Paris is named after the Gallic (or Celtic) tribe the Parisii, who
settled on the banks of the Seine. This city was captured by the
Romans, and is first mentioned by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de
Bello Gallico. Since then it has become economic and cultural
center with approximately 11 million inhabitants within its limits and
The Arc de Triomphe
was inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome and was built to commemorate
Napoleonic successes. It was commissioned in 1806 and completed in
1836. In 1921 it also became the resting place for the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier for WWI. At that time it also became the site
of an eternal flame to honor the dead. Getting to it
treacherous unless you use the underground walk way. It is
currently at the intersection of 12 major roads.
Originally called the
Hopital des Invalides, this complex was first conceived of in the
seventeenth century as a home for unwell soldiers and veterans.
The chapel, Eglise
Saint-Louis des Invalides, is
most notably the final resting place for Napoleon Bonaparte.
It's golden dome was patterned after St. Peter's Basilica.
Versailles is located in the suburbs of Paris and was most notably King
Louis XIV's seat of power. A statue of Louis XIV is shown on
right. This was probably the most disappointing part of the trip for
me. The museum workers were on strike and we were unable to
the "Splendors of Versailles" located within the walls of the
The Mona Lisa
Though, I don't
normally make a habit of photographing museums collections, without
expressed permission, I made an exception here. The tourists
taking pictures of the Mona Lisa are almost a spectacle in themselves.
The photograph on the left hardly even shows a tenth of the
that is pushing its way to the Mona Lisa. I figured what
could I do that wasn't already being done. I'm pretty sure I
didn't use my flash though. The Mona Lisa is located in the Louvre,
which for some reason this trip I failed to take pictures of the
The Eiffel Tower is
certainly one of Paris' most famous icons. Now excepted widely as being
a picturesque, and maybe even romantic, it was not so in the beginning.
Built in 1887-1889 for the World's Fair, it received much criticism and
was actually first constructed as a temporary structure. It
to be dismantled after 20 years. The Eiffel Tower proved useful as
dispatch post in WWI and gave France the honor of having the tallest
building in the world, so they left it up. Today, the Eiffel
Tower might not be the tallest in the world, but it is the tallest in
Views from the
Tower: on the left you can see Les Invalides, on the right Passerelle