Tourism in Paris

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A chimera of Notre-Dame

Paris receives about 27 million visitors per year (including 17 million international visitors); or 44 million if the surrounding region is included.[1] The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[2] The most famous attractions include Notre Dame de Paris, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Pompidou Centre, Musée d'Orsay, Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe. There are multiple forms of public transportation available, including Bus, Boat, Metro, RER. While Paris is known for having the lowest level of rainfall in the France region, there can be some unexpected rainfall occurring all throughout the year.

The Euro (€) is the national currency for Paris.[3]

Tourist attractions[edit]

The Eiffel Tower[edit]

The Eiffel Tower from the Place du Trocadéro

The Eiffel tower is acknowledged as the universal symbol of Paris and France. It was originally designed by Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. In March 1885 Gustave Eiffel, known primarily as a successful iron engineer, submitted a plan for a tower to the French Ministre du Commerce et de l'Industrie.[4] He entered a competition for students studying at the university. The winning proposal would stand as the centerpiece of the 1889 Exposition. Eiffel's was one of over 100 submissions. Eiffel's proposal was finally chosen in June 1886. Even before its construction, the Tower's uniqueness was noticed. The Eiffel tower, was finally inaugurated on March 31, 1889.[4] Currently about 6.9 million people visit the Eiffel tower each year.[5]

Centre Georges Pompidou[edit]

Centre Georges Pompidou was officially opened on January 31, 1977 by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.[6] The designers of Pompidou are Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Peter Rice.[7] The Centre Pompidou has had over 150 million visitors since 1977.[6] Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais.[8] In 1997 renovations had begun to drastically change the interior spaces of the Centre Pompidou. The renovations were still preserving the celebrated and original tubular design [6] The internal refurbishment was mainly done to enable the building to deal with the pressure of increasing visitor numbers. The renovation also developed the centre's capacity to host the performing arts and increased the display area of the Museum of Modern Art.[6]

Arc de Triomphe[edit]

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.[9] It should not be confused with a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: "Triumphal Arch") honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The Arc de Triomphe is the linchpin of the historic axis (Axe historique) – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre, to the Grande Arche de la Défense.

The Musée du Quai Branly[edit]

The Musée du quai Branly is a museum in Paris, France that features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum is located at 37, quai Branly - portail Debilly, 75007 Paris, France, situated close to the Eiffel Tower. The nearest métro and RER stations are Alma – Marceau and Pont de l'Alma, respectively. MQB is named after its location on the quai Branly, which in turn is named after the physicist Édouard Branly.

The Musée d'Orsay[edit]

The Musée d'Orsay

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine.[10] It started to be constructed in 1897 and was designed by Gae Aulenti, Victor Laloux, and Émile Bernard.[11] The Musée d'Orsay is an art museum for works from 1848 to 1914 and has an emphasis on French Impressionism artwork.[4] One can walk through the museum room by room. There are sections on Symbolism, Naturalism, Impressionism, Pont Aven School, and Art Nouveau to name just a few.[4] The museum is the culmination of nearly ten years of government commitment and dedicated team-work [12] By visiting this museum it is possible to get some idea of what was happening in France in the fields of painting, drawing and sculpture, opera design, architecture, photography, metalwork, furniture, ceramics and textiles.[12]

The Musée du Louvre[edit]

The Louvre Palace and the Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre Palace, originally built as a medieval fortress in the year 1190 by King Philippe Auguste, was transformed by successive governments, since the French Revolution it hosts the Musée du Louvre one of the largest museums of the western world.[13] It houses some of the most popular and culturally ethnic form of art. The doors to The Louvre opened to the public on August 10, 1793.[13] Since the 12th Century, The Louvre has undergone several infrastructural changes due to a change of reign after every century. On March 3, 1989, I.M. Pei inaugurated the Glass Pyramid.[13] This also serves as an official entrance to the main exhibition hall, which in turn leads to the temporary exhibition halls. The Musée is divided into 3 separate wings: Sully, Richelieu and Denon, which showcase 35,000 pieces of art, dating back to the Middle Ages.[14] Some of the most renown pieces of art showcased at The Louvre are the Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Venus of Milo, Nike of Samothrake, and the Dying Slave by Michelangelo.

Notre-Dame de Paris[edit]

Notre-Dame de Paris

The Notre-Dame de Paris, is one of the largest cathedrals in Paris. It was started to be built in 1163 by Maurice de Sully, the then appointed bishop of Paris.[15] The construction campaign was divided into 4 parts, and was done by well-known builders of that era: Jean de Chelles, Pierre de Montreuil, Pierre de Chelles, Jean Ravy, Jean le Bouteiller.[16] It took over 100 years for the Notre-Dame to be built completely. It was built in honour of Virgin Mary, making it a bishop’s church, a canon church and a baptistery.[16] It is one of the main symbols of Paris. It is located at Île de la Cité, a small island in the heart of the city.[17] There have been several historical events that have take place here, including the marriage of King Henry IV and Marguerite de Valois, in 1594.

Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie[edit]

The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is the biggest science museum in Europe.[18] Located in Parc de la Villette in Paris, France, it is at the heart of the Cultural Center of Science, Technology and Industry (CCSTI), a center promoting science and science culture. About five million people visit the Cité each year. Attractions include a planetarium, a submarine (the Argonaute (S636)), an IMAX theatre (La Géode) and special areas for children and teenagers. The Cité is classified as a public establishment of an industrial and commercial character, an establishment specializing in the fostering of scientific and technical culture. Created on the initiative of President Giscard d'Estaing, the goal of the Cité is to spread scientific and technical knowledge among the public, particularly for youth, and to promote public interest in science, research and industry. The most notable features of the "bioclimatic facade" facing the park are Les Serres - three greenhouse spaces each 32 metres high, 32 metres wide and 8 metres deep. The facades of Les Serres were the first structural glass walls to be constructed without framing or supporting fins. Between 30 May and 1 June 2008, the museum hosted the 3rd International Salon for Peace Initiatives.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur[edit]

The Sacré-Cœur

The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur is a Roman Catholic Basilica, which was built in 1914 and consecrated in 1919.[19] It is located at one of the highest altitudes in Paris, at butte Montmartre. The church contains one of the world's largest mosaic of Jesus Christ with his arms wide spread. The basilica was built in the honour of the 58,000 lives lost in the Franco-Prussian war in the year 1870.[20] Paul Abadie, the winner of the competition to find the right architectural design, was the architect for the basilica.[21] The basilica offers some beautiful panoramic views of Paris. The walls of the church are naturally always white and clean, due to the travertine stone been used.[22] The stone reacts with water and creates a chemical called calcite, which acts as a natural bleacher. It is one of the most iconic monuments of Paris.[23]

The Champs-Élysées[edit]

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a street with cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees. The Champs-Élysées is arguably one of the world's most famous streets, and is one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world.[24] Several French monuments are also on the street, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. According to a much used description, the Champs-Élysées is la plus belle avenue du monde ("the most beautiful avenue in the world").[25]

Les Invalides[edit]

Napoleon's tomb in Les Invalides

Les Invalides, officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement, 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.

List of visitors per attraction[edit]

The 20 top Paris museums and monuments - (2007/2006 figures from the Paris Office of Tourism)[26]

Rank Change 07/06 Museums and Monuments 2007 2006 Variation 07/06
1 = Notre Dame de Paris 13,650,000 13,650,000
2 = Basilique du Sacré-Cœur 10,500,000 10,500,000
3 = The Louvre 8,260,000 8,348,000 -1.1%
4 = Eiffel Tower 6,797,410 6,695,135 1.5%
5 = Pompidou Centre 5,509,425 5,133,506 7.3%
6 +1 Musée d'Orsay 3,166,509 3,009,203 5.2%
7 -1 Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie 3,030,628 3,055,000 -0.8%
8 = Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal 2,000,000 2,000,000
9 +1 Arc de Triomphe 1,543,295 1,330,738 16.0%
10 +2 Musée du Quai Branly 1,379,623 952,770 44.8%
11 -2 Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle 1,372,804 1,344,344 2.1%
12 -1 Musée de l'Armée 1,188,728 1,130,841 5.1%
13 = Sainte Chapelle 866,982 833,392 4.0%
14 +3 Musée Grévin 762,000 682,000 11.7%
15 -1 Institut du Monde Arabe 724,805 822,285 -11.9%
16 +3 Musée Rodin 700,001 621,513 12.6%
17 +7 Musée de l'Orangerie 598,762 447,093 33.9%
18 -3 Petit Palais 576,339 787,418 -26.8%
19 +3 Tour Montparnasse 554,372 458,000 21.0%
20 +3 Panthéon 507,452 454,999 11.5%

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.paris.fr/viewmultimediadocument?multimediadocument-id=33133
  2. ^ http://www.paris-iledefrance.cci.fr/images/publications/pdf/chiffres_cles_en/2011/chiffres_cles_en_2011_complet.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.paris.com/tourism
  4. ^ a b c d http://myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/196782958?accountid=14771.
  5. ^ "Eiffel Tower - Musee d'Orsay". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  6. ^ a b c d http://www.jstor.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/stable/25563643.
  7. ^ http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Centre_Pompidou.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_Georges_Pompidou.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ The étoile ("star") is formed by twelve radiating avenues.
  10. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_d'Orsay.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/history-of-the-museum/the-station.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ a b http://www.jstor.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/stable/882883.
  13. ^ a b c "History Of The Louvre". Louvre. 11 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Louvre - Musée du Louvre". A View On Cities. 11 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Building History". Cathedrale Notre Dame De Paris. 11 August 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "THE GREAT HISTORY OF NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS". Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. 11 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "NOTRE DAME". A View On Cities. 11 August 2013. 
  18. ^ Arfin, Ferne (11 January 2009). "France: Insider's guide to Paris". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "Basilique du Sacre Coeur". Link Paris. 11 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sacré-Coeur Basilica , Paris". World Site Guides. 11 August 2013. 
  21. ^ http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/orgues/france/scoeurp.html
  22. ^ http://europeantrips.org/basilique-du-sacre-coeur-in-montmartre-paris.html
  23. ^ "Sacré-Coeur". A View On Cities. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Retail rents in Sydney's Pitt St Mall are higher than luxury shopping strips the Champs Elysees and London's Bond Street". The Australian. 1 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Top Ten Paris Architecture- Squares, Areas and Parks". Paris-architecture.info. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  26. ^ "Fréquentation des 50 premiers sites culturels parisiens en 2007". Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-03-28.