A Trip to Paris ~ day 3 Tour to City Centre Part 1
This is the third day since we arrived to Paris. The weather was still wonderful, bright, sunny, warm and had breeze sometimes as well, quite comfortable to walk around.
This morning, after the big breakfast in the hotel, we got on the coach and started out at 9:30 am for next journey again, sounds a bit of rush, but actually it was quite relaxing , we have plenty of time to rest.
But something happened today, when our coach started off after about 10 minutes, the driver got a call from hotel, said we still had 2 people left behind. Oh dear!, we thought they don’t want to join in today, maybe they had another adventure for themselves, but actually they were stuck in the lift (the lift was too slowly before, so me and my hubby walked down from the stairs instead ) . Our driver promised them to drive back for them, he’s a really nice guy, didn’t complaint anything. OK, the two people got back with us at last, we’re so pleased to see them to join in.
Now, we definitely drove down to Paris, yay!
There had another tourist guild ( she was a French, speaking in English but mixed with a bit of French accent ) waiting for us next to The Place de la Concorde 協和廣場. It is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 8.64 hectares in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is situated between the Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées, with 8 hectares (20 acres) around. Massive!
In 1792, during the French revolution, the statue was replaced by another, large statue, called ‘Liberté’ (freedom) and the square was called Place de la Révolution. A guillotine was installed at the center of the square and in a time span of only a couple of years, 1119 people were beheaded here. Amongst them many famous people like King Louis XVI, Marie-Antionette, and revolutionary Robespierre, just to name a few. After the revolution the square was renamed several times until 1830, when it was given the current name ‘Place de la Concorde’.
This is the Cleopatra’s Needle standing in the middle of the square.
At each corner of the octagonal square is a statue representing a French city: Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen and Strasbourg. They were installed in 1836 by Jacob Ignaz Hittorf, who redesigned the Place de la Concorde between 1833 and 1846.
That same year a bronze fountain, called ‘La fontaine des Mers’ was added to the square. A second one, the ‘Elevation of the Maritime’ fountain, was installed in 1839. Both fountains were designed by Hittorf.
Around the square, the Arc de Triomphe 凱旋門 (west), the Madeleine (north), the Tuileries (east) and, across the Seine, the Palais Bourbon, now the Assemblée Nationale(south). Such a spectacular views and eye-catching scenery.
We saw Napoleon’s Triumphal Arch 凱旋門, it was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his victories, but he was ousted before the arch was completed. In fact, it wasn’t completed until 1836 during the reign of Louis-Philippe. The Arc de Triomphe is engraved with names of generals who commanded French troops during Napoleon’s regime.
The design of the arch by Jean Chalgrin is based on theArch of Titus in Rome. The triumphal arch is adorned with many reliefs, most of them commemorating the emperor’s battles. Among them are the battle of Aboukir, Napoleons victory over the Turkish and the Battle of Austerliz, where Napoleon defeated the Austrians.
The best known relief is the Departure of the Volunteers in 1792, also known as the Marseillaise. At the top of the arch are 30 shields, each of them bears the name of one of Napoleon’s successful battles. Below the arch is the Grave of the Unknown Soldiers, honoring the many who died during the first World War.
The arch is located at the end of the Champs-Elysées, in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle, a large circular square from which no less than 12 streets emanate. The streets are named after French military leaders.
The top of the arch features a viewing platform from where you have great views of La Defense, theChamps-Elysées and the Sacré-Coeur. Make sure you take one of the underpasses to the arch, it is too dangerous to try and cross the street. There is no elevator in the arch, so be prepared to walk up 234 steps. But we haven’t got the time to walk up and have a good view of it. Shame!
The French guild told the story and history about almost all the famous places. We got the chance to hop down the coach to took some photos and have a rest.
Tired now, will tell you more about the day 3 adventure, we went to Famous Eiffel Tower, The Jardin du Luxembourg, The Louvre Museum,,,,,, and more.