Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Ten Travel Wonders of Paris - Part 2 (Rank 4-7)

Part One of this post discussed the first three travel wonders of the city of Paris. Here are the next four treasures in this eternal mesmerising city.

7. Georges Pompidou Centre (Beaubourg)

This startling building appears to be built inside-out with all its plumbing (green), electrical (yellow), air-conditioning (blue), ventilation (white) and lift system (red) all highly visible and illustrated in differing colours. It includes an excellent Museum of Modern Art along with space for all kinds of temporary exhibitions, shows and theatre. Outside, an array of street entertainers including mime artists tend to attract lunch-time crowds.

6. Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysées

Commissioned by Napoleon to pay homage to his victories in battle, this triumphal arch is the home of France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame. The arch is adorned with sculptured reliefs depicting scenes from epic battles. From the observation deck, you can view down the grand Parisian boulevard of the Champs Élysées and also witness the antics of French driving around the world’s most chaotic roundabout as the traffic from twelve radiating avenues congregate and circulate in a zone of vehicular madness.

5. Sacré Coeur and Montmartre (18th arrondissement)

Montmartre has a bohemian character attracting artists, painters and writers to this northern area of Paris. The centre of the public artist area is Place du Tertre with lively cafés and offers to draw you every few minutes. The famous sexy night shows of Moulin Rouge adorned with its famous red windmill take place every evening, while lively folk music can still be heard at Paris’ oldest cabaret bar, Le Lapin Agile. In contrast, the glorious white-washed basilica and glorious central dome of Sacré Coeur perches on the highpoint of Montmartre, offering a spectacular vista across all of Paris. Inside is a huge mosaic of Christ with outstretched arms.

4. Musée D’Orsay

Preserving the layout of its past as a railway station, this museum of art covering 1848 to 1914 is only twenty years old. Using numerous skylights, the museum bathes in natural diffused daylight. Boasting one of the finest collections of impressionist art and many works familiar to even the staunchest of non art-lovers of impressionist art, it contains works by artists including Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir, Pissarro and Van Gogh. Paris can be viewed through the old railway clock from within the museum and makes for many arty photographs.

Finally, discover the top three travel wonders of Paris.


Suzanne Perazzini said...

It's been a long, long time since I've been to Paris so I will be guided by your choices. It remains a fascinating city with a uniqueness all its own.

Nomadic Matt said...

i think paris is a wonder onto itself....making every part of it a travel wonder!

Mark H said...

@suzanne: The best of the lot.

@nomadicmatt: Absolutely.

Spot Cool Stuff said...

The Pompidou is not only great during the day as a museum, but at night there's a really cool bar on the top floor.

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