Entries Tagged as 'W EUR- FR, Paris'

Paris- Opera Garnier and Galeries Lafayette

The Opera Garnier on The Place de l'Opera is a belle epoque masterpiece.  Awash with marble, beautiful chandeliers, and painted ceilings, it seems to have come straight from a dream.

And speaking of dreams, I can just imagine what it would have been like being here on opening night for a production in times long past: men in their impeccable black suits, wearing top hats, and possibly sporting a cane.  The women, though, would steal the show with their beautiful gowns and jewelry.

Coming back to reality, I turn my attention to The Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. This is another belle epoque structure with a gorgeous glass dome.  This place is a shopping mecca par excellence, but not being a shopper myself, I head up to the roof of the structure for one last incredible view of the most beautiful city in the world!

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Paris- The Louvre Museum, Part 3

I had already seen the great French and Italian paintings of The Louvre on my previous trips, so for variety's sake, I decided to hit the great works of the Germans and Dutch.

One image I was drawn to was the German artist Albrecht Durer's "Self-Portrait."  Over the years, Durer would paint himself over and over again.  One reason for this was because it was much cheaper to paint yourself than to hire someone else as a model to paint.

I also liked the "Portrait of Anne of Cleves" by Hans Holbein, also a German.  Anne was one of King Henry VIII's wives, but she didn't last long as queen.  Allegedly, Henry discarded her because he didn't like the way Anne looked in person.

My favorite painting, though, was the enigmatic Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's "The Astronomer."  In this work, Vermeer shows his mastery of both detail and how to render light coming in through a window.  It was absolutely incredible!

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Paris- The Louvre Museum, Part 2

The Louvre was originally built as a palace for the kings of France.  After Louis XVI was executed during The French Revolution, though, it became a museum for the people of France.

The museum contained a fantastic collection of Italian paintings!  One of my favorites was the affectionate "Old Man with a Young Boy" by Domenico Ghirlandaio.  In it, I loved the old man's beautiful orange cloak.  The enigmatic "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo DaVinci was great, too.  DaVinci was a perfectionist who finished just a small number of paintings, but the ones that he did complete were incredible!  Also of note was "Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt" by Caravaggio.  The subject in armor looks like a giant, definitely not someone to be trifled with!

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Paris- The Louvre Museum, Part 1

The Louvre on 99 Rue de Rivoli is one of the greatest and largest museums in the world.  Don't even try to see everything in one visit!  Just grab a free map that shows where the museum's greatest works are located, and dive right in.

On my first visit, I decided to focus on its French works.  I especially liked "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix, which is beloved by the freedom-loving French people, "The Coronation of Napoleon" by Jacques Louis David, notably the largest canvas in The Louvre, and the soft and beautiful "Portrait de Femme Assise" by Pierre Auguste Renoir.

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Paris- La Palette Cafe and Cafe le Procope

If you like art, La Palette Cafe on 43 Rue de Seine is just the ticket.  With flowers over the entryway, palettes above the bar, and paintings in its main room, you half expect Claude Monet to make an appearance.  My favorite thing about the cafe, though, is its traditional brown wood interior.  Perfect place to grab a salad.

Cafe le Procope on 13 Rue Ancienne Comedie, is also a great place.  This is the oldest cafe in the city, and was once the local of Voltaire and Napoleon.  With its dark red interior and historic portraits, it's just the place to kick back with a cup of hot chocolate.  And by the way, they serve the best hot chocolate I've ever had!

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