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Excursion tour in Paris. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

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Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Montparnasse, La Defense, Pantheon, Luxembourg Palace, and Palais de l Elysee are the next landmarks in the review. Just like in the beginning of the review, we have prepared a collection of historic facts and some awesome photographs for each of these top architecture monuments of Paris. Don’t forget to admire the look of these sights from a bird’s eye view. This view is available in the flyover video of the architectural skyline of Paris. After such a guide, it won’t be a hassle to make up a great plan of a real-life excursion tour in Paris. Ready, steady, go!

Eiffel Tower, Paris

» The Eiffel Tower was built specifically for the World Expo 1889. According to the plan, the Eiffel Tower had to be dismantled in 20 years, but soon the era of radio has begun, and the Eiffel Tower was saved by installation of wireless antennas.
»  Gross weight of the construction is 10,100 tons.
»  Over the entire period of its existence, the color of the tower was constantly changing - from bright yellow to dark brown. Now the tower is painted in the unique bronze color called Eiffel (it was officially patented).
» The tower was twice failed to be sold for scrap; this machination was cranked by the fraudster Victor Lustig.
» To the date, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited attraction in the world. Annually it’s visited by more than 236 million people.
» You can climb the structure in two ways: by foot, overcoming 1,792 steps, and by elevator.

Louvre Museum, Paris

» Initially, the Louvre has been built as a military fortress, later it became a royal residence, and only in 1793 museum’s doors were first opened to the public.
» The Louvre is a building consisting of four parts; they are called wings, and each of them serves for its special purpose.
» The Louvre Museum houses some of the most famous works of art in the history of human civilization. Artworks shown in the Louvre have being collected by French government during last 500 years.
» It would take more than a day to explore the Louvre Museum. If you want to see all the exhibits, the best solution is to find a hotel near the Louvre and devote at least a week of free time to go around the museum.
» The Pyramid is the third most popular art object among visitors after the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
» Napoleon I has made special contribution to the expansion of Louvre collection. He demanded tribute in the form of works of art from each of the defeated nations.

Montparnasse, Paris

» Tour Montparnasse is of 57 floors, and its height is 210 m. Skyscraper construction has being carried out from 1969 to 1972.
» Tour Montparnasse is the only skyscraper situated inside the city limits of Paris, and not in its suburbs.
» The upper floors of the building house an open cafe, a gift shop and an observation deck with panoramic view of a large part of the city.
» Despite its height of 210 meters, the Montparnasse Tower seems lower, as it goes down into the ground for 70 meters. The construction weighs about 120 tons.
» The tower has 26 high-speed elevators that carry employees to the business center with its many stores and front offices. The shopping mall that includes a shopping center and a public swimming pool, as well as the international center of textile production is situated at the foot of the Tour Montparnasse.
» A visit the observation deck costs a little cheaper than a visit to the Eiffel Tower and, therefore, significantly increases the number of those wishing to climb the skyscraper.

La Defense, Paris

» La Defense is the modern business and residential district in the near suburb of Paris, which is the largest business center in Europe. It’s also called the Manhattan of Paris.
»  A feature of La Defense is a complete absence of passenger and road traffic. Public transport and vehicles move via underground tunnels, so the entire territory of Defense is a pedestrian zone.
» This district was built in the 60-th years of the 20th century. The site development consists of skyscrapers, designated mainly for offices and apartments.
» Total number of skyscrapers is 71. By the way, the district features one of the largest shopping centers in Paris that was opened in 1981.
» The central pedestrian area of La Defense is framed by the fifty-meter swimming pool designed by Greek sculptor Takis: the water is pierced by 49 spiral metal pins of different lengths; they are decorated with various geometric shapes equipped with multi-colored flashing lights on their tops.

Pantheon, Paris

» Pantheon is the architectural and historical monument, an example of French classicism. Originally it was the Church of St. Genevieve, and later - the tomb of France noblemen.
» Outstanding people weren’t buried in the Pantheon immediately, but after some time. It’s necessary to see whether some unpleasant facts would disclose about the personality. As it has happened, for example, with Honore Mirabeau; his remains had to be taken out.
» Ashes of Alexander Dumas have found their place in the Pantheon after 132 years after his death. It took so many years for the French to decide whether he was a great writer or just a graphomaniac.
» Many windows were bricked in the 18th century. That decision was taken by revolutionaries who believed that there should not be too much light at the tomb of the great men.
» Foucault pendulum, which proves that our planet is still rotating, can be found in the Pantheon. The first public pendulum experiment has been carried out in 1851.

Luxembourg Palace, Paris

» Luxembourg Palace was built for Queen Marie de Medici; her contemporaries have said that it has been the most beautiful palace in Paris.
»  Marie de Medici asked the famous painter Rubens to help with interior, as Parisian aristocracy was well aware of his works. To decorate the interiors of the Luxembourg Palace the artist has specially created a series called Marie de' Medici Cycle consisting of 24 paintings depicting her life.
» During the French Revolution the palace served as a prison for nobles. Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon's future wife, as well as Lanton and Desmoulins were sentenced there.
» The park of Luxembourg Palace features the Statue of Liberty of about two meters high.
» Today the palace houses the Musee de Luxembourg and French Senate.

Palais de l Elysee, Paris

» Elysee Palace is the symbol of supreme power in France.
» The interior of the personal area of the President at the heart of the Elysee Palace has been almost unchanged from 1861. De Gaulle has put the globe there, and the Pompidou hung a picture of Nicolas de Stael on one wall.
» The underground of the Elysee Palace houses the Jupiter Room, where the president may order the use of French nuclear forces. There are three TV screens for direct communication between the President, the Minister of Defense and Air Force Strategic Command.
» According to established protocol, the ‘first table’ of France provides 60 cm of space for each guest. When receiving VIPs, another 10 cm are added, and arm-hairs are placed instead of chairs. Dinnerware is stored in a special room in 35 wooden chests, in special leather containers and boxes of numerous drawers.
» Chef of the Elysee Palace uses a card file menu in order to avoid repetition of dishes for visitors who dine there not for the first time.
»  The excursion along the halls of the palace is held once a year, on the Cultural Heritage Day in early September. In the rest of the year, unfortunately, the palace can be viewed only through the garden fence.
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