Travel: 10 Pieces of Art and Architecture to See in Paris

Last week, I wrote a post about 10 places to eat in Paris. Today, I’m sharing 10 (plus a bonus) of the art and architecture that caught my attention on my recent trip.

1.Le Louvre. If you’re keen on architecture, the Louvre is a great place to start. Whether you line up to go in or remain on the outside, you are sure to be impressed. The buildings are magnificent. (1st arrondissement)

2. Le Palais Royale. Just a few blocks away from Le Louvre, is the courtyard of the Palais Royal. The courtyard is filled with 260 black and white columns – an art installation by Daniel Buren. (1st arr.)

3. Palais Garnier. The Palais Garnier has been one of my all-time favourite buildings in Paris. I love the symmetry of the facade and the golden sculptures (harmony on the left and poetry on the right as you face the building) on either side. Apollo stands int he middle. On the inside of the building, the Marc Chagall painted ceiling (which was painted in 1964) in the auditorium is worth seeing in person. (9th arr.)

4. Le Pouce (The thumb). A 40-foot thumb sculpture stands at La Défense. I don’t particularly love this sculpture, but it was one that I hadn’t ever seen before, so I wanted to share it. Among the modern skyscrapers in this business district, the sculpture kind of sticks out, well, like a big thumb. Ha ha! The 18-ton sculpture was built in 1965 by sculptor César Baldaccini.

5. Arc de Triomphe. The size of this structure, and the chaotic traffic that circles it, is definitely a sight to see. I’d suggest you climb the tower. This is one of my favourite views of the city (another favourite view is from the Tour de Montparnasse). (16th, 17th, and 8th arr.)

6. Hotel Le Meurice. There are many luxury hotels in Paris, many of which receive the “grand hotel” distinction. I mentioned one in my last post – the Luetitia, which is the only grand hotel on the left bank. On the right bank, there are several, including Le Meurice on Rue de Rivoli. I mention this one today because I had the chance to attend a networking event there. It’s spectacular. It’s charming. It’s so very French. It’s rich with history. I was pleased that my interactions with the staff were all very positive. Each person was kind and helpful and not at all pretentious. (1st arr.)

7. Doors. Doors. Doors. If you’re interested in architecture, you could spend hours looking at, examining, and taking photos of doors and doorways. The doors of Paris are impressive because of their size, colours, and details.

8. Place des Vosges. This is one of my most favourite pieces of architecture in Paris. I know I’ve already said this several times in this post, but it’s true. I love this square. It is indeed a true square at 140m x 140m. It was built between 1605 and 1612. Incredible, right? When I traveled to Paris when I was younger, I had several picnics in the park at Places des Vosges. Laying on the grass under the sunshine on a lazy afternoon is a great way to take a break from the busyness of the city. It’s the Parisian way. (3rd & 4th arr.)

9. Centre Pompidou. Many people don’t like this colourful, modern piece of architecture, but I do. I like the drastic contrast between the Centre Pompidou in its surrounding buildings. I like the art that is infused in this area, too, even though this isn’t my favourite area in Paris for wandering about. (4th arr.)

10. The Eiffel Tower. Well of course this is on my list. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I’m always impressed. Even though I know exactly what to expect when I get to the area of the Eiffel Tower, I’m always taken aback. This structure is terrific. Absolutely terrific. (7th arr.)

11. 23 Rue de Babylone. This is a bonus building that I came across on a new-to-me route I took one afternoon back to the hotel. I believe it’s an apartment building. I loved its rows of curved shutters. (7th arr.)

To see more of my time in Paris, have a look at #WhiteCabanaGoesToParis on Instagram.

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