Palace of Versailles – 26/6/2016

Brief History

Versailles is built on King Louis XIII’s old hunting pavilion by his son Louix XIV and is made up of 2300 rooms.  The court and government moved from Paris to Versailles in 1682 and the Palace was extended and embellished by successive kings until the French Revolution in 1789, when Louix XVI left Versailles for Paris.  It wasn’t used as a royal residence again and in 1837 King Louise Phillipe ordered it to become the Museum of the History of France, housing collections of paintings and sculptures.

One of the many statues of the ‘Sun King’, this one found at the main entrance to Versailles.  Us in the gardens in Versailles.

Hall of Mirrors

The hall of mirrors contains 357 mirrors covering its 73 meters length and was built between 1678 and 1684.  There are 30 paintings in the vaulted ceiling, illustrating Louis XIV first 18 years of his reign.  The hall of mirrors was used as a waiting and meeting place and on occasions for balls and games.  It was also in the hall that the Treaty of Versailles was signed on the 28th of June 1919, ending World War 1.

 

The hall of mirrors is a very popular area in the palace and always filled with people.

The Royal Chapel

The royal chapel was completed at the end of Louis XIV reign in 1710.  The chapel is Gothic design.  The chapel was dedicated to Saint Louis who was the patron saint of the king.  The king attended daily mass at 10 am surrounded by his family in the family tribune, the ladies of the court in opposite tribunes and the general public in the nave.

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The King’s Apartments

The king’s apartments like the rest of Versailles is lavishly decorated with beautiful brocade fabrics, art work and furnishings.  The photos are of Louis XIV bedchamber, which he used from 1701, after having it remodeled.  Interestingly enough it is also in this room that he died on the 1st of September, 1715, after a 72 year reign.  The Sun King is present throughout the palace in paintings, busts, statues and as a metal sun in the fences.  In this room it was as a bust 

The Mercury Room

The Mercury room began as a royal bedchamber before being converted to a games room.  On the ceiling of the Mercury room, painted by Jean-Baptise de Champaigne is Mercury on a chariot being pulled by two roosters. Although the apartment looks opulent, decorated with period pieces, it originally contained silver chandeliers and silver on the walls, ceiling and fireplace, all of which were melted down to fund the War of the League of Augsburg in 1689. Similarly brocade fabrics containing silver and gold threads were used to finance the War of Spanish Succession.  This room housed King Louis XIV coffin after he died, for viewing for a few days.

The Gardens

There are immense sculpted gardens surrounding Versailles just waiting to be explored and it does take some time.

The Orangery contains formal garden areas, a fountain and in the summer potted orange trees, originating from Portugal, Spain and Italy as well as lemon trees, oleander and pomegranate trees, some over 200 years old.  During the winter they are housed in a nearby building.

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The Fountains

The Latona fountain is inspired by Greek mythology.  Latona the mistress to the god Jupiter, had two children with him, Apollo and Diana, who are represented in the top tier of the fountain with their mother.  Through Latona’s travels in what is now known as Turkey, she found water and when approaching it to drink, some peasants refused to allow her entrance, even after begging.  She tried to go to the water and the peasants stamped and churned up the mud, making it undrinkable.  Latona cursed the peasants and turned them into frogs where they were forever tied to the slimy pool.  The lower levels of the fountains show the peasants in various stages of metamorphosis into frogs. 

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Apollo’s Fountain was commissioned by Louis XIV and constructed between 1668 and 1670 from gilded lead.  The fountain is of Apollo, the sun god and Louis’s icon.  It shows Apollo bursting through the water in his chariot on his daily flight above earth.

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Statues

The gardens are filled with over 300 statues, which accentuate the beauty of the gardens.  The original statues in the gardens celebrated love and gallantry but during Louis XIV reign moved towards and Apollonian theme, with Greek mythical creatures and characters. I have included a few, particularly ones that have an interesting story.  

Castor and Pollux  is a replica statue made by Antoine Coysevox between 1685 and 1707 and first exhibited in the Louvre before being relocated to the gardens in Versailles.  So who were Castor and Pollux?  According to Greek and Roman Mythology they were twins. Castor was the mortal son of the King of Sparta, while Pollux was the immortal son of Zeux.  In Latin they are referred to as the Gemini, yes the constellation.  Castor was killed and Pollux convinced his father Zeus to let him share his immortality with his brother and they became the constellation Gemini.

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Samson fighting the lion with his bare hands, demonstrating his superhuman ability seems to be the theme of this statue.

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The Grand Trianon Centaur found in the sculptured gardens surrounding the Grand Trianon Palace.

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Trianon

Grand Trianon was King Louis XIV second residence, built in 1687.  Louis was able to live here free from royal protocol here, in other words house his mistress. After the revolution the original furniture was lost, but was later replaced by Napoleon and his second wife, Empress Marie-Louise for their many stays.

The room on the left was originally Louis XIV bedroom but was refurnished for Empress Marie-Louise.  The room on the right was used by King Louis-Phillipe with his family as a games room.

The Grand Trianon, also called the pink palace with its formal gardens.  Photo on the right is of gallery home to 24 pictures featuring the gardens of Versailles and Grand Trianon as they were in the 17th century.

Photos of the formal gardens surrounding the Grand Trianon.  Bottom photo is of the Grand Canal.

Petite Trianon

The Petite Trianon was built in 1768 for Louis XV, it was here that he later died in 1774 from the pox.  After his death Louis XVI became king and gave his wife Marie-Antoinette the estate as a gift.  The very pink room, the Grand Saloon was where royalty could entertain the special invited guests.  Marie-Antoinette was musical and favoured the harp.  The floral room was Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom when she stayed at the Petite Trianon. The final picture is a portrait of the lady herself, which hangs in what was once her home.

Tourist Information for Versailles

Opening Times:

  • The Palace – Closed on Mondays, December 25th and January 1st, open 9 – 5.30 with last admission at 5 pm.
  • The Coach Gallery – Closed on Mondays, December 25th and January 1st, open 12.30 pm – 5.30 pm with last admission at 4.45 pm.
  • The Estate of Trianon – Closed on Mondays, December 25th and January 1st, open 12 pm – 5.30 pm, last admission at 5 pm
  • The Gardens – Open daily 8 am – 6 pm, with last admission at 5 pm.  It is closed during bad weather
  • The Park – Open daily 8 am – 6 pm, with last admission at 5.30 pm
  • The Estate of Marly – open daily 8 am – 5.30 pm

Cost:  You can pre-purchase tickets to avoid the ques when you arrive by using the website: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/tickets-and-prices or purchase tickets on arrival.

  • The palace and gardens are free for under 18 or under 26 for EU residents
  • For adult tickets there are so many different options as to whether you want one or more days whether you want to see just the palace or gardens, the best option is to follow the link for ticket prices: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/tickets-and-prices 

Official Website: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/

Disneyland Paris – 28/6/2016

Disneyland Paris is located about 30 km east of Paris in Marne-la-Vallee.  Disneyland Paris comprises two parks,  Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios, as well as 7 hotels, a golf course and Disneyland Village.

We went to Disneyland Paris at the busiest time of year, European and British school holidays, during June.  I must admit that we lived in the US for a few years and were fortunate to have visited Disneyland in LA and Disneyworld in Florida, when our kids were younger, so this wasn’t our first ride at the rodeo.  Although we did have a good time during our day visit, it does lack the organisation, friendly and exuberant staff of the American Disney, many of the good rides were closed and its a lot smaller.  If I’m being honest, our kids, especially the eldest two are probably a bit old to enjoy the magic that comes with visiting with young kids, although they enjoyed the rides they had no interest in seeing the Disney characters or parades.   I did take Ava to see the princesses and unlike in America where you get to see all of them, you are led to one for a quick photo but she did speak English among other languages, before you exit, all after a 2 hour wait.

Both my husband and I have very fond memories of the fun we had with the kids at Disney in America and today came the realisation that our kids are growing up.  If you are going in the European summer be prepared for queues and have a great time.

Opening Hours: Opening Hours vary greatly, the best option is to look at the interactive calendar for when you will be there to get the correct times.

http://www.disneylandparis.com/en-us/calendars/park-hours/

Cost: Costs vary according to time of year, whether you want a one day, multi day or season pass.  The link below will take you to purchase your tickets.

https://www.booktickets.disneylandparis.com/tnsa64/live/shop/9/MAINUSCD/pluto/index.php?vld=1&affid=SECUTIX&tduid=32454335543R

There are also special offers: http://us-holidays.disneylandparis.com/offers/index.html

Official Website: http://www.disneylandparis.com/en-us/

Written by Karen

Updated in 2018

Chateau de Fontainebleau – 29/6/2016

Chateau de Fountainbleau, one of the largest chateaus in France is located about 70 km from Paris and was continuously inhabited by royalty for a period of 800 years.  The chateau was originally constructed in 1137 and each King, Queen, Emperor and Empress has added and embellished it until it reached its current size of 1500 rooms.  The chateau sits on approximately 130 acres of parkland and gardens. 

This Chateau was not on our of places to visit, but after seeing it in a brochure at our accommodation we decided to go and have a look. We were blown away with the chateau, each room exquisitely decorated with carved woodwork, tapestries, paintings with the stucco frames, brocade fabrics and luxurious silk clad walls.  Fontainebleau receives about 400, 000 visitors a year in comparison to Versailles who receives over 7 million this means you can peruse the rooms with very few other tourists.  I’m so glad we came, it is truly an amazing chateau second only to Versailles in turns of opulence, but without the crowds. 

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Gallery of Francis I

The gallery was constructed between 1533 – 1539 in Italian Renaissance style with its intricately carved and painted gallery.  Italian artist, Giovanni Battista di Jacopo (Rosso) lead a team of Italian, Flemish and French painters, sculptures, gilders and stucco workers to create the gallery. It is believed that Rosso may be the first artist to use stucco to create the sculptures of people, fruit, flowers intertwined with the paintings.

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The Francis Gallery used Italian artist Rosso to create a renaissance gallery which combines detailed woodwork, stucco, gilding and painting to create the masterpiece.

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The stucco cherubs frame the  paintings throughout the gallery

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Diana by Rosso

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Elephant, by Rosso in 1536

The Ballroom

The ballroom was originally a passageway during Francis I reign, but in 1552, Henry II enclosed it with a coffered ceiling and high windows and used it for balls and celebrations.  There is a balcony at one end of the ballroom where the musicians played during the balls and at the other end is a fireplace with bronze statues.

Guard Room

Located next to the royal bedchamber was the guard room.  The guard room was built in the 1570s but has undergone many changes over the years.  Louis Phillip turned the guard room into a salon in the 19th century and added the large vase manufactured in 1832.  Napoleon III used this room as a dining room.

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Galerie de Diane (Diana Gallery)

The Diana gallery is the longest room in the chateau at 80 m in length and is lined with bookshelves that were created by Henry IV at the start of the 17th century.  Although the gallery has had many modifications through the reigns of both monarchs and Emperors, its most recent restorations were undertaken by Napoleon III.  Napoleon III converted the gallery to a library, removed most of the paintings and had a large globe placed at the entrance in 1861.

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Throne Room (Formerly the King’s Chamber) 

In 1805, Napoleon I had the King’s Chamber converted into his throne room.  The dais for the throne replaces the former king’s bed.  The throne room is the only room in its original state.

Emperor Napoleon’s Bedroom

In 1808, Napoleon I had the former dressing room of the King converted to his bedroom, there is even a hidden door behind the drapery which enabled Napoleon to go to his office or private library.  The red room is where Napoleon signed the papers for his abdication of the throne in 1814.

The Chapel of the Trinity

The chapel’s construction began at the end of the Reign of Francis I and completed under Henry II.  The chapel is actually two stories, the upper section or tribune was the seating area for the king and his family.

The Gardens

The biggest difference between Versailles and Fountainbleau is the gardens.  Versailles gardens are vast, spectacular and accentuated with statues and opulent fountains.  Fontainebleau’s gardens are serene and nice for a walk through but nothing like Versailles. 

Fontainebleau is amazing and definitely worth a visit, definitely an under appreciated chateau.

Tourist Information Chateau de Fontainebleau

Opening Hours

Castle:

  • Open daily except Tuesday, closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th
  • October to March – 9.30 am – 5 pm (last entry 4.15 pm), Ballroom closes at 4 pm
  • April to September – 9.30 am – 6 pm (last entry 5.15 pm), Ballroom closes at 5 pm

Courtyards and Gardens:

  • open daily 
  • November to February – 9 am – 5 pm
  • March, April and October – 9 am – 6 pm
  • May to September 9 am – 7 pm
  • Jardin De Diane closes 1/2 prior the rest of the gardens.
  • Jardin Anglais closes an hour prior to the rest of the gardens.

The Park

  • open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost

Entrance to Chateau and Gardens for self-guided tour:

  • Adults – €11 (one hour prior to closing the ticket is €7), Concessions – €9
  • Under 18 – free
  • 18 – 25 EU residents free
  • Group visit of 20 or more people – €9 per person
  • Free on the first Sunday of each month (except during July and August)
  • Video guide – €3

Entrance to Chateau and Gardens on guided tour:

  • Under 12 – free
  • Chateau with guided visit 1/2 hr – 1 hr – €14 per person
  • Chateau with guided visit 1 1/2 hr – 2hrs – €16
  • Chateau with guided visit for a Family of up to two adults and two children (12 – 18 yrs)  – 1/2 – 1 hr : €31 or 1 1/2 – 2 hrs : €35
  • Reduced fees area available for guided tours for under 18s and EU residents aged between 18 – 25 years.

Official Website: http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/

 

Paris at Night – 29/6/2016

Paris at night is very beautiful and photogenic. There are many inexpensive things to do in they city for all ages from a walk along the Seine, relaxing at a cafe with a glass of wine or coffee. There are also the historic sites such as Notre Dame which is illuminated, as is the Eiffel Tower that lights up all of Paris.

The owners of the place we were staying in just outside of Paris, took us for a night drive to see the Paris sights. We stopped here where there was a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, the lights had just been switched on for the night.

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Hard to believe that this was once considered and eyesore.  The ball in the centre is actually a large soccer ball (football if your European) and it was placed on the Eiffel Tower because the World Cup was being held in France.

Obligatory photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Written by Ava

Monmartre – 2/7/2016

Montmartre is a 130 meter high hill in Paris. Montmartre is especially known for their artistic history like the white-domed Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur, the nightclub district, the many restaurants and art shops. There is also a older church on the hill and its name is Saint Pierre de Montmartre. Montmartre has also been the setting of a few films; Amedea Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and many more. 

We walked from our apartment to Monmartre and as we arrived it poured with rain, we ended up going to the first restaurant we came to, to escape the rain. Josh, dad and Tristan had the formula (set menu).  Tristan and Dad had snails with parsley as their entree, which they seemed to enjoy.

After dinner in Monmartre we walked around this beautiful church called Sacre Coeur.  We also spent some time wandering through the art stores and tourist shops.

An alternative to walking up the 197 steps to Monmarte is to take the funicular from the bottom of the hill up to the Sacre Coeur.  It a 1 1/2 minutes journey.  The funicular first opened in 1900, so it has been around for a long while.

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Andrew and Tristan enjoying an entree of snails

Tourist Information on the Monmarte Furnicular

Opening Hours: It is open 7 days a week from 6 am – 12.45 am

Cost: To travel on the funicular you need to buy a T-ticket, which you buy either 1 or a book of 10 tickets and can be bought at the furniculars at the top and bottom of Monmarte or any Metro or railway stations, buses and trams.  The cost is €1.80.  They are a single use ticket so if you want to come back down on the funicular you will need a second one.

Official website for tickets: https://www.ratp.fr/

Written and researched by Ava, photos by mum

Sacre Coeur – 2/7/2016

The Sacre Coeur a Roman Catholic church located on the hill of Monmarte, the highest point in Paris.  Construction of the church began in 1875 and was completed in 1914.

Prior to the Sacre Coeur there was a benedictine abbey, during the French revolution the nuns of the Abbey were executed and the Abbey destroyed.  In 1870 a war broke out between France and Germany. which Germany won. Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury vowed to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart as penance for sins committed and the misery of the French people. Paul Abadie designed the Basilica and six other architects helped him make the buildings.

In 1923, a 475 square meter Mosaic of Christ in Glory by Olivier Merson, H. M. Magne and R. Martin, one of the largest mosaics in the world, was unveiled. It shows Christ, in white cloth, with his arms out and revealing a gold heart, around him there are saints who protect France, the Virgin Mary and Saint Michael along with Saint Joan of Arc.

After dinner in Monmartre we walked around this beautiful church and watched street performers.

The Sacre Coeur, inside and outside.

Tourist Information for the Sacre Coeur

Opening Hours:

  • The Bascilica is open 6 am – 10.30 pm
  • The Dome, accessed on the outside of the Bascillica is open 8.30 am – 8 pm (May – September) and 9 am 0 5 pm (October to April)  There is no lift so if you want to go to the dome you have to climb the 300 steps.

Cost:

Entrance is free, there are no guided tours but you can download a free audio guide from the website.  There is a guidebook available in English and a few other languages for €5.  At the reception desk there is a sister available, except on Mondays to answer any questions you may have.

Website:  http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/english/

Researched and Written by Ava, Photos by mum

Last updated January 2018

The Louvre – 3/7/2016

The Louvre Museum is the largest and most visited museum in the world and is actually housed in the Louvre Palace, built in the late 12th century.  The Louvre Palace started as a fortress, but as the city expanded it lost its importance and became a residence for the French Kings.  King Louis XIV replaced the Louvre as his residence with the Palace of Versailles in 1692, leaving the Louvre to house the royal collection of artwork.

The Louvre is massive and you will not see everything in one trip, we wandered through the rooms with no real set plan and looked at things that took our interest.  Max and Ava lost interest pretty quickly but Josh and Tristan enjoyed the trip and talking about different things in the museum.  Obviously different areas will interest different people and there is so much online that you can pre-plan your visit if you want to.  I have included a few things we found interesting on our trip.

Famous women in the Louvre, there are many, but here are just a few that we saw while wandering around.  Photo 1 is of the Goddess of Victory or in Greek, Nike which stands at the top of the stairs in the Louvre.  The statue was created in the 2nd century BC and unearthed on the island of Samothrace.  It has been in the Louvre since 1884.  Another famous female or group of females is the Three Graces or the Charites which represent feminine charm, beauty and human creativity.  They are the daughters of Zeus.  They were created in 1831 by Jean-Jacques Pradier. Lastly, and probably the most famous lady in the museum, the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503.  She has hung in the Louvre since 1797.  The day we visited there was so many people there you could only see her from a distance, so a terrible photo unfortunately. 

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And then we have the macabre art.  On the left is actually a funerary monument commissioned in 1477 by Phillip Pot to stand over his grave in the Chapel of Saint Jean Baptiste on his death.  However, after the french revolution it was seized and later sold and was placed in a hotel garden, before being acquired by the Louvre in 1899.  I found the picture on the right interesting as you have this beautiful women gazing off to her right, while being presented with a severed head.  Turns out its artist Luini interpretation of Salome, King Herod’s step daughter, being presented with the head of John the Baptist.

Josh in particular has always loved the Greek and roman myths so it was quite cool to see some of the statues throughout the Louvre of different historical or mythical figures.  The one below is of Hercules fighting Acheloos and was created by François Joseph Bosio in 1824. 

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A very interesting section of the Louvre is dedicated to Persia.  We grow up learning about the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks but not a lot of time is spent on the Persians, but there is some really interesting things here.  The first photo is of a genii from the palace of Sargon II (721 – 705 BC) in Iraq, it was a supernatural being and its purpose was one of protection over humans and buildings to ward of evil spirits. The middle photo is of a Lamassu which had a human for intelligence, wings for speed and the body of a bull for strength.  They are found in pairs flanking the entrance to the kings throne room to protect the kingdom from demons and to show the kings importance to visitors. The photo on the far right is a frieze of archers and is made from small glazed bricks and has an almost mosaic look to it.  It is believed to be from about 510 BC from the Palace of Darius I, in Susa, Iran.  

The Louvre museum extends to the outside with the glass pyramid and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.  In 1984, the then prime minister of France, Francois Mitterrand, commissioned the glass pyramid which is the entrance to the Louvre.  The pyramid is made of glass segments (rhombus and triangle shaped) and metal poles to create the 26 metre high square based pyramid.  On the right is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.  It was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his military victories.  It was built between 1806 and 1808 and is much smaller than the Arc de Triomphe.

Tourist Information for the Louvre

Opening Hours:

Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 9 am to 6 pm, Wednesday and Friday open 9 am – 9.45 pm, closed on Tuesdays

Closed on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25
 

Cost:

  • Adults – €15, Under 18 – free, 18 – 25 yr old residents of EEA – free
  • Friday’s from 6 pm admission is free for all under 26 year olds
  • Bastille Day (July 14) – Admission is free for all
  • October – March – the first Sunday of each month is free for all visitors.

Official Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/

by Karen

Arc de Triomphe – 3/7/2016

Arc de Triomphe allows you to see the whole of Paris if you climb to the top. It was built between 1806 and 1836. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is remade every day at 6:30 pm. The Arc de Triomphe was built in 1806 and took 30 years to make so it was finished in 1836.

After world war I, in 1921, the coffin of an unknown dead soldier, was chosen (from eight identical coffins brought back from the different zones on the front line in France) to be laid to rest at the bottom of the Arc de Triomphe.  It was then decided to build a memorial flame, lit for the first time on the 11th of November 1923.  Every evening at six thirty the flame is re-lit by a member of the committee, to recall the sacrifice of the unknown soldier, who gave his life during World War I.

We walked from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. We climbed the 284 stairs to reach the top. We did stop half way to catch our breathe. I think the views were actually better than the Eiffel Tower, maybe because the Arc is the center of Paris. The Arc was built to commemorate those who died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars, since then troops have marched under it after war victories. Napoleon’s body was brought back from St Helena under the arc two years after he died, to be buried.

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We walked from the Eiffel Tower down to the Arc de Triomphe

Views from the Arc de Triomphe; Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Couer

 

Tourist Information for the Arc de Triomphe

Opening Hours

Last admission 45 min before closing time.

2 Jan to 31 Mar – 10 am to 10.30 pm 
1 Apr – 30 Sep – 10 am to 11 pm
1 Oct – 31 Dec – 10 am to 10. 30 pm
Closed: 1 Jan, 1 May, 8 May (morning), 14 July, 11 Nov (morning) and 25 December
Cost:
Adult – 12€, Tourism professionals, young people (18-25 yo) from non-UE country and foreign teachers – 9€, Group price (minimum 20 people) – 9€, Price for schools – 30€ and Children aged 17 and Under – free
Great Info: http://www.arcdetriompheparis.com/
 

Notre Dame – 3/7/2016

In the heart of Paris in France is the Notre Dame Cathedral.  The cathedral is a Gothic design which was built between 1163 and 1345.  The cathedral is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide, 35 meters high.  The cathedral has twin towers which are 69 meters high and have 387 steps to get to the top.  

Entrance to the Cathedral with all of the intricate carving.

These photos were taken in the gardens at the rear of the cathedral. 

Tourist Information for Notre Dame

Opening Hours

The cathedral is open Monday – Friday: 7.45 am to 6.45 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 7.45 am to 7.15 pm

There are guided tours on the church’s spiritual message delivered through its history, architecture, sculptures and stained glass windows.  The tours are free.  There are tours in different languages on different days:

English – Monday, Tuesday and Saturday at 2.30 pm and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 2 pm.
French – Monday – Friday at 2 pm and 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30 pm and Tuesday at 10.30 am.  (There are no tours on the 1st Friday of the month and those Fridays that are lent)
Spanish – Saturday at 2.30 pm
German – Friday at 2 pm and Saturday at 2.30 pm
Italian – Thursday at 2 pm

Cost: Free Admission into the Cathedral and for guided tours

Official Website: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/ 

Tourist Information for the Crypt of Notre Dame

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 18h
Closed on Mondays and some public holidays: May 1st and January 1st

Costs: Crypt entrance ad Exhibition: Adults – € 8, Concession – € 6 and Under 18 – Free
Walk – Adults – € 10, Concession – € 8
Audio guide – € 5 and lasts for 30 minutes

Official Website: http://www.crypte.paris.fr/fr/  

Tourist Information for the Tower of Notre Dame

Costs: Adults – € 10, Concessions – € 8, Under 25 – free, group rate for 20 or more people – € 8

Opening Hours: 

Jan 2nd – Mar 31st: 10 am to 5.30 pm
Apr 1st – Sept 30th: 10 am to 6.30 pm
Oct 1st – Dec 31st: 10 am – 5.30 pm

Closed: January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

Official Websitehttp://www.tours-notre-dame-de-paris.fr/

Written and researched by Ava, photos and captions by mum
Information last updated in December 2017

Eiffel Tower – 4/7/2016

The Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who was a French engineer. Some of Gustave’s early work were bridges, but when the chief engineer on the Statue of Liberty died, Gustave replaced him and completed it. After Gustave completed the highest bridge in the world, the Garabit viaduct, he began work on the Eiffel Tower in 1887.  In 1889, after 2 years, 2 months and 5 days the Eiffel Tower was complete.  It is the Eiffel Tower which cemented Gustave’s name in history.

The date that the Eiffel tower was complete was the 100th anniversary of the French revolution, it was built for the 1889, World Fair. Later, in the 1920s, the Eiffel Tower became a worldwide symbol for Paris. The Eiffel tower also has lifts which helps over 7 million people visit the Eiffel tower and see the view of Paris.  There are sparkles on the Eiffel Tower that shine over Paris for 5 minutes every hour on the hour in the evening.

We waited for about 2 hours to get tickets to get to the Eiffel Tower, Max and I were a bit grumpy waiting in line but the view was good once we got up there.  The ball hanging in the middle of the Eiffel Tower is a soccer ball.  It was put there because the world cup was being held in France while we were there.

Taken on our walk up to the Eiffel Tower

The top of the Eiffel Tower and the views from it.

Statue of Alexandre Gustav Eiffel the engineer and person responsible for the Eiffel Tower.  Middle photo is of a soccer ball hung because the World Cup was being held in France.

Tourist Information for the Eiffel Tower

Opening Times

Dec 23 rd – Dec 30:  9.30 am to 12.45 am
Jun 15th – Sept 1st: 9.00 am to 12.45 am (last entry midnight)
Rest of the Year: Lifts: 9.30 am to 11.45 pm (last entry 11 pm and for the top last entry is 10.30 pm) Stairs: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm (last entry is 6 pm)

Costs:

The costs vary according to whether you want to go the the top or the 2nd floor or whether you take the stairs or lift.  For more details see below:

  • Access to the 2nd Floor via lift – Adults – 16€, Ages 12 – 24 – 8€, Aged under 4 – free, Concessions – 4€
  • Access to the 2nd floor via stairs – Adults – 10€, Ages 12 – 24 – 5€, Aged under 4 – free, Concessions – 2.50€
  • Access to the top via two lifts – Adults – 25€, Ages 12 – 24 – 12.50€, Aged under 4 – free, Concessions – 6.30€
  • Access to the top via stairs and lift – Adults – 19€, Ages 12 – 24 – 9.50 €, Aged under 4 – free, Concessions – 4.80€

Official Website: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en

Researched and written by Ava. Photos and captions by mum.
Information last updated in December 2017