Welcome to the enchanting world of France, a land renowned for its rich history, captivating culture, and splendid architectural wonders.
France, located in Western Europe, is a country steeped in history; from the French Revolution to the Napoleonic wars, many historical stories are embedded. In this article, we shall uncover the country’s architectural marvels, and they are not just limited to the world-famous Eiffel Tower. We shall further delve into the grandeur of the Louvre Museum and the timeless beauty of Notre Dame de Paris. Each monument tells a story of artistry, history, and cultural significance.
As you plan a trip to France this holiday season, include these seven monuments in your itinerary for a memorable trip.
1. La France
France is a unitary semi-presidential republic country and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
French history is powerful, consisting of the French Revolution and the Civil War. The monarchy rose to power during the 6th century.
Napoleon Bonaparte is an essential figure in the history of France and the Napoleonic wars that occurred from 1803 to 1815.
This country also holds the most architecturally iconic monuments, like the Eiffel Tower.
Additionally, France is famous for its fashion, cuisine, and, of course, the most renowned croissant.
2. The 7 Well-Known Monuments in France
The monuments in France have various historical as well as architectural significance. The following list provides an insight into the best monuments to explore.
2.1. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the most famous monument in France and also one of the most visited monuments.
It is a wrought-iron lattice tower by engineer Gustave Eiffel, and in honour of him, the building was named.
The Eiffel Tower is also locally called “La dame de Fer” and was constructed from 1887 to 1889.
2.1.1. Structure And Design
The Eiffel Tower has three levels; the first floor consists of pretty souvenir shops, eateries, and a glass floor, whereas the second floor of the building is mainly an observation area with some small shops and restaurants.
The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, with a length of 330 meters.
There are about 72 names engraved on the tower consisting of French scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in honour of their contributions to the building of the tower.
2.1.2. Eiffel Tower At Night
The Eiffel Tower is illuminated with lights every day from dusk. Almost 30 million people have visited this architectural brilliance after its construction.
2.1.3. Shops Nearby
There are many luxurious and budget-friendly hotels in Paris near the Eiffel Tower.
Furthermore, if you are looking for a place for fine dining, many top restaurants near the Eiffel Tower also give beautiful views of the tower at night.
The streets nearby have various bakeries, souvenir shops, and chocolate shops to indulge and explore.
2.2. Notre Dame de Paris
Considered to have one of the finest French Gothic architectures, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Notre Dame de Paris, meaning ‘Our Lady of Paris, ‘ is a medieval Catholic cathedral located on Île de la Cité.
2.2.1. History of Notre Dame de Paris
King Louis VII founded Notre Dame de Paris and wanted this historical monument to symbolize Parisian supremacy.
Notre Dame Cathedral represents Gothic architecture in its most majestic form.
The coronation of Napoleón Bonaparte and the coronation of Henry VI of England is said to have happened in Notre Dame.
The length of the Notre Dame Cathedral is estimated at 420 feet, with a width of 157 feet.
In April 2019, a fire destroyed the building, leaving the entire country and the world in shock. The incident further destroyed its iconic spire and its roof.
2.3. Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe symbolizes honour for those who died in the Revolutionary and Nepotism wars. It is Situated at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle.
2.3.1. Design And Architecture
The design of this majestic monument is astylar and is done by Jean Chalgrin. The sculpture of Arc de Triomphe represents significant academic sculptors of France.
Beneath this arch is the tomb of unknown soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in World War 1.
Names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on the inner and outer surfaces of the monument.
2.3.2. Symbol Of Power
The building symbolizes the power and strength of France and Napoleon. Napoleon I commissioned the Arc de Triomphe in 1806, which took 30 long years to build, and Napoleon himself and the architect did not live to see it finished.
Being the second largest arch in the world, each pillar of this monument represents important French battles and victories of the army.
This monument contains four main sculptural groups, and the whole building is a wonder that cannot be missed while visiting Paris.
2.4. Place de la Bastille
Place de la Bastille is a famous square in Paris and where the Bastille prison once stood. Now, the structure reflects a symbol of the monarchy’s dictatorial rule.
Located in the 11th district of Paris, this structure was originally a castle built in the late 14th century at the Porte Saint-Antoine, which was later turned into a prison during the reign of Louis XIII.
2.4.1. History and Significance
This prison is now the only column representing a significant part of French history.
Almost about 1789, hundreds of angry French citizens stormed the Bastille in Paris, releasing its seven prisoners, lynching the governor, and demolishing the fortress, which was said to be the start of the French Revolution.
Bastille Day is celebrated in France on July 14 with parades, fireworks, and dances, but only a few occur at Place de la Bastille.
This structure is a must-visit in Paris, and the Opéra Bastille looks spectacular during the evenings. In addition, the square is a chill-out area for tourists, with many shops, restaurants, and patisseries next to the yard.
2.5. The Louvre
The Louvre is one of Paris’s most famous art museums, located in Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France. The museum was founded on August 10, 1793.
The Louvre Museum is prestigiously known for its collection of many world-famous works of Artists like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other famous paintings like The Wedding at Cana and The Coronation of Napoleon.
There are about 7500 paintings displayed in the museum, and the so-called big three of the museums include the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace, which cannot be missed.
With about 60,600 square meters of exhibition space, the museum is said to be the largest museum on earth.
Louvre has one of history’s most famous and reputed artworks, containing the most famous paintings and artworks.
2.5.3. Best Time To Visit?
Anytime is the best time to visit the Louvre and enjoy the outview of the majestic monument.
However, to explore the inside of The Louvre, visit its official website and check for the availability of dates and tickets.
2.5.4. Significance Behind the Name
This monument is said to gain its name from the Latin word ‘lupara’, meaning wolf, since the area of its location was known for the presence of wolves.
A Chinese-American architect named Ieoh Ming Pei built the museum.
2.5.5. What’s Around?
The Palace of Louvre reflects the culture and styles that the different kings chose during their reigns of power.
The beautiful garden of the Louvre near the palace is also a view to watch.
There are many restaurants and cute cafes near the museum to satiate your hunger pangs.
2.6. Opéra Garnier
If you are an artist or a lover of art and theatre, you cannot skip Opéra Garnier, a 1979-seat opera house commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III.
The building is a beauty not to miss, with its most breathtaking design.
2.6.1. Beauty That Ain’t to Be Missed
The building is made in a way that can make it stand out in the city of Paris.
The design of this magnificent building was done by an architect known as Charles Garnier, making the look of the building classy and exclusive.
2.6.2. Grand Escalier Staircase
The Grand Escalier (Grand Staircase), or the double staircase, is a significant part of this building and is built using marble.
The opéra garnier was built by the best artisans, and the best materials were used to make this stunning monument.
No words are enough to describe the interior grandeur of the Garnier Opera. The ceilings are embellished with lights, mirrors, gold leaves, and chandeliers.
2.6.3. When To Visit
The Opéra Garnier is open for visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and individual tours are available in English and French in the afternoon.
You will need a ticket to watch the shows but can always walk to the lobby and inside for free.
2.6.4. The Opera House
An array of entertaining shows are performed in the Opera House. Concerts highlighting the works of famous composers like Mozart and Vivaldi are a must-watch.
There are different prices for different categories of people. Furthermore, children under 12 years get free admission.
2.6.5. Shops And Streets
Almost a block away, there are many luxurious shops that you could visit.
Especially if you have a sweet tooth, you can always stop at some of the famous chocolate and pastry shops in the area.
There are also many bars around the street where you can enjoy a glass of fine French wine.
2.7. Palais du Luxembourg
Being one of the most beautiful sightseeing spots, Palais du Luxembourg is one of the main attractions of travellers visiting Paris.
This palace was built for the mother of Louis XIII of France, Marie de Medici. The court is open to the public for a part of the year and is one of the most loved parks by the French.
2.7.1. Gardens Of Luxembourg Palace
It is a must to visit the beautiful Luxembourg garden spread over about 25 hectares.
The garden is decorated with beautiful bushes, flowers, and lawns. Apart from this, there are trees of pomegranates and a tennis court inside the park.
Various sculptures around that garden date back to the 19th century, some of which include French queens and renowned women from Europe.
You can also see a tiny figure of the Statue of Liberty inside the garden.
2.7.2. The Medici Fountain
You cannot miss the Medici Fountain while visiting Palais du Luxembourg.
This serene fountain is covered on both sides by lines of trees, which is a sight to watch when reflected from the water. The fountain was newly renovated in the fall of 2021.
The sculpture at the top end of the foundation is the Medici family coat of arms. The masks represent comedy and tragedy and Faunus, the god of the forest.
The goddess of the hunt, Diana, is also represented here.
2.7.3. Luxembourg Museum
While visiting the Palais du Luxembourg, you can also visit the Luxembourg Museum, which displays various artworks and paintings.
2.7.4. Apiary Inside the Palace
The bee-keeping classes were conducted in the apiary of Luxembourg Palace from 1856. The main objective for the beginning of these classes was to protect and safeguard the city’s bees.
If you visit the place around September, upon the Fête du Miel, a two-day festival held here, you could get your hands on a jar of honey, which is exclusively from the beautiful garden of Luxembourg.
As we conclude our exploration of the seven best monuments in France, we’ve uncovered a treasure trove of history, culture, and architectural wonders. France, a land with a powerful historical narrative, is one of the most beautiful and most visited countries among tourists.
Furthermore, the monument has unique charm and significance, and the buildings represent architectural wonder.
As you prepare for your journey to France, may these monuments leave an indelible mark on your heart, and may your adventure be filled with rich history, artistic grandeur, and unforgettable moments.