1. Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois
The fate of the Church of Saint-Eustache is partly shared by the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois – it is also in the shadow of the Louvre, and lots of people visit it each and every day. But on Rivoli street, there is a building that for a long time faithfully served as a court church for the French kings at the time when they lived in the Louvre.
The first church in this place was built in the 7th century AD; then it was rebuilt several times throughout the years. The greatest changes in its appearance were made by builders of the XII century, experimenting with the gaining popularity of the Gothic style. A distinctive feature of the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois – its artsy appearance is defined as “fiery Gothic” and rich decor throughout the facade. Inside, there is also something to see, and unique stained glass windows are just one thing that comes to mind. Numerous works of art are also of interest.
An additional touch to the significance of this church, forgotten by tourists, is the mention of the tragic role it played in history: the sounds of the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois bell signaled the beginning of the massacre of the Huguenots, which became known as Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
2. Plaza Athenee
Lots of tourists visit Montaigne Avenue, one of the most fashionable and expensive streets in the city, every day. The star of this location is the hotel with centuries of history called Plaza Athenee. It was here, not far from his studio, that Christian Dior, spending time in a bar, came up with the name of the most famous suit of the brand Dior – Bar Suit. And this is only a drop in the bottomless sea of the entire history of the Plaza. Even if the issue of accommodation is resolved, do not leave Paris without visiting the hotel: dinner in the restaurant of the brilliant Alain Ducasse, a cocktail in Stark’s entourage in The Bar, coffee with the best selection of desserts in La Galerie or a whole day of relaxation in the Dior Spa which is available to all visitors. The company of Patrick Demarchelier, Christian Louboutin and other representatives of the Parisian elite – is a pleasant bonus to all of the things mentioned above.
3. Hot air balloon ride over Paris
This place, despite its extreme nature, is open to everyone. Whether you are looking for single Ukrainian ladies for marriage and good places to spend a honeymoon or you are just a fan of everything extreme, a balloon ride over Paris (Le Ballon de Paris) is a really good way to spend time. Why choke in a queue that causes attacks of claustrophobia where you can neither breathe nor feel yourself comfortable because of all the waiting – if you can soar in the air and see the entire city from all the way up in the air? The balloon itself is a colossus twelve-story house high, and when they untie the rope and the structure soars into the air, you feel a bit dizzy. Bam – and you are already in the sky, the height is all the way up at 150 meters; there is nothing quite like it.
The homeport the balloon is firmly attached to is Andre Citroen’s park which is an interesting place in itself. As soon as the first grass breaks in the spring and the sun shows in the sky, crowds of Parisians fill the park: they have picnics here, lie on the lawn with books, or just sunbathe. A popular attraction there is a fountain with beating jets of water – children love to play in it.
4. Brady Passage
The local area is widely known for its diversity and openness to new trends, and just how many cultures have united together to make something beautiful. But it is enough to dive into the small Brady Passage to instantly find yourself in the very center of a bubbling stream rushing between the shores, built by the Indian and Pakistani communities.
The passage opened in 1854, but it has nothing to do with many other elegant Parisian galleries – it would not have been in the way of any repairs, and in bad weather, water gushes through holes in the glass ceiling. But the atmosphere is 100% authentic, and here, you can buy a colorful saree, taste the best chicken vindaloo in the city, as well as get some whiskey or trim your beard in the salon with a barber from New Delhi who is serious about the traditions of his profession.
In the place called Passage de Pondichéry, which occupies building number 84, they cook some amazing food, but the thing is not to confuse the sides of the Brady Passage: it is divided into two parts by Strasbourg Boulevard, and the part that is outdoors is occupied by shops with men costumes and outfits for parties. That part of the passage is not that interesting.
It would seem that the huge building of the Sacré-Cœur, crowning the Montmartre hill north of the center of Paris, should be studied up and down: the foot of the building is always crowded – some amazing views open up from there. That is precisely why many people, captured by the panoramas of Paris, inspect the snow-white basilica superficially, not thinking about its significance in the life of the city.
But this is a kind of symbol of reconciliation and atonement, built as retribution for the bloodshed during the time of the Paris Commune. The construction of the huge temple began almost immediately after the bloody events of that period, and it took almost forty years to implement such a large project. And although many people question the architectural merits of the building, there is no doubt it is necessary not only to visit the inside of the temple but also to climb to its observation deck. The climb is paid – its cost is 5€, but the views from the height of the Sacré-Cœur are simply astonishing.
Yes, you can wander around Paris for days and hours, enjoying its streets and buildings. But if you do not have reliable information about the sights, there is a risk of missing various interesting places, such as the five places we’ve just discussed.