France

Visiting the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris

visiting sacre coeur

  Bishop Fournier saw the loss of the French in the Franco-Prussian war as a punishment from God, because the French had enjoyed themselves too much in the last century and neglected their religion. In the period that the first plans for the Sacre Coeur were revealed, there was a lot going on. Wars, the feud between Catholics and royalists, …

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Famous graves at the Père-Lachaise cemetery

pere lachaise famous graves

  Because of the continuing problems with cemeteries (see also the catacombs of Paris), it was decided in the nineteenth century to build only graveyards outside the city. To make this cemetery particularly attractive to rich Parisians, Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart founded this particular area as an English garden. Still, this didn’t help much because the rich didn’t like to be buried …

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Visiting the Notre Dame cathedral with a tour

notre dame visit

On the 15th of April 2019, a big fire broke out in the Notre Dame of Paris. This will probably have consequences for everyone who plans a visit in the future. Once there is more information available, I will update this article. Click here to follow the live feed of this dramatic happening. The facade is a real work of …

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Visiting the stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle

sainte chapelle

  In 1242, Louis IX started the construction of the Sainte-Chapelle. Only six years later (1248) this structure was completed. A few years earlier, Louis IX had purchased some very valuable relics (including the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ), and now he wished to find a suitable place to exhibit these valuable objects. All this splendor was intended to …

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The Orsay museum in Paris

musee d'orsay

  With thousands of paintings and hundreds of sculptures there is more than enough to see for everyone. Every year, more than three million people visit the Orsay museum in Paris and that has a lot to do with the beautiful art you can find there. The most beautiful works of art in the Musée d’Orsay are of course from …

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Visiting the Louvre and what to see

the louvre

  If you’re visiting the Louvre, then you must of course also like a little bit of art. Objects and works of art from Antiquity until now. You can find pretty much everything here. Actually, everything that you see here is impressive, but if I have to list a few must see’s in the Louvre, then they are the following: …

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A visit to Napoleon’s tomb

napoleon's tomb

  The Dôme des Invalides (or the Hôtel des Invalides) was founded in 1670 by Louis the fourteenth (the Sun King). This gigantic domain was a place where war veterans could live out the rest of their lives in peace. That remained so until 1905. From then on, the whole complex was quietly transformed into an (impressive) museum. Napoleon thought …

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The les Invalides museum and Napoleon’s tomb

les invalides museum

  France used to have to fight many wars, and because of all this violence more and more soldiers became disabled. Until 1671 there had been no place where the old and handicapped soldiers could recover, and so the Sun King decided to change this with the construction of this majestic domain. Already in 1674 the first war veterans arrived. …

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