Paris – March 14, 2018

Day one in Paris, at the Le Cinq Codet hotel, having our first coffee and pastries.

A 4-minute walk from École Militaire metro station, this sleek hotel, set in a 1930s building in the 7th arr., is 1 km from the Rodin Museum and 1.3 km from the Eiffel Tower. 

We walked from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower.

Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.

Paris – March 15, 2018

Day was we spent walking around the city, 10 miles actually.  First stop was the Place de la Concord at the end of Champs-Elysees. During the French Revolution in 1789 the statue of Louis XV of France was torn down and King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine in the square.

Next stop was Sainte Chapelle, commissioned by King Louis IX of France in 1238 to house his collection of Passion relics. 

After the Sainte Chappelle or “Holy Chapel” we headed to Notre Dame, built in 1345.

We ended the day caught in the first of several protests happening in Paris in front of the Musée de l’Armée.

Paris – March 16, 2018

Paris - Louvre and Catacombs

Friday was time for the Louvre in the morning.  The Louvre has an exhibit area of 782,910 square feet.  Originally build as a fortress in late 12th to 13th century under Philip II and opened as a museum in 1793.

The Louvre Pyramid was built in 1989 and is the main entrance to the museum.  Once you enter, you head down stairs to floor -1 to begin the tour.

First stop was the Nike of Samothrace or Winged Victory from 190 BC.

We made sure to get a photo with the Jesus swag bag, guy with knife in head, guy with bigger knife in head, angel boogieboarding, and of course the Mona Lisa.

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. Extending south from the Barrière d’Enfer (“Gate of Hell”) former city gate, this ossuary was created as part of the effort to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries. Preparation work began not long after a 1774 series of gruesome Saint Innocents-cemetery-quarter basement wall collapses added a sense of urgency to the cemetery-eliminating measure, and from 1786, nightly processions of covered wagons transferred remains from most of Paris’ cemeteries to a mine shaft opened near the Rue de la Tombe-Issoire.

The ossuary remained largely forgotten until it became a novelty-place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century; after further renovations and the construction of accesses around Place Denfert-Rochereau, it was open to public visitation from 1874. Since January 1, 2013, the Catacombs number among the 14 City of Paris Museums managed by Paris Musées. Although the ossuary comprises only a small section of the underground “carrières de Paris” (“quarries of Paris”), Parisians presently often refer to the entire tunnel network as “the catacombs”.

Catacombs of Paris