Notes prepared by Gene Gill FRANCE CURRENCY: The Euro... 100 cents to the Euro. Bills are 5,10,20,50,100,200. Coins are 1,2,5,10,20,50 cents and 1, 2, Euro. The Euro was introduced in 2002. LANGUAGE: French. The French are very proud of their language. Do not expect everyone to speak English nor get angry with them if they do not. If you will just try a word or two of French, you'll generally get smiles and assistance. TEMPERATURE: Average in summer ... mid 70's ... some rain. There can also be heat waves and many buildings or hotels are not air-conditioned. BANK HOURS: 9-12, 2-4 Mon-Fri. SHOP HOURS: 9-7 ... some shops break for lunch. THINGS TO BUY: Perfume, cosmetics, gloves, Limoge Porcelain. If you make large purchases, better shops will give you a discount or a form to fill out. This form entitles you to a refund of the VALUE ADDED TAX, which is quite high. FOOD: Considered the best in the world. One should try different kinds of food here, but when in doubt, order an Omelet or Onion Soup...always great and inexpensive. Almost all restaurants have a menu with prices, posted outside, in several languages, including English. DRINK: Wine is the National Drink. The house wines are always excellent and inexpensive ... “…rouge ordinaire" or "blanc ordinaire". TIPPING: 15% is added to your bill in restaurants. You may leave a few francs (up to 10%) more for good service. Taxies expect 10% or more. Leave money for the maid in your hotel. A "service charge" is required in public toilets. The lady who cleans the toilets will have a dish at the entrance. There will be one coin on it, or a posted sign, to let you know how much is required. MUSEUMS: Most museums in France are closed on Tuesdays and are FREE on Sundays. Paris has so many museums that many are beginning to alter their closing days between Monday and Tuesday. Senior citizens get a 40% discount. A Museum Pass is available. THE PEOPLE OF PARIS: Living in Paris is an expensive, difficult struggle and this may show on the faces of the people. This is one reason many Americans sometimes think the French are arrogant. The Parisians are, however, fiercely proud and protective of their beautiful (although dirty) city. Show them by your attitude that you also feel something special about Paris and they'll respond accordingly. Keep in mind that the French dislike anyone who is loud and demanding. And NEVER ask a Frenchman a question without first saying "Bon Jour" FREE MAPS/INFORMATION: FRENCH GOVERNMENT TOURIST OFFICE, 9454 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 715, Beverly Hills 90212. (410) 286-8310 for brochures. www.franceguide.com PARIS TO GET TO CITY CENTER FROM DEGAULE AIRPORT: A taxi is expensive! The fastest and least expensive way is by Roissy Rail ... a train-bus combination. The bus leaves from outside the exit of the terminal. Get on the bus (no charge) and it will take you to the train. The train goes to GARE DU NORD ... about 30 min. You can take either the Metro or a taxi from Gare Du Nord to your hotel. (You can also transfer from the train to the METRO with the same ticket). The RER Train continues on to Chatelet-LesHalles, St.Michel, Luxembourg. The AIR FRANCE BUS, outside the Arrivals Terminal goes to PORTE MAILLOT or to ETOILE... about 45 minutes to 1 hour. From either of these stops you can take a taxi to your hotel. The buses run about every 15 - 20 minutes. From ORLY AIRPORT: The Air France bus goes to INVALIDES. You can take a taxi from there to your hotel. CITY TRANSPORTATION: The only way to travel is by the subway, called LE METRO. Buy 10 Metro tickets (“Un carnet" …say “oon-car-nay") and save 50%. To use the Metro system, look at the large map posted inside each station. Decide which Metro line you need. To make sure you're going in the right "direction", check the name at the end of the line. Remember this name because it will guide you through the tunnels from one line to another. To change train lines, look for the orange "Correspondance" and for your new "direction" signs. Blue signs reading "Sortie" mark the exits. To enter the metro, insert your ticket in the automated turnstile and DON’T FORGET TO COLLECT IT, as you pass through. Locate your “direction” sign and start walking. You'll be an expert after one trip. Please be considerate of the Parisians. When the Metro car stops at the station where you wish to get off, step quickly out on the platform and move toward the wall before you stop. When you are away from the moving crowds you can THEN pause to look for signs. If you pause at the door of the train you are blocking the person(s) behind you who may be rushing to work. CAUTION: Pickpockets thrive on crowded subways. Be very alert and keep your wallet in your front pocket. If you see gypsies ANYWHERE in Paris, keep your distance – especially gypsy children. They can have your pockets stripped before you know they’re next to you. (Hit them HARD with your purse or bag if you must - even the kids. No one will blame you). WALKING: This is the next best type of transportation in Paris. You’ll walk until your feet won’t support you anymore, but you’ll experience the real Paris. And you can always stop at an outdoor cafe for a refreshing drink. No one would think of rushing you. A TOURIST TICKET can be purchased for 2,4,7 days (Passport required). The "Carte Orange" is a weekly pass, which can be purchased Mon-Wed. A photo is required. There are also Museum passes - the "Carte Intermusees". Contact the French Tourist Office before leaving the U.S.for more information on these. The museum pass may seen to be expensive but it lets you go ahead of the long lines and saves valuable time. PARIS ARC DE TRIOMPHE: (Metro: E'toile) Open daily except Tuesday 10 - 5:30 PM. This is the largest triumphal arch in the world, standing as the focal point of 12 radiating avenues on the Place Charles de Gaule. Napoleon ordered this arch built in 1806 to commemorate his victories. Completed in 1863, it is 162 feet high and 147 feet wide. The bas-relief designs are of military scenes and the names of 128 victories of Napoleon and the 600 generals who participated in these victories. Underneath the arch is the tomb of France's UNKNOWN SOLDIER. Take the elevator to the top of the arch for a fantastic view of Paris. CHAMPS ELYSEES: (Metro: E'toile or F.D. Rosevelt). This famous Boulevard includes the world's most famous promenade. It runs arrow-straight from the ARC DE TRIOMPHE to the PLACE DE LA CONCORDE, and is lined with Chestnut trees, shops, palatial hotels, movie houses, office buildings, and numerous side-walk cafes. It is the greatest vantage point to sit and watch Paris stroll by. One may sit at a cafe for hours with only 1 drink. It is "improper" to ask you to leave. PLACE de la CONCORDE: (Metro: Concorde). Regarded by many as the most beautiful square in the world, this 85,000 square yard expanse is so vast that your eyes can't take it all in. In the middle rises a 33 centuries old Obelisk from Egypt. Fountains surrounded by eight statues representing 8 French cities flank this. Near the statue of BREST is the spot where the GUILLOTINE stood during the Revolution. In 1793, King Louis XVI lost his head here and was followed by 1,343 other. Off to one side of the square is the American Embassy. TUILERIES GARDENS: (Metro: Tuileries). Stretching along the Right Bank of the Seine River from the Place de la Concorde to the court of the Louvre Museum, these gardens were laid out as a royal pleasure park in 1564. Today, they are filled with statues and fountains, plus light- refreshment stands. It's a great place to sit and relax and watch the Parisians ... or to picnic. Near one end of the gardens, there's a small version of the Arc de Triomphe. If you'll stand in the middle of this arch, you'll have an arrow-straight view down the Champs Elysees to the big Arc de Triomphe. On the river side of the park above Concorde is the ORANGERIE MUSEUM. On the opposite side of the park is the JEU DE PAUME MUSEUM. At the end of the park away from Concorde is the LOUVRE MUSEUM. LOUVRE MUSEUM: (Metro: Louvre or Palais Royal). Open daily except Tuesday, 9 - 5:15 PM. Free on Sunday, and very crowded. This museum is the largest palace in the world and houses a collection of over 208,000 works of art. French kings lived oh this site from the 13th century but most of the present palace was built by Napoleon. He converted it into a museum after the Revolution. Inside are treasures not to be believed. The Louvre is divided into three sections: DENON, SULLY, and RICHELIEU, and each of its 3 floors is color-coded to help guide you through. Currently, most of the treasures of interest to tourists will be in the DENON and SULLY sections. Entry to the Louvre is through a new glass PARIS…Continued pyramid in the central courtyard. This pyramid takes one two floors below ground level where you purchase tickets. During the construction of the pyramid, remnants of a medieval palace with a moat were uncovered and these remnants have been incorporated into the new design on the entry level. In addition the entire museum is being renovated and the collections will be shifted around until completion. On this entry level one will find a huge underground mall plus a very good food court. This section is accessible from the museum, or before/after hours, from an entrance on Rue de Rivoli. Back to the Louvre: The main attractions for tourists are WINGED VICTORY, a statue from 2 centuries before the birth of Christ and The MONA LISA protected behind bulletproof glass. In the same gallery with Mona Lisa are additional paintings by Da Vinci, as well as masterpieces by Titian and Raphael. Nearby galleries contain a superb collection of paintings by Rembrandt. Visit the Galerie d’Apollon for the ROYAL JEWELS. In the Greek Antiquities galleries on the ground floor stands VENUS DE MILO. Also on the ground floor in another wing are 2 Michelangelo SLAVES. Visit the Egyptian section for some of the most impressive Egyptian art outside Egypt, including the SEATED SCRIBE. And of course, every major artist up to the 19th century is represented with major works. A RECOMMENDATION: Enter the Louvre at 9 AM, pick up a free self-guide map, rush directly upstairs to see “Mona Lisa” before the crowds and tours make their way there. Afterwards return to the beginning. This way you’ll avoid most of the heavy crowds around the most famous works of art. MUSEE de l’ORANGERIE: (Metro: Concorde) Daily except Tuesday 9:45 - 5:15. This museum has undergone extensive renovation. It’s one of those “perfect-size” museums with a major collection of the Impressionists on the 2 nd floor. All of the paintings are superb and the museum is a delight to navigate. However great that may be, the main reason for a visit is to see Monet’s exquisite “NYMPHAES (Water Lilies)” which were painted between 1890-1921. They are a series of very large works of flickering light striking lily pads and water. These paintings completely surround two large oval rooms on the ground floor galleries. Monet, himself, presented them to the State of France, with the provision that they not be exhibited until his death. Whether one really appreciates art or not, it is impossible to enter these galleries without being totally overwhelmed. DON’T MISS THEM! JEU de PAUME MUSEUM: (Metro: Concorde) This museum whose exterior exactly matches the Musee d l’Orangerie, is now closed for a complete restoration and enlargement. When it reopens, it will become a museum for temporary exhibitions. The famous Impressionist paintings it used to house have moved across the river to the new MUSEE D’ORSAY. PALAIS ROYAL: (Metro: Palais Royal). Directly beside the Louvre Museum... beautiful gardens surround this palace built by Cardinal Richelieu. There are elegant shops and apartments in the area ... especially along Rue St. Honore, for the “designer” names. The French Revolution ignited at the Palais Royal. PARIS ... continued MUSEE D’ORSAY: (Metro: Solferino) Daily except Monday 10-5:15. Tue Eve 9:15 PM. This new museum, housed in a beautiful converted train station and hotel opened to great critical acclaim in 1986. It is dedicated to 19 th century art ... Millet, Corot, Daumier, Courbet, Delacroix ... as well as 2 Americans, Mary Cassatt and Whistler (“Portrait of the Artist’s Mother”). The gem of the collection, however, is located on the 3rd level. Here you will find the most important collection of outstanding masterpieces by all the Impressionist artists. These paintings were formerly housed in the Jeu De Paume Museum. The D’orsay museum has 3 levels, and the paintings are hung primarily in chronological order. Because of this, some of the greatest early masterpieces of the Impressionists are separated and located on the first level. Unfortunately, to locate them, one has to wander through a maze of confusing gallery spaces with no arrows as a guide. And the art in the majority of these rooms would only interest the most dedicated French art scholar. (It is this writer’s opinion that the Musee D’Orsay is the most confusing museum in the world to walk through, especially if one has limited time). This museum also houses a fabulous restaurant, which is located in a former ballroom of the hotel. It is very popular and the prices are very reasonable. If you have time, do have lunch here, but plan on 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To visit the Musee D’Orsay, one can expect to wait in line, no matter what time of the day the visit. (This writer recommends that you go at 10 AM... and immediately rush to the 3rd level to see the Impressionists before the crowds get there. Then see more of the museum if you desire). CHURCH OF ST. GERMAIN DES PRES: (Metro: St. Germain). This Romanesque Church is the oldest in Paris ... not particularly “majestic” or interesting unless one is really “into churches”. DELACROIX MUSEUM: (Metro: St. Germain). Daily except Tue 9:45-12-30,2-5:15 The painter Delacroix had his studio here from 1857-1863. The rooms are hung with sketches, lithographs, watercolors, and oils. The works are not major, but the studio will be very interesting for an artist. There are personal mementos here, including his paint box, palette, and easel. The museum in located on a small street beside St. Germain Church ... 6 Rue de Furstenberg. CHURCH OF ST. SULPICE: (Metro: St. Sulpice). This is Paris’ largest church after Notre Dame. The prime attraction here: Paintings by Delacroix. LUXEMBOURG PALACE AND GARDENS: (Metro: St. Sulpice) This is the left bank equivalent of the Tuileries Gardens only more beautiful. The Palace itself is now the Senate Building of the French Government. Originally it was built in the 17 th century for Marie de Medici. The gardens are Renaissance in design and surround a central pond, which reflects the palace. The palace is closed to the public but the gardens are great for relaxing, people watching, or picnicking. There are numerous places to sit (chairs and benches) throughout the park. PARIS ... CONTINUED QUARTIER LATIN: (Metro: St. Sulpice). The Latin Quarter consists of numerous small streets winding around the PARIS UNIVERSITY, of which SORBONNE is a part. You’ll see many students in the area. It’s also the area for the lowest priced hotels in Paris. PLACE ST. MICHEL: (Metro: St. Michel) Right on the river ... decorated by an impressive fountain, this was the scene of some of the most savage fighting during the French Resistance of 1944. You’ll see small name plaques where fighters fell. Just off St. Michel are numerous stands selling excellent snacks. The area is a potpourri of many ethnic groups and many tourists think this is the most colorful area of Paris. Numerous moderately priced restaurants here. MUSEE de CLUNY: (Metro: St. Michel or Odeon) Daily except Tue 9:45-12:45,2-5:15. This museum contains some beautiful medieval art. The museum surrounds a walled courtyard and the building is one of the two Gothic residences of the 15 th century left in Paris. It is devoted to Church Arts and crafts of the middle ages. The most famous treasure here, displayed in a circular room on the 2nd floor is “THE LADY AND THE UNICORN” tapestry. During recent excavations around the CLUNY, it was discovered that in 200 BC, a Roman Bath stood on the site. Today, much of the baths have been uncovered and they are well preserved. PANTHEON: (Metro: St. Michel) Daily except Tuesday. 10-12, 2-5. This structure is a splendid cross between a Roman Temple and a Gothic Church ... and has been both. Towering on the left bank, it is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Originally it was the Church of St. Genevieve in the 18th century. After the Revolution it was converted to a patriotic shrine for the nation’s greats. It again became a church during Napoleon’s time. In 1885 it was reverted to a non-religious temple. Inside the stark interior are the tombs of Rousseau, Voltaire, Victor Hugo Emille Zola, and Braille. If a guard shows you around, tip him. He generally will try very hard to communicate with you with the little English he knows. PALAIS DE CHAILLOT: (Metro: Trocadero) A beautiful, monumental curved palace. Stand within the curve for a view that is breath-taking...the Trocadero gardens, the fountains, the Pont de Lena on the Seine and the Eiffel Tower on the opposite bank. Today the Chaillot is a Museum of Films. Daily except Tuesday. Closed lunch. EIFFEL TOWER: (Metro: Trocadero) The symbol of Paris ... 985 feet high. It was originally erected for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 and was supposed to be torn down a few years later. However, it found a permanent role as a radio and TV tower. Plans for the tower covered 6000 yards of paper. Its weight is 7000 tons. It contains 2 112 million bolts ... houses a glass pavilion holding 800 people ... and took 2 years to build. It has recently been renovated. Stand underneath, and look up at the steel lace work shooting into the sky. Take the elevator to the top. PARIS ... continued HOTEL DES INVALIDES: (Metro: Invalides) Daily 10-6. This is a church, a palace, and what most tourists come to see ... the TOMB OF NAPOLEON. The Hotel was originally built by Louis XIV in 1676 as a home for pensioned soldiers. Most of that section is now a military museum, but a few old soldiers still live here. There are four attractions here: MUSEE de L’ARMEE ... which is the finest military museum in the world. In addition to the usual weapons, etc, one will find uniforms of all periods of French history as well as many items related to Napoleon ... including his “death mask”. THE ARMY CHURCH... is decorated with banners captured from France’s enemies. Soldiers came here to pray before going into battle. CHURCH OF THE DOME... is considered the finest building in Paris, with the most perfectly proportioned dome. In the crypt beneath this dome is: TOMB OF NAPOLEON: His body rests in a sarcophagus of red granite on a pedestal of green granite. Surrounding the tomb are 12 figures of Victories, along with captured enemy flags. It took 19 years for the British to release Napoleon’s body, which had been originally buried at his place of banishment. In 1.840 Napoleon’s second funeral took place in Paris. Inside this huge sarcophagus, his body is further enclosed in 6 additional caskets. Other members of his family and some generals are buried around the sides of the church. It is possible to look down on the tomb from the ground level. If you go to the tomb level, a guide sometimes explains (in French) the story. A tip is expected. RODIN MUSEUM: (Metro: Varenne) Daily except Monday 10-6. Located across from Invalides. Rodin is credited with freeing French sculpture from Classicism, and is the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. He lived and had his studio in this mansion. The house is filled with his works - the greatest collection in the world, including “The Thinker, Gates of Hell, Burghers of Calais”. There are lovely gardens at the back with a refreshment stand. GRAND PALAIS: (Metro: Invalides) An extremely handsome building with a steel and glass roof. Special exhibitions are housed here. Always check to see just what is being shown, because the exhibitions are usually major. PETIT PALAIS: (Metro: Invalides) Directly across the street from the Grand Palais, and a small version of it. Daily except Mon/Tue 10 - 5:20. This museum contains drawings by Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Daumier, and Courbet. The art is not top quality ... but the building is beautiful. MUSEE DE MODERNE ART: (Metro: Lena) Daily except Mon 10-5:45. The original collection has moved to the POMPIDOU. This building now houses experimental French art. PALAIS DE TOKYO: (Metro: Trocadero) Daily except Tue 10-5:45 ... 13 Avenue Pres. Wilson. A decent display of Post Impressionists, including Seurat and Bonnard, and a frescoed room by Dufy. Special Exhibits also held here. PARIS ... continued NOTRE DAME: (Metro: Cite) Daily 8-7. This is THE Cathedral of Paris and one of the world’s greatest structures. The present building replaced two Romanesque churches, which stood until 1160. Bishop Maurice de Sully began the current structure and work on it continued for more than 150 years. The result is definitely a Gothic Masterpiece. The details are exquisite. The grand ROSE WINDOW above the main portal forms a halo 31 feet in diameter around the head of the statue of the Virgin. The “flying buttresses” which support the walls are a fantastic architectural achievement. The exterior ornaments, especially the gargoyles around the ledges, are unequaled. These gargoyles also double as rainspouts. It’s worthwhile to go to the top of one tower for the view, and later to walk around the church’s exterior to the small park in back, where you’ll have excellent views of the buttresses. PONT NEUF AND SQUARE DE VERT GALANT: (Metro: Cite) The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris and has a row of interesting heads carved along the sides. They all have comical expressions. This square is named for Henry IV whose nickname was “Vert Galant” or ladies man. There is a statue of him on horseback at the stairs above the park. SAINTE CHAPELLE: (Metro: Cite) Daily 10-11-45, 1:30-5:45. One of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the world. It was build by Louis IX in 1246 to house the relics of the “crown of thorns” and a piece of the “cross”. There are really two churches here...the lower chapel for the servants, and the upper chapel for the royals. Look for the small grated window from which Louis IX participated in services without being noticed. The outstanding features of the chapels are the 15 stained-glass windows, which flood the interior with colored light. The chapel comes alive and glows like a rainbow. One feels completely surrounded by colored light. The windows depict more than a thousand scenes from the Bible. Sainte Chapelle, which is located within the court of THE PALAIS DE JUSTICE was usually not included in the itinerary of tourists in the past, but now the word has gotten out. You can expect long lines. DO NOT GO TO SAINTE CHAPELLE IF IT IS CLOUDY OR IS RAINING. You need sun to see its glory. THE CONCIERGERIE: (Metro: Cite) Daily 9:30-12,1:30-6. On the north bank near Notre Dame, this is the most sinister building in France, and forms part of the huge PALAIS DE JUSTICE. The name “concierge” is derived from “constable” and it’s reputation stems from the Revolution. When the Bastille fell, this became the chief prison. When the Reign of Terror began, the Conciergerie turned into a stopover for those on the way to the Guillotine. There are remnants of a medieval palace, including a refectory and kitchen, along with rows of cells in which prisoners waited for the guillotine. LE MARAIS: (Metro: St. Paul) This is the second oldest part of Paris, with a large Jewish population. It is dominated by some of the finest old mansions, and is being restored, becoming THE place to live. PARIS ... continued PLACE DE VOGES: (Metro: St. Paul) Laid out in 1605 by Henry IV, this “enchanted island” is the oldest square in Plaris. It originally began life as a Palace. Today the almost symmetrical buildings have been restored to their past glory in total harmony and beautifully balanced. Well worth a visit. MAISON DE VICTOR HUGO: (Metro: St. Paul). Daily except Mon 10 -5:40. Located on the corner of the PLACE DE VOGES, the museum houses a collection of 19 th century illustrations for Hugo’s novels, a few Daumiers, as well as costumes, pictures, and manuscripts of Hugo’s plays. He rented an apartment here on the first floor. MUSEE CARNAVALET: (Metro: St. Paul) Daily except MON/TUE 10-5:40. This museum has been completely restored and is located near the Place de Voges across the square from the Hugo Museum at 22 Rue de Sevigne. It is devoted to the history of Paris, and contains rich material on the Revolution. Some of the interesting relics include locks of hair of Marie Antoinette, the shaving articles of Louis XVI’ and the palette of Daumier. The building dates from 1545. All information is in French, but one can buy a guide in English. The staff is very pleasant. HOTEL DE SULLY: (Metro: St. Paul) WED/SAT/SUN 3-5. #62 Rue St. Antoine. Sully was Henry IV’s Minister of Finance and lived simply until he retired. At that time he purchased and re-did this splendid mansion for his young bride. MUSEE PICASSO: (Metro: St. Paul) Daily, except Tuesday 10 - 5:15. This museum opened in 1985 and houses the personal paintings of Picasso, which his heirs donated to France to pay “inheritance taxes”. It is within walking distance of the Pompidou Museum and the Carnavalet Museum, but is rather difficult to find. HOTEL DE VILLE: (Metro: Hotel de Ville) Beautifully restored building now used by the French Government. If you’re in the vicinity, it’s well worth a short stop. CENTRE GEORGES POMPIDOU: (Metro: Rambuteau, Chatelet, Hotel de Ville). Daily except Tuesday 12-10. In 1969, Pompidou, then President of France, began this project as the “temple devoted to art”. The building has become the most avant-garde building in the world. Through a transparent facade one sees colorfully painted pipes and ducts which crisscross the building. There appears to be no interior walls and a grand feeling of space is created. All this has made the Pompidou Center one of the biggest attractions of Paris. For a city who hated the building originally, the French now lovingly refer to it as “Beaubourg”. The building is so radical that it almost over-shadows what is inside ... the MUSEE NATIONAL D”ART MODERNE with one of the worlds most important collections of modern art. If you don’t visit for the art, do go for the open square in front of the Pompidou ... see the lively “street performers” and then walk around to the right side for the amusing and humorous TINGLEY FOUNTAINS. PARIS ... continued PLACE DE LA BASTILLE: (Metro: Bastille) What you will see is a busy traffic circle with nothing left of the grim prison except some tracing along the street that outline where the Bastille used to stand. In the center of this square stands the monumental JULY COLUMN, which honors the victims of the July Revolution of 1830 that marked the supremacy of Louis-Philippe. The God of Liberty crowns the column. LE FORUM DES HALLES: (Metro: Les Halles or Chatelet). This immense shopping center is built on the site of the now demolished early morning food market of Paris. There are over 200 shops, 16 restaurants, 12 movie theatres, a wax museum, etc. The architectural style is a mixture of marble and neon, and plastic ... all connected by escalators and elevators, stairways and streets. PLACE VENDOME: (Metro: Madeleine) This is a perfect example of Classical French architecture on the fashionable Right Bank. The palaces surrounding this square include the famous Ritz Hotel as well as the Ministry of Justice. The center is crowned by a 144-foot column erected to commemorate Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz. The actual column is stone, but the band enclosing it is made of bronze, cast from 1200 cannon captured by the Emperor. The statue on top is Napoleon. LA MADELEINE: (Metro: Madeleine) This is the patron church of Paris. It is located on a square between the Place de la Concorde and the Opera House. It has been a temple for Napoleon, a library, a stock exchange, a theatre, and the Bank of France. In 1842, it was completed as a church. OPERA HOUSE: (Metro: Opera). This is the largest theatre in the world ... opened in 1875 ... ornately grand. It is possible to take tours through the building when there is no performance. NEW OPERA HOUSE- This new structure opened in 1989 for the French Bicentennial, but as of mid 1990, nothing has been performed there. The critics have blasted it...and nothing seems to work properly in the building. Time will tell. MONTMARTRE: (Metro: Abbesses or Anver). This area is the highest point in Paris and used to be the famous artist’s village. Most tourists think of this as the “real” Paris ... but, while it is charming, it is also VERY TOURIST. Around the area is a maze of steep and crooked little streets looking much the way Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and the other Impressionists saw them. In the area one will find the ruins of MOULIN DE LA GALETE, which was made famous by Toulouse-Lautrec. It is currently being restored. And the MONTMARTRE CEMETERY is an interesting side tour. On the highest point of Montmartre is THE BASILICA OF SACRE COEUR, which is built in an oriental, neo-Byzantine style. This church, which dominates the area, is a major landmark of Paris. PARIS ... continued MARMOTTON MUSEUM: (Metro: La Muette ... Walk from Metro and signs will direct you to the museum at #2 Rue Louis Boilly, just off Bois de Boulogne). Open daily except MONDAY 10-6. One visits this museum to see Monet in depth. The more that 130 Monet paintings on exhibit were a gift from the artist’s son. There are also paintings of his Impressionist Friends that Monet personally collected. In recent years, several of the paintings were stolen, including “Impression, Sunrise”, the painting that gave the Impressionism Art Movement its’ name. It has now been returned. If you like Monet you must see this museum. PARC MONCEAU: (Metro: Monceau. This is the most fashionable park in Paris, located in the expensive district northeast of the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll find a colonnade of artificial Romans Ruins, a Venetian Bridge, a small lake, and many children of the rich guarded by their nurses and dogs. MUSEE JACQUEMART-ANDRE: (Metro: St. Philippe du Roule). Daily except MON/TUE 1:30-7:30. This is a 19th century town house at #158 Blvd. Hausmann. The salons are gilded and elegant, and there is an impressive winding staircase. Represented are Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Tiepolo, Watteau, and Boucher. Make the trip ONLY if you have time to kill...which is not likely in Paris. PERE-LACHAISE CEMETERY: (Metro: Pere-Lachaise). This cemetery, the largest in Paris contains more famous dead than any place on earth ... Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Moliere, Chopin, Rossini, Corot, Delacroix ... down to Edith Piaf. The over-all effect of the architecture/design of the tombstones is very interesting. SEWERS OF PARIS: (Metro: Alma-Marceau) The sewers were constructed by Baron Haussmann and are a complicated network of tunnels like an underground city with the street names clearly labeled. Tours through the sewers are very popular perhaps, because of the drama of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”. Tours begin at Pont de l’Alma, where a staircase leads into the bowels of the city. CHECK VISITING HOURS WITH TOURIST INFORMATION. CATACOMBS OF PARIS: (#l Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 14e) Open daily except Monday. It’s a weird tour... a one hour macabre hike through limestone tunnels. The tomb entrance bears the inscription “Arrete, c’est ici llempire de la mort”. As you pass below this admonition, you will view the remains of literally millions of Parisians whose bones were placed here when certain cemeteries were needed for other purposes. Begun as a tomb near the end of the 18th century, the catacombs became the final resting place for many victims of the French Revolution. RODIN’S VILLA-STUDIO at NEUDON: This country home of Rodin recently was opened to the public. He bought the 3- story villa in 1895 and lived here until his death in 1917. MEUDON can be reached by subway. Museum is only open Fri/Sat/Sun ...1- 6 PM. Paris ... continued MAILLOL MUSEUM ... On Rue de Grenelle. This new museum opened in 1995. It is comprised of 3 adjoining buildings (from 1750) located behind the French National Monument “Fountain of the 3 Seasons”. The renovation of the buildings created a light-filled, graceful structure of stone, wood, and glass. There are 27 galleries containing the full range of Maillol’s sculptural masterpieces (including all the famous nudes). In addition, there are works by Maillol’s contemporaries: Matisse, Bonnard, Gauguin, Redon, Dufy and Duchamp. This museum was the dream (and realization) of Maillol’s model and muse, Dina Vierny. PARIS ... continued VERSAILLES: Many tours are available for ½ day. It is much cheaper and more interesting to “do it by yourself”. Take the RER Train C5 to Versailles Rive Gauche station, from which there's a shuttle to the chateau. Versailles is about 15 miles from Paris and the palace is the sight of a lifetime. It’s an unbelievably vast and elaborate jewel-box built by the kings of France. The palace is divided into sections - one including the famous HALL OF MIRRORS where the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Another section is the MUSEUM, and finally THE GRAND APARTMENTS where you’ll see the apartments of Madame de Pompadour and the great salons. During the Revolution, Versailles was “sacked” by the rebels. Gradually, the French Government has been able to recover many of the original furnishing. The Park surrounding the palace is the ultimate in landscaping. Every tree, shrub, flower, and hedge is placed to blend with the great fountains, lakes, steps, and statues. THIS PALACE IS THE MOST CROWDED TOURIST ATTRACTION IN FRANCE. IT HAS CEASED TO BE AN ENJOYABLE VISIT. Even the VAST plaza in front of the palace will be totally full of people and tour buses. And there are not enough toilets. GIVERNY: MONET’S HOME AND GARDENS: Take the train from Gare St. Lazare to VERNON … about 30 minutes. When you exit the train station, go to the bus stop just outside. The only bus stopping here will take you to Monet’s Gardens. Driver speaks English. Daily except MON 10-12, 2-6. Monet designed the gardens around his home and studio and constantly used them as subjects for his paintings. Everything has been brought back to its former glory ... the willows, the water lilies, the Japanese Bridge, the boat, and the flower gardens around the house. If you know his paintings, you’ll see them come to life here. The house has also been restored and is well worth a visit ... especially the dining room and the kitchen. His large, separate studio has been turned into the gift shop. BEFORE LEAVING PARIS, CHECK THE TRAIN SCHEDULE CAREFULLY. ALL TRAINS GOING IN THIS DIRECTION DO NOT STOP AT VERNON. CHECK ALSO, THE RETURN SCHEDULES BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STATION TO GO TO THE GARDENS. ROUEN: Take the train from Gare St. Lazare ... about I hour. IT IS POSSIBLE TO STOP AT MONET’S HOME AND THEN CONTINUE BY TRAIN TO ROUEN DURING THE SAME DAY. ROUEN CATHEDRAL: This famous Gothic Cathedral was consecrated in 1063 ... and was painted at every time of the day in all types of lighting by Monet in one of his great series of paintings. It has a famous carillon of 56 bells. The Church is about I mile from the train station and an interesting walk. PLACE DU VIEUX MARCHE , the square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. It’s about 1 112 miles from train station...and is a modern church, which stands on the spot of the burning. MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS: An outstanding small museum...Ingres, Delacroix, Renoir, David, and of course Monet. TOWER OF JOAN OF ARC: The tower where St. Joan was imprisoned. MALMAISON: 10 Miles from Paris. Take the RER from Auber or L’Etoile to LA DEFENSE STATION, and then take bus #258 at the station exit to the CHATEAU MALMAISON stop. The Chateau is built on the grounds of what used to be a leper colony and was originally home PARIS ... continued to Josephine and Napoleon. It’s a charming chateau with manicured gardens, and the home Josephine retired to after Napoleon divorced her, and the place where she died. You’ll see most of the original furniture as well as David’s famous painting of “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps”. One is required to take a guided tour in the palace. Unfortunately, the tour is in French. Tip the guide. Daily except Tuesday…Closes at lunch. Note: Be sure that the 258 bus you get on goes all the way to the chateau, some go only part way. Ask the driver to be sure. Get off at the Le Chateau stop. This will take about 20 min. Cross the road, and walk about 100 m back the way the bus came (You will pass the bus stop for going home). Then turn right and follow the signs for the chateau. A 5 - 10 minute walk to the front. FONTAINBLEU: 40 miles from Paris. Take the train from Gare de Lyon...l hour. Exit the train station and buses are to your left and run to the chateau every 15 minutes. Trip takes 10 minutes. Many consider this palace more appealing than Versailles. Much of it dates from Henry IV and Louis XIII, from the 13 - 16th centuries. Napoleon made his farewell speech to his troops here, and signed his first abdication. The grounds and the chateau are quite beautiful. You’ll be able to see most of the palace. It’s planned for self-guided tours. Take a picnic lunch and eat on the grounds. The nearby village of BARBIZON was a famous artist’s colony. Open daily except Tuesday from 10-12:30 and 2 - 5. NOTE: Most trains stop at Fontaineblue Forest and then a few minutes later stop at Fontaineblue/AVON. Do not get off at the Forest stop – or you’ll be in an unpopulated area. Get off Fontaineblue/AVON. CHARTRES: 60 miles from Paris. Take the train from Gare Montparnasse, almost every hour. ... trip takes about I hour. One visits Chartres for the magnificent CHARTRES CATHEDRAL. This 13th century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral with spires, flying buttresses and sculpture is one of the world’s greatest churches and is the 3 rd largest in the world. I’I”S STAINED GLASS IS UN-RIVALED. The towers are open from 10-11:30, 2-6. CHATEAU TOUR: One, two, three and more day tours are available from Paris. The longer tours can be booked from the United States. CITYRAMA offers a 3-day Chateau Country Tour departing on Saturdays and Wednesdays at 7:15 AM. The tour includes hotels and food, and makes stops at the following: M0NT ST. MICHEL, LANGEALS, AZAY-LE-RIDEAU, VILLANDRY, CLOS LUCE, CHENONCEAU, CHEVERNY, CHAMBORD, and returns to Paris in the late evening on the 3rd day. THE LIDO, FOLIES BERGIERE, MOULIN ROUGE: Dinner shows at these famous theatres are VERY EXPENSIVE, and most people say that the shows in Las Vegas are better. If you are inclined to go, it is cheaper to go to the late show and have drinks only. Tours can also be booked thru your hotel. These tours will include 2 other types of nightlife. SEINE RIVER CRUISE: All cruises leave from the Pont de Lena or Pont de l’Alma area near the Eiffel Tower. The prices are all about the same and no reservation is required. There is also an expensive dinner cruise. RECOMMENDATION: A cruise during the evening hours can be more interesting because the major buildings in Paris are illuminated.
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