Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris

Paris would not be Paris without its celebrated monuments: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de triomphe, Notre-Dame and the Sacré-Cœur. All these monuments recount the history of a 2,000-year-old capital. And every evening, a special kind of magic takes hold of the city when these majestic architectural sites are illuminated. Read the Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris!

Eiffel Tower

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
A not-to-be-missed monument and symbol of the capital, the Eiffel Tower stands 324 m tall, and weighs 10,100 tons. Created in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days, it was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1889.

You can go up the Eiffel Tower by the stairs or by lift. On the completely refurbished 1st floor, there are shops; on the 2nd, treat yourself to a gastronomic meal at the famous Jules Verne restaurant, 125 metres above ground. Finally on the 3rd floor you are at cloud level and have an exceptional 360° view! Viewpoint indicator on the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Arc de Triomphe

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
Situated at the Place de l’Etoile, overlooking the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe is the biggest arch in the world. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz. The architects Chalgrin, Joust and Blouet all worked on the monument.

Sculptures were designed by Cortot, Rude, Etex, Pradier and Lemaire. Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and each evening at 6:30pm its flame is rekindled. From the top of the monument, visitors benefit from a panoramic view of Paris, during the day and at night, and two viewpoint indicators. A museum retracing the history of the Arc de Triomphe, situated within the structure, completes the visit.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris et son trésor

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France. It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité. Work started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.

Its many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, the steeple and the gargoyles. They can also discover the Notre-Dame treasury and have a go at climbing the towers to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. In 2013, Notre-Dame is celebrated its 850th anniversary. For this occasion, many events were organized and the cathedral renewed its bells with the arrival of eight new bells as well as a new great bell. Road distances from Paris in France are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral forecourt.

Cimetière du Père Lachaise

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV's confessor, Father François d'Aix de La Chaise. It is the most prestigious and most visited necropolis in Paris. Situated in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, it extends 44 hectares and contains 70,000 burial plots. The cemetery is a mix between an English park and a shrine.

All funerary art style are represented: Gothic graves, Haussmanian burial chambers, ancient mausoleums, etc. On the green paths, visitors cross the burial places of famous men and women; Honoré de Balzac, Guillaume Apollinaire, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Jean-François Champollion, Jean de La Fontaine, Molière, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Jim Morrison, Alfred de Musset, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissarro and Oscar Wilde are among some of them.

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
The Sacré-Coeur, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. At the top of the Butte Montmarte, it has one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the capital, from 130 metres above ground. In a Roman-Byzantine style, the Sacré Coeur is recognizable by its white colour. Inside the building, the ceiling is decorated with the largest mosaic in France measuring about 480 m².

The crypt is also worth a visit. And to go even higher up, visitors can access the dome where the 360° view of Paris is magnificent. A short walk from the Sacré Coeur is the Place du Tertre, the district of Abbesses with its steep, winding roads, and at the bottom of the hill, the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret.

Panthéon

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
The Panthéon’s iconic silhouette and dome is perched at the top of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the historic hill of the Latin Quarter. Since the days of the French Revolution, this former church, dedicated to the patron saint of Paris, has housed a necropolis, in its crypt, of well-known French figures: Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas, etc. From April to October, tourists can enjoy the fine views of the capital from the colonnade of the dome.

Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
A 19th-century architectural masterpiece, the Palais Garnier Opera House, built by Charles Garnier and opened in 1875, is the 13th opera house in Paris since the introduction of French opera by Louis XIV in 1669. Napoleon III commissioned it as part of the renovation works in the capital carried out under his command by Baron Haussmann. A historical monument open to visitors during the day staging opera and dance. Don't forget to admire the ceiling painted by Chagall in the main auditorium.

Sainte-Chapelle

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
Situated on the Ile de la Cité, a short walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle chapel is a jewel of Gothic art. It was built in the 12th century, upon the order of King Saint-Louis, to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns, now held at Notre-Dame. The upper chapel of the monument is covered in 600 m² of stained-glass windows, of which two thirds are authentic. It’s one of the most complete and remarkable sets of stained glass of this era.

Conciergerie

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
This great vestige of the Capetian Palace is a remarkable testimony of the civil architecture of the 14th century with the Salle des Gens d'Armes, the Salle des Gardes and the kitchens.

Most of the lower floor of the Palace was turned into a prison during the 15th century: you can visit the dungeons (in particular Queen Marie-Antoinette's) and also discover memories of the French Revolution.

Tours de Notre-Dame de Paris

Famous Monuments to Discover In Paris
After climbing the 422 steps of the towers of Notre-Dame cathedral, visitors are rewarded with one of the most stunning panoramic views of Paris. On the way up to the top are three not-to-be-missed features: The Salle Haute has amazing Gothic architecture with ribbed vaults; the Galerie des Chimères enables you to get close to the famous gargoyles, including the famous Stryge; and a few steps from the top, you can stop and admire the belfry, church bells and the famous 13-ton great bell 'Emmanuel'.

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