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France

Paris

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

By Molly Kalafut


Arc de Triomphe

The Arc was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806. There are four huge sculptures at the pillar bases. The names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods are engraved around the top, with lesser victories and the names of generals along the inside walls. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and eternal flame are beneath the Arch to commemorate the dead from the world wars.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe in the Early Morning

Louvre

Originally a fortress of King Philippe Auguste in medieval times (1160AD), the Louvre became a palace of kings. It has been a museum for the last 200 years. It is one of the oldest (and largest) European museums. The most famous pieces include the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo

Pyramid on the Louvre Exterior

The pyramid on the outside of the Louvre was designed by IM Pei and Richelieu Wing

Sculpture

Statue from the Louvre

The Louvre has incredible statues and sculpture!


Egyptian Art

Large Egyptian Sculpture

The Louvre contains an entire floor of famous Egyptian art.

Book of the Dead from the Louvre

The Book of the Dead

Venus de Milo

The Venus de Milo sculpture

The Venus de Milo is also known as Aphrodite of Melos. It was found in Milo, Italy in the field of a farmer. It is dated to 200 BC.


Mona Lisa

(Slightly Blurry)

Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) in 1503-1505 by Leonardo while in Florence, Italy. It is a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Blurry Photo of the Mona Lisa

The photo is unfortunately blurry - there's always a huge crowd and flash is harmful to pictures

Notre Dame

Notre Dame was constructed 1160-1260, with a major refurbishment in the mid 1800s. It contains a 13-ton bell in the south tower and the largest pipe organ in France. The Royal Family did not fund it, but other people left money in wills and funded through gifts. It was built by paid contractors and engineers. It was made even more famous and preserved (even saved from destruction) by the success of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Front Exterior Notre Dame Exterior

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was built for the Universal Exposition of 1889 as the tallest man-made structure on earth (for many years). The four pillars supporting it are aligned to compass points. The base is about 2 football fields side-by-side lengthwise. It is the highest structure in Paris, at about 108 stories tall. Only about 6 buildings in the world are taller (most in the US). It is built of puddle iron, and only 7300 metric tons. A scale model of the tower at 30 cm high would weigh about one nickel There are 347 steps to the 1st level, 674 to the 2nd, and 1710 to the top.

Eiffel Tower

The obligatory photo of the Eiffel Tower

Views of Paris

From the Eiffel Tower

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

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Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and beyond! By Molly Kalafut