The Undisclosed Attractions of Paris
Many tourists to Paris visit the city with the purpose of experiencing all the renown scenic sights. However, there are several lesser-known landmarks that offer an iconic snapshot of Paris, aside from the traditional tourist haunts, like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
Undoubtedly, these hidden jewels of the city are worth a visit to sample some authentic Parisian atmosphere, and to learn more about the history of France. Better still, they are all just a short distance away from the top boutique hotels. Paris boasts many off-the-beaten-track areas to explore, so consider starting your holiday there with a trip to one of the excellent attractions below.
The Pantheon of Paris
Originally, the Parisian Pantheon was constructed to serve as a church for Saint Genevieve, with its’ façade based on the famous Rome Pantheon. Although it was meant to house religious artefacts, during recent history it has functioned as a monument to French heroes. Situated in the fifth arrondissement on Montagne Sainte Genevieve, it is near to several boutique hotels.
Both the Pantheon, and Paris itself, have been the home of numerous famous people in life and death. This includes luminaries such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. The Parisian Pantheon is a fantastic tribute to the cultural legacy of some of the greatest minds in French history.
L’Hôtel National des Invalides
Usually just referred to as Les Invalides, this complex of buildings started life during 1670, at the request of Louis the Fourteenth, as a hospital and home for ageing, sick or wounded soldiers. The buildings are extremely picturesque, and a striking example of French-style Baroque architecture.
Also, Les Invalides has played a pivotal role in the history of France, because it was where the rioters of Paris acquired their weapons to utilize in the Bastille storming of 1789. Furthermore, it was where military hero, Napoleon, was buried during 1840. It is a lovely location for exploring a bit of French war history and, although Paris has many similar locations, Les Invalides represents a good starting point. This video explains more about the history of this fascinating attraction:
To gain an insight into revolutionary Paris, you do not need to look beyond La Conciergerie, with its’ surprising dual role as a royal palace and, subsequently, a jail. Countless prisoners, including the famous Queen Marie Antoinette, were kept here prior to being taken to the guillotine.
Situated close to the noteworthy Notre-Dame Cathedral, La Conciergerie is easy to reach from most boutique hotels. Paris has a reputation for being a diverse and historical city, and La Conciergerie offers a splendid snapshot of the past.
Paris is still among the most visited cities in the world, with roughly twenty-eight million tourists arriving each year, according to recent figures. Happily, there are no shortage of nooks and crannies awaiting those who are willing to venture away from the traditional postcard hotspots. Paris is a city of many surprises, and not everyone wants to see the areas that are frequented by tourists. Travellers looking for a more unusual holiday, should visit the attractions above and experience the city through an unconventional lens.
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