The Different Paris’s of the World

When we think of Paris, the first image that probably comes to mind is that special city in France where one may find the Arc d’Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower; however, there are actually several Paris’s on Earth, some of which are located in North America while another is in the Pacific Ocean.

It has often been said that the beauty of Paris has been used as the inspiration of other people, and from what we’ll discover later on, even governments. Shakespeare, for one, named the dashing antagonist of his play Romeo and Juliet as Paris. Michael Jackson and Richard Hilton of the Hilton Hotel fame, have also named their beautiful daughters after the city.

Another European country that boasts a town named Paris is Denmark; however, unlike France’s Paris which is a mega-city inhabited by millions of French and foreigners, Denmark’s Paris is a rural town with only 200 residents. Unlike the French Paris, the Danish Paris is a farming village and not exactly where you can find fashionable districts.

Canada, which has millions of French-speaking nationals, boasts two Paris’s: one in the Yukon region and another in Ontario. The United States of America; however, boasts not just one but twenty-six (26) Paris’s — that pretty much means half of the states of the USA has a county, town, or city named after the French ‘capital’.

The most unusual place to find another Paris is in the Pacific, specifically in the islands of Kiribati. Although Kiribati was discovered by French explorers, the archipelago was once a colony of the United Kingdom until they became independent in 1979. The Paris of Kiribati is much different than its North American and European counterparts since the commune itself has been abandoned for years now and is pretty much an empty lot.

Just when you thought that the unusual discoveries about Paris ends there, there’s actually more: the name ‘Paris’ has also been used to name a genus of flowers, a ship, an aircraft, a computer chip, and a type of plaster.

Surprisingly enough, the City of Paris which we all love and cherish is actually NOT France’s capital. According to historical documents, Paris is the de facto capital of France because it is the most popular city and the center of commerce, but the Congress of France is actually housed in Versailles.


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.