Guest Author - Sarah Reid
Paris, capital city of France, is a city with a great cultural history. Anyone interested in this must visit the many museums and art galleries housed within the city.
When planning visits to Parisian museums, consider purchasing the Paris Museum Pass. These prepaid passes can be bought in advance and allow entry to the permanent exhibitions of over 60 museums for 2 days (32€), 4 days (48€) or 6 days (64€). With some museums charging up to 15€ per person for entry, massive savings could be made with these passes.
Arc de Triomphe
The 200 year old triumphal arch, the Arc de Triomphe, situated on the Champs-Elysées is one of the more famous French landmarks. Like many great landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe was built as a monument to fallen soldiers and, rather poignantly, holds the tomb of the World War I Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame in memory of all those who died in both World Wars but were never identified.
This colossal monument today houses an exhibition chronicling its own history and that of other triumphal arches around the world. Visitors can get unrivalled views of the Champs-Elysées from the upper reaches of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Louvre is world-renowned French institution, made even more famous by the Dan Brown novel (and subsequent movie) The Da Vinci Code.
Previously a fortress, then a royal palace, the Louvre combines the classical elegance of the palatial building with its undeniably modern and instantly recognisable glass pyramid structure. With classical antiquities on display, including a sculpture of Aphrodite dating back to 2,000BC, and Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous Mona Lisa in the museum’s permanent collection and seasonal, temporary collections which often feature works by more modern artists, the eclectic displays in this museum are sure to hold the attention of every visitor.
The Panthéon has had a number of functions over the years, being a religious building and a patriotic focus. It is now the resting place of a number of noted persons in French history, including Victor Hugo and Alexandra Dumas.
As well as admiring the fantastic architecture, paintings and sculpture of the Panthéon and the incredible scientific display that is Foucault’s pendulum, which proved the theory regarding the rotation of the earth, the galleries each house the tombs of acclaimed figures from the France of days gone by.
These are just three highlights of the vast number of museums in and around Paris. Anyone of these would be a great starting place to explore the city and its cultural offerings.