oldest and finest stained-glass windows
to be found in Paris. The chapel's exterior
can be viewed from across the street, from
the law courts' magnificently gilded 18th-century
gate, which faces Rue de Lutèce.
Centre Pompidou: The Pompidou Centre,
also known simply as Beaubourg, was built
in the 1970s and named after former French
president Georges Pompidou. The centre's design,
complete with its glass elevators, was the
inspiration for the Lloyds Building in London
and attracts visitors by the million and has
become the most visited cultural site in Paris.
Two floors are dedicated to exhibiting some
of the 40,000-plus works of the Musée
Nationale d'Art Moderne (MNAM), which displays
a vast collection of 20th-century art from
Fauvism and Cubism to Abstract and Absurd.
Its numerous cinemas and theatres have regular
musical and dance performances. The top floors
have a magnificent view of Paris, and place
George Pompidou below attracts street performers,
musicians and artists.
Arc de Triomphe: The Arc de Triomphe
was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate
his imperial victories, but remained unfinished
until 1836. It is the world's largest traffic
roundabout and from the viewing platform on
top of the arch (284 steps), you can see the
12 avenues. The arch brings in 1.4 million
visitors each year. Tickets are sold in the