We will always have Paris

By: Solkes
Photos: Laura Viera A & Nicolás Chamás Türk

Paris is the capital of France and constitutes one of the most important and influential cities in the world. And, if we only talk in terms of tourism, Paris is one of the most visited cities in Europe. The trace of the airplanes is seen in the sky during the day and night. Paris is a city that seems to be designed for the tourist enjoyment.


Photo: Nicolás Chamás Türk
© all rights reserved.

Lets start the story of this beautiful city. It starts around 259 ac with its establishment on the right bank of the Seine by the Celitc tribe of Parissii. This first village of fishermen fell in the power of the Romans, who in 52 a.C. founded a city called Lutec.

In the IV century its name changes to Paris. Clodoveo, king of the franks, placed its capital there in the year 508. In 987 the Capeta dynasty was installed and lasted until the year 1328.

Taking this into account it is important to highlight that Paris gained importance throughout the XI century, thanks to its commerce of silver and by finding itself inside the route of pilgrims and merchants.

But to my liking, even this city has been a witness of many truths and events it is necessary to choose between the stories which to narrate. So, at the beginning of the XII century students and professors clashed with the episcopal authority and secured the creation of a “universitas” corporation.

During the XIV century Paris lived three important revolutions. The Revolution of the Merchants of 1358 (leaded by Etienne Marcel), The Revolt of the Maillots of 1382 (with the citizens against the tax increase) and the one of 1413 of Caboche (headed by the merchants).

And, after there has to a stop and forward to the present, because if we didn’t we would stay talking about the changes that its streets and people have seen.

From the XX century there has been many changes, with the reconstruction in different areas of the city damaged by the two World Wars.

During the First World War the city resisted a number of bombings, while in 1940 during the Second World War, it was occupied by the Nazis even though the Parisians managed to oppose them and free the capital on August 25th of 1944.

Again stepping in its streets I felt overwhelmed by the city. Paris still breathes culture and energy. Not only the Louvre. All that this city has is worthy of admiration.

It’s hard to break molds but Paris has done it over the centuries. It has been the cradle of many changes, too many trends that have shaped Europe on numerous occasions making it a benchmark.


Photo: Nicolás Chamás Türk
© all rights reserved.
Something that is clear to me is that Paris, also than being a museum in open air, offers countless places to visit and corners to get lost in.

For me, to start the visit there is nothing better to got to the Eiffel Tower. After all it is the symbol of Paris. The best impression is from the metro stop Trocadero. From this point you can appreciate the magnitude of the tower and Champ de Mars, were the garden sits.

Going down through Trocadero you will reach the base of the Eiffel Tower and there are the tickets were you can buy them and go up the Eiffel Tower.

To my liking, going up the night is the best. The view of the city illuminated in darkness and the wind hitting my skin is a memory I will never forget.

Oh as a warning you have to be careful in the city, there are many thieves, a proof of that are the signs for precaution. Nevertheless, people get robbed all the time.

After that there is the Latin quarters that seems like a good option. The Latin quarters has its name because of the medieval ages, moment that the people of the zone were students who used Latin as the language of communication.

Since the middle Ages students from the Latin quarters had a great influence in France and during the XIX and XX century they leaded student movements with great political transcendence. The Latin quarter was one of the hot spots during the May Revolution of 68.


Photo: Nicolás Chamás Türk
© all rights reserved.

It is one of the most cheerful and economic places to eat dinner. So, a stroll through the Latin Quarter is necessary. After going through Saint Michel’s square there is an enormous fountain with the figure of Saint Michael fighting with a dragon.

You enter the framework of small and charming alleys that make up the Latin Quarter for a drink or a walk will be missed to enjoy the illuminated monuments.


Photo: Laura Viera A
© all rights reserved.
And if you cross any of the bridges the Siene you get to Notre Dame. The Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. It was built between 1163 and 1234. The name of cathedral means Our Lady and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

In its eight centuries of history, the Cathedral has been reformed several occasions. At the same time it has been the scene of important celebrations such as the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, the beatification of Joan of Arc and the coronation of Enrique VI of England.

Notre Dame has two towers of 69 meters in its facade. It is also possible to go to the campanile where the hunch back of Notre Dame lived and from there see the gargoyles up-close.

To visit the tower you can either go through the left side entrance of the cathedral were there are 387 steeped steps, since there is no elevator in Notre Dame.

One of the most important visits is Los Invalidos. It is an imposing architectural complex formed by the National Palace of the Invalides (Hôtel National des Invalides) was built in the 17th century as a residence for French soldiers withdrawn from service. Inside the church, under the central dome, is the tomb of Napoleon. It seemed impressive and I remember people saying that he did things in great in order to make up for what he lacked.

From there the most logic is to go the Rodin Museum. In its garden you can find sculptures from the artist.

Crossing the bridge Alexander III, you get to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. Continuing through Churchill avenue and you arrive to the famous champs de Elysee and from their you can see the Arc of Triunf.


Photo: Laura Viera A
© all rights reserved.

So, the Champs de Elysee have a longitude of almost two kilometers and communicate with the Arc of Triunf and Concordia Square. They make up the most beautiful and well-known artery in Paris, as well as one of the most famous avenues in the world. One thing I found curious is that the name of the Champs Elysees comes from Greek mythology and designated a place equivalent to the Christian Paradise.

My recommendation is to walk to the Triunf of Arc is made with the soul to enjoy the environment of the city. Once you have reached the arc you can enjoy the greatness, its power and majesty.

With more than 50 meters high and a base of 45 by 22 meters, the Arc of Triunf represents the victories of the French army under the orders of Napoleon. Building the Arc of Triunf lasted 30 years. Napoleon order to be built in 1806 as the battle of Austerlitz ended and the Arc of Triunf was built to its full completion during the ruling of Louis-Phillippe.

I recommend to go up and take a look at city from a roof. It is like being in a movie. Since my most humble point view, it is the best view of Paris.

Another important visit is the Concordia Square, were you find the obelisk from Luxor.

If you walk through the Tuileries Gardens you arrive to the impressive of Louvre Museum. I recommend dedicated all the time you think is necessary. To take into account I don’t think it’s possible to see the museum in just one visit.

In my point of view, one of the spots which you should not miss is Montmatre. It doesn’t matter how many times one goes to Paris, Montmatre is mandatory.

Montmatre is located in a hill of 130 meters high. One of the most charming and peculiar neighborhoods in Paris.

It is known as the “neighborhood of the painters” and to tell you the truth walking through the streets it is possible to feel the art vibrating in the air. Its small and steep alleys give us the anteroom to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

And, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is to remain open-mouthed. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) is one of the most important sacred sites in Paris.

The basilica was a work from Paul Abadie, its construction began in 1875 and was completed by 1914. It has 83 meters long, 35 meters wide and a tower which is 83 meters high.
Photo: Laura Viera A
© all rights reserved.
It was consecrated as a basilica in its fifth year after its construction, on the 16th of October of 1919.

We will always have Paris. Thousands of locks that are locked in the bridges of the city to leave constancy of love and there they can last centuries. But I have always wondered: how many of these loves have not survived through time? Those who live with broken hearts? Are they happy? Have they died? Lots of love, as locks in those bridges, they are trapped in the eternity with no more perspective than to be buried in thousands of new illusions.

 


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