Paris, France | Travel guide for a fun family vacation and more!
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Bonjour et bienvenue!
Come with me as I take you on a tour of our family vacation to Paris, France. It was summer 2013 when we left from London to Paris on the Eurostar. This is a high speed train that literally goes underground on the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France. It is one of the coolest ways we’ve ever traveled!
3. “Mona Lisa”
(Source: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/ )
More than a historical monument, this cathedral is above all “the House of God and the Abode of men” because this building is loaded with human and Christian experience.
and now the iconic Paris building!
Ah, this iconic structure in Paris, France is a must see and do. There are many sites that sell Eiffel Tower tickets, but the above site is the official site where you can look up more information. It’s also best to book tickets before you leave home as they go fairly quickly, especially during the summer. You can purchase tickets for daytime, nighttime, and specify a time frame. This is worth it! We bought tickets for a daytime view and a nighttime view. The featured image at the top of this post was taken during our stay in Paris which was a national holiday named Bastille Day. The colors are from France’s flag. For more information on this national holiday see here: History and meaning of Bastille Day
Nighttime view from the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is absolutely stunning!
You will definitely get some cardio in while visiting this gorgeous church on a hill! You will get some of the best city views of Paris, France from the top. Their official website has some really cool information about the history and what it stands for: http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/
My hubby and I spent two afternoons wandering around enjoying the bistros, boutiques, Sacre Coure and the Musee de Montmartre. So much natural beauty mixed in with a cozy village atmosphere and of course the traditional architecture was often breathtaking.
In this museum you can find the real “The Thinker” displayed out in the garden. The museum is a lovely place to visit with numerous statues and interesting pieces of art like “The Gates of Hell” which is personally kind of creepy.
The history of the catacombes is very intriguing. Below you can read an excerpt from their direct site. In order to get to the catacombes you must climb down an equivalent of a five story building. It is deeper than their subway & sewer systems! Renovations have improved the lighting experience making paths easier to view while walking. I thought it was a pretty creepy experience to see all the dead from their past. This experience might not be suitable for the claustrophobic.
The name of ‘Catacombs’ was given to this ossuary in reference to the Catacombs of Rome, a name originally given to an ancient cemetery situated not far from the Appian Way. The Cemetery of the Innocents (near Saint-Eustache, in the area of Les Halles) had been in use for nearly ten centuries and had become a source of infection for the inhabitants of the locality. After numerous complaints, the Council of State decided, on November 9th 1785, to prohibit further use of the Cemetery of the Innocents and to remove its contents.
Disused quarries were chosen to receive the remains; the City of Paris had in fact just completed a general inspection of the quarries, in order to strengthen the public highways undermined by them. Building work was done on the “Tombe-Issoire” quarry, using large quantities of stone, strengthening the galleries and completed by digging out a staircase, flanked by a well into which the bones could be thrown.
The transfer of the remains could begin after the blessing and consecration of the site on April 7th 1786, and it continued until 1788, always at nightfall and following a ceremony whereby a procession of priests in surplices sang the service for the dead along the route taken by the carts loaded with bones, which were covered by a black veil. Then, until 1814, the site received the remains from all the cemeteries of Paris.
Since their creation, the Catacombs have aroused curiosity. In 1787, the Count d’Artois, the future Charles X, made the descent, along with Ladies of the Court. The following year a visit from Madame de Polignac and Madame de Guiche is mentioned. In 1814, Francis I, the Emperor of Austria living victoriously in Paris, visited them. In 1860, Napoleon III went down with his son.
The Paris Catacombs re-opened on June 14th 2005, after several months of closure for building work. The lighting has been adjusted, the vaults strengthened and the walls of bones put back.
Musée de l’armée
If you love history and battles, you HAVE to go visit here. This museum has the burial place of Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military & political figure who rose to power during the French Revolution and was huge influence during the 19th century. Heavily armed battle artillery and artifacts encompasses this museum.
Arc de Triomphe
Ah, the famous Arc de Triomphe! The only way to get to it up close is to go downstairs under the city street, which is a roundabout street so you can’t cross it, and then go upstairs out of the street. You can go all the way up, if you like, but it’s a lot of stairs! It was very interesting to see that underneath the arc was a tomb of an unknown soldier. The lit torch under the arc symbolizes the respect and honor that the unknown soldier deserves.
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