Through silhouettes in the Musée d’Orsay, looking out across La Seine to the right bank—we sense ambiguities, yearnings, drama. Paris fascinates. For its history, its architecture, its art, its natural beauty—all of which spared it from the bombs of a world at war. It is:
- A vibrant city where la joie de vivre is often evident in so many ways and nearly every day.
- An ode to light and colors, which spawned artistic revolutions that gave birth to gothic churches and Impressionism. Some of the biggest revolutions in art and architecture began in mid-1800s Paris with Edouard Manet and the massive reconstruction by Baron Haussmann.
- A veritable tableau where a gathering of people in a park reminds you of a Manet, Monet, or Renoir painting.
- A lover of art and culture with world-class exhibits in its world-class museums, as well as days or nights dedicated to celebrating the arts. La Nuit Blanche in October opens galleries and museums all night. And if you like the art era that started with impressionism, you’re right where it all happened.
- An inviting city of parks with beds and large vases of flowers massed in harmonious colors where you can linger on benches and plentiful green metal chairs under sprawling shady trees. Paris has the best parks I have ever seen and there are many, some small, some big.
- A bread lover’s delight where you can get a warm crusty baguette in late afternoon at a neighborhood boulangerie, probably only two blocks away, or less.
- Home to the best macarons and beautiful, tasty tarts just around the corner from you—fresh, everyday.
Click on the photo below for a quick glimpse of Paris, through my eyes.
And a slideshow of old photographs and paintings of the mid-1800s, with many photographs taken by Charles Manville, the official photographer who took before and after pictures of the Haussmann reconstruction.
- Secret Paris: lesser-known attractions, bars and restaurants (telegraph.co.uk)