Popular Paris Square Has a Dark Revolutionary Past

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Place de la Concorde, one of the most popular squares—and the largest in terms of sheer size—in the City of Light, may be beautiful and picturesque today, but at one time it witnessed dozens of bloody executions during the French Revolution. In fact, it’s the exact site where King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were made a foot shorter on top via the guillotine. Visitors today, enamored of the square’s gilded fountains, soaring Egyptian obelisk and unfettered views of some of Paris’s most iconic sites, are probably unaware of the area’s decidedly grotesque past. Even the square’s name today—essentially The Place of Harmony—belies its dark history. Continue Reading →

Louvre Breaks All-Time Attendance Record in 2018

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As anyone who’s visited the City of Light can attest–particularly tourists who inundate Paris during the peak summer travel months–the crowds for some of the iconic attractions can range from frustratingly busy to downright overwhelming. And 2018 was no stranger to massive throngs of sight-seers, particularly to the city’s world-famous Louvre museum, which set an all-time record for number of visitors. Continue Reading →

Top 5 Sports Venues in the City of Light

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There are many unexpected attractions in Paris that, while not as popular as such powerhouse tourist destinations as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe, still have their own unique charm and appeal. Now, we shift through gears and give our sporty readers something to peruse for their next Parisian getaway. Here, we take a look at five of the top sports stadiums in the City of Light. Continue Reading →

UPDATE: Thanksgiving Store in Paris Closes

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With turkey day fast approaching, American expats in Paris and long-term visitors to the City of Light are beginning their searches for all the ingredients for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. And a Marais boutique named Thanksgiving is the only one-stop shop in all of Paris — perhaps even all of France — to purchase everything needed to cook turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, yams topped with marshmallows and, of course, pumpkin pie. Or, we should say was the only such shop in the City of Light. Shoppers will sadly find the unique boutique permanently shuttered. Continue Reading →

Parking Lot Project Unearths Ancient Artifacts

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In far too many cities, the classic song lyric “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” is sadly accurate. But in Paris, ironically, it was the building of a parking lot that unearthed a wealth of archaeological treasures, including some that date back to the Gallo-Roman era that began in the year 52 B.C. And even more surprising is that this historical treasure trove literally lies at the feet of every tourist who visits one of Paris’s iconic sites. Continue Reading →

A Visit to the Delightful Rue Montorgueil Market Street

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An extremely popular 2nd Arrondissement destination for both tourists and locals is the Rue Montorgueil market street, a five-block long lane between Rue Etienne Marcel and Rue Reaumur. Home to more than two dozen specialty food shops, cafes and bistros, including a patisserie founded nearly 280 years ago by the head pastry chef to king Louis XV, Rue Montorgueil is a real treat even if you’re just window shopping (called faire du leche-vitrines in French, which oddly translates to “window licking). Continue Reading →

Up Close with Le Penseur at the Musee Rodin

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One of my favorite Paris Museums is the Musee Rodin, adjacent to the Invalides complex on the Right Bank. Opened in 1919, the museum is dedicated to French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum is housed in the 17th century Hotel Biron—a glorious mansion in which Rodin rented four rooms for his workshop from 1908 until his death in 1917—and the manor’s enormous gardens. Among the many pieces displayed at the museum are three of Rodin’s most famous works, including Le Penseur (The Thinker), Le Baiser (The Kiss) and La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell). Continue Reading →

Warm Up with a Hot Drink at Charming Royal Bar

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It’s been a cold few days in the City of Light, with nighttime temperatures dropping to near freezing and the days blustery and damp. But one of the pleasures of chilly Parisian winters is popping into a toasty cafe or tea room for a warm drink and a tasty dessert. (Or perhaps a cognac or two!) One of my best-loved warm-up spots is a fantastic little bar-cafe-tea room I stumbled upon quite by accident while roaming the tiny, winding Marais streets not far from the Picasso and Carnavalet museums—Royal Bar. You’ll love it, too. Continue Reading →

Puits d’Amour at World-Famous Stohrer

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Nestled among the many wonderful fish, butcher, cheese, produce and other fine-food shops on the market street Rue Montorgueil in Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement is one of my favorite pastry shops in the entire world – Stohrer. Technically called a patissier-traiteur because the shop offers a range of delicious meal and snack items in addition to desserts, Stohrer is best known for its fantastic pastries and its unbelievable history that stretches back to before the French Revolution. The shop’s two most-famous confections are the baba au rhum (a rum-soaked brioche) and the to-die-for Puits d’Amour (wells of love). Continue Reading →

The No. 1 Sandwich in France Is …

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Last year, a sandwich most of the world’s citizens associate with America was the most-consumed sandwich in France. Yes, hamburgers–or, as they call them in France, les burgers–topped the list of most-eaten sandwiches in the nation. For the first time ever, burgers edged what many consider to be the classic French on-the-run food–the iconic jambon beurre sandwich (ham and butter on a baguette). Continue Reading →