Paris – 20 Must See Sites in Northern France
Called The City of Light, the Paris region was originally occupied by the Celtic tribe, Parisii. The region was conquered by the Romans in 52 BC and the thriving city of Lutetia of Parisii was formed. The name of the city was later shortened to the Latin Parisius or Paris in French. Known for its museums and landmarks, Paris is one of the world’s great cities and one of Europe’s major centers of commerce, finance, fashion, science and art.
Perhaps the most iconic structure in Paris, the Eiffel Tower has thrilled visitors since its erection in 1889. A staircase and elevators lead to observation decks atop the 324-meter-high, wrought-iron tower. It was the tallest building in the world until 1930. There are three levels, two of which feature restaurants.
The world’s largest and most-visited art museum, the Louvre houses famous paintings like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and classic sculptures such as the Venus de Milo. About 38,000 works of art, representing thousands of years, are on display. The museum is part of the Louvre Palace, a castle fortress King Philip II built more than 900 years ago.
A stunning Gothic-style cathedral, dating to the Middle Ages, this building incorporates gargoyles and flying buttresses in its design. The church has multiple chapels, a pair of imposing towers, and magnificent doors with artistic carvings and biblical king figures.
A sprawling, ostentatiously lavish landmark, this former royal hunting lodge showcases French furnishings and works of art by many of the country’s masters. The palace’s Hall of Mirrors contains 17 arches with 357 mirrors, and the grounds feature lush gardens. There is also a museum commemorating the history of France.