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Paris, known to the world as the most romantic and gorgeous city on the glob is also popular with sites from the ages of history. A mixture of ambiance and culture, towers, churches, palaces, avenues etc. erected during ancient times adds to the attractiveness of the metropolis. These sites are still visited by huge number of visitors round the year. Some of these places are simply beyond appreciation and wins the heart of every single sight seeker. The list below will make us aware of the top ten historical sites in Paris.
1. Norte – Dame Cathedral
Started in 12th century and carried on construction for the next 200 years, Norte – Dame Cathedral is an ancient Roman Catholic Marian Cathedral that played a vital role in religious life in Paris. It is also one of the first Gothic cathedrals in Europe. There are five bells and “Emmanuel” is the biggest among them and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services.
2. The Arc of Triumph
The Arc de Triomphe or simply The Arch of Triumph has always remained a historical attraction and holds second position in the list of top ten famous chronological monuments in Paris. In 1806, Napoleon built it to celebrate his military successes but construction stopped when he was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo. Later King Louis Philippe finished it and dedicated it to the French army. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of an unknown soldier from World War I and also the Arch is inscribed with names of all French victories and generals on its inner and outer surface. The monument stands 50 meters in height, 45 m wide and 22 m deep and the design was inspired from the Roman Arch of Titus.
3. The Eiffel Tower
Nick named as La dame de fer (the iron lady), the Eiffel Tower is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. The tower was named after its designer engineer who built it as a temporary exhibition to the 1889 world’s fair. Apart from being an engineered marvel it has also become a global cultural icon of France. It is the tallest tower in Paris and around 7.1 million people visits it annually. The tower is divided into three levels with a glass elevator till the top.
4. Les Champs Elysees
The most beautiful avenue in the world, Les Champs Elysees is full with cinemas, cafes, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees. The lower part surrounded with greenery and buildings such as the Theatre Marigny and the Grand Palais it is a great centre of tourist attraction and one among the leading historical monuments in Paris. Every year on Bastille Day, the largest military parade in Europe passes through it reviewed by the President of the Republic.
5. Concorde Square
With a surface of 84.000 square meters, the Concorde Square is the most beautiful historical place in France Capital. Designed in 1755 by Ange Jacques Gabriel as a moat-skirted octagon, the place is beautified with statues. It is in this place that the Treaty of Friendships and Exchanges was signed on February 6, 1778 between King, Louis XVI and the 13 States Independents of America.
6. Sacred Heart
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or the Sacred Heart has been placed in sixth position among the famous chronological sites in Paris and is the most famous religious centres. It is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre and was planned by Paul Abadie in 1875 to 1914. The basilica complex comprises a garden for meditation, with a spout. The top of the dome is open to sightseers and affords a stunning panoramic sight of the city of Paris, which is mostly to the south of the basilica.
7. Sainte Chapelle
The only existing building of the Capetian Royal Palace in the heart of Paris is none other than Sainte Chapelle. Including the Crown of Thorns, one of the most significant leftovers from medieval Christendom, it was custom-built by King Louis IX of France to house his gatherings of Passion Relics. One of the highest accomplishments from the era of Gothic Architecture, it was constructed sometime after 1239.
8. The Invalides
Officially popular as L’Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), The Invalides was erected in between 1671 to 1676 by King Louis XIV for wounded homeless soldiers of its different wars. One of the most prestigious historical sites in Paris with the burial site of Napoleon, nowadays it also houses three museums – Army museum, “Plans-Reliefs” museum and Liberation Order museum.
9. Palais Garnier
Masterwork from the theater architecture of the 19th century, the Palais Garnier, built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 is the thirteenth opera house to be found in Paris. It is decorated with very intricate multicolored marble friezes, columns, and prolific statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek Mythology. The building became so inspirational and popular that several buildings in Poland have been constructed on its basis.
Located on the west side of the Ile de la Cite, the Conciergerie began its life as a royal palace and ten a prison. It played a dark role in the French Revolution where hundreds of prisoners were executed. It was partly constructed in the thirteenth century and partly in contemporary time it is ten or twelve feet below the level of the adjacent streets.