Don’t Miss Saint-Eustache, a Gothic Masterpiece

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Paris is littered with dozens of gorgeous churches, and many end up on tourists’ must-see lists: Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Sacre Coeur, Saint-Sulpice. But one of the City of Light’s most impressive houses of worship that stands guard over the Les Halles neighborhood is not visited nearly as often as it should be—L’Eglise Saint-Eustache. And that’s a shame, because many visitors to Paris rate this church as one of the city’s finest, both inside and out. Continue Reading →

Paris: The World’s Best “Walking City”

Entrance to Rue Montorgueil

One of things I love to do most while in Paris is simply wander the streets and check out all of the amazing architecture, art and green spaces. There’s so much to see on every single block that it’s almost overwhelming. Even a leisurely ramble with no destination in mind reveals so much beauty. Paris has been called the best “walking city” on Earth, and I have to wholeheartedly agree! Continue Reading →

Statues, Statues Everywhere

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One of the things I — and most visitors to Paris — admire most about the City of Light is the abundance of art that greets Parisians each and every day. From glorious architecture to historic fountains to large outdoor murals to anonymously scrawled street art, Paris offers something beautiful to gaze upon no matter where one looks. There’s so much public art that many have dubbed the city a massive “open-air museum.” And that “museum” includes statues and sculptures. Lots of statues and sculptures. In fact, Paris has more than 1,000 statues created by more than 400 artists on public display throughout the city. Continue Reading →

Paris’s Elysee Palace: France’s White House

Elysee Palace 9

Nearly every visitor to the City of Light pays a visit to the Champs Elysees, either to stroll the long, sycamore tree-lined boulevard or to visit the Place de la Concorde or the Arc de Triomphe that anchor the two ends of the elegant thoroughfare. But relatively few walk the two short blocks to visit France’s version of the White House—the Elysee Palace. It’s definitely worth the short detour! Continue Reading →

Picturesque Park Off the Busy Blvd. Sebastopol

Square Emile Chautemps 5

One of the true pleasures of Paris is the array of surprises that one stumbles upon when strolling the twisty-turny lanes through the City of Light. From medieval architecture to historic statues, and from stately fountains to tiny parks and green spaces, there’s something new and exciting practically around every corner. One such delight is the Square Emile Chautemps, located just off the very busy and very commercial Boulevard Sebastopol in the 3rd Arrondissement. Continue Reading →

The Medici Fountain: A Luxembourg Gardens Gem

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Many tourists in Paris make a trip to gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondissement to admire its exquisite landscaping, children playing with toy boats on its circular basin, more than 100 statues and other monuments scattered throughout the park’s nearly 57 acres and the ornate Luxembourg Palace, which today serves as home to the French Senate. One of the true gems of the Luxembourg Gardens, however, is not as frequently visited—the Medici Fountain. And that’s a shame, because the fountain is not only beautiful, but is deeply rooted in Paris’s rich history. Continue Reading →

Porte Saint-Denis: Once a Medieval Gate to Paris

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Not as large or well-known as the Arc de Triomphe, the Porte Saint-Denis is another massive arch in Paris that is well worth checking out. Technically a “porte” and not an “arc” since it marks the site of an ancient gate through ramparts surrounding Paris’s Right Bank, the Porte Sainte-Denise was designed by sculptor Michel Anguier and architect Francois Blondel in 1672 when the fortification was razed. The engravings and reliefs on the structure symbolize King Louis XIV’s military victories in the Netherlands and along the Rhine River. Continue Reading →

Seen On the Streets of Paris …

As anyone who’s ever visited Paris knows, one of the best ways to experience the city is to simply wander through its streets, either from your hotel/apartment to a specific destination or, even better, with no end point in mind. There seems to be a surprise around every corner and something new and beautiful to see. Here are some of my favorite street scenes … Continue Reading →

Honoring Victims of War at Paris’s Anne Frank Garden

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Visitors to the City of Light who enjoyed today’s annual Armistice Day parade and the ceremonial placement of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe might also wish to take a moment to solemnize the second World War, in particularl the millions of Jews who were murdered by Nazi Germany (including about 77,000 French Jews). What better place to honor them than with a visit to a serene city park dedicated to perhaps the most well-known of all the victims of the Holocaust—Anne Frank? The charming but difficult-to-locate Jardin Anne Frank memorializes the teenaged girl known worldwide for the diary she kept while she, her family and friends hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II. But the quiet green space in Paris also more broadly memorializes all those who’ve lost their lives to war. Continue Reading →

A Visit to the Home of the Man Who Saved Notre Dame

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A great—and free!—way to spend a delightful and informative hour or two while in the City of Light is to visit the one-time home of one of the most famous of all Parisians: artist, poet and author Victor Hugo. Hugo lived in a 17th century mansion overlooking the gorgeous Place des Vosges in the Marais for 16 years, from 1832 to 1848. In fact, it was at his second-floor apartment in this very house that Hugo penned one of his most famous works, the novel Les Miserables. But perhaps his most significant work is the novel Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame), a book that is credited with saving Notre Dame Cathedral from possible demolition. Continue Reading →