Showing posts with label TRAVELOGUE-PARIS-FRANCE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TRAVELOGUE-PARIS-FRANCE. Show all posts

Friday, August 5, 2016

La Madeleine, Paris

To my shame, I wasn't aware of this architectural and cultural gem earlier - it was not in our itinerary; we got into it only by a chance, or I should say only by mistake :) . We were navigating to Notre-dam, but our Tom-Tom went crazy for some reasons and made us to round about the La Madeleine three times. So we stopped our car nearby just to fix the GPS, then decided to hop-on to the beautiful La Madeleine Church.

La Madeleine is one of the beautiful Catholic churches of Paris, but it’s is unique and totally different from most of what you will see in Paris, both inside and out. . Though it’s one of the authentic churches, from its exterior it doesn’t look like a church at all!!. It gives a feel of typical traditional Greek Temple has just been transported from Athens to Paris !

In 1806, Napoleon began commissioning this great monument to himself and his Grand Army, following his great victory over the Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. Pierre-Alexandre Barthélémy Vignon (1763-1828) designed this monument to the Army, in neo-classical style. Looking like the Parthenon in Athens, this massive structure was completed after Napoleon's downfall. King Louis XVIII decreed that it would be a church. And so it was consecrated in 1842.

The exterior features beautiful carvings and massive columns with fantastic flower arrangements and the interior is serene and lovely. My favorite part of this one is the lovely and unusual altar figure of the Magdalene ascending into heaven with the help of several angels, and the half dome above it with the illuminating paintings of many saints.
Here's a nice panorama of the interior:

If you go to Paris, don`t miss this wonder, even just to see the building!!    #madeleine #napoleon #magdalene

Monday, August 1, 2016

Beautiful Bridges of Paris

Paris is a river city; The river #Seine flows all around the Paris.

Paris has close to 35 bridges (French call it “pont”) across the Seine throughout. Most of these bridges are more than 200 years old, built in the 18th century. From what I experienced, I think each one of them is unique with different architecture and history behind.

On a nice weather, you just walk through these beautiful bridges all along the river Seine to adore the views of iconic buildings/architectures, you’ll love Paris till your life time!

We had a chance to go through two of the most famous ones: The #Pont #Alexandre III and the Pont au Double.

1) Pont Alexandre III:
The Pont Alexandre III connects the Champs-Élysées quarter of Paris with it’s other side of the Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is named after Tsar Alexander III, who set-up the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. 

The bridge is a perfect example for the marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 6 metres (20 ft) high single span steel arch. The bridge is lined-up with the most beautiful street lamps all through; And the statues !!! Each corner of the bridge has huge columns with a gold gilt-bronze statue of Pegasus. Also some coloumns with the statues of cherubs, lions, and beautiful ladies. It’s simply gorgeous!

Not just me, everyone who visits it, will say this is one of the most decorative and extravagant bridges in the world!!!.

2) Pont au Double :

The Pont au Double is yet another beautiful (and probably one of the oldest) bridge over the river Seine, just right next to the Notre-dam.

The bridge was originally built in 1643inly for the purpose of carrying the sick people & wounded soliders to the Hôtel-Dieu (Man, it’s not a hotel! It’s one of the oldest hospitals of Paris :)

As the city traffic increased, general public also started to use the bridge, but eventually had to pay a toll money of – a “double denier” for each man on crossing the bridge. Hence the bridge got the name as “Double bridge (”Pont au Double).

The Pont au Double collapsed in 1709 but was rebuilt to the identical. The Pont au Double was demolished once more in 1883 and replaced with the current bridge.

This bridge is much smaller and very less intricate compared to the magnificence of the Pont Alexandre III. , but still I liked it verymuch , it’s bridge with subtle beauty that Paris is known for !!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Napoleon's Death Mystery

Every country has dozens of stories about the mysterious death of their beloved leaders/heroes - John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Subhas Chandra Bose… are a few that instantly come into my mind at least...

Likewise, the French too never get tired of stories about the death of their greatest warrior Napoleon Bonaparte! I always thought that napoleon died due to stomach cancer, but most of the French people refuse it and call it he was poisoned!  There’s more than enough of mystery around napoleons death, burial, tomb and even on his DNA!

The greatest emperor of Europe - Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to St. Helena – an island in the Atlantic Ocean, after loosing his final battle at the #waterloo in 1815. He was in the custody of British for 6 years and died at St. Helena in 1821. Ever since, the circumstances of his demise have been creating a lot of debate.

Arsenic Poisoning:
Autopsy reports of Napoleon shows high amount #arsenic in his body, which is more than a poison. Many of the French believe that the British might have poisoned napoleon fearing that he might escape the #exile again* and reconquer the France!

(* Even before the Waterloo, Napoleon had lost the “Battle of #montmartre” in 1814 and was exiled to the Elba Islands. Brave Napoleon spent nine months of exile at the Elba - only to plan and regain the Paris back. But, this time he was out of luck, he could led France only for the next 100 days till he was defeated again at Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena Islands where he died)

But the doubt of poisoning got strengthened when Napoleon’s coffin was dug-up in 1840 from Helena and bring it back to France. There was the surprise: His body was intact in perfect condition even after 25 years of burial !.

This made the scientist to suggest that Napoleon might have slowly poisoned with arsenic - which is apparently one of the most effective preservative too!

Le retour des cendres 
Another conspiracy was around the “#retour_des_Cendres – the return of the remains of Napoleon from St. Helena to Paris.

18 October, 1840 the coffin of Napoleon was exhumed  St.Helena and transferred to the ship “Belle Poule ” sailing back to Paris. The trip from #Helena to Paris was too long over two months, in between the body of napoleon was shifted twice to different boats, giving ample opportunities for speculations J

There are some stories saying the body buried at Les #Invalides in Paris is not actually Napoleon’s, but it was one of napoleons caretakers from St.Helena!. These people are still asking to exhume his body again from the Invalides and do go for a DNA test !

Napoleon remains in news even after he dies! His death, burial, ashes, tomb…everything are still a matter of debate!

Read the detailed history at : 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Les Invalides - Musée de l'Armée - Église du Dôme

Les Invalides, also called as “Hôtel des Invalides” meaning to “The National Residence of the Invalids”, is a building complex in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The big campus houses three museums (Musée de l'Armée, Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the military museum), and a Cathedral of Saint-Louis.

King Louis XIV constructed this huge campus in 1670 with a main purpose to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers (you can still see a hospital and rooms of retirement home), along with the large Church (Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides). Some of the wounded/died war heros of France were buried here, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte!

All the three museums and church/burial site all put up around French army, hence you can see all the exhibits of their old armor, canons, pictures explaining their war strategies, many artifacts, war forms, …and even their tombs.

One of the highlights of anyone whio wants to visit to Les Invalides is of course to see the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was interesting to learn about about his history and was surprised to know that his body was first buried at St. Helena by the Britsish, and later his remains were unearthed and carried to De Invalides Paris in 1840.

To inginite your interest towards the french history (escpecially about Napoleon), French Military, and to embrace the French architecture, the Les Invalides should be on your itinerary!!!,  

You’ll be amused. #napoleon   #invalides  #bonaparte  #helena

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eiffel Tower

What could be an iconic picture of Paris other than the incredible Eiffel Tower!. After making a quick drop off at the hotel, by default we also started our trip with a visit to the Eiffel Tower.

#Eiffel tower doesn’t need any introduction to anyone in the world, right? There are millions of people across the world have dreamt long time for seeing this structure in reality, myself included!. Once I took my first sight of its magnificence, I was just mesmerized and comprehended that dreams too come true.

Of course, In today’s standard the 324 meters (1,063ft) high Eiffel tower is not a miracle, but not to forget that it was built in 1889 and held the title of world’s tallest building for many decades. I was excited to know that tower faced a lot of criticism & protest from the people of Paris, fearing that this metal structure might spoil the credibility of beautiful Parisian architecture.

It’s #Gustave Eiffel – the designer of this wonder had just changed those criticisms to exclamations; you can see his anger statements of Gustave “
"My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?"
He’s true. Though his creature doesn’t have any of the antiqueness that the pyramids do, the eiffel tower undoubtedly has turned out to be one of the most famous buildings of the world, and an iconic symbol for the City of Love.

You can see the Eiffel Tower from almost all over the city of Paris, but you’d feel it’s fullness only when you climb to the top floor. The tower is open almost all through the day, you can visit from 9am to midnight, subject to the time & weather of the season.

Upto the second floor, youc an use the stairs (obvious, its not even an option for lazy chaps like me, I took the lift from the ground:). But, everyone must take a lift from the 2nd floor if you want to climb the top – to enjoy the real beautiful view of the Paris Skyline.

The first floor contains a restaurant, expositions, various presentations about the Eiffel tower and other famous attractions of the city, a souvenir shop, a cinema showing information about everything related to the Tower’s history and so on…

The second floor too homes a number of displays, a restaurant and a beautiful (??) view to the ground (don’t try to look down if you’re afraid of heights!). You can see a wall full of pcitures explaining the history of the tower again and its height comparision with other famous tall buildings all over the world.

The Top floor – wow that was amazing. The views you get from 1st and 2nd floor are no way comparable to the top one. You get a 360 degree view of Paris and surronding areas, truly mind blowing!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trip to Paris

Paris has been the “City of Love” for years; but I must admit that I have been falling in love with the city itself!

My interest towards France and Paris had started from MY TRIP TO PONDICHERRY,INDIA. I was very much excited and just attracted to their fantastic history, beautiful architecture, delicious food But, I never imagined that might visit Paris so soon. Lucky me :)

We had two wonderful days in Paris this weekend. Bit sad that two days is really short, we missed so many wonderful places, still managed to wander around some of the main attractions: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Les Invalides, Notre-Dame, Triumphal Arch, Madeleine Church, Pont Alexander III , Petit Palais, Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), Concorde Square (Place de la Concorde) and Grand Palais. Will try to write about each of them.

But this short visit to these attractions has only increased my adoration to the city. I must come here again at least a week - to walk for hours down the main streets to narrow roads, cherish more time at the museums, to stop-by a café for lattes and macaroons, to applaud their fashion, a little bit of shopping and generally loving every corner of the gorgeous city of Paris. #TRAVELOGUE #PARIS