Paris is always a good idea, they say, and with good reason too. Paris seems to be in everyone’s top 5 places to visit. Whenever someone says that they have visited Paris, it is always greeted with “ooohs” and “aaaahs”. What makes Paris, the city of lights, so special? Why is it one of the top locations to visit?
Its History with Illumination
Paris is nicknamed the City of Lights not because of its brightly-lit boulevards, but because of its very interesting city history. Back in the 17th century, Louis XIV made Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie the head of the police task force. The king’s first order was to make sure that the people felt safe, even during the dark hours of the night. Gabriel’s decision to add street lights at almost every corner made the city popular being well-lit. The purpose of the additional street lights was to deter burglars and other criminals from hiding into dark alleyways. The city became one of the first European cities to do this.
Aside from its lights, Paris was also fast becoming the center of education in the Western world. Its universities and schools were sought-after by the affluent. Philosophers, scientists, and engineers gathered within the city walls to discuss and debate. This Age of Enlightenment made Paris an even more attractive city to visit, even then.
Paris is always known for its sights and sounds like many known cities around the world. What makes Paris different from the rest? Paris is popular for its cafe culture. Almost everywhere you go, there seems to be a quaint cafe inviting you to have a nice warm cup of latte. Each one is Instagrammable, and your friends will surely be envious of your trip to the City of Lights. The typical Parisian spend his or her afternoon sipping freshly brewed coffee, either on their own or with the company of a few special friends.
The Eiffel Tower
A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without going to the Eiffel tower. It is probably THE most popular monument in the city, if not the entire world. Many people recognize the Eiffel tower no matter where they are from. Did you know that it is also known as “la dame de fer”, or the Iron Lady? It was also supposed to be a temporary addition to the city more than a hundred years ago! The Eiffel tower was built in time for the World Fair in 1889 and was only supposed to stay erect for 20 years. Nowadays people continue to admire this architectural beauty, no matter where they are in the city!
The Notre Dame
Made famous by Victor Hugo’s novel and the home of the infamous hunchback, Notre Dame is a perfect example of Gothic architecture and is one of the most famous churches in the world. The church was recently damaged by a fire in April 2019 and plans are underway to have it repaired to its former glory.
Like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre is another must-see place to visit when you go to Paris. In its complex is the famed glass pyramid where it isn’t uncommon to see people take photos of themselves around it. The Louvre easily stands out as the most visited museum in the city because it is home to more than 4000 pieces of artwork. You can spend days admiring the beautiful creations of famous artists. The most two famous exhibits are the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Surely this is a place that must be included in your bucket list!