But if you've seen these attractions, now what? Paris may be a small city, but fascinating sights fill every arrondissement.
The Place de la Concorde resembles only a bright, inviting Pariser Platz with its huge fountains, sculptures and an Egyptian obelisk taken from the Luxor temple in the 19th century. Despite its peaceful name and appearance, the place's history is bloody. During the French Revolution, over a thousand people, including Marie Antoinette King Louis XVI, Charlotte Corday and hundreds of everyday French citizens, were guillotined in front of cheering crowds.
The French seem to be escaping hot and cold on Napoleon Bonaparte's question. First they exiled Napoleon to the small islands of Elba and St. Helena. then they brought his body back to France and buried him in Les Invalides in the most elaborate, eye-catching tomb imaginable.
When you visit Les Invalides – which is actually a retirement home for veterans and a war museum – you can immerse yourself in the castle rotunda and see Napoleon presiding over the crypts of friends, co-workers and relatives. Of course, his coffin is the focus.
Since the middle of the 19th century, Parisians and travelers have been able to admire the wonder of the 19th century Paris sewer system. Yes, a small part of the sewers is open to guests. There are dioramas, displays and a bridge that you can walk across the rushing water. It's dark, it stinks – do you remember where you are? – and it could teach you more about the history of municipal sanitation than you ever really wanted to know, but it's also fascinating.
What did you say? Didn't you know that there is an old Gallo-Roman arena in the middle of the left bank? Now you do. It dates from the 1st century AD and was not excavated until the 19th century.
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It is now the centerpiece of a pleasant green park on A side street in the 5eme. Once you've found it – the easiest access point is a nondescript door on busy Rue Monge – you'll likely see football games, picnics on the lawn, and people reading the newspaper and relaxing in the rows of seats.
“Stop! Here is the realm of death! "As you went down the stairs, you will probably keep going. Behind the black and white painted door is a labyrinth of tunnels lined with the bones of thousands and thousands of Parisians of yesteryear. They were all built in the late 18th and late 18th centuries Relocated from above-ground cemeteries in the early 19th century to curb disease, and if you look closely, plaques on the walls tell you when each of the remains was installed in the catacombs, along with thoughtful quotes about mortality and eternity, altars, and See crosses, hearts and diamonds from a pile of skulls.
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Only a small part of The catacombs are open to the public, so the corridors of the bones are even more extensive, than you might first notice them. City researchers in Paris love the closed G They offered to explore the catacombs, and during World War II they used the Resistance to hide from the Nazis. Even if you're generally not squeamish, try not to go alone. Trust me on this. It's getting quiet down there.
The more you explore Paris, the more you will discover: If you look beyond your travel guide for the city's hidden treasures, you will find even crazier and more fascinating attractions. Good chance!