Despite having been to this deeply cultured city before, I was once again swept off my feet upon immersing myself into the heart of the City of Lights in 2016. Though I could write pages and pages of the countless things to do in Paris, here are highlights of the places that left me breathless.
In October of 2016, after having been separated from my favourite country for four and a half years, I decided on my twenty-second birthday in late August that I would go to Paris by the end of the year. I asked my mom if she’d be willing to come with me and gave her exactly one week to make the decision. By the end of those seven days, our flights and hotel were booked, and I had purchased us each the Paris Pass complete with métro tickets for our eight-day stay.
Despite having been to this deeply cultured city before, I was once again swept off my feet upon immersing myself into the heart of the City of Lights. Though I could write pages and pages of the countless things to do in Paris, I will be focusing on a particular aspect of it in today’s post: a selection of three of the most awe-inspiring places, visually, that the city has to offer.
Palais Garnier (Opéra Nationale de Paris)
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France
With construction beginning in August of 1861, this ornately decorated opera house is home not only to countless Parisian ballets and operas, but also the setting of Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera. I had the pleasure of going on a guided tour through this palatial structure, learning the history of each room and the symbolism you can find even in the opera house’s most minute details. The most spectacular of rooms, in my opinion, was that of the Grand Foyer. I have never seen something so absolutely lavish in my entire life (third photo below).
Château de Versailles
Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Though technically located in Versailles (just outside of Paris), the Palace of Versailles is perhaps one of the most famous palaces in the world, and with good reason: its utter opulence, gilded splendour, and sheer size (both the main château itself, as well as the grounds and various buildings scattered throughout it) all contribute to an overall sense of being completely wonderstruck. This palace was so incredibly large and detailed that I cannot choose a single room as being more impressive than all the rest. Truly, Versailles has quickly become my favourite landmark on earth.
Musée du Louvre
Musée du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France
This palace-turned-museum was originally a fortress converted into the main residence of French Kings by Francis I in 1546. While walking through the museum, it is evident that this building was once the home of France’s royal court. The Galerie d’Apollon is a stunning gallery in itself, but like much of the rest of the museum, it’s not just the building itself that leaves one speechless, but the artifacts and artwork housed within its walls. While wandering through the various halls and rooms of the Musée du Louvre, you will be left awe struck time and time again by both the art surrounding you, and the marvellous architecture of the building safeguarding it all.
As with all of the places mentioned above, no words can give justice to the magnificence that seeing these places visually can. I have included many photos to help with this, but it is certainly something that one must witness first-hand to gain the true experience and sentiment these monumental landmarks hold. Visiting a structure of such elaborate design is truly a testament not only to the work and beauty mankind is capable of creating, but also to the opulence of history.
Have you been to Paris before? Which places left you the most awe-struck? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time...