1. Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
The Eiffel Tower, which was designed and built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), was always intended to be a temporary monument, yet it avoided demolition negotiations twice. The tower was retained around for the first time in the early 1900s because of its transmission abilities. Gustav Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower’s principal architect, had a number of scientific tests conducted on the structure in the hope that any findings would assist extend its longevity. One of these was a wireless communications test, which the tower passed with flying colors. During World War I, the Eiffel Tower’s transmission capabilities allowed it to intercept enemy transmissions and transfer information to forces on the ground. The Eiffel Tower was nearly demolished a second time during the German occupation of France during World War II. Hitler intended to demolish the tower, but he never carried out his plan.
2. Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre)
If you only had time to visit one museum in Paris, make it the Musée du Louvre. That’s because the Louvre is largely regarded as not just one of the greatest art museums in Europe, but also one of the best in the world. The museum originally opened its doors in 1793 and now has 35,000 items of art. You may get up up and personal with art from many historical periods and civilizations. From Egyptian mummy tombs to ancient Grecian masterpieces, the Louvre has it all (including the renowned Winged Victory of Smothrace and curvaceous Venus de Milo). There are also hundreds more artworks to look over.
Masterworks include Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty of Leading the People,” Théodore Géricault’s “The Raft of Medusa,” and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” the museum’s main attraction. There’s also a peek of Napoleon the Third’s former residence. You don’t have to visit the residences to get a sense of what it was like to be a royal. Before it became a museum, the Louvre was a royal home for several French monarchs, notably Louis XIV. Only until Louis XIV abandoned the Louvre in favor of Versailles did the Louvre begin to evolve into a museum.
3. Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
It should be noted that the cathedral suffered extensive damage as a consequence of a fire on April 15, 2019. During the fire, its wooden roof and spire fell. It is still off-limits to the public until further notice. It is scheduled to reopen in 2024. The Notre-Dame Cathedral, like the Eiffel Tower, is regarded as a Parisian icon. The Notre-Dame Cathedral, located directly along the scenic River Seine, is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is frequently recognized as one of the greatest Gothic churches of its sort in the world. The famed cathedral’s construction began in the late 10th century and was completed over 200 years later. And after you see the cathedral for yourself, you’ll understand why it took so long.
4. Arc de Triomphe
The towering Arc de Triomphe, located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, was commissioned by Napoleon to honor the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The world’s tallest arch of its kind is embellished with numerous magnificent, elaborately carved statues. Travelers will discover the names of battles fought under the first French Republic and Napoleon’s Empire, as well as the generals who fought in them, beneath the Arch. Visitors will also come across the famed grave of The Unknown Soldier. The unknown soldier buried there today represents all of the unnamed or unaccounted for troops who died during World War I. The light that was lit when the soldier was laid to rest has never died and is renewed every night at 6:30 p.m. by a member of the armed services.
5. Versailles Palace (Château de Versailles)
The enormous palace and historic seat of authority, Château de Versailles, is located 14 miles southwest of Paris in Versailles. Every year, millions of visitors travel from Paris to view the chateau’s world-famous magnificence in person. But, in between all of the gilded figures, dramatic murals, and falling crystal chandeliers, you might be shocked to hear that King Louis XIV’s magnificent former house had quite humble beginnings.
His father, King Louis XIII, loved the location for its hunting possibilities and erected a brick and stone lodge there that was so humble that one of his counselors noted that “a simple gentleman would not have been excessively proud of the edifice.” XIII finally chose to expand, constructing two tiny palaces, but it wasn’t until Louis XIV arrived that the chateau we see today began to take shape. Louis XIV relocated the French government and court here and is credited with constructing various modifications, notably the Hall of Mirrors, the palace’s most popular feature. The Royal Opera House was built during the reign of Louis XV, who rarely stayed at the castle, and served as the location for Louis XVI and Marie-wedding. Antoinette’s After Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were evicted from the castle during the French Revolution, the government fled, and Versailles was effectively abandoned. It was later brought back to life, made into a museum, and served as the place where the World War I peace accord, or the Treaty of Versailles, was signed in the twentieth century.