One of the highlights of the day was visiting the Eiffel Tower at night. Before setting out for the night trip, we walked back to the hotel from the Champs-Elysees. We found ourselves walking around twelve miles a day in Paris.
We walked by the Grand Palais, a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum located at the Champs-Elysees in the 8th arrondissement. Construction began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de L'Industrie as part of the preparation work for the Universal Exposition of 1900. During World War 1, the Palais served a a military hospital and in World War II, the Nazis used the building as a truck depot and then it housed two Nazi propaganda exhibitions. The Parisian resistance used the Palais as a headquarters during the Liberation of Paris. Today, the Grand Palais has a major police station in the basement which helps protect the exhibits.
|The eighteen foot bronze statue of Charles de Gaulle was unveiled in November 2000. The statue was based on the photograph of the general striding down the Champs-Elysees among ecstatic scenes after the liberation of Paris on August 26, 1944.||Charles de Gaulee was a French general and statesman who led the Free French forces during World War II and later served as France's president from 1959 to 1969. De Gaulle led the government in exile against France's pro-German Vichy government while he was in London and Africa. His promotion of French national interests led to confrontations with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt due to their initial unwillingness to inform him of the D-Day landings in June 1944.|
The gardens of the Champs-Elysees. The area was originally a marsh and began to be converted during the seventeenth century. The gardens were bought by the City of Paris in 1828. The current gardens inaugurated in 1840 were designed by Jean-Charles Alphand based on the model of the English Gardens. The gardens were reduced in size by the building of the Grand and Petit Palais for the World Fair of 1900.
A beautiful afternoon in the park.
The five star Hotel du Louvre is an old Parisian building located between the Pont Neuf and the rue de Rivoli.
|A quiet neighbourhood street.|
After dinner we headed over to the Eiffel Tower. Michael took us to the river to scout out areas for some night photography.
|Some black and white shots of the Eiffel Tower. The above sepia shot was taken when we were scouting out the best place to set up the tripods. The tower is 324 metres (1,063 feet) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building.||This shot was taken at the end of the evening just before the bridge lights came on. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world. This title was held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was build in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna on top of the tower, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 feet).|
This photo was taken beside the river in the same area as the above photo.
This photo was taken from the bridge as we walked towards the Eiffel Tower.
Another shot of the river and buildings.
Everyone was taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most visited paid monument in the world. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years-it was to be dismantled in 1909 when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The city had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing the tower was that it should be easy to demolish) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit.
Walking underneath the Eiffel Tower. The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889. The tower was erected as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's fair. It was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
The two girls look like they might have come back from Disneyland Paris.
The first structure built on the top of the Chaillot Hill was build for the 1878 World's Fair. Known as the Palais du Trocadero, it was a large concert hall with two wings and two towers. When it was announced that Paris would once gain host the World's Fair in 1937, plans for a new Palais de Chaillot were proposed. It was to be designed in the modern style. Not unlike its predecessor, this building features two wings that form a wide arc, built on the foundations of the old palace.
|We stayed in the area for quite a while waiting for the bridge lights to come on.||Our patience paid off as the lights eventually came on. In this photo you see the lights of a boat sailing by the Eiffel Tower.|
I took another photograph of the Palais de Chaillot just before we left the area. Today the palace houses a number of different museums.