Paris Tour of Scenic & Historic Sights
Eiffel Tower, Napoleon's Tomb, & Arc de Triomphe,
Louvre, Opera Garnier, & Notre Dame
Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur, & Moulin Rouge
Sunny, Rebecca, and Eiffel
Napoleon's Tomb in Hotel
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Globus Avalon River-Cruise Tour
We were on a Globus Avalon small-ship river cruise tour that started in Prague, where there were two nights on the tour. From Prague we were taken to Nuremberg, Germany to board The Avalon Tranquility for our seven-night cruise through Central Germany. For details of the ship, onboard activities, dining, and more go to Avalon Tranquility. For a summary of the daily excursions in each of the towns visited as well as some beautiful scenes viewed from the ship while cruising go to Central Germany Cruise. After sightseeing in Germany we were taken across Luxemburg to board a high speed train for a quick trip to Paris. The tour ended in with two nights in Paris, which is described here.
Paris is divided by the Seine River. To the south of the river is the Left Bank, whereas the Right Bank is found north of the river.
It is now hard to believe that when the Eiffel Tower was built it was not popular with many people in Paris. Now it is one of the world's most famous landmarks. The builder of the tower was Gustave Eiffel. He built it for the World Exhibition in 1889. It is tall with a height of 1063 feet (324 meters). There is a restaurant, the Jules Verne, found on the second level of the tower. During evening hours the tower lights up every hour on the hour in an impressive show of lights. Everyone should go to the tower, and we did, as can be seen in the picture.
Sacre Coeur Basilica in
The burial place of Napoleon is the Hotel des Invalides. Louis IV had it built in the late 17th century as a place for wounded or invalid soldiers to live. A military museum is found there. The Hotel des Invalides is seen in the picture.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe was conceived by Napoleon, but when finished in 1836 the emperor was no longer in power. It reaches a height of 164 feet (50 meters). Be sure and notice the beautiful sculptures spread over the monument. There is a museum, and France's Unknown Soldier is buried below the arch. Twelve streets fan out from the monument. A climb to the top presents a view of the city.
The Louvre is a very large museum, which started out as a fortress in the 13th century. Through the years it has been added to numerous times. It is now regarded as one of the world's leading museums. It contains paintings and drawings; sculpture; prints; Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Asian Antiquities; art objects; furniture; and the French crown jewels. Many famous works of art are found at the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci and the sculpture Venus de Milo. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Choo-choo train in Montmartre, Paris.
Guided walk in Montmartre, Paris.
Charles Garnier began construction of the opera house which bears his name, the Opera Garnier. Although very few operas are performed there these days, it is now the home of the Paris Ballet. The architecture and plush interior create an impressive theater. The ceiling displays painted scenes from operas and ballets. The stage is large enough for hundreds of performers, and there is a very large chandelier. The opera house is the setting for the story of the Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which was made famous in recent years by the musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Paris. It dates from 1163, but was not finished until 1345. Since it suffered damage during the Revolution it had to be repaired in the 1800s. There is a popular fictional book by Victor Hugo about a hunchback, that in the story rang the bell in the cathedral.
Montmarte is an interesting area in Paris that we enjoyed a lot. At one time there were wheat fields there, and because this is where you find the highest elevations in Paris, at more than 300 feet (92 meters), there used to be lots of windmills. You can still see a windmill, and one is shown in the picture. In the 1800s the fields disappeared, and the area became a favorite place for artists to
Headless priest in Montmartre, Paris.
Windmill in Montmartre, Paris.
to reside. When you go there you can walk in the footsteps of such greats as Chopin, Picasso, and Renoir. In fact, we did that on a Globus walking tour. It was a fascinating and delightful way to spend part of the afternoon. During free time we saw an area much like the French Quarter in New Orleans, where artists were painting portraits and selling paintings. Before departing we visited the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, described below. We were taken into Montmartre, and then back again by the choo-choo train seen in the picture. It made for an interesting ride through the streets.
The Sacre-Basilica rests on a hilltop in Montmarte. The basilica with its white exterior is an impressive sight. It dates from 1873, and the dome is 271 feet (83 meters) high. Within the basilica is a very large mosaic with figures including Christ. There is also a massive bell that weighs close to 19 tons. From the front steps or higher up in the dome there are great views of Paris.
The famous Moulin Rouge is located in Montmarte. First built as a windmill, it was turned into a dance hall in 1900. We went to the cabaret one evening on a Globus tour. Dinner was served and we saw lots of dancing including the cancan. The dancers were dressed in colorful and scanty attire. Between dance numbers there were variety acts. It was a fun evening.
Artists with there artworks on display in
Painter with model in Montmartre, Paris.
River cruise-tour pages
The tour started with two nights in Paris. For a description of the ship and onboard activities see the Avalon Tranquility. For a summary of the river cruise through Germany go to Central Germany Cruise. The tour ended in Paris.
Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell images and prints.