Museums & Monuments in Paris

Museums & Monuments in Paris
Paris, also known as the City of Light, is famous for its history, art, architecture and cuisine. What many visitors do not know, however, is that the French capital contains several green spaces frequented by outdoor enthusiasts. The Bois de Boulogne, a forested area containing paths suitable for jogging, is one of the city's many large public spaces. Registered hiking paths can also be found throughout the city for visitors looking to explore the city on foot. The carefully designed paths allow a tour of many of Paris' most famous museums and monuments.

Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile

The Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees was first envisioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 and was later dedicated in 1836 by French king Louis-Phillipe, who dedicated it to soldiers of the French Revolution. The arch today is considered a monument to the old and the new and contains four relief sculptures completed by three different artists. The Arc itself was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. Visitors experience French history on interactive displays located inside the monument and sweeping views await those who visit the top. The Arc de Triomphe is open most days of the year, although times can change depending on holidays, private events and ceremonies. Check the official website for updates. An admission fee is collected.

Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile
Place Charles de Gaulle
75008 Paris

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of the world's more recognizable landmarks and rises 312 meters over the city of Paris. Gustave Eiffel, for which the tower was named, was a well-known builder and engineer. The tower opened in 1899 and remains standing today despite the fact that it was originally engineered to last only 20 years. According to the official Eiffel Tower website, the tower's endurance is a testament to Eiffel's exceptional engineering methods. The tower provides sweeping views of the city and today is a total entertainment complex containing souvenir shops and restaurants. Visitors can view Paris from different platforms at different heights. The Eiffel Tower is open 365 days a year and stays open until midnight in warm months. An entrance fee is required; elevator tickets cost more than access to the stair entrances.

The Eiffel Tower
5, Avenue Anatole France
Champ de Mars
75007 Paris

Musee d'Orsay

The Musee d'Orsay is a museum located on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris. The building itself is a former railway station known as Gare d'Orsay, constructed for the World's Fair in 1900. It was used as a train station until 1939 and then was used for various purposes including a mailing center and a film set. The building officially became a museum in 1977, although it was not completed and did not open to the public until 1986. The Musee d'Orsay contains hundreds of famous artworks including paintings by Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Musee d'Orsay is open Tuesday through Saturday with later hours on Thursday for an admission fee.

Musee d'Orsay
62, rue de Lille
75343 Paris Cedex 07

Musee du Louvre

The Musee du Louvre, or the Grand Louvre, is one of Paris' oldest and most well-known museums. According to its official website, the Palais du Louvre was first built in the 12th century under Phillip II as a fortress on the banks of the River Seine. It was later expanded on several occasions and became a residence for royals. When King Louis XIV moved the royal household to the nearby Chateau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles), the building became a display space for the royal collection of art, treasures and historical documents and a school for artists. It has been expanded several times and was temporarily renamed under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte but has remained a display space since 1793. The Louvre houses over 35,000 works of art including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. The Louvre is open for an admission fee Wednesday through Monday with late hours on Wednesday and Friday.

Musee du Louvre
75001 Paris Cedex 01

The Luxor Obelisk

According to Places in, the Luxor Obelisk is the oldest monument in Paris. Although it has been in Paris for about 200 years, the structure is actually over 3,000 years old. The obelisk is part of a pair of monuments that were in front of the Temple of Luxor at Thebes to honor Ramses II. It is made of pink granite and contains original hieroglyphics documenting the reign of Ramses II and Ramses III in Egypt. The monument was to be given as a gift to King Charles X but instead was exchanged for a clock by King Louis Phillippe after King Charles X abdicated the throne. A shiny pyramidion top, believed to be stolen during the monument's transfer, was recreated and restored to the top of the 22-meter-high monument under French President Jacques Chirac in 1998. The monument is located in the center of the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris. The Place de la Concorde is also a historic location, as it was once home to a famed guillotine erected for executions during the French Revolution.

Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris, France

Article Written By Kendall Olsen

Kendall Olsen has been writing for more than 20 years She is a University of Missouri-St. Louis Gateway Writing Project Fellow and has published instructional materials with the McDonald Publishing Company. Olsen holds an Ed.S. in educational technology, an M.Ed. in secondary English curriculum and instruction, a B.S. in elementary education and a B.A. in art history.

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