Pages

10 September 2011

Postcards from Paris, France—A Tour Through the 'City Of Light'

Striking contrasts at the Louvre and the seemingly "liquid" glass pyramid!
All images are property of EuroTravelogue.  Please do not use without permission.  
Around every corner in the “City of Light,” awaits a quintessentially Parisian-perfect postcard that fills your frame with the unforgettable sights of Paris. From its soaring monuments and magnificent architecture to its scenic views along the Seine and charming sidewalk cafes, Paris captivates us with its visual romance that fills our hearts with cherished memories! Whether brilliant sunshine and contrasting shadows or cloudy skies casting a subdued light that saturates the colors, Paris is beautifully bathed in any light. And at night, the city twinkles in dazzling displays of illuminations at the Eiffel Tower as well as the warm glow of the ambient light along its boulevards.  It's magical!

From the moment I arrived via the overnight train from Florence to the time I sadly departed five days later, I set out on my quest through Paris to capture postcards of this picturesque city from uniquely Parisian perspectives. Whether I climbed to the top of the world or walked along quaint streets and the River Seine, Paris opened her arms to me and invited me in for a look at its scenic and spectacular vistas regardless of the light. By the time I was through and my journey came to an end, I discovered that Paris truly is the City of Light. Come along on this visual tour through an enchanting place that is Paris, and I hope you find this pictorial souvenir evokes the true essence, beauty and flavors of Paris.


Quintessentially Parisian architecture and sidewalk cafe!  

The sprawling grounds of the Tuileries Gardens fill the foreground with the Musee D'Orsay, L'Hotel National des Invalides and the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in background.  
Walk along the River Seine and magnificent vistas such as this are suddenly revealed. Note the Musee D'Orsay in the background. The Eiffel Tower is peeking in at the left.
The views from our room at the hotel Regina offered up sweeping vistas of Paris including the Tuileries Gardens, Musee D'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, L' Hotel National des Invalides and much more. Below are a few of the shots taken from our window behind the "H" in Hotel Regina.

The iconic Eiffel Tower has come to define Paris itself and has changed its skyline forever after it's completion in 1889 for the World Exposition of the same year.  

Officially known as the L'Hotel National des Invalides, the National Residence of Invalids was completed in 1679 and originally intended to be a retirement home for war veterans.  Now, it's a massive complex of museums, galleries and the final resting spot of many a French war hero not to mention Napoleon Bonaparte. You can also see the towering gothic bell towers of the The Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde." 
 
This is the view from our hotel room at the Hotel Regina looking down at the Place des Pyramides. Nothing in the world comes close to the incomparable Parisian architecture that lines the city's streets.  There's a golden statue of Joan of Arc just out of view from this picture.  Here's a better look.  

Walking toward the Place de la Concorde with its Luxor Obelisk—originally from the Luxor Temple in Egypt and dating back to 1400 B.C., and the Arc du Triomphe de l'Etoile in the distant background, completed in 1836.


Modeled after Trajan's Column of Rome, Napoleon ordered construction of the Place Vendome Column  to commemorate the Victory of Austerlitz.  There are 425 bronze bas relief plates that spiral their way to the statue of Napoleon himself atop the column.  

Across the River Seine and in the area of Paris known as the Left Bank, you'll find the Cathedral of Saint Germain.  If you've seen the movie "Da Vinci Code," you will remember this place well.  Our tour of the Cathedral revealed spectacular interiors and magnificent stained glass windows.



Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés located in the Left Bank of Paris.  By far one of the oldest churches in Paris, the original abbey was founded in the 6th century by the son of Clovis I. The cathedral we see today was rededicated in 1163.

Magnificent stained glass portrait of Jesus reflects a most holy light inside Saint Sulpice.

Interior Nave of Saint Sulpice.

Just one of many spectacular scenic views of Paris from the top of Notre Dame.  Even more jaw-dropping views await at the top of the South Bell Tower.  

Notre Dame.  I strongly recommend you climb all 387 steps to the top of the South Bell Tower for jaw-dropping 360-degree views of Paris!  Just to left of Cathedral's front door, you'll find the entrance to the stairway leading to the top.  Don't worry about climbing these all at once, there are two places for a bit of a respite if you need.  Your first is the gift shop where you can do a little shopping and rest up. From there, continue onward and upward to the top of the main cathedral building where views such as the one above await.  At this level, the choice is yours—you can either descend after you've taken in the scenic vistas, or if you're not too winded, continue up the the top of the south bell tower. Believe me, once you see Paris from this vantage point, you'll be glad you put forth the effort. Visit NotreDamedeParis.fr for most spectacular 360 tours of the interior and exterior of Notre Dame.

This breathtaking view of the end of the Ile de la Cite and the River Seine was taken from atop the bell tower.  

Hanging with some friends I made at the top of Notre Dame.

An aerial view of Sainte Chapelle on the Ile de Cite in Paris France.  Read more about this chapel and its tapestries of majesty . 

The magnificent Palace Versailles and the Hall of Mirrors that lies within these walls are a MUST-SEE sight that should be on everyone's itineraries.  The sprawling and meticulously-manicured gardens in the back of the palace are a true sight to behold.  

The sculptures at the top of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Tuileries Gardens commemorate Napoleon's victories circa 1807.  


Au revoir from the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - entry way into the Tuileries Gardens.  
Designed in 1807 by Charles Percier and Pierre Francois Leonard Fontaine, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is your entry way to the Tuileries Gardens. Standing at 63 feet, the arch is a near replica to the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum.
I hope you enjoyed this tour through the light of Paris and the spectacular scenery it reveals to those who are seeking a uniquely Parisian perspective.

Au Revoir from Paris!


Additional Reading:


48 comments:

  1. I was in Paris a few months ago and it is a beautiful city which your pictures captured very well. Love your site!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Daphne,

    I wish I could return to Paris this very moment for I am guilty of falling in love with the city of light. I am so glad you enjoyed your photo tour and thank you for your kind words and stopping by to share your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the photos,they are extradinary.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for you kind words dear Anonymous! And thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate every word!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great photo collection - you've captured the city very well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much Cam for your kind words! I loved every minute of it!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. As the others already said, these are great photos! What a beautiful city. I need to go there soon! (The last time I spent any real time there was 21 years ago! Ha!)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jenna,

    Thank you for your kind words and more importantly, stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I too, need to get back there ASAP as there is so much more to capture on film...or pixel ; )

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jeff, just what are you trying to do here, kill me?! I've had Paris on my mind all day... Oh how I wish I could jump into some of these beautiful pics!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's some really nice pics Jeff! I went to Paris in June and still have not done my Paris posting. Unfortunately when I was there, the sky was not as nice as yours.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pola, Ha! I am sure am...believe me...it was torture putting this article together and adding the photos. Let's jump through one right now and see where we land...okay? Thx for you compliments and for stopping by to share your wanderlust....it runs deep within me as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi David,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful words, I really appreciate it!! Took me awhile to put my post together as well so I know exactly how you feel. I am sure your photos are going to be magnificent...if you notice, half of mine are on cloudy days but that's the beauty of the light in Paris...Can't wait to see your post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well these are some pretty awesome photogaphs! I loved the first picture of the Louvre. I usually don't like the pyramid (first trip to Paris was pre-pyramid and I'm just not sure I like it!) but this was stunning.

    Can't agree more about climbing Notre Dame!

    I think I need to focus on taking pictures. I'm envious that yours turn out so nice!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Debbie, Thank you again for your kind words and compliments...I too am in love with that first image of the Louvre...it was a happy accident I think... ;) I love taking photos, used to be commercial photographer in past life. I think it really adds to the online experience. Thank you again for your thoughts and for stopping by. You really made my day today!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm leaving for France tomorrow... a few days in Lyon and then on to Paris. So excited! Your pics have made it all the more "real" for me now. I don't think I'm going to get to sleep tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Terry DC,
    I can totally relate to your excitement and anticipation of visiting this spectacular city! Truly, it's going to be a fantastic journey for you and I hope you have a wonderfully enchanting time! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and if you want, I have a facebook page at www.facebook.com/eurotravelogue and would love to see your pics posted there.

    Bon Voyage!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I absolutely LOVE that pic of the Louvre and Pyramid, Jeff. You've captured incredible angles in your photograph. Well done!

    Doreen Pendgracs

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Doreen!!

    Thank you so much for your kind compliments. I truly appreciate them!! I too, have fallen in love with the city of Light!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, amazing photos Jeff! Fantastic collection from Paris. Love the view overlooking the Tuileries Garden with all that other stuff un the background!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jeremy, I couldn't agree with you more. That view from the Hotel Regina was priceless and I would to stay there again! Plus, I was really blessed with great weather most of the time while I was there.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great roundup--I love the picture of you in front of Arc de Triomphe!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Charu, thank you so much for your kind words and compliments! Touring Paris for those five days were incredible and unforgettable. These are but a few of hundreds of pics I have...I should do another post...LOL Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lovely pictures. I visited Paris a few weeks back. You are right. Everything there looks like a picture postcard.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear Anonymous, I hope these images brought back wonderful memories for you on your last visit and Paris beckons for your return. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and for the nice compliment as well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great shots. I finally got my 2 adult daughters together and took them to Paris for 4 days. We were on the plane almost as long as we were in Paris but it's hard to get time together (one works, one's in college). My girls had never been to EU so I had to decide whether to go to Italy or Paris. I chose Paris and it was the right choice. I think it changed my daughters' perspectives of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Christina,
    What wonderful news you share! You just can't go wrong with Paris and I, like your daughter, experienced a similar revelation when I first went to EU. And to boot, I fell in love with it, all of it...hence my blog. Thank you kindly for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Send me a pic on my facebook page at www.facebook.com/eurotravelogue . would love to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. We are going to Paris in January and looking at your pictures makes me even more excited about going! Wonderful images, Jeff! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Leslie,
    I am thrilled for you to be visiting Paris next year. You are going to love it. I hope you have the greatest experience while you're there. Check out some of the day tours to Chartres and the Loire Valley as well. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts!! bon voyage

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you so much Marie for stopping by and for your compliments. I truly had a magical time touring Paris and relieved that the weather cooperated most of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jeff this is a great picture of you!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear Anonymous...neighbor ; )...thx so much for your kind words and for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Amazing shots indeed, thanks for the great post, it brought back memories from the last time I was in france :) cheap hotels in Derby

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi there Eric,
    Thanks so much for the kind compliments and for stopping by to share your thoughts! I am so glad you enjoyed this post...I had fun pull it together!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh to be in Paris...love the Joan of Arc shot too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi there again RestlessJo! Ah, the city of light beckons to all of us, doesn't it? I loved my time there and long to return to this enchanting city--one of my all-time faves! Thx again for stopping by and for your compliments too!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I just love France and I wished my trip there will be on the final works soonest. I am inspired by these photos Jeff. Awesome they are indeed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Doc for stopping by to share your thougthts and for your kind words! I really love the City of Light!

      Delete
  37. Great Paris photo essay Jeff.! :-) Didin't know you could go up on Notre Dame or I would have when I was there! Next for sure. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank so much my friend for your kind words. Oh yes, the walk up is a little intimidating at first, but once you start on your way, you can stop off at the gift shop or keep going up to the base of the bell towers or the top of them as well. The views are breathtaking! You must do it on your next visit. Thank you again for stopping by to share your thoughts.

      Delete
  38. Fabulous shots of one of my favourite cities! I'll look at these whenever I feel the need to return and can't!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Jenny and thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I am in love with Paris!

      Delete
  39. These pictures really capture Paris for me. I've got to get to the top of Notre Dame next time. My timing is always off. Daydreaming about Paris now....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, then I have succeed in my mission Cathy! Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by to share your thoughts. I cannot wait to return to Paris!

      Delete
  40. Hi Jeff - Wonderful article, my friend! Absolutely love the wonderful pictures as well - we have not been to Paris yet (we had the whole trip planned in 2011 when that volcano blew up and all the flights were cancelled and we had to cancel the whole trip). What a disappointment that was! We hope to visit in 2014 though, so I am bookmarking this story and will be in touch when we get closer to get some personalized tips from you! Always love your blogs & your photo's and value your online friendship a lot! Happy travels and keep in touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Deborah and thank you so much for stopping by! I am so sorry to hear about your canceled plans but on a much brighter note, look at all that you have to look forward to! You have plenty of time to plan and yes, I am here for you for whatever you need! I have a few other articles about Paris on my site so take a look at your leisure...some fascinating tours to the Loire and Chartres...plus check out my Normandy post too.

      Can't wait until you finally make it to the City of Light and please share your pictures with me.

      Lastly, I value our online friendship too and look forward to many more interactions!!

      Thank you again!

      Delete
  41. A beautiful photo collection of a beautiful city.. Paris is one and only

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Roni and thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I couldn't agree with you more ... Paris is SUBLIME!

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!