Paris mon amour

September 9, 2009

notre dame picture 4

Paris

Well informed, eloquent and oh-so-romantic, the ‘City of Light’ is a philosopher, a poet, a crooner. As it always has been, Paris is a million different things to a million different people.

Paris has all but exhausted the superlatives that can reasonably be applied to any city. Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower – at sunrise, at sunset, at night – have been described countless times, as have the Seine and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences between the Left and Right Banks. But what writers have been unable to capture is the grandness and even the magic.

centre georges pompidou paris

The Pompidou Centre

The Pompidou Centre, also known simply as Beaubourg, is all about modern and contemporary 20th-century art. Thanks in part to its vigorous schedule of temporary exhibitions, it’s the most visited cultural site in Paris. Two floors are dedicated to some of the 40000-plus works of the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, the country’s collection of 20th-century art.

The design of the Pompidou has drawn critical comment since construction began in 1972. To keep the exhibition halls uncluttered, the architects put the building’s ‘insides’ on the outside, with each duct, pipe and vent painted in its own telltale colour: elevators and escalators are red, electrical circuitry yellow, plumbing green and air-conditioning blue.

After a massive renovation during 1998-99 the centre has a stunning reworked facade on the west side, an expanded exhibition space, and a new cinema, restaurant and cybercafe – plus new facilities for dance, theatre, CD and video.

The top floors have a magnificent view of Paris, while place George Pompidou below attracts street performers, musicians and artists.

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Eiffel Tower

Built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World Fair), held to commemorate the centennial of the Revolution, the Tour Eiffel was the world’s tallest structure at 320m (1050ft) until Manhattan’s Chrysler Building was completed. Initially opposed by the city’s artistic and literary elite the tower was almost torn down in 1909.

The tower’s salvation came when it proved an ideal platform for the antennas needed for the new science of radiotelegraphy. Just southeast of the tower is a grassy expanse that was once the site of the world’s first balloon flights and is now used by teens as a skateboarding arena and by activists bad-mouthing Chirac.

When you’re done peering upward through the girders, three levels are open to the public. There are elevators to the top but they have long queues. You can avoid the queues by walking up the stairs in the south pillar to the 1st or 2nd platforms. Guided visits are also available.

more information: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/paris

Welcome!

September 9, 2009

Hi guest!

Welcome to my personal blog! I’m trying to write something.