5 Reasons Visiting Paris is a Must!
Paris, France, is the most visited city in the world, drawing approximately 30 million foreign visitors annually. All of those tourists aren’t wrong. The City of Light makes a lifelong impression on all who go there. Check out the following five reasons you really must visit Paris at least once, though there are many more reasons than that!
1-The Eiffel Tower
Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower as a temporary structure for display at the World’s Fair of 1889. The impressive monument was designed to celebrate the greatness of France. It was the world’s tallest man-made structure until 1930. Some Parisians weren’t too crazy about it. In fact, its design and construction were protested in a petition signed by more than 300 residents. Their concerns were with regard to safety and the perception that it would become an eyesore that overpowered Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe. The design eventually won over Parisians.
There is a lot more history behind the tower, such as it being instrumental in the capture of the infamous spy Mata Hari during World War I. The tower’s radio antenna was being used for military purposes at the time. But what people most appreciate today is the iconic landscape created by the tower and seeing it lit up at night.
Once a royal palace housing kings of France, the Louvre Museum in Paris is now home to the most famous art on the planet. The celebrated Mona Lisa painting and the Venus de Milo statue made around 115 BC, one of the most famous of all ancient Greek sculptures, are at the Louvre. The Nazis used the Louvre as a storeroom for stolen art during World War II. The glass pyramid at the Louvre is now among the most recognizable landmarks in Paris.
Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral that gives testament to the status of religion in Europe during the Middle Ages. Construction of the magnificent structure began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. There are countless interesting facts about the awe-inspiring stone and stained-glass structure. One is that the metal rooster sitting at the top of the spire contains three tiny relics, a supposed piece of the Crown of Thorns and bits of statues of the city’s two patron saints. The purpose was to protect parishioners inside with the spiritual lightning rod. The organ in the Notre-Dame involves nearly 8,000 pipes, with some that date back to the 18th century.
4-The Place De La Bastille
The Place de La Bastille is at the site of an ancient fortress that was destroyed completely on July 14, 1789, during the French Revolution. In 4 days--between June 9, 1794, and June 12, 1794--a total of 73 people were guillotined there. The site was turned into a state prison during the reign of Louis XIII. Prisoners who could pay had comfortable apartments and the others stayed in wet dungeons with secrets oubliettes.
Paris is also home to a series of underground ossuaries in which there are the remains of more than 6 million people! All of the bodies were taken from graveyards that previously existed in Paris. The dead were transported by cart and deposited in their final place of rest, where they are arranged in decorative displays. When traveling through the Catacombs, there are skulls and bones wherever you look. A visit there makes for a fun but macabre experience.
Wear a T-Shirt
Whether you’ve made one or more visits to Paris or you are still dreaming of going there, why not express your affinity for the City of Love? Wear a Paris t-shirt or a Paris long-sleeved tee? When you do, you will probably remind people of one of the items on their bucket list.