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July 4 ...
- Louvre in the morning
The pyramid and the palace is quite an interesting
combination. Standing in the middle of the plaza in the early morning
(without any crowd) was a fine feeling hard to find in Paris.
- Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triophe was commissioned by Napoleon in
1806, but the arch, ornately carved with images of battles and emperor's
victories, was not complete until long after his death, in 1836. We went
up to the platform atop the arch (good thing with a museum pass was that we
did not need to wait in line) to have a nice view of Paris streets.
We walked along the most famous shopping street: Champs-Elysées.
Although we were not interested in any shopping at all, we found a nice
restaurant "Leon de Bruxelles"
specialized in mussels (well, not too good to me though....).
- Centre Pompidou
The centre, opened in 1977, is undoubtedly one of the most striking buildings
of the latter half of the 20th century in Paris. The Centre Pompidou
houses one of the most important museums in the world, featuring the top
collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, a vast public reference
library, a cinema and performance halls, a music research institute,
educational activity areas, bookshops, a restaurant and a café. It takes
a different mind to appreciate the modern art and Linus claimed he enjoyed
Pompidou more than Louvre!
- Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high in the north of Paris.
Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur
on its summit and as a nightclub district. The Basilica of the Sacré Cœur was
built on Montmartre from 1876 to 1912 by public subscription as a gesture of
expiation of the "crimes of the communards", after the Paris Commune events,
and to honor the French victims of the 1871 Franco-Prussian War.
We took the funiculaire (funicular
railway) to ascend to the hill top to save us hundreds of stair steps.
July 5 ...
We went to Notre-Dame again because we did not go up
to the towers (which is free for Museum Pass) in our previous visit.
There was a long and slow-moving line even we arrived there just after 10AM.
The ascent is long (387 steps) and narrow, the reward is a breathtaking view
over Paris (with a different angle/direction from Eiffel Tower and Arc de
The national museum of 19th-century art is best-known
for its French Impressionist paintings, but its collection also contains key
pieces from other artistic movements. The history of the museum, of its
building is quite unusual. In the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine,
opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay
railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It was no longer
a railway station by 1950 (its platforms were too short for modern trains) and
was lined up for demolition until the decision to turn it into a museum devoted
to art in 1977. The museum was open to the public in 1986.
We met several friends of Linus from US in the museum. Some of them we
have not seen for years even though we lived not far from each other in California.
- Les Invalides
Les Invalides, officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides (The
National Residence of the Invalids), is a complex of buildings, containing
museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as
well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's
original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military
museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée
d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France's
war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
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