Paris – The city of love, lights, art and more…

Paris the capital and most populous city of France is situated on the river Seine. It covers an area of 105 square kilometers and a population of 2.24 million. Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic group called the Parissi who gave the city its name. By 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading center and the home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the center stage for the French Revolution and became an important center of finance, commerce, fashion, science and the arts, a position it still retains today.

Often referred as the ‘city of love’, Paris always attracts tourists from all over the world. Paris earns its name as a place where romance blossoms… Many couples aspire to go to Paris on their honeymoon because the city is so well known for its romantic walks along the Seine River, sidewalk cafes and of course the Eiffel tower – all aglow at night. The beautiful architecture of the city, the lovely hotels and being the center of arts makes it a hot spot among the lovers and French the ‘language of love’. Being the place of enlightenment in the 18th century, it was called the ‘city of lights.’ Paris became the center of education, philosophy and learning. Paris was one of the first cities to start using street lights during the Great Exhibition of 1889. The streets suddenly grew safer and people were no longer forced to stay in their house all night. Paris the ‘city of art’ always attracted artists from around the world to educate themselves and to get inspired by its resources and galleries.

Monuments and Attractions
The center of Paris contains the most visited monuments in the city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louver as well as the Sainte-Chapelle, Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. The banks of the Seine from Pont de Sully to the Pont d’lena have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991. Other landmarks are laid out east to west along the historic axis of Paris, which runs from the Louvre through the Tuileries Garen, the Luxor Column in the Palace de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe to the Grande Arche of La Defense.

The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ De Mars in Paris. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889as the entrance of the 1889 World Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for the design, but it become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. The architectural height of the tower is 984 ft, the tip is 1063 ft and the top floor is 906 ft.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower - close up of the third level
Eiffel Tower – close up of the third level
Eiffel Tower - Another view
Eiffel Tower – Another view
Eiffel Tower - illuminated
Eiffel Tower – illuminated
Eiffel Tower - illuminated
Eiffel Tower – illuminated
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower - The river Seine
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – The river Seine
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower - Grand Palais
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – Grand Palais
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower - The Arch de Triumph
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – The Arch de Triumph
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower

Paris (13)

Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower - The Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – The Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower  - Cruise boat on Seine River
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – Cruise boat on Seine River
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower - Cruise boat on Seine River
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower – Cruise boat on Seine River
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
Aerial view of Paris from the level 3 of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
View from level two of Eiffel Tower
The viewing gallery at level two of the Eiffel Tower
The viewing gallery at level two of the Eiffel Tower

Montparnasse Tower
Tour Montparnasse or Montparnasse tower is 689 ft office skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 758 ft Tour First. The tower has an observation deck on the 56th Floor with amazing view of Paris. A few flights of stairs will take to the terrace of the tower which also offers wonderful views of the city of Paris.

The Montparnasse Tower
The Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower - you can see the Eiffel Tower dominating the skyline
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower – you can see the Eiffel Tower dominating the skyline
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower - you can see the Notre Dame Cathedral
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower – you can see the Notre Dame Cathedral
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower - The Pantheon
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower – The Pantheon
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
Aerial view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower
The open terrace of Montparnasse Tower
The open terrace of Montparnasse Tower

Seine Cruise
A visit to Paris will never be completed without a cruise in the Seine River. There are few companies which offer different type of boats for cruises. Most of cruises starts and finishes at Eiffel Tower. Some companies offer cruises at night also. One can enjoy the architectural excellence of the Parisian buildings from the cruise boat.

View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – The couple was fishing in the river
View from the Seine River cruise – The couple was fishing in the river
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – The towers of Notre Dame Cathedral
View from the Seine River cruise – The towers of Notre Dame Cathedral
View from the Seine River cruise – The tower of Notre Dame
View from the Seine River cruise – The tower of Notre Dame
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – The Notre Dame Cathedral details
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – This group was thoroughly enjoying their cruise
View from the Seine River cruise – This group was thoroughly enjoying their cruise
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture
View from the Seine River cruise – Paris architecture

The Zouave Statue
The Zouave statue is the most famous feature of the Pont de I’Alma, a bridge that spans the seine halfway between the Eiffel tower and the Invalides. This 142 m long bridge was completed in mid 1850s and inaugurated in 1856 by Napoleon III. The Pont de I’Alma is one of the most photographed bridges in Paris, as it is famous for the statue of a Zouave Soldier standing on its single pier. The Zouaves were a group of prestigious light infantry regiments linked to French Nort Africa between 1830 and 1962. The Zouaves were among the most decorated units of French Army. The Zouave Regiment participated in the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War. The battle ended in the victory of France, England, Piedmont and the Ottoman Empire over Russia.

Each of the four piers of the Pont de I’Alma was adorned with statue representing a regiment that fought during the Crimean War. The Alma Bridge was rebuild in 1974 as it had become too narrow and unstable. The statues were transferred to other locations with the exception of Zouave, which was place on the bridge’s pier.

The Zouave statue served traditionally as an unofficial standard to indicate the rise in the water level of the Seine, until the pier was rebuild and slightly elevated. The Parisians knew that the river was dangerously rising when the water reached the foot of the Zouave statue. The year 1910 is known as the year of the “Flood of the Century”, as the waters rose by 8.62 m and reached the shoulders of the Zouave statue.

The Zouave Statue
The Zouave Statue

The Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Elysees quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. This is the most ornate and extravagant bridge in the city of Paris. The bridge with its exuberant lamps and winged horses at either end was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franceo-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank. The Nymph reliefs are at the centers of the arches over the seine, memorials to the Franco-Russian Alliance.

Pont Alexandre III as seen from the third level of Eiffel Tower
Pont Alexandre III as seen from the third level of Eiffel Tower
The Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III
The golden horse with wings - a close up
The golden horse with wings – a close up
The Nymph reliefs at the center of the arches
The Nymph reliefs at the center of the arches
The Nymph reliefs at the center of the arches
The Nymph reliefs at the center of the arches
The ornamental lights over the bridge
The ornamental lights over the bridge
The engraved name plate at the bridge
The engraved name plate at the bridge

The Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris. Measuring 21 acres, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located at the eastern end of the Champs-Elysees. The place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 and was named Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. During the French Revolution the statue of Louis XV was torn down and the area renamed Place de la Revolution. The new revolutionary government erected the guillotine in the square and it was here that king Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793. Other important figures guillotined on the site, often in front of cheering crowds, were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Elisabteth, Georges Danton, and Maxmilien Robespierre. In 1795 the square was renamed Place de la Concorde as a gesture of reconciliation after the turmoil of the Revolution. After Bourbon Restoration of 1814, the name was changed back to Place Louis XV. After the July Revolution of 1830 the name was returned to Place de la Concord and has remained since.

The Luxor Obelisk
The Luxor Obelisk is over 3,000 years old and was originally situated outside of Luxor Temple, where its twin remains to this day. It first arrived in Paris on December 21, 1833 having been shipped from Luxor via Alexandria and three years later, on October 25, 1836, was moved to the center of Place de la Concorde by King Louis-Phillipe. It was gifted to France by Muhammed Ali, Khedive of Egypt.

The obelisk weighs over 250 metric tons and height including the base is 75 ft. It is decorated with hieroglyphs exalting the reign of the king Ramses II. Its original pyramidion is believed to be stolen in the 6th century BC, was replaced by the government of France by a gold leafed pyramid cap in 1998.

The Luxor Obelisk
The Luxor Obelisk
The Luxor Obelisk at night
The Luxor Obelisk at night
The Statue at Place de la Concorde
The Statue at Place de la Concorde
The fountain of navigation and commerce at Place de la Concorde
The fountain of navigation and commerce at Place de la Concorde
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris architecture
Paris architecture
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Les Invalides
Les Invalides
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris street view
Paris - Arc de Triomphe at night
Paris – Arc de Triomphe at night
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Louvre – World’s largest museum

The Louvre Museum (French: Musee du Louvre) is the worlds’ largest museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st Century are exhibited over an area of 6,52,300 square feet. The Louvre is the world’s second most visited museum after the Palace Museum in China.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants for the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as place to display the royal collection, including a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as museum to display the nation’s masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Due to structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum renamed the Musee Napoleon, but after Napoleon’s abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X and during the second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments – Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings and Prints and Drawings.

The Louvre Pyramid
The Louvre Pyramid (French: Pyramid du Louvre) is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. The Pyramid is actually one of four, with two smaller one at its side and an “inverted” Pyramid that acts as skylight for the underground mall. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louver Museum. The pyramid is about 70 feet high and its base has sides 115 feet long. The building was commissioned by the then President of France Mr. Francois Mitterrand in 1984. It was one of the most controversial of President Mitterrand’s Grand Projects in Paris.

The construction of pyramid has triggered many controversies as the pyramid being an unsuitable symbol of death from ancient Egypt in the middle of Paris. It has been claimed by some that the glass panes in the Louvre Pyramid number 666, the number of the beast, often associated with Satan. Irrespective of all these controversies, on its completion in 1989 it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.

Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace with the Pyramid
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace with the Pyramid
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace details
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace details
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, the main courtyard
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, the main courtyard
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, the main gate
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, the main gate
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace at the main gate
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace at the main gate
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, main gate details
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, main gate details
Louvre Museum - The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum – The Louvre Palace, the main gate details
Louvre Museum - The Pyramid
Louvre Museum – The Pyramid
Louvre Museum - The Pyramid
Louvre Museum – The Pyramid
Louvre Museum - The Inverted Pyramid
Louvre Museum – The Inverted Pyramid
Louver Museum - Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum – Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum - Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum – Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum - Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum – Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum - Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum – Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum - Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum – Statues inside the Louvre Palace gardens
Louver Museum - The main reception area
Louver Museum – The main reception area
Louvre Museum - up to the exhibition halls
Louvre Museum – up to the exhibition halls
Louver Museum - one of the exhibition halls
Louver Museum – one of the exhibition halls
Louver Museum - one of the exhibition halls
Louver Museum – one of the exhibition halls
Louver Museum - one of the exhibition halls
Louver Museum – one of the exhibition halls
Louvre Museum - One of the exhibition halls
Louvre Museum – One of the exhibition halls

The Mona Lisa
The most famous and much sought after exhibit in the Louvre Museum, without doubt is the “Mona Lisa”. You can see the visitors crowding around this portrait to photograph it. The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci which has been acclaimed as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”.

Believed to be the portrait of Lisa Gherardini the wife of Francesco del Giocondo is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. It was acquire by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic and is on permanent display at the Louvre Museum since 1797.

On April 6, 2005 following a period of curatorial maintenance, recording and analysis, the painting was moved to a new location within the museum’s Salle de Etats. It is displayed in a purpose-built climate-controlled enclosure behind a bulletproof glass. Since 2005 the painting has been illuminated by an LED lamp. About 6 million people view the painting at the Louvre each year.

"Mona Lisa" exhibited in the Louvre
“Mona Lisa” exhibited in the Louvre

The Winged Victory of Samothrace
The Winged Victory of Samothrace also called the Nike of Samothrace is a marble Hellenistic sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory), perhaps of the 2nd century BC. Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. Historian H.W. Janson described it as “the greatest masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture,” and it is one of a small number of major Hellenistic statues surviving in the original, rather than Roman copies.

Overall the work measures 18 feet in height. The statue made of white Paros marble, stands 9 feet tall including the wings. The base and the pedestal are sculptured from grey white-veined marble from the quarries of Lartos in the island of Rhodes. The statue consists of several blocks of marble, carved separately and then assembled.

It was created not only to honor the goddess, Nike but to honor a sea battle. It conveys a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery, as though the goddess was descending to alight upon the prow of a ship. It is considered as one of the Louvre’s greatest treasures, and since the late 19th century it has been displayed in the most dramatic fashion, at the head of the sweeping Daru staircase.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace
The Winged Victory of Samothrace
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the intricately designed ceilings of the Louvre
One of the intricately designed ceilings of the Louvre
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the intricately designed ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately designed ceilings in the Louvre
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the intricately designed ceilings of the Louvre
One of the intricately designed ceilings of the Louvre
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the intricately carved ceilings in the Louvre
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
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One of the exhibits
More exhibits
More exhibits
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One of the exhibits
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One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits

Le Musee Grevin – The wax museum in Paris (France)

The Grevin Wax Museum in Paris is located on the Grands Boulevards on the right bank of the Seine. The museum was founded in 1882 by Arthur Meyer, a journalist for ‘Le Gaulois’, the French daily newspaper. It was named after Alfred Grevin the first art director of ‘Le Gaulois’ and a caricaturist. He was best known for his caricatures of contemporary Parisian women. He was also a sculptor, cartoonist and designed costumes and sets for the popular theater.

It is one of the oldest wax museums in Europe. It also houses a hall of mirrors and a theater for magic shows. It contains more than 450 characters arranged in scenes from the history of France and modern life including a panorama of French history from Charlemagne to Napoleon III, bloody scenes of French Revolution, movie stars, and international figures… You will also see the wax statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Shah Rukh Khan. Please do not miss the scene with Quasimodo and Esmeralda and Mother Theresa with Pope.

There is also a section, which demonstrates the making of the wax statues. When in Paris, this museum is a must visit.

The Main Entrance of the Grevin Wax Museum
The Main Entrance of the Grevin Wax Museum
Entrance to the galleries
Entrance to the galleries
One of the exhibition halls
One of the exhibition halls
One of the exhibition halls
One of the exhibition halls
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Obama with the French leader
Obama with the French leader
Monica Bellucci the Italian actress and model
Monica Bellucci the Italian actress and model
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
The European leaders
The European leaders
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
The battle of Waterloo enacted in wax models
The battle of Waterloo enacted in wax models
Napolean
Napolean
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
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One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
Quasimodo and Esmeralda
Quasimodo and Esmeralda
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
Madonna
Madonna
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mother Theresa with the Pope
Mother Theresa with the Pope
Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan
Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Madame Pompadour
Madame Pompadour
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits
One of the exhibits

The making of the wax statues are demonstrated…

In the making
In the making
In the making
In the making

Chamonix Mont-Blanc – A journey to Mer de Glace (France)

Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is known as the “gateway to the European Cascades”. The north side of the summit of Mont Blanc, and therefore the summit itself are part of the village of Chamonix. Chamonix commune is well known among skiers and mountain enthusiasts. It is very near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. The River Arve which originates from the northern side of the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps flows through Chamonix. It receives water from the many glaciers of Chamonix valley, mainly the Mer de Glace.

We checked in to Hotel Alpina for a night which is right in the center of Chamonix. Even though it was a poorly maintained hotel their restaurant at the top floor was really nice with a wonderful view of the snow caped mountains from the balcony.

Hotel Alpina at the centre of Chamonix
Hotel Alpina at the centre of Chamonix
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony
Awesome view from the top floor balcony

While in Chamonix, the absolute must see attractions are visiting Mont-Blanc and Aiguille du Midi peaks and Mer de Glace or Sea of Ice Glacier (the largest glacier in France). The nostalgic red cog railway to Montenvers will take you to the top of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak (at 3842 meters) for an unforgettable view of the Alps. The railway station is hardly ten minutes away from the city center. A small cable car allows visitors to descend from the train station onto the Mer de Glace glacier where they can enter a manmade ice grotto. The ice grotto is cut into the living glacier

On the way to the railway station
On the way to the railway station
The rail station
The rail station ‘Chemin de fer du Montenvers’
These hiking enthusiasts also were boarding the train
These hiking enthusiasts also were boarding the train
On the way....
On the way….
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train
Amazing views from the train

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The Train
The Train
On the way
On the way
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views
More views

The gallery of Crystals features a collection of the finest crystal specimens in the Mont Blanc massif.

Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery
Some of the exhibits from the Crystal Gallery

The Museum of Alpine Fauna has an interesting display of many of the local birds and animals that you can expect to see in the area like chamois, ibex, marmots, foxes, pheasants, grouse etc.

The Museum of Alpine Fauna
The Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna
Exhibits inside the Museum of Alpine Fauna

Hotel du Montenvers, built in 1880 is an integral part of Chamonix. It was renovated in 2003 but still retains its rustic charm. The restaurant serves a variety of traditional dishes.

The group of hikers with their dog
The group of hikers with their dog
The group of hikers
The group of hikers
All set for the adveture
All set for the adveture
Hikers on their way
Hikers on their way
Hikers on their way
Hikers on their way
The ice grotto
The ice grotto
The restaurant
The restaurant
The view of the glacier from the restaurant window
The view of the glacier from the restaurant window

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The mountain was the scene of two fatal air crashes… In 1950 Air India Flight 245 (Bombay-Istanbul-Geneva-London) with 48 passengers, including crew, crashed into Mont Blanc as the pilot miscalculated the descent killing all the passengers.

In January 1966 another Air India flight Boeing 707, named Kanchenjunga crashed into Mont Blanc. After leaving Bombay, it had made two scheduled stops at Delhi and Beirut and was en route to another stop at Geneva when flown into Mont Blanc killing 106 passengers and 11crew. One of the passengers was Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha the chairman of Indian Atomic Energy Commission.