Paris, Banks of the Seine

6 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Pont Michel © flickr.com - Joe deSousa/cc-by-2.0

Pont Michel © flickr.com – Joe deSousa/cc-by-2.0

The term Paris, Banks of the Seine refers to a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was entered in the World Heritage List in 1991 under the following names French: Paris, rives de la Seine, or English: Paris, Banks of the Seine and of course simply the water boundaries of the river. Unesco means the particularly historic section of the Seine within Paris between the Pont de Sully and the Pont d’Iéna. In addition to the Seine islands Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis and the fortified banks of the Seine, the Quais de Paris, adjacent building ensembles, squares, parks and visual axes are also part of the world heritage.   read more…

Place Dauphine in Paris

17 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Place Dauphine is a public square located near the western end of the Île de la Cité in the first arrondissement of Paris. It was initiated by Henry IV in 1607, the second of his projects for public squares in Paris, the first being the Place Royale (now the Place des Vosges). He named it for his son, the Dauphin of France and future Louis XIII, who had been born in 1601. From the “square”, actually triangular in shape, one can access the middle of the Pont Neuf, a bridge which connects the left and right banks of the Seine by passing over the Île de la Cité. A street called, since 1948, Rue Henri-Robert, forty metres long, connects the Place Dauphine and the bridge. Where they meet, there are two other named places, the Place du Pont-Neuf and the Square du Vert-Galant.   read more…

Île de la Cité

5 October 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  9 minutes

© GuidoR/cc-by-sa-3.0

© GuidoR/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris (the other being the Île Saint-Louis). It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded. The western end has held a palace since Merovingian times, and its eastern end since the same period has been consecrated to religion, especially after the 10th-century construction of a cathedral preceding today’s Notre Dame. The land between the two was, until the 1850s, largely residential and commercial, but has since been filled by the city’s Prefecture de Police, Palais de Justice, Hôtel-Dieu hospital and Tribunal de commerce. Only the westernmost and northeastern extremities of the island remain residential today, and the latter preserves some vestiges of its 16th-century canon‘s houses.   read more…

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

17 September 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  30 minutes

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com – Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

(latest update: 15 April 2024) Notre-Dame de Paris (French for “Our Lady of Paris”), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Banks of the Seine and is one of the most visited attractions in Europe. Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo‘s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the cathedral’s iconic spire (the rooster at the summit of the spire contained three relics: a tiny piece of the Crown of Thorns, located in the treasury of the Cathedral; and relics of Denis and Saint Genevieve, patron saints of Paris). While undergoing renovation and restoration, the cathedral caught fire on 15 April 2019 and sustained significant damage, including the destruction of the spire and two-thirds of the roof. First investigations showed that there was no structural damage and that the destruction was confined to the spire and the wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling. President Emmanuel Macron vowed that Notre-Dame would be rebuilt, which will lead to at least a decade of reconstruction work, while renovation works on old structures are generally never really completed.   read more…

The Paris Beaches

21 December 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris / Île-de-France Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - Sharat Ganapati/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Sharat Ganapati/cc-by-2.0

Paris-Plages is a plan run by the office of the mayor of Paris that creates temporary artificial beaches each summer along the river Seine in the centre of Paris, and, since 2007, along the Bassin de la Villette in the northeast of Paris. Every July and August, roadways on the banks of the Seine are blocked off and host various activities, including sandy beaches and palm trees. French city-dwellers traditionally escape to the seaside or the countryside during the summer, especially in August. Paris is avoided, as the weather is unpleasantly hot and humid, and the centre is full of tourists. Nevertheless, each summer many residents are obliged to remain in the city, however reluctantly. The Paris-Plages scheme was instigated in 2002 as a haven for relieving the misery of those cooped up in the sweltering city.   read more…

Theme Week Paris – Arrondissement de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)

19 October 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Paris Town Hall © Pol

Paris Town Hall © Pol

Situated on the Right Bank of the River Seine, it is bordered to the west by the 1st arrondissement; to the north by the 3rd, to the east by the 11th and 12th, and to the south by the Seine and the 5th. The 4th arrondissement contains the Renaissance-era Paris City Hall. It also contains the Renaissance square of Place des Vosges, the overtly modern Pompidou Centre and the lively southern part of the medieval district of Le Marais, which today is known for being the gay district of Paris (while the more quiet northern part of Le Marais is contained inside the 3rd arrondissement). The eastern parts of the Île de la Cité (including Notre-Dame de Paris) as well as the Île Saint-Louis are also included within the 4th arrondissement. The 4th arrondissement is known for its little streets, cafés, and shops but is regarded as expensive and congested. It is desirable for those insisting on old buildings and multi-cultural exposure.   read more…

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Theme Week Paris – Arrondissement du Louvre (1th)

18 October 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Louvre © Benh LIEU SONG

Louvre © Benh LIEU SONG

Situated principally on the right bank of the River Seine, it also includes the west end of the Île de la Cité. The arrondissement is one of the oldest in Paris, the Île de la Cité having been the heart of the city of Lutetia, conquered by the Romans in 52 BC, while some parts on the right bank (including Les Halles included) date back to the early Middle Ages. It is the least populated of the city’s arrondissements and one of the smallest by area, a significant part of which is occupied by the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens. Much of the remainder of the arrondissement is dedicated to business and administration.   read more…

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