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31 July, 2012

5 Must See Monuments and Memorials in Paris

Paris, the capital and the largest city in France is home for nearly 3,500 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here are some of monuments and memorials in Paris that you must not miss when visiting Paris.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe with the French Flag (Best example for Neoclassical architecture)
Arc de Triomphe is a 164 feet high monument and one among Paris’s most famous monuments. This monument is one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture style. The commissioning of Arc de Triomphe began in 1806; however, the entire construction was completed only in 1836 as the construction was halted for various reasons. The masterminds behind this famous monument are Jean Chalgrin, Louis-Etienne Hericart de Thury. Arc de Triomphe holds a lot of sculptures, reliefs, details about some of the great battles, etc. With the help of a lift, visitors can reach the top of the monument and can get a panoramic view of the Paris city (one has to climb the last 46 steps).

Cleopatra’s Needle

Cleopatra's Needle or Luxor Obelisk
Cleopatra’s Needle is an ancient Egyptian obelisk and is re-erected in three cities, namely, London, Paris and New York. If you think this has any connection with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, it is not so. They were already more than thousand years old when Queen Cleopatra was alive. Cleopatra’s Needle at Paris once served as the entrance to the Luxor Temple. Cleopatra’s Needle is also sometimes referred as “Luxor Obelisk.” It is 23 meters high and is made of red granite. The total weight of the obelisk is believed to be 250 tonnes.

Flame of Liberty

Flame of Liberty, above the tunnel of Pont de l'Alma where Princess Diana died in an accident
One can notice a torch with flame in the hands of Statue of Liberty, one of the wonders of the world at the New York City; Flame of Liberty is a gold leaf covered replica of the flame in the torch. This monument is 3.5 meters high and is located in the 8th arrondissement. International Herald Tribune offered this to represent the celebration of 100 years (completed in 1987) of publishing an English language newspaper in Paris in 1989. This also served as a token of friendship when the restoration work in the Statue of Liberty took place. This is one of the major tourist attractions for Diana followers after she died in an accident in a tunnel beneath Pont de l’Alma.

July Column

Colonne de Juillet with the three glorious (Trois Glorieuses) dates of July
July Column (Colonne de Juillet) is yet another famous monument in Paris that commemorates “Trois Glorieuses” or the “Three Glorious” days in the month of July during the Revolution of 1830 when the “July Monarchy” of Louis-Philippe commenced with the fall of Charles X of France. this project actually started to commemorate the “Fall of the Bastille” in the year 1792; however, the project did not get past the foundation laying stage. It is 154 feet high and weighs 74,000 kilograms.

Pantheon, Paris

Pantheon de Paris, a church converted as a mausoleum
When said Paris, can anyone forget Pantheon? Yes, Pantheon (located in the 5th arrondissement) is one of the must see mausoleum in Paris; this was initially built as a church that was dedicated to St. Genevieve and for her relics. This is yet another best example for Neoclassical architecture styles. The masterminds behind this famous mausoleum are architects Jacques-Germain Soufflot and Jean-Baptiste Rondelet.


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