Beautiful Landmarks in Arrondissement 1

The heart of Paris is where you can find the Palais Royal, the Louvre, and several other tourist landmarks but district 1, as this region is called, is also home to many historical spots that have held great significance in French history.

There are a few landmarks in the 1st arrondissement which are not often visited by tourists because they are not as grand nor as flashy as the Louvre, the Palais Royal, and other landmarks; however, if you are someone who is easily drawn to artistic monuments that hold a special place in French culture and history, you will definitely find these stunning landmarks impressive.

Colonne Vendome

This column is hard to miss since it stands out from the other monuments and statues that adorn the Vendome area. Although the Colonne Vendome you see in the first district is now a replica of the original column, its details, height, and look was closely copied from the original. The square where the column sits is also an interesting location to be in. It was built in 1699 as a testament to King Louis XIV’s success as an equestrian but was taken down numerous of times until the government finally installed a replica that depicts Napoleon’s exploits on its surface. Place Vendome is not only a park, it also serves as a museum and commercial district. Nearby, you can find shops, boutiques, restaurants and offices.

Église Saint-Eustache

Église Saint-Eustache, like the Notre Dame Cathedral, is a church that boasts a unique Gothic facade and is one of Paris’ last surviving Gothic churches. You can find this church in Les Halles, near the Bourse de Commerce. It is well known throughout Paris and is difficult to miss.

Sainte Chapelle

Saint Chapelle is known throughout Paris as the church that boasts some of the world’s most beautiful stained-glass windows. The walls of Saint Chapelle seem to be giving you a stunning light show, especially when sunlight shines through the wide pained windows. Saint Chapelle was built primarily to serve as the resting place of many royal relics and at the same time, a church.

To get to Saint Chapelle, all you have to do is to make your way to 4 Blvd. du Palais and go through the gates of the Court of Justice. Naturally, you will have to go through a brief security check before you gain entry into the building.

La Conciergerie

A prison may not be considered romantic but the La Conciergerie is not just any prison– popular royals, like Marie Antoinette, were jailed here for allegedly committing crimes against the country. The medieval fortress is now a popular tourist landmark today and tours are available all year round. The prison is known for many things, but its stylish ceiling design is definitely the reason why La Conciergerie often is considered a highly-recommended tourist attraction.


Paris in the Springtime: Scenic Drives in Paris

With Spring right around the corner, the buzz for scenic drives and gardens in Paris have once again become popular. Within the city proper, gardens such as Tuileries, Champs-Elysees, Jardin du Luxembourg and parks like Buttes-Chaumont are often swarmed by tourists but if you want to keep away from the busy crowd, take the road less traveled and head down to these scenic drives and locations in the outskirts of Paris, instead. There are castles, fortresses, and palaces with lush gardens and stunning views you probably have not visited yet, so take the chance to see these tourist spots in person, this Spring.

Our journey begins in the northern outskirts of Paris, specifically in the town of Senlis and the chateau of Chantilly.

Château de Chantilly is a magnificent structure built during the late 1500’s to serve as one of the homes of the Montmercy family. It has undergone so many damages over the years but none of which were too serious to destroy the magical facade of the building. Today, the Chateau serves as a museum and a recreation center.

Places to visit: the chateau itself, its side gardens and the man-made fountain a few steps away from the chateau.

Not too far off from Chantilly is Senlis, a historic town that has become the subject for many films and TV shows. It is considered a jewel in this region of France because it is where you can find 16th century streets, courtyards, homes and structures. The town has technically maintained its 16th century look, making it one of the best towns to visit if you want to see France in the medieval era.

Places to visit: The entire estate of the Royal Abbey of Chaalis is a stunning location that includes gardens, fountains, and parks

The most beautiful towns of France are not only found in the northern region since the central area of the country boasts its own picturesque landmarks, as well. If you’re not too tired to go for a long drive, make sure your next destination would be the town of Moret-sur-Loing. Located south of Paris, this old commune has served as the inspiration for many of Monet’s and Renoir’s paintings. Even without an easel and a brush, it’s so easy to tell that Moret-sur-Loing is a masterpiece in itself.

Places to visit: Though privately owned, you should definitely try to drive by Château de Moret, a stunning home built in the 12th century.

Although Monet has used Moret-sur-Loing as the inspiration for most of his paintings, Monet never lived there and preferred to call Giverny his home, instead. Giverny is small commune west of Paris and it is where you can find three of the most intriguing gardens yet: gardens about hell, purgatory, and heaven. These gardens are found in Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny and may be visited from Mondays through Fridays.