Eiffel tower, Tour Eiffel
The steel high tower, so well-known that it's unnecessary to explain what it is. Constructed at the beginning of XIX century on the project of the engineer Gustav Eiffel, it is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. However, the process of building of the tower was far from being smooth. The competition was very fierce. Indeed it was planned to erect something remarkable but Municipalities didn't know what exacrly they wanted. there were plenty of projects. But the story is a bit tricky. Gustaf Eiffel already had a project and finally the officials said something like "we want a steel tower, high and elegant". That's how Eiffel's project won.
There were many supporters and many opponents. The most remarkable example is the famous writer Gui de Mopassan. He was furious of this idea. However, when the tower was finally built, he went there and raised to the top of the tower every day. When he was asked about the reasons of visiting this hated place, he answered : 'it is the only place, from which I don't see it'.
Another story dates back to WW2 times when France was occupied. The elevators on Eiffel tower stopped. Germans tries countless times to repair them to make them work but unsuccessfully. Several years elevators were staying. And only after liberation, the old master who worked there his whole life, stepped to the cellars for about half of hour and elevators "moved". What was it? None knows.
Today we can't even imagine Paris without Eiffel tower. Lightened at the evening, it is sparkling of photo-lights of tourists.
Arc de Triumph
Napoleon I Emperor began to build the arch in 1806 in honour of victories of his army (the building was finished in 1836). There are several bas-reliefs on the walls of the arch, which show battles and victories of Napoleon's army. Since 1920 in arch there is grave of Unknown Soldier. It's possible to go upstairs to the top of the arch (I didn't do that).
The way with public transportation is Charles de Gaulle Etoile, lines 2 or 6 by metro or RER line A.
conquer the world's LARGEST...
conquer the world's LARGEST museum, Musée du Louvre! The world's greatest art works are housed inside the museum - da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa', David's greatest paintings, the Venus di Milo sculpture, the headless statue of the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace' amongst others. Absolutely fabulous and bewitching!!!
Tu tires ou tu pointes??
Tu tires ou tu pointes??
National sport, la pétanque, sort of lawn bowling, is played by trying to place in turn your balls the closest to the piggy (little white ball thrown previously). You can have your ball land in front of the piggy and resume rolling toward it, or throw it with a backspin and have your ball stop on location on landing. If you can't place it close enough, another pleasure is to knock the opponent's ball to the moon.
Here is a bunch of friends playing a game in the Jardins des Tuileries.
Le Bourget Air and Space Museum
Until the development of Charles De Gaulle airport further from the city, Le Bourget was the main northern airport for Paris. It still is in use as a business airport, and for a major yearly international aviation display, but there is little need for a large terminal building for those activites. So what to do with a disused airport terminal? This question was resolved in what I consider a typically French way: turn it into a museum!
Back on on 21 November 1783, the first ever manned flight took place in France with a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers: today France hosts a thriving aviatiion and space industry. So France has to be the natural place for an Air and Space Museum. I’m pleased to say that it is truly excellent and well worthy of a visit.
The museum holds 350 aircraft, ranging from very early pioneering models (not necessarily succesful) to late model jets, rockets and space items. There is a B747 and two Concordes, the first prototype and the last to fly in France. Apart from the aircraft, there are engines, models, reference material, and a very good book/gift shop.
Access is quoted as being by bus 350 (from Gare d’Est or Gare du Nord), or by bus 152, Métro 7/RER B. I think the 350 bus is probably the most convenient, if sometimes crowded, as it goes to the entrance gates, the other options seem less direct. Opening hours daily (except Mondays, 1 January and 25 December) are 1000 to 1800, and closing at 1700 1 October to 31 March.